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The only Wells from which you may draw WINE,
THREE SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE
A full Quart. Those whose important avocations prevent their coming at the commencement, will be admitted for
■A LP TRICK, AT HALF-PAST EIGHT.
Ladies and gentlemen who are not judges of the superior entertainments announced, are respectfully requested to bring as many as possible with them who are. N.B. A full Moon during the IVeeh.
This bill is here inserted a3 a curious specimen of the method adopted to draw an audience to the superior entertainments of a pleasant little summer theatre, which, to its credit, discourages the nuisances that annoy every parent who takes his family to the boxes at the other theatres.
Before mentioning other particulars concerning the Fair here described, I present a lively representation of it in former times.
"O, rare Ben Jonson!" To him we are indebted for the only picture of Smithfield at " Barthol'me'-tide" in his time.
In his play of" Bartholomew Fair," we have John Littlewit, a proctor "o' the Archdeacon's-court," and "one of the pretty wits o' Paul's" persuading his wife, Win-the fight, to go to the Fair. He says "I have an affair i' the Fair, Win, a puppet-play of mine own making.—I writ for the morion-man." She tells him that her mother, dame Purecraft, will never consent; whereupon he says, " Tut, we'll have a device, a dainty one: long to eat of a pig, sweet Win, i' the hair; do you see 1 i' the heart o' the Fair; not at Pye-corner. Your mother will do any hing to satisfie your longing." Upon this hint, Win prevails with her mother, to consult Zeal-of the-land Busy, a Banbury man " of a most lunalick conscience and spleen ;" who is of opinion that pig "is a meat, and a meat that is nourishing, and may be eaten; very exceeding well eaten; but in the Fair, and as a BarthoU mcw pig, it cannot be eaten; for the very calling it a Bartitolmew pig, and to eat it so, is a spice of idolatry." After much deliberation, however, he allows that so that the offence " be shadowed, as it were, it may be eaten, and in the Fair, I take it —in a booth." He says " there may be a good use made of it too, now I think on't, by the public eating of swine's flesh, to profess our hate and loathing of Judaism;" and therefore he goes with them.
In the Fair a quarrel falls out between Lanthort. Leatherhead, " a hobby-horse
fair in 1614,
seller," and Joan Trash, "a gingerbread woman."
"Leatherhead. Do you hear, sister Trash, lady o' the basket 1 sit farther with our gingerbread progeny there, and inder not the prospect of my shop, or I'll ha' it proclaim'd 1' the Fair, what stuff they are made on.
"Troth. Why, what stuff are they made on, brother Leatherhead? nothing but what's wholesome, I assure you.
"Leatherhead. Yes; stale bread, rotten eggs, musty ginger, and dead honey, you know.
"Troth. Thon too proud pedlar, do thy worst: I defy thee, I, and thy stable of hobby-horses. I pay for my ground, as well as thou dost, and thou wrongest me, for all thou art parcel-poet, and an ingineer. I'll find a friend shall right me, and make a ballad of thee, and thy cattle all over. Are you puft up with the pride of your wares? your arsedine?
"Leatherhead. Go too, old Joan, I'll talk with you anon; and take you down too—I'll ha' you i' the Pie-pouldret."
They drop their abuse and pursue their vocation. Leatherhead calls, "What do you lack? what is't you buy? what do you lack ? rattles, drums, halberts, horses, babies o' the best ? fiddles o' the finest?" Trash cries, "Buy my gingerbread, gilt gingerbread!" A "costard-monger" bawls out, " Buy any pears, pears 1 fine, very fine pears 1" Nightingale, another character, sings,
"Hey, now the Fair's a filling
The drunkards they are wading,
Ursula, "a pig-woman," laments her vocation: — '• Who would wear out their youth and prime thus, in roasting of ^jgs, that had any cooler occupation? I am all tire and fat; I shall e'en melt away—a poor vex'd thing I am; I feel myself dropping already as fast as I can: two stone of sewet a-day is my proportion: I can but hold life and soul together.'' Then she soliloquizes concerning Mooncalf, her tapster, and her other vocations : " How can I hope that ever he'll discharge his place of trust, tapster, a man of reckoning under me, that remembers nothing I say to him? but look to't, sirrah, you were best; threepence a pipefull I will ha' made of all my whole half pound of tobacco, and a quarter of a pound of colts-foot, mixt with it too, to eech it out. Then six-and-twenty shillings a barrel I will advance o' my beer, and hfty shillings a hundred o'my bottle ale; I ha' told you the ways how to raise it. (ahnoch.) Look who's there, sirrah 1 five shillings a pig is my price at least; if it be a sow-pig sixpence more." Jordan Knockhum, "a horse-courser and a ranger of Turnbull," calls for "a fresh bottle of ale, and a pipe of tobacco." Passengers enter, and Leatherhead says, "What do you lack, gentlemen? Maid, see a fine hobby-horse for your young master." A corn-cutter cries, " Ha' you any corns i' your feet and toes?" Then "a tinder-box man" calls," Buy a mousetrap, a mouse-trap, or a tormentor for a flea 1" Trash cries, "Buy some gingerbread!'' Nightingale bawls, "Ballads, ballads, fine new ballads I'' Leatherhead repeats, "What do you lack, gentlemen, what is't you lack? a fine horse? a lion? a bull? a bear? a dog? or a cat? an excellent fine Bartholmew bird? or an instrument? what is't you lack?" The pig-woman quarrels with her guests and falls foul on her tapster: "In, you rogue, and wipe the pigs, and mend the fire, that they fall not; or I'll both baste and wast you till your eyes drop out, like 'em." Knockhum says to the female passengers, "Gentlewomen, the weather's hot I whither walk you? Have a care o' your fine velvet caps, the Fair is dusty. Take a sweet delicate booth, with boughs, here, i' the way, and cool yourselves i' the snade;
you and your friends. The best pig and bottle ale i' the Fair, sir, old Urs'la is cook; there, you may read; the pig's head speaks it." Knockhum adds, that she roasted her pigs "with fire o' juniper, and rosemary branches." Littlewit, the proctor, and his wife, Win-the-fight, with her mother, dame Purecroft, and Zeal-of-theland enter. Busy Knockhum suggests to Ursula that they are customers of the right sort, "In, and set a couple o' pics o' the board, and half a dozen of the bygist bottles afore 'em —two to a pig, away I" In another scene Leatherhead cries, "Fine purses, pouches, pincases, pipes; what is't you lack? a pair o' smiths to wake you i' the morning? or a fine whistling bird ?" Bartholomew Cokes, a silly "esquire of Harrow," stops at Leatherhead's to purchase: "Those six horses, friend, I'll have; and the three Jews trumps; and a half a dozen o' birds; and that drum; and your smiths (I like that device o' your smiths,)—and four halberts; and, let me see, that fine painted great lady, an' fer three women for state, I'll have. - set of those violins I would buy too, for a delicate young noise 1 have i' the country, that are every one a size less than another, just like your fiddles.'" Trash invites him to buy her gingerbread, and he turns to her basket, whereupon Leatherhead says, "Is this well, Goody Joan, to interrupt my market in the midst, and call away my customers? Can you answer this at the Pie-pouldret f whereto Trash replies, "Why, if his master-ship have a mind to buy, I hope my ware lies as open as anothers; I may shew my ware as well as you yours." Nightingale begins to sing,
"My masters and friends, and good
Cokes hears this, and says, "Ballads 1 hark, hark I pray thee, fellow, stay a little! What ballads hast thou? let me see, let me see myself—How dost thou call it ?' A Caveat agairut Cut-pur*et!' —a good jest, i' faith; I would fain see that demon, your cut-purse, you talk of." He then shows his purse boastingly, and inquires, " Ballad-man, do any cut-purses haunt hereabout? pray thee raise me one or two: begin and shew me one." Nightingale answers, " Sir, this is a spell against 'em, spick and span new: and 'tis made as 'twere in mine own person, and I sing it in mine own defence. But 'twill cost a penny alone if you buy it,"
Cokes replies, " No matter for the price; thou dost not know me I see, I am an odd Bartholmea." The ballad has "pictures," and Nightingale tells him, it was intended, sir, as if a purse
should chance to be cut in my presence now; I may be blameless though; as by the sequel will more plainly appear. He adds, it is "to the tune of' Paggiiuf ton's Pound,' sir," and he finally sings—
3 Cabtat against Cutyrantaef*
My masters, and friends, and good people draw neat,
You oft' have been told,
Both the young and the old,
It hath been upbraided to men of my trade,
That oftentimes we are the cause of this crime:
Alack, and for pity, why should it be said*
As if they regarded or places, or time.
In Westminster-hall, yea, the pleaders between;
Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurse,
Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
At Worc'ter 'tis known well, and even i' the jail,
Nay, once from the seat
Of judgment so great,
At plays, and at sermons, and at the sessions,
Nay, one without grace,
At a better place,
But O, you vile nation of cut-purses all,
And know that you ought not by honest men's fall,
And though you go gay
In silks as you may, It is not the highway to heaven (as they say.) Repent then, repent you, for better, for worse; And kiss not the gallows for cutting a purse. Youth, youth, thou hadst better been starved by thy nurve, Than live to be hanged for cutting a purse.
While Nightingale sings this ballad, a fellow tickles Cokes's ear with a straw, to make him withdraw his hand from his pocket, and privately robs him of his purse, which, at the end of the song, he secretly conveys to the ballad-singer; who, notwithstanding his "Caveat against Cut-purses," is their principal confederate, and, in that quality, becomes the unsuspected depository of the plunder.
Littlewit tells his wife, Win, of the great hog, and of a bull with five legs, in the Fair. Zeal-of-the-land loudly declaims against the Fair, and against Trash's commodities :—" Hence with thy basket of popery, thy nest of images, and whole legend of ginger-work." He rails against "the prophane pipes, the tinkling timbrels; and Adam Overdoo, a reforming justice of peace, one of "the court of Pie-powder;" who wears a disguise for the better observation of disorder, gets into the stocks himself. Then "a western man, that's come to wrestle before my lord mayor anon," gets drunk, and is cried by " the clerk o' the market all the Fair over here, for my lord's service." Zeal-of-the-land Busy, too, is put with others into the stocks, and being asked, "what are you, sir V he answers, "One that rejoiceth in his affliction, and sitteth here to prophesy the destruction of fairs and may-games, wakes and whitsun-ales, and doth sigh and groan for the reformation of these abuses." During a scuffle, the keepers of the stocks leave them open, and those who are confined withdraw their legs and walk away.
From a speech by Leatherhead, preparatory to exhibiting his "motion," or puppet-show, we become acquainted with the subjects, and the manner of the performance. He says, " Out with the sign of our invention, in the name of wit; all the fowl i' the Fair, I mean all the dirt in Smithfield, will be thrown at our banner to-day, if the matter does not please the people. 01 the motion, that I, Lanthorn Leatherhead, have given light to, i' my time, since my master, Pod, died 1 Jeru
salem was a stately thing; and so was Nineveh and The City of Norwich, and Sodom and Gomorrah; with the Rising o' the Prentice; and pulling down the houses there upon Shrove-Tuesday; bu' the Gunpowder Plot, there was a get-pen ny! I have presented that to an eighteen or twenty pence audience nine times in an afternoon. Look to your gathering there, good master Filcher—and when there come any gentlefolks take twopence a-piece." He has a bill of his motion which reads thus: "The Ancient Modern History of Hero and Leander, otherwise called, the Touchstone of True Love, with as true a Trial of Friendship between Damon and Pythias, two faithful Friends o' the Bank-side." This was the motion written by Littlewit. Cokes arrives, and inquires, "What do we pay for coming in, fellow V Filcher answers, "Twopence, sir."
"Cokes. What manner of matter is this, Mr. Littlewit? What kind of actors ha' you? are they good actors?
"Littlewit. Pretty youths, sir, all children both old and young, here's the master of 'em, Master Lantern, that gives light to the business.
"Cokes. In good time, sir, I would fain see'em; I would be glad to drink with the young company; which is the tiring-house?
"Leatherhead. Troth, sir, our tiringhouse is somewhat little; we are but beginners yet, pray pardon us; you cannot go upright in't.
"Cokes. Not not now my hat is off? what would you have done with me, if you had had me feather and all, as I was once to-day? Ha' you none of your pretty impudent boys now, to bring stools, fill tobacco, fetch ale, and beg money, as they have at other houses? let me see some o' your actors.
"Littlewit. Shew him 'em, shew him 'em. Master Lantern; this is a gentleman that is a favourer of the quality.
[Leatherhead brings the puppets'out in a basket.]
"Cokes. What! do they live in baskets?
"Leatherhead. They do lie in a basket, sir: they are o' the small players.
*' Cukes. These be players minor indeed. Do you call these players ?
"Leatherhead. They are actors, sir, and as good as any, none dispraised, for dumb shows: Indeed I am the mouth of 'em all.—This is he that acts young Leander, sir; and this is lovely Hero; this, with the beard, Damon; and this, pretty Pythias: this is the ghost of king Dicnysius, in the habit of a scrivener: as you "all see anon, at large.
** Cokes. But do you play it according to the printed book? I have read that.
"Leatherhead. By no means, sir.
"Cokes. No? How then?
"Leatherhead. A better way, sir; that is too learned and poetical for our audience: what do they know what Hellespont is? guilty of true love's blood? or what Abydos is? or the other Sestos height?—No; I have entreated master Littlewit to take a little pains to reduce it to a more familiar strain for our people.
"Littlewit. I have only made it a little easy and modern for the times, sir, that's all: as for the Hellespont, I imagine our Thames here; and then leander, I make a dyer's son about Puddlewharf; and Hero, a wench o' the Bankside, who going over one morning to Old Fish-street, Leander spies her land at Trig's-stairs, and falls in love with her: now do I introduce Cupid, having metamorphosed himself into a drawer, and he strikes Hero in love with a pint of sherry."
While "Cokes is handling the puppets" the doorkeepers call out " Twopence apii-ne, gentlemen; an excellent motion." Other visitors enter and take their seats, and Cokes, while waiting with some of his acquaintance, employs the time at the "game of vapours, which is nonsense;
every man to oppose the last man that spoke, whether it concerned him or no." The audience become impatient, and one calls out, " Do you hear puppet-master, these are tedious vapours,- when begin you?" Filcher, Leatherhead's man, with the other doorkeepers, continue to bawl, "Twopence a-piece, sir; the best motion in the Fair." Meanwhile the company talk, and one relates that he has already seen in the Fair, the eagle; the black wolf; the bull with five legs, which "was a calf at Uxbridge Fair two years agone;" the dogs that dance the morrice; and "the hare o' the taber."
Gentiles, that no longer your expectations may wander,