Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stop thief!: 1730

Nor is thy flaxen wig with safety worn;
High on the shoulder, in a basket born
Lurks the sly boy; whose hand to rapine bred,
Plucks off the curling honours of thy head.
Wig theft was a specialized form of robbery. But fear not, because the juvenile criminal justice system had ways of dealing with such crimes:
Breathless he stumbling falls: Ill-fated boy!
Why did not honest work thy youth employ?
Seiz'd by rough hands, he's dragg'd amid the rout,
And stretch'd beneath the pump's incessant spout:
Or plung'd in miry ponds, he gasping lies,
Mud chokes his mouth, and plasters o'er his eyes.
--From Trivia: or, The art of walking the streets of London--

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