The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vols. VIIX: British
Cold Mutton, Pudding, Pancakes
By Douglas William Jerrold (18031857)
From Curtain Lectures
WHAT am I grumbling about, now? Its very well for you to ask that! Im sure Id better be out of the world thanthere now, Mr. Caudle; there you are again! I shall speak, sir. It isnt often I open my mouth, Heaven knows! But you like to hear nobody talk but yourself. You ought to have married a negro slave, and not any respectable woman.
Youre to go about the house looking like thunder all the day, and Im not to say a word. Where do you think puddings to come from every day? You show a nice example to your children, you do; complaining, and turning your nose up at a sweet piece of cold mutton, because theres no pudding! You go a nice way to make em extravagantteach em nice lessons to begin the world with. Do you know what puddings cost; or do you think they fly in at the window?
You hate cold mutton. The more shame for you, Mr. Caudle. Im sure youve the stomach of a lord, you have. No, sir; I didnt choose to hash the mutton. Its very easy for you to say hash it; but I know what a joint loses in hashing: its a days dinner the less, if its a bit. Yes, I dare say; other people may have puddings with cold mutton. No doubt of it; and other people become bankrupts. But if ever you get into the Gazette, it shant be my faultno; Ill do my duty as a wife to you, Mr. Caudle; you shall never have it to say that it was my housekeeping that brought you to beggary. No; you may sulk at the cold meatha! I hope youll never live to want such a piece of cold mutton as we had to-day! and you may threaten to go to a tavern to dine; but, with our present means, not a crumb of pudding do you get from me. You shall have nothing but the cold jointnothing, as Im a Christian sinner.
Yes; there you are, throwing those fowls in my face again! I know you once brought home a pair of fowls; I know it; but you were mean enough to want to stop em out of my weeks money! Oh, the selfishnessthe shabbiness of men! They can go out and throw away pounds upon pounds with a pack of people who laugh at em afterward; but if its anything wanted for their own homes, their poor wives may hunt for it. I wonder you dont blush to name those fowls again! I wouldnt be so little for the world, Mr. Caudle!
Puddings, indeed! Do you think Im made of puddings? Didnt you have some boiled rice three weeks ago? Besides, is this the time of the year for puddings? Its all very well if I had money enough allowed me like any other wife to keep the house with; then, indeed, I might have preserves like any other woman; now, its impossible; and its cruelyes, Mr. Caudle, cruelof you to expect it.
Apples arnt so dear, are they? I know what apples are, Mr. Caudle, without your telling me. But I suppose you want something more than apples for dumplings? I suppose sugar costs something, doesnt it? And thats how it is. Thats how one expense brings on another, and thats how people go to ruin.
Pancakes, indeed! Pray, Mr. Caudleno, its no use your saying fine words to me to let you go to sleep; I shant Pray, do you know the price of eggs just now? Theres not an egg you can trust to under seven and eight a shilling; well, youve only just to reckon up how many eggsdont lie swearing there at the eggs in that manner, Mr. Caudle; unless you expect the bed to let you fall through. You call yourself a respectable tradesman, I suppose? Ha! I only wish people knew you as well as I do! Swearing at eggs, indeed! But Im tired of this usage, Mr. Caudle; quite tired of it; and I dont care how soon its ended!