Sunday, April 07, 2013
Mrs. Abington's Jelly
So all of Samuel Johnson's friends notice that after he squeezes an orange into his drink at the club, he secretly (so he thinks) slips the squeezed-out orange into his pocket. It's a regular habit. One day Boswell is over at Johnson's house and sees "some fresh peels nicely scraped and cut into pieces" on the table. Says Boswell: "O, Sir, I now partly see what you do with the squeezed oranges which you put into your pocket at the Club." But Johnson steadfastly refuses to tell him what else he does with the dried, sliced, leftover peels! That's my favorite part of the book so far for some reason. Then Johnson goes to the home of some friends for dinner and brags about a fancier dinner he was at the night before, telling the hostess, "Mrs. Abington's jelly, my dear lady, was better than yours." Boswell plays it off like Johnson is just joshing around but gee what an old crab.