Grammatical drollery consisting of poems & songs wherein the rules of the nouns & verbs in the accendence are pleasantly made easy, for the benefit of any that delight in a tract of this nature
Hickes, William, fl. 1671.
In praise of the Taylors trade.
THe Taylors Trade is antient, all we know;
For in the first of times they learnt to sow,
And made them Breeches then, and Aprons too:
But was not worth a fig, to what 'tis now.
Page 34Threadneedle-street likewise to all is known
To be the antient'st Street in London-Town.
The Cross-leg'd Signe was there the first set up,
And likewise there was first a Taylors shop.
Their Arms are antient too, and well them fits;
Which is three Rampant Lice and a Cluster of Nits:
Which Coat of Arms, with something else, hath made
More Gentlemen of that, than any Trade.
And now I do believe you'd know the cause;
Have patience, and I'll tell you how it was:
An antient Gentleman that was decay'd,
(Who once had been a rich and ruffling Blade)
Brought's Doublet to mend to a Taylors house,
On which were creeping many a lusty Louse;
But one more large and rampant than the rest,
Which made the Taylor think he was the best
And chief of all that sharp Back-biting Crew;
Which he took up, and cut him just in two
With his new Shears, and gave his Wife one half
To eat, and th'other half did eat himself.
And from that time did verily think that he
Was a Gentleman, and of antiquitie,
Because that Louse he knew had suckt before
Of the antient Gentlemans blood such store.
And's Wife likewise did verily think she was
A Gentlewoman too for that very cause:
And so did write themselves, do all we cou'd,
Because they eat so much o'th' gentile bloud.
Nay, his man did say he was half a Gentleman,
Having lickt the Shears that cut the Louse in twain.
Then he drank hard, which you know doth make us
Gentlemen all that are friends to Bacchus:
And when others would leave half i'th' Cup,
Yet he would always wind his Bottoms up.
Page 35Nay, those which drank not, he would say were dull,
And tell 'em still, 'twas but a Thimble-full,
He could not drink to mend his Bloud, I'm sure;
You know his Bloud was good enough before.
When other Gentlemen would say they were
Gentlemen of such and such a Shire,
Yet he excels them all in spight of their Ears;
Theirs came from one, his from a pair of Shears.
And whereas other men did call the Court
Behind their house, a Backside; he, in sport,
Commands them all to call't a Yard: for he knew
His Wife would be well-pleas'd with that name too:
And please her he must in all his discourse,
Because the grey Mare was known the better Horse.
And likewise knew it did belong to's Trade;
Without a Yard, no measure could be made.
Some say, by Surgery too he was grown rich:
For never man did better cure a Stitch.
Your Lawyers likewise much a Taylor praise,
Saying, 'tis an excellent Trade now-a-days;
Nay, best for a Lawyer in all the Land,
'Cause he has still so many Suits in hand.
One askt him why he marri'd a Northern woman?
He told him, in their Trade 'twas very common,
Because their Needle still to th' North doth tend;
And as their Needle guides, so they must bend.
He hath a Goose too, that flutters still so high,
And is so proud, that it presses all't comes nigh:
And 'tis a Goose that ne'r had more than one
Wing at all (when that's off, he'll have none.)
Other Geese do swim, but these, Pox rot 'um,
Do still i'th' water sink down to th' bottom.
Besides his Yard, he hath another Measure
Which he doth clip and alter at his pleasure.
Page 36The Barbers Trade is not so gentile as it,
Because they stand, but Taylors always sit
Still at their work: which was the cause, I think,
A fellow said (when he was got in drink)
That a Taylors feet stunk the worst of any
Trade whatsoever; (although there be many)
And reasons gave us why they were so strong,
Because they're under his breech all day long.
A Taylor sent the other day (I know him)
Unto a man for ten pounds he did owe him.
What makes thy Master send thus every day?
I hope he does not think I'm running away?
No, Sir, though you are not, I'll tell you true,
Yet he must do't within a day or two.
A Taylor once was bid to make a Gown;
And who d'ye think 'twas for? 'twas for the Moon:
And as he tri'd it still (as all men say)
It was too big or little every day.
The Taylor then was not in fault, you see;
But 'twas indeed the Moon's inconstancie.
How can't be otherways, being stuft with Lunacie,
And commonly light-headed used to be?
There is a Proverb which has been of old,
And many men have likewise been so bold,
To the discredit of the Taylors Trade,
Nine Taylors goes to make up a man, they said.
But for their credit I'll unriddle it t'ye:
A Draper once fell into povertie,
Nine Taylors joyn'd their Purses together then,
To set him up, and make him a man agen:
Which made him vow, nay bound it with some Oaths,
That none but Taylors hereafter should make his Cloths.
Page 37The POSTSCRIPT.
Thus have you heard the Taylor o're and o're,
And more I think than ere you heard before;
And when he works, doth still fit on's breech,
But yet to all he still went thorow stitch.
And though some Taylors take delight in cupping,
Yet Breadstreet is their best place to set up in.