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you may quickly know these nimble youths, and likely find them very busie bodyes in quarrells, which nothing concerne them, and sometimes in discourie with theire wenches, (the sisters of the scabard) for the most part to be found in a croud or throng of people. Their buttocks walke up and down the Faire very demurely: the end of their perambulation is to be taken up by some countreyGull, or City-cockscombe, and then your hand is no sooner in one of their plackets, but theirs is as nimble in one of your pockets; and if you take not heed of them, they will give you fairings with the poxe.
Some of your Cutpurses are in fee with cheating Costermongers, who have a trick now and then to throw downe a basket of refuge peares, which prove choakepeares to those that shall loose their hats or cloaks in striving who shall gather fastest. They have many dainty baits to draw a bit, and (if you be not vigilant) you shall hardly escape their nets: fine fowlers they are, for every finger of theirs is a lime twigge, with which they catch dotterels. They are excellently well read in Physiognomy; for they will know how strong you are in the purse by looking in your face; and for the more certainty thereof, they will follow you close, and never leave you till you draw your purse, or they for you, which they'l be sure to have, (if you looke not to it) though they kisse New-gate for it.
It is remarkable, and worth your observation, to behold and heare the strange sights, and confus'd noise in the Faire. Here a Knave in a fooles coate, with a trumpet sounding, or on a drumme beating, invites you and would faine perswade you to see his puppets: there a Rogue like a wild woodman, or in an Antick'ship (shape) like an Incubus, desires your company, to view his motion; on the other side, Hocus Pocus with three yards of tape or ribbin
in's hand, shewing his art of Legerdemaine, to the admiration and astonishment of a company of cockoloaches. Amongst these you shall see a gray Goose-cap (as wise as the rest,) with a “what do ye lacke,” in his mouth, stand in his boothe, shaking a rattle, or scraping on a fiddle, with which children are so taken that they presently cry out for these fopperies; and all these together make such a distracted noise, that you would thinck Babell were uot comparable to it. Here there are also your Gamesters in action; some turning of a whimsey, others throwing for pewter, who can quickly dissolve a round shilling into a three halfepenny saucer.
Long-lane at this time looks very faire, and puts out her best cloathes, with the wrong side outward, so turn'd for their better turning off; and Cloth Faire is now in great request : well fare the ale-houses therein ; yet better may a man fare (but at a dearer rate) in the Pig market, alias Pasty-nooke, or Pye corner, where pigges are al houres of the day on the stalls piping hot, and would cry (if they could speak) “ come eate me;" but they are so damnable deare, and the reckonings for them are so saucy, that a man had as good licke his fingers in a baudy house, as at this time come into one of those houses, where the fat greasy hostesse instructs Nick Froth her tapster, to aske a shilling more for a pig's head of a woman big with child, in regard of her longing, then of another ordinary customer; these unconscionable exactions, and excessive inflammations of reckoning made that angle of the Faire too hot for my company; therefore I resolv'd with myself to steere my course another way, and having once got out, not to come again in hast.
Now farewell to the Faire; you who are wise,
STEPNEY, -RESIDENCE OF DEAN COLET.
STEPNEY was the residence of the celebrated Dean Colet, the eminent founder of St. Paul's School, whose father, Sir Henry Colet, knt., was twice Lord Mayor of London, in the years 1486 and 1495, and lies buried in Stepney Church. Before his preferment to the Deanery of St. Paul's, in 1505, Dr. Colet held the vicarage of this parish, and he continued to reside here for several years after his resignation of the living. His mansion was at the north end of White-Horse Street, near to the present Ratcliffe Workhouse; and its appearance, when standing, about thirty years ago, is shewn in the accompanying print, which was executed from a drawing by the late Mr. John Ireland.
Lysons says, that Dr. Colet" was one of the first declaimers against the abuses of the Romish religion, very
instrumental in paving the way for the Reformation.” Upon his founding St. Paul's School, he gave his house at Stepney to the Head Master, as a country residence; and its site is now occupied by two messuages, called Colet Place, which are let for the advantage of the Masters, (who have not resided at Stepney for many years,) and in front of which, is a bust of the Dean. In a letter from Sir Thomas More, to that eminent divine, who was then abroad, he says, «« if the discommodities of the city offend you, yet may the country, about your parish of Stepney, afford you the like delights, to those which that affords you wherein you now keepe.'
Dean Colet died on the
* More's Life of Sir Toomas More, p. 23: edit, 1726.