The Character of Victualers in General. The Character of a Common Victualer in Verse. Of Astrologers and Wise Women. Of a Cunning Man in Verse. Of a Modern Reformer of Vice: Or, a Reforming Constable, in Prose and Verse. Comical Accidents and Occurrences.
AS a Fair Town-Miss, of a Twelve-Months standing, when she has surfeited the Appetites of those Debauchees who are always ranging after Novelty; and render’d herself Contemptible, by being too Common, puts on a dark Fore-top, blacks her Eye-brows, changes the Mode of her Dressing, her Lodging, and her Name and, sets up for a new Creature; so we, for fear of falling under the same Fate, have thought fit to vary a little from our former Method, in hopes to preserve the same liking to our Design, which we believe the World has hitherto had, from the Encouragement it has given us to continue our Undertaking. Our chief Alteration will be to Treat more upon Men and Manners; opening the Frauds and Deceits practicable in many Trades; also of the sundry sorts of Conversation, with Moral Reflections on the same; Characters of Trades, and those that follow ’em; and Remarks upon all Occurrences worth Notice. In pursuance to which Method, I shallbegin
begin with Victualers, showing their usual Rise and means of Success, and also shall lay open their Pride, Sauciness and Ingratitude; which either most Men have, may, or will find, by their own Experience.
In times of Sobriety, when Ale-Houses were as scarce as Churches, not above one in a Parish; when any Tradesman was undone by the Levity of his Wife, the Disobedience of his Children; by Fire, in either House or Cod-piece, or any other Losses and Grosses, incident to a Man in this World; upon his Humble Application to the Magistrates of the Ward, or Precinct where in he lived, they would Grant, or Procure him to be Granted, a Licence to Sell Ale, that he might be doing something to defend himself and his Family from being Burthen-some to the Parish. And being unhappily fallen into a Peevish Temper, by reflecting on his Misfortunes, he was usually distinguished in his new Employment with some of the following Nick-Names and Titles, as, Alderman Snarl, Captain Rusty, Sir John Tun-Belly, Esquire Gruff, Doctor Grunt, or the like; being look’d upon no other than an Old Crack’d Fiddle, fit for every Merry Prattle-box to Play upon. Neither could the good Woman, (whose Business it was to draw the Tipple, and who kept her Shoulders warm with a piece of an old Blanket instead of a Nightrail) avoid, being new Christen’d by some Drunken Godfather or other, the Name of Mother Huff, Mother Damnable, the Witch of Endor, Dame Saucy, Goody Blowze, Gammer Tattle, or the like. But now the World, like a Man advanced from Poverty to Prosperity, is so strangely altered, that as soon as a Tradesman had got a little Money by the Business he was bred to, observing the Fluency of Fools-Pence, the Lordliness of the Victualers, the Laziness of their Lives, thePlenitudePleni-tude