Chapter of cheats
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ATTEND, you poor of England, and listen unto me,
While I sing to you a ditty, the tradesmens' roguery ;
And when you hear my ditty through, you cannot fail to laugh,
For you have lately been bother'd with a great deal of chaff.
And they're all cheating, cheat, cheat, cheating,
And they're all cheating in country and in town.
The first is the Lawyer, who to bother and jew,
He well knows how to cheat with a nice bit of law:
The next is the Doctor, to handle you is rough,
He charges half-a-crown for six pennyworth of stuff.
The Pawnbroker next, with a ticket in his hand,
He'll cheat like the devil for interest is his plan :
The Grocer sands his sugar, sells sloe leaves for tea,.
And the dusty Miller, where's a greater rogue than he.
The next is the Butcher, all with his greasy hat,
Under his scale is stuck a lump of dirty fat:
And then comes the Baker, with his alum bread and starch,
In the dishes of hot potatoes he will not forget to search.
There's the Cobler, to mend your shoes in rainy weather,
Will mend both sole and upper with rotten leather:
Then the Tailor—good lord ! who is so very sloth,
Will think it no sin to steal a yard and a half of cloth?
The Barber when he shaves you will cut you in the chin,
The Huckster he will cheat you and not think it a sin :
The Wheelwright he will put rotten wood in the wheel,
The Blacksmith will sell iron and swear it is steel.
The Hatter sells his hats and says they are waterproof,
They're plaster'd up with horse dung, it's nothing but the truth.
The Carpenter will hammer in you? table broken nails,
And I know the Police will pop you into gaol.
The Linen Drapers will mark their things to make you grin,
And he's as sure to cheat you when his shop you enter in:
The Cheesemonger he cuts his cheese, butter, and lard,
And cheats you with bis bacon, oh dear ! it's very hard.
The Fishmonger cheats you with live fish, stinking, strong ;
The Publican sells small beer instead of strong.
The Milkman with his cans around the streets he stalks,
He well knows how to cheat you with his water and his chalk.
The Market-woman's next with her measures but half full;
The Potatoe Merchant washes his potatoes in a pool.
The Ballad Singer pleases you, till he makes you grin ;
And the Porkman stuffs his sausages with gristle and with skin.
And there's the Hackney Coachman will cheat like the devil,
And a Pretty Girl will drain your pockets and appear very civil :
Old Iron Shops buy stolen goods, it's true I declare,
If a Chimney sweeper comes in your house, I'm sure he'll make
Bricklayers, Weavers, Maltsters, will cheat you in a bother.
If a Glazier mends a pane of glass, he's sure to break another.
The Undertaker he cheats you, believe me it is so,
If the Bodysnatchers get you, to the Doctors off you go.
Stay-stitchers, dandy Bonnet Makers, they do look very sly ;
The Paper Criers shout their papers and swear it is no lie.
The Coal Merchants in a sack of coals they use you very rough ;
The Tobacconist he sells you fine sand instead of snuff.
The next is the Gin-shops, how they do take you in,
There is such a load of vitriol in half a pint of gin :
The Landlord for his rent too often he does call,
And the man who gathers taxes is the greatest rogue of ALL.
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|English ballads > Occupations > Chapter of cheats|
|Description||First line reads: Attend, you poor of England, and listen unto me. In one column.|
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