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"The Thames (Jan' 16) was filled with people and tents, selling all sorts of wares as in a citty. The frost (Jan 24) continuing more and more severe, the Thames before London was still planned with boothes in formal streetes, all sorts of trades and shops furnished and full of commodities, even to a printing-presse, where the people and ladyes tooke a fancy to have their names printed on the Thames. This humour tooke so universally, that 'twas estimated the printer gain'd 51. a-day, for printing a line only, at sixpence a name, besides what he got by ballads, &c. Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sleds, sliding with skeates, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet playes and interludes, cookes, tipling, and other lewd places, so that it seem'd to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the
"It began to thaw (Feb. 5), but froze againe. My coach crossed from Lambeth to the Horseferry at Millbank, Westminster. The booths were almost all taken downe; but there was first a map, or landskip,1 cut in copper, representing all the manner of the camp, and the several actions, sports, and pastimes thereon, in memory of so signal a frost."
In 1715-16 Jack Frost paid Old Father Thames a second visit, and proclaimed the like merriments ; but whether maids had grown
These "Landskips " are interesting, and very difficult to be obtained. Thirteen, representing the Frost Fairs of 1683,-1715-16,-and 1739-40, now lie before us. "An exact and lively Mapp or Representation of Booths, and all the varieties of Showes and Humours upon the Ice on the River of Thames, by London, during that memorable Frost in the 35th yeare of the reigne of his Sacred Maty King Charles the 2d. Anno Dai 1683. With an Alphabetical Explanation of the most remarkable figures," exhibits "The Temple Staires, with people goeing upon the ice to Temple Street - The Duke of Yorkes Coffee House- The Tory BoothThe Booth with a Phoenix on it, and Insured as long as the Foundation StandThe Roast Beefe Booth-The Halfe-way House-The Beare Garden Shire Booth -The Musick Booth-The Printing Booth-The Lottery Booth-The Horne Tavern Booth-The Temple Garden, with Crowds of People looking over the wall The Boat drawne with a Hors-The Drum Boat The Boat drawne upon wheeles-The Bull-baiting-The Chair sliding in the Ring-The Boyes SlidingThe Nine Pinn Playing-The sliding on Scates-The Sledge drawing Coales from the other side of the Thames-The Boyes climbing up the Tree in the Temple Garden to see ye Bull Baiting-The Toy Shopps-London Bridge."
Another of these "lively Mapps" has a full-length portrait of Erra Pater, referred to by Hudibras,
"In mathematics he was greater
Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater,”—
prophesying in the midst of the fair.
"Old Erra Pater, or his rambling Ghost,
When Maids grow modest, ye Dissenting Crew
"The best prospect of the frozen Thames with the booths on it, as taken
modest, dissenters loyal, and false-hearted men true, according to old Erra Pater's prognostication in 1683, is a question; and in 1739-401 he honoured him with a third, which was no less joyous
from the Temple Stairs y 20 day of January 1715-6, by C. Woodfield," is rich in fun, and a capital piece of art. We owe great obligations to “Mr. Joshua Bangs” for the following:
"Mr. Joshua Bangs.
Printed at Holme's and Broad's Booth, at the Sign of the Ship, against Old Stan Stairs, where is the Only Real Printing Press on the Frozen Thames, January the 14, 1715-6.
"Where little Wherries once did use to ride,
And mounting Billows dash'd against their side,
Now Booths and Tents are built, whose inward Treasure
Wine, Beer, Cakes, hot Custards, Beef and Pies,
To drink a Glass with Broad and Holmes together."
1 Several ↔ Landskips" were published of this Frost Fair, in which are shown "York Buildings Water Works A Barge on a Mountain of Ice-A Drinking Tent on a Pile of Ice-Theodore's Printing Booth-C.'s Piratical Song BoothCat in the Basket Booth-King's Head Printing Booth—The Cap Musick Booth -The Hat Musick Booth-Dead Bodies floating in ye Channel-Westminster Bridge, wye Works demolish'd-Skittle Playing and other Diversions-Tradesmen hiring Booths of ye Watermen-A Number of confus'd Barges and BoatsFrost Street from Westminster Hall to the Temple.
"This transient scene, a Universe of Glass,
And withey scarce could think, acknowledge true.
Printed on the River Thames in ye month of January 1740.”
“Behold the liquid Thames now frozen o'er,
Make use of Bowze to get them Pence and Groats.
Frost Fair. Printed upon the Ice on the River Thames, Jan. 23, 1739-40.”
"The bleak North-East, from rough Tartarian Shores,
O'er Europe's Realms its freezing Rigour pours,
Stagnates the flowing Blood in Human Veins,
And binds the silver Thames in Icy Chains.
Their usual Courses Rivulets refrain,
And ev'ry Pond appears a Glassy Plain;
Streets now appear where Water was before,
And Thousands daily walk from Shore to Shore.
Frost Fair. Printed upon the River Thames when Frozen, Jan. the 28. 1739 40.”
"The View of Frost Fair, Jan 1739-40.
Scythians of old, like us remov'd,
In tents thro' various climes they rov'd;
We, bolder, on the frozen Wave,
To please your fancies toil and slave;
Cits with their Wives, and Lawyers' Clerks,
This View to Future Times shall Show
The Medley Scene you Visit now."
than the preceding two. In 1788-9, the Thames was completely frozen over below London Bridge. Booths were erected on the ice; and puppet-shows, wild beasts, bear-baiting, turnabouts, pigs and sheep roasted, exhibited the various amusements of Bartholomew Fair multiplied and improved. From Putney Bridge down to Redriff was one continued scene of jollity during this seven weeks' saturnalia. The last Frost Fair was celebrated in the year 1814. The frost commenced on 27th December 1813, and continued to the 5th February 1814.1 There was a grand walk, or mall, from Blackfriars Bridge to London Bridge, that was appropriately named "The City Road," and lined on each side with booths of all descriptions. Several printing-presses were erected, and at one of these an orangecoloured standard was hoisted, with " Orange Boven" printed in large characters. There were E O and Rouge et Noir tables, teetotums and skittles; concerts of rough music, viz. salt-boxes and rolling-pins, gridirons and tongs, horns, and marrow-bones and cleavers. The carousing booths were filled with merry parties, some dancing to the sound of the fiddle, others sitting round blazing fires smoking and drinking. A noisy printer's devil bawled out to the spectators, "Now is your time, ladies and gentlemen,-now is your time to support the freedom of the press! Can the press enjoy greater liberty? Here you find it working in the middle of the Thames!" And calling upon his operatical powers to second his eloquence, he, with "vocal voice most vociferous," thus out-vociferated e'en sound itself,
"Siste Viator! if sooner or later
And Caxton, I'm thinking,
Tho' I don't wear a clothes-
Or sweep my room
With my beard, like a broom,
I prophecy truly as wise Erra Pater,
You won't see again sich a wonder of Natur!"
A "Swan of Thames," too - an Irish swan! - whose abdominal regions looked as if they were stuffed with halfpenny doggrel, en
1 The River Thames (4th Feby 1814) between London and Blackfriars Bridges was yesterday, about noon, a perfect Dutch Fair. Kitchen fires and furnaces were blazing, roasting and boiling in every direction; and animals, from a sheep to a rabbit, and a goose to a lark, were turning on numberless spits. The inscriptions on the several booths and lighters were variously whimsical, one of which ran thus: -This Shop to Let. N.B. It is charged with no Land Tax or even Ground Rent! Several lighters, lined with baize, and decorated with gay streamers, were converted into coffeehouses and taverns. About two o'clock a whole sheep was roasted on the ice, and cut up, under the inviting appellation of Lapland Mutton, at one shilling a slice!
* The following is one among many specimens of Frost Fair verse in 1813-14:— "Printed on the River Thames.
Behold the River Thames is frozen o'er,
tertained a numerous and half-frozen audience, who gave him shake for shake, with
THE METRICAL, MUSICAL, COLD, AND COMICAL HUMOURS OF FROST FAIR.
And then, Miss Clark, between you and your spark
I've been singing and ringing, and rapping and tapping,
Miss Clark, by the clock of St. Mark,
Little Jack Frost the Thames has cross'd
The Mint, and the Fleet!
The bear's at Polito's jigging his jolly toes;
Of liquor, I'm told, to keep out the cold!
If you 've got a sweet tooth, there's the gingerbread booth-
Take a sup again, then dance up again!
And have our names printed off on the Thames;
Mister and Missis (all Cupids and kisses!)
Dermot O'Shinnigly, in a jig, in a glee!
And take a slide, or a ha'penny ride
From Blackfriars Bridge to the Borough!
The sun won't rise till you open your eyes—
A friend of ours who had a tumble, declared, that though he had no desire to see the city burnt down, he devoutly wished to have the streets laid in ashes! And another, somewhat of a penurious turn, being found in bed late in the morning, and saluted with, "What! not yet risen?" replied, "No; nor shall I till coals fall!"
" AND now, Eugenio, ere we cross the ferry, and mingle with the 'roaring boyes and swash-bucklers' of St. Bartholomew, let us halt at the Tabard, and snatch a brief association with Chaucer and his Pilgrims. The localities that were once hallowed by the presence of genius we ardently seek after, and fondly trace through all their obscurities, and regard them with as true a devotion as does the pilgrim the sacred shrine to which, after his patiently-endured perils by sea and land, he offers his adoration. The humblest roof gathers glory from the bright spirit that once irradiated it; the simplest relic becomes a precious gem, when connected with the gifted and the good. We haunt as holy ground the spot where the muse inspired our favourite bard; we treasure up his hand-writing in our cabinets; we study his works as emanations from the poet; we cherish his associations as reminiscences of the man. Never can I forget your high-toned enthusiasm when you stood in the solemn chancel of Stratford-upon-Avon, pale, breathless, and fixed like marble, before the mausoleum of Shakspeare!"
"An honest and blithesome spirit was the Father of English Poetry! happy in hope, healthful in morals, lofty in imagination, and racy in humour, —a bright earnest of that transcendent genius who, in an after age, shed his mighty lustre over the literature of Europe. The ancient Tabard !-how the heart leaps at the sound! What would Uncle Timothy say if he were here?
"All that you have said, and much more, could he say it as well.” And instantly we felt the cordial pressure of a kind hand stretched out to us from the next box, where sat solus the middle-aged gentleman. "I half expected to meet you here, guessing your road to the Rounds' lay through Romanum Londinum; for to have passed the Tabard,1 and not looked in, would have been treason to those beautiful associations that make memory of the value that it is. One of the most rational pleasures of the intellectual mind is to escape from the present to the past. The contemplation of antiquity is replete with melancholy interest. The eye wanders with delight over the crumbling ruins of ancient magnificence; the heart is touched with some sublime emotion; and we ask which is the most praiseworthy -the superstition that raised these holy temples, or the piety(?) that suffers them to fall to decay? This corner is one of my periodical resting-places after a day's solitary ramble; for I have many such, in order to brush up old recollections, and lay in fresh mental fuel for a winter evening's fireside. "Tis a miracle that this antique fabric
14. Befelle that in that seson, on a day,