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Adventures of John Oldstock,
AN EXCURSION BY STEAM FROM LONDON TO
A PASSING GLANCE AT THE PRINCIPAL PLACES
ON THE THAMES AND MEDWAY:
ILLUSTRATED BY AN EMINENT ARTIST.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. CROCKER,
5, GARNAULT-PLACE, SPAFIELDS ;
66 What is there in a NAME ?” asks the
immortal Shakspeare. The Author of “The Modern Gilpin” would humbly respond, -A great deal in the present case: for if Cowper had not given his celebrated
56 Johnny Gilpin” to the world, the following bagatelle, in all probability, would never have been written; or if indeed it had, it would not have been published, wanting, as it then would have done, the powerful assistance of a celebrated $name.” So much for the title; and now for the hero.
The character of “John Oldstock” (who, by-the-by, is a member of that noted fraternity, yclept“ Marine Store Dealers,”) affords a striking and incontrovertible evidence of the fact, that a man may follow
a low profession or calling, and be, notwithstanding, a very worthy member of SO y—nay, even a gentleman,* in the truest sense of the term.
Our hero, for the first time in his life, finds himself on board a steamer, on bright autumnal morning-gradually relaxing from the every-day concerns of a life of business, and entering joyfully into the heart-stirring scenes of bustle and activity.
The Author has endeavoured to sketch, in the following pages, a faithful, though vivid, outline of our noble Thames, with its tributary streams; but, of course, such a sketch only as the passing glance from a steam-boat will permit.
* The meaning of this term is very equivocal. A witness on a trial being questioned as to his reason for supposing a certain person to be a gentleman, replied, “Why, he kept a horse and chaise !” This is settling the question of gentility with a vengeance. Johnson, in his definition of the word, says nothing about such a qualification as this.