OUR host, I remember, returned thanks on his health being proposed during the small hours of the morning, and kept his guests laughing heartily through a long speech, full of humorous autobiographical reminiscences of his early days.
Later on, Tinsley's health was drunk, and he replied in characteristic fashion, detailing among other things his first arrival in the great metropolis on the top of a haycart, with the traditional three half-pence in his pocket. A day or two afterwards I chanced to meet Tinsley, when he anxiously inquired if he was not drunk on the occasion, and whether he had not made a great ass of himself. On my assuring him this was not so, he asked if he had said anything about his first coming to London on the top of a load of hay, with a billycock hat on his head and less than six-penn'orth of coppers in his pocket. On my replying, `Yes,'
`Then I must have been as tight as a drum,' he exclaimed, `for whenever I return thanks for my health being drunk, somehow or other it always comes into my head to tell of my coming up to London when a farmer's boy with only a few coppers, but I do my utmost to keep the matter dark. If I let it escape me the other night, I must have been tightly screwed indeed.'
From Vizetelly, Glances Back, ii. 114-115.
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