« PreviousContinue »
wrote this verse (which one would think was clear enough, and terse), “ When taken, to be well shaken”. Next morning, early, Bolus rose, and to the patient's house he goes upon his pad, which a vile trick of stumbling had : it was, indeed, a very sorry hack; but that's of course ; for what's expected from a horse, with an apothecary on his back?
Bolus arrived and gave a doubtful tap, between a single and a double rap. Knocks of this kind are given by gentlemen who teach to dance, by fiddlers, and by opera-singers: one loud, and then a little one behind, as if the knocker fell by chance out of their fingers. The servant let him in with dismal face, long as a courtier's out of place-portending some disaster: John's countenance as rueful looked and grim, as if the apothecary had physicked him, and not his master. "Well
, how's the patient ?" Bolus said. John shook his head. “ Indeed ?-hum ha!-that's very odd! he took the draught?”—John gave a nod. “Well! -how?—what then?-Speak out, you dunce !" "Why, then," says John, “we shook him once." “ Shook him ! -how?” Bolus stammered out. “We jolted him about.” “What! shake a patient, man !a shake won't do.” “ No, sir—and so we gave him two.” “Two shakes —two shakes !—'twould make the patient worse.” “It did so, sir—and so a third we tried.” “Well, and what then?” “Then, sir, my master-died!”
LODGINGS FOR SINGLE GENTLEMEN.—(Colman.)
Who has e'er been in London, that overgown place, has seen “ Lodgings to Let,” stare 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 appeared like a tun,-or like two “Single Gentlemen ” rolled into one. He entered his rooms, and to bed he retreated; but, all the night long, he felt fevered 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 vexed; week passed 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: he sent for a doctor, and cried, like a ninny, “I have lost many pounds-make me wellthere's a guinea." The doctor looked wise :-“ A slow fever,” he said ; prescribed sudorifics,—and going to bed. “ Sudorifics in bed are, I tell you, humbugs! I've enough of them there without paying for drugs ! Will kicked 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 that first night--to declare it I'm bold—I've been so very hot, that I'm sure I 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!" roars Will. Says the host, “Why this passion ? in that excellent bed died three people of fashion. Why so crusty, good sir?” “Why!” cried Will in a taking, “who would not be crusty, with half a year's baking ?”
Will paid for his rooms:—and the host with a sneer said, “I see you've 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
THE THREE BLACK CROWS.-(Dr. Byrom.) Two honest tradesmen, meeting in the Strand, one took the other briskly by the hand “Hark you, said he, "'tis an odd story this, about the crows !” “I don't know what it is,” replied his friend. “No! I'm surprised at that; where I came from, it is the common chat. But you shall hear: an odd affair indeed! and that it happened, they are all agreed. Not to detain you from a thing so strange,-a gentleman who lives not far from 'Change, this week, in short, as all the alley knows, taking a vomit, threw up three black
Impossible!” “Nay, but 'tis really true; I have it from good hands, and so may you.” “From whose, I pray?” So, having named the man, straight to inquire his curious comrade ran.
“Sir, did you tell"--relating the affair. “Yes, sir, I did ; and if 'tis worth your care, 'twas Mr.”—such-a-one-"who told it me; but, by-the-bye, 'twas two black crows, not three.
Resolved to trace so wondrous an event, quick to the third the virtuoso went. Sir,”—and so forth. “Why, yes; the thing is fact, though, in regard to number, not exact; it was not two black crows, 'twas only one : the truth of that you may depend upon : the gentleman himself told me the case.”
“ Where may I find him?” “Why in ”-such-a-place. Away he ran; and, having found him out,—“Sir, be so good as to resolve a doubt!” Then to his last informant he referred, and begged to know if true what he had heard :-“Did you, sir, throw up a black crow ? ” “Not I!” “Bless me! how people propagate a lie ! Black crows have been thrown up, three, two, and one; and here, I find, all come at last to none ! Did you say nothing of a crow at all ?” “ Crow ?-crow? perhaps I might, now I recall the matter o'er.” “And pray, sir, what was't?" " Why, I was horrid sick, and, at the last, I did throw up—and told my neighbour so-something that was-as black, sir, as crow.”
THE BEST OF WIVES.—(Anon.) A MAN had once a vicious wife—a most uncommon thing in life); his days and nights were spent in strife -unceasing. Her tongue went glibly all day long, sweet contradiction still her song, and all the poor man did was wrong, and ill-done. A truce without doors, or within, from speeches long as tradesmen spin, or rest from her eternal din, he found not. He every soothing art displayed, tried of what stuff her skin was made: failing in all, to Jove he prayed—to take her.
Once, walking by a river side, in mournful terms, • My dear,” he cried, no more let feuds our peace divide, I'll end them. Weary of life, and quite resigned, to drown I have made up my mind, so tie my hands as fast behind as can be; or nature may assert her reign, my arms assist, my will restrain, and swimming, I once more regain my troubles." With eager haste the dame complies, while joy stands glistening in her eyes; already, in her thoughts, he dies before her. “Yet, when I view the rolling tide, nature revolts," he said ; "beside, I would not be a suicide, and die thus. It would be better far, I think, while close I stand upon the brink, you push me in,-nay, never shrink-but do it."
To give the blow the more effect, some twenty yards she ran direct, and did—what she could least expect she should do. He slips aside himself to save, so souse she dashes in the wave; and gave, what ne'er she gave before—much pleasure. “Dear husband, help! I sink !" she cried. “Thou best of wives," the man replied, “I would—but you my hands have tied, -Heaven help you !"
Who SHALL SHUT THE DOOR?—(7. G. Saxe.)
TO-MORROW is St. Martin's day,
And Goody-loving elf-
And put them on the shelf.
And, while the west-winds roar,
“Go, shut that slamming door !”
“ Till morning's light appears ;
May slam a hundred years !”
(Since neither of them stirred)
Who first should speak a word !
The door was off the latch,
Their eyes or ears could catch.
But no one answered. Why?
That could have made reply !
As Goody plainly heard,
But uttered not a word.
“I'd like a sip of gin ;
I'll poke about within.
Is at my elbow here,
Is mighty pleasant cheer!”
*« Hein! what is that you say?
Shall dearly rue the day!”
With something like a roar,
Now go and bolt the door!”