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state had, like a separate country, its par-
virtues of coffee to Paris, or Edwards and
made the politician wise, To see through all things with his half-shut eyes.
But neither the wise men with their treatises, nor the muftis with the Koran, availed against the attractions of the beverage without the aid of the civil power. Throughout Egypt and Syria coffee-houses were again and again suppressed and re-established; and Sir Dudley North finding, on his return to London, among many new things, such as clipt money and exchange-men," these institutions, related how the sale of coffee was confined in Constantinople to the open air and the narrow streets, so that only few
could converse at a time. The first London
coffee-house keeper was the servant of Mr.
To keep the house more quiet and frome blame,
Thus there never was any pretence of putting them down under a charge of their being riotous and disorderly, and no amusement was possible but discussing a broadside or the Gazette. "They are," says a scribbler, "the sanctuary of health, the nursery of temperance, the delight of frugality, the academy of civility, and the free school of ingenuity." They constituted also guilds of trade, reviews of fashion and literature, the consulting rooms of the highest physicians, the studio of artists, the rendezvous of the most eminent men of science, and, most important to the provinces, the compitum of intelligence to the newsletter writers. In every chief coffee-house one or more of these men were to be seen taking notes, in a great hurry and in not the most cleanly costume, of the duke's last victory, the duchess's last oath, and Whycherley's last
repartee; the length of Buckingham's new, by such necessary parenthesis as, Wife, sweep up those loose corns of tobacco, and see the liquor boil not over."" A lively sketch of the more general talk is given us by another:-"These are the places where several knights-errants come to seat themselves together at the same table, without knowing one another, and yet talk as famili
wig, the latest Whitehall scandal, and the most authentic version of Stafford's execution. The liquors drunk were very various, and particular to districts, houses, or sets. The music-houses had a mixture favorable to the voice, which was best compounded at the Little Devil's Coffee-house in Goodman's fields, and was much consumed in the north-arly as though they had been a dozen years west, or musical quarter of Bartholmew acquainted. They have scarcely taken their Fair. Tea was affected at Garraway's, seats when a certain liquor is handed to them which introduced it. The Puritan coffee- which has the virtue of making them talk houses possessed exclusively a famous cordial and prattle about every thing but what they of a rich and dark color. One drink called should do. Now they tell their several adJelly-brath was introduced at the Diapente ventures by sea and land, how they conCoffee-house. Another was well known to quered the giant, were overcome by the the City gentlemen at Jonathan's; and at the lady, and bought a pair of waxed boots at Three Cranes was served a Herefordshire Northampton to go a wooing in. One was redstreak, made of rotten apples. And, commending his wife, another his horse, and generally, "tea and aromatick were handed another said he had the best smoked beef in as of course," (says a writer of 167-)" to all Christendom," &c. But the conversation the sweet-toothed gentlemen; betonay and of course was principally according to the rosade to the addle-headed customer; black occupation, so to say, of the establishment. recruiting chocolate for the consumptive gal lant; true Brunswick mum brewed at St. Catharine's, ale in penny mugs not so big as a taylor's thimble, and coffee in all measures and for all men." The customer had no difficulty in finding his way to a coffee-house. It was always indicated by-then a very palpable distinction-a "fine glass lantern" of a certain form. Entering, he paid his penny at the bar to a "Phillis light and splendid," placed there for attraction sake by the good man, and for this had his choice of the abovementioned beverages and of a dozen others. He was generally received by the landlord, who was nearly always a character, and whose manner showed at once to what class the house belonged. In one place he was a songster or a fiddler; in another, he was famous in either inviting or repelling visitors -the last, perhaps, the greater merit, where every house was specially appropriated. One of the sharers in the pamphlet war describes him--"Though he be no great traveller, yet he is in continual motion, but it is only from the fireside to the table and door, and his tongue goes infinitely faster than his feet -his grand study being readily to answer the threadbare question, What news have you, master?' Then with a grave whisper, yet such as all the room may hear it, he discovers some mysterious intrigue of State told him last night by one that is barber to the taylor of a mighty great courtier, relating this with no less formality than a preacher delivers his first sermon; and he is forced twenty times to break the thread of his tale
Long conspicuous among the most exclusive houses, for fashion in dress, phrase, and criticism, was Man's Coffee-house, so called from the founder, Dr. Alexander Man. This standard of taste and etiquette stood on the river bank behind Charing-cross and close upon the admiralty office. The principal room was approached by a dark entry, crowded--until the company up-stairs separated--with the Jeames and Yellow-plushes of the day. These constituted a most efficient guard of the sanctity of the spot from plebeian intrusion. Their sneers and frowns warned away all who had not an habitual entrée, the newest embroidery on their habits, and the latest scent in their "snush." They swore their master's oaths, aped the peculiar accent of fashionable speech, and fenced and paraded with the torches that were to enlighten the sparks' unsteady steps when the hour of ten struck the legal hour for closing. At the end of this entry a few steps led to
an old-fashioned room of a cathedral tenement," furnished, like a knight's dining-room, with clean and polished floors, and nutbrown shining tables, on which stood rows of steaming dishes of coffee and wax candles. The crowd that divided its attention between these and their boxes, had but little to spare for political discussion. Their news was generally scandal, and their only prejudice against cropped hair and sad-color. Their leaders of party were the men who, bearing the newest wig from the latest levée, enlightened the satirists and gave law to purruquiers. The beaux' chief occupation was to
flutter about, bearing their hats in their hands out of care for the foretops of their wigs, bowing to their most distinguished acquaintance with the greatest novelty a salute and Buckingham's own toss of the sword; humming the Whitehall minuets and bories, and in the perpetual interchanging of snuff; chatting, in what Sir Roger North styles "the Court tune," of the perplexities of the "Paapish Plaat," the "daags" they had advertised in the Gazettes, and other topics less innocent, but more in the manner of a professional pursuit. But the rank of the frequenters rendered this house of more importance, and brought it under more notice and suspicion than the silent airs, the short visits, and generally petty conversation of the customers seemed to deserve. By men of power, and those aspiring to it, the influence of Man's Coffee house was easily won, and was well worth winning. Many were knights of boroughs whose sole ambition was another grade in the militia service. There were great numbers who assiduously visited Man's with a view to a ship in the navy or other sinecure, of which there were several at that time at the disposal of the patrons of this establishment. Very frequent attendants were officers of the army who wanted interest for promotion or for the payment of money due; young cavaliers who were hoping for compensation for their lessened rentrolls and the many sacrifices of their families; old and loyal troopers who longed for nothing but thanks and recognition (though these had also their peculiar "grave coffeehouse," by Temple-bar, much haunted by the news collectors); and, more numerous than-all, the members and citizens who would go all lengths against the Puritans, whose simplicity was as fatal to business as pleasure, and generally against the party whose policy was dangerous to the receipt of the bribes of Louis Quatorze. Man's, in fine, was the resort of "place-hunters, bribelovers, and Puritan-haters;" French agents and mysterious messengers, for whose especial use some side rooms were reserved; simple fops, who never dreamed of treachery, or of any thing but costume; writers of wicked broadsides, seeking content in a third-rate patronage; men of many shades of honest stupidity, oscillating between this house and the saloons of nobility, never attaining, in spite of all efforts, the easy habit and ready repartee which could alone erase their names from the list of the State's creditors. A new-comer was seldom well received, as he was pretty certain, if well dressed, to be
a rival in the same race. But if any one escaped the flunkies below who had the slightest trace of a country garb, or wore any thing but a forty-guinea peruke, or affected moderation in powder or decorum in speech, or did not pronounce o like a and i like oi, or called for a pipe and a dish of politician's porridge, no amount of officious sneering advice, or banter and avoidance, was spared to get rid of him. A special fire of emulous wit was immediately opened upon him, and poured on unsparingly, until the unlucky intruder left the fops to their triumphant and congratulatory pinches, and was glad to take refuge from the gibes of the men in livery in the nearest open house.
This was Locket's, over the way, which became the fashionable tavern and eveninghouse of the frequenters of Man's. "We drove," says one satarist, as naturally from Man's to the parade as from Locket's to the play." Every coffee-house of note had its peculiar tavern. Thus in Prior and Montague, Mouse says to Mouse
Leave, leave this hoary shed, these lonely Hills, And dine with me at Groleau's-smoke at Will's, With evening wheels we'll drive about the Park; Finish at Locket's, and go home in the Dark.
Such was the Fops' Coffee-house. It lasted long, for De Foe mentions it as even in his time frequented by courtiers, paymasters, &c. It is not to be confounded with another house of the same name (Young Man's), but of much less note, which was to the age of William what Crockford's was to that of George III.
In direct contrast to Man's were the Puritans' Coffee-house in Aldersgate-street and the Quaker's Coffee-house in Finch-lane. None were more exclusive than the former. The conversation was, when political, not of a nature to be allowed to meet prying ears, and when it was not political it was severely religious. The landlord was himself attached to the creed of "the Lord's people," and was famous for adroitly routing suspicious visitors. Here the faithful recalled the days of Oliver, and mingled the speculation of another possible revolution with news of the election, the new conventicle, and the last hard laws. Here the Great Plot obtained most explicit credence, and King's evidence were biggest with awful hints of the next batch that was to come before Judge Jeffries. Over their by no means stinted punch the ancient worthies smiled with grim superiority over the last despatch from the Medway, and grew elo
Essex calf and bacon. But those places being taverns, and too distant for the daily resort of citizens, had nothing of the peculiar influence of these institutions. Not so the Widow's Coffee-house, at Islington. Its proximity to Bagnigge-Wells and Mr. Sadler's new music-house secured it a thriving set of casual visitors. But it had a number of customers of its own, the citizens generally not caring to traverse the fields at dark back into the city. Some elegant broadside writers, whose haunts were Will's and the Piazza, have covered with slander this remote and vulgar house,-the ultima thule of the coffeehouse tribe; but the widow probably never knew her ill-reputation, and the satires of course never reached her table. The entrance was long, low, dark, and irregular, terminating in a precipitous ladder with a rope for a bannister. These were not the kind of stairs to attract the coats and perrukes that came to Islington to see Nell Gwynne. The struggle up this steep ascent was rewarded by the attainment of a good-sized room, sufficiently comfortable in itself, and decidedly more inviting than the majority of the private rooms of its frequenters. If the floor was rather broken, it was well rubbed; and if brown paper was substituted for a few windowpanes, the glass in esse commanded a green and cheerful prospect. The pint coffee-pots were always ready by the antique and wellfilled grate, and the famed Islington cakes were ranged in astonishing numbers along the shelves; an old fashioned clock, in a crazy case and of very doubtful accuracy, stood in one corner; some reverend prints from the Old Testament and abstracts of Acts of Parliament against swearing and drinking hung round the walls. At the further end of an ample table sat the hostess, a buxom widow in an elbow chair. Her Bible lay generally before her, on which she was wont to place her spectacles as place-keeper when she rose to attend her evening visitors. And these were in great numbers, and the chief support of her house-they were the London Apprentices. The power of this body was such that all their places of resort were of importance. After the labor of the day, it was here, and at similar surburban spots, where was fostered that spirit of union and freemasonry which made them always a suspicious, and often a formidable body. They had acted an important part in the Restoration, and their frequent tumults and riots alarmed as much as they puzzled the Court. They were numerous, vigorous, and daring; chiefly of respectable birth and some educa
quent with indignation and prediction about
In contrast equally strong were the Suburban and City coffee-houses. The former were the head quarters of Sunday holidaymakers-Moll's Hole, for instance, where Dame Butterfield had much notoriety for her
tion. Many assembled here had had comrades executed for high treason, and might themselves have been under warrant. Here might have been organized the great riot of 1668, when the apprentices rose in great numbers. to pull down the disorderly houses of the city. We may imagine them discussing and dividing, without disturbing the deaf dame over her "Pilgrim's Progress," upon the What we may style the Antiquarians' question of King Charles' advances towards coffee-house, was founded in the year 1695. conciliating their favor, and on the propriety The proprietor was one Mr. Salter, a worthy of eating his present of a brace of bucks at who affected music and curiosities,-"a sage,' their coming annual dinner at Sadler's Hall. says the Tatler, "of a thin and meagre counOf all the peculiar influences that were ex- tenance," certainly an honest enthusiast who erted by these institutions, not the least did much for popular science in his small noticeable was that of the Apprentices'Coffee-way. He was originally a barber who athouse. tracted the public by his fiddle-playing, the eccentricities of his conduct, and by furnishing his house with a large collection of natural and other curiosities, which, says the Gentleman's Magazine of January 7, 1799, "have remained until now in the coffeehouse." His shop became a curiosity mart, some time before he began to vend coffee and Many great men fostered his weakness. Sir Hans Sloane contributed to the collection from the superfluities of his own museum. Vice Admiral Munden, and several officers who had visited the Spanish coast, stocked him with rarities from that quarter. From this fact he was dubbed by Steele, Don Saltero, a name which his house retained ever after. The essayist laughed at his gravity and the pincushions of Queen Elizabeth's maids of honor. We believe that there was also to be seen the cap of Pilate's wife's grandmother. But a writer of sixty years since who had viewed these varieties, thinks that "such collections, aided by those of Tradescant, Ashmole, and Thoresby, cherished the infancy of science, and should not be depreciated as the playthings of a boy after he has arrived at manhood." And certainly the ridiculous portion of his show was by far the smallest. There have been published some fifty editions of the catalogue that was sold at the house, with the names of the chief benefactors attached. Among the list appears the name of one whom we know to have been a chief frequenter of the place, and which is enough to give an interest to Don Saltero's. There was a little and very neat old man, with a most placid countenance, the effect of his unambitious life, who was often to been seen among those gazing on the exhibition, and listening to the proprietor scraping "Roger de Caubly" or "Merry Church Bells." His present from
The City coffee-houses were of many kinds. There was the George, in Ironmonger-lane, where corporation politics were discussed, "where City preferments were disposed of, and Lord Mayors elected for one hundred years to come.' There were Jonathan's and Lloyd's, where stock-jobbers most did congregate the Jamaica coffee-house, where gentlemen from beyond the Tweed wanted news from Port Royal or the Scotch Settlement in Demerara--houses of many varieties of commercial gambling, where the Gazette and Observer lay generally unturned, where the lottery-lists and the ticket-catalogue were alone perused, and where the blank of the needy man or the benefit of the wealthy merchant were objects of more wrath and malice than Sunderland's conversion or the " Hind and the Panther." There were, of course, many of the highest commercial standing whose influence and conversation is alluded to in the second verse of the following extract from a broadside on coffee, published in
They know all that is good or hurt,
I think there ne'er was any,
A merchant-prentice there shall show
'Twixt Holland and the king. What articles of peace will be,
He can precisely show; What will be good for Them or Wee He perfectly doth know.
There battles and sea-fights are fought,
They know more things than e're were thought,