Bed-mates with a Nightmare

Travelling salesman to Henry Mayhew in London Labour and the London Poor, 1851, describing sleeping arrangements at The Castle beer shop in Braintree:

I was a muck-snipe when I was there – why, a muck-snipe, sir, is a man regularly done up, coopered, and humped altogether – and it was a busyish time, and when the deputy paired off the single men, I didn’t much like my bed-mate. He was  shabby-genteel, buttoned up to the chin, and in the tract line [i.e., religious]. . . . I tipped the wink to an acquaintance there, and told him I thought my old complaint was coming on. That was, to kick and bite like a horse, in my sleep, a’cause my mother was terrified by a wicious horse not werry long afore I was born. So I dozed on the bed-side, and began to whinny; and my bed-mate jumped up frightened, and slept on the floor.

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