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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 230 [12-27-1853]

              fire, having caught at 1 or so this morning.  Now I, going
to bed at midnight, had lying awake an hour, heard the sonor-
ous clang of the great City Hall bell, toll, toll on, the
general alarm for a long time, other bells joining in the clamor.
It was an ice-cold, gusty night, the casements rattled, and
chimney roared; outside Murtoughs dog howled like a creature
in torment.       /               Set off on the news down Fulton Street,
and soon overtook Welden, posting thitherwards too, on news in-
tent.          So we held on together.      In Front Street, where the
fire had originated, at a bakery, were blackened walls and
ruined, fire-gutted houses, some nine in number being des-
troyed.    The flour had whitened all the house front of the for
mer tenement.       The usual crowd of firemen, lookers on thronged
the muddy, water puddles below.            But the great mass of
spectators were pressing onwards to the wharfs of the East
River, where the noble ship lay, burning.     Arrived there, 
we made our way through the throng down the pier adjacent to
the Fulton ferry, sideways to which the doomed vessel lay.
A monstrous ship, huger in proportion than any ever yet laun-
ched, handsome and unique in built withal, and during
the brief mouth she lay here had been quite a show sight,
people flocking to see her at 25 cents per head.        She was now
a grander sight, all her huge bulk except just the stern
part being ablaze; masto, yards and rigging were all
down, piteously trailing over the tall sides or consumed.
Her bulwarks were all riddled by the mass of raging flame
within, great quivering lambout fire-tongues soaring upwards;
her perpendicular bulwark beams remaining, parallel planks all               
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