The Fudges In England. Letter II. From Miss Biddy Fudge To Mrs. Elizabeth ----.

A poem by Thomas Moore

Just in time for the post, dear, and monstrously busy,
With godly concernments--and worldly ones, too;
Things carnal and spiritual mixt, my dear Lizzy,
In this little brain till, bewildered and dizzy,
'Twixt heaven and earth, I scarce know what I do.

First, I've been to see all the gay fashions from Town,
Which our favorite Miss Gimp for the spring has had down.
Sleeves still worn (which I think is wise), à la folle,
Charming hats, pou de soie--tho' the shape rather droll.
But you can’t think how nicely the caps of tulle lace,
With the mentonnières look on this poor sinful face;
And I mean, if the Lord in his mercy thinks right,
To wear one at Mrs. Fitz-wigram's to-night.

The silks are quite heavenly:--I'm glad too to say
Gimp herself grows more godly and good every day;
Hath had sweet experience--yea, even doth begin
To turn from the Gentiles, and put away sin--
And all since her last stock of goods was laid in.
What a blessing one's milliner, careless of pelf,
Should thus "walk in newness," as well as one's self!
So much for the blessings, the comforts of Spirit
I've had since we met, and they're more than I merit!--
Poor, sinful, weak creature in every respect,
Tho' ordained (God knows why) to be one of the Elect.
But now for the picture's reverse.--You remember
That footman and cook-maid I hired last December;
He a Baptist Particular--she, of some sect
Not particular, I fancy, in any respect;
But desirous, poor thing, to be fed with the Word,
And "to wait," as she said, "on Miss Fudge and the Lord."

Well, my dear, of all men, that Particular Baptist
At preaching a sermon, off hand, was the aptest;
And, long as he staid, do him justice, more rich in
Sweet savors of doctrine, there never was kitchen.
He preached in the parlor, he preached in the hall,
He preached to the chambermaids, scullions and all.
All heard with delight his reprovings of sin,
But above all, the cook-maid:--oh, ne'er would she tire--
Tho', in learning to save sinful souls from the fire,
She would oft let the soles she was frying fall in.
(God forgive me for punning on points thus of piety!--
A sad trick I've learned in Bob's heathen society.)
But ah! there remains still the worst of my tale;
Come, Asterisks, and help me the sad truth to veil--
Conscious stars, that at even your own secret turn pale!
* * * * *
* * * * *
In short, dear, this preaching and psalm-singing pair,
Chosen "vessels of mercy," as I thought they were,
Have together this last week eloped; making bold
To whip off as much goods as both vessels could hold--
Not forgetting some scores of sweet Tracts from my shelves,
Two Family Bibles as large as themselves,
And besides, from the drawer--I neglecting to lock it--
My neat "Morning Manna, done up for the pocket."[1]
Was there e'er known a case so distressing, dear Liz?
It has made me quite ill:-and the worst of it is,
When rogues are all pious, 'tis hard to detect
Which rogues are the reprobate, which the elect.
This man "had a call," he said--impudent mockery!
What call had he to my linen and crockery?

I'm now and have been for this week past in chase
Of some godly young couple this pair to replace.
The enclosed two announcements have just met my eyes
In that venerable Monthly where Saints advertise
For such temporal comforts as this world supplies;
And the fruits of the Spirit are properly made
An essential in every craft, calling and trade.
Where the attorney requires for his 'prentice some youth
Who has "learned to fear God and to walk in the truth;"
Where the sempstress, in search of employment, declares
That pay is no object, so she can have prayers;
And the Establisht Wine Company proudly gives out
That the whole of the firm, Co. and all, are devout.

Happy London, one feels, as one reads o'er the pages,
Where Saints are so much more abundant than sages;
Where Parsons may soon be all laid on the shelf,
As each Cit can cite chapter and verse for himself,
And the serious frequenters of market and dock
All lay in religion as part of their stock.[2]
Who can tell to what lengths we may go on improving,
When thus thro' all London the Spirit keeps moving,
And heaven's so in vogue that each shop advertisement
Is now not so much for the earth as the skies meant?

P. S.

Have mislaid the two paragraphs--can’t stop to look,
But both describe charming--both Footman and Cook.
She, "decidedly pious"--with pathos deplores
The increase of French cookery and sin on our shores;
And adds--(while for further accounts she refers
To a great Gospel preacher, a cousin of hers,)
That "tho' some make their Sabbaths mere matter-of-fun days,
She asks but for tea and the Gospel, on Sundays."
The footman, too, full of the true saving knowledge;--
Has late been to Cambridge--to Trinity College;
Served last a young gentleman, studying divinity,
But left--not approving the morals of Trinity.

P. S.

I enclose, too, according to promise, some scraps
Of my Journal--that Day-book I keep of my heart;
Where, at some little items, (partaking, perhaps,
More of earth than of heaven,) thy prudery may start,
And suspect something tender, sly girl as thou art.
For the present, I'm mute--but, whate'er may befall,
Recollect, dear, (in Hebrews, xiii. 4,) St. Paul
Hath himself declared, "marriage is honorable in all."

EXTRACTS FROM MY DIARY.

Monday.

Tried a new chälé gown on--pretty.
No one to see me in it--pity!
Flew in a passion with Fritz, my maid;--
The Lord forgive me!--she lookt dismayed;
But got her to sing the 100th Psalm,
While she curled my hair, which made me calm.
Nothing so soothes a Christian heart
As sacred music--heavenly art!

Tuesday

At two a visit from Mr. Magan--
A remarkably handsome, nice young man;
And, all Hibernian tho' he be,
As civilized, strange to say, as we!
I own this young man's spiritual state
Hath much engrossed my thoughts of late;
And I mean, as soon as my niece is gone,
To have some talk with him thereupon.
At present I naught can do or say,
But that troublesome child is in the way;
Nor is there, I think, a doubt that he
Would also her absence much prefer,
As oft, while listening intent to me,
He's forced, from politeness, to look at her.

Heigho!--what a blessing should Mr. Magan
Turn out, after all, a "renewed" young man;
And to me should fall the task, on earth,
To assist at the dear youth's second birth.
Blest thought! and ah! more blest the tie,
Were it Heaven's high will, that he and I--
But I blush to write the nuptial word--
Should wed, as St. Paul says, "in the Lord";
Not this world's wedlock--gross, gallant,
But pure--as when Amram married his aunt.

Our ages differ--but who would count
One's natural sinful life's amount,
Or look in the Register's vulgar page
For a regular twice-born Christian's age,
Who, blessed privilege! only then
Begins to live when he's born again?
And, counting in this way--let me see--
I myself but five years old shall be.
And dear Magan, when the event takes place,
An actual new-born child of grace--
Should Heaven in mercy so dispose--
A six-foot baby, in swaddling clothes.

Wednesday.

Finding myself, by some good fate,
With Mr. Magan left téte-à-téte,
Had just begun--having stirred the fire,
And drawn my chair near his--to inquire,
What his notions were of Original Sin,
When that naughty Fanny again bounced in;
And all the sweet things I had got to say
Of the Flesh and the Devil were whiskt away!

Much grieved to observe that Mr. Magan
Is actually pleased and, amused with Fan!
What charms any sensible man can see
In a child so foolishly young as she--
But just eighteen, come next Mayday,
With eyes, like herself, full of naught but play--
Is, I own, an exceeding puzzle to me.

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