The Project Gutenberg eBook of Merrie England in the Olden Time, Vol. 1

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Title: Merrie England in the Olden Time, Vol. 1

Author: George Daniel

Illustrator: Robert Cruikshank

Thomas Gilks

John Leech

Release date: July 19, 2014 [eBook #46331]
Most recently updated: February 21, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Widger from page images generously
provided by the Internet Archive



By George Daniel

“Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?” Shakspere.

In Two Volumes. Vol. I.


Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street.

The reader will find many words, grammar, spelling, punctuation and sentence structure which does not conform with modern English usage. Many of the poems were written in the 17th century and before and have been transcribed as found. DW



“Merrie England in the Olden Time” having found favour with the Public in “Bentley's Miscellany,” puts forth new attractions in the present volumes. It has received numerous and important corrections and additions; the story has been illustrated by those eminent artists Messrs. Leech and Robert Cruikshank; and fac-similes, faithfully executed by that “cunninge” limner Mr. Thomas Gilks, of rare and unique portraits of celebrated Players, Jesters, Conjurers, and Mountebanks, (preserved only in the cabinets of the curious,) exhibit “lively sculptures” of once popular drolls and wizards that shook the sides and “astonished the nerves” of our jovial-hearted and wondering ancestors.

To supply the antiquarian portion of Merrie England, a library and a collection of prints and drawings of a highly curious and recherche character have been resorted to; and, though the task of concentrating and reducing into moderate compass such ample materials has not been an easy one,

“The labour we delight in physics pain.”

This, and a large share of public approval, have made it a “labour of love.”

In that part which is purely fiction the characters can best speak for themselves.


Oct. 1841.




















Youth is the season of ingenuousness and enjoyment, when we desire to please, and blush not to own ourselves pleased. At that happy period there is no affectation of wisdom; we look only to the bright and beautiful: we inquire not whether it be an illusion; it is sufficient that fairy land, with its flowers of every hue, is the path on which we tread. To youth succeeds manhood, with its worldly prudence: then we are taught to take nothing, not even happiness, upon trust; to investigate until we are lost in the intricacies of detail; and to credit our judgment for what is due only to our coldness and apathy. We lose all sympathy for the past; the future is the subject of our anxious speculation; caution and re serve are our guardian angels; and if the heart still throb with a fond emotion, we stifle it with what speed we may, as detrimental to our interests, and unworthy our new-born intelligence and philosophy. A short acquaintance with the world will convince the most sanguine that this stage is not the happiest; that ambition and mercenary cares make up the tumultuous scene; and though necessity compel a temporary submission, it is good to escape from the toils, and breathe a purer air. This brings us to another period, when reflection has taught us self-knowledge, and we are no longer overwise in our own esteem. Then returns something of the simplicity that characterised our early days. We welcome old friends; have recourse to old amusements, and the fictions that enchained our youthful fancy resume their wonted spell.

We remember the time when just emerging from boyhood, we affected a disdain for the past. We had put on the man, and no urchin that put on for the first time his holiday suit, felt more inexpressible self-complacency. We had roared at pantomime, and gaped with delight at the mysteries of melodrame—but now becoming too sober to be amused, “puerile!”

“ridiculous!” were the critical anathemas that fulminated from our newly-imbibed absolute wisdom! It might be presumption to say that we have since grown wiser; certain it is, we are become less pleased with ourselves, and consequently more willing to be pleased.

Gentle Reader, we are old enough to have enjoyed, and young enough to remember many of the amusements, wakes, and popular drolleries of Merrie England that have long since submitted to “the tooth of time and razure of oblivion.” Like Parson Adams, we have also been a great traveller—in our books! Reversing the well-known epigram,

“Give me the thing that's pretty, smart, and new:

All ugly, old, odd things, I leave to you,”

we have all our life been a hunter after oddities. We have studied attentively the past. For the future we have been moderately solicitous; there being so many busy economists to take the unthankful task off our hands. We have lost our friend rather than our joke, when the joke has been the better of the two; and have been free of discourse where it has been courteously received, preferring (in the cant of pompous ignorance, which is dear at any price!) to make ourselves “cheap” rather than be set down as exclusive and unkind. Disappointments we have had, and sorrows, with ample experience of the world's ingratitude. But life is too short to harbour enmities; and to be resentful is to be unhappy. This may have cast a transient shade over our lucubrations, which let thy happier humour shine upon and dispel! Wilt thou accept us for thy Cicerone through a journey of strange sights? the curiosities of nature, and the whimsicalities of art. We promise thee faster speed than steam-boat and railroad: for thou shalt traverse the ground of two centuries in two hours! With pleasant companions by the way, free from the perils of fire and flood,

“Fancy, like the finger of a clock,

Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.”


Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?” was the admirable reply of Sir Toby Belch to Malvolio when he would have marred his Christmas * merrymaking with Sir Andrew and the Clown. And how beautiful is Olivia's reply to the self-same precisian when the searching apophthegms of the “foolish wise man, or wise foolish man,” sounded like discords in his ears. “O, you are sick of selflove, Malvolio, and taste all with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets. There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.”

     * Christmas being the season when Jack Frost commonly takes
     us by the nose, the diversions are within doors, either in
     exercise, or by the fire-side. Viz. a game at blind-man's-
     buff, puss-in-the-corner, questions and commands, hoop-and-
     hide; stories of hobgoblins, Tom-pokers, bull-beggars,
     witches, wizards, conjurors, Doctor Faustus, Friar Bacon,
     Doctor Partridge, and such-like horrible bodies, that
     terrify and delight!

     “O you merry, merry souls,
     Christmas is a-coming:
     We shall have flowing bowls,
     Dancing, piping, drumming.
     Delicate minced pies,
     To feast every virgin;
     Capon and goose likewise,
     Brawn, and dish of sturgeon.

We hate to be everlastingly bewailing the follies and vices of mankind; and gladly turn to the pleasanter side of the picture, to contemplate something that we can love and emulate. We know

Then for Christmas-box,

Sweet plum-cake and money;

Delicate holland smocks,

Kisses sweet as honey.

Hey for Christmas ball,

Where we will be jolly;

Coupling short and tall,

Kate, Dick, Ralph, and Molly.

To the hop we go,

Where we'll jig and caper;

Cuckolds all a-row—

Will shall pay the scraper.

Tom must dance with Sue,

Keeping time with kisses;

We'll have a jolly crew

Of sweet smirking Misses!”—Old Song.

There are such things as opaque wits and perverse minds, as there are squinting eyes and crooked legs; but we desire not to entertain such guests either as companions or foils. We come not to the conclusion that the world is split into two classes, viz. those who are and those who ought to be hanged; that we should believe every man to be a rogue till we find him honest. There is quite virtue enough in human life to make our journey moderately happy. We are of the hopeful order of beings, and think this world a very beautiful world, if man would not mar it with his pride, selfishness, and gloom.

It has been a maxim among all great and wise nations to encourage public sports and diversions. The advantages that arise from them to a state; the benefit they are to all degrees of the people; the right purposes they may be made to serve in troublesome times, have generally been so well understood by the ruling powers, that they have seldom permitted them to suffer from the assaults of narrow-minded and ignorant reformers.

Our ancestors were wise when they appointed amusements for the people. And as religious services (which are the means, not the end—the road to London is not London) were never intended for a painful duty, the “drum ecclesiastic,” which in latter times called its recruits to pillage and bloodshed, often summoned Punch, Robin Hood, and their merry crew, to close the motley ceremonies of a holy-appointed day! Then was the calendar Devotion's diary and Mirth's manual! Rational pleasure is heightened by participation; solitary enjoyment is always selfish. Who ever inquires after a sour recluse, except his creditors and next heir? Nobody misses him when there are so many more agreeable people to supply his place. Of what use is such a negative, “crawling betwixt earth and heaven?” If he hint that Diogenes, * dying of the dumps, may be found at home in his tub, who cares to disinter him? Oh, the deep solitude of a great city to a morose and selfish spirit! The Hall of Eblis is not more terrible. Away, then, with supercilious exclusiveness! 'Tis the grave of the affections! the charnel-house of the heart! What to us is the world, if to the world we are nothing?

We delight to see a fool ** administer to his brethren.

     * Diogenes, when he trod with his dirty cobbled shoes on the
     beautiful carpets of Plato, exclaimed triumphantly, “I tread
     upon the pride of Plato!”—“Yes,” replied Plato, “but with
     a greater pride!”

     ** “A material fool,” as Jacques describes Touchstone. Such
     was Dr. Andrew Borde, the well-known progenitor of Merry
     Andrews; and the presumed author of the “Merry Tales of the
     Wise Men of Gotham,” composed in the early part of the
     sixteenth century. “In the time of Henry VIII. and after,”
      (says Anthony à Wood,) “it was accounted a book full of wit
     and mirth by the scholars and gentlemen.” It is thus
     referred to in an old play of 1560:—

     “Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!
     I must needs laughe  in my slefe.
     The wise men of Gotum are risen againe.”

If merriment sometimes ran riot, it never exhibited itself in those deep-laid villanies so rife among the pretenders to sanctity and mortification. An appeal to “clubs” among the London apprentices; the pulling down of certain mansions of iniquity, of which Mrs. Cole, * in after days, was the devout proprietress; a few broken heads at the Bear Garden; the somewhat opposite sounds of the “belles tolling for the lectorer, and the trumpets sounding to the stages,” ** and sundry minor enormities, were the only terrible results of this national licence. Mark what followed, when masking, morris-dancing, ***

     * Foote's “Minor.” Act i. scene 1.

     ** Harleian MSS. No. 286.

     *** The morris-dance was one of the most applauded
     merriments of Old England. Robin Hood, Little John, Friar
     Tuck, Maid Marian, the Queen or Lady of the May, the fool,
     the piper, to which were afterwards added a dragon, and a
     hobbyhorse, were the characters that figured away in that
     truly ancient and grotesque movement. Will Kempe, “the
     comical and conceited jest-monger, and vicegerent to the
     ghost of Dicke Tarleton,” who “raised many a roar by making
     faces and mouths of all sorts,” danced the morris with his
     men of Gotham, in his “Nine daies' wonder from London to
     Norwich.” Kempe's “new jigg,” rivalled in popularity his
     Peter in Romeo and Juliet; Dogberry, in “Much ado about
     nothing;” and

     Justice Shallow, of which he was the original performer. In
     “Jacke Drum's Entertainment,” 4to. 1601, is the following


     “Skip it and trip it nimbly, nimbly,
     Tickle it, tickle it lustily,
     Strike up the tabour for the wenches' favour,
     Tickle it, tickle it, lustily.
     Let us be seene on Hygate Greene,
     To dance for the honour of Holloway.
     Sing we are come hither, let us spare for no leather,
     To dance for the honour of Holloway.”

May games, stage-plays, * fairs, and the various pastimes that delighted the commonalty, were sternly prohibited. The heart sickens at the cant and cruelty of these monstrous times, when fanaticism, with a dagger in one hand, and “Hooks and Eyes for an Unbeliever's Breeches,” in the other, revelled in the destruction of all that was intellectual in the land.

     * Plays were suppressed by the Puritans in 1633. The actors
     were driven off the stage by the soldiers; and the only
     pleasantry that Messrs. “Praise-God-Barebones” and “Fight-
     the-good-fight,” indulged in, was  “Enter red coat, exit hat
     and cloak;” a cant phrase in reference to this devout
     tyranny. Randolph, in “The Muses' Looking-glass,” makes a
     fanatic utter this charitable prayer:

     “That the Globe,
     Wherein (quoth he) reigns a whole world of vice,
     Had been consum'd, the Phoenix burnt to ashes;
     The Fortune whipp'd for a blind—Blackfriars!

     He wonders how it 'scap'd demolishing I' the time of
     Reformation: lastly, he wished The Bull might cross the
     Thames to the Bear Gardens, And there be soundly baited.

     In 1599 was published “The overthrow of Stage Playes, by way
     of controversie betwixt D. Gager and D. Rainolde, where-
     in all the Reasons that ean be made for them are notably
     refuted, the objections answered, and the case so clear and
     resolved as that the judgment of any man that is not froward
     and perverse may casilic be satisfied; wherein is
     manifestly proved that it is not onely unlawfull to bee an
     actor, but a beholder of those vanities, &e. &c.”

When the lute, the virginals, the viol-de-gambo, were hushed for the inharmonious bray of their miserable conventicles, * and the quaintly appropriate signs ** of the ancient taverns and music shops were pulled down to make room for some such horrible effigy as we see dedicated to their high priest, John Knox, on a wall in the odoriferous Canongate of Modern Athens. ***

     * “What a poor pimping business is a Presbyterian place of
     worship; dirty, narrow and squalid: stuck in the corner of
     an old Popish garden such as Linlithgow, and much more,
     Melrose.”—Robert Burns.

     ** Two wooden heads, with this inscription under it: “We
     three loggerheads be.” The third was the spectator. The
     tabor was the ancient sign of a music shop. Tarleton kept an
     eating-house with this sign. Apropos of signs—Two Irishmen
     beholding a hatchment fixed against a house, the one
     inquired what it was? “It's a bad sign!” replied the other
     mysteriously. Paddy being still at fault as to the meaning,
     asked for further explanation.—“It's a sign,” cried his
     companion with a look of immeasurable superiority, “that
     somebody is dead!”

     *** Those who would be convinced of the profaneness of the
     Cameronians and Covenanters have only to read “Scotch
     Presbyterian Eloquence displayed, or the Folly of their
     teaching discovered from their Books, Sermons, and Prayers,”
      1738,—a volume full of ludicrous impieties. We select one

     Mr. William Vetch, preaching at Linton, in Tiviotdale, said,
     “Our Bishops thought they were very secure this long time.

     “Like Willie Willie Wastel,
     I am in my castel.
     All the dogs in the town
     Dare nor ding me down.

     “Yea, but there is a doggie in Heaven that has dung them all

Deep was the gloom of those dismal days! The kitchens were cool; the spits motionless. * The green holly and the mystic mistletoe ** were blooming abominations. The once rosy cheeks of John Bull looked as lean as a Shrove-Tuesday pancake, and every rib like the tooth of a saw.

     * “The Lamentable Complaints of Nick Froth the Tapster, and
     Ruleroast the Cook,” 4to. 1641.

     * The magical properties of the mistletoe are mentioned both
     by Virgil and Ovid; and Apuleius has preserved some verses
     of the poet Lelius, in which he mentions the mistletoe as
     one of the things necessary to make a magician. In the dark
     ages a similar belief prevailed, and even to the present day
     the peasants of Holstein, and some other countries, call the
     mistletoe the “Spectre's Wand,” from a supposition that
     holding a branch of mistletoe in the hand will not only
     enable a man to see ghosts, but to force them to speak to
     him! The mistletoe is peculiar to Christmas.

Rampant were those times, when crop-ear'd Jack Presbyter was as blythe as shepherd at a wake. * Down tumbled the Maypoles **—no more music

     * “We'll break the windows which the whore Of Babylon hath
     And when the Popish saints are down,
     Then Burges shall be sainted;
     We'll burn the fathers' learned books,
     And make the schoolmen flee;
     We'll down with all that smells of wit,
     And hey, then, up go we!”

     ** The downfall of May-games, 4to. 1660. By Thomas Hall, the
     canting parson of King's-Norton.—Hear the caitiff,

     “There's not a knave in all the town,
     Nor swearing courtier, nor base clown,
     Nor dancing lob, nor mincing quean,
     Nor popish clerk, be't priest or dean,
     Nor Knight debauch'd nor gentleman,
     That follows drab, or cup, or can,
     That will give thee a friendly look,
     If thou a May-pole canst not brook.”

     On May 1, 1517, the unfortunate shaft, or May-pole, gave
     rise to the insurrection of that turbulent body, the London
     apprentices, and the plundering of the foreigners in the
     city, whence it got the name of Evil May-day. From that time
     the offending pole was hung on a range of hooks over the
     doors of a long row of neighbouring houses. In the 3rd of
     Edward VI. an over-zealous fanatic called Sir Stephen began
     to preach against this May-pole, which inflamed his audience
     so greatly, that the owner of every house over which it hung
     sawed off as much as depended over his premises, and
     committed piecemeal to the flames this terrible idol!

     The “tall May-pole” that “onee o'erlooked the Strand,”
      (about the year 1717,) Sir Isaac Newton begged of the
     parish, and it was carried to Wanstead in Essex, where it
     was erected in the park, and had the honour of raising the
     greatest telescope then known. The New Church occupies its

     “But now (so Anne and piety ordain),
     A church collects the saints of Drury Lane.”

and dancing! * For the disciples of Stubbes and Prynne having discovered by their sage oracles, that May-games were derived from the Floralian Feasts and interludes of the pagan Romans, which were solemnised on the first of May; and that dancing round a May-pole, adorned with garlands of flowers, ribbons, and other ornaments, was idolatry, after the fashion of Baal's worshippers, who capered about the altar in honour of their idol; resolved that the Goddess Flora should no longer receive the gratulations of Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, and Robin Hood's merry men, on a fine May morning; a superstition derived from the Sibyl's books, horribly papistical and pagan.

     *  “Good fellowes must go learne to daunce
     The brydeal is full near a:
     There is a brail come out of Fraunce,
     The fyrst ye harde this yeare a.
     For I must leape, and thou must hoppe,
     And we must turne all three a;
     The fourth must bounce it like a toppe,
     And so we shall agree a.
     praye the mynstrell make no stoppe,
     For we wyll merye be a.”

     From an unique black letter ballad, printed in 1569,
     “Intytuled, 'Good Fellowes must go learne to Daunce.'”

Nor was the “precise villain” less industrious in confiscation and sacrilege. * Painted windows—Lucifer's Missal drawings!—he took infinite pains to destroy; and with his long pike did the devil's work diligently. He could endure no cross ** but that on silver; hence the demolition of those beautiful edifices that once adorned Cheapside, and other remarkable sites in ancient times.

     * Sir Robert Howard has drawn an excellent picture of a
     Puritan family, in his comedy of “The Committee.” The
     personages are Mr. Day, chairman to the committee of
     sequestrations; Mrs. Day, “the committee-man's utensil,”
      with “curled hair, white gloves, and Sabbath-day's cinnamon
     waistcoat;” Abel, their booby son, a fellow “whose heart is
     down in his breeches at every turn and Obadiah, chief clerk,
     dull, drawling, and heinously given to strong waters. We are
     admitted into the sanctum sanctorum, of pious fraud, where
     are seated certain honourable members, whose names cannot
     fail to enforce respect. Nehemiah Catch, Joseph Blemish,
     Jonathan Headstrong, and Ezekiel Scrape! The work of plunder
     goes bravely on. The robbing of widows and orphans is
     “building up the new Zion.” A parcel of notched rascals
     laying their heads together to cheat is “the cause of the
     righteous prospering when brethren dwell together in unity
     and when a canting brother gives up lying and the ghost, Mr.
     Day remarks that “Zachariah went off full of exhortation!”

     It was at the sacking of Basing House, the seat of the
     venerable Marquis of Winchester, that Harrison, the regicide
     and butcher's son, shot Major Robinson, exclaiming as he did
     the deed, “Cursed is he that doeth the work of the Lord
     negligently.” Hugh Peters, the buffooning priest, was of the

     ** The erection of upright stone crosses is generally
     supposed to have dated its origin from the custom which the
     first Christians in this island adopted of inscribing the
     Druid stones with a cross, that the worship of the converted
     idolator might be transferred from the idol to the emblem of
     his faith; and afterwards the Saxon kings frequently erected
     crosses previously to a battle, at which public prayers were
     offered up for victory. After the Norman conquest crosses
     became common, and were erected in market-places, to induce
     honesty by the sanction of religion: in churchyards, to
     inspire devout and pious feelings; in streets, for the
     deposit of a corpse when borne to its last home; and for
     various other purposes. Here the beggar stationed himself,
     and asked alms in the name of Him who suffered on the cross.
     They were used for landmarks, that men might learn to
     respect and hold sacred the boundaries of another's
     property. Du Cange says that crosses were erected in the
     14th Richard II. as landmarks to define the boundaries
     between Kesteven and Holland. They were placed on public
     roads as a check to thieves, and to regulate processions. At
     the Reformation (?!! ) most of the crosses throughout the
     kingdom were destroyed, when the sweeping injunction of
     Bishop Horne was formally promulgated at his Visitation in
     1571, that all images of the Trinity in glass windows, or
     other places of the church, be put out and extinguished,
     together with the stone cross in the churchyard! We devoutly
     hope, as Dr. Johnson hoped of John Knox, that Bishop Horne
     was buried in a cross-road.

The sleek rogue read his Bible * upside down, and hated his neighbour: his piety was pelf; his godliness gluttony.

     * “They like none but sanctified and shuttle-headed weavers,
     long-winded boxmakers, and thorough-stitching cobblers,
     thumping felt-makers, jerking coachmen, and round-headed
     button-makers, which spoyle Bibles while they thumb over the
     leaves with their greasie fingers, and sit by the fireside
     scumming their porridge-pot, while their zeal seethes over
     in applications and interpretations of Scripture delivered
     to their ignorant wives and handmaids, with the name and
     title of deare brethren and especially beloved sisters.”—
     The doleful Lamentation of Cheapside Crosse, or Old England
     sick of the Staggers, 1641.

His grace * was as long as his face. The gnat, like Macbeth's “Amen,” stuck in his throat; but the camel slid down merrily. What a weary, working-day world would this have been under his unhospitable dominion! ** How unlovely and lachrymose! how sectarian and sinister! A bumper of bitters, to be swallowed with a rising gorge, and a wry face! All literature would have resolved itself into—

     * One Lady D'Arcy, a well-jointured, puritanical widow,
     having invited the next heir in the entail to dine with her,
     asked him to say grace. The young gentleman, thinking that
     her ladyship had lived quite long enough, expressed his
     wishes thus graciously:—

          “Good Lord of thy mercy,
          Take my good Lady D'Arcy
          Unto her heavenly throne;
          That I, little Frank,
          May sit in my rank,
          And keep a good house of my own!”

     ** John Knox proclaimed the mild sentence, which was loudly
     re-echoed by his disciples, that the idolator should die the
     death, in plain English (or rather, God be thanked! in plain
     Scotch) that every Catholic should be hanged. The bare
     toleration of prelacy—of the Protestant prelacy!—was the
     guilt of soul-murder. These were the merciful Christians!
     the sainted martyrs! who conducted the inquisitorial tyranny
     of the high commission, and imposed the test of that piece
     of impious buffoonery, the “Holy League and Covenant!!” who
     visited the west of Scotland with the free quarters of the
     military, and triumphed so brutally over the unfortunate,
     patriotic and gallant Montrose. The Scotch Presbyterians
     enacted that each episcopalian was liable to transportation
     who should baptize a child, or officiate as a clergyman to
     more than Jour persons, besides the members of his own

—“The plain Pathway to Penuriousness;” Peachwns “Worth of a Penny, or a caution to keep Money;” and the “Key to unknowne Knowledge, or a Shop of Five Windows

“Which if you do open, to cheapen and copen,

You will be unwilling, for many a shilling,

To part with the profit that you shall have of it;”

and the drama, which, whether considered as a school of eloquence or a popular entertainment, is entitled to national regard, would have been proscribed, because—having neither soul for sentiment, eye for beauty, nor ear for poetry, it was his pleasure to be displeased. His humanity may be summed up in one short sentence, “I will take care, my dear brother, you shall not keep your bed in sickness, for I will take it from under you.” There are two reasons why we don't trust a man—one, because we don't know him, and the other because we do. Such a man would have shouted “Hosan-nah!” when the Saviour entered Jerusalem in triumph; and cried “Crucify him!” when he went up the mountain to die.

Seeing how little party spirit, religious controversy, and money-grubbing have contributed to the general stock of human happiness—that pre-eminence in knowledge is

“Only to know how little can be known,

To see all others' faults, and feel our own,”

we cry, with St. Patrick's dean, “Vive la bagatelle!” Democritus lived to an hundred. Death shook, not his dart, but his sides, at the laughing philosopher, and “delay'd to strike” till his lungs had crowed their second jubilee: while Heraclitus was Charon's passenger at threescore. But the night wanes apace; to-morrow we must rise with the lark. Fill we a cup to Mercury, à bon repos!

A bumper at parting! a bumper so bright,

Though the clock points to morning, by way of good


Time, scandal, and cards, are for tea-drinking souls!

Let them play their rubbers, while we ply the bowls!

Oh who are so jocund, so happy as we?

Our skins full of wine, and our hearts full of glee!

Not buxom Dame Nature, a provident lass!

Abhors more a vacuum, than Bacchus's glass,

Where blue-devils drown, and where merry thoughts


As deep as a Quaker, as broad as his brim!

Like rosy fat friars, again and again

Our beads we have told, boys I—in sparkling champagne!

Our gravity's centre is good vin de grave,

Pour'd out to replenish the goblet concave;

And tell me what rubies so glisten and shine,

Like the deep blushing ruby of Burgundy wine?

His face in the glass Bibo smiles when he sees;

For Fancy takes flight on no wing like the bee's!

If truth in a well lie,—ah! truth, well-a-day!—

I'll seek it in “Fmo,”—the pleasantest way!

Let temperance, twankay, teetotallers trump;

Your sad, sober swiggers at “Veritas” pump!

If water flow hither, so crystal and clear,

To mix with our wine—'tis humanity's tear.

When Venus is crusty, and Mars in a miff,

Their tipple is prime nectar-toddy and stiff,—

And shall we not toast, like their godships above,

The lad we esteem, and the lady we love?

Be goblets as sparkling, and spirits as light,

Our next merry meeting! A bumper—good night!


“The flow'ry May, who from her green lap throws

The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.”

'Tis Flora's holiday, and in ancient times the goddess kept it with joyous festivity. Ah! those ancient times, they are food for melancholy. Yet may melancholy be made to “discourse most eloquent music,”—

“O why was England 'merrie' called, I pray you tell

me why?—

Because Old England merry was in merry times gone by!

She knew no dearth of honest mirth to cheer both son

and sire,

But kept it up o'er wassail cup around the Christmas


When fields were dight with blossoms white, and leaves

of lively green,

The May-pole rear'd its flow'ry head, and dancing round

were seen

A youthful band, join'd hand in hand, with shoon and

kirtle trim,

And softly rose the melody of Flora's morning hymn.

Her garlands, too, of varied hue the merry milkmaid


And Jack the Piper caprioled within his dancing grove;

Will, Friar Tuck, and Little John, with Robin Hood

their king,

Bold foresters! blythe choristers! made vale and moun

tain ring.

On every spray blooms lovely May, and balmy zephyrs


Ethereal splendour all above! and beauty all beneath!

The cuckoo's song the woods among sounds sweetly as of


As bright and warm the sunbeams shine,—and why

should hearts grow cold?” *

     * This ballad has been set to very beautiful music by Mr. N.
     I. Sporle. It is published by T. E. Purday, 50, St. Paul's
     Church Yard.

“A sad theme to a merry tune! But had not May another holiday maker? when the compassionate Mrs. Montague walked forth from her hall and bower to greet with a smile of welcome her grotesque visitor, the poor little sweep.”

Thy hand, Eugenio, for those gentle words! Elia would have taken thee to his heart. Be the turf that lies lightly on his breast as verdant as the bank whereon we sit. On a cold, dark, wintry morning, he had too often been disturbed out of a peaceful slumber by his shrill, mournful cry; and contrasting his own warm bed of down with the hard pallet from which the sooty little chorister had been driven at that untimely hour, he vented his generous indignation; and when a heart so tender as Elia's could feel indignation, bitter must have been the provocation and the crime! But the sweep, with his brilliant white teeth, and Sunday washed face, is for the most part a cheerful, healthy-looking being. Not so the squalid, decrepit factory lad, broken-spirited, overworked, and half-starved! The little sweep, in process of time, may become a master “chum-mie,” and have (without being obliged to sweep it,) a chimney of his own: but the factory lad sees no prospect of ever emerging from his heart-sickening toil and hopeless dependance; he feels the curse of Cain press heavily upon him. The little sweep has his merry May-day, with its jigs, rough music, gingling money-box, gilt-paper cocked-hat, and gay patchwork paraphernalia. All days are alike to the factory lad,—“E'en Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to him.” His rest will be the Sabbath of the tomb!

Nothing is better calculated to brace the nerves and diffuse a healthful glow over body and mind than outdoor recreations. What is ennui? Fogs, and over-feeding, content grown plethoric, the lethargy of superabundance, the want of some rational pursuit, and the indisposition to seek one. What its cure?

“'Tis health, 'tis air, 'tis exercise—

Fling but a stone, the giant dies!”

The money-grub, pent up in a close city, eating the bread of carefulness, and with the fear of the shop always before his eyes, is not industrious. He is the droning, horse-in-a-mill creature of habit,—like a certain old lady of our acquaintance, who every morning was the first up in the house, and good-for-nothing afterwards. A century ago the advantages of early rising to the citizen were far more numerous than at present. A brisk walk of ten minutes brought him into the fields from almost any part of the town; and after luxuriating three or four miles amidst clover, sorrel, buttercups, aye, and corn to boot! the fresh breeze of morn, the fragrance of the flowers, and the pleasant prospect, would inspire happy thoughts: and, as nothing better sharpens the appetite than these delightful companions, what was wanting but a substantial breakfast to prepare him for the business of the day? For this certain frugal houses of entertainment were established in the rural outskirts of the Metropolis, *

     *  “This is to give notice to all Ladies and Gentlemen, at
     Spencer's original Breakfasting-Hut, between Sir Hugh
     Middleton's Head and St. John Street Road, by the New River
     side, fronting Sadler's Wells, may be had every morning,
     except Sundays, fine tea, sugar, bread, butter, and milk, at
     four-penee per head; coffee at threepence a dish. And in the
     afternoon, tea, sugar and milk, at threepence per head, with
     good attendance. Coaches may come up to the farthest gar-
     den-door next to the bridge in St. John Street Road, near
     Sadler's Wells back gate.—Note. Ladies, &c. are desired to
     take notice that there is another person set up in
     opposition to me, the next door, which is a brick-house, and
     faces the little gate by the Sir Hugh Middleton's, and
     therefore mistaken for mine; but mine is the little boarded
     place by the river side, and my backdoor faces the same as
     usual; for

          I am not dead, I am not gone,
          Nor liquors do I sell;
          But, as at first, I still go on,
          Ladies, to use you well.
          No passage to my hut I have,
          The river runs before;
          Therefore your care I humbly crave,
          Pray don't mistake my door.
          “Yours to serve,
          Daily Advertiser, May 6, 1745. “S. Spencer.”

where every morning, “except Sundays, fine tea, sugar, bread, butter, and milk,” might be had at fourpence per head, and coffee “at three halfpence a dish.'” And as a walk in summer was an excellent recruit to the spirits after reasonable toil, the friendly hand that lifted the latch in the morning repeated the kind office at evening tide, and spread before him those refreshing elements that “cheer, but not inebriate;” with the harmless addition of music and dancing. Ale, wine, and punch, were subsequently included in the bill of fare, and dramatic representations. But of latter years the town has walked into the country, and the citizen can just espy at a considerable distance a patch of flowery turf, and a green hill, when his leisure and strength are exhausted, and it is time to turn homeward.

The north side of London was famous for suburban houses of entertainment. Midway down Gray's Inn Lane stands Town's End Lane (so called in the old maps), or Elm Street, which takes its name from some elms that once grew there. To the right is Mount Pleasant, and on its summit is planted a little hostelrie, which commanded a delightful prospect of fields, that are now annihilated; their site and our sight being profaned by the House of Correction and the Treadmill! Farther on, to the right, is Warner Street, which the lover of old English ballad poetry and music will never pass without a sigh; for there, while the town were applauding his dramatic drolleries,—and his beautiful songs charmed alike the humble and the refined,—their author, Henry Carey, in a fit of melancholy destroyed himself. *

     * October 4, 1743.

Close by stood the old Bath House, which was built over a Cold Spring by one Walter Baynes, in 1697. * The house is razed to the ground, but the spring remains. A few paces forward is the Lord Cobham's Head, ** transmogrified into a modern temple for tippling; its shady gravel walks, handsome grove of trees, and green bowling alleys, are long since destroyed. Its opposite neighbour was (for not a vestige of the ancient building remains) the Sir John Oldcastle, *** where the wayfarer was invited to regale upon moderate terms.

     * According to tradition, this was once the bath of Nell
     Gwynn. In Baynes's Row, close by, lived for many years the
     celebrated clown Joe Grimaldi.

     ** “Sir,—Coming to my lodging in Islington, I called at the
     Lord Cobham's Head, in Cold Bath Fields, to drink some of
     their beer, which I had often heard to be the finest,
     strongest, and most pleasant in London, where I found a very
     handsome house, good accommodation, and pleasantly situated.
     I afterwards walked in the garden, where I was greatly
     surprised to find a very handsome grove of trees, with
     gravel walks, and finely illuminated, to please the company
     that should honour them with drinking a tankard of beer,
     which is threepence. There will be good attendance, and
     music of all sorts, both vocal and instrumental, and will
     begin this day, being the 10th of August.

     “I am yours,

     “Tom Freeman.”

     Daily Advertiser, 9th August 1742.

     *** “Sir,—A few days ago, invited by the serenity of the
     evening, I made a little excursion into the fields.
     Returning home, being in a gay humour, I stopt at a booth
     near Sir John Oldcastle's, to hear the rhetoric of Mr.
     Andrew. He used so much eloquence to persuade his auditors
     to walk in, that I (with many others) went to see his
     entertainment; and I never was more agreeably amused than
     with the performances of the three Bath Morris Dancers. They
     showed so many astonishing feats of strength and activity,
     so many amazing transformations, that it is impossible for
     the most lively imagination to form an adequate idea
     thereof. As the Fairs are coming on, I presume these
     admirable artists will be engaged to entertain the town; and
     I assure your readers they can't spend an hour more
     agreeably than in seeing the performances of these wonderful

     “I am, &c.

     Daily Advertiser, 27th July 1743.

     See a rare print, entituled “A new and exact prospect of
     the North side of the City of London, taken from the Upper
     Pond near Islington. Printed and sold by Thomas Bake-well,
     Print and Map-seller, over against Birching Lane, Corn-hill,
     August 5, 1730.”

Show-booths were erected in this immediate neighbourhood for Merry-Andrews and mor-ris-dancers. Onward was the Ducking Pond; * (“Because I dwell at Hogsden,” says Master Stephen, in Every Man in his Humour, “I shall keep company with none but the archers of Finsbury or the citizens that come a ducking to Islington Ponds;”) and, proceeding in almost a straight line towards “Old Iseldon,” were the London Spa, originally built in 1206; Phillips's New Wells; *

     * “By a company of English, French, and Germans, at
     Phillips's New Wells, near the London Spa, Clerkenwell, 20th
     August 1743.

     “This evening, and during the Summer Season, will be
     performed several new exercises of Rope-dancing, Tumbling,
     Vaulting, Equilibres, Ladder-dancing, and Balancing, by Ma—
     dame Kerman, Sampson Rogetzi, Monsieur German, and Monsieur
     Dominique; with a new Grand Dance, called Apollo and Daphne,
     by Mr. Phillips, Mrs. Lebrune, and others; singing by Mrs.
     Phillips and Mrs. Jackson; likewise the extraordinary
     performance of Herr Von Eeekenberg, who imitates the lark,
     thrush, blackbird, goldfinch, canary-bird, flageolet, and
     German flute; a Sailor's Dance by Mr. Phillips; and Monsieur
     Dominique flies through a hogshead, and forces both heads
     out. To which will be added The Harlot's Progress. Harlequin
     by Mr. Phillips; Miss Kitty by Mrs. Phillips. Also, an exact
     representation of the late glorious victory gained over the
     French by the English at the battle of Dettingen, with the
     taking of the White Household Standard by the Scots Greys,
     and blowing up the bridge, and destroying and drowning most
     part of the French army. To begin every evening at five
     o'clock. Every one will be admitted for a pint of wine, as

     Mahommed Caratha, the Grand Turk, performed here his
     “Surprising Equilibres on the Slack Rope.”

     In after years, the imitations of Herr Von Eeekenberg were
     emulated by James Boswell. (Bozzy!)

     “A great many years ago, when Dr. Blair and I (Boswell) were
     sitting together in the pit of Drury Lane Playhouse, in a
     wild freak of youthful extravagance, I entertained the
     audience prodigiously by imitating the lowings of a cow. The
     universal cry of the galleries was, 'Encore the cow!' In the
     pride of my heart I attempted imitations of some other
     animals, but with very inferior effect. My revered friend,
     anxious for my fame, with an air of the utmost gravity and
     earnestness, addressed me thus, My dear sir, I would confine
     myself to the cow!'”

the New Red Lion Cockpit; * the Mulberry Gardens; **

     * “At the New Red Lion Cockpit, near the Old London Spaw,
     Clerkenwell, this present Monday, being the 12th July 1731,
     will be seen the Royal Sport of Cock-fighting, for two
     guineas a-battle. To-morrow begins the match for four
     guineas a-battle, and twenty guineas the old battle, and
     continues all the week, beginning at four o'clock.”

     ** “Mulberry Gardens, Clerkenwell.—The gloomy clouds that
     obscured the season, it is to be hoped, are vanished, and
     nature once more shines with a benign and cheerful
     influence. Come, then, ye honest sons of trade and industry,
     after the fatigues of a well-spent day, and taste of our
     rural pleasures! Ye sons of care, here throw aside your
     burden! Ye jolly Bacchanalians, here regale, and toast your
     rosy god beneath the verdant branches! Ye gentle lovers,
     here, to soft sounds of harmony, breathe out your sighs,
     till the cruel fair one listens to the voice of love! Ye who
     delight in feats of war, and are anxious for our heroes
     abroad, in mimic fires here see their ardour displayed!

     “Note.—The proprietor being informed that it is a general
     complaint against others who offer the like entertainments,
     that if the gentle zephyrs blow ever so little, the company
     are in danger of having their viands fanned away, through
     the thinness of their consistence, promises that his shall
     be of such a solidity as to resist, the air!”—Daily
     Advertiser, July 8, 1745.

     The latter part of this picturesque and poetical
     advertisement is a sly hit at what, par excellence, are
     called, “Vauxhall slices.”

the Shakspeare's Head Tavern and Jubilee Gardens; * the New Tunbridge Wells, **

     * In 1742, the public were entertained at the “Shakspeare's
     Head, near the New Wells, Clerkenwell,', with refreshments
     of all sorts, and music; “the harpsichord being placed in so
     judicious a situation, that the whole company cannot fail of
     equally receiving the benefit.” In 1770, Mr. Tonas exhibited
     “a great and pleasing variety of performances, in a
     commodious apartment,” up one pair.

     ** These once beautiful tea-gardens (we remember them as
     such) were formerly in high repute. In 1733, their Royal
     Highnesses the Princesses Amelia and Caroline frequented
     them in the summer time, for the purpose of drinking the
     waters. They have furnished a subject for pamphlets, poems,
     plays, songs, and medical treatises, by Ned Ward, George
     Col-man the elder, Bickham, Dr. Hugh Smith, &c. Nothing now
     remains of them but the original chalybeate spring, which is
     still preserved in an obscure nook, amidst a poverty-
     stricken and squalid rookery of misery and vice.

a fashionable morning lounge of the nobility and gentry during the early part of the eighteenth century; the Sir Hugh Middleton's Head; the Farthing Pie House; * and Sadler's Music House and “Sweet Wells.” ** A little to the left were Merlin's Cave,

     * Farthing Pie Houses were common in the outskirts of London
     a century ago. Their fragrance caught the sharp set citizen
     by the nose, and led him in by that prominent member to
     feast on their savoury fare. One solitary Farthing Pie House
     (the Green Man) still stands near Portland Road, on the way
     to Paddington.

     ** Originally a chalybeate spring, then a music-house, and
     afterwards a “theatre-royal!” Cheesecakes, pipes, wine, and
     punch, were formerly part of the entertainment.

          “If at Sadler's sweet Wells the wine should be thick,
          The cheesecakes be sour, or Miss Wilkinson sick,
          If the fume of the pipe should prove pow'rful in June,
          Or the tumblers be lame, or the bells out of tune,

     We hope you will call at our warehouse at Drury,—We've a
     curious assortment of goods, I assure you.” Foote's Prologue
     to All in the Wrong, 1761.

     Its rural vicinity made it a great favourite with the play-
     going and punch-drinking citizens. See Hogarth's print of

     “A New Song on Sadler's Wells, set by Mr. Brett, 1740.

          'At eve, when Sylvan's shady scene
          Is clad with spreading branches green,
          And varied sweets all round display'd,
          To grace the pleasant flow'ry meads,
          For those who're willing joys to taste,
          Where pleasures flow and blessings last,
          And God of Health with transport dwells,
          Must all repair to Sadler's Wells.
          The pleasant streams of Middleton
          In gentle murmurs glide along,
          In which the sporting fishes play,
          To close each weary summer's day;
          And music's charm, in lulling sounds,
          With mirth and harmony abounds;
          While nymphs and swains, with beaus and belles,
          All praise the joys of Sadler's Wells.'”

Bagnigge Wells, * the English Grotto (which stood near the New River Water-works in the fields), and, farther in advance, White Conduit House. **

     * Once the reputed residence of Nell Gwynn, which makes the
     tradition of her visiting the “Old Bath House” more than
     probable. F or. upwards of a century it has been a noted
     place of entertainment.'Tis now almost a ruin! Pass we to
     its brighter days, as sung in the “Sunday Ramble,” 1778:—

          “Salubrious waters, tea, and wine,
          Here you may have, and also dine;
          But as ye through the gardens rove,
          Beware, fond youths, the darts of love!”

     ** So called after an ancient conduit that once stood hard
     by. Goldsmith, in the “Citizen of the World,” celebrates the
     “hot rolls and butter' of White Conduit House. Thither
     himself and a few friends would repair to tea, after having
     dined at Highbury Barn. A supper at the Grecian, or Temple
     Exchange Coffeehouses, closed the “Shoemaker's Holiday” of
     this exquisite English Classic,—this gentle and benignant

Passing by the Old Red Lion, bearing the date of 1415, and since brightened up with some regard to the taste of ancient times; and the Angel,—now a fallen one!—a huge structure, the architecture of which is anything but angelic, having risen on its ruins, we enter Islington, described by Goldsmith as “a pretty and neat town.” In ancient times it was not unknown to fame.

“What village can boast like fair Islington town

Such time-honour'd worthies, such ancient renown?

Here jolly Queen Bess, after flirting with Leicester,

'Undumpish'd'' herself with Dick Tarleton her jester.

Here gallant gay Essex, and burly Lord Burleigh,

Sat late at their revels, and came to them early;

Here honest Sir John took his ease at his inn—

Bardolph's proboscis, and Jack's double chin!

Here Finsbury archers disported and quaff'd,

Here Raleigh the brave took his pipe and his draught;

Here the Knight of St. John pledged the Highbury Monk,

Till both to their pallets reel'd piously drunk.” *

In “The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon, with the Humours of Wood Street Compter,” a comedy, by Thomas Jordan, 1641, the scene is laid at the Saracen's Head, Islington; and the prologue celebrates its “bottle-beer, cream, and (gooseberry) fools and the “Merry Milkmaid of Islington,

     *  “The Islington Garland.”

or the Rambling Gallant defeated,” a comedy, 1680, is another proof of its popularity. Poor Robin, in his almanac, 1676, says,

“At Islington

A Fair they hold,

Where cakes and ale

Are to be sold.

At Highgate and

At Holloway

The like is kept

Here every day.

At Totnam Court

And Kentish Town,

And all those places

Up and down.”

Drunken Barnaby notices some of its inns. Sir William d'Avenant, describing the amusements of the citizens during the long vacation, makes a “husband gray” ask,

“Where's Dame? (quoth he.) Quoth son of shop

She's gone her cake in milk to sop—

Ho! Ho!—to Islington—enough!”

Bonnel Thornton, in “The Connoisseur,” speaks of the citizens smoking their pipes and drinking their ale at Islington; and Sir William Wealthy exclaims to his money-getting brother, “What, old boy, times are changed since the date of thy indentures, when the sleek crop-eared 'prentice used to dangle after his mistress, with the great Bible under his arm, to St. Bride's on a Sunday, bring home the text, repeat the divisions of the discourse, dine at twelve, and regale upon a gaudy day with buns and beer at Islington or Mile-end.” *

Among its many by-gone houses of entertainment, the Three Hats has a double claim upon our notice. It was the arena where those celebrated masters, Johnson, ** Price, Sampson, *** and Coningham exhibited their feats of horsemanship, and the scene of Mr. Mawworm's early back-slidings. “I used to go,” (says that regenerated ranter to old Lady Lambert,) “every Sunday evening to the Three Hats at Islington; it's a public house; mayhap your Ladyship may know it.

     *  “The Minor,” Act I.

     ** Johnson exhibited in 1758, and Price, at about the same
     time,—Coningham in 1772. Price amassed upwards of fourteen
     thousand pounds by his engagements at home and abroad.

     *** “Horsemanship, April 29, 1767.

     Mr. Sampson will begin his famous feats of horsemanship next
     Monday, at a commodious place built for that purpose in a
     field adjoining the Three Hats at Islington, where he
     intends to continue his performance during the summer
     season. The doors to be opened at four, and Mr. Sampson will
     mount at five. Admittance, one shilling each. A proper band
     of music is engaged for the entertainment of those ladies
     and gentlemen who are pleased to honour him with their

I was a great lover of skittles, too; but now I can't bear them.” At Dobney's Jubilee Gardens (now entirely covered with mean hovels), Daniel Wildman * performed equestrian exercises; and, that no lack of entertainment might be found in this once merry village, “a new booth, near Islington Turnpike,” for tricks and mummery, was erected in September 1767; “an insignificant erection, calculated totally for the lowest classes, inferior artisans, superb apprentices, and journeymen.”


     * “The Bees on Horseback!” At the Jubilee Gardens, Dobney's,
     1772. “Daniel Wildman rides, standing upright, one foot on
     the saddle, and the other on the horse's neck, with a
     curious mask of bees on his face. He also rides, standing
     upright on the saddle, with the bridle in his mouth, and, by
     firing a pistol, makes one part of the bees march over a
     table, and the other part swarm in the air, and return to
     their proper places again.”

     ** Animadvertor's letter to the Printer of the Daily
     Advertiser, 21st September 1767.

     *** August 22nd, 1770, Mr. Craven stated in an
     advertisement, that he had “established rules for the
     strictest maintenance of order” at the Pantheon. How far
     this was true, the following letter “To the Printer of the
     St. James's Chronicle” will show:—

     “Sir,—Happening to dine last Sunday with a friend in the
     city, after coming from church, the weather being very
     inviting, we took a walk as far as Islington. In our return
     home towards Cold Bath Fields, we stepped in to view the
     Pantheon there; but such a scene of disorder, riot, and
     confusion, presented itself to me on my entrance, that I was
     just turning on my heel in order to quit it, when my friend
     observing that we might as well have something for our money
     (for the doorkeeper obliged each of us to deposit a tester
     before he granted us admittance), I acquiesced in his
     proposal, and became one of the giddy multitude. I soon,
     however, repented of my choice; for, besides having our
     sides almost squeezed together, we were in danger every
     minute of being scalded by the boiling water which the
     officious Mercuries were circulating with the utmost
     expedition through their respective districts. We therefore
     began to look out for some place to sit down in, which with
     the greatest difficulty we at length procured, and producing
     our tickets, were served with twelve-penny worth of punch.
     Being seated towards the front of one of the galleries, I
     had now a better opportunity of viewing this dissipated
     scene. The male part of the company seemed to consist
     chiefly of city apprentices and the lower class of
     tradesmen. The ladies, who constituted by far the greater
     part of the assembly, seemed most of them to be pupils of
     the Cyprian goddess, and I was sometimes accosted with,
     'Pray, sir, will you treat me with a dish of tea?' Of all
     the tea-houses in the environs of London, the most
     exceptionable that I have had occasion to be in is the

     “I am sir, your constant reader,


     “Chiswick, May 5, 1772.”

near Islington,” * was opened in 1770 for the sale of tea, coffee, wine, punch, &c., a “tester” being the price of admission to the promenade and galleries. It was eventually turned to a very different use, and converted into a lay chapel by the late Countess of Huntingdon.

     * Spa-Fields (like “Jack Plackett's Common” the site of
     Dalby Terrace, Islington) was famous for duck-hunting, bull-
     baiting, and other low sports. “On Wednesday last, two women
     fought for a new shift valued at half-a-guinea, in the Spaw-
     Fields near Islington. The battle was won by a woman called
     Bruising Peg, who beat her antagonist in a terrible
     manner.”—22nd June 1768.

But by far the most interesting ancient hostelrie that has submitted to the demolishing mania for improvement is the Old Queen's Head, formerly situate in the Lower Street, Islington. This stately edifice was one of the most perfect specimens of ancient domestic architecture in England. Under its venerable roof Sir Walter Raleigh, it is said, “puffed his pipe;” and might not Jack Falstaff have taken his ease there, when he journeyed to string a bow with the Finsbury archers? For many years it was a pleasant retreat for retired citizens, who quaffed their nut-brown beneath its primitive porch, and indulged in reminiscences of the olden time. Thither would little Quick, King George the Third's favourite actor, resort to drink cold punch, and “babble” of his theatrical contemporaries. Plays * were formerly acted there.

     * The following curious “Old Queen's Head” play-bill, temp.
     George the Second, is presumed to be unique:—

     G. II. R.

     By a Company of Comedians, at the Queen's Head, in the Lower
     Street, Islington,

     This present evening will be acted a Tragedy, called the
     Fair Penitent.

     Sciolto, Mr. Malone.—Horatio, Mr. Johnson.
     Altamont, Mr. Jones.—Lothario, Mr. Dunn.
     Rosano, Mr. Harris.—Calista, Mrs. Harman.
     Lavinia, Mrs. Malone.—Lucilla, Miss Platt.
     To which will be added, a Farce called The Lying Valet.
     Prices—Pit, 2s.; Gallery, Is. To begin at 7 o'clock.”

On Monday, October 19, 1829, it was razed to the ground, to make room for a misshapen mass of modern masonry. The oak parlour has been preserved from the wreck, and is well worth a visit from the antiquary. Canonbury Tavern and Highbury Barn still maintain their festive honours. Farther a-field are the Sluice, or Eel-pie House; Copenhagen House; Hornsey-wood House, formerly the hunting seat of Queen Elizabeth; Chalk Farm; Jack Straw's Castle; the Spaniards, &c. as yet undefiled by pitiful prettinesses of bricks and mortar, and affording a delightful opportunity of enjoying pure air and pastime. The canonised Bishop of Lichfield and Mademoiselle St. Agnes have each their wells. What perambulator of the suburbs but knows St. Chad, in Gray's Inn Lane, and St. Agnes le Clair, * at Hoxton? Paneras **

     * Whit, in Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, promises to treat his
     company with a clean glass, washed with the water of Agnes
     le Clare.

     ** “At Edward Martin's, at the Hornes at Pancrass, is that
     excellent water, highly approved of by the most eminent phy-
     sitians, and found by long experience to be a powerful
     antidote against rising of the vapours, also against the
     stone and gravel. It likewise cleanses the body, purifies
     and sweetens the blood, and is a general and sovereign help
     to nature. I shall open on Whitson-Monday, the 24th of May
     1697; and there will be likewise dancing every Tuesday and
     Thursday all the summer season at the place aforesaid. The
     poor may drink the waters gratis.” Then follow sixteen lines
     of rhyme in praise of “this noble water,” and inviting
     ladies and gentlemen to drink of it. Of this rare hand-bill
     no other copy is known.

     “And although this place (Paneras) be as it were forsaken of
     all, and true men seldome frequent the same but upon de-vyne
     occasions, yet is it visyted and usually haunted of roages,
     vagabondes, harlettes and theeves, who assemble not ther to
     pray, but to wayte for praye, and manie fall into their
     hands clothed, that are glad when they are escaped naked.
     Walke not ther too late.”—Speculi Britannio Pars, by John
     Norden, MS. 1594.

and Hampstead Wells, renowned for their salubrious waters, are dried up. Though the two latter were professed marts for aqua pura, liquids more exhilarating were provided for those who relished stronger stimulants. We may therefore fairly assume that John Bull anciently travelled northward ho! when he rambled abroad for recreation.

As population increased, houses of entertainment multiplied to meet the demand. South, east, and west they rose at convenient distances, within the reach of a short stage, and a long pair of legs. Apollo Gardens, St. George's Fields; Bohemia's Head; Turnham Green; Cuper's Gardens, Lambeth; China Hall, Rotherhithe; Dog and Duck, St. George's Fields; Cherry Gardens Bowling-green, Rotherhithe; Cumberland Gardens, Vaux-hall; Spa Gardens, Bermondsey; Finch's Grotto Garden's, St. George's Fields; Smith's Tea Gardens, Vauxhall; Kendal House, Isleworth; New Wells, Goodman's Fields; Marble Hall, Vaux-hall; Staton's Tea-House, opposite Mary-le-bone Gardens; the Queen's Head and Artichoke, Mary-le-bone Fields; Ruckholt House, in Essex, of which facetious Jemmy Worsdale was the Apollo; Old Chelsea Bun-house; Queen Elizabeth's Cheesecake House, in Hyde Park; the Star and Garter Tavern, * and Don Saltero's coffeehouse, **

     *  “Star and Garter Tavern, Chelsea, 1763. Mr. Lowe will
     display his uncommon abilities with watches, letters, rings,
     swords, cards, and enchanted clock, which absolutely tells
     the thoughts of any person in the company. The astonishing
     Little Man, only four inches high, pays his respects to the
     company, and vanishes in a flash of fire. Mr. Lowe commands
     nine lighted candles to fly from the table to the top of the
     ceiling! Added, a grand entertainment, with musick and
     dancing, &c. &c.”

     ** The great attraction of Don Saltero's Coffeehouse was its
     collection of rarities, a catalogue of which was published
     as a guide to the visitors. It comprehends almost every
     description of curiosity, natural and artificial. “Tigers'
     tusks; the Pope's candle; the skeleton of a Guinea-pig; a
     fly-cap monkey; a piece of the true Cross; the Four
     Evangelists' heads cut on a cherry-stone; the King of
     Morocco's tobacco-pipe;

     Mary Queen of Scot's pincushion; Queen Elizabeth's prayer-
     book; a pair of Nun's stockings; Job's ears, which grew on a
     tree; a frog in a tobacco stopper,” and five hundred more
     odd relies! The Don had a rival, as appears by “A Catalogue
     of the Rarities to be seen at Adams's, at the Royal Swan, in
     Kingsland Road, leading from Shoreditch Church, 1756.” Mr.
     Adams exhibited, for the entertainment of the curious, “Miss
     Jenny Cameron's shoes; Adam's eldest daughter's hat; the
     heart of the famous Bess Adams, that was hanged at Tyburn
     with Lawyer Carr, January 18, 1736-7; Sir Walter Raleigh's
     tobacco-pipe; Vicar of Bray's clogs; engine to shell green
     pease with; teeth that grew in a fish's belly; Black Jack's
     ribs; the very comb that Abraham combed his son Isaac and
     Jacob's head with; Wat Tyler's spurs; rope that cured
     Captain Lowry of the head-ach, ear-ach, tooth-ach and belly-
     ach; Adam's key of the fore and back door of the Garden of
     Eden, &e. &e.” These are only a few out of five hundred
     others equally marvellous. Is this strange catalogue a quiz
     on Don Saltero?

Chelsea; Mary-le-bone and Ranelagh Gardens; *

     * The Rotunda was first opened on the 5th of April, 1742,
     with a public breakfast. At Ranelagh House (Gentleman's
     Magazine for 1767) on the 12th of May, were performed the
     much-admired catches and glees, selected from the curious
     collection of the Catch Club; being the first of the kind
     publickly exhibited in this or any other kingdom. The
     entertainment consisted of the favourite catches and glees,
     composed by the most eminent masters of the last and present
     age, by a considerable number of the best vocal and
     instrumental performers. The choral and instrumental parts
     were added, to give the catches and glees their proper
     effect in so large an amphitheatre; being composed for that
     purpose by Dr. Arne. The Masquerades at Ranelagh are
     represented in Fielding's “Amelia” as dangerous to morals,
     and the “Connoisseur” satirises their Eve-like beauties with
     caustic humour.

and the illuminated saloons and groves of Vauxhall. * These, and many others, bear testimony to the growing spirit of national jollity during a considerable part of the eighteenth century. How few now remain, “the sad historians of the pensive tale,” of their bygone merriments!

     * “The extreme beauty and elegance of this place is well
     known to almost every one of my readers; and happy is it for
     me that it is so, since to give an adequate idea of it would
     exceed my power of description. To delineate the particular
     beauties of these gardens would indeed require as much
     pains, and as much paper too, as to rehearse all the good
     actions of their master; whose life proves the truth of an
     observation which I have read in some other writer, that a
     truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with an
     excellency of heart; or in other words, that true virtue is
     indeed nothing else but true taste.” Amelia, b. ix. c. ix.


The Genius of Mirth never hit upon a happier subject than the humours of Cockneyland. “Man made the town and a pretty sample it is of the maker! Behind or before the counter, at home and abroad, the man of business or the beau, the Cockney is the same whimsical original, baffling imitation, and keeping description in full cry. See him sally forth on a fine Sunday to inhale his weekly mouthful of fresh air, * the world all before him, where to choose occupying his meditations, till he finds himself elevated on High-gate Hill or Hampstead Heath. From those magnificent summits he beholds in panorama, woods, valleys, lofty trees, and stately turrets, not forgetting that glorious cupola dedicated to the metropolitan saint, which points out the locality where, six days out of the seven, his orisons are paid to a deity not contemplated by the apostle.

     *  Moorfields, Pimlico Path, and the Exchange, were the
     fashionable parades of the citizens in the days of Elizabeth
     and James I.

He lays himself out for enjoyment, and seeks good entertainment for man and (if mounted, or in his cruelty-van) for horse. Having taken possession of a window that commands the best prospect, the waiter is summoned, the larder called over, the ceremony of lunch commenced, and, with that habitual foresight which marks his character, the all-important meal that is to follow, duly catered for. The interval for rural adventure arrives; he takes a stroll; the modest heath-bell and the violet turn up their dark blue eyes to him; and he finds blackberries enough (as Falstaff's men did linen!) on every hedge. Dinner served up, and to his mind, he warms and waxes cosey, jokes with the waiter, talks anything, and to anybody,

Drinks a glass

To his favourite lass!”

pleased with himself, and willing to please. If his phraseology provoke a laugh, he puts it to the account of his smart sayings, and is loudest in the chorus; for when the ball of ridicule is flying about, he ups with his racket and strikes it off to his neighbour.

He is the worst mortal in the world to be put out of his way. The slightest inconvenience, the most trifling departure from his wonted habits, he magnifies into a serious evil. His well-stocked larder and cheerful fireside are ever present to his view: beef and pudding have taken fast hold of him; and, in default of these, his spirits flag; he is hipped and melancholy. Foreign travel exhibits him in his natural light; his peculiarities break forth with whimsical effect, which, though not always the most amiable, are nevertheless entertaining. He longs to see the world; and having with due ceremony arranged his wardrobe, put money in his purse, and procured his passport to strange lands, he sets forward, buttoned up in his native consequence, to the capital of the grand monarque, to rattle dice, and drink champagne. His expectations are not the most reasonable. Without considering the different manners and customs of foreign parts, he bends to nobody, yet takes it as an affront if everybody bend not to him! His baggage is subjected to rigorous search. The infernal parlez-vous!—nothing like this ever happens in old England! His passport is inspected, and his person identified. The inquisitors!—to take the length and breadth of a man, his complexion and calling! The barriers are closed, and he must bivouac in the Diligence the live-long night. Monstrous tyranny! Every rogue enjoys free ingress and egress in a land of liberty! He calls for the bill of fare, the “carte,” and in his selection puts the cart before the horse! Of course there is a horrible conspiracy to poison him! The wines, too, are sophisticated. The champagne is gooseberry; the Burgundy, Pontac; and the vin ordinaire neither better nor worse than a dose of “Braithwait's Intermediate.” The houses are dirty and dark; the streets muddy and gay; the madames and mademoiselles pretty well, I thank'e; and the Mounseers a pack of chattering mountebanks, stuck over with little bits of red ribbon, and blinded with snuff and whiskers! Even the air is too thin: he misses his London smoke! And but one drunken dog has he encountered (and he was his countryman!) to bring to fond remembrance the land we live in! * What wonder, then, if he sigh for luxurious bachelorship in a Brighton boarding-house? Beds made, dinner provided, the cook scolded by proxy, and all the agreeable etceteras incidental to good living set before him, without the annoyance of idle servants, and the trouble of ordering, leaving him to the delightful abandonment of every care, save that of feasting and pleasure-taking!

     * Beware of those who are homeless by choice. Show me the
     man who cares no more for one place than another, and I will
     show you in the same person one who loves nothing but
     himself. Home and its attachments are dear to the ingenuous
     mind—to cherish their remembrance is the surest proof of a
     noble spirit.

With moderate gastronomical and soporific powers, he may manage to eat, drink, and sleep out three guineas a-week; for the sea is a rare provocative to feeding and repose. Besides, a Brighton boarding-house is a change both of air and condition; bachelors become Benedicks, and widows wives, for three guineas a-week, more or less! It furnishes an extensive assortment of acquaintance, such as nowhere else can be found domiciled under the same roof. Each finds it necessary to make himself and herself agreeable. Pride, mauvaise honte, modesty? that keep people apart in general society, all give way. The inmates are like one family; and when they break up for the season, 'tis often in pairs!

“Uncle Timothy to a T! Pardon me, sir, but he must have sat to you for the portrait. If you unbutton his native consequence a little, and throw a jocular light over his whim-whams and caprices, the likeness would be perfect.”

This was addressed to us by a lively, well-to-do-in-the-world-looking little gentleman, who lolled in an arm-chair opposite to an adjoining window, taking things in an easy pick-tooth way, and coquetting with a pint of old port.

“The picture, sir, that you are pleased to identify is not an individual, but a species,—a slight off-hand sketch, taken from general observation.”

“Indeed! That's odd.”

“Even so.”

“Never knew Uncle Tim was like all the world. Would, for all the world's sake, that all the world were like Uncle Tim!”

“A worthy character.”

“Sir, he holds in his heart all the four honours,—Truth, Honesty, Affection, and Benevolence,—in the great game of humanity, and plays not for lucre, but love! I fear you think me strangely familiar,—impertinent too, perhaps. But that portrait, so graphical and complete, was a spell as powerful as Odin's to break silence. Besides, I detest your exclusives,—sentimentalising! soliloquising!—Their shirt-collars, affectedly turned down, puts my choler up! Give me the human face divine, the busy haunts of men, the full tide of human existence.”

The little gentleman translated the “full tide” into a full glass to our good healths and better acquaintance, at the same time drawing his chair nearer, and presenting a handsomely embossed card, on which was inscribed, in delicate Italian calligraphy, “Mr. Benjamin Bosky, Dry-salter, Little Britain.”

Drysalter,—he looked like a thirsty soul!

“Pleasant prospect from this window; you may count every steeple in London. There's the 'tall bully,'—how gloriously his flaming top-knot glistens in the setting sun! Wouldn't give a fig for the best view in the world, if it didn't take in the dome of St. Paul's! Beshrew the Vandal architect that cut down those beautiful elms.—

'The rogue the gallows as his fate foresees,

And bears the like antipathy to trees,'

and run up the wigwam pavilions, the Tom-foolery baby-houses, the run mad, shabby-genteel, I-would-if-I-could-but-I-can't cottages ornée—ornée?—horney!—the cows popping in their heads at the parlour windows, frightening the portly proprietors from their propriety and port!”

It was clear that Mr. Bosky was not to be so frightened; for he drew another draught on his pint decanter, though sitting beneath the umbrage of a huge pair of antlers that were fixed against the wall, under which innumerable Johnny New-comes had been sworn, according to ancient custom, at the Horns at Highgate. It was equally clear, too, that Mr. Bosky himself might have sat for the portrait that he had so kindly appropriated to Uncle Timothy.

A fine manly voice without was heard to troll with joyous melody,—

“The lark, that tirra-lirra chants,—

With hey! with hey! the thrush and the jay,

Are summer songs for me and my aunts,

While we lie tumbling in the hay.”

“Uncle Tim! Uncle Tim!” shouted the mercurial little Drysalter, and up he started as if he had been galvanised, scampered out of the room, made but one leap from the top of the stairs to the bottom, descended à plomb, was up again before we had recovered from our surprise, and introduced a middle-aged, rosy-faced gentleman, “more fat than bard beseems,” with a perforating eye and a most satirical nose. “Uncle Timothy, gentlemen.—A friend or two, (if I may presume to call them so,) Uncle Timothy, that I have fallen in with most unexpectedly and agreeably.”

There is a certain “I no not like thee, Doctor Fell,” feeling, and an “I do,” that have rarely deceived us. With the latter, the satirical-nosed gentleman inspired us at first sight. There was the humorist, with a dash of the antiquary, heightened with a legible expression that nature sometimes stamps on her higher order of intelligences. What a companion, we thought, for “Round about our coal fire” on a winter's evening, or, “Under the green-wood tree” on a summer's clay!

We were all soon very good company; and half a dozen tea-totallers, who had called for a pint of ale and six glasses, having discussed their long division and departed, we had the room to ourselves.

“Know you, Uncle Timothy,” cried Mr. Bosky, with a serio-comic air, “that the law against vagabonds and sturdy beggars is in full force, seeing that you carol in broad daylight, and on the King's highway, a loose catch appertaining to one of the most graceless of their fraternity?”

“Beggars! varlet! I beg nothing of thee but silence, which is gold, if speech be silver. * Is there aught unseemly in my henting the stile with the merry Autolycus? Vagabonds! The order is both ancient and honourable. Collect they not tribute for the crown? Take heed, Benjamin, lest thine be scored on! Are they not solicitors as old as Adam?”

     *  A precept of the Koran.

“And thieves too, from Mercury downwards, Uncle Timothy.”

“Conveyancers, sirrah! sworn under the Horns never to beg when they can steal. Better lose my purse than my patience. Thou, scapegrace! rob best me of my patience, and beggest nought but the question.”

“Were not the beggars once a jovial crew, sir?” addressing ourselves to the middle-aged gentleman with the satirical nose.

“Right merry! Gentlemen—

'Sweeter than honey

Is other men's money.'

“The joys of to-day were never marred by the cares of to-morrow; for to-morrow was left to take care of itself; and its sun seldom went down upon disappointment. The beggar, * though his pockets be so low, that you might dance a jig in one of them without breaking your shins against a halfpenny; while from the other you might be puzzled to extract as much coin as would pay turnpike for a walking-stick, sings with a light heart; his fingers no less light! playing administrators to the farmer's poultry, and the good housewife's sheets that whiten every hedge!

          *  “Cast our nabs and cares away,—
          This is Beggars' Holiday;
          In the world look out and see
          Who's so happy a king as he?
          At the crowning of our king,
          Thus we ever dance and sing.
          Where's the nation lives so free
          And so merry as do we?
          Be it peace, or be it war,
          Here at liberty we are.
          Hang all Harmanbccks! we cry,
          And the Cuffinquiers, too, by.
          We enjoy our ease and rest,
          To the fields we are not press'd;
          When the subsidy's increas'd,
          We are not a penny cost;
          Nor are we called into town
          To be troubled with a gown;
          Nor will any go to law
          With a beggar for a straw.
          All which happiness he brags
          He doth owe unto his rags!”

     Of all the mad rascals that belong to this fraternity, the
     Abraham-Man is the most fantastic. He calls himself by
     the name of Poor Tom, and, coming near to any one, cries
     out “Poor Tom's a-cold!” Some are exceedingly merry, and do
     nothing but sing songs, fashioned out of their own brains;
     some will dance; others will do nothing but laugh or weep;
     others are dogged, and so sullen, both in look and speech,
     that, spying but small company in a house, they boldly
     enter, compelling the servants, through fear, to give them
     what they demand, which is commonly something that will
     yield ready money. The “Upright Man” (who in ancient times
     was, next to the king and those “o' th' blood,” in dignity,)
     is not a more terrible enemy to the farmer's poultry than
     Poor Tom.

     How finely has Shakspeare spiritualized this strange
     character in the part of Edgar in King Lear!

     The middle aisle of old St. Paul's was a great resort for

          “In Paul's Church, by a pillar,
          Sometimes ye have me stand, sir,
          With a writ that shews
          What care and woes
          I pass by sea and land, sir.
          With a seeming bursten belly,
          I look like one half dead, sir,
          Or else I beg With a wooden leg,
          And with a night-cap on my head, sir.”

          Blind Beggars Song.
          Wit and Drollery. Jovial Poems. 1682.

Mendicity is a monarchy; it is governed by peculiar laws, and has a language of its own. Reform has waged war to the knife with it. The soap-eater, whose ingenious calling was practised in the streets of London as far back as Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth, is admonished to apply the raw material of his trade to an exterior use; * and the tatterdemalions of the Beggar's Opera no longer enjoy the privileges that belonged to their ancestors three centuries ago, when the Barbican, Turnmill Street, and Houndsditch, rang with their nocturnal orgies; and where not unfrequently “an alderman hung in chains” gratified their delicate appetites; as in more recent times,

     *  Like the Dutchman, who being desired to rub his rheumatic
     limb with brandy, improved upon the prescription. “I dosh
     better as dat,” roared Mynheer, “I drinks de prandy, and den
     I rubs mine leg wit de pottle!”

the happy but bygone days of Dusty Bob and Billy Waters. * The well- known mendicants of St. Paul's churchyard, Waithman's crossing, and Par- liament-Street have, by a sweeping act of the

          *  The Sons of Carew Made a mighty ado,—
          The news was a terrible damper;
          The blind, in their fright,
          Soon recovered their sight,
          And the lame thought it prudent to scamper.
          They summon'd the nobs of their nation,
          St. Giles's was all consternation;
          The street they call Dyott
          Portended a riot,
          Belligerents all botheration!
          Mendicity Bill,
          Who for prowess and skill
          Was dubb'd the bold Ajax of Drury,
          With a whistle and stride
          Flung his fiddle aside,
          And his sky-scraper cock'd in a fury!
          “While a drop's to be had to get queer-a,
          I'll ne'er go a-begging for beer-a:
          Our ducks and green peas
          Shall the constable seize,—
          Our sherry, our port, and Madeira?”
           But Law the bold heroes did floor, O!
          On dainty fine morsels no more,
          O! They merrily sup:
          Dusty Bob's doubled up,—
          Poor Bill's occupation is o'er, O!

legislature, been compelled to brush; their brooms are laid up in ordinary, to make rods for their backs, till the very stones they once swept are ready to rise and mutiny. Well might Epicurus say, 6 Poverty, when cheerful, ceases to be poverty.'”

“Suppose, gentlemen, as the day is closing in, we each of us take our wallet and staff, trudge forth, and levy contribution! I am in a valiant humour to cry 'stand!' to a too powerfully refreshed citizen of light weight and heavy purse.” And Mr. Bosky suited the action to the word.

“Sit down, soul of a grasshopper! The very ghost of his wife's tweezers would snuff out thy small courage. Thou hast slandered the beggars' craft, and, like greater rogues, shalt be condemned to live by thine own! Thou 'gibier de potence!' Thou a prigger! Why thou art only a simple prig, turned out by thy tailor! Steal if thou canst into our good graces; redeem thy turpitude by emulating at least one part of the beggars' calling, ballad-singing. Manifest thy deep contrition by a song.”

“A bargain, Uncle Timothy. If thou wilt rake from a sly corner of that old curiosity shop, thy brain, some pageant of the ancient brethren of Bull-Feathers-Hall. What place more fitting for such pleasant chronicle, than the Horns at Highgate?

This proposal being assented to by the middle-aged gentleman, Mr. Bosky “rosined,” (swallowed a bumper) and sounded a musical flourish as a preludio.

“But gentlemen, you have not said what I shall sing.”

Beggars, Mr. Bosky, must not be choosers!”

“Something heroic?

Wonderful General Wolfe,

Uncommon brave; partic'lar!

Swam over the Persian Gulf,

And climb'd rocks perpendic'lar!

Sentimental and tender?

'The mealy potato it grows

In your garden, Miss Maddison cries;

'So I cannot walk there, for I knows,

Like love—that potatoes have eyes!'”

“No buffoonery, if you please, Benjamin Bosky,” cried Uncle Tim.

“Or furiously funny—eh?”

My pipe at your peeper I'll light,

So pop out your jazey so curly;

A jorum of yeast over night,

Will make you next morning rise early!

Arrah I thro' your casement and blind

I'll jist sky a copper and toss one,,

If you do not, Miss Casey, look kind,

Wid your good-natured eye that's a cross one!”

“My good friends,” sighed the middle-aged gentleman, “this unhappy nephew of mine hath as many ballads in his budget as Sancho Panza had proverbs in his belly. And yet—but he seems determined to break my heart.”

Mr. Bosky appeared more bent upon cruelly cracking Uncle Timothy's sides.

“Now I bethink me of a ditty of true love, full of mirth and pastime.” And Mr. Bosky began in a droll falsetto, and with mock gravity,


“When I heard she was married, thinks I to myself,

I'm now an old bachelor laid on the shelf;

The last of the Pigtails that smok'd at the Sun,

My Dora has done me, and I am undone!

I call'd at her lodgings in Dean Street, Soho;

My love's gone for ever! alas! she's no go.

A nip of prime Burton shall warm my cold blood,

Since all my enjoyments are nipp'd in the bud!

The picture of famine, my frame half reduced;

I can't eat a quarter the vittles I us'd!

O dear! what can ail me? I once was so hale—

When my head's underground let this verse tell my tale.

I sought the Old Bailey, despairing and lank,

To take my last cut of boil'd buttock and flank,

To sniff my last sniff in those savoury scenes,

And sigh my last sigh over carrots and greens!

'A pot of mild porter, and take off the chill,'

A damsel came smirking, in curls, cap, and frill.

I started! she scream'd! 'twas my Dora! off flew

Flank, buttock, greens, carrots, and peas-pudding too!

'Yes, I am your true love!' she curtsey'd, and said,

'At home I'ma widow, but here I'm a maid!

My spouse kick'd the bucket last Sunday at Leeds,

And left me, a rose-bud, all cover'd with weeds.'

'For all your fine speeches, a widow, in fine,

Is an article madam, I mean to decline I

Though wedlock's a bolus to physic and fright,

A black draught—a widow! would finish me quite.”

“A vile stave! Commend me to 'fonde Elderton,' * and the troop of 'metre ballad-mongers' that sleep among the dull of ancient days; but save me from that doleful doggrel of which, I shrewdly suspect, thou, Benjamin Bosky, art the perpetrator.

     * The following is a description of Elderton by a
     contemporary writer in 1582. See “Reporte of the Death and
     Martyr-dome of M. Campion, Jesuit, &c.”

          “Fonde Elderton, call in thy foolish rhime,
          Thy scurill balates are to bad to sell;
          Let good men rest, and mende thy self in time,
          Confesse in prose thou hast not metred well;
          Or if thy folly cannot chuse but fayne
          Write alehotise toys, blaspheme not in thy vain.”

It smells woundily of thy peculiar locality, and might have befringed the walls of Bedlam and Soho. Henceforth be the Magnus Apollo of thy native Little Britain, and divide the crown with Thomas Delony, of huck-ster-fame! Jack of Newbery, the Gentle Craft, garlands, strange histories,

'And such small deer,

Had been Tom's food for many a year,'

and may serve for thine, Benjamin; for, in poetical matters, thou hast the maw of a kite and the digestion of an ostrich.”

“A sprat to catch a herring!”

“A tittlebat! thou triton of the minnows!”

“But the Bull-Feather! Uncle Timothy, the Bull-Feather

'Must not be forgotten

Until the world's rotten.'

Let me refresh thy memory. Once upon a time——”

“Peace, babbler! If I must take the bull by the horns, it shall be without thy jockeyship. I will not ride double. 'Tis an idle tale, gentlemen; but there are charms in association that may render it interesting.”

Uncle Tim regaled with a fragrant pinch his satirical nose, and began


“The ancient brethren of Bull-Feathers-Hall were a club of warm citizens; 'rich fellows enough! fellows that have had losses, with everything handsome about them.' Their place of rendezvous was the Chequer-Yard in Whitechapel, every Tuesday and Thursday at seven o'clock. The intent of their meeting was to solace themselves with harmless merriment, and promote good fellowship * among neighbours.

     * How good fellowship had declined a century before this
     will be seen by the following extract from a black-letter
     ballad, intituled, “A balade declaryng how neybourhed loue,
     and trew dealyng is gone. Imprinted at London by Richard
     Lant.” (Circa 1560.)

          “Where shall one fynde a man to trust,
          Alwaye to stande in tyme of neede;
          Thee most parte now, they are unjust,
          Fayre in wordes, but false in deede:
          Neybourhed nor loue is none,
          True dealyng now is fled and gone.”

The president, arrayed in his crimson satin gown, with his cap furred and surmounted by a pair of antlers, and seated in a chair of state beneath a canopy, commanded (by the crier of the court) every member to be covered; and in the twinkling of an eye their horns were exalted. On a velvet cushion before him lay the comuted sceptre and sword. The brethren drank out of horn-cups, and made oath upon a book of statutes bound in horn. Their revenues were derived from a toll upon all the gravel carried up Highgate Hill and Hornsey;—Cow-lane; and beyond sea, Crook-horn; Leg-horn; and Ox-mantown paying them yearly tribute! On Monday, the 2nd May, 1664, a deputation of the fraternity met at Busby's Folly, * near Sadler's Wells, ** Islington, from whence they marched in grand order, headed by their Captain of Pioneers, with between thirty and forty of his men, with pick-axes and spades to level the hill, and baskets to carry the gravel;

     * A print of Busbys Folly occurs in a rare volume, called
     “Views of divers noted places near London, 1731,” of which
     Gough, the antiquary never saw hut one copy. Its site is
     particularly pointed out in Ogilby's map of London to

     * “Sadler's Wells being lately opened, there is likely to be
     a great resort of strolling damsels, half-pay officers,
     peripatetic tradesmen, tars, butchers, and others, musically
     inclined.”—Weekly Journal, 16th March 1718.

     It is curious to read at the bottom of the old bills and
     advertisements of Sadler's Wells the following alarming
     announcements:—“A horse patrol will be sent in the New
     Road that night for the protection of the nobility and
     gentry who go from the squares and that end of the town. The
     road also towards the city will be properly guarded.”

     “June 1783. Patroles of horse and foot are stationed from
     Sadler's Wells' gate along the New Road to Tottenham Court
     turnpike; likewise from the City Road to Moorfields; also to
     St. John Street, and across the Spafields to Rosoman Row,
     from the hours of eight to eleven.”

After which followed the standard, an enormous pair of horns mounted on a lofty pole, borne by three officers, and attended by the master of the ceremonies, the mace-bearer, the herald at-arms, the sword-bearer and the crier, their footsteps keeping time to a flourish of trumpets and horns. *

     *  “On Tuesday next, being Shrove Tuesday, there will be a
     fine hog bar-byqu'd whole, at the house of Peter Brett, at
     the Rising Sun, in Islington Road, with other diversions.—
     Note. It is the house where the ox was roasted whole at
     Christmas last.” Mist's Journal, Feb. 9, 1726.

     A hog barbecu'd is a West Indian term, and means a hog
     roasted whole, stuffed with spice, and basted with Madeira
     wine. Oldfield, an eminent glutton of former days,
     gormandised away a fortune of fifteen hundred pounds a-year.
     Pope thus alludes to him,—

     “Oldfield, with more than harpy throat endu'd,
     Cries, 'Send me, gods, a whole hog barbecu'd!'”

     “On Thursday next, being 13th March 1718, the Bowling-
     Greens will be opened at the Prospect House, Islington,
     where there will be accommodation for all gentlemen

     Bowling-greens were among the many amusements of Merrie
     England. The author of “Night Thoughts” established a
     bowling-green in the village confided to his pastoral care,
     for innocent and healthful recreation.

     “True piety is cheerful as the day.”

     “May 1757. To be bowl'd for on Monday next, at the Red Cow,
     in St. George's Fields, a pair of Silver Buckles, value
     fourteen shillings, at five pins, each pin a yard apart. He
     that brings most pins at three bowls has the buckles, if the
     money is in; if not, the money each man has put in. Three
     bowls for sixpence, and a pint of beer out of it, for the
     good of the house,”

Arriving near the Gate-house—(gentlemen, we are within a few yards of the very spot!)—the viceroy of the gravel-pits went forth to meet them, presenting the horn of plenty as a token of hearty welcome; and passing through the gate, they made a circuit round the old pond, and returning to their starting-post, one of the brethren delivered a poetical oration, humorously descriptive of Bull-Feathers-Hall, and expatiating on the antiquity and dignity of horns. The speech being ended, they paraded to the dinner-table, which groaned under every luxury of the season. There they regaled themselves, amidst the sounding of trumpets and the winding of horns. Between dinner and dessert, those of the officers who had singing faces volunteered a festive chant, in which the whole company joined chorus.

The shortest, the tallest, the foulest, the fairest,

The fattest, the leanest, the commonest, rarest,

When they and their cronies are merry together,

Will all do their best to advance the Bull's Feather!

A king and a cobbler, a lord and a loon,

A prince and a pedlar, a courtier, a clown;

Put all their degrees and conditions together,

Are liable always to wear the Bull's Feather.

Any candidate desirous of being admitted a member of the fraternity was proposed by the sword-bearer; and the master of the ceremonies placing him in the adopting chair, the comptroller made three ejaculations, upon which the brethren doffed their hats. Then the master of the ceremonies exchanged his own comuted castor for a cap, and administered to his newly elected brother, on a book horned on all sides, an oath in rhyme, recapitulating a long string of duties belonging to their peculiar art and mystery, and enjoining their strict performance.

Lastly, observe thou shalt esteem none other

Equal to this our club;—so welcome brother!” *

     * Bull-Feathers-Hall; or, The Antiquity and Dignity of Horns
     amply shown. Also a Description of the Manners,

     Rites, Customs, and Revenues belonging to that ingenious and
     numerous society of Bull-Feathers-Hall. London: printed for
     the Society of Bull-Feathers-Hall. 1664.

     A copy of this rare tract produced at Bindley's sale five
     pounds ten shillings, and at Strette's five pounds.

“Thus ends my story, gentlemen; and if you have found it tedious, visit the offence on the Lauréat of Little Britain, by enjoining him the penance of a bumper of salt and water.”

But mine host of the Horns, very prim about the wig, his coat marked with his apron strings, which left a seam all round, as if he had been cut in two, and afterwards stitched together again, having been slyly telegraphed, that obedient functionary, who was as neat as his wines, entered, bearing before him what Mr. Bosky facetiously called “a good afternoon,” to wit, a brimming bowl, in which whiskey had been judiciously substituted for salt. Uncle Timothy rose; so did the voice of Mr. Bosky! and to such an altitude as to drown his expostulations in contumacious carolling, which, truth obliges us to add, received laughing impunity from the company.

Come merrily push round the toddy,

The cold winter nights are set in;

To a roquelaire wrapp'd round the body

Add a lining of lamb's-wool within!

This liquor was brew'd by my grandam,

In a snug quiet still of her own;

'Tis fit for my Lord in his tandem,

And royal King Will on his throne.

In the glass, see it sparkles and ripples,

And how it runs merrily down!

The absolute monarch of tipples,

And richly deserving a crown!

Of mirth 'tis the spring and the fountain,

And Helicon's stream to the Muse;

The pleasantest dew of the mountain—

So give it, good fellows, its dues.

It opens the heart of the miser,

And conjures up truth from the knave;

It makes my Lord Bishop look wiser,—

More frisky the curate, his slave.

It makes the glad spirit still gladder,

And moistens the splenetic vein;

When I can't see a hole through a ladder,

It mounts on the sly to my brain.

Then push round the glasses, be cosey,

Fill bumpers to whiskey and whim;

Good luck to each man, while his nose he

Hangs pleasantly over the brim!

There's nothing remarkably odd in

A gent who to nap is inclined;

He can't want a blanket while noddin',

When he's two or three sheets in the wind.

“Sirs,” exclaimed the satirical-nosed gentleman, “I alone am to blame for this audacious vivacity of my sister's son. I turned it on, and lo! it hath inundated us with buffoonery. Sirrah!” shaking the identical plant that Dr. Johnson travelled with through the Hebrides, Tom Davies's shilling's worth for the broad shoulders of Macpherson, “thou shalt find in future that I joke with my cudgel!” *

     * “Hombre burlo yo con mi escopeta!” was the characteristic
     saying of the celebrated Spanish bandit Josse Maria.

But it was labour in vain; the “laughing devil,” so peculiar to the eye of the middle-aged gentleman, leered ludicrous defiance to his half-smiling half-sulky mouth. As a last determined effort, he shook his head at Mr. Bosky, whereupon Mr. Bosky shook his hand. The mutual grasp was electrical, and thus ended the brief farce of Uncle Timothy's furor.

“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Bosky, in a subdued tone, “if I could believe that Uncle Timothy had been really in earnest, my penitential punch should be turned into bitter aloes, sweetened with assafoetida, to expiate an offence against the earliest, best, and dearest friend I ever knew! But I owed Uncle Timothy a revenge. Of late he has worn a serious brow, a mournful smile. There has been melancholy in his mirth, and sadness in his song; this, he well knows, cuts me to the quick; and it is not until he is angry,—or, rather” (smiling affectionately at Uncle Tim) “until he thinks himself so,”—(here Uncle Tim gave Mr. Bosky one of his blandest looks) “that he is 'cockered and spirited up,' and the cloud passes away. What do I not owe to my more than father?”

Uncle Timothy got enormously fidgety; he beat Lucifer's tattoo with his right leg, and began fumbling in both waistcoat pockets for his snuffbox.

“A precocious young urchin, gentlemen, in every sort of mischief!” interrupted Uncle Timothy with nervous impetuosity, “on whose birch-provoking little body as many besoms were bestowed as would set up the best chandler in Christendom!”

“An orphan too—”

“Benjamin Bosky! Benjamin Bosky! don't—don't be a blockhead!”

“He reared, educated, and made me what I am. And, though sometimes I may too far presume upon his good-nature, and foolishly, fondly fancy myself a boy again—”

“Putting hot parched peas and cherry-stones into my boots, as being good for chilblains, * and strewing the inside of my bed with horse-hair to send me to sleep, after a fortnight's dancing round my room with the toothache!”

“Three strokes from the club of Caliban would not so effectually break my head, as the reflection would break my heart that I had done aught to displease him! Now, gentlemen, the murder's out; and if for blabbing family secrets Uncle Timothy in his wrath will insist upon fining me—an extra glass of punch! in truth I must submit and sip.”

“You see, my good friends,” said Uncle Timothy, after a short pause, “that the rogue is incorrigible! But Benjamin Bosky”—(here Uncle Tim tried to look sententious, and adopted the bowwow style)—“I cannot but blush, deeply blush for thy morals, or rather, Benjamin Bosky, for thy no-morals, when thou canst thus blurt thy flattery in my face, because I simply did a duty that kindred imposed upon me, and the sweet consciousness of performing made light and pleasant.

     * When the dreadful earthquake at Lisbon had frightened the
     English people into an apprehension of the like calamity at
     home, a quack advertised his pills as “being good for

What I have done was at the whisper of a higher monitor than man; and from Him alone—even if I could suppose myself worthy, which I do not—I hope for reward. He who is capable of ingratitude is incapable of any virtue. But gratitude, the most dignified return we can lavish on our benefactor, is the silent aspiration of the heart, and must not, good Benjamin, be placarded on every wall, like a play-bill, a lottery puff, or thy rigmarole ballads, three yards for a penny! There is not a being, however humble his station, but may find some deserving object to awake his friendship and share his benevolence. And be assured, dear Benjamin, that a judicious and timely distribution of fortune's good gifts is the best preparation for that final moment when we must resign them altogether.

And when life's sweet fable ends,

May soul and body part like friends;

No quarrels, murmurs, no delay,—

A kiss, a sigh, and so away.”

“As Cicero said of Plato, I say of Uncle Timothy,—I would rather be wrong with him than right with anybody else. One more volunteer from the Laureate's 'three yards for a penny,' and then my nest of nightingales—”

“Tom-tits! Benjamin Bosky, tom-tits!”

“Well, then, tom-tits! dear Uncle Timothy,—shall go to roost for the night.”


From childhood he rear'd me, how fondly my heart

Forgets not, nor lets not my tongue silent be;

But whispers, while sweet tears of gratitude start,

A blessing and pray'r for his kindness to me!

I'll breathe not his name, though its record is deep

In my warm beating bosom, for fear he should frown,

Go read it where angels their register keep

Of the gifted and good, for 'tis there written down.

The conversation now took a more lively turn. Mr. Bosky fired off his jokes right and left; and if there be truth in physiognomy, the animated countenance of Uncle Timothy beamed with complacency and joy. He was in full song, and showered forth his wit and eloquence in glorious profusion, beauty following upon beauty. Thus another Attic hour glided imperceptibly away. The midnight chimes at length admonished us to depart. A galaxy of stars had risen in the unclouded firmament, and a refreshing air breathed around. And as we had many times during the evening filled our horns, the harvest moon had filled hers also to light us home.


A merry morning, Eugenio. Did not soft slumbers and pleasant dreams follow the heart-stirring lucubrations of Uncle Timothy? I am mistaken if you rose not lighter and happier, and in more perfect peace with yourself and the world.”

“My dreams were of ancient minstrelsy, Christmas gambols, May-day games, and merriments. Methought Uncle Timothy was a portly Apollo, Mr. Bosky a rosy Pan—”

“And you and I, Eugenio?”

“Foremost in the throng—”

“Of capering satyrs! Well, though our own dancing * days are over, we still retain a relish for that elegant accomplishment.

     * There were rare dancing doings at The original dancing
     room at the field-end of King-Street, Bloomsbury,.
     in the year 1742

     Hickford's great room, Panton-Street, Haymarket, 1743

     Mitre Tavern, Charing-Cross,... 1743

     Barber's Hall,.... 1745

     Richmond Assembly,.... 1745

     Lambeth Wells,.....1747

     Duke's long room, Paternoster-Row,.. 1748

     Large Assembly Room at the Two Green Lamps, near Exeter
     Change, (at the particular desire of Jubilee Diekey!).... in
     the year 1749 The large room next door to the Hand and
     Slippers, Long-Lane, West Smithfield,... 1750 Lambeth Wells,
     where a Penny Wedding, in the Scotch manner, was celebrated
     for the benefit of a young couple,......1752 Old Queen's
     Head, in Cock-Lane, Lambeth,. 1755 and at Mr. Bell's, at the
     sign of the Ship, in the Strand, where, in 1755, a Scotch
     Wedding was kept. The bride “to be dressed without any
     linen; all in ribbons, and green flowers, with Scotch masks.
     There will be three bag-pipes; a band of Scotch music, &c.
     &c. To begin precisely at two o'clock. Admission, two
     shillings and sixpence.”

As antiquaries, we have a reverence for dancing. Noah danced before the ark. The boar's head and the wine and wassail were crowned with a dance to the tune of 'The Black Almayne,' 'My Lorde Marques Galyarde,' and 'The firste Traces of due Passa.'

'Merrily danc'd the Quaker's wife,

And merrily danc'd the Quaker!'

Why not? Orpheus charmed the four-footed family with his fiddle: shall it have less effect on the two?

“The innocent and the happy, while the dews of youth are upon them, dance to the music of their own hearts. 'See the blind beggar dance, the cripple sing!' The Irishman has his lilt; the Scotchman his reel, which he not unfrequently dances to his own particular fiddle! and the Englishman his country-dance.


With dogs and bears, horses and geese, * game-cocks and monkeys exhibiting their caprioles, shall man be motionless and mute?

     * There is an odd print of “Vestris teaching a goose to
     dance.” The terms, for so fashionable a professor as he was
     in his day, are extremely moderate; “Six guineas entrance,
     and one guinea a lesson.” The following song is inscribed

     “Of all the fine accomplishments sure dancing far the best
     But if a doubt with you remains, behold the Goose and
     And a dancing we will go, will go, &c.

     Let men of learning plead and preach; their toil 'tis all in
     Sure, labour of the heels and hands is better than the
     And a dancing, &c.

     Then talk no more, ye men of arts, 'bout keeping light and
     Good understanding in the heels is better than the head:
     And a dancing, &c.

     Great Whigs, and eke great Tories too, both in and out will
     Join hands, change sides, and figure in, now sink, and now
     And a dancing, &c.

     Let Oxford boast of ancient lore, and Cam of classic rules,
     Noverre might lay you ten to one his heels against your
     And a dancing, &c.

     Old Homer sung of gods and kings in most heroic strains,
     Yet scarce could get, we have been told, a dinner for his
     And a dancing, &c.

     Poor Milton wrote the most sublime, 'gainst Satan, Death, and
     But very few would quit a dance to purchase Paradise.
     And a dancing, &c.

     The soldier risks health, life, and limbs, his fortune to
     While Pique and Vestris fortunes make by one night's single
     And a dancing, &c.

     'Tis all in vain to sigh and grieve, or idly spend our
     Some millions now, and those unborn, must join the dance of
     And a dancing, &c.

     Yet while we live let's merry be, and make of care a jest,
     Since we are taught what is, is right; and what is right is
     And a dancing, &c.

Sweetly singeth the tea-kettle; merrily danceth the parched pea on the fire-shovel! Even grim Death has his dance.”

“And music, Eugenio, in which I know you are an enthusiast. The Italians have a proverb,

'Whom God loves not, that man loves not music.' The soul is said to be music.

'But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay

Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.'

“Haydn used to say that without melody the most learned and singular combinations are but unmeaning, empty sound. What but the simplicity and tenderness of the Scotch and Irish airs constitutes their charm? This great composer was so extravagantly fond of Scotch, Irish, and Welsh melodies, that he harmonised many of them, and had them hung up in frames in his room. We remember to have heard somewhere of an officer in a Highland regiment, who was sent with a handful of brave soldiers to a penal settlement in charge of a number of convicts; the Highlanders grew sick at heart; the touching strains of 'Lochaber nae mair.' heard far from home, made them so melancholy, that the officer in command forbade its being played by the band.

So, likewise, with the national melody, the 'Rans-des-Vaches' among the Swiss mountaineers. When sold by their despotic chiefs, and torn from their dearest connexions, suicide and desertion were so frequent when this melody was played, that orders were issued in all their regiments, prohibiting any one from playing an air of that kind on pain of death. La maladie du pays,—that sickening after home! But Handel's music has received more lasting and general applause than that of any other composer. By Boyce and Battishall his memory was adored; Mozart was enthusiastic in his praise; Haydn could not listen (who can?) to his glorious Messiah * without weeping; and Beethoven has been heard to declare, that were he ever to come to England he should uncover his head, and kneel down at his tomb!

     *  Bishop Ken says,

          “Sweet music with blest poesy began,
          Congenial both to angels and to Man,
          Song was the native language to rehearse
          The elevations of the soul in verse:
          And through succeeding ages, all along,
          Saints praised the Godhead in devoted song.”

     And he adds in plain prose, that the Garden of Eden was no
     stranger to “singing and the voice of melody.” Jubal was the
     “father of those who handled the harp and organ.” Long-
     before the institution of the Jewish church, God received
     praise both by the human voice and the “loud timbrel and
     when that church was in her highest prosperity, King David
     seems to have been the composer of her psalmody—both poetry
     and music. He occupied the orchestra of the temple, and
     accounted it a holy privilege “to play before the Lord” upon
     “the harp with a solemn sound.” Luther said, “I verily think
     that, next to divinity, no art is comparable to music.”

     And what a glorious specimen of this divine art is his
     transcendant “Hymn!” breathing the most awful grandeur, the
     deepest pathos, the most majestic adoration! The Puritans—
     devils and Puritans hate music—are piously economical in
     their devotions, and eschew the principle “not to give unto
     the Lord that which costs us nothing!” Their gift is
     snuffled through the “vocal nose”—“O most sweet voices!”

“Blessings on the memory of the bard, * and 'Palms eternal flourish round his urn,' who first struck his lyre to celebrate the wooden walls of unconquered and unconquerable Merrie England! If earth hide him,

'May angels with their silver wings o'ershade

The ground, now sacred by his reliques made

if ocean cover him, calm be the green wave on its surface! May his spirit find rest where souls are blessed, and his body be shrined in the holiest cave of the deep and silent sea!”

     * A few old amateurs of music and mirth may possibly
     remember Collins's Evening Brush, that rubbed off the rust
     of dull care from the generation of 1790. His bill comprised
     “Actors of the old school and actors of the new; tragedy
     tailors, and butchers in heroics; bell-wethers in buskins,
     wooden actors, petticoat caricatures, lullaby jinglers,
     bogglers and blunderers, buffoons in blank-verse, &c. &c.”
      The first of the three Dibdins opened a shop of merriment at
     the Sans Souci, where he introduced many of his beautiful
     ballads, and sang them to his own tunes. The navy of England
     owe lasting obligations to this harmonious Three. It
     required not the aid of poetry and music (and how
     exquisitely has Shield set the one to the other!) to
     stimulate our gallant seamen; but it needed much to awaken
     and keep alive enthusiasm on shore, and elevate their moral
     character—for landsmen “who live at home at ease/' were
     wont to consider the sailor as a mere tar-barrel, a sea-
     monster. How many young bosoms have been inspired by the
     lyrics of the three Dibdins! What can surpass the homely
     pathos of “I thought my heart would break when I sang, Yo!
     heave O!”

     “The Last Whistle” and “Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom
     Bowling!” stirring the manly heart like the sound of a
     trumpet! It is wise to infuse the amorpatriæ into popular
     amusements; national songs work wonders among the million.
     In Little Russia, no sooner are the postilions mounted for a
     journey, than they begin to hum a patriotic air, which often
     continues for hours without intermission. The soldiers sing
     during a long and fatiguing march; the peasant lightens his
     labour in the same manner; and in a still evening the air
     vibrates with the cheerful songs of the surrounding

“'Hark! the lark at Heaven's gate sings.'”

“I was not unmindful of the merry chorister! But the lark has made a pause; and I have your promise of a song. Now is the time to fill up the one, and to fulfil the other.”


“Sweet is the breath of early morn

That o'er yon heath refreshing blows:

And sweet the blossom on the thorn,

The violet blue, the blushing rose.

When mounts the lark on rapid wing,

How sweet to sit and hear him sing!

No carols like the feathered choir,

Such happy, grateful thoughts inspire.

Here let the spirit, sore distress'd,

Its vanities and wishes close:

The weary world is not the rest

Where wounded hearts should seek repose.

But, hark! the lark his merry strain,

To heav'n high soaring, sings again.

Be hush'd, sweet songster! ev'ry voice

That warbles not like thee—Rejoice!”

“Short and sad! Eugenio. We must away from these bewitching solitudes, or thy note will belong more to the nightingale than to the lark! Let imagination carry thee back to the reign of Queen Anne, when the Spectator and Sir Roger de Coverley embarked at the Temple-Stairs on their voyage to Vauxhall. We pass over the good knight's religious horror at beholding what a few steeples rose on the west of Temple-Bar; and the waterman's wit, (a common thing in those days, * ) that made him almost wish himself a Middlesex magistrate!

     * What a sledge-hammer reply was Doctor Johnson's to an
     aquatic wag upon a similar occasion. “Fellow! your mother,
     under the pretence (!!!) of keeping a —————— is a
     receiver of stolen goods!”

'We were now arrived at Spring Garden says the Spectator, 'which is exquisitely pleasant at this time of the year. When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choir of birds that sang upon the trees, and the loose tribe of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look upon the place as a kind of Mahometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by his house in the country, which his chaplain used to call an aviary of nightingales.' “And mark in what primitive fashion they concluded their walk, with a glass of Burton ale and a slice of hung-beef!

“Bonnel Thornton furnishes a ludicrous account of a stingy old citizen, loosening his purse-strings to treat his wife and family to Vauxhall; and 'Colin's * 'Description to his wife of Greenwood Hall, or the pleasures of Spring Gardens,' gives a lively picture of what this modern Arcadia was a century ago.

1 May 20, 1712.

          * 'Mary! soft in feature,
          I've been at dear Vauxhall;
          No paradise is sweeter,
          Not that they Eden call.
          At night such new vagaries,
          Such gay and harmless sport;
          All look'd like giant fairies,
          At this their monarch's court.
          Methought when first I enter'd,
          Such splendours round me shone,
          Into a world I ventured
          Where rose another sun:
          Whilst music, never cloying,
          As skylarks sweet I hear;
          The sounds I'm still enjoying,
          They 'll always soothe my ear.
          Here paintings, sweetly glowing,
          Where'er our glances fall,
          Here colours, life bestowing,
          Bedeck this green-wood hall!
          The king there dubs a farmer,
          There John his doxy loves;*
          But my delight's the charmer
          Who steals a pair of gloves!
          As still amazed, I'm straying
          O'er this enchanted grove;
          I spy a harper playing
          All in his proud alcove.
          I doff my hat, desiring
          He'd tune up Buxom Joan;
          But what was I admiring?
          Odzooks! a man of stone.
          But now the tables spreading,
          They all fall to with glee;
          Not e'en at Squire's fine wedding
          Such dainties did I see!
          I long'd (poor starveling rover!)
          But none heed country elves;
          These folk, with lace daub'd over,
          Love only dear themselves.
          Thus whilst, 'mid joys abounding,
          As grasshoppers they're gay;
          At distance crowds surrounding
          The Lady of the May.
          The man i' th' moon tweer'd slily,
          Soft twinkling through the trees,
          As though 'twould please him highly
          To taste delights like these.” **

But its days are numbered. The axe shall be laid to the roots of its beautiful trees; its green avenues turned into blind alleys;

     * Alluding to the three pictures in the Pavilions,—viz. the
     King and the Miller of Mansfield,—Sailors in a tippling
     house in Wapping,—and the girl stealing a kiss from a
     sleepy gentleman.

     ** The statue of Handel.

its variegated lamps give place to some solitary gas-burner, to light the groping inhabitants to their dingy homes; and the melodious strains of its once celebrated vocalists be drowned in the dismal ditty of some ballad-singing weaver, and the screeching responses of his itinerant family. What would the gallant Mr. Lowe and his sprightly Euphrosyne, Nan Catley, say, could they be told to what “base uses” their harmonious groves are condemned to be turned?

     * Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales sitting under her
     splendid Pavilion.

Truly their wonder would be on a par with Paganini's, should ever that musical magician encounter on the other side Styx “My Lord Skaggs and his Broomstick!” *

     * This celebrated professor played on his musical broomstick
     at the Haymarket Theatre, November 1751.

          “Each buck and jolly fellow has heard of Skegginello
          The famous Skegginello, that grunts so pretty
          Upon his broomstieado, such music he has made, O,
          'Twill spoil the fiddling trade, O,
          And that's a pity!
          But have you heard or seen, O, his phiz so pretty,
          In picture shops so grin, O,
          With comic nose and chin, O,
          Who'd think a man could shine so At Eh, Eh, Eh, Eh?”

     There is a curious Tobacco Paper of Skaggs playing on his
     broomstick in full concert with a jovial party! One of the
     principal performers is a good-humoured looking gentleman
     beating harmony out of the salt-box.

     ** Certain utilitarians affect to ridicule this ancient
     civic festival, on the score of its parade, right-royally
     ridiculous! and gross gluttony—as if the corporation of
     London were the only gourmands who had offered sacrifices to
     Apicius, and died martyrs to good living! We have been at
     some pains to peep into the dining-parlours of the ancients,
     and from innumerable examples of gastronomy have selected
     the following, which prove that the epicures of the olden
     time yielded not in taste and voracity to their brethren of
     the new:—

     The emperor Septimus Severus died of eating and drinking too
     much. Valentinianus went off in a surfeit. Lucullus being
     asked one day by his attendant, what company he had invited
     to his feast, seeing so many dainties prepared, answered,
     “Lucullus shall dine with Lucullus?” Vitellius Spinter was
     so much given to gluttony, that at one supper he was served
     with two thousand several kinds of fishes, and with seven
     thousand flying fowl. Maximilian devoured, in one day, forty
     pounds of solid meat, which he washed down with a hogshead
     of wine. The emperor Geta continued his festival for three
     days, and his dainties were introduced in alphabetical
     order. Philoxenes wished he had a neck like a crane, that
     the delicious morsels might be long in going down. Lucullus,
     at a costly feast he gave to certain ambassadors of Asia,
     among other trifles, took to his own cheek a griph (query
     Griffin'!) boiled, and a fat goose in paste. Hercules and
     Lepreas had a friendly contest, which could, in quickest
     time, eat up a whole ox; Hercules won, and then challenged
     his adversary to a drinking bout, and again beat him hollow.

     If the Stoic held that the goal of life is death, and that
     we live but to learn to die—if the Pythagorean believed in
     the transmigration of souls, and scrupled to shoot a
     woodcock lest he should dispossess the spirit of his
     grandam—how much more rational was the doctrine of the
     Epicurean, (after such a goodly catalogue of gormandizers!)
     that there was no judgement to come.

Who has not heard of Guildhall on Lord Mayor's Day, ** and the Easter Ball at the Mansion-House? But we profane not the penetralia where even Common-Councilmen fear to tread! The City Marshals, and men in armour (Héros malgré eux!); the pensive-looking state-coachmen, in all the plumpness, pomp, and verdure of prime feeding, wig, and bouquet; the postilion, “a noticeable man,” with velvet cap and jockey boots; the high-bred and high-fed aristocracy of the Poultry and Cheapside, and their Banquet, which might tempt Diogenes to blow himself up to such a pitch of obesity, that, instead of living in a tub, a tub might be said to live in him, are subjects too lofty for plebeian handling. Cæsar was told to beware of the Ides of March; and are not November fogs equally ominous to the London citizen? If, then, by some culinary magic, he can be induced to cram his throat rather than to cut it,—to feast himself instead of the worms,—to prefer a minuet in the Council Chamber to the Dance Macabre in the shades below,—the gorgeous anniversaries of Gog and Magog have not been celebrated in vain. *

     * “Search all chronicles, histories, and records, in what
     language or letter soever,—let the inquisitive man waste
     the deere treasures of his time and eye-sight,—he shall
     conclude his life only in this certainty, that there is no
     subject upon earth received into the place of his government
     with the like state and magnificence as is the Lord Maior of
     the Citty of London.” This was said by the author of the
     “Triumphs of Truth” in 1613. The following list of City
     Poets will show that the office was not an unimportant one
     in the olden time: George Peele; Anthony Munday; Thomas
     Dekker; Thomas Middleton; John Squire; John Webster; Thomas
     Heywood; John Taylor (the Water-Poet, one of Ben Jonson's
     adopted poetical sons, and a rare slang fellow); Edward G ay
     ton, and T. B. (of the latter nothing is known), both
     Commonwealth bards; John Tatham; Thomas Jordan; Matthew
     Taubman, and Elkanah Settle, the last of the poetical
     parsons who wedded Lord Mayors and Aldermen to immortal
     verse. One of the most splendid of these anniversary
     pageants was “London's Triumph; or, the Solemn and
     Magnificent reception of that Honourable Gentleman, Robert
     Titeliburn, Lord Maior, after his return from taking his
     oath at Westminster, the morrow after Simon and Jude day,
     being October 29, 1656. With the Speeches spoken at Foster-
     lane-end and Soper-lane-end.”—“In the first place,” (says
     the City Poet T. B.) “the loving members of the honourable
     societie exercising arms in Cripplegate Ground being drawn
     up together, march'd in a military order to the house of my
     Lord Maior, where they attended on him, and from thence
     march'd before him to the Three Crane Wharfe, where part of
     them under the red colours embarqued themselves in three
     severall barges; and another part took water at Stone
     Staires, being under green colours, as enemies to the other;
     and thence wafting to the other side of the water, there
     began an encounter between each party, which continued all
     the way to Westminster; a third body, consisting of pikes
     and musquets, march'd to Bainard's Castle, and there from
     the battlements of the castle gave thundering echoes to the
     vollies of those that pass'd along the streame. Part before
     and part behind went the severall barges, with drums
     beating, and trumpets sounding, and varietie of other musiek
     to take the eare, while the flags and silver pendents made a
     pleasant sight delectable to the beholders.

     “After these came severall gentlemen-ushers adorn'd with
     gold eliaines; behind them certaine rich batelielours,
     wearing gownes furr'd with foynes, and upon them sattin
     hoods; and lastly after them, followed the Worshipfull
     Company of Skinners itself, whereof the Lord Maior is a
     member. Next these, the city officers passing on before,
     rode the Lord Maior with the Sword, Mace, and Cap of
     Maintenance before him, being attended by the Recorder, and
     all the aldermen in scarlet gowns on horseback. (Aldermen on
     horseback!!) Thus attended, he rode from Bainard's Castle

     Cheapside, the Companies standing on both sides of the way
     as far as the upper end of the Old Jury, ready to receive
     him. When he was come right against the old Change, a
     pageant seem'd to meet him. On the pageant stood two
     leopards bestrid by two Moors, attir'd in the habit of their
     country; at the foure corners sate foure virgins arraid in
     cloth of silver, with their haire dishriveld, and coronets
     on their heads. This seem'd to be the embleme of a city
     pensive and forlorn, for want of a zealous governor: the
     Moors and leopards, like evill customs tyrannizing over the
     weak virginitie of undefended virtue; which made an aged
     man, who sate at the fore part of the pageant, mantled in a
     black garment, with a dejected countenance, seem to bewaile
     the condition of his native city; but thus he remaind not
     long: for at the approach of the Lord Maior, as if now he
     had espy'd the safety of his country, he threw off his
     mourning weeds, and with the following speech made known the
     joy he had for the election of so happy and just a

     “The speech being spoken, the first pageant past on before
     the Lord Maior as far as Mercers' Chappel; a gyant being
     twelve foot in height going before the pageant for the
     delight of the people. Over against Soper-lane End stood
     another pageant also; upon this were plac'd severall sorts
     of beasts, as lyons, tygers, bears, leopards, foxes, apes,
     monkeys, in a great wildernesse; at the forepart whereof
     sate Pan with a pipe in his hand; in the middle was a
     canopie, at the portal whereof sate Orpheus in an antique
     attire, playing on his harp, while all the beasts seem'd to
     dance at the sound of his melody. Under the canopie sate
     four satyrs playing on pipes. The embleme of this pageant
     seem'd proper to the Company out of which the Lord Maior was
     elected; putting the spectators in mind how much they ought
     to esteem such a calling, as clad the Judges in their
     garments of honour, and Princes in their robes of majestic,
     and makes the wealthy ladies covet winter, to appear clad in
     their sable funs. A second signification of this emblem may
     be this,—that as Orpheus tam'd the wild beasts by the
     alluring sound of his melody, so doth a just and upright
     governor tame and govern the wild affections of men, by good
     and wholesome lawes, causing a general joy and peace in the
     place where he commands. Which made Orpheus, being well
     experienced in this truth, to address himself to the Lord
     Maior in these following lines.

     “The speech being ended, the Lord Maior rode forward to his
     house in Silver Street, the military bands still going
     before him. When he was in this house, they saluted him with
     two volleys of shot, and so marching again to their ground
     in Cripple-gate Churchyard, they lodg'd their colours; and
     as they began, so concluded this dayes triumph.”

     When the barges wherein the soldiers were, came right
     against Whitehall, they saluted the Lord Protector and his
     Council with several rounds of musketry, which the Lord
     Protector answered with “signal testimonies of grace and
     cour-tesie.” And returning to Whitehall, after the Lord
     Mayor had taken the oath of office before the Barons of the
     Exchequer, they saluted the Lord Protector with “another
     volley” The City of London had been actively instrumental in
     the deposition and death of King Charles the First, and
     Cromwell could not do less than acknowledge, with some show
     of respect, the blank cartridges of his old friends. The
     furr'd gowns and gold chains, however, made the amende
     honorable, when they “jumped Jim Crow,” and helped to
     restore King Charles the Second.

But Easter-Monday was not made only for the city's dancing dignitaries. It draws up the curtain of our popular merriments; and Whit-Mon-day, * not a whit less merry, trumpets forth their joyous continuation.

     * June 9, 1786. On Whit-Tuesday was celebrated at Hendon in
     Middlesex, a burlesque imitation of the Olympic Games.

     One prize was a gold-laced hat, to be grinned for by six
     candidates, who were placed on a platform, with horses'
     collars to exhibit through. Over their heads was printed in

          Detur Tetriori; or
          The ugliest grinner
          Shall be the winner.

     Each party grinned five minutes solus, and then all united
     in a grand chorus of distortion. This prize was carried by a
     porter to a vinegar merchant, though he was accused by his
     competitors of foul play, for rinsing his mouth with
     verjuice. The whole was concluded by a hog, with his tail
     shaved and soaped, being let loose among nine peasants; any
     one of which that could seize him by the queue, and throw
     him across his shoulders, was to have him for a reward. This
     occasioned much sport: the animal, after running some miles,
     so tired his hunters that they gave up the chase in despair.
     A prodigious concourse of people attended, among whom were
     the Tripoline Ambassador, and several other persons of

We hail the return of these festive seasons when the busy inhabitants of Lud's town and its suburbs, in spite of hard times, tithes, and taxes, repair to the royal park of Queen Bess to divert their melancholy! We delight to contemplate the mirthful mourners in their endless variety of character and costume; to behold the forlorn holiday-makers hurrying to the jocund scene, to participate in those pleasures which the genius of wakes, kindly bounteous, prepares for her votaries. *

     * On the Easter-Monday of 1840, the Regent's Park, Primrose
     Hill, and the adjoining fields, presented one merry mass of
     animated beings. At Chalk Farm there was a regular fair,—
     with swings, roundabouts, ups-and-downs, gingerbread-stalls,
     theatres, donkey-races, penny chaises, and puppet-shows,
     representing the Islington murder, the Queen's marriage, the
     arrival of Prince Albert, and the departure of the Chartist
     rioters! Hampstead Heath, and the surrounding villages,
     turned out their studs of Jerusalem ponies. Copenhagen
     House, Hornsey Wood House and the White Conduit, echoed with
     jollity; the holiday-makers amusing themselves with cricket,
     fives, and archery. How sweetly has honest, merry Harry
     Carey described the origin of “Sally in our Alley” which
     touelied the heart of Addison with tender emotion, and
     called forth his warmest praise. “A shoemaker's 'prentice,
     making holiday with his sweetheart, treated her with a sight
     of Bedlam, the puppet-shows, the flying-chairs, and all the
     elegancies of Moorfields, from whence proceeding to the
     Farthing Pye-house, he gave her a collation of buns,
     cheese-cakes, gammon of bacon, stuffed beef, and bottled
     ale; through all which scenes the author dodged them.
     Charmed with the simplicity of their courtship, he drew from
     what he had witnessed this little sketch of Nature.”

The gods assembled on Olympus presented not a more glorious sight than the laughing divinities of One-Tree-Hill!


What an animated scene! Hark to the loud laugh of some youngsters that have had their roll and tumble. Yonder is a wedding party from the neighbouring village. See the jolly tar with his true blue jacket and trousers, checked shirt, radiant with a gilt brooch as big as a crown piece, yellow straw-hat, striped stockings, and pumps; and his pretty bride, with her rosy cheeks and white favours. How light are their heels and hearts! And the blythesome couples that follow in their train—noviciates in the temple of Hymen, but who ere long will be called upon to act as principals! All is congratulation, good wishes, and good humour. Scandal is dumb; envy dies for the day; disappointment gathers hope; and one wedding, like a fool, or an Irish wake, shall make many.

“O yes! O yes! O yes!

When the peripatetic pieman rings his bell

At morning, noon, or when you sit at eve;

Ladies and gentlemen, I guess

It needs no ghost to tell,

In song, recitative,

He warbles cakes and gingerbread to sell!

Tarts of gooseberry, raspberry, cranberry;

Rare bonne-bouches brought from Banbury;

Puffs and pie-ses

Of all sorts and sizes;

Ginger beer,

That won't make you queer,

Like the treble X ale of Taylor and Hanbury!”

“Here, good Christians, are five Reasons why you shouldn't go to a fair, published by the London Lachrymose Society for the suppression of fun.”

“And here, good Christians, are five-and-fifty why you should! published by my Lord Chancellor Cocke Lorel, President of the High Court of Mummery, and Conscience-keeper to his merry Majesty of Queerumania, for the promotion of jollity.”

One of the better order of mendicants, on whose smooth, pale brow, hung the blossoms of the grave, arrested our attention with the following madrigal which pleased us, inasmuch as it seemed to smack of the olden time.

“I love but only one

And thou art only she

That loves but only one—

Let me that only be!

Requite me with the like,

And say thou unto me

Thou lov'st but only one,

And I am only he!”

“Cold comfort this, broiling and frying under a burning hot sun!” soliloquized a blind ballad-singer. And, having two strings to his bow, and one to his fiddle, he put a favourite old tune to the rack, and enforced us to own the soft impeachment of


Up hill and down hill, 'tis always the same;

Mankind ever grumbling, and fortune to blame!

To fortune, 'tis uphill, ambition and strife;

And fortune obtain'd—then the downhill of life!

We toil up the hill till we reach to the top;

But are not permitted one moment to stop!

O how much more quick we descend than we climb!

There's no locking fast the swift wheels of Old Time.

Gay Greenwich! thy happy young holiday train

Here roll down the hill, and then mount it again.

The ups and downs life has bring sorrow and care;

But frolic and mirth attend those at the fair.

My Lord May'r of London, of high city lineage,

His show makes us glad with, and why shouldn't


His gingerbread coach a crack figure it cuts!

And why shouldn't we crack our gingerbread nuts?

Of fashion and fame, ye grandiloquent powers,

Pray take your full swing—only let us take ours!

If you have grown graver and wiser, messieurs,

The grinning be ours, and the gravity yours!

To keep one bright spark of good humour alive,

Old holiday pastimes and sports we revive.

Be merry, my masters, for now is your time—

Come, who'll buy my ballads? they're reason and


Peckham and Blackheath fairs were celebrated places of resort in former times, and had their modicum of strange monsters.

“Geo. I. R.

“To the lovers of living curiosities. To be seen during the time of Peckham Fair, a Grand Collection of Living Wild Beasts and Birds, lately arrived from the remotest parts of the World.

“1. The Pellican that suckles her young with her heart's, blood, from Egypt.

“2. The Noble Vultur Cock, brought from Archangell, having the finest talions of any bird that seeks his prey; the fore part of his head is covered with hair, the second part resembles the wool of a Black; below that is a white ring, having a Ruff, that he cloaks his head with at night.

“3. An Eagle of the Sun, that takes the loftiest flight of any bird that flies. There is no bird but this that can fly to the face of the Sun with a naked eye.

“4. A curious Beast, bred from a Lioness, like a foreign Wild Cat.

“5. The He-Panther, from Turkey, allowed by the curious to be one of the greatest rarities ever seen in England, on which are thousands of spots, and not two of a likeness.

“6 & 7. The two fierce and surprising Hyaenas, Male and female, from the River Gambia. These Creatures imitate the human voice, and so decoy the Negroes out of their huts and plantations to devour them. They have a mane like a horse, and two joints in their hinder leg more than any other creature. It is remarkable that all other beasts are to be tamed, but Hyaenas they are not.

“8. An Ethiopian Toho Savage, having all the actions of the human species, which (when at its full growth) will be upwards of five feet high.

“Also several other surprising Creatures of different sorts. To be seen from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, till they are sold. Also, all manner of curiosities of different sorts, are bought and sold at the above place by John Bennett.”

The grand focus of attraction was in the immediate vicinity of the “Kentish Drovers.” This-once merry hostelrie was a favourite suburban retreat of Dicky Suett. Cherub Dicky! who when (to use his own peculiar phrase) his “copper required cooling,” mounted the steady, old-fashioned, three mile an hour Peckham stage, and journeyed hither to allay his thirst, and qualify his alcohol with a refreshing draught of Derbyshire ale. The landlord (who was quite a character) and he were old cronies; and, in the snug little parlour behind the bar, of which Dicky had the entrée, their hob-and-nobbings struck out sparks of humour that, had they exhaled before the lamps, would have set the theatre in a roar. Suett was a great frequenter of fairs. He stood treat to the conjurors, feasted the tragedy kings and queens, and many a mountebank did he make muzzy. Once in a frolic he changed clothes with a Jack Pudding, and played Barker and Mr. Merriman to a precocious giantess; when he threw her lord and master into such an ecstacy of mirth, that the fellow vowed hysterically that it was either the devil, or (for his fame had travelled before him) Dicky Suett. He was a piscator, *

     * All sports that inflict pain on any living thing, without
     attaining some useful end, are wanton and cowardly. Wild
     boars, wolves, foxes, &c. may be hunted to extermination,
     for they are public robbers; but to hunt the noble deer, for
     the cruel pleasure of hunting him, is base.

     With all our love of honest Izaak Walton, we feel a
     shuddering when the “sentimental old savage” gives his
     minute instructions to the tyro in angling how most
     skilfully to transfix the writhing worm, (as though you
     “loved him!”) and torture a poor fish. Piscator is a
     cowardly rogue to sit upon a fair bank, the sun shining
     above, and the pure stream rippling beneath, with his
     instruments of death, playing pang against pang, and life
     against life, for his contemplative recreation. What would
     he say to a hook through his own gullet? Would it mitigate
     his dying agonies to hear his dirge (even the milkmaid's
     song!) chanted in harmonious concert with a brother of the
     angle, who had played the like sinister trick on his
     companion in the waters?

and would make a huge parade of his rod, line, and green-painted tin-can, sallying forth on a fine morning with malice prepense against the gudgeons and perch: but Dicky was a merciful angler: he was the gudgeon, for the too cunning fishes, spying his comical figure, stole his bait, and he hooked nothing but tin pots and old shoes. Here he sat in his accustomed chair and corner, dreaming of future quarterns, and dealing out odd sayings that would make the man in the moon hold his sides, and convulse the whole planet with laughter. His hypocrene was the cream of the valley; *

     * Suett had at one time a landlady who exhibited an
     inordinate love for that vulgar fluid ycleped geneva; a
     beverage which Dicky himself by no means held in abhorrence.
     She would order her servant to procure supplies after the
     following fashion:—“Betty, go and get a quartern loaf and
     half a quartern of gin.” Off bolted Betty,—she was speedily
     recalled: “Betty, make it half a quartern loaf and a
     quartern of gin.” But Betty had never got fairly across the
     threshold, ere the voice was again heard:—“Betty, on second
     thoughts, you may as well make it all gin!”

he dug his grave with his bottle, and gave up the ghost amidst a troop of spirits. Peace to his manes! Cold is the cheerful hearth, where he familiarly stirred the embers and silent the walls that echoed to “Old Wigs!” chanted by Jeffery Dunstan when he danced hop-scotch on a table spread out with tumblers and tobacco-pipes! Hushed is the voice of song. At this moment, as if to give our last assertion what Touchstone calls “the lie direct,” some Corydon from Petty France, the Apollo of a select singing party in the first floor front room, thus musically apostrophised his Blouzellinda of Bloomsbury.

She's all that fancy painted her, she's rosy without rouge,

Her gingham gown a modest brown turned up with

bright gamboge;

She learns to jar the light guitar, and plays the harpsi-


Her fortune's five-and-twenty pounds in Three per Cent


At Beulah Spa, where love is law, was my fond heart


I pour'd my passion in her ear—she whisper'd, “Draw

it mild!”

In Clerkenwell you bear the bell: what muffin-man does


And since, my Paul, you've gain'd your p'int, perhaps

you 'll stand your pot.

The Charlie quite, I've, honour bright, sent packing for a


A watchman's wife, he'd whack me well when he was

on his beat.

“Adieu!” he said, and shook his head, “my dolor be

your dow'r;

And while you laugh, I 'll take my staff, and go and cry

—the hour.”

Last Greenwich Fair we wedded were; she's won, and

we are one;

And Sally, since the honey-moon, has had a little son.

Of all the girls that are so smart, there's none than Sally


I said it 'fore I married her, and now I say it arter.

Geo. II. R.

“This is to give notice to all gentlemen, ladies and others, that there is to be seen from eight in the morning till nine at night, at the end of the great booth on Blackheath, a west of England woman 38 years of age alive, with two heads, one above the other; having no hands, fingers, nor toes; yet can she dress and undress, knit, sew, read, sing,” Query—a duet with her two mouths? “She has had the honour to be seen by Sir Hans Sloane, and several of the Royal Society. * “N.B. Gentlemen and ladies may see her at their own houses, if they please.

     * That the caricaturist has been out-caricatured by Nature
     no one will deny. Wilkes was so abominably ugly that he said
     it always took him half an hour to talk away his face; and
     Mirabeau, speaking of his own countenance, said, “Fancy a
     tiger marked with the small-pox!” We have seen an Adonis
     contemplate one of Cruikshank's whimsical figures, of which
     his particular shanks were the bow-ideal, and rail at the
     artist for libelling Dame Nature! How ill-favoured were Lord
     Lovat, Magliabeeehi, Searron, and the wall-eyed, botde-nosed
     Buekhorse the Bruiser! how deformed and frightful Sir Harry
     Dimsdale and Sir Jeffrey Dunstan! What would have been said
     of the painter of imaginary Siamese twins? Yet we have “The
     true Description of two Monstrous Children, born in the
     parish of Swanburne in Buekinghamshyre, the 4th of Aprill,
     Anno Domini 1566; the two Children having both their belies
     fast joyned together, and imbracing one another with their
     armes: which Children were both alyve by the space of half
     an hower, and wer baptised, and named the one John, and the
     other Joan.”—A similar wonder was exhibited in Queen Anne's
     reign, viz. “Two monstrous girls born in the Kingdom of
     Hungary,” which were to be seen “from 8 o'clock in the
     morning till 8 at night, up one pair of stairs, at Mr.
     William Sutteliffe's, a Drugster's Shop, at the sign of the
     Golden Anchor, in the Strand, near Charing-Cross.” The
     Siamese twins of our own time are fresh in every one's
     memory. Shakspere throws out a pleasant sarcasm at the
     characteristic curiosity of the English nation. Trinculo,
     upon first beholding Caliban, exclaims,—“A strange fish!
     were I in England now (as I once was), and had but this fish
     painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of
     silver: there would this monster make a man: when they will
     not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out
     ten to see a dead Indian”

This great wonder never was shown in England before this, the 13th day of March, 1741. “Vivat Rex.” Peckham * and Blackheath Fairs are abolished;——

     * Peckham Fair, August 1787.—Of the four-footed race were
     bears, monkeys, dancing-dogs, a learned pig, &c. Mr.
     Flockton in his theatrical booth opposite the Kentish
     Drovers, exhibited the Italian fantocini; the farce of the
     Conjuror; and his “inimitable musical-clock.” Mr. Lane,
     “first performer to the King,” played off his “snip-snap,
     rip-rap, crick-crack, and thunder tricks, that the grown
     babies stared like worried cats.” This extraordinary genius
     “will drive about forty twelve-penny nails into any
     gentleman's breech, place him in a loadstone chair, and draw
     them out without the least pain! He is, in short, the most
     wonderful of all wonderful creatures the world ever wondered

     Sir Jeffrey Dunstan sported his handsome figure within his
     booth; outside of which was displayed a likeness of the
     elegant original in his pink satin smalls. His dress,
     address, and oratory, fascinated the audience; in fact,
     “Jeffy was quite tonish!”

     In opposition to the “Monstrous Craws” at the Royal Grove,
     were shown in a barn “four wonderful human creatures,
     brought three thousand miles beyond China, from the
     Kickashaw Mackabee country, viz.

     “A man with a chin eleven inches Ions:.

     “Another with as many M'ens and warts on his face as knots
     on an old thornback.

     “A third with two large teeth five inches long, strutting
     beyond his upper lip, as if his father had been a man-tiger!

     “And the fourth with a noble large fiery head, that looked
     like the red-hot urn on the top of the monument!”

     “These most wonderful wild-born human beings (the Monstrous
     Craws), two females and a male, are of very small stature,
     being little more than four feet high; each with a monstrous
     craw under his throat. Their country, language, &c. are as
     yet unknown to mankind. It is supposed they started in some
     canoe from their native place (a remote quarter in South
     America), and being wrecked were picked up by a Spanish
     vessel. At that period they were each of a dark-olive
     complexion, but which has astonishingly, by degrees, changed
     to the colour of that of Europeans. They are tractable and
     respectful towards strangers, and of lively and merry
     disposition among themselves; singing and daneing in the
     most extraordinary way, at the will and pleasure of the

and those of Camberwell * and Wandsworth ** are

     * A petty session (how very petty!) was held at Union Hall
     on the 4th July, 1823, in order to put down Camberwell Fair,
     which is as old as Domesday Book. Shakspere has truly
     described these ill-conditioned, peddling, meddling
     Dogberrys “You wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing
     a cause between an orange-wife and a fosset-seller; and then
     rejourn the controversy of three-pence to a second day of
     audience. When you speak best to the purpose, it is not
     worth the wagging of your beards, and your beards deserve
     not so honourable a grave, as to stuff a botcher's cushion,
     or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle.”

     ** Wandsworth Fair exhibited sixty years ago Mount Vesuvius,
     or the burning mountain by moonlight, rope, and hornpipe-
     dancing; a forest, with the humours of lion-catching;
     tumbling by the young Polander from Sadler's Wells; several
     diverting comic songs; a humorous dialogue between Mr.
     Swatehall and his wife; sparring matches; the Siege of
     Belgrade, &c. all for three-penee!

     On Whit-Monday, 1840, Messrs. Nelson and Lee sent down a
     theatrical caravan to Wandsworth Fair, and were moderately
     remunerated. But the “Grand Victoria Booth” was the rallying
     point of attraction. Its refectory was worthy of the
     ubiquitous Mr. Epps—of ham, beef, tongue, polony, portable
     soup, and sheep's trotter memory!

     Cold beef and ham, hot ribs of lamb, mock-turtle soup that's

     Did blow, with stout, their jackets out, and made the folks

fast going the way of all fairs. Bow, Edmonton, * Highgate, ** Brook Green (Hammersmith,) and

     * In the year 1820, the keeper of a menagerie at Edmonton
     Fair walked into the den of a lioness, and nursed her cubs.
     He then paid his respects to the husband and father, a
     magnificent Barbary Lion. After the usual complimentary
     greetings between them, the man somewhat roughly thrust open
     the monster's jaws, and put his head into its mouth, giving
     at the same time a shout that made it tremble. This he did
     with impunity. But in less than two months afterwards, when
     repeating the same exhibition at a fair in the provinces, he
     eried, like the starling, “I can't get out!—I can't get
     out!” demanding at the same time if the lion wagged its
     tail? The lion, thinking the joke had been played quite
     often enough, did wag its tail, and roared “Heads!” The
     keeper fell a victim to his temerity.

     ** “July 2,1744.—This is to give notice that Highgate Fair
     will be kept on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday next, in a
     pleasant shady walk in the middle of the town.

     “On Wednesday a pig will be turned loose, and he that takes
     it up by the tail and throws it over his head, shall have
     it. To pay two-pence entrance, and no less than twelve to

     “On Thursday a match will be run by two men, a hundred yards
     in two sacks, for a large sum. And, to encourage the sport,
     the landlord of the Mitre will give a pair of gloves, to be
     run for by six men, the winner to have them.

     “And on Friday a hat, value ten shillings, will be run for
     by men twelve times round the Green; to pay one shilling
     entrance: no less than four to start; as many as will may
     enter, and the second man to have all the money above four.”

West-end (Hampstead * ), Fairs, with their swings, roundabouts, spiced gingerbread, penny-trumpets, and halfpenny rattles are passed away. The showmen and Merry Andrews of Moorfields ** are

     * “The Hampstead Fair Ramble; or, The World going quite Mad.
     To the tune of 'Brother Soldier dost hear of the News,'
     London: Printed for J. Bland, near Holbourn, 1708.” A
     curious broadside.

     ** Moorfields during the holiday seasons was an epitome of
     Bartlemy Fair. Its booths and scaffolds had flags flying on
     the top. A stage near the Windmill Tavern, opposite Old
     Beth-lem, was famous for its grinning-matches. Moorfields
     had one novel peculiarity, viz. that whilst the Merry Andrew
     was practising his buffooneries and legerdemain tricks in
     one quarter, the itinerant Methodist preacher was holding
     forth in another. Foote makes his ranting parson exclaim,

     “Near the mad mansions of Moorfields I 'll bawl,

     Come fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, all,

     Shut up your shops and listen to my call!”

     The Act 12 of Queen Anne aimed at the suppression of the
     Moorfields' merriments. The showmen asked Justice Fuller to
     license them in April, 1717, but in vain. Fuller had a
     battle-royal with Messrs. Saunders and Margaret, two
     Middlesex justices, who sided with the conjurors, and
     forbade the execution of his warrant. Justice Fuller,
     however, having declared war against Moorfields'
     mountebanking, was inexorable, and committed the insurgents
     to the house of correction; from whence, after three hours'
     durance vile, they were released by three other magistrates.

     Kennington Common was also a favourite spot for this odd
     variety of sports. It was here that Mr. Mawworm encountered
     the brick-bats of his congregation, and had his “pious tail”
      illuminated with the squibs and crackers of the unre-

     This fair commenced in the New River pipe-fields, and
     continued in a direct line as far as the top of Elm Street,
     where it terminated. The equestrians always made a point of
     galloping their donkeys furiously past the house of

no more; the Gooseberry Fairs * of Clerkenwell and Tottenham Court Road, (the minor Newmarket and Doncaster of Donkey-racing!) are come to a brick-and-mortary end.

     * “April 9, 1748.—At the Amphitheatrical Booth at Tottenham
     Court, on Monday next (being Easter Monday), Mr. French,
     designing to please all, in making his Country Wake complete
     by doubling the prizes given to be played for, as well as
     the sports, has engaged some of the best gamesters, Country
     against London, to make sides. For Cudgelling, a laced hat,
     value one pound five shillings, or one guinea in gold; for
     Wrestling, one guinea; Money for Boxing, besides Stage-
     money. And, to crown the diversion of the day, he gives a
     fine Smock to be jigged for by Northern Lasses against the
     Nymphs to the westward of St. Giles's Church—to be entered
     at the Royal Oak, in High Street, by Hob, Clerk of the
     Revels, or his deputy. The doors will be opened at eleven
     o'clock; the sport to begin at two. Cudgelling as usual
     before the prizes. Best seats, Two Shillings; Pit and First
     Gallery, One Shilling; Upper Gallery, Sixpence.”

     Mr. French advertises, May 12, 1748, at his booth at
     Tottenham Court, six men sewed up in sacks to run six times
     the length of the stage backwards and forwards for a prize,—
     a prize for wrestling and dancing to the pipe and tabor,—
     and the gladiator's dance. He also kept the race-course in
     Tothill-Fields, August 4, 1749.

     “August 8, 1730.—At Reynold's Great Theatrical Booth, in
     Tottenham Court, during the time of the Fair, will be
     presented a Comical, Tragical, Farcical Droll, called The
     Rum Duke and the Queer Duke, or a Medley of Mirth and
     Sorrow. To which will be added a celebrated Operatical
     Puppet-Show, called Punch's Oratory, or the Pleasures of the
     Town; containing several diverting passages, particularly a
     very elegant dispute between Punch and another great Orator
     (Henley?); Punch's Family Lecture, or Joan's Chimes on her
     tongue to some tune. No Wires—all alive! With
     entertainments of Daneing by Monsieur St. Luce, and others.”

High-smoking chimneys and acres of tiles shut out the once pleasant prospect, and their Geffray Gambados (now grey-headed jockeys!) sigh, amidst macadamisation and dust, for the green sward where, in their hey-day of life, they witched the fair with noble donkeyship!—Croydon (famous for roast-pork, and new walnuts ), Harley-Bush, and Barnet fairs, are as yet unsuppressed; but the demons of mischief—[the English populace (their Majesty the Many!) are notorious for this barbarity]—have

     * “At the London Spaw (1754), during the accustomed time of
     the Welsh Fair, will be the usual entertainment of Roast
     Pork, with the fam'd soft-flavor'd Spaw Ale, and every other
     liquor of the neatest and best kinds, agreeable
     entertainments, and inviting usage from the Publick's most
     obedient servant, George Dowdell.”

     In the year 1795 a Dutch Fair was held at Frogmore, when a
     grand fête was given by King George the Third, in
     celebration of his Queen's birth-day, and the recent arrival
     of the Princess of Wales. A number of dancers were dressed
     as haymakers; Mr. Byrne and his company danced the Morris-
     dance; and Savoyards, in character, assisted at the
     merriments. Feats of horsemanship were exhibited by
     professors from the Circus; and booths erected for good
     eating and drinking, and the sale of toys, work-bags,
     pocket-books, and fancy articles. Munden, Rock, and Incledon
     diverted the company with their mirth and music; and Majesty
     participated in the general joy. The Royal Dutch Fair lasted
     two days, and was under the tasteful direction of the
     Princess Elizabeth.

totally destroyed the magnificent oak that made Fairlop Fair * a favourite rendezvous with those who could afford a tandem, tax-cart, or Tim-whisky. How often have we sat, and pirouetted too, under its venerable shade.

May Fair (which began on May-day), during the early part of the last century, was much patronised by the nobility and gentry. It had nevertheless its Ducking Pond for the ruder class of holiday makers. **

     * By an act passed 3rd of 2nd Victoria (not Victoria for the
     Fair!) it was rendered unlawful to hold Fairlop Fair beyond
     the first Friday (“Friday's a dry day!”) in July. This was
     the handy work of the Barking Magistrates.

     “And when I walk abroad let no dog bark!”

     ** “June 25, 1748.—At May Fair Ducking Pond, on Monday
     next, the 27th inst., Mr. Hooton's Dog Nero (ten years old,
     with hardly a tooth in his head to hold a duck, but well
     known for his goodness to all that have seen him hunt) hunts
     six ducks for a guinea, against the bitch called the Flying
     Spaniel, from the Ducking Pond on the other side of the
     water, who has beat all she has hunted against, excepting
     Mr. Hooton's Good-Blood. To begin at two o'clock.

     “Mr. Hooton begs his customers won't take it amiss to pay
     Twopence admittance at the gate, and take a ticket, which
     will be allowed as Cash in their reckoning. No person
     admitted without a tickct, that such as are not liked may be
     kept out.

     “Note. Right Lincoln Ale.”

     Apropos of other mirthful rendezvous.

     “A new Ducking Pond to be opened on Monday next at
     Lirneiouse Cause, being the 11th August, where four dogs
     are to play for Four Pounds, and a lamb to be roasted whole,
     to be given away to all gentlemen sportsmen. To begin at Ten
     o'clock in the forenoon.”—Postman, 7th August 1707.

     “Erith Diversion, 24th May 1790.—This is to acquaint the
     publick, that on Whit-Monday, and during the holidays, the
     undermentioned diversions will take place. First, a new Hat
     to be run for by men; a fine Ham to be played for at Trap-
     ball; a pair of new Pumps to be jumped for in a sack; a
     large Plumb-pudding to be sung for; a Guinea to be cudgelled
     for,—with smoking, grinning through a collar, with many
     other diversions too tedious to mention.

     “N.B. A Ball in the evening as usual.”

     But what are the hopes of man! A press-gang (this is the
     freedom of the press with a vengeance! this the boasted
     monarchy of the middle classes!) interrupted and put an end
     to these water-side sports.

     Kent has long been renowned for strong muscles and strong

     “Bromley in Kent, July 14, 1726.—A strange eating worthy is
     to perform a Tryal of Skill on St. James's Day, which is
     the day of our Fair for a wager of Five Guineas,—viz.: he
     is to eat four pounds of bacon, a bushel of French beans,
     with two pounds of butter, a quartern loaf, and to drink a
     gallon of strong beer.”

     The old proverb of “buttering bacon” here receives
     farinaceous illustration!

“In a fore one-pair room, on the west side of Sun-court,” a Frenchman exhibited, during the time of May Fair, the “astonishing strength of the 'Strong Woman,' * his wife.”

“She first let down her hair, of a length descending to her knees, which she twisted round the projecting part of a blacksmith's anvil, and then lifted the ponderous weight from the floor. She also put her bare feet on a red-hot salamander, without receiving the least injury.” May Fair is now become the site of aristocratical dwellings, where a strong purse is required to procure a standing. At Horn Fair, a party of humorists of both sexes, counted in all the variety of Bull-Feather fashion, after perambulating round Cuckold Point, startled the little quiet village of Charlton on St. Luke's day, shouting their emulation, and blowing voluntaries on rams' horns, in honour of their patron saint. Ned Ward gives a curious picture of this odd ceremony,—and the press of Stonecutter Street (the worthy successor of Aldermary Churchyard) has consigned it to immortality in two Broadsides ** inspired by the Helicon of the Fleet,

     * This was probably Mrs. Alchorne, “who had exhibited as the
     Strong Woman” and died in Drury Lane in 1817, at a very
     advanced age. Madame also performed at Bartholomew Fair in

     ** “A New Summons to all the Merry (Wagtail) Jades to attend
     at Horn Fair”—“A New Summons to Horn Fair” both without a

“Around whose brink

Bards rush in droves, like cart-horses to drink,

Dip their dark beards among its streams so clear,

And while they gulp it, wish it ale or beer,”

and illustrated by the Cruikshank of his day. Mile-end Green, in ancient times, had its popular exhibitions;—

“Lord Pomp, let nothing that's magnificall,

Or that may tend to London's graceful state,

Be unperformed—as showes and solemne feastes,

Watches in armour, triumphes, cresset-lightes,

Bonefiers, belles, and peales of ordinance.

And, Pleasure, see that plaies be published,

Maie-games and maskes, with mirth and minstrelsie;

Pageants and School-feastes, beares and puppit-plaies:

Myselfe will muster upon Mile-end-greene,

As though we saw, and feared not to be seene.”

And the royal town of Windsor, * and the racecourse in Tothill-Fields ** were not without their merriments.

     *  “The Three Lordes and Three Ladies of London,” 1590.

     ** “On Wednesday the 13th, at Windsor, a piece of plate is
     to be fought for at cudgels by ten men on a side, from,
     Berkshire and Middlesex. The next day a hat and feather to
     be fought for by ten men on a side, from the counties
     aforesaid. Ten Bargemen are to eat ten quarts of hasty-
     pudding, well buttered, but d——d hot! He that has done
     first to have a silver spoon of ten shillings value; and the
     second five shillings. And as they have anciently had the
     title of The Merry Wives of Windsor, six old women belonging
     to Windsor town challenge any six old women in the universe,
     (we need not, however, go farther than our own country) to
     out-scold them. The best in three heats to have a suit of
     head-cloths, and, (what old women generally want!) a pair of
     nut-crackers.”—Read's Journal, September 9, 1721.

     “According to Law. September 22, 1749.—On Wednesday next,
     the 27th inst., will be run for by Asses (I!) in Tothill
     Fields, a purse of gold, not exceeding the value of Fifty
     Pounds. The first will be entitled to the gold; the second
     to two pads; the third to thirteen pence halfpenny; the last
     to a halter fit for the neck of any ass in Europe. Each ass
     must be subject to the following articles

     “No person will be allowed to ride but Taylors and Chimney-
     sweepers; the former to have a cabbage-leaf fixed in his
     hat, the latter a plumage of white feathers; the one to use
     nothing but his yard-wand, and the other a brush.

     “No jockey-tricks will be allowed upon any consideration.

     “No one to strike an ass but the rider, lest he thereby
     cause a retrograde motion, under a penalty of being ducked
     three times in the river.

     “No ass will be allowed to start above thirty years old, or
     under ten months, nor any that has won above the value of
     fifty pounds.

     “No ass to run that has been six months in training,
     particularly above stairs, lest the same accident happen to
     it that did to one nigh a town ten miles from London, and
     that for reasons well known to that place.

     “Each ass to pay sixpence entrance, three farthings of which
     are to be given to the old clerk of the race, for his due
     care and attendance.

     “Every ass to carry weight for inches, if thought proper.”

     Then follow a variety of sports, with “an ordinary of proper
     victuals, particularly for the riders, if desired.”

     “Run, lads, run! there is rare sport in Tothill Fields!”


Southwark Fair ranked next to St. Bartholomew, and comprehended all the attractions for which its rival on the other side of the water was so famous. On the 13th day of September 1660, John Evelyn visited it. “I saw,” said this entertaining sight-seer, “in Southwark, at St. Margaret's Faire, monkies and apes daunce, and do other feates of activity on ye high rope: they were gallantly clad à la mode, went upright, saluted the company, bowing and pulling off their hats; they saluted one another with as good a grace as if instructed by a dauncing-master; they turned heels over head with a basket having eggs in it, without breaking any; also with lighted candles in their hands, and on their heads, without extinguishing them, and with vessels of water, without spilling a drop. I also saw an Italian wench daunce and performe all the tricks of ye tight rope to admiration. All the Court went to see her. Likewise here was a man who tooke up a piece of iron cannon, of about 400 lbs weight, with the haire of his head onely.” September 15, 1698, the curious old narrator paid it another visit. “The dreadful earthquake in Jamaica this summer” (says he) “was prophanely and ludicrously represented in a puppet-play, or some such lewd pastime in the fair of Southwark, wch caused the Queane to put downe that idle and vicious mock shew.” The fair, however, revived, and outlived her Majesty many merry years. How slept the authorities some seasons ago, when Messrs. Mathews and Yates dramatised an “Earthquake” at the Adelphi!

The Bowling Green in Southwark was the high 'Change of the Fair. Mr. Fawkes, the conjuror, exhibited at his booth, over against the Crown Tavern, near St. George's Church. Dramatic representations, music and dancing, the humours of Punch and Harlequin, a glass of “good wine, and other liquors,” were to be had at the several booths held at the “Golden Horse-shoe,” * the “Half-Moon Inn,” ** and other well-known houses of entertainment. Thither resorted Lee and Harper to delight the denizens of Kent Street, Guy's Hospital, and St. Thomas's, with Guy of Warwick, Robin Hood, the comical adventures of Little John and the Pindar's wife, and the Fall of Phaëton! In July 1753, the Tennis Court and booths that were on the Bowling Green, with some other buildings where the fair used to be held, were pulled down; and shortly after, that pleasant Bowling Green was converted into a potato and cabbage market!

     * “Joseph Parnes's Musiek Rooms, at the sign of the Whelp
     and Bacon, during Southwark Fair, are at the Golden Horse-
     Shoe, next to the King's Bench, where you may be entertained
     with a variety of musick and dancing after the Scotch,
     Italian, and English ways. A Girl dances with sharp swords,
     the like not in England.”—Temp. W. 3.

     “There is to be seen at Mr. Hocknes, at the Maremaid, near
     the King's Bench, in Southwark, during the time of the Fair,
     A Changeling Child, being A Living Skeleton, Taken by a
     Venetian Galley from a Turkish Vessel in the Archipelago.
     This was a fairy child, supposed to be born of Hungarian
     parents, but changed in the nursery; aged 9 years and more,
     not exceeding a foot and a half high. The legs and arms so
     very small, that they scarcely exceed the bigness of a man's
     thumb; and the face no bigger than the palm of one's hand.
     She is likewise a mere anatomy.”—Temp. W. 3.

     ** “Sept. 12, 1729.—At Reynold's Great Theatrical Booth, in
     the Half-Moon Inn, near the Bowling-Green, Southwark, during
     the Fair will be presented the Beggar's Wedding,—Southwark
     Fair, or the Sheep-Shearing,—an opera called Flora,—and
     The Humours of Harlequin.”

Southwark, or Lady Fair, has long since been suppressed. Thanks, however, to the “great painter of mankind,” that we can hold it as often as we please in our own breakfast-parlours and drawing-rooms! The works of Hogarth are medicines for melancholy. If the mood be of Jacques's quality, “a most humorous sadness,” it will revel in the master's whim; if of a deeper tinge, there is the dark side of the picture for mournful reflection. Though an unsparing satirist, probing vice and folly to the quick, he has compassion for human frailty and sorrow. He is no vulgar caricaturist, making merry with personal deformity; he paints wickedness in its true colours, and if the semblance be hideous, the original, not the copy, is to blame. His scenes are faithful transcripts of life, high and low. He conducts us into the splendid saloons of fashion;—we pass with him into the direst cells of want and misery. He reads a lesson to idleness, extravagance, and debauchery, such as never was read before. He is equally master of the pathetic and the ludicrous. He exhibits the terrible passions, and their consequences, with almost superhuman power. Every stroke of his pencil points a moral; every object, however insignificant, has its meaning. His detail is marvellous, and bespeaks a mind pregnant with illustration, an eye that nothing could escape. Bysshe's Art of Poetry, the well-chalked tally, the map of the gold mines, and the starved cur making off with the day's lean provision, are in perfect keeping with the distressed poet's ragged finery, his half-mended breeches, and all the exquisite minutiae of his garret. His very wig, most picturesquely awry, is a happy symbol of poetical and pecuniary perplexity. Of the same marking character are the cow's horns, rising just above the little citizen's head, in the print of “Evening,” telling a sly tale; while the dramatis personae of the Strollers' Barn, the flags, paint-pots, pageants, clouds, waves, puppets, dark-lanterns, thunder, lightning, daggers, periwigs, crowns, sceptres, salt-boxes, ghosts, devils, and tragedy queens exhibit such an unique miscellany of wonders, that none but an Hogarth ever thought of bringing together. Turn, by way of contrast, to “Gin Lane,” and its frightful accompaniments!

Hogarth went quite as much to see Southwark Fair and its fun (for which he had a high relish) as to transfer them to his canvass. 'Tis a holiday with the mountebanks, and he has caught them in all their grimacerie and glory. A troop of strollers, belonging to Messrs. Cibber and Bullock, attitudinising and making mouths, as a prologue to the “Fall of Bajazet,” are suddenly surprised into the centre of gravity by the breaking down of their scaffold, and Kings, Queens, Turks, tumblers, monkeys, and Merry Andrews descend topsy-turvy into a china-shop below! At Lee and Harper's grand booth are the celebrated Wooden Horse of Troy, the Temptation of Adam and Eve, and Punch's Opera. A fire-eater is devouring his red-hot element, and his periwigged Jack-Pud-ding is distributing his quack nostrums. A tragedy hero has a brace of bailiffs in his train; and a prize-fighter, with his hare sconce dotted with sable patches, and a nose that might successfully bob for black-beetles against a brick wall, mounted on a blind bone-setter, perambulates the fair, challenging the wide world to mortal combat!

These, with a pretty female drummer of amazonian proportions; an equilibrist swinging on the slack rope; a juggler with his cups and balls; a pickpocket and a couple of country boobies; a bag-piper; a dancing dog; a dwarf drummer, and a music-grinder, make up a dramatis jiersono only to be equalled by the Strolling Players * and the March to Finchley.

     * Pannard, a minor French poet, whom Marmontel styles the La
     Fontaine of Vaudeville, has written some verses admirably
     descriptive of an opera behind the scenes.

          “J'ai vu le soleil et la lune
          Qui tenoient des discours en l'air:
          J'ai vu le terrible Neptune
          Sortir tout frisé de la mer.
          “J'ai vu l'aimable Cythéré
          Au doux regard, au teint fleuri,
          Dans un machine entourée
          D'amours natifs de Chambérie.”

     And, after having seen a great number of other things
     equally curious, he concludes with,—

          “J'ai vu des ombres très-palpables Se trémousser aux bords
          du Styx;
          J'ai vu l'enfer et tous les diables A quinze pieds du

     Some years ago, a strolling company at Ludlow, in
     Shropshire, printed a playbill nearly as large as their
     drop-scene. It announced “The Doleful History of King Lear
     and his Three Daughters, with the Merry Conceits of his
     Majesty's Fool, and the valorous exploits of the Duke of
     Gloucester's Bastard; all written by one William
     Shakespeare, a mighty great poet, who was born in
     Warwickshire, and held horses for gentlemen at the sign of
     the Red Bull in St. John's Street, where was just such
     another playhouse as this (I!!), at which we hope the
     company of all friends round the Wrekin.

          “All you who would wish to cry or laugh,
          Had better spend your money here than in the alehouse by
          And if you wish more about these things to know,
          Come at six o'clock to the barn in the High Street, Ludlow,
          Where, presented by live actors, the whole may be seen,
          So Vivat Rex, God save the King, not forgetting the Queen.”

     Just as a strolling actor at Newcastle had advertised his
     benefit, a remarkable stranger, no less than the Prince
     Annamaboo arrived, and placarded the town that he granted
     audiences at a shilling a-head. The stroller, without delay,
     waited on the proprietor of the Prince, and for a good round
     sum prevailed on him to command his Serene Highness to
     exhibit his august person on his benefit night. The bills of
     the day announced, that between the acts of the comedy
     Prince Annumaboo would give a lively representation of the
     scalping operation* sound the Indian war-whoop in all its
     melodious tones, practise the tomahawk exercise, and dine à
     la cannibal. An intelligent mob were collected to witness
     these interesting exploits. At the conclusion of the third
     act, his Highness marched forward flourishing his tomahawk,
     and shouting, “Ha, ha!—ho, ho!” Next entered a man Avith
     his face blacked, and a piece of bladder fastened to his
     head with gum; the Prince, with an enormous carving-knife,
     began the scalping part of the entertainment, which he
     performed in a truly imperial style, holding up the piece of
     bladder as a token of triumph. Next came the war-whoop, an
     unearthly combination of discordant sounds; and lastly, the
     banquet, consisting of raw beef-steaks, which he rolled up
     into rouleaus, and devoured with right royal avidity. Having
     finished his delicate repast, he wielded his tomahawk in an
     exulting manner, bellowed “Ha, ha!—ho, ho!” and made his
     exit. The beneficiare strolling through the marketplace the
     following day, spied the most puissant Prince Annama-boo
     selling pen-knives, scissors, and quills, in the character
     of a Jew pedlar. “What!” said the astonished Lord Townley,
     “my Prince, is it you? Are you not a pretty circumcised
     little scoundrel to impose upon us in this manner?” Moses
     turned round, and with an arch look, replied, “Princh be d—d!
     I vash no Princh; I vash acting, like you. Your troop
     vash Lords and Ladies last night; and to-night dey vil be
     Kings, Prinches, and Emperors! I vash hum pugs, you vash
     humpugs, all vash humpugs!”

There is a fair,—an extraordinary one,—the holding of which depends not on the caprice of magisterial wiggery. Jack Frost—a bold fellow! for he has taken Marlborough and Wellington by the nose—twice or thrice in a century proclaims his fair. No sooner is the joyful tidings bruited abroad, than the dutiful sons and daughters of Old Father Thames flock to his paternal bosom, which, being icy cold, they warm by roasting an ox upon it, and then transfer to its glassy surface the turmoil, traffic, and monstrosities of dry land.

Evelyn has given an interesting description of Frost Fair in 1683-4. This amusing chronicler of passing events possessed more than Athenian curiosity. He entered the penetralia of the court of King Charles the Second; and while he whispered in his closet pathetic Jeremiads over its immorality, he shocked his averted vision day after day with its impurities—still peeping! still praying! For all and sundry of the merry Monarch's “misses,” and for poor Nelly (by far the best of them) in particular, he expressed a becoming horror in his private meditations; yet his outward bearing towards them indicated no such compunctious visitings. He was an excellent tactician. He crept into the privy councils of the regicides, and, mirabile dictu! retired from the enemy's camp in a whole skin; and while fortunes were being confiscated, and heads were falling on all sides, he kept his own snug in his pocket, and erect on his shoulders. Monarchy, Anarchy, High Church, Low Church, No Church, Catholicism, Anything-ism, Every-thing-ism.! plain John (he declined a baronetcy) passed over the red-hot ploughshares of political and religious persecution unsinged. And we rejoice at his good luck; for whether he treat of London's great Plague or Fire, the liaisons of his “kind master” King Charles the Second, the naughtiness of Nelly and her nymphs, or the ludicrous outbreaks of Southwark, St. Bartholomew, and Frost Fairs, he is a delightful, gentlemanly old gossiper!

On the 1st of January 1683-4, the cold was so intense, that booths (a novel spectacle) were erected on the Thames, and Jack Frost proclaimed his earliest recorded fair.

“I went crosse the Thames,” says Evelyn, January 9, 1683-4, “on the ice, which now became so thick as to bear not only streetes of boothes, in which they roasted meate, and had divers shops of wares, quite acrosse as in a towne, but coaches, carts, and horses passed over. So I went from Westminster Stay res to Lambeth, and din'd with the Archbishop. I walked over the ice (after dinner) from Lambeth Stayres to the Horseferry.”

“The Thames (Jany 16) was filled with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in a citty. The frost (Jany 24) continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planned with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing-presse, where the people and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed on the Thames. This humour tooke so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gain'd 51. a-day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeates, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet playes and interludes, cookes, tipling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water.”

“It began to thaw (Feb. 5), but froze againe. My coach crossed from Lambeth to the Horseferry at Millbank, Westminster. The booths were almost all taken downe; but there was first a map, or landskip, * cut in copper, representing all the manner of the camp, and the several actions, sports, and pastimes thereon, in memory of so signal a frost.”

     * These “Landskips” are interesting, and very difficult to
     be obtained. Thirteen, representing the Frost Fairs of 1683,
     —1715-16,—and 1739-40, now lie before us. “An exact and
     lively Mapp or Representation of Booths, and all the
     varieties of Showes and Humours upon the Ice on the River
     of Thames, by London, during that memorable Frost in the
     35th yeare of the reigne of his Sacred Maty King Charles the
     2d. Anno Dni 1683. With an Alphabetical Explanation of the
     most remarkable figures,” exhibits “The Temple Staires, with
     people going upon the ice to Temple Street—The Duke of
     Yorkes Coffee House—The Tory Booth—The Booth with a
     Phoenix on it, and Insured as long as the Foundation Stand—
     The Roast Beefe Booth—The Half-way House—The Beare Garden
     Shire Booth—The Musiek Booth—The Printing Booth—The
     Lottery Booth—The Horne Tavern Booth—The Temple Garden,
     with Crowds of People looking over the wall—The Boat
     drawnc with a Hors—The Drum Boat—The Boat drawne upon
     vehiceles—The Bull-baiting—The Chair sliding in the Ring—
     The Boyes Sliding—The Nine Pinn Playing—The sliding on
     Scates—The Sledge drawing Coales from the other side of the
     Thames—The Boyes climbing up the Tree in the Temple Garden
     to sec ye Bull Baiting—The Toy Shoops—London Bridge.”

     Another of these “lively Mapps” has a full-length portrait
     of Erra Pater, referred to by Hudibras,

          “In mathematics he was greater
          Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater”—
          prophesying in the midst of the fair.
          “Old Erra Pater, or his rambling Ghost,
          Prognosticating of this long strong Frost,
          Some Ages past, said. yl ye Ice-bound Thames
          Shou'd prove a Theatre for Sports and Games,
          Her Wat'ry Green be turn'd into a Bare,
          For Men a Citty seem, for Booths a Faire;
          And now this Stragling Sprite is once more come
          To visit Mortalls and foretel their doom:
          When Maids grow modest, ye Dissenting crew
          Become all Loyal, the Falsehearted true,
          Then you may probably, and not till then,
          Expect in England such a Frost agen.

In 1715-16 Jack Frost paid Old Father Thames a second visit. * But whether maids had grown modest, dissenters loyal, and false-hearted men and true,

     *  “The best prospect of the frozen Thames with the booths
     on it, as taken from the Temple Stairs ye 2O day of January
     1715-6, by C. Woodfield,” is rich in fun, and a capital
     piece of art. We owe great obligations to “Mr. Joshua Bangs”
      for the following:—

     “Mr. Joshua Bangs.

     Printed at Holme's and Broad's Booth, at the Sign of the
     Ship, against Old Swan Stairs, where is the Only Real
     Printing Press on the Frozen Thames, January the 14th, 1715-

          “Where little Wherries once did use to ride,
          And mounting Billows dash'd against their side,
          Now Booths and Tents are built, whose inward Treasure
          Affords to many a one Delight and Pleasure;
          Wine, Beer, Cakes, hot Custards, Beef and Pies,
          Upon the Thames are sold; there, on the Ice
          You may have any
          Thing to please the Sight,
          Your Names are Printed, tho' you cannot write;
          Therefore pray lose no Time, but hasten hither,
          To drink a Glass with Broad and Holmes together.”

     'Several “Landskips” were published of this Frost Fair, in
     which are shown “York Buildings Water Works—A Barge on a
     Mountain of Ice—A drinking Tent on a Pile of Ice—
     Theodore's Printing Booth—C.'s Piratical Song Booth—Cat in
     the Basket Booth—King's Head Printing Booth—The Cap Musiek
     Booth—The Hat Musick Booth—Dead Bodies floating in ye
     Channel—Westminster Bridge, wh ye Works demolish'd—Skittle
     Playing and other Diversions—Tradesmen hiring booths of ye
     Watermen—A Number of confus'd Barges and Boats—Frost
     Street from Westminster Hall to the Temple.

          “This transient scene, a Universe of Glass,
          Whose various forms are pictur'd as they pass,
          Here future Ages may wth wonder view,
          And wl they scarce could think, acknowledge true.

     Printed on the River Thames in ye month of January 1740.

          “Behold the liquid Thames now frozen o'er
          That lately ships of mighty Burthen bore;
          Here Watermen, for want to row in boats,
          Make use of Bowze to get them Pence and Groats.

     Frost Fair. Printed upon the Ice on the River Thames, Jan.
     23, 1739-40.”

          “The bleak North-East, from rough Tartarian Shores,
          O'er Europe's Realms its freezing Rigour pours,
          Stagnates the flowing Blood in Human Veins,
          And binds the silver Thames in ley Chains.
          Their usual Courses Rivulets refrain,
          And ev'ry Pond appears a Glassy Plain;
          Streets now appear where Water was before,
          And Thousands daily walk from Shore to Shore.

     Frost Fair. Printed upon the River Thames when Frozen, Jan.
     the 28.1739-40.”

          “The View of Frost Fair, Jan? 1739-40.
          Scythians of old, like us remov'd,
          In tents thro' various climes they rov'd;
          We, bolder, on the frozen Wave,
          To please your fancies toil and slave;
          Here a strange group of figures rise,
          Sleek beaus in furs salute your eyes;
          Stout Soldiers, shiv'ring in their Bed,
          Attack the Gin and Gingerbread;
          Cits with their Wives, and Lawyers' Clerks,
          Gamesters and Thieves, young Girls and Sparks.
          This View to Future Times shall
          Show The Medley Scene you Visit now.”

according to old Erra Pater's prognostication in 1663, is a question; and in 1739-40 * he honoured him with a third, which was no less joyous than the preceding two. In 1788-9, the Thames was completely frozen over below London Bridge. Booths were erected on the ice; and puppet-shows, wild beasts, bear-baiting, turnabouts, pigs and sheep roasted, exhibited the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair multiplied and improved. From Putney Bridge down to Redriff was one continued scene of jollity during this seven weeks' saturnalia. The last Frost Fair was celebrated in the year 1814. The frost commenced on 27th December 1813, and continued to the 5th February 1814. *

     * “The River Thames (4th Feby 1814) between London and
     Blackfriars Bridges was yesterday about noon, a perfect
     Dutch Fair. Kitchen fires and furnaces were blazing,
     roasting and boiling in every direction; while animals, from
     a sheep to a rabbit, and a goose to a lark, turned on
     numberless spits. The inscriptions on the several booths and
     lighters were variously whimsical, one of which ran thus:—
     This Shop to Let. N.B. It is charged with no Land Tax or
     even Ground Tient! Several lighters, lined with baize, and
     decorated with gay streamers, were converted into
     coffeehouses and taverns. About two o'clock a whole sheep
     was roasted on the ice, and cut up, under the inviting
     appellation of Lapland Mutton, at one shilling a slice!”

There was a grand walk, or mall, from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge, that was appropriately named The City Road, and lined on each side with booths of all descriptions. Several printing presses were erected, and at one of these an orange-coloured standard was hoisted, with “Orange Boven” printed in large characters. There were E O and Rouge et Noir tables, tee-totums and skittles; concerts of rough music, viz. salt-boxes and rolling-pins, gridirons and tongs, horns, and marrow-bones and cleavers. The carousing booths were filled with merry parties, some dancing to the sound of the fiddle, others sitting round blazing fires smoking and drinking. A printer's devil bawled out to the spectators, Now is your time, ladies and gentlemen,—now is your time to support the freedom of the press! * Can the press enjoy greater liberty? Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames!” And calling upon his operatical powers to second his eloquence, he, with “vocal voice most vociferous,” thus out-vociferated e'en sound itself,—

Siste Viator! if sooner or later

You travel as far as from here to Jerusalem,

Or live to the ages of Parr or Methusalem,—

On the word of old Wynkyn,

And Caxton, I'm thinking,

Tho' I don't wear a clothes—

Brush under my nose,

Or sweep my room

With my beard, like a broom,

I prophecy truly as wise Erra Pater,

You won't see again sick a wonder of Natur!”

A “Swan of Thames,” too—an Irish swan!—whose abdominal regions looked as if they were stuffed with halfpenny doggrel,

     * The following is one among many specimens of Frost Fair
     verse in 1813-14:—“Printed on the River Thames.

          Behold the River 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.”

entertained a half-frozen audience, who gave him shake for shake with


Open the door to me, my love,

Prithee open the door,—

Lift the latch of your h'gant thatch,

Your pleasant room, attic! or what a rheumatic

And cold I shall catch!

And then, Miss Clark, between you and your spark

'Twill be never a match!

I've been singing and ringing, and rapping and tapping,

And coughing and sneezing, and wheezing and freezing,

While you have been napping,

Miss Clark, by the Clock of St. Mark,

Twenty minutes and more!

Little Jack Frost the Thames has cross'd

In a surtout of frieze, as smart as you please!—

There's a Bartlemy Fair and a thorough—

Slopsellers, sailors, three Tooley Street tailors,

All the élite of St. Thomas's Street,

The Mint, and the Fleet!

The bear's at Polito's jigging his jolly toes;

Mr. Punch, with his hooked nose and hunch;

Patrick O'Brien, of giants the lion;

And Simon Paap, that sits in his lap;

The Lady that sews, and knits her hose,

And mends her clothes, and rubs her nose,

And comes and goes, without fingers and toes!

You may take a slice of roast beef on the ice;

At the Wellington Tap, and Mother Red-cap,

The stout runs down remarkably brown!

To the Thimble and Thistle, the Pig and Whistle,

Worthy Sir Felix has sent some choice relics

Of liquor, I'm told, to keep out the cold!

If you 've got a sweet tooth, there 's the gingerbread


To the fife and the fiddle we'll dance down the middle,

Take a sup again, then dance up again!

And have our names printed off on the Thames;

Mister and Missis (all Cupids and kisses!)

Dermot O'Shinnigly, in a jig, in a glee!

And take a slide, or ha'penny ride

From Blackfriars Bridge to the Borough!

The sun won't rise till you open your eyes—

Then give the sly slip to the sleepers.

Don't, Miss Clark, let us be in the dark,

But open your window and peepers.

A friend of ours who had a tumble, declared, that though he had no desire to see the city burnt down, he devoutly wished to have the streets laid in ashes! And another, somewhat of a penurious turn, being found in bed late in the morning, and saluted with, “What! not yet risen?” replied, “No; nor shall I till coals fall!


And now, Eugenio, ere we cross the ferry, and mingle with the 'roaring boyes and swashbucklers' of St. Bartholomew, let us halt at the Tabard, and snatch a brief association with Chaucer and his Pilgrims. The localities that were once hallowed by the presence of genius we ardently seek after, and fondly trace through all their obscurities, and regard them with as true a devotion as does the pilgrim the sacred shrine to which, after his patiently-endured perils by sea and land, he offers his adoration. The humblest roof gathers glory from the bright spirit that once irradiated it; the simplest relic becomes a precious gem, when connected with the gifted and the good. We haunt as holy ground the spot where the muse inspired our favourite bard; we treasure up his hand-writing in our cabinets; we study his works as emanations from the poet; we cherish his associations as reminiscences of the man. Never can I forget your high-toned enthusiasm when you stood in the solemn chancel of Stratford-upon-Avon, pale, breathless, and fixed like marble, before the mausoleum of Shakspeare!”

“An honest and blithesome spirit was the Father of English Poetry! happy in hope, healthful in morals, lofty in imagination, and racy in humour,—a bright earnest of that transcendent genius who, in an after age, shed his mighty lustre over the literature of Europe. The Tabard!—how the heart leaps at the sound! What would Uncle Timothy say if he were here?”

“All that you have said, and much more, could he say it as well.” And instantly we felt the cordial pressure of a hand stretched out to us from the next box, where sat solus the middle-aged gentleman. “To have passed the Tabard, * would have been treason to those beautiful associations that make memory of the value that it is!

          *  “Befelle that in that seson, on a day,
          In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,
          Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage
          To Canterbury, with devoute corage,
          At night was eome into that hostellerie
          Wei nine-and-twenty in a compagnie,
          Of sondry folk, by a venture yfalle,
          In felawship, and pilgrimes were they alle,
          That toward Canterbury wolden ride.
          The chambres and the stables weren wide,
          And wel we wreren csed atte beste.”

One of the most rational pleasures of the intellectual mind is to escape from the present to the past. The contemplation of antiquity is replete with melancholy interest. The eye wanders with delight over the crumbling ruins of ancient magnificence; the heart is touched with some sublime emotion; and we ask which is the' most praiseworthy—the superstition that raised these holy temples, or the piety (?) that suffers them to fall to decay? This corner is one of my periodical resting-places after a day's solitary ramble; for I have many such, in order to brush lip old recollections, and lay in fresh mental fuel for a winter evening's fireside.'Tis a miracle that this antique fabric should have escaped demolition. Look at St. Saviour's! *

     *  The ancient grave-yard of St. Saviour's contains the
     sacred dust of Massinger. All that the Parish Register
     records of him is, “March 20, 1639-40, buried Philip
     Massinger, a Stranger.” John Fletcher, the eminent dramatic
     poet, who died of the Plague, August 19,1625, was buried in
     the church.

     With all due respect for Uncle Timothy's opinion, we think
     he is a little too hard upon the citizens, who are not the
     only Vandals in matters of antiquity. The mitre has done its
     part in the work of demolition. Who destroyed the ancient
     palace of the Bishops of Ely, (where “Old John of Gaunt,
     time-honour'd Lancaster,” breathed his last, in 1398,) with
     its beautiful Chapel and magnificent Gothic Hall? The site
     of its once pleasant garden in Holborn, from whence Richard
     Duke of Gloucester requested a dish of strawberries from the

     Bishop on the morning he sent Lord Hastings to execution, is
     now a rookery of mean hovels. And the Hospital of Saint
     Catherine, and its Collegiate Church,—where are they? Not
     one stone lies upon another of those unrivalled Gothic
     temples of piety and holiness, founded by the pious Queen
     Matilda. And the ancient Church of St. Bartholomew, where
     once reposed the ashes of Miles Coverdale, and which the
     Great Fire of London spared, is now razed to the ground!

     De Gustibusf Alderman Newman, who had scraped together out
     of the grocery line six hundred thousand pounds, enjoyed no
     greater luxury during the last three years of his life than
     to repair daily to the shop, and, precisely as the clock
     struck two (the good old-fashioned hour of city dining), eat
     his mutton with his successors. The late Thomas Rippon,
     Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, was a similar oddity.
     Onee only, in a service of fifty years, did he venture to
     ask for a fortnight's holiday. He left town, but after a
     three days' unhappy ramble through beautiful green fields,
     he grew moping and melancholy, and prematurely returned to
     the blissful regions of Threadneedle Street to die at his

In the contemplation of that impressive scene—amidst the everlasting freshness of nature and the decay of time—I have been taught more rightly to estimate the works of man and his Creator,—the one, like himself, stately in pride and beauty, but which pass away as a shadow, and are seen no more; the other, the type of divinity, infinite, immutable, and eternal.”

“But surely—may I call you Uncle Timothy?” Uncle Timothy good-humouredly nodded assent. “Surely, Uncle Timothy, the restoration of the Ladye Chapel and Crosby Hall speak something for the good taste of the citizens.”

“Modestly argued, Eugenio!”

“An accident, my young friend, a mere accident, forced upon the Vandals. Talk of antiquity to a Guildhall Magnifico I * Sirs, I once mentioned the 'London Stone' to one of these blue-gown gentry, and his one idea immediately reverted to the well-known refectory of that venerable name, where he stuffs himself to repletion and scarletifies his nasal promontory, without a thought of Wat Tyler, * the Lord of the Circle! An acquaintance of mine, one Deputy Dewlap, after dining with the Patten-makers on the 9th of November, was attacked with a violent fit of indigestion.

     * Small was the people's gain by the insurrection of Wat
     Tyler. The elements of discord, once put in motion, spread
     abroad with wild fury, till, with the ignoble blood of base
     hinds, mingled the bravest and best in the land. The people
     returned to their subjection wondering and dispirited. For
     whose advantage had all these excesses been committed? Was
     their position raised? Were their grievances redressed,
     their wants alleviated? Did their yoke press lighter? Were
     they nearer the attainment of their (perhaps ''reasonable)
     wishes, by nobility and prelates cruelly slaughtered,
     palaces burned down, and the learning and works of art that
     humanise and soften rugged natures piled in one vast,-
     indiscriminate ruin? If aught was won by these monstrous
     disorders, they were not the winners. The little aristocrats
     of cities, who have thrown their small weight into popular
     insurrections, may have had their vanity gratified and their
     maws temporarily crammed; but the masses, who do the rough
     work of resistance for their more cunning masters, are
     invariably the sufferers and dupes. Hard knocks and hanging
     have hitherto been their reward; and when these shall grow
     out of fashion, doubtless some equally agreeable substitute
     will be found. “It is not an obvious way (says Wyndham) for
     making the liquor more clear, to give a shake to the cask,
     and to bring up as much as possible from the parts nearest
     to the bottom.”

His lady sent for the family doctor,—a humorist, gentlemen. 'Ah!' * cried Mr. Galen, 'the old complaint, a coagulation in the lungs. Let me feel your pulse. In a high fever! Show me your tongue. Ay, as white as a curd. Open your mouth, wider, Mr. Deputy—you caw open it wide enough sometimes!—wider still. Good heavens! what do. I see here?'—'Oh! my stars!' screamed the Deputy's wife, 'What, my dear doctor, do you—see?'—'Why, madam, I see the leg of a turkey, and a tureen of oyster-sauce!' 'Ha! ha! ha!—gluttons all; gluttons all!'


“A pise on Benjamin Bosky! the cunning Lauréat, having a visitation from sundry relatives of his cousin's wife's uncle's aunt's sister, hath enjoined me the penance, malgré moi-même! of playing showman to them among the Lions of London. Now I have no antipathy to poor relations—your shabby genteel—provided that, while they eat and drink at my expense, they will not fail to contradict ** me stoutly when they think I am in the wrong; but your purse-proud, half-and-half,

     * When Justice Shallow invited Falstaff to dinner, he issued
     the following orders:—“Some pigeons, Davy; a couple of
     short-legged hens; a joint of mutton; and any pretty little
     tiny kickshaws, tell William Cook.” This is a modest bill of
     fare. What says Massinger of City feasting in the olden

     “Men may talk of Country Christmasses,

     Their thirty-pound butter'd eggs, their pies of carp's
     tongue, Their pheasants drench'd with ambergris, the
     carcases Of three fat wethers bruised for gravy, to Make
     sauce for a single peacock; yet their feasts were fasts,
     compared with the City's.”

     ** A friend of Addison's borrowed a thousand pounds of him,
     which finding it inconvenient to repay, he never upon any
     occasion ventured to contradict him. One day the hypocrisy
     became so offensively palpable, that Addison, losing all
     patience, exclaimed, “For heaven's sake contradict me, sir,
     or pay me my thousand pounds!”

Brummagem gentlefolks, shabby, without being-genteel!—your pettifoggers in small talk and etiquette, that know everything and nothing—listening to and retailing everybody's gossip, meddling with everybody's business,—and such are the Fubsys, Muffs, and Flumgartens,—are sad provocatives to my splenetic vein.

His spirits rallied when the talk was of Chaucer, whose memory we drank in a cup of sack prepared, as mine host assured us, from a recipe that had belonged to the house as an heir-loom, time out of mind, and of which Dick Tarlton had often tasted.

“Dick Tarlton, Uncle Timothy,—was not he one of the types of Merrie England?”

“A mad wag! His diminished nose was a peg upon which hung many an odd jest. His 'whereabouts' were hereabouts at the Bear Garden; but the Bull in Bishopsgate Street; the Bel-Savage, without Ludgate; and his own tavern, the Tabor, in Gracious (Gracechurch) Street, came in for a share of his drolleries. Marvellous must have been the humour of this 'allowed fool, when it could 'undumpish' his royal mistress in her frequent paroxysms of concupiscence and ferocity! He was no poll-parrot retailer of other people's jokes. He had a wit's treasury of his own, upon which he drew liberally, and at sight. His nose was flat; not so his jests; and, in exchanging extemporal gibes with his audience, * he generally returned a good repartee for a bad one.”

     * Tarlton having to speak a prologue, and finding no
     cessation to the hissing, suddenly addressed the audience in
     this tetrastie:—

          I lived not in the golden age,
          When Jason won the fleece;
          But now I am on Gotham's stage,
          Where fools do hiss like geese.

On the authority of an old play, “The Three Lords and Three Ladies of London,” published two years after his death, he was originally “a, water-bearer.” Among England's merry crew in the olden time were Will Summers, jester to King Henry the Eighth; Patch, Cardinal Wolsey's fool; Jack Oates, fool to Sir Richard Hollis; and Archibald Armstrong, jester to King Charles the First. There was a famous jester, one Jemy Camber, “a fat foole,” who enlivened the dull Court of James the Sixth of Scotland. The manner of his death, as recorded in “A Nest of Ninnies,” by Robert Armin, 4to. 1608, is singular. “The Chamber-laine was sent to see him there,” (at the house of a laundress in Edinburgh, whose daughter he was soliciting, and who had provided a bed of nettles for his solace,) “who when he came found him fast asleep under the bed starke naked, bathing in nettles, whose skinne when hee wakened him, was all blistered grievously. The King's Chamberlaine bid him arise and come to the King. 'I will not,' quoth he, 'I will go make my grave.' See how things chanced, he spake truer than he was awar. For the Chamberlaine going home without him, tolde the King his answere. Jemy rose, made him ready, takes his horse, and rides to the church-yard in the high towne, where he found the sexton (as the custom is there) making nine graves—three for men, three for women, and three for children; and who so dyes next, first comes, first served, * 'Lend mee thy spade,' says Jemy, and with that, digs a hole, which hole hee bids him make for his grave; and doth give him a French crowne; the man, willing to please him (more for his gold than his pleasure) did so: and the foole gets upon his horse, rides to a gentleman of the towne, and on the so-daine, within two houres after, dyed: of whom the sexton telling, hee was buried there indeed. Thus, you see, fooles have a gesse at wit sometime, and the wisest could have done no more, nor so much. But thus this fat foole fills a leane grave with his carkasse; upon which grave the King caused a stone of marble to bee put, on which poets writ these lines in remembrance of him:

'He that gard all men till jeare,

Jemy a Camber he ligges here:

Pray for his Sale, for he is geane.

And here a ligges beneath this steane.

The following poetical picture of him is exact and curious.

“This Fat Foole was a Scot borne, brought up

In Sterlin, twenty miles from Edinborough;

Who being but young, was for the King caught up,

Serv'd this King's father all his lifetime through.

A yard high and a nayle, no more his stature,

Smooth fac't, fayre spoken, yet unkynde by nature.

Two yards in compassé and a nayle I reade

Was he at forty yeeres, since when I heard not;

Nor of his life or death, and further heede,

Since I never read, I looke not, nor regard not,

But what at that time Jemy Camber was

As I have heard, lie write, and so let passe.

His head was small, his hayre long on the same,

One eare was bigger than the other farre:

His fore-head full, his eyes shinde like a flame,”

His nose flat, and his beard small, yet grew square;

His lips but little, and his wit was lesse,

But wide of mouth, few teeth I must confesse.

His middle thicke, as I have said before,

Indifferent thighes and knees, but very short;

His legs be square, a foot long, and no more,

Whose very presence made the King much sport.

And a pearle spoone he still wore in his cap,

To eate his meate he lov'd, and got by hap

A pretty little foote, but a big hand,

On which he ever wore rings rich and good:

Backward well made as any in that land,

Though thicke, and he did eome of gentle bloud;

But of his wisdome, ye shall quickly heare,

How this Fat Foole was made on every where.”

And some capital jokes are recorded of him in this same “Nest of Ninnies.” There was another fool, “leane Leonard,” who belonged to “a kinde gentleman” in “the merry Forrest of Sherwood,” a gluttonous fellow, of unbounded assurance and ready wit. “This leane, greedy foole, having a stomaeke, and seeing the butler out of the way, his appetite was such, as loath to tarry, he breakes open the dairy-house, eates and spoiles new cheeseeurds, cheesecakes, overthrowes creame bowles, and having filled his belly, and knew he had done evill, gets him gone to Mansfield in Sherwood, as one fearefull to be at home: the maydes came home that morning from milking, and finding such a masaker of their dairie, almost mad, thought a yeares wages could not make amends: but 'O the foole, leane Leonard,' they cryed, 'betid this mischiefe!' They complayned to their master, but to no purpose, Leonard was farre inough off; search was made for the foole, but hee was gone none new whither, and it was his pro-pertie, having done mischiefe, never to come home of himselfe, but if any one intreated him, he would easy be won.

“All this while, the foole was at Mansfield in Sherwood, and stood gaping at a shoomaker's stall; who, not knowing him, asked him what he was? 'Goe look,' says hee; 'I know not my selfe.' They asked him where he was borne? 'At my mother's backe,' says he.—'In what country?' quoth they.—'In the country,' quoth he, 'where God is a good man.' At last one of the three journeymen imagined he wras not very wise, and flouted him very merrily, asking him if he would have a stitch where there was a hole? (meaning his mouth.) 'Aye,' quoth the foole, 'if your nose may bee the needle.' The shoomaker could have found in his heart to have tooke measure on his pate with a last in steede of his foote; but let him goe as he was.

“A country plow-jogger being by, noting all this, secretly stole a piece of shoomaker's ware off the stall, and coming be-hinde him, clapt him on the head, and asked him how he did. The foole, seeing the piteh-ball, pulled to have it off, but could not but with much paine, in an envious spleene, smarting ripe, runs after him, fais at fistie cuffes with, but the fellow belaboured the foole cunningly, and got the foole's head under his arme, and bobb'd his nose. The foole remembering how his head was, strikes it up, and hits the fellowes mouth with the pitcht place, so that the haire of his head, and the haire of the clownes beard were glued together. The fellow cryed, the foole exclaimed, and could not sodanely part. In the end the people (after much laughing at the jest) let them part faire; the one went to picke his beard, the other his head. The constable came, and asked the cause of their falling out, and knowing one to be Leonard the leane foole, whom hee had a warrant for from the gentleman to search for, demaunds of the fellow how it hapned? The fellow hee could answere nothing but 4 um—um,' for his mouth was sealed up with wax, 'Dost thou scorne to speake V says hee. 41 am the King's officer, knave!' 6 Um—um,' quoth hee againe. Meaning hee would tell him all when his mouth was cleane. But the constable, thinking hee was mockt, clapt him in the stocks, where the fellow sate a long houre farming his mouth, and when hee had done, and might tell his griefe, the constable was gone to carry home Leonard to his maister; who, not at home, hee was enforced to stay supper time, where hee told the gentleman the jest, who was very merry to heare the story, contented the offieer, and had him to set the fellow at liberty, who betimes in the morning was found fast asleep in the stocks. The fellow knowing himselfe faulty, put up his wrongs, quickly departed, and went to work betimes that morning with a flea in his eare.”

“Jacke Oates was “a fellow of infinite jest,” and took to the fullest extent the laughing licence that his coat of motley allowed him. His portrait, contained in “A Nest of Ninnies,” is quite as minute and interesting as the true effigie of Leane Leonard, which follows it.

“This Foole was tall, his face small,

His beard was big and blacke,

His necke was short, inclin'd to sport

Was this our dapper Jacke.

Of nature curst, yet not the worst,

Was nastie, given to sweare;

Toylesome ever, his endeavour

Was delight in beere.

Goutie great, of conceit

Apt, and full of favour;

Curst, yet kinde, and inclinde

To spare the wise man's labour.

Knowne to many, loude of any,

Cause his trust was truth!

Seene in toy es, apt to joy es,

To please with tricks of youth.

Writh'd i' th' knees, yet who sees

Faults that hidden be?

Calf great, in whose conceit

Lay much game and glee.

Bigge i' th' small, ancle all,

Footed broad and long,

In Motley cotes, goes Jacke Oates,

Of whom I sing this song.”

“Curled locks on idiot's heads,

Yeallow as the amber,

Playes on thoughts, as girls with beads,

When their masse they stamber.

Thicke of hearing, yet thin ear'd,

Long of neck and visage,

Hookie nosde and thicke of beard,

Sullen in his usage.

Clutterfisted, long of arme,

Bodie straight and slender'd,

Boistious hipt motly warm'd,

Ever went leane Leonard.

Gouty leg'd, footed long,

Subtill in his follie,

Shewing right, but apt to wrong,

When a'pear'd most holy.

Understand him as he is,

For his marks you cannot misse.”

Eugenio.—“'Tis said that he died penitent.” Uncle Tim.—“I hope he did. I hope all have died penitent. I hope all will die penitent. Alas! for the self-complacent Pharisees of this world; they cannot forgive the poor player:' little reflecting of how many, not laughing but crying sins they will require to be forgiven. The breath of such hearts would wither even the flowers of Paradise.”

Could we sit at the Tabard, and not remember the Globe, * with its flag floating in the air, the Boar's Head, and the Falcon!

     *  “Each playhouse,” says W. Parkes, in his Curtain-drawer
     of the World, 4to. 1612, “advaneeth its flag in the air,
     whither, quickly, at the waving thereof, are summoned whole
     troops of men, women, and children.” And William Rowley, in
     “A Search for Money, 1609,” whilst enumerating the many
     strange characters assembled at a tavern in quest of “The
     Wandering Knight, Monsieur L'Argent,” includes among them
     four or five flag-falne plaiers, poore harmlesse merrie
     knaves, that were now neither lords nor ladies, but honestly
     wore their owne clothes (if they were paid for.)

     In 1698 an unsuccessful attempt was made by the puritanical
     vestry of Saint Saviour's to put down the Globe Theatre, on
     the plea of the “enormities” practised there. But James the
     First, when he came to the throne, knocked their petitions
     on the head by granting his patent to Shakspere and others
     to perform plays, “as well within their usuall house called
     the Globe, in Surry,” as elsewhere. It was what Stowe calls
     “a frame of timber,” with, according to John Taylor, the
     water-poet, “a thatched hide.” Its sign was an Atlas bearing
     a globe. It was accidentally burnt down on St. Peter's day,
     June 29, 1613. “And a marvaile and fair grace of God it
     was,” says Sir Ralph Win wood in his Memorials, “that the
     people had so little harm, having but two little doors to
     get out.”

     Sir Henry Wootton's relation of this fire is exceedingly
     interesting. “Now, to let matters of state sleep, I will
     entertain you at the present with what hath happened this
     week at the Banks side. The King's players had a new play,
     called All is true, representing some principal pieces of
     the raign of Henry 8 which was set forth with many
     extraordinary circumstances of pomp and majesty, even to the
     matting of the stage, the knights of the order, with their
     Georges and garters, the guards with their embroidered
     coats, and the like: sufficient, in truth, within a mile to
     make greatness very familiar, if not ridiculous. Now King
     Henry making a masque at the Cardinal Woolsey's house, and
     certain canons being shot off at his entry, some of the
     paper, or other stuff wherewith one of them were stopped,
     did light on the thatch, where, being thought at first but
     an idle smoak, and their eyes more attentive to the show, it
     kindled inwardly, and ran round like a train, consuming
     within less than an hour the whole house to the very ground.

     “This was the fatal period of that vertuous fabrique,
     wherein nothing did perish but wood and straw, and a few
     forsaken cloaks; only one man had his breeches set on fire,
     that would perhaps have broyled him if he had not, by the
     benefit of a provident wit, put it out with bottle-ale. The
     rest when we meet.”—Reliquio Woottonio.

Suddenly the strings of a harp were struck. “Listen!” said Uncle Timothy, “that is no everyday hand.”

The chords were repeated; and, after a symphony that spoke in exquisite tones a variety of passions, a voice melodious and plaintive sang—


Sound the harp! strike the lyre!—Ah! the Minstrel is


The days of his harping are very nigh told;

Yet Shakspere, * sweet Shakspere! thy name shall expire

On his cold quiv'ring lips—Sound the harp! strike the


Its music was thine when his harp he first strung,

And thou wert the earliest song that he sung;

Now feeble and trembling his hand sweeps the wire—

Be thine its last note!—Sound the harp I strike the


I've wander'd where riches and poverty dwell;

With all but, the sordid, thy name was a spell.

Love, pity, and joy, in each bosom beat higher;

Rage, madness, despair I—Sound the harp! strike the lyre!

The scenes of thy triumphs are pass'd as a dream;

But still flows in beauty, sweet Avon—thy stream.

Still rises majestic that heaven-pointed spire,

Thy temple and tomb!—Sound the harp! strike the


     * The Duke of Marlborough, on being asked in the house of a
     titled lady from what history of England he was quoting,
     answered, “the only one I have ever read—Shakspere!”

“Gentlemen,” said Uncle Timothy, and his eye glistened and his lip trembled, “the old minstrel must not depart hence without a full purse and a plentiful scrip. But first to bespeak him the best bed that this hostelrie affords, and compound a loving cup to warm his heart as he hath warmed ours. This chimney-corner shall be his harp's resting-place for the night, as perchance it hath been of many long since silent and unstrung.”

The middle-aged gentleman rose to usher in the minstrel; but paused as the harp and voice were again attuned, but to a livelier measure.


“Needles and pins! Needles and pins!

Lads and lasses, the fair begins!

Ribbons and laces

For sweet smiling faces;

Glasses for quizzers;

Bodkins and scissors;

Baubles, my dears,

For your fingers and ears;

Sneeshing for sneezers;

Toothpicks and tweezers;

Garlands so gay

For Valentine's day;

Fans for the pretty;

Jests for the witty;

Songs for the many

Three yards a penny!

I'm a jolly gay pedlar, and bear on my back,

Like my betters, my fortune through brake and

through briar;

I shuffle, I cut, and I deal out my pack;

And when I play the knave, 'tis for you to play


In default of a scrip,

In my pocket I slip

A good fat hen, lest it die of the pip!

When my cream I have sipp'd,

And my liquor I've lipp'd,

I often have been, like my syllabub—whipp'd.

But a pedlar's back is as broad as its long,

So is his conscience, and so is his song!”

“An arrant Proteus!” said Uncle Timothy, “with the harp of Urien, and the knavery of Autolicus. But we must have him in, and see what further store of ballads he hath in his budget.”

And he rose a second time; but was anticipated by the Squire Minstrel, who entered, crying, “Largess! gentles, largess! for the poor harper of merry Stratford-upon-Avon.”

The personage making this demand was enveloped in a large, loose camlet cloak, that had evidently passed through several generations of his craft till it descended to the shortest. His complexion was of a brickdust rosiness, through which shone dirtiness visible; his upper-lip was fortified with a huge pair of sable mustachios, and his nether curled fiercely with a bushy imperial. His eyes, peering under his broad-brimmed slouched beaver, were intelligent, and twinkled with good humour. His voice, like his figure, was round and oily; and when he doffed his hat, a shock of coal-black wiry hair fell over his face, and rendered his features still more obscure.

“Well, goodman Harper,” cried Uncle Timothy, after viewing attentively this singular character, “what other Fittes, yet unsung, have you in your budget?”

“A right merry and conceited infinity!” replied the minstrel. “Nutmegs for Nightingales! a Balade of a priest that loste his nose for saying of masse, as I suppose; a most pleasant Ballad of patient Grissell; a merry new Song how a Brewer meant to make a Cooper cuckold, and how deere the Brewer paid for the bargaine; a merie newe Ballad intituled the pinnyng of the Basket; the Twenty-Five orders of Fooles; a Ditty delightful of Mother Watkin's ah; A warning well wayed, though counted a tale; and A prettie new Ballad, intytuled

'The crowe sits upon the wall,

Please one, and please all!

written and sung by Dick Tarlton! * Were it meet for you, most reverend and rich citizens, to bibo with a poor ballad-monger, I would crave your honours to pledge with me a cup to his merry memory.”

“Meet!” quoth Uncle Timothy. “Grammercy! Dick Tarlton is meat, ay, and drink too, for the best wit in Christendom, past, present, and to come!

     * Tarlton was a poet. “Tarlton's Toys” (see Thomas Nash's
     “Terrors of the Night,” 4to. 1594,) had appeared in 1586. He
     had some share in the extemporal play of “The Seven Deadly
     Sins.” In 1578, John Allde had a licence to publish
     “Tarlton's device upon this unlooked-for great snowe.” In
     1570, the same John Allde “at the long shop adjoyning unto
     Saint Mildred's Church in the Pultrye,” published “A very
     Lamentable and Wofull Discours of the Fierce Fluds, which
     lately Flowed in Bedford Shire, in Lincoln Shire, and in
     many other Places, with the Great Losses of Sheep and other
     Cattel, the 5th of October, 1570.” We are in possession of
     an unique black-letter ballad, written by Tarlto. It has
     a woodcut of a lady dressed in the full court costume of the
     time, holding in her right hand a fan of feathers.

     “A prettie newe Ballad, intytuled:

     The crowe sits upon the wall,

     Please one and please all.

     To the tune of, 'Please one and please all.'

     Imprinted at London for Henry Kyrkham, dwelling at the
     little North doore of Paules, at. the Sygne of the blacke
     Boys.” Tarlton's wife, Kate, was a shrew; and, if his own
     epigram be sooth, a quean into the bargain.

          “Woe to thee, Tarjton, that ever thou were born,
          Thy wife hath made thee a cuckold, and thou must wear the
          What, and if she hath? Am I a whit the worse?
          She keeps me like a gentleman, with money in my purse.”

     He was not always so enduring and complaisant: for on one
     occasion, in a storm, he proposed, to lighten the vessel by
     throwing his lady overboard!

Thy calling, vagrant though it be, shall not stand in the way of a good toast. What say you, my friends, to a loving cup with the harper, to Dick Tarlton, and Merrie England? The cup went round; and as the harper brushed his lips after the spicy draught, so did his right mustachio!

Uncle Timothy did not notice this peculiarity.

“Might I once more presume, my noble masters,” said the harper. “I would humbly——”

“Thou art Lord of Misrule for to-night,” replied Uncle Timothy. “Go on presuming.”

“The memory of the immortal Twenty-nine, and their patron, Holy Saint Thomas of Canterbury!”

And the minstrel bowed his head reverently, crossed his hands over his breast, and rising to his harp, struck a chord that made every bosom thrill again.

“Thy touch hath a finish, and thy voice a harmony that betoken cultivation and science.”

As the middle-aged gentleman made this observation, the mustachio that had taken a downward curve, fell to the ground; its companion, (some conjuror's heir-loom,) played at follow my leader; and the solitary imperial was left alone in its glory.

The harper, to hide his confusion, hummed Lo-doiska.

Uncle Timothy, espying the phenomenon, fixed his wondering eyes full in the strange man's face, and exclaimed, “Who, and what art thou?”

“I'm a palmer come from the Holy Land.” (Singing.)

“Doubtless!” replied Uncle Timothy. “A palmer of traveller's tales upon such ignoramuses as will believe them. Why, that mysterious budget of thine contains every black-letter rarity that Captain Cox * of Coventry rejoiced in, and bibliomaniacs sigh for. Who, and what art thou?”

     * Laneham, in his Account of the Queen's Entertainment at
     Killingworth Castle, 1575, represents this military mason
     and bibliomaniac as “marching on valiantly before, clean
     trust, and gartered above the knee, all fresh in a velvet
     cap, flourishing with his ton sword and describing a
     procession of the Coventry men in celebration of Hock
     Tuesday, he introduces “Fyrst, Captain Cox, an od man I
     promiz yoo; by profession a mason, and that right skilfull;
     very cunning in fens, and hardy az Gavin; for hiz ton-sword
     hangs at hiz tabbz eend; great oversight hath he in matters
     of storie: for az for King Arthur z book, Huon of Burdeaus,
     the foour sons of Ay mon, Bevys of Hampton, the Squyre of lo
     degree, the Knight of Courtesy, the Wido Edyth, the King and
     the Tanner, Robin-hood, Adam Bel, Clim of the Clough and
     William of Cloudsley, the Wife lapt in a Morels Skin, the
     Sakfull of Nuez, Elynor Rumming, and the Nutbrown Maid.

     “What should I rehearz heer, what a bunch of Ballets and
     Songs, all auncient; and Broom broom on Hill, So Wo iz me
     begon, troly lo, Over a Whinny Meg, Hey ding a ding, Bony
     lass upon a green, My hony on gave me a bek, By a bank as I
     lay: and a hundred more he hath fair wrapt up in parchment,
     and bound with a whip cord. To stay ye no longer heerin, I
     dare say he hath as fair a library for theez sciencez, and
     az many goodly monuments both in prose and poetry, and at
     after noonz can talk az much without book, az ony inholder
     betwixt Brainford and Bagshot, what degree soever he be.”

“Suppose, signors, I should be some eccentric nobleman in disguise,—or odd fish of an amateur collecting musical tribute to win a wager,—or suppose-”

“Have done with thy supposes!” cried the impatient and satirical-nosed gentleman.

“Or, suppose—Uncle Timothy!” Here, with the adroitness of a practised mimic, the voice was changed in an instant, the coal-black wiry wig thrown off, the bushy imperial sent to look after the stray mustachios, the thread-bare camlet cloak and rusty beaver cast aside, and the chaffing quaffing, loud-laughing Lauréat of Little Britain stood confessed under a stucco of red ochre!

“Was there ever such a mountebank varlet!” shouted the middle-aged gentleman, holding fast his two sides.

“I followed close upon your skirts, and dogged you hither.”

“Dogged me, puppy!”

“Mr. Moses, the old clothesman, provided my mendicant wardrobe, and mine host lent the harp, which belongs to an itinerant musician, who charms his parlour company with sweet sounds. I intended, dear Uncle Timothy, to surprise and please you.”

“And in truth, Benjamin, thou hast done both. I am surprised and pleased!” And drawing nearer, with a suppressed voice, he added, “When sick and sorrowful, sing me that old harper's song. When thou only art left to smooth my pillow, and close my eyes sing me that old harper's song!

''Twill make me pass the cup of anguish by,

Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died.

“And you, Jacob Jollyboy,to plot against me with that Israelitish retailer of cast-off duds, Mr. Moses!” continued the satirical-nosed gentleman, labouring hard to conceal his emotion under a taking-to-task frown exceedingly imposing and ludicrous.

Mr. Jollyboy looked all confusion and cutlets.. “Where do you expect to go when you die?”

“Where Uncle Timothy goes, and 'je suis content, 'as the Frenchman said to not half so dainty a dish of smoking-hot Scotch collops as I have the honour to set before you.” And Mr. Jollyboy breathed, or rather puffed again.

The Lauréat,

“Neat, trimly drest,

Fresh as a bridegroom,” and his face new wash'd,

re-entered, and with his usual urbanity did the honours of the supper-table.

The Scotch collops having been despatched with hearty good will, Uncle Timothy restricted our future libations to one single bowl. “And mind, Benjamin, only one!” This was delivered with peculiar emphasis. Mr. Bosky bowed obedience to the behest; and, as a nod is as good as a wink, he nodded to Mr. Jollyboy.

The bowl was brought in, brimming and beautiful; and it was five good acts of a comedy to watch the features of Uncle Timothy. He first gazed at the bowl, then at the landlord, then at the lauréat, then at us, and then at the bowl again!

“Pray, Mr. Jollyboy,” he inquired, “call you this a bowl, or a caldron?”

Mr. Jollyboy solemnly deposed as to its being a real bowl; the identical bowl in which six little Jollyboys had been christened.

“Is it your intention, Mr. Jollyboy, to christen us too? Let it be tipplers, then, mine host of the Tabard!”

“As to the christening, Uncle Timothy, that would be nothing very much out of order—seeing

That some great poet says, I'll take my oath,

Man is an infant, but of larger growth.

“Besides,” argued Mr. Bosky, Socratically, the dimensions of the bowl were not in the record; and as I thought we should be too many for a halfcrown sneaker of punch-”

“You thought you would be too many for me! And so you have been. Sit down, Mr. Jollyboy, and help us out of this dilemma. Take a drop of your own physic.”

Mr. Jollyboy respectfully intimated he would rather do that than break his arm; and took his seat at the board accordingly.

“But,” said Uncle Timothy, “let us have the entire dramatis personæ of the harper's interlude. We are minus his groom of the stole. Send our compliments over the way for Mr. Moses.”

Mr. Moses was summoned, and he sidled in with a very high stock, with broad pink stripes, and a very low bow—hoping “de gentlemensh vash quite veil.”

“Still,” cried Mr. Bosky, “we are not all mustered. The harp!” And instantly the lauréat “with flying fingers touched the” wires.

“A song from Uncle Timothy, for which the musical bells of St. Saviour's tell us there is just time.” He then struck the instrument to a lively tune, and the middle-aged gentleman sang with appropriate feeling,


“Old Tabard! those time-honour'd timbers of thine.

Saw the pilgrims ride forth to St. Thomas's shrine;

When the good wife of Bath

Shed a light on their path.

And the squire told his tale of Cambuscan divine.

From his harem th' alarum shrill chanticleer crew,

And uprose thy host and his company too;

The knight rein'd his steed,

And a f Gentles, God speed!'

The pipes of the miller right merrily blew.

There shone on that morning a halo, a ray,

Old Tabard I round thee, that shall ne'er pass away;

When the fam'd Twenty-Nine

At the glorified shrine

Of their martyr went forth to repent and to pray.

Though ages have roll'd since that bright April morn,

And the steps of the shrine holy palmers have worn,

As, weary and faint,

They kneel'd to their saint—

It still for all time shall in memory be borne.

Old Tabard! old Tabard! thy pilgrims are we!

What a beautiful shrine has the Bard made of thee I

When a ruin's thy roof,

And thy walls, massy proof—

The ground they adorn'd ever hallow'd shall be.”


Methinks, Benjamin,” said Uncle Timothy to the lauréat of Little Britain, as they sat tête-à-tête at breakfast on the morning after the adventure of the old harper,—“methinks I have conceded quite enough by consenting to play Esquire Bedel to the Fubsys, Muffs, and Flumgartens. A couple of lean barn-door fowls and a loin—or, as Mrs. Flumgarten classically spells it, a lion of fat country pork at Christmas, even were I a more farinaceous feeder than I am, are hardly equivalent to my approaching purgatory. You bargained, among other sights, for Westminster Abbey. Now what possible charm can the Poet's Corner have for the Fubsy family, who detest poets and poetry quite as much as ever did the second George 'boedry and bainding!' Then came the British Museum. I will now take leave to have my own way. Your eloquence, persuasive though it be, shall never talk me into a new blue coat and brass buttons.”

“Depend upon it, Uncle Timothy, Mrs Flurngarten will—”

“I know it, Benjamin. That full-blown hollyhock of the aristocracy of Mammon, who has a happy knack of picking a hole in everybody's coat, will not spare mine. Let her then, for economy's sake, pick a hole in an old coat rather than a new one.”

“The honour of our family is at stake,” urged the lauréat. “Respect, too, for Mrs. Flumgar-ten.”

Uncle Timothy whistled

“Sic a wife as Willie had,

I would na gie a button for her.

“But suppose, Benjamin, I should be so insane so stark, staring, ridiculously mad.” Here

Uncle Timothy paused to see what effect his budget of suppositions had upon Mr Bosky's nerves.

But Mr. Bosky kept his nerves well strung and his countenance steady, and let Uncle Timothy go on supposing.

“Suppose I should all at once depart from the sober gravity that belongs to my years, and exhibit myself in a blue coat and brass buttons—” Uncle Timothy again paused; but he might as well have whistled jigs to a milestone. The lauréat continued immoveable and mute.

“Benjamin—Benjamin Bosky!” cried Uncle Timothy, nettled at his provoking imperturbability, “if, out of a mistaken civility to your country cousins, and to rid myself of these annoying importunities, I should invite the caricaturist to pillory me in the print-shops—a blue coat and brass buttons are not the journey-work of twenty minutes—for by that time I must be equipped to start: And, to swaddle myself in a ready-made fit, too long at the top, and too short at the bottom—like the Irishman's blanket! No, Benjamin Bosky! For, though of figure I have nothing to boast—” here Uncle Timothy unconsciously (?) glanced at his comely person in a mirror—“I do not intend to qualify myself for a chair on the fifth of November.”

Mr Bosky still maintained a respectful silence.

“Therefore, Benjamin, were I inclined to forego my scruples, and oblige you for this once”—as Uncle Timothy saw the apparent impossibility of obliging, he spoke more freely of his possible compliance—“the thing, you see, is absolutely impracticable.”

Mr. Bosky looked anxiously at the clock, and Uncle Tim quite exulted that, while starting an insurmountable obstacle, he had dexterously—handsomely slipped out of a scrape.

At this moment a tap was heard at the door, and the old-fashioned housekeeper—a sort of animated dumb-waiter—brought in a blue bag for Uncle Timothy.

A carpet-bag is generally significant of its contents. Though now and then things not legitimately belonging to it will creep into a carpet-bag. But in a blue bag there is more room for conjecture. A very equivocal thing is a blue bag.

Uncle Timothy, after reading the direction thrice over, untied the blue bag, dived his hand in for its contents, and the first thing he fished up was a bran new blue coat, with brilliant brass buttons.

After turning the garment round and round and examining it attentively, he laid it aside, dived again and captured a rich black satin waistcoat.

The waistcoat underwent a similar scrutiny, and then took its station beside the blue coat.

A third dive brought to the surface a claret-coloured pair of continuations of a very quiet and becoming cut, to which was pinned a respectful note from Mr. Rufus Rumfit of Red Lion Square, stating that the suit had been made exactly to measure, and hoping that it would meet with Uncle Timothy's approbation.

“Pray, Benjamin,” inquired the satirical-nosed gentleman, “is this Rufus Rumfit at all given to drink? He talks of having taken my measure: he had surely taken more than his own when he hazarded such an assertion. Some would-be old beau—for the habiliments, I see, are of a mature fashion—is burning to disguise his person in this harlequin suit. My life on't, Mr. Rumfit will soon discover his mistake and be back again.” And' Uncle Timothy began to tumble the blue coat, black satin waistcoat, and claret-coloured continuations into the blue bag with all speed.

“The clock strikes. I have no time to lose.”

During this exhumation of Mr. Rumfit's handiwork, the Lauréat of Little Britain had been coaxing a favourite parrot, with whom he generally held converse at breakfast time, to talk: but the unusual sight of so much finery had completely absorbed Poll's attention, and he remained obstinately silent, leaving Mr. Bosky to tax his ingenuity how to prevent laughing outright in Uncle Timothy's face. But the affair admitting of no longer delay, he threw himself into a theatrical posture, and exclaimed,

“'Thou wert not wont to be so dull, good Tyrrel.'”

In an instant the scales fell from the middle-aged gentleman's eyes, and he exclaimed seriously, and trying to look reproachfully, “This, Benjamin, is another of your Tomfooleries.”

Mr. Bosky pleaded guilty; but urged, in mitigation, the rusty old black, and the brilliant bright blue: concluding with a glowing panegyric on the tout ensemble, which he declared to be the masterpiece of Mr. Rumfit's thimble and shears.

Uncle Timothy was in no humour to put himself out of one: and when, after a few minutes trying on the suit in his tiring-room, just to see—out of mere curiosity—if it did fit, he returned in full pontificalibus, a middle-aged Adonis! he seemed moderately reconciled to his new metamorphosis, and rang for the old-fashioned housekeeper.

Norah Noclack was a woman of few words. On her entrance she started, stared amazedly, and uttered the interjection, “Ah!” with the further additions of “Well, I'm sure!”

“—That with a cap and bells, a dark lantern, a pasteboard red nose, a chair, and half a score of ragged urchins to shout me an ovation, I should make an undeniable old Guy! Eh, Norah?”

The ancient housekeeper shook her antediluvian high-crowned cap and streamers in token of dissent, and Mr. Bosky was unutterably shocked at the impossible idea.

“Well,” added Uncle Timothy, strutting to and fro with mock dignity,

“'Since I am crept in favour with myself,

I will maintain it with some little cost!'

“Here, Norah, run and buy me sixpenny-worth of flowers to stick in my button-hole. No dahlias, or hollyhocks.”

Mr. Bosky suggested a sunflower.

The satirical-nosed gentleman looked a trifle serious, and the lauréat stood self-reproved.

Norah Noclack soon returned with a modest little bouquet, consisting of a last rose of summer, a violet or two, and, what was peculiarly appropriate, heartease.

A contest had very nearly arisen about Doctor Johnson's club, as Mr. Bosky irreverently called it, which was Uncle Timothy's constant companion. This valued relic had been accidentally mislaid, and there being no time to look for it, a handsome black cane, with a gold top and silk tassel, was its substitute. Mr. Bosky then dutifully tendered him a smart new beaver, intimating that the old one had that morning been converted into a nursery by his favourite pepper-and-salt puss. At this crowning specimen of the laureates ingenuity, Uncle Timothy smiled graciously, and being now gaily equipped, prepared to sally forth, when a knock of some pretension announced the presence of the august brotherin-law of Mrs. Flumgarten, one of the pleasure-taking tormentors of Uncle Timothy!

“The devil!” muttered the middle-aged gentleman. “The deuce,” “the dickens,” “rabbit it,” “drabbit it,” “boddikins,” or when anything intolerably queer excited him, “od's boddikins!” were the only expletives that escaped from the lips of Uncle Timothy. But “the devil!” Even Mr. Bosky looked momentarily aghast, and the old-fashioned housekeeper, shaking her head and shrugging up her shoulders, attributed the appalling words to the supernatural influence of the blue coat and brass buttons.

“Charmin' vether this is! Fine hautum mornin's these are!” grinned Mr. Muff (his tongue too big for his mouth, and his teeth too many for his tongue,) with a consequential, self-satisfied air, that seemed to say, “Beat that if you can.”

Uncle Timothy coolly remarked that the sun was just out; and Mr. Bosky, that the post was just in.

“Ven I began to dress me the vind was nor'-nor'-east, but it soon changed to sow-sow-west,” was the next profound remark volunteered by Mr. Muff.

“Then,” said the lauréat, “you and the wind shifted at much about the same time.”

The Muffs, Fubsys, and Flumgartens, could not understand a joke, which they always took the wrong way. The intelligent master mason, nothing moved, inquired, Anything new in Lit-tie Britain?

“The barber's freshly painted pole * over the way,” replied Mr. Bosky.

“Or in Great Britain?” continued Mr. Muff.

“The moon,” rejoined Uncle Timothy.

The brother-in-law of Mrs. Flumgarten was at a dead lock.

     * The barber's pole, one of the popular relics of Merrie
     England, is still to be seen in some of the old streets of
     London and in country-towns, painted with its red, blue, and
     yellow stripes, and surmounted with a gilt acorn. The lute
     and violin were formerly among the furniture of a barber's
     shop. He who waited to be trimmed, if of a musical turn,
     played to the company. The barber himself was a nimble-
     tongued, pleasant-witted fellow. William Rowley, the
     dramatist, in “A Search for Money, 1609,” thus describes
     him:—“As wee were but asking the question, steps me from
     over the way ( over-listning us) a news-searcher, viz. a
     barber: he, hoping to at-taine some discourse for his next
     patient, left his banner of basons swinging in the ayre, and
     closely eave-drops our conference. The saucie treble-tongu'd
     knave would insert somewhat of his knowledge (treble-tongu'd
     I call him, and thus I prove 't: hee has a reasonable
     mother-tongue, his barber-sur-gions tongue; and a tongue
     betweene two of his fingers, and from thence proceeds his
     wit, and 'tis a snapping wit too). Well, sir, he (before he
     was askt the question,) told us that the wandring knight
     (Monsier L'Argent) sure was not farre off; for on Saterday-
     night he was faine to watch till morning to trim some of his
     followers, and its morning they went away from him betimes.
     Hee swore hee never clos'd his eyes till hee came to church,
     and then he slept all sermon-time; but certainly hee is not
     farre afore, and at yonder taverne (showing us the bush) I
     doe imagine he has tane a chamber.” In ancient times the
     barber and the tailor, as news-mongers, divided the crown.
     The barber not only erected his pole as a sign, but hung his
     basins upon it by way of ornament.

Sounding the depths of his capacious intellect, his cogitative faculties were “in cogibundity of cogitation.” He soon rallied with, “How's the generality of things in general?”

It was now Uncle Timothy's and Mr. Bosky's turn to be posed! But the interrogator relieved them by suddenly recollecting the object of his mission—“I'm come, Mister Timviddy-”

“If, sir, you mean to address me,” said the satirical-nosed gentleman, “my name is not Timwiddy, but-”

“Timkins,” interrupted Mr. Muff.

“Anything you please,” rejoined Uncle Timothy, with the most contemptuous acquiescence. “Call me Alexander, Wat Tyler, Abelard, Joe Grimaldi, Scipio Africanus, Martin Van Butchell.”

“Ve vont quarrel about Christun names, Mister Timtiffin. Plain Timvig vill do for me. The Muffs and all that's a-skin to'em is not over-purtickler about names.”

Here the poll parrot, that had been listening to and scrutinizing the intruder from head to foot, struck up the old song,

“Don't you know the muffin man!

Don't you know his name?”

“A comical sort of a bird that is!” remarked the master mason. “I'm come, I say, Mister Tumvhim to fetch you to Mrs. Flumgarten; for she says it's werry mystified, but you gay-looking, dandyfied, middle-aged gentlemen, (Mrs. Flumgarten hates gay-looking, dandified, middle-aged gentlemen,) are awful loiterers by the vay. You can't see a smart bonnet or a pretty turn'd ankle, but you old galhant gay Lotharios must stop and look after'em; and that, she says, is werry low—and the Muffs, Fubsys, and Flumgartens hates vhat's low.”

Uncle Timothy made a low bow.

“Mrs. Flumgarten von't go to the Museum: she could abide the stuffed birds and monkeys; but she can't a-bear old war-ses, and old bronze-eyes. She hates, too, them Algerine (Elgin?) marbles.”

The middle-aged gentleman inwardly rejoiced at Mrs. Flumgarten's antipathies.

“And she von't go to the play, for Mrs. Flumgarten hates your acting nonsensical mock stuff; and she don't think she'll go to the Fancy Fair, for Mrs. Flumgarten—it's wery funny that—hates fun.”

At this moment, Mr. Bosky's Louis Quatorze clock struck a musical quarter, and the parrot responded with two lines from one of the laureat's lyrics;

“Quick! quick! be off in a crack;

Cut your stick, or'twill be on your back!”

and a tag (the schoolmaster had been abroad in Little Britain!) for which my Lord Mayor—the conservator of city morals and the Thames—would have fined him five shillings.

“That Poll parrot swears like a Chrishtun!” Mr. Muff then took hold of Uncle Timothy's arm, adding, “If ye don't make haste, Mrs. Flumgarten vill look as bitter as a duck biled vith camomile-flowers.”

Within my solitary bow'r

I saw a quarter of an hour

Fly heavily along!

Mr. Bosky's quarter flew by the “fast flying waggon that flies on broad wheels!”

“Ha! ha! 'no creature smarts so little as a fool.' Well said, Alexander the Little! Poll—pretty Poll!

Pretty Poll! let's you and I

Something merry and musical try,

Is my voice too high? too low?

Answer, Polly, yes or no!

Not a word, undutiful bird,

For barley-sugar and sugar-plums—fie!”

But Poll's eyes still goggled at the door through which Uncle Tim and his finery had vanished. An almond or two from that magazin de comfitures, Mr. Bosky's waistcoat pocket, soon revived in the abstracted bird a relish for the good things of this world. He wetted his whistle cordially with a spoonful of maraschino, and sharpening his beak against the wires of his cage, presented it for a salute. He then gave token of a song, and the lauréat led, to the tune of the “Dandy O!


O Tabitha, in truth, I'm a sober Quaker youth;

Then Hymen's knot, the pretty girls, to spite'em, tye.

My heart is in your trap; you've crimp'd it, like your


And much the spurrit moves me—hum!—to—

Poll.......Tye turn tye!

And when the knot is tyed, and you're my blushing


The damsels will (for leading apes must fright'em,)


The rosy bands with speed. O yes, they will, indeed!

And the chorus at our meeting will be—

Poll.......Tye tum tye!

I cannot hear you sigh, ah! I will not see you cry, ah!

My constant Obadi-ah I to unite'em; tye

Our hands and hearts in one, before to-morrow's sun—

Then take thy tender Tabitha to—

Poll.......Tye turn tye!


The Lauréat of Little Britain was now left at liberty to follow his daily avocations; but that liberty was no guarantee that he would follow them; except, as some folks follow the fashions, at a considerable distance. He read the morning papers, went upon 'Change, inquired the price of stocks, set his watch by the dial of Bow Church, returned home, turned over the leaves of his ledger, hummed, whistled, poked the fire, scribbled on the blotting-paper, and cracked a joke with his solemn clerk. Still, with all these manifestations of being mightily busy about doing nothing, it was obvious that his wits were running a wild goose chase after Uncle Timothy's new blue coat and brass buttons. But the oddest is behind. Mrs. Norah Noclack suddenly betrayed unwonted symptoms of vocality. Her first notes fell on the astonished ear of the solemn clerk, and served him as the ghost of Banquo did Macbeth—pushed him from his stool. He hurried to the stair-head, marvelling what musical coil could be going on in the still-room. He next applied his oblique eye to the key-hole, and,—seeing is believing,—beheld the locomotive old lass rehearsing a minuet before the mirror, to the chromatic accompaniment of her wiry falsetto. Big with the portentous discovery, he bustled to Mr. Bosky, to whom, after unpacking his budget of strange news, he proposed the instant holding of a commission of lunacy, for the due and proper administration of her few hundreds in long annuities, two large boxes, and a chest of drawers, full of old-fashioned finery, besides sundry trinkets, the spoils of three courtships.

A few days after, the carolling of Mrs. Norah surprised Uncle Timothy, who recognising the real culprit in the eccentric muse of Mr. Benjamin Bosky, he took the lauréat to task for putting his wardrobe into metre, hitching his Christian name into ludicrous rhyme, and turning the head and untuning the voice of the hitherto anti-musical Norah Noclack. Mr. Bosky exhibited deep contrition, but as Mr. Bosky's contrition bore considerable resemblance to Mr. Liston's tragedy, Uncle Timothy always dreaded to encounter it when anything serious was in the case. And so completely did the old chantress inoculate the solemn clerk with her musical mania, that one evening, when called upon for a toast and a song at the club * of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, held in an ancient trophied chamber over the venerable gateway of the Priory, he startled his brother knights with his unwonted enthusiasm. “Uncle Timothy! Sound trumpets! wave banners! shout voices!” This was the longest public oration that Mr. Fixture had made in his life. Certainly the only song that he was ever known to have sung was the old-fashioned housekeeper's——

     * This club consists of more than fifteen hundred members.
     Their orgies are celebrated every Monday evening throughout
     the year. The chair is taken at nine, and vacated at twelve.


If I had my widow or maiden's whim—

I know who—I know who

It should be! Why, Uncle Tim,

In his bran new buttons and blue.

Tim's a middle ag'd gentleman sleek,

With a laughing eye and a cherry cheek!

He loves a good joke

Like other blythe folk;

A Christmas carol,

A cup from the barrel,

And a glass of old wine seven days in the week!

Hear him sing, and hear him talk,

The veriest merriest cock of the walk;

Daintily dress'd

Like a buck in his best!

Loyal and true

As his holiday blue!

With black silk stock and embroider'd vest;

In Wellingtons trim

Struts Uncle Tim!

With beaver and cane,

And smart gold chain—

Di'mond pin

Stuck under his chin—

All Little Britain

Were never so smitten!

We ne'er shall look on his like again!

Heigho! my heart is low!

Devils blue

As Tim's bran new!

Fidgets, fumes,

Mops and brooms!

Tantrums all from top to toe!


Such a quiz! such a beau!

Such a shape! such a make!

Would I were a lady,

As blooming as May-day;

With carriages, house, and

Twice twenty thousand;

If it only were for Uncle Timothy's sake!


Gentle Reader! we promised thee at the outset of our journey pleasant companions by the way, and as an earnest of that promise, we have introduced Benjamin Bosky and Uncle Tim. We would now bespeak thy courtesy for others that are soon to follow. In passing happily through life, half the battle depends upon the persons with whom we may be associated. And shall we carry spleen into the closet?—grope for that daily plague in our books, when it elbows and stares us in the face at every turn? To chronicle the “Painful Peregrinations” of Uncle Timothy through this livelong day, would exhibit him, like “Patience,” not sitting “on a monument, smiling at grief,” but lolling in Mr. Bosky's britschka, laughing (in his sleeve!) at the strange peculiarities of the Muffs, and listening with mild endurance to the unaccountable antipathies of Mrs. Flumgarten. Now the Fubsys might be called, par excellence, a prudent family.

And Prudence is a nymph we much admire,

She loves to aid the hypocrite and liar,

Helping poor rascals through the mire,

Whom filth and infamy begrime:

She's one of guilt's most useful drudges,

Her good advice she never grudges,

Gives parsons meekness, gravity to judges;

But frowns upon the man of rhyme!

Good store of prudence had the Fubsy family. Their honest scruples always prevented them from burning their fingers. They were much too wise to walk into a well. They kept on the windy side of the law. They were vastly prone to measure other people's morality by the family bushel, and had exceedingly grand notions touching their self-importance; (little minds, like little men, cannot afford to stoop!) which those who have seen a cock on a dunghill, or a crow in a gutter, may have some idea of.

Nothing pleased Mrs. Flumgarten. Mr. Bosky's equipage she politely brought into depreciating comparison with the staring yellow and blue, brass-mounted, and screw-wigged turn-out of her acquaintances the Kickwitches, the mushroom aristocracy of retired “Putty and Lead!” And when Mr. Muff, who was no herald, hearing something about Mr. Bosky's arms being painted on the panels, innocently inquired whether his legs were not painted too?—at which Uncle Timothy involuntarily smiled—the scarlet-liveried pride of the Fubsys rushed into her cheeks, and she bridled up, wondering what there was in Mr. Muffs question to be laughed at. Knowing the susceptibility of Mrs. Flumgarten's nervous system, Uncle Timothy desired John Tomkins to drive moderately slow. This was “scratching away at a snail's pace! a cat's gallop!”

“A little faster, John,” said Uncle Timothy, mildly. This was racing along like “Sabbath-day, pleasure-taking, public-house people in a tax-cart!” Not an exhibition, prospect, person, or thing, were to her mind. The dinner, which might have satisfied Apicius, she dismissed with “faint praise,” sighing a supplementary complaint, by way of errata, that there “was no pickles!”—and the carving—until the well-bred Mrs. Flumgarten snatched the knife and fork out of Uncle Timothy's hands—was “awful! horrid!” Then she never tastes such sherry as she does at her cousins' the Shufflebothams; and as for their black amber (Hambro'?) grapes, oh! they was fit for your perfect gentlefolks!—An inquiry from mine host, whether Uncle Timothy preferred a light or a full wine, drew forth this jocular answer, “I like a full wine, and a full bottle, Master Boniface.”—“So do I,” added the unguarded Mr. Muff. This was “tremendious!”

The two ladies looked at each other, and having decided on a joint scowl, it fell with annihilating blackness on the master-mason, and Mrs. Muff trod upon his toes under the table, a conjugal hint that Mr. Muff had taken enough! Mrs. Flumgarten had a momentary tiff with Mrs. Muff upon some trifling family jealousy, which brought into contest their diminutive dignities; but as the fond sisters had the good fortune to be Fubsys, and as the Fubsys enjoyed the exclusive privilege of abusing one another with impunity, the sarcastic compliments and ironical sneers they so lovingly exchanged passed for nothing after the first fire. The absence of Mr. Flumgarten, a scholar and a gentleman, who had backed out of this party of pleasure, (?) left his lady at a sad loss for one favourite subject in which she revelled, because it annoyed him; consequently there were no vulgar impertinent hits at “your clever people!” This hiatus led to some melancholy details of what she had suffered during her matrimonial pilgrimage.

“Suffered!” muttered the middle-aged gentleman, indignantly. “Yes, Madam Zantippe, you have suffered! But what? Why, your greeneyed illiterate prejudices to mar all that makes the domestic hearth intellectual and happy! Yes! you have reduced it to a cheerless desert, where you reign the restless fury of contradiction and discord!”

Master Guy Muff, the eldest born of Brutus, a youth who exhibited a capacious development of the eating and drinking organs, with a winning smile that would have made his fortune through a horse-collar, emerged from his post of honour behind the puffed sleeves and rustling skirts of “ma's,” and aunt's silk gowns.

“Don't be frightened, Guy,” said Mrs. Flumgarten, soothingly; “it's only Mr. Timwig.”

“I arn't a-going to, aunt,” snuffled the self-complaisant Master Guy.


“I hope, young gentleman,” said uncle Timothy, (for looking at the lump of living lumber, he did not venture to suppose,) “that you learn your lessons, and are perfect in your exercises.”

“What,—hoop, skipping-rope, and pris'ner's base?”

“Can you parse?”

“Oh, yes? I pass my time at dumps and marloes.”

“Speak your Christmas-piece to Mr. Timtiffin, do, dear Guy!” said “ma,” coaxingly.

Master Guy Muff made the effort, Mr. Brutus Muff acting as prompter.

Master Guy (taking in each hand a dessert-plate).

“Look here upon this pic-tur, and on this,

The counter—counter—”

“Sink the shop!” whispered Uncle Timothy.

Mr. Muff. “Fit presen-ti-ment—”

“You put the boy out, Mr. Muff, as you always do!” snarled Mrs. Muff.

Master Muff.—

“—Of two brothers.

See what a grace was seated on that brow;


“Isn't it something about curls and front?” said Mr. Muff.

Mrs. Muff took this as an affront to her own particular jazey, which was bushily redolent of both; she darted a fierce frown à la Fubsy at the interrogator, that awed him to silence.

Master Muff.—

“A eye like Ma's to threaten and command—”

The subdued master-mason felt the full force of this line, to which his son Guy's appropriate pronunciation and personal stare gave a new reading. Here the juvenile spouter broke down, upon which Mrs. Flumgarten took his voice under her patronage, and having prevailed on him to try a song, the “young idea” began in an excruciating wheeze, as if a pair of bellows had been invited to sing, the following morceau. “More so,” said Mrs. Muff, encouragingly, “because pa said it was almost good enough to be sung a Sundays after Tabernacle.”

There was a little bird,

His cage hung in the hall;

On Monday morning, May the third,

He couldn't sing at all.

And for this reason, mark,

Good people, great and small,

Because the pussey, for a lark,

Had eat him, bones and all.

“Ah!” cried Aunt F. approvingly, “that is a song! None of your frothy comic stuff that some folks (!!) is so fond of.”

She now entertained Uncle Timothy with an account, full of bombast and brag, of some grand weddings that had recently been celebrated in the Fubsy family,—the Candlerigs having condescended to adulterate the patrician blood of St. Giles's in-the-Fields with the plebeian puddle of the City Gardens, the sometime suburban retreat of the Fubsys, where they farmed a magnificent chateau, which, like the great Westphalian Baron de Thunder-tan-trounck's, had a door and a window. Uncle Timothy, to change the subject, called on Mr. Brutus Muff for a song.

“I never heered Mr. Muff sing, Mr. Timwig,” chimed the sisters simultaneously.

“Indeed! Then, ladies, it will be the greater novelty. Come, my good sir; but first a glass of wine with you.”

“Oh, Mr. Timwiddy, you will make Mr. Muff quite top-heavy! It must only be a half a glass,” said Mrs. Muff, authoritatively.

“The top half, if you please, madam,” said the middle-aged gentleman; and he poured out the “regal purple stream” till it kissed, without flowing over, the brim. Mr. Muff brought the bumper to a level with his lips, and, as if half ashamed of what he was doing, put both halves out of sight!

“Is the man mad?” cried the amazed Mrs. Muff.

“Has he lost his senses?” ejaculated the bewildered Mrs. Flumgarten.

“He has found them, rather,” whispered the satirical-nosed gentleman.

The bland looks and persuasive tones of Uncle Timothy, to say nothing of the last bumper, had wrought wonders on the master-mason. He looked Silenus-like and rosy, and glanced his little peering eyes across the table—Mrs. Muff having a voice too in the affair—for an assenting nod from the fierce black velvet turban of his better and bigger half. But Mrs. Muff made no sign, and he paused irresolute; when another kind word from the middle-aged gentleman encouraged him, at all hazards, to begin with,

Doctor Pott lived up one pair,

And reach'd his room by a comical stair!

Like all M.D's,

He pocketed fees

As quick as he could,

As doctors should!

And rented a knocker near Bloomsbury Square.

Tib his rib was not wery young,

Wery short, wery tall.,

Wery fair vithal;

But she had a tongue

Wery pat, wery glib

For a snow-white fib,

And wery veil hung!

“You shan't sing another line, that you shan't, Brutus!” vociferated Mrs. Muff. But the Cockney Roman, undaunted and vocal, went on singing,

Says Doctor Peter Pott, “As I know vhat's vhat,

My anti-nervous patent pill on Tib my rib I'll try;

If Mrs. P. vill svallow, if dissolution follow,

And she should kick the bucket, I'm sure I shan't


“Where could he have learned such a rubbishing song? A man, too, after pa's own heart!” sighed Mrs. Muff.

Mr. Muff.—

And vel the doctor knew that a leer par les deux yeux

Mrs. Pott vithstand could not, vhen shot from Peter's


So presently plump at her he opes his organic battery,

And said the pill it vouldnt kill, no, not a little fly!

“Have you no compassion for my poor nerves?” remonstrated Mrs. Muff, pathetically.

“None vhatsumdever,” replied the stoical Brutus. “Vhat compassion have you ever had for mine?”

“Besides,” said he, “I svear, d'ye see,

By the goods and chattels of Doctor P.

By my vig and my cane.

Brass knocker and bell,

And the cab in vhich I cut such a svell,

That a single pill (a pill, by the by,

Is a dose!) if Mrs. Pott vill try,

Of gout and phthisic she'll newer complain,

And never vant to take physic again.”

Down it slid,

And she newer did!

(The Doctor vith laughing was like to burst!)

For this wery good reason—it finish'd her first!

“I'll send,” cried Mrs. Flumgarten, furiously, “for one of the L division.”

“You may send to Old Nick for one of the L division!” shouted the valiant Mr. Muff, aspirating with particular emphasis the letter L.

“Here I lays, Teddy O'Blaize, (Singing)

And my body quite at its aise is;

Vith the tip of my nose and the tops of my toes

Turn'd up to the roots of the daisies!

And now, my invaluable spouse, as I carn't conwenienly sing you any more moral lessons, I'll tipple you two or three!” And Mr. Muff, with admirable coolness and precision, filled himself a bumper. “First and foremust, from this day henceforrer'd, I'm determined to be my own lord and master.

“Imprimis and secondly, I don't choose to be the hen-pecked, colly woffling, under-the-fear-of-his-vife-and-a-broomstick Jerry Sneak and Pollycoddle, that the Vhitechapel pin-maker vas! You shan't, like his loving Lizzy, currycomb my precious vig, and smuggle my last vill!”

Et tu Brute!” said Uncle Timothy, in a half whisper.

“He is a brute!” sobbed Mrs. Flumgarten, “to speak so of poor dear pa!”

“Don't purwoke me, Mrs. Flumgarten, into 'fending and proving, or I shall let the cat out of the bag, and the kittens into the bargain! By the Lord Harry, I'll peach, Mrs. Muff!”

Mrs. Flumgarten's unruly member was about to pour upon the master-mason a flood of Fubsyean eloquence, when Prudence, the family guardian angel, took her by the tongue's tip, as St. Dunstan took a certain ebony gentleman by the nose. She telegraphed Mrs. Muff, and Mrs. Muff telegraphed the intelligent Guy. Just as Brutus was fetching breath for another ebullition, with his hand on the decanter for another bumper, he found himself half throttled in the Cornish hug of his affectionate and blubbering first-born! When a chimney caught fire, it was a custom in Merrie England to drop down it a live goose, in the quality of extinguisher! And no goose ever performed its office better than the living Guy. He opened the flood-gates of his gooseberry eyes, and played upon pa so effectually, that Mr. Muff's ire or fire was speedily put out; and when, to prevent a coroner's inquest, the obedient child was motioned by the ladies to relax his filial embrace, the mollified master-mason began to sigh and sob too. The politic sisters now proposed to cut short their day's pleasure!—Uncle Timothy, to whom it was some consolation, that while he had been sitting upon thorns, his tormentors too were a little nettled, seeing bluff John Tomkins in the stable-yard grooming con amore one of Mr. Bosky's pet bloods, called out, “John! Tm afraid we were too many this morning for that shying left-wheeler. Now, if he should take to kicking—”

“Kicking! Mr. Timwiddy!” screamed Mrs. Flumgarten.

“Kicking! Mr. Timwig!” echoed Mrs. Muff.

Herodotus (who practised what he preached) said, “When telling a lie will be profitable, let it be told!”—“He may lie,” said Plato, “who knows how to do it in a suitable time.” So thought John Tomkins! who hoping to frighten his unwelcome customers into an omnibus, and drive home Uncle Timothy in capital style, so aggravated the possible kickings, plungings, takings fright, and runnings away of that terrible left-wheeler, that the accommodating middle-aged gentleman was easily persuaded by the ladies to lighten the weight and diminish the danger, by returning to town by some other conveyance. And it was highly entertaining to mark the glum looks of John when he doggedly put the horses to, and how he mischievously laid his whipcord into the sensitive flanks of the “shying left-wheeler,” that honoured every draft on his fetlocks, and confirmed the terrifying anticipations and multiplications of the veracious John Tomkins!

“Song sweetens toil, however rude the sound,”—and John sweetened his by humming the following, in which he encored himself several times, as he drove Mrs. Flumgarten and family, to town.

Dash along! splash along! hi, gee ho!

Four-and-twenty periwigs all of a row!

Save me from a tough yarn twice over told—

Save me from a Jerry Sneak, and save me from a scold.

A horse is not a mare, and a cow is not a calf;

A woman that talks all day long has too much tongue by


To the music of the fiddle I like to figure in;

But off I cut a caper from the music of the chin!

When Madam's in her tantrums, and Madam'gins to


If you want to give her change, hold an ingun to your


But if she shakes her pretty fist, and longs to come to


You may slip through her fingers, if you only soap your


Dash along! splash along! hi, gee ho!

No horse so fast can gallop as a woman's tongue can go.

“Needs must,” I've heard my granny say, “when the

devil drives.”

I wish he drove, instead of me, this brace of scolding



Give me a woman as old as Hecuba, or as ugly as Caifacaratadaddera, rather than Mrs. Flumgarten! Were the annoyance confined to herself, I should cry, 'Content,'—for she who sows nettles and thorns is entitled to reap a stinging and prickly harvest. Ill temper should ride quarantine, and have a billet de santé, before it is let loose upon society.”

These were among the ruminations of Uncle Timothy as he sauntered homeward through the green fields. Two interesting objects lay before him: the village church and grave-yard, and a row of ancient almshouses, the pious endowment of a bountiful widow, who having been brought to feel what sorrow was, had erected them, as the last resting-place but one, for the aged and the poor.

There dwelt in our ancestors * a fine spirit of humanity towards the helpless and the needy. The charitable pittance was not doled out to them by the hand of insolent authority; but the wayfarer, heart-weary, and foot-sore, claimed at the gates of these pious institutions ** (a few of which still remain in their primitive simplicity) his loaf, his lodging, and his groat, which were dispensed, generally with kindness, and always with decency. Truly we may say, that what the present generation has gained in head (and even this admission is subject to many qualifications), it has lost in heart!!

     *  “Before the Reformation, there were no Poor's Rates. The
     charitable dole, given at the religious houses, and the
     church-ale in every parish, did the business.

     “In every parish there was a Church-house, to which belonged
     spits, pots, &c. for dressing provision. Here the
     housekeepers met, and were merry, and gave their charity.
     The young people came there too, and had dancing, bowling,
     shooting at butts, &c. Mr. A. Wood assures me, that there
     were few or no almshouses before the time of Henry the
     Eighth; that at Oxon, opposite Christchurch, was one of the
     most ancient in England.”—Aubrey MSS.

     ** Was it ever intended—is it just—is it fitting, that the
     Masterships of St. Cross at Winchester, and St. Katharine's,
     London, should be such sumptuous sinecures?

A grave had just received its “poor inhabitant the mourners had departed, and two or three busy urchins, with shovels and spades, were filling in the earth; while the sexton, a living clod, nothing loth to see his work done by proxy, looked, with open mouth and leaden eyes, carelessly on. Uncle Timothy walked slowly up the path, and pausing before the “narrow cell,” enforced silence and decency by that irresistible charm that ever accompanied his presence. His pensive, thoughtful look, almost surprised the gazers into sympathy. Who was the silent tenant? None could tell. He was a stranger in the village; but their pastor must have known something of his story; for his voice faltered whilst reading the funeral service, and he was observed to weep. Uncle Timothy passed on, and continued his peregrination among the tombs. How grossly had the dead been libelled by the flattery of the living! Here was “a tender husband, a loving father, and an honest man,” who certainly had never tumbled his wife out at window, kicked his children out of doors, or picked his neighbour's pocket in broad daylight on the King's highway; yet was he a hypocritical heartless old money-worshipper! There lay a “disconsolate widow,” the names of whose three “lamented husbands” were chiselled on her tombstone! To the more opulent of human clay, who could afford plenty of lead and stone,—perchance the emblems of their dull, cold heads and hearts,—what pompous quarries were raised above ground! what fulsome inscriptions dedicated! But the poor came meanly off. Here and there a simple flower, blooming on the raised sod, and fondly cherished, told of departed friends and kindred not yet forgotten! And who that should see a rose thus affectionately planted would let it droop and wither for want of a tear?

“Ah!” thought Uncle Timothy, “may I make my last bed with the poor!—

“Let not unkind, untimely thrift

These little boons deny;

Nor those who love me while I live

Neglect me when I die!”

A monument of chaste and simple design attracted his attention. It was to the memory of a gentle spirit, whom he mourned with a brother's love. Four lines were all that had been thought essential to say; but they were sufficiently expressive.

Father! thy name we bless,

Thy providence adore.

Earth has a mortal less,

Heaven has an angel more!

The “Giver of every good and perfect gift” had taken her daughter before she knew sin or sorrow. Her epitaph ran thus:—

Oh! happy they who call'd to rest

Ere sorrow fades their bloom,

Awhile a blessing are—and bless'd—

Then sink into the tomb.

From fleeting joys and lasting woes

On youthful wing they fly—

In heaven they blossom like the rose,

The flowers that early die!

A. deep and holy calm fell upon Uncle Timothy, with a sweet assurance that a happier meeting with departed friends was not far distant. And as the guardianship of ministering angels was his firm belief and favourite theme, his secret prayer at this solemn moment was, that they might save him from the bodily and mental infirmities, the selfishness and apathy of protracted years. He read the inscriptions over again, with a full conviction of their truthfulness. They were his own.

At an obscure corner—and afar off—Truth, for a wonder, had written an epitaph upon one who loved, not his species, but his specie!

Beneath this stone old Nicholas lies;

Nobody laughs, and nobody cries.

Where he's gone, and how he fares,

Nobody knows, and nobody cares!

And at no great distance was a tomb entirely overgrown with rank weeds, nettles, and thorns; and there was a superstitious legend attached to it, that they all grew up in one night, and though they had been several times rooted up, still, in one night, they all grew up again! Stones had been ignominiously cast upon it; and certain ancient folks of the village gravely affirmed that, on the anniversary of the burial of the miserable crone, the Black Sanctus * was performed by herself and guardian spirits!

     * Isaac Reed informs us (see note upon Chapman's Widow's
     Tears, in Dodsley's Old Plays) that “the Black Sanctus was
     a hymn to Saint Satan, written in ridicule of Monkish
     luxury.” And Tarlton (see News out of Purgatory) quotes it
     in “the Tale of Pope Boniface.”

     “And' upon this there was a general mourning through all
     Rome: the cardinals wept, the abbots howled, the monks
     rored, the fryers cried, the nuns puled, the curtezans
     lamented, the bels rang, the tapers were lighted, that such
     a Blacke Sanctus was not seene a long time afore in Rome.”,

     The Black Sanctus here said to be performed was of a
     different kind. It was assuredly “a hymn to Satan,” in which
     the crone and the most favoured of her kindred took the
     base; Hypocrisy leading the band, and Avarice scraping the

     “The rest God knows—perhaps the Devil”

A yew-tree stretched forth its bare branches over the tomb, which in one night also became withered and blasted!


At the porch of the entre almshouse sat an aged female in awidows garb, and beside her the village pastor. From the earnestness of his address, he seemed to be exhorting her to resignation; but the tears that fell from her eyes proved how hard was the task! Though Uncle Timothy would not have done homage to the highest potentate in Christendom for all the wealth and distinction that he or she could bestow, he felt his knees tremble under him at the sacredness of humble sorrow. He walked up the neat little flower garden, and having read the grateful memorial inscribed over the ancient doorway to the charitable foundress, was about to speak, when the words, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” fell like the dews of heaven upon his ear! The widow looked up—she hushed every sigh—she wiped away every tear—the divine potency of the promise sustained her, and she wept no more.

Little ceremony did Uncle Timothy use towards the good pastor and his comforted mourner. His address began with a simple question, who was the brother that he had so recently consigned to the grave?

“This poor widow's only son! The story, sir, is brief and mournful. Bankruptcy and ruin hurried her husband to the grave. This asylum opened its door to receive her; and here, though reviewing the past with fond regret, she became grateful for the present, and hopeful for the future. Her son, a youth of fine intellect, submitted to the ill-paid drudgery of an office where the hands, not the head, were required; and he delighted to spare from his narrow pittance such additional comforts for his mother as were not contemplated by the pious foundress in those primitive times. He would hasten hither on beautiful summer evenings after the business of the day, to trim her little garden, surprise her with some frugal luxury, and see that she was happy. The Sabbath he never omitted passing under this roof, and he led her to my pew,—for she is a gentlewoman, sir,—where she sat with my family. Consumption seized his frame; and what privations did he endure, what fatigues did he brave, to conceal the first fatal symptoms from his mother! Of a melancholy temperament, endued with all the fine sensibilities of genius, death, under much less unprosperous circumstances, would have been a welcome visitor; but to die—and leave—no matter. I promised to take upon myself the solemn charge, should the dreaded moment arrive. It has arrived, and that promise, by the blessing of my God, I will faithfully redeem.”

Uncle Timothy was not an envious man—he knew envy by name only. But if at this particular moment his heart could have been anatomised, O, how he envied the good pastor!

“The disease gained ground with fearful strides.

He was obliged to absent himself from business; and as his employers were no-work-no-pay philanthropists, he was left to his own slender resources, and retired here to die.”

“Who sustained my lost son in his long sickness, comforted him, and received his last sigh? Ah! sir—But I dare not disobey your too strict injunction.

'Friend of the poor! the mourner feels thy aid—

She cannot pay thee, but thou wilt be paid!'

“It is not many evenings since that I accompanied my dear young friend in one of his solitary rambles. The sun was setting in golden splendour, and tinged the deep blue clouds that appeared like mountains rising above one another. 'Yon glorious orb,' he cried, with sacred fervour, 'emblem of immortality!

The setting and the rising sun

To me are themes of deep reflection—

Death, frail mortal! is the one,

The other is thy resurrection.

Oh! be that resurrection mine,

And glorious as those rays divine!

A few days after I was called to his bed-side; the hand of death had seized him; he recognised me, smiled, and gently pressed my hand. 'Every misery missed,' he whispered, 'is a mercy!' A faint struggle, and a short sigh succeeded, and he was gone to his rest!”

“What a poor figure would this simple record of good works, lively faith, and filial piety make in a modern obituary, where incoherent ravings are eagerly noted down by officious death-bed gossipers, and wrought into a romance, always egotistical, and too often profane! To you, madam,” added Uncle Timothy, “consolation and hope have been brought by a heaven-appointed messenger. Something, however, remains to be done in a worldly sense. But I see our friend is on the eve of departure; what I was about to propose shall be submitted to him when we are alone. In the mean time, you will please to consider this humble roof but as a temporary home. It abounds in sad remembrances, which change of scene may soften down, if not entirely dispel. I have a dear, affectionate relative, who would deeply regard you, were it only for your sorrow. And as there 'is a special providence in the falling of a sparrow,' I cannot doubt that some good spirit directed me hither. God bless you! We shall very soon meet again.”

And locking the kind pastor's arm in his own, he hurried down the little garden, pausing for a moment to gather a pale rose, which he placed in his bosom.


Railly, Master Jackimo, I'm quite ashamed on your laziness! you only gits up to lie down, and only lies down to git up! and, instead of making your bow to the ladies and gentlemen, and holding out your cap to catch the coppers, you are everlastingly a-doing o' nuffin but pulling up your shirt-collar, and cracking o' nuts. Havn't I treated you more like a relation than a monkey—giving you the best of advice? But if ever I find you at your old fun ag'in, as sure as my name's Blinking Billy, I'll take off your goold scarlet waistcoat!

This was addressed by an itinerant musician, in a shocking bad hat, with a garnish of old red cotton nightcaps, to his mendicant monkey, that he had perched upon Whittington's Stone for the purpose of taking him more conveniently to task.

The offender was of a grave aspect, with a remarkably knowing look. He was dressed en militaire, with an old-fashioned scarlet waistcoat embroidered with tinsel, of which he seemed monstrously vain. He listened with becoming seriousness to the musician's expostulation, slyly reserving in the corner of his jaw a nut that he deferred to crack till opportunity should offer. But at the threat of losing his red waistcoat, he gibbered, chattered, and by every species of pantomimical begging and bowing, promised future amendment.

Had not the mind of Uncle Timothy been too much occupied with recent events, he would have scraped acquaintance with monkey and man, who were evidently eccentrics, and Uncle Tim was a lover of eccentricity. The moment that the monkey spied a customer, he began his work of reformation, by jumping off the stone, running the full tether of his chain, making a graceful bow, and holding out his cap for a contribution. His politeness was rewarded with sixpence from Uncle Timothy, and an approving word from his master; and the middle-aged gentleman, serenaded by a passing grind from the barrel-organ, walked slowly on.

A caravansary of exhibitors bound to Bartholomew Fair had halted at Mother Red Cap's, * an ancient hostelrie at the foot of Highgate Hill. Although weary and parched with thirst, Uncle Timothy might probably have journeyed onward, had not the “beck'ning ghost” of jovial John.

     * Mother Red Cap, doubtless an emanation from Elinour
     Rumming, was a favourite sign during the sixteenth and
     seventeenth centuries, and the black Jack that she held in
     her hand was a symbol of good ale. Two ancient hostelries
     still bear her prepossessing effigy: one in the Hampstead
     Road, near Kentish Town; and one at Holloway. It is said
     that a remarkable shrew, Mother Damnable, of Kentish town,
     (of whom the late Mr. Bindley had an unique engraving,) gave
     rise to the former sign. This ill-favoured lady looks more
     like a witch than an ale-wife. She would have frightened her
     customers out of the house, and their horses out of the
     stable! We are inclined to give the palm of priority to the
     venerable red-capped mother at Holloway, who must have been
     moderately notorious in the time of Drunken Barnaby, when he
     halted to regale himself at her portal.

          “Thence to Holloway, Mother Red-cap
          In a troop of trulls I did hap;
          Wh—s of Babylon me impalled,
          And me their Adonis called;
          With me toy'd they, buss'd me, cull'd me,
          But being needy, out they pulled me.”

Backster, * flitting in the evening grey, motioned him, in imagination, to enter.


He made his way to the low-roofed side parlour, where were assembled a troop of showmen and conjurors. One fellow was busily employed in shaving a baboon, ** which he intended to exhibit as a fairy; and another was rasping the rough chin of a muzzled bear, that bore the operation with exemplary patience, sitting in an arm-chair, dressed in a check waiscoat and trowsers, in his professional character of an Ethiopian savage!

     * John Backster kept the Mother Red Cap at Holloway in 1667.
     We are in possession of his very curious and rare Token, on
     the right side of which is engraved Mother Red Cap holding a
     Black Jack, with his initials of “J. B. His Half Peny:* and
     on the reverse, “John Backster, att-the Mother Read-Capp in
     hollway, 1667.”

     ** The baboon and the monkey were popular drolls in ancient
     times. The following lines occur in a work called “Ayres or
     Phantasticke Sprites for three Voices,” published by Thomas
     Weelkes, “Batchelar of Musicke,” 1608.

          “The ape, the monkey, and baboon did meet,
          And breaking of their fast in Friday Street;
          Two of them sware together solemnly
          In their three natures was a sympathy.
          'Nay,' quoth Baboon, 'I do deny that strain,
          I have more knavery in me than you twain.'
          “'Why,' quoth the Ape,
          'I have a horse at will
          In Paris Garden, for to ride on still,
          And there show trieks.'—
          'Tush,' quoth the Monkey,
          'I For better trieks in great men's houses lie.'
          'Tush!' quoth Baboon; 'when men do know I come,
          For sport from town and country they will run.'”

A conjuror was looking at a large dragon-fly through a magnifying glass, to see how it would pass off for the great high German higher-flighter; and the proprietor of an aviary was supplying a young blackbird with an artificial comb and wattles of red velvet, to find a customer for him as the great cocky, or olla bird of the desert. A showman was mending the fractured bridge of Mr. Punch's nose, while his stage-manager tried a new tail on the devil. *

     * In some of the old plays the devil was dressed in a black
     suit, painted with flames, and made to shine. “Let the devil
     wear black for me, I'll have a suit of sables,” says Hamlet.
     In the mysteries and moralities of an earlier date, he was
     decorated with a hairy dress, like a wild beast.

The master of the monster tea-kettle, who had recently been “up the spout,” was tricking out his red-haired, strapping Dulcinea with peacocks' feathers, bits of stained glass, catskins, strips of coloured leather, and teaching her to sing some unintelligible gibberish, for the purpose of extracting from the Bartholomew Fair gulls a penny for the prodigious sight of a real wild Indian. A mermaid was in process of completion; a dog was practising a minuet, to see how his fifth leg fitted him; a learned pig * was going through his lesson in numbers and cards; a cat of extraordinary intelligence was feeding a kitten with starch, to make it stand upright; and a monkey instructing an intellectual goose how to carry a pair of miniature milkpails.

     * The earliest account that we have seen of a learned pig is
     in an old Bartholomew Fair hill, issued by Mr. Conjuror
     Fawkes, which exhibits the portrait of the swinish pundit
     holding a paper in his mouth, with the letter Y inscribed
     upon it. This “most amazing pig,” which had a particularly
     curly tail, was the pattern of docility and sagacity: the
     “Pig of Knowledge, Being the only one ever taught in
     England.” He was to be visited “at a Commodious Room, at the
     George, West-Smithfield, During the time of the Fair and the
     spectators were required to “See and Believe!” Three-pence
     was the price of admission to behold “This astonishing
     animal” perform with cards, money, and watches, &c. &c. The
     bill concludes with the following apotheosis to the pig.

          “A learned pig in George's reign,
          To Æsop's brutes an equal boast;
          Then let mankind again combine,
          To render friendship still a toast.”

     Stella said that Swift could write sublimely upon a
     broomstick. Who ever, as the Methodists say, better
     “improved” a pig? Except by roasting it! In 1732, Mr. Fawkes
     exhibited a “learned goose” opposite the George Inn, West-

A poetical licensed victualler had just painted on his board, which was emblazoned with the sign of the Griffin and

Hoop, the following lines in capitals,

“I, John Stubbs lyveth hear,

Sels goode Brandy, Gin, and Bere,

I maid mi borde a leetle whyder,

To let you nowe I sels goode Syder:”

the lines, like the liquors, being composed by the said John Stubbs! A giant, * well padded out, was adding some inches to his stature by a pair—

     *  Giants have been “At Home” not at fairs only. Og, King of
     Bashan, was more than twelve English feet in height. Goliah
     was about nine feet nine inches high—or eleven feet,
     according to some commentators. The Emperor Maximinus is
     said to have been nine feet. Turner, the naturalist,
     mentions having seen on the Brazil coast a race of gigantic
     savages, one of whom measured twelve feet! And Monsieur
     Thevet, in his description of America, published at Paris in

     declares that he saw and measured the skeleton of a South
     American, which was eleven feet five inches in length. Die-
     merbroeek saw at Utreeht a well-proportioned living man,
     measuring eight feet six inches; and Dr. Becamus was
     introduced to a youth who was nearly nine feet high; a man
     almost ten feet, and a woman quite ten feet. The Patagonians
     have been represented as a nation of giants. The
     Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society contain
     accounts of skeletons dug up in England, measuring eight and
     nine feet in length, which probably were Roman. In the
     forty-first and forty-second volumes of the same work are
     two engravings taken from an os front is and an os
     bregmatis, the former of which is reckoned to have belonged
     to a person between eleven and twelve feet high; the latter
     to a giant of thirteen feet four inches. Walter Parsons,
     porter to King James the First, was seven feet seven inches
     in stature. The Chinese would have us believe that they
     possess giants fifteen feet high. More of these prodigies

—of German hogloshes, with extra high heels; a fresh water sailor, with one eye, and one leg, had a seal that exhaled an odour “most ancient and fish-like a ballad-singer was whitening his head with chalk, * and several poor Italian boys, with tortoises, squirrels, monkeys, and white mice, were jabbering away their patois in a corner with great animation.

     * Powdering the hair is supposed to have taken its rise in
     modern Europe from some ballad singers at the fair of St.
     Germain's in 1614, whitening their heads to make themselves

One lively little fellow, the lion of the party, with brilliant black eyes, ivory teeth, and a dark brown complexion, tinged with the bright warmth of an Italian sun, who bore on his shoulder a frolicksome marmoset * that he had been teaching to leap through a hoop, amused his companions with a ditty that he had picked up on his journey hither from the pleasant valleys of his father-land.

     * The custom of bearing an ape on the shoulder at country
     fairs, &c. is very ancient. Ben Jonson makes the following
     allusion to it in his Masque of Gypsies:

          “A gypsy in his shape,
          More calls the beholder,
          Than the fellow with the ape,
          Or the ape on his shoulder”

The person of Uncle Timothy was imposing; and the superfine broad cloth and brass buttons of Mr. Rumfit had invested it with a magisterial character that caused a sudden movement among the exhibitors when he entered their sanctorum. But the middle-aged gentleman soon convinced them that he was a man of humanity, and no magistrate; which quieted the alarms of both men and monkeys; and so gracious were his looks and demeanour, that the shaved bear, which had viewed him with scowling distrust, no longer kept aloof, but proffered his shaggy paw for a shake. At this moment the lecturing musician entered the room, and Jackimo, recognising his benefactor, jumped from the organ, ran up to him, doffed his cap, and made his best bow! Uncle Timothy and his company being now upon terms, he ordered in biscuits for the monkeys, and buns for the bears; not forgetting some nuts for his friend, who waited for the musician's nod before he cracked one of them. He then inquired of the bear-ward what his four-footed companion would like to drink? Upon which the keeper consulted his oracle, and received for reply, that a jug of homebrewed, with a toast and sugar, would be supremely acceptable! Uncle Timothy started, conceiving Bruin to have suddenly become possessed of Balaam's miraculous quality: but the mystery was soon explained; the keeper being a ventriloquist, and this one of his Bartlemy Fair tricks.

“Pray gentlemen,” said Uncle Timothy, “by what means do you make these animals so apprehensive and docile? I fear there is some cruelty in the case.”

“No cruelty at all, good sir,” replied the lecturing musician, who was the organ of the company.

“It is your Smithfield drovers and butchers as is cruel! We don't larn our hanimals to dance on red-hot iron plates, as our aunt's sisters (ancestors?) did. Now that 'ere monkey o' mine; never was sich a wain little cove! It costes me a fortin in starch to stiffen his shirt collars; and if any on'em is in the least limp, my wig! he chatters, grins, and gies himself all the airs and graces of a fine lady. Sometimes I larn him his dooty by long lessons and short commons; sometimes I threatens—only threatens!—(but that in your honour's ear, for he's a-listening all the while!) to tip him monkey's allowance (shaking ferociously a very thin cane); but when I want to touch his feelings, I says, 'Jackimo, you're a good-for-nuffin little monster, and I'll walk off your red waistcoat!'”

“But the monkey and the bear, how relish they the razor?”

“Kindly, sir, kindly!” replied the Bruin shaver. “At first my old feller was summut rough and ugly; his beard turned the hedges of three oyster-knives afore I could trim him into a gentleman. But now he sees the advantage on it. Don't you, my daisy?

The bear, after the fashion of the Irish echo, was made to ventriloquise in a growl, gruffly, “I does, my tulip!

The several rehearsals being over, and all things put in order for their approaching campaign, the exhibitors were about to depart, when it occurred to Uncle Timothy that he had not paid his footing for being admitted behind the scenes. He addressed the real wild Indian, and begged her to call for what best pleased her palate; which call resolved itself into a rasher on the coals, a rummer of nutbrown, and a thimblefull of brandy to keep off the spasms. She was then escorted to her tea-kettle, and put under cover for the night. The bear and the monkey having been similarly disposed of, their respective shavers made merry with the rest of the show-folk. Uncle Timothy took the little Italian boys under his care, and feasted them plenteously. At this moment a rival tea-kettle drew up, with a caravan in the rear.

“Pray, madam,” said a tragedy queen, peeping through a bit of ragged green curtain that depended before the entrance to the tea-kettle, to a dwarf in the caravan, “do you put up at Mother Red Cap's?”

     * This old house, fronting the fields at Hoxton, was
     formerly a noted place of resort for the Finsbury archers.
     Sir William D'Avenant, in his “Long Vacation in London,”
      says of the proctors and attorneys,

          “Each with solemn oath agree
          To meet in Fields of Finsburie;
          With loynes in canvas bow-case tyde,
          Where arrowes stick with mickle pride;
          With hats pinn'd up, and bow in hand,
          All day most fiercely there they stand,
          Like ghosts of Adam Bell and Clymme,
          Sol sets for fear they'll shoot at him.”

     A stray Toxopholite may now and then be seen at the Robin
     Hood, stringing his bow, and dreaming of the 'merry days
     that are past. Underneath the ancient sign is the following

          “Ye archers bold, and yeomen good,
          Stop, and drink with Robin Hood;
          If Robin Hood is not at home,
          Stop, and drink with Little John.”

“Not I, madam,” responded the Lilliputian lady; “I stops at the Robin Hood * at merry Hoxton; * none but the lower orders stops at Mother Red Cap's!”


And the caravan moved on as fast as the wall-eyed anatomy of a Rosinante could drag it.

     * Thomas Dale, Drawer at the Crown Tavern at Aldgate, kept
     the Turk's Head Musiek-Booth in Smithfield-Rounds, over-
     against the Greyhound Inn, during the time of Bartholomew
     Fair (temp. W. 3rd), where he exhibited Scaramouch dances
     and drolls, and “the Merry Cuckolds of Hogsden!” It is
     stated in the Henslowe papers, deposited in the archives of
     Dulwich College, that Ben Jonson killed Gabriel Spencer, a
     fellow actor, in a duel fought in Hoxton Fields.

The rival tea-kettle poured out part of its contents in the person of a long, lean man, with all his limbs rambling; no way reduceable to compass, unless you doubled him up like a pocket-rule. His wardrobe was illustrative of Jew frippery and Rag-Fair tawdry. He was tricked out in the relics of a ci-devant shirt; his coat was a patchwork quilt, his waistcoat and pantaloons were the sign of the chequers, an escutcheon quartering all the colours of the rainbow.

“In his hand

A box he bore, wherein the pungent dust

Of Dutch rapee, in gaudy state reclin'd.

Oft would he ope the lid, and oft immerge

His fingers,”

for the purpose of exciting an agreeable titillation in a very sharp nose, that blushed like a corn-poppy.

“A glass of cold water, warm without sugar, Lady Teazle? or a strip of white satin and bitters, my Belvidera? A pint of half-and-half in the pewter, my Calista? or a tumbler of cold without, Mrs. Longbow?”

“D'ye think, Mr. Bigstick, I'm a rhinoscheros, a river-oss, or a crocodile? Order me a pot of hot coffee and buttered toast; and mind, Mr. Bigstick, let it be buttered on both sides.”

This dialogue was carried on between the long lean man and an invisible sharp-voiced personage in the tea-kettle.

“Coffee and toast for the tea-kettle,” shouted the waiter.

“How many?” demanded mine host.

“Four. Lady Teaser, Belvideary, Miss Cannister, and Mrs. Longbow.”

Mort de ma vie!” ejaculated the long lean man. “For one!—In the Tumbletuzzy all these characters are combined. And, garçon, bring me a basin of tea and a—biscuit.”

The frugal refection was laid before the lean man. “Cat-lap base!” he muttered, swallowing the scalding hot bohea, that was strongly impregnated with Sir Hugh Middleton, and champing the dry biscuit.

“Another round of toast for Lady Teaser!”

“Buttered on both sides,” growled the lean man, sarcastically; and he began to number with his skinny fingers, as if counting the cost.

Uncle Timothy was the last person in the world to flout a threadbare coat, because it is threadbare, or take a man for a sharper because he happens to be sharp-witted or sharp-set. Your full-fed fool he thought quite as likely to have nefarious designs on his purse, as the hungry humorist who at once lets you into the secret of his starvation. If he be deserving as well as poor, it was gratifying to Uncle Tim that he had made honest poverty forget its privations for a season; and should he prove a shirking idler on the pavé—, he had not been taken in at any vast expense. Reflections like these crossed his mind—and he left the room.

On his return, he found the lean man still counting with his fingers. Presently the waiter spread the table with a snow-white cloth; the clattering of knives and forks, plates and spoons, roused the lean man from his reverie; he gazed wistfully at the preparations, and looked thrice famished.

There is a story of a tyrant, who, to add to the natural torments of starvation, caused a roast chicken to be suspended every day before the prison bars of his victim, until he expired. Just such a tormentor, unwittingly, was Uncle Timothy. For the garçon again appeared, bearing a dish of broiled ham and poached eggs, the sight and aroma of which seared the eye-balls and tantalised the pinched nostrils of the lean man. At the same moment, “Another round for Lady Teaser!” tolled a twopenny knell in his ears.

“My friend not arrived yet?” said Uncle Timothy.

“No, sir,” replied the garçon slyly, but respectfully.

“Let him pay, then, for his want of punctuality. I wait for nobody. Will you, sir,” politely addressing the lean man, “do me the favour to be my guest? Though I have ordered supper for two, I cannot command appetite for two.”

The lean man stared irresolutely at Uncle Timothy. Hunger and Pride were at fisticuffs; but Hunger hit pride such a blow in the stomach, that Pride gave up the contest.

And how gracefully did the middle-aged gentleman play the host! inviting his guest (though little invitation was needed) with the kindest words, and helping him to the daintiest morsels. And it was not until this supper-out of the first lustre had fully indulged his eating propensities, and cleared the board, that he found leisure to look up from his plate, and contemplate the execution he had done. But when a cauliflower-wigged tankard of stout crowned the repast, he pressed it with ecstasy to his lips, and sang joyously—

Porter! drink for noble souls!

Raise the foaming tankard high I

Water drink, you water think—

So said Johnson—so say I!

Let me take a Dutchman's draught—

Ha I—I breathe!—a glorious pull!

Malt and hops are British drops—

Froth for Frenchmen! Stout for Bull!

If you ask why Britons fight

Till they conquer or they die?—

Their stout is strong, their draughts are long—

Now you know the reason why.

“Lady Teaser is quite ready, sir,” said the garçon, hurriedly.

“Give my respectful compliments to Lady Teazle, and tell her ladyship that I'll kiss her superlative 'pickers and stealers' in 'the twinkling of a bed-post.'”

The garçon made another precipitate entry, with “The tea-kettle can't wait, sir!”

“A fico for the tea-kettle! It must!—it shall! With three rounds of toast buttered on both sides, and coffee à discretion, hath the Tumbletuzzy been magnificently regaled—('Marriage is chargeable!')—and shall I not take mine ease in mine inn? Your banquet, sir, hath warmed the cockles of my heart, and made my hair curl!—

When a gentleman's stomach lacks dainty fare, (Singing)

And “Cupboard I Cupboard!” it croaks in his ear,

He rejoices, i'feggs! when bacon and eggs

' Smoke on the board, with a tankard of beer.

Without much ado, his teeth fall to,

The delicate viands vanish from view;

O'er a glass of good liquor

His heart beats the quicker,

And he drinks to his kind host, as I drink to you.

There's my card—(presenting a bill of the performances)—'Bonassus Bigstick, Esq. Bartholomew Fair.' I'll put you on our free list, which to all the world, but yourself and the public press, shall be unavoidably suspended! Ha!”—(scenting a rummer of hot punch that the garçon placed before him)—“'brandy for heroes!' Welcome, old friend! for a' langsyne. Yet what is punch without a song? A clerk without a Cocker; a door without a knocker; a ship without a sailor; a goose without a tailor; a rhyme without a riddle; a bow without a fiddle; a priest without a pulpit; a stage without a full pit!—As you, sir, have been instrumental to my entertainment, let me be vocal for yours! Omnibus tulip punctum, as we say in the classics!—I'll give you an undress rehearsal of one of my crack songs for tomorrow at Saint Bartlemy.

All the world's a stage, the men and women actor folks,

Very, very tragical, or very full of fun.

Nature, in a merry mood, on some has, quizzing, crack'd

her jokes;

And Mr. Dicky Dunderhead of Dunstable is one.

Ranting, tearing, stamping, staring; Whiskerandos, Domine

Now he courts the comic muse, then ogles at Melpomene;

His funny eyes, funny mouth, funny chin, and funny


So queerly tool'd, are good as goold—and Dick the worth

of money knows!

Punch's scions, see the lions! Bartlemy, come startle


Ladies and gentlemen, walk in, walk in!

Shyloçk the Jew, the Brigand, and the Blackymoor,

Nigger parlous! killing Carlos on his wedding-day;

As Mother Cole, the canting soul, he drinks a drop of

Jacky more;

As Hamlet proud, he bellows loud, and scares the

ghost away!

The pit and box to sticks and stocks his acting surely

turn'em would,

When by the train to Dunsinane comes in a gallop

Birnam Wood.

“Avaunt i you fright, and quit my sight I a stool there's

not, my trump, any;

I'll thank'e, Banky, for your room! Old Nick may have

your company!”

Punch's scions, see the lions! Bartlemy, come startle


Ladies and gentlemen, walk in, walk in!

With Pantaloon and Columbine he skips, trips, and frisks


Round his head spins like a top as fast as it can go:

Now he twirls his magic sword, whacks the clown, and

whisks along,

Dances on his head and hands, and jumps Jim Crow.

In his jazey, crack'd and crazy, very queer in Lear he is;

And quite as queer telling Pierre how dear his Belvi-

deary is!

“A horse! my kingdom for a horse!” if legs he can but

go on two—

Another bring—twice two is four—and, like Ducrow,

I'll crow on two.

Punch's scions, see the lions! Bartlemy, come startle


Ladies and gentlemen, walk in, walk in!

O, Mr. Dunderhead; is it to be wonder-ed,

Old chap, you let Miss Capulet make love to you till


'For when you play'd at Dunstable, and overrun the


The ladies would have pledged their hearts to take you

out of pawn.

Among the stars of Smithfield bars you'll stick so fiery

off indeed,

The deuce a bit of goose you'll get, or “Nosey! off!” *

or cough, indeed;

And if in fun for number one folks think to spend a

penny fit,

They'll come and see you off a tree the bark grin, at

your benefit.

Punch's scions, see the lions! Bartlemy, come startle


Ladies and gentlemen, walk in, walk in!

     * About the year 1775, there was a performer on the violin-
     cello in the orchestra of Drury Lane Theatre, named
     Cervetti, to whom the gods had given the appropriate
     nickname of Nosey, from his enormous staysail, that helped
     to carry him before the wind. “Nosey!” shouted from the
     galleries, was the signal, or word of command for the
     fiddlers to strike up. This man was originally an Italian
     merchant of good repute; but failing in business, he came
     over to England, and adopted music for a profession. He had
     a notable knack of loud yawning, with which he sometimes
     unluckily filled up Garrick's expressive pauses, to the
     infinite annoyance of little Davy, and the laughter of the
     audience. In the summer of 1777 he played at Vauxhall, at
     the age of ninety-eight.

     The Lauréat of Little Britain must have had just such
     another Nose in his eye when he wrote the following.

          That Roman Nose! that Roman Nose!
          Has robb'd my bosom of repose;
          For when in sleep my eyelids close,
          It haunts me still, that Roman Nose!
          Between two eyes as black as sloes
          The bright and flaming ruby glows;
          That Roman Nose! that Roman Nose!
          And beats the blush of damask rose.
          I walk the streets, the alleys, rows;
          I look at all the Jems and Joes;
          And old and young, and friends and foes,
          But cannot find a Roman Nose!
          Then blessed be the day I chose
          That nasal beauty of my beau's;
          And when at last to heaven I goes,
          I hope to spy his Roman Nose!

The tea-kettle boiled over with rage, and demanded imperiously the immediate presence of the lean man.

“Who calls on Bigstick? As the Tumbletuzzy will brook no longer delay,

'I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.'

'To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,' you will find me at the Fair. I shall expect your promised visit.

'Adieu, adieu, adieu, remember me!'”

At this moment old blind Sally, who for more than half a century has played her way through Highgate, Holloway, and merry Islington, * tuned her hurdy-gurdy, and ground the lean man triumphantly into his tea-kettle.

     * “Islington, March 2O, 1698. This day here were lamentable
     doings. O! in what a sad fright and consternation were the
     Lick-spickets of this plaee; upon the suddain and unexpected
     appearance of the ferreters of Fuddling-schools all were put
     into a hurry and confusion, the men were forced to throw
     down their beloved pipes of sotweed, and rudely leave their
     pots without a parting kiss; the women and children too,
     alas! with tears and sighs, parted with their hot cakes and
     custards, before they had half stuffed their stomachs. And
     the streets were filled with the mourning mob. Amongst the
     rest was a fat red-faced hostess, who, with a loud and
     doleful voice, said, 4 Ah! my friends, if this business
     holds, I shall certainly be undone. Ah! poor Islington, thou
     hast been, time out of mind, the plaee of general rendezvous
     for Sunday sots. Thou hast constantly supplied the citizens'
     wives and children with cakes, pies, and custards, and art
     the chief plaee near the city, for breeding calves and
     nursing children. Thou, I say, that hast been a place so
     famous, and in such esteem, now to have the richest of thy
     inhabitants utterly ruined only for profaning the Sabbath-
     day. Alas! the only day we have to get money in. Who will
     advise me?'—'Advise you,' said one of her sottish
     customers, 'you have kept an ale-house almost thirty years,
     to my knowledge, and if you have not got enough by nicking,
     frothing, double-scoreing, selling coarse cakes, empty pies,
     and nasty custards, to keep you now you are old, e'en go to
     your old master, the devil, and let him keep you!”—“The
     English Lueian, or Weekly Discoveries of the Witty
     Intrigues, Comical Passages, and Remarkable Transactions in
     Town and Country, &c. &c.”

     The above is a curious picture of an Islington ale-wife in
     the olden time. The following account describes a “strange
     monster” exhibited at Miles's Music-house at Islington a few
     years after, with the comical interlude of the Stuffed

     “Some time since there was brought to Miles's Music-house at
     Islington, a strange sort of a monster, that does everything
     like a monkey, but is not a monkey; mimics man, like a
     jackanapes, but is not a jackanapes; jumps upon tables, and
     into windows upon all-fours, like a cat, but is not a cat;
     does all things like a beast, but is not a beast; does
     nothing like a man, but is a man! He has given such
     wonderful content to the Butchers of Clare Market, that the
     house is every day as full as the Bear Gardens; and draws
     the city wives and prentices out of London, much more than a
     man hanged in chains. It happened lately upon a holiday,
     when honest men walked abroad with their wives and
     daughters, to the great consumption of hot buns and bottled
     ale, that the fame of this mimick had drawn into the Music-
     house as great a crowd of spectators as the notable
     performances of Clinch of Barnet ever drew to the theatre.
     The Frape being thus assembled in the lower room, and the
     better sort being climbed into the gallery, a little
     creature, who before walked erect, and bore the image of a
     man, transformed himself into a monkey, and began to
     entertain the company with such a parcel of pretty pug's
     tricks, and mimical actions, that they were all as intent
     upon the baboon's vagaries as if a mandrake had been
     tumbling through a hoop, or a hobgoblin dancing an antick!
     Whilst the eyes and ears of the assembly were thus deeply
     engaged, the skin of a large alligator, stuff'd with hay,
     hanging within the top of the house, and the rats having
     burrowed through the ceiling, could come down at pleasure
     and sport upon the back of the monster; one of the
     revengeful vermin, to put a trick upon his fellows, who were
     enticed by the smell of the hay to creep down the serpent's
     throat, his jaws being extended, gnawed the cord in two, and
     down comes the alligator with his belly full of rats, upon
     the head of the monkey, and laid him sprawling; giving some
     of the spectators a wipe with his tail; the rats running out
     of his mouth in a wonderful hurry, like so many sailors from
     between decks when a ship at midnight has struck upon a
     rock!”—“A Pacquet from Will's, 1701.”


Uncle Timothy was an excursive talker and walker. He had no set phrases; nothing ready-cut and dried (which is often very dry) for formal intellectual displays. When he rose in the morning, unless bound by some engagement, he hardly knew whither his footsteps would tend. He was to be seen looking into curiosity shops; rummaging old book-stalls; turning over portfolios of curious prints; stepping into an auction, a panorama, an exhibition of ancient pictures; sometimes rambling in the green fields, and not unfrequently making one of Punch's laughing audiences. It is the opinion of some would-be philosophers that their dignity is best upheld by an unbending austerity, and a supercilious contempt for whatever engaged the attention of their youth. But we tell such pretenders, that they are alike ignorant of nature and philosophy. Men of the most exalted genius have been remarkable for their urbanity, and even child-like simplicity of manners: and it was one of the many interesting traits in the author of Waverley, that, in the “sear and yellow leaf,” he had nothing of age but the name; but retained all the spirit, the romance, the gaiety of his youthful days.

The world would have called Uncle Timothy idle—but

“How various his employments, whom the world

Calls idle, and who justly in return

Esteems the busy world an idler too!”

Though the world's pursuits brought more care to the heart and profit to the purse than his own, he wished they might only prove as innocent and as honest.

Uncle Timothy had just got scent of an ancient carved figure of Falstaff, that once adorned the overhanging doorway of the Boar's Head, in East-cheap; not the original scene of revelry where Prince Hal and Sir John turned night into day. That merry hostelrie, where “lean Jack” slept on benches in the afternoon, and unbuttoned himself after supper, had been replaced by another, bearing the same immortal sign, which rose on its ruins immediately after the fire of London. The Boar's Head (which we well remember) was cut in stone, and let into the brick work under the centre window of the first floor. This house had been recently pulled down, in order to make room for the new London Bridge improvements; but Uncle Timothy heard that the figure had been carefully reserved by the proprietor, as a memorial of so celebrated a site. Thither he journeyed on a voyage of discovery. The owner of the Boar's Head had departed this life; but the neighbours referred him to a nephew, dwelling in an adjoining street, who had succeeded the old gentleman in business. The worthy tradesman received him with courtesy, and proceeded to narrate what had transpired since the demolition of the tavern. The story of the figure was strictly true. His late uncle regarded it as an interesting relic, and his widow, smitten with a kindred feeling, had retired into the country, carrying with her Sir John Falstaff; and it was not at all likely that she would relinquish possession of the fat knight, until commanded by the inexorable separatist that parts the best friends. While Uncle Timothy, on his way homeward, was whistling, not for “want of thought,” but the figure, he espied a new Boar's Head in the immediate vicinity of the old one; and, as the attraction was too powerful to be resisted, he walked in, and soon found himself in a spacious apartment, carved, fretted, and mullioned in the ancient style; the furniture was grotesquely ornamented and antique; the holly and mistletoe were disposed in various parts of the room; a huge fire blazed cheerfully; and round a massy oak table, black with age, sat Falstaff, Prince Henry, Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Ague-cheek, Sir Hugh Evans, Justice Shallow, Poins, Peto, Touchstone, Corporal Nym, Ancient Pistol, and Lieutenant Bardolph! That “base-string of humility,” Francis, waited upon the company; and the shrill tones of Hostess Quickly were heard in an angry colloquy with the “roaring girl,” Doll Tearsheet. A boar's head with a lemon in his mouth adorned the centre of the table, and immediately before Sir John Falstaff was a magnificent bowl of sugared sack compounded by the dame n her very best humour, and not excelled by that memorable draught which the oily knight so cosily lapped down, when he swore to mine hostess, “upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in her Dolphin Chamber at the round-table, by a sea-coal fire,” that he would marry her and make her “my lady.” Every guest had a horn cup silver-mounted; and black jacks of sparkling ale, and cakes in abundance, strewed the festive board. Some racy joke on Bardolph's burning nose had just been fired off, and the company were in high merriment.

“Surely,” said Uncle Timothy to himself, “this is a masquerade. I am an unbidden guest; but the Enchanter's wand is over me, and I cannot either advance or retire.”

Sir Andrew thrummed his viol-de-gambo; and Sir Toby, having fortified himself with a long draught out of a black jack, with true heartiness of voice and gesture struck up a glee.


Sir Toby. Because some folks are virtuous, Sir John,

shall you and I

Forswear our wassail, cakes and ale, and sit us down

and sigh?

The world is still a merry world, and this a merry time;

And sack is sack, Sir John, Sir Jack! though in it tastes

the lime.

The watery eye of Sir John Falstaff twinkled with exquisite delight as he filled himself a cup of sack and responded,

There's nothing extant, Sir Toby, but cant.

A plague of all cowards! Here, Bardolph, my Trigon!

You and I will repent,

And keep a lean Lent.

Presuming it long,

Let us first have a song,

And dismally troll

It over a bowl,

To honesty, manhood, good fellowship bygone.

Pistol, my Ancient!

Pistol. I'll ne'er prove a stopper,

By my sword, that's true steel!

Bardolph. By nose, that's true copper!

Falstaff. Corporal Nym—

Nym.. In sack let me swim!

Falstaff. Gadshill and Peto—

Gadshill & Peto. Sweet wag! take our veto.

Falstaff. Motley too—

Clown. My cockscomb to you!

Falstaff. Good Justice Shallow—

Shallow. I'm true to you, “Tallow!”

Falstaff. Sir Andrew, Sir Hugh—

Sir Andrew & Sir Hugh. We'll drink as you brew!

Falstaff. Poins joins! Hal shall!

Dame Partlet the hen! Doll! Francis!—Francis. Anon!—

All. We're all your liege subjects, right glorious

Sir John!


The lawyer's head, and the shark's head,

The puritan parson's, and clerk's head,

Are all very well

For a shot or a shell;

Exceedingly fit

To fill up a pit!

But the head that was rear'd

When Christmas cheer'd

In the rollicking, frolicking days of yore,

When the Lord of Misrule,

The Friar and Fool,

With Robin and Marian, led the brawl,

And the hobby-horse frisk'd in the old-fashion'd hall,

Was the wassailing Head of the bristly Boar!

We are minions of the moon,

Doughty heroes, hot for fight!

May a cloud her brightness shroud,

And help us to a purse to-night.

Buckram'd varlets! coward knaves!

Angels, watches, rings unfob!—

Prince and Poins. Up with staves, and down with


We true men the robbers rob!

Touchstone. Mistress Audrey, in the dance,

With your love-lorn swain advance.

Though our carpet *s not so sheen

As shady Arden's forest green,

And the lamps are not so bright

As chaste Luna's silver light,

Nor our company so gay

As when trips the sprightly fay,

I will dance, and I will sing,

Mingling in the laughing ring.


Shout for the Head of the bristly Boar!

Jovial spirits, as we are now,

Did merrily bound while the cup went round

Under the holly and mistletoe bough.

Sing O the green holly! sing O the green holly!

Nothing's so sweet as divine melancholy.

Ingratitude blighting true friendships of old,

No bleak winter wind is so bitter and cold.

The room now seemed to extend in width and in length; the sounds of revelry ceased, and other characters appeared upon the scene. Lady Macbeth, her eyes bending on vacancy, her lips moving convulsively, her voice audible, but in fearful whispers, slept her last sleep of darkness, guilt, and terror. The Weird Sisters danced round their magic caldron, hideous, anomalous, and immortal! The noble Moor ended “life's fitful season,” remorseful and heartbroken. The “Majesty of buried Denmark” revisited “the pale glimpses of the moon.” Ariel, dismissed by Pros-pero, warbled his valedictory strain, and flew to his bright dwelling, “under the blossom that hangs on the bough.” The chiefs and sages of imperial Rome swept along in silent majesty. Lear, on his knees, bareheaded, with heavenward eye, quivering lip, and hands clasped together in agony, pronounced the terrible curse, and in his death realised all that can be imagined of human woe. Shylock, the representative of a once-despised and persecuted race, pleaded his cause before the senate, and lost it by a quibble. Obe-ron, Puck, and the ethereal essences of a Midsummer Night's Dream flitted in the moonbeams. Benedick and Beatrice had their wars of wit and combats of the tongue. The Lady Constance, alternately reproachful, despairing, and frenzied, exhibited a matchless picture of maternal tenderness. Juliet breathed forth her sighs to the chaste stars. Isabella read a lesson to haughty authority, when she asks her brother's forfeited life at the hands of the Duke, worthy of holy seer or sage *; and Ophelia, in her distraction, was simple, touching, and sublime.

     * An eminent dignitary of the Church of England was once
     discoursing with the author on the morality of Shakspere. He
     regretted that the Bard had not spoken on that most glorious
     of all subjects, Man's Redemption, beyond a few lines
     (exquisitely beautiful) in the first seene of Hamlet. The
     author immediately pointed out the following terse, but
     transcendant passage from “Measure for Measure.”

     “Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;

     And HE that might the 'vantage best have took,

     Found out the remedy.”

     It would pass the bounds of the most exalted eulogy to
     record the prelate's answer, and how deeply affected he was
     whilst making it.

Though these soul-stirring scenes were perfectly familiar to Uncle Timothy, and from youth to age had been his morning study and his nightly dream, they had never been invested with such an absorbing reality before, and he stood transfixed, a wondering spectator of the glorious vision,—for such to his aching sight it seemed to be. At this moment, the embroidered arras that hung before the oriel window of the tapestried chamber was slowly drawn aside, and the figure of Shakspere, his eyes beaming with immortality, and his lofty brow discoursing of all things past, present, and to come, stood revealed to view! “Flowers of all hues, and without thorn the rose,” sprung up spontaneously beneath his feet.

And as he walk'd along th' enamell'd bed

Of flow'rs, disposed in many a fairy ring,

Celestial music answer d to his tread,

As if his feet had touch'd some hidden spring

Of harmony—so soft the airs did breathe

In the charmed ear—around—above—beneath?

He spoke—But his voice was of “no sound that the earth knows.”

The sensations of Uncle Timothy grew intensely painful—amounting almost to agony. He made a sudden effort to rush forward, and in making it, awoke! when he found himself seated snugly in an arm-chair before a bright “sea-coal fire,” at the Mother Red Cap, where he had fallen asleep after the exit of the Bartholomew Fair troop, in their progress to the “Rounds.” And thus ended Uncle Timothy's Vision of the Boar's Head!


Gentlemen, on this anniversary of St. Bartholomew, let us not forget that we owe his Fair to a priest and jester.”

“A priest and a jester, Mr. Merripall?—ha! ha! ho!”

“In sooth, Brother Stiflegig,” replied the comical coffin-maker to his inquiring mute, whose hollow laugh sounded like a double knock; “and the merry monk is no more to be blamed for the disorders that, fungus-like, have grown out of it, than is Sir Christopher Wren for the cobwebs and dust that deface the dome of St. Paul's. Right is not always the reverse of wrong. Brush away the cobwebs and the dust, but spare the dome. Don't cut off a man's head to cure his toothach, or lop off his leg to banish his gout in toto!

The latter clause of this remark was much applauded by a sensitive member, who had evinced great anxiety to protect his physiognomy from the cutting draught of the door; and by another, who was equally careful to keep his ten toes from being trod upon. But the sexton and the two mutes exchanged significant glances, that plainly hinted their non-approval of this anti-professional, ultraliberality on the part of the comical coffin-maker.

“Gentlemen,” resumed Mr. Merripall, rising—


Sons of the fair, to Father Rahêre

Chant a stave in a hollow mew;

Hosier Lane shout back the strain

Through the cloisters of holy Bartholomew.

Saunders, Gyngell, merrily mingle;

Richardson join in the choir:

Two-legg'd dancers, four-legg'd prancers,

You can't cry nay (neigh?) to the Prior.

Now fire away in full chorus!—

Peace to the soul of the bald-pated droll!

Sound him a larry-cum-twang!

Toss off a toast to his good-humour'd ghost,

And let it come off with a bang!”

We were passing by those ancient houses in Duke Street, Smithfield, undecided whether or not to drop in upon the little Drysalter, when our attention was arrested by this chorus of mirth proceeding from one of the many obscure hostelries with which these ancient turnings and windings abound. We had stumbled on the Pig and Tinder-box, near Bartholomew Close. The chair was on his legs,—an exceedingly long pair, in black stockings,—leading a loud cheer. Mr. Merripall, the comical coffin-maker, was president of the Antiqueeruns. On each side of him sat his two mutes, Messrs. Hatband and Stiflegig; the sexton, Mr. Shovelton, by virtue of his office, was vice; the rest were tradesmen in the neighbourhood, to whom porter, pipes, punch, purl, pigtail, and politics were a pleasing solace after the business of the day; and a warlike character was given to the club by the infusion of some of the Honourable the Artillery Company, and the “angel visits” of a city-marshal. Its name, though implying the reverse of a jest, had its origin in a joke, arising from the mispronunciation of a member, to whom a little learning had proved a dangerous thing. This intelligent brother, at the christening of the club, moved that it be called the “Antiqueeruns,” from the antiquity of their quarter and quality, which was carried, as he triumphantly announced, “my ninny contra decency!” (nemine contradicenti?) A palpable misnomer,—for the quorum consisted of the queerest fellows imaginable, and their president, Mr. Merripall, was a host in fun.

Our entrance had not been noticed during their upstanding jollity; but now, when every member was seated, we became “the observed of all observers.”

“Spies in the camp!” growled a priggish person of punchy proportions, with a little round dumpling head, and short legs, whose pompous peculiarities had been sorely quizzed by some prying penny-a-liner. “I move, Mr. Cheer, that our fifteenth rule be read by the vice.”

“Spies in the camp, Mr. Allgag!—pooh! Yet what signifies, if there's no treason in it? The gentlemen have only mistaken a private room for a public one.”

“It's all very well, Mr. President, for you to say there was no malice aforethought to broil us on their penny gridiron, when these people popped in upon us whipsy dicksy (ipse dixit?) and un-awars. But” (rapping the table) “we live in an age of spies and spinnage!” (espionage?)

Gammon and spinnage!” chuckled the comical coffin-maker.

“Order! order!” from several voices.

“The Cheer is out of order! A gentleman don't oughtn't to be interrupted will he nil he, vie et harness (vi et armis?). Who seconds my motion?”

“I,” winked the sexton.

“Then we'll put it to the vote. As many of you as are of this opinion hold up your hands.”

Mr. Allgag, though an oyster in intellect, was the small oracle of an insignificant, captious, factious section of the Antiqueeruns. A few hands were held up, and the fulminating fifteenth rule was read aloud, which imposed a fine of five shillings on each intruder, and a forcible ejection from the room.

“I blush for these pitiful proceedings,” exclaimed the comical coffin-maker; “and rather than become a party to them, I will vacate the chair.”

“Well and good! I'll be your locum trimmings,” (tenens?) rejoined the Holborn Hill Demosthenes; and he half strutted, half waddled from his seat, as if to take possession. The mutes looked grave; even the rebellious vice was panic-struck at the prodigious boldness of Mr. Allgag. “I'll take the cheer. As for the turning out part of the story—”

“Who talks of turning out?” cried the Lauréat of Little Britain, bursting suddenly into the room. “Is it you?” addressing the affrighted sexton, who shook his head ruefully in the negative; “or you?” advancing to the terrified mutes, who shook in their shoes. “Not you! good Master Merri-pall,” giving the comical coffin-maker a hearty shake by the hand. “Or is it you, sir?” placing himself in a provokingly pugnacious attitude before the Holborn Hill Demosthenes. “What a bluster about an unintentional intrusion! If, gentlemen, my friends must be fined, I will be their guarantee.”

So saying, he ejected us with gentle violence from the room, and in a few minutes after we found ourselves in his elegant little library, where everything was as neat and prim as himself,—not” a bust, bijou, or book out of its place.

“A heavy retribution had well nigh fallen upon you, my good friends, for passing my door without looking in. It matters not what chance medley brought me to your rescue; but I'm a merciful man, and the only fine I impose is, that you sit down, be comfortable, and stay till I turn you out.”

The fine seemed so very moderate, that we were glad to compromise.

“Everything around you,—books, plate, pictures,—ay, my old-fashioned housekeeper into the bargain,—are the selection of Uncle Tim.”

“And by this beeswing, Mr. Bosky, we guess Uncle Timothy is butler too.”

“Most profoundly opined! Yonder,” pointing to an antique painted glass door, “is his cabinet—

'There Caxton sleeps, with Wynkyn at his side,

One clasp'd in wood, and one in strong cow-hide.'

“An odd thought strikes me. What say you to a dish of conjurors, with a garnish of monsters and mountebanks, served up by mine host of St. Bartlemy, Uncle Tim?” And Mr. Bosky disappeared through the glass door, but returned in an instant, bearing in his hand a smartly-bound volume. “Shall I unclasp the Merry Mysteries of Bartlemy Fair? You may go farther and fare worse.”

“We want no whetters or provocatives, Mr. Bosky.”

“Well, seeing that, like Justice Greedy, you long to give thanks and fall to, my musical grace shall not be a tedious one.

Our host, Uncle Tim, does the banquet prepare,

An Olla Podrida of Bartlemy Fair!

Ye lovers of mirth, eccentricity, whim,

Fill a glass to the health of our host, Uncle Tim.

And when you have fill'd, O! dismiss from your


Whatever is selfish, ungrateful, unkind;

Let gentle humanity rise to the brim,

And then, if you please, you may toast Uncle Tim!

You need not be told that the wine must be old,

As sparkling and bright as his wit and his whim;

Of clear rosy hue, and generous too,

Like the cheek and the heart of our friend, Uncle


So now stir the fire, let business retire,

The door shut on Mammon, we'll have none of him!

But tell the sly fox, when he quietly knocks,

We are only at home to thy Tome, Uncle Tim!

Mr. Bosky trimmed the lamp, drew the curtains, wheeled round the sofa, opened the morocco-bound manuscript, and began. But Mr. Bosky's beginning must stand at the head of our next chapter.


Garrick never introduced a hero upon the scene without a flourish of trumpets,—nor shall we.

“Bid Harlequino decorate the stage

With all magnificence of decoration—

Giants and giantesses, dwarfs and pigmies,

Songs, dances, music, in their amplest order.

Mimes, pantomimes, and all the mimic motion

Of scene deceptiovisive and sublime!”

For St. Bartholomew makes his first bow in The Ancient Records of the Rounds.

The learned need not be told that a fair was originally a market for the purchase and sale of all sorts of commodities; and what care the unlearned for its derivation? For them it suffices that 'tis a market for fun. Our merry Prior of St. Bartholomew knowing the truth of the old proverb, that, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” mingled pastime with business, and put Momus into partnership with Mammon. For many years they jogged on together, somewhat doggedly, to be sure, for Momus was a fellow of uproarious merriment; and while Mammon, with furred gown and gold chain, was weighing atoms and splitting straws, Momus split the sides of his customers, and so entirely won them over to his jocular way of doing business, that Mammon was drummed out of the firm and the fair. But Mammon has had his revenge, by causing Momus to be confined to such narrow bounds, that his lions and tigers lack space to roar in, and his giants are pinched for elbow room. * Moreover, he and his sly bottle-holder, Mr. Cupidity Cant (who from the time of Prynne to the present has been a bitter foe to good fellowship), threaten to drive poor Momus out of house and home. Out upon the ungracious varlets! let them sand their own sugar, ** not ours! and leave Punch alone.

     * The American giant refuses to come over to England this
     summer, because the twenty-first of June is not long enough
     for him to stand upright in! And the Kentucky dwarf is so
     short that he has not paid his debts these five years!

          ** “Have you sanded the sugar, good Sandy,
          And water'd the treacle with care?
          Have you smuggled the element into the brandy?”
           “Yes, master.”—“Then come in to prayer!”

Let them be content to rant in their rostrums, and peep over their particular timber, lest we pillory the rogues, and make them peep through it!

Father Rahére founded the Priory, Hospital, and Church of St. Bartholomew in Smithfield, at the instigation ('tis said) of the saint himself, who appeared to him in Rome, whither he had repaired on a pilgrimage. We learn from the Cottonian MSS. that he “of te hawnted the Kyng's palice, and amo'ge the noysefull presse of that tumultuous courte, enforsed hymselfe with jolite and carnal suavité: ther yn spectaclis, yn metys, yn playes, and other courtely mokkys and trifyllis, intruding he lede forth the besynesse of alle the daye.” He was a “pleasant witted gentleman,” and filled the post of minstrel to King Henry the First, which comprehended musician, improvisatore, jester, &c.; and Henry the Second granted to the monastery of St. Bartholomew (of which Rahére was the first prior) the privilege of a three days' fair for the drapers and clothiers: hence Cloth Fair. His ashes rest under a magnificent tomb in the church of St. Bartholomew the Great. This beautiful shrine is still carefully preserved. How different has been the fate of the desecrated sepulchre of the “moral Gower,” which the Beetian Borough brawlers would have pounded, with their Ladye Chapel, to macadamise the road!

“It is worthy of observation,” (says Paul Hentzer, 1598,) “that every year when the Fair is held, it is usual for the Mayor to ride into Smithfield, dressed in his scarlet gown, and about his neck is a golden chain, besides that particular ornament that distinguishes the staple of the kingdom. He is followed by the Aldermen in scarlet gowns, and a mace and a cap are borne before him. Where the yearly fair is proclaimed a tent is placed, and after the ceremony is over the mob begin to wrestle before them, two at a time, and conquerors are rewarded by them by money thrown from the tent. After this, a parcel of live rabbits are turned loose among the crowd, and hunted by a number of boys, with great noise, &c. Before this time, also, there was an old custom for the Scholars of London to meet at this festival, at the Priory of St. Bartholomew, to dispute in logic and grammar, and upon a bank, under a tree, (!) the best of them were rewarded with bows and silver arrows? Bartholomew Fair, until about 1743, was held a fortnight; and the spacious area of Smithfield was filled with booths for drolls and interludes, in which many popular comedians of the time performed, from the merry reign of Mat Coppinger to the laughing days of Ned Shuter. Sir Samuel Fludyer, in 1762, and Mr. Alderman Bull, (not John Bull!) in 1774, enforced some stringent regulations that amounted almost to an abolition.”

And now, my merry masters! let us take a stroll into the ancient fair of St. Bartholomew, vulgo Bartlemy, with John Littlewit, the uxorious proctor; Win-the-fight Littlewit, his fanciful wife; Dame Purecraft, a painful sister: Zeal-of-the-land Busy, the puritan Banbury man; and our illustrious cicerone, rare Ben Jonson.

In the year 1614, and long before, one of the most delicious city dainties was a Bartholomew roast pig. * A cold turkey-pie and a glass of rich malmsey were “creature comforts” not to be despised even by such devout sons of self-denial as Mr. Zeal-of-the-land Busy, who always popped in at pudding-time. ** But Bartholomew pig, “a meat that is nourishing, and may be longed for,” that may be eaten, “very exceeding well eaten,” but not in a fair, was the ne plus ultra of savoury morsels: therefore Win-the-fight Little wit, with a strawberry breath, cherry lips, and apricot cheeks, the better half (not in folly!) of one of “the pretty wits of Paul's,” shams Abram, and pretends to long for it, in order to overcome the scruples and qualms of Dame Purecraft and the Banbury man, who, but for such longing, would have never consented to her visiting the fair.

          *  “Now London's Mayor, on saddle new,
          Rides to the Fair of Bartlemew;
          He twirls his chain, and looketh big,
          As if to fright the head of pig,

     That gaping lies on every stall.”—Davenant. Shakspere, in
     the First Part of King Henry the Fourth, speaks of an ox
     being roasted at Bartholomew Fair.

          ** “I ne'er saw a parson without a good nose,—
          But the devil's as welcome wherever he goes.”—Swift.

The Rabbi being called upon by the dame to legalise roast pig, proposes that it shall be eaten with a reformed mouth, and not after the profane fashion of feeding; and, that the weak may be comforted, himself will accompany them to the fair, and eat exceedingly, and prophesy!

Among the minor delicacies of Ursula's * cuisine—Ursula, “uglye of clieare,” the pig-woman and priestess of St. Bartlemy, “all fire and fat!”—are tobacco, colt's-foot, bottled-ale, and tripes; and a curious picture of Smithfield manners is given in her instructions to Mooncalf to froth the cans well, jog the bottles o' the buttock, shink out the first glass ever, and drink with all companies.

          *  “Her face all bowsy,
          Comclye crinkled,
          Wonderously wrinkled
          Like a roste pigges eare,
          Brystled Avith here.
          Her nose some dele hoked,
          And camouslye eroked,
          Her skin lose and slacke,
          Grained like a saeke
          With a croked backe.”—Skelton.

We have an irruption of other popular characters into the fair, all in high keeping with the time and place:—a costard-monger; a gilt gingerbread woman; a mountebank; a corn-cutter; a wrestler; a cut-purse (a babe of booty, or child of the horn-thumb!); a gamester; a ballad-singer; an “ostler, trade-fallen a roarer (a swash-buckler, in later times a mohock); puppet-show keepers and watchmen; Bartholomew Cokes, a natural born fool and squire; Waspe, his shrewder serving-man; Overdo, a bacchanalian justice; a gang of gypsies, and their hedge-priest, patriarch of the cut-purses, or Patrico to the A bram men and their prickers and prancers; and lastly, Mr. Lanthorn Leatherhead, a supposed caricature of Inigo Jones, with whom Ben Jonson was associated in some of his magnificent court masques. All these characters exhibit their humours, and present a living picture of what Bartholomew Fair was in 1614. We have the exact dress of the flaunting City Madam—a huge velvet custard, or three-cornered bonnet; for these pretenders to sanctity not only adorned their outward woman with the garments of vanity, but were the principal dealers in feathers (another fashionable part of female dress in the days of Elizabeth and James I.) in the Blackfriars. All the merchandise of Babylon (i. e. the fair!) is spread out to our view; Jews-trumps, rattles, mousetraps, penny ballads, * purses, pin-cases, Tobie's dogs, “comfortable bread,” (spiced gingerbread,) hobbyhorses, drums, lions, bears, Bartholomew whistling birds, (wooden toys,) dolls, ** and Orpheus and his fiddle in gin-work! We have its cant phrases, mendacious tricks, and practical jokes; and are invited into “a sweet delicate booth,” with boughs, to eat roast pig with the fire o' juniper and rosemary branches; and “it were great obstinacy, high and horrible obstinacy, to decline or resist the good titillation of the famelic sense,” and not enter the gates of the unclean for once, with the liquorish Rabbi.

     *  Gifford says, “In Jonson's time, scarcely any ballad was
     printed without a woodcut illustrative of its subject. If it
     was a ballad of 'pure love,' or of 'good life/ which
     afforded no scope for the graphic talents of the Grub Street
     Apelles, the portrait of 'good Queen Elizabeth,'
     magnificently adorned, with the globe and sceptre, formed no
     unwelcome substitute for her loving subjects.”

     ** The following was the costume of a Bartlemy Fair doll, or

          “Her petticoat of sattin,
          Her gown of crimson tabby,
          Laced up before, and spangled o'er,
          Just like a Barthol'mew Baby”

     The Comedian's Tales; or, Jests, Songs, and Pleasant
     Adventures of several Famous Players. 1729.

The sound beating of Justice Overdo, Waspe's elevation of Cokes on pick-back, and the final confutation of Zeal-of-the-land Busy, complete the humours of, and give the last finish-ing-touches to this authentic and curious picture of ancient Bartholomew Fair.

Bravo, Ben Jonson! Not the surly, envious, malignant Ben, but the rare, chère Bartlemy Fair Ben! the prince of poets! the king of good fellows! the learned oracle of the Mermaid and the Devil; * the chosen companion of the gallant Raleigh; the poetical father of many worthy adopted sons; and, to sum up emphatically thy various excellencies, the friend, “fellow” and elegiast of Shakspere!

     * In the Apollo Room in the Devil Tavern (on the site of
     which stands the Banking-house of Messrs. Child,) Ben Jonson
     occupied the President's chair, surrounded by the “Erudit i,
     urbani, hilares, honesti” of that glorious age. Take his
     picture as drawn by Shakerley Marmion, a contemporary
     dramatist of some note, and (as Anthony Wood styles him) a
     “goodly proper gentleman.”

          “The boon Delphic god
          Drinks sack, and keeps his Bacchanalia,
          And has his incense, and his altars smoking,
          And speaks in sparkling prophesies”

     His Leges Conviviales were engraved in black marble over the
     chimney; and over the door were inscribed the following
     verses by the same master-hand.

          “Welcome all who lead or follow
          To the oracle of Apollo:
          Here he speaks out of his pottle,
          Or the tripos, his tower bottle;
          All his answers are divine,
          Truth itself doth flow in wine.
          Hang up all the poor hop-drinkers,
          Cries old Sim, the king of shinkers;
          He the half of life abuses,
          That sits watering with the Muses.
          Those dull girls no good ean mean us;
          Wine—it is the milk of Venus,
          And the poet's horse accounted:
          Ply it, and you all are mounted.
          'Tis the true Phobian liquor,
          Cheers the brains, makes wit the quieker;
          Pays all debts, cures all diseases,
          And at once three senses pleases.
          Welcome all who lead or follow
          To the oracle of Apollo!”

     Such an association of intellectual minds, where worldly
     distinctions are unknown, where rank lays down its state,
     and genius forgets the inequalities of fortune, is the
     highest degree of felicity that human nature can arrive at.

Yes, thou didst behold him face to face! Great and glorious privilege! Thou his detractor! What a beauteous garland hast thou thrown upon his tomb! O for the solemn spirit of thy majestic monody, (“Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother”) the imagination of thy green “Underwoods,” to sing of thee, as thou hast sung of him!

The death of James I. (for Jamie was much addicted to sports, and loved the Puritans, as the Puritans and Lucifer love holy water!) was “a heavy blow, and a great discouragement” to the nation's jollity: and the troubles and treasons of the succeeding unhappy reign indisposed men's hearts to merriment, and turned fair England into a howling wilderness. Bartholomew Fair in 1641 * exhibits a sorry shadow of its joyous predecessor—'Tis Fat Jack, mountain of mirth! dwindled into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon! Zeal-of-the-land Busy had become rampant; and Dame Ursula, if the old lady yet lived, was most probably a reformed sister, and purveyor of roast pig to the Rabbi at home!

     * “Bartholomew Faire;


     Variety of fancies, where you may find A faire of wares, and
     all to please your mind.

     With the severall enormityes and misdemeanours which are
     there seene and acted. London: Printed for Richard Harper,
     at the Bible and Harpe, in Smithfield. 1641.”

As a picture, it wants the vivid colouring of the former great painter. It seems to have been limned by a wet, or parcel puritan, a dead wall between pantile and puppet-show! Our first move is into Christ Church cloisters, “which are hung so full of pictures, that you would take that place, or rather mistake it, for St. Peter's in Rome. And now, being arrived through the long walke, to Saint Bartholomew's hospitall,” he draws a ludicrous picture of a “handsome wench” bartering her good name for “a moiety of bone-lace; a slight silver bodkin; a hoop-ring, or the like toye.” Proceeding into the heart of the fair, it becomes necessary that while one eye is watching the motion of the puppets, the other should look sharp to the pockets. “Here's a knave in a foole's coat, with a trumpet sounding, or on a drumme beating, invites you, and would faine persuade you to see his puppets; there is a rogue like a wild woodman, or in an antick-ship, like an incubus, desires your company to view his motion. On the other side, Hocus Pocus, with three yards of tape, or ribbon in's hand, shews his legerdemaine * to the admiration and astonishment of a company of cock-oloaches.

     * “Legerdemain is an art whereby one may seem to work
     wonderful, impossible, and incredible things, by agility,
     nimbleness, and slight of hand.

     “An adept must be one of an audacious spirit, w'ith a nimble
     conveyance, and a vocabulary of cabalistic phrases to
     astonish the beholder,—as Hey! Fortuna! Furia! Nunquam
     credo I Saturnus, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, &c. &c.

     “He must throw himself into such odd gestures as may divert
     the eyes of the spectators from a too strict observation of
     his manner of conveyance.”

     Then follow certain rules for concealing balls and money in
     the hand, and other secrets worth knowing to students in the
     art and mystery of conjuration. From “The Merry Companion;
     or, Delights for the Ingenious. By Richard Neve” (whose
     jocular physiognomy, with the exhibition of one of his hocus
     pocus tricks, graces the title). 1721.

Amongst these you shall see a grey goose-cap (as wise as the rest) with a 'what do ye lacke?' in his mouth, stand in his boothe, shaking a rattle, or scraping on a fiddle, with which children are so taken that they presently cry out for these fopperies. And all these together make such a distracted noise that you would think Babel was not comparable to it. Here there are also your gamesters in action; some turning off a whimsey, others throwing for pewter, who can quickly dissolve a round shilling into a three-halfpenny saucer. Long Lane at this time looks very faire,-and puts on her best cloaths with the wrong side outward, so turn'd for their better turning off; and Cloth Faire is now in great request; well fare the ale-houses therein; yet better may a man fare (but at a dearer rate) in the Pig-market, alias Pasty-nooke, or Pye-corner, where pigges are al houres of the day on the stalls, piping hot, and would cry (if they could speak) 'come eat me.'” The chronicler calls over the coals a “fat greasie hostesse” for demanding an additional shilling for a pig's head when a lady's longing is in the case; inveighs against the unconscionable exactions, and excessive inflammations of reckonings, and concludes with a reiterated and rhyming caution:—

“Now farewell to the Faire; you who are wise,

Preserve your purses, whilst you please your eyes.” *

The restoration of King Charles II. threw England into a transport of joy. Falstaff had not more his bellyfull of Ford, than had the nation of Jack Presbyter. **

     * The historian has forgot to describe the wonderful
     performances of Francis Battalia, the Stone-Eater.

     ** “Presbyter is but Jack Priest writ large.”—Milton.

     In “The Lord Henry Cromwell's speech to the House, 1658,” he
     is made to say: 44 Methinks I hear 'em (the Players) already
     crying, thirty years hence at Bartholomew Fair, 'Step in,
     and see the Life and Death of brave Cromwell. Methinks I see
     him with a velvet eragg about his shoulders, and a little
     pasteboard hat on his head, riding a tittup, a tittup to his
     Parliament House, and a man with a bay leaf in his mouth,
     crying in his behalf, 'By the living G— I will dissolve
     you!' which makes the porters cry, 4 O, brave Englishman!'
     Then the devil carries him away in a tempest, which makes
     the nurses squeak, and the children cry,”

Merry bells, roasted rumps, the roar of cannon, the crackling of bonfires, and the long-continued shouts of popular ecstacy proclaimed his downfall; the Maypole was crowned with the garlands of spring; in the temples devoted to Thalia and Melpomene * were again heard the divine inspirations of the dramatic muse; the light fantastic toe tripped it nimbly to the sound of the pipe and tabor, and St. Bartholomew, his—

     * The Hamlet, Macbeth, 0thello, and Sir John Falstaff of
     Betterton. The character of this great master of the
     histrionic art is thus drawn by an eminent contemporary

     “Roscius, a sincere friend and a man of strict honor: grown
     old in the arms and approbation of his audience: not to be
     corrupted even by the way of living and manners of those
     whom he hourly conversed with.

     “Roscius born for everything that he thinks fit to
     undertake, has wit and morality, fire and judgment, sound
     sense and good nature. Roscius, who would have still been
     eminent in any station of life he had been called to, only
     unhappy to the world, in that it is not possible for him to
     bid time stand still, and permit him to endure for ever, the
     ornament of the stage, the delight of his friends, and the
     regret of all, who shall one day have the misfortune to lose

—rope-dancers, and trumpeters, * were all alive and merry at the fair.

The austere reign of the cold and selfish William of Nassau diminished nothing of its jollity. Thomas Cotterell “from the King's Arm's Tavern, Little Lincoln's Fields,” kept the King's Arms Music Booth in Smithfield; and one Martin transferred his sign of “The Star” from Moor-fields, to the Rounds. At this time flourished a triumvirate of Bartlemy heroes too remarkable to be passed lightly over, Mat Coppinger, Joe Haynes, and Thomas Dogget.

The pranks, cheats, and conceits of Coppinger are recorded in an unique tract ** of considerable freedom and fun.

     * In the Loyal Protestant, Sept. 8, 1682, is an
     advertisement forbidding all keepers of shows, &e. to make
     use of drums, trumpets, &e. without license from the
     Serjeant and Comptroller of His Majesty's trumpets. And
     there is a notice in the London Gazette, Dee. 7, 1685,
     commanding all “Rope Dancers, Prize Players, Strollers, and
     other persons shewing motions and other sights,” to have
     licenses from Charles Killigrew, Esq. Master of the Revels.

     ** “An Account of the Life, Conversation, Birth, Education,

     Pranks, Projects, Exploits, and Merry Conceits of the
     Famously Notorious Mat. Coppinger, once a Player in
     Bartholomew Fair, and since turned bully of the town; who,
     receiving sentence of death at the Old Bailey on the 23rd of
     February, was executed at Tyburn on the 27th, 1695. London,
     Printed for T. Hobs, 1695.”

His famous part was the cook-maid in “Whittington,” Bartholomew Fair droll. The last September of his life he acted a Judge there, little dreaming that in the ensuing February he should be brought before one, (for stealing a watch and seven pounds in money,) and sent on a pilgrimage to Tyburn-tree! He was a poet, and wrote a volume * of adulatory verses, calculated for the meridian of the times in which he lived. The following is the comical trick he put upon a countryman in Bartholomew Fair.

The company (i. e. strolling players) finding the country too warm for them, came with our spark to town, in expectation of recruiting their finances by the folly of such as should resort to Bartholomew Fair.

     * Poems, Songs, and Love-Verses upon several subjects. By
     Matthew Coppinger, Gent. 1682. Dedicated to the Duchess of
     Portsmouth; of whom, amongst an hundred extravagant things,
     he says,

          “You are the darling of my King, his pleasure,
          His Indies of incomparable treasure!”

Upon the credit of which they took a lodging in Smithfield, and made shift to get up a small booth to shew juggling tricks in, the art of hocus pocus, and pouder-le-pimp. The score being deep on all hands, the people clamouring for money, and customers coming but slowly in, they consulted how to rub off, and give their creditors the bag to hold. To this Coppinger dissented, saying he would find out the way to mend this dulness of trading; and he soon effected it by a lucky chance. A country fellow, on his return from Newgate-market on horseback, resolving to have a gape at Jack Pudding, sat gazing, with his mouth at half-cock; and, so intent was he, that his senses seemed to be gone wool-gathering. Coppinger, whispering some of his companions, they stept to “Tom Noddies” horse, one of them ungirthing him, and taking off the bridle, the reins of which the fellow held in his hand, they bore him on the pack-saddle on each side, and led the horse sheer from under him; whilst another with counterfeit horns, and a vizard, put his head out of the head-stall, and kept nodding forwards, so that “Ninny” verily supposed, by the tugging of the reins, that he was still on “cock-horse!” The signal being given, they let him squash to the ground, pack-saddle and all; when, terrified at the sight of the supposed devil he had got in a string, and concluding Hocus Pocus had conjured his horse into that antic figure, he scrambled up, and betaking him to his heels back into the country, frightened his neighbours with dismal stories that Dr. Faustus and Friar Bacon were alive again, and transforming horses into devils in Bartholomew Fair! The tale, gathering as it spread, caused the booth to be thronged; which piece of good-luck was solely attributable to Coppinger's ingenuity.


Plain Joe Haynes, * the learned Doctor Haynes, or the dignified Count Haynes,—for by these several titles he was honourably distinguished,—was the hero of a variety of vagabondical adventures both at home and abroad.

     * Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ii. p. 976. “Joseph Haynes, or Heynes,
     matriculated as a servitor of Queen's College, 3d May, 1689.
     Mr. Ja. Tirrel saith he is a great actor and maker of plays;
     but I find him not either in Langbaine or Term Cat/' Old
     Anthony, like “good old Homer,” sometimes nods. Haynes had
     been upon the stage many years before, and was too
     profligate to be admitted of the university at that period.

     In the memoir of Joe Haynes, in the Lives of the Gamesters,
     he is said to have died in the beginning of the year 1700,
     aged 53. This is a mistake.

     He was married, as appears from the following lines in the
     Prologue to “The Injured Lovers.”

     “Joe Haynes's fate is now become my share,

     For I'm a poet, marrÿd, and a player.”

     Downes says he was one of those “who came not into the
     company until after they had begun in Drury Lane.” Drury
     Lane first opened on 8th April, 1663.

     He wrote and spoke a variety of prologues and epilogues,
     particularly the epilogue to the “Unhappy Kindness, or
     Fruitless Revenge,” in the habit of a horse-offieer, mounted
     on an ass, in 1697. In after times his example was imitated
     by Shuter, Liston, and Wilkinson (not Tate).

     His principal characters were, Syringe, in the Relapse;
     Roger, in Æsop; Sparkish, in the Country Wife; Lord
     Plausible, in the Plain Dealer; Pamphlet and Rigadoon, in
     Love and a Bottle; Tom Errand, in the Constant Couple; Mad
     Parson, in the Pilgrim; Benito, in the Assignation; Noll
     Bluff, in the Old Bachelor; Rumour, in A Plot and No Plot,
     (to which, in 1697, he spoke the prologue); and Jamy, in
     Sawney the Scot.

He is the first comedian who rode an ass upon the stage. He acted the mountebank, Waltho Van Clutterbank, High German, chemical, wonder-working doctor and dentifricator, and spoke his famous “Horse-doctor's harangue” to the mob. He challenged a celebrated quack called “The Unborn Doctor,” at the town of Hertford, on a market-day, to have a trial of skill with him. Being both mounted on the public stage, and surrounded by a numerous auditory eager to hear this learned dispute, Joe desired that each might stand upon a joint stool. “Gentlemen,” said Joe, “I thank you for your good company, and hope soon to prove how grossly you have been deceived by this arch-impostor. I come hither neither to get a name, nor an estate: the first, by many miraculous cures performed in Italy, Spain, Holland, France, and England, per totum terrarium, orbem, has long been established. As to the latter, those Emperors, Kings, and foreign potentates, whom I have snatched from the gaping jaws of death, whose image I have the honour to wear (showing several medals), have sufficiently rewarded me. Besides, I am the seventh son of a seventh son; so were my father and grandfather. To convince you, therefore, that what I affirm is truth, I prognosticate some heavy judgment will fall on the head of that impudent quack. May the charlatan tumble ingloriously, while the true doctor remains unhurt!” At which words, Haynes's Merry-Andrew, who was underneath the stage, with a cord fast to B———'s stool, just as B-was going to stutter out a reply, pulled the stool from under him, and down he came; which, passing for a miracle, Joe was borne home to his lodging in triumph, and B———hooted out of the town. *

Some of Doctor Haynes's miraculous mock cures, were the Duchess of Boromolpho of a cramp in her tongue; the Count de Rodomontado of a bilious passion, after a surfeit of buttered parsnips; and Duke Philorix of a dropsy—of which he died! He invites his patients to the “Sign of the Prancers,” in vico vulgo dicto, Rattlecliffero, something south-east of Templum Danicum in the Square of Profound-Close, not far from “Titter-Tatter Fair!” He was a good-looking fellow, of singular accomplishments, and in great request among the ladies. “With the agreeableness of my mien, ** the gaiety of my conversation, and the gallantry of my dancing, I charmed the fair sex wherever I came.

     * “The Life of the late Famous Comedian, Jo. Hayns.
     Containing his comical exploits and adventures, both at home
     and abroad. London. Printed for J. Nutt, near Stationer's-
     Hall, 1701.”

     ** “The Reasons of Mr. Joseph Hains, the Player's,
     Conversion and Reconversion. Being the Third and Last Part to
     the Dialogue of Mr. Bays. London: Printed for Richard
     Baldwin, near the Black Bull in the Old Baily, 1690.” This
     tract is intended as a skit upon Dryden, whose easy
     “conversion and reconversion” are satirised in a very
     laughable manner. In 1689, Haynes spoke his “Recantation
     Prologue upon his first appearance on the stage after his
     return from Rome,” in the character of a theatrical

     John Davies ridicules the coxcombs of his day, that it
     engrossed the whole of their meal-times in talk of plays,
     and censuring of players.

     “As good play as work for nought, some say,

     But players get much good by nought but play.”

'Signor Giusippe,'” (he was now Count Haynes!) “says one, 'when will you help me to string my lute? Signor Giusippe,' says another, 'shall we see you at night in the grotto behind the Duke's palace?' 'Signor Giusippe,' says a third, 'when will you teach me the last new song you made for the Prince of Tuscany?' and so, i' faith they Giusipped me, till I had sworn at least to a dozen assignations.”

His waggery was amusing to all who were not the butts of it. He once kept a merchant that had a laced-band which reached from shoulder to shoulder, two good hours in a coffee-house near the Exchange, while he explained the meaning of chevaux de frize; telling him there were horses in Frize-land that were bullet-proof! At another time he parleyed with a grocer a full quarter of an hour in the street, inquiring which was the near est way from Fleet Street to the Sun Tavern in Piccadilly; whether down the Strand, and so by Charing Cross; or through Lincoln's Inn Fields and Covent-Garden? though the simpleton declared his spouse sent him post-haste for a doctor, and—for all that Joe knew—made him lose an heir-apparent to “some dozen pounds of raisins, as many silver apostle spoons, Stow's London, and Speed's Chronicle.”

His astonished father-confessor, while listening to his sham catalogue of frightful enormities, looked as death-like as a frolicsome party of indigo porters in a dark cellar, by the melancholy light of burnt brandy! “For,” said the penitent wag, “last Wednesday I stole a consecrated bell from one of St. Anthony's holy pigs, and coined it into copper farthings! Such a day I pinned a fox's tail on a monk's cowl; and passing by an old gentlewoman sitting in her elbow-chair by the door, reading 'The Spiritual Carduus-posset for a Sinner's Belly-Ache,” (this, saving our noble comedian's presence, is more after the fashion of Rabbi Busy, than Friar Peter!) “I abstracted her spectacles from off her venerable purple nose, and converted them to the profane use of lighting my tobacco by the sunshine.”

“Hark!” said Mr. Bosky, as a voice of cock-crowing cacchination sounded under his window, “there is my St. Bartlemy-tide chorister. For twenty years has Nestor Nightingale proclaimed the joyous anniversary with a new song.” And having thrown up the sash, he threw down his accustomed gratuity, and was rewarded with


Harlequin, taking a journey to Bath,

Put up at an inn with his dagger of lath.

He supp'd like a lord,—on a pillow of down

He slept like a king, and he snored like a clown.

Boniface said, as he popp'd in his head,

“In that little crib by the side of your bed,

As honest a farmer as e'er stood in shoes,

(My chambers are full) would be glad of a snooze.”

The farmer began, as in clover he lay,

To talk of his clover, his corn-rigs, and hay,

His bullocks, his heifers, his pigs, and his wife;

Not a wink could our Harlequin get for his life.

He reckon'd his herds, and his flocks, and his fleece,

And drove twice to market his ducks and his geese;

He babbled of training, and draining, and scythes,

And hoeing, and sowing, and taxes, and tithes.

“To the fair do you carry a pack, or a hunch?

Are you mountebank doctor, or pedlar, or Punch?

What is your calling? and what is your name?

Are you single, or married,—or coward, or game?”

Poor Harlequin, fretting, lay silent and still,

While the farmer's glib tongue went as fast as a mill.

“Where are you going? and whence do you come?

How long do you tarry?—the deuce! are you dumb?”

“I'm the hangman” said Harlequin, sir, of the town;

I cut in the morning a highwayman down;

And fix in the market-place up, for a flag,

To-morrow his head, which I bear in my bag!”

The talkative farmer jump'd up in a fright—

(“If you look for the bag, friend, it lies on your right!”)

Ran out of the chamber, and roar'd for the host,

Shrieking, and shaking, and pale as a ghost!

Boniface listen'd, bolt upright in bed,

To the cock-and-bull story of hangman and head;

And then caught the mountebank, snug on his back,

Holding his sides, which were ready to crack!

Loud laugh'd the landlord at Harlequin's trick.

“As soon,” cry'd the farmer, “I'd sup with Old Nick,

As sleep in this room with that gibbetting wag,

With a head on his shoulders, and one in his bag!”

“Bravo, Nestor!” said the Lauréat of Little Britain; “Norah Noclack (as the taciturn old lady has grown musical) will draw thee a cup of ale for thy ditty, and make thee free of the buttery.”