Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/A Prospecte of ye 5th of November, Showvnce ye "Gvys."

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 37.

A Prospecte of ye 5th of November, Showynge ye "Gvys."


A Prospecte of ye 5™ of November, Showvnce ye "Gvys."

[Monday, November 5, 1849.—Guy Fawkes Day']

AT Breakfaſt this Morning off a new-laid Egg, coſt me 1d., but cheap for the Time of Year, did hear a ſhriil Hallooing in the Street, which my Wife, looking out of Window, told me was made by the Boys, going by with their Guy Fawkes. I did then call to Mind that this was Guy Fawkes his Day; and did in Haſte ſwallow my Breakfeſt, and put on my Boots and Over-Coat, and ſo out and about the Streets and Squares to ſee the Sport, the Bells ringing for Church, and a Scarecrow of a Guy, borne by Urchins on a Handbarrow, with Rough Muſique at almoſt every Turn and Corner. Mighty Droll, Guy Fawkes his Effigies, with his Fingers ſticking out like Spikes, and his Feet all awry, his Body and Limbs fluffed with Straw, a Maſk for his Face, with a Pipe in the Mouth, and a Lantern and Tinder-Box dangling from his Wriſt, and on his Head a Paper Cap, like an old Grenadier's, but a Croſs on it, and meant for the Pope his Crown. I remember the Mirth it uſed to be to behold Guy with his Company, borne by the Police in State to the Station Houſe, but they this Year moſtly let alone, and more Guys, and ragged Regiments of Boys ſhouting after them, than ever I think I did before fee. The varlets, as they went, repeating Doggrel Verſes, bidding to remember the Day, and aſking whomſoever they met for Money for a Bonfire to burn their Guy, and did beg of me; but I gave them none, not willing to fling my Money into the Fire. But Lack to think of the Delight I do take in Guy Fawkes, and only becauſe of his ridiculous Figure, and recollecting how I loved to play with Fireworks on this Day when a Boy; when I know what a Libel is the Holyday on the Roman Catholiques, and the good Reaſon there is, though the Doggrel ſay to the contrary, why Gunpowder Treaſon mould be forgot. But ſome I did note, who mould have known better, did give the Rogues Halfpence and encourage them in a Show of Bigotry; albeit the young Ragamuffins know not what it do mean, and care only for the Fireworks and Frolick. From Weſtminfter, by the Back Ways and Streets to Fleet Street, Squibs and Crackers in the Courts and Alleys fizzing and bouncing all the Way, and did in Fleet Street dine at a Chop-houfe, coſt me, with Beer and Punch, 2s.; and ſo to Tower Hill, where the Banging and Blazing of the Fireworks the greateſt of all; and the Roman Candles and Pin-wheels mighty pretty; but ſome letting off Guns and Piſtols put me a little in Fear. Here preſently I did hear a Popping and Cracking behind me; which was a Cracker pinned by ſome Scapegrace to my Coat-Tail, and did make me to jump, and the Standers-by to laugh: which did vex me to the Heart; and Mr. Gregory do ſay, ſerved me right for countenancing ſuch Doings. But to ſee the Mob flinging Serpents at each other, and burning and fingeing one another like Devils, did much divert me, till a Squib whizzing part: me did ſcorch me in the Face. Truly Guy Fawkes his Day this Time was mighty well kept, and Mr. Howlett do rejoice in its better Obſervance, which he do tell me is a revival of Proteſtant Spirit; but I do agree with Mr. Wagstaffe that Proteſtancy is not a Doctrine of Fireworks, and muſt own it were better to bury Guy Fawkes, and not burn him any more.