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the don, how much dost think it weighs?-An ounce?-A shilling an ounce! that is sixteen shillings per pound!-A reasonable profit truly!-Let me seesuppose now the whole ham weighs thirty pounds :At a shilling per ounce, that is, sixteen shillings per pound, why your master makes exactly twenty-four pounds of every ham; and if he buys them at the best hand, and salts them and cures them himself, they don't stand him in ten shillings a-piece." The old lady bade him hold his nonsense, declared herself ashamed for him, and asked him if people must not live: then taking a coloured handkerchief from her own neck, she tucked it into his shirt-collar, (whence it hung like a bib) and helped him to a leg of the chicken. The old gentleman, at every bit he put into his mouth, amused himself with saying,-" There goes two-pence--there goes three-pence-there goes a groat.-Zounds, a man at these places should not have a swallow so wide as a tom-tit."
This scanty repast, we may imagine, was soon dispatched; and it was with much difficulty our citizen was prevailed on to suffer a plate of beef to be ordered. This too was no less admired, and underwent the same comments with the ham: At length, when only a very small bit was left, as they say, for manners in the dish, our don took a piece of an old news-paper out of his pocket, and gravely wrapping up the meat in it, placed it carefully in his letter-case. "I'll keep thee as a curiosity to my dying day; and I'll shew thee to my neighbour Horseman, and ask him if he can make as much of his steaks." Then rubbing his hands, and shrugging up his shoulders-" Why now" (says he) " to-morrow night I may eat as much cold beef as I can stuff in any tavern in London, and pay nothing for it." A dish of tarts, cheesecakes, and custards next made their appearance at the request
of the young ladies, who paid no sort of regard to the father's remonstrance, that they were four times as dear as at the pastry-cook's.'
Supper being ended, madam put her spouse in mind to call for wine. We must have some wine, my dear, or we shall not be looked upon, you know.' Well, well,' says the don, that's right enough. But do they sell their liquor too by the ounce?
Here, drawer, what wine have you got?' The fellow, who by this time began to smoke his guests, answered- We have exceeding good French wine of all sorts, and please your honour. Would your honour have a bottle of Champagne, or Burgundy, or Claret, or'-'No, no, none of your wishy-washy outlandish rot-gut for me:' interrupted the citizen.' A tankard of the Alderman beats all the red claret wine in the French king's cellar.-But come, bring us a bottle of sound old Port: And d'ye hear? let it be good.'
While the waiter was gone, the good man most sadly lamented, that he could not have his pipe; which the wife would by no means allow, because' (she said) it was ungenteel to smoke, where any ladies were in company.' When the wine came, our citizen gravely took up the bottle, and holding it above his head, Ay, ay,' said he, the bottom has had a good kick.-And mind how confoundedly it is pinched on the sides. Not above five gills, I warrant.-An old soldier at the Jerusalem would beat two of them.-But let us see how it is brewed.' then poured out a glass; and after holding it up before the candle, smelling to it, sipping it twice or thrice, and smacking with his lips, drank it off: but declaring that second thoughts were best, he filled another bumper; and tossing that off, after some pause, with a very important air, ventured to pronounce it drinkable. The ladies, having also drank a
glass round, affirmed it was very good, and felt warm in the stomach: and even the old gentleman relaxed into such good humour by the time the bottle was emptied, that out of his own free will and motion he most generously called for another pint, but charged the waiter to pick out an honest one.'
While the glass was thus circulating, the family amused themselves by making observations on the garden. The citizen expressed his wonder at the number of lamps, and said it must cost a great deal of money every night to light them all: The eldest miss declared, that for her part she liked the dark walk best of all, because it was solentary: Little miss thought the last song mighty pretty, and said she would buy it, if she could but carry home the tune : And the old lady observed, that there was a great deal of good company indeed; but the gentlemen were so rude, that they perfectly put her out of countenance by staring at her through their spy-glasses. In a word, the tarts, the cheesecakes, the beef, the chicken, the ounce of ham, and every thing, seemed to have been quite forgot, till the dismal moment approached, that the reckoning was called for. As this solemn business concerns only the gentlemen, the ladies kept a profound silence; and when the terrible account was brought, they left the pay-master undisturbed, to enjoy the misery by himself: only the old lady had the hardiness to squint at the sum total, and declared it was pretty reasonable considering.'
Our citizen bore his misfortunes with a tolerable degree of patience. He shook his head as he run over every article, and swore he would never buy meat by the ounce again. At length, when he had carefully summed up every figure, he bade the drawer bring change for sixpence: then pulling out a leathern purse from a snug pocket in the inside of his waistcoat, he drew out slowly, piece by piece, thirteen shillings;
which he regularly placed in two rows upon the table. When the change was brought, after counting it very carefully, he laid down four half-pence in the same exact order; then calling the waiter,- There,' says he, there's your damage-thirteen and twopence And hearkye, there's three-pence over for yourself. The remaining penny he put into his coatpocket; and chinking it This,' says he, will serve me to-morrow to buy a paper of tobacco.'
The family now prepared themselves for going; and as there were some slight drops of rain, madam buttoned up the old gentleman's coat, that he might not spoil his laced waistcoat; and made him flap his hat, over which she tied his pocket handkerchief, to save his wig: And as the coat itself (she said) had never been worn but three Sundays, she even parted with her own cardinal, and spread it the wrong side out over his shoulders. In these accoutrements he sallied forth, accompanied by his wife with her upper petticoat thrown over her head, and his daughters with the skirts of their gowns turned up, and their heads muffled up in coloured handkerchiefs. I followed
them quite out of the garden: and as they were waiting for their hack to draw up, the youngest miss asked, When shall we come again, papa? Come again?' (said he) What a pox would you ruin me? Once in one's life is enough; and I think I have done very handsome. Why it would not have cost me above four-pence half-penny to have spent my evening at Sot's Hole: and what with the cursed coach-hire, and all together, here's almost a pound gone, and nothing to shew for it.'- Fye, Mr. Rose, I am quite ashamed for you,' replies the old lady. always grudging me and your girls the least bit of pleasure and you cannot help grumbling, if we do but go to Little Hornsey to drink tea. I am sure, now they are women grown up, they ought to see a
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little of the world;—and they shall.' The old don was not willing to pursue the argument any further; and the coach coming up, he was glad to put an end to the dispute by saying,- Come, come, let us make haste, wife; or we shall not get home time enough to have my best wig combed out again; and to-morrow, you know, is Sunday.'
N° 69. THURSDAY, MAY 22, 1755.
Behold a train of female wits aspire,
With men to mingle in the Muses' quire.
IN a visit which I paid the other day to a lady of great sense and taste, I was agreeably surprised by having two little volumes put into my hands, which have been lately published under the title of "Poems by Eminent Ladies." These volumes are, indeed, (as the author of the preface has remarked)" the most solid compliment, that can possibly be paid to the fair sex." I never imagined, that our nation could boast so many excellent poetesses, (whose works are an honour to their country,) as were here collected together: And it is with the highest satisfaction I can assure my female readers in particular, that I have found a great number of very elegant pieces among the compositions of these ladies, which cannot be surpassed (I had almost said, equalled) by the most celebrated of our male-writers.
The pleasure, which I received from reading these