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I was then much in the mood — in those groups of ridiculous English who were at that time swarming in all directions throughout Paris, and of all whose various forms of cockneyism and nonsense I endeavoured, in the personages of the Fudge Family, to collect the concentrated essence. The result, as usual, fell very far short of what I had myself preconceived and intended. But, making its appearance at such a crisis, the work brought with it that best seasoning of all such jeux-d'esprit, the à-propos of the moment; and, accordingly, in the race of successive editions, Lalla Rookh was, for some time, képt pace with by Miss Biddy Fudge.
In what manner the following Epistles came into my hands, it is not necessary for the public to know. It will be seen by Mr. Fudge's Second Letter, that he is one of those gentlemen whose Secret Services in Ireland, under the mild ministry of my Lord CasTLEREAGH, have been so amply and gratefully remunerated. Like his friend and associate, THOMAS REYNOLDS, Esq., he had retired upon the reward of his honest industry; but has lately been induced to appear again in active life, and superintend the training of that Delatorian Cohort, which Lord SiDMOUTH, in his wisdom and benevolence, has organized.
Whether Mr. Fudge, himself, has yet made any discoveries, does not appear from the following pages. But much may be expected from a person of his zeal and sagacity, and, indeed, to him, Lord SIDMOUTH, and the Greenland-bound ships, the eyes of all loyers of discoveries are now most anxiously directed.
I regret much that I have been obliged to omit Mr. Bob Fudge's Third Letter, concluding the adventures of his Day with the Dinner, Opera, etc., etc. ; — but, in consequence of some remarks upon Marinette's thin drapery, which, it was thought, might
give offence to certain well-meaning persons, the manuscript was sent back to Paris for his revision, and had not returned when the last sheet was put to press.
It will not, I hope, be thought presumptuous, if I take this opportunity of complaining of a very serious injustice I have suffered from the public. Dr. King wrote a treatise to prove that BENTLEY not the author of his own book," and a similar absurdity has been asserted of me, in almost all the best informed literary circles. With the name of the real author staring them in the face, they have yet persisted in attributing my works to other people; and the fame of the Twopenny Post Bag — such as it is
- having hovered doubtfully over various persons, has at last settled upon the head of a certain little gentleman, who wears it, I understand, as complacently as if it actually belonged to him; without even the honesty of avowing, with his own favourite author, (he will excuse the pun)
Εγω δ' "Ο ΜΩΡΟΣ αρας
Eδησαμην μετωπω. . I can only add, that if any lady or gentleman, curious in such matters, will take the trouble of calling at my lodgings, 245 Piccadilly, I shall have the honour of assuring them, in propriâ personâ, that I am - his, or her, Very obedient And very
THOMAS BROWN, THE YOUNGER. April 17, 1818.
THE FUDGE FAMILY IN PARIS.
FROM MISS BIDDY FUDGE TO MISS DOROTHY
KILTY, IN IRELAND.
Amiens. DEAR Doll, while the tails of our horses are plait
ing, The trunks tying on, and Papa, at the door, Into very bad French is, as usual, translating
His English resolve not to give a sou more, I sit down to write you a line
- only think! A letter from France, with French pens and French
ink, How delightful! though, would you believe it, my
dear? I have seen nothing yet very wonderful here ; No adventure, no sentiment, far as we've come, But the corn-fields and trees quite as dull as at home; And but for the post-boy, his boots and his queue, I might just as well be at Clonkilty with you ! In vain, at DESSEIN's, did I take from my trunk That divine fellow, STERNE, and fall reading “ The
In vain did I think of his charming Dead Ass,
By the by, though, at Calais, Papa had a touch Of romance on the pier, which affected me much. At the sight of that spot, where our darling DIXHUIT Set the first of his own dear legitimate feet, * (Modell’d out so exactly, and God bless the mark! 'Tis a foot, Dolly, worthy so Grand a Monarque), He exclaim’d, “Oh, mon Roi!” and, with tear-drop
ping eye, Stood to gaze on the spot — while some Jacobin,
nigh, Mutter'd out with a shrug (what an insolent thing !) “Ma foi, he be right — 'tis de Englishman's King ; And dat gros pied de cochon begar, me vil say Dat de foot look mosh better, if turn’d toder way.” There's the pillar, too Lord ! I had nearly forgot What a charming idea ! - rais'd close to the spot; The mode being now, (as you've heard, I suppose,) To build tombs over legs,† and raise pillars to toes.
* To commemorate the landing of Louis le Desiré from England, the impression of his foot is marked out on the pier at Calais, and a pillar with an inscription raised opposite to the spot.
† Ci-git la jambe de, etc. etc.