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THE
DIVERTING HISTORY

JOHN GILPIN;

SHOWING HOW HE WENT FARTHER THAN HÉ IN.

TENDED, AND CAME SAFE HOME AGAIN.

JOHN Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renowng .
A train-band Captain eke was he
Of famous London town..:

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear

Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.
To-morrow is our wedding-day

And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton

All in a chaise and pair.

My sister and my sister's child,

Myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride

On horseback after we.

He soon replied—I do admire

Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,

Therefore it shall be done.

I am a linen draper bold,

As all the world doth know, And my good friend the calender

Will lend his horse to go.

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin—that's well said;

And, for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,

Which is both bright and clear.
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife ;

O'erjoy'd was he to find
That, though on pleasure she was bent,

She had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was broughty

But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,

Where they did all get in ;
Six precious souls, and all agog

To dash through thick and thin!

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,

Were never folk so glad,,
The stones did rattle underneath,

As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin at his horse's side

Seiz'd fast the flowing mane, And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again ;

For saddle-tree scarce reach'd had he,

His journey to begin,
When turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.
So down he came ; for loss of time,

Although it griev'd him sore,
Yet loss of pence full well he knew

Would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers

Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs

• The wine is left behind !".. .

Good lack ! quoth he-yet bring it me,

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword.

When I do exercise.

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul)

Had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she lov'd

And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,

To make his balance true. .

Then, over all, that he might be

Equipp'd from top to toe, His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat;

He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly, pacing o'er the stones

With caution and good heed !
But, finding soon a smoother road

Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,

Which galld him in his seat.
So, fair and softly, John he cried,

But John he cried in vain ; That trot became a gallop soon,

In spite of curb and rein.

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.

His horse, who never in that sort

Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got

Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or naught ;

Away went hat and wig !
He little dreamt when he set out

Of running such a rig !
The wind did blow, the cloak did Ay

Like streamer long and gay,

Till loop and button failing both,

At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern,

The bottles he had slung ;
A bottle swinging at each side,

As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,

Up flew the windows all ;
And every soul cried out--Well done!

As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin-who but he ?

His fame soon spread around
He carries weight! he rides a race !

'Tis for a thousand pound ! se And still, as fast as he drew near,

'Twas wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike-men

Their gates wide open threw.
And now, as he went bowing dowo,

His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back :.:

Were shatter'd at a blow.
Down ran the wine into the road,

Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoak

As they had basted been.

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