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BUT Easter-Monday was not made only for the city's dancing dig nitaries. It draws up the curtain of our popular merriments; and Whit-Monday, not a whit less merry, trumpets forth their joyous
the safety of his country, he threw off his mourning weeds, and with the following speech made known the joy he had for the election of so happy and just a magistrate.
The speech being spoken, the first pageant past on before the Lord Maior as far as Mercer's Chappel; a gyant being twelve foot in height going before the pageant for the delight of the people. Over against Soper-Lane End stood another pageant also; upon this were plac'd several sorts of beasts, as lyons, tygers, bears, leopards, foxes, apes, monkeys, in a great wildernesse; at the forepart whereof sate Pan with a pipe in his hard; in the middle was a canopie, at the portal whereof sate Orpheus in an antique attire, playing on his harp, while all the beasts seem'd to dance at the sound of his melody. Under the opie sate four satyrs playing on pipes. The embleme of this pageant seem'd proper to the Company out of which the Lord Maior was elected; putting the spectators in mind how much they ought to esteem such a calling, as clad the Judges in their garments of honour, and Princes in their robes of majestie, and makes the wealthy ladies covet winter, to appear clad in their sable furrs. A second signification of this emblem may be this, that as Orpheus tam'd the wild beasts by the alluring sound of his melody, so doth a just and upright governor tame and govern the wild affections of men, by good and wholesome lawes, causing a general joy and peace in the place where he commands. Which made Orpheus, being well experienced in this truth, to address himself to the Lord Maior in these following lines.
The speech being ended, the Lord Maior rode forward to his house in Silver Street, the military bands still going before him. When he was in this house, they saluted him with two volleys of shot, and so marching again to their ground in Cripple-gate Churchyard, they lodg'd their colours; and as they began, so concluded this dayes triumph.'
The above is one of the rarest of the city pageants, and also one of the most interesting. When the barges wherein the soldiers were came right against Whitehall, they saluted the Lord Protector and his Council with several rounds of musketry, which the Lord Protector answered with signal testimonies of grace and courtesie.' And returning to Whitehall, after the Lord Mayor had taken the oath of office before the Barons of the Exchequer, they saluted the Lord Protector with another volley. The city of London had been actively instrumental in the deposition and death of King Charles the First, and Cromwell could not do less than acknowledge, with some show of respect, the blank cartridges of his old friends. The furr'd gowns and gold chains, however, made the amende honorable, when they jumped Jim Crow,' and helped to restore King Charles the Second.
* June 9, 1786. On Whit-Tuesday was celebrated at Hendon in Middlesex, a burlesque imitation of the Olympic Games. One prize was a gold-laced hat, to be grinned for by six candidates, who were placed on a platform, with horses' collars to exhibit through. Over their heads was printed in capitals,
Detur Tetriori; or
Each party grinned five minutes solus, and then all united in a grand chorus of distortion. This prize was carried by a porter to a vinegar merchant, though he was accused by his competitors of foul play, for rinsing his mouth with verjuice. The whole was concluded by a hog, with his tail shaved and soaped, being let loose among nine peasants; any one of which that could seize him by the queue, and throw him across his shoulders, was to have him for a reward. This occasioned much sport; but the animal, after running some miles, so tired his hunters that they gave up the chase in despair. A prodigious concourse of people attended, among whom were the Tripoline Ambassador, and several other persons of dis. tinction.
continuation. We hail the return of these festive seasons when the busy inhabitants of Lud's town and its beautiful suburbs, in spite of hard times, no trade, tithes, and taxes, repair to the royal park of Queen Bess to divert their melancholy! We delight to contemplate the mirthful mourners, in their endless variety of character and costume; to behold the forlorn holiday-makers hurrying to the jocund scene, to participate in those pleasures which the genius of wakes, kindly bounteous, prepares for her votaries. The gods assembled on Olympus presented not a more glorious sight than the laughing divinities of One-Tree Hill,* rolling down from its enchanting summit!
What an animated scene! Hark to the loud laugh of some youngsters that have had their roll and tumble. Yonder is a wedding party from the neighbouring village. See the jolly tar, with his true blue jacket and trowsers, checked shirt, radiant with a gilt brooch as big as a crown piece, yellow straw hat, striped stockings, and pumps; and his pretty bride, with her rosy cheeks and white favours. How light are their heels and hearts! And the blythesome couples that follow in their train-noviciates in the temple of Hymen, but who, ere long, will be called upon to act as principals! All is congratulation, good wishes, and good humour. Scandal is dumb; envy dies for the day; disappointment gathers hope; and one wedding, like a fool, or an Irish wake, shall make many.
O yes! O yes! O yes!
When the peripatetic pieman rings his bell
At morning, noon, or when you sit at eve;
It needs no ghost to tell,
He warbles cakes and gingerbread to sell!
* There is a droll print, called 'Greenwich Hill, or Holiday Gambols,' with the following appropriate inscription :
Ye sweet-scented sirs, who are sick of the sport,
Are as dull as yourselves, and just nothing at all.'
The Easter Monday of 1840 gave token of returning hilarity. The Regent's Park, Primrose Hill, and the adjoining fields, presented one merry mass of animated beings. At Chalk Farm there was a regular fair-with swings, roundabouts, up-anddowns, gingerbread stalls, theatres, donkey races, penny chaises, and puppet-shows, representing the Islington murder, the Queen's marriage, the arrival of Prince Albert and the departure of the Chartist rioters! Hampstead Heath, and the surrounding villages, turned out their studs of Jerusalem ponies. Copenhagen House, Hornsey Wood House, and the White Conduit, echoed with jollity: the holiday makers amus. ing themselves with cricket, fives, and archery. How sweetly has honest, merry Harry Carey described the origin of Sally in our Alley,' which touched the heart of Addison with tender emotion, and called forth his warmest praise. A shoemaker's 'prentice, making holiday with his sweetheart, treated her with a sight of Bedlam, the puppet-shows, 'the flying.chairs, and all the elegances of Moorfields; from whence proceeding to the Farthing Pye-house, he gave her a collation of buns, cheese-cakes, gammon of bacon, stuffed beef, and bottled ale; through all which scenes the author dodged them. Charmed with the simplicity of their courtship, he drew from what he had witnessed this little sketch of Nature.'
Tarts of gooseberry, raspberry, cranberry ;
Of all sorts and sizes;
That won't make you queer,
Like the treble X ale of Taylor and Hanbury!'
'Here, good Christians, are five Reasons why you shouldn't go to a fair, published by the London Lachrymose Society for the sup. pression of fun.'
And here, good Christians, are five-and-fifty why you should! published by my Lord Chancellor Cocke Lorel, President of the High Court of Mummery, and Conscience-keeper to his merry Majesty of Queerumania, for the promotion of jollity.'
These zealous rivals vociferated in each other's ears, sans intermission. The former gave away his five reasons for nothingwhich was about their value: still Chancellor Cocke Lorel's fifty-five had the greater circulation, though at the noli me tangere price of a Penny Magazine.
One of the better order of mendicants, whom time had touched with a gentle and reverend hand, and on whose smooth, pale brows, hung the blossoms of the grave, arrested our attention with the following quaint ditty, which pleased us, inasmuch as it seemed to smack of the olden time.
'I love but only one,
And thou art only she
'Cold comfort this, broiling and frying under a burning hot sun! soliloquised a solitary ballad-singer. But, what's the use of sighing?' (Singing.) Gently, Simon Scrape, you can't afford to sing to your self solus. Good luck to me! A rush o' two!-A merry holiday to your honours!' And, having two strings to his bow, and one to his fiddle, he put a favourite old tune to the rack, commenced killing time by beating it, and enforced us to own the soft impeachment of
THE BALLAD-SINGER'S APOLOGY FOR GREENWICH FAIR.
'Up hill and down hill, 'tis always the same;
We toil up the hill till we reach to the top;
Gay Greenwich! thy happy young holiday train
My Lord May'r of London, of high city lineage,
Of fashion and fame, ye grandiloquent powers,
To keep one bright spark of good humour alive,
Peckham and Blackheath fairs were celebrated places of resort in former times, and had their modicum of strange monsters.
'Geo. 1. R.
To the curious in general and particularly those that are lovers of living curiosities. To be seen during the time of Peckham Fair a Grand collection of Living Wild Beasts and Birds, lately arrived from the remotest parts of the World.
1. A curious Bird called the Pelican that suckles her young with her heart's blood, from Egypt.
2. The Noble Vulter Cock, a beautiful bird, not one of the kind ever seen in England. He was brought from Archangell, being a very astonishing bird, and having the finest tallons of any bird that seeks his prey; the fore part of his head is covered with hair, the second part of his head resembles the wool of a Black; below that is a white ring; having a Ruff, that he cloaks his head with at night. He is esteemed a very great curiosity.
3. An Eagle of the Sun. This is the bird that takes the loftiest flight of any bird that flies. There is no bird but this that can fly to the face of the Sun with a naked eye.
'4. A curious Beast bred from a Lioness, and like a foreign Wild
This Beast is
5. The most beautiful He-Panther, from Turkey. allowed by the curious to be one of the greatest rarities ever seen in England, and on which may be seen thousands of spots, and not two of a likeness.
'6 & 7. The two fierce and surprising Hyenas, Male and Female, from the River Gambia in Africa. These Creatures imitate the human voice, and so decoy the Negroes out of their huts and plantations to devour them. They have a mane like a horse, and two joints in their hinder leg more than any other creature. It is remarkable that all other beasts are to be tamed, but Hyenas they are
8. A curious Ethiopian Toho Savage, having all the actions of the human species, and (when at his full growth) will be upwards of five feet high.
'Also several other surprising Creatures of different sorts, too tedious to mention. To be seen from 9 in the morning till 9 at night, without loss of time, till they are sold. Also all manner of curiosities of different sorts, are bought and sold at the above place by JOHN BENNETT.'
Mr. Matthews's Bartholomew Fair showmen had surely seen John Bennett's bill!
The grand focus of attraction was in the immediate vicinity of the Kentish Drovers,' and what a roaring trade did it drive when Flockton's Fantocini and Musical Clock, Mr. Conjuror Lane, Sir Jef frey Dunstan, and the Mackabee Monsters, made Peckham fair a St. Bartholomew in little. This once merry hostelrie was a favourite suburban retreat of Dicky Suett. Cherub Dicky! (we never think of him without a smile and a tear,) who when (to use his own peculiar phrase) his copper required cooling,' mounted the steady, old. fashioned, three-mile-an-hour Peckham stage, and journeyed hither to allay his thirst, and qualify his alcohol with a refreshing draught of Derbyshire ale. The landlord (who was quite a character) and he were old cronies; and, in the snug little parlour behind the bar, of which Dicky had the entrée, their hob-and-nobbings struck cut sparks of humour that, had they exhaled before the lamps, would have set the theatre in a roar. Suett was a great frequenter of fairs. He stood treat to the conjurors, feasted the tragedy kings and queens, and many a mountebank did he make muzzy. Once in a frolic he changed clothes with a Jack Pudding, and played Barker and Mr. Merriman to a precocious giantess; when he threw her lord and master into such an ecstasy of mirth that the fellow vowed hysterically that it was either the devil, or (for his fame had travelled before him) Dicky Suett. He was a piscator,* and would make a huge parade of his rod, line, and green-painted tin-can, sallying forth on a fine morning with dire intentions against the gudgeons and perch; but Dicky was a merciful angler; he was the gudgeon, for
All sports that inflict pain on any living thing, without attaining some useful end, are wanton and cowardly. Wild boars, wolves, foxes, &c. may be hunted to extermination, for they are public robbers: but to hunt the noble deer, for the cruel pleasure of hunting him, is base. How beautifully has Shakspeare pleaded the cause of humanity in his picture of the sobbing deer;' and Sheridan Knowles has some fine lines on this detestable sport.
And yet I pity the poor crowned deer,
With all our love of honest Izaak Walton, and admiration of his cheerful piety and beautiful philosophy, we feel a shuddering when the sentimental old savage' gives his minute instructions to the tyro in angling how most skilfully to transfix the writhing worm (as though you loved him!) and torture a poor fish. Piscator is a cowardly rogue to sit upon a fair bank, the sun shining above, and the pure stream rippling beneath, with his instruments of death, playing pang against pang, and life against life, for his contemplative recreation. What would he say to a hook through his own gullet ? Would it mitigate his dying agonies to hear his dirge (even the milkmaid's song!) chanted in harmonious concert with a brother of the angle, who had played the like sinister trick on his companion in the waters ?