Illustrated song sheet about a smooth-talking Irish con man who “lives like a lord, and has nothing to pay.” The song recounts how he dresses the part of a wealthy gentleman and invents a story about being from a wealthy family, managing to mooch off of unsuspecting members of the upper class and running up tabs with various merchants on London’s fashionable Bond Street. Eventually, as the illustration shows, his creditors catch on to his trickery, ending his spree. The song by 18th century British playwright George Saville Carey is printed below the image; see full text below.
Robert Laurie (1755-1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818) were London map, chart and printsellers active from 1794 to 1812 trading variously as Laurie and Whittle or Whittle and Laurie. Laurie began his career as a fine mezzotint engraver and exhibited at the Society of Artists from 1770 to 1776. With Whittle, they took over the large map and print business of Robert Sayer. Laurie & Whittle published many atlases and maps and products used for jigsaw puzzles. Robert’s son, Richard Holmes Laurie, succeeded him upon his retirement in 1812, and after Whittle’s death in 1818 carried on the business alone until at least 1840. The firm still exists as Imray, Laurie, Norie and Wilson Ltd., which has long specialized in marine charts.
Written by George Saville Carey1
Sino of a flashy Hibernian blade,
Altho’ non commission’d yet sports a cockade;
who lives by his wits, tho’ his stock is but small,
Who boasts of his means, which are nothing at all.CHORUS:
Sing, oh! for the lad that can bodder away,
That lives like a lord, and has nothing to pay;
Yet sure you must call him a man of good sense,
Who lives all his days at another’s expence.2
Yet were you to see how he struts in his walk,
How sweetly he’ll blarney his friends in his talk;
His father’s great park is fill’d full of fine deer,
With a mighty estate of Five Tousand (sic) a year.
You’d swear on his tongue he’d a magical spell,
He winds round a good English tradesman so well;
The Shoemaker, Hatter, and Taylor he’ll trick,
And thus make a figure by running a tick.
St. James’s and Bond-street, he struts up and down,
Is call’d by the ladies, a man of the town;
His heart is of adamant, face is of brass,
And thus for a man of high fashion will pass.
Sometimes you will see this Hibernian spark,
On cock-horse equipp’d in the ring in Hyde-Park;
What matter who pays for the corn, or the hay,
So plausible Paddy can dash it away.
One day having only One Suit to his back,
Dame Fortune presented him Two in a crack;
A new Suit of clothes, and a Low-Suit appear,
Which soon put an end to poor Paddy’s career!
George Saville Carey was a British poet and dramatist who also wrote musical entertainments. He was the son of Henry Carey, who claimed to be an illegitimate son of the British lord George Savile, though it is now thought he may have been an illegitimate grandson.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases. Few short marginal tears, professionally restored.
“Henry Carey.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Online at Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 11 September 2007. http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/article-9020316/Henry-Carey (11 September 2007).
Maxted, Ian. “The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members.” Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History. U.K.: Devon Library and Information Services. 2001. http://www.devon.gov.uk/library/locstudy/bookhist/lonl.html and http://www.devon.gov.uk/library/locstudy/bookhist/lonw.html (18 March 2002).