Friday, December 25

The Monument

In The City we stop at The Monument, a tower remembering the fire. The Latin inscription, cut in portland stone, translated to bronze which I repeat, in its entirety, below:

"In the year of Christ, 1666, in the 2nd of September, at a distance Eastward of this place of 202 feet, which is the height of this column, a fire broke out in the dead of the night, which, the wind blowing, devoured even distant buildings, and rushed devastating through every quarter with astonishing quickness and noise.  It consumed 89 churches, gates, the guildhall, public edifices, hospitals, schools, libraries, a great number of blocks of buildings, 13,200 houses, 400 streets of the 26 wards, it utterly destroyed 15, and left 8 mutilated and half-burnt. The ashes of the city, covering as many as 465 acres, extended from one side of the tower along the bank of the Thames to the Church of the Templars, on the other side north-east gate along the walls to the head of the fleet-ditch. Merciless to the wealth and estates of the citizens, it was harmless to their lives, so as throughout to remind us of the final destruction of the world by fire the havoc was swift.  A little of time saw the same city most prosperous and no longer in being. On the third day, when it had now altogether vanquished all human counsel and resource, at the bidding, as we may well believe of heaven, the fatal fire stamped its course and everywhere died out.
 *But borish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched (these last words were added in 1681 and deleted in 1830)

Sonnet to Madeleine: "Please snip some thyme for me (in the backyard)"
Madeleine: "I am just your slave."
Sonnet: "Sometimes."

Madeleine gets me a skull and bones for Christmas; she: "The great thing about it is that you can paint it whatever colour you want."