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Musa Pedestris - Three Centuries of Canting Songs by John S. Farmer

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Musa Pedestris
THREE CENTURIES OF
CANTING SONGS AND SLANG RHYMES
[1536-1896]

COLLECTED AND ANNOTATED by JOHN S. FARMER

CONTENTS

Index to Titles

Index to Authors

Forewords

Notes

Appendix

"A beggar I'll be" (Anon--1660)
"A Gage of Ben Rom-Bouse" (Middleton and Dekker--1611)
"A Hundred Stretches Hence" (G. W. Matsell--1859)
'Arry at a Political Picnic (T. Milliken--1884)
Beggar's Curse, The (Thomas Dekker--1608)
"Bing Out, Bien Morts" (Thomas Dekker--1612)
Black Procession, The (Anon--1712)
Blooming AEsthetic (Anon--1882)
Bobby and His Mary (Anon--1826)
Bould Yeoman, The (Pierce Egan--1842)
Bridle-cull and his little Pop-gun (Pierce Egan--1842)
Budg and Snudg Song, A (Anon--1676)
Banter's Christening, The (G. Parker--1789)
By-blow of the Jug, The (Pierce Egan--1842)
Cadger's Ball, The (Anon--1852)
Canter's Serenade, The (Anon--1725)
Chickaleary Cove, The (Vance--1864)
"Come all you Buffers Gay" (Anon--1760)
Coster's Serenade, The (A. Chevalier--1894)
Culture in the Slums (W. E. Henley--1887)
Dashy Splashy . . . little Stringer, The (Leman Rede--1841)
"Dear-Bill--This Stone Jug" (Anon--1857)
Double Cross, The (W. H. Ainsworth--1834)
Faker's New Toast, The (Bon Gualtier--1841)
Flashey Joe (R. Morley--1826)
Flashman of St. Giles, The (Anon--1790)
Frisky Moll's Song (J. Harper--1724)
Game of High Toby, The (W. H. Ainsworth--1834)
Happy Pair, The (G. Parker--1789)
High Pad's Boast, The (J. Fletcher--1625)
High Pad's Frolic, The (Leman Rede--1841)
Housebreaker's Song, The (G. W. M. Reynolds--1838)
Jack Flashman (Pierce Egan--1842)
Lag's Lament, The (H. T. R.--1829)
Leary Man, The (Ducange Anglicus--185?)
Leary Mot, A (Anon--1811)
Masqueraders, The (G. Parker--1789)
Maunder's Initiation, The (J. Fletcher--1625)
Maunder's Praise of his Strowling Mort, The (Anon--1707)
Maunder's Wooing, The (S. Rowlands--1610)
Merry Beggars, The (R. Brome--1641)
Milling Match, The (T. Moore--1819)
Miss Dolly Trull (Pierce Egan--1842)
Mort's Drinking Song, A (R. Brome--1641)
My Mother (Bon Gualtier--1841)
My mugging maid (J. Bruton--1826)
"Nix my Doll, Pals, Fake Away" (W. Harrison Ainsworth--1834)
Nutty Blowen, The (Bon Gualtier--1841)
Oath of the Canting Crew, The (R. Goadby--1749)
On the Prigging Lay (H. T. R.--1829)
Our Little Nipper (A. Chevalier--1893)
Pickpocket's Chaunt, The (W. Maginn--1829)
Plank-bed Ballad, A (G. R. Sims--1888)
Poor Luddy (T. Dibdin--1826)
Potato Man, The (Anon--1775)
"Retoure my dear Dell" (Anon--1725)
Rhyme of the Rusher (Doss Chiderdoss--1892)
Rhymes of the Canting Crew (R. Copland--1536)
Rondeau of the Knock, The (G. R. Sims--1890)
"Rum Coves that Relieve Us" (H. Baumann--1887)
Rum-Mort's Praise of her Faithless Maunder, The (Anon--1707)
Sandman's Wedding, The (G. Parker--1789)
Slang Pastoral, A (R. Tomlinson--1780)
Song of the Beggar, The (Anon--1620)
Song of the Young Prig, The (Anon--1810-9)
Sonnets for the Fancy: I. Education.
II. Progress. III. Triumph (Pierce Egan--1824)
"The Faking Boy to the Crap is Gone" (Bon Gualtier--1841)
The Night before Larry was stretched (W. Maher--1816)
Thieves' Chaunt, The (W. H. Smith--1836)
Tottie (G. R. Sims--1887)
"Towre Out, Ben Morts" (S. Rowlands--1610)
True Bottom'd Boxer, The (J. Jones--1825)
Vain Dreamer, The (Anon--1725)
Villon's Good Night (W. E. Henley--1887)
Villon's Straight Tip (W. E. Henley--1887)
"When my Dimber Dell I Courted" (Anon--1725)
"Wot Cher" (A. Chevalier--1892)
"Ye Scamps, ye Pads, ye Divers" (Messink--1781)
"Ya-Hip, my Hearties!" (Gregson--1819)

INDEX TO AUTHORS

Ainsworth, W. Harrison
Anonymous
Baumann, Heinrich
Bon Gualtier
Brome, Richard
Bruton, James
Chevalier, Albert
Copland, Robert
Dekker, Thomas
Dibdin, Thomas
Doss Chiderdoss
Ducange Anglicus
Egan, Pierce
Fletcher, John
Goadby, Robert
Gregson
Harper, J.
Henley, W. Ernest
H. T. R.
Jones, J.
Maginn, William
Maher, Will
Matsell, G. W.
Messink
Middleton, Thomas
Milliken, T.
Moore, Thomas
Morley, R.
Parker, George
Rede, Leman
Reynolds, G. W. M.
Rowlands, Samuel
Sims, G. R.
Smith, W. H.
Tomlinson, R.
Vance

FOREWORDS

When Harrison Ainsworth, in his preface to _Rookwood,_ claimed
tobe "the first to write a purely flash song" he was very wide of
themark. As a matter of fact, "Nix my doll, pals, fake away!" had
beenanticipated, in its treatment of canting phraseology, by nearly
three centuries, and subsequently, by authors whose names stand high,
in other respects, in English literature.

The mistake, however, was not altogether unpardonable; few, indeed,
would have even guessed that the appearance of utter neglect which
surrounded the use of Cant and Slang in English song, ballad, or
verse--its rich and racy character notwithstanding--was anything but
of the surface. The _chanson d'argot_ of France and the
_romance di germania_ of Spain, not to mention other forms of the
MUSA PEDESTRIS had long held popular sway, but there was to all
appearance nothing to correspond with them on this side the silver
streak.

It must be confessed, however, that the field of English slang verse
and canting song, though not altogether barren, has yet small claim to
the idiomatic and plastic treatment that obtains in many an _Argot-
song_ and _Germania-romance;_ in truth, with a few notable
exceptions, there is little in the present collection that can claim
literary rank.

Those exceptions, however, are alone held to be ample justification
for such an anthology as that here presented. Moreover these "Rhymes
and Songs", gathered from up and down the years, exhibit, _en
masse_, points of interest to the student and scholar that, in
isolation, were either wanting altogether, or were buried and lost
sight of midst a mass of more (or less) valuable matter.

As regards the Vulgar Tongue itself--though exhaustive disquisition
obviously lies outside the scope of necessarily brief forewords--it
may be pointed out that its origin in England is confessedly obscure.
Prior to the second half of the 16th century, there was little trace
of that flood of unorthodox speech which, in this year of grace
eighteen hundred and ninety-six, requires six quarto double-columned
volumes duly to chronicle--verily a vast and motley crowd!

As to the distinction to be drawn between Cant and Slang it is
somewhat difficult to speak. Cant we know; its limits and place in the
world of philology are well defined. In Slang, however, we have a
veritable Proteus, ever shifting, and for the most part defying exact
definition and orderly derivation. Few, save scholars and such-like
folk, even distinguish between the two, though the line of demarcation
is sharply enough defined.

In the first place, Slang is universal, whilst Cant is restricted in
usage to certain classes of the community: thieves, vagrom men, and--
well, their associates. One thing, indeed, both have in common; each
are derived from a correct normal use of language. There, however, all
similarity ends.

Slang boasts a quasi-respectability denied to Cant, though Cant is
frequently more enduring, its use continuing without variation of
meaning for many generations. With Slang this is the exception;
present in force to-day, it is either altogether forgotten to-morrow,
or has shaded off into some new meaning--a creation of chance and
circumstance. Both Cant and Slang, but Slang to a more determinate
degree, are mirrors in which those who look may see reflected a
picture of the age, with its failings, foibles, and idiosyncrasies.
They reflect the social life of the people, the mirror rarely being
held to truth so faithfully--hence the present interest, and may be
future value, of these songs and rhymes. For the rest the book will
speak for itself.

MUSA PEDESTRIS

RHYMES OF THE CANTING CREW. [Notes]
[c. 1536]

[From "_The Hye-way to the Spyttel-hons"_ by ROBERT COPLAND
(HAZLITT, _Early Popular Poetry of England, iv_.) ROBERT COPLAND
and the Porter of St. Bartholomew's Hospital _loquitor_].

_Copland._ Come none of these pedlers this way also,
With pak on bak with their bousy speche [1]
Jagged and ragged with broken hose and breche?

_Porter._ Inow, ynow; with bousy coue maimed nace,[2]
Teare the patryng coue in the darkeman cace
Docked the dell for a coper meke;
His watch shall feng a prounces nob-chete,
Cyarum, by Salmon, and thou shall pek my jere
In thy gan, for my watch it is nace gere
For the bene bouse my watch hath a coyn.
And thus they babble tyll their thryft is thin
I wote not what with their pedlyng frenche.

[1 crapulous]
[2 Notes]

THE BEGGAR'S CURSE
[1608]

[From _Lanthorne and Candlelight_, by THOMAS DEKKER, ed. GROSART
(188 ), iii, 203:--"a canting song, wherein you may learn, how
_this_ cursed _generation_ pray, or (to speake truth) curse
such officers as punish them"].

[Notes]

I

The Ruffin cly the nab of the Harmanbeck,
If we mawnd Pannam, lap, or Ruff-peck,
Or poplars of yarum: he cuts, bing to the Ruffmans,
Or els he sweares by the light-mans,
To put our stamps in the Harmans,
The ruffian cly the ghost of the Harmanbeck
If we heaue a booth we cly the lerk.

[The devil take the Constable's head!
If we beg bread, drink, bacon,
Or milk porridge, he says: "be off to the hedges"
Or swears, in the morning
To clap our feet in the stocks.
The devil take the Constable's ghost
If we rob a house we are flogged.]

II

If we niggle, or mill a bowzing Ken,
Or nip a boung that has but a win,
Or dup the giger of a Gentry cores ken,
To the quier cuffing we bing;
And then to the quier Ken, to scowre the Cramp-ring,
And then to the Trin'de on the chates, in the light-mans,
The Bube &. Ruffian cly the Harmanbeck & harmans.

[If we fornicate, or thieve in an alehouse,
Rob a purse with only a penny in it.
Or break into a gentleman's house,
To the magistrate we go;
Then to gaol to be shackled,
Whence to be hanged on the gallows in the morning,
The pox and the devil take the constable and his stocks.]

"OWRE OUT BEN MORTS"
[1610]

[By SAMUEL ROWLANDS in _"Martin Mark-all, Beadle of Bridewell: His
Defence and Answere to the Belman of London"_].

I

Towre out ben morts & towre,[1]
Looke out ben morts & towre,
For all the Rome coues are budgd a beake,[2]
And the quire coves tippe the lowre.[3]

II

The quire coues are budgd to the bowsing ken,[4]
As Romely as a ball,[5]
But if we be spid we shall be clyd,[6]
And carried to the quirken hall.[7]

III

Out budgd the Coue of the ken,[8]
With a ben filtch in his quarr'me[9]
That did the prigg good that bingd in the kisome,[10]
To towre the Coue budge alar'me.

[1: look-out, good women;]
[2: all the Rome-coves [Notes] have run away [Notes]]
[3: Queer-coves taken the money]
[4: have sneaked to the ale-house]
[5: nimbly]
[6: whipped]
[7: taken to gaol.]
[8: crept; master of the house]
[:9 staff; hand.]
[10: went to search for the man who had given the alarm.]

THE MAUNDER'S WOOING [Notes]
[1610]

[By SAMUEL ROWLANDS in _Martin Mark-all, Beadle of Bridewell: His
Defence and Answere to the Belman of London_:--"I will shew you
what I heard at _Knock-vergos_, drinking there a pot of English
Ale, two Maunders borne and bred vp rogues wooing in their natiue
language"].

I

O Ben mort wilt thou pad with me,[1]
One ben slate shall serue both thee and me,[2]
My Caster and Commission shall serue vs both to maund,[3]
My bong, my lowre & fambling cheates[4]
Shall be at thy command.

II

O Ben Coue that may not be, [5]
For thou hast an Autem mort who euer that is she,[6]
If that she were dead & bingd to his long tibb,[7]
Then would I pad and maund with thee,[8]
And wap and fon the fibb.[9]

III

O ben mort Castle out & Towre,[10]
Where all the Roome coues slopne that we may tip the lowre,[11]
Whe_ [*]we haue tipt the lowre & fenc't away the duds[12]
Then binge we to the bowzing ken,[13]
Thats cut the Robin Hood.[14]

IV

But O ben Coue what if we be clyd, [15]
Long we cannot foist & nip at last we shall be spyed, [16]
If that we be spied, O then begins our woe,
With the Harman beake out and alas, [17]
To Wittington we goe. [18]

V

Stow your whids & plant, and whid no more of that [19]
Budg a beak the crackmas & tip lowr with thy prat [20]
If treyning thou dost feare, thou ner wilt foist a Ian, [21]
Then mill, and wap and treine for me, [22]
A gere peck in thy gan. [23]

As they were thus after a strange maner a wooing, in comes by chance a
clapper-dudgeon [24] for a pinte of Ale, who as soone as he was spied,
they left off their roguish poetry, and fell to mocke of the poor
maunder thus.

VI

The clapper dugeon lies in the skipper, [25]
He dares not come out for shame,
But when he binges out he dus budg to the gigger, [26]
Tip in my skew good dame.

[1: good woman, tramp]
[2: sheet]
[3: cloak; shirt; beg]
[4: purse; money; rings]
[5: good man]
[6: wife]
[7: gone to her longhome]
[8: tramp and beg]
[9: Notes]
[10: find out]
[11: thieves; congregate; get money]
[12: sold the swag]
[13: go to the alehouse]
[14: called the "Robin Hood."]
[15: arrested?]
[16: cheat and steal]
[17: magistrate]
[18: Newgate]
[19: Hold your jaw! hide, and say no more]
[20: Notes]
[21: hanging; pick a purse]
[22: rob; whore; hang]
[23: Notes]
[24: Notes]
[25: beggar; barn]
[26: comes out; goes to people's doors--"Put something in my wallet."]

"A GAGE OF BEN ROM-BOUSE" [Notes]
[1611]

[By MIDDLETON and DEKKER in "_The Roaring Girl_" V, 1. Sung by
_Moll-Cut-purse_ and _Tearcat_ a bullying rogue.]

_Moll_. Come you rogue, sing with me:--

A gage of ben Rom-bouse,[1]
In a bousing-ken of Rom-vile[2]

_Tearcat_. Is benar than a Caster,[3]
Peck, pennam, lap, or popler,[4]
Which we mill in deuse a vile.[5]

_Moll_. Oh, I wud lib all the lightmans,[6]
Oh, I woud lib all the darkemans,[7]
By the Salomon, under the Ruffemans[8]
By the Salomon in the Hartmans[9]

_Tearcat_. And scoure the queer cramp ring[10]
And couch till a palliard dock'd my dell,[11]
So my bousy nab might skew rome bouse well[12]
Avast to the pad, let us bing;[13]
Avast to the pad, let us bing.

[1 A pot of strong ale (or wine)]
[2 London ale-house]
[3 better than a cloak]
[4 meat, bread, drink, or porridge]
[5 steal on the country-side.]
[6 lie all day]
[7 night]
[8 By the mass! in the woods]
[9 stocks]
[10 in fetters]
[11 Notes]
[12 addle-pate may swill strong drink]
[13 Let us be off on the road.]

"BING OUT, BIEN MORTS" [Notes]
[1612]

[From _O per se O_, by THOMAS DEKKER].

Bing out, bien Morts, and toure, and toure,[1]
bing out, bien Morts, and toure;[2]
For all your Duds are bingd awaste,[3]
the bien coue hath the loure.[4]

* * * * *

I

I met a Dell, I viewde her well,[5]
she was benship to my watch; [6]
So she and I, did stall and cloy,[7]
whateuer we could catch. [8]

II

This Doxie dell, can cut bien whids, [9]
and wap well for a win; [10]
And prig and cloy so benshiply, [11]
all the dewsea-vile within. [12]

III

The boyle was vp, wee had good lucke,[13]
in frost, for and in snow;[14]
When they did seeke, then we did creepe,[15]
and plant in ruffe-mans low.[16]

IV

To Stawling Kenne the Mort bings then,[17]
to fetch loure for her cheates;[18]
Duds and Ruff-pecke, ruinboild by Harmanbecke,[19]
and won by Mawnder's feates.[20]

V

You Mawnders all, stow what you stall,[21]
to Rome coues watch so quire;[22]
And wapping Dell that niggles well,[23]
and takes loure for her hire.[24]

VI

And Jvbe well Ierkt, tick rome-comfeck,[25]
for backe by glimmar to mawnd,[26]
To mill each Ken, let coue bing then,[27]
through ruffemans, lague or launde.[28]

VII

Till Cramprings quier, tip Coue his hire,[29]
and quier-kens doe them catch;[30]
A canniken, mill quier cuffen,[31]
so quier to ben coue's watch.[32]

VIII

Bein darkmans then, bouse, mort, and ken [33]
the bien coue's bingd awast; [34]
On chates to trine, by Rome-coues dine [35]
for his long lib at last. [36]

* * * * *

Bingd out bien morts, and toure, and toure,[37]
bing out of the Rome-vile; [38]
And toure the coue, that cloyde your duds,[39]
upon the chates to trine.[40]

[1 Go abroad, good women,]
[2 and look about you;]
[3 For all your clothes are stolen;]
[4 and a good fellow (a clever thief) has the money.]
[5 I met a wench and summed her up,]
[6 she suited me very well]
[7 So (joining company) she watched while I stole]
[8 whatever came our way.]
[9 This young whore can lie like truth,]
[10 fornicate vigorously for a penny]
[11 And steal very cleverly]
[12 on the countryside]
[13 When the house was alarmed we had good luck]
[14 in spite of frost and snow]
[15 When they sought us we hid]
[16 in the woods.]
[17 To a thieves' receiving house the woman goes]
[18 to get money for the swag--]
[19 Notes]
[20 got by a rogue's dexterity.]
[21 Ye rogues do not brag of your booty]
[22 to rogues who are not straight]
[23 Or trust a mistress, who though she [Notes]]
[24 does so for hire.]
[25 With a counterfeit license and forged signatures [Notes]]
[26 as to losses by fire]
[27 To rob each house let a man go]
[28 thro' hedge, ditch and field]
[29 Till fetters are his desserts]
[30 and a prison is his fate]
[31 A plague take the magistrate!]
[32 who is so hard on a clever rogue]
[33 A good-night then to drink, wench, and ale-house--]
[34 the poor fellow is gone]
[35 On the gallows to hang by rogues betray'd]
[36 to his long sleep.]
[37 So go, my good woman]
[38 out of London]
[39 And see the man who stole your clothes]
[40 upon the gallows hanging.]

THE SONG OF THE BEGGAR [Notes]
[1620]

[From _"A Description of Love"_ 6th ed. (1629)].

I

I am Rogue and a stout one,
A most courageous drinker,
I doe excell, 'tis knowne full well,
The Ratter, Tom, and Tinker.
Still doe I cry, good your Worship good Sir,
Bestow one small Denire, Sir [1]
And brauely at the bousing Ken [2]
He bouse it all in Beere, Sir. [3]

II

If a Bung be got by the hie Law, [4]
Then straight I doe attend them,
For if Hue and Crie doe follow, I
A wrong way soone doe send them.
Still doe I cry, etc.

III

Ten miles vnto a Market.
I runne to meet a Miser,
Then in a throng, I nip his Bung, [5]
And the partie ne'er the wiser.
Still doe I cry, etc.

IV

My dainty Dals, my Doxis, [6]
Whene'er they see me lacking,
Without delay, poore wretches they
Will set their Duds a packing. [7]
Still doe I cry, etc.
V

I pay for what I call for,
And so perforce it must be,
For as yet I can, not know the man,
Nor Oastis that will trust me.
Still doe I cry, etc.

VI

If any giue me lodging,
A courteous Knaue they find me,
For in their bed, aliue or dead,
I leave some Lice behind me.
Still doe I cry, etc.

VII

If a Gentry Coue be comming, [8]
Then straight it is our fashion,
My Legge I tie, close to my thigh,
To moue him to compassion.
Still doe I cry, etc.

VIII

My doublet sleeue hangs emptie,
And for to begge the bolder,
For meate and drinke mine arme I shrinke,
Vp close vnto my shoulder.
Still doe I cry, etc.

IX

If a Coach I heere be rumbling,
To my Crutches then I hie me,
For being lame, it is a shame,
Such Gallants should denie me.
Still doe I cry, etc.

X

With a seeming bursten belly,
I looke like one half dead, Sir,
Or else I beg with a woodden legge,
And a Night-cap on me head, Sir,
Still doe I cry, etc.

XI

In Winter time starke naked
I come into some Citie,
Then euery man that spare them can,
Will giue me clothes for pittie.
Still doe I cry, etc.

XII

If from out the Low-countrie, [9]
I heare a Captaines name, Sir,
Then strait I swere I have bin there;
And so in fight came lame, Sir.
Still doe I cry, etc.

XIII

My Dogge in a string doth lead me,
When in the towne I goe, Sir,
For to the blind, all men are kind,
And will their Almes bestow, Sir,
Still doe I cry, etc.

XIV

With Switches sometimes stand I,
In the bottom of a Hill, Sir,
There those men which doe want a switch,
Some monie give me still, Sir.
Still doe I cry, etc.

XV

Come buy, come buy a Horne-booke,
Who buys my Pins or Needles?
In Cities I these things doe crie,
Oft times to scape the Beadles.
Still doe I cry, etc.

XVI

In Pauls Church by a Pillar; [10]
Sometimes you see me stand, Sir,
With a Writ that showes, what care and woes
I past by Sea and Land, Sir.
Still doe I cry, etc.

XVII

Now blame me not for boasting,
And bragging thus alone, Sir,
For my selfe I will be praying still,
For Neighbours have I none, Sir.
Which makes me cry, etc.

[1: penny]
[2: ale-house]
[3: drink]
[4: purse; Notes]
[5: steal his purse]
[6: girls; whores]
[7: pawn their clothes]
[8: gentleman]
[9: Notes]
[10: Notes]

* * * * *

THE MAUNDER'S INITIATION [Notes]
[1622]

[From _The Beggars Bush_ by JOHN FLETCHER; also in _The New
Canting Dict_:--"Sung on the electing of a new dimber damber, or
king of the gypsies"].

I

Cast your nabs and cares away,
This is maunder's holiday: [1]
In the world look out and see,
Where so blest a king as he
_(Pointing to the newly-elected Prince.)_

II

At the crowning of our king,
Thus we ever dance and sing:
Where's the nation lives so free,
And so merrily as we?

III

Be it peace, or be it war,
Here at liberty we are:
Hang all harmanbecks we cry, [2]
We the cuffins quere defy. [3]

IV

We enjoy our ease and rest,
To the fields we are not pressed:
And when taxes are increased,
We are not a penny 'sessed.

V

Nor will any go to law,
With a maunder for a straw,
All which happiness he brags,
Is only owing to his rags.

"Now swear him"--

I crown thy nab with a gage of ben bouse,[4]
And stall thee by the salmon into clowes,[5]
To maund on the pad, and strike all the cheats, [6]
To mill from the Ruffmans, Commission, and slates, [7]
Twang dells i' th' stiromel, and let the Quire Cuffin
And Harman Beck strine and trine to the ruffin. [8]

[1: beggar]
[2: constables]
[3: magistrates]
[4: I pour on thy pate a pot of good ale]
[5: And install thee, by oath, a rogue]
[6: To beg by the way, steal from all,]
[7: Rob hedge of shirt and sheet,]
[8: To lie with wenches on the straw, so let all magistrates and
constables go to the devil and be hanged!]

THE HIGH PAD'S BOAST
[_b_. 1625]

[Attributed to JOHN FLETCHER--a song from a collection of black-letter
broadside ballads. Also in _New Canting Dict_. 1725.]

I

I keep my Horse; I keep my whore;
I take no rents; yet am not poor;
I travel all the land about,
And yet was born to ne'er a foot.

II

With partridge plump, and woodcock fine,
At midnight, I do often dine:
And if my whore be not in Case, [1]
My hostess' daughter has her place.

III

The maids sit up, and watch their turns;
If I stay long, the tapster mourns;
Nor has the cookmaid mind to sin,
Tho' tempted by the chamberlain.

IV

But when I knock, O how they bustle;
The hostler yawns, the geldings justle:
If the maid be sleepy, O how they curse her;
And all this comes, of, _Deliver your purse, sir._

[1: in the house]

THE MERRY BEGGARS [Notes]
[1641]

[From _A Jovial Crew_, by RICHARD BROME. The beggars discovered
at their feast. After they have scrambled awhile at their Victuals:
this song].

I

Here safe in our Skipper let's cly off our Peck, [1]
And bowse in defiance o' the Harman Beck. [2]
Here's Pannam and Lap, and good Poplars of Yarrum, [3]
To fill up the Crib, and to comfort the Quarron. [4]
Now bowse a round health to the Go-well and Corn-well, [5]
Of Cisley Bumtrincket that lies in the Strummel; [6]

II

Here's Ruffpeck and Casson, and all of the best, [7]
And Scrape of the Dainties of Gentry Cofe's Feast [8]
Here's Grunter and Bleater, with Tib-of-the-Buttry, [9]
And Margery Prater, all dress'd without sluttry. [10]
For all this bene Cribbing and Peck let us then, [11]
Bowse a health to the Gentry Cofe of the Ken. [12]
Now bowse a round health to the Go-well and Corn-well [13]
Of Cisley Bumtrincket that lies in the Strummel. [14]

[1: Safe in our barn let's eat]
[2: And drink without fear of the constable!]
[3: Here's bread, drink, and milk-porridge]
[4: To fill the belly, and comfort the body.]
[5: Drink a good health [Notes]]
[6: To Cisley Bumtrincket lying in the straw]
[7: Here's bacon and cheese]
[8: And scraps from the gentleman's table]
[9: Here's pork, mutton, goose,]
[10: And chicken, all well-cooked.]
[11: For this good food and meat let us]
[12: Drink the gentleman's health and]
[13: Then drink a bumper]
[14: to Cisley Bumtrincket.]

A MORT'S DRINKING SONG [Notes]
[1641]

[From _A Jovial Crew_, by RICHARD BROME: Enter Patrico with his
old wife with a wooden bowle of drink. She is drunk. She sings:--]

I

This is bien bowse, this is bien bowse, [1]
Too little is my Skew. [2]
I bowse no lage, but a whole gage [3]
Of this I'll bowse to you.

II

This bowse is better than rom-bowse, [4]
It sets the gan a-gigling, [5]
The autum-mort finds better sport [6]
In bowsing than in nigling. [7]
This is bien bowse, etc.

[_She tosses off her bowle, falls back and is carried out_.]

[1: strong ale]
[2: cup or platter]
[3: water; pot]
[4: wine]
[5: mouth]
[6: wife]
[7: fornicating]

"A BEGGAR I'LL BE" [Notes]
[1660--1663]

[A black-letter broadside ballad]

I
A Beggar, a Beggar, a Beggar I'll be,
There's none leads a life more jocund than he;
A Beggar I was, and a Beggar I am,
A Beggar I'll be, from a Beggar I came;
If, as it begins, our trading do fall,
We, in the Conclusion, shall Beggars be all.
Tradesmen are unfortunate in their Affairs,
And few Men are thriving but Courtiers and Play'rs.

II

A Craver my Father, a Maunder my Mother, [1]
A Filer my Sister, a Filcher my Brother,
A Canter my Uncle, that car'd not for Pelf,
A Lifter my Aunt, and a Beggar myself;
In white wheaten Straw, when their Bellies were full,
Then was I got between a Tinker and a Trull.
And therefore a Beggar, a Beggar I'll be,
For there's none lives a Life more jocund than he

III

For such pretty Pledges, as Lullies from Hedges. [2]
We are not in fear to be drawn upon Sledges,
But sometimes the Whip doth make us to skip
And then we from Tything to Tything do trip;
But when in a poor Boozing-Can we do bib it, [3]
We stand more in dread of the Stocks than the Gibbet
And therefore a merry mad Beggar I'll be
For when it is night in the Barn tumbles he.

IV

We throw down no Altar, nor never do falter,
So much as to change a Gold-chain for a Halter;
Though some Men do flout us, and others do doubt us,
We commonly bear forty Pieces about us;
But many good Fellows are fine and look fiercer,
And owe for their Cloaths to the Taylor and Mercer:
And if from the Harmans I keep out my Feet, [4]
I fear not the Compter, King's Bench, nor the Fleet. [5]

V

Sometimes I do frame myself to be lame,
And when a Coach comes, I hop to my game;
We seldom miscarry, or never do marry,
By the Gown, Common-Prayer, or Cloak-Directory;
But Simon and Susan, like Birds of a Feather
They kiss, and they laugh, and so jumble together; [6]
Like Pigs in the Pea-straw, intangled they lie,
Till there they beget such a bold rogue as I.

VI

When Boys do come to us, and their Intent is
To follow our Calling, we ne'er bind 'em 'Prentice;
Soon as they come to 't, we teach them to do 't,
And give them a Staff and a Wallet to boot;
We teach them their Lingua, to crave and to cant, [7]
The Devil is in them if then they can want.
And he or she, that a Beggar will be,
Without any Indentures they shall be made free.

VII

We beg for our Bread, yet sometimes it happens
We fast it with Pig, Pullet, Coney, and Capons
The Church's Affairs, we are no Men-slayers,
We have no Religion, yet live by our Prayers;
But if when we beg, Men will not draw their Purses,
We charge, and give Fire, with a Volley of Curses;
The Devil confound your good Worship, we cry,
And such a bold brazen-fac'd Beggar am I.

VIII

We do things in Season, and have so much Reason,
We raise no Rebellion, nor never talk Treason;
We Bill all our Mates at very low rates,
While some keep their Quarters as high as the fates;
With Shinkin-ap-Morgan, with Blue-cap, or Teague, [8]
We into no Covenant enter, nor League.
And therefore a bonny bold Beggar I'll be,
For none lives a life more merry than he.

[1 Notes]
[2 wet linen]
[3 ale-house]
[4 stocks]
[5 Notes]
[6 Notes]
[7 beggar's patter]
[8 Notes]

A BUDG AND SNUDG SONG [Notes]
[1676 and 1712]

[From _A Warning for Housekeepers_... by one who was a prisoner
in Newgate 1676. The second version from the _Triumph of Wit_
(1712)].

I

The budge it is a delicate trade, [1]
And a delicate trade of fame;
For when that we have bit the bloe,[2]
We carry away the game:
But if the cully nap us, [3]
And the lurries from us take, [4]
O then {they rub}{he rubs} us to the whitt [5]
{And it is hardly }{Though we are not} worth a make [6]

II

{But}{And} when we come to the whitt
Our darbies to behold, [7]
And for to (take our penitency)(do out penance there)
{And}{We} boose the water cold. [8]
But when that we come out agen
[And the merry hick we meet] [9]
We (bite the Cully of; file off with) his cole [10]
As (we walk; he pikes) along the street.

III

[And when that we have fil'd him [11]
Perhaps of half a job; [12]
Then every man to the boozin ken [13]
O there to fence his hog; [14]
But if the cully nap us,
And once again we get
Into the cramping rings], [15]
(But we are rubbed into; To scoure them in) the whitt.

IV

And when that we come (to; unto) the whitt,
For garnish they do cry; [16]
(Mary, faugh, you son of a whore; We promise our lusty comrogues)
(Ye; They) shall have it by and bye
[Then, every man with his mort in his hand, [17]
Does booze off his can and part,
With a kiss we part, and westward stand,
To the nubbing cheat in a cart]. [18]

V

{But/And} when {that/---} we come to {Tyburn/the nubbing cheat}
For {going upon/running on} the budge,
There stands {Jack Catch/Jack Ketch}, that son of a {whore/bitch}, [19]
That owes us all a grudge.
{And/For} when that he hath {noosed/nubbed} us, [20]
And our friends {tips/tip} him no cole, [21]
{O then he throws us in the cart/He takes his chive and cuts us down}, [22]
And {tumbles/tips} us into {the/a} hole.

[An additional stanza is given in _Bacchus and Venus_ (1737), a
version which moreover contains many verbal variations]. [23]

VI

But if we have a friend stand by,
Six and eight pence for to pay,
Then they may have our bodies back,
And carry us quite away:
For at St Giles's or St Martin's,
A burying place is still;
And there's an end of a darkman's budge,
And the whoreson hath his will.

[1: Sneaking into houses and stealing anything to hand]
[2: Accomplished the theft]
[3: fellow catches]
[4 swag [properly money]]
[5: take us to Newgate; [Notes]]
[6: halfpenny]
[7: fetters]
[8: drink]
[9: countryman]
[10: steal his money]
[11: robbed]
[12: half a guinea]
[13: ale-house]
[14: spend a shilling]
[15: Handcuffs and leg-shackles]
[16: "footing"]
[17: whore]
[18: gallows]
[19: Notes]
[20: hung]
[21: give no money]
[22: knife]
[23: Notes]

THE MAUNDER'S PRAISE OF HIS STROWLING MORT [Notes]
[1707]

[From _The Triumph of Wit_, by J. SHIRLEY: "the King of the
Gypsies's Song, made upon his Beloved Doxy, or Mistress;" also in
_New Canting Diet_. (1725)].

I

Doxy, oh! thy glaziers shine [1]
As glimmar; by the Salomon! [2]
No gentry mort hath prats like thine, [3]
No cove e'er wap'd with such a one. [4]

II

White thy fambles, red thy gan, [5]
And thy quarrons dainty is; [6]
Couch a hogshead with me then, [7]
And in the darkmans clip and kiss. [8]

III

What though I no togeman wear, [9]
Nor commission, mish, or slate; [10]
Store of strammel we'll have here, [11]
And ith' skipper lib in state. [12]

IV

Wapping thou I know does love, [13]
Else the ruffin cly the mort; [14]
From thy stampers then remove, [15]
Thy drawers, and let's prig in sport. [16]

V

When the lightman up does call, [17]
Margery prater from her nest, [18]
And her Cackling cheats withal, [19]
In a boozing ken we'll feast. [20]

VI

There if lour we want; I'll mill [21]
A gage, or nip for thee a bung; [22]
Rum booze thou shalt booze thy fill, [23]
And crash a grunting cheat that's young. [24]

[1 mistress; eyes]
[2 fire; mass]
[3 lady; [Notes]]
[4 [Notes]]
[5 hand; mouth]
[6 body]
[7 sleep]
[8 night; [Notes]]
[9 cloak]
[10 shirt or sheet]
[11 straw]
[12 in the barn; lie]
[13 Notes]
[14 the devil take the woman otherwise]
[15 feet]
[16 stockings; revel]
[17 daylight]
[18 hen]
[19 chickens]
[20 ale-house]
[21 Money; steal]
[22 pot; steal a purse]
[23 wine; drink]
[24 eat; pig]

THE RUM-MORT'S PRAISE OF HER FAITHLESS MAUNDER [Notes]
[1707]

[From _The Triumph of Wit_, by J. Shirley: also in _New Canting
Dict._].

I

Now my kinching-cove is gone, [1]
By the rum-pad maundeth none, [2]
Quarrons both for stump and bone, [3]
Like my clapperdogeon. [4]

II

Dimber damber fare thee well, [5]
Palliards all thou didst excel, [6]
And thy jockum bore the Bell, [7]
Glimmer on it never fell. [8]

III

Thou the cramprings ne'er did scowre, [9]
Harmans had on thee no power, [10]
Harmanbecks did never toure; [11]
For thee, the drawers still had loure. [12]

IV

Duds and cheats thou oft hast won, [13]
Yet the cuffin quire couldst shun; [14]
And the deuseaville didst run, [15]
Else the chates had thee undone. [16]

V

Crank and dommerar thou couldst play, [17]
Or rum-maunder in one day,
And like an Abram-cove couldst pray,
Yet pass with gybes well jerk'd away.

VI

When the darkmans have been wet, [18]
Thou the crackmans down didst beat [19]
For glimmer, whilst a quaking cheat, [20]
Or tib-o'-th'-buttry was our meat. [21]

VII

Red shanks then I could not lack, [22]
Ruff peck still hung on my Back, [23]
Grannam ever fill'd my sack [24]
With lap and poplars held I tack. [25]

VIII

To thy bugher and thy skew, [26]
Filch and gybes I bid adieu, [27]
Though thy togeman was not new, [28]
In it the rogue to me was true.

[1: little man]
[2: highway; beggeth]
[3: body]
[4: Notes]
[5: Notes]
[6: Notes]
[7: Notes]
[8: Notes]
[9: fetters; wear]
[10: stocks]
[11: constables, look]
[12: pockets; money]
[13: clothes; general plunder]
[14: magistrate]
[15: country]
[16: gallows]
[17: Notes]
[18: night]
[19: hedge]
[20: fire, duck]
[21: goose]
[22: turkey]
[23: bacon]
[24: corn]
[25: any potable; porridge]
[26: dog; wooden dish]
[27: hook; counterfeit pass]
[28: cloak]

THE BLACK PROCESSION [Notes]
[1712]

[From _The Triumph of Wit_, by J. SHIRLEY:--"The twenty
craftsmen, described by the notorious thief-taker Jonathan Wild"].

Good people, give ear, whilst a story I tell,
Of twenty black tradesmen who were brought up in hell,
On purpose poor people to rob of their due;
There's none shall be nooz'd if you find but one true. [1]
The first was a coiner, that stampt in a mould;
The second a voucher to put off his gold, [2]
Toure you well; hark you well, see [3]
Where they are rubb'd, [4]
Up to the nubbing cheat where they are nubb'd. [5]

II

The third was a padder, that fell to decay, [6]
Who used for to plunder upon the highway;
The fourth was a mill-ken to crack up a door, [7]
He'd venture to rob both the rich and the poor,
The fifth was a glazier who when he creeps in, [8]
To pinch all the lurry he thinks it no sin. [9]
Toure you well, etc.

III

The sixth is a file-cly that not one cully spares,[10]
The seventh a budge to track softly upstairs; [11]
The eighth is a bulk, that can bulk any hick, [12]
If the master be nabbed, then the bulk he is sick,
The ninth is an angler, to lift up a grate [13]
If he sees but the lurry his hooks he will bait.
Toure you well, etc.

IV

The tenth is a shop-lift that carries a Bob,
When he ranges the city, the shops for to rob.
The eleventh a bubber, much used of late;
Who goes to the ale house, and steals all their plate,
The twelfth is a beau-trap, if a cull he does meet
He nips all his cole, and turns him into the street.
Toure you well, etc.

V

The thirteenth a famble, false rings for to sell, [17]
When a mob, he has bit his cole he will tell;
The fourteenth a gamester, if he sees the cull sweet [18]
He presently drops down a cog in the street; [19]
The fifteenth a prancer, whose courage is small, [20]
If they catch him horse-coursing, he's nooz'd once for all. [21]
Toure you well, etc.

VI

The sixteenth a sheep-napper, whose trade is so deep, [22]
If he's caught in the corn, he's marked for a sheep [23]
The seventeenth a dunaker, that stoutly makes vows, [24]
To go in the country and steal all the cows;
The eighteenth a kid-napper, who spirits young men,
Tho' he tips them a pike, they oft nap him again.
Toure you well, etc.

VII

The nineteenth's a prigger of cacklers who harms, [25]
The poor country higlers, and plunders the farms; [26]
He steals all their poultry, and thinks it no sin,
When into the hen-roost, in the night, he gets in;
The twentieth's a thief-catcher, so we him call,
Who if he be nabb'd will be made pay for all.
Toure you well, etc.

[in _Bacchus and Venus_ (1737) an additional stanza is given:--]

VIII

There's many more craftsmen whom here I could name, [27]
Who use such-like trades, abandon'd of shame;
To the number of more than three-score on the whole,
Who endanger their body, and hazard their soul;
And yet; though good workmen, are seldom made free,
Till they ride in a cart, and be noozed on a tree.
Toure you well, hark you well, see where they are rubb'd,
Up to the nubbing cheat, where they are nubb'd.

[1: hung]
[2: passer of base coin]
[3: Look! be on your guard]
[4: taken]
[5: gallows: hung]
[6: Tramp or foot-pad.]
[7: housebreaker]
[8: window thief]
[9: valuables]
[10: pickpocket; man or silly fop]
[11: sneaking-thief]
[12: accomplice who jostles whilst another robs: countryman]
[13: thief who hooks goods from shop-windows]
[14: public-house thief]
[15: confidence-trick man; good-natured fool]
[16: steals all his money]
[17: Notes]
[18: an easy dupe]
[19: a lure]
[20: horse-thief]
[21: hung]
[22: sheep-stealer]
[23: as a duffer]
[24: cattle-lifter]
[25: poultry-thief]
[26: bumpkins]
[27: members of the Canting Crew]

FRISKY MOLL'S SONG
[1724]

[By J. HARPER, and sung by Frisky Moll in JOHN THURMOND'S _Harlequin
Sheppard_ produced at Drury Lane Theatre].

I

From priggs that snaffle the prancers strong, [1]
To you of the _Peter_ Lay, [2]
I pray now listen a while to my song,
How my _Boman_ he kick'd away. [3]

II

He broke thro' all rubbs in the whitt, [4]
And chiv'd his darbies in twain; [5]
But fileing of a rumbo ken, [6]
My _Boman_ is snabbled again. [7]

III

I _Frisky Moll_, with my rum coll, [8]
Wou'd Grub in a bowzing ken; [9]
But ere for the scran he had tipt the cole, [10]
The _Harman_ he came in. [11]

IV

A famble, a tattle, and two popps, [12]
Had my _Boman_ when he was ta'en;
But had he not bouz'd in the diddle shops, [13]
He'd still been in Drury-Lane.

[1: steal horses]
[2: carriage thieves]
[3: fancy man or sweetheart]
[4: obstacles; Newgate]
[5: cut fetters]
[6: Breaking into a pawn-broker's]
[7: imprisoned]
[8: good man]
[9: eat; ale-house]
[10: refreshments; paid]
[11: constable]
[12 ring; watch; pistols]
[13 gin-shops]

THE CANTER'S SERENADE [Notes]
[1725]

[from _The New Canting Dictionary_:--"Sung early in the morning,
at the barn doors where their doxies have reposed during the night"].

I

Ye morts and ye dells [1]
Come out of your cells,
And charm all the palliards about ye; [2]
Here birds of all feathers,
Through deep roads and all weathers,
Are gathered together to toute ye.

II

With faces of wallnut,
And bladder and smallgut,
We're come scraping and singing to rouse ye;
Rise, shake off your straw,
And prepare you each maw [3]
To kiss, eat, and drink till you're bouzy. [4]

[1: women; girls]
[2: beggars [Notes]]
[3: mouth]
[4: drunk,]

"RETOURE MY DEAR DELL" [Notes]
[1725]

[From _The New Canting Dictionary_]

I

Each darkmans I pass in an old shady grove, [1]
And live not the lightmans I toute not my love, [2]
I surtoute every walk, which we used to pass, [3]
And couch me down weeping, and kiss the cold grass: [4]
I cry out on my mort to pity my pain,
And all our vagaries remember again.

II

Didst thou know, my dear doxy, but half of the smart [5]
Which has seized on my panter, since thou didst depart; [6]
Didst thou hear but my sighs, my complaining and groans,
Thou'dst surely retoure, and pity my moans: [7]
Thou'dst give me new pleasure for all my past pain,
And I should rejoice in thy glaziers again. [8]

III

But alas! 'tis my fear that the false _Patri-coe_ [9]
Is reaping those transports are only my due:
Retoure, my dear doxy, oh, once more retoure,
And I'll do all to please thee that lies in my power:
Then be kind, my dear dell, and pity my pain,
And let me once more toute thy glaziers again

IV

On redshanks and tibs thou shalt every day dine, [10]
And if it should e'er be my hard fate to trine, [11]
I never will whiddle, I never will squeek, [12]
Nor to save my colquarron endanger thy neck, [13]
Then once more, my doxy, be kind and retoure,
And thou shalt want nothing that lies in my power.

[1: night]
[2: day; see]
[3: know well]
[4: lie]
[5: mistress]
[6: heart]
[7: return]
[8: eyes]
[9: hedge-priest]
[10: turkey; geese]
[11: hang]
[12: speak]
[13: neck]

THE VAIN DREAMER. [Notes]
[1725]

[From _The New Canting Dictionary_].

I
Yest darkmans dream'd I of my dell, [1]
When sleep did overtake her;
It was a dimber drowsy mort, [2]
She slept, I durst not wake her.

II

Her gans were like to coral red, [3]
A thousand times I kiss'd 'em;
A thousand more I might have filch'd' [4]
She never could have miss'd 'em.

III

Her strammel, curl'd, like threads of gold, [5]
Hung dangling o'er the pillow;
Great pity 'twas that one so prim,
Should ever wear the willow.

IV

I turned down the lilly slat, [6]
Methought she fell a screaming,
This startled me; I straight awak'd,
And found myself but dreaming.

[1: evening]
[2: pretty]
[3: lips]
[4: stolen]
[5: hair]
[6: white sheet]

"WHEN MY DIMBER DELL I COURTED" [Notes]
[1725]

[From _The New Canting Dictionary_],

I

When my dimber dell I courted [1]
She had youth and beauty too,
Wanton joys my heart transported,
And her wap was ever new. [2]
But conquering time doth now deceive her,
Which her pleasures did uphold;
All her wapping now must leave her,
For, alas! my dell's grown old.

II

Her wanton motions which invited,
Now, alas! no longer charm,
Her glaziers too are quite benighted, [3]
Nor can any prig-star charm.
For conquering time, alas! deceives her
Which her triumphs did uphold,
And every moving beauty leaves her
Alas! my dimber dell's grown old.

III

There was a time no cull could toute her, [4]
But was sure to be undone:
Nor could th' uprightman live without her, [5]
She triumph'd over every one.
But conquering time does now deceive her,
Which her sporting us'd t' uphold,
All her am'rous dambers leave her,
For, alas! the dell's grown old.

IV

All thy comfort, dimber dell,
Is, now, since thou hast lost thy prime,
That every cull can witness well,
Thou hast not misus'd thy time.
There's not a prig or palliard living,
Who has not been thy slave inroll'd.
Then cheer thy mind, and cease thy grieving;
Thou'st had thy time, tho' now grown old.

[1: pretty wench]
[2: Notes]
[3: eyes]
[4: man; look at]
[5: Notes]

THE OATH OF THE CANTING CREW [Notes]
[1749]

[From _The Life of Bampfylde Moore Carew_, by ROBERT GOADBY].

I, Crank Cuffin, swear to be [1]
True to this fraternity;
That I will in all obey
Rule and order of the lay.
Never blow the gab or squeak; [2]
Never snitch to bum or beak; [3]
But religiously maintain
Authority of those who reign
Over Stop Hole Abbey green, [4]
Be their tawny king, or queen.
In their cause alone will fight;
Think what they think, wrong or right;
Serve them truly, and no other,
And be faithful to my brother;
Suffer none, from far or near,
With their rights to interfere;
No strange Abram, ruffler crack, [5]
Hooker of another pack,
Rogue or rascal, frater, maunderer, [6]
Irish toyle, or other wanderer; [7]
No dimber, dambler, angler, dancer,
Prig of cackler, prig of prancer;
No swigman, swaddler, clapper-dudgeon;
Cadge-gloak, curtal, or curmudgeon;
No whip-jack, palliard, patrico;
No jarkman, be he high or low;
No dummerar, or romany;
No member of the family;
No ballad-basket, bouncing buffer,
Nor any other, will I suffer;
But stall-off now and for ever
All outtiers whatsoever;
And as I keep to the foregone,
So may help me Salamon! [By the mass!]

[1: Notes]
[2: reveal secrets]
[3: betray to bailif or magistrate]
[4: Notes]
[5: Notes]
[6: Notes; beggar]
[7: Notes]

COME ALL YOU BUFFERS GAY [Notes]
[1760]

[From _The Humourist_ .... a choice collection oL songs. 'A New
Flash Song', p. 2].

I

Come all you buffers gay, [1]
That rumly do pad the city, [2]
Come listen to what I do say,
And it will make you wond'rous wity.

II

The praps are at Drury Lane,
And at Covent Garden also,
Therefore I tell you plain,
It will not be safe for to go.

III

But if after a rum cull you pad [3]
Pray follow him brave and bold;
For many a buffer has been grab'd,
For fear, as I've been told.

IV

Let your pal that follows behind,
Tip your bulk pretty soon;
And to slap his whip in time, [4]
For fear the cull should be down. [5]

V

For if the cull should be down.
And catch you a fileing his bag, [6]
Then at the Old Bailey you're found,
And d--m you, he'll tip you the lag. [7]

VI

But if you should slape his staunch wipe [8]
Then away to the fence you may go, [9]
From thence to the ken of one T-- [10]
Where you in full bumpers may flow.

VII

But now I have finish'd my rhime,
And of you all must take my leave;
I would have you to leave off in time,
Or they will make your poor hearts to bleed.

[1: rogue or horse-thief]
[2: prowl about]
[3: well-dressed victim; walk]
[4: give signal to confederate]
[5: Notes]
[6: robbing]
[7: get you transported]
[8: steal; handkerchief]
[9: receiver of stolen property]
[10: house]

THE POTATO MAN [Notes]
[1775]

[from _The Ranelaugh Concert_...a choice collection of the newest
songs sung at all the public places of entertainment].

I

I am a saucy rolling blade, [1]
I fear not wet nor dry,
I keep a jack ass for my trade,
And thro' the streets do cry
_Chorus_. And they all rare potatoes be!
And they're, etc.

II

A moll I keep that sells fine fruit, [2]
There's no one brings more cly; [3]
She has all things the seasons suit,
While I my potatoes cry.
_Chorus_. And they all, etc.

III

A link boy once I stood the gag, [4]
At Charing Cross did ply,
Here's light your honor for a mag, [5]
But now my potatoes cry.
_Chorus._ And they all, etc.

IV

With a blue bird's eye about my squeeg, [6]
And a check shirt on my back, [7]
A pair of large wedges in my hoofs,
And an oil skin round my hat.
_Chorus._ And they all, etc.

V

I'll bait a bull or fight a cock,
Or pigeons I will fly;
I'm up to all your knowing rigs [8]
Whilst I my potatoes cry.
_Chorus._ And they all, etc.

VI

There's five pounds two-pence honest weight
Your own scales take and try;
For nibbing culls I always hate, [9]
And I in safety cry.
_Chorus._ And they all, etc.

[1: fellow]
[2: mistress]
[3: money; Notes]
[4: cry out]
[5: halfpenny]
[6: handkerchief]
[7: Notes; neck.]
[8: smart tricks]
[9: cheating dealers]

A SLANG PASTORAL [Notes]
[1780]

[By R. TOMLINSON:--a Parody on a poem by Dr. Byrom, "My time, O ye muses,
was happily spent"].

I

My time, O ye kiddies, was happily spent, [1]
When Nancy trigg'd with me wherever I went; [2]
Ten thousand sweet joys ev'ry night did we prove;
Sure never poor fellow like me was in love!
But since she is nabb'd, and has left me behind, [3]
What a marvellous change on a sudden I find!
When the constable held her as fast as could be,
I thought 'twas Bet Spriggins; but damme 'twas she.

II

With such a companion, a green-stall to keep,
To swig porter all day, on a flock-bed to sleep, [4]
I was so good-natur'd, so bobbish and gay, [5]
And I still was as smart as a carrot all day:
But now I so saucy and churlish am grown,
So ragged and greasy, as never was known;
My Nancy is gone, and my joys are all fled,
And my arse hangs behind me, as heavy as lead.

III

The Kennel, that's wont to run swiftly along,
And dance to soft murmurs dead kittens among,
Thou know'st, little buckhorse, if Nancy was there,
'Twas pleasure to look at, 'twas music to hear:
But now that she's off, I can see it run past,
And still as it murmurs do nothing but blast.
Must you be so cheerful, while I go in pain?
Stop your clack, and be damn'd t'ye, and hear me complain.

IV

When the bugs in swarms round me wou'd oftentimes play,
And Nancy and I were as frisky as they,
We laugh'd at their biting, and kiss'd all the time,
For the spring of her beauty was just in its prime!
But now for their frolics I never can sleep,
So I crack 'em by dozens, as o'er me they creep:
Curse blight you! I cry, while I'm all over smart,
For I'm bit by the arse, while I'm stung to the heart.

V

The barber I ever was pleased to see,
With his paigtail come scraping to Nancy and me;
And Nancy was pleas'd too, and to the man said,
Come hither, young fellow, and frizzle my head:
But now when he's bowing, I up with my stick,
Cry, blast you, you scoundrel! and give him a kick--
And I'll lend him another, for why should not John
Be as dull as poor Dermot, when Nancy is gone?

VI

When sitting with Nancy, what sights have I seen!
How white was the turnep, the col'wart how green!
What a lovely appearance, while under the shade,
The carrot, the parsnip, the cauliflow'r made!
But now she mills doll, tho' the greens are still there, [6]
They none of 'em half so delightful appear:
It was not the board that was nail'd to the wall,
Made so many customers visit our stall.

VII

Sweet music went with us both all the town thro',
To Bagnigge, White Conduit, and Sadler's-Wells too; [7]
Soft murmur'd the Kennels, the beau-pots how sweet,
And crack went the cherry-stones under our feet:
But now she to Bridewell has punch'd it along, [8]
My eye, Betty Martin! on music a song:
'Twas her voice crying mack'rel, as now I have found,
Gave ev'ry-thing else its agreeable sound.

VIII

Gin! What is become of thy heart-chearing fire,
And where is the beauty of Calvert's Intire?
Does aught of its taste Double Gloucester beguile,
That ham, those potatoes, why do they not smile,
Ah! rot ye, I see what it was you were at,
Why you knocked up your froth, why you flash'd off your fat:
To roll in her ivory, to pleasure her eye,
To be tipt by her tongue, on her stomach to lie.

IX

How slack is the crop till my Nancy return!
No duds in my pocket, no sea-coal to burn! [9]
Methinks if I knew where the watchman wou'd tread,
I wou'd follow, and lend him a punch o' the head.
Fly swiftly, good watchman, bring hither my dear,
And, blast me! I'll tip ye a gallon of beer. [10]
Ah, sink him! the watchman is full of delay,
Nor will budge one foot faster for all I can say.

X

Will no blood-hunting foot-pad, that hears me complain,
Stop the wind of that nabbing-cull, constable Payne? [11]
If he does, he'll to Tyburn next sessions be dragg'd,
And what kiddy's so rum as to get himself scragg'd? [12]
No! blinky, discharge her, and let her return;
For ne'er was poor fellow so sadly forlorn.
Zounds! what shall I do? I shall die in a ditch;

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