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I came forward and informed him that he was then at the beginning of the Rue Vivienne. A loud whistle, and the cry of "Carlo! Carlo!" were my thanks the party, after proceeding a little way down the street, turned into a milliner's shop, and, as the rain began to increase to a smart shower, I followed them in, well knowing the courtesy of the Parisian shopkeepers upon these occasions.
Taking a chair by the door, I overheard my countryfolks at the other end proceeding to purchase a bonnet; in which treaty the young lady, on the strength of having learnt French for several years at a Chelsea boarding-school, was put forward as principal negotiator. Of the poor girl's accent I can only say, that it was worthy the French, which she began as follows:-" Nous besoinons, s'il vous plait, un bonnet." This word unfortunately signifies a cap, several of which the marchande des modes proceeded to place before them, ejaculating at the same time" Comme elle parle bien François ! c'est étonnant! Mais, voyez donc, Zoe, Celestine, Hippolyte, voyez comme elle a bonne mine!" and "Comme elle est gentille!" was echoed by the smiling demoiselles aforesaid. By pointing to some bonnets in the window, the young lady, whose name I found was Harriet, explained the object of their visit, observing at the same time that it was excessively stupid of the woman, for of course "bonnet" must mean bonnet; and declaring that, in her opinion, the Parisians in general spoke very bad French, not at all like Mrs. Harrison at Chelsea. Carlo, meanwhile, was whisking about among the young ladies, who, in various tones and attitudes of mincing terror exclaimed, "Est-il sage?" "They want to know if he is wise papa," said the daughter. "Wise! no; what the deuce, do they take him for Munito?" Miss Harriet gave them a negative reply, when their consternation expressed itself by simultaneous exclamations of "Eh Dieu! il n'est pas
sage! va-t-en! ôtes-toi de là-O Ciel !" and "Mé. chante bête !" until a whistle from his master brought him crouching to his feet, and relieved them from their apprehensions. The young interpreter now returned a bonnet which had been pressed upon their acceptance, with the observation-" Maman dit que ceci n'est pas un bon un," and would have added that she wanted one lined with pink, but declared her ignorance of the French for " lined" and
pink;" whereat her father expressed some indignation, observing that it was a dead take-in of Mrs. Harrison to make him pay so much for French, and he always paid her bills regularly, when the child knew no more of it than the Pope of Rome. Signs -that cheap and convenient language which one may learn without Mrs. Harrison-supplied the defect, and the marchande produced a bonnet "doublé en couleur de rose," exclaiming, "Ah! celui-ci vous siéra bien," and pretending to be in raptures as she tried it on, she ejaculated, "Voyez, donc, Anastasia, Cassandre, Flavie, Hortense, comme ça va bien à Madame !" when the damoiselles repectively interjected, "C'est gentil-c'est joli-c'est charmant-c'est distingué!" This was decisive; the bonnet was selected, the husband put his purse upon the counter, and at the same moment Carlo, rising on his hind legs, as if to overlook the settlement, deposited his front paws on two pieces of white satin, leaving upon each a large sample of the black liquid mud collected in the kennels of the Rue Vivienne.
Fresh exclamations were occasioned by this accident, and Miss Harriet was made to understand, with some difficulty, that it was necessary to take a yard of each piece. "Combien l'aune ?" inquired the father, who had accomplished that extent of French. "Monsieur, cette pièce se vend à sept francs, et celle-ci à neuf;" which words she pronounced, as customary, sé and new. "How much
is that, Harriet?" "I'm sure I don't know, papa; she says one piece is new.". "Well, well, we all know that; but how much is sé?" "Indeed, papa, there is no such a number in Chambaud, nor Wanostrocht's Grammar, and they've no right to invent words in that way." Papa shook his head, and began a new abuse of Mrs. Harrison; the marchande explained the price by uplifted fingers: the former objected to taking more than half an aune; Harriet exclaimed, "Vous faut couper une demi ;" and, as I was in momentary apprehension of being appealed to by one or other of the parties, which I knew would entail a colloquy for which I had no time to spare, I made my bow of thanks, and hurried out of the shop, leaving the marchande des modes, papa, mamma, Miss Harriet, and Carlo, to settle the dispute in the best manner they could.
MEMOIRS OF A HAUNCH OF MUTTON.
"I, in this kind of merry fooling, am nothing to you; so you may continue and laugh at nothing still."-The Tempest.
THIS is the age for Memoirs, particularly of royalty. Napoleon is making almost as much noise after his death as he did in his life time; Marie Antoinette, by the assistance of Madame de Campan, has obtained a revival of her notoriety; and Louis Dix-huit has effected his escape to Coblentz only to fall into the claws of the critics, by proving that every king is not a Solomon. This epidemic is understood to be spreading among the rulers of the earth, and several of the London booksellers have already started for different capitals of Europe, for the purpose, it is said, of treating with crowned authors. Fortunately there is no royal road to biography, any more than to geometry; the right divine does not include all the good writing, nor
has legitimacy any exclusive alliance with Priscian. Men who have brains inside may scribble as well as those who have crowns outside; beggars and thieves have given their own lives to the public; nay, even things inanimate-a wonderful lamp, a splendid shilling, a guinea, have found historians; why then should the lords of the creation have all the memoirs to themselves? or why may not we immortalize "The Haunch of Mutton ?" which, for aught that appears to the contrary, may claim a rectilinear descent from the Royal Ram eternized by Mother Bunch, and so be entitled to rank with the best imperial or kingly records that are now issuing from the Row. Into this investigation, curious as it - would be, it is not my purpose to enter; it would be irrelevant to my title, which has only reference to sheep after they are dead, and designated as mutton; but I cannot refrain from noticing that, even in this point of view, the subject I have chosen is poetical; for a poet, like a merino or south down, is annually fleeced and sheared, and at last cut up by the critical dissectors: but he is no sooner dead than he acquires a new name; we sit down to his perusal with great satisfaction, make repeated extracts which we find entirely to our taste, and talk complacently of his rich vein, ready flow, his sweetness, tenderness, and so forth.
Suffice it to say, that the sheep from which our hero, i. e. our haunch, was cut, drew breath in the pastures of Farmer Blewett, of Sussex, whose brother, Mr. William Blewett, (commonly called Billy,) of Great St. Helen's, in the city of London, is one of the most eminent indigo brokers in the metropolis. The farmer having a son fourteen years of age, whom he was anxious to place in the counting-house of the said Billy, very prudently began by filling his brother's mouth before he opened his own, and had accordingly sent him an enormous turkey at Christmas, a side of fat bacon at Easter,
and at midsummer the identical haunch of south down mutton whose dissection and demolition we have undertaken to immortalize. Ever attentive to the main chance, the broker began to calculate that if he asked three or four friends to dine with him he could only eat mutten for one, while he would have to find wine for the whole party; whereas, if he presented it to Alderman Sir Peter Pumpkin, of Broad street, who was a dear lover of good mutton, and had besides lately received a consignment of Indigo of which he was anxious to propitiate the brokerage, he might not only succeed in that object, but be probably asked to dinner, get his full share of the haunch, and drink that wine which he preferred to all others-videlicet, that which he tippled at other people's expense. Whether or not
he succeeded in the former aim, our documents do not testify; but certain it is, that he was invited to partake of the haunch in Broad street, (not being deemed a presentable personage at the Baronet's establishment in Devonshire-place); Mr. Robert Rule, Sir Peter's book-keeper and head clerk, who presided over the city household, was asked to meet him, as well as his nephew, Mr. Henry Pumpkin, a` young collegian, whose affection for his uncle induced him to run up to London whenever his purse became attenuated, and who, in his progress towards qualifying himself for the church, had already learnt to tie a cravat, drive a tandem, drink claret, and make bad puns. Four persons, as the Baronet observed, were quite enough for a haunch of mutton, and too many for one of venison.
"I shouldn't have waited for you, Harry," exclaimed the Baronet, as his nephew entered. "No occasion, sir; I am always punctual-Boileau says, that the time a man makes a company wait for him. is always spent in discovering his faults." "Does he? then he's a sensible fellow; and if he's a friend of yours, you might have brought him to dinner