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The restoration of King Charles II. threw England into a transport of joy. Falstaff had not more his bellyfull of Ford, than had the nation of Jack Presbyter.* Merry bells, roasted rumps, the roar of cannon, the crackling of bonfires, and the long-continued shouts of popular ecstasy proclaimed his downfall; the Maypole was crowned with the garlands of spring; in the temples devoted to Thalia and Melpomenet were again heard the divine inspirations of the dramatic muse; the light fantastic toe tripped it nimbly to the sound of the pipe and tabor, and St. Bartholomew, his rope-dancers, and trumpeters, were all alive and merry at the fair.
The austere reign of the cold and selfish William of Nassau diminished nothing of its jollity. Thomas Cotterell from the King's Arms Tavern, Little Lincoln's Fields,' kept the King's Arms Musick Booth, in Smithfield; and one Martin transferred his sign of 'The Star' from Moorfields to the Rounds. At this time flourished a triumvirate of Bartlemy heroes too remarkable to be passed lightly over, Mat Coppinger, Joe Haynes and Thomas Dogget.
The ludicrous pranks, cheats, merry conceits, and disguises of Coppinger, are recorded in an unique tract of considerable freedom and fun. His famous part was the cookmaid in Whittington,' a Bartholomew Fair droll. The last September of his life he acted a judge there, little dreaming that in the ensuing February he should be brought before one (for stealing a watch and seven pounds in money,) and sent on a pilgrimage to Tyburn-tree! He was a poet, and wrote a volume of adulatory verses, calculated for the meridian of the times in which he lived. The following is the comical trick he put upon a countryman in Bartholomew Fair.
The company, (i. e. strolling players) finding the country too warm for them, came with our sparks to town, in expectation of recruiting their finances by the folly of such as should resort to Bar
'Presbyter is but Jack Priest writ large.'-MILTON.
In The Lord Henry Cromwell's speech to the House, 1658,' he is made to say: Methinks I hear 'em (the Players) already crying, thirty years hence at Bartholo mew Fair. Step in, and see the Life and Death of brave Cromwell. Methinks I see him with a velvet cragg about his shoulders, and a little pasteboard hat on his head, riding a tittup to his Parliament House, and a man with a bay leaf in his mouth, crying in his behalf, " By the living G- I will dissolve you!" which makes the porters cry, "O, brave Englishman!" Then the devil carries him away in a tempest, which makes the nurses squeak, and the children cry.'
t The Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and Sir John Falstaff of Betterton.
In the Loyal Protestant, Sept. 8, 1682, is an advertisement forbidding all keepers of shows, &c. to make use of drums, trumpets, &c., without license from the Serjeant and Comptroller of His Majesty's trumpets. And there is a notice in the London Gazette, Dec. 7, 1685, commanding all 'Rope Dancers, Prize Players, Strollers, and other persons shewing motions and other sights,' to have licences from Charles Killigrew, Esq. Master of the Revels.
An Account of the Life, Conversation, Birth, Education, Pranks, Projects. Exploits, and Merry Conceits of the Famously Notorious Mat. Coppinger, once a Player in Bartholomew Fair, and since turned bully of the town; who, receiving sentence of death at the Old Bailey on the 23d of February, was executed at Tyburn on the 27th, 1695. London, Printed for T. Hobs, 1695.'
Poems, Songs, and Love-Verses upon several subjects. By Matthew Coppinger, Gent. 1682. Dedicated to the Duchess Portsmouth; of whom, amongst an hundred extravagant things, he says,
'You are the darling of my King, his pleasure,
tholomew Fair. Upon the credit of which they took a lodging in Smithfield, and made shift to get up a small booth to show juggling tricks in, the art of hocus-pocus, and pounder-le-pimp. The score being deep on all hands, the people clamouring for money, and customers coming but slowly they consulted how to rub off, and give their creditors the bag to hold. To this Coppinger dissented, saying he would find out the way to mend this dulness of trading; and he soon effected it by a lucky chance. A country fellow, on his return from Newgate-market on horseback, resolving to have a gape at Jack Pudding, sat gazing, with his mouth at half-cock; and, so intent was he, that his senses seemed to be gone wool-gathering. Coppinger, whispering some of his companions, they stept to Tom Noddie's' horse, one of them ungirthing him, and taking off the bridle, the reins of which the fellow held in his hand, they bore him on the pack-saddle on each side, and led the horse sheer from under him; whilst another with counterfeit horns, and a vizard, put his head out of the head-stall and kept nodding forwards, so that Ninny' verily supposed, by the tugging of the reins, that he was still on cock-horse! The signal being given, they let him squash to the ground, pack-saddle and all; when, terrified at the sight of the supposed devil he had got in a string, and concluding Hocus Pocus had conjured his horse into that antic figure, he scrambled up, and betaking him to his heels back into the country, frightened his neighbours with dismal stories that Dr. Faustus and Friar Bacon were alive again, and transforming horses into devils in Bartholomew Fair! The tale, gathering as it spread, into many monstrous things, caused the booth to be thronged during the fair; which piece of good-luck was solely attributable to Coppinger's ingenuity.
Plain Joe Haynes, the learned Doctor Haynes, or the dignified Count Haynes, for by these several titles he was honourably distinguished, was the hero of a variety of vagabondical adventures both at home and abroad. He is the first comedian who rode an ass upon
* Wood's Athena, Oxon, ii, p. 976. Joseph Haynes, or Heynes, matriculated as a servitor of Queen's College, 3d May, 1689. Mr. Ja. Tirrel saith he is a great actor and maker of plays; but I find him not either in Langbaine or Term Cat.' Old Anthony, like 'good old Homer,' sometimes nods. Haynes had been upon the stage many years before, and was too profligate to be admitted of the university at that period.
In the memoir of Joe Haynes, in the Lives of the Gamesters, he is said to have died in the beginning of the year 1700, aged 53. This is a mistake.
He was married, as appears from the following lines in the prologue to 'The Injured Lovers.'
'Joe Haynes's fate is now become my share,
Downes says he was one of those who came not into the company untill after they had begun in Drury Lane.' Drury Lane first opened on 8th April, 1663.
He wrote and spoke a variety of prologues and epilogues, particularly the epilogue to the Unhappy Kindness, or Fruitless Revenge,' in the habit of a horse-officer, mounted on an ass, in 1697. In after times his example was imitated by Shuter, Liston, and Wilkinson.
His principal characters were, Syringe, in the Relapse: Roger, in Æsop: Sparkish, in the Country Wife; Lord Plansible, in the Plain Dealer; Pamphlet and Rigadoon, in Love and a Bottle; Tom Errand, in the Constant Couple; Mad Parson, in the Pilgrim; Benito, in the Assignation; Noll Bluff, in the Old Bachelor; Rumour, in a Plot and No Plot, (to which, in 1697, he spoke the prologue); and Jamy, in Sawney the Scot.
the stage. He acted the mountebank, Waltho Van Clatterbank, High German, chemical, wonder-working doctor and dentificator, and spoke his famous 'Horse-doctor's harangue' to the mob. He challenged a celebrated quack called 'The Unborn Doctor, at the town of Hertford, on a market-day, to have a trial of skill with him. Being both mounted on the public stage, and surrounded on all sides by a numerous auditory eager to hear this learned dispute, Joe desired that each might stand upon a joint stool. a joint stool. 'Gentlemen,' said Joe, 'I thank you for your good company, and hope soon to prove how grossly you have been deceived by this arch-impostor. I come hither neither to get a name, nor an estate: the first, by many miraculous cures performed in Italy, Spain, Holland, France, and England, per totum terrarum orbem, has long been established. As to the latter, those Emperors, Kings, and foreign potentates, whom I have snatched from the gaping jaws of death, whose image I have the honour to wear (showing several medals,) have sufficiently rewarded me. Besides, I am the seventh son of a seventh son; so were my father and grandfather. To convince you, therefore, that what I affirm is truth, I prognosticate some heavy judgment will fall on the head of that impudent quack. May the charlatan tumble ingloriously, while the true doctor remains unhurt! At which words, Haynes's Merry-Andrew, who was underneath the stage, with a cord fast to B's stool, just as B-was going to stutter out a reply, pulled the stool from under him, and down he came; which, passing for a miracle, Joe was borne home to his lodging in triumph, and B- hooted out of the town.*
Some of Doctor Haynes's miraculous mock cures were the Duchess of Boromolpho of a cramp in her tongue; the Count de Rodomontado of a bilious passion, after a surfeit of buttered parsnips; and Duke Philorix of a dropsy-of which he died! He invites his patients to the 'Sign of the Prancers, in vico vulgo dicto, Rattlecliffero, something south-east of Templum Danicum in the Square of Profound-Close, not far from TitterTatter-Fair!'
He was a good-looking fellow, of singular accomplishments, and in great request among the ladies. 'With the agreeableness of my mien, the gaiety of my conversation, and the gallantry of my dancing, I charmed the fair sex wherever I came. Signor Giuseppe," (he was now Count Haynes!) says one, "when will you help me to string my lute?" 'Signor Giuseppe," says another, "shall we see you at night in the grotto behind the Duke's palace?" "Signor Giu
The life of the late Famous Comedian, Jo. Haynes. Containing his comical exploits and adventures, both at home and abroad. London. Printed for J. Nutt, near Stationer's-Hall, 1701.'
The Reasons of Mr. Joseph Hains, the Player's Conversion and Reconver sion. Being the Third and Last Part to the dialogue of Mr. Bays. London: Printed for Richard Baldwin, near the Black Bull in the Old-Baily, 1690.' This tract is intended as a skit upon Dryden, whose easy conversion and re-conversion' are satirised in a very laughable manner. In 1689, Haynes spoke his 'Recantation Prologue upon his first appearance on the stage after his return from Rome,' in the character of a theatrical penitent!
John Davies ridicules the coxcombs of his day, that it engrossed the whole of their meal-times in talk of plays, and censuring of players.
'As good play as work for naught, some say,
seppe," says a third, "when will you teach me the last new song you made for the prince of Tuscany? and so, i'faith, they Guisepped me, till I had sworn at least to a dozen assignations.'
His waggery was amusing to all who were not the butts of it. He once kept a merchant that had a laced-band which reached from shoulder to shoulder, two good hours in a coffee-house near the Exchange, while he explained the meaning of chevaux de frize. The wide-gaping citizen telling him there were horses in Frize-land that were bullet-proof! At another time he parleyed with a grocer a full quarter of an hour in the street, inquiring which was the nearest way from Fleet street to the Sun Tavern in Piccadilly; whether down the Strand, and so by Charing Cross; or through Lincoln's Inn Fields and Covent Garden? though the simpleton declared his spouse sent him post-haste for a doctor, and-for all that Joe knew, -made him lose an heir-apparent to 'some dozen pounds of raisins, as many silver apostle spoons, Stow's London, and Speed's Chro
His astonished father-confessor, while listening to his sham catalogue of frightful enormities, looked as death-like as a frolicsome party of indigo porters in a dark cellar, by the melancholy light of burnt brandy! For,' said the penitent wag, last Wednesday I stole a consecrated bell from one of St. Anthony's holy pigs, and coined it into copper farthings! Such a day I pinned a fox's tail on a monk's cowl; and passing by an old gentlewoman sitting in her elbow-chair by the door, reading The Spiritual Carduus-posset for a Sinner's Belly-Ache," (this, saving our noble comedian's presence, is more after the fashion of Rabby Busy, than Friar Peter!) 'I abstracted her spectacles from off her venerable purple nose, and converted them to the profane use of lighting my tobacco by the sunshine.'
Hark!' said Mr. Bosky, as a voice of cock-crowing cachinnation sounded merrily under his window, 'there is my St. Bartholomy-tide chorister. For twenty years and more has Nester Nightingale proclaimed the joyous anniversary with a new song." And having thrown up the sash, he threw down his accustomed gratuity, and was rewarded with
THE INQUISITIVE FARMER, OR HARLEQUIN HANGMAN.
Harlequin, taking a journey to Bath,
Put up at an inn with his dagger of lath.
He supp'd like a lord,-on a pillow of down
He slept like a king, and he snored like a clown.
Boniface said, as he popp'd in his head,
In that little crib by the side of your bed,
The farmer began, as in clover he lay,
He reckon'd his herds, and his flocks, and his fleece,
'To the fair do you carry a pack, or a hunch?
Poor Harlequin, fretting, lay silent and still,
'I'm the hangman,' said Harlequin, sir, of the town;
The talkative farmer jump'd up in a fright-
Boniface listen'd, bolt upright in bed,
To the cock-and-bull story of hangman and head;
Loud laugh'd the landlord at Harlequin's trick.
'Bravo, Nestor!' said the Laureat of Little Britain; 'Norah Noclack (as the taciturn old lady has grown musical), will draw thee a cup of ale for thy ditty, and make thee free of the buttery.'