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with great alacrity, lighted a candle, you think I was very late?” asked and conducted her guest to his aparta Jacob.-" Oh! I don't know," rement; while Sally, contrary to her plied Mrs Philpot; “ when gentleusual custom, reclined herself in her men get together, they don't think mistress's great arm.chair, yawned how time goes.” Poor Jacob was quite three or four times, and then exclaime delighted, and, as it was dusk, and by ed, “Heigho ! it's getting very late! I no means, as he conceived, a scandala wish my husband would come home !" ous proceeding, he forth with put one
Now, although we have a very mean arm round Mrs Philpot's neck, and opinion of those who cannot keep a stole a kiss, whereat she said, “ Oh secret of importance, we are not fond dear me! how could you think of do. of useless mysteries, and therefore ing such a thing?" and immediately think proper to tell the reader that the squeezed herself past him, and ran teetoium in question, had the peculiar into the house, where Sally sat, in the property of causing those who played arm-chair before mentioned, with a therewith, to lose all remembrance of handkerchief over her head, pretendtheir former character, and to adopt ing to be asleep. that of their antagonists in the game. Come, my dear,” said Jacob to During the process of spinning, the his wife, “ I'm glad to see you in such personal identity of the two players good-humour. You shall make me a was completely changed. Now, on glass of rum and water, and take some the evening of this memorable day, of it yourself."-"I must go into the Jacob Philpot, the landlord of the back kitchen for some water then," rampant Red Lion, had spent a few replied his wife, and away she ran, and convivial hours with mine host of the Jacob followed her, marvelling still Blue Boar, a house on the road-side, more at her unusual alacrity. "My about two miles from Stockwell; and dear," quoth he, “ I am sorry to give the two publicans had discussed the you so much trouble,” and again he put ale, grog, and tobacco in the manner his arm round her neck. « La, sir !" customary with Britons, whose insig- she cried," if you don't let me go, I'll nia are roaring rampant red lions, call out, I declare.”—“ He, he-ha, green dragons, blue boars, &c. Thereó ha!” said Jacob; "call out! that's a fore, when Jacob came home, he be good one, however ! a man's wife callgan to call about him, with the air of ing out because her husband's a-going one who purposeth that his arrival to kiss her !"-"What do you mean? shall be no secret; and very agreeably asked Mrs Philpot; “ I'm sure it's a surprised was he when Mrs Philpot shame to use a poor girl so !"-"A ran out from the house, and assisted poor girl!” exclaimed the landlord, him to dismount, for Jacob was some- "ahem! was once, mayhap."-"I don't what rotund; and yet more did he value your insinivations that,” said Mıs marvel when, instead of haranguing Philpot, snapping her fingers; “I himin a loud voice, (as she had whilom wonder what you take me for !"_" So done on similar occasions, greatly to ho!thought her spouse," she's come his discomfiture,) she good-humour- to herself now; I thought it was all edly said that she would lead his nag a sham; but I'll coax her a bit;" so to the stable, and then go and call he fell in with her apparent whim, l'hilip the ostler. “Humph!" said and called her a good girl; but still the host of the Lion, leaning with his she resisted his advances, and asked back against the door-post, “ after a him what he took her for. “ Take calm comes a storm. She'll make up you for!” cried Jacob," why, for my for this presently, I'll warrant.” But own dear Sally to be sure, so don't Mrs Philpot put up the borse, and make any more fuss.”—"I have a called Philip, and then returned in great mind to run out of the house," peace and quietness, and attempted to said she, “and never enter it any pass into the house, without uttering more.” a word to her lord and master.
This threat gave no sort of alarm to “What's the matter with you, my Jacob, but it somewhat tickled his dear?" asked Jacob Philpot; "a'n't fancy, and he indulged himself in a you well?”—“ Yes, sir," replied Mrs very hearty laugh, at the end of which Philpot,
very well, I thank you. he good-humouredly told her to go to But pray take away your leg, and let bed, and he would follow her presentme go into the house."—" But didn't ly, as soon as he had looked after his horse, and pulled off his boots. This got a job to do early in the morning, proposition was no sooner made, than and then I shall be ready for it.” So the good man's ears were suddenly the two friends sat down, and had grasped from behind, and his head was scarcely begun to enjoy themselves, shaken and twisted about, as though when another rap was heard at the it had been the purport of the assail window, and mine host recognised the ant to wrench it from his shoulders. voice of Peter Brown, who came with Mrs Philpot instantly made her escape the same complaint against his wife, from the kitchen, leaving her spouse and was easily persuaded to join the in the hands of the enraged Sally, who, party, each declaring that the women under the influence of the teetotum must have contrived to meet, during delusion, was firmly persuaded that their absence from home, and all get she was justly inflicting wholesome fuddled together. Matters went on discipline upon her husband, whom pleasantly enough for some time, while she had, as she conceived, caught in they continued to rail against the the act of making love to the maid. women; but, when that subject was Sally was active and strong, and Jacob exhausted, George Syms, the shoe. Philpot was, as before hinted, some- maker, began to talk about shoeing what obese, and, withal, not in excel- horses; and Peter Brown, the black lent"wind;" consequently it was some smith, averred that he could make a time ere he could disengage himself; pair of jockey boots with any man for and then he stood panting and blow #fty miles round. The host of the ram. ing, and utterly lost in astonishment, pant Red Lion considered these things while Sally saluted him with divers at first as a sort of joke, which he had appellations, which it would not be no doubt, from such good customers, seemly here to set down.
was exceedingly good, though he could When Jacob did find his tongue, not exactly comprehend ir: but when however, he answered her much in Peter Brown answered to the name of the same style; and added, that he George Syms, and George Syms rehad a great mind to lay a stick about sponded to that of Peter Brown, he her back. “ What! strike a woman! was somewhat more bewildered, and Eh-would you, you coward ?" and could not help thinking that his guests immediately she darted forward, and, had drunk quite enough. He, howe as she termed it, put her mark upon ever, satisfied himself with the reflechim with her nails, whereby his rubi- tion that that was no business of his, cund countenance was greatly disfi- and that “a man must live by his gured, and his patience entirely ex- trade.” With the exception of these hausted: but Sally was too nimble, apparent occasional cross purposes, and made her escape up stairs. Só conversation went on as well as could the landlord of the Red Lion, having be expected under existing circumgot rid of the two mad or drunken stances, and the three unfortunate women, very philosopbically resolved husbands sat and talked, and drank, to sit down for half an hour by him- and smoked, till tired nature cried, self, to think over the business, while “hold, enough !" he took his “night-cap.” He had In the meanwhile, Mrs George scarcely brewed the ingredients, when Syms, who had been much scandalized he was roused by a rap at the window; at the appearance of Peter Brown beand, in answer to his enquiry of neath her bedroom window, where"who's there?" he recognised the voice into he vehemently solicited admitof his neighbour, George Syms, and, tance, altogether in the most public of course, immediately admitted him; and unblushing manner; she, poor for George was a good customer, and, soul ! lay, for an hour, much disturbconsequently, welcome at all hours. ed in her mind, and pondering on the "My good friend," said Syms, “I extreme impropriety of Mr Brown's daresay you are surprised to see me conduct, and its probable consequences. here at this time of night; but I can't She then began to wonder where her get into my own house. My wife is own goodman could be staying so late; drunk, I believe." -"And so is mine," and, after much tossing and tumbling quoth the landlord;" so, sit you down to and fro, being withal a woman of a and make yourself comfortable. Hang warm imagination, she discerned, in me if I think I'll go to bed to-night!” her mind's eye, divers scenes, which “No more will I," said Syms; I've might probably be then acting, and in
which George Syms appeared to be
“ Mind what they read in godly books, taking a part that did not at all meet
And not take people by their looks ;" her approbation. Accordingly she arose, and throwing her garments for they would not be pleased to be about her, with a degree of elegant judged in that manner themselves; negligence, for which the ladies of and the poor fellows in question have, Stockwell have long been celebrated, generally, been travelling all night, she incontinently went to the house not in a mail-coach, but walking over of Peter Brown, at whose bedroom rough roads, and assisting their weary window she perceived a head. With and over-worked cavalry up and down the intuitive knowledge of costume a succession of steep hills. possessed by ladies in general, she in- In consequence of this practice, the stantly, through the murky night, dis- two forsaken matrons encountered covered that the cap on the said head Moses Brown, a first cousin of Peter's, was of the female gender; and there who had just dispatched his waggon. fore boldly went up thereunto, and er on a commercial enterprise of the said, “ Mrs Brown, have you seen any description just alluded to. Moses thing of my husband ?"_" What !” had heard voices as he passed the Lion; exclaimed Mrs Brown, “ haven't you and being somewhat of a curious turn, seen him? Well, I'd have you see
had discovered, partly by listening, after him pretty quickly, for he was and partly by the aid of certain cracks, here, just where you stand now, more holes, and ill-fitting joints in the shutthan two hours ago, talking all man- ters, who the gentlemen were whose per of nonsense to me, and calling me good-will and pleasure it was to vex bis dear Betsy, so that I was quite the dull ear of night” with their unashamed of him. But, howsomever, timely mirth. Moses, moreover, was you needn't be uneasy about me, for a meek man, and professed to be exyou know I wouldn't do any thing tremely sorry for the two good women improper on no account. but have you who had two such roaring, rattling seen any thing of iny Peter?"_“I blades for their husbands : for, by this believe I have,” replied Mrs Syms, and time, the bacchanalians, having eximmediately related the scandalous hausted their conversational powers, conduct of the smith beneath her win- had commenced a series of songs. So, dow; and then the two ladies agreed under his guidance, the ladies recon. to sally forth in search of their two noitred the drunken two through the “worthless, good-for-nothing, drunk- cracks, holes, and ill-fitting joints en husbands."
aforesaid. Now it is a custom with those who Poor George Syms was, by this time, get their living by carrying coal, when regularly “done up," and dosing in they are aboui to convey it to any con- his chair; but Peter Brown, the smith, siderable distance, to commence their was still in his glory, and singing, in journey at such an hour as to reach no small voice, à certain song, which the first turnpike a little after mid. was by no means fitting to be chanted night, that they may be enabled to go in the ear of his spouse. As for Jaout and return home within the twen. cob Philpot, the landlord, he sat erect ty-four hours, and thus save the ex« in his chair, with the dogged resolu. pense of the toll, which they would tion of a man who feels that he is at otherwise have to pay twice. This is his post, and is determined to be “no the secret of those apparently lazy fel. starter.” At this moment Sally made lows, whom the Bath ladies and'dan her appearance in the room, in the dies sometimes view with horror and same sort of dishabille as that worn by surprise, sleeping in the day-time, in, the ladies at the window, and comon, or under carts, benches, or wag- menced a very unceremonious ha. gons. It hath been our lot, when in rangue to George Syms and Peter the city of waters, to hear certain of Brown, telling them that they ought these theoretical “ political econo
to be ashamed of themselves, not to mists” remark somewhat harshly on have been at home hours ago ; " as this mode of taking a siesta. We for this fellow,” said she, giving poor should recommend them henceforth Philpot a tremendous box on the car, to attend to the advice of Peter Pindar, “I'll make him remember it, I'll warand
rant.” Jacob hereupon arose in great wrath ; but ere he could ascertain pre- at seeing and hearing, as he imagined, cisely the exact centre of gravity, Sally his own wife act and speak in this settled his position by another cuff, shameful manner before his face, may which made his eyes twinkle, and sent he“ more easily imagined than descrihim reeling back into his seat. Seeing bed;" but his genuine wife, who bethese things, the ladies without began, longed, as he conceived, to the drunken as fox.hunters say, to "give tongue," man, hung so close about his neck and vociferously demanded admit that he found it impossible to escape. tance; whereupon Mrs Philpot put George Syms, however, was utterly her head out from a window above, and unable to rise, andsat, with an idiota told them that she would be down and like simper upon his face, as if giving let them in in a minute, and that it was himself up io a pleasing delusion, a great pity gentlemen should ever get while his wife was patting, and coaxtoo much beer : and then she popped ing, and wheelling himn in every way, in her head, and in less than the stie to induce him to get upon his legs and pulated time, ran down stairs and try to go home. At length, as he 'aopened the street door; and so the cantly stared about, hecaught a glimpse wives were admitted to their deline of Mrs Brown, whom, to save repetiquent husbands ; but meek Moses tion, we may as well call his teetorum Brown went his way, having a wife at wife, hanging about his neighbour's home, and having no desire to abide neck. This sight effectually roused the storm which he saw was coming. him, and before Mrs Syms was aware
Peter Brown was, as we said before, of bis intention, he started up and ran in high feather; and, therefore, when furiously at Peter Brown, who receis he saw Mrs Syms, whom he (acting ved him much in the manner that under the teetotum delusion) mistook might be expected, with a salutation for the wife of his own particular bo- in “ the bread. basket,” which sent som, he gaily accosted her, “Ah, old him reeling on the floor. As a matter girl!- Is it you? What! you've come of course, Mrs Syms took the part of to your senses, eh? Slept it off, I sup- her fallen husband, and put her mark pose. Well, well; never mind ! For. upon Mr Peter Brown; and, as a matgive and forget, I say. I never saw you ter of course, Mrs Peter Brown took so before, I will say that for you, how the part of her spouse, and commenever. So, give us a buss, old girl ! and ced an attack on Mrs Syms. let us go home;" and without cere- In the meanwhile Sally had not been mony he began to suit the action to idle. After chastening Jacob Philpot the word, whereupon the real Mrs to her heart's content, she, with the Brown flew to Mrs Syms' assistance, assistance of Mrs Philpot and Philip and, by hanging round Peter's neck, the hostler, who was much astonished enabled her friend to escape. Mrs to hear her "order the mistress about,” Syms, immediately she was released, conveyed him up stairs, where he was began to shake up her drowsy George, deposited, as he was, upon a spare who, immediately he opened his eyes, bed, to take his chance," as she said, scarcely knowing where he was, mar- "and sleep off his drunken fit." Sally velled much to find himself thus hane then returned to the scene of strife dled by, as he supposed, his neigh- and desired the “company” to go bour's wife: but with the maudlin about their business, for she should cunning of a drunken man, he thought not allow any thing more to be callit was an excellent joke, and therefore ed for ” that night. Having said this threw his arms round her, and began with an air of authority, she left the to hug her with a wondrous and un- room; and though Mrs Syms and Mrs usual degree of fondness, whereby the Brown were greatly surprised thereat, poor woman was much affected, and they said nothing, inasmuch as they called him her dear George, and said were somewhat ashamed of their own she knew it was not his fault, but appearance, and had matters of more "all along of that brute," pointing to importance than Sally's eccentricity Peter Brown, that he had drunk hiin. to think of, as Mrs Syms had been self into such a state. “Come along, cruelly wounded in hier new shawl, my dear,” she concluded, “let us go which she hail imprudlently thrown and leave him-I don't care if I never over her shoulders; and the left side of see him any more.”
the lace on Mrs Brown's cap had been The exasperation of Peter Brown, torn away in the recent conflict. Mrs Philpot, enacting her part as the tee- and, after due obeisance made to his totum Sally of the night, besought the respectable-looking guest, took the liladies to go home, and leave the gen- berty of telling his spouse that he tlemen to sleep where they were, i.e. should insist upon her sending Sally upon the floor, till the morning: for away, for that he had never been so Peter Brown, notwithstanding the mauled since he was born; but Mrs noise he had made, was as incapable of Philpot told him that he ought to be standing as the quieter George Syms. ashamed of himself, and she was very So the women dragged them into se glad the girl had spirit enough to proparate corners of the room, placed pils tect herself, and that she wouldn't lows under their heads, and threw a part with her on any account. She blanket over each, and then left them then referred to what had passed in to repose. The two disconsolate wives the back kitchen, taking to herself the each forth with departed to her own credit of having inflicted that punishlonely pillow, leaving Mrs Philpot par- ment which had been administered by ticularly puzzled at the deference with the hands of Sally. which they had treated her, by calle Jacob Philpot was now more than ing ber“Madam," as if she was mise ever convinced that his wife had been tress of the house.
paying her respects to a huge stone Leaving them all to their slumbers, boitle of rum which stood in the clo. we must now say a word or two about set; and he “made bold" to tell her the teetotum, the properties of which his thoughts, whereat Mrs Philpot were to change people's characters, thought fit to put herself into a trespinning the mind of one man or wo- mendous passion, although she could man into the body of another. The not help fearing that, perhaps, she duration of the delusion, caused by might have taken a drop too much of this droll game of the old gentleman's, something, for she was unable, in any depended upon the length of time other manner, to account for having spent in the diversion; and five mie slept in the garret. nutes was the specific period for cau- The elderly stranger now took upon sing it to last till the next sunrise or himself to recommend mutual forgive. sunset after the change had been ef. ness, and stated that it was really quite fected. Therefore, when the morning pardonable for any one to take a little came, Mrs Philpot and Sally, and too much of such very excellent ale as Peter Brown and George Syms, all that at the Red Lion. “For my own came to their senses. The two latter part,” said he, “I don't know whewent quietly home, with aching heads ther I didn't get a trifle beyond the and very confused recollections of the mark myself last night. But I hope, preceding evening; and shortly after madam, I did not annoy you." their departure Mrs Philpot awoke in “Oh dear, no, not at all, sir," regreat astonishment at finding herself plied Mrs Philpot, whose good-humour in the garret; and Sally was equally was restored at this compliment paid surprised, and much alarmed, at find. to the good cheer of the Lion, “ you ing herself in her mistress's room, from were exceeding pleasant, I assure you, which she hastened in quick time, lea- just enough to make you funny; we ving all things in due order.
had a hearty laugh about the teetoThe elderly stranger made his ap- tum, you know."—“Ah !” said the pearance soon after, and appeared to stranger, “ I guess how it was then. I have brushed up his shabby genteel always introduce the teetotum when I clothes, for he really looked much want to be merry." more respectable than on the preceding Jacob Philpot expressed a wish to evening. He ordered his breakfast, understand the game, and after spinand sat down thereto very quietly, and ning it two or three times, proposed to asked for the newspaper, and pulled take his chance, for five minutes, with out his spectacles, and began to con the stranger ; but the latter, laughing the politics of the day much at his heartily, would by no means agree ease, no one having the least suspicion with the proposition, and declared that that he and his teetotum had been the it would be downright cheating, as he cause of all the uproar at the Red was an overmatch for any beginner. Lion. In due time the landlord made “However,” he continued," as soon as his appearance, with sundry marks of any of your neighbours come in, I'll violence upon his jolly countenance, put you in the way of it, and we'll