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THE CRAVEN-STREET GAZETTE.
While the author resided in London he lived for the most part in the family of Mrs. Stevenson in Craven Street. The following humorous journal pretends to have been kept during a few days' absence of that lady from home. - EDITOR.
Saturday, September 22, 1770.
THIS morning Queen Margaret, accompanied by her first maid of honor, Miss Franklin, set out for Rochester. Immediately on their departure, the whole street was in tears from a heavy shower of rain. It is whispered, that the new family administration, which took place on her Majesty's departure, promises, like all other new administrations, to govern much better than the old one.
We hear, that the great person (so called from his enormous size), of a certain family in a certain street, is grievously affected at the late changes, and could hardly be comforted this morning, though the new ministry promised him a roasted shoulder of mutton and potatoes for his dinner.
It is said, that the same great person intended to pay his respects to another great personage this day, at St. James's, it being coronation-day; hoping thereby a little to amuse his grief; but was prevented by an accident, Queen Margaret, or her maid of honor, having carried off the key of the drawers, so that the lady of the bedchamber could not come at a laced shirt for his Highness. Great clamors were made on this occasion against her Majesty.
Other accounts say, that the shirts were afterwards
found, though too late, in another place. And some suspect, that the wanting a shirt from those drawers was only a ministerial pretence to excuse picking the locks, that the new administration might have every thing at command.
We hear that the lady chamberlain of the household went to market this morning by her own self, gave the butcher whatever he asked for the mutton, and had no dispute with the potato-woman, to their great amazement at the change of times.
It is confidently asserted, that this afternoon, the weather being wet, the great person a little chilly, and nobody at home to find fault with the expense of fuel, he was indulged with a fire in his chamber. It seems the design is, to make him contented by degrees with the absence of the Queen.
A project has been under consideration of government, to take the opportunity of her Majesty's absence for doing a thing she was always averse to, namely, fixing a new lock on the street door, or getting a key made to the old one; it being found extremely inconvenient, that one or other of the great officers of state should, whenever the maid goes out for a ha'penny worth of sand, or a pint of porter, be obliged to attend the door to let her in again. But opinions being divided, which of the two expedients to adopt, the project is, for the present, laid aside.
We have good authority to assure our readers, that a Cabinet Council was held this afternoon at tea; the subject of which was a proposal for the reformation of manners, and a more strict observation of the Lord's day. The result was a unanimous resolution, that no meat should be dressed to-morrow; whereby the cook and the first minister will both be at liberty to go to church, the one having nothing to do, and the other no
roast to rule. It seems the cold shoulder of mutton, and the apple-pie, were thought sufficient for Sunday's dinner. All pious people applaud this measure, and it is thought the new ministry will soon become popular.
We hear that Mr. Wilkes was at a certain house in Craven Street this day, and inquired after the absent Queen. His good lady and the children are well.
The report, that Mr. Wilkes, the patriot, made the above visit, is without foundation, it being his brother, the courtier.
Sunday, September 23.
It is now found by sad experience, that good resolutions are easier made than executed. Notwithstand ing yesterday's solemn order of Council, nobody went to church to-day. It seems the great person's broadbuilt bulk lay so long abed, that the breakfast was not over till it was too late to dress. At least this is the excuse. In fine, it seems a vain thing to hope reformation from the example of our great folks.
The cook and the minister, however, both took advantage of the order so far, as to save themselves all trouble, and the clause of cold dinner was enforced, though the going to church was dispensed with; just as common working folks observe the commandment. The seventh day thou shalt rest, they think a sacred injunction; but the other six days thou shalt labor is deemed a mere piece of advice, which they may practise when they want bread and are out of credit at the ale-house, and may neglect whenever they have money in their pockets.
It must, nevertheless, be said, in justice to our court, that, whatever inclination they had to gaming, no cards were brought out to-day. Lord and Lady Hewson walked after dinner to Kensington, to pay their duty to the Dowager, and Dr. Fatsides made four hundred and
sixty-nine turns in his dining-room, as the exact distance of a visit to the lovely Lady Barwell, whom he did not find at home; so there was no struggle for and against a kiss, and he sat down to dream in the easychair, that he had it without any trouble.
Monday, September 24.
We are credibly informed, that the great person dined this day with the Club at the Cat and Bagpipes in the City, on cold round of boiled beef. This, it seems, he was under some necessity of doing (though he rather dislikes beef), because truly the ministers were to be all abroad somewhere to dine on hot roast venison. It is thought, that, if the Queen had been at home, he would not have been so slighted. And though he shows outwardly no marks of dissatisfaction, it is suspected, that he begins to wish for her Majesty's
It is currently reported, that poor Nanny had nothing for dinner in the kitchen, for herself and puss, but the scrapings of the bones of Saturday's mutton.
This evening there was high play at Craven Street House. The great person lost money. It is supposed the ministers, as is usually supposed of all ministers, shared the emoluments among them.
Tuesday, September 25.
This morning the good Lord Hutton called at Craven-Street House, and inquired very respectfully and affectionately concerning the welfare of the Queen. He then imparted to the big man a piece of intelligence important to them both, which he had just received from Lady Hawkesworth, namely, that their amiable and excellent companion, Miss Dorothea Blount, had made a vow to marry absolutely him of the two, whose wife should first depart this life. It is impossible to
express with words the various agitations of mind appearing in both their faces on this occasion; vanity at the preference given them over the rest of mankind; affection for their present wives; fear of losing them; hope (if they must lose them) to obtain the proposed comfort; jealousy of each other, in case both wives should die together, all working at the same time, jumbled their features into inexplicable confusion. They parted, at length, with professions and outward appearances of ever-during friendship; but it was shrewdly suspected, that each of them wished health and long life to the other's wife; and that however long either of these friends might like to live himself, the other would be very well pleased to survive him.
It is remarked, that the skies have wept every day in Craven Street the absence of the Queen.
The public may be assured, that this morning a certain great person was asked very complaisantly by the mistress of the household, if he would choose to have the blade-bone of Saturday's mutton, that had been kept for his dinner to-day, broiled or cold. He answered gravely, If there is any flesh on it, it may be broiled; if not, it may as well be cold. Orders were accordingly given for broiling it. But when it came to table, there was indeed so very little flesh, or rather none at all (puss having dined on it yesterday after Nanny), that, if our new administration had been as good economists as they would be thought, the expense of broiling might well have been saved to the public, and carried to the sinking fund. It is assured the great person bears all with infinite patience. But the nation is astonished at the insolent presumption, that dares treat so much mildness in so cruel a manner.
A terrible accident had like to have happened this afternoon at tea. The boiler was set too near the end