Lodgings For Single Gentlemen.

A poem by George Colman

Who has e'er been in London, that overgrown place,
Has seen "Lodgings to Let" stare him full in the face:
Some are good, and let dearly; while some, 'tis well known,
Are so dear, and so bad, they are best let alone.

WILL WADDLE, whose temper was studious and lonely,
Hire'd lodgings that took Single Gentlemen only;
But WILL was so fat he appear'd like a ton;--
Or like Two Single Gentlemen roll'd into One.

He enter'd his rooms, and to bed he retreated;
But, all the night long, he felt fever'd, and heated;
And, tho' heavy to weigh, as a score of fat sheep,
He was not, by any means, heavy to sleep.

Next night 'twas the same!--and the next;--and the next;
He perspire'd like an ox; he was nervous, and vex'd;
Week past after week; till, by weekly succession,
His weakly condition was past all expression.

In six months, his acquaintance began much to doubt him:
For his skin, "like a lady's loose gown," hung about him.
He sent for a Doctor; and cried, like a ninny,
"I have lost many pounds--make me well--there's a guinea."

The Doctor look'd wise:--"a slow fever," he said:
Prescribe'd sudorificks,--and going to bed.
"Sudorificks in bed," exclaim'd WILL, "are humbugs!
I've enough of them there, without paying for drugs!"

WILL kick'd out the Doctor:--but, when ill indeed,
E'en dismissing the Doctor don't always succeed;
So, calling his host--he said--"Sir, do you know,
I'm the fat Single Gentleman, six months ago?

"Look'e, landlord, I think," argued WILL, with a grin,
"That with honest intentions you first took me in:
But from the first night--and to say it I'm bold--
I have been so damn'd hot, that I'm sure I caught cold."

Quoth the landlord--"till now, I ne'er had a dispute;
I've let lodgings ten years;--I'm a Baker, to boot;
In airing your sheets, Sir, my wife is no sloven;
And your bed is immediately over my Oven."

"The Oven!!!" says WILL;--says the host, "why this passion?
In that excellent bed died three people of fashion.
Why so crusty, good Sir?"--"Zounds!" cries WILL, in a taking,
"Who wouldn't be crusty, with half a year's baking?"

WILL paid for his rooms;--cried the host, with a sneer,
"Well, I see you've been going away half a year:"
"Friend, we can't well agree,--yet no quarrel"--WILL said;--
"But I'd rather not perish, while you make your bread."[1]

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