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neu'. “ How much is that, Harriet ?” “I'm sure I don't know, Papa ; she says one piece is new."“Well, well, we all know that; but how much is se'?"
_“ Indeed, Papa, there is no such a number in Chambaud, nor Wanostrocht's Grainmar, and they've no right to invent words in that way.” Papa shook his head, and began a new abuse of Mrs. Harrison ; the marchande explained the price by uplifted fingers; the former objected to taking more than half an aune; Harriet exclaimed -“ Vous faut couper une demi ;” and, as I was in momentary apprehension of being appealed to by one or other of the parties, which I knew would entail a colloquy for which I had no time to spare, I made my bow of thanks, and hurried out of the shop, leaving the marchande des modes, Papa, Mamma, Miss Harriet, and Carlo, to settle the dispute in the best manner they could.
ok the eces of
MEMOIRS OF A HAUNCH OF MUTTON.
“I, in this kind of merry fooling, am nothing to you; so "you may continue and laugh at nothing still.”—The Tempest.
This is the age for Memoirs, particularly of royalty. Napoleon is making almost as much noise after his death as he did in his life-time; Marie Antoinette, by the assistance of Madame de Campan, has obtained a revival of her notoriety; and Louis Dix-huit has
effected his escape to Coblentz only to fall into the claws of the critics, by proving that every king is not a Solomon. This epidemic is understood to be spreading among the rulers of the earth, and several of the London booksellers have already started for different capitals of Europe, for the purpose, it is said, of treating with crowned authors. Fortunately there is no royal road to biography, any more than to geometry; the right divine does not include all the good writing, nor has legitimacy any exclusive alliance with Priscian. Men who have brains inside may scribble as well as those who have crowns outside ; beggars and thieves have given their own lives to the public; nay, even things inanimatea wonderful lamp, a splendid shilling, a guinea, have found historians; why then should the lords of the creation have all the Memoirs to themselves? or why may not we immortalise “The Haunch of Mutton ?” which, for aught that appears to the contrary, may claim a rectilinear descent from the Royal Ram eternized by Mother Bunch, and so be entitled to rank with the best imperial or kingly records that are now issuing from the Row. Into this investigation, curious as it would be, it is not my purpose to enter; it would be irrelevant to my title, which has only reference to sheep after they are dead, and designated as mutton; but I cannot refrain from noticing that, even in this point of view, the subject I have chosen is poetical ; for a poet, like a Merino or South Down, is annually fleeced and sheared, and at last cut up by the critical dissectors : but he is no sooner dead than he acquires a new name; we sit down
to his perusal with great satisfaction, make repeated extracts which we find entirely to our taste, and talk complacently of his rich vein, ready flow, his sweetness, tenderness, and so forth.
Suffice it to say, that the sheep from which our hero, i. e. our haunch, was cut, drew breath in the pastures of Farmer Blewett, of Sussex, whose brother, Mr. William Blewett, (commonly called Billy), of Great St. Helen's, in the city of London, is one of the most eminent Indigo-brokers in the Metropolis. The farmer having a son fourteen years of age, whom he was anxious to place in the counting-house of the said Billy, very prudently began by filling his brother's mouth before he opened his own, and had accordingly sent him an enormous turkey at Christmas, a side of fat bacon at Easter, and at Midsummer the identical haunch of South Down mutton whose dissection and demolition we have undertaken to immortalize. Ever attentive to the main chance, the broker began to calculate that if he asked three or four friends to dine with him he could only eat mutton for one, while he would have to find wine for the whole party ; whereas, if he presented it to Alderman Sir Peter Pumpkin, of Broad-street, who was a dear lover of good mutton, and had besides lately received a consignment of Indigo of which he was anxious to propitiate the brokerage, he might not only succeed in that object, but be probably asked to dinner, get his full share of the haunch, and drink that wine which he preferred to all others--videlicet, that which he tippled at other people's expense. Whether
or not he succeeded in the former aim, our documents do not testify; but certain it is, that he was invited to partake of the haunch in Broad-street, (not being deemed a presentable personage at the Baronet's es tablishment in Devonshire-place); Mr. Robert Rule, Sir Peter's book-keeper and head clerk, who presided over the City household, was asked to meet him, as well as his nephew, Mr. Henry Pumpkin, a young collegian, whose affection for his uncle induced him to run up to London whenever his purse became attenuated, and who, in his progress towards qualifying himself for the church, had already learnt to tie a cravat, drive a tandem, drink claret, and make bad puns. Four persons, as the Baronet observed, were quite enough for a haunch of mutton, and too many for one of venison.
“ I shouldn't have waited for you, Harry,” exclaimed the Baronet, as his nephew entered. “No occasion, Sir; I am always punctual— Boileau says, that the time a man makes a company wait for him is always spent in discovering his faults.”—“ Does he ? then he's a sensible fellow ;- and if he's a friend of yours, you might have brought him to dinner with you.—But you needn't have made yourself such a dandy, Harry, merely to dine at the counting-house."
_“ Why, Sir, as I expected the dinner to be well dressed for me, I thought I could not do less than return the compliment.”—“Ha! ha! ha! do you
hear that, Billy ?-not a bad one, was it? Egad, Harry doesn't go to College for nothing But there's the 'Change clock chiming for five, and we ought to bave
dinner. Ay, I remember when four was the hour, and a very good hour too."_“I lately tumbled upon a letter of Addison's to Swift," interrupted Henry, " dated 29th Feb. 1707, inviting him to meet Steele and Frowde at the George, in Pall-Mall, at two o'clock, which was then the fashionable hour. And apropos of haunches, I remember reading, that in 1720, the year of the South Sea bubble, owing to the fancied riches suddenly flowing in upon the citizens, a haunch of venison rose to the then unexampled value of five guineas, so that deer were dear indeed for one season.”—“ A fine thing to have been owner of a herd that year,” said Mr. Blewett.--- Capital !" observed Mr. Rule, with an emphatic jerk of the head." In the mean time, where is our haunch of mutton ?" inquired the Alderman :-“ do, pray, Mr. Rule, see about it—the cook used to be punctual, and it is now two minutes and a half past five.” Mr. Rule bowed and disappeared, but presently returned, announcing that dinner was served.
Sir Peter sat at the head of the table, and as Philip the servant was about to remove the cover, laid his hand upon his arm to stop him, until he was provided with a hot plate, vegetables, and sweet sauce, so as to be all ready for the attack when the trenches were opened. “Beautiful!” he exclaimed, as the joint was revealed to him; “ done to a turn-admirably frothed up!” So exclaiming, he helped himself plenteously to the best part, and pushing away the dish said, “he had no doubt the others would rather help themselves.” Mr. Rule, who had not yet achieved inde