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inlaid table on the Turkey carpet, and, scarce knowing what I did, attempted to stop its progress with my cambrick handerchief. In the height of this confusion, we were informed that dinner was served up, and I with joy perceived that the bell, which at first had so alarmed my fears, was only the half hour dinner bell. In walking through the hall, and suite of apartments to the dining-room, I had time to collect my scattered senses, and was desired to take my seat betwixt Lady Friendly and her eldest daughter at the table. Since the fall of the wooden Xenophon, my face had been continually burning like a firebrand, and I was just beginning to recover myself, and to feel comfortably cool, when an unlooked for accident, rekindled all my heat and blushes. Having set my plate of soup too near the edge of the table, in bowing to Miss Dinah, who politely complimented the pattern of my waistcoat, I tumbled the whole scalding contents into my lap. In spite of an immediate supply of napkins to wipe the urface of my clothes, my black silk breeches were not stout enough to save me from the painful effects of this sudden fomentation, and for some minutes my legs and thighs seemed stewing in a boiling caldron but recollecting how Sir Thomas had disguised his torture, when I trod upon his toe, I firmly bore my pain in silence, and sat with my lower extremities parboiled, amidst the stifled giggling of the ladies and the servants. I will not relate the several blunders which I made during the first course, or the distress occasioned by my being desired to carve a fowl, or help to various dishes that stood near me, spilling a sauce-boat, and knocking down a salt-seller; rather let me hasten to the second course," where fresh disasters overwhelmed me quite."
had a piece of rich sweet pudding on my fork, when Miss Louisa Friendly begged to trouble me for a pigeon that stood near me; in my haste, scarce know.
ing what I did, I whipped the pudding into my mouth, hot as a burning coal; it was impossible to conceal my agony, my eyes were starting from their sockets. At last, in spite of shame and resolution, I was obliged to drop the cause of torment on my plate Sir Thomas and the ladies all compassionated my misfortune, and each advised a different application; one recommended oil, another water, but all agreed that wine was best for drawing out the fire; and a glass of sherry was brought me from the sideboard, which I snatched up with eagerness: but, oh! how shall I tell the sequel? whether the butler by accident mistook, or purposely designed to drive me mad, he gave me the strongest brandy, with which I filled my mouth, already flea'd and blistered; totally unused to every kind of ardent spirits, with my tongue, throat, and palate, as raw as beef, what could I do? I could not swallow, and, clapping my hands upon my mouth, the cursed liquor squirted through my nose and fingers like a fountain, over all the dishes; and I crushed by bursts of laughter frouTM all quarters. In vain did Sir Thomas reprimand the servants, and Lady Friendly chide her daughters; for the measure of my shame and their diversion was not yet complete. To relieve me from the intolerable state of perspiration, which this accident had caused, without considering what I did, I wiped my face with that ill-fated handkerchief, which was still wet from the consequences of the fall of Xenophon, and covered all my features with streaks of ink in every direction. The Baronet himself could not support this shock, but joined his lady in the general laugh; while I sprung from the table in despair, rushed out of the house, and ran home in an agony of confusion and disgrace, which the most poignant sense of guilt could have excited. Thus, wit out having deviated from the path of moral rectitude, I am suffering torments like a "goblin damn'd,"
The lower half of me has been almost boiled, my ongue and mouth grilled, and I bear the mark of Cain upon my forehead; yet these are but trifling Considerations, to the everlasting shame which I must vel, whenever this adventure shall be mentioned.
From VARIETY, a Collection of Essays, written in the Year 1787.
Humourous, and Familiar Pieces,
THE DISABLED SOLDIER.
THE CONTENTED PORTER,
AMBASSADOR OF BANTAM'S LETTER.
THE ART OF PUNNING.
Frinted at the Office of G. Nicholson, 9, Spring.gardens. Sold by T. Knott, No. 47, Lombard-street;
and Champante & Whitrow, Jewry-street, London.