Lapas attēli


And now to ye, who in place are to see,

With roll and farthingale hooped :
I pray you know, though he want his bow,

By the wings, that this is Cupid.
He might go back, for to cry What you lack ?

But that were not so witty :
His cap and coat are enough to note,

That he is the Love o' the city.
And he leads on, though he now be gone,

For that was only his-rule:
But now comes in, Tom of Bosoms-inn,"

And he presenteth Mis-rule.
Which you may know, by the very show,

Albeit you never ask it :
For there you may see, what his ensigns be,

The rope, the cheese, and the basket.
This Carol plays, and has been in his days

A chirping boy, and a kill-pot:
Kit cobler it is, I'm a father of his,

And he dwells in the lane calld Fill-pot.
But who is this? O, my daughter Cis,

Minced-pie; with her do not dally
On pain of your life: she's an honest cook's wife,

And comes out of Scalding-alley.
Next in the trace, comes Gambol in place ;

And, to make my tale the shorter,
My son Hercules, tane out of Distaff-lane,

But an active man, and a porter.
Now Post and Pair, old Christmas's heir,

Doth make and a gingling sally ;

? But now comes in, Tom of Bosoms-inn.] Blossoms-inn, but corruptly Bosoms-inn, in Laurence-lane, and hath to sign St. Lauren the de on, in a border of blossoms flowers." Stow.


And wot you who, 'tis one of my two

Sons, card-makers in Pur-alley.
Next in a trice, with his box and his dice,

Mac'-pipin8 my son, but younger,
Brings Mumming in; and the knave will win,

For he is a costermonger.
But New-year's-gift, of himself makes shift,

To tell you what his name is :
With orange on head, and his ginger-bread,

Clem Waspe of Honey-lane ʼtis.
This, I you tell, is our

jolly Wassel, And for Twelfth-night more meet too: She works by the ell, and her name is Nell,

And she dwells in Threadneedle-street too.
Then Offering, he, with his dish and his tree,

That in every great house keepeth,
Is by my son, young Little-worth, done,

And in Penny-rich street he sleepeth.
Last, Baby-cake, that an end doth make

Of Christmas' merry, merry vein-a,
Is child Rowlan, and a straight young man,

Though he come out of Crooked-lane-a.
There should have been, and a dozen I ween,

But I could find but one more
Child of Christmas, and a Log it was,

When I them all had gone o'er.
I prayed him, in a time so trim,

That he would make one to prance it : And I myself would have been the twelfth,

O' but Log was too heavy to dance it.'


8 Mai'-pippin.] The costermongers were then, as now, chiefly from Ireland.

9 O but Log was too heavy to dance it.] Every one knows that

[ocr errors]

Now, Cupid, come you on.
Cup. You worthy wights, king, lords, and knights,


and ladies bright : this alludes to the huge log of wood which was placed in the kitchen chimney-a chimney, be it remembered, that would contain "twelve starveling chimneys of these degenerate days,"—on Christmas eve with appropriate ceremonies, and which it was a matter of religion, as Jonson calls it, to preserve from being wholly consumed till the conclusion of the festival.

The mention of log recals to my mind another circumstance which I once hoped to find an opportunity of introducing in a more appropriate place, but which certain monitions, not to be mistaken, no longer encourage me to expect. I shall therefore advert to it here.

If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire," occurs, as the reader knows, in Romeo and Juliet, and has proved a very torment to the commentators from the days of Dr. Gray to the present. Grievous have been the efforts to explain it, and pitiable the result, since they all terminate in this unsatisfactory conclusion, that “it is an old proverb.” Even Mr. Douce (by far the most excursive of the whole) is at fault here : “There is no doubt (he says) that it is an allusion to some now forgotten game : ” And again : "How it was practised we have yet to learn." Illustrations, ii. p. 179. For the comfort of posterity, who are thus delivered over by the critics to flat despair, I can unfold the mystery. If I happen to prove somewhat tedious, I beseech the reader to advert to the importance of the information, and the heart's ease which it will afford to commentators yet unborn. Dun is in the mire! then, is a Christmas gambol, at which I have often played. A log of wood is brought into the midst of the room : this is Dun, (the cart-horse,) and a cry is raised, that he is stuck in the mire. Two of the company advance, either with or without ropes, to draw him out. After repeated attempts, they find themselves unable to do it, and call for more assistance.—The game continues till all the company take part in it, when Dun is extricated of course; and the merriment arises from the awkward and affected efforts of the rustics to lift the log, and from sundry arch contrivances to let the ends of it fall on one another's toes. This will not be thought a very exquisite amusement; and yet I have seen much honest mirth at it; and have been far more entertained with the ludicrous contortions of pretended struggles, than with the real writhing, the dark scowl of avarice and envy exhibited by the same description of persons, in the genteeler amusement of cards, the universal substitute our ancient sports.

Cupid invites you to the sights

He shall present to-night. Ven. 'Tis a good child, speak out; hold up your head, Love.

Cup. And which Cupidand which Cupid

Ven. Do not shake so, Robin ; if thou be'st a-cold, I have some warm waters for thee here.

Chris. Come, you put Robin Cupid out with your waters, and your fisling; will you be gone?

Ven. Ay, forsooth, he's a child, you must conceive, and must be used tenderly; he was never in such an assembly before, forsooth, but once at the Warmoll Quest, forsooth, where he said grace as prettily as any of the sheriff's hinch-boys, forsooth.

Chris. Will you peace, forsooth?
Cup. And which Cupidand which Cupid,

Ven. Ay, that's a good boy, speak plain, Robin : how does his majesty like him, I pray ? will he give eight-pence a day, think you? Speak out, Robin.

Chris. Nay, he is out enough, you may take him away, and begin your dance : this it is to have speeches. Ven. You wrong the child, you do wrong the

. infant; I 'peal to his majesty.

Here they dance.

Chris. Well done, boys, my fine boys, my bully boys!

Sings. Nor do you think that their legs is all

The commendation of my sons,
For at the Artillery-garden they shall

As well forsooth use their guns,

And march as fine, as the Muses nine,

Along the streets of London :
And in their brave tires, to give their false fires,

Especially Tom my son.
Now if the lanes and the allies afford

Such an ac-ativity as this;
At Christmas next, if they keep their word,

Can the children of Cheapside miss ?
Though, put the case, when they come in place,

They should not dance, but hop : Their very gold lace, with their silk, would'em

grace, Having so many knights o' the shop. But were I so wise, I might seem to advise

So great a potentate as yourself : They should, sir, I tell ye, spare't out of their

belly, And this way spend some of their pelf. Ay, and come to the court, for to make you some

sport, At the least once every year : As Christmas hath done, with his seventh or

eighth son, And his couple of daughters dear.


« iepriekšējāTurpināt »