(I am grateful to Harvard College Library for pemission to post my transcription of The Reprisal)

Harvard College Library, Widener Library Br4892.8, p.2-12 .

Printing errors have been retained thus— 'without [sic]'


OR The Tragical Death of Tom. T—t the Waiter, who was Strangled Yesterday Morning in a Cat-gut.
Humbly inscribed to the Right Honourable the Lord Baron of BEEF.

"Strange that such Difference should be
"'Twixt Tweedle dum and Tweedle dee!



[Price Six-pence]


To the RIGHT HONOURABLE The Lord Baron of BEEF


THE universal Applause and Satisfaction, with which your Lordship has always been received, by all true judges of good Eating, hath emboldened me, tho' a lesser Branch of your noble Family, and jealous of our common Reputation and Credit, most humbly to lay the following Pages at your Feet, wherein your Lordship will be made acquainted with the heavy Grievances we have long groaned under, and the gross and manifold Abuses to which we have been daily exposed, from our ungracious and disrespectful Treatment at publick Places of Entertainment: Doubtless your Lordship knows that in those Days of Plenty, when the long Services and great Merit of your delicious Predecessors, Sir Loin and Rump, had raised them to such a Heigth of regal Favour, as to honour them with the joint Title and Dignity of a Baron. The Laws of old English Hospitality, prohibited our being dealt out to Man, Woman or Child, but in thick, large and substantial Pieces, which not only satisfied the hungry Belly, but invigorated both Wit and Constitution; whereas now, to the grievous Disappointment of all good Stomachs, those generous Laws have been long since violated, at certain publick Places of Resort; and that most abominable and deceitful Art of Shaving and Paring down our whole Family, hath been introdced in their Room, whereby we are only served up like an empty Shadow, to the great Tantalization of all hearty Eaters, who all complain that we have thereby lost our rich inherent Gravy and sound Nourishment. Whereas, my Lord, it was universally acknowledged in good Queen Bess's happy Days, when we were substantially dealt out, that we not only made her favourite Courtiers Lusty and Vigorous, but even her Maids of Honour used to Breakfast on a cool Buttock, with better Appetite than our modern fine Ladies do on Sip-slop Tea and Wafer, like Bread and Butter. But now, my Lord, we look for happier Days, since Providence has opened a Way for a joyful Restoration of your Lordship and Family to their ancient Relish, by the Decease of the most famous Artist in the shaving Way, that ever lived: Which 'tis to be hop'd will put an End to that ifnamous Practice,

                 And therefore your Lordship, may
                 In good thick Slice be dealt away,
                 To animate or Lord or Lady,
                 And all good Stomachs, that are ready;
                 For such delicious standing Food
                 Must at all Times, be very good;
                 But if you read the Shaver's Death
                 And how he came to lose his Breath,
                 Your Lordship will particularly oblige, my Lord,
                 Your Lordship's most Humble,
                 most Dutiful, and most Subservant
                 and Obsequious Servant
                 and Kinsman,




V—x-—l in an UPROAR, &c.

It is a melancholy Reflection that Reason, the most precious Gift of Heaven to Man, is subject to almost as many Perturbations as the Body is to Distempers; and that the most minute Principle of Disorder, when once rooted in the Mind, is much harder to be dislodged, than are even the natural Seeds of Corruption in the mortal Constitution. Which sense of our Frailty, ought not only to affect all Persons of Humanity, with the deepest Compassion, for those who labour under that vast Misfortune, of having their Reasen disturbed; but ought likewise to attract the Notice and Consideration of the Magistrate, as well as of the Physician; since the Offices of Civil Life, require Men to be Sound in Mind, as well as Healthful in Body; nay, indeed more so, in Regard that a sick Person can negatively only do no Service to Society, whereas a Madman may positively do it great Mischief. But particularly at this Time, both the Magistrate and Physician, ought to exert their Authority, and Skill, to prevent the dreadful Consequences of a Distraction, which may spread itself further abroad, to the great Terror of all Persons in their right Senses.

Every Body well remembers the deplorable Phrenzy, that raged at V—x—l, which they say was first communicated by one T-----t a Waiter to Mr. R----ds, and by him dispersed through the whole Band of Msik: And though it was generally believed that T-----t, by this Discharge of Corruption, had rid himself intirely of its Malignity; yet, in Fact, he had only thrown up the Froth and Scum of the Distemper, for the viscous Parts, being specifically heavier, staid behind; these perverting the regular Concoction of the Stomach, through the Mouths of the Lacteals, got into the Blood, where they excited so violent a Fermentation, as corrupted the whole Mass; whence a most inflaming and raging Vapour, mounting impetuously to his Brain, at first produced only a Sort of Megrim or Giddiness, which his fellow Servants long mistook for the Effect of strong Liquors: By Fits, he used to complain of an incessant Singing in his Ears, and would declare in his lucid Intervals, that something lay so heavy on his Spirits, as to hinder him from Rest; sometimes starting in a wild and frantick Manner, would stare all around, and inquire if R------ds was not there? other times he would Curse, Swear, Sing, Whistle and Bellow a thousand dissonant and incongruous Sounds all in a Breath, slavering out his filthy Quids of Tobacco, and roaring aloud, For God's Sake take away that Bass-Singer; until at last he fell by Degrees into a downright melancholy Madness, and Despair; attempting to drown himself in a stinking Ditch hard by, but his body being worn away to a mere Skeleton, and become light as a Cork, it would not sink: However, his Phrenzy still increasing, the poor unhappy Fellow hanged himself, and was [p.9] yesterday Morning, at Five o'Clock, found dangling at the End of a Fiddle String, fixed to a Cork Screw, which he had wriggled into a Tree fronting the O—str—a.

The Coroner's Inquest sat on the Body, and having strictly examined it, found no other Mark of Violence, than what proceeded from the Ligature of the said Fiddle String, a distorted Neck and staring Eyes, with that vociferous envenomed Instrument, his Tongue, lolling out of his Mouth, as if it was a Judgement for its having begun the Mischief; hereupon the Jury brought in their Verdict Non compos mentis, and Felo de se. Upon searching his Cloaths, they found a long, sharp, thin Case Knife in the right Side-Pocket of his Breeches, with which the Deceased used to shave off either stuft Buttock, or Yorkshire Ham, much more to his Master's Advantage, than any other Waiter: And in the left Pocket of his Waistcoat, was found a paper Writing, supposed to have been made in his lucid Intervals, importing a Recantation and deepest Sorrow for having so injuriously abused the said Mr. R-----ds, and thereby occasioning to his Master, the Loss of that excellent Band of Msik, which first raised, and afterwards supported the Reputation of V—x—l.

This unhappy Affair, is too likely to be attended with Consequences still more tragical; for besides the strong Suspicion that the new Bd is likewise touched, such furious Symptoms have lately discovered themselves in the Bashaw himself, and made such an alteration in his Behaviour and Discourse, that, with the Grief for the untimely Death of his favourite Ham-shaver; and what with the Concern he hath been under by Reason of this madding Humour, which predominates in his Gds; He is hardly any longer cognizable for the same Person, having quite laid aside his tyrannical, domineering Humour, and forgot his Cursing and Swearing: He is often observed to saunter pensively alone, as if he presaged some other approaching Tragedy, which some think proceeds from a Remorse of Conscience, whilst others attribute it to a growing Melancholy; because he often expatiates on the Abilities of his dear Favourite T-----t, and magnifies his great Dexterity at Carving; protesting, That could the Cutler have ground a Steel Blade, thin and long enough, he was capable to have shaved down Tongues, Buttocks, Fillets, Yorkshire and Westphalia Hams, as fine and as thin, as the Force of Sledge and Hammer, can beat out Gold into Leaf. And it is thought that in Honour to his Memory, and for the Emulation of the rest of his Waiters in the Mistery of Ham-shaving, he intends to erect him a Statue made of Collared Brawn, upon the Pedestal in Micklam Downs where M—l—-n now stands, as soon as Mr. W--- has finished his Epitaph.

                 The Bashaw's favouring his Shaver,
                 Threw the Old Band quite out of Favour,
                 Yet could not stop the Shaver's Sadness,
                 The Bashaw's Self, being seized with Madness,
                 And play'd so many frantick Tricks,
                 When in his Bashaw's raging Freaks;
                 Tiring his Brain with Frights and Fancies,
                 Which he had met in old Romances.

These and several other Schemes, in this Taste, have given the Bashaw's Friends great Pain, being apprehensive that he will dwindle into a meer Old Woman, because of late, he takes particular Pleasure in collecting the mouldy Cheese-cakes, and stale Remains of all other Sorts of Provisions, which after he has chopped all together, he sits down to feed his Chickens, diverting himself with the Struggle between them, and M—lls the *Parson, who being equiped with dirty Boots, greasy Hat, foul Shirt, keen Appetite and long grown Nails. scrambles in amongst the poor Poultry, to gobble down his Share, while S---t the Poet, creeping to the Dripping-pan as usual, for a Sop, unfortunately fell in and was suffocated in the Fat.

                 *An arch unlikely Blade I keep,
                 To feed my Cattle and my Sheep,
                 Who either sleeps, or runs away,
                 And daily leads my Flocks astray.

Nor did poor S---z---r, another pretend Son of Applo, Share a milder Fate, for whilst he, as usual, was winding up the Jack, to ease his favourite Cook-wench, and in Hopes of a fresh Bit, by an unlucky Twist, he was strangled in the Line.

                 Then blustring out some furious Word,
                 Bashaw from Shelf, snatcht an old Sword,
                 And thrustd it forward, then drew back,
                 And made a Lounge at the poor Jack
                 That had his fav'rite Poet strangled,
                 Who like his fav'rite Waiter dangled
                 In its strong Line: Then swear he kill'd
                 Twelve mad Musicians in next Field,
                 Whose Carcass's so large had grown
                 As to o'erspread all Micklam Down;
                 Then fancy he had won the Day
                 And threw the rusty Sword away,
                 Then he'd sit down, and be as tame
                 As any young domestick Lamb.

Nor is there any Appearance of an End to these Disasters, for since the raging  Heat of the Dog-Star began, the New B—d discovers, Day after Day, stronger  Symptoms of their increasing Phrenzy: Whereupon several eminent Physicians have already been consulted, who all agree, that the Cause is owing to the venemous Bite of a certain Italian Earwig, commonly called a Tarantula, lately imported in the Ear of one of the motley Performers, whose Poison they are of Opinion, can only be expelled by Musick and Dancing: so that unless the blundering, shuffling bass Dancing Master, I----s can caper them all into a Dance, and perform the Cure, it is thought the Town may prevail on the Old B—d, through their Humanity, to play them into their right Senses again: In the mean Time, Application has been made to the Quarter Sessions, for an Order to oblige them to perform Quarantine, in hopes to prevent the further Spreading of this unhappy Phrenzy.

F  I  N  I  S


(1) Publisher & date cut out










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