make ’twice Ten no more than Junior Soph,Junior Soph: university students progressed through designations as Freshmen, Sophomores, Junior Soph, or Sophesters, and finally Senior Sophs., or a Chalk Accountant.Chalk Accountant: a bookkeeper who keeps a tally on a chalkboard, and whose earnings are accordingly low; Ward describes the office of a Chalk Accountant as keeping “a trencher-register of the club reckoning, to prevent the landlord’s double-scoring at the bar or the like” in Satyrical Reflections on Clubs (1710), 62–4. The position in the alleged “Surly Club” was worth twenty pounds per year. (62–4). These Reflections put me into as great a Passion with my self, as a Beau when he dawbs his Clothes,to dawb: to cover with finery or ornaments gaudily or ostentatiously; to cover with something specious in order to give a favourable impression. or makes a false step in the Salutation of his Mistress, that I resolv’d to be no longer Aristotle’s Sumpter-Horse,Sumpter-Horse: A pack horse that carries necessities for a journey. or, like a Tinkers-Ass,Tinker’s Ass: a tinker was a person who travelled from place to place mending metal pots, kettles, and utensils. Tinkers were held in low repute, as attested by expressions such as “a tinker's damn,” and they were associated in some regions with disreputable vagrants: the tinker’s ass lugging about the baggage of such a master was no fine steed. carry a BudgetBudget: a leather pouch or bag. for my Ancestors, stuff’d full of their Frenzical Notions, and the Musty Conceits of a parcel of dreaming Prophets, fabulous Poets, and old doating Philosophers; but shifted them off one by one, with a Fig for St. Austin and his Doctrines, a Fart for Virgil and his Elegancy, and a T—d for Descarts and his Philosophy: Till, by this means, I had rid my Brains of those troublesome Crotchets,Crotchets: whimsies; idle fancies. which had rais’d me to the Excellence of being half Fool and half Madman, by studying the weighty difference between Up-side-down and Top-side-turvey, or to be more knowing in some such Nicety, than the rest of my Neighbours.
At last, I thank my Stars, I turn’d by Back-side upon Times-past, and began, like a wary Traveller, to look before me; and now having recover’d my Native Liberty, I found an Itching Inclination in my self to visit London; and to shun the Censure of my Sober Country Friends, I Projected,to project: to design or contrive. for their Satisfaction, and my own Diversion, the following Journal, wherein I purpose to expose the Vanities and Vices of the Town, as they shall by any Accident occur to my knowledge, that the Innocent may see by Reflection, what I should gain by Observation and Intelligence, and not by Practice or Experience. With this Design I pursu’d my Journey, and the Second Day enter’d our Metropolis, with as much Wonder and Amazement, as the Hatfield-Fiddler did Old-Nicks Palace,Old Nick’s Palace: Old Nick, the devil; his palace, Hell. The Spy leaves behind the innocence of studying books out in the country as he passes through the gate and enters the City, an altogether more sordid place. in the time of the Christmas Holy-days. I had just pas’d thro’ Aldgate, like a Ball thro’ a Port of a Billiard-Table, but by good Fortune met an old School-fellow, whom I found had laid down the Gown,laid down the Gown: abandoned his studies (the gown being the attire of a member of a university). and took up the Sword, being
Trick’d up in as much Gaiety as a Dancing-Master upon a Ball-day, or a Young Sheriff at a County-Assizes. After we had mutually dispatch’d our Complements to each other, and I had Awkwardly return’d, in Country Scrapes,Scrapes: awkward bows. his All-a-modeAll-a-mode: à la mode, i.e., in the latest fashion. Bows and Cringes, he would needs prevail with me to Dine with him at a a Tavern hard by, with some Gentlemen of his Acquaintance, which I, being an utter Stranger in the Town, very readily Embrac’d. He enter’d the Tavern first, like a Young ’Squire attended with his Fathers Chaplin; for a Black Coat and Band, are as great signs of a Parson or a Pedagogue, as a Blew-Frock is of a Butcher or a Tallow-Chandler. Besides, my Hat, by often handling, being tug’d into the Canonical Flap, I look’d like a Deacon who had laid by his Crape,Crape: thin worsted material, out of which the dress of the clergy was sometimes made. in order to the Re-baptising of his Soul in Claret, without the danger of being seen Staggering in his Faith, to the Scandal of his Function.
As soon as we came near the Bar, a thing started up all Ribbons, Lace and Feathers, and made such a Noise with her Bell and her Tongue together, that had half a dozen Paper-Mills been at work within three Yards of her, they’d have been no more than so many Lutes to a Drum, or Ladies Farts to a Peal of Ordnance, which alarm’d Two or Three nimble heeld Fellows aloft, who shot themselves down Stairs with as much Celerity as a Mountebanks Mercury upon a Rope from the top of a Church-Steeple,Mountebanks Mercury upon a Rope from the top of a Church-Steeple: performers known as rope-sliders would fasten a rope to a steeple or tower and "fly" down the rope head first, arms and legs outstretched. Hogarth's engraving Southwark Fair (1733) shows such a performer descending from the bell tower (top right). Ward's wordplay combines "mountebank," an itinerant entertainer who profits by selling goods to gullible buyers, with "Mercury," the Olympian god associated with thievery, who flies "as fleet as thought." every one charged with a mouthful of Coming, Coming. This suddain clutter at our Appearance, so surpriz’d me, that I look’d as Silly as a Bumpkin Translated from the Plough-TailPlough-Tail: plough handle. to the Play-House, when it Rains-Fire in the Tempest, or when Don John’s at Dinner with the Subteranean Assembly of terrible Hobgoblins. He that got the start, and first approach’d us, of these Grey-hound-footed Emissaries, desir’d us to walk up, telling my Companion, his Friends were above. Then with a Hop, Stride, and