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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Humour

A Confirmed Grumbler

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
A Confirmed GrumblerA CONFIRMED GRUMBLER. – Some time ago there lived in Edinburgh a well-known grumbler, named Sandy Black, whose often-recurring fits of spleen or indigestion produced some amusing scenes of senseless irritability, which were highly relished by all, except the brute’s good, patient little wife. One morning Sandy rose bent on a quarrel; the haddies* and eggs were excellent, done to a turn, and had been ordered by himself the previous evening; and breakfast passed without the looked-for cause of complaint. “what will you have for dinner, Sandy?” said Mrs. Black. “A chicken, madam,” said the husband. “Roast or boiled?” asked the wife. “Confound it, madam, if you had been a good and considerate wife, you’d have known before this what I liked,” Sandy growled out, and, slamming the door behind him left the house. It was in spring, and a friend who was present heard the little wife say, “Sandy’s bent on a disturbance to-day; I shall not please him, do what I can.” The dinner-time came, and Sandy and his friend sat down to dinner; the fish was eaten in silence, and, on raising the cover of the dish before him, in a towering passion he called out, “Boiled chicken I hate it, madam. A chicken boiled is a chicken spoiled.” Immediately the cover was raised for another chicken, roasted to a turn, “Madam, I won’t eat roast chicken,” roared Sandy; “you know how it should have been cooked!” At the instant a broiled chicken, with mushrooms, was placed on the table. “Without green peas!” roared the grumbler. “Here they are, dear,” said Mrs. Black “How dare you spend my money in that way?” – “They were a present,” said the wife, interrupting him. Rising from his chair and rushing from the room, amidst a roar of laughter from his friend, he clenched his fist, and shouted, “How dare you receive a present without my leave!”

*haddies = haddock.