BYGONE SUSSEX - online book

Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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In a Letter to P.M., Esq.
Dear Peter whose friendship I value much more Than bards their own verses, or misers their store, Your books, and your bus'ness, and ev'ry thing else Lay aside for a while, and come to the Wells : The country so pleasant! the weather so fine! A world of fair ladies, and delicate wine ! The proposal, I fancy, you'll hardly reject, Then hear, if you come, what you first may expect.
Some eight or nine miles off we send to you greeting Barbers, dippers, and so forth to give you the meeting. As soon as they spy you each pulls off his hat, " Does your honour want this ? Does your honour want that ? " Thus being a stranger, by this apparatus You may see our good manners before you come at us. Now this in your custom's to get the first footing, A trick, please your honour, which here we call Tooting."*
Conducted by these civil gem'men to town, You put up your horse at—for rhyme's sake, the Crown : My landland bids welcome, and gives you his word For the best entertainment his house can afford. You taste which is better, his white or his red, Bespeak a good supper, good room, and good bed; In short, just as travellers do when they light, So fill up the stanza, I wish you " Good-Night!"
But when ruddy Phoebus next morning appears, And with his bright beams our glad hemisphere cheers, You rise, dress, get shav'd,— then away to the Walks, The pride of the place, of which ev'ry one talks!
* A Provincial word, which signifies prying, searching narrowly.
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