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Anchovies, Cassia, and Cassia-buds,
And if you'd have some coarser washes,
Getting back to London, we come upon a bill of the kind now and then adopted with regard to posters, the idea in which is to convey a different notion at sight from that which is given by close inspection. In the following the plan has been carried out with great nicety, the author's endeavour being to make the notice look like a Government proclamation, and as one of the best specimens of the kind we have ever seen it is presented to the reader :—
PROCLAMA TION! SKEfjerea*,
It being Our Royal Will and Pleasure that our well-beloved, trusty and loyal subject Harry Johnson, should for the Amusement of our well-beloved, trusty and loyal subjects of Hoxton and its Vicinity, give a grand entertainment on Ash Wednesday, the 9th of February, 1842, for the Benefit of Himself, when he trusts from the Talent he has selected on this occasion, and the well-known respectability and celebrity of all parties, he cannot fail of securing a Treat
H. J. feels proud and happy to announce that many Professional Friends have, In the most handsome manner, proffered their valuable Services: they are enabled to do this with greater facility as no other Place of Amusement in London is open on that Evening. Their Names will transpire in future bills. Miss Phillips will on this night sing, in her usual sweet and inimitable style,
The Beneficiare will also sing, _
First time, the Young
Prince Of Wales.
A Gentleman has kindly consented on this occasion to sing an Entire New Comic Song, to be called " Comfort is all my View; or
Is no object 11" Mr. H. Parker will also sing his much admired ballad of Had I £1,000 A-YEAR!!!
A Lady will sing
NO FOLLOWERS ALLOWED.
Royal Britannia Saloon, Hoxton Old Town.
The Ceremony of iN-STALL-rNG to commence at Half Past Six o'clock Precisely.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!!!
The attention of readers will probably be attracted by the advertisement so elaborately concocted and carefully worked out. If its promoters received any extra support because of it, they certainly deserved what they got, as the plan is difficult to connect with any but large bills. The next item we have brings us to the year 1853, and is again from the county of Northumberland. It is far more pretentious than the composition of Mr John Catcheside, but by no means so successful. It is from the pen of a general shopkeeper, who evidently considered he had done something when he had been through his proofs, seen this to press, and forwarded copies to unsuspecting, and, as it
turned out, unsympathising, families about G , a small
place not very far from Newcastle :—
To the inhabitants of G and its neighbourhood.
The present age is teeming with advantages which no preceding era in the history of mankind has afforded to the human family. New schemes are projecting to enlighten and extend civilisation, Railways have been projected and carried out by an enterprising and spirited nation, while Science in its gigantic power (simple yet sublime) affords to the human mind so many facilities to explore its rich resources, the Seasons roll on in their usual course producing light and heat, the vivifying rays of the sun and the fructifying influences of nature producing
food and happiness to the Sons of Toil, while to the people of G
and its neighbourhood a rich and extensive variety of Fashionable Goods is to be found in my Warehouse, which have just been selected with the greatest care. The earliest visit is requested to convey to the mind an adequate idea of the great extent of his purchases, comprising, as it does, all that is elegant and useful, cheap and substantial to the light-hearted votaries of Matrimony, the Matrons of Reflection, the Man of Industry, and the Disconsolate Victims of Bereavement
This composition having been printed and distributed, the author waited impatiently for its powerful effect, and when to his great astonishment he discovered that it had produced none, he, with the irritability that nearly always accompanies neglected genius, resolved to get back and destroy every copy of his essay, and thereby deny to posterity what his own generation could not appreciate. Fortunately for ourselves, and for ages yet unborn, a copy was preserved, and printed in Notes and Queries.
Most dwellers for any time in London remember Lord Chief Baron Nicholson and his Judge and Jury Society, which used to be held at the Coal Hole in the Strand. Virtuous readers may shudder at the mention of such a place; but time was when the deliberations and decisions of the jury, as well as the directions of the judge and the peculiarities of the witnesses, were productive of mirth independent of double entendre among an audience composed of anything but roysterers and howling cads. In such halcyon days, when Nicholson was in the flesh, looking much more like a chief baron than nine-tenths of the possessors of the title ever did, the following handbill was printed:—
The Lord Chief Baron
Begs to inform his best friends, the Public, that he and the learned
A Judge !—and in a Coal Hole too 1
That sounds too funny to be true,
I wont deceive thee in the path,
So at the ancient Coal Hole meet me,
Blackstone and Coke burn on the hearth,
Do Not Forget To Remember
Law was the proprietor of the establishment, and he "flared up " to some tune, so far as the production of suppers required flaring. And suppers were both numerous and excellent at the Coal Hole; the stewed or scalloped oyster, the devilled kidney, the broiled bone, and the modest "rabbit" receiving considerable attention during the progress of the mock trials. Subsequently the Coal Hole became a resort for journalists and actors, who used to be admitted to a snug old room behind the bar; but all that is changed now, an ambitious landlord having modernised the place and driven forth its old habituis. Not by violence or through incivility, but by means of plate-glass, electro tankards, and other goods, the unwonted and unwelcome aspect of which has made wanderers of the old warm-hearted coterie. Why will people "restore " and improve the few comfortable old taverns still left about London, and drive honest folk from the snug and unpretending corners they have occupied for years? This same restoration is shortsighted and impolitic. The houses become nondescript; they are too modern, and perhaps too respectable, for the old customers, not glaring and gassy enough for the new; and so they stand, with just sufficient about them to remind us of the joys that are past, and not enough to tempt us to renew them in the future.
Turning from taverns, coal-holey and otherwise, we have finally to notice that kind of advertising which is the result of an attempt to make profit out of others' misfortunes. At the time, but a very few years back, of the Overend and Gurney failure, an enterprising linen-draper in the North-West district of London put forth the following handbill (p. 555), which was of large size, surrounded by a thick black mourning border, and which, in addition to being given away, was sent about by post. For reasons which are obvious, we have changed the names, and have no hesitation in giving an opinion that the proceeding was a very sharp bit of business, worthy of the hero of the wooden nutmegs.
It was followed by a long list of the goods to be sold, with the market prices and those at which they were offered, the practice of making up two sets of figures on goods having been found very efficacious of late years. This brings us well up to the present time, and as that is quite capable of taking care of itself without any assistance from us, we will conclude, in the hope that, though we have perforce passed many interesting specimens by, our selection, considering the space at command, has not been in any way injudicious.