London In 1731, By Don Manoel Gonzales


Towards autumn, when the town is thin, many of the citizens who deal
in a wholesale way visit the distant - Page 130
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Towards Autumn, When The Town Is Thin, Many Of The Citizens Who Deal In A Wholesale Way Visit The Distant

Parts of the kingdom to get in their debts, or procure orders for fresh parcels of goods; and much about

The same time the lawyers are either employed in the several circuits, or retired to their country seats; so that the Court, the nobility and gentry, the lawyers, and many of the citizens being gone into the country, the town resumes another face. The west end of it appears perfectly deserted; in other parts their trade falls off; but still in the streets about the Royal Exchange we seldom fail to meet with crowds of people, and an air of business in the hottest season.

I have heard it affirmed, however, that many citizens live beyond their income, which puts them upon tricking and prevaricating in their dealings, and is the principal occasion of those frequent bankruptcies seen in the papers; ordinary tradesmen drink as much wine, and eat as well, as gentlemen of estates; their cloth, their lace, their linen, are as fine, and they change it as often; and they frequently imitate the quality in their expensive pleasures.

As to the diversions of the inferior tradesmen and common people on Sundays and other holidays, they frequently get out of town; the neighbouring villas are full of them, and the public-houses there usually provide a dinner in expectation of their city guests; but if they do not visit them in a morning, they seldom fail of walking out in the fields in the afternoon; every walk, every public garden and path near the town are crowded with the common people, and no place more than the park; for which reason I presume the quality are seldom seen there on a Sunday, though the meanest of them are so well dressed at these times that nobody need be ashamed of their company on that account; for you will see every apprentice, every porter, and cobbler, in as good cloth and linen as their betters; and it must be a very poor woman that has not a suit of Mantua silk, or something equal to it, to appear abroad in on holidays.

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