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Title: Merrie England In The Olden Time, Vol. 2 (of 2)
Author: Daniel, George
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Merrie England In The Olden Time, Vol. 2 (of 2)" ***

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By George Daniel

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

In Two Volumes. Vol. II.




|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 be stopped--

     * "Thom: Brewer, my Mus: Servant, through his proneness to
     good fellowshippe, having attained to a very rich and
     rubicund nose, being reproved by a friend for his too
     frequent use of strong drinkes and sacke, as very pernicious
     to that distemper and inflammation in his nose. 'Nay,
     faith,' says he, 'if it will not endure sacke, it is _no
     nose_ for me.'"--L' Estrange, No. 578. Mr. Jenkins.

--(except with a cup of good liquor) of these musical itinerants, from
whose doggrel a curious history of men and manners might be gleaned,
to humour the anti-social disciples of those pious publicans who
substituted their nasal twang for the solemn harmony of cathedral music;
who altered St. Peter's phrase, 'the Bishop of your souls,' into
'the Elder (!!) of your souls;' for 'thy kingdom come,' brayed 'thy
Commonwealth come!' and smuggled the water into their rum-puncheons,
which they called _wrestling with the spirit_, and making the _enemy
weaker!_ 'Show me the popular ballads of the time, and I will show you
the temper and taste of the people.' *

     * "Robin Consciencean ancient ballad, (suggested by
     Lydgate's "London Lackpenny,") first printed at Edinburgh in
     1683, gives a curious picture of London tradesmen, &c. Robin
     goes to Court, but receives cold welcome; thence to
     Westminster Hall. "It were no great matter," quoth the
     lawyers, "if Conscience quite were knock'd on the head." He
     visits Smithfield, and discovers how the "horse-cowrsers'
     artfully coerce their "lame jades" to "run and kick." Then
     Long Lane, where the brokers hold conscience to be "but
     nonsense." The butter-women of Newgate-market claw him, and
     the bakers brawl at him. At Pye Corner, a cook, glancing at
     him "as the Devil did look o'er Lincoln," threatens to spit

     The salesmen of Snow Hill would have stoned him; the
     "fishwives" of Turn-again Lane rail at him; the London
     Prentices of Fleet Street, with their "What lack you,
     countryman?" seamper away from him. The "haberdashers, that
     sell hats I the mercers and silk-men, that live in
     Paternoster Row," all set upon him. He receives no better
     treatment in Cheapside--A cheesemonger in Bread Street; "the
     lads that wish Lent were all the year," in Fish Street; a
     merchant on the Exchange; the "gallant girls," whose "brave
     shops of ware" were "up stairs and the drapers and
     poulterers of Graccchurch Street, to whom conscience was
     "Dutch or Spanish," flout and jeer him. A trip to Southwark,
     the King's Bench, and to the Blackman Street demireps,
     proves that "conscience is nothing." In St. George's Fields,
     "rooking rascals," playing at "nine pins," tell him to prate
     on till he is hoarse." Espying a windmill hard by, he hies
     to the miller, whose excuse for not dealing with him was,
     that he must steal out of every bushel "a peek, if not three
     gallons." Conscience then trudges on "to try what would
     befall i' the country," whither we will not follow him.

I delight in a Fiddler's Fling, and revel in the exhilarating perfume
of those odoriferous garlands * gathered on sunshiny holidays and
star-twinkling nights, bewailing how disappointed lovers go to sea, and
how romantic young lasses follow them in blue jackets and trousers!

     * "When I travelled," said the Spectator, "I took a
     particular delight in hearing the songs and fables that are
     come from father to son, and are most in vogue among the
     common people of the countries through which I passed; for
     it is impossible that anything should be universally tasted
     and approved by a multitude (though they are only the rabble
     of a nation), which hath not in it some peculiar aptness to
     please 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 tales, which, when I was a boye,
     My toothless grandame oft hath told to mee.

Nay, rather than the tuneful race should be extinct, expect to see me
some night, with my paper lantern and cracked spectacles, singing you
woeful tragedies to love-lorn maids and cobblers' apprentices." *

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

And, carried away by his enthusiasm to the days of jolly Queen Bess, the
Lauréat of Little Britain, with a countenance bubbling with hilarity,
warbled _con spirito_, as a probationary ballad for the _Itinerant
ship_, (!)


               Elizabeth Tudor her breakfast would make

               On a pot of strong beer and a pound of beefsteak,

               Ere six in the morning was toll'd by the chimes--

               O the days of Queen Bess they were merry old times!

               From hawking and hunting she rode back to town,

               In time just to knock an ambassador down;

               Toy'd, trifled, coquetted, then lopp'd off a head;

               And at threescore and ten danced a hornpipe to bed.

               With Nicholas Bacon,1 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.

     *  When Queen Elizabeth came to visit Sir Nicholas Bacon,
     Lord Keeper, at his new house at Redgrave, she observed,
     alluding to his corpulency, that he had built his house too
     little for him. "Not so, madam," answered he; "but your
     Highness 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" The following
     anecdote comprehends both titles. "As Queen Elizabeth passed
     the streets in state, one in the crowde cried first, 'God
     blesse your Royall Majestie!' and then, 'God blesse your
     Noble Grace!' 'Why, how now,' sayes the Queene, 'am I tenne
     groates worse than I was e'en now?'" The value of the old
     "Ryal," or "Royall," was 10s., that of the "Noble" 6s. Sd.
     The Emperor Charles the Fifth was the first crowned head
     that assumed the title of  "Majesty."

               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 squeak,

               He'd much rather keep her a day than a week.

               "What call you this dainty, my very good lord?"--

               "The Loin,"--bowing low till his nose touch'd the


               "And--breath of our nostrils, and light of our eyes! *

               Saving your presence., the ox was a prize."

     * 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!" Oliver Cromwell's
     injunctions to Sir Peter Lely were somewhat different. The
     knight was desired to transfer to his canvass all the
     blotches and carbuncles that blossomed in the Protector's
     rocky physiognomy. Sir Joshua Reynolds, ( -------- with
     fingers so lissom, Girls start from his canvass, and ask us
     to kiss 'em!) having taken the liberty of mitigating the
     utter stupidity of one of his "Pot-boilers," i. e. stupid
     faces, and receiving from the sitter's family 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 admirably for a monkey, for
     which he had a commission, and requesting 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!

               "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


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

               The Spaniard had beat, had it not been for _beef_!

               Let him come if he dare! he shall sink! he shall quake!

               With a duck-ing, Sir Francis shall give him a Drake.

               Thus, Don Whiskerandos, I throw thee my glove!

               And now, merry minstrel, strike up 'highly Love,'

               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-heel'd and be-ruff'd--

               Automaton dancers to musical chimes!

               O the days of Queen Bess, they were merry old times!

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

     * Antony, vulgo Tony Aston, a famous player, and one of
     Joe's contemporaries. The only portrait (a sorry one) of
     Tony extant, is a small oval in the frontispiece to the
     Fool's Opera, to which his comical harum-scarum
     autobiography is prefixed.

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 Babylon, or the _Devil and the Pope_. Joe being sent for by Judge
Pollixfen, and soundly 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 believed 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, just as the _Bishop of Ely_ was riding by in his coach. Quoth
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."

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

The Bishop ordered his carriage to stop, whilst Joe (close to his ear)
whispered, "My Lord, here are a couple of poor waverers who have
such terrible _scruples of conscience_, that I fear they'll hang
themselves."--"Very well," said the Bishop. So calling to the bailiffs,
he said, "You two men, come to me to-morrow, and I'll satisfy you." The
bailiffs 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 bailiffs, 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 during 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, 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.

     * 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 Arneway, 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 in Whitsun week. The companies began at the abbey
     gates, and when the first pageant was concluded, the
     moveable stage ("a high scaffolde 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 people" from
     representing the History 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 London played Religious
     Interludes at the Skinners' Well, in Clerkenwell, which
     lasted three days. In 1409, they performed The Creation of
     the World, 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 occasionally showed
     their grinning faces through the mouth of the cavern, to the
     terrible delight of the spectators! The Passion of Our
     Saviour was the first dramatic spectacle acted in Sweden, in
     the reign of King John the Second. The actor's name was
     Lengis 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 head!

They had pitched upon an ill-looking surly butcher for _King Herod_,
upon whose chuckle-head a gilt pasteboard crown glittered gloriously by
the candlelight; and, as soon as he had seated himself in a rickety old
wicker chair, radiant with faded finery, that served him for a throne,
the orchestra (three fifes and a fiddle) struck up a merry tune, 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 Sturbridge Fair. *

     * Stourbridge, or Sturbridge Fair, originated in a grant
     from King John to the hospital of lepers at that place. By a
     charter 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 from London; and in after times not less than sixty
     coaches plied there. In 1766 and 1767, the "Lord of the Tap,"
     dressed in a red livery, with a string over his shoulders,
     from whence depended spigots and fossetts, entered all the
     booths where ale was sold, to determine whether it was fit
     beverage for the visitors. In 1788, Flockton exhibited at
     Sturbridge Fair. The following lines were printed on his

          "To raise the soul by means of wood and wire,
          To screw the fancy 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 all our actors' play,
          Who hope their wooden aims will not be thrown away!"

The dance over, King Herod, with a vast profusion 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)
thus complimented her:

               "Bewitching maiden I dancing sprite!

                   I like thy graceful motion:

               Ask any boon, and, honour bright!

                   It is at thy devotion."

The _danseuse_, after whispering to a saffron-complexioned crone,
who played _Herodias_, fell down upon both knees, and pointing to the
_Baptist_, a grave old farmer! exclaimed,

               "If, sir, intending what you say,

                   Your Majesty don't flatter,----

               I would the Baptist's head to-day

               Were 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, vouchsafed this reply,

     * Elkanah Settle, the City Lauréat, after the Revolution,
     kept a booth at Bartholomew Fair, where, in a droll, called
     St. George for England, he acted in a dragon of green
     leather of his own invention. In reference to the sweet
     singer of "annual trophies" and "monthly wars" hissing in
     his own dragon, Pope utters this charitable wish regarding

     "Avert it, heaven, that thou, my Cibber, e'er Shouldst wag a
     serpent-tail in Smithfield Fair!"

               "Fair cruel maid, recall thy wish,

                   O 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 _Baptist's_ upper story."

This satirical sally put the imperial butcher upon his mettle; he bit
his thumbs, scratched his carrotty 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 _damsel_, however, was "down upon him" before he could articulate
"Jack Robinson," with

               "But not the promise of a King,

                   Which is a _royal 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 corner of the stage; while the two soldiers who had decapitated
him in effigy, with looks full of contrition, 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._

Joe Haynes shuffled 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,

     * "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 fate! 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!
          In potent glasses, when the wine was clear,
          Thy very looks declared thy mind was there.
          Awful, 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 all his acts with curious art,
          Till Death appear'd, and smote him with his dart."

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 agreeably, and in public
very comically. He was the _Will Kempe_ of his day. He danced the
Cheshire Round full as well as the famous _Captain George_, but with
more nature and nimbleness. *

     * Dogget had a sable rival. "In Bartholomew Fair, at the
     Coach-House on the Pav'd Stones at Hosier-Lane-End, you
     shall see a Black that dances the Cheshire Rounds, to the
     admiration of all spectators." Temp. William Third.

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

A writer in the Secret Mercury of September 9, 1702, says, "At last, all
the childish parade shrunk off the stage by matter and motion, and enter
a hobbledehoy of a dance, and Dogget, in old woman's petticoats and red
waistcoat, as like Progue 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 faithful,
pleasant actor. He never deceived his audience; because, while they
gazed at him, he was working up the joke, which broke out suddenly 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 Sawney.

[Illustration: 0026]

His great parts were Fondlewife, in the Old Bachelor; Ben, in Love for
Love; Hob, in the Country Wake, &c. Colley Cibber's account of him is
one glowing panegyric. Colley played Fondle wife 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 vociferously. 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 Duke's Head in Lynn-Regis, Norfolk." Will the jovial
spirit of Tony Aston point out where this interesting memento hides
its head? "Go on, I'll follow thee." He died at Eltham in Kent, 22nd
September 1721.

     * The only portrait of Dogget known is a small print,
     representing him dancing the Cheshire Round, with the motto
     "Ne sut or ultra crepidam

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

How small an act of kindness will embalm a man's memory! Baddeley's
Twelfth Cake ** shall be eaten, and Dogget's 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!

               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 burns, and the spring returns,

                   And the flowers are fair to see;

               But man fades fast when his summer is past,

               Winter snows on his cheeks blanch the rose--

                   No second spring has he!

               Let the world still wag as it will,

                   Three merry wags are we!

               A bumper shall flow to Mat, Thomas, and Joe

               A sad pity that they had not for poor Mat

                   Hang'd dear at Tyburn-Tree.

     *  "This day the Coat and Badge given by Mr. Dogget, will
     be rowed for by six young watermen, out of their
     apprenticeship this year, from the Old Swan at Chelsea."--
     Daily Advertiser, July 31, 1753.

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


|It would require a poetical imagination to paint the times when a
gallant train of England's chivalry rode from the Tower Royal through
Knight-rider Street and Giltspur Street (how significant are the names
of these interesting localities, bearing 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
Londinium), 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 Fox, the Martyrologist, and
     Henry Welby, the English hermit, who, instigated by the
     ingratitude 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 exemplary charity.

--and poverty,--ambled gaily through daisy-dappled meads to Finsbury
Fields, * to enjoy a more extended space for their martial exercises.

     * 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 from a crossbow."

     We learn from an old ballad called "The Life and Death of
     the Two Ladies of Finsbury that gave Moorfields 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
     remain," till he returned from "blessed Palestine." The
     eldest of the two built a "holy cross at 'Bedlam-gate,
     adjoining to Moorfield 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

Then was Osier Lane (the Smithfield end of which is immortalised in
_Bartholomew Fair_ annals) 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 hung 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' Hall_" Centuries have brought no improvement to it. The
modern 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 irrigating, Smithfield's blind alleys and the squalid
faces of their inhabitants.

     * 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 "swash-buckler" was so called
     from the noise he made with his sword and buckler to
     frighten an antagonist.

Yet was it _Merryland_ in the olden time,--and, forgetting the days,
when an unpaved and miry slough, the scene of _autos da fê_ for both
Catholics and Protestants, as the fury of the dominant party rode
religiously rampant, as _such_ let us consider it. Pleasant is the
remembrance of the sports that are past, which

                   To all are delightful, except to the spiteful!

                   To none offensive, except to the pensive;

yet if the pensiveness be allied to, "a most humorous 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 sarabands; 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_; together with good wine, cider, mead, music, and mum.

Cross we over from "Osier Lane-end" (the modern H is an interpolation,)
to the King's Head and Mitre Music Booth, "over 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 Magnifico William,
by any grace, but his own, "Sovereign Lord" at the head and front of thy
Scaramouches and Tumblers! To thy merry memory, honest Michael! and may
St. Bartlemy, root and branch, flourish for ever!

"Michael Root, from the King's-head at Ratcliff-cross, and Elnathan
Root, from the Mitre in Wapping, now keep the King's-head and Mitre
Musick-Booth in Smithfield Rounds, where will be 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 admiration; A new Song, called A hearty Welcome
to Bartholomew Fair; Four Indians dance with Castinets; A Girl dances
with naked rapiers at her throat, eyes, and mouth; a Spaniard dances
a saraband incomparably well; a country-man and a country-woman dance
Billy and Joan; & young lad dances the Cheshire rounds to admiration;
a dance between two Scaramouches and two Irishmen; a woman dances with
sixteen glasses on the backs and palms of her hands, turning round
several thousand times; an entry, saraband, jig, and hornpipe; an
Italian posture-dance; two Tartarians dance in their furious habits;
three antick dances and a Roman dance; with another excellent new song,
never before performed at any musical entertainment."

John Sleep, or Sleepe, was a wide-awake man in "mirth and pastime famous
for his mummeries and mum; of a locomotive turn, and emulated 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 Turnmill
Street (the scene, under the rose! of Falstaff's 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;
teaching his Scaramouches civility, (one, it seems, had made a hole
in his manners!) and selling "good wines, &C." let his comically
descriptive advertisement to "all gentlemen and ladies" pleasantly

"John Sleepe keepeth the sign of the King William and Queen Mary, in
Smithfield Rounds, where all gentlemen and ladies will be accommodated
with good wines, &c. and a variety of musick, vocal and instrumental;
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 woman; 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 would forsake all other booths for the sight of them."

In the following bill Mr. Sleep becomes still more "_wonderful and

"John Sleep now keeps the Whelp and Bacon in Smithfield Rounds,
where are to be seen, a young lad that dances a Cheshire round 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
Turk's mimick dances performed by his mutes; a lad that tumbles to the
admiration of all beholders; a young woman that dances with six naked
rapiers, to the wonderful divertisement of all spectators; & young man
that dances after the Morocco fashion, to the wonderful applause of
all beholders; a nurse-dance, by a woman and two drunkards, wonderful
diverting to all people; a young man that dances a hornpipe the
Lancaster way, extraordinary finely; a lad that dances a Punch,
extraordinary pleasant and diverting; a grotesque dance, called the
Speak-ing Movement, shewing in words and gestures the humours of a
musick booth, after the manner of the Venetian Carnival; and a new
Scaramouch, more civil than the former, and after a far more ingenious
and divertinger way!"

Excellent well, somniferous John! worthy disciple of St. Bartlemy.

Green, at the "Nag's Head and Pide Bull," advertises eight "comical and
diverting" exhibitions; 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 far inge-niuser fashion than had been danced before."

These Bartholomew Fair showmen are sadly deficient 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," advertises a genuine Jim
Crow, "a black 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!

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

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 woman-dwarf, * but three foot and one inch ** high, born in
Somersetshire, and in the fortieth year of her age."

     * "One seeing a Dwarfe at Bartholomew Fair, which was
     sixteen inches high, with a great head, a body, and no
     thighs, said he looked like a block upon a barber's stall:--
     * 'No!' says another, 'when he speaks, he is like the Brazen
     Head of Fryer Bacon's.'"--The Comedian's Tales, 1729.

     ** A few seasons after appeared "The wonderful and
     surprising English dwarf, two feet eight inches high, born
     at Salisbury in 1709; who has been shewn to the Royal
     Family, and most of the Nobility and Gentry of Great

And, as if we had not seen enough of "strange creatures alive? mark the
following "advertisement":--

"Next door to the Golden 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 bull's; and his tail weighs sixty
pounds! Here is also to be seen alive the famous 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 ram's tail is a tough tale, * even for the ad libitum of
Smithfield Rounds. Such a tail wagged before such a master must have
exhibited the two greatest wags in the fair.

     * "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. Spiller, the celebrated actor, 'I have seen
     half a pike in England longer by a foot, and yet not worth

The Roots were under ground, or planted in a cool arbour, quaffing--not
Bartlemy "good wines," (doctors never take their own physic!)--but
genuine nutbrown. Their dancing-days were over; for "Root's booth"
(temp. Geo.I.) was now tenanted by Powell, the puppet-showman, and one
Luf-fingham, who, fired with the laudable ambition of maintaining the
laughing honours of their predecessors, issued a bill, at which we cry
"What next?" as the sailor did when the conjuror blew his own head off.

"At Root's booth, Powell from Russell Court, and Luffingham from the
Cyder Cellar, in Covent-Garden, 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 husband fighting for the breeches; a woman dances
with fourteen glasses on the back of her hands full of wine. Also
several entries, as Almands Pavans, Galliads, Gavots, English Jiggs, and
the Sabbotiers dance, so mightily admired at the King's Playhouse.
The company will be entertained with vocal and instrumental musick,
as performed at the late happy Congress at Reswick, in the presence of
several princes and ambassadors."

Here will I pause. For the present, we have supped full with
Scaramouches. "Six naked rapiers" 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 far ingeniuser" fashion, with some plump roast
partridges. A select coterie of Uncle Timothy's brother antiquaries have
requested to be enlightened on Bartlemy fair 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 physiognomical and physical
contortion, lure thee to their dislocations.

     * "From the Duke of Marlborough's Head in Fleet Street,
     during the fair, is to be seen the famous posture-master,
     who far exceeds Clarke and Higgins. He twists his body into
     all deformed shapes, makes his hip and shoulder-bones meet
     together, lays his head upon the ground, and turns his body
     round twice or thrice without stirring his face from the

[Illustration: 0044]

Fawkes's dexterity of hand; the moving pictures; Pinchbeck's musical
clock; Solomon's Temple; the waxwork, all alive! the Corsican fairy; *
the dwarf that jumps down his--

     * "The Corsican Fairy, only thirty-four inches high, and
     weighing but twenty-six pounds, well-proportioned and a
     perfect beauty. She is to be seen at the corner of Cow-Lane,
     during Bartholomew Fair."--1743.

--own throat! * the High German Artist, born without hands or feet; **
the cow with Jive legs; the--

     *  "Lately arrived from Italy Signor Capitello Jumpedo, a
     surprising dwarf, not taller than a common tobacco-pipe. He
     will twist his body into ten thousand shapes, and then open
     wide his mouth, and jump down his own throat! He is to be
     spoke with at the Black Tavern, Golden Lane." January 18,
     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 Woman, born 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 corner of Hosier Lane, during the time of
     the fair."--Temp. Geo. II.

     Apropos of dwarfs--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 dwarf out of
     his pocket, first to the wonder, then to the laughter of the
     beholders." Little Jeffrey's height was only three feet nine
     inches. But even the gigantic William Evans, and George the
     Fourth's tall porter whom we remember to have seen peep over
     the gates of Carlton House, were nothing to the modern
     American, who is so tall as to be obliged to go up a ladder
     to shave himself!

--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

                   'Th' adventure of the Bear and Fiddle

                   Is sung--but breaks off in the middle.'"

     * 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
     formerly famous for,

          "Hills and holes, and shops for brokers,
          Open sinners, canting soakers;
          Preachers, doctors, raving, puffing,
          Praying, swearing, solving, huffing,
          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 falter;
          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 Horse, a noted victualling house in Moor-fields,
     next to that of the late Astrologer Trotter, has been
     molested for several nights past, stones, and glass bottles
     being thrown into the house, to the great annoyment and
     terror of the family and guests."--News Letter of Feb. 25,

As the Lauréat closed his manuscript, the door opened, and who should
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 generations of

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

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

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

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

"A death's head and cross-bones!" replied the Lauréat of Little Britain.
"'Ods, rifles and triggers! if it should be a challenge from the Holborn
Hill Demosthenes."

"A challenge! a fiddlestick!" retorted Uncle

Tim, "he's only a tame cheater!' Every bullet that he fires I 'll swallow
for a forced-meat ball." Mr. Bosky having broken the black seal, read
out as follows:--

"Mr. Merripall presents his respectful services to Benjamin Bosky, Esq.
and begs the favour of his company to dine with the High Cockolorum
Club * of associated Undertakers at the Death's 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."

     * 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 Golden 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 Society; 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 sçai quoi Club (held at the Star and
     Garter, Pall Mall, and of which the Prince of Wales, and the
     Dukes of York, Clarence, Orleans (Philip Egalité), Norfolk,
     Bedford, &c. &c. were members); the Sons of the Thames
     Society (meeting to celebrate the annual contest for
     Dogget's 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-admitted member, having paid
     his fee of one shilling, was invested with the inaugural
     honours, viz. a hat fashioned 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
     Virginius has conferred classical celebrity on a club called
     "The Social Villagers" held at the Bedford Arms, a merry
     hostelrie at Camden Town.

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

          Fill, fill a bumper! no twilight, no, no!
          Let hearts, now or never, and goblets o'erflow!
          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--whim!
          Around ev'ry 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 fathers 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! Is fancy his theme?
          'Tis sportive and light as a fairy-land dream;
          Does love tune his harp?'tis devoted and pure;
          Or friendship?'tis that which shall always endure.
          Ye tramplers on liberty, tremble at him;
          His song is your knell, and the slave's 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 summer hath been;--
          Frosty, but kindly, and sweetly serene
          Green be his winter, with snow on his brow;
          Green as the wreath that encircles it now!
          To dear Paddy Knowles, then, a bumper we fill,
          And toast his good health as he trots down the hill;
          In genius he 5s left all behind him by goles!
          But he won't leave behind him another Pat Knowles!

"An unique invitation!" quoth Uncle Tim. "Gentlemen, you must indulge
the High Coclcoorums, and go by all means."

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

Supper was announced, and we sat down to that social meal. In a
day-dream of fancy, Uncle Timothy re-peopled the once convivial chambers
of the _Falcon_ and the _Mermaid_, with those glorious 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 confidence of friendship,
exchanged "thoughts that breathe, and words that burn," so beautifully
described by Beaumont in his letter to Jonson.

     *  "Shakespeare was god-father to one of Ben Jonson's
     children, and after the christening, being in a deepe study,
     Jonson came to cheere him up, and ask't him why he was so
     melancholy? 'No, faith, Ben, (says he,) not I, but I have
     been considering a great while what should be the fittest
     gift for me to bestow upon my god-child, and I have resolv'd
     at last.'--'I pr'y thee, what' says he,--'F faith, Ben, I'le
     e'en give him a douzen good Lattin spoones, and thou shalt
     translate them.'"--L'Estrange, No. 11. Mr. Dun.--Latten was
     a name formerly used to signify a mixed metal resembling
     brass. Hence Shakspere's appropriate pun, 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 "Angel,"
     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
          Now Hope is dead, the Angel fled, and Prudence turn'd a w----!"

     At another time he designed to pass through the Half Moon in
     Aldersgate Street, but the door being shut, he was denied
     entrance; so he went to the Sun Tavern at the Long Lane end,
     and made these verses:--

          "Since the Half Moon is so unkind,
          To make me go about;
          The Sun my money now shall have,
          And the Moon shall go without."

     That he was often in pecuniary difficulties the following
     extracts 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 be 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 some
     of Vs."

                   "What things have we seen

               Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been

               So nimble, and so full 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 imagination, we looked in at _Wills and
Buttons_; beheld the honoured chair that was set apart for the use of
Dryden; and watched Pope, then a boy, lisping in numbers, regarding
his great master with filial reverence, as he delivered his critical
aphorisms to the assembled wits. Nor did we miss the Birch-Rod that
"the bard whom pilfer'd pastoral renown" hung up at Buttons to chastise
"tuneful Alexis of the Thames' fair side," his own back smarting from
some satirical twigs that little Alexis had liberally laid on! We saw
St. Patrick's Dean "steal" to his pint of wine with the accomplished
Addison; and heard Gay, Arbuthnot, 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
revellers, after the curtain had dropped on Fondle wife and Foppington.
And, hey presto! snugly seated at the Mitre, 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
     classic, it was Oliver Goldsmith. His two great ethic poems,
     "The Traveller," and "The Deserted Village," for sublimity
     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 cliffy" have rarely been equalled, and never surpassed.
     For exquisite humour and enchanting simplicity of style, his
     essays may compare with the happiest effusions of Addison;
     and his "Vicar of Wakefield," though a novel, has advanced
     the cause of religion and virtue, and may be read with as
     much profit as the most orthodox sermon that was ever
     penned. 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 ornaments: 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
     literary fame but his own. Of the first charge he is
     certainly guilty; the second is entirely false; unless a
     transient 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 maintain it hi every society, often
     involved him in ridiculous perplexities. 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, * Boswell, and Reynolds, "Who's for _poonch?_"----

     * Garrick was born to illustrate what Shakspere wrote;--to
     him Nature had unlocked all her springs, and opened all her
     stores. His success was instantaneous, brilliant, and
     complete. Colley Cibber was constrained to yield him
     unwilling praise; and Quin, the pupil of Betterton and
     Booth, openly declared, "That if the young fellow was right,
     he, and the rest of the players, had been all wrong." The
     unaffected and familiar 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 greediness of praise; for his ambition to
     engross all attention to himself, and disconcerting his
     brother actors by "pawing and 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 Kain, and Clairon,
     the ornaments of the French Stage, bowed to the superior
     genius of their illustrious friend and contemporary. 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 founded, endowed, and
     incorporated. He cherished its infancy by his munificence
     and zeal; strengthened 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
     favourable mention: his dramas abound in wit and character;
     his prologues 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 favourite amusements of his
     leisure was in collecting every thing rare and curious that
     related to the early drama; hence his matchless collection
     of old plays, which, with Roubilliac's 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 retirement
     from the stage. With his powers unimpaired, he wisely
     resolved (theatrically speaking) to die as he had lived,
     with all his glory and with all his fame. He might have,
     indeed, been influenced by a more solemn feeling--

          "Higher duties crave
          Some space between the theatre and grave;
          That, like the Roman in the Capitol,
          I may adjust my mantle, ere I fall,"

     The part he selected upon this memorable occasion was Don
     Felix, in the Wonder. We could have wished that, like
     Kemble, he had retired with Shakspere upon his lips; that
     the glories of the Immortal had hallowed his closing scene.
     His address was simple and appropriate--he felt that he was
     no longer an actor; and when he spoke of the kindness and
     favours 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 last; 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.

     Garrick 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, after his return to London, increased with such
     violence, 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. Garrick
     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 age.

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

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

----"And Sir John Hawkins," exclaimed Uncle Timothy, with unwonted
asperity, "whose ideas of virtue never rose above a decent exterior and
regular hours! calling the author of the _Traveller an Idiot_' It shakes
the sides of splenetic disdain to hear this Grub Street chronicler *
of fiddling and fly-fishing libelling the beautiful intellect of Oliver
Goldsmith! Gentle spirit! thou wert beloved, admired, and mourned by
that illustrious cornerstone 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

     * 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 Hawkins,
          Without his shoes and stockings!"

The Lauréat, well comprehending an expressive look from his Mentor, rose
to the pianoforte, and accompanied him slowly and mournfully in


               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 all shall entirely be wreck'd;

               But the bright, noble thoughts, that made solitude sweet,

                   His world! while he linger'd 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 bright shining star!----

               Hail and farewell! to the Spirits of Light,

                   Whose minds shot a ray through this darkness of ours--

               The world, but for them, had been chaos and night,

                   A desert of thorns, not a garden of flowers!

     * Plautus turned a mill; Terenee 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
     surgeons to support life; Burns died penniless,
     disappointed, and heart-broken; and Massinger, Lee, and
     Otway, were "steeped 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 amiss--

          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 'of February, 1598, to
     discharge Mr. Dicker out of the Counter in the Poultry, the
     some of Fortie Shillinges." In another place Mr. Henslowe
     redeems Dekker out of the Clinke.

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 melancholy; and Mr. Bosky
knowing this, would interpose a merry tale or song. Upon the present
occasion he made a bold dash from the sublime to the ridiculous, and
striking up a comical voluntary, played us out of Little Britain.--

                   When I behold the setting sun,

                   And shop is shut, and work is done,

                   I strike my flag, and mount my tile,

                   And through the city strut in style;

                   While pensively I muse along,

                   Listening to some minstrel's song,

                   With tuneful wife, and children three--

                   O then, my love! I think on thee.

                   In Sunday suit, to see my fair

                   I take a round to Russell Square;

                   She slyly beckons while I peep.

                   And whispers, "down the area creep!"

                   What ecstacies my soul await;

                   It sinks with rapture--on my plate!

                   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-fashion'd plays,

                   That true love runs not smooth as oil--

                   Last Friday week we had a broil.

                   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!

"Gentlemen," said Uncle Timothy, as he bade us good night, "the rogue, I
fear, will be the spoil of you, as he hath been of me!"


|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!

               Macadamizing what?--a certain spot,

               To ears polite" politeness never mentions--

                   Tattoos, t' amuse, from empty drums.

               Ah! 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 considered--the _inside_ of the bed and
the _out!_) they found us in much such a brown study as we have just
described. Leaving the Lauréat to enjoy his triumph of punctuality, (an
"alderman's virtue!") we lost no time in equipping ourselves, and were
soon seated with him at breakfast. He was in the happiest spirits.
"'Tis your birthday, Eugenio! Wear this ring for my sake; let it be
friendship's * talisman to unite our hearts in one. Here," presenting
some tablets beautifully 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!"

     * Bonaparte did not believe in friendship: "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, Mm I
     certainly love: but why? His character suits me: he is cold,
     severe, unfeeling; and then, Duroc never weeps!" Bonaparte
     counted his fortunate days by his victories, Titus by his
     good actions.

          "Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven,
          The noble mind's delight and pride,
          To men and angels only given,
          To all the lower world denied."--Dr. Johnson.

                   Life is short, the wings of time

                   Bear away our early prime,

                   Swift with them our spirits fly,

                   The heart grows chill, and dim the eye.----

                   Seize the moment I snatch the treasure!

                   Sober haste is wisdom's leisure.

                   Summer blossoms soon decay;

                   "Gather the rose-buds while you may!"

                   Barter not for sordid store

                   Health and peace; nor covet more

                   Than may serve for frugal fare

                   With some chosen friend to share!

                   Not for others toil and heap,

                   But yourself the harvest reap;

                   Nature smiling, seems to say,

                   "Gather the rose-buds while you may!"

                   Learning, 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,--

                   "Gather the rose-buds 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!

                   "Gather the rose-buds while we may!"

Now a sail up or down the river has always 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 disposition 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 themselves 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 description. 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 is a freemasonry in fun;
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 presented 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 Barney," observed the Lauréat;
"the stones went merrily into the pond, but the foolish frogs could not
fish out the fun. I am no advocate for the philosophy of expediency."

"Surely, Mr. Bosky, you would never think of putting a stop to

"My good friends, I would not have man become the victim of his
ingenuity--a mechanical suicide! 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 auxiliaries, not as principals. I am no political
economist. I despise the muddle-headed dreamers, and their unfeeling
crudities. But for them the heart of England would have remained
uncorrupted and sound. * Trifle not with suffering. Impunity has its
limit. A flint will show fire when you strike it.

     * 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 better feeder he had never conspired
     against Cæsar. Three meals a day, and supper at night, are
     four substantial reasons for not being disloyal, lank, or

"In this world ninety-nine persons out of one hundred must toil for their
bread before they eat it; _ask leave_ to toil,--some philanthropists
say, even before they hunger for it. I have therefore yet to learn how
that which makes human labour a drug in the market can be called, an
_improvement_. The stewardships of this world are vilely performed. What
blessings would be conferred, what 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 neighbour's delinquency that he has less?
The infant is born to luxury;--calculate his claims! Virtue draws its
last sigh in a dungeon; Vice receives its tardy summons on a bed of
down! 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 theoretical 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.

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 save their earthly
breeches-pockets. But a poor mans 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

This was a result that Mr. Bosky had not anticipated.

"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 pigeon-pie,
and some piquant etceteras that he had provided as a whet to the
entertainment in agreeable 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 Lauréat was magnificently jolly.
He proposed the good healths of Mrs. Binnacle and the Binnacles major
and minor; toasted old Father Thames and his Tributaries; and made the
welkin ring with


               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 bargain'd 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!

               "Lack-a-daisy! we're in for a souse!

                   The fish won't to-day see a rummer set;

               Land us at Somerset House,

                   Or else we shall both have a summerset!"

               They through the bridge Waterloo whirl'd

                   To Lambeth, a finer and fatter 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!"

               "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 which your papa, boy, was parboil'd."

               Fresh was the breeze, so was Tim:

                   How pleasant the life of a Midge is;

               King Neptune, my service to him!

                   But I'll shoot Father Thames and his bridges!

               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'll discharge, my polite'un,

                   You paid for the wherry to Battersea.

               "With powder I've just fill'd my horn;

                   See this pocket-pistol! enough is it?

               You'll twig, if a gentleman born,

                   And say, f Mr. Grady, quant. sujfficit.'"

               Mrs. Grady, as other wives do,

                   Before my Lord May'r in his glory,

               Brought Thady and Timothy too.

                   Cry'd Hobler, "O what a lame story!

               "You cruel Teague, lest there accrue ill,

                   We'll 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 swallow'd up his two eyes,

                   And lost in a laugh their concavity.

               Then Grady gave Glover his fist,

                   With, f 1{ 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
homeward, contented and grateful.

"Talk of brimming measure," cried the Lauréat exultingly, "I go to a
better market. The overflowings 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 day's pleasure.

     * "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
     contained in an old ballad called "London's Ordinary: or
     every Man in his Humour" printed before 1600. There is not
     only a humorous list of the taverns but of the persons who
     frequented them. In those days the gentry patronised the
     King's Head (in July 1664, Pepys dined at the "Ordinary"
     there, when he went to Hyde Park to see the cavaliers of

     II. in grand review); the nobles, the Crown: the knights,
     the Golden Fleece; the clergy, the Mitre; the vintners, the
     Three Tuns; the usurers, the Devil; the friars, the Nuns;
     the ladies, the Feathers; the huntsmen, the Greyhound; the
     citizens, the Horn; the cooks, the Holy Lamb; the drunkards,
     the Man in the Moon; the cuckolds, the Ram; the watermen,
     the Old Swan; the mariners, the Ship; the beggars, the Egg-
     Shell and Whip; the butchers, the Bull; the fishmongers, the
     Dolphin; the bakers, the Cheat Loaf; the tailors, the
     Shears; the shoemakers, the Boot; the hosiers, the Leg; the
     fletchers, the Robin Hood; the spendthrift, the Beggar's
     Bush; the Goldsmiths, the Three Cups; the papists, the
     Cross; the porters, the Labour in vain; the horse-coursers,
     the White Nag. He that had no money might dine at the sign
     of the Mouth; while

          "The cheater will dine at the Checquer;
          The pickpocket at the Blind Alehouse;
          'Till taken and try'd, up Holborn they ride,
          And make their end at the gallows."

Then it was not thought infra dig. (in for a dig?) to invite the
grave-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 variorum editions of Joe Miller.
But undertakers are grown gentlemanlike and unjolly, and Death's Door
exhibits but 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 "Entertaining Gown" (a mourning cloak), introduced
us to Mr. Crape, of Blackwall; Mr. Sable, of Blackman-street; 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 friendly grin, as
if desirous of burying in oblivion the recent émeute 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 professional cut, seemed all to have been turned out by the same
tailor; they marched with a measured 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; the knives and forks
had black handles; and Mr. Rasp, the shroud-raaker, who acted as vice,
recommended, 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
off pleasantly. Mr. Merripall, whose humour was rich as crusted port,
and lively as champagne, did the honours with his usual suaviter in
modo, and was admirably supported by his two mutes from Turnagain-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 nothing.

                   Eat, drink, and pay nothing!"

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! '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!"

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

"Silence, gentlemen, for a duet from 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 incarnation of incredulity.

     * This eminent professor, whose sobriquet is "Lungs" having
     to shout the health of "the three present Consuls," at my
     Lord Mayor's feast, proclaimed the health of the "Three per
     Cent. Consols,"

After a few preliminary openings and shuttings of the eyes and mouth,
similar to those of a wooden Scaramouch when we pull the wires, Brothers
Hatband and Stiflegig began (chromatique),

     Hatband. When poor mutes and sextons have nothing

                   to do,

               What should we do, brother?

     Stiflegig. Look very blue I

     Hatband. Gravediggers too?

     Stiflegig. Sigh "malheureux!"

     Hatband. Funerals few?

     Stiflegig. Put on the screw!

     Hatband. But when fevers flourish of bright scarlet


               What should we do, brother?

     Stiflegig. Dance fillalloo! ----

     Both. Winter to us is a jolly trump card, fine hot May makes a fat

     Stiflegig. Should all the world die, what the deuce

                   should we do?

     Hatband. I'll bury you, brother!

     Stiflegig. I'll bury you!

     Hatband. I'll lay you out.

     Stiflegig. No doubt! no doubt!

     Hatband. I'll make your shroud.

     Stiflegig. You do me proud!

     Hatband. I'll turn the screw.

     Stiflegig. The same to you!

     Hatband. When you're past ailing,

                   I'll knock a nail in!

                   Last of the quorum,

                   Ultimus Cockolorum!

     When you're all dead and buried, zooks! what

                   shall I do?

                   Cockolorums in full chorus.

          Sing High Cockolorum, and dance fillalloo!

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Merripall, again rising, "all charged?
_Mulligrum's Pill!_"

Doctor Dose, a disciple of that art which is founded in conjecture and
improved by murder, returned thanks on the part of Messrs. Mulligrum,
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
predictions 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 Mulligrum,
Thorogonimble, and Dose, were counterfeits.

The table sparkled with wit. Mr. Merripall cracked his walnuts and
jokes, and was furiously 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-maker
quietly responded that the troop was a nut which everybody was at
liberty to crack for the sake of the _kernel_!

     * This club was originally held at the Gentleman and Porter,
     New-street Square, and the Eagle and Child, 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
     sanguinary contact with each other's noses and eyes, their
     muskets were prudently changed for tobacco pipes, 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 moon, 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 Node

A quip 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 serenity, that the fiction of the ball came most opportunely
from a gentleman who had always three blue ones at everybody's service!
The furnace that glowed in Mr. Rasp's two eyes, and the hearings of his
bosom discovered the volcano that burned beneath his black velvet
vest. His waistband seemed ready to burst. Never before did he look so
belicose! Now, Mr. Bosky, who loved fun 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.

"Brother Merripall, you are a chartered libertine, and enjoy the
privilege of saying what you will. 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, Marmaduke Merripall."

"And I knew a right honourable man! And I know another right honourable
man, my very good friend, his son! And--but------"

'Tis an old saying and a true one, that adversity tries friends. 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 wront--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 in his "too--too solid flesh." The troop was his tender point.

"And who has not his tender point?" said Mr. Bosky, "except the man that
caught cold of his own heart, and died of it!"

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 you will propose 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-corner."

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, during the Aldersgate Street Volunteer campaigning in

"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
entertained the company with this appropriate recitation:--

                   When all were in alarms,

                   (Boney threat'ning 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, God bless us!

                   And tailors did address and dress us,

                   With "Stand at ease!" (up to your knees

                   In mud and mire) "Make ready! Fire!"

                   Singeing the curls of Moses Muggs, Esquire--

                   A Briton, hot for fight and fame,

                        Burning to give the foes of Bull

                        Their belly-full,

                   Limp'd forth--but no admission!--he was lame.

                   "Lame!" cried the Briton; "zounds! I say,

                   I came to fight, and not to run away!"

"The red-coat," continued Mr. Merripall, "has no vision beyond '_eyes
right_' He would march till doomsday, unless commanded to halt, and
everlastingly maintain the same poker-like position, if the word were
not given him to stand at ease. 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 glum,) "carrying into battle a heart of oak, and out
of it a timber toe!"

"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'll thank you not

                   Thus to keep the wine in the pound;

               Better by half a cannon shot

                   Stop than the bottle!--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!

               Fill what you like, but drink what you fill,

               Though it must be a bumper, a bumper, or nil.

               Water congeals in frost and snows,

               But summer and winter the red wine flows!

          Now, my Cockolorums, for a volley in platoons!


               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."

[Illustration: 0090]

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:

                   Undertakers, hand in hand,

                   Are a jovial merry band;

                   Tho' their looks are lamentable,

                   And their outward man is sable,

                   Who on this side Charon's ferry

                   Are so blythe as those that bury?

                   Hark! hark! the Parish Clerk

                   Tunes his pitch-pipe for a lark!

                   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 for dancing mutes!

                   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, Hatband, and Stiflegig, joined
a pleasant party outside of a hearse that had been doing duty in the
neighbourhood; and an empty mourning-coach accommodated 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,
particularly with the jocular companionship of Mr. Bosky and Mr.
Merripall. And Death's door was closed for the night.


|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 ten miles round

     * Two resurrection men stumbling over a fellow dead drunk in
     the kennel, bagged, and bore him away to a certain
     anatomist. 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 defunct) was repeated. The bell sounded a third time,
     and the anatomical charnel-house received another inmate.
     The tippler, 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 resurrection men, who being asked what should be done
     with the noisy fellow, answered coolly, "Keep him till you
     want him!"

We mean not to insinuate that Mr. Merripall had any share in bringing
his departed customers to light again. He was a virtuoso, and his
cabinet comprised a choice collection of the veritable cords on which
the most notorious criminals had made their transit from this world to
the next. He was rich in mendacious caligraphy. Malefactors of liberal
education obligingly favoured him with autograph confessions, and
affectionate epistles full of penitence and piety; while the less
learned condescendingly affixed their contrite crosses to any document
that autographmania might suggest. The lion of his library was an
illustrated copy of the Newgate Calendar, or New Drop Miscellany, and
round his study its principal heroes hung--in frames! He boasted of
having shaken by the hand--an honour of which Old Bailey amateurs are
proudly emulous--all the successful candidates for the Debtors' Door for
these last twenty years; and when Mr. Bosky declared that he had never
saluted a dying felon with "My dear sir!" coveted his acquaintance, and
craved his autograph, he sighed deeply for the Laureat's want of taste,
grew pensive for about a second, and then, as if suddenly recollecting
himself, exclaimed,

"Gentlemen, we are but a stone's throw from the _Owl and Ivy Bush_,
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 permanently 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 confined to monosyllables, their talk, like their
tobacco, 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
Reverend 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 word of command,
that he proposed me as a highly promising probationer, and my election
was carried amidst an unanimous chorus 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 Lauréat of Little Britain looked signs
and wonders!

"I'll take my affidavit to the Owl!" raising his eye-glass to the solemn
bird that winked wickedly 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

The contents of a brace of black bottles flowing under Mr. Merripall's
satin waistcoat, and their fumes ascending to what lay within the
circumference of his best beaver, might possibly account for this

"Hollo!"' 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 Ivy 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 that, Mr. Merripall?" said the Lauréat of Little

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

"Surely," whispered Mr. Bosky, "that vociferous 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 'Snuff and Tobacco,' your
blinking vice."

Mr. Merripall looked _incredulus odi_, and would have made a capital
study for Tam 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 from the twin tavern over the way,
and at the same moment 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
respective signs. Hence a straggling party of the _Peep o' day Boys_,
whose proper location was the Three Jolly Trumpeters, had intruded into
the taciturnity and tobacco of the Owl and Ivy Bush. This unravelled the
cross purposes that at one time seemed to call in question the "_mens
sana in corpore sano_" 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 so, is,

               'Say what men will, a pill

               Bitter to swallow, and hard of digestion.'"

And the Lauréat of Little Britain fully 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 of day Boys they would have
stood no chance, for each member carried in his hand an executive fist,
to which the noble 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 Fitzfun
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 full puff, dancing about, upon, and on all-fours under
the tables. The fire-irons were confided to a musical brother, with
instructions 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 obligato_, in consideration of his previous exertions.
But he must sing it in character; and in the absence of lamp-black and
charcoal, the corks were burnt, to enable Sir Frederick Fitzfun and
Colonel Fro lick (my Lord holding his partner's physiognomy between his
palms like a vice--the vice and Mr. Nosebags looking ruefully 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 "_Sich a gittin' up stairs_." At fault again,
he introduced the "Last rose of summer," then "The boaty rows"
"Four-and-twenty fiddlers all of a row" "Old Rose and burn the bellows"
"Blow high, blow low" "Three Tooley Street Tailors" "By the deep nine"

"I 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 accompaniment to this odd
medley, the decanters and tumblers flew about in all directions,
some escaping out at window, others irradiating 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 ready to begin upon the gold frame. Every
square of crown glass having been beaten out, and every hat's crown
beaten in, Lord Larkinton politely asked the Rev. 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,

"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." Disappointed 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 Fitzfun pushing forward the affrighted

Bopeep and his brethren to bear the brunt of the fray; an intolerable
din of screaming, shouting servants, 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 hide their sorrows in its
friendly obscurity. If in one quarter the shout of revelry is heard, as
the sensualist reels from his bacchanalian banquet,--in another, the low
moan of destitution 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 homeward, 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 mournful tale, that the following melody, sang with
heart-searching pathos, too truly confirmed:--

          A wand'rer, tho' houseless and friendless I roam,

          Ah! stranger, I once knew the sweets of a home;

          The world promised fair, 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!--

          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 faint beam

          Illumines the dark, frenzied, sorrowful dream;

          The present and past!--See! the moon she rides higher

          In mild tranquil beauty, and shoots sparks of fire!

The music ceased, the pauper-prison door opened, and a gentle voice,
addressing another, was heard to say, "Tend her kindly--my purse shall
be yours, and, what is of far higher import, though less valued here,
God's holiest blessing. Every inmate of these gloomy walls has a claim
upon your sympathy; but this hapless being demands the most watchful
solicitude. She is a bruised reed bowed down by the tempest,--a heart
betrayed and bleeding,--a brow scathed by the lightning 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 dreadful 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 awful retribution will welcome you as an angel of mercy, when
mercy, and mercy only, shall be your passport to his presence! Good

The door closed, and the speaker--unseeing, but not unseen--hurried
away. It was Uncle Timothy!

Bulky as a walrus, and as brutal, out-frogging 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 arm of Catspaw Crushem, Mr. Poor Law Guardian
Pinch--a hiccup anticipating an oath--commanded 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
tomorrow. We'll try whether cold water, a dark crib, and a straight
jacket won't spoil her caterwauling. The cretur grows quite obstroperous
upon our gruel" (!!!)

               O England! merrie England!

                   Once nurse of thriving men;

               I've learn'd to look on many things,

                   With other eyes since then!


|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 frightfully deformed, and of hideous obesity, grinning down
upon the passengers from every side. Its exterior colour was a dingy
yellow; it had little antique casements, casting "a dim," if not a
"religious light," within; the entrance 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 Finchley, the Strolling Players, and
Southwark Fair, half obscured by dust, in narrow black frames, with
a tarnished gold beading. An ancient clock ticked (like some of the
customers!) in a dark corner; on the high grotesquely carved mantelpiece
piped full-dressed shepherds and shepherdesses, in flowery arbours of
Chelsea china; from the capacious ingle projected two wooden arms,
on which the elbows of a long race of privileged old codgers had
successively 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 Î) 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 faded red arras; 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 Fair!) was to be levelled to the ground.

"Gentlemen," said the President, who was a rosy evergreen, with "fair
round belly," and a jolly aspect, "a man and boy, for forty years, have
I been a member of the _Robin Hood_, and fanned down my punch in
this room! What want we with mahogany, French-polished, and fine
chim-ney-glasses? Cannot every brother see his good-looking face in
a glass of his own? Or a gas-lamp before the door, with a dozen brass
burners? Surely 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 had 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 Lauréat, "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 time he may be at the bottom of the Thames Tunnel, or at Madame
Tussaud's, _tête-à-tête_ with Oliver Cromwell, Napoleon, and Young
Oxford." A murmur of disappointment rose from the brethren, with a
benediction on distant relations that did not keep a hundred miles off.

"Gentlemen," resumed the President, "'if sack and sugar 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 Lauréat--but a twinkle from the eye of the President to
a covey of intelligent cronies, on whom the scarlet rays of his
countenance more intensely fell, produced a supplementary 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 him a
long face as a long speech. For their kind wishes to Uncle Timothy he
thanked them from the bottom of his soul--and glass!

"Gentlemen, when the money-grub 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 mercantile career of our worthy President. May he
be blest in his retirement! Gentlemen, the health of Mr. Deputy
Doublechin--(no skylights, Brother Blizzard!)--upstanding, with all the

The two corporation members having taken "their 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 corner, my vocal Vale shall be our
tutelary freebooter."

And with "full-throated ease" this jovial impersonation of John Bull


               Robin Hood! Robin Hood I a lawgiver good.

               Kept his 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!

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

               And,'stead of rough sackcloth, 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!

               With Robin our King let the old rafters ring!

               They have heard their last shout! they have seen their

                   last spring!

               And though we may sigh 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 club was literary as well as convivial, such of the members
as the gods had made poetical, critical, or historical, favoured the
company at these appointed meetings with their lucubrations. Uncle
Timothy's had been antiquarian and critical, Mr. Bosky's facetious and

               A merry song is better far

                   Than sharp lampoon or witty libel.

One brother, Mr. Boreum, who had got the scientific 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 Paddlebox, a civil engineer, maintained, by
knock-me-down-proof-positive, that Noah's Ark was an antediluvian
steamer of some five hundred horse-power! The evening's contribution 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 hammer commanded silence, and he proceeded
with his task.


|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 concert,--and Time
drops the curtain!

In a half sportive, half melancholy mood, we record this description of
the tragi-comedy of human 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

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."

          * To view Niagara's Falls one day
          A Priest 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! what a place to sponge a coat!"

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

"Look through my glass," says the philosopher, "Through mine" says
the metaphysician. "Will your honour please to take a peep through my
glass?" inquires the penny showman. The penny showman's glass for our

We are not to be hoodwinked by high-sounding authorities, who, like Tom
Thumb, manufacture the giants they take the credit of killing! Bernier
tells us, that whenever the Great Mogul made a remark, no matter how
commonplace, the Omrahs lifted up their hands and cried "Wonder!
wonder! wonder!" And their proverb saith, If the King exclaims at
noon-day, "It is night" you 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 describing what he saw to some inquiring
country kinsman in the following laconic epistle, and you will have a
lively contemporary sketch of Smithfield Rounds.

Cousin Corydon,

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.

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

The fair resembled a camp; only, instead of standing rank and file,
the spectators were shuffled together like little boxes in a sharper's
Luck-in-a-Bag. With much ado I reached Pye-Corner, 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 Ground champion at the mock storming of a castle, lift
a number of weights, which hung round him like bandaliers about a Dutch

               "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!'

     * "The English Sampson, William Joy, aged twenty-four years,
     was horn in the Isle of Thanet, in Kent. He is a man of
     prodigious strength, of which he hath given proofs 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.
     AD. 1699."

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

     Topham, the Strong Man, lifted three hogsheads of water,
     weighing 183 lbs. the 28th of May 1741, in honour of Admiral
     Vernon, before thousands of people, in Bath Street, Cold-
     Bath-Fields. In his early years he exhibited at Bartholomew
     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 company, till he condescended to untie it. He died by
     his own hand, on the 10th August 1749, the victim of his
     wife's infidelity.

     "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 then jostled to a booth, in which was only a puppet-show, * where, for
twopence, I saw Jepthas rash Vow; or, The Virgins Sacrifice. In I went,
almost headlong, to Pinkethmans Medley, ** to see the Vaulting of the
horse, and the famous wooden puppets dance a minuet and a ballet.

     * Only a Puppet-show!--Marry-come-up! Goodman Chronicler,
     doth not the mechanist, a very Prometheus, give life,
     spirit, and motion to what was a mopstick or the leg of

     **  "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 Conjuror, 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
     musick, songs, and dances are by the best performers, whom
     Mr. Pinkethman has entertained at extraordinary charge,
     purely to please the town."

At the Dutch Womans booth, * the Wheelbarrow dance, by a little Flemish
girl ten years old, was in truth a miracle! A bill having been thrust
into my hand, of a man and woman lighting for the breeches. **

     * "You will see the famous Dutchwoman's side-capers,
     upright-capers, cross-capers, and back-capers on the tight
     rope. She walks, too, on the slack rope, which no woman but
     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! You might have sworn they were of right
     Dutch extraction."--A Comparison between the Two Stages,

     Dancing on the rope was forbidden by an order of Parliament,
     July 17, 1647. The most celebrated rope-dancer on record is
     Jacob Hall, who lived in the reign of King Charles the
     Second. His feats of agility and strength, and the
     comeliness 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
     "Root's Booth"

I had the curiosity to look at this family picture, which turned out to
be the Devil and Doctor Faustus, * the wife representing the Devil, and
the husband the Doctor!

[Illustration: 0120]

The tent of the English rope-dancers ** the rabble took by storm;--

     *  In a Bartlemy Fair bill, temp. James II. after the
     representation of "St. George for England," wherein is shown
     how the valiant "saint slew the venomous Dragon," the public
     were treated with "the Life and Death of Doctor Foster,
     (Faustus?) with such curiosity, that his very intrails turns
     into snakes and sarpints!"

     **  On the top of the following bill is a woodcut of the
     "Ladder Dance," and the "two Famous High German children"
     vaulting on the tight rope. "At Mr. Barnes's Booth, between
     the Croton Tavern and the Hospital Gate, with the English
     Flag flying on the top, you will see Mr. Barnes dancing with
     a child standing upon his shoulders; also tumbling through
     hoops, over halberds, over sixteen men's heads, and over a
     horse with a man on his back, and two boys standing upright
     upon each arm! With the merry conceits of Pickle Herring and
     his son Punch."

--but myself and a few heroes stood the brunt of the fray, and saw the
Ladder Dance, and excellent vaulting 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 manners having suppressed them all but one, I
declined going thither, for fear of being thought an immoral 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 behaviour and impudent air

               Proclaim'd them the subjects of Bartlemy Fair!

               There strutted the sharper and braggart, (a brace!)

               And there peep'd a goddess with mask on her face! ----

               I view'd 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


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

     * The Lady Mary, the daughter of a noble Italian family, was
     born in Florence, and immured in a nunnery, but eloped with
     a Merry Andrew, who taught her his professional tricks. She
     danced with great dexterity on the rope, from which (when
     urged by the avarice of her inhuman partner to exhibit
     during a period of bodily weakness) she fell, and died

     ** "The Cloister in Bartholomew Fair, a poem, London.

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

Thanks! worthy chronicler of ancient St. Bartlemy.

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's phiz, 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 Cibber, how he breaks the laws,

               To make poor Pinkey eat with vast applause!"

He was celebrated for speaking prologues and epilogues. * He realised a
good fortune by his Puppet-show, and kept a booth at Bartholomew Fair.
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 Nay, 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!") puppet-shows, **** physiognoscopography,--

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

     ** "Pinkethman's Jests, or Wit Refin'd, being a new year's
     gift for young gentlemen and ladies, 1721, First and Second
     Parts.'7 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

          **** "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.

--Punches, and Roast Pig. * But its Drama was in abeyance. ** The
elite of Pye-Corner, Gilt-spur Street, and the Cloth-quarter, preferred
Pinkethman's Medley and Mr. Barnes's Rope-dancers, to "The Old Creation
of the World New Revived," with the intrigues of Lucifer in the Garden of

     *  "A Catch--Mr. Henry Purcell--

     Here's that will challenge all the Fair:

     Come buy my nuts and damsons, my Burgamy Pear. Here's the
     Whore of Babylon, the Devil and the Pope: The girl is just
     going on the rope.

     Here's Dives and Lazarus, and the World's Creation: Here's
     the Dutch Woman, the like's not in the nation. Here is the
     booth where the tall Dutch Maid is,

          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 Pig and Pork"

     ** "The old Droll Players' Lamentation, being very pleasant
     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!
          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!"

--and Adam and Eve driven out of Paradise,"--"Judith and Holofernes," *
--"Dives and Pauper,"--the "Humours 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
Spendall and Punchinello; Pickle-Herring and 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 Wits ***

     * "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 favor, 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
     collection 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
     Flayers, 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 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

--or Sport upon Sport" and "The Stroller's Pacquet Open'd--except when a
Smithfield bard, "bemus'd in beer," ventured upon originality, and added
"Robin Hood, * an Opera," and "The Quaker's Opera," ** to the classical
press of Bartholomew Fair.

     * "Robin Hood, an opera, as it is performed at Lee and
     Harper's Great Theatrical Booth in Bartholomew Fair, 1730."

     ** "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
     "improved" (!!) by a Methodist Preacher under the Piazza of
     Covent Garden. "Now, my beloved, we have a remarkable
     instance of man's care for his tabernacle of clay in the
     notorious malefactor Jack Sheppard! How dexterously did he,
     with a nail, pick the padlock of his chain! how manfully
     burst his fetters; climb up the chimney; wrench out an iron
     bar; break his way through a stone wall, till he reached 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 Turner's
     house! and how cautiously pass down the stairs, and make his
     escape at the street-door! Oh, 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 beloved 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 meditation; fix the blanket of faith with
     the spike of the conventicle; 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 clutches of that old
     executioner, the devil."

Good company has occasionally visited the "Rounds." Evelyn * went there,
but it was to gape and grumble.

     * 1648. 28 Aug: Saw ye celebrated follies of Bartholomew
     Fair, which follies were more harmless, in those days, than
     the solemn and sinister mummery of a Brownist's conventicle,
     a Presbyterian Synod, and a Quakers' meeting.

In the year 1670 (see "Some Account of Rachel Lady Russell,") Lady
Russell, with her sister, Lady Northumberland, and Lady Shafts-bury,
returned from Bartholomew Fair loaded with fairings for herself and
children! Sept. 1, 1730, 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, in 1740, attended by a party of
the Yeomen of the Guard with lighted flambeaux, contemplated 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, refused the proffered fee, politely
remarking, "Sir, we never take money from one another."

     * 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.

Pinkethman's "Pantheon, or Temple of the Heathen Gods, consisting of
five curious pictures, and above one hundred figures that move their
heads, legs, and fingers, in character," long continued the lion of
Bartholomew and Southwark fairs. * On the 19th August, 1720, great
preparations 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 contribution on such as happened to be enjoying the
pure air of Hounslow Heath and Finchley Common! 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 dancing dogs!" 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 Southwark Fair, and apprehended Pinkethman, with
     others of his company, just as they had concluded a play, in
     the presence of near 150 noblemen and gentlemen seated on
     the stage. They were soon liberated, on making it appear
     that they were the King's Servants. The Prince visited the

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 much more needful, sons of repletion! is
reform to you, 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 entirely on the side of "robes and furrd

     * 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 bottle. But the master of that great
     bee-hive, the city, to please the canting, zealous horn-
     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 ridicule the city's majesty, by
     hiring a paunch-bellied porter at half-a-crown a day, to
     represent an Alderman in a scarlet gown! when a lean-ribbed
     scoundrel in a blue jacket, for mimicking a fool, shall have
     forty shillings!" In 1743, 1750, 1760, 1798, 1825, and 1840,
     further attempts were made to put down the fair. In 1760 one
     Birch, (for whom St. Bartholomew had a rod in pickle! )
     bearing the grandiloquent title of Deputy City Marshal (!! )
     lost his life in a fray that broke out between the
     suppressing authorities and the fair folk.

The amendment of Bardolph's face (nose!) per se, was not a crying case
of necessity; a burning 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! *

     * 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 faults of his neighbour is
     generally very merciful 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 suppressio veri, he is openly detected in the
     suggestio falsi, and made to pay the penalty of his
     duplicity. An ancient beau, bounding with all the vigour and
     alacrity that age, gout, and rheumatism usually inspire,
     cuts not a more ridiculous figure!

     Hermes, or Mercury, was a thief, 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
     Jack Falstaff, true Jack Falstaff, valiant Jack Falstaff,
     for his infirmities! He lets judgment go by default! "Dost
     thou hear, Hal? thou knowest, in the state of innocency,
     Adam fell; and what should poor Jack Falstaff do, in these
     days of villany?"

     This is truth as deep as the centre. Whoever shall cast a
     pebble at old Jack after this, must have his conscience

Be your grace * short, and your meals long. Abate not one slice of
venison, one spoonful of turtle. Be the fat, white and green, all your
own! ** But war not with _Punch_--

"Let the poor devil _eat_; allow him _that!_"

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

"To those sentiments," exclaimed Deputy Doublechin, "I most heartily

     * The Rev. R. C. Dillon (Lord Mayor's chaplain in 1826)
     published in 1830 a "Sermon on the evil 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

     The following odd combinations occur in the title of a
     sermon published in 1734. "The deformity of sin cured; a
     sermon 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 Cripplegate.

     ** A physician once observed that he could tell of what
     country a man was by his complaint. If it laid in the head,
     he was a Scotchman; if in the heart, he was an Irishman; if
     in the stomach, he was an Englishman.

And as the worshipful deputy's responses, six days out of the seven,
were _wet_ ones, the punch and a glee went merrily round.

               Punchinello's a jolly good fellow!

               Making us merry, and making us mellow.

               In the bowl, in the fair too, a cure for dull care too;

               All ills that we find flesh or skin and bone heir to!

               Verily he is the spirit of glee,

               So in him drink to him with three times three!

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

               Punchinello, _mon ami! a votre santé_.


|And so, Mr. M'Sneeshing, you never heard of the ingenious _ruse_ played
off by Monsieur Scaramouch?" said the Lauréat, as he refreshed his
nostrils with a parsimonious pinch from the mull of sandy-poled Geordie,
conchologist and confectioner, from the land o' cakes. And while Deputy
Doublechin was busy admiring a grotesque illumination in Uncle Timothy's
_Merrie Mysteries_, Mr. Bosky favoured the company with


               Monsieur Scaramouch, sharp-set enough,

               At a Paris dépôt for tobacco and snuff,

               Accosted the customers every day

               With "_Pardonnez moi, du Tabac, s'il vous plâit!_"

               He look'd such a gentleman every inch,

               The Parisians all condescended a pinch;

               Which, taken from Bobadils, barbers, and beaux,

               Went into his _pocket_--instead of his _nose!_

               Scaramouch sold, with a merry ha I ha!

               Ev'ry pinch to his friend, _le marchand de tabac_:

               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!

               It found him in fuel, and lodging, and cloaths--

               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, All's fish to the net that shall come,

               Duly directed his finger and thumb.

               One day a dragoon _en botine_, and three crosses,

               With a pungent _bonne bouche_ came to treat his proboscis;

               Our Scaramouch, sporting his lowest _congee_,

               Smil'd, "_Pardonnez moi, du Tabac s'il vousplâit!_"

               "_Volontiers_ and his box, which, 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!

               "_Coquin!_" and a cane, that he kept for the nonce,

               Of Scaramouch threaten'd the perriwigg'd sconce;

               Who, fearing 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
about him, to see if there was a Scaramouch among the party! "I'd ha'
crack'd his croon!"

Mr. Bosky's reply all but tripped off his tongue.

'Twas caviare to the Scotchman, so he suppressed 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 fair. The Smithfield drama had revived under
the judicious management of popular actors; * the art of legerdemain had
reached perfection in the "surprising performances" of Mr. Fawkes; **
wrestling *** fencing,--

     *  "There is one great playhouse erected in the middle of
     Smithfield for the King's Players. The booth is the largest
     that was ever built."--Dawkes's News-letter, 1715.

     ** "Feb. 15. 1731. The Algerine Ambassadors went to see
     Fawkes, who showed them a prospect of Algiers, and raised up
     an apple-tree which bore ripe apples in less than a minute's
     time, of which the company tasted."--Gentlemans Mag. Fawkes
     died May 25, 1731, worth ten thousand pounds. John White,
     author of "Arts Treasury, and Hocus Pocus; or a Rich Cabinet
     of Legerdemain Curiosities," was a noted conjuror
     contemporary with Fawkes.

     *** Stow, lamenting the decline of wrestling, 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 Bartholomew-day in the afternoone."

--and single-stick, fought their way thither from Stokes's *
amphitheatre in Islington Road, and Figg's ** academy for full-grown
gentlemen in Oxford Street, then "Marybone Fields!" Powel's puppet-show
still gloried in its automaton wonders; Pinchbecks musical clock struck
all beholders with admiration; and Tiddy Doll *** with his gingerbread
cocked hat garnished with Dutch gold, the prime oddity of the fair, made
the "Rounds" ring with his buffooneries.

     *  "At Mr. Stokes's amphitheatre, Islington Road, on Monday,
     24th June, 1733, I 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!
     Attendance at two; the Masters mount at five. Vivat Rex et

     "This is to give notice, that to-morrow, for a day's
     diversion (!! ) 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, 2s. 6d.,
     2s., 1s. 6d. and 1s."

     ** 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. 1731, a prize was
     fought for at the French Theatre in the Haymarket, between
     Figg and Sparks, at which the Duke of Lorraine and Count
     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 "Tiddy doll loi loi!" procured him his
     popular sobriquet.

[Illustration: 0138]

Among the galaxy of Bartholomew Fair stars that illumined this
flourishing period was The Right Comical Lord Chief Joker, James
Spiller, the Mat o' the Mint of the Beggar's Opera, the airs of which he
sang in a "truly sweet and harmonious tone." His convivial 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 brimming bowl, is prefixed 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 with 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 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 37.
A poetical butcher of Clare-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 (familiarly called "honest Billy Mills!" from his kind

          *  "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 bailiffs 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 fall in hysteric fits;
          For sure as they're alive, poor Spiller's dead;
          But, thanks to Jack Legar! we've got his head.
          He was an inoffensive, merry fellow,
          When sober, hipp'd; blythe as a bird, when mellow."

     For Spiller's benefit ticket, engraved by Hogarth, twelve
     guineas have been given! There is another, of more dramatic
     interest, with portraits of himself and his wife in the
     Cobbler of Preston.

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

     * 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 Teague. 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 first and second
     editions of "Joe Miller's Jests" 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. Clement
     Danes. We learn from the inscription on his tombstone (now
     illegible) that he was "a tender husband, a sincere friend,
     & facetious companion, and an excellent comedian." Stephen
     Duck, the favourite bard of "good Queen Caroline." wrote his

Hallam * (whom Macklin accidentally killed in a quarrel about a stage

[Illustration: 0142]

Woodward, Yates, Shuter, **--

     * A very rare portrait of Hallam represents him standing
     before the stage-lights, holding in one hand a wig, and
     pointing with the other to "An infallible recipe to make a
     wicked manager of a theatre" (a merciless satire on
     Macklin,) dated 'Chester, 20, 1750." A stick is thrust into
     his left eye by one behind the scenes. For this accident,
     which caused his death, Macklin was tried at the Old Bailey
     in May, 1735, and found guilty of manslaughter.

     ** When actors intend to abridge a piece they say, "We will
     John Audley it!" It originated thus. In the year 1749,
     Shuter played drolls at Bartholomew Fair, and was wont to
     lengthen the exhibition until a sufficient number of people
     were collected at the door to fill his booth. The event was
     signified by a Merry Andrew crying out from the gallery,
     "John Audley!" as if in the act of inquiry after such a
     person, though his intention was to inform Shuter there was
     a fresh audience in high expectation below! In consequence
     of this hint, the droll was cut short, and the booth cleared
     for the new crop of impatient expectants! Shuter
     occasionally spent his evenings at a certain "Mendicants'
     convivial club," held at the Welch's Head, Dyott Street, St.
     Giles's; which, in 1638, kept its quarters at the Three
     Crowns in the Vintry.

--and very early in life, little Quick. * Ned had a sincere regard
for Mr. Whitfield, and often attended his ministry at Tottenham Court

     * 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 money" exclaimed Turpin's first cousin. Quick,
     assuming the dialect and manner of a raw country lad,
     replied with stupid astonishment, "Mooney, zur! 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
     travestie, would listen to nothing else; and Quick (with the
     best tragic intentions!) was reluctantly obliged to humour
     them. When he came 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 a jackass?"

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 Ned's popular parts,) who hast so long rambled, come you
also! O! end your ramblings 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 McGrath, 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 English
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
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-Corner, 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
Inchanted Scotchman; or Jockey and the three witches!"

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 Æolus, he had stopped his breath
for a time, to be the better able to discharge a hurricane! 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-Corner," where, Sept. 2, 1729, will be 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-fac'd comedian, Harper, thou body of a porpoise,
and heart of a tittlebat! that didst die of a round-house fever; *
and Zee, ** rosy St. Anthony! thy rival trumpeter, with his rubicund
physiognomy screened beneath the umbrage of a magnificent bowsprit,
proclaim at the Hospital Gate "The Siege of Berthulia; with the Comical
Humours, of Rustego and his man Terrible."

     * 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
     Gomez, in Dryden's play of the Spanish Friar,) and Cave
     Underhill, 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, they both jumped into it! The mob, to prevent
     murder, scampered to the pit, when to their great surprise
     they found the redoubtable heroes 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 tavern to refresh themselves, and
     get rid of a troublesome tumult.--The Comedian's Tales,

[Illustration: 0147]

What an odd-favoured mountebank! "a threadbare juggler, and a
fortune-teller, a needy, hollow-ey'd, sharp-looking wretch," with a nose
crooked as the walls of Troy, and a chin like a shoeing horn; those two
features having become more intimately acquainted, because his teeth
had fallen out! Behold him jabbering, gesticulating, and with auricular
grin, distributing this Bartholomew Fair bill.

"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 Toilet's Rounds; the Fingalian Dance, and a Scottish Dance,
by Mrs. Bullock."

Thine, Hallam, 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, trumpets, and French horns!" Thine, too,
Hippisley, immortal Scapin! transferring the arch fourberies 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.

At this moment a voice, to which the neigh of Bucephalus 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 Lauréat paused.

Mr. M'Sneeshing. "Lost his leg in battle!--ha! ha! ha!--a gude joke!
He means in a man-trap! I should be glad to know what business 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, that sic like
receptacles, and the anti-Presbyterian abomination of alms-giving are
only so many premiums for roguery and vay-gabondism. Let every one put
his shoulder to the wheel, his nose to the grindstone, and make hay
while the sun shines."

     *  At Oxford and Cambridge they write L.L.D.--in Scotland,
     L.S.D. viz. 35s. 3d. for the diploma!

Mr. Bosky. But are there not many on whom the sun of prosperity never

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Their unthriftiness and lack of foresight alone are to

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'Sneeshing. 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----

Mr. Bosky. Starve?

Mr. M'Sneeshing. To have just as much--and _nae mair!_--as will keep
body and soul together! Would you not _revile_, rather than _relieve_,
the lazy and the improvident?

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

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Nor cast them a single word of reproach?

     *  "In the daily eating this was his custom. (Archbishop
     Parker's, temp. Elizabeth.) The steward, with the servants
     that were gentleman of the better rank, sat down at the
     tables in the hall on the right hand; and the almoner, with
     the clergy, &e., sat on the other side, where there was
     plenty of all sorts of provision. The daily fragments
     thereof did suffice to fill the bellies of a great number of
     poor hungry people that waited at the gate. And moreover it
     was the Archbishop's command to his servants, that all
     strangers should be receive and treated with all manner of
     civility and respect."

     The poor and hungry fed and treated with "civility and
     respect!" What a poser and pill for Geordie M'Sneeshing and
     Professor M'Grab!

Mr. Bosky. I would see that they were fed first, and then, if I
reproved, my reproof should be no pharisaical diatribes. The bitterest
reproaches fall short of that pain which a wounded spirit suffers in
reflecting on its own errors; a lash given to the soul will provoke more
than the body's most cruel torture.

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Vera romantic, and in the true speerit of----

Mr. Bosky. _Charity_, I hope.

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Chay-ri-ty? (putting his hand into his coat-pocket.)

Mr. Bosky. Don't fumble; the word is not in M'Culloch!

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Peradventure, Mr Bosky, you would build a Union
poor-house (sarcastically).

Mr. Bosky. I would not.

Mr. M'Sneeshing. An Hospital? (with a sardonic grin!)

Mr. Bosky. I would!

Mr. M'Sneeshing. Where?

Mr. 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 Lauréat abruptly quitted the room, leaving Mr. M'Sneeshing in
that embarrassing predicament, "_Between the de'il 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 obfuscated concholo-gist Geordie,
and he was about to launch a _Brutum fulmen_, a speech _de omnibus rebus
et quibusdam aliis_, as the magging mouthpiece of Professor

M'Grab; when, to the great joy of Deputy Doublechin, the miserable
drone-pipe of this leatherbrained, leaden-hearted, blue-nosed,
frost-bitten, starved nibbler of a Scotch kail-yard, was quickly drowned
in the sonorous double-bass of our saltwater 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!

               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


               To these rolling orbs what is sunshine or night?

               But the full blaze of glory that beam'd on thy bay,

               Trafalgar I still pours on their darkness the day.

An ominous tap at the window--the "White Serjeant's!" invited Geordie to
a tête-à-tête with a singed sheep's head, and the additional treat of a
curtain-lecture, not on political but domestic economy, illustrated with
sharp etchings by Mrs. M'Sneeshing's nails, of which his physiognomy
had occasionally exhibited proof impressions! To his modern Athenian
(!) broad brogue, raised in defiance of the applauding populace outside,
responded the polite inquiry, "_Does your mother know you're out?_"
* and other classical interrogatories. The return of Mr. Bosky was a
signal for cheerfulness, mingled with deeper feelings; during which were
not forgotten, "Old England's wooden walls?" and "Peace to the souls of
the heroes!"

               "Hail! all hail I the warriors grave,

                   Valour's venerable bed,--

               Hail! the memory of the Brave!

                   Hail! the Spirits of the Dead!

     * Certain cant phrases strike by their odd sound and
     apposite allusion.

     "No mistake!"

     "Who are you?"

     "Cut my lucky!"

     "Does your mother know you're out I"

     "Hookey!" &c. &c. are terms that metaphorically imply
     something comical 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!" he will give a loose to conjecture; and
     oft to Heaven will he roll his queer eye, the query to
     answer, "Who are you?"


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


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


          And was he not a gallant chief who fought the gallant


          Who broke the neck of tyranny, and left no more to do?--

          That chief was Arthur Wellington! that fight was


          O, when on bleak Corunna s heights he rear'd his ban

                   ner high,

          Britannia wept her gallant Moore; her scatter'd armies


          To raise her glory to the stars, and kindle hearts of


          The mighty victor gave the word, the master-spirit


          Poor Soult, like Pistol with his leek! he soon compell'd

                   to yield;

          And then a glorious wreath he gain'd on Talaveras 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 "Vittoria!"--all Europe join'd the


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


          Quoth Arthur, "With 'th' Invincibles' another bout

                   I'll try;

          And show you when f the Captain * comes a better by

                   and by!"

          But lest his sword should rusty grow for want of daily


          He gave the twice-drubb'd Soult again a settler at


          His Marshals having beaten all, and laid upon the shelf,

          He waits to see the Captain" come, and take a turn


          Now Arthur is a gentleman, and always keeps his word;

          And on the eighteenth day of June the cannons loud

                   were heard;

          The flow'r of England's chivalry their conquror rallied


          A sturdy staff to cudgel well "the Captain" off the


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

                   of balls,

          A shout is heard; the voice obey'd--the noble Picton


          On valour's crimson bed behold the bleeding Howard


          Oh! the heart beats the muffled drum when such a

                   hero dies!

          The cuirassiers they gallop forth in polish'd coats of


          "Up, Guards, and at'em!" and the shot comes rattling

                   on like hail!

          A furious charge both man and horse soon prostrates and


          And all the cuirassiers are cracked like lobsters in their


          Where hottest is the fearful fight, and fire and flame


          The darkest cloud, the dunnest smoke, there dances

                   Arthur s plume!

          That living wall of British hearts, that hollow square,

                   in vain

          You mow it down--see! Frenchmen, see! the phalanx

                   forms again.

          The meteor-plume in majesty still floats along the


          Brave, bonny Scots! ye fight the field of Bannockburn


          The Gallic lines send forth a cheer; its feeble echoes


          The British squadrons rend the air--and "Victory!"

                   is their cry.

          'T was helter-skelter, devil take the hindmost, sauve

                   qui peut,

          With "Captain" and " Invincibles" that day at Wa


          O how the Beiges show'd their backs! but not a Briton


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


               "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!"

               When the cheering had subsided,

"Good morning (bowed Mr. Bosky) to your conjuring cap, Wizard of St.
Bartlemy! Namesake 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 adorned with 'lively sculptures' of Mr. Punch's
scaramouches, (formerly Mrs. Charke's * ) and illuminated with your
picture in a preternatural (pretty natural?) wig, every curl of which
was woven by the fairy fingers of Queen Mab!"


"Mr. _Fawkes_, at his booth over-against the King's Head, exhibits his
incomparable dexterity of hand, and Pinchbeck's musical clock, that
plays several fine tunes, imitates the notes of different birds, and
shews ships sailing in the river. You will also be entertained with
a surprising tumbler just arrived from Holland, and a Lilliputian
posture-master, only five years old, who performs such wonderful turns
of body, the like of which was never clone by a child of his age and
bigness before."--1730.

     * The deserted daughter of Colley Cibber, of whose erratic
     life some passages are recorded in her autobiography. 1750.

At the Hospital Gate, ("all the scenes and decorations entirely new,")
Joe Miller, * "honest Billy Mills" and Oates, invite us to see a new
opera, called The Banished General, or the Distressed Lovers; the
English Maggot, a comic dance; two harlequins; a trumpet and kettledrum
concert and chorus; and the comical humours of Nicodemus Hobble-Wollop,
Esq. and his Man Gudgeon! Squire Nicodemus by the facetious Joe. And at
the booth of Fawkes, Pinchbeck and Terwin, "distinguished from the rest
by bearing English colours," will be performed Britons Strike Home;. **
As if to redeem the habitual dulness of Joe Miller, one solitary joke of
his stands on respectable authority. Joe, sitting at the window of the
Sun Tavern in Clare Street, while a fish-woman was crying, "Buy my
soles! Buy my maids!" exclaimed, "Ah! you wicked old creature; you are
not content to sell your own soul, but you must sell your maid's too!"

     ** The commander of the General Ernouf (French sloop of war)
     hailed the Reynard sloop, Captain Coglilan, in English, to
     strike. "Strike!" replied the Briton, "that I will, and very
     hard!" He struck so very hard, that in thirty-five minutes
     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
     exertions, fifty-five out of a crew of one hundred were

"Don Superbo Hispaniola Pistole by Mr. C--b--r, and Donna Americana by
Mrs. Cl--ve, the favourite of the town!" Dare Conjuror Fawkes insinuate
that Cibber, 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 Walpole 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!" If false, "surprising and incomparable" must have been thy
"dexterity of hand," base wizard! which shielded that bold front of
thine from the cabalistic retribution of her nails!

_Leverigo_ the Quack, and his Jack Pudding Pinkanello, have mounted
their stage; and, hark! the Doctor (Leveridge, famous for his "O the
Roast Beef of Old England!") tunes his manly pipes, accompanied by that
squeaking Vice! for the _Mountebank's song_. *

[Illustration: 0162]

          * "Here are people and sports of all sizes and sorts,
          Cook-maid and squire, and mob in the mire;
          Tarpaulins, Frugmalions, Lords, Ladies, Sows, Babies,
          And Loobies in scores:
          Some howling, some bawling, some leering, some fleering;
          While Punch kicks his wife out of doors!
          To a tavern some go, and some to a show,

     See poppets, for moppets; Jack-Puddings for Cuddens; Rope-
     dancing, mares prancing; boats flying, quacks lying; Pick-
     pockets, Pick-plackets, Beasts, Butchers, and Beaux; Fops
     prattling, Dice rattling, Punks painted, Masks fainted, In
     Tally-man's furbelow'd cloaths!"

[Illustration: 0163]

In another quarter, Jemmy Laroch * warbles his raree-show ditty; while
Old Harry persuades the gaping juveniles--

     * Here's de English and French to each other most civil,
     Shake hands and be friends, and hug like de devil!

     O Raree-show, &c.

     Here be de Great Turk, and the great King of no land,

     A galloping bravely for Hungary and Poland.

     O Raree-show, &c.

     Here's de brave English Beau for the Packet Boat tarries,

     To go his campaign vid his tailor to Paris.

     O Raree-shoiv, &c.

     Here be de English ships bringing plenty and riches,

     And dere de French caper a-mending his breeches!

     O Raree-show, &c.

--to take a peep at his gallant show. * Duncan Macdonald ** "of
the Shire of Caithness, Gent.," tells, 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.

     * "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 forlorne,
          His tinkling bell doth you together call
          To see his Raree-show, 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 Nippotate, 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, 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 nose, on the pommel of which
     he balances a tobacco-pipe, and on its bowl two eggs erect!
     With his left forefinger he sustains a chair with a dog
     sitting in it, and two feathers standing erect on the nobs;
     and to shew the strength of his wrist, there are two weights
     of l00 lbs. each fastened to the legs of the chair!" &c. &c.

[Illustration: 0165]

But his empty quart bottles, with "their necks downwards," produced him
not the price of a full one; his glass globe Louis Ragout valued not the
straw that stood erect upon it; and his nose, sustaining on its tip a
sharp-pointed sword, put not a morsel into his mouth; so that, finding
his wire and trade equally slack, and that he could balance everything
but his accounts, he took his French boots and French leave; left his
board for his lodging, and his chair for his cheer, hoping to experience
better luck at Bartholomew Fair! Posture-master Phillips, * pupil
of Joseph Clarke, ** exercises his crooked calling, and becomes
hunch-backed, pot-bellied, sharpbreasted, and crippled disjointing arms,
shoulders, and legs, and twisting his supple limbs into bows and double

     * "August 23, 1749, a gallery in Phillips's booth broke
     down. F our persons were killed and several wounded."

     ** Clarke, who lived in the reigns of King James II. and
     King William, was a terrible torment to his tailors; for
     when one came to measure him, he contrived to have an
     enormous hump on his left shoulder, and when the coat was
     tried on, it had shifted to his right I The tailor
     apologized for his blunder, took home the garment, altered
     it, returned, and again attempted to make it fit, when, to
     his astonishment and dismay, he found his queer customer as
     straight as an arrow! A legion of tailors came to Adonize
     him, but he puzzled them all.

Hans Buling * displays his monkey's humours, and his own. The Auctioneer
of Moorfields ** transfers his book-stall to the cloisters. "Poor Will
Ellis" offers for sale his simple "effigie." ***

     *  A well-known charlatan, who advertised his nostrums,
     attended by a monkey.

     ** This grave-looking, spectacled personage, in a rare print
     by Sutton Nieholls, stands at his book-stall in Moorfields,
     puffing the contents of his sale catalogue, among which are
     "The History of Theves;"  "English Rogue;" "Aristotle's
     Masterpiece and "Poems by Rochester

          "Come, sirs, and view this famous library,
          'Tis pity learning shou'd discouraged be.
          Here's bookes (that is, if they were but well sold)
          I will maintain't are worth their weight in gold.
          Then bid apace, and break me out of hand;
          Ne'er cry you don't the subject understand:
          For this, I'll say, howe'er the case may hit,
          Whoever buys of me,--I teach'em wit."

     *** Sitting on the railings in Moorfields. Beneath are some
     lines, giving an account how "Bedlam became his sad portion
     and lot for the love of Dear Betty." Coming to his senses,
     he turned poet:--

          "Now innocent poetry 's all my delight;
          And I hope that you'll all be so kind as to buy't:
          That poor Will Ellis, when laid in his tomb,
          May be stuck in your closet, or hung in your room."

[Illustration: 0168]

The "Dwarf Man and the Black" give us a chance of meeting our love
at----first sight. *

     * "Sept. 8, 1757. Daily Advertiser. If the lady who stood
     near a young gentleman 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 have 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."

The Midas-eared Musician scrapes on his violincello a
teeth-setting-an-edge voluntary. John Coan, * the Norfolk Pigmy, motions
us to his booth; and Hale the Piper ** dancing his "hornpipe," bagpipes
us a welcome to the fair!

"What," exclaimed the Lauréat, "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 impossible 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 Piper, by Sutton Nieholls,
     are the music to his hornpipe, 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 Hale the Piper in fair Darby Shire.
          The consequence in part you here may know,
          Pray look upon his hornpipe here below."
          Hail! modest piper, and farewell!

"Welcome, illustrious brother!" shouted Deputy 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 ancient roof-tree! Shall it be sawed asunder unsung? 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 eschewing a pun.

"Your eloquence, Mr. Deputy, is irresistible,--"Man anticipates Time
in the busy march of destruction. His own mortal frame, broken by
intemperance, 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!

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


          From boyhood to 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 fond father leading his son by the hand!

          In the morning of life, ah! how tottering my tread--

          (True symbol of age ere its journey is sped!)

          But Time gave me courage, and fearless I ran--

          I held up my head, and I march'd like a man!

          Old Time brought me friendship, and swift flew the


          Life seem'd an Elysium of sunshine and flowers!

          The flowers, but in memory, bear odour and bloom;

          And the sun set on friendship, laid low in the tomb!

          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 Time?


|Quite _at home_" is a comfortable phrase! A man may be in his own
house, and "not at home or a hundred miles away from it, and yet "quite
at home." Quite at home" denotes absence of restraint (save that which
good breeding imposes), ostentatious display, affected style, and the
petty annoyances of your small gentry, who clumsily ape their betters.
Good entertainment, congenial company, pleasant discourse, the whole
seasoned with becoming mirth, and tempered with elegance and refinement,
make a man "Quite at home"

"Not at home" 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 threshold; when
the respect that is paid us by others is coldly received, or wilfully
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 confidence, and sympathy, our household gods: every
wish is anticipated, every sorrow soothed, and every pleasure shared!

Mr. Bosky, in his snug dining-parlour, entertaining a small party, was
"Quite at home!" There were present, Mr. Merripall, Deputy Doublechin,
Mr. Crambo the Werter-faced young gentleman, 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, ilia, 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" out of him when we have our revenge! never fail to attract a
numerous gathering. "Seeing company," 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 welcome enlivened Mr. Bosky's
table, the shape of which was after the fashion of King Arthur s, 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 corner, 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
on-and-off-the-river champagne, white bait, venison and turtle treats,
for which Gog and Magog, and the City Chamber "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 company, commencing with the "destructive" "adhesive"
acquisitive," "imaginative" and "philoprogenitive" developments of
Deputy Doublechin; Mr. Flumgarten, who was "Quite at home!" 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

               "My uncle's son lies here below,

               And rests at peace--when the wind don't blow!"

sang, _moderato con anima_, his


          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


          But who is she with gipsy hat and smart pink satin


          The lily fair of Jockey s Fields, the darling of the mews.

          But where is Jimmy Ostler John, whom folks call "stable


          Alas! he cannot dance the hey, his heart is on the rack.

          The Corp'ral's cut him to the core, who marries Betsy


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

          A pot of porter off he toss'd, then gave his head a toss,

          And look'd cross-buttocks when he met nis rival at King's


          The Corp'ral held right gallantly to widows, maids, and


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

          Cry'd Betsy Brown, "All Troy I'll to a tizzy bet,'tis


          I never thought to see you more, methought you went

                   to sea:

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


          Good for nothing, graceless dogs! had perish'd in a bark."

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


          Your spark from Dublin up, I'll soon be doubling up in


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


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

                   of mine!"

          The Corp'ral laid a bet he'd beat, but Betsy held her rib--

          "Be aisy, daisy I--Lying lout! we'll see which best can


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


          Poor Betsy fainted in his arms--the Corp'ral made a


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


          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


          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 curtain on this mountebank drama,
and cry quittance to conjurors."

Mr. Bosky. But what is an _Epilogue_ without a dress coat, a _chapeau
bras_, black velvets and paste buckles? _Nous verrons!_

And the Lauréat rose, put on a stage face, stood tea-pot fashion, and
poured out his soul.

          Mr. Bosky. Knights of the Table Round! in verse


               I fain would tell how once upon a time,

               When George the Second, royally interr'd,

               Resign'd his sceptre to King George the


          Uncle Tim. Bosky, dismounting Pegasus, suppose

               You sit, and speak your epilogue in prose,

               Not in falsetto flat, and thro' the nose,

                   Like those

               Who warble "knives to grind," and cry

                   "old clothes!"

Mr. Bosky (resuming his seat and natural voice). The monarch,
glorying in the name of Briton, assumed the imperial diadem amidst the
acclamations of his loyal subjects; the mime, though not Briton born,
but naturalized, had done nothing to alienate his right comical peers,
or diminish his authority in the High Court and Kingdom of Queerummania.
But _Punch_ had fallen 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 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 _Punch_, 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 boards on which Dogget, Pinkethman, and Spiller, once crowed so

     * "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 exhibited 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 équilibrés 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."

Dame Nature, whose freaks in former times had contributed much to
the amusement of the fair, turned spiteful--for children were born
perversely well-proportioned; so that a dwarf ("_Homunculi quanti sunt
cum recogito!_") became a great rarity in the monster market; giants,
like ground in the city, fetched three guineas a foot; humps rose, 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 ABC, and determined to be a dunce; the dog *
refused 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, Pierrot, and
     Columbine, rivalled their two-legged competitors; a town was
     besieged by dogs, and defended by monkeys, the latter
     tumbling 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
     whether Mrs. Midnight and her comedians travelled so far
     east as Smithfield Rounds.

--taught to dance; and the monkey, * at all times a trump-card, forswore
spades and diamonds. There was a mortality among the old dwarfs
and Merry Andrews and the glory of Bar-tlemy Fair, _Roast Pig_, had

[Illustration: 0182]

     * Spinacuta's monkey amused the French King and Court by
     dancing and tumbling on the slack and tight rope; balancing
     a chandelier, a hoop, and a tobacco-pipe, on the tip of his
     nose and chin, and making a melodramatic exit in a shower of
     fireworks. He afterwards exhibited at Sadler's Wells and
     Bartholomew Fair.

     **  "August 31, 1768. Died Jonathan Gray, aged nearly one
     hundred years, the famous Merry Andrew, who formerly
     exhibited at the fairs about London, and gained great
     applause by his acting at Covent Garden Theatre, in the
     entertainment called Bartholomew Fair"

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

     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."

That crackling dainty, which would make a man _manger son propre père!_
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, fuming, bubbling, and squeaking in
their own abominable black broth! "An ounce of civet, good apothecary,
to sweeten mine imagination!" Your Bartlemy Fair kitchen is not the
spice islands.

In 1661, one of Dame Ursula's particular orders to Mooncalf was to froth
the cans well. In 1655,

               "For a 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 quart?

Only six! Mark to what immeasurable enormity these subdivisions of cans
had risen fifty years after. Well might _Roger in Amaze_ * exclaim,--

     * "Roger in Amaze; or the Countryman's Ramble through
     Bartholomew Fair. To the tune of the Dutch Woman's Jigg.

          "They brought me cans which cost a penny a piece,


          I'm zure twelve (!!) ne'er could fill our country quart"

"Remember twelve!" 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 succeeded, 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 modern drinkers
(it seems impossible 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 "fine puppet play" * and the two-penny "_rare piece of
art_" were not resisted; the O.P.'s were made to mind their P's and Q's
by the terrors of the Pied Poudre.

     * "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 Globe, in 1599. The price of the
     "best rooms" or boxes, was one shilling; of the lower places
     two-pence, 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 "lords' room" answered to the present stage-
     boxes. The price of them was originally one shilling. Thus
     Decker, in his Gull's Hornbook, 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."

For many dismal seasons 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 tankard!) 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 balladmonger (corn has ears, but not for music!) singing
for his bread. We hasten to more prosperous 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 appertain unto
wine and walnuts.

     * On the morning the fair is proclaimed, according to
     ancient custom, his Magnificence the Mayor drinks "a cool
     tankard" (not of aqua pura,) with that retentive knight, the
     keeper of Newgate.

But, sooner than our grotesque friends shall want a chronicler, we will
apostrophise the learned pig, the pig-faced 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 we love Sir
Andrew less, but that we love St. Bartle-my more.

_Higman Palatine_ * in 1763 delighted the court at Richmond Palace, and
the commonalty at the "Rounds," with his "surprising deceptions;" and,
gibing 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
     Bartholomew 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 poor, 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 disposed of dem," said Breslaw,--"de profits
     were for de poor.

     I have kept my promise, and given de money to my own people,
     who are de poorest in dis parish "Sir!" exclaimed the
     churchwardens, "this is a trick!"--"I know it," replied
     Hocus Pocus,--"I live by my tricks!"

In after years there fell on Mr. Lane * ('tis a long lane that has never
a turning!) a remnant of Fawkes's mantle. But was not our conjuror
("you must borrow me the mouth of Gargantua!") and his "_Enchanted
Sciatoricon_," little too much in advance of the age? The march of
intellect ** had not set in with a very strong current. The three
R's (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic!) comprehended the classical
attainments of a "City Solon and a Tooley Street Socrates."

     *  "Grand Exhibition by Mr. Lane, first' performer to the
     King, opposite the Hospital Gate. His Enchanted Sciatoricon
     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 Palingenesia: any spectator
     sending for a couple of eggs, may take the choice of them,
     and the egg, being broke, produces a living bird of the
     species desired, 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 Unparalleled Sympathetic

     "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," illuminate with penny lore the hitherto unclassic
     shambles of Whitechapel and Leadenhall. The mechanic, far
     advanced in intelligence and gin, roars "animal parliaments,
     universal suffering, and vote by bullet." And the Sunday
     School Solomon, on being asked by meo magister, "Who was
     Jesse?" lisps "the Flower of Dumblain!"--"When was Rome
     built, my little intelligence?"--"In the night, sir."--"Eh!

     "Because I've heerd grandmother say, Rome warn't built in a
     day!"--"Avez vous du mal, monsieur?" was the question put to
     a young Englishman, after a turn over in the French
     diligence.--"Non" replied the six-lessons linguist, "Je riai
     qu'un portmanteau!"

But we have since advanced to the learning of Mr. 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 more 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.

     * "Theurgicomination! or New Magical Wonders, by Sieur
     Ingleby. He plays all sorts of tricks upon cards; exhibits
     his Pixidees Metallurgy, or tricks upon medals; and
     Operation in

     Popysomance, 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!"

As "dead men" died on the Laureat's lips, the 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 we will give him a few minutes
to recruit. Marma-duke Merripall, I call upon you for a song."

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

Up jumped Borax Bumps, Esq. and running his shoulder of mutton palms
with scientific velocity over the curly-wigged cranium of the comical
coffin-maker, he emphatically pronounced the "organ of tune" to exhibit
a musical Pelion among its intellectual nodosities.

"I should take your father, sir, to have been a parish clerk, from this
mountainous developement of Sternhold and Hopkins."

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


               Taffy ap-Tudor he couldn't be worse--

               The Leech having bled him 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!

               Ap-Tudor! ap-Jones! oh!" cried nurse Jenny-ap-

               Shenkin ap-Jenkin ap-Morgan ap-Rice--

               But Taffy turn'd round, and call'd out in a trice,

               "Jenny ap-Rice, hur could eat something nice,

               A dainty Welch rabbit--go toast hur a slice

               Of cheese, if you please, which better agrees

               With the tooth of poor Taffy than physic and fees."

               A pound Jenny got, and brought to his cot

               The prime double Glo'ster, all hot! piping hot!

               Which being a bunny without any bones,

               Was custard with mustard to Taffy ap-Jones.

               "Buy some leeks, Jenny, and brew hur some caudle--

               No more black doses from Doctor McDawdle!"

               Jenny stew'd down a bunch into porridge, (Welch


               And Taffy, Cot pless him! he wash'd down his lunch.

               On the back of his hack next mom Doctor Mac

               Came to see Jenny preparing her black!

               Ap answer'd his rap in a white cotton cap,

               With another Welch rabbit just caught in his trap!

               "A gobbling? you ghost Î" the Leech bellow'd loud,

               "Does your mother know, Taffy, you're out of your


               "Hur 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--I'll prescribe toasted


               And leek punch for lunch!" But the remedy fails--

               What kills Pat from Kilmore, cures Taffy from Wales.


|In the year 1776," continued the Lauréat, "Mr. Philip Astley *
transferred his equestrian troop to the 'Rounds.' To him succeeded
Saunders, ** 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-bills to the
     servants 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 brings it over his head, and dances a hornpipe on
     the saddle, his horse going three-quarters speed round the
     circle! The Tailor riding to Brentford, by Mr. Belcher.--
     Bartholomew Fair, 1796."

There were grand doings at the fair in 1786, 87 and 88. Palmer, "at the
Greyhound," placarded Harlequin Proteus, and the Tailor done over. At
the George Inn, Mr. Flockton exhibited the Italian Fantoccini, and
the Tinker in a bustle. Mr. Jobson * put his puppets in motion; Mrs.
Garmaris caravan, with the classical motto, _Hoc tempus et non
aliter_, advertised vaulting by the juvenile imp. "Walk in, ladies
and gentlemen," cried Mr. Smith, near the Swan Livery Stables; "and be
enchanted among the rocks, fountains, and waterfalls of art!" Patrick
O'Brien (o'ertopping Henry Blacker,** the seven feet four inches giant
of 1761,) arrived in his teakettle. A goose, instructed by a poll
parrot, sang several popular songs.

     * Mr. Jobson added the following* verses to his bill:

          "Prithee come, my lads and lasses,
          Jobson's 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 Jobson s 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

Three turkeys danced cotillons and minuets. The military ox went through
his manual exercise; and the monkey taught the cow her horn-book. Ive's
company of comedians played "The Wife well managed," to twenty-eight
different audiences in one day! The automaton Lady; the infant musical
phenomenon without arms, and another phenomenon, equally infantine and
musical, without legs; a three-legged heifer, with four nostrils; a
hen webfooted, and a duck with a cock's head, put forth their several
attractions. Messrs. White, at the Lock and Key, sold capital punch;
savoury sausages (out-frying every other fry in the fair,) fizzed
at "the Grunter's Ordinary or Relish-Warehouse, in Hosier Lane; and
Pie-Corner" rang with the screeching drollery of Mr. Mountebank Merry
Andrew Macphinondraughanarmonbolinbrough!

The "wonderful antipodean," Sieur Sanches, who walked against the
ceiling with his head downwards, and a flag in his hand; Louis Porte *

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

     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 giantess, six feet nine inches high, from Modern
     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, 1555, (see Strype's Memorials,) there was a
     May-game at St. Martin's in the Fields, with giants and
     hobby-horses, drums, guns, morris-dancers, and minstrels.

("_Hercule du Roi!_") a French equilibrist; Pietro 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 Scaglioni; ** General Jacko, *** and Pidcock's
**** menagerie, (to which succeeded those of Polito and Wombwell,) one
and all drove a roaring trade at Bartholomew Fair.

     * "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 affable and polite."

     ** These dogs danced an allemand, mimicked a lady spinning,
     and a deserter going to execution, attended by a chaplain,
     (a dressed-up puppy!) in canonicals.

     *** "June 17, 1785, at Astley's, General Jacko performs the
     broad-sword exercise; dances on the tight-rope; balances a i
     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;
     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."

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 lyrics of Mr. Johannot,
Joe Grimaldi, and the very merry hey down derry, "Neighbour Prig" song
of Charles Mathews, ** are amusing specimens.

     * In Sept. 1806, Mr. and Mrs. Carey (the reputed father and
     mother of Edmund Kean, the tragedian,) played at
     Richardson'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 Skeleton Spectre!"

     ** 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
     outré was intuitive;--his range of observation comprehended
     human nature in all its varieties; he caught not only the
     manner, but the matter of his originals; and while he hit
     off with admirable exactness 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
     histrionic Democritus! His gallery of faces was immense. He
     had as many physiognomies as Argus had eyes. The
     extraordinary and the odd, the shrewd expression of knavish
     impudence, 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 Mallét, and particular parts
     of Monsieur Morbleu?--Nothing could be more delightful than
     his representation of the "pauvre barbiere had the air, the
     bienséance of the Chevalier, who had danced a minuet at the
     "Cour de Versailles" His petit chanson, "C'est V Amour!" and
     his accompanying capers, were exquisitely French. His
     transitions from gaiety to sadness--from restlessness to
     civility--his patient and impatient shrugs, were admirably

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

     Sharp, Wiggins, &c. &c. in farce, have seldom met with
     merrier representatives. His broken English was superb; his
     country boobies were unsophisticated 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
     Bannister, 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
     England, for the entertainment of his laughter-loving
     brothers and sisters. The vraisemblance was unquestionable,
     and the effect 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
     collected a more interesting museum of dramatic curiosities
     than had ever been brought together by the industry of one
     man. Garrick 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 Casket (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, 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 professors, 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 buffoon--
     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 Punch,
     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,
     himself inimitable!

     In the 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 cordial and welcome. No man than Quick was a
     greater enthusiast in his art, or more inquisitive of what
     was doing in the theatrical world. Of Ned Shuter he spoke in
     terms of unqualified admiration, as an actor of the broadest
     humour the stage 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 transcript of nature, and Dodd (except in
     Sir Andrew Ague-cheek, which he pronounced a master-piece of
     fatuity,) too studied and artificial. He could never account
     for Garrick's extreme partiality for Woodward, (David
     delighted to act with him,) whose style was dry and hard;
     his fine gentleman had none of the fire, spirit, and
     fascination of Lewis; it was pert, snappish, and not a
     little ill-bred; but his Bobadil and Pa-rolles were
     inimitable. He declared the Sir Fretful Plagiary of his
     guest equal to the best thing that Parsons ever did; yet
     Parson's Old Doiley was for ever on his lips, and "Don't go
     for to put me in a passion, Betty!" was his favourite tag,
     when mine hostess of the King's Head, Islington, put too
     much lime in his punch. He thought King the best prologue-
     speaker of his time. In characters of bluff assurance and
     quaint humour--Brass, Trappanti, Touchstone, &c.--he had no
     superior. Garrick was his idol! His sitting-room was hung
     round with engravings of him in Drugger, Richard, Sir John
     Brute, Kitely, cheek-by-jowl with himself in Sancho, Tony
     Lumpkin, "Cunning Isaac," Spado, &c. The time too swiftly
     passed in these joyous reminiscences. Quick promised to
     return the visit, but increasing infirmities forbade the
     pleasant pilgrimage; and soon after he became the Quick and
     the dead!

     Our last visit to Mr. Mathews at Kentish Town was in March,
     1833. "'Tis agony point with me just now," he writes. "I
     have been scribbling from morning till night for three

     I am hurried with my entertainment: my fingers are cramped
     with writing; and on my return, I find twenty-five letters,
     at least, to answer. I shall be at home Tuesday and
     Wednesday; can you come up? Do. Very sincerely yours, in a
     gallop, Charles Mathews.--P.S. It will be your last chance
     of seeing my gallery here" We accepted the invitation, and
     spent a delightful day.

What more than a hasty glance can we afford the Wild Indian Warriors;
the Enchanted Skeleton; Comical Joe on his Piggy-Wiggy; the Canadian
Giantess; Toby, the sapient pig; the learned goose; * Doncaster Dick,
the great; Mr. Paap, ** Sieur Borawliski, Thomas Allen, and Lady Morgan
the little; the wonderful child (in spirits) with two heads, three legs,
and four arms ("no white leather, but all real flesh"); the Bonassus,
"whose fascinating powers are most wonderful." the Chinese Swinish
Philosopher (a rival of Toby!).

     *  "It tells us the time of day; the day of the month; the
     month of the year; takes a hand at whist; and (the
     profundity of this goose's intellects!) counts the number of
     ladies and gentleman in the room."

     ** Mr. Simon Paap was the most diminutive of dwarfs, not
     excepting Jeffery Hudson, and the "Little Welchman" who, in
     1752, advertised his thirty inches at sixpence a-head. Simon
     measured but twenty-eight inches, and weighed only twenty-
     seven pounds. Count Borawliski was three feet three inches
     high; so was Thomas Allen. Lady Morgan, the "Windsor Fairy,"
     was a yard high. Her Ladyship and Allen were thus be-rhymed
     by some Bartlemy Fair bard:

          "The lady like a fairy queen,
          The gentleman of equal stature;
          O how curious these dear creatures!
          Little bodies! little features!
          Hands, feet, and all alike so small,
          How wondrous are the works of nature!"

Mrs. Samwell's voltigeurs on the slack-wire, and Tyrolesian stilts; the
Spotted Negro Boy; Hokee Pokee; the learned dog near-sighted, and in
spectacles; the Red Barn Tragedy, and Corder's * execution "done to
the life!" the Indian Jugglers; the Reform Banquet; Mr. Haynes, the
fire-eater; ** the Chinese Conjuror, who swallows fifty needles, which,
after remaining some time in his throat, are pulled out threaded; the
chattering, locomotive, laughing, lissom, light-heeled Flying
Pieman; and the diverting humours of Richardson's clown, Rumfungus
Hook-umsnoolcumwalkrisky? This ark of oddities *** must

                   "Come like shadows, so depart."

     * A countryman from Hertford, being in the gallery of Covent
     Garden Theatre, at the tragedy of Macbeth, and hearing
     Duncan demand of Malcolm,

     "Is execution done on Cawdor?" exclaimed, "Yes, your honour?
     he was hanged this morning."

     ** June 7, 1821 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 gulls were!

     *** The following account of Bartlemy Fair receipts, in
     1828, may be relied on:--Wombwell's Menagerie, 1700L.;
     Atkins' ditto, 1000L.; and Richardson's Theatre, 1200L.; the
     price of admission to each being sixpence. Morgan's
     Menagerie, 150L.; admission threepence. Balls, 80L.;
     Ballard, 89L.; Keyes, 20L.; Frazer, 26L.; Pikey 40L.; Pig-
     faced Lady, 150L.; Corder s Head, 100L.; Chinese Jugglers,
     50L.; Fat

     Boy and Girl, 140L.; Salamander, 30L.; Diorama Navarin,
     60L.; Scotch Giant, 201. The admission to the last twelve
     shows varied from twopence to one halfpenny.

Mr. Titlepage. With a little love, murder, larceny, and lunacy, Mr.
Bosky, your monsters with two heads would cut capital figures on double

Mr. Crambo. If I had their drilling and dovetailing, a pretty episode
should they make to my forthcoming Historical Romance of Mother
Brown-rigg! 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 liberal drafts upon
Philosophical Necessity, by way of floating capital, my plots, like
Johnny Gilpin's wine-bottles, hung on each side of my Pegasus, and
preserved my equipoise as I galloped over the course!

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 never 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!"--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?

Mr. 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 accompanied my old friend, Charles
Lamb, to Bartholomew Fair. It was his pet notion to explore the
droll-booths; perchance to regale in the "pens:" 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 dindustrie
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 necromancer!"
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-cloth announced in colossal capitals that a
twoheaded cow was to be seen at sixpence a head.

Elia inquired if it meant at per our heads or the cow's? On another was
chalked "Ladies and gentlemen, two-pence; servants, one penny.11 Elia
subscribed us the exhibitors "most obedient servants," 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 Elia's Last Essays!
Three little sweeps luxuriating over a dish of fried sausages caught his
eye. This time he would have his way! We entered the "parlour" 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 heroically,
observing that, not to argue dogmatically, yet categorically speaking,
it reminded him of curry. "Lunch time with us," quoth Elia, "is past,
and dinner-time not yet come," and he passed over the steaming dish to
our companions at the _table d'hote_, with a kind welcome, and a winning
smile. They stared, grinned, and all three fell to. We left them to
their enjoyments; 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 full of
antique reminiscences, and gracious humanity.

                   "The peace of heaven,

               The fellowship of all good souls go with him!"

Uncle Timothy rose to retire.

"One moment, sir," said the Lauréat; "we have not yet had Mr.
Flumgarten's song."?

"My singing days, Cousin Bosky, are over," replied the ill-matched hubby
of the "Hollyhock;"

"but, if it please the company, I will tell them a tale."


|Mr. Merripall, 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
burn 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 Newcastle!) he hailed it as a pleasant
omen. Messrs. Hatband and Stiflegig, catching the jocular infection,
brightened up amazingly.



               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--

                   For Pauper, Dives?

                   Pastor, Cives?

               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!

                   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!

               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!

               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!

                   But who has the soul?

               See a mourner slowly retire,

                   With a conscience ill at ease

                   For opening graves and burial fees,

                   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!


               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 Judas, gee ho!")

               A furious crone whipp'd a spirit along!--

                   Her blood-shot sight

                   Caught the ferryman's sprite;

               "Welcome! welcome!" she shriek'd with delight,--

               "Thy father is here for his gifts to me,

                   And here am I, his torment to be"--

                   (And the cruel crone

                   Lash'd out a groan!

                   A deep-drawn breath

                   From the ribs of death,

               Where the undying worm gnaw'd the marrowless bone!)

               "For what I have given thy brethren and thee!

               Gold was to keep up our family name!'


                   A penny-wise fame!

               It has kept it up! for 'tis written in shame

               On earth: and, behold! in that bright shining flame!

                        Old Man.

               Death so soon to knock at thy door I

               And send thee hither at forty and four.


               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?


                   Nor better nor worse!

               Losses and crosses, and sorrow and care

               Have furrowed his cheeks and whitened his hair.

               Betray'd in turn by the heart he betray'd,

                   Exalting his horn

                   To the finger of scorn,

               He lies in the bed that his meanness has made.

                        Old Man.--Crone.

               Our gold! our gold! ten thousand times told!

               Thus to fly from the family fold.


               Father! 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 stern angel sitting alone,

               Lucifer crown'd, on his burning throne?

                        Old Man.

               But how fares Jonathan, modest and meek?

               My Meeting-House walking-stick thrice in the week!

                   Ere wife and cough

                   Carried me off,--

               Instead of heathenish Latin and Greek,

               I early taught him my maxims true,--

               Do unto all as you'd have others do

               To yourself, good Jonathan? Certainly not!

               But learning never will boil the pot;--

               A penny sav'd is a penny got;--

               A groat per year is per day a pin;--

               Let those (the lucky ones! ) laugh that win;--

               Keep your shop, and your shop will 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!"


               There is an eye 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,--

               Again 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! 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! what hath he done?

               That death should smite his only son!

                   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.


               For what man gives the world, he learns

               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! naught remains.

               In the watches of the night

               E'en our very thoughts affright--

               And see! before the mourner's sight

                   A dark and shadowy form appears;

                   Hark! a voice salutes his ears,

                   " Hush thy sorrow, dry thy tears!

               Father!'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! 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 azure vault of heaven,

               Ere thy petition reach'd the skies

                   To be forgiven."

               Was it a dream?--The mournful man

               Next morn his alter'd course began.

               To his kindred he restor'd

               What unjustly swelled his hoard.

               With a meek, contented mind,

               He liv'd in peace with all mankind;

               And thus would gratefully prolong

               To heaven his morn and evening song;--

               I have no time to pray, to plead

               For all the blessings that I need;

               For what I 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!....

"This will I carry with me to my pillow," said Uncle Timothy. "My
friends, good night."


|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,) 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.

     * "There was excessive spending of venison, as well as other
     victuals, in the halls. Nay, and a great consumption of
     venison there was frequently at taverns and cooks' shops,
     insomuch that the Court was much offended with it.
     Whereupon, anno 1573, that the City might not continue to
     give the Queen and nobility offence, the Lord Mayor, Sir
     Lionel Ducket, and Aldermen, had by act of Common Council
     forbidden such feasts hereafter to be made; and restrained
     the same only to necessary meetings, in which, also, no
     venison (!!) was permitted."--Stow.

     Venison was also prohibited in the taverns and cooks' shops.
     Our modern civic gourmands and gourmets, wiser grown! have
     propitiated the Court by occasional invitations to take part
     in their gluttony.

A Bartlemy 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 us, 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 fattened 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
fishhooks and castor-oil, instead of Mr. Bosky's bountiful cheer.

"'Tis hard to bid good-b'ye to an old friend that we may never see
again! Heigho! I'm sorry and sick; as cross and as queer as the hatband
of Dick! Good-b'ye to St. Bartholomew."

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, "à bas 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 Bartlemy 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! and Scaramouches eternal caper
round his sarcophagus! Shall we cry him a canting canticle? Rather let
us chant a rattling roundelay!"

               Major Domo's a comical homo I

                   Sic transit gloria mundi;

               Highty-tighty I frolicksome,, flighty I

                   Soon will Bartlemy Fair and fun die.

               Coat of motley, cap and bells,

                   O'er his bier shall dolefully jingle;

               Conjurors all shall bear his pall,

                   And mountebanks follow it, married and single!

               Giants, dwarfs in sable scarfs.

                   Merry mourners! will not tarry one;

               Humps, bumps shall stir their stumps!

               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! we all must die;

                   Ev'ry day with death's a dun day;

               Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,

                   Friday, Saturday, 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 tumultuously tickled.
At this moment an infantine 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.

"Keep the blue fire hot till I come, Mr. Glumfiz!" said the Lauréat.

"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 spitefully cut the wires, puppets and trade were at a

The Lauréat being left solus, exhibited a disposition to compose himself
over a cigar, an indulgence 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!"

Our glasses were empty, and the fair was filling; so we took the hint
and our hats, and were soon among the lions.

An Ancient Pistol-looking scarecrow with a cockaded something, between
an old cocked hat, and an old hat cocked, on his shaggy pole; a black
patch over one eye; a sham lame left leg; half a pair of half boots,
and a jacket without 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 muffle your drums!

                   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 die--

                   'Pon my soul it's true;

                        What will you lay it's a lie?

                   Bobadil trump'd up a story--

                        "Fighting's the time o' day!

                   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 hang'd!

                   Every man in his shoe

                        Looks as if he would die--

                   'Pon 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 fiddle;

                        Bob's men dance to the cat.

                   Fine and flourishing speeches

                        Lads like Wellington, scoff;

                   They lead their troops on the breaches;

                        Bobadil, he pulls'em off!

                   Give the Devil his due.

                        Bob's 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, awful, 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

"That little woman's tender mercies are cruel!" responded a voice
behind, and leading captive a personage, who seemed to to wonder how the
devil he got there!--a fierce, fidgety flounced madam, bounced past us
with an air of inconceivable grandeur. 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 corner of Middle Street
     and King Street, Cloth Fair. The Pied Poudre was originally
     instituted to determine disputes regarding debts and
     contracts, when the churchyard of the ancient Priory
     contained the booths and standings of the Drapers and
     Clothiers. The beadle of Cloth Fair received the annual fee
     of 3s. and 4d. for measuring the yard-sticks. The officers
     of the Pied Poudre are two Serjeants at Maee for the Lord
     Mayor, two for the Poultry, and two for Giltspur Street
     Compters, and a constable appointed by the steward of Lord
     Kensington, to attend the court in his behalf. There was
     formerly an Associate, (the Common Serjeant, or one of the
     attorneys of the Lord Mayor's Sheriffs' Court,) but this
     officer has not attended for the last hundred and fifty

Some minor cases having been disposed of, Counsellor Rumtum rose, put on
his green spectacles 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 recover
damages for an assault, perpetrated by the defendant's servant Jamboa,
a belligerent baboon with a blue face. The Goddess had been stationed,
like the Palladium of Troy, in a temple adjoining the defendant's
caravan. The watchful 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 attributed
to Pallas. It is not in evidence, whether Miss Andromache had been
transported by heroes like 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 corner, leaning on his staff; and being desirous of
ascertaining his exact altitude, (Wisdom, Gentlemen of the Jury, is ever
on the lookout 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 Ægis 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 assault and battery Andromache claims of Andrew
Macky ample and liberal compensation; which, Gentlemen of the Jury,
(here Counsellor Rumtum, 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 unprovoked sortie on so respectable a baboon, had not acted
with her usual discretion, and directed Minerva to be nonsuited.

Look at the gay caps and bonnets in yonder balcony; and hark to the
fifes and fiddles, accelerating the sharp trot to a full gallop! And now
the volunteer vocalist, having frowned into nothingness 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, O 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 purl--

               Have you forgot that I paid the shot

                   I have not! my adorable girl.

               With ranters and roysters 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

                   Conjur'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! 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 a-fiddling while Rome was a-burning--and
Cin-cinnatus a-digging potatoes. Here's Sampson and the
Phillis-tines--Cain and Abel, and the Tower of Babel." This was sounded
by a gaunt fellow (a stronger man than Sampson, for he lugged him in by
the head and shoulders!) with a gin-and-fog voice and a bristly beard.
His neighbour, a portly ogress with a Cyclopical physiognomy (her
drum "most tragically run through!"), advertised a grunting giant, (a
Pygmalion to his relations!) and backed his stupendous flitches against
Smith-field and the world.

"Ladies and gentlemen," squeaked a little mountebank through an
asthmatic trumpet, "walk in and see a tragical, comical, operatical,
pantomimical Olla Podrida of Smiles, Tears, Broad Grins, and
Horselaughs, called The Hobgoblin, or My Lady go-Nimble's Ghost; the
Humours of Becky Burton and Doctor Diddleum; a Prologue by Lucifer and
his imps; capering on his pericranium by _Signor Franchinello_;
and dancing in a dark lantern by _Mynheer Von

"Here's your dainty spiced gingerbread! that will melt in your mouth
like a red hot brickbat, and rumble in your inside like Punch and his
wheelbarrow!"--"And here's your Conjuration Compound, that if you bathe
a beefsteak in it the over night, it will come out a veal cutlet in the

The fair was lighted up, and the fun grew "fast and furious" beginning
with a loud chorus of acclamation, and so running on through the whole
Sol fa of St. Bartlemy delight. There was a blended incarnation of
kettle-drums, fifes, fiddles, French horns, rattles, trumpets, and
gongs! A giantess of alarming dimensions, beaming with maternal ecstasy!
reddened with deeper intensity from her painted show-cloth; and
a miniature Lady-monster, a codicil to the giantess! peeped out
imploringly from a wine-cooler in which some facetious crowned sconce
had ensconced her at an after-dinner merriment to his Queen and

[Illustration: 0230]

The Mermaid had a long tail to exhibit and tell. Messrs. Rumfiz and
Glumfiz, disciples of Zoroaster! began their magical incantations,
swallowed knives and forks and devoured blue flame with increased
voracity; the Fantoccini footed it with laudable vigour; the Conjuror
would have coined his copper nose, only, winked the wag, "I knows and
you knows Je n'ose pas!" the lions and tigers roared "Now or never!" and
amidst this oratorio of discord and din, Harlequin, Othello, Columbine,
Sir John Falstaff, Desdemona, Jim Crow, Cardinal Wolsey, and Scaramouch
quadrilled on the outside platform of Richardson's Grand Booth, the gong
(his prompter's tintinabulum!) sounding superabundant glorification.

We hastened to this renowned modern 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 Crow. After much interpolated periphrasis
and palaver, Mr. Bigstick darkly intimated that when he ceased to love
the "gentle Desdemona," (Miss Teresa Tumbletuzzy!)

                        "Shay-oss is come agin"

At this moment the scenes stuck fast in the grooves--the halves of
a house with an interstice of a yard or so between--when a lecturing
mechanic bawled out from his sixpenny elysium,

"Ve don't expect no good grammar here, Muster Thingumbob, but, hang it!
you might close the scenes!"

Mr. Bigstick being politely requested ("Strike up, Snow-drop! Go it,
Day and Martin!") 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 favourite.

               Here's jumping Jim, his coat and skim-

                   -mer very well you know;

               If you've a crow to pluck with him,

                   He's pluck'd you first! I trow--

               Where'er he goes he gaily crows,

                   A Blackey and a Beau!

               Reels about and wheels about,

                   And jumps Jim Crow.

               O how the town ran up and down

                   To see the dancing Nigger!

                   If Jim's a flat,'tis tit for tat!

               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!

               Bull has fill'd his noddle full

                   Of learning, in profusion;

               And Jim, with his long limping limb,

                   Has jump'd to this conclusion,

               "A ninny and"--you understand!

                   When sitting all a-row,

               Britons roar "Encore! Encore!

                   Jump Jim Crow!"

               Jim's play'd his pranks--with many thanks,

                   He gives you now the hop;

               Because, like his _Commercial Banks_,

                   He thinks it time to _stop!_

               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
Wantley concluded the performances; in which Mr. Bigstick's promising
young pupil, Master Magnumdagnumhuggleduggle, by a _jeu de théâtre_
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 Vitæ!"

and marched forth fiercely to a ferocious fight with a green leather
dragon stuffed with fiery serpents, that hissed and exploded to the tune
of two-pence a time!

The Bartlemy fairities were in raptures. Master
Magnumdagnumhuggleduggle, Mr. Big stick, the Tumblctuzzy and the Dragon
were successively garlanded with broccoli-sprouts and turnip-tops! It
was all round my hat" with Bonassus, 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
Call-boy, and the Candle-snuffer, whose bliss would have felt no cc
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 convolvulus. *

     * Next morning's sun saw Smithfield restored to those polite
     intelligences whose "talk is of bullocks"--with no greater
     nuisance remaining, than its chartered brutes upon Jour
     legs, beaten, goaded, tortured, and blasphemed at by its
     greater brutes upon two!

The elephant booked his trunk and departed; the menagerie man returned
to his dish of bird's claws and beaks, with a second course of shark's
teeth and fish-bones; Punch 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 stowed away pell-mell; the
gingerbread kings, queens, and nuts, were huddled higgledy-piggledy into
their tin canisters; a muddled chorister warbled "Fly not yet" to an
intrusive "Blue-Bottle" that popped in the Queen'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

               Morn 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!--ff Sweep!" stoccato!

                   _Old St. Bartle!_ sound thy knell.


|Put out the light!" exclaimed Mr. Bonassus Bigstick, with a
lugubrio-comic expression of countenance that might convulse a Trappist,
to a pigeon-toed property-man and a duck-legged drummer, who were
snuffing two farthing rushlights in the Proscenium.

"_Put out the light!_" and straightway he pocketed the extinguished
perquisite. We were retiring from 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."

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 hauteur, and
carrying an inch of candle stuck at the extremity of Prospero's magic
wand, lighted his party to the Green Room. As we passed along, the great
Tragedian, who had the knack of looking everything into nothing, scowled
an armoury 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!_"
introduced us to Teresa, the High-Dumptiness 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 exquisitely 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 eclipsed to every
object less refulgent. Gentlemen,"--pulling forward a pipe-flourishing,
porter-swigging personage who belonged quite as much to Bagfair as to
St. Bartlemy, and looked as if he lived in everlasting apprehension of
sibillations technically called, "Goose"--"Mr. Pegasus Bubangrub
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. Bubangrub
edits a penny weekly; reports queer trials; does our Caravan _libretto_;
answers my challenges; roasts my rivals, puffs his pipe--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-a-lining and old pals; wonder, with amiable simplicity! what
'shooting the moon' can be, and diving for a dinner; and casting off his
Toady's skin for the lion's, be feasted, flattered, paragraphed--'Purge,
eat cleanly, and live like a gentleman!"

Mr. Bubangrub bowed, and respectfully 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 ambition of one, tickle
the self-complacency of another--to be grave with the tragic; funny
with the comic; patient with the ignorant and presuming, and on terms
of eternal friendship with all--to come off victorious on that slippery

               "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 Clos Vougeot
to Old Tom) drank the Stage that goes with and without wheels. Mr.
Bosky, who had got scent of our "Whereabouts," arrived in time to
propose the memory of Shakspere, and Mr. Bubangrub's longevity; Uncle
Timothy gave Bonassus Bigstick and Bartlemy Fair; and Pegasus toasted
the Tragic Muse and Teresa Tumbletuzzy. The Tragedian unbent by degrees;
his adust countenance warmed into flesh and blood, 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 Jew's-harp 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 very seldom you enjoy

                   The pleasures of a sneeze!

               Give 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 pipes made of clay, among
     the native Indians of Virginia; which was at that time
     discovered 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

     "Counterblast" against what he accounted 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 Constantinople.
     To render the custom ridiculous, a Turk, who had been found
     smoking, was conducted about the streets with a pipe
     transfixed through his nose! 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 likewise punished them, and ordered the
     innkeepers to inform against such as should smoke in their
     houses.--In 1724, Pope Benedict XIV. revoked the bull of
     excommunication, published by Innocent, because he himself
     had acquired the habit of taking snuff!

               The snuffer, buffer! raps his mull,

                   His nose it cries out "Snuff!"

               The Smoker, Joker! puffs his full

                   In this queer world of puff!

               The lawyer's gout is soon smok'd out;--

                   If in the parsons toe

               It ends in smoke, 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 me my pipe

                   Of Backy for to blow!

               No pinch or draught drive care abaft

                   From folks a cup too low,

               Like the joys, my brave boys!

                   When we a cloud do blow.

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 welcome!"

The Publisher's compromised dignity looked a trifle offended. He did not
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 carry away such a Chapter of--"

Mr. Titlepage. Draw it mild!

Mr. Bigstick. As the moonbeams!--Gentlemen, lend me your ears; which,
perhaps, you would rather do than your purses! Who steals mine,
steals--what he will not grow inconveniently corpulent upon!

The Tragedian began to rummage an ancient hair-trunk that looked as
raggedly bald as his own scalp; dislodging sceptres, daggers, crowns,
spangled robes and stage wigs. In Dicky Gossip's bob * he discovered
what he sought for; a dirty, torn, dog's-eared _disjecti membra_.

     * Suett boasted a recherché and extensive collection of
     stage wigs, 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 Suett's 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 stripp'd to a crown!"

Opening the bundle, and selecting at random, he bespoke the company's
attention to a fragment of


"All the world's a caravan! and all the gentlemen and ladies Lions
and Tigresses! For if a man be neither dwarf nor giant, but an unhappy
medium between the two--if he be not upon boxing terms with a whole
menagerie, and will not fisty-cuff-it and roar 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 wonderful monkey, and too good-natured for an
intelligent bull-dog. I can't drink sangaree out of my father'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 the pabulum where I began
to qualify myself for Lord Chancellor. But fearful is the dramatic furor
of attorney's clerks. My passion was not for bills of costs, but for
bills of the play; I longed to draw, not leases, but audiences; as for
pleas, my ambition was to please the town; and I cared nothing for Coke,
while Shakspere's muse of fire warmed my imagination! Counsellor Cumming
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 house, and took with me'--as much wardrobe as I could
conveniently carry ow, and behind my back.

     * 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, my face has always frightened the fair 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."

My first professional bow was in the Poor Gentleman, * and Raising the
Wind, in a barn at Leighton Buzzard, where the Gods clambered up to the
gallery by a ladder, through which many of the tippling deities could
hardly see a hole!

     * Another link in the dramatic chain is broken. Arthur
     Griffinhoof has joined the jocund spirits of Garrick,
     Hoadly, and the elder George.

     Rejoice, ye witlings! for the lamp that dimmed 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
     carried his Broad Grins to Elysium. Ye select few, who
     admired the wit and loved the man, mourn!

     Thanks to the ghastly monarch! for he hath been a forbearing
     creditor:--So large an amount of fun payable at sight, and
     George a septuagenarian! Three days' grace--three score and

     A day of mirth will it be on Styx, when the ferryman rows
     over Mr. Merryman. Faith, Mr. Colman, you're a very droll

     What a coil attends the new comer! Churchill, Lloyd,
     Thornton, Garrick, all inquiring about the modern 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
     become 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.

The stalls (the cart-horses having been temporally ejected) sparkled
with the elite--sixpenny-worth of coppers being paid for sitting apart
in aristocratical exclusiveness. My declamation might have electrified
Gog and Magog, and made the Men in Armour start from their spears! The
barn 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
Tum-bletuzzy. She danced with the castanets (le Pantomime 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,
iniquitous 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

The great Tragedian, screwing, à la Mathews, his mouth a-jar,
condescendingly complied.

               Stolen or stray'd my beautiful maid!

                   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 bagging the Dunstable waggin

                   Were popp'd by a wag in, hight Harlequin Lun--

               They, honey-moon hot, shot the moon like a shot;

                   But I'll shoot the rascal as sure as a gun!

               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 O 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 Lollypop Smith!

     * The Mugs out of which the violent politicians of Charles
     the Second's time drank their beer, were fashioned into the
     resemblance of Shaftsbury's face. Hence the common phrase,
     "Ugly Mug!"

               No more thought Teresa small tipple of me, sir,

                   Than pretty Miss P., sir, our premiere danseuse,

               lightsome, lenitive! philoprogenitive!

                   Sukey with bouquet and white satin shoes!

               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! grieving's a folly!

                   Laugh and be jolly! there's nothing like fun!

               I 'll make Miss Terese cry "Yes if you please!"

                   And down on his knees shall Harlequin Lun."

"But the 'beautified Ophelia!' fickle, not false, and far less fickle
than freakish! in all the tender distraction of Cranbourn Alley white
muslin and myrtle, implored my forgiveness. Were her three-quarters'
music and dancing to be thrown away upon a base barber?

               'O ye, whose adamantine sorrows know

               The iron agonies of copper woe!'"

Here the great Tragedian became overpowered, and cried a flood of stage
tears very naturally.

"_Encore! encore!_" shouted Uncle Timothy.

Othello was at a loss whether or not to take this as a compliment, and
weep a second brewing. He rubbed 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 having bolted a grape-shot, or to elicit a divine spark from the
genius of a mud 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 Short'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 furnishing the trimmings! At this extremity, when Mrs.
Heidelburg's embroidered satin petticoat of my aunt's had gone to "my
uncle's" for a breakfast, my friend Dennis O'Doddipool, * whose success
at Cork had enabled him to draw one, and enjoy his bottle, invited us to

     * An Hibernian member of a strolling company of comedians,
     in the north of England, lately advertised for his benefit,
     "An occasional Address, to be spoken by a new actor" This
     excited great expectation among the towns-people. On his
     benefit night Paddy 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-oge;
          Now, who do you think this new actor may be?
          Why, turn round your eyes, and look full upon me,
          And then you 'll be sure this new actor to see."
          Qy.--Could this new actor be Mr. O'Doddipool?

We showered down as many benedictions upon Dennis as would stand between
Temple Bar and Westminster, bundled up our 'shreds and patches,' levied
tribute on the farmers' poultry, and when a goose fell in our way, made
him so wise as never to be taken for a goose again! and arrived by short
stages, in a long caravan, at Holyhead. Hey for Ireland! straight we
bent our way to the land of praties and Paddies! O'Doddipool welcomed
us with all the huggings and screechings of a German salutation; danced
like Mr. Moses at the feast of Purim, * and cried--

     * The feast of Purim, an ancient Jewish festival, held
     yearly on the 7th of March, is in commemoration of the fall
     of Hainan and his ten sons. This feast is generally spent in
     public rejoicing, such as masked balls, letting off
     fireworks, &c. At one time a Fair was held in the vicinity
     of Duke's Place; but which the authorities of the City of
     London have put down for several years past. Amongst the
     more respectable order, family parties are kept up to a very
     late hour. The tables are generally adorned with hung beef,
     to commemorate the hanging of Haman. On the evening of this
     feast, the Jews attend their synagogues, 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 Haman, the younger branches
     of the congregation beat the seats, and otherwise created a
     noise, with small wooden hammers, which were designated

--like the French butcher, * for joy! I played first comedy before
the lamps and second fiddle behind'em,--walking gentlemen and running
footmen,--bravos and bishops, ** --swept the boards with Tragedy's
sweeping pall, and a birch-broom,--

     * A Slaughter-man, in the interval of killing, strolled from
     a neighbouring abattoir to Père 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! l'amour, l'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
     supernumeraries. The following correspondence passed between
     the "Sir, Thursday Noon.

     "Mr. Lacy turned me out of the lobby yesterday, and behaved
     very ill to me. I only ax'd for my two guineas for the last
     Bishop, and he swore I shouldn't have a farthing. 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 sarvant,

     "Wm. Stone."

     "Stone, Friday Morn.

     "You are the best fellow in the world. Bring the Cupids to
     the theatre to-morrow. If they are under six, and well made,
     you shall have a guinea a piece for them. If you can get me
     two good murderers, I will pay you handsomely, particularly
     the spouting fellow who keeps the apple-stand on Tower-hill;
     the cut in his 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 Brutus, although I think he will succeed in

     "D. G."

     The person here designated the Bishop was procured by Stone,
     and had often rehearsed the Bishop of Winchester in the play
     of Henry VIIIth, with such singular éclat, that Garrick
     addressed him at the rehearsal, as "Cousin of Winchester The
     fellow, however, never played the part, although advertised
     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 début.


     "The Bishop of Winchester is getting drunk at the Bear, and
     swears he won't play to-night.

     "I am, yours,

     "Wm, Stone."


     "The Bishop may go to the devil. I do not know a greater
     rascal, except yourself.

     "D. G"

--hissed in the centre region of a fiery dragon in some diabolical
Jewiow-stration of dramatic diablerie, brandished a wooden
sword,--gallanted Columbine,--blushed blue flame and brickdust in
Frankenstein,--plastered my head over with chalk for want of a Lord
Ogleby white wig,--and bellowed myself hoarse with tawdry configurations
and claptrap vulgarities! And (_Punch_ has no feelings'!) what my
reward? A magnificent banquet of dry bread and ditch-water from
O'Doddipool, ('Think on that, Master Brook!') peels, not of applause,
but oranges! from the pit; and showers of peas (not boiled!) from the
Olympus of disorderly gods. *

     * The custom of pelting actors and authors upon the stage is
     very ancient. Hegemon of Thasos, a writer of the old comedy,
     upon the first representation of one of his plays, came upon
     the stage with a large parcel of pebbles 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 arrival of very unfortunate news from
     Sicily, viz. the destruction of the Athenian Fleet, it was
     suffered to proceed; not one of them quitting the theatre,
     though almost every individual had lost a relation or friend
     in the action. The unfortunate Athenians could not refrain
     from shedding tears on the occasion; but such was their
     delicacy and honour with respect to the foreigners then
     present, that they concealed their weakness by muffling
     their faces in their mantles.

So finding, though in Ireland, my 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 Polonius; took my leave and two and
six-pence; bolted to Ballinamuck; (my Farce of Ducks and Green Peas
never had such a run?) starred it from Ballinamuck 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 face, 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
Bonassus! From Smithfield we march to the Metropolitans. 'The Garden' is
sadly in want of a fine high comedy figure at a low one; and Drury, of a
Tragedy Queen who can do Dollallolla. I smother a new debutante, Miss
Barbara Bug-gins; beat Liston * hollow in Moll Flaggon; and put out of
joint the noses of all preceding Mac-beths. The Tumbletuzzy opens in
Queen Katherine (which she plays quite in a different style to

     *  Of an actor so extensively popular, let us indulge a few
     reminiscenees. We remember his first entrée upon the boards
     of old Covent Garden, in Jacob Gawky; but his present
     amplitude of face and rotundity of person were then wanting
     to heighten the picture; and flesh, like wine, does wonders.
     His voice, too, has Avaxed more fat and unctuous; and
     broader (like his figure) has grown his fun. The stage
     became possessed 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 gravity; caricaturists, in despair, cast off
     invention, and trusted solely to his unique lineaments; our
     signs bore aloft his physiognomical wonders; and walking-
     sticks, tobacco-stoppers, snuff-boxes, owned the queer

     Liston! the Knight of the comieal countenance, where Momus
     sits enthroned in every dimple, crying aloof to the sons 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 odd fellow."

     And forth sprang Liston, a figure of fun! Not for the
     amusement of gods, but of men!

     To Suett Ave owe our first impression of drollery, but his
     glimmering spark was soon extinct. The sun of Liston 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
     eccentricities) sorrowfully contemplate its going down.

     Liston's last season! and the cruel old boy looks so
     provokingly hale and comical! What years of future laughter
     are in his face, scored over with quips and cranks! drawn up
     in farcical festoons! furrowed with fun!

     Liston's last season!--Why should he retire? Are not the
     times sad enough?--How will the world wag, wanting its
     merriest one?

To this the satirical nosed gentleman nodded assent.

"With fifteen new readings to electrify the diurnal critics of Petticoat
Alley and Blow-bladder Lane!"

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. "Birnam Wood" comes not to "Dunsinane" a
town; but to "Dunce inane" Macbeth! who was blockhead enough to put his
trust in the witches. The great Tragedian danced with ecstasy at this
"palpable 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!"

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
shadowy 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! *

     * 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
     unhealthy 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 case, the prophecy
     fulfilled; 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."

"Dreams are the children of an idle brain." Yet ours was a busy one
through the live-long night. The grotesque scene acted itself over
again, with those fantastical additions that belong to "Death's
counterfeit." Legions of Anthropophagi; giants o'ertopping Pelion
and Ossa; hideous abortions; grinning nondescripts; the miniature,
mischievous court of Queen Mab, and the fiddling, dancing troop of Tam
O'Shanter passed before us in every variety of unearthly combination.
Clouds of incense arose, and the vision, growing dim, gradually melted
away,--a low, solemn chant leaving its dying notes upon the ear.

                   Let gratitude's chorus arise,

                   If gratitude dwell upon earth,

                   To hymn thy return to the skies,

                   Benevolent spirit of mirth!

                   Long flourish thy frolicsome fair,

                   Where many odd bargains are driven;

                   And may peccadilloes done there,

                   For thy merry sake be forgiven!


|The sentinel sleeps when off his post; the Moorfields barker enjoys
some interval of repose; moonshine suffers a partial eclipse on Bank
holidays among the _omnium gatherem_ of Bulls and Bears; the doctor
gives the undertaker a holiday; Argus sends his hundred eyes to the Land
of Nod, and 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?' Addresses paid per
post, post paid! For an introduction to the belle, ring the bell! None
but principals (with a principal!) need apply."

"Egad," continued Mr. Bosky, as we journeyed through the fields a few
mornings after our caravan 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
damages; and a dance, matrimony without benefit of clergy! But yesterday
I pic-nic'd with the Muffs; buzzed with Brutus; endured Ma, was just
civil to Miss; when early this morning comes a missive adopting me for a

We congratulated Mr. Bosky on the prospect of his speedily becoming a

"_Bien oblige!_ 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 duplicity; I can pity
a fool, but I scorn a flirt. This is a hackneyed ruse of Ma's. The last
coasting season of the Muffs has been comparatively unprolific. From
Margate to Brighton Miss Matilda 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 furiously 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 Lauréat, "Mr.
Onessimus Omnium, who thrice on every Sabbath takes the round of the
Conventicles with his pockets stuffed full 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

Farther a-field, rambling amidst the rural scenes he has so charmingly
described, we shook hands with Uncle Timothy's dear friend, the Author
of a work "On the Beauties, Harmonies, and Sublimities of Nature." *
Happy old man! Who shall say that fortune deals harshly, if, in taking
much away, she leaves us virtue?

     * To Charles Bucke,

     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 coward, 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 yet was happy--ne'e?' can be!
          The feverish bliss, my friend, that dreamers feign,
          Binds him a prisoner faster 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.
          The swelling canvass and the prosperous gale
          Herald the shipwreck's melancholy tale!
          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 soul; and peace 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!
          She will repay thy love; and weave, and spread,
          A garland--and a pillow--for thy head.
          Uncle Timothy.

Winding through a verdant copse, we suddenly came in sight of an elegant
mansion. From a flower-woven arbour, sacred to retirement, proceeded the
notes of a guitar.

"Hush!" said the Lauréat, colouring deeply,--

"breathe not! Stir not!" And a voice of surpassing sweetness sang

               Farewell Autumn's shady bowers,

               Purple 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!

               Hark! thro* yonder lonely dell

               Gentle zephyrs sigh farewell!

               Call'd ere long by vernal spring,

               Trees shall blossom, birds shall sing;

               The blushing rose, the lily fair

               Deck sweet summer'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 night,

               Thron'd where shines the blood-red Mars,

               With her coronet of stars,

               Silvers woodland, hill and dell,

               Lovely Autumn! fare thee well.

Was Mr. Bosky in love with the songstress or the song? Certes his manner
seemed unusually 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 motionless, as if waiting for echo to repeat the sound!

We thought--it might be an illusion--that a fair hand waved him a
graceful recognition. At all events the spell was soon broken, for he
bounded 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 blithesome note that first 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 image of the distant scene, and the whole rises in all its
freshness and verdure; touch but one string of this forgotten harmony,
and every chord shall vibrate!

"Arma, vi-rump que cane-o!" exclaimed the Lauréat, pointing to his old
schoolmaster, who was leaning over his rustic garden-gate, reading his
favourite Virgil. And how cordial was their greeting! The scholar played
his urchin pranks over again, and the master flourished a visionary
birch. Mr. Bosky hurried us into the playground; (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 corners 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 full tide of prosperity; and not a
few sinking under adverse fortune, whose prospects were once bright and
cheering, and whose bosoms bounded with youth, and innocence, and joy!

"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

These were the words of the poor widow's only son, at whose tomb, in the
village church-yard, we paused in sorrowful contemplation. Its guardian
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!

               Pilgrim of Time thro* Nature's dark sojourn!

          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 merciful, remembering thou art Dust!

--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 welcome the summons that
closes our disappointments and calls us to rest! The mourners walk the
streets, but the man is gone; the body dissolves to dust, 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 children were gathered round one of the inmates,
listening to some old wife's tale. 'Tis the privilege 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

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 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 sang wildly--danc'd and laugh'd,

          And suck'd down dizzy madness with his draught,

          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 flourishing in full vigour and grace. In the rank hotbed of
artificial life spring up those noxious weeds that choke and destroy

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

Uncle Timothy had not been niggard in our praise.

An old lady in deep mourning walked slowly up the path. Uncle Timothy
went forth to receive 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?" faltered the poor widow, anxiously.

"Yours!" replied Uncle Timothy; "sit down, my friends, and I will
explain all.

"My childhood was sorrowful, and my youth laborious. A near relation
wasted my patrimony; and with no other resource than a liberal
education, wrung from the slender means of my widowed mother, I began
the world. In this strait, a generous friend took me by the hand; first
instructing me in his own house of business, and then procuring me an
eligible appointment abroad. From time to time I acquainted him with my
progress, and received in return substantial proofs of his benevolent
and watchful care. Years rolled away,--fortune repaid my ardent
endeavours,--and I resolved to revisit my native land. I embarked for
England; when, almost in sight of her white cliffs, a storm arose, the
ship foundered, and I lost half my possessions. Enough still remained
to render me independent. My mother and sister were spared to bid me
welcome,--my early oppressor (the infidel may laugh at retribution; but
retribution begins, when a man is suspected in the society of others,
and self-condemned in his own) had descended remorseful to the
grave,--and my noble benefactor--

               'O grief had changed him since I saw him last;

               And careful hours, with time's deforming hand,

               Had written strange defeatures in his face--'

by pecuniary embarrassments, heightened by ingratitude, was brought very
low. Cheerfully 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 arrival,

                        'As sweetly as a child,

               Whom neither thought disturbs nor care encumbers,

               Tired with long play, at close of summer day,

                   Lies down and slumbers!'

he pressed his last pillow, requiting my filial tears with a blessing
and a smile.

"My debt of gratitude I hoped might still in part be paid. My friend had
an only daughter--Did that daughter survive?

"The most diligent inquiries, continued for many years, proved
unsuccessful. On the evening of an ill-spent and wearisome day, Heaven,
dear sir, (addressing the good pastor) led me to your presence while
performing the sacred duty of comforting 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 mourning 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!

                   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! 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!

The second enclosure was the miniature of his grandfather. But that
miniature! Gracious God! what were my sensations when I beheld the
benignant, expressive lineaments of my early benefactor. 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 independence, the deed I now present secures to you; in
return, I entreat that the miniature may be mine: and I hope some kind
friend (glancing at his nephew) will, in death, place it upon my bosom."

"What darkness so profound," exclaimed the good pastor, "that the
All-seeing Eye shall not penetrate? What maze so intricate and perplexed
that our Merciful 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 given the
charity children a holiday. They were entertained with old English fare
on the lawn before the cottage, and superintended in their dancing and
blindman's-buff by Norah Noclack and the solemn clerk. Nor were the aged
inmates of the bountiful widow's Almshouses forgotten. They dined at the
Parsonage, and were gratified with a liberal present from Uncle Timothy.
And that the day might live in grateful remembrance when those who now
shared in its happiness found their rest in the tomb, the Lauréat of
Little Britain (some, like the sponge, require compression before they
yield anything; others, like the honey-comb, exude spontaneously their
sweets,) expressed his intention 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. Suddenly
a flood of light illumined the chamber where we sat with an almost
supernatural glory, beaming with intense brightness on the countenance
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

Uncle Timothy, "I have ever carefully preserved. You, dear sir, were
an enthusiast in boyhood: and when, as your senior, I once presumed to
counsel you, this was your reply."

And she read to Uncle Timothy his youthful fancy.

               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 design'd;

               For Stellas 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 fade,

                   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.

               Sad privilege! too dearly bought,

                   To sorrow over those that sleep;

               Sadder, in apathy and naught,

                   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 you!

               Love, friendship, 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 Cæsars.
But rest not there--take your pilgrim's staff and pass onward to that
Land made Holy by the presence of our Redeemer! Would that I could
accompany you to the sacred hills of Zion!"

"O for such a guide!" exclaimed Eugenio. "But I should be too--too
happy--and I may no more expect light without darkness, than joy without

"If Uncle Tim goes, I go!" whispered the Lauréat. "With him I am
resolved to live--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 reverently to receive his blessing, "you
are in possession 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 Heaven, 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 undertakings
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 existence was never intended
for man. Action is the mind's proper sphere, ere time obscures its
brightness and enfeebles its powers. And carry with you these truths,
that the foundation of domestic happiness is faith in the virtue of
woman; the foundation of political happiness is confidence in the
integrity of man; the foundation of all happiness, temporal and
eternal, is reliance on the goodness of God. If, amidst more important
occupations, the Muse claim a share of your regard, let not the
ribald scorn of hypercriticism discourage you on the very threshold of
poetry--f 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!--What a host of feelings are concentrated in that
little word! The Lauréat bore up heroically.--The glare of the candles
being too much for his eyes, he walked in the moonlight, while Eugenio

          Our sails catch the breeze--lov'd companions, adieu!

          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?

          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 you farewell!

Eugenio was on ship-board early the following morn. His friends
attended, to wish him _bon voyage_ and a safe return. And as the noble
vessel moved majestically along the waters, high above the rest waved
_adieu_ the hand of _Uncle Timothy!_


|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 automaton of a drawing-room, (a tailor made
him!) fenced in with fashions and forms, moving, looking, 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 pimple-faced quack * mounted on his piebald pad, or
charlatan's stage.

     * "Quacksalvers and mountebanks are as easy to be knowne as
     an asse by his eares, or the lyon by his pawes, for they
     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 Gallicus, 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, &c.
     translated by John Read, 8vo. 1588.

We have shewn thee to what odd inventions men are put to provide fun 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 Fool's coat; that buffoons and jesters are not exclusively confined
to fairs; that the juggler, * who steals his five pecks of corn out of a

     * 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 bagpipe, and him I knew to be William
     Cuckoe, better knowne than lou'd, and yet, some thinke, as
     well lou'd as he was worthy." Kind-Hart's Dreame.

     Hocus Pocus, junior, in his Anatomy of Legerdemaine, 1634,
     mentions one "whose father while he lived was the greatest
     jugler in England, and used the assistance of a familiar; he
     lived a tinker by 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."

The nostrum-vender who cures all diseases in the world, and one disease
more; the Little-go man and thimble-rigger have their several 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 ennui
of idleness,--and idleness, said the great Duke of Marlborough, is a
complaint quite enough to kill the stoutest General. How, gentle reader,
has thy time been spent? If Utilitarian, * thou wilt say "Unprofitably!"

     * "To set downe the jugling 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 twelve pence a pound for the month:
     marry, they must haue a groat for a monthly bill, which is a
     bill of sale from month to month; so that no advantage can
     be taken for the usurie.

     I heare say it's well multiplied since I died; but I
     beshrewe them, for, in my life, many a time haue I borrowed
     a shilling on my pipes, and paid a groat for the bill, when
     I haue fetclit out my pawne in a day." William Cuckoe to all
     close juglers, &c. "c.--Kind-Hart's Dreame. O the villany of
     these ancient pawnbrokers!

If Puritan, "Profanely Presuming," however, that thou art neither the
greedy, all-grasping nor the over-reaching, preaching second; but a
well-conditioned happy being, with religion enough to shew thy love to
God by thy benevolence to man, thou wilt regard with an approving smile
the various recreations that lighten 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 scornfully 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

Self-complacent, predominant Self will be lost in generous sympathy, the
electrical laughing fit will go round, 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 communication and
kindness, so we part. And when good fortune shall again throw us into
thy company, not forgetting Mr. Bosky and the middle-aged gentleman with
the satirical nose! we shall be happy to shake thy hand, ay, and thy
sides to boot, with some merry tale or ballad, * ("Mirth, 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.

     * Henry Chettle, in his Kind-Hart's Dreame, gives the
     following description of a Ballad 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 face 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 manner, 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 cc Old Anthony
     Now now the latter was an itinerant fiddler, of whom this
     curious notice occurs in The Second Bart of the Gentle
     Craft, by Thomas Deloney, 1598.

     "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 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,

     O Anthony, now, now, now.

     When goeth the King of good fellows away,

     That so much delighted in dancing and play?

     O Anthony, now, now, now,

     O Anthony, now, now, now.

     And when should I bid my good master farewell,

     Whose bounty and curtesie so did excell?

     O 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 under your wives' window.* *

     "Anthony in his absence sung this song so often in S.
     Martin's, that thereby he purchast a name which he never
     lost till his dying day, for ever after men cald him nothing
     but Anthony now now."

     Braithwait thus describes one of the race of "metre ballad

     "Now he counterfeits a natural base, then a perpetual
     treble, 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."


Well might Old England * have been called "Merrie," for the court had
its masques and pageantry, and the people their plays, ** sports, and
pastimes. There existed a jovial sympathy between the two estates, which
was continually brought into action, and enjoyed with hearty good-will.
Witness the Standard in Cornhill, and the Conduit in "Chepe;" when
May-poles were in their glory, and fountains ran with wine.

     *  The English were a jesting, ballad-singing, play-going
     people. The ancient press teemed with "merrie jests."

     The following oddities of the olden time grin from our
     bookshelves. "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

     "xii. mery Jests of the Wyddow Edyth "The merry jest of a
     shrewde and curste Wyfe lapped in Morrelles-skin for her
     good behavyour "Dobson's Drie Bobbes. Sonne and Heire to
     Scoggin, full of mirth and delightful recreation;"

     "Peele's Jests "Tarlton's. Jests "Scoggin's Jests "The Jests
     of Smug the Smith;"

     "A Nest of Ninnies," &e. &e.

     ** There were not fewer than seventeen playhouses in and
     about London, between 1570 and 1629.

A joyous remnant of the olden time was the coart-fool. "Better be a
witty fool than a foolish wit." What a marvellous personage is the
court-fool of Shakspeare! His head was stocked with notions. He wore
not Motley in his brain.

The most famous court-fools were Will Summers, or Sommers, Richard
Tarlton, and Archibald Armstrong, vulgo Archee, jester to King Charles
I. Archee was the last of the Motleys; unless 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 M have you to know it,

               Poor Cibber must serve both for fool and for poet!"

Will Summers * was of low stature, pleasant countenance, nimble body and
gesture; and had good mother-wit in him! A whimsical compound of fool
and knave. He was a prodigious favourite with Henry the Eighth.

     * 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 bestow'd 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."

That morose and cruel monarch tolerated his caustic satire and laughed
at his gibes. When the king was at dinner, Will Summers 'would thrust
his face through the arras, and make the royal gormandiser roar heartily
with his odd humour and comical grimaces; 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."

[Illustration: 0291]

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 favourites--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 humble 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 forsooth? Will Sommers, 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 asham'd,

               Howe're it Avas, 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 belov'd 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:

               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 exhibit a copious vein
of mirth, and an acute and ready wit. Upon a festival day, being in
the court-yard walking with divers gentlemen, he espied a very little
personage with a broad-brimmed hat; when he remarked, that if my Lord
Minimus had 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 clerical concupiscence. Summers improvised
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 thief,
and behind his mill a thief!" and his opinion of church patronage was
anything but orthodox. Being asked why the best and richest benefices
were for the most part conferred on unworthy and unlearned 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 friar
would have persuaded him to leave his estate (some five hundred
pounds--a large sum in those days!) 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 original
representative of the court-fool, or clown, upon the stage. Sir Richard
Baker says, "Tarlton, for the part called the clowne's part, never had
his match, and never will have."

     * Bastard, in his Chrestoleros, 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
     excellent, "and spoken of as being extolled for that which
     all despise."

     The music to "Tarleton's Jigge" is preserved in a MS. in the
     Public Library, Cambridge (D d. 14, 24). This manuscript 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 Jigs. "Most
     commonly when the play is done," says Lupton, in his London
     and the Countrey Carbonadoed and Quatred into seuerall
     Characters, 8vo. 1632,) "you shall haue a jig or a dance of
     all treads: they mean to put their legs to it as well as
     their tongues." According to the author of Tarltoris News
     out of Purgatory, the jig lasted for an hour. The pamphlet,
     says he, is "only such a jest as his (Tarlton's) jig, fit
     for gentlemen to laugh at an hour."

[Illustration: 0295]

He excelled in tragedy as well as comedy, a circumstance that has
escaped the research of all his biographers. This curious fact is
recorded in a very scarce volume, "_Stradlingi ( Joannis) Epigrammata_,"
1607, which contains verses on Tarlton. He was born at Condover in the
county of Salop; was (according to tradition) his father's swineherd,
and owed his introduction 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 Mirth") " Dicke Tarlton said that hee could
compare Queene Elizabeth 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 waggeries of her court-fool;
grave judges and pious bishops relaxed their reverend muscles at his
irresistible buffooneries; while the "many-headed beast," the million,
hailed him with uproarious jollity. Here * I must needs remember
Tarlton, in his time with the queen his soveraigne, 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 *** (the fanatic Prynne) 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 affirm he shall never give
that contentment to beholders as honest Tarlton did, though he said
never a word."

     * Heywood's Apology for Actors.

     ** Howes, the editor of Stowe's Chronicle.

     *** Theatrum Redivivum, by Sir Richard Baker.

               --"Tarlton, when his head was onely seene,

               The tire-house doore and tapistrie betweene,

               Set all the multitude in such a laughter,

               They could not hold for scarse an houre after." *

     * Peacham's Thalia's Banquet, 1620.

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 corner,
he, as Dr. Johnson said of Foote, took a jump, and was over your head in
an instant. In 1611 was published in 4to. "_Tarlton's Jests, drawn
into Three Parts: his court-witty Jests; his sound-city Jest's; his
country-pretty Jests; full of 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 character is thus described. I
saw one attired in russet, with a buttoned cap on his head, a bag by
his side, and a strong bat in his hand; so artificially attired for a
clowne, as I began to call Tarlton's woonted shape to remembrance;
and in Kind-Hart's Dreame (1592), "The next, by his suit of russet, 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 conceits, 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 fashion:--

          "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


          But what of that? though my nose be flat, my credit for to


          Yet very well I can, by the smell, scent an honest man from

                   a knave."

     * Of the original we speak, which Caulfield sold to Mr.
     Townley for ten guineas! This identical print, with the
     Jests, now lies before us. Caulfield's copy is utterly

Once while he was performing at the Bull in Bishopsgate-street, where
the queen's servants often played, a fellow in the gallery, whom he had
galled by a sharp retort, threw an apple, * 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 face 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. ***

Gabriel Harvey, in his "Four Letters and certain Sonnets," 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 invited thereunto at
Oxford by Tarlton himselfe; of whom I merrily demanding, which of the
seaven was his own deadlie sinne?

     *  Tom Weston, of facetious memory, received a similar
     compliment from an orange. Tom took it up very gravely,
     pretended to examine it particularly, and, advancing to the
     footlights, exclaimed, "Humph! this is not a Seville (civil)
     orange." On reference to Polly Peachem's Jests (1728) the
     same bon-mot is given to Wilks.

     ** Mapple means rough and carbuncled. Ben Jonson describes
     his own face as rocky: the bark of the maple being
     uncommonly 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.

He bluntly answered after this manner, 'the sinne of other gentlemen,
letchery!'" Ben Jonson's _Induction to his Bartholomew Fair_, makes
the stage-playur 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!"

"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 resorted to; Tarlton, then (with his fellowes) playing at the
Bell by, (should not this be the Bull in Bishopsgate-street?) came into
the Crosse-keyes (amongst many people) to see fashions; which Banks
perceiving, (to make the people laugh,) saies, f Signor,' (to his
horse,) 'go fetch me the very est 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 Tarlton, 'charge him to bring me the veriest wh--e-master
in the company.' 'He shall,' (saies Banks,) 'Signor,' (saies he,) '
bring Master Tarlton the veriest wh--e-master in the company.' The horse
leads his master to him.

     * Cloth Fair, where the principal theatrical booths were

_Then God a mercy, horse, indeed!_' saies Tarlton. 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, wondered at it; and seeing the vapour come out of Tarlton's nose,
cried out, 'Fire! fire!' 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

"Tarlton being at the court all night, in the morning he met a
great courtier coming from his chamber, who, espying Tarlton, said,
'Good-morrow, Mr. Didimus and Tridimus.' Tarlton being somewhat abashed,
not knowing the meaning thereof, said, 'Sir, I understand you not;
expound, I pray you,' Quoth the courtier, 'Didimus and Tridimus are fool
and knave.' 'You overload 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 with me.' And again; there was
a nobleman that asked Tarlton what he thought of soldiers in time of

'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 renowned.

               "A wagge thou art, none can prevent thee;

               And thy desert shall content thee;

               Let me divine: as I am,

               So in time thou'lt he the same:

               My adopted sonne therefore he,

               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."

     * Robert Armin was a popular actor in Shakspere's plays. He
     was associated with him and "his fellowes" in the patent
     granted by James I. to act at the Globe Theatre, and in any
     other part of the kingdom. He is the author of "The History
     of the Two Maids of More-clacke" 4to. 1609, in which he
     played Simple John in the hospital. His "true effigie"
     appears in the title-page: as does that of Green (another
     contemporary actor of rare merit), in "Tu Quoque."

Many other jokes are told of Tarlton; how, when he kept the sign of
the Tabor, a tavern in Gracechurch 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 tavern 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 3, in St. Leonard's, Shoreditch.

In the books of the Stationers' Company was licensed "_A Sorrowful new
Sonnette," intituled Tarlton's Recantation upon this Theame given him by
a gentleman at the Bel Savage without Ludgate (now or els never) being
the last Theame he songe; and Tarlton s repentance and his farewell
to his friendes in his sickness, a little before his death._"In "Wits
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:

               Earst he of clownes to learne still sought,

               But now they learne of him they taught:

               By art far past the principall,

               The counterfeit is so worth all."

The following epitaph, quoted by Fuller,

               "Hic situs est cujus poterat vox, actio, vultus,

               Ex Heraclito reddere Democritum,"

is thus varied in Hackett's "_Select and remarkable Epitaphs_"--

               "Hie situs est, cujus vultus, vox, actio posset

               Ex," &c. &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 predecessors did, let it be remembered that two
religious factions were fiercely contending for supremacy, neither of
which relished a "merrie jest" It seems, however, that Archee, who had
outwitted many, was, on one occasion, himself outwitted.

     * 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 kings and princes graced of late,
          Jested himself into a fayer 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 from the Muse's quill;
          Doubt not (kinde reader), be but pleased to view
          These witty jests: they are not ould, but new."

"Archee coming to a nobleman 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, supposing 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 tyrannical mode of exercising it, could
not bear the laughing reproof of even an "allowed fool." The briefe
reason 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 schollars of them, but that hee feared
the archbishop would cut off their eares! *

     * "Archys Dream, sometime jester to his majestie; but exiled
     the court by Canterburies malice," 4to. 1641.

These were the three merry men of the olden 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 redeeming quality but this, posterity would
be bound to honour it.


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