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Fowler, Sir Robert

Sir Robert

Lord Mayor of London. FH vividly describes a hellish dinner given by Sir William Marriott where several huge courses of game birds, beef and herring roes were greedily dispatched, all to the accompaniment of Fowler's noisy and odorous flatulence:

I looked at Lady Marriott and saw a shrinking in her face responding to the disgust I felt. I looked away again to spare her, when suddenly there came a loud unmistakeable noise and then an overpowering odor. I stared at the big glutton opposite me, but he had already finished a third plateful of the exquisite Scotch beef and was wiping his forehead in serene unconsciousness of having done anything out of the common. I stole a glance at Lady Marriott: she was as white as a ghost and her first helping of meat still lay untouched upon her plate.

Harris considerately rescued Lady Marriott from her ordeal, then:

As soon as Lady Marriott breathed the pure air of the stairway she began to revive, while the change taught me how terrible the putrid atmosphere of the dining-room had become. "That's my first City dinner," said Lady Marriott, drawing a long breath as we sat down in the drawing-room, "and I hope devoutly it may be my last. How awful men can be!"

"So that's Sir Robert Fowler," I said. "The best Lord Mayor, the only scholarly Lord Mayor, London has ever had!"