Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 69

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Letter LXIX

To Mrs MARY JONES, at Brambleton-hall.


Miss Liddy is so good as to unclose me in a kiver as fur as Gloster, and the carrier will bring it to hand — God send us all safe to Monmouthshire, for I'm quite jaded with rambling — 'Tis a true saying, live and learn — 0 woman, what chuckling and changing have I seen! — Well, there's nothing sartain in this world — Who would have thought that mistriss, after all the pains taken for the good of her prusias sole, would go for to throw away her poor body? that she would cast the heys of infection upon such a carrying-crow as Lashmihago! as old as Mathewsullin, as dry as a red herring, and as poor as a starved veezel — 0, Molly, hadst thou seen him come down the ladder, in a shurt so scanty, that it could not kiver his nakedness! — The young 'squire called him Dunquickset; but he looked for all the world like Cradoc-ap-Morgan, the ould tinker, that suffered at Abergany for steeling of kettle — Then he's a profane scuffle, and, as Mr Clinker says, no better than an impfiddle, continually playing upon the pyebill and the new-burth — I doubt he has as little manners as money; for he can't say a civil word, much more make me a present of a pair of gloves for goodwill; but he looks as if he wanted to be very forewood and familiar O! that ever a gentlewoman of years and discretion should tare her air, and cry and disporridge herself for such a nubjack! as the song goes

I vow she would fain have a burd
That bids such a price for an owl.

but, for sartain, he must have dealt with some Scotch musician to bring her to this pass — As for me, I put my trust in the Lord; and I have got a slice of witch elm sowed in the gathers of my under petticoat; and Mr Clinker assures me, that by the new light of grease, I may deify the devil and all his works — But I nose what I nose — If mistress should take up with Lashmyhago, this is no sarvice for me — Thank God, there's no want of places; and if it wan't for wan thing, I would — but, no matter Madam Baynar's woman has twenty good pounds a-year and parquisites; and dresses like a parson of distinkson — I dined with her and the valley de shambles, with bags and golden jackets; but there was nothing kimfittable to eat, being as how they lived upon board, and having nothing but a piss of could cuddling tart and some blamangey, I was tuck with the cullick, and a murcey it was that mistress had her viol of assings in the cox.

But, as I was saying, I think for sartain this match will go forewood; for things are come to a creesus; and I have seen with my own bays, such smuggling — But I scorn for to exclose the secrets of the family; and if it wance comes to marrying, who nose but the frolick may go round — I believes as how, Miss Liddy would have no reversion if her swan would appear; and you would be surprised, Molly, to receive a bride's fever from your humble sarvant — but this is all suppository, dear girl; and I have sullenly promised to Mr Clinker, that neither man, woman, nor child shall no that arrow said a civil thing to me in the way of infection. I hope to drink your health at Brambleton-hall, in a horn of October, before the month be out — Pray let my bed be turned once a-day, and the windore opened, while the weather is dry; and burn a few billets with some brush in the footman's garret, and see their mattrash be dry as a bone: for both our gentlemen have got a sad could by lying in damp shits at sir Tummas Ballfart's. No more at present, but my sarvice to Saul and the rest of our fellow-sarvents, being,

Dear Mary Jones,
Always yours,
Oct. 4.