I PROCEED to quote four accounts of the Fire from eye-witnesses. Between them one arrives at a very fair understanding of the magnitude of the disaster, the horrors of the Fire, especially at night, and the wretchedness of the poor people, crouched over the wreck and remnant of their property.
"Here"--Evelyn is the first of the four--"we saw the Thames covered with floating goods, all the barges and boates laden with what some had time and courage to save, as on the other, the carts carrying out to the fields, which for many miles were strewed with movables of all sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and what goods they could get away. Oh the miserable and calamitous spectacle! Such as happly the world had not seene the like since the foundation of it, nor be outdone till the universal conflagration of it. All the skie was of a fiery aspect, like the top of a burning oven, and the light seene above 40 miles round for many nights. God grant mine eyes may never behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses all in one flame: the noise and cracking and thunder of the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women and children, the hurry of people, the fall of Towers, Houses. and Churches, was like a hideous storm, and the aire all about so hot and inflamed, that at the last one was not able to approach it, so that they were forced to stand still and let the flames burn on, which they did for neere two miles in length and one in bredth. The clowds also of smoke were dismall and reached upon computation neere 56 mile in length. Thus I left it this afternoone burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day. It forcibly called to my mind that passage non enim hic habemus stabilem civitatem: the ruines resembling the picture of Troy. London was, but is no more."
The next day he went to see the Fire again, All Fleet Street and the parts around it were in flames, the lead running down the streets in a stream, the stones of St. Paul's "flying like granados." The people, to the number Of 200,000, had taken refuge in St. George's Fields and Moorfields as far as Islington and Highgate; there Evelyn visited them; they were lying beside their heaps of salvage,