[Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [The fatal Vesper.]188

[Black Friers.] Faringdon Ward within. [The fatal Vesper.]

all the Advenues and Passages leading into the Black Friers, and from thence into the Embassador's House, by the direction and command of Serjeant Finch, Recorder of the City; who was exceeding careful that my Lord Embassador, and his Servants, should not suffer any detriment in their Goods or Persons; being jealous in this point, of the King's, his own, and the City's Honour. And Matters being thus disposed for the Safety and Assurance of the Strangers, after they had broken down a Wall, and opened some Doors, they fell to work upon the Ruins it self, with all possible diligence and dexterity. Where at the opening of every Board, Plank, and piece of Timber, there were Objects which presented themselves full of Horror and Confusion.

Here you might have seen a Man shaking of his Legs, and striving for life. There you might have seen another putting forth his bloody Hands, and crying for help. Here you might have seen one, like some Spectre, thrusting out his Head out of the Grave. There you might have seen his Fellow half dead and half living, intomb'd in that Grave which he was not long to keep. Here you might have seen the Living thus pressed, as they were mourning for the Dead; and the Dead senseless, as they were imbracing of the Living. So that since the Sicilian Vespers, there was never an Even-song more dolorous unto the French, nor more lamentable unto the Scots and English. The Count of Tillier, who was Embassador here in ordinary for the most Christian King, which Place he hath executed with great Dignity and Authority for many Years together, to the general liking and applause of both Nations, although he was fortunate in this, that not one of his Retinue perished, was much agrieved at this unlucky Accident; with whom the Spanish Delegates did condole, as by mutual reference feeling that Grief, which fellow-feeling had made their own.

Moreover, it was reported by one who had good Intelligence in Ely House, that Don Carlos Colomo's Steward should say, that his Master would not for a Million of Gold, this Accident should have fallen out in his, or Exeter House. A Report like enough to be believed of those, who know how strangely zealous this Nation is in their Religion; and how jealous they are of their own, their King's, and of their Country's Honour.

Neither were the Sorrows meaner amongst the Naturals of this Kingdom, and the Inhabitants of the City of London. So that here some Men lost their Wives, Women their Children, Children their Parents, Masters their Servants, and one Friend lamented the loss of another. So that Rachel was weeping for her Children, because they were not. Job was lamenting for his Sons and Daughters, because they were slain together by the downfal of an House, whilst they were eating of their last Banquet. Insomuch that the Streets did eccho with their dolorous Moans, the Walls and Houses did resound with their Cries, and Lamentations. The subsequent Night was so full of Horror unto many, that it may be truly said of it, as was said of another dismal Night in the like kind:

Quis cladem illius noctis,     
quis funera fando
Explicit? aut potis est     
lachrymis æquare dolorem?

When the Bodies were drawn forth of those heaps of Earth and Timber, which task of Charity they were accomplishing all that Night, and part of the next Day following, they were found to be Ninety five Persons, or thereabout, of divers Conditions, besides those who were bruised, maimed or wounded. Amongst whom were divers Persons of Worth and Quality: As Father Drurie, who was the Preacher; Father Redyate, in whose Lodging this Calamity befel; the Lady Webbe, descended of the Family of the Treshams; and Sister unto my Lady Morley, and my Lady Sturton, and many more besides of that weaker Sex, who then and there were assembled at their accustomed Devotions. Yet were there many who were in that unfortunate downfal, which escaped the Danger strangely and wonderfully. Amongst whom was Mrs Lucy Penruddock, extracted from a worthy and noble Family; who fell between the Lady Webbe, and her own Maid-Servant, both of which perished; yet she was preserved alive, by means of a Chair which fell hollow upon her, and sheltered her from further danger. So was young Mrs. Webbe, Daughter to my Lady Webbe, who fell near unto her Mother; and Elenor Sanders, who was covered, with many others; whose Lives were saved within the Heaps of these Blood-guilty Ruins.

There was also a Minister, whose Name I cannot learn; and therefore, although he survive this Misfortune, it must be buried as yet in silence; who being present at the Sermon, as being invited by some Romish Catholick to that Exercise, who also gave him the Conduct unto the Place, he fell with the rest of the Multitude assembled there together; and being covered with the Rubbish, Boards, and other Timbers, which fell upon him from the the higher Rooms; and prest with the weight of divers Persons besides, whereof some were dead and some were living. Being in this Agony, which his present pain, and the fear of Death, in his own judgment even hanging over his Head, did impose (and that not without just cause) upon him; being, I say, thus distressed, and striving under those Heaps and Ruins for Life, the hope whereof, in respect of the premised impediments, had almost forsaken him; One of the French Embassador's Gentlemen, hearing the Noise and Report of this great and dismal Fall, suddenly as he could, opened a Door, which gave entrance into that Chamber, upon the Floor whereof, the Heaps and Ruins, together with the oppressed Multitude, as then lay: Who perceiving light by the Door that opened, the Place before being covered over with darkness, he strove with all the strength and agility he could, which in him was not mean, he being a Man of a very strong and able Body; and at last, after the loss of his Cloak, and renting of his Cloathes, he recovered himself, without any further hurt. Which the Gentleman perceiving, came and demanded of him, whether or no he were hurt, or that he stood in need of any Thing that might do him Service, or procure him Comfort? But he being almost exanimated and astonished, could not at first apprehend those courteous Proffers which were tendred unto him by this Stranger, who presently went and brought him into a Chamber; where after he had sat a while and refreshed himself with Wine, which was brought unto him, and having thus recovered his Strength and Spirits, he returned to the foresaid Place again; and used his best endeavours for the relieving of others from that Calamity, whereof but even now he was a Fellow-sufferer. His Man who attended him, was recovered among the rest,