Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 78

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To Mrs MARY JONES, at Brambleton-hall.


I have met with so many axidents, suprisals, and terrifications, that I am in a pafeck fantigo, and I believe I shall never be my own self again. Last week I was dragged out of a river like a drowned rat, and lost a bran-new night-cap, with a sulfer stayhook, that cost me a good half-a-crown, and an odd shoe of green gallow monkey; besides wetting my cloaths and taring my smuck, and an ugly gash made in the back part of my thy, by the stump of a tree — To be sure Mr Clinker tuck me out of the cox; but he left me on my back in the water, to go to the 'squire; and I mought have had a watry grave, if a millar had not brought me to the dry land — But, O! what choppings and changes girl — The player man that came after Miss Liddy, and frightened me with a beard at Bristol Well, is now matthew-murphy'd into a fine young gentleman, son and hare of 'squire Dollison — We are all together in the same house, and all parties have agreed to the match, and in a fortnite the surrymony will be performed.

But this is not the only wedding we are to have — Mistriss is resolved to have the same frolick, in the naam of God! Last Sunday in the parish crutch, if my own ars may be trusted, the clerk called the banes of marridge betwixt Opaniah Lashmeheygo, and Tapitha Brample, spinster; he mought as well have called her inkle-weaver, for she never spun and hank of yarn in her life — Young 'squire Dollison and Miss Liddy make the second kipple; and there might have been a turd, but times are changed with Mr Clinker — O Molly! what do'st think? Mr Clinker is found to be a pye-blow of our own 'squire, and his rite naam is Mr Matthew Loyd (thof God he nose how that can be); and he is now out of livery, and wares ruffles — but I new him when he was out at elbows, and had not a rag to kiver his pistereroes; so he need not hold his head so high — He is for sartin very umble and compleasant, and purtests as how he has the same regard as before; but that he is no longer his own master, and cannot portend to marry without the 'squire's consent — He says he must wait with patience, and trust to Providence, and such nonsense — But if so be as how his regard be the same, why stand shilly shally? Why not strike while the iron is hot, and speak to the 'squire without loss of time? What subjection can the 'squire make to our coming together — Thof my father wan't a gentleman, my mother was an honest woman — I didn't come on the wrong side of the blanket, girl — My parents were marred according to the right of holy mother crutch, in the face of men and angles — Mark that, Mary Jones.

Mr Clinker (Loyd I would say) had best look to his tackle. There be other chaps in the market, as the saying is — What would he say if I should except the soot and sarvice of the young squire's valley? Mr Machappy is a gentleman born, and has been abroad in the wars — He has a world of buck larning, and speaks French, and Ditch, and Scotch, and all manner of outlandish lingos; to be sure he's a little the worse for the ware, and is much given to drink; but then he's good-tempered in his liquor, and a prudent woman mought wind him about her finger — But I have no thoughts of him, I'll assure you — I scorn for to do, or to say, or to think any thing that mought give unbreech to Mr Loyd, without furder occasion — But then I have such vapours, Molly I sit and cry by myself, and take ass of etida, and smill to burnt fathers, and kindal-snuffs; and I pray constantly for grease, that I may have a glimpse of the new-light, to shew me the way through this wretched veil of tares. And yet, I want for nothing in this family of love, where every sole is so kind and so courteous, that wan would think they are so many saints in haven. Dear Molly, I recommend myself to your prayers, being, with my sarvice to Saul,

your ever loving, and discounselled friend, WIN. JENKINS Oct. 14.