Do, good Creatures, send some dinner
To a lonely, hungry sinner;
Any thing that you are carving,
Just to keep the wight from starving;
From the spit or from the pot,
Boil’d or roast, no matter what,
Mutton, Chickens, beef or ham,
Turkey, pudding, pork or lamb;
Or if nothing else you please,
E’ven a slice of bread and cheese,
Thankful for whate’er you send,
My gratitude shall never end.
If you’re short on’t, let miss Bess,
Eat, for once, a little less;
And even you, prim Madam C.,
Can’t you share a slice for me?
Do but think, for Sir I stay,
From my victuals kept away;
Of course, my Lady, recollect,
From you a dinner I expect;
‘Tis true, my appetite is such,
You need not send me very much,
And Bingham is not here—of course,
I want not victuals for a horse;
But let me have a mod’rate slice,
Cook’d by those hands I know so nice,
On a clean plate, with knife and fork,
To help me in the pleasing work,
And the thanks shall be yours of that sun-loving plague,
That dealer in doggerel, well-known – Charley Sprague.
Written to Mrs Callender, my mother, Miss Bess’s sister, when father was 21 and they lived in Derne Street, two years before they were married.