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Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet, O happy streets! to rumbling wheels unknown,
Nor should it prove thy less important care, Her rosy cheek with distant visits glow'd,
But since in braided gold her foot is bound,
And the streets flame with glaring equipage;
For you, O honest men! ihese useful lays
When sleep is first disturb'd by morning cries, Whose ample form without one plait depends ; From sure prognostics learn to know the skies, By various namest in various counties known, Lest you of rheums and coughs at night complain Yet held in all the true surtout alone;
Surpris'd in dreary fogs, or driving rain. Be thine of kersey firm, though small the cost, When suffocating mists obscure the morn, Ther, brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the frost. Let thy worst wig, long us'd to storms, be worn;
If the strong cane support thy walking hand, This knows the powder'd footman, and with care Chairmen no longer shall the wall command ; Beneath his flapping hat secures his hair. Ev'n sturdy carmen shall thy nod obey,
Be thou for every season justly drest, And rattling coaches stop to make thee way: Nor brave the piercing frost with open breast; This shall direct thy cautious tread aright, And, when the bursting clouds a deluge pour, Though not one glaring lamp enliven night. Let thy surtout defend the drenching shower. Let beaux their canes, with amber tipt, produce; The changing weather certain signs reveal. Be theirs for empty show, but thine for use. Ere Winter sheds her snow, or frosts congeal, In gilded chariots while they loll at ease,
You'll see the coals in brighter flame aspire, And lazily insure a life's disease ;
And sulphur tinge with blue the rising fire ; While soster chairs the tawdry load convey
Your tender shins the scorching heat decline, To court, to While's, t assemblies, or the play; And at the dearth of coals the poor repine ; Rosy-complexion'd Health thy steps attends, Before her kitchen hearth, the nodding dame, And exercise thy lasting youth defends.
In flannel mantle wrapt, enjoys the flame; Imprudent men Heaven's choicest gifts profano: Hovering, upon her feeble knees she bends, Thus some beneath their arm support the cane; And all around the grateful warmth ascends. The dirty point oft checks the careless pace, Nor do less certain signs the town advise And miry spots the clean cravat disgrace.
of milder weather and serener skies. h! may I never such misfortune meet!
The ladies, gaily dress'd, the Mall adorn May no such vicious walkers crowd the street! With various dyes, and paint the sunny morn: May Providence o'ershade me with her wings, The wanton fawns with frisking pleasure range, While the bold Mase experienc'd danger sings! And chirping sparrows greet the welcome change,
Not that I wander from my native home, Not that their minds with greater skill are fraught,* And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam.
Endued by instinct, or by reason taught : Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Muse,
The seasons operate on every breast; Where slavery treads the streets in wooden shoes. 'Tis hence the fawns are brisk, and ladies drest. Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime,
When on his box the nodding coachman snores, And teach the clumsy boor to skate in rhyme; And dreams of fancied fares; when tavern doors Where, if the warmer clouds in rain descend, The chairmen idly crowd ; then ne'er refuse No miry ways industrious steps offend;
To trust thy busy steps in thinner shoes. The rushing food from sloping pavements pours, But when the swinging signs your ears offend And blackens the canals with dirty showers. With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend; Let others Naples' smoother streets rehearse, Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams, And with proud Roman structures grace their verse, And rush in muddy torrents to the Thames. Where frequent murders wake the night with groans, The bookseller, whose shop's an open square, And blood in purple torrents dyes the stones. Foresees the tempest, and with early care, Nor shall the Muso through narrow Venice stray, of learning strips the rails; the rowing crew, Where gondolas their painted oars display. To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue;
• A town in Oxfordshire.
• Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis,
VIRQ. Georg. 1.
On hosiers' poles depending stockings tied, Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
(sounds The milky burthen smokes upon her head, And sweats with sacred grief; you 'll hear the Deep through a miry lane she pick'd her way, Of whistling winds, ere kennels break their bounds; Above her anele rose the chalky clay. Ungrateful odors common shores diffuse,
Vulcan by chance the bloomy maiden spies,
Ah, Mulciber! recall thy nuptial vows,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came, Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind. His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
If you the precepts of the Muse despise, To hear his soothing tales, she feigns delays ; And slight the faithful warning of the skies, What woman can resist the force of praise ? Others you'll see, when all the town's afloat, At first she coyly every kiss withstood, Wrapt in th' embraces of a kersey coat,
And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood, Or double-bottom'd frieze ; their guarded feet With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes, Defy the muddy dangers of the street;
To save her steps from rains and piercing dews. While you, with hat unloop'd, the fury dread She lik'd his soothing tales, his presents wore, Of spouts high streaming, and with cautious tread And granted kisses, but would grant no more. Shun every dashing pool, or idly stop,
Yet Winter chill'd her feet, with cold she pines, To seek the kind protection of a shop.
And on her cheek the fading rose declines; But business summons; now with hasty scud No more her humid eyes their lustre boast, You jostle for the wall; the spatter'd mud And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost. Hides all thy hose behind ; in vain you scour, Thus Vulcan saw, and in his heavenly thought Thy wig, alas! uncurl'd, admits the shower. A new machine mechanic fancy wrought, So fierce Alecto's snaky tresses fell,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise, When Orpheus charm'd the rigorous powers of Hell; And bear her safely through the wintery ways. Or thus hung Glaucus' beard, with briny dew Straight the new engine on his anvil glows, Clotted and straight, when first his amorous view and the pale virgin on the patten rose. Surpris'd the bathing fair; the frighted maid No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums, Now stands a rock, transform'd by Circe's aid. And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise, The god obtain'd his suit: though flattery fail, Defended by the riding-hood's disguise ;
Presents with female virtue must prevail. Or, underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Of walking the Streets by Day.
To read the various warnings of the skies : Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil, Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town, A goodly yeoman liv'd, grown white with toil; And for the public safety risk thy own. One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed,
For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best ; Who from her infant hand the poultry fed : No tides of passengers the streets molest. Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore, You'll see a draggled damsel here and there, But now her careful mother was no more.
From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear; Whilst on her father's knee the damsel play'd, On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains; Patty he fondly call d the smiling maid;
Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains ! As years increas'd, her ruddy beanty grew, Before proud gates attending asses bray, And Patty's fame o'er all the village few. Or arrogate with solemn pace the way;
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies, These grave physicians with their milky cheer And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies,
The love-sick maid and dwindling beau repair;
Here rows of drummers stand in martial file, But still the wandering passes forc'd his stay,
Thy venturous footsteps to a female guide :
She'll lead thee with delusive smiles along, Full-charg'd with news the breathless hawker runs: Dive in thy fob, and drop thee in the throng. Shops open, coaches roll, carts shake the ground, When waggish boys the stunted besom ply, And all the streets with passing cries resound. To rid the slabby pavement, pass not by
If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town, Ere thou hast held their hands; some heedless flirt Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown,
Will overspread thy calves with spattering dirt. Three trades avoid : oft in the mingling press Where porters' hogsheads roll from carts aslope, The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
Or brewers down steep cellars stretch the rope, Shun the perfumer's louch with cautious eye, Where counted billets are by carmen tost, Nor let the baker's step advance too nigh. Stay thy rash step, and walk without the post. Ye walkers too, that youthful colors wear,
What though the gathering mire thy feet beThree sullying trades avoid with equal care :
smear, The little chimney-sweeper skulks along,
The voice of Industry is always near. And marks with sooty stains the heedless throng; Hark! the boy calls thee to his destin'd stand, When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat, And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand. From smutty dangers guard thy threaten'd coat; Here let the Muse, fatigued amid the throng, The dustman's cart offends thy clothes and eyes, Adorn her precepts with digressive song ; When through the street a cloud of ashes flies; Of shirtless youths the secret rise to trace, But, whether black or lighter dyes are worn, And show the parent of the sable race. The chandler's basket, on his shoulder borne, Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of With tallow spots thy coat; resign the way,
change) To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray,
Of old was wont this nether world to range, Butchers, whose hands are dyed with blood's foul To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd, stain,
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd: And always foremost in the hangman's train. And ev'n the proudest goddess, now and then, Let due civilities be strictly paid :
Would lodge a night among the sons of men; The wall surrender to the hooded maid;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion, Nor let thy sturdy elbow's hasty rage
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion. Jostle the feeble steps of trembling age:
Then Cloacina* (goddess of the tide, And when the porter bends beneath his load, Whose sable streams beneath the city glide,) And pants for breath, clear thou the crowded road. Indulg'd the modish Name; the town she rov'd, But, above all, the groping blind direct;
A mortal scavenger she saw, she loy'd ; And from the pressing throng the lame protect. The muddy spots that dried upon his face, You'll sometimes meet a fop, of nicest tread,
Like female patches, heighten'd every grace : Whose mantling peruke veils his empty head; She gaz'd ; she sigh'd ; (for love can beauties spy At every step he dreads the wall to lose,
In what seem faults to every common eye.) And risks, to save a coach, his red-heel'd shoes ; Now had the watchman walk'd his second round Him, like the miller, pass with caution by,
When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound Lest from his shoulder clouds of powder fly. Of her brown lover's cart (for well she knows But, when the bully, with assuming pace, That pleasing thunder): swift the goddess rose, Cocks his broad hat, edg'd round with tarnish'd And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise, lace,
Her bosom panting with expected joys. Yield not the way, defy his strutting pride, With the night-wandering harlot's airs she past, And thrust him to the muddy kennel's side; Brush'd near his side, and wanton glances cast; He never turns again, nor dares oppose,
In the black form of cinder-wench she came, But mutters coward curses as he goes.
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame, If drawn by business to a street unknown, To the dark alley arm in arm they move : Let the sworn porter point thee through the town ; O may no link-boy interrupt their love! Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
When the pale Moon had nine times fill'd her Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train.
space, Seek not from prentices to learn the way, The pregnant goddess (cautious of disgrace) Those sabling boys will turn thy steps astray ; Descends to Earth ; but sought no midwife's aid, Ask the grave tradesman to direct thee right, Nor 'midst her anguish to Lucina pray’d; He ne'er deceives—but when he profils by 't. No cheerful gossip wish'd the mother joy,
Where fam'd Sl. Giles's ancient limits spread, Alone, beneath a bulk, she dropt the boy. (prov'd, An enrail'd column rears its lofty head;
The child, through various risks in years
im. Here to seven streets seven dials count the day, At first, a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd; And from each other catch the circling ray. His infant tongue soon learnt the canting art, Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face, Knew all the prayers and whines to touch the Bewilderd, trudges on from place to place ;
heart. He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze, Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze,
* Cloacina was a goddess, whose image Tatius (a king Tries every winding court and street in vain,
of the Sabines) found in the common sewer; and, not And doubles o'er his weary steps again.
knowing what goddess it was, he called it Cloacina, from Thus hardly Theseus with intrepid feet
the place in which it was found, and paid to it divino Travers’d the dangerous labyrinth of Crete; honors.--Lactant. 1. 20, Minuc. Fel. Oct, p. 232.
Oh, happy unown'd youths ! your limbs can bear His treble voice resounds along the Meuse,
The goddess long had mark'd the child's distress, Too long detains the walker on his way; And long had sought his sufferings to redress. While he attends, new dangers round him throng ; She prays the gods to take the fondling's part, The busy city asks instructive song. To teach his hands some beneficial art
Where, elevated o'er the gaping crowd, Practis'd in streets : the gods her suit allow'd, Clasp'd in the board the perjur'd head is bow'd, And made him useful to the walking crowd ; Betimes retreat; here, thick as hailstones pour, To cleanse the miry feet, and o'er the shoe, Turnips and half-hatch'd eggs (a mingled shower) With nimble skill, the glossy black renew. Among the rabble rain: some random throw Each power contributes to relieve the poor : May with the trickling yolk thy cheek o'erflow. With the strong bristles of the mighty boar
Though expedition bids, yet never stray Diana forms his brush; the god of day
Where no rang’d posts defend the rugged way. A tripod gives, amid the crowded way
Here laden carts with thundering wagons meet, To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil;
Wheels clash with wheels, and bar the narrow Kind Neptune fills his vase with fetid oil
street ; Prest from th' enormous whale; the god of fire, The lashing whip resounds, the horses strain, From whose dominions smoky clouds aspire, And blood in anguish bursts the swelling vein. Among these generous presents joins his part, O barbarous men! your cruel breasts assuage ; And aids with soot the new japanning art. Why vent ye on the generous steed your rage ? Pleas'd she receives the gifts ; she downward glides, Does not his service earn your daily bread ? Lights in Fleet-ditch, and shoots beneath the tides. Your wives, your children, by his labors fed !
Now dawns the morn, the sturdy lad awakes, If, as the Samian taught, the soul revives, Leaps from his stall, his tangled hair he shakes ; And, shifting seats, in other bodies lives; Then, leaning o'er the rails, he musing slood, Severe shall be the brutal coachman's change, And view'd below the black canal of mud, Doom'd in a hackney-horse the town to range ; Where common shores a lulling murmur keep, Carmen, transform'd, the groaning load shall draw Whose torrents rush from Holborn's fatal steep: Whom other tyrants with the lash shall awe. Pensive through idleness, tears flow'd apace, Who would of Watling-street the dangers share, Which eas'd his loaded heart, and wash'd his face! When the broad pavement of Cheapside is near? At length he sighing cried, “That boy was blest, Or who that rugged street* would traverse o'er, Whose infant lips have drain'd a mother's breast; That stretches, O Fleel-ditch, from thy black shore But happier far are those (if such be known) To the Tower's moated walls? Here steams ascend Whom both a father and a mother own:
That, in mix'd fumes, the wrinkled nose offend. But I, alas ! hard Fortune's utmost scorn,
Where chandlers' caldrons boil ; where fishy prey Who ne'er knew parent, was an orphan born Hide the wet stall, long absent from the sea ; Some boys are rich by birth beyond all wants, And where the cleaver chops the heifer's spoil, Belov'd by uncles, and kind good old aunts; And where huge hogsheads sweat with trainy oil ; When time comes round, a Christmas-box they bear, Thy breathing nostril hold: but how shall I And one day makes them rich for all the year. Pass, where in piles Carnaviant cheeses lie ; Had I the precepts of a father learn'd,
Cheese, that the table's closing rites denies, Perhaps I then the coachman's fare had earn'd, And bids me with th' unwilling chaplain rise ? For lesser boys can drive; I thirsty stand,
O bear me to the paths of fair Pall-Mall! And see the double flagon charge their hand, Safe are thy pavements, grateful is thy smell! See them puff off the fruth, and gulp amain, At distance rolls along the gilded coach, While with dry tongue I lick my lips in vain." Nor sturdy carmen on thy walks encroach;
While thus he servent prays, the heaving tide, No lets would bar thy ways were chairs denied, In widen'd circles, beats on either side ;
The soft supports of laziness and pride : The goddess rose amid the inmost round, Shops breathe perfumes, through sashes ribbons glow, With wither'd turnip-tops her temples crown'd; The mutual arms of ladies and the beau. Low reach'd her dripping tresses, lank, and black Yet still ev'n here, when rains the passage hide, As the smooth jet, or glossy raven's back; Oft the loose stone spirts up a muddy tide Around her waist a circling eel was twind, Beneath thy careless foot; and from on high. Which bound her robe that hung in rags behind. Where masons mount the ladder, fragments fly, Now, beckoning to the boy, she thus begun : Mortar and crumbled lime in showers descend, " Thy prayers are granted ; weep no more, my son : And o'er thy head destructive tiles impend. Go thrive. At some frequented corner stand; But sometimes let me leave the noisy roads, This brush I give thee, grasp it in thy hand; And silent wander in the close abodes, Temper the soot within this vase of oil,
Where wheels ne'er shake the ground; there pensive And let the little tripod aid thy toil.
stray, On this, methinks, I see the walking crew, In studious thought, the long uncrowded way. At thy request, support the miry shoe ;
Here I remark each walker's different face, The foot grows black that was with dirt embrown'd, And in their look their various business trace. And in thy pocket gingling half-pence sound.” The broker here his spacious beaver wears, The goddess plunges swift beneath the flood, Upon his brow sit jealousies and cares ; And dashes all around her showers of mud: The youth straight chose his post; the labor plied Thames-street. Where branching streets from Charing Cross divide; | Cheshire, anciently so called.
Bent on some mortgage (to avoid reproach) Columns with plain magnificence appear,
I spy the furies of the foot-ball war:
Careful observers, studious of the town, Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground, Shun the misfortunes that disgrace the clown; The gathering globe augments with every round. Untempted, they contemn the juggler's feats, But whither shall I run ? the throng draws nigh, Pass by the Meuse, nor try the thimble's cheats ;* The ball now skims the street, now soars on high; When drays bound high, they never cross behind, The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound, Where bubbling yest is blown by gusts of wind : And jingling sashes on the penthouse sound. And when up Ludgate-hill huge carts move slow, O, moving Muse! recall that wondrous year, Far from the straining steeds securely go,
When Winter reign'd in bleak Britannia's air;
Pensive reclines upon his useless oar;
Wheels o'er the harden'd waters smoothly glide, Nor flush with shame the passing virgin's cheek. And rase with whiten'd tracks the slippery lide; Yet let me not descend to trivial song,
Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire, Nor vulgar circumstance my verse prolong.
And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire ; Why should I teach the maid, when torrents pour, Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear, Iler head to shelter from the sudden shower ? And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair. Nature will best her ready hand inform,
So, when a general bids the martial train
When silent evening closes up the flowers ;
Doll every day had walk'd these treacherous Parch the dry ground, and spread with dust the ways;
Her neck grew warpt beneath autumnal loads With whirling gusts the rapid atoms rise,
of various fruit: she now a basket bore ; Smoke o'er the pavement, and involve the skies. That head, alas! shall basket bear no more. Winter my theme confines; whose nitry wind
Each booth she frequent past, in quest of gain, Shall crust the slabby mire, and kennels bind; And boys with pleasure heard her shrilling strain. She bids the snow descend in flaky sheets, Ah, Doll! all mortals must resign their breath, And in her hoary mantle clothe the streets. And industry itself submit to death! Let not the virgin tread these slippery roads, The cracking crystal yields; she sinks, she dies, The gathering fleece the hollow patten loads ; Her head, chopt off, from her lost shoulders flies; But if thy footsteps slide with clotted frost, Pippins she cried, but death her voice confounds, Strike off the breaking balls against the post. And pip-pip-pip along the ice resounds. On silent wheels the passing coaches roll;
So, when the Thracian furies Orpheus toro, Oft look behind, and ward the threatening pole.
And left his bleeding trunk deform'd with gore, In harden'd orbs the school-boy moulds the snow,
His sever'd head floats down the silver tide, To mark the coachman with a dext'rous throw. His yet warm tongue for his lost consort cried; Why do ye, boys, the kennel's surface spread, Euridice with quivering voice he mourn'd, To tempt with faithless path the matron's tread? And Heber's banks Euridice return'd. How can you laugh to see the damsel spurn, But now the western gale the food unbinds, Sink in your frauds, and her green stocking mourn? And blackening clouds move on with warmer winds; At White's the harness'd chairman idly stands, The wooden town its frail foundation leaves, And swings around his waist his tingling hands ; And Thames' full urn rolls down his plenteous The sem pstress speeds to Change with red-lipt nose; The Belgian stove beneath her footstool glows; From every penthouse streams the fleeting snow, In half-whipt muslin needles useless lie,
And with dissolving frost the pavements flow. And shuttle-cocks across the counter fly. (prove,
Experienc'd men, inur'd to city ways,
Where Covent-garden's famous temple stands, Led by the nostril, walks the muzzled bear;
The pride of Hockley-bole, the surly bull. * A cheat commonly practised in the streets with three Learn hence the periods of the week to name, thimbles and a little ball.
Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game.