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AMUSING CHRONICLE,

A Weekly Repository for MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.

(Vol. II.

No. XVIII.) January 18, 1817. .

Price only Four Pence.

SHROVE TUESDAY; or a PANCAKE

DAY in LONDON,

AN ANCIENT CUSTOM, And when Bow-Bell became the signal of its Celebration,

BY THOMAS NICHOLLS, P.M.

Stifle not honest rapture in the birth,
Life is lengthen’d by the aid of mirth.

To Matthew Wood, Esq. twice Lord Mayor of London.

WHILE fools and sycophants to fortune rise,
By means disgusting to the good and wise,
The sage, to whom I dedicate my song,
Disdains their crimes, and all the servile throng ;
Prudence and honour still direct his ways,
And love of Country wins his Couotry's praise.
If bright examples strengthen virtue's plan,
Here one presents, honest Wood's the man,
Twice Lord of London, by the Liv'ry's choice,
And ten times twice enthron'd by ev'ry voice.

Rais'd by your merits from an humble state,
The greatest honour 'mongst the gifts of fate,
My vivid pencil all thy merits drew,
And here I consecrate the draught to you:
If from your duties free, and trading care,
And calmly seated in your elbow chair,
No upstart coxcomb by, to give offenee
With idle prattle, or impertinence;

Printed by T. Kaygill, 36, Frith-Street, Sobo.

Unfold my pages, and awhile attend,
The moral measures of an early friend,
Who (thro' the lapse of time perhaps forgot)
At distance views, and glories in your

lot.

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Of Simon Eyre I sing, how he began,
'Till like yourself, a worthy Alderman ;
Of Shrovetide fare I sing, (a rich repast)
And how the custom came so long to last,
Of more beside, but (brevily to choose)
Observe the sequel, and respect the Muse;
So shall thine aldermanic friends admire,
And fill the Civic chair with all thy fire,
Upheld by Justice, mount on Mercy's wings,
And serve like Wood, the People and the King.

SHROVE TUESDAY ;

Or, Pancake-Day in London.

YE lads of London, by indenture bound,

To serve your master's lawfully and true;
Till seven long years have rolld their orbits round,
And freedom holds her easy cap

for

you.

Attend a while a fellow 'prentice sings,

Not in high strains like tuneful Pope or Prior ;
Too great for him, the ways of Courts and Kings,

His theme is Pancakes, which you all admire.

And who shall dare to scorn his sav'ry lays ?

A greater bard could once of puddings sing ;
He who long wore Apollo's verdant bays,

That friend to pies and pancakes*, Doctor King.
Hail glorious fare! I've seen the stripling stand,

Expectant, as his dame the pancake fries ;
Noting the motions of her skilful hand,

Dew on his lips, and rapture in his eyes.

See his

* William King, L L.D. of Christ Church College, Oxon: Art of making Puddings.

Who their efficient qualities can doubt?

Speak you who've felt them glowing in the breast;
With all their charms to swell the stomach out,

And soothe the craving appetite to rest.
Hail Shrove-tide! which lads of London know,

Methinks my fellows, come and hark! they say;
• Dost thou not hear thc + Pancake Bell at Bow?

Leave, leave thy labours Tom, and come away.”
Blest may he be who bade the custom rise,

Not like the vain from motives low and rude ;
But from the source that virtue's self supplies,

From worth, too seldom found, from GRATITUDE!
The tale's worth hearing, you may learn from hence,

Come give attention while the truth I tell ;
A moral waits for you, ye men of sense,

Then learn the story of the Pancake-Bell.
In days of yore, 'ere London's mighty town

Could boast ten thousand aqueducts of health ;
When' Bourns and Conduits rolled their treasures down,

And water-bearers turn'd their streams to wealth.
This custom reign’d among the sons of trade,

Augusta's Chronicle the same will tell ;
Each morn their master's tankards they convey'd,

To fill with water at the nearest well.
To Crowder's Conduit, (may it ever flow)!

Its healing current once gave health to me;
Of old, it made the crippled limb to go,
Renery'd the arm,

and taught the blind to see.
To Crowder's Conduit many a 'prentice came,

More than at other Wells were ever known;
Because the waters bore so high a name,

That other Wards preferr'd it to their own.
Among the rest an humble lad unskill'd,

One Simon Eyre, a poor Cordwainer's boy ;
One Shrove-tide morn, when all their cans were fill'd,

Went to eat Pancakes, and give loose to joy.

+ At the first sound of the Bow. Bell on Shrove Tuesday, the London Apprentices claim the ancient custom of quitting their Employment to feast on Pancakes, as will presently appear.

Before the London Bridge Water Works were invented, many industrious persons maintained their families by supplying the Public from Bourns and Conduits with that element, &c.

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In Jewin Street the ancient mansion stood,

But from the well a very little way ;
There Simon went, and fed on Pancakes good,

Without one penny to his poke to pay.
Nor was he heartless at the sad mischance,

But boldly thus to his companions said ;
I pray ye Sirs, this once, my short advance,

For without money I have hither stray'd.
In turn for which (by Crowder's well I swear),

If ever [in future time should be ;
Of this great Town the high and mighty Mayor,

The 'prentice lads shall long remember me.
I'll have them all within my stately court,

On wine and pancake they shall break their fast; The City waits shall play to make them sport,

And I will cause the custom long to last. As thus a laugh went thro' the merry throng,

Dame Hubbards laugh’d, for she was glad to hear His shot was paid, nor did she think him wrong,

But told the tale with glee for many a year. Time, who works wonders, as we all can tell,

Conducted Simon to his freedom fair ; Plac'd him a master, and he prosper'd well,

Became a Sheriff, and at length the Mayor !! Once as he sat, in stately robes array'd,

With Lady May’ress by his mansion Gre; He recollects the solemn oath he made,

To those whose bounty he could still admire. Relates each circumstance in all respects,

Made many a comment on indulgeni fate ;
And call'd him base, who such an oath neglects,

And most unworthy of the chair of state.
The virtuous Dame commends his Lordship's love,

Advis'd him strait his promise to fulfill;
And to his Bounty add a little more,

As intrest for each fellow lad's good will.

f The Pancake Woman.

| Simon Eyre, was Sheriff in 1432, and Lord Mayor of London in 1445; the same Year, he built Leaden Hall, (so called, from its being the first Building covered with that material) as a Store House for the Poor of the City. He established there also a Leather Market, for the use of the Cordwainers for ever,

&c.

She urged th'example of Sir Stephen Brown,*+

Who just before him fill'd the City chair;
Who break no promise made to King or Clown,

And left behind a name without compare.
Inspir'd by this, and Shrove-tide near at hand,

The time he swore before his Conduit friends;
Resolv'd him strict to call th’apprentice band,

To keep his word, and make them full amends.
Thro’ London City swift his will was flown,

To every Alderman Sir Simon sent;
Requesting each would thro' his Ward make known,

His Conduit promise, and his good intent.
When ev'ry master as he heard the tale,

Gave free consent, and that in friendly sort;
For 'prentice lads to seek the sweet regale,

And wish'd them store of pancakes and good sport.

To be continued.

THE NARRATOR, No. XIII.

The Subject concluded from Page 216.

“ Blest Philanthropy!
It doubly blesses, he is blest who gives
And the sad heart that by the bounty lives.”

Having in my last paper recommended our magistrates to temper their judgments with more mercy, and having

*+ Sir Stephen Brown, was Lord Mayor of London in 1438, who to use the words of the Historian, was “a

character that should never be forgotten.” At the time he was Chief Magistrate, happened a great and general Famine, caused chiefly by unseasonable weather, and much increased by unfeeling •ROGUES ÎN GRAIN,' so that the poor were forced to fly to the Commons, and there dig up the Fern, to make them Bread of its roots, which so affected Sir Stephen, that he sent at his own expense, several quick sailing ships to Dantzick for Grain ; and these making a speedy return, the Markets were suddenly sunk, and many bundreds saved from starving. The goodness of this man is felt even to the present moment, for he was the first who shewed the Londoners the way to relieve their City, by applying to Foreign Markets for supply of grain in times of scarcity.

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