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gentleman was boastful of his property.
And speaks in sparkling prophecies; thence I come, all he had to boast about among the poets;
My brains perfumed with the rich Indian vapour, Ben, chafed out of all decency and patience, at
And heightened with conceits. .
And from a mighty continent of pleasure last roared, “What signify to us your dirt and
Sails thy brave Careless." your clods? Where you have an acre of land I have ten acres of wit !" " "Have you so, good Mr. Simon Wadloe, the host of the “Devil,” who Wise-acre," retorted Master Shallow. “Why, now, died in 1627, seems to have been a witty butt of a Ben,” cried out a laughing friend, "you seem to man, much such another as honest Jack Falstaff; a be quite stung.” “I' faith, I never was so pricked merry boon companion, not only witty himself, but by a hobnail before," growled Ben, with a surly the occasion of wit in others, quick at repartee, smile.
fond of proverbial sayings, curious in his wines. A Another story records the first visit to the good old song, set to a fine old tune, was written “Devil" of Randolph, a clever poet and dramatist, about him, and called "Old Sir Simon the King.” who became a clergyman, and died young. The This was the favourite old-fashioned ditty in which young poet, who had squandered all his money Fielding's rough and jovial Squire Western afteraway in London pleasures, on a certain night, wards delighted. before he returned to Cambridge, resolved to go Old Simon's successor, John Wadloe (probably and see Ben and his associates at the “Devil," his son), made a great figure at the Restoration cost what it might. But there were two great procession by heading a band of young men all obstacles—he was poor, and he was not invited. dressed in white. After the Great Fire John Nevertheless, drawn magnetically by the voices of rebuilt the "Sun Tavern," behind the Royal the illustrious men in the Apollo, Randolph at last Exchange, and was loyal, wealthy, and foolish peeped in at the door among the waiters. Ben's enough to lend King Charles certain considerable quick eye soon detected the eager, pale face and sums, duly recorded in Exchequer documents, the scholar's threadbare habit. “John Bo-peep,” he but not so duly paid. shouted, “come in !" a summons Randolph gladly In the troublous times of the Commonwealth obeyed. The club-men instantly began rhyming on the “Devil” was the favourite haunt of John Cotthe meanness of the intruder's dress, and told him tington, generally known as “ Mull Sack,” from his if he could not at once make a verse he must call favourite beverage of spiced sherry negus. This for a quart of sack. There being four of his tor- impudent rascal, a sweep who had turned high
a mentors, Randolph, ready enough at such work, wayman, with the most perfect impartiality rifled replied as quick as lightning :
the pockets alternately of Cavaliers and Round
heads. Gold is of no religion; and your true “I, John Bo-peep, and you four sheep, With each one his good fleece ;
cut-purse is of the broadest and most sceptical If that you are willing to give me your shilling, Church. He emptied the pockets of Lord Pro'Tis fifteen pence apiece."
tector Cromwell one day, and another he stripped "By the Lord !” roared the giant president, “I Charles II., then a Bohemian exile at Cologne, of believe this is my son Randolph !" and on his plate valued at £1,500. One of his most impu. owning himself, the young poet was kindly enter. dent exploits was stealing a watch from Lady tained, spent a glorious evening, was soaked in Fairfax, that brave woman who had the courage sack, “sealed of the tribe of Ben,” and became one to denounce, from the gallery at Westminster Hall
, of the old poet's twelve adopted sons.
the persons who, she considered, were about to Shakerley Marmion, a contemporary dramatist of become the murderers of Charles I. “This lady” the day, has left a glowing Rubenesque picture (and a portly handsome woman she was, to judge of the Apollo evenings, evidently coloured from by the old portraits), says a pamphlet-writer of the life. Careless, one of his characters, tells his day, “ used to go to a lecture on a week-day to friends he is full of oracles, for he has just come Ludgate Church, where one Mr. Jacomb preached, from Apollo. “From Apollo ?” says his wonder- being much followed by the Puritans. Mull Sack, ing friend. Then Careless replies, with an in-observing this, and that she constantly wore her spired fervour worthy of a Cavalier poet who watch hanging by a chain from her waist, against fought bravely for King Charles :
the next time she came there dressed himself like
an officer in the army; and having his comrades “From the heaven Of my delight, where the boon Delphic god
attending him like troopers, one of them takes off Drinks sack and keep his bacchanalia,
the pin of a coach-wheel that was going upwards And has his incense and his altars smoking, through the gate, by which means it falling off, the passage was obstructed, so that the lady could not In 1746 the Royal Society held its annual dinner alight at the church door, but was forced to leave in the old consecrated room, and in the year 1752 her coach without. Mull Sack, taking advantage concerts of vocal and instrumental music were of this, readily presented himself to her ladyship, given in the same place. It was an upstairs and having the impudence to take her from her chamber probably detached from the tavern, and gentleman usher who attended her alighting, led lay up a "close," or court. A bottle of wine found her by the arm into the church; and by the way, in the vaults here in 1879, probably was as old as with a pair of keen sharp scissors for the purpose, this dinner. cut the chain in two, and got the watch clear away, The last ray of light that fell on the “Devil ” she not missing it till the sermon was done, when was in 1751. Dr. Johnson, then busy all day with she was going to see the time of the day.”
his six amanuenses in a garret in Gough Square The portrait of Mull Sack has the following compiling his Dictionary, at night enjoyed his verses beneath :
elephantine mirth at a club in Ivy Lane, Pater
noster Row. One night at the club, Johnson pro“I walk the Strand and Westminster, and scorn To march i' the City, though I bear the horn.
posed to celebrate the appearance of Mrs. Lennox's My feather and my yellow band accord,
first novel, “The Life of Harriet Stuart," by a To prove me courtier ; my boot, spur, and sword, supper at the “ Devil Tavern.”. Mrs. Lennox was a My smoking-pipe, scarf, garter, rose on shoe, lady for whom Johnson had the greatest esteem, Show my brave mind t' affect what gallants do.
ranking her afterwards above Mrs. Carter, Mrs. I sing, dance, drink, and merrily pass the day, And, like a chimney, sweep all care away.”
Hannah More, or even his favourite, Miss Burney.
Sir John Hawkins, that somewhat malign rival of In Charles II.'s time the “ Devil" became fre- Boswell, describes the night in a manner, for him, quented by lawyers and physicians. The talk now unusually genial. “Johnson," says Hawkins (and was about drugs and latitats, jalap and the law of his words are too pleasant to condense), “proposed escheats. Yet, still good company frequented it, to us the celebrating the birth of Mrs. Lennox's for Steele describes Bickerstaff's sister Jenny's first literary child, as he called her book, by a whole wedding entertainment there in October, 1709; night spent in festivity. Upon his mentioning it to and in 1710 (Queen Anne) Swift writes one of me, I told him I had never sat up a night in my those charming letters to Stella to tell her that he life; but he continuing to press me, and saying had dined on October 12th at the “Devil,” with that I should find great delight in it, I, as did all Addison and Dr. Garth, when the good-natured the rest of the company, consented.” (The club doctor, whom every one loved, stood treat, and consisted of Hawkins, an attorney ; Dr. Salter, there must have been talk worth hearing. In the father of a master of the Charter House; Dr. Apollo chamber the intolerable court odes of Colley Hawkesworth, a popular author of the day; Mr. Cibber, the poet laureate, used to be solemnly Ryland, a merchant; Mr. John Payne, a bookseller; rehearsed with ficting music; and Pope, in "The Mr. Samuel Dyer, a young man training for a DisDunciad," says, scornfully
senting minister; Dr. William M'Ghie, a Scotch
physician; Dr. Barker and Dr. Bathurst, young “Back to the 'Devil' the loud echoes roll, And 'Coll' each butcher roars in Hockly Hole.”
physicians.) “The place appointed was the Devil
Tavern;' and there, about the hour of eight, Mrs. But Colley had talent and he had brass, and it Lennox and her husband (a tide-waiter in the took many such lines to put him down. A good Customs), a lady of her acquaintance, with the club epigram on these public recitations runs thus :- and friends, to the number of twenty, assembled.
The supper was elegant; Johnson had directed "When laureates make odes, do you ask of what sort ?
that a magnificent hot apple-pie should make a Do you ask if they're good or are evil? You may judge : from the 'Devil' they come to the Court, part of it, and this he would have stuck with And go from the Court to the 'Devil.””
bay leaves, because, forsooth, Mrs. Lennox was an
authoress and had written verses ; and, further, he Dr. Kenrick afterwards gave lectures on Shake had prepared for her a crown of laurel, with which, speare at the Apollo. This Kenrick, originally a rule- but not till he had invoked the Muses by some maker, and the malicious assailant of Johnson and ceremonies of his own invention, he encircled her Garrick, was the Croker of his day. He originated brows. The night passed, as must be imagined, in the London Review, and when he assailed Johnson's pleasant conversation and harmless mirth, inter"Shakespeare,” Johnson laughingly replied, “That mingled at different periods with the refreshment he was not going to be bound by Kenrick's rules." | of coffee and tea. About five a.m., Johnson's face
shone with meridian splendour, though his drink | opposite side of Fleet Street, still preserves the
This phenomenon began to put us in mind of old gable-ended house. In 1775, Collins, a public our reckoning ; but the waiters were all so over- lecturer and mimic, gave a satirical lecture at the come with sleep that it was two hours before a bill “Devil" on modern oratory. In 1776 some young could be had, and it was not till near eight that lawyers founded there a Pandemonium Club; the creaking of the street-door gave the signal of and after that there is no further record of the our departure.” How one longs to dredge up “Devil” till it was pulled down and annexed by some notes of such a night's conversation from the the neighbouring bankers. In Steele's time there cruel river of oblivion! The Apollo Court, on the was a “Devil Tavern” at Charing Cross, and a
nouncing such closing is still extant. Pepys, in 197
rival“ Devil Tavern" near St. Dunstan's; but these When his mind was off its balance he read a letter competitors made no mark.
in a newspaper at “ Dick's," which he believed had The “Cock Tavern” (201), opposite the Temple, been written to drive him to suicide. He went has been immortalised by Tennyson as thoroughly away and tried to hang himself; the garter breaking, as the “ Devil” was by Ben Jonson. The playful he then resolved to drown himself; but, being verses inspired by a pint of generous port have hindered by some occurrence, repented for the made
moment. He was soon after sent to an asylum in “The violet of a legend blow
In 1681 a quarrel arose between two hot-headed for ever, though old Will Waterproof has long since gallants in "Dick's" about the size of two dishes descended for the last time the well-known cellar- they had both seen at the “St. John's Head” in stairs. The poem which has embalmed his name Chancery Lane. .
The matter eventually was was, we believe, written when Mr. Tennyson had roughly ended at the “ Three Cranes" in the chambers in Lincoln's Inn Fields. At that time Vintry-a tavern mentioned by Ben Jonson—by the room was lined with wainscoting, and the silver one of them, Rowland St. John, running his comtankards of special customers hung in glittering panion, John Stiles, of Lincoln's Inn, through the rows in the bar. This tavern was shut up at the body. The old coffee-house was demolished about
, The Rainbow Tavern” (No. 15, south) was his “Diary," mentions bringing hither Mrs. Knipp, the second coffee-house started in London. Four an actress, of whom his wife was very jealous ; ! years before the Restoration, Mr. Farr, a barber, and here the gay couple "drank, eat a lobster, began the trade here, trusting probably to the and sang, and mighty merry till almost midnight.” young Temple barristers for support. The vintners On his way home to Seething Lane, the amorous grew jealous, and the neighbours, disliking the Navy Office clerk with difficulty avoided two thieves smell of the roasting coffee, indicted Farr as a with clubs, who met him at the entrance into nuisance. But he persevered, and the Arabian the ruins of the Great Fire near St. Dunstan's. drink became popular. A satirist had soon to These dangerous meetings with Mrs. Knipp went write regretfully, on till one night Mrs. Pepys came to his bedside
“And now, alas ! the drink has credit got, and threatened to pinch him with the red-hot
And he's no gentleman that drinks it not." tongs. The waiters the “Cock" are fond of showing visitors one of the old tokens of the house About 1780, according to Mr. Timbs, the “Rainin the time of Charles II. The old carved chimney- bow” was kept by Alexander Moncrieff, grandfather piece is of the age of James I.; and there is a of the dramatist who wrote Tom and Jerry. doubtful tradition that the gilt bird that struts with Bernard Lintot, the bookseller, who published such self-serene importance over the portal was the Pope's “Homer,” lived in a shop between the two work of that great carver, Grinling Gibbons. Temple gates (No. 16). In an inimitable letter
“Dick's Coffee House" (No. 8, south) was kept to the Earl of Burlington, Pope has described in George II.'s time by a Mrs. Yarrow and her how Lintot (Tonson's rival) overtook him once daughter, who were much admired by the young in Windsor Forest, as he was riding down to Templars who patronised the place. The Rev. Oxford. When they were resting under a tree in James Miller, reviving an old French comedietta the forest, Lintot, with a keen eye to business, by Rousseau, called “The Coffee House," and in- pulled out “a mighty pretty 'Horace,'" and said troducing malicious allusions to the landlady and to Pope, “What if you amused yourself in turning her fair daughter, so exasperated the young barristers an ode till we mount again ?" The poet smiled, who frequented “Dick’s,” that they went in a but said nothing. Presently they remounted, and body and hissed the piece from the boards. The as they rode on Lintot stopped short, and broke author then wrote an apology, and published the out, after a long silence: “Well, sir, how far have play; but unluckily the artist who illustrated it we got?” “Seven miles,” replied Pope, naïvely. . took the Bar at “Dick’s ” as the background of his He told Pope that by giving the hungry critics a sketch. The Templars grew madder than ever at dinner of a piece of beef and a pudding, he could this, and Mr. Miller, who translated Voltaire's make them see beauties in any author he chose. “ Mahomet” for Garrick, never came up to the After all, Pope did well with Lintot, for he gained surface again. It was at “ Dick's” that Cowper £5,320 by his “Homer.” Dr. Young, the poet, the poet showed the first symptoms of derangement. once unfortunately sent to Lintot a letter meant