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FROM MR. BOB FUDGE TO RICHARD
Dear Dick, while old Donaldson's * mending my stays, -
Which I knew would go smash with me one of these days,
And, at yesterday's dinner, when, full to the throttle,
We lads had begun our desert with a bottle
Of neat old Constantia, on my leaning back
Just to order another, by Jove I went crack !-
Or, as honest Tom said, in his nautical phrase,
“D—m my eyes, Bob, in doubling the Cape you've missed
So, of course, as no gentlemen's seen out without them,
They're now at the Schneider's I-and, while he's about them,
Here goes for a letter, post-haste, neck and crop-
Let us see—in my last I was--where did I stop?
Oh, I know-at the Boulevards, as motley a road as
Man ever would wish a day's lounging upon ;
With its cafés and gardens, hotels and pagodas,
Its founts, and old Counts sipping beer in the sun :
With its houses of all architectures you please,
From the Grecian and Gothic, Dick, down by degrees
To the pure Hottentot, or the Brighton Chinese ;
Where in temples antique you may breakfast or dinner it,
Lunch at a mosque, and see Punch from a minaret.
Then, Dick, the mixture of bonnets and bowers,
Of foliage and frippery, fiacres and flowers,
Green-grocers, green gardens—one hardly knows whether
'Tis country or town, they're so messed up together!
And there, if one loves the romantic, one sees
Jew clothes-men, like shepherds, reclined under trees;
Or Quidnuncs, on Sunday, just fresh from the barber's,
Enjoying their news and groseilleg in those arbours,
While gaily their wigs, like the tendrils, are curling,
And founts of red currant-juicell round them are purling.
Here, Dick, arm in arm as we chattering stray,
And receive a few civil “God-dems” by the way,-
For, 'tis odd, these mounseers,-though we've wasted our
And our strength, till we've thrown ourselves into a phthisic,
To cram down their throats an old King for their health,
As we whip little children to make them take physic;
* An English tailor at Paris. + A ship is said to miss stays, when she does not obey the helm in tacking.
The dandy term for a tailor.
“Lemonade and eau-de-groseille are measured out at every corner of every street, from fantastic vessels, jingling with bells, to thirsty tradesmen or wearied messengers.'-See Lady Morgan's lively description of the streets of Paris, in her very amusing work upon France, Book 6
|| These gay, portable fountains, from which the groseille water is administered, are among the most characteristic ornaments of the streets of Paris.
Yet, spite of our good-natured money and slaughter,
They hate us, as Beelzebub hates holy-water!
But who the deuce cares, Dick, as long as they nourish us
Neatly as now, and good cookery flourishes-
Long as, by bayonets protected, we, Natties,
May have our full fling at their salmis and patés ?
And, truly, I always declared 'twould be pity
To burn to the ground such a choice-feeding city:
Had Dad but his way, he'd have long ago blown
The whole batch to old Nick-and the people, I own,
If for no other cause than their curst monkey looks,
Well deserve a blow-up-but then, damn it, their Cooks !
As to Marshals, and Statesmen, and all their whole lineage,
For aught that I care, you may knock them to spinage;
But think, Dick, their Cooks—what a loss to mankind !
What a void in the world would their art leave behind !
Their chronometer spits--their intense salamanders-
Their ovens—their pots, that can soften old ganders,
All vanished for ever-their miracles o'er,
And the Marmite Perpétuelle* bubbling no more !
Forbid it, forbid it, ye Holy Allies,
Take whatever ye fancy--take statues, take money-
But leave them, oh leave them their Perigueux pies,
Their glorious goose-livers, and high pickled tunny! +
Though many, I own, are the evils they've brought us,
Though Royalty's here on her very last legs,
Yet, who can help loving the land that has taught us
Six hundred and eighty-five ways to dress eggs? I
You see, Dick, in spite of their cries of “God-dam,"
"Coquin Anglais," et cætera-how generous I am!
And now (to return, once again, to my “ Day,"
Which will take us all night to get through in this way)
From the Boulevards we saunter through many a street,
Crack jokes on the natives--mine, all very neat-
Leave the Signs of the Times to political fops,
And find twice as much fun in the Signs of the Shops ;-
Here, a Louis Dix-huit—there, a Martinmas goose,
(Much in vogue since your eagles are gone out of use)
Henri Quatres in shoals, and of Gods a great many,
But Saints are the most on hard duty of any :-
St. Tony, who used all temptations to spurn,
Here hangs o'er a beer-shop, and tempts in his turn;
* “Cette merveilleuse Marmite Perpétuelle, sur le feu depuis près d'un siècle ; qui a donné le jour à plus de 300,000 chapons." -Alman. de Gourmands, Quairidme Année, p. 152.
† Le thon marine, one of the most favourite and indigestible hors-d'æuvres. This fish is taken chiefly in the Golfe de Lyon. “La tête et le dessous du ventre sont les parties les plus recherchées des gourmets."-Cours Gastronomique, P. 252.
I'The exact number mentioned by M. de la Reynière—“On connoit en France 685 manières différentes d'accommoder les cufs; sans compter celles que nos savans imaginent chaque jour."
While there St. Venecia * sits hemming and frilling her
Holy mouchoir o'er the door of some milliner ;-
Saint Austin's the “outward and visible sign
Of an inward ” cheap dinner, and pint of small wine ;
While St. Denys hangs out o'er some hatter of ton,
And possessing, good bishop, no head of his own, +
Takes an interest in Dandies, who've got-next to none !
Then we stare into shops-read the evening's affiches-
Or, if some, who're Lotharios in feeding, should wish
Just to flirt with a luncheon, (a devilish bad trick,
As it takes off the bloom of one's appetite, Dick,)
To the Passage des—what d'ye call't-des Panoramas I
We quicken our pace, and there heartily cram as
Seducing young pâtés, as ever could cozen
One out of one's appetite, down by the dozen.
We vary, of course--petits påtés do one day,
The next we've our lunch with the Gauffrier Hollandais,
That popular artist, who brings out, like Sc—tt,
His delightful productions so quick, hot and hot ;
Not the worse for the exquisite comment that follows,
Divine maresquino, which-Lord, how one swallows !
Once more, then, we caunter forth after our snack, or
Subscribe a few francs for the price of a fiacre,
And drive far away to the old Montagnes Russes,
Where we find a few twirls in the car of much use
To regenerate the hunger and thirst of us sinners,
Who've lapsed into snacks—the perdition of dinners.
And here, Dick-in answer to one of your queries,
About which we, Gourmands, have had much discussion-
I've tried all these mountains, Swiss, French, and Ruggieri's,
And think, for digestion, || there's none like the Russian
So equal the motion-so gentle, though fleet-
It, in short, such a light and salubrious scamper is,
That take whom you please -- take old L, D-x-h-,
* Veronica, the Saint of the Holy Handkerchief, is also, under the name of Venisse or Venecia, the tutelary saint of milliners.
† St. Denys walked three miles after his head was cut off. The mot of a woman of wit upon this legend is well known :-"Je le crois bien; en pareil cas, il n'y a que le premier pas qui coute.'
Off the Boulevards Italiens § In the Palais Royal : successor, I believe, to the Flamand, so long celebrated for the moëlleur of his Gaufres.
|| Doctor Cotterel recommends, for this purpose, Beaujon or French Mountains, and calls them "une médecine aérienne, couleur de rose;" but I own I prefer the authority of Mr. Bob, who seems, from the following note found in his own hand-writing, to have studied all these mountains very carefully :
Memoranda, The Swiss little notice deserves,
While the fall at Ruggieri's is death to weak nerves ;
And (whate'er Doctor Cott'rel may write on the question)
The turn at the Beaujon's too sharp for digestion.
I doubt whether Mr. Bob is quite correct in accenting the second syllable of
And stuff him-ay, up to the neck—with stewed lampreys, *
So wholesome these Mounts, such a solvent I've found them,
That, let me but rattle the Monarch well down them,
The fiend, Indigestion, would fly far away,
And the regicide lampreys t be foiled of their prey !
Such, Dick, are the classical sports that content us,
Till five o'clock brings on that hour so momentous,
That epoch—but woa! my lad-here comes the Schneider,
And, curse him, has made the stays three inches wider-
Too wide by an inch and a half-what a Guy!
But, no matter—'twill all be set right by-and-by-
As we've Massinot's I eloquent carte to eat still up,
An inch and a half's but a trifle to fill up.
So—not to lose time, Dick-here goes for the task ;
Au revoir, my old boy-of the Gods I but ask,
That my life, like " the Leap of the German," S may be,
“Du lit à la table, d'la table au lit!”
FROM PHIL. FUDGE, ESQ., TO THE LORD VISCOUNT C-ST-GIL
My Lord, the Instructions, brought to-day,
“I shall in all my best obey."
Your Lordship talks and writes so sensibly!
And-whatsoe'er some wags may say-
Oh! not at all incomprehensibly.
I feel the inquiries in your letter
About my health and French most flattering ;
Thank ye, my French, though somewhat better,
Is, on the whole, but weak and smattering :-
Nothing, of course, that can compare
With his who made the Congress stare,
(A certain Lord we need not name)
Who, even in French, would have his trope,
And talk of “batir un systême
Sur l'équilibre de l'Europe !"
Sweet metaphor !—and then the Epistle,
Which bid ihe Saxon King go whistle,
That tender letter to “Mon Prince,” || * A dish so indigestible, that a late novelist, at the end of his book, could imagine no more summary mode of getting rid of all his heroes and heroines than by a hearty supper of stewed lampreys.
† They killed Henry I. of England :-"a food (says Hume, gravely,) which always agreed better with his palate than his constitution."
A famous Restaurateur-now Dupont. 6 An old French saying ;—"Faire le saut de l'Allemand, du lit à la table et de la table au lit."
| The celebrated letter to Prince Hardenburgh (written, however, I believe, originally in English,) in which his Lordship, professing to sce“ no moral or political objection" to the dismemberment of Saxony, denounced the unfortunate King as "not only the most devoted, but the most favoured of Bonaparte's vassals.'
Which showed alike thy French and sense ;-
Oh no, my Lord—there's none can do
Or say un-English things like you ;
And, if the schemes that fill thy breast
Could but a vent congenial seek,
And use the tongue that suits them best,
What charming Turkish would'st thou speak !
But as for me, a Frenchless grub,
At Congress never born to stammer,
Nor learn like thee, my Lord, to snub
Fallen Monarchs, out of Chambaud's grammar-
Bless you, you do not, cannot know
How far a little French will go;
For all one's stock, one need but draw
On some half dozen words like these-
Comme ça--par-là-là-bas-ah ha!
They'll take you all through France with ease
Your Lordship's praises of the scraps
I sent you from my Journal lately,
(Enveloping a few laced caps
For Lady C.) delight me greatly.
Her flattering speech—“ what pretty things
One finds in Mr. Fudge's pages !
Is praise which (as some poet sings)
Would pay one for the toils of ages.
Thus flattered, I presume to send
A few more extracts by a friend ;
And I should hope they'll be no less
Approved of than my last MS.-
The former ones, I fear, were creased,
As Biddy round the caps would pin them ;
But these will come to hand, at least
Unrumpled, for—there's nothing in them.
Extracts froni Mr. Fudge's Journal, addressed to Lord C.
Went to the Mad-house-saw the man, *
Who thinks, poor wretch, that, while the Fiend
Of Discord here full riot ran,
He, like the rest, was guillotined ;-
But that when, under Boney's reign,
(A more discreet, though quite as strong one)
The heads were all restored again,
He, in the scramble, got a wrong one.
Accordingly, he still cries out
This strange head fits him most unpleasantly; This extraordinary madman is, I believe, in the Bicêtre. He imagines, exactly as Mr. Fudge states it, that, when the heads of those who had been gullotined were restored, he by mistake got some other person's instead of his