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fallen in again in London—no other than honest Mr. Bows of the Chatteris Theatre, who was now employed as pianoforte player, to accompany the eminent lyrical talent which nightly delighted the public at the Fielding’s Head in Covent Garden: and where was held the little club called the Back Kitchen.
Numbers of Pen’s friends frequented this very merry meeting. The Fielding’s Head had been a’ house of entertainment, almost since the time when the famous author of “Tom Jones” presided as magistrate in the neighbouring Bow Street; his place was pointed out, and the chair said to have been his, still occupied by the president of the night’s entertainment. The worthy Cutts, the landlord of the Fielding’s Head, generally occupied this post when not disabled by gout or other illness. His jolly appearance and fine voice may be remembered by some of my male readers ; he used to sing profusely in the course of the harmonic meeting, and his songs were of what may be called the British Brandy-andWater School of Song—such as “The Good Old English Gentleman,” “Dear Tom, this Brown Jug,” and so forth— songs in which pathos and hospitality are blended, and the praises of good liquor and the social affections are chanted in a barytone voice. The charms of our women, the heroic deeds of our naval and military commanders, are often sung in the ballads of this school, and many a time in my youth have I admired how Cutts the singer, after he had worked us all up to patriotic enthusiasm, by describing the way in which the brave Abercromby received his death-wound, or made us join him in tears, which he shed liberally himself, as in faltering accents he told “ how autumn’s falling leaf proclaimed the old man he must die ”—how Cutts the singer became at once Cutts the landlord, and, before the applause which we were making with our fists on his table, in compliment to his heart-stirring melody, had died away, was calling, “Now, gentlemen, give your orders, the waiter’s in the room—John, a champagne cup for Mr. Green. I think, sir, you said sausages and mashed potatoes ? John, attend on the gentleman.”
“And I’ll thank ye give ‘me a glass of punch too, John, and take care the wather boils,” a voice would cry not un