An Exact Narrative and Description of the Wonder full and Stupendious Fire-works in Honour of Their Majesties Corona­tions, and for the High Entertainment of Their Majesties, the Nobi­lity, and City of London; made on the Thames, and perform'd to the Admiration and Amazement of the Spectators, on April the 24, 1685.

NEver was any thing with greater Expectation attended, and with more wonder and Applause perform'd, then were those Miraculous and highest strains of Art, the Coronation-Fire-works: It was pre-supposed indeed and concluded by the most, that nothing mean, indifferent, and easie would be exhibited on so Glorious an occasion, and before so Royal an Assembly. But it was done be­yond all Thought, and it was scarce possible for the Fancy of any man that had not before seen of the kind, to form an Idaea of a thing at once so Dreadful and Delightful, or to believe that the Art of man could attain to so extraordinary a height and pitch of Perfection as was expressed in them; the wearisomness that the Fa­tigue of those Glorious Prossessions and stately Ceremonies of the Coronations had bred in their Majesties, caused them to be deferr'd till the next Evening, which were designed with (as it were) the exactest Act of Magnificence to have clos'd the Grandeur of that Great day. Never seem'd Day-light so tedious, or Night so slow, as that for there were them that from Two took places, and sat in expectation of what was not to be Acted till almost Ten. But between five and six London seem'd to have dis-embogued and emptied its Inhabitants into the Boats and on the Shoars of Thames, the prospect of Frost Fair reviving in those endless multitudes that crowded and covered it. The Tyde was out, which hapened well for the Rable, of whom many else would have been drown'd by Accidental slips and press of the People, which now were only Dirtyed: Squibs, Roskets, Serpents, and what else of Fire-works the Boys and Rable could reach to, were the Divertisement and Dread of the People, till the long wish'd hour arrived. At length between Nine and Ten their Majesties, with a Numerous Train of Nobility, came into the Galleries of Whitehall, just against which, about the middle of Thames, lay the Principalest part of the Fire-works, and straight in a line beyond, near the further Shoar, lay the other smallest part of them; the Figure and manner of them as they stood before they were Fired, was thus, two large and long Lighters were joyn'd together, and made steady and firm with Planks and Anchors upon them, at about ten yards distance from each other, on them were erected two Pyramidical Pillars covered on the sides next Whitehall with bright Latten 'Plates, fill'd all and stuffed with Fire-works; between these two Pyramids, near their tops, was placed a Figure of the Sun, of bright and well polished Brass, next below which hung a great Cross, and beneath that a Crown, all stufft with Fire-works. A little wide of which, and something before the Pyramids, were plac'd the Statues of the two Gyants of Guild-hall, in lively Colours and Proportions facing Whitehall, the backs of which were all fill'd with Firey-Materials, as well as the Hallows and va­cant spaces of the Lighters. This was the manner and Figure of the Principalest part of the Fire-works, which lay in the middle of Thames before they were Fired. The other smaller part of them near the further Shoar, was only one Lighter, in which stood five Beacons as it were; these were scarce known or regarded before they were Fired. No sooner was their Majesties come into the Galleries of White­hall, but loud Acclamations of Joy proclaim'd their Arrival, which Rowling and Re-Ecchoing from both Shoars, almost from London-Bridge to Lambeth, helped to give an estimate of that wonderful Multitude and Confluence of People to the Ear, which Night and Darkness had refused to the Eye. Scarce were the redoubled Shouts of Joy ended, and a general Silence through the Earnestness of Expecta­tion and Intentiveness of what was presently to succeed made; but from the prin­palest [Page 2] part of the Fire-works in the midst of the Thames, with a Horrid Impe­tuosity and Noise, above being able to be parallel'd by the beating of a Prodigious Wind on a Thick Grove of Trees, or by Cataracts and Falls of mighty Waters: [...] [...]upendious Torrent of Fire, consisting of many hundred Globulous forms of Fie [...] matter, to the wonderful Astonishment and Dread of the Spectators, broke Perpendicularly upward, and rose to so astonishing a height, that by reason of the convexity of the Horison, like a Summers Sun growing to Noon, though they rose perpendicularly upward, they seem'd to over-hang and threaten all. Lord have Mercy upon us, was then the cry of all that had not seen of the kind; even the stoutest men knew not what to think of so dreadful a Deluge of Fire; but their Surprise was increas'd when with the noise of Voleys of Musquets Shot those new Meteors broke into a shower of ten thosands of Stars, and with a Brightness that return'd the Day, seem'd to be falling on all their Heads; but by an exact propor­tion and most Critical and Judicious weighing of the Strength and Duration of the Matter by those Master Artists that made them, when to the highest pitch they had rais'd the General fear they were extinct. It was really a wonderful effort of Art, and seem'd to equal those Natural Prodigies of Etna and Vesuvius, with the Happy addi­tional Cheapness of bating of their ruines and desolation. Art it seems so regulating and wisely husbanding the Materials, as to yield a better Pennyworth of Wonder in affording it without such dear Devastations as those of Nature are usually accom­panied with. This first Scene of Wonder was followed by divers Issues and Salleys of the same and different matter; and from the first break of the Deluge, till the end of the Sport, which lasted near an hour, the two Gyants, the Crown, the Cross and the Sun, grew all in a light Flame in the Figures describ'd, and burnt without abatement of matter, which was no mean master-piece of Art, till the whole Scene was finish'd. From the other part of the Fire-works also, where stood five Bea­cons, burning with the same continuance of Flame and Matter; were shot out of Granadoes mighty Balls of Fire, which mounting up into the Air a Prodigious height, with the noise of a great Gun, breaking into a thousand smaller Balls of Fire, which flying cross one another, and breaking again with the Reports as it were of many Musquets, fill'd all the Air with noise and flame. The Granadoes threw up also Balls of Fire of another kind, which breaking with the noise of a Cannon, at first divided it self into so amazingly bright Bodies of Fire that they gave a Light for a Minuits space over the Thames, and even over all Lon­don and parts adjoyning, as bright as the Noon-days Sun doth, these sorts were re­iterated several times, to the wonder and content, but not Satiety of the Be­holders, the Rable being not to be satisfied with so rare a sight. When as the last and concluding piece of Art from the principal parts of the Fire-works into the Thames, between them and Whitehall slope ways gave whole Broadsides of Fire-works of so particularly strange a Nature, as contrary to the nature of Fire, with­out extinction or abatement of Flame, burnt in the Water they fell into, leap'd up and down in it, and by intermingling their Flames with the Water, and fre­quently crossing themselves by the Hissing, Convulsions and flying of the Water, hating its enemies presence, and to be out-brav'd by what it us'd to conquor; it yielded one of the strangest and pleasantest Antick Scenes that mans Heart could co­ver, or his Eyes enjoy. There was this remarkable property in the Fire-works, that were the principal part, and lay in the midst of the Thames; that where as the o­ther were shot out of Granadoes, these rose to so stupendious a height, and per­formed all by their own innate Virtue and Strength, which argued an exactness of Art in their composition. The Master Artists that made them were two High-Ger­man Operators, to whom His Majesty allows three Hundred Pounds per Annum, P [...]nsion to encourage their Art: To whom also the Evening was kind, in being v [...] Calm, and seem'd to reward their Art with a seasonable opportunity of per­formance; which was done indeed with such Excellence, that they rose to so Pro­digious a pitch as to be seen, and broak with such loud noise as to be heard, and shin'd with so bright a Luster as to give Day in and through all the Streets of London.

Printed by N. Thompton at the Entrance into the Old-Spring-Garden near Charing-Cross. 1685

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.