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And now to ye, who in place are to see,
With roll and farthingale hooped :
By the wings, that this is Cupid.
But that were not so witty :
That he is the Love o' the city.
For that was only his-rule:
And he presenteth Mis-rule.
Albeit you never ask it :
The rope, the cheese, and the basket.
A chirping boy, and a kill-pot:
And he dwells in the lane calld Fill-pot.
Minced-pie; with her do not dally
And comes out of Scalding-alley.
And, to make my tale the shorter,
But an active man, and a porter.
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.
Mac'-pipin8 my son, but younger,
For he is a costermonger.
To tell you what his name is :
Clem Waspe of Honey-lane ʼtis.
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.
That in every great house keepeth,
And in Penny-rich street he sleepeth.
Of Christmas' merry, merry vein-a,
Though he come out of Crooked-lane-a.
But I could find but one more
When I them all had gone o'er.
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
Now, Cupid, come you on.
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 Cupid—and 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?
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!
The commendation of my sons,
As well forsooth use their guns,
And march as fine, as the Muses nine,
Along the streets of London :
Especially Tom my son.
Such an ac-ativity as this;
Can the children of Cheapside miss ?
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.
AND THUS IT ENDED.