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“ 'Twas no great matter, some they said,

If Conscience quite were knock’d i'th' head,” and Robin departed hastily lest they should execute their threats. He fares no better among the shopkeepers in the city, and quitting them for ever, proceeds to the Friday horse-market in Smithfield.

“ Where being come, incontinent
The horse-coursers with one consent

Did chide me;
“ And said I was a preaching elf,
And they could get more store of pelf

Beside me.
“ I told them of a cheating trick,
Which makes the horses run and kick
By putting in an eel that's quick,

['th' belly.” His freedom displeased his hearers, and leaving them in dudgeon, he next visited the brokers in Long-lane ; but there both men and women were in arms against him, all crying,'

“ Away with Conscience from this lane,
For we his presence do disdain :-
They said if I came there again

Among them,
“ They said they'd band me back and side ;
Being menaced, away I hie’d;
Thus worldlings think, that when I chide,

I wrong them.” The butchers used him with equal incivility, an the butter-women and bakers in Newgate-market, who

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sold by short weight, affrighted him by their brawling.

He proceeds,

"Thus chid of them, my way I took,
Unto Pye-corner, where a cook

Glanc'd at me as the Devil did look

O'er Lincoln.

"Conscience,' quoth he,' thou shew'st not wit In coming to this place unfit ;

I'll run thee thorow with a spit;

Then think on
"Those words to thee which I have said,
I cannot well live by my trade,
If I should still require thy aid,
In selling:
"Sometimes one joint I must roast thrice,
Ere I can sell it at my price;
Then here's for thee (who art so nice)
No dwelling'.
"Perforce he drave me backward still,
Until I came unto Snow-hill;
The sale-men there, with voices shrill
Fell on me.

"I was so irksome in their sight,
That they conjured me to flight,

Or else they swore, (such was their spight)



They'd stone me.' ” At Turn-again-lane, the fish-wives and wenches,' treated him with Billingsgate contumely; and,

Ķ Their bodges, which for half-pecks go
They vowed at my head to throw :
No Conscience they were bred to know
But prating.

"Away, thus frighted by those scolds,
To Fleet-street straight my love it holds,
Where men, whose tongues were made in moulds
Of flattery;

Did ery,' what lack you, country-men ?’
But seeing me, away they ran,
As though the enemy had began

His battery.

« The haberdashers, that sell hats,
Hit Robin Conscience many pats,
And, like a company of cats,

They scratch'd me.

"The mercers and silk-men also,
That live in Pater-noster-row,
Their hate against poor Conscience shew:

And, when I


"Came to that place, they all did set
On me, cause I their gain would let,
Who will both swear and lye to get

One penny.'


In Cheapside, they threatened him with death, for intruding into such a golden place;' and a cheesemonger whom he meets in Bread-street, hies from him with winged feet.' In Fish-street, the lads who wish for a perpetual Lent, swear that he shall not 'guide a stall there.' This want of courtesy drives him to the Royal Exchange, but the merchants in the lower part utterly refuse to consort with him, and rebut his advances in these words:

"For we have traffick without thee;
And thrive best, if thou absent be.""

“ Now I, being thus abus'd below,
Did walk up stairs, where on a row
Brave shops of ware did make a show

Most sumptuous.
“ But, when the shop-folk me did spy,
They drew their dark light instantly,
And said, in coming there, was I

Presumptuous. “ The gallant girls that there sold knacks Which ladies and brave women lacks, When they did see me they did wax

In choler.
Quoth they, 'we ne'er knew Conscience ye
And, if he comes our gains to let,
We'll banish him, he'll here not get

One scholar.
I, being jeered thus and scorn'd,
Went down the stairs, and sorely mourn’d
To think that I should thus be turn'd

A begging.
« To Grace-church-street, I went along:
Where dwelt a great ungracious throng
That will deceive both old and young

With cogging
As drapers, poulterers, and such
Who think they never get too much;
The word Conscience to them is Dutch,

Or Spanish;
“ And harder too, for speech they'll learn,
With all their heart, to serve their turn,
But Conscience, when they him discern,

They banish.”

Proceeding over the Bridge into Southwark, he was used still more unkindly than in London; and, instead of the welcome which he had hoped to find, was subjected to derision and mockery.

“ All sorts of men and women, there,
Ask'd how I durst to them appear,
And swore my presence they would clear

“ Then I, being sore athirst, did go
Into an alehouse in the Row,
Meaning a penny to bestow

On strong beer;
“ But, 'cause I for a quart did call,
My hostess swore,' she'd bring me small,
Or else I should have none at all.'

Thus wrong'd there,
“ I bade her on her licence look,
• Oh Sir,' quoth she,'ye are mistook,
I have a lesson without book

Most perfect :
“ If I my licence should observe,
And not in any point to swerve,
Both I and mine, alas ! should starve,

Not surfeit.
“ Instead of a quart-pot of pewter,
I fill small jugs, and need no tutor;
I quart'ridge give to the geometer

Most duly;
“ And he will see, and yet be blind;
A knave, made much of, will be kind,
If you be one, Sir, tell your mind

Most truly.


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