Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

A Fight between a Gentleman and a Coachman

23 April 1726
As the best of Gentlemen cannot escape the insults of a carman, and a man of honour is often dash’d out of countenance by a coachman’s rhetorick; I cannot but send you word how one of these blustering Jehu’s was served the other day by a rich Harlequin: This gentleman keeps a coach of his own, and rumbling through the street in an hurry ran foul on a dray, which occasion’d some Hockley-Hole complements [sic] betwixt the two drivers, but the Harlequin knowing his servant’s strength inferior to his own dexterity, very orderly stripp’d into a buff, stept out of his coach, and challeng’d the drayman to decide the controversy; but as love and battles found the best in poetry, and the gentleman’s profession lying at the fountain of Parnassus, I thought I could do no less than draw a sketch of the battle in the following colours.

      We stood amaz’d to see the pleasant fun
’Twixt Gee the driver, and the nimble Lun;
Gee thought with hammer-first to strike him dead,
But Lun took wing and flew right o’er his head,
Gee mist his blow, and with the fury hurl’d,
Enough to send him to the other world,
But reassuming courage rais’d his fist,
With desperate stroke to strike antagonist,
Which Lun perceiving, mist his bloody thumps,
Vaunts as before, and o’er his head he jumps;
This cost poor Gee another plaguy fall,
Which made him swear, and vext him to the gall,
Confound his heels, said he, Ods blood and ounds,*
He fights not, stands not, yet he breaks my bones;
By Dobbin’s heart, I'll kiss the Devil’s breech,
Before I'll fight again with Lun, or ——.
     *God's blood and wounds

     [The Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "A Fight between a Gentleman and a Coachman", 23 April 2002 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/lowlife6.htm>

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