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upon which the thermometer was at some point
between three and ten. On Sunday, the
thirtieth of January, the immense masses of ice
that floated from the upper parts of the river,
in consequence of the thaw of the two
preceding days, blocked up the Thames between
Blackfriars and London bridges, and offered
every probability of its being frozen over in
a day or two. On Monday, the thirty-first,
the expectation was realised, and during the
whole of the afternoon the bridges were
thronged with people watching adventurous
passengers crossing the Thames on the ice. The
frost of Sunday night so united the vast masses
as to render them immovable by the tide.
On Tuesday, the first of February, the river
had a solid surface from Blackfriars-bridge to
some distance below Three Cranes Stairs, at the
bottom of Queen-street, Cheapside. The watermen
thrown out of work drove a new trade, for
they placed notices at the end of all the streets
leading to the city side of the river, announcing,
"A Safe Footway Over." This attracted
immense crowds, but none went down or came up
without paying threepence or sixpence to the
watermen, who held all the approaches. On the
rugged plain, amusements were provided. Small
sheep were roasted on the ice. For a sight of
the cookery, sixpence was asked, and for a slice
of the meat when doneit was called Lapland
muttonthe charge was again sixpence. There
were booths ornamented with flags and signs,
and within them, gin, beer, gingerbread, and so
forth. The thoroughfare opposite Three Cranes
Stairs was complete and well frequented. Strewn
with ashes, it was a safe though rugged roadway.

In other places several accidents occurred.
A plumber, venturing to cross with some lead
in his hands, sank between two masses of ice
and was drowned.

On Wednesday, February the second, the
sports were continued; the Grand Mall, or
walk, now extended from Blackfriars-bridge to
London-bridge. This was called, also, the City-
road, and was thronged with people. Eight or
ten printing-presses were at work, striking off
commemorative effusions for the lovers of this
sort of verse:

           Behold the mighty Thames is frozen o'er,
           Which lately ships of mighty burden bore;
           Now different arts and pastimes here you see,
           But printing claims the superiority.

Lines like these were sold as fast as they
were printed, because they were printed on the

On Thursday, the number of visitors to the
fair increased. There were swings, booths,
bookstalls, dancing in a barge, playing at
skittles. The ice seemed to be a solid rock. The
appearance of London-bridge and parts of the
shore was most picturesque. In many places
mountains of ice upheaved had the aspect of a
stone quarry. On Friday the crowd still
increased. Some of the watermen who kept the
approaches made six pounds that day, and many
persons remained on the ice to see the fair by
moonlight. On Saturday, there was a slight fall
of snow, and the wind veered to the south. This
did not diminish the number of the visitors.
On Sunday, at two o'clock in the morning,
a thaw had set in, and the tide began to flow
with great rapidity at London-bridge. At this
time a curious accident occurred. A publican,
who had a booth on the Thames opposite Brook's
Wharf, went home at nine at night, the booth
being left in charge of two men. Suddenly it
was violently hurried towards Blackfriars-bridge.
There were then nine men in it, but in their alarm
they let the candles set fire to the covering, and
were between fire and water till they got into a
lighter which had broken from its moorings.
In this they were wrecked, for it was dashed to
pieces on one of the piers of the bridge. Seven.
of the men then got on to the pier and were
rescued; the other two escaped to a barge which
runs off Puddle Dock.

On Monday, the seventh of February, the ice
between Blackfriars-bridge and London-bridge
having partly given way the day before, the
whole mass gave way, and swept with a
tremendous violence through the arches of
Blackfriars-bridge, wrecking about forty barges. The
whole river was cleared in a very short time,
and from that time to this, the Thames has
borne no more frost fairs.

The sharpest winter, until now, that we have
had since eighteen 'fourteen was that of eighteen
'thirty-seveneight, in which Murphy, an
almanack-maker, became famous by his lucky guess
at a cold January day. In that year there was
a long continued frost, and a sheep roasted on
the Thames at Hammersmith. But "Murphy's
coldest day," the coldest of 'thirty-eight, was
sixteen degrees warmer than the Christmas-eve
and Christmas-day last past, when faultless
mercurial thermometers, in the hands of an
astronomer, registered at one time thirteen degrees
below zero, or forty-seven below freezing! Four
degrees (or eight-and-twenty below freezing
point) was then in many parts of England the
average temperature for the whole four-and-
twenty Christmas hours.


I AM starting from Memphis, and going for
four or five days down that mighty flood the
Mississippi, first to B√Ęton Rouge, and then on
to New Orleans.

I have just come on board the Peytoona, a first-
class racing steamer, and having dismissed the
black man who brought down my black portmanteau
with the red diamonds, am now "a free
nigger" myself, ready for anything, from an
explosion downwards. The Peytoona derives its
harmoniously liquid name from a celebrated
racehorse, on which many a cotton plantation has
been staked, and in whose honour many a revolver
has been revolved, to the increase of lawyers' fees
and the lessening of what political economists
call "available population." The bronze effigy