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

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

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

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


the war-whoop, an unearthly combination of discordant sounds; and lastly, the banquet,consisting of raw beef-steaks, which he rolled up into rouleaus, and devoured with right royal avidity. Having finished his delicate repast, he wielded his tomahawk in an exulting manner, bellowed Ha, ha !—ho, ho!' and made his exit. The beneficiare strolling through the market-place the following day, spied the most puissant Prince Annamaboo selling penknives, scissors, and quills, in the character of a Jew pedlar. What!' said the astonished Lord Townley, my Prince! is it you? Are you not a pretty circumcised little scoundrel to impose upon us in this manner?' Moses turned round, and with an arch look replied, Princh, be d-d! I vash no Princh; 1 vash acting, like you. Your troop wash Lords and Ladies last night; and to-night dey vil be Kings, Prinches, and Emperors! I vash hampugs, you vash hampugs, all vash hampugs!'

The Thames (Jan' 16) was filled with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in a citty. The frost (Jan 24) continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planned with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing-presse, where the people and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed on the Thames. This humour tooke so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gain'd 57. a-day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeates, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet playes and interludes, cookes, tipling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water.'

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

In 1715-16 Jack Frost paid Old Father Thames a second visit, and proclaimed the like merriments; but whether maids had grown

*These Landskips' are interesting, and very difficult to be obtained. Thirteen, representing the Frost Fairs of 1683,-1715-16,-and 1739.40, now lie before us. 'An exact and lively Mapp or Representation of Booths, and all the varieties of Showes and Humours upon the Ice on the River of Thames, by London, during that memorable Frost in the 35th yeare of the reigne of his Sacred May King Charles the 24. Anno Dni 1683. With an Alphabetical Explanation of the most remarkable figures,' exhibits The Temple Staires, with people goeing upon the ice to Temple Street-The Duke of Yorkes Coffee House-The Tory Booth-The Booth with a Phoenix on it, and Insured as long as the Foundation Stand-The Roast Beefe Booth -The Halfe-way House-The Beare Garden Shire Booth-The Musick BoothThe Printing Booth-The Lottery Booth-The Horne Tavern Booth-The Temple Garden, with Crowds of People looking over the wall-The Boat drawne with a Hors-The Drum Boat-The Boat drawne upon wheeles-The Bull-baiting-The Chair sliding in the Ring-The Boyes Sliding-The Nine Pinn Playing-The slid. ing on Scates-The Sledge drawing Coales from the other side of the Thames-The Boyes climbing up the Tree in the Temple Garden to see ye Bull Baiting-The Toy Shopps-London Bridge.'

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

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'In mathematics he was greater

Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater,'—

prophesying in the midst of the fair

Old Erra Pater, or his ranıbling Ghost,
Prognosticating of this long strong frost,
Some Ages past, said yt ye Ice.bound Thames
Shou'd prove a Theatre for Sports and Games,
Her Wat'ry Green be turn'd into a Bare,
For Men a Citty seem, for Booths a Faire ;
And now this Stragling Sprite is once more come
To visit Mortalls and foretel their doom:
When Maids grow modest, ye Dissenting Crew
Become all Loyal, the Falsehearted true,
Then you may probably, and not til then,
Expect in England such a Frost agen.'

↑ The best prospect of the frozen Thames with the booths on it, as taken from

modest, dissenters loyal, and false-hearted men true, according to old Erra Pater's prognostication in 1683, is a question; and in 1739-40* he honoured him with a third, which was no less joyous

the Temple Stairs ye 20 day of January, 1715-16, by C. Woodfield,' is rich in fun, and a capital piece of art. We owe great obligations to Mr. Joshua Bangs' for the following :

'Mr. Joshua Bangs.

Printed at Holmes' and Broad's Booth, at the Sign of the Ship against Old Swan Stairs, where is the Only Real Printing Press on the Frozen Thames, January the 14th, 1715.6.

Where little Wherries once did use to ride,

And mounting Billows dash'd against their side,

Now Booths and Tents are built, whose inward Treasure

Affords to many a one Delight and Pleasure;
Wine, Beer, Cakes, hot Custards, Beef and Pies,
Upon the Thames are sold; there, on the Ice
You may have any Thing to please the Sight,
Your Names are Printed, tho' you cannot write;
Therefore pray lose no Time, but hasten hither,
To drink a Glass with Broad and Holmes together.'

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

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This transient scene, a Universe of Glass,
Whose various forms are pictur'd as they pass,
Here future Ages may wth wonder view,

And w they scarce could think, acknowledge true.

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

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Behold the liquid Thames now frozen o'er,
That lately ships of mighty Burthen bore;
Here Watermen, for want to row in boats,

Make use of Bowze to get them Pence and Groats.

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

The bleak North-East, from rough Tartarian Shores,
O'er Europe's Realms its freezing Rigour pours,
Stagnates the flowing Blood in Human Veins,
And binds the silver Thames in Icy Chains.

Their usual Courses Rivulets refrain,

And ev'ry Pond appears a Glassy Plain;

Streets now appear where Water was before,

And Thousands daily walk from Shore to Shore.

Frost Fair. Printed upon the River Thames when Frozen, Jan. the 28, 1739-40,

• The View of Frost Fair, Jany 1739.40.
Scythians of old, like us remov'd,
In tents thro' various climes they rov'd;
We, bolder, on the frozen Wave,
To please your fancies toil and slave;
Here a strange group of figures rise,
Sleek beaus in furs salute your eyes;
Stout Soldiers, shiv'ring in their Red,
Attack the Gin and Gingerbread;
Cits with their Wives, and Lawyers' Clerks,
Gamesters and Thieves, young Girls and Sparks,
This View to Future Times shall Show

The Medley Scene you Visit now.'

than the preceding two. In 1788 9, the Thames was completely frozen over below London Bridge. Booths were erected on the ice; and puppet-shows, wild beasts, bear-baiting, turnabouts, pigs and sheep roasted, exhibited the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair, multiplied and improved. From Putney Bridge down to Redriff was one continued scene of jollity during this seven weeks' saturnalia. The last Frost Fair was celebrated in the year 1814. The frost commenced on 27th December, 1813, and continued to the 5th February, 1814.* There was a grand walk, or mall, from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge, that was appropriately named, The City Road,' and lined on each side with booths of all descriptions. Se. veral printing-presses were erected, and at one of these an orangecoloured standard was hoisted, with Orange Boven' printed in large characters. There were E. O. and Rouge et Noir tables, teetotums and skittles; concerts of rough music, viz. salt-boxes and rolling-pins, gridirons and tongs, horns, and marrow-bones and cleavers. The carousing booths were filled with merry parties, some dancing to the sound of the fiddle, others sitting round blazing fires smoking and drinking. A noisy printer's devil bawled out to the spectators, Now is your time, ladies and gentlemen,-now is your time to support the freedom of the press!† Can the press enjoy greater liberty? Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames! And calling upon his operatical powers to second his eloquence, he, with vocal voice most vociferous,' thus out-vociferated e'en sound itself,

'Siste, Viator! if sooner or later
You travel as far as from here to Jerusalem,
Or live to the ages of Parr or Mathusalem,-
On the word of old Wynkyn,
And Caxton, I'm thinking,

Tho' I don't wear a clothes

Brush under my nose,
Or sweep my room

With my beard, like a broom,

I prophecy truly as wise Erra Pater,

You won't see again sich a wonder of Natur!'

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

+ The following is one among many specimens of Frost Fair verse in 1813-14:

'Printed on the River Thames.

Behold the River Thames is frozen o'er,
Which lately ships of mighty burden bore:
Now different arts and pastimes here you see,
But printing claims the superiority.'

A 'Swan of Thames,' too-an Irish swan !-whose abdominal regions looked as if they were stuffed with halfpenny doggrel, entertained a numerous and half-frozen audience, who gave him shake for shake, with


Open the door to my, me love,

Prithee open the door,

Lift the latch of your iligant thatch,

Your pleasant room, attic! or what a rheumatic
And cold I shall catch!

And then, Miss Clark, between you and your spark
'Twill be never a match!

I've been singing and ringing, and rapping and tapping,
And coughing and sneezing, and wheezing and freezing,
While you have been napping,

Miss Clark, by the clock of St. Mark,
Twenty minutes and more!

Little Jack Frost the Thames has crossed

In a surtout of frieze, as smart as you please!—
There's a Bartlemy Fair and a thorough-
Slopsellers, sailors, three Tooley Street tailors,
All the élite of St. Thomas's Street,

The Mint, and the Fleet!

The bear's at Polito's jigging his jolly toes;
Mr. Punch, with his hooked nose and hunch;
Patrick O Brien, of giants the lion;
And Simon Paap, that sits in his lap;
The Lady that sews, and knits her hose,
And mends her clothes, and rubs her nose,
And comes and goes, without fingers and toes!
You may take a slice of roast beef on the ice;
At the Wellington Tap, and Mother Red-cap,
The stout runs down remarkably brown!
To the Thimble and Thistle, and Pig and Whistle,
Worthy Sir Felix has sent some choice relics
Of liquor, I'm told, to keep out the cold!

If you've got a sweet tooth, there's the gingerbread booth-
To the fife and the fiddle we'll dance down the middle,

Take a sup again, then dance up again!

And have our names printed off on the Thames;
Mister and Misses (all Cupids and kisses!)
Dermot O'Shinnigly, in a jig, in a glee!
And take a slide, or a ha'penny ride

From Blackfriars Bridge to the Borough!

The sun won't rise till you open your eyes--
Then give the sly slip to the sleepers.
Don't, Miss Clark, let us be in the dark,
But open your window and peepers.

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

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