THE
London-Spy.
PART IX

A Story on the Admiralty-Office. A Description of Man’s Coffee-House; with the Humours of the Beaus; and a Copy of Verses thereon. Remarks upon the Horse Guards; on the Famous Cobler at Charing-Cross; on the Statue of King Charles the First: A Copy of Verses on that Unhappy Prince. Remarks upon the New-Ex­change. Upon the Devotion of the Covent-Garden Ladies, &c. And upon Covent-Garden Market. The Hummums, or Sweating-House Described. Several Diverting Stories told by the Rubber.

AS soon as we turn’d out of Scotland-Yard into the common Road, I espied a Famous Edifice Diametrically opposite to the Gate we passed thro’; the freshness of the Bricks, and form of which Building, shew it of a Modern Erection. Perpendicu­larly over the main Door, or Entrance, was plac’d a Golden Anchor, which occasion’d me to enquire of my Friend, to what Publick use this Noble Fabrick was converted. In answer to which, says he, This is the place where so many Letters have been directed, which were put into the Gazette concerning a Dis­covery of many Abuses and Irregularities Committed in Her Majestys Navy; and great Encouragements were offered to the Authors of those Letters to ap­pear and Justifie what Illegal and Unwarrantable Pra­ctices they could charge, upon any Person or Persons

commission’d

Commission’d in that Service under the Government. And pray, said I, what became of that matter at last, about which there was so great a bustle? You must be careful, says my Friend, how you ask Questions in such Affairs; and it behoves me to be as Cautious how I answer any. But to divert you from your Enqui­ries, I’ll tell you a Story, viz. A Merry Cobler, as he sat Stitching in his Stall, was Singing a piece of his own Composition to indulge his Chearful Humour, wherein he very often repeated these following Words, viz. The King said to the Queen, and the Queen said to the King: A Passenger coming byt who was mighty desirous of knowing what it was the King and Queen said to one another, stood listening a considerable time, expecting the Cobler to have gone on with his Ditty, wherein he should have satisfied his Longing Curiosity. But the Musical Translator continued a Rehearsal only of the same Words, till he had tired the Patience of his Auditor; who at last stepped up to the Stall, and seriously ask’d the Drolling Sole-Mender, What it was the King said to the Queen, and the Queen to the King? The busie Crispin snatches up his Strap, and lays it, with all his might, cross the Shoulders of the Impertient Querist, Passionately expressing himself in these Words, viz. How, now, Sauce-Box! It’s a fine Age we Live in, when such Cocks-Combs as you must be prying into matters of State? I’d have you to know, Sirrah, I am too Loyal a Subject to betray the King’s Secrets; and pray get ye gone, and don’t in­terrupt me in my Lawful Occupation, lest I stick my Aul in your Arse, and mark you for a Fool that meddles with what you have nothing to do with. The Cobler being an Old Sturdy Grizzle, the Fellow was forc’d to bear both with this Correction and Reproof; and Shrug­ing his Shoulders, was glad to sneak off about his Business.

I know, said I, how to apply the Moral of your Story; and shall therefore be very Careful how I trouble you with any such Questions for the future, that are either

improper