The Colledge of Physicians Describ’d; with Observations thereupon. Remarks upon Fleet-Bridge, and the Humours of the People; with the Character of a Horse Mountebank. The Character of a Quack in Verse. Remarks upon Fleet-Ditch. Bridewell Describ’d; the Miserable Condition of one of the Criminals; the manner of Trying ’em: The Correction given there to Young Women, no proper way to Reform ’em: A Poem on the Antient and Modern State of Bridewell. A Ramble to Mobs-Hole in Essex: a Description of the Hunters Feast, with the Humours of the Guests.
WE now proceeded to survey Physicians Colledge, which we found Illustrated with so Lofty and Large a Porticum, that when we had enter’d it, we were no more in proportion to the spacious Lanthorn o’er our heads, than a Cricket to a Bisket-Bakers Oven, or Tom Thumb to the Pudding-Bowl. Pray, said I, what is the Cause of that great Painted Tub that stands upon Wheels? It looks as if it was design’d as a WhimsicalGiven to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour, or given to whimsy and fanciful notions. Cottage for some Maggot-Brain’d Diogenes: I hope there are no such Fantastical Humourists among this Learned Society? No, no, reply’d my Friend, you are much beside the Cushion; that Engine is a kind of Water-Syrenge, design’d to cure such Houses by Injection, that are under an Inflamation: From whence a Learned Physician of those times, took up a new Notion of curing a Gonorrhea, till by the Practice of his upstart measures, he has Pox’d half the Town, to the great Satisfaction of his Fraternity, but so much to the Plague and Terror of his Patients, that it is believed fallen Noses will be as much in Fashion about Soho and Pick-a-dilly in a little time, as Scars amongst Prize-Fighters, or short Snouts among Ladies Lap-Dogs. Pray, said I, Explain your Allegory; I do not readily understand what you mean by your Syrenge, &c. Why, if you must have it in plain Terms, says he, that which I term’d so, is a Device to cast Water into Houses that by Accident have taken Fire; from whence, I suppose, the Doctor undertook to extinguish, after the like manner, all Venereal Fires that had unhappily taken hold of the Instruments of Generation.
There are a couple of fine Statues, plac’d opposite to each other, pray who do they Represent? The one, says my Friend, is the King’s, and the other that Worthy Charitable, Good Christian, Sir John Cutler’s, who, as a means, I suppose, the better to secure his own Health, and Long-Life, by the Faithful Assistance of this Anti-Mortal Society, was in his Life time so great a Benefactor to this Learned Corporation; that when the Fire in Sixty Six had consum’d their Colledge in Amen-Corner, and the Ground being holden but by Lease, he lent them Money to purchase this Foundation, and to Build thereon this Stately Edifice; which they, thro’ the mistaken hopes they had of his Generosity, receiv’d from him as a Gift, and to Express their Gratitude for so Bountiful a Donation, have Publickly return’d him Thanks, for what the Muddling Croesus never intended to give ’em, Dedicating several Books to him, wherein, like Poor Poets, they Express’d their unparall’d Veneration to so Liberal a PatronA person who gives financial or other support to a client, person, organisation, or cause., till at last their Flatteries had so provok’d the Penurious Temper of the Money-Loving Gentleman, that he Thank’d them kindly for their Thanks, and Prais’d them highly for their Praises; but told them plainly, he fear’d there was a Misunderstanding between them, for that he had not given them a Groat, as he knew on, but only Assisted them at an unhappy Juncture, with the Lent of some Money, to recover their Ancient Grandure, then Buried in Ashes, which he expected in a little time they would make a just return of. This Disappointment so astonish’d the Gallenian Fraternity, that they look’d as Disconsolate one upon another as so many broken Gamesters at a Hazard-Table, hoping his Worship would take it into his further Consideration, and not give them so bitter a Pill to PurgeA removal of something, in biological terms often of something from the body, or in political terms an often violent removal of a group of people. out the Grateful Relish of so sweet an Expectancy as they had hitherto been under. A little time after this Conference had pass’d between ’em, the Pale-fac’d Master of the Ceremonies Conducted the Old Gentleman to the next World, in Mercy to his Surviving Relations, who have since demanded the Money of the Colledge; the dread of Refunding which hath put some of them into as loose a Condition, as if they had lately Fed upon nothing but their own Physick.
What Priviledges, said I, extraordinary are Granted to them in their Charter, above what are held by other Physicians, who are not of their Society? Many, reply’d my Friend, and these in particular, viz. No Person, tho’ a Graduate in Physick of Oxford or Cambridge, and a Man of more Learning, Judgment and Experience than one half of their Members, shall have the Liberty of Practicing in, or within Seven Miles of London, without License under the Colledge Seal; or in any other part of England, if they have not taken some Degree at one of the Universities; they have also Power to Administer an Oath, which they know, by Experience, is as Practicable to be broke the next Day, as ’tis to be taken; they can likewise Fine and Imprison Offenders, in the Science of Physick, and all such who presume to Cure a Patient when they have given ’em over, tho’ by more Excellent Methods than ever were known to their Ignorance: They have also the Priviledge of making By-Laws, for the Interest of themselves, and Injury of the Publick, and can purchase Lands in Right of the Corporation, if they could but find Money to pay for ’em; they have Authority to Examine the Medicines in all Apothecaries Shops, to Judge of the Wholesomeness and Goodness of many Drugs and Compositions they never yet understood; they are likewise Exempt from Troublesome Offices, as Jury-Men, Constables, &c., being no ways oblig’d to keep Watch or Ward, except with a Rich Patient, where they are assur’d to be well paid for their Labour; they have also the Liberty to Kill as many as they please, provided they do it Secundum Artem, and no Law shall call them to an Account. They are freed from the bearing of Arms, or providing of Ammunition, except Pill, Bolus or Potion, or such as destroy the Bodies of Sick Persons they know not how to Cure: Any Member of the Colledge may Practice Chirurgery, if he will but take the pains to understand it. They lately Committed a more Able Physician than themselves without Bail or Main-prize, for Male Practice, in Curing a Woman of a dangerous Ulcer in her Bladder, by the use of Cantharides, which they affirm not fit for Internal Application, tho’ the Patients Life was saved by taking it; which shews they hold it a greater Crime to Cure out of the Common Method, than it is to Kill in it: And in Persecuting their Antagonist for the Contempt of Galien and Hippocrates, they Charg’d him for the doing that Good, which themselves wanted either Will or Knowledge to perform, and thus made themselves all Fools in Attempting to prove the other a Knave, who procur’d his Discharge at the Queens-Bench Bar, without a Trial, and now Sues them for false Imprisonment; having also inform’d against ’em in the Crown-Office, as common Disturbers.
They rail mightily in their Writings against the Ignorance of Quacks and Mountebanks, yet, for the sake of Lucre, they License all the Cozening Pretenders about Town, or they could not Practice; which shews it is by their Toleration that the People are Cheated out of their Lives and Money; and yet they think themselves so. Honest, as to be no way answerable for this Publick Injury; as if they could not kill People fast enough themselves, but must Depute all the Physical Knaves in the Town to be Death’s JourneymenTrained workers who are employed by someone else.. Thus do they License, what they ought carefully to Suppress; and Practice themselves, what they Blame and Condemn in others. And that the Town may not be deceiv’d by Apothecaries, they have made themselves Medicine-Mongers, under a pretence of serving the Publick with more Faithful Preparations; in order to perswade the World to a Belief of which, they have Publish’d Bills, where, in the true Quacks Dialect, they tell you the Poor shall be supply’d for nothing; but who ever is so Needy as to make, a Challenge of their Promise empty Handed, will find, according to the Mountebanks Saying, No Money, No Cure. The Disposal of their Medicines they leave to a Boy’s Management, who scarce knows Mercurius Dulcis from White-Sugar, or Mint Water from Aqua-Fortis: So that People are likely to be well serv’d, or Prescriptions truly observ’d, by such an Agent.
From thence my Friend Conducted me to Bridewell, being Court-Day, to give me the Diversion of seeing the Letchery of some Town Ladies cool’d by a Cat-of-Nine-tails: But in our Passage thither meeting with some Remarkable Accidents, I think it may contribute something to the Readers Satisfaction to give a Rehearsal of them.
As we came down Ludgate-Hill, a couple of Town Bullies (as I suppose by their Behaviour) met each other, Damn ye, Sir, says one, why did you not meet me Yesterday Morning according to Appointment? Damn you, Sir, for a Cowardly Pimp, reply’d the other, I was there, and waited till I was wet to the Skin, and you never came at me. You Lye like a Villain, says t’other, I was there, and stay’d the Time of a Gentleman; and draw now, and give me Satisfaction like a Man of Honour, or I’ll cut your Ears off. You see, says the Valiant Adversary, I have not my Fighting Sword on, and hope you are a Man of more Honour than to take the Advantage of a Gentleman, Then go Home and fetch it, says Don Furioso, like a Man of Mettle, and meet me within an Hour in the Queens-Bench Walks in the Temple, or the next time I see you, by Jove’s Thunder-Bolts, I will Pink as many Eylet-holes in your Skin, as you have Button-holes in your Coat; and therefore have a care how you Trespass upon my Patience. Upon the Reputation of a Gentleman, I will Punctually meet you at your time and place; reply’d the other, and so they parted.
BULLIES, like Dunghill-Cocks, will strut and crow,
But few or none dare stand the sparring Blow:
So does the Peevish Mongrel take delight
To Bark and Snarl, show Teeth, but dare not Bite;
Oft Mischief makes, but still the danger shuns;
If match’d he Fawns, or else turns Tail and runs.
So Cowards often do their Swords Unsheath,
But cow’d and daunted with the fear of Death,
Thus tamely show their Blades, as fearful Curs their Teeth.
We mov’d on till we came to Fleet-Bridge, where Nuts, Ginger-Bread, Oranges and Oysters, lay Pil’d up in Moveable Shops that run upon Wheeles, attended by ill-looking Fellows, some with but one Eye, and others without Noses. Over-against these stood a parcel of Trugmoldies, Straw-Hats and Flat-Caps, Selling Socks and Furmity, Night-Caps and Plumb-Pudding. Just as we pass’d by, a Feud was kindling between two Rival Females, who, from the Brimstone of Lust, had blown up such a Fire of Jealousie between ’em, the one call’d the other Adulterous Bitch, and charg’d her with Lying with her Husband, and Robbing her of his Love: Then falling into Tears, express’d herself further in these Words, Have I lent you the Money out of my Pocket, the Gown off my Back, and my Petticoat off my Arse, to be thus Ungratefully Rewarded? You know, Hussiff, I have given you the very Bread out of my Mouth; but before you shall take my Bedfellow from my Belly, you Whore, I’ll Tare your Eyes out; and then with Teeth and Nails, made a Violent assault upon her Rival, who Roar’d out for help, and crying out she was quick with Child, the Mob hearing her plead her Belly, were moved to Compassion, and so parted ’em, their Coifs having receiv’d the greatest Dammage in the Fray.
Just as the squabble was ended, before the Rabble was dispersed, who should be stumbling along upon his Hide-bound Prancer, but one of the Horse Mountebanks; who seeing so rare an Opportunity to hold forth to a Congregation already Assembled, Spurs up his Founder’d Pegasus, and haults in to the middle of the Crowd, plucks out a Pacquet of Universal Hodg-Podg, and thus begins an Oration to the Listening Herd.
Gentlemen, you that have a Mind to be Mindful of preserving a Sound Mind in a Sound Body, that is, as the Learned Physician, Doctor Honorificicabilitudinitatibusque has it, Manus Sanaque, in Cobile Sanaquorum, may here at the Expence of Six-pence, furnish himself with a parcel, which, tho’ it is but small, containeth mighty things, of great Use, and Wonderful Operation in the Bodies of Mankind, against all Distempers, whether Homogeneal or Complicated; whether deriv’d from your Parents, got by Infection, or proceeding from any ill Habit of your own Body.
In the first place, Gentlemen, I here present you with a little inconsiderable Pill to look at, you see not much bigger than a Corn of Pepper, yet in this Diminutive Pampharmica so Powerful in Effect, and of such Excellent Vertues, that if you have Twenty Distempers lurking in the Mass of Blood, it shall give you just Twenty Stools, and every time it Operates it carries off a Distemper; but if your Blood’s Wholesome, and your Body Sound, it will Work with you no more than the same quantity of Ginger-Bread. I therefore call it, from its admirable Qualities, Pillula Tondobula, which signifies in the Greek, The Touch-stone of Nature: For by taking this Pill, you will truly discover what State of Health or Infirmity your ConstitutionA body of fundamental principles and established precedents by which a state governs itself; or the composition of something. is then under.
In the next place, Gentlemen, I present you with an excellent outward Application, cal’d a Plaister; good against all Green Wounds, Old Fistula’s and Ulcers, Pains and Achs, in either Head, Limbs or Bowels, Contusions, Tumours, or Queens-Evil, Sprains, Fractures, or Dislocations, or any Hurts whatsoever, receiv’d either by Sword, Cane, or Gun-shot, Knife, Saw, or Hatchet, Hammer, Nail, or Tenter-hook, Fire, Blast, or Gunpowder, &c. and will continue its Vertue beyond Credit; and be as useful seven Years hence, as at this present Moment, that you may lend it to your Neighbours in the time of Distress and Affliction; and when it has perform’d Forty Cures, ’twill be ne’er the worse, but still retain its Integrity. Probatum est.
The next Unparallel’d Medicine contain’d in this my little Two-penny Beneficence, is, an admirable Powder, good to fortifie the Stomach against all Infections, Unwholesome Damps, Malignant Effluvia’s that arise from Putred Bodies; and the like. It also is a rare Cordial to strengthen and chear the Heart under any Misfortune; and will procure such an Appetite, being drank a little before Dinner, that a Man of an ordinary Stomach may Eat a Pound of Suffolk Cheese, and twice the quantity of Rye-Bread, and still have as good an Appetite to a Sir-Loin of Roast-Beef , as if he had not Eat a bit in a Fortnight. This most excellent Preparation is also the most powerful Antivermineous
Medicine ever given in England, Scotland, France or Ireland; and if either your selves, or your Children are troubled with that Epidemical Distemper, Worms, which destroy more Bodies than either Plague, Pestilence or Famine, give, or take this, infus’d in a little warm Ale, instead of Wormseed and Treacle, and you will find these devouring Vermin, these Death Agents, that Burrow in our Bodies, as Rabbits in a Warren, come creeping out at both ends, like Lice out of a Beggars Doublet, when he hangs it in the Sunshine. It is also a most rare Dentifrice, and cleanses all foul, and fastens all loose Teeth, to a Miracle. This Powder I call my Pulvis Lubberdatus, because in my Travels, I first gave it amongst the Dutch when I was a Student at Leyden: Where, Gentlemen, I would have you to know, I took my Degrees, altho’ I expose my self to the Worlds Censures, by appearing thus Publick, for the Good of my own Country, which at all times (it’s well known) I have been very ready to serve.
The last, and most useful Medicine prepar’d throughout the whole Universe, is this my Orvietan, whose Vertues are such, it will, equally with the Unicorns-Horn, expel the Rankest Poison. It is absolutely Necessary for all Persons to carry in their Pockets, for who knows how the Passions of Love, Fear, Anger, Despair, Jealousie, or the like, by the Subtile Insinuation of Satan, who is watchful of all Opportunities, may prevail upon you to offer Violence to your most precious Lives, by taking Rats-bane, Mercury, Arsenick, Opium, and the like. Why, who, I say, would be without a Medicine to relieve themselves under such Misfortunes, which would not only hurry ’em to Death, but to Damnation? It is also the best Sudorifick, in all Colds and Feavers that ever can possibly be taken, working out the Distemper by gentle Perspiration, and fortifies the Heart against all Fainting and Swooning, also the Brains against all Dizziness and Swimming; and is, upon the Word of a Physician, the greatest Cordial the most Eminent Doctor can Prescribe, or Patient Take.
I do assure you, Gentlemen, Colledge of Physicians offer’d to admit me as a Member of their Society, if I would have made but a discovery, only to themselves of this most excellent and admirable Secret; No, hold you me there a little, Gentlemen, (said I) I shall then make you as Wise as my self; and should I do that, pray who would be a Fool then? Why truly my self; for I would have you to know, Gentlemen, I have more Manners than to Reflect upon such a Learned Society.
This piece of Impudence so tickled the Ears of the Brainless Multitude, that they began with as much Eagerness to untye their Purses, and the Corners of their Handkerchiefs, and to be as free of their Pence, as they usually are to buy Apples by the Pound, or to purchase the Sight of a Poppet-show; that it was as much as ever the Doctor could do to deliver out his Physick fast enough; his Industrious Lies taking as well with the Mob, as a Treasonable Balad, or a disgusted Statesmans Pamphlet, upon the Turn of a Government. Thus they continued flinging away their Money, showing there were Fools of all Ages, from Sixty to Sixteen; many of them looking as if they could scarce command as much more till next Saturday Night they Received their Wages; till at last, either the Doctor broke the Crowd of their Money, or the Crowd the Doctor of his Physick, I know not whether; but away Trotted he on Horse-back with their Pence, and left his Patients to trudge away on Foot with his Pacquets.
Pray, says my Friend, what do you think? Is it not a Shame to our English Physicians to suffer such a parcel of Ignorant, Illiterate, and Impudent Vagabonds to Cozen Poor Innocent Wretches out of their Money. Publickly in the Streets, who want it themselves to purchase Bread and Necessaries? I can’t imagine what can be urg’d as an Excuse for the Tolerating such Rascals to drain the Pockets of the Poor by Preposterous Lies, jumbled into a Senseless Cant, to perswade the People to believe them really that, to which they are only a ScandalAn event or action that causes public outrage, or the outrage caused by that event or action.. Therefore as a means to disswade the Publick from their foolish Opinion of these Emperical Vagabonds, or their Medicines, which are only prepar’d from a parcel of perish’d Drugs, ground Promiscuously together, without Art or Rule, and so made up into sundry sorts of Species, to allure the Ignorant; I have here given a true Portraicture of such a Scandalous Fellow, who makes it his Business to Cheat the Common People by his Lying Assertions, and Falacious Insinuations, not only out of their Money, but often out of their Health, which is far more valuable.
A Character of a Quack
A SHAME to Art, to Learning, and to Sense;
A Foe to Vertue, Friend to Impudence;
Wanting in Natures Gifts and Heaven’s Grace,
An Object Scandalous to Humane Race;
A Spurious Breed, by some Jack-Adams got;
Born of some Common Monstrous God-knows-what:
Into the World no Woman sure could bring
So vile a Birth, such an Un-man-like thing.
Train’d from, his Cradle up in Vices School,
To Tumble, Dance the Rope, and Play the Fool.
Thus Learn’d, he stroles with some Illit’rate Quack,
Till by long Travels he acquires the Knack,
To make the Sweepings of a Dragsters Shop,
Into some unknown Universal Slop:
On which some Senseless Title he bestows,
Tho’ what is in’t, nor Buy’r or Seller knows;
Then Lazy grown, he doth his Booth forsake,
Quitting the Rope or Hoop, and so turns Quack.
Thus by base means to Live, does worse pursue;
And Gulls the Poor of Life and Money too.
From thence we took a turn down by the Ditch side, I desiring my Friend to inform me what great Advantages this costly Brook contributed to the Town, to Countervail the Expence of Seventy four Thousand Pounds, which I read in a very Credible Author, was the Charge of its making: He told me he was wholly unacquainted with any, unless it was now and then to bring up a few Chaldron of Coles to two or three Pedling Fewel-Merchants, who sells them never the Cheaper to the Poor for such a Conveniency: And as for those Cellars you see on each side, design’d for Ware-Houses, they are render’d by their Dampness so unfit for that purpose that they are wholly useless, except for Lightermen to lay their Tails in, or to harbour Frogs, Toads, and other Vermin. The greatest good that ever I heard it did, was to the Undertaker, who is bound to acknowledge he has found better Fishing in that muddy Stream, than ever he did in Clear Water.
We then turn’d into the Gate of a Stately Edifice, which my Friend told me was Bridewell, at my first Entrance, it seem’d to me rather a Princes Palace, than a House of Correction, till gazing round me, I saw in a large Room a parcel of Ill-looking Mortals Strip’d to their Shirts like Hay-makers, Pounding a Pernicious Weed, which I had thought, from their Unlucky Aspects, seem’d to threaten their Destruction. These, said I, to my Friend, I suppose are the Offenders at Work; pray what do you think their Crimes may be? Truly, said he, I cannot tell you; but if you have a mind to know, ask any of them their Offence, and they will soon satisfie you. Prithee, Friend, said I, to a Surly Bull-Neck’d Fellow, who was Thumping as Lazily at his Wooden Anvil, as a Ship-Carpenter at a Log in the Queens-Yard at Deptford, what are you confin’d to this Labour for? My Hempen Operator, Leering over his Shoulder, cast at me one of his Hanging Looks; which so frightened me, that I step’d back, for fear he should have knock’d me on the Head with his Beetle: Why, if you must know, Mr. Tickle-Tail, says he, taking me, as I believe, being in Black, for some Country Pedagogue, I was committed hither by Justice Clodpate, for saying I had rather hear a Black-Bird whistle Walsingham, or a Peacock scream against foul Weather, than a Parson talk Nonsense in a Church, or a Fool talk Latin in a Coffee-House: And I’ll be Judg’d by you that are a Man of Judgment, whether in all I said there be one word of Treason to deserve a Whipping-Post. The Impudence of this Canary-bird so dash’d me out of Countenance, together with his unexpected Answer, that, like a Man Surfeited with his Mistresses Favours, I had nothing to say, but heartily wish’d my self well out of their Company; and as we were turning back to avoid their further Sauciness, another calls to me, Hark you Master in black, of the same colour with the Devil, can you tell me how many Thumps of this Hammer will soften the Hemp, so as to make a Halter sit easie, if a Man should have occasion to wear one? A third crying out, I hope, Gentlemen, you will be so Generous to give us something to drink, for you don’t know but we may be hard at work for you? We were glad with what Expedition we could, to escape their Impudence, and so turn’d from the Work-Room to the Common-side, or place of Confinement (where they are lock’d up at Night) thro’ the frightful Grates of which uncomfortable Appartment a Ghastly Skeleton stood weeping, whose terrible Aspect was so surprizing, that I thought some Power Immortal had Imprison’d Death, that the World might Live for ever. I could not speak to him without dread of danger, lest, when his Lips open’d to give me an answer, he should Poison the Air with his Contagious Breath, and Communicate to me the same Pestilence which had brought his Infected Body to such a dismal Anatomy: Yet mov’d with Pity towards so Languishing an Object, I began to enquire into the Causes of his sad appearance, who, after a Penitential Look, that call’d for Mercy and Compassion, with much difficulty he rais’d his Feeble Voice a degree above Silence, and told me he had been Sick six Weeks under that Miserable Confinement, and had nothing to Comfort him but Bread and Water, with now and then the Refreshment of a little Small-Beer. I ask’d him further, what Offence he had cmmitted that brought him under this Unhappiness? To which he answer’d, he had been a great while discharg’d of all that was Charg’d against him, and was detain’d only for his Fees; which, for want of Friends, being a Stranger in the Town, he was totally unable to raise. I ask’d him what his Fees amounted to? Who told me five Groats. Bless me! Thought I, what a Rigorous Uncharitable thing is this, that so Noble a Gift, intended, when first given, to so good an End, should be thus perverted! And what was design’d to prevent Peoples falling into Misery, thro’ Laziness or Ill-Courses should now be so corrupted by such Unchristian Confinement as to Starve a Poor Wretch, because he wants Money to satisfie the demands of a MercenaryA professional soldier hired to serve in a foreign army. Cerberus, when discharg’d of the Prison by the Court! Such Severe, nay Barbarous Usage, is a Shame to our Laws, an Unhappiness to our Nation, and a Scandal to Christianity.
From thence we turn’d into another Court, the Buildings being like the former, Magnificently Noble; where straight before us was another Grate, which proved the Womens Apartment: We follow’d our Noses and walked up to take a view of their Ladies, who we found were shut up as close as Nuns; but like so many Slaves, were under the Care and Direction of an Over-seer, who walk’d about with a very Flexible Weapon of Offence, to Correct such Hempen Journey-Women who were unhappily troubled with the Spirit of Idleness. These smelt as Frowzily as so many Goats in a Welsh Gentlemans Stable, or rather a Litter of Piss-tail Children under the Care of a Parish Nurse; and look’d with as much Modesty as so many Newgate Saints Canonized at the Old-Baily; being all as Chearful over their Shameful Drudgery, notwithstanding their Miserable Circumstances, as so many Jolly Crispins in a Garret o’er St. Hugh’s Bones, or Vulcans in a Celler o’er the merry Clinks of the Sledge and Anvil. Some seem’d so very Young, that I thought it very strange they should know Sin enough, at those Years, to bring them so early into a State of Misery. Others so Old, that one would think the dread of the Grave, and thoughts of Futurity were sufficient to reclaim ’em from all Vice, had they been train’d up never so wickedly; some between both, in the Meridian of their Years and were very Pretty, but seemed so very Lewd, that, Messalina-like, they might be Tired but never Satisfied. Pray, Sir, says one of them, how do you like us? You look very wishfully upon us? What do you think of us? Why, truly said I, I think you have done something to deserve this Punishment, or else you would not be here. To which she reply’d, If you’ll believe me, without Blushing, I’ll tell you the Truth: I happened to live with an old Scrivener, and when my Mistress was out of the way, he us’d to tickle my Lips with a Pen-feather, at last she catch’d us, and had me before Justice Over-doe, who committed me hither, where I have had more Lashes upon my poor Back than ever my Belly deserv’d.
Don’t believe her, Master, cried another, She’s as Arrant a Strumpet as ever Earn’d her Living at Twopence a Bout; and was Committed hither for Lying so long upon her Back, that her Rump grew to the bottom Sheet, that she could not rise again. She’s one of Posture Molls Scholars, and can show you how the Watermen shoot London-Bridge, or how the Lawyers go to Westminster. What do you think, replies the other This buttocking brimestone came hither for? I’ll tell you Master, says she, because I believe you have no good Guess with you, viz. ’twas for picking a Country-mans Pocket of his Pouch, and hiding it in her Oven; but when she came to be search’d, the Fool having forgot to take up the Strings, was discovered in her Roguery, and sent here to be lashed; and does she not deserve it, Sir, for trusting her Money in a box that has neither lid nor bottom to it? I could not but wonder to hear this Impudence from Women, more especially when I considered they were under such Shame, Misery and Punishment, which a Man might Reasonably imagine would work upon the most Corrupted Minds, and make them abominate those base Practices which brought ’em to this Unhappiness.
Being now both tired with, and amazed at, the Confidence and Loose Behaviour of these Degenerate Wretches, who had neither Sense of Grace, Knowledge of Vertue, Fear of Shame, or Dread of Misery, my Friend reconducted me back into the first Quadrangle, and led me up a pair of Stairs into a Spacious Chamber, where the Court was sitting in great Grandure and Order. A Grave Gentleman, whose Awful Looks bespoke him some Honourable Citizen, was mounted in the Judgment-Seat, Arm’d with a Hammer, like a Change-broker at Lloyds Coffee-House, when selling Goods by Inch of Candle; and a Woman under the Lash in the next Room; where Folding Doors were open’d, that the whole Court might see the Punishment Inflicted; at last down went the Hammer, and the Scourging ceas’d; that I protest, till I was undeceiv’d, I thought the Offenders had been Popish Penitents, who by the Delusion of their Priests, were drawn thither to buy Lashes by Auction. The Honourable Court, I observ’d, were chiefly attended by Fellows in Blew-Coats, and Women in Blew-Aprons. Another Accusation being then deliver’d by a Flat-Cap against a poor Wench, who having no Friend to speak in her behalf, ProclamationA public or official announcement dealing with a matter of great importance was made, viz. All you who are willing E—th T—ll, should have present Punishment, pray hold up your hands: Which was done accordingly: And then she was order’d the Civility of the House, and was forc’d to shew her tender Back, and tempting Bubbies, to the Grave Sages of the Grave Assembly, who were mov’d by her Modest Mein, together with the whiteness of her Skin, to give her but a gentle Correction.
Finding little Knowledge to be gain’d from their proceedings, and less Pleasure and Satisfaction from their Punishments; my Friend and I thought it better to retire, and leave them to Flog on till the Accusers had satisfied their Revenge, and the Spectators their Curiosity.
Now, says my Friend, pray give me your thoughts of what you have seen, whether you think this sort of Correction is a proper Method to Reform form Women from their Vicious Practices, or not? Why, truly, said I, if I must deliver my Opinion according to my real Sentiments, I only conceive it makes many Whores, but that it can in no measure Reclaim ’em: And these are my Reasons.
First, If a Girl of Thirteen or Fourteen Years of Age, as I have seen some here, either thro’ the Ignorance or Childishness of their Youth or Unhappiness of a Stubborn Temper, should be Guilty of Negligence in their Business, or prove Head-strong, Humoursome, or Obstinate, and thro’ an Ungovernable Temper, take Pleasure to do things in Disobedience to the Will of their Master or Mistress, or be Guilty of a trifling Wrong or Injury, thro’ Inadvertency, they have Power at Home to give them Reasonable Correction, without exposing ’em to this Shame and Scandal, never to be wash’d off by the most Reform’d Life imaginable; which unhappy Stain makes them always shun’d by Vertuous and Good People, who will neither entertain a Servant, nor admit of a Companion under this Disparagement; the one being fearful of their Goods, and the other of their Reputation till the poor Wretch, by her Necessity, is at last drove into the Hands of Ill Persons, and forc’d to betake herself to bad Conversation, till she is insensibly Corrupted, and made fit for all Wickedness.
Secondly, I think it a Shameful Indecency for a Woman to expose her Naked Body to the sight of Men and Boys, as if it was design’d rather to feast the Eyes of the Spectators, or stir up the Beastly Appetites of Leacherous Persons, than to Correct Vice, or Reform Manners; therefore I think it both more Modesty and more Reasonabley they should receive their Punishment in the view of Women only, and by the Hand of their own Sex.
Thirdly, As their Bodies by Nature are more tender, and their Constitution allowed more weak, we ought to shew them more Mercy, and not Punish ’em with such Dog-like Usage, unless their Crimes were Capital.
I believe, reply’d my Friend, you are aiming to curry Favour with the fair Sex: This Lecture to a Town Lady, if you had a Mind to be Wicked, would save you Money in your Pocket; tho’ indeed, what you have urg’d seems no more than reasonable. I think I have now shew’d you all this place affords; so we’ll take our Leaves of’t; but I hope you will give us a few Lines upon it, and then we’ll seek some new Diversion. I could not but Gratifie my Friends request, and what I did to oblige him, I here present unto the Reader.
’Twas once the Palace of a Prince,
If we may Books Confide-in,
But given was by him, long since,
For Vagrants to Reside-in.
The Crumbs that from his Table fell,
Once made the Poor the Fatter;
But those that in its Confines Dwell,
Now Feed on Bread and Water.
No Ven’son now whereon to Dine;
No Frigasies nor Hashes;
No Balls, no Merriment, or Wine;
But Woful Tears and Slashes.
No Prince or Peers to make a Feast,
No Kettle-Drums to Trumpets,
But are become a Shameful Nest
Of Vagabonds and Strumpets.
Where once the King and Nobles sat,
In all their Pomp and Splendor;
Grave City Grandeur Nods its Pate,
And Threatens each Offender.
Unhappy thy Ignoble Doom,
Where Greatness once Resorted;
Now Hemp and Labour Jills each Room,
Where Lords and Ladies Sported.
We now departed Bridewell; and willing to Refresh our selves with the Smoaking of one Pipe, turn’d into a Neighbouring Coffee-House, where glancing upon an old Flying-Post, we put our selves in Mind of my Dame Butterfield’s Invitation to her Essex Calf and Bacon, with her Six Brass Horns to Accommodate Sportsmen with the Delightful Harmony of Hunting: And believing a Relation of this unusual Feast might be Welcome to the Publick, my Friend and I agreed to move with the Stream; and give our selves a Country Walk to the Place appointed: I am sensible it is something of a Digression, or rather a Deviation from the Title: But tho’ the Feast was in the Country, yet the Guests were Londoners; and therefore what we shall Observe among’em may be Reasonably admitted.
Fearing Old Time should slide insensibly away, and cut short our intended Pastime, we smoak’d our Pipes with greater Expedition, in order to proceed our Journey, which we began about Eleven a Clock, and marching thro’ Cheap-side, found half the People we either met or over-took, Equip’d for Hunting; walking backwards and forwards, as I suppose, to shew one another their Accoutrements. The City Beaus in Boots as Black as Jet, which shin’d by much Rubbing, like a Stick of Ebony; their Heels Arm’d with Spurs, (those Travelling Weapons to defend the Rider from the Laziness of his Horse) so carefully preserv’d bright in a Box of Cotton, that they dazzled in the Eyes of each Beholder like a piece of Looking-Glass in the Sun-shine; their Wastes Hoop’d round with Turkey-Leather Belts, at which hung a Baggonet, or short Scymitar, in order to cut their Mistresses Names upon the Trees of the Forrest: In the Right Hand a Whip, mounted against the Breast, like the Scepter of a Kings Statue upon the Change, their Heads adorn’d with Twisted Wigs, and Crown’d with Edg’d Casters; being all over in such Prim and Order, that you could scarce distinguish them from Gentlemen. Amongst ’em were many Ladies of the same Quality, ty’d up in Safeguards so be-knotted with Two-penny Taffaty, that a Man might guess by their Finery, their Fathers to be Ribbon-Weavers. We Crowded along, mix’d among the Herd, and could not but fancy the major part of the Citizens were Scampering out of Town to avoid the Horse-Plague. We mov’d forward without any Discontinuance of our Perambulation, till we came to the Globe at Mile-End, where a Precious Mortal made us a Short-Hand Complement, and gave us an Invitation to a Sir-Loin of Roast-Beef, out of which Corroborating Food, we renew’d our Lives; and after strengthening our Spirits with a Flask of rare Claret, we took Leave of my Honest Landlord; and so proceeded.
By this time the Road was full of Passengers, everyone furnish’d with no small Appetite to Veal and Bacon. Citizens in Crowds, upon Pads, Hackneys and Hunters; all upon the Tittup, as if he who Rid not a Gallop was to Forfeit his Horse. Some Spurring on with that Speed and Chearfulness, as if they intended never to come back again: Some Double, some Single. Every now and then drop’d a Lady from her Pillion, another from her Side-Saddle, some shewing the Milky-way to Bliss, others their Bugbears to the Company, which, tho’ it made them Blush, it made us Merry; Sometimes a Beau would tumble and dawb his Boots, which, to shew his Neatness, he would clean with his Handkerchief. Horses, Coaches, Carts, Waggons, and Tumblers, fill’d the Roads, as if the whole Town had been going to Encamp; all Occupy’d by Men, Women and Children, Rich, Poor, Gentle and Simple, having all Travelling Conveniences suitable to their Quality. In this Order did we March, like Aaron’s Proselites to Worship the Calf, till we came to the New-Rais’d Fabrick, call’d Mobs-Hole, where the Beast was to be Eaten. The House was so surrounded with the Mobility, that it look’d like the Cow-Kee-pers Welsh-Campy consisting of a number of both Sexes, of all Sorts and Sizes, sufficient, instead of one, to have Eaten all the Calves in Essex. We press’d hard to get into the House, which we found so full, that when I was in, what with the Smell of Sweat, Stinking Breaths and Tobacco, I thought there was but a few Gasps between this Place and Eternity. Some were Dancing to a Bagpipe, others Whistling to a Base-Violin, two Fiddlers scraping Lillaburlero, my Lord Mayors Delight, upon a couple of Crack’d Crowds, and an Old Oliverian Trooper Farting upon a Trumpet. My Friend and I being willing to get as far out of the Noise as we could, Climb’d up into a Garret, where we found a single Lady, in her Safeguard, rectifying her Commode from the abuses of the Wind. I thought my self Oblig’d in Civility, to make some little use of so fair an Opportunity; and accordingly Welcom’d her to Mobs-Hole; and at last talk’d her into so Compliant a Humour, that I perceiv’d she was as willing to give us her Company, as we could be to ask it; till we had brought our selves in danger of intailing that Trouble and Expence upon our selves, which, to tell you the Truth, we thought was Prudence to avoid; so by a cooler sort of Treatment than we first began with, we gave her Delicious Ladyship some Reasons to believe she might go a little further and fare better; accordingly she took her Leave, and squeez’d down Stairs, to shew her Marmalet-Looks and Inviting Airiness upon the Parade; where Tag, Rag, and Bob-Tail, were Promiscuously jumbled amongst City Quality from Beau to Booby, and the Merchants Lady to the Thumb-Ring’d Ale-Wife.
Being now left by our selves, in a Room not much bigger than a Hogshead, furnish’d with nothing but a little Bedstead, and that of an uneasie height to sit on, we found notwithstanding our tedious walk of Seven long Miles, at our Journeys End we had little likelihood of a Resting-place; but either be forc’d to lye down like Dogs, or lean like Elephants; finding as much difficulty to get a little Drink, by reason of their number, as a Rabble do at a Conduit that runs Wine upon a States-Holy-day: When, with abundance of Pains, and as much Patience, we had Liquor’d our Throats with two or three Slender-Body’d Mugs of Country Guzzle, we jostled down two narrow pair of Stairs, and encreas’d the Numberless Troop of Gazing Animals, who were differently disposed to divers Exercises, some Cramming down Veal and Bacon, to allay the Fury of their Cormorant Appetites, having no Table-Cloth but Grass, or Seats but Ground; others Projecting better for their Ease had made a Table of a Horse-block, and blow’d their Noses in the same Napkins with which they wip’d their Fingers; some were Climb’d into an Arbour, on the top of an Old Tree, where they sat Hooping and Hallowing, like so many Owls, but could get no Body near ’em to bring ’em either Drink or Victuals; Some Ladies in their Coaches, Mask’d, who, I suppose, wanted to give some Cully a cast home, that could not pay the Coachman; others on Horse-back bare-fac’d, conducted thither by their Fathers Prentices; and many Hundreds of both Sexes on Foot, some Smoaking, some Drinking, others Cursing, and Swearing, thro’ want of that Refreshment which the more Industrious Spectators had very painfully procur’d. In the Interim we were thus walking to take Notice of the sundry Humours and Transactions of the Buzzing Multitude, came four Merry Dames in a Coach, and Lighted by me; one Trick’d up like an Old Maid, with a Gold Chain about her Neck, Patches on her wrinkled Face, and her Ill-shap’d Carcase splendidly set off with very Gay Apparel, her Eyes looking Angry with a Hot Rheum cast up into her Head by the Staleness of her Virginity; the rest wore Motherly Countenances, and look’d as if they had understood Trap this Twenty Years: I welcom’d them to Mobs-Hole, and began to Entertain ’em with some Talk applicable to the present Juncture; at last the Old Gentlewoman, whom I suppos’d a Maid, took the Freedom to ask me, What it was a Clock by my Watch? Truly, Madam, said I, I have not one about me; but if you please to turn about, and look at the Sun with those Virgins Eyes of yours, a Lady of your Judgment may understand the Hour of the Day by his distance from the Horizon. Says another of ’em, Maybe the Gentlemans Watch is down, and he is ashamed to show it us. To which I reply’d, Indeed, Madam, if it be, I can see nothing in your Ladyships Face that will wind it up again. Why, Sir, says the Third, does Faces use to wind up Watches? Yes, Madam, answer’d I, such a one as I carry about me, which is made without Wheels; and will give such a Lady as you are a better time of the Day when its standing, than other Watches do by their motion. Bless me! Sir, says the Fourth, yours is the Strangest Watch that ever I heard on; I wish you would be so kind as to let a Body see it. Truly, Madam, says I, ’tis without a case, and unfit to be pluck’d out in publick Company, or otherways I would be very willing to Oblige you. She replying, I am sorry to hear it is so much out of Order; but if it wants nothing but a case, you don’t know but I may present you with one, I think ’twill fit. I found I should be out-talk’d upon this Subject, and was glad to make an Excuse to avoid their further Conversation; and from thence went into the Kitchen, Built up of Furzes, in the open Air, to behold their Cookery; where the Major part of the Calf was Roasting upon a Wooden Spit: Having lost two or three great Slivers off his Buttocks, his Ribs par’d to the very Bone, with holes in his Shoulders, each large enough to bury a Sevil Orange, that he look’d as if a Kennel of Hounds had every one had a Snap at him. Under him lay the Flitch of Bacon of such an Ethiopian Complection, that I should rather have guess’d it the side of a Blackamore: It looking more like a Canibals Feast, than a Christian Entertainment. My appetite was so far from Coveting a Taste, that I had a full Meal at the very Sight of their Dainties; and I believe for the future, I shall have as great a kindness for Veal and Bacon as an Anabaptist Preacher has for the Church Liturgy. Being soon glutted with the view of this unusual piece of Cookery, we departed from the Kitchen, and hearing a great bustle in the Upper-room of an Out-House, we went up Stairs to see what was the matter, where we found a poor Fiddler, Scraping over the Tune of Now Ponder well you Parents Dear; and a parcel of Country People Dancing and Crying to’t. The Remembrance of the Uncles Cruelty to the Poor Innocent Babes, and the Robin-Red-Breasts Kindness, had fix’d in their very Looks such Signs of Sorrow and Compassion, that their Dancing seem’d rather a Religious Worship, than a Merry Recreation. Having thus given our selves a Prospect of all the place afforded, we return’d to Stratford, where we got a Coach, and from thence to London.