The Project Gutenberg EBook of Merrie England In The Olden Time, Vol. 2
(of 2), by George Daniel

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Title: Merrie England In The Olden Time, Vol. 2 (of 2)

Author: George Daniel

Illustrator: John Leech
             Robert Cruikshank
             Thomas Gilks

Release Date: July 19, 2014 [EBook #46332]
Last Updated: March 15, 2018

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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


By George Daniel

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

In Two Volumes. Vol. II.


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





















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, 1701.”

     * “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.


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 testify.

“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 extraordinary

“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


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 Drysalters?”

“Something short of assault and battery, fine and imprisonment.”

And Mr. Bosky, after helping Uncle Timothy off with his great coat, warming his slippers, 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 him.

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 conquer!”

     * 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 improvement!

“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 cheek.

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 churchyard!

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 1805.”

“Right, brother Ralph, and when the Finsbury awkward squad routed your left wing in the City Road, and you all ran helter-skelter into the boiled buttock of beef shop in the Old Bailey, we valiant sharp-shooters protected your flank, and covered your inglorious retreat!” And he 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.”


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 London.

     * 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 them.”

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 phenomenon.

“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 Britain.

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

“Surely,” whispered Mr. Bosky, “that 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 night.”

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 honours!”

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 chanted—


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 vocal:—

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 course.

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 money!

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 soldier.

“He fired a cannon, and with his own strength

Lifted it up, although 'twas of great length;

He broke a rope which did restrain two horses,

They could not break it with their two joint forces!'

     * “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!


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 Eden,—

     *  “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 gowns?”

     * 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 respond!”

     * 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.


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 disposition).

          *  “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 Joel).

     * 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 wig).


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 Chapel.

     * 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,


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 shone?

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

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

Mr. M'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. *

          * “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!”


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.


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 knots!

     * “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.”


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 chains,

“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 triumphantly.

     * “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 departed!

     * 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 Δ 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 crow

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 stand-still.

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 mousetraps!”

“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 Trompingtonverbruggenhausentiraliravontamen!

“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 morning!”

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 Courtiers.


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 Minstrel!

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 ground

“Where unfledg'd actors learn to laugh and cry,

Where infant punks their tender voices try,

And little Maximins the Gods defy,”

are difficulties that none but dramatic politicians of experience and discretion can surmount; and he advised every author to whom appetite offered a more powerful stimulant than genius, to make haste and possess himself of the important secret.

Mine host of the Ram now entered with a curiously compounded mug of mum, in which the great Tragedian (who was not particular from 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 means.”

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 Ballina-muck.

     * 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 Siddons).”

     *  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 son-in-law!”

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

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 day.”

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 requiem!”

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 others.

The ancient church spire rising between the tall elms, and the neat Parsonage House gave an exquisite finish to the surrounding scenery. Happy England! whose fertile hills and valleys are spotted with these Temples of the Most High, where “the rich and the poor meet together, for the Lord hath 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 them.

We now arrived at Uncle Timothy's cottage, reared in the midst of a flower garden. In a summer-house fragrant with roses, woodbine, and jessamine sat our host and the good pastor. A word of introduction soon made us friends; and from the minister's kind greeting, it was clear that

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 sorrow.”

“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 sang—

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 bushel.

     * 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 amuse.

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.”


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.”


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 wine.

“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 peace?

'Marry,' quoth he, 'they are like chimneys in summer.” Tom Brown has stolen this simile.

“Tarlton, who at that time kept a tavern in Grace-church-street, made the celebrated Robert Armin * his adopted son, on the occasion of the boy (who was then servant to a goldsmith in Lombard-street) displaying that ready wit, for which Tarlton himself was so 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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