The Miseries of Human Life  

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The Miseries of Human Life was written by James Beresford (1764–1840) and published in 1806, first as a single volume and then as an expanded two-volume edition later that year. Illustrated by George Cruikshank, it catalogued "in excruciating detail" the "petty outrages, minor humiliations, and tiny discomforts that make up everyday human existence". The Miseries were written as a series of dialogues between Mr Samuel Sensitive and Mr Timothy Testy, in which they catalogue the daily "injuries, insults, disappointments and treacheries" of everyday life. Mrs Testy makes occasional appearances to offer "Supplementary Sighs" from a feminine perspective.

The Gentleman's Magazine of May 1841 described The Miseries as "an extraordinary success".

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.334 I £06


Children of misfortune, wheresoever found, and whatsoever enduring, — ye who, arrogating to yourselves a kind of sovereignty in suffering, maintain, that all the throbs of torture, all the pungency of sorrow, all the bitterness of desperation, are your own — who are so torn and spent with the storms and struggles of mortality, as to faint, or freeze, even at the personation of those ruined Wretches, whose Stories wash the stage of tragedy with tears and blood — approach a more disastrous scene ! Take courage to be- hold a Pageant of calamities, which calls you to renounce your sad monopoly. Dispassion- ately ponder all your worst of woes, in turn with these ; then hasten to distil from the com- parison an opiate for your fiercest pangs; and learn to recognise the lenity of your Destinies,

[ vi]

if they have spared you from the lightest of those mightier and more grinding agonies, which claim to be emphatically characterized as u The Miseries of Human Life ;" — miseries, which excruciate the minds and bodies of none more insupportably, than of those He- roes in anguish, those writhing Martyrs to the plagues and frenzies of vexation, whose trem- bling hands must shortly cease to trace the names of


  • The above address, written by Mr. Sensitive, was heartily

subscribed by his pitiable Partner in the Firm of Misery.



Introduction of Mr. Samuel Sensitive and Mr. Timothy Testy to the Reader's Ac- quaintance - - Page 1


Miseries of the Country - 20


Miseries of Games, Sports, &c. and of Do- mestic Arts and Recreations - 42


Miseries of London - - 6l


Miseries of public Places of Entertainment 83


Miseries of Travelling - 9$



Miseries of Social Life - Page 129

DIALOGUE THE EIGHTH, Miseries of Reading and Writing - 169


Miseries of the Table, &c. - 183


Miseries Domestic ; including the Dressing

Room and Bed Chamber - - 207

DIALOGUE THE ELEVENTH. Miseries Personal, or of the Body - 257


Miseries Miscellaneous - 281



DIALOGUE THE FIRST. Testy and Sensitive.


Well, Mr. Testy, and how are things going with you ?

Testy. How! — why just as they always have gone — downwards— backwards — crook- edty — spirally- — any how but upwards, or straight forwards ; — and, 'faith, if I may judge from the ruefulness of your visage, neighbour Sensitive, your affairs are not moving in a much better direction.

Sen. Belter !— O, Mr. Testy ! if there be any worse, you have only to suppose it for me. — But you, my friend ! — you are, happily,


of a hardy and contentious make; and, turbid as the stream of jour life may occasionally be, it presently works itself clear again by its own commotion ; — while mine presents a lan- guid, yet a fretting current, with just enough of agitation to collect a perpetual sediment, which it has not, afterwards, the strength to precipitate, or disperse ! — In plainer lan- guage, Mr. Testy, I strongly suspect that, if we should ever come to be dissected, you would furnish the phenomenon of an human body, in which the nerves have been omitted ; while my operator would, perhaps, discover little else. — I have a strange curiosity upon this subject — could I venture to propose, dear Sir, for the good of mankind, that we should draw up a sort of codicil to our wills, so as just to leave ourselves to Mr. Cline, to be.....

Tes. — Carved and served up to his pupils, 1 suppose ! — thank ye, Sir, — infinitely obliged to you, upon my life, for so readily letting me into your benevolent scheme — though I can't say, somehow, that it seems to inspire me ! — no — you are very good — very, indeed

  • — but really — with a proper sense of the

obligation all along — I seem as if I should be quite as well satisfied to xemaii) as I am, as


long as I can hold together. — Why, what the D — 1 is all this " gvpsy-j argon" about nerves and fibres, and I know not what, which is gaining head upon us every hour ? — Nerves! — why, what can you do more, with all your nerves to help you, than live in a frenzy ?— xmd what do / do less f

Sen. Compose yourself, Mr. Testy, while I proceed to tell you that your troubles are made of matter, and mine of spirit ; that the

body is a block, and the soul but, " cani-

mus surdis ;" — what do you know, or guess of all those finer disquietudes, those quiver- ing susceptibilities, that feverish fastidious- ness, and those qualmish, recoiling disgusts, which constitute at once the pride and the plague of this gossamer frame of mine? — 1, indeed, by the painful privilege of my nature, am, as it were, ambidexter in misery ; being no less exquisitely alive to your grosser an- noyances, or tangible tribulations, than to those subtler and more elegant agonies, which are my own peculiar inheritance; for the nerves, Sir, holding, by a sort of amphibious tenure, both to mind and body, acquaint me with the whole circle of dissatisfactions. —


Let it be your comfort, then, that what you lose in

Tes. Death and fury ! what is all this about? — One thing, Master Sensitive, you have just now taught me — and that is, that, if nerves are necessary to a boiling fit of rage, I must have my full quota of them ; — yes, Sir, and in that case, after all your flattering distinctions between your carcase and mine, I would engage to cut up as nervous as you can do — though, perhaps, I may'nt carry my anxiety for the actual experiment altogether so far : — but be that as it may — I would fain be made to see how the body, which you have settled to be a block, and otherwise so carefully parted from the mind, is to carry on the extensive business of discontent, which you do not deny that it has to manage, en* tirely on its own bottom.

Sen, But, my good Sir.. k ..

Tes. Nay, nay, I have not done with you yet; — if you, and your mind, and your nerves, are such fast cronies as to be absolutely all in all to one another, how come ye, pray, to be so wonderfully interested in the fate of your Jlesk, as you have more than half confessed,


among you, that you are? — Why, if I might presume to try my hand at an opinion, with" out a mind, I should say, that till Mind, afore- said, can shake off this unaccountable weak- ness, it may as well, at once, give up the double-refined fancy of always leaving poor Body in the basket. —

I think, Mr. Samuel, I may now be bold enough to suspect, with all my fleshy lumber about me, that our grieving implements, on both sides, are made pretty nearly of the same stuff, be it what it will — unless I am quite abroad still; and if so, I will humbly wait while you are so kind as to clarify my under- standing.

Serf, No, Mr. Testy ; I have heard you with penitent ears, and beg leave to resign the contest : I cannot but perceive that, in your present emotions, there is, at least, as much of spiritual, as of material ; and so, I freely allow you to share with me (though still in an unequal proportion) the Empire of Misery — especially as I feel that the loss of your friendship, which I seem in great danger of incurring, and which would strip me of my only remaining solace, — that of sociality in sorrow and complaint, — would " leave me


poor indeed." — But I expect that you will concede to me, in your turn, Mr. Testy, that nerves are nerves, after all.

Tes. Aye, aye — a fair compromise enougli ; — and now that my heat is a little over, 'Squire, your candour shall drag out a con- fession, which your sauciness had locked up ; viz. that though I am reasonably certain that

1 have a mind, I am, I know not how, still more feelingly satisfied that I have a body : — with you, I believe, it may go the other wa y ? y ou shrink most, perhaps, from a hard word, and I from a hard knock ; — will that do for you ?

Sen. Exactly ; — if happiness, dear Sir, could find me out, I should be truly happy ir* this accurate adjustment of our claims. —

But our work is not yet over, 1 must remind you ; other claimants remain to be silenced, before we can hope to sit down easy under our afflictions. — There exists, Mr. Testy, and has im memorial iy existed, a set of Usurpers, who assume to themselves a prescriptive and exclusive right of suffering, and complaining, upon the strength of what they choose to call the greater evils of life, whether bodily or mental : — of the former kind, they will


confidently quote you hurricanes, shipwreck, sickness, &c. &c. and of the latter, injuries, insults, disappointments, treacheries, and so forth. — But what are all these, or worse than these, in the balance with our perplexities, and alarms, at which they presume to sneer, under the nick- names of rubs, bores, stezcs, takings, Sec. ? — for let us inspect, a little more narrowly, the state of our separate preten- sions : — and first, with respect to th^ir par- ticular cast of Curses, — ought not their ac- knowledged rarity to be honestly set off against their weight? as with regard to ours, — sup- posing (but not granting) each, by itself, to be specifically light, shall not their number, and frequency, entitle them to be considered as collectively heavy r — just as, in disputation, the argument cumulative, when it has been fairly heard to an end, is admitted to be at least as pressing as the argument solitary. Such, I say, is the only equitable, or indeed, possible course, for enabling the contending murmurers to settle the comparative tonnage of their minds. — The tomahawk, or the scalp- ingknife, whatever other charms may be denied them, are at least recommended by the dispatch with which they perform their


services ; — one violent visit, and they are away for ever ; — but thorns, pins, needles, (and I would add, tongues,) are always in the way, and always pointed ; noi is there ever want- ing some industrious body at your elbow, who is, at all times, in cheerful readiness to stick them.

Thus much for illustration: — I will next proceed to a more general and comprehensive display of our respective pretensions to the palm of sorrow, and it will soon be seen to which side victory inclines.

And, first, for those of the enemy :—

Tes. Aye, a\"-S and lay it on thick, I beg, while your hand is in ; or 1 may chance to fall asleep in the middle of your harangue, being not over-fond of long speeches, unless they are well salted and peppered. — Come, push on !

Sen. Be under no alarm, Sir ; I am not in a lenient humour, believe me: — to return* then, to these mighty mourners, with their "greater evils," — these self- crowned con- querors in the contests of Despair, — what are the wounds they have to shew ? where are the arguments by which they hope to prop their tottering title to a triumph, and win from us


the honours of perpetual precedence in the ranks of woe ? — Many of their boasted tra- verses will be found to transform themselves into benefits ; as I will evidence in a few in- stances already quoted, and as I might easily do in more :— " a Hurricane/' when the first flurry of its arrival is over, retires as briskly as it advanced ; and if it has removed a few crazy houses, it gratifies their late inhabitants with a valuable opportunity of rebuilding them, on corrected principles both of strength and taste. — u Shipwreck" is not unfrequently found to be an agent, (an ungentle one — I would not deny it,) for the Humane Society, by saving the sufferers from drowning. —

Tes. Well done, my boy ! all's w r ell so far; — but how for Sickness? — For really, after all, I'm half afraid there's no fun in a fever!

Sen. Surely, Sir, — is it possible you should not have observed that sickness is yet more lavish of accommodations, which it even im- proves, with its own improving strength : at its maturer periods, more especially, it con- fers unlimited leisure for reflection, by the soothing stillness, and unbroken privacy which is enjoyed ; while it totally exonerates from the toils of business, or study, and even from


the lightest cares of a family : — it guarantees from the pernicious consequences of turbulent exercises, by the horizontal posture which it unceasingly prescribes : — it bridles a raving disposition, by bringing its owner acquainted with retiiement, in the most unqualified of all its forms : — it absorbs disturbing recollections in the still livelier and more awakening in- terests of the passing moment ; as well as sus- pends the activity of the anti-social passions, by attracting the attention of the whole man to his own personal sensations:— it befriends temperance, by the infantine simplicity of diet which it introduces: — it wards off the varied injuries of the open air, by requiring the party to inhale, a thousand times over, the cherishing, equable, and safely- treasured atmosphere of a chamber : — it wholesomely instils the advantages of frugality, by its ex- hausting influence on the purse of the pa- tient; and, as the crown of all its indulgences,, it attests the watchful alacrity of friendship, by imposing a constant and absolute depend- ance upon the humanity of others, for every the most minute article, whether of comfort or necessity. So much for the mock-miseries of our


enemies, of the coarser class. As for their nob/er order of calamities —

Tes. That's right, Sensitive, follow them up! — whining dogs! don't leave 'em a foot of misery to stand upon; — they deserve a few of our sort of sorrows, if 'twere only to teach them the difference between hard and soft.

Sen. You break the chain of my thoughts, Mr. Testy : I was going to sa} r , if I recol- lect, that even with respect to their higher class of calamities — insults, disappointments, treacheries, and all that family of mental mortifications, upon which they delight to dwell — if my nerves could speak, they would deliver such an oration, under each corres- ponding division of our catalogue, as, I doubt not, would, on an open trial of the rival titles,. be strong enough to turn the Judge —

Tes. Yes, and starve out the most obsti- nate Pig of the Jury.

Sen. Were J, however, employed to lead the cause on our side, I might, perhaps, con- tent myself by citing in this part, the ce- lebrated sentence pronounced by another Orator, on another occasion, — with no other alteration than that of reversing the majority


of its verbs : — " Nam camera neque temporum sunt, neque setatum omnium, neque locorum; at haec studia 1 adolescentiam carpunt, senec- tutem affiigunt ; secundas xesfoedant, adversis perfugium ac solatium adimunt ; excruciant domi, necnon impediunt foris ; pernoctant nobiscum, peregrinantur, rusticantur." Cicero.

Tes. No, no; give it them in plain English, pray, while you are about it; when a man is in earnest, he always talks in his mother- tongue ; besides, quoting from a dead lan- guage looks a little like skulking, and that's not at all in my way, as you know — and so I bar Latin, mind ; or if you must play the pe- dant, I'll be at your back, and keep translat- ing at them, as you spout away. —

Sen. Had you heard me patiently to an end, Sir, you would have found that I had done with Cicero, and was proceeding to de- fend our cause in our own language ; as, with your permission, I will now do : —

Cast then but a glance on man, and man's addictions ; or look at his stations and aber- rations, as delineated in our general map of

Studia; i. e- studies in the school of misfortune.


the world; and what will you discover?— u Horresco referens !" — an universal wilder- ness of blanks, or blots ! — What, my poor Sir, are the senses, but five yawning inlets to hourly and momentary molestations ? — • What is your House, while you are in it, but a prison filled with nests of little reptiles — of insect-annoyances — which torment you the more, because they cannot kill you? and what is the same house, when you are out of it, but a shelter, out of reach, from the hos- tilities of the skies? — What is the Country, but a sandy desart at one season, or a swal- lowing quagmire at another? — What the Town, but an upper Tartarus of smoke, and din ? — What are Carriages, but cages upon wheels? — What are Riding-horses, but pur- chased enemies, whom you pamper into strength, as well as inclination, to kick your braids out ? — What are Theatres, but licensed repositories for ill-told lies, or stifling shambles for the voluntary sacrifice of time, health, money, and morals ? — A Senatorial Debate, (when you have fought your way to it,) what is it but a national Main of Cocks ? — What are Games, Sports, and Exercises, but devices of danger and fatigue to the performers, and


schools of surgery to the practitioner who may happen to look on ? — What are Society, and Solitude, but, each, an alternate hiding- place from the persecutions of the other ?-«-* Libraries ! — What are they but the sepulchres of gaiety, or conservatories for the seedlings of disease? — Nay, to descend still lower, what are the indispensable processes of Eating and Drinking, but practical lectures on the art of spoiling food ? — or what even the familiar operations of Dressing and Undressing, but stinging remembrancers of the privileged na- kedness of the savage? — Which, now, my friend, is " the worse," and which " the better reason ?"

Tes. — Bravo! bravo! Sensitive— I see the hopes of our enemies already in the dust!— Yes, yes : it is plain enough that when the trial comes on, I may safely leave you to flourish, while J fume ; — I must beg, though, Mr, Orator, that when the trial does comeonj you won't take up the whole of your argument with spirit, fibre, and feeling ; but make a little room for honest matter; and do the senses, limbs, and othef coarse materials of humanity, the honour of paying them a little flattering attention ; — as, indeed, I am glad


to observe that you have done, in your grand survey just finished. — So much, then, for ge- nerals : as to particulars, we shall find no great difficulty in gathering, and sorting, our single specimens: — *Q yes! a store-house of " miseries," or a chest of" groans," might be

soon filled^ and

Sen. Admirably imagined ! Mr. Testy I your idea had entirely escaped me, and I em- brace it with both my arms. We shall not have far to ramble, as you seem to say, in botanizing for weeds, nettles, and thistles ; let us, from this time pursue the search ; and at our next meeting, compare; and house, the first pro- duce of our heavy harvest*

Tes. With all my heart ; and the more so, as our pursuit may be carried on (to use the words of those rascals the quack-doctors, who by this very bah, by the bye, have tickled me out of a good constitution) U without loss of time, or hindrance of business ;" for we have only to drudge on in our common course, with our minds, and our eyes open, as we walk or ride along, and the main business will take ■care of itself.

Sen. Well, then, Mr. Testy, only one thing more : — as the " lucidus ordo" is confessedly


of essential advantage, in every investigation, allow me to suggest what appears to me the properest method of proceeding; viz. that at every subsequent interview, from this time till we have completed our undertaking, we should bring forward some one general head of wretchedness, for separate discussion ; producing, respectively, such items of an- guish, only as may be reducible to that spe- cific class of " miseries/' — We are, now, unfortunately for us both — and yet where should we have been more fortunate r — We are now, I say, in the Country ; — be the coun- try, then, the scene of our first pilgrimage; and let Rural Tortures, if you see no objection, have the pre-eminence at our next unhappy meeting.

Tes. They shall, Sir, they shall ; and no fear of missing them, I'll engage: — for my own part, I have some pestilent affairs upon my hands, that will bury me in the country a long- time ; and, I doubt not, " miseries" of all sorts and sizes will turn up as plentifully a$ the dust, or mire, under my feet.

And so, having now pretty well settled all

our preliminaries, I was going to say,

farewell ;— but that would have been, in some


sort, u against the canon laws of our founda- tion," you know.

Sen. Alas, it would ! — and on the same cruel account, / will sink the insulting cere- mony of wishing you — a good morning. Let me rather say,

Go ; count thy way with sighs 3 — I mine with Groans." Shak.

Tes. Aye, it may pass well enough as a quo- tation ; otherwise, by rights, yon should have taken the sighs, and given me the Groans. — And so, your humble servant. — (Goes and re- turns) Ho! Sensitive! Sensitive! — You know my addled-head : — one thing I forgot;— if we are to meet upon this new scheme of ours, there is a third person who must posi- tively be of the party ; or else, we must be " off bv consent. " You must know that I have just called away my lubberly boy Ned from Eton, at an hour's notice, though he had but another month to stay, as it was. for what do you think ? — Old Busby, there, (I forget the fellow's right name — the head pe- dagogue, however — ) has thought proper to tell me that my boy is half mad ! though, for all I can see, the whole offence is that he is a


little wild, or «p, in his way of reading ; and, by running from one book to another, and dashing from this part of the volume to that, has stuffed his head with more words than he knows well how to manage ; and so, by dint of a good memory, without quite brains enough to ballast it, he flirts out his crude scraps of authors upon all occasions, without stopping to think where he is, or who are his hearers.

Sen. A singular propensity, it must be owned.

Tes. Yes,—- bat singularity is not madness, I hope, or I should be in the same scrape, my- self; for, as to his quoting fits, he drew them from me, I believe ; I have had them upon me, off and on, ever since I was thus high ; and Ned, the impudent dog, dares to tell me that he brings in his Parallels, as he calls them, as much to the purpose as 1 do. Be this as it may, I wink at his cacoethes quo- fundi;— but, to cure him of a few other wild tri«ks, which I don't like quite so well, I shall finish off his education myself; and have, this very morning, taken an oath, that I won't trust him out of my sight, a single moment, for three years to come. — So, yon see, if you can put up with Ned's company, and odd


ways, why, I shall be very ready to meet you, that's all : — what say you ?

Sen. O pray, be under no anxiety about me, Mr. Testy ; the company of a son of yours, Sir, cannot possibly distress me ; and, with respect to his turn for quotation, it may serve to beguile our attention, occasionally, from the detail of our sorrows. Besides, I am, at certain times, by no means, uninfected with the mania, myself. — With my best respects to Mr. Edward Testy, then, your most obe- dient*




" Hinc exaiidiri Gemitu$."—Virg. MISERIES OF THE COUNTRY.

Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive,


W ell, Mr. Testy ; here I am, punctual as a lover to our wretched assignation, and little doubting that you have found the country quite as fertile in felicities as I have; — What, my dear Sir, is the result of your rambles ?

Tes. What?— Why, that I shall, hence- forth, leave to Mrs. C. Smith, the whole ho- hour and pleasure of trying u Rambles farther :" — " O rus ! quando te aspiciam ?" indeed ! — Whj r , never again while I live — and that won't be a great while, I guess, if I continue


to rnslicate much longer — notwithstanding the " toughness of my texture/' upon which you were once pleased to compliment me.— And, pray, what have you done ? — or rather, what have you suffered? — though, in truth, " miserable, doing, or suffering," seems "'to be ; our standing motto.

Sen. My melancholy memoranda will but too fully answer your question ; — for, in pur-, suance of our plan, I have, in everj' instance, faithfully committed to paper the passing perplexity of the moment.

Tes. And I. — Come, then ! — let us at once produce our memorabilia, and proceed to exchange their contents ? — Give me leave to begin.

Sen. Willingly, Sir ; and the more so, as I shall thereby enjoy {enjoy !) a momentary respite from the lashes of memory.

TVs. (hastily running over his papers.) Thank you, thank you ; — aye, here they ai v e, biting, and stinging, wherever I set my finger!— Well, well! no matter-— -to business. I begin, I see, with some of the delights of walking in the country : — what say you, then, to


Groan 1. (Testy.)

The sole of the shoe torn down in walking, and obliging you to lift your foot, and limp along, like. a pig in a string: — no knife in your pocket, nor house within reach I

2. (T.)

The boot continually taking in gravel ; while,, for a time, you try to calm your feelings by be- lieving it to be only hard dirty and vainly hope that it will presently relieve you by pulverising.

3. (T.)

Suddenly rousing yourself from the ennui of a solitary walk by striking your toe (with a corn at the end of it) full and hard, against the sharp corner ©f a fixed flint : — pumps.

Ned Tes. Nay, father, such a kick as that would pay you for the pain by driving out the corn :

— „_« segetem ab radicibus imis

Expulsam erueret." Virg.

Sen. Nay. if you are for corns, listen to we:


4. (Sensitive.) Walking all day, in very hot weather, in a pair of shoes far too right both in length and bFeadth : — corns on every toe.

Tes. There you beat me, to be sure ; — but it is the only triumph yon will have, and so make the most of it. — Beat what follows, if you can :

5. (T.)

When you have trusted your foot on a frozen rut, — the ice proving treacherous, and bedding you in slush, to the hip.

6. (T.)

Walking through a boundless field of fresh- ploughed clay-land ; and carrying home, at each foo-t, an un desired sample of the soil, of about ten or twelve pounds weight.

Ned Tes. Ah ! this is, osDryden soys, —

ci A trifling sum of misery New added to the Jout of thy account I" —

7. (S.)

Stooping, tearing, floundering, a-nd bleeding your


way, through a boggy, briary copse, with here and there a. rushy pool, which takes }Ou by surprise; so that you are more and more entangled and en^ gulphed as you advance, till you are, after all, ne- cessitated to turn back, and encore all > our suffer- ings ; and so emerge at last, looking like a half murdered beggar : —

Ned Tes. " Quern circum, limus niger, et defor- mis arundo,

tardaque palus inamabilis unda

Alligat, et novies Sticks interfusa coercent." Virg*

8. (T.)

Walking obliquely up a steep hill, when the ground is what the vulgar call greasy.

Ned Tes. Sad, work !—" Labi tur et.labe- tur l"—Hor.

9. (S.)

Feeling your foot slidder over the back of a toad, which you took for a stepping-stone, in your dark evening walk —

" Pressit humi nitens, trepidusque repente

refugit !" . ; v. : « • . ;.'


In~like manner, crushing snails, beetles, slugs, &c. whether you will or not.

Tes. Bad enough, Sir, bad enough ; — but this, and all the specimens of bad footing we have yet mentioned are carpeting, compared with what follows, as you'll soon confess : —

10. (T.)

While you are out with a walking-party, after heavy rains — one shoe suddenly sucked off by the boggy clay ; and then, in making a long and des- perate stretch, (which fails,) with the hope of reco- vering it, leaving the other in the same predicament : — the second stage of ruin is that of standing, or rather tottering, in blank despair, with both feet planted, ancle-deep, in the quagmire. — The last (I had almost said the dying) scene of the tragedy, — that of deliberately cramming first one, and then the other clogged polluted foot into its choaked-up shoe, after having scavengered your hands and gloves in slaving to drag up each, separately, out of its deep bed, and in this state proceeding on your walk — is too dreadful for representation. The crown of the catastrophe is, that each of the party floundering in his, or her, own gulph, is utterly


disabled from, assisting* or being assisted by, the rest. — =

Sen. " O, horrible ! O, horrible ! most hor" rible!" — If, however, it may afford you any consolation, under the recollection of a cala- mity so dreadful, to hear an accurate des- cription of it from the master-hand of Tacitus, attend, while I recite it : " Miscelur operan- lium clamor-'— cuncta pariter adversa — locus uligine profunda, idem ad gradum instabilis, procedentibus lubricus ; corpora neque librare

inter undas poterant... .Non vox, et

niutui hortatus juvabant : nihil strenuus ar> ignavo, sapiens a prudenti, consilia a casu differre; — cuncta pari violentia involveban- tur!" x — and now, my friend, let me relieve

Confusion and clamour prevail among the labour- ing victims—all things conspiring equally against them ; — the place a deep swamp, treacherous to the foot, and more and more siippery as they advance ; neither could they balance their bodies amidst the boggy

marsh The voice of mutual encouragement was

heard in vain — All distinction lost between the stre- nuous and the tardy, the wise and the weak, circum- spection and casualty ; — all were indiscriminately involved in the same overpowering calamity !


your mind, by a meaner, though by no means a tolerable misery.—

11. (S.) Pushing through the very narrow path of a very long field of very high corn, immediately after a very heavy rain ; — nankeens.

Tes. Talking of rain —

T2. (T.)

Setting out, on a fine morning, for a review — and, on your arrival at the ground, violent rain coming on, and continuing without one moment's intermis- sion during the whole of the spectacle; just at the close of which, the sun peeps out from his hiding- place, and laughs in your face.

Sen. So much for a wet review ; but I can more than match you with a dry one ; — ecce sign urn : —

13. (S.)

Attending, on foot, a review of cavalry, on a deep sandy plain, in a furious wind ; which ushers the dust into your eyes from every quarter of the compass to which you turn for refuge — not to


mention the costume of a Miller, in which the said wind and dust agree that you shall appear.

It was at just such a review, I doubt not, that poor Young was inspired with the fol- lowing most remarkable lines:

, — . <« then each atom,

Asserting its indisputable right

To dance, would form an universe of clust !

Night Thoughts, N. 9> or. The Consolation.

14. (T.)

Ploughing up your newly-rolled gravel walk, by walking over, or rather sinking into it, after a soak- ing torrent of rain.

Sen. Nothing can be more pitiable ! — but having now sufficiently defiled ourselves with dust and mire, suppose we pass to some of the less ignoble Miseries of the country; — I will shew you the way : —

15. (S.) '

While walking with others, in a line, through a narrow path, being perpetually addressed by the lady immediately before you, who, although she


never tarns her head in speaking, and a roaring wind, from behind, flies away with every syllable as it is uttered, seems to consider you as provok- ingly stupid for making her repeat her words twenty times over.

16. (S.)

The flaccidity of mind with which you attempt to flog yourself up into an inclination to work in your garden, for the sake of exercise : —

" Ligonibus duns humum Exhauriebat, ingemens laboribus." Hor,

Tes. Nay, there are worse things about a garden than that, I can tell you :

17. (T.) On paying a visit to your garden in the morn- ing for the purpose of regaling your eye and nose with the choice ripe fruit with which it had abounded the day before, finding that the whole produce ef every tree and bush has been carefully gathered — in the night !

IS. (S.) The delights of hay-time ! as follows : — After having cut down every foot of grass upon your grounds, on the most solemn assurances of the


Barometer that there is nothing to fear — after having dragged the whole neighbourhood for every man, woman, and child, that love or money could procure, and thrust a rake, or a pitch-fork, into the hand of every servant in your family, from the housekeeper to the scullion — after having long overlooked and animated their busy labours, and seen the exuberant produce turned and re-turned under a smiling sun, till every blade is as dry as a bone, and as sweet as a rose — after having exult- ingly counted one rising haycock after another, and drawn to the spot every seizable horse and cart, all now standing in readiness to carry home the vege- table treasure, as fast as it can be piled — at such a -golden moment as this, Mr. Testy, to see volume upon volume of black, heavy clouds suddenly rising, and advancing, in frowning columns, from the South West ; as if the sun had taken half the Zodiac — from Leo to Aquarius — at a leap : — they halt — they muster directly over head ; — at the sig- nal of a thunder-clap, they pour down their con- tents with a steady perpendicular discharge, and the assault is continued, without a moments pause, till every meadow is completely got under, and the whole scene of action is a swamp. When the enemy has performed his commission by a total defeat of your hopes, when he has completely


siyept the field, and scattered your -whole party in a panic-flight, he suddenly breaks up his forces, and quits the ground ; leaving you to comfort and amuse yourself, under your loss, by looking at his Colours, in the shape of a most beautiful rainbow, which he displays in his rear.

19- (T.) In your evening walk — being closely followed, for half an hour, by a large bull-dog (without his master } ) who keeps up a stifled growl, with his muzzle nuzzling about your calf, as if choosing out .the fleshiest bite : — no bludgeon.

20. (S.)

Losing your way, on foot, at night, in a storm of wind and rain — and this, immediately after leaving ^ merry fire-side.

SI. (S.) While you are laughing, or talking wildly to yourself, in walking, suddenly seeing a person steal close by you, who, you are sure, must have heard it all; then, in an agony of shame, making a wretched attempt to sing, in a voice as like your talk as possible, in hopes of making your hearer think that jou had been only singing all the while.


Tes. A forlorn hope, indeed ! — if J had been your hearer, I should have said, by way of relieving your embarrassment, u Si loqueris, " cantas ; si cantas, cantas male."

9§p (S.)

In attempting to spring carelessly, with the help of one hand, over a five-barred gate, by way of shewing your activity to a party of ladies behind you (whom you affect not to have observed,) blun- deii ng upon your nose on the other side.

Tes. Ha! ha! ha!

" viribus ille

Confisus, periit, admiiandisque lacertis." Jut.

23. (S.)

In walking out to dinner, clean and smart, be- coming hot with your exercise, the consciousness of which makes you still hotter—so that, on arriv- ing, too late to repair yourself, you are obliged to sit down to table with a large party, (each of whom is clean and fresh,) with plastered hair — red, var- nished face — -and black coat besilvered all over with liquid spangles of powder and pomatum.


24. (T.)

Venturing upon a pinch of high dried Irish, in the open air — a sudden puff of wind emptying your box into your eyes, the moment you open it.

25. (S)

In returning from a long, hot ride, being over- taken on a common, many miles from home, by a torrent of rain, which so completely drenches your heated body, that you are obliged, for the preser- vation of your life, to stop at some lone, mean, public-house, undress, and get between the blan- kets, while your clothes are drying : — then, after you have lain awake like a fool for a couplet) f hours, doing nothing, in the busy part of the day, finding, when you have re-dressed yourself, the rain increasing, night coming on, and no messen- ger to be had, by whom to send word to your anxious friends, that you must remain where you are all night.

26. (T.)

On a stubborn horse — coming to a no less stub- born gate, when you have either no hooked slick, or one with so gentle a curve, that it lets go its hold as soon as it has taken it; so that you must at last resolve to dismount, though you well know that your horse will afterwards keep you dancing


for an hour on one leg, with the other in the stir- rup, before he will suffer you to remount him.

27. (T.) Improving your coachmanship by driving an un- broken horse through a rugged narrow lane, in which the ruts refuse to fit your wheels, and yet there is no room to quarter.

23. (T.)

Attending a sale, from a great distance, for the sole purpose of bidding for an article, which, on your arrival, you are told has just been knocked down for nothing.

29- (S.) On Christmas eve — ^being dunned by several parties of rural barbarians, on account of having stunned you by screaming and bellowing Christmas enrols under your window.

Tes. O, yes, I know them ; — pay them, in- deed !

" sunt et mihi carmina ; me quoque dicunt

Vatem pastores ;"

says the caroller.—

" Sed non ego credulus illis;" say I.


30. (S.)

While on a visit in the hundreds of Essex, being under the necessity of getting dead drunk, every day, to save your life.

Tes. Aye, Juvenal helped you to that fancy;

' " Et propter vitara, vivendi perdere eausas."

31. (S.)

After having sent from the other end of the king- dom to Hookham's for a quantity of well-chosen books, all particularly named — receiving in return, six months afterwards, a cargo of novels, of their own choice, with such titles as li Delicate Sensi- bility" — M Disguises of the Heart" — Errors of Tenderness," &c. &c. — Then, if you venture, in despair, oil a few pages, being edified in the margin by such pencilled commentaries as th^ following — " I quite agree in this sentiment." — u How fre- quently do we find this to he the case in real life 1" — " But why did she let him have the letter ?" &c. &c. concluded by the reader's general decision upon the merits of the book, stamped in one ora- cular sentence; for example, " This is a very good novel :"— or (to the horror and confusion of the


author, if he should ever hear of the critique), u What execrable stuff !"

2^5. Nay, you well deserve this part of your Misery for looking into such sad trash :

M I, quaeso, et tristes illos depone libellos," Nee lege " quod quaevis nosse puella velit."

/ will give you a country-misery, from which there is not a whit less wear and tear to the nerves, and where you have no possible means of escape : — judge for yourself.

32. (T.)

Following on horse-back a slow cart, through an endless, narrow lane, at sunset, when you are al- ready too late, and want all the help of your eyes, as well as of your horse's ^eet 9 to carry you safe through the rest of your unknown way.

Sen. Very distressing, I allow; but I will shew you that the end of a journey may be still worse than the journey itself: —

33. (S.) After having arrived at home, completely ex


hausted by a long journey, and delightfully dif- fused yourself on the sopha for the rest of the evening, (as you fondly suppose,) — being dragged out again, within a quarter of an hour, to take a long walk with a few friends, who are " obliged to go," but who " cannot bear to part with you so soon" — the party chiefly consisting of ladies, to whom you are, on every account, ashamed to plead fatigue, as an excuse for remaining at home.

34. (T.)

In a very solitary situation — after having sent some miles off for a remarkably clever carpenter, whom you have particularly entreated to come himself, for the purpose of doing a variety of jobs that require both a nice hand, and a contriving head — seeing enter, in his stead, a drivelling dor- mouse, who just knows a hammer from a nail.

35. (S.)

In going out of London, being met and block- aded on the road, by innumerable gangs of the Carrion and QrFal of the human species, swarming home, in savage jollity, from a bull- baiting, a boxing-match, an execution, &c. &c.

9f& (S.) Passing the worst part of a rainy winter in &


country so inyeterately miry as to imprison you within your own premises ; so that, by way of ex- ercise, and to keep yourself alive, you take to rolling the gravel-walks, (though already quite smooth), cutting wood, (though you have more logs than enough), working the dumb-bells, or such other irrational exertions.

37- (S.) In passing the door of a meeting-house, in a poor country town, on a wet week-day — having before your eyes the depressing spectacle of a handful of dried-up old maids, with sallow hatchet faces, in rumpled, faded, old fashioned little bonnets, and brick-dust coloured gowns, crawling out by ones and twos, stiffening half-curtesies to each other, and then moving off, (as so many pairs of rusty tongs would move, if alive;) one to her butcher's, to haggle for a bit of tripe ; another to take an hours walk of a quarter of 1 a mile, for an appetite, &c. &c. — Heigh-ho !

38. (S.) Living, or even making a stay, within close ear- shot of a ring of execrable bells, execrably rung for some hours every evening.


30. (S.)

Residing at a solitary place, where the return of the butcher, and the delivery of parcels, letters, &c. is so irregular and uncertain, that you are obliged to get at all the necessaries of life by stratagem.

40. (S.)

When you are two or three hundred miles from London, at a period of great events, — your news- papers delayed from day to day, by accidents on the road ; till, on their arrival at last, ail their in- telligence is musty,

41. (S.)

While deeply, delightfully, and, as you hope, safely, engaged at home in the morning, after pe- remptory orders of denial to all comers whomso- ever, — being suddenly surprised, through the treachery, or folly, of your servant, by an inroad from a party of the starched, stupid, cold, idle natives of a neighbouring country-town, who lay a formal siege, (by sap,) to your leisure, which they carry on for at least two hours, in almost 'total silence : —

" Nothing there is to come, and nothing past ; But an eternal Now does ever last !" During the last hour, they alternately tantalize and


torment you, by seeming, (but only seeming,) to go, — which they are induced to do at last only by the approach of a fresh detachment of the enemy,, whom they descry at your castle-gate, and to whose custody they commit you, while they pursue their own scouring excursions upon the other peaceful inhabitants of the district.

TVs. Well, Sensitive, I must confess your last " groan ?> is louder than any that has yefc burst from either of us.

Sew. Liberally said, Sir; it is bad enough, to be sure ; though your quagmire-scene runs it very close : a sufficient number, indeed, has been produced, on both sides, to silence the boldest of our enemies; — and yet this, as you say, is " rural felicity!" — but stay, Sir; lefr us not triumph before a victory; they will t>ell us, I doubt not, that we have contemplated the Country but on one side : — we have pretty well established our main point, to be sure; viz. that country walks, rides, &c. &c. are not exactly the roads to earthly happiness — : nothing but the ghost of an ideot could think they are; — but they will, doubtless, exultingly produce a higher class of rural enjoyments*


under the names of Sports, Games and Exer- cises ; and if they should superadd the Do- mestic Amusements of retirement, they will consider the Country as completely set upoa its legs again ; — I propose, therefore, that we should devote a great part of the remaining period of our absence from the metropolis to a practical examination of as many of these expected pleas for the Country as may fall within our reach. We are, happily, each, tolerably skilled both in active and sedentary recreations; and by applying to them, for our present purpose, with unusual alacrity, we shall be competent judges of their real value in the scale of enjoyment. — Are you agreed ?

Tes. Yes, yes ; don't fear me : — Rogues * they are ridden by prejudices ! but we will beat them, not only out of the field, but out of the house, too ; and, in truth, I find myself so impatieut to be at work, that I shall leave you without further ceremony.




Testy Senior and Junior. — Sensitive.


W ell, Sir, we meet still more in heart, I trust, than we parted ; as we have taken in a great part both of summer and winter for our Amusements, we shall hardly fail to find, on comparing notes, that our cause has realized a great deal of strength, both in and out of doors.

Sen* Yes, truly, my dear friend ; I, for my part, have been sporting, and dancing, and singing, with tears in my eyes, ever since we parted ; and have brought you a pocket full of pains, composed entirely of pleasures.


Tes. I will match you, depend upon 't : — but you shall judge for yourself: — you may be prepared, indeed, for my first Groan, by my limping gait, and this bewitching swathe about my head ; it is but three days since it hap*, pened ; and thus it goes: —

Groan 1. (T.)

In skaiting — slipping in such a manner that your legs start off into this unaccommodating posture —

from which, however, you are soon relieved, by tumbling forwards on your nose, or backwards on your skull—Also, learning to cut the outside

edge, on shuts that have no edge to cut with :

ice very rugged.


2. (T.)

Angling for twelve or fourteen hours, alone r without one bite, though perpetually tantalized with bobs; — or, when you have hooked a fine large jack, seeing him take French leave, at the moment when you are courteously shewing him his nearest way to the bank.

3. (T.)

On springing, at the ri^ht distance, the only covey you have seen, at the end of a long day's fag — flash in the pan.

4. (T.)

In hunting — while you are leading the field, adjust running in upon the fox, with the brush. fUJJ in your hopes, — being suddenly le& in the hwzh* or i& otter words,— in the ditch.

Sen. Tremendous, indeed ! — this is accord* ing to Brownlow N *s method of repre- senting a man as " in at the death."

5. (T.) In archery— the string of your bow snapping, at the moment when you have made sure of your aim.


Sen. Almost as bad : — this is the " &»»>» jcXaly*? £»<>ro" in a new sense. — But let us have done with what are vulgarly called u out-door amusements;" — one Groan for every principal field-sport may serve for a sample: — sports- men could produce a thousand more ; but all men are not sportsmen ; and we, you know, have to do only with general Miseries — the common currency of human existence.

Tes. Common , do you call it ! Humph ! — if this is the common currency, I can only say, that, from some plaguy twist in our horo- scopes, you and I seem to have pocketed all the basest pieces. — By the bye, I have not yet done with the open air, and its amusements. — You must know that my youngest boy Tom, now at home for the holidays, came up to me yesterday, and told me that, having lately overheard us at our " Groans," he had bethought himself of setting down a few u School-miseries" — and so put them into my hands. I was pleased at the circumstance, as it served to shew, that even boyhood, the happiest period of man's life, — and school- days, which we are apt to look upon as the happiest part of that happiest time,— are by


no means exempt from the general tax upon living and breathing: — nay, even my last little one, now at the breast, told me half aa hoar ago, as plain as a baby could speak it, of an infantine misery ; viz.

6. (Testy's Baby.) A dry we£-nurse.

Well, but now to poor Tom's list, which, I see he has entitled


7. (Tom. T.) 1. Waking, in a bitter winter-morning, with the recollection that you are immediately to get up by candle-light, out of your snug warm bed, to shiver out to school, through the snow, for the purpose of being flogged as soon as you arrive.

Eh, Sensitive ?— I don't think the blackest beard among us can go beyond that ? — This Misery is what I would call a mental cold pig.

8. (Tom.T.) 2. Seeing the boy who is next above you flogged for a repetition which you know you cannot say even half so well as he did.


9. (TomT.)

3. At cricket— after a long and hard service of watching out, — bowled out at the first ball. — ^ Likewise, cricket on very sloppy ground, so that your hard ball presently becomes, muddy, sappy, and rotten: — a jarring bat: — a right-hand bat for a left-handed player : — a hat, vice stumps.

10. (TomT.)

4. Winding up a top badly grooved, so that the string bunches down over the peg ; and, on your attempt to peg it down into the ring,- — " volat vi fervidus axis :" — i. e. it flies into the eye of a play-fellow.

11. (TomT.)

4. Your hoop breaking, and then trundling lame, and perpetually tripping you up, as you boggle along with it ; — the other boys, with good hoops, leaving you miles behind.

12. (TomT.)

6. The stocking perpetually coming down as you run, and bagging below the shoe, so as to be trampled in the dirt, (all, by and bye, to be snugly buttoned to your flesh,) and throw you down : — no garters, except twine, which you are, at last, obliged to use, though it cuts to the bone.


13. (Tom T.)

7. Being obliged to take a severe licking from a boy twice as big, but not balf so brave, as yourself; — then, flogged for fighting, because you, at first, aimed one blow, which, however, did not reach the long-armed rascal.

14. (Tom T.)

8. At dinner — the joint lasting only as low down as to the boy immediately above you :— you are too stout to eat bread, and so go starved, and broken- hearted, into school.

[5. (TofflT.) o. Fagging for a niggardly glutton, who does not leave you even the scraps of what you have stolen and dressed for him.

16. (tomT.) 10. Staying in on a whole holiday, for another boy's fault, falsely charged upon yourself: — very fine day ; and the distant noise of all the other boys at play continually in your ears, as you mope, alone, in the house.

" Sternitur infelix alieno vulnere, coelumque Aspicit, et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.


Sen. Well said, my noble boy ! — \\e will


swear him, like another infant Hannibal, to eternal hatred against our enemies. — Mean time, having finished our survey of diversions abroad, let us walk in, if you please, and try whether the House has any thing better to shew than the fields. — The first article on my list is Dancing.

17. (S.) Blundering in the figure all the-way down a country-dance, with a charming partner, to whom you are a perfect stranger ; and who, consequently, knows nothing of you but your awkwardness.

Tes. That offence may be forgiven, how- ever ; not so the following :

18. (T.)

Entering into the figure of a country-dance with so much spirit, as to force your leg and foot through the muslin drapery of your fair partner.

Sen. There I feel for you indeed!

Mrs. T. (who during this, and- a few of the other dialogues, is sitting at work in another part of the room.) " Your feelings," Mr. Sen- sitive! — Deuce take it! — " my feelings/' if you please; — you seem to leave the poor



lady, and her ruined petticoat, quite out of the account !

f Tes. Pho,pho! Mrs. T. — the petticoat may be mended again, and there would be an end of that; — but nothing short of amputation would satisfy the Lady's vengeance against the leg, — However, Madam, I have another danc- ing distress, in which, I am certain, you will join, in your heart, whether you choose to confess it or not : —

19. (T.)

The plagues of that complicated evolution called " right hand and left," from the awkwardness of some, and the inattention of others ;

Ned Tes.

" Palantes error certo de tramite pellit ;

Ille sinistrosum, hie dextrorsum abit" Hor.

Tes. Again —

20. (T.)

Being compelled to shift your steps, at every instant, from jig to minuet, and from minuet to jig- time, by the sleepy, ignorant, or drunken blunders of your musicians.

Ned Tes.

H Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis "


Sen, I will now give you a bull-room

  • ' Groan/' with which nothing in Holbein's

f Danee of Death" can stand a moment's comparison :—

21. (S.)

When you have imprudently cooled yourself with a glass of ice, after dancing very violently, being immediately told by a medical friend, that you have no chance for your life but by continuing the exercise with all your might ; — then, the state of horror in which you suddenly cry out for " Go to the Devil and shake yourself," or any other such frolicksome tune, and the heart-sinking ap- prehensions under which you instantly tear down the dance, and keep rousing all the rest of the couples, (who having taken no ice, can afford to move with less spirit) — incessantly vociferating, as you ramp and gallop along, €i Hands across, Sir, for Heaven's sake !" — " Set corners, ladies, if you have any bowels !"— " Right and left,— or I'm a dead man !" — &c« &c.

Tes. Why, to yoii y Sensitive, such a violent remedy must have been almost as bad as the disease ; though, to be sure, as your friend the Doctor had described" your case as so


alarming, it was natural that you should try it:—

" Non tulit hanc speciem furiata mente Choroebus* Et sese medium injecit moribundus inagmm.*' Virg.

Sen. So much for dancing : — let us examine a few more domestic recreations. — Will Bil- liards give happiness ?

Tes. I'll tell you :—

22. (T.) Missing your cue at every stroke — ( u totum nee pertulit ictum.") — and this when you are particu- larly ambitious of shewing your play.

Sen. Cards?—! will answer myself: —

23. (S.)

At the game of Commerce, losing your life in

fishing for aces, when you had hooked two,

and the third had several times nibbled at your bait.-^-Or,

24. (S.)

When there is a very rich pool, and you have

1 A name evidently formed from Chorus y a com. pany of dancers. T. T.


outlived all the players but one, he having gone up twice, and you not once — losing all your three lives running.

Ned Tes.

Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean ? Why tby peculiar rancour wreck'd on me ? Isatiate Archer ! l could not once suffice ? Thy shaft flew thrice — and thrice my peace was slain !" Young.

Or, as Dryden pathetically puts it —

" Rich cf three souls, he lives all three to waste/'

Pal. and Arc.

Tes. Nay, Commerce is the best game upon the cards; for you may get yourself released, whenever you please.-— What say you to the case of a wretch, who detests cards, and whist above all, at which he plays vilely ; — under these circumstances, I say, what think you of

1 Note by the Editor. It must be confessed that this complaint, by inuendo, against her Ladyship, for win- ning his friend's money, is but too much in harmony with Mr. Testy's usual habits of unpoliteness,


25. (T.)

Being compelled, by the want of a substitute, to sit down again, as you are stealing away, to a fourth or fifth rubber, with an Argus — in the shape of a captious, eager, skilful, elderly spinster— for your new partner.

26. (S.)

In shuffling the cards, (your party all strangers) squashing them together, breaking their edges, and showering them in all directions, so as to make you long for a trap-door to open under your feet.

27. (T.)

A pack of cards which stick so abominably in dealing, that you unavoidably throw out three or four at once, and so lose your time, your patienGe r and — the deal.

Sen. Music?

28. (S.) Being accompanied by a player or singer, who is always at least a bar behind, or before you.

29. (S.) While accompanying another on the flute — being distanced, in a quick passage, by having to turn over in the middle of a bar.


Ned Tes.

u And 'panting time toilM after him in vain." Johns,

30. (S.)

Attempting, by desire, to play on the piano-forte, while your fingers are all chained up by the frost.

31. (T.)

In fiddling — a greasy bow : — or, a stiing (the last you have of the number) snapping in the mid- dle of a passage which you were just discovering the proper method of fingering.

Sen. No, Sir, music will never do : — Drazo- ing is, at least, a quieter enemy ; — but that it is an enemy, we shall easily make appear. —

Tes. Not so fast, Sir; I have another musi- cal Misery in store.

32. (T.)

After waiting an hour for a friend's cremona, for which you had sent your servant-— seein^ it at length brought in by him — in fragments.

Ned Tes.

" Heu, priscajfofe !"


Sen. Nay, young gentleman, if you are to quote so, you may as well throw in " Nusquam tuta Jides ;" as you, Sir, (to old Testy}) ought to have remembered in proper time.

33. (S.) Hitching your knife in the gritty flaws of a black- lead pencil, so as to spoil its edge, without gaining your point : — repeatedly breaking said point in the operation of cutting it ; or, when you seem to have succeeded, finding that your pencil only scratches the paper on which you mean to draw.

31. (S.)

After having nearly completed a drawing of a Head, on which you have long been working very laboriously — leaving the room for a moment, and finding, on your return, that a sudden puff of wind, as you opened the door, has conveyed it into the fire, which is devouring the last corner of the paper.

Ned Tes.

" Quis desiderio sit pudor ant modus "Tarn cari capitis ?" Hor,

35. (T.)

Iii fitting a drawing to its frame, becoming so


tired of your own timidity in paring the paper too little, as to spoil all by one rash sliver.

36. (S.)

Rubbing Indian ink, or cake colours, in a very smooth saucer. (Or, what is far worse than this— nay is, perhaps, the very mightiest of all the mighty Miseries we are now recording, or shall ever record )

37. (S.)

As you draw — to be maddened, through your whoLe work, with inveterate greasiness in your pen- cils, colours, or paper (you cannot possibly dis- cover which); so that what you have taken up with your brush keeps coyly flying from the spot to which you would apply it.

Red Tes. " nee color

Certa sede manet." Hor.

Tes. So much for the Fine Arts ! — one Misery more, and I have clone, for the prer sent.

38. (T.) Exhausting your faculties, for a whole evening together, in vain endeavours to guess at a riddle,


conundrum, &c. though you are assured, all the time, that at is as easy as the a, b, c.

Tes. Toy my own part the confounded riddle, with which I have just wound up my accounts, has considerably shortened my search after other torments; for ever since it was proposed to me (a full month ago), I have lost both my rest and my appetite, and neg- lected almost every other concern, in trying to find it out — all to no purpose.

Sen. Nay, let it pass ; — you and I have neither time nor tranquillity for studying riddles : — besides,. Sir, life itself according to our views of it, is one great enigma ; and, like the other famous enigma of old, is guarded by — not one, but — a thousand Sphinxes, in the shape of " Miseries," which, like their predecessor, keep tearing us to pieces, all the time that we are labouring in vain for the so- lution. — Be quiet, then, for a moment, while 1 shape out other employment for us. — It will not be denied, i trust, that we have now given the cause of the Country a fair hearing ; — but the Town, remember, will be thought to have at least an equal right to be put upon its tral,


and the rather, as men, having made it them- selves, will be naturally interested by the vanity of workmen, in its defence. Our pre- cious affairs among the fields and trees are pretty well settled ; and as our return to Lon- don will take place nearly at the same time, we can meet at a coffee-house, and, by favour of the delightful privacy of a box, cut off by a silk curtain from twenty listeners close at our backs, we may discuss in comfort, you know.

Tes. O, yes ! I understand you — a dry rot take the house, and all that belongs to it ! — there, however, we must meet, I suppose, or we should not think ourselves in London ; and so I will attend your summons ; — if, in- deed, I should retain my senses, by the time I shall have employed them in collecting matter enough to equip me for the confer- ence. — In the mean time, I must go back to the harness.

Sen. The harness! — how?

Tes. How ! why to have another pull at the rascally riddle. — Your servant. Holla ! Sen- sitive ! — Another country comfort, which how


I came to forget, I can no: very well say ; as I enjoyed it no logger ago than last night: —


D the _ _ . y are ex-

ecrable ; but rinding them so intolerably tolerable, that even the most heart breaking sctnes of their

.\ you one hearty laugh.

That's all— Tin off.




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Se?isitive. (At a Coffee-house, )


Welcome to London, friend Sensitive ! — «  and still more welcome to this quiet room — can you hear me ?

Sen. If I cannot, this constant and cheer- ful noise of carts and coaches, which is said by some to favour conversation, will help me out, I suppose.

Tes. Nay, if a man must be stunned before he can hear, the Deaf should lose no time in coming up to London ! — But how long have you been in this elysium of brick and'mortar? and what have you seen ?


Sen. Seen !— I am so full of what I have heard, that I hardly know ; for, of all ray or- gans, my ear, I think, torments me most ; — and yet I beg pardon of my nose, which, in London, seems still more earnestly bent on my destruction.

Tes. I give you joy, however, of having found out that; there is some comfort in knowing which of your five servants is least busy in plotting against its master. — As to jme, the conspiracy is so nicely balanced among them, that I shall never be able to detect the ring-leader. All I know is, that whenever they may finish me, there will be some of my blood at each of their doors. — But you seemed, just now, as if you were going to be very eloquent upon noises, in par- ticular: — any thing much worse than usual In that line ?

Sen. O, yes,— -if possible : in an evilhour, I lately changed my lodgings, to escape from a brazier at the next door, who counted his profits so very distinctly upon the drums of my ears, that, not thinking myself indemni- fied by the value of the intelligence for the loss of my hearing, I took wing at a moment's


warning; — the only consequence, however, has been that of exchanging one old enemy for a thousand new ones* What is a single brazier to a legion of brazen throats ? But I anticipate— it is time to go to business, and ] will lead the way, if you please, with a " Misery" which will too fully answer your last question. (Sen. produces his memoranda, arid reads.)

Groan 1. (S.)

While you are harmlessly reading, or writing, in a room which fronts the street, being compelled, during the whole morning, to undergo that savage jargon of yells, brays, and screams, familiarly, but feebly, termed, " the Cries of London" — dustmen, beggars, muffin-mongers, knife-grinders, and news- carriers included : —

" Bombalio, clangor, stridor, tarantantara ? murmur !" —

you having, all the while, no interest whatever in the uproar, except in the simple character of a suf- ferer : or, should you chance to have a wish for what is in^the baskets, or burrows, of these shark- mouthed bawlers, being necessitated to let them pass unstopped, from your utter incapabiliiy of ever


arriving at the slightest smattering in any of the infernal dialects in which their goods are uttered, and which they have palpably invented for the sole purpose of guarding against the smallest risk of be- ing, by any accident, understood ;^-and thus is a new Misery struck out for you, from your own in- dignation at their distorted ingenuity in devising stratagems for their own ruin — which must obvi- ously be the direct consequence of their unintelli- gibility.

2. (T.)

After walking in a great hurry to a place, on very urgent business, by what you think a shorter cut, and supposing that you are just arriving at the door you want — " No Thoroughfare"

Sen. Not to mention the Misery of turning back, splashing along, at full speed, and fight- ing your way through the crowd; and all this in order to go the longest way round, and be too late at last ! — so that your whole ac- count stands thus : —

" Negatd tentat iter via; — Coetusque vulgares, et udam Spernit humum fugiente" plantd. Hor.


3. (S.) Stopping in the street, to address a person whom you know rather too well to pass him without speaking, and yet not quite well enough to have a word to say to him — he feeling himself in the same dilemma ; — so that, after each has asked, and an- swered, the question " How do you do, Sir ?" you stand silently face to face, apropos to nothing, during a minute ; and then part in a transport of awkwardness.

  • . (r.)

Stumbling through London streets, in pumps, over hills of filthy snow, in the beginning of a great thaw, and occasionally passing over a wide, floated crossing, on a tottering plank, closely accompanied by a hqpping sweeper, who vociferously begs at you all the way, and keeps thrusting his greasy hat against your clothes : — no halfpenny.

5. <T.) As you are hastening down the Strand, on a matter of life and death, encountering, at an arch- way, the head of the first of twelve or fourteen horses, who, you know, must successively strain up with an over-loaded coal-waggon, before you can hope to stir an inch — unless you prefer bedevilling


your white stockings, and clean shoes, by scamper- ing and crawling, among, and under, coaches, sca- vengers' carts, &C.&.C. in the middle, of the street,


A bad Sunday in the city.

7. (S.) Walking, side by side, half over London, with a cart containing a million of iron bars, which you must out-bray, if you can, in order to make your companion hear a word you have further to say upon the subject you were earnestly discussing, before you were joined by this? infernal article of commerce.

Tes. Nay, I have a case of intrusion within doors, (and one too which we are every mo- ment in danger of suffering where we now sit,) still worse than yours : —

8. (T.) While you are peaceably reading your paper at a coffee-house — two friends, perfect strangers to you, squatting themselves down at your right and left hand, and talking across you, for an hour, over their private concerns. •


9- (S.)

While on a short visit to London — the hurry and ferment — the crossing and jostling — the missing and marring — which incessantly happen among all your engagements, purposes, and promises, both of bu- siness and pleasure — at home and abroad — from morning till midnight; — obstacles equally perverse, unexpected, unaccountable, innumerable, and in- tolerable, springing up like mushrooms through every step of your progress. Then, (when you are at last leaving London,) on asking yourself the question whether any thing has been neglected, or forgotten, receiving for answer — " Almost every thing r

10. (S.)

As you arc walking with your charmer — meet- ing a drunken sailor, who, "as he staggers by you, ejects his reserve of tobacco against the lady's drapery. .

Now is not this too much, Sir?

Ned Tes. Yes, that's exactly what it is;

and therefore you should have cried v out, in


" Ne quid nigh miss I"


11. (T.) Walking briskly forwards, while you are looking backwards, and so advancing towards another pas- senger, (a scavenger,) who is doing the same ; then meeting, with the shock of two battering-rams, which drives your whole stock of breath out of your body, with the groan of a paviour :— *>

'■ ,, . -^ — m* . — — — rr-" ruinam

Pant sonitu ingentem, perfractaque .

Pectora pectoribus rumpunt." *

At length after a mutual burst of execrations, yo» each move, for several minutes, from side to side, with the same motion, in endeavouring to pass on.

12. (T.) In going out to dinner, (already ioo late,) your

carriage delayed by 'djam of* coaches

Ned Tes. Jam, jamque magis cunctantem !

Tes. ..,.. which choak up the whole street, and allow you at least an hour more than you require^ to sharpen your wits for table talk.

1 " Breast against foreast, with ruinous assault, P AiwJ deaf ning shock, they come."


13. (S.)

Dressing at a coffee-house, in a great hurry, to dine out, and on your arrival at your friend's house, suddenly finding that you have nothing in any of your pockets ; — then, the flash of horror that runs through you, as you recollect that you have invo- luntarily confided your watch, pocket-book, love- letters, and uncounted cash and notes to the care of the public^ by leaving them on the table of the coffee-room in which yoa hastily changed your coat and waistcoats #

14. (S.)>

On your entrance at a formal dinner-party — in reaching up your hat to a high peg in the hall, bursting your coat, from the arm-hole to the pocket.

Tes. Aye — that comes of "appeiens ni'rois ardua/' — you see.

15. (T.) On leaving the house, at which you have been visiting, finding that a rascal has taken your new hat, and left you his old one; which, on the one hand, either cuts to your scull, if you press it doww, or barely perches on the tip of your head- if


you do not — or, on the other hand, wabbles over your eyes and ears, and keeps bobbing on your nose; — to say nothing of wearing another man's hat, even if it fitted like a glove.

16. :(S.)

At night — after having long lain awake, nervous and unwell, with an ardent desire to know the hour, and the state of the weather, being, at last, delighted by hearing the watchman begin his cry— , from which, however, he allows you to extract no

more information than " past clock morn-,

ing !"— Then, after impatiently lingering through another hour for the sound of your own clock, (which had before been roared down by the watch- man,) being roused to listen by its preparatory click, and purr, followed by one stroke— -which you are to make the most of — the rest being cut short by a violent fit of coughing, with which you are seized at the instant.

17. (S.)

In attempting to pay money in the street— emp- tying your purse into the kennel— the wind taking care of all the /w/?er~money :

Ned'Tes. " The trembling notes ascend the sky !"

Alex. Feast..


18. (S.) Standing off and on in the street, for half an hour, (though in the utmost haste,) while the friend with whom you are walking talks to his friend, whom you meet, and to whose conversation you are delicately doubtful whether you ought to be a party.

19. (S.)

At a London breakfast — snail cream; not to mention the bread that accompanies it, which, if it be dry, chalky, musty, bitter, salt, and sour, leaves you, however, the consolation, that it is made " of the finest wheat-flour I"

20. (S.)

The tt/*intermitting fever into which you are thrown by being obliged to linger, the whole morn- ing long, amongst a crew of " greasy rogues," in the outer-room of a public office, from which you are called out the last — if, indeed, you are called out at all !

21. (s.) , ^ ;

Chasing your hat, (just blown off in a high win<2,> through a muddy street — a fresh, gust always whisk- ing it away at the moment of seizing it;^-when you have at last caught it, deliberately putting it on,


with all its sins upon your head, amidst the jeers of the populace.

22. (S.)

Going to the House of Commons, with an order for admission, in high expectation of an animated debate ; ' and after standing, like an ideot, five hours in the lobby, and sitting five more in the gallery, — no business done ! — Also ; being repeat- edly and roughly turned out of the gallery (like a dirty dog out of a parlour) on a motion for a divi- sion ; and, as often, shifted, on your return, to a worse place than you had before.

23. (S.)

Running the gauntlet through Thames*street, from Blackfriars to the Tower.

24: (S.) Ditto through a long London market, in the dog- Jays — the odours of the meat acting as a thermos meter to the nose.

25. (S.)

Accosting a person in the street with the utmost familiarity, shaking him long and cordially by the hand, &c. and at length discovering by his- cold,, (or, if he is a foci, angry,) stare, that he is not the man you took him for.


Or, — what is a somewhat similar source of agony—

26. (S.)

Finding that the person with whom you thus claim acquaintance has entirely forgotten you f though you perfectly remember him.

Tes. Aye — as Persius says,

" Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te .... sciat alter."

27. (S.) On a sultry day, in London — being compelled by the heat to sit with the windows of a ground- room open r while an organ- grinder,, or ballad- singer of the basest degree, are exhausting their whole stock of dissonance within two or three yards of your ill starr'd ears ; — yet you cainot drive, or even fee them away, as they are paid for torturing you by some barbarians at the next door,

23. (S.)

On going in a hackney coach to the inn from which you are to set out on a long journey, being asked by the coachman three or four times more than his fare,, which he knows you must pay, as you have not a moment's leiiure to summon him


at the time ; while, on your return to London, . it would be too late — in due consideration of all which, he farther indulges himself in insolent language.

29- (S.) As you walk the streets on the evening of the 5th of November — a cracker thrown into your pocket by some mischievous little rascal, who in- stantly runs away, — then, in your hasty attempt to snatch it out, feeling it burst in your hand, after leaving your handkerchief in flames.

Tts. Yes, and leaving you in flames, too at being disappointed of your vengeance against the young villain :—

" Saevit atrox ■ nee teli conspicit unquam Auctorem, nee quo se, ardens, immitterepossit."


30. (S.)

In taking out your money in a hackney-coach — dropping the greatest part of it (and all the gold) in the straw; then, after grubbing and fumbling after it for an hour, finding nothing but the gaping crevices through which it must have escaped.


31. (S.)

Treading in a beau-trap, while in the act of gaily advancing your foot to make a bow to some charm- ing woman of your acquaintance, whom you sud- denly meet, and to whom you liberally impart a share of the jet d'eau.

32. (S.)

Being a compulsory spectator and auditor of a brawling and scratching match, between two drunken drabs, in consequence of tie sudden influx of com- party 9 by whom you are hemmed in, an hundred yards deep, in every direction, leaving you no chance of escape, till the difference in sentiment between the Ladies is adjusted : — where you stand, you are (that is, I was) closely bounded, in front, by a barrow of cat's meat, the unutterable contents of which employ your eyes and nose, while your ear is no less fully engaged by the Tartarean yell of its driver.

33. (S.)

As you walk forth, freshly and sprucely dressed — receiving in full, at a sharp turning, the filthy flirtings of a well-twirled mop.

Tes. Ah ! the jade ! — Juvenal had never


been submitted to this mode of irrigation,, when he said

u Nemo repentt fuit turpissimus ."

34. (8.)

The too violent exercise of being hustled in the


35. (S.)

A footman at the next door learning to play upon the fife, or fiddle, and (besides other enor- mities in his practice) catching, as- you play them, all your favourite airs, which he returns to you in every possible key, and time, except the right- giving the Dead March in Saul as a jig; Paddy Whack as an adagio; &c. &c.

36. (T.)

As you are quietly walking along in the vicinity of Smithfield, on market-day, finding yourself sud- denly obliged, though your dancing-days have been long over, to lead outsides, cross over, foot it, and a variety of other steps and figures — with mad bulls for your partners.

Sen. Yes ; or —

37. (S.)

Being called upon, in like manner^ to cut capers-


at a moment's warning, by -a headlong butcher's /boy, who beats time for you by stamping close at your side on the slabby pavement, with his shrill catcal for your music !

38. (T.)

Being accelerated in your walk by the lively application of a chairman's pole a posteriori;— his " by your leave" not coming till after he has Jakcn it*

39. (S.)

The manner in which a fish-woman unfolds her opinions of you, when you have unintentionally drawn them forth by overturning her full basket : " Loud menaces are heard, and foul disgrace, And bawling infamy, in language, base,— Till sense is lost in sound, and silence fled the place." Dryd.

40. (S.) During the endless time that you are kept wait- ing at a door in a ^ carriage, while the ladies are shopping, having your impatience soothed by the setting of a saw, close at your ear.


Ned Tes.

u From the table of my memory I'll wipe away all saws" Shak*


• . 41 fr)..' I . Your bat, and part of your head poked off from behind, without notice or apology, by an huge beam a quarter of a mile in length, as its bearers blindly blunder along with it.

Sen. O intolerable ! — a Quaker at court -is far better off; for, though his hat is lugged off by others unceremoniously enough, yet, I understand, they always make a point of leaving all the head behind.

42. (T.)

Crouching and crawling through the scaffoldings, ladders, rubbish, flying smother, tumbling bricks, tVc. of a half-ruined house — and all this without having made your will*

43. (S.)

. The meridian midnight of a thick London fog, — leaving you no method of distinguishing between the pavement, and the middle of the street ; much less between one street and another-r-the "pal- pable obscure" pursuing you into your parlour, and bed-chamber, till you can neither see, speak, nor breathe.


Tes. Aye, I am quite at home in that mi- sery ; I had nearly lost poor Mrs, Testy in such a nasty cloud last week : we were somehow, parted by the crowds and there was she, poor soul, crying out, (in her language I mean,)*

" Jamque vale ! feror ingenti circundata.nocte, Invalidasque tibi tendens lieu ! nan tua, palmas,


Dixit, et ex oculis subito, ceu fumus in auras Commixtus tenues, fugit diversa, neque ilium Prensantem ncquicquam umbras, et ruuita volentem Dicere prseterea vidit !" VirgS

Tes. And so, here, I perceive, we are both shutting up our black books.

Sen. Yes. — Well, then, Mr. Testy, are any of these adventures, think you, likely to

1 " And now, farewell !-*By deepest night clos'd round,

Far am I borne away, and stretch to thee

My pow'rless hands! — Ah me ! now thine no more ! —

She said ; and sudden melted from his view

In flight dispers'd, as smoke dissolving blends

Into thin air ; nor longer him discerns

Clasping the shades in vain, and eager still

To speak innumerable tilings./'


remove the impressions under which we came up to London ?

Tes. Remove them ! — I will soon shew you my opinion upon that point, by hurrying out of it tomorrow morning; for vile as the coun- try is, in most respects, yet, to give it its due, you can generally breathe the air ; — you can hear yourself speak, — though there is nobody to speak to ; — there is no bad smell in some of the flowers ;— you can see an inch before your nose; — and you can bear to look at your hands for at least half an hour after you have washed them. How hospitably the five senses are entertained in London, we have pretty well seen ; — and yet it is principally to have the said senses tickled, that the boobies come swarming up to it as they do.

Sen. It is so— which leads me to hope that you will not actually depart quite so hastily as you have planned; for the lovers of London would have us think that the eye and ear, at least, are better off in the metro- polis than in any other spot on the globe : now, as you and I, you know, are hunting life through, in order to ascertain whether any thing which it offers can be eadured, we


owe just so much respect to general opinion, as to take what are called the Public Places in our way.

Tes. I won't stay an hour longer than I have mentioned, Sensitive ;— no, not if they would make over to me both the theatres, and the opera-house into the bargain, including all their profits for fifty years to come. — ~ Besides, Sir, I have peeped m at most of them already, and have never forgiven the fellows at the door for not returning me my money as I hastened out again.

Sen. Nay, then, my good friend, what will become of our main concern? How shall we be able to make it out to our own satisfaction that we are completely wretched, if there be some sources of supposed delight which we have never fairly tried ?

1'es. It does not signify, Sensitive; I tell you ie I have been >;*— * been quite enough to enable me to make up my mind : one set of puppets is very like another, I suppose ; — and so, once more, I am off by day-break tomor- row morning :

" This deed I'll do, — before this purpose cool ;— But no more Sights.*' Macb*



Sen. Well,- Sir, since you are so inflexible, I must fill up the deficiency of your evidence as well as I am able, by making the round of revels by myself. By the time I have gone through my duty, it is to be hoped you will have cooled a little, and that you will then consent to return hither for a single day, at least, that I may not wholly lose the few ideas you have given yourself an opportunity of forming upon the subject of London Di- versions.

Tes. In the suburbs, Sir — in the suburbs, perhaps I may ; or rather, at one of the vil- lages a little farther off: but no more im- prisonment within the Liberties of London and Westminster for me ! — and so, thanking you for having strung yourself np to relaxa- tion for the good of the cause, — success to your pleasures ! — I will come this way when you call for me — that's enough; and as to the place of rendezvous — nothing upon a lower level than Hampstead or Highgate, I bes:. *

Sen. Where you please, so that we do but meet, to club our lamentations.




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive. (Testy* s house at liighgate, to which he had removed after his late sudden departure from London.)


Vjfive you joy, friend Sensitive, of having come out alive from all the holes of happiness in which von have been stiving for the last two or three months ! — One comfort, however, attending our pursuits, is that they must pay, either in plague or profit.

Sen. Ah, Sir ! you would not have allowed much weight to plague in the scale of advantage, had you gone through it in the manner I have


done: — in plain truth, I can now almost for- give you for having taken flight so suddenly. In short, Mr. Testy, I have paid down half my income, for the privilege of being able to assert, that the only period of ease which is to be felt in theatres, concert-rooms, &c. is that in which you are returning to the door — and even this is subject to the draw-back of being obliged to labour through a mass of human flesh in your way to it — unless you prefer perishing with cold, by remaining to the last. —Yes, Sir, I accept your congratulations on having escaped with life from this perilous course of evening experiments, and am now ready to instruct you in their horrible results; rouse your courage, then, while I proceed to open Pandora's box upon you — and this without even an outline of Hope traced at the bottom.

Groan 1. (S.)

On going to the play to see a favourite performer, —to be told, at the drawing up of the curtain, (as you had augured from the rueful bow of the speaker,) that he, or she, is suddenly taken ill, or dead, and that Mr. or Miss (the hacks of the


house) has kindly undertaken to try to read the part at live minutes notice.

2. (S-)

In the pit, at the -opera — a broad-shouldered fellow, seven feet high, seated immediately before you, during the whole of the ballet.

3. (S.)

"While sitting in a front row of the front boxes, during the deepest part of the tragedy — yourself and friends suddenly required to stand up, and crowd back upon each other, while you hold up the seat for a large party in procession, who take up twenty minutes in getting down to their places, in one of which you had seated yourself by mistake, and consequently are now turned out, and have to tread back your way into the lobby, over the laps of ladies without a chance for another seat.

4. (S.)

At a concert — as you are preparing to listen to one of Bartleman's best songs, being suddenly en- vironed by a crew of savages, whose laughter and gabble are all that you are allowed to hear.

5. (S.)

After the play, on a raw wet night, with a party


of ladies,— fretting and freezing in the cuter lob- bies, and at the street-doors of the theatre, among chair-men, barrow-women, yelling link-boys, and other human refuse, in endless attempts to find out your servant, or carriage, which, when found at last, cannot be drawn up nearer than a furlong, from the door,

6. (S.)

Pushing in with an immense crowd at a narrow door, through which such another crowd is push- ing out : — thermometer at 95, or &.

7. (S.)

After the play — to be detained with your party in the house, on a frosty night, till the last of the company, as well as of the candles, are gone out ; — the latter withdrawing their light, and then fob- bing you off with their fumes..

8. (S.)

Your feelings put to the rack throughout the most moving scenes of a deep tragedy, by a riotous rascal in the upper gallery, who will not, for a mo- ment, suffer his neighbours to cry in peace — while you are perpetually tantalized with neglected pro* posals from the tender-hearted part of the audience, to " throw him over."


9- (S.)

Your opera-glass, (which had been perfectly clear, while there was nothing in the house worth spying at,) becoming obstinately dim at the moment when you have pointed it towards an enchanting creature who has just entered.

10. (S.)

Sitting on the last row, and close to the parti- tion, of an upper box, at a pantomime, and hearing all the house laughing around you, while you strain your wrists, neck and back, with, stretching forward — in vain.

11. (S.)

In the pit, at the opera — turning briskly round, on hearing a box-door open close by you, in hopes of feasting your eyes on some young angei whom you expect to appear, and beholding, instead of her, that sort of hideous old crabbed-looking Crone of fashion, whose face is as full of wrinkles, as her head is of diamonds.

Ned. Tes.

" Who, like the toad, ugly and venomous,. Wears, yet, a precious jewel in her head."



12. (S.) Going to Vauxhall alone — (without having pre- viously consulted the barometer)— for the pur- pose of joining a delightful party, whom you had appointed to meet ; your only apprehension being that you may possibly fail to find them out in the immense crowd ; — then, on entering the gardens, and eagerly throwing around your eyes ? espying only six or seven scattered solitary outcasts, stand- ing as stiff as pokers, and as grave as judges, under shelter from the coming storm — one poor singer, quavering, like Orpheus of old, to the trees, and two or three savages, from an almost empty or- chestra — the cascade locked up safe from the rain — the fire-works put entirely out of countenance by the water-works — and, of the few lamps that were originally lighted on so unpromising an evening, the far greater part shattered, or extinguished, by the wind and wet.

13. (S.)

Those parts of the entertainment at Astley \ or the Circus, which do not consist of pranks, or horsemanship.

14. (S.)

Sitting with an excruciating head- ache, to see a vile play, acted by viler performers, for the eighth


or tenth time, in a crowded back-row of the Little Theatre, with a dull party, in August !

15. (S.)

The endless interval which sometimes passes be- tween the play and farce — and this while you are sitting by a lady, whom you consider it as your duty to entertain, but who does not consider it as her duty to be entertained; and, still less, to re- quite your attempts in kind.

16. (S.)

At the play — the sickening scraps of naval loy- alty which are crammed down your throat faster than you can gulp them, in such After-pieces as are called "England's Glory,"— " The British Tars," &c— with the additional nausea of hearing them boisterously applauded.

17. (S.)

Wading through those gossiping-scenes of a play, in which the lacquep and waiting-maids lay their heads together about the plans, and characters, of their Masters, and Mistresses; — or, that part of

the opera, in which Signor and Signora — ' — •

{we all know who) fill up the void, while Billington, Viganoni, &c. are refreshing themselves behind tha scenes.


18. (S )

Prolonging your stay in London, for the express purpose of going to the Panorama, on the report of a late change in the spectacle ; then, after toiling and puffing up to the very top of the building, see- ing at your entrance — what you saw yesterday !

19. (S.)

Arriving at the Masquerade, long before the rooms have begun to fill ; — with the awful farce of lifeless buffoonery which presents itself at your en- trance ; — till, at length you have the average allow- ance of lethargic Harlequins — drunken Hermits — buckish Magicians — sneaking Emperors— august Pedlars — dejected Merry- Andrews — hoydenning Abbesses — drivelling Minervas — lusty Ghosts, &c. &c. — what little character there is, lying, exclu- sively, among the Dominos.

20. (S.) After having fee'd very high for places at Mrs # Siddons's benefit, being told, on your arrival at the house with your party, that your box has been let by mistake, to the Duchess of ****, and that there is not another place to be had for any— bribe.


Tes. Nay, Master Sensitive, 1 can't think you have chosen your happiest Misery for the last; or rather I won't allow it to be any mi- sery at all ; for as your pleasure must have lain in getting out of these enchanting places as fast as possible, (though for a particular purpose, you had bound yourself to go into. them,) you ought, I think, to have considered it as a high stroke of good luck to have thus reconciled the satisfaction of having attempted to do } T our duty, with the still higher satis- faction of leaving it undone. For — to fetch a parallel case out of the Roman History — if old Regulus's opinion could be taken upon his own affair, I fancy he would tell us, that though he thought it became hirn to keep his word by returning to Carthage, for the par- pose of occupying that teizing tub which the carpenter had fitted up for his reception, he would have been oolite as well pleased if he had found, on his arrival, that it had just been let out, " hy mistake," to another gentleman !

Sen. Yes, yes; that is all very true ; — but, to whisper in your ear a secret, of which you may think I ought to be ashamed, — I suffered, for this only time in my life, the bitterest


mortification at finding the box-door shut in my face. — If I am wrong in this, Mrs. Siddons must answer it; for, as long as she remains within the reach of my eyes, and ears, I freely forgive the shrieks of catgut — the bangs of doors — the whistle of catcals — the snuffs of candles — the lungs of the audience — the lazi- ness of the ventilator— the blusterings of ap- prentices — the critiques of my neighbours — I the y awning-time between the pieces — and the accumulated crimes of Author, Composer, Machinist, Prompter, Scene-shifters, Singers, Actors, and Actresses — for her dear, single sake.

Tes. Much good may she do you ! for my own part, however, 1 don't at all fancy the proportion of being u dull for an hour, and mad for a minute;" — besides, the madder the minute, the duller the hour, with me : — I saw her once, myself; and I must own, she so ef- fectually conjured me away to the supposed scene of action, that as often as she finished her speech, I was within an ace of leaping on the stage, and knocking down all the rest of the Dramatis Personam for lugging me back again to Covent Garden — no, Drury-lane — it


was before she took her last flight from one stage to the other. — But to come to our chief point; — Public Places, Sir, are Public Pest- houses: — that's clear. — What next: — Have you any other experiments upon human hap- piness to propose ?— If you have, I hope you can contrive to suit them to my occasions; for 1 am just going a journey that will drag me over half the counties in England.

Sen. Nothing can be more apropos : I was that instant going to tell you of a similar ne- cessity on my part; and as our plans thus agree, what can we do better than take me- moranda of the " Miseries of travelling V — a more fertile field was never opened to the wretched ! — You, too, perhaps, as well as myself, propose to take in what are curiously called Pleasure-excursions in your way ?

Tes. Humph! — aye, so Mrs. Testy seems to think; and if so, I will punish her, by making her keep the diary of detestables on the road. — Any thing else to say ? — be quick !

Sen. You seem in wond'rous haste, Mr. Testy, When do you mean to start ?

T^s. Oj in a quarter of an hour, at latest ;


— I made up my mind to going, full two hours ago ; and don't remember that I ever loitered so long after I had resolved upon a journey, in all my life : — good bye to you.

Sen. Stay, Sir, — one word more, if you please : — how do you intend to travel ?

Tes. Hum — that's a cutting question, Sen- sitive; how ? — why, in more ways than one; and among others, 1 believe, if you must have it, in — in — in Stage-coaches — confound the scoundrels that first thought of them !

Sen. The very point to which I was lead- ing; — so, alas! must I. — Weil then; at our next meeting, we will first dispose of the more gentlemanly vexations of the road — those which will overtake us on horse-back, and in our own carriages — and next, as to these periodical nests of vulgarity, in which disgust is let out by the mile, — the Stage- coaches, — we will, afterwards, abuse them by themselves, considering them as the very climax and pinnacle of locomotive griefs.

Tes. Well, well — as you please : — I leav*e


the arrangement of our plagues to you ; — as to the plagues themselves, I am secure enough of my full share — and so I hope yon have no " more last words," for I can't stay to hear thera.




Testy Senior and Junior. — Sensitive.


uo ! here we are at last, with a private house over our heads, and the free use of our own feet again, for a twelvemonth at least, I hope — bidding a long adieu to Bedlam, in the shape of an inn — flying fields and trees, under the fine name of prospects — wild beasts with saddles clapped on their backs, and so called Horses — and a travelling trap for a sitting room ! — I shall really almost think, for a day or two to come, that there is some pleasure in being at home.

Sen. Why, as in the one case your Miseries


come to you, while, in the other, you go to them, you are so far right, at least, as you prefer the least troublesome mode of being un- happy : — For myself, however, I confess I do not find my feelings quite so accommodating. At home, to be sure, we are ; — yet what is home, but a torment divided into three shares ; one consisting of the recollected Miseries of the last journey — another of the anticipated horrors of the next — and a third, of the sta- tionary stumbling-blocks peculiar to itself.

Tes. Weil, Sensitive, I must repeat my aold confession, that you are a more dextrous .grumbler, where Mind is most concerned, than myself; for my part, if my journey, when it is over, would let Body alone, I think I could manage my spiritual part tolerably well ; — but here am I, you see, with a sort of traveller's lumbago upon me, from sitting ten or twelve hours on a stretch, (or rather with no stretch at all) doubled up in a box of about two feet and a half square, day after day, and week after week. I Teriiy believe ail the bones in my body have shifted places within the last month ; and 1 don't find that the rheumatism which I caught in my last damp



bed, but one, seems to have shuffled them into their old quarters — and still less, the kick of a horse, which, no later than yesterday, took me across the ribs, by way of welcome, at my own door ! I have a long account, too, to settle with my Eyes, which were never worth a halfpenny, and don't seem much mended by a hot sun^ which took advatitage of my hav- ing left my green spectacles at one of the inns, to stare in upon me all day long, at one window or another, at every twist of the road, — But come ! what are you thinking of? It is high time to begin ; — you have not served, your memorandum-book as I did my glasses, it's to be hoped ?

Sen. Alas ! but I have — and I have also lost many links of the sad chain of mischances which you seem to have been relating, by endeavouring in vain to recollect where I left it: — but it matters not; my memory, which never fails me in a bad cause, will serve as well; nay, so deep is the impression which my late Travels have left upon my imagination that I would undertake to record them faith- fully at a deferred conference, an hundred years hence. — As you appear to have a


peculiar kindness for Inns, I will treat you with a choice sample of satisfactions in that walk of enjoyment.

Groan 1. (S.)

In the room of an inn to which you are con«  fined by the rain, or by sudden indisposition, the whole day, finding yourself reduced to the following delassemens cle cceur ; — and first for the Horning ; ~ examining the scrawled window-panes, in hopes of curious verses, and finding nothing more piquant than " I \o\e pretty Sally Appleby of Chipping- Norton." — " Sweet Dolly Meadows V — " A. B. G. M. T. S. &c- &ci dined here July the 4th, 17-39- " — " I am very unappy. Sam. Jennings/' — " Life at best is but a jest." — " Win* Wilkins is a fool;" — with " So are you," written under it. —

  •  ; dam pit," &c. &c. together with sundry half-

finished initials scratched about.

Then for your Evening recreations: — After hav- ing for the twentieth time, held a candle to the wretched prints, or ornaments, with which the room is hung — (such as female personifications of the Four Seasons, or the Cardinal Virtues, daubed over, any how, with purple, red, and raspberry- cream colours— or a series of halfpenny prints, called u Going out in the Morning," — Starting a


Hare/' — " Coming in at the Death," &c. — or a Jemmy Jessamy lover in a wood, in new boots, but without spurs, whip. horse 3 or hat, with his hair full dressed, on one knee, in the dirt, before a coy May-pole Miss in an old-fashioned riding dress ; both figures being partly coloured, and partly plain — *or a goggling wax Queen bolt upright in a deep glass case, among the minikin pillars of a tawdry temple, wreathed with red foil, tinsel, and green varnished leaves — or the map of England, with only about four counties, and no towns in it, worked in a sampler by the landlady's youngest daughter, " aged 1 years,"— or a little fat plaster- man on the chimney-piece, with his gilt cocked hat at the back of his head, and a pipe in his mouth ; being the centre figure to a china Shakspeare and Mitton, in Harlequin jackets, at the two ex- tremities — after getting all this by heart, (I say) asking, in despair, for some books; which, when brought, turn out to be Bracken's Farriery — three or four wrecks oi different spelling books — Gauging made easy —a few odd vols, of the Racing Calendar —an abridged Abridgment of the History of England in question and ans\\er, with half the leaves torn out, and the other half illegible with greasy thumbing —an old list of Terms, Transfer days, &c. with Tax Tables, &c. &c»*— in each of which you try a few


pages, nod over them till nine o'clock, and then stumble to bed in a cloud of disgust.

Tes. " O, horror, horror, horror, horror, horror!" — I can never hope to go beyond this, and so you must take the will for the deed— and yet the following would have made no bad figure, had it stood by itself; you shall hear ;- —

2. (T.)

In riding against the wind — feeling a great in- sect dash into your eye — (" subito oculis objicitur monstrum I'*) — then, after carrying it home in an, agony, and sitting for an hour while the socket is rummaged with the corner of an handkerchiefs- your eye left sorer than ever, the animaljgseeming considerably grown, since he first took shelter under your " pent-house lid."

3. (S )

Starting for a long ride, on a dinner engagement, without a great coat, in a mist, which successively becomes a mizzle, a drizzle, a shower, a rain, a torrent: — on arriving at the house, at last, com- pletely drenched, you have to beg the favour of making yourself look like a full or an empty sack,, by wearing your host's intractable clothes.

mm >


Tes. O, I can dine out as provokingly as you can : —

4. (T.)

Riding out to dinner, many miles off, on a beast ♦that will not quit his walk, while you know that nothing short of a full gallop will save your time : «-*-no spurs, and nothing in your hand but a weak stick, which you presently break into & flail; and this (for fear of being reduced to the stump) you are obliged to use more gently than before, though the animal would take more beating (if you had it to give,) than ever.

5. (S )

On your return from an excursion to North Wales, the Lakes, &c. being asked by the first friend you meet whether you saw *****, naming the most celebrated spot in the whole tour— ^the only place, however, which by some villainous mis- chance you did not see,

6. (T.)

On packing up your own clothes for a journey, because your servant is a fool — the burning fever into which you are thrown, when, after all your standing, 'stamping, lying, kneeling, tugging, and kicking, at the lid of your trunk, it still peremptorily


refuses to approach nearer than half a yard to the -lock v ■ •;

7. (T.) J

The flap of a limber saddle rolling up, and gall- ing, and pinching your calf, just above the half-boot, through a long day's ride.

8. (T.)

A very high hard-trotting horse, who sets off before you have discovered that the stirrups are too long to assist you in humouring his jolt ;— then, trying in vain to stop him.

9. (T.)

Beguiling a long distance in a carriage, at night, over an execrable road, with a drunken coachman, jaded horses, and frightened ladies.

10. (T.)

At an inn, after pulling off your boots, — the option of going barefoot the rest of the evening, or expatiating in a pair of boundless slippers that have been tenanted by a thousand feet ; and which, when you do wear them, (as you must in going up to bed over the wet stairs,) are stumbled off, and to be stooped for, when you are dead asleep, at every stair, from the ground to the garret,


u. m

At the moment when your horse is beginning to run away with you, losing your stirrup— which runs away too ; and bangs your instep raw,, as often as you attempt to catch it with your foot.

12. (S.)

In a summer excursion with a delightful party —having one Black Sheep in your flock, who, though he obtruded himself upon the company, neither enjoys fine scenery, joins in your gaity, can, put up with inconveniences on the road, nor readily falls in with your travelling arrangements — yet wilL not take himself away.

13. (T.)

Being mounted on a beast who, as soon as you have watered him on the road, proceeds very coolly to repose himself in the middle of the pond, without taking you at all into his counsel, or paying ^the slightest attention to your vivid remonstrances on the subject

14. (T.)

Sleeping — or ather trying in vain to sleep— at an inn, on the assembly night : your chamber being immediately contiguous to the ball-room, and your <ars assailed, till the time of rising, by the constant


din of feet and fiddles — not to mention perpetual irruptions of whole herds of Bucks, blundering into your room, full of jest, and roaring for refresh- ments, &c* — neither lock nor bolt to the door.

15. (&.)

On a solitary journey — arriving at a poor town at the time of the Fair, or on market day, and (the only tolerable house being full) being shewn into " the worst inn's worst room/ 7 the centre of which is occupied by a large round deal table, well slopped with beer, the whole apartment reeking with the stale fumes of tobacco ; — while you remain, your solitude is enlivened by the roaring jocularity of drovers, draymen, poachers, &c. &c. idling over their mugs by the fire side, and scarcely divided from you by a thin partition,

16. (T.)

A coach-window-glass, that will not be put up when it is down, nor down when it is up*

17 (T)

On arriving, with a foundered horse, at a lone- inn, with the intention of taking a bed, — every room occupied ; so that you are under the neces- sity of passing a frosty night in a chair by the


side of a sullen fire, while you solace yourself, hour after hour, with a succession of abortive attempts to feed it into a blaze :—

" But lo ! the burning fire that shone so bright Flew off, all sudden, with extinguished light: That other victor-flame a moment stood, Then fell — and lifeless left th* extinguished wood ; For ever lost, th' irrevocable light Forsook the black'ning coals, and sunk to night !"

Dryd. Pal. and Arc.

18. (S.)

In travelling on horse-back through an unin- habited country, enquiring your way, as you pro- ceed, of different rustics, each of whom, besides giving you unintelligible directions as to your road, represents the place in question as many miles farther off than it had been reported by the last; thus making you seem to recede in your prog ress ; —not to mention your expense of time and temper, from their anxious and useful enquiries as to the/ point from which you started, together with their rigmarole wonderings and lamentations at the number of miles which you have travelled out of your way.

19- (T.) After having, with the utmost difficulty, closed,


and locked, and corded, your crammed trunk — being obliged to undo all, in order to get at some- thing which lurks at the very bottom : — this, two or three times over.

20. (T.)

Attempting to pencil memoranda in a curricle, on a single piece of paper placed in the palm of your left hand : — cross road.

21. (S.)

The moment of discovering that you have drop- ped a highly-valued hereditary whip or stick out of an open carriage, without knowing when or where.

22. (T.)

Getting up for a journey, with a racking head- ache, which has kept you awake till within half an hour of the time when you are called — the follow- ing scene having passed between you and your tra- velling companion : —

a Mane, piger, stertis : — Surge! inquit; eja Surge ! — Negas. — Instat : surge ! inquit : — non queo : — surge !" Pers. 1

1 You, snoring, dream till noon : — " Up I up!" he cries. No, no :— -" Yes ! Yes ! get up I"— I can't :— " Rise, Riser*


23. (S.)

While on a visit, without a servant — counting out your linen (shaking piece by piece) for the wash, and drawing up, at intervals, a catalogue raisonnec of the litter*

24. (S.)

Going to an inn at Newmarket, Epsom, &c. at the close of the race-week, and finding nothing but dirt and confusion— empty larder — servants worn out and dead asleep, &c. and the whole town u as dull as a great thaw." Shak.

25. (T.)

On the road, suddenly rinding your stock of snuff exhausted; — then, on flying ta a shop in a country town, at which you are told that they have all sorts — nothing but Scotch.

Ned Tes.

" O Scotland 1 . Scotland!"

26. (T.) On opening your trunk, after a long journey, discovering that the snuff contained in an ill-packed canister, has " burst its cearments/' and grimed itself into your clean linen, &e.


27- (S.)

In riding — after having dismounted in a solitary place, being refused by your horse the liberty of remounting him — no one being at hand to hold his head — so that, after many hard, but ineffectual struggles with him, he finishes the dispute by a parting kick, and so takes his leave*

28, (S.) In seeing what is called " a Shew-house," — keep- ing pace, whether you will or not, through all the rooms, with another party, (Hottentots,) — by which means, besides having your privacy destroyed, you cannot hear (or cannot understand) what is said by one guide, for the continual counter-gabble of the other.

29. (T.) On arriving at an inn, half-drowned, and half- frozen, in an open carriage, and eagerly flying for your life to the kitchen fire, as the warmest place, —being, every instant, humped, bumped, hustled, bustled, scalded, and scolded, from your post, by a, mob of red-hot cooks and scullions, waiters, &c. as they are in the full fermentation of getting up- two or three large dinners.


Sen. Poor Mr. Testy ! — there was both the " stare loco nescit/' and the « et tremit artus." Virg.

Tes. Yes, and 1 have another shivering misery for you.

30. (TV)

In a bleak ride — to be kept freezing at a turn* pike-gate for half an: hour, while you fumble in your pocket, with a thick glove on, (which you have not courage to take off) for pence to pay ; — your fingers being so stupified by the cold, that, even without a glove, they could not feel the dif- ference between a handkerchief and a halfpenny.

31. (T.)

Evening relaxation for two, at a bad inn : — on asking for a back gammoii-board, seeing one brought in, in ruins — the men half lost, and the dice quite: if you are still bent on playing, you supply the de- ficiency of the former with wafers, pocket-pieces, lip-salve-boxes, cut cards, &c. and of the latter with bits of cork, shaped out as you can, burning out the dots wi{h a red-hot fork, which, in your hurry, occasionally jerks off, and drills a deuce or two extraordinary in your own hand — —



    • Even then this forked plague is fated to us*

When we do quicken"

This is Horace's

" Periculosce plenum opus alece" with a vengeance !

Tes. I won't be interrupted, Ned! — (he reads on)

deuce or two extraordinary in your own

hand ; and when all is done, your dice might as well be cogged ; for, from the great difference you have made in the breadth of their faces, they turn up? 99 times in 100, the same numbers.

32. (S.)

Visiting an awful Ruin, in the company of a Romp, of one sex, or a Hun, of the other.

33. (S.)

At a bad inn — a very small egg brought to you in a very tall wine glass, at the bottom of which, the eggs lips and tumbles about, far below the reach of your fingers and the spoon.

34. (S.)

At an inn-dinner^— when you have ordered some


fruit, and received a sprightly " Yes, Sir!" from the waiter, which raises your hopes to the highest pitch, seeing, after a long delay, the promised treat set upon the table — consisting of one dish of mellow apples, a second of green medlars, a third of flinty grapes, and a fourth of withered walnuts — the only circumstance of reality attending }~our sham-desert being the very substantial price which you are made to pay for it*

25. (S,)

In a sketching ramble — a charming morsel of the picturesque breaking out upon you, with every at- tendant advantage of sun and distance— delicious catching lights on the principal objects, &c. &c. — then, just as you have snatched out your drawing- apparatus, and are in the act of striking the first stroke — seeing the sun quietly slink behind a mass of black clouds, where he sports oak for the rest of the day.

36\ (T.) When you are on horse-back, alone — the outer bandage of a hurt in your bridle-hand coming un- done, and all the iest of the binders loosely dangling ialf on, and half off.


Ned Tes.

" felices ter et amplius,

Quos irrupta tenet copula !** , Hor.

37. (s.)

After you have rashly ventured upon an unex- amined sandwich at an inn, discovering, as you get on, that it contains more butter (and that bad) than bread; and, for one inch of lean, four or five of stringy fat,

38. (S.)

On the road — one of the wheels of your carriage beginning to creak miserably : — not a ladle full of grease within twenty miles.

39. (T.)

Your carriage-horses all at once standing in- flexibly still, just as you are entering, late in the evening, upon Hounslow-heath, with half your in- come in your pocket, and no pistols to guard it.

40. (S.)

After passing many days at an inn, in a very

remote place, where you are totally unknown, (at

the Isle of Wight, for instance, where it happened

to me } ) calling for the bill, at leaving the house ;



and, on applying to your purse, finding nothing higher than shillings and sixpences, and very Jew of them.

41. (T.)

Bursting your gloves at the beginning of a cold, rainy day's journey, on horseback, through an un- frequented country, without a glove-shop to be found in it; and so holding the bridle with wet frozen fingers dangling out of the torn places.

42. (S.)

Ascertaining— from the natural consequences of that mode of travelling— that one or two of your wheels have slipped their linen-pins !

43. (S.)

In North Wales — after a long morning's ram- ble over Snowdon — on returning, half-famished, to your ill-provided inn, finding that the fowl and ve- getables, which you had bespoken for dinner, have just been clawed off the spit, and out of the pot, vi et armis, by half a dozen head of low, blustering rascallions, who had come in from their hilly ex- cursion, bellowing for food, a few minutes before you.


Ked Tes.

" At subito, horrifico lapsu demontibus adsunt, Diripiuntque dapes, contactuque omnia foedant Immundo : turn vox tetrum dira inter odorem."


44. (TO

Discovering, at the end of a long and fatiguing journey, that you have involuntarily lightened your travelling carriage by leaving, two or three hundred miles behind, the box of letters, papers, account- books, &c. which constituted the sole object of your expedition.

Sen. So, Sir; here seems to end the list of our politer inconveniences in the character of travellers : — and now, you remember, no doubt, the subject with which we agreed to defile our tongues during the remainder of our interview ? We were, in the last place, you know, to count the stings received from the various reptiles that swarm in and about Stage-coaches.

Tes. Count them ?— -you don't mean all of them, I trust ? — not that I am going to accuse myself of having kept my accounts in a very slovenly way; but only, that if you expect


the whole amount of the punctures you talk of, why, you might just as well require me to. deliver in a tale of all the pores in my skin: you'd belter have sent out Jedidiah Buxton, if he is still in the land of the living, to cater for « groans" along the road : he, who could multiply three or four long rows of figures by his head, might, possibly, have been able to keep summing up his twinges, as fast as he felt them ; but as for me, between my suffering and my ciphering, I should have counted myr self into a strait- waistcoat, I fancy, long before I had reached the first stage of my journey !

Sen. Gently, Mr. Testy. — I did not intend to overload you like one of the coaches of which we are speaking ; I shall be content with a few selections from the great mass of your mortifications — such as I propose to produce in my turn,

Tes. O, your servant ! — those you shall have without demur — that is, if I can manage to spell out Mrs. Testy's pretty scribble here — do but look ! — it seems as if a spider had dropped into the ink-stand, and then crawled all over the paper.^-I am a man of my word, you see, Sensitive — I kept her close to


her task, as I said I would, through all the heaviest part of our journey, (which I need not say, was the stage-coach part,) and gave her a new pencil as soon as we got into the Fly— (the Fly ! — impudent dogs ! — I wonder it had not been the Eagle; our Jiight, you must know, was at the rate of about three miles an hour, stoppages not included ; — if they had come to me for a name, I should have given them " The Slug,") — but come — let's see how she begins ;


Groan 1. (T.)

Sitting down to a stage-coach dinner, at a vile inn, with the outside passengers let in upon you — and, as soon as you have begun to lose some part of your misery, by having helped yourself to some- thing better than you expected, the Coachman bursting in, and then bursting out, with " All ready, Gem'men !"—

Ned Tes.

" Libavitque dapes, rursusqne irmoxius imo Successit tumulo } et depasta" cibaria u liquit."



Tes. Well said, Maro !— -I could hug the dog for the word tumulo — a name for a stage- coach which beasts rumble-tumble, caterpillar, and every other English nick-name, out of

the field.

2. (S.)

Travelling a few hundred miles in a stage- coach — I beg pardon— in a " Slug"— in which you, at first, found one very acceptable person — who, however, just as you have become ex- tremely intimate, leaves you, early in the first day's journey, exposed to a dull, coarse crew, who overwhelm you with gloom, disgust, and self-abasement, during the everlasting remainder of your jumble.

3. (T.)

After having over-slept yourself at the inn, (in consequence, of your bad bed having kept you awake two thirds of the night,) dressing yourself in a fever; then, on hastily pulling at your tight ill-dried boot, seeing your heel, and half your foot, come staring out, with a loud crash, through the leather behind:— *- in this unspeakable moment, hearing the last curse of the waiting coachman, as he furiously drives off without you ; in the midst


of your bellowed intreaties that he would stop an instant longer.

Sen. Not he ! — or he would not be a stages coachman : —

Ned Tes. No : —

-" frustra retinacula tendens,

Fcrtur equis auriga, neque audit currus." — Virg.

4. (S. Just as you are going off, with only one other person on your side of the coach, who, you flat- ter yourself, is the last, — seeing the door sud- denly opened, and the guard, coachman, hostler, &c. &c. craning, shoving, and buttressing up an overgrown, puffing, greasy, human Hog, of the butcher, or grazier-breed — the whole machine straining and groaning under its cargo, from the box to the basket. — By dint of incredible efforts and contrivances, the Carcase is, at length, weighed up to the door, where it has next to struggle with various and heavy obstructions in the pas- sage. When, at lengh, the whole Beast is fairly slung in, and (after about a quarter of an hour consumed in the operation,) plunged down and bedded, with the squelch of a falling Ox. and the grunt of a Rhinoceros, — you find yourself suddenly


viced in, from the shoulder to the hip; upon which the Monster — when, in another quarter of an hour, he has finally pumped, and panted, and snoi tied himself into tranquillity,-— -begins to make himself merry with your misery, and keeps braying away, — totally callous to the dumb frowns, or muttered execrations, (" curses not loud but deep) of the whole coach.

Tcs. O the quaggy rascal! — how I'd have kneaded him with my elbows about the kid- neys! — yes — l ? d have given him a little bone to his fat; and then I'd have got all the pas* sengers, above and below, to lend me a hand in working, and rolling him to the door, and then lowering him down the steps; and so there we'd have left him, flouncing and wal- lowing in the middle of the road, like a stranded Grampus !

Sen. Nay, Mr. Testy, though, in the pre- sent case, I was the sufferer, and groaned sufficiently under the annoyance, I must beg leave to say, in behalf of my fat foe, that such vengeance would have exceeded all bounds; nor have 1 ever understood that a man's legal right to a seat in a stage coach,

'miseries of travelling. 121

is to be determined by weight and scale. — How, then, would you have proceeded under the following still more aggravated circum- stances ?

5. (S.) On entering a stage-coach for a long journey, finding (amongst other pleasant inmates,) at least one muddling mother, with a sick — but not silent — infant: — windows all as close as wax, for the poor child's sake t

Yon know me, Mr. Testy, and can con- ceive the state of my feelings on this occasion — I cannot tell you against which I was most envenomed — the child, or the mother.

Tes. Nay, I hope you are not very uneasy under that doubt; for Virgil, who was in the same puzzle, seems to think it can never be settled, — one, he says, being exactly as bad as the other !

" crudelis hi quoque, mater : —

Crudelis mater magis, an puer improbus ille ? — Improbusille puer— crudelis tu quoque mater/'—

You see, he had been beating his brains about the matter for a long time, and yet could not


make up his mind to any thing decisive, at last, — As to myself, I am always much most bitter against the brat : — in a stage-coach, above all -places,

" Quodcunque ostendis mihi sick, (O that I could add incredulus !) odi." Hor.

6. (S.)

In one of what are called .the short stages, the long time during which you are doomed to reside at the door of one public -house after another, while the rascally driver stops to make himself drunker and drunker.

7. (S.)

While passing in the mail-coach through a de- lightful country, catching perpetual glimpses of the most picturesque scenes, or objects — from which, however, you are unfeelingly whirled $way, in the midst of your passionate longings to stop and sketch them.

8. (S.)

The attempts at Sleep which you make in a night-coach, under the following lulling circum- stances : — no night-cap — clapping your head, with a new hat on it (which you feel that you are ruin- ing for ever) against the side-pannel, from which it


is Incessantly cuffed and bumped away by the jumps and jolts of the coach — your knees miserably cramped — your opposite neighbour continually bobbing forward, in his sleep, into your stomach— the guard's horn frequently braying you broad awake out of your momentary doze — feverish rest- lessness all over you, &c. ; — then, just as you are, at last, sinking into something very like a nap, making a dead stop at the inn where the passen- gers are to sup ; when you all yawn, limp, shiver, and blunder along, in the dark, to a cold room, where you sit in gloom} r , weary, numb, stupid silence, waiting without end for the supper, which, when brought in at last, you cannot touch, though very hungry ; till at length, you crawl, jaded and grumbling, back to your endless, hopeless, haras- sing jumble — On looking out of ihe window at day- break, you find that you are just taking leave of a sublime or beautiful country, through which you have been stealing all night ; and entering on a dull, barren flat, which continues through the day — as it had done through the day before.

9. (T.)

On stopping at a public house, to water the horses, in the middle of a burning day, eagerly ordering something to drink, which the waiter is


so Ions; in bringing, that the coachman will wait no longer; then, at the moment when he has driven off, looking wistfully back, and seeing a fine froth- ing tankard brought out for you : — coachman inexorable,

10. (T.)

In a coach which is made to carry but four, and is full, — being assailed by the most vehement im- portunities to take in what they call a lady ; leav- ing you only a choice of Miseries — granting, or refusing.

11. (S.)

Seeing at the door of an inn at which the coach stops, a most bewitching creature, with whom you fall, instantly, deeply, and inextricably in love- but who suddenly trips away, .and is succeeded at her post by a Harridan, with a face tattooed with wrinkles — the very home of ugliness and spite ; and who continues as the substitute of your channeij during the remainder of your halt. * .

12. (S.) *

After starting on a very long journey, through a variety of strange counties, discovering that you have left your road-book behind, so that you see every thing in pre found ignorance ; not knowing, whether the town through which you are passing is


Kidderminster or Aberdeen, &c. &c. — the other passengers all fools, or foreigners, with no light to throw on the difficulty.

13. (T.)

Seeing and hearing the roof of a crazy coach groan, crack, and bend, over your head, beneath the successive flouncing weights of a dozen pon- derous passengers, who continue to " keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads/' by shifting their places twenty times during the journey,

14. (S.)

First, failing of a place in a night-coach ; then ? (your journey urgent, and no other conveyance to be had) the cool comfort of a seat on the roof, with- out a great coat, amidst a gang of wretches, while a sleety rain is just coming on.

Sen. There, there, Mr. Testy !— in pity, ]et us go no farther — though you, I see, as well as myself, have still a formidable list behind. — In our distresses of a more lofty and generous character, where dignity remains unblemished, we have hitherto been able to support ourselves under the severest torments


of memory, which even in their worst extre- mities, leave us, still, the glory of falling, as it were, by the hands of the brave: — but, really, after having already descended to ac- tual contact with the pollutions of a stage- coach, to be thus poisoning each other with their posthumous effluvia, by a voluntary act of imagination, were to die like hogs, instead of heroes.

Tes. O I'll have done, with all my heart; —besides, as we can believe each other with- out proof, you know, it is only so much good fortitude thrown away ; and so [ beg we may bottle up the remainder of our nauseous argu- ments for our enemies, against the day of trial, whenever it may come. — So then ! — upon the whole, friend Sensitive, between one sort of carriage and another, roads, saddle-horses, inns, and all — a rare round of wandering ad- Ventuies we have gone through! — who would sit moping at home, when he could be a traveller f

Sen. Why, as you and I, according to all present appearances, probably shall sit at home for the rest of our lives, or take but short flights in the way of visits among our


neighbours, I have just been scheming a new employment for us in our own way, which will be perfectly compatible with our dimi- nished activity as travellers : — I mean, that of noting down the comforts oi Society. Man, they tell us, is " a social animal;" — let us see, then, how he acquits himself in that character; and what advantages attend the practice of " going into company/' as the phrase is, which should hinder us from envy- ing Robinson Crusoe, who was under the fortunate necessity of reducing his visiting-list to a parrot, a blackamoor, and a few goats.

Tes. With all my heart : — I have lately been over-run with cards of invitation with- out number ; and though I had resolved to say No to them all, and keep myself out of the way of being pestered with any body's freaks, or follies, but my own — and Mrs, Testy 's; I will devote myself, Curtius-like* to this gulf, for the good of our cause. And so, if I can contrive to struggle out again, " I will meet you at Phillippi," or whatever place your Ghost shall name — for you, I think, with all your mind about you, will hardly survive


this series of pitched battles with other minds, which you have before you.

Sen, I am under some alarm for myself, I must confess ; and especially as I am not much better provided than yourself with the defence of patience; however, when my shield is worn out, I believe I must imitate your example, and brandish a cudgel. — And so I leave you.

Tes, Aye, to dress for Company, as / must — like two bulls tricked out for sacrifice :— let them take care, though, that we don't break our cords, and take to tossing — that's all




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive.


Robinson Crusoe, indeed ! No, no,— Timon or Diogenes, if you will- — these are the Recluses for me : — the privilege of storming and railing is all I have purchased by making my bow in drawing-rooms ; and I won't part with it for a trifle. — I have got safe through it, though; and so, ladies and gentlemen, your humble servant ! — tomorrow morning, I sell my house, and buy a hermitage.

Sen. Nay, my good friend, what have I done?- — Let our doors be still opea to each




other, at least ; if only for the satisfaction of groaning in concert over the evils of good com- pany — in which Imean to include, not merely the voluntary outrages we have been inces- santly suffering from our companions them- selves, but likewise the thwarting accidents, the perverse perplexities/ the unexpected con- tretems, with which Fortune herself, in pure malignity, delights to strew the carpet of social intercourse. — -I will open with one from this last mentioned class of distractions; — (producing his list) for, — excuse me, my friend — I cannot converse ; — " the genial current of my soul" is u frozen up" — my ani- mal spirits are poisoned at the fountain — and I am dead to every faculty, or desire, but those of pouring out the gathered gall th&£ frets within me;—

" the grief that doss not speak, Whispers the e'er-fraught heart, and bids it break/'

■Tes. Come, then — " give -sorrow ■words.'" — This is yoiir day, Sensitive:' — I, who, you know, am ah'nost all bbne and body, as the jockies say, can have little to throw into the hoard of spiritual solicitudes. Htfweveiy veta


may judge from the fury, in which you found me just now, that I am not quite so raw as^ you rpay fancy, even in this branch of ciir business —

" Non obtusa adeo gestamus pectora."

And as to your second division. of company- comforts, of a more mechanical kind, I have revelled in them from morning till night — so much so, indeed, that, to tell ypu the truth, I have been little in a humour tor the tranquil drudgery of noting them down in my tablets; — I have funded a few loose agonies, however, of both sorts ^ — and so as they are but a few, perhaps I might as well produce them at once ; after which, I'll give you your head during the rest of our way.

Sen. Begin, Sir, tyy .all means; and while I attend to you, I will endeavour to rouse my courage for the severer retrospect to which I am doomed; — yet which, (by one of those exquisite paradoxes in feeling, wherewith the texture of my fibres'is so mystically interlis- sued,) I at the same time, long

Tes. Whew !— upon my soul, you are a very fine sort of a — what must I call you ? — gentleman angel, I believe — you put my poor


stock of straight-forward phraseology quite upon the stretch to reach after you ! — and so now/ if your Etherialty can condescend to take any interest in such earthly stuff as I have been able to rake together, I will go over a few of " the ills that Jlesh is heir to" — as I have lately found to my cost:

Groan 1. (T.)

In attempting to take up the poker softly, (an invalid asleep in the room) throwing it violently down, sociably accompanied by the tongs and shovel in its fall.

2. (T.)

Briskly stooping to pick up a lady's fan at the same moment when two other gentlemen are doing the same, and so making a cannon with your head against both of theirs- — and this without being the happy man, after all.

3. (S.) On entering the room, to join an evening party composed of remarkably grave, strict, and precise persons, suddenly finding out that you are drunk ; and (what is still worse) that the company has shared with you in the discovery — though you thought you were, and fully intended to be, rigidly soher. .


4. (S.) A perpetual blister — alias, a sociable next- door-nei«hbour, who has taken a violent affection for you, in return for your no les3 violent antipathy to him.

Mrs. Tes. To her, if you please ; — I am sure that odious Mrs. M'Call will fairly worry me out of my life, if she stays in our neighbour- hood three months longer.

NedTts. " Vae miserae nimiura vicrna !" Virg.

5. (S.)

A fellow, who, after having obliquely applied to you for instruction upon any subject, keeps shewing a restless anxiety to seem already fully informed upon it ; perpetually interrupting your answer with — " Yes, Sir — Yes, yes, I know— true, I am per- fectly aware of that — O, of course !" — &c. &c. &c.

6. (T.)

Visiting a remarkably nice Lady, who lets you* discover, by the ill-suppressed convulsion of her features and motions, that she considers your shoes as not sufficiently wiped, (in your passage over at least twenty mats) — that you stand too near to a- .



darling jar — lean rather too- emphatically against the back of your chair — are in danger of waking Shock, by. speaking in too high a key., &c. &c. — till you begin to envy the. situation of real prisoners,

■ 7- (T.) Tearing your throat to rags in abortive efforts to call back a person who has just left you, and with whom you have forgotten to touch oh one of the most important subjects which you met to discuss.

8. (T.)

After having been accidentally detained .on a water-excursion far beyond the time you have to spare, rowing homeward, against wind and tide, with ah appointment of the utmost consequence before you, which, you know, will soon be— behind you. — Their, in plucking out your watch to, see Aoxo muck too late you shall be, jerking it over ihe ^ide of Hie boat, and seeing it founder in an instant.

Tbeie, Sir ; I have clone; it is but a scanty budget bf disasters, you'll Say ; — but> to.go Back to our old distinction, what it wants hi iktmberyii hVake§ up in Weight, I hope.

'Sen. Ttief are very " 'decent sorrows," Mr. Tesl^ jj d&rrt bfe discourage*!. — Whether mine


deserve to be considered as excelling them, it is not for me to determine; you shall immediately be enabled to form your owa opinion, for I have now collected courage to encounter the recapitulation. Take them, for the -present; in their rude state ; — for 1 have not yet found calmness to digest each under the separate chapter of chagrins into which I have said that my social miseries resolve themselves.

9, (S.)

Suddenly thinking. of your best argument hi a debate, and, in your. eagerness to, swallow* ing your wine the wrong way, and so squeaking and croaking more and more unintelligibly, with the tears running down your cheeks, till the conversa- tion has been turned, or your antagonist has left the company : —

— — - " in mediis conatibus, aegri

Succidimus ;— non lingua vaiet, non cprpore Betas Sufficiunt vires — nee vox, nee verba sequuntur."

• -Virg*

1 ** We, 'midst our strugglings, fainting powerless, Fail —not tine tongue can do its wonted task, , . . , Nor in our frames the .well known functions serve,

Nor voice, m$ will angulation coxae."


Tes. Excuse me for interrupting you — but I just recollect a slill worse case of the same kind : — ■

10. <T.)

After having left a company in which you have been galled by the raillery of some wag by profes- sion — thinking, at your leisure, of a repartee which, if discharged at the proper moment, would have blown him to atoms. Or,

11. (T.)

Losing your way in an argument, so as to be obliged suddenly to hold your tongue, though, an instant before, you had the whole series of your reasonings full in view, and could you have brought them to bear upon your opponent at the proper moment, he must have been struck dead.

12. (S.) Accompanying a fond father in his attendance at his daughter's " dancing-day/' at a petty boarding- school.

.13. with which it


is received by the different auditors, of whose stoli- dity you had not been aware.

Tes. Yes, yes, I have been there too ; — you might as well crack jokes in a dormitory at the dead of night, as in certain parties:— t€ Joco uti illo, quiclem, licet — sed sicut in somno et quietibus caeteris." — But stay — since you think yourself my master in story- telling miseries, 1 am determined to cure you of that mistake, though I break in upon you once more : —

14. (T.)

After telling, at much length, a scarce and curi- ous anecdote, with considerable marks of self-com- placency at having it to tell, being quietly reminded by the person you have been so kindly instructing, that you had it—from himself !

Sen. You have won this hit, I confess'; — but the game will be mine, be assured; — I proceed, and, I think, shall stagger you with my first move :

15. (S,)

After dinner, with a favourite party, when the cloth has been removed, and the wine of conversa-


tion, as well as of the bottle, is just beginning to brighten, — seeing the door open, and a string of staring babies brought in, and carried round, to be caressed and admired, during the rest of the sitting ; — an outrage from which there is not even a bye* law, or dead-letter statute, under our otherwise happy constitution, which will afford you the small- est fedress.

16. (S.)

Coming in too late for a breakfast-engagement, and being contemplated in silence by the rest of the company, who have done, but who think it polite to remain seated round the table, while you hastily wash down your glazed toast and butter, with drawn, vapid, cold tea- — which, bad as it is, you prefer to the operose process of a fresh preparation for you.

Tes. Breakfast ! — pho ! pho ! — dinner : —

17. <T.) . Invading an humble regular family, (while quietly assembled round the dinner table,)* Upon the wrong fay. — On entering the room, you catch the ioot- man in the act of removing the cloth— now to be relaid, and slowly spread with the luke-warm ruins of the late meal, tumultously, remanded from the kitchen, half-rescued as it is from the clutches of


the Hogs and Harpies below, and alternately sea- soned,, as you proceed, with stigmas upon every fork-fail you take up, and panegy ricks upon the delightful party with whom you were anxiously expected to partake it on the day before.

18. (S.)

Balking a good gape, by forcing your lips close together, in order to keep it a secret from a dull dog, that you are yawning in your sleeve at his stupidity.

19. (s.)

Paying a long visit at the retired house of a well meaning Soul, whose only idea of entertaining you is that of never leaving you a moment by yourself.

20. (S.)

Seeing a swaggering smatterer in knowledge en- circled by his levee of listeners, who blindly recog- nise his claim to be considered as an oracle ; — - pepetually, and bowingly, consulting him, and then patiently swallowing the response, like a bolus, without venturing to analyze it. -

21. (S.)

Being caught in the fact of ogling your charmer, by the tattling Tabby from whom you are most desirous of concealing your tender anguish.


21. (S.)

On making a morning call at the house of a retired old lady — all your conversation wholly giving way to that of the dumb creatures who com- pose her parlour-menagerie — parrots, mackaws, cats, puppies, squirrels, monkeys, &c. &c. — which open upon you all together, at the moment of your entrance, and never cease till that of your depart ture : —

" At once, an universal hubbub wild

Of stunning sounds, and voices all confus'd,

With loudest vehemence assaults his ear —

And tumult, and confusion, all embroil'd,

And Discord, with a thousand various mouths V

the good old Dowager seeming rather pleased with, so far from once attempting to silence, this hor- rible " strife of tongues."

22. (S.) Finding that your sagacious servant has cau- tiously denied you to the only person whom you ordered him to admit, and who has gone away, without leaving his address; — or, that he has as carefully produced you to the single person whcra you had sworn him to exclude.


■23. (S.)

Keeping an old engagement with foggy folks, when strongly solicited to join a party of bright

ones. Item, receiving an invitation of the

latter kind, on the day after the party has taken place.

24. (S.)

Immediately after expressing to a person your sorrow at having been from home when he lately called upon you — incautiously letting out some circumstance which completely disproves your alibi.

Ned Tes. Too bad, indeed ! — a man is ne- ver at a worse nonplus than when, like poor Darius —

u exposed he lie 8? Sen. Yes, and you may proceed —

u Without a friend to close his eyes !"

as he looks the man who has detected him, in the face.


25. (S.)

The hour before dinner during which you sit in a solemn circle of strangers :

Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa.silentia terrent ! •


Tes. Yes, and this when


26. (T,)

"During that hour, you are waiting for one who 5 on -his entrance, shews you the face of another stranger, instead of that of your particular friend, who has been invited to meGt you, but sends an excuse.

27. (S.)

Endeavouring in vain to 1 hear a person's remark, or question, addressed to you ; and after repeatedly saying '* I beg your pardon, Sir," &c. and making him go over it again, and again, still .not hearing him, — < l Nequicquam ingeminans, iterumque vocavit.*

and so being reduced either to look foolish, and

1 Horror, e'en Silence' self appals their souls 1""

a in vain repeating,

Again, and yet again he spake , ; -


remain quite silent, or, in your anxiety to seem to have heard him, answering altogether & tort et a travers.

28. (S.)

The miscarriage of a letter announcing the day and hour of your visit to a friend; — so that, on your arrival on horse-back, after a long journey, (and this, too, from accidents on the road, late at night,) you find the family all a-bed : — when after an hour's bawling and knocking, you have, succeeded in bringing a servant to the window, and with great difficulty, convinced him that you are not a mad house-breaker, you are at length let in, and on exploring the deserted rooms, in search of warmth and refreshment, rind no better entertainment than — fires raked out — empty larder- — cellar locked up — no bed prepared, &c. &c— and to conclude, no stabling for your horse, nor any public-house in the place.

29. (S.)

In conversation — inadvertently touching -the string which you know will call forth thelonge^ story of the flattest proser that ever droned.

30. (S.)

After sincerely and heartily agreeing with one


whose kindness you much wish to conciliate, in some violent sen.iment— finding, from his reply, that you have totally mistaken his meaning, and that he detests your opinion, and you his ; so that, after a feeble attempt to extricate yourself, you suddenly hold your tongue : —

" Dixit, — et extemplo, (neque enim responsa da-

bantur Fida satis,) sensit medios delapsus in hostes : Obstupuit, — retroque pedem, cum voce repressit."

Virg. * 31. (S.)

Living with, or even visiting, one, whose feelings widely differ from your own with regard to the ad- mission of fresh air.

Tes. Plain spoken enough, Sensitive : — you know pretty well that, upon this point, I am a mole, and you a camelion ; but I under- stand the hint, and so, as you have an extra- ordinary call for breath just now— -up goes the window.

1 He said— and straight, from the reply unsure, Felt him 'mid foes betray'd : amaz'd he stood, And check'd his tongue, recoiling.——


Sen. Thank you,, Sir — though I am certainly innocent of the imputed insinuation.

32. (S.)

After having, with much contrivance, effected an introduction between two persons whom you con- sidered as formed to take delight in each other, dis- covering, before the first interview is half over, that they are centrifugal with respect to each other.

33. (S.)

The abortive attempts which you occasionally make to seem in high spirits when you are both stupid and wretched ; so that your mirth, like Macbeth's Amen, " sticks in your throat :" — perceiving, moreover, that the imposture is de- tected.

Or — what is almost as bad —

34. (S.) In trying to laugh at the heavy joke of a good man, but a vile jester, (" hilaris cum pondere virtus ") producing only that sort of spurious chuckle, or laborious ha! ha!" which you feel must betray you, even to the worthy Wag himself, though not at ail Of a suspicious nature : — then,


146 Miseries of human life,

on being loudly asked by one of the company " what is the joke/' being driven to confess that you " do not know" — as, in truth, you do not ; having laughed gratuitously, (without hearing, or taking, what was said,) merely to pleasure the old Gentlemen, whose smiling eye, thrown round the table at the conclusion of his speech, had levied a general tax upon the muscles of his friends.

Ned Tes. " TiXcoq ccy.ctigos h jSgoIoi? hivov nx>tov." f Frag. Vet.

Sen. But there is another compliment of the countenance, which costs me more still :

35. (S.)

The necessity sometimes imposed on you of wringing your features into a smirk, in addressing a poltroon, who is a tiger at home, and a lamb abroad ;— or any other Miscreant out of a prison.

36. (S.)

Talking with a man of iron, who hears only himself; and who, after you have knocked all his arguments on the head, one after the other,

1 " A fit of Laughter, mal-apropos, is one of the direst M Miseries of human life."


proceeds to haunt you with their ghosts ; so that, destroying the substance only brings upon you the additional trouble of laying the shadow.

37- (T.) Sitting on with a sepulchral party after supper, two or three hours beyond the time at which you had ordered your carriage, but with which your drunken coachman is unable to come; so that you, at last, walk home five or six miles in the rain.

38. (S.)

In a large formal company, the necessity of com- municating something which you are extremely desirous of keeping secret from the rest of the party, to a person so very deat that nothing under a roar will find its way to him. — Or, the dead silence which sometimes takes place in company, while you are availing yourself of the general noise of voices, to enter upon confidential subjects with your next neighbour.

Tes. I can beat both your instances : —

39 (T.) Being compelled by a deaf person, in a large, and silent company, to repeat some very washy


remark three or four times over, at the highest pitch of your voice.

40. (S.)

The sensation of disgust, accompanied by a pecu- liar giddy faintness, not to be described, and perhaps fully felt only by myself, which affects one at cer* tain speeches, certain manners, certain modes of pronunciation, and certain samples of folly, in cer- tain persons.

41. (S.)

Grating the sensibility, the prepossessions, the self-love, the vanity, &c. of the person to whom you are speaking, by some unguarded words, which, as soon as you have uttered them, you would die to eat ; — then, floundering and plunging, deeper, and deeper, in your wild and confused attempts to reco- ver yourself.

42. (S.)

Going from house to house, for the purpose of soliciting contributions for a case of distress ; and, with all your oratory, extorting nothing more sub- stantial than ho lf-muttered good wishes for the suc- cess of your charitable endeavours — though the gcod folks are " sorry they make a rule never to give to any whom they do not know," &c.


43. (S.)

After dinner — when the charming women with whom you were sitting have withdrawn, being left exposed to a long tete-a-tete with a Torpedo ; — a fellow who will neither pump nor flow.

44. (S.)

Being applied to, time after time, by certain easy folks with short memories, for the loan of small sums, for the avowed purpose of making purchases which you painfully refuse to yourself, out of eco- nomy ; or for the still more provoking purpose of making presents to their friends.

45. (S.)

After having said what you conceive to be a good thing, but which you fear that none of the com- pany heard, finding yourself reduced to the horrible alternative of losing the credit of your wit, or of repeating your bon-mot, with the risk of its having been before heard, and disapproved ; and, in (Ids case, with the certainty of being thought both a fool and a coxcomb.

46. (S.)

When in a nervous and irritable mood — sitting with one who has an unceasing trick of swinging


himself in his chair like a pendulum — working his foot up and down like a life-grinder — beating with his nails or knuckles like a drummer, &c. &"c. — you being not sufficiently intimate with your tor- mentor to break in upon his occupations,

47. (S.)

After loudly boasting of your superior skill in stirring the fire, and being requested by the lady of the house to undertake it, — suddenly extinguishing every spark, in playing off what you had announced as a chef-d'oeuvre of the poker,

48. (S.)

Making your best bow for a supposed high com- pliment to yourself, which, however, you are pre- sently petrified by discovering was either not intended at all, or intended for another.

49- (S.) Compelling yourself to take gulp after gulp of the ipecacuanha of flattery, (known to be purely self-interested,) out of regard to the feelings of some worthy friend or relation of the parasite, and whose presence restrains you from sp-tt-ng in his face.

50. (S.)

Being crowed over in an argument by one whom


politeness prevents you from telling that you do not answer him, merely because, from the thickness of his utterance, as well as of his head, you do not know what he says, or means, •

51. (S.)

Being baited on all sides with intreaties to sing, when, either by nature or accident, you have no voice.

Tes. To which pray add,

52. (T.)

Your feelings during, and immediately after, the performance of another, who eminently possesses every disqualification for a singer.

53. (S.)

After a long pause in conversation with a re- served person, to whom you are almost a stranger, re-addressing him at the same instant when he is re-addressing you : — a polite and dead stop on both sides: — then, after a reasonable time mutually given and taken for resuming the stifled speech, without effect — both chancing, at the same point of time, to venture again — and both as suddenly,


again desisting : — till each is, at length, necessitated to take refuge in silent confusion.

54. (T.)

To be seized with morbid and irresistible sleepi- ness, while in conversation with persons who have every title to your respect or veneration, and before whom

Nc " fas est obrepere somnum." Hor.

55. (S.)

Hearing bad grammar, bad emphasis, &c. from persons who ought to know much better — without the liberty of interfering.

Tes. Yes, though you are longing to cry


u male nominatis " Parcite verbis/' Hor,

56. (S.) The comfort of being kept half an hour without your hat in a drizzling rain, while attending a button-holder to your gate.

57. (T.) On an afternoon-visit in the country — receiving


a summons to attend a few Cats, (who think them- selves Kittens,) in their evening promenade ; while the enchanting girl who formed your sole attraction to the house, is confined at home by a slight indis- position, which would have only rendered her ad- ditionally interesting.

5&, (S.)

Being drawn into an inflammatory dispute, while labouring under a no less inflammatory sore throat.

59- (S.) On going to "settle in a strange neighbourhood, far away from one in which you had a delightful society, performing Quarantine in your own house for six months at least, while the good people around you are debating, at a cautious distance, whether you may, yet, be safely approached, to be stared at upon trial.

Tes. Yes— and even should that point be, at length, settled in your favour, you are still condemned to be fumigated a few weeks longer, while it is hotly disputed, which of the party shall be thrust foremost, (like a soldier on the forlorn hope,) upon the adventure.


60. (S.)

Drawing twelfth cake with a party who have to® little fancy even to attempt to support their cha- racters — or, if they do attempt it, to succeed ; but who bespeak these, and other Christmas frolics- just as they had bespoken the plumb-cake which attaches to them — merely as a formality of the season.

61. (S.)

Being destined to live much with Automata — people who regulate all their thoughts, words, and actions, by the stop-watch —whom no entreaties can melt into a consent to rise before, or. sit up after, a stated second — to bend to the most minute variation of the dinner-hour — to light a fire before old Michaelmas-day, or keep it in after Lady-ditto — to read, or hear read, more, or less, than a mea- sured number of pages at a sitting — to stay over the farce after a play, &c. &c.

Testy. " Ilia manent immota lccis,neque abordine cedunt."

Virg. T

1 " Fix'd they remain, nor from their order part/'


62. (S.)

A long evening's tete-a-tete, in a close room, with a man who pretends that he cannot go to bed with- out choking you — L e. smoking his three or four pipes ; yet from whom you cannot escape, (though abhorring the smell of tobacco,) as you have busi- ness to transact with him which will not bear an hour's delay : —

" Ilia autem, neque enim fuga jam super ulla

pericli est, Faucibus ingentem fumum (mirabile dictu !) Evomit, involvitqne domum caligine cceca, Prospectum eripiens oculis, glomeratque sub antro Fumiferam noctem, commixtis igne tenebris." 1

What, Sir — what, good Mr. Testy, is one to do with such a fellow ?

Tes. What! — why go on to the end of the

1 "But he — for now all hope of flight was gone —

Forth vomits from his jaws (prodigious tale)

Volumes of vapours, and clouds up the place

In blindest gloom, expunging from the sight

All prospect ; and, at bottom of the pit,

Breathes night, in rolls of smoke— darkness with fire.'


passage, and you will see;- — do with him ?— why do exactly as you will there find Her- cules did with his smoking companion, to be sure : —

" Non tulit Alcides animis, seque ipse per ignem Prascipito jecit saltu, qua plurimus undam Fumus agit, nebulaque ingens specus sestuat atra ; Hie, Cacum, in tenebris incendia vana vomentem, Corripit, in nodum complexus, et angit inhaerens Elisos oculos, et siccura sanguine guttur." Virg. 1

That's what you are to do with him; and so, if you will lend me your pencil, I will write it down for you, since you seem to have for- gotten it, to be ready against your next visit to the rascal.

Sen. Your remedy, though confessedly ef- fectual, requires some consideration before I

1 " Alcides brook'd no more ; but all at once, In headlong fury flings him through the flames, There where the mist its waves pours thickest forth, And the vast dungeon with black clouds boils round. There, Cacus, 'mid th' obscure disgorging vain Those monstrous flames, he seizes — girding him Within his wreathed arms, and with fast hug Strains out his eyes, and drains his throat of gore."

miseries of social life. 157

determine to apply it: — in the mean time, I proceed : —

63. (S.)

At a dinner-table — being placed at the bottom, while all the choicest and liveliest people are thrown to the top — you longing to be among them, and to join their flights of fancy, instead of grinding along, with your neighbours at the drowsy end of the table, in their broad-wheeled waggons, on the mile-stone road of matter-of-fact.

Tes. Not to be endured — any more than another situation not very unlike it — what say you ?

64. (S.)

Falling among a junto of Lawyers, or Physicians, or Merchants, or Naval Captains, &c. — (all except yourself, of one profession) — who instantly and hotly begin to discuss the driest and most technical points relating to their causes, cases, speculations, battles, &c. (as the case may be) without granting you one merciful pause of hostilities during the whole evening : rascals ! — but the lawyers are the worst, when they set about it, because they have the freest use of their tongues : I have more than


once, fallen into their clutches ; and, as often, mut- tered between my teeth, —

_ « these are Counsellors,

That feelingly persuade me what I am !"

and that is, the most miserable dog alive, till I can get out of their company.

Sen. There are worse evils of this kind yet in store: — what purgatory can compare with that of

65. (T.)

Dining, and passing the whole evening, with a party of fox-hunters, after they have had what they call " glorious sport ;" and, while you exe- crate the very name of a hound, being gorged with the crambe recocta of one fox-chase after another, till, like Miss Larolks, you u wish the country was under ground."

66. (S.)

At an important crisis of public affairs—- after waiting in an agony for a newspaper, seeing it snatched up at its entrance by an addled fellow, who reads like a snail, and, if he gives any of it aloud, picks out the wrong article first, and bungles and garbles all the rest.


67. (S.)

Escorting two or three coaches full of country- cousins, on their first importation into London from the Terra Incognita of England, to the Lions, the Wax-work, the Monument, &c. &c.

68. (S.)

Hearing your favourite poem, play, &c. mam- mocked by the mouth of a forward Puppy, who, on a proposal that it should be read aloud by one of the company, briskly seizes upon the office, — an excellent reader being present, whose modesty withheld him from offering his services.

69. (S.)

While you are attentively listening to the infor- mation or opinions of a well stored man, being per- petually u pestered by a popinjay" at your elbow, who claws you away from your nourishment, and forces you to swallow his froth.

70. (S.)

At the tea or card-table — the intervals between the cups, or deals, eagerly filled by the remarks. upon character which drop from the " skinny lips" of certain waning Vestals ; who, moreover, manage their inuendos so adroitly, that you are obliged to


let them pass unstigmatized, (though your fairest and dearest female friends are among their victims,) for fear of sanctioning the malignity, by seeming to understand it.

71. (S.)

Falling in with a fellow who thinks he can enter- tain you by reciting in detail the dishes, courses, and cookery, of his favourite dinners for the last month — besides rehearsals of meals in prospect, as far as he is yet studied in the bills of fare; — in short, who requires you to hear him conjugate the verb to dine, in the first person singular, through all its moods and tenses.

72. (S.)

The sort of anxiety about all your motions, and purposes, which is shewn by certain persons, with whose insinuated interrogatories you have to fence for a whole evening; together.

Tes. Fence !— what, when you have not a cudgel, I suppose; that's my weapon upon such occasions.

73. (S.) Receiving the condolences of one, whose manner


and countenance confess, against his orders, that his heart is in a broad grin.

74. (S.)

Just as you have comfortably seated yourself with a party who have met by long appointment, and who are all the favourites of each other — ■ hearing the servant announce a person who is the favourite abomination of the whole set, yet who evidently shews, at his entrance, that he has been plotting an agreeable surprise for you.

75. (S.)

-At breakfast — hearing a good old lady detail, at full length, her last night's long dull dream, af- fording nothing more remarkable than the usual chaos of conclusions without premises, and that ( sort of topsy-turvy, tangled account of the flattest incidents of common life which we could ail give every morning, if we did not make all possible haste to forget the nonsense, as soon as we have recovered our senses : — but this is not all ; for as soon as she has, at length, brought her idiotic nar- rative to an end, and you begin to breathe again, your attention is once more laid in irons, whilst she buckles to the interpretation of it, in all its parts !



76. (S.)

A fellow who treats you in all respects {the fee excepted) like his physician; — unreservedly laying before you, while he is helping you at dinner, all the minutest particulars of his most revolting ail- ments, from the first attack down to the present moment ;

" Morborum quoque te causas, et signa docebo." 1


Tes. What, Sensitive ; — and do you sit quietly under this? and at table, too? — For my own part, I can't say I'm altogether so conformable; — no — as soon as ever I find these open-hearted Lazars beginning to enter into the marrow of their interesting confes* sions, I let them know my mind in a manner that pretty effectually secures me from this u misery" for the rest of that sitting : —

" Sunt verba, et voces, quibus hunc lenire dolorem Possis, et magnam morbi deponere partem/' Hot\

-now will I rehearse

The birth, and symptoms of each sore disease*


Sen. Why, what can you say to them, I beseech you ?

Tes. Say to them ? — simply pretend to be a still more miserable object than themselves ; and so, in my turn, I treat 'em with such a display of my local maladies, and then work up for 'em such lively and picturesque descriptions of the wonderful powers of my medicines, seasoned with such dainty illustra- tions of the smack they leave upon the palate in going down, that I make 'em lay down their knives and forks in a greater hurry than they took them up.

Sen. Why I must confess that, whatever other objections may he against your mode of revenge, it has both safety and justice on its side : — But I have other w r oes to tell :

77* (S) Walking in a wind that cuts to the bone, with a narrative companion, whose mind and body cannot move a.t the. same time ; or, in other words, who, as he gets on with his stories, thinks it necessary, at every other sentence, to stand stock still, face about, and make you do the same ; then, totally regard- less of your shivering impatience to push on, refuses


to stir an inch, till the whole of his endless thread is fairly wound out : —

" Dixit, et adversi contra stetit ora" —

Tes. " Juvenci;" — pray dont leave out that word ; for what a calf must you be to stand still for him ! if you'd move on, depend on't he'd follow :— such a fellow, with all his love of a dead halt, would rather tell his stories at full speed, than let you escape them, take my word for it.

78. (S.) After a long and animated debate with a friend, in the dark, and just as you have drawn forth all your strongest arguments, and are beginning exult- ingly to infer from his long silence, that you have completely worsted him, and that he has not another word to say — receiving his answer in a strong, steady snore, which shews him to have been in a sweet sleep for the last quarter of an hour.

rs. (s.)

In a ball-room — after long sitting, in profound meditation, on the extreme edge of a form, with only one other person at the farther end, being


suddenly recalled from your absence by rinding that you are amusing the company with an involuntary somerset, brought on by the abrupt departure of your Counterpoise ; — the bench (which had re- mained perfectly gentle, as long as it carried double) seizing that opportunity of throwing its astonished rider, without further ceremony, by furiously rear- ing at one end, and -plunging at the other.

80. (S.)

Being called in as an umpire in a matrimonial quarrel

Tes, Hey-day ! — ,

-" quae mens tain dira, miserrime conjiix,

Impulit his cingi telis ? aut quo ruis ¥' inquam : " Non tali auxilio, nee defensoribus istis Tempus eget !" Virg.

Sen. Mr. Testy, I agree with you in your dislike of being interrupted :— I must begin again—


Being called in as an umpire in a matrimonial quarrel — which leaves you the choice of splitting on one of the six following rocks ; — viz.


1. That of remaining silent — (for which both parlies

hate you ; each supposing that you secretly favour the other.)

2. That of pronouncing that both are in the wrong —

(for which you are, obviously, hated by both.)

3. That of insinuating that both may be in the

right — (hated, again, on both sides ; each being more enraged at your conl-re, than grateful for your pour.) 4u That of defending the lady at the expense of the gentleman — (still hated by both ;t— by her, for attacking her caro sposo, whom she will suffer no one to despise but herself; — by him, for siding with the enemy.)

5. That of dtf aiding the gentleman at the expense

of the lady — (this case is, inversely, the same with the last.)

6. That of endeavouring to make peace, by treating

the matter " en badinage" — (for which both are far too much in earnest, as well as far too eager for victory, not to hate you most of all.) —The best course, perhaps, if you cannot steal away, is to be taken with a sudden and violent fit of the tooth-ache, which may last ad libitum.

Tes. Your concluding Misery takes in two


parlies, and should be divided between us ; one moiety for you as a Bachelor, and the other for me as a Benedict. — Well, but what subject comes next? for I must hurry into the library, to meet a confounded fellow, who

Sen. Thank you for the hint, Sir ; the Li- brary itself shall find us a subject: let us try whether literary enjoyments ought to rank at all higher than any of the preceding. 1 must inform you that, during the intervals between my late delightful visits, I have generally fled for refuge to the book, or the pen ; and if you have been at all in the practice of de- pending upon the same supports, a*nd found them as miserably fallacious as I have, we shall have no difficulty in lengthening the list of our Groans, from this source.

Tes. None : — I never, yet, took up a book that I did not, in five minutes afterwards, fling to the other end of the room ; nor a pen that I did not split up to the feather against the table, before I had written two lines with it. — Books, and Pens, then, by all means, for our next theme ; I defy the good old dame who vented her spite against reading and writing, for having brought her son to the


gallows, to bear them more ill will than I do. — Tomorrow morning, then, I beg we may talk over our studies, together, in my library aforesaid. Sen. Well proposed :— you may expect me.




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive. (Testes house at Highgate.)

Testy. [Throwing the book which he had been reading into the Jire, as he sees Sensitive enter. ]

vxet you gone, and be burnt, for your pains! — Here, Sensitive, take a misery warm from the heart, while I am still suffering under it; — I will follow it with a cluster of others.

Groan 1. (T.)

Reading over a passage in an author, for the hundredth time, without coming an inch nearer to the meaning of it at th? last reading, than at the first ; — then passing over it in despair, but without


being able to enjoy the rest of the book, from the painful consciousness of your own real or supposed stupidity.

2. (T.)

As you are reading drowsily by the fire, letting your book fall into the ashes, so as to lose your place, rumple and grime the leaves, and throw out your papers of reference ; then, on rousing and re- collecting yourself, finding that you do not know a syllable of what you have been winking and blinking over for the last hour.

3. (TO

In reading a new and interesting book, being reduced to make a paper-knife of your finger.

4. (T.)

Unfolding a very complicated map in a borrowed book of value, and, notwithstanding all your care, enlarging the small rent you originally made in it^ every time you open it.

Sen. Apropos of maps: —

5. (S.) Hunting on a cold scent, in a map for a place — in a book for a passage— in a variety of Dictionaries foj a word :— clean thrown out at last.


6. (S.)

Reading a comedy aloud, " by particular desire/' when you are half asleep, and quite stupid.

7 (T) In attempting, at a strange house, to take down a large book from a high, crowded shelf, bringing half the library upon your nose.

8. (S.) Mining through a subject, or science, u invita (-or rather exosd) Mi uerva," — purely from the shame of ignorance.

9- (S.) Receiving, " from the author," a book equally heavy in the literal, and the figurative sense ; ac- companied with intreaties that } 7 ou would candidly set down in writing your detailed opinions of it in all its parts.

10. (S.)

Reading a borrowed book so terribly well-bound, that you aie obliged to peep your way through it, for fear of bieaking the stitches, or the leather, if you fairly open it ; and which, consequently, shuts with a spring, it left a moment to itself.



11. (T.)

Yes : — or, after you have long been reading the said book close by the fire, (which is not quite so ceremonious as you are about opening it,) attempt- ing in vain to shut it, the covers violently flapping back in a warped curve — in counteracting which, you crack the leather irreparably, in a dozen places.

12. (S.)

On taking a general survey of your disordered library for the purpose of re-arranging it, — find- ing a variety of broken sets, and odd volumes, of valuable works, which you had supposed to be complete ; — and then, after screwing up your brows upon it for an hour, finding yourself wholly unable to recollect to whom any one of the missing books has been lent, or even to guess what has become of them ; and, at the same time, without having the smallest hope of ever being able to replace them. — Likewise,

13. (S.)

Your pamphlets, and loose printed sheets daily getting a-head, and running mountain-high upon your shelves, before you have summoned courage to tame them, by sorting and sending them to the binder.


14. (S.)

As an author — those moments during which you are relieved from the fatigues of composition by fiuding that your memory, your intellects, your imagination, your spirits, and even the love of your subject, have all, as if with one consent, left you in the lurch.

15. (T.)

In coming to that paragraph of a news-paper, for the sake of which you have bought it, finding, in that only spot, the paper blurred, or left white, by the press ; or slapped over with the sprawling red stamp.

16\ (S.)

Reading news-paper poetry; — which, by a sort of fatality which you can neither*explain nor resist, you occasionally slave through, in the midst of the utmost repugnance and disgust.

17. (S.) As you are eagerly taking up a newspaper, being yawningly told by one who has just laid it down, that u there is nothing in it. "-—Or, the said Paper gent for by the lender, at the moment when you are beginning to read it.


IS. (S.)

Having your cars invaded all the morning long, close at your study window, by the quack of ducks, and the cackle of hens, with an occasional bass- accompaniment by an ass.

Tes. So much for the joys of Reading : — now for those of Writing ; most of which, by the bye, I experienced in minuting down the very items I am going to read to you : —

19. (T.) Writing a long letter, with a very hard pen, on very thin, and very greasy paper, with very pale ink, to one whom you wish — I need'nt say where.

Sen. Stay; I- have another reading distress, of which I am reminded by seeing Mrs. Testy at her novel : — when I have finished it, I will give up the writing miseries to you ; for you seem to have prepared yourself under that article, and I have not.

20. (S.) On arriving at that part of the last volume of an


enchanting novel, in which the interest is wrought up to the highest pitch, — suddenly finding the re- maining leaves, catastrophe and all, torn out.

Tes. So much the better — novels, indeed! — besides, as the leaves of a novel are good for nothing that I can see but to set the reader a whimpering, why, the loss of them would answer the end just as well: for there you have a € * hiatus valde deflendus" — And so now, with your leave, I will go back to my


21. (T.)

Burning your fingers with an inch of sealing wax; and then dropping awry the guinea to which you are reduced by the want of a seal.

22. (T.)

In writing : — neither sand, blotting paper, nor a fire, to dry your paper ; so that, though in violent haste, you sit with your hands before you, at the end of every other page, till the ink thinks proper to dry of itself : — or toiling your wrist, for ten minutes together, with a sand-glass that throws out two or three damp grains at a time ; and, in consequence of such delay, — (but this calamity deserves a sepa- rate commemoration)—


23. (T.)

Losing the post ; — and this, when you would as willingly lose your life.

24. (T.)

Emptying the ink-glass, (by mistake for the sand- glass,) on a paper which you have just written out fairly — and then widening the mischief, by applying rest it e blotting paper.

25. (T.)

Putting a wafer, of the size of a half-crown piece, into a letter with so narrow a fold, that one half of the circle stands out in sight, and is presently smeared over the paper by your fingers, in stamp- ing the concealed half.

26. (T.)

Writing on the creases of paper that has been sharply folded.

Mrs. Tes. Nay, Mr. Testy, with such an up-and-down hand as yours is, you ought, I think, to be glad of an opportunity of writ- ing, here and there, one straight line.


V. (T.) In sealing a letter — the wax in so very melting a mood, as frequently to leave a burning kiss on your own hand, instead of the paper : — next, when you have applied the seal, and all, at last, seems well over, — said wax voluntarily " rendering up its trust," the moment after it has undertaken it. — So much for a Fyn sigcllak ; well brand, en vast

houd r

28. (T.)

Writing at the top of a very long sheet of paper ; so that you either rumple and crease the lower end of it with your arm against the table, in bringing it lower down, or bruise your chest, and drive out all your breath, in stretching forward to the upper end.

It gets so dark that I can hardly puzzle out my memorandums: — O! that reminds me, by the way, of another morsel of reading misery which came upon me yesterday even- ing, viz.

29. (T.)

Straining your eyes over a book in the twilight, at the rate of about five minutes per line, before it H


occurs to you to order candles ; and when they arrive, finding that you have totally lost the sense of what you have been reading, by the tardy ope- ration of getting at it piece-meal.

30. (T.)

Attempting to erase writing — but, in fact, only scratching holes in the paper.

3L (T.)

Snatching up an inkstand (overweighted on one side) by its handle, which you suppose to be fixed, but which proves— to swing !

32. (T.)

Writing at the same ricketty table with another, who employs his shoulder, elbow, and body, still more actively than his fingers.

33. (T.)

Writing, on the coldest day in the year, in the coldest room jn the house, by a fire which has sworn not to burn ; and so, perpetually dropping your full pen upon your paper, out of the five icicles with which you vainly endeavour to hold it.


3*. (T.)

Looking for a good pen, (which it is your per- verse destiny never to find, except when you are indifferent about it,) and having a free choice among the following varieties. [N. B. No penknife.]

35. (T.)

Writing with ink of about the consistency of pitch, which leaves alternately a blot and a blank.

36. (T.)

Writing a long letter with one or more of the cut fingers of your right hand bundled up— or else (for more comfort) with your left hand !


See ! {shewing his fingers wrapped up) you aright as well stick a pen in a bear's paw, and bid him write: — I have had three letters this morning. returned as illegible ; and if you will look at what I have just stumped out upon that paper, you'll find they have not com- plained without reason.

Sen. I have seen finer writing, undoubt- edly;- — but what do you expect?— it is our fate: — other men never meet with these things, while we meet with nothing else.— So, too, in reading, as we have just seen ; our volumes will neither shut when they are open, nor open when they are shut— and, to come back to your present accident, our pens are never fit to be used, except when our fingers are not fit to use them ; — so it is !

Tes. Yes, yes — it is the way of things — so things go — Things ;— it has come to be a bye- word with me, to express, by a sort of short- hand language, the cross-grained twist which takes every plan and action of my life: — " Aye, that's so like things" I cry. — But I must leave you in a hurry: — can .you dine with me to-day ? — or rather, can you take your chance whether there is any thing fit to be touched i


Sen. No; — but I will do what you have unconsciously suggested, by your last words; I will meet you on your earliest leisure day, for the purpose of enlarging upon your idea of a had dinner ; when, I doubt not, we shall be able to prove, to each other's satisfaction, that those are happiest who have no appetites, and consequently eat least. Who it is that " sends cooks," the proverb has long saved us the trouble of guessing ; — and to give them their " due" as well as their Sender, most faithful missionaries they are !

Tes. Cooks ! — don't name them, Sensitive ! — for my part, I live now chiefly upon mi/k, which I am not over fond of, merely that I may have my mess dressed by the pure hand of Nature — for as to Milton's " neat handed Phyllis," she has never yet happened to offer herself to my service. — Yes, I'll talk over the kitchen with you, as soon as you please, and very eloquent I can be upon it, believe me. I only hope none of the tribe may come athwart me while 1 am warm with my subject; for it would not have a pretty look to be hanged for strangling a scullion, you know !

Sen. You would escape, Sir; — no Judge or


Jury but would recommend you to mercy 5 and no king but would extend it: — Yet, on second thoughts, with your leave, we will not defile our tongues with descriptions of foul cookery — an evil so universally felt and un- derstood, that even the adversaries, in our great Cause, will uot require us to produce the proofs; — let us rather confine ourselves to certain other distresses of the table, which, if less nauseating, are, yet, infinitely more acute, as well as more appropriate to polite sufferers.

Tes. What, are you laying your trains for monopolizing the subject, I perceive; — but you will find that in no part of the chapter of Table-torments shall I be out of my depths I'll meet you, then, on your own terms; only let me know when, in proper time.




Testy } Senior and Junior.— Sensitive. (Testg's House*)


Jl1 e y-day! frierfd Sensitive — what, in the name of nastiness, has now come

u Between the wind and your nobility ?"

why, you have not a feature in its proper place ? — have you just been passing by a pig* stye ? — or what has come across you ?

Sen. A pig-stye! — O, would that were all! — No! I have just — not passed by, but actually entered into, and at length, thank


my stars/ escaped alive out of, — a man-stye — a chop-house, Mr. Testy, a chop-house! — ■ Every poor gentleman, I believe, has done the same, once in his life, out of economy; and so, made himself sick for the rest of his clays: — O the " beggarly unwholesome knaves!" — and, if possible, still more un- wholesome provender; — take the description, reeking from the reality, while I am able to attempt it :— first, though, give me, for pity, a glass of cherry-brandy, to settle my imagina- tion, as well as my stomach. (Testy rings the bell violently, and, at the next instant, begins swearing at the delay of the servant. — Sensitive, after swallowing the cordial, delivers)

Groan 1. (S.) On my entrance, Sir, I beheld three or four silent, wan, scattered wretches, who, from their several corners, were whispering their mean orders, or set- tling their shabby accounts, with the waiter ;— as, t c bring me half a gill of wine" — " another quarter of a pint of your table-beer," &c. &c. Then, for my accommodations — coarse, grimed, slopped, scanty able cloth, from which the last man's draff and cf- al was briskly, but not effectually, whisked away, to


make me comfortable ! — knife and fork slubbered through the general knife-cloth, leaving the split handles gritty and greasy; and, on the knife, the maker's name, and the joining (or rather ^-joining) part clogged up with brick dust. I next had to beguile my waiting-time of three quarters of an hour, with the well-buttered, beered, and thumbed weekly (if not monthly) Chronicle, which I found sprawling over the bottomless cruets, dry mustard-pot, party- coloured salt, smeared spoons, &c. — At last, up came my black, raw, tough, chop, (as I had no fancy for a 19th slice, hacked from the once-hot joint,) and one or two watery, broken potatoes, with the skins on, or rather failing off, together with the oily water prepared for them in a cracked but- ter-boat. — (All this time, observe, my motions were gloomily surveyed by one or two Abjects, (seated in the same box with me) who had been already fed and drenched, but who, for no reason, sat still a long time, muzzing, and leaning on their folding arms, till, at length, they sneaked out.) — Then came the dry rank remains of some non-descript cheese ; and at last, — as I could not swallow new sloe-water, because they called it port, — my pint of stale, frothless porter, in a yellow, scorched mug, without a handle — all concluded by the grim waiter, with his verbal bill, thus audibly delivered, in a tone


of glib slang, for the edification of the rest of the kennel— " Dinner* Sd. — penny bread, uerniy'taters, live fard'ns beer, fard'n cheese — in all ll£d." — the mechanical memory of each man's account being evidently the only faculty resident in his black, bull's head. — To consummate my sorrows, — just as I was going out of the house, after my poison, to drown myself, my eye was caught by some of the most elegant women of my acquaintance, smiling by in a barouche ! — My last-mentioned purpose I resolved to defer, till I bad imparted to you the cir- cumstances that inspired it.

Tes. Come, come, defer it a little longer still — at least till you have taken another glass of the cordial. I am nearly as far gone my- self, at the bare description, and so I shall beg leave to pledge you.— Come, cheer up !— and force yourself to forget it, by searching your common-place book for some calamity a little less loathsome. — Here — read me No. 1, which your late adventure, you know, has turned into No. % by unexpectedly taking the lead.

Sen {looking at his paper) Ah ! — if torture can overcome qualmishness, this may well succeed, truly ! — 1 will leave you to judge.


2. (S.)

A dinner of roast-meat indefatigably prophesied in your ear the whole morning long, by the piteous moans of a jack ; at the same time that the fluc- tuations of a stormy day are no less faithfully re- ported to you by a neighbouring Sign, swinging and squeaking by fits, in the wind— illness closely con- fining you to the house, and thereby securing your attention, during the whole performance of this diabolical duetto.

Tes. As to the u swinging sign," Virgil seems to have drawn the same use from it that you have :

H ventos

ut certis possimus discere signis"

3. (T.)

After having been very hungry all the morning, finding, as you sit down to an excellent dinner, that your appetite has secretly decamped.— »Or r

4. (T.)

On entering the dining-room, half-famished, with the fullest expectations of seeing the dinner on the table — not even the cloth laid.


5; (S.)

Sitting down, with a keen appetite, to a bef- steak, (and nothing else,) which proves to be com- pletely charked by over-dressing.

Tes. Confound 'em ! — none of them ever attend to Macbeth's receipt for dressing a beef-steak, though by much the best that ever was given.

Sen. How !

Tes. Why,

- — | : ■ a when 'tis done, 'twere well

If 'twere done quickly."

6. (T.)

In a college-hall — sitting at dinner on a bench nailed to the floor, and this at such a distance from the table, (nailed down also,) that you feed in the .position of a Rower, just beginning his stroke.

7- (S.)

Slicing at a large round of beef, (near which your

Evil Genius has seated you) with a very short-

bladed knife, so as inevitably to grease its handle,

your fingers, and the cuff of your coat ;-r the


company, as if in a plot to drive you out of your senses, scarcely tasting of any thing else.

Ned Tes. O, a long knife for a large joint, by all means; both for nicety's sake, and because

11 Foititer et melius magnas plerumque secat res."

8. (S.)

After forwardly offering your services in cutting up a goose, or a hare — being obliged to make a practical confession, before twenty watchful wit- nesses j that you have no genius for carving.

9. (T.)

Diving, at a bone with a marrow-spoon so large that it sticks at the middle of the bowl ; — then, on trying, in despair, with & fork, bringing up two or three globules of yellow fat. —

This constantly happens to us, Mrs. Testy, as you very well know — however you manage it.

Ned Tes. (with a start) A vaunt! — " thy bones are marrowless !" Macb.


10. (S.)

Attempting to cut and help out cauliflower, or asparagus, with a spoon : — the fate of the cargo, (which you had neglected to insure,) is well known ;— ditto as to jelly \ which instantly bids adieu to the spoon, and quivers like quicksilver about the cloth.

11. (S.)

The spinning plate : — there is but one, and you always have it.

12. (T.)

Missing the way to your mouth, and drowning your breast in a bath of beer.

13. (T.)

The moment in which you discover that you have taken in a mouthful of fat, by mistake for turnip.

14, (S.)

Finding an human hair in your mouth, which, as you slowly draw it forth, seems to lengthen ad infinitum.

15. (S.)

A strong tang of tallow, or onion, in your bread


and butter, at a house where decorum forbids you either to splutter or sputter.

Tes. Nay, nay — if a man may'nt €i quarrel with his bread and butter* in this case, I don't know when he may! — For my own part, whenever mine is flavoured in this way, I don't stop to think what house Fm in, I can tell you.

16. (S.)

Long after you have finished your own temperate meal, seeing the sixth or eighth plate of turtle, veni- son, &e. conveyed into a living Larder immedi- ately opposite to you.

17. (S.)

Grinding on upon tough sinewy meat with suppo- sititious teeth,

18. (T.)

A stone lurking in your crust, which you crush with such violence as to drive out a tooth and an oath at the same time.

19- (T.)

Labouring at a piece of meat (brawn in parti- cular) with a carving-knife so blunt, that it does


not penetrate above a hair's breadth in a dozen see- saws, and keeps slipping from its hold, leaving you no chance of getting a slice less than an inch thick — and this is presently returned for a thinner one, which, if you are able to cut at all, you cut only by dividends.

20. (S.)

Inviting a friend, (whom you know to be parti- cularly fond of the dish,) to partake of a fine hare, haunch, &c. which you have endeavoured to keep exactly to the critical moment, but which is no sooner brought in, than the whole party, with one 7iosc, order it to be taken out.

21. (S.) Biting a piece of your cheek almost out, and theii perpetually catching it between your teeth, during the remainder of your meal, and for a fortnight afterwards.

22. (S.)

. At dinner, in the dog-days — seeing several copies of the grain of the footman's thumb printed off in a hot mist upon the rim of your plate.

23. (T.)

After having completely dined upon one or two things which you are not at all fond of, — seeing


your favourite dish, which had not been announced, brought in excellently dressed.

24. (S.) Slipping your knife suddenly and violently from off a bone — its edge first shrieking across the plate, (so as to make )ou hated by yourself, and the whole company) and then driving the plate before it, and lodging all its contents — meat, gravy, melted butter, vegetables, &c. &c. — partly on your own breeches, partly on the cloth, partly on the floor, but principally on the lap of a charming girl who sits by you, and to whom you have been diligently endeavouring to recommend yourself.

25. (S.) At a formal dinner — the awful res ting- time which occasionally intervenes between the courses :

Ned Tes.

u Inde alios ineunt cursus^ aliosque re-cursus, — » Adversis spatiis f" Virg.

26. (S.) After you have long been fingering and peeling fresh walnuts, looking about in vain for some of the skins, (all swept away) for the purpose of rubbing off the stains ;— nails unusually long. o


27. .(SO

Dropping in upon a friend at the dinner hour, Upon the strength of his general invitation,— and at once discovering, from the countenance and manner of his Lady, that you'd better have waited for a particular one.

28. (T.)

A fish-bone, or other substance, stuck between your two hindmost teeth; then, in your endeavours to remove it with a tooth-pick, only wedging it tighter than ever.

29. (T.)

In decanting wine — receiving a hint that it is time to stop, from the liquor, as it suddenly gurgles down the sides of the full decanter over your hands, and the floor.— N* B. The like effects of the like want of caution in the still more terrible instance of filling an ink -glass.

30. (S.)

Triumphantly producing from your cellar the last remaining bottle of some choice old wine, pre- viously announced to your friends as the boast of the binn — but which, when decanted j shews an aspect so desperately cloudy, that no exposure to the fire can prevail upon it to brighten up.


31. (T.)

On receiving and opening several hampers of precious wine, just arrived from a great distance, —finding that the bottles have almost all bled to death, in consequence of quarrelling and fighting by the way.

32. (S.) The yerk, or throe, in the throat, that follows 3'oui last bumper of port, when you have already exceeded your quantum.

Tes. So much for the comfort of sitting down to dinner ! — But there are other meals, you know : — so now,

11 To breakfast, with what appetite, we may."

The less the better, indeed, on the following occasion, — with which 1 will begin : —

33. (T.)

On coming down late to a hasty breakfast, — finding the last drop of water in your kettle boiling away, the toast in the ashesyand the cat just finish- ing your cream.


34. (S.)

Making the hopeless circuit of the English Teas P ' — sage, balm, rosemary, &c. &c— when the Doctor has laid his paw upon your tea-chest ; till you are at last left completely bankrupt in breakfast.—

As for myself, between the mischief to my nerves, if I do drink tea, and to my comfort if I do not

Ned Tes. You may cry with Martial,

" Nee TEA-cum possum vivere, nee sine tea."

35. (S.)

After having dealt carelessly with honey at break- fast, to be hurried away, without a moment allowed for washing your hands ; or,— (since that cannot possibly be granted you,)— for chopping them off.

Ned Tes.

" Plus aloes quam mellis habet.^ Juv*

35. (T.) In the depth of winter— trying in vain to effect an union between unsoftened butter, and the crum of a very stale loaf, or a quite new one.


Sen. Yes — I have often wondered that neither the Inquisitors, nor the American Sa- vages, when they have been out of tortures, have yet hit upon either of these,

37. (T.) Letting fall (of course on the buttered side,) the piece of roll, or muffin, on which you had set your heart.

NedTes. Cruel dirt!— " hceret lateri — lethalis ! Virg,

38. (S.)

As you sit at break fast— suddenly breaking down the back of your chair, and, in & failing attempt to save yourself in your fall, kicking up the table — ■ with the comfort, however, of preserving the tea- urn, cups, plates, &c. &c. all of which you deliver safe into the lap of the lady of the house, who sits opposite !

39. (S.) *

Being roused from a reverie at breakfast, by hastily swallowing a dose of very strong tea, in which both the cream and the sugar have been, orgotten.


40. (T.)

Trying often to harpoon a floating pat of butter, which, as often, slips aside, or ducks and shirks under your knife : — no effect but that of splashing up the water against your hand :—

y ■" dum te iugeret per flumina, prpeceps......

" Excidet — aut in aquas tenues dilapsas abibit/'

41. (TO

A tea-pot which won't pour except through the top — what you intend for your cup trickling down your fingers, into your sleeve, and over the cloth.

42. (T.)

As you are shaking a muffineer, (ditto a pepper- castor at diniier,) the cover springing off, — the whole contents instantly following the lively ex- ample.

Ned Tes.

■ " agmine facto*

Qua data porta ruunt." Virg*

43. (T.) Weak, bad, cold, cloudy coffee, with poor milk—* and but little of that.— Likewise, tea made with smoke, as well as water.


44. (T.)

Venturing upon a small egg with a large spoon, and so feeding your chin, your neckcloth, your fin- gers, and the cloth ; every thing, rn short — but your mouth !

Ned Tes. This is u ab ovo usque ad mala," with a vengeance ! —

Sen. But we have had enough of break- fasting; — there remains only one meal more; and we have too often " supp'd full with hor- rors/' to doubt that we shall find a few more Miseries of the maw in that quarter ; e. g. —

45. (S.) Suddenly discovering by the palate, instead of the nose, that you have let in a bad oyster !

Tes. Well ! — thank my Stars for having fitted me on a nose that is never taken with quite such an absent fit as that comes to ! — you have a pretty broad hint of your danger, indeed, from the enemy himself: —

Ned Tes. — — — " talissese halitus atris

Taudbus effundens, supera ad convexa ferebat. saavamque exhalat opaca Mephitim." Virg.


Sen. Well quoted, Mr. Edward, — Come, Sir, {aside to old Testy,) we ought, now and then, to drop in a word of encouragement to our young friend, and his " parallels." — » Burke, in his celebrated treatise, has very pro; erly stated a stink to be among the sources of the sublime ; and, accordingly, who can read the above passages, which you have hap- pily brought together, and in which Virgil has so accurately described both the sight and smell of a bad oyster, without almost imagin- ing that the poet, before he composed them, must have placed one of the worst that he could get, under his own eye and nose, just by way of a bait for inspiration ?

4(5. (S.)

In eating lobster — getting the Lady, or half a dozen of the dead mans fingers, into your mouth, before you are aware.

47. (T.) Dabbling and scalding your fingers through all the stages of an artichoke, in the vain hope that the next snatch, or nibble, will pay you better than the last.


48. (S.)

The repeated slips of a blunt oyster-knife against the palm of your left hand, as you are dislocating your right shoulder with labouring in vain at the wide end of the shell.

Tes. Very provoking, certainly — were it not that some of your oysters very kindly make you amends for the stubbornness of others, by opening of themselves! — But, if you are fond of oysters, I'll give you enough of them : —

49. (T.)

Supping upon roasted oysters™— with the snatch- ing, and burning, and hissing, and griming, and cluttering, that go with it — leading you no comfort but in thinking of the moment, when all will be swept away, and the water glasses brought round.

Sen. The following I forgot to introduce, among the delights of a dinner.

50. (S.)

The purgatorial interval after you have all dined,


and before the servants have taken every thing (particularly themselves) away, and finally shut the door.

Ned Tes. " Mixtis servitiis, et dissono cla- more/' (I^c.)

Sen. Such are the three celebrated meals of man ' — Here, then, we will wind up the u Miseries of eating and drinking" — unless a few other promiscuous griefs of the palate, no* reducible to the above heads, should occur to either of us :— yes —

51. (S.)

The infatuation of mumping your way through a large and very sour apple, though you are soon reduced to your fore-teeth {grinders hors de combat at the first craunch,) and would give your life that it were all well over.

Tes. Why, this is Fluellen and Pistol all in one l—F/utl. " Pite, pite, I pray you !" —Pist. " Must I bite V'—Fluel. " Yes, cer- tainly, and out of doubt, and out of questions, too, and ambiguities." — Pist* < ( I eat, -and cat, and swear !"


52 (S.)

' Cracking -a hard nut' with your teeth, and filling the gap left by the grinder you have knocked out, with black bitter dust.

Tes. This is (e worse than worst !" — more than even the demons themselves are able to bear : —

< " they, instead of fruit ,

Chew'd bitter ashes, which tlv offended taste With spalt'ring noise rejected." Milt.

53. (T.)

When parched with thirst, opening your last bot- tle of spruce beer, and finding it so very good, that it first washes your face and hands, and then your walls and furniture, with the whole of its contents.

Sen. Nay, the contrary is quite v as bad, viz.

54. (S.)

At the instant of drawing the cork, starting back, from the eagerly expected burst-of froth — but with- out the least occasion either for your hopes, or fears —the liquor all remaining in the bottle, as quiet as a lamb.


55. (T.)

In preparing mulled wine for yourself and friends — after it has remained the proper time upon the fire, and just as you are taking it off, and all are rousing for the regale — seeing an avalanche of soot plump into the pot !

56. (S.)

While you are swallowing a raspberry, discovering by its taste, that you have been so unhappy as to occasion the death of a harmless insect !

57. (T.)

Your tongue coming in contact with the skin of a peach.

Sen. Yes, or even the mind coming in con- tact with the idea !

58. (T.) Your sensations about the throat and chest, after Laving too hastily forced down a piece of very hard dry biscuit— just as if you were swallowing a nut- meg-grater three or four yards long.

Tes. " The pleasures of the table !" — yes — a sly ironical rogue was he that first hit upon


that expression.- — I fancy my dog Rover, there, if we could understand him, would give us a much better account of the pleasures under the table: — for there he gnaws his bone in comfort, without asking any questions about the cookery — and what is best of all, he is not considered as one of the company.

Sen. No; and besides, ^e modestly keeps his hunger in the back ground ; while men can- not obey this coarse necessity, without assem- bling from all quarters, to see each other first go through the vile operation, and then rince and scour away its effects — nay, without tell- ing the rest of the county, by sound of bell, what a delicate scene is going on in the dining-


Tes. Aye — this is one of the blessings of having what they call " a good house over one's head !"

Sen. Yes; — one, as you say; — but it is only one out of a million : there are other rooms in a house besides the dining-room, you know • — and this leads me to propose these as the next subject of our animadversions, under the general title of u Miseries Domestic."

Tes. A better there cannot be, and I will


again undertake to play my part to admira* tion— whatever Madam Testy, in the corner, yonder, may think of the matter. You can't propose a meeting upon it too early for me™ tomorrow, if you please.

Sen. It must be not only tomorrow, but " tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow," if we mean to exhaust it; — as there is so much to be said, then, we cannot begin too soon, as you say ; and especially, as the sor- rows we have in view may be said to come so very home to us, and, (in the mercantile lan- guage) are so constantly u in the course of arrival," that w T e require no preparation, as on most former occasions.

Tes. Breakfast, and pass the day with me tomorrow :— if we begin then, we shall have some chance of coming to a conclusion by bed time.

Sen. I will attend you ; and, short as the notice is, I'll engage that the list will be lengthened, on both sides, by many a Groan that will escape us in the interval.

Tes. Ten o'clock precisely, mind,— or I sit down without you*




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive. (Testy'g House.)


IS it down, Sensitive ; sit down.— -I wish yoi* may be able to make out any thing like a meal ; we should have had a rare opportunity for remarks, here, if we had not lately taken such good care of the breakfast table in that way. — As it is, make yourself as little of a wretch as you can. — You would have had neither tea nor sugar, I can tell you, if I had not kicked open the tea-chest, a minute before you came in \ for Mrs. Testy., as usual with


her when she gads, has gadded off with every key in the house. — Come, begin, begin ! — I have ordered as few things as possible for your breakfast, that you may have a negative chance of comfort, at least. I have taken care that there should be no coffee for you ;-— for there is not a jade, or a scoundrel in n^ kitchen, that I could ever yet get to wait for the third bubble; nor any cocoa, neither, — - for I would not poison you with a thousand bubbles, which they do wait for; — and as for cold meaty and such things, I should be sorry to give my friend the orts of the cat, who they always contrive should be first served, by carefully leaving open the pantry door : — I'll order up some butter, if you desire it— you'll only excuse me from tasting it when it comes, that's all !

Sen. You are very attentive indeed, my good sir ; — and I will n*ake the best of what remains, after you have so kindly impove- rished the table for my benefit.

Tes. Well, but — there is no time to be lost, you know — we have only one whole day before us, into which we have to cram the crosses of our whole domestic lives past : —


besides, I am so fearful of forgetting a groan extorted from me, two hours ago, by one of my female " caterpillars" ('<\s a friend of mine ought to be worshipped for having nick- named servants,) that I must have it out at once :

GiROAN 1. (T.)

Getting up early in a cold, gloomy morning' (quite enough already, you'll say ; but that's not half of it.) — Getting up early in a cold gloomy morning, I say, — and on running down into the breakfast-room for warmth and comfort, finding chairs, tables, shovel, poker, tongs, and fender, huddled into the middle of the room — dust flying in all directions — carpet tossed backwards — floor newly washed — windows wide open — bees-wax, brush, and rubber, in one corner — brooms, mops, and pails, in another— and a dingy Drab on her knees, before an empty grate.

There's a set of jewels for our cabinet of x < Miseries!*-— all of the first water, and in the rightest order for our use! —

Sen. I had myself intended to open with smother of the same species— but you have struck me dumb.



Tes. Pho, pho ! — let's have it; when a diamond does not come in the way, we must put up with a pearl.

Sen. Well, then — if you won't despise me,

2. (S.)

Having to pass the maid as she is scouring the stairs ; — to which I intended to add-— seeing, hear- ing, or guessing, any thing at all of the matter, when washing or drying are going on in the house : — or, what is worse still, having to duck, and flap your way through lines, or rather lanes, of clammy clothes, just hung out to dry.

3. (T.)

On coming into the room, frost-bitten, — attempt- ing to stir a very compact fire with a red hot poker, which, from being worn to a thread towards the bottom, bends double at the slightest touch, with- out discomposing a coal.

Sen. Yes: or, on the other hand,

. 4. (S,)

Raising them too much, when the grate is over- charged ; and so, notwithstanding all your caution,


disposing the live coals over the carpet* and among the petticoats of the ladies.

5. (S.)

Feeling your arm and elbow cold — and, on look- ing farther into the matter, perceiving that you have long been leaning in slop, which has dabbled you to the skin.

6. (T.)

Squatting plump on an unsuspected cat in your chair.

7. (T.)

At going to bed — after having toiled, scorched, and melted yourself, in raking out a large and ob- stinate fire, which, at last, you seem to have effected —seeing it, as you turn round at the door, burning and roaring up far more fiercely than ever.

Sen. Aye, and this, two fires, instead of one.

8. (T,)

In attempting to throw up cinders, oversetting and scattering them far and wide, by dashing the edge of the shovel, as if with a violent determina- tion, against the upper bar of the grater


9. (T.)

Fumbling in vain at a rusty refractory door-lock, of which the hasp flies backward, and there sticks, — so that you are at last obliged to leave the door flapping and whining on its unoiled hinge, and fanning you into an ague — your own fury furnish- ing ihefever.

10. (T.)

Sitting for hours before a smoky chimney, like a Hottentot in a craal ;— then, just as your sufferings seem, at last, to be at an end — puff, puff ! — whiff, whiff! — again, far more furiously than ever.

11. (T.)

Waking, stiff and frozen, from a long sleep in your chair, by the fire-side ; then crouching closer and closer over the miserable embers, for want of courage to go up to bed ; and so, keeping in the cold to be warm ! — when you go at last) your candle stinks out in the passage, and you are left to grope your way, blundering, and breaking your shins at every step, against the bannisters ; — every stair, too, creaking and groaning under your weight, though you tread as tenderly as possible, for fear of waking the house, consisting chiefly of invalids,


whom you feel that you are rousing, one after another, from their dozes, as you pass their several doors.

12. (S.) Elbowing both your candles off the table, and then setting them up in this state :

13. (T.)

Toiling at a rotten cork with a broken screw y and so dragging it out piece-meal — except the frag- ments which drop into the bottle,

14. (S.)

Grinding coals or cinders into the carpet, in turning upon your heel ;— then, after stooping, in a frenzy, to pick up the filthy fragments, and at last walking away satisfied that you have done so, —


crushing fresh parcels of them in other parts ;— -and so on for an hour.

15 (S.)

After taking infinite pains to paste a drawing, or other choice thing, very nicely, seeing the paper, with all your pressing and smoothing in one part, start up in a thousand bulbous blisters in other places.

16. (S.)

Just as you have finished dressing yourself more nicely than usual, to receive company at dinner, — creeping down into a dark, damp cellar, for wine ; and unexpectedly finding, from a sudden chill about the lower part of the leg, that you are going by water.

37. (T.)

Setting your breakfast-kettle — (I forgot this in its proper place) — Setting your breakfast-kettle on coals which, though very free of their smoke, you cannot, by any arguments, induce to afford you a flame.

18. (S.)

Losing the keys of all your most private repo- sitories ; by which you suffer a double embarrass- ment— -that you cannot, yourself^ get at what you


want ; and that they have, probably, fallen into the hands of others, who both can, and will.

19. (S.)

After having ordered from London some article of dress, furniture, ornament, &c. to be made on some particular model, which you had most solicitously explained to the workman before you went into the country — receiving it, at length, at the moment when it is most wanted — with this only draw-back on your satisfaction, that it is so perversely wrong, in all possible respects, as to be absolutely useless 1

20. (S.)

Going on with a servant in whose honesty you have strong reasons for suspecting a leak, though not quite strong enough to warrant you in pro- ceeding to a close charge, and search.

21. (T.)

Beginning your residence at the country-house to which you have just removed, before the repairs are finished — with the comfort of picking your way from one ruined room to another, through fragments of peeled mortar, broken bricks, scattered axes, adzes, chissels, &c— and, at length, being invaded


in the fortress of your Study, and there pursuing your meditations to the sound of hammers, files, saws, tumbling walls, &c. &c. ; — not to mention the manner in which you drag on your domestic existence for a long time, before half the furniture, utensils, &c. from your late house, have arrived ; to wit— bed-chambers blocked up with matted trunks, bureaux, &c. — not a curtain, or carpet, to cover the nakedness of the sitting- rooms, &c. &c.— - Then for your ortz/?g-accommodations — dinner dressed by the housemaid, with extempore spits, saucepans, &c. en attendant the arrival of the bona" iide cook, and her apparatus — every dish, as it is brought in, carrying a " noli me tangere" on the face of it, and, such as it is, being served up on the kitchen table, with a set-out of crockery, from the same apartment — tea-spoons to the salt-cellars, or rather egg-cups, as their proxies — a man's white knife, to a child's green fork, &c.&c.' — no alliance, as yet formed, with the butcher, baker, carrier, &c. &c. — and lastly, when your time, with all these loads upon it, begins to bang a little heavy upon your hands— neither a clock to strike it, nor a book to kill it !—

Sen. Why, my dear Sir, you seem so much in your element, while treating this particular


head of unhappiness, that I feel

■ ' /' ■ " my Genius cow'd,

As Antony's was b} Csesar :" —

however, " nitor in adversum" is a noble motto ; — to resume then : —

22. (S.)

To be startled from a nap in your chair by a dazzling blaze of light, which, on examination, proves to proceed from your candles' having been each fluted down on one side by a foot and a half of lobbing wick, flooding the table, and every thing upon it, in a torrent of tallow, which descends in a cataract to the carpet.

Tes. Why, there, your candles have out- shone mine ; — for I was going to say

23. (T.) Reading or writing by one candle, and that so dim, that it would give no light, but for a fresh thief which rises in it every moment, and per- petually calls you from your book, or letter, to poke it off: —


Sen. In doing which, you find your paper always ready to receive it.

2*. (T.) In default of a turn-screw, labouring with the back, or battering the edge, of a good knife, at a notch infamously wide and shallow; so that it slips out of its place an hundred times over, without moving the screw an hair's breadth. — Likewise,

25. (T.)

Hammering your own fingers, instead of a very short nail, which you fumblingly hold in them — said nail, when you do hit it, curling at the point, instead of entering the wall — or losing its head, so that you cannot extract it : — likewise, the head of the hammer violently flying off, so as to break a looking-glass — a friend's skull, — &c. &c.

26\ (T.) Vainly hunting, a thousand times over,*in every corner, crook, and cranny of the house, for some- thing you have lost ; — till, at some future period, when you have long ago abandoned the pursuit, the truant article appears of its own accord.


$e?i. Yes — but not until you have entirely ceased to want it.

24.^ (S.)

The harrowing necessity of asking a person to dine in your house, who is in that critical class of life which makes him not quite a proper guest at your own table, and at the same time, a few grades too high for that of the servants : — no second table.

23. (T.)

Your watch-key having worn itself round ; so that it amuses you with spinning, by itself, upon its square pin. of which it was once so fond, as never to think of moving without it.

Ned Tes. Aye — Horace, long before the invention of watches, prophesied this Misery very exactly, in his — " routat quad rata ro-


29. (S.)

t Finding, as you rise to take leave of a company,

that )ou have been sitting for an hour, with half

the carpet dragged up by the hind legs of your

chair ; — or. seeing the same crime committed by


another, whose awkwardness is far beyond the reach of admonition.

30. (S.) The snuffers scattering their contents over the card-table ; while, in trying to remedy the afflic- tion, you crush the black mischief into the green cloth, from which it spreads to the cards, and thence to your fingers, with the rapidity (and al- most the fatality) of poison. — Likewise,

31. (SO

Carrying a flat candle-stick in such a manner that the snuffers (not to mention the extinguisher) tilt off, open in their fall, and scatter their contents over the carpet.

32. (T.)

Dropping something, when you are either too lame, or too lazy, to get up for it ; and almost breaking your ribs, and quite throwing yourself down, by stretching down to it over the arm of your chair, without reaching it at last.

33. (S.)

The interval between breaking a> pane of glass, and the arrival of the glazier : — N. B. The aspect of the apartment (your constant sitting-room) E. N. E. and the wind setting in full from that


quarter, at the crisis of the affliction : — glazier a drunkard, living seven miles off.

34. (T.)

Pulling at an elastic bell-rope, which you either break from the cramp, without sounding the bell, or tug repeaHklly, (thinking that it does not ring, when it does,) so as to bring up a wrong servant.

35. (T.)

A pair of rusty tongs, which, in opening, stick astride, so that you cannot manage them with one hand ; and even when you have forced them with the help of the other, still will not meet at the pinching part, but let slip every coal that is at all smaller than your head.

36. (T.)

Flapping at an expiring fire with an asthmatic pair of bellows.

37- (T.) Scizzars that pinch, instead of cutting.

38. (T.)

Bottling off liquors — and all the stooping, cork- haggling, finger-freezing, rim-hammering, bottle- breaking, stocking-slopping, nose-poisoning, &c.


which you have to go through for a whole morning together.

39. (T.)

Grubbing in the spoiled key-hole of your locked trunk, or drawer, with the wrong key — which you presently spoil also ; and this, when it is of the ut- most moment that you should instantly get at the thing wanted : — no blacksmith within many miles.

40. (T.)

Being told by your servant, at the beginning of a hard winter, that the coals are almost out : — then, on immediately ordering in a large supply, receiving for answer, that the coals are all locked up in the River by the frost ; but that, as soon as the cold weather is over, you may have any quan- tity you like !

41. (S.)

A cup-board in the parlour in which you are making love — with the consequent perpetual in- trusion of one prying servant after another, clatter- ing among the shelves with glasses, tea-things, &c. ■s — and all this, just towards the crisis of reciprocal confessions !

42. (T.)

Vainly attempting, when in great haste, to make


a very hard lump o' sugar melt double tides, by- pushing and pressing it against the side of the tumbler : — no effect but that of slipping off the spoon with a jerk, and splashing up the hot liquor into your own eyes,

43. (T.)

Coffee brought in a cup without a saucer — and so full, that the slightest motion of the spoon spills the hot staining liquor on your new nankeens: — cream out of the question, as the cup was at first too full to hold another drop. — To crown all, you have to seem quite easy in mind and body.

44. (S.)

Attempting, for half an hour together, to fit a pencil to its case : — when you seem, at length, to have effected it, and have put them sociably toge- ther into your pocket, taking out, five minutes after- wards, the empty case, and then the solitary pencil, with its point broken short off; — likewise, in taking out your pencil on the road to make memoranda, finding that the mineral has effectually eloped from the vegetable part of the instrument.

45. (S.)

Cleansing the Augean stables; — or, in other words, undertaking the labour of digesting into its


prop r place each of a thousand different articles, of as many different uses, sorts, and sizes — (books - phials — papers — fiddles — mathematical instruments — drawings, and knick-knacks without end — ) which ha^ e been for weeks, or months, accumulating upon the tables, chairs, and shelves of your library, and which no servant is able to set to rights — so that you have been, yourself, obliged to await the tardy- conjunction of activity and leisure, before you can enter upon the dreary drudgery of subduing them into arrangement.

46. (S.) After dinner — dragging the table about the room for an hour over an uneven floor, in hopes of coax- ing it to stand on more than two legs — the remain- ing two hanging in the air ; so that, on the slightest touch, the liquors are rocked and tilted out of' the glasses, tumblers, &c. all over the board. — At length, when you are nearly destroyed already by the failure of all your efforts to persuade the floor and the table to make it up and be friends, suddenly giving yourself the coup-de-grace by one fatal straight-forward shove, which shuts in the leg on" the opposite side — instantly followed by a thunder- clap and earthquake, as the leaf drops, together with decanters, bumpers, fruit-plates, sweat-meats,


strawberries and cream, &c. &c. &e. — leaving you in a state of mind. ...but I forbear !

" Homo sum; humani nihil a mealienum puto."

Let it suffice to say that

" Loud was the noise ! aghast was eve^y guest ! The women shriek'd, the men forsook the feast !"


47. (T.)

Rummaging for half an hour in a disorderly tool- box for a nail, or screw, which when you have bruised and soiled your fingers to your taste, you are, at last, obliged to give up as hopeless.

48. (T.)

Reposing a fatal confidence in the stability of the fender, by resting your feet upon it with a pres- sure inwards, as you advance your face towards {he fire.


Possint ut juvenes visere fervidi, Multo non sine risu, Diiapsam in cineres/ace-m."

49- (S.) Hearing and seeing the operation of shovelling



cinders performed by a hardy and indefatigable hand — every scrape upon your ears sensibly steal- ing an inch from your span of life.

50. (S.)

In a chilling evening — just after you have care- fully stirred a very ticklish fire, disposing every coal in the most skilful and judicious of possible manners, and at the instant when one or two little flames are at length beginning to reward you by suddenly flashing out — seeing a boisterous blun- derer rush to the chimney, seize up the poker, and, at a single lunge, dash your structure into ruins.

51. (T.)

Attempting to light a candle, with its short wick so effectually crushed down and buried into the body of the tallow, that it cannot be set up ; while, in stooping it to the flame- of another candle, you only keep melting the grease in a stream over the table and carpet : when you have r at length, caught a precarious glimmer, it is extinguished as soon as you have crept to the door, or (what is worse) to the stairs, " nescius aurag fallacis !" — this, three or four times over. At last, to be sure, the wick attains its proper length ; — but, fair and softly ! — this advantage is purchased at the exorbitant price


of seeing the well of tallow overflow its sides, and pour down a bumper into the socket.

52. (T.)

Haggling the nails of your right hand with a of blunt scizzars held in the left.

53. (T.)

Setting a razor on a sandy hone.

54. (T.)

Sitting, per-force, on a high, round-bottomed stool, vshen the chairs are all pre-occupied.

55. (S.)

Discovering, as you sit down to cards v. ith a strange party, that your hands, by rubbing against your new suit of mourning, or from having worn for the first time a pair of black glove?, are as dingy as a dyer's.

56. (S.)

The handle of a full tea-cup coming off in your hand, as you are raising it to your mouth.

Tes. The handle of a tea-n//? ! what's that i


57- (T.) The handle of the tea-wrrc corning off in the servant's hand, as he is passing by you ! and this in such a manner, that though you break its fall with your leg, you, at the same time, break your leg with its fall — to say nothing of the contents, which in my own case, I did not find of a very healing nature !

Ned Tes. Why, as to oversetting the urn, father,


Versatur Urna, serius, ocius," you know. —

I am sorry for your leg, though : — that part of the mischief your evil Genius seems to have thrown in without book.

58. (S.) Being roused from a splenetic reverie by the sharp, short yelp of a half-murdered puppy ; — ditto by a clap on the thigh with the whole might of a fox-hunter, hot from the chase, accompanied with a view holla, and immediately followed by " Hark away, my boy ! — that's the cordial for low spirits!"


59. (S.) Endeavouring, with a brush, to coax up dust, cinders, and other abominables, from a low hearth, against a suddenly-rising ridge, which constantly keeps returning them upon your hands.

60. (S.) Sitting by, while a sinewy country-gentleman, without a nerve in his fabric, repeatedly applies a force that would raise Great To?n, to the cord of a little shrill bell (close by the door,) that answers with a touch, and keeps tingling till he begins asiain.

This is bad enough, you will allow — and the case is not much mended, if you commit the offence yourself, as you sometimes do, from not knowing the easy character of the bell.

Tes. Why no; one does not always for- give ones self for it, as you say ;

u Sunt delicta, tamen, quibus ignovisse velimus ; Nam neque chorda sonum reddit, quam vult manus et mens."

But when a rascal,

" quamvis est monitus— chorda Semper oberrat cadem," — why, " venia caret/'


which I translate, " he ought to have his head broke."

61. (T.)

The machinery of the window-sash abruptly striking work, in consequence of the flat refusal of all it parts to act in concert any longer— the leads sulking down in their holes, far below all sight and reach — the pullies resolutely standing out against all your efforts to turn them — the cords preterna- turally bowing and curtseying, out of their destined perpendicular — and the sash itself, instead of chear- fully and obsequiously waiting, as usual, for your guidance, now rudely and furiously slapping down, without a moment's warning, with the force (if not the effect) of a guillotine; — while, with all your lifting and lowering, and twitching and wheed- ling, you prove totally unable to compose the unhappy feuds which have thus suddenly and unaccountably broken out amongst the mechanical Powers !

We have now, I think, given a quietus to the parlour : — let us next, if you please, step up stairs, and give a peep into the Bedcham* her, and Dressing-room, where, I take it, we


shall not fiiid every thing just as it should be!

Sen. That you may safely believe, Sir — as, indeed, the length of your remaining list, which seems far to out-number mine, suf- ficiently shews, — Begin, Mr. Testy : — this, as you said to me on the subject of Social Mi- series, is " your day."

Tes. It is:— first, then, we'll attack the Dressing-room.

62. (T.)

After putting on your clean shirt, finding that the two bottom buttons of the collar have absconded; or, that they have unfolded themselves into two or three inches of straggling unmanageable wire : — no time to change.

63. (T.)

A»coat tight and short in the sleeves.

64. (S.) Shaving after a frosty walk, (when the face is pimpled, skin tender, and hand tremulous,) with cold pump water, hard brush, roapy soap, and a blunt razor.— Likewise, shaving, with a blister be- hind each of your ears.


Tes. A blunt razor, you may well say ; was there ever a smooth one ? " Radit iter liqui- dum" is no motto for any of mine, however.

Mrs. Tes. A blunt razor, indeed ! — see what /have done, and hear my misery ;

65. (Mrs. T.) Tearing your arm with a blunt pin in dressing; by which, to say nothing of the pain, you are cer- tain of looking like a sempstress for a week at least.

66. (T.)

As you enter the drawing-room,— discovering, in the act of making a low bow ? that the seam of your stocking affects the spiral, instead of the perpendi- cular.

67. (T.)

Repeatedly hitching, and breaking, the teeth of a fine-toothed comb in the same tender place, the feelings of which you had already exasperated by trying to appease the itching with your nail.

Ned Tes.

Jamque eadem digitis, jam pectine pulsat eburno."

Virg. 68. (T.)

After having dropped out your sleeve-button,


without knowing it, rashly thrusting your hand into the arm of your coat, and so carrying the shirt- sleeve in a bunch up to the shoulder — leaving your arm raw, cold, and bare.

69- (T.)

While you are waiting for a fresh supply of tooth- brushes — battering your teeth with the ivory, and pricking your gums with the bristles, of your old one, completely grubbed out in the middle — its few remaining hairs staring off horizontally on all sides.

Sen. Let me finish your picture with a touch of horror that shall petrify the be- holder; —

70. (S.)

The moment in which a misgiving comes over you, that a servant has clandestinely assisted you in wearing it out !

71. (T.)

After sweltering for an hour, on a hot day, iff an attempt to drag on a new and tight boot, being un- able to get it on, for want of size; or off, for want of a boot jack;— and so, dangling about the house like Prince Pretty man.


72. (T.) In hastily putting on your shirt, (people waiting for you at dinner) stepping it in two : — no other clean.

Ned Tes.

• " qua se medio trudunt — tenues rumpunt

tunicas." Virg. Georg.

73. (T.) Vilely washed, and as vilely ironed linen, which you would not believe to have been in the tub, but for the reeking evidence of rank soap, or lie, by which your nose is satisfied of the fact.

74. (S.) Mis-buttoning your waistcoat, (undiscovered till you have gone into company,) — so that the bottom button seems sent to Coventry by the rest, and wrings the shoulder by the tug on that side.

75. (S.) Tying your neckcloth vilely, when you wish to be particularly seducing, (always the case !) and only making the matter worse the longer you fumble at it.


76. (T.) The points of the knee-buckle curving outwards; and so tearing your stocking, and raking your leg, every time you cross your legs.

77. (T.)

On leaving the house, rinding that you have lost one glove, and falsely hoping that you shall be less miserable by wearing the other single, than by going altogether bare-handed.

78. (S.)

The involuntary mortification of wearing a hair- shirt, in consequence of having inconsiderately been cropped after shifting.

79- (S.)

Patching powder on your hair with a bald, clotted puff — and this, when you are dressing to go to Her.

80. (T.)

In attempting to untie the strings of your drawers, at going to bed very sleepy, dragging them into a cluster, of hard knots — with your subsequent frenzy from nipping and picking at them for an hour, till your nails are sore : — no knife.


Ned Tes.

" Ille simu! manibus tendit divellerenodos,— " Clamores simul horreados ad sidera tollit !"


81. (T.)

Slipping your sleeve-button through a large button-hole ; or wedging it in a small one.

Sen. Yes — or making ample room for your button, by breaking fairly through the hole at the weak end.

82. (T.)

In dressing to dine out — your last shoe-string breaking — one knee-buckle lost — the wrong coat brushed — hole found in your stocking after you are dressed, &c. &c. — all this, and much more, in- variably coming upon you like hail, at the moment when you are most belated.

83. (T.)

After having broken the ice in your bason, to wash your hands — dangling them before you like a dancing bear, while you ferret about in vain for a towel.


84. (T.) In cleaning your teeth — numerous holes-full of bristles falling out at once, and clogging your jaws and throat, till you are choked; then, in endeavour- ing to pick away with your fingers what you cannot rince out, getting hold of only one bristle at a time :

~ " pilos

Paulatim vello ; et demo unum, demo et item unum,

elusus ratione mentis acervi !"


Ned Tes.

" Quid te exempta juvat spinis de pluribus una?"

Hor. 85. (T.)

In shaving — at the first onset, saluting your chin with a deep gash ; so that, through the remainder of the operation, your face and fingers are " dabbled in blood," which enrages you by flowing faster than you can wash it away ; — " fluidum lavit inde cruo- rem, — Dentibus infrendens gemitu!"— When you have, at length, done with the razor — the new de- lays which you have to encounter, (in an agony of haste,) by applying one impotent styptic after another ; and, to conclude, when, after endless attempts, you seem to kave finally dammed the


flood, and, in that persuasion, have finished your dress, and are just leaving your chamber—* 4 elo- quar, an sileam ?" — seeing it burst out' afresh on your clean neckcloth !

86. (T.)

A fob so much too small for your watch, that, in impatiently tugging out the latter, you either turn the lining inside outwards, or bring away the chain by itself.

87- (T.)

In dressing for dinner — your last clean shirt, when you have put it on, proving so dangerously damp, that, to save your life, (and what weaker motive would bring you to do it ?) you throw it off, and put on the cast garment in cold blood.

Mrs. Tes. Why one would think, Mr. Testy, that you had neither wife nor servants, by your perpetual complaints about the " last shirt/' the " last night-cap/' and so forth. — Pray, how often have you been reduced to your last shirt, since you were married to me?

Tes. Had you asked me to count the times that I have not, my lady, I could have an- swered you without the help of a pen and ink.


88. (T.)

In brushing your own coat, finding, as you get on, that every rub completely fixes in, instead of fetching out, the layer of powder with which it is covered.

89. (S.)

Loudly bursting three or four buttons of your light waistcoat, the fastenings of your braces, and the strings of your pantaloons behind, in fetching a deep sigh ! — dead silence in the company, at the moment of the melancholy explosion.

SO. (T.)

The two side-screws of your dressing-glass losing their power — (which happens in about a week after it has come home), so that, with all your twisting and twirling, you can never persuade it to remain upright ; but, as you sit before it, it will keep swinging and flapping upon your nose,

m. (t.)

Using a powder knife, which has (not merely sa blunt, but) so broad an edge, that it grounds the powder into your skin, instead of paring it away.


9'2. (T.) Pushing np your shirt-sleeves for the purpose of washing your hands'— but so ineffectually, that in the midst of the operation, they fall and bag down over your wet, soapy wrists,

S3. (T.)

When dressing in violent haste — your braces becoming suddenly so entangled, that after fruit- lessly turning and winding them for half an hour in every possible direction, till you are raving mad, you are, at last, obliged to fasten them as you can, with the buckles inside outwards — straps twisted into hard knots, and girding and cutting your back and shoulders like spliced cords, &c.


« " centum vinctus ahenis

Post tergum nodis, fremit horridus ore cruento !"


94. (T.) Putting on a waistcoat which you find (too late) has lost its strings behind, so that it would take in all your family; and consequently, when you button in your coat, the bottom of the waistcoat struts out like a tent.


94. (S.)

Using a nail-brush that would serve for a wool- card — its bristles being in knots an inch apart, so that only two or three prickles at a time find their way under your nails, which they rake to the quick, without disturbing a particle of the contents*

95. (T.)

Entering your watch at the wrong opening, when it instantly dives to your knee, — where, for want of a lucky opportunity to extricate it, you continue to wear it.

Sen. A mere trifle, Mr. Testy ; — hear me :

S6. (S.) Eating a biscuit so unguardedly, that the crums, or rather crust-u\a, keep showering into your bosom ; — while, from the cause you have just men- tioned, you are under the necessity of cherishing them next to your skin, for the rest of the day — and a poor day of it you have ! — apropos of which, likewise,

97- (S.) After having breakfasted in bed, to which you are confined,— rolling, through the rest of the day


and night, in crums, which are presently baked by your body into innumerable needles of crust.

98. (T.)

The feelings of your teeth and gums, when you have insulted them by an over-proportion of vitriol in a tooth powder,

99- (T.) In lathering the face, before shaving, very early in the morning, while still half asleep — gaping so suddenly as to slap the full brush into your mouth : — so much for the benefits of early rising !

100. (S.)

The sudden necessity of going to a shoe-maker's shop, on the desperate enterprize of trying to suit yourself, extempore, with a pair of boots ;— then, after dragging on and off his whole stock in trade, without once approaching to the mark, being fated to shuffle, or hobble away, at last, in a pair which you seem to have stolen.

101. (T.)

After rising, in a bitter frost, and going up to the washing-stand, — water frozen to the centre of every bottle; next having to stand, in an ague,


first till you have raised a torpid servant, then while the pump is thawed, &c.

102. (T.) Seeing the beauty of your coat, whilst yet in its prime, daily yielding to those confounded spots which come you know not how, nor when ; and which no degree of care can prevent from mul- tiplying without mercy, till it is disfigured beyond all hope of recovery.

-" non ego paucis

Offendar ntaculis ;

—but to see them spread by dozens in a day — there is no enduring it!— look here, for in- stance — and here — and here! —

Sen. Nay, Mr. Testy, this Misery may be removed by sending your coat to the scourer.

Tes. I must, I must ; — [Then, rubbing it here and there with his sleeve,] — " Out, damn'd spot ! — out, I say ! — one ! — two!— why then 'tis time to do't!" — high time, indeed; — yes ~I 8*88 send it to the scourer's.

103. (T.) Pressing for a Ball by an ill^east looking-glass*


(not knowing it to be so at the time,) and so mourn* ing over your own unseasonable ugliness.

There ! — that will do for one dose of the dressing-room ; — now for the Bed-chamber ;

104, (T.)

The night-cap half-slipping off, when you are to© sleepy to re-adjust it.

105. (T.) Sleeping in an ill-roofed Attic story, while tor- rents of rain are falling all night — the leaky ceiling refreshing you, as you lie, with a shower-bath, fil- tered through the tester of your bed :— .

" Quam — juvat somnos, imbre juvante 3 sequi !"

Then, on rising, quite braced, in the morning, find- ing your stockings, neckcloth, &c. afloat!

100. (T.)

Waking in the middle of the night, in a state of raging thirst; eagerly blundering, in the dark, to the washing-stand ; and there, after preparing, with a firm grasp, to raise a large, full water-decanter to your mouth, — finding it fly up in your hand, as light as emptiness can make it!.


Sen. Yes; or, on the contrary,

107. (5.)

Finding the broad-mouthed pitcher, which you lift to your lips on the same occasion, so full, that, besides amply satisfying your thirst, it, at the same time, keeps cooling your heated body, and purifying your linen, with the overplus !

108. (T.)

The two-fold torment inflicted by a flea — viz. first, the persecution to which he subjects you through the night ; secondly, the loss of your me- ditated revenge in the morning, by his hocus-pocus escapes — his unthought-of and incredible capers, leaps, and flings, from under your eager fingers, at the very instant when you seem in the act of......

nay, to have actually annihilated him.

i( Miile fugit refugitque vias; at vividus" alter

" Hreret hians ; jam, jamque tenet ? similisque

tenenti Increpuit — moisu elusus !" Virg.

Sen. O yes ! — I am quite at home in this Misery ; — " iritus et in cute novi." — This little Harlequin of the insect-race, seems, like his


brother the Biped, to consider his pursuers, as foes " quos fallere et effugere est triumphus." Hor.

Ned Tes. But have you nothing to say against a bug, father ? — In London, at least, " these Bugs do fear us all !" Shak.

109. (S.)

Getting out of bed in the morning, after having had far too much sleep.

Tes. To which I beg leave to " move as an amendment" — ox far too little.

110. (S.)

After tossing through a restless night, in sickness, sinking at last into a doze, from which you instantly start broad awake, with the joy of thinking, that you are falling asleep.

111. (T.)

At a strange house — jumping into a bed which ^ou expect, and have desired, may be very hard; and instantly finding yourself buried in a valley of pap, between two mountains of feathers : — the night a dog-night.


112. (T.)

Scylla, or Charybdis — sleeping in damp sheets, or between the blankets.

113. (S.)

The hypochondriacal impression, under which you fancy, as you lie in bed, that your fingers are, each, as large as a woolsack — legs of the size of church-pillars, — pillow bigger than the bed of Ware, &c. &c. — and all this affair seeming to grow worse and worse every moment 1

Tes. A plaguy instance of Virgil's " Major- que vicleri !" I must own.

114. (S.) To be startled from your slumbers, all night long, by your windows, as they bang and thump, by fits, in the wind ; the floors and wainscot of you cham- ber, too, occasionally stretching and cracking like a ship, &c. &c. — till, at last, if you have any nerves, you go mad.

115. (T.)

The shrill, tiny buzz, or whizz, of gnats about your eyes, nose, and ears, through a sultry night.


Sen. If I were a joker like you, Mr. Testy, I might suggest that the little imps, provoking as they maybe, at least prevent you from over-sleeping yourself!

■116. (S.) Finding that you have far — very far — very far indeed — from enough bed-clothes, as you get into bed, in a brandy-freezing night :—* House-maids all dead asleep hours ago.

117. (T.)

Being driven from one corner of the bed to ano" ther 5 by the sharp points of feathers, which stand up to receive you, on which ever side you turn. — -

Ned Tes.

Omne tulit punctum ! Hor.

Sen. I

u Restless he toss'd and tumbled, to and fro, And rolFd, and wriggled farther off, for woe V*

Dryd. Wife of Bath.

US. (T.) Waking with the pain of finding that you are doing your best to bite your own tongue off.


Up. (T.) The sheet untucked, or too short, so as to bring your legs into close intimacy with the blanket.

120. (T.)

Being serenaded at your window, all night long, by the tender war-whoop of two cats, performed with all their demoniacal variations.

121. (T.)

Breaking the strings of your last night-cap, in tying it on.

122. (T.)

On going early to bed, with a violent fit of the ague, and entering your chamber in fuil expectation of finding the coast clear — finding, on the contrary, the bed not turned down, and a gauche Dawdle just beginning to introduce the warming-pan be- tween the sheets.

123. (S.)

While you are confined to your bed by sickness — the humours of a hired Nurse; who, among other attractions, likes ".a drap of comfort" — leaves your door wide open — stamps about the chamber like a horse in a boat — slops you, as you lie, with scalding


possets — attacks the lire, instead of courting it,— - falls into a dead sleep the moment before you -want her, and then snores you down when you call to her — wakes you at the wrong hour to take your physic, and then gives you a dose of aqua-fortis for a composing draught ! &c. &c. &c.

124. (T.)

The flame (but not the smell) of your candle going out, as you lie sick ana" sleepless; leaving you at once,

u Pertassum thafami, ta^da^que. ,, Virg.

125. (S.)

Suddenly recollecting, as you lie at a very late hour of a Lapland night, that you have neglected to see, as usual, that the fires are all safe, below;— then, after an agonizing interval of hesitation, crawling out, like a culprit, and quivering down stairs.

Tes. You have robbed me, Sensitive ; all this happened to me last night, as I was just thinking to tell you : — O it was a snug job, to be sure {"« — as to myself, I had no scruple in determining that it would have been a world pleasanter, in sueh a night as that, to be


roasted, than frozen, to death; but as Madam, there, seemed to think she had a sort of joint interest in the question, and was not altoge- ther satisfied with my way of deciding it, — . why, I e'en gave myself up to my fate.

Seh. I am sorry to have unintentionally foreclosed one of your best evils; — but there seems to be one more at the end of your list, which, to judge from its length, must be at least as rich in wretchedness as any.

Tes. Pretty well for that, I confess ; it's like a Lady's Postscript, which, they tell you, con- tains the essence of the letter ;— pray listen :

126, (T.)

Sleeping, on a sudden and desperate emergency, at a low lodging-house, et ses agremens ; — your head broken, at the outset, by the beam of your chamber-door, for ducking only a foot deep, in passing under it. Then for the interior — floor all hill and dale — no fire-place — one crazy chair; however, plenty of huge family -chests, quite hand)' ! all about your bed — a litter of sleepless brats hard by, with only a half-inch pannel be- tween their throats and your ears — Landlord plac- ing a running babe under their trebles^ by snoring,, like Polypheme, through the opposite boards—


farthing-candle, without snuffers, or extinguisher— *- no night-cap, or one of stretching cotton, that takes in your shoulders— pillow left out— sheets of the sail-kind, newly sprinkledjfor the gentleman— * -knotty mattrass — no soap — only rain-water, and that a spoonful in a wine-bottle, all black at the bottom — a dram-glass for a tumbler — but one towel, or ra- ther duster, about six inches wide, counting in the holes,— house-maid's comb, and triangular scrap of looking-glass, exhibiting sundry curious stripes of day-light, left you as a memorial of the quicksilver almost all dead and gone ! its two or three surviving patches barely allowing you to play at bo-peep with a few fractions of your features by turns — scanty (if any) curtains — cat left under your bed, and kittening over you in the night, &c. &c, &c. On rising in the morning, (no one coming to open your windows) you break your nails in baffled attempts to find out, in the dark, the cramp principle upon which the shutters are fastened ; — no bell — or one attached to a flagging, fluttering wire, that answers only by rustily, and peevishly, jarring and buzzing along the mildewed walls, and mazy passages : after ten tugs, however, at the broken end of this iron thread, twisted round your bare wrist, (no handle !) you, at length, extort from the reclining clapper one •lead ting, which brings up, in the sequel, a gawky


Malkin, who snuffles to you through the door, and then mistakes all your orders : — all this while, you are shivering in your shirt, barefoot; your boots having been clawed away., (but not cleaned,) and no slippers left in ther room !

There ! — I hope my performance answers to my promises. — And now I'll give you a concluding Groan, compared with which all the rest are like the sighs of a sleeping baby; t — and what is more, it shall be uttered in a single word : —

127. (T.) Servants !

Sen. There came a thunder-bolt, indeed! — that word is, in itself, a volume — it is the very prince of sweeping clauses. Swift, in- deed, has effectually forestalled us in this region of plagues, and often makes me wish that he had been as merciful as he is stout; for it costs me a severe fit of the bile, when- ever I open that cruelly elaborate catalogue of abominations, entitled « Directions to Ser- vants:" — more docile Disciples never re- warded the assiduity of a Teacher ! — And yet


it does not very well become me to complain of him, on this occasion; — for, when I have been applied to for a character, as it is termed, by one of these domestic Scourges, I have more than once referred the enquirer, to the proper chapter of the Dean's directions, as- suring the Lady, or Gentleman, that they were, in every instance, most punctually atten* ded to by the present applicant, while he con* tinued in my employment.

Tes. No bad method, I confess — though not quite so short as mine.

Sen. What may that be, my good Mr. Testy ?

Tes. Kicking the rascal headlong down stars on the spot, the moment he asks me for a character.

Sen- Compendious, certainly — and, as it should seem, not unlikely to disembarrass you, in a considerable degree, from future applica- tions of that nature.

Tes. Yes, yes— it answers there, too:— but enough of the" caterpillars," which tor- ment us more than any other reptiles, because w r e are such fools that we woiit go on without 'em. — Well, Sensitive, I begin to hope we

miseries Domestic. 255

have now pretty well exhausted c f Pandora's box/' as you call it, and that we may now sit down upon our old stock of Miseries, without going out upon the hunt after new ones.

Sen. Nay, there are multitudes of Miseries beside those which are to be sought abroad. Turn your eyes^ for instance, upon your owa person, and tell me whether every joint, limb, and feature, js not a separate rendezvous for an innumerable legion of annoyances, which > though they do not suddenly destroy you, yet fail not in the end to wear you out by a harassing system of petty warfare, of irritating skirmishes, that allow you neither the recruit of rest, nor the glory of a battle.

Tcs. Aye, aye- — I see plainly whereabout you are; — " Miseries Personal, or of the Body," as I take it, would be a fit title for the enemies you mean. — If I can't conquer them, you shall see, however, that I can count them — no man better. When shall we meet upon it ?

Sen. As soon as my nerves shall be strength- ened, and your blood cooled, after this longest and hardest of all our days of difficulty. Tes. Well, then, as the Tough should wait


upon the Tender, I will abide the leisure of your worship's nerves; but, as to myself, it would be a long pause, indeed, as things go with me, if we should lie by, till I get into cold blood ! — And so, only let me know when you are man enough for another meeting, and you'll find me at your call.




Testy, Senior and Junior. — Sensitive.

JTesty is muffled up about the face } with his handkerchief to his nose.]


liow now, Sir? Tes. How?

Groan 1. (T.) A villainous cold in the head ; blowing your nose Justify and frequently, till you are a walking nui- sance to all around you— but without any fruits, except a sharp twinging sensation in the nostrils, as the passages which you have forced open close ap again # with a shrill, thin, whining whistle ; s


— not to mention the necessity of disgusting your- self and friends by pronouncing M like B, and N like D, till you are well.

Sen. Bad enough — but I have a worse.just now coming upon me:

2. (S.) Being on the bri .... on the bri .... on the bri ....

on the br .... (sneezes) ... ink of a sneeze for a quarter of an hour together; and yet, with all your gasping, and sobbing, never able to compass it.

3. 0.)

After over-fatigue, or watching — those self- invited starts, jeiks, or twitches, that fly aJbout the limbs and body, and come on with an indescribable kind of tingling, teiuing, gnawing restlessness; more especially towards bed-time. -

Mrs, JeO§[es, yes, the fidgets — deuce take f em !— hut I did not know that mm knew any thing of the matter*

Sen. JSot many -of us, Madam, I dare say ; but there are very few even among your Mi- series, of which I have not at least a smatter- ing knowledge.


8. (S.) Bending back the finger-nail — or even thinking

of it.

{Here a violent shriek from Mrs. Testy.)

TqgW'hat now, Mrs. Testy f

Hippies. What? why a much worse thing than 'Mr. Sensitive has just mentioned — what think you of

5. (Mrs. T.)

Receiving the first hint that your thimble has a hole worn through it, from the needle, as it runs, head and shoulders, under the nail.

6. (T.)

The sensation, from the hip downward, when your foot is fast asleep, and before the sharp shooting, which you have next to expect, has yet come on.

7. (T.)

Dreaming that you have a locked jaw, and seem- ing to wrench ojien your own head, in your con- vulsive efforts to speak or gaj|.

8. (T.)

A dozen or two of hiccups in the same breath.


9- (S.)

In your sick-chamber — receiving a large parcel, which you expect to contain interesting books, or dainties, sent for your comfort by some kind friend ; and, on eagerly opening it, rinding only a myriad of fresh phials, and packets of medicines — -and this, too, when yo,u thought you had done with the doctor.

10. (S.)

Waiting for the operation of an emetic.

Tes. Waiting for it ? — pho, pho ! — the ope~ ration itself is^uite bad enough for me — to sit by the hour, groaning, and hoping that each pull will be the last :

u expectat dum dejluat amnis; at ille

Labitur et labetur !"

again !

A louder yet, and yet a louder strain !"

And so you go on, as long as you can answer the draughts of U^confounded chamomile — till at last you Jem, hy being over-drawn : — ■ Waiting fur it, indeed !


11. (T.)

" Prato vivere Jiaso ;' i. e. A deep notch cut by an East Wind under each nostril, and which you tear open afresh, every time you blow your nose.

Also— (and this is a pleasure I have soon to expect) —

12. (T.)

The state of your mouth at the winding up of a tremendous cold—your lips being metamorphosed into two boiling barrels, totally disqualified for the functions of eating, speaking, laughing, gaping, whistling, and — kissing.

Sen. Nay, as to your last article, when / am in this vile condition, I let the ladies know nothing of the matter —

u Necdum iilis labra admoveo, sed condita servo."

13. (TO

Suddenly and violently, scratching your ear, without recollecting to respect the feelings of an excruciating pimple with which it is infested. -


Sen. Yes, the « vellit aurem," without the " admonuit/' is a sad mistake, indeed !

14. (T.) Having this kind of tooth drawn by instalments

See here ! — I have treasured all the frag- ments, along with these pretty pieces of wreck from the jaw, which bore them company — that they might serve as mementos > in case I should ever find myself iri the humour of parting with any more of my head !

15. (T.)

Battering your own knuckles, or jarring the touchy part of your elbow, against the edge of the table, as if with a hearty good-will.

Having some cutaneous complaint, of which the principal feature is a furious and constant itching — yet being rigidly interdicted the use of your nails.


n. (t.)

After having, with great labour, succeeded in dragging on a new and very tight boot — receiving strong and incessant hints from a hornet at the bot- tom, that he does not like his confinement: — no boot-jack at hand 10 second your anxiety to relieve him, and the poor prisoner still jerking away!

18. (S.)

The face or hands suddenly and unaccountably begrimed with that mysterious sort of filth, which, as soon as you have, with great difficulty, scoured it away, returns again and again more liberally than ever.

IP- (S.) Your real sensations, during the pretended in- difference with which you sit to be tickled, by a celebrated tickler, in the most sensitive parts of the body.

20. (S.) On standing up, and stretching yourself, after sitting long over books or pagers — the sudden ru*!i of blood to the head, and c^HRequent giddiness and staggering, with which you are punished for your sober excess.


21. (S.) The ends of your finger-nails becoming rough and ragged, so as to catch, and pull away, the wool, or threads, of worsted, cotton, &c.

22. (T.)

After long reclining, with every limb disposed in some peculiarly luxurious manner— to be suddenly routed from your lounge ! then, endeavouring in vain to re-establish yourself in your former posture, of which you have forgotten the particulars, though you recollect the enjoyment — every new attempt leaving a certain void in your comfort, which no- thing can supply :

' a in ev'ry varied posture,

How widow'd ev'ry thought of ev'ry joy !"


23. (S.)

Trying in vain to tamper with an approaching fit of the cramp, by stretching out your limbs, and lying as still as a mouse.

24. (S.)

In sickness— the tender persecution you undergo from your female friends, while, after a restless night, you are beginning, towards the evening of

Miseries personal, &c. 265

the following day, to drop into a delicious doze in your chair; but which they will, on no account, suffer you to enjoy, settling it with each other that you are to be carefully shaken, and well tormented, every half minute — one crying " Don't go to sleep 1" -^another, " you had better go to bed !" — a third, " you'll certainly take cold !"— a fourth, you'll spoil your rest at night," &c. &c.

Ned Tes.

" alterius sic

Altera poscit opem, et conjurat amich Hor.

25. (T.)

Labouring in vain to disentangle your medicine- scales ; till, after fretting, twisting, and twirling, for half the morning, to no purpose, you are, at last, obliged to weigh your dose (Tartar Emetic, or James's Powders,) as you can, with all the strings in a Gordian knot— one scale topsy-turvy, and the other turvy-topsy, &c.

Sen. Yes ; — and this when,

" If thou tak'st more or less, be it but so much As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance, Or the division, of the twentieth part


Of one poor scruple — nay, if the scale turn

But in the estimation of a hair,.

Thou diest. Merck, of Vau

26. (SO

The interval between the dentist's confession that your tooth will be very difficult to draw, and the commencement of the attempt.

27. (TO

Groping and stirring with a needle after a thorn in your finger, in hopes of wheedling out the peep- ing black atom; which, however, proves too cunning at last, for you, and your needle to help you.

23. (S.) In a fire-side circle — sitting with your head close to a gaping cranny, which keeps up a steady whis- per full in your ear, the whole evening long ; a whisper, however, from which you, at least, learn something — the nature of the ear-ache !

29- (S.)

Rashly confessing that you have a slight cold, in

the hearing of certain elderly ladies of the faculty,

who instantly form themselves into a consultation

upon your case, and assail you with a volley oi


nostrums, all of which, if you would have a mo- ment's peace, you must solemnly promise to take off before night — though well satisfied that they would retaliate, by taking you off before morning !

30. (T.)

When in the gout— receiving the ruinous saluta- tion of a muscular friend (a sea-captain) who, seizing your hand in the first transports of a sud- den meeting, affectionately crumbles your chalky knuckles with the gripe of a grappling-iron ; and then, further confirms his regard for you, by greet- ing your tenderest toe with the stamp of a charger.

Sen. O, the ruthless ruffian !

Tes. Ruthless! — Mr. Sensitive, I actually went mad on the spot with pain and rage.

Sen. And, in your raving fit, you did not exclaim, I dare say,

-" recepto

Dulce mihi furere est amico V 9 Hor.

Tes. No, you may venture to think not ; — I left that quotation for my friend, who, to do him justice, seemed to feel the beauty of the sentiment in all its force ; and unluckily for


me, to wish that I should feel it too ! — But let us get on : —

31. (T.)

The buzz of a struggling insect who has limed himself in your ear.

Sen. A disagreeable intrusion, without dis- pute; — but I should think that the insect you ■formerly mentioned, which domiciliated itself in your eyt y must have enraged you still more.

Ned Tes.

" Segnitis irritant animos demissa per aures, Quam qu» sunt oculis subjecta." Hor.

Tes. Well, well, you and Horace may settle that difficulty between you, for I cannot;— though it is not for want of pretty good ex- perience in both ; for I seldom pass a day without an opportunity of comparing notes between the two ; — one would think I was all over eyes and ears, like Virgil's Fame. — But, come, have you any more ready misery in pocket? — For my part, I find that, for the present, my memory is out.

Sen, And mine ; — but only, for the present ;


—for, in the first place, the surface of the body presents far too many points of contact to

" The slings and airows of outrageous fortune,"

to leave us any hope that we have yet been visited in every vulnerable part ; and in the next place, the weapons of that goddess are far too various in their forms, and natures, to let us flatter ourselves that she has already in- troduced us to the whole circle of her tortures. But though we have still a long arrear of individual " groans," I really believe that we bave, at length, exhausted the number of their general heads. All, therefore, that seems now to remain, is that, after a necessary in- terval of repose, we should meet once more, for the purpose of interchanging such miscel- laneous specimens of anguish as may have hitherto passed unnoticed in the great crowd of our complaints.

And now, my friend, accept my cordial thanks for your diligent exertions as a fellow- labourer in the field of infelicity: — with res- pect to the comparative quality of the produce we have respectively gathered in, if mi/


samples should be deemed superior in fine- ness, yours, on the other hand......

Tes. Blood and thunder! — are you there again i — Take care, Sensitive !

Sen. Nay, Sir, if you are in that mood, I am silent: — talking with you is like playing with a charged blunderbuss; one is always in danger of touching the trigger unawares. — Why, I thought that all this matter had been amicably adjusted between us, by mutual con- cessions, long ago : we have agreed, surely, that though each partakes, in a certain mea- sure, of the characteristics of the other, yet do I figure most in the mental, and you in the corporeal branch of suffering. This distinction being, as I had conceived, fully recognised on both sides, I was only going on to strike the balance between us, and ascertain, if I might, t yhSlTg upon the whole amount, is the veriest wretch of the two — be our several in- gredients of wretchedness what they may.

Tes. Pho, pho .!— this is not a matter to be .arbitrated by the parties concerned ; and even, if it were, I can't think the discovery would pay the trouble =:—however, since you are so


very anxious for the honour and glory of being the most unlucky dog alive, there is Mrs. Testy, who has generally been sitting quietly at her needle in that corner, while we have been over our business; and as I think she can't well have helped overhearing our con- versation, (which, on my part, at least, has not been carried on in a whisper,) let us abide by her decision ; — and pray don't be afraid of any conjugal bias in the case; for I have so long been in the practice of making her the confidante of my distresses, without, perhaps, always stopping to enquire whether she was in the humour to hear them, that I am afraid her partiality as an arbi tress will be found quite unimpeachable !— Come, Madam, Testy, lay down your gewgaws, and let's have your judgment upon this knotty question.— I'll bet half a crown, Sensitive, that she gives jt for me after all.

Sen. Done, Sir; and Mrs. Testy shall hold the stakes.— Now, my dear Madam, what is your sentence upon the case ?

Mrs. Tes. O, pray don't ask me ; — I know nothing about your mind, and your matter, really : — for all I can see, you have both been


making a great fuss about nothing, and so I shall leave you both to settle it between your- selves. All I do know, is that you, Mr. Testy, have made me miserable enough, by stunning me with your nonsensical complaints for six months together; — and so, as you both seem to like misery better than anything else, I will beg leave to read you a short list of some of my own troubles, which I have set down, at odd times, as I could spare myself from my household affairs, which I have been diligently carrying on for your comfort, Mr. Testy, while you have been alarming the nighbour- hood by sounding out your " Domestic Mi- series" like a town crier. — In short, whoever ought to be the winner, I know who ought not.

Sen. There, Mr. Testy ! I think you will admit that you have fairly lost the wager.

Tes. I deny it, Sir ; — she has not given it against me as yet ; and I'll soon see whether I can't persuade her to give it for me : — come, come, Madam, [angrily advancing towards her,']

Sen. Nay, Sir, this is too much; — you are certainly the loser, and ought, in honour, to pay the forfeit} but if you persist in refusing


it, — rather than see our fair Umpire accosted in such a manner on my account, I will con- sent to make it a drawn bet; and so let each take back his half-crown.

Ned Tes, Aye,

" Let old Timotheus yield the prize, Or both divide the crown"

Mrs. Te$. Nay, Sir, I'm not to be brow- beaten out of justice, neither ; and so I deli- ver the whole crown to you, Mr. Sensitive. - Tes. Well, well, take it, then, — and I give you joy of your sorrow ; — you may now sing, with old Burton.

" Nought so sweet as melancholy !"

And so now, Mrs. Testy, for your miseries, if you please ; — produce your bit of ass's skin in a twinkling, and let us hear

" furens quid foemina possit."

Mrs. Tes. Yes, 1 can

" answer thee in Sighs, keep pace With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear."

You must take them as they come, Gentle- men ; for I had not time to throw them into any order.


Sigh 1. (Mrs. T.) After having invited a large party to dinner— within a few hours of their expected arrival, some of the most indispensable servants (cook in parti- cular) seized with the influenza, small-pox, &c. when it is quite too late either to look out for sub^ stitutes, or to put off the engagement.

While playing on the piano-forte, being obsedee by the attentions of a courteous gentleman (quite ignorant of musick) who turns over the leaf of your music-book a dozen bars too soon, and in his zeal to be soon enough, pulls down the book on the keys, and one (if not both) the candles, into your lap.

The two following befel me before I was Mrs. Testy.


If you are a single woman, with a reasonable

stock of delicacy and pride, — being rallied by a

facetious gentleman, in a company where you are

not very much known, on the subject of a husband.'

If you are afflicted with the malady of Mushin


—to read in the complacent smile of a coxcomb who has accosted 3011, that he thinks you are interested in his attentions.


A carriage which is of little or no use to you, because your coachman generally chooses either to be sick himself, or that his horses should be lame : — yet you are afraid to part with him, as unluckily he is a careful driver, and extremely sober, and you a great coward.


A termagant cook, who suffers neither yourself nor your servants, to have a moment's peace — yet as she is an excellent cook, and -your husband a great epicure, (excuse me, Mr. Testy,) you are obliged to smother your feelings, and seem both blind and deaf to all her tantrums.

Working, half-asleep, at a beautiful piece of fine netting, in the evening — and on returning to it in the morning, discovering that you have totally ruined it,


Ned Tes.

postquam inter rctia ventum est;

Substitit, infremuitque ferox, et inhorruit armos !"

Virg. ft. Snapping your thread quite close to your work, so that you cannot join it without picking out the knot, — that is, breaking two or three loops.


Being disappointed by a hair-dresser on a ball- night, when you have left your hair totally uncurled, in full dependence upon him : in this emergency, being obliged to accept the offered services of a kind female friend, who makes you an absolute fright ; but she being much older than yourself, and of ac-> knowledged judgment, you dare not pull it all to pieces, and if you should, you have neither time nor skill to put it to rights again.


At a ball — being asked by two or three puppies 11 why you don't dance ?" — and asked no more questions, by these, or any other gentlemen, on the subject: — on your return home, being pestered with examinations and cross examinations, whether


you danced — with whom you danced — why you did not dance — &c. &c; the friend with whom you went, complaining, all the time, of being worried to death with solicitations to dance, the whole evening.


At a long table, after dinner, the eyes of the whole company drawn upon you by a loud ob- servation that you are strikingly like Mrs. or Miss particularly when you smile.


The only thimble which you ever could get to fit you exactly, rolling off the table unheeded ; then- crushed to death in a moment by the splay foot of a servant.


After having consumed three years on a piece of tambour-work, which has been the wonder of the female world, leaving it, on the very day you have finished it, in the hackney-coach, in which you were exultingly carrying it to the friend whom you intended to surprize with it as a present : afterwards, repeatedly advertising — all in vain.


After dinner, when the ladies retire with you


from a party of very pleasant men, having to en- tertain, as you can, half a score of empty, or formal females ; then, after a decent time has elapsed, and your patience and topics are equally exhausted, ringing for the tea, &c. which you sit making in despair, for above two hours ; having, three or four times, sent word to the gentlemen that it is ready, and overheard your husband, at the last message, answer M Very well — another bottle of wine." By the time that the tea and coffee are quite cold, they arrive, continuing, as they enter, and for an hour afterwards, their political disputes, occasionally sus- pended, on the part of the master of the house, by a reasonable complaint, to his lady, at the coldness of the coffee ; — soon after, the carriages are an- nounced, and the visitors disperse,


On retiring, after dinner, without a female com- panion, being requested by one of the party to per- mit a stupid gawky boy of about 14 to accompany you : in this distress, you can neither have recourse, to books, of which he knows nothing, nor to music, which he declares himself to hate ; so that, after having extorted from him how many brothers and sisters he has, what school he goes to, and what are the games now in season, you are condemned to


total silence, which is interrupted only by the squeaks of your favourite puppy or kitten, as he amuses himself by pinching and plaguing it during the remainder of the tete-a-tete.


At a ball — when you have set your heart on dancing with ajparticular favourite, — at the moment when you delightedly see him advancing towards you, being briskly accosted by a conceited sim- pleton at your elbow, whom you cannot endure, but who obtains, (because you know not in what manner to refuse,) " the honour of you hand" for the evening.

Sen, Upon my word, Madam, tolerably unhappy, for a lady

Ned Tes. For a lady ! — nay, Sir, (€ JErum- nosa, et Miseriarum compos, Mitlier ;"— by which Plautus means, mother, that a Woman is, to the full, as much up to Misery as a Man.

Se?i. You have interrupted me, Mr. Ed- ward ; I was going on to say — for a lady who enjoys the admiration of one sex, and the envy of the other.


Mrs. Tes. There !— there !— Mr. Testy.

Tes. O yes, Mrs. Testy, — there is Mr. Sensitive, as you say; and there is his polite- ness : — but where is his sincerity ? —

Well, Sensitive, — we seem, then, to have pretty well prepared our briefs in this grand Calamity-Cause of ours, — save a few miscel- laneous items, to be added at our leisure :— I can't tell how long a time you will require to hearten yourself for the next consultation; all I can say is, that as you are Mind, you know, you must govern, of course ; and you will find Body at your service, whenever you may be pleased to ca,ll for it,




Testy Senior and Junior. — Sensitive*


Your servant, Sensitive ; — I am glad to see you wound up to another meeting ; when we last parted, your weights seemed to be quite down, I thought. Since that time, we have both been equally busy, I reckon, in gleaning up such little odd tortures, of all sorts, as we had left behind at our general harvest. For my own share, I have cocked up a tolerable shock of 'em.

Sen. Mr. Testy, I am yours:— would I could add that I am my own! — but, to say the truth, the cruel necessity of retracing my


footsteps through so many galling journies of life, in quest of missing Miseries, or stray Groans, has well nigh overwhelmed me; noi* do I feel myself much enlivened by the pros- pect immediately before me, of counting over my collections.

Tes. Cheer up, Sensitive! — remember our rivals ! — we are now within sight of the goal ; and wincing horses, like you and me, should scorn to complain of being a little out of wind in the race.

Sen. I stand prepared, Sir : my motto, during my late search, has been

M Stat casus renovare omnes, omnemque reverti Per Trojam, et rursus caput objectare pencils."

To which I now add :

ie Quanquam animus meminisse horret, luctuque

refugit, Incipiam,

Groan 1. (S.)

Labouring in vain to do up a parcel, with scanty, weak, bursting paper ; and thin, short, rotten string.

2. (T.)

Drudging, late at night, for the twentieth time*


over long rows of figures, in a vain attempt to re- concile sundry totals, differing by a single farthing.

Ned Tes. Aye — that Misery is as old as Horace :

" Infelix operis summa, quia ponere totum Nescit."

3. (T.)

Receiving a quantity of thin sixpences, in change, at a shop, and striving to pick up the separate pieces against the rim, or ridge of the counter — but with such crueUy short nails, and in such violent haste, that you barely raise the edge of the coin, so as to cut and gall the quick of your fingers, from which the piece drops flat every time.

4. (S.)

Hearing that your lottery -ticket is drawn a blank, just as you have snugly tiled in your castles in the air.

5. (S)

After the first, or prelusive squall of a fractious brat, whicli you had taken in your arms, to please its mother — the horrible pause during which you perceive that it is collecting breath to burst out with a fresh and recruited scream, that is to thrill


through your marrow ; — yet you know that, strange to say, if you throttle it 7 the law will throttle you !

6. (S.)

The necessity of sending a verbal message of the utmost consequence, by an ass, who, you plainly perceive, will forget (or rather has already for- gotten) every word you have been saying.

7. (S.)

Being placed, and held, under the harrow, by a doting mother^ who, first makes you look over, and praise, separately, an huge port-folio of Miss' or Master's early school drawings ; and then, sen- tences you to hear the urchin repeat all Gay's fables.

Tes. Yes — and there is another specimen of this sort of dopyn, quite as delightful to witness:

8. (T.)

Hearing the same mamma recite, and extol, by the hour, the premature wit and wisdom of her baby !

" Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere." Virg.


9. (T.)

Your snuff-box shutting ill — or rather, not shut- ing at all ; so that you cany the snuff, and the box, separately, in your pocket. — Also

10. (T.)

The dead silence of your capricious watch, when you are anxiously listening for its tick.

11. (S.)

The moment of recollecting that you have sent a letter, unsealed, containing all your most profound and delicate secrets, by one who, you know, will pay himself for postage, by very freely participating in your confidence. — Or, what is still worse :

12. (S.)

While at an idle tattling country town in your neighbourhood — on searching your pockets for such a letter as the above, missing it — then, re- collecting in an agony of horror, that you have, probably, just dropped it in your walk through the high-street— then, rushing out in a state of desperation, to seek for it — and, finally, as you are giving it up for lost, and passing by the market- place in your return homeward, espying the fatal epistle in the hands of a Goth, who is reading the


last words of it, (including your signature,) with the voice of a Stentor, to a crowded and laughing auditory of both sexes.

13. (T.)

Going about for days together with a gaping cut in your right hand, (your bad sticking-plaster im- mediately coming off as often as you apply it.) till it is choaked with dust, as well as widened and in- flamed, by rubbing against every thing. — Also

14. (T.)

The process of buttoning and tying your clothes (ditto of washing your hands) when the fingers are in so maimed a condition, that fastening one button in a quarter of an hour is doing great things !

15. (S.) London in September.

16. (T.)

Going cheerily to the Bank for your dividends, on leaving London, and after waiting an hour be- fore you can be served, suddenly discovering that you must wait considerably longer — having lost your memoranda of all the names and sums upon which you are to receive !


17- (S.) In going out to sea in a fishing-boat with a de- lightful party, continuing desperately sick the whole time : — the rest of the company quite gay and well.

IS. (S.) Attending at the Stock-exchange on settling-day, amidst the quack of Ducks, the bellowings oi Bulls, and the growls of Bears.

Ned Tes. Yes ; while, to complete the concert,

" the S>TOCK-dove breathes

A melancholy murmur through the whole." Thorn*

19. (S.)

At the House of Commons, during an interesting debate — striving in vain to overtake the voice of a rapid speaker with your ear.

20. (T.)

Reading over the account of " Ways and Means," when you have neither ways nor means of meeting the new taxes that pounce upon all your favourite articles of consumption ; — or, in other words, throwing away one sixpence for a news-paper, in



order to see how many hundred more you are called upon to throw after it.

21. (SL)

Oh instituting a severe scrutiny into the state of your hair, from the sudden and alarming detection of a bald spot — finding yourself at least ten years nearer to a wig, than you had at all apprehended.

22. (S.)

When you are half asleep — receiving, and wading through, a long, dull, obscure, illegible, ungram- matical, mis-spelt, ill-pointed letter of business- requiring a copious answer by the bearer.

23. (S.)

In walking the streets — closely following, for above half an hour, a fellow with a heel as long as his foot, over which an inch of leather barely peeps behind ; so that the foot seems, at every step, in the act of slipping out of the shoe — till you, at length, desperately wish it would happen, that the worst may be over.

I mention this misery to you, Mr. Testy, with great hesitation : — as we have been told that there are some " joys, which none but


madmen know," so are there some " Mise- ries/' which none but the Nervous know ;— and this, I easily conceive may be one.

24. (S.)

Sitting in a chair on which you do not discover that honey has been liberally spilt, till, on rising to make your bow, you cany away the cushion.

Ned Tes.

■ " tollit anum melie vitiatum." Hor*

Tes. There you are out, Ned ; it is vitia^a.

Ned Tes. The 1) — 1 it is ! — I am very sorry for it: I should otherwise have considered it as the luckiest of all my hits.

r Tes. Why, if you must have an authority for this Groan, 1 will give you " dulcia mella premes," — Nay, to make Sensitive quite easy, here's another for him : —

" peccat ad cxtrcmum ridendus."

25. (S.)

Tho^e certain moments of existence, in which,

without any assignable cause, Ennui so powerfully

predominates over your whole system, mental and

bodily, that you would joyfully submit to the


cat-antUnine- tails, by way of ajlapper to your dor- mant excitability,

26. (S.)

During courtship — flattering yourself that you

are a year or two younger than some " good

natured friend or other" proves you to be.

27. (T.) After bathing — the dull, rumbling, rushing, sound, which continues all day long in your ears, and which all your tweaking, nuzzling, and rum- maging at them, serves only to increase.

Sen. Very sad, Sir; — you might here cry with poor Clarence,

" What dreadful noise of waters in my ears !"

but then his misery was but a dream ; — would that ours were not realities !

28. (S.) After having, with great difficulty, persuaded a friend to sit for his, or her, picture, and then feast- ing yourself with the thoughts of possessing a fac simile, which the great fame of the artist en- couraged you to expect, — receiving, after long


delays, what proves to be the face of — any one but your friend !

Tes. Poor Sensitive ! — That must have been quite a scene !

animura pictura pascit inani,

Multa gemensy largoque humectat fi limine vultum^


Sen. Yes — but there is another stroke of desperation, the same in kind, but far worse in degree :■ — I hope it will be new to you, though it occurred this very morning to myself:

29- (S.)

After having been promised what you expect will be the painted portrait of a friend — receiving instead of it, nothing more substaniial than a black Shade : en profile :— •

On its entrance, Sir, I involuntarily ex- claimed :

-" hence, horrible Shadow !

Unreal mockery, hence !" Macb.

Tes. Yes, yes — I have gone through it more than once; though, perhaps, I don't take it


quite so patietly as you may : for my part, whenever they send me their silhouettes, of what do they call them, I chuck them out of the window, as soon as they come into the room ; —

" Come like Shadows ? — so depart !"

is my address to the little blackamoors.

30. (T.)

Breaking a phial of asa feetida in your pocket ;— and then mangling, as we'll as poisoning your fingers, in taking out the bits of broken glass.

31. (S.)

Hiding your eyes with your hand, for a whole evening together, in vain attempts to recover a tune, or a name ; said tune, &c. repeatedly flitting before you, but so rapidly as never to be fuirly caught.

32. (S.)

Suddenly finding out that your watch has lost two or three hours, while you have been revelling in a fool's paradise of leisure, and unconsciously outstaying your appointments, and disordering all the arrangements of the day, with nothing to have prevented you from adhering to them with perfect ease.


34. (S.)

In handing a glass of wine, or some brittle ar- ticle of great beauty and value to another person, — suddenly quitting your hold of it, under a false idea that he has taken his. — " Guess, ah guess the rest \' y

35. (T.)

In pumping ; — the dry 5 wheezing, hiss — and dead thumping, drop — of the handle, as you keep work- ing it, with vain hopes of water.

36. (S.)

- Shewing the colleges, public-buildings, and other remarkables of the University, for the 500th time, to a party, who discover no signs of life, during the whole perambulation.

37. (T.)

Buying a pocket handkerchief on an emergency so pressing, that you have no time to get it hemmed; so that, before the day is half over, it is all in


38. (S.)

Eagerly breaking open a letter, which, from the superscription, you conclude to be from a dear and long-absent friend ; and then, finding it to contain


nothing but a tradesman's long bill, which, more- over, you thought had been long ago discharged — but of which immediate payment is demanded in a very valiant letter, enclosing the account. : — cash extremely low.

38. (S.)

Walking fast, and far, to overtake a woman, from whose shape and air, as viewed en derriere, you have decided that her face is angelic ; till, on eagerly turning round, as you pass her, you are petrified by a Gorgon !

Ned Tes. A dismal transition indeed, from " O dea, cert£ !" — to

u remove fera monstra, tuasque

Saxiflcos vultus, quascunque ea, tolle Medusas !"


39. (S.)

After having bought, and paid for, some expen- sive article, as thinking you had lost such another, — unexpectedly rinding the latter ; then endeavour- ing, in vain, to persuade the iron shopkeeper to take back your purchase, and return the money.

40. (T.)

Struggling through the curse of trying to disen- tangle your hair, when, by poking curiously about


on board of ship, it has become matted with pitch or tar, far beyond all the pmvers of the comb : —

Ned Tes.

" Non comprae mansere comas — Et rabie fera corda tument V 9 Virg.

41. (T.) In sea-bathing — after having thrown off your last garment, the endless time during which you stand crouching and shivering, till the creeping old bather is ready to assist in suffocating you,

42. (S.)

Suddenly finding, safe in your pocket, three or four letters of 4he most pressing consequence, en- trusted to your care a week or fortnight before, by a person hardly known to you, upon the faith of your promise to put them into the post within an hour.

43. (S.) Suddenly missing your snuff-box after dinner, in a country-place, where you are leagues off from the possibility of a pinch : — then, in your longing agony, snuffing up, with your mind's nose 7 the well stored canisters of a London shop : —




" So scented the grim feature, and upturn'd

His nostril wide into the murky air,

Sagacious of his quarry from so far !" Milt,

44. (S.)

As a candidate — to be thrown out by a casting vote; — and this, when your party was so strong, that many of your friends kept away, on the cer- tainty that you would muster far more than enough without them.

Tes. A strangely perverse Misery, as ever I heard of: — -Why this is actually neither more nor less, than being starved by repletion !

Sen, I preface my next Misery, Mr. Testy, by reminding you that I am a public speaker : —

45. (S.)

Inveterate huskiness coming on you, at the moment of beginning your address to a crowded audience.

46. (S.)

After having long hunted in vain for a missing bank-note of 100/. and just as )'ou are in the act of accusing an honest servant, on very suspicious


appearances of having made a perquisite of it, — suddenly spying out the last rag of its remains in the mouth and paws of a puppy, who had sliiy em- bezzled it, for his own private recreation.

47- (S.) Paying the bills of blacksmiths, butchers " et hoc genus omne," and receiving in change, \l. notes, silver, and halfpence, in a condition but too strongly impressing upon your mind the truth of the adage, that " riches are but dirt !"

48. (S.)

While you are gravely and anxiously setting your watch by the Horse-Guards, towards dusk,-^-being suddenly relieved from your trouble by the snatch of a thief, — who vanishes for ever !

49. (S.)

Learning, among other interesting communica- tions in a letter just received from a dear friend in India, or America, that about a dozen of your last pacquets, on both sides, have missed their way.

50. (S.)

In passing through St. James's Park, towards the evening of a November day, — to witness the sprink- ling of disconsolate Quizzes, and Dowdies, who


haunt the walks at such times — some solitarily muzzing and moping on the benches — others scat- teredlj sauntering they know not whither — all embodied symbols of whatever is

" Weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable \ f Hamlet*

The following I should address to the mea- gre visaged . like myself, rather than to such a well-fed sufferer as you are, Mr. Testy : —

51. (S.) The necessity of borrowing the spectacles of a moon-faced friend.

Ned Tes. Very bothering indeed !

" Nonhoc istasibi tempus spectacula poscit."


92. (S.)

After bathing in the river — on returning to the

bank for your clothes, finding that a passing thief

has taken a sudden fancy to the cut of every article

of y our dress !

53. (T.) Your horse falling lame, at the moment when you have come up with a scavenger's brimming car,


— leaving you no prospect of getting the start of the stench, till your nose has gotten it completely by heart.

Tts. So ! your troubles are over, 1 see ;-— don't mistake me — I only mean that ;.ou have finished your list: so have I, all but one ; and that, luckily, is a Misery of " mark and likelihood/' very fit to bring up the rear with — a good heavy Groan, " full of sound and fury," but by no means t€ signifying nothing m " as you will allow:

54. (T.)

In going to the stable, towards night, stumbling over a pail of water, which a rascally groom has left to receive you, in the middle of the door-way ; and which, after first taking you with its edge across the shins, sends you well-soused at your full length, with your head just behind the heels of a kicking horse : —

Ned Tes.

" Successitque gemens stabulis ; questuque, cruentus Atque imploranti simihs, tectum omne replevit."



Tes. Talking of the stable, by the bye, I must run away from you for half an hour: — ray blockhead, who calls himself a groom, has contrived to groom my favourite mare into the yellows. I have sent her to the farrier's, about half a mile off, and must go myself, and see that the fellow gives her a drench, which the poor slut was to take about this time. — I'll be back in a twinkling.

Sen. {After gloomily musing for a minute, in the same posture,)

u But yet alas !— O but yet alas ! — our haps be but hard haps V Sir PkiL Sidney.

{As he finishes the words. Testy bursts in, stamping, raving, and roaring, with his

face covered with blood and mud, and his cldthes bespattered with filth from head to


Sen. O, my friend ! what do I see?

" quantum mutatus ab illo !"— " q U2e causa indigna serenos

Foedavit vultus ? aut cur hsec vulnera cerno ?"

Vug. Tes. {After a volley of execrations.) A mur- rain seize all coachmen, footmen, postilions,


horses, and all that belongs to them, — wheels, roads, and all ! — why, Sir — why — what did

you say ? — O ..... O *.... O ugh ! — - a pack

of— "

Sen. Nay, nay, Mr, Testy, it is horrible enough, to be sure; but be comforted — this is all in our way, you know ; and our list of Miseries...*.

Tes. Hold your tongue, Sensitive !— look at me ! — hold your tougue, I teil you, or I'll, hug you— nay, I'll kiss you, you dog !— what am I to do?

Sen. {During whose speech, Testy breaks out into every possible variety of ungovernable rage.) Do?— why, open your eyes, if you can, and then you will see a bason of water which your servant has brought to you, and which seems the best present remedy that your case af- fords ; and then, if you should ever recover your tranquillity, indulge, I beseech you, what you will not consider as an impertinent cu- riosity respecting the cause, and circum- stances, of this mountainous calamity. — (Testy replies with a loud bellow.) Nay, courage, my 1 friend !— the bare relation of such a disaster


will silence our adversaries at once, and cleave the very sinews of their cause ! — Let me, then, hear the petrifying particulars, at full length — I adjure you by your fidelity to the cause, of which we are the plighted champions ! — Let me hear them !

Tes. Hear them? — Well, well — if I can

ever a dozen scampering scoundrels, at

least!— but I'll—I'll — yes— if I do'nt !— but no matter — if I can get through my Groan in the usual form — I — I will ; — shall I ever be able to tell it ? — I can but try, however — yes — I will try : —

55. (T.)

Walking, nicely dressed, — nicely dressed! — you remember I was — and for the first time these twenty- years — things! things! — very nicely dressed, I say — along a clean causeway — as clean as the floor, Sir ! — but by the side ofa road a& muddy as a dragged fish-pond — four feet deep in mire, and more!— and receiving the successive splashings of a dashing, sawcy equipage, with a posse of out- riders ail at full speed, plump in your face — eyes, mouth, nostrils, and ears included ! — the handker- chief


Ned Tes.

" Noses, ears, and lips ! — is it possible ?^— » Handkerchief ! —O Devil I" Othel Act. IV. scene 1.

Tes. Hold your tongue, Ned, or I'll gag you !

— the handkerchief which you apply to your face in your wrathful agony, acting as a painting brush instead of a towel, and raking the blood out of your flesh by scumbling in the small sharp gravel along with the mud— then, hearing the leash of powdered jackanapes' on the foot-board behind setting up a horse-laugh, and — no! — I can't — I won't' — I don't

bear it ! — I — 0~ o — o— o — o ! — Ah — h —

h— h!

(Here Testy turns black in the face, fal&t and is born off.)

Sen. (solus.)

" Vitaque, cum gemitti, fugit indignita sub Umbras !" Vir<?.


(At this moment enters Sensitive's elder brother.)

Sen. senr. Well, Samuel ; how do I find you ? — overwhelmed, as usual, I see; — tinder


what u new and strange" calamity are you labouring now? — have you just been frying under the torment of a morning call from an idle neighbour, when you particularly wished to be alone i — or has some wicked rogue lately chosen a wrong moment for his jest? — or what other still more direful alarm has thus " cowed your better part of man ?** — Am I never to have the good fortune of catching you with your eye-brows half an inch asunder ? — or are you heroically deter- mined to die, at last, a martyr to — Nothing? t € . Open thy ponderous and marble jaws," I beseech you, and tell me what's the matter with you? — How! silent still! — Nay, bro- ther, then I must alter my tone, and ask you very seriously — have all my frequent an4 anxious expostulations with you against this fitful, querulous, fastidious temper of yours, turned out to be but waste wind r — Instead of that rational and manly intercourse of af- fection to which I have a brother's right in you. society, am I perpetually doomed to be a weary listener to effeminate complaints, and histories without end of artificial sorrows, and .ideal mortifications ?■ — Will you neither.


discover for yourself, nor accept another's dis- covery, that the ff dagger which you see be- fore you/' is " but a dagger of the mind r" — that the Shapes by which you are teazed, or terrified, are only pigmies, magnified into giants by the fogs of imagination ?

Sen.junr. Peace, brother; your rebukes are, for once, at least, deplorably out of sea- son— unless you are prepared to maintain that the death, or danger, of a friend is a pigmy, or " an air-drawn dagger."

" No man bears sorrow better ;" — Testy s " dead.*'

Jul. Cces.

Or, if he still live, be has only such life as a fit of apoplexy allows him.

(Here S. Sensitive relates, at large, the par- ticulaisof Testy s accident ,and its consequences.)

Sen.senr. Hum ! — Portentous, indeed ! — "But now, my dear brother, if he should really have uttered his last " Groan" (that, I think, is the awful name, with which you have agreed to dignify your little fidgets, as the ladies more happily express the thing,) if, I say, he should have actually breathed, as well as groaned, his last,— why, in that melan-


choly case, I, for my part, shall incline to think it possible that he might have been saved, merely by forbearing to groan at all ! — and then, perhaps, brother Samuel, a few Groans less on your part, too, might have been as well — and, what is worse still, a few Groans more may chance to bring you into the same condition ! — and, after all, (as I may now, methinks, demand more confidently than ever,) are these Groans quite as imperiously Called for as you have so long encouraged each other in concluding them to be? — Groans, I have said, all along; — but, as for your unhappy friend, he, as I recollect, had still more animated ejaculations of discontent In readiness for his occasions; his " Groans" having been usually vented in the form of imprecations ; I can truly assert, at least, that whenever he entered a room in which I have chanced to be one of the company, he regularly " took the oaths, and his seat," to- gether. — But to return to the question upon which I was entering, and examine it a little more closely ; — is it, let me ask you, incon- testibly certain, that the instances which you have at all times, so prominently displayed,


and so ostentatiously lamented, as evils, are fully entitled to that name and character ?— or, admitting them to be such, in kind, are you sure that you have made no mistake at all, as to the degree? — But this inquiry will be most effectually managed by a reference to particular cases; and here, as the onus pro* handi lies properly on you, I openly challenge you to bring forward a few particular thunder- claps, selected at your own discretion, from yourgeneral magazine of" Miseries."- — Come, brother, you must not shrink from the fair test by which I am desirous of proving you : you informed me a few days ago, that, in one of your sad " Conferences," as you termed them, with your (late ?) friend, you had split your * Groans" into two grand divisions- mental and corporeal ; and you have occasi- onally treated me with a few articles under each head : produce them, if you please, once more ; and let me try whether I cannot con- front and overthrow them with others, similar in form, but immeasurably exceeding them in size.

Sen.junr. Shrink from your test?— No, brother ; I retort your defiance ; and shall be


able, I flatter myself, to set up " Miseries, 5 '" faster than you can throw them down. I will, first, adduce a few samples from the in- ferior of the two classes :-^-let me ask you, then, without farther preface, what you ho- nestly think of " an inveterate corn on the little toe ?"

Sen. senr. You have opened with a most formidable fatality, I must own ! — and yet I will summon courage to inquire, in my turn, what you think of the amputation of the whole leg?

Sen. junr. What ? why, that— but come — I will not dispute with you for trifles; but pass, at once, to poor Mr. Testy's late affliction : - — is it nothing, think you, to be e< splashed," as he was, " from head to foot," — and this, under such aggravated circumstances, as I have related ?

Sen. senr. Be that affliction as terrible as it may, I will intrepidly meet your question with another :— I ask, then, is splashing, under any circumstances, positively as bad as drowning ?

Sen. junr. As I have not yet tried both, I must unavoidably leave the question unan- swered. I proceed, then ; and will next try


you with" A door swinging and whining upon its unoiled hinge."

Sen. senr. I stand unmoved ; and, in reply, confess myself biassed by the vulgar notion, that the shrieks of a hinge, however piercing, would yet be more easily endured than the shrieks of the whole family, if the house were on fire. And I take leave to add, that, what- ever you and Mr. Testy may have ruled to the contrary, a house is no bad tiling, after all, though the hinges of one of its doors should sometimes cry out for a little oil ; nay, even should no oil be ready to answer the summons.

Sen.jimr. Well, well, then — " The tor- ment inflicted through a whole night by a flea I"

Sen. senr. I well remember that you were once veiy eloquent upon this, as the nt plus ultra of human distress ; I will not be dis- mayed, however, but boldly venture my opi- nion, that a single nip from a shark, or a tiger, would be still less desirable than a thousand bites from the fiercest flea that ever thirsted for human blood.

Sen. junr. It might, or might not; for here, again, I happen to be experimentally


acquainted with but one of the two eases. — "Treading, unexpectedly, on the back of a toad r

Sen. senr. The back of a toad — very slip- pery walking, I can easily conceive; but I should suppose, Samuel, that the back of an adder must be to the full as uncomfortable a kind of footing; if that were all; but when his teeth, (with which he is very expert, when- ever thus put out of his way,) come to be thrown into the scale— Jo say nothing of those little purses of poison at the bottom of them —I seem to see, in a moment, which of the two reptiles must kick the beam.

Sen.junr. You are as obstinate as usual, brother ; and I dare say, will not consider the casualty of" Breaking a bell-string" as a mat- ter of very deep concern.

Sen senr. O yes! truly tragical, without fltaubt;— but how for breaking one's neek? — certain!)', say I, to the full as much, and per- haps even more so. — But enough of what you have yourself admitted to be the meaner of your two classes of Pathology; and in truth, with respect to this, I already see Conviction " like an Angel come ;" though you have not


yet bad the candour to announce her arrival ; — let us now, therefore, if you please, ascend to your higher order of tribulations, upon which you, in particular, have been, at once, so splenetic and so self-complacent — I mean, the sentimental vexations of Social life.

Sen. jun. Nay, here I may safely defy you % Beware, brother ! — if you set your foot on this ground, you are lost.

Sen. sen. N'importe : I have no fear, and am resolutely ready to attend you through the thickest horrors of society, where tl Miseries," according to your account, lurk in ambush under the chairs and tables, and every house is founded on a mine ; where the parlour is peopled by Monsters and Furies, under the figuresof ladies and gentlemen; and "Groans" are, as it were, the vernacular idioms, and most familiar dialects of common conversa- tion. Since, however, I have found you some- what more embarrassed by my replies than I expected, what if I release you from the task of searching for instances, and take it upon myself? —

Sen. jan. Before you begin, brother, let me only advise you to be very honest in selecting


them. It will avail you nothing to sup- press the strongest cases ; for you may easily suppose that I shall carefully supply any omis- sions of this nature which I may discover.

Sen, sen. Be not alarmed, Samuel ; you have, here, a triple security ;— my own good faith — the jealous watch whichJ^ou have threatened to keep over me — and the accu- racy of my recollection; which last, indeed, you have, yourself, effectually ensured, by having repeated to me your favourite woes, till they are indelibly burnt into my memory; as you shall presently allow : — to my ques- tions, then : — Is the frothiest coxcomb that ever rattled in a ball-room, altogether as ruin- ous to one's peace as a treacherous friend? — May we 0$ justifiably forswear for ever the acquaintance of a worthy character, because he has been sometimes known to raise his voice above the established concert-pitch of polite conversation, as we may that of a Miscreant, whose tongue, whether- rough or lished, is the Organ of Duplicity, or the Trumpet of slander, or the Dagger of malice ? -—Is it absolutely harder to forgive. a. fellow- creature for murdering a good .story, than a


good wife ? — Nay, imagining the most pa- thetic case of colloquial disgust that even your own plastic imagination cold furnish out — would you seriously add, that if the case under supposition were to befal yourself, you should fairly die, (as you ludicrously appre- hend that your friend has clone,) under the annoyance? — and if this is more than you would quite venture to swear, would not your silence amount to a pla.n confession that the afflictions of those hapless multitudes who have actually so died, were still more intoler- able than your own ; and should it not thence follow, as a natural corollary, that it is, at last, better to be bothered, than, broktn- Jiearted?

Sen.jun. I fancy, brother, you are deter- mined to bring your last question to an im- mediate issue, by oppressing me with such a crowd of queries in a breath : you seem to have borrowed a hint from Hercules, in his scuffle with Antaeus, and, since you cannot conquer me, blow for blow, are willing to try whether I am to be stifled. I shall not deny, nevertheless, that some of your counter ex- amples have considerable weight < — much


more, indeed> than I had expected ;— with a very little leisure for reflection, however, I should not doubt of finding such other in- stances as would force the best of yours to

  • hide their diminished heads."

Sen. senr. Nay, Samuel, were it not for the grotesque absurdity of the argument into which we have fallen, I would engage, on my part, to run on the comparison ad infinitum ; and this too with the same advantage which you have, thus far, seemed, however reluct- antly, to yield in my favour.

But this is not enough, toy friend ; — -no, not by a great deal ; — for I would next go on to inquire, in opposition to this doggedly do- lorous cast of mind, which it is your pride to cherish, instead of resisting,— might not the very disposition to confess that these things may be as I have represented them, materially tend to assist in planting the experimental conviction that they actually are so ?

Sen. jiinr. A very reasonable postulate, truly !— that I should think what I can not think! and see what is invisible!

Sen. senr. No;—- that you should gPkM that to be possible which you do not think


true; and that to be visible to others which you cannot yet see ; — and this is, in other words, no more than asking you to confess, that bigotry, on whatever subject, is the ge- nuine offspring of natural or wilful blind- ness. — But abandoning this ground, and admitting, for a moment, your Miseries to be, as you have painted them, both genuine in kind, and exquisite in degree, — shail the af- firmative thus conceded be said to warrant the utmost extravagances of fury or despon- dency, in the victim? — or, surrendering this, too, — is their policy, even if there were inno- cence, in these excesses ? — Is it not on the contrary, notorious, that those very persons who are visited with what I affirm to be the real sorrows of life, are frequently in the fruition of higher degrees of happiness, upon the whole, through the mere medium of sub- missive patience, than you have been, who have suffered only its fictitious evils, but who have disdained to lean upon the same support ? Sen.junr. Undoubtedly. That, between our " Miseries" themselves, on one hand, and our impatience under them, on the other, we are the most unhappy of the human race, it


is the very business of my argument not merely to admit, but to contend.

Sen. senr. Is it so ?— Why, then, the next thing which your argument has to do, is to give up the ghost :— -yes, Samuel ; by admit- ting that the impatience which you suffer your Miseries to occasion, is, itself, to be added into your general account of unhap- piness, you have given an effectual quietus to the controversy. For, the inquiry with which we are truly and properly concerned, is, not into the abstract nature of the respective evils herein question, (which, regarded by them- selves, are nothing, on either side,) but into their sensible effects upon the mind which they assail; into the comparative quantum of misery, which they inevitably leave behind them, when the utmost degree of fortitude has, on both sides, been opposed to the utmost power of misfortune : — the whole question swings upon this hinge ; and, I think, I have satisfactorily shewn that it shuts poor Testy and yourself completely out of doors.

Sen.junr. I shall not deny, that you have displayed some eloquence as an advocate ;


but eloquence, and argument, remember, are not always twins. 1 have already told you, brother, with respect to Mr. Testy and my- self, that our impatience is a natural infir- mity; and you might as hopefully try to persuade our poor old bed-ridden great-grand- father up stairs, that, if he pleased, he could jump up, and follow a fox-chase; — aye, or engage to reason yonder cripple into a rope- dancer, as attempt to argue Mr. Testy into meekness, or myself into serenity.

Sen. senr. You perfectly confound me, Sa- muel ! — till now, your eccentricities, of tem- per have amused, even while they distressed me; but at present, I am purely alarmed, without the smallest mixture of entertainment. — Upon your sincerity, as a brother, and a friend, I conjure you to answer me — Is man, — moral, rational man, — a freeman, or a slave ? — Are all the celebrated schools of old or modern ethics to be thought of simpty as the Fairy-land of fancy ; or, at best, but a* successive fields, on which the Wise have met, to wrestle for the palm of intellect ? —

Sen.junr. Nay, nay, brother, in whatever light we are to consider these boasted schools*


they have certainly thundered their syllogisms at higher crimes and misdemeanors, than — ■ what? — a few animated complaints against the coarse persecutions, by which men of taste and delicacy are incessantly outraged, and in- sulted, from every quarter.

Sen. senr. Brother, you are " a scholar, and a ripe one ;" — to come, then, more di- rectly to our point: does your acquaintance even with Heathen literature supply no cases to your recollection, in which the man who had been cradled, reared, and pampered in ferocity, was subsequently disciplined into mildness by his own hands i — The self-wrought gentleness of Socrates, for instance, which is handed down to us upon his own evidence — is this to be taken as a fable, or a record ?

Sen.junr. The latter, I suppose.

Sen. senr. If, then, an unenlightened Mo- ralist, from Nature's school, could build him- self to these, and other heights of virtue.

3'ou guess, no doubt, to what I point; and, fresh as we are from such frivolities as we began with, you see how much I hesitate at the hallowed reference which I have in view ; — and yet I will not — nay, I dare not check


the stirring question.— Is there, I demand, no other volume on your shelves, in which the tie of patience, under every proof, is bound upon our hearts and souls by other hands, and sealed with other sanctions and examples, than the best, or brightest of these Pagan Worthies ever reached in dreams ? — -sanctions, of which the mighty weight, and price, are still but faintly known, and quite unfelt, ex- cept by those who own the Moral Govern- ment but as tributary to an higher, nobler ^ and more azcful Kingdom.

What ! are you electrified at last ?

Sen.junr. You have, indeed, produced an authority, for which I will confess that I was not immediately prepared: and if, on close examination, I shall find that it determines full against me, I must, assuredly, withdraw my pleas. I trust, however, that even in this case, I shall be allowed the benefit of time and consideration. Feelings so deeply rooted as mine, are not to be solicited from the soil at a touch :- — besides, brother, I cannot but expect that, even in the venerable pages to which you have referred me, I shall find al- lowance for the irresistible strength of natural


impulses ; and then should I, of all men liv** ing, have a claim to whatever indulgence

Sen. scnr. A claim that is cancelled by the very act of enforcing it ; fur, indulgence be- ing free, and a claim being compulsory, it is obvious that they can never coexist with respect to the same instance. Am I safe in this deduction ? — I take your answer from your silence.

But let us now descend, brother, from an eminence on which I fear you may be giddy, from having hitherto frequented it too little. What, then, remains for me to say, that you can bear more easily ? — Fain would I wind up my reprehensions, by declaring, once for all, that you, and your friend, have each gone miserably wrong, from the beginning ; — first, through the monstrosity of preferring the painful to the pleasureable, when both were at your choice; secondly, (since you zcould be wretches, as a matter of taste,) in coining, and uttering, your own counterfeit calamities, and at the same time, affecting to cry down the sterling miseries of life ; and thirdly, by cul- tivating habits of petulance and discontent, on the score of such light evils as bechance


yourselves, in common with all the sons and daughters of Adam, — instead of thankfully rejoicing in the indulgence you have so little deserved, in that those massy sorrows, which alone deserve the name, have not heen heaped and pressed upon your hearts, till they had burst under the burden. — This flagrant ab- surdity in Morals may be said a little to resem- ble that of certain votaries of a certain Faith, in Religion — men who preposterously transfer their reverence from sober ceremonies, and unadulterated doctrines, to devotion in mas- querade ; to the consecrated Hocus-pocus of St. Januarius's blood, or the supernatural Knick-knacks of Loretto.

So then, Samuel ! — Juvenal, you see, turns out to be in the right, after all:

" see! nee

Tarn tenuis census tibi contigit, ut mediocris Jacturae te mergat onus ; nee rara videmus Quae pateris. Casus multis hie cognitus, ac jam Tritus, et e medio Fortunae ductus acervo. Ponamus nimios Gemitus. Flagrantior aequo Non debet Dolor esse viri, nee vulnere major ; — Xu quamvis levium minimam exiguamque m alarum Particulam vix ferre potes, spumantibus ardens Visceribus."



Sagely concluding his lecture with

" Dicimus, autem,

Has quoque felices, qui ferre incommoda vita?, Nee jactare jugum vita didic&re magistral

I have never forgotten the passage, since I once translated it at Oxford as an imposition, for swearing most indecently at one or other of your precious catalogue of" Miseries ;"■>■** I think I could still recollect the lines I gave in : —

But not so lost, so abject thine estate, That thou must sink beneath a feather's weight ; Nor rare, nor monstrous, thy misfortune shews — t Drawn from the mingled heap of Fortune's woes. Away, then, with immod'rate Groans ; — the cry Should suit the Mis'ry, nor the wound bely. But you, whose Fever boils through ev'ry vein, Can brook no jot, no particle of pain.

Call happy those whom life has school'd to bear Her fretting yoke — not cast it in despair.

The last sentence is, in itself, a verdict against you both ; — as Juvenal, however, was no joker, I will venture to supply one defect m hh ^admonitions, by suggesting, that the


most palatable form in which his prescription of patience under trumpery troubles can be made up, is that of laughter^— which, next to breathing, is perhaps, the most important business of the lungs ; and accordingly, even those who cannot, sometimes, help crying a little over these, and such like "Miseries of Human Life," may take a wholesome hint from Andromache, who, even in the midst of her tears, contrived to edge in a smile — AccKpvozv y£/\acrew#. Shakspeare, too, has left for such as cannot entirely give up the privilege of w r himpering on these occasions, a short sentence, which might be turned to the same profitable account ;

— — — u more merry tears

The passion of loud laughter never shed,"

Here, then, my dear brother Samuel, you will, I doubt not, very readily agree to a sus- pension of arms. Whether the edge of my argument, assisted by Mr. Testy and his fit, has bitten more deeply in this, than in any of our former intellectual duels, I will not, at present, stay to inquire ; but remain satis- fied with those involuntary demonstrations of


weakness which you have made, more and more perceptihly, from the beginning of our present encounter lo the end. That you will ultimately, and freely, lay down your arms, I do, certainly, both hope and predict ; but it will be more honourable both to me, and to yourself, that this step should be taken after a counsel with reason, than in a start of panic: — in the mean time, let me shield you from the apparent disgrace of a surrender, by suggesting that, in this peculiar species of warfare, capitulation is richer than victory ;• — nay, that defeat itself is fame.

Sen.junr. (after a long pause.) Have I another argument left? — No. Why then, brother, the day is yours ; — and, since you have not frightened, but fairly beaten me from the field, I will no longer keep you in waiting for your triumph. Yes: — from this moment, I abjure the pernicious errors in which I have lived : — abjure them in principle, I mean ; for, with regard to practice, I beg leave to make no engagements ; since, what- ever the dramatists, with their off-hand re- formations in the last scene of the last act, may find it convenient to suppose, I am fully


aware that, off the stage, practice aforesaid is never found to be quite so prompt an attend- ant upon theory, as they have represented. I em resolved, however, to make the attempt without delay, and am now impatient for an opportunity of displaying my patience.

Sen. senr. Take my hand, Samuel; I have retrieved a brother ! — That you accept my principles, is all that I, at present desire ; and as for the modesty with which you speak of yourself, on the side of actual performance, I am willing to embrace it as an earnest of your final success. Thus far, then, we have auspi- ciously proceeded towards the great point which I have in view; — and here, perhaps, I am bound by my late offer to close our dis- cussion ; but, to say the truth, your extra- ordinary candour encourages me to advance one step farther : — you are anxious, you say, for a fresh opportunity of trying your strength upon a few of those minor Miseries, to which you have hitherto yielded up your tranquillity, without a struggle : this ambition is, allow- edly, very honourable, even as it stands ; but I am tempted to furnish it with an additional


motive, by which it will be still farther en- nobled : the motive I mean is that of prepay ing yourself, by this diligent rehearsal of patience under easy trials, for a higher display of resignation, under an higher order of dis- tresses;— distresses so serious, that you have hitherto derided them, purely from ignorance of their real nature; and so formidable, that the species of preparation which I have here recommended, is found no more than neces- sary to every man who aspires to stand un- staggered beneath their blows.

Sen.junr. Though as yet but a novice in the school of real affliction, I think I com- prehend the force of your last allusion bro- ther. You would tell me, I conceive, that it is in the case of contest with affliction, as in that of actual warfare. The soldier who car- lies arms in peace, and practises his courage against fictitious dangers, has insensibly be- come a veteran, before he has risked a battle; and, when, at length, he is summoned out to action, brings a seasoned valour into the field. Thus, you would say, the man who has dili- gently proved his equanimity upon mean


occasions, has performed self-government so long, that he has nearly rooted the principle of impatience out of his nature ; — has so fre- quently despised all little molestations, that, in the end, he forgets to be ruffled when they arise.

Sen. senr. You have spared me the neces- sity of unfolding my comparison. Yes, my brother; whoever is thus exercised and for- tified against the accidents of the passing hour ; whoever is thus accustomed to be thwarted in his course, without loss of his moderation, is the early veteran whom you have just described : it must be clear, that such a man is, better than another, prepared for the heaviest fire of misfortune ; and that, open upon him when it may, he will be found in heart, and under arms.

Sen.junr. I have already shewn, brother, that I perceive the drift of your military me- taphor; but I must not conceal that I have a doubt upon my mind, as to the closeness of the parallel. In the present -altered state of my feelings and opinions, all my former " Groans," or" Miseries," begin to appear, by- contrast, so very poor, and trivial, that I can


scarcely grant them even so much conse- quence as you would assert in their favour ; viz. that they are good for the use of prepara- tory discipline ; since, by any man possessing but a grain of real resolution, they must, surely, be regarded as altogether despicable; — as neither loud enough to be heard, nor heavy enough to be felt.

SeH.&enr. Aye, Samuel; like every other new-made convert, I see, you are off, at a flying leap, from one extremity of the ques- tion to the other; it must be my endeavour, therefore, to fix you safe in the centre, where reason will, as usual, be found to reside. In truth, I cannot but smile at the point to which you have now brought the argument ; for, by a most whimsical revolution of things, it has suddenly become my business to per- suade you, that your quondam " Miseries," nugatory as they may be, are not, however, the absolute nullities which you are, all at once, in such violent haste to pronounce them. The simple truth is, that the little disturbances now in question, atone, in a cer- tain measure, for their futility, by their fre- quency and, in like manner as the greater


periods of time are computed by the single moments of which they consist, it may be said that the general firmness, or imbecillity, of the human mind is to be measured by its habitual deportment under these apparently slight, but, in mi/ view, really important, vexations ; — important, I say, in-as-much-as they make up, in great part, the history of every day, and every hour.— Have you sufficiently reflected, too, that habits (and it is with habits that we are now concerned,) are acquired, not from circumstances of rare occurrence, however prominent, or striking, but rather from the diminutive incidents of daily life, seem they as contemptible as they may. From habit, as before remarked, arises discipline; and by discipline we are schooled to the sublimest efforts, whether of knowledge, or of virtue.

Sen,junr. By what you have now said, my dear brother, you have removed my only remaining difficulty; and by so doing, have crowned my obligations to you for having forced me out of the crooked path in which I was wandering, into the direct road of hap- piness, — in which I have next to try how


stedfastly I can persevere. " Video meliora, proboque," is, at least, a favourable omen.

Sen. senr. As such, I most cordially hail it ; — the real character of the augury, however, as you have yourself observed, will be better determined at a future period, when you shall have made some progress in the Sacrifice to Patience which you have in hand. — For the present, Samuel, you will, I dare say, think it is quite time that we should look a little after your poor fellow-sufferer Mr. Testy, whose voice I am very happy to hear, (and, for once, with a mute upon it,) in the next room. I will first, if possible, persuade him, as I have so happily persuaded you, to dis- band, on his part, those imaginary Myrmi- dons, which you have both so long been arming against yourselves — (Sen.junr. smiles ruefully) — and should I unexpectedly suc- ceed in this, I will next attempt to kindle in your minds a favourable disposition towards a new scheme which has occurred to me with regard to your great subject; a scheme for which even you are, at present, I fancy, very little prepared ;— it is no other than that of


presenting your woeful collections, together with the substance of our present dialogue, to the public, in the character of a Moral Jest-Book.


-" ridentem dicere verum

Quid vetat V Hor.

Printed by W. Bulraer and C6«  Cleyeland-row, St. James's.




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