« PreviousContinue »
near half a pint more than it would hold, she drank the overplus, and pretending business a little farther, left the bottle in the shop till her return, when she was to pay for the quart, which for prudential reasons, no doubt, she has postponed, having not as yet made her second appearance; and the bottle on examination was found to be a cracked one.
An Elegy written in Bartholomew Fair.
Dull is the scene of ancient feats of wit,
Where mimic mirth its gambols play'd around; And dull the place where many a vacant cit
An hour's relief from care and business found.
Flockton no more shall dance his puppet ring,
The swagg'ring giant fill the room no more, No more the monkey on the rope shall swing,
Nor grin portentous at the ale-house door.
The round-about its wheel no more shall ply,
(Sure emblem of the giddy round of life) Nor Andrew's self his merry tricks shall try
To raise amid the crowd the curious strife.
Old Momus' sons, and Thespis' merry boys,
In joint exclusion curse their wayward doom; “ Genius,” they cry, “must yield to gilded toys,
And wit to plums and apples must give room!” And now, so City Magistrates ordain,
In oysters may we spend our sober pence, Or eat the sausage on th’ extended plain !
Alas! that City Magistrates have sense!
Anecdote.—When James the Second attempted to introduce the Roman Catholic religion and arbitrary power into Great Britain, he had an army encamped on Hounslow Heath to terrify the people. Seven bishops were seized upon and sent to the Tower; but they appealed to the laws of their country, and were set at liberty. When this news reached the camp, the shouts of joy were so great that they re-echoed in the Royal Palace. This, however, did not quite convince the king of the aversion of the soldiers to be the instruments of oppression against their fellow subjects; he, therefore, made another trial, he ordered the guards to be drawn up, and the word was given, that those who did not choose to support the king's measures should ground their arms. When, behold, to his utter confusion, and their eternal honour—the whole body grounded their arms.
A grave writer on the laws of England says, that “when a Jury of Matrons is impannelled, the fore-man ought to be a woman of known and good
The underwritten Lines are copied from the original will of the late Nathaniel Lloyd, Esq. who died a few weeks since at his seat at Twickenham, in Middlesex, by inserting which you will oblige your constant reader,
TOM TELL-TRUTH. What I am going to bequeath,
When this frail part submits to death ; VOL. 1.
But still I hope the spark divine, With its congenial stars shall shine: My good executors fulfil, I pray ye, fairly my last will, With first and second codicil! And first I give to dear Lord Hinton, At Twyford school now, not at Winton, One hundred guineas for a ring, Or some such memorandum thing; And truly much I should have blund'red, Had I not given another hundred To Vere, Earl Poulett's second son, Who dearly loves a little fun. Unto my nephew, Robert Longdon, Of whom none says he e’er has wrong done, Tho' civil law he loves to hash, I give two hundred pounds in cash. One hundred pounds to my niece Tuder, (With loving eyes one Matthew view'd her) And to her children just among 'em, A hundred more, and not to wrong 'em, In equal shares I freely give it, . Not doubting but they will receive it. To Sally Crouch and Mary Lee, If they with Lady Poulett be; Because they round the year did dwell In Twick’nham-house, and serv'd full well, When lord and lady both did stray, Over the hills and far away ; The first ten pounds, the other twenty, And, girls, I hope that will content ye. In seventeen hundred sixty-nine, This with my hand I write and sign; The sixteenth day of fair October, In merry mood, but sound and sober,
Past my threescore and fifteenth year,
To the Printer.—Sir, I was born in Greece, and am lineally descended from Democritus, of laughing memory. I had laughed for many years in my own country, but the oppressions we have lately suffered there from our masters, the Turks, had scarce left me any thing to laugh at ; and I am afraid the old proverb, “as merry as a Greek,” will be soon forgot. On that occasion having turned my whole substance into ready money, I was willing to indulge my humour, and settle in that country which would afford me the most food for laughter, therefore I enquired among the merchants and captains of ships in our port what placed seemed the most ridiculous; and the universal consent of all assured me, that in England I should find endless subjects for laughter. Fired with this assurance, and happy in having learned that language in my youth, for the convenience of trade, I embarked at Zante, and came to England in one of the last Turkey ships. I have been here but one month, and have laughed ever since. As I have nothing to do but divert myself, (having never been married, lest other fools should laugh at me) I take my daily ramble, and shall occa
sionally send you accounts of what adventures I meet with, that I may have the extreme pleasure of not only laughing myself, but of setting the drivellers who read this, a laughing at one another.
As soon as I landed in England, I burst out a laughing to see the search of a custom-house officer into my coffers put an end to by a piece of gold; and then I laughed at those who employed him, and did not give him a salary sufficient to make him faithful to his duty. .
As I was a stranger to the customs of this place, I was willing to have a native of the country to be my constant attendant, and inform me when I might laugh outright, without danger to my bones, or fear of imprisonment, in a place, where I am told, there are a set of interpreters who explain a joke into a thing they call a libel, and might make me pay dear for my mirth. When I was thus resolved, I soon found out a sensible melancholy fellow, who had been a petty officer in the English navy, and had never laughed since he had been paid off, and left unprovided for, because he had no friends : 1 addressed myself to him, and told him I would maintain him genteely, if he would attach himself to me, and be my guide and adviser, and explain to me what I asked him. The poor fellow grinned his thanks: a hot supper, with a bowl of good punch, set him quite a laughing, and he has grown merrier and merrier every day.
The next morning having viewed the fortifications, and laughed at many of the works which