2056.—Old Shoes for some Brooms!details

[Picture: 2056.—Old Shoes for some Brooms!]
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2056.—Old Shoes for some Brooms!

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A man is standing with half a dozen straw brooms on his back, tied to a stick he holds in his left hand. He wears a broad-brimmed hat and simple shoes; his coat is in holes, as is his shirt or tunic underneath it. He faces away from us, although, oddly, his right leg is twisted as if it was put on backwards, perhaps through some deformity or perhaps through careless drawing. The time is probaby the mid 1600s, in London.

“Four for sixpence, mackerel!” (Fig. 2058) was the cry of a fish-wife, such as we still hear every day [in 1840s London]. “Old shoes for some brooms!” (Fig. 2057) indicated a state of things when street-barter was much more extensively practised than at present, though the custom has by no means disappeared. If we do not so often as of old hear the cry of “Pots to mend!” (Fig. 2056), and if the tinker has ceased to be the popular personage he once was, the fraternity has not yet wholly gone out; his utility has preserved him. (p. 211)


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