Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

mauled the French terribly both by land and sea. At last, among other talk, he happened to ask me if I lived in the city? As I was desirous of hearing his remarks, I answered, that I had never seen London. “ Never seen it? (says he) then you have never seen

one of the finest sights in the whole world. Paris “ is but a dog-hole to it." There luckily hung a large map of London over the chimney-piece, which he immediately made me get from my chair to look at. “ There, says he, there is London for you....... “ You see it is bigger than the map of all England." He then led me about, with the end of his pipe, through all the principal streets from Hyde-Park to White-Chapel......... That, says he, is the river “ Thames....... There is London bridge...... There my 6 lord mayor lives..... .. That is Poule's.... There the « Monument stands: and now, was you but on the “ top of it, you might see all the houses and churches “ in London.” I expressed my astonishment at ere. ry particular: but I could hardly refrain laughing, when pointing out to me Lincoln's Inn Fields “ There, said he, there all the noblemen live.” At last, after having transported me all over the town, he set me down in Cheapside, “ which (he said) was the “ biggest street in the city.”.... And now, says he, I 66 will shew you wbere I live.”........ That is Bow 6 church...and thereabouts...where my pipe is...there

...just there my shop stands." He concluded with a kind invitation to me to come and see him; and pulling out a book of patterns from his coat pocket, assured me, that if I wanted any thing in his way, he could afford to let me have a bargain.

I promised to call upon him; and the weather now clearing up, after settling the balance of our reckoning with the landlady, we took leave of each other: but just as I had mounted my horse, and was going to set forward, my new acquaintance came up to me, and shaking me by the hand. “ Hearke, says he, if you « will be in town by the twenty-fifth of this instant * July, I will introduce you to the cockney's feast; u where, I assure you, you will be mighty merry, and “ hear a great many good songs."

I am, dear cousin, yours, &c. T

No. LXXX. THURSDAY, AUGUST 7.

Nulla viri cura interia, ncc mentio fiet
Damnorum.................

Juv.

What though the spouse be ruin’d, where's the sin,
By madam's friends, so dear, so near akin?

To Mr. Town,

SIR,

IF polygamy was allowed in this country, I am sure I might maintain a seraglio of wives at less expence, than I have brought upon myself by marrying one woman. One did I say? Alas! I find it to my cost, that a wife, like a polypus, has the power of dividing and multiplying herself into as many bodies as she pleases. You must know, Mr. Town, I took a woman of small fortune, and made her my own flesh and blood; but I never thought that her relations would likewise fasten on me with as little ceremony as a coJony of fleas. I had scarce brought her home, before I was obliged to marry her mother : then I was prevailed upon to marry two maiden sisters; after that I married her aunts; then her cousins.... In short, I am now married to the whole generation of them. I do

So many

not exaggerate matters, when I say that I am married to them all: for they claim as much right to every thing that is mine, as the person whom the world calls my wife. They eat, drink, and sleep with me: every room in the house is at their command, except my bed-chamber: : they borrow money of me:....and since I have the whole family quartered upon me, what signifies which of them takes upon her my name,....my wife, her sister, or her twentieth cousin ?

O, Mr. Town! I never sit down to table without the lamentable prospect of seeing as much victuals consumed, as would dine a whole vestry. mouths conslantly going at my expence! And then there is such a variety of provisions ! for cousin Biddy likes one dish ; my aunt Rachel is fond of another; sister Molly cannot abide this ; and mother could never touch that .....though I find they are all of them unanimous in liking the best of every thing in season Besides, I could entertain a set of jolly topers at a less rate, than it costs me in light wines for the women. One of them drinks nothing but Lisbon ; with another nothing goes down but Rhenish and Spa ; a third swallows me an ocean of Bristol milk, with as little remorse as she would so much small beer: my eldest auni likes a glass of dry Mountain ; while the other thinks nothing helps digestion so well as Madeira. It was but last week, that my wife expressed a desire of tasting some claret, when immediately all my goodnatured relations had a mighty longing for it: but with much ado I at last prevailed on them te compound with me for a chest of Florence.

You may imagine, that my house cannot be a very small one : -and I assure you there are as many beds in it, as in a country inn. Yet I have scarce room enough to turn myself about in it: for one apartment is taken up with this relation, another by that; and the most distant cousin must have more respect shewn

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

her, than to be clapped up in a garret with the maid servants: so that poor I have no more liberty in my own house than a lodger. Once, indeed, I in vain endeavoured to shake them off, and took a little box in the neighbourhood of town scarce big enough to hold my own family. But alas ! they stuck as close to it, as a snail to her shell : and rather than not lie under the same roof with their relation, they contrived to litter all together like so many pigs in a stye. At another time, thinking to clear my house at once of these vermin, I packed up my wife and mother, and sent them to her uncle's in the country for a month. But what could I do? there was no getting rid of those left behind: my wife had made over to them the care of the household, allotting to each of them her particular employment during her absence. One was to pickle walnuts, another to preserve sweatmeats, another to make morella brandy; all which they executed with the notableness peculiar to good housewives, who spoil and waste more than they save, for the satisfaction of making these things at home. At last my wife returned ; and all that I got by her journey, was the importation of two new cousins fresh out of the country, who she never knew before were the least related to her:...but they have been so kind as to claim kindred with me by hanging upon me ever since.

One would imagine, that it were sufficient for these loving relations to have the run of my table, and to make my house in every respect their own : but not content with this, they have the cunning to oblige me, in a manner, to find them in cloaths likewise. I should not repine, if any of my worthy relations were humble enough to put up with a cast-off suit of my wife's ; but that would be robbing the maid of her just dues, and would look more like a dependant than a relation. Not but that they will now and then condescend to take a gown before it is half worn out, (when they have talked my wife into a dislike of it)....because it is too good for a common servant. They have more spirit than to beg any thing :....but....if my wife has a fancy to part with it....they will wear it, purely for her sake. A cap, an apron, or an handkerchief, which, I am told, looks hideous upon her, I always find is very becoming on any other of the family : and I remember, soon after we were married, happening to find fault with the pattern of a silk brocade my wife had just bought, one of her sisters took it from her, and told me she would have it made up for her. self, and wear it on purpose to spite me.

You must know, Mr. Town, that upon my marriage I was indiscreet enough to set up my chariot: and since my family has increased so prodigiously, this has given them a pretest to have a coach likewise, and another pair of horses. This also furnishes them with a pretence for running about to public diversions, where I am forced to treat them all ; for they are so very fond of each other's company, that one will hard. ly ever stir out without the other. Thus, at home or abroad, they constantly herd together : and what is still more provoking, though I had rather have a rout every week at my house, my wife makes a merit of it, that she keeps li tle or no company.

Such is the state of my family within doors : and though you would think this sufficient for one man, I can assure you I have other calls upon me from relations no less dear to me, though I have never yet had' the happiness to see them.

A third cousin by my wife's father's side was set up in the country in a very good way of business; but by misfortunes in trade must have gone to jail, if my wife had not teized me into being bound for him, and for which I was soon after arrested, and obliged to pay the money. Another, a very promising youth, was just out of his time, and only wanted a little sum to set him up; which as soon

« PredošláPokračovať »