« ForrigeFortsett »
were as follows : You must go to the Temple, apply to a Civilian, and tell him that your father has died intestate, or without a will, that he has left five children, all infantine, besides yourself; and that you wish to know if you can't be his executor.'—Well, what did you do?' said the gentleman. “Why sir,' said he, 'I went to the Temple, and I knock'd at the door, and the gentleman cum'd out himsen;' and I said “Pray sir, arn't you a silly villain ? and he ax'd me if I cum'd to insult him; and I said, why yes, I partly cum'd on purpose: I cum'd to insult you to know what I am to do, for my feyther died detested and against his will, and left five young infidels besides mysen, and I am cum'd to know if I can't be his executioner.'
THE MONK AND THE JEW; OR THE CATHOLIC CONVERT.
To make new converts truly bless'd
And yet another thing remains,
THE BASHFUL MAN. (A Comic Recitation, as delivered by Mr. Mathews.) Among the various good and bad qualities incident to our nature, I am unfortunately that being overstocked with the one called bashfulness : for you must know, I inherit such an extreme susceptibility of shame, that on the smallest subject of confusion, my blood rushes into my cheeks, and I appear a perfect full-blown rose; in short, I am commonly known by the appellation of The Bashful Man.' The consciousness of this unhappy failing, made me formerly avoid that social company, I should otherwise have been ambitious to appear in : till at length becoming possessed of an ample fortune by the death of an old rich uncle, and vainly supposing that 'money makes the man,' I was now determined to shake off my natural timidity, and join the gay throng : with this view I accepted of an invitation to dine with one, whose open easy manner left me no room to doubt of a cordial welcome. Sir Thomas Friendly was an inti. mate acquaintance of my late uncle's, with two sons and five daughters, all grown up, and living with their mother and a maiden sister of Sir Thomas's. Conscious of my unpolished gait, I for some time took private lessons of a professor, who teaches 'grown gentlemen to dance. Having by his means acquired the art of walking without tottering, and learned to make a bow, I boldly ventured to obey the baronet's invitation to a family dinner, not doubting but my new acquirements would enable me to see the ladies with tolerable intrepidity ; but, alas ! how vain are all the hopes of theory, when unsupported by habitual practice. As I approached the house, a
dinner bell alarmed my fears, lest I had spoiled the dinner by want of punctuality ; impressed with the idea, I blushed the deepest crimson, as my name was repeatedly announced by the several livery servants, who ushered me into the library, hardly knowing what or whom I saw. At my first entrance, I summoned all my fortitude, and made my new-learned bow to Lady Friendly; but unfortunately in bringing my left foot to the third position, I trod upon the gouty toe of poor Sir Thomas, who had followed close to my heels, to be the Nomenclator of the family. The confusion this occasioned in me is hardly to be conceived, since none but bashful men can judge of my distress ; and of that description, the number I believe is very small. The baronet's politeness by degrees dissipated my concern, and I was astonished to see how far good breeding could enable him to support his feelings, and to appear with perfect ease, after so painful an accident.
The cheerfulness of her ladyship, and the familiar chat of the young ladies, insensibly led me to throw off my reserve and sheepishness, till at length I ventured to join in conversation, and even to start fresh subjects. The library being richly furnished with books in elegant bindings, and observing an edition of Xenophon in sixteen volumes, which (as I had never before heard of) greatly excited my curiosity, I rose up to examine what it could be: Sir Thomas saw what I was about, and (as I suppose) willing to save me the trouble, rose to take down the book, which made me more eager to prevent him : and hastily laying my hand on the first volume, I pulled it forcibly: but, lo ! instead of books, a board, which by leather and gilding had been made to look like sixteen volumes, came tumbling down, and unluckily pitched upon a Wedgwood inkstand on the table under it. In vain did Sir Thomas assure me, there was no harm; I saw the ink streaming from an inlaid table on the Turkey carpet, and scarce knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambric handkerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was served up, and I with joy perceived that the bell, which at first had so alarmed my fears, was only the half-hour dinner-bell.
In walking through the hall and suit of apartments to the dining-room, I had time to collect my scattered senses, and was desired to take my seat betwixt Lady Friendly and her eldest daughter at the table. Since the fall of the wooden Xenophon, my face had been continually burning like a fire-brand; and I was just beginning to recover myself, and to feel comfortably cool, when an unlooked for accident rekindled all my heat and blushes. Having set my plate of soup too near the edge of thc
table, in bowing to Miss Dinah, who politely complimented the pattern of my waistcoat, I tumbled the whole scalding contents into my lap. In spite of an immediate supply of napkins to wipe the surface off my clothes, my black silk breeches were not stout enough to save me from the painful effects of this sudden fomentation, and for some minutes my legs and thighs seemed stewing in a boiling cauldron ; but recollecting how Sir Thomas had disguised his torture when I trod upon his toe, I firmly bore my pain in silence, and sat with my lower extremities par-boiled, amidst the stifled giggling of the ladies and servants.
I will not relate the several blunders which I made during the first course, or the distress occasioned by my being desired to carve a fowl, or help to various dishes that stood near me, spilling a sauce-boat, and knocking down a salt-sellar ; rather let me hasten to the second course, where fresh disaster overwhelmed me quite.'
I had a piece of rich sweet pudding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for a pigeon that stood
In my haste, scarcely knowing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth, hot as a burning coal; it was impossible to conceal my agony—my eyes were starting from their sockets. At last in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to drop the cause of torment on my plate. Sir Thomas and the ladies all compassionated my misfortune, and each advised a dif. ferent application; one recommended oil, another water, but all agreed that wine was the best for drawing out fire : and a glass of sherry was brought me from the sideboard, which I snatched up with eagerness : but, oh ! how shall I tell the sequel ! when ther the butler by accident mistook, or purposely designed to drive me mad, he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flayed and blistered. Totally unused to ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate, as raw as beef, what could I do? I could not swallow ; and clapping my hands upon my mouth, the cursed liquor squirted through my nose and fingers like a fountain, over all the dishes ; and I was crushed by bursts of laughter from all quarters. In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters ; for the measure of my shaine and their diversion was not yet complete. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration which this accident had caused, without considering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief, which was still wet from the consequences of the fall of Xenophon, and covered all my features with streaks of ink in every direction. The baronet himself could not support this shock, but joined
his lady in the general laugh; while I sprung from the table in despair, and rushed out of the house, and ran home in an agony of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could have excited.
Thus, without having deviated from the path of moral rectitude, I am suffering torments like a 'goblin damned.' The lower half of me has been almost boiled, my tongue and mouth grilled, and I bear the mark of Cain upon my forehead ; yet these are but trifling considerations, to the everlasting shame which I must feel whenever this adventure shall be mentioned. Perhaps, by your assistance, when my neighbours know how much I feel on the occasion they will spare a bashful man, and (as I am just informed my poultice is ready) I trust you will excuse the haste in which I retire.
PAT AND THE MAGISTRATE;
OR, ALL A MISTAKE.
(A Favourite New Recitation.) A PATLANDER with a pole as red as the Red Lion, at Brentford, and rendered still more red by a copious discharge of blood, which oozed through a dirty rag tied over a recent wound on his scalp, applied to a magistrate for a warrant, when the following dialogue took place :
Mag. Well Pat, (for his countenance operated as a sort of finger-post, pointing to the road whence he came) what do you want ?
Pat. I'd be wanting a warrant, your worship’s glory.
Pat. Murther! Och, the devil a crature but mysilf, your excellency.
Mag. Indeed ! has he really been guilty of that?
Pat. By my sowl he has ! Bad luck to him ! He has made a hole in my napper big enough to bury a.cat in.
Mag. He has not killed you outright, I see.
Pat. Och sure, it isn't his fault that he has’nt, for he intindea it, and nothing surer.
Mag. I suppose an assault warrant will suit you? When did he assault you?
Pat. He 'saulted me last night, about two o'clock this morn. ing, your serene highness !