The Little Man


The inscriptions and paintings on the outside of this show were, "The White Negro, who was rescued from her Black Parents by the bravery of a British Officer' the only White Negro Girl Alive. the Great Giantess and Dwarf. Six Curiosities Alive! only a Penny to see them All Alive!


"While waiting a few minutes till the place filled, I had leisure to observe that one side of the place was covered by a criminal attempt to represent a tread-mill, in oil colours, and the operators at work upon it, superintended by gaolers, &c. On the other side were live monkies in cages; an old bear in a jacket, and sundry other animals. Underneath the wheels of the machine, other living creatures were moving about, and these turned out to be the poor neglected children of the showman and his wife. The miserable condition of these infants, who were puddling in the mud, while their parents outside were turning a bit of music, and squalling and bawling with all their might, "walk in" only a penny," to get spectators of the objects that were as yet concealed on their "proud eminence," the caravan, by a thin curtain, raised a gloom in the mind. I was in a reverie concerning these beings when the curtain was withdrawn, and there stood confessed to sight, she whom the showman called "the tall lady," and "the white negro, the greatest curiosity ever seen" the first that has been exhibited since the reign of George the Second" look at her head and hair, ladies and gentlemen, and feel it; there's no deception, it's like ropes of wool." There certainly was not any deception. The girl herself, who had the flat nose, thick lips, and peculiarly shaped scull of the negro, stooped to have her head examined, and being close to her I felt it. Her hair, if it could be called hair, was of a dirtyish flaxen hue; it hung in ropes, of a clothy texture, the thickness of a quill, and from four to six inches in length. Her skin was the colour of an European's. Afterwards stepped forth a little personage about three feet high, in a military dress, with top boots, who strutted his tiny legs, and held his head aloft with not less importance than the proudest general officer could assume upon his promotion to the rank of field-martial. Mr. Samuel Williams, whose versatile and able pencil has frequently enriched this work, visited the Fair after me, and was equally struck by his appearance. He favours me with the subjoined engraving of this Little Man.


I took my leave of this show pondering on "the different ends our fates assign," but the jostling of a crowd in Smithfield, and the clash of instruments, were not favourable to musing, and I walked into the next.

September 5.


Above Excerpt form a visit to the Bartholomew Fair.


1825. On this day, Monday the 5th, the Fair was resumed, when the editor of the Every-Day Book accurately surveyed it throughout. From his notes made on the spot he reports the following particulars of what he there observed.


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