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A Bad Night Of It

Fun, I - 19th August 1865


"What, about to leave town?" Yes, we've got to go down to the THOMPSONS' at Weybridge, in Surrey,
For a week at the least, and the wind's in the east, and I'm ill and I'm wheezy, and Weybridge is breezy, and awfully slow, and I don't want to go, but my wife did it all in a hurry;
But THOMPSON is rich, and a bachelor, which is important to me, for his brother, you see, married POLLY'S mamma (he may swear at his star, for her ma is a dame whom I podgy call),
So JACK THOMPSON'S her aunt — no, her uncle. I can't in such weather as this, when you steam and you hiss like an engine, be genealogical.
And I'm thinking with dread of that awful spare bed; for you can't sleep a wink, but you lie and you think, when you're stopping in rooms that are new to you,
And to ask you to go to a place you don't know, and lay down your poor head in an unexplored bed, when the weather is hot and unpleasant, is not what a good sort of fellow would do to you.
You kick and you plunge, and you roll and you lunge, and you shake off the bed-clothes that cover you,
With a terrible tickling, torturing, trickling, tingling feeling all over you;
You curse and you swear at the garment you wear, and you do all you can to get colder;
And then sick of despairing, and cursing and swearing, the sleeves you are wearing you roll away up to the shoulder;
Then the moon, which you know half-an-hour ago seemed the veriest ghost of a crescent,
Is blazing away, turning night into day, and quite round, and extremely unpleasant;
So you make up your mind just to draw down the blind, as a step that may lead to your snoring,
And you jump out of bed, and you damage your head, and you hollo with dread as you find that you tread on a terrible tack in the flooring;
And you look at the clock, and you see with a shock that the night has all gone, and you're far on to dawn, and you're ready to weep, for you've not had a sleep all the while, and it now will be soon light;
Then you rattle the shins of your tottering pins (they're as feeble as lath) on the edge of the bath, which, you then are aware, is the only thing there which is not lighted up by the moonlight.
Once again into bed, but this time with your head where your feet ought to rest, and your quick-throbbing chest all exposed to such air as there may be;
But that move no sleep charms, and you fling out your arms till a faint little shriek (shrill enough, though it's weak), from a fat little dot in a neighbouring cot, proclaims you've assaulted the baby,
Which awakens your spouse, and you then count five thousand to send you to sleep, but a vigil you keep for a half-hour's rout, for she ups and lets out in a way that would frighten a Gorgon;
But still you go through "eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-four," and so through many more, while she's talking away till it's far into day, for her mouth's an unwearying organ.
So now you will know why I don't want to go to the THOMPSONS' at Weybridge, in Surrey;
For old THOMPSON'S a beast, and the wind's in the east, and I'm ill and I'm wheezy, and Weybridge is breezy and awfully slow, and I don't want to go, but my wife did it all in a hurry.

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