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Tower, prevailed more than an hundred year's past; when the following intimation was issued : “ All persons whom it may concern are desired to take notice, That the master keeper of his Majesty's lion-office, in the Tower of London, is informed, that several persons do expose to publick view several wild beasts, against his Majesty's prerogative royal, and a prohibition given and published to the contrary, as in the words following — That no person whatsoever (except Thomas Dymocke, and the keeper of his Majesty's lions for the time being) do for the future carry abroad, or expose to publick view, for their own private gain, any lions, lionesses, leopards, or any other beasts which are feræ natura, as they will answer the contrary at their perils. There is now a convenient place made at the lion-office, in the Tower, for the shewing of that strange and wonderful beast, called a hyena, brought from Aleppo
- the beast never seen in England before: he hath such great strength, that he breaks the biggest of ox-bones, and eats them. This is the beast that Gesner, Pliny, and many others, have so much written of. There is also to be seen the large lioness and the jackall, presented to his Majesty by the right honourable the earl of Orford ; as also the large tyger, brought from the East Indies."
Several of the preceding illustrations of manners describe the means by which the depraved
and wicked accomplished their purposes, and intimate the probable termination of their schemes by the ordinary course of justice. The laws, however, were not the only security the publick possessed; as a part of it, at least, imagined the planets sometimes interfered in checking the progress of vice- an instance of which
appears in the Flying Post, of June 3, 1697:
“At the Hermaphrodites house, by St. George'sfields in Southwark, four of the apprentices or servants, which that person keeps in her musickhouse, and brings 'em up to musick, dancing, &c. were taken ill on Wednesday last all of a sudden : the first, a lad of about fourteen years of age, whose breath stunk so intolerably that a maiden of about fifteen, who put him to bed
his falling ill, complained that she was struck by it, and fell also ill. After which, two more of the boys were taken with the same distemper; and another girl, of about nine years of age, is also indisposed. Yesterday, the lad that was first taken ill died, having first voided an incredible number of worms, some of them as big as small eels, and all of them extraordinary sharp and peked at the ends. The other three, who keep their bed, do also void worms both ways; and we hear, that though remedies have been applied, and the advice of a physician taken (who, we are informed, says they are planet-struck), the young maid, and two of the boys, are given over as past
recovery; and look very ghastly, though plump and well-favoured before this happened. Whether this be a natural distemper, or a warning to such houses, we leave it to others to judge.”
Such was the interference of the planets. I shall now turn the reader's attention to one more decidedly visible and certain on the part of the mob—that generous and eccentric redresser of wrongs. A porter's lady, we are informed by the Protestant Mercury, who resided near Strandlane, beat her husband with so much violence and perseverance, that the poor man was compelled to leap out of a window, to escape her fury. Exasperated at this virago, the neighbours made what Dawks, the editor, called a “ Riding;" or, I suppose, a pedestrian procession, headed by a drum, and accompanied by a displayed chemise for a banner: the manual musician sounded the tune of—“ You round-headed cuckolds, come dig, come dig ;” and nearly seventy coal-heavers, carmen, and porters, adorned with large horns fastened to their heads, followed. The public seemed highly pleased with the nature of the punishment, and gave liberally to the vindicators of injured manhood. Actuated by a similar wish to extirpate vice, several individuals exerted themselves to suppress swearing, houses of ill-fame, and selling meat on Sundays ; but the want of a systematic and general opposition to these encroachments made their efforts quite as
futile, though not as whimsical, as the expedient of the coal-heavers; and this is still further proved in the following letter, addressed by the bishop of London to the clergy of his diocese.
« Goop BROTHER, December 15; 1697:
Having been informed from several hands, That His Majesty's Injunctions of February the 13th, 1689-90, have not been observed of late (in such a manner, at least, as is enjoyned); I thought it my duty to admonish you of this neglect. And the rather at this time, because His Majesty has declared in his Speech to both Houses of Parliament, That, now he 'has leisure to be with us, one of his chief cares shall be, to sappress Profaneness and Immorality. And would it not be a shameful reproach to us (a great part of whose business it ought to be, continually to watch against such sins), to be found tardý in those opportunities, which the laws have given us to warn people of their wicked courses? You are to take notice likewise, That, since His Majesty’s Injunctions, there is another Act come out, for the more effectual suppressing Prophane Cursing and Swearing, 5 and 6 Will. III. c. 11, to be tead likewise.
“I could wist with all my heart, that the late silence of those Acts and Proclamations, contained in these Injunctions, proceeded from so
thorow a reformation in manners, that there were no more need to mention them.
“ and Brother,
“ H. LONDON."
To conclude this section of my work with due effect, I shall present the reader with a positive proof of the partial brutality of manners existing at the close of the 17th century, from The Post .Boy. “ An Elegy upon that most orthodox and pains
taking Divine, Mr. Samuel Smith, Ordinary of Newgate; who died of a Quinsey, on St. Bar
tholomew's Day, the 24th of August, 1698. “ TYBURN, lament, in pensive sable mourn, For from the world thy ancient Priest is torn ; Death, cruel Death, thy learn’d Divine has ended, And by a quinsey from his place suspended. Thus he expir’d in his old occupation, And, as he liv’d, he dy'd by suffocation. Thou Reverend Pillar of the Triple Tree, I wou'd say Post, for it was propt by thee; Thou Penny-Chronicler of hasty fate, Death's Annalist, Reformer of the State, Cut-throat of Texts, and Chaplain of the Halter, In whose sage presence Vice itself did falter.