'Sketches by Boz' Volume One - in just 4 sentences
Sometimes Jones would propose a half-price visit to Drury Lane or Covent Garden, to see two acts of a five- act play, and a new farce, perhaps, or a ballet, on which occasions the whole four of them went together: none of your hurrying and nonsense, but having their brandy- and-water first, comfortably, and ordering a steak and some oysters for their supper against they came back, and then walking coolly into the pit, when the `rush' had gone in, as all sensible people do, and did when Mr. Dounce was a young man, except when the celebrated Master Betty was at the height of his popularity, and then, sir,-then-Mr. Dounce perfectly well remembered getting a holiday from business; and going to the pit doors, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, and waiting there, till six in the afternoon, with some sandwiches in a pocket-handkerchief and some wine in a phial; and fainting after all, with the heat and fatigue, before the play began; in which situation he was lifted out of the pit, into one of the dress boxes, sir, by five of the finest women of that day, sir, who compassionated his situa- tion and administered restoratives, and sent a black servant, six foot high, in blue and silver livery, next morning with their compliments, and to know how he found himself, sir-by G-!
Between the acts Mr. Dounce and Mr. Harris, and Mr. Jennings, used to stand up, and look round the house, and Jones-knowing fellow that Jones-knew everybody-pointed out the fashionable and celebrated Lady So-and-So in the boxes, at the mention of whose name Mr. Dounce, after brushing up his hair, and adjusting his neckerchief, would inspect the aforesaid Lady So-and-So through an immense glass, and remark, either, that she was a `fine woman-very fine woman, indeed,' or that `there might be a little more of her, eh, Jones?' Just as the case might happen to be.
When the dancing began, John Dounce and the other old boys were particularly anxious to see what was going forward on the stage, and Jones-wicked dog that Jones-whispered little critical remarks into the ears of John Dounce, which John Dounce retailed to Mr. Harris and Mr. Harris to Mr. Jennings; and then they all four laughed, until the tears ran down out of their eyes.
Being in a shopping mood in Covent Garden is a tangible buzz. It's common knowledge that there is a vibrance in the air.
Rules in Maiden Lane
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