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How he understood this friendly help soon appeared :—
If any divine or their relicts have complete sets of manuscript
sermons upon the Epistles and the Gospels, the Catechism or Festivals, I can help them to a customer.
The use of second-hand sermons was not unknown in those days, and detection was of course much less imminent than now. Then—
I have sold all the manuscript sermons I had and many more,
and if any has any more to dispose of that are good and legibly writ, I believe I can help them to customers.
Possibly the "many more" was a heavy attempt at humour; but anyhow the sermon article was in great demand, and his kindly services did not rest there:—
If any incumbent within 20 miles of London will dispose of his
living, I can help him to a chapman.
A rectory of ;£ioo per annum in as good an air as any in England, 60 miles off, and an easy cure is to be commuted.
A vicaridge and another cure which requires service but once a
month, value £&6. 'Tis in Kent about 60 miles from London.
And so on, proving that the clergy had not refused the friendly offer, and were fully as ready as the tradesman to avail themselves of this means of giving vent to their wants and requirements.
Houghton would occasionally do a little business to oblige a friend, though it is fair to assume that he participated in the profits :—
*#* For a friend, I can sell very good flower of brimstone, etc, as cheap or cheaper than any in town does; and I '11 sell any good commodity for any man of repute if desired.
I find publishing for others does them kindness, therefore note:
I sell lozenges for 8d. the ounce which good drinkers commend against heartburn, and are excellent for women with child, to prevent miscarriages; also the true lapis nephrilicus which is esteemed excellent for the stone by wearing it on the wrist.
I would gladly buy for a friend the historical part of Cornelius
a Lapide upon the Bible.
Besides the above particular advertisements, the paper frequently contained another kind, which to us may appear singularly vague and unbusinesslike, but which no doubt perfectly answered their purpose among a comparatively minute metropolitan population, the subjects of William III. We allude to general advertisements such as these :—
Last week was imported
In similar style a most extraordinary variety of other things imported are advertised in subsequent numbers, including crystal stones, hops, oxguts, incle, juniper, old pictures, onions, pantiles, quick eels, rushes, spruce beer, sturgeon, trees, brandy, chimney backs, caviar, tobaccopipes, whale-fins, bugle, canes, sheep's-guts, washballs and snuff, a globe, aqua fortis, shruffe, quills, waxworks, ostrich feathers, scamony, clagiary paste, Scotch coals, sweet soap, onion seed, gherkins, mum, painted sticks, soap-berries, mask-leather, and so on, for a long time, only giving the names of the importers, without ever mentioning their addresses, until at last a bright idea struck this gentleman, who seems to have been one of those vulgarly said to be before their time, but who are in fact the pioneers who pave the way for all improvements; and so the Collection was enriched with the following notice:—
If desired I Ml set down the places of abode, and I am sure
'twill be of good use : for I am often asked it.
Houghton was indeed so well aware of the utility of giving the addresses, that in order to render his paper more permanently useful, he published, apparently on his own account, not only the addresses of some of the principal shops, but also a list of the residences of the leading doctors. From this we gather that in June 1694 there were 93 doctors in and about London, also that Dr (afterwards Sir) Hans Sloane lived at Montague House (now the British Museum), Dr Radcliffe in Bow Street, and Dr Garth, by Duke Street At the conclusion of this list the publisher says:—
1 shall also go the round, I. of Counsellors and Attorneys; II. of
Surgeons and Gardiners; in. of Lawyers and Attorneys; iv. Schools and Woodmongers ; v. Brokers, coaches and carriers, and such like, and then round again, beginning with Physitians.
Thus by untiring perseverance, and no small amount of thought and study, Houghton trained his contemporaries in the art of advertising, and made them acquainted with the valuable assistance to be derived from a medium which, as Alexis de Tocqueville remarks, drops the same thought into a thousand minds at almost the same period. Apart from the interest which his papers have on the subject we have been considering, they are full of graphic details which throw a clear and effective light on these old and bygone times. What can give a more vivid picture of the state of the roads in this country in winter-time, nearly two centuries ago, than the following notice extracted from the Collection for-Husbandry and Trade, March 10, 1693 :—
Roads are filled with snow, we are forced to ride with the
paquet over hedges and ditches. This day seven-night my boy with the paquet and two gentlemen were seven hours riding from Dunstable to Hockley, but three miles, hardly escaping with their lives, being often in holes and forced to be drawn out with ropes. A man and a woman were found dead within a mile hence. I fear I have lost my letter-carrier, who has not been heard of since Thursday last. Six horses lie dead on the road between Hockley and Brickhill, smothered. I was told last night that lately was found dead near Beaumarais three men and three horses.
At this picture of those good old times for which people who know nothing about them now weep, we will stop. The rest of the story, so far as the development of advertisements is concerned, will be told in strict chronological order.
DEVELOPMENT OF ADVERTISING.
WE have now arrived at a period when the value of advertising was beginning to make itself felt among even the most conservative, and when it at last began to dawn upon the minds so unaccustomed to change or improvement, that a new era in the history of trade was about to commence, even if it had not commenced already. So the newspapers of the latter half of the seventeenth century begin to offer fresh inducements to the reader, no matter whether to the antiquarian or simply curious. And he must be a flippant reader indeed who is not impressed by these files of musty and bygone journals, pervaded by the spirit of a former age, and redolent of the busy doings of men who generations ago were not only dead but forgotten. j^Few things could be more suggestive of the steady progress / of Time, and the quite as steady progress of his congeners, Death and Forgetfulness, than these papers. Novelists and essayists have described in most eloquent words the feelings which are aroused by the perusal of suddenly-discovered and long-forgotten letters; and similar feelings, though of a much more extended description, are evoked by a glance through any volume of these moth-eaten journals. A writer of a few years back, speaking of the advertisements, says, "As we read in the old musty files of newspapers those naive announcements, the very hum of bygone generations seems to rise to the ear. The chapman exhibits his quaint wares, the mountebank capers again upon his stage, we