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To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sir,
I hope I don't intrude — I have called at Ludgate-hill a great many times to see you, and made many kind inquiries, but I am always informed you are “not at home;” and what’s worse, I never can learn when you'll be “at home;” I'm constantly told, “it’s very uncertain.” This looks very odd; I don’t think it correct. Then again, on asking your people what the Every-Day Book is all about? they say it's about every thing; but that you know is no answer—is it ! I want something more than that. When I tell 'em so, and that I'm so much engaged I haven't time to read, they say the book is as useful to people engaged in business as to people out of business—as
if I was in business! I wish to acquaint every body, that I am not in business, and never was in business, though I’ve a deal of business to do; but then it's for my own amusement, and that's nobody's business, you know—as I also told 'em. They say it's impossible to describe the contents of the book, but that all the particulars are in the Index; that's just what I wanted; but behold ! it is “not out"— that is, it is not in—I mean not in the book—you take. Excuse my humorsomeness: I only wish to know when I can get it ! They say in a few days, but, bless you, I don't believe 'em ; for though I let 'em know I've a world of things to communicate to you, when you've time to see me, and let me ask you a few questions, they won't credit me, and why should I credit them—I was not born yesterday, I assure you. I'm of a very ancient stock, and I’ve some notion you and I are kinsmen—don't you think we are 2 I dare say there's a likeness, for I'm sure we are of the same disposition; if you are n't, how can you find out so much “about every thing.” If I can make out that you are one of the Pry family, it will be mutually agreeable—won't it ! How people will stare—won't they? I suppose you've heard how I've been used by Mr. Liston—my private character exposed on the public stage, and the whole town roaring at the whole of the Pry family. But we are neither to be cried down nor laughed down, and so I’d havelettheplay-goers know,if themanagers had allowed me to sing a song on Newyear's night, in imitation of Mr. Liston when he's a playing me. Will you believe it—they burst out a laughing, and would not let me go on the boards—they said the audience would suppose me to be the actor himself; what harm would that have done the theatre 2—can you tell? They said, it would hurt Mr. Liston's feelings—never considering my feelings | If ever I try to serve them or their theatre
again, I'll be—Liston 1 They shall be matched, however, if you'll help me. I’ve copied out my song, and if you'll print it in the Every-Day Book, it will drive 'em mad. I wish, of all things, that Mr. Cruikshank could see me in the character of Liston—he could hit me I know—don't you think he could?—just as I am— “quite correct”—like he did “Guy Faux” last 5th of November. I never laughed so much in all my life as when Isaw that. Bless you, I can mimic Liston all to nothing. Do get your friend George to your house some day—any day he likes– it's all one to me, for I call every day; and as I'm an “every-day” man, you know, why you might pop me at the head of the song in your Every-Day Book— that's a joke you know—I can't help laughing—so droll! I’ve enclosed the song, you see.
[The wish of this correspondent is complied with: and the manner wherein, it is presumed, he would have sung the song, is hinted at parenthetically.]
If you print this in the Every-Day Book it will send Liston into fits—it will kill him—won't it? But you know that's all right—if he takes me off I’ve a right to take him off—haven't I? I say, that's another joke—isn't it? Bless you I co'd do as good as that for ever. But I want to see you, and ask you how you go on 1 and I’ve lots of intelligence for you —such things as never were known in this world—all true, and on the very best authority, you may take my word for it. Several of my relations have sent you budgets. Though they know you won't publish their names unless they like it, they don't choose to sign 'em to their letters for private reasons,—why don't you print’em 2 They cann’t give up their authors you know, (that's impossible,) but what does that signify? And then you give 'em so much trouble to call and make inquiries—not that they care about that, but it looks so. However, I’m in a great hurry and so you'll excuse me. —Mind though I shall pop in every day till I catch you. I hope you’ll print the song—its all my own writing, it will do for Liston, depend on it. What a joke— isn't it a good one *
Pryory Place, " Yours eternally,
January 6, 1826. PAUL PRY.
the occasion described in the subjoined communication.
For the Every-Day Book. The Feast WEEK.
This festival, so called, is supposed to be nearly coeval with the establishment of Christianity in this island. Eve new church that was founded was dedicated to some peculiar saint, and was naturally followed by a public religious celebration, generally on the day of that saint, or on the Sunday immediately following. Whatever might be the origin, the festival part is still observed in most of the villages of several of the midland and other counties. It is a season much to be remembered, and is anticipated with no little pleasure by the expecting villagers. The joyful note of preparation is given during the preceding week; and the clash, and splash, and bustle of cleansing, and whitewashing, and dusting, is to be seen and heard in almost every cottage. Nor is the still more important object of laying in a good solid supply for a hungry host of visitors forgotten. Happy those who can command a ham for the occasion. This is a great favourite, as it is a cut-and-come-again dish, ready at hand at all times. But this is mostly with the tip-topping part. Few but can boast of a substantial plumpudding 1–And now the important day is arrived. The merry bells from the steeple announce the event; and groups of friends and relations, not forgetting distant cousins and children, are seen making their way, long before the hour of dinner, to the appointed spot. This is Sunday; and in the afternoon a portion of these strangers, clean and neatly dressed, are seen flocking to the village church, where the elevated band in the gallery, in great force both in noise and number, contribute lustily to their edifi. cation, and the clergyman endeavours to improve the solemnity of the occasion by an appropriate address. During the early part of the ensuing week, the feast
is kept up with much spirit: the village resents a holiday appearance, and open#: as far as may be, is the order of the day; the bells at intervals send forth an enlivening peal; all work is nearly suspended; gay stalls of gingerbread and fruit, according to the season of the year, together with swings and roundabouts, spread out their allurements to the children; bowls, quoits, and ninepins, for the men; and the merry dance in the evening, for the lasses. Fresh visitors keep dropping in ; and almost all who can make any excuse of acquaintance are acknowledged, and are hospitably entertained, according to the means of their village friends. As the week advances, these means gradually diminish; and as an empty house has few attractions, by the end of the week the bustle ceases, and all is still and silent, as if it had never been. Man naturally requires excitement and relaxation; but it is essentially necessary that they should be adapted to his situation and circumstances. The feast week, however alluring it may appearin description, is in reality productive of greater evil than good. The excitement lasts too long, and the enjoyment; whatever it may be, is purchased at the sacrifice of too great expense. It is a well-known fact, that many of the poor who have exerted every effort to make this profuse, but short-lived display, have scarcely bread to eat for weeks after. But there is no alternative, if they expect to be received with the same spirit of hospitality by their friends. The alehouses, in the interim, are too often scenes of drunkenness and disorder; and the labouring man who has been idle and dissipated for a week, is little disposed for toil and temperance the next. Here, then, the illusion of rural simplicity ends ! These things are managed much better where one fair day, as it is called, is set apart in each year, as is the case in many counties; the excitement, which is intense for ten or twelve hour, is fully sufficient for the purpose; all is noise and merriment, and one general and simultaneous burst and explosion, if it may be so op. takes place. You see groups of happy faces. Every one is willing “to laugh he knows not why, and cares not wherefore ;” and one day's gratification serves him for every day's pleasing topic of reference for weeks to come. S. P
NATURALists’ calendar. Mean Temperature ... 35' 62.
Among the cold-blooded animals which resist the effects of a low temperature, we may reckon the common leech, which is otherwise interesting to the meteorologist, on account of its peculiar habits and movements under different states of the atmosphere. A group of these animals left accidentally in a closet without a fire, during the frost of 1816, not only survived, but appeared to suffer no injury from being locked up in a mass of ice for many days.”
Certain rewards allowed by act of parliament to firemen, turncocks and others, who first appear with their engines and implements at premises sworn to be on fire, were claimed at the public office, Marlborough-street, in this month, 1826, and resisted on the ground that the chimney, which belonged to a brewery, and was more than eighty feet high, was not, and could not be on fire. A witness to that end, gave a lively specimen of familiar statement and illustration. He began by telling the magistrate, that he was a sweep-chimney by profession—a F. of information very unnecessary, for e was as black and sooty a sweep as ever mounted a chimney-top, -and then went on , in this fashion—“This here man, (pointing to the patrol,) your wortship, has told a false affidavit. I knows that ere chimley from a hinfant, and she knows my foot as well as my own mother. The way as I goes up her is this—I goes in all round the boiler, then I twistes in the chimley like the smoke, and then up I goes with the wind, for, your wortship, there's a wind in her that would blow you out like a feather, if you didn't know her as well as I do, and that makes me always go to the top myself, because there isn't a brick in her that doesn't know my foot. So that you see, your wortship, no soot or blacks is ever in her: the wind won't let 'em stop : and besides they knows that I go up her regular. So that she always keeps herself as clean as a new pin. I'll be bound the sides of her is as clean this minute as I am (not saying much for the chimney); therefore, your
* Howard on Climate. t .
wortship, that ere man as saw two yards of fire coming out of her, did not see no such thing, I say; and he has told your wortship, and these here gentlemen present, a É. affidavit, I say. I was brought up in that chimley, your wortship, and I can't abear to hear such things said–lies of her; and that's all as I knows at present, please your wortship.”
AMUSEM ents. The London Christmas evenings of 1826, appear to have been kept out of doors, for every place of entertainment was overflowing every night. At this season, from six o'clock in the evening, a full tide of passengers sets in along every leading street to each of the theatres. Hackney coaches drawl, and cabriolets make their way, and jostle each other, and private carriages swiftly roll, and draw up to the box, door with a vigorous sweep, which the horses of hired vehicles are too aged, or too low in condition to achieve. Within a hundred yards of either playhouse, hands are continually thrust into each coach window, with “a bill of the play," and repeated cries of “only a penny!" The coachdoor being opened, down fall the steps with a sharp clackity-clack-click, and the companies alight, if they can, without the supernumerary aid of attendant pliers, who offer their over-ready arms to lean upon, and kindly entreat—“Take care, sir!— mind how you step ma'am—this way if you please—this way,” all against your will, and ending with “I hope you’ll please to remember a poor fellow !” the “poor fellow” having done nothing but interrupt you. When past the “pay place,” great coats, umbrellas, shawls or other useful accompaniments to and from “the house,” though real encumbrances within it, may be safely deposited with persons stationed for their reception, who attach tickets to them, and deliver corresponding numbers, which ensure the return of your propertyon your coming out; sixpence or a shilling being a gratuity for the accommodation. Then, when the whole is over, there is the strict blockade of coaches further than the eye can reach; servants looking out for the parties they came with, and getting up their master's carriages; and a full cry of hackney coachmen and their representatives, vociferating
* The Times, 5th January, 1826.
“Want a coach, sir! Here's your coach, sir? Which is it, sir! Coach to the city, sir! West end, sir! Here ! Coach to the city | Coach to Whitechapel ! Coach to Portman-squarel Coach to Pentonville 1 Coach to the Regent's Park! This way 1 this way! Stand clear there! Chariot, or a coach, sir? No chariots, sir, and all the coaches are hired 1 There's a coach here, sir—just below ! ... Coachman, draw up!” and drawing up is impossible, and there is an incessant confusion of calls and complaints, and running against each other, arising out of the immediate wants of every body, which can only be successively gratified. Pedestrians make their way home, or to the inns, as fast as possible, or turn in to sup at the fish-shops, which in five minutes, are more lively than their oysters were at any time. “Waiter! Waiter | Yes, sir? Attend to you directly, sir! Yours is gone for, sir! Why, I’ve ordered nothing! Its coming directly, sir! Ginger-beer—why this is p. so this is ginger-beer!
orter, sir! I told you brandy and water! Stewed oysters! I ordered scolloped When am I to have my supper! You've had it, sir—I beg your pardon, sir, the gentleman that sat here is gone, sir! Waiter! waiter!” and so on; and he who has patience, is sure to be indulged with an opportunity of retaining it, amidst loud talking and laughter; varied views of the new pantomime; conflicting testimony as to the merits of the clown and the harlequin; the “new scenery, dresses, and machinery;” likings and dislikings of certain actresses; “the lovely” Miss So-and-so, or “that detestable” woman, Mrs. Such-an-one, that clever fellow, “Thing-a-merry,” or that stupid dog “What-d'ye-call-um.” These topics faii. ing, and i. oysters discussed, then are stated and considered the advantages of taking something“tokeep’em down;” the comparative merits of Burton, Windsor, or Edinburgh ale; the qualities of porter; the wholesomeness of smoking; the difference between a pipe and a segar, and the preference of one to the other; whether brandy or rum, or the clear spirit of juniper, is the best preservative of health; which of the company or their friends can drink most; whether the last fight was “a cross,” and who of all the men in the fancy is most “game;” whether the magistrates dare to interfere with “the ring;” whether if fighting should be “put an end to” Englishmen will have half