The Merry-Thought: or the Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany. Part 1
by Samuel Johnson [AKA Hurlo Thrumbo]
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[Transcriber's Note:

The texts cited use a variety of long and short dashes, generally with no relationship to the number of letters omitted. For this e-text, short dashes are shown as separated hyphens, while longer dashes are shown as connected hyphens:

D - - - n Molley H——ns for her Pride.

Groups of three vertical braces } represent a single brace encompassing three rhymed line.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Augustan Reprint Society


or, the Glass-Window and Bog-House MISCELLANY.

Part I (1731)

Introduction by GEORGE R. GUFFEY

Publication Number 216 WILLIAM ANDREWS CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY University of California, Los Angeles 1982


David Stuart Rodes, University of California, Los Angeles


Charles L. Batten, University of California, Los Angeles George Robert Guffey, University of California, Los Angeles Maximillian E. Novak, University of California, Los Angeles Thomas Wright, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Ralph Cohen, University of Virginia William E. Conway, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Vinton A. Dearing, University of California, Los Angeles Arthur Friedman, University of Chicago Louis A. Landa, Princeton University Earl Miner, Princeton University Samuel H. Monk, University of Minnesota James Sutherland, University College, London Robert Vosper, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Beverly J. Onley, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


Frances M. Reed, University of California, Los Angeles


For modern readers, one of the most intriguing scenes in Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (1722) occurs during the courtship of Moll by the man who is to become her third husband. Aware that the eligible men of her day have little interest in prospective wives with small or nonexistent fortunes, Moll slyly devises a plan to keep her relative poverty a secret from the charming and (as she has every reason to believe) wealthy plantation owner who has fallen in love with her. To divert attention from her own financial condition, she repeatedly suggests that he has been courting her only for her money. Again and again he protests his love. Over and over she pretends to doubt his sincerity.

After a series of exhausting confrontations, Moll's lover begins what is to us a novel kind of dialogue:

One morning he pulls off his diamond ring and writes upon the glass of the sash in my chamber this line:

You I love and you alone.

I read it and asked him to lend me the ring, with which I wrote under it thus:

And so in love says every one.

He takes his ring again and writes another line thus:

Virtue alone is an estate.

I borrowed it again, and I wrote under it:

But money's virtue, gold is fate.[1]

After a number of additional thrusts and counterthrusts of this sort, Moll and her lover come to terms and are married.

[Footnote 1: Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (New York: New American Library, 1964), pp. 71-72.]

The latter half of the twentieth century has seen a steady growth of serious scholarly interest in graffiti. Sociologists, psychologists, and historians have increasingly turned to the impromptu "scratchings" of both the educated and the uneducated as indicators of the general mental health and political stability of specific populations.[2] Although most of us are familiar with at least a few of these studies and all of us have observed numerous examples of this species of writing on the walls of our cities and the rocks of our national parks, we are not likely, before encountering this scene in Moll Flanders, to have ever before come into contact with graffiti produced with such an elegant writing implement.

[Footnote 2: For example, E. A. Humphrey Fenn, "The Writing on the Wall," History Today, 19 (1969), 419-423, and "Graffiti," Contemporary Review, 215 (1969), 156-160; Terrance L. Stocker, Linda W. Dutcher, Stephen M. Hargrove, and Edwin A. Cook, "Social Analysis of Graffiti," Journal of American Folklore, 85 (1972), 356-366; Sylvia Spann, "The Handwriting on the Wall," English Journal, 62 (1973), 1163-1165; Robert Reisner and Lorraine Wechsler, Encyclopedia of Graffiti (New York: Macmillan, 1974); "Graffiti Helps Mental Patients," Science Digest, April, 1974, pp. 47-48; Henry Solomon and Howard Yager, "Authoritarianism and Graffiti," Journal of Social Psychology, 97 (1975), 149-150; Carl A. Bonuso, "Graffiti," Today's Education, 65 (1976), 90-91; Elizabeth Wales and Barbara Brewer, "Graffiti in the 1970's," Journal of Social Psychology, 99 (1976), 115-123; Ernest L. Abel and Barbara E. Buckley, The Handwriting on the Wall: Toward a Sociology and Psychology of Graffiti (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977); and Marina N. Haan and Richard B. Hammerstrom, Graffiti in the Ivy League (New York: Warner Books, 1981).]

Glass being fragile and diamonds being relatively rare, it is not surprising that few examples of graffiti produced by the method employed by Moll and her lover are known to us today. Interestingly enough, we do, however, have available to us a variety of Renaissance and eighteenth-century written materials suggesting that the practice of using a diamond to write ephemeral statements on window glass was far less rare in those periods than we might expect. Holinshed, for example, tells us that in 1558 when Elizabeth was released from imprisonment at Woodstock, she taunted her enemies by writing

these verses with hir diamond in a glasse window verie legiblie as here followeth:

Much suspected by me, Nothing prooued can be: Quoth Elizabeth prisoner.[3]

[Footnote 3: Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (London, 1808), IV, 133.]

And in John Donne's "A Valediction: of my Name in the Window," we find two lovers in a situation reminiscent of that of the scene I previously quoted from Moll Flanders. Using a diamond, the poet, before beginning an extended journey, scratches his name on a window pane in the house of his mistress. Here is the first stanza of the poem:

My name engrav'd herein, Doth contribute my firmnesse to this glasse, Which, ever since that charme, hath beene As hard, as that which grav'd it, was; Thine eyes will give it price enough, to mock The diamonds of either rock.[4]

While he is absent, the characters he has cut in the glass will, the poet hopes, magically defend his mistress against the seductive entreaties of his rivals.

[Footnote 4: John Donne, The Elegies and the Songs and Sonnets, ed. Helen Gardner (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1966), p. 64.]

In 1711 in a satiric letter to The Spectator, John Hughes poked fun at a number of aspiring poets who had recently attempted to create works of art by utilizing what Hughes called "Contractions or Expedients for Wit." One Virtuoso (a mathematician) had, for example, "thrown the Art of Poetry into a short Problem, and contrived Tables by which any one without knowing a Word of Grammar or Sense, may to his great Comfort, be able to compose or rather erect Latin Verses." Equally ridiculous to Hughes, and more relevant to the concerns of this introduction, was the practice of another poet of his acquaintance: "I have known a Gentleman of another Turn of Humour, who, despising the Name of an Author, never printed his Works, but contracted his Talent, and by the help of a very fine Diamond which he wore on his little Finger, was a considerable Poet upon Glass. He had a very good Epigrammatick Wit; and there was not a Parlour or Tavern Window where he visited or dined ... which did not receive some Sketches or Memorials of it. It was his Misfortune at last to lose his Genius and his Ring to a Sharper at Play; and he has not attempted to make a Verse since."[5]

[Footnote 5: The Spectator, No. 220, November 12, 1711.]

But "Epigrammatick Wits" of this sort were not universally despised in the eighteenth century. In 1727 in a "critical dissertation prefix'd" to A Collection of Epigrams, the anonymous editor of the work argued that the epigram itself "is a species of Poetry, perhaps, as old as any other whatsoever: it has receiv'd the approbation of almost all ages and nations...." In the book proper, he found room for a number of epigrams which he evidently copied from London window panes. Here is an example:


To a Lady, on seeing some Verses in Praise of her, on a Pane of Glass.

Let others, brittle beauties of a year, See their frail names, and lovers vows writ here; Who sings thy solid worth and spotless fame, On purest adamant should cut thy name: Then would thy fame be from oblivion sav'd; On thy own heart my vows must be engrav'd.

One of the epigrams in this collection suggests that, unlike Moll's lover and Hughes's poet, some affluent authors had even acquired instruments specifically designed to facilitate the practice of writing poetry on glass:

Written on a Glass by a Gentleman, who borrow'd the Earl of CHESTERFIELD's Diamond Pencil.

Accept a miracle, instead of wit; See two dull lines by Stanhope's pencil writ.[6]

[Footnote 6: No. CCCLXXXII, in A Collection of Epigrams. To Which Is Prefix'd, a Critical Dissertation on This Species of Poetry (London, 1727).]

As the title of this epigram also suggests, window panes were not the only surfaces considered appropriate for such writing. A favorite alternate surface was that of the toasting glass. The practice of toasting the beauty of young ladies had originated at the town of Bath during the reign of Charles II. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the members of some social clubs had developed complex toasting rituals which involved the inscription of the name of the lady to be honored on a drinking glass suitable for that purpose. In 1709 an issue of The Tatler described the process in some detail:

that happy virgin, who is received and drunk to at their meetings, has no more to do in this life but to judge and accept of the first good offer. The manner of her inauguration is much like that of the choice of a doge in Venice: it is performed by balloting; and when she is so chosen, she reigns indisputably for that ensuing year; but must be elected a-new to prolong her empire a moment beyond it. When she is regularly chosen, her name is written with a diamond on a drinking-glass.[7]

[Footnote 7: The Tatler, No. 24, June 4, 1709.]

Perhaps the most famous institution practicing this kind of ceremony in the eighteenth century was the Kit-Kat Club. In 1716 Jacob Tonson, a member of that club, published "Verses Written for the Toasting-Glasses of the Kit-Kat Club" in the fifth part of his Miscellany. Space limitations will not permit extensive quotations from this collection, but the toast for Lady Carlisle is alone sufficient to prove that complete epigrams were at times engraved upon the drinking glasses belonging to this club:

She o'er all Hearts and Toasts must reign, Whose Eyes outsparkle bright Champaign; Or (when she will vouchsafe to smile,) The Brilliant that now writes Carlisle.[8]

Part I of The Merry-Thought: or, The Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany was almost certainly published for the first time in 1731. Arthur E. Case (Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521-1750) notes that this pamphlet was listed in the register of books in the Gentleman's Magazine for October 1731.[9] An instant success with the reading public, second and third editions of the pamphlet, the third "with very Large Additions and Alterations," were also published in 1731.[10] Because, as its title-page declared, the third and last edition was the fullest of the three, a copy of that edition has been chosen for reproduction here.[11]

[Footnote 8: The Fifth Part of Miscellany Poems, ed. Jacob Tonson (London, 1716), p. 63.]

[Footnote 9: A Bibliography of English Poetical Miscellanies, 1521-1750 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1935), p. 275.]

[Footnote 10: Case, p. 276, points out that the second edition was advertised in the November 13, 1731, issue of Fog's Weekly Journal and that the third edition was advertised in the December 11, 1731, issue of the same journal. Three additional parts were also published within a year or so, see Case, pp. 276-277.]

[Footnote 11: Although, as the title-page of the third edition advertises, the third edition does contain materials not to be found in the second edition, it does not indicate that the second edition itself contained materials omitted from the third edition. Among the materials not reprinted were the following verses:

Red-Lyon at Stains.

My Dear Nancy P—-k—-r I sigh for her, I wish for her, I pray for her. Alas! it is a Plague That Cupid will impose, for my Neglect Of his Almighty, Dreadful, Little Might. Well, will I love, write, sigh, pray, sue, and groan Ah! where shall I make my Moan! T. S. 1709.

John Crumb, a Bailiff, as he was carrying to his Grave, occasioned the following Piece to be written upon a Window in Fleet-Street, 1706.

Here passes the Body of John Crumb, When living was a Baily-Bum T'other Day he dy'd, And the Devil he cry'd, Come Jack, come, come.

In the Tower.

Though Guards surround me Day and Night, Let Celia be but in my Sight, And then they need not fear my Flight. L. N. & G. ]

The title-page of Part I of The Merry-Thought states that the contents of the pamphlet had been taken from "Original Manuscripts written in Diamond by Persons of the first Rank and Figure in Great Britain" and that they had been "Faithfully Transcribed from the Drinking-Glasses and Windows in the several noted Taverns, Inns, and other Publick Places in this Nation. Amongst which are intermixed the Lucubrations of the polite Part of the World, written upon Walls in Bog-houses, &c." These statements suggest one of the principal leveling strategies of the pamphlet as a whole: the nobility and the rich, whatever their advantages otherwise, must, like the lowest amongst us, make use of privies; and, in the process, they are just as likely as their brethren of the lower classes to leave their marks on the walls of those conveniences.

A number of the verses included in the pamphlet continue the leveling process. One in particular (p. 20) adopts the principal strategy employed on the title-page:

From the Temple Bog-House.

No Hero looks so fierce to Fight, As does the Man who strains to sh-te.

Others suggest that sexual relations are essentially leveling activities. Here (p. 24) is an example:

Toy, at Hampton-Court, 1708.

D—-n Molley H—-ns for her Pride, She'll suffer none but Lords to ride: But why the Devil should I care, Since I can find another Mare?

L. M. August.

Another target of the pamphlet was The Spectator in general and Addison in particular. In his dedication, J. Roberts first insists that the graffiti in his collection are notable examples of wit.[12] He next goes out of his way to associate the contents of The Merry-Thought with The Spectator:

But I may venture to say, That good Things are not always respected as they ought to be: The People of the World will sometimes overlook a Jewel, to avoid a T—d.... Nay, I have even found some of the Spectator's Works in a Bog-house, Companions with Pocky-Bills and Fortune-telling Advertisements....

[Footnote 12: Roberts was almost certainly the collector of the graffiti printed in The Merry-Thought as well as the author of the dedication, but the dedication was itself signed with the name "Hurlo Thrumbo." Similarly, the title-page listed Hurlo Thrumbo as the publisher of the work. In 1729 Hurlothrumbo: or, The Super-Natural, a play by a half-mad dancer and fiddler, Samuel Johnson of Cheshire (1691-1773), had set all of London talking. The irrational, amusing speeches and actions of Hurlothrumbo, the play's title-character, gained instant fame, and two years later Roberts, by attributing his collection to the labors of that celebrity, had every reason to expect that the book would attract immediate attention. For a detailed account of the relationship between Johnson's play and The Merry-Thought, see George R. Guffey, "Graffiti, Hurlo Thrumbo, and the Other Samuel Johnson," in Forum: A Journal of the Humanities and Fine Arts (University of Houston), XVII (1979), 35-47.]

In a series of essays in The Spectator (Nos. 58-61; May, 1711), Addison had earlier, of course, been at pains to distinguish between "true wit" and "false wit." Particularly abhorrent to him was the rebus. The first part of The Merry-Thought alone contains seven rebuses from "Drinking-Glasses, at a private Club of Gentlemen" (pp. 12-13), as well as several examples of other kinds of "wit" which Addison would have disdained.

During the twenty-five years that followed the publication of the Merry-Thought series, a few additional pieces of graffiti were published in England and America.[13] In 1761 The New Boghouse Miscellany appeared, but the contents of this book had little in common with the Merry-Thought pamphlets. Only the scatological humor of the subtitle:

A Companion for the Close-stool. Consisting of Original Pieces in Prose and Verse by several Modern Authors. Printed on an excellent soft Paper; and absolutely necessary for all those, who read with a View to Convenience, as well as Delight. Revised and corrected by a Gentleman well skilled in the Fundamentals of Literature, near Privy-Garden

and the generally anti-intellectual thrust of its preface were reminiscent of the Merry-Thought pamphlets. Not until the last half of the twentieth century would the graffito in English receive the kind of attention that had been paid it in England in the 1730s.

[Footnote 13: See, for example, The Scarborough Miscellany (London, 1732), pp. 34, 35; The Connoisseur, April 11, 1754, p. 87; The New American Magazine, No. 12, December, 1758.]

University of California

Los Angeles


The Merry-Thought: or, The Glass-Window and Bog-House Miscellany is reproduced from a copy of the third edition in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. A typical type page (p. 20) measures 173 x 87 mm.



or, the

Glass-Window and Bog-House


Taken from

The Original Manuscripts written in Diamond by Persons of the first Rank and Figure in Great Britain; relating to Love, Matrimony, Drunkenness, Sobriety, Ranting, Scandal, Politicks, Gaming, and many other Subjects, Serious and Comical.

Faithfully Transcribed from the Drinking-Glasses and Windows in the several noted Taverns, Inns, and other Publick Places in this Nation. Amongst which are intermixed the Lucubrations of the polite Part of the World, written upon Walls in Bog-houses, &c.

Published by HURLO THRUMBO.

Gameyorum, Wildum, Gorum, Gameyorum a Gamy, Flumarum a Flumarum, A Rigdum Bollarum A Rigdum, for a little Gamey.

Bethleham-Wall, Moor-Fields.

The Third Edition; with very Large Additions and Alterations.


Printed for J. ROBERTS in Warwick-Lane; and Sold by the Booksellers in Town and Country. [Price 6 d.]

N. B. Some Pieces having been inadvertently inserted in the Second Part of this Miscellany, whoever it is that shall hereafter send any Thing which reflects on the Character, &c. of any Person, whether it be a Nobleman, or a Link-Boy, shall receive no Favour from our Hands.



To The

Honourable and Worthy Authors of the following Curious Pieces.

Gentlemen and Ladies,

Would it not be great Pity, that the profound Learning and Wit of so many illustrious Personages, who have favoured the Publick with their Lucubrations in Diamond Characters upon Drinking-Glasses, on Windows, on Walls, and in Bog-houses, should be left to the World? Consider only, Gentlemen and Ladies, how many Accidents might rob us of these sparkling Pieces, if the industrious Care of the Collector had not taken this Way of preserving them, and handing them to Posterity. In the first Place, some careless Drawer breaks the Drinking-Glasses inscribed to the Beauties of our Age; a furious Mob at an Election breaks the Windows of a contrary Party; and a cleanly Landlord must have, forsooth, his Rooms new painted and white-wash'd every now and then, without regarding in the least the Wit and Learning he is obliterating, or the worthy Authors, any more than when he shall have their Company: But I may venture to say, That good Things are not always respected as they ought to be: The People of the World will sometimes overlook a Jewel, to avoid a T—d, though the Proverb says, Sh - tt - n Luck is good Luck. Nay, I have even found some of the Spectator's Works in a Bog-house, Companion with Pocky-Bills and Fortune-telling Advertisements; but now, as Dr. R——ff said, You shall live; and I dare venture to affirm, no Body shall pretend to use any of your bright Compositions for Bum-Fodder, but those who pay for them. I am not in this like many other Publishers, who make the Works of other People their own, without acknowledging the Piracy they are guilty of, or so much as paying the least Complement to the Authors of their Wisdom: No, Gentlemen and Ladies, I am not the Daw in the Fable, that would vaunt and strut in your Plumes. And besides, I know very well you might have me upon the Hank according to Law, and treat me as a Highwayman or Robber; for you might safely swear upon your Honours, that I had stole the whole Book from your recreative Minutes. But I am more generous; I am what you may call Frank and Free; I acknowledge them to be YOURS, and now publish them to perpetuate the Memory of your Honours Wit and Learning: But as every one must have something of Self in him, I am violently flattered, that my Character will shine like the Diamonds you wrote with, under your exalted Protection, to the End of Time. I am not like your common Dedicators, who fling out their Flourishes for the sake of a Purse of Guineas on their Dedicatees; No, Gentlemen and Ladies, all I desire is, that you will receive this kindly, though I have not put Cuts to it, and communicate what sublime Thoughts you may chance to meet with to the Publisher, J. Roberts, in Warwick-Lane, Post paid, for

Your Most Humble,

Most Obedient,

Most Obsequious,

Most Devoted,

And Most Faithful Servant,





Madam Catherine Cadiere's Case opened, against Father Girard's powerful Injunction. In a Window at Maidenhead.

My dearest Kitty, says the Fryar, } Give me a holy Kiss, and I'll retire, } Which Kiss set all his Heart on Fire. } He had no Rest that Night, but often cry'd, } Z - - - nds, my dear Kitty shall be occupy'd; } I'll lay aside my Rank, I will not be deny'd. } To-morrow I'll try her, Said the Fryar; And so he went to her, And did undoe her, By making her cry out for Mercy; And then he kiss'd her Narsey-Parsey.

L. F. 1731.


Dear Kitty could never have suffered Disgrace, } If whilst the old Fryar was kissing her A - - - se, } She'd pull'd up her Spirits, and sh - - t in his Face. }

From an hundred Windows.

That which frets a Woman most, Is when her Expectation's crost.

Sun behind the Exchange.

To Mr. D——-b, on his being very hot upon Mrs. N. S. 1714.

When the Devil would commit a Rape. He took upon him Cupid's Shape: When he the Fair-One met, at least, They kiss'd and hugg'd, or hugg'd and kiss'd; But she in amorous Desire, Thought she had Cupid's Dart, But got Hell Fire, And found the Smart.

N. B. And then the Surgeon was sent for.

From the White-Hart at Acton.

Kitty the strangest Girl in Life, For any one to make a Wife; Her Constitution's cold, with warm Desire, She kisses just like Ice and Fire.

At the Bear-Inn, Spinham-Land.

E V A N K it is a Word of Fame, Spell it backwards, 'tis your Name.

S. T. 1710.

Find it out if 'tis your Name,

R. M.

At the Cranes, Edgeworth.

As I walk'd by myself, I said to myself. And myself said again to me: Look to thyself, Take Care of thyself, For no Body cares for thee. Then I myself Thus answer'd myself, With the self-same Repartee: Look to thyself, Or look not to thyself, 'Tis the self-same Thing to me.

John Careless.

On a Frier who cuckol'd a Dyer at Roan in France; and the Dyer's Revenge in dying him Blue.

There was a topping Dyer, Was cuckol'd by a Frier: He saw the Case, How bad it was, And feign'd to take a Journey, Saying softly, Madam, —— burn ye But stopping by the Way He saw the Priest full gay, Running fast to his House, To tickle his Spouse: 'Tis d——n'd vile, thinks the Dyer, But away went the Frier. I'll be with you anon, Says the Dyer, —— go on, And as I am blunt, If I find you have don't, I'll dye you for Life, For debauching my Wife; And as good as his Word, For he car'd not a T - - d, Away goes the Dyer, Caught his Wife with the Frier. And led the Monk down, And pickled him soon, In a Dye-Fat of Blue, } Which he ever will rue, } 'Twas so lasting a Hue; } And that spoilt his hunting, A Twelve-month or two, &c.

Daniel Cowper, &c.

On a Tavern Window in Fleet-Street.

An Address to our present Petit-Maitres.

No more let each fond foppling court a Brother, And quit the Girls to dress for one another; Old maids, in Vengeance to their slighted Beauty, Shall one Day make you wish you'd done your Duty; Thro' H - - ll they drag ye on most aukward Shapes, Yoak'd in their Apron-Strings, and led for Apes.

Written under a Couple of paultry Verses, in a Woman's Hand.

Immodest Words admit of no Defence; For Want of Decency is want of Sense.

Eaton, on a Window.

A Discourse by Numbers and Figures.

When I came to V, We made IV of us II; Yet I took the Right Hand, And then what came of V?

V was lesser by I Then V had been beIV: But an L and some Xes Would make V LXXX.

If V could C as well as I, 'Tis a hundred to one, but I comply; Then V and I together fix, I'll stand by V, and make V VI.

On a Window in Mainwaring's Coffee-House, Fleet-Street.

Omnia Vincit Amor.

If Kisses were the only Joys in Bed, Then Women would with one another wed.

At the Same Place.

Let Jove his Juno, and his Nectar boast, Champain's my Liquor, and Miss K - - - g my Toast.

Rumford on a Window.

When full of Pence, I was expensive, And now I've none, I'm always pensive.


Then be at no Expence And you'll have no Suspence.

W. T.

Dean's Yard, Westminster, in Charcoal, on a Wall, a Verse to be read upwards or downwards or arsey-versey the same.


Maidenhead, in a Window.

In a Window, In a Window, I saw a Cat lick her Ear in a Window.

Nay, Sir, —— she cry'd, I'll swear I won't. I vow I never yet have don't! Lord! Pray, Sir, do not press me so; I'll call for all the Folks below. Good Lord! what is't? You're very rude; And then she acted like a Prude. And then, Like Birds of a Feather, They flock'd together.

S. T.

Rebuses on Drinking-Glasses, at a private Club of Gentlemen.

Miss Wall-sing-ham.

What encloses a Plat, as I wish her dear Arms Had my Body encompass'd, with Nightingale's Charms, And the Leg of an Hog, gives my dearest her Name. Her Beauties so great set my Heart on a Flame.

Rebus on Miss Nick-ells.

Take the Devil's short Name, And much more than a Yard, You've the Name of the Dame I shall ever regard.

Rebus on Miss S. Bell.

The greatest Noise on Sundays made, Tells us her Name in Masquerade, Whom I must kiss, —— or be a Shade.

Rebus for Miss M. Cotton.

One of the softest Things in Nature, Beareth the Name of my dear Creature.

Rebus on Miss Anne Oliv-er.

A Pickle of excellent Growth, } And to *Sin against the Truth, } Tells the Name of a Virgin of Beauty and Youth. }

* i.e. To Err.

Rebus on Miss Par-sons.

A famous Old Man of Old Time, } And his Children, the Males of his Line, } Give the Name of my Beauty Divine. }

Rebus on Miss Har-ring-ton.

The Pleasure of the Sportsman's Chase; The Pledge in Matrimonial Case, With Twenty Hundred Weight beside, Name her I wish to make my Bride.

At Epsom on a Window.

When my brisk Lass Upon the Grass, Will sport, and Give her Love; She'll wink and pink, Till she can't think; That's Happiness, by Jove!

Per Jovem Juro. J. M.

The following is in a Caberet Window at Paris, to be read forwards and backwards the same.

Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.


Le Diable t'emporte.

The Three Last Words, the Criticks tell us, spells in English, The Devil take you.

At the same Place.

Chagrin come le Diable: For a Girl has spoil't my Bauble.

A Heathen Greek Line from a Wall at Westminster.

Souldramaton, Acapon, Alphagoose, Pastiveneson.

In English.

Shoulder of Mutton, a Capon, half a Goose, Pasty of Venison.

In Dog-Latin at the same Place.

O mirum Fartum, Perigrinum Gooseberrytartum.

N.B. Fartum is the only Latin Word for Pudding: And as far as I can trace it amongst the Antients, there is no Latin for a Gooseberry-Tart; so that the Lad who writ it, had no need to Apologize for making a Word or two: As for Fartum, 'tis allow'd in our Times; for we say Fartum pistum, is a baked Pudding; and Fartum coctum is a boiled Pudding: And if the Boy loved these Things, what is it to us; let every one mind his own Business.

Brentford at the Red-Lion, the Great Room.

Says Sir John to my Lady, as together they sat, Shall we first go to Supper, or do you know what? Dear Sir John, (with a Smile,) return'd the good Lady, Let us do you know what, for Supper's not ready.

Bridgnorth, at the Crown.

Jenny had got a Cl - p, Which was my Mishap: But Doctor R—— set me right, And I'm now in good Plight.

January 30. 1720. J. W.

At the Swan at Chelsea, in one of the Summer-Houses; supposed to be written by One who lost his Estate in the South-Sea Year.

Damn the Joke Of all the Folk: I've lost my Estate; And all Men I hate: I shall look through a Grate, For I see 'tis my Fate. The Devil take the Bubbles, I'm in a Pack of Troubles,

S. B. 1721.

Under this is wrote,

Happy's the Man That well could scan, Which way his Fortune led him: I have got what he lost, I am gay while he's cross'd, So adieu to good Mr. B——n.

Ha! ha! ha! 1722.

Upon a Clock in Tavistock-Street, Covent-Garden, 1712.

I have no Legs, And yet I go and stand: And when I stand, I lie; Witness my Hand;

Mentiri non est meum.

From a Window at Spring-Gardens, Vaux-Hall.

Exil'd from London, happy could I live, Were this my Paradise, and this my Eve.

At the Cardinal's-Cap at Windsor.

Michael Hunt's Health.

Here's a Health to Mich. Hunt, And to Mich. Hunt's Breeches; And why may not I scratch Mich. Hunt, When Mich. Hunt itches.

The Clock goes as swift as the Hours that fly, When together in Bed are my Chloe and I: But when she is gone, I bemoan my hard Fate, It is Millions of Years till she knocks at my Gate.


D—n the Clock for its Inconstancy; to give me Moments and Ages in the same Time! O my Chloe!

R. W. 1720.

From a Window in Chancery-Lane.

Here did I lay my Celia down; I got the P - x, and she got half a Crown.

W. T. 1719.


Give and take; Weight for Inches.

S. R.

From a Bog-House at Hampton-Court, supposed to be written by a violent Lover.

Oh! that I were a T - - - d, a T - - - d, Hid in this secret Place, That I might see my Betsy's A——, Though she sh - - t me in my Face.

R. M. 1703.

Written under this in a Woman's Hand.

'Tis Pity but you had your Wish.

E. W.

Nottingham, at the Castle: Jack N—— cured.

The Five and twentieth Day of July, When Jack with Liquor grew unruly, In comes Sir Richard with a Quart, And drank him till he broke his Heart; So down dropp'd Jack Upon his Back, And lay, Till Day, And went away.

R. C. July 26. 1716.

Catherine-Wheel, High-Wickham, upon a Window.

Salley's my Toast from Head to Tail; Not half so good is Toast and Ale.

J. S. Esq; of Oriel-College, Oxon.

Three-Pigeons, Brentford, in a Window.

How vain the Hopes of Woman's Love, While all their Hearts inconstant prove; Nor M - - - - k, nor will Dolly come; Nor Sukey with her thumping B—m; Nor Molly with her flaring Eyes; Nor Nancy with her bouncing Thighs: If one don't come, my Curse is this, That they may never sh - - t nor p - - ss.

Six in the Morning, R. R. of Oxford.

Three-Pigeons, Brentford, upon a Drinking-Glass.

Dear charming lovely Nancy L— —r, Thou art my only Toast, I swear.

T. T. from Coventry, Feb. 13. 1716.

On another at the same Place.

My dearest Sukey Percivall, Is all my Toast, and that is all.

Captain F——l, July 4. 1716.

Red-Lion, at Southwell, in a Window.

Clarinda lay here With a young Cavalier; With her Heart full of Fear, For her Husband was near.

L. L. Feb. 2. 1728.

Written under.

'Tis very true; for we saw Rem-in-Re through the Key-Hole. S. M. } J. M. } Feb. 3. 1728. R. H, }

Written under.

If the Husband had come, And had seen his Wife's B - - m, He'd a known by her Looks, She'd been playing —— At Hoy Gammer Cooks.

S. B. March 3. 1728.

Windsor, the White-Hart, in a Window.

Now is my latest Guinea chang'd, And gone where it was used to range: When that was broke, it broke my Heart; For now for ever we must part, Unless I boldly meet it on the Road, And bid the Porter give it me, by G - d. And so I'll do; Tom. Stout Will see it out, Feb. 2.


Win it and take it, says Captain Hector: I defy the bold Robber; and I have an hundred Guineas that I shall travel with to-morrow.

Feb. 16.

At the Cardinal's-Cap In Windsor, on a Window.

J. F. is fifteen, and so charming her Mien, } Her Eyes are like Brilliants, her Looks are serene, } And one Kiss from her Lips is worth ten from a Queen. }

Tom. Fool, 1726.

At the same Place, on the Wall.

Never had Mortal greater Wit Than I who ever wanted it; But now my Wants have made me scrawl, And rhyme and write the Devil and all.

J. Forbes, 1720.

On a Summer-House near Farnham in Surrey.

I, C, U, B Y Y for me.

J. S.

_The Reading of it is supposed to be, _viz._

I see you be Too wise for me.

Star-Inn, Coventry.

Tell me where is Fancy bred? } In the Heart, or in the Head? } How begot, how nourished? }


Had not Celia come this Way, My Heart would be my own this Day, Fancy's engendered in the Eyes, With gazing fed; and Fancy dies In the same Cradle where it lies; For she's a Wh-re, and I despise.

R. L. 1710.

At the Leg-Tavern, Fleet-Street. We suppose an Attempt to put the Lives of Adam and Eve, and their Sons, into Verse.

Mr. Adam he was, the first Man alive, And he married a fine young Gentlewoman, call'd Mrs. Eve. And Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve, between them twain Got a pretty little Boy, called Master Cain.

At the Catherine-Wheel at Henley.

CLELIA's Epitaph, who was slander'd to Death.

Death, to vindicate her Wrongs, Gives her Fame which never dies; So the Life that died with Shame, Lives in Death with glorious Fame.

R. S. Oct. 17. 1708.

At the same Place.

Three Bottles of Burgundy, and a brisk Lass, With a thousand of Grigs, should it e'er come to pass, Would make me behave my self just like an Ass.

L. M. of Oxon, 1709.

From the Temple Bog-House.

No Hero looks so fierce in Fight, As does the Man who strains to sh-te.

From the Crown at Basingstoke, which was, in Ben Johnson's Time, the Sign of the Angel, and then inhabited by Mrs. Hope, and her Daughter Prudence. As Tradition informs us, Ben Johnson was acquainted with the House; and in some Time, when he found strange People there, and the Sign changed, he wrote the following Lines.

When Hope and Prudence kept this House, The Angel kept the Door; Now Hope is dead, And the Angel fled, And Prudence turn'd a Whore.

From the Bear at Oxford, by a Gentleman who had been affronted at the Angel.

They are all Bears at the Angel, And all Angels at the Bear.

N.B. There are very pretty Girls at the Bear.

1710. N. R.

In a Boghouse at Richmond.

To preserve our good Health, Let us let a good F - - - t; It is better than Wealth, It will comfort your Heart: And when you have done, With the Crack of your B - - m, Bend your Knees, And then squeeze, And something will come, You'll be better, tho' it's not so big as your Thumb.

G. S. 1716.

Crown at Basingstoke.

Says Nan B——ch to Sir John, you're a scandalous Villain; D'ye think I would do what I did for a Shilling? In good Truth, says Sir John, when I find a Girl willing. Let her take what she finds, and give Willing for Willing. But if you insist upon Money for that, } I need not speak plainer, you know what is what, } I shall always look on you as a money-wise Cat. }

I. E. July 17. 1713.

Beaconsfield in a Window. I forgot the Sign.

Blow me a Kiss, says a Nymph to her Swain, And when I have got it, I'll give it again. The Swain had been working, as sometimes Men do, Till he'd hardly got Breath for to buckle his Shoe; But turning around, he let a great F - - - t, And blow'd her a Kiss according to Art.

B. R. 1715.

At the Swan at Chelsea, in a Summer-House Window.

Jenny demure, with prudish Looks, Turns up her Eyes, and rails at naughty Folks; But in a private Room, turns up her lech'rous Tail, And kisses till she's in for Cakes and Ale.

L. M. July 17. 1727.

Mitre, Hampton, 1708.

Celia, the Joy of all my Parts, I kiss'd, and broke ten thousand Hearts: There's ne'er a Man the Girl will see, But dearest, dearest, dearest me.

I. H. Esq; I can boast, The greatest Conquest o'er the greatest Toast.


Proud Puppy, who pretend'st to find, } A Woman with a constant Mind, } Surely denotes that Love is blind. } For I have kiss'd her myself, Or else I'm an Elf,

R. C. Fellow-Commoner, Oxon.

Spinham-Land; in a Window.

Sir John at this Place } Kiss'd her Grace, } Which he proved Face to Face. }

C. W. April 14. 1710.


While this was a-doing, Her Maid I was wooing: She did like her Lady, But made me a Daddy.

J. W. April 12. 1711.

Hampton-Court, at the Mitre, 1718.

How have I strove to gain the Fair? } And yet how little does she care? } But leaves me starving with Despair. } 'Tis now full Eight, I fear her Spouse Has given her a Rendezvous.

Those five Lines were crossed out; but then follows:

D - - - mn the first Lines, they are not mine, T'abuse a Lady so divine; Altho' I waited for her Hours, I have enjoy'd her lovely Powers, Her Wit, her Beauty, and her Sense, Have fully made me Recompence.

Captain R. T. July 10. 1710.


Friend Captain T, If thou can'st C, Mind what I have to say to thee, Thy Strumpet Wh—re abominable, Which thou didst kiss upon a Table, Has made thy manly Parts unable.

Farewel, &c. Z. B.

Toy, at Hampton-Court, 1708.

D - - - n Molley H——ns for her Pride, She'll suffer none but Lords to ride: But why the Devil should I care, Since I can find another Mare?

L. M. August.

Star-Inn at Coventry, in a Window.

Letter to Will S - - - rs, Esq;

Dear Will, I ever will Be at your will, Whene'er you will, And where you will; So that your Will Be Good-Will, I never will Dispute your Will; But give you Will For Will.

At this Time, At all Times, Or any Time, But such Times As bad Times: For Lemon Thyme, Or Common Time, Or Tripple Time, Are not Times Like your Times And my Times For Pastimes. Then betimes Suit your Time To my Time; Or my Time Is lost Time.

I wish you well, And hope you're well, As I am well; So all's well That ends well; Then farewell.

R. B. April 17. 1714.

Star at Coventry, on a Window.

Drunk at Comb-Abbey, horrid drunk; Hither I came, and met my fav'rite Punk. But she as well might have embrac'd a Log, } All Night I snor'd, and grunted like a Hog, } Then was not I a sad confounded Dog! }

R. H.

I'll never get drunk again, For my Head's full of Pain, And it grieves me to think, That by Dint of good Drink, I should lie with my Phillis in vain.

R. H. 1712.

Salisbury, the King's Arms, on the Wall.

Here was a 'Pothecary's Wife, Who never lov'd her Spouse in all her Life; And for want of his Handle, Made use of a Candle: —— Light as a Feather, To bring Things together.

S. C. 1710.


Thou Fool, 'twas done for want of Sense, I tickl'd her Concupiscence: And that is enough to save her Credit.

S. B. 1712.

Under this is wrote.

From the Story above, The Girls that love, Have learn'd the Use of Candles; And since that, by Jove, And the God of Love, We have lost the Use of Handles.

W. S——pe, Feb. 2. 1714.

Stockbridge, at the Kings-Head.

Salley Stukely is the prettiest Girl in England, I wish I was to play a Game with her single-hand.

R. S.

Windsor, at the Cardinal's-Cap.

Now my Sun is retired, My Heart is all fired; My Sylvia's lost And I am toss'd, Into Love's Flames, What shall I do to gain her? Sure something must restrain her, Or else she'd come. Then I'm undone. Help me, dear Cupid, Or I shall grow stupid; And if you won't help me, Then Bacchus protect me.

R. M. 1709.

Greyhound, at Maidenhead.

Dear Doll is a Prude, And I tumbled her down; And I tickled her Fancy For half a Crown.

R. M——r, July 17. 1714.

At the Same Place.

CHLOE's Character.

Her Voice is as clear as the Stream; Her Character light as the Sun; Her Dealings are hard as a Stone; But her Promise as sure as a Gun.

A. P - - pe, 1712.

At the same Place.

A Hog, a Monkey, and an Ass, } Were here last Night to drink a Glass, } When all at length it came to pass, } That the Hog and the Monkey, Grew so drunkey, That both were ready to kiss the A - - se of Tom. Dingle.

April 17. 1710.

At the White-Hart, Windsor.

How, do I fear my Lover will not come; And yet I bid him not: But should he come, Then let him read ——

Let Man - - r - - ing love on, I will requite thee, Taming my wild Heart to thy loving Hand. If thou dost love, my Kindness shall incite thee, To bind our Loves up in a holy Band.

Anne Oph - - - lia, 1708.

Salisbury, at the King's-Arms; seemingly to give the Reason why Miles seem shorter in one Place than another.

When I set out from London, I tramp'd on the Way, } I was brisk, and my Courage and Heart was full gay; } So I fancy'd my Journey was nothing but Play, } But as I went forward, a Day or two longer, } The Miles seem'd more lengthen'd as I grew less stronger, } And I wish'd in this Case to grow younger and younger. }

S. O. Oct. 17. 1717.

I walk'd all the Way between London and Exeter.

At the Crown at Harlow.

When Daizies gay, and Violets blue, And Cowslips with their yellow Hue, And Lady's Smocks of Silver white, Paint all the Meadows with Delight, Then shall I meet my charming Fair, On ouzy Banks to take the Air; There shall we taste delicious Love, Equal to what is known Above.

R. T. April 14. 1716.

Upon a Window at the Old Crown at Ware in Hertfordshire; supposed to be wrote by a slighted Lover.

Go you false and faithless Fair, Gods above forbid my Fate, First me Joys you do prepare, Then you Sorrows do create; For 'tis the Nature of your Sex, First to pleasure, then perplex, Happy's he without your Smiles. Ever-blest he lives content; In exorbitant Exiles, Never can his Fate repent; All his Wishes and Desires, To destroy Love's burning Fires.

R. C. June 14. 1731.

At the Crown at Epping.

Tom. Rudge won the Hat from George Redman.

April 17. 1714.

He lifted with such Might and Strength, As would have hurl'd him twice his Length, And dash'd his Brains (if any) out: But Mars that still protects the stout, In Pudding-Time came to his Aid.

Well done Tom; and George was a clever Fellow too. C. H. 1714.

Sent to the Compiler from a Drinking-Glass at Pontack's-Head Tavern in Fleet-Street.

Might all my Wishes but propitious prove, And all my Wants supply'd by mighty Jove; Give me dear W——rs, and I'll ask no more, But think her dearer than the golden Shower.

C. M.

Sent to the Compiler from the same.

From the Bog-House at Pancras-Wells.

Hither I came in haste to sh-t, But found such Excrements of Wit, That I to shew my Skill in Verse, Had scarcely Time to wipe my A - - se.


D——n your Writing, Mind your Sh-t-ng.

On a Wainscoat, at the Crown at Harlow.

Whilst Lady Mary slept at Ease, Secure from Jealousy and Fleas, Her Lord with vig'rous Love inclin'd, To kiss her Maid, and ease his Mind: The Maiden did not long resist, But gently yielded to be kist; And in the Dance of Lovers move, With sprightly Bounds to shew her Love. When in the Height of am'rous Fire, She cry'd, my Lord, I've one Desire, Tell me, my Peer, tell me, my Lord, Tell me, my Life, upon your Word, Who does it best, my Dame or me? And then she fell in Extasy. My Lord in Fire of his Love, Call'd her his Minion, Turtle Dove; You have the only Art to please, All this he swore upon his Knees: Your Dame is like a Log of Wood, Her Love is never half so good. My Lord, says she, all that I know; For all the World has told me so.

S——d——rs, April, 1717.

In a Barber's Shop.

Will. —— always fights with his Cunning, Whilst one Foot stands still, th'other is running.

At the Sugar-Loaf in Bell-Yard, Temple-Bar.

If Venus, or if Bacchus, be my Boast, Claret's my Liquor, and Miss C—— my Toast,

Upon all the Windows of Note on the Roads.

If one Stone splits the most obdurate Glass, Why needs there two to split a pretty L—ss.


Thou Fool, I say, you never yet did know, A L—ss was split without the Use of two.

R. F.


Nor that neither.

M. L.

From a Bog-House at Hampstead.

Hard Stools proceed from costive Claret; Yet mortal Man cannot forbear it. So Childbed-Women, full of Pain, Will grunt and groan, and to't again.

At Hampstead, in a Window.

Gammer Sprigins had gotten a Maidenhead, And for a Gold Guinea she brought it to Bed; But I found by embracing that I was undone; 'Twas a d - - - n'd p-ck-y Wh—re, just come from London.

R. L. 1710.

A strange Thing written upon a Glass Window in Queen Elizabeth's Time.

I, C, S, X, O, Q, P, U.

This must be left to the Decypherers.

Pancras Bog-House.

If Smell of T——d makes Wit to flow, Laud! what would eating of it do.

From the Temple Bog-House.

If you design to sh—te at Ease, Pray rest your Hands upon your Knees. And only give a gentle squeeze.


N.B. A Third Part of this Work being in the Press, we intreat our kind Correspondents would be speedy in sending their Letters to J. ROBERTS.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Editor's Introduction (modern):

they are just as likely as their brethren text reads "brethern" [Footnote 12: ... graffiti printed in The Merry-Thought ...] text reads "Marry-Thought"

Primary Text:

Title Page

Bethleham-Wall, Moor-Fields. spelling unchanged


what sublime Thoughts you may chance to meet with text reads "my chance"

Body Text

Beareth the Name of my dear Creature. _text reads "Beareththe" without space_ supposed to be written by a violent Lover _text reads "writeen" Nor _M - - - - k_, nor will _Dolly_ come; _last letter in "M—k" unclear_ _I. E._ _July_ 17. 1713. _numeral "3" unclear_


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