Victorian London - Publications - History - Views of the Pleasure Gardens of London, by H.A.Rogers, 1896

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White Conduit House

(1641-1831)

WHITE CONDUIT HOUSE

"And to White Conduit House
We will go, will go, will go"
   
     -GRUB- STREET REGISTER.

WISH'D Sunday's come :- mirth brightens ev'ry face,
And paints the rose upon the housemaid's cheek,
Harriott, or Moll more ruddy. Now the heart
Of prentice, resident in ample street,
Or alley, kennel-wash'd, Cheapside, Cornhill,
Or Cranbourne, thee for calcuments renown'd,
With joy distends. His meal meridian o'er,
With switch in hand, he to White Conduit House
Hies merry-hearted. Human beings here,
In couples multitudinous assemble,
Forming the drollest group that ever trod
Fair Islingtonian plains. Male after male,
Dog after dog succeeding,-husbands, wives,
Fathers, and mothers, brothers, sisters, friends,
And pretty little boys and girls. Around,
Across, along, the garden's shrubby maze,
They walk, they sit, they stand. What crowds press on,
Eager to mount the stairs, eager to catch
First vacant bench, or chair, in long room plac'd
Here prig with prig holds conference polite,
And indiscriminate the gaudy beau
And sloven mix. Here he, who all the week
Took bearded mortals by the nose; or sat
Weaving dead hairs, and whistling wretched strain,
And eke the sturdy youth, whose trade it is
Stout oxen to contund, with gold-bound hat
And silken stocken strut. The red arm'd belle
Here shows her tasty gown, proud to be thought
The butterfly of fashion: and forsooth
Her haughty mistress deigns for once to tread
The same unhallow'd floor.-Tis hurry all,
And rattling cups and saucers.-Wajter, here,
And waiter there, and waiter here and there,
At once is call'd ;-Joe -Joe--Joe-Joe Joe- 
Joe, on the right-and Joe upon the left,
For ev'ry vocal pipe re-echoes Joe!
Alas! poor Joe! Like Francis in the play
He stands confounded, anxious how to please
The many-headed throng. But shou'd I paint
The language, humours, customs of the place,
Together with all curts'ys, lowly bows,
And compliments extern, 'twould swell my page
Beyond its limits due. Suffice it then,
For my prophetic muse to say, "So long
As fashion rides upon the wing of time;
While tea and cream, and butter'd rolls can please;
While rival beaux and jealous belles, exist;
So long, White Conduit House, shall be thy fame."

-WILLIAM WOTY, 1760.


TIME WAS

        *  *  *
TIME was, when sattin waistcoats and scratch wigs,
Enough distinguish'd all the city prigs,
Whilst every sunshine Sunday saw them run
To club their sixpences, at Islington;
When graver citizens, in suits of brown,
Lin'd ev'ry dusty avenue to town,
Or led the children and the loving spouse,
To spend two shillings at White Conduit House.
But now, the prentices in suits of green,
At Richmond at Windsor may be seen;
There in mad parties they run down to dine,
To play at gentlefolks, and drink bad wine:
Whilst neat post-chariots roll their masters down
To some snug box, a dozen miles from town.

-REV. CHAS. JENNER'S
Town Eclogues, 1772.


WHITE CONDUIT HOUSE

EXTRAORDINARY AND WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE
of entering a
HOT OVEN
and remaining therein a
Sufficient Time to Cook several Dishes of Raw Meat.
MONSIEUR CHABERT,
T'he Celebrated Phenomenon of Nature, and Skilful Performer of
Unparalleled Experiments
in
Natural Philosophy,
Chemistry, Pyrotechnics, &c.
Has the honour to inform the Nobility, Gentry, and Public in general, that he will perform
the above Unparalleled Experiment for the Second Time before a British Public,
On Thursday, the i5th of June, 1826,
With a Variety of other Extraordinary and Amazing Experiments,
Swallow Phosphorus, Boiling Oil, &c. &c.
Without the least inconvenience, the Spectators putting the same by Spoonsful into his
Mouth, whilst his Hands are tied behind his Back.
The Oven is supported by Four Pillars. The Performer Converses during the whole
time with the company, taking Refreshments, and proving the fairness and absolute reality
of the transaction, by all possible corroborating and convincing Tests that can he desired
there being an aperture for respiration and conversation with the Public.

Tickets of Admission to be had at White Conduit House, & of M. Chabert, 60, Haymarket;
to the Front Seats, 2S. 6d.; to the Standing Circle, is. 6d. Children Half Price.

Performances to begin at Five o'Clock, and Mons. Chabert will enter the Oven at Eight.

A Band will attend during the Performance.