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British Dumplings.

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“ The Romans, tho' our conquerors, found themselves much outdone in dumplings by our forefathers; the Roman dumplings being no more to compare to those made by the Britons, than a stone dumpling is to a marrow pud. ding; though indeed the British dumpling at that time was little better than what we call a stone dumpling, nothing else but flour and water. But every generation growing wiser and wiser the project was improved, and dumpling grew to be pudding. One projector found milk better than water; another introduced butter; some added marrow, others plums; and some found out the use of sugar; so that to speak truth, we know not where to fix the genealogy or chronology of any of these pudding projectors to the reproach of our historians, who eat so much pudding, yet have been so ungrateful to the first professor of the noble science as not to find them a place in history.

“ The invention of eggs was merely accidental. Two or three having casually rolled from off a shelf iuto a pudding, which a good wife was making, she found herself under the necessity either of throwing away her pudding or letting the eggs remain; but concluding that the innocent quality of the eggs would do no burt, if they did no good, she merely jumbled them all together after having carefully picked out the shells; the consequence is easily imagined, the pudding became a pudding of puddings, and the use of eggs from thence took its date. The woman was sent for to Court to make puddings for King John, who then swayed the sceptre; and gained such favour that she was the making of the whole family.

“From this time the English became so famous for puddings, that they are called pudding-eaters all over the world to this day.

" At her demise her son was taken into favour, and made the King's chief cook; and so great was his fame for puddings, that he was called Jack Pudding all over the kingdon, though in truth his real name was John Brand. This Jack Pudding, I say, became yet a greater favourite than his mother, insomuch that he had the King's ear as well as his mouth at command, for the King you must know was a mighty lover of pudding; and Jack fitted him to a hair. But what raised our hero in the esteem of this pudding-eating monarch was his second edition of pudding, he being the first that ever invented the art of broil. ing puddings, which he did to such perfection and so much to the King's liking (who had a mortal aversion to cold pudding) that he thereupon instituted bim Knight of the Gridiron, and gave him a gridiron of gold, the ensign of that order, which he always wore as a mark of his Sovereign's favour.”

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CHAPTER IV.

Steele-The Funeral—The Tatler-Contributions of Swift

--Of Addison-Expansive Dresses — “Bodily Wit” — Rustic Obtuseness—Crosses in Love-Snuff-taking.

NEW description of periodical was A published in 1709, and met with deserved success. It was little more or less than the first lady's newspaper, consisting of a small half sheet printed on both sides, and sold three times a week. The price was a penny, and the form was so unpretentious that deprecators spoke of its “ tobacco-paper” and “scurvy letter." Like Defoe's review, it was strong in Foreign War intelligence, but beyond this the aim was to attract readers, not by political sarcasm or coarse jesting, but by sparkling satire on the foibles of the fashionable world. Addison says that the design was to bring philosophy to tea-tables, and to check improprieties “too trivial for the chastisement of the law, and too fantastical for the cognizance of the pulpit," and that these papers had a “perceptible influence upon the conversation of Steele.

the time, and taught the frolic and gay to unite merriment with decency.” Johnson says that previously, with the exception of the writers for the theatre, “England had no masters of common life,” and considers the Italian and the French to have introduced this kind of literature. From its social character, this publication gives us a great amount of interesting information as to the manners and customs of the time, and the name “ Tatler” was selected “in honour of the fair.”

The originator of this enterprise, Richard Steele, was English on his father's side, Irish on his mother's. He was educated at Charterhouse, and followed much the same course as his countryman, Farquhar. He tells us gaily, “ At fifteen I was sent to the University, and stayed there for some time; but a drum passing by, being a lover of music, I enlisted myself as a soldier.” He seems to have been at this time ambitious of being one of those “topping fellows,” of whom he afterwards spoke with so much contempt. Among the various appointments he successively obtained, was that of Gentleman Usher to Prince George, and that of Gazetteer, an office which gave him unusual facilities for affording his readers foreign intelligence. He was also Governor of the Royal Company of Comedians, and wrote plays, his best being

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“ The Conscious Lovers ” and “ The Funeral.” The latter was much liked by King William. Notwithstanding its melancholy title, it contained some good comic passages, as where the undertaker marshalls his men and puts them through a kind of rehearsal :

Sable. Well, come, you that are to be mourners in this house, put on your sad looks, and walk by me that I may sort you. Ha, you! a little more upon the dismal-(forming their countenances) — this fellow has a good mortal look-place him near the corpse; that wainscot face must be o' top of the stairs; that fellow's almost in a fright (that looks as if he were full of some strange misery) at the entrance of the hall-50--but I'll fix you all myself. Let's have no laughing now on any provocation, (makes faces.) Look yonder, that hale, well-looking pappy! You ungrateful scoundrel, did not I pity you, take you out of a great man's service, and show you the pleasure of receive ing wages ? Did not I give you ten, then fifteen, now twenty shillings a week to be sorrowful? and the more I give you, I think the gladder you are.

At the first commencement of the “Tatler,” Steele seems to have intended, as was usual at the time, to write almost the whole newspaper himself, and he always continued nominally to do so under the name of Isaac Bickerstaff. The only assistance he could have at all counted upon was that of Addison-his old schoolfellow at Charterhouse—whose contributions proved to be very scanty. We soon find him falling short of material and calling upon the the public for contributions. Thus he makes at the ends of some of the early numbers such suggestions as “Mr. Bickerstaff thanks Mr.

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Quarterstaff for his kind and instructive letter," and “Any ladies, who have any particular stories of their acquaintance, which they are willing privately to make public, may send them to Isaac Bickerstaff.”

This application seems to have met with some response, for although we have only before us the perpetual Isaac Bickerstaff, he soon tells us that “he shall have little to do but to publish what is sent him," and finally that some of the best pieces were not written by himself. Two or three were from the hand of Swift, who does not seem to have much appreciated the gentle periodical—says that as far as he is concerned, the editor may “fair-sex it to the world's end,” and asserts with equal ill-nature and falsity that the publication was finally given up for want of materials. Probably it was to the solicitude of Addison, who was at that time employed in Ireland, that we are indebted for the few productions of Swift's bold genius which adorn this work. One of these is upon the peculiar weakness then prevalent among ladies for studding their faces with little bits of black plaster.

“ Madam.-Let me beg of you to take off the patches at the lower end of your left cheek, and I will allow two more under your left eye, which will contribute more to the symmetry of your face; except you would please to remove the ten black atoms from your ladyship’s chin, and wear

VOL. 11.

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