Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Tom's Coffee House


In Birchin-lane, Cornhill, though in the main a mercantile resort, acquired some celebrity from its having been frequented by Garrick, who, to keep up an interest in the City, appeared here about twice in a winter at 'Change time, when it was the rendezvous of young merchants. Hawkins says: "After all that has been said of Mr. Garrick, envy must own that he owed his celebrity to his merit; and yet, of that himself seemed so diffident, that he practised sundry little but innocent arts, to insure the favour of the public:" yet, he did more. When a rising actor complained to Mrs. Garrick that the newspapers abused him, the widow replied, "You should write your own criticisms; David always did."

One evening, Murphy was at Tom's, when Colley Cibber was playing at whist, with an old general for his partner. As the cards were dealt to him, he took up every one in turn, and expressed his disappointment at each indifferent one. In the progress of the game he did not follow suit, and his partner said, "What! have you not a spade, Mr. Cibber?" The latter, looking at his cards, answered, "Oh yes, a thousand;" which drew a very peevish comment from the general. On which, Cibber, who was shockingly addicted to swearing, replied, "Don't be angry, for —— I can play ten times worse if I like."

John Timbs
Club Life of London Vol. II
London, 1866