« AnteriorContinuar »
excite? “The bearer may receive one hundred thousand pounds.” This would make a deep impression on the natives of every country, and may now be realised; for by the present Grand Lottery a single ticket may bestow on the Bearer One Hundred Thousand Pounds.
Here is another of the same ingenious description, which kept the trap constantly baited for the unsuspecting:—
DUEL.—On Friday last a meeting took place near Plymouth, between Capt. G and Lieut. R—, both of the Royal Navy, when, after exchanging shots, happily without effect, the seconds interfered and amicably adjusted the dispute. The following is said to have been the cause of the duel :—Lieut. R had dreamt three successive nights that a certain number would be a prize of £3000, in the ensuing lottery, which he mentioned to Captain G , but never intimated any intention of having that ticket; he, however, wrote up to his agent in London to procure it, who found the Captain was beforehand with him, as he had got it the day before, and refused to give it up. By the intercession of the seconds, it is settled that they are each to have half the ticket, and as they are both very meritorious officers, we sincerely wish they may have one of the numerous Capital Prizes with which the scheme abounds. - **
The most stupendous efforts were made to promote the success of the last lottery, which, however, languished sadly. The price of tickets was arbitrarily raised, to induce a belief that they were in great demand, “at the very moment when,” says Hone, writing immediately afterwards, “their sale was notoriously at a stand; and the lagging attention of the public of the metropolis was endeavoured to be quickened by all sorts of stratagems to the 18th of July, as the very last chance that would occur in England of gaining “Six 30,000/. besides other Capitals,' which it was positively affirmed were “all to be drawn on that fatal day.” Besides the dispersion of innumerable bills and aspersions on Government for extinguishing the Lottery, those most interested in its preservation caused London and the suburbs to be paraded by a most magnificent procession, in which was a band of music which played to attract attention, and then a man stepped forward, and ringing a bell, announced the
death of the Lottery. Cartloads of bills were showered down areas and thrust under doors, and no effort was spared to make the end crown the work of centuries.
Chief among the office-keepers of the period was a Mr T. Bish—one of whose earlier prospectuses we present in exact facsimile—who showered millions of bills and miles of doggerel verse upon London just before the final draw took place. He had been a considerable adept in the art of puffing by means of the mock news-paragraphs to which reference has just been made, one of his best being that which follows:—
A laughable circumstance occurred at the Opera House a few evenings since. The Honourable Mrs H C in the confusion that takes place in the lobby on quitting the theatre, dropped her reticule, and was some minutes before she regained it; when on looking at its contents she exclaimed: “I have lost my duplicates : " This created surprise, not that the company had any doubt when the lady pledged her word, but they thought she had pledged her jewels. However, on enquiry, it was found that the lost duplicates were Two Tickets of one number (which she had purchased that evening) in the Lottery to be drawn the next Tuesday; luckily she soon after found them, and anticipates getting £20,000, as she had procured them at Bish's well-known office, Charing Cross.
It would be impossible here to give the many specimens
which have been preserved of Bish's handiwork just before
the close of the lotteries, but from an embarras de richesses we select the following:—
The Zast Man.
In reminding his best friends, the public, that the State Lottery will
be drawn this day, 3d May, Bish acquaints them that it is the very last but one that will ever take place in this kingdom ; and he is
THE LAST CONTRACTOR
whose name will appear singly before the public, as the very last will be a coalition of all the usual contractors. Bish being “the last man” who appears singly, has been particularly anxious to make an excellent scheme, and flatters himself the one he has the honour to submit must meet universal approbation.
At the back of the bill were some verses after the style of the “Cajolery Duet.” This is one of them:
To-DAY, OR NOT AT ALL. - Rum, Neighbours, Run / Run, neighbours, run To-day it is the Lott'ry draws, You still may be in time if your purse be low ; Rhino, we all know, will stop of poverty the flaws. Possessed of that, you'll find no one to serve you slow. The ministers in Parliament of lotteries have toll'd the knell, And have declared from Cooper's Hall dame Fortune soon they will expel; The Blue-coat boys no more will shout that they have drawn a capital : Nor run as though their necks they'd break to Lucky Bish the news to
Although the last lottery was expected to take place on the 18th of July, it was not until the 18th of October that the closing scene in an eventful history took place. For this Bish, among many other handbills, produced the following:—
T H E A M B U L A TO R'S GUIDE
You may reap a golden harvest in Cornhill, and pick up the bullion in Silver-street, have an interest in Bank-buildings, possess a Mansionhouse in Golden-square, and an estate like a Little Britain ; never be in Aungerford-market, but all your life continue a Mayfair.
By PURCHASING A HALF, You need never be confined within London Wall, but become the proprietor of many a Zong Acre ; represent a Borough or an Aldermanbury, and have a share in Threadneedle-street.
By PURCHASING A QUARTER, Your affairs need never be in Crooked-lane, nor your legs in Fetter-lane; you may avoid Paper-buildings, steer clear of the King's Bench, and defy the Marshalsea ; if your heart is in Zoze-lane you may soon get into Sweeling's Alley, obtain your lover's consent for Matrimony-place, and always live in a High-street.