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A Little Dinner at Timmin's   By: (1811-1863)

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A LITTLE DINNER AT TIMMINS'S.

by William Makepeace Thackeray

I.

Mr. and Mrs. Fitzroy Timmins live in Lilliput Street, that neat little street which runs at right angles with the Park and Brobdingnag Gardens. It is a very genteel neighborhood, and I need not say they are of a good family.

Especially Mrs. Timmins, as her mamma is always telling Mr. T. They are Suffolk people, and distantly related to the Right honorable the Earl of Bungay.

Besides his house in Lilliput Street, Mr. Timmins has chambers in Fig tree Court, Temple, and goes the Northern Circuit.

The other day, when there was a slight difference about the payment of fees between the great Parliamentary Counsel and the Solicitors, Stoke and Pogers, of Great George Street, sent the papers of the Lough Foyle and Lough Corrib Junction Railway to Mr. Fitzroy Timmins, who was so elated that he instantly purchased a couple of looking glasses for his drawing rooms (the front room is 16 by 12, and the back, a tight but elegant apartment, 10 ft. 6 by 8 ft. 4), a coral for the baby, two new dresses for Mrs. Timmins, and a little rosewood desk, at the Pantechnicon, for which Rosa had long been sighing, with crumpled legs, emerald green and gold morocco top, and drawers all over.

Mrs. Timmins is a very pretty poetess (her "Lines to a Faded Tulip" and her "Plaint of Plinlimmon" appeared in one of last year's Keepsakes); and Fitzroy, as he impressed a kiss on the snowy forehead of his bride, pointed out to her, in one of the innumerable pockets of the desk, an elegant ruby tipped pen, and six charming little gilt blank books, marked "My Books," which Mrs. Fitzroy might fill, he said, (he is an Oxford man, and very polite,) "with the delightful productions of her Muse." Besides these books, there was pink paper, paper with crimson edges, lace paper, all stamped with R. F. T. (Rosa Fitzroy Timmins) and the hand and battle axe, the crest of the Timminses (and borne at Ascalon by Roaldus de Timmins, a crusader, who is now buried in the Temple Church, next to Serjeant Snooks), and yellow, pink, light blue and other scented sealing waxes, at the service of Rosa when she chose to correspond with her friends.

Rosa, you may be sure, jumped with joy at the sight of this sweet present; called her Charles (his first name is Samuel, but they have sunk that) the best of men; embraced him a great number of times, to the edification of her buttony little page, who stood at the landing; and as soon as he was gone to chambers, took the new pen and a sweet sheet of paper, and began to compose a poem.

"What shall it be about?" was naturally her first thought. "What should be a young mother's first inspiration?" Her child lay on the sofa asleep before her; and she began in her neatest hand

"LINES

"ON MY SON BUNGAY DE BRACY GASHLEIGH TYMMYNS, AGED TEN MONTHS.

"Tuesday.

"How beautiful! how beautiful thou seemest, My boy, my precious one, my rosy babe! Kind angels hover round thee, as thou dreamest: Soft lashes hide thy beauteous azure eye which gleamest."

"Gleamest? thine eye which gleamest? Is that grammar?" thought Rosa, who had puzzled her little brains for some time with this absurd question, when the baby woke. Then the cook came up to ask about dinner; then Mrs. Fundy slipped over from No. 27 (they are opposite neighbors, and made an acquaintance through Mrs. Fundy's macaw); and a thousand things happened. Finally, there was no rhyme to babe except Tippoo Saib (against whom Major Gashleigh, Rosa's grandfather, had distinguished himself), and so she gave up the little poem about her De Bracy.

Nevertheless, when Fitzroy returned from chambers to take a walk with his wife in the Park, as he peeped through the rich tapestry hanging which divided the two drawing rooms, he found his dear girl still seated at the desk, and writing, writing away with her ruby pen as fast as it could scribble... Continue reading book >>




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