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THE BEAU MONDE;
Monthly Journal of Fahion.
LONDON, JULY 1, 1835.
and knew from experience that new-year's eve was a OR THE ORIGIN OF THE BAKER's Dozen.
shrewd time for selling cakes, joined profit and plea
sure on this occasion. He was one minnte in his shop, LITTLE Brom Boomptie, or Boss Boomptie, as he dealing out cakes to his customers, and the next was commonly called by his apprentices and neighbours, laughing, and tippling, and jigging, and frisking it was the first man that ever baked new-year cakes in the with his wife and children in the little back room, the good city of New-Amsterdam,
It is generally sup door of which had a pape of glass that commanded a posed that he was the inventor of those excellent and free view of the shop. Nobody, that is, no genuine respectable articles. However this may be, he lived disciple of jolly St. Nicholas, ever went to bed on newand prospered in the little Dutch house in William- year's eve. The Dutch are eminently a sober discreet street, called, time out of mind, Knickerbocker Hall, folk ; but somehow or other, no people frolic so like just at the outskirts of the good town of New-Amster- the
very dickens when they are once let loose as your dam.
very sober and discreet bodies. Boomptie was a fat comfortable creature, with a By twelve o'clock the spicy beverage, sacred to capital pair of old-fashioned legs; a full, round, good holidays at that time, began to mount up into Boss natured face; a corporation like unto one of his plump Boomptie's head, and he was vociferating a Dutch ditty loaves ; and as much honesty as a Turkish baker, who in praise of St. Nicholas with marvellous discordance, lives in the fear of having his ears nailed to his own when just as the old clock in one corner of the room door for retailing bad bread. He wore a low-crowned, struck the hour that ushers in the new-year. a loud broad-brimmed beaver; a gray bearskin cloth coat, knock was heard on the counter, which roused the dorwaistcoat, and breeches, and gray woollen stockings, mant spirit of trade within his bosom. He went into summer and winter, all the year round. The only lan- the shop, where he found a little ugly old thing of a guage he spoke, understood, or had the least respect woman, with a sharp chin, resting on a crooked black for, was Dutch-and the only books he ever read or stick, which had been burnt in the fire and then owned, were a Dutch Bible with silver clasps and hing- polished ; two high sharp cheek-bones ; two sharp black es, and a Dutch history of the Duke of Alva’s bloody eyes ; skinny lips, and a most diabolical pair of leather wars in the low countries. Boss Boomptie was a pious spectacles op a nose ten times sharper than her chin. man, of simple habits and simple character; a believer “ I want a dozen new-year cookies," screamed she,
demonology and witchcraft," and as much afraid in a voice sharper than her nose. of spooks as the mother that bred him, It ran in the “ Vel, den, you needn't speak so loud,” replied Buss family to be bewitched, and for three generations the Boomptie, whose ear being just then attuned to the Boompties had been very much pestered with super- melody of his own song, was somewhat outraged by natural visitations. But for all this they continued to this shrill salutation. prosper in the world, insomuch that Boss Boomptie “ I want a dozen new-year cookies," screamed she daily added a piece of wampum or two to his strong again, ten times louder and shriller than ever. box. He was blessed with a good wife, who saved the “ Duyvel, I ant teaf den," grumbled the worthy very parings of her nails, and three plump boys, after man, as he proceeded to count out the cakes, which the whom he modelled his gingerbread babies, and who other very deliberately counted after him. were every Sunday zealously instructed never to pass “ I want a dozen," screamed the little woman ;“ here a pin without picking it up and bringing it home to is only twelve." their mother.
“ Vel den, and what the duyvel is twelf but a dozen?" It was new-year's eve, in the year 1655, and the said Boomptie. good city of New-Amsterdam, then under the special “ I tell you I want one more,” screamed she in a patronage of the blessed St. Nicholas, was as jovial and voice that roused Mrs. Boomptie in the back room, who wanton as hot spiced rum, and long abstinence from came and peeped through the pane of glass, as she often fun and frolic, could make it. It is worth while to live did when she heard the boss talking to the ladies. soberly and mind our business all the rest of the year, Boss Boomptie waxed wroth, for he had a reasonable if it be only to enjoy the holidays at the end with a quantity of hot spiced ruin in his noddle, which predistrue zest. St. Nicholas--thrice blessed soul! was riding | posed a man to valor. up one chimney and down another, like a locomotive “ Vel den,” said he, “ you may co to de duyvel and engine, in his little one-horse wagon, distributing get anoder, for you won't get it here." cakes to the good boys, and whips to the bad ones; and Boomptie was not a stingy man; on the contrary, the laugh of the good city, which had been pent up all he was very generous to the pretty young damsels who the year, now burst forth with an explosion that echoed came to buy cakes, and often gave two or three extra even unto Breuckelen and Communipaw.
for a smack, which made Mrs. Boomptie peevish someBoss Boomptie, who never forgot the main chance, times, and caused her to watch at the little pane of NO, LV VOL. V.