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discovered dead and buried in the snow at
Hampton Court Park; at Bushey, pigs perished
in their sties, and bullocks were with difficulty
rescued in the fields. The hares from Hampton
Court crossed the Thames and took refuge in
the grounds of Lord Fitzgerald. Among other
curious accidents during this frost we may
mention the fact of the horse of a soldier of the
Eighteenth Dragoons slipping and throwing his
rider near Hilsea. The man's sword, slipping
from its scabbard, pierced the head of the
trooper and inflicted a mortal wound. The only
death on the ice mentioned during this time
is that of a toymaker of Millbank, who was
drowned while skating on the canal in St. James's
Park. Four other persons were rescued by
means of ropes and drags.

By the end of January the silent power of the
frost had gradually closed in upon the great
river that brings the wealth of the world to London.
That great artery of the commerce of the
four quarters of the globe had ceased to ebb and
flow. The systole and diastole of England's
heart had for a time stopped. The wonder and
delight of the Londoners was unbounded. The
fact was at once utilised for pleasure and business.
The great frost fair of the old times was
revived at Queenhithe and Chiswick, and once
more between the bridges meat was cooked and
verses were printed. The cold was a good social
excuse for the glass, and those who used it made
good use of the excuse. The coloured flags of
all nations fluttered in the cold air from the roofs
of countless booths, where a licence reigned
forbidden on shore. The papers described it
vividly enough:

"Bands of pandean minstrels, relieved by
the dulcet strains of the tin trumpet on all
sides, delighted the ear. In the centre of the
river a narrow stream defied the power of the
frozen region, and marked the path ' where once
the current ran.' This interruption, however,
so far from impeding the gambols of the day,
increased the sport, and added to the profit of
the stewards of the scene. A few small planks
in some cases, and an old boat or two in others,
with the simple addition of Charon's fare, kept
the communication entire, and enlivened the
pastime. In some parts of the stream, where
the width of unfrozen water admitted it,
boats completely bent for sail, with their full
equipment, attracted the heedless throng. In
these were placed food for the hungry, and for
the thirsty relief; gin and gingerbread, with
other cordials, were here on sale at a moderate
price. ' Ubi mel, ibi apes.' The crowd poured
towards this magnetic point with extraordinary
avidity. Men, women, and children were often
seen in one promiscuous heap, although it was
impossible not to feel anxious to afford every
opportunity of cheering by playful pastime the
nipping severity of the weather; yet we cannot
disengage our mind from the hazardous
consequences of such an exhibition as we are now
noticing. Between the bridges the river is now
entirely covered, not with a regular even frozen
surface, but with an incongruous accumulation
of icy fragments and congealed piled snow,
which, during the partial thaw, was disengaged
up the river and floated downwards; this having
been interrupted by the intervention of the
bridges, and partially re-united by the frost of the
last two or three days, has completely covered
the surface of the water. It is yet extremely
dangerous, and was in many places last night
set in motion by the influx of the tide, and
carried with extreme velocity against the piers of
the bridges. Some waterman, more foolhardy
than others, ventured to cross opposite Temple-
gardens, and nearly lost his life in the attempt."
While the crowd danced and blew trumpets,
sprang rattles, drank gin, and ate gingerbred,
scientific men disputed whether the ice
rose and fell in one solid mass with the ebb and
flow, or whether it remained steady at the
greatest flood height and bore its own weight
in suspension during the ebb. In the mean
time, dandies from Bond-street and the Row,
sporting men from Tattersall's, soldiers from
Knightsbridge, graziers from Smithfield, and
ladies from everywhere, crowded the noisy
shows on the ice bridge opposite Queenhithe,
where the centre of the fair was. It was
one long carnival, and everybody went to see

At last the thaw came. The rain fell, and
the wind blew, and the river broke from its
prison, eager to see again its mighty and
innumerable ships and its brave lovers, the seamen.
Poor people waking that night (February 7)
heard the rain pelt at the windows, and the wind
shout down the chimney-pots, and thanked God
that the hard time of dear bread and no work was
over. The great snow-drifts melted at the stern
call of the sou'-west wind, and the great shroud
was drawn back from the face of nature, waking
from her long death-like trance. This change also,
Death followed silently. Many perished in the
floods in Lincolnshire. Even the frost fair had
nearly been fatal to a few of its lingering
frequenters. Nine men were left on the ice in a
booth, to guard it for the proprietor, Mr.
Lawrence, of the Feathers public-house, Timber-
street, Queenhithe. He left it safe at nine, not
fearing the thaw, and took with him all the
spirits and other liquors, except a pint of gin,
which he gave the men to drink. At two in the
morning the sleeping custodians were awakened
by a movement in the ice, which was breaking
up and dashing against the bridges. They ran
out and found themselves, in the darkness,
sweeping, with the speed of the rapids, towards
Blackfriars-bridge, against which their ice-raft
was about to dash. "While they were staring,
horror-stricken, their fire caught the booth and
it broke into a flame. The men with great
difficulty leaped into a lighter which, broken
from its moorings, was drifting past; the next
moment, that too crashed against the bridge
and went to pieces. Again the men threw
themselves into the water, clung to the bridge,
and saved their lives just as they were at the
last point of exhaustion.

The Isle of Ely was almost entirely under

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