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THE MODERN GILPIN,
56 He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.”
JOHN OLDSTOCK was a store-keeper,
In far-fam'd Seven-Dials;
He dealt in rags and phials.
John was not young, nor was he old:
His years twice two-and-twenty; His form was cast in roughest mould;
But good to all e'er meant he.
He was a sober, careful man,
And constant at his labour;
Was first to serve a neighbour.
His spouse was fair as spouse could be
To Oldstock quite a treasure : A prudent helpmate—wise as he
But lov'd a little pleasure.
She lovd a little gentle jaunt,
To Highgate or to Hampstead; And sometimes visited an aunt,
Who livd quite snug at Flamstead.
While John, good soul, still plodded on ;
To pleasure's walks a stranger; “ There's nought to me like home," thought John;
6 I ne'er shall be a ranger.”
But men are wayward creatures, sure,
The best of them are fickle; But time can resolution cure
For time's the best of pickle,
So, as at supper sat the pair,
After the day's exertion, Dame spoke so well John told the fair,
He'd take a day's excursion.
And thus he thought, and thus he said,
66 To-morrow we'll rise early; And spend a day with Ann and Fred,
And Mister and Mistress Shirley.
“ We've seen but nought of life you
know; For once we'll have a glimmer; So, love, get ready-we will go
To Gravesend, by the steamer.”
The dame return'd him many smiles
For she did never grumble;
They into bed did tumble.
'Twas six o'clock (they rose at five)—
The sun was up and brightning; The parlour ready-friends arrive,
The cat and kitten frightning.
For John, as soon as he awoke,
Set off to fetch the party;
Invited them right hearty.
Few friends had John-but these were true, And
merry ones beside: For all his other friends--the crew
Had turn'd with fortune's tide.
Well, now at breakfast sit the lot,
And joy beams round each feature; They talk of Gravesend, and what not;
And all are full of glee, sure.
And now the hour is drawing near
The time for them to sally;
No longer need they dally.
A coach is calld—they mean to ride,
And quickly all are seated,
Lest he should be o’erheated.
Well, now the door is clos’d at last,
Up bustles Mister Crottles;
I want a few good bottles !”
John Oldstock was not pleas'd to find
A hindrance to his jaunting;
In prudence seldom wanting.
Fain would his friends have stay'd for John,
But this he'd not allow:
And he would quickly follow.