Page images
PDF
EPUB

Tes. What, you are laying your trains for monopolizing the subject, I perceive ;-but you will find that in no part of the chapter of Table-torments shall I be out of my depth; I'll meet you, then, on your own terms; only let me know when, in proper time,

,

DIALOGUE THE NINTH.

MISERIES OF THE TABLE, &c.

Testy Senior and Junior - Sensitive. (Testy's

House.)

Testy. HEY-DAY! friend Sensitive—what, in the name of nastiness, has now come

“ Between the wind and your nobility ?” why, you have not a feature in its proper place !--have you just been passing by a pigstye?-or what has come across you?

Sen. A pig-stye !0, would that were all !—No! I have just-not passed by, but actually entered into, and at length, thank my stars, escaped alive out of,-a man-stye -a chop-house, Mr Testy, a chop-house ! Every poor gentleman, I believe, has done the same, once in his life, out of ceconomy; and so, made himself sick for the rest of his days :-O the “beggarly unwholesome knaves !"-and, if possible, still more unwholesome provender;-take the description, reeking from the reality, while I am able to attempt it:-first, though, give me, for pity, a glass of cherry-brandy, to settle my imagination, as well as my stomach. (Testy rings the bell violently, and, at the next instant, begins swearing at the delay of the servant. Sensitive, after swallowing the cordial, delivers)

GROAN 1. (S.) On my entrance, Sir, I beheld three or four silent, wan, scattered wretches, who, from their several corners, were whispering their mean orders, or settling their shabby accounts, with the waiter; ---as, bring me half a gill of wine”-“ another quarter of a pint of your table-beer," &c. &c. Then, for my accommodations---coarse, grimed, slopped, scanty table cloth, from which the last man's draff and offal was briskly, but not effectually, whisked away, to make me comfortable !---knife and fork slubbered through the general knife-cloth, leaving the split handles gritty and greasy; and, on the knife, the maker's name, and the joining (or rather dis-joining) part, clogged up with brick dust. I next had to beguile my waiting-time of three quarters of an hour, with the well-buttered, beered, and thumbed weekly (if not monthly) Chronicle, which I found sprawling over the bottomless cruets, dry mustard-pot, party-coloured salt, smeared spoons, &c. ---At last, up came my black, raw, tough, chop, (as I had no fancy for a 19th slice, hacked from the once-hot joint,) and one or two white, watery, broken potatoes, with the skins on, or rather falling off, together with the oiled water prepared for them in a cracked butter-boat.---(All this time, observe, my motions were gloomily surveyed by one or two Abjects, (seated in the same box with me,) who had been already fed and drenched, but who, for no reason, sat still a long time, muzzing, and leaning on their folded arms, till, at length, they sneaked out.)— Then came the dry rank remains of some non-descript cheese; and at last,-as I could not swallow new sloe-water, because they called it port, -my pint of stale, frothless porter, in a yellow, scorched

mug, without a hạndle-all concluded by the grim waiter, with his verbal bill, thus audibly delivered, in a tone of glib slang, for the edification

of the rest of the kennel :-—“ Dinners 8d; penny bread, penny 'taters, five fard’ns beer, fard'n cheese -in all 11{d.”—the mechanical memory of each man's account being evidently the only faculty resident in his black, bull's head. To consummate my sorrows-just as I was going out of the house, after my poison, to drown myself, my eye was caught by some of the most elegant women of my acquaintance smiling by in a barouche !-My last mentioned purpose I resolved to defer, till I had imparted to you the circumstances that inspired it.

Tes. Come, come, defer it a little longer still-at least till you have taken another glass of the cordial. I am nearly as far gone myself, at the bare description, and so I shall beg leave to pledge you.—Come, cheer up ! --and force yourself to forget it, by searching your common-place book for some calamity a little less loathsome.—Here-read me No. 1, which your late adventure, you know, has turned into No. 2, by unexpectedly taking the lead.

Sen. (looking at his paper) Ah !-if torture can overcome qualmishness, this may well succeed, truly !- I will leave you to judge.

« PreviousContinue »