“Yes, father,” said little Dick, and up he went. On the stairs he met puss, and stopped to play with her, during which he forgot what had been told him. Having gotten a bottle, downstairs he came, and, pouring out a couple of glasses, he returned with it. But, when on the landing-place, he naughtily drew out the cork to have a taste himself. It was not only very vulgar to drink out of the neck of a bottle, but wrong to make free slily with that which he was merely entrusted to serve out. However, it rushed so fast into his mouth, and was so hot, that he was afraid of being strangled. It happened that he had bitten his cheek that morning, and the liquor bathing the sore place made it smart so that he put down the bottle on the floor, when, in stamping about, it rolled downstairs and made a fine clatter. His father ran out on hearing the noise, but was stopped in the way by seeing the young lady almost gasping for breath, and it was some minutes before she could say that he had given her brandy instead of wine.
Mr. Random next proceeded upstairs, where little Dick was picking up the pieces of broken glass, in doing which he cut a deep gash in his hand.
“Where did you take the bottle from?”
“Out of the farther side of the cellaret,” said Dicky.
“I told you to take it from the hither side,” replied Mr. Random. “But, however, you shall smart for your neglect: what remains of the brandy will serve to bathe your hand, and I hope the pain will make you reflect that the loss is the same to me, whether you spilt it from design or inattention.”
He one day made his mother look very simple at table, for which he deserved to have suffered much more than her good nature required. Young Random was to have a grand rout in the evening with some of his little favorites. A few nice tarts, custards, etc., had been made in the morning for the occasion, and had been most temptingly baked in the forenoon.
It happened that two gentlemen called on Mr. Random about two o’clock, and he insisted upon their staying to dinner; in consequence of which his lady had the pastry removed from the side board to the china-closet.
All children must frequently have heard their mothers say, when they wish to have anything saved for another occasion, “My friends, you see your dinner before you; I hope you will consider yourselves at home and not spare.” This is always thought to be a sufficient excuse for not bringing anything of another sort to table.
When the meat was nearly done with, Mrs. Random made the above remark to her visitors, who declared that nothing more was requisite. She then bid the servant put the cheese on the table.
“What, mother,” said Richard, “is there nothing else?”
“No, my love,” said his mother; “I am sure you want nothing more.”
“Why, yes, mother. Where are the tarts and custards you put into the closet?”