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dancers most do congregate.* Let imagination carry thee back to the reign of Queen Anne, when the Spectator and Sir Roger de Coverley embarked at the Temple-Stairs on their voyage to Vauxhall. We pass over the good knight's religious horror at beholding what a few steeples rose on the west of Temple-Bar; and the waterman's wit, (a common thing in those days,t) that made him almost wish himself a Middlesex magistrate! “ We were now arrived at Spring Garden," says the Spectator, “ which is exquisitely pleasant at this time of the year. When I considered the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choir of birds that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe of people that walked under their shades, I could not but look upon the place as a kind of Mahometan paradise. Sir Roger told me it put him in mind of a little coppice by his house in the country, which his chaplain used to call an aviary of nightingales."
And mark, in what primitive fashion they concluded their walk with a glass of Burton ale, and a slice of hung-beef!'
'Bonnel Thornton furnishes a ludicrous account of a stingy old citizen, loosening his purse-strings to treat his wife and family to Vauxhall. But "Colin's Description to his wife of Greenwood Hall, or the pleasures of Spring Gardens,” gives by far the most lively picture of what this popular place of amusement was a century ago.
• O Mary! soft in feature,
I've been at dear Vauxhall ;
Not that they Eden call.
At night such new vagaries,
Such gay and harmless sport;
At this their monarch's court.
• There were rare dancing doings at Barber's Hall,
in the year 1745 The original dancing-room at the field-end of King Street, Bloomsbury, 1742 Hickford's great room, Panton Street, Haymarket,
1743 Mitre Tavern, Charing Cross,
1743 Richmond Assembly,
1745 Lambeth Wells,
1747 Duke's long room, Paternoster-Row,
1748 The large room next door to the Hand and Slippers, Long Lane, West Smithfield,
1750 Lambeth Wells, where a Penny Wedding, in the Scotch manner, was celebrated for the benefit of a young couple,
1752 Old Queen's Head, in Cook Lane, Lambeth,
1755 Large Assembly Room at the Two Green Lamps, near Exeter 'Change, (at the particular desire of Jubilee Dickey !)
1749 and at Mi. Bell's, at the sign of the Ship, in the Strand, where, in 1755, a Scotch Wedding was kept. The bride to be dressed without any linen; all in ribands, and green flowers, with Scotch masks. There will be three bag-pipes; a band of Scotch music, &c. &c. To begin precisely at two o'clock. Admission, two shillings and sixpence.'
U such were the joys of our dancing days.' + What a sledge-bammer reply was Doctor Johnson's to an aquatic wag upon a similar occasion. Fellow! your mother, under the pretence (!!) of keeping a
is a receiver of stolen goods !' : May 20, 1712.
Methought when first I entered,
Such splendours round me shone,
Where rose another sun :
As skylarks sweet I hear;
They'll always soothe my ear.
Where'er our glances fall,
Bedeck this green-wood hall!
There John his doxy loves;
Who steals a pair of gloves !
O'er this enchanted grove;
All in his proud alcove.
I doft my hat, desiring
He'd tune up Buxom Joan;
Odzooks! a man of stone.
But now the tables spreading,
They all fall too with glee;
Such dainties did I see!
I longed (poor starving rover!)
But none heed country elves;
Love only dear themselves.
As grasshoppers they're gay;
The Lady of the May. I
Soft twinkling through the trees,
To taste delights like these.' The days of this modern Arcadia are numbered. The axe is about to be laid to the roots of its beautiful trees; its green avenues are to be turned into blind alleys; its variegated lamps must give place to some solitary gas-burner, to light the groping inhabitants to their dingy homes; and the melodious strains of its once celebrated vocalists shall be drowned in the discordant dismal drone of some
* Alluding to three pictures in the Pavilions-viz. the King and the Miller of Mansfield--the Sailors in a tippling house in Wapping—and the Girl stealing a kiss from a sleeping gentleman.
+ The statue of Handel. | Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales sitting under her splendid Pavilion.
ballad-singing weaver out of employ, and the screeching responses of his itinerant and interesting family. What would the gallant, gay Mr. Lowe, and his sprightly Euphrosyne, Nan Catley, say, could they be told to what ‘base uses,' their harmonious groves are condemned to be turned ? Truly their wonder would be on a par with Paganini's, should ever that musical magician encounter on the other side Styx My Lord Skaggs and his Broomstick !"*
+ This celebrated professor played on his musical broomstick at the Haymarket Theatre, November, 1751. The following song has his portrait at the top, with on one side a bear dancing on a broom, and on the other a French horn.
The famous Skegginello, that grunts so pretty
And that's a pity!
In picture shops so grin, O,
At Eh, Eh, Eh, Eh?
A tragi.comical Dialogue between My Lord Skaggs and his Broomstick.
By H. Howard.
(Tune-Biddy over the hopper, fc.)
And I'll bet you a crown
That half the town
(Good morrow, Gossip Joan.)
The Broomstick then replies, “ Sir,
And learn to know your letters,
Master Skaggs !"
“ I know my letters well, sir;
Who has not heard of Guildhall on Lord Mayor's Day, and the Easter Ball at the Mansion House? But we profane not the pene. tralia where even Common-Councilmen fear to tread! The City Marshals, and men in armour (Heros malgré eux !); the pensive-looking state.coachmen, in all the plumpness, pomp, and verdure of prinie feeding, wig, and bouquet ; the postillion, 'a noticeable man,' with velvet cap and jockey boots; the high-bred and high-fed aristocracy of the Poultry and Cheapside, and their Banquet, which might tempt Diogenes to blow himself up to such a pitch of obesity, that, instead of living in a tub, a tub might be said to live in him, are subjects infinitely too lofty for plebeian handling. Cæsar was told to beware of the Ides of March ; and are not November fogs equally ominous to the London citizen? If, then, by some culinary magic, he can be induced to cram his throat, rather than to cut it, -to feast himself, instead of the worms,-to prefer a minuet* in the Council Chamber to the Dance Macabre in the shades below,—the
Lords, Dukes, and Farls I please,
With singing, fur, and grunting ;
Broomstick vile !"
(My fond shepherds, doc.)
On which I was wont for to play,
To ashes is quite burnt away!
That the table oft set in a roar ?
Shall revive the choice spirits no more !" !
There is a curious Tobacco Paper of Skaggs playing on his broomstick in full concert with a jovial party! One of the principal performers is a good-humoured looking gentleman beating harmony out of the salt.box.
• Still a beau, though my locks are grey,
With looks so sly,
They giggle and cry,
Zounds ! my cough, ma'am :
Now lead off, ma'am-
gorgeous anniversaries of Gog and Magog have not been celebrated in vain.
Search all chronicles, hist es, and records, in what language or letter soever,- let the inquisitive man waste the deere treasures of his time and eye-sight, -he shall conclude his life only in this certainty, that there is no subject upon earth received into the place of his government with the like state and magnificence as is the Lord Maior of the Citty of London. This was said by the author of the • Triumphs of Truth,' in 1613. The following list of City Poets will show that the office was not an unimportant one in the olden time:-George Peele ; Anthony Munday; Thomas Dekker; Thomas Middleton ; John Squire ; John Web. ster; Thomas Heywood; John Taylor (the Water-Poet, one of Ben Jonson's adopted poetical sons, and a rare slang fellow); Edward Gayton, and T. B. (of the latter nothing is known), both Commonwealth bards; John Tatham ; Thomas Jordan, Matthew Taubman, and Elkanah Settle, the last of the poetical parsons who wedded Lord Mayors and Aldermen to immortal verse. One of the most splendid of these anniversary pageants was ‘London's Triumph ; or, the Solemn and Magnificent reception of that Honourable Gentleman, Robert Titchburn, Lord Maior, aster his return from taking his oath at Westminster, the morrow after Si. mon and Jude day, being October 29, 1656. With the Speeches spoken at Foster. lane-end and Soperlane-end.'—' In the first place, (says the City Poet T. B.) "the loving members of the honourable societie exercising arms in Cripplegate Ground being drawn up together, march'd in a military order to the house of my Lord Maior, where they attended on him, and from thence march'd before him to the Three Crane Wharse, where part of them under the red colours embarqued themselves in three several barges; and another part took water at Stone Staires, being under green colours, as enemies to the other; and thence wafting to the other side of the water, there began an encounter between each party, which continued all the way to Westminster; a third body, consisting of pikes and musquets, march'd to Bainard's Castle, and there from the battlements of the castle gave thundering echoes to the vollies of those that pass'd along the streame. Part before and part behind went the several barges, with drums beating, and trumpets sound. ing, and varietie of other musick to take the eare, while the flaggs and silver pend. ents made a pleasant sight delectable to the beholders.
• Thus the Lord Maior and Companies, together with the military souldiers being landed, put an end to the water solemnitie, than which there hath not been a more gracefull sight upon the Thames ever since the city stood. The Lord Maior being landed, the severall Companies went to their severall stations appointed for them in the streets; and the Lord Maior being now readie to proceed on his way, the military band march'd before with drums beating and colours flying, all in a noble and warlike equipage; after them the aged pensioners of the city, doing a kind of small homage for their maintenance, went bearing the escucheons of the city, and severall of the members of that Company out of which the Lord Maior was chosen.
• After these came severall gentlemen-ushers adorn'd with gold chaines; behind them certaine rich batchelours, wearing gownes furr’d with foynes, and upon them saltin hoods ; and lastly after them, followed the Worshipfull Company of Skinners itself, whereof the Lord Maior is a member. Next these, the city officers passing on before, rode the Lord Maior with the Sword, Mace, and Cap of Maintenance before him, being attended by the Recorder, and all the aldermen in scarlet gowns on horseback. (Aldermen on horseback !!) Thus attended, he rode from Bainard's Castle into Cheapside, the Companies standing on both sides of the way as farr as the upper end of the Old Jury, ready to receive him. When he was come right against the Old Change, a pageant seem'd to meet him. On the pageant stood two leopards bestrid by two Moors, attir'd in the habit of their country; at the foure corners sate foure virgins arraid in cloth of silver, with their haire dishriveld, and coronets on their heads. This seem'd to be the embleme of a city pensive and forlom, for want of a zealous governor : the Moors and leopards, like evill customs tyrannizing over the weak virginitie of undefended virtue; which made an aged man, who sate at the fore part of the pageant, mantled in a black garment, with a dejected countenance, seem to bewaile the condition of his native city ; but thus he remained not long : for at the approach of the Lord Maior, as if now he had espy'd