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Mountford, Timothy (fl. 1804-1810) to unknown re: humorous anecdote regarding servants' antics in Algiers

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02794.175 Author/Creator: Mountford, Timothy (fl. 1804-1810) Place Written: [s.l.] Type: Letter Date: [1810 ca.] Pagination: 4 p. 20.4 x 12.2 cm

Full Transcript: As I never was of a disposition to keep all good things in this life to myself, I hereby record for the amusement of yourself & Mr. O'Brien, a circumstance that ...originated in the Consular house the 13. Feb. 1804.
Having left a closets unlocked, one of the Serv'ts stole a bottle of wine from me. I missed it immediately, because I went to drink, but was called away before I had accomplished my purpose. I [illegible] nothing, but produced another--shortly after going downstairs, I observed the bottle (for it was a remarkable one) hid in the basket that is the usual receptacle for Dirt-I snatched it up, & took it to my chamber, where I had several old charges of Jallop & Rhinebarb [illegible] --out with the cork--in with the physic--give it a good shake & quick as lightning, replaced it in the basket.--About 15 minutes passed, when I observed the Bottle empty & placed on the stand--About 1/2 an hour elapsed & the necessary could not receive its concourse of visitors,--It unnecessary to tell you how much I laughfed [sic]--I roared.--About 5 minutes more passed when Mary came in on full speed up the stairs--What's the matter Mary--Mary replied foaming with rage--"Matter--" God Damn them, they have got the Devil in their Guts--And in she pops into the up stairs necessary--here I tho't I should have bid adieu to things below--I have heard of people Dying with excess of mirth & grief--I could scarcely find vent for the former--and which has left me no small sample of the latter, to be cautious of how I indulge myself in folly again-my sides fairly pain me--I was far above laughter-at last, only convulsion like of my lungs.
They know nothing of the affair of my doing this intentionally--for when I found how the Cat jumped, I made a terrible rumpus among them who, had taken my bottle of Wine & bank, and now I can hear them cursing one another for vagabonds.
(A secret.) not to be told to domestics.)
It would take a Shakespeare to pen and a Hogarth to delineate their motely visages & actions at this time. Old Carson, looking thunder--& muttering to Old Jenevese, ah Carnolle [illegible] --Manuel tack & 1/2 tack, shivering between wind & water--Old Jenevese attempting to peal Onions but dropping & scudding in a nipping [illegible] position towards the ---sary, Mary has been mentioned before--
I belive Carbone had gone out & was not a partaker in this Cordial Balm of Gideon.
In fact, this scene beggars all description: nothing but seeing it, could afford an idea, even to the most prolific immigration.
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Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: Barbary CoastAfricaServantGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyHumor and Satire

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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