THE criers of this convenient article are very numerous, and among the poorest inhabitants of the metropolis, subsisting more on the waste meats they receive from the kitchens, where they sell their Matches at six bunches per penny, than on the profits arising from their sale. Old women, crippled men, or a mother followed by three or four ragged children, and offering their Matches to sale, excite compassion, and are often relieved, when the importunity of the mere beggar is rejected. The elder children of a poor family, like the boy seen in the Plate, are frequent traders in Matches, and these generally sing a kind of song, and sell and beg alternately.
The Mansion House is a stone building of considerable magnitude, standing in Mansion-house-street, at the west end of Cornhill; it is the residence of the Lord Mayor of London. In the front is a portico of fluted pillars, with two pilasters on each side the portico, which is raised above, a lower story opening to the offices. A flight of steps, enclosed with a stone balustrade, leads to the grand entrance under the portico. When it was first resolved in the Common Council to build a Mansion-house for the residence of the Lord Mayor, Lord Burlington, zealous in the cause of the arts, sent down an original design of Palladio, worthy of its author, for their approbation and adoption. The first question in Court was not whether the plan was proper, but whether this same Palladio was a freeman of the city, or no. On this great debates ensued; and it is hard to say how it might have gone, had not a worthy Deputy risen up and observed gravely, that it was of little consequence to discuss this point, when it was notorious that Palladio was a papist, and incapable of course. Lord Burlington's proposal was then rejected nem. con. and the plan of a freeman and protestant adopted in its room. The man pitched upon (and who afterwards carried his plan into execution) was originally a shipwright; and, to do him justice, he appears never to have lost sight of his first impressions. The front of his Mansion-house has all the resemblance possible to a deep-laden Indiaman, with her stern-galleries and gingerbread-work. The stairs and passages within are all ladders and gangways, and the two bulk heads on the roof, fore and aft, not unaptly represent the binacle and windlass on the deck of a great north country catt.