Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 056 [03-01-1851]

              and on its roof firemen, seated amid a sea of stifling smoke and fire
sparkles, pouring streams of unavailing water into the hell of flame below;
one man with cigar in mouth.       A crowd, though an accessible one in
Broadway, a multitude of fire engines, many standing idle, seeing that
the destruction�s element hath mastery.     Gazed awhile, then rambled through
hose pipes, firemen, rushing water and desultory mob, till arriving in
front, close to the building, gazed into it through the open door, flaming
window and towers above.      A great hall of scorching, lurid, fire, drifting
upwards, slant-wise with a rushing mighty noise, terribly, dreadfully
beautiful.   Too beautiful for aught but mute awe and admiration �
not fear-creating, though so irrestible, so terribly-suggestive of man�s insig-
nificance.     It is 2 o�clock, and the fire hath the mastery, roof and
organ loft have fallen; but the walls and towers are thick and yield not;
so, striding through Houston, the drifting flame on the right, firemen
and engines beside us, and mud, water, and hose pipes below, we retrace
our steps, and back to our quiet boarding house home.    The fire bells toll
that another fire is up, but we go not there, preferring bed.
  30. S
	                                   March.
  2, Sunday, first being yester-day scored down erroneously.   A sitting
for my portrait in the loft, in the morning.  Atchien, the Celestial
with us; � anon a visit from Baudoin, who sate and smoked and
talked an hour.   After dinner, Cross suggesteth a drive on the Ave-
nues, so he and I visit the adjacent Hippona and stables, where
after a converse with the burly man in a small room, white washed, having
a desk partitioned off on a raised dais, a few bridles, and horse-collars, 
and the like; we step into a light vehicle, yclept buggy, big wheels and
a horse to match; � tall black mare.   Cigars lit, off we go, down               
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