Vinegar valentines: the sailor

Vinegar Valentine sailor


Published by A. PARK, 47 Leonard Street, London

Avast My lad – You’re taken all aback,
You swagger as if Groggy, Master Jack,
Like the colossus which at Rhodes is seen,
Your legs a ship of war, might sail between;
Steady old Tar – don’t book me in your log,
You sprice the Main Brace – twig your bowl of Grog,
Mind at the Navy, I am not a railer,
For dearly do I love a British Sailor;
But wed with one, I even will refuse,
Who his own Pigtail for Amusement Chews.

Don’t go chewing your pigtail boys, or the girls won’t have you!

I particularly like the detail of the drawing – note the sailing vessel picked out in a bare few lines but somehow very alive between the sailor’s knees, the starfish and the boat drawn up on the beach…

This comes from a fine set of Victorian-era ‘Vinegar Valentines’ complaining about the characteristics and shortcomings of various categories of (generally bibulous) men. See the rest about cobblers, carpenters tailors, snuff-taking women, two-faced individuals and a host of others at the wonderful Spitalfields Life website here and here.

My thanks to Malcolm Woods for spotting this one.

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