Old Showmen & the Old London Fairs

 
9781154802726: Old Showmen & the Old London Fairs
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1875 Excerpt: ...weight; The head falls downward 'twixt the thighs, The legs mount upward to the skies; And thus this topsy-turvy creature Stalks, and derides the human nature. Agyrta, famed for cup and ball, Plays sleight of hand, and pleases all: The certainty of sense in vain Philosophers in schools maintain; This man your sharpest wit defies, He cheats your watchful ears and eyes. Ah, 'prentice, well your pockets fence, And yet he steals your master's pence." In 1765, "the celebrated lecture on heads" was advertised to be given, during the time of Bartholomew Fair, "in a large and commodious room near the end of Hosier Lane." The name of the lecturer was not announced, but the form of the advertisement implies that the lecture was Steevens's. The lecturer may, however, have been only an imitator of that famous humorist; for the newspapers of the preceding week inform us that a similar announcement was made at Alnwick, where the audience, finding that the lecturer was not Steevens, regarded him as an impostor, and demanded the return of their money, with a threat of tossing him in a blanket. The lecturer attempted to vindicate himself, but the production of a blanket completed his discomfiture, and he surrendered, returning to the disappointed audience the money which they had paid for admission. In 1769, the chief attraction of the London fairs was Pidcock's menagerie, which was the largest and best which had ever been exhibited in a temporary erection, the animals being hired from Cross's collection at Exeter Change. Pidcock exhibited his animals at Bartholomew Fair for several successive years, and was succeeded by Polito, whose zoological collection attracted thousands of spectators every year. Breslaw, the conjuror, appeared in 1772, in a la...

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