Page images


I tell thee, Dick, where I have been,
Where I the rarest things have seen;

Oh! things without compare!

Such sights again cannot be found
In any place on English ground,
Be it at wake or fair.

At Charing-Cross, hard by the way
Where we (thou know'st) do sell our hay,
There is a house with stairs;

And there did I see, coming down,

Such folks as are not in our town,

Forty at least in pairs.

Amongst the rest, one pest'lent fine
(His beard no bigger though than thine),
Walk'd on before the rest :

Our landlord looks like nothing to him;

The king (God bless him), 't would undo him, Shou'd he go still so drest.

At Course-a-park, without all doubt,

He should have first been taken out

By all the maids i' th' town;

Though lusty Roger there had been,

Or little George upon the Green,

Or Vincent of the Crown.


Her finger was so small, the ring
Wou'd not stay on, which they did bring;
It was too wide, a peck;

And to say truth (for out it must)

It look'd like the great collar (just)

About our young colt's neck.

Her feet beneath her petticoat,

Like little mice, stole in and out,

As if they fear'd the light;

But oh! she dances such a way!

No sun upon an Easter day

Is half so fine a sight.

Her cheeks so rare a white was on,

No daisy bears comparison

(Who sees them is undone),

For streaks of red were mingled there,

Such as are on a Katherine pear,

The side that's next the sun.

Her lips were red, and one was thin
Compar'd to that was next her chin,

Some bee had stung it newly;

But (Dick) her eyes so guard her face,
I durst no more upon them gaze,

Than on the sun in July.'

With the lip described in this stanza all the world has been in love. I used to think that the

accent on the first syllable of "July" was a pleasant exercise of will on the writer's part, in order to force a rhyme with "truly" but on turning to the dictionary I find it is the proper one. I suppose we have got the habit of calling it July, from a wish to make the distinction the greater between it and June. I beg pardon of the "lip" for turning from it to this dry bit of criticism. It is impossible to quit the subject without turning again, to give it another glance.

[blocks in formation]

I KNOW nothing of Richard Brome, except that he once acted in some kind of capacity of "servant” to Ben Jonson; that he wrote a number of comedies, which succeeded; and that one of them, the Jovial Crew, or Merry Beggars, was in possession of the stage not long ago. The following laughable fancy is extracted by Charles Lamb into his "Dramatic Specimens." If Brome wrote many such, he deserves to be better known. The second childhood of the old gentlemen is very ludicrous, especially of the restive one, who tells his young director that he is "none of his father."

There was another Brome, Alexander, a jovial attorney and loyalist during the Civil Wars, whose bacchanalian vein is said to have done good service to his cause. I have looked through his volume, but can find little in it except noise and smartness; though there is a tone of sincerity that does him

honour. There is nothing so ready to take the will for the deed in matters of wit and song, as conviviality and good-fellowship; and very pardonable is the mistake; though the printed consequences are too apt to resemble the dullness 66 next morning."


Scene from the comedy of the Antipodes, in which the "world is turned upside down," servants ruling their masters, children sending their parents to school, &c.



Servant (to his young master). How well you saw

Your father to school to-day, knowing how apt

He is to play the truant!

[blocks in formation]

All three (singing). Domine, domine, duster;

Three knaves in a cluster.

Son. O this is gallant pastime! Nay, come on. Is this your school? was that your lesson, hay?

« PreviousContinue »