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Mrs. Caudle's Curtain Lectures
by Douglas William Jerrold
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Originally serialized in "PUNCH" in 1845, Mrs. Caudle's incessant petty lectures to her unfortunate husband--enacted in the matrimonial bed at the close of each day when he is compelled to lie and listen--are as hilarious and familiar today as when first penned. Introduction by Peter Ackroyd.
Puddings, indeed! Do you think I'm made of puddings? Didn't you have some boiled rice three weeks ago? Besides, is this the time of the year for puddings? It's all very well if I had money enough allowed me like any other wife to keep the house with: then, indeed, I might have preserves like any other woman; now, it's impossible; and it's cruel--yes, Mr. Caudle, cruel--of you to expect it.
From the Publisher
The quintessential hen-pecked husband, Job Caudle leads a quiet and well-intentioned life, looking forward to his few modest pleasures. But he is never allowed to savor them for long. In Mrs. Caudle's eyes, he can do no right. With a melodramatic talent for turning molehills into mountains, she lays the blame for all their ills squarely at his feet. The lectures are a war of attrition between the irresistible force of Mrs. Caudle's tongue and the stamina of her poor husband's tortured ears. With no means of escape, the doomed Mr. Caudle's only means of defense is to alternate between mustering the odd rejoinder and feigning sleep. Resistance, however, is always futile.
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