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for the evil ceased with the death of Anne; not because the people had become more enlightened, but because the sovereigns who followed her were supposed to have lost the medicinal virtue through being kings merely by Act of Parliament, and not by Divine right.
The reaction which set in from the strait-laced rule of the Puritans at the time of the Restoration, must have reached its height about 1664, if we may judge by the advertisements then constantly inserted, which reflect the love of pleasure and folly exhibited by all classes, as if they were anxious to make up for previous restrictions. In fact, the chief inquiries are after lacework, or valuables lost at masquerade or water party, announcements of lotteries at Whitehall, of jewels and tapestry, and other things to be sold. The following is a fair specimen of the advertisements of the time, and appears in the News of August 4, 1664:—
IOST on the 27th July, about Boswell Yard or Drury Lane, a •* Ladyes picture set in gold, and three Keys, with divers other little things in a perfumed pocket. Whosoever shall give notice of or bring the said picture to Mr Charles Coakine, Goldsmith, near Staples Inne, Holbom, shall have 4 times the value of the gold for his payns.
There are also about this time all sorts of quack and nostrum advertisements, an "antimonial cup," by means of which every kind of disease was to be cured, being apparently very popular. Sir Kenelm Digby, a learned knight, who is said to have feasted his wife with capons fattened upon serpents for the purpose of making her fair, advertises a book in which is shown a method of curing the severest wounds by a sympathetic powder. But even the knight's efforts pall before the following, which will go far to show the superstitious leaven which still hung about the populace:—
CMALL BAGGS to hang about Children's necks, which are excellent 'both for the prevention and cure of the Rickets, and to ease Children in breeding of Teeth, are prepared by Mr Edmund Buckworth, and constantly to be had at Mr Philip Clark's, Keeper of the Library in the Fleet, and nowhere else, at 5 shillings a bagge.
We see in the papers of 1665 an increased number of advertisements for lost and stolen animals, mostly those used in connection with sport; but this does not go to prove that more dogs, hawks, &c., were missing, so much as that the advantages of advertising were being discovered throughout the country; and as London was the only place in which at that time a newspaper was published, the cry after stray favourites always came up to town. Strange, indeed, are many of the advertisements about sports long since passed from amongst us, and the very phrases of which have died out of the language. It seems hard to imagine that hawks in all the glory of scarlet hoods were carried upon fair ladies' wrists, or poised themselves when uncovered to view their prey, so late as the time of Charles II., but that it was so, an advertisement already quoted, as well as the following, shows. It is taken from the Intelligencer of November 6, 1665 :—
IOST on the 30 October, 1665, an intermix'd Barbary Tercel Gentle, engraven in Varvels, Richard Windwood, of Ditton Park, in the county of Bucks, Esq. For more particular marks—if the Varvels be taken off—the 4th feather in one of the wings Imped, and the third pounce of the right foot broke. If any one inform Sir William Roberts, Knight and Baronet (near Harrow-on-the-Hill, in the county of Middlesex), or Mr William Philips, at the King's Head in Paternoster Row, of the Hawk, he shall be sufficiently rewarded.
Inquiries for hawks and goshawks are by no means scarce, and so we may imagine that these implements of hunting were hardly so much to be depended upon as those from the workshop of art and not of nature, which are in use in the present day. Indeed, the falcon seemed to care much less, when once set free, for his keeper, than writers of books are prone to imagine. The King was apparently no more fortunate than the rest of those who indulged in falconry, for in a copy of the London Gazette, late in 1667, the following is seen :—
ASore ger Falcon of His Majesty, lost the 13 of August, who had one Varvel of his Keeper, Roger Higs, of Westminster, Gent. Whosoever hath taken her up and give notice Sir Allan Apsley, Master of His Majesties Hawks at St James's, shall be rewarded for his paines. Back-Stairs in Whitehall.
Sir Allan Apsley was the brother-in-law of the celebrated Colonel Hutchinson, and brother of the devoted wife whose story everybody has read. The next advertisement we shall select is published in the London Gazette of May 10, 1666, and has reference to the precautions taken to prevent the spread of the Plague. Long before this all public notices of an idle and frivolous nature have ceased, amusements seem to have lost their charm, and it is evident from a study of the advertisements alone, that some great disturbing cause is at work among the good citizens. No longer does the authorised gambling under the roof of Whitehall go on; no more are books of Anacreontics published; stopped are all the assignations but a short time back so frequent; and no longer are inquiries made after lockets and perfumed bags, dropped during amorous dalliance, or in other pursuit of pleasure. Death, it is evident, is busy at work. The quacks, and the writers of semi-blasphemous pamphlets, have it all to themselves, and doubtless batten well in this time of trouble. The Plague is busy doing its deadly work, and already the city has been deserted by all who can fly thence, and only those who are detained by duty, sickness, poverty, or the want of a clean bill of health, remain. These bills or licences to depart were only granted by the Lord Mayor, and the greatest influence often failed to obtain them, as after the Plague once showed strength it was deemed necessary to prevent by all and every means the spread of the contagion throughout the country. The advertisement chosen gives a singular instance of the manner in which those who had neglected to depart early were penned within the walls:—
icholas Hurst, an Upholsterer, over against the Rose Tavern, in Russell-street, Covent-Garden, whose Maid Servant dyed lately of the Sickness, fled on Monday last out of his house, taking with him several Goods and Household Stuff, and was afterwards followed by one Doctor Cary and Richard Bayle with his wife and family, who lodged in the same house; but Bayle having his usual dwelling-house in Waybridge, in Surrey. Whereof we are commanded to give this Public Notice, that diligent search may be made for them, and the honses in which any of their persons or goods shall be found may be shut up by the next Justice of the Peace, or other his Majesty's Officers of Justice, and notice immediately given to some of his Majesty's Privy Councill, or to one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State.
A great demand seems at this time to have been made for an electuary much advertised as a certain preventive of the Plague, which was to be drunk at the Green Dragon, Cheapside, at sixpence a pint. This is, however, only one among hundreds of specifics which continued to be thrust upon the public in the columns of the papers, until the real deliverer of the plague-stricken people appeared—a dreadful deliverer, it is true, but the only one. The Great Fire, which commenced on the 2nd of September 1666, and destroyed thirteen thousand houses, rendering myriads of people homeless, penniless, and forlorn, had its good side, inasmuch as by it the Plague was utterly driven out of its stronghold, but not until nearly a hundred thousand persons had perished. Imagine two such calamities coming almost together; but the purgation by fire was the only one which could fairly be expected to prove effectual, as it destroyed the loathsome charnel-houses which would long have held the taint, and removed a great part of the cause which led to the power of the fell epidemic. We have in the pre
ceding chapter referred to the paucity of advertisements which appeared in reference to the new addresses of those who had been burnt out, and a writer a few years back makes the following remark upon the same subject: "Singularly enough, but faint traces of this overwhelming calamity, as it was considered at the time, can be gathered from the current advertisements. Although the entire population of the city was rendered houseless, and had to encamp in the surrounding fields, where they extemporised shops and streets, not one hint of such a circumstance can be found in the public announcements of the period. No circumstance could afford a greater proof of the little use made by the trading community of this means of publicity in the time of Charles II. If a fire only a hundredth part so destructive were to occur in these days, the columns of the press would immediately be full of the new addresses of the burnt-out shopkeepers; and those who were not even damaged by it would take care to 'improve the occasion' to their own advantage. We look in vain through the pages of the London Gazette of this and the following year for one such announcement: not even the tavern-keeper tells us the number of his booth in Goodman's-fields, although quack medicine flourished away in its columns as usual." We have already shown that one advertisement at least was published in reference to removal caused by the fire, but as it did not appear till six or seven years afterwards, it is a solitary exception to the rule, indeed. In 1667, notifications occurred now and then of some change in the site of a Government office, caused by the disturbances incident on the fire, or of the intention to rebuild by contract some public structure. Of these the following, which appears in the London Gazette, is a good specimen:—
A LL Artificers of the several Trades that must be used in Rebuilding the Royal Exchange may take notice, that the Committee appointed for management of that Work do sit at the end of the long