Abbildungen der Seite

Centric in London noise, and London follies,
Proud Covent-garden blooms in smoky glory;
For chairmen, coffee-rooms, piazzas, dollies,
Cabbages, and comedians, fam'd in story !
On this gay spot (upon a sober plan)
Dwelt a right regular, and staid, young man :
Much did he early hours, and quiet, love;
And was entitled, Mr. Isaac Shove.
An orphan he yet rich in expectations, -
Which nobody seem'd likely to supplant—
From that prodigious bore of all relations,
A fusty, canting, stiff-rump'd, maiden aunt;
The wealthy Miss Lucretia Cloghorty,
Who had brought Isaac up, and own’t to forty!
Shove, on this maiden's will relied securely;
Who vow'd she ne'er would wed, to mar his riches;
Full often would she say, of man, demurely—
“I can't abide the filthy things in breeches!”
He had apartments up two pair of stairs;
On the first floor lodged Dr. Crow;
The landlord was a torturer of hairs,
And made a grand display of wigs, below,
From the beau's Brutus, to the parson's frizzle—
Over the door-way was his name; 'twas Twizzle.
Now, you must know,
This Dr. Crow
Was not of law, nor music, nor divinity;
He was obstetric; but, the fact is,
He didn't in Lucina's turnpike practise;
He took by-roads—reducing ladies' shapes,
Who had secur'd themselves from “leading
But kept the footion of virginity.
Crow had a roomy tenement of brick,
Inclos'd with walls, one mile from Hyde Park
Corner :
Fit trees and yews were planted round it thick;
.No situation was forlorner!
Yet notwithstanding folks might scout it,
! suited qualmish spinsters, who fell sick,
And did not wish the world to know about it.

Here many a single gentlewoman came,
Pro tempore—full tender of her fame! -
Who, for a while, took leave of friends in town-
“Business, forsooth, to Yorkshire call'd her down,
Too weighty to be settled by attorney'."
And, in a month or six weeks' time came back:
When ev'ry body cried—“Good lack! -
How monstrous thin you've grown, upon your jour-
The Doctor, knowing that a puff of scandal
Would blow his private trade to tatters,
Dreaded to give the smallest handle
To those who dabble in their neighbours' matters:
Therfore he wisely held it good,
To hide his practice from the neighbourhood-
And not appear there as a resident,
But merely one who casually went
To see the ladies in the large brick-house—
To lounge and chat—not minding time a souse-
Like one to whom all business was quite foreign :
And thus, he visited his female sick;
Who lay as thick,
Within his tenement of brick,
As rabbits in a warren.

He lodged in Covent Garden all the while :
And, if they sent in haste for his assistance,

He soon was with them—'twas no mighty distance—
From the town's end, it was but bare a mile.

Now, Isaac Shove,
Living above
This Dr. Crow,
And knowing barber Twizzle liv'd below,
Thought it might be as well—
Hearing so many knocks, single and double—
To buy, at his own cost, a street door bell,
And save confusion in the house, and trouble!
Whereby his (Isaac's) visitors might know,
Without long waiting in the dirt and drizzle,
To ring for him at once, and not to knock for Crow, or

Besides, he now began to feel,

The want of it was rather ungenteel;

For he had often thought it a disgrace,
To hear, while sitting in his room above,

Twizzle's shrill maid, in the first landing place,
Screaming—“A man below vants Mister Shove!”

The bell was bought: the wire was made to steal
Round the dark staircase, like a tortur'd eel,
Twisting and twining.
The jemmy handle Twizzle's door-post grac'd:
And, just beneath, a brazen plate was plac'd,
Lacquer'd, and shining—

Graven whereon, in characters full clear,

And legible, did “Mr. Shove” appear;

And othermore, which you might read right well, Was-“Please to ring the bell.”

At half past ten, precisely, to a second,
Shove, every night, his supper ended ;
And sipp'd his glass of negus till he reckon'd,
By his stop-watch, exactly one more quarter:
Then, as exactly, he untied one garter;
A token 'twas, that he for bed intended.

Yet, having still a quarter good before him, He leisurely undress'd before the fire: Contriving, as the quarter did expire,

To be as naked as his mother bore him—

Bating his shirt, and nightcap on his head.
Then as the watchman bawl'd eleven,
He had one foot in bed;
More certainly than cuckolds go to heav'n,

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 pleasure thus outrun– Dozing with head-aches till the afternoon— Lose half men's regular estate of sun, By borrowing too largely of the moon. Qne of this kidney–Toby Tosspot hight— Was coming from the Bedford, late at night:

And being Bacchi plenus—full of wine—
Altho' he had a tolerable notion,
At aiming at progressive motion,

'Twas not direct—twas serpentine.
He work'd, with sinuosities, along,

Like Monsieur Corkscrew, worming through a cook. Not straight, like Corkscrew's proxy—stiff Don

A forks

At length with near four bottles in his pate,
He saw the doon 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.”

[merged small][ocr errors]

"At mine?”—“Yes, yours:—I hope I've done it
High time for bed, Sir!—I was hastining to it;
But, if you write up— Please to ring the bell,'
Common politeness makes me stop and do it.”
Isaac, now waxing wroth apace,
Slamm'd the street door in Toby's face,
With all his might:
And Toby as he shut it, swore
He was a dirty son of-something more
Than delicacy suffers me to write—
And lifting up the knocker, gave a knock,
So long and loud, it might have rais'd the dead;
Tonle declares his house sustain’d a shock,
Luough to shake his lodgers out of bed.
so, his rage thus vented in the rap,
out serpentining home to take his nap.
Tis now high time to let you know,
That the obstetric Dr. Crow
Awoke in the beginning of this matter,
By Toby's tintinnabulary clatter—

And knowing that the bell belong'd to Shove, He listen’d in his bed, but did not move: He only did apostrophize— Sending to i. Slove and his bell, That wou'dn't let him close his eyes. Pot when he heard a thund'ring knock, says he— "That's certainly a messenger for me! ... Somebody ill in the brick house, no doubt.” Then mutter'd, hurrying on his dressing gown— "I wish my ladies, out of town, Chose more convenient times for crying out !” ow, in the dark, now reach'd the staircase head, Shove, in the dark, was coming up to bed. A combination of ideas flocking Upon the pericranium of Crow— Occasion'd by the hasty knocking, Succeeded by a foot he heard below— Hod, as many solks are apt to do, Who argue in the dark, and in confusion; ** is stom the hypothesis he drew A false conclusion: .

[ocr errors]

Concluding Shove to be the person sent, With an express from the Brick Tenement, Whom Barber Twizzle, torturer of hairs, Had civilly let in and sent up stairs.

As Shove came up, tho' he had long time kept His character for patience very laudably—

He couldn't help, at ev'ry step he stepp'd, Grunting and grumbling in his gizzard, audibly

For Isaac's mental feelings, you must know,
Not only were considerably hurt;
But his corporeal also-
Having no other clothing than a shirt;
A dress, beyond all doubt, most light and airy;
It being then a frost in January.
When Shove was deep down stairs the Doctor heard,
—Being much nearer the stair top
Just here and there a random word,
Of the soliloquy that Shove let drop.
But shortly by progression brought
To contact nearer,
The doctor, consequently, heard him clearer;
And then the fag-end of this sentence caught
Which Shove repeated warmly, tho' he shiver'd;
“D—n Twizzle's house ! and d-n the bell;
And d-n the fool who rang it!—Well,
From all such plagues I'll quickly be deliver'd.”

[ocr errors]

Here was at once a sad discovery made :
Lucretia's frolic now was past a joke—
Shove trembled for his fortune, Crow his trade:
Both, both, saw ruin—by one fatal stroke —
But with his aunt, when Isaac did discuss,
She hush'd the matter up by speaking thus—
“Sweet Isaac " said Lucretia, “spare my fame !
Tho' for my babe I feel as should a mother,
Your fortune will continue much the same ;
For—keep the secret, you're his Elder Brother!”
DEG Rees of Dru Nike NN Ess.
At the close of a tavern dinner, two of the com-
É. fell down stairs; the one tumbling to the first
anding-place, the other rolling to the bottom.—Some
one remarked, that the first seemed dead drunk. Yes
(observed a wag) but he is not so far gone as the
gentleman below !
Author. AND critic.
“Wile critic!" exclaim'd a poor author in pique,
“In reviewing my work, why abuse it?
You've injur'd my same by your cursed critique,
For nobody now will persue it.”
Quoth the critic, “I’m glad to hear that; for my aim
Was to save, not destroy reputation;
And I could not more certainly ruin your fame,
Than by giving your work circulation'"

ro RM AL corn Espox de NCE. Dr. Schmidt, of the cathedral of Berlin, wrote to Frederick II. in the following terms: “SIRE-I acquaint your Majesty, first, that there are wanting books of Psalms for the Royal Family; I acquaint your Majesty, second, that there wants wood to warm the royal seats. I acquaint your Majesty, third, that the balustrade next the river, behind the church, is ruinous. “SchM idt, Sacrist of the Cathedral.” The King, much amused with the epistle, sent the following: “I acquaint you, Mr. Sacrist Schmidt, first, that those who want to sing may buy books. Second, I acquaint Mr. Sacrist Schmidt that those who want to be warm may buy wood. Third, I acquaint Mr. Sacrist Schmidt that I shall no longer trust to the balus

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The LAUGHING philosopher." 361

Royal Modest Y.

King Charles II. once asked Stillingfleet, why he always read his sermons before him, when he always preached without book elsewhere. He told the king, the sight of so great and wise a prince, made him afraid to trust himself: with which answer the king was very well contented. “But pray,” says Stillingfleet, “will your majesty give me leave to ask you a question too? Why do you read your speeches to the palliament, when you * none of the same reasons?”—“Why truly, doctor,” said the king, “your question is a very pertinent one, and so will be my answer. I have asked them so often, and for so much, that I am ashamed to look them in the face.”

[ocr errors]

To-day he's honour'd and in vast esteem,
To-morrow not a beggar values him:
To day he rises from the velvet bed,
To-morrow lies on one that's made of lead :
To-day his house, tho' large, he thinks but small,
To-morrow no command, no house at all :
To-day has forty servants at his gate,
To-morrow scorn'd, not one of them will wait :
To-day perfum’d as sweet as any rose,
To-morrow stinks in ev'ry body's nose.
To-day he's grand, majestic, all delight, -
Ghastful and pale before to-morrow night:
True, as the scripture says, “man’s life's a span;”
The present moment is the life of man!

Miss FAltREN.

The wife of the manager of a little strolling company, who was both old and ugly, had once a violent dispute with Lady Derby, then Miss Farren; the theatrical queen, being extremely irritated at some remark of Thalia's favourite, exclaimed in her passion, “You are a very pretty young lady indeed!” —“And you are neither one nor the other,” replied her ladyship.

the vicA R of Dr Ay’s chrrp.
I love with all my heart The Tory party here
The Hanoverian part— Most hateful doth appear,
And for their settlement I ever have denied
My conscience gives consent, To be on James's side.
Most righteous is the cause To be for such a king
To fight for George's laws, Will Britons ruin bring,
This is my mind and heart In this opinion I
Tho' mone should take my part. Resolve to live and die.
A physic! AN's PR Actice.

As a quack practitioner was standing at his door on Ludgate-Hill, a regular bred physician passed, who had learning and abilities, but not the success in his practice which he deserved. “How comes it,” says he to the quack, “that you, without education, skill, or the least knowledge of the science, are enabled to live in the style you do? You keep your town-house, your carriage, and your country-house; whilst I, al. lowed to possess some knowledge, have neither, and can scarcely pick up a subsistence.”—“Why, look " you,” said the quack, “how many people do you

« ZurückWeiter »