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Mrs. Rose Grob.

None would have known that Siegmund Grob

Lived Foreman to a Sugar-baker, But that he died, and left the job

Of Tombstone-making to an Undertaker; Who, being a Mason also, was a Poet,

So he engraved a skull upon the stone,
(The Sexton of Whitechapel Church will show it,)
Then carved the following couplet from his own-

Grob's Widow had been christen’d Rose,
But why, no human being knows,
Unless when young she might disclose,

Like other blooming Misses,
Roses, which quickly fled in scorn,
But left upon her chin the thorn,

To guard her lips from kisses. She relish'd tea and butter'd toast,

Better than being snubb’d and school'd ;
Liking no less to rule the roast,

Than feast upon the roast she ruled
And though profuse of tongue withal,
Of cash was economical.
Now, as she was a truly loving wife,

As well as provident in all her dealings,
She made her German spouse insure his life,

Just as a little hedge against her feelings-
So that when Siegmund died, in her distress
She call'd upon the Phønix for redress.

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Two thousand pounds, besides her savings,

Was quite enough all care to drown;
No wonder then she soon felt cravings

To quit the melancholy city,
And take a cottage out of town,

And live genteel and pretty.
Accordingly in Mile End Road

She quickly chose a snug retreat; 'Twas quite a pastoral abode,

Its situation truly sweet! Although it stood in Prospect Row,

'Twas luckily the corner house, With a side-window and a bow:

Next to it was the Milkman's yard, whose cows

When there were neither grains nor chaff to browse,
Under the very casement stood to low.
That was a pleasant window altogether,

It raked the road a mile or more,
And when there was no dust or foggy weather,

The Monument you might explore,
And see, without a glass, the people
Walking round and round its steeple.
Across the road, half down a street,

You caught a field, with hoofs well beaten; For cattle there were put to eat,

Till they were wanted to be eaten. Then as for shops, want what you will,

You hadn't twenty steps to go,

There was a Butcher's in the row,
A Tallow Chandler's nearer still ;
And as to stages by the door,

Besides the Patent Coach, or Dandy,

There were the Mile-End, Stratford, Bow,
A dozen in an hour or more
One dust was never gone before

Another came :—'twas monstrous handy!

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Behind, a strip of garden teem'd

With cabbages and kitchen shrubs ; 'Twas a good crop when she redeem'd

Half from the worms, and slugs, and grubs. Beyond these was a brick-kiln, small

But always smoking ; she must needs
Confess she liked the smell, and all

Agreed 'twas good for invalids.
In town she always had a teasing
Tightness on her chest, and wheezing ;

Here she was quite a different creature:-
Well, let the worldly waste their health
Toiling in dirt and smoke for wealth,

Give her the country air, and nature ! Her cottage front was stucco'd white;

Before it two fine Poplars grew,
Which nearly reach'd the roof, or quite,

And in one corner, painted blue,
Stood a large water-tub with wooden spout-
(She never put a rag of washing out):
Upon the house-top, on a plaster shell,

“ Rose Cottage” was inscribed, its name to dub: The green door look'd particularly well,

Pick'd out with blue to match the tub;
The children round about were smitten

Whene'er they stopp’d to fix their eye on
The flaming knocker, ('twas a Lion);

Beneath it was a large brass knob,
And on a plate above was written

“ Mrs. Rose GROB.”
Here she resided free from strife,

Except perpetual scolds with Betty,
For the main objects of her life
Were two, and form’d her daily trade,
To cram herself, and starve her maid-

For one no savings were too petty,

For t’other no tid-bit too nice.
After her dinner, in a trice,

She lock'd the fragments up in towels;
She weigh'd out bread, and cheese, and butter,
And in all cases show'd an utter

Disregard for Betty's bowels;
As if, in penance for her sins,
She made her dine on shanks and shins,

(Was ever such a stingy hussey !) And reckon'd it a treat to give her Half a pound of tripe or liver,

First cutting off a slice for Pussey ;Nay, of all perquisites the damsel stripping, She wouldn't even let her sell the dripping! No wonder Betty's unreplenish'd maw

Vented itself in constant grumbling,

Which was in fact her stomach's rumbling
Reduced to words and utter'd from her jaw ;
But not content with this, the maid

Took all advantages within the law
(And some without, I am afraid),
So as to balance her forlorn condition,
And get full payment for her inanition.
The washing week approach'd: an awful question
Now agitated Rose with pangs

inhuman, How to supply the Mammoth-like digestion

Of that carnivorous beast-a washer-woman! A camel's paunch for ten days' drink is hollow'd,

So theirs takes in at once a ten days' munching; At twelve o'clock you hear them say they've swallow'd

Nothing to speak of since their second luncheon,
And as they will not dine till one,
'Tis time their third lunch were begun.
At length provisions being got-all proper,

And every thing put out, starch, blue, soap, gin;
A fire being duly laid beneath the copper,

The clothes in soak all ready to begin,

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Up to her room the industrious Betty goes,
To fetch her sheets, and screams down stairs to Rose,
La, goodness me! why here's a job!

You ha'nt put out a second pair.
No more I have, said Mrs. Grob ;

Well, that's a good one, I declare! Sure, I've the most forgetful head

And there's no time to air another! So take one sheet from off


And make a shift to-night with t’other.


On Rose's part this was a ruse de guerre,
To save th' expense of washing half a pair,
But as the biter's sometimes bitten,

So in this instance it occurr’d;

For Betty took her at her word,
And, with the bright conception smitten,
Sat all night, and with good thrift

Of needle, scissors, thimble, thread,

up one sheet into a shift,

And took the other off the bed!
Next morn, when Mrs. Grob, at three o'clock,

Went up to call the maid,

And saw the mischief done by aid
Of scissors, thread, and needle-
There's no describing what a shock

her to behold the sheet in tatters; And so by way of mending matters,

She call’d her thief, and slut, and jade, And talk' of sending for the Beadle ! La ! Ma'am, quoth Betty, don't make such a pother,

I've only done exactly what you said,

Taken one sheet from off the bed, And made a shift to-night with other !

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