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Full text of "Merrie England in the olden time"

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MERRIE ENGLAND 

IN THE OIDEH TIME. 

Br GEORGE DANIEL. 



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IN TWO VOLUMES. 
VOL. II. 



LONDON : 
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURUNOTON STREET. 



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IN THE OLDEN TIME. 



CHAPTER I. 

" My friends/' — continued Mr. Bosky, after 
an approving smack of the lips, and ^^ Thanks^ 
my kind mistress ! many happy returns of St, 
Bartlemy !'^ had testified the ballad-singer's hearty 
relish and gratitude for the refreshing draught over 
which he had just suspended his well-seasoned 
nose,* — "never may the mouths he stopped (ex- 



* " Thom: Brewer, my Mus: Servant, through his proneness 
to good fellowshippe, having attained to a very rich and rubi- 
cund noscy being reproved by a friend for his too frequent use 
of strong drinkes and sacke^ as very pernicious to that distem- 
per and inflammation in his nose. * Nay, faith,* says he, * if it 
will not endure sacke, it is no nose for me.* '* — UEitrangCy 
No, 578. Mr. Jenkins. 



VOL. II. 



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4 . MERRIE ENGLAND 

Bulging you woeful tragedies to love*lom maids 
and cobblers' apprentices,**' ^ 

And, carried away by his enthusiasm to the 
days of jolly Queen Bess, the Laureat of Little 
Britain, with a countenance bubbling with hi- 
larity, warbled con sptrito, as a probationary 
ballad for the Itinercmtship^ (!) 

THE KNIGHTING OP THE SIRLOIN. 

Elizabeth Tudor her breakfast would make 
On a pot of strong beer and a pound of beefsteak^ 
Ere six in the morning was toU'd by the chimes — 
O the days of Queen Bess they were merry old times I 

Prom hawking and hunting she rode back to town, 
In time just to knock an ambassador down ; 



people of the countries through which I passed ; for it is im- 
possible that anything should be universally tasted and ap- 
proved by a multitude (though they are only the rabble of a 
nation), which hath not in it some peculiar aptness to p/eose and 
gratify the mind of man." 

Old tales, old songs, and an old jest, 
Our stomachs easiliest digest. 

" Listen to me, my lovly shepherd's joye. 

And thou shalt heare, with mirth and muckle glee. 
Some pretie taleSy which, when I was a boyey 
My toothless grandame oft hath told to mee/* 

* Love in a Tub, a comedy, by Sir George Etherege. 






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IN THE OLDEN TIME. 5 

Toy'd, trifled, coquetted^ then lopp'd off a head ; 
And at threescore and ten danced a hornpipe to bed. 

With Nicholas Bacon,^ her councillor chief, 
One day she was dining on English roast beef; 
That very same day when her Majesty's Grace * 
Had given Lord Essex a slap on the face. 

My Lord Keeper stared, as the wine-cup she kiss'd. 
At his sovereign lady's superlative twist. 
And thought, thinking truly his larder would squeaky 
He 'd much rather keep her a day than a week. 

'* What call you this dainty, my very good lord V* — 
"The Lain,** — bowing low till his nose touch'd the 
board — 



^ When Queen Elizabeth came to visit Sir Nicholas Bacon, 
Lord Keeper, at his new house at Redgrave, she observed, al- 
luding to his corpulency, that he had built his house too Uttk 
for him. ^ Not so, madam," answered he ; ^ but your High- 
ness has made me too big for my house !" 

'The term ^your Grace** was addressed to the English 
Sovereign during the earlier Tudor reigns. In her latter years 
Elizabeth assumed the appellation of ^^ Majesty J* The fol- 
lowing anecdote comprehends both titles. ^^ As Queen Eli- 
zabeth passed the streets in state, one in the crowde cried first, 
^ God blesse your RqyaU Migestie ! ' and then, ^ God blesse 
your Noble Grace ! ' * Why, how now,* sayes the Queeney 
* am I tenne groates worse than I was e'en now ? ' " The va- 
lue of the old " Ryal," or « Royall," was 10«., that of the 
"Noble" Qs.Qd. The Emperor Charles the Fifth was the 
first crowned head that assumed the title of ^^ Majesty,** 



6 MERRIE ENGLAND 

" And — breath of our nostrils, and light of our eyes !^ 
Saying your presence^ the ox was a prize.*' 

" Unsheath me, mine host, thy Toledo so bright. 
Delicious Sir Loin ! I do dub thee a knight. 
Be thine at our banquets of honour the post ; 
While the Queen rules the realm, let Sir Loin rule the 
roast ! 

And 'tis, my Lord Keeper, our royal belief. 

The Spaniard had beat, had it not been for beef I 



1 Queen Elizabeth issued an edict commanding every artist 
who should paint the royal portrait to place her " in a garden 
with a full light upon her, and the painter to put any shadow 
in her face at his peril I" Oliver Cromwell's injunctions to 
Sir Peter Lely were somewhat different. The knight was de- 
sired to transfer to his canvass all the blotches and carbuncles 
that blossomed in the Protector's rocky physiognomy. Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, 

( with fingers so hssom, 

Girls start &om his canvass, and ask us to kiss 'em !) 

having taken the liberty of mitigating the utter stupidity of 
one of his " Pot-boHers/' i. c. stupid &ces, and receiving from 
the sitter's femily the reverse of approbation, exclaimed, " I 
have thrown a glimpse of meaning into this fool's phiz, and 
now none of his friends know him !" At another time, having 
painted too true a likeness, it was threatened to be thrown 
upon his hands, when a polite note from the artist, stating 
that, with the additional appendage of a tail, it would do ad- 
mirably for a monkery for which he had a commission, and re- 
questing to know if the portrait was to be sent home or not, 
produced the desired effect. The picture was paid for, and 
put into the fire ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 7 

Let him come if he dare ! he shall sink I he shall quake! 
With a dtick-ing, Sir Francis shall give him a Drake. 

Thus, Don Whiskerandos^ I throw thee my glove ! 
And now, merry minstrel, strike up * Lighty Lovey 
Come, pursey Sir Nicholas, caper thy best — 
Dick Tarlton shall finish our sports with a jest." 

The virginals sounded. Sir Nicholas puff'd, 

And led forth her Highness, high-heeFd and be-ruff *d— 

Automaton dancers to musical chimes ! 

the days of Queen Bess, they were merry old times I 

" And now, leaving Nestor Nightingale to pro- 
pitiate Uncle Timothy for this interpolation to his 
Merrie Mysteries, let us return and pay our res- 
pects, not to the dignified Count Haynes, the 
learned Doctor Haynes, but to plain Joe Haynes, 
the practical-joking Droll-Player of Bartholomew 
Fair.^^ 

In the first year of King James the Second,* 
our hero set up a booth in Smithfield Rounds, 
where he acted a new droll, called the Whore of 



' Antony, vulgo Tony Aston, a £Eimous player, and one of 
Joe* 8 contemporaries. The only portrait (a sorry one) of Tony 
extant, is a small oval in the frontispiece to the FooPs Opera^ 
to which his comical harum-scarmn autobiography is prefixed. 



8 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Babylon, or the Devil and the Pope, Joe being 
sent for bj Judge PoIIiifen, and sonndly rated 
for presuming to put the pontiff into such bad 
company, replied, that he did it out of respect to 
his Holiness; for whereas many ignorant people 
belieyed the Pope to be a blatant beast, with 
seven heads, ten horns, and a long tail, like the 
Dragon of Wantley^s, according to the description 
of the Scotch Parsons ! he proved him to be a 
comely old gentleman,^ in snow-white canonicals, 
and a cork-screw wig. The next morning two 
bailiffs arrested him for twenty pounds, jnst as the 
Bishop of Ely was riding by in his coach. Qnotfa 
Joe to the bailiffs, *^ Gentlemen, here is my cousin^ 
the Bishop of Ely ; let me but speak a word to 
him, and he will pay the debt and charges.'' The 
Bishop ordered his carriage to stop, whilst Joe 
(close to his ear) whispered, ** My Lord, here are 

I Catholicism, though it ei\joined penance and mortification, 
was no enemy, at appointed seasons, to mirth. Hers were 
meny saints, for they always brought with them a holiday. A 
right jovial prelate was the Pope who first invented the Car- 
nival ! On that joyful festival racks and thumbscrews, fire and 
feggots, were put by ; whips and hair-shirts exchanged for lutes 
and dominos ; and music inspired equally their diversions and 
devotions. 



J 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 9 

a couple of poor waverers who have such terrible 
scruples of conscience^ that I fear theyUl hang 
themaelves."^ — " Very well,'' said the Bishop. So 
calling to the bailiffs, he said, ^^ You two men, 
come to me to-morrow, and ril satisfy you.'' 
The bsuliffs bowed, and went their way; Joe 
(tickled in the midriff, and hugging himself with 
his device) went his way too. In the morning 
the bailiffs repaired to the Bishop's house. ^^ Well, 
my good men," said his reverence, " what are 
your scruples of conscience ?" — " Scruples!" replied 
the bailiffs, " we have no scruples, We are bai- 
liffs, my Lord, who yesterday arrested your cousin 
Joe Haynes for twenty pounds. Your Lordship 
promised to satisfy us to-day, and we hope you will 
be as good as your word." The Bishop, to prevent 
any further scandal to his name, immediately paid 
the debt and charges. 

The following theatrical adventure occurred 
daring his pilgrimage to the well-known shrine, 

" Which at Loretto dwelt in wax, stone, wood. 
And in a fair white wig look'd wondrous fine." 

It was St. John's day, and the people of the 
parish had built a stage in the body of the church, 

B 5 



10 MERRIE ENGLAND 

for the representation of a tragedy called the 
Decollation of the Baptist} Joe had the good 
luck to enter just as the actors were leaving off their 
" damnable faces,'' and going to begin. They had 
pitched upon an ill-looking surly butcher for King 
Herody upon whose chuckle-head a gilt paste- 
board crown glittered gloriously by the candlelight; 
and, as soon as he had seated himself in a rickety 



* The Chester Mysteries, written by Randle or Ralph Hig- 
den, a Benedictine of St. Werburg's Abbey in that city, were 
first performed during the mayoralty of John Ameioay, who 
filled that office from 1268 to 1276, at the cost and charges of 
the different trading companies therein. They were acted in 
English ("made into partes and pagiantes") instead of in 
Latin, and played on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday iii 
Whitsun week. The companies began at the abbey gates, and 
when the first pageant was concluded, the moveable stage (** a 
high sca£folde with two rowmes ; a higher and a lower, upon 
four wheeles'^) was wheeled to the High Cross before the 
Mayor, and then onward to every street, so that each street 
had its pageant. " The Harrowing of Hell" is one of the 
most ancient Miracle Plays in our language. It is as old as 
the reign of Edward the Third, if not older. The Prologue 
and Epilogue were delivered in his own person by the actor 
who had the part of the Saviour. In 1378, the Scholars of St. 
Paul's presented a petition to Richard the Second, praying him 
to prohibit some " inexpert peopled' from representing the His- 
tory of the Old Testament, to the serious prejudice of their 
clergy, who had been at great expense in order to represent it at 
Christmas. On the 18th July, 1390, the Parish Clerks of 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 11 

old wicker chair, radiant with faded finery, that 
served him for a throne, the orchestra (three fifes 
and a fiddle) struck np a merry tnne, and a young 
damsel began so to shake her heels, that with the 
help of a little imagination, our noble comedian 
might have fancied himself in his old quarters at 
St, Bartholomew, or Sturhridge Fair, 



London played Religious Interludes at the Skinners' Well, in 
Clerkenwell, which lasted three days. In 1409, they perform- 
ed The Creation of the Worlds which continued eight days. 
On one side of the lowest platform of these primitive stages 
was a dark pitchy cavern, whence issued fire and flames, and 
the howlings of souls tormented by demons. The latter oc- 
casionally showed their grinning faces through the mouth of 
the cavern, to the terrible delight of the spectators ! The Pa«- 
iion of Our Saviour was the first dramatic spectacle acted in 
Stoedeuy in the reign of King John the Second. The actor's 
name was Lengi$ who was to pierce the side of the person on 
the cross. Heated by the enthusiasm of the scene, he plunged 
his lance into that person's body, and killed him. The King, 
shocked at the brutality of Lengis, slew him with his scimetar ; 
when the audience, enraged at the death of their favourite 
actor, wound up this true tragedy by cutting off his Majesty's 
headl 

^ Stourbridge, or Sturhridge Fair, originated in a grant from 
King John to the hospital of lepers at that place. By a char- 
ter in the thirtieth year of Henry the Eighth, the fair was 
granted to the magistrates and corporation of Cambridge. In 
1613 it became so popular, that hackney coaches attended it 
&om London ; and in after times not less than sixty coaches 



12 HERRIE ENGLAND 

The dance oyer, King Herod, with a Tast pro- 
fasion of barn-door majesty, marched towards the 
damsel, and in '* very choice Italian '^ (which the 
parson of the parish composed for the occasion, 
and we have translated) thui^ complim^ited her : 

" Bewitching maiden I dancing sprite I 
I like thy graceful motion : 
Ask any boon, and, honour bright ! 
It is at thy devotion." 

The danseusey after whispering to a saffron-com- 
plexioned crone, who played Herodias, fell down 
upon both knees, and pointing to the Baptist, a 
grave old farmer ! e^^claimed. 



« 



I( sir^ intending what you say. 
Your Majesty don't flatter. 



plied there. In 1766 and 1767, the " Lord of the Tapy** dress- 
ed in a red livery, with a string over his shoolders, from 
whence depended spigots and fossettSy entered all the booths 
where ale was sold, to determine whether it was fit beverage 
for the visitors. In 1788, Flockton exhibited at Stnrbridge 
Fair. The following lines were printed on his bills :— 

" To raise the soul by means of wood and wire, 
To screw the &ncy up a few pegs higher ; 
In miniature to show the world at large. 
As folks conceive a ship who 've seen a barge. 
This is the scope of aU our actors' play, 
Who hope their toooden aims will not be thrown away t " 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. IS 

I would the BaptuCs head to-day 
Weie brought me in a platter." 

The bluff butcher looked about him as sternly as 
one of Elkanah^s^ blustering heroes, and, after 
taking a fierce stride or two across the stage to 
vent his royal choler, Touchsafed this reply, 

*' Fair cruel maid^ recall thy wish, 
pray think better of it,! 
I 'd rather abdicate^ than dish 
The cranium of my prophet" 

Miss still continued pertinacious and positive. 

** Your royal word 's not worth a fig, 
If thus in flams you glory ; 
I claim your promise for my jig. 
The Baptises upper story." 

This satirical sally put the imperial butcher upon 
his mettle ; he bit his thumbs, scratched his car- 



* Elkanah Settle, the City Laureat, after the Revolution, 
kept a booth at Bartholomew Fair, where, in a droll, called 
iS^. George for England^ he acted in a dragon of green leather 
of hu own invention. In reference to the sweet singer of ^^ an- 
nual trophies'' and '* monthly wars" hissing in his own dragon. 
Pope utters this charitable wish regarding CoUey, 
" Avert it, heaven, that thou, my Ct66er, e'er 
Shouldst wag a serpent-tail in Smithfield Fair I" 



14 HBRRIE ENGLAND 

rotty poll, paused; and, thinking he had lighted 
on a loop-hole, grumbled out with stiff-necked 
profundity, 

" A wicked oath, like sixpence crack'd, 
Or pie-crust, may be broken." 

The damsely however, was " down upon him ^ be- 
fore he could articulate " Jack Robinson," with * 

*' But not the promise of a King, 
Which is a rot/al token.** 

This polished off the rough edges of his Majesty's 
misgivings, and the decollation of John the Baptist 
followed ; but the good people, resolving to make 
their martyr some small amends, permitted his 
representative to receive absolution from a portly 
priest who stood as a spectator at one comer of 
the stage ; while the two soldiers who had de- 
capitated him in effigy, with looks full of con- 
trition, threw themselves into the confessional, and 
implored the ghostly father to assign them a stiff 
penance to expiate their guilt. Thus ended this 
tragedy of tragedies, which, with all due deference 
to Joe's veracity, we suspect to have had its origin 
in Bartholomew Fair. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 15 

Joe Haynes diuffled off his comical coil on 
Friday, the 4th of April 1701. The Smithfield 
muses mourned his death in an elegy,* a rare 
broadside, with a black border, ^^ printed for J. 
B. near the Strand, 1701." 

Thomas Dogget, the last of our triumvirate, 
was ^^ a little lively sprat man.**^ He dressed neat, 
and something fine, in a plain cloth coat and a 
brocaded waistcoat. He sang in company very 



* ** An Elegy on the Death of Mr. Joseph Haines, the late 
Famous Actor in the King's Play-House," &c. &c. 

Lament, you beaus and players every one, 

The only champion of your cause is gone : 

The stars are surly, and the fates unkind, 

Joe Haines is dead, and left his Ass behind ! 

Ah, cruel fete ! our patience thus to try, 

Must Haines depart, while asses multiply ? 

If nothing but a player down would go, 

There 's choice enough besides great Haines the beau I 

In potent glasses, when the wine was clear. 

Thy very looks declared thy mind was there. 

Awfiil, majestic, on the stage at sight. 

To play (not work) was all thy chief delight : 

Instead of danger and of hateful bullets. 

Roast beef and goose, with harmless legs of pullets ! 

Here lies the Famous Actor, Joseph Haines, 

Who, while alive, in playing took great pains. 

Performing aU his acts with curious art, 

Till Death appeared, and smote him with his dart.' 



« 



» 



16 UERRIE ENGLAND 

agreeably, and in public very comically. He was 
the Will Kempe of his day. He danced the 
Cheshire Round fdU as well as the femons Captain 
George, bnt with more nature and mmbleneas.' A 



' Dogget had a sable rival. " In Bartholomew Fair, at the 
Coarh-Houte on the Pav'd Stones M Eoiitr-Lajie-Ead, you 



IN THE OLDEN TIME, 17 

writer in the Secret Mercury of September 9, 
1702y says, ^^At last, all the childish parade 
dumnk off the stage by matter and motion, and 
enter a hobbledehoy of a dance, and Dogget, in 
eld woman^s petticoats and red waistcoat, as like 
Prpgue Cock as ever man saw. It would have 
made a stoic split his lungs if he had seen the 
temporary harlot sing and weep both at once; 
a true emblem of a woman^s tears !^ He was a 
&ithful, pleasant actor. He never deceiyed his 
audience; because, while they gazed at him, he 
was working up the joke, which broke out sud- 
denly into involuntary acclamations and laughter. 
He was a capital face-player and gesticulator, and 
a thorough master of the several dialects, except 
the Scotch; but was, for all that, an excellent 
Sawfuy. His great parts were Fondlewife, in 



shall see a Black that dances the Cheshire Rounds^ to the ad- 
miration of all spectators." Temp. William Third. 

Here, too, is Dogget's ovm bill ! " At Parker's and Doggefs 
Booth, near Hosier-Lane-End, during the time of Bartholomew 
Fairy will be presented a New Droll, called Fryar Bacon, or 
the Comitry Justice ; with the Humours of Tollfree the Miller, 
and his son Ralph, Acted by Mr. Dogget. With yariety of 
Scenes, Machines, Songs, and Dances. Yivat Rex, 1691." 



18 MERRIE ENGLAND 

the Old Bachelor ; Ben, in Love for Love ; Hob, 
in the Country Wake, &c. Colley Gibber's ac- 
count of him is one glowing panegyric. GoUey 
played Fondlewife so completely after the manner 
of Dogget, copying his voice, person, and dress 
with such scrupulous exactness, that the audience, 
mistaking him for the original, applauded voci- 
ferously. Of this Dogget himself was a witness, 
for he sat in the pit. 

" Whoever would see him pictured,^ may view 
him in the character of Sawney^ at the Dukes's 
Head in Lynn-Regis, Norfolk.** Will the jovial 
spirit of Tony Aston point out where this interest- 
ing memento hides its head ? ^^ 60 on, I '11 follow 
thee.** He died at Eltham in Kent, SSnd Sep- 
tember 1721. 

How small an act of kindness will embalm a 
man*s memory ! Baddeley*8 Twelfth Gake* shall 



* The only portrait of Dogget known is a small print, re- 
presenting him dancing the Cheshire Round, with the motto 
" Ne tutor ultra crepidamJ' 

' Baddeley, the comedian, bequeathed a yearly smn for ever, 
to he laid out in the purchase of a Twelfth-cake and wine, 
for the entertainment of the ladies and gentlemen of Drury 
Lane Theatre. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 19 

be eaten, and DoggeVa coat and badge^ rowed 
for, 

While Christmas frolics, and while Thames shall flow. 
" And shall not,'' said Mr. Bosky, " a bumper 
flow, in spite of the ^ Sin of drinking healths?'*'*^ ^ to 

Three merry men, three merry men, 

Three merry men they be ! 
Two went dead, like sluggards, in bed ; 
One in his shoes died of a noose 

That he got at Tyburn-Tree I 

Three merry men, three merry men, 

Three merry men are we ! 
Push round the rummer in winter and summer. 
By a sea-coal fire, or when Birds make a choir 

Under the green-wood tree ! 

The sea-coal bums, and the spring returns. 

And the flowers are fair to see ; 
But man &.des fast when his summer is past, 
Winter snows on his cheeks blanch the rose — 

No second spring has he I 

* ** This day the Coat and Badge given by Mr, Dogget, 
will be rowed for by six young watermen, out of their appren- 
ticeship this year, &om the Old Swan at Chelsea.*' — Daify 
Advertiser, July 31, 1753. 

2 The companion books to the " Sin of Drinking healths" 
were the " Loathsomness of Long Hairey' and the " Unlove- 
liness of Love Locksy" by Messrs, Praise-God-Barebones and 
Fear-the-Lord Barbottle. 



20 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

Let the worid atiU wag at it will. 

Three merry wags aze we ! 
A bumper shall flow to Mat, ThomaSf and Joe ; 
A sad pity that they had not for poor Mat 

Hang'd Care at Tybum-Tiee. 



. IN THE OLDEN TIME. 21 



CHAPTER II. 

It would require a poetical imagination to paint 
the times when a gallant train of England'^s chi- 
valry rode from the Tower Royal through Knight- 
rider Street and Giltspur Street (how significant 
are the names of these interesting localities, bear- 
ing record of their former glory !) to their splendid 
tournaments in Smithfield,-^— or proceeding down 
Long Lane, crossing the Barbican (the Specula 
or Watch-tower of Romanum Lcmdinium), and 
skirting that far-famed street^ where, in ancient 
times, dwelt the Fletchers and Bowyers, but 
which has since become synonymous with poetry 



* In Grub Street resided John FoXy the Martyrologist, and 
Henry Welh/, the English hennit, who, instigated by the in- 
gratitude of a younger brother, shut himself up in his house 
for forty-four years, without being seen by any human being. 
Though an unsociable recluse, he was a man of the most ex- 
emplary charity. 



22 MERRIE ENGLAND 

and poverty, — ambled gaily through daisy-dappled 
meads to Finsbury Fields,^ to enjoy a more ex- 
tended space for their martial exercises. Then 
was Osier Lane (the Smithfield end of which is 



* In the days of Fitzstephen, Finsbury or Fensbury was 
one vast lake, and the citizens practised every variety of 
amusement on the ice. ** Some will make a large cake of ice, 
and, seating one of their companions upon it, they take hold 
of one's hand, and draw him along. Others place the leg- 
bones of animals under the soles of their feet, by tying them 
round their ancles, and then, taking a pole shod with iron into 
their hands, they push themselves forward with a velocity 
equal to a bolt discharged &om a crossbow." 

We learn from an old ballad called ^< The Life and Death 
of the Two Ladies of Finshury that gave Moorjieldi to the 
city, for the maidens of London to dry their cloaths," that Sir 
John Fines, *^ a noble gallant knight," went to Jerusalem to 
" hunt the Saracen through fire and flood ;" but before his 
departure, he charged his two daughters "unmarried to re- 
main," till he returned from *' blessed Palestine." The eldest 
of the two built a " holy cross at Bedlam-'gaiey adjoining to 
Moarfield ;" and the younger " framed a pleasant well," where 
wives and maidens daily came to wash. Old Sir John Fines 
was slain ; but his heart was brought over to England from 
the Holy Land, and, after " a lamentation of three hundred 
days," solemnly buried in the place to which they gave the 
name of Finesbury, When the maidens died "they gave 
those pleasant fields unto the London citizens, 

" Where lovingly both man and wife 
May take the evening air ; 
And London dames to dry their cloaths 
May hither still repair V 



r*> 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 23 

immortalised in Bartholomew Fair amdals) a long 
narrow slip of greensward, watered on both sides 
by a tributary streamlet from the river Fleet, on 
the margin of which grew a line of osiers, that 
hnng gracefully over its banks. Smithfield, once 
^^ a place for honourable justs and triumphs/' 
became, in after times, a rendezvous for bravoes, 
and obtained the title of " Ruffians'* HalV* Cen- 
turies have brought no improvement to it. The 
modem jockeys and chaunters are not a whit less 
rogues than the ancient ^^ horse-coursers,'^ and 
the many odd traits of character that marked its 
former heroes, the swash-bucklers,^ are deplorably 
wanting in the present race of irregulars, who are 
monotonous bullies, without one redeeming dash 
of eccentricity or humour. The stream of time, 
that is continually washing away the impurities of 
other murky neighbourhoods, passes, without irri- 
gating, Smithfield's blind alleys and the squahd 



' In ancient times a serving-man carried a buckler, or shield, 
at his back, which hung by the hilt or pommel of his sword 
hanging before him. A " stoash-buckler " was so called from 
the noise he made with his sword and buckler to frighten an 
antagonist. 



g4 MERRIE ENGLAND 

&ces of their inhabitants. Yet was it Merryland 
in the olden time, — and, forgetting . the dajs^ 
when an nnpaved and miry slough, the scene of 
autos da fi for both Catholics and Protestants, as 
the fury of the dominant party rode religiously 
rampant, as such let ns consider it. Pleasant is the 
remembrance of the sports that are past, which 

» 

To all are delightful, except to the spiteful I 
To none offensive, except to the pensive ; 

yet if the pensiveness be allied to, ^' a most hu- 
morous sadness,*^^ the offence will be but small. 

At the ^* Old Elephant Ground over against 
Osier Lane^ in Smithfield, during the time of the 
fair,'^ in 1682, were to be seen "the Famous 
Indian Water-works, with masquerades, songs, 
and dances,*" — and at the Plough-Musick Booth 
(a red flag being hung out as a sign) the fair folks 
were entertained with antic-dances, jigs, and sara- 
bands ; an Indian dance by four blacks ; a quarter- 
staff dance ; the merry shoemakers ; a chair-dance ; 
a dance by three milkmaids, with the comical 
capers of Kit the Cowherd ; the Irish trot ; the 
humours of Jack Tars and Scaramouches ; toge- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 25 

ther with good wiue, cider, mead, music, and 
mum. 

Cross we over from *' Osier Lane-end ^' (the 
modem H is an interpolation,) to the King^s Head 
xmd Mitre Music Booth, ^Vover against Long 
Lane-end.^^ Beshrew me, Michael Root, thou 
hast an enticing bill of fare— a dish of all sorts 
— and how gravely looketh that apathetic Mag- 
nifico William^ by any grace, but his own, " So- 
vereign Lord^ at the head and front of thy Scara- 
mouches and Tumblers ! To thy merry memory, 
honest Michael ! and may St. Bartlemy, root and 
branch, flourish for ever ! 

" Michael Root, from . the KingVhead at Rat- 
cliff-cross, and Elnathan Root, from the Mitre 
in Wapping, now keep the EangVhead and Mitre 
Musick-Booth in Smithfield Rounds, where will b^ 
exhibited A dance between four Tinkers in their 
proper working habits, with a song in character ; 
Four Satyrs in their Savage Habits present you. 
with a dance ; Two Tumblers tumble to admira- 
tion; A new Song, called A hearty Welcome to 
Bartholomew Fair ; Four Indians dance with 
Castinets ; A Girl dances with naked rapiers at 

VOL. II. 



26 MERRIE ENGLAND 

her throat, eyes, and mouth ; a Spaniard dances 
a saraband incomparably well ; a ctmntry-mam and 
a country-^oman dance Billy and Joan ; a young 
Ind dances the Cheshire rounds to admiration ; a 
dance between two Scaramouches and two Irish' 
men ; a woman dances with sixteen glasses on the 
backs and palms of her hands, turning round several 
thousand times ; an entry, saraband, jig, and horn- 
pipe ; an Italian posture-dance ; two Tartarians 
dance in their furious habits ; three antick dances 
and a Roman dance ; with another excellent new 
songy never before performed at any musical en- 
tertainment.'' 

John Sleep, or Sleepe, was a wide-awake man 
in ^^ mirth and pastime;'' famous for his mum- 
meries and mum ; of a locomotive turn, and emu^ 
lated the zodiac in the number of his signs. 
He kept the Gun, in Salisbury Court, and the 
King William and Queen Mary in Bartholomew 
Fair; the Rose, in Tummill Street (the scene, 
under the rose! of FalstafiTs early gallantries); 
and the Whelp and Bacon in Smithfield Rounds. 
That he was a formidable rival to the Messrs. 
Root ; a " positive " fellow, and a polite one ; 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 27 

teaching his Scaramonches civility, (one^ it seems, 
had made a hole in his manners !) and selling 
^^ good wines, Sec.*" let his comically descriptive 
advertisement to ^^ all gentlemen and ladies^ plea- 
santly testify. 

*^John Sleepe keepeth the sign of the King 
William and Queen Mary, in Smithfield Boonds, 
where all gentlemen and ladies will be accommo- 
dated with good wines, &c. and a variety of 
music^, vocal and instmm^dtal ; besides all other 
mirth and pastime that wit and ingenuity can 
produce. 

^^A little boy dances the Cheshire rounds; a 
young gentlewoman dances the saraband and jigg 
extraordinary fine, with French dances, that are 
now in fashion ; a Scotch dance^ composed by four 
Italian dancing-masters, for three men and a wo- 
man ; a young gentlewoman dances with six naked 
rapiers, so fast, that it would amaze all beholders ; 
a young lad dances an antick dance extraordinary 
finely ; another Scotch dance by two men and one 
woman, with a Scotch song by the woman, so 
very droll and diverting, that I am positive did 

people know the comick humour of it, they 

o2 



S8 HERRIE ENGLAND 

would forsake all other booths for the sight of 

them." 

In the following hill Mr. Sleep becomes still 
more *' wonderful and extraordinary : — 

" John Sleep now keeps the Whelp and Bacon 

in Smithfield Ronnds, where are to be seen, a 

youTig lad that dances a Cheshire ronnd to the 

admiration of all people, The Silent Comedy, a 

dance representing the love and jealousy of rural 

swains, after the manner of the Great Turks 

mimick dances performed by his mutes ; a lad 

that tumbles to the admiration of all beholders ; 

a young montan that dances with ax naked racers, 

to the wonderful divertisement of all spectators ; 

a young tmn that dances after the Morocco feshion, 

to the wonderful applause of all beholders ; a nurae- 

dance, by a woman and two drunkards, wonderful 

diverting to all people ; aj/oung Tnan that dancefl 

a hornpipe the Lancaster way, extraordinary finely; 

a lad that dances a Punch, extraordinary pleasant 

and diverting ; a grotesque dance, called the Speaks 

ing Movement, shewing in words and gestures the 

humours of a musick booth, after the manner of 

the Venetian Camital ; and a nea Scaramouch, 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 29 

more civil than the farmery and after a far more 
ingenious and divertinger way !'** 

Excellent well, somniferous John ! worthy dis« 
iaple of St. Bartlemy. 

Green, at the " Nag's Head and Pide Bull,'' 
advertises eight ** comical and diverting" exhibi- 
tions ; hinting that he hath ^^ that within which 
passeth shew ;" but declines publishing his " other 
ingenious pastimes in so small a bill." Yet he 
contrives to get into this ^' small bill" as much 
puff as his contemporaries. His pretensions are as 
superlative as his Scaramouches, and quite as 
diverting. '^A young man dances with twelve 
naked swords," and '^ a young woman with six 

* 

naked rapiers, after a more pleasant and &r inge-- 
niuser &shion than had been danced before." 

These Bartholomew Fair showmen are sadly 
deficien1^in gallantry. With them the ^^ gentlemen^ 
always take precedence of the ^^ ladies.'*'* The 
Smithfield muses should have taught them better 
manners. 

Manager Crosse^ ** at the Signe of the George," 

* Managers Crosse, Powell, LuflSngham, &c. Temp. Queen 
Anne and George I. 



30 . MERRIE ENGLAND 

advertises a genuine Jim Crow, ^<a block lately 
from the Indies, who dances antic dances after 
the Indian manner."" In those days the grinning 
and sprawling of an ebony buffoon were confined 
to the congenial timbers of Bartlemy fair ! 

Was the ^' young gentlewoman with six naked 
rapiers"" ubiquitous, or had she rivals in the 
Rounds? But another lady, no less attractive, 
^^ invites our steps, and points to yonder"" booth 
—where, 

^'By His Majesty"s permission, next door to 
the King"s Head in Smithfield, is to be seen a 
womanrdwarf^^ but three foot and one inch* higb^ 
bom in Somersetshire, and in the fortieth year of 
her age."" And, as if we had not seen enough of 
^^ strange creatures alive j" mark the following '^ad- 
vertisem^t"" :— 

^ ** One seeing a Dwarfe at Bartholomew Fairy which was 
sixteen inches high, with a great head, a hody, and no thighs, 
said he looked like a hlock upon a barber's stall : — * No,' says 
another, < when he speaks, he is like the Brazen Head of Fryer 
Bacon's.' "—The Comedian's TaleSy 1729. 

' A few seasons after appeared << The wonderful and surpris- 
ing English dwarf, two feet eight inches high, bom at Salis- 
bury in 1709 ; who has been shewn to the Royal Family, and 
most of the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 31 

'^ Next door to the Oolden Hart, in Smithfield, 
is to be seen a live Turkey ram. Part of him is 
covered with black hair, and part with white wool. 
He hath horns as big as a bulPs; and his tail 
weighs sixty pounds! Here is also to be seen 
alive the &mous civet cat, and one of the holy 
lambs curiously spotted all over like a leopard, 
that us'd to be offered by the Jews for a sacrifice. 
Vivat Rex.^ 

This Turkey ranCs tail is a tough tale,* even 
&r the ad libitum of Smithfield Rounds. Such a 
tail wagged before such a master must have ex- 
hibited the two greatest wags in the fair. 

The Boots were under ground, or planted in a 
cool arbour, quaffing — ^not Bartlemy " good wines,'' 
{doctors never take their own physic !)— but genu- 
ine nutbrown. Their dancing-days were over; 
for " Boot's booth'' (temp. Geo.I.) was now tenant- 



^ <* A certain officer of the Guards being at the New Theatre, 
behind the scenes, was telling some of the comedians of the 
rarities he had seen abroad. Amongst other things, he had 
seen a pike caught six foot long. ^ That 's a trifle,' says the 
late Mr. SpiUer^ the celebrated actor, ^ I have seen half a 
pike in England longer by a foot, and yet not worth two- 
pence!.*" 



MERRIE ENGLAND 

ed by Powell, the puppet-showman, and one Luf- 
fingham, who, fired with the laudable ambition 
of maintaining the laughing honours of their pre- 
decessors, issued a bill, at which we cry ^' What 
next f" as the sailor did when the conjuror blew 
his own head off. 

" At Root's booth, Powell from Russell Court, 
and Luflingham from the Cyder Cellar, in Covent- 
Oarden, now keep the King Charles's Head, and 
Man and Woman fighting for the Breeches, in 
Bartholomew Fair, near Long Lane: where two 
figures dance a Scaramouch after a new grotesque 
fashion ; a little boy, five years old, vaults from a 
table twelve foot high on his head, and drinks the 
King's health standing on his head, with two 
swords at his throat; a Scotch dance by three 
men and a woman ; an Irishwoman dances the 
Irish trot ; Roger of Coventry is danced by one in 
a countryman's habit; a cradle dance, being a 
comical fancy between a woman and her drunken 
hxiahaxidjighting for the breeches ; a woman dances 
with fourteen glasses on the back of her hands foil 
of wine. Also several entries, as Almands Pavans^ 
Galliadsy Gavots, English Jiggs, and the Sabbot-- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 33 

iers dance, so mightily admired at the King*8 Play' 
house. The company will be entertained with 
Yocal^and instrumental musick, as performed at 
tibe late happy Congress at Reswick, in the pre- 
sence of several princes and ambassadors.^ 

Here will I pause. For the present, we have 
sapped fhU with Scaramouches. ^^ Six naked ra- 
piers ^^ at my throat all night would be a sorry 
substitute for the knife and fork I hope to play 
anon, after a "more pleasant and fer ingeniuser''* 
fashion, with some plump roast partridges. A 
select coterie of Uncle Timothy's brother anti- 
quaries have requested to be enlightened on Bar- 
tlemy foir lore. Will you, my friend Eugenio, 
during the Saint's saturnalia, join us in the ancient 
" Cloth quarter'"? On, brave spirit ! on. Rope- 
dancers invite thee ; conjurors conjure thee ; Punch 
squeaks thee a screeching welcome ; mountebanks 
and posture-masters^ with every variety of physi- 

' " From the Duke of Marlborough's Head in Fleet Street, 
during the fair, is to be seen the famous posture-master, who 
fax exceeds Clarke and Higgiru. He twists his body into all 
deformed shapes, makes his hip and shoulder-bones meet to- 
gether, lays his head upon the ground, and turns his body 
round twice or thrice without stirring his &ce from the 
place."i^l711. 

5 



34 MERRIE ENGLAND 

ognomical and phydcal contortioD, lore tliee to 
their dislocatioiia. Faiekes's dexterity of hand; 
the moving pi<^res ; Finchbeok's tmuical dock; 
SolomoiCs Temple; the wazvork, all alixxl the 
Cortican fairy ;' the dwarf that Jumpa down hi* 



> " The Cortkan Fairy, only thirty-four inches high, end 
«reighmg but twenty-aix pounds, well-proportioned and ft per- 
fect beaoty. Bhe is to be seen u the -«imer of Cow-Lane, 
during Bartholomew Pair."^1743. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 35 

men throat i^ the High German Artist^ born with^ 
out hands or feet;^ the cow with^ve legs ; the 



1 << Lately arriyed from Italy Signor CapUeUo Jumpedoy a 
siuprising dwarfs not taller than a common tobacco-pipe. He 
will twist his body into ten thousand shapes, and then open 
wide his mouth, andjtm^ doum hU awn throat ! He is to be 
spoke with at the Black Tavern, Golden Lane." January 13, 
1749. This is the renowned " Bottle Conjuror'^ Some such 
deception was practised either by himself, or an imitator, at 
Bartholomew Fair, 

' " Mr. Mathew Buchinger, twenty-nine inches high, born 
without hands or feet, June 2, 1674, in Germany, near Nu- 
remburgh. He has been married four times, and has eleven 
children. He plays on the hautboy and flute ; and is no less 
eminent for writing and drawing coats of arms and pictures, to 
the life, with a pen. He plays at cards, dice, and nine-pins, 
and performs tricks with cups, balls, and live birds." Every 
Jack has his Jill ; and as a partner, not in a connubial sense, 
my little Plenipo ! we couple thee with " The High German 
WomoHy bom without hands or feet, that threads her needle, 
sews, cuts out gloves, writes, spins fine thread, and charges 
and discharges a pistol. She is now to be seen at the comer 
of Hosier LanCy during the time of the fair." — Temp. Geo. II. 
Apropos of dwarfis — ^William Evans, porter to King Charles 
the First, who was two yards and a half in height, " dancing 
in an antimask at court, drew little Jeffrey the dtoarfont of his 
pocket, first to the wonder, then to the laughter of the be- 
holders." Little Jeffrey's height was only three feet nine 
inches. But even the gigantic William Evans, and Geoige 
the Fourth's tall porter whom we remember to have seen 
peep over the gates of Carlton House, were nothing to the 
modem American, who is so tall as to be obliged to go up a 
ladder to shave himself I 



36 MERRIE ENGLAND 

hare that beats a drum;^ the Savoyard'^s puppet* 
shew ; the mummeries of Moorfields^^ urge thee 
forward on thy ramble of two centuries through 
Bartholomew Fair, which, like 



* Ben Jonson, in his play of Bartholomew Fair^ mentions 
this singular exhibition having taken place in his time ; and 
Strutt gives a pictorial description of it, copied from a drawing 
in the Harleian collection (6563) said to be upwards of four 
centuries old. 

' Moorfields, spite of its " melancholy Moor Ditch^* was for- 
merly famous for, 

** Hills and holes, and shops for brokers, 
Open sinners, canting soakers ; 
Preachers, doctors, raving, pufSng, 
Praying, swearing, solving, hufSng, 
Singing hymns, and sausage frying, 
Apple roasting, orange shying ; 
Blind men begging, fiddlers drawling. 
Raree-shows and children bawling — 
Gingerbread ! and see Gibraltar ! 
Humstrums grinding tunes that fiJter ; 
Maim'd and halt aloft are staging, 
Bills and speeches mobs engaging ; 
* Good people, sure de ground you tread on, 
Me did put dis voman's head on ! ' " 

" The Flying Horsey a noted victualling house in Moor- 
fieldSy next to that of the UUe Astrologer Trotter y has been mo- 
lested for several nights past, stones, and glass bottles being 
thrown into the house, to the great annoyment and terror of the 
family and guests."— ^eio« Letter of Feb, 25, 1716, 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S7 

' Th* adyenture of the Bear and Fiddle 
Is sung — ^but breaks off in the middle^** 

As the Laureat closed his manuscript, the door 
opened, and who shonld enter but Uncle Timothy. 

^^Ha! my good friends, what happy chance 
has brought you to the business abode and town 
Tusculum of the Boskys for half-a-dozen genera- 
tions of Drysalters ?'' 

" Something short of assault and battery, fine 
and imprisonment.'" 

And Mr. Bosky, after helping Uncle Timothy 
off with his great coat, warming his slippers, wheel- 
ing round his arm-chair to the chimney-comer, and 
seeing him comfortably seated, gave a detail of our 
late encounter at the Pig and Tinder-Box. 

The old-&shioned housekeeper delivered a note 
to Mr. Bosky, sealed with a large black seal. 

^'An ominous looking affair !^^ remarked the 
middle-aged gentleman. 

^' A deaths head and cross-bones !^ replied the 
Laureat of Little Britain. ^^^Ods, rifles and trig- 
gers ! if it should be a challenge from the Holbom 
Hill Demosthenes.'^^ 

" A challenge ! a fiddlestick ! ^ retorted Uncle 



S8 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Tim, " he 's only a * tame cheater ! ' Every bullet 
that ht fires I ^11 swallow for a forced-meat ball.**^ 

Mr. Bosky haying broken the blaek seal, read 
out as follows : — 

^^ Mr. Merripall presents his respectful services 
to Benjaxoin Bosky, Esq. and begs the favour of 
his company to dine with the High Cockolontm 
Club^ of associated Undertakers at the Death^s 



^ It may be curious to note down some of the odd clubs that 
existed in 1745, viz. The Virtuoso's Club ; the Knights of the 
Gtelden Fleece ; the Surly Club ; the Ugly Club ; the Split- 
Farthing Club ; the Mock Heroes Club ; the Beau's Club ; 
the Quack's Club ; the Weekly Dancing Club ; the Bird- 
Fancier's Club ; the Chatter-wit Club ; the Small-coal Man's 
Music Club ; the Kit-cat Club ; the Beefsteak Club ; all of 
which and many more, are broadly enough described in ^ A 
Humorous Account of all the Remarkable Clubs in London 
and Westminster," In 1790, among the most remarkable 
clubs were. The Odd Fellows ; the Humbugs, (held at the 
Blue Posts, Russell Street^ Covent Garden,) the Samsonic So- 
ciety ; the Society of Bucks ; the Purl-Drinkers ; the Society 
of Pilgrims (held at the Woolpack, Kingsland Road) ; the 
Thespian Club ; the Great Bottle Club ; the Je ne s^ai quoi 
Club (held at the Star and Garter, Pall Mall, and of which 
the Prince of Wales, and the Dukes of York, Clarence, Or» 
leans (Philip Egalit^)^ Norfolk, Bedford, &c. &c. were mem- 
bers) ; the Sons of the Thames Society (meeting to celebrate 
the annual contest for Doggefs Coat and Badge) ; the Blue* 
Stocking Club ; and the No pay, no liquor Club, held at the 
Queen and Artichoke, Hampstead Road, where the newly- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S9 

Door, Battersea Rise, to-morrow, at four. If 
Mr. Bosky can prevail upon his two friends, who 
received such scurvy treatment from a fraction of 
the Antiqueeruns^ to accompany him, it will afford 
Mr. M. additional pleasure.^^ 

" An unique invitation ! " quoth Uncle Tim. 



admitted member, haying paid his fee of one shilling, was in- 
vested with the inaugural honours, viz, a hat feushioned in the 
form of a quart pot, and a gilt goblet of humming ale, out of 
which he drank the healths of the brethren. In the present 
day, the Author of Virgimus has conferred classical celebrity 
on a club called ^^ The Social VUlagert^'* held at the Bedford 
Arms, a merry hostelrie at Camden Town. 

It was at one of these festivous meetings that Uncle Timo- 
thy produced the following Lyric of his own. 

Fill, fill a bumper ! no twilight, no, no ! 
Let hearts, now or never, and goblets overflow ! 
Apollo commands that we drink, and the Nine, 
A generous spirit in generous wine. 

The bard, in a bumper ; behold, to the brim 
They rise, the gay spirits of poesy— whipi ! 
Aroimd eVry glass they a garland entwine 
Of sprigs from the laurel, and leaves from the vine. 

A bumper ! the bard who, in eloquence bold. 

Of two noble &thers the story has told ; 

What pangs heave the bosom, what tears dim the eyes. 

When the dagger is sped, and the arrow it flies. 

The bard, in a bumper ! la fancy his theme ? 
'Tis sportive and light as a fairy-land dream ; 



40 MERRIE ENGLAND 

^ Gentlenieii, yon most indidge the High Coeko^ 
lorunUf and go by all means.^ 

Mr. Bosky promised to rise with the laik, and 
be ready for one on the morrow ; and, anticipating 
a good day's sport, we consented to accompany 
him. 

Sapper was announced, and we sat down to 

Does love tune hb harp? 'tis devoted and pure ; 
OxfrkmUhip 1 'tis that which shall always endure. 

Ye tramplers on liberty y tremble at him ; 
His song is your knell, and the slaveys morning hymn ! 
His frolicksome humour is buxom and bland. 
And bright as the goblet I hold in my hand. 

The bard ! brim your glasses ; a bumper \ a cheer ! 
Long may he live in good fellowship here. 
Shame to thee, Britain, if ever he roam, 
To seek with the stranger a friend and a home ! 

Fate in his cup ev'ry blessing infuse. 
Cherish his fortune, and smile on his muse ; 
Warm be his hearth, and prosperity cheer 
Those he is dear to, and those he holds dear. 

Blythe be his autumn as siunmer hath been ;«- 
Frosty, but kindly, and sweetly serene 
Oreen be his winter, with snow on his brow ; 
Oreen as the wreath that encircles it now ! 

To dear Toddy KnowUs^ then, a bumper we fill, 
And toast his good health as he trots down the hill ;. 
In genius he 's left all behind him by goles ! 
But he won't leave behind him another Fat Knawies i 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 41 

that social meal. In a. day-dream of fitncy. Uncle 
Timothy re-peopled thes once convivial chambers 
of the Falcon and the Mermaid^ with those glori- 
ous intelligences that made the reigns of Elizabeth 
and James I. the Augustan age of England. We 
listened to the wisdom, and the wit, and the loud 
laugh, as Shakspere and '^rare Ben,^^^ in the full 



1 ^ Shake-speare was god-fiGkther to one of Ben Jonson's 
children, and after the christ'ning, heing in a deepe study, 
Jonson came to cheere him up, and ask't him why he was so 
meLmcholy ? ^ No, faith, Ben, (says he,) not I, hut I have 
been considering a great while what should he the fittest gift 
for me to bestow upon my god-child, and I have resolved at 
last.'-7< I pr'y the, what V says he,— < I* faith, Ben, I 'le e'en 
give him a douzen good Lattin spoones, and thou shalt trant' 
late them.'" — L'EstrangCy No. 11. Mr. Dun. — Latten was 
a name formerly used to signify a mixed metal resembling 
brass. Hence Shakspere's appropriate puny with reference to 
the learning of Ben Jonson. 

Many good jests are told of **rare Ben." When he went 
to Basingstoke, he used to put up his horse at the ^Angely" 
which was kept by Mrs. Hope, and her daughter. Prudence. 
Journeying there one day, and finding strange people in the 
house, and the sign changed, he wrote as follows : — 

^ When Hope and Prudence kept this house, the Angel kept 
the door ; 
Now Hope is dead, the Angel fled, and Prudence tum'd a 



w !" 



At another time he designed to pass through the Half 
Moon in Aldersgate Street, but the door being shut, he was 



42 MERRIE ENGLAND 

confidence of fiiendship, exchanged ^^ thoughts that 
breathe, and words that bnm,^ so beantifiiUj de« 
scribed bj Beaumont in his letter to Jonson. 

** What things have we seen 
' Done at the Mermaid ! heard words that have be^i 
So nimble^ and so fiill of subtle flame. 
As if that every one from whom they came. 
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest ! '' 

Travelling by the swift power of imagmation, we 
looked in at WilU and Buttons ; beheld the ho- 
noured chair that was set apart for the use of 
Pryden ; and watched Pope, then a boy^ lisping 
in numbers, regarding his great master with filial 
reverence, as he delivered his critical aphorisms to 



denied entrance ; so he went to the Sun Tavern at the Long 
Lane endy and made these verses :— 

^* Since the Half Moon is so unkind. 
To make me go ahout ; 
The Sun my money now shall have, 
And the Moon shall go without." 
That he was often in pecuniary difficulties the following ex- 
tracts from Henslowe's papers painfully demonstrate. " Lent 
un to Bengemen Johnson, player, the 28 of July, 1597, in 
Redy money, the some of fower powndes, to he payed agayne 
when so ever ether I, or any for me, shall demande yt,— 
Witness E. Alleyn and John Synger." — "Lent Bengemyne 
Johnson, the 5 of Janewary, 1597-8, in redy money, the scNOie 
of Vs." 



IN THE OL0EN TIME* 4i3 

the assembled wits. Nor did we miss the Birch- 
Rod that ^^ the bard whom pilferM pastoral renown^ 
hung up at Buttons to chastise ^* tnnefid Alexis of 
the Thames^ fair side/^ his own back smarting 
from some satirical twigs that little Alexis had li- 
berally laid on! , We saw St. Patrick^s Dean 
*^ steal ^ to his pint of wine with the accomplished 
Addison ; and heard Gslj, Arbnthnot, and Boling- 
broke, in witty conclave, compare lyrical notes for 
the Beggar's Opera — not forgetting the joyous cheer 
that welcomed *' King Colley^^ to his midnight troop 
of titled reyellers, after the curtain had dropped on 
Fondlewife and Foppington. And, hey presto t 
snugly seated at the Mitrcy we found Doctor 
Johnson, lemon in hand, demanding of Goldsmith,^ 



' If ever an author, whether considered as a poet, a critic» 
an historian, or a dramatist, deserved the name of a dame^ it 
was Oliver Goldsmith. His two great ethic poems, *^The 
Traveller,'* and « The Deserted Village,'* for suhlimity of 
thought, truth of reasoning, and poetical beauty, fairly place 
him by the side of Pope. The simile of the bird teaching its 
young to fly, and that beginning with ^ As some tall cliff,*' 
have rarely been equalled, and never surpassed. For exquisite 
humour and enchanting simplicity of style, his essays may 
oompare with the happiest effusions of Addison ; and hie 
" Vicar of Wakefield," though a novely has advanced the 
cause of religion and virtue, and may be read with as much 



44 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Garrick,* Boswell, and Reynolds, " Who "a for 
poonch ?" 

profit as the most orthodox sermon that was ever pemied. As 
a dramatist, he excelled all his contemporaries in originality, 
character, and humour. As long as a true taste for literature 
shall prevail, Goldsmith will rank as one of its brightest orna- 
ments : for while he delighted the imagination, and alternately 
moved the heart to joy or sorrow, he " gave ardour to virtue 
and confidence to truth.'' 

A tale of woe was a certain passport to his compassion ; and 
he has given his last guinea to an indigent suppliant. 

To Goldsmith has been imputed a vain ambition to shine in 
company ; it is also said that he regarded with envy all lite- 
rary fame but his own. Of the first charge he is certainly 
guilty ; the second is entirely &lse ; unless a trannent feeling 
of bitterness at seeing preferred merit inferior to his own, may 
be construed into envy. A great genius seldom keeps up his 
character in conversation : his best thoughts, clothed in the 
choicest terms, he commits to paper ; and with these his 
colloquial powers are unjustly compared. Goldsmith well 
knew his station in the literary world ; and his desire to main- 
tain it in every society, often involved him in ridiculous peK 
plexities. He would fain have been an admirable Crichton. 
His ambition to rival a celebrated posture-master had once 
very nearly cost him his shins. These eccentricities, attached 
to so great a man, were magnified into importance ; and he 
amply paid the tax to which genius is subject, by being envied 
and abused by the dunces of his day. Yet he wanted not 
spirit to resent an insult ; and a recreant bookseller who had 
published an impudent libel upon him, he chastised in his own 
shop. How delightful to contemplate such a character ! If 
ever there was a heart that beat with more than ordinary 
affection for mankind, it was Goldsmith's. 

^ Garrick was bom to illustrate what Shakspere wrote ;-*-to 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 45 

"And Sir John Hawkins,''* exclaimed Uncle 

Timothy, with nnwonted asperity, "whose ideas 

— ^ 

him Nature had unlocked all her springs, and opened all her 
stores. His success was instantaneous, hrilliant, and com- 

• 

plete. CoUey Gibber was constrained to yield him unwilling 
praise ; and Quin, the pupil of Betterton and Booth, openly 
declared, '' That if the young fellow was right, Ae, and the rest 
of tfte pkn/ers, had been all wrong" The unaffected and 
&miliar style of Garrick presented a singular contrast to the 
stately air, the solemn march, the monotonous and measured 
declamation of his predecessors. To the lofty grandeur of 
tragedy, he was unequal ; but its pathos, truth, and tenderness 
were all his own. In comedy, he might be said to act too 
much; he played no less to the eye than to the ear, — he 
indeed acted every word. Macklin blames him for his greedi- 
ness of praise ; for his ambition to engross all attention to 
himself, and disconcerting his brother actors by ^^IMnotTigarMl 
pulling them about.'* This censure is levelled at his later 
efforts, when he adopted the vice of stage-trick ; but nothing 
could exceed the ease and gaiety of his early performances. 
He was the delight of every eye, the theme of every tongue, 
the admiration and wonder of foreign nations ; and Baron^ Le 
Kaiuy and Clairon, the ornaments of the French Stage, bowed 
to the superior genius of their illustrious friend and contem- 
porary. In private life he was hospitable and splendid : he 
entertained princes, prelates, and peers— all that were eminent 
in art and science. If his wit set the table in a roar, his 
urbanity and good-breeding forbade any thing like offence. 
Dr. Johnson, who would suffer no one to abuse Davy but 
himself/ bears ample testimony to the peculiar charm of his 
manners ; and, what is infinitely better, to his liberality, pity, 
and melting charity. By him was the Drury Lane Theatrical 
Fund for decayed actors found^, endowed, and incorporated, 
"be cherished its infancy by his munificence and zefd ; strength- 



46 HERRIE ENGLAND 

of virtue never rose above a decent extcTfior and 
regular hours ! calling the author of the Traveller 

ened its maturer growth by appropriating to it a yearly benefit, 
on which he acted himself ; and his last will proves that its 
prosperity lay near his heart, when contemplating his final 
exit from the scene of life. In the bright sun of his reputation 
there were, doubtless, spots : transient feelings of jealousy 
at merit that interfered with his own ; arts that it might be 
almost necessary to practise in his daily commerce with dull 
importunate playwrights, and in the government of that most 
discordant of all bodies, a company of actors. His grand 
mistakes were his rejection of Douglass and The Good Na- 
tured Man; and his patronage of the Stay-maker^ and the 
school of sentiment. As an author, he is entitled to &vourable 
mention : his dramas abound in wit and character ; his pro- 
logues and epilogues display endless variety and whim ; and 
his epigrams, for which he had a peculiar turn, are pointed and 
bitter. Some things he wrote that do not add to his fame ; and 
among them are The Fribbleriad, and The Sick Monkey, 
One of the most fiEivourite amusements of his leisure was in 
collecting every thing rare and curious that related to the eiirly 
drama ; hence his matchless collection of old plays, which, 
with Roubilliac*8 statue of Shakspere, he bequeathed to the 
British Museum : a noble gift ! worthy of himself and of his 
country ! 

The 10th of June, 1776, was marked by Garrick*s retire- 
ment from the stage. With his powers unimpaired, he wisely 
resolved (theatrically speaking) to <2itf as he had livedo with 
all his glory and with all his fame. He might have, indeed, 
been influenced by a more solemn feeling--r 

" Higher duties crave 

Some space between the theatre and grave ; 

That, like the Roman in the Capitol, 

I may adjust my mantle, er^ I fall/' 

The 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 47 

ait idiot ' It shakes the sides of splenetic disdain 



The part he selected upon this memorable occasion was Don 
Feiixy in the Wonder, We coiild have wished that» like 
Kembky he had retired with Shakspere upon his lips ; that the 
glories of the Immortal had hallowed his closing scene. His ad- 
dress was simple and appropriate-- he felt that he was no longer 
an actor ; and when he spoke of the kindness and &youis that 
he had received, his voice faltered, and he burst into a flood of 
tears. The most profound silence, the most intense anxiety 
prevailed, to catch every word, look, and action, knowing they 
were to be his Jmt ; and the public parted from their idol with 
tears for his love, joy for his fortune, admiration for his vast 
and unconfined powers, and regret that that night had closed 
upon them for ever. 

Grarrick had long been afflicted with a painful disorder^ In 
the Christmas of 1778, being on a visit with Mrs. Garrick 
at the country seat of Earl Spencer, he had a recurrence of it, 
which, af^er his return to London, increased with such vio- 
lence, that Dr. Cadogan, conceiving him to be in imminent 
danger, advised him, if he had any worldly affairs to settle, 
to lose no time in dispatching them. Mr. Ghirrick replied, 
*' that nothing of that sort lay on his mind, and that he was 
not afraid to die." And why should he fear ? His authority 
had ever been directed to the reformation, the good order, 
and propriety of the Stage ; his example had incontestibly 
proved that the profession of a player is not incompatible 
with the exercise of every Christian and moral duty, and his 
well-earned riches had been rendered the mean of extensive 
public and* private benevolence. He therefore beheld the 
approach of death, not with that reckless indifference which 
some men call philosophy^ but with resignation and hope. He 
died on Wednesday, January 20th, 1779, in the sixty-second 
year of his a^e. 

Sure 



48 MERRIE ENGLAND 

to hear this Grub Street chronicler^ of fiddling and 
fly-fishing libelling the beantiftil intellect of Oliver 
Goldsmith ! Gentle spirit ! thou wert beloved, 
admired, and mourned by that illustrious comer- 
stone of religion and morality, Samuel Johnson, 
who delighted to sound forth thy praises while 
living, and when the voice of fame could no 
longer soothe 'thy dull cold ear^' inscribed thy 
tomb with an imperishable record ! Deserted is 
the village; the hermit and the traveller have 
laid them down to rest ; the vicar has performed 
his last sad office; the good-natured man is no 
more — He stoops but to conquer !^^ 

The Laureat, well comprehending an expressive 



** Sure his last end was peace, how calm his exit ! 
Night dews fell not more gently to the ground. 
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft.' 



9f 



On Monday, February 1st, his body was interred with great 
funeral pomp in Westminster Abbey, under the monument of 
the divine Shakspere. 

* The negative qualities of this sober Knight long puzzled 
his acquaintances (friends we never heard that he had any ! ) 
to devise an epitaph for him. At last they succeeded— 

<< Here lies Sir John HawkifUy 
Without his shoes and stockings 1" 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 49 

look from his Mentor, rose to the pianoforte, and 
accompanied him slowly and moumfally in 

THE POET'S REQUIEM. 

Ah ! yes, to the poet a hope there is given 

In poverty, sorrow^ unkindness^ neglect. 
That though his frail bark on the rocks may be driven. 

And founder — not aU shall entirely be wreck'd ; 

But the bright, noble thoughts, that made solitude sweet, 
His world ! while he lingered unwillingly here, 

Shall bid future bosoms with sympathy beat. 
And call forth the smile and awaken the tear. 

If, man, thy pursuit is but riches and fame ; 

If pleasure alluring entice to her bower ; 
The Muse waits to kindle a holier flame. 

And woos thee aside for a classical hour. 

And then, by the margin of Helicon's stream, 

Th' enchantress shall lead thee, and thou from afar 

Shalt see, what was once in life's feverish dream, 
A poor broken spirit,^ a l>riffkt shining star ! 

* Plautus turned a mill ; Terence was a slave ; Boethius died 
in a jail ; Tasso was often distressed for a shilling ; Benti- 
voglio was refused admission into an hospital he had himself 
founded ; Cervantes died (almost) of hunger ; Camoens ended 
his days in an almshouse ; Vaugelas sold his body to the sur- 
geons to support life ; Bums died penniless, disappointed, and 
hcirt-broken ; and Massinger, Lee, and Otway, were " steeped 

VOL. II. D 



50 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Hail and &rewell ! to the Spirits of Li^t^ 

Whose minds shot a lay through this darkness of ours — 
The world, but for them, had been chaos and night, 

A desert of thorns, not a garden of flowers ! 

This was a subject that awakened all Uncle 
Timothy'^s enthusiasm ! 

*' Age could not wither it^ nor custom stale 
Its infinite variety." 

But it produced fits of abstraction and melan- 
choly ; and Mr. Bosky knowing this, would in- 
terpose a merry tale or song. Upon the present 
occasion he made a bold dash firom the sublime to 
the ridiculous, and striking up a comical voluntary, 
played us out of Little Britain. 



in poverty to the very lips." Yet how consoling are John 
Taylor the Water Poet's lines ! Addressing his friend, Wm. 
Fennor, he exclaims, 

^^ Thou say'st that poetry descended is 
From poverty : thou tak'st thy mark oiRtn— 
In spite of weal or woe, or want of pelf. 
It is a kingdom of content itself,*^ 

To the above unhappy list may be added Thomas Dekker 
the Dramatist. ** Lent unto the Company the 4 of Febmary, 
15d8, to discharge Mr, Dicker out of the Counter in the Poul- 
tryy the some of Fortie ShiUinges." In another place Mr. 
Henslowe redeems Dekker out of the CUnke, 



IN THB OLDEN TIME. 51 

When I behold the setting sun. 
And shop is shut, and woik is done^ 
I strike my flag, and mount my tile^ 
And thiough the city strut in style ; 
While pensively I muse along, 
Listening to some minstrers song. 
With tuneful wife, and childr^ three — 

then> my lovel I think on thee. 

In Sunday suit^ to see my fair 

1 take a round to Russell Square ; 
She slyly beckons while I peep^ 

And whispers, *' down the area creep ! " 
What ecstades my soul await ; 
It sinks with rapture— on my plaie ! 
When cutlets smoke at half-past three — 
And then^ my love ! I think on thee. 

But, see the hour-glass, moments fly — 
The sand runs out — and so must I ! 
Parting is so sweet a sorrow, 
I could manger till to-morrow ! 
One embrace, ere I again 
Homeward hie to Huggin Lane ; 
And sure as goose begins with G, 
I then, my love ! shall think on thee. 

Mr. William Shakspere says 
In one of his old-fiishion'd plays. 
That true love runs not smooth as oil — 
Last Friday week we had a broil. 

D 2 



52 MERRIE ENGLAND 

(Genteel apartments I have got^ 
The first floor down the chimney-pot ; 
Mount Pleasant ! for my love and me — 
And soon one pair shall walk up three ! 

" Oentlemen,*^ said Uncle Timothy, as he bade 
us good night) ^'the rogue, I fear, will be the 
^poil of you^ as he hath been oime!^ 



IN THE OLDEN 'flME. 53 



CHAPTER III. 

With the fullest intention to rise early the next 
morning, without deliberating for a mortal half- 
hour whether or not to turn round and take t^ other 
nap, we retired to a tranquil pillow. 

But what are all our good intentions ? 
Vexations, vanities, inventions I 
Macadamizing what ? — a certain spot. 
To " ears polite " politeness never mentions — 

Tattoos, t' amuse, from empty drums. 
Ah I who time's spectacles shall borrow ? 
And say, be gay to-day — to-morrow — 

When query if to-morrow comes. 

To-morrow came ; so did to-morrow's bright sun ; 
and so did Mr. Bosky's brisk knock. Good report 
always preceded Mr. Bosky, like the bounce with 
which champagne sends its cork out of the bottle ! 
But (there are two sides of the question to be con- 
sidered^-the inside of the bed and the out /) they 
found us in much such a brown study as we have 



54 MERRIE ENGLAND 

just described. Leaving the Lanreat to enjoy 
his trinmph of punctnaUty, (an "alderman's vir- 
tue!^) we lost no time in equipping ourselves, 
and were soon seated with him at breakfast. He 
was in the happiest spirits. ^^ ^Tis yonr birthday^ 
Eugenio ! Wear this ring for my sake ; let it 
be friendship's^ talisman to nnit^ our hearts in 
one. Here,'' presenting some tablets beantifnUy 
wrought, "is Uncle Timothy's offering. Mark," 
pointing to the following inscription engraved on 
the cover, **by what poetical alchemy he hath 
transmuted the silver into gold !" 

Life \a short, the wings of time 
Bear away our early prime, 
Swift with them our spirits fly^ 
The heart grows diiU^ and dim the eye. 

' Bonaparte did not believe mfriendi^p : '^ Friendship is 
but a word. I love no one — no, not even my brothers ; 
Joseph, perhaps, a little. Still, if I do love him, it is from 
habit, because he is the eldest of us. Duroc ! Yes^ him I 
certainly love : but why ? His character suits me : he is cold, 
severe, unfeeling ; and then, Duroo never weejn ! " Bonaparte 
counted his fortunate days by his victories^ Titui by his good 
actions, 

** Friendfhiip^ peculiar boon of Heaven, i 

The noble mind's delight and pride, 
To men and angels only given. 

To all the lower world denied." — Dr. JohnsoK. i 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 65 

Seize the moment I snatch the treasure ! 
Sober haste is wisdom's leisure. 
Summer blossoms soon decay ; 
^^ Gather the rase-biids while you may /'* 

Barter not for sordid store 
Health and peace ; nor covet more 
Than may serve for frugal fiure 
With some chosen friend to share ! 
Not for others toil and heap^ 
But yoursdfihe harvest reap ; 
Nature smiling^ seems to say^ 
" Gather the rote-buds while you may /'* 

Learnings science^ truth sublime. 

Fairy fancies, lofty rhyme. 

Flowers of exquisite perfume ! 

Blossoms of immortal bloom ! 

With the gentle virtues twin'd. 

In a beauteous garland bind 

For your youthful brow to-day, — 

*' Groiher the ro^-hide while you may ! " 

Life is short — ^but not to those 
Who early, wisely pluck the rose. 
Time he flies — ^to us 'tis given 
On his wings to fly to Heaven. 
Ah \ to reach those realms of light, 
Nothing must impede our flight ; 
Cast we all but Hope away I 
'^ Gather the roae-huds while we may ! " 

Now a sail up or down the river has always 



56 MERRIE ENGLAND 

been pleasant to us in proportion as it has proved 
barren of adventure. A collision with a coal-barge 
or steam-packet, — ^a squall off Chelsea Reach, may 
do vastly well to relieve its monotony : but we 
had rather be dull than be ducked. We were 
therefore glad to find the water smooth, the wind 
and tide in our favour, and no particular dispo- 
sition on the part of the larger vessels to run us 
down. Mr. Bosky, thinking that at some former 
period of our lives we might have beheld the 
masts and sails of a ship, the steeple of a church, 
the smoke of a patent shot manufactory, the coal- 
whippers weighing out their black diamonds, a 
palace, and a penitentiary, forbore to expatiate 
on the picturesque objects that presented them- 
selves to our passing view ; and, presuming that 
our vision had extended beyond some score or 
two of garden-pots " all a-growing, all a-blow- 
ing,"" and as much sky as would cover half-a- 
crown, he was not over profuse of vernal descrip- 
tion. But, knowing that there are as many kinds 
of minds as moss, he opened his inquisitorial 
battery upon the waterman. At first Barney 
Binnacle, though a pundit among the wet wags 
of Wapping Old Stairs, fought shy ; but there 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 57 

is a freemasonry In fiin ; and by degrees he ran 
through all the changes from the simple leer to 
the broad grin and horse-laugh, as Mr. Bosky 
',^ poked ^ his droll sayings into him. He had 
his predilections and prejudices. The former 
were for potations drawn from a case-bottle pre- 
sented to him by Mr. Bosky, that made his large 
blue lips smack, and his eyes wink again ; the 
latter were against steamers, the projectors of 
which he would have placed at the disposal of 
their boilers ! His tirade against the Thames 
Tunnel was hardly less severe ; but he reserved 
the magnums of his wrath for the Greenwich 
railroad. What in some degree reconciled us to 
Barney'^s anathemas, were his wife and children, 
to whom his wherry gave their daily bread: and 
though these gigantic monopolies might feather the 
nests of wealthy proprietors, they would not let poor 
Barney Binnacle feather either his nest or his oar. 
" There "^s truth in what you say. Master Bar- 
ney,'' observed the Laureat ; " the stones went 
merrily into the pond, but the foolish &ogs could 
not fish out the fun. I am no advocate for the 
philosophy of expediency.*' 

B 5 



58 MEKRIB ENGLAND 

'^ Sorely, Mr. Boaky, yoa would nerer tliiiik of 
putting a stop to tmprovemaU r* 

^ My godd friends, I woold not hare man be- 
come the Tictim of his ingennity— amedianical 
nueide! Where brass and iron, hot water and 
cold, can be made to mitigate the wear and tear of 
his thews and sinews, let them be adopted as ati»- 
Uiaries^ not as prineipaU. I am no politteal econo- 
mist, I despise the nraddle-headed dreamers, and 
their unfeeling cmdities. Bnt for tkem the heart 
of England would have remained uncorrupted and 
sound.^ Trifle not with suffering. Impunity has 
its limit. A flint will show fire when yon strike 
it. In this woiid ninety-nine persons out of one 
hundred must toil for their bread before they eat 
it ; ask leave to toil, — some philanthropists say, 



^ We quite agree with Mr. Bosky. Cant and utilitarianism 
have produced an insipid uniformity of character, a money- 
grubbing, care-worn monotony, that cry aloof to eccentricity 
and whim. Men are thinking of ^ stratagems and wars," the 
inevitable consequence of lots of logic, lack of amusement, and 
lean diet. No man is a traitor over turtle, or hatches plots 
with good store of capon and claret in his stomach. Had Cassius 
been a heti^r feeder he had never conspired against CsBsar. 
Three meals a day, and supper at night, are four substantial 
reasons for not being disloyal, lank, or lachrymose. 



IN TH£ OLDEN TIME. 39 

even before thej hunger for it. I have therefore 
yet to learn how that which makes human labour 
9 drug in the market can be called an improve- 
ment. The stewardships of this world are vilely 
performed. What blessings would be conferred, 
vha,t wrongs prevented, were it not for the neglect 
of opportunities and the prostitution of means. Is 
it our own merit that we have more? our neigh* 
bour*8 delinquency that he has leas f The infant 
is bom to luxury ; — calculate his claims ! Virtue 
draws its last sigh in a dungeon ; Vice receives its 
tardy summons on a bed of downi The titled 
and the rich, the purse-proud nobodies, the noble 
nothings, occupy their Vantage ground, not from 
any merit of their own ; but from that lucky or 
unlucky chance which might have brought them 
into this breathing world with two heads on their 
shoulders instead of one ! I believe in the theo- 
retical benevolence, and practical malignity of 



man.^' 



We never knew Mr. Bosky so eloquent before ; 
the boat became lop-sided under the fervent thump 
that he gave as a clencher to his oration. Barney 
Binnacle stared; but with no vacant expression. 



60 MERRIE ENGLAND 

His rugged features softened into a look of grateful 
approval, mingled with surprise. 

" God bless your honour ! " 

*' Thank you, Barney Some people's celestial 
blessings saye their earthly breeches-pockets. But 
a poor man'^s blessing is a treasure of which Heaven 
keeps the register and the key.'*'* 

Barney Binnacle bent on Mr. Bosky another 
inquiring look, that seemed to say, " Mayhap I Ve 
got a bishop on board.'' 

" If. every gentleman was like your honour,''* 
replied Barney, " we should have better times ; 
and a poor fellow wouldn't pull up and down this 
blessed river sometimes for days together, without 
yarning a copper to carry home to his hungry wife 
and children." And he dropped his oar, and 
drew the sleeve of his threadbare blue jacket 
across his weather-beaten cheek. 

This was a result that Mr. Bosky had not an- 
ticipated. 

" How biting," he remarked, '•' is the breeze ! 
Egad, my teeth feel an inclination to be so too !" 

The fresh air gave him the wind in his stomach ; 
a sufficient apology for the introduction of a cold 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 61 

pigeon-pie, and some piquant etceteras that he had 
provided as a whet to the entertainment in agree- 
able perspective at Battersea Rise. Opining that 
the undulation of the boat was likely to prevent 
'* good digestion," which— though everybody here 
helped himself — should " wait on appetite," he 
ordered Barney to moor it in some convenient 
creek ; and as Barney, not having been polished in 
the Chesterfield school, seemed mightily at a loss 
how to dispose of his hands, Mr. Bosky, who was 
well-bred, and eschewed idleness, found them 
suitable employment, by inviting their owner to 
fall to. And what a merry party were we ! 
Barney Binnacle made no more bones of a pigeon 
than he would of a lark ; swallowed the forced- 
meat balls as if they had been not bigger than 
Morrison's pills ; demolished the tender rump- 
steak and flaky pie-crust with a relish as sweet 
as the satisfaction that glowed in Mr. Bosky's 
benevolent heart and countenance, and buzzed 
the pale brandy (of which he could drink any 
given quantity) like sugared cream ! The Laureat 
was magnificently jolly. He proposed the good 
healths of Mrs. Binnacle and the Binnacles major 



62 MERRIE ENGLAND 

and minor; toasted old Father Thames and his 
Tributaries ; and made the welkin liag with 

MRS. GRADY'S SAINT MONDAY VOYAGE TO 

BATTERSEA. 

Six-foot Timothy Glover, 

Son of the brandy-nos'd bugleman. 
He was a general lover, 

Though he was only a fugleman ; 

Ogling Misses and Ma'ams, 

Listing, drilling, drumming *em — 
Quick they shoulder'd his arms — 

Argumentum ad humming 'em ! 

Mrs. Grady, in bonnet and scarf. 

Gave Thady the slip on Saint Monday, 
With Timothy tripp'd to Hore's wharf. 

Which is close to the Glasgow and Dundee. 

The river look'd swelling and rough, 

A waterman plump did invite her \ 
*' One heavy swell is enough ; 

I *m up to your craft — ^bring a lighter !" 

They bargained for skipper and skiff, 

Cry'd Timothy, «* This is a windy go !" 
It soon blew a hurricane stiff. 

And blue look'd their noses as indigo ! 



IN TH£ OLDEN TIME. 63 



cc 



t» 



Laek-a-daisj I we *re in for a souse ! 
The fish won't to-day see a rummer set ; 
Land us at Somerset Housei 

Or else we shall both haye a summerset ! 

They through the bridge Waterloo whirl'd 
To Lambeth^ a finer and &tter see ! 

Their shoulder-of-mutton sail furl'd, 
For a shoulder of mutton at Battersea. 



Tim then rang for coffee and tea. 

Two Sally Luns and a crumpet. 
^' I don't like brown sugar/' said he. 

" If you don't/' thought the lad, " you may lump it. 



To crown this delightful regale. 
Waiter ! your stumps^ jolly boy, stir ; 

A crown's worth of oysters and ale. 
Ere we give the sail homeward a hoister ! 



»» 



f» 



" Of ale in a boiling-hot vat, 

My dear daddy dropp'd, and was. Ah ! boil'd. 
" A drop I can^t relish of that 

In whidhi your papa, boy, was parboil'd." 



Fresh was the breeze, so was Tim r 
How pleasant the life of a Midge is ; 

King Neptime, my service to him ! 
But I *11 shoot Father Thames and his bridges ! 



64 MERRIE ENGLAND 

His levee *s a frosty-faced fair. 

When Jack freezes him and his flounders ; 
His river-horse is but a may'r. 

And his Tritons are cockney ten-pounders ! 

" Tim Glover, my tale is a trite *un ; 

I owe you a very small matter, see ; 
The shot I '11 discharge, my polite 'im. 

You paid for the wherry to Battersea. 



cc 



♦» 



With powder I Ve just fill'd my horn ; 
See this pocket-pistol ! enough is it ? 
You *11 twig, if a gentleman bom. 
And say, ' Mr. Grady, qtianU auffidt* 

Mrs. Grady, as other wives do, 
Before my Lord May'r in his glory. 

Brought Thady and Timothy too. 

Cry'd Hobler, '' what a lame story I 



" You cruel Teague, lest there accrue ill. 
We *11 just bind you over, Sir Thady, 

To keep the peace." — " Keep the peace, jewel ! 
Not that piece of work, Mrs. Grady ! " 

His Lordship he gaped with surprise, 
And gave the go-by to his gravity ; 

His cheeks swallowed up his two eyes, 
And lost in a laugh theu: concavity 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 65 

Then Grady gave Glover his fist. 

With, " Truce to the shindy between us I" 

Each lad, when the ladies had kiss'd, 
Cut ofF with his hatchet-faced Venus ! 

Ogling misses and ma'ams. 

Listing, drilling, drumming 'em — 
Quick they shoulder'd his arms — 

Argumentum ad humming *em* 

The concluding chorus found us at the end 
of our excursion. Barney Binnacle was liberally 
rewarded by Mr. Bosky ; to each of his children 
he was made the bearer of some little friendly 
token ; and with a heart lighter than it had been 
for many a weary day, he plied his oars home- 
ward, contented and grateful. 

'^ Talk of brimming measure,^^ cried the Laureat 
exultingly, " I go to a better market. The over- 
flowings of an honest heart for my money !" 

In former days undertakers would hire sundry 
pairs of skulls, and row to Death^s Door * for a 



^ " The Search after Claret, or a Visitation of the Vintners" 
4to. 1691, names the principal London Taverns and their Signs, 
as they then existed. But the most curious account is con'- 
tained in an old ballad called *' London's Ordinary : or every 
Man in his Hianoury' printed before 1600. There is not only 



66 MERRIE ENGLAND 

day^s pleasure. Then it was not tbonght infra 
dig. (in for a dig ?) to invite the grare-digger : 
the mutes were the noisiest of the party ; nothing 
palled on the senses; and to rehearse the good 
things that were said and sung would add some 
pungent pages to the yariorum editions of Joe 
Miller. But undertakers are grown gentleman- 
like and unjolly^ and Death's Boor exhibits but 



a humorous list of the taverM but of the penons who frequent- 
ed them. In those days the gentry patronised the Kin^t 
Head (in July 1664, Pepys dined at the « Ordinary'* there, 
when he went to Hyde Park to see the cavaliers of Charles 
II. in grand review) ; the nahks^ the Crown : the knights^ the 
Golden Fleece; the clergy^ the Mitre ; the vintnert^ the Throe 
Turn : the usurers^ the DevU; the friarsy the Nuns ; the ladiety 
the Featlters; the htmtsmeny the Greyhound; the cUisienSf the 
Horn ; the cookiy the Holy Lamb ; the drunkards, the J^an in 
the Moon; the cuckMty the Ram; the watermen, the Old 
Swan ; the marinersy the Sh^ ; the beggars, the FggSheU and 
Whip ; the butchersy the Bull ; the fishmongers, the Dolphin ; 
the bakers, the Cheat Loaf; the tailors, the Shears ; the shoe" 
makers, the Boot; the hosiers, the Leg ; the Jletchers, the Robin 
Hood ; the spendthrift, the Beggar^ s Bush ; the Goldsmiths, the 
TAree Cupi ; the papists, the Croci ; the porfers^ the Labour in 
vain; the horse<oursers, the PFAtto ^li^. He that had no 
money might dine at the sign of the Mouth ; while 

^ The cheater will dine at the C^fuer ; 
The pickpocket at the BJmd Alehouse ; 
'Tin taken and try'd, up Holbom they ride, 
And make their end at the gallows.' 



»» 



IN THB OLDEN TIME. 67 

a skeleton of what it was in the merry old 
times. 

We were cordially received by their president, 
the comical coffin-maker, who, attired in his ^' Eiv- 
tertaining Goton'" (a mourning cloak), introdnced 
TLB to Mr. Crape, of Blackwall; Mr. Sable, of 
Blackman*-8treet ; Mr. Furnish of Blackfriars ; 
and Mr. Blue-mould, of Blackheath : four truant 
teetotallers, who had obtained a furlough from 
their head-quarters, the Tea-Kettle and Toast- 
Rack at Aldgate pump. Messrs. Hatband and 
Stiflegig, and Mr. Shovelton, hailed us with a 
fnendly grin, as if desirous of burying in oblivion 
the recent Smeute at the Pig and Tinder-Box.. 
The club were dressed in black (from Blackwell 
Hall), with white neckcloths and high shirt- 
collars; their clothes, from a peculiar and pro- 
fesmonal cut, seemed all to have been turned 
out by the same tailor ; they marched with a 
meaisured step, and looked exceedingly grave and 
venerable. Dinner being announced, we were 
placed in the vicinity of the chair. On the table 
were black game and black currant-jelly; the 
blackstrap was brought up in the black bottle ; 



68 MERRIE ENGLAND 

the knives and forks had black handles ; and Mr. 
Rasp, the shroud-maker, who acted as vice, re- 
commended, from his end of the festive board, 
some black pudding, or polony in mourning. The 
desert included black grapes and blackberries ; 
the rules of the club were printed in black-letter ; 
the toasts were written in black and white ; the 
pictures that hung round the room were in black 
frames; a well-thummed Sir Richard Blackmore 
and Blackwood^s Magazine lay on the mantel; 
the stove was radiant with black-lead ; the old 
clock-case was ebony ; and among the after-dinner 
chants " Black-ey'd Susan '** was not forgotten. 
The host, Mr. Robert Death, had black whiskers, 
and the hostess some pretty black ringlets; the 
surly cook looked black because the dinner had 
been kept waiting ; the waiter was a nigger ; 
and the barmaid had given boots (a ci'devant 
blackleg at a billiard-table) a black eye. A black 
cat purred before the fire ; a black-thorn grew 
opposite the door ; the creaking old sign was 
blackened by the weather ; and to complete the 
sable picture, three little blackguards spent their 
half-holiday in pelting at it ! The banquet came 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 69 

off pleasantly. Mr. Merripall, whose humour was 
rich as crusted port, and Uvely as champagne, 
did the honours with his usual suaviter in modo^ 
and was admirably supported by his two mutes 
frona Tumagain-lane ; by Mr. Catchpenny Crambo, 
the bard of Bleeding-Hart- Yard, who supplied 
^* the trade "^ with epitaphs at the shortest notice ; 
Mr. Sexton Shovelton, and Professor Nogo, F.R.S., 
F.S.A., M.R.S.L., LL.B., a learned lecturer on 
Egyptian mummies. 

*' Our duty,'' whispered Mr. Bosky, " is to 

Hear^ see^ and say nothings 
Eat, drink, and pay nothing I" 

After the usual round of loyal and patriotic 
toasts, Mr. Merripall called the attention of the 
brethren to the standing toast of the day. 

" High Cockolorums and gentlemen I 'Tis easy 
to say * live and let live ;' but if everybody were 
to live we must die. Life is short. I wish — 
present company always excepted — it was as short 
as my speech ! The grim tyrant r 

Verbum sat. ; and there rose a cheer loud 
enough to have made Death demand what meant 
those noisy doings at his door. 



70 MERRIE ENGLAND 

^^ Silence, geatlemen, for a duet 6tom brothers 
Hatband and Stiflegig.^^ 

Had toast-master Toole^ bespoke the attention 

of the Guildhall grandees for the like musical treat 

from Gog and Magog, we should hardly have 

been more surprised. Mr. Bosky looked the in* 

carnation of incredulity. After a few preliminary 

openings and shuttings of the eyes and mouth, 

similar to those of a wooden Scaramouch wh^i we 

pull the wires, Brothers Hatband and Stiftegig 

began (chronutttque)^ 

Hatband. When poor mutes and sextons have nothing 

to do, 
What should we do> brother ? 
Stiflegio. Look very blue I 

Hatband. Gravediggers too ? 

Stifleoig. Sigh ^' malheureux !" 

Hatband. Funerals few ? 

Stiflegig. Put on the screw I 

Hatband. But when fevers flourish of bright scarlet 

hue, 
What should we do, brother ? 
Stiflegig. Dance fiUalloo I 

' This eminent professor, whose sobriquet is ** Lungs/* hav- 
ing to shout the keftlth of *^ the three present Consuls^" at my 
Lord Mayor's feast^ proclaimed the health of the ** Three per 
Cent. Consols:* 



IN THE OLDBN TIME. 



71 



Hatband. 



When blowB the lUNrth-east, and grim death 

Btalks abroad^ 
What should we do ? 

Eat and drink like a lord I 
When rages cholera ? 
Sing tol lol lera I 
Colds and catarrhs ? 
Bless lucky stars I 
When the bell tolls ? 
Replenish our bowls I 
Both. 
Bleak winter to us is a jolly trump card^ 
And a fine hot May makes a &t churchyard I 



Stiflbqio, 

Hatband. 

Stiflboio. 

Hatband. 

Stiflbgio. 

Hatband. 

Stiflbgio. 



Stiflboio. 

Hatband. 
Stiflbgio. 
Hatband. 
Stiflboio, 
Hatband. 

StIFLBGIOp 

Hatband. 
Stiflboio. 
Hatband. 



Should all the world die^ what the deuce 

should we do ? 
1 11 bury you, brother I 

1 11 bury you I 

I '11 lay you out. 

No doubt I no doubt I 

I 11 make your shroud. 

You do me proud I 

I *11 turn the screw. 

The same to you I 

When you 're past ailing, 

I '11 knock a nail in ! 

Last of the quorum, 

Ultimus Cockolorum I 



72 MERRIE ENGLAND 

When you 're ail dead and buried^ zooks I what 
shall / do ? 
CocKOLORUMS in /till chortis. 
Sing High Cockolorum^ and dance fiUalloo I 

" Gentlemen,^ said Mr. Merripall, again rising, 
" all charged ? MulligrunCs Pill /" 

Doctor Dose, a disciple of that art which is 
founded in conjecture and improved by murder, 
returned thanks on the part of Messrs. MuUigrum, 
Thorogonimble and Co. It was a proud day for 
the pill ; which through good report and evil 
report had worked its way, and fulfilled his pre- 
dictions that it would take and be taken. He 
would not ask the Cockolorums to swallow one.— 
Here the mutes made horribly wry faces, and 
shook their heads, as much as to say it would be 
of very little use if he did, — It was sufficient that 
the pill bore the stamp of their approbation, and 
the government three-halfpenny one ; and he 
begged to add, that all pills without the latter, 
and the initials of MuUigrum, Thorogonimble, and 
Dose, were counterfeits. 

The table sparkled with wit. Mr. Merripall 
cracked his walnuts and jokes, and was furiously 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 73 

facetious on Mr. Rasp, a rough diamond, who 
stood, or rather sat his horse-play raillery with 
dignified composure. But Lumber Troopers^ are 
men, and Ralph Rasp was a past Colonel of that 
ancient and honourable corps. He grew more 
rosy about the gills, and discharged sundry short 
coughs and hysterical chuckles, that betokened a 
speedy ebullition. His preliminary remark merely 
hinted that no gentleman would think of firing off 
Joe Millers at the Lumber Troop: — Ergo, Mr. 
Merripall was no gentleman. The comical coffin- 



^ This club was originally held at the Gentleman and Portery 
New-street Square, and the Eagle and Childy Shoe Lane. The 
members were an awkward squad to the redoubtable City 
Trained Bands. It being found double hazardous to trust any 
one of them with a pinch of powder in his cartouch-box, and 
the points of their bayonets not unfrequently coming in san- 
guinary contact with each other's noses and eyes, their muskets 
were prudently changed for tobacco pipesy and their cartouches 
for papers of right Virginia, The privileges of the Lumber 
Trooper are great and manifold. He may sleep on any bulk 
not already occupied ; he may knock down any watchman, 
provided the watchman does not knock him down first ; and 
he is not obliged to walk home straight, if he be tipsy. The 
troop are supported by Bacchus and Ceres ; their crest is an 
Owl; the shield is charged with a Punch Bowl between a 
moony a star^ and a lantern. The punch is to drink, and the 
moon and star are to light them home, or for lack of either, the 
lantern. Their motto is, In Nocte Latamur, 

TOL. II. £ 



74 MERRIE ENGLAND 

maker quietly responded that the troop was a nut 
which everybody was at liberty to crack for the 
sake of the kernel / A qtdp that induced on the 
part of Mr. Hatband a loud laugh, while the more 
sombre features of brother Stiflegig volunteered 
convulsions, as if they had been acted upon by a 
galvanic battery. Mr. Rasp coolly reminded Mr. 
Merripall that the grapes were sour, Brother 
Pledge having black-balled him. This drew forth 
a retort courteous, delivered with provoking sere- 
nity, that the fiction of the ball came most oppor- 
tunely from a gentleman who had always three 
blue ones at everybody's sendee ! The ftimace 
that glowed in Mr. Rasp's two eyes, and the 
heavings of his bosom discovered the volcano that 
burned beneath his black velvet vest. His waist- 
band seemed ready to burst. Never before did 
he look so belicose ! Now, Mr. Bosky, who 
loved Am much, but harmony more, thinking the 
joke had been carried quite far enough, threw in 
a conciliatory word by way of soothing angry 
feelings, which so won the Lumber Trooper's 
naturally kind heart, that he rose from his seat. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 75 

" Brother Merripall, you are a chartered liber- 
tine, and enjoy the privilege of saying what you 
wiD. But — ^you were a little too hard upon the 
troop — ^indeed you were ! My grandfather was 
a Lumber Trooper — ^my father, too-^you knew 
my father^ ManHaduke Merripall.'*^ 

^^ And I knew a right honourable man ! And 
I know another right honourable man, my very 
goodfriendj his son I And — ^but ^" 

'Tis an old saying and a true one, that 
adversity tries ftiends. So does a momentary 
quarrel, or what is more germane to our present 
purpose, a mischievous badinage, in which great 
wits and small ones too, will occasionally indulge. 
Mr. Merripall had been wont — ^good naturedly ! — 
to make Mr. Rasp his butt ; who, though he was 
quite big enough for one, sometimes felt the sharp 
arrows of the comical coffin-maker^s wit a thorn 
m his *' too— too solid flesh.'' The troop was his 
tender point. 

^ And who has not his tender point P '*^ said 

Mr. Bosky, ^^ except the man that caught cold of 

his own hearty and died of it ! '^ 

b2 



76 MERRIE ENGLAND 

The hand of Mr. Rasp was instantly stretched 
forth, and met more than half way by that of Mr. 
Merripall. 

" Brother,^' said the president, " let me make 
amends to the troop by requesting yon will pro- 
pose me as a member. Only," and he shot a sly 
glance from his eye, " save me from the balls, 
black and blue, of that Presbyterian pawnbroker, 
Posthumus Pledge of Pye-comer.'' 

Mr. Rasp promised to comply, and moreover to 
set forth his friend's military prowess to the best 
advantage. 

" I think,'' said he, " your division stormed the 
Press-yard, and captured the whipping-post, dur- 
ing the Aldersgate Street Volunteer campaigning 
in 1805." 

" Right, brother Ralph, and when the Finsbury 
awkward squad routed your left wing in the City 
Road, and you all ran helter-skelter into the 
boiled buttock of beef shop in the Old Bailey^ 
we valiant sharp-shooters protected your flank, 
and covered your inglorious retreat ! '^ And he en- 
tertained the company with this appropriate re- 
citation : — 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 77 

When all were in alanns^ 

(Boney threatening to invade us,) 

And (" See the Conquering Hero comes !") 

General Wheeler, general dealer 

In coffee^ treacle, tea, tobacco^ plums. 

Snuff, sugar, spices, at wholesale prices. 

And figs — (which, 's life ! 

At Fife 

He sold in drums !) — 
Would up and down parade us. 
And cry, " Present /" and " Shoulder arms /" 

When pert apprentices, Grod bless us ! 
And tailors did address and dress us, 
With " Stand at easel" (up to your knees 
In mud and mire) ** Make ready I Fire /" 
Singeing the curls of Moses Muggs, Esquire — 

A Briton, hot for fight and fame, 
Burning to give the foes of Bull 
Their beUy-fuU, 
Limp'd forth — ^but no admission ! — he was lame. 
" Lame I " cried the Briton ; " zounds ! I say, 
I came to fyht, and not to run away I" 

" The red-coat,'^ continued Mr. Merripall, " has 
no vision beyond * eyes right r He would march 
till doomsday, unless commanded to halt, and 
everlastingly maintain the same poker-like position, 



78 MERRIE ENGLAND 

if the word were not given him to stand at etbse. 
He goes forth to kill at a great rate,^ ( Dr, Dose 
pricked up his ears,) '^ and be killed at a small 
one per diem ;"*' (the mutes looked ginm,) " carry- 
ing into battle a heart of oak, and out of it a 

timber toe I '' 

i 

" Our visitors,^ was the next toast. 

" Gentlemen,'' said the president, " we cannot 
afford the expensive luxury of drinking your 
healths ; but we sincerely join in ' my service to 

you; '^ 

Here Dr. Dose passed over to us his box — not 
for a pinch, but a pill! which pill, though we 
might drink, we declined to swallow, Mr. Rasp 
was in high feather, and plied the four teetotallers 
very liberally with wine. Seeing the comical 
coffin-maker in committee with his two mutes, 
he chirruped joyously, 

Mr. Chairman^ I 'U thank you not 
Thus to keep the wine in the pound ; 

Better by half a cannon shot 

Stop than the bottle I — so push it round. 

Summer is past^ and the chilling blast 

Of winter fades the red red rose ; 
But wine sheds perfume^ and its purple bloom 

All the year round like the ruby glows I 



IN THE OLDE^N TIME. 79 

Fill what you like^ but drink what you fill^ 
- Though it miut be a bumper, a bumper, or nil. 
Water congeals in frost and snows^ 
But summer and winter the red wine flows I 

Now, my Cockolorums, for a volley in platoons ! 

Ckarus. 

The blossoms fall, and the leaves are sear^ 
And merry merry Christmas will soon be here ; 
I wish you, gentles, a happy new year, 
A pocket full of money, and a barrel full of beer ! 

A messenger arrived with a despatch for Mr. 
Merripall, announcing the demise of Alderman 
Callipash. There was an immediate movement 
on the part of the mutes. 

"Gentlemen,'' said the president, "no such 
violent hurry; the alderman will wait for us. 
Our parting toast first — The Dance of Death! 
Come, brother Crape, strike up the tune, and 
lead the carant.'' 

Mr. Crape practised an introductory caper, in 
the process of which he kicked the shins of one 
Cockolorum, trod upon the gouty toe of another, 
and then led off, the club keeping the figure with 
becoming gravity, and chanting in full chorus : 



MEKRIE ENGLAND 



Undertakers, hand in hand. 
Are a jovial meny band ; 
Tho' their looks are lamentable. 
And their outward man ia sable. 
Who on this side Charon's ferry 
Are so blythe as those that bury ? 

Hark I hark I the Parish Clerk 
Tunes his pitch-pipe for a larit t 
As we gaily trip along 
Booms the bell's deep, dull ding-dong ! 
Freaking, screaking, out of breath. 
Thus we dance the Dance of Death ! 

The cricket cries, the owl it hoots. 
Music meet fer dancing mutes [ 



m THE OLDEN TIME. 81 

When burns brightly blue the taper^ 
Sextons^ 'tis your time to caper. 
Now our song and dance are done^ 
Home we hasten every one. 

Messrs. Crape, Crambo, Sable, Shovelton, Hat- 
band, and Stiflegig, joined a pleasant party outside 
of a hearse that had been doing duty in the neigh- 
bourhood ; and an empty mourning-coach accom- 
modated Mr. Rasp, Mr. Bluemould, Dr. Dose, 
and Professor Nogo. Mr. Furnish, and a few, 
heated with wine, took water; but as the moon 
had just emerged from behind a black cloud, and 
shone with mild lustre, we preferred walking, par- 
ticularly with the jocular companionship of Mr. 
Bosky and Mr. Merripall. And Death's door 
was closed for the night. 



E 5 



82 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER IV. 

Had we been inclined to superstition, what a 
supernatural treat had been the discourse of Mr. 
Merripall ! His tales of " goblins damned " were 
terrible enough to have bristled up our hair till 
it lifted our very hats off our very heads. His 
reminiscences of resurrection men^ were extensive 
and curious; he knew their "whereabouts'' for 



^ Two resurrection men stumbling over a fellow dead drunk 
in the kennel, haggedy and bore him away to a certain anato- 
mist. The private bell gave a low tinkle, the side-door down 
a dark court opened noiselessly, the sack was emptied of its 
contents into the cellar, and the fee paid down. In an hour 
or two after, the same ceremony (the subject being really cfe- 
Junct) was repeated. The bell sounded a third time, and the 
anatomical charnel-house received another inmate. The tip- 
pler, having now slept off his liquor, began to grope about, and 
finding all dark, and himself he knew not where, bellowed 
lustily. This was just as the door was closing on the resur- 
rection men, who being asked what should be done with the 
noisy fellow, answered coolly, ** Keep him till you want him !*' 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 83 

ten miles round London. We mean not to in* 
sinnate that Mr. Merripall had any share in 
bringing his departed enstomers to light again. 
He was a virtnoso, and his cabinet comprised a 
choice collection of the veritable cords on which 
the most notorions criminals had made their transit 
from this world to the next. He was rich in men- 
dacious caligraphy. Malefactors of liberal educa- 
tion obligingly favoured him with autograph con- 
fessions, and affectionate epistles full of penitence 
and piety ; while the less learned condescendingly 
affixed their contrite crosses to any document 
that antographmsmia might suggest. The lion 
of his library was an illustrated copy of the New- 
gate Calendar, or New Drop Miscellany, and 
round his study its principal heroes hung — in 
frames ! He boasted of having shaken by the 
hand'^-ian honour of which Old Bailey amateurs 
are proudly emulous — all the successfiil candidates 
for the Debtors^ Door for these last twenty years ; 
and when Mr. Bosky declared that he had never 
saluted a dying felon with '^-flfy dear sirT'' co- 
veted his acquaintance, and craved his autograph, 
he sighed deeply for the Laureates want of taste, 



84 MERRIE ENGLAND 

grew pensive for about a second,, and then, as 
if suddenly recollecting himself, exclaimed, 

" Gentlemen, we are but a stone^s throw ^om 
the Owl and Ivy Bushy where a society called ' The 
Blinkers^ hold their nightly revels: it will well 
repay your curiosity to step in and take a peep 
at them. Their president has one eye perma- 
nently shut, and the other partially open; the 
vice has two open eyes, blinking ' like winkin' ;' , 
all the members are more or less somniferous ; 
and though none of them are allowed to fall 
fast asleep at the club, it is contrary to etiquette 
to be wide awake. Their conversation is con- 
fined to monosyllables, their talk, like their to- 
bacco, being short-cut. Their three cheers are 
three yawns ; they sit round the table with their 
eyes shut, and their mouths open, the gape, or 
gap, being filled up with their pipes, from which 
rise clouds of smoke that make their red noses 
look like lighted lamps in a fog. To the Reve- 
rend Nehemiah Nosebags, their chaplain, I owe 
the honour of becoming a member ; for happening 
to sit under his proboscis and pulpit, my jaws went 
through such a gaping exercise at his soporific 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 85 

word of command, that he proposed me as a 
highly promising probationer, and my election 
was carried amidst an xmanimons choms of yawns.^ 

*' Here," exclaimed Mr. Bosky, " is the Owl 
and Ivy Bush.'' 

" No,'' rejoined Mr. Merripall, " 'tis the Three 
Jolly Trumpeters. On the opposite side of the 
way is the Owl and Ivy Bush." 

Mr. Bosky gazed at the sign, and then, with 
no small degree of wonderment, at Mr. Merripall. 
The Laureat of Little Britain looked signs and 
wonders ! 

" I '11 take my affidavit to the Owl ! " raising 
his eye-glass to the solemn bird that winked wick- 
edly beneath a newly-varnished cauliflower-wig of 
white paint ; ^' and though the Ivy Bush looks 
much more like a birch broom, it looks still less 
like a Jolly Trumpeter." 

" Egad, you 're right !" said the comical coffin- 
maker ; '^ though, to my vision, it seems as if 
both houses had changed places since I last saw 
them." 

The contents of a brace of black bottles flowing 
under Mr. Merripall's satin waistcoat, and their 



86 MERRIE ENGLAND 

fumes ascending to what lay within the circuni'- 
ference of his best beaver, might possibly account 
for this phenomenon. 

'^ Hollo I""^ cried the comical coffin-maker, as 
an uproarious cheer and the knocking of knuckles 
upon the tables proclaimed merry doings at the 
Owl and Ivy Bush, '' the Blinkers were not wont 
to be so boisterous. What a riotsome rattle ! — 
hark!'' 

And the following chorus resounded through 
the Owl and lyy Bush : — 

We 're jovial, happy, and gay, boys ! 

We rise with the moon, which is surely full soon. 

Sing with the owl, our tutelar fowl. 

Laugh and joke at your go-to-bed folk. 

Never think — ^but what we shall drink. 

Never care — ^but on what we shall fare, — 

Turning the night into day, boys ! 

"What think you of thaty Mr. Merripall?" 
said the Laureat of Little Britain. 

We entered the room, and a company more 
completely wide awake it was never our good 
fortune to behold. 

" Surely," whispered Mr. Bosky, " that vo- 



IN TH£ OLDEN TIME. 87 

ciferons gentleman in the chair can never be your 
one-eye-shut-and-the-other-half-open president ; nor 
he at the bottom of the table, with his organs 
of vision fixed, like the wooden Highlander's that 
stands entry over ' Snnff and Tobacco,' yonr blink- 
ing vice.*" 

Mr. Merripall looked tncredulua odij and would 
have made a capital study for Tarn O'Shanter. 

'^ Have the kindness to introduce me to the 
Rev. Nehemiah Nosebags,'' said Mr. Bosky, again 
addressing his mute and mystified companion. 

" Why not ask me to trot out the Pope?" 
replied the somewhat crotchety and comical coffin- 
maker. 

A peal of laughter and huzzas echoed firom the 
twin tavern over the way, and at the same mo- 
ment mine host, who was very like a China joss, 
puffed up stairs, looking as wild as '^ a wilderness 
of monkeys," with the astounding news that a 
trick had been played upon himself and brother 
publican by Lord Larkinton, Sir Frederick Fitz- 
fun, and the Honourable Colonel Frolick, who 
had taken the liberty of transposing their respec- 
tive signs. Hence a straggling party of the Peep 



88 MERRIE ENGLAND 

o^ day BoySf whose proper location was the Three* 
Jolly Tnimpeters, had intruded into the taciturn-' 
ity and tobacco of the Owl and Ivy Bush. Thia 
unravelled the cross purposes that at one time 
seemed to call in question the ^^ mens sana in 
corpore aano ^ of Mr, Merripall. 

" Many men,^^ addressing Mr. Bosky, as they 
jogged out of the Three Jolly Trumpeters, " like 
to enjoy a reputation which they do not deserve ; 
but ^^ — here Mr. Merripall looked serious, and in 
right earnest — " to be thought tipsy ^ my good 
friend, without having had the gratification of 
getting 80y is, 

' Say what men will, a pill 

Bitter to swallow, and hard of digestion. 



> f» 



And the Laureat of Little Britain ftdly agreed 
with the axiom so pertinaciously and poetically 
laid down by the comical coffin-maker. 

The three practical jokers now emerged from 
their ambush to take a more active part in the 
sports. With the Peep o' day Boys they would 
have stood no chance, for each member carried 
in his hand an executive fist, to which the noble 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 89 

tricksters were loth to cotton, for fear of being 
worsted. Lord Larkinton led the van up the 
stairs of the Owl and Ivy Bush, and dashing 
among the Blinkers, selected their president for 
his partner ; Colonel Frolick patronized the vice ; 
and Sir Frederick Fitzfiin made choice of the Rev. 
Nehemiah Nosebags. The rest of the club were 
arranged to dance in pairs, — a very stout member 
with a very lean one, and a very short one with 
a very tall one, — so that there was variety, 
without being charming. Each danced with his 
pipe in his mouth. It was no pipe no dance. 

They led off in fiill puff, dancing about, upon, 
and on all-fours under the tables. The fire-irons 
were confided to a musical brother, with instruc- 
tions to imitate the triangles ; and as the company 
danced round the room, — the room, returning 
the compliment, danced round them. 

The club having been capered within an inch 
of their lives, Lord Larkinton begged Mr. Bo- 
peep to favour them with Jim Crow, consenting 
to waive the jump obligator in consideration of 
his previous exertions. But he must sing it in 
character ; and in the absence of lamp-black and 



90 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

charcoal, the corks were burnt, to enable Sir 
Frederick Fitzfnn and Colonel Frolick (my Lord 
holding his partner^s physiognomy between his 
palms like a vice — the vice and Mr. Nosebags 
looking mefdlly on) to transform Mr. Bopeep 
into a negro chorister. His sable toilet being 
completed, the president opened with " Jim Crow ;"" 
but his memory failing, he got into "aJicA a gtttitC 
up stairs^ At fault again, he introduced the 
" Last rose of summer^ then ** The boaty rows,'" 
" Four-andrtwtnty fiddlers all of a row^^ " Old Rose 
and hum the hellows^"^ ^^ Blow high, blow low^ 
" Three Tooley Street Tailors^^ " By the deep 
nint^ ** / know a bank^ and " You must not sham 
Abraham Newland^^ — all of which he sang to the 
same tune, ^^Jim Crow^ being the musical bed 
of torture to which he elongated or curtailed them. 
As an accompanunent to this odd medley, the 
decanters and tumblers flew about in all direc- 
tions, some escaping out at window, others irra- 
diating the floor with their glittering particles. 
Colonel Frolick, brandishing a poker, stood before 
the last half inch of. a once resplendent mirror 
contemplating his handiwork and mustaches, and 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 91 

ready to begin upon the gold frame. Every 
square of crown glass haying been beaten out, 
and eyery hat^s crown beaten in, Lord Larkinton 
politely asked the Rey. Nehemiah Nosebags to 
crown all with a song.- The chaplain, looking 
as melancholy as the last bumper in a bottle 
before it ^s buzzed, snuffled, in a Tabernacle twang. 



C€ 



The-e bir-ird that si-ings in yo-on-der ca-age.' 



" Make your bird sing a little more lively,'' 
shouted my Lord, ^^ or we shan't get out of the 
cage to-night ! "" 

Many a true word spoken in jest; for mine 
host, thinking his Lordship's next joke might be 
to unroof, batter down, or set fire to the Owl and 
Ivy Bush, rushed into the room marshalling a 
posse of the police, when a battle royal ensued, 
and sconces and truncheons, scraping acquaintance 
with each other, made ''a ghostly rattle." Dis- 
appointed of Mr. Nosebags' stave, and having no 
relish for those of the constables, we stole away, 
leaving Colonel Frolick beating a tattoo on some 
dozen of oil-skin hats; Lord Larkinton and Sir 
Frederick Fitzfim pushing forward the afirighted 



92 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Bopeep and his brethren to bear the brunt of the 
fray ; an intolerable din of screaming, shouting ser- 
vants, ostlers and helpers ; and the barking of a 
kennel of curs, as if " the dogs of three parishes^^ 
had been congregated and let loose to swell the 
turmoil. 

'* The sons of care are always sons of night." 
Those to whom the world^s beauteous garden is a 
cheerless desert bide their sorrows in its friendly 
obscurity. If in one quarter the shout of revelry 
is heard, as the sensualist reels &om bis bacchana- 
lian banquet, — in another^ the low nioan of desti- 
tution and misery startles night^s deep silence, as 
they retire to some bulk or doorway to seek that 
repose which seldom lights but ^^ on lids unsullied 
with a tear.**** We had parted with our merry 
companions, and were hastening bomeward, when, 
passing by one of those unsightly pauper prison- 
houses that shame and deface our land, we beheld 
a solitary light flickering before a high narrow 
casement, the grated bars of which told a moumftd 
tale, that the following melody, sang with heart- 
searching pathos, too truly confirmed :— - 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 93 

A wand'rer^ tho' houseless and friendless I roam, 
Ah I stranger^ I once knew the sweets of a home ; 
The world promised hit, and its prospects were bright^ 
My pillow was peace^ and I woke to delight. 

Do you know what it is from loved kindred to part ? 
The sting of the scorpion to feel in your heart ? 
To hear the deep groan of an agonised sire ? 
To see, broken-hearted, a mother expire ? 

To hear bitter mockings an answer to prayer ? 
Scorn pointing behind, and before you despair I — 
To hunger a prey^ and to passion a slave, — 
No home but the outcast's, no rest but the grave ! 

To feel your brain wander, as reason's fiunt beam 
Illumines the dark, frenzied, sorrowM dream ; 
The present and past I — See I the moon she rides higher 
In mild tranquil beauty^ and shoots sparks of fire ! 

The music ceased, the pauper-prison door opened, 
said a gentle voice, addressing another, was heard 
to say, "Tend her kindly — my parse shall be 
yours, and, what is of far higher import, though 
less valued Aere, God'*s holiest blessing. Every 
inmate of these gloomy walls has a claim upon 
your sympathy ; but this hapless being demands 
the most watchftd solicitude. She is a bruised reed 



94 MERRIE ENGLAND 



bowed down by the tempest, — a heart betrayed 
and bleeding, — a brow scathed by the lightnmg of 
heaven ! I entered upon this irksome duty but to 
mitigate the cruel hardships that insolent authority 
imposes upon the desolate and oppressed. With 
my associates in office I wage an unequal warfare ; 
but my humble efforts^ aided by yours, may do 
much to alleviate sufferings that we cannot entirely 
remove. She has lucid intervals, when the dread- 
ful truth flashes upon her mind. Smooth, then, 
the pillow for her burning brow, bind up her broken 
heart, and the gracious Power that inflicts this just, 
but awM retribution will welcome you as an angel 
of mercy, when mercy, and mercy only, shall be 
your passport to his presence ! Good night.'" 

The door closed, and the speaker — ^unseeing, 
but not t^n^een-— hurried away. It was Uncle 
Timothy ! 

Bulky as a walrus, and as brutal, out-firogging 
the frog in the fable, an over-fed, stolid, pudding- 
crammed libel upon humanity, sailing behind his 
double chin, and with difficulty preserving his 
equilibrium, though propped up by the brawny 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 95 

arm of Catspaw Crashem, Mr. Poor Law Guar- 
dian Pinch — a hiccup anticipating an oath— com- 
manded us to ^'move on/* 

Addressing his relieving officer, he stammered 
out, en passant, ^' Hark^e, Catspaw, don^t forget 
to report that crazy wagrant to the Board to- 
morrow. Well try whether cold water, a dark 
crib, and a straight jacket wonH spoil her cater- 
wauling. The cretur grows quite obstroperous 
upon our gruel.^ (! ! !) 

England! merrie England! 
Once nurse of thriving men ; 

1 've leam'd to look on many things^ 

With other eyes since then ! 



96 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER V. 

In the narrowest part of the narrow precincts 
of Cloth Fair there once stood a long, rambling, 
low-roofed, gable-fronted hostelrie, with carved 
monsters frightfollj deformed, and of hideons 
obesity, grinning down upon the passengers from 
every side. Its exterior colour was a dingy yel- 
low; it had little antique casements, casting ''a 
dim,**' if not a " religious light,'^ within ; the en- 
trance was by a low porch, with seats on each 
side, where, on summer days, when leaves are 
green, the citizen in the olden time might breathe 
the fresh air of the surrounding meadows, and rest 
and regale himself! The parlour was panelled 
with oak, and round it hung The March to Finch- 
ley, the Strolling Players, and Southwark Fair, 
half obscured by dust, in narrow black frames, 
with a tarnished gold beading. An ancient clock 



IN THE OLDEN tllfE. 97 

ticked (like some of the customers !) in a dark 
comer; on the high grotesquely carved mantel- 
piece piped frill-dressed shepherds and shepherd- 
esses, in flowery arbours of Chelsea china ; from 
the capacious ingle projected two wooden arms, 
on which the elbows of a long race of priyileged 
old codgers had saccessively rested for more than 
three centuries ; the egg of an ostrich tattooed by 
the flies, and a silent aviary of stuffed birds, 
(monsters of fowls !) which had been a roost for 
some hundreds of generations of spiders, depended 
from a massy beam that divided the ceiling ; a 
high-backed venerable arm-chair, with Robin Hood 
and his merry men in rude effigy, kept its state 
under an old-fashioned canopy of &ded red ar- 
ras ; a large fire blazed cheerfully, the candles 
burned bright, and a jovial party, many of whose 
noses burned blue, were assembled to celebrate for 
the last time their nocturnal merriments under 
the old roof, that on the morrow (for improvement 
had stalked into the Pair !) was to be levelled to 
the ground. 

** Gentlemen," said the President, who was a 
rosy evergreen, vrith "fair round belly,^' and a 

VOL. II. ' p 



98 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

jolly aspect, *^ man and boy, for forty years, have 
I been a member of the Robin Hood^ and fanned 
down my punch in this room ! What waDt we 
with mahogany, French-polished, and fine chim- 
ney-glasses ? Cannot every brother see his good- 
looking face in a glass of his own f Or a gas- 
lamp before the door, with a dozen brass burners ? 
Sarely our ^everlasting bonfire lights^ will show 
us the way in ! This profanation, is enough to 
make our jovial predecessors, the heroes of the 
Tennis Court, the Mohocks, and Man-hunters of 
Lincoln^s Inn Fields tremble in their tombs ! — 
But I don't see Mr. Bosky." 

It would have been odd if the President hnd 
seen Mr. Bosky ; for he sat wedged betwixt two 
corporation members, whose protuberances, broad 
shoulders, and dewlaps effectually obscured him 
from view. 

^^ Here am I, Mr, President." 

« But where is Uncle Timothy ?" 

^^ That," replied the Laureat, '^ can my cousin'^s 
wife^s uncle'^s aunt's sister best say. Three hours 
ago I left him on the top of St. Paul's ; by this 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 99 

time he may be at the bottom of the Thames 
Timnel, or at Madame TiUHsaad^s, tite-a-tSte with 
Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, and Yonng Oxford." 

A murmur T>f disappointment rose from the 
brethren, with a benediction on distant relations 
that did not keep a hundred miles off. 

^* Oentlemen," resumed the President, <^ ' if sack 
and sagar be a sin, God help the wicked !^ Since 
we cannot have Uncle Timothy^s good company^ 
we will have his good health. Uncle Timothy, 
with three!" 

A heartfelt cheer made the old hostelrie ring 
again. 

Uprose the Lanreat — but a twinkle from the 
eye of the President to a covey of intelligent 
cronies, on whom the scarlet rays of his counte- 
nance more intensely feU, produced asuppl^nen- 
tary cheer that shook the Cloth-quarter. 

Mr. Bosky was thrown a little off his balance. 
He paused — flushed — but his heart having left 
his mouth, he replenished the vacuum with a 
bumper, assuring the company that they might 
as soon expect from )iim a long face as a long 

f2 



100 MERRIE ENGLAND 

speech. For their kind wishes to Uncle Timothy 
he thanked them from the bottom of his sonl — 
and glass ! 

^^ Gentlemen, when the money-grab retires^ no 
regrets follow him to his unsociable crib ; nothing 
misses him but the everlasting counter, to which 
cupidity has so long nailed his bird-limed fingers. 
How different with a generous spirit ! with whom 
are associated the remembrance of happy hours 
snatched from the dull realities of life ! This day 
terminates the mercantUe career of our worthy 
President. May he be blest in his retirement ! 
Gentlemen, the health of Mr. Deputy Double- 
chin — (no skylights, Brother Blizzard !) — up- 
standing, with all the honours !^ 

The two corporation members having taken 
^Hheir whack,^ were not to be roused without 
a smart thump on the shoulder. The deputy 
returned thanks in a pleasant vein. 

*' My friends,'' he added, " short reckonings — 
you know the old adage— * I am a song in your 
debt, and as the one I now volunteer will be the 
last of the many I have sung in this cosey comer, 
my vocfJ Vak shall be our tutelary freebooter.'' 



IN TH£ OLDEN TIME. 101 

And with " full-throated ease ^ this jovial im- 
personation of John Bull chanted-^ 

ROBIN HOOD. 

Robin Hood ! Robin Hood I a lawgiver good^ 
Kept bis High Court of Justice in merry Sherwood. 
No furr'd gown, or fee, wig, or bauble had he ; 
But his bench was a verdant bank under a tree ! 

And there sat my Lord of his own good accord. 
With his Peers of the forest to keep watch and ward ; 
To arbitrate sure between rich and poor. 
The lowly oppress'd and the proud evil doer. 

His nobles they are without riband or star. 

No 'scutcheon have they with a sinister bar ; 

But Flora with leaves them a coronet weaves. 

And their music is — ^hark ! when the horn winds afar. 

The chaplain to shrive this frolicsome hive 

Is a fat curtail Friar, the merriest alive I 

His quarter-staff, whack 1 greets a crown with a crack ! 

And, 'stead of rough saekdoth, his penance is sack ! 

The peerless in beauty receives their fond duty, 
Her throne is the greensward, her canopy flowers ! 
What huntress so gay as the Lady of May ? 
The Queen of the Woodlands, King Robin's, and ours ! 

His subjects are we, and 'tis centuries three 

Since his name first re-echo'd beneath this roof-tree ! 



IQS MERRIE ENGLAND 

With Robin our King let the old rafters ring I 
They have heard their last shout I they have seen their 
last spring I 

And though we may sig^ for blythe moments gone by, 
Yet why should we sorrow, bold foresters, why ? 
Since those who come after their full share of laughter 
Shall have, when death's sables have veil'd you and I. 

As the clnb was literary as well as convivial, 
such of the members as the gods had made poeti- 
cal, critical, or historical, favoured the company 
at these appointed meetings with their lucubra- 
tions. Uncle Timotby^s had been antiquarian and 
critical, Mr. Bosky's facetious and vocal :— 

A merry wag is better far. 

Than sharp lampoon or witty libel. 

One brother, Mr. Boreum, who had got the scien- 
tific bee in his bonnet, was never so happy as 
when he could detect a faux pas in the sun''s 
march, discover a new mountain in the moon, 
or add another stick to the bundle that has been 
so long burthensome to the back of the man in 
it ! and Mr. Pigtail Paddleibox, a civil engineer, 
maintained, by knock-me-down-proof-positive, that 
Noah^s Ark was an antediluvian steamer of some 



I 



IN TH£ OLDEN TIM£. 103 

five hundred horse-power! The evening's con- 
tribution was Uncle Timothy's, The Second Part 
of the Merrie Mysteries of Bartlemy Fair^ which 
Mr. Bosky having promised to read with good 
emphasis and discretion, the President's hanmier 
commanded silence, and he proceeded with his 
task. 



104 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER VI. 

The world is a stage ; men and women are 
the players ; chance composes the piece ; Fortune 
(blind jade !) distributes the parts ; the fools shift 
the scenery ; the philosophers are the spectators ; 
the rich occupy the boxes ; the powerful, the pit ; 
and the poor, the gallery. The forsaken of Lady 
Fortune snuff the candles, — Folly makes the con- 
cert, — and Time drops the curtain ! 

In a half sportive, half melancholy mood, we 
record this description of the tragi-comedy of hu- 
man life. To weep, like Heraclitus, might exalt 
us to philanthropists ; to make the distresses of 
mankind a theme of derision would brand us as 
buffoons. Though inclining to the example of 
Democritus, ^ for life is too short seriously to 
grapple with the thousand absurdities that daily 
demand refutation, — we take the middle course. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 105 

Far be from us the reproach of having no regard 
for our fellow-men, or pity for their errors ! 

Every one views a subject according to his 
particular taste and disposition.^ Some happy 
fancies can find 



'' Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones^ and good in every thing." 

Such would draw a truth from a tumbler, and 
a moral from a mountebank ! 

^^Look through my glass,^ says the philoso- 
pher^ — " Through mine^ says the metafJbysi- 
cian. '* Will your honour please to take a peep 
through my glass ?*" inquires the penny showman. 
The penny showman^s glass for our money ! 

We are not to be hoodwinked by high-sounding 
authorities, who, like Tom Thumb, manufacture 
the giants they take the credit of killing ! Bemier 



• To view Niagara's Falls one day 
A Vriest and Tailor took their way ; 
The Parson cried, while wrapt in wonder, 
And listening to the cataract's thunder, 
'^ Lord ! how thy works amaze our eyes. 
And fill our hearts with vast surprise ! " 
The Tailor merely made this note : — 
" Lord f what a place to sponge a coat ! " 

r 6 



106 MERRIE ENGLAND 

tells US, that whenever the Great Mogul made a 
remark, no matter how commonplace, the Omrahs 
lifted up their hands and cried " Wonder ! won- 
der ! wonder /^ And their proverb saith. If the 
King exclaims at noon-daj, ^^ It is nighty'^ jou 
are to rejoin, *'^ Behold the moon and stars /^^ 

Curious reader, picture to yourself a town-bred 
bachelor, with flowing wig, brocaded waistcoat, 
rolled silk stockings, and clouded cane, marching 
forth to take a survey of Bartholomew Fair, in 
the year 1701. Fancy the prim gentleman de- 
scribing what he saw to some inquiring country 
kinsman in the following laconic epistle, and you 
will have a lively contemporary sketch of Smith- 
field Rounds. 

Cousin Cobydon, 

Having no business of my own,' nor any desire 
to meddle with other people^s, no wife to chin- 
music me, no brats to torment me, I dispelled 
the megrims by a visit to St. Bartholomew. The 



* "A Walk to Smith-field ; or, a True Description of the 
Humours of Bartholomew Fair^ 1701." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 107 

iair resembled a camp ; only, instead of standing 
rank and file, the spectators were shuffled to- 
gether like little boxes in a sharper^s ZrUcAr-tn-a* 
Bag. With much ado I reached Pyc-Comer^ 
where our English Sampson exhibited. Having 
paid for a seat three stories high in this wooden 
tent of iniquity, I beheld the renowned Man of 
Kent^ equipped like an Artillery Oround cham- 
pion at the mock storming of a castle, lift a 
number of weights, which hung round him like 
bandaliers about a Dutch soldier. 

" He fired a cannon, and with his own strength 
Lifted it up, although 'twas of great length ; 
He broke a rope which did restrain two horses. 
They could not break it with their two joint forces !' 

I then jostled to a booth, in which was only a 

^ *^ The English Sampson, William Joy, aged twenty-four 
yeai^, was bom in the Isle .of Thanet, in Kent. He is a man 
of prodigious strength, of which he hath given proofe before 
his Majesty King William the Third, at Kensington, their 
Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Denmark, and 
most of the nobility, at the Theatre Royal in Dorset Garden. 
A«. 1699." 

^^ James Miles, from Sadler's Wells in Islington, now keeps 
the Gun Musick Booth in SnUthfield Rounds where the Famous 
Indian Woman lifts six hundred weight with the hair of her 
head, and walks about the booth with it.'' Topham 



108 HERRIE ENGLAND 

puppet-show,^ where, for twopence, I saw Jepthd's 
rash Vow ; or^ The VirginCa Sacrifice, In I went, 
almost headlong, to PinkethmanCs Medley^ to see 
the Vaulting of the horse^ and the famous wooden 

Tophaniy the Strong Man, lifted three hogsheads of water, 
weighing 1836 lbs. the 28th of May 1741, in honour oi Ad- 
miral Vernon, before thousands of people, in Bath Street, 
Cold-Bath-Fields. In his early years he exhibited at Bartho- 
lomew Fair. He united the strength of twelve men. The 
ostler of the Virgin's Inn having offended him, he took one of 
the spits from the kitchen and bent it round his neck like a 
handkerchief; but as he did not choose to tuck the ends in the 
ostler's bosom, the iron cravat excited the laughter of the com- 
pany, till he condescended to untie it. He died by his own 
hand, on the 10th August 1749, the victim of his wife's in- 
fidelity. 

"The Wonderful Strong and Surprising Persian Dwarf, 
three feet six inches high. He is fifty-six years old, speaks 
eighteen languages, sings Italian songs, dances to admiration, 
and with ropes tied to his hair, when put over his shoulders, 
lifts the great stone A." This " great stone'' is half as big as 
the little Sampson himself I 

* Onlif a Puppet-show ! — Marry-come-up 1 Goodman Chro- 
nicler, doth not the mechanist, ^ very Prometheus, give life, 
spirit, and motion to what was a mopstick or the leg of a joint' 
stool? 

' " At Pinkethman, Mills, and Bullock's booth, over-against 
the Hospital Gate, will be presented The Siege of Barcelona, 
or the Soldier's Fortune ; containing the comical exploits of 
Captain Blunderbuss and his man Squib ; his adventures with 
the Coi\iuror, and a surprising scene where he and Squib are 
enchanted. Also the Diverting Humours of Corporal Scare- 
Devil. To which will be added, The wonderful Performance 
of Mr. Simpson, the vaulter, lately arrived from Italy. The 



IN THE OLD£N TIME. 109 

puppets dance a minuet and a ballet. At the Dutch 
Woman's booth,^ the Wheelbarrow dance, by a little 
Flemish girl ten years old, was in truth a miracle ! 
^ bill haying been thrust into my hand, of a man 
and woman fighting for the breeches,* I had the 

musick, songs, and dances are by the best performers, whom 
Mr. Pinkethman has entertained at extraordinary charge, pure- 
ly to please the town." 

' ** You will see the &mous Dutch Woman's side-capers, 
upright-capers, cross-capers, and hack-capers on the tight 
rope. She walks, too, on the slack rope, which no woman hut 
herself can do." — *^ Oh, what a charming sight it was to see 
Madam What-d'ye-call-her swim it along the stage between 
her two gipsy daughters I You might have sworn they were 
of right Dutch extraction." — ^A Comparison between the Two 
Stages, 1702. 

Dancing on the rope was forbidden by an order of Parlia- 
ment, July 17) 1647. The most celebrated rope-dancer on 
record is Jacob Kally who lived in the reign of King Charles 
the Second. His feats of agility and strength, and the comeli- 
ness of his person, gained him universal patronage, and charmed, 
in particular, that imperious wanton, the Duchess of Cleveland. 
Henry the Eighth, in one of his " Progresses" through the 
city of London, *^ did spye a man upon the uppermost parte Of* 
St. Powle's Church : the man did gambol and balance himself 
upon his head, much to the fright and dismay of the multitude 
that he might breake his necke. On coming down, he did 
throw himselfe before the King beseechingly, as if for some 
reward for the exployt ; whereupon the King's highness, much 
to his surprise, ordered him to prison as a roge and sturdy 
Vagabonde." — Black-Letter Chronicle, Printed in 1565. 

' Our facetious friends, Messrs. Powell and Luffingham, at 
« Rooe$ Booth." 



no 



MERRIE ENGLAND 



curiosity to look at this family picture, which 
turned out to be the Devil and Doctor Fmstus^ 
the wife representing the Devilj and the husband 
the Doctor ! The tent of the English rope- 
dancers ' the rabble took by storm; but myself 
and a few heroes stood the brunt of the fray, 




' In a Bardemy Fair bill, temp. James II. after the repre- 
sentation of ^ St. George for Bngland^ wherein is shown 
how the valiant ^< saint slew the venomous Dragon,'' the public 
were treated with ^Uhe Life and Death of Doctor Foster^ 
(Faustus ?) with such curiosity, that his very intrtult turns into 
snakes and sarpints I " 

* On the top of the following bill is a woodcut of the ^ Lad- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. Ill 

and saw the Ladder Dance^ and excellent yault* 
ing on the slack and tight rope, by Mr, Barnes 
and the Lady Mary} I had a month^s mind 
to a musick booth ; but the reformation of man" 
ners haying suppressed them all but one, I de- 
clined going thither, for fear of being thought an 
inmioral person, and paid my penny to take a 
peep at the Creation of the World. Then 

" To the Cloisters * I went, where the gallants resort^ 
And all sorts and sizes come in for their sport. 
Whose saucy behayioiur and impudent air 
Proclaim'd them the subjects of Ba/rdemy Fair ! 
There strutted the sharper and braggart, (a brace 1) 
And there peep'd a goddess with mask on her &ce ! 

der Danccy^ and the ^^ two Famous High German children" 
vaulting on the tight rope. " At Mr, BamesU Booth, he- 
tween the Crown Tavern and the Hospital Gate^ with the Eng^ 
lish Flag flying on the top, you will see Mr. Barnes dancing 
with a child standing upon his shoulders ; also tumhling 
through hoops, over halherds, over sixteen men's heads, and 
over a horse with a man on his hack, and two hoys standing 
upright upon each arm ! With the merry conceits of Pkklp 
Herring and his son Punch," 

^ The Latfy Mary^ the daughter of a nohle Italian family, 
was horn in Florence, and immured in a nunnery, hut eloped 
with a Merry Andrew^ who taught her his professional tricks. 
She danced with great dexterity on the rope, from which (when 
urged hy the avarice of her inhuman partner to exhihit during 
a period of hodily weakness) she fell, and died instantaneously. 

' ^< The Cloister in Bartholomew Fair, a poem, London 



112 MCRRIB ENGLAND 

I viewed all the shops where the gamblers did raffle^ 
And saw the young ladies their gentlemen baffle ; 
For though the fine sparks might sometimes have good 

fate^ 
The shop had the money, the lass had the plate." 

Thus ends the ramble, Cousin Corydon ! of 
(Thine, as thy spouse'^s own,) 

Inoleberby Gbiskin. 

Thanks ! worthy chronicler of ancient St. Bar- 
tlemy. 

Will Pinkethman was a first-rate comedian. 
The biographer of his contemporary, Spiller^ says, 
" the managers of the Haymarket and Drury Lane 
always received too much profit from Pinkey'a 
phizy to encourage anybody to put that out of 
countenance ! ^ And Pope refers to one popular 
qualification that he possessed, viz. eating on the 
stage (as did Dicky Suett, in after days, Dicky 
Gossip^ to wit !) with great comic effect. 

''And idle Gibber^ how he breaks the laws, 
To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause !'* 

He was celebrated for speaking prologues and 

1707," is a highly coloured picture of the irregularities there 
committed. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. US 

epilogues.^ He realised a good fortune by his 
Puppet'shoWj and kept a booth at Bartholomew 
Pair. Two volumes of " Jests ''* bear his name. 
Many of them are as broad as they are long. 
His love-letter to Tabitha, the fair Quakeress, 
signed ^^ Yea and Nat/y from thy brother in the 
light,*** is wickedly jocose. 

Thus Bartholomew Fair, in 1701, boasted its 
full complement of mimes, mountebanks, vaulters, 
costermongers,^ gingerbread women, (" ladies of 
the basket I**) puppet-shows,* physiognoscppogra- 

* Particularly ** The New Comical Epilogue of Some-Body 
and No-Body^ spoken by way of Dialogue between Mr* Pinkm 
ethman and Jubilee Dicky" (Norris, so christened from his 
playing Beau Clincher in Farquhar*s Trip to the Jubilee.) 

• " Pinkethman's Jests, or Wit RefinM, being a new year's 
gift for young gentlemen and ladies, 1721, First and Second 
Parts." A fine mezzotinto portrait of Pinkethman, represents 
him in a laced coat and a flowing wig, holding in his hand a 
scroll, on which is inscribed, ^* Ridentibus arrident Vultus*** 

' Archdeacon Nares defines a costard-monger, or coster-mon- 
ger, to be " a seller of apples, one who generally kept a stall.*' 

'* " Here are the rarities of the whole Fair, 

Pimperle-Pimp, and the wise Dancing Mare ; 
Here 's Vienna besieg'd, a rare thing. 
And here *s Punchinello, shewn thrice to the King. 
Ladies mask'd to the Cloisters repair. 
But there will be no raffling, a pise on the May*r ! " 
From Playford's Musical Companion, 1701. 



■**: 



114 MERRIE ENGLAND 

phy, Punches, and Roast Pig.^ But its Drama 
was in abeyance.^ The ilitt of Pye-Comer, Gilt- 
spur Street, and the Cloth-quarter, preferred Pink- 
ethman's Medley and Mr. Barneses Rope-dancers, 
to " The Old Creation of the World New Re- 
yived, with the intrigues of Lucifer in the Garden 
of Eden, and Adam and Eve driven out of Para- 



■^ « A Catch— Mr. Henry Purcell— • 

Here 's that will challenge ftll the Fair : 

Come huy my nuts and damsons, my Burgamy Pear. 

Here 's the Whore of Babylon^ the Tknil and the Fope : 

The girl is just going on the rope. 

Here 's I>ive$ and Lazarus, and the WorkPs Creaium : 

Here 's the Dutch Woman, the like 's not in the nation. 

Here is the booth where the tali Dutch Maid »> 

Here are the bears that dance like any ladies. 

Tota, tota, tot goes the little penny trumpet. 

Here 's your Jacob Hall, that can jump it, jump it. 

Sound trumpet : a silver spoon and fork ; 

Come, here 's your dainty Fig and Pork'* 

• " The old Droll Playert^ Lamentation, being very plea- 
sant and diverting. 1701." 

" Oh ! mourn with us all you that live by play, 
The Reformation took our gains away : 
We are as good as dead now money 's gone, - 
No Droll is suffer'd, not a single one I 
Jack Pudding now our grandeur doth exceed, 
And grinning granny is by fates decreed 
To laugh at us, and to our place succeed. 
But after all, these times would make us rave, 
That won't let 's play the Fool as well as Knave !" 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 116 

dise,'* — ** Judith and Holofernes,'^ * — " Dives and 
Pauper,'' — the " Humom^ of Noah's Ark, or 
the Drolleries of the Deluge," — ^^ Jeptha's Rash 
Vow," — and " The Pleasant Conceited History 
of Abraham and Isaac !" These Mysteries^ were 
only endured when tacked to ^^ a Comick Dance 
of gigantic automatons ;" the ^^ merriments of Sir 
John SpendaQ and Pimchinello ; Pickle- Herring 
«nd Punch." Of the multifarious and ludicrous 
literature of the ^^ Rounds " little remains. The 
serious portion consisted, as we have shown, of such 
representations taken from Bible History, after 
the manner of the Chester and Coventry Monks, 
and the ancient Parish Clerks of Clerkenwell, as 
were most likely to beget an awful attention in the 
audience ; and the comic, of detached scenes of 
low humour from Shakspere, and Beaumont and 
Fletcher, like " The WitSy^ or Sport upon Sport^"^ 

1 ^ To be sold in the Booth of Lee and Harper, and only 
printed for, and by G. Lee, in Blue Maid Alley, Southwark." 

' Spence, in his anecdotes, describes a Mystery he saw at 
Turin, '^ where a damned female soul, in a gown of flame- 
coloured satin, intreats, as a^/ovor, to be handed over to the 
fires of purgatory, for only as many years as there are drops 
of water in the ocean !" 

* " The Wits, or Sport upon Sport : being a curious col- 



116 MERRIE ENGLAND 

and " The Stroller* s Pacquet OpevCd^'' — except 
when a Smithfield bard, " bemus'd in beer,^ ven- 
tured upon originality, and added '^ Robin Hood^^ 
an Opera,'' and " The Quaker*8 Opera^'''*^ to the 

lection of several Drolls and Farces, as they have been sundry 
times acted at Bartholomew and other Fairs, in halls and 
taverns, on mountebanks' stages at Charing Cross, Lincoln's 
Inn Fields, and other places, by Strolling Fitters, Fools, 
Fiddlers, and Zanies, with loud laughter and applause. Now 
newly collected by your old friend, Francis Kirkman, 1673." 
The author says, in his preface to the Second Part, ** I have 
seen the Red Bull Playhouse, which was a large one, so full, 
that as many went back for want of room as had entered ; 
and as meanly as you may think of these Drolls, they were 
acted by the best comedians then, and now in being. I once 
saw a piece at a country inn, called ^ King Pharaoh,' with 
Moses, Aaron, and some others ; to explain which figures was 
added this piece of poetry, 

Here Pharaoh, with his goggle eyes, does stare on 

The High Priest Moses, with the Prophet Aaron. 

Why, what a rascal 

Was he that would not let the people go to eat the Pascal I 

I believe he who pictured King Pharaoh had never seen a king 
in his life ; for all the majesty he was represented with was 
goggle eyes, that his picture might be answerable to the verse.** 

1 « Bjobin Hood, an opera, as it is performed at Lee and 
Harper's Great Theatrical Booth in Bartholomew Fair, 17da" 

' ** The Quaker*s Opera, as it is performed at Lee and 
Harper's Great Theatrical Booth in Bartholomew Fair, 1728*" 
This is the story of Jack Sheppard dramatised and set to 
rough music! It may be gratifying to the curious to see 
how the adventures of this house and prison-breaker were ^'tm- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 117 

claflBical press of Bartholomew Fair. Good com- 
pany has oocasioiiany visited the '* Rounds.^ 
Evelyn ^ went there, hot it was to gape and grom- 
ble. In the year 1670 (see ** Some Account of 
Kachel Lady Russell,'') Lady RummM, with her 



proved" (! !) by a Meikodki Preaeker under the Piojua rf 
Caveni Garden, ** Now, my bdoved, we have a remarkable 
instance of man's care for bis tabemade of day in the notori- 
ous male&ctor Jack Sheppard I How dexterously did he, with 
a nail, pick the padlock of bis diain ! how manfolly burst his 
fetters ; dimb up the chimney ; wrench out an iron bar ; 
break his way through a stone wall, till he readied the leads 
of the prison ! .and then fixing a blanket through the wall with 
a spike, he stole out of the chapel ! How intrepidly did he 
descend from the top of the Tum^*s house ! and how cau- 
tiously pass down the staire, and make his escape at the street- 
door ! OA, that ye were all like Jack Sheppard ! Let me 
exhort ye, then, to open the locks of your hearts with the 
nail of repentance ; to burst asunder the fetters of your be- 
loved desires ; to mount the chimney of hope ; take from 
thence the bar of good resolution ; break through the stone 
wall of despair ; raise yourselves to the leads of divine medi- 
tation ; fix the blanket of &ith with the spike of the conven- 
ticle ; let yourselves down the Turner's house of resignation, 
and descend the stairs of humility ; so shall you come to the 
door of deliverance, from the prison of iniquity, and escape 
the dutches of that old executioner, the devil.'' 

* " 1648. 28 Aug*: Saw y« celebrated follies of Bartholo- 
mew Fair" Which/olUes were more harmless, in thote days^ 
than the solemn and sinister mtUnmery of a Brotonttt's oofiven- 
ttclCf a Pre$byterian Synod, and a Quaker^ meeting. 



118 MERRIE ENGLAND 

sister, Lady Northumberland^ and Lady Skaji9' 
bury, returned from Bartholomew Fair loaded 
with fairings for herself and children ! Sept. 1, 
1780, the ^^ Four Indian Kings'^ visited Pink- 
ethman and Giffard^s booth, and saw Wat Tyler 
and Jack Straw, Sir Robert Walpole^ when 
Prime Minister, starred and gartered, graced the 
fair with his presence. Frederick Prince of 
Wales f in 1740, attended by a party of the Yeo- 
men of the Onard with lighted flambeaux, con- 
templated its pantomimical wonders, with Manager 
Rich for his cicerone ; as, in after times, did David 
Garrick and his lady, marshalled by the bill- 
sticker of Old Drury ! On tendering his tester 
at the Droll Booth, the cashier, recognising the 
fine expressive features and far-beaming eye of 
Roscius, with a patronising look and bow, re- 
vised the proffered fee, politely remarking, " Sir, 
we never take money from one another /'' 

Pinkethman's ^^ Pantheon^ or Temple of the 
Heathen Oods, consisting of five curious pictures. 



' A coloured print of Bartholomew Fair in 1721, copied 
from a painting on an old fan mount, represents Sir Robert 
Walpole as one of the spectators* 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 119 

and above one hundred figures that move their 
headflf legs, and fingers, in charaeter,^ long conti- 
nued the lion of Bartholomew and Sonthwark 
fiurs.* On the 19th Angnst, 1730, great prepara- 
tions were made against the approaching festival. 
Stables were transmogrified into palaces for copper 
kings, lords, knights, and ladies! and cock-lofts 
and laystalls into enchanted castles and Elysium 
bowers! The ostlers beguiled the interval by 
exercising their pampered steeds, and levying con- 
tribution on such as happened to be enjoying 
the pure air of Hounslow Heath and FinchUy 
Common I Mob quality in hackney coaches, 
and South-Sea squires in their own, resorted to 
Pinkethman^s booth to divert themselves with his 
^^ comical phiz^ and newly-imported French danc* 
ing dogs r The mountebanks were all alive and 
merry, and a golden harvest was reaped in the 
Rounds. 



' Sept. 13, 1717* Several constables visited Pinkethman's 
booth in Southtoark Fair, and apprehended Finkethmany with 
others of his company, just as they had concluded a play, in 
the presence of near 150 noblemen and gentlemen seated on 
die stage. They were soon liberated, on making it appear 
that they were the Zing's Servants* The Prtnce visited the 
booth* 



I 



120 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Other exhibitions has the saint had beside his 
own. Exhibitions, as a nuisance,^ from that corpus 
sine pectore^ the London common council ! ^^ Do 
thou amend thy face /'' was the reply of Falstaff to 
Bardolph, when the owner of the ^^ fiery trigon^^ 
inflicted a homily on that ^^ sweet creature of 
bombast.**^ How mnch more needful, sons of 
repletion ! is reform to yauj than the showman, 
who seldom sees any punch but his own ; the Jack- 
Pudding, who grins wofully for a slice of his 
namesake ; and the *^ strong man,**^ who gets little 
else between his teeth but his table ! Why not 
be merry your own way^ and let mountebanks be 
merry theirs? Are license and excess to be en- 
tirely on the side of " robes and furred gowns ?'* 
The ^endment of Bardolph^s face (nose /) per «e, 
was not a crying case of necessity; a burning 



* In " A Pacquet from Wills, 1701," an actress of « the 
Playhouse," writing to " a Stroller in the Country,*' says, ** My 
dear Harlequin, I hoped, according to custom, at the grand 
revels of St. Bartholomew to have solaced ourselves with 
roast pig and a hottle. But the master of that great bee-hive, 
the ctfy, to please the canting, zealous hom-heads, has buzzed 
about an order there shall be no fair ! The chief cause, say 
the reformers, Is the profane drolls ( Whittington to wit) that 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 121 

shame to be extinguished with a zeal hot as the 
" fire o' juniper.'' It only became so in conjunction 
with the reformation of Falstaff 's morals !^ Be 



ridicule the city's majesty, by hiring a paunch-bellied porter 
«t half-a-crown a day, to represent an Alderman in a scarlet 
gown / when a lean-ribbed scoundrel in a blue jacket, for mi- 
micking a fooly shall have forty shillings V* In 1743, 1750, 
1760, 1798, 1825, and 1840, further attempts were made to 
put down the &ir. In 1760 one Birchy (for whom St. Bar- 
tholomew had a rod in pickle !) bearing the grandiloquent title 
of Deputy City Marshal (II) lost his life in a fray that broke 
out between the suppressing authorities and the fair folk. 

^ If every man attended to his Own affairs, he would find little 
time to pry into those of others. An idle head is the devil's 
garret. Your intermeddler is one who has either nothing to 
do, or having it to do, leaves it undone. It is good to reform 
others ; 'tis better to begin with ourselves. He who censures 
most severely the feults of his neighbour is generally very mer- 
ciful to his own. " One day judgeth another," says old Stow, 
** and the last judgeth all." 

We laugh at the hypocrite when caught in his own snare- 
when guilty of the siqypressio veri, he is openly detected in the 
suggestio Jalsiy and made to pay the penalty of his duplicity. 
An ancient beau, bounding tvith all the vigour and alacrity 
that age, gout, and rheumatism usuaUy inspire, cuts not a 
more ridiculous figure ! 

Heimes, or Mercury, was a thie^ and the god of thieves ; 
Venus, a gay lady ; Bacchus, a wine-bibber ; and Juno, a 
scold. And what apology offers sweet Jack Falstaff, kind 
lack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff, for his 
infirmities? He lets judgment go by de&ult! '^Dostthoi^ 

hear, Hal? thou knowest, in the state of innocency, Adam 

• 

VOL. XI. O 



122 MERRIE ENGLAliD 

your grace^ short, and your xneak long. Abate 
not one slice of venison, one spoonM of turtle* 
Be the fat, white and green, all your own !^ But 
war not with Punch — 

"Let the poor devil eat; allow him that I" 

Curtail not our holiday Septembrisers of their 
fair proportion of fun. 

" To those sentiments,^ exclaimed Deputy 
Doublechin, " I most heartily respond ! '' 



fell ; and what should poor Jack Falstaff do, m these days of 

villany V* 

This is truth as deep as the centre. Whoever shall cast 

a pehble at old Jack after this, must have his conscience Mac- 

adaniised ^ 

» The Rev. R. C. Dillon (Lord Mayor's chaplain in 1826) 

published in 1830 a " Sermon on the evU of fairs in general, 

and Bartholomew Fair in particular." Who would have 

thought that this pious functionary had been so great a foe to 

the fair ? 

The following odd combinations occur in the title of a fer- 
mon published in 1734. ^^ The dtformity of sin cured ; a ser- 
mon preached at St. Michael's Crooked Lane, before the Prince 
of Orange, (the Prince was not quite straight / ) by the Rev. 
J. Crookshanks, Sold by Matthew Denton at the Crooked 
Billet, near Crtjjjp/egate," 

' A physician once observed that he could tell of what courir 
try a man was by his complaint. If it laid in the head^ he waa 
a Scotchman ; if in the hearty he was an Irishman ; if in the sto- 
machy he was an Englishman. 



IN THE OLDBN TIME. ISS 

And as the worshipM depnty^s responses, six 
days ont of the seven, were wet ones, the punch 
and a glee went merrily round. 

Punchinello 'b a jolly good fellow ! 

Making us meny^ and making us mellow. 

In the bowl, in the^^ir too> a cure for dull care too ; 

AU ills that we find flesh or skin and bone heir to i 

Verily he is the spirit of glee^ 

So in him drink to him with three times three I 

Hip I hip ! once, twice^ thrice, and away I 

Punchinello, mon am* ! a votre aanti. 



o2 



124 MEEKIE BNGCAND 



CHAPTER VII. 



(( 



And so, Mr. M^Sneeshing, yon never heard of 
the ingenious ruse played off by Monsieur Scara- 
moach?^ said the Lanreat, as he refireshed his 
nostrils with a parsimoiiioiis pinch from the ninll of 
sandy-poled Geordie, conchologist and confectioner, 
from the land o* cakes. And while Deputy Dou- 
blechin was busy admiring a grotesque illumina- 
tion in Uncle Timothy's Merrie Mysteries, Mr. 
Bosky favoured the company with 

THE UP-TO-SNUFP FRENCH SCARAMOUCH- 

Monsieur Scaramotichy fthaipHset enough^ 

At a Paris dep6t for tobacco and snuff. 

Accosted the customers every day 

With " Pardannez moi^ du Tabae, b^U vouspUtit!** 

He look'd such a gentleman every inch. 
The Parisians all condescended a pmch ; 
Which, taken from Bobadils, barbers, and beaux, 
Went into his jE>ocAef—- instead of his nose I 



/ 



IN THB OLDEN TIME. 1S5 

Scaramouch sold, with a merry ha I ha I 
Ev'ry pinch to his friend, le marehand de (abac : 
Then buyer and seller the price of a franc 
To the noses of all their contributors drank ! 

From boxes supplies came abundant enough, 
He breakfasted, dined, and drank tea upon snuff I 
It found him in fuel, and lodging, and doaths*--* 
He pamper'd the palate by pinching the nose ! 

An ell he would take if you gave him an inch. 
In the shape of a very exorbitant pinch — 
The proverb, AU's fish to the net that shall come. 
Duly directed his finger and thumb. 

One day a dragoon en boHne, and three crosses. 

With a pungent bonne boticke came to treat his proboscis ; 

Our Si5aramouch, sporting his lowest cong6e^ 

Smil'd, *^ Pardonnez moi, du Tabac, s'U vouapldit /" 

*' Volontiers^** and his box, whidh, containing a pound, 
A reg'ment of noses might titillate round. 
Mars offer'd to Scaramouch quick, with a bounce ; 
Whose pinch very soon made it minus an ounce I 

'* Coquin / " and a cane, that he kept for the nonce. 
Of Scaramouch threatened the perriwigg'd sconce; 
Who, feanng a crack, while 'twas flourishing quick, 
Cut in a crack the dragoon and his stick ! 

'^ Had the vay-gabond served me the like o^ 
that^ droned Mr. M^Sneeshing, suddenly rapping 
down the lid of his mull, and looking suspiciously 



1S6 MERRIE ENOLAND 

abont him, to see if there was a Scaramouch 
among the party ! " I 'd ha' crack'd his croon l"^ 
Mr. Bosky's reply all but tripped off his tongae« 
'Twas caviare to the Scotchman, so he suppress- 
ed it, and proceeded with the Merrie Mysteries. 

St. Bartholomew was not to be driven from his 
'^ Rounds'' by the meddling citizens. He kept, on 
a succession of brilliant anniversaries from 1700 to 
1760, his state at his fiur. The Smithfield drama 
had revived under the judicious management of 
popular actors ;^ the art of legerdemain had reach- 
ed perfection m thq "surprising performances" of 
Mr. Fawkes ;* wrestlingf^ fencing j and single-stick 



* " There is one great playhouse erected in the middle of 
Smithfield for the King's Players, The hooth is the largest 
that was ever huilt." — Dawke^s Netos-lettery 1716. 

* <<Feh. 15. 1731. The Algerine Amhassadors went to see 
FawkeSf who showed them a prospect of Algiers, and raised up 
an apple-tree which hore ripe apples in less than a minute's 
time, of which the company tasted." — Gentleman's Mag. 
Fawkes died May 25, 1731, worth ten thousand pounds. John 
Whitej author of << Arts Treasury, and Hocus Focus ; or a 
Rich Cabinet of Legerdemain Curiosities," was a noted con- 
juror contemporary with Fawkes* 

' Stow, lamenting the decline of wrestlings that used to be 
the pride and glory of Skinners- Well and Finsbury Fields, 
says, " But now of late yeeres, the wrestling is only practised 
on Barthohmeto-day in the aftemoone." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 1^ 

fought their way thither from Stokes^s^ amphithea- 
tre in Islington Road, and FiggV academy for full- 
grown gentlemen in Oxford Street, then "Marybone 
Fields !^ PoweWs puppet-show still gloried in its au- 
tomaton wonders ; Pinchbeck* s musical clock struck 
all beholders with admiration ; and Tiddy Doll^ 



' <^ At Mr. Stokes's amphitheatre, Islington Road, on Mon- 
day, 24th June, 1733, 1 John Seale, Citizen of London^ give 
this invitation to the celebrated Hibernian Hero, Mr. Robert 
Barker, to exert his utmost abilities with me : And I Robert 
Barker accept this invitation ; and if my antagonist's courage 
equal his menaces, glorious will be my conquest ! Attend- 
ance at two ; the Masters mount at five. Vivat Rex et Re- 
gina,** 

** This is to give notice, that to-morrow, for a da/s divert 
sian (! !) at Mr. Stokes's Amphitheatre, a mad bull, dressed up 
with fireworks^ will be baited ; also cudgel-playing for a silver 
cup, and wrestling for a pair of buckskin breeches. Sept. 3rd, 
1729. Gallery seats, 2«. 6c2., 2s., Is. 6d. and Is." 

^ Messrs. Figg and Sutton fought the ^* two first and most 
profound " fencers in the kingdom, Messrs. Holmes and Mac- 
quire : Holmes coming off with a cut on his metacarpus 
from the sword of Mr. Figg. On the 3rd Dec. 11731, a prize 
waa fought for at the French Theatre in the Haymarket, be- 
tween Figg and Sparks, at which the Duke of Lorraine and 
Coimt Kinsi were present ; the Duke was much pleased, and 
ordered them a liberal gratuity. 

' A vendor of gingerbread cakes at Bartholomew and May 
Fairs. His song of « Tiddt/ doll lol lolT' procured him his 
popular sobriquet. 



1S8 HERRIE ENGLAND 

with his gingerbread cocked hat garnished with 
Dutch gold, the prime oddity of the fair, made 
the " Bonnds" ring with his baffooneries. Among 



the galaxy of Bartholomew Fair stars that illu- 
mined this flourishing period was The Right Comi- 
cal Lord Chief Joker, James Spiller, the Mat o' the 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 139 

Mint of the Beggar's Opera, the airs of which he 
sang in a 'Hroly sweet and harmonious tone.^^ His 
conviyial powers were the delight of the merry 
butchers of Clare-Market, the landlord of whose 
house of call, a quondam gaoler, but a humane 
man, deposed the original sign of the ^' Bull and 
Butcher,'^ and substituted the head of Spiller. 
His vis comica, leering at a brinmiing bowl, is pre- 
fixed to his Life and Jests, printed in 1729. A 
droll story is told of his stealing the part of the 
Cobbler of Preston (written by Charles Johnson,) 
out of Pinkethman^s pocket, after a hard bout over 
the bottle, and carrying it to Christopher Bullock^ 
who instantly fell to work, and concocted a farce 
^iHtb the same title a fortnight before the rival 
^ author and theatre^ could produce theirs ! The 
dissolute Duke of Wharton, one night, in a frolic, 
obliged each person in the company to disrobe 
himself of a garment at every health that was 
drank. Spiller parted with peruke, waistcoat, and 
coat, very philosophically; but when his shirt 
was to be relinquished, he confessed, with many 
blushes, that he had forgot to put it on ! He 
was a careless, wild-witted companion, often a 

G 5 



130 MERRIE ENGLAND 

tenant of the Marshalsea; till his own ^^ Head"^ 
afforded him in his latter days a safe garrison from 
the harpies of the law. He died Feb. 7, 1729, 
aged 87. A poetical butcher of dare-Market* 
would not let him descend to the grave ^^ without 
the meed of one melodious tear.*^^ 

Other luminaries shed a radiance on the 
" Rounds." Bullock (who, in a merry epilogue, 
tripped up Pinkethman by the heels, and bestrode 
him in triumph, Pinkey returning the compliment 
by throwing him over his head). Mills (fa- 
miliarly called ^* honest Billy Mills ! '' from his 

* " Down with your marrow-bones and cleavers all. 
And on your marrow-bones ye butchers fall ! 
For prayers from you, who never pray'd before. 
Perhaps poor Jemmy may to life restore. 
What have we done ? the wretched bailiff's cry. 
That th* only man by whom we liv'd, should die ! 
Enrag'd, they gnaw their wax, and tear their writs. 
While butchers' wives fell in hysteric fits ; 
For sure as they 're alive, poor Spiller^a dead ; 
But, thanks to Jack Legar I we 've got his head. 
He was an inoffensive, merry fellow. 
When sober, hipp'd ; blythe as a bird, when mellow/* 

For SpiUer's benefit tkkety engraved by Hogarth, twelve gui- 
neas have been given ! There is another, of more dramatic 
interest, with portraits of himself and his wife in the Cobbler 
of Preston. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 131 

kind disposition). Harper (a lusty fat man, with 
a countenance expressive of mirth and jollity, the 
nval of Quin in Falstaff, and the admirable Job- 
son to Kitty Olive's inimitable Nell). Hippisley 
(whose first appearance the audience always greet* 
ed with loud laughter and applause). Chapman 
(the Pistol and Touchstone of his day). Jot 
Miller^ (whose name is become synonymous with 
good and bad jokes ; a joke having ironically 
been christened a Joe Miller^ to mark the wide 



' This reputed wit was, after all, a moderately dull fellow. 
His book of Jests is a joke not by him, but upon him : a joke 
by Joe being considered la chose impossible. As an actor, he 
never rose to particular eminence. His principal parts were 
Sir Joseph Wittol and Teaguje, There are two portraits of 
him. One, in the former character, prefixed to some editions 
of his Jests ; and a mezzotinto, in the latter, an admirable 
likeness, full of force and expression. The^rs^ and second 
editions of " Joe Miller's Jest^' appeared in 1739. They are 
so scarce that four guineas have been given for a copy at book 
auctions. From a slim pamphlet they have increased to a 
bulky octavo ! He died August 15, 1738, at the age of 54, 
and was buried on the east side of the churchyard of St. Cle» 
ment Danes. We learn from the inscription on his tomb- 
stone (now illegible) that he was '^ a tender husband^ a sincere 
Jriendy 2^ facetious companion^ and an excellent comedian.^' Ste- 
phen Duck, the favourite bard of "good Queen Caroline," 
wrote his epitaph* 



133 U^RRIG ENGLAND 

contrast between joking and Joe!). Hallam^ 
(whom Macklin acddentally killed in a qnarrel 
about & stage wig). Woodward, VateSy Skutery" 



' A Tery rare portmit of Hallam represents him Btandiag 
before the stage-lights, holding in one hand a wig, and point- 
ing -with the other to " An infatlihU receipt to make a iricked 
manager of a theatre," (a mercileea satire on Macklin,) dated 
" Cheiter, Aup. 20, 1760." A itiek ia ihruat into his left eye 
^y one behind the scsne^. For this accident, nhich caused 
his death, Macklin was tried at the Old Bailey in May, 1735, 
and found gnilty oi mmalaughter. 

• When actors intend to abridge a piece they say, " We will 
John Avdla/ itl" It originated thus. In the vear 1740, 
Shuter played drolls at Barl/iolonieo! Fair, and was wont to 
lengthen the exhibition until a sufficient numbe of people 
were collected at the door to £11 his booth. The OTent was 
signified by a Merry Andrew crying out from the gallery, 
" John Au^eyl" aaif in theacl of inquiry after such a person. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. ISS 

and tery early in life, little Quick} Ned had 
a eineere regard for Mr, Whitfield^ and often at* 
tended his ministry at Tottenham Court ChapeL 



though his intention was to inform Shuter there was a fresh 
audience in high expectation helow! In consequence of this 
hint, the droll was cut short, and the hooth cleared for the new 
crop of impatient expectants I Skitter occasionally spent his 
evenings at a certain ** Mendicants' convivial cluh," held at 
the Welch's Heady Dyott Street, St. Giles's ; which, in 1638, 
kept its quarters at the Three Crowns in the Vintry. 

' During one of Quick's provincial excursions the stage-coach 
was stopped by a highwayman. His only fellow traveller, a 
taciturn old gentleman, had fallen fast asleep. << Your nKmey" 
exclaimed Turpin's first cousin. Quick, assuming the dialect 
and manner of a raw country lad, replied with stupid astonish- 
ment, " Mooney, zur I uncle there (pointing to the sleeping 
beauty,) pays for I, twinpikes and all!" The highwayman 
woke the dozer with a slap on the face, and (in classical 
phrase) cleaned him out, leaving our little comedian in quiet 
possession of the golden receipts of a bumper. 

Upon one occasion he played Richard III. for his benefit. 
His original intention was to have acted it with becoming 
seriousness ; but the public, who had anticipated a travesties 
would listen to nothing else ; and Quick (with the best tragic 
intentions !) was reluctaaritly obliged to humour them. When 
he qame to the scene where the crook-back'd tyrant exclaims, 

'^A horse ! a horse ! my kingdom for a horse !" 

Quick treated his friends with a hard hit, and by way of putting 
a finishing stroke to the fun, added, with a voice, look, and 
gesture perfectly irresistible, 

<* And if you can't get a horse^ bring dk jackass ?" 



134 MERRIB ENGLAND 

One Sunday morning he was seated in a pew 
opposite the pulpit, and while that pious, eloquent, 
but eccentric preacher, was earnestly exhorting 
sinners to return to the fold, he fixed his eyes 
full upon Shuter, adding to what he had previously 
said, ^' And thou, poor Ramble^ {Ramble was one 
of NeS^a popular parts,) who hast so long rambled^ 
come you also ! O ! end your ramblinga and 
return.'" Shuter was panic-struck, and said to 
Mr. Whitfield after the sermon was over, ** I 
thought I should have fainted ! How could you 
use me so?^^ 

Cow-Lane and Hosier-Lane " Ends"*' were great 
monster marts. At the first dwelt an Irish giant, 
Mr. Cornelius M'Qrath, who, if he " lives three 
years longer, will peep into garret windows from 
the pavement:^' and the "Amazing" Corsican 
Fairy. " Hosier-Land End" contributed " a tall 
EngUsh youth, eight feet high ;" two rattle-snakes, 
'^ one of which rattles so loud that you may hear 
it a quarter of a mile off;" and " a large piece 
of water made with white flint glass," containing 
a coffee-house and a brandy-shop, running, at 
the word of command, hot and cold fountains 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 135 

of strong liquor and strong tea ! The proprietor 
Mr. Charles Butcher's poetical invitation ran 
thus: — 

<< Come^ and welcome^ my friends^ and taste ere you pass^ 
'Tis but sixpence to see it, and two-pence each glass/' 



The ** German Woman that danced over-against 
the Swan Tavern by Hosier Lane/^ having " run 
away from her mistress,^ diminished the novelties 
of that prolific quarter. But the White Hart, 
in Pye-Comer, had " A little fairy woman from 
Italy, two feet two inches high ;^ and Joe Miller^ 
" over-against the Cross-Daggers," enacted " A 
new droll called the Tempest, or the Distressed 
Lovers; with the Comical Humours of the In* 
chanted Scotchman ; or Jockey and the three 
witches l^ 

Hark to yonder scarlet beefeater, who hath 
cracked his voice, not with ^^ hallooing and singing 
of anthems," but with attuning its dulcet notes 
to the deep-sounding gong! And that burly 
trumpeter, whose convex cheeks and distended 
pupils look as if, like ^olus, he had stopped his 
breath for a time, to be the better able to dis- 



136 MERRIE ENGLAND 

charge a harricane ! Listen to their music, and 
you shall hear that Will Pinkethman hath good 
store of merriments for his laughing friends at 
" Hall, and Oates's Booth next Pye-Comer,^ 
where, Sept. 2, 1729, will he presented The 
Merchant's Daughter of Bristol; "a diverting *** 
Opera, called The Country Wedding ; and the 
Comical Humours of Roger. — The Great Turk 
by Mr. Giffard, and Roger by Mr, Pinkethman. 

Ha ! " lean Jack," jolly-facM comedian. Har- 
per, thou body of a porpoise, and heart of a 
tittlebat ! that didst die of a round-house fever ; ■ 
and //cc,* rosy St. Anthony ! thy rival trumpeter, 

^ Harper^ being an exceedingly timid man, was selected for 
prosecution by Highmore, the Patentee of Drury Lane, for 
joining the revolters at the Haymarket. He was imprisoned, 
but though soon after released by the Court of King's Bench, 
he died in 1742, of a fever on his spirits, 

^ Anthony Lee, or Leigh, (famous for his performance of 
GomeZy in Dryden's play of the Spanish Friar,) and Cave 
Underhilly diverting themselves in Moorfields, agreed to get up 
a sham quarrel. They drew their swords, and with fierce 
countenances advanced to attack each other. Cave (a very 
lean man) retreated over the rails, followed by Lee (a very fat 
man) ; and after a slight skirmish, retired to the middle of the 
field. Tony puffed away after him ; a second encounter took 
place ; and, when each had paused for awhile to take breath, 
a third ; at the end of which, there being a saw-pit^ near them. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 137 

with his mbicimd phjriognomy screened beneath 
the nmbiage of a mi^inificent bowsprit, proclaim 
at the Hospital Gate " The Siege of Berthalia ; 
with the Comical Hmnonra of Rustego and his 
man Terrible." 



What an odd-favonred momitebank ! *' a thread- 
bare jnggler, and a forttine-teUer, a needy, hollow- 
ey*d, sharp-looking wretch," with a nose crooked 
as the walls of Troy, and a chin like a shoeing 



they 'both jumped into it! The mob, to pteTent murder, 
scampered to the pit, when to their great surprise they found 
the redoubtable heroea hand in hand in a truly comical posture 
of reconciliation, which occasioned much laughter to some, 
while others (having been made fools of!) were too angry to 
relish the joke. The mock combatants then retired to a 
neighbouring tavem to refresh themselves, and get rid of a 
' troublesome tumult.— TAe Comedian'i Taki, 1729. 



138 MERRIB ENGLAND 

horn; those two features having become more 
Ultimately acquainted, because his teeth had &llen 
out ! Behold him jabbering, gesticulating, and 
with auricular grin, distributing this Bartholomew 
FairbiU. 

« Sept. 3, 1729. At Bullock's Great Theatrical 
Booth will be acted a Droll, called Dorastus and 
Faunia, or the Royal Shepherdess; Flora, an 
opera ; with ToUet^s Rounds ; the Fingalian Dance, 
and a Scottish Dance, by Mrs. Bullock.**^ 

Thine, Hallamj is a tempting bill of fare. ^^ The 
Comical Humours of Squire Softhead and his man 
Bullcalf, and the Whimsical Distresses of Mother 
Catterwall ! '^ With a harmonious concert of 
" violins, hautboys, bassoons, kettle-drums, trum- 
pets, and French horns ! ^^ Thine, too, Htppisley, 
immortal Scapin ! transferring the arch fourberiea 
of thy hero to Smithfield Rounds. At the George 
Inn, where, with Chapman, thou keepest thy 
court, we are presented with ^^ Harlequin Scapin, 
or the Old One caught in a sack ; and the tricks, 
cheats, and shifts of Scapin''s two companions. 
Trim the Barber, and Bounce-about the Bully.'' 
The part of Scapin by thy comical self. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 139 

At this moment a voice, to which the neigh 
of Bncephalos was but a whisper, announced that 
the unfortunate owner had lost a leg and an arm 
in his country'*s service, winding up the catalogue 
with some minor dilapidations, all of which are 
more or less peculiar to those patriots who during 
life find their reward in hard blows and poverty, 
and in death receive a polite invitation to join 
a water party down the pool of oblivion! The 
Laureat paused. 

Mr. M^Sneeshino. ^^ Lost his leg in battle ! — 
ha ! ha ! ha ! — a gude joke ! He means in a 
man-trap ! I should be glad to know what busi- 
ness a pauper body like this has blathering abroad? 
Are there not almshouses, and workhouses, and 
hospitals, for beggars and cripples? Though I 
perfectly agree wi' Sandy M^Grab, Professor^ of 
Humanity 9 that sic like receptacles, and the antt- 
Presbyterian abomination of alms-giving are only 
so many premiums for roguery and vay-gabondism. 
Let every one put his shoulder to the wheel, Ins 



^ At Oxford and Cambridge they write L.L.D. — in Scotlandy 
L.5.D. viz* 05$. 8d, for the diploma ! 



140 MERRIE ENGLAND 

nose to the grindstone, and make hay while the 
sun shmes." 

Mr. Bosky. Bat are there not many on whom 
the sun of prosperity never shone ? 

Mr. M^Sneeshino. Theur unthriftiness and lack 
of foresight alone are to blame ! 

Mr. Bosky. Is to want a shilling, to want 
every virtue ? Men think highly of those who 
rapidly rise in the world; whereas nothing rises 
quicker than dust^ straw, and feathers ! Would 
you provide no asylum for adversity, sickness, and 
old age ? 

Mr. M^Snebshiko. Hard labour and sobriety 
(tossing off his heeltap of toddy) will ward off the 
two first, and old age and idleness (yawning and 
stretching himself in his chair) deserve to 

Ma. Bosky. Starve ? 

Mr. M^Sneeshino. To have just as much-^ 
and nae mair /-—as will keep body and soul toge- 
ther ! Would you not revile, rather than relteve, 
the lazy and the improvident ? 

Mr. Bosky. Not if they were hungry and poor !* 



1 u 



In the daily eating this was his custom. (Archbithop 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 141 

Mr. M^SsNEESHiNO. Nor cast them a single 
word of reproach ? 

Mb. Bosky. I would see that they were fed 
first, and then, ^ I reproved, my reproof should 
be no Pharisaical diatribes. The bitterest re- 
{HToaches fall short of that pain which a wounded 
spirit suffers in reflecting on its own errors; a 
lash given to the soul will pfovoke more than the 
body^s most cruel torture. 

Mk. M^Snekshing. Vera romantic, and in the 
true speerit of 

Mb. Boskt. Charity f I hope. 

Mb. M^Sneeshing. Chay-ri-ty? (putting bis 
hand into his coat-pocket.) 



Parker'sy temp. Mizabeth,) The steward, with the servants 
that were gentleman of the better rank, sat down at the tables 
in the hfdl on the right hand ; and the almoner, with the 
clergy, &c., sat on the other side, where there was plenty of 
(Ul sorts of provision. The daily fragments thereof did suffice 
to Jill the tellies of a great number of poor hungry people that 
waited at the gate. And moreover it was the Archbishop^s 
tommand to his servants, that all strangers should be receive d 
and treated with all manner of civility and respect.** 

The poor and hungry Jed and treated with ^^ civility and 
respect!" What a poser and pill for Geordk M^Sneesking 
and Professor M^Grubi 



l4fZ MERRIE ENGLAND 

Mr. Boskt. Don^t ftunble ; the word is not in 
M'Culloch ! 

Mr. M^Sneeshino. Peradventure, Mi^ Bosky, 
you would build a Union poor-house (sarcastically). 

Mb* Bosky. I would not. 

Mb. M'Sneeshinq. An Hospital f (with a sar- 
donic grin !) 

Mb. Bosky. I would ! 

Mb. M^Sneeshino. Where ? 

Mb. Bosky. In' the Human Heart! You may 
not know of such a place^ Mr. M'Sneeshing. Your 
hospital would be where some countrymen of yours 
build castles, in Sky and Ayr / ^^ 

And the Laureat abruptly quitted the room* 
leaving Mr. M^Sneeshing in that embarrassing 
predicament, ^^ Between the deHl and the deep 



sea ! "^ 



But his mission was soon apparent. ^* Three 
cheers for the kind young gentleman ! '" resounded 
from the holiday folks, and a broadside of blessings 
from the veteran tar ! This obftiscated concholo- 
gist Geordie, and he was about to launch a Brutum 
fulmenf a speech de omnibus rebus et quibusdam 
aliis^ as the magging mouthpiece of Professor 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 143 

M^Orab ; when, to the great joy of Deputy Dou- 
blechin, the miserable drone-pipe of this leather- 
brained, leaden-hearted, blue-nosed, frost-bitten, 
starved^nibbler of a Scotch kail-yard, was quickly 
drowned in the sonorous double-bass of our salt- 
water Belisarius. . 

My foes were my country's, my messmates the brave. 
My home was the deck, and my path the green wave ; 
My musick, loud winds, when the tempest rose high—- 
I sail'd with bold Nelson, and heard his last sigh I 

His spirit had fled — we gaz'd on the dead — 
-The sternest of hearts bow'd with sorrow, and bled. 
As o'er the deep waters mov'd slowly his bier, 
What victory, thought we, was ever so dear ? 

Far Egypt's hot sands have long since quench'd my 

sight — 
To these rolling orbs what is sunshine or night ? 
But the fuU blaze of glory that beam'd on thy bay, 
Trafalgar ! still pours on their darkness the day. 

An ominous tap at the window — ^the " White 
Serjeanfs ! '^ invited Geordie to a tSte-i-tSte with a 
singed sheep'^s head, and the additional treat of a 
curtain-lecture, not on political but domestic econo- 
my, illustrated with sharp etchings by Mrs. 
M^Sneeshing^s naiU^ of which his physiognomy had 



rt 



144 MERRIE ENGLAND 

occasionally exliibited proof impresfiions ! To his 
modern Athenian (!) broad brogue, raised in de^ 
fiance of the applauding populace outside, respond- 
ed the polite inquiry, '^ Does your mother know 
you ''re outf" ^ and other classical interrogatories. 
The return of Mr. Bosky was a signal for cheer* 
fulness, mingled with deeper feelings ; during which 
were not forgotten, ^^ Old England's wooden walls ? 
and " Peace to the souls of the heroes /^ 

" Hail I all hail I the warrior's grave. 

Valour's venerable bed, — 
Hail ! the memory of the Brave I 
Hail I the Spirits of the Dead I 



^ Certain csnt phrases strike by their odd sound and apposite 
allusion. " No mistake /" « Who are you f* " Cut my 
lucky f^' ^ Does your mother know you're out I" *^ Hookey!*' 
&c. &c. are terms that metaphorically imply something comi- 
cal. Yet oblivion, following in the march of time, shall cast 
its shadows over their mysterious meanings. On ^^ Hookey /" 
the bewildered scholiast of future ages will hang every possible 
interpretation but the right one; with ^ Blow me tight i*' 
he will give a loose to coi\jecture ; and oft to Heaven will he 
roll his queer eye, the query to answer, " Who are you f" 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 145 



CHAPTER VIII. 

'^ And hail to the living r"" exclaimed Lieutenant 
O'Larry, the Trim of the Cloth Quarter,—" To 
them give we a trophy^ time enough for a tomb !" 
And haying knocked out the ashes of his pipe, 
he tuned it, and (beating time with his wooden 
leg) woke our enthusiasm with 

WATERLOO. 

And was it not the proudest day in Britain's annals 

bright? 
And was he not a gallant chief who fought the gallant 

fight? 
Who broke the neck of tyranny, and left no more to do ? — 
That chief was Arihwr WeUingUml that fight was 

Waterloo ! 

0, when on bleak Cortmna's heights he reared his ban- 
ner high^ 
Britannia wept her gaUant Moore; her 8catter*d armies 

fly- 

VOL. II. H 



146 MERRIE ENGLAND 

To raise her glory to the« stars^ and kindle hearts of 

flame, 
The mighty victor gave the word, the master-spirit 

came. 

Poor Soult, like Pistol with his leek ! he soon compelled 

to yield ; 
And then a glorious wreath he gain'd on Talavera*8 field. 
See ! quick as lightning, flash by flash ! another deed 

is done — 
And Marmont has a battle lost, and Salamanca *s won. 

The shout was next " Fittoria /"—all Europe join'd the 

strain. 
Ne'er such a fight was fought before, and ne*er will be 

again I 
Quoth Arthur, "With Hh' InvinciUes* another bout 

rUtry; 
And show you when ' the Captain ' comes a better by 

and by I" 

But lest his sword should rusty grow for want of daily 

use. 
He gave the twice-drubb'd SouU again a settler at 

TouiUmae. 
His Marshals having beaten all, and laid upon the shelf. 
He waits to see " the Captain " come, and take a turn 

himself. 

Now Arthur is a gentleman, and alwat/s ke^ his ward; 
And on the eighteenth day of June the cannons loud 
were heard ; 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 147 

The flow'r of England's chivalry their conq'ror rallied 

round; 
A sturdy staff to cudgel well ''the Captain'* off the 

ground ! 

"Come on, ye fighting vagabonds!" amidst a show'r 

of balls, 
A shout is heard; the voice obey'd — ^the noble Picton 

faUs! 
On valour's crimson bed behold the bleeding Howard 

lies— 
Oh ! the heart beats the muffled drum when such a 

hero dies ! 

The cuirasmra they gallop forth in polish'd coats of 

mail: 
'' Up, GiLords, and at 'em /" and the shot comes rattling 

on like hail ! 
A furious charge both man and horse soon prostrates and 

repels. 
And all the cuirassiers are cracked like lobsters in their 

sheUs I 

Where hottest is the fearful fight, and fire and flame 

illume 
The darkest cloud, the dunnest smoke, there dances 

Arthurs plume ! 
That living wall of British hearts, that hollow square, 

in vain 
You mow it down — see ! Frenchmen, see ! the phalanx 

forms again. 

h2 



148 MERRIE ENGLAND 

The meteor-plume in majesty still floats along the 

plain — 
Brave^ bonny Scots I ye fight the field of Bannockbiim 

again I 
The Gallic lines send forth a cheer; its feeble echoes 

die— 
The British squadrons rend the air — and " Victory /" 

is their cry. 

*T was helter-skelter, devil take the hindmost, sauve 
qui petit, 

With "Captain" and " Invincibies" that day at Wa- 
terloo f 

how the Beiges show'd their backs I but not a Briton 
stirr'd — 

His warriors kept the battle-field, and Arthur kept his 
word. 

** Hnrrah ! hurrah ! hurrah ! '^ 

When the cheering had subsided, 

"Good morning (bowed Mr. Bosky) to your 
conjuring cap, Wizard of St, Bartlemy ! Name- 
sake of Guido^ in tatterdemalion dialect, ' Old 
Guy!'* who, had he possessed your necromantic 
art, would have transformed his dark lantern 
into a magic one, and ignited his powder without 
lucifer or match ; yourself and art being a match 
for Lucifer ! What says that mysterious scroll P 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 14S 

adorned with 'lively sculptures^ of Mr. Punch's 
scaramouches, (formerlj Mrs, Charke't,^) and il- 
luminated with your picture in a preternatural 
{pretty natural ?) wig, every curl of which was 
woven fay the feiry fingers of Queen Mab ! " 



" Mr. FawkeSf at his booth over-againat the 
King's Head, exhibits his incomparable dexterity 
of hand, and Pinchbeck''8 musical dock, that plays 
several fine tones, imitates the DOtes of different 
birds, and shews ships sailing in the nrer. You 
will also be entertained with a surprising tumbler 
just arrived &om Holland, and a Lilliputian pos- 
ture-master, only five years old, who performs 
such wonderful turns of body, the like of which 

' The deserted daughter of CoHey Gibber, of whose erratic 
life some passageB are recorded in her aatobiography. 1755. 



150 MERRIE ENGLAND 

was never done by a child of his age and bigness 
before."— 1730. 

At the Hospital Oate, ('^all the scenes and 
decorations entirely new,'**) Joe Miller^ <^ honest 
Billy Milla^ and Oatea^ invite us to see a new 
opera, called The Banished General, or the Dis- 
tressed Lovers; the English Maggot, a comic 
dance ; two harlequins ; a trumpet and kettle- 
drum concert and chorus; and the comical hu- 
mours of Nicodemus Hobble- WoUop, Esq. and 
his Man Gudgeon ! Squire Nicodemus by the 
facetious Joe, And at the booth of Fawkesy 
Pinchbeck and Terwin^ ^' distinguished from the 
rest by bearing English coloursy'" will be per- 
formed Britons Strike Home ;^ ^' Don Superbo 



* As if to redeem the habitual dulness of Joe Miller, one 
solitary joke of his stands on respectable authority. Joe, sit- 
ting at the window of the Sun Tavern in Clare Street, while 
a fish-woman was crying, ** "Buy my soles ! Buy my makk /" 
exclaimed, " Ah ! you wicked old creature ; you are not con- 
tent to sell your oum soul, but you must sell your maitTs 
too ! " 

' The commander of the General Emouf (French sloop of 
war) hailed the Reynard sloop, Captain Coghlan, in English, to 
strike. " Strike J *' replied the Briton, " that I willy and very 
hard ! " He stiuck so very hard, that in thirty-five minutes 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 151 

Hispaniola Pistole by Mr, C — b — r, and Donna 
Americana by Mrs, CI — re, the favourite of the 
town \^ Dare Conjuror Fawkes insinuate that 
Cibbery if he did not actually " wag a serpent- 
tail in Smithfield fair,'' still put on the livery of 
St. Bartholomew, in the Brummagem Don Pistole.^ 
That Kitty Clive^ the termagant of Twickenham ! 
with whom the fastidious and finical Horace Wal- 
pole was happy " to touch a card," bedizened in 
horrible old frippery, rioted it in the " Rounds ?'' 
If true^ what a standing joke for David Garrick, 
in their " combats of the tongue ! '" Kfalse, ** sur- 
prising and incomparable'' must have been thy 
*• dexterity of hand," base wizard ! which shielded 
that bold front of thine from the cabalistic retri- 
bution of her nails ! 

Leverigo the Quack, and his Jack Pudding 
Pinkanello, have mounted their stage ; and, hark ! 
the Doctor (Leveridgey famous for his " O the 
Roast Beef of Old England /") tunes his manly 



his shot set the enemy on fire, and in ten minutes more she 
blew up ! Captain Coghlan now displayed equal energy in 
endeavouring to rescue his vanquished foe ; and, by great ex- 
ertions, fifty-five out of a crew of one hundred were saved. 



152 UERRIE ENGLAND 

pipes, accompanied by that squeaking^ Vice ! for 

the Mountehank't tong} la another qaarter, 



'" Here are people and sports of all sizes and sorts, 
Cook-msad and squire, &ud mob in the mire ; 
TarpaullnB, FrugmalioDS, Lords, Ladies, Sons, Babies, 

And Loobies in scores : 
Some howliog, some bawling, some leering, some fleering ; 

While Punch kicks his wife out of doots I 
To a tavern some go, and some to a show. 
See poppets, for moppets ; Jack-Puddings tor Cuddens ; 
Hope-dancing, maies prancing ; boats flying, quacks lying ; 
Pick-pockets, Pick-plackets, Beasts, Butchers, and Beaux ; 
Fops prattling. Dice rattling, Punks painted. Masks titinied. 

In Tally-man's fiirbelow'd cloaths !" 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 153 

Jemmy Laroch * warbles his raree-show ditty ; 
while Old Harry petena^es the gaping juveniles 



' Here 's tie English and French U> each other most civil, 
Sliake hands and be friends, and hug Lke de devil ! 

Raree-thoie, Sec. 
Here Ik de Great 3Vft, and the s^te&t Kmg of no land, 
A galloping traveljr for Uta^ary and Poland. 

O Raree-Aou), &c. Here 's 



154 MERRIE ENGLAND 

to take a peep at his gallant show.^ Duncan 
Macdonald * « of the Shire of Caithness, Gent.^ 



Here 'b de brave English Beau for the Packet Boat tarries, 
To go his campaign vid his tadlor to Paris. 
O Rareeshowy &c. 

Here be de English ships bringing plenty and riches, 
And dere de French caper a-mending his breeches ! 
Raree-shoWy &c. 

' " Old Harry with his Raree-show." A print by Sutton 
Nicholls, with the following lines. 

" Reader, behold the Efigie of one 
Wrinkled by age, decrepit and forlome, 
His tinkling bell doth you together call 
To see his Raree-showy spectators all, 
That will be pleas'd before you by him pass, 
To put a farthing, and look through his glass. 
'Tis so long since he did himself betake 
To show the louse, the flea, and spangled snake. 
His NippotatCy which on raw flesh fed, 
He living shew'd, and does the same now 's dead. 
The bells that he when living always wore. 
He wears about his neck as heretofore. 
Then buy Old Harry y stick him up, that he 
May be remember'd to posterity.'* 
* " With a pair of French post boots, under the soles of 
which are fastened quart-bottles, with their necks downwards, 
Mr. Macdonald exhibits several feats of activity on the slack 
wire ; after this he poises a wheel on his right toe, on the top 
of which is placed a spike, whereon is balanced by the edge a 
pewter-plate ; on that a board with sixteen wine-glasses ; and 
on the summit a glass globe, with a wheaten straw erect on the 
same. He then fixes a sharp-pointed sword on the tip of his 



» 



f 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 



tella, how having taken part in the Rebellion of 
1745, he fled to France, where, being a good 



dancer, he hoped to get a living by his heels. 

nose, on the pommel of which he baJaucea a tobacco-pipe, and 
on its bowl two eg^ erect I With his left forefinger he euE- 
taitis a chair with a dog sitting in it, and two feathers standing 
erect OD the nobs ; and to shew the strength of his wrist, 
there are two weights of lOOlbs. each fiistened to the legs of 
the chair i " &c. &c. ' 



Ids MERRIE ENGLAND 

first sight.' The Midaa-eared Mutician ecrapes 



' " Sept. 8, 1767- Daily Advertiser. If the lady who stood 
neBT a yotmg genlieman to see the Dwarf Man and the Black 
in Bartholomew Fair, on Wednesday evening, is single and 
will inform the gentleman (who means the strictest honour) 
where he may once more bare the happiness of meeting her, 
she will be waited on by a person of fortune. The lady wore 
a black satin hat, puffed inside and out, a black cardinal, and 
a genteel sprigged gown." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 1S9 

on his vIoliiLcello a teeth-setting-an-edge volun- 
tary. John Coan^ the Noffolk Pigmy^ motions 
us to his booth ; and Hale the Piper * dancing 
his '^ hornpipey'* bagpipes us a welcome to the 
fair ! 

*' What/' exclaimed the Laureat, *' has become 
of this century of mountebanks ? Ha ! not one 
moving— still as the grave ! ^ 

Mr. Bosky was not often pathetic ; but, being 
suddenly surprised into sentimentality, it is im- 
possible to say what melancholy reflections might 
have resulted from the Merrie Mysteries^ had not 
the landlord interrupted him by ushering into the 
room Uncle Timothy. 



* This celebrated dwarf exhibited at Bartholomew Fair^ 
Aug. 17, 1752. 

* Under an engraving of Hale the Pipery by Sntton Nicholls, 
are the music to his hompipey and the following lines. 

" Before three monarchs I my skill did prove, 
Of many lords and knights I had the love ; 
There 's no musician e'er did know the peer 
Of Hak the Piper in fair Darby Shire. 
The consequence in part you here may know, 
Pray look upon his hornpipe here below." 

Hail I modest piper, and farewell! 



160 MERRIE ENGLAND 

" Welcome, illustrious brother !'*' shouted Depu- 
ty Doublechin. " Better late than never !^' 

Uncle Timothy greeted the President, nodded 
to all around, and shook hands with some old 
stagers nearest the chair. 

" Gentlemen," continued the enthusiastic deputy, 
brimming Uncle Tim's glass, "our noble Vice 
drinks to all your good healths. Bravo ! this 
looks like the merry old times ! We have not a 
moment to lose* To-morrow prostrates this an- 
cient roof-tree ! Shall it be sawed asunder un- 
sung ? No, Uncle Timothy, — no ! rather let it 
tumble to a dying fall !''' 

The satirical-nosed gentleman would as soon 
have been suspected of picking a pocket as eschew- 
ing a pun. 

" Your eloquence, Mr. Deputy, is irresistible, — 
" Man anticipates Time in the busy march of de- 
struction. His own mortal frame, broken by in- 
temperance, becomes a premature ruin ; he fells 
the stately oak in the towering majesty of its 
verdure and beauty ; he razes the glorious temple 
hallowed by Time! and the ploughshare passes 
over the sacred spot it once dignified and adorned ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 161 

Man is ever quarrelling with Time, Time flies 
too swiftly ; or creeps too slowly. His distempered 
vision conjures up a dwarf or a ^ant ; hence Time 
is too short, or Time is too long ! Now Tim^ 
hangs heavy on his hands ; yet for most things he. 
cannot find Time ! Though fmc-serving, he 
makes a lackey of Time ; asking Time to pay his 
debts ; Time to eat his dinner ; Time for all 
things ! He abuses Time, that never gave him a 
hard word ; and, in a fit ofennui^ to get rid of him- 
self^ he kills Time ; which is never recovered, but 
lost in Eternity r And Uncle Timothy, keeping 
time and the tune, sang his retrospective song of 

OLD TIME, 

From boyhood t« manhood^ in fair and rough weather^ 
Old Time ! you and I we have jogg'd on together ; 
Your touch has been gentle, endearing, and bland ; 
A hxA father leading his <on by the hand ! 

In the morning of life, ah ! how tottering my tread — 
(True symbol of age ere its joimiey is sped I) 
But Time gave me courage, and fearless I ran — 
I held up my head, and I march'd like a man I 

Old Time brought me friendship, and swift flew the 

hours; 
Life seem'd an Elysium of sunshine and flowers ! 



U)2 MERRIE ENGLAND 

The flower8> but in memory, bear odour and bloom ; 
And the sun set on friendship, laid low in the tomb I 

Yet, Time, shall I blame thee, tho' youth's happy glow 
Is fled from my cheeks, that my locks are grey ? — No ! 
What more can I wish (not abusing my prime) 
To pilot me home, than a friend like Old Tirne ? 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 163 



CHAPTER IX. 

^' Quite at home ^'^ is a comfortable phrase ! 
A man may be in his own house, and ^^ not at 
homeC or a hundred miles away firom it, and 
yet " quite at homer" " Quite at home " denotes 
absence of restraint (save that which good breed- 
ing imposes)) ostentatious display, affected style, 
and the petty annoyances of your small gentry, 
who clumsily ape their betters. Good entertain- 
ment, congenial company, pleasant discourse, the 
whole seasoned with becoming mirth, and tem- 
pered with elegance and refinement, make a man 
" Quite at homeP ^^Not at hom^"^ is when Mister 
mimics Captain Grand, and Madam is in her 
tantrums ; when our reception is freezing, and the 
guests are as sour as the wine ; when no part or 
interest is taken in our pursuits and amusements ; 
when frowns and discouragements darken our 



4 



164 MERRIE ENGLAND 

threshold; when the respect that is paid us by 
others is coldly received, or wilftdly perverted 
by those whose duty it is to welcome to our 
hearth the grateful tribute; and when we are 
compelled to fly from home in order to be at 
home. *' Quite at home " is quite the contrary ! 
Then are affection, cheerfulness, mutual confi- 
dence, and sympathy, our household gods : every 
wish is anticipated, every sorrow soothed, and 
every pleasure shared ! 

Mr. Bosky, in his snug dining-parlour, enter- 
taining a small party, was ^^ Quite at home ! '''* 
There were present, Mr. Merripall, Deputy Double- 
chin, Mr. Crambo the Werter-feced young gentle- 
man, who looked (as the comical coffin-maker 
hinted) " in prime twig to take a journey down a 
pump ! '*• Mr. Titlepage of Type Crescent ; Mr. 
Flumgarten (who had left his ^^ Hollyhock'*'' to 
** waste her sweetness '*'' on Pa^ Ma^ and Master 
Guy Muff!) '^ and Borax Bumps, Esq. the crani- 
ologist. ^Tis an easy thing to collect diners-out. 
High-feeding ; the pleasure of criticising the taste 
of our host; quizzing his cuisine, and reckoning 
to a shade the expence of taking ^' the shine ^^ 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 165 

out of him when we have our revenge ! never fail 
to attract a numerous gathering. " Seeing com- 
pany,*" in the fashionable sense of the word, is 
a series of attempts to eclipse those who are civil 
or silly enough to entertain us. Extremes belong 
to man only. There are some niggards who shut 
out all society; fasting themselves and making 
their doors fast ! 

Plentiful cheer, good humour, and a hearty wel- 
come enlivened Mr. Bosky^s table, the shape of 
which was after the fashion of King Arthur Sj 
and the beef (this Mr. Bosky called having a 
round with his friends !) was after the fashion of 
the table. The party would have been a round 
dozen, but for the temporary absence of Messrs. 
Hatband and Stiflegig, who stood sentinel at a 
couple of door-posts round the comer, and were 
not expected to be off guard until a few glasses 
had gone round. The conversation was various 
and animated* Deputy Doublechin, who had a 
great genius for victuals, declaimed with civic 
eloquence upon the ow-and-o^-the-river cham- 
pagne, white bait, venison and turtle treats, for 
which Gog and Magog, and the City Chamber 



166 MERRIE ENGLAND 

'^ stood Sam ;'' the comical coffin-maker rambled 
on a pleasant excursion to the cemeteries; Mr. 
Titlepage discoursed fluently upon waste demy; 
Mr. Bumps examined the craniums of the com- 
pany, commencing with the " destructive^'''' " adke- 
sive^'* " acquisitive^ " imaginative^ and " philcr 
progenitive^ developements of Deputy Doublechin ; 
Mr. Plumgarten, who was " Quite at homeT'' 
proved himself a master of every subject, and was 
most facetious and entertaining ; and the Bard of 
Bleeding Hart Yard, after reciting a couplet of 
his epitaph upon an heroic young gentleman who 
was hung in chains, 

" My imcle's son lies here below. 
And rests at peace — when the wind don't blow I" 

sang, moderato con anima^ his 

LEGEND OF KING'S-CBOSS. 

Those blythe Bow bells ! those blythe Bow bells ! a merry 

peal they ring, 
And see a band of beaux and belles as jocund as the 

spring; 
But who is she with ^psy hat and smart pink satin 

shoes ? 
The lily fiur o^Jocketfs Fields, the darling of the mews. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 167 

But where b jimmy Ostler John, whom folks call '* stable 

Jack " ? 
Alas ! he cannot dance the hey^ his heart is on the rack. 
The Coip'ral 's cut him to the core, who marries Betsy 

Brown ; 
The winter of his discontent he spends at Somers' Town. 

A pot of porter off he toss'd, then gaye his head a toss, 
And look'd cross-buttocks when he met his rival at King's- 

Cross ; 
The Coip'ral held right gallantly to widows, maids, and 

wives, 
A bunch of roses in his fist, and Jack his bunch of fives. 

Cry'd Betsy Brown, ** All Troy I '11 to a tizzy bet, 'tis 

he! 
I never thought to see you more, methought you went 

to sea: 
That you, the crew, and all your togs, (a mouthful for a 

shark !) 
Good for nothing, graceless dogs I had perish'd in a bark.'' 

" I *m him as was your lover true, perjur'd Betsy 

Brown I 
Your spark firom Dublin up, 1 11 soon be doubling up in 

town I 
If, Pat, you would divine the cause, behold this nymph 

divine; 
You 've won the hand of Betsy Brown, now try a taste 

otminef** 



168 MERRIE ENGLAND 

The Corp'ral laid a bet he'd beat, but Betsy held her rib— 
" Be aisy, daisy I — Lying lout ! we 'U see which best can 

fibr 

A trick worth two I '11 shew you, by St. Patrick, merry 

saint!" 
Poor Betsy fainted in his arms — the Corp'ral made a 

feint. 

Jack ey'd the pump, and thither hied, and filled a bucket 

quick. 
And chuck'd it o'er his chuck, for fear she should the 

bucket kick ; 
Then gave a ^tender look, and join'd a tender in the 

river— 
What afterwards became of him we never could diskiver. 

" The City of London and the trade thereof/' 
and other standing toasts, having been drunk with 
the accustomed honours, Uncle Timothy addressed 
Mr. Bosky, 

" Thy Epilogue, Benjamin. Drop we the cur- 
tain on this mountebank drama, and cry quittance 
to conjurors.^ 

Mr. Bosky. But what is an Epilogue without 
a dress coat, a chapeau hraa^ black velvets and paste 
buckles ? Nous verrons ! 

And the Laureat rose, put on a stage face, stood 
te{^pot fashion, and poured out his soul. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 169 

Mb. Bo8K7. Knights of the TahU Round ! in yene 

sablime^ 
I fidn would tell how once upon a time^ 
When George the Second^ royally interr'd, 
Resign'd his sceptre to King George the 

Third 

Ukclb Tim. Bosky, dismounting Pegaeue, suppose 

You sit^ and speak your epUogue mprosOf 
Not in falsetto flat^ and thro' the nose^ 

Like those 
Who warble "knives to grind," and cry 
"old clothes I" 

Mr. Bosky (resuming his seat and natural voice). 
The monarch, glorying in the name of Briton, as- 
sumed the imperial diadem amidst the acclama- 
tions of his loyal subjects; the mimCf though 
not Briton bom, but naturalized, had done no- 
thing to alienate his right comical peers, or di- 
minish his authority in the High Court and 
Kingdom of Queerummania. But Punch had 
&llen on evil times and tongues. A few sticks 
of the rotten edifice of utilitarianism had been 
thrown together; men began to prefer the dry, 
prickly husks of disagreeable truths, to the whipt- 
syllabubs of pleasant fiction ; all recreations were 

VOL. II. I 



170 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

resolving themselves in ** Irishman's Holiday ;""' 
(change of work /) the vivacity of small beer, 
and the strength of workhouse gruel ! an unjolly 
spirit had again come over the nation ; and people 
thought that by making this world a hell upon 
earth, they were nearer on their road to heaven ! 
The contemporaries of Punchy too, had declined 
in respectability. A race of inferior conjurors 
succeeded to the cups and balls of Mr. Fawkes ; 
the equilibrists and vaulters' danced more like 
a pea on a tobacco-pipe, than artists on the wire ; 
and a troop of barn-door fowls profaned the classic 



^ ^ Mr. Maddox balances on his chin seven pipes in one . 
another; a chair, topsy-turvy, and a coach-wheel. Also a 
sword on the edge of a wine-glass ; several glasses brim full of 
liquor ; two pipes, cross-ways, on. a hoop ; a hat on his nose ; 
and stands on his head while the wire is in full swing, without 
touching it with his hands." These performances he exhibit- 
ed at Sadler's Wells, the Haymarket Theatre, &c. from 1753 
to 1770. 

" At the New Theatre Royal in the Haymarket this day, 
the 24th October, 1747, will be performed by a native Turk, 
Mahommed Caratha, the most surprising equilibres on the 
slack-rope, without a balance. 

^' Perhaps where Lear has rav'd, and Hamlet died, 
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride ; 
Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance?) 
Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 171 

boards on which Dogget^ Pinkethman^ and Sptller^ 
once crowed so triumphantly. Dame Nature^ 
whose freaks in former times had contributed 
much to the amusement of the fair, turned spite- 
ful — ^for children were bom perversely well-pro- 
portioned ; so that a dwarf (" Hamunculi quanti 
sunt cum recogito ! '") became a great rarity in the 
monster market ; giants, like ground in the city, 
fetched three guineas a foot; humps ros^, and 
the woods and forests were hunted for wild men. 
The same contradictory spirit ruled the animal 
creation. Cows had heretofore been born with 
a plurality of heads; and calves without tails 
were frequently retailed in the market. The pig, 
whose aptitude for polite learning had long been 
proverbial, sulked over his A B C, and deter- 
mined to be a dunce ; the dog ^ refrised to be 



* In the year 1753, ** Mrs. Midnight's company" played at 
the Little Theatre in the Haymarket. A monkey acted the 
part of a waiter ; and three dogs, as Harlequin, Pierroty and 
Columbine, rivalled their two-legged competitors ; a town was 
besieged by dogs, and defended by monkeys, the latter tum- 
bling their assailants over the battlements. The dogs and 
monkeys performed a grand ballet; and a couple of dogs, 
booted and spurred, mounted a brace of monkeys, and gal- 
lopped off in Newmarket style. We are not quite certain 

i2 



173 . UBRRIE ENGLAND 

taught to danoe ; and the monkey,' at all times 
a tnuop-card, forswore spades and diam<»tdB. 
There was a mortality among the old dwaiis 
and Merry Andrews ;' and the glory of Bar- 
tlemy Fair, Roast Pig, had departed ! That 



whether Mrs. Midnight and her comedians travelled to for 
e&et as Bmithfield Ronnde. 

' SpinBCDt&'B monkef Brnnsed the French King and Conrt 
by dancing and tumbling on the ahek and tight rope ; balanc- 
ing a chandelira, a hoop, and a tobacco-pipe, on the tip of his 
noee and ehin, and making a melodramatic exit in a shower of 
fireworks. He afterwards exhibited at Sadler's Wells and Bar- 
tholomew Fair. 

' " August 31, 1768. Died Jonathan Graj, aged nearly one 
hundred year*, the Hunous Merry Andreuif who formerly ex- 
hibited at the^^urf abont London, and gained great applause 
by his actii^ at Covent Garden Theatre, in the enteitaimnent 
called Barlhobineta Fair." 

" October 3, 1777. Yesterday, died in St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital, Thomas Carter, the dvarf, who was exhibited at last 



IN THE OLDEN TIME 173 

crackling dainty, which would make a man man-- 
ger son propre pSre I gave place to horrible fried 
sausages, from which even the mongrels and 
tabbies of Smithfield instinctively turned aside 
with anti-cannibal misgivings ! Unsavoury links ! 
fizzing, fruning, bubbling, and squeaking in their 
own abominable black broth ! **' An ounce of 
civet, good apothecary, to sweeten mine imagina- 
tion ! " Your Bartlemy Pair kitchen is not the 
spice islands. 

In 1614 one of Dame UrsuUCs particular orders 
to Mooncalf wsis to froth the cans well. In 1655, 

" For 2k penny you may see a fine puppet play, 
And for two-pence a rare piece of art ; 
And a penny a can, I dare swear a man 
May put six (!) of 'em into a quarts 

Only six ! Mark to what immeasurable enormity 
these subdivisions of cans had risen fifty years 
after. Well might Roger in Amaze " exclaim, 

Bartholomew Fair. He was about 25 years of age, measuring 
only three feet four inches high. It is supposed that over 
drinking at the fair caused his death/' 

* " Roger in Amaze ; or the Countryman's Ramble through 
Bartholomew Fair, To the time of the Dutch Woman's J^ig* 
1701." 



174 MERRIE ENGLAND 

*' They brought me cans which cost a penny a piece, 
adsheartj 
I 'm zure twelve (I!) ne'er could fill our country quarts 

*' Remember twelve I**' Yet these were days of 
comparative honesty — " a ragged virtue/' which, 
as better clothes came in fashion, was cast off 
by the drawers, and an indescribable liquid suc- 
ceeded, not in a great measure, but '^ small by 
degrees and beautifully less,^ to the transcendant 
tipple of Michael Roots. . From the wry faces 
and twinges of modem drinkers (it seems impos- 
sible to stand upright in the presence of a Bar- 
tlemy Fair brewing !) we guess the tap has not 
materially improved. The advance of prices on 
the ^^Jine puppet play^ * and the two-penny ** rare 
piece of arty'''* were not resisted ; the O.P/s were 

1 << Let me never live to look so high as the two-penny room 
again," says Ben Jonson, in his prologue to Every Man out of 
his Humour, acted at the Qlobe, in 1599. The price of the 
<^ best roomsy^ or boxes, was one shilling ; of the lower places 
two-penccy and of some places only a penny. The two-penny 
room was the gallery. Thus Decker, " Pay your two-pence to 
a player, and you may sit in the gallery,^' — Bellman's Night 
Walk. And Middleton, ^ One of them is a nip, I took him 
once into the two-penny gallery at the Fortune." In Every 
Man out of his Humour there is also mention of ^' the lords* 
room over the stage,** The " lord^ room " answered to the 
present stage-boxes. The price of them was originally one 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 176 

made to mind their P^s and Q's by the terrors 
of the Pied Poudre. 

Ftn* many dismal seasonB the fair dragged on 
from hand to mouth, hardly allowing its exhibitors 
(in the way of refection) to put the one to the 
other. And though my Lord Mayor* and the 
keeper of Newgate might take it cool, (in a tank- 
ard !) it was no laughing matter to the hungry 
mountebank, who could grin nobody into his booth; 
to the thirsty musician (who had swallowed many 
a butt !) grinding on his barrel ; and the starved 
balladmoDger (corn has ears, but not for music !) 
singing for his bread. We hasten to more prospe- 
rous times. "Another glass, and then.*" Yet, 
ere the sand of the present shall have run out, 
good night to St. Bartholomew ! We cannot say 
with Mr. Mawworm^ ** We likes to be despised ! ^^ 
nor are we emulous of " crackers^ unless they ap- 
pertain unto wine and walnuts. But, sooner than 

ikiUing. Thus Decker, in his Gull's Homhook, 1609, ''At a 
new play you take up the twelve-penny room next the stage, 
because the lords and you may seem to be hail fellow, well met." 
^ On the morning the fair is proclaimed, according to an- 
cient custom, his Magnificence the Mayor drinks '' a cool tank- 
ard,'' (not of aqua puray) with that retentive knight, the keeper 
of Newgate. 



176 . M^REIE ENGLAND 

our grotesque friends shall want a chronicler, we 
will apostrophise the learned pig, the pig^faeed 
lady, and the most delicate monster that smokes 
his link for a cigar, picks his teeth with a hay-fork^ 
and takes his snuff with a fire-shovel. Not that w^ 
love Sir Andrew less, but that we love St, BartU^ 
my more. 

Higman Palatini in 1763 delighted the court 
at Richmond Palace, and the commonalty at the 
^* Rounde,^^ with his " surprising deceptions ;'' and, 
gilnng his heel, followed the toe of Mr. Breslaw,^ 



' '^ Mr. Palatine exhibits with pigeons, wigs, oranges, cards, 
handkerchiefs, and pocket-pieces ; and swallows knives, forks, 
punch-ladles, and candle-snuffers." 

• In 1775, Breslaw performed at Cockspur Street, Hay- 
market, and in after years at Hughes's Riding School and Bar- 
tholomew Fair. Being at Canterbury with his troop, he met 
with such bad success that they were almost starved. He 
repaired to the churchwardens, and promised to give the profits 
of a night's conjuration to the pooTy if the parish would pay 
for hiring a room, &c. The charitable bait took, the benefit 
proved a bumper, and next morning the churchwardens waited 
upon the wizard to touch the receipts. " I have already dis- 
posed of dem," said Breslaw, — " de profits were for de poor. 
I have kept my promise, and given de money to my own peo- 
pie, who are ^Qpoore$t in dis parish !'' — " Sir!" exclaimed the 
churchwardens, ** this is a trick ! " — " I know it," replied 
Hocus Pocus, — ^** I live by my tricks!^ 



f9» 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 177 

In after years there fell on Mr, Lan^ f tis a long 
lan& that has never a tnmmgl) a remnant of 
Fawke8*s mantle. But was not our conjuror 
(" you must borrow me the mouth oiGargantua f") 
and his *^ Enchanted Sciatoricwn^ a little too 
much in advance of the age? The march of 
intellect^ had not set in with a very strong 



1 '* Grand Exhibition by Mr. Lane, first performer to the 
King, opposite the Hospital Gate. His Bnehanted Sciaioriam 
will discover to the company the exact time of the day by any 
watch^ though the watch may be in the pocket of a person five 
miles off. The Operation PaUngeneda : any spectator send- 
ing for a couple of eggs, may take the choice of them, and the 
eggj being broke, produces a living bird of the species de- 
sired, which in half a minute receives its full plumage, and 
flies away. The other egg will, at the request of the company, 
leap from one hat to another, to the number of twenty." Then 
follow *^ His Unparalkkd Syn^h^k Figuret/^ '< Magical Tea 
Caddie^' and above one hundred other astonishing tricks for 
the same money. 

' This is the age of progression. Intellect and steam are on 
the quick march and full gallop. Butchers' boys, puffing cigars, 
and lapping well-diluted caldrons of *^ Hunt's Roasted/' illumi- 
nate with penny lore the hitherto undassio shambles of 
Whitechapel and Leadenhall. The mechanic, &r advanced in 
intelligence and gin, roars " animal parliamenUf universal suf- 
J'eringy and vote by bulletJ* And the Sunday School Solo- 
mon, on being asked by meo magister, '' Who was Jeae?*' lisps 
** the Flower of Dumblain T'"^" When was Rome built, my 
little intelligence ?"— « In the nighty sir."—" Eh I How ?"— 

I 5 



178 MERRIE ENGLAND 

current. The three R^s (readings '^riting^ and 
Arithmetic I) comprehended the classical attainments 
of a City Solon and a Tooley Street Socrates. 
But we have since advanced to the learning of Jilr. 
Lane; like the lady, who complained to the 
limner that her portrait looked too ancient for her, 
and received from Mr. Brush this pertinent reply, 
'^ Madam, you will grow more and nK)re like it 
every day !^' Ingleby^ "emperor of conjurors,'*'' 
(who let his magic cat out of the bag in a printed 
book of legerdemain,) and Gyngell played, only 
with new variations^ the same old sleight-of-hand 
tricks over again. The wizard'*s art is down among 
the dead men. 

As " dead men^' died on the Laureates lips, the 



" Because I 've heerd grandmother say, Home wam't built in a 
daif J " — " Avez vom du mal^ monsieur ? " was the question put 
to a young Englishman, after a turn over in the French dili- 
gence. — " JVon," replied the six4essons linguist, " Je n*id qu'uh 
portmanteau!'^ 

* *' Theurgicomination ! or New Magical Wonders, by Sieur 
Inglehy. He plays all sorts of tricks upon cards ; exhibits his 
Pixideei Metallurgy^ or tricks upon medals ; and Operation in 
PopysomancCy being the art of discovering people's thoughts. 
Any gentleman may cut off a cock's head, and at the Sieur's 
bidding it shall leap back to its old quarters, chanticleer giving 
three crows for its recovery ! " 



L, 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 17d 

joyous presence was announced of Mr. Hercules 
Hatband and Mr. Stanislaus Stiflegig. Uncle 
Timothy proposed a glass round ; and to make 
up for lost time (In a libation to mountebanks)^ 
tumblers for the mutes. 

^^ Our nephew ^ is fat, and scant of breath i* we 
will give him a few minutes to recruit. Marma- 
duke Merrlpall, I call upon you for a song.**' 

" An excellent call ! Uncle Timothy,'' shouted 
Deputy Doublechin. 

Up jumped Borax Bumps, Esq. and running his 
dioulder of mutton palms with scientific yelocitiy. 
oyer the curly- wigged cranium of the comical coffin- 
maker, he emphatically pronounced the ^^ organ 
of tune^ to exhibit a musical Pelion among its in^ 
tellectual nodosities. 

" I should take your father, sir, to have been 
a parish clerk, from this mountainous develope- 
ment of Stemhold and Hopkins.'' 

^^My song shall be a toast^^ said the comical 
coffin-maker : 



180 MB&RIE ENO|:iAND 



' « TOASTED CHEESE ! 



if 



Taffjr ap- Tudor he couldn't be worse — 
The Leech havmg bled hhn in person and purse^ 
His cane at his nose^ and his fee in his fob, 
Bow'd off, winking Crape to look out for a job. 

'* Hur Taffy will never awake from his nap I 
Ap-Tudor! ap-Jones! oh I" cried nurse Jeany-ap- 
Shenkin ap-Jenkin ap-Morgan aprRice — 
But Tc^ffy tum'd round, and call'd out in a trice, 

^^ Jenny ap-Rice, hur could eat something nigey 
A dainty Welch rabbit->^o toast hur a slice 
Of cheese, if you please, which better agrees 
With the tooth of poor Taffy than physic and fees." 

A poun4 Jenny got, and brought to his cot 
The prime double Glo'ster, all hot I piping hot I 
Which being a bunny without any bones, 
Was custard with mustard to Taffy ap-Jones« 



" Buy some leeks, Jenny, and brew hur some caudl( 

No more black doses from Doctor McDawdle ! " 

Jenny stew'd down a bunch into porridge (Welch 

punch I) 
And Taffy, Cot pless him I he wash'd down his lunch. 

On the back of his hack next mom Doctor Mac 
Came to see Jenny preparing her black I 
Ap answer'd his rap in a white cotton cap, 
With another Welch rabbit just caught in his trap ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 181 

" A gobbling ? you ghost I" the Leech bellow'd loud, 
"Does your mother know, Taffy, you're out of your 

shroud r 
" Hut physic'd a week — at hur very last squeak, 
Hur try*d toasted cheese and decoction of leek." 



" I 'm pocketting fees for the self-same disease 

From the dustman next door — 111 prescribe toasted 

cheese 
And leek punch for lunch I" But the remedy fails-^ 
What kiUs Pat from KilTnore, cures Taffy from fVales, 



182 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER X. 

** In the year 1776,'' continued the Laureat, 
^^ Mr, Philip Jstley^ transferred his equestrian 
troop to the ^ Rounds/ To him succeeded Saun- 
ders^ who brought forward into the * circle ' that 
^ wonderful child of promise,' his son^ accompanied 
by the tailor riding to Brentford ! To thee, Billy 
Button ! and thy * Buffo Caricatto^ Thompson^ 
the tumbler, we owe some of the heartiest laughs 
of our youthful days. Ods * wriggling, giggling, 
galloping, galloway,' we have made merry in St. 
Bartlemy!" 

' In the early part of his career Mr. Astley paraded the 
streets of London, and dealt out his hand-hills to the teroants 
and apprentices whom his trumpet and drum attracted to the 
doors as he passed along. 

* " Master Saunders, only seven years old, jumps through a 
hoop, and hrings it over his head, and dances a hornpipe on 
the saddle, his horse going three-quarters speed round the 
circle I The Tailor riding to Brentford, hy Mr. Belcher. — 
Bartholomew Fair, 1796." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 183 

There were grand doings at the fair in 1786, 
87 and 88. Palmer ^ " at the Greyhound," pla- 
carded Harleqnin Proteus, and the Tailor done 
oyer. At the George Inn, Mr. Flockton exhibit- 
ed the Italian Fantoccini, and the Tinker in a 
bustle. Mr. Jabson ' put his puppets in motion ; 
Mrs. GartMifCs caravan, with the classical motto. 
Hoc tempus et non altter, advertised vaulting by 
the juvenile imp. ^^ Walk in, ladies and gentle- 
men,'' cried Mr. Smithy near the Swan Livery Sta- 
bles ; ^^ and be enchanted among the rocks, foun- 
tains, and waterfalls of art !'' Patrick O^Brien 
(overtopping Henry Blacker ^^ the seven feet 
four inches giant of 1761,) arrived in his tea- 
kettle. A goose^ instructed by a poll parrot^ sang 

' Mr. Johson added the following verses to his bill : 

*^ Prithee come, my lads and lasses, 

JohsovCi oddities let 's see ; 
Where there 's mirth and smiling faces, 

And good store of fun and glee ! 
Pleasant lads and pretty lasses, 

All to Jobsans haste away ; 
Point your toes, and brim your glasses ! 

And enjoy a cheerful day." 

' *^ Mr. O'Brien measures eight feet four inches in height, 
but lives in hopes of attaining nine feet,'' the family altitude I 



184 MERRIE ENGLAND 

several popular songs. Three turkeys danced 
eotillons and minuets. The military ox went 
through his manual exercise ; and the mmkey 
taught the cow her horn-book, he's company 
of comedians played " The Wife well maujaged^'*^ 
to twenty-eight different audiences in one. day! 
The automaton Lady; the tMfant musical phe^ 
nomenon without arms, and another phenomenon^ 
equally infantine and musical, tvithout legs ; a 
three-legged heifer, with four nostrils ; a hen weh^ 
footed, and a duck with a cocVs head, put forth 
their several attractions. Messrs. White, at the 
Lock and Key, sold capital pfmch ; savoury sau- 
sages (out-frying every other fry in the fair,) 
fizzed at "the Grunter'^s Ordinary or Relish-' 
Warehouse, in Hosier Lane ; and Pie-Comer rang 
with the screeching drollery of Mr, Mountebank 
Merry Andrew Macphinondraughanarmonbolin* 
brough ! The " wonderful antipodean,^^ Sieur 
Sanches, who walked against the ceiling with his 
head downwards, and a flag in his hand ; Louis 
Porte ^ (" Hercule du Roi !'") a; French equili- 



* Louis Porte was an inoffensive giant. Not so our Eng- 
lish monsters. On the 10th of Sept. 1787, a Bartlemy Fair 



(( 



C( 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 185 

brist ; Ptetro Bologna^ a dancer on the slack- 
wire; Signor Placida ("the Little Devil!''); 
La Belle Espagnole " (on the tight-rope) ; the 
real wild man of the woods ;''^ the dancing- 
dogs of Sieur Scagltoni;^ General Jacko^^ and 
Pidcock^s ^ menagerie, (to which succeeded those 



Giant was brought before Sir William Plomer at Guildhall^ 
for knocking out two of his manager's fore-teeth, for which 
the magistrate fined him two guineas per tooth ! In March 1841, 
a giantetSy six £ieet nine inches high, from Modem Athens and 
Bartholomew Fair, killed her husband in a booth at Glasgow ; 
and in the same year, at Barnard-Castle Easter Fair, a giant 
stole a change of linen from a hedge, for which he was sent to 
prison for three months. 

On the 26th May, 1655, (see Strype's Memorials,) there 
was a May-game at St. Martin's in the Fields, with giants 
and hobby-horses, drums, guns, morris-dancens, and minstrels. 

^ ** This Ethiopian savage has a black face, with a large 
white circle round it. He sits in a chair in a very pleasing 
and majestic attitude ; eats his food like a Christian, and is 
extremely afiable and polite." 

' These dogs danced an allemand, mimicked a lady spin- 
ning, and a deserter going to execution, attended by a chap- 
lain, (a dressed-up puppy !) in canonicals. 

• " June 17, 1785, at Astle/s, General Jocko performs the 
broad-sword exercise ; dances on the tight-rope ; balances a 
pyramid of lights ; and lights his master home with a link." 
In the following September the General opened his campaign 
at Bartholomew Fair, 
* " Were you to range the mighty globe all o'er. 
From east to west, from north to southern shore ; 



186 MERRIE ENGLAND 

of Polito and Wombwell^) one and all drove a 
roaring trade at Bartholomew Fair. 

We chronicle not the gods, emperors, dark 
bottle-green demons, and indigo-blue nondescripts 
that have since strutted their hour upon the boards 
of ''Richardson's Grand Theatrical Booth.''* 
They, like every dog, have had their day ; and 
comical dogs were most of them ( 

Of the modern minstrelsy of the ''Rounds," 
the Ijnics of Mr. Johannot, Joe Grimaldi^ and 
the very merry hey down derry, ^'Neighbour 
Prig'^ song of Charles Mathews^ are amusing 
specimens. 

Under the line of torrid zone to go, — 

No deserts, woods, groves, mountains, more can shew 

To you, than Pidcock in his forest small — 

Here, at one view, you have a sight of all." 

1 In Sept. 1806, Mr, and Mrs, Carey (the reputed father 
and mother of Edmund Kean, the tragedian,) played at Rich- 
ardson's Theatre, Bartholomew Fair, the Baron Montaldi 
and his daughter, in a gallimaufry of love, murder, brimstone, 
and blue fire, called " The Monk and Murderer, or the Skele- 
ton Spectre I " 

' Mathews was the Hogarth of the stage ; his characters 
are as finely discriminated^ as vigorously drawn, as highly 
finished, and as true to nature, as those of the great painter of 
mankind. His perception of the eccentric and outre was in- 
tuitive ; — ^his range of observation comprehended human nature 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 187 

What more than a hasty glance can we afford 



in all its varieties ; he caught not only the mannery but the 
matter of his originals ; and while he hit off with admirable ex- 
actness the peculiarities of individuals, their very turn of thought 
and modes of expression were given with equal truth. In 
this respect he surpassed Foote, whose mimicry seldom went 
beyond personal deformities and physical defects, — a blinking 
eye, a lame leg, or a stutter. He was a satirist of the first 
class, without being a caricaturist ; exhibiting folly in all its 
Protean shapes, and laughing it out of countenance, — a his- 
trionic Democritus ! His gallery of faces was immense. He 
had as many physiognomies as Argus had eyes. The extra- 
ordinary and the odd, the shrewd expression of knavish impu- 
dence, the rosy contentedness of repletion, the vulgar stare of 
boorish ignorance, and the blank fatuity of idiocy, he called up 
with a flexibility that had not been witnessed since the days of 
Garrick. Many of his most admired portraits were creations 
of his own : the old Scotchwoman, the Idiot playing with a 
Fly, Major Longbow, &c. &c. The designs for his "At 
Homes" were from the same source ; meaner artists filled in 
the back-ground, but the figures stood forth in full relief, 
the handiwork of their unrivalled impersonator. Who but 
remembers his narration of the story of the Gamester, his 
Monsieur Mallet, and particular parts of Monsieur Morbleu 1 — 
Nothing could be more delightful than his representation of 
the "jwttwe bar bier." He had the ajr, the biens^ance of the 
Chevalier^ who had danced a minuet at the " Cour de Ver- 
iailles" His petit chansouy *^ C est T Amour ! " and his ac- 
companying capers, were exquisitely French, His transitions 
from gaiety to sadness — from restlessness to civility — his 
patient and impatient shrugs, were admirably given. 

In legitimate comedy, his old men and intriguing valets 
were excellent ; while Lingo, Quotem, Nipperkin, Midas 



188 MERRIE ENGLAND 

the Wild Indian Warriors ; the Enchanted Ske^ 

Sharp, Wiggins, &c. &c. in farce, have seldom met with 
merrier representatives. His broken £nglish was superb ; 
his comitry boobies were misophisticated nature; and his 
Paddies the richest distillation of whisky and praties. He 
was the finest burletta singer of his day, and in his patter 
songs, his rapidity of utterance and distinctness of enunciation 
were truly wonderful. 

His Dicky Suett in pawn for the cheesecakes and raspberry 
tarts at the pastry-cook's, in St. Martin's Court, was no less 
faithful than convulsing ; Tate Wilkinson, Cooke, Jack Ban- 
nister, and Bensley, were absolute resurgams ; and if he was 
not the identical Charles Incledon, << there's no purchase in 
money," 

He was the first actor that introduced Jonathan into Eng- 
land, for the entertainment of his laughter-loving brothers and 
sisters. The vraisemblance was unquestionable, and the ef- 
fect prodigious. 

A kindred taste for pictures, prints, and theatrical relics, 
often brought the writer into his company. At his pleasant 
Thatched Cottage at Kentish Town, rising in the midst of 
green lawns, flower-beds, and trellis-work, fancifully wreathed 
and overgrown with jasmine and honey-suckles ! was collect- 
ed a more interesting museum of dramatic curiosities than had 
ever been brought together by the industry of one man. Gar- 
rick medals in copper, silver, and bronze ; a lock of his hair ; 
the garter worn by him in Richard the Third ; his Abel Drug- 
ger shoes ; his Lear wig ; his walking-stick ; the managerial 
chair In which he kept his state in the green-room of Old 
Drury ; the far-famed Caxket (now in the possession of the 
writer) carved out of the mulberry-tree planted by Shakspere ; 
the sandals worn by John Kemble in Coriolanus on the 
last night of that great actor's performance, and presented 
by him to his ardent admirer on that memorable occasion, 



1 



IN THE OLDEM TIME. 189 

leton; Comical Joe on hia Piggy- Wiggy; the 

were all regarded by Mathews as precious relics. He was glad 
of his sandals, he wittily remarked, since he never could hope 
to stand in his shoes ! The Penruddock stick, and Hamlet 
wig were also carefully preserved. So devoted was he to his 
art, and so just and liberal in his estimation of its gifted pro- 
fessors, that he lost no opportunity of adding to his interesting 
store some visible tokens by which he might remember 
them. 

He was the friendliest of men. The facetious companion 
never lost sight of the gentleman ; he scorned to be the buf- 
foon — ^the professional lion of a party, however exalted by rank. 
It was one of his boasts — a noble and a proud one too ! — ^that 
the hero of a hundred fights, the conqueror of France, the 
Prince of Waterloo ! received him at his table, not as Punchy 
but as a private gentleman. He had none of the low vanity 
that delights to attract the pointed finger. He was content 
with his supremacy on the stage — an universal imitator, him- 
self inimitable ! 

In ^e summer of 1830, we accompanied him to pay the 
veteran Quick a visit at his snug retreat at Islington. Tony 
Lumpkin (then in his seventy- fifth year), with little round 
body, flaring eye, fierce strut, turkey-cock gait, rosy gills, 
flaxen wig, blue coat, shining buttons, white vest, black silk 
stockings and smalls, bright polished shoes, silver buckles, and 
(summer and winter) blooming and fragrant bouquet ! received 
us at the door, with his comic treble ! The meeting was cor- 
dial and welcome. No man than Quick was a greater enthu- 
siast in his art, or more inquisitive of what was doing in the 
theatrical world. Of Ned Shuter he spoke in terms of un- 
qualified admiration, as an actor of the broadest hmnour the 
istage had ever seen ; and of Edwin, as a surpassing Droll, 
with a vis comica of extraordinary power. He considered Tom 
Weston, though in many respects a glorious actor, too rough a 



192 MERRIE ENGLAND 

and Carder's^ execution "done to the lifer 
the Indian Jugglers ;the Reform Banquet; Mr. 
Haynesy the fire-eater;* the Chinese Conjuror^ 
who swallows fifty needles, which, after remain- 
ing some time in his throat, are pulled ont thread- 
ed; the chattering, locomotiye, laughing, lissom, 
light-heeled Flying Pieman; and the diverting 
humours of Richardson^s clown, Rumfungus Haok- 
umsnookumwalkrisky ? This ark of oddities* 
must— 



^ A countryman from Hertford, being in the gallery of 
Covent Garden Theatre, at the tragedy of Macbethy and hear- 
ing jyumcan demand of Malcolm, 

" Is execution done on Cawdor 1** 
exclaimed, " Yes, your honour ? he was hanged this morning," 
*June 7, 1826 at the White Conduit House, Islington, 
Mons, Chabert, after a luncheon of phosphorus, arsenic, 
oxalic acid, boiling oil, and molten lead, walked into a hot 
oven, preceded by a leg of lamb and a rumpsteak. On the 
two last, when properly baked, the spectators dined with him. 
An ordinary most extraordinary ! Some wags insinuated that, 
if the Salamander was not ** done brown,'* his gtdls were ! 

* The following account of Bartlemy Fair receipts, in 1828, 
may be relied on : — WombweWs Menagerie, 1700/. ; Atkins* 
ditto, 1000/. ; and Richardson's Theatre, 1200/. ; the price of 
admission to each being sixpence. Morgan's Menagerie, 
150/. ; admission threepence. Balls, 80/. ; Ballard, 80/. ; 
Keyes, 20/.; Trazer, 26/.; Tike, 40/.; Tig-faced Lady, 
150/.; Carder's Head, 100/.; Chinese Jugglers, 50/.; Fat 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 193 

" Come like shadows, so depart." 

Mb, Titlepaoe. With a little love, murder, 
larceny, and lunacy, Mr. Bosky, your monsters 
with two heads would cut capital figures on 
double crown. 

Mb. Cbambo. If / had their drilling and dove- 
tailing, a pretty episode should they make to my 
forthcoming Historical Romance of Mother Brown- 
rtgg ! I Ve always a brace of plots at work, an 
upper and an under one, like two men at a 
saw-pit ! Indeed, so horribly puzzled was I how 
to get decently over the starvation part of my 
story, till I hit upon the notable expedient of 
joining Mrs. B. in holy matrimony to a New 
Poor Law Commissioner^ that it was a toss-up 
whether I hanged myself or my heroine ! That 
union happily solemnised, and a few Uberal drafts 
upon Philosophical Necessity^ by way of floating 
capital, my plots, like Johnny Gilpin^s wine-bot- 
tles, hung on each side of my Pegasus, and pre- 
served my equipoise as I galloped over the course ! 

Boy and Girl, 140L ; Salamander^ 30/. ; Diorama NavariUf 
60/. ; Scotch Giant, 20/. The admission to the last twelvt*. 
shows yaried from twopence to one hal^enny. 

VOL. II. K 



194 MERRIE ENGLAND 

By suspending the good lady^s suspension till the 
end of vol. three (I don^t cut her down to a 
single one), the interest is neyer suffered to drop 
till it reaches the New one. Or, as I ^m doing 
the Newgate Calendar^ (I like to have two strings 
to my bow !) what say you, gents ? if, in my 
fashionable novel of Miss Blandy (the Oxford 
lass, who popped off in her pumps for dosing 
— ^^ poison in Jest f'' — her doting old dad,) St. 
Bartlemy and his conjurors were made to play 
first fiddle ! D' ye think, friend Merripall, you 
could rake me up from your rarities a sketch of 
Mother Brownrigg coercing her apprentices ? 
{There I am fearfully graphic ! You may 
count every string in the lash, and every knot 
in the string !) A print of her execution ? {There 
I melt Jack Ketch, and dissolve the turnkeys.) 
Or, an inch of the identical twine (duly attested 
by the Ordinary !) that compressed the jugular 
of Miss Mary ?'' 

Mb. Merripall. I promise you all three, Mr. 
Crambo. Let the flogging and the finishing scene 
be engraved in mezzotinto, and the rope in line. 

Uncle Timothy. Many years since I accom- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 195 

panied my old friend, Charles Lamb^ to Bartho- 
lomew Fair. It was his pet notion to explore 
the droll-booths; perchance to regale in the 
" pens f' indeed, had roast pig ('* a Chinese and 
a female, ^^ dredged at the critical moment, and 
done till it crackled delicately,) continued one of 
its tit-bits, he had bargained for an ear ! '^ In 
spirit a lion, in figure a lamb,^^ the game of 
jostling went on merrily; and when the nimble 
fingers of a chevalier d^industrie found their way 
into his pocket, he remarked that the poor rogue 
only wanted " change /'^ As little heeded he 
the penny rattles scraped down his back, and 
their frightful harmony dinned in his ears. Of 
a black magician, who was marvellously adroit 
with his daggers and gilt balls, he said, ^^ That 
fellow is not only a Negro man^ sir, but a necro- 
mancer T'^ He introduced himself to Saunders, 
whose fiery visage and scarlet surtout looked like 
Monmouth Street in a blaze ! and the showman 
suspended a threatened blast from his speaking- 
trumpet to bid him welcome. A painted show- 
doth announced in colossal capitals that a two- 
headed cow was tp be seen at sixpence a head. 

E 2 



196 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Elia inquired if it meant at per our lieads or 
the cow''s f On another was chalked " Ladies 
and gentlemen^ two-pence ; servants, one penny," 
Elia subscribed us the exhibitor'*s " most obedi- 
ent strvantSy"* posted our plebeian pence, and 
passed in. We peeped into the puppet-shows; 
paid our respects to the wild animals; visited 
Gyngell and Richardson; patronised ('* nobly 
daring!") a pufF of the Flying Pieman'^s; and, 
such was his wild humour, all but ventured into 
a swing ! This was a perilous joke ! His fragile 
form canted out, and his neck broken ! Then the 
unclassical evidence of the Bartlemy Fair folk at 
the " Crowner^s ^quest." What a serio-comic 
chapter for a posthumous edition of Elides Last 
Essays I Three little sweeps luxuriating over a 
dish of £ried sausages caught his eye. This time 
he would have his way ! We entered the ^'par- 
lour^ and on a dingy table-cloth, embroidered 
with mustard and gravy, were quickly spread 
before us, "hissing hot," some of "the best in 
the fair." His olfactory organs hinted that the 
" odeur des graillons " which invaded them was 
not that of Monsieur Ude ; still he inhaled it 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 197 

heroically, observing that, not to argue dog- 
matically, yet ca^-egorically speaking, it reminded 
him of cur-Tj. " Lunch time with us," quoth 
ElicL, ^^is past, and dinner-time not yet come,^^ 
and he passed over the steaming dish to our com- 
panions at the table d^hdte, with a kind welcome, 
and a winning smile. They stared, grinned, and 
all three fell to. We left them to their enjoy- 
ments ; but not before Elia had slipped a silver 
piece into their little ebony palms. A copious 
libation to ^^rare Ben Jonson"^ concluded the 
day^s sports. I never beheld him happier, more 
fiill of antique reminiscences, and gracious hu- 
maiiity. 

" The peace of heaven, 
The fellowship of all good souls go with him ! " 

Uncle Timothy rose to retire. 

" One moment, sir,**^ said the Laureat ; ** we 
have not yet had Mr. Flumgarten^s song.'^ 

" My singing days, Cousin Bosky, are over, 
repUed the ill-matched hubby of the ^^ Hollyhock ; 
** but, if it please the company, I will tell them 
a te/e.^' 



n 



Vi 



198 merrie; England 



CHAPTER XL 

Mb. Mebbipall, having gathered that the tale 
was of a ghostly character, would not suffer the 
candles to be snuffed, but requested his mutes 
to sprinkle over them a pinch or two of salt, that 
they might bum appropriately blue. He would 
have given his gold repeater for a death-watch; 
and when a coffin bounced out to him from the 
fire (howbeit it might be carrying coals to New- 
castle !) he hailed it as a pleasant omea. Messrs. 
Hatband and Stiflegig, catching the jocular infec- 
tion, brightened up amazingly. 

W^xtt €^uxi^tA all of a toh). 

dTfittf t 

'If you journey westward-ho, 
Three churches all of a row^ 
Ever since the days of the Friars, 
Have lifted to Heaven their ancient spires. 
The bells of the third are heard to toll — 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 199 

For Pauper, Dives ? 
Pastor, Gives ? 
For a rich or a poor man's soul ? 

Winding round the sandy mound 

Coaches and four^ feathers and pall, 

Startle the simple villagers all I 

Sable mutes^ death's recruits ! 
Marshall the hearse to the holy ground. 
Eight stout men the coffin bear — 
What a creak is here ! what a groan is there ! 
As the marching corps toil through the church door — 
For the rich dead must be buried in lead ; 
Their pamper'd forms are too good for the worms I 
They cheat in dust, as they cheated before. 
Mumbles the parson, and mumbles the clerk. 
Prayer, response, 
All for the nonce ! 
Who shall shrive the soul of a shark ? 

Slides the coffin deep in the ground ; 
Earth knocks the lid with a hollow sound I 
It lies in state, and the silver'd plate 
Glares in the ghastly sepulchre round ! 

Death has his dole ! 
At last, at last the body's nail'd fast I 

But who has the soul ? 

See a mourner slowly retire, 
With a conscience ill at ease 
For opening graves and burial fees. 



SOO MERRIE ENGLAND 

He hath yet to pay his debt, — 
Tho* Heaven delays, can Heaven forget ? 
Forget ? As soon as the sun at noon. 

That gilds yon spire. 
Shall cease to roll — or that mourner's soul 
Itself expire I 

d^tteH. 

Swift the arrow, eagle's flight, 

Thought, sensation, sound, and light ! 

But swift indeed is the spirit's speed 

To the glory of day, or the darkness of night ! 

Who knocks at the brazen gate ? A fare 
By the ferryman row'd to the gulf of despair ! 

With hissing snakes twisted into a thong, 
(" I drove you on earth, I drive you below, 
Gee up ! gee up ! old Judasy gee ho ! ") 
A furious crone whipp'd a spirit along I — 
Her blood- shot sight 
Caught the ferryman's sprite; 
Welcome! welcome!" she shriek'd with delight,- 
ThjfdUher is here for his gifts to me. 
And here am /, his torment to be "— 
(And the cruel crone 
Lash'd out a groan I 
A deep-drawn breath 
From the ribs of death. 






IN THE OLDEN TIME. 201 

Where the undying worm gnaw'd the marrowless bone !) 
*' For what I have given thy brethren and thee! 
Gold was to keep up our/amify name" 



Spirit, 
A penny-wise fiune ! 
It has kept it up ! for 'tis written in shame 
On earth : and, behold I in that bright shining flame I 

Old Man* 

Death so soon to knock at thy door I 
And send thee hithbr at forty and four. 

Spirit. 
My sire ! my sire ! unholy desire, 

The hypocrite's guile, 

Mask'd under a smile I 
And avarice made me a pillow of fire ; 
The ill-gotten purse has carried its curse 



Old Man. 
Hath Jacob done better ? 

Spirit. 

Nor better nor worse ! 
Losses and crosses, and sorrow and care 
Have furrowed his cheeks and whitened his hair. 
Betra/d in turn by the heart he betray'd, 
Exalting his horn 
To the finger of scom^ 
He lies in the bed that his meanness has made. 

E 5 



202 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Old Man. — Gbone. 
Our ^old ! our gold ! ten thousand tunes told ! 
Thus to fly from the fiimDy fold. 

Spirit. 
Father I mother ! my spirit is wrung : . 
Water ! water ! for parch'd is my tongue. 
Is this fiery lake ne'er to be cross'd ? 
Are those wild sounds the shrieks of the lost ? 
And that stem angel sitting alone^ 
Lucifer crown'd^ on his burning throne ? 

Old Man. 
But how fares JovuUhan, modest and meek ? 
My Meeting-House walking-stick thrice in the week ! 
Ere wife and cotigh 
Carried me off, — 
Instead of heathenish LMin and Greek, 
I early taught him my maxims true, — 
Do unto all as you'd have others do 
To yourself, good Jonathan 9 Certainly not I 
But learning never will boil the pot ; — 
A penny aav^d is a penny got ; — 
A groat per year is per day a pin ; — 
het those (the lucky ofies !) laugh that win y-— 
Keep your shopy and your shop wiU keep you ! 

Grasps his clutch little or much ? 

Has his good round sum rolled into a plum ? 
A voice spake in thunder — " His time is not come /" 



IN THE OliDEN TIME. 208 

There is an et/e that compasses all, 
Good and ill in this earthly ball ; 
That pierces the dunnest, loneliest cell, 
Where wickedness hides^ and marks it well ! 
Years have wheeled their circles round. 
And the ancient sexton re-opens the ground ; 
A weary man at the end of his span, — 
A^ain the bell tolls a funeral sound. 

And the nodding plumes pass down the hill, — 
'Tis the time of the year when the buds appear, 

And the blackbird pipes his music shrill ; 
On the breeze there is balm, and a holy calm, 

Whispers the troubled heart, " Be still ! " 

Ah I how chang'd since we saw him last. 
That mourner of twenty long winters past ! 
He halts and bends as he slowly wends — 
Bereft ! bereft I what hath he done ? 
That death should smite his only son I 

Fix'd to the sod. 
Bitter tears his cheeks bedew ; 
His broken heart is buried too ! 
With gentle hand, and accents bland. 

The man of God 
Leads him forth — 'tis silence deep, — 
And fathers, mothers, children weep. 



r 



204f MERRIE ENGLAND 

For what man ^ves the world, he leams 

Too late, how little it returns ! 

Nor counts he, till the funeral pall 

Has made a shipwreck of his all. 

His pleasures, pains ; his losses, gains ; 

And finds that, bankrupt I naught remains. 

In the watches of the night 

E*en our very thoughts affright — 

And see I before the mourner's sight 

A dark and shadowy form appears ; 

Hark I a voice salutes his ears, 

'^ Hush thy sorrow, dry thy tears I 
Father I 'twas to save thy son 

From av'rice, cunning, passion, pride, 

That he hath left the path untried. 
The crooked path that worldlings run. 

And, happy spirit I early died. 
If thou couldst know who dwell below 
In deep unutterable woe ; 
Or wing with me thy journey far 
Above, where shines the morning star ; 
And hear the bright angelic choirs 

(Casting their crowns before His feet,) 

In choral hymns His praise repeat. 
And strike their golden lyres — 
Another sun would never rise. 

And gild the azrnre vault of heaven. 
Ere thy petition reach'd the skies 

To be forgiven." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME, 205 

Was it a dream ? — The moumftd man 

Next mom his alter'd course b^an. 

To his kindred he restor'd 

What unjusAy swell'd his hoard. 

With a meek, contented mind, 

He liVd in peace with all mankind ; 

And thus would gratefully prolong 

To heaven his mom and evening song ; — 

I have no time to pratfy to plead 

For all the blessings that I need ; 

For what / have^ a patriarch's days 

Would only give me time to praise ! — 

He died in hope. Yon narrow cell 

Guards his sleeping ashes well. 

The rest can holy angels tell I . . . . 

" This will I carry with me to my pillow/' said 
Unde Timothy. " My friends, good night.*" 



'J 



206 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER XII. 

A CHUBBY young gentleman, a " little Jack 
Horner eating his Christmas pie,'' abutting from 
" The Fortune of War^'''' at Pie-Corner, marks the 
memorable spot where the Great Fire of London 
concluded its ravages. The sin of gluttony^ to 
which, in the original inscription (now effaced,) 



* ** There was excessive spending of t7entson, as well as other 
victuals, in the halls. Nay, and a great consumption of ven- 
ison there was frequently at taverns and cook^ shopSy insomuch 
that the Court was much offended with it. Whereupon, anno 
1573, that the Citi/ might not continue to give the Queen and 
nobility offence, the Lord Mayor, Sir Lionel Ducket, and Al- 
dermen, had hy act of Common Council forbidden such feasts 
hereafter to be made ; and restrained the same only to neces- 
sary meetings, in which, also, no venison (!!) was permitted." 
— Stow. 

Venison was also prohibited in the taverns and cook^ shops. 
Our modem civic gourmands and gourmets, wiser grown ! have 
propitiated the Court by occasional invitations to take part in 
their gluttony. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 207 

the fire was attributed, is still rife ; a considerable 
trade in eatables and drinkables being driven, and 
corks innumerable drawn, in defiance, under the 
chubby young gentleman's bottle nose. A Bar^ 
tlemy Fair shower of rain overtook us while we 
were contemplating the dilapidated mansion of the 
Cock Lane Ghost ; and, as it never rains in Bartle- 
my Fair, but it pours, we scudded along to the 
parlour of The Fortune of War^ as our nearest 
shelter ; where we beheld Mr. Bosky, though he 
beheld not ««, bombarding his little body with 
cutlets and bottled beer, in company with a 
tragedy queen ; a motion-master ; and a brace of 
conjurors, Mr. Rumfiz and Mr. Glumfiz. Mr. 
Rumfiz was a merry fellow, who had i&ttened on 
blue fire, which he hung out for a sign upon his 
torrid nose; with Mr. Glumfiz dolor seemed to 
wait on drinking, and melancholy on mastication ; 
for he looked as if he had been regaling on fi^ih- 
hooks and castor..oil, instead of Mr. Bosky^s boun-r 
tiful cheer. 

"'Tis hard to bid good-Vy© to an old firiend 
that we may never see again ! Heigho ! I'^m 
sorry and sick ; as cross and as queer as the hat* 



>. 



^08 MERRIE ENGLAND 

band of Dick ! Good-bYe to St. Bartholo- 



mew.'" 



This was sighed forth by the lean conjuror, 
who, as he emitted a cloud of tobacco-smoke, 
seemed ready to pipe his eye, and responded to by 
the tragedy queen with a look ultra tragical ! 

" Bah ! '^ chuckled the corpulent conjuror, " i 
has the blue devils! If ruin must come, good 
luck send that it may be blue. Though poor in 
purse, let me be rich in nose ! Saint Battlemy in 
a consumption — ^ha! ha! Pinched for standing- 
room, the comical old grig laughs and lies down ! 
and, so droll he looks in dissolution, that I must 
have my lark out, though one of his boa-con- 
strictors should threaten to suck me down in a 
lump. He dies full of years and fun, the patriarch 
of posture-masters and puppet-showmen ! Merry 
be his memory I and Scaramouches eternal caper 
round his sarcophagus ! Shall we cry him a cant- 
ing canticle? Rather let us chant a rattUng 
roundelay !'' 

Major Domo^B a comical homo I 

Sic transit gloria mtmdi ; 
Highty-tighty I frolicksome, flighty I 

Soon will Bardemy Fair and fun die 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 209 

Coat of modeyt cap and bells. 

O'er his bier shall dolefully jingle ; 
Conjurors all shall bear his pall^ 

And mountebanks follow it^ married and single ! 

GiantSt dwarfs in sable scarfs^ 
Merry mourners ! will not tarry one ; 

Humps, bumps shall stir their stimips ! 
And toes of timber dot and carry one ! 

Harlequin droll the bell shall toll^ 

Mister Punch shall shrive and bury him ; 

Tumblers grin while they shovel him in, 
And Charon send Joe Grim to ferry him ! 

B'ye, b'ye I we all must die ; 

Ev'ry day with death's a dun day ; 
Monday, Tuesday^ Wednesday^ Thursday, 

Friday, Satiuday, Sunday ! 

Nothing could resist the hilarity of Mr. Rumfiz. 
The tragedy queen gave a lop-sided smile from 
under the ruins of a straw-bonnet; the motion- 
master grinned approbation; Mr. Glumfiz was 
tnmultuonsly tickled. At this moment an in&n- 
tine tumbler, dressed in a tinselled scarlet jacket 
dirty-white muslin-fringed trousers, and yellow 
leather pumps, made a professional entry on his 
head and hands, to summon the two conjurors from 
their cups to their balls* 



SIO M£RRI£ ENGLAND 

" Keep the blue fire hot till I come, Mr. 
Glumfiz l"^ said the Laureat. 

" It won't cool," replied the lean conjuror. 

The tragedy queen now received a call from 
Cardinal Wolsey, to relieve Miss Narcissa Nimble- 
pins on the Pandean pipes and double drum. The 
little Melpomene assured Mr. Bosky of her high 
consideration, and, leaning on the mountebank 
messenger's arm, bobbed and backed out of the 
parlour very gracefully. But the motion-master 
would have been immoveable, had not his tawdry 
better-half, who had nothing of a piece but her 
tongue, hurried in with the news that their stage- 
manager, having spiteftdly cut the wires, puppets 
and trade were at a stand-stilL 

The Laureat being left solus, exhibited a dis- 
position to compose himself over a cigar, an indul- 
gence at which his eyes sympathetically winked. 
Should we draw aside the curtain between his box 
and ours ? 

A note from Mr, Bosky's nose 

Seem'd to say, 

^^ Away ! away! 
Leave me, leave me to repose ! " 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 211 

Our glasses were empt;^, and the fair was filling; 
so we took the hint and our hats, and were soon 
among the lions. 

An Ancient PistolAooking scarecrow with a 
cockaded somethings between an old cocked hat, 
and an old hat cocked, on his shaggy pole; a 
black patch oyer one eye ; a sham lame left 
leg ; half a pair of half boots, and a jacket with- 
out sleeves, brandishing harlequin'^s wooden sword, 
and belabouring a cracked drum, beat up for 
recruits, and thus accompanied his tattoo. 

With his brigade of brags 

Captain Bobadil comes ; • 

Soldiers furl your flags. 

Crape and mufBe your drums I 

Let John Bull and the bell 

Both be dismally told ! 
One, for a funeral knell ; 

One, the reward of the bold. 

From Harry to Arthur^ you 
Britons ! would conquer or di 

Ton my soul it's true ; 

What will you lay it 's a lie ? 

Bobadil trumped up a story — 
** Fighting 's the time o' day ! 



212 MERRIE ENGLAND 

All for honour and glory, 
Provender, plunder, and pay. 

It vastly better, by Jove, is 
To be for liberty bang'd ; 

Than for prigging, my covies. 
To stay behind and be bang'd ! 

Every man in his shoe 

Looks as if he would die — 

Ton my soul it's true ; 
What will you lay it 's a lie ? 

Limping London on pegs, 

Crown'd with victory's palms. 

Heroes without their legs 
Now are asking for alms ; 

Cursing their liberal lot. 

And Bob's grandiloquent whims ; 
Deuce in their locker a shot ; 

Tho' lots, alas ! in their limbs ! 

We hardly know which to do ; 

Whether to laugh or to cry — 
Ton my soul it's true ; 

What will y ou lay it 's a lie ? 

Read me a comical riddle, 
Paddy will say it comes pat — 

Some men dance to the Jiddle ; 
Bob's men dance to the cat 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 213 

Fine and flourishing speeches 
Lads like Wellington, scoff; 

They lead their troops on the breaches ; 
BohadUf he pulls 'em qff'l 

Give the Devil his due. 

Bob *8 a garrulous Guy — 
Ton my soul it 's true ; 

What will you lay it *s a lie ? 

" Well, I never see such a low, frothy, horrid, 
awAil, dandified, grandified, twistified, mystified, 
play-going, pleasure-taking, public-house set as 
these rubbishing Scaramouches ! It would be quite 
a charity to send 'em all to the Treadmill, or 
there 's no mystery in mousetraps !'' 

** That little woman's tender mercies are cruel !'' 
responded a voice behind, and leading captive a 
personage, who seemed to " wonder how the devil 
he got there !''•— a fierce, fidgety flounced madam, 
bounced past us with an air of inconceivable gran- 
deur. It was Mrs. Flumgarten hooked on to 
the arm of Brummagem Brutus. 

A sudden rush, from a "conveyancer'' being 
escorted to the Pied Poudre^ brought us to that 
ancient seat of justice. 



Held at the Hand and Shears^ the comer of Middle Street 



214 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Some minor cases having been disposed of, 
Counsellor Rnmtum rose, put on his green specta- 
cles and " twelve children phisiognomy,'' (a most 
imposing gravity !) and opened his pleadings 

" Gentlemen of the Jury, the plaintiff is Miss 
Andromache the Goddess of Wisdom, commonly 
called Minerva; the defendant is Mr. Andrew 
Macky, Merry Andrew and Bearward, who 
boasts the largest menagerie of well-educated 
monkeys in the fair. The plaintiff seeks to re- 
cover damages for an assault, perpetrated by the 
defendants servant Jamhoa^ a belligerent baboon 
with a blue face. The Goddess had been station- 
ed, like the Palladium of Troy, in a temple 
adjoining the defendant's caravan. The watchful 

and King Street, Cloth Fair. The Tied Poudre was originally 
instituted to determine disputes regarding dehts and contracts, 
when the churchyard of the ancient Priory contained the hooths 
and standings of the Drapers and Clothiers, The headle of 
Cloth Fair received the annual fee of 3s. and 4d. for measuring 
the yard-sticks. The officers of the Pied Poudre are two Ser- 
jeants at Mace for the Lord Mayor, two for the Poultry, and 
two for Giltspur Street Compters, and a constahle appointed 
hy the steward of Lord Kensington, to attend the court in 
his hehalf. There was formerly an Associate, (the Common 
Serjeant, or one of the attorneys of the Lord Mayor's Sheriffs' 
Court,) hut this officer has not attended for the last hundred 



i and fifty years. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 215 

cock was perched on her helmet, a waving plume 
descended to her heels, a magnificent breast-plate 
and royal robe adorned her imperial person, and 
armed with a spear and a shield, she presented 
all the fascinations which the ancients have at- 
tributed to Pallas. It is not in evidence, whe- 
ther Miss Andromache had been transported by 
heroes hke Diomedes and Ulysses ; but it may 
be presumed that curiosity induced her to descend 
from her own palace to take a peep at Andrew 
Macky'^s menagerie. The Goddess was charmed 
with the intelligent visage and tall stately figure 
of the wild man of the woods, who sat quietly 
in a comer, leaning on his staff; and being de- 
sirous of ascertaining his exact altitude, (Wis-^ 
dom, Gentlemen of the Jury, is ever on the look- 
out for new discoveries,) she roused him from 
his reverie, by propelling the sharp point of 
her spear to Jamboa^s dextral hip-joint, to make 
him jump. Starting up furiously, he struck her 
immortal ^gis to the ground, inflicted with his 
grinders terrible havoc on her gorgeous trappings, 
smashed ferociously her invincible breast-plate ; 
and imprinted on her royal person evident proofs 
of the piquant condition of his nails. For this 



216 MERRIE ENGLAND 

assault and battery ADdromache claims of Andrew 
Mackj ample and liberal compensation ; which, 
Oentlemen of the Jury, (here Counsellor Rum- 
tum, tried the " soft sawder !"") with your wonted 
gallantry, you will doubtless award her.^ 

The Court, however, expressed an opinion, that 
the Goddess of Wisdom, by making an unpro- 
Yoked sortie on so respectable a baboon, liad not 
acted with her usual discretion, and directed Mi- 
nerva to be nonsuited. 

Look at the gay caps and bonnets in yonder 
balcony ; and hark to the fifes and fiddles, accel- 
crating the sharp trot to a AiU gallop ! And now 
the volunteer vocalist, having firowned into nol 
thingness a St. Cecilian on the salt-box, demands 
silence for this seasonable chant. 

Don*t you remember the third of September ? 

Fun's Saturnalia, Bartlemy fair ! 
Punch's holiday, what a jolly day ! 

When we fiddled and danced at the Bear. 

Romping^ reeling it, toe and heeling it, 

Ham and vealing it, toddy and piu*l — 
Have you forgot that / paid the shot 

/ have not ! my adorable gir 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S17 

With ranters and royeters we push*d thro' the cloisters. 

Had plenty of oysters, of porter a pot ; 
I treated my Hebe with brandy, not (B. B !) 

And sausages smoking, and gingerbread hot. 

She whisper'd, " How nice is fried bacon in slices. 
And eggs" — What a crisis ! — Love egg'd me on — 

'' My dearest," said I, ^' I wish I may die 
If we don't have a fry to-night at the Swan." 

How we giggled when Pantaloon wriggled, 

And led a jig with Columbine down ; 
How we roar'd when Harlequin's sword 

Conjiur'd Mother Goose into the Clown ! 

To Saunders's booth I toddled my Ruth, 
Saw Master and Miss romp and reel on the rope — 

And it was our faults if we didn't both waltz. 
My eye ! with old Guy, Old Nick and the Pope. 

Rigging 's rife again, fun 's come to life again. 
Punch and his wife again, frolicksome pair, 

Footing it, crikey I like Cupid and Psyche, 
Summon each rum 'un to Bartlemy fair. 

Trumpets blowing, roundabouts going, 

Toby the Theban, intelligent Pig ! 
His compliments sends, inviting his friends 

To meet the Bonassus to-night at a jig. 

^' Now my little lads and lasses ! Shut one eye^ 
and don't breathe on the glasses ! Here 's Nero 

yOL. II. L 



HBERIE ENGLAND 



vigour ; the Conjnior would have coined tiis copper 
nose, only, winked the wag, " I knows and ytm 



knows Je nose pas r the lions and tigers roared 
" Now or never ! " and amidst this oratorio of 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 221 

discord and din, Harlequin, Othello, Colombine, 
Sir John Falstaff, Desdemona, Jim Crow, Cardinal 
Wolsej, and Scaramouch qnadrilled on the outside 
platform of Richardson^s Grand Booth, the gong 
(his prompter's tintinabulum !) sounding super- 
abundant glorification. 

We hastened to this renowned modem temple 
of the Smithfield drama, which was splendidly 
illuminated and guarded by tremendous pasteboard 
Genii, sphinxes, and unicorns, and saw our old 
acquaintance Bonassus (who looked like one of 
His Mandingo Majesty'^s Spanish liquorice guards !) 
enact Othello and Jim Craw. After much interpo- 
lated periphrasis and palaver, Mr. Bigstick darkly 
intimated that when he ceased to love the ^^ gentle 
Desdemona,^ (Miss Teresa Tumbletuzzy !) 

'^ Shay-ass is come agin" 

At this- moment the scenes stuck fest in the 
grooves — ^the halves of a house with an interstice 
of a yard or so between — when a lecturing me- 
chanic bawled out firom his sixpenny elysium, 

" Ve don't expect no good granunar here, Mus- 
ter Thingumbob, but, hang it ! you might close 
the scenes !'' 



2S2 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Mr. Bigstick beiBg politely requested (^^ Strike 
up. Snowdrop I Go it, Day and Martin r) to 
'* Jump Jim Crow^ in triplicate, came forward, 
curvetting and salaaming with profound respect, 
and treated his audience with this variorum version 
of their old fayourite. 

Here 'b jumping Jim, his coat and skim- 

-mer very well you know ; 
If you 've a crow to pluck with him. 

He *B pluck'd joujirgt ! I trow — 

Where'er he goes he gaily crows, 

A Blackey and a Beau ! 
Reels about and wheels about. 

And jumps Jim Crow, 

how the town ran up and down 

To see the dancing Nigger ! 
If Jim 's a flat, 'tis tit for tat I 

For Jim thinks John a bigger 

To (for a Yankee lean and lanky) • 

Shell his coppers so. — 
What a noodle I — Yankee-doodle ! 

Rare Jim Crow I 

Bull has mi'd his noddle full 

Of learning, in profusion; 
And Jim, with his long limping limb. 

Has jump'd to this conclusion. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 22S 

" A ninny and " — you understand I 
When sitting all a-row, 
Britons roar " Encore I Encore I 
Jump Jim Crow I" 

Jim *s play*d his pranks — with many thanks^ 

He gives you now the hop ; 
Because^ like his Commercial Banhs^ 

He thinks it time to stop f 

What Nigger Lad has ever had 

Such lucky cards to throw ? 
Ever trump'd^ or ever jump'd 

Like Jump Jim Crow ? 

The pantomine of Hot Rolls, or Harlequin 
Dumpling, and the Dragon of Wantlej concluded 
the performances; in which Mr. Bigstick^s pro- 
mising young pupil, Master Magnumdagnumhtig' 
gleduggUj by a,jeu de thidtre bolted the baker; 
(bones, apron, night-cap and all !) set Old Father 
Thames on fire, exhibited the fishes frying in 
agony, and in his suit of spiked armour, like an 
" Egyptian Porcupig,'' 

" To make him strong and mighty, 
Drank by the tale, six pots of ale 
And a quart of Aqua Vitse I " 

and marched forth fiercely to a ferocious fight with 
a green leather dragon stuffed with fiery serpents. 



224f UERRIE ENGLAND 

that hissed and exploded to the tune of tiro-pence 
a time ! 

The Bartlemy &irities were in raptures. Mas^ 
ter MagnumiagnumhuggleduggU^ Mr. Bigstick^ 
the Tutnbletuzzy and the Dragon were sneces- 
siyely garlanded with broccoli-spronts and tnmip- 
tops ! It was *^ all round my hat^ with Bfmassus^ 
who divided the Lion^s share with the Dragon, 
and looked like a May-day Jack-in-the-green ! 
The enthusiasm of the audience did not end here. 
They called for the CaU-boy, and the Candle- 
snuffer, whose bliss would have felt no *^ aching 
void "" had a " bit of bacon " accompanied, by way 
of a relish, this kitchen garden of cabbage. 

The bells of St. Bartholomew chimed the hour 
when churchyards and ^^ Charlies ^^ yawn; upon 
which the illuminations and mob went out, and 
away, and Momus looked as down in the mouth as 
a convohulus.^ The elephant booked his trunk 
and departed ; the menagerie man returned to his 

^ Next morning's sun saw Smithfield restored to those po- 
lite intelligences whose ^ talk is qflndlock^* — ^with no greater 
nuisance remaining, than its chartered hrutes upon^^^wr kg^ 
beaten, goaded, tortured, and blasphemed at by its greater 
brutes vpon two ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 225 

dish of bird^s claws and beaks, with a second course 
of shark's teeth and fish-bones ; Pnnch and Judy 
were amicably domiciled with the dog, the devil, 
and the doctor ; the Jacks-in-the-box, Noah^s arks, 
Dutch dolls, and wooden Scaramouches, were stow- 
ed away pell-mell; the gingerbread kings, queens, 
and nuts, were huddled higgledy-piggledy into 
their tin canisters ; a muddled chorister warbled 
« Ply not yet "" to an intrusive ** Blue-Bottle '' 
that popped in the QueeTi^s Crown and his own 
among a midnight dancing party of shopmen and 
Abigails, and a solitary fiddle, scraped by a cruel 
cobbler, squeaked the Lay of the Last Minstrel ! 

Mom appearing^ Nature cheering, 
Milkmaids crying " Milk ! '* for tea, 

Singing, joking ; chimneys smoking, 
Bring, alas ! no joys to me. 

Phoebus beaming, kettles steaming — 
Basso — hark I the dustman's bell, 

Obligato ! — '' Sweep !" stoccato ! 
Old St. Barde / sound thy knell. 



L 5 



2S6 MERRIE ENGLAND 



CHAPTER XIII. 

^^Put out the light !^ exclaimed Mr. Bonassns 
Bigstick, with a lugabrio-comic expression of 
eoantenance that might convnlse a Trappist, to 
a pigeon-toed property-man and a duck-legged 
dmmmer, who were snuffing two fiurthing rush- 
lights in the Proscenium. 

'^Put out the light !'" and straightway he pock- 
eted the extinguished perquisite. We were re- 
tiring firom the scene of Mr. Bigstick^s glory in 
company with two lingering chimney-sweeps, who 
had left their brushes and brooms at the box door, 
when our progress was arrested by a tap on the 
shoulder from Uncle Timothy. 

'* If you would explore the * secrets of the 
prison-house,^ I can gratify your curiosity, having 
an engagement with the great Tragedian to crush a 
mug of mum with him behind the scenes.'" 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 227 

We were too happy to enjoy so novel a treat 
not to embrace the offer with alacrity. Mr. Big- 
stick welcomed us with a tragic hantenr, and 
carrying an inch of candle stuck at the extremity 
of Prosperous magic wand, lighted his party to 
the Oreen Room. As we passed along, the great 
Tragedian, who had the knack of looking every- 
thing into nothing, scowled an armonry of daggers 
at Harlequin, and Harlequin, if possible, looked 
more black than the Moor. On entering the 
sanctum sanctorum, Mr. Bigstick, striking an 
attitude and exclaiming ^' Cara Sposa ! Idol mio r 
introduced us to Teresa, the High-Dumptmess 
of St. Bartlemy, whom he dangled after like a 
note of admiration, he all mast, she all hulk ; and 
when they parted, (with a Dolly Bull curtsy ex- 
quisitely fussy and fumy the Tumbletuzzy made 
her exit,) it was odd to see the steeple separated 
from the chancel. 

<^ Ten thousand times ten thousand pardons, 
most divine bard ! but having sunned myself in 
the optics of Teresa, my own became ecUpsed 
to every olgect less refulgent. Gentlemen,'' — 
pulling forward a pipe-flourishing, porter-swigging 



SSS MER&IB ENGLAND 

personage who belonged quite as much to Rag" 
fair as to St. BartUmy^ and looked as if he 
lived in eyerlastmg apprehension of sibillations 
tecbnicaUy called, *^ Goasc'^ — ^< Mr. Pegasus Bob- 
angrab the Bartholomew Fair Poet, who may 
challenge all the Toby Philpots in Christendom 
to leap up to the chin into a barrel of beer, 
drink it down to his foot, and then dance a jig 
upon the top of it ! Mr. Bubangrob edits a 
penny weekly; reports queer trials; does our 
Caravan libretto; answers my challenges; roasts 
my rivals, pufis his ^pe — and Me ! At present 
he is a mere dab-chick of literature ; but let him 
start a rum name, and he shall cut the genteel 
caper, cut, too, his sky parlour, penny-arlining and 
old pals ; wondw, with amiable simplicity ! what 
^shooting the moon** can be, and diving for a 
dinner ; and casting off his Toady^s skin for the 
/iW«, be feasted, flattered, paragraphed — ^ Purge, 
eat cleanly, and live like a gentleman ! ^ 

Mr. Bubangrub bowed, and re^ectjfully hinted 
that every kingdom has its cabals, not excepting 
the realm of actors and actresses. That to soothe 
their petty jealousies ; check the too-aspiring 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 2S9 

ambition of one, tickle the self-complacency of 
another — ^to be grave with the tragic ; fanny with 
the comic ; patient with the ignorant and pre- 
suming, and on terms of eternal friendship with 
all — to come off yictorions on that slippery ground 



(( 



Where unfledg'd actors learn to laugh and cry^ 
Where infant punks their tender voices try^. 
And little Maximins the Gods defy/' 



are difficulties that none but dramatic politicians 
of experience and discretion can surmount; and 
he advised every author to whom appetite offered 
a more powerful stimulant than genius^ to make 
haste and possess himself of the important secret. 

Mine host of the Ram now entered with a 
curiously compounded mug of mum, in which the 
great Tragedian (who was not particular from 
Clas Vaugeot to Old Tom) drank the Stage that 
goes with and without wheels. Mr. Bosky, who 
had got scent of our '^ Whereabout^,'' arrived in 
time to propose the memory of Shakspere, and 
Mr. Bubangrub's longevity ; Uncle Timothy gave 
Bonassus Bigstick and Bartlemy Fair ; and Pega^ 
SUB toasted the Tragic Muse and Teresa Tumble- 



2S0 MERRIE ENGLAND 

tnzzy. The Tragediaa unbent by degrees; his 
adust countenance warmed into flesh and bloody 
and he grew facetious and festive. 

*^ Bubangrub, my Brother of the Sun and Moon ! 
my Nutmeg of delight ! give us a song !^ 

The call was a command. 

To pitch the tune Pegasus twanged from his 
JewVharp a chord, and apologizing for being « a 
little ropy,^ began, in a voice between a whistle 
and a wheeze, 

Ye snuff-takers of England 

Who sniff your pinch at ease. 
How veiy seldom you enjoy 

The pleasures of a sneeze I 

Qive ear unto us smoking gents,^ 

And we will plainly shew 
All the joys, my brave boys ! 

When we a cloud do blow. 



' In 1585, the English first saw p^ made of clay, among 
the native Indians of Virginia ; which was at that time dis- 
covered by Richard Greenville, Soon after they fabricated the 
first clay tobacco-pipes in Europe. 

In 1604, James the First endeavoured, by means of heavy 
imposts, to abolish the use of tobacco ; and, in 1619, wrote his 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 231 

The snufifer, buffer I raps his mull^ 

His nose it cries out '' Snuff I " 
The Smoker^ Joker I puffs his full 

In this queer world of puff ! 

The lawyer's gout is soon smok'd out ; — 

If in the parson's toe 
It ends in 8moke> say simple folk, 

Just ends his sermon so ! 

The tippler loves his swanky, swipe ; 

The prince, the peer^ the beau^ 
A pipe of wine — give tne my pipe 

Of Backy for to blow ! 

No pinch or draught drive care abafl 

From folks a cup too low, 
Like the joys, my brave boys ! 

When we a cloud do blow. 



** CaufUerblasf* against what he accoimted a noxious weed, and 
ordered that no planter in Virginia should cultivate more than 
one hundred pounds. 

In 1610, the smoking of tobacco was known at Constan- 
tinople,. To render the custom ridiculous, a TtirAc, who had 
been found smoking, was conducted about the streets with a 
pipe transfixed through hit nose I And in 1653, when smoking 
tobacco was first introduced into the Canton of Appenzell, in 
Switzerland, the children ran after the Smokers in the streets ; 
the Council Ukewise punished them, and ordered the inn- 
keepers to inform against such as should smoke in their 
houses. — In 1724, Pope Benedict XIV. revoked the bull of 
excommunication, pubUshed by Innocent^ because he himself 
had acquired the habit of taking snuff! 



232 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

A penny-postman-like rap at the caravan door 
was answered by the great Tragedian with 

" ' Open locks whoever knocks ! '"" And, as the 
unexpected visitor became visible, he added, ^^ Tom 
Titlepage ! as thou art Tom, welcome ; but as thou 
art Tom and a boon companion, ten times wel- 
come ! '" 

The Publisher's compromised dignity looked 
a trifle offended. He did liot half relish being 
treated so familiarly, 

^^ An infernal business this^ Mr. Bigstick ! The 
devil waits — the press stands still ! '^ 

" And why Tom, don't you ? Here 's a joint 
stool ; sit down and quaff out of Lady Macbeth's 
gilt goblet. Egad you and the devil are in the 
nick of time to listen to and cany away stich a 
Chapter of ^ 

Mb. Titlepage. Draw it mild ! 

Mr. Bigstick. As the moonbeams ! — Gentle- 
men, lend me your ears; which, perhaps, you 
would rather do than your purses! Who steals 
mine, steals — what he will not grow inconvenient- 
ly corpulent upon ! 

The Tragedian began to rummage an ancient 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S33 

hair-trunk that looked as raggedly bald as his own 
scalp ; dislodging sceptres, daggers, crowns, span- 
gled robes and stage wigs. In Dicky Gossip's bob* 
he discovered what he sought for ; a dirty, torn, 
dog^s-eared disjecti membra. Opening the bundle, 
and selecting at random, he bespoke the company^s 
attention to a fragment of — 



^ Suett boasted a recherche and extensive collection of stage 
wigSy comprising every variety, from the full-bottom, to the 
Tyburn bob ; which unique assortment was unfortunately 
burned in a fire that happened at the Birmingham Theatre, on 
Friday, August 13, 1792. This loss gave rise to several smart 
epigrams, among which were the following. 



" 'Twas sure some upstart Tory in his rigs. 
Who fir'd poor Suet ft long-tail'd race of Wigs; 
Ah ! cruel Tory, thus his all to take, 
Nor leave him one e'en for a hair-breadth ^scape.' 



» 



" Raise your subscriptions, every free-born soul-^ 
Stript of his wigs — ^behold a suffering Pole'* 

Dicky answered the doggrel, in a jingle of his own. 

" Well — ^well may you joke, who perhaps have a wig, 
But my loss is severe tho', for all this here gig ; 
For if spouse is dispos'd or to wrangle or box, 
Alas ! what will keep her from combing my locks ? 
My fortune 's too ruin'd, as well as renown. 
For in losing my wigs — I am stripped to a crown /'* 



234 MBRRIE ENGLAND 

"THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BONASSUS, OR 
THE BIGSTICK MEMOIRS." 

^^ All the world !8 a caravan I and all the gentle- 
men and ladies Lions and Tigresses ! For if a man 
be neither dwarf nor giant, bnt an nnhappj medium 
between the two— if he be not upon boxing terms 
with a whole menagerie, and will not fisty-cuff-it 
and rwir for an engagement, dam^me! he may 
whistle for one ! ^ 

Mr. Bigstick paused, glared ghastly terrible 
and ghostly grim. 

^^ Yes, I ^m too tall for a wonderM monkey, 
and too good-natured for an intelligent bull-dog. 
I caTi^t drink sangaree out of my &ther's skull, 
nor beat the big drum with the bones of my 
grandmother!^ 

He then, after taking a deep draught at the 
mum, resumed his narrative. 

^^ I was articled to the law, and Pump Court 
was tl^e pabulum where I began to qualify myself 
for Lord Chancellor. But fearful is the dramatic 
furor of attomey^s clerks. My passion was not for 
bills of costs, but for bills of the play ; I longed 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 235 

to draw, not leases, but audiences ; as for pleas, 
my ambition was to please tbe town ; and I 
cared nothing for CoAre, while Shakspere^s muse 
of jirt warmed my imagination ! Counsellor 
Cunmiing soon found his clerk going. I quitted 
the Court, leaving my solitary competitor the Pump 
to spout alone. 

A personable fellow* (for whom any lady might 
be proud to jump into the Serpentine, the jury 
finding a verdict of manslaughter against my 
good looks, with a deodand of five shillings on 
my whiskers!) * I left my father's bouse, and 
took with me' — as much wardrobe as I could 
conveniently carry on^ and behind my back. My 



^ A very different looking personage to Mr. Bigstick must 
have been the unhappy young gentleman, aged twenty-two, 
(see the '< Times," 21st March, 1835,) who killed himself by 
poison, and left this letter upon his table :— * 

^' I die a Catholic — I leave my mortal remains to my father 
and mother, regretting that they should have allowed the 
growth and development of a creature of so disagreeable a 
conformation as their son. Endowed with the most exquisite 
feelings, mjface has always^HgA^eTied the &ir sex. I go to 
seek in Heaven a society which my aspect will not annoy ; for I 
imagine that, freed from its carnal covering, my spirit will not 
dismay the inhabitants of the other world.'' 



286 MEERIE ENGLAND 

first professional bow waa in the Poor GeniUman^ 
and Raising the Wind, in a bam at Leighton 
Buzzard, where the Oods clambered up to the 
gallery by a ladder, through which many of the 

tippling deities could hardly see a hole ! The 

I ' 111 1^—— II I ■ ■ ■ . ■ 

' Another link in the dramatic chain is broken. Arthur 
Griffinhoqfy has joined the jocund spirits of Garricky Hoadh/y 
and the elder George. 

Rejoice, ye witlings ! for the lamp that dinuned your little 
farthing rushlights, Death, the universal extinguisher, has 
eclipsed for ever ! Retailers of small talk, who fattened on 
the unctuous crumbs of conceit that fell from the merry man's 
table, make the most of your legacy : your master hath car- 
ried his Broad Grins to Efysium. Ye select few, who admired 
the wit and loved the man, mourn ! 

Thanks to the ghastly monarch ! for he hath been a for- 
bearing creditor :^lo large an amount of fun payable at sight, 
and George a septuagenarian ! Three days' grace— three 
score and ten ! 

A day of mirth will it be on Styx, when the ferryman rows 
over Mr. Merryman. Faith, Mr, Colman, you 're a very droll 
man! 

What a coil attends the new comer ! Churchill^ Lloyd, 
Thornton, Garrick, all inquiring about the modem Dram. 
Pers. — " Ye jovial goblins," quoth George, " a Dram, per 
se / " 

Whereupon Sam — not the lexicographer — marching forth 
his wooden leg, accepts, with an approving chuckle, the pun as 
Foote-ing, or garnish ; they are hail spirit well met, and be- 
come as merry as ghosts. 

Life's a Jest; and a merrier one than thine, facetious 
George, Time shall not crack till the crack of doom. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 237 

stalls (the cart-horses having been temporally 
ejected) sparkled with the ilite — sixpenny-worth 
of coppers being paid for sitting apart in aristo- 
cratical exclusiveness. My declamation might 
have electrified Gog and Magog, and made the 
Men in Armour start from their spears ! The bam 
rang with applause, my success was triumphant, 
and my fate decided. 

" I next joined Mr. Dunderhead, the Dunstable 
manager, on whose boards I. had the supreme 
felicity of beholding, for the first time, the Turn- 
bletuzzy. She danced with the castanets (le Pan- 
tomime de Vamour) ; my heart beat to her fairy 
footsteps ; the long sixes capered before my eyes, 
my pulse thumped a hundred and twenty per 
minute-^I wooed, and had well nigh won her — 
when our Harlequin, a ci-devant, ubiquitous, in- 
iquitous barber, all but dashed the nectared cup 
from my lip. I did not horsewhip him, * for 
that were poor revenge,' — ^no! I shewed him up 
on my benefit night in a patter song.^ 

** Bravo!'' cried Mr. Bosky, /'Let us, Mr. 
Bigstick, have the song by all means.'' 



4 



238 MERRIE ENGLAND 

The great Tragedian, screwing, a la Mathews^. 
his month a-jar, condescendingly complied. 

Stolen or stray'd my beautiful maid I 
Unlucky my ducky has met a decoy — 

As brown as a berry, as plump as a cherry. 

And rosy-cheek'd, very ! and Jenny-so-coy ! # 

Baggage and bag^g the Dunstable waggin 

Were popp'd by a wag in, hight Harlequin Lun — 

They, honey-moon hot, shot the moon like a shot ; 
But / 'U shoot the rascal as sure as a gun I 

She sings like a linnet, she plays on the spinnet, 
A day 's like a minute when she is in doors ; 

My aunt in the attic, my uncle extatic ! 
Encore the chromatique my Philomel pours ! 

I lov'd her so dearly and truly, for really 

She cuts a mug^ queerly, as Arthur's Queen Doll *, 

She beats the tol lol of Molly Brown hollow, 
And sings like Apollo in Gay's pretty Poll. 

I told her a rebus, I gave her a wee buss ; 

She call'd me her Phoebus, her hero of pith ; 
Her caraway comfit, her prime sugar plumb, fit 

For lady's lip, rum fit ! her LcUtfpop Smith / 

' The Mug$ out of which the violent politicians of Charles 
the Second's time drank their beer, were fiEushioned into the 
resemblance of Shqftsbury's &ce. Hence the common phrase, 
" Ugly Mug ! " 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 239 

No more thought Teresa small tipple of me, sir. 
Than pretty Miss P., sir^ oiwc premiere daneeuw^ 

Lightsome, lenitive ! philoprogenitive ! 

Sukey with bouquet and white satin shoes I 

To be, or not to be ? is it a shot to be ? 

Is it a knot to be, tied to a beam ? 
Death 's but a caper, life 's but a taper, 

A vision, a vapour, a shadow, a dream. 

Hang melancholy I grieving 's a folly I 

Laugh and be jolly ! there 's nothing like fun ! 

1 11 make Miss Terese cry " Yes if you please ! " 
And down on his knees shall Harlequin Lun" 

*^ But the ^ beautified Ophelia !^ fickle, not false, 
and &x less fickle than freakish ! in all the ten- 
der distraction of Cranboum Alley white muslin 
and myrtle, implored my forgiveness. Were her 
three-quarters^ music and dancing to be thrown 
away upon a base barber ? 

' ye, whose adamantine sorrows know 
The iron agonies of copper woe I' " 

Here the great Tragedian became overpowered, 
and cried a flood of stage tears very naturally. 
*^ Encore ! encore l"^ shouted Uncle Timothy. 



240 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Othello was at a loss whether or not to take 
this as a compliment, and weep a second brewing. 
He mbbed his eyes — ^but the Noes had it— 

« Bigstick 's himself again ! '^ 

^' On the disbanding of our troop, we hied to 
Stoke-Pogeis with a letter of introduction to 
the manager. Mr. Truncheon (his wig * in 
most admired disorder,^) started and exclaimed, 
' What the deuce could Dunderhead have been 
about to send you here ?* The other night 
Dowager Mucklethrift bespoke * Too late for 
Dinner,'* I speculated on one upon the strength 
of it, and treated the company (who were as 
thin as our houses,) to a gallon of ^ intermediate/ 
when, lo ! and behold ! in she tottered with her 
retinue (a rush of two !) to the boxes, and her 
deaf butler Diggory, esquiring some half-dozen 
lady patronesses, hobbled up to the threepenny 
gallery to grin down upon us ! 

^^A man may as well bob for whale in the 
river Thames ; for live turtle in the City Basin ; 
for white-bait in the Red Sea; expect to escape 
choking after haying bolted a grape-shot^ or to 
elicit a divine spark from the genius of a mud 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 241 

volcano, as hope not to be ruined and rolled 
up among such sublime intelligences ! There ^s 
a hole in the kettle, sir, and we are half starved ! ^^ 
Surrounded by Shori^s Gardens and dwelling in 
Queer Street, Teresa and myself began to diet on 
our superfluities. My Romeo last-rose-of-summer 
pantaloons were diluted into a quart of hot pea* 
soup, and Bobadil'^s superannuated cocked hat and 
Justice Midas^s wig were stewed down in the 
shape of a mutton scrag, Juliet^s Flanders^ lace 
flounce famishing the trinmiings ! At this ex- 
tremity, when Mrs. Heidelburg's embroidered satin 
petticoat of my aunt^s had gone to " my uncle's '" 
for a breakfast, my firiend Dennis O'Doddipool,^ 



' An Hibernian member of a strolling company of come- 
dians, in the north of England, lately advertised for his be- 
nefit, ** An occasional Address, to be spoken by a new acior'* 
This excited great expectation among the towns-people. On 
his benefit night Padcfy Roscius stepped forward, and in a rich 
brogue thus addressed the audience : 

** To-night a new actor appears on the stage. 
To claim your protection, and your patron-o^e ; 
Now, who do you think this new actor may be ? 
Why, turn round your eyes, and look full upon mc. 
And then you 11 be sure this new actor to see." 

Qy, — Could this new actor be Mr. O'Doddipool ? 

VOL. II. M 



2^ MBERIE ENGI«AND 

whose soeeess at Coik had oaUed him to dmw 
one, and enjoy his hoitle, inTited ns to BaOina- 
rnnek. We showered down as many henedictiwis 
upon Demus aa woold stand betwem Temple Bar 
and Weatminster, bundled op our 'ahreds and 
patches,' levied tribute <m the frrmers* poultry, and 
when a goose fdl in our way, made him so wise 
as neTer to be taken for a goose J^ain ! and 
arrired by short stages, in a loi^ caraTan, at 
Holyhead. Hey for Ireland I straight we bent 
our way to the land of piaties and Paddies ! 
O'Doddipool welcomed us with all the huggiogs 
and sereechings of a Gennan salutation ; danced 
like Mr. Moses at the feast of Purim,^ and cried 

* The feast of Porim, an ancient Jewish festiyal, held yearly 
on the 7th of Mareh, is in commemoiaticm of the UH of 
Haman and his ten sons. This feast is generally spent in 
pohlic rejoicing, soeh as miaJud balby leiiiMg o^ Jtreworkty 
&G. At one time a Fair was held in the vicinity of Doke's 
Place ; bnt which the authorities of the City of London haTe 
pat down for seyeial yeais past. Amongst the moie Tespect* 
able order, fiunily parties are kept up to a Tcry lale hour. 
The tables aze generally adorned with hmig bee^ to com- 
memorate the hanging of Hanum, On the cTening of this 
feast, the Jews attend their synagognes, where the Reader 
chants the Book of Esther in the Hebrew language ; and at one 
time, (the practice is now partially abolished,) whenever the 
Reader repeated the name of Hamanj the yomiger branches tif 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S43 

like the French butcher,* for joy ! I played first 
comedy before the lamps and second fiddle behind 
^em, — walking gentlemen and running footmen^*** 
brayos and bishops,^ — ^swept the boards with Tra- 



the congregation beat the seats, and otherwise created a noise» 
with small wooden hammers, which were designated Haman- 
clappers, 

' A Slaughter^many in the interval of killing, strolled 
from a neighbouring abattoir to Pere la Chaise, Shedding 
tears like rain, and clasping his blood-stained hands, he stood 
before the tomb of Abelard and Eloisa ; while ever and anon 
he blubbered out, " Oh / Pamourf V amour /" He then wiped 
his eyes with his professional apron, and returned to business ! 
This is truly French, 

* Garrick was in the habit of employing a whimsical fellow 
whose name was Stone^ to procure him theatrical supernumera- 
ries. The following correspondence passed between them. 



" Sir, Thursday Noon. 

" Mr. Lacy turned me out of the lobby yesterday, and be- 
haved very iU to me. I only ax*d for my two guineas for the 
last Bishopy and he swore I shouldn't have a &rthing. I can't 
live upon air. I have a few Cupids you may have cheap, as 
they belong to a poor journeyman shoemaker, who I drink 
with now and then. 

" Your humble saroanty 

« Wm. Stone.*' 

^ Stone, Friday Mom. 

^^ You are the best fellow in the world. Bring the Cuptdk 
to the theatre to-morrow. If they are under six, and weU 

m2 



244 MERRIE ENGLAND 

gedy's sweeping pall, and a birch-broom, — hissed 
in the centre region of a fiery dragon in some 
diabolical demon-stration of dramatic diablerie, — 



made, you shall have a guinea a piece for them. If you can 
get me two good rmtrdererSy I will pay you handsomely, par- 
ticularly the spouting fellow who keeps the apple-stand on 
Tower-hill ; the cut in hit face is quite the thing. Pick me up 
an Alderman or two, for Richard, if you can ; and I have no 
objection to treat with you for a comely Mayor, The barber 
will not do for BrutWy although I think he will succeed in 
Mat, 

"D.G." 

The person here designated the Bishop was procured by 
Stoney and had often rehearsed the Bishop of Winchetter in the 
play of Henry Vlllth, with such singillar ^lat, that Garrick 
addressed him at the rehearsal, as '* Cousin of Winchester,*^ 
The fellow, however, never played the part, although adver- 
tised more than once to come out in it. The reason will soon 
be guessed from the two following letters that passed between 
Garrick and Stone on the very evening the Prelate was to 
make his d^ut. 

« Sir, 

** The Bi^op of Wincliester is getting drunk at the Bear^ 
and swears he won't play to-night, 

" I am, yours, 

« Wm. Stone." 

** Stone, 

^ The Bishop may go to the devil. I do not know a 
greater rascal, except yourself. 

« D. G." 



IN THE OLDEN TIME 24S 

brandished a wooden sword, — gallanted Colam* 
bine, — ^blnshed bine flame and brickdnst in Fran- 
kenstein, — plastered my head over with chalk for 
want of a Lord Ogleby white wig, — and bellowed 
myself hoarse with tawdry configurations and clap- 
trap vulgarities ! And (* Punch has no feelings^ !) 
what my reward? A magnificent banquet of 
dry bread and ditch-water &om O^Doddipool, 
(^ Think on thaty Master Brook !') peels, not of 
applause, but oranges ! from the pit ; and showers 
of peas (not boiled !) from the Olympus of dis- 
orderly gods.' So finding, though in Ireland, my 



^ The custom oi pelting actors and authors upon the stage is very 
ancient. Hegemon of Tkasoiy a writer of the old comedy, upon 
the first representation of one of his plays, came upon the stage 
with a large parcel of pebhles in the skirt of his gown, and laying 
them down on the edge of the orchestra, gravely informed the 
spectators that whoever desired to pelt him might take them 
up and begin the attack ; but if, on the contrary, they chose 
to hear with patience, and judge with candour, he had done 
his best to amuse them ! The audience were so delighted 
with his play, that though its performance was interrupted by 
the aiyival of very unfortunate news from Sicily, viz, the de- 
struction of the Athenian Fleet, it was suffered to proceed ; 
not one of them quitting the theatre, though almost every in- 
dividual had lost a relation or friend in the action. The un- 
fortunate Athenians could not refrain from shedding tears on 
the occasion ; but such was their delicacy and honour with 



246 MERRIB ENGLAND 

capital wasn'^t doubling, I gave the bog-trotters the 
" Glass of Fashion^'" (they never gave me a glass 
of anything !) to a sausage-maker^s Polantus ; 
took my leave and two and six-pence ; bolted to 
Ballinamuck; (my Farce of Ducks and Green 
Peas never had such a ran !) starred it from Bal^ 
linamuck to Bartlemy, and engaged with the man 
that lets devils out to hire, and deals in giants of 
the first enormity. My crack parts are Othello 
and Jim Crow ; so that between the two, the 
lamp black never gets washed off my fiice, and 
I fear I shall die a Negro 

^^Thus far,^ added the great Tragedian, rolling 
up the papers into a bundle and tossing them over 
to Mr. Titlepage, " the Autobiography of BondS" 
sus ! From Smithfield we march to the Metropo- 
litans. * The Garden "* is sadly in want of a fine 
high comedy figure at a low one; and Brury, 
of a Tragedy Queen who can do Dollallolla. I 
smother a new debutante. Miss Barbara Bug- 
gins ; beat Liston ' hollow in Moll Flaggon ; and 



respect to the foreigners then present, that they concealed their 
weakness by muffling their faces in their mantles. 
* Of an actor so extensively popular, let us indulge a few 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 247 

put out of joint the noses of all preceding Mac- 
beths. The Tumbletuzzy opens in Queen Ka* 
therine (which she plays quite in a different style 
to Siddons).'*^ 

To this the satirical nosed gentleman nodded 
assent. 

*' With fifteen new readings to electrify the 
diurnal critics of Petticoat Alley and Blow-bladder 
Lane r 

Mr. Bubangrub guaranteed for the brethren. 
One new reading he would take the liberty of 
suggesting to Mr. Bigstick. John Kemble had 
entirely mistaken Shakspere's meaning. ^' Bimam 



reminiscences. We remember bis first entrie upon the boards 
of old Covent Garden, in Jacob Gawky ; but his present am- 
plitude of face and rotundity of person were then wanting to 
heighten the pictmre ; and flesh, like wine, does wonders. 
His Yoice, too, has waxed more fat and unctuous ; and broader 
(like his figure) has grown his fun. The stage became pos- 
sessed of a new character, such as humourist had never before 
conceived, or player played — Mr, Liston ! — The town roared 
with laughter ; actors split their sides at his deepening gra- 
vity ; caricaturists, in despair, cast off invention, and trusted 
solely to his unique lineaments ; our signs bore aloft his phy- 
siognomical wonders ; and walking-sticks, tobacco-stoppers, 
snuff-boxes, owned the queer impeachment. 

Liston I the Knight of the comical countenance, where 
Momus sits enthroned in every dimple, crying aloof to the sons 

VOL. II. M 4 



24S MERRIE ENGLAND 

Wood"" comes not to ^^ DunsinanCy'^ a town; bat 
to ^^ Dunce inane^'' Macbeth ! who was blockhead 
enoagh to put his trust in the witches. The 
great Tragedian danced with ecstasy at this ^* pal* 
pable hit,^ and promised pipes and purl for the 
critical party after the performance. 

" Egg-hot,'^ said he, *' is not my ordinary tipple ; 
but on this occasion (pardon egotism !) I will be 
an egg-hot-ist ! And now, to the Queen^s Arms 
for a supper, and then to Somnus^s for a snooze !^ 



of care and melancholy ! He is the very individual oddity 
described in the epigram-^ 

*' Here, Hermes/' says Jove, who with nectar was mellow, 

" Go, fetch me some clay, I will make an oddfellow*' 
And forth sprang Liston, a figure of fun ! Not for the amuse- 
ment of gods, but of men ! 

To Sttett we owe our first impression of drollery, but Aw 
glimmering spark was soon extinct. The sun of Litton has 
been before us from its rising to its setting. We hailed its 
grotesque ascension, basked in its broad meridian, and now 
(when time has somewhat sobered down its comet-like eccen- 
tricities) sorrowfully contemplate its going down. 

Liston^s last season ! and the cruel old boy looks so provok- 
ingly hale and comical ! What years of future laughter are 
in his face, scored over with quips and cranks ! drawn up in 
&rcical festoons ! furrowed with fun ! 

Liston's last season J — ^Why should he retire ? Are not the 
times sad enough?— How will the world wag, wanting its 
merriest one ? 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 240 

With a patronising air he conducted us down 
the ladder. To Uncle Timothy he said a few 
words in private, and our ears deceived us, if 
^^ gratitude^ was not among the number. 

We fancied that the jovial spirit of the good 
Prior, on a three days' furlough from Elysium, 
hovered over the holiday scene ; and that a sha- 
dowy black robe and cowl, half concealing his 
portly figure and ruddy features, flitted in the 
moonlight, and disappeared under the antique low- 
arched door that leads to his mausoleum ! ^ 
• ^^ Dreams are the children of an idle brain."' 
Yet ours was a busy one through the live-long 



* Each of the monks that kneel beside the effigy of Rahere 
has a Bible before him, open at the fifty-first chapter of 
Isaiah* The third verse is peculiarly applicable to his holy 
work. And as it was the Star that guided him to convert an 
imhealthy marsh, " dunge and fenny" on the only dry part of 
which was erected " the gallows of thieves/* into a temple 
and a ^^ garden of the Lord ;*' so it was his divine assurance 
that he would live to see, in his own casCy the prophecy ful- 
filled ; and hear the ^* voice of melody" echo through the 
sacred walls his piety had raised. 

^^ The Lord shall comfort Zion : he will comfort all her 
waste places ; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and 
her desert like the garden of the Lord ; joy and gladness shall 
be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." 

M 5 



^^ 



250 MERKIB ENGLAND 

night. The groiesqae scene acted itself oyer again, 
with those fimtastical additions that hdong to 
** Death^s oonnterfeit.^ Legions of Anthropophagi ; 
giants o^eitoppmg PeUon and Oasa ; hideous abor- 
tions; grinning nondescripts; the mmiatore, mis- 
chieyons court of Queen Mab, and the fiddling^ 
dancing troop of Tarn O^Shanter passed before us 
in eyery yariety of unearthly combination. Clouds 
of incense arose, and the yision, growing dim, gra- 
dually melted away, — a low, solemn chant leaying 
its dying notes upon the ear. 

Let gratitude's chorus arise^ 

If gratitude dwell upon earthy 
To hymn thy return to the skies^ 

Beneocleni spirit of mirth ! 

Long flourish thy firoliesomeyatr^ 
Where many odd haigains are driyen ; 

And may peccadilloes done there^ 
For ihy merry sake he foigiyen ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 251 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Thb sentinel sleeps when off his post ; the 
Moorfields barker enjoys some interval of repose ; 
moonshine saffers a partial eclipse on Bank holi- 
days among the omnium gathereni of Bulls and 
Bears ; the doctor gives the undertaker a holiday ; 
Argus sends his hundred eyes to the Land of Nod, 
sisid Briareus puts his century of hands in his 
pockets.-^ But the match-maker, ante and post 
meridian, is always at her post ! 

^^ The News teems with candidates for the 
noose :— A spinster conjugally inclined ; a bachelor 
devoted to Hymen ; forlorn widowers ; widows 
disconsolate ; and why not ^ A daughter to marry f^ 
Addresses paid per post, post paid ! For an intro- 
duction to the belle, ring the bell ! None but 
principals (with a principal !) need apply .^' 

" Egad,'' continued Mr. Bosky, as we journeyed 



252 MERRIE ENGLAND 

through the fields a few mornings after our cara- 
van adventure, to pay Uncle Timothy a visit at 
his new rus in urbe near Hampstead Heath, *' it 
will soon be dangerous to dine out, or to figure 
in ; for a dinner may become an action for da- 
mages ; and a dance, matrimony without benefit 
of clergy ! But yesterday I pic-nic'd with the 
Mufis ; buzzed with Brutus ; endured Jlfa, was 
jtist civil to Miss ; when early this morning comes 
a missive adopting me for a son-in-law V^ 

We congratulated Mr. Bosky on the prospect 
of his speedily becoming a Benedick, 

" Bien obligS ! What ! ingraft myself on that 
family Upas tree of ignorance, selfishness, and 
conceit ! Couple with triflers, who, having no 
mental resources or amusement within themselves, 
sigh * O ! another dull day !^ and are happy only 
when some gad-about party drag them from a 
monotonous home, where nothing is talked of or 
read, but petty scandal, fashions for the month, 
trashy novels, mantua-makers^ and milliners^ bills ! 

• 

I can laugh at affectation, but I loathe dupli- 
city ; I can pity a fool, but I scorn a flirt. 
This is a hackneyed ruse of Ma*s, The last coast- 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 253 

ing season of the Muflfs has been comparatively 
unprolific. From Margate to Brighton Miss Ma- 
tilda counts but five proposals positive, and half 
a dozen presumptive; in the latter are included 
some broad stares at Broadstairs from the Holborn 
Hill Demosthenes ! and even these have been furi- 
ously scrambled for by the delicate sisters for their 
marriageable Misses! * Everybody,' says Lord 
Herbert of Cherbury, * loves the virtuous, whereas 
the vicious do scarcely love one another.' "" 

An oddity crossed our path. " There waddles,'** 
said the Laureat, ^^ Mr. Onessimus Omnium^ who 
thrice on every Sabbath takes the round of the 
Conventicles with his pockets stuffed foil of bibles 
and psalm books, every one of which (chapter and 
verse pointed out !) he passes into the hands of 
forgetful old ladies and gentlemen whom he opines 
* Consols, and not philosophy, console !' Pasted 
on the inside cover, is his card, setting forth the 
address and calling of Onessimus ! You may 
swear that somebody is dead in the neighbourhood, 
(the pious Lynx is hunting up the executors !) 
by seeing him out of ' the Alley ' at this early time 
of the day.'' 



254f MERRIE ENGLAND 

Farther a-field, rambling amidst the niral scenes 
he has so charmingly described, we shook hands 
with Uncle Timothj^s dear friend, the Author of 
a work ^^ On the Beautiei^ Harmonies^ and Suhlu 
mities of Nature} Happy old man ! Who shall 

^ To Charles Buoee, 

On hearing that he is engaged upon another Work, to be 

entitled Man. 

" Man ! " comprehensive Volume ! — ^busy Man — 
A world of warring passions, hopes and fears ; 

Good, evil — all within one little span ! 
Pride, meanness ; wisdom, folly ; smiles and tears ; 

Th' oppressor, the oppress'd ; the cowal-d, brave ; 

Fate*s foot-ball from the cradle to the grave ! 

These records of thy studious days and eves, 

Thy musings and experience, are to me 
A moral, that this sure impression leaves ; 

Man never i/et was happy — ne'er can be / 
The feverish bliss, my friend, that dreimers feign, 
Binds him a prisoner &ster to his chain. 

.The miser to his treasure, and the proud 

To pride and its dominion ; — to his gorge 
The glutton ; — and the low promiscuous crowd 

To sordid sensualities, that forge 
The unseen fetters, which so firmly bind, 
Are all ignobly bound in body ; — ^mind. 

He only is a free man, who, like thee. 
Does stand aloof, and mark the wild uproar 

That shakes the depths of life's tempestuous sea ; 
And steers his fragile bark along the shore. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 255 

say that fortune deals barshlj) if, in taking much 
away^ she leaves us mrtut f 

Winding through a verdant oopse, we suddenly 
came in sight of an elegant mansion. From a 
flower-woven arbour, sacred to retirement, pro- 
ceeded the notes of a guitar. 

*^ Hush f said the Laureat, colouring deeply, — 



The swelling canvass and the prosperous gale 
Herald the shipwreck's melancholy tale I 

Nature, all beauteous Nature ! — thou hast sung 
In prose poetic, through each various scene ; 

And when thy harp upon the willows hung, 
She kept thy form erect, thy brow serene ; 

And breathed upon thy mul ; and 'geace was there : 

The soft, still music of a mother^ s prayer. 

She gave thee truth, humility, content ; 

A spirit to return for evil good ; 
A grateful heart for bliss denied, or sent ; 

And sweet companionship in solitude ! 
Candour, that wrong offence nor takes, nor gives ; 
A brother's boundless love for all that lives ! 

Pursue thy solemn theme.^-And when on a Man 
The curtain thou hast dropp*d, return once more 

To Nature. She has Beauties yet to scan. 
New Harmonies, Sublimities, in store I. 

She will repay thy love ; and weave, and spread, 

A garland — and ^ pillow — for thy head. 

Uncle Timothy. 



Ji 



356 MERRIE ENGLAND 

** breathe not ! Stir not !^ And a voice of sur- 
passing sweetness sang 

Farewell Autumn's shady bowers^ 
Puiple fruits and fragrant flowers^ 
Golden fields of waving com^ 
And merry lark that wakes the mom I 
Earth a mournful silence keeps^ 
See, the dewy landscape weeps I 
Hark I thro' yonder lonely dell 
Gentle zephyrs sigh farewell I 

Call'd ere long by vernal spring, 
Trees shall blossom^ birds shall sing ; 
The blushing rose^ the lily fair 
Deck sweet siunmer's bright parterre — 
Flocks and herds, the bounding steed 
Shall> sporting^ crop the flowery mead^ 
And bounteous Nature yield again 
. Her ripen'd fruits and golden grain. 

Ere the landscape fades from view, 

As behind yon mountains blue 

Sets the sun in glory bright — 

And the regent of the nighty 

Thron'd where shines the blood-red Mars^ 

With her coronet of stars. 

Silvers woodland^ hill and dell^ 

Lovely Autumn I fare thee well. 

Was Mr. Bosky in love with the songstress or 






IN THE OLDEN TIME. 257 

the songp Certes his manner seemed nnusually 
hurried and flurried ; and one or two of his forced 
whistles sounded like suppressed sighs. So absent 
was he that, not regarding how far we had left 
him in the rear, he stood for a few minutes mo- 
tionless, as if waiting for echo to repeat the 
sound I 

We thought — it might be an.iUusion— that a 
fair hand waved him a graceful recognition. At 
all events the spell was soon broken, for he bound- 
ed along to us like the roe, with 



** Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way. 
And merrily hent the stile-a : 
A merry heart goes all the day, 
Your sad tires at a mile-a." 

The laughing Autolicus ! It was his blithe- 
some note that Jirst made us acquainted with 
Uncle Timothy ! 

The remembrance of boyhood is ever pleasing 
to the reflective mind. The duties that await 
us in after-life; the cares and disappointments 
that obstruct our future progress cast a shade over 
those impressions that were once interwoven with 
our existence. But it is only a shade ; recall but one 



258 MERRIE ENGLAND 

image of the distant scene, and the tshole rises 
in all its freshness and verdure; touch but one 
string of this forgotten harmony, and every thord 
shall vibrate ! 

*^ Arma, Yi-rump que cane-o !^ exclaimed the 
Laureat, pointing to his old schoolmaster, who was 
leaning over his rustic garden-gate, reading his 
fitvourite Virgil. And how cordial was their 
greeting! The scholar played his urchin pranks 
over again, and the i&aster flourished a visionary 
birch. Mr. Bosky hurried us into the play* 
ground ; (his little garden was still there, but it 
looked not so trim and gay as when he was its 
horticulturist !) led us into the school room, 
pointed out his veritable desk, notched at all cor- 
ners with his initials ; identified the particular peg 
whereon, in days of yore, hung his (too often) 
crownless castor ; and recapitulated his boyish 
sports, many of the sharers of which he happily 
recognised in the ftill tide of prosperity; and not 
a few sinking under adverse fortune, whose pro- 
spects were once bright and cheering, and whose bo- 
soms boimded with youth, and innocence, and joy ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 059 

^' Let me die in autumn ! that the withered 
blossoms of summer may bestrew my grave, and 
the mournful breeze that scatters them, sigh forth 
my requiem !" 

These were the words of the poor widow's only 
flan, at whofld tomb, in the village church-yard, 
we paused in sorrowful contemplatiait Its goar^ 
dian angels were Love and Pity entwined in each 
other's arms. Uncle Timothy, after recording the 
name and age of him to whom it was raised, thus 
concluded the inscription :-— 

Mysterious Vision of a fitful dream I 

Pilgrim of Time tiiro' Nature's dark sojourn I 

Then cast upon Eternity's wide stream — 

To Know Thyself is all thou need'st to learn : 

And that thy God, omnipotent and just, 

Is mercifid, remembering thou art Dttstf 

— When the friends of our youth are fast dying 
away; when the scenes that once delighted us 
are fading from our view, and new connections 
and objects ill repay the loss of the old, how wel- 
come the summons that closes our disappointments 
and calls us to rest ! The mourners walk the 



260 MERRIE ENGLAND 

Streets, but the man is gone ; the body dissolves 
to dost, but the spirit returns to Him that 
gave it ! 

The Village Free-School was at hand, (the 
morning hymn, chanted by youthful voices, rose 
on the breeze to heaven !) and the Alms-houses, 
where Uncle Timothy first met the poor widow 
and the good pastor. A troop of little chil- 
dren were gathered round one of the inmates, 
listening to some old wife^s tale. ^Tis the privi- 
lege of the aged to be reminiscent : the past is 
their world of anecdote and enjoyment. Let us 
then afford them this pleasure, well nigh the only 
one that time has not taken away ; remembering, 
that we with quick pace advance to the closing 
scene, when we shall be best able to appreciate 
the harmless gratification they now ask of us, and 
which we, in turn, shall ask of others. 

The ancient church spire rising between the tall 
elms, and the neat Parsonage House gave an 
exquisite finish to the surrounding scenery. Happy 
England ! whose fertile hills and valleys are spotted 
with these Temples of the Most High, where " the 
rich and the poor meet together, for the Lord hath 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. S6l 

made them all ;^ and the humble dwellings of the 
shepherds of his flock. The good pastor scattered 
blessings around him. His genius and learning 
commanded admiration and respect ; his piety, and 
Christian charity conciliated dissent ; and his life 
exemplified the ^* beauty of holiness.^^ He had 
confirmed the faithful; fixed the wavering; and 
reclaimed the dissolute. 

'^ The wretch who once song wildly — danc'd and laugh'd> 
And suck'd down dizzy madness with his draughty 
Has wept a silent flood — ^reversed his ways — 
Is sober, meek^ benevolent^ and prays." 

Place us above the sordid vulgar ; light us on that 
enviable medium between competency and riches, 
and there we shall find the domestic virtues flour- 
ishing in full vigour and grace. In the rank hot- 
bed of artificial life spring up those noxious weeds 
that choke and destroy them. 

We now arrived at Uncle Timothy's cottage, 
reared in the midst of a flower garden. In a 
summer-house fragrant with roses, woodbine, and 
jessamine sat our host and the good pastor. A 
word of introduction soon made us friends ; and 
from the minister's kind greeting, it was clear that 



962 MERRIE ENGLAND 

UdcIb Timothy had not been niggard in our 
praise. 

An old lady in deep monming walked slowly 
np the path. Uncle Timothy went forth to re- 
ceive her. It was the poor widow ! The mother 
of that only son ! 

'^ Welcome, dear Madam ! to this abode of 
peace. To-day — and what a day ! so cool, so 
calm, so bright ! we purpose being your guests.'' 

" Mine f^ faltered the poor widow, anxiously. 

*' Yours !" replied Uncle Timothy ; ** sit down, 
my friends, and I will explain all. 

^' My childhood was sorrowful, and my yonth 
laborious. A near relation wasted my patrimony ; 
and with no other resource than a liberal educa- 
tion, wrung from the slender means of my widowed 
mother, I began the world. In this strait, a gene- 
rous friend took me by the hand ; first instructing 
me in his own house of business, and then pro- 
curing me an eligible appointment abroad. From 
time to time I acquainted him with my progress, 
and received in return substantial proofii of his 
benevolent and watchftd care. Years rolled away, 
-fortune repaid my ardent endeavours, - and I 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 963 

TemAveA to reyiait my native land. I embarked 
for England ; when, almost in cdght of her white 
cliffs, a storm arose, 'the ship foundered, and I lost 
half mj possessions. Enough still remained to ren- 
der me independent. My mother and sister were 
ii^red to bid me welcome, — my early oppressor 
(the infidel may laugh at retribution ; but retri- 
bution begins, when a man is suspected in the 
society of others, and self-condemned in his own) 
had descended remorseftd to the grave,-^ and my 
noble benefactor-^ 

' grief had changed him since I saw him last ; 
And careful hours^ with time's deforming hand, 
Had written strange defeatures in his fiice — * 

by pecuniary embarrassments, heightened by in- 
gratitude, was brought very low. Cheerfiilly would 
I have devoted to him my whole fortune, and 
began the world again. For then I possessed 
strength and energy to toil. But ere I could 
carry this my firm resolution into effect, three 
days after my airival, 

< As sweetly as a child, 
Whom neither thought disturbs nor eare encumbers^ 
Tired with long play, at close of summer day^ 
Lies down and slumbers!' 



264 MERRIE ENGLAND 

he pressed bis last pillow, requiting my filial tears 
with a blessing and a smile. 

^^ My debt of gratitude I hoped might still in 
part be paid. M j friend had an only daughter — 
Did that daughter survive P 

^' The most diligent inquiries, continued for many 
years, proved unsuccessfiil. On the evening of an 
ill-spent and wearisome day. Heaven, dear sir, 
(addressing the good pastor) led me to your pre- 
sence while performing the sacred duty of com- 
forting the mourner. What then took place I 
need not repeat. You will, however, remember 
that on a subsequent occasion, while looking over 
the papers of the widow^s son, we discovered a 
sealed packet, in which, accompanying a moum^ 
ing ring, presented to his mother, were these 
lines :■ — 

Pledge of love for constant care 
Let a widow'd mother wear ; 
Filial love, whose early bloom 
Proves a garland for the tomb. 

Ever watchful, ever nigh. 
It breaks my heart, it fills my eye 
To see thee hide the falling tear^ 
And hush the sigh I may not hear I 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 265 

Heaven thy precious life to spare 
Is my morning, evening prayer^ 
When I rise^ and sink to rest^ 
'Tis my first and last request. 

If, when deep distress of mind 
Press'd me sorely^ aught unkind 
I have said or done, forgive ! 
Error falls on all that live. 

Beneath the sod, where wave the trees. 
And softly sighs the whispering breeze^ 
Fain I would the grassy shrine. 
Mother I guard my dust and thine. 

What are grief and suffering here ? 
Are they worth a sigh or tear ? 
What is parting ? — ^transient pain. 
Parting soon to meet again I 

The second enclosure was the miniature of his 
grandfather. But that miniature I Gracious God ! 
what were my sensations when I beheld the be- 
nignant, expressive lineaments of my early bene- 
factor! The object of my long and anxious 
inquiries was thus miraculously discovered ! Till 
that moment I had never felt true happiness. 
This cottage, dear Madam, with a moderate inde- 

VOL. II. N 



266 MERRIE ENGLAND 

pendence, the deed I now present secures to yon ; 
in return, I entreat that the miniature may be 
mine: and I hope some kind fiiend (glancing 
at his nephew) will, in death, place it npon my 
bosom.*" 

'^ What darkness so profound,^ exclaimed the 
good pastor, '* that the All-seeing Eye shall not 
penetrate? What maze so intricate and per- 
plexed that onr Mercifid Father shall not safely 
guide us through ? ' Throw thy bread upon the 
waters, and it shall return to thee after many 
days; '' 

The village bells rang a merry peal; for the 
good pastor had ^ven the charity children a holi- 
day. They were entertained with old English 
fare on the lawn before the cottage, and super- 
intended in their dancing and blindmanVbuff by 
Norah Noclack and the solemn clerk. Nor were 
the aged inmates of the bountiful widow's Alms- 
houses forgotten. They dined at the Parsonage, 
and were gratified with a liberal present from. 
Uncle Timothy. And that the day might live 
in grateftil remembrance when those who now 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 267 

shared in its happiness found, their rest in the 
tomb, the Laureat of Little Britain (some, like 
the sponge, require compression before they yield 
anything; others, like the honey-comb, exude 
spontaneously their sweets,) expressed his inten- 
tion of adding two Alms-houses to the goodly 
number, and liberally endowing them. 

Many a merrier party may have sat down to 
dinner, but never a happier one. It was a scene 
of deep and heartfelt tranquillity and joy. The 
widow — ^no longer poor — presided with an easy 
self-possession, to which her misfortunes added a 
melancholy grace. 

Time passed swiftly; and the sun, that had 
risen and run his course in splendour, shed his 
parting rays on the enchanting scenery. Sud- 
denly a flood of light illumined the chamber 
where we sat with an almost supernatural glory, 
beaming with intense brightness on the coimte- 
nance of Uncle Timothy, and then melting away. 
Ere long in the distant groves was heard the 
nightingale^s song. 

'' One valued relic^^ said the widow, addressing 

N 2 



968 M£RRIC ENGLAND 

Uncle Timothy, " I have ever carefuUy preserved. 
You, dear sir, were an enthuaiust in boybood : 
and when, as your senior, I onee presumed to 
counsel you, this was your reply." 

And she read to Unde Timothy his youtiifttl 
iancy. 

Let saving prudence temper joy. 

Curtail of wit the social day; 
Excitement's pleasures soon destroy^^*^ 

The spirit wears the frame away. 
Thanks, gentle monitor ! I greet 

This friendly warning, well designed ; 
For Stella's voice is ever sweet. 

And Stellas words are ever kind ! 

I would not lose, to linger here. 

One happy hour of wit and glee ; 
If e'er of death I have a fear. 

It would with friends the parting be ! 
Then wear, my frame, and droop, and fede. 

And fall, and dust to dust return ; — 
With friendship's rites sincerely paid, 

'Tis sweeter to be mourned than mourn. 

For mourn we must — it is a pain, 

A penalty that man must pay 
For dreaming childhood o'er again, 

And sitting out last life's poor play. 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 269 

Sad privilege ! too dearly bought. 
To sorrow over those that sleep ; 

Sadder^ in apathy and naughty 

To lose the will, the power to weep ! 

Ere thought and memory are obscur'd, 

Let me, kind Stella ! say adieu ; 
I would not ask to be endur'd, 

No, not by e'en a friend like ytm ! 
Lote, friend^ip, interchange of mind. 

Celestial happiness hath given ; 
These glorious gifts she left behind. 

Her foot-prints as she fled to Heaven ! 

" And so, Eugenio," said Uncle Timothy, " you 
intend to visit the Eternal City, and muse over 
the mouldering ruins of the palaces of the Caesars. 
But rest not there-^take your pilgrim's staff and 
pass onward to that Land made Holy by the pre^ 
sence of our Redeemer I Would that / could 
accompany you to the sacred hills of Zion ! '^ 

^^ O for such a guide !'' estclaimed Eugenio. 
" But I should be too — ^oo happy — and I may 
BO more expect light without darkness, than joy 
without sorrow.'' 

" If UncU Tim goes, / go ! " whispered the 
Laureat. " With hxm I am resolved to /luc— - 



370 MERRIE ENGLAND 

with him it would be happiness ^ the last few 
words were inaudible. 

*^ Eugenio,^^ said the good pastor, laying his 
hand on the young traveller's head, who knelt re- 
verently to receive his blessing, *' you are in pos- 
session of youth, health, and competence. How 
enviable your situation ! — how extensive your 
power of doing good ! Fortune smiled not on the 
widow's son, — yet, to him belongs a far higher 
inheritance ; the inexhaustible treasures of Hea- 
ven, the eternal affluence of the skies ! A man's 
genius is always, in the beginning of life, as much 
unknown to himself as to others ; and it is only 
after frequent trials, attended with success, that 
he dares think himself equal to certain undertak- 
ings in which those who have succeeded have 
fixed the admiration of mankind. Be then what 
our lost friend would have been^ under happier 
circumstances. A stagnant, unprogressing exist- 
ence was never intended for man. Action is the 
xuind's proper sphere, ere time obscures its bright- 
ness and enfeebles its powers. And carry with 
you these truths, that the foundation of domestic 
happiness is faith in the virtue of woman ; the 



t n 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 271 

fomidation of political happiness is confidence in 
the integrity of man ; the foundation of all hap- 
piness, temporal and eternal, is reliance on the 
goodness of God« If, amidst more important 
occupations, the Muse claim a share of your re- 
gard, let not the ribald scorn of hypercriticism 
discourage you on the very threshold of poetry — 

' Know thine own worth, and reverence the Lyre- 

The night proved as lovely as the day. But 
with it came the hour of parting. Parting I — 
What a host of feelings are concentrated in that 
little word ! The Laureat bore up heroically. — 
The glare of the candles being too much for 
his eyes, he walked in the moonlight, while Eu- 
genic sang — 

Our sails catch the breeze — lov'd companions, adieu I 
Farewell ! — not to friendship — ^but farewell to you ! 
When Alps rise between us, and rolls the deep sea, 
Shall I e'er forget you ? Will you forget me f 

Ah ! no— for my hand you at parting have press'd. 
In memory of moments my brightest and best ! 
How sad heaves my bosom this tear let it tell. 
How falters my tongue when it bids jou/areweil f 

Eugenic was on ship-board early the following 



I) 



I 



272 MERRIE EKGLAND 

morn. His friends attended, to wish him boh 
voyage and a safe retnm. And as the noble 
vessel moved majestically along the watei^, b%h 
above the rest waved adieu the hand of Uncle 
Timothy ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 273 



CONCLUSION. 

Thus, gentle reader, we have led thee through 
a labyrinth of strange sights, of land^monsters and 
sea-monsters, many of man^s own making, others 
the offspring of freakish nature, of Jove mellow 
with nectar and ambrosia. If the '^ proper study 
of mankind is man,^ where can he be studied 
in a greater variety of character than in the 
scenes we have visited? The well-dressed au- 
tomaton of a drawing-room, (a tailor made him !) 
fenced in with fashions and forms, moving, look- 
ing, and speaking but as etiquette pulls the 
wires, exhibits man in artificial life, and must 
no more be taken as a fair sample of the genus, 
than must pharmacy, in the person of the pim- 
ple-faced quack^ mounted on his piebald pad, or 

' '^ Quacksalvers and mountebanks are as easy to be knowne 
as an asse by his eares, or the lyon by his pawes, for they 

N 6 



274 MERRIE ENGLAND 

charlatan^s stage. We have sbewn thee to 
what odd inventions men are put to provide faa 
for their fellows, and food for themselves. Yet 
if we ascend the scale of society it will be found 
that the Merry-Andrew is not the only wearer 
of the FooPs coat ; that buffoons and jesters are 
not exclusively confined to fairs ; that the jug- 
gler,* who steals his five pecks of com out of 



delight most commonly to proclaime their dealings in the open 
streets and market-places, by prating, bragging, lying, with 
their labells, banners, and wares, hanging them out abroade/' 
Morbus GallicuSf 1585, by William Clowes. 

" In the yeare 1587, there came a Flemming into the cittie 
of Gloceter (Gloucester) named Wolfgang Frolicke, and there 
hanged forth his pictures, his flagges, his instruments, and his 
letters of marte, with long labells, great tassels, broad scales 
closed in boxes, with such counterfeit showes and knackes of 
knauerie, coesining the people of their monie, without either 
learning or knowledge/' A most excellent and compendious 
Method of curing Wounds, ifc. translated by John Read, 8vo. 
1588. 

* The following description of an itinerant juggler of the 
olden time is exceedingly curious, and probably unique. 

" The third (as the first) was an olde fellowe, his beard 
milkewhite, his head couered with a round lowe-crownd rent 
silke hat, on which was a band knit in many knotes, wherein 
stucke two round stickes after the jugler's manner. Hisierkin 
was of leather cut, his cloake of three coulers, his hose paind 
with yellow drawn out with blew, his instrument was a bag- 
pipe, and him I knew to be William Cuckoe, better knowne 



IN THE OLDEN TIME, 275 

8 bushel ; the nostrum-vender who cures all dis- 
eases in the world, and one disease more ; the 
Little-go man and thimble-rigger have their seve- 
ral prototypes among the starred, and gartered; 
the laced and tinselled ** Noodles'' and " Doodles" 
of more elevated spheres, where the necessity for 
such ludicrous metamorphoses does not exist; 
except to shake off the ^le^ui of idleness, — and 
idleness, said the great Duke of Marlborough, is 
a complaint quite enough to kill the stoutest 6e* 
neral. How^ gentle reader, has thy time beei^ 
spent ? If Utilitarian^^ thou wilt say " Unprofit^ 



than lou'd, and yet, some thinke, as well lou'd as he was 
worthy.'* Kind-Harfs Drecane. 

Hocus Pocus, junior, in his Anatomy of Legerdemainey 1634, 
mentions one " whose father while he lived was the greatest 
jugler in England, and used the assistance of a &miliar ; he 
lived a tinker hy trade, and used his feats as a trade by the 
by ; he lived, as I was informed, alwayes betattered, and died, 
for ought I could hear, in the same estate." 

^ " To set downe the iugling in trades, the crafty tricks of 
buyers and sellers, the swearing of the one, the lying of the 
other, were but to tell the worlde that which they well knowe, 
and, therefore, I will ouerslip that. There is an occupation of 
no long standing about London, called broking, or brogging, 
whether ye will ; in which there is pretty juggling, especially 
to blind law, and bolster usury. If any man be forst to bring 
them a pawne, they will take no interest, not past twelue 



S76 MERRIE ENGLAND 

aWy — If Puritan^ ^^^ Profanelj/P PFesuinnig, 
however, that thou art neither the greedy, all- 
grasping first^ nor the OTer-reaching, preaching 
second ; but a well-conditioned happy being, with 
religion enotigh to shew thy love to God by thy 
benevolencef to man, thou wilt r^ard with an 
approving smile the various recreations that light- 
en the toil and beguile the cares of thy humbler 
brethren ; and thy compassion (not the world^s^^^^ 
Heaven save them and thee from the bitterness of 
that !) will fall on the poor Mime and Mummer, 
whose antic tricks and contortions, grinning mask 
of red ochre and white paint, but ill conceal his 
poverty-broken spirit, hollow ghastly eyes, and 
sunken cheeks — and thou wilt not turn scomftdly 
from the multitudes (none are to be despised but 
the wicked, and they rather deserve our pity) that 
such ( perhaps to thee) senseless sights can amuse. 



■+— r 



pence a pound for the month : marry, they must haue a groat 
for a monthly hill, which is a hill of sale from month to 
month ; so that no aduantage can he taken for the usurie. 
I heare say it 's well multiplied since I died ; hut I heshrewe 
them, for, in my life, many a time haue I horrowed a shilling 
on my pipes, and paid a groat for the hill, when I haue fetcht 
out my pawne in a day." WiUiam Cuckoe to all close juglers^ 
Sfc, ^c. — Kind-Harfs Dreame. O the villany of these ancient 
pawnhrokers ! 



IN THE OLDEN TIME. 377 

Self-complacent, predominant Self will be lost in 
generous sympathy, the electrical laughing fit will 
go ronnd, and, though at the remotest end of the 
chain, thy gravity will not escape the shaking 
shock. Believing that thou art merry and wise ; 
sightly, sprightly; learned, yet nothing loth to 
laugh ; as we first met in a mutual spirit of com- 
munication and kindness, so we part. And when 
good fortune shall again throw us into thy com- 
pany, not forgetting Mr, Bosky and the middle-- 
aged gentleman with the satirical nose! we shall 
be happy to ^hake thy hand, ay, and thy sides 
to boot, with some merry tale or ballad^ (" Mirth, 

^ Henry ChetUe, in his Kind^Hart*8 Dreame, gives the fol- 
lowing description of a BaUad Singer,. ** The first of the first 
three was an od old fellow, low of stature, his head was 
couered with a round cap, his body with a side-skirted tawney 
coate, his legs and feete trust vppe in leather buskins, his gray 
haires and furrowed &uce witnessed his age, his treble violl in 
his hande assured me of his profession. On which (by his con- 
tinuall sawing, hauing left but one string,) after his best man- 
ner, he gaue me a huntsvp : whome, after a little musing, I 
assuredly remembred to be no other but old Anthony Now 
now/' Anthony Munday is supposed to be ridiculed in the 
character of " Old Anthony Now now ;" the latter was an 
itinerant fiddler, of whom this curious notice occurs in The 
Second Fart of the Gentle Craft, by Thomas Deloney, 1698, 

^^ Anthony cald for wine, and drawing forth his fiddle began 
to play, and after he had scrapte halfe a score lessons, he began 
thus to sing : — " When 



278 MERRIE ENGLAND, ETC. 

in seasonable time taken, is not forbidden by the 
austerest sapients,^") if haply time spare us one to 
tell or sing. Till then, health be with thee, 
gentle reader ! a light heart and a liberal hand. 



'< When should a man shew himselfe gentle and kinde ? 
When should a man comfort the sorrowful minde ? 

O Anthony, now, now, now, 

O Anthony, now, now, now. 
When is the best time to drinke with a friend ? 
When is the meetest my money to spend ? 

O Anthony, now, now, now, 

Anthony, now, now, now. 
When goeth the King of good fellows away, 
That so much delighted in dancing and play ? 

Anthony, now, now, now, 

Anthony, now, now, now. 
And when should I bid my good master farewell. 
Whose bounty and curtesie so did excell ? 

Anthony, now, now, now, 

O Anthony, now, now, now. 

" Loe yee now, (quoth hee,) this song have I made for your 
sake, and by the grace of God when you are gone, I will sing 
it every Sunday morning vnder your wiues* window.* • 

** Anthony in his absence sung this song so often in S. Mar- 
tin's, that thereby he purchast a name which hee neuer lost till 
his dying day, for euer after men cald him nothing but An- 
thony now now,*' 

Braithwait thus describes one of the race of *^ metre ballad 
mongers." " Now he counterfeits a natural bascy then a per- 
petual trebUy and ends with a counter-tenure. You shall heare 
him feigne an artfull straine through the nose, purposely to 
insinuate into the attention of the purer brother-hood*** Whim- 
gieSf sig. B 5. 



APPENDIX. 



Well might Old England* have been called " Merrie" 
for the court had its masques and pageantry^ and the peo- 
ple their plays/** sports^ and pastimes. There existed a 
jovial sympathy between the two estates^ wMch was con- 
tinually brought into action, and enjoyed with hearty 
good-will. Witness the Standard in Comhill^ and the 



^ The English were a jesting, ballad-singing, play-going peo- 
ple. The ancient press teemed with " merrie jests" 

The following oadities of the olden time grin from our book- 
shelves. " Skelton's merrie Tales ;" " A Banquet of Jests, 
Old and New*' (Archee's) ; " A new Booke of Mistakes, or 
Bulls with Tales, and Bulls without Tales ;'' « The Booke of 
Bulls Baited, with two Centuries of bold Jests and nimble 
Lies ;" " Robin Good-Fellow, his mad Pranks and merry 
Jests ;" " A merry Jest of Robin Hood ;" " Tales and quicke 
answers ;" " xii. mery Jests of the Wyddow Edyth ;" *' The 
merry jest of a shrewde and curste Wyfe lapjped m Morrelles- 
skin for her good behavyour ;'' *' Dobson's Dne Bobbes. Sonne 
and Heire to Scoggin, full of mirth and delightful recreation ;" 
"Peele's Jests r "Tarlton's Jests;", "Scoggin's Jests;" 
"The Jests of Smug the Smith;" "A Nest of Ninnies," 
&c. Sec, 

• There were not fewer than seventeen playhouses in and 
about London, between 1570 and 1629. 



280 APPENDIX. 

Conduit in '^Chepe;" when May-poles were in their 
gloiy^ and fountains ran with wine. 

A joyous remnant of the olden time was the court- 

/ooL ''Better be a witty fool than a foolish wit/' 

What a marvellous personage is the court-fool of Shak- 

speaie ! His head was stocked with notions. He wore 

not Motley in his brain. 

The most famous court-fools were Will Summers^ or 
Sommers, Richard Tarlian, and Archibald Arrmtron^, 
vulgo Archee, jester to King Charles I. Archee was the 
hut of the Motleys ; imless we admit a fourth, on the 
authority of the well-known epigram. 

" In merry old England it once was a rule, 
The king had his poet and also his fool ; 
But now we ^re so frugal, I 'd have you to know it, 
Poor CUtber must serve both for fool and for poet !'* 

Will Summers^ was of low stature^ pleasant counte- 
nance^ nimble body and gesture; and had good mo- 
ther-wit in him I A whimsical compound of fool and 
knave* He was a prodigious &vourite with Henry the 
Eighth. That morose and cruel monarch tolerated his 



* Under a rare print of him by Delarem, are inscribed the 
following lines : — 

<< What though thou think'st mee clad in strange attire, 
Know I am suted to my owne deseire : 
And yet the characters describ'd upon mee, 
May shewe thee, that a king bestowed them on mee. 
This home I have, betokens Sommers* game ; 
Which sportive tyme will bid thee reade my name : 
All with my nature well agreeing too, 
As both the name, and tyme, and habit doe." 



APPENDIX. 1881 

cauBtic gatire and laughed at his gibes. When the king 
wa« at dinner, Will Summers wotdd thrurt his &ee 
through the amis, and make the royal gonmandiser roar 
heartily with hia odd humour and comical giimacea ; and 



then he would approach the table " in such a rolling and 
antic posture, holding his hands and setting his eyes, that 
is past describing, unless one saw him." 

But Will Summers possessed higher qualities than 
merely making the Defender of the Faith merry. He 
used his influence in a way that few court favoui- 



882 APPENDIX. 

ites — not being fools ! — have done, before or since. He 
tamed the tyrant's ferocity, and urged him to good 
deeds; himself giving the example, by his kindness 
to those who came within the hiunble sphere of his 
bounty. Armin, in his Nest of Ninnies, 4to. 1608, 
thus describes this laughing philosopher. "A comely 
foole indeed passing more stately ; who was this for- 
sooth? WiU SominerSy and not meanly esteemed by 
the king for his merriment ; his melody was of a higher 
straine, and he lookt as the noone broad waking. His 
description was writ on his forehead, and yee might read 
it thus : 

" Will Sommers borne in Shropshire, as some say, 
Was brought to Greenwich on a holy day. 
Presented to the king, which foole disdayn'd. 
To shake him by the hand, or else ashamM, 
Howe're it was, as ancient people say. 
With much adoe was wonne to it that day. 
Leane he was, hollow-eyde, as all report, 
And stoope he did too ; yet, in all the court, 
Few men were more belovM than was this foole. 
Whose merry prate kept with the king much rule. 
When he was sad, the king and he would rime. 
Thus Will exil'd sadness many a time. 
I could describe him, as I did the rest, 
But in my mind I doe not think it best : 
My reason this, howe're I doe descry him, 
So many know him, that I may belye him. 
Therefore, to please all people one by one, 
I hold it best to let that paines alone. 
Only thus much, he was a poore man's friend. 
And helpt the widdow often in the end : 



APPENDIX. 283 

The king would ever graunt what he did crave, 
For well he knew Will no exacting knave ; 
But wisht the king to doe good deeds great store, 
• Which caus'd the court to love him more and more.'* 

Many quaint sayings are recorded of him, which ex- 
hibit a copious vein of mirth, and an acute and ready 
wit. Upon a festival day, being in the court-yard walk- 
ing with divers gentlemen, he espied a very little per- 
sonage with a broad-brimmed hat ; when he remarked, 
that if my Lord Minimus fiad but such another hat at 
his feet, he might be served up to the king's table, as 
between two dishes. 

Going over with the king to Boulogne, and the weather 
being rough and tempestuous, he, never having been 
on ship-board before, began to be fearful of the sea; 
and, calling for a piece of the saltest beef, devoured it 
before the king very greedily. His majesty asked him 
why he ate such gross meat with such an appetite, when 
there was store of fresh victuals on board ? To which 
he made answer, *^ Oh ! blame me not, Harry, to fill my 
stomach with so much salt meat beforehand, knowing, if 
we be cast away, what a deal of water I have to drink 
after it ! " 

He was no favourite with Wolsey, who had a fool of 
his own, one Patch, that loved sweet wine exceedingly, 
and to whom it was as natural as milk to a calf. The 
churchman was known to have a mistress; Holinshed 
terms him ^^ vitious of his bodie," and Shakspere says, 
*^ of his own body he was ill," which clearly implies cie- 



284 APPENDIX. 

rical concupiscence. Summers improyised an unsavoury 
jest upon the lady, which made the king laugh, and the 
cardinal bite his lip. He was equally severe upon rogues 
in grain, for^ said he, ^' a miller is before his mill a thief, 
and in his mill a thie^ and behind his mill a thief!*' and 
his opinion of church patronage was anything but ortho- 
dox. Being asked why the best and richest benefices 
were for the most part conferred on unworthy and un- 
learned men, he replied^ " Do you not observe daily, that 
upon the weakest and poorest jades are laid the greatest 
burdens ; and upon the best and swiftest horses are placed 
the youngest and lightest gallants ? " 

On his death-bed a joke still lingered on his lips. A 
ghostly fnar would have persuaded him to leave his 
estate (some five hundred pounds — a large sum in those 
days I) to the order of Mendicants ; but Summers turned 
the tables upon him, quoted the covetous father's own 
doctrine, and left it to the " Prince of this world," by 
whose favour he had gotten it. 

Tarlton^ is entitled to especial notice, as being the ori* 



1 Bastard, in his Chrestolero$y 1598, has an epigram to 
*' Richard Tarlton, the Comedian and Jester ;" and, in Nash's 
Almond for a Parrot, he is lauded for having made folly ex- 
cellent, ^ and spoken of as being extolled for that which all 
despise." 

The music to *• Tarleton's Jigg^ is preserved in a MS. in 
the Public Library, Cambridge (D d. 14, 24). This mann- 
script is one of six, containing a number of old English tunes, 
collected and arranged for the lute, by John Dowland, and 
among them are the music to many of Kemp's Ji^. ^* Most 
commonly when the play is done," (says Lupton, in his Lon- 
don and the Countrey Carbonadoed and Quatred into seuerall 



^nol repreBentatJTB of the court-fool, ot cIotto, upon the 
stage. Sir Richard Baker saya, " TarltoD, &r tlie pait 



called the downe's part, never had hia match, and never 
will have," .He excelled in tragedy as well as comedyi 
a circumstance that has escaped the research of all hia 
bii^praphers. This curious fact is recorded in a very 

Charoeters, 8vo. Itt32,) " you aliall haue &jig or a dance of.o)) •. 
treads : they mean to put their legs to it as well ae their 
tongues." According to the author of Tarlto<i!t Newt out of 
Purgatory, the_;^ lasted for an hour. The pamphlet, «ayB he, 
ia " only such a jest as his (Tarlton's) j^, fit for gentlemen to 
laugh at OR hour." 



S86 APPENDIX. 

scarce volume, " Stradlingi (Joannis) Epigrammatd^' 
]607> which contams verses on Tarlton. He was bom 
at Condover in the county of Salop ; was (according to 
tradition) his father's swineherd^ and owed his intro- 
duction at court to Robert Earl of Leicester. Certain it 
is that Elizabeth took great delight in him, made him 
one of her servants^ and allowed him wages and a groom. 
According to Taylor the water poet, (" Wit and 'M.irth^* ) 
'' Dicke Tarlton said that hee could compare Queene Eli- 
zabeth to nothing more fitly than to a sculler ; for," said 
he, " neither the queene nor the sculler hath a fellow." 
He basked all his eccentric life in the sunshine of 
royal favour. The imperial tigress, who condemned a 
poor printer to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, for 
publishing a harmless tract, civilly asking her,, when 
tottering and toothless, to name her successor, listened 
with grinning complacency to the biting jests and wag- 
geries of her court-fool ; grave judges and pious bishops 
relaxed their reverend muscles at his irresistible buffoon- 
eries ; while the " many-headed beast," the million, hail- 
ed him with uproarious jollity. " Here^ I must needs 
remember Tarlton, in his time with the queen his sove- 
raigne, and the people's generall applause." "Richard 
Tarlton,^ for a wondrous plentifull, pleasant, extemporal 
wit, was the wonder of his time. He was so beloved 
that men use his picture for their signes." " Let him^ 



^ Heywood's Apology for Actors. 

• Howes, the editor of Stowe's Chronicle. 

' Theatnim Redivivum, by Sir Richard Baker. 



APPENDIX. 287 

(the fanatic Pryime) try when he will, and come upon 
the stage himself with all the scurrility of the Wife of 
Bath, with all the ribaldry of Poggius or Boccace^ yet I 
dare afiirm he shall never give that contentment to 
beholders as honest Tarlton did^ though he said never a 
word/' 

— ^— "Tarlton, when his head wais onely scene, 



The tire-house doore and tapistrie betweene, 

Set all the multitude in such a laughter, 

They could not hold for scarse an houre after."' 

In those primitive times (when the play was ended) 
actors and audiences were wont to pass jokes — 
*^ Theames" as they were called — upon each other ; and 
Tarlton, whose flat nose and shrewish wife made him a 
general butt, was always too many for his antagonist. 
If driven into a comer, he, as Dr. Johnson said of Foote, 
took a jump, and was over your head in an instant. In 
1611 was published in 4to. ^' TarUorCs Jests, drawn 
into Three Paris : his court-witty Jests ; his sound-city 
Jest's; his country-pretty Jests ; full qf delight^ wit, and 
honest mirth,** This volume is of extraordinary rarity^ 
In the title-page is a woodcut of the droll in his clown's 
dress, playing on his pipe with one hand, and beating 
his drum with the other. In Tarlton s News out of 
Purgatory, the ancient dress appropriated to that cha- 
racter is thus described. " I saw one attired in russet. 



^ Peacham's Thalia's Banquet, 1620. 



^88 APPENDIX. 

with a buttoned cap (m his head^ a bag by his side^ and 
a strong bat in his hand; so artificially attiied for a 
clowne^ as I b^an to call Tarlton's woonted shape to 
xemembrance ;" and in Kind-Harfs Dreame (1592), 
^^ The next, by his suit of russety his buttoned cap> 
his taber^ his standing on the toe^ and other tricks^ 
I knew to be either the . body or resemblance of Tarlton^ 
who living, for his pleasant ccmceits, was of all men 
liked^ and dying, for mirth left not his like." This print^ 
is characteristic and spirited^ and bears the strongest 
marks of personal identity. When some country wag 
threw up his *^ Theame^" after the following &8hion :— 

** Tarlton, I am one of thy friends, and none of thy foes. 
Then I prethee tell me how cam'st by thy flat nose : 
Had I beene present at that time on those banks, 
I would have laid my short sword over his long shankes." 

The undumpisher of Queen Elizabeth made this tart 
reply : — 

" Friend or foe, if thou wilt needs know, marke me well. 
With parting dogs and bears, then by the ears, this chance 

feU: 
But what of that ? though my nose be fiat, my credit for to 

save. 
Yet very well I can, by the smell, scent an honest man firom 

a knave/' 

Once while he was performing at the Bull in Bishops- 

^ Of the original we speak, which Caulfield sold to Mr. 
Townley for ten guineas I This identical print, with the Jests, 
now lies before us. Caulfield's copy is utterly worthless. 



APPENDIX. 289 

gate-street^ where the queen's servants often played, a 
fellow in the gallery, whom he had galled by a sharp 
retort, threw an apple,i which hit him on the cheek : 
Tarlton, taking the apple, and advancing to the front of 
the stage, made this jest : — 

** Gentlemen, this fellow, with his fkee of mapple,' 
Instead of a pippin, hath throwne me an apple ; 
But, as for an apple he hath cast me a crab, 
So, instead of an honest woman, God hath sent him a drab." 

The people laughed heartily, for he had a queane to his 
wife.5 

Gktbriel Harvey, in his " Four Letters and certain 
SonnetSy' 1592, speaking of Tarlton's "famous play" (of 
which no copy is known) called '* The Seven Deadly 
Sins" says, "which most deadly, but lively playe, I 
might have seen in London, and was verie gently in- 
vited thereunto at Oxford by Tarlton himselfe ; of whom 
I merrily demanding, which of the seaven was his own 



^ Tom Weston, of facetious memory, received a similar com- 
pliment from an orange. Tom took it up very gravely, pre- 
tended to examine it particularly, and, advancing to the foot- 
lights, exclaimed, " Humph ! this is not a Seville (civil) 
orange." On reference to Polfy Peadiem's Jests (1728) the 
same bon-mot is given to Wilks. 

^ Mapple means rough and carbuncled. Ben Jonson de- 
scribes his own face as rocky : the bark of the maple being un- 
commonly rough, and the grain of one of the sorts of the tree, 
as Evelyn expresses it, *^ undulated and crisped into a variety 
of curls." 

' It was the scandal of the time, that Tarlton owed not his 
nasal peculiarity to the Bruins of Paris-garden, but to another 
encounter that might have had something to do with making 
his wife Kate the shrew she was. 

VOL. II. O 






g9() APPENDIX. 

deadlie sinne ? he bluntly answered after this manner, 
' the sinne of other gentlemen^ letehery !' '" Ben Jonson's 
Jndtcctian to his Bartholomew Fair, makes the stage- 
player speak thus : ^* I have kept the stage in Master 
Tarlton's time^ I thank my stars. Ho ! an' that man 
had lived to play in Bartholomew Fair, you should ha' 
seen him ha' come in, and ha' been cozened i' the cloth' 
quarter so finely T' 

" There was one Banks (in the time of Tarlton) who 
served the Earle of Essex, and had a horse of strange 
qualities : and being at the Crosse-keyes in Gracious* 
street, getting money with him, as he was mightily re- 
sorted to ; Tarlton, then (with his fi^Uowes) playing at 
the Bell by, (should not this be the Bull in Bishopsgate- 
street ?) came into the Crosse-keyes (amongst many peo- 
ple) to see fashions ; which Banks perceivings (to make 
the people laugh,) saies^ ^Signer,' (to his horse,) 'go 
fetch me the veryest foole in the company/ The jade 
comes immediately, and with his mouth drawes Tarlton 
forth. Tarlton (with merry words) said nothing but 
' God a mercy^ horse /' In the end Tarlton, seeing the 
people laugh so, was angry inwardly, and said, 'Sir, had 
I power of your horse, as you have, I would doe more 
than that.' 'Whate'er it be,' said Banks, (to please 
him,) ' I will charge him to do it.' < Then,' saies Tarl- 
ton, ' charge him to bring me the veriest wh — e-master 



^ Cloth Fair, where the principal theatrical booths were 
erected. 



APPENDIX. 291 

in the company/ ' He shall,' (saies Banks,) ' Signer/ 
(sales he,) ^ bring Master Tarlton the voriest wh— e-mas- 
ter in the company/ The horse leads his master to him. 
Then God a mercy ^ horse^ indeed !* saies Tariton. The 
people had much ado to keep peace; but Banks and 
Tarlton had like to have squared, and the horse by to 
give aime. But ever after it was a by-word thorow 
London, ' God a mercy horse /* and is to this day/' 

'' Tarlton, (as other gentlemen used,) at the first 
coming up of tobacco, did take it more for fashion's sake 
than otherwise, and being in a roome, set between two men 

■ 

overcome with wine, and they never seeing the like, won- 
dered at it ; and seeing the vapour come out of Tarlton's 
nose, cried out, ' Fire I fire 1' and then threw a cup of 
wine in Tarlton's face." With a little variation. Sir 
Walter Raleigh is reported to have been so treated by 
his servant. There are some curious old tobacco papers 
extant representing the fact. It was a jug of beer, 
not a cup of wine. 

" Tarlton being at the court all night, in the morning 
he met a great courtier coming from his chamber, who, 
espying Tarlton, said, ' Qood-morrow, Mr. Didimus and 
Tridimus/ Tarlton being somewhat abashed, not know- 
ing the meaning thereof, said, 'Sir, I understand you 
not ; expound, I pray you/ Quoth the courtier, ' Didi- 
mus and Tridimus are fool and knave/ * You over- 
load me,' replied Tarlton, 'for my back cannot bear 
both ; therefore take you the one, and I will take the 
other ; take you the knave, and I will carry the fool 



292 APPENDIX. 

with me.* And again ; there was a nobleman that asked 
Tarlton what he thought of soldiers in time of peace? 
• Marry,' quoth he, ' they are like chimneys in summer/'* 
Tom Brown has stolen this simile. 

" Tarlton, who at that time kept a tavern in Grace- 
church-street, made the celebrated Robert Armin' his 
adopted son, on the occasion of the boy (who was then 
servant to a goldsmith in Lombard-street) displaying 
that ready wit, for which Tarlton himself was so re- 
nowned. 

" A^wagge thou art, none can prevent thee ; 
And thy desert shall content thee ; 
Let me divine : as I am. 
So in time thou 'It be the same : 
My adopted sonne therefore be. 
To enjoy my clowne's suit after me. 

^^And so it fell out. The boy reading this, loved 
Tarlton ever after, and fell in with his humour ,- and 
private practice brought him to public playing ; and at 
this houre he performs the same, where at the Globe on 
the Bank-side men may see him.** 

Many other jokes are told of Tarlton; how, when he 
kept the sign of the Tabor, a tavern in Gracechureh- 

^ Robert Armin was a popular actor in Shakspere's plays. 
He was associated with hmi and *' his fe/lowes'^ in the patent 
granted by James I. to act at the Globe Theatre, and m any 
other part of the kingdom. He is the author of <^ TTte History 
of the Two Maids of More-dacke^'' 4to. 1609, in which he 
played Simple John in the hospital. His '' true effigie'* appears 
m the title-page : as does that of Green (another contempo- 
rary actor of rare merit), in " Tu Quogue." 



APPENDIX. 293 

street^ being chosen scavenger^ he neglected his duty^ got 
complained of by the ward, shifted the blame to the raker, 
who transferred it to his horse^ upon which he (Tarlton) 
sent the horse to the Compter^ and the raker had to pay 
a fee for the redemption of his steed ! And how he got 
his tayem bill paid^ and a journey to London scot-free, 
by gathering his conceits together, and sending his boy 
to accuse him to the magistrates for a seminary priest ! 
the innkeeper losing his time and charges, besides getting 
well flouted into the bargain. 

In the year 1588 Tarlton gave eternal pause to his 
merriments. He was buried, September S, in St. Leo- 
nard's^ Shoreditch. 

In the books of the Stationers* Company was licensed 
'* A ScrrcwfvX new Sonnette, intittUed Tarlton* 8 Recant 
tation upon this Theame given him hy a gentleman at 
the Bel Savage without Ludgate (now or eh never) 
being the last Theame he songe; and Tarlton a repent- 
ance and his JareweB to hia/riendes in his sickness, a 
little be/ore his deathJ* In « WiW Bedlam;* 1617, is 
the following epitaph on him : — 

; " Here within this sullen earth 

Lies Dick Tarlton, Lord of Mirth ; 
Who in his grave still laughing gapes, 
Syth all clownes since have been his apes : 
EaiBt he of clownes to leame still sought. 
But now they leame of him they taught : 

i^ By art far past the principall, 

^ The counterfeit is so worth all." 

The following epitaph, quoted by Fuller, 



1 

i 



294 APPENDIX. 

" Hie situs est cujus poterat vox, actio, vultus, 
Ex Heraelito reddere Democritum," 

is thus varied in Hackett's ^* Select and remarkable 
Epitaphs :" — 

" Hie situs est, cujus vultus, vox, actio posset 
Ex," 8cc. &c. 

Archibald Armstrong' in no way disgraced his coat 
of Motley ; though the author of an epitaph on Will 
Summers speaks of his inferiority : — 

" Well, more of him what should I say ? 
Both fools and wise men turn to clay : 
' And this is all we have to trust, 
That there 's no difference in their dust. 
Rest quiet then beneath this stone, 
To whom late Archee was a drone,'* 

He was an attached and faithful servant, a fellow of 
arch simplicity and sprightly wit ; and if he gave the 
public not quite so rich a taste of his quality as his pre- 
decessors did, let it be remembered that two religious 
factions were fiercely contending for supremacy, neither 

* There are two rare portraits of Archee prefixed to different 
editions of his Jests : one by Cecil, 1657 ; and one by Gay- 
wood, 1660. Under that by Cecil are inscribed the following 
lines : — 

** Archee, by kin^ and princes graced of late. 
Jested himself mto a layer estate ; 
And in this booke doth to his friends commend 
His jeeres, taunts, tales, which no man can offend.'' 
And under that by Gaywood, the following : — 
" This is no Muckle John, nor Summers Will, 
But here is Mirth drawn fi'om the Muse's quiU ; 
Doubt not (kinde reader), be but pleased to view 
These witty jests : they are not ould, but new." 



APPENDIX. 295 

of which relished a ^' merrie jest^ It seems, however, 
that Archee, who had outwitted many, was, on one oc- 
casion, himsdf OMivfiiXoA, *^ Archee coming to a noble- 
man to give him good-morrow upon New- Year's day, 
he received a very gracious reward from him, twenty 
good pieces of gold in his hand. But the covetous foole, 
expecting (it seemes) a greater, shooke them in his fist, 
and said they were too light. The nobleman took it ill 
from him, but, dissembling his anger, said, < I prithee, 
Archee, let mee see them again, for amongst them is one 
piece that I would be loath to part with.' Archee, sup- 
posing he would have added more unto them, delivered 
them back to my lord, who, putting 'em up in his pocket, 
said, * Well, I once gave money into a foole's hand, who 
had not the wit to keep it.' " 

Archee was *' unfrocked" for cracking an irreverend 
jest on Archbishop Laud, whose jealous power and ty- 
rannical mode of exercising it, could not bear the laugh- 
ing reproof of even an " allowed fool." *^ The briefe rea- 
son of Archee's banishment was this : — A nobleman 
asking what he would doe with his handsome daughters, 
he (Archee) replyed, he knew very well what to doe 
with them, but hee had sonnes, which he knew not well 
what to doe with; he would gladly make schoUars of 
them, but that hee feared the archbishop would cut off 

I 

their eares !"* 



' ** Archij^s Dream, sometime jester to his maiestie ; but exiled 
the court htf Canter burie's malice^'* 4to. 1641. 



^96 APPENDIX. 

These were the three merry men of the Men time, who, ' 

by virtue of their office, spoke truth, in Jest, to the royal 
ear, and gave home-thrusts that would have cost a whole 
cabinet their heads. If their calling had no other re- ^ 

deeming quality but this, posterity would be bound to 
honour it. 

\ 



THE END. 



/ 



LONDON ; \' 

PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTI EV, 

Bangor Honse, Shoe Laoe. 



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"^ This book !■ under no oiroamstanoi 

taken from the Building 






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