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pliments and ironical sneers they so lovingly exchanged passed for nothing after the first fire; and Sister, sister, we are both in the wrong 'soon set matters to rights again. The absence of Mr. Bumgarten, a scholar and a gentleman, who had backed out of this party of pleasure (?) left his lady at a sad loss for one favourite subject in which she revelled, because it annoyed him; consequently there were no vulgar impertinent hits at your clever people!' This unfortunate hiatus led her to some ludicrous details of what she had suffered during her matrimonial pilgrimage.
'Suffered!' muttered the middle-aged gentleman, indignantly. 'Yes, Madam Xantippe, you have suffered! But what? Why, your green-eyed illiterate prejudices to mar all that makes the domestic hearth intellectual, tranquil, and happy! Yes! you have reduced it to a cheerless desert, where you reign the restless fury of contradiction and discord!'
Master Guy Muff, the eldest born of Brutus, a youth who exhibited a capacious development of the eating and drinking organs, with a winning smile that would have made his fortune through a horse-collar, now emerged from his post of honour behind the puffed sleeves, ample folds, and rustling skirts of 'ma's' and aunt's silk gowns.
'Don't be frightened, Guy,' said Mrs. Bumgarten, soothingly; 'it's only Mr. Timwig.'
'I arn't a-going to, aunt,' snuffled the self-complaisant Master Guy.
I hope, young gentleman,' said Uncle Timothy, (for, looking at the lump of living lumber, he did not venture to suppose,) that you learn your lessons, and are perfect in your exercises.'
'What-hoop, skipping-rope, and pris'ner's base?' 'Can you parse?'
'Oh, yes! I pass my time at dumps and marloes.'
'Speak your Christmas-piece to Mr. Timtiffin, do, dear Guy!' said 'ma,' coaxingly.
Master Guy Muff made the effort, Mr. Brutus Muff acting as prompter.
MASTER GUY (taking in each hand a dessert-plate).
'Look here upon this pic-tur, and on this
'Sink the shop!' muttered Uncle Timothy.
MR. MUFF.-Fit presen-ti-ment'
'You put the boy out, Mr. Muff, as you always do!' snarled Mrs. Muff.
--Of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on that brow;
'Isn't it something about curls and front?' said Mr. Muff.
Mrs. Muff took this as an affront to her own particular jazey, which was bushily redolent of both; she darted a fierce frown à la Fubsy at the interrogator, that awed him into silence.
'A eye like Ma's, to threaten and command--'
The subdued master-mason felt the full force of this line, to which his son Guy's appropriate pronunciation and personal stare gave a new reading. Here the juvenile spouter finally broke down, upon which Mrs. Bumgarten took his voice under her patronage, and having prevailed upon him to try a song, the 'young idea' began in an excruciating wheeze, as if a pair of bellows had been invited to sing, the following morceau. 'More so,' said Mrs. Muff, encouragingly, because pa' (Nicholas Fubsy, familiarly denominated Old Nick')' said it was almost good enough to be sung a Sundays after Tabernacle.'
There was a little bird,
His cage hung in the hall;
And for this reason, mark,
Good people, great and small,
'Ah!' cried Aunt B. approvingly, that is a song! your frothy comic stuff that some folks (!!) is so fond of."
She now entertained Uncle Timothy with an account, full of bombast and brag, of some grand weddings that had recently been celebrated in the Fubsy family-the Candlerigs and Gropusses (gentlefolks, it occurred to the satirical-nosed gentleman, not by the grace of God, but the mopusses!) having condescended to adulterate the patrician blood of St. Giles's in the fields with the plebeian puddle of the City Gardens, the sometime suburban retreat of the Fubsys, where they farmed a magnificent château, which, like the great Westphalian Baron de Thunder-tan-trounck's, had a door and a window. It next came to the turn of several families, with whom Mrs. Bumgarten was acquainted, to be picked to pieces; which having been done, with a gusto peculiar to the Fubsys, she looked on the forlorn hope round the table and room for something to find fault with. Uncle Timothy filled up the pause, by calling on Mr. Brutus Muff for a song.
'I never heered Mr. Muff sing, Mr. Timwig,' chimed the sisters simultaneously.
'Indeed! Then, ladies, it will be the greater novelty. Come, my good sir; but first a glass of wine with you.'
Oh dear, Mr. Timwiddy, you will make Mr. Muff quite topheavy! It must only be half a glass,' said Mrs. Muff, authoritatively.
'The top half.' And the middle-aged gentleman poured out the regal purple stream' till it kissed, without flowing over, the brim. Mr. Muff instantly brought the bumper to a level with his lips, and, as if half ashamed of what he was doing, put both halves out of sight!
Is the man mad?' cried the amazed Mrs. Muff.
'Has he lost his senses?' ejaculated the bewildered Mrs. Bumgarten.
'He has found them, rather,' whispered the satirical-nosed gentleman.
The bland looks and persuasive tones of Uncle Timothy, to say nothing of the last bumper, had wrought wonders on the mastermason. He looked Silenus-like and rosy, and glanced his little peering eyes across the table-Mrs. Muff having a voice too in the affair -for an assenting nod from the fierce black velvet spangled turban of his better and bigger half. But Mrs. Muff made no sign, and he paused irresolute, when another kind word and smile from the middle-aged gentleman encouraged him, at all hazards, to begin with,
'You sha'n't sing another line, that you sha'n't, Brutus!' vociferated Mrs. Muff. But the Cockney Roman, undaunted and vocal, went on singing,
Says Doctor Peter Pott, As I know vhat 's vhat,
My anti-bilious patent pill on Tib my rib I'll try;
If Mrs. P. vill svallow, if dissolution follow,
And she should kick the bucket, I'm sure I shan't cry!'
'Where could he have learned such a rubbishing song? I never know'd that he knew it! A man, too, after pa's own heart! I shall certainly go into hystericals,' sighed Mrs. Muff.
'If so be as you're so inclined, my love, have the purliteness just to vait till I've a-done singing.'
And vel the doctor knew that a leer par les deux yeux
Mrs. Pott vithstand could not, vhen shot from Peter's eye;
'Have you no sort of compassion for my poor nerves?' remonstrated Mrs. Muff, pathetically.
• Vhat com
'None vhatsumdever,' replied the stoical Brutus.
passion have you ever had for mine?'
(The Doctor vith laughing vas like to burst!)
'I'll send,' cried Mrs. Bumgarten, furiously, for one of the L
'You may send to the devil for one of the L division!' shouted the valiant Mr. Muff, aspirating with particular emphasis the letter L. Howsever, ladies, as you don't seem much to like Doctor Pott, suppose I favour you vith the Irishman's epitaph.
Here I lays, Teddy O'Blaize, (Singing)
And my body quite at its aise is;
Vith the tip of my nose and the tops of my toes
And now, my inwaluable spouse, as I carn't conwenently sing you any more moral lessons, I'll just tipple you two or three!' And Mr. Muff, with admirable coolness and precision, filled himself a bumper. First and foremust, from this day henceforrer'd, I'm determined to be my own lord and master.'
'You shall never be mine!' said Mrs. Muff, bitterly.
'Imprimis and secondly, I don't choose to be the hen-pecked, hugger-mugger, collywoffling, snubbed, under-the-fear-of-his-vifeand-a broomstick Jerry Sneak and Pollycoddle, that old Nic Fubsy the Vhitechapel pin-maker vas! You shan't, my dear, like his loving Lizzy, curry.comb my precious vig, and smuggle my last vill!'
'Et tu Brute!' said Uncle Timothy, in a half whisper.
'He is a brute!' sobbed Mrs. Bumgarten, 'to speak so of poor dear pa! Mr. Muff, Mr. Muff! how I disgust you!"
'Don't purwoke me, Mrs. Bumgarten, pray, don't purwoke me into 'fending and proving, or I shall let the cat out of the bag to Mr. Timvig, and the kittens into the bargain! By the Lord Harry, I'll peach, Mrs. Muff!'
Five full glasses of red port had removed the decent restraint that Mrs. Bumgarten sometimes imposed on her unruly member, which restraint may be likened unto the board that confines the odoriferous contents of a scavenger's cart, and she was about to pour upon the master-mason a fragrant flood of Fubsyean eloquence, when Prudence, the family guardian angel, took her by the tongue's tip, as St. Dunstan took a certain ebony gentleman by the nose. She telegraphed Mrs. Muff, and Mrs. Muff telegraphed the intelligent Guy. Just as Brutus was fetching breath for another ebullition, with his hand on the decanter for another bumper, he found himself half throttled in the Cornish hug of his affectionate and blubbering first-born! chimney caught fire, it was a custom in Merrie England to drop down it a live goose, in the quality of extinguisher! And no goose ever performed its office better than the living Guy. He opened the flood-gates of his gooseberry eyes, and played upon pa so effectually, ma and aunt sobbing and sighing in full chorus, that Mr. Muff's ire or fire was speedily put out; and when to prevent a coroner's inquest, the obedient child was motioned by the ladies to relax his filial embrace, the mollified master-mason began to sigh and sob too. The politic sisters now proposed to cut short their day's pleasure! -a proposal not resisted by Mr. Muff, who was in a humour to com. ply with anything, and politely seconded by Uncle Timothy, to
whom it was some consolation, that while he had been sitting upon thorus, his tormentors too were a little nettled! Seeing bluff John Tomkins in the stable-yard grooming con amore one of Mr. Bosky's pet bloods, he called out,
'John! I'm afraid we were too many this morning for that shying left-wheeler. Now, if he should unfortunately take to kicking-'
Kicking! Mr. Timwiddy,' screamed Mrs. Bumgarten. 'Kicking! Mr. Timwig!' echoed Mrs. Muff.
Herodotus (who practised what he preached) said, 'When telling a lie will be profitable, let it be told!'-'He may lie,' said Plato, 'who knows how to do it in a suitable time.' So thought John Tomkins, who in all probability had never read either Herodotus or Plato, and thinking no time like the present, and hoping to frighten his unwelcome customers into an omnibus, and drive home Uncle Timothy in capital style, he so aggravated the possible kickings, plungings, takings fright, and runnings away of that terrible leftwheeler, that the good-natured and accommodating middle-aged gentleman was easily persuaded by the ladies to lighten the weight and diminish the danger, by returning to town by some other conveyance. And it was highly ludicrous to mark the glum looks and disappointment of John when he doggedly put the horses to, and how he mischievously laid his whip-cord into the sensitive flanks of the shying left-wheeler,' who honoured every draft on his fetlocks, and duly confirmed the terrifying anticipations and multiplications of the veracious John Tomkins!
'Song sweetens toil, however rude the sound,'-and John sweet. ened his by humming the following, in which he encored himself several times, as he drove Mrs. Bumgarten and family to town.
Dash along! splash along! hi, gee ho!
Save me from a tough yarn twice over told
Save me from a Jerry Sneak, and save me from a scold.
A horse is not a mare, and a cow is not a calf;
A woman that talks all day long has too much tongue by half,
When Madam's in her tantrums, and Madam 'gins to cry;
Dash along! splash along! hi, gee ho!
No horse so fast can gallop as a woman's tongue can go.
BY COTTHOLD EPHRAIM LESSING.
FOLKS say that Galatea dyes her hair;
"Twas black the day she bought it, I can swear.