The Diverting History of John Gilpin
Produced by Suzanne Shell, Marit Henningsen and the Online Distributed
The Diverting History of John Gilpin
One of R. Caldecott's Picture Books
[Illustration: The Diverting History of John Gilpin]
==THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN:==
_Showing how he went farther than he intended, and came safe home
[Illustration: Written by William Cowper with drawings by R. Caldecott.]
John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he,
Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
"Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
"To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the 'Bell' at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
"My sister, and my sister's child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we."
[Illustration: The Linendraper bold]
He soon replied, "I do admire
Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.
"I am a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calender
Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said;
And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,
Which is both bright and clear."
John Gilpin kissed his loving wife.
O'erjoyed was he to find.
That though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
Where they did all get in;
Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folks so glad!
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon came down again;
For saddletree scarce reached had he,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.
So down he came; for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more.
[Illustration: The 3 Customers]
'Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came downstairs,
"The wine is left behind!"
"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword
When I do exercise."
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,
And keep it safe and sound.
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipped from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,
He manfully did throw.
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
With caution and good heed.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
Which galled him in his seat.
"So, fair and softly!" John he cried,
But John he cried in vain;
That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasped the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got,
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought,
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly
Like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both.
At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cried out, "Well done!"
As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin--who but he?
His fame soon spread around;
"He carries weight! he rides a race!
'Tis for a thousand pound!"
And still as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view
How in a trice the turnpike-men
Their gates wide open threw.
And now, as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back
Were shattered at a blow.
Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen,
Which made the horse's flanks to smoke,
As they had basted been.
But still he seemed to carry weight.
With leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle-necks
Still dangling at his waist.
Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play,
Until he came unto the Wash
Of Edmonton so gay;
And there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way,
Just like unto a trundling mop,
Or a wild goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering much
To see how he did ride.
"Stop, stop, John Gilpin!--Here's the house!"
They all at once did cry;
"The dinner waits, and we are tired;"
Said Gilpin--"So am I!"
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there;
For why?--his owner had a house
Full ten miles off, at Ware.
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly--which brings me to
The middle of my song.
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender's
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate.
And thus accosted him:
"What news? what news? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall--
Say why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
"I came because your horse would come;
And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,
They are upon the road."
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Returned him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig,
A wig that flowed behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit:
"My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit."
"But let me scrape the dirt away,
That hangs upon your face;
And stop and eat, for well you may
Be in a hungry case."
Said John, "It is my wedding-day,
And all the world would stare
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware."
So turning to his horse, he said
"I am in haste to dine;
'Twas for your pleasure you came here,
You shall go back for mine."
Ah! luckless speech, and bootless boast!
For which he paid full dear;
For while he spake, a braying ass
Did sing most loud and clear;
Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,
And galloped off with all his might,
As he had done before.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig;
He lost them sooner than at first,
For why?--they were too big.
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
She pulled out half-a-crown;
And thus unto the youth she said
That drove them to the "Bell,"
"This shall be yours when you bring back
My husband safe and well."
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back amain;
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
By catching at his rein.
But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss
The lumbering of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear.
They raised the hue and cry.
"Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!'"
Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike-gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-man thinking, as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.
And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up,
He did again get down.
Now let us sing, Long live the King,
And Gilpin, long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad.
May I be there to see.
"The humour of Randolph Caldecott's drawings is simply irresistible, no
healthy-minded man, woman, or child could look at them without
_In square crown 4to, picture covers, with numerous coloured plates._
1 John Gilpin
2 The House that Jack Built
3 The Babes in the Wood
4 The Mad Dog
5 Three Jovial Huntsmen
6 Sing a Song for Sixpence
7 The Queen of Hearts
8 The Farmer's Boy
9 The Milkmaid
10 Hey-Diddle-Diddle and Baby Bunting
11 A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go
12 The Fox Jumps over the Parson's Gate
13 Come Lasses,and Lads
14 Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross, &c.
15 Mrs. Mary Blaize
16 The Great Panjandrum Himself
_The above selections are also issued in Four Volumes, square crown 4to,
attractive binding, red edges. Each containing four different books,
with their Coloured Pictures and numerous Outline Sketches_
1 R. Caldecott's Picture Book No. 1
2 R. Caldecott's Picture Book No. 2
3 Hey-Diddle-Diddle-Picture Book
4 The Panjandrum Picture Book
_In Two Volumes, handsomely bound in cloth gilt, each containing eight
different books, with their Coloured Pictures, and numerous Outline
R. Caldecott's Collection of Pictures and Songs No. 1
R. Caldecott's Collection of Pictures and Songs No. 2
_size 5-1/2 by 4-1/2
Art Boards, flat backs_
NOS. 1, 2, 3 AND 4
_Each containing coloured
plates and numerous
Outline Sketches in
_Each with Outline
Pictures to Paint, and
_Oblong 4to, cloth._
A Sketch Book
of R. Caldecott's.
sketches in Colour
and black and white._
LONDON. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. & NEW YORK. _The Published Prices of
the above Picture Books can be obtained of all Booksellers or from the
Illustrated Catalogue of the Publishers_ PRINTED AND COPYRIGHTED BY
EDMUND EVANS, LTD., ROSE PLACE, GLOBE ROAD, LONDON, E.1.
*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN ***
***** This file should be named 11979.txt or 11979.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
Produced by Suzanne Shell, Marit Henningsen and the Online Distributed
Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.
Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules,
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
*** START: FULL LICENSE ***
THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.
1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
copied or distributed:
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked
1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
of receipt of the work.
- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.
1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.
1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.
1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.
Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.
The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations. Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org
For additional contact information:
Dr. Gregory B. Newby
Chief Executive and Director
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.
The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org
While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.
International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations. To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate
with anyone. For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.
unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.
Each eBook is in a subdirectory of the same number as the eBook's
eBook number, often in several formats including plain vanilla ASCII,
compressed (zipped), HTML and others.
Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks replace the old file and take over
the old filename and etext number. The replaced older file is renamed.
VERSIONS based on separate sources are treated as new eBooks receiving
new filenames and etext numbers.
Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.
EBooks posted prior to November 2003, with eBook numbers BELOW #10000,
are filed in directories based on their release date. If you want to
download any of these eBooks directly, rather than using the regular
search system you may utilize the following addresses and just
download by the etext year.
(Or /etext 05, 04, 03, 02, 01, 00, 99,
98, 97, 96, 95, 94, 93, 92, 92, 91 or 90)
EBooks posted since November 2003, with etext numbers OVER #10000, are
filed in a different way. The year of a release date is no longer part
of the directory path. The path is based on the etext number (which is
identical to the filename). The path to the file is made up of single
digits corresponding to all but the last digit in the filename. For
example an eBook of filename 10234 would be found at:
or filename 24689 would be found at:
An alternative method of locating eBooks:
Back to Full Books