Citation
The diverting history of John Gilpin

Material Information

Title:
The diverting history of John Gilpin
Series Title:
The illustrated English poems edited by Ernest Rhys
Alternate title:
John Gilpin
Creator:
Cowper, William, 1731-1800
Brock, C. E ( Charles Edmund ), 1870-1938 ( Illustrator )
Rhys, Ernest ( Editor )
E.P. Dutton (Firm) ( Publisher )
J. M. Dent & Co ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
New York
London
Publisher:
E.P. Dutton & Co.
J.M. Dent & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
49 p., 5 leaves of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Marriage -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )
Horsemanship -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )
Horses -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )
Horse racing -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )
Wit and humor, Juvenile ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre:
poetry ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Title page printed in red and black.
Statement of Responsibility:
by William Cowper ; illustrated by Chas. E. Brock.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026655771 ( ALEPH )
ALG5102 ( NOTIS )
00958592 ( OCLC )

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This item has the following downloads:


Full Text
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The Baldwin Library

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EGe Illustrated English Poems

Epirep By Ernest Ruys

JOHN GILPIN





A

%
\








LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

“ Stop, stop Fohn Gilpin!” (page 35) 0

Headpiece . i , ‘ . i : .

To-morrow is ouv wedding-day” . 3 ‘
“I am a linendraper bold”

Where they did all get in . eres

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels
’Twas long before the customers

Weve suited to their mind. : 0
Equipp'd from top to toe . z ; 9 °
Now see him mounted once again .
The snorting beast began to trot.
He little dreamt ... of running such a vig
The cloak did fly, like streamer long and gay

Frontispiece
Page
To face page
Page
To face page

Page

To face page
0

Page

To face page

Page

”

15
16
18
20

20

22
24
25
26
28
29



At last it flew away

He carries weight! he vides a vace! .

The botiles twain behind his back
Were shatier’d at a blow

Amazed to see his neighbour in such trim.

“ What news? what news? your tidings tell” .

A braying ass did sing most loud and clear
He tried to stop by catching at his rein

ay Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!”
Thinking .. . Gilpin rode a vace

For he got first to town

He did again get down

Tailpiece

To face page

Page

Zo Jace page

Page

To face page
chy

Page

To face page

Page

To face page

Page

”

29
30

32

38
42
45
47
48
49
49
50



ON THE BALLAD OF
JOHN GILPIN

[oe story of Cowper’s writing of JoHN GILPIN is perhaps

the gayest incident in the whole mournful record of his

life. It came after his retreat to Olney under every
congenial circumstance of religious melancholy. He was sunk in
the native dulness of the place, which was described, more than
sixty years later, as a disagreeable village surrounded by tame
marshy scenery, without a hill or one romantic feature to redeem
it. He was dominated by the morbid pieties of his friends the
Unwins and famous Vicar of Olney, John Newton, only less
miasmatic and unwholesome for one of his temperament than the



ON THE BALLAD

marshlands which seemed their appropriate symbol. By this time
too he was a man of fifty, and there seemed no chance of any
natural rebound from the daily level of his depression.

Suddenly, into the midst of these dispiriting circumstances
enters the sprightly figure of a lady.

Her vivacity, her dress, her natural graces, had a something
unaccustomed about them, for Cowper’s unsocial eyes at any
rate. [hey came, it was rumoured in the village, of the lady’s
quondam residence in France. A little prestige was added, in
this local gossip, by the modest title of “ Lady Austen, widow of
the late Sir Robert.”

It might have happened that the poet, in the ordered
melancholy and seclusion of his days, cloistered within the garden-
walls of the Unwins’ house and the adjoining Vicarage, might
not have chanced on this vision of another sphere. But for once
his stars were genial and auspicious. He encountered the lady
casually. ‘Then, what was an unheard-of thing for him to do, he



OF )/CHN GilbriN

asked Mrs. Unwin to call upon her,—thus boldly, for the nonce,
taking his fate into his own hands. The next step was easy.
The lady moved into the quiet retreat formed by the little
Newtonian coterie. Cowper may continue this idyll in his own
words, which we borrow from one of his letters to his cousin
Lady Hesketh. Having described how Lady Austen came, in
the amiable course of these events, to take lodgings at the
Vicarage, he writes: “Between the Vicarage and the back of
our house are interposed our gardens and an orchard. She had
lived much in France, was very sensible and had infinite vivacity.”
The apposition of these two simple statements easily prepares the
reader for the following step, to wit, the making of a new garden
door between the adjacent demesnes, and the rapid growth of the _
acquaintance. Every morning at eleven, he tells us, “I went to
pay my devoirs to her ladyship. Customs very soon become
laws.” And again: “Lady Austen and we pass our days
alternately at each other’s chateau. In the morning I walk with .



ON THE BALLAD

one or the other of the ladies, and in the evening wind
thread.”

This recalls inevitably the descriptions in The Task of the
“Winter Morning’s Walk” and the “ Winter Evening” ; for The
Task was, as we know, directly inspired by Lady Austen. They
do not give us as many of those particular glimpses of life at Olney,
which most interest us now, as we could wish ; but the vigorous
pictorial opening lines of the “‘ Winter Evening” work themselves

- naturally and with much warmth of colouring into the picture.
A subsequent passage recalls in Cowper’s particular vein of
amiable, half-feminine fireside reminiscence the scene, with the
poet winding thread or reading aloud, while the ladies sewed and
listened, or sang ; and Lady Austen, we doubt, rallied her half-
humorous, half-melancholy admirer.

“ The poet's or historian’s page by one
Made vocal for th amusement of the rest ;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds

10



OF JOHN GIEEIN

The touch from many a trembling chora shakes out ;
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct,

And in the charming strife triumphant still,
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge

On female industry : the threaded steel

Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.

The volume clos'd, the customary rites

Of the last meal commence.”

It was in one such evening that Lady Austen told Cowper,
incidentally to those topics in which she excelled and to which he
refers, “dangers escaped, foes disappointed, life preserved and peace
restored,” the diverting history of John Gilpin. It delighted
him beyond words. He, the melancholy poet, fairly roared, we
are told, over the delicious misfortunes of the road, which were
now recollected, now invented, by the witty narrator. What is
most significant of all, he spent a sleepless night in turning the
story into a ballad. The ballad seems to have attained a fame in

II



ON PHE BALLAD

MS. forthwith ; that it charmed the little circle, where it had its
first beginnings, need hardly be explained. Its first public
appearance was in the columns of the Public Advertiser; and
thereafter its success was enormous. Henderson the actor. recited
it to crowds of people in London. It was copied, quoted, pirated,
published and republished. Lady Austen, in a word, had
converted, by one witty story wittily told, the sombre recluse of
Olney into a popular poet.

She soon disappeared again from his shy orbit. The ladies of
Olney, perhaps not unnaturally, resented her Gallic sprightliness
and her gradual absorption of their chief luminary. Moreover,
the airs of the marshes did not agree with her. So she went, as
she had come. here was a little correspondence, broken off by
the poet’s recurring mood of other-worldliness, mixed perhaps
with social prudence. And that was all.

Still, let us remember that, save for Lady Austen, we should not
have had the major part of those things that keep Cowper’s name



OF JOHN GILPIN

alive to-day. It was she who suggested The Task; she who
prompted the noble Royal George lines. Above all, since that is
here our immediate concern, to her and her alone we owe it, as
we have told, that the Divertinc History or JoHn GILPIN was
ever written.

Mr. Brock’s congenially devised illustrations, for the rest, form
a better appreciation of the ballad and its humours than any
commentary the critic is likely to offer.

Ernest Ruys.

13









Je GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band Captain eke was he

Of famous London town.



Il

oe GILPIN’S spouse said to her dear,
“Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

Ill

re ‘O-MORROW is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

All in a chaise and pair.





a : aa

[o-morrow is

our wedding day :



IV

cs M- sister and my sister’s child,

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

On horseback after we.”

V

le soon replied, “I do admire

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

Therefore it shall be done.



VI

es | AM a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender |

Will lend his horse to go.”



Oe 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.”



VIII

Lo 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.

IX

es morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allow’d
To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she\ was proud.



x

S: 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.



XI



MACK went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath

As if Cheapside were mad.

20





fo
ae (2

£ yay
[= FOr.
Vjniae ye]

C

“Where they
did all cet in”.



XII

ee GILPIN at his horse’s side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again ;

XIII

Ba saddle-tree scarce reach’d had he,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

21



XIV

Ss. down he came: for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would trouble him much more.

XV

ci “WAS long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,

“The wine is left behind !”

22





as long before? the customers
Were suited to their mind

“Te



XVI

sf Ce lack !” quoth he—“yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise.”

XVII

iN Mistress Gilpin, careful soul !

Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,

And keep it safe and sound. °



XVIII

IE bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side

To make his balance true.

XIX

Ao 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.

24





top 16 fed”

“ Foauipped porn





XX

h | OW see him mounted once again

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

With caution and good heed. |

25



XXI

Bo finding soon a smoother road
_ Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,

Which gall’d him in his seat.

XXII

sc Ss" fair and softly,” John he cried.
But John he cried in vain ;
_ That trot became a gallop soon,

In spite of curb and rein.

26





beast

: began to trot ”

i “The snorting



XXIII

5) 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.
XXIV
IS horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got

Did wonder more and more.

27





erecta ‘
Bere ees

Wz en tay 4! a
t cay CEs a

XxXV

WAY went Gilpin, neck or nought, »
Away went hat and wig,
He little dreamt when he set out,

Of running such a rig.

28







5 r last
: it flew away”



XXVI

ce wind did blow, the cloak did fy,
Like streamer long and gay,
Till loop and button failing both,

At last it flew away.



XXVII

. might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung,

“A bottle swinging at each side,

As hath been said or sung.



XXVIII

le dogs did bark, the children scream’d,
Up flew the windows all,
And ev’ry soul cried out “Well done!”

As loud as he could bawl.

XXIX

A WAY went Gilpin—who but he!
His fame soon spread around,—
He carries weight ! he rides a race !

"Tis for a thousand pound !

30





XXX

A ND still as fast as he drew near,

*T was wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike-men

Their gates wide open threw.

31 E



XXXI

\ ND now as he went bowing down

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

Were shatter’d at a blow.

XXXII

De ran the wine into the road
Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse’s flanks to smoke

As they had Banted been.

32



“The bottles fwain behind his back_
Were shattered ataklow â„¢





XXXIII

B" still he seem’d to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced,
For all might see the bottle necks

Still dangling at his waist.

XXXIV

le all through merry Islington

These gambols he did play,
Until he came unto the wash

Of Edmonton so gay.



XO:

A ND there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way;'
Just like unto a trundling mop,

Or a wild-goose at play.

XXXVI

A T Edmonton his loving wife

From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wond’ring much

To see how he did ride.

34



XXXVII

cs oS stop John Gilpin (eres the
house ! ”
They all at once did cry;
ce The dinner waits, and we are tir’d.”

_ Said Gilpin—“So am I!”

XXXVIII

B° yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there ;
For why ?—his owner had a house
Full ten miles off at Ware.

35



XXXIX

Ss” like an arrow swift he flew
Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly—which brings me to

The middle of my song.

XL

A WAY went Gilpin, out of breath,
And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender’s

His horse at last stood still.

36





HE calender, amazed to see

His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,

And thus accosted him:

37



XLII

« NE news? what news? your tidings

o tells
Tell me you must and shall—
Say why bareheaded you are come,

Or why you come at all?”

XLIII

N Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke,

And thus unto the calender

In merry guise he spoke:

38





dies oF ; “ ace
Ce eae

- What news? what news? eh
your tidings tell



XLIV
| CAME because your horse would come,
And if I well forbode,

My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.”

XLV

A calender, right glad to find

His friend in merry pin,
Return’d him not a single word,

. But to the house went in;

39 x



xvi

Wi straight he came with hat and

wig,
A wig that flow’d behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,

Each comely in its kind.

XLVII

E held them up, and in his turn

Thus show’d his ready wit:
“My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.

40



XLVIII

ce Be let me scrape the dirt away

That hangs upon your face ;
And stop and eat, for well you may

Be in a hungry case.”

XLIX

Sc John, “It is my wedding-day,
And all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,

And I should dine at Ware.”

41



L

turning to his horse, he said,
21 amin haste to:dinc,
, Twas for your pleasure you came here,

You shall go back for mine.”

LI

\ H, luckless speech, and bootless boast !
For which he paid full dear,
For while he spake a braying ass

Did sing most loud and clear ;

42





By eravincvass
A\ Da a most loud and clear”



LII

Na his horse did snort, as he

Had heard a lion roar,
And gallop’d off with all his might,

As he had done before.

LI

\ WAY went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin’s hat and wig ;
He lost them sooner than at first,

For why ?—they were too big. |

43



LIV

N= Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,

She pull’d out half-a-crown ;

LV

< A ND thus unto the youth she said,

That drove them to the Bell,
“This shall be yours when you bring back

My husband safe and well.” .

44





LVI

HE youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back amain,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop

By catching at his rein ;

45



LVII
Bo not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,

The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

LVIII

\ WAY went Gilpin, and away
Went post-boy at his heels,
The post-boy’s horse right glad to miss

The lumb’ring of the wheels.

46



ow a
. “4 ru qQnyys
SHY Os
babes



you
tee

S SW eco “ i
acre, i a
ZN icf! stop thief!
wo Stor Ne fee ne 7



LIX

S gentlemen upon the road ,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly, |
With post-boy scampering in the rear,

They rais'd the hue and hy: :

LX

i S thief! stop thief !—a highwayman !”
Not one of them was mute ;
And all and each that pass’d that way

. Did join in the pursuit.



‘ i

ay > “sp
Cy Btack loam
: 3



LXI

ND now the turnpike gates again
Flew ‘open in short space,
The toll-men thinking as before
That Gilpin rode a race,

48





rsh
te town”

s Ehegrs





= ee as
~KERH U- GILPIN. i Fer LINES



\ ND so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town,
Nor stopp’d till where he had got up

He did again get down.

49



LXIII ©

N- let us sing, Long live the king,
And Gilpin long live he:

And when he next doth ride abroad,

May I be there to see!



Printed by BALLANTYNE, Hanson & Co.
London & Edinburgh















Full Text


xml record header identifier oai:www.uflib.ufl.edu.ufdc:UF0008901300001datestamp 2008-12-11setSpec [UFDC_OAI_SET]metadata oai_dc:dc xmlns:oai_dc http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc xmlns:dc http:purl.orgdcelements1.1 xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.openarchives.orgOAI2.0oai_dc.xsd dc:title The diverting history of John Gilpin John GilpinThe illustrated English poems edited by Ernest Rhysdc:creator Cowper, William, 1731-1800Brock, C. E ( Charles Edmund ), 1870-1938 ( Illustrator )Rhys, Ernest ( Editor )dc:subject Marriage -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )Horsemanship -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )Horses -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )Horse racing -- Juvenile poetry ( lcsh )Wit and humor, Juvenile ( lcsh )dc:description b Statement of Responsibility by William Cowper ; illustrated by Chas. E. Brock.Title page printed in red and black.dc:publisher E.P. Dutton & Co.J.M. Dent & Co.dc:date 1899dc:type Bookdc:format 49 p., 5 leaves of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.dc:identifier http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?b=UF00089013&v=00001002224834 (aleph)00958592 (oclc)ALG5102 (notis)dc:source University of Floridadc:language Englishdc:coverage United States -- New York -- New YorkEngland -- London


a in a i a aN ET Ne ara id we BG Es BT HN ia

Ro ae aia tatars

LH
3












oe Ways iSt o
< ety : i
eh ins
ae |
i fay




ee eee aor

nA OU Lem GU AWG RIEL ey Uo. i
era re ea wi OL Rats Oc Oh
eta

Stieejaatase
aa eae pete
? SAE
~~ \ bi rie Sa aLs
ee eaa iain dh ae aa ,
5 i

ee
SNe Ecsta





The Baldwin Library

RmB




EGe Illustrated English Poems

Epirep By Ernest Ruys

JOHN GILPIN


A

%
\


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

“ Stop, stop Fohn Gilpin!” (page 35) 0

Headpiece . i , ‘ . i : .

To-morrow is ouv wedding-day” . 3 ‘
“I am a linendraper bold”

Where they did all get in . eres

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels
’Twas long before the customers

Weve suited to their mind. : 0
Equipp'd from top to toe . z ; 9 °
Now see him mounted once again .
The snorting beast began to trot.
He little dreamt ... of running such a vig
The cloak did fly, like streamer long and gay

Frontispiece
Page
To face page
Page
To face page

Page

To face page
0

Page

To face page

Page

”

15
16
18
20

20

22
24
25
26
28
29
At last it flew away

He carries weight! he vides a vace! .

The botiles twain behind his back
Were shatier’d at a blow

Amazed to see his neighbour in such trim.

“ What news? what news? your tidings tell” .

A braying ass did sing most loud and clear
He tried to stop by catching at his rein

ay Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!”
Thinking .. . Gilpin rode a vace

For he got first to town

He did again get down

Tailpiece

To face page

Page

Zo Jace page

Page

To face page
chy

Page

To face page

Page

To face page

Page

”

29
30

32

38
42
45
47
48
49
49
50
ON THE BALLAD OF
JOHN GILPIN

[oe story of Cowper’s writing of JoHN GILPIN is perhaps

the gayest incident in the whole mournful record of his

life. It came after his retreat to Olney under every
congenial circumstance of religious melancholy. He was sunk in
the native dulness of the place, which was described, more than
sixty years later, as a disagreeable village surrounded by tame
marshy scenery, without a hill or one romantic feature to redeem
it. He was dominated by the morbid pieties of his friends the
Unwins and famous Vicar of Olney, John Newton, only less
miasmatic and unwholesome for one of his temperament than the
ON THE BALLAD

marshlands which seemed their appropriate symbol. By this time
too he was a man of fifty, and there seemed no chance of any
natural rebound from the daily level of his depression.

Suddenly, into the midst of these dispiriting circumstances
enters the sprightly figure of a lady.

Her vivacity, her dress, her natural graces, had a something
unaccustomed about them, for Cowper’s unsocial eyes at any
rate. [hey came, it was rumoured in the village, of the lady’s
quondam residence in France. A little prestige was added, in
this local gossip, by the modest title of “ Lady Austen, widow of
the late Sir Robert.”

It might have happened that the poet, in the ordered
melancholy and seclusion of his days, cloistered within the garden-
walls of the Unwins’ house and the adjoining Vicarage, might
not have chanced on this vision of another sphere. But for once
his stars were genial and auspicious. He encountered the lady
casually. ‘Then, what was an unheard-of thing for him to do, he
OF )/CHN GilbriN

asked Mrs. Unwin to call upon her,—thus boldly, for the nonce,
taking his fate into his own hands. The next step was easy.
The lady moved into the quiet retreat formed by the little
Newtonian coterie. Cowper may continue this idyll in his own
words, which we borrow from one of his letters to his cousin
Lady Hesketh. Having described how Lady Austen came, in
the amiable course of these events, to take lodgings at the
Vicarage, he writes: “Between the Vicarage and the back of
our house are interposed our gardens and an orchard. She had
lived much in France, was very sensible and had infinite vivacity.”
The apposition of these two simple statements easily prepares the
reader for the following step, to wit, the making of a new garden
door between the adjacent demesnes, and the rapid growth of the _
acquaintance. Every morning at eleven, he tells us, “I went to
pay my devoirs to her ladyship. Customs very soon become
laws.” And again: “Lady Austen and we pass our days
alternately at each other’s chateau. In the morning I walk with .
ON THE BALLAD

one or the other of the ladies, and in the evening wind
thread.”

This recalls inevitably the descriptions in The Task of the
“Winter Morning’s Walk” and the “ Winter Evening” ; for The
Task was, as we know, directly inspired by Lady Austen. They
do not give us as many of those particular glimpses of life at Olney,
which most interest us now, as we could wish ; but the vigorous
pictorial opening lines of the “‘ Winter Evening” work themselves

- naturally and with much warmth of colouring into the picture.
A subsequent passage recalls in Cowper’s particular vein of
amiable, half-feminine fireside reminiscence the scene, with the
poet winding thread or reading aloud, while the ladies sewed and
listened, or sang ; and Lady Austen, we doubt, rallied her half-
humorous, half-melancholy admirer.

“ The poet's or historian’s page by one
Made vocal for th amusement of the rest ;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds

10
OF JOHN GIEEIN

The touch from many a trembling chora shakes out ;
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct,

And in the charming strife triumphant still,
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge

On female industry : the threaded steel

Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.

The volume clos'd, the customary rites

Of the last meal commence.”

It was in one such evening that Lady Austen told Cowper,
incidentally to those topics in which she excelled and to which he
refers, “dangers escaped, foes disappointed, life preserved and peace
restored,” the diverting history of John Gilpin. It delighted
him beyond words. He, the melancholy poet, fairly roared, we
are told, over the delicious misfortunes of the road, which were
now recollected, now invented, by the witty narrator. What is
most significant of all, he spent a sleepless night in turning the
story into a ballad. The ballad seems to have attained a fame in

II
ON PHE BALLAD

MS. forthwith ; that it charmed the little circle, where it had its
first beginnings, need hardly be explained. Its first public
appearance was in the columns of the Public Advertiser; and
thereafter its success was enormous. Henderson the actor. recited
it to crowds of people in London. It was copied, quoted, pirated,
published and republished. Lady Austen, in a word, had
converted, by one witty story wittily told, the sombre recluse of
Olney into a popular poet.

She soon disappeared again from his shy orbit. The ladies of
Olney, perhaps not unnaturally, resented her Gallic sprightliness
and her gradual absorption of their chief luminary. Moreover,
the airs of the marshes did not agree with her. So she went, as
she had come. here was a little correspondence, broken off by
the poet’s recurring mood of other-worldliness, mixed perhaps
with social prudence. And that was all.

Still, let us remember that, save for Lady Austen, we should not
have had the major part of those things that keep Cowper’s name
OF JOHN GILPIN

alive to-day. It was she who suggested The Task; she who
prompted the noble Royal George lines. Above all, since that is
here our immediate concern, to her and her alone we owe it, as
we have told, that the Divertinc History or JoHn GILPIN was
ever written.

Mr. Brock’s congenially devised illustrations, for the rest, form
a better appreciation of the ballad and its humours than any
commentary the critic is likely to offer.

Ernest Ruys.

13



Je GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band Captain eke was he

Of famous London town.
Il

oe GILPIN’S spouse said to her dear,
“Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

Ill

re ‘O-MORROW is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

All in a chaise and pair.


a : aa

[o-morrow is

our wedding day :
IV

cs M- sister and my sister’s child,

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

On horseback after we.”

V

le soon replied, “I do admire

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

Therefore it shall be done.
VI

es | AM a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender |

Will lend his horse to go.”



Oe 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.”
VIII

Lo 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.

IX

es morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allow’d
To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she\ was proud.
x

S: 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.



XI



MACK went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath

As if Cheapside were mad.

20


fo
ae (2

£ yay
[= FOr.
Vjniae ye]

C

“Where they
did all cet in”.
XII

ee GILPIN at his horse’s side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again ;

XIII

Ba saddle-tree scarce reach’d had he,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

21
XIV

Ss. down he came: for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would trouble him much more.

XV

ci “WAS long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,

“The wine is left behind !”

22


as long before? the customers
Were suited to their mind

“Te
XVI

sf Ce lack !” quoth he—“yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise.”

XVII

iN Mistress Gilpin, careful soul !

Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,

And keep it safe and sound. °
XVIII

IE bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side

To make his balance true.

XIX

Ao 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.

24


top 16 fed”

“ Foauipped porn


XX

h | OW see him mounted once again

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

With caution and good heed. |

25
XXI

Bo finding soon a smoother road
_ Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,

Which gall’d him in his seat.

XXII

sc Ss" fair and softly,” John he cried.
But John he cried in vain ;
_ That trot became a gallop soon,

In spite of curb and rein.

26


beast

: began to trot ”

i “The snorting
XXIII

5) 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.
XXIV
IS horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got

Did wonder more and more.

27


erecta ‘
Bere ees

Wz en tay 4! a
t cay CEs a

XxXV

WAY went Gilpin, neck or nought, »
Away went hat and wig,
He little dreamt when he set out,

Of running such a rig.

28




5 r last
: it flew away”
XXVI

ce wind did blow, the cloak did fy,
Like streamer long and gay,
Till loop and button failing both,

At last it flew away.



XXVII

. might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung,

“A bottle swinging at each side,

As hath been said or sung.
XXVIII

le dogs did bark, the children scream’d,
Up flew the windows all,
And ev’ry soul cried out “Well done!”

As loud as he could bawl.

XXIX

A WAY went Gilpin—who but he!
His fame soon spread around,—
He carries weight ! he rides a race !

"Tis for a thousand pound !

30


XXX

A ND still as fast as he drew near,

*T was wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike-men

Their gates wide open threw.

31 E
XXXI

\ ND now as he went bowing down

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

Were shatter’d at a blow.

XXXII

De ran the wine into the road
Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse’s flanks to smoke

As they had Banted been.

32
“The bottles fwain behind his back_
Were shattered ataklow â„¢


XXXIII

B" still he seem’d to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced,
For all might see the bottle necks

Still dangling at his waist.

XXXIV

le all through merry Islington

These gambols he did play,
Until he came unto the wash

Of Edmonton so gay.
XO:

A ND there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way;'
Just like unto a trundling mop,

Or a wild-goose at play.

XXXVI

A T Edmonton his loving wife

From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wond’ring much

To see how he did ride.

34
XXXVII

cs oS stop John Gilpin (eres the
house ! ”
They all at once did cry;
ce The dinner waits, and we are tir’d.”

_ Said Gilpin—“So am I!”

XXXVIII

B° yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there ;
For why ?—his owner had a house
Full ten miles off at Ware.

35
XXXIX

Ss” like an arrow swift he flew
Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly—which brings me to

The middle of my song.

XL

A WAY went Gilpin, out of breath,
And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender’s

His horse at last stood still.

36


HE calender, amazed to see

His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,

And thus accosted him:

37
XLII

« NE news? what news? your tidings

o tells
Tell me you must and shall—
Say why bareheaded you are come,

Or why you come at all?”

XLIII

N Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke,

And thus unto the calender

In merry guise he spoke:

38


dies oF ; “ ace
Ce eae

- What news? what news? eh
your tidings tell
XLIV
| CAME because your horse would come,
And if I well forbode,

My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.”

XLV

A calender, right glad to find

His friend in merry pin,
Return’d him not a single word,

. But to the house went in;

39 x
xvi

Wi straight he came with hat and

wig,
A wig that flow’d behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,

Each comely in its kind.

XLVII

E held them up, and in his turn

Thus show’d his ready wit:
“My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.

40
XLVIII

ce Be let me scrape the dirt away

That hangs upon your face ;
And stop and eat, for well you may

Be in a hungry case.”

XLIX

Sc John, “It is my wedding-day,
And all the world would stare,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,

And I should dine at Ware.”

41
L

turning to his horse, he said,
21 amin haste to:dinc,
, Twas for your pleasure you came here,

You shall go back for mine.”

LI

\ H, luckless speech, and bootless boast !
For which he paid full dear,
For while he spake a braying ass

Did sing most loud and clear ;

42


By eravincvass
A\ Da a most loud and clear”
LII

Na his horse did snort, as he

Had heard a lion roar,
And gallop’d off with all his might,

As he had done before.

LI

\ WAY went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin’s hat and wig ;
He lost them sooner than at first,

For why ?—they were too big. |

43
LIV

N= Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,

She pull’d out half-a-crown ;

LV

< A ND thus unto the youth she said,

That drove them to the Bell,
“This shall be yours when you bring back

My husband safe and well.” .

44


LVI

HE youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back amain,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop

By catching at his rein ;

45
LVII
Bo not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,

The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

LVIII

\ WAY went Gilpin, and away
Went post-boy at his heels,
The post-boy’s horse right glad to miss

The lumb’ring of the wheels.

46
ow a
. “4 ru qQnyys
SHY Os
babes



you
tee

S SW eco “ i
acre, i a
ZN icf! stop thief!
wo Stor Ne fee ne 7
LIX

S gentlemen upon the road ,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly, |
With post-boy scampering in the rear,

They rais'd the hue and hy: :

LX

i S thief! stop thief !—a highwayman !”
Not one of them was mute ;
And all and each that pass’d that way

. Did join in the pursuit.
‘ i

ay > “sp
Cy Btack loam
: 3



LXI

ND now the turnpike gates again
Flew ‘open in short space,
The toll-men thinking as before
That Gilpin rode a race,

48


rsh
te town”

s Ehegrs


= ee as
~KERH U- GILPIN. i Fer LINES



\ ND so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town,
Nor stopp’d till where he had got up

He did again get down.

49
LXIII ©

N- let us sing, Long live the king,
And Gilpin long live he:

And when he next doth ride abroad,

May I be there to see!



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