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Smithfield, March 31. This afternoon, at å general rendezvous here, were mustered together a great number of borses and horse-coursers, that is to say, jades and rooks ; for I defy the cunningest gamester in Covent Garden to offer more tricks of cheating and cozenage than a Smithfield jockey. He is a fellow that would deceive all the world, and nobody so soon as a friend that confides in him; therefore, whosoever takes a horse upon his word is sure to be jaded. The mare mentioned in our last Intelligence (as a lean py'd one, near ten hands,comes two and thirty, narrow jawed, sour headed, saddle backed, goose rumped, hip shot foundered, and moon blind,) came this day into the market, so neat and trim, that, like a new beauty, all eyes were upon her; her colour was now coal black, with a star, snip, and one white foot; she had learned to swallow eels as naturally as a heron, and she was blown up like butcher's veal, till she appeared as queere about the buttocks as a suburb hostess; they had beaten out 80 much of her teeth that you would have taken her for a yearling colt, as old folks, when they have but a snag or two left, pass for children; and, in brief, all her defects were so supplied, that a sly racer of the West presently snapped her up, and designs to do notable feats with her upon Newmarket heath."
The paper which contains the above extract advertises “A maid-servant to be hired, either
weekly, monthly, or quarterly, for reasonable wages; one that is an incomparable slut, and goes all the day slip-shod with her stockings out at heels; an excellent housewife, that wastes more of every thing than she spends; an egregious scold, that will always have the last word; an everlasting gossip, that tells abroad whatsoever is done in the house; a lazy trosses, that cares not how late she sits up, nor how long she lies in the morning; and, in short, one that is lightfingered, knowing nothing, and yet pretending to every thing." - This sketch of the qualifications possessed by some domestic attendants in 1676 seems to contradict the idea that all things are subject to change, as I am fearful many of my readers have experienced similar blessings from their servants, since the beginning of the present century.
The Intelligence-office for Servants was first established under a patent granted by Charles II. in the year 1671. The patentees had appointed three places where masters and mistresses and servants might mutually accommodate themselves, opposite the Assurance-office, within the Royal Exchange, next door to the Royal Coffee-house, near Whitehall, and at the Three Cranes, near the Meal Market, Southwark.
The London Gazette of August 7, 1679, contains the succeeding notice :-“ The Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, taking notice that the
City and Liberties thereof, and especially the street of Cornhill and passages to the Royal Exchange, are much pestered with a sort of loose and idle persons, called Hawkers, who do daily publish and sell seditious books, scurrilous pamphlets, and scandalous printed papers, contrary to law, and to the great scandal of the Government of this City (for the suppressing of whom, divers orders and provisions have been formerly made by that Court), have thought fit for the regulation thereof, and for the more effectual putting in execution the laws against such offenders, to appoint and command the Marshal of the City, as well as the constables, to take care that no persons whatsoever do from henceforth sell, cry, publish, or disperse, any books, pamphlets, or other printed papers,
any place within this City, or the Liberties thereof; and to apprehend all such Hawkers and offenders, and to bring them before the Lord Mayor, or some other of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, to be set at hard labour at Bridewell, or otherwise to be dealt with according to law.”
It is impossible to give a more correct or more authentic general sketch of the manners of 1679, than may be found in a proclamation issued by the Lord Mayor in that year. I therefore transcribe it at length, and shall leave the reader to draw his own inferences.
BY THE MAYOR.
« The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor having taken into his serious consideration the many dreadful afflictions which this City hath of late years suffered, by a raging plague, a most unheard-of devouring fire, and otherwise ; and justly fearing that the same have been occasioned by the many hainous crying sins and provocations to the Divine Majesty: and his Lordship also considering the present dangers of greater mischiefs and misery which seem still to threaten this City, if the execution of the righteous judg. ments of God Almighty be not prevented by an universal timely repentance and reformation: he hath, therefore, thought it one duty of his office, being intrusted to take all possible care for the good government, peace, and welfare of this City, first, to pray and perswade all and every the inhabitants thereof to reform, themselves and families, all sins and enormities whereof they know themselves to be guilty ; and if neither the fear of the Great God, nor of his impending judgments, shall prevail upon them, he shall be obliged to let them know, that, as he is their chief Magistrate, he ought not to bear the sword in vain; and therefore doth resolve, by God's grace, to take the assistance of his brethren the Aldermen, and to require the aid of all the Officers of this City in their several places, to punish and suppress,
according to the laws of the land, and the good customs of this City, those scandalous and provoking sins which have of late encreased and abounded amongst us, even without shame, to the dishonour of Christianity, and the scandal of the government of this City, heretofore so famous over the world for its piety, sobriety, and good order.
“ To the end therefore that the laws may be come a terror unto evil-doers, and that such, in whose hearts the fear of God, and the love of virtne, shall not prevail, being forewarned, may amend their lives for fear of punishment, his Lordship hạth thought fit to remember them of several penalties provided by law against notorious offenders; as also of all Constables and Public Officers (who are to put the said laws in execution) of their duty therein.
First, Every profane curser and swearer ought to be punished by the payment of twelve pence for every oath ; and if the same cannot be levied upon the offenders goods, then he is to sit three hours in the stocks.
Secondly, Every drunkard is to pay for the first offence five shillings; and in default thereof to sit six hours in the stocks, and for the second offence, to find sureties for the good behaviour, or to be committed to the common gaol; and the like punishment is to be inflicted upon all common haunters of ale-houses and taverns, and com