A Family Breakfast on a Hunting Morning

Mrs Jogglebury Crowdey was a good deal disconcerted at Gustavus James’s irreverence to his intended godpapa, and did her best, both by promises and entreaties, to bring him to a more becoming state of mind. She promised him abundance of good things if he would astonish Mr Sponge with some of his wonderful stories, and expatiated on Mr Sponge’s goodness in bringing him the nice comfits, though Mrs Jogglebury could not but in her heart blame them for some little internal inconvenience the wonder had experienced during the night. However, she brought him to breakfast in pretty good form, where he was cocked up in his high-chair beside his mamma, the rest of the infantry occupying the position of the previous day all under good-behaviour orders.

Unfortunately, Mr Sponge, not having been able to get himself up to his satisfaction, was late in coming down; and when he did make his appearance, the unusual sight of a man in a red coat, a green tie, a blue vest, brown boots, &c., completely upset their propriety, and deranged the order of the young gentleman’s performance. Mr Sponge, too, conscious that he was late, was more eager for his breakfast than anxious to be astonished; so, what with repressing the demands of the youngster, watching that the others did not break loose, and getting Jog and Mr Sponge what they wanted, Mrs Crowdey had her hands full. At last, having got them set a-going, she took a lump of sugar out of the basin, and showing it to the wonder, laid it beside her plate, whispering ‘Now, my beauty!’ into his ear, as she adjusted him in his chair. The child, who had been wound up like a musical snuffbox, then went off as follows:

‘Bah, bah, back sheep, have ’on any ’ool?
Ess, marry, have I, three bags full;
Un for ye master, un for ye dame
Un for ye ’ittle boy ’to ’uns about ye ’ane.’

But, unfortunately, Mr Sponge was busy with his breakfast, and the prodigy wasted his sweetness on the desert air.

Mrs Jogglebury, who had sat listening in ecstasies, saw the offended eye and pouting lip of the boy, and attempted to make up with exclamations of ‘That is a clever fellow! That is a wonder!’ at the same time showing him the sugar.

‘A little more (puff) tea, my (wheeze) dear,’ said Jogglebury, thrusting his great cup up the table.

Hush! Jog, hush!’ exclaimed Mrs Crowdey, holding up her forefinger, and looking significantly first at him, and then at the urchin.

‘Now, ‘‘Obin and Ichard,’’ my darling,’ continued she, addressing herself coaxingly to Gustavus James.

‘No, not ‘‘Obin and Ichard,’’ ’ replied the child, peevishly.

‘Yes, my darling, do, that’s a treasure.’

‘Well, my (puff) darling, give me some (wheeze) tea,’ interposed Jogglebury, knocking with his knuckles on the table.

‘Oh dear, Jog, you and your tea! -- you’re always wanting tea,’ replied Mrs Jogglebury, snappishly.

‘Well, but my (puff) dear, you forget that Mr (wheeze) Sponge and I have to be at (puff) Snobston Green at a (wheeze) quarter to eleven, and it’s good twelve (gasp) miles off.’

‘Well, but it’ll not take you long to get there,’ replied Mrs Jogglebury; ‘will it, Mr Sponge?’ continued she, again appealing to our friend.

‘Sure I don’t know,’ replied Sponge, eating away; ‘Mr Crowdey finds conveyance -- I only find company.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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