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VI.-Facetious History of John Gilpin.
JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown;
A train band captain eke was he,
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
My sister and my sister's child,
He soon replied "I do admire
I am a linen draper bold,
As all the world doth know;
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin-" That's well said;
We will be furnish'd with our own,
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
That though on pleasure she was bent,
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Six precious souls; and all agog,
To dash through thick and thin!
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folks so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapsid vere mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side,
And up he got in haste to ride,
But soon came down again :
For saddletree scarce reach'd had he,
When turning round his head, he saw
So down he came, for loss of time,
"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I wear my trusty sword,
Now Mrs. Gilpin, careful soul,
Had two stone bottles found,
Then over all, that he might be
His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat,
Now see him mounted once again,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
"So, fair and softly," John he cried;
The trot became a gallop soon,
So stooping down, as needs he must,
Who cannot sit upright;
He grasp'd the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig ;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
His horse, who never had before
Been handled in this kind,
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Till loop and button failing both,,
Then might all people well discern
A bottle swinging at each side,
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,',
And every soul cri'd out," Well done!"
Away went Gilpin--who but he?
His fame soon spread around
"He carries weight! he rides a race! 'Tis for a thousand pound."
And still, as fast as he drew near,
How in a trice the turnpike men.
And now as he went bowing down ›
The bottles twain behind his back,
Down ran the wine into the road,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke,,
As they had basted been.
But still he seem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle brac'd;
For all might see the bottle necks.
Thus all through merry Islington,
And there he threw the Wash about,
Just like unto a trundling mop,
At Edmonton, his loving wife,
Her tender husband, wond'ring much
To see how he did ride.
"Stop, stop, John Gilpin! here's the house!"
They all at once did cry;
"The dinner waits, and we are tir'd!"
Said Gilpin-" So am I !"
But yet his horse was not a whit
For why?-His owner had a house
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,'
Till at his friend's, Tom Callender's,
Tom Callender, surpris'd to see
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him :
"What news? What news? Your tidings tell Make haste and tell me all!
Say, why bareheaded are you come ?
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
"I came because your horse would come;
My hat and wig will soon be here ;
Tom Callender, right glad to find.
Return'd him not a single word,
Whence straight he came with hat and wig,
A hat not much the worse for wear;
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up; and in his turn,
66 My head is twice as big as yours,
And stop and eat-for well you may
"Twas for your pleasure you came here,
Ah! luckless speech, and bootless boast,
Whereat his horse did snort as if
And gallop'd off with all his might,
Away went Gilpin, and away
Now Gilpin's wife, when she had seen
Into the country, far away,
She pull'd out half a crown :
And thus unto the youth she said
The youth did ride, and soon they mét ;
By seizing fast the flowing rein;
Away went Gilpin-and away
Went postboy at his heels;
The postboy's horse right glad to miss
The lumb'ring of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scamp'ring in the rear,
They rais'd the hue and cry.
"Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman !"
Not one of them was mute;.