BELLOWS TO MEND.
THE Bellows-mender carries his tools and apparatus buckled in a leathern bag to his back, and, like the Chair-mender, exercises his occupation in any convenient corner of the street. The Bellows-mender also sometimes professes the trade of a Tinker.
A part of Smithfield is seen in the Plate on one of the days of the market for hay. Those days are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays and Fridays the great cattle market of London is held in Smithfield; on which days it is disagreeable, if not dangerous, to pass the avenues of Smithfield in the early part of the day, on account of the droves of oxen passing from the market, on whom the drovers sometimes exercise great cruelty. The barbarous practices of these men have been, however, greatly checked by a law, which compels them to wear a badge with a number on one arm; and it is a duty which every person owes to the public to order into immediate custody a drover who shall be seen to maltreat, the animals under his guidance. There is likewise a horse-fair in Smithfield once a week.
Smithfield has been alternately the field for gallant tilts and tournaments in the age of chivalry; the scene of trials by duel in the infancy of legislation; and, in the age of bigotry, of our autos da fè. Here is now held the popular show of Bartholomew-fair, which was granted, by charter of Henry the Second, to the neighbouring priory of St. Bartholomew, for three days in the month of September; where fire-eaters, jugglers, and mountebanks of every description exhibit their dexterity. Formerly, however, the best actors exhibited here, and it was the resort of much good company. Bartholomew fair is the favourite holiday of the lower classes, and its crowded scene usually affords a plentiful harvest to pickpockets and petty sharpers. Its humours, however, will never be totally lost so long as Hogarth's inimitable plate exists.
The principal entrance to St. Bartholomew's hospital is in Smithfield.