Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 25

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Letter XXV

To Mrs MARY JONES, at Brambleton-hall.


We are all upon the ving — Hey for London, girl! — Fecks! we have been long enough here; for we're all turned tipsy turvy — Mistress has excarded Sir Ulic for kicking of Chowder; and I have sent O Frizzle away, with a flea in his ear — I've shewn him how little I minded his tinsy and his long tail — A fellor, who would think for to go, for to offer, to take up with a dirty trollop under my nose — I ketched him in the very feet, coming out of the housemaids garret. — But I have gi'en the dirty slut a siserary. O Molly! the sarvants at Bath are devils in garnet. They lite the candle at both ends — Here's nothing but ginketting, and wasting, and thieving and tricking, and trigging; and then they are never content — They won't suffer the 'squire and mistress to stay any longer; because they have been already above three weeks in the house; and they look for a couple of ginneys a-piece at our going away; and this is a parquisite they expect every month in the season; being as how no family has a right to stay longer than four weeks in the same lodgings; and so the cuck swears she will pin the dish-clout to mistress's tail; and the house-maid vows, she'll put cowitch in master's bed, if so be he don't discamp without furder ado — I don't blame them for making the most of their market, in the way of vails and parquisites; and I defy the devil to say I am a tail-carrier, or ever brought a poor sarvant into trouble — But then they oft to have some conscience, in vronging those that be sarvants like themselves — For you must no, Molly, I missed three-quarters of blond lace, and a remnant of muslin, and my silver thimble; which was the gift of true love; they were all in my workbasket, that I left upon the table in the sarvants-hall, when mistresses bell rung; but if they had been under lock and kay, 'twould have been all the same; for there are double keys to all the locks in Bath; and they say as how the very teeth an't safe in your head, if you sleep with your mouth open — And so says I to myself, them things could not go without hands; and so I'll watch their waters: and so I did with a vitness; for then it was I found Bett consarned with O Frizzle. And as the cuck had thrown her slush at me, because I had taken part with Chowder, when he fit, with the turnspit, I resolved to make a clear kitchen, and throw some of her fat into the fire. I ketched the chare-woman going out with her load in the morning, before she thought I was up, and brought her to mistress with her whole cargo — Marry, what do'st think she had got in the name of God? Her buckets were foaming full of our best bear, and her lap was stuffed with a cold tongue, part of a buttock of beef, half a turkey, and a swinging lump of butter, and the matter of ten mould kandles, that had scarce ever been lit. The cuck brazened it out, and said it was her rite to rummage the pantry; and she was ready for to go before the mare: that he had been her potticary many years, and would never think of hurting a poor sarvant, for giving away the scraps of the kitchen. I went another way to work with madam Betty, because she had been saucy, and called me skandelus names; and said O Frizzle couldn't abide me, and twenty other odorous falsehoods. I got a varrant from the mare, and her box being sarched by the constable, my things came out sure enuff; besides a full pound of vax candles, and a nite-cap of mistress, that I could sware to on my cruperal oaf — O! then madam Mopstick came upon her merry bones; and as the squire wouldn't hare of a pursecution, she scaped a skewering: but the longest day she has to live, she'll remember your

Humble sarvant,
BATH, May 15.

If the hind should come again, before we be gone, pray send me the shift and apron, with the vite gallow manky shoes; which you'll find in my pillowber — Sarvice to Saul —