The By-Blow Of The Jug

The By-Blow Of The Jug
By PIERCE EGAN in Captain Macheath.


In Newgate jail the jolly kid was born— 1 child
Infamy he suck’d without any scorn!
His mammy his father did not know,
But that’s no odds—Jack was a by-blow!
Foddy, loddy, high O.


Scarcely had Jack got on his young pins, 2 feet
When his mammy put him up to some very bad sins,
And she taught him soon to swear and lie,
And to have a finger in every pie.
Foddy, loddy, high O.


His mammy was downy to every rig,— 3 accomplished;
Before he could read she made him a prig; 4 thief
Very soon she larn’d Jack to make a speak
And he toddled out on the morning sneak 5 round for theft
Foddy, loddy, high O.


Jack had a sharp-looking eye to ogle, 6 leer
And soon he began to nap the fogle! 7 steal; handkerchief
And ever anxious to get his whack—
When scarcely ripe, he went on the crack. 8 housebreaking
             Foddy, loddy, high O.


“Now, my chick,” says she, “you must take the road
’Tis richer than the finest abode,
For watches, purses, and lots of the gold—
A scampsman, you know, must always be bold.” 9 highwayman
           Foddy, loddy, high O.


His mother then did give Jack some advice,
To her son a thief, who was not o’er nice;
Says she—“Fight your way, Jack, and stand the brunt,
You’re of no use, my child, without the blunt, 10 money
            Foddy, loddy, high O.”


“Then keep it up, Jack, with rare lots of fun.
A short life, perhaps, but a merry one;
Your highway dodges may then live in fame,
Cheat miss-Fortune, and be sure to die game.”
             Foddy, loddy, high O.


“In spite of bad luck, don’t be a grumbler;
If you are finished off from a tumbler! 11 cart; Notes
But to the end of your life, cut a shine,
You’re not the first man got into a line.”
             Foddy, loddy, high O.


See Note to “Sonnets for The Fancy” p. 225. Captain Macheath was one of Egan’s latest, and by no means one of his best, productions. It is now very scarce.

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

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. . .
The Faking Boy To The Crap Is Gone
The Nutty Blowen
The Faker’s New Toast
My Mother
The High-Pad’s Frolic
The Dashy, Splashy.... Little Stringer
The Bould Yeoman
The Bridle-Cull and his little Pop-Gun
Jack Flashman
Miss Dolly Trull
The By-Blow Of The Jug
The Cadger’s Ball
Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug
The Leary Man
A Hundred Stretches Hence
The Chickaleary Cove
Blooming Æsthetic
’Arry at a Political Picnic
Rum Coves that Relieve us
Villon’s Good-Night
Villon’s Straight Tip To All Cross Coves
. . .