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your reverence,” said crispin, “ I “ One old warm one, he shall have not taken from, but added be nameless, gravely asks, his to their fame. Pope and Dryden, eyes half shut, his pipe in his Milton and Cowley, and I know mouth~ Do you think the world not who, are read in me, where can be actually round, master even their names would else be crispin.' Round as-round as never heard.”
" Ah !" said -a-plum pudding,' said I. Swift, “ and how comes that ?" He nodded assent. (Let me “ I'll tell your reverence. Oh! premise, I am an authority with if you could but put on the invi- most of them, and I will inform sible cap, and take an hour at your reverence why, just now). Tom's, or Jack's, or Jonathan's I shook my head—incredulous. 'within the walls, I could point • There now,' said he, clapping out some characters for your his hands with satisfaction, there masterly pen, that would richly now, I'm glad you are of my pay you for the visit.” “ As opinion. How could men, wohow?" said the dean. Why, men, and
children stand on if it were only to see one of my t'other side o' the world, antedepoor stamp make them gape and luvians they call them, if I am stare, with their vacant faces, right.' I nodded assent. Well, and wager their rumps,
and how could these said antedeludozens
absurdities that out- vians stand with their feet to rival the Gothamites themselves.” ours, unless men were flies, do “ Come, let us have a specimen," you see, roosting with their feet said the dean. Why, I do not to the ceiling ?' Very good, know that 'tis quite moral to ex- said I. 'Well,' said he, that's pose one's neighbours." Phoo! what I
obstinate man, are we not free sawyers ? partner, who is one of your
readHave I not come all this way to ers, lays me a wager upon it. pick acquaintance with you? Now, said I, how are you to Come, empty your budget, man, prove it, master ?' The dean, you may trust me ; we know here, could not forbear laughing. how to be merry and wise." “ You rogue, crispin, you
have “ Well, your reverence, you
no lack of invention.'
« 'Pon must take the sin upon your own honour, sir, it is all gospel-every shoulders.” “ Never fear, said word.” “Well, well, proceed," the dean, eager to hear more said the dean, “I wish Pope from the satirical gossip,
and Arbuthnot were here.” “Fie, fear; we slay not—we break no sir !” said crispin, " mister Pope bones-welacerate no fine-strung would never have patience to nerves ; so proceed, master cris- hear me run on in this way.' pin : this is no deadly sin, and “ You are mistaken," said the we may hope for pardon." dean,“ Pope is the wittiest of the
“ Well sir,” said crispin, em- whole bunch, when he is in spiboldened by this license, “ I will rits; but this between ourselves, give you a specimen of the phi- master crispin, so proceed." losophy of the shades.*
Well, sir, then now for a touch
* The Shades tavern, under Fishmongers’-hall.
at the old citizen's logic. Now,' alderman, "but I've read in an said he,' how are you to prove it, old book, that Windsor castle master; that puzzled my part- was
built by one Williamner.' Let me see,' said he. William of what's his name?' Yes,' said I, remember this, «Of Malmsbury,' said I, in a old boy, when you are no longer whisper. « You mischievous here, and then how the devil rogue," said the dean, shaking do you know where you are? his sides. “By one William of That was a poser for my partner, Malmsbury; and,' raising his master crispin, and so it is a voice, 'I further remember what drawn bet.'"
he cut upon the castle, this made “Now, perhaps, you would Wickham! and the king, it was condescend to hear a specimen of either old straddling Harry the historical knowledge, within the eighth, or crooked-back Richard, walls. But I fear I shall exhaust that threatened to have his head your patience.” “Go on, you cut off for that treason,' When rouge,
said the dean, “I am another grave citizen wittily exattentive; this is all new to me claimed, “Ah!, these were crook-quite original, trust me. I'lled times, your lordship, when stop you when you grow
dull." a builder like Ben Jonson, or “ Well’ your reverence, know William of Malmsbury, should then, it was but lately I heard a have his head cut off his shoul
factor, up the ders for merely cutting a rhyme Thames, in the lord mayor's on a stone wall. So, by permisbarge, make a bet with- - On sion, here's to the health of his a swan-hopping, I guess,” said majesty king George, and thank the dean. “ Just so, said cris- God we do not live under a pin ; “ make a bet with a brother popish government.' alderman, that Windsor castle, is What huns!” said the dean, which they saw out of the inn “ but I see you are a joker.” window with a telescope, was “ On my conscience, these are built by Ben Jonson ; and why facts,” said crispin, “I have too I am positive,' said the hop-fac- much respect for your reverence. tor, 'is by this token-Ben was But the best of it is yet to come. a bricklayer, and it was here The next day, one of this grave that Nell Gwyn said to him- old gentleman's grand daughters,
hearing him relate the exploit to By line and rule Works many a fool.
some guests at his own table, had Good morrow, Ben.'
the boldness to rectify her grandрара. .
You must mean WilNow Nell was Charles the First's liam of Wykeham, sir.' - What! concubine-she was a Catholic. heigh !' said the old gentleman Ben, as I said before, was a in wrath, Don't-you-learn to bricklayer, and I've been told -contra-dict-your-seniors, helped to write Shakespear's miss, (making a pause between plays, and is buried in West- each word), this comes of sendminister Abbey, with a silver ing girls to boarding-schools. trowel. I've seen the stone And, how do you know, forward O
rare Ben Jonson.' • That minx, that William of Malmspart is true, no doubt,' said the bury and William of Wyckham
may not be one and the same with an “how d’ye do' in the thing in history!"
street. Then I got forward by « And how do you manage to
serving for overseer and churchget admitted among these rich warden ; these offices gave me an dons, for I've heard 'tis no easy opportunity now and then, of matter to be on a fire-footing showing off at our vestry meetwith your purse-proud citizens; ings.
The fellow has got a me, brother crispin,' good head-piece,' said old sir looking round upon his humble Thomas Dunk, "and is a civil, premises, not that I value a honest man enough, and a bit man for his wealth.”
of a scholar to boot. Thus I was reverence, all the world knows advancing.” that. And as you have conde- “ Good !” said the dean, “I scended to visit one so insignifi- see you know the world; we cant to outward appearance, it have a saying for that, toois my duty to let you into the secret. Us wits,” pluming himself
“ First you must creep along, then up with mock consequence,
The proudest old pope was a cardinal awe the dull dogs, for all their money-bags, when we once get First be a courtier, and next be a king, them in a saw-pit ; 'tis then we
The more the hoop's bent, so much
higher the spring." prove ourselves free
sawyers. You take me, sir.” « l'faith! I “ But I mounted for the lower do, brother crispin ; you have part of fame's ladder, up to the said a volume upon the subject. top, all at once, your reverence, You are one after my own heart; as you shall hear, if it be your so let us have it; I will not in- pleasure.” Proceed,” said the terrupt; out with it, and mind, dean. no reserve !”
Well, sir, know then-faith Faith, your reverence, I I am almost ashamed to tell your shall carry my head a little high- reverence of my audacity and er after this, well, let me see, presumption with my superficial I am almost beside myself by jargon; but these are times when your bearing with me; know, a man had better go hang himthen, sir, you were right in your self than altogether hide his observation; I was overawed at talent under”. -“ Under a closefirst by the weight of their metal, stool pan,' said the dean.* and was
a long time before I “ Out upon your affectation! go joined discourse. I only ventured straight forward, like an honest to call for yesterday's papers, man ; I abominate your digressnuffed the candle for my next sions; what you mean to say, I door neighbour, and set in the suppose is simply, that that cafarthest box from the fire, un- pricious, hood-winked beldame til I sometimes was honoured gave her wheel a turn, and
Swift hated digression; and, among other eccentricities, made a rule not to speak more than a minute at a time, and was particular that other persons should be allowed to take up the conversation ; and, though unguarded in his phrases, generally using that which his whimsical imagination first offered, he would not tolerate indelicate conversation in others.
whirléd you up
could now we are quits again. Well, say,
Jack Robinson.'.' Aye, go on. something like it,” said crispin. - This said alderman, then, " Never dawdle over a story, who has no small weight in the man," said the dean, “but go ward, was rudely attacked by an on ; have I not said I like to impudent, pragmatical, purselisten?”
proud, ignoramus, of one of the “ But I am no scholar,” said courts in Guildhall, who had crispin, no more than Stevey feathered his nest, and cared Duck.” " So much the better,' for nobody. The over-bearing said the dean, “then much learn- wrangler, what with his law and ing hath not made thee mad, like scraps of Latin, out-argued all some pernicious coxcombs, who the neighbouring ward, ruled make other people as crazy as the roast, and interrupted conthemselves ;* and a Winchester viviality at half the taverns round bushel of wit and common sense, about. His manner was terrific is better than a Bristol barrel of to these peaceable cits. The Latin and Greek (laughing all alderman had advanced somethe while), aye, measured out by thing concerning Milton, and your honest fellowship-porters, quoted a few lines correctly master crispin, so let's have no enough. Where the devil did more of this mawkishness." you read that ?' said the lawyer ;
Well, if your reverence will that's a book above your cut, I'd have it, a certain alderman was be sworn.' · Better not swear at drawn into a dilemma, touching all,' said the worthy alderman, poetry, one night, at the Mitre. turning his back upon him.
Poetry-good Lord !” exclaim- One thing I'd swear,' said the ed the dean, “old sir Francis lawyer, highly affronted, that Childe, t I suppose. “ No, sir, you don't quote six lines more you have not hit
him.' for all the gold in Threadneedle• Then old sir Felix Feast," + street,' accompanying his assersaid the dean : crispin shook his tion with an oath and boisterous head. « Was it sir Humphry laugh, looked round forapplause; Parsons ?" « No; I'll men- neither you nor any one pretion no 'names, said crispin. sent.' "That's more than you “ One guess more," said the can take upon yourself to say,' dean, “ old sir John Bull.”+ said I. Coblers stick to their “ I'll mention no names, nor have stalls,' said he, sneeringly; any digressions, said crispin, who the devil do you think laughing in his turn. Very would argue with such a penny fair,” said the dean, clapping him chandler as you.' That's not on the shoulder, you are an honourable, sir,' said I, you honest fellow, master crispin, challenged the company.'
* He had, moreover, a great aversion for speculatists, and had no patience with pedants. He was so partial to punning, and so reputed for his punisms, that he used to say—“None despised talent but those who were without it.”
+ Sheriffs and aldermen, reputed in their day.
• Bravo! master Tucker,' ex- their pipes, one by one in silent claimed all voices. • What do admiration, gazing and staring you know about Milton,' said at my wonderous learning, attenthe lawyer ; I'd bet you fifty tive as a crowded clod-hopping pounds you know no more of jury-box to the long spun charge poetry, than a coster-monger, of a new-made judge. But the nor of rhetoric, than his jack- best on't is, your reverence, I ass.' I have no money to fool riddid the house of the nuisance, away,' said I, but I'll prove be- hunted him fair out of the field, fore this worthy company, I know out of the parish, and out of the more of the matter than you, ward ; and I am now an authorifor all your law, and Latin to ty on every learned question, boot.' He could not flinch from and crispin Tucker would be the match, and we set too like backed, right or wrong, for any fighting cocks ;—“ Ding-dong, sum, against both the univerhammer and tongs," said the sities.” dean; “Pellmell," said crispin ; “ Thou art verily the merriest
Hip and thigh,” said the dean, rogue I have yet encountered in laughing, “ carrying on the war all my perigrinations, master againt the Philistine, with the crispin,” said the dean, “and I same weapon too, heigh, master have tickled some comical trout crispin ?" « Yes, if you will have from their holes in my time too. it so,” answered the merry book- When I am sworn lord mayor, seller, " till he turned, all shame you shall be dubbed city laureat, and confusion, as white as your that's certain, master crispin, for reverence's hand. Oh! how I à but of sack would be better made him fume and shake, the bestowed on you, than on that impudent gogmagog, as I gallop- ungodly, * 'scapegrace, odeped over him upon tropes and making owl in the west. Faith, figures, flourishing to the as- man, you are right ; I should like tonishment of all beholders, long to change my wig for a conjurwords, such as allegorically, ing cap, and seat myself amidst metaphorically, metonymically, these wagering gormagons ; and synecdochealy.' Yes, sir, 1 though they seem cold, phleglaid about him with personifica- matic, sour wights, what I have tion, antithesis, interrogation,
interrogation, seen of them in their shops and exclamation, amplification,' and counting houses.' winded him
close with reverence, but completely meiambics, dactyls, amphibrachs, tamorphosed at night; gruff and and spondees,' for all his quirks grumpy, with the pen stuck in and quibbles, and doubling, the his ear : frank and free, with a hardmouthed sophist, before I napkin tucked under the chin. reached
my climax, that the big- That's the time for a needy poet wings shook the ashes out of to beg or borrow. Blessed be
Cibber, poet lauret.
Billingsgate, my daughter dear.