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the too cunning fishes, spying his comical figure, stole his bait, and he hooked nothing but tin pots and old shoes. Here he sat in his accustomed chair and corner, dreaming of future quarterns, and dealing out odd sayings that would make the man in the moon hold his sides, and convulse the whole planet with laughter. His hypo. crene was the cream of the valley ; he dug his grave with his bottle, and gave up the ghost amidst a troop of spirits. Peace to his manes ! Cold is the cheerful hearth, where he familiarly stirred the embers; and silent the walls that echoed to Old Wigs !' chanted by Garrett's Mayor (one of Dicky's prime pets) when he danced hop-scotch on a table spread out with tumblers and tobacco pipes ! Hushed isi the voice of song. At this moment, as if to give our last assertion a flat negative, or what Touchstone calls the lie direct, some stray Corydon from Petty France, the Apollo of a select singing party in the first floor front room, thus musically apostrophised his Blouzelinda of Bloomsbury. She's all that fancy painted her, she's rosy without rouge, Her gingham gown a modest brown turned up with bright gambouge; She learns to jar the light guitar, she plays the harpsichols, Her fortune's five-and-iwenty pounds in Three per Čent Consols. At Beulah Spa, where love is law, was my fond heart beguiled; I poured my passion in her ear-she whispered · Draw it mild!' In Clerkenwell you bear the bell: what muffin-man does not? And since, my Paul, you've gain'd your p’int, perhaps you'll stand your pot. The Charlie quite, I've, honour bright, sent packing for a cheat; A Watchman's wife, he'd whack me well when he was on his beat. ' Adieuhe said, and shook his head, 'my dolor be your dower; And while you laugh, I'll take my staff, and go and cry—the hour.'
Last Greenwich Fair we wedded were; she's won, and we are one;
«Geo. 2, R.
"This is to give notice to all gentlemen, ladies, and others, That there is to be seen at the end of the great booth on BlackHeath, the wonder of the age lately come from the West of Eng. land, a woman above 38 years of age alive, having two heuds, one above the other, the upper face smooth; having no hands, fingers, nor toes; yet can dress and undress, knit, sew, read, sing,' (Querya duet with her two mouths ?) and do several sorts of work; very pleasant and merry in her behaviour. She has had the honour to be seen by Sir Hans Sloane, the King's physician, and several of the Royal Society, and gives entire satisfaction to all that ever see her.
* She is to be seen from eight in the morning till nine at night, without loss of time.
‘N.B. Gentlemen and ladies may see her at their own houses, if they please. This great wonder never was shown in England before this, the 13th day of March, 1741.
• Vivat Rex.'
Our West of England lady* beats little Matthew Buckinger by a head.
Peckhamt and Blackheath Fairs are abolished ; and those of Cam
That the caricaturist has been out-caricatured by Nature no one will deny. Wilkes was so abominably ugly that he said it always took him half an hour to talk away his face; and Mirabeau, speaking of his own countenance, said, ' Fancy a tiger marked with the small-pox! We have seen an Adonis contemplate one of Cruik. shank's whimsical figures, of which his particular shanks were the bow-ideal, and rail at the artist for libelling Dame Nature! How marvellously ill-favoured were Lord Lovat, Magliabecchi, Scarron, and the wall-eyed, bottle-nosed Buck horse the Brui. ser;
how deformed and frightful Sir Harry Dimsdale and Sir Jeffrey Dunstan! What would have been said of the painter of imaginary Siamese twins? Yet we have • The true Description of two Monsterous Children, borne in the parish of Swanburne in Buckinghamshyre, the 4th of Aprill, Anno Domini 1566; the two Children having both their bellies fast joyned together, and imbracing one another with their armes : which Children were both alyve by the space of half an hower, and wer baptised, and named the one John, and the other Joan.'—A similar wonder was exhibited in Queen Anne's reign, viz. “Two monstrous girls born in the Kingdom of Hungary,' which were to be seen from 8 o'clock in the morning till 8 at night, up one pair of stairs, at Mr. William Suttcliffe, a Drugster's Shop, at the sign of the Golden Anchor, in the Strand, near Charing Cross.' The Siamese twins of our own time are fresh in every one's memory. Shakspeare throws out a pleasant sarcasm at the characteristic curiosity of the English nation. Trinculo, upon first beholding Caliban, exclaims, -A strange fish! were I in England now (as I once was,) and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver : there would this monster make a man : when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian.'
† Peckhum Fair, 1 ugust, 1787.–Of the four-footed race were bears, monkeys, dancing.dogs, a learned pig, &c. Mr. Flockton, in his theatrical booth opposite the Kentish Drovers, exhibited the Italian fantocini; the farce of the Conjurer; and his inimitable musical.clock.' Mr. Lane, “first performer to the King,' played off his
snap.snan, rip.rap, crick crack, and thunder-tricks, that the grown babies stared like worried cats.' This extraordinary genius • will drive about forty twelve-penny nails
gentleman's breech, place him in a loadstone chair, and draw them out without the least pain! He is, in short, the most wonderful of all wondersul creatures the world ever wondered at.'
Sir Jeffrey Dunstan sported his handsome figure within his booth ; outside of which was displayed a staring likeness of the elegant original in his pink satin smalls. His dress, address, and oratory, fascinated the audience; in fact, Jeffy was quite tonish!
In opposition to the · Monstrous Craws' at the Royal Grove, were shown in a barn • four wonderful human creatures, brought three thousand miles beyond China, from the Kickashaw Mackabec country, viz.
• A man with a chin eleven inches long.
• Another with as many wens and warts on his face as knots on an old horn. back.
A third with two large teeth five inches long, strutting beyond his upper lip, as if his father had been a man-tiger!
• And the fourth with a noble large fiery head, that looked like the red-hot urn on the top of the monument !
· These most wonderful wild born human beings (the Monstrous Craws,) two fe. males and a male, are of very smail stature, being little less or more than four feet high; each with a monstrous craw under his throat. Their country, language, &c., are as yet unknown to mankind. It supposed they started in some canoe from their native place (a remote quarter in South America,) and being wrecked, were picked up by a Spanish vessel. At that period they were each of a dark olive com. plexion, but which has astonishingly, by degrees, changed to the colour of that of Europeans. They are tractable and respectful towards strangers, and of lively and merry disposition among themselves ; singing and dancing in the most extraordinary way, at the will and pleasure of the company.'
berwelle and Wandswortht are fast going the way of all fairs. Bow, Edmonton, Highgate, Westend (Hampstead,) || and Brook Green (Hammersmith) Fairs, with their swings, roundabouts, spiced gingerbread, penny-trumpets, and half-penny rattles
are passed away. The showmen and Merry Andrews of Moorfields Tare no more; the
A petly session (how very petty!) was held at Union Hall on the 4th July, 1823, in order to put down Camberwell Fair, which is as old as Domesday Book. Shaks. peare has truly described these ill-conditioned, peddling, meddling Dogberry's. • You wear out a good wholesome forcnoon in hearing a cause between an orange wife and a fusset.seller; and then rejourn the controversy of thrce.pence to a second day of audience. When you speak best to the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your bcards, and your beards deserve not so honourable a grave, as to stuff a botcher's cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-saddle.'
† Wandsporth Fair exhibited sixty years ago, Mount Vesuvius, or the burning mountain by moonlight, rope, and hornpipe-dancing ; a forest, with the humonss of lion-catching; tumbling by the young Polander from Sadler's Wells; several divert. ing comic songs; a humourous dialogue between Mr. Swatchall and his wife ; sparring matches; the Siege of Belgrade, &c, all for three-pence!
On Whit-Monday, 1840, Messrs. Nelson and Lee sent down a theatrical caravan to Wandsworth Fair, and were moderately remunerated. But the Grand Victo. ria Booth' was the rallying point of attraction. Its resectory was worthy of the ubiquitous Mr. Epps, of han, beef, tongue, polony, portable soup, and sheep's trotter memory!
Cold beef and ham, hot ribs of lamb, mock-turtle soup that's portable,
Did blow, with stout, their jackets out, and made the folks comfort-able ! # In the year 1820, the keeper of a menagerie at Edmoriton Fair walked into the den of a lioness, and nursed her cubs. He then paid his respects to the husband and father, a magnificent Barbary Lion. After the usual complimentary greetings hetween them, the man somewhat roughly thrust open the monster's jaws, and put his head into its moutb, giving at the same time a shout that made it tremble. This he did with impunity. But in less than two months afterwards, when repeating the same exhibition at a fair in the provinces, he cried, like the starling, I can't get out SI can't get out! demanding at the same time is the lion wagged its tail ? The lion, thinking the joke had been played quite often enough, did wag its tail, and rvar. ed · Heads! Toe keeper fell a victim to his temerity.
f'July 2, 1744.— This is to give notice that Highgate Fair will be kept on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday next, in a pleasant shady walk in the iniddle of the town.
On Wednesday a pig will be turned loose, and he that takes it up by the tail and throws it over his head, shall have it. To pay two.pence entrance, and no less than twelve to enter.
On Thursday a match will be run by two men, a hundred yards in two sacks, for a large sum. And, to encourage the sport, the landlord at the Mitre will give a pair of gloves, to be run for by six men, the winner to have them.
• And on Friday a hat, value ten shillings, will be run for by men twelve times round the Green ; to pay one shilling entrance; no less than four to start; as mary as will may enter, and the second man to have all the money above four. No one co be entitled to the hat that never won that value.'
11 • The Hampstead Fair Ramble ; or the World going quite Mad. To the tune of *** Brother Soldier dost hear of the News.” London : Printed for J. Bland, near Holbourn, 1708.' A curious broadside.
Moorfields, during seasons, was an epitome of Bartlemy Fair. Its booths and scaffold had flags flying on the top. A stage near the Windmill Tavern, oppo-ite Old Bethlem, was famous for its grinning-matches. Moorfields had one novel peculiarity, viz. that whilst the Merry Andrew was practising his buffooneries and legerdemain tricks in one quarter, the itinerant Methodist preacher was holding forth in another. Foote makes his ranting parson exclaim,
Near the mad mansions of Moorfields I'll bawl,
Shut up your shops, and listen to my call.'
Gooseberry Fairs* of Clerkenwell and Tottenham Courtt Road, (the minor Newmarket and Doncaster of Donkey-racing !) are co'ne to a brick-and-mortary end. High-smoking chimneys and acres of tiles shut out the once pleasant prospect, and their Geffray Gambados (now grey-headed jockeys!) sigb, amidst macadamisation and dust, for the green sward where in their hey-day of life they witched the fair with noble donkeyship!-Croydon (famous for roast pork
The Act 12 of Queen Anne aimed at the suppression of the Mourfields' merri. ments. The showmen asked Justice Fuller to license them in April, 1717, but in
Fuller had a battle-royal with Messrs. Saunders and Margaret, two Middlesex justices, who sided with ihe conjurers, and forbade the execution of his war. rant. Justice Fuller, however, having declared war against Moorfields mountebanking, was inexorable, and committed the insurgents to the house of correction ; from whence, after three hours' durance vile, they were releascd by' thrce other magistrates.
Kennington Common was also a favourite spot for this odd variety of sports. It was here that Mr. Mawworm encountered the brick.bats of his congregation, and had his pious tail illuminated with the squibs and crackers of the unregenerate.
* This sair commenced in the New River pipe-fields, and continued in a direct line as far as the top of Elm street, where it terminated. The equestrians always made a point of galloping their donkeys furiously past the house of correction.
† April 9, 1748.–At the Amphitheatrical Booth at Tottenham Court, on Mon. day next (being Easter Monday,) Mr. French, designing to please all, in inaking his Country Wake complete, by doubling the prizes given to be played for, as well as the sports, has already engaged some of the best gamesters, Country against Lon. don to make sides. For Cudgelling, a laced hat, value one pound five shillings, or one guinea in gold; for Wrestling, one guinea; Money for Boxing, besides Stage. money. And, to crown the diversion of ihe day, he gives a fine Smock to be jigged for by Northern Lasses against the Nymplis to ihe westward of St. Giles's Church, to be entered at the Royal Oak, in High street, by Hob, Clerk of the Revels, or his deputy. To prevent disorder, no gamester or others will be admitted without a ticket, or paying at the door. Those who engage, their money to be returned. The doors will be opened at eleven o'clock; the sport to begin at two. Cudgelling as usual before the prizes. Best seats, Two Shillings; Pit and First Gallery, One Shil. ling; Upper Gallery, Sixpence.'
Mr. French advertises, May 12, 1743, at his booth at Tottenham Court, six men sewed up in sacks 10 run six iimes the length of the stage backwards and forwards for a prize-a prize for wrestling and da .cing to the pipe and tabor,—and the gladi. alor's dance. He also kepi the racc-course on Tothill. Fields, August 4, 1749.
· August 8, 1730.-At Reynolds' Great Theatrical Booth, in Tottenham Court, during the time of the Fair, will be presented a Comical, Tragical, Farcical Droll, called The Rum Duke and the Queer Duke, or a Medley of Mirih and Sorrow. To which will be added, a celebrated Operatical Puppet. Show, called Punch's Oratory, or the Pleasures of the Town; containing several diverting passages, particularly a very elegant dispute between Punch and another great Orator (Henley ?); Punch's Family Lecture, or Joan's Chimes on her tongue to some tune. No Wires-all alive! With entertainments of Dancing by Monsieur St. Lucc, and others.'
I'At the London Spaw (1754), during the accustomed time of the Welsh Fair, will be the usual entertainment of Roast Pork, with the famed sofi.flavoured Spaw Ale, and every other liquor of the neatest and best kinds, agreeable entertain. ments, and inviting usage from the Publick's most obedient servant, George Dow. dell.'
Talking of Welsh Fairs, reminds us of a Dutch Fair that was held at Frogmore in the year 1795. when a grand fête was given by King George the Third in celebration of his Queen's birth-day, and the recent arrival of the Princess of Wales. A number of dancers were dressed as haymakers ; Mr. Byrne and luis company danced the Morris-dance; and Savoyards, in character, assisted at the merriments. Fcais of horsemanship were exhibited by professors from the Circus ; and booths erected, with signs on the outside, for good eating and drinking within, and the sale of toys, work. bags, pocket-books, and fancy articles. Munden, Rock, and Incledon diverted the company with their mirth and music; and Majesty participated in the
and new walnuts!) Harley-Bush, and Barnet, are as yet unsuppress. ed; but the demons of mischief—[the English populace (their Ma. jesty the Many!) are notorious for this barbarity)-have totally destroyed the magnificent oak, the growth of ages, that made Fairlop Fair* the favourite rendezvous of the better sort of holiday folks, who could afford a tandem, tax-cart, or Tim-whisky. How often have we sat, and pirouetted too, under its venerable shade!
May Fair, (which began on May-day,) during the early part of the last century, was much patronised by the nobility and gentry. It had, nevertheless, its Ducking Pond for the ruder class of holiday makers.t 'In a fore one-pair room, on the west side of Sun.court, a Frenchman exhibited, during the time of May Fair, the astonishing strength of the “ Strong Woman,"I his wife.' Though short, she was
general joy. The Royal Dutch Fair lasted two days, and was under the tasteful di. rection of the Princess Elizabeth.
By an act passed 3d of 2d Victoria, (not Victoria for the Fair !) it was render. ed unlawful to hold Fairlop Fair beyond the first Friday (* Friday's a dry day!') in July. This was the handiwork of the Barking Magistrates.
. And when I walk abroad let no dog bark !' June 25, 1748.-At May Fair Ducking Pond, on Monday next, the 27th inst., Mr. Hooton's dog Nero (a poor old dog ten years old, hardly a tooth in his head tu bold a duck, but well known for his goodness to all that have seen him hunt) hunts sis ducks for a guinea, against the bitch called the Flying Spaniel, from the Duck. ing Pond the other side of the water, who has beat all she has hunted against, exceptiog Mr. Huotoo's Good-Blood. To begin at two o'clock.
: Mr. Hooton begs his customers won't take it amiss to pay twopence admittance at the gate, and take a ticket, which will be allowed as cash in their reckoning. And no person admitted without a ticket, that such as are not liked may be kept out. · Note. Right Lincoln Ale.
• But poor old toothless Nero, with his art and skill,
We hope will beat the Flying Bitch against her will!' Apropos of other mirthful rendezvous,
• A new Ducking Pond to be opened on Monday next at Limehouse Cause, being the 11th August, where four dogs are to play for Four Pounds, and a lamb to be roasted whole, to be given away to all gentlemen sportsmen: and several other matches more that day. To begin at ten o'clock in the forenoon.'-Postman, 7th August, 1707.
Erith Diversion, 24th May, 1790.- This is to acquaint the public, that on Whit. Monday, and during the holidays, the undermentioned diversions will take place. First, a new Hat to be run for by men; a fine Ham to be played for at Trap.ball; a pair of new Pumps to be jumped for in a sack; a large Plum.pudding to be sung for; a Guinea to be cudgelled for—with smoking, grinning through a collar, with many other diversions, too tedious to mention.
N. B. A Ball in the evening, as usual.
But what are the hopes of man! A cruel press.gang (this is the freedom of tho press with a vengeance! this the boasted monarchy of the middle classes !) intor. rupted and put an end to these water-side sports.
If the following Kentish gentleman ever lost his appetite, the finder of it must have been ruined. Kent has long been renowned for strong muscles and strong stomachs!
* Bromley in Kent, July 14, 1726.-A strange eating worthy is to perform a Tryal of Skill on St. James's day, which is the day of our Fair, for a wager of five guincas -viz.; he is to eat four pounds of bacon, a bushel of French beans, with two pounds of butter, a quartern loaf, and to drink a gallon of strong beer!' The old proverb of buttering bacon' here receives farinaceous illustration.
This was probably Mrs. Alchorne, who had exhibited as the Strong Woman,' and died in Drury-Lane in 1817, at a very advanced age. Madame also performed at Bartholomew Fair, 1752.