London Labour and the London Poor, Volume 1

Mayhew, Henry


Of the Experience of a Chaunter.


THE Pope, sir," he began, "was as onesided to chaunt as to patter, in course. We had the Greeks (the lately-arrived Irish) down upon us more than once. In Liverpool-street, on the night of the meeting at Guildhall about the Papal Aggression, we had a regular skrimmage. One gentleman said: 'Really, you shouldn't sing such improper songs, my men.' Then up comes another, and he was a little orusted with port wine, and he says: 'What, against that cove the Pope! Here, give me half a dozen of the papers.' The city was tidy for the patter, sir, or the chaunt; there was sixpences; but there was shillings at the West End. And for the first time in their innocent lives, the parsons came out as stunning patrons of the patter. One of 'em as we was at work in the street give a bit of a signal and was attended to without any parade to the next street, and was good for half-a-crown! Other two stopped, that wery same day, and sent a boy to us with a Joey. Then me and my mate went to the Rev. W.'s, him as came it so strong for the fire-works on the Fifth of November. And we pattered and we pattered, and we chaunted and we chaunted, but no go for a goodish bit. His servant said he weren't at home. In course that wouldn't do for us, so down he came his-self at last, and says, werry soft: 'Come to-morrow morning, my men, and there'll be two gentlemen to hear you.' We stuck to him for something in hand, but he said the business had cost him so much already, he really couldn't. Well, we bounced a bob out of him, and didn't go near him again. After all we did for his party, a shilling was black ingratitude. Of course we has no feeling either for or agin the Pope. We goes to it as at an election; and let me tell you, sir, we got very poorly paid, it couldn't be called paid, for working for Lord John at the City Election; and I was the original of the live rats, which took well. But there's a good time coming to pay Lord Johnny off.

Some of the tunes—there's no act of parliament about tunes, you know, sir—was stunners on the fiddle; as if a thousand bricks was falling out of a cart at once. I think 'The Pope and Cardinal Wiseman,' one of the first of the songs, did as well as any. This werse was greatly admired:— Now Lord John Russell did so bright, to the Bishop of Durham a letter write Saying while I've a hand I'll fight, The pope and cardinal wiseman, Lord John's ancestor as I tell, Lord William Russell then known well His true religion would not sell, A martyr he in glory fell, And now Lord John so bold and free, Has got a rope as we may see, To hang up on each side of a tree, The pope and cardinal wiseman.

This finishing werse, too, was effective, and out came a few browns:— Now we don't care a fig for Rome, why can't they let the girls alone, And mind their business at home, the pope and cardinal wiseman. With their monsical red cardinals hat, And lots of wafers in a sack, If they come here with all their clack, we'll wound them fil fal la ra whack, In England they shall not be loose, Their hum bugging is all no use, If they come here we'll cook their goose, The pope and Cardinal Wiseman. Chorus Monks and Nuns and fools afloat, We'll have no bulls shoved down our throat, Cheer up and shout down with the Pope, And his bishop cardinal Wiseman.

Then there was another, sir. 'The Pope he is coming; oh, crikey, oh dear!' to the tune of the 'Camels are coming.' There was one bit that used to tickle them. I mayn't exactly remember it, for I didn't do anything beyond a spurt in it, and haven't a copy for you, but it tickled 'em with others. This was the bit:— I've heard my old grandmother's grandmother say, They burnt us in Smithfield full ten every day. O, what shall I do, for I feel very queer, The Pope he's a-coming, oh! crikey, oh, dear!

Bless you, sir, if I see a smart dressed servant girl looking shyly out of the street-door at us, or through the area railings, and I can get a respectful word in and say, 'My good young lady, do buy of a poor fellow, we haven't said a word to your servants, we hasn't seen any on 'em,' then she's had, sir, for 1d. at least, and twice out of thrice; that 'good young lady' chloroforms her.

Then this one, now, is stunning. It's part of what the Queen was a going to sing at the opening of the parliament, but she changed her mind, and more's the pity, for it would have had a grand effect. It's called 'The Queen, the Pope, and the Parliament,' and these is the best of the stanzas; I calls them werses in common, but stanzas for Wick: My lords and my gentlemen all, The bishops and great house of commons On you for protection I call, For you know I am only a woman, I am really quite happy indeed— To meet you like birds of a feather, So I hope you will all struggle with me, And pull away boys altogether, My name is Victoria the Queen. Our bishops and deans did relent, And say they for ever was undone, Bishop Philpott a long challenge sent To his lordship the bishop of London, To fight him on Hounslow Heath— But the bishop of London was coosey, He gave him one slap in the mouth, And then sent a letter to pusey, No humbuggery stories for vick— I heard my old grandfather say His great grandmother easily loved reckon When they made a fool run away, Whose name was king Jemmy the second. Billy gave him a ticket for soup, Though Bill married old Jemmy's daughter He knocked him from old Palace yard, To Ireland, across the Boyne water, Long life to Victoria the Queen. Come here my old friend Joey Hume, I know you in silence wont mope now, Go up and get inside the moon And make fast a great torry rope now, And then give a spring and a jump And you to a peerage shall rise then, For we'll swing up old Pius the Pope And his eminence cardinal Wiseman, Old England and down with the Pope.

Then there wasn't no risk with Haynau—I told you of the Pope first, 'cause he was most chaunted—no fear of a ferricadouzer for the butcher. How is it spelled, sir? Well, if you can't find it in the dictionary, you must use your own judgment. What does it mean? It means a dewskitch (a good thrashing). I've been threatened with dark nights about the Pope, after the Greeks has said: 'Fat have you to say agin the holy gintleman? To the divil wid all the likes o' ye.' Haynau was a fair stage and no favour. This werse was best liked:— The other day as you must know, In Barclay's brewhouse he did go And signed his bloody name "Haynau. The fellow that flogged the women. Baron Rothchild did him shend, And in the letter which he penn'd He shaid the sheneral wash his friend, And so good a man he could not mend. Chorus Rumpsey bumsy—bang him well— Make his back and sides to swell Till he roars aloud with dreadful yell, The fellow that flogged the women.

The women bought very free; poor women, mostly; we only worked him to any extent in the back drags. One old body at Stepney was so pleased that she said, 'O, the bloodyminded willain! Whenever you come this way again, sir, there's always 1d. for you.' She didn't pay in advance though.

Then it ended, sir, with a beautiful moral as appeals to every female bosom:— That man who would a female harm, Is never fit to live.

We always likes something for the ladies, bless 'em. They're our best customers.

Then there was poor Jael Denny, but she was humped, sir, and I've told you the reason. Her copy of werses began:— Since Corder died on Buystree, No mortal man did read or see, Of such a dreadful tragedy, As I will now unfold. A maid in bloom—to her silent tomb, Is hurried in the prime of life, How could a villain cause such strife She worthy was a famous wife. The like was seldom told. Chorus. She was young and gay, Like the flowers of may, In youth and vigour health and bloom, She is hurried to the silent tomb. Through Essex, such a dreadfull gloom, Jael Denny's murder caused.

My last chaunt was Jane Wilbred; and her werses—and they did tidy well—began:— A Case like this you seldom read, Or one so sad and true, And we sincerely hope the perper- trators both will rue To serve a friendless servant girl, Two years they did engage, Her name it is Jane Willbred, And eighteen years of age.

What do you think of the Great Exhibition, sir? I shall be there. Me and my mates. We are going to send in a copy of werses in letters of gold for a prize. We'll let the foreigners know what the real native melodies of England is, and no mistake.

View all images in this book
 Title Page
 The Street-Folk: Of Wandering Tribes in General
 Of the Wandering Tribes of this Country
 Of the London Street-Folk
Of the Number of Costermongers and Other Street-Folk
Of the Number of Costermongers and Other Street-Folk
Of the Varieties of Street-Folk in General, and Costermongers in Particular
Of Costermongering Mechanics
Ancient Calling of Costermongers
Of the Obsolete Cries of the Costermongers
Of the Costermongers 'Economically' Considered
The London Street Markets on a Saturday Night
The Sunday Morning Markets
Habits and amusements of Costermongers
Gambling of Costermongers
'Vic Gallery'
The Politics of Costermongers.-- Policemen
Marriage and Concubinage of Costermongers
Religion of Costermongers
Of the Uneducated State of Costermongers
Language of Costermongers
Of the Nicknames of Costermongers
Of the Education of Costermongers' Children
The Literature of Costermongers
Of the Honesty of Costermongers
Of the Conveyances of the Costermongers and Other Street-Sellers
Of the 'Smithfield Races'
Of the Donkeys of the Costermongers
Of the Costermongers' Capital
Of the 'Slang' Weights and Measures
Of Half Profits
Of the Boys of the Costermongers, and their Bunts
Of the Juvenile Trading of the Costermongers
Of the Education of the 'Coster-Lads'
The Life of a Coster-Lad
Of the 'Penny Gaff'
Of the Coster-Girls
The Life of a Coster Girl
Of Costermongers and Thieves
Of the More Provident Costermongers
Of the Homes of the Costermongers
Of the Dress of the Costermongers
Once Try You'll Come Again
Of the Diet and Drink of Costermongers
Of the Cries, Rounds, and Days of Costermongers
Of the Costermongers on their Country Rounds
Of the Earnings of Costermongers
Of the Capital and Income of the Costermongers
Of the Providence and Improvidence of Costermongers
Of the Costermongers in Bad Weather and During the Cholera
Of the Costermongers' Raffles
Of the Markets and Trade Rights of the Costerongers, and of the Laws Affecting Them
Of the Removals of Costermongers From the Streets
Of the Tricks of Costermongers
Of the Street-Sellers of Fish
Of Sprat-Selling in the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Fruit and Vegetables
Of the Stationary Street-Sellers of Fish, Fruit, and Vegetables
Of the Street-Irish
Of the Street-Sellers of Game, Poultry (Live and Dead), Rabbits, Butter, Cheese, and Eggs
Of the Sellers of Trees, Shrubs, Flowers (Cut and In Pots), Roots, Seeds, and Branches
Street-Sellers of Green Stuff
Of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Pea-Soup and Hot Eels
Of the Experience of a Hot-Eel and Pea-Soup Man
Of the Street-Sellers of Pickled Whelks
Of the Customers, Etc., of Pickled Whelk-Sellers
Of the Street Sellers, and of the Preparation of Fried Fish
Of the Experience of a Fried Fish- Seller, and of the Class of Customers
Of the Preparation and Quantity of Sheep's Trotters, and of the Street-Sellers
Statements of Sheep's Trotter Women
Of the Street Trade in Baked Potatoes
Of 'Trotting,' or 'Hawking' Butchers
Of the Experience of a Hawking Butcher
Of the Street-Sellers of Ham-Sandwiches
Of the Experience of a Ham Sandwich- Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Bread
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot Green Peas
Of the Experience of a Hot Green Pea Seller
Of Cats' and Dogs'--Meat Dealers
Of the Street-Sale of Drinkables
Of Coffee-Stall Keepers
Of the Street Sale of Ginger-Beer, Sherbet, Lemonade, &c
Of the Experience and Customers of A Ginger-Beer Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot Elder Wine
Of the Street Sale of Peppermint-Water
Of Milk Selling in St. James's Park
Of the Street Sale of Milk
Of the Street-Sale of Curds and Whey
Of the Street-Sellers of Rice-Milk
Of Water-Carriers
Of the Street-Sellers of Pastry and Confectionary
Of Street Piemen
Of the Street-Sellers of Boiled Puddings
Of the Street-Sellers of Plum 'Duff' or Dough
Of the Street-Sellers of Cakes, Tarts, &c.
Of Other Cake-Sellers in the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Gingerbread- Nuts, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Hot-Cross Buns, and of Chelsea Buns
Of Muffin and Crumpet-Selling in the Streets
Of the Street Sale of Sweet-Stuff
Of the Customers of the Sweet-Stuff Street-Sellers
Of the Street-Sellers of Cough Drops and of Medical Confectionary
'Lohoch de farfara,' the Lohoch of Coltsfoot
Of the Street-Sellers of Ices and of Ice Creams
Of the Capital and Income of the Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Capital, or Stock in Trade, of the Street- Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Income, or 'Takings,' of Street-Sellers of Eatables and Drinkables
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, &c.
Of the Former and Present Street- Patterers
Of the Habits, Opinions, Morals, and Religion of Patterers Generally
Of the Publishers and authors of Street-Literature
Of Long Song-Sellers
Of Running Patterers
Experience of a Running Patterer
Of the Recent Experience of a Running Patterer
Of the Chaunters
Of the Experience of a Chaunter
Of the Death and Fire Hunters
Of the Sellers of Second Editions
Of the Standing Patterers
Experience of a Standing Patterer
Of Political Litanies, Dialogues, etc.
Of 'Cocks,' Etc.
Of 'Strawing'
Of the Sham indecent Street-Trade
Of Religious Tract Sellers
Of a Benefit Society of Patterers
Of the Abodes, Tricks, Marriage, Character, and Characteristics of the Different Grades of Patterers
Of the Low Lodging-Houses of London
Of the Filth, Dishonesty, and Immorality of Low Lodging-Houses
Of the Children in Low Lodging- Houses
Of the Low Lodging-Houses Throughout the Country
Of the Street Stationers, and the Street Card-Sellers
Of the Seller of the Penny Short-Hand Cards
The Lecture
'I perish with hunger'
Of the Sellers of Race Cards and Lists
Of the Street-Sellers of Gelatine, of Engraved, and of Playing Cards, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Stationery
Of the Experience of a Street- Stationer
Of a 'Reduced' Gentlewoman, and a 'Reduced' Tradesman, as Street-Sellers of Stationery
Of the Street-Sale of Memorandum- Books and Almanacks
Of the Street-Sale of Pocket-Books and Diaries
Of the Street-Sellers of Songs
Of the Street 'Pinners-up,' or Wall Song-Sellers
Of Ancient and Modern Street Ballad Minstrelsy
Of Street 'Ballads on a Subject'
Of the Street Poets and Authors
Of the Experience of a Street Author, or Poet
Of the Street-Sellers of Broad-Sheets
Of the 'Gallows' Literature of the Streets
Of the Street-Sellers of Conundrums
Of the Street-Sellers of Comic Exhibitions, Magical Delusions, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Play-Bills
Of the Street-Sellers of Periodicals, Pamphlets, Tracts, Books, Etc.
Of the Street-Sale of Back Numbers
Of the Sale of Waste Newspapers at Billingsgate
Of the Sale of Periodicals on the Steam- Boats and Steam-Boat Piers
Of the Sale of Newspapers, Books, &c., at the Railway Stations
Of the Street Booksellers
Of the Character of Books of the Street-Sale
Of the Experience of a Street Book- Seller
Of Street Book-Auctioneers
Of the Street-Sale of Song-Books, and of Children's Books
Of the Street-Sellers of Account-Books
Of the Street-Sellers of Guide-Books, &c.
Of the Street-Sellers of Fine Arts
Of Street Art
Of the Street-Sellers of Engravings, Etc., in Umbrellas, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Pictures in Frames
Of the Street-Sellers of Manuscript and Other Music
Of the Capital and Income of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
Capital or Value of the Stock-in-Trade of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature and the Fine Arts
Income, or Average Annual 'Takings,' of the Street-Sellers of Stationery, Literature, and the Fine Arts
An Epitome of the Pattering Class
Of the 'Screevers,' or Writers of Begging-Letters and Petitions
'God Save the Queen'
Of the Probable Means of Reformation
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Manufactured Articles in Metal
Of the Cheap Johns, or Street Han- Sellers
'The Original Cheap John'
The Crippled Street-Seller of Nut- Meg-Graters
Of the Swag-Shops of the Metropolis
Shopkeepers and Dealers Supplied with the Following Articles --
Of the Life of a Cheap-John
The Street-Sellers of Cutlery
Of the Blind Street-Sellers of Tailors' Needles, etc.
The Public-House Hawkers of Metal Spoons, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Jewellery
Of the Pedlar-Jewellers
Of the Street-Sellers of Card-Counters, Medals, Etc.
The Construction is of Iron and of Glass, 1848 Feet Long. about Half is 456 Wide. the Remainder 408 Feet Wide, and 66 Feet High; Site, Upwards of 20 acres. Josh. Paxton, archt.
Of the Street-Sellers of Rings and Sovereigns For Wagers
Of the Street-Sellers of Children's Gilt Watches
Of the Street-Sellers of Tinware
Of the Life of a Tin-Ware Seller
Of the Street-Sellers of Dog-Collars
Of the Life of a Street-Seller of Dog- Collars
Of the Street-Sellers of Tools
Of the Beggar Street-Sellers
Pike's Patent Cotton. 120 Yards
'The Lace-Makers' Appeal'
'ALLEN, Printer, Long-row, Nottingham'
Of the 'House of Lords,' a Street-Seller's Defunct Club
Of the Street-Sellers of Crockery and Glass-Wares
Of the 'Swag,' Crockery, and Glass Shops
Of the Street-Sellers of Spar and China Ornaments, and of Stone Fruit
Of the Street-Sellers of Textile Fabrics
Of the Haberdashery Swag-Shops
Of Hawkers, Pedlars, and Petty Chapmen
Of the Packmen, or Hawkers of Soft Wares
Statement of a Packman
Of the Tally Packman
Of the 'Duffers' or Hawkers of Pretended Smuggled Goods
Of the Street-Sellers of 'Small-Ware,' or Tape, Cotton, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Lace
Of the Street-Sellers of Japanned Table- Covers
Of the Street-Sellers of Braces, Belts, Hose, Trowser-Straps, and Waistcoats
Of the Street-Sellers of Boot and Stay- Laces, &c.
Of a Blind Female Seller of 'Small-Wares'
The Blind Street-Seller of Boot-Laces
Of the Life of a Blind Boot-Lace Seller
Of the Low Lodging-Houses
Statement of a Young Pickpocket
Statement of a Prostitute
Statement of a Beggar
Meeting of Thieves
Of the Country Lodging-Houses
Of the Street-Sellers of Chemical Articles of Manufacture
Of the Street-Sellers of Blacking, Black Lead, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of French Polish
Of the Street-Sellers of Grease-Removing Compositions
Of the Street-Sellers of Corn-Salve
Of the Street-Sellers of Glass and China Cement, and of Razor Paste
Of the Street-Seller of Crackers and Detonating Balls
Of the Street-Sellers of Lucifer-Matches
Of the Street-Sellers of Cigar Lights, or Fuzees
Of the Street-Sellers of Gutta-Percha Heads
Of the Street-Sellers of Fly-Papers and Beetle-Wafers
Of the Street-Sellers of Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
Of the Street-Sellers of Walking-Sticks
Of the Street-Sellers of Whips, Etc.
Of the Street-Sellers of Pipes, and of Snuff and Tobacco Boxes
Of the Street-Sellers of Cigars
Of the Street-Sellers of Sponge
Of the Street-Sellers of Wash-Leathers
Of the Street-Sellers of Spectacles and Eye-Glasses
Of the Street-Sellers of Dolls
Of the 'Swag-Barrowmen,' and 'Lot- Sellers'
Of the Street-Sellers of Roulette Boxes
Of the Street-Sellers of Poison For Rats
Of the Street-Sellers of Rhubarb and Spice
Of the Hawking of Tea
Of the Women Street-Sellers
Of the Children Street-Sellers of London