A Description of a QuakersMembers of a Protestant sect that moved away from the established Church of England in the seventeenth century. Tavern in Finch-Lane. the Quakers Method of Drinking. A Song. A Character of the Vintner. The Spy and his Friend go to the Angel in Fanchurch-street; from whence they were Committed to the Poultry Counter; which the Spy Describes. Their Examination before a Justice. A Poetical Curse on the Constable. Remarks on Bow-Church Steeple. The Giants in Guild-Hall. The Sheriffs Court. The Court of Conscience, The Pictures of the Judges. On an Old Man with a great Nose. A Man that goes half Naked. Upon one in St. Pauls Church-Yard.
BEING now well tired with the days Fatigue, our thirsty Veins and drooping Spirits call’d for the assistance of a Cordial Flask. In order to gratifie our craving Appetites with this Refreshment, we stood a while debating what Tavern we should chuse to enrich our Minds with unadulterated Juice. My Friend recollected a little Sanctified Aminadab in Finch-Lane, whose Purple Nectar had acquir’d a Singular Reputation amongst the Staggering Zealots of the Sober Fraternity, who are allow’d of late to be as good Judges of the Comfortable Creature, as a ProtestantSomeone following the western non-Catholic Christian belief systems inspired by the Protestant Reformation. Priest, or a Latitudinarian Fuddle-cap, who (as Rooks play) drink Wine on Sundays.
To this Salutiferous Fountain of Nature’s choicest Juleps, our inclinations led us, tho’ we knew the little Ruler of the Mansion intended it chiefly for Watering the Lambs of Grace, and not to succour the Evil off-spring of a Reprobate Generation.
When we had entred our Land of Promise, which overflow’d with more Healthful Riches than either Milk or Honey, we found all things were as silent as the Mourning Attendants at a Rich Mans Funeral; no ringing of Bar-Bell, bawling of Drawers, or ratling of Pot-lids; But a general hush ordered to be kept thro’ the whole Family, as a warning to all Tiplers at their entrance, how they make a Noise to awake the Spirit, lest it move the Masters and Drawers to stand still when you call ’em; and refuse to draw you any more Wine, for fear the inward Man should break out into open disorder.
In the Entry we met two or three blushing Saints, who had been holding forth so long over the Glass, that had it not been for their flapping Umbrella’s, Puritanical Coats, and diminutive Cravats, shap’d like the Rose of a Parsons Hat-band, I should have taken them by their Scarlet Faces, to be good Christians. They pass’d by us as upright and as stiff, as so many Figures in a Raree-show; as if a touch of the Hat, had been committing of Sacriledge; or Ceremonious Nod, a rank Idolatry.
A Drunken-look’d Drawer, disguis’d in a Sober-Garb, like a Wolf in Sheeps Cloathing, or the Devil in a Fryars Habit, shew’d us into the Kitchen, where we told him we were desirous of being, as Crickets covet Ovens, for the sake of their warmth: Several of Father Ramseys slouching Disciples sat hovering over their Half-pints, like so many Coy Gossips over their Quarterns of Brandy, as if they were afraid any body should see ’em; they cast as many froward looks upon us Swords-men, as so many Misers would be apt to do upon a couple of spunging Acquaintance; as if they took us for some of the wild Irish, that should have Cut their Throats in the beginning of the Revolution.
However we bid our selves Welcome into their Company; and were forc’d, for want of Room, the Kitchen being well fill’d, to mix higgle-de piggle-de, as the Rooks among the Crows upon the Battlements of a Church-Steeple: They Leering at us under their Bongrace with as much contempt as so many Primitive Christians at a couple of Pagans.
We, like true Protestants Topers, scorning the Hypocrisie of Tipling by half Pints, as if we drank rather to wash away our Sins than our Sorrows, appear’d bare-fac’d, call’d for a Quart at once, and soon discover’d our Religion by our Drinking; whilst they, like true Puritans, gifted with abundance of holy Cheats, will never be Catch’d over more than half a Pint, tho’ they’ll drink Twenty at a Sitting.
The Wine prov’d extraordinary, which indeed was no more than we expected, when we found our selves surrounded with so many Spiritual Mum-chances, whose Religious Looks shew them to be true Lovers of what the Righteous are too apt to esteem as the chiefest Blessing of ProvidenceGod or another spiritual entity's protective care and direction..
We had not sat long, observing the Humours of the drowthy Saints about us, but several amongst them began to look as chearful, as if they had drown’d the terrible apprehensions of Futurity, and thought no more of Damnation, than a Whore of a Twelvemonths standing.
The Drawer now was constantly imploy’d in replenishing their Scanty Measures; for once warm’d they began to drink so fast, ’twas the Business of one Servant to keep them doing. Notwithstanding their great aversion to external Ceremony, one pluck’d off his Hat, and ask’d his next Neighbour, What do’st think Friend, this cost me? But before thou tellest me, let me Drink; and I hope thou understand’st my meaning. This I suppose was the Canting Method of paying more than ordinary Veneration to some peculiar thoughts; which, by this Stratagem, was render’d Intelligible to each other: For I took Notice this Allegorical method of drinking some obliging Health was observ’d thro’ the whole Society, with reverence of uncover’d Heads, under a crafty pretence of examining into the price of each others Hats; and when they were desirous to Elevate their Lethargick Spirits with the circulation of a Bumper, one fills it, and offers the prevailing Temptation to his left Hand Companion, in these words, saying, Friend, does the Spirit move thee to receive the good Creature thus plentifully? The other replies, Yea, do thou take and enjoy the fruits of thy own Labour, and by the help of Grace I will drink another as full. Thus did the liquorish Saints quaff it about as merrily, after their precise Canting manner, as so many Countrey Parsons over a Tub of Ale, when freed from the remarks of their censorious Parishoners; till, like reprobate Sinners, who have not the fear of Providence before their Eyes, they were deluded by Satan into a Wicked State of Drunkenness.
By this time the subtile Spirits of the Noble Juice had given us a fresh motion to the Wheels of Life, and Corroborated those springs which impart Vigour and Activity to the whole Engine of Mortality; and my Friend must needs be so froliksome to Tune his Pipes, and entertain us with a Song; in order to try whether those who were deaf to Reason and good Manners, had any Ears towards Musick with their Wine, which are usually held to be such inseparable Companions, that the true Relish of the one, can never be Enjoy’d without the Assistance of the other: And because the words happen’d in some measure applicable to that present Juncture, I have thought it not amiss to insert ’em.
WHY should Christians be restrain’d
From the brisk enliv’ning Juice,
Heaven only has ordain’d
(Thro’ Love to Man) for humane use?
Should not Claret be deny’d
To the Turks, they’d Wiser grow;
Lay their Alchoran aside,
And soon believe as Christians do.
For Wine and Religion, like Musick and Wine,
As they are Good in themselves, do to Goodness incline;
And make both the Spirit and Flesh so divine,
That our Faces and Graces both equally shine:
Then still let the Bumper round Christendom pass,
For Paradice lost may be found in a Glass.
Just as my Friend had ended his Sonnet, in came the little Lord of the Tippling Tenement, about the height of a Nine-pin, with his Head in a Hat of such Capacious Dimensions, that his Body was as much drown’d under the disproportion’d Brims of this unconscionable Castor, as a Pigmy under the Umbrage of a Giants Bongrace, or a Mouse crept into a Close-stool-pan. He was button’d into a plain Vestment that touch’d no part of his Body but his Shoulders; his Coat being so large, and his Carcase so little, that it hung about him like a Maulkin upon a cross-stick in a Country Peas-field: His Arms hung dangling like a Mobs Taffy mounted upon a Red-herring on St. David’s-day, and his Legs so slender, they bid defiance to any Parish Stocks.
He waited a little while the motion of the Spirit; and when he had compos’d his Countenance, and put himself into a fit posture for Reproof, he breaks into this following Oration, Pray, Friend, forbear this Prophane hollowing and hooting in my House, the wicked Noise thou makest among my Sober Friends, is neither Pleasing to them nor me; and since I find the Wine is too powerful for thy Inward-man, I must needs tell thee, I will draw thee no more of it. I therefore desire thee to Pay for what thou hast had, and depart my House, for I do not like thy ways, nor does any Body here approve of thy Ranting doings.
We were not much surpris’d at this piece of Fanatical Civility, it being no more than we expected; but the manner of his Delivery, render’d his words so very diverting, that we could not forbear laughing him into so great a Passion, that the looks of the little Saint, discover’d as great a Devil in his Heart, as a Pious Disciple of his bigness could be well possess’d with: Then according to his Request, we paid our Reckoning, and left him in a Condition of Vinegar and Crabs Eyes, upon a great ferment.
From thence (pursuant to my Friends inclinations) we adjourn’d to the Sign of the Angel in Fenchurch-street, where the Vintner, like a double-dealing Citizen, condescended as well to draw Carmans Comfort, as the Consolatory Juice which Nature has bestow’d on more deserving Mortals. There my Friend had the good Fortune to meet some of his Acquaintance, with whom we Joyn’d, and made up, together, as pretty a Tippling-Society as ever were drawn into a Circumference, from the Noble Center of a Punch-Bowl; tho’ [our] Liquor was the Blood of the Grape, in which we found that delectable Sweetness, that so many thirsty Pigs round a Trough-ful of Ale-grounds, could not have exprest more satisfaction in their Grunts, than we did in our merry Songs and Catches.
Time now taking the Advantage of our carelessness, prun’d his Wings, and fled with such Celerity, that he had brought the Noon of Night upon our Backs before our Thoughts had measur’d out a sufficiency of the Noble Creature to our craving Appetites; and as we were contending with the drousie Master for the other Quart, who should come in and put an end to our Controversie but a Tall, Meagre Carrionly Cony-fumble, and with him his Crazy Crew of Cornigerous Halberteers, who look’d, together, like Judas and his Accomplices, or a parcel of Tom-T—d-Men with their long Poles coming to Gauge a Vault? When he had given us a fair Sight of his Painted Authority, which he stamp’d down upon the boards before him, with as much threatning Violence, as a Jack-Adams in a Musick-House, at the end of every strain, when dancing with a Quarter-staff; then, with as much Pride as a Loobily Mayor of a Country Corporation, he open’d his Mouth, like Balaam’s Ass, and thus Spake; Look you, d’ye see me, Gentlemen? ’Tis an unseasonable time of Night for People to be Tippling; every honest Man ought to have been in his Bed an hour or two ago. That’s true, said I, for no body ought to be up so late, but Constables and their Watches; at which some of the Company titter’d; which gave great offence to the Cholerick Conservator, who commanded us instantly to be gone, or he would commit us to the Counter. A Wine-Cooper in the Company, being well acquainted with this shred of Authority, us’d importunate Solicitations for the Liberty of drinking another Quart, saying, Pray, Mr. Constable, don’t be thus severe with us; ’twas but last Night you and I were drinking at a later hour together, I therefore hope you won’t deny us the Priviledge your self has so lately taken. This bitter Reflection, tost into the very Mouth of a Magistrate, had such an unsavory relish, that he could not swallow it; but commanded his Black-guard to take us to the Poultry-Counter; who presently fell on, like so many Foot-Pads, first secur’d our Weapons, and then led us along by the Elbows, in Triumph to the Rats-Castle, where we were forc’d to do Pennance till the next Morning, in Obedience to the Will of a Cucumber-Cormorant, a Taylor good Lord! At whom I had flung a Remnant of hard words, which made the Cross-leg’d Nitcracker more particularly my Enemy.
After we had pass’d thro’ a spacious Porch, where Knaves in a forenoon may be seen in Clusters as thick as Pick-Pockets round Tyburn at an Execution, or Beggars at a Hall Gate upon a Festival day, we came to a frightful Grate, more terrible than the Scene of Hell in Circe, where, after three knocks of Authority were given at the Gate, a single-headed Cerberus, in fur Cap, let fall a Chain, from the Back of a Barricado, that made a more terrible ratling in our Ears, than the Tongue of a Scold, or a Clap of Thunder: Then with a Key much bigger than St. Peters, in which there was enough Iron to have made a Porridge-Pot, and consisted of more Wards than are Parishes in the City, he open’d the Wicket of the Poor-Mans Purgatory, into which they thrust us, one upon the back of another, like so many Swine into an Hog-stie. The Turn-Key was so civil to offer us Beds, but upon such unconscionable terms, that a Salt Sinner might have hired a Feather’d Conveniency in a Bawdy-House, with a Downy Bed-fellow into the bargain, for less Money than they exacted for the Sheets; so, like good Husbands, we thank’d him for his Love, but refus’d his Courtesie.
After we have taken two or three turns in a Pav’d-yard, viewing the Strength and Loftiness of our Garison by Star-light, we began to reflect upon the Mischance we had fallen under; and look’d as simple as so many Knight Errants forc’d into an Enchanted Castle. As we were thus ruminating upon our present Circumstances, we heard the Laughing of many Voices mixed with the confus’d wranglings of a different Society: We ask’d the under Turn-Key the meaning of this promiscuous Noise; who told us, the Prisoners on the Common-side were driving away Sorrow; and making themselves merry with some of their Pastimes: Upon which we made it our choice to be of their Society, and desir’d admittance (accordingly) amongst ’em as a means to pass away the tediousness of the Night with some diversion; and also that we might Judge the better of Confinement, and the hardships of a Prison.
When we first enter’d this Apartment, under the Title of the Kings-Ward, the mixtures of Scents that arose from Mundungus-Tobacco, foul Sweaty Toes, Dirty Shirts, the Sh—t-Tub, stinking Breaths, and uncleanly Carcasses, Poison’d our Nostrils far worse than a Southwark Ditch, a Tanners Yard, or a Tallow-chandlers Melting-Room. The Ill-looking Vermin, with long Rusty Beards swaddled up in Rags, and their heads some cover’d with Thrum Caps, and others thrust into the tops of old Stockings; some quitted their Play they were before engag’d in, and came hovering round us, like so many Canibals, with such devouring Countenances, as if a Man had been but a Morsel with ’em, all crying out Garnish, Garnish, as a Rabble in an Insurrection, crying Liberty, Liberty. We were forc’d to submit to their DoctrineThe set of beliefs upheld by a religion or political party. of Non-resistance, and comply with their demands, which extended to the Sum of Two Shillings each. Having thus Paid our Initiation Fees, we were bid Welcome into the Kings-Ward, and to all the Priviledges and Immunities thereof. This Ceremony being ended, the Lowsie Assembly of Tatterdemallions, with their fingers in their Necks, return’d to their Sports, and were as merry as so many Beggars in a Barn; some of them form’d a high Court of Justice, by whom a Criminal was to be Try’d for Cracking his Lice between his Teeth, and Spitting out the Bloody Skins about the Ward, to the great Nusance of the good Subjects of England under Confinement in the Poultry: The Culprit mov’d the Court to allow him Counsel, which was granted; and there happening to be amongst them a Fat Yorkshire Attorney who was committed for foul Practice, and extorting undue Fees, the Offender at the Bar chose him as his Advocate, who indeed was very industrious in the defence of his Client, till a couple of unlucky Rogues, who were privately appointed to manage the Design, came on a sudden, charg’d with their hands-full of Sir-reverence out of the excreting Tub, mix’d up with Soot and Tallow, and as the poor Pleader was gaping to the Court, with abundance of intention, they slap’d it into his Mouth, as Poulterers do Paste when they cram Capons; and what, by the strength of his Jaws he bit off with his Teeth, and would not suffer to be internally apply’d, they anointed his Face with, till they made him stink like a Tom-T—d-Man, and look as Beautiful as a Chimney-Sweeper.
This put the Court, as well as the other Spectators, into an excessive laughter, to see the poor Lawyer Spit, Splutter, Spew, and run about Swearing and Cursing, Raving, and Crying, like a Bedlamite, that had broke his Chains, they having hid the Bucket of water, that he had nothing either to gargle his Mouth, or recover his Face to its Natural Complection: Every Body was glad to escape his fury, by keeping at a distance; none came within reach of his Arms, or the scent of his Breath, which you may be sure stunk as bad as a House of Office, till at last he seizes a Young Fellow, who had no hand in the matter; and blow’d upon him like a Bear upon a Dog, till he had almost poison’d him; and so besmeer’d him with Kisses, that they look’d as like one another in the Face as the two Images of St. Dunstan’s Dial. In revenge of which, the Young Sufferer retir’d to the Stink-Tub, as a good fortress well stor’d with Ammunition, there fish’d for Pellats, which he cast so thick upon his Adversary, that he made him look and stink like a Bogg’d Bayliff; and now and then a Random-Shot hit a stander-by, which had like to have begot him more Enemies: What the Lawyer could gather from the Ground, and pick off his Garment, he most Manfully return’d; and fighting Cunning, being much upon the Dodg, an unlucky Bullet flew over his Shoulder, and shot a broken Perfumer just in the Face, whose Nostrils being us’d to Odoriferous Scents, were the more Offended at the unsavory misfortune, which came with such angry force, from a provok’d Enemy, that the major part of his Face was eclips’d by the Stinking Messenger of War.
Both sides maintain’d the Battle with great bravery, till their Ammunition was quite spent, which forc’d them to end their Quarrel in a few hard Words. But notwithstanding they gave equal Testimonials of their undaunted Courage, yet I must needs tell you, they came off, saving your Presence, in a very Shitten Condition.
When the foul mutinyRebellion against authority, particularly of military personnel or sailors against their commanding officers. was thus ended, which began in a Sir-reverence, a general Search was made after the Bucket of Water, in order to wash off their Impurities, with which, in the heat of Passion, they had wofully defil’d each other; after a sedulous enquiry, they found the hidden Element, which by cleaning their Hands and Faces, they soon Died of a Beastly Complection.
By this time most of the Pediculous Inhabitants of these uncomfortable Confines, being well tired with the Pastimes of the Night, were sitting Naked in their Cabins, over-hauling their Shirts, and pressing their Eight-leg’d Enemies to death between their Thumbnails, wheresoe’er they found them; every now and then came a frightful Figure from aloft, clawing his own Flesh for Madness, he was so Lousie; turns his Buttocks o’er the edge of a Wooden conveniency, let fly, and away scowers up again: At last descends a Fellow in a Mourning Surpliss, and in his hand a Wooden Porridge-Dish, whose Hair stood as if Medusa-like, it had been turned into Snakes; whither should he trot, but to the Pail of Water, where the Dunghill-scented Combatants had wash’d off their Mire, and quaffs off a couple of Bumpers very favourly; but as soon as it was done, he found it left an unpallatable Relish behind it, which made poor drowthy Barnaby fall a Spitting and Cursing, the Plague D—n the Pump, it is grown so Rotten, and makes the Water taste so strong of the Tree, that we shall all be Poison’d: This unlucky Deception of the innocent mistaken Wretch, rais’d amongst my Friends and I, a great deal of Merriment; who, like the rest of Mankind, were under a natural Propensity to laugh at mischief. The Fellow had got Drunk in the Cellar, and went to Bed before the Prisoners began their Revels, and knew nothing of the Feud had been rais’d by the droppings of the Fundament, which occasion’d him to be thus deceiv’d.
Now the whole Family were grown as silent as so many Hogs when their Bellies are full, nothing being heard but Snoaring, except now and then a Crack from the stretching of a Louses Skin, or an ingrateful Sound from the untunable Drone of a filthy Bagpipe, which is never heard, but by the assistance of a stinking Breath: With this sort of Musick were our Ears entertain’d all Night; and that my Eyes might be oblig’d with answerable satisfaction, I thought it now the only time to look about me, where I observ’d Men lay pil’d in Cabbins one upon another, like Coffins in a Burying Vault, possessing only the same allowance above Ground, as the Dead do under, their Breadth and Length, that’s all. Other poor Curs, that wanted the conveniency of Kennels (being supernumerary to the Sleeping Huts) were lain some upon Benches, as if they had been bred up Courtiers Footmen: Other coil’d underneath, like Dogs, and slept as sound as Low Country Soldiers; Some lay round the Fire, almost cover’d with Ashes, like Potatoes Roasting, with their Noses in Conjunction with one anothers A—s, like Hogs upon a Dunghill: These I suppose were tender Mortals bred up at the Forge, and as great Enemies to Cold Weather, as the Mad fellow that walks about the Town Naked. Another was crept into a corner, and had whelm’d over his Head the Ashes Tub, and so made a Night-Cap of an Ale-firkin, to defend his head from the Coldness of the Weather.
With these sort of Observations we past away the dull hours of Confinement till the Morning; and were all as glad to see day-light again, as a Man would be to see the Sun, that had tumbled by accident into a neglected Cole-Pit: Our Fellow Sufferers began now to awake, stretch and yawn, and hawk up their Soot-colour’d Flegm, congeal’d in their Filthy Stomachs, with unwholesome Belch, and nasty Oroonoko. Every one stinking as he rows’d from his warm Den, like a Fox newly unkenneld. Now, I must confess, I was forc’d to hold my Nose to the Grate, and Snuff hard for a little fresh Air; for I was e’en choak’d with the unwholesome Fumes, that arose from their uncleanly Carcasses: Were the Burning of Old Shoes, Draymens Stockings, the Dipping of Card-matches, and a full Close-stool pan, been prepared in one Room, as a Nosegay to torment my Nostrils, it could not have prov’d a more effectual Punishment.
At last I heard the Keys begin to Rattle, which, tho’ they were indifferent Musick over Night, they were very pleasing to my Ears in the Morning. The Turn-Key now, according to my wishes, let us into the Yard, where we drew a little new Breath, and belch’d into the World those Pestilential Seeds which were drawn into out Bodies, from the three fatal Sisters, Filth, Poverty, and Laziness.
We now thought it necessary to fortifie our Stomachs with a Mornings Draught, and accordingly descended into the Cellar, for the same purpose; where every Captive that had either Money or Credit, was for posting with all speed.
Now we were happily come into the Conversation of the Ladies, who (poor Creatures) in tatter’d Garments, and without Head-cloaths, look’d as if they were just deliver’d from the rude hands of an unmerciful Rabble. One among the rest, who had something more than ordinary in her Person, to recommend her to our Notice, I drank to, and beg’d the favour of her company, which without much importunity she granted; and after a little talk, I took the freedom to ask her what she was in for: She hesitated a little, at last told me, she was at the Suit of a Tally Man in Hounds-ditch, for things to the value of four Pounds; and that he offer’d to Kiss it out, but she would not let him; for which reason he Arrested her, and had run her up to an Execution. But, I suppose Madam (said I) you have heartily repented since, that you refus’d the offer. No, Sir, she reply’d, rather than I would gratifie the desires of such unmerciful Rogues as either Tally-man, Pawn-Broker, or Bayliff, I would Prostitute my self to the honest Porters in the Town: For I’d have you know, Sir, I scorn to defile my Body with such Vermin, such inhuman Knaves, that can’t be content to cheat People out of their Money, but must Cozen them out of their Liberty too. Here are but Thirteen poor Wretches of us on the Common-side, and Twelve of ’em were brought in upon the Tally Account; and if Providence shew us no more Mercy than our Creditors, here they may keep us as examples of their Cruelty, to frighten others in their Books to turn either Whore or Thief, to get Money to be Punctual in their Payments, which many have been forc’d to do, to my certain Knowledge, to satisfie the hungry demands of those Unconscionable Usurers.
I was mightily pleas’d with the Womans Talk, because I thought it reasonable to believe there was abundance of Truth in’t. For People that are poor to pay such unreasonable extortion as Cent per Cent, it’s a ScandalAn event or action that causes public outrage, or the outrage caused by that event or action. to the Laws, an Enemy to the Publick Good, a great oppression of the Poor, a shame to Christianity; and all to gratifie the Miserly Lusts of Insatiate Consciences.
I rose up and peep’d a little, to survey this Subteranean Boozing Ken; and found it divided by as many Partitions as the Temple House of Office, tho’ I confess it smelt not quite so sweet: The Walls were Varnish’d with the slime of Snails; and had nothing to cover their Nakedness in the coldest of Weather, but a Tiffany Cobweb wherein hung Spiders as big as Humble-Bees that had not been molested with a Broom since they were enliven’d. The Tables and Benches were of Sturdy Oak, handed down thro’ many Ages to Posterity, and look’d of that venerable Antiquity, as if they had been faithful Servants to some great Man in the first Year of Jubilee. Like undutiful Children, we trod and Spit upon the bare Skin of our first Parent, Earth; for ’twas floor’d like a Barn, tho’ it stunk like a Stable; for every Body Piss’d as they sat, without the use of a Chamber-Pot.
By this time came down the Constable who committed us, with a Countenance as white as the Head of a Rumford-Calf; and both his Sleeves arm’d with Spanish Needles of all sorts and sizes, with here and there a Remnant of Blasting-Thread and Stitching-Silk, hanging upon his Coat and Stockins. His Shoes, behind in the Quarters, being polish’d with the Sweat of his Heels, of a Jet-colour, to show his Profession requires him to be often Slip-shod. By Virtue of his painted Rowling-pin, he remov’d us from the Plagues of Scotland, and carry’d us before our Betters, Sir Milk and Maycril, to answer what Mr. Stablecunt, could alledge against us. When his Worship had set his Band to rights, and Dress’d his Countenance with abundance of Gravity, he betakes himself to his Elbow-chair, plac’d within a Bar, to keep unmannerly transgressors at their due distance, and also to secure his Corns from the careless Affronts of whispering Constables, who are commonly proud to be seen standing between Justice and the People. Our business was soon dispatch’d; ’twas a case so familiar to his Worship, that he had it at his Fingers ends, without consulting of Keeble: For all the charge delivered against us was Tipling at an unseasonable hour, and refusing to go home according to the command of Authority. But Mr. Buckram being highly displeas’d at some aggravating Words I had given him over Night, told his Wisdom I threaten’d him; and said I would make him pay five Pound an hour for Detaining of me. How! Says Sir Serious, Pray what are you, that you value your Time at so precious a Rate? Or that dare speak such affrightning words to the Face of the Kings Representative? I reply’d, An’t please your Worship, I am a Gauger, and was out last Night about the Kings Business as well as Mr. Constable; and the King, for ought I know, has sustain’d two or three Hundred Pounds damage by my being detain’d from my Duty for which I look upon it Mr. Constable, must be answerable; for I assure him, I will give a report of the matter to the Commissioners.
This put his Gravity to his hem’s and ha’s. I must confess, Mr. Constable, (said he) You did not do well to commit one of His Majesties Officers; it was very unadvisedly done of you. Well, Gentlemen, paying your Fees, you may go about your Business, I have nothing further to say to you.
Had it not been for the assistance of a few Brains and a little Confidence, I had been bound over to the Sessions: But, I Bless my Stars, a lucky Providence prevented the misfortune; and restor’d us to our former Liberty. Being now glad we had shak’d off the Yoke of Confinement at so easie a Rate, without paying for either Drunkenness, Swearing, or the like, which are as commonly accumulated upon Transgressors under our Circumstances, as is to find Canvas, Stay-Tape, and Buckram, in a Taylors Bill. As we had been Fellow-Sufferers together, there was no parting without a Glass; so we went to the Rose Tavern in the Poultry, where Wine, according to its Merit had justly gain’d a Reputation; and there in a Snug Room, warm’d with Brush and Faggot, over a Quart of Good Claret, we laugh’d at our Nights Adventure, and curs’d the Constable. And that all others who fall into his clutches, may do like, I have given them the same Words to their Assistance.
May Rats and Mice
Consume his Shreds,
His Patterns and his Measures;
May Nits and Lice
Infest his Beds,
And Care confound his Pleasures.
May his long Bills
Be never paid;
And may his Help-mate Horn-him;
May all his ills
Be Publick made;
And may his Watchmen Scorn-him.
Be all his Food,
And Small-Beer be his Liquor;
Still fire his Blood,
But may his Reins grow weaker.
When old may he,
From Constable to Beadle,
And live until
He cannot feel
His Thimble from his Needle.
After we had drank a refreshing Glass, my Friend and I took Leave of our Companions; and concluded to take a turn in Guild-hall, which he told me was a fine Place; and my Lord Mayors chosen Dining-room, upon his Day of Triumph. As I came out of the Tavern, Bumpkin-like, I could no more forbear staring at Bow-Steeple, than an Astrologer could looking at a Blazing-Star, or a Young Debauchee at a fine Woman: But I wonder’d the Projector of such a Noble Pyramid, should form so mean a Model for the Church; which compar’d together, are just the reverse of St. Andrews Holbourn, the one being like a Woman with a Beautiful Face joyn’d to a Deform’d Body, and the other, like an old Pigmy’s Head upon a young Giants Shoulders. But, Pray, said I, What is the meaning of that terrible Monster upon the Top, instead of a Fane, or Weather-Cock? Why, that (says my Friend) is a Brazon Dragon, exalted as an EmblemA heraldic device or symbol that forms the badge of a nation, organisation, or family. of the Church’s Persecution: The Dissenters once look’d Devilishly a Squint at it, but now they dread it no more, than More of More-hall did the Dragon of Wantley.
From thence we Jostled thro’ a parcel of busie Citizens, who blunder’d along with as much speed towards the Change, as Lawyers in Term time towards Westminster-Hall, till we turn’d down King-street, and came to the place intended; which I enter’d with as great Astonishment, to see the Giants, as the Morocco Ambassador did London, when he saw the Snow fall: I ask’d my Friend the meaning or design of setting up those two Lubberly preposterous Figures; for I suppose they had some peculiar end in’t? Truly, says my Friend, I am wholly Ignorant of what they intended by ’em, unless they were to show the City what huge Loobies their Forefathers were, or else to fright stubborn Apprentices into Obedience; for the dread of appearing before two such Monstrous Loggerheads, will sooner reform their Manners, or mould ’em into a Compliance of their Master’s Will, then carrying ’em before my Lord Mayor, or the Chamberlain of London; for some of them are as much frighted at the Name of Gog and Magog, as little Children are at the terrible Sound of Raw-Head and Bloody-Bones.
Pray, said I, What are yon cluster of People doing, that seem all as busie as so many Fools at the Royal Oak-Lottery? Truly, said my Friend, you are something mistaken in your comparison: if you had said Knaves, you had hit it, for that’s the S—s C—t; and I must needs give ’em that Character, That I never yet knew one Fool among them, tho’ they have to do with a great many. All those Tongue-Padders, who are Chattering within the Bar, are Picking the Pockets of those that stand without. You may know the Sufferers by their Pale Faces; the Passions of Hope, Fear, and Revenge, hath put them into such disorder, they are as easie to be distinguish’d in a Crowd by their Looks, as an Owl from a Hawk, or a Country Esquire from a Town Sharper.
He’s a very comely Gentlemen, said I, that sits upon the Bench; and puts on as pleasing a Countenance, as if, like a God, he view’d, with Pleasure, the Jars and Discords of Contending Mortals, that Fret and Fume beneath him.
My Friend reply’d, He might well look merrily who sits the playing of so many great Games, and is sure always to be on the Winning-side. For you must know, says he, these Courts are like Publick Gaming-Tables, the Steward’s the Box-keeper, the Councel and Attorneys are the Sharpers, and the Clients the Fools that are bubbled out of their Money.
Pray what is that Crowd doing at the other end of the Hall? That, my Friend told me was a Court of Conscience, whose business it is to take care that a Debtor, of a Sum under forty Shillings, shall not pay Money faster than he can get it. ’Tis a very reasonable Establishment, without Jesting, for the prevention of poor Peoples ruin, who lie at the Mercy of a parcel of Rascally Tally-men, and such like Unconscionable Traders, who Build their own Well-fare upon the Miseries and Wants of others. There are several other Courts held here, besides what we now see sitting, but this I think does the most good of any of ’em, except to the Lawyers; and they look upon it with as evil an Eye, as the Devil look’d over Lincoln.
Pray, said I, whose graceful Pictures are these, that are so great an Ornament to the Place? My Friend reply’d, They were the grave Sages of the Law. Sure, said I, he was no skillful Artist that Painted ’em. Do you see how black he has made some of the Palms of their Hands. Poh, Poh, crys my Friend, I find you are no Judge of Painting; why it must be so, that’s nothing but the Shadow: Don’t you see the Light strikes full upon the back of the hand, and consequently the inside must appear Dark; that’s true (said I) I thank you for making me so much the Wiser: I must confess it is an Art I have no knowledge in. Pray whose Pictures are those at the upper-end? Those, reply’d my Friend, are the King and the late Queen Mary; and those in black Gowns, with the Purse before them, are such as have been Chancellors. Bless me! Said I, Painting is a fine Art: How stedfastly all those in black look upon the King? But, to my thinking, all those who come after in Red, Squint with one Eye upon His Majesty, and the other wishfully on the Purse and Mace.
Away, away, says my Friend, that’s nothing but your foolish Fancy; I shall apply the old Proverb to you, As the Fool thinketh, the Bell clinketh. We have seen all we can see here at this time, I’ll go and show you St.Pauls, and by that time, I reckon, you’ll have got you a good Stomach to your Dinner.
According to my Friends Proposal, we steer’d our Course towards the famous Cathedral; and as we pass’d along Cheap-side, we met an Old Fellow with a Nose (bless my Eye-sight!) ’twas as long almost as a Rowling-Pin, and I am sure as big at the end as a Foot-ball, beset with Carbuncles and Rubies; no Princes Nose could have appear’d more Glorious; and look’d as fresh as the Gills of an Angry Turky-cock; and was so rare a Fence for his Mouth, that whoever Fights him, must first knock off the Gnomon of his Face, or he could never propose to do his Teeth any Damage. I wonder (said I) he should be so Foolish to walk the Streets in Publick: Certainly if he would keep Private, and only show himself in Bartholomew-Fair, amongst the Arabian Monsters, he might make his Nose worth two or three hundred Pounds a Year to him. Says my Friend, It’s nothing now, to what it is sometimes; you see it in the Wane: He’s forc’d to have it par’d every full Moon, it grows so fast. I see by its Redness it has been done lately; I’ll warrant you he has had a Pound or two of Stakes cut off on’t within this Day or Two. I vow, said I, ’tis very strange; methinks my Nose begins to swell at the very thoughts of him. Sure this is Tom Jolly, the Song was made on, is it not?
No, says my Friend, This is a good honest fellow, a Tally-man; and is a true a Toper of Claret; he will sit Twelve hours in a Tavern before he can fill his Nose, when he has replenish’d which, he Staggers home; and the Bottle-end being Spungy, he Squeezes it again into his Mouth and has the pleasure of Drinking on’ a second Time; and will live longer, they say, by sucking his Nose, than a Bear can by licking his Paws. Marry, said I, that may well be, for it you tell me the Truth, his Nasal Runlet affords much the better Liquor.
We had not gone much further, but we met with a fellow stark Naked from the Waste upward, arm’d with a lusty Cudgel; I concluded he must be either Fool or Madman, to expose his bare flesh to the sharp Pinches of so cold a Season; But however, I enquir’d of my Friend if he knew the meaning of his ridiculous Whimsie? Who reply’d, He had heard he was a Man of good Parts and Learning; and from thence did believe he was a kind of self-will’d Philosopher, who had a mind to broach some new Principles, and make People believe he first left off his Cloaths to keep him warm, and ever since has refus’d to put ’em on for fear he should catch cold by wearing ’em. But I fancy he has made but few Proselytes; he has gone in this manner many Years, till his Skin is by the Weather as hard as the outward part of a Draymans Shooe: I met him the last Snowy Day we had, going into the Fields (instead of a mouthful) to take his Belly full of fresh Air; and esteems it much better walking then, than at Mid-Summer.
By this time we were come to Cheapside-Conduit, Pallisado’d in with Chimney-sweepers Brooms. These we pass’d, and enter’d into Pauls-Church-Yard; heap of Stones, that I thought it must require the Assistance of a whole Nation for an Age to remove ’em from the Quarry, and Pile ’em upon one another in such admirable Order, and to so Stupendious a height.
We turn’d to the Right, where Booksellers were as plenty as Pedlars at a Fair; and Parsons in their Shops as busily searching after the Venerable Conceits of our Worm-eaten Ancestors, as if they came thither for want of Brains, or a Library, to patch up a seasonable Discourse for the following Sunday.
Pray, says my Friend, take Notice of that Old Lanthorn-Jaw’d Peripatetick, so thoughtfully Perambulating in his Ware House of Roman Saints, Religious Heathens, and Honest Sociable Moralists. He looks so like a Modern Politician, as if, thro’ the whole course of his Life, he had studied nothing but Machiavel. In all seasons of the Year you may find him walking in his Shop; and (like a Spanish Farrier, that shoes Horses in his Cloak) he is never to be seen without his Hanging Coat at all Times, and in all Business: For as the Satyr in the Fables, could with the same Breath, blow hot and cold; so is his Irish Mantle posses’d of the like qualities; for he wears it in the Winter to keep him warm, and in the Summer as an Umbrella to skreen his wither’d Carcase from the scorching Sun-beames. Tho’ he has but a small Head, he has a great deal more Brains than a Goose; and never gave any Body an occasion to call him Fool that ever dealt with him. He’s so far a true bred Englishman as to be a great Enemy to the Interest of France, for he rails mightily against Taverns, and never Drinks Wine, but when he’s Treated. He’s a little too Cunning to be Honest, and too Miserly to be Generous; Loves nothing more than his Money, and hates nothing so much as to part with it: calls Generosity, Folly; Charity, Extravagance; Over-reaching, Wisdom; Niggardliness, Discretion; and Unconscionable Extortion, but a lawful Interest. Since Winchester Quarts were first throwd out of Fashion, he never was known to Drink strong Drink but once, and then Treated by his Apprentice, who had found at the Door a piece of Money, and being upon his Masters Ground, he claim’d the right; and after some little contest about the matter, they agreed to spend it.
It now being about Three a Clock, we concluded to go into Pauls, an Account of which, I shall give in my next.