Page images
PDF
EPUB

will you have, sir ? Says I, you may well say that, after stealing my goose. He began to laugh. Says I, laugh an you please, but I tell you I don't half like such tricks upon strongers, if I do, I wish I may be shot! I then filled my plate with bacon and greens, and whenever I looked up or down the table, I held my plate fast with my left hand, if I didn't, I wish I may be shot! When we'd all done eating, and they'd taken away the table-cloth, what do you think there was? Why, there was another table-cloth underneath, if there wasn't, I wish I may be shot! Then I seed a man bringing along a great big glass thing full of little glass cups, with something in ’em that looked mighty good to eat; so says I, hello, mister, bring that air thing here, so he brought it; thinks I, let's taste 'em first. They were tetotaceous good and sweet, so I took twelve on 'em, if I didn't, I wish I may be shot !

TOBY TOSSPOT.
Alas! what pity 'tis, that regularity

Like Isaac Shove's, is such a rarity.
But there are swilling wights in London town,

Term’d-jolly dogs - choice spirits — alias swine,
Who pour, in midnight revel, bumpers down,

Making their throats a thoroughfare for wine.

These spendthrifts, who life's pleasures thus run on,

Dozing with headaches till the afternoon, Lose half men's regular estate of sun,

By borrowing too largely of the moon.

One of this kidney — Toby Tosspot hight -
Was coming from the Bedford, late at night :
And being Bacchi plenus — full of wine,

Although he had a tolerable notion

Of aiming at progressive motion, 'Twasn't direct --'twas serpentine.

He worked with sinuosities along, Like Monsieur Corkscrew, worming through a cork, Not straight, like Corkscrew's proxy, stiff Don Prong, a fork.

At length, with near four bottles in his pate,
He saw the moon shining on Shove's brass plate,
When reading, “ Please to ring the bell,”

And being civil beyond measure,
“Ring it!” says Toby — “very well;

I'll ring it with a deal of pleasure.”

Toby, the kindest soul in all the town,
Gave it a jerk that almost jerk'd it down.
He waited full two minutes - no one came;

He waited full two minutes more; and then
Says Toby, “ If he's deaf, I'm not to blame,

I'll pull it for the gentleman again.”

But the first peal woke Isaac, in a fright,

Who, quick as lightning, popping up his head, Sat on his head's antipodes, in bed,

Pale as a parsnip — bolt upright.

At length, he wisely to himself doth say —

Calming his fears — “Tush ! 'tis some fool has rung and run away;"

When peal the second rattled in his ears !

Shove jump'd into the middle of the floor;

And, trembling at each breath of air that stirr'd, He groped down stairs, and open’d the street-door,

While Toby was performing peal the third.

Isaac eyed Toby, fearfully askant

And saw he was a strapper - stout and tall ;
Then put his question -“Pray, sir, what d'ye want ?”

Says Toby — “I want nothing, sir, at all.”

“Want nothing ! sir, you've pulld my bell, I vow,

As if you'd jerk it off the wire.”
Quoth Toby - gravely making him a bow,

" I pull'd it, sir, at your desire."

“At mine!” – “Yes, your's; I hope I've done it well :

High time for bed, sir; I was hastening to it ; But if you write up-'Please to ring the bell,' Common politeness makes me stop and do it.”

COLMAN.

LODGINGS FOR SINGLE GENTLEMEN.

Who has e'er been in London, that overgrown place,
Has seen “ Lodgings to letstare him full in the face :
Some are good, and let dearly; while some, 'tis well known,
Are so dear, and so bad, they are best let alone.

WILL WADDLE, whose temper was studious and lonely,
Hired lodgings that took single gentlemen only;
But Will was so fat, he appear'd like a tun ; —
Or like two single gentlemen roll'd into one.

He enter'd his rooms, and to bed he retreated;
But, all the night long, he felt fever'd and heated;
And, though heavy to weigh as a score of fat sheep,
He was not, by any means, heavy to sleep.

Next night 'twas the same ! — and the next ! -- and the next !
He perspired like an ox; he was nervous, and ver’d.
Week pass’d after week, till, by weekly succession,
His weakly condition was past all expression.

In six months his acquaintance began much to doubt him!
For his skin, like a lady's loose gown, hung about him!
So he sent for a doctor, and cried, like a ninny,
“ I've lost many pounds — make me well — there's a guinea !

The doctor look'd wise; -“A slow fever,” he said ;
Prescribed sudorifics — and going to bed.
“Sudorifics in bed,” exclaim'd Will, "are humbugs!
I've enough of them there, without paying for drugs!”

Will kick'd out the doctor :- but when ill indeed,
E'en dismissing the doctor don't always succeed;
So, calling his host, he said — “Sir, do you know,
I'm the fat single gentleman, six months ago ?

“Look ye, landlord, I think,” argued Will with a grin,
“That with honest intentions you first took me in :
But from the first night - and to say it I'm bold -
I've been so very hot, that I'm sure I've caught cold !

Quoth the landlord — “Till now, I ne'er had a dispute ;
I've let lodgings ten years — I'm a baker to boot;
In airing your sheets, sir, my wife is no sloven;
And your bed is immediately — over my oven.”

“The oven!” says Will. — Says the host, “Why this passion ? In that excellent bed died three people of fashion ! Why so crusty, good sir ?” “S’death!” cried Will in a taking, “Who would not be crusty, with half a year's baking ?

Will paid for his rooms. — Cried the host, with a sneer, “Well, I see you have been going away half a year.” — “Friend, we can't well agree; yet no quarrel — " Will said ; “But I'd rather not perish, while you make your bread.

Colman.

THE NEWCASTLE APOTHECARY.

A MAN in many a country town we know,

Professing openly with death to wrestle : Entering the field against the grimly foe,

Arm'd with a mortar and a pestle.

Yet some affirm, no enemies they are;
But meet just like prize-fighters in a fair,
Who first shake hands before they box,

Then give each other plaguy knocks,
With all the love and kindness of a brother.

So (many a suffering patient saith)

Though the apothecary fights with death, Still they're sworn friends to one another.

A member of the Æsculapian line,
Lived at Newcastle-upon-Tyne ;
No man could better gild a pill;

Or make a bill;
Or mix a draught, or bleed, or blister;
Or draw a tooth out of your head;
Or chatter scandal by your bed;

Or spread a plaster.

His fame full six miles round the country ran,

In short, in reputation he was solus ! All the old women call’d him “a fine man!”

His name was Bolus.

Benjamin Bolus, though in trade,

(Which oftentimes will genius fetter,) Read works of fancy, it is said, And cultivated the belles lettres.

« PreviousContinue »