Modern Street Ballads


Mrs. Bubb was gay and free, fair, fat, and forty three,
And blooming as a Peony in buxom May.
The tost she long had been of Farringdon Within,
And she fill’d the better half of a one horse chay.

Mrs. Bubb said to her lord, “you can, Bubb, well afford,
Whate’er a Common Councilman in prudence may;
We’ve no brats to plague our lives, and the soap concern it thrives,
Let us take a trip to Brighton in the one horse chay.”

Mr. Bubb said to his wife, “now, I think upon’t, my life,
’Tis three weeks, at least, to next boiling day;
The dog days are set in, and London’s growing thin,
So I’ll order out old Nobbs, and the one horse chay.”

Now Nobbs, it must be told, was rather fat and old,
Its colour was white, and it had been gray,
He was round as a scot, and, when roundly whipt, would trot,
Full five miles an hour in a one horse chay.

When at Brighton they were hous’d, and had stuff’d and carous’d,
O’er a bowl of arrack Punch, Mr. Bubb did say,
“I’ve ascertained, my dear, the mode of dipping here,
From the ostler who is cleaning up my one horse chay.

You’re shut in a box, ill convenient as the stocks,
And eighteen pence each time are obliged to pay;
Court corruption here, says I, makes everything so high.
And I wish I had come without my one horse chay.”

“As I hope,” says she, “to thrive, ’tis flaying folks alive,
The king and these extortioners are leagued, I say;
’Tis encouraging of such, to go and pay so much,
So we’ll set them at defiance with our one horse chay.

Old Nobbs I’m sure and sartin, you may trust with gig or cart in,
He takes every matter in a very easy way;
He’ll stand like a post, while we dabble on the coast,
And return back, and dress in our one horse chay.

So out they drove, all dress’d, so gaily, in their best,
And finding in their rambles, a nice little bay;
They uncased at their leisure, paddled out at their pleasure,
And let everything behind intheir one horse chay.

But while so snugly sure, that all things were secure,
They flounced about like porpoises, or whales at play;
Some young unlucky imps, who prowl’d about for shrimps,
Stole up to reconoitre the one horse chay.

Old Nobbs in quiet mood, was sleeping as he stood,
(He might possibly be dreaming of his corn, or hay):
Not a foot did he wag, as they whipt out every rag,
And gutted all the contents of the one horse chay.

When our pair were sous’d enough, and returning in their buff,
Oh, there was the vengeance, and Old Nick to pay;
Madam shrieked in consternation, Mr. Bubb he swore damnation.
To find the empty state of the one horse chay.

“Come, bundle in with me, we must squeeze for once,” says he,
“And manage this here business, as best we may,
We’ve no other way to chose, not a moment must we lose,
Or the tide will float us off in our one horse chay.”

So noses, sides, and knees, altogether they did squeeze,
And pack’d in little compass, they trotted it away;
As dismal as two dummies, head and hands stuck out like mummies,
From beneath the little apron of the one horse chay.

Mr. Bubb ge-upp’d in vain, and strove to jerk the rein,
Nobbs found he had his option to work or play;
So he wouldn’t mend his pace, though they fain would have run race,
To escape the merry gazers at the one horse chay.

Now, good people laugh your fill, and fancy if you will,
(For I’m fairly out of breath, and have had my say;)
The trouble and the rout, to wrap and get them out,
When they drove to their lodgings in their one horse chay.

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