Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

Cokes replies, “ No matter for the price; should chance to be cut in my presence, thou dost not know me I see, I am an now; I may be blameless though ; as by odd Bartholmew." The ballad has the sequel will more plainly appear.'

pictures," and Nightingale tells him, He adds, it is “ to the tune of Pagging" It was intended, sir, as if a purse ton's Pound,' sir," and he finally sings

A Cabeat against Cut-purses.

My masters, and friends, and good people draw near,
And look to your purses, for that I do say;
And though little money, in them you do bear,
It cost more to get, than to lose in a day,

You oft' have been told,
Both the young

and the old,
And bidden beware of the cut-purse so bold :
Then if you take heed not, free me from the curse,
Who both give you warning, for, and the cut-purse,
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
It hath been upbraided to men of my trade,
That oftentimes we are the cause of this crime :
Alack, and for pity, why should it be said ?
As if they regarded or places, or time.

Examples have been

Of some that were seen
In Westminster-hall, yea, the pleaders between ;
Then why should the judges be free from this curse
More than my poor self, for cutting the purse ?
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
At Worc'ter 'tis known well, and even i' the jail,
A knight of good worship did there shew his face
Agains the foul sinners in zeal for to rail,
And lost, ipso facto, his purse in the place,

Nay, once from the seat

Of judgment so great,
A judge there did lose a fair pouch of velvet;
0, Lord for thy mercy, how wicked, or worse,
Are those that so venture their necks for a purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for stealing a purse.
At plays, and at sermons, and at the sessions,
"Tis daily their practice such booty to make;
Yea, under the gallows, at executions,
They stick not the stare-abouts' purses to take.

Nay, one without grace,

At a better place,
At court, and in Christmas, before the king's face,
Alack! then, for pity, must I bear the curse,
That only belongs to the cunning cut-purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for stealing a purse,
But O, you vile nation of cut-purses all,
Relent, and repent, and amend, and be sound,

And know that you ought not by honest men's fall,
Advance your own fortunes to die above ground.

And though you go gay

In silks as you may,
It is not the highway to heaven (as they say.)
Repent then, repent you, for better, for worse ;
And kiss not the gallows for cutting a purse.
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.

While Nightingale sings this ballad, a salem was a stately thing; and so was fellow tickles Cokes's ear with a straw, to Nineveh and The City of Norwich, and make him withdraw his hand from his Sodom and Gomorrah; with the Rising pocket, and privately robs him of his o' the Prentices, and pulling down the purse, which, at the end of the song, he houses there upon Shrove-Tuesday; but secretly conveys to the ballad-singer; who, the Gunpowder Plot, there was a get-pennotwithstanding his “ Caveat against ny! I have presented that to an eighteen Cut-purses,” is their principal confede- or twenty pence audience nine times in rate, and, in that quality, becomes the un an afternoon. Look to your gathering suspected depository of the plunder. there, good master Filcher—and when

Littlewit tells his wife, Win, of the there come any gentlefolks take twopence great hog, and of a bull with five legs, in a-piece.” He has a bill of his motion the Fair. Zeal-of-the-land loudly declaims which reads thus : “The Ancient Moagainst the Fair, and against Trash's dern History of Hero and Leander, othercommodities :-" Hence with thy basket wise called, the Touchstone of True Love, of popery, thy nest of images, and whole with as true a Trial of Friendship be legend of ginger-work.” He rails against tween Damon and Pythias, two faithful “the prophane pipes, the tinkling tim- Friends o' the Bank-side." This was the brels;" and Adam Overdoo, a reforming motion written by Littlewit. Cokes arjustice of peace, one of the court of rives, and inquires, “What do we pay Pie-powders," who wears a disguise for for coming in, fellow ?" Filcher answers, the better observation of disorder, gets Twopence, sir." into the stocks himself. Then “a west “ Cokes. What manner of matter is ern man, that's come to wrestle before this, Mr. Littlewit? What kind of actors my lord mayor anon," gets drunk, and is ha' you? are they good actors ? cried by “the clerk o' the market all the “ Littlewit. Pretty youths, sir, all Fair over here, for my lord's service.” children both old and young, here's the Zeal-of-the-land Busy, too, is put with master of 'em, Master Lantern, that others into the stocks, and being asked, gives light to the business. “ what are you, sir ?" he answers,

Cokes. In good time, sir, I would that rejoiceth in his affliction, and sitteth fain see 'em; I would be glad to drink here to prophesy the destruction of fairs with the young company; which is the and may-games, wakes and whitsun-ales, tiring-house? and doth sigh and groan for the reforma Leatherhead. Troth, sir, our tiringtion of these abuses.” During a scuffle, house is somewhat little; we are but bethe keepers of the stocks leave them ginners yet, pray pardon us; you cannot open, and those who are confined with- go upright in't. draw their legs and walk away.

Cokes. No? not now my hat is off! From a speech by Leatherhead, prepa- what would you have done with me, if ratory to exhibiting his “motion, or you had had me feather and all, as I was puppet-show, we become acquainted with once to-day? Ha' you none of your the subjects, and the manner of the per- pretty impudent boys now, to bring formance. He says, “Out with the sign stools, fill tobacco, fetch ale, and beg of our invention, in the name of wit; all money, as they have at other houses? the fowl i' the Fair, I mean all the dirt in let me see some o' your actors. Smithfield, will be thrown at our banner “ Littlewit. Shew him 'em, shew him to-day, if the matter does not please the 'em. Master Lantern; this is a gentlepeople. 0! the motions that I, Lanthorn man that is a favourer of the quality. Leatherhead, have given light to, i' my (Leatherhead brings the puppets out time, since my master, Pod, died í Jerú. in a basket.]

« One

Cokes. What! do they live in bas- every man to oppose the last man that kets?

spoke, whether it concerned him or no. “ Leatherhead. They do lie in a bas. The audience become impatient, and one ket, sir : they are o' the small players. calls out, “Do you hear puppet-master,

Cokes. These be players' minor in- these are tedious vapours; when begin deed. Do you call these play;rs ? you ?" Filcher, Leatherhead's man, with

Leatherhead. They are actors, sir, the other doorkeepers, continue to and as good as any, none dispraised, for bawl, “ Twopence a-piece, sir; the best dumb shows: Indeed I am the mouth of motion in the Fair.” Meanwhile the com'em all.—This is he that acts young Le- pany talk, and one relates that he has alander, sir; and this is lovely Hero ; this, ready seen in the Fair, the eagle; the black with the beard, Damon; and this, pretty wolf'; the bull with five legs, which "was Pythias: this is the ghost of king Dio- a calf at Uxbridge Fair two years agone;" nysius, in the habit of a scrivener: as you the dogs that dance the morrice; and shall see anon, at large.

“ the hare o' the taber." “ Cokes. But do you play it according to the printed book? I have read that. Ben Jonson's mention of the bare that « Leatherhead. By no means, sir.

beat the tabor at Bartholomew Fair in “ Cokes. No? How then ?

his time, is noticed by the indefatigable « Leatherhead. A better way, sir ; and accurate Strutt; who gives the folthat is too learned and poetical for our lowing representation of the feat itself, audience: what do they know what Hel. which he affirms, when he copied it from lespont is? guilty of true love's blood ? a drawing in the Harleian collection, or what Abydos is? or the other Sestos (6563,) to have been upwards of fourheight?—No; I have entreated master. hundred years old. Littlewit to take a little pains to reduce it to a more familiar strain for our people.

Littlewit. I have only made it a little easy and modern for the times, sir, that's all: as for the Hellespont, I imagine our Thames here; and then Leander, I make a dyer's son about Puddlewharf; and Hero, a wench o' the Bankside, who going over one morning to Old Fish-street, Leander spies her land at Trig's-stairs, and falls in love with her : now do I introduce Cupid, having metamorphosed himself into a drawer, and he strikes Hero in love with a pint of sherry.” While “Cokes is handling

the puppets” the doorkeepers call out “Twopence apiece, gentlemen; an excellent motion." Other visitors enter and take their seats,

Hare and Tabor. and Cokes, while waiting with some of his acquaintance, employs the time at the For an idea of Leatherhead's motion “ game of vapours, which is nonsense; take as follows: it commences thus :

Leatherhead.
Gentiles, that no longer your expectations may wander,
Behold our chief actor, amorous Leander;
With a great deal of cloth, lapp'd about him like a scarf,
For he yet serves his father, a dyer at Puddle-wharf.
Which place we'll make bold with to call it our Abidus,
As the Bank-side is our Sestos ; and let it not be denied us
Now as he is beating, to make the dye take the fuller,
Who chances to come by, but fair Hero in a sculler;
And seeing Leander's naked leg, and goodly calf,
Cast at him from the boat a sheep's eye and an half,
Now she is landed, and the sculler come back,

By and by you shall see what Leander doth lack.
No. 39.

Puppet Leander. Cole, Cole, old Cole.
Leatherhead. That is the sculler's name without controul.
Pup. Leander. Cole, Cole, I say, Cole.
Leatherhead. We do hear you.
Pup. Leander. Old Cole.
Leatherhead. Old Cole? is the dyer turn'd collier ?
Pup. Leander. Why Cole, I say, Cole.
Leatherhead. It's the sculler you need,
Pup. Leander. Aye, and be hang'd.
Leatherhead. Be hang'd ! look you yonder,'
Old Cole, you must go hang with master Leander.

Puppet Cole. Where is he?
Puppet Leander. Here Cole. What fairest of fairs
Was that fare that thou landest but now at Trig's-stairs ?

Puppet Cole. It is lovely Hero.
Puppet Leander. Nero?
Puppet Cole. No, Hero:

Leatherhead. It is Hero
Of the Bank-side, he saith, to tell you truth, without erring,
Is come over into Fish-street to eat some fresh herring.
Leander says no more but as fast as he can,
Gets on all his best clothes, and will after to the swan.

In this way Leatherhead proceeds with female, and the female of the male.” The his motion ; he relates part of the story puppet Dionysius triumphantly replies, himself, in a ribald manner, and making T. You lie, you lie, you lie abominably. the puppets quarrel, “the puppet Cole It's your old stale argument against the strikes him over the pate.” He performs players ; but it will not hold against the Damon and Pythias in the same way, and puppets : for we have neither male por renders the "gallimaufry" more ridiculous, fernale amongst us.", Upon this point, by a battle between the puppets in Hero which persons versed in dramatic history and Leander, and those of Damon and are familiar with, Zeal-of-the-land says, Pythias. Zeal-of-the-land Busy inter- “I am confuted, the cause hath failed feres with the puppet Dionysius, who had me-I am changed, and will become a been raised up by Leatherhead

beholder." “Not like a monarch but the master of a school,

These selections which are here careIn a scrivener's furr'd gown

fully brought together may, so far as they which shows he is no fool ;

extend, be regarded as a picture of BarFor, therein he hath wit enough

tholomew Fair in 1614, when Jonson to keep himself warm :

wrote his comedy for representation beO Damon! he cries,

fore king James 1. We learn too from and Pythias what harm

this play that there was a tooth-drawer, Hath poor Dionysius done you

and “a jugler with a well educated ape,

to come over the chain for the king of That after his death, you should

England, and back again for the prince, fall out thus and rave," &c. and to sit still on his hind quarters for Zeal-of-the-land contends that Diony, the pope and the king of Spain;" that sius hath not a “lawful calling.” That there was a whipping-post in the Fair, puppet retorts by saying he hath ; and in- and that Smithfield was dirty and stinkquires—“What say you to the feather ma- ing. Beside particulars, which a mere kers i’ the Fryers, with their peruques and historiographer of the scene would have their puffs, their fans and their huffs ? recorded, there are some that are essenwhat say you? Is a bugle-maker a lawful tially, illustrative of popular manners, calling? or the confect-makers? such as

which no other than an imaginative mind you have there ? or your French fashioner? would have seized, and only a poet Is a puppet worse than these ?"

penned. Whereto Zeal-of-the-land answers_“Yes, A little digression may be requisite in and my main argument against you is, explanation of the term arsedine, used that you are an abomination ; for the male by Trash to Leatherhead in Jonson's among you putteth on the apparel of the play; the denomination costermonger ;

in liis grave,

the tune Paggington's-pound; and the Pico Holme, in his heraldic language, says pouldres, or Pie Powder Court.

of this representation, “He beareth gules, Arsediné.

a man passant, his shirt or shift turned up This is also called arsadine, and some to his shoulder, breeches and hose azure, times orsden, and is said to be a colour. cap and shoes sable, bearing on his back Mr. Archdeacon Nares says, that ac

a bread basket full of fruits and herbs, and cording to Mr. Lysons, in his « Environs a staff in his left hand, or. This may be of London," and Mr. Gifford in his note termed either a huxter or a gardiner, hava on this passage, it means orpiment or ing his fruits and herbs on his back from yellow arsenic. The Archdeacon in give the market. This was a fit crest for the ing these two authorities, calls the word company of Fruiterers or Huxters." a vulgar corruption" of '“ arsenic :" but This man is a costard-monger in Mr. arsenic yields red, as well as yellow orpia Archdeacon Nares's view of the term; for ment, and both these colours are used in doubtless the huckster pitched his load in the getting up of shows. Possibly it is the market and sold it there; yet Holme an Anglo-Saxon word for certain pig- does not give him that denomination, as ments, obtained from minerals and metals: he would have done if he had so regarded the ore ore or ora is pure Saxon, and him; he merely calls him “ the hutler or pluralizes ores ; to die in the sense of huxter.dying, or colouring, is derived from the Şaxon deay or deah. The conjecture may

Packington's Pound. be worth a thought perhaps, for dramatic

Concerning the air of this old song, exhibitions were in use when the Anglo- consulted. The tune may also be found

“ Hawkins's History of Music" "may be Saxon was used. Costermonger.

in the “Beggar's Opera," adapted to the This is a corruption of costard-monger;

words—“The gamesters united in friendBen Jonson uses it both ways, and it is ship are found." * noticed of his costermonger by Mr. Archdeacon Nares, that “he cries only pears.

Court of Pie Powder. That gentleman rightly defines a costard

This is the lowest, and at the same monger, or coster-monger, to be " a seller time the most expeditious, court of justice of apples ;" he adds,“ one generally who known to the law of England. It is a kept a stall.” He says of costard, that, court of record incident to every fair and "as a species of apple, it is enumerated market; its jurisdiction extends to adwith others, but it must have been a very minister justice for all commercial injuries common sort, as it gave a name to the done in that very fair or market, and not dealers in apples.” In this supposition in any preceding one; and to every fair Mr. Nares is correct; for it was not only and market, the steward of_him who a very common sort, but perhaps, after owns the toll is the judge. The injury, the crab, it was our oldest sort: there therefore, must be done, complained of, were three kinds of it, the white, red, and and redressed, within the compass of one grey costard. That the costard-monger, and the same day, unless the fair con. according to Mr. Nares, generally kept a

tinues longer. It has cognizance of all stall;" " and that they were general fruit matters of contract that can possibly arise sellers,” he unluckily has not corrobo- within the precinct of that fair or market; rated by an authority; although from his and the plaintiff must make oath that constant desire to be accurate, and his the cause of an action arose there. This general accuracy, the assertions are to be court seems to have arisen from the regarded with respect. Randle Holme necessity of doing justice expeditiously, gives this figure of

among persons resorting from distant places to a fair or market, without seaving them to the remedy of an inferior court, which might not be able to serve its process, or execute its judgments on both, or perhaps either of the parties; and therefore without such a court as this, the complaint must necessarily have resorted to, in the first instance, some superior judicature. It is said to be called the

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

A Hucter.

4 Mrr Nares's Glossatys

« IndietroContinua »