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Hosea ; and, if my feelings are correct, relative to the state of mind of the generality of the people in this great city, he sets it forth clearly in a very few words. “ There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land; by swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood,” (iv. 1, 2.)

Fourth-day, I turned out to take my usual exercise ; but I was soon obliged to retreat from the place I had first aimed at, on account of the great bustle in the neighbourhood of the palace, the worthy emperor having arrived the preceding evening after a long absence.

Fifth-day, I walked out to meeting; the subject of my getting to my own home attacked me again, but it was soon put to silence, as I became earnestly desirous to be kept in patience, until the time of my stay here was fully accomplished ; to be so helped, I hope I esteemed a favour, when I consider what a bundle of impatience I am by nature,

By accounts received to-day, the body of ice floated from the south coast, and collected at the mouth of the Mole, which rendered it needful to cut it away for vessels to go out to sea ; this circumstance, I understand, threatens the approach of more severe weather than I have yet experienced.

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CHAPTER XXVIII.

ber.

SIXTH-DAY, 19th of 11th mo. 1824, but little sleep last night, from the most severe tempest of wind and some rain, which I ever remem

I little expected what an awful scene this city, in a few hours after I left my bed this morning, would exhibit. On entering the apartment of my hostess to request my breakfast to be sent into my room, she asked if there had been much rain in the night, as there was much water in the street; not supposing, as afterwards proved to be the case, that this water floated up the common sewers, from the swell of water in the river.

After taking my breakfast, I proceeded to take my usual walk; but, to my surprise, I found we were so surrounded by water that I was obliged to return home. On telling my landlady that we lived in an island, she smiled at me, not aware of the fearful consequences that very soon followed. Observing the servant of an Englishwoman, who lived under the same roof, unable to reach home in her return from marketing, I proceeded to go and inform her mistress of her situation, and crossed the yard to her apartment dryshod : although not five minutes had elapsed before I attempted to return home, every thing was floating in the yard. I stepped on a cellar-window, and from that into the door of a bakehouse, where the water followed me in such a body, that I concluded no time must be lost in making my way home: I waded through it, and had I hesitated many minutes longer, the rise of the water was so rapid, I could not have reached my home. A hole was afterwards obliged to be cut in the wall of the same bakehouse, to save the life of a woman who had taken shelter there. After I left it, getting quit of my wet clothes, I took my standing at the windows of our apartment: the streets very soon exhibited a scene of great distress; men wading up to their arm-pits in the water ; one woman up to her neck: I watched her with no little anxiety, expecting to see her slip off the foot-path on to the road, where it would have been over her head. Horses and carriages were swimming in the streets, until they durst not venture forward, the passing being altogether dangerous. The water in a short time rose in the streets eight feet; and then to twelve feet. The ground-floor of the house in which I was a resident, was occupied by a grocer; the water rose up to the ceiling of the shop and his other apartments, without allowing him time to move his goods or household stuff, its progress was so sudden and rapid. Until the water had reached its height, its advance was truly awful : it was to be seen hastening up the sides of the houses, first reaching the bottom of the window, then the top of one pane of glass, and so on until both doors and windows were quite out of sight. My landlady seemed to have no other expectation, but that it would cover the tops of the houses, and we should all perish.

About eleven o'clock the flood reached its height; from that time until about four in the afternoon, the most awful stillness I ever witnessed prevailed: as far as my eyes could see, not a person was to be observed at any window, nor any thing in the streets that had life, excepting a poor horse that was fastened to a small cart, and had made his way thus far towards home, but durst not venture further; he had preserved his life by placing his fore-feet on some steps, which lay high above the foot-path, whereby we could observe he was only barely able to keep his mouth above the water. About four in the afternoon, a policeman came in a boat, and let this poor prisoner loose, when he swam into a yard that was near : this policeman was the first person, except our own family, whom we had seen anywhere, from ten in the morning until this time in the afternoon, when the water began to retire. Consoling as the prospect of its retreat was, it was distressing to observe the devastation that had taken place : for as the water retired, it set the doors of those shopkeepers which opened out into the street wide open; whereby many of their articles that were floatable passed down the streets to the canals, and so out to sea. My landlady feared that the whole city would be so under water, as that none would escape with their lives ; the shock she received from this

apprehension was so great, that she never recovered from it during my stay in Petersburgh. The impressions of my mind at the time were, that it was a visitation in mercy from Almighty God to the inhabitants of this great city. During the whole time when standing at the windows, and viewing the progress of this awfully awakening scene, my mind was in adorable mercy preserved calm and quiet, free from the least emotion of fear, that what my landlady so dreaded would take place. The darkness of the night, the impracticability of lighting the lamps, and scarcely a person or carriage passing along the streets, produced a quiet that was striking to the mind. This, together with the remembrance of the continued cries, for near two hours, of a poor man on his carriage, who was driven under the

gateway of the house I was in, and to whom no assistance for a length of time could be given, had so pierced my ears, that it was some time before I was able to rise above it.

were

Seventh-day, 20th of 11th mo. the waters had left the streets : after breakfast I went out to view the calamity, which this extraordinary visitation to this magnificent city had occasioned. Scarcely a bridge has escaped uninjured by it, and many are carried quite off their bearings : part of one of the large bridge of boats across the Neva, was left standing against the walls of the palace : rafts, small boats, with two of the large steam-boats employed in going to Cronstadt, were left in the city, on what is called the island. Here the effects were more severely felt than in the city; houses, with the people in them, were taken off their foundation, and carried out to sea: some of these poor

inhabitants observed sitting on the roofs of their houses, to save life as long as they were able. On the Catherine Hoff road, in a row of cottages, two hundred and fifty women and children were found, to have fallen victims to this awful visitation; the men being from home at their work, escaped. The number of horses, horned cattle, and pigs, that perished, was said to be very great. In walking through the streets of the city, it was affecting to observe the sorrowful countenances of the shopkeepers, standing at their doors, whilst their servants were bringing into the street the remains of the wreck of their property; some of them appearing as if they had no power left to lend a helping hand, but stood as if they were paralyzed : others stood in awful amazement; scarcely a word was to be heard in passing through the streets. To exhibit to the full the dreadful consequences of this visitation seems to be out of the

power

of man. Notwithstanding this awful visitation, and the distress consequent upon it to-day, yet so prevalent here is the French principle of keeping up the spirits of the people, in order to turn their attention from serious reflection ; that the commandant of the city ordered all the theatres to be opened this evening; but this coming to the knowledge of the worthy emperor, the order was countermanded, and they were kept shut. According to various reports, the emperor proved himself to be the father of his people, not leaving the wants of such of his poor subjects as had suffered from the inundation, to the inspection of the police, or any other of his officers, but going himself in person, and attending to their wants; so that it was believed many were placed in a better condition than they were in before. First-day, I walked out to meeting: for two miles there was scarcely a fence standing, on one side of the road; the land was covered with glass lights from the gardener's grounds, also temples, summer-houses, boats, timber of various descriptions, crosses out of the burial-grounds, parts of coffins, the dead bodies of some who had perished from the flood, and a variety of cattle, that had perished also. My kind friend, Daniel Wheeler, and his family, in consequence of his high situation, had escaped.

This awful visitation, which had thus taken place in the city, loosened my bonds; the cloud which had rested on the tabernacle seemed gradually removing. It appearing to me I must be willing to take up my pen, and address the inhabitants generally on the solemn occasion; I looked tow ds the abode of

my kind friend Daniel Wheeler, as being likely to afford me a quiet retreat for the purpose, and put my nightcap in my pocket accordingly; but the way not appearing clear in my own mind for so doing, believing I must not risk involving my kind friend and his family in any of my engagements, but have the responsibility rest on myself, I returned to my lodging, with my mind fully prepared to take up my pen, should the concern remain with me. i retired to bed at my usual time; but the enemy beset me on every hand, to discourage and deter me from making an attempt towards this address, setting before me such a picture of the distress, which my conduct, (if I pursued my determination to address the inhabitants of Petersburgh,) would involve me in, as words cannot fully describe ; and when he found his discouragements in this way were of no avail, he held up in a yet more terrific manner, the certainty of my falling into the hands of the police, and that if offence were taken, it would constitute me a crown-prisoner, whereby the fort would be the place of my confinement, and perhaps one of the cells there, which are under the bed of the river, and which I had heard of as swarming with hungry rats; he could not have devised a stratagem more likely to have foiled me in my attempt. Between these assaults, and the striving in my own mind to be preserved faithful to Divine requirings, I passed a distressing night. Towards morning I became a little more composed, and favoured with a little quiet sleep; but such were the frightful ideas produced by the thoughts of being locked up amongst a swarm of hungry rats, (creatures to which I have a natural aversion, that it was some time before I could shake off the effects of these ideas.

Second day, apprehending my friends in England would receive the intelligence of the awful visitation which this city had experienced, and be anxious on my account, I wrote to them, giving a short detail of it; and as some light now began to shine on my path, I thought I saw pretty clearly that it would be right for me to attend the next Yearly Meeting in London ; and if so, I should be obliged to return overland, as the probability was, the port of Cronstadt would not be open in time for vessels to get out. therefore requested my friends in England to furnish me with letters to Riga, Memel, and Dantzick.

Fifth-day, walked out to meeting; a great number of dead horses, cows, and pigs were being carted out of the city, in order to be burnt. Sixth-day, I was obliged to keep at home, having taken a heavy cold, from standing a short time in a shop that had been

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