On the Death of Richard Hardwidge, alias Dickey All-hot,
an ambulating Vendor of Pancakes, who died the 14th inst.
Farewell, thou chattering chatter-box of fun,—
Dickey! to thee and thine a long farewell :
Thy frying pancake-crying race is run,
Flat as a fritter in the grave to dwell.
I saw thee first (full forty years ago)
On coach-box mounted, reins and whip in hand,
Guiding thy nags, with steady pace and slow,
On Weymouth’s pleasant, health-inspiring strand…
Dickey was miss’d from his accustom’d round,
Where he so oft diversified the scene;
Nor could report or trace of him be found
At either Bridge, or in the space between :
In vain I listen’d for the sound all-hot;
I sought him in the Market-place in vain;
I look’d down High-Street, but I saw him not,
For he was stretch’d upon the bed of pain;
And there he died!! Weep, Jarvies of the Fly,
Who oft behind them modestly would steal
To bolt two pancakes, screen’d from public eye,
And there luxuriate on their ha’penny meal.
Mourn! urchins, mourn! ye, who on errands straying,
And, our of two-pence would a penny save :*
No more four pancakes for that penny paying—
Dickey, the fryer, now lies in the grave.
Who, thy appropriate costume once had seen—
Drab castor, cast obliquely o’er thy brow,
Thy blue-striped jerkin, apron, and sleeves so clean,
Thy smirking smile and thy obsequious bow—
Thy dumpy figure, twirling on thy heel,
Flourishing fork and forking fritters out,
While buyers fork’d the blunt for savoury meal—
That such will ne’er forget thee who can doubt?
Richard, adieu! adieu that graceful bow—
And though thy bright tin-dish and charcoal-pan
Still greet the public eye—yet all allow,
“We better could have spared a better man.”
* The original note says: “Many errand-boys are allowed by their parents two-pence a day to provide for their dinners.”
The Bristol Mercury, June 3, 1837