« AnteriorContinuar »
greater judge of time and measure." Of Sutton the enthusiastic captain tells us that "he was a resolute, pushing, awkward swordsman; but by his busy intruding arm, and scrambling legs, there were few judgments but what were disordered and disconcerted. Fig managed him the best of any by his charming distinction of time and measure, in which he far excelled all, and sufficiently proved these two be the sword's true foundation." Figg was also a great bruiser, and was regarded as the champion of the boxers as well as the master of the swordsmen. He was a genial good-tempered fellow, and was the boon companion of many eminent authors and artists of his time.
So much for show and play bills, and the celebrities to whom they have introduced us. We will now turn to handbill and poster advertisements of various descriptions. Tickets and bills containing the information that apartments were to be let were set up over doors at least as early as 1665. In the " Pillulse Pestilentialis" of the Rev. Richard Hingston, preacher, of St James's, Clerkenwell, there is the following in reference to the Plague and the practice just mentioned :—
No Papers then o'er our Doors were set
At the end of a pamphlet, printed in 1673, entitled "An Essay to revive the Ancient Education of Gentlewomen, in Religion, Manners, and Tongues," there is a postscript, containing an advertisement of a boarding school at Tottenham High Cross. This establishment was under the management of Mrs Makin, who had been tutoress to the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Charles I., and who put forth part of her prospectus in the following manner:—
Here by the blessing of God, Gentlewomen may be instructed in the principles of Religion, and in all manner of sober and virtuous Education : more especially in all Things ordinarily taught in Schools foi ttie other Sex; as in
Works of all sorts,
Half the Time is to be spent in these Things, and the other half to be employed in gaining the Latin and French Tongues, and those that please may learn Greek and Hebrew, the Italian and Spanish j in all which this Gentlewoman hath a competent knowledge.
Gentlewomen of eight or nine Years old, that can read well, may be instructed in a Year or two (according to their Parts) in the Latin and French Tongues, by plain and short Rules accommodated to the English Tongue.
Those that will bestow a longer Time may learn the other Languages before mentioned, if they please.
Repositories also for Visibles shall be prepared, by which from beholding the things, Gentlewomen may learn the Names, Natures, Values, and Uses of Herbs, Shrubs, Trees, mineral Juices, Metals and Stones.
Those that please may learn Limning, Preserving, Pastry, and Cookery, etc.
The rate shall be certain £20 per Annum ; but if a competent improvement be made in the Tongues, and the other Things before mentioned, as shall be agreed upon them, something more will be expected. But the Parents shall judge what shall be deserved by the Undertaker.
Sterne, who knew as much about struggles and adversity as most people, used to tell this story about his young days: "I happened to be acquainted with a young man from Yorkshire, who rented a window in one of the paved alleys near Cornhill, for the sale of stationery. I hired one of the panes of glass from my friend, and stuck up the following advertisement with wafers :—
Epigrams, Anagrams, Paragrams, Chronograms, Monograms, Epitaphs, Epithalamiums, Prologues, Epilogues, Madrigals, Interludes, Advertisements, Letters, Petitions, Memorials, on every occasion, Essays on every subject, Pamphlets for and against Ministers, Sermons upon any Text or for any Sect, to be written here, on reasonable terms, by
A. B. Philologer.
"The uncommonness of the titles occasioned numerous applications, and at night I used privately to glide into the office to digest the notes or heads of the day, and receive the earnest which was directed always to be left with the memorandums, the writing to be paid for on delivery, according to the subject." Yorick speedily became disgusted with this employment, however, and as soon as he possibly could retired from it
Another of the triumphs which have unfortunately not come down to the present generation, and which many will consider to be hardly compensated for by gas, steam, and electricity, the postal service and the police system, is that of Mr Nunn, whose bill, published to the world in the latter portion of the eighteenth century, runs thus :—
Breeches Making improved by Geometry.
Thomas Nunn, Breeches-Maker, No. 29, Wigmore Street, Cavendish Square, has invented a System on a mathematical Principle, by which Difficulties are solved, and Errors corrected; its usefulness for Ease and Neatness in fitting is incomparable, and is the only perfect Rule for that Work ever discovered. Several hundreds (Noblemen, Gentlemen, and Others) who have had Proof of its Utility, allow it to excel all they ever made Trial of.
N.B. An approved Method is adopted for keeping them clean without discommoding by Dust.
In some future day, when personal comfort again becomes one of the fine arts, one of the chief tests for a wranglership may be the making of mathematical breeches. If the age is very material, perhaps the approved method of cleaning them may stand in stead of classics, which are already going much out of fashion. Our next specimen comes from the Emerald Isle, and though short is well marked with both of the most prominent characteristics of the natives. It was given away and posted up in various parts of Dublin at the end of July 1781 :—
This is to certify that I, Daniel O'Flannaghan, am not the Person that was tarred and feathered by the Liberty Mob, on Tuesday last; and I am ready to give 20 Guineas to any one that will lay me 50, that I am the other Man who goes by my Name.
Witness my Hand, this 30th July. DANIEL O'flannaghan.
A man who can afford to lay seventy guineas to thirty that he is himself, and nobody else, deserves credit for his boldness, if not for his ingenuity. Another bill from Ireland, of a few years later on, next claims our attention. It refers to a house to let in Coleraine, and is a specimen of quite another kind of Hibernian humour:—
To be Let
To an Oppidan, a Ruricolist, or a Cosmopolitan, and may be
entered upon immediately.
The House in Stone Row, lately possessed by Capt. Siree. To avoid verbosity the proprietor with compendiosity will give a perfunctory description of the premises, in the compagination of which he has sedulously studied the convenience of the occupant—it is free from opacity, tenebrosity, fumidity, and injucundity, and no building can have greater pellucidity or translucency—in short, its diaphaneity even in the crepuscule makes it like a pharos, and without laud, for its agglutimation and amenity, it is a most delectable commorance; and whoever lives in it will find that the neighbours have none of the truculence, the immanity, the torvity, the spinosity, the putidness, the pugnacity, nor the fugacity observable in other parts of the town; their propinquity and consanguinity occasions jucundity and pudicity—from which, and the redolence of the place (even in the dog days) they are remarkable for longevity. For terms and particulars apply to James Hutchison, opposite the Market House.
Coleraine, 30M September, 1790.
We commend this to that rather numerous class of people who like words with plenty of sound, and regard sense as quite a secondary consideration. Dogberry would have been delighted with it, and the writer could have commanded his own price as a contributor to certain newspapers, or as a sporting tipster. We have already given our readers an advertising tombstone, which was a swindle, inasmuch as it was placed up to the memory of a person who never existed. We now give another, which is really what it pretends to be—an improvement of the opportunity to combine business, not with pleasure, but with mourning. It stood, we are told, in a burial-ground belonging to one of our old ivy-clad churches in the North, and was an elegantly-carved memorial stone, the inscription being:—
Sacred to the Memory
Stonemason and Tombcutter,
Who died on Saturday, October the 8th, 1800.
N.B.—The business carried on by the Widow at No. I, Freshficld place.
Perhaps her being in the "tombstone line" may be an excuse for the widow Roberts. We don't suppose she needed one, however, for any one who would do what she did would be quite callous as to the world's opinions. Of the two we much prefer the Frenchman who erected the stone to an entirely supposititious person, to the widow who
traded on her husband's grave. This reminds us that we have received, among many communications, one containing the above sketch of an advertising tombstone, which the