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Title: Bentley's Miscellany, Volume I
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bentley's Miscellany, Volume I" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



  [** Transcriber's Note:
    The [oe] ligature has been replaced with simply "oe".
    The cross symbols have been replaced by [cross].
    Greek words have been transliterated, and enclosed in square
      brackets, e.g. [Greek: kala reethra]
    In the original, the Signs of the Zodiac song on page 397 contains
      astrological symbols after each mention of the signs of the
      zodiac. The symbols have been omitted in this text version.      ]



   [Illustration: GEORGE COLMAN, The Younger]



                       BENTLEY'S
                       MISCELLANY



                         VOL. I.


                         LONDON:
                     RICHARD BENTLEY,
                  NEW BURLINGTON STREET.
                           1837.

                         LONDON:
               PRINTED BY SAMUEL BENTLEY,
              Dormet Street, Fleet Street.



                    EDITOR'S ADDRESS
                ON THE COMPLETION OF THE
                      FIRST VOLUME.

At the end of a theatrical season it is customary for the manager to
step forward, and, in as few words as may be, to say how very much
obliged he feels for all past favours, and how very ready he is to incur
fresh obligations.

With a degree of candour which few managers would display, we cheerfully
confess that we have been fairly inundated with _orders_ during our six
months' campaign; but so liberal are we, notwithstanding, that we place
many of the very first authors of the day on our free list, and invite
them to write for our establishment just as much paper as they think
proper.

We have produced a great variety of novelties, some of which we humbly
hope may become stock pieces, and all of which we may venture to say
have been must successful; and, although we are not subject to the
control of a licenser, we have eschewed everything political, personal,
or ill-natured, with perhaps as much care as we could possibly have
shown, even had we been under the watchful eye of the Lord Chamberlain
himself.

We shall open our Second Volume, ladies and gentlemen, on the first
day of July, One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, when we
shall have the pleasure of submitting a great variety of entirely new
pieces for your judgment and approval. The company will be numerous,
first-rate, and complete. The scenery will continue to be supplied by
the creative pencil of Mr. George Cruikshank; the whole of the extensive
and beautiful machinery will be, as heretofore, under the immediate
superintendence of Mr. Samuel Bentley, of Dorset-street, Fleet-street;
and Mr. Richard Bentley, of New Burlington-street, has kindly consented
to preside over the Treasury department, where he has already conducted
himself with uncommon ability.

The stage management will again be confided, ladies and gentlemen, to
the humble individual with the short name, who has now the honour to
address you, and who hopes, for very many years to come, to appear
before you in the same capacity. Permit him to add in sober seriousness,
that it has been the constant and unremitting endeavour of himself and
the proprietor to render this undertaking worthy of your patronage. That
they have not altogether failed in their attempt, its splendid success
sufficiently demonstrates; that they have no intention of relaxing in
their efforts, its future Volumes we trust will abundantly testify.

                                                                "BOZ."
     _London,_
 _June, 1837._



                        CONTENTS
                  OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
                                                                   Page

  Songs of the Month--January,      by "Father Prout;"                1
                      February,     by Dr. Maginn;                  105
                      March,        by Samuel Lover;                325
                      April,        by W. H. Ainsworth;             429
                      May and June, by J. A. Wade                   533

  Prologue, by Dr. Maginn                                             2
  Opening Chaunt                                                      6
  Recollections of the late George Colman, by Theodore Hook           7
  The "Monstre" Balloon                                              17
  Handy Andy, by Samuel Lover                                20,169,373
  Legend of Manor Hall, by the Author of "Headlong Hall"             29
  Terence O'Shaughnessy, by the Author of "Stories of Waterloo"      33
  The Sabine Farmer's Serenade, by Father Prout                      45
  Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble, by Boz                               49
  The Hot Wells of Clifton, by Father Prout                          63
  The Marine Ghost, by the Author of "Rattlin the Reefer"            65
  Old Age and Youth, by T. Haynes Bayly                              79
  An Evening of Visits, by the Author of "The Pilot"                 80
  Who are you?--Metastasio, Fontenelle, and Samuel Lover             88
  Metropolitan Men of Science                                        89
  Kyan's Patent--the Nine Muses and the Dry-rot                      93
  The Original of "Not a Drum was heard," by Father Prout            96
  A Gossip with some old English Poets, by C. Ollier                 98
  The Rising Periodical; Mr. Verdant's Account of the last
          aërial ascent, by T. Haynes Bayly                         101
  An Italian Anecdote, by the Author of "Hajji Baba"                103
  Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress, by Boz    105,218,326,430
  Richie Barter                                                     116
  Plunder Creek, by the Author of "Tales of an Antiquary"           121
  The Spectre                                                       131
  Authors and Actors, a dramatic sketch                             132
  A Gossip with Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, by Hamilton Reynolds     138
  A Lament over the Bannister                                       151
  Theatrical Advertisement Extraordinary                            152
  The Abbess and Duchess, by T. Haynes Bayly                        153
  Edward Saville, by C. Whitehead                                   155
  A Fragment of Romance                                             165
  Lines on John Bannister, by Sir George Rose                       168
  Lines to a Lyric and Artist                                       177
  Biographical Sketch of Richardson, by W. Jerdan                   178
  Paddy Blake's Echo, by J. A. Wade                                 186
  Recollections of Childhood, by the author of "Headlong Hall"      187
  Epigrams                                              190,409,493,508
                                                        540,564,583,590
  Family Stories, by Thomas Ingoldsby:
      No. I. Spectre of Tappington                                  191
         II. Legend of Hamilton Tighe                               266
        III. Grey Dolphin                                           341
         IV. The Squire's Story                                     529
          V. The Execution, a Sporting Anecdote                     561
  The Wide-awake Club                                               208
  A Remnant of the Time of Izaak Walton                             230
  The "Original" Dragon, by C. J. Davids                            231
  A Passage in the Life of Beaumarchais, by George Hogarth          233
  Mars and Venus, by C. F. Le Gros                                  247
  An Evening Meditation                                             250
  The Devil and Johnny Dixon,
          by the Author of "Stories of Waterloo"                    251
  A Merry Christmas, by T. Haynes Bayly                             260
  Nights at Sea, by the Old Sailor:
      No. I. The Captain's Cabin                                    269
      II. The White Squall                                          474
      III. The Chase and the Forecastle Yarn                        621
  Remains of Hajji Baba, by the Author of "Zohrab"          280,364,487
  The Portrait Gallery, by the Author of "The Bee Hive"         286,442
  The Sorrows of Life                                               290
  Stray Chapters, by Boz:
      No. I. The Pantomime of Life                                  291
      II. Particulars concerning a Lion                             515
  Memoirs of Samuel Foote                                           298
  The Two Butlers of Kilkenny                                       306
  The Little Bit of Tape, by Richard Johns                          313
  Hippothanasia, or the last of Tails,
          a lamentable Tale, by W. Jerdan                           319
  The Grand Cham of Tartary, by C. J. Davids                        339
  The Dumb Waiter                                                   340
  Friar Laurence and Juliet, by T. Haynes Bayly                     354
  Unpublished Letters of Addison                                    356
  Sonnet to a Fog, by Egerton Webbe                                 371
  Biography of Aunt Jemima, by F. H. Rankin                         382
  Scenes in the Life of a Gambler, by Captain Medwin                387
  Les Poissons d'Avril; a Gastronomical Chaunt, by Father Prout     397
  The Anatomy of Courage, by Prince Puckler Muskau                  398
  Song of the Cover                                                 402
  The Cobbler of Dort                                               403
  Hero and Leander, by T. Chapman                                   410
  The Admirable Crichton                                            416
  Memoirs of Sheridan                                               419
  Summer Night's Reverie, by J. A. Wade                             428
  Peter Plumbago's Correspondence                                   448
  The Blue Wonder                                                   450
  The Youth's Vade Mecum, by C. Whitehead                           461
  A Visit to the Madrigal Society                                   465
  Love and Poverty                                                  469
  Reflections in a Horse-pond                                       470
  Inscription for a Cemetery                                        473
  The Useful Young Man, by W. Collier                               485
  A London Fog                                                      492
  Shakspeare Papers, by Dr. Maginn:
      No. I. Sir John Falstaff                                      495
      II. Jaques                                                    550
  Steam Trip to Hamburgh                                            509
  Legend of Bohis Head                                              519
  Bob Burns and Beranger; Sam Lover and Ovidius Naso;
          by "Father Prout"                                         525
  Periodical Literature of the North American Indians               534
  An Epitaph                                                        540
  Darby the Swift, by J. A. Wade                                    541
  The Romance of a Day, by "The Bashful Irishman"                   565
  The Man with the Tuft, by T. Haynes Bayly                         576
  The Minister's Fate; from "Recollections of H. T."                577
  Love in the City, by the Author of "Stories of Waterloo"          584
  Mrs. Jennings                                                     591
  Hints for an Historical Play, by Thomas Ingoldsby                 597
  John Pooledoune, the Victim of Improvements, by W. Jerdan         599
  The Legend of Mount Pilate, by G. Dance                           608
  Glorvina, the Maid of Meath, by J. Sheridan Knowles               614
  Ode upon the Birth-day of the Princess Victoria, by J. A. Wade    620



                     ILLUSTRATIONS.

  Portrait of George Colman                        _Frontispiece_
  Handy Andy, No. I. by S. Lover                         Page 20
  Procession at the Inauguration of Mr. Tulrumble
          as Mayor of Mudfog, by George Cruikshank            49
  Who are you? by S. Lover                                    88
  Oliver Twist, by George Cruikshank                         105
  Handy Andy, No. II. by S. Lover                            169
  Spectre of Tappington, by Buss                             191
  Oliver Twist, No. II. by George Cruikshank                 218
  Portrait of Samuel Foote, by Sir Joshua Reynolds           298
  The Little Bit of Tape, by Phiz                            313
  Oliver Twist, No. III. by George Cruikshank                326
  Portrait of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, by Ozias Humphreys  419
  Oliver Twist, No. IV. by George Cruikshank                 430
  Nights at Sea, by George Cruikshank                        474
  The Romance of a Day, by George Cruikshank                 565
  Nights at Sea, by George Cruikshank                        621



                  BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY.



                  OUR SONG OF THE MONTH.
               No. I. January, 1837.


                THE BOTTLE OF ST. JANUARIUS.

                             I.
    In the land of the citron and myrtle, we're told
      That the blood of a MARTYR is kept in a phial,
    Which, though all the year round, it lie torpid and cold,
      Yet grasp but the crystal, 'twill _warm_ the first trial ...
    Be it fiction or truth, with your favourite FACT,
      O, profound LAZZARONI! I seek not to quarrel;
    But indulge an old priest who would simply extract
      From your legend, a lay--from your martyr, a moral.

                            II.
    Lo! with icicled beard JANUARIUS comes!
      And the blood in his veins is all frozen and gelid,
    And he beareth a bottle; but TORPOR benumbs
      Every limb of the saint:--Would ye wish to dispel it?
    With the hand of good-fellowship grasp the hoar sage--
      Soon his joints will relax and his pulse will beat quicker;
    Grasp the _bottle_ he brings--'twill grow warm. I'll engage,
      Till the frost of each heart lies dissolved in the LIQUOR!

                                         _Probatum est._ P. PROUT.

    WATER-GRASS-HILL, _Kal. Januarii_.



                         PROLOGUE.

    For us, and our Miscellany,
    Here stooping to your clemency,
    We beg your hearing patiently.
                         SHAKSPEARE, _with a difference_.

"Doctor," said a young gentleman to Dean Swift, "I intend to set up for
a wit."

"Then," said the Doctor, "I advise you to sit down again."

The anecdote is unratified by a name, for the young gentleman continues
to the present day to be anonymous, as he will, in all probability,
continue to future time; and as for Dean Swift, his name, being merely
that of a wit by profession, goes for nothing. We apprehend that the
tale is not much better than what is to be read in the pages of
Joe Miller.

But, supposing it true,--and the joke is quite bad enough to be
authentic,--we must put in our plea that it is not to apply to us. The
fact is absolutely undeniable that we originally advertised ourselves or
rather our work as, the "Wits' Miscellany,"--thereby indicating, beyond
all doubt, that we of the Miscellany were WITS. It is our firm hope that
the public, which is in general a most tender-hearted individual, will
not give us a rebuff similar to that which the unnamed young gentleman
experienced at the hands, or the tongue, of the implacable
Dean of St. Patrick.

It has been frequently remarked,--and indeed we have more than
fifty times experienced the fact ourselves,--that of all the stupid
dinner-parties, by far the stupidest is that at which the cleverest men
in all the world do congregate. A single lion is a pleasant show: he
wags his tail in proper order; his teeth are displayed in due course;
his hide is systematically admired, and his mane fitly appreciated.
If he roars, good!--if he aggravates his voice to the note of a
sucking-dove, better! All look on in the appropriate mood of delight,
as Theseus and Hippolita, enraptured at the dramatic performance of
Snug the Joiner. But when there comes a menagerie of lions, the case
is altered. Too much familiarity, as the lawyers say in their peculiar
jargon, begets contempt. We recollect, many years ago, when some
ingenious artist in Paris proposed to make Brussels lace or blonde by
machinery at the rate of a _sou_ per ell, to have congratulated a lady
of our acquaintance on this important saving in the main expenditure
of the fair sex. "You will have," said we, "a cap which now costs four
hundred francs for less than fifty. Think of that!"

"Think of that!" said the countess, casting upon us the darkest
expression of indignation that her glowing eyes [and what eyes they
were!--but no matter] could let loose,--"think of that, indeed! Do you
think that I should ever wear such rags as are to be bought for fifty
francs?"

There was no arguing the matter: it was useless to say that the
fifty-franc article, if the plan had succeeded, (which, however, it did
not,) would have been precisely and in every thread the same as that set
down at five hundred. The crowd of fine things generated by cheapness,
in general, was quite enough to dim the finery of any portion of them
in particular.

We are much afraid that we run somewhat loose of our original design
in these rambling remarks. But it is always easy to come back to the
starting-post. Abandoning metaphor and figure of all kinds, we were
endeavouring to express our conviction, drawn from experience, that
a company of professed wits might be justly suspected to be a dull
concern. Every man is on the alert to guard against surprise.

    Through all the seven courses laid down,
      Each jester looks sour on his brother;
    The wit dreads the punster's renown,
      The buffoon tries the mimic to smother:
    He who shines in the sharp repartee
      Envies him who can yarn a droll story;
    And the jolly bass voice in a glee
      Will think your adagio but snory.

This is, we admit at once, and in anticipation of the reader's already
expressed opinion, a very poor imitation of the opening song of the
Beggar's Opera.

If this melancholy fact of the stupidity of congregated wits be
admitted to be true, the question comes irresistibly, thrown in our
faces in the very language of the street, "Who are _you_? Have not you
advertised yourselves as wits, and can you escape from the soft-headed
impeachment?" We reply nothing; we stand mute. It will be our time
this day twelvemonths to offer to the pensive public a satisfactory
replication to that somewhat personal interrogatory. Yet--

Having in our minds, and the interior _sensoria_ of our consciences,
some portion of modesty yet lingering behind--how small that portion
may be is best known to those who have campaigned for a few years upon
the press, and thence learned the diffident mildness which naturally
adheres to the pursuit of enlightening the public mind, and advancing
the march of general intellect;--possessed, we say, of that quantity of
retiring bashfulness, it is undeniable that, like one of the Passions
in Collins's Ode,--we forget which, but we fear it is Fear,--we, after
showing forth in the best public instructors as the Wits' Miscellany,

                            Back recoiled,
    Scared at the sound ourselves had made.

To this resolution we were also led by the fact, that such a title would
altogether exclude from our pages contributions of great merit--which,
although exhibiting comic faculty, would also deal with the shadows of
human life, and sound the deep wells of the heart.

We agreed that the work should not be called "The Wits'" any longer. We
massacred the title as ruthlessly as ever were massacred its namesakes
in Holland: and, agreeing to an _emendatio_, we now sail under the title
of our worthy publisher, which happens to be the same as that of him who
is by all _viri clarissimi_ adopted as _criticorum longè doctissimus_,
RICARDUS BENTLEIUS; or, to drop Latin lore--Richard Bentley.

Here then, ladies and gentlemen, we introduce to your special and
particular notice


                      BENTLEY'S MISCELLANY.

What may be in the Miscellany it is your business to find out. Here lie
the goods, warehoused, bonded, ticketed, and labelled, at your service.
You have only, with the Genius in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments,
to cry, "Fish, fish, do your duty;" and if they are under-cooked or
over-cooked, if the seasoning is too high or the fire too low, if they
be burnt on one side and raw on the other,--why, gentle readers, it is
your business to complain. All we have to say here, is, that we have
made our haul in the best fishing-grounds, and, if we were ambitious of
pun-making, we might add, that we had well baited our _hooks_--caught
some choice _souls_--flung our lines into right _places_--and so forth,
as might easily he expanded by the students of Mr. Commissioner Dubois's
art of punning made easy.

What we propose is simply this:--We do not envy the fame or glory of
other monthly publications. Let them all have their room. We do not
desire to jostle them in their course to fame or profit, even if it
was in our power to do so. One may revel in the unmastered fun and
the soul-touching feeling of Wilson, the humour of Hamilton, the dry
jocularity and the ornamented poetry of Moir, the pathos of Warren, the
tender sentiment of Caroline Bowles, the eloquence of Croly, and the
Tory brilliancy of half a hundred contributors zealous in the cause of
Conservatism. Another may shake our sides with the drolleries of Gilbert
Gurney and his fellows, poured forth from the inexhaustible reservoir
of the wit of our contributor Theodore Hook,--captivate or agitate us by
the Hibernian Tales of Mrs. Hall,--or rouse the gentlest emotions by the
fascinating prose or delicious verse of our fairest of _collaborateuses_
Miss Landon. In a third we must admire the polyglot facetiæ of our
own Father Prout, and the delicate appreciation of the classical and
elegant which pervades the writings of the Greek-thoughted Chapman;
while its rough drollery, its bold bearing, its mirth, its learning, its
courage, and its caricatures, (when, confined to the harmless and the
mirth-provoking, they abstain from invading the sanctuary of private
life,) are all deserving of the highest applause, though we should
be somewhat sorry to stand in the way of receiving the consequences
which they occasionally entail. Elsewhere, what can be better than
Marryat, Peter Simple, Jacob Faithful, Midshipman Easy, or whatever
other title pleases his ear; A Smollett of the sea revived, equal to
the Doctor in wit, and somewhat purged of his grossness. In short, to
all our periodical contemporaries we wish every happiness and success;
and for those among their contributors whose writings tend to amuse or
instruct,--and many among them there are to whom such praise may be
justly applied,--we feel the highest honour and respect. We wish that
we could catch them all, to illuminate our pages, without any desire
whatever that their rays should be withdrawn from those in which they
are at present shining.

Our path is single and distinct. In the first place, we have nothing
to do with politics. We are so far Conservatives as to wish that all
things which are good and honourable for our native country should be
preserved with jealous hand. We are so far Reformers as to desire that
every weed which defaces our conservatory should be unsparingly plucked
up and cast away. But is it a matter of absolute necessity that people's
political opinions should be perpetually obtruded upon public notice? Is
there not something more in the world to be talked about than Whig and
Tory? We do not quarrel with those who find or make it their vocation to
show us annually, or quarterly, or hebdomadally, or diurnally, how we
are incontestably saved or ruined; they have chosen their line of walk,
and a pleasant one no doubt it is; but, for our softer feet may it not
be permitted to pick out a smoother and a greener promenade,--a path of
springy turf and odorous sward, in which no rough pebble will lacerate
the ancle, no briery thorn penetrate the wandering sole?

Truce, however, to prefacing. We well know that speechmaking never yet
won an election, because something more tangible than speechifying
is requisite. So it is with books; and, indeed, so is it with every
thing else in the world. We must be judged by our works. We have only
one petition to make, which is put in with all due humility,--it is
this--that we are not to be pre-judged by this our first attempt.
Nothing is more probable than that many of our readers, and they
fair-going people too, will think this number a matter not at all to be
commended; and we, with perfect modesty, suggest, on the other side, the
propriety of their suspending their opinion as to our demerits until
they see the next. And then----And then! Well!--what then? Why, we do
not know: and, as it is generally ruled, that, when a man cannot speak,
he is bound to sing, we knock ourselves down for a song.


         Our Opening Chaunt.

                   I.
    Come round and hear, my public dear,
      Come hear, and judge it gently,--
    The prose so terse, and flowing verse,
      Of us, the wits of Bentley.

                  II.
    We offer not intricate plot
      To muse upon intently;
    No tragic word, no bloody sword,
      Shall stain the page of Bentley.

                  III.
    The tender song which all day long
      Resounds so sentimént'ly,
    Through wood and grove all full of love,
      Will find no place in Bentley.

                  IV.
    Nor yet the speech which fain would teach
      All nations eloquéntly;--
    'Tis quite too grand for us the bland
      And modest men of Bentley.

                   V.
    For science deep no line we keep,
      We speak it reveréntly;--
    From sign to sign the sun may shine,
      Untelescoped by Bentley.

                  VI.
    Tory and Whig, in accents big,
      May wrangle violéntly:
    Their party rage shan't stain the page--
      The neutral page of Bentley.

                  VII.
    The scribe whose pen is mangling men
      And women pestiléntly,
    May take elsewhere his wicked ware,--
      He finds no mart in Bentley.

                 VIII.
    It pains us not to mark the spot
      Where Dan may find his rént lie;
    The Glasgow chiel may shout for Peel,
      We know them not in Bentley.

                  IX.
    Those who admire a merry lyre,--
      Those who would hear attent'ly
    A tale of wit, or flashing hit,--
      Are ask'd to come to Bentley.

                   X.
    Our hunt will be for grace and glee,
      Where thickest may the scent lie;
    At slashing pace begins the chase--
      Now for the burst of Bentley.



                       GEORGE COLMAN.

That a life of this eminent and much regretted man will be written
by some competent author, there can be little doubt. That he himself
extended his "_Random Records_" no further than two volumes, containing
the history and anecdotes of the early part of his career, is greatly
to be lamented. What is here collected is merely worthy of being called
"Recollections," and does not assume to itself the character of a piece
of biography.

Mr. Colman was the grandson of Francis Colman, Esq. British Resident
at the Court of Tuscany at Pisa, who married a sister of the Countess
of Bath. George Colman the elder, father of him of whom we write, was
born about the year 1733, at Florence, and was placed at an early age
at Westminster School, where he very soon distinguished himself by the
rapidity of his attainments. In 1748 he went to Christchurch College,
Oxford, where he took his Master's degree; and shortly became the friend
and associate of Churchill, Bonnell Thornton, Lloyd, and the other
principal wits and writers of the day.

Lord Bath was greatly struck by his merit and accomplishments, and
induced him to adopt the law as his profession. He accordingly entered
at Lincoln's Inn, and was eventually called to the bar. It appears--as
it happened afterwards to his son--that the drier pursuits of his
vocation were neglected or abandoned in favour of literature and the
drama. His first poetical performance was a copy of verses addressed to
his cousin, Lord Pulteney. But it was not till 1760 that he produced any
dramatic work: in that year he brought out "Polly Honeycombe," which met
with considerable success.

It is remarkable that, previous to that season, no new comedy had been
produced at either theatre for nine years; and equally remarkable
that the year 1761 should have brought before the public "The Jealous
Wife," by Colman, "The way to Keep Him," by Murphy, and "The Married
Libertine," by Macklin.

In the following year Lord Bath died, and left Mr. Colman a very
comfortable annuity, but less in value than he had anticipated. In
1767, General Pulteney, Lord Bath's successor, died, and left him a
second annuity, which secured him in independence for life. And here it
may be proper to notice a subject which George Colman the younger has
touched before in his "Random Records," in which he corrects a hasty and
incautious error of the late Margravine of Anspach, committed by her, in
her "Memoirs." Speaking of George Colman the elder, she says,

"He was a natural son of Lord Bath, Sir James Pulteney; and his father,
perceiving in the son a passion for plays, asked him fairly if he never
intended to turn his thoughts to politics, as it was his desire to see
him a minister, which, with his natural endowments, and the expense and
pains he had bestowed on his education, he had reason to imagine, with
his interest, he might become. His _father_ desired to know if he would
give up the Muses for diplomacy, and plays for politics; as, in that
case, he meant to give him his whole fortune. Colman thanked Lord Bath
for his kind communication, but candidly said, that he preferred Thalia
and Melpomene to ambition of any kind, for the height of his wishes was
to become, at some future time, the manager of a theatre. Lord Bath left
him fifteen hundred pounds a-year, instead of all his immense wealth."

Mr. Colman, after exposing the strange mistake of calling _the_
Sir William Pulteney, James, goes on to state, that, being the son
of his wife's sister, Lord Bath, on the death of Francis Colman
(his brother-in-law), which occurred when the elder George was but
one year old, took him entirely under his protection, and placed
him progressively at Westminster, Oxford, and Lincoln's Inn. In
corroboration of the else unquestioned truth of this statement, he
refers to the posthumous pamphlets of his highly-gifted parent, and
justly takes credit for saving him from imputed illegitimacy, by
explaining that his grandmother was exempt from the conjugal frailty of
Venus, and his grandfather from the fate of Vulcan.

George Colman the elder suffered severely from the effects of a
paralytic affection, which, in the year 1790, produced mental
derangement; and, after living in seclusion for four years, he died on
the 14th of April 1794, having been during his life a joint proprietor
of Covent Garden Theatre, and sole proprietor of the little theatre in
the Haymarket.

George Colman the younger became, at Westminster, the schoolfellow and
associate of the present Archbishop of York, the Marquess of Anglesea,
the late Earl of Buckinghamshire, Doctor Robert Willis, Mr. Reynolds,
his brother dramatist, the present Earl Somers, and many other persons,
who have since, like himself, become distinguished members of society.

The account which Mr. Colman gives of his introduction by his father to
Johnson, Goldsmith, and Foote, when a child, is so highly graphic, and
so strongly characteristic of the man, that we give an abridgement
of it here:

"On the day of my introduction," says Colman, "Dr. Johnson was asked to
dinner at my father's house in Soho-square, and the erudite savage came
a full hour before his time. My father, having dressed himself hastily,
took me with him into the drawing-room.

"On our entrance, we found Johnson sitting in a _fauteuil_ of
rose-coloured satin. He was dressed in a rusty suit of brown, cloth
_dittos_, with black worsted stockings; his old yellow wig was of
formidable dimensions; and the learned head which sustained it rolled
about in a seemingly paralytic motion; but, in the performance of its
orbit, it inclined chiefly to one shoulder.

"He deigned not to rise on our entrance; and we stood before him while
he and my father talked. There was soon a pause in the colloquy;
and my father, making his advantage of it, took me by the hand, and
said,--'Dr. Johnson, this is a little Colman.' The doctor bestowed a
slight ungracious glance upon me, and, continuing the rotary motion
of his head, renewed the previous conversation. Again there was a
pause;--again the anxious father, who had failed in his first effort,
seized the opportunity for pushing his progeny, with--'This is my son,
Dr. Johnson.' The great man's contempt for me was now roused to wrath;
and, knitting his brows, he exclaimed in a voice of thunder, 'I _see_
him, sir!' He then fell back in his rose-coloured satin _fauteuil_,
as if giving himself up to meditation; implying that he would not be
further plagued, either with an old fool or a young one.

"After this rude rebuff from the doctor, I had the additional felicity
to be placed next to him at dinner: he was silent over his meal; but
I observed that he was, as Shylock says of Lancelot Gobbo, 'a huge
feeder;' and during the display of his voracity, (which was worthy of
_Bolt_ Court,) the perspiration fell in copious drops from his visage
upon the table-cloth."

"Oliver Goldsmith, several years before my luckless presentation to
Johnson, proved how 'doctors differ.' I was only five years old when
Goldsmith took me on his knee, while he was drinking coffee, one
evening, with my father, and began to play with me; which amiable act I
returned with the ingratitude of a peevish brat, by giving him a very
smart slap in the face; it must have been a tingler, for it left the
marks of my little spiteful paw upon his cheek. This infantile outrage
was followed by summary justice; and I was locked up by my indignant
father in an adjoining room, to undergo solitary imprisonment in the
dark. Here I began to howl and scream most abominably; which was no bad
step towards liberation, since those who were not inclined to pity me
might be likely to set me free, for the purpose of abating a nuisance.

"At length a generous friend appeared to extricate me from jeopardy,
and that generous friend was no other than the man I had so wantonly
molested by assault and battery; it was the tender-hearted doctor
himself, with a lighted candle in his hand, and a smile upon his
countenance, which was still partially red from the effects of my
petulance. I sulked and sobbed, and he fondled and soothed; till I began
to brighten. Goldsmith, who, in regard to children, was like the village
preacher he has so beautifully described,--for

    'Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed,'--

seized the propitious moment of returning good-humour; so he put down
the candle, and began to conjure. He placed three hats, which happened
to be in the room, upon the carpet, and a shilling under each: the
shillings he told me, were England, France, and Spain. 'Hey, presto,
cockolorum!' cried the doctor,--and, lo! on uncovering the shillings
which had been dispersed, each beneath a separate hat, they were all
found congregated under one. I was no politician at five years old,
and, therefore, might not have wondered at the sudden revolution which
brought England, France, and Spain all under one crown; but, as I was
also no conjuror, it amazed me beyond measure. Astonishment might have
amounted to awe for one who appeared to me gifted with the power of
performing miracles, if the good-nature of the man had not obviated my
dread of the magician; but, from that time, whenever the doctor came to
visit my father,

    'I pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile;

a game at romps constantly ensued, and we were always cordial friends,
and merry play-fellows.

"Foote's earliest notices of me were far from flattering; but, though
they had none of Goldsmith's tenderness, they had none of Johnson's
ferocity; and when he accosted me with his usual salutation of 'Blow
your nose, child!' there was a whimsical manner, and a broad grin upon
his features, which always made me laugh.

"His own nose was generally begrimed with snuff; and, if he had never
been more facetious than upon the subject of my _emunctories_, which,
by the bye, did not went cleansing, I need not tell the reader, that he
would not have been distinguished as a wit;--he afterwards condescended
to pass better jokes upon me.

"The paradoxical celebrity which he maintained upon the stage was very
singular; his satirical sketches were scarcely dramas, and he could not
be called a good legitimate performer. Yet there is no Shakspeare or
Roscius upon record who, like Foote, supported a theatre for a series of
years by his own acting, in his own writings, and, for ten years of the
time, upon a _wooden leg_!"

The reader, if he have not seen these passages before, will, we are
sure, sympathise with us in our regrets that the work from which we
extract them, carries us only in its two volumes to the year 1785,--a
period at which Colman's fame and reputation had yet to be made.

His first decidedly successful drama was "Inkle and Yarico:" this at
once established his character as an author. "Ways and Means," "The
Mountaineers," and "The Iron Chest" followed; and in 1798 he published
those admirable poems known as "My Night-gown and Slippers." His
greatest literary triumphs were, however, yet to come. "The Heir at Law"
was his first regular comedy; and we doubt very much whether he ever
excelled it, or, indeed, if it has been excelled by more than a very few
plays in the English language. We know that the theatrical world, and
we believe the author himself, gave a decided preference to "John Bull;"
but we admit that as we are unfashionable enough to prefer Sheridan's
"Rivals" to his "School for Scandal," so are we prepared unhesitatingly
to declare our opinion that "The Heir at Law" is Colman's
_chef d'oeuvre_.

"The Poor Gentleman" is an excellent play; and "Who wants a Guinea?"
although not so decidedly successful as its predecessors, teems
with that rich humour and quaintness of thought which so strongly
characterise the writing of its author. His farces of "The Review,"
"Love laughs at Locksmiths," "We fly by Night," and several others,
are all admirable in their way. These were given to the town as the
reductions of Arthur Griffinhoofe, a _nom de guerre_, however, which
proved quite inefficient in making the public mistake the source whence
their amusement was derived.

In 1819, Mr. Colman finally retired from the proprietorship and
management of the Haymarket Theatre. Upon the escape and flight from
England of Captain Davis, the lieutenant of the Yeoman Guard, his
Majesty George the Fourth appointed Mr. Colman to succeed him; and on
the death of Mr. Larpent he also received the appointment of Examiner
of Plays. The former office he relinquished in favour of Sir John Gete,
some three or four years since; and in the latter he has, as our readers
know, been succeeded by Mr. Charles Kemble.

It would be unjust and unfair to the memory of Mr. Colman were we to
let slip this opportunity of saying a few words upon the subject of his
conduct in the execution of the duties of this situation; because it
has been made the object of attack even by men of the highest talent
and reputation, as well as the low ribald abuse of their literary
inferiors,--which, however, considering the source whence it came, is
not worth noticing.

It has been alleged that Mr. Colman was unnecessarily rigid in his
exclusion of oaths and profane sayings from the dramatic works submitted
to his inspection; and the gist of the arguments against him touching
this rigour went to show that he ought not to expunge such expressions
as examiner, because he had used such expressions himself as an author.
This reasoning is absurd, the conclusion inconsequential. When Mr.
Colman wrote plays, he was not bound by oath to regulate their language
by any fixed standard; and, as all other dramatists of the day had done,
in a dialogue or depicting a character he used in some--perhaps all
his dramas--occasional expletives. But Mr. Colman's plays then had to
be submitted to an examiner, who, conscientiously, did his duty; and,
from the high moral character of the late licenser, there can be little
lesson for doubting that _he_, like his successor, drew his pen across
any expression which he might have considered objectionable; but no one
ever complained of this, because Mr. Larpent had never written a play,
or used an oath in its dialogues.

When Mr. Colman assumed the legal and necessary power of correction,
he had but one course to pursue: he was sworn to perform a certain
duty assigned to him to the best of his judgment, and to correct any
expressions which he might consider injurious to the state or to
morality. What had _he_ to do, as licenser, with what he had himself
done as author? The _tu quoque_ principle in this use is even more than
usually absurd; it is as if a schoolmaster were to be prevented from
flogging a boy for breaking windows, because, when he was a boy, he had
broken windows himself.

As we have already stated that it is not our intention to make these
few pages a piece of biography, we shall leave to some better qualified
person to give the more minute details of Mr. Colman's life. The
following lines, written by himself, now many years since, and when
he himself was under fifty, give as good an epitome of his career up
to that period as fifty pages of matter-of-fact; and from that time
until the occurrence of the sad event to which the last stanza, so
pathetically--as it _now_ reads--refers, he lived on in happiness
and comfort.


        A RECKONING WITH TIME.

                   I.
    Come on, old Time!--Nay, that is stuff;
    Gaffer! thou comest fast enough;
      Wing'd foe to feather'd Cupid!--
    But tell me, Sand-man, ere thy grains
    Have multiplied upon my brains,
      So thick to make me stupid;--

                  II.
    Tell me, Death's journeyman!--But no!
    Hear thou my speech: I will not grow
      Irreverent while I try it;
    For, though I mock thy flight, 'tis said
    The forelock fills me with such dread,
      I never take thee by it.

                  III.
    List, then, old Is, Was, and To-be;
    I'll state accounts 'twixt thee and me.
    Thou gav'st me, first, the measles;
    With teething would'st have ta'en me off;
    Then mad'st me, with the hooping-cough,
    Thinner than fifty weasels;

                  IV.
    Thou gav'st small-pox, (the dragon now
    That Jenner combats on a cow,)
      And then some seeds of knowledge,--
    Grains of Grammar, which the flails
    Of pedants thresh upon our tails,
      To fit us for a college.

                   V.
    And, when at Christ-Church, 'twas thy sport
    To rack my brains with sloe-juice port,
      And lectures out of number!
    There Freshman Folly quaffs and sings,
    While Graduate Dullness clogs thy wings
      With mathematic lumber.

                  VI.
    Thy pinions next,--which, while they wave,
    Fan all our birth-days to the grave,--
      I think, ere it was prudent,
    Balloon'd me from the schools to town,
    Where I was parachuted down,
      A dapper Temple student.

                 VII.
    Then, much in dramas did I look,--
    Much slighted thee and great Lord Coke:
      Congreve beat Blackstone hollow;
    Shakspeare made all the statues stale,
    And in my crown no pleas had Hale
      To supersede Apollo.

                VIII.
    Ah! Time, those raging heats, I find,
    Were the mere dog-star of my mind;
      How cool is retrospection!
    Youth's gaudy summer solstice o'er,
    Experience yields a mellow store,--
      An autumn of reflection!

                 IX.
    Why did I let the God of song
    Lure me from law to join his throng,
      Gull'd by some slight applauses?
    What's verse to A. when versus B.?
    Or what John Bull, a comedy,
      To pleading John Bull's causes!

                  X.
    Yet, though my childhood felt disease,--
    Though my lank purse, unswoll'n by fees,
      Some ragged Muse has netted,--
    Still, honest Chronos! 'tis most true,
    To thee (and, 'faith! to others too,)
      I'm very much indebted.

                 XI.
    For thou hast made me gaily tough,
    Inured me to each day that's rough,
      In hopes of calm to-morrow.
    And when, old mower of us all,
    Beneath thy sweeping scythe I fall,
      Some few dear friends will sorrow.

                 XII.
    Then, though my idle prose or rhyme
    Should, half an hour, outlive me, Time,
      Pray bid the stone-engravers,
    Where'er my bones find church-yard room,
    Simply to chisel on my tomb,--
      "Thank Time for all his favours!"

It is a curious coincidence--although considering the proximity of
their ages there may be nothing really strange in it--that Mr. Colman
and his intimate friend Bannister should have quitted this mortal world
so nearly at the same time. The circumstance, however, gives us an
opportunity of bringing their names together in a manner honourable to
both. We derive the anecdote from the "Random Records;" and we think
it will be at this juncture favourably received by those who admire
dramatic authors and actors, and who rejoice to see traits of private
worth the concomitants of public excellence.

After recounting the circumstances of his first acquaintance with
Bannister, Mr. Colman says,

"In the year of my return from Aberdeen, 1784, unconscious of fear
through ignorance of danger, I rushed into early publicity as an avowed
dramatist. My father's illness in 1789 obliged me to undertake the
management of his theatre; which, having purchased at his demise, I
continued to manage as my own. During such progression, up to the year
1796 inclusive, I scribbled many dramas for the Haymarket, and one for
Drury-lane; in almost all of which the younger Bannister (being engaged
at both theatres) performed a prominent character; so that, for most of
the thirteen years I have enumerated, he was of the greatest importance
to my theatrical prosperity in my double capacity of author and manager;
while I was of some service to him by supplying him with new characters.
These reciprocal interests made us, of course, such close colleagues,
that our almost daily consultations promoted amity, while they forwarded
business.

"From this last-mentioned period, (1796,) we were led by our
speculations, one after the other, into different tracks. He had
arrived at that height of London popularity when his visits to various
provincial theatres in the summer were productive of much more money
than my scale of expense in the Haymarket could afford to give him. As
he wintered it, however, in Drury-lane, I profited for two years more by
his acting in the pieces which I produced there. I then began to write
for the rival house in Covent Garden, and this parted us as author and
actor: but separating, as we did, through accident, and with the kindest
sentiments for each other, it was not likely that we should forget or
neglect further to cultivate our mutual regard: that regard is now so
mellowed by time that it will never cease till Time himself,--who, in
ripening our friendship, has been all the while whetting his scythe for
the friends,--shall have mowed down the men, and gathered in his harvest.

"One trait of Bannister, in our worldly dealings with each other, will
nearly bring me to the close of this chapter.

"In the year 1807, after having slaved at some dramatic composition,--I
forget what,--I had resolved to pass one entire week in luxurious sloth.

"At this crisis,--just as I was beginning the first morning's sacrifice
upon the altar of my darling goddess, Indolence,--enter Jack Bannister,
with a huge manuscript under his left arm!--This, he told me, consisted
of loose materials for an entertainment, with which he meant to "skirr
the country," under the title of BANNISTER'S BUDGET; but, unless I
reduced the chaos into some order for him, and that _instantly_,--he
should lose his tide, and with it his emoluments for the season. In such
a case there was no balancing between two alternatives, so I deserted my
darling goddess to drudge through the week for my old companion.

"To concoct the crudities he had brought me, by polishing, expunging,
adding,--in short, almost re-writing them,--was, it must be confessed,
labouring under the "horrors of digestion;" but the toil was completed
at the week's end, and away went Jack Bannister into the country with
his BUDGET.

"Several months afterwards he returned to town; and I inquired, of
course, what success?--So great, he answered, that in consequence of the
gain which had accrued to him through my means, and which he was certain
would still accrue, (as he now considered the Budget to be an annual
income for some years to come,) he must insist upon cancelling a bond
which I had given him, for money he had lent to me. I was astounded; for
I had never dreamt of fee or reward.

"To prove that he was in earnest, I extract a paragraph from a latter
which he wrote to me from Shrewsbury.

"'For fear of accidents, I think it necessary to inform you that
Fladgate, your attorney, is in possession of your bond to me of £700; as
I consider it _fully discharged_, it is but proper you should have this
acknowledgment under my hand.                              J.B.'

"Should my unostentatious friend think me indelicate in publishing this
anecdote, I can only say, that it naturally appertains to the sketch
I have given of our co-operations in life; and that the insertion of
it here seems almost indispensable, in order to elucidate my previous
statement of our having blended so much _sentiment_ with so much
_traffic_. I feel, too, that it would be downright injustice to him
if I suppressed it; and would betoken in myself the pride of those
narrow-minded persons who are ashamed of acknowledging how greatly they
have profited by the liberal spirit of others.

"The bond above mentioned was given, be it observed, on a private
account; not for money due to an actor for his professional assistance.
Gilliland, in his 'Dramatic Mirror,' says that my admission of partners
'enabled the proprietors to completely liquidate all the demands which
had for some time past involved the house in temporary embarrassments.'
This is a gross mistake; the Haymarket Theatre was _never_ embarrassed
(on the contrary, it was a prosperous speculation) while under my
direction. My own difficulties during part of this time are another
matter: I may touch _slightly_ on this hereafter; but shall not bore my
readers by dwelling long on matters which (however they may have
annoyed _me_) cannot entertain or interest _them_.

"I regret following up one instance of Mr. Gilliland's inaccuracy
immediately with another; but he asserts, in his 'Dramatic Mirror,' that
J. Bannister, 'in the season 1778, made his appearance for the benefit
of his father, _on the boards of Old Drury_.' In contradiction to the
foregoing statement a document now lies before me,--I transcribe it
verbatim:

"'First appearance, _at the Haymarket_, for my father's benefit,
1778, in The Apprentice. First appearance at Drury-lane, 1779, in
Zaphna, in Mahomet. Took leave of the stage at Drury-lane, Thursday,
June 1st, 1815. Garrick instructed me in the four first parts I
played,--the Apprentice; Zaphna (Mahomet); Dorilas (Merope); and Achmet
(Barbarossa).--Jack Bannister, to his dear friend George Colman. June
30th, 1828.'"

These memoranda, under the circumstances, are curious and
affecting.--Death _has_ gathered in his harvest, and both the
men _are_ gone.

Of Mr. Colman's delightful manners and conversational powers no words
can give any adequate idea: with all the advantages of extensive
reading, a general knowledge of mankind, and an inexhaustible fund of
wit and humour, he blended a joyousness of expression, a kindness of
feeling, and a warmth of manner, which rendered him the much-sought
companion of every circle of society in which he chose to mix. Of his
literary talents all the world can judge; but it is only those who have
known him in private life who can appreciate the qualities which we
despair of being able justly to describe.


            IMPROMPTU BY THE LATE GEORGE COLMAN.

About a year since, a young lady begged this celebrated wit to write
some verses in her album: he shook his head; but, good-naturedly
promising to try, at once extemporised the following,--most probably his
last written and poetical jest.

    My muse and I, ere youth and spirits fled,
      Sat up together many a night, no doubt;
    But now, I've sent the poor old lass to bed,
      Simply because _my fire is going out_.



           THE "MONSTRE" BALLOON.

    Oh! the balloon, the great balloon!
    It left Vauxhall one Monday at noon,
    And every one said we should hear of it soon
    With news from Aleppo or Scanderoon.
    But very soon after, folks changed their tune:
    "The netting had burst--the silk--the shalloon;
    It had met with a trade-wind--a deuced monsoon--
    It was blown out to sea--it was blown to the moon--
    They ought to have put off their journey till June;
    Sure none but a donkey, a goose, or baboon,
    Would go up, in November, in any balloon!"

    Then they talk'd about Green--"Oh! where's Mister Green?
    And where's Mister Hollond who hired the machine?
    And where is Monk Mason, the man that has been
    Up so often before--twelve times or thirteen--
    And who writes such nice letters describing the scene?
    And where's the cold fowl, and the ham, and poteen?
    The press'd beef with the fat cut off,--nothing but lean?
    And the portable soup in the patent tureen?
    Have they got to Grand Cairo? or reached Aberdeen?
    Or Jerusalem--Hamburgh--or Ballyporeen?--
    No! they have not been seen! Oh! they haven't been seen!"

    Stay! here's Mister Gye--Mr. Frederick Gye.
    "At Paris," says he, "I've been up very high,
    A couple of hundred of toises, or nigh,
    A cockstride the Tuilleries' pantiles, to spy,
    With Dollond's best telescope stuck at my eye,
    And my umbrella under my arm like Paul Pry,
    But I could see nothing at all but the sky;
    So I thought with myself 'twas of no use to try
    Any longer; and feeling remarkably dry
    From sitting all day stuck up there, like a Guy,
    I came down again and--you see--here am I!"

    But here's Mister Hughes!--What says young Mr. Hughes?
    "Why, I'm sorry to say, we've not got any news
    Since the letter they threw down in one of their shoes,
    Which gave the Mayor's nose such a deuce of a bruise,
    As he popp'd up his eye-glass to look at their cruise
    Over Dover; and which the folks flock'd to peruse
    At Squier's bazaar, the same evening, in crews,
    Politicians, newsmongers, town council, and blues,
    Turks, heretics, infidels, jumpers, and Jews,
    Scorning Bachelor's papers, and Warren's reviews;
    But the wind was then blowing towards Helvoetsluys,
    And my father and I are in terrible stews,
    For so large a balloon is a sad thing to lose!"

    Here's news come at last! Here's news come at last!
    A vessel's arrived, which has sail'd very fast;
    And a gentleman serving before the mast,
    Mister Nokes, has declared that "the party has past
    Safe across to the Hague, where their grapnel they cast
    As a fat burgomaster was staring aghast
    To see such a monster come home on the blast,
    And it caught in his breeches, and there it stuck fast!"

    Oh! fie! Mister Nokes,--for shame, Mister Nokes!
    To be poking your fun at us plain-dealing folks--
    Sir, this isn't a time to be cracking your jokes,
    And such jesting, your malice but scurvily cloaks;
    Such a trumpery tale every one of us smokes,
    And we know very well your whole story's a hoax!

    "Oh! what shall we do? oh! where will it end?
    Can nobody go? Can nobody send
    To Calais--or Bergen-op-zoom--or Ostend?
    Can't you go there yourself? Can't you write to a friend,
    For news upon which we may safely depend?"

    Huzzah! huzzah! one and eight-pence to pay
    For a letter from Hamborough, just come to say
    They descended at Weilburg about break of day;
    And they've lent them the palace there, during their stay,
    And the town is becoming uncommonly gay,
    And they're feasting the party, and soaking their clay
    With Johannisberg, Rudesheim, Moselle, and Tokay;
    And the landgraves, and margraves, and counts beg and prey
    That they won't think as yet, about going away;
    Notwithstanding, they don't mean to make much delay,
    But pack up the balloon in a waggon or dray,
    And pop themselves into a German "_po-shay_,"
    And get on to Paris by Lisle and Tournay;
    Where they boldly declare, any wager they'll lay,
    If the gas people there do not ask them to pay
    Such a sum as must force them at once to say "Nay,"
    They'll inflate the balloon in the Champs Elysées,
    And be back again here, the beginning of May.

    Dear me! what a treat for a juvenile _féte_!
    What thousands will flock their arrival to greet!
    There'll be hardly a soul to be seen in the street,
    For at Vauxhall the whole population will meet,
    And you'll scarcely get standing-room, much less a seat,
    For this all preceding attraction must beat:--

    Since, there they'll unfold, what we want to be told,
    How they cough'd, how they sneez'd, how they shiver'd with cold,
    How they tippled the "cordial," as racy and old
    As Hodges, or Deady, or Smith ever sold,
    And how they all then felt remarkably bold;
    How they thought the boil'd beef worth its own weight in gold;
    And how Mister Green was beginning to scold
    Because Mister Hollond would try to lay hold
    Of the moon, and had very near overboard roll'd.

    And there they'll be seen--they'll be all to be seen!
    The great-coats, the coffee-pot, mugs, and tureen!
    With the tight-rope, and fire-works, and dancing between,
    If the weather should only prove fair and serene.
    And there, on a beautiful transparent screen,
    In the middle you'll see a large picture of Green,
    With Holland on one side, who hired the machine,
    And Monk Mason on t'other, describing the scene;
    And Fame on one leg in the air, like a queen,
    With three wreaths and a trumpet, will over them lean;
    While Envy, in serpents and black bombazine,
    Looks on from below with an air of chagrin.

    Then they'll play up a tune in the Royal Saloon,
    And the people will dance by the light of the moon,
    And keep up the ball till the next day at noon;
    And the peer and the peasant, the lord and the loon,
    The haughty grandee, and the low picaroon,
    The six-foot life-guardsman, and little gossoon,
    Will all join in three cheers for the "monstre" balloon.



                     HANDY ANDY.

Andy Rooney was a fellow who had the most singularly ingenious knack of
doing every thing the wrong way; disappointment awaited on all affairs
in which he bore a part, and destruction was at his fingers' ends: so
the nick-name the neighbours stuck upon him was Handy Andy, and the
jeering jingle pleased them.

Andy's entrance into this world was quite in character with his after
achievements, for he was nearly the death of his mother. She survived,
however, to have herself clawed almost to death while her darling babby
was in arms, for he would not take his nourishment from the parent fount
unless he had one of his little red fists twisted into his mother's
hair, which he dragged till he made her roar; while he diverted the pain
by scratching her till the blood came, with the other. Nevertheless she
swore he was "the loveliest and sweetest craythur the sun ever shined
upon;" and when he was able to run about and wield a little stick, and
smash every thing breakable belonging to her, she only praised his
precocious powers, and used to ask, "Did ever any one see a darlin' of
his age handle a stick so bowld as he did?"

Andy grew up in mischief and the admiration of his mammy; but, to do him
justice, he never meant harm in the course of his life, and was most
anxious to offer his services on all occasions to any one who would
accept them; but they were only those who had not already proved Andy's
peculiar powers.

There was a farmer hard by in this happy state of ignorance, named Owen
Doyle, or, as he was familiarly called, _Owny na Coppal_, or, "Owen of
the Horses," because he bred many of these animals, and sold them at
the neighbouring fairs; and Andy one day offered his services to Owny
when he was in want of some one to drive up a horse to his house from a
distant "bottom," as low grounds by a river side are always called in
Ireland.

"Oh, he's wild, Andy, and you'd never be able to ketch him," said
Owny.--"Throth, an' I'll engage I'll ketch him if you'll let me go. I
never seen the horse I couldn't ketch, sir," said Andy.

"Why, you little spridhogue, if he took to runnin' over the long bottom,
it 'ud be more than a day's work for you to folly him."--"Oh, but he
won't run."

"Why won't he run?"--"Bekase I won't make him run."

"How can you help it?"--"I'll soother him."

"Well, you're a willin' brat, any how; and so go, and God speed you!"
said Owny.

"Just gi' me a wisp o' hay an' a han'ful iv oats," said Andy, "if I
should have to coax him."--"Sartinly," said Owny, who entered the stable
and came forth with the articles required by Andy, and a halter for the
horse also.

   [Illustration: Handy Andy]

"Now, take care," said Owny, "that you're able to ride that horse if you
get on him."--"Oh, never fear, sir. I can ride owld Lanty Gubbin's mule
betther nor any o' the other boys on the common, and he couldn't throw
me th' other day, though he kicked the shoes av him."

"After that you may ride any thing," said Owny: and indeed it was true;
for Lanty's mule, which fed on the common, being ridden slily by all the
young vagabonds in the neighbourhood, had become such an adept in the
art of getting rid of his troublesome customers, that it might be well
considered a feat to stick on him.

"Now, take grate care of him, Andy, my boy," said the farmer.--"Don't be
afeard sir," said Andy, who started on his errand in that peculiar pace
which is elegantly called a "sweep's trot;" and as the river lay between
Owny Doyle's and the bottom, and was too deep for Andy to ford at that
season, he went round by Dinny Dowling's mill, where a small wooden
bridge crossed the stream.

Here he thought he might as well secure the assistance of Paudeen, the
miller's son, to help him in catching the horse; an he looked about the
place until he found him, and, telling him the errand on which he was
going, said, "If you like to come wid me, we can both have a ride." This
was temptation sufficient for Paudeen, and the boys proceeded together
to the bottom, and they were not long in securing the horse. When they
had got the halter over his head, "Now," said Andy, "give me a lift on
him;" and accordingly by Paudeen's catching Andy's left foot in both
his hands clasped together in the fashion of a stirrup, he hoisted
his friend on the horse's back; and, as soon as he was secure there,
Master Paudeen, by the aid of Andy's hand contrived to scramble up after
him; upon which Andy applied his heels into the horse's side with many
vigorous kicks, and crying "Hurrup!" at the same time, endeavoured to
stimulate Owny's steed into something of a pace as he turned his head
towards the mill.

"Sure aren't you going to crass the river?" said Paudeen.--"No, I'm
going to lave you at home."

"Oh, I'd rather go up to Owny's, and it's the shortest way acrass the
river."--"Yes but I don't like--"

"Is it afeard you are?" said Paudeen.--"Not I, indeed," said Andy;
though it was really the fact, for the width of the stream startled him;
"but Owny towld me to take grate care o' the baste and I'm loath to wet
his feet."

"Go 'long wid you, you fool! what harm would it do him? Sure he's
neither sugar nor salt that he'd melt."

"Well, I won't, any how," said Andy, who by this time had got the
horse into a good high trot, that shook every word of argument out of
Paudeen's body; besides, it was as much as the boys could do to keep
their seats on Owny's Bucephalus, who was not long in reaching the
miller's bridge. Here voice and rein were employed to pull him in, that
he might cross the narrow wooden structure at a quiet pace. But whether
his double load had given him the idea of double exertion, or that the
pair of legs on each side sticking into his flanks (and perhaps the
horse was ticklish) made him go the faster, we know not: but the horse
charged the bridge as if an Enniskilliner were on his back, and an enemy
before him; and in two minutes his hoofs cluttered like thunder on the
bridge, that did not bend beneath him. No, it did _not_ bend, but it
broke: proving the falsehood of the boast, "I may break, but I won't
bend:" for, after all, the really strong may bend, and be as strong as
ever: it is the unsound, that has only the seeming of strength, that
breaks at last when it resists too long.

Surprising was the spin the young equestrians took over the ears of the
horse, enough to make all the artists of Astley's envious; and plump
they went into the river, where each formed his own ring, and executed
some comical "scenes in the circle," which were suddenly changed to
evolutions on the "flying cord" that Dinny Dowling threw the performers,
which became suddenly converted into a "tight rope" as he dragged
the _voltigeurs_ out of the water; and, for fear their blood might
be chilled by the accident, he gave them both an enormous thrashing
with the _dry_ end of the rope, just to restore circulation; and his
exertions, had they been witnessed, would have charmed the Humane
Society.

As for the horse, his legs stuck through the bridge, as though he had
been put in a _chiroplast_, and he went playing away on the water with
considerable execution, as if he were accompanying himself in the song
which he was squealing at the top of his voice. Half the saws, hatchets,
ropes, and poles in the parish were put in requisition immediately; and
the horse's first lesson in _chiroplastic_ exercise was performed with
no other loss than some skin and a good deal of hair. Of course Andy did
not venture on taking Owny's horse home; so the miller sent him to his
owner with an account of the accident. Andy for years kept out of Owny
na Coppal's way; and at any time that his presence was troublesome, the
inconvenienced party had only to say, "Isn't that Owny na Coppal coming
this way?" and Andy fled for his life,

When Andy grew up to what in country parlance is called "a brave lump
of a boy," his mother thought he was old enough to do something for
himself; so she took him one day along with her to the squire's, and
waited outside the door, loitering up and down the yard behind the
house, among a crowd of beggars and great lazy dogs that were thrusting
their herds into every iron pot that stood outside the kitchen door,
until chance might give her "a sight o' the squire afore he wint out
or afore he wint in;" and, after spending her entire day in this idle
way, at last the squire made his appearance, and Judy presented her son,
who kept scraping his foot, and pulling his forelock, that stuck out
like a piece of ragged thatch from his forehead, making his obeisance
to the squire, while his mother was sounding his praises for being the
"handiest craythur alive--and so willin'--nothing comes wrong to him."

"I suppose the English of all this is, you want me to take him?" said
the squire.--"Throth, an' your honour, that's just it--if your honour
would be plazed."

"What can he do?"--"Anything, your honour."

"That means _nothing_, I suppose," said the squire.--"Oh, no, sir.
Everything, I mane, that you would desire him to do."

To every one of these assurances on his mother's part Andy made a bow
and a scrape.

"Can he take care of horses?"--"The best of care, sir," said the mother,
while the miller, who was standing behind the squire waiting for orders,
made a grimace at Andy, who was obliged to cram his face to his hat to
hide the laugh, which he could hardly smother from being heard, as well
as seen.

"Let him come, then, and help in the stables, and we'll see what he can
do."--"May the Lord--"

"That'll do--there, now go."--"Oh, sure, but I'll pray for you, and--"

"Will you go?"--"And may angels make your honour's bed this blessed
night, I pray!"

"If you don't go, your son shan't come."

Judy and her hopeful boy turned to the right-about in double-quick time,
and hurried down the avenue.

The next day Andy was duly installed into his office of stable-helper;
and, as he was a good rider, he was soon made whipper-in to the hounds,
as there was a want of such a functionary in the establishment; and
Andy's boldness in this capacity made him soon a favourite with the
squire, who was one of those rollicking boys on the pattern of the old
school, who scorned the attentions of a regular valet, and let any one
that chance threw in his way bring him his boots, or his hot water for
shaving, or his coat, whenever it _was_ brushed. One morning, Andy, who
was very often the attendant on such occasions, came to his room with
hot water. He tapped at the door.

"Who's that?" said the squire, who was but just risen, and did not know
but it might be one of the women servants.--"It's me, sir."

"Oh--Andy! Come in."--"Here's the hot wather, sir," said Andy, bearing
an enormous tin can.

"Why, what the d--l brings that tin can here? You might as well bring
the stable-bucket."--"I beg your pardon, sir," said Andy retreating. In
two minutes more Andy came back, and, tapping at the door, put in his
head cautiously, and said, "The maids in the kitchen, your honour, says
there's not so much hot wather ready."

"Did I not see it a moment since in your hands?"--"Yes, sir, but that's
not nigh the full o' the stable-bucket."

"Go along, you stupid thief! and get me some hot water directly."--"Will
the can do, sir?"

"Ay, anything, so you make haste."

Off posted Andy, and back he came with the can.

"Where'll I put it, sir?"--"Throw this out," said the squire, handing
Andy a jug containing some cold water, meaning the jug to be replenished
with the hot.

Andy took the jug, and, the window of the room being open, he very
deliberately threw the jug out. The squire stared with wonder, and at
last said,

"What did you do that for?"--"Sure you _towld_ me to throw it out, sir."

"Go out of this, you thick-headed villain!" said the squire, throwing
his boots at Andy's head, along with some very neat curses. Andy
retreated, and thought himself a very ill-used person.

Though Andy's regular business was "whipper-in," yet he was liable to
be called on for the performance of various other duties: he sometimes
attended at table when the number of guests required that all the subs
should be put in requisition, or rode on some distant errand for "the
mistress," or drove out the nurse and children on the jaunting-car; and
many were the mistakes, delays, or accidents arising from Handy Andy's
interference in such matters; but, as they were never serious, and
generally laughable, they never cost him the loss of his place or the
squire's favour, who rather enjoyed Andy's blunders.

The first time Andy was admitted into the mysteries of the dining-room,
great was his wonder. The butler took him in to give him some previous
instructions, and Andy was so lost in admiration at the sight of the
assembled glass and plate, that he stood with his mouth and eyes wide
open, and scarcely heard a word that was said to him. After the head-man
had been dinning his instructions into him for some time, he said he
might go until his attendance was required. But Andy moved not; he stood
with his eyes fixed by a sort of fascination on some object that seemed
to rivet them with the same unaccountable influence that the snake
exercises over its victim.

"What are you looking at?" said the butler.--"Them things, sir," said
Andy, pointing to some silver forks.

"Is it the forks?" said the butler.--"Oh no, sir! I know what forks is
very well; but I never seen them things afore."

"What things do you mean?"--"These things, sir," said Andy, taking up
one of the silver forks, and turning it round and round in his hand
in utter astonishment, while the butler grinned at his ignorance, and
enjoyed his own superior knowledge.

"Well!" said Andy, after a long pause, "the divil be from me if ever I
seen a silver spoon split that way before."

The butler laughed a horse-laugh, and made a standing joke of Andy's
split spoon; but time and experience made Andy less impressed with
wonder at the show of plate and glass, and the split spoons became
familiar as 'household words' to him; yet still there were things in
the duties of table attendance beyond Andy's comprehension,--he used to
hand cold plates for fish, and hot plates for jelly, &c. But 'one day,'
as Zanga says,--'one day' he was thrown off his centre in a remarkable
degree by a bottle of soda water.

It was when that combustible was first introduced into Ireland as a
dinner beverage that the occurrence took place, and Andy had the luck to
be the person to whom a gentlemen applied for some soda-water.

"Sir?" said Andy.--"Soda-water," said the guest, in that subdued tone in
which people are apt to name their wants at a dinner-table.

Andy went to the butler. "Mr. Morgan, there's a gintleman----"--"Let me
alone, will you?" said Mr. Morgan.

Andy manoeuvred round him a little longer, and again essayed to be
heard.

"Mr. Morgan!"--"Don't you see I'm as busy as I can be! Can't you do it
yourself?"

"I dunna what he wants."--"Well, go and ax him," said Mr. Morgan.

Andy went off as he was bidden, and came behind the thirsty gentleman's
chair, with "I beg your pardon sir."

"Well!" said the gentleman.

"I beg your pardon, sir; but what's this you ax'd me for?"--"Soda-water."

"What, sir?"--"Soda-water; but, perhaps, you have not any."

"Oh, there's plenty in the house, sir! Would you like it hot, sir."

The gentleman laughed, and, supposing the new fashion was not understood
in the present company, said "Never mind."

But Andy was too anxious to please, to be so satisfied, and again
applied to Mr. Morgan.

"Sir!" said he.--"Bad luck to you! can't you let me alone?"

"There's a gintleman wants some soap and wather."

"Some what?"--"Soap and wather, sir."

"Divil sweep you!--Soda-wather you mane. You'll get it under the
sideboard."

"Is it in the can, sir?"--"The curse o' Crum'll on you--in the bottles."

"Is this it, sir?" said Andy, producing a bottle of ale.--"No, bad cess
to you!--the little bottles."

"Is it the little bottles with no bottoms, sir?"--"I wish _you_ wor in
the bottom o' the say!" said Mr. Morgan, who was fuming and puffing,
and rubbing down his face with his napkin, as he was hurrying to all
quarters of the room, or, as Andy said, in praising his activity, that
he was "like bad luck,--everywhere."

"There they are!" said Morgan, at last.

"Oh! them bottles that won't stand," said Andy; "sure, them's what I
said, with no bottoms to them. How'll I open it--it's tied down?"--"Cut
the cord, you fool!"

Andy did as he was desired; and he happened at the time to hold the
bottle of soda-water on a level with the candles that shed light over
the festive board from a large silver branch, and the moment he made the
incision, bang went the bottle of soda, knocking out two of the lights
with the projected cork, which, performing its parabola the length of
the room, struck the squire himself in the eye at the foot of the table,
while the hostess at the head had a cold-bath down her back. Andy, when
he saw the soda-water jumping out of the bottle, held it from him at
arm's length; every fizz it made, exclaiming, "Ow!--ow!--ow!" and, at
last, when the bottle was empty, he roared out, "Oh, Lord!--it's all
gone!"

Great was the commotion;--few could resist laughter except the ladies,
who all looked at their gowns, not liking the mixture of satin and
soda-water. The extinguished candles were relighted,--the squire got his
eye open again,--and, the next time he perceived the butler sufficiently
near to speak to him, he said, in a low and hurried tone of deep anger,
while he knit his brow, "Send that fellow out of the room!" but, within
the same instant, resumed the former smile, that beamed on all around as
if nothing had happened.

Andy was expelled the _salle à manger_ in disgrace, and for days kept
out of his master's and mistress's way: in the mean time the butler
made a good story of the thing in the servants' hall; and, when he held
up Andy's ignorance to ridicule, by telling how he asked for "soap and
water," Andy was given the name of "Suds," and was called by no other,
for months after.

But, though Andy's function in the interior were suspended, his services
in out-of-door affairs were occasionally put in requisition. But here
his evil genius still haunted him, and he put his foot in a piece of
business his master sent him upon one day, which was so simple as to
defy almost the chance of Andy making any mistake about it; but Andy was
very ingenious in his own particular line.

"Ride into the town, and see if there's a letter for me," said the
squire, one day, to our hero.--"Yis, sir."

"You know where to go?"--"To the town, sir."

"But do you know where to go in the town?"--"No, sir."

"And why don't you ask, you stupid thief?"--"Sure, I'd find out, sir."

"Didn't I often tell you to ask what you're to do, when you don't
know?"--"Yis, sir."

"And why don't you?"--"I don't like to be throublesome, sir."

"Confound you!" said the squire; though he could not help laughing at
Andy's excuse for remaining in ignorance.

"Well," continued he, "go to the post-office. You know the post-office,
I suppose?"--"Yis, sir; where they sell gunpowdher."

"You're right for once," said the squire; for his Majesty's postmaster
was the person who had the privilege of dealing in the aforesaid
combustible. "Go then to the post-office, and ask for a letter for me.
Remember,--not gunpowder, but a letter."

"Yis, sir," said Andy, who got astride of his hack, and trotted away to
the post-office. On arriving at the shop of the postmaster, (for that
person carried on a brisk trade in groceries, gimlets, broad-cloth, and
linen-drapery,) Andy presented himself at the counter, and said,

"I want a letther, sir, if you plase."

"Who do you want it for?" said the postmaster, in a tone which Andy
considered an aggression upon the sacredness of private life: so Andy
thought the coolest contempt he could throw upon the prying impertinence
of the postmaster was to repeat his question.

"I want a letther, sir, if you plase."

"And who do you want it for?" repeated the postmaster.

"What's that to you?" said Andy.

The postmaster, laughing at his simplicity, told him he could not tell
what letter to give him unless he told him the direction.

"The directions I got was to get a letther here,--that's the directions."

"Who gave you those directions?"--"The masther."

"And who's your master?"--"What consarn is that o' yours?"

"Why, you stupid rascal! if you don't tell me his name, how can I give
you a letter?"--"You could give it if you liked; but you're fond of
axin' impidint questions, bekase you think I'm simple."

"Go along out o' this. Your master must be as great a goose as yourself
to send such a messenger."--"Bad luck to your impidince!" said Andy; "is
it Squire Egan you dar to say goose to?"

"Oh, Squire Egan's your master, then?"--"Yis; have you anything to say
agin it?"

"Only that I never saw you before."--"Faith, then you'll never see me
agin if I have my own consint."

"I won't give you any letter for the squire, unless I know you're his
servant. Is there any one in the town knows you?"--"Plenty," said Andy;
"it's not every one is as ignorant as you."

Just at this moment a person entered the house to get a letter, to
whom Andy was known; and he vouched to the postmaster that the account
he gave of himself was true.--"You may give him the squire's letter.
Have you one for me?"--"Yes, sir," said the postmaster, producing one:
"fourpence."

The new-comer paid the fourpence postage, and left the shop with his
letter.

"Here's a letter for the squire," said the postmaster. "You've to pay me
elevenpence postage."

"What 'ud I pay elevenpence for?"--"For postage."

"To the divil wid you! Didn't I see you give Mr. Delany a letther for
fourpence this minit, and a bigger letther than this; and now you want
me to pay elevenpence for this scrap of a thing. Do you think I'm a
fool?"

"No; but I'm sure of it," said the postmaster.--"Well, you're welkim to
think what you plase; but don't be delayin' me now; here's fourpence for
you, and gi' me the letther."

"Go along, you stupid thief!" said the postmaster, taking up the letter,
and going to serve a customer with a mousetrap.

While this person and many others were served, Andy lounged up and down
the shop, every now and then putting in his head in the middle of the
customers, and saying, "Will you gi' me the letther?"

He waited for above half an hour, in defiance of the anathemas of the
postmaster, and at last left, when he found it impossible to get the
common justice for his master which he thought he deserved as well as
another man; for, under this impression, Andy determined to give no more
than the fourpence.

The squire in the mean time was getting impatient for his return,
and, when Andy made his appearance, asked if there was a letter for
him.--"There is, sir," said Andy.

"Then give it to me."--"I haven't it, sir."

"What do you mean?"--"He wouldn't give it to me, sir."

"Who wouldn't give it to you?"--"That owld chate beyant in the
town,--wanting to charge double for it."

"Maybe it's a double letter. Why the devil didn't you pay what he asked,
sir?"--"Arrah, sir, why would I let you be chated. It's not a double
letther at all: not above half the size o' one Mr. Delany got before my
face for fourpence."

"You'll provoke me to break your neck some day, you vagabond! Ride back
for your life, you omadhaun! and pay whatever he asks, and get me the
letter."--"Why, sir, I tell you he was sellin' them before my face for
fourpence a-piece."

"Go back, you scoundrel! or I'll horsewhip you; and if you're longer
than an hour, I'll have you ducked in the horse-pond!"

Andy vanished, and made a second visit to the post-office. When he
arrived, two other persons were getting letters, and the postmaster was
selecting the epistles for each, from a parcel of them that lay before
him on the counter; at the same time many shop customers were waiting to
be served.

"I'm for that letther," said Andy.--"I'll attend to you by-and-by."

"The masther's in a hurry."--"Let him wait till his hurry's over."

"He'll murther me if I'm not back soon."--"I'm glad to hear it."

While the postmaster went on with such provoking answers to these
appeals for despatch, Andy's eye caught the heap of letters that lay on
the counter; so, while certain weighing of soap and tobacco was going
forward, he contrived to become possessed of two letters from the heap;
and, having effected that, waited patiently enough until it was the
great man's pleasure to give him the missive directed to his master.

Then did Andy bestride his hack, and, in triumph at his trick on the
postmaster, rattle along the road homeward as fast as his hack could
carry him. He came into the squire's presence, his face beaming with
delight, and an air of self-satisfied superiority in his manner, quite
unaccountable to his master, until he pulled forth his hand, which had
been grubbing up his prizes from the bottom of his pocket; and holding
three letters over his head, while he said "Look at that!" he next
slapped them down under his broad fist on the table before the squire,
saying,

"Well! if he did make me pay elevenpence, by gor, I brought your honour
the worth o' your money, any how!"



       THE LEGEND OF MANOR HALL
   BY THE AUTHOR OF "HEADLONG HALL."

    Old Farmer Wall, of Manor Hall,
      To market drove his wain:
    Along the road it went well stowed
      With sacks of golden grain.

    His station he took, but in vain did he look
      For a customer all the morn;
    Though the farmers all, save Farmer Wall,
      They sold off all their corn.

    Then home he went sore discontent,
      And many an oath he swore,
    And he kicked up rows with his children and spouse,
      When they met him at the door.

    Next market-day, he drove away
      To the town his loaded wain:
    The farmers all, save Farmer Wall,
      They sold off all their grain.

    No bidder he found, and he stood astound
      At the close of the market-day,
    When the market was done, and the chapmen were gone
      Each man his several way.

    He stalked by his load along the road;
      His face with wrath was red:
    His arms he tossed, like a goodman crossed
      In seeking his daily bread.

    His face was red, and fierce was his tread,
      And with lusty voice cried he:
    "My corn I'll sell to the devil of hell,
      If he'll my chapman be."

    These words he spoke just under an oak
      Seven hundred winters old;
    And he straight was aware of a man sitting there
      On the roots and grassy mould.

    The roots rose high o'er the green-sward dry,
      And the grass around was green,
    Save just the space of the stranger's place,
      Where it seemed as fire had been.

    All scorched was the spot, as gipsy-pot
      Had swung and bubbled there:
    The grass was marred, the roots were charred,
      And the ivy stems were bare.

    The stranger up-sprung: to the farmer he flung
      A loud and friendly hail,
    And he said, "I see well, thou hast corn to sell,
      And I'll buy it on the nail."

    The twain in a trice agreed on the price;
      The stranger his earnest paid,
    And with horses and wain to come for the grain
      His own appointment made.

    The farmer cracked his whip, and tracked
      His way right merrily on:
    He struck up a song, as he trudged along,
      For joy that his job was done.

    His children fair he danced in the air;
      His heart with joy was big;
    He kissed his wife; he seized a knife,
      He slew a suckling pig.

    The faggots burned, the porkling turned
      And crackled before the fire;
    And an odour arose, that was sweet in the nose
      Of a passing ghostly friar.

    He twirled at the pin, he entered in,
      He sate down at the board;
    The pig he blessed, when he saw it well dressed,
      And the humming ale out-poured.

    The friar laughed, the friar quaffed,
      He chirped like a bird in May;
    The farmer told how his corn he had sold
      As he journeyed home that day.

    The friar he quaffed, but no longer he laughed,
      He changed from red to pale:
    "Oh, helpless elf! 'tis the fiend himself
      To whom thou hast made thy sale!"

    The friar he quaffed, he took a deep draught;
      He crossed himself amain:
    "Oh, slave of pelf! 'tis the devil himself
      To whom thou hast sold thy grain!"

    "And sure as the day, he'll fetch thee away,
      With the corn which thou hast sold,
    If thou let him pay o'er one tester more
      Than thy settled price in gold."

    The farmer gave vent to a loud lament,
      The wife to a long outcry;
    Their relish for pig and ale was flown;
      The friar alone picked every bone,
    And drained the flagon dry.

    The friar was gone: the morning dawn
      Appeared, and the stranger's wain
    Come to the hour, with six-horse power,
      To fetch the purchased grain.

    The horses were black: on their dewy track
      Light steam from the ground up-curled;
    Long wreaths of smoke from their nostrils broke,
      And their tails like torches whirled.

    More dark and grim, in face and limb,
      Seemed the stranger than before,
    As his empty wain, with steeds thrice twain,
      Drew up to the farmer's door.

    On the stranger's face was a sly grimace,
      As he seized the sacks of grain;
    And, one by one, till left were none,
      He tossed them on the wain.

    And slily he leered, as his hand up-reared
      A purse of costly mould,
    Where, bright and fresh, through a silver mesh,
      Shone forth the glistering gold.

    The farmer held out his right hand stout,
      And drew it back with dread;
    For in fancy he heard each warning word
      The supping friar had said.

    His eye was set on the silver net;
      His thoughts were in fearful strife;
    When, sudden as fate, the glittering bait
      Was snatched by his loving wife.

    And, swift as thought, the stranger caught
      The farmer his waist around,
    And at once the twain and the loaded wain
      Sank through the rifted ground.

    The gable-end wall of Manor Hall
      Fell in ruins on the place:
    That stone-heap old the tale has told
      To each succeeding race.

    The wife gave a cry that rent the sky
      At her goodman's downward flight;
    But she held the purse fast, and a glance she cast
      To see that all was right.

    'Twas the fiend's full pay for her goodman grey,
      And the gold was good and true;
    Which made her declare, that "his dealings were fair,
      To give the devil his due."

    She wore the black pall for Farmer Wall,
      From her fond embraces riven:
    But she won the vows of a younger spouse
      With the gold which the fiend had given.

    Now, farmers, beware what oaths you swear
      When you cannot sell your corn;
    Lest, to bid and buy, a stranger be nigh,
      With hidden tail and horn.

    And, with good heed, the moral a-read,
      Which is of this tale the pith,
    If your corn you sell to the fiend of hell,
      You may sell yourself therewith.

    And if by mishap you fall in the trap,--
      Would you bring the fiend to shame,
    Lest the tempting prize should dazzle her eyes,
      Lock up your frugal dame.



   TERENCE O'SHAUGHNESSY'S FIRST ATTEMPT TO GET MARRIED.
           BY THE AUTHOR OF "STORIES OF WATERLOO."

Yes--here I am, Terence O'Shaughnessy, an honest major of foot, five
feet eleven and a half, and forty-one, if I only live till Michaelmas.
Kicked upon the world before the down had blackened on my chin, Fortune
and I have been wrestling from the cradle;--and yet I had little
to tempt the jade's malevolence. The youngest son of an excellent
gentleman, who, with an ill-paid rental of twelve hundred pounds, kept
his wife in Bath, and his hounds in Tipperary, my patrimony would
have scarcely purchased tools for a highwayman, when in my tenth year
my father's sister sent for me to Roundwood; for, hearing that I was
regularly going to the devil, she had determined to redeem me, if she
could.

My aunt Honor was the widow of a captain of dragoons, who got his
quietus in the Low Countries some years before I saw the light. His
relict had, in compliment to the memory of her departed lord, eschewed
matrimony, and, like a Christian woman, devoted her few and evil days
to cards and religion. She was a true specimen of an Irish dowager. Her
means were small, her temper short. She was stiff as a ramrod, and proud
as a field-marshal. To her, my education and future settlement in life
were entirely confided, as one brief month deprived me of both parents.
My mother died in a state of insolvency, greatly regretted by every body
in Bath to whom she was indebted; and before her disconsolate husband
had time to overlook a moiety of the card claims transmitted for his
liquidation, he broke his neck in attempting to leap the pound-wall of
Oranmore, for a bet of a rump and dozen. Of course he was waked, and
buried like a gentleman,--every thing sold off by the creditors--my
brothers sent to school--and I left to the tender mercy and sole
management of the widow of Captain O'Finn.

My aunt's guardianship continued seven years, and at the expiration of
that time I was weary of her thrall, and she tired of my tutelage. I
was now at an age when some walk of life must be selected and pursued.
For any honest avocation I had, as it was universally admitted, neither
abilities nor inclination. What was to be done? and how was I to be
disposed of? A short deliberation showed that there was but one path
for me to follow, and I was handed over to that _refugium peccatorum_,
the army, and placed as a volunteer in a regiment just raised, with a
promise from the colonel that I should be promoted to the first ensigncy
that became vacant.

Great was our mutual joy when Mrs. O'Finn and I were about to
part company. I took an affectionate leave of all my kindred and
acquaintances, and even, in the fulness of my heart, shook hands with
the schoolmaster, though in boyhood I had devoted him to the infernal
gods for his wanton barbarity. But my tenderest parting was reserved
for my next-door neighbour, the belle among the village beauties, and
presumptive heiress to the virtues and estates of Quartermaster MacGawly.

Biddy MacGawly was a year younger than myself; and, to do her justice,
a picture of health and comeliness. Lord! what an eye she had!--and her
leg! nothing but the gout would prevent a man from following it, to the
very end of Oxford-street. Biddy and I were next neighbours--our houses
joined--the gardens were only separated by a low hedge, and by standing
on an inverted flower-pot one could accomplish a kiss across it easily.
There was no harm in the thing--it was merely for the fun of trying an
experiment--and when a geranium was damaged, we left the blame upon the
cats.

Although there was a visiting acquaintance between the retired
quartermaster and the relict of the defunct dragoon, never had any
cordiality existed between the houses. My aunt O'Finn was so lofty in
all things appertaining to her consequence, as if she had been the widow
of a common-councilman; and Roger MacGawly, having scraped together a
good round sum, by the means quartermasters have made money since the
days of Julius Cæsar, was not inclined to admit any inferiority on his
part. Mrs. O'Finn could never imagine that any circumstances could
remove the barrier in dignity which stood between the non-commissioned
officer and the captain. While arguing on the saw, that "a living ass
is better than a dead lion," Roger contended that he was as good a
man as Captain O'Finn; he, Roger, being alive and merry in the town
of Ballinamore, while the departed commander had been laid under a
"counterpane of daisies" in some counterscarp in the Low Countries.
Biddy and I laughed at the feuds of our superiors; and on the evening
of a desperate blow-up, we met at sunset in the garden--agreed that the
old people were fools--and resolved that nothing should interrupt our
friendly relations. Of course the treaty was ratified with a kiss, for I
recollect that next morning the cats were heavily censured for capsizing
a box of mignonette.

No wonder then, that I parted from Biddy with regret. I sat with her
till we heard the quartermaster scrape his feet at the hall-door on his
return from his club, and kissing poor Biddy tenderly, as Roger entered
by the front, I levanted by the back-door. I fancied myself desperately
in love, and was actually dreaming of my dulcinea when my aunt's maid
called me before day, to prepare for the stage-couch that was to convey
me to my regiment in Dublin.

In a few weeks an ensigncy dropped in, and I got it. Time slipped
insensibly away--months became years--and three passed before I
revisited Ballinamore. I heard, at stated periods, from Mrs. O'Finn.
The letters were generally a detail of bad luck or bad health. For the
last quarter she had never marked honours--or for the last week closed
an eye with rheumatism and lumbago. Still, as these _jérémiades_ covered
my small allowance, they were welcome as a lover's billet. Of course, in
these despatches the neighbours were duly mentioned, and every calamity
occurring since her "last," was faithfully chronicled. The MacGawlys
held a conspicuous place in my aunt's quarterly notices. Biddy had got a
new gown--or Biddy had got a new piano--but since the dragoons had come
to town there was no bearing her. Young Hastings was never out of the
house--she hoped it would end well--but every body knew a light dragoon
could have little respect for the daughter of a quartermaster; and Mrs.
O'Finn ended her observations by hinting that if Roger went seldomer to
his club, and Biddy more frequently to mass, why probably in the end it
would be better for both of them.

I re-entered the well-remembered street of Ballinamore late in the
evening, after an absence of three years. My aunt was on a visit, and
she had taken that as a convenient season for having her domicile newly
painted. I halted at the inn, and after dinner strolled over the any to
visit my quondam acquaintances, the MacGawlys.

If I had intended a surprise, my design would have been a failure.
The quartermaster's establishment were on the _qui vive_. The fact
was, that since the removal of the dragoons, Ballinamore had been
dull as ditch-water; the arrival of a stranger in a post-chaise, of
course had created a sensation in the place, and, before the driver
had unharnessed, the return of Lieutenant O'Shaughnessy was regularly
gazetted, and the MacGawlys, in anticipation of a visit, were ready to
receive me.

I knocked at the door, and a servant with a beefsteak collar opened it.
Had Roger mounted a livery? Ay--faith--there it was; and I began to
recollect that my aunt O'Finn had omened badly from the first moment a
squadron of the 18th lights had entered Ballinamore.

I found Roger in the hall. He shook my hand, swore it was an agreeable
surprise, ushered me into the dining-room, and called for hot water and
tumblers. We sat down. Deeply did he interest himself in all that had
befallen me--deeply regret the absence of my honoured aunt--but I must
not stay at the inn, I should be his guest; and, to my astonishment,
it was announced that the gentleman in the red collar had been already
despatched to transport my luggage to the house. Excuses were idle.
Roger's domicile was to be head-quarters; and when I remembered my old
flame, Biddy, I concluded that I might for the short time I had to stay,
be in a less agreeable establishment than the honest quartermaster's.

I was mortified to hear that Biddy had been indisposed. It was a bad
cold, she had not been out for a month; but she would muffle herself and
meet me in the drawing-room. This, too, was unluckily a night of great
importance in the club. The new curate was to be balloted for; Roger had
proposed him; and, _ergo_, Roger, as a true man, was bound to be present
at the ceremony. The thing was readily arranged. We finished a second
tumbler, the quartermaster betook himself to the King's Arms, and the
lieutenant, meaning myself; to the drawing-room of my old inamorata.

There was a visible change in Roger's domicile. The house was newly
papered; and, leaving the livery aside, there was a greet increase of
gentility throughout the whole establishment. Instead of bounding to
the presence by three stairs at a time, as I used to do in lang syne, I
was ceremoniously paraded to the lady's chamber by him of the beefsteak
collar; and there, reclining languidly on a sofa, and wrapped in a
voluminous shawl, Biddy MacGawly held out her hand to welcome her old
confederate.

"My darling Biddy!"--"My dear Terence!" and the usual preliminaries
were got over. I looked at my old flame--she was greatly changed, and
three years had wrought a marvellous alteration. I left her a sprightly
girl--she was now a woman--and decidedly a very pretty one; although the
rosiness of seventeen was gone, and a delicacy that almost indicated
bad health had succeeded; "but," thought I, "it's all owing to the cold."

There was a guarded propriety in Biddy's bearing, that appeared almost
unnatural. The warm advances of old friendship were repressed; and
one who had mounted a flower-pot to kiss me across a hedge, recoiled
from any exhibition of our former tenderness. Well, it was all as it
should be. Then I was a boy, and now a man. Young women cannot be too
particular, and Biddy MacGawly rose higher in my estimation.

Biddy was stouter than she promised to be, when we parted, but the
eye was as dark and lustrous, and the ankle as taper as when it last
had demolished a geranium. Gradually her reserve abated; old feelings
removed a constrained formality--we laughed and talked--ay--and kissed
as we had done formerly; and when the old quartermaster's latch-key was
heard unclosing the street-door, I found myself admitting in confidence
and a whisper, that "I would marry if I could." What reply Biddy would
have returned, I cannot tell, for Roger summoned me to the parlour;
and as her cold prevented her from venturing down, she bade me an
affectionate good-night. Of course she kissed me at parting--and it was
done as ardently and innocently as if the hawthorn hedge divided us.

Roger had left his companions earlier than he usually did, in order
to honour me, his guest. The new butler paraded oysters, and down we
sat _tête-à-tête_. When supper was removed, and each had fabricated a
red-hot tumbler from the tea-kettle, the quartermaster stretched his
long legs across the hearth-rug, and with great apparent solicitude
inquired into all that had befallen me since I had assumed the
shoulder-knot and taken to the trade of war.

"Humph!"--he observed--"two steps in three years; not bad considering
there was neither money nor interest. D--it! I often wish that Biddy
was a boy. Never was such a time to purchase on. More regiments to be
raised, and promotion will be at a discount. Sir Hugh Haughton married
a stockbroker's widow with half a plum, and paid in the two thousand I
had lent him. Zounds! if Biddy were a boy, and that money well applied,
I would have her a regiment in a twelvemonth."

"Phew!" I thought to myself. "I see what the old fellow is driving at."

"There never would be such another opportunity," Roger continued. "An
increased force will produce an increased difficulty in effecting it.
Men will be worth their own weight in money; and d--me, a fellow who
could raise a few, might have any thing he asked for."

I remarked that, with some influence and a good round sum, recruits
might still be found.

"Ay, easy enough, and not much money either, if one knew how to go
about the thing. Get two or three smart chaps; let them watch fairs and
patterns, mind their hits when the bumpkins got drunk, and find out when
fellows were hiding from a warrant. D--me, I would raise a hundred,
while you would say Jack Robinson. Pay a friendly magistrate; attest the
scoundrels before they were sober enough to cry off, bundle them to the
regiment next morning; and if a rascal ran away after the commanding
officer passed a receipt for him, why all the better, for you could
relist him when he came home again."

I listened attentively, though in all this the cloven foot appeared. The
whole was the plan of a crimp; and, if Roger was not belied, trafficking
in "food for powder," had realized more of his wealth than slop-shoes
and short measure.

During the developement of his project for promotion, the quartermaster
and I had found it necessary to replenish frequently, and with the third
tumbler Roger came nearer to business.

"Often thought it a pity, and often said so in the club, that a fine
smashing fellow like you, Terence, had not the stuff to push you on.
What the devil signifies family, and blood, and all that balderdash.
There's your aunt, worthy woman; but sky-high about a dead captain.
D--me, all folly. Were I a young man, I'd get hold of some girl with
the wherewithal, and I would double-distance half the highfliers for a
colonelcy."

This was pretty significant--Roger had come to the scratch, and there
was no mistaking him. We separated for the night. I dreamed, and in
fancy was blessed with a wife, and honoured with a command. Nothing
could be more entrancing than my visions; and when the quartermaster's
_maître d'hôtel_ roused me in the morning, I was engaged in a friendly
argument with my beloved Biddy, as to which of his grandfathers our heir
should be called after, and whether the lovely babe should be christened
Roderick or Roger.

Biddy was not at breakfast; the confounded cold still confined her to
her apartment; but she hoped to meet me at dinner, and I must endure
her absence until then, as I best could. Having engaged to return at
five, I walked out to visit my former acquaintances. From all of them
I received a warm welcome, and all exhibited some surprise at hearing
that I was domesticated with the quartermaster. I comprehended the
cause immediately. My aunt and Roger had probably a fresh quarrel; but
his delicacy had prevented him from communicating it. This certainly
increased my respect for the worthy man, and made me estimate his
hospitality the more highly. Still there was an evident reserve touching
the MacGawlys; and once or twice, when dragoons were mentioned, I
fancied I could detect a significant look pass between the persons with
whom I was conversing.

It was late when I had finished my calls; Roger had requested me to
be regular to time, and five was fast approaching. I turned my steps
towards his dwelling-place, when, at a corner of a street, I suddenly
encountered an old schoolfellow on horseback, and great was our mutual
delight at meeting so unexpectedly. We were both hurried, however, and
consequently our greeting was a short one. After a few general questions
and replies, we were on the point of separating, when my friend pulled
up.

"But where are you hanging out?" said Frederick Maunsell. "I know your
aunt is absent."--"I am at old MacGawly's."

"The devil you are! Of course you heard all about Biddy and young
Hastings!"--"Not a syllable. Tell it to me."

"I have not time--it's a long story; but come to breakfast, and I'll
give you all the particulars in the morning. Adieu!" He struck the spurs
to his horse, and cantered off, singing--

    "Oh! she loved a bold dragoon,
    With his long sword, saddle, bridle."

I was thunderstruck. "Confound the dragoon!" thought I, "and his long
sword, saddle, and bridle, into the bargain. Gad! I wish Maunsell had
told me what it was. Well--what, suppose I ask Biddy herself?" I had
half resolved that evening to have asked her a very different question;
but, 'faith! I determined now to make some inquiries touching Cornet
Hastings of the 13th, before Miss Biddy MacGawly should be invited to
become Mrs. O'Shaughnessy.

My host announced that dinner was quite ready, and I found Biddy in
the eating-room. She was prettily dressed, as an invalid should be;
and, notwithstanding her cold, looked remarkably handsome. I should to
a certainty have been over head and ears in love, had not Maunsell's
innuendo respecting the young dragoon operated as a damper.

Dinner proceeded as dinners always do, and Roger was bent on
hospitality. I fancied that Biddy regarded me with some interest, while
momentarily I felt an increasing tenderness that would have ended, I
suppose, in a direct declaration, but for the monitory hint which I had
received from my old schoolfellow. I was dying to know what Maunsell's
allusion pointed at, and I casually threw out a feeler.

"And you are so dull, you say? Yes, Biddy, you must miss the dragoons
sadly. By the way, there was a friend of mine here. Did you know Tom
Hastings?"

I never saw an elderly gentleman and his daughter more confused. Biddy
blushed like a peony, and Roger seemed desperately bothered. At last the
quartermaster responded,

"Fact is--as a military man, showed the cavalry some
attention--constantly at the house--anxious to be civil--helped them
to make out forage--but d--d wild--obliged to cut, and keep them at a
distance."

"Ay, Maunsell hinted something of that."

I thought Biddy would have fainted, and Roger grew red as the footman's
collar.

"Pshaw! d--d gossiping chap that Maunsell. Young Hastings--infernal
hemp--used to ride with Biddy. Persuaded her to get on a horse of
his--ran away--threw her--confined at this inn for a week--never
admitted him to my house afterwards."

Oh! here was the whole mystery unravelled! No wonder Roger was
indignant, and that Biddy would redden at the recollection. It was
devilish unhandsome of Mr. Hastings; and I expressed my opinion in a way
that evidently pleased my host and his heiress, and showed how much I
disapproved of the conduct of that _roué_ the dragoon.

My fair friend rose to leave us. Her shawl caught in the chair, and I
was struck with the striking change a few years had effected in my old
playfellow. She was grown absolutely stout. I involuntarily noticed it.

"Lord! Biddy, how fat you are grown!"

A deeper blush than even when I named that luckless dragoon, flushed
to her very brows at the observation, while the quartermaster rather
testily exclaimed,

"Ay, she puts on her clothes as if they were tossed on with a pitchfork,
since she got this cold. D--it! Biddy. I say, tighten yourself, woman!
Tighten yourself, or I won't be plased!"

Well, here was a load of anxiety removed, and Maunsell's mischievous
innuendo satisfactorily explained away. Biddy was right in resenting
the carelessness that exposed her to ridicule and danger; and it was a
proper feeling in the old quartermaster to cut the man who would mount
his heiress on a break-neck horse. Gradually we resumed the conversation
of last night--there was the regiment, if I chose to have it--and when
Roger departed for the club, I made up my mind, while ascending the
stairs, to make a splice with Biddy, and become Colonel O'Shaughnessy.

Thus determined, I need not particularise what passed upon the sofa.
My wooing was short, sharp, and decisive; and no affected delicacy
restrained Biddy from confessing that the flame was mutual. My fears
had been moonshine; my suspicions groundless. Biddy had not valued
the dragoon a brass button; and--poor soul!--she hid her head upon my
shoulder, and, in a soft whisper, acknowledged that she never had cared
a _traneeine_[1] for any body in the wide world but myself!

It was a moment of exquisite delight. I told her of my prospects, and
mentioned the quartermaster's conversation. Biddy listened with deep
attention. She blushed--strove to speak--stopped--was embarrassed. I
pressed her to be courageous: and at last she deposited her head upon my
breast, and bashfully hinted that Roger was old--avarice was the vice
of age--he was fond of money--he was hoarding it certainly for her; but
still, it would be better that my promotion should be secured. Roger had
now the cash in his own possession. If we were married without delay,
it would be transferred at once; whereas something that might appear
to him advantageous, might offer, and induce her father to invest it.
But she was really shocked at herself--such a proposition would appear
so indelicate; but still, a husband's interests were too dear to be
sacrificed to maiden timidity.

I never estimated Biddy's worth till now. She united the foresight of a
sage with the devotion of a woman. I would have been insensible indeed,
had I not testified my regard and admiration; and Biddy was still
resting on my shoulder, when the quartermaster's latch-key announced his
return from the club.

After supper I apprised Roger of my passion for his daughter, and
modestly admitted that I had found favour in her sight. He heard my
communication, and frankly confessed that I was a son-in-law he most
approved of. Emboldened by the favourable reception of my suit, I
ventured to hint at an early day, and pleaded "a short leave between
returns," for precipitancy. The quartermaster met me like a man.

"When people wished to marry, why, delay was balderdash. Matters
could be quickly and quietly managed. His money was ready--no bonds
or post-obits--a clean thousand in hand, and another the moment an
opening to purchase a step should occur. No use in mincing matters among
friends. Mrs. O'Finn was an excellent woman: she was a true friend,
and a good Catholic; but, d---- it, she had old-world notions about
family, and in pride the devil was a fool to her. If she came home
before the ceremony, there would be an endless fuss; and Roger concluded
by suggesting that we should be married the next evening, and give my
honoured aunt an agreeable surprise."

That was precisely what I wanted; and a happier man never pressed a
pillow than I, after my interesting colloquy with the quartermaster.

The last morning of my celibacy dawned. I met Roger only at the
breakfast table; for my beloved Biddy, between cold and virgin
trepidation, was _hors de combat_, and signified in a tender billet her
intention to keep her chamber, until the happy hour arrived that should
unite us in the silken bonds of Hymen. The quartermaster undertook to
conduct the nuptial preparations; a friend of his would perform the
ceremony, and the quieter the thing was done the better. After breakfast
he set out to complete all matrimonial arrangements, and I strolled into
the garden to ruminate on my approaching happiness, and bless Heaven for
the treasure I was destined to possess in Biddy MacGawly.

No place could have been more appropriately selected for tender
meditation. _There_ was the conscious hedge, that had witnessed the
first kiss of love; ay, and for naught I knew to the contrary, the
identical flower-pot on which her sylphic form had rested; sylphic it
was no longer, for the slender girl had ripened into a stout and comely
gentlewoman; and she would be mine--mine that very evening.

"Ah! Terence," I said in an undertone, "few men at twenty-one have
drawn such a prize. A thousand pounds! ready cash--a regiment in
perspective--a wife in hand; and such a wife--young, artless, tender,
and attached. By everything matrimonial, you have the luck of thousands!"

My soliloquy was interrupted by a noise on the other side of the
fence. I looked over. It was my aunt's maid; and great was our mutual
astonishment. Judy blessed herself; as she ejaculated--"Holy Virgin!
Master Terence, is that you?"

I satisfied her of my identity, and learned to my unspeakable surprise
that my aunt had returned unexpectedly, and that she had not the
remotest suspicion that her affectionate nephew, myself, was cantoned
within pistol-shot. Without consideration I hopped over the hedge, and
next minute was in the presence of my honoured protectress, the relict
of the departed captain.

"Blessed angels!" exclaimed Mrs. O'Finn, as she took me to her arms,
and favoured me with a kiss, in which there was more blackguard[2] than
ambrosia. "Arrah! Terence, jewel; what the devil drove ye here? Lord
pardon me for mentioning him!"

"My duty, dear aunt. I am but a week landed from Jersey, and could not
rest till I got leave from the colonel to run down between returns, and
pay you a hurried visit. Lord! how well you look!"

"Ah! then, Terence, jewel, it's hard for me to look well, considering
the way I have been fretted by the tenants, and afflicted with the
lumbago. Denis Clark--may the widow's curse follow him wherever he
goes!--bundled off to America with a neighbour's wife, and a year and a
half's rent along with her, the thief! And then, since Holland tide, I
have not had a day's health."

"Well, from your looks I should never have supposed it. But you were
visiting at Meldrum Castle?"

"Yes, faith, and a dear visit it was. Nothing but half-crown whist,
and unlimited brag. Lost seventeen points last Saturday night. It was
Sunday morning, Lord pardon us for playing! But what was that to my luck
yesterday evening! Bragged twice for large pools, with red nines and
black knaves; and Mrs. Cooney, both times, showed natural aces! If ever
woman sold herself, she has. The Lord stand between us and evil! Well,
Terence, you'll be expecting your quarter's allowance. We'll make it out
somehow--Heigh-ho! Between bad cards and runaway tenants, I can't attend
to my soul as I ought, and Holy Week coming!"

I expressed due sympathy for her losses, and regretted that her health,
bodily and spiritual, was so indifferent.

"I have no good news for you, Terence," continued Mrs. O'Finn. "Your
brother Arthur is following your poor father's example, and ruining
himself with hounds and horses. He's a weak and wilful man, and nothing
can save him, I fear. Though he never treated me with proper respect, I
strove to patch up match between him and Miss MacTeggart. Five thousand
down upon the nail, and three hundred a year, failing her mother. I
asked her here on a visit, and, though he had ridden past without
calling on me, wrote him my plan, and invited him to meet her. What do
you think, Terence, was his reply? Why, that Miss MacTeggart might go to
Bath, for he would have no call to my swivel-eyed customers. There was
a return for my kindness! as if a woman with five thousand _down_, and
three hundred a year in expectation, was required to look straight. Ah!
Terence, I wish you had been here. She went to Dublin, and was picked up
in a fortnight."

Egad! here was an excellent opportunity to broach my own success. There
could be no harm in making the commander's widow a _confidante_; and,
after all, she had a claim upon me as my early protectress.

"My dear aunt, I cannot be surprised at your indignation. Arthur was a
fool, and lost an opportunity that never may occur again. In fact, my
dear madam, I intended to have given you an agreeable surprise. I--I--I
am on--the very brink of matrimony!"

"Holy Bridget!" exclaimed Mrs. O'Finn, as she crossed herself devoutly.

"Yes, ma'am. I am engaged to a lady with two thousand pounds."

"Is it _ready_, Terence?" said my aunt.--"Down on the table, before the
priest puts on his vestment."

"Arrah--my blessing attend ye, Terence. I knew you would come to good.
Is she young?"--"Just twenty."

"Is she good-looking?"--"More than that; extremely pretty, innocent, and
artless."

"Arrah--give me another kiss, for I'm proud of ye;" and Captain O'Finn's
representative clasped me in her arms.

"But the family, Terence; remember the old stock. Is she one of
us?"--"She is highly respectable. An only daughter, with excellent
expectations."

"What is her father, Terence?"--"A soldier, ma'am."

"Lord!--quite enough. He's by profession a gentleman; and we can't
expect to find every day, descendants from the kings of Connaught,
like the O'Shaughnessys and the O'Finns. But when is it to take place,
Terence?"--"Why, faith, ma'am, it was a bit of a secret; but I can keep
nothing from you."

"And why should ye? Haven't I been to you more than a mother, Terence?"

"I am to be married this evening."

"This evening! Holy Saint Patrick! and you're sure of the money? It's
not a rent-charge--nothing of bills or bonds?"

"Nothing but bank-notes; nothing but the _aragudh-sheese_."[3]

"Ogh! my blessing be about ye night and day. Arrah, Terence, what's her
name?"

"You'll not mention it. We want the thing done quietly."

"Augh, Terence; and do you think I would let any thing ye told me slip?
By this cross,"--and Mrs. O'Finn bisected the forefinger of her left
hand with the corresponding digit of the right one; "the face of clay
shall never be the wiser of any thing ye mention!"

After this desperate adjuration there was no refusing my aunt's request.

"You know her well,"--and I looked extremely cunning.

"Do I, Terence? Let me see--I have it. It's Ellen Robinson. No--though
her money's safe, there's but five hundred ready."

"Guess again, aunt."

"Is it Bessie Lloyd? No--though the old miller is rich as a Jew, he
would not part a guinea to save the whole human race, or make his
daughter a duchess."--"Far from the mark as ever, aunt."

"Well," returned Mrs. O'Finn, with sigh, "I'm fairly puzzled."

"Whisper!" and I playfully took her hand, and put my lips close to her
cheek. "It's--"

"Who?--who, for the sake of Heaven?"--"Biddy MacGawly!"

"Oh, Jasus!" ejaculated the captain's relict, as she sank upon a chair.
"I'm murdered! Give me my salts, there. Terence O'Shaughnessy, don't
touch me. I put the cross between us," and she made a crucial flourish
with her hand. "You have finished me, ye villain. Holy Virgin! what sins
have I committed, that I should be disgraced in my old age? Meat never
crossed my lips of a Friday; I was regular at mass, and never missed
confession; and, when the company were honest, played as fair as every
body else. I wish I was at peace with poor dear Pat O'Finn. Oh! murder!
murder!"

I stared in amazement. If Roger MacGawly had been a highwayman, his
daughter could not have been an object of greater horror to Mrs O'Finn.
At last I mustered words to attempt to reason with her, but to my
desultory appeals she returned abuse fit only for a pickpocket to
receive.

"Hear me, madam."--"Oh, you common _ommadawn_!"[4]

"For Heaven's sake, listen!"--"Oh! that the O'Finns and the
O'Shaughnessys should be disgraced by a mean-spirited _gommouge_[5] of
your kind!"

"You won't hear me."--"Biddy MacGawly!" she exclaimed. "Why, bad as
my poor brother, your father, was--and though he too married a devil
that has helped to ruin him, she was at all events a lady in her own
right, and cousin-german to Lord Lowestoffe. But--you--you unfortunate
disciple."

I began to wax warm, for my aunt complimented me with all the abuse she
could muster, and there never was a cessation but when her breath failed.

"Why, what have I done? What am I about doing?" I demanded.--"Just
going," returned Mrs. O'Finn, "to make a Judy Fitzsimmons mother of
yourself?"

"And is it," said I, "because Miss MacGawly can't count her pedigree
from Fin Macoul that she should not discharge the duties of a wife?"

My aunt broke in upon me.

"There's one thing certain, that she'll discharge the duties of a
mother. Heavens! if you had married a girl with only a _blast_,[6]
your connexions might brazen it out. But a woman in such a barefaced
condition!--as if her staying in the house these three months could
blind the neighbours, and close their mouths."

"Well, in the devil's name, will you say what objection exists to Biddy
MacGawly making me a husband to-night?"--"And a papa in three months
afterwards!" rejoined my loving aunt.

If a shell had burst in the bivouac, I could not have been more
electrified. Dark suspicions flashed across my mind--a host of
circumstances confirmed my doubts; and I implored the widow of the
defunct dragoon to tell me all she knew.

It was a simple, although, as far as I was concerned, not a flattering
narrative. Biddy had commenced an equestrian novitiate under the
tutelage of Lieutenant Hastings. Her progress in the art of horsemanship
was, no doubt, very satisfactory, and the pupil and the professor
frequently rode out _tête-à-tête_. Biddy, poor soul! was fearful of
exhibiting any _mal-addresse_, and of course, roads less frequented
than the king's highway were generally chosen for her riding lessons.
Gradually these excursions became more extensive; twilight, and in
summer too, often fell, before the quartermaster's heiress had returned;
and on one unfortunate occasion she was absent for a week. This caused
as desperate commotion in the town; the dowagers and old maids sat
in judgment on the case, and declared Biddy no longer visitable. In
vain her absence was ascribed to accident--a horse had run away--she
was thrown--her ankle sprained--and she was detained unavoidably at a
country inn until the injury was abated.

In this state of things the dragoons were ordered off; and it was
whispered that there had been a desperate blow-up between the young
lady's preceptor the lieutenant, and her papa the quartermaster. Once
only had Biddy ventured out upon the mall; but she was cut dead by
her quondam acquaintances. From that day she seldom appeared abroad;
and when she did, it was always in the evening, and even then closely
muffled up. No wonder scandal was rife touching the causes of her
seclusion. A few charitably ascribed it to bad health--others to
disappointment--but the greater proportion of the fair sex attributed
her confinement to the true cause, and whispered that Miss MacGawly was
"as ladies wished to be who love their lords."

Here was a solution to the mystery! It was now pretty easy to comprehend
why Biddy was swathed like a mummy, and Roger so ready with his cash. No
wonder the _demoiselle_ was anxious to abridge delay, and the old crimp
so obliging in procuring a priest and preparing all requisite matters or
immediate hymeneals. What was to be done? What, but denounce the frail
fair one, and annihilate that villain her father. Without a word or
explanation I caught up my hat, and left the house in a hurry, and Mrs.
O'Finn in a state of nervousness that threatened to become hysterical.

When I reached the quartermaster's habitation, I hastened to my own
apartment, and got my traps together in double-quick. I intended to have
abdicated quietly, and favoured the intended Mrs. O'Shaughnessy with an
epistle communicating the reasons that induced me to decline the honour
of her hand; but on the landing my worthy father-in-law cut off my
retreat, and a parting _tête-a-tête_ became unavoidable. He appeared in
great spirits at the success of his interview with the parson.

"Well, Terence, I have done the business. The old chap made a parcel of
objections; but he's poor as Lazarus--slily slipped him ten pounds, and
that quieted his scruples. He's ready at a moment's warning."--"He's a
useful person," I replied drily; "and all you want is a son-in-law."

"A what?" exclaimed the father of Miss Biddy.--"A son-in-law!"

"Why, what the devil do you mean?"--"Not a jot more or less than what I
say. You have procured the priest, but I suspect the bridegroom will not
be forthcoming."

"Zounds, sir! do you mean to treat my daughter with disrespect?"--"Upon
consideration, it would be hardly fair to deprive my old friend Hastings
of his pupil. Why, with another week's private tuition Biddy might offer
her services to Astley."

"Sir,--if you mean to be impertinent,--" and Roger began to bluster,
while the noise brought the footman to the hall, and Miss Biddy to the
banisters 'shawled to the nose.' I began to lose temper.

"Why, you infernal old crimp!"--"You audacious young scoundrel!"

"Oh, Jasus! gentlemen! Pace, for the sake of the blessed Mother!" cried
the butler from below.

"Father, jewel! Terence, my only love!" screamed Miss Biddy, over the
staircase. "What is the matter?"--"He wants to be off!" roared the
quartermaster.

"Stop, Terence, or you'll have my life to answer for."--"Lord, Biddy,
how fat you are grown!"

"You shall fulfil your promise," cried Roger, "or I'll write to the
Horse Guards, and memorial the commander-in-chief."--"You may memorial
your best friend, the devil, you old crimp!" and I forced my way to the
hall.

"Come back, you deceiver!" exclaimed Miss MacGawly.--"Arrah, Biddy, go
tighten yourself," said I.

"Oh, I'm fainting!" screamed Roger's heiress.

"Don't let him out!" roared her sire.

The gentleman with the beefsteak collar made a demonstration to
interrupt my retreat, and in return received a box on the ear that sent
him halfway down the kitchen stairs.

"There," I said, "give that to the old rogue, your master, with my best
compliments,"--and bounding from the hall-door, Biddy MacGawly, like
Lord Ullin's daughter, "was left lamenting!"

Well, there is no describing the _rookawn_[7] a blow-up like this,
occasioned in a country town. I was unmercifully quizzed; but the
quartermaster and his heiress found it advisable to abdicate. Roger
removed his household goods to the metropolis--Miss Biddy favoured him
in due time with a grandson; and when I returned from South America, I
learned that "this lost love of mine" had accompanied a Welsh lieutenant
to the hymeneal altar, who, not being "over-particular" about trifles,
had obtained on the same morning a wife, an heir, and an estate--with
Roger's blessing into the bargain.

[1] _Anglicè_, a jackstraw.

[2] Coarse Irish snuff.

[3] _Anglicè_, cash down.

[4] _Anglicè_, a fool.

[5] A simpleton.

[6] _Anglicè_, a flaw of the reputation.

[7] _Anglicè_, confusion



             REDDY O'DRYSCULL,
      SCHOOLMASTER AT WATER-GRASS-HILL,

           TO MR. BENTLEY, PUBLISHER.

SIR,--I write to you concerning the late P.P. of this parish--his soul
to glory! for, as Virgil says,--and devil a doubt of it,--

    _Candidus insuetum miratur limen Olympi,
    Sub pedibusque videt nubes et sidera pastor._

His RELIQUES, sir, in two volumes, have been sent down here from Dublin,
for the use of my boys, by order of the National _Education_ Board,
with directions to cram the spalpeens all at once with such a power of
knowledge that they may forget the hunger: which plan, between you and
me, (though I say it that oughtn't) is all sheer _bladderum-skate_:
for, as Juvenal maintains, _jejunus stomachus_, &c. &c.--an empty bag
won't stand; you must first fill it with praties. Give us a poor-law,
sir, and, trust me, you will hear no more about Rock and repeal; no, nor
of the _rint_, against which latter humbug the man of God set his face
outright during his honest and honourable lifetime; for, sir, though
he differed with Mr. Moore about Irish round towers, and a few French
roundelays, in _this_ they fully agreed.

As I understand, sir, that you are Publisher in ordinary to his Majesty,
I intend from time to time conveying through you to the ear of royalty
some _desiderata curiosa Hyberniæ_ from the pen of the deceased; matters
which remain _penès me, in scriniis_, to use the style of your great
namesake. For the present, I merely send you a few classic scraps
collected by Dr. Prout in some convent abroad; and, wishing every
success to your Miscellany, am your humble servant,
                                                      R. O'D.



                    SCRAP, No. 1.             _Water-grass-hill._

There flourishes, I hear, in London, a Mr. HUDSON, whose reputation
as a comic lyrist, it would seem, has firmly taken root in the great
metropolis. Many are the laughter-compelling productions of his merry
genius; but "_Barney Brallaghan's Courtship_" may be termed his
_opus magnum_. It has been my lot to pick a few dry leaves from the
laurel-wreath of Mr. Moore, who could well afford the loss: I know not
whether I can meddle rightly after a similar fashion with _Hudson's_
bay. Yet is there a strange coincidence of thought and expression,
and even metre, between the following remnant of antiquity, and his
never-sufficiently-to-be-encored song.

The original may be seen at Bobbio in the Apennines,--a Benedictine
settlement, well known as the earliest asylum opened to learning after
the fall of the Roman Empire. The Irish monk Colombanus had the merit
of founding it, and it long remained tenanted by natives of Ireland.
Among them it has been ascertained that DANTE lived for some time, and
composed Latin verses; but I cannot recognise any trace of _his_ stern
phraseology in the ballad. It appears rather the production of some
rustic of the Augustan age; perhaps one of Horace's ploughmen. It is
addressed to a certain Julia Callapygé, ([Greek: Kallipygê],) a name
which (for shortness I suppose) the rural poet contracts into Julia
"CALLAGÉ." I have diligently compared it with the vulgate version, as
sung by Fitzwilliam at the Freemasons' Tavern; and little doubt can
remain of its identity and authenticity.
                                                                P. P.



                 THE SABINE FARMER'S SERENADE;
      BEING A NEWLY RECOVERED FRAGMENT OF A LATIN OPERA.

               I.                           1.
    Erat turbida nox           'Twas on a windy night,
      Horâ secundâ mané          At two o'clock in the morning,
    Quando proruit vox         An Irish lad so tight,
      Carmen in hoc inané;       All wind and weather scorning,
    Viri misera mens           At Judy Callaghan's door,
      Meditabatur hymen,         Sitting upon the palings,
    Hinc puellæ flens          His love-tale he did pour,
      Stabat obsidens limen;     And this was part of his wailings:--

      _Semel tantum dic_        _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;     _You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_         _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.   _Charming Judy Callaghan._

              II.                           2.
    Planctibus aurem fer,      Oh! list to what I say,
      Venere tu formosior;       Charms you've got like Venus;
    Dic, hos muros per,        Own your love you may,
      Tuo favore potior!         There's but the wall between us.
    Voce beatum fac;           You lie fast asleep,
      En, dum dormis, vigilo,    Snug in bed and snoring;
    Nocte obambulans hâc       Round the house I creep,
      Domum planctu stridulo.   Your hard heart imploring.

      _Semel tantum dic_        _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;     _You'll have Mr. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_         _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.   _Charming Judy Callaghan._

             III.                           3.
    Est mihi prægnans sus,     I've got a pig and a sow,
      Et porcellis stabulum;     I've got a sty to sleep 'em;
    Villula, grex, et rus[8]   A calf and a brindled cow,
      Ad vaccarum pabulum;       And a cabin too, to keep 'em;
    Feriis cerneres me         Sunday hat and coat,
      Splendido vestimento,      An old grey mare to ride on;
    Tunc, heus! quàm benè te   Saddle and bridle to boot,
      Veherem in jumento![9]     Which you may ride astride on.

      _Semel tantum dic_        _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;     _You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_         _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.   _Charming Judy Callaghan._

              IV.                           4.
    Vis poma terræ? sum          I've got an acre of ground,
      Uno dives jugere;            I've got it set with praties;
    Vis lac et mella,[10] cùm    I've got of 'baccy a pound,
      Bacchi succo,[11] sugere?    I've got some tea for the ladies;
    Vis aquæ-vitæ vim?[12]       I've got the ring to wed,
      Plumoso somnum sacculo?[13]  Some whisky to make us gaily;
    Vis ut paratus sim           I've got a feather-bed
      Vel annulo vel baculo?[14]    And a handsome new shilelagh.

      _Semel tantum dic_         _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;      _You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_          _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.    _Charming Judy Callaghan._

                  V.                        5.
    Litteris operam das;         You've got a charming eye,
      Lucido fulges oculo;         You've got some spelling and reading;
    Dotes insuper quas           You've got, and so have I,
      Nummi sunt in loculo.        A taste for genteel breeding;
    Novi quad apta sis[15]       You're rich, and fair, and young,
      Ad procreandam sobolem!      As everybody's knowing;
    Possides (nesciat quis?)     You've got a decent tongue
      Linguam satis mobilem.[16]   Whene'er 'tis set a-going.

      _Semel tantum dic_         _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;      _You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_          _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.    _Charming Judy Callaghan._

               VI.                          6.
    Conjux utinam tu             For a wife till death
      Fieres, lepidum cor, mî!     I am willing to take ye;
    Halitum perdimus, heu,       But, och! I waste my breath,
      Te sopor urget. Dormi!       The devil himself can't wake ye.
    Ingruit imber trux--         'Tis just beginning to rain,
      Jam sub tecto pellitur       So I'll get under cover;
    Is quem crastina lux[17]     Tomorrow I'll come again,
      Referet hùc fidelitèr.       And be your constant lover.

      _Semel tantum dic_         _Only say_
    _Eris nostra_ LALAGÉ;      _You'll be Mrs. Brallaghan;_
      _Ne recuses sic,_          _Don't say nay,_
    _Dulcis Julia_ CALLAGÉ.    _Charming Judy Callaghan._


                          NOTULÆ.

[8] NOTUL. 1.

1º in _voce rus_. Nonne potiùs legendum _jus_, scilicet, _ad vaccarum
pabulum_? De hoc _jure_ apud Nabinos agricolas consule _Scriptores de re
rustied_ passim. Ita _Beatleius_.

Jus imo antiquissimum, at displicet vox æquivoca; jus etenim a _mess of
pottage_ aliquande audit, ex. gr.

Omne suum fratri Jacob _jus_ vendidit Esau,

Et Jacob fratri jus dedit omne suum. Itaque, pace Bentleii, stet lectio
prior.--_Prout._

[9] NOTUL. 2.

_Veherem in jumento._ Curriculo-ne? an ponè sedentem in equi dorso?
dorsaliter planè. Quid enim dicit Horatius de uxore sic vectà? Nonne
"_Post equitem sedet atra cura_"?--_Parson._

[10] NOTUL. 3.

_Lac et mella._ Metaphoricè pro _tea_: muliebris est compotatio Græcis
non ignota, teste Anacreonte,--

[Greek: ThEÊN, thian thiainên,] [Greek: Thilô ligein etairai, k. t. l.]
_Brougham._

[11] NOTUL. 4.

_Bacchi succo._ Duplex apud poetas antiquiores habebatur hujusce nominis
numen. Vineam regebat prius: posterius cuidam herbæ exoticæ pracerat quæ
_tobacco_ audit. Succus utrique optimus.--_Coleridge._

[12] NOTUL. 5.

_Aquæ-vitæ vim_, Anglo-Hybernicè, "_a power of whisky_," [Greek:
ischys], scilicet, vox pergracca. _Parr._

[13] NOTUL. 6.

_Plumoso sacco._ Plumarum congeriea certè ad somnos invitandos satis
apta; at mihi per multos annos laneus iste saccus, Ang. _woolsack_,
fuit apprimè ad dormiendum idoneus. Lites etlam _de iand ut aiunt
caprind_, soporiferas per annos xxx, exercui. Quot et quam præclara
somnia!--_Eldon._

[14] NOTUL. 7.

Investitura "_per annulum et baculum_" satis nota. Vide P. Marca de
Concord. Sacerdotii et Imperii: et Hildebrandi Pont. Max. bullarium.
_Prout._ Baculo certè dignissim. pontif.--_Maginn._

[15] NOTUL. 8.

_Apta sis._ Quemodo noverit? Vide Proverb. Solomonis cap. xxx. v. 19.
Nisi forsan tales fuerint puellæ Sabinorum quales impudens iste balatro
Connelius mentitur esse nostrates. _Blomfield._

[16] NOTUL. 9.

_Linguam mobilem._ Prius enumerat futuræ conjugis bona _immobilis_,
postea transit ad _mobilia_, Anglicè, _chattel property_. Præclares
orde sententiarum!--_Car. Wetherell._

[17] NOTUL. 10.

Allusio ad distichon Maronianum, "Nocte pluit totâ, _redeunt spectacula
manè_." _Prout._ [Greek: k. t. l.]

       *       *       *       *       *

  * *  Our Water-grass-hill correspondent will find scattered throughout
   *   our pages the other fragments of the defunct _Padre_ which he has
  placed at our disposal. Every chip from so brilliant an old block may
  be said to possess a lustre peculiarly its own; hence we have not
  feared to disperse them up and down our miscellany. They are
  "gems of the purest whiskey."--_Edit._

  [Illustration: Mr. Tulrumble as Mayor of Mudfog]



           PUBLIC LIFE OF MR. TULRUMBLE,
                ONCE MAYOR OF MUDFOG.

Mudfog is a pleasant town--a remarkably pleasant town--situated in
a charming hollow by the side of a river, from which river, Mudfog
derives an agreeable scent of pitch, tar, coals, and rope-yarn, a
roving population in oil-skin hats, a pretty steady influx of drunken
bargemen, and a great many other maritime advantages. There is a good
deal of water about Mudfog, and yet it is not exactly the sort of town
for a watering-place, either. Water is a perverse sort of element at
the best of times, and in Mudfog it is particularly so. In winter,
it comes oozing down the streets and tumbling over the fields,--nay,
rushes into the very cellars and kitchens of the houses, with a lavish
prodigality that might well be dispensed with; but in the hot summer
weather it _will_ dry up, and turn green: and, although green is a very
good colour in its way, especially in grass, still it certainly is not
becoming to water; and it cannot be denied that the beauty of Mudfog is
rather impaired, even by this trifling circumstance. Mudfog is a healthy
place--very healthy;--damp, perhaps, but none the worse for that. It's
quite a mistake to suppose that damp is unwholesome: plants thrive best
in damp situations, and why shouldn't men? The inhabitants of Mudfog
are unanimous in asserting that there exists not a finer race of people
on the face of the earth; here we have an indisputable and veracious
contradiction of the vulgar error at once. So, admitting Mudfog to be
damp, we distinctly state that it is salubrious.

The town of Mudfog is extremely picturesque. Limehouse and Ratcliffe
Highway are both something like it, but they give you a very faint idea
of Mudfog. There are a great many more public-houses in Mudfog,--more
than in Ratcliffe Highway and Limehouse put together. The public
buildings, too, are very imposing. We consider the Town-hall one of the
finest specimens of shed architecture, extant: it is a combination of
the pig-sty and tea-garden-box, orders; and the simplicity of its design
is of surpassing beauty. The idea of placing a large window on one side
of the door, and a small one on the other, is particularly happy. There
is a fine bold Doric beauty, too, about the padlock and scraper, which
is strictly in keeping with the general effect.

In this room do the mayor and corporation of Mudfog assemble together
in solemn council for the public weal. Seated on the massive wooden
benches, which, with the table in the centre, form the only furniture of
the whitewashed apartment, the sage men of Mudfog spend hour after hour
in grave deliberation. Here they settle at what hour of the night the
public-houses shall be closed, at what hour of the morning they shall
be permitted to open, how soon it shall be lawful for people to eat
their dinner on church-days, and other great political questions; and
sometimes, long after silence has fallen on the town, and the distant
lights from the shops and houses have ceased to twinkle, like far-off
stars, to the sight of the boatmen on the river, the illumination in
the two unequal-sized windows of the town-hall, warns the inhabitants
of Mudfog that its little body of legislators, like a larger and
better-known body of the same genus, a great deal more noisy, and not a
whit more profound, are patriotically dozing away in company, far into
the night, for their country's good.

Among this knot of sage and learned men, no one was so eminently
distinguished, during many years, for the quiet modesty of his
appearance and demeanour, as Nicholas Tulrumble, the well-known
coal-dealer. However exciting the subject of discussion, however
animated the tone of the debate, or however warm the personalities
exchanged, (and even in Mudfog we get personal sometimes,) Nicholas
Tulrumble was always the same. To say truth, Nicholas, being an
industrious man, and always up betimes, was apt to fall asleep when a
debate began, and to remain asleep till it was over, when he would wake
up very much refreshed, and give his vote with the greatest complacency.
The fact was, that Nicholas Tulrumble, knowing that everybody there, had
made up his mind beforehand, considered the talking as just a long hot
botheration about nothing at all; and to the present hour it remains a
question, whether, on this point at all events, Nicholas Tulrumble was
not pretty near right.

Time, which strews a man's head with silver, sometimes fills his pockets
with gold. As he gradually performed one good office for Nicholas
Tulrumble, he was obliging enough, not to omit the other. Nicholas began
life in a wooden tenement of four feet square, with a capital of two and
ninepence, and a stock in trade of three bushels and a-half of coals,
exclusive of the large lump which hung, by way of sign-board, outside.
Then he enlarged the shed, and kept a truck; then he left the shed, and
the truck too, and started a donkey and a Mrs. Tulrumble; then he moved
again and set up a cart; the cart was soon afterwards exchanged for a
waggon; and so he went on, like his great predecessor Whittington--only
without a cat for a partner--increasing in wealth and fame, until at
last he gave up business altogether, and retired with Mrs. Tulrumble and
family to Mudfog Hall, which he had himself erected, on something which
he endeavoured to delude himself into the belief was a hill, about a
quarter of a mile distant from the town of Mudfog.

About this time, it began to be murmured in Mudfog that Nicholas
Tulrumble was growing vain and haughty; that prosperity and success
had corrupted the simplicity of his manners, and tainted the natural
goodness of his heart; in short, that he was setting up for a public
character, and a great gentleman, and affected to look down upon his
old companions with compassion and contempt. Whether these reports were
at the time well-founded, or not, certain it is that Mrs. Tulrumble
very shortly afterwards started a four-wheel chaise, driven by a tall
postilion in a yellow cap,--that Mr. Tulrumble junior took to smoking
cigars, and calling the footman a "feller,"--and that Mr. Tulrumble from
that time forth, was no more seen in his old seat in the chimney-corner
of the Lighterman's Arms at night. This looked bad; but, more than
this, it began to be observed that Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble attended the
corporation meetings more frequently than heretofore; that he no longer
went to sleep as he had done for so many years, but propped his eyelids
open with his two fore-fingers; that he read the newspapers by himself
at home; and that he was in the habit of indulging abroad in distant
and mysterious allusions to "masses of people," and "the property of
the country," and "productive power," and "the monied interest:" all
of which denoted and proved that Nicholas Tulrumble was either mad, or
worse; and it puzzled the good people of Mudfog amazingly.

At length, about the middle of the month of October, Mr. Tulrumble and
family went up to London; the middle of October being, as Mrs. Tulrumble
informed her acquaintance in Mudfog, the very height of the fashionable
season.

Somehow or other, just about this time, despite the health-preserving
air of Mudfog, the Mayor died. It was a most extraordinary circumstance;
he had lived in Mudfog for eighty-five years. The corporation didn't
understand it at all; indeed it was with great difficulty that one
old gentleman, who was a great stickler for forms, was dissuaded from
proposing a vote of censure on such unaccountable conduct. Strange as
it was, however, die he did, without taking the slightest notice of
the corporation; and the corporation were imperatively called upon to
elect his successor. So, they met for the purpose; and being very full
of Nicholas Tulrumble just then, and Nicholas Tulrumble being a very
important man, they elected him, and wrote off to London by the very
next post to acquaint Nicholas Tulrumble with his new elevation.

Now, it being November time, and Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble being in the
capital, it fell out that he was present at the Lord Mayor's show and
dinner, at sight of the glory and splendour whereof, he, Mr. Tulrumble,
was greatly mortified, inasmuch as the reflection would force itself
on his mind, that, had he been born in London instead of in Mudfog, he
might have been a Lord Mayor too, and have patronised the judges, and
been affable to the Lord Chancellor, and friendly with the Premier,
and coldly condescending to the Secretary to the Treasury, and have
dined with a flag behind his back, and done a great many other acts
and deeds which unto Lord Mayors of London peculiarly appertain. The
more he thought of the Lord Mayor, the more enviable a personage he
seemed. To be a King was all very well; but what was the King to the
Lord Mayor? When the King made a speech, everybody knew it was somebody
else's writing; whereas here was the Lord Mayor talking away for half
an hour--all out of his own head--amidst the enthusiastic applause of
the whole company, while it was notorious that the King might talk to
his parliament till he was black in the face without getting so much
as a single cheer. As all these reflections passed through the mind of
Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble, the Lord Mayor of London appeared to him the
greatest sovereign on the face of the earth, beating the Emperor of
Russia all to nothing, and leaving the Great Mogul immeasurably behind.

Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble was pondering over these things, and inwardly
cursing the fate which had pitched his coal-shed in Mudfog, when the
letter of the corporation was put into his hand. A crimson flush mantled
over his face as he read it, for visions of brightness were already
dancing before his imagination.

"My dear," said Mr. Tulrumble to his wife, "they have elected me, Mayor
of Mudfog."

"Lor-a-mussy!" said Mrs. Tulrumble: "why, what's become of old Sniggs?"

"The late Mr. Sniggs, Mrs. Tulrumble," said Mr. Tulrumble sharply, for
he by no means approved of the notion of unceremoniously designating a
gentleman who had filled the high office of Mayor as "old Sniggs,"--"The
late Mr. Sniggs, Mrs. Tulrumble, is dead."

The communication was very unexpected; but Mrs. Tulrumble only
ejaculated "Lor-a-mussy!" once again, as if a Mayor were a mere ordinary
Christian, at which Mr. Tulrumble frowned gloomily.

"What a pity 'tan't in London, ain't it?" said Mrs. Tulrumble, after a
short pause; "what a pity 'tan't in London, where you might have had a
show."

"I _might_ have a show in Mudfog, if I thought proper, I apprehend,"
said Mr. Tulrumble mysteriously.

"Lor! so you might, I declare," replied Mrs. Tulrumble.

"And a good one, too," said Mr. Tulrumble.

"Delightful!" exclaimed Mrs. Tulrumble.

"One which would rather astonish the ignorant people down there," said
Mr. Tulrumble.

"It would kill them with envy," said Mrs. Tulrumble.

So it was agreed that his Majesty's lieges in Mudfog should be
astonished with splendour, and slaughtered with envy, and that such a
show should take place as had never been seen in that town, or in any
other town before,--no, not even in London itself.

On the very next day after the receipt of the letter, down came the
tall postilion in a post-chaise,--not upon one of the horses, but
inside--actually inside the chaise,--and, driving up to the very door
of the town-hall, where the corporation were assembled, delivered a
letter, written by the Lord knows who, and signed by Nicholas Tulrumble,
in which Nicholas said, all through four sides of closely-written,
gilt-edged, hot-pressed, Bath post letter-paper, that he responded to
the call of his fellow-townsmen with feelings of heartfelt delight;
that he accepted the arduous office which their confidence had imposed
upon him; that they would never find him shrinking from the discharge
of his duty; that he would endeavour to execute his functions with
all that dignity which their magnitude and importance demanded; and
a great deal more to the same effect. But even this was not all. The
tall postilion produced from his right-hand top-boot, a damp copy of
that afternoon's number of the county paper; and there, in large type,
running the whole length of the very first column, was a long address
from Nicholas Tulrumble to the inhabitants of Mudfog, in which he said
that he cheerfully complied with their requisition, and, in short, as
if to prevent any mistake about the matter, told them over again what
a grand fellow he meant to be, in very much the same terms as those in
which he had already told them all about the matter in his letter.

The corporation stared at one another very hard at all this, and then
looked as if for explanation to the tall postilion, but as the tall
postilion was intently contemplating the gold tassel on the top of his
yellow cap, and could have afforded no explanation whatever, even if
his thoughts had been entirely disengaged, they contented themselves
with coughing very dubiously, and looking very grave. The tall postilion
then delivered another letter, in which Nicholas Tulrumble informed the
corporation, that he intended repairing to the town-hall, in grand state
and gorgeous procession, on the Monday afternoon then next ensuing. At
this, the corporation looked still more solemn; but, as the epistle
wound up with a formal invitation to the whole body to dine with the
Mayor on that day, at Mudfog Hall, Mudfog Hill, Mudfog, they began to
see the fun of the thing directly, and sent back their compliments, and
they'd be sure to come.

Now there happened to be in Mudfog, as somehow or other there does
happen to be, in almost every town in the British dominions, and perhaps
in foreign dominions too--we think it very likely, but, being no great
traveller, cannot distinctly say--there happened to be, in Mudfog a
merry-tempered, pleasant-faced, good-for-nothing sort of vagabond,
with an invincible dislike to manual labour, and an unconquerable
attachment to strong beer and spirits whom everybody knew, and nobody,
except his wife, took the trouble to quarrel with, who inherited from
his ancestors the appellation of Edward Twigger, and rejoiced in the
_sobriquet_ of Bottle-nosed Ned. He was drunk upon the average once
a day, and penitent upon an equally fair calculation once a month;
and when he was penitent, he was invariably in the very last stage of
maudlin intoxication. He was a ragged, roving, roaring kind of fellow,
with a burly form, a sharp wit, and a ready head, and could turn his
hand to anything when he chose to do it. He was by no means opposed to
hard labour on principle, for he would work away at a cricket-match by
the day together,--running, and catching, and batting, and bowling, and
revelling in toil which would exhaust a galley-slave. He would have been
invaluable to a fire-office; never was a man with such a natural taste
for pumping engines, running up ladders, and throwing furniture out of
two-pair-of-stairs' windows: nor was this the only element in which he
was at home; he was a humane society in himself, a portable drag, an
animated life-preserver, and had saved more people, in his time, from
drowning, than the Plymouth life-boat, or Captain Manby's apparatus.
With all these qualifications, notwithstanding his dissipation,
Bottle-nosed Ned was a general favourite; and the authorities of Mudfog,
remembering his numerous services to the population, allowed him in
return to get drunk in his own way, without the fear of stocks, fine, or
imprisonment. He had a general licence, and he showed his sense of the
compliment by making the most of it.

We have been thus particular in describing the character and avocations
of Bottle-nosed Ned, because it enables us to introduce a fact politely,
without hauling it into the reader's presence with indecent haste by the
head and shoulders, and brings us very naturally to relate, that on the
very same evening on which Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble and family returned to
Mudfog, Mr. Tulrumble's new secretary, just imported from London, with
a pale face and light whiskers, thrust his head down to the very bottom
of his neckcloth-tie, in at the tap-room door of the Lighterman's Arms,
and enquiring whether one Ned Twigger was luxuriating within, announced
himself as the bearer of a message from Nicholas Tulrumble, Esquire,
requiring Mr. Twigger's immediate attendance at the hall, on private
and particular business. It being by no means Mr. Twigger's interest
to affront the Mayor, he rose from the fire-place with a slight sigh,
and followed the light-whiskered secretary through the dirt and wet of
Mudfog streets, up to Mudfog Hall, without further ado.

Mr. Nicholas Tulrumble was seated in a small cavern with a skylight,
which he called his library, sketching out a plan of the procession on
a large sheet of paper; and into the cavern the secretary ushered Ned
Twigger.

"Well, Twigger!" said Nicholas Tulrumble, condescendingly.

There was a time when Twigger would have replied, "Well, Nick!" but that
was in the days of the truck, and a couple of years before the donkey;
so, he only bowed.

"I want you to go into training, Twigger," said Mr. Tulrumble.

"What for, sir?" enquired Ned, with a stare.

"Hush, hush, Twigger!" said the Mayor. "Shut the door, Mr. Jennings.
Look here, Twigger."

As the Mayor said this, he unlocked a high closet, and disclosed a
complete suit of brass armour, of gigantic dimensions.

"I want you to wear this, next Monday, Twigger," said the Mayor.

"Bless your heart and soul, sir!" replied Ned, "you might as well ask me
to wear a seventy-four pounder, or a cast-iron boiler."

"Nonsense, Twigger! nonsense!" said the Mayor.

"I couldn't stand under it, sir," said Twigger; "it would make mashed
potatoes of me, if I attempted it."

"Pooh, pooh, Twigger!" returned the Mayor. "I tell you I have seen it
done with my own eyes, in London, and the man wasn't half such a man as
you are, either."

"I should as soon have thought of a man's wearing the case of an
eight-day clock to save his linen," said Twigger, casting a look of
apprehension at the brass suit.

"It's the easiest thing in the world," rejoined the Mayor.

"It's nothing," said Mr. Jennings.

"When you're used to it," added Ned.

"You do it by degrees," said the Mayor. "You would begin with one piece
to-morrow, and two the next day, and so on, till you had got it all on.
Mr. Jennings, give Twigger a glass of rum. Just try the breast-plate,
Twigger. Stay; take another glass of rum first. Help me to lift it, Mr.
Jennings. Stand firm, Twigger! There!--it isn't half as heavy as it
looks, is it?"

Twigger was a good strong, stout fellow; so, after a great deal of
staggering he managed to keep himself up, under the breast-plate, and
even contrived, with the aid of another glass of rum, to walk about in
it, and the gauntlets into the bargain. He made a trial of the helmet,
but was not equally successful, inasmuch he tipped over instantly,--an
accident which Mr. Tulrumble clearly demonstrated to be occasioned by
his not having a counteracting weight of brass on his legs.

"Now, wear that with grace and propriety on Monday next," said
Tulrumble, "and I'll make your fortune."

"I'll try what I can do, sir," said Twigger.

"It must be kept a profound secret," said Tulrumble.

"Of course, sir," replied Twigger.

"And you must be sober," said Tulrumble; "perfectly sober."

Mr. Twigger at once solemnly pledged himself to be as sober as a judge,
and Nicholas Tulrumble was satisfied, although, had we been Nicholas, we
should certainly have exacted some promise of a more specific nature;
inasmuch as, having attended the Mudfog assizes in the evening more than
once, we can solemnly testify to having seen judges with very strong
symptoms of dinner under their wigs. However, that's neither here nor
there.

The next day, and the day following, and the day after that, Ned Twigger
was securely locked up in the small cavern with the skylight, hard at
work at the armour. With every additional piece he could manage to
stand upright in, he had on additional glass of rum; and at last, after
many partial suffocations, he contrived to get on the whole suit, and
to stagger up and down the room in it, like an intoxicated effigy from
Westminster Abbey.

Never was man so delighted as Nicholas Tulrumble; never was woman so
charmed as Nicholas Tulrumble's wife. Here was a sight for the common
people of Mudfog! A live man in brass armour! Why, they would go wild
with wonder!

The day--_the_ Monday--arrived.

If the morning had been made to order, it couldn't have been better
adapted to the purpose. They never showed a better fog in London on
Lord Mayor's day, than enwrapped the town of Mudfog on that eventful
occasion. It had risen slowly and surely from the green and stagnant
water with the first light of morning, until it reached a little
above the lamp-post tops; and there it had stopped, with a sleepy,
sluggish obstinacy, which bade defiance to the sun, who had got up very
blood-shot about the eyes, as if he had been at a drinking-party over
night, and was doing his day's work with the worst possible grace. The
thick damp mist hung over the town like a huge gauze curtain. All was
dim and dismal. The church-steeples had bidden a temporary adieu to
the world below; and every object of lesser importance--houses, barns,
hedges, trees, and barges--had all taken the veil.

The church-clock struck one. A cracked trumpet from the front-garden
of Mudfog Hall produced a feeble flourish, as if some asthmatic person
had coughed into it accidentally; the gate flew open, and out came a
gentleman, on a moist-sugar coloured charger, intended to represent
a herald, but bearing a much stronger resemblance to a court-card on
horseback. This was one of the Circus people, who always came down to
Mudfog at that time of the year, and who had been engaged by Nicholas
Tulrumble expressly for the occasion. There was the horse, whisking his
tail about, balancing himself on his hind-legs, and flourishing away
with his fore-feet, in a manner which would have gone to the hearts and
souls of any reasonable crowd. But a Mudfog crowd never was a reasonable
one, and in all probability never will be. Instead of scattering the
very fog with their shouts, as they ought most indubitably to have
done, and were fully intended to do, by Nicholas Tulrumble, they no
sooner recognised the herald, than they began to growl forth the most
unqualified disapprobation at the bare notion of his riding like any
other man. If he had come out on his head indeed, or jumping through a
hoop, or flying through a red-hot drum, or even standing on one leg with
his other foot in his mouth, they might have had something to say to
him; but for a professional gentleman to sit astride in the saddle, with
his feet in the stirrups, was rather too good a joke. So, the herald was
a decided failure, and the crowd hooted with great energy, as he pranced
ingloriously away.

On the procession came. We were afraid to say how many supernumeraries
there were, in striped shirts and black velvet caps, to imitate the
London watermen, or how many base imitations of running-footmen, or how
many banners, which, owing to the heaviness of the atmosphere, could by
no means be prevailed on to display their inscriptions: still less do
we feel disposed to relate how the men who played the wind instruments,
looking up into the sky (we mean the fog) with musical fervour,
walked through pools of water and hillocks of mud, till they covered
the powdered heads of the running-footmen aforesaid with splashes,
that looked curious, but not ornamental; or how the barrel-organ
performer put on the wrong stop, and played one tune while the band
played another; or how the horses, being used to the arena, and not
to the streets, would stand still and dance, instead of going on and
prancing;--all of which are matters which might be dilated upon to great
advantage, but which we have not the least intention of dilating upon,
notwithstanding.

Oh! it was a grand and beautiful sight to behold the corporation
in glass coaches, provided at the sole cost and charge of Nicholas
Tulrumble, coming rolling along, like a funeral out of mourning, and
to watch the attempts the corporation made to look great and solemn,
when Nicholas Tulrumble himself, in the four-wheel chaise, with the
tall postilion, rolled out after them, with Mr. Jennings on one side
to look like the chaplain, and a supernumerary on the other, with an
old life-guardsman's sabre, to imitate the sword-bearer; and to see the
tears rolling down the faces of the mob as they screamed with merriment.
This was beautiful! and so was the appearance of Mrs. Tulrumble and son,
as they bowed with grave dignity out of their coach-window to all the
dirty faces that were laughing around them: but it is not even with this
that we have to do, but with the sudden stopping of the procession at
another blast of the trumpet, whereat, and whereupon, a profound silence
ensued, and all eyes were turned towards Mudfog Hull, in the confident
anticipation of some new wonder.

"They won't laugh now, Mr. Jennings," said Nicholas Tulrumble.

"I think not, sir," said Mr. Jennings.

"See how eager they look," said Nicholas Tulrumble. "Aha! the laugh will
be on our side now; eh, Mr. Jennings?"

"No doubt of that, sir," replied Mr. Jennings; and Nicholas Tulrumble,
in a state of pleasurable excitement, stood up in the four-wheel chaise,
and telegraphed gratification to the Mayoress behind.

While all this was going forward, Ned Twigger had descended into the
kitchen of Mudfog Hall for the purpose of indulging the servants with
a private view of the curiosity that was to burst upon the town; and,
somehow or other, the footman was so companionable, and the housemaid
so kind, and the cook so friendly, that he could not resist the offer
of the first-mentioned to sit down and take something--just to drink
success to master in.

So, down Ned Trigger sat himself in his brass livery on the top of
the kitchen-table; and in a mug of something strong, paid for by the
unconscious Nicholas Tulrumble, and provided by the companionable
footman, drank success to the Mayor and his procession; and, as Ned laid
by his helmet to imbibe the something strong, the companionable footman
put it on his own head, to the immeasurable and unrecordable delight of
the cook and housemaid. The companionable footman was very facetious
to Ned, and Ned was very gallant to the cook and housemaid by turns.
They were all very cosy and comfortable; and the something strong went
briskly round.

At last Ned Twigger was loudly called for, by the procession people:
and, having had his helmet fixed on, in a very complicated manner, by
the companionable footman, and the kind housemaid, and the friendly
cook, he walked gravely forth, and appeared before the multitude.

The crowd roared--it was not with wonder, it was not with surprise; it
was most decidedly and unquestionably with laughter.

"What!" said Mr. Tulrumble, starting up in the four-wheel chaise.
"Laughing? If they laugh at a man in real brass armour, they'd laugh
when their own fathers were dying. Why doesn't he go into his place, Mr.
Jennings? What's he rolling down towards us for?--he has no business
here!"

"I am afraid, sir----" faltered Mr. Jennings.

"Afraid of what, sir?" said Nicholas Tulrumble, looking up into the
secretary's face.

"I am afraid he's drunk, sir;" replied Mr. Jennings.

Nicholas Tulrumble took one look at the extraordinary figure that was
bearing down upon them; and then, clasping his secretary by the arm,
uttered an audible groan in anguish of spirit.

It is a melancholy fact that Mr. Twigger having full licence to demand
a single glass of rum on the putting on of every piece of the armour,
got, by some means or other, rather out in his calculation in the
hurry and confusion of preparation, and drank about four glasses to a
piece instead of one, not to mention the something strong which went
on the top of it. Whether the brass armour checked the natural flow
of perspiration, and thus prevented the spirit from evaporating, we
are not scientific enough to know; but, whatever the cause was, Mr.
Twigger no sooner found himself outside the gate of Mudfog Hall, than
he also found himself in a very considerable state of intoxication;
and hence his extraordinary style of progressing. This was bad enough,
but, as if fate and fortune had conspired against Nicholas Tulrumble,
Mr. Twigger, not having been penitent for a good calendar month, took
it into his head to be most especially and particularly sentimental,
just when his repentance could have been most conveniently dispensed
with. Immense tears were rolling down his cheeks, and he was vainly
endeavouring to conceal his grief by applying to his eyes a blue
cotton pocket-handkerchief with white spots,--an article not strictly
in keeping with a suit of armour some three hundred years old, or
thereabouts.

"Twigger, you villain!" said Nicholas Tulrumble, quite forgetting his
dignity, "go back!"

"Never," said Ned. "I'm a miserable wretch. I'll never leave you."

The by-standers of course received this declaration with acclamations of
"That's right, Ned; don't!"

"I don't intend it," said Ned, with all the obstinacy of a very tipsy
man. "I'm very unhappy. I'm the wretched father of an unfortunate
family; but I am very faithful, sir. I'll never leave you." Having
reiterated this obliging promise, Ned proceeded in broken words to
harangue the crowd upon the number of years he had lived in Mudfog, the
excessive respectability of his character, and other topics of the like
nature.

"Here! will anybody lead him away?" said Nicholas: "if they'll call on
me afterwards, I'll reward them well."

Two or three men stepped forward, with the view of bearing Ned off, when
the secretary interposed.

"Take care! take care!" said Mr. Jennings. "I beg your pardon, sir; but
they'd better not go too near him, because, if he falls over, he'll
certainly crush somebody."

At this hint the crowd retired on all sides to a very respectful
distance, and left Ned, like the Duke of Devonshire, in a little circle
of his own.

"But, Mr. Jennings," said Nicholas Tulrumble, "he'll be suffocated."

"I'm very sorry for it, sir," replied Mr. Jennings; "but nobody can get
that armour off, without his own assistance. I'm quite certain of it,
from the way he put it on."

Here Ned wept dolefully, and shook his helmeted head, in a manner that
might have touched a heart of stone; but the crowd had not hearts of
stone, and they laughed heartily.

"Dear me, Mr. Jennings," said Nicholas, turning pale at the possibility
of Ned's being smothered in his antique costume--"Dear me, Mr. Jennings,
can nothing be done with him?"

"Nothing at all," replied Ned, "nothing at all. Gentlemen, I'm an
unhappy wretch. I'm a body, gentlemen, in a brass coffin." At this
poetical idea of his own conjuring up, Ned cried so much that the people
began to get sympathetic, and to ask what Nicholas Tulrumble meant by
putting a man into such a machine as that; and one individual in a hairy
waistcoat like the top of a trunk, who had previously expressed his
opinion that if Ned hadn't been a poor man, Nicholas wouldn't have dared
to do it, hinted at the propriety of breaking the four-wheel chaise,
or Nicholas's head, or both, which last compound proposition the crowd
seemed to consider a very good notion.

It was not acted upon, however, for it had hardly been broached, when
Ned Twigger's wife made her appearance abruptly in the little circle
before noticed, and Ned no sooner caught a glimpse of her face and form,
than from the mere force of habit he set off towards his home just as
fast as his legs would carry him; and that was not very quick in the
present instance either, for, however ready they might have been to
carry _him_, they couldn't get on very well under the brass armour.
So, Mrs. Twigger had plenty of time to denounce Nicholas Tulrumble to
his face: to express her opinion that he was a decided monster; and to
intimate that, if her ill-used husband sustained any personal damage
from the brass armour, she would have the law of Nicholas Tulrumble
for manslaughter. When she had said all this with due vehemence, she
posted after Ned, who was dragging himself along as best he could, and
deploring his unhappiness in most dismal tones.

What a wailing and screaming Ned's children raised when he got home at
last! Mrs. Twigger tried to undo the armour, first in one place, and
then in another, but she couldn't manage it; so she tumbled Ned into
bed, helmet, armour, gauntlets, and all. Such a creaking as the bedstead
made, under Ned's weight in his new suit! It didn't break down though;
and there Ned lay, like the anonymous vessel in the Bay of Biscay, till
next day, drinking barley-water, and looking miserable: and every time
he groaned, his good lady said it served him right, which was all the
consolation Ned Twigger got.

Nicholas Tulrumble and the gorgeous procession went on together to
the town-hall, amid the hisses and groans of all the spectators, who
had suddenly taken it into their heads to consider poor Ned a martyr.
Nicholas was formally installed in his new office, in acknowledgment
of which ceremony he delivered himself of a speech, composed by the
secretary, which was very long and no doubt very good, only the noise
of the people outside prevented anybody from hearing it, but Nicholas
Tulrumble himself. After which, the procession got back to Mudfog Hall
any how it could; and Nicholas and the corporation sat down to dinner.

But the dinner was flat, and Nicholas was disappointed. They were such
dull sleepy old fellows, that corporation. Nicholas made quite as long
speeches as the Lord Mayor of London had done, nay, he said the very
same things that the Lord Mayor of London had said, and the deuce a
cheer the corporation gave him. There was only one man in the party who
was thoroughly awake; and he was insolent, and called him Nick. Nick!
What would be the consequence, thought Nicholas, of anybody presuming to
call the Lord Mayor of London "Nick!" He should like to know what the
sword-bearer would say to that; or the recorder, or the toast-master, or
any other of the great officers of the city. They'd nick him.

But these were not the worst of Nicholas Tulrumble's doings; If they
had been, he might have remained a Mayor to this day, and have talked
till he lost his voice. He contracted a relish for statistics, and got
philosophical; and the statistics and the philosophy together, led him
into an act which increased his unpopularity and hastened his downfall.

At the very end of the Mudfog High-street, and abutting on the
river-side, stands the Jolly Boatmen, an old-fashioned, low-roofed,
bay-windowed house, with a bar, kitchen, and tap-room all in one, and a
large fire-place with a kettle to correspond, round which the working
men have congregated time out of mind on a winter's night, refreshed by
draughts of good strong beer, and cheered by the sounds of a fiddle and
tambourine: the Jolly Boatmen having been duly licensed by the Mayor
and corporation, to scrape the fiddle and thumb the tambourine from
time, whereof the memory of the oldest inhabitants goeth not to the
contrary. Now Nicholas Tulrumble had been reading pamphlets on crime,
and parliamentary reports,--or had made the secretary read them to him,
which is the same thing in effect,--and he at once perceived that this
fiddle and tambourine must have done more to demoralise Mudfog, than any
other operating causes that ingenuity could imagine. So he read up for
the subject, and determined to come out on the corporation with a burst,
the very next time the licence was applied for.

The licensing day came, and the red-faced landlord of the Jolly Boatmen,
walked into the town-hall, looking as jolly as need be, having actually
put on an extra fiddle for that night, to commemorate the anniversary
of the Jolly Boatmen's music licence. It was applied for in due form,
and was just about to be granted as a matter of course, when up rose
Nicholas Tulrumble, and drowned the astonished corporation in a torrent
of eloquence. He descanted in glowing terms upon the increasing
depravity of his native town of Mudfog, and the excesses committed by
its population. Then, he related how shocked he had been, to see barrels
of beer sliding down into the cellar of the Jolly Boatmen week after
week; and how he had sat at a window opposite the Jolly Boatmen for two
days together, to count the people who went in for beer between the
hours of twelve and one o'clock alone--which, by-the-bye, was the time
at which the great majority of the Mudfog people dined. Then, he went on
to state, how the number of people who came out with beer-jugs, averaged
twenty-one in five minutes, which, being multiplied by twelve, gave two
hundred and fifty-two people with beer-jugs in an hour, and multiplied
again by fifteen (the number of hours during which the house was open
daily) yielded three thousand seven hundred and eighty people with
beer-jugs per day, or twenty-six thousand four hundred and sixty people
with beer-jugs, per week. Then he proceeded to show that a tambourine
and moral degradation were synonymous terms, and a fiddle and vicious
propensities wholly inseparable. All these arguments he strengthened
and demonstrated by frequent references to a large book with a blue
cover, and sundry quotations from the Middlesex magistrates; and in the
end, the corporation, who were posed with the figures, and sleepy with
the speech, and sadly in want of dinner into the bargain, yielded the
palm to Nicholas Tulrumble, and refused the music licence to the Jolly
Boatmen.

But although Nicholas triumphed, his triumph was short. He carried on
the war against beer-jugs and fiddles, forgetting the time when he
was glad to drink out of the one, and to dance to the other, till the
people hated, and his old friends shunned him. He grew tired of the
lonely magnificence of Mudfog Hall, and his heart yearned towards the
Lighterman's Arms. He wished he had never set up as a public man, and
sighed for the good old times of the coal-shop, and the chimney-corner.

At length old Nicholas, being thoroughly miserable, took heart of grace,
paid the secretary a quarter's wages in advance, and packed him off to
London by the next coach. Having taken this step, he put his hat on his
head, and his pride in his pocket, and walked down to the old room at
the Lighterman's Arms. There were only two of the old fellows there, and
they looked coldly on Nicholas as he proffered his hand.

"Are you going to put down pipes, Mr. Tulrumble?" said one.

"Or trace the progress of crime to 'baccer?" growled the other.

"Neither," replied Nicholas Tulrumble, shaking hands with them both,
whether they would or not. "I've come down to say that I'm very sorry
for having made a fool of myself, and that I hope you'll give me up the
old chair, again."

The old fellows opened their eyes, and three or four more old fellows
opened the door, to whom Nicholas, with tears in his eyes, thrust out
his hand too, and told the same story. They raised a shout of joy, that
made the bells in the ancient church-tower vibrate again, and wheeling
the old chair into the warm corner, thrust old Nicholas down into it,
and ordered in the very largest-sized bowl of hot punch, with an
unlimited number of pipes, directly.

The next day, the Jolly Boatmen got the licence, and the next night,
old Nicholas and Ned Twigger's wife led off a dance to the music of
the fiddle and tambourine, the tone of which seemed mightily improved
by a little rest, for they never had played so merrily before. Ned
Twigger was in the very height of his glory, and he danced hornpipes,
and balanced chairs on his chin, and straws on his nose, till the whole
company, including the corporation, were in raptures of admiration at
the brilliancy of his acquirements.

Mr. Tulrumble, junior, couldn't make up his mind to be anything but
magnificent, so he went up to London and drew bills on his father; and
when he had overdrawn, and got into debt, he grew penitent and came home
again.

As to old Nicholas, he kept his word, and having had six weeks of public
life, never tried it any more. He went to sleep in the town-hall at the
very next meeting; and, in full proof of his sincerity, has requested us
to write this faithful narrative. We wish it could have the effect of
reminding the Tulrumbles of another sphere, that puffed-up conceit is
not dignity, and that snarling at the little pleasures they were once
glad to enjoy, because they would rather forget the times when they were
of lower station, renders them objects of contempt and ridicule.

This is the first time we have published any of our gleanings from this
particular source. Perhaps, at some future period, we may venture to
open the chronicles of Mudfog.
                                                                 BOZ.



            THE HOT WELLS OF CLIFTON.

                 SCRAP, No. II.               _Water-grass-hill._

The "poems of Ossian," a celtic bard, and the "rhymes of Rowley," a
Bristol priest, burst on the public at one and the same period; when the
attention of literary men was for a time totally absorbed in discussing
the respective discoveries of Macpherson and of Chatterton. "The fashion
of this world passeth away;" and what once engaged so much notice is now
sadly neglected. Indeed, had not Bonaparte taken a fancy to the ravings
of the mad highlander, and had not Chatterton swallowed oxalic acid,
probably far more brief had been the space both would have occupied
in the memory of mankind. In the garret of Holborn, where the latter
expired, the following _morceau_ was picked up by an Irish housemaid
(a native of this parish), who, in writing home to a sweetheart,
converted it into an envelope for her letter. It thus came into
my possession.
                                                            P. PROUT.



               TO THE HOT WELLS OF CLIFTON,
                  IN PRAISE OF RUM-PUNCH.

                     A Triglot Ode, viz.

    1º [Greek: Pindarou peri reumatos ôdê.]
    2º Horatii in fontem Bristolii carmen.
    3º A Relick (unpublished) of "the unfortunate Chatterton."

     PINDAR.                     HORACE.            CHATTERTON.
 [Greek: Pêgê Bristolias     O fons Bristolii    I ken your worth
 Mallon en ualô              Hoc magis in vitro  "Hot wells" of Bristol,
 Lampous' anthesi syn        Dulci digne mero    That bubble forth
 Nektaros axiê               Non sine floribus   As clear as crystal;...
 S' antlô                    Vas impleveris      In parlour snug
 Reumati pollô               Undâ                I'd wish no hotter
 Misgôn                      Mel solvente        To mix a jug
 Kai melitos poly.]          Caloribus.          Of Rum and Water.


   [Greek: b.]                     II.                 2.
 [Greek: Anêr kan tis eran   Si quis vel venerem Doth Love, young chiel,
 Bouletai ê machan           Aut prælia cogitat, One's bosom ruffle?
 Soi Bakchou patharon        Is Bacchi calidos   Would any feel
 Soi diachrônnysei           Inficiet tibi       Ripe for a scuffle?
 Phoinô                      Rubro sanguine      The simplest plan
 Th' aimati nama             Rivos,              Is just to take a
 Prothymos te                Fiet protinus       Well stiffened can
 Tach' essetai.]             Impiger!            Of old Jamaica.


   [Greek: g.]                    III.                  3.
 [Greek: Se phlegm' aithaloen  Te flagrante bibax Beneath the zone
 Seiriou asteros               Ore caniculâ       Grog in a pail or
 Armozei plôtori               Sugit navita: tu   Rum--best alone--
 Sy kryos êdyn en              Frigus amabile     Delights the sailor.
 Nêsois                        Fessis vomere      The can he swills
 Antilesaisi                   Mauris             Alone gives vigour
 Poieis                        Præbes ac          In the Antilles
 K' aithiopôn phylô.]          Homini nigro.      To white or nigger.


   [Greek: d.]                     IV.                  4.
 [Greek:Krênais en te kalais Fies nobilium       Thy claims, O fount,
 Esseai aglaê                Tu quoque fontium   Deserve attention:
 S' en koilô kylaki          Me dicente; cavum   Henceforward count
 Enthemenên eôs              Dum calicem reples  On classic mention.
 Umnêsô,                     Urnamque            Right pleasant stuff
 Lalon ex ou                 Unde loquaces       Thine to the lip is ...
 Son de reuma kathalletai.]  Lymphæ              We've had enough
                             Desiliunt tuæ.      Of Aganippe's.



          "WHO MILKED MY COW?" OR, THE MARINE GHOST.
            BY THE AUTHOR OF "RATTLIN THE REEFER."

Captain the Honourable Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, of that beautiful
ship his Majesty's frigate Nænia, loved many things. He loved his ship
truly, and with a perdurable affection; yet he loved something still
more, his very aristocratic self. He had also vowed to love and cherish
another person; but what gallant spirit would yield love, even if it
were as plenty as blackberries, upon compulsion? The less you give away,
the more must remain to be employed in the service of the possessor.
Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban had a great deal of unoccupied love
at his disposal. Considering duly these premises, there can be nothing
surprising in the fact if he had a surplus affection or two to dispose
of, and that he most ardently loved new milk every morning for
breakfast.

Now Captain the Honourable Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban--(how delightful
it is to give the whole title when it is either high-sounding or
euphonous!)--had large estates and wide pasture-lands populous with
lowing kine. But all these availed him not; for, though he was sovereign
lord and master _pro tempore_ over all as far as the eye could reach,
on the morning of the 6th of June 1826, he could not command so much of
the sky-blueish composition that is sold for milk in London, as could
be bought for one halfpenny in that sovereign city of many pumps. The
fields spread around the honourable captain were wide and green enough,
but, alas! they were not pastured with mammiferous animals. Neptune has
never been known to take cream to his chocolate and coffee. He would
scorn to be called a milk-and-water gentlemen. There is the sea-cow
certainly, but we never heard much respecting the quality of her butter.

We are careful. We will not lay ourselves open to animadversion. We have
read books. We have seen things. Therefore we cannot suffer the little
triumph to the little critics who were just going to tell us that all
the cetaceous tribes suckle their young. We can tell these critics more
than they know themselves. Whale's milk _is_ good for the _genus homo_.
We know two brawny fellows, maintop-men, who, being cast overboard when
infants, were, like Romulus and Remus with their she-bear, suckled by
a sperm-whale; and, when their huge wet-nurse wished to wean them, she
cast them ashore on one of the Friendly Islands. We think that we hear
the incredulous exclaim, "Very like a whale!" Why, so it was.

But to return to another matter of history. On the memorable morning
before indicated, the honourable captain, the first lieutenant, the
doctor, the marine officer, the officer and the midshipman of the
morning watch, had all assembled to breakfast in the cabin. They had
not forgotten their appetites, particularly the gentlemen of the
morning watch. They were barbarous and irate in their hunger, as their
eyes wandered over cold fowl and ham, hot rolls, grilled kidneys, and
devilled legs of turkey.

"By all the stars in heaven," said the honourable commander, "no milk
again this morning! Give me, you rascally steward," continued the
captain, "a plain, straightforward, categorical answer. Why does this
infernal cow, for which I gave such a heap of dollars, give me no
milk?"--"Well, sir," said the trembling servitor; "if, sir, you must
have a plain answer, I really--believe--it is--because--I don't know."

"A dry answer," said the doctor, who was in most senses a dry fellow.

"You son of a shotten herring!" said the captain, "can you milk
her?"--"Yes, sir."

"Then why, in the name of all that is good, don't you?"--"I do, sir,
but it won't come."

"Then let us go," said the captain, quite resignedly, "let us go,
gentlemen, and see what ails this infernal cow; I can't eat my breakfast
without milk, and breakfast is the meal that I generally enjoy most."

So he, leading the way, was followed by his company, who cast many a
longing, lingering look behind.

Forward they went to where the cow was _stalled_ by capstan-bars, as
comfortably as a prebendary, between two of the guns on the main-deck.
She seemed in excellent condition; ate her nutritious food with much
appetite; and, from her appearance, the captain might have very
reasonably expected, not only an ample supply of milk and cream for
breakfast and tea, but also a sufficient quantity to afford him custards
for dinner.

Well, there stood the seven officers of his Majesty's naval service
round the arid cow, looking very like seven wise men just put to sea in
a bowl.

"Try again," said the captain to his servant. If the attempt had been
only fruitless, there had been no matter for wonder; it was milkless.

"The fool can't milk," said the captain; then turning round to his
officers despondingly, he exclaimed, "gentlemen, can any of you?"

Having all protested that they had left off, some thirty, some forty,
and some fifty years, according to their respective ages, and the marine
officer saying that he never had had any practice at all, having been
brought up by hand, the gallant and disappointed hero was obliged to
order the boatswain's mates to pass the word fore and aft, to send every
one to him who knew how to milk a cow.

Seventeen Welshmen, sixty-five Irishmen, (all on board,) and four lads
from Somersetshire made their appearance, moistened their fingers, and
set to work, one after the other; yet there was no milk.

"What do you think of this, doctor?" said the captain to him, taking him
aside.--"That the animal has been milked a few hours before."

"Hah! If I was sure of that. And the cow could have been milked only by
some one who _could_ milk?"--"The inference seems indisputable."

The captain turned upon the numerous aspirants for lacteal honours with
no friendly eye, exclaiming sorrowfully, "Too many to flog, too many to
flog. Let us return to our breakfast; though I shall not be able to eat
a morsel or drink a drop. Here, boatswain's-mate, pass the word round
the ship that I'll give five guineas reward to any one who will tell me
who milked the captain's cow."

The gentleman then all retired to the cabin, and, with the exception
of the captain, incontinently fell upon the good things. Now, the
midshipman of that morning's watch was a certain Mr. Littlejohn, usually
abbreviated into Jack Small. When Jack Small had disposed of three hot
rolls, half a fowl, and a pound of ham, and was handing in his plate for
a well devilled turkey's thigh, his eye fell compassionately upon his
fasting captain, and his heart opening to the softer emotions as his
stomach filled with his host's delicacies, the latter's want of the milk
of the cow stirred up within him his own milk of human kindness.

"I am very sorry that you have no appetite," said Jack Small, with his
mouth very full, and quite protectingly, to his skipper; "very sorry,
indeed, sir: and, as you cannot make your breakfast without any milk,
I think, sir, that the midshipmen's berth could lend you a bottle."

"The devil they can, younker. Oh, oh! It's good and fresh, hey?"

"Very good and fresh, sir," said the midshipman, ramming down the words
with a large wadding of hot roll.

"We must borrow some of it, by all means," said the captain; "but let
the midshipmen's servant bring it here himself."

The necessary orders having been issued, the bottle of milk and the boy
appeared.

"Did you know," said Captain Fitzalban, turning to his first lieutenant,
"that the midshipmen's berth was provided with milk, and that too after
being at sea a month?"--"Indeed I did not; they are better provided than
we are, at least in this respect, in the ward-room."

"Do you think,--do you think," said the captain, trembling with rage,
"that any of the young blackguards dare milk my cow?"--"It is not easy
to say what they dare not do."

However, the cork was drawn, and the milk found not only to be very
fresh indeed, but most suspiciously new. In the latitude of the
Caribbean Islands liquids in general are sufficiently warm, so the
captain could not lay much stress upon that.

"As fine milk as ever I tasted," said the captain.

"Very good indeed, sir," said the midshipman, overflowing his cup and
saucer with the delicious liquid.

"Where do the young gentlemen procure it?" resumed the captain, pouring
very carefully what remained after the exactions of John Small into the
cream-jug, and moving it close to his own plate.--"It stands us rather
dear, sir," said Mr. Littlejohn,--"a dollar a bottle. We buy it of Joe
Grummet, the captain of the waisters."

The captain and first lieutenant looked at each other unutterable things.

Joe Grummet was in the cabin in an instant, and the captain bending upon
him his sharp and angry glances. Joseph was a sly old file, a seaman to
the backbone; and let the breeze blow from what quarter of the compass
it would, he had always an eye to windward. Fifty years had a little
grizzled his strong black hair, and, though innovation had deprived
him of the massive tail that whilome hung behind, there were still
some fancy curls that corkscrewed themselves down his weather-stained
temples; and, when he stood before the captain, in one of these he
hitched the first bend of the immense fore-finger of his right hand. He
hobbled a little in his gait, owing to an unextracted musket-ball that
had lodged in his thigh; consequently he never went aloft; and had been,
for his merits and long services, appointed captain of the waist.

The Honorable Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban said to the veteran mariner
quickly, and pointing at the same time to the empty bottle, "Grummet,
you have milked my cow."--"Unpossible, sir," said Grummet, bashing at a
bow; "downright unpossible, your honour."

"Then, pray, whence comes the fresh milk you sell every morning to the
young gentlemen?"--"Please your honour, I took two or three dozen of
bottles to sea with me on a kind o' speculation."

"Grummet, my man, I am afraid this will turn out a bad one for you. Go
and show your hands to the doctor, and he'll ask you a few questions."

So Joseph Grummet went and expanded his flippers before the eyes of
the surgeon. They were nearly as large and as shapely as the fins of a
porpoise, and quite of the colour. They had been tanned and tarred till
their skin had become more durable than bootleather, and they were quite
rough enough to have rasped close-grained wood.

"I don't think our friend could have milked your cow, Captain
Fitzalban," said the doctor; "at least, not with his hands: they are
rather calculated to draw blood than milk."

Joseph rolled his eyes about and looked his innocence most pathetically.
He was not yet quite out of danger.

Now there was every reason in the world why this cow should give the
captain at least a gallon of milk per diem--but one, and that he was
most anxious to discover. The cow was in the best condition; since she
had been embarked, the weather had been fine enough to have pleased
Europa herself; she had plenty of provender, both dry and fresh. There
were fragrant clover closely packed in bags, delicious oat-cakes--meal
and water, and fine junks of juicy plantain.--The cow throve, but gave
no milk!

"So you brought a few dozen bottles of milk to sea with you as a
venture?" continued the man of medicine in his examination.--"I did,
sir."

"And where did you procure them?"--"At English Harbour, sir."

"May I ask of whom?"--"Madame Juliana, the fat free Negro woman."

"Now, my man," said the doctor, looking a volume and a half of Galen,
and holding up a cautionary fore-finger--"now, my man, do not hope to
deceive _me_. How did you prevent the acetous fermentation from taking
place in these bottles of milk?"

The question certainly was a puzzler. Joe routed with his fingers among
his hair for an answer. At length he fancied he perceived a glimmering
of the doctor's meaning; so he hummed and ha-ed, until, the doctor's
patience being exhausted, he repeated more peremptorily, "How did you
prevent acetous fermentation taking place in these bottles of milk?"

"By paying ready money for them, sir," said the badgered seaman boldly.

"An excellent preventative against fermentation certainly," said the
captain half smiling. "But you answer the doctor like a fool."

"I was never accused of such a thing, please your honour, before, sir,"
said tarrybrecks, with all his sheets and tacks abroad.

"Very likely, my man, very likely," answered the captain, with a look
that would have been invaluable in a vinegar manufactory. "How did you
prevent this milk from turning sour?"

"Ah, sir!" said Grummet, now wide awake to his danger: "if you please,
sir, I humbly axes your pardon, but that's my secret."

"Then by all that's glorious I'll flog it out of you!"

"I humbly hopes not, sir. I am sure your honour won't flog an old seaman
who has fought with Howe and Nelson, and who was wounded in the sarvice
before your honour was born; you won't flog him, sir, only because he
can't break his oath."

"So you have sworn not to divulge it, hey?"

"Ah, sir: if I might be so bold as to say so, your honour's a witch!"

"Take care of yourself, Joseph Grummet; I do advise you to take care of
yourself. Folly is a great betrayer of secrets, Joseph. Cunning may milk
cows without discovery: however, I will never punish without proof. How
many bottles of this excellent milk have you yet left?"--"Eight or ten,
sir, more or less, according to sarcumstances."

"Well! I will give you a dollar a-piece for all you have."

At this proposition Joseph Grummet shuffled about, not at all at his
ease, now looking very sagacious, now very foolish, till, at last, he
brought down his features to express the most deprecating humility of
which their iron texture was capable, and he then whined forth, "I would
not insult you, sir, by treating you all as one as a midshipman. No,
your honour: I knows the respect that's due to you,--I couldn't think of
letting you, sir, have a bottle under three dollars--it wouldn't be at
all respectful like."

"Grummet," said Captain Fitzalban, "you are not only a thorough seaman,
but a thorough knave. Now, have you the conscience to make me pay three
dollars a bottle for my own milk?"--"Ah, sir, you don't know how much
the secret has cost me."

"Nor do you know how dearly it may cost you yet."

Joseph Grommet then brought into the cabin his remaining stock in
trade, which, instead of eight or ten, was found to consist only of
two bottles. The captain, though with evident chagrin, paid for them
honourably; and whilst the milkman _pro temp._ was knotting up the six
dollars in the tie of the handkerchief about his neck, the skipper said
to him, "Now, my man, since we part such good friends, tell me your
candid opinion concerning this cow of mine?"--"Why, sir, I thinks as how
it's the good people as milks her."

"The good people! who the devil are they?"--"The fairies, your honour."

"And what do they do with it?"--"Very few can tell, your honour; but
those who gets it are always desarving folks."

"Such as old wounded seamen, and captains of the waist especially. Well,
go along to your duty. Look out! _cats_ love milk."

So Joseph Grummet went forth from the cabin shrugging up his shoulders,
with an ominous presentiment of scratches upon them. The captain, the
Honourable Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, gave the marine officer orders
to place a sentry night and day over his cow, and then dismissed his
guests.

The honourable commander was, for the rest of day, in a most
unconscionable ill humour. The ship's sails were beautifully trimmed,
the breeze was just what it ought to have been. The heavens above, and
the waters below, were striving to outsmile each other. What then made
the gallant captain so miserable? He was thinking only of the temerity
of the man who had dared to _milk his cow_.

The first lieutenant touched his hat most respectfully to the Honourable
Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, and acquainted him that the sun
indicated it to be twelve o'clock.

"Milk my cow!" said the captain abstractedly.

"Had not that better be postponed till to-morrow morning, Captain
Fitzalban?" said the lieutenant, with a very little smile; "and in the
mean time may we strike the bell, and pipe to dinner?"

The captain gazed upon the gallant officer sorrowfully, and, as he shook
his head, his looks said as plainly as looks could speak, and with the
deepest pathos, "They never milked _his_ cow."

"Do what is necessary," at last he uttered; then, pulling his hat more
over his eyes, he continued to pace the quarter-deck.

Now, though the Honourable Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban was the
younger son of a nobleman, and enjoyed a very handsome patrimony, and
his temper had been thoroughly spoiled by that process that is too
often called education, yet his heart was sound, English, and noble. He
revolted from doing an unjust action; yet he smarted dreadfully under
the impression that he was cheated and laughed at to his very face.
He did not think that Joseph Grummet had milked his cow, but he felt
assured that the same milk-dealing Joseph knew who did; yet was he too
humane to introduce the Inquisition on board his ship by extracting the
truth by torture.

The Honourable Captain Fitzroy Fitzalban slept late on the succeeding
morning. He had been called at daylight, _pro forma_, but had merely
turned from his left side to the right, muttering something about a cow.
It must be supposed that the slumbers of the morning indemnified him for
the horrors of the night, for breakfast was on the table, and the usual
guests assembled, when the captain emerged from the after-cabin.

There was no occasion to ask the pale and trembling steward if the cow
had given any milk that morning.

The breakfast remained untouched by the captain, and passed off in
active silence by his guests. Not wishing to excite more of the derision
of Jack than was absolutely necessary, the Honourable the Captain
Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, when he found that the various officers whom
he had invited to breakfast had sufficiently "improved the occasion,"
as the methodists say, turned to the first lieutenant, who was again
his guest, and asked him if nothing had transpired on the over-night to
warrant a suspicion as to the lacteal felony.

The first luff looked very mysterious, and not wholly disposed to be
communicative upon the subject. He had been piously brought up, and was
not at all inclined to be sarcastic upon the score of visions or the
visited of ghosts; yet, at the same time, he did not wish to subject
himself to the ridicule of his captain, who had rationally enough
postponed his belief in apparitions until he had seen one. Under these
difficulties, he replied hesitatingly, that a ghost had been reported
as having "come on board before daylight in the morning, without leave."

"A ghost, Mr. Mitchell, come on board, and I not called!" said the
indignant captain: "By G--, sir, I would have turned out a guard of
honour to have received him! I would have sooner had a visit from his
spirituality than from his Excellency the Spanish Ambassador.--The
service, sir, has come to a pretty pass, when a ghost can come on board,
and leave the ship too, I presume, without even so much as the boatswain
to pipe the side. So the ghost came, I suppose, and milked my cow?"

The first lieutenant, in answer, spoke with all manner of humility. He
represented that he had been educated as a seaman and as an officer, and
not for a doctor of divinity; therefore he could not pretend to account
for these preternatural visitations. He could only state the fact,
and that not so well as the first lieutenant of marines. "He begged,
therefore, to refer to him."

That officer was immediately sent for, and he made his appearance
accompanied by one of the serjeants, and then it was asserted that,
when the guard went round to relieve the sentries, they found the man
who had been stationed over the cow, lying on the deck senseless in a
fit, and his bayonet could nowhere be found. When by the means of one of
the assistant-surgeons, who had been immediately summoned, he had been
sufficiently recovered to articulate, all the explanation they could
get from him was, that he had seen a ghost; and the very mention of the
fact, so great was his terror, had almost caused a relapse.

"Send the poltroon here immediately: I'll ghost him!" cried the enraged
captain. In answer to this he was informed, that the man lay seriously
ill in his hammock in the sick-bay, and that the doctor was at that very
moment with the patient.

"I'll see him myself," said the captain.

As the honourable captain, with his _cortège_ of officers, passed
along the decks on his way to the sick-bay, he thought--or his sense
of hearing most grievously deceived him--that more than once he heard
sneering and gibing voices exclaim, "Who milked my cow?" but the moment
he turned his head in the direction from whence the sounds proceeded, he
saw nothing but visages the most sanctimonious: indeed they, instead of
the unfortunate sentry, appeared to have seen the ghost. The captain's
amiability that morning might have been expressed by the algebraical
term--minus a cipher.

When the skipper hauled alongside the sick man, he found that the
doctor, having bled him, was preparing to blister his head, the ship's
barber at the time being occupied in very sedulously shaving it. The
patient was fast putting himself upon an equality to contend with
his supernatural visitant, by making a ghost of himself. He was in a
high fever and delirious,--unpleasant things in the West Indies! All
the captain could get from him was, "The devil--flashes of fire--milk
cow--horrible teeth--devil's cow--ship haunted--nine yards of blue
flame--throw cow overboard--go to heaven--kicked the pail down--horns
tipped with red-hot iron," and other rhapsodies to the same effect.

From the man the captain went to the cow; but she was looking
excessively sleek, and mild, and amiable, and eating her breakfast with
the relish of an outside mail-coach passenger. The captain shook his
head, and thought himself the most persecuted of beings.

When this self-estimated injured character gained the quarter-deck, he
commenced ruminating on the propriety of flogging Joseph Grummet; for,
with the loss of his cow's milk, he had lost all due sense of human
kindness. But, as the Lords of the Admiralty had lately insisted upon
a report being forwarded to them of every punishment that took place,
the number of lashes, and the crime for which they were inflicted,
the Honourable the Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban thought that a
report would look rather queer running thus: "Joseph Grummet, captain
of the waist, six dozen, because my cow gave no milk," or "because
private-marine Snickchops saw a ghost," or "for selling the midshipmen
sundry bottles of milk;" and this last imagination reminded him that
there was one of this highly-gifted class walking to leeward of him.
"Mr. Littlejohn!" said the captain with a voice that crawled over the
nerves like the screeching of an ill-filed saw.

Small Jack touched his hat with more than usual respect to the
exasperated officer, and then, stepping to windward, humbly confronted
him.

The captain was too angry for many words; so, looking fearfully into
the happy countenance of the reefer, and pointing his fore-finger down
perpendicularly, he laconically uttered, "Milk this morning?"--"Yes,
sir."

"Good?"

The well-breakfasted midshipman licked his lips, and smiled.

"Grummet?"--"Yes, sir."

"Tell the boatswain's mate to send him aft."--"Ay, ay, sir."

And there stood the captain of the waist, with his hat in his hand,
opposite to the captain of the ship. There was some difference between
those two captains:--one verging upon old age, the other upon manhood.
The old man with but two articles of dress upon his person, a canvass
shirt and a canvass pair of trousers,--for in those latitudes shoes and
stockings are dispensed with by the foremast men, excepting on Sundays
and when mustering at divisions; the other gay, and almost gorgeous,
in white jeans, broad-cloth, and gold. There they stood, the one the
personification of meekness, the other of haughty anger. However firm
might have been the captain's intentions to convict the man before him
by an intricate cross-examination, his warmth of temper defeated them at
once, for the old seaman looked more than usually innocent and sheepish.
This almost stolid equanimity was sadly provoking.

"You insolent scoundrel!--who milked my cow last night?"--"The Lord in
heaven knows, your honour. Who could it be, sir, without it was the
ghost who has laid that poor lad in his sick hammock?"

"And I suppose that the ghost ordered you to hand the milk to the young
gentlemen when he had done?"--"Me, sir! Heaven save me! I never se'ed a
ghost in my life."

"Hypocrite! the bottle you sold the midshipmen!"--"One, your honour, I
brought from Antigua, and which I overlooked yesterday."

"I shall not overlook it when I get you to the gangway. Go, Mr.
Littlejohn, give orders to beat to quarters the moment the men have had
their time."

All that forenoon the captain kept officers and men exercising
the great guns, running them in and out, pointing them here and
there;--sail-trimmers aloft--boarders on the starboard bow--firemen down
in the fore-hold: the men had not a moment's respite, nor the officers
either. How potently in their hearts they d--d the cow, even from the
tips of her horns unto the tuft at the end of her tail! Five secret
resolves were made to poison her that hard-worked morning. Mr. Small
Jack, who was stationed at the foremost main-deck guns near her, gave
her a kick every time the order came from the quarter-deck to ram home
wad and shot.

Well, this sweltering work, under a tropical sun, proceeded till noon,
the captain alternately swearing at the officers for want of energy,
and exclaiming to himself indignantly, "D--them! how dare they milk my
cow! There must be several concerned. Send the carpenter aft. Mr. Wedge,
rig both the chain-pumps,--turn the water on in the well. Waisters! man
the pumps. Where's that Grummet? Boatswain's mates, out with your colts
and lay them over the shoulders of any man that shirks his duty; keep a
sharp eye on the captain of the waist."

And thus the poor fellows had, for a finish to their morning's labour,
a half-hour of the most overpowering exertion to which you can set
mortal man,--that of working at the chain-pumps. When Mr. Littlejohn
saw elderly Joseph Grummet stripped to the waist, the perspiration
streaming down him in bucket-fulls, and panting as it were for his very
life, he, the said Small Jack, very rightly opined that no milk would be
forthcoming next morning.

At noon the men were as usual piped to dinner, with an excellent
appetite for their pork and pease, and a thirsty relish for their grog;
for which blessings they had the cow alone to thank. They were very
ungrateful.

No sooner was the hour of dinner over than the captain all of a sudden
discovered that his ship's company were not smart enough in reefing
topsails. So at it they went, racing up and down the rigging, tricing
up and laying out, lowering away and hoisting, until six bells, three
o'clock, when the angry and hungry captain went to his dinner. He had
made himself more unpopular in that day than any other commander in the
fleet.

The dinner was unsocial enough. When a man is not satisfied with
himself, it is rarely that he is satisfied with any body else. Now
the whole ship's company, officers as well as men, were divided into
parties, and into only two, respecting this affair of the cow; one
believed in a supernatural, the other in a roguish agency; in numbers
they were about equal, so that the captain stood in the pleasant
predicament of being looked upon in a sinful light by one half of his
crew, and in a ludicrous one by the other.

However, as the night advanced, and the marine who had seen the
cow-spirit grew worse, the believers in the supernatural increased
rapidly; and as one sentinel was found unwilling to go alone, the cow
had the distinguished compliment of a guard of honour of two all night.
The captain, with a scornful defiance of the spiritual, would allow of
no lights to be shown, or of no extraordinary precautions to be taken.
He only signified his intentions of having himself an interview with the
ghost, and for that purpose he walked the deck till midnight; but the
messenger from the land of spirits did not choose to show himself so
early.

Let me hear no more any querulous talk of the labour of getting butter
to one's bread--no person could have toiled more than the Honourable
Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban to get milk for his breakfast.

The two sentries were relieved at twelve o'clock, and, for a quarter of
an hour after, everything remaining dark and quiet about the haunted
cow, the captain went below and turned in, joyfully anticipative of milk
and cream in the morning. He left, of course, the most positive orders
that the moment the ghost appeared he should be called.

Mr. Mitchell, the pious first lieutenant, remained on deck, determined
to see the sequel; told the master he was much troubled in spirit, and
he thought, with all due deference to the articles of war, and respect
for the captain, that he was little better than an infidel, and an
overbold tempter of God's providence. The master remarked in reply that
it was an affair entirely out of soundings; but very sagely concluded
that they should see what they should see, even if they saw nothing.

It was a beautiful night, darkly, yet, at the same time, brightly
beautiful. There was no moon. The pure fires above were like
scintillations from the crown of God's glory. Though the heavens were
thus starred with splendours, it was deeply, though clearly, dark on
the ocean. There was a gentle breeze that was only sufficient to make
the sails draw, and the noble frigate walked stately, yet majestically
onwards.

Forward on the main-deck the darkness was Cimmerian. When lights had
been last there at the relieving of the sentinels, the cow had laid
herself quietly down upon her litter, and seemed to be in a profound
sleep; the first hour after midnight was passed, and all was hushed
as death, save those noises that indicate what else would be absolute
silence more strongly. There was the whispering ripple of the sea,
the dull creaking of the tiller-ropes, and the stealthy step of the
sentinels: these sounds, and these only, were painfully distinct. One
bell struck, and its solemn echoes seemed to creep through the decks as
if on some errand of death, and the monotonous cry of the look-outs fell
drearily on the ear.

The first lieutenant and the officers of the watch had just begun to
shake off their dreamy and fearful impressions, to breathe more freely,
and to walk the deck with a firmer tread, when, from what was supposed
to be the haunted spot, a low shriek was heard, then a bustle, followed
by half-stifled cries of "The guard! the guard!"

The officers of the watch jumped down on to the main-deck, the
midshipmen rushed into the cabin to call the captain, and men with and
without lights rushed forward to the rescue.

Deep in the darkness of the manger there glared an apparition that might
more than justify the alarm. The spot where the phantom was seen, (we
pledge ourselves that we are relating facts,) was that part of a frigate
which seamen call "the eyes of her," directly under the foremost part
of the forecastle, where the cables run through the hawse-holes, and
through which the bowsprit trends upwards. The whole place is called the
manger. It is very often appropriated to the use of pigs until they take
their turn for the butcher's knife. This was the strange locality that
the ghost chose to honour with its dreadful presence.

From the united evidences of the many who saw this ghastly avatar,
it appeared only to have thrust its huge head and a few feet of the
forepart of its body through the hawse-hole, the remainder of its vast
and voluminous tail hanging out of the ship over its bows. The frightful
head and the sockets of its eyes were distinctly marked in lineaments
of fire. Its jaws were stupendous, and its triple row of sharp and
long-fanged teeth seemed to be gnashing for something mortal to devour.
It cast a pale blue halo of light around it, just sufficient to show
the outlines of the den it had selected in which to make its unwelcome
appearance. Noise it made none, though several of the spectators fancied
that they heard a gibbering of unearthly sounds; and Mr. Littlejohn
swore the next day upon his John Hamilton Moore, that it mooed dolefully
like a young bullock crossed in love.

To describe the confusion on the main-deck, whilst officers, seamen, and
marines were gazing on this spectre, so like the fiery spirit of the
Yankee sea-serpent, is a task from which I shrink, knowing that language
cannot do it adequately. The first lieutenant stood in the middle of the
group, not merely transfixed, but paralysed with fear; men were tumbling
over each other, shouting, praying, swearing. Up from the dark holds,
like shrouded ghosts, the watch below, in their shirts, sprang from
their hammocks; and for many, one look was enough, and the head would
vanish immediately in the dark profound. The shouting for lights, and
loaded muskets and pistols was terrible; and the orders to advance were
so eagerly reiterated, that none had leisure to obey them.

But the cow herself did not present the least imposing feature in this
picture of horror. She formed, as it were, the barrier between mortality
and spirituality--all beyond her was horrible and spectral; by her
fright she seemed to acknowledge the presence of a preternatural being.
Her legs were stiff and extended, her tail standing out like that of an
angered lion, and she kept a continued strain upon the halter with which
she was tethered to a ring-bolt in the ship's side.

By this time several of the ward-room officers, and most of the
midshipmen, had reached the scene of action. Pistols were no longer
wanting, and loaded ones too. Three shots were fired into the manger,
with what aim it is impossible to specify, at the spectre. They did not
seem to annoy his ghostship in the least; without an indication of his
beginning to grow hungry, might be deemed so. As the shot whistled past
him, he worked his huge and fiery jaws most ravenously.

"Well," said the second lieutenant, "let us give the gentleman another
shot, and then come to close quarters. Mr. Mitchell, you have a pistol
in your hand: fire!"

"In the name of the Holy Trinity!" said the superstitious first,
"there!" Bang! and the shot took effect deep in the loins of the
unfortunate cow.

At this precise moment, Captain the Honourable Augustus Fitzroy
Fitzalban rushed from his cabin forward, attired in a rich flowered silk
morning-gown, in which scarlet predominated. He held a pistol cocked
in each hand; and, as he broke through the crowd, he bellowed forth
lustily, "Where's the ghost! let me see the ghost!" He was soon in the
van of the astonished gazers; but, disappointed Fitzalban! he saw no
ghost, because, as the man says in the Critic, "'twas not in sight."

Immediately the honourable captain had gained his station, the much
wronged and persecuted cow, galled by her wound, with a mortal effort
snapped the rope with which she was fastened, and then lowering her
horned head nearly level with the deck, and flourishing her tail
after the manner that an Irishman flourishes his shillelagh before he
commences occipital operations, she rushed upon the crowded phalanx
before her. At this instant, as if its supernatural mission had been
completed, the spirit vanished.

The ideal having decamped, those concerned had to save themselves from
the well followed up assaults of the real. The captain flew before the
pursuing horns, d--ning the cow in all the varieties of condemnation.
But she was generous, and she attached herself to him with an unwonted,
or rather an unwanted, fidelity. Lanterns were crushed and men
overthrown, and laughter now arose amidst the shouts of dismay. The
seamen tried to impede the progress of the furious animal by throwing
down before her lashed-up hammocks, and by seizing her behind by the
tail: but, woe is me! the Honourable the Captain Augustus Fitzroy
Fitzalban could not run so fast in his variegated and scarlet flowered
silk dressing-gown as a cow in the agonies of death; for he had just
reached that asylum of safety, his cabin-door, when the cow took him
up very carefully with her horns, and first giving him a monitory
shake, then with an inclination to port, she tossed him right over the
ward-room skylight, and deposited him very gingerly in the turtle-tub
that stood lashed on the larboard side of the half-deck. This exertion
was her last; for immediately alter falling upon her knees, and then
gently rolling over, to use an Homeric expression, her soul issued from
her wound, and sought the shades below appropriated to the souls of cows.

In the mean time, the captain was sprawling about, and contending with
his turtle for room, and he stood a very good chance of being drowned
even in a tub; but assistance speedily arriving, he was drawn out,
and thus the world was spared a second tale of a tub. But there was
something in the spirit of the aristocratic Fitzalban that neither
cows, ghosts, nor turtle-haunted water could subdue. Wet as he was, and
suffering also from the contusions of the cow's horns, he immediately
ordered more light, and proceeded to search for the ghost,--prolific
parent of all his mishaps.

Well escorted he visited the manager, but the most scrutinising search
could discover nothing extraordinary. The place seemed to have been
undisturbed, nor once to have departed from its usual solitariness
and dirt. There was not even so much as a smell of sulphur on the spot
where the spectre had appeared, nor were there any signs of wet, which,
supposing the thing seen had been a real animal, would have been the
case, had it come from the sea through one of the hawse-holes. The
whole affair was involved in the most profound mystery. The honourable
captain, therefore, came to the conclusion that nothing whatever had
appeared, and that the whole was the creation of cowardice.

Hot with rage and agueish with cold, he retired to his cabin, vowing
all manner of impossible vengeance, muttering about courts-martial, and
solemnly protesting that Mr. Mitchell, the first lieutenant, should pay
him for the cow that he had so wantonly shot.

Blank were the countenances of many the next morning. The first
lieutenant was not, as usual, asked to breakfast. There was distrust and
division in his Majesty's ship Nænia, and the Honourable the Captain
Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban had several severe contusions on his noble
person, a bad cold, and no milk for breakfast; an accumulation of evils
that one of the aristocracy ought not to be obliged to bear. Though Mr.
Mitchell did not breakfast with the captain, Jack Small, alias Small
Jack, alias Mr. Littlejohn, did. The only attempt of the captain that
morning at conversation was as follows. With a voice that croaked like
a raven's at the point of death, evidence _externe_ of an abominable
sore-throat, the captain merely said to the reefer, pointing his
fore-finger downwards as he did the day before, "_Milk?_"

Mr. Littlejohn shook his head dolefully, and replied, "No, sir."

"My cow died last night," said the afflicted commander with a pathos
that would have wrung the heart of a stone statue--if it could have
heard it.

"If you please, sir," said the steward, "Mr. Mitchell sends his
compliments, and would be very glad to know what you would have done
with the dead cow."--"My compliments to Mr. Mitchell and _he_ may do
whatever he likes with it. He shot it, and must pay me for it: let him
eat it if he will."

The first lieutenant and the captain were, after this, not on speaking
terms for three months. Several duels had very nearly been fought
about the ghost; those who had not seen it, branding those who had
with an imputation only a little short of cowardice; those who had
seen it, becoming for a few weeks very religious, and firmly resolving
henceforward to get drunk only in pious company. The carcase of the cow
was properly dressed and cut up, but few were found who would eat of it;
the majority of the seamen thinking that the animal had been bewitched:
the captain of course would take none of it unless Mr. Mitchell would
permit him to pay him for it at so much per pound, as he pertinaciously
pretended to consider it to be the property of the first lieutenant.
Consequently, the animal was neatly shared between the midshipmen's
berth and the mess of which Joseph Grummet, the captain of the waist,
was an unworthy member.

The day following the death of the cow, Joseph Grummet was found
loitering about the door of the young gentlemen's berth.

"Any milk to-morrow, Joseph?" said the caterer.--"No, sir," with a most
sensible shake of the head.

"Oh!--the cow has given up the ghost!"--"_And somebody else too!_" This
simple expression seemed to have much relieved Joe's overcharged bosom:
he turned his quid in his month with evident satisfaction, grinned, and
was shortly after lost in the darkness forward.

       *       *       *       *       *

There never yet was a ghost story that did not prove a very simple
affair when the key to it was found. The captain of the Nænia never
would believe that anything uncommon was ever seen at all. He was,
however, as much in the wrong as those who believed that they had seen
a ghost. The occurrence could not be forgotten, though it ceased to be
talked of.

Two years after the ship came to England, and was paid off. Joseph
Grummet bagged his notes and his sovereigns with much satisfaction;
but he did not jump like a fool into the first boat, and rush ashore
to scatter his hard-earned wages among Jews, and people still worse:
he stayed till the last man, and anxiously watched for the moment when
the pennant should be hauled down. When he saw this fairly done, he
asked leave to speak to the captain. He was ushered into the cabin, and
he there saw many of the officers who were taking leave of their old
commander.

"Well, Grummet," said the skipper, "what now?"

"Please your honour, you offered five guineas to anybody who would tell
you who milked the cow."

"And so I will gladly," said the captain, pleasantly, "if the same
person will unravel the mystery of the ghost." And he turned a
triumphant look upon the believers in spirits who stood around him.

"I milked your cow, sir."

"Ah! Joseph, Joseph! it was unkindly done. But with your hands?"--"We
widened a pair of Mr. Littlejohn's kid-gloves, sir."

"I knew that little rascal was at the bottom of it! but there is honour
in the midshipmen's berth still. What is the reason that they thus
sought to deprive me of my property?"--"You wouldn't allow them to take
any live stock on board that cruise, sir."

"So--so--wild justice, hey? But come to the ghost."--"Why, sir, I wanted
to have the cow unwatched for a quarter of an hour every middle watch;
so I took the shark's head we had caught a day or two before, scraped
off most of the flesh, and whipped it in a bread-bag,--it shone brighter
in the dark than stinking mackerel;--so I whips him out when I wants
him, and wabbles his jaws about. I was safely stowed under the bowsprit
from your shot; and when your honour walked in on one side of the
manger, I walked, with my head under my arm, out of the other."

"Well, Joseph, there are your five guineas: and, gentlemen," said
the Honourable the Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, bowing to his
officers, "I wish you joy of your ghost!"



               OLD AGE AND YOUTH.
             BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.

    Old Age sits bent on his iron-grey steed;
      Youth rides erect on his courser black;
    And little he thinks in his reckless speed
      Old Age comes on, in the _very same track_.

    And on Youth goes, with his cheek like the rose,
      And his radiant eyes, and his raven hair;
    And his laugh betrays how little he knows,
      Of AGE, and his sure companion CARE.

    The courser black is put to his speed,
      And Age plods on, in a quieter way,
    And little Youth thinks that the iron-grey steed
      Approaches him nearer, every day!

    Though one seems strong as the forest tree,
      The other infirm, and wanting breath;
    _If ever_ YOUTH baffles OLD AGE, 'twill be
      By rushing into the arms of DEATH!

    On his courser black, away Youth goes,
      The prosing sage may rest at home;
    He'll laugh and quaff, for well he knows
      That years must pass ere Age _can come_.

    And since too brief are the daylight hours
      For those who would laugh their lives away;
    With beaming lamps, and mimic flowers,
      He'll teach the night to mock the day!

    Again he'll laugh, again he'll feast,
      His lagging foe he'll still deride,
    Until--when he expects him least--
      Old Age and he stand side by side!

    He then looks into his toilet-glass,
      And sees Old Age reflected there!
    He cries, "Alas! how quickly pass
      Bright eyes, and bloom, and raven hair!"

    The lord of the courser black, must ride
      On the iron-grey steed, sedate and slow!
    And thus to him who his power defied,
      Old Age must come like a conquering foe.

    Had the prosing sage not preach'd in vain,
      Had Youth not written his words on sand,
    Had he early paused, and given the rein
      Of his courser black to a steadier hand:

    Oh! just as gay might his days have been,
      Though mirth with graver thoughts might blend;
    And when at his side Old Age was seen,
      He had been hail'd as a timely friend.



                   AN EVENING OF VISITS.
        BY J. FENIMORE COOPER, AUTHOR OF "THE PILOT."

I have had an odd pleasure in driving from one house to another on
particular evenings, in order to produce as strong contrasts as my
limited visiting list will afford. Having a fair opportunity a few
nights since, in consequence of two or three invitations coming in for
the evening on which several houses where I occasionally called were
opened, I determined to make a night of it, in order to note the effect.
As A---- did not know several of the people, I went alone, and you may
possibly be amused with an account of my adventures: they shall be told.

In the first place I had to dress, in order to go to dinner at a house
that I had never entered, and with a family of which I had never seen a
soul. These are incidents which frequently come over a stranger, and,
at first, were not a little awkward, but use hardens us to much greater
misfortunes. At six, then, I stepped punctually into my _coupé_, and
gave Charles the necessary number and street. I ought to tell you that
the invitation had come a few days before, and, in a fit of curiosity,
I had accepted it, and sent a card, without having the least idea who
my host and hostess were, beyond their names. There was something
piquant in this ignorance, and I had almost made up my mind to go in
the same mysterious manner, leaving all to events, when happening in
an idle moment to ask a lady of my acquaintance, and for whom I have a
great respect, if she knew a Madame de ----, to my surprise her answer
was, "Most certainly--she is my cousin, and you are to dine there
to-morrow." I said no more, though this satisfied me that my hosts were
people of some standing. While driving to their hotel, it struck me,
under all the circumstances, it might be well to know more of them; and
I stopped at the gate of a female friend who knows everybody, and who
I was certain would receive me even at that unseasonable hour. I was
admitted, explained my errand, and inquired if she knew a M. de ----.
"Quelle question!" she exclaimed; "M. de ---- est Chancelier de la
France!" Absurd, and even awkward, as it might have proved but for this
lucky thought, I should have dined with the French Lord High Chancellor
without having the smallest suspicion who he was!

The hotel was a fine one, though the apartment was merely good; and
the reception, service, and general style of the house were so simple,
that neither would have awakened the least suspicion of the importance
of my hosts. The party was small, and the dinner modest. I found the
_Chancelier_ a grave dignified man, a little curious on the subject of
America; and his wife, apparently a woman of great good sense, and, I
should think, of a good deal of attainment. Every thing went off in the
quietest manner possible, and I was sorry when it was time to go.

From this dinner I drove to the hotel of the Marquis de Marbois, to
pay a visit of digestion. M. de Marbois retires so early on account of
his great age, that one is obliged to be punctual, or he will find the
gate locked at nine. The company had got back into the drawing-room;
and as the last week's guests were mostly there, as well as those who
had just left the table, there might have been thirty people present,
all of whom were men, but two. One of the ladies was Madame de Souza,
known in French literature as the writer of several clever novels
of society. In the drawing-room were grouped in clusters the Grand
Referendary, M. Cuvier, M. Daru, M. Villemain, M. de Plaisance, Mr.
Brown, and many others of note. There seemed to be something in the
wind, as the conversation was in low confidential whispers, attended
by divers ominous shrugs. This could only be politics; and, watching
an opportunity, I questioned an acquaintance. The fact was really so.
The appointed hour had come, and the ministry of M. de Villèle was in
the agony. The elections had not been favourable, and it was expedient
to make an attempt to reach the _old_ end by what is called a _new_
combination. It is necessary to understand the general influence of
political intrigues on certain _côteries_ of Paris, to appreciate the
effect of this intelligence on a drawing-room filled like this, with men
who had been actors in the principal events of France for forty years.
The name of M. Cuvier was even mentioned as one of the new ministers.
Comte Roy was also named as likely to be the new premier. I was told
that this gentleman was one of the greatest landed proprietors of
France, his estates being valued at four millions of dollars. The fact
is curious, as showing, not on vulgar rumour, but from a respectable
source, what is deemed a first-rate landed property in this country. It
is certainly no merit, nor do I believe it is any very great advantage;
but I think we might materially beat this, even in America. The company
soon separated, and retired.

From the Place de la Madeleine I drove to a house near the Carrousel,
where I had been invited to step in, in the course of the evening. All
the buildings that remain within the intended parallelogram, which will
some day make this spot one of the finest squares in the world, have
been bought by the government, or nearly so, with the intent to have
them pulled down at a proper time; and the court bestows lodgings,
_ad interim_, among them, on its favourites. Madame de ---- was one of
these favoured persons, and she occupies a small apartment in the third
story of one of these houses. The rooms were neat and well arranged,
but small. Probably the largest does not exceed fifteen feet square.
The approach to a Paris lodging is usually either very good or very
bad. In the new buildings may be found some of the mediocrity of the
new order of things; but in all those which were erected previously to
the Revolution, there is nothing but extremes in this as in most other
things,--great luxury and elegance, or great meanness and discomfort.
The house of Madame de ---- happens to be of the latter class; and
although all the disagreeables have disappeared from her own rooms, one
is compelled to climb up to them through a dark well of a staircase, by
flights of steps not much better than those we use in our stables. You
have no notion of such staircases as those I had just descended in the
hotels of the Chancelier and the Premier President;[18] nor have we any
just idea, as connected with respectable dwellings of these I had now
to clamber up. M. de ---- is a man of talents and great respectability,
and his wife is exceedingly clever, but they are not rich. He is a
professor, and she is an artist. After having passed so much of my youth
on top-gallant-yards, and in becketting royals, you are not to suppose,
however, I had any great difficulty in getting up these stairs, narrow,
steep, and winding as they were.

We are now at the door, and I have rung. On whom do you imagine the
curtain will rise? On a _réunion_ of philosophers some to discuss
questions in botany with M. de ----, or on artists assembled to talk over
the troubles of their profession with his wife? The door opens, and I
enter.

The little drawing-room was crowded; chiefly with men. Two card-tables
were set, and at one I recognised a party, in which were three dukes
of the _vieille cour_, with M. de Duras at their head! The rest of the
company was a little more mixed; but, on the whole, it savoured strongly
of Coblentz and the _émigration_. This was more truly French than
anything I had yet stumbled on. One or two of the grandees looked at me
as if, better informed than Scott, they knew that General La Fayette
had not gone to America to live. Some of these gentlemen certainly do
not love us; but I had cut out too much work for the night to stay and
return the big looks of even dukes, and, watching an opportunity when
the eyes of Madame de ---- were another way, I stole out of the room.

Charles now took his orders, and we drove down into the heart of the
town, somewhere near the general post-office, or into those mazes of
streets that near two years of practice have not yet taught me to
thread. We entered the court of a large hotel that was brilliantly
lighted; and I ascended, by a noble flight of steps, to the first floor.
Ante-chambers communicated with a magnificent saloon, which appeared to
be near forty feet square. The ceilings were lofty, and the walls were
ornamented with military trophies, beautifully designed, and which had
the air of being embossed and gilded. I had got into the hotel of one of
Napoleon's marshals, you will say, or at least into one of a marshal
of the old _régime_. The latter conjecture may be true, but the house
is now inhabited by a great woollen manufacturer, whom the events of
the day have thrown into the presence of all these military emblems. I
found the worthy _industriel_ surrounded by a group, composed of men of
his own stamp, eagerly discussing the recent changes in the government.
The women, of whom there might have been a dozen, were ranged, like
a neglected parterre, along the opposite side of the room. I paid my
compliments, stayed a few minutes, and stole away to the next engagement.

We had now to go to a little retired house on the Champs Elysées. There
were only three or four carriages before the door, and on ascending to
a small, but very neat apartment, I found some twenty people collected.
The mistress of the house was an English lady, single, of a certain age,
and a daughter of the Earl of ----, who was once governor of New York.
Here was a very different set: one or two ladies of the old court, women
of elegant manners, and seemingly of good information; several English
women, pretty, quiet, and clever; besides a dozen men of different
nations. This was one of those little _réunions_ that are so common in
Paris among the foreigners, in which a small infusion of French serves
to leaven a considerable batch of human beings from other parts of the
world. As it is always a relief to me to speak my own language, after
being a good while among foreigners, I stayed an hour at this house.
In the course of the evening an Irishman of great wit and of exquisite
humour, one of the paragons of the age in his way, came in. In the
course of conversation, this gentleman, who is the proprietor of an
Irish estate, and a Catholic, told me of an atrocity in the laws of his
country of which until then I was ignorant. It seems that any younger
brother, or next heir, might claim the estate by turning Protestant, or
drive the incumbent to the same act. I was rejoiced to hear that there
was hardly an instance of such profligacy known.[19] To what baseness
will not the struggle for political ascendancy urge us!

In the course of the evening, Mr. ----, the Irish gentleman, gravely
introduced me to a Sir James ----, adding, with perfect gravity, "a
gentleman whose father humbugged the Pope--humbugged infallibility."
One could not but be amused with such an introduction, urged in a way
so infinitely droll, and I ventured, at a proper moment, to ask an
explanation, which, unless I was also humbugged, was as follows.

Among the _détenus_ in 1804 was Sir William ----, the father of Sir
James ----, the person in question. Taking advantage of the presence of
the Pope at Paris, he is said to have called on the good-hearted Pius,
with great concern of manner, to state his case. He had left his sons in
England, and through his absence they had fallen under the care of two
Presbyterian aunts; as a father he was naturally anxious to rescue them
from this perilous situation. "Now, Pius," continued my merry informant,
"quite naturally supposed that all this solicitude was in behalf of two
orthodox Catholic souls, and he got permission from Napoleon for the
return of so good a father to his own country,--never dreaming that the
conversion of the boys, if it ever took place, would only be from the
Protestant Episcopal Church of England to that of Calvin; or a rescue
from one of the devil's furnaces to pop them into another." I laughed
at this story, I suppose with a little incredulity; but my Irish friend
insisted on its truth, ending the conversation with a significant nod,
Catholic as he was, and saying--"humbugged infallibility!"

By this time it was eleven o'clock; and as I am obliged to keep
reasonable hours, it was time to go to _the_ party of the evening.
Count ----, of the ---- Legation, gave a great ball. My carriage entered
the line at the distance of near a quarter of a mile from the hotel;
gensdarmes being actively employed in keeping us all in our places. It
was half an hour before I was set down, and the quadrilles were in full
motion when I entered. It was a brilliant affair,--much the most so, I
have ever yet witnessed in a private house. Some said there were fifteen
hundred people present. The number seems incredible; and yet, when one
comes to calculate, it may be so. As I got into my carriage to go away,
Charles informed me that the people at the gates affirm that more than
six hundred carriages had entered the court that evening. By allowing
an average of little more than two to each vehicle, we get the number
mentioned.

I do not know exactly how many rooms were opened on this occasion, but
I should think there were fully a dozen. Two or three were very large
_salons_; and the one in the centre, which was almost at fever heat,
had crimson hangings, by way of cooling one. I have never witnessed
dancing at all comparable to that of the quadrilles of this evening.
Usually there is either too much or too little of the dancing-master,
but on this occasion every one seemed inspired with a love of the art.
It was a beautiful sight to see a hundred charming young women, of the
first families of Europe,--for they were there, of all nations, dressed
with the simple elegance that is so becoming to the young of the sex,
and which is never departed from here until after marriage,--moving in
perfect time to delightful music, as if animated by a common soul. The
men, too, did better than usual, being less lugubrious and mournful than
our sex is apt to be in dancing. I do not know how it is in private, but
in the world, at Paris, every young woman seems to have a good mother;
or, at least, one capable of giving her both a good tone and good taste.

At this party I met the ----, an intimate friend of the ambassador,
and one who also honours me with a portion of her friendship. In
talking over the appearance of things, she told me that some hundreds
of _applications for invitations_ to this ball had been made.
"Applications! I cannot conceive of such meanness. In what manner?"
"Directly; by note, by personal intercession--almost by tears. Be
certain of it, many hundreds have been refused." In America we hear
of refusals to go to balls, but we have not yet reached the pass of
sending refusals to invite! "Do you see Mademoiselle ----, dancing in
the set before you?" She pointed to a beautiful French girl whom I had
often seen at her house, but whose family was in a much lower station in
society than herself. "Certainly; pray how came _she_ here?" "I brought
her. Her mother was dying to come, too, and she begged me to get an
invitation for her and her daughter; but it would not do to bring the
mother to such a place, and I was obliged to say no more tickets could
be issued. I wished, however, to bring the daughter, she is so pretty;
and we compromised the affair in that way." "And to this the mother
assented!" "Assented! How can you doubt it? What funny American notions
you have brought with you to France!"

I got some droll anecdotes from my companion, concerning the ingredients
of the company on this occasion, for she could be as sarcastic as she
was elegant. A young woman near us, attracted attention by a loud
and vulgar manner of laughing. "Do you know that lady?" demanded my
neighbour. "I have seen her before, but scarcely know her name." "She
is the daughter of your acquaintance, the Marquise de ----." "Then she
is, or was, a Mademoiselle de ----." "She is not, nor properly ever was,
a Mademoiselle de ----. In the Revolution the Marquis was imprisoned by
you wicked republicans, and the Marquise fled to England, whence she
returned, after an absence of three years, bringing with her this young
lady, then an infant a few months old." "And Monsieur le Marquis?" "He
never saw his daughter, having been beheaded in Paris, about a year
before her birth." "_Quel contre-temps!_" "_N'est-ce pas?_"

It is a melancholy admission, but it is no less true, that good breeding
is sometimes quite as active a virtue as good principles. How many more
of the company present were born about a year after their fathers were
beheaded, I have no means of knowing, but had it been the case with all
of them, the company would have been of as elegant demeanour, and of
much more _retenue_ of deportment, than we are accustomed to see, I will
not say in _good_, but certainly in _general_ society, at home. One of
the consequences of good breeding is also a disinclination, positively
a distaste, to pry into the private affairs of others. The little
specimen to the contrary, just named, was rather an exception, owing to
the character of the individual, and to the indiscretion of the young
lady in laughing too loud; and then the affair of a birth so _very_
posthumous was rather too _patent_ to escape all criticism.

My friend was in a gossiping mood this evening, and, as she was well
turned of fifty, I ventured to continue the conversation. As some of the
_liaisons_ which exist here must be novel to you, I shall mention one or
two more.

A Madame de J---- passed us, leaning on the arm of M. de C----. I knew
the former, who was a widow; had frequently visited her, and had been
surprised at the intimacy which existed between her, and M. de C----,
who always appeared quite at home in her house. I ventured to ask my
neighbour if the gentleman were the brother of the lady. "Her brother!
It is to be hoped not, as he is her husband." "Why does she not bear
his name, if that be the case?" "Because her first husband is of a more
illustrious family than her second; and then there are some difficulties
on the score of fortune. No, no. These people are _bonâ fide_ married.
_Tenez_--do you see that gentleman who is standing so assiduously near
the chair of Madame de S----? He who is all attention and smiles to the
lady?" "Certainly: his politeness is even affectionate." "Well, it ought
to be, for it is M. de S----, her husband." "They are a happy couple,
then." "_Hors de doute_: he meets her at _soirées_ and balls; is the
pink of politeness; puts on her shawl; sees her safe into her carriage,
and----" "Then they drive home together, as loving as Darby and Joan."
"And then he jumps into his _cabriolet_, and drives to the lodgings
of ----. _Bon soir, monsieur_----; you are making me fall into the vulgar
crime of scandal."

Now, much as all this may sound like invention, it is quite true that
I repeat no more to you than was said to me, and no more than what I
believe to be the fact. As respects the latter couple, I have been
elsewhere told that they literally never see each other except in
public, where they constantly meet as the best friends in the world.

I was lately in some English society, when Lady G---- bet a pair of
gloves with Lord R---- that he had not seen Lady R---- for a fortnight.
The bet was won by the gentleman, who proved satisfactorily that he had
met his wife at a dinner party only ten days before.

After all I have told you, and all that you may have heard from others,
I am nevertheless inclined to believe that the high society of Paris is
quite as exemplary as that of any other large European town. If we are
any better ourselves, is it not more owing to the absence of temptation,
than to any other cause? Put large garrisons into our towns, fill the
streets with idlers who have nothing to do but to render themselves
agreeable, and with women with whom dress and pleasure are the principal
occupations, and then let us see what Protestantism and liberty will
avail us in this particular. The intelligent French say that their
society is improving in morals. I can believe this assertion, of which I
think there is sufficient proof by comparing the present with the past,
as the latter has been described to us. By the past, I do not mean the
period of the Revolution, when vulgarity assisted to render vice still
more odious--a happy union, perhaps, for those who were to follow,--but
the days of the old _régime_. Chance has thrown me in the way of three
or four old dowagers of that period, women of high rank, and still in
the first circles, who, amid all their _finesse_ of breeding, and ease
of manner, have had a most desperate _rouée_ air about them. Their very
laugh, at times, has seemed replete with a bold levity that was as
disgusting as it was unfeminine. I have never, in any other part of the
world, seen loose sentiments _affichés_, with more effrontery. These
women are the complete antipodes of the quiet, elegant Princesse de ----,
who was at Lady ---- ----'s this evening; though some of them write
_Princesses_ on their cards, too.

The influence of a court must be great on the morals of those who
live in its purlieus. Conversing with the Duc de ----, a man who has
had general currency in the best society of Europe, on this subject,
he said,--"England has long decried our manners. Previously to the
Revolution, I admit they were bad; perhaps worse than her own; but I
know nothing in our history so bad as what I have witnessed in England.
The King invited me to dine at Windsor. I found every one in the
drawing-room, but his Majesty and Lady ----. She entered but a minute
before him, like a queen. Her reception was that of a queen; young,
unmarried females kissed her hand. Now, all this might happen in France,
even now; but Louis XV, the most dissolute of our monarchs, went no
farther. At Windsor, I saw the husband, sons, and daughters of the
favourite, in the circle! _Le parc des Cerfs_ was not as bad as this."

"And yet, M. de ----, since we are conversing frankly, listen to what
I witnessed, but the other day, in France. You know the situation of
things at St. Ouen, and the rumours that are so rife. We had the _fête
Dieu_ during my residence there. You, who are a Catholic, need not be
told that your sect believe in the doctrine of the 'real presence.'
There was a _reposoir_ erected in the garden of the _château_, and God,
in person, was carried, with religious pomp, to rest in the bowers of
the ex-favourite. It is true, the husband was not present: he was only
in the provinces!"

"The influence of a throne makes sad parasites and hypocrites,"
said M. de ----, shrugging his shoulders.

"And the influence of the people, too, though in a different way. A
courtier is merely a well-dressed demagogue."

"It follows, then, that man is just a poor devil."

But I am gossiping away with you, when my Asmodean career is ended;
and it is time I went to bed. Good night!

[18] M. de Marbois was the first president of the Court of Accounts.

[19] I believe this infamous law, however, has been repealed.



        METASTASIO.

             I.
        _La Signora._
    Chi sei tu? Chi sei tu?
      Dimmi piccolo fanciullo,
    Sempr' andante sù et giù
      Sospirando fra 'l trastullo.

          _Cupid._
    Son Cupidon' in verità
      Rè de' burle leggiadre.

          _La Sig._
    Dunque dì per carità,
      Come stia, tua madre?
    Senz' arco così, perchè?
      Dove sono le saiette?
    La faretra poi dov' è?
      Sembianze son sospette--
          Chi sei tu?

            II.
          _La Sig._
    Chi sei tu? chi sei tu?
      Arme c'eran altre volte.

          _Cupid._
    Giovan' ELLA non è più
      Mi furon' allora tolte.

          _La Sig._
    E la torcia, perchè, dì,
      Hai voluto tu lasciare?

          _Cupid._
    Cuori signor' oggidì
      Più non vogliono bruciare.

          _La Sig._
      Tu rispondermi così
    Fanciulletto! che vergogna!
      O! sei cambiato, sì,
    Ate dunque dir' bisogna
        "CHI SEI TU?"


         FONTENELLE.

              I.
          _La Dame._
      Qui es tu? Qui es tu?
    Bel enfant aux gais sourires,
      Toi qui cours tout devtu,
    Et ris parfois, parfois soupires?

          _Cupidon._
    Dame, je suis Cupidon
      Dieu d'amour, fils à CITHERE.

          _La Dame._
    Bel enfant, eh, dis moi donc
      Comment va, VENUS, ta mere?
        Cette fois, sans carquois
      Je te vois avec surprise,
        Cupidon, est il donc
      Etonnant que l'on te dise
          Qui es tu?

              II.
          _La Dame._
    Qui es tu? Qui es tu?
      Qu'a tu donc fait de tes armes,
    De tes traits de fer pointu ...?

          _Cupidon._
    De _vos_ traits ... où sont les charmes?

    Vous votre beau, moi mon flambeau
      Ensemble nous lâchâmes:

    Or, plus d'espoir helas! de voir
    Pour nous les coeurs en flammes!

          _La Dame._
      Petit enfant, c'est peu galant
    D'user pareil langage;
      Pas étonnant que maintenant
    Chacun dise au village
          "QUI EST TU?"


          SAM. LOVER.

  * *  This song has been set to music
   *   by Mr. Lover, and is published.

    "Who are you?--Who are you?
      Little boy that's running after
    Ev'ry one up and down,
      Mingling sighing with your laughter?"

    "I am Cupid, lady belle,
      I am Cupid, and no other."

    "Little boy, then pr'ythee tell
      How is Venus? How's your mother?
    Little boy, little boy,
      I desire you tell me true:
    Cupid, oh! you're alter'd so,
      No wonder I cry _Who are you?_"

              II.
    "Who are you?--Who are you?
      Little boy, where is your bow?
    You had a bow, my little boy."

      "So had you, ma'am, long ago."

    "Little boy, where is your torch?"
      "Madam, I have given it up:

    Torches are no use at all;
      Hearts will never now _flare up_."

    "Naughty boy, naughty boy,
      Such words as these I never knew:
    Cupid, oh! you're alter'd so,
      No wonder I say
          "WHO ARE YOU?"


          _WHO ARE YOU?_

"There are very impudent people in London," Said young Ben. "As I passed
down Arlington-street a fellow stared at me and shouted 'Who are you?'
Five minutes after, another passing me cried 'Flare up!' but a civil
gentleman close to his heels kindly asked 'How is your mother?'
_Vivian Grey._

  [Illustration]

"Il y a certaines façons de parler dans toutes les langues de l'Europe,
que l'on retrouve partout dans la bouche du vulgaire. A cette classe
apparsions "_Qui es tu?_" "_Comment va ta mere?_" En Italie comme
en France on n'entend que ça."--L'Abbé Bossu _sur les idiotismes du
langage_.



              METROPOLITAN MEN OF SCIENCE.

                        No. I.

The author of the exploits of _Brown Bess_ and of _The Admirable
Crichton_ has announced his intention of _editing_ "_The Lions of
London_," a task of no ordinary description; and _Boz_ has already
chronicled the slang, humour, peculiarities, and vices of the omnibus
cads and cab-drivers. Pierce Egan, after uttering a vulgar forgery
of _Life in London_, has in a repentant fit announced himself as
"_A Pilgrim of the Thames_;" and, in short, the wonders of this
wondrous metropolis are drawn, depicted, coloured, printed, narrated,
represented, in every possible shape and way to the town and country
public. All this we know: but we know more; we know that there are
_the_ places, _the_ scenes, and _the_ characters to be visited, and
contemplated, and admired in town, which will be omitted to be noticed
by any of our pleasant historians; but which are, of all others, worthy
of sincere regard and periodical immortality! In the East, according to
the letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the corner of the Kiosk was
the distinguished place of honour; and may we not conduct our readers to
corners and by-places, and "show their eyes and grieve their hearts?"
We have for some time felt a great anxiety to exhibit to our readers
a few remarkable features of society, or rather to introduce them to
Those who are connected with those features. All know, and yet all do
not intimately and in particular know, many of our great scientific
humanists, as connected with particular departments of our precious
faces or heads; but we long, we thirst, to be the chroniclers of

          Mr. A. and the eye,
          Mr, B. and the ear,
          Mr. C. and the nose,
          Mr. D. and the teeth,
              &c. &c. &c.

Some of our readers will think we are about to publish the works of
_Head_ in the usual popular monthly series; but we see no reason why old
Burton should have it all to himself, and why a pleasant anatomy (which
must be an anatomy of pleasure) should not compete with the Anatomy of
Melancholy!

We shall at once begin our agreeable task, and as it is _biting_
weather, we will immediately come to Mr. D. and the teeth, than whom
a more amiable, honourable, or generous man, or a more decisive and
perfect artist, does not exist. Persons may think that his abode is a
mere place where drops of laudanum are dropped into wretched receptacles
of pain; or where bits of yellow double ivory are lugged out, as though
the teeth were dancing the hays in Hayes Court. No such thing! The house
is a palace! The man is a magician over the unruly spirit of teeth! The
arrangements are pleasant, touching, and delightful; and the operations
are rare and fascinating surprises, which no person with a discoloured
concave, or suspicious fang, ought to neglect! What a mansion! What an
artist! What a deathless D.!

I do not know when I have experienced more of ease and pleasure than I
did in the capacious and comfortable ante-room; for I had, to speak the
truth, accompanied a friend who had the tooth-ache, and I saw around
me, various respectable objects of pang and pity, who were about to
have that salutary relief given to them, which the new poor-law has
directed to other poor devils, and which is derived from their _being
taken into the house_! One by one was beckoned out by the porter to the
relieving officer, and nothing could be more interesting or effective
than the departure of patient after patient, "with a muffled drum" for a
head, and who, as soon as the door closed, was "heard no more of!" What
luxury marks this apartment! The handles of the doors are a complete
set of ivories; and, indeed, the whole interior is one scene of mingled
splendour and comfort. Let our readers, as Brutus says, "_chew_ upon
this!" A large table stands in the room, covered with every work that
the imagination can devise, for the amusement and satisfaction of the
attentive reader. The students, however, in this room, are not so steady
and intent over their books as are the visitors to the library of the
British Museum; but they snatch a little agreeable reading by fits and
starts, and take up a very tolerable number of volumes and pamphlets,
and put them down in a remarkably short compass of time. The person to
whom the selection of this entertaining library has been entrusted,
has executed his task with discretion, fidelity, and spirit; and we
were pleased to notice, as we jotted down in our memorandum-book the
names of the most attractive of the works, how much he had endeavoured
to collect together, pages that should tend to soothe, beguile, and
cheer the casual visitor of the place. First we had "_Paine's Age of
Reason_"--a book calculated for those in whom pain and reason are so
invariably connected. Then we had "Sass's Drawings of the Human Figure;"
"The Sufferings of the Early Martyrs;" "History of the Inquisition,
with Prints of the Screws and Instruments of Torture;" "Lardner on the
Lever;" "Coulson on Distortions, &c." "Tracts on Tumours;" "Montgomery's
Omnipresence;" "Five Minutes' Advice on the Care of the Teeth;" "The
Lancet;" and "_Elegant Extracts_." There is no refreshment ready in
_this_ room, except that which is derived by the person who comes to
have his or her teeth "looked at," contemplating a near chair-neighbour
who is about to part with one of those useful inmates, which, like
all other domestics, get troublesome as they get older, and finally
lose their places from becoming in themselves perfectly unbearable!
The passages and galleries are magnificent--rows of pillars of the
_Tuscan_ order are in even sets, and in perfect order and keeping! On
the staircase, which is of marble, stands a superb clock, which _throbs_
the time very awfully; and the suite of rooms on the first floor is, as
the visitors cannot but admit, of the most costly order. Refreshments
are here constantly spread before the lingerer, tempting those (who
have not had a wink of sleep for weeks) to eat and enjoy themselves.
In this house one thing is remarkable, and I think it tends to confuse
the mind,--"the drawing-room" is on the ground-floor! Here the soothing
sorcerer over anguish and horror--receives his visitors; and here,
indeed, he sees company in due state. I merely took a glimpse at this
room, which was by no means so provocative of curiosity to me as was the
blue chamber to that of Fatima's.

A few _mems_ must close this weak and impotent description:--a few
recollections snatched amidst the fascination of the whole place! We
observed that the mode in which our artist expelled a troublesome
_double enemy_ put an end to the usual interpretation of Zanga's famous
exclamation,

      "The flesh _will_ follow where the pincers tear!"

The _pincers_ might be used, but the flesh did _not_ follow,--the
eye-tooth came out as clean as a smelt. Mr. D. had several pictures
in _enamel_, which were much to be valued; and he had in his hall
a portrait by the late Sir Thomas Lawrence of Mr. Cartwright--and
likenesses by _H. B._ in one of his closets, of Howard, Imrie, Sanford,
Clarke, Jones, Parkinson, Hayes, Biggs, Rogers, &c. &c. which are
allowed to be, by all observers, admirable works of art. There is a
slight attempt at _Mallan_ in _mineral succedaneum_, which appears to be
falling away--we will not say decaying.

One nuisance there is, and we cannot as honest historians pass it
over; the street, in which our D. lives, is disturbed, distracted, by
an excess of music, amounting, arising indeed, into a decided case
of "_organic_ disease." The _grinders_ making a point--it would seem
a pointed point--of showing themselves in the very front of that
building,--which is opposed to anything defective in the front!

As we were about to depart from this attractive spot--not
_spot_--place,--we saw Charles Taylor or Tom Cooke slipping away with
every tooth perfect, and yet not without a _falsetto_. Some musical wag
however still remained, and by permission of the butler (a _drawer_ of
corks in large practice) we were allowed to hear the following song; and
we shall print it at once without comment, explanation, or excuse,

    "For, oh! Sir Thomas's own sonnet
    Beats all that we can say upon it."



                           SONG,
           For the Private Theatre or the _Drawing_-room.
  _Air--Not_ "Pull away, pull away, pull away, my hearties!"--DIBDIN.

    Oh! this is the house for effects and for scenes,--
    What is Drury, Ducrow's, Covent Garden, the Queen's?
    Success at the one or the other will pause,
    But in this house the manager constantly _draws_.--
                Then let the Muse _be_ at her
                Home, in this theatre;
    Gain here, and glory, go snacks in applause.

    The crowds that come here, made of Beauty and Ninny,
    Take--each takes a seat in the stall for a guinea;
    Our great managerial actor then bows,
    And, oh! with what pleasure he views _the front rows_!
                                     Then let, &c.

    At the Opera they boast of the band and the _chori_,
    Of Lindley,--of Balfe,--Dragonetti, and Mori;
    But here finished art, perfect touch, take their station,
    For who beats our hero in _instrumentation_?
                                     Then let, &c.

    There's _Richard the Third_ is a favourite part,
    And he mouths it, like some of our players, by heart;
    But remember that Gloster, when first he drew breath,
    Was shaped like a _screw_--with a _full set of teeth_.
                                     Then let, &c.

    Macbeth may effectively fall to his lot,
    For where's such an artist for "_Out_, damned _spot_!"
    And we see, where those old annotators were blind,--
    For the issue of Duncan, why he _filed_ his mind.
                                     Then let, &c.

    He does not play Lear (Forrest does--so does Booth),
    For he thinks the "How sharper!" is wrong on the _tooth_!
    His company's good, else why full stall and bench?
    But, though he likes _Power_, he won't hear of _Wrench_!
                                     Then let, &c.

    Through pieces--light farce--Fame our favorite then next tracks,--
    Single acts, single scenes, pungent touches, smart extracts!
    With Colman's Review, too, he's coupled by some,
    For he, like John Lump, gets a "guinea _by Gum_!"
                                     Then let, &c.

    Then, with riches at will, oh! how liberal the lord
    Of this mansion is found at the banquet and board!
    Still, though wealth comes from east and from west, north and south,
    Yet some _will_ say he lives but from mere _hand to mouth_!
                                     Then let, &c.

    But cautious he should be,--though bright be the day,--
    For he knows, best of any, the works of decay;
    And he ne'er should forget, in this splendid--this top age,
    That when he _won't_ draw, he inclines then to _stoppage_.
                                     Then let, &c.

    But long may he flourish--long, long here preside,
    To give "harmless pleasure" to thousands beside!
    Age is baffled by him,--we're still rich,--let it fret!
    Oh! if hundreds are lost, we can have a _new set_!
                                     Then let, &c. R.



         KYAN'S PATENT--THE NINE MUSES,--AND THE DRY-ROT.

   "That which is most elaborate in nature is that which soonest
     runs to decay."                                    FARADAY.

The Muses, to their infinite disgrace as useful members of society,
have for centuries been devoting their time to the sun, the moon, the
stars, flowers, lips, hair, love, "kisses, tears, and smiles;" in short,
to objects of mere enjoyment and beauty; greatly to the delight, it
must be confessed, of the young and the romantic, but tending to no
wise and useful purpose, and contributing to no profitable end. The
long luxurious indolence of these nine inestimable young ladies for so
many, many years, does appear to us to cast no slight shade upon their
characters; and Parnassus itself does not "hold its own" as a place of
any considerable repute, when the habits of its female frequenters are
taken into account. It is, indeed, high time that the Muses should get
into places of all work,--that they should earn their bread through
habits of honest industry and integrity, and not be idling about the
rose-trees, and wasting their powers on a sigh, an eyebrow, or a
trumpery star. The time for useful exertion is come; and the days of
dalliance, dreaming, and ethereal delight are passing away. Flora gives
way to Cocker, and Apollo is whipped off the top of his own Grecian
mount by the schoolmaster _abroad_. If the Muses do not now patronise
statistical reports, poor-law estimates, and fat-cattle meetings, they
will as surely "sink in their repute," ay, as surely as the name of
their firm is "Clio, Tighe, Thalia, Hemans, Euterpe, Landon, Polyhymnia,
Jenkinson, and Co." Imagination is all very well in its way; but does it
know how "things are in the City?" Is it in the direction--it certainly
ought to be--of the Great Northern Railway, or the Public Safety British
Patent Axletree Conveyance Company? Can imagination "set a leg or an
arm?" if not, why imagination may imagine itself carrying out its own
shutters in these enlightened times, and shutting up its own shop at
mid-day.

We are happy to see, and to be able to say, that the Muses, like the
ladies in "the Invincibles," are marching with the times. They are
setting imagination to work on various well-sounding schemes for public
companies and joint-stockeries. Apollo is preparing a prospectus for
a New British Co-operative Joint Stock Music Society, into which, of
course, nothing foreign will be allowed to creep, unless it is altered
and dressed anew, and "wears a livery like its fellows." Melpomene is
to take the Queen's Theatre for a serious bazaar, and Thalia is to turn
Astley's into an agreeable chapel for the Jumpers. Urania goes to the
Astronomical Society as housekeeper, and Terpsichore is to be the lessee
of the dancing-rooms in Brewer-street, Golden-square, for gymnastic
purposes. Indeed, there will not be an idle body in the lovely firm;
and, in future, it is more than probable that vessels will be propelled
by means of airy verse, and balloons inflated by fancy, or elevated and
guided by the application of high-flown figures. There is no knowing or
foretelling to _what_ extent of usefulness poetry may be carried!

It has fallen to our lot to be able to record one of the scientific
turns which poetry has taken. The Muses having of late years observed
that the palm-tree, the laurel, and all their sacred trees, had,
like the trees in all gardens open to the public, suffered much
from ill-usage,--premature symptoms of dry-rot having presented
themselves,--the Nine were all at sixes and sevens about the matter,
until they were recommended by a humane neighbour (as one of Morrison's
pill victims says in a grateful advertisement) to "try Kyan." "Try
Kyan!" exclaimed Calliope. "What, in the name of music, can Kyan be?"
On turning to the columns of the Morning Chronicle, however, Erato
(who could read) discovered the advertisement explanatory of the great
patent antidote to dry-rot in timber; and a deputation of three of
the daughters of Mnemosyne waited on Messrs. Faraday, Pine, Kyan,
Memel, Mills, Oakley, Terry, and Woodison, gentlemen interested in the
progress of this invaluable discovery,--and finally at the office in
Lime-street-square the Muses bargained for a steeping of their undying,
dying, decaying timber in the wondrous tank at Red Lion wharf, Poplar.
The process, notwithstanding the mischief done to the wood by the
poets of this scratching age, was most triumphantly successful; all
symptoms of decay, except where certain initials were carved, at once
disappeared, and the immortal plants began to put on "all their original
brightness!" Apollo gave an awful shriek of delight as he saw the wanton
cuttings and witherings disappear, and the grand leaves of beauty
starting into life afresh, at the inspiring touch of the immortal Kyan.
The Muses, with a few select friends, dined together afterwards, at the
Macclesfield Arms in the New-road, and a song upon Kyan's patent was
_impromptued_ on the occasion, and was very favourably received, when
the mortal waiters were out of the room. We are enabled to lay a copy
of it before our readers; and we are sure they will, with us, receive
with pleasure this proof of the interest which the Muses are taking in
matters of science and useful art. It is reported that the Nine are
about to become members of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
Knowledge.


               THE ANTI-DRY-ROT COMPANY'S SONG.

  _Air_--"Well, well, now--no more;--sure you've told me before."
                                             _Love in a Village._

                         1.
        Have you heard,--have you heard,--
        Anti-dry-rot's the word?
    Wood will never wear out, thanks to Kyan, to Kyan!
        He dips in a tank,
        Any rafter or plank,--
    And makes it immortal as Dian, as Dian!
        If you steep but a thread,
        It will hang by the head,
    For ever, the largest old lion, old lion;
        Or will cord up the trunk
        Of an elephant drunk;--
    If you doubt it,--yourself go and try 'un, and try 'un.

                         2.
        In the days that are gone,
        As to timber and stone,
    Decay was by no means a shy 'un, a shy 'un.
        He bolted our floors,
        And our vessels by scores,
    And the thirsty old rot was a dry 'un, a dry 'un!
        Oak crumbled beneath
        The dry blast of its breath,
    As soon as it e'er came a-nigh 'un, a-nigh 'un;
        But gone is the day
        Of that glutton Decay,
    Since he can't eat his timber with _Kyan_, with _Kyan_!

                         3.
        Say--now--what shall we steep
        In the tank? just to keep.--
    Shakespeare sniffed our great secret, the sly 'un, the sly 'un!
        Hamlet, Macbeth, and Lear,
        Have been _Kyan'd_, my dear,
    By Nature's immortal Paul Pry 'un, Paul Pry 'un.
        Shall the plays of the day
        Take a plunge from decay?
    (There is no need for Tell, or for Ion, for Ion;)
        I fear he could not
        Soak away the dry-rot
    From _some_ things:--But _all_ rests on Kyan, on Kyan.

                         4.
        Put the lid on the tank,--
        Not a crack for a plank,--
    While I point out one thing, as I fly on, I fly on,
        Which really must not
        Have a dip 'gainst dry-rot,--
    Stuff with cotton the ears of my Kyan, my Kyan.
        In a whisper I speak,
        (But 'twill rain for a week,--
    Or as long as St. Swithin will cry on, will cry on,--)
        The moment I make
        Your conviction awake
    That _Vauxhall_ wants no plunge 'gainst the dry 'un, the dry 'un.

                         5.
        Do not dip many books
        In our anti-rot nooks;
    Keep out novels, and all Sense cries Fie on! cries Fie on!
        Though, since Wood turns sublime
        In its strife against time,
    Most heads that we know, will try Kyan, try Kyan.
        Only think what great good
        'Twould do Alder_men_ Wood,
    (Elected for life) if they'd try 'un, they'd try 'un;--
        Every word that I say
        Is as true as the day,
    And each hint you may safely rely on, rely on!

                         6.
        Then, hurrah! come uncork!
        This dry-rot is dry work;
    Bring the bottle,--that one I've my eye on, my eye on;
        My spirit I'd steep
        In its rich _anti_-deep,
    And linger for morn, like Orion, Orion!
        'Gad the secret is out,
        We've talk'd so much about;
    My dog's on the scent,--oh! then hie on, then hie on!
        'Tis the _bottle_, I feel,
        Makes immortal mere deal,
    And wine's the _solution of Kyan_, of Kyan! R.



             THE ORIGINAL OF "NOT A DRUM WAS HEARD."

          SCRAP, No. III.             _Water-grass-hill._

When _single-speech_ Hamilton made in the Irish Commons that _one_
memorable hit, and persevered ever after in obdurate taciturnity,
folks began very justly to suspect that all was not right; in fact,
that the solitary egg on which he thus sat, plumed in all the glory of
incubation, had been laid by another. The Rev. Mr. Wolfe is _supposed_
to be the author of a single poem, unparalleled in the English language
for all the qualities of a true lyric, breathing the purest spirit
of the antique, and setting criticism completely at defiance. I say
_supposed_, for the gentlemen himself never claimed its authorship
during his short and unobtrusive lifetime. He who could write the
"Funeral of Sir John Moore," must have eclipsed all the lyric poets of
this latter age by the fervour and brilliancy of his powers. Do the
other writings of Mr. Wolfe bear any trace of inspiration? None.

I fear we must look elsewhere for the origin of those beautiful lines;
and I think I can put the public on the right scent. In 1749, Colonel de
Beaumanoir, a native of Britanny, having rained a regiment in his own
neighbourhood, went out with it to India, in that unfortunate expedition
commanded by Lally-Tolendal, the failure of which eventual lost to
the French their possessions in Hindostan. The colonel was killed in
defending, against the forces of Coote, PONDICHERRY, the last stronghold
of the French in that hemisphere. He was buried that night on the north
bastion of the fortress by a few faithful followers, and the next day
the fleet sailed with the remainder of the garrison for Europe. In the
appendix to the "Memoirs of LALLY-TOLENDAL," by his Son, the following
lines occur, which bear some resemblance to those attributed to Wolfe.
Perhaps Wolf Tone may have communicated them to his relative the
clergyman on his return from France. _Fides sit penès lectorem._

                                                              P. PROUT.


         THE ORIGINAL OF "NOT A DRUM WAS HEARD."

                            I.
    Ni le son du tambour ... ni la marche funebre ...
      Ni le feu des soldats ... ne marqua son depart.--
    Mais du BRAVE, à la hâte, à travers les tenebres,
      Mornes ... nous portâmes le cadavre au rempart!

                           II.
    De Minuit c'était l'heure, et solitaire et sombre--
      La lune à peine offrait un debile rayon;
    La lanterne luisait peniblement dans l'ombre,
      Quand de la bayonette on creusa le gazon.

                           III.
    D'inutile cercueil ni de drap funeraire
      Nous ne daignâmes point entourer le HEROS;
    Il gisait dans les plis du manteau militaire
      Comme un guerrier qui dort son heure de repos.

                           IV.
    La prière qu'on fit fut de courte durée:
      Nul ne parla de deuil, bien que le coeur fut plein!
    Mais on fixait du MORT la figure adorée ...
      Mais avec amertume on songeait au demain.

                           V.
    Au demain! quand ici ou sa fosse s'apprête,
      Ou son humide lit on dresse avec sanglots,
    L'ennemi orgueilleux marchera sur sa tête,
      Et nous, ses veterans, serons loin sur les flots!

                           VI.
    Ils terniront sa gloire ... un pourra le entendre
      Nommer l'illustre MORT d'un ton amer ... ou fol;--
    Il les laissera dire.--Eh! qu'importe À SA CENDRE
      Que la main d'un BRETON a confiée au sol?

                          VII.
    L'oeuvre durait encor, quand retentit la cloche
      Au sommet du Befroi:--et le canon lointain
    Tiré par intervalle, en annonçant l'approche,
      Signalait la fierté de l'ennemi hautain.

                         VIII.
    Et dans sa fosse alors le mîmes lentement ...
     Près du champ où sa gloire a été consommée:
    Ne mimes à l'endroit pierre ni monument
     Le laissant seul à seul avec sa Renommée!



               A GOSSIP WITH SOME OLD ENGLISH POETS.
                         BY CHARLES OLLIER.

All hail to the octo-syllabic measure! the most cheerful, buoyant, and
terse of all metres; at once familiar and refined, and fitted more than
any other to the narration of a gay and laughing tale. Lord Byron, who
indulged in it not a little, was pleased nevertheless to condemn it for
what he called its "fatal facility;" but we believe that is _facility_
is more a matter for the enjoyment of the reader than for the execution
of the writer; since, in the latter respect, it seems to demand so much
of polish, point, and neatness, as to require, in its very absence of
all apparent effort, no little labour in him who would do its claims
full justice. Cowper, who was ambitious to excel in this pleasant
verse, declared that the "easy jingle" of Mat. Prior was inimitable;
but Prior, delightful as his octo-syllabic poetry undoubtedly is, has
many rivals,--not indeed among his contemporaries, but in poets who
preceded and followed him. Shakespeare, for example, in whose boundless
riches is found almost every variety of the Muse, has given us abundant
specimens of this verse in the prologues to each act of "Pericles,
Prince of Tyre," as spoken by the Ghost of old Gower, who, having,
in his _Confessio Amantis_, told the story afterwards dramatised by
Shakespeare, is evoked from his "ashes" to explain to the spectators the
progress of the incidents of the play. The following _notturno_ could
hardly have been as pleasantly conveyed in any other measure:--

    "Now sleep yslaked hath the rout;
    No din but snores, the house about,
    Made louder by the o'er-fed breast
    Of this most pompous marriage feast.
    The cat, with eyne of burning coal,
    Now couches 'fore the mouse's hole;
    And crickets sing at th' oven's mouth,
    As the blither for their drouth.
    Hymen hath brought the bride to bed."

Ben Johnson, too, has revelled in this metre: its sweet cheerfulness
appears, for the time, to have drawn from his mind its austere and
sarcastic qualities, and to have lulled the violence of his wit. Old
Ben is, in short, never seen in so happy and amiable a light as when he
writes in the octo-syllabic. Here in a specimen:--

    "Some act of Love bound to rehearse,
    I thought to bind him in my verse;
    Which, when he felt, 'Away!' quoth he,
    'Can poets hope to fetter me?
    It is enough they once did get
    Mars and my mother in their net;
    I wear not these my wings in vain.
    With which he fled me; and again
    Into my rhymes could ne'er be got
    By any art. Then wonder not
    That, since, my numbers are so cold,
    When Love is fled, and I grow old."

But what shall we say of Herrick, the English Anacreon, who fondled this
measure with such graceful dalliance? We cannot resist the temptation
of making an extract, and of _italicising_ a line or two, that we may
enjoy them with the reader:--

    "A sweet disorder in the dresse
    Kindles in cloathes a wantonnesse;
    A lawne about the shoulders thrown
    _Into a fine distraction_;
    An erring lace, which here and there
    Enthralls the crimson stomacher;
    A cuffe neglectfull, and thereby
    Ribbands to flow confusedly;
    _A winning wave, deserving note,
    In the tempestuous petticote_;
    A carelesse shooe-string, in whose tye
    _I see a wild civility_;
    Doe more bewitch me, than when art
    Is too precise in every part."

Mark the ease, the play, the _curiosa felicitas_, of this exquisite
little poem. Could it have been as happy in any other measure?

The stern and unflinching patriot, Andrew Marvell, evidently takes
delight in the piquant grace of the octo-syllabic. Here is a passage
from his poem addressed to the Lord Fairfax, descriptive of the grounds
about that nobleman's house, in Yorkshire, called Nun-Appleton. Speaking
of the meadows, Marvell says:--

    "No scene, that turns with engines strange,
    Does oftener than these meadows change;
    For when the sun the grass hath vex'd,
    The tawny mowers enter next;
    _Who seem like Israelites to be,
    Walking on foot through a green sea_.
    To them the grassy deeps divide,
    And crowd a lane to either side.
    With whistling scythe, and elbow strong,
    _These massacre the grass along_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The mower now commands the field;
    In whose new traverse seemeth wrought
    A camp of battle newly fought;
    Where, as the meads with hay, the plain
    Lies quilted o'er with bodies slain:
    The women that with forks it fling,
    Do represent the pillaging.
    And now the careless victors play,
    Dancing the triumphs of the hay.
    When, after this, 'tis piled in cocks,
    _Like a calm sea it shews the rocks_."

The poems of Thomas Randolph, a writer of the seventeenth century, are
not so well known as they deserve to be. A specimen, therefore, of his
treatment of our favourite verse, will be some such a novelty as is
afforded by the revival of an obsolete fashion. He is addressing his
mistress while walking through a grove:--

    "See Zephyrus through the leaves doth stray,
    And has free liberty to play,
    And braid thy locks. And shall I find
    Less favour than a saucy wind?
    Now let me sit and fix my eyes
    On thee that art my paradise.
    Thou art my all: the spring remains
    In the fair violets of thy veins;
    And that it is a summer's day,
    Ripe cherries in thy lips display;
    And when for autumn I would seek,
    'Tis in the apples of thy cheek;
    But that which only moves my smart,
    Is to see winter in thy heart."

Of Butler it is needless to speak; everybody knows Hudibras. He is,
indeed, a glorious champion of the octo-syllabic verse. The glories,
too, of Prior,--the witty, the humorous, the _riant_ Prior,--are too
well known to require illustration. We say "too well known," for
Matthew, alas! had a sovereign contempt for _les bienséances_, and only,
now-a-days, finds his "way into families" because time and a classic
reputation have, in a manner, sanctified his extravagancies. But what
must have been the irresistible charm of his octo-syllabic measure, to
have seduced the morbid methodist, Cowper, into a warm eulogy of the
very metre in which his licentious freaks were perpetuated?

As in Prior's case, Gay chose this particular verse to sin in. We do
not allude to his "Fables," but to his "Tales," which are dexterous and
pleasant enough, but wrong. The reader must not expect specimens. From
the next writer, however, to whom we shall allude, namely, Green, author
of "The Spleen," we shall be happy to transfer to our pages an extract.
Green was a member of the Society of Friends; but, whatever might have
been the formality of the outward man, never did a more genial heart
beat in the bosom of a human creature than in that of Quaker Green.
He was a philosopher, a humanist, a wit, a poet; and we do not like
him the less because he took especial delight in the sly humour of the
eight-syllable rhyme. He found in this measure a pleasant compromise
between a staid cheerfulness and a roystering joke, and he dandled it to
his heart's content in the true spirit of Quaker love-making; that is
to say, with a certain significance of purpose qualified by sobriety of
pretence. The friendly triumph of the flesh over the spirit was never
more cordially manifested; but all is done "with conscience and tender
heart." The poem called "The Spleen" would have been a luxury from any
writer. From Green, in his drab coat, it has a double relish. The fire
that burned under the broad-brimmed hat of this wise and gentle lover
of humanity, was too strong for the stuff of which his physical man was
composed; it

          "O'er informed his tenement of clay;"

and our poetical Quaker died before he had reached his middle age.
His principal poem is distinguished by the elastic play of the
versification, by manly good sense, and flashing wit. Poor Green! it was
especially necessary for him, with his delicate organization, to study
how he might best exorcise the spleen, or, as we should now call it,
hypochondria,--a task which we, in our Miscellany, have taken under our
especial care. The following extract from the exordium to the Quaker's
poem will afford a good taste of his quality. We have italicised some
lines that appeared to be peculiarly felicitous:--

    "Hunting I reckon very good
    To brace the nerves, and stir the blood;
    But after no field-honours itch,
    Atchiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch.
    _While Spleen lies soft relax'd in bed,
    Or o'er coal-fires inclines the head_,
    Hygeia's sons with hound and horn,
    And jovial cry, awake the Morn:
    These see her from her dusky plight,
    Smear'd by th' embraces of the Night,
    With roral wash redeem her face,
    And prove herself of Titan's race,
    _And, mounting in loose robes the skies,
    Shed light and fragrance as she flies_.
    Then horse and hound fierce joy display,
    Exulting at the 'Hark-away!'
    And in pursuit o'er tainted ground
    From lungs robust field-notes resound.
    Then, as St. George the dragon slew,
    _Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view_,
    While all the spirits are on wing,
    And woods, and hills, and valleys ring.
      To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen,
    Some recommend the bowling-green;
    Some, hilly walks; all, exercise;
    _Fling but a stone, the giant dies_;
    Laugh, and be well. Monkeys have been
    Extreme good doctors for the Spleen;
    And kitten, if the humour hit,
    Has harlequin'd away the fit."

We may take an opportunity of resuming this subject.



                 THE RISING PERIODICAL;
  BEING MR. VERDANT'S ACCOUNT OF HIS LAST AERIAL VOYAGE,

             _edited_ BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.

    Without apology, I'll trace
      Our airy flight across the sea,
    Because at once we raised _ourselves_
      And public curiosity.

    And well might those who saw us off,
      Our many perils long discuss,
    Because, ere we were out of sight,
      'Twas certainly "all up with us!"

    There might be danger, sure enough,
      On high, from thirst and hunger blending;
    But men are told they should _bear up_
      Against the danger that's impending.

    So we bore up into the clouds,
      Of creature comforts ample store;
    And really coffee ne'er was known
      To rise so speedily before.

    Our tongues, though salted, never halted;
      Our game fresh-kill'd was very high;
    And, though all nicely truss'd and roasted,
      We saw our fowls and turkeys fly!

    Our solid food rose like a puff,
      Hard biscuit seem'd a trifle, too;
    And our champagne was so much up,
      That e'en our empty bottles flew!

    Our spirits rose; in fact we were,
      When not a dozen miles from Dover,
    Quite in a _state of elevation_,
      Indisputably "_half seas over_."

    How like conspirators were we,
      So snug we kept our hour of rising;
    And when our movement once was made,
      All London cried, "Oh! how surprising!"

    If, when we soar'd above the great,
      They trembled, 'twas without occasion:
    Our thoughts were turned to France; in truth
      We meditated an invasion!

    But over earth and over sea
      We went without one hostile notion;
    Our war on earth, a civil war;
      The Channel,--our Pacific Ocean.

    When passing over Chatham town
      We were just finishing a chicken;
    A soldier and a maiden fair
      I saw whilst I the bones was picking.

    I threw a drumstick at the youth,
      Who all around the culprit sought;
    And whilst the maiden laughed aloud,
      I struck her with a merry thought.

    In darkness we the Channel cross'd,
      And left our fragile car to chance;
    And, scorning customary rules,
      Without a passport enter'd France!

    But on we went, and our descent
      Bewilder'd many a German gaper;
    Until, to prove from whence we came,
      We show'd the last day's London paper!

    We're told no good that is substantial
      Results from all we nobly dare;
    What then?--We took a clever MASON
      To build us castles in the air.

    We're not like certain _rising men_,
      Puff'd up with vain presumptuous thoughts;
    We nothing boast of what we've done,
      And deem ourselves mere airy-noughts!
                                            T. H. B



              AN ITALIAN ANECDOTE.

_Naples, July 1._--This was one of the hottest days of the season. I
had long contemplated Fort St. Elmo, high on the crest of the mountain
which overhung Naples, as one of the objects which I was bound to visit.
I knew and felt that, like Vesuvius, it was one of those sights which
exercise a tyranny over every traveller, not to be evaded, and which
he must see, or hazard his peace of mind for ever; but never yet had I
been able to overcome my natural indolence, and to proceed to explore
it. On this morning I rose with an alacrity and love of enterprise quite
unusual to me, and I at once determined to ascend to St. Elmo to see the
magnificent Certosini Convent, with the Chiesa di S. Martino, to enjoy
the extensive view which this summit presents, and to hear the ascending
buzz of the city and its numerous inhabitants. I immediately sent to
T----, to accompany me; and, after eating a hearty breakfast, we took
our departure.

Who that has ever mounted the steep, rugged, and never-ending ascent,
will not pity the middle-aged gentleman of indolent habits, seeing
sights for conscience sake, of no mean size, (for such I am,) as he
struggled with the difficulties before him, looking up in dismay at the
castle, inflating and distending his lungs with an action to which they
had long been unaccustomed, until his face rivalled the sun in glowing
crimson?

At length we reached our object. We saw the sights,--admired the beauty
of the church, and its beautiful pictures by Spagnoletto,--exclaimed
with rapture at the view, and heard the buzz. With my conscience
satisfied, and with my critical observations on all we had seen, ready
to be made upon the first favourable opportunity, I lost no time in
descending to whence we came. By this time it was past meridian. The
descent was very trying upon legs of forty-five years' standing; and the
tremulous motion which it produced upon the muscles, only increased the
longing I felt, to find myself once more extended full length on my sofa
at the Vittoria.

I had taken off my coat, and, lazzaroni-like, had thrown it over my
shoulder; my neckcloth was thrust into my waistcoat pocket, and my neck
was bare. I carried my hat on my stick, using it by way of parasol;
and, thus accoutred, I determined to make one desperate effort to brave
the heat of the sun, that was baking the pavement of Santa Lucia, and
emitting a glare that acted like a burning-glass upon my eyeballs. As
we walked through this ordeal, we passed close to an assembly of young
lazzaronis, basking in the sun, near to a stall; there they lay, in the
midst of fish-bones, orange-peels, and decayed melons. We evidently
excited their mirth; and I, in particular, felt myself privileged to be
laughed at,--for what could be more grotesque than my appearance? One of
the boys was standing. We had scarcely turned our backs upon them, when
I received a blow on the head from a melon-rind;--I turned about, and
immediately the whole gang ran off laughing. I would have followed; but,
in truth, was too tired. I could scarcely move but at a slow walk. The
boys stopped, and looked at us. At length, making a virtue of necessity,
I called out to the boy who had thrown the melon-rind, to come to me--he
hesitated; I called again--he was evidently puzzled, and suspicious of
my intention; I then showed him a carline. "Come here," said I, "take
this." "In the name of goodness!" exclaimed T----, "what are you about?"
"Never mind," said I; "stop and see." The boy at length took courage,
and came to me. "Here," said I, "_bravo! bravissimo! avete fatto bene!_
take this." Upon which, in surprise, the boy, taking the piece of money
out of my hand, ran off in the greatest exultation, showing it to his
little friends as a prize fallen down from heaven.

"Now do tell me," said T----, "what demon of madness can have possessed
you? You ought to have broken every bone in that young rascal's skin,
instead of feeing him for insulting us." "So I would," said I, "if I
could; but to catch him is impossible. By feeing him for his insolence,
he will probably throw another piece of melon at the first Englishman
he sees, who will, no doubt, give him the beating which I cannot."
T---- laughed heartily at the ingenious turn which my indolence had
taken--administering a beating _à ricochet_, as he called it; and,
having reached my room, we laughed over our adventure, and speculated
upon the beating the youngster would get.

And, true enough, the next day, as we were seated on one of the benches
of the Villa Reale, we heard a sort of hue and cry on the Chiaja, and
shortly after, saw our carroty and irascible friend W---- appear,
foaming with rage, streaming from every pore, owing to some recent
exertion, and exploding with bursts of execration. He came straight to
us.--"Who ever knew such an infernal country as this?" said he, "D--them
all for a beggarly set of villains. Did you ever see the like? I gave
it him well, however,--that's some comfort. The young rascal won't
forget me, for some time, I'll warrant you!" T---- and I smiled at each
other in anticipation of the reason, which only made him more furious.
"Here," said he, "was I walking quietly along, when a young rascal of
a lazzaroni thought fit to shy half a water-melon at my head;--you may
laugh; but it was no laughing matter to me, nor to him either, for I
have half killed the young urchin; and then, forsooth, I must have half
the town of Naples upon me, backed by all their carrion of old women."
We allowed his rage to expend itself, and said nothing, for fear of
being implicated in his wrath, inasmuch as I was the origin of his
disaster; but, truly, indolence was never so completely justified, as on
this occasion.
                                                                 J. M.

   [Illustration: Oliver asking for more.]



              OUR SONG OF THE MONTH.

           No. II. February, 1837.

                   OUR VALENTINE.

    With a frozen old saint, our Miscellany quaint
      We headed last month in a jolly, gay song;
    It was fit that a priest should say grace to the feast
      Before any layman should stick in a prong.
    But now we've no need for the dark-flowing weed
      Of a padre to hallow our frolics so fine;
    'Tis a bishop, this moon, is to set us in tune--
      And his name you know, maidens, is Saint Valentine.

    So, love to our ladies from Lapland to Cadiz,
      From the Tropics to Poles, (be the same more or less)--
    But we know that in print they will ne'er take the hint
      Half as soft and as sweet as in perfumed _MS._
    And we wish that we knew any fair one as true
      As to think all we're writing superb and divine,
    At her feet should we lay--not a word about pay--
      Our work as her tribute on Saint Valentine.

    Yet why but to one should our homage be done?
      We pay it to all whose smiles lighten out art:
    To Edgeworth, to Morgan, to Baillie's deep organ,
      To Hall's Irish pathos, to Norton's soft heart,
    To the Countess so rare, to Costello the fair,
      To Miss L. E. L., to high-born Emmeline;
    But a truce to more names--Take this, darling dames,
      Sweet friends of the pen, as our first Valentine.
                                                      W. M.



                   OLIVER TWIST,
           OR, THE PARISH BOY'S PROGRESS.

                      BY BOZ.

           ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.


                   CHAPTER THE FIRST

   TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN, AND OF THE
             CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH.

Among other public buildings in the town of Mudfog, it boasts of one
which is common to most towns great or small, to wit, a workhouse;
and in this workhouse there was born on a day and date which I need
not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible
consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events,
the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this
chapter. For a long time after he was ushered into this world of sorrow
and trouble, by the parish surgeon, it remained a matter of considerable
doubt whether the child would survive to bear any name at all; in which
case it is somewhat more than probable that these memoirs would never
have appeared, or, if they had, being comprised within a couple of
pages, they would have possessed the inestimable merit of being the
most concise and faithful specimen of biography extant in the literature
of any age or country. Although I am not disposed to maintain that the
being born in a workhouse is in itself the most fortunate and enviable
circumstance that can possibly befal a human being, I do mean to say
that in this particular instance it was the best thing for Oliver Twist
that could by possibility have occurred. The fact is, that there was
considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the
office of respiration,--a troublesome practice, but one which custom
has rendered necessary to our easy existence,--and for some time he lay
gasping on a little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between
this world and the next, the balance being decidedly in favour of the
latter. Now, if during this brief period Oliver had been surrounded by
careful grandmothers, anxious aunts, experienced nurses, and doctors
of profound wisdom, he would most inevitably and indubitably have been
killed in no time. There being nobody by, however, but a pauper old
woman, who was rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer,
and a parish surgeon who did such matters by contract, Oliver and nature
fought out the point between them. The result was, that, after a few
struggles, Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise to the
inmates of the workhouse the fact of a new burden having been imposed
upon the parish, by setting up as loud a cry as could reasonably have
been expected from a male infant who had not been possessed of that very
useful appendage, a voice, for a much longer space of time than three
minutes and a quarter.

As Oliver gave this first testimony of the free and proper action of his
lungs, the patchwork coverlet, which was carelessly flung over the iron
bedstead, rustled; the pale face of a young female was raised feebly
from the pillow; and a faint voice imperfectly articulated the words
"Let me see the child, and die."

The surgeon had been sitting with his face turned towards the fire,
giving the palms of his hands a warm, and a rub, alternately; but as the
young woman spoke, he rose, and, advancing to the bed's head, said with
more kindness than might have been expected of him--

"Oh, you must not talk about dying, yet."

"Lor bless her dear heart, no!" interposed the nurse, hastily depositing
in her pocket a green glass bottle, the contents of which she had been
tasting in a corner with evident satisfaction. "Lor bless her dear
heart, when she has lived as long as I have, sir, and had thirteen
children of her own, and all on 'em dead except two, and them in the
wurkus with me, she'll know better than to take on in that way, bless
her dear heart! Think what it is to be a mother, there's a dear young
lamb, do."

Apparently this consolatory perspective of a mother's prospects failed
in producing its due effect. The patient shook her head, and stretched
out her hand towards the child.

The surgeon deposited it in her arms. She imprinted her cold white lips
passionately on its forehead, passed her hands over her face, gazed
wildly round, shuddered, fell back--and died. They chafed her breast,
hands, and temples; but the blood had frozen for ever. They talked of
hope and comfort. They had been strangers too long.

"It's all over, Mrs. Thingummy," said the surgeon, at last.

"Ah, poor dear; so it is!" said the nurse, picking up the cork of the
green bottle which had fallen out on the pillow as she stooped to take
up the child. "Poor dear!"

"You needn't mind sending up to me, if the child cries, nurse," said
the surgeon, putting on his gloves with great deliberation. "It's very
likely it _will_ be troublesome. Give it a little gruel if it is." He
put on his hat, and, pausing by the bedside on his way to the door,
added, "She was a good-looking girl too; where did she come from?"

"She was brought here last night," replied the old woman, "by the
overseer's order. She was found lying in the street;--she had walked
some distance, for her shoes were worn to pieces; but where she came
from, or where she was going to, nobody knows."

The surgeon leant over the body, and raised the left hand. "The old
story," he said, shaking his head: "no wedding-ring, I see. Ah! good
night."

The medical gentleman walked away to dinner; and the nurse, having once
more applied herself to the green bottle, sat down on a low chair before
the fire, and proceeded to dress the infant.

And what an excellent example of the power of dress young Oliver Twist
was! Wrapped in the blanket which had hitherto formed his only covering,
he might have been the child of a nobleman or a beggar;--it would have
been hard for the haughtiest stranger to have fixed his station in
society. But now he was enveloped in the old calico robes, that had
grown yellow in the same service; he was badged and ticketed, and fell
into his place at once--a parish child--the orphan of a workhouse--the
humble, half-starved drudge--to be cuffed and buffeted through the
world, despised by all, and pitied by none.

Oliver cried lustily. If he could have known that he was an orphan, left
to the tender mercies of churchwardens and overseers, perhaps he would
have cried the louder.


CHAPTER THE SECOND

TREATS OF OLIVER TWIST'S GROWTH, EDUCATION, AND BOARD.

For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic
course of treachery and deception--he was brought up by hand. The hungry
and destitute situation of the infant orphan was duly reported by the
workhouse authorities to the parish authorities. The parish authorities
inquired with dignity of the workhouse authorities, whether there
was no female then domiciled in "the house" who was in a situation to
impart to Oliver Twist the consolation and nourishment of which he stood
in need. The workhouse authorities replied with humility that there
was not. Upon this, the parish authorities magnanimously and humanely
resolved, that Oliver should be "farmed," or, in other words, that
he should be despatched to a branch-workhouse some three miles off,
where twenty or thirty other juvenile offenders against the poor-laws
rolled about the floor all day, without the inconvenience of too much
food, or too much clothing, under the parental superintendence of an
elderly female who received the culprits at and for the consideration
of sevenpence-halfpenny per small head per week. Sevenpence-halfpenny's
worth per week is a good round diet for a child; a great deal may be
got for sevenpence-halfpenny--quite enough to overload its stomach, and
make it uncomfortable. The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and
experience; she knew what was good for children, and she had a very
accurate perception of what was good for herself. So, she appropriated
the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned
the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance than was
originally provided for them; thereby finding in the lowest depth a
deeper still, and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher.

Everybody knows the story of another experimental philosopher, who had
a great theory about a horse being able to live without eating, and who
demonstrated it so well, that he got his own horse down to a straw a
day, and would most unquestionably have rendered him a very spirited
and rampacious animal upon nothing at all, if he hadn't died, just
four-and-twenty hours before he was to have had his first comfortable
bait of air. Unfortunately for the experimental philosophy of the female
to whose protecting care Oliver Twist was delivered over, a similar
result usually attended the operation of _her_ system; for just at
the very moment when a child had contrived to exist upon the smallest
possible portion of the weakest possible food, it did perversely happen
in eight and a half cases out of ten, either that it sickened from
want and cold, or fell into the fire from neglect, or got smothered by
accident; in any one of which cases, the miserable little being was
usually summoned into another world, and there gathered to the fathers
which it had never known in this.

Occasionally, when there was some more than usually interesting inquest
upon a parish child who had been overlooked in turning up a bedstead,
or inadvertently scalded to death when there happened to be a washing,
(though the latter accident was very scarce,--anything approaching to
a washing being of rare occurrence in the farm,) the jury would take
it into their heads to ask troublesome questions, or the parishioners
would rebelliously affix their signatures to a remonstrance: but these
impertinencies were speedily checked by the evidence of the surgeon, and
the testimony of the beadle; the former of whom had always opened the
body, and found nothing inside (which was very probable indeed), and the
latter of whom invariably swore whatever the parish wanted, which was
very self-devotional. Besides, the board made periodical pilgrimages to
the farm, and always sent the beadle the day before, to say they were
coming. The children were neat and clean to behold, when _they_ went;
and what more would the people have?

It cannot be expected that this system of farming would produce any very
extraordinary or luxuriant crop. Oliver Twist's eighth birth-day found
him a pale, thin child, somewhat diminutive in stature, and decidedly
small in circumference. But nature or inheritance had implanted a good
sturdy spirit in Oliver's breast: it had had plenty of room to expand,
thanks to the spare diet of the establishment; and perhaps to this
circumstance may be attributed his having any eighth birth-day at all.
Be this as it may, however, it _was_ his eighth birth-day; and he was
keeping it in the coal-cellar with a select party of two other young
gentlemen, who, after participating with him in a sound threshing, had
been locked up therein, for atrociously presuming to be hungry, when
Mrs. Mann, the good lady of the house, was unexpectedly startled by the
apparition of Mr. Bumble the beadle, striving to undo the wicket of the
garden-gate.

"Goodness gracious! is that you, Mr. Bumble, sir?" said Mrs. Mann,
thrusting her head out of the window in well-affected ecstasies of
joy. "(Susan, take Oliver and them two brats up stairs, and wash 'em
directly.)--My heart alive! Mr. Bumble, how glad I am to see you,
sure-ly!"

Now Mr. Bumble was a fat man, and a choleric one; so, instead of
responding to this open-hearted salutation in a kindred spirit, he gave
the little wicket a tremendous shake, and then bestowed upon it a kick,
which could have emanated from no leg but a beadle's.

"Lor, only think," said Mrs. Mann, running out,--for the three boys had
been removed by this time,--"only think of that! That I should have
forgotten that the gate was bolted on the inside, on account of them
dear children! Walk in, sir; walk in, pray, Mr. Bumble; do, sir."

Although this invitation was accompanied with a curtsey that might have
softened the heart of a churchwarden, it by no means mollified the
beadle.

"Do you think this respectful or proper conduct, Mrs. Mann," inquired
Mr. Bumble, grasping his cane,--"to keep the parish officers a-waiting
at your garden-gate, when they come here upon porochial business
connected with the porochial orphans? Are you aware, Mrs. Mann, that you
are, as I may say, a porochial delegate, and a stipendiary?"

"I'm sure, Mr. Bumble, that I was only a-telling one or two of the dear
children as is so fond of you, that it was you a-coming," replied Mrs.
Mann with great humility.

Mr. Bumble had a great idea of his oratorical powers and his importance.
He had displayed the one, and vindicated the other. He relaxed.

"Well, well, Mrs. Mann," he replied in a calmer tone; "it may be as you
say; it may be. Lead the way in, Mrs. Mann; for I come on business, and
have got something to say."

Mrs. Mann ushered the beadle into a small parlour with a brick floor,
placed a seat for him, and officiously deposited his cocked hat and
cane on the table before him. Mr. Bumble wiped from his forehead the
perspiration which his walk had engendered, glanced complacently at the
cocked hat, and smiled. Yes, he smiled: beadles are but men, and Mr.
Bumble smiled.

"Now don't you be offended at what I'm a-going to say," observed Mrs.
Mann with captivating sweetness. "You've had a long walk, you know, or
I wouldn't mention it. Now will you take a little drop of something,
Mr. Bumble?"

"Not a drop--not a drop," said Mr. Bumble, waving his right hand in a
dignified, but still placid manner.

"I think you will," said Mrs. Mann, who had noticed the tone of the
refusal, and the gesture that had accompanied it. "Just a _leetle_ drop,
with a little cold water, and a lump of sugar."

Mr. Bumble coughed.

"Now, just a little drop," said Mrs. Mann persuasively.

"What is it?" inquired the beadle.

"Why it's what I'm obliged to keep a little of in the house, to put in
the blessed infants' Daffy when they ain't well, Mr. Bumble," replied
Mrs. Mann as she opened a corner cupboard, and took down a bottle and
glass. "It's gin."

"Do you give the children Daffy, Mrs. Mann?" inquired Bumble, following
with his eyes the interesting process of mixing.

"Ah, bless 'em, that I do, dear as it is," replied the nurse. "I
couldn't see 'em suffer before my very eyes, you know, sir."

"No," said Mr. Bumble approvingly; "no, you could not. You are a humane
woman, Mrs. Mann."--(Here she set down the glass.)--"I shall take an
early opportunity of mentioning it to the board, Mrs. Mann."--(He drew
it towards him.)--"You feel as a mother, Mrs. Mann."--(He stirred
the gin and water.)--"I--I drink your health with cheerfulness, Mrs.
Mann;"--and he swallowed half of it.

"And now about business," said the beadle, taking out a leathern
pocket-book. "The child that was half-baptised, Oliver Twist, is eight
years old to-day."

"Bless him!" interposed Mrs. Mann, inflaming her left eye with the
corner of her apron.

"And notwithstanding an offered reward of ten pound, which was
afterwards increased to twenty pound,--notwithstanding the most
superlative, and, I may say, supernat'ral exertions on the part of this
parish," said Bumble, "we have never been able to discover who is his
father, or what is his mother's settlement, name, or condition."

Mrs. Mann raised her hands in astonishment; but added, after a moment's
reflection, "How comes he to have any name at all, then?"

The beadle drew himself up with great pride, and said, "I inwented it."

"You, Mr. Bumble!"

"I, Mrs. Mann. We name our foundlin's in alphabetical order. The last
was a S,--Swubble: I named him. This was a T,--Twist: I named _him_. The
next one as comes will be Unwin, and the next Vilkins. I have got names
ready made to the end of the alphabet, and all the way through it again,
when we come to Z."

"Why, you're quite a literary character, sir!" said Mrs. Mann.

"Well, well," said the beadle, evidently gratified with the compliment;
"perhaps I may be; perhaps I may be, Mrs. Mann." He finished the gin and
water, and added, "Oliver being now too old to remain here, the Board
have determined to have him back into the house; and I have come out
myself to take him there,--so let me see him at once."

"I'll fetch him directly," said Mrs. Mann, leaving the room for that
purpose. And Oliver having by this time had as much of the outer coat of
dirt which encrusted his face and hands removed as could be scrubbed off
in one washing, was led into the room by his benevolent protectress.

"Make a bow to the gentleman, Oliver," said Mrs. Mann.

Oliver made a bow, which was divided between the beadle on the chair and
the cocked hat on the table.

"Will you go along with me, Oliver?" said Mr. Bumble in a majestic voice.

Oliver was about to say that he would go along with anybody with great
readiness, when, glancing upwards, he caught sight of Mrs. Mann, who
had got behind the beadle's chair, and was shaking her fist at him with
a furious countenance. He took the hint at once, for the fist had been
too often impressed upon his body not to be deeply impressed upon his
recollection.

"Will _she_ go with me?" inquired poor Oliver.

"No, she can't," replied Mr. Bumble; "but she'll come and see you,
sometimes."

This was no very great consolation to the child; but, young as he was,
he had sense enough to make a feint of feeling great regret at going
away. It was no very difficult matter for the boy to call the tears
into his eyes. Hunger and recent ill-usage are great assistants if you
want to cry; and Oliver cried very naturally indeed. Mrs. Mann gave
him a thousand embraces, and, what Oliver wanted a great deal more, a
piece of bread and butter, lest he should seem too hungry when he got
to the workhouse. With the slice of bread in his hand, and the little
brown-cloth parish cap upon his head, Oliver was then led away by Mr.
Bumble from the wretched home where one kind word or look had never
lighted the gloom of his infant years. And yet he burst into an agony of
childish grief as the cottage-gate closed after him. Wretched as were
the little companions in misery he was leaving behind, they were the
only friends he had ever known; and a sense of his loneliness in the
great wide world sank into the child's heart for the first time.

Mr. Bumble walked on with long strides; and little Oliver, firmly
grasping his gold-laced cuff, trotted beside him, inquiring at the end
of every quarter of a mile whether they were "nearly there," to which
interrogations Mr. Bumble returned very brief and snappish replies; for
the temporary blandness which gin and water awakens in some bosoms had
by this time evaporated, and he was once again a beadle.

Oliver had not been within the walls of the workhouse a quarter of an
hour, and had scarcely completed the demolition of a second slice of
bread, when Mr. Bumble, who had handed him over to the care of an old
woman, returned, and, telling him it was a board night, informed him
that the board had said he was to appear before it forthwith.

Not having a very clearly defined notion of what a live board was,
Oliver was rather astounded by this intelligence, and was not quite
certain whether he ought to laugh or cry. He had no time to think about
the matter, however; for Mr. Bumble gave him a tap on the head with
his cane to wake him up, and another on the back to make him lively,
and, bidding him follow, conducted him into a large whitewashed room,
where eight or ten fat gentlemen were sitting round a table, at the top
of which, seated in an arm-chair rather higher than the rest, was a
particularly fat gentleman with a very round, red face.

"Bow to the board," said Bumble. Oliver brushed away two or three tears
that were lingering in his eyes, and seeing no board but the table,
fortunately bowed to that.

"What's your name, boy?" said the gentleman in the high chair.

Oliver was frightened at the sight of so many gentlemen, which made him
tremble; and the beadle gave him another tap behind, which made him cry;
and these two causes made him answer in a very low and hesitating voice;
whereupon a gentleman in a white waistcoat said he was a fool, which was
a capital way of raising his spirits, and putting him quite at his ease.

"Boy," said the gentleman in the high chair; "listen to me. You know
you're an orphan, I suppose?"

"What's that, sir?" inquired poor Oliver.

"The boy _is_ a fool--I thought he was," said the gentleman in the white
waistcoat, in a very decided tone. If one member of a class be blessed
with an intuitive perception of others of the same race, the gentleman
in the white waistcoat was unquestionably well qualified to pronounce an
opinion on the matter.

"Hush!" said the gentleman who had spoken first. "You know you've got no
father or mother, and that you are brought up by the parish, don't you?"

"Yes, sir," replied Oliver, weeping bitterly.

"What are you crying for?" inquired the gentleman in the white
waistcoat; and to be sure it was very extraordinary. What _could_ he be
crying for?

"I hope you say your prayers every night," said another gentleman in a
gruff voice, "and pray for the people who feed you, and take care of
you, like a Christian."

"Yes, sir," stammered the boy. The gentleman who spoke last was
unconsciously right. It would have been _very_ like a Christian, and a
marvellously good Christian, too, if Oliver had prayed for the people
who fed and took care of _him_. But he hadn't, because nobody had taught
him.

"Well, you have come here to be educated, and taught a useful trade,"
said the red-faced gentleman in the high chair.

"So you'll begin to pick oakum to-morrow morning at six o'clock," added
the surly one in the white waistcoat.

For the combination of both these blessings in the one simple process of
picking oakum, Oliver bowed low by the direction of the beadle, and was
then hurried away to a large ward, where, on a rough hard bed, he sobbed
himself to sleep. What a noble illustration of the tender laws of this
favoured country! they let the paupers go to sleep!

Poor Oliver! He little thought, as he lay sleeping in happy
unconsciousness of all around him, that the board had that very day
arrived at a decision which would exercise the most material influence
over all his future fortunes. But they had. And this was it:--

The members of this board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and
when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out
at once, what ordinary folks would never have discovered;--the poor
people liked it! It was a regular place of public entertainment for the
poorer classes,--a tavern where there was nothing to pay,--a public
breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper, all the year round,--a brick and
mortar elysium where it was all play and no work. "Oho!" said the board,
looking very knowing; "we are the fellows to set this to rights; we'll
stop it all in no time." So they established the rule, that all poor
people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not
they,) of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick
one out of it. With this view, they contracted with the water-works to
lay on an unlimited supply of water, and with a corn-factor to supply
periodically small quantities of oatmeal; and issued three meals
of thin gruel a-day, with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on
Sundays. They made a great many other wise and humane regulations having
reference to the ladies, which it is not necessary to repeat: kindly
undertook to divorce poor married people, in consequence of the great
expense of a suit in Doctors' Commons; and, instead of compelling a man
to support his family as they had theretofore done, took his family
away from him, and made him a bachelor! There is no telling how many
applicants for relief under these last two heads would not have started
up in all classes of society, if it had not been coupled with the
workhouse. But they were long-headed men, and they had provided for this
difficulty. The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel;
and that frightened people.

For the first three months after Oliver Twist was removed, the system
was in full operation. It was rather expensive at first, in consequence
of the increase in the undertaker's bill, and the necessity of taking
in the clothes of all the paupers, which fluttered loosely on their
wasted, shrunken forms, after a week or two's gruel. But the number of
workhouse inmates got thin, as well as the paupers; and the board were
in ecstasies.

The room in which the boys were fed, was a large, stone hall, with a
copper at one end, out of which the master, dressed in an apron for
the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at
meal-times; of which composition each boy had one porringer, and no
more,--except on festive occasions, and then he had two ounces and a
quarter of bread besides. The bowls never wanted washing--the boys
polished them with their spoons, till they shone again; and when they
had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons
being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the
copper with such eager eyes as if they could devour the very bricks
of which it was composed; employing themselves meanwhile in sucking
their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any
stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon. Boys have
generally excellent appetites: Oliver Twist and his companions suffered
the tortures of slow starvation for three months; at last they got so
voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age,
and hadn't been used to that sort of thing, (for his father had kept a
small cook's shop,) hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had
another basin of gruel _per diem_, he was afraid he should some night
eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of
tender age. He had a wild, hungry eye, and they implicitly believed him.
A council was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master
after supper that evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist.

The evening arrived: the boys took their places; the master in his
cook's uniform stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants
ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out, and a long grace
was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared, and the boys
whispered each other and winked at Oliver, while his next neighbours
nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger and reckless
with misery. He rose from the table, and advancing, basin and spoon in
hand, to the master, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity--

"Please, sir, I want some more."

The master was a fat, healthy man, but he turned very pale. He gazed in
stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then
clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralyzed with
wonder, and the boys with fear.

"What!" said the master at length, in a faint voice.

"Please, sir," replied Oliver, "I want some more."

The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle, pinioned him in
his arms, shrieked aloud for the beadle.

The board were sitting in solemn conclave when Mr. Bumble rushed into
the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high
chair, said,--

"Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir;--Oliver Twist has asked for
more." There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every
countenance.

"For _more_!" said Mr. Limbkins. "Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer
me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had
eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?"

"He did, sir," replied Bumble.

"That boy will be hung," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat; "I
know that boy will be hung."

Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman's opinion. An animated
discussion took place. Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and
a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a
reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the
hands of the perish: in other words, five pounds and Oliver Twist were
offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any trade,
business, or calling.

"I never was more convinced of anything in my life," said the gentleman
in the white waistcoat, as he knocked at the gate and read the bill next
morning,--"I never was more convinced of anything in my life, than I am
that that boy will come to be hung."

As I propose to show in the sequel whether the white-waistcoated
gentleman was right or not, I should perhaps mar the interest of this
narrative, (supposing it to possess any at all,) if I ventured to hint
just yet, whether the life of Oliver Twist will be a long or a short
piece of biography.



     RICHIE BARTER; THE MAN WHO SHOULD, BUT DID NOT.

Yes! the good Sir Toby Plum died; and the very statues in the Stock
Exchange were moved,--the very pillars of that sanctuary particularly
distinguished themselves by their violent agitation,--the old Lady in
Threadneedle Street refused to be comforted,--and the universal brow
of 'Change Alley was clouded with the profoundest grief. The dumb
animals of that region--the bears and bulls--prowled about in savage
woe, and "looked unutterable things," on the day that the remains of
Sir Toby Plum were gathered to his fathers. He had a running personal
account of seventy years and upwards with old Dame Nature, which is now
paid;--(the only one, it was maliciously said, he ever paid;)--and he
dies possessed--not he, but others--of ---- thousands, (we leave a blank
for the number, to be hereafter filled up,) or, what is quite as good,
the name of them.

"What's in a name?" Ask that beautiful inconsolable creature, his
widow, who, at the age of twenty-three, finds she is once more mistress
of herself, and of her dear Sir Toby's worldly possessions besides.
As these were supposed to be infinite, can it be imagined that we
will attempt to set down in round numbers what is inconceivable, and,
consequently, without a name? But see:--there is a staid, solemn,
business-looking personage, just stept out of her boudoir,--Peter Smyrk,
the man of business, a kind of lurcher to the late Sir Toby. She is
at present too inconsolable to receive him. Perhaps he might inform
you--you perceive by his impatience and disappointment he is most
anxious to do so. She, poor creature! could not be supposed interested
in such details, who was only a few days ago on the very brink of the
grave--(for she accompanied the remains of the good Sir Toby to the
churchyard).

It was about a fortnight after the death of good Sir Toby that his
disconsolate widow felt reconciled to her mourning and "the novelty of
her situation." Absorbed in thoughts about her own sweet person, and
busy with reflections--such as her mirror gave,--the important Peter
Smyrk was announced. The sweetest voice in the city welcomed Peter Smyrk.

"Very happy to see you, madam; but still sincerely sorry----"

"Pray, Mr. Smyrk, don't revive a subject so painful to me. Sir Toby
was a good man: I shall never--ne-ver forget----" And tears such us
angels--or widows--weep, coursed down her cheek.

"I'm sure not, madam; and I must entreat you to believe how sincerely I
sympathise with you on your loss, and how very sorry I am to be----"

"Ah! you are very--very good, Mr. Smyrk--very considerate; so was the
good Sir Toby. But these papers----"

"--Will, I fear, madam, but create fresh sorrow. In fact----"

"Very true, Mr. Smyrk; anything that reminds me of that good old man
causes my sorrows to flow afresh."

"In truth, madam," said the sympathising man of business, "there _is_
something in these papers to cause just and deserving regret,--but still
very little to remind you of him;--he has left you but 500_l._ All the
rest of his property goes to his nephew."

"What! all?" exclaimed the relict of Sir Toby Plum.

"All, madam;--everything."

"Then I am the----" But the pillows of her ottoman only knew, as she
buried her face in them, the superlative degree of misery to which she
said she was consigned by the too prudent Sir Toby.

It was a sweet, voluptuous moonlight night,--so fair, so sweet, so full
of that delicious languor that best accords with the human heart in its
softest hours, tinging the picturesque summits of chimney-tops as well
as towers, and bringing out into pleasing relief each particular brick
of the classic region of the Minories,--that Richie Barter, enveloped
in a double-milled dreadnought, stood before what _was_ the mansion of
the late Sir Toby Plum. Richie was the very personification of a man on
'Change,--busy, important, and imposing. He was head clerk in the house,
and having served the good Sir Toby till he could serve him no longer,
and having wound up the affairs of the firm, which seem disposed of,
in that neatly-tied parcel under his arm, he avoids the garish eye of
day, and calls by moonlight to transact a little business and condolence
together. Richie was a prudent man, frugal both of his purse and person,
and stood at the door of Sir Toby, elevated with the integrity of his
purpose, and the consciousness of four thousand good pounds his own
making. A few moments, and he was ushered into the prettiest of all
parlours, where, reposing on the most seductive of ottomans, reclined
the pale and disconsolate mistress of the mansion. By the softened
lustre of a solitary lamp, the prudent eye of Richie took a hasty glance
around him: everything bespoke comfort and elegance. He sat down, drew
his chair near the sofa, and laid the neatly-tied parcel at her feet.
Only one of these was visible, and was shrouded from the too curious
gaze of Richie in a little slipper; the other, with retiring delicacy,
was withdrawn within those precincts where the imagination of Richie
did not follow. The communings of Richie on the occasion were worthy of
him, and as he feasted his eyes on its fair and delicate proportions, he
calculated (for he was a man of calculation) by a rule of _proportions_,
that if one sweet foot gave such pleasure, what would two give? In
truth, Richie, after trying the question by every rule of proportion
that _Cocker_ or _Cupid_ could suggest, boldly asked himself what might
the lady give, who abounded in proportion; and, as a prudent man, he
thought at no remote period he might put that question.

"Still inconsolable, madam?" said Richie Barter after a few prefatory
hems. "Surely you might yield to the soothing anxieties of your friends,
and be reconciled to the loss--good man that he was!"

"Ah! Mr. Barter, such a loss!--so undeserved!--so unexpected!--and to be
left thus a prey to----"

"We must all go in our turn, madam," interrupted the sententious Richie;
"and 'tis a consolation to his successors to know that his affairs
were in a most flourishing condition;--a net capital, madam, of forty
thousand pounds, after all demands. You will find the exact state of his
affairs in these papers."

Lady Plum petulantly kicked the parcel off the sofa.

"I hate business, Mr. Barter; and were forty times the sum"
(perceiving his ignorance of the testamentary disposition of
the property) "contained in them, I would trust to your skill
and integrity to wind up the matter."

"These forty thousand at your command, madam," said Richie, "the bulk of
Sir Toby's property, if properly _husbanded_----"

The mention of a sum which she knew she _had not_, coupled with the name
of husband, who she knew had not appreciated her merits, brought two
pearly drops into her eyes, which Richie would have given a quarter's
salary to be permitted to kiss off, and which vied in size and lustre
with those that trembled in her ears; but he did what was quite as
grateful to the widow,--he summoned a little moisture into his own. This
sympathetic display was not lost on the considerate lady.

"'Forty times that sum'--were not these her words?" thought Richie
Barter, as, wending his way down Cheapside, he began to ponder on the
widow's words, "and would entrust it all to Richie Barter! Well! that
sum, and my own four thousand, would make a man of Richie Barter for
life." And, brimful of the gayest and happiest anticipations, he strode
on.

"Please, sir, what o'clock is it?" asked a little boy of Richie, as he
stood staring at the clock of Bow Church; to which Richie, heedless of
time and space, answered, "Forty thousand;" and, equally regardless of
the shouts of laughter which the answer provoked, he walked on.

Night after night the precise Richie stood before the mansion of the
late Sir Toby Plum, enwrapt in his dreadnought, and in thoughts equally
fearless. The same low, considerate, but somewhat confidential rap
admitted him; the same sweet little parlour and its fair occupant
received him; the same confidence was expressed in his integrity and
skill. Financial arrangements, discussed by _proportions_, he found
irresistibly conclusive; till, in the fulness of time,--according to
Richie's own account, three months _after sight_,--he became one of
the happiest of husbands, and forthwith began to make arrangements for
_husbanding_--now that he was qualified--their joint stock; and Richie
Barter was a happy man. Richie was also a cautious man; but how absurd
a thing is caution, particularly in affairs of the heart!--with which,
if they would prosper, the head must have nothing to do. In a short time
Richie began to discover that he might possibly have been a little too
precipitate in marriage; that pro_portions_, which gave forty thousand
pounds as a result of the most correct calculation, were not to be
relied upon; in short, that he might have looked before him;--and Richie
sighed profoundly as he exclaimed, "_I should--but did not!_"

The moon that generally succeeds matrimony, and upon which all the
sweets of poetry, and prose, and the grocer's shop, have been expended
to give an adequate idea of its deliciousness,--thus "gilding refined
gold," and making a planet, supposed to be green cheese, the very
essence of honey,--that luminary had run its course, and found Richie
Barter one day in the dishabille becoming a Benedict, flung on a sofa,
with his dexter hand thrown across the back of it, lost in a reverie
as profound as his breeches-pocket, with something like a "pale cast
of thought" on a countenance once rubicund, and now rendered perfectly
cadaverous by a glance at a letter which he was crumpling in his fist.

"How is this, Julia, dear? there must be some mistake," said the
agitated Richie to the most prudent of wives, as she entered the room.
"Only a paltry five hundred, when I thought forty thousand was in the
way!--Surely there must be a mistake in this!"

"In matters of business, Mr. Barter,--you know I hate business,--there
_will_ be mistakes," quoth the lady; "business is my aversion;" and she
swept by the amazed Richie with all the dignity of a Siddons. "I married
you, Mr. Barter, to get rid of business and its degrading details;" and
she looked with no very equivocal air of contempt on the bulk of Richie
as he lay coiled on the sofa, crumpling the letter.

"Mr. Smyrk," said a servant half opening the door.

"Wish you ten thousand joys, Mrs. Barter," said Sir Toby's man of
business as he entered. "An excellent character,--a most prudent man, is
Mr. Barter."

"Why not make it forty thousand joys, sir?" exclaimed Richie.

"Very facetious, Mr. Barter; but this just reminds me of a little
business I came about,--a few debts of your good lady, which her
creditors are a little clamorous for, particularly since you've got the
reputation of having got forty thousand pounds with her."

"Forty thousand devils!" roared the furious Richie. "Will the
_reputation_ of that sum pay one shilling of her debts?--tell me that."

"Can't exactly say; but, as the friend of the late Sir Toby, I looked
in, in the family way. A little business of my own--a trifle over three
hundred pounds;--Mrs. Barter will tell you the value received." And the
prudent Mr. Smyrk presented his bill to that amount, and left Richie
glaring and grinning at this fresh demand.

"This is beyond all endurance, Mrs. Barter," said Richie, as he flung
the bill on the ground.

Mrs. B. deliberately took it up, and appeared for a moment absorbed
in thought. "I have it!--I have it!" at length she exclaimed, as the
bewildered Richie stood staring at her abstraction.

"Well, Mrs. B.; and what have you--not forty thousand pounds?"

"No--a thought," said she seriously.

"A fiddle-stick!" cried Richie.

"No such thing, love!" and the fascinating Mrs. B. slid her arm round
her helpmate's neck, and began to unfold her purpose. "You know," said
she, "how I was disappointed in my just expectations at the death of
Sir Toby. I had every reason to expect that the bulk of his property,
which goes to his nephew, would have been mine. That young man is as
yet unacquainted with the fact, and by the assistance of Smyrk, whom we
might get over, he might remain so, and for a period sufficiently long
for our purpose. Smyrk may manage that, and also to keep the world in
ignorance of the matter. At present we have the _reputation_ of being
the sole owners of forty thousand pounds."

"Nonsense, Mrs. B.! What's in a name?" muttered Richie.

"I'll tell you what's in it. There is, in the first place, the credit
derived from the reputation of that sum,--the splendour, the elegance,
the comfort, the world's good opinion, the world's----"

"Laugh!" exclaimed Barter, with deriding bitterness, as he sneered at
the chimera of his helpmate. "I'm a ruined man! I'm a beggar!--a fool!"

"You may be all three together, Mr. Barter, if you choose; but that
would be too extravagant. Let us first settle this trifle of Smyrk's,
whose bare whisper, you know, in the city, will settle the affair
for us; and with your present savings, love,--isn't it four thousand
pounds?--and the name of forty thousand pounds----"

"What's in a name?" sighed the desponding Richie; but, brightening at
the prospect conjured up before him, he appeared to acquiesce, and the
bill of Peter Smyrk was instantly paid. Mrs. B's drafts on futurity,
and on Richie's four thousand pounds, began to be pretty considerable;
and all the _good debts_, which, as sleeping partner in the firm, she
brought with her, were paid.

How often did he revert to his former unambitious and peaceful life when
freed from any attachments either of love or law,--when, with a clear
conscience, and a well-brushed coat, he sat perched on the high stool
at his desk in ---- Alley, where his horizon was bounded by cotton-bags
and wool-sacks, and through a vista of tea-chests, as they were piled
in pyramidal precision, before his considerate eyes! Thoughts of better
days and better things came over him as he flung his last sovereign in
payment for some pretty trumpery of his very dear Mrs. B. and cried, "I
might have prevented all this,--_I should_--_but did not_!"

In this mood of mind it was, that Richie, as he was one day exercising
his ruminating faculties on the number and colour of the flags on London
Bridge, and profoundly intent on the diagrams formed by the mud thereon,
was roused from his reverie by a smart tap on the shoulder. Now this was
given with such precision, there was no mistaking it; and if he had any
doubts of the intent of the individual thus accosting him, they were at
once dispelled by his _captivating_ manner, which, though manly, was
somewhat _apprehensive_, and of such a nature as to be quite _taking_ at
first sight;--such is the overpowering, irresistible charm of manner!

"'Tis rather sudden, sir," said Richie, "and the amount not very great;
it might have been settled without arrest."

"You must admit, Mr. Barter," said the sheriff's officer, "that the
thing is done genteelly; no noise or exposure. Surely you won't go to
jail for this trifle;" and Richie groaned as the _Bench_ and its bars
stared him in the face.

"No use in fretting, sir," said the chief performer in this civil
action. "There's nothing like bending to a storm. If a man reels and
staggers, the best thing he can do is to 'go to the wall' for support:
and let me tell you, sir, that many a man has made a right good stand
_there_ when driven to it. Lord bless you! the coats of half my
acquaintance are absolutely threadbare from standing too close to it.
You don't understand me, mayhap not; two or three good _compositions_,
and _then_ a good fat insolvency, friendly assignees, and a few other
friendly etceteras,--that's what I mean by 'going to the wall,' Mr.
Barter. You'll make a pretty _wall_flower yourself--an excellent
creeping plant. You may be bruised a little, and in that case the _wall_
will be good for shelter and support, and in time you may creep against
it;" and the worthy official gentlemen chuckled, as he gave poor Barter
a nudge in the side, and conducted him through what he called the way of
all flesh,--a small wicket studded with spikes, on either side of which
stood fellows with looks as sharp and as full of iron. And as Richie
found himself in the midst of the prison, a sinking of the heart--a
feeling of loneliness and desolation came over him, and he exclaimed,

"How easily I might have avoided this!--I could have done so--'tis clear
I SHOULD--BUT I DID NOT!"
                                                             L.



            PLUNDER CREEK.--1783.
           _A Legend of New York._

    BY THE AUTHOR OF "TALES OF AN ANTIQUARY."

    I cannot tell how the truth may be,
    I say the tale as 'twas said to me.--SCOTT.

The reader perhaps scarcely requires to be reminded, that an
acknowledgment of the independence of America, and preliminaries of
peace between that country and Britain, were signed at Paris, November
30th, 1782; though it was not until the following February that a vessel
from the United States first arrived in the river Thames. Early in
that month the friend who communicated this narrative chanced to visit
an old London physician, who had long since retired from practice,
and who had, oddly enough, selected as the seat of his repose one of
those ancient houses, built half of brick and half of wood, which stood
within the last seven years, on the western side of the Southwark end
of old London Bridge, partly hanging over the roaring water, and partly
standing in the street called Bridge-Foot. Another visitor, who was then
present, was a zealous old Dissenting clergyman, probably originally
of the family of Dunwoodie, or Dinwithie, but who at this time was
called Doctor Downwithit; a name which he singularly well deserved, from
his practice of beating the cushion in his fervency, in the pulpit,
and of vehemently striking the table in conversation, to enforce his
arguments and observations. In supporting these, he was generally rather
loud and tenacious; and one of his most favourite notions was, that
almost all genuine religion had travelled westward to America, which
had thus become the ark wherein it was preserved, and the very Salem
of the modern world. He believed, however, on the authority of the
early historians of the country, and especially on that of the strange
narratives of the Mather family, that certain parts were grievously
vexed by witches and evil spirits; for, like many of his brethren, he
held that compacts with the infernal powers were still possible. But if
_New_ England were thus troubled, he also considered that _Old_ England
was in a still worse condition; for he maintained the well-known saying
to be no allegory, but a literal fact, that Satan was bodily resident in
London!

The remainder of the party, to which the reader is now introduced,
consisted of the old physician himself, and his wife,--a little sharp
old dame, most terrifically stiff and ceremonious, and dressed in the
most solemn fashion of half-a-dozen years previous. Her hair, superbly
powdered, was most exactly combed straight upright over a cushion,
the sides being curiously frizzed, and the back turned up in a broad
loop; upon the top of which tower appeared a tremulous little gauze
cap, decorated with ribands, and fastened by long pins with heads of
diamond-paste. The rest of her dress consisted of a stiff rose-colour
silk gown, of great length in the waist, and bordered in every part with
rich full trimmings; whilst the front, and all around it, was open, and
drawn up in large festoons with knots of riband, discovering an under
garment of purple silk, and a round and full-flounced white muslin
apron. Black silk shoes, with high French heels and rich diamond-cut
steel buckles, completed her costume. Next to this stately dress, if
there were any thing in which Mistress Cleopatra Curetoun was most
particularly particular, it was in observing and exacting the most
punctilious manners, and in the exhibition and preservation of her
tea-equipage; a very rare, very small, and very fragile, set of Nan-kin
porcelain, which forty years back, was in the highest estimation and
value.

The recent peace with America, and particularly the arrival of a ship
from the United States, had inspired Dr. Downwithit with even more
than his usual warmth and energy in discoursing of them, especially
when he spake of the unlooked-for happiness and glory of "the Thirteen
Stripes of America at that moment flying in the river!" He also farther
expressed his joyful zeal by frequent and vigorous blows upon Mrs.
Cleopatra's small round tea-table, of the carved Honduras mahogany then
so fashionable, which approached in colour to ebony itself. At every
stroke of his broad and heavy fist, all the china simultaneously leaped
and chattered, and the table declined and rose again with a creaking
jerk, which showed how much it was internally affected by the worthy
preacher's zealous orations; and it may be doubted if either spring
or hinge ever perfectly recovered them. At each of these convulsions,
Mrs. Cleopatra regarded her visitor with a withering frown, every
lineament of which was visible, from the extremely open character of her
head-dress; and she appeared to be earnestly wishing that the boisterous
admirer of America were safe in irons on board the vessel he declaimed
about, with thrice the thirteen stripes duly laid upon his back.

"The Thirteen Stripes of America in the river, madam!" exclaimed the
doctor for the twentieth time; and for the twentieth time he drove his
fist upon the table with the aforesaid consequences; "the Thirteen
Stripes of America in the river!--it's a step towards the universal
peace of the world, and an event not to be paralleled in our times!
But what do we hereupon? Why, I'll tell you: instead of receiving our
American brethren with repentance, kindness, and honour, we let their
ship come up even to the very Custom-house with as little regard as a
herring-buss or the Gravesend tilt-boat!

"Convince yourself of it by today's _London Chronicle_. Only listen.
'February 8th. Mr. Hammet begged to inform the House of a very recent
and extraordinary event; that, at the very time he was speaking, an
American ship was in the river Thames, with the Thirteen Stripes flying
on board!'--an interjectional bang upon the table.--'She offered to
enter at the Custom-house, but the officers were at a loss what to do.'
Now, Mr. Physician, what have you to say to this?"

"Why, doctor," said Curetoun merrily, "that brother Jonathan was
in vastly great haste to get a week sooner where nobody wanted him
at all; and so we may conclude that he's very glad the war's over,
notwithstanding his swaggering."

"But, sir, we _do_ want our Transatlantic brother," instantly rejoined
Downwithit, in a vehement and positive voice; "we want all those
blessings which America has in such abundance,--her liberty, her
patriotism, her pastoral simplicity, her temperance, her humanity, her
piety, her----"

"Her witches, and her slaves!" added the physician quietly.

"Sir," said the minister, innocently, "there has not been either witch
or conjuror in America for these last fifty years, and more. If I live
another day, I will go to the wharf and glad my eyes with the sight
of that most happy vessel wherein the Thirteen Stripes of America are
now floating in the river; nor will I refuse to give the right hand of
fellowship to the meanest mariner or servant on board, but think myself
honoured and happy in his grasp: for methinks there must be something
soul-refreshing in the very voice and touch of persons coming from so
pious a country. _Here_ we speak with the tongues of worldlings; but
_there_ the common converse is framed out of that used by our ancient
godly ancestors, who, for conscience sake, emigrated to the American
deserts and forests. It is 'holy oil from the lamps of the sanctuary,'
as the pious John Clarke calls it; a sort of blessed tongue, which----"

"You're an awful smart chap, I calkilate," exclaimed a loud voice in the
passage, with a most remarkable kind of twang; "you _are_ mighty 'cute,
but I rather guess now the 'squire is _to_ home, and that I must see him
right slick away at once, and so here I sticks."

"Yes, sure, he speak to massa," added another voice, evidently that of a
negro, with a thick gobbling sound; "he berry 'ticklar message for him
from berry ole friend." Then, in a lower tone, it continued, "He give
Ivory lilly drop o' rum, Mister Spanker Pokehorn see him."

These speeches had followed a loud knocking at the door, and the
servant's vain attempt to explain that Dr. Curetoun was engaged with
visitors. The domestic, however, at length succeeded in tranquillising
the guests, and then entered with a letter for the physician, of which
he almost immediately announced the contents, by saying, "Well, Dr.
Downwithit, you will now have it in your power to shake hands with a
_real_ American from yonder ship, without waiting till to-morrow, or
even going down to the wharf; for I learn by this letter, that my old
acquaintance Backwoodsley, who went to settle in Kentucky twenty years
ago, has sent over his intended son-in-law, and one of his negroes, to
collect his outstanding debts, and dispose of his property."

"By your favour, then, sir," said the clergyman, "I beg that we may
presently have them both in."

The physician's orders to this effect being given, in a few seconds
appeared the American and his negro. The former was a very tall and
strong man, with a sallow and most audacious countenance, shaded by
hog-colour hair, which grew in stiff pendent flakes; he was dressed in
a large loose suit of coarse light-brown duffel, with a long and wide
frock-coat and trousers, and a broad white hat. He carried a five-feet
untrimmed bamboo in one hand, and in the other a Dutch pipe, which he
continued to smoke and swing about, to the great molestation of Mrs.
Cleopatra, who absolutely started with horror, at the sight of a human
being clad in a style so savage, and so entirely opposite to the fashion
of the time. Of the negro it is enough to say, that he was of the Dutch
race, broad and big in person, very greasy in the face, something like a
ship's cook; his mouth was of an enormous size, and evidently accustomed
to both good laughing and good living; and his dress consisted of
coarse dark-grey cloth, with a tow shirt and trousers, and a dirty
striped woollen cap. After a courteous welcome and introduction, the
physician inquired after the welfare of his acquaintance in Kentucky, to
which the American replied in the same loud nasal tone as before,--

"Why, the 'squire's pretty kedge for an ould un, and I guess that I'm
cleverly myself; though, as I've been progressing all day hither and
yon, I arn't in such good kilter as I was when I first got in the ould
country; for I reckon it rained some to-day, and was dreadful sloshy
going, enough to make mankind slump at every step. It was mighty near
four o'clock, too, afore I could see a plate-house to feed at; and when
I made an enquerry for one, folk laughed and said nout, as if I'd spoke
Greek, or was moosical, for you doosn't talk such dreadful coorious
elegant English here in your little place of an island as we do, I
reckon. So I began to rile, I did; and grow tarnation wolfy: but at last
I saw the New York Coffee-house, and in I turns, and spends the balance
of the day there. They charged me four dollars for feed and drinking,
they did; and yet couldn't give me a beaker of egging, or gin cock-tail,
or a grain of sangaree, or any other fogmatic, or a dish of homminy. And
now I should like to make an enquerry of you; what's your names? and how
have you got along?--I say, Ivory, you precious nigger!" he continued,
suddenly turning round and aiming a long stroke at him with his rattan,
"What do _you_ do, in the 'squire's keeping-room?"

"Massa help tell he to come in," returned Ivory, most adroitly edging
and skipping out of the sweep of the bamboo.

"Yes, sir," interposed the physician, coming between them, "it was
at my request he came, and so he is not at all to blame. My friend
here is extremely desirous of hearing from your own lips something
about a country which he esteems so _free_, so _pious_, and so _happy_
as America." This he uttered with a peculiarly arch expression, and
a side-glance at Downwithit; and then continued, "But first what
refreshments shall we offer you, Mr. Pokehorn; I believe that's your
name?"

"Oh, I arn't nice, by no manner of means," returned the American; "I can
take considerable of anything now, but the nigger will like a beaker of
rum best."

"Pray, sir," said Mrs. Cleopatra in a very stately manner, though meant
to be very gracious, "what family has Mr. Backwoodsley? I was but a mere
girl when he left Europe, though I _can_ remember he was a fine tall
portly gentleman."

"Possible! Well, now, ma'am, I should have guessed you'd been raised
a purty middling awful long time afore that, to look at you: but, as
you say, the 'squire's tall enough now, I calkilate, and so is all his
family, for that matter; for Longfellow Backwoodsley, of Kiwigittyquag,
measures six foot three in natur's stockings, and his sister Boadicea
is but an inch and a half shorter. What family has the 'squire, did
you say? Why, mighty near a dozen, I calkilate. Let's see: there's
Travelout Backwoodsley, the oldest, he was the squatter as went to
Tennessee; Longfellow, as I told you about, an awful smart gunner and
racoon-catcher he is; Gumbleton, that is considerable of a lawyer
in York State: Hoister, as went to sea; my ould woman as is to be,
Boadicea; Increase-and-Multiply, the schoolmaster in Connecticut;
Brandywine, what keeps the Rock of Columbia hotel at Boston, and a
mighty powerful log-tavern it is as you'll see in a year's march;
Leandish, that has the plate-house at Hoboken; Skinner, what set up the
leather and finding store in Kentucky: I some think that's the tote,
but four or five squeakers, squealers, younkers, whelps, and rubbish,
that keeps about the ould log-house at home as yet. Pray how ould's your
wife, 'squire? and where was she raised?"

"I suppose," said the physician, taking no notice of this question,
"that Master Backwoodsley is growing rich, and likes his settlement, by
his not coming back to England."

"Oh yaas! he conducts well, and likes his location," was the reply. "He
bought at a good lay first, and then filled it with betterments, and
farming trade, and creturs, and helps, and niggers, at an awful smart
outlay of the dollars, I calkilate; but he has got along considerable
well for all that. For sartain he is the yellow flower of the forest
for prosperity. As for coming back, he used to say, when the war had a
closure he would go to the ould country, and bring away the plunder he
left behind; but about last fall the ague give him a purty particular
smart awful shaking, and put him in an unhandsome fix, so the journey
wouldn't convene. So one day, as I was a-looking over my snake-fence
at Rams-Babylon, almost partly opposite to his clearing, what doos I
see, but the 'squire coming along the road at a jouncing pace on his
Narragansett mar, what is a real smasher at a trotting, and then he
pulled up close to the zig-zag, and I stuck myself atop of a stake,
and we held a talk. Says the 'squire, says he, 'Son-in-law Spanker P.
Pokehorn as is to be'--my name's Anthony Spanker Pendleton Pokehorn,
but he always shorts it,--'Son-in-law Spanker P. Pokehorn, I'll tell
you what it is,--I guess I'm getting ould now, and more than that, I've
a desp'ut ugly ague, what has made me quite froughy and brash to what
I was, so that I should take two good blows of my fist to bring down a
beef-cretur; which doosn't ought to be, when a man's only sixty. Now,
you see, as I can't go to get in my debits and plunder from the ould
country, I'll deed them all to you for thirty dollars cash, or lumber,
or breadstuffs, or farmers' pro_duce_, if you admire; and the tote
appreciates to mighty near two hundred, I guess.'"

"Well, sir," said Curetoun, "and on this account you have come to
England?"

"Oh yaas!" answered the Columbian; "but at first I declined off to buy
at a better lay; for arter higgling back and forth for a while, I give
the 'squire but twenty dollars in all, and he give me the nigger, Ivory
Whiteface there, besides. Sartain he was awful sharp to make an ugly
bargain; but if he _was_ the steel blade, I guess I was the unpierceable
di'mond; and, for fear he should squiggle, I got all set down in black
and white afore the authority, and a letter to Lawyer Sharples. Now I
calkilate to put up all at auction, and to sell some notions of my own,
what I've brought over in my plunder, to make more avails.--How do you
allot upon that?"

"Why, sir," said Dr. Downwithit, "that sensible notions from America
are very much wanted at this time, to show us the excellence of her
equitable laws and liberties, and the purity of her religion. I say,
sir, publish them. There's no doubt of their selling well and quickly
for any bookseller----"

"The Lord!" exclaimed Mr. Pokehorn, with a shrill whistle and a sidelong
glance at the minister, and then, turning to Curetoun, he said, "The
ould 'squire's awful wordy; he's a Congress-man or a slang-whanger, I
guess, or else he's mighty moosical, I reckon.--Bookseller!--Publish!
--What doos he mean?--You tarnation nigger! who told you to laugh?
You calkilate as I harn't got the cowskins here; but I'll whop you
cooriously all as one.--I'll tell you what it is, friend, I doosn't know
what you means, I doosn't."

"Why, Mr. Pokehorn, that you should print your American notions."

"Print!--Oh yaas! I guess now,--in the notice of vendue you mean. Why,
there's no merchants' trade, no awful package; only a few small little
notions, and such wares, though they arn't got genoowine into the ould
country, I reckon. It's some Indian plunder as I cleared out when I came
away."

"Is it possible, then," exclaimed Downwithit, "that the highly-favoured
inhabitants of America deal in plunder! Restore that illgotten spoil of
the Indians young man, or----"

"What _doos_ he mean?" interrupted Pokehorn, in a perplexed and angry
voice. "Why, doosn't he understand English? Arn't plunder travelling
stuff?--And what did you think notions was?"

"Sir," said the minister, "in our language the term signifies thoughts;
and I supposed that you had meant intellectual, or moral, or religious
views of America; not the base wares of worldly traffic."

"Perhaps, Mr. Pokehorn," said the physician, wishing to relieve both his
guests, "you interest yourself more in the politics of your country. Did
you witness any of the late actions? or was your residence near the seat
of war?"

"Sartain!" returned the American. "I guess that we had purty
considerable tough skrimmageing about us. What with the Indians, and the
riglars, and the skinners, and the cow-boys, there warn't no keeping a
beef-cretur in the pen, nor sleeping ten winks at a time. You'd have
thought the devil was let loose."

"And no doubt he was, as he always is in war," said Downwithit, "or
rather he sent forth his legions to vex your persecuted land; for his
only proper habitation on earth is this sin-devising city of London!"

"That a berry true, massa," interposed the negro, "for Massa
Backwoodsley often say, 'Ivory, I whop you, sure as a devil in London;'
and he always do it. But folk say, another devil in Ameriky, for all
that. He know story of man what see um and talk to um. He not b'lieve it
at all, dough. Good parson sometime preach about he's tempatation."

"That's a fact," added Mr. Pokehorn, "and an awful strange history it
is, if true. If you want to hear the story, the nigger can fix you; for
he's precious tonguey and wordy about them devildoms, and witches, and
wild Indians, when he sits in the mud in the sunshine, at Rams-Babylon
and High-Forks, keeping the helps from work, or at a maple-log fire in
the winter."

"Then, my sable friend," said Downwithit, "with the good leave of all
present, we'll have it now."

"Why, I'll tell you what it is," answered Pokehorn, "if it will happify
the ould 'squire, the nigger shall have his own head for once in a
while; so fire away, Ivory, and when you're not right I'll set you wrong
myself."

"Iss, massa," began the negro; "ebbery body like a hear ole Ivory tell
he story about a PLUNDER CREEK:

"In um ole ancient time of York, afore a great war, all a West Indy keys
and a Long Island Straits and Sound war' a berry full of a ugly cruel
pirates;--s'pose massa often heard of they;--and um ould folk, what sure
to know, say a devil fuss help 'em get plunder, and then larn 'em how to
hide it safe, in a middle of dark stormy nights, under bluffs, and up a
creeks, all along shore, nighum Bowery Lane.--S'pose massa know a Bowery
Lane, in um end of York?"

"Sartain the 'squire does know that, you tarnation Guinea-crow, though
he doos keep in the ould country," interposed Mr. Pokehorn; "but I guess
it's enough to make mankind rile to hear a body doubt it, sin' the
Bowery Lane, in the free independent city of York, in York State, must
be knowed by all the tote of the univarsal arth, I reckon! Well, now
I calkilate it was a mighty coorious place for them ugly pirates, and
did convene well, being partly all nigh the straits, awful rocky, and
considerable full of trees hanging over, because there warn't then no
clearing them away; and the say was, that the devil and them tarnation
set of sarpents buried their plunder there, where mankind mought look
for it till the week arter doomsday, and never get it out again. They
say the devil's hands is cruel clitchy when he takes money to keep; and
though a purty considerable banditti of money-diggers has often been
arter it, they couldn't fix it, that's a fact, and I some think that
nobody never will now."

"Him that try a last," resumed the negro,--"a half-starve crazy
schoolmaster and almanack-maker, name a Domine Crolius Arend
Keekenkettel, what some call he Peep-in-a-pot,--he travel about and live
by him wits, wherever him find good cupboard. He ask a ole governor of
York let him conjure away a devil, and get up money for a state; only he
want a pay first to help him dig. But golly! a governor he mighty smart
for white man, and no fool; he say, 'Dere a shovel and pickaxe, dem all
you want now, I guess. You go dig; you find considerable much treasure
of a ugly pirates, you hab a half then, but no tink a get anyting afore,
I calkilate.'"

"Shut your ugly beak, you croaking blackbird!" interrupted the American,
incensed by Ivory's singular praise of the whites; "and doosn't be
moosical upon your betters; though he was an Englisher, I reckon that
he was a purty middling sight afore a small world of niggers. Well, the
schoolmaster he contrived to make friends with a fat little Dutcher,
which had to name Dyckman Deypester, and was located on a clearing in
the Bloomendael, up the Bowery Lane, on the road to Yonkers and Tarry
Town. The say was, that he had such an almighty quantity of dollars,
that he floored his keeping-room with them under the bricks; and I
rather guess that he did keep 'em awfully close out of the sight of
mankind. I doosn't tell you this for sartain: but, to be sure, he was
considerable of a farmer, he was; and made as many betterments, and
got as many humans and creturs about his clearing, as brought a whole
banditti of suitorers arter his daughter Dortje; and she was besides a
dreadful smart, clever, coorious lass as you shall see between Cow-neck
and Babylon. There was young Louis Hudson, a springy, ac_tive_ young
fellow. He was a settler; but nobody knowed where he was born, nor
himself neither, like a homeless and markless ram. I guess, though, he
was raised to York State, he was such a flower of mankind. Then there
was ould Morgan Hornigold, from Jamaica: belike he was a leetle of the
buccaneer, for he'd been to sea all his days, and looked some between a
Jarman and a Spaniard, with a cross of the sea bull-dog. He was purty
kedge still; but I some think he wanted to lay up for life where it
warn't knowed what he had been. Then there was the almanack-maker, and a
banditti of suitorers besides, as I said afore. I calkilate that dollars
warn't awful plenty with any of them: but what they wanted in cash,
they made up in fierce love to Doll Deypester; and stuff, and notions,
and palaver to the ould Dutcher. He was a coorious smart individual,
and considerably moosical, and so he let them think that they'd got
his good word by sarving as helps on his clearing, making his zig-zag
grand against breachy cattle, or the likes of that; but I reckon that
he warn't the fish to be caught without the golden hook: though, if the
devil had been the fisherman then, he would have fixed the Dutcher. I
some think that it was nigh spring that Doll Deypester's birth-day came
about, and all the suitorers were awful earnest with ould Dyckman to fix
for one of them; the woman being most for young Hudson, and the Dutcher
for him as had most plunder, and could best get well along in the world.
So says the mynheer, says he, 'I'll tell you what it is,' says he;
'you're all mighty smart fellows, you are; but afore I give my gal to
any of you, I must know if you can pay the charges; for I reckon for me
to give the dollars and the wife both is what I call a leetle too purty
middling particklar. I won't have no squatting on my clearing, and no
bundling with my darter, I won't; and so, to save squiggling, whoever of
you can bring me first five hundred hard dollars on her birth-day shall
have Dortje Deypester.'--That was what ould Dyckman said, only I rather
guess that he didn't talk such coorious elegant English as I doos,
because he was an awful smoker, and a Dutcher besides. Upon the hearing
of this, they mighty soon took themselves slick right away off, all but
young Hudson and the schoolmaster; for one knowed when he was in good
quarters, and t'other loved Dortje too well, I calkilate, to leave till
he couldn't stay no longer.--I say, Ivory, arn't you going to tell the
'squire the story, or do you calkilate as I should go the whole hog for
you, you 'tarnal lazy log of ebony?"

"Him tinkee massa like to hear heself talk best," answered the negro.
"Golly! he tell it awful elegant, sure:--most as well as ole Ivory. A
day afore a Dortje's birth-day, come on mighty ugly storm, what a ole
folk say tear up ebberyting he meet on a ground, and rocks on a shore,
so that man see considerable much strange tings dere, what he never
know afore or again. A wind crack a biggest trees, and snap a strongest
zig-zags like a twigs, and a rain pour down like a water-spout. Toward
a night a storm he little clear up, and a wind he blow but in puff and
gusts, and a moon show heself, dough in mighty cloudy watery sky.
Then Louis he leave a house of ole Deypester, 'cause he not see Dortje
give away next morning to Jamaica-man, and bote of 'em sad enough, he
calkilate; but there no help, and away he go in despair. He not got
far from a clearing when he see a moon shine down mighty ugly narrow
gulf, where a road go to a Hudson River below, and he stop little and
look, 'cause he never remember he to see a place afore. While he stand,
he tink he hear man speak, and then he see him sitting on rock in a
moonlight, half way down a gulf, and another standing by. Hudson then go
down heself on a dark side, till he get opposite, and then he look over
and see a Domine Keekenkettel talking to a mighty 'tickler handsome,
grand, ole colour gentleum----"

"Sartain it was the ould gentleman, sure_ly_," interrupted the American,
"in the shape of a nigger, which arn't considerably much of a hiding for
the devil, I calkilate."

"I don't tink he look a bit of a devil," answered Ivory, somewhat
offended. "A tink a devil so handsome as a colour man? Be sure he no
devil, 'cause ebberybody know he all white!"

"Quit, you lying jackdaw!" replied Pokehorn with great promptness, and
a long stroke at Ivory; "that's only in Guinea, I calkilate, that he
mayn't be mistaken for one of the family. Go on, and don't be moosical,
or I trounce you."

"Well," resumed the negro, "Louis soon hear a domine say, 'This our
bargain, then,--I take your place to watch a pirates' treasure,--I
guess I soon fix him, and get him all slick away. But afore you and I
deal, p'raps you show where a money is buried.' A stranger then point
between a rocks beside him, and say in he's deep voice, 'Dere!' And then
down by a colour man, Louis he see into a ground, what seems all full
of treasure shining in a moonlight; here awful much gold and dollars,
and dere a gold and silver plate, and a t'other place full of di'monds
and jewels, bright as stars in a night sky. Grach! I tink he won'er,
and b'lieve he rile a little that a almanack-maker so easy get a five
hundred dollars for Dortje Deypester. A domine stare into a cave as if
he's eyes eat up all he look at; but at last he get up and say, 'I gree,
and dere my hand on a bargain; I take care all instead of you, and much
more as you can show me.' So he fill he's pouches, and then go away to
ole Deypester for a horses and bags to bring away a rest, dough he often
turn a head to look back at a treasure. He hardly gone when a strange
colour man call out to Louis in he's deep voice, 'This a dark night for
a sad heart to journey in.' Louis turn he round directly, and see him
close beside, berry tall and genteel, such a bootiful gentleum! dough
he no make out he's face for a clouds over a moon. He little feared
and won'ered at first, but soon he got up he's pluck and say, 'I guess
it dark enough, but how you know my heart sad?' T' other answer him
smart, 'That want no wizard, when he hear a sighs like yours. But he
know little more yet: he reckon you want a five hundred dollars afore
to-morrow, or lose your sweetheart, which a true shame for ac_tive_
springy lad like you: a pirates' treasure dere, hab a ten thousand times
as much, as he know by a watching it these twenty years.'--'In a God's
name!' say Louis then, 'who are you,--and who set you there?'--'One
of a last of a Spanish buccaneers' say the other; 'that berry Captain
Hornigold, what make love to Dortje Deypester. He take a ship, and kill
all on board but me and young child, that I slave to; then he bring us
bote to a shore, where he hide all his plunder, and stab us, and tell a
ghosts to watch it. A young child he live, and found on a river bank,
and so called by it name--Louis Hudson, it yourself!--but I die, and
wan'er about a treasure-grave till a captain come back, or another take
my place, or a right owner come for his own. All that happen to-night,
and I soon at liberty for ever!--You hear a money-digger say he look
to a pirates' spoil hereafter, and be sure he never quit a creek
again, dough he never find a gold any more. This treasure here, belong
to a father, who killed in ship; it now all your own; take him, but
take a nothing more;--use him well, and you be fifty times so rich as
Deypester, and hab a blessing beside.--Hark! a bell strike twelve!--my
time most up now, and dere come a captain!"

"Ivory, you 'tarnal tonguey imp!" again interrupted the American, "doos
you mean to keep on all night about that precious wordy black preaching
in the creek? Now I'll show you how to finish it all right slick away at
once, I will.--You see, then, the captain comes trampoosing up from the
river with a spade and a lanthorn, to dig for the treasure; and, as soon
as he gets in, he cries out, 'Plunder and prize-money! this is a desp'ut
ugly awful dark berth.--Is there anybody on watch, I wonder?' Upon which
that dreadful big black comes up and says, 'Yes, I calkilate I'm awake
here; and now, as I've kept the treasures of the bold buccaneers till
you've come back, if you admire we'll go off together.'--'Bear a smart
hand, then, with the plunder into the boat below, afore the tide falls,'
says Hornigold. 'Clouds and midnight! how dark it is, and the gale blows
stiffer than ever!--Seas and billows! why, the tide's coming up the
creek ten fathom strong!'--That's all as was ever heard of the captain
or the nigger, I guess; for what between the water as come roaring up,
and the rain as came pouring down, they were carried off to sea with all
their plunder, and nobody never saw or heard of them sarpents again!"

"A most astonishing and mysterious providence, truly," said Downwithit,
"and worthy of being recorded with the narratives of Baxter, Reynolds,
Janeway, and Mather.--But what became of the others?"

"Why," said Mr. Pokehorn, "as for Louis, he turned out to be some awful
great man or other, and considerable rich. He showed ould Deypester
a thousand dollars next morning, and married Dortje afore night. But
Keekenkettel went mad outright, because he couldn't never fix the
treasure again, and found that he'd filled his pouches with shells and
stones, as looked mighty like dollars and doubloons in the moonshine.
Folk say he was only dreaming, and that there never warn't no such
treasure for him to find; though they guessed that young Hudson got his
money by the storm having washed it up out of the ground. But it's a
true fact, it is, that the domine always arter, kept camfoozling about
the Pirates' Plunder Creek as long as he lived, as he bargained to do;
and whenever there's a mighty smart storm in the night, with a blink of
moonlight, the say is that he's to be seen there still."



                         THE SPECTRE.

    It was a wild and gloomy dream: to think upon it now,
    My very blood is chill'd with fear; and o'er my aching brow
    Cold clammy drops are stealing down, I tremble like a child
    Who listens to a story of the wonderful and wild!
    And well a stouter heart than mine might quake with dread, I ween;--
    But who hath ever gazed, like me, on such a fearful scene!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Sleep dropp'd upon my wearied eyes, and down I sank to rest;
    But no refreshing slumbers upon my senses press'd;
    Ten thousand lights before my eyes were dancing,--blue and red;
    Ten thousand hollow voices cried--I knew not what they said.
    My brain wheel'd round--faint grew my limbs--I cried and
          scream'd in vain;
    It seem'd as though some cursed imp had bound me with his chain!
    My tongue clave to the parched roof,--a raging thirst was mine,
    As I had drunk for months and months, nought else but saltest brine;
    Thirst such as parched pilgrims feel who range the desert wide,
    Or those who lie 'neath scorching skies upon a calmed tide.
    My temples throbb'd as they would burst; and, raging through my brain,
    The boiling blood rush'd furiously with sound like a hurricane!
    I rav'd and foam'd; my eyeballs strain'd, as though the nerves
          would burst,
    As by my side appear'd a form--a demon form accurst!
    And suddenly another came--another and yet more,
    All clad in dark habiliments;--a dozen--ay, a score!
    On me they leer'd with savage joy, and seized me, every one,
    And round and round about me went.--Oh! how my senses spun!
    I thought the leader of that band of sprites must surely be
    The Evil One, and I his prey. I vainly strove to flee:
    I tried to pray,--my tongue was dumb;--then down upon the ground
    I sank, and felt my every limb with fiery fetters bound.
    I know not now, how long I lay; my senses all were gone,
    And I with those infernal ones was left alone, alone.
    At length I started with affright, and felt, or seemed to feel,
    The blasts of hot sulphureous air across my forehead steal.
    A horrid thought, as on we mov'd, upon my senses burst,
    That they were bearing me away unto the place accurst.
    Oh! language vainly strives to paint the horrors of that ride!
    Two demons at my head and feet, and two on either side.
    The stars above were bloody red--each one seem'd doubly bright,
    And spectral faces glar'd in mine, with looks of grim delight.
    Still slowly, slowly on we mov'd, that ghastly troop and I:
    I questioned, where?--a fiendish laugh was only their reply.
    On, onward I was borne. At last they stay'd, and in my face
    A hideous visage peer'd on me with horrible grimace:
    Then down they threw me (still unbound) upon a bed of stone,
    And one by one they vanished, and I was left alone!

           *       *       *       *       *

    How long I lay, I may not say. At length I saw a form
    Beside me, and upon his brow there seem'd a gathering storm.
    "Where am I?" loud I scream'd, and paus'd. Again I rav'd, and cried,
    "And who art thou, thou evil one! who standest at my side?
    What spectre art thou?" "Come," said he,
                 "young feller, hold your peace;
    You're on the stretcher now, and I'm the _'spector_ of police!"



   AUTHORS AND ACTORS; OR, ENGAGING A COMPANY.
              _A Dramatic Sketch._

_Scene--The Manager's Room. The Manager discovered._

_Manager._--Well! my theatre is built at last, and I have now only to
think about opening it. My walls are so dry that they cannot throw a
damp upon my prospects. My stage is all ready for starting; and every
one, I am happy to say, seems inclined to take the box-seat. Everything
now must go as smooth as a railroad. I have always heard that a manager
must lead a devil of a life; but I am in hopes I shall be an exception
to the rule, and that management to me will be a delightful pastime.

_Fitz-Growl_ (_without_).--But I must see him.

_Manager._--Who the deuce can this be?

     (_Enter a Servant._)

_Servant._--If you please, sir, here's a person wants to speak to you.

_Manager._--I'm busy about the opening of the theatre; tell him you
can't get near me.

_Servant._--But he says he's an author, sir, and has called about his
piece.

_Manager._--His piece! why, these authors let me have no peace at all.

_Servant._--He would come up, sir, though I told him you wouldn't suffer
any one behind the scenes.

_Manager._--And particularly an author; for he makes people suffer
enough before them.

_Servant._--Here he is, sir; he would force his way up.

      (_Exit Servant. Enter Fitz-Growl._)

_Manager._--My servant says you would force your way up.

_Fitz-Growl._--And isn't it natural an author should wish to do so?

_Manager._--Well; but, sir, it is not usual in theatres for the manager
to see any one.

_Fitz-Growl._--Not usual to see any one! It must be a very poor look-out.

_Manager._--Well, sir, as you are here, may I ask your business?

_Fitz-Growl._--Why, being anxious for the success of your theatre, I
sent you three of my pieces to begin with. Now, sir, I've had no answer.

_Manager._--My dear sir, we cannot answer everybody. Theatres never
answer in these times. However, your pieces shall be looked out. You can
believe in my assurance.

_Fitz-Growl._--Certainly; a manager ought to have assurance enough for
anything. But I tell you, sir, if you want to succeed, you must open
with my piece.

_Manager._--What is the nature of it?

_Fitz-Growl._--Nature! The beauty of my piece is, that there's no nature
at all in it; it's beautifully unnatural.

_Manager._--Indeed! I hope there is some spirit in the dialogue?

_Fitz-Growl._--Some spirit, sir! there is a ghost in it.

_Manager._--A ghost, my dear sir! that won't do for my theatre; my
audience would have too much sense for a thing of that kind.

_Fitz-Growl._--Then you'll never do any good, sir; but, may I ask what
sort of pieces you intend producing?

_Manager._--Variety and novelty, sir, will be my aim.

_Fitz-Growl._--Novelty! then my piece is the very thing. I sink the
whole stage.

_Manager._--Thank you; but I'd rather leave the task of sinking the
stage to others; my aim shall be to raise it.

_Fitz-Growl._--My dear sir, you know nothing of effect; if you could
only cover the stage with people, and then let them all down at once, it
would be terrific!

_Manager._--My dear sir, I don't want to cover my stage with people, and
then let them down; I'd sooner hold my performers up than see them let
down.

_Fitz-Growl._--That's very fine talking; but you must get the money, and
I can assure you mine are the only pieces to do it.

_Manager._--Indeed, sir; then I'm too generous to my fellow-managers to
think of monopolising the only author whose pieces will draw.

     (_Enter Servant._)

_Servant._--A gentleman named Scowl is below.

_Manager._--Oh! the gentleman I was to see respecting an engagement. Beg
him to walk up.   (_Exit Servant._)

_Fitz-Growl._--Ah! he's an old friend of mine. He plays the devil in all
my pieces.

_Manager._--Plays the devil, does he?

_Fitz-Growl._--My best friend, sir; he has made the character I allude
to his own.

_Manager._--It is to be hoped, for his sake, that the character you
allude to will not return the compliment.

     (_Enter Scowl._)

_Fitz-Growl._--Ah! my dear Scowl, how are you?

_Scowl._--So, so; I swallowed a quantity of the smoke last night in your
new piece.

_Manager._--Did the audience swallow it too?

_Scowl._--Sir?

_Manager._--I beg your pardon, sir; I believe you wish to lead the
business at my theatre?

_Fitz-Growl._--He's the very man for it.

_Manager._--What is your line, sir?

_Scowl._--Why, I don't mind the heavy business; but I prefer the demons,
or the singing scoundrels.

_Manager._--But I don't think I shall do that sort of thing.

_Scowl._--More fool you. If you want your theatre to pay, you must stick
to the melodrama: the people are sure to come if you can only frighten
them away.

_Fitz-Growl._--Yes, I find it so with my pieces; they draw the same
people over and over again, because they are forced to come several
times before they can venture to sit them out.

_Manager._--But I sha'n't aim at that.

_Scowl._--More fool you. But if I can be of any service to you in the
combat way,--I can fight with a sword in each hand, a dagger in my
mouth, and a bayonet in my eye. What do you think of that?

_Manager._--Astonishing!

_Scowl._--My friend Mr. Fitz-Growl has written me an excellent new part.

_Manager._--What's that about?

_Fitz-Growl._--Oh! nothing particular. I write down a few horrors, make
a list of the murders, and my friend Scowl knows what to be up to.

_Manager._--Really, gentlemen, I don't see that we can come to terms.

_Fitz-Growl._--Don't see!--what! you don't want my pieces?

_Scowl._--Nor my acting?

_Manager._--Neither, gentlemen, I thank you.

_Fitz-Growl._--Then I'll go home and write a melodrama, called the
"_Doomed Manager_," and you shall be the hero.

_Manager._--Thank you.

_Scowl._--And I'll play the part.

_Manager._--What! you represent me? That's too cruel. But I must wish
you good morning.

_Scowl._--Farewell! remember me!

_Fitz-Growl._--And me too. I say, sir, remember me!

     (_Exeunt Scowl and Fitz-Growl with melodramatic eye-rollings._)

_Manager._--Well, I hope all the applications won't be like this, or I
shall never get a company.

     (_Enter a Bill-sticker._)

_Manager._--Well, my good fellow, who are you?

_Bill-sticker._--Why, I'm one of your best friends; I'm the
bill-sticker. Nobody sticks up for you like I do.

_Manager._--Well, but what do you want?

_Bill-sticker._--Why, sir, I'm sorry to say that as fast as I put your
bills up, somebody else comes and pulls them down.

_Manager._--How is that?

_Bill-sticker._--I don't know, sir. It's werry ungentlemanly, whoever
does it. The fact is, sir, your bills meet with as much opposition as
bills in Parliament; and I'm sure I don't know why, unless it is that
they are what we call money-bills.

_Manager._--Perhaps they are too large, and occupy too much space: you
know the printing is very large, the type is bold, and the capitals are
immense.

_Bill-sticker._--That's it, sir. It's the immense capital; it's such a
novelty in theatres that they're all afraid of it. Shall I pull down
their bills, sir?

_Manager._--Certainly not. I will never sanction those whom I employ in
unworthily attempting to hurt the interests of others. My theatre is for
the amusement of all, and the employment of many; but the injury of none.

_Bill-sticker._--Oh! if that's your motto, everybody ought to stick up
for you; and I'm sure I will for one.

_Manager._--Thank you, friend, for the promise of your influence.

_Bill-sticker._--And it's no mean influence, either; for, though only
one poor fellow, I carry more bills in a day than the House of Commons
carries in a whole session.

     (_Exit Bill-sticker._)

_Manager._--Well! management does not seem so smooth, after all: one
meets with vexations now and then, I fear. Oh! who comes now?

     (_Enter Queershanks._)

_Manager._--Your pleasure, sir?

_Queershanks._--My name is Queershanks. You have built a theatre, have
you not?

_Manager._--I have, sir.

_Queershanks._--Very good: then you will want a model.

_Manager._--A model after it is built?

_Queershanks._--Certainly: but not a model of a theatre; a model of a
man.

_Manager._--What for, sir?

_Queershanks._--Why, sir, you will want occasionally to give
representations of statues. I am an excellent hand at it.

_Manager._--But, sir, my theatre is dedicated to Apollo.

_Queershanks._--The very thing, sir: I have stood as the model of the
Apollo Belvedere to the cleverest artists.

_Manager._--They must have been clever artists to make an Apollo
Belvedere with you for their model; but I cannot entertain your
engagement in that shape.

_Queershanks._--Not engage me in that shape! My shape is
unexceptionable. Only look at this muscle. Here's muscle for Hercules,
sir! Feel it, sir; will you be so good?

_Manager._--I see it.

_Queershanks._--No,--but feel it.

_Manager._--Quite unnecessary, sir. I don't think what you could do
would suit our audience.

_Queershanks._--Do you mean to say, sir, I should do you no good? Look
at this muscle, sir. Would not muscle like that make a tremendous hit?
(_Striking him._)

_Manager._--Sir, I'm quite satisfied.

_Queershanks._--Satisfied, sir! so you ought to be: I've got the nose of
Mars, sir.

_Manager._--My dear sir, what is it to the public if you've got Mars'
nose and Pa's chin.

_Queershanks._--I mean the classical Mars,--not my mother, you silly
fellow. Then I've got the eye of a Cyclop, and the whiskers of
Virginius. As yours is to be a classical theatre, will you give me a
trial?

_Manager._--What can you do?

_Queershanks._--I'm very good in the ancient statues, only I've made
them modern to suit the time. You know the "_African alarmed
by thunder_?"

_Manager._--Yes: a fine subject.

_Queershanks._--I've modernised it into the "_Black footman frightened
by an omnibus_:" this is it.   (_Music; he does it._)

_Manager._--Very good! What else have you? Can you give me "_Ajax
defying the lightning_?"

_Queershanks._--I have modernised it into the "_Little boy defying the
beadle_."   (_Music; he does it._)

_Manager._--Capital! Have you any more?

_Queershanks._--One more. You've seen the "_Dying Gladiator_?" I think
my "_Prize-fighter unable to come up to time_" beats it all to nothing.
  (_Music; he does it._)

_Queershanks._--That's something like sculpture, isn't it?

_Manager._--Yes; but it won't do in my theatre.

_Queershanks._--Won't do, sir! what do you mean?

_Manager._--Why, I think the audience I wish to attract will like
something better than dumb show. Good morning!

_Queershanks._--I'm gone, sir; but remember you've lost me. I tell you,
sir, that my statues would have made your season; but I leave you, sir,
with contempt (_striking an attitude_). Do you know that, sir? It's the
celebrated statue of Napoleon turning with contempt from the shores of
Elba, which, as you know, he left because he wanted more _elbow_ room.
(_Exit Queershanks with an attitude._)

_Manager._--Well; each person that applies for an engagement seems to
think he is the man to make my fortune for me, and gets quite angry that
I won't let him have an opportunity of doing so; but I begin to see I
must think for myself.

     (_Enter Servant._)

_Servant._--A lady and two children wish to see you, sir.

_Manager._--Show them in. (_Exit Servant._) Some new candidates, I
suppose: here they come. Ladies! they are the first that have done me
the honour to apply to me.

     (_Enter Mrs. Fiddler, Miss F. and Master F._)

_Manager._--Your pleasure, madam?

_Mrs. F._--My name is Fiddler, sir; did you ever hear of me? I've got
a friend, a supernumerary at Astley's who has great influence in the
theatrical world; he promised to speak to you; has he done so?

_Manager._--Really, madam, I do not remember to have had an interview
with any such person.

_Mrs. F._--Indeed! that's strange: but I suppose you've heard of the
clever Fiddlers?

_Manager._--You mean Paganini, perhaps, and De Beriot?

_Mrs. F._--No, indeed, I don't; I mean my clever children here, Master
and Miss Fiddler.

_Manager._--Indeed, madam; I'm happy to make their acquaintance.

_Mrs. F._--And so you ought to be, sir. Come here, Julietta: this young
lady, sir, has got _such_ a voice! It goes upon the high _C's_ as safe
as an East-Indiaman. I want you to engage her.

_Manager._--I should like to hear her sing, before I thought of engaging
her; she might fail.

_Mrs. F._--And if she did, sir,--if the public were so unjust,--how
great would be the consolation to you to know that you partially
repaired the injury by paying the dear child a salary!

_Manager._--I am afraid, madam, I could not proceed on that plan.

_Mrs. F._--You will excuse my saying, sir, that you have strange notions
of liberality; but you shall hear her sing. Come, my dear, let's have
the _Baccy-role_; it's beautiful in your mouth, my dear.

_Manager._--(_Aside._) Baccy-role, indeed! (_Aloud._) Let's hear you, my
dear. (_Miss F. looks stupid and does not sing a note. Mrs. F. moving
her hands and arms, sing for her very badly, a bit of the Barcarole from
Musaniello._)

_Mrs. F._--You see, sir, that's what the dear child means; though she
can't do it before you, she is so nervous. But all that will wear off
when she gets before the audience.

_Manager._--It's to be hoped so, but what can the young gentleman do?

_Mrs. F._--What can he do! anything--he's a dancer; his pirouettes are
tremendous: only look here! (_She turns him round and round till he
falls down giddy._) See! he spins like a top; in fact he'll soon be the
top of his profession.

_Manager._--Why, bless the boy! you don't call that dancing, do you?

_Mrs. F._--Of course: the dear boy has over-exerted himself, that's all;
but he'll soon come round.

_Manager._--Why, he has come round too much; but I can't engage him.

_Mrs. F._--Then, sir, let me tell you, you'll never do. (_Exeunt Mrs. F.
Master F. and Miss F._)

_Manager._--Why, that's what everybody tells me. Here, Tom! don't let
me be annoyed by any one else. I find there's no small difficulty in
exercising one's own discretion in these matters. I may do much to
improve the race both of authors and actors, if I think and judge for
myself; but to render my efforts of any avail, the public must do so
too. And when will they begin to do it?

                 (_Curtain falls._)



       A CRITICAL GOSSIP WITH LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.

The character of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is about as little known to
the generality of readers as the source of the Nile, or the precise
position of the North Pole. She has taken her place in public estimation
as a forward, witty, voluptuous woman of fashion, who flirted, if she
did not intrigue, with Pope; who was initiated into all the mysteries
of a Turkish harem, and who chronicled those mysteries with no very
delicate hand:--who affected friendships, lampooned her associates, and
wrote verses of _single-entendre_; who married rashly, loved unwisely,
and led a life of ultra-friendship and long unexplained divorce. Such
is Lady Mary Wortley Montagu supposed to be! so prone is biography to
perpetuate the fleeting scandals of the day, to distort mystery or
obscurity into indecorum or baseness, and to darken and discolour the
stream of time with the filth that is vulgarly and maliciously thrown
into it at its source. The period appears to have arrived at which Lady
Mary's character has obtained the power of purifying itself. With many
faults, constitutional as well as acquired, there can be no doubt that
she was a lady of surpassing powers of mind, of extreme wit, an easy
command of her own as well as of the learned languages, a surprising
knowledge of the world even in her youth, a vivid poetical imagination,
a heart full of foibles, but fuller of love for her _own_ circle, and
that of her friends; and, above all, an abundance of common sense, which
regulated her affections, her actions, her reflections, and her style,
so as to render her the most accomplished lady of her own, or of the
subsequent age. We do not think we can do justice to this fascinating
creature in a better way than by lounging through the three volumes
which Lord Wharncliffe's ancestral love, literary ability, and elegant
taste, have given to the world. We may gossip with this work as we
might with her who originated it, stroll with her in her favourite
gardens, listen to her verses, catch her agreeable anecdotes, receive
her valuable observations on human nature, as though she were actually
before us in her splendid and _eternal_ nightgown, or in her Turkish
dress, (so sweet in Lord Harrington's charming miniature) or in her
domino at Venice, or in her lute-string, or in her English court-dress.
Our gossip, however,--save as to the remarks we may, to use the phrase
of the dramatist, utter aside to that vast pit, the public,--will very
much resemble that between Macbeth and the armed head, at which the
witches give their admonitory caution. That caution will not be lost
upon us--for it will nearly be,--

          "Hear _her_ speak, and say thou nought."

The introduction to this interesting work is from the editor, and it is
written with a Walpole felicity in its points, though we would rather
have had it more continuous than anecdotical. Our purpose we have
professed to be, to gossip with Lady Mary, and we therefore shall make
but two extracts from the introduction,--the one because it is _perhaps_
leaning to the unfeeling; the other, because it is indisputably the
truth of feeling. Madame de Sevigné did not deserve the phrase which we
have marked in italics in the following passage, and indeed Lady Mary,
in one of her letters, announces herself as a successful rival of this
very agreeable French letter-writer,--an announcement which ought to
have cautioned an editor against depreciating the powers of one whom the
edited had chosen to select as a rival.

"The modern world will smile, but should however beware of too hastily
despising works that charmed Lady Mary Wortley in her youth, and were
courageously defended by Madame de Sevigné even when hers was past, and
they began to be sliding out of fashion. She, it seems, thought with the
_old woman_ just now mentioned, that they had a tendency to elevate the
mind, and to instil honourable and generous sentiments. At any rate they
must have fostered application and perseverance, by accustoming their
readers to what the French term _des ouvrages de longue haleine_. After
resolutely mastering Clelia, nobody could pretend to quail at the aspect
of Mezeray, or even at that of Holinshed's Chronicle printed in black
letter. Clarendon, Burnet, and Rapin, had not yet issued into daylight."

With the foregoing extract (and all critics should get rid of their bile
as quickly as they can) all that is unpleasant is at rest. Let us give
the following feeling, beautiful anecdote.

"The name of another young friend will excite more attention--Mrs. Anne
Wortley. _Mrs._ Anne has a most mature sound to our modern ears; but,
in the phraseology of those days, _Miss_, which had hardly yet ceased
to be a term of reproach, still denoted childishness, flippancy, or
some other contemptible quality, and was rarely applied to young ladies
of a respectable class. In Steele's Guardian, the youngest of Nestor
Ironside's wards, aged fifteen, is Mrs. Mary Lizard. Nay, Lady Bute
herself could remember having been styled Mrs. Wortley, when a child,
by two or three elderly visitors, as tenacious of their ancient modes
of speech as of other old fashions. Mrs. Anne, then, was the second
daughter of Mr. Sidney[20] Wortley Montagu, and the favourite sister of
his son Edward. She died in the bloom of youth, unmarried. Lady Mary,
in common with others who had known her, represented her as eminently
pretty and agreeable; and her brother so cherished her memory, that,
in after times, his little girl knew it to be the highest mark of his
favour, when, pointing at herself, he said to her mother, "Don't you
think she grows like my poor sister Anne?"

[20] Second son of Admiral Montagu, first Earl of Sandwich. Upon
marrying the daughter and heiress of Sir Francis Wortley, he was obliged
by the tenour of Sir Francis's will to assume his name.

Lady Mary had Lord Byron's fate. She wrote a journal of her life; she
became the historian of her own genius, her youthful love, and her young
trials. It chanced to be her fate, that the one into whose hands her
manuscript fell, considered it her duty (wisely and affectionately,
or not, is immaterial for our purposes) to doom it to be a work of
destruction. It is hard for genius that it cannot find an executor who
regards the future in preference to the present; who cannot absolve
himself from immediate ties, living incumbrances, pressing prejudices,
conceived personalities,--to yield immortality its due!--who, in fact,
in the blindness of temporary fears and temporary associations, classes
that which he holds, erringly as that of the age,--which should be, and
in its spirit was destined to be, "for all time." We have mentioned two
immortal names; and before we pass into the three volumes, we cannot
help endeavouring to connect them in the minds of our readers, as they
are by their spirit connected in ours. Lord Byron was a moody, fiery,
brooding child,--full of passion, obstinacy, and irregularity, in his
teens;--Lady Mary was a single-thinking, classical, daring, inspired
girl long under one-and-twenty. Lord Byron at a plunge formed his own
spreading circles on the glittering still-life lake of fashionable
society: Lady Mary with her beauty and her genius effected the same
result by the same impetuosity. Lady Mary made, as it would appear,
a cold unsatisfactory marriage, but, it must be admitted, with one
possessed of a patience untainted by genius:--Lord Byron iced himself
into the connubial state, but shuddered at its coldness. The press, and
the poets, and the prosers united with serene ferocity against both.
Both, alas! were

    "Souls made of fire and children of the sun,
    With whom revenge was virtue!"

Their revenge was mutual-minded. Misunderstood, calumniated, they
quitted the land which was not worthy of them. Genius-borne, they both
passed to the east; and to them we owe the most sensible,--the most
passioned,--the most voluptuous,--and the most inspired pictures of
"the land of the citron and myrtle," that have ever waked the wish and
melted the heart of us southron readers. A mysterious divorcement from
the marital partner marked the absence--the long last absence--of each!
Mind-banished,--person-expatriated,--they vented upon their country
that revenge of which injured genius can alone be capable. And looking
at the calumnies upon the one, and the female animosities towards the
other,--regarding the banishment of mental beauty and magic power in
both,--we cannot better convey to our readers the revenge which genius
gave, and must ever give, than by making a common cause of the two, and
explaining it in the inimitable lines of the one.

    "And if my voice break forth, 'tis not that now
    I shrink from what is suffered; let him speak
    Who hath beheld decline upon my brow,
    Or seen my mind's convulsion leave it weak
    But in this page a record will I seek.

    Not in the air shall these my words disperse,
    Tho' I be ashes; a far hour shall wreak
    The deep prophetic fullness of this verse,
    And pile on human heads the mountain of my curse.
    That curse shall be _forgiveness_!"--

This is indeed the inspiration of forgiveness. We feel an awe after
reading this humane and lofty imprecation, which calls for a pause.
There is the same feeling upon us from which we cannot escape, as
that to which we are subject when we wander under the arched roof and
sculptured aisles,--in the breathing, breathless, cathedral silence,--in
the awful stone repose,--in the contemplation of

          "The uplifted palms, the silent marble lips!"

The similarity between the genius of Byron and that of Lady Mary, and
their fates,--except as to the death and duration of life of the two,
(the one dying at the age of thirty-seven, and the other at the age of
seventy-three,--a sad and strange reverse figures!)--are singularly
interesting and affecting. The one,--sexually to distinguish them,--was
_Rousseau_ with a heart,--the other _De Staël_ with one.--But we grow
serious, critical, and minute. We are not certain that we are not
growing anatomical. We shall therefore enter upon our _conversazione_
with our charming, high-born, easy caftan,--Minerva,--Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu!

We pass silently over her biography, and at once commence with the
unmarried _Lady Mary Pierrepont_ and the married Montagu! What can be
livelier than the following York picture. It is _Hogarthian_!--and let
it not be forgotten that the lady was only twenty, and unwedded.


                    "TO MRS. WORTLEY.                   "1710.
             "I RETURN you a thousand thanks,
            my dear, for so agreeable an entertainment as your
            letter in our cold climate, where the sun appears
            unwillingly--Wit is as wonderfully pleasing as a
            sun-shiny day; and, to speak poetically, Phoebus
            is very sparing of all his favours. I fancied your
            letter an emblem of yourself: in some parts I found the
            softness of your voice, and in others the vivacity of
            your eyes: you are to expect no return but humble and
            hearty thanks, yet I can't forbear entertaining you
            with our York lovers. (Strange monsters you'll think,
            love being as much forced up here as melons.) In the
            first form of these creatures, is even Mr. Vanbrug.
            Heaven, no doubt, compassionating our dulness, has
            inspired him with a passion that make us all ready to
            die with laughing: 'tis credibly reported that he is
            endeavouring at the honourable state of matrimony,
            and vows to lead a sinful life no more. Whether pure
            holiness inspires the mind, or dotage turns his
            brain, is hard to find. 'Tis certain he keeps Monday
            and Thursday market (_assembly_ day) constantly; and
            for those that don't regard worldly muck, there's
            extraordinary good choice indeed. I believe last Monday
            there were two hundred pieces of woman's flesh (fat
            and lean): but you know Van's taste was always odd:
            his inclination to ruins has given him a fancy for
            Mrs. Yarborough: he sighs and ogles so, that it would
            do your heart good to see him; and she is not a little
            pleased in so small a proportion of men amongst such a
            number of women, that a whole man should fall to her
            share. My dear, adieu, My service to Mr. Congreve.
                                                              "M. P."

There is a charming poem by Lady Mary, which is singularly supported
by her letters. It certainly acknowledges a love of pleasure which
is not "quite correct;" but it is so unaffected,--so melodious,--so
heartfelt,--so confiding,--that we could read it, and read it, "for ever
and a day!"



             "THE LOVER: A BALLAD.
               "TO MR. CONGREVE.

    "At length, by so much importunity press'd,
    Take, Congreve, at once the inside of my breast.
    This stupid indiff'rence so often you blame,
    Is not owing to nature, to fear, or to shame:
    I am not as cold as a virgin in lead,
    Nor are Sunday's sermons so strong in my head:
    I know but too well how time flies along,
    That we live but few years, and yet fewer are young.

    But I hate to be cheated, and never will buy
    Long years of repentance for moments of joy.
    Oh! was there a man (but where shall I find
    Good sense and good nature so equally join'd?)
    Would value his pleasure, contribute to mine;
    Not meanly would boast, nor lewdly design;
    Not over severe, yet not stupidly vain,
    For I would have the power, though not give the pain.

    No pedant, yet learned; no rake-helly gay,
    Or laughing, because he has nothing to say;
    To all my whole sex obliging and free,
    Yet never be fond of any but me;
    In public preserve the decorum that's just,
    And shew in his eyes he is true to his trust!
    Then rarely approach, and respectfully bow,
    But not fulsomely pert, nor yet foppishly low.

    But when the long hours of public are past,
    And we meet with champaign and a chicken at last,
    May every fond pleasure that moment endear;
    Be banish'd afar both discretion and fear!
    Forgetting or scorning the airs of the crowd,
    He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud,
    Till lost in the joy, we confess that we live,
    And he may be rude, and yet I may forgive.

    And that my delight may be solidly fix'd,
    Let the friend and the lover be handsomely mix'd;
    In whose tender bosom my soul may confide,
    Whose kindness can soothe me, whose counsel can guide.
    From such a dear lover as hero I describe,
    No danger should fright me, no millions should bribe;
    But till this astonishing creature I know,
    As I long have liv'd chaste, I will keep myself so.

    I never will share with the wanton coquette,
    Or be caught by a vain affectation of wit.
    The toasters and songsters may try all their art,
    But never shall enter the pass of my heart.
    I loathe the lewd rake, the dress'd fopling despise:
    Before such pursuers the nice virgin flies;
    And as Ovid has sweetly in parable told,
    We harden like trees, and like rivers grow cold."

This delightful epistle to Congreve appears to have been written
at the time she resided at Twickenham,--lured there by the quiet
and loveliness of that classic spot, and the fascination of Pope's
society. The following letter would seem to confirm the sincerity of
these racy verses;--and the presence of "Doctor Swift and Johnny Gay,"
--ballad-writing too,--must have had some influence over the pen of the
poetess.


             "TO THE COUNTESS OF MAR.
                                              "Twickenham, 17--.
             "DEAR SISTER,--I WAS very glad
            to hear from you, though there was something in your
            letters very monstrous and shocking. I wonder with
            what conscience you can talk to me of your being an
            old woman; I beg I may hear no more on't. For my part
            I pretend to be as young as ever, and really am as
            young as needs to be, to all intents and purposes. I
            attribute all this to your living so long at Chatton,
            and fancy a week at Paris will correct such wild
            imaginations, and set things in a better light. My cure
            for lowness of spirits is not drinking nasty water, but
            galloping all day, _and a moderate glass of champaign
            at night in good company_; and I believe this regimen,
            closely followed, is one of the most wholesome that
            can be prescribed, and may save one a world of filthy
            doses, and more filthy doctor's fees at the year's
            end. I rode to Twickenham last night, and, after so
            long a stay in town, am not sorry to find myself in
            my garden; our neighbourhood is something improved by
            the removal of some old maids, and the arrival of some
            fine gentlemen, amongst whom are Lord Middleton and
            Sir J. Gifford, who are, perhaps, your acquaintances:
            they live with their aunt, Lady Westmoreland, and we
            endeavour to make the country agreeable to one another.

            "Doctor Swift and Johnny Gay are at Pope's,
            and their conjunction has produced a ballad,[21] which,
            if nobody else has sent you, I will, being never better
            pleased than when I am endeavouring to amuse my dear
            sister, and ever yours,
                                                        "M. W. M."

[21] Published in Swift's Works.

What a picture we have of Mrs. Lowther! How the _Mall_ is revived with
its strollers of fashion and beauty!

             "I am yet in this wicked town,
            but purpose to leave it as soon as the parliament
            rises. Mrs. Murray and all her satellites have so
            seldom fallen in my way, I can say little about them.
            Your old friend Mrs. Lowther is still fair and young,
            _and in pale pink every night in the parks_."

To the name of Mrs. Lowther is appended the following note,--and we do
not know that we ever remember an anecdote, _in years_, better set off.

              "Mrs. Lowther was a respectable
            woman, single, and, as it appears by the text, not
            willing to own herself middle-aged. Another lady
            happened to be sitting at breakfast with her when an
            awkward country lad, new in her service, brought word
            that 'there was one as begged to speak to her.'--'What
            is his name?'--'Don't know.'--'What sort of person?
            a gentleman?'--'Can't say rightly.'--'Go and ask him
            his business.'--The fellow returned grinning. 'Why,
            madam, he says as how--he says he is--'--'Well, what
            does he say, fool?'--'He says he is one as dies for
            your ladyship.'--'Dies for me! exclaimed the lady, the
            more incensed from seeing her friend inclined to laugh
            as well as her footman,--'was there ever such a piece
            of insolence! Turn him out of my house this minute.
            And hark ye, shut the door in his face.' The clown
            obeyed; but going to work more roughly than John Bull
            will ever admit of, produced a scuffle that disturbed
            the neighbours and called in the constable. At last
            the audacious lover, driven to explain himself, proved
            nothing worse than an honest tradesman, a dyer, whom
            her ladyship often employed to refresh her old gowns."

Can the following _trifle_ of whipt fashion and satire be surpassed even
by the pointed and light pleasantries of Walpole?

               "Cavendish-square, 1727. "My
            Lady Stafford[22] set out towards France this morning,
            and has carried half the pleasures of my life along
            with her; I am more stupid than I can describe, and
            am as full of moral reflections as either Cambray or
            Pascal. I think of nothing but the nothingness of the
            good things of this world, the transitoriness of its
            joys, the pungency of its sorrows, and many discoveries
            that have been made these three thousand years, and
            committed to print ever since the first erecting of
            presses. I advise you, as the best thing you can do
            that day, let it happen as it will, to visit Lady
            Stafford: she has the goodness to carry with her a
            true-born Englishwoman, who is neither good nor bad,
            nor capable of being either; Lady Phil Prat by name,
            of the Hamilton family, and who will be glad of your
            acquaintance, and you can never be sorry for hers.[23]

            "Peace or war, cross or pile, makes all
            the conversation; this town never was fuller, and, God
            be praised, some people _brille_ in it who _brilled_
            twenty years ago. My cousin Buller is of that number,
            who is just what she was in all respects when she
            inhabited Bond-street. The sprouts of this age are
            such green withered things, 'tis a great comfort to
            us grown up people: I except my own daughter, who is
            to be the ornament of the ensuing court. I beg you
            will exact from Lady Stafford a particular of her
            perfections, which would sound suspected from my hand;
            at the same time I must do justice to a little twig
            belonging to my sister Gower. Miss Jenny is like the
            Duchess of Queensberry both in face and spirit. _A
            propos_ of family affairs: I had almost forgot our
            dear and amiable cousin Lady Denbigh, who has blazed
            out all this winter; she has brought with her from
            Paris cart-loads of riband, surprising fashion, and
            of a complexion of the last edition, which naturally
            attracts all the she and he fools in London; and
            accordingly she is surrounded with a little court of
            both, and keeps a Sunday assembly to shew she has
            learned to play at cards on that day. Lady Frances
            Fielding[24] is really the prettiest woman in town, and
            has sense enough to make one's heart ache to see her
            surrounded with such fools as her relations are. The
            man in England that gives the greatest pleasure, and
            the greatest pain, is a youth of royal blood, with all
            his grandmother's beauty, wit and good qualities. In
            short, he is Nell Gwin in person, with the sex altered,
            and occasions such fracas amongst the ladies of
            gallantry that it passes description. You'll stare to
            hear of her Grace of Cleveland at the head of them.[25]
            If I was poetical I would tell you--

[22] Claude Charlotte, daughter of Philibert, Count of Grammont (author
of the celebrated Memoirs), and "La Belle Hamilton," eldest daughter of
Sir George Hamilton, Bart. was married to Henry Stafford Howard, Earl of
Stafford, at St. Germain's-en-laye, 1694.

[23] Lady Philippa Hamilton, daughter of James Earl of Abercorn, and
wife of Dr. Pratt, Dean of Downe.

[24] Youngest daughter of Basil, fourth Earl of Denbigh; married to
Daniel, seventh Earl of Winchelsea; died Sept, 17, 1734.

[25] Anne, daughter of Sir W. Pulteney of Misterton, in the county of
Stafford; remarried to Philip Southcote, Esq. Died in 1746.

    "The god of love, enrag'd to see
      The nymph despise his flame,
    At dice and cards misspend her nights,
      And slight a nobler game;

    "For the neglect of offers past
      And pride in days of yore,
    He kindles up a fire at last,
      That burns her at threescore.

    "A polish'd wile is smoothly spread
      Where whilome wrinkles lay;
    And, glowing with an artful red,
      She ogles at the play.

    "Along the Mall she softly sails,
      In white and silver drest;
    Her neck expos'd to Eastern gales,
      And jewels on her breast.

    "Her children banish'd, age forgot,
      Lord Sidney is her care;
    And, what is a much happier lot,
      Has hopes to be her _heir_.

               "This is all true history, though
            it is doggerel rhyme: in good earnest she has
            turned Lady D---- and family out of doors to make room
            for him, and there he lies like leaf-gold upon a pill;
            there never was so violent and so indiscreet a passion.
            Lady Stafford says nothing was ever like it, since
            Phædra and Hippolitus.--'Lord ha' mercy upon us! See
            what we may all come to!'
                                                      "M. W. M."

Again--the following words are as colours taken from the pallet of a Sir
Joshua:

                                      "Cavendish-square, 1727.

            "I cannot deny, but that I was very well diverted on
            the Coronation day. I saw the procession much at my
            ease, in a house which I filled with my own company,
            and then got into Westminster-hall without trouble,
            where it was very entertaining to observe the variety
            of airs that all meant the same thing. The business
            of every walker there was to conceal vanity and
            gain admiration. For these purposes some languished
            and others strutted; but a visible satisfaction was
            diffused over every countenance, as soon as the
            coronet was clapped on the head. But she that drew the
            greatest number of eyes, was indisputably Lady Orkney.
            She exposed behind a mixture of fat and wrinkles;
            and before, a very considerable protuberance which
            preceded her. Add to this, the inimitable roll of her
            eyes, and her grey hairs, which by good fortune stood
            directly upright, and 'tis impossible to imagine a
            more delightful spectacle. She had embellished all this
            with considerable magnificence, which made her look as
            big again as usual; and I should have thought her one
            of the largest things of God's making if my Lady St.
            J**n had not displayed all her charms in honour of the
            day. The poor Duchess of M***se _crept along with a
            dozen of black snakes playing round her face_, and my
            Lady P***nd (who is fallen away since her dismission
            from court) represented very finely an Egyptian mummy
            embroidered over with hieroglyphics."

Lady Mary read, and of course loved, the writings of Fielding. He was
related to her. She had in her service a Fanny at the time she read
Joseph Andrews, and thus she writes of her:

                       "TO THE COUNTESS OF BUTE.

            "Venice, Oct. 1, N. S. 1748. "MY DEAR CHILD,--I have
            at length received the box, with the books enclosed,
            for which I give you many thanks, as they amused me
            very much. I gave a very ridiculous proof of it, fitter
            indeed for my grand-daughter than myself. I returned
            from a party on horseback: and after having rode twenty
            miles, part of it by moonshine, it was ten at night
            when I found the box arrived. I could not deny myself
            the pleasure of opening it; and falling upon Fielding's
            works, was fool enough to sit up all night reading.
            I think Joseph Andrews better than his Foundling.
            I believe I was the more struck with it, having at
            present a Fanny in my own house, not only by the name,
            which happens to be the same, but the extraordinary
            beauty, joined with an understanding yet more
            extraordinary at her age, which is but few months past
            sixteen: she is in the post of my chambermaid. I fancy
            you will tax my discretion for taking a servant thus
            qualified; but my woman, who is also my housekeeper,
            was always teizing me with her having too much work,
            and complaining of ill health, which determined me to
            take her a deputy; and when I was at Louvere, where
            I drank the waters, one of the most considerable
            merchants there pressed me to take this daughter of
            his: her mother has an uncommon good character, and
            the girl has had a better education than is usual for
            those of her rank; she writes a good hand, and has
            been brought up to keep accounts, which she does to
            great perfection; and had herself such a violent desire
            to serve me, that I was persuaded to take her: I do
            not yet repent it from any part of her behaviour. But
            there has been no peace in the family ever since she
            came into it; I might say the parish, all the women
            in it having declared open war with her, and the men
            endeavouring all treaties of a different sort: my own
            woman puts herself at the head of the first party, and
            her spleen is increased by having no reason for it. The
            young creature is never stirring from my apartment,
            always at her needle, and never complaining of any
            thing. You will laugh at this tedious account of my
            domestics (if you have patience to read it over), but I
            have few other subjects to talk of."

Nothing can be livelier or happier than the following agreeable outbreak
at Lady J. Wharton lavishing herself away upon one unworthy her.

               "Lady J. Wharton is to be married
            to Mr. Holt, which I am sorry for;--to see a
            young woman that I really think one of the agreeablest
            girls upon earth so vilely misplaced--but where are
            people matched!--I suppose we shall all come right in
            Heaven; as in a country dance, the hands are strangely
            given and taken, while they are in motion, at last all
            meet their partners when the jig is done."

The observations on Richardson are a little too harsh,--but the sobbing
over his works is a compliment which no criticism could dry up.

              "This Richardson is a strange
            fellow. I heartily despise him, and eagerly read him,
            nay, sob over his works, in a most scandalous manner.
            The two first tomes of Clarissa touched me, as being
            very resembling to my maiden days; and I find in the
            pictures of Sir Thomas Grandison and his lady, what I
            have heard of my mother, and seen of my father."

Time having made us wiser than _the Wortley_, it is amusing to see her
guessing at and confounding authors and their works.

                 "TO THE COUNTESS OF BUTE.
            "Louvere, June 23, 1754. "MY DEAR CHILD,--I have
            promised you some remarks on all the books I have
            received. I believe you would easily forgive my not
            keeping my word; however, I shall go on. The Rambler
            is certainly a strong misnomer; he always plods in
            the beaten road of his predecessors, following the
            Spectator (with the same pace a pack-horse would do
            a hunter) in the style that is proper to lengthen a
            paper. These writers may, perhaps, be of service to the
            public, which is saying a great deal in their favour.
            There are numbers of both sexes who never read anything
            but such productions, and cannot spare time, from
            doing nothing, to go through a sixpenny pamphlet. Such
            gentle readers may be improved by a moral hint, which,
            though repeated over and over, from generation to
            generation, they never heard in their lives. I should
            be glad to know the name of this laborious author. H.
            Fielding has given a true picture of himself and his
            first wife, in the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Booth,
            some compliments to his own figure excepted; and, I am
            persuaded, several of the incidents he mentions are
            real matters of fact. I wonder he does not perceive
            Tom Jones and Mr. Booth are sorry scoundrels. All this
            sort of books have the same fault, which I cannot
            easily pardon, being very mischievous. They place a
            merit in extravagant passions, and encourage young
            people to hope for impossible events, to draw them out
            of the misery they choose to plunge themselves into,
            expecting legacies from unknown relations, and generous
            benefactors to distressed virtue, as much out of nature
            as fairy treasures. Fielding has really a fund of true
            humour, and was to be pitied at his first entrance into
            the world, having no choice, as he said himself, but to
            be a hackney writer, or a hackney coachman. His genius
            deserved a better fate: but I cannot help blaming
            that continued indiscretion, to give it the softest
            name, that has run through his life, and I am afraid
            still remains. I guessed R. Random to be his, though
            without his name. I cannot think Ferdinand Fathom
            wrote by the same hand, it is every way so much below
            it. Sally Fielding has mended her style in her last
            volume of David Simple, which conveys a useful moral,
            though she does not seem to have intended it: I mean,
            shews the ill consequences of not providing against
            casual losses, which happen to almost everybody. Mrs.
            Orgueil's character is well drawn, and is frequently to
            be met with. The Art of Tormenting, the Female Quixote,
            and Sir C. Goodville, are all sale work. I suppose
            they proceed from her pen, and I heartily pity her,
            constrained by her circumstances to seek her bread by
            a method, I do not doubt, she despises. Tell me who is
            that accomplished countess she celebrates. I left no
            such person in London; nor can I imagine who is meant
            by the English Sappho mentioned in Betsy Thoughtless,
            whose adventures, and those of Jemmy Jessamy, gave me
            some amusement. I was better entertained by the valet,
            who very fairly represents how you are bought and sold
            by your servants. I am now so accustomed to another
            manner of treatment, it would be difficult to me to
            suffer them: his adventures have the uncommon merit
            of ending in a surprising manner. The general want of
            invention which reigns among our writers inclines me
            to think it is not the natural growth of our island,
            which has not sun enough to warm the imagination. The
            press is loaded by the servile flock of imitators.
            Lord Bolingbroke would have quoted Horace in this
            place. Since I was born, no original has appeared
            excepting Congreve, and Fielding, who would, I believe,
            have approached nearer to his excellencies, if not
            forced, by necessity, to publish without correction,
            and throw many productions into the world, he would
            have thrown into the fire, if meat could have been
            got without money, or money without scribbling. The
            greatest virtue, justice, and the most distinguishing
            prerogative of mankind, writing, when duly executed,
            do honour to human nature; but, when degenerated into
            trades, are the most contemptible ways of getting
            bread. I am sorry not to see any more of Peregrine
            Pickle's performances; I wish you would tell me his
            name!"

An ancestor of Lord Moira was capable of making a nice distinction:

              "I cannot believe Sir John's
            advancement is owing to his merit, tho' he certainly
            deserves such a distinction; but I am persuaded the
            present disposers of such dignitys are neither more
            clear-sighted, or more disinterested than their
            predecessors. Even since I knew the world, Irish
            patents have been hung out to sale, like the laced
            and embroidered coats in Monmouth-street, and bought
            up by the same sort of people; I mean those who had
            rather wear shabby finery than no finery at all; though
            I don't suppose this was Sir John's case. That _good
            creature_, (as the country saying is,) has not a bit
            of pride about him. I dare swear he purchased his
            title for the same reason he used to purchase pictures
            in Italy; not because he wanted to buy, but because
            somebody or other wanted to sell. He hardly ever opened
            his mouth but to say 'What you please, sir;'--'Your
            humble servant;' or some gentle expression to the same
            effect. It is scarce credible that with this unlimited
            complaisance he should draw a blow upon himself; yet
            it so happened that one of his own countrymen was
            brute enough to strike him. As it was done before many
            witnesses, Lord Mansel heard of it; and thinking that
            if poor Sir John took no notice of it, he would suffer
            daily insults of the same kind, out of pure good nature
            resolved to spirit him up, at least to some shew of
            resentment, intending to make up the matter afterwards
            in as honourable a manner as he could for the poor
            patient. He represented to him very warmly that no
            gentleman could take a box on the ear. Sir John
            answered with great calmness, 'I know that, but this
            was not a box on the ear, it was only a slap o' the
            face.'"

The following is a smart sketch--perhaps a little too piquant:

              "Next to the great ball, what
            makes the most noise is the marriage of an old maid,
            who lives in this street, without a portion, to a man
            of 7,000_l._ _per annum_, and they say 40,000_l._ in
            ready money. Her equipage and liveries outshine any
            body's in town. He has presented her with 3,000_l._
            in jewels; and never was man more smitten with these
            charms that had lain invisible for these forty years;
            but, with all his glory, never bride had fewer enviers,
            the dear beast of a man is so filthy, frightful,
            odious, and detestable. I would turn away such a
            footman for fear of spoiling my dinner, while he waited
            at table. They were married on Friday, and came to
            church _en parade_ on Sunday. I happened to sit in
            the pew with them, and had the honour of seeing Mrs.
            Bride fall fast asleep in the middle of the sermon, and
            snore very comfortably; which made several women in the
            church think the bridegroom not quite so ugly as they
            did before. Envious people say 'twas all counterfeited
            to please him, but I believe that to be scandal; for I
            dare swear, nothing but downright necessity could make
            her miss one word of the sermon. He professes to have
            married her for her devotion, patience, meekness, and
            other Christian virtues he observed in her: his first
            wife (who has left no children) being very handsome,
            and so good-natured as to have ventured her own
            salvation to secure his. He has married this lady to
            have a companion in that paradise where his first has
            given him a title. I believe I have given you too much
            of this couple; but they are not to be comprehended in
            few words.

              "My dear Mrs. Hewet, remember me and
            believe that nothing can put you out of my head."

The noble dukes of the present day, and the learned members of the
faculty, are by no means of so sportive a turn as they were in the
goodly times of Mrs. Hewet. We confess we should like to have to get up
some fine morning to be in St. James's Park in time to see some such
elegant struggle between the Duke of Devonshire and Sir Henry Halford as
the following:

               "There is another story that I
            had from a hand I dare depend upon. The Duke of Grafton
            and Dr. Garth ran a foot-match in the Mall of 200
            yards, and the latter, to his immortal glory, beat."

With a strong turn for building herself, Lady Mary makes some sensible
remarks on its folly in others.

               "Building is the general
            weakness of old people; I have had a twitch of it
            myself, though certainly it is the highest absurdity,
            and as sure a proof of dotage as pink-coloured ribands,
            or even matrimony. Nay, perhaps, there is more to be
            said in defence of the last; I mean in a childless
            old man; he may prefer a boy born in his own house,
            though he knows it is not his own, to disrespectful or
            worthless nephews or nieces. But there is no excuse for
            beginning an edifice he can never inhabit, or probably
            see finished. The Duchess of Marlborough used to
            ridicule the vanity of it, by saying one might always
            live upon other people's follies: yet you see she built
            the most ridiculous house I ever saw, since it really
            is not habitable, from the excessive damps; so true it
            is, the things that we would do, those do we not, and
            the things we would not do, those do we daily. I feel
            in myself a proof of this assertion, being much against
            my will at Venice, though I own it is the only great
            town where I can properly reside, yet here I find so
            many vexations, that, in spite of all my philosophy,
            and (what is more powerful,) my phlegm, I am oftner
            out of humour than among my plants and poultry in the
            country. I cannot help being concerned at the success
            of iniquitous schemes, and grieve for oppressed merit.
            You, who see these things every day, think me as
            unreasonable, in making them matter of complaint, as
            if I seriously lamented the change of seasons. You
            should consider I have lived almost a hermit ten years,
            and the world is as new to me as to a country girl
            transported from Wales to Coventry. I know I ought to
            think my lot very good, that can boast of some sincere
            friends among strangers."

But we must put an end to this agreeable conference,--though we think,
that if we could for ever listen to such vivid gossip, we should never
grow old. We had intended to have treated of the romantic intimacy,
and subsequent determined hatred, that existed between Lady Mary and
Pope; but our limits warn us that we must not indulge in a lengthy
discussion of the subject. She, it is clear, was flattered by his wit
and his mental beauty. In him real passion took root. His advances
she appears to have repulsed, and he was thus suddenly driven to the
galling contemplation of his own person, and he at once from the adoring
poet became the "Deformed Transformed" into hate itself. Byron never
forgave an allusion to his lameness. The separation of Mr. Wortley from
his accomplished wife still remains unexplained; but it is clear that
kindly and respectful feelings were preserved unblemished between them;
and there is a delicate tenderness in each towards the other in the
veriest trifles, which shows how feeble a thing is absence over sincere
affections. We are rather surprised that no letters from Lady Mary to
her grand-daughter Lady Jane, (one of the daughters of the Countess of
Bute,) have not straggled into print. How beautifully must she have
written to children, and particularly to such a child as Lady Jane
appears to have been! The letters, however, we fear are lost.

If we might be permitted to adopt a new manner of life, and to pitch
our tent in whatever part of his Majesty's dominions we pleased,--we
have no hesitation in saying that we should lose no time in directing
_those people_, however respectable they may be, who inhabit Strawberry
Hill, to _get out_! We should then send down by the Twickenham carrier
complete sets of the works of Pope, Swift, Johnny Gay, and the dear
Arbuthnot,--of the Letters of Horace Walpole, of Lady Mary Wortley
Montagu, Pepys' Memoirs, Evelyn's Memoirs, Shakspeare, and some other
works of trifling interest,--begging they may be placed in _that_ little
library with the stained glass. We should then Ourselves go down!--have
a comfortable annuity from government, and a moderate handful of
servants from the neighbourhood; and there we would pass away our life,
"from morn to noon,--from noon to dewy eve,--a summer's day!" This
plan has something in it so modest and reasonable, that we cannot help
thinking it will attract the attention of the existing ministry, and in
the end be realized!



           A LAMENT OVER THE BANNISTER.

    And have we lost thee!--has the monarch grim
    To his dull court borne off the child of whim!
    And art thou gone, _Oldboy_?[26] thou brave and good
    _Protector_[27] of the _Children in the Wood_?

    Then has the _World's_ great _Echo_[28] died away;
    Out of his time th' _Apprentice_[29] could not stay:
    The _Squib_'s[30] gone off, extinguish'd ev'ry spark,
    And Momus mourns his region left so dark.

    How oft, exulting, have we view'd the _Moor_[31]
    For Christian captives open Freedom's door;
    We've stared to hear the _Valet_'s[32] ready fib,
    And shudder'd when the _Cobbler_[33] strapp'd his rib.

    How, when Barbadoes' merry bells did ring,
    We've smiled to see thee _Trudge_[34] and hear thee sing;
    Thy _Ben_[35] and _Dory_[36] were of right true blue,
    Thy _Sheva_[37] warm'd us to respect a _Jew_.

    To _Feign well_[38] thou indeed couldst make pretence,
    Thy brilliant eye was all intelligence;
    In thee we lost the flow'r of _City youths_,[39]
    And now no _Lenitive_[40] our sorrow soothes.

    We care not whether tithes be paid or left,
    Since of our _Acres_[41] we have been bereft;
    We dread Spring Rice's yearly fiscal bore,
    But grieve _Thy Budget_[42] can be heard no more.

    Great Garrick's pet,--an ancient fav'rite's son,--
    Upon the stage thy public course was run,
    Tho', in thy youth, a painter; and, as man,
    Thou didst draw houses in a _Caravan_[43].

    And well thou couldst support a _Storm_[44], but Gout
    Life's _little farthing rushlight_[45] has blown out:
    Thou'rt gone, and from all further ills art screen'd,
    For thou didst follow _Conscience, not the Fiend_[46].

    Mourn'd in public and private, thou wouldst not come back;
    "_Be quiet! I know it_"[47]--thou 'rt happier, Jack! J.S.

[26] Colonel Oldboy in Lionel and Clarissa.

[27] Walter The Children in the Wood.

[28] Echo The World.

[29] Dick The Apprentice.

[30] Sam Squib Past Ten o'Clock.

[31] Sadi The Mountaineers.

[32] Sharp The Lying Valet.

[33] Jonson The Devil to Pay.

[34] Trudge Inkle and Yarico.

[35] Ben Love for Love.

[36] John Dory Wild Oats.

[37] Sheva The Jew.

[38] Colonel Feignwell Bold Stroke for a Wife.

[39] Young Philpot The Citizen.

[40] Lenitive The Prize.

[41] Acres The Rivals.

[42] Bannister's Budget A Monodramatic Entertainment.

[43] Blabbo The Caravan.

[44] Storm Ella Rosenberg.

[45] Little Farthing Rushlight A popular song sung by Bannister.

[46] Lancelot Gobbo The Merchant of Venice.

[47] Sir David Dunder Ways and Means.



THEATRICAL ADVERTISEMENT, EXTRAORDINARY.

          [   As we might reasonably be expected
            to account for the possession of the following
            document, we beg to state that it was put into our
            hands by an unknown gentleman, who slipped unseen
            into our _sanctum_, clothed in a whity-brown suit,
            half-boots, and blue cotton stockings. The gentleman
            apologized for the negligence of his attire, by stating
            that he was in "reduced" circumstances. His employers,
            he said, had hit upon an ingenious mode of reimbursing
            themselves for the losses they sustained by trading
            under the market price,--which was simply paying their
            workmen one half of their wages, and owing them the
            other. On our inquiring with great sympathy, whether he
            was not desirous to get the last-mentioned moiety, he
            replied with real feeling, that he wished he might. He
            then begged the loan of a small pinch of snuff, sighed
            deeply, and withdrew.--ED. B. M. ]

Messrs. Four, Two, and One, many years resident on the Surrey side of
the river Thames, beg most respectfully to announce to the play-going
public, that in consequence of the increasing demand for all sorts
of low-priced theatrical articles, they have at length succeeded in
securing and entering upon those large, commodious, and formerly
well-known high-priced premises situate in Drury-lane and Covent-garden;
and having by this arrangement prevented the possibility of competition,
they are determined to do business in future upon the Surrey-side system
only. To prove the sincerity of their intentions, Four, Two, and One
take this opportunity of making known to the directors of theatrical
establishments, that they have a number of hints ready cut and dried,
upon the necessity of a general reduction of the salaries of the
principal ENGLISH _artistes_, which will be found singularly useful to
managers taking a Continental trip for the purpose of securing FOREIGN
talent for the London market.

F. T. and O. also recommend their celebrated elastic, self-acting,
portable, Anglo-Parisian pen, skilfully contrived to fit all hands,
and which enables the writer, after six lessons upon the Hamiltonian
system, to translate any French piece into _Surrey-side English_;
thereby superseding the necessity of employing and paying any author
or adapter who thinks it worth his while to embarrass himself with the
study of reading, writing, or any other abstruse or outlandish knowledge
whatsoever.

F. T. and O. cannot conclude without returning their most sincere and
heartfelt thanks to the nobility, gentry, and friends of the drama
generally, by whom their endeavours have been so eminently patronized.
In particular, they should consider themselves guilty of the grossest
ingratitude, did they omit this occasion of acknowledging their
infinite obligations to the proprietors of the Patent establishments,
who (by their active zeal, and indefatigable industry in the great
cause of general reduction,) have placed Four, Two, and One, in their
present premises, and have thereby enforced and illustrated this
incontrovertible fact,--that Sheridan, Harris, and Colman were mere
humbugs and imposters compared with F. T. and O.; and, that during their
long and high-priced professional career, they did nothing to obtain or
preserve the protection of a candid and enlightened public.



      THE ABBESS AND THE DUCHESS.
        BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.

              _Abbess._
    Who is knocking for admission
      At the convent's outer gate?
    Is it possible a lady
      Can be wandering so late?
    Let me see her through the lattice,
      And her _story_ let me hear;
    --Oh! your most obedient, madam;
      May I ask what brings you here?

             _Duchess._
    You will very much applaud me,
      When you hear what I have done;
    I've been naughty,--I'm a penitent,
             and want to be a nun.
    I've been treated most unfairly,
      Though 'tis said I am most fair;
    I am rich, ma'am, and a duchess,
      And my name's La Vallière.

              _Abbess._
    Get along, you naughty woman,
      You'll contaminate us all;
    When you touch'd the gate, I wonder
      That the convent did not fall!
    Stop! I think you mention'd money,--
      That is--penitence, I mean:
    Let her in,--I'm _too_ indulgent;--
      Pray how are the king and queen?

             _Duchess._
    Lady Abbess, you delight me,--
      Oh! had Louis been as kind!
    But he used me ungenteely,
      To my fondness deaf and blind.
    Oh! methinks that now I view him,
      With his feathers in his hat!--
    Hem!--beg pardon--I'm aware, ma'am,
      That I mustn't speak of _that_.

              _Abbess._
    Not by no means, madam, never;
      _No_--you mustn't even _think_;
    (Put your feet upon the fender,
      And here's something warm to drink:
    Is it strong enough?--pray stir it:)
      What on earth _could_ make you go
    From a palace to a convent?
      Come,--I'm curious to know?

             _Duchess._
    Can you wonder, Lady Abbess?--
      At the change I should rejoice,--
    I of vanities was weary,
      And a convent was my choice.
    I have had a troubled conscience,
      And court manners did condemn,
    Ever since I saw King Louis
      Making eyes at Madam _M_.

              _Abbess._
    Oh! I think I comprehend you:
      But take care what you're about;
    Though 'tis easy to get _in_ here,
      'Tan't so easy to get _out_:
    You'll for beads resign your jewels,
      And your robes for garments plain;
    Ere you cut the world, remember
      'Tis not cut and come again!

             _Duchess._
    I am willing in a cloister
      That my days and nights should pass;
    --(This is very nice indeed, ma'am;
      If you please, another glass)--
    As for courtiers, I'll hereafter
      Lay the odious topic by;
    Oh! their crooked ways enough are
      For to turn a nun awry!

              _Abbess._
    Very proper: to the sisters
      'Twould be wrong to chatter thus;
    Now and then, when snug and cosey,
      'Twill do very well for _us_.
    It is strange how tittle-tattle
      All about the convent spreads,
    When the barber from the village
      Comes to shave the sisters' heads.

             _Duchess._
    Do you really mean to tell me
      I must lose my raven locks?
    Then I'll tie 'em up with ribbon,
      And I'll keep 'em in my box:
    Oh! how Louis used to praise 'em!
      Hem!--I think I'll go to bed.--
    Not another drop, I thank you,--
      It would get into my head.

              _Abbess._
    Benedicite! my daughter,
      You'll be soon used to the place;
    Though at meals our only duchess,
      _You_ will have to say your grace:
    And when none can interrupt us,
      You of courtly scenes shall tell,
    When I bring a drop of comfort
      From my cellar to my cell!



                  EDWARD SAVILLE.
           A TRANSCRIPT. BY CHARLES WHITEHEAD.

The doctor tells me I must take no wine. Pshaw! It is not that which
mounts into my brain; and sometimes--but I must not wander--wine is the
best corrector of these fancies. One bottle more of sober claret, and
I shall be able to finish before midnight the brief sketch of my life
which I promised Travers long ago.

It were worse than useless to set down any particulars of my boyhood.
An only son is usually a spoiled one, and that which is so easy
and delightful a task to most parents was by no means difficult or
unpleasant to mine; and yet, to do myself justice, I believe I was not
more conceited, insolent, selfish, and rapacious than others are during
those days of innocence, as they are called,--those days of innocence
which form the germ of that noble and disinterested creature, man.

At the age of three-and-twenty I succeeded to my father's estate. It was
to divert a sense of loneliness which beset me, that I plunged into--as
they term it, but the phrase is a wrong one--that I ventured upon the
course of folly and dissipation into which so many young men of fortune
like myself hurry themselves, or are led, or are driven. But why recount
these scenes of pleasure--so called, or miscalled--whose reaction is
utter weariness, satiety, and disgust?

I was at the theatre one night, when the friend who accompanied me
directed my attention to a very lovely girl, who, with her mother and
a party of friends, occupied the next box. She was, certainly, the
loveliest creature my eyes had ever lighted upon; with a sylph-like
form, (that is the usual phrase, I believe,) wanting perhaps that
complete roundness of limb which is considered essential to perfect
beauty in a woman--but she was barely sixteen--and yet suggesting, too,
the idea of consummate symmetry. Her face--but who can describe beauty?
who even can paint it? Let any man look at the finest attempts to
achieve this impossibility by the old masters, and then let him compare
them with the faces he has seen, and may see every day. Heavens! what
inanities! Can a man paint a soul upon canvass? And yet the artist talks
of his "expression."

I watched her closely during the performance,--indeed, I had no power
to withdraw my gaze from her; and once or twice her eyes met mine, and
I thought I could perceive she was not altogether displeased at my
attention. Her confusion betrayed that to me, and in one short hour I
was a lost man.

When the play was over, I framed a miserable excuse, which I thought
at the time a most ingenious one, to my friend for not accompanying
him home to supper, as I had promised; and hastening after my unknown
and her mother, who had left the box, was just in time to see them
enter a coach. I contrived to keep pace with it, and saw it deposit its
beautiful freight at a house in a small private street near Portman
Square.

I could laugh--unaccustomed as I am even to private laughing
now-a-days--when I think, as I do sometimes, on those days of sentiment.
It were as futile to attempt to renew that sentiment after thirty, as
to strive to recal those days, and to bid them stand in next year's
calendar. The green wood is out of the tree by that time; and the trunk
becomes hard, and gnarled, and stubborn. Now is the time to enjoy life.
At five-and-thirty the blood and the brain act in concert, and the heart
beats not one pulse the quicker, while they do their spiriting--not
gently always.--To return.

I went home that night altogether an altered man, and rose next
morning from a sleepless bed, absorbed with the one idea which had
worked so miraculous a change within me. All that day, almost without
intermission, did I pace up and down the street in the hope of seeing
her; but in vain. Not once did she approach the window; and I did not
deem it prudent to question one of the servants who came out of the
house several times during the day. I betook myself, therefore, towards
evening to a green-grocer's shop in the neighbourhood; and the purchase
of some fruit gave me a privilege to indulge in a little chat with the
good old woman who conducted the business. I affected to be chiefly
solicitous respecting the elderly lady, whom I had seen by chance, and
believed to be a friend of my father, but whose name I could not, for
the life of me, remember. The old woman smiled at my shallow artifice,
but proceeded to inform me that the elderly lady was the widow of an
officer who had been killed in the Peninsular War, leaving an only
daughter, at that period an infant. I begged pardon--the name? did she
know the daughter's name?

"Oh yes! it was Isabella Denham."

It was an era in my life, the first sound of that name. I thanked my
kind informant, and withdrew.

I need not tell how unremittingly, and for how many weeks, I paced up
and down that street, with various success; how regularly I attended the
church she frequented; and how at length I obtained an introduction to
the family.

I found Isabella Denham more captivating than the accumulated fancies
and self-willed convictions of months had pictured her to me. It is
no unusual result in such cases; but whether it be that the object
transcends the imagination, or that the imagination subserves the
object, I know not. It was so, however; for feeling upon these occasions
takes the place of reason, which is an impertinence.

Let me be just. I think, had I loved Isabella Denham less, I should
equally have admired her. She had a mind and a heart; she was
accomplished; she was beautiful, gentle, and good; and she loved me.
Yes, she loved me. I believed it then, and I am certain of it now. How I
loved her, she never knew: that was for Time to show, and he has shown
it.

I offered her my hand in due time, and was accepted. How I despised the
sneers and banter of some of my friends who could not conceive the idea
of a marriage with fortune on one side, and none on the other, and yet
were endeavouring at the same time to effect an engagement of a similar
nature in their own favour! How I disregarded the gratuitous advice of
sundry of my officious relatives, who thought that all love had died
when their own gave up the ghost, and who sometimes prophesied truly
because they were always prognosticating evil!

We were at length married; and the close of the fourth year saw no
diminution of our happiness. We were domestic enough without seclusion,
and went into as much company as sufficed to make us feel that home
was the happiest place after all. One circumstance had contributed to
augment my felicity,--the birth of a son, which took place about a year
after our marriage.

I know not what some people mean, who tell you that when a man becomes
married, love subsides into affection, and friendship takes the place
of passion. It was not so with me. I loved the wife as much as I had
adored the mistress. To make her happy was myself to be so; and to have
made her so, I would have laid down my life. Some, indeed, hinted that
I indulged her too much--that I let her have her own way in everything.
And why not? Did I marry to make my wife the creature, or the slave,
of some system of management, rule of action, or principle of conduct?
phrases which I abhor. No--no; be they as wise as they will, I was
right. I am convinced of it. _That_ was not the cause. We were happy.

It was by the merest chance that I one day encountered Hastings in the
street--my friend Hastings. We had been companions at Eton, and at
college our intimacy had grown into friendship. Were I now asked for
what particular quality of mind or heart I had chosen Hastings for a
friend, I should find some difficulty in answering the question. He
was what is termed "a good-natured fellow;" there was nothing gross or
offensive in his gaiety, and he was always the same. His feelings never
led him to make a fool of himself which is much to say of a young man.
They might be called good _plated_ feelings, which answered the purpose
well enough, and sometimes passed for more costly articles. It is much,
after all, to possess a friend between whom and yourself you can drew
comparisons favourable to the latter, and who is perfectly content that
you should do so.

He dined with me on the next day. His powers of conversation were
certainly much improved since we had last talked together. He could turn
the most superficial reading to admirable account; and so minute was
his observation, and so faithfully and graphically could he describe
manners, and the surface motives of men, that it almost appeared like a
profound knowledge of mankind. Isabella was pleased with his society;
and after she had retired to the drawing-room, my friend expatiated
somewhat at large upon her beauty and elegance, and, above all, upon
the good sense which characterised her. I need hardly say that I also
was delighted with him, and when we shook hands for the night, I could
have hugged the man for his glowing eulogy. I almost loved every one who
admired her. I was too weak--too weak.

He visited us often, for his time was altogether his own. He was living
upon expectancy, and accordingly had more leisure than money. At various
periods I pressed him to make my purse his own, and he did so. I had,
indeed, more money at my disposal than I cared for, or knew what to do
with; and at that time I thought, when I served a friend, that I had
found the best employment of it. It is strange,--and yet perhaps it is
not by any means strange,--how men alter in this particular as they grow
older. The heart-strings and the purse-strings are not so easily drawn
then.

Well, I was his banker, and felt myself sufficiently repaid by his
society. About this time, also, I was greatly occupied in business of a
somewhat troublesome nature, to conclude which it was necessary that
I should visit my estate. My probable term of absence was to be about
six weeks. The fashionable season was in its meridian, and I could not
be cruel enough to ask Isabella to accompany me. She had latterly taken
more pleasure in parties, and balls, and concerts than heretofore.
Perhaps I had kept her too close; we were too domestic. After all, it
was not the way of the world. I thought so, and Hastings agreed with
me;--I would see it reformed altogether when I return.

In the mean while I begged Hastings to look in now and then, and
see that she was not lonely and out of spirits. It was natural to
expect that my first absence from her would cause her to feel so. He
promised to do as I requested, and I set off into the country, where
I was detained more than two months; and at length, finding myself
released from an irksome attendance on very unpleasant business, I took
post-horses, and with all the ardour of a lover returned to London.

I returned to London.--

I remember the minutest particulars of that scene so well! Not a tittle
of it has escaped my memory--not a word, not a syllable! It will never
depart from my mind--from my soul!

When the porter opened the door, I hastened through the hall, and sprang
up stairs into the drawing-room. She was not there; but my little boy,
hearing my well-known footstep, came from the adjoining room and ran
towards me. I caught him in my arms, and gave him a thousand kisses.

"Well, my dear little fellow, and where is mamma?"

"Not here--not here," said the boy, looking around; "but I'm so glad
you've come back!"

Isabella was gone out, doubtless. I rang the bell. I did not observe
Mrs. Martin, the housekeeper, enter the room,--I was still caressing the
child.

"Ha! Mrs. Martin--But what's the matter? You look ill.--Where is Mrs.
Saville?"

The woman spoke not, but trembled violently, and turned very pale. I
motioned her to take a seat. She did so.

"My dear madam, you alarm me," said I. "Is anything wrong--your
mistress----"

Tears were streaming down the woman's face, as she arose suddenly, and
with her hands clasped before her she came towards me.

"Oh, sir! bear it like a man," she cried, weeping bitterly;--"do bear
it like a man, sir! That I should live to tell you this!--I, who have
carried you in these arms, and have prayed a thousand times for your
happiness when I should be dead and gone!"

She paused. Perhaps my face revealed the sickness of heart which at that
moment overcame me. I could not rise from my seat; I could not lift
the child from my knee, as he lay upon my bosom with his head pressed
against my heart.

"Merciful Heaven!--Isabella is ill--she is dying!--at once, at once tell
me----"

"No, no," said the woman bitterly, "she is not ill or dying. Mr.
Saville, I durst not tell you my suspicions before you left town--I
durst not, sir. For mercy's sake compose yourself! My mistress left this
house last Tuesday night with Mr. Hastings."

That horrible shriek still rings in my ears. I remember thrusting the
child from me, and clasping my head with my hands; and then I was
smitten down--struck to the earth--worse than dead--oh, how much worse
than dead!

It was a long, long, hideous dream that succeeded, full of woe, and
lamentations, and weeping, and curses, and despair. But I awoke at last
from that dream. Where was I? It was a very narrow, but lofty room; the
walls were whitewashed, and there was one small window about twelve feet
from the door. I was seated on a low truckle-bed; and as I turned my
eyes from the light of the window, they fell upon my hands, which were
laid before me. Around my wrists there were deep marks, as though they
had been tied together with cords; and when I moved, a sharp pain went
round me, like a girdle. But the rope had been loosened, and was no
longer about me. A man entered the room.

"How do you feel yourself now?" said he, laying his hand upon my
shoulder.

I looked up. Methought I recognised the voice, and the face was almost
familiar to me, and repulsively so.

"I am well--very well," I answered. "Where am I?"

The man said nothing, but silently left the room, presently returning
with a gentleman, of whom, as of the man, I had an indistinct
remembrance.

"You will be better soon, sir," said this person kindly, as he felt my
pulse; and he turned towards the man, and spoke to him in an undertone.
"Let him he kept very quiet," was all I heard, and he retired shortly
after.

Yes:--I had been mad--raving mad--for two years, and was now slowly
struggling back into consciousness. Feeble glimmerings of the past came
upon me at first, and then farther half-revelations were extended to me;
until at length _the cause_, dimly and remotely, but gradually nearer
and more near, stood before me like a curse. It is well for me that I
did not then relapse into madness; but I wrestled with it, I overcame
it, and in a month was taken away in my own physician's carriage, and
brought back home. Home?--that had been destroyed.

My friend, Dr. Herbert, was, and is, the best fellow breathing.
He devoted for some weeks nearly the whole of his time to me. He
endeavoured to draw my mind away from the one subject, which might, he
thought, if entertained, once more overthrow my reason. He was mistaken.
The very endeavour to discard that memory, as often as it recurred,
would soon have distracted me. I encouraged it, therefore, and was
strengthened by it;--my mind throve upon it,--it was a comfort to me.

The many slight indications of an attachment--of a passion--between
_her_ and this man Hastings,--and they must have been but slight
indications,--were presented to me now grossly and palpably. I could see
them all,--they stung me;--and I would curse my fool's nature that was
blind, or would not see and provide against the consequence. And why did
I curse my easy nature? Could I have borne to live a wretched turnkey,
a miserable listener at key-holes, a dealer out of "punishment, the
drudgery of devils?" Did I marry to suspect virtue, or to control vice?
Neither; and I was glad that, when they did wrong me, they permitted me
to know it. These thoughts never affected my brain;--there was no fear
of that. I thought no longer from the brain;--these thoughts were in my
heart, and never moved thence.

One evening, as I was ascending the stairs, I overheard the child
inquiring of one of the servants "who that white-haired gentleman was,
and why he lived in the house?" I had hitherto refused to see the child;
but I now rang the bell, and ordered the housekeeper, who constantly
waited upon me, to bring him to me.

He was much grown since I had last seen him, and was a fine boy. He did
not know me, and was at first fearful of approaching me; but I induced
him to sit upon my knee, and, putting his hair from the forehead, asked
him if he would not give me a kiss. As he lifted his face, and looked
up at me--that look! his very mother was gazing through those eyes! A
sudden faintness possessed me. I lifted the child gently from my knee,
and motioned the housekeeper to take him from my sight. I did not see
him again.

But there was comfort still:--Hastings was in London,--I was certain of
it.

And so he was. One night, about a fortnight after my return to town from
Paris, where I was told he had been seen, and where I had sought him in
vain, I was proceeding home, baffled in my endeavours to discover him in
some of his old haunts, which I had ascertained after many and fruitless
inquiries. I was walking rapidly down a miserable street in the vicinity
of Clare Market, when a squalid wretch, issuing from a public-house,
came in contact with me. I think no human being in the world would have
recognised him but myself. Hideously changed as he was, I knew him
instantly. The half-shriek that burst from him as he recoiled from me
showed that he had recognised me also. The struggle was a short one,--I
had omitted to put my pistols in my pocket on that evening. With what a
savage triumph, when I had dashed him on the pavement, did I stamp upon
the prostrate carcass of the groaning wretch! But my joy was brief; for
I was suddenly seized by three or four men, who held me firmly by the
arms. I could not get at him. Heedless of my ravings, they assisted the
miscreant to rise, who, casting one glance of terror towards me, darted
down an alley, and was lost to me for ever. He had escaped me.

How I reached home I know not. Herbert, who visited me next morning,
forbade me to rise from my bed. He said my brain was unsettled, and I
believe it was. But I was well again in a month.

The one idea pervaded my whole being when I arose from my bed. My
rencontre with Hastings had whetted my appetite for revenge so
keenly, that no reason, no thought, no feeling could control me. He
was evidently in a state of the most abject beggary and want. That
conviction did not disarm me; it rendered me only the more determined
and inflexible.

I went forth one evening, and with much difficulty discovered the
public-house from which I had seen him emerge on _that_ night. From the
landlord I obtained every particular I required to know. Hastings had,
it seemed, changed his name;--it was now Harris. He resided in one small
room on the first floor of a house in a filthy court hard by; that is,
if he had not left the neighbourhood, for the man had not seen him for a
month past.

It was well. I drank two glasses of brandy, for it was a cold night,
and proceeded towards my destination. I found it easily. There was a
light in the window, and, from the reflection of a man's figure on the
wall, I judged he was at home. The house-door was open, and I entered
the narrow passage. At that moment I trembled, and for an instant could
not proceed. No: it was not that which made me tremble; I knew, and was
prepared for, what I had to do. It was the other,--it was that face
which I feared I could not bear to behold.

This was, as I have said, the weakness of a moment. I mounted the
stairs, and burst into the room suddenly. A man and a woman were seated
at a small fire, who arose abruptly on my entrance. It was not Harris
and--his wife.

"Where is the man--Hastings?" I exclaimed, addressing the old couple.

As I uttered these words, a loud shriek proceeded from a bed behind
me, and a female dropt upon the floor. I knew that voice,--I knew it
well;--but it did not move me.

"Mrs. Harris is ill," said the old woman; "permit us to pass you,
sir;--it is one of the fits to which she is subject."

I allowed the woman to step by me, who, raising the lifeless form beside
her, drew it into an adjoining room.

"What do you want, sir? what is your business here?" inquired the man.

I placed one hand into my coat-pocket and grasped a pistol, and with the
other seized the man by the collar.

"Where is Harris?" said I. "You had best tell me; you are a dead man
else. He is hid somewhere--he is below, in the house--where is he?"

"He is there," gasped the man; and he pointed towards the bed, upon
which a body was lying, covered with a linen cloth.

I sank upon a chair. Hastings had indeed escaped me, and for ever. I was
left alone, for the man had hurried from the room. I cannot describe the
agony of feeling which I underwent during the next half-hour. I took the
light, and, walking to the bed, drew the linen cloth from the face of
the corpse.

How awful! how mysterious is the power of death! The man who had
insulted, who had wronged, who had betrayed me,--whose ingratitude--of
all crimes the vilest and the basest--had inverted my very soul,--this
man lay before me cold, serene, tranquil, miserable, callously
insensible,--and yet I had no power to curse him. There was no serenity,
no tranquillity upon the face, when I gazed upon it more closely. The
brow was corrugated, the cheeks collapsed, and the eyelids sunken; and
there was the soul's torture, as it left a tortured body impressed upon
the face. Enough to have mitigated a more implacable hatred than mine!

I left the room, and walked down stairs. As I proceeded along the
passage, the man whom I had before seen came out of a lower room, and
opened the door for me. I was about to depart, when he caught me gently
but firmly by the arm.

"Oh, sir!" said he earnestly, "do not leave the house without seeing
Mrs. Harris. She has relapsed into another fit; but when she comes to
herself, it will be a comfort to her to see a friend of her husband. You
knew him, sir, when living; and for his sake, perhaps--" the man paused
for a moment, and continued,--"you have a benevolent heart, sir,--I am
sure you have,--and if you knew all, even though he may have wronged
you----"

It was an unseasonable time for an appeal of this nature. The passions
that had been forced back upon my heart had yet scarce begun to subside,
but I spoke calmly.

"You will tell her Mr. Saville has been here;" and I was going.

"Mr. Saville!" repeated the man. "Oh, sir, we have heard that
name mentioned frequently of late. You will come again, or send,
perhaps;--will you not, sir?"

"She will know where to find me, should she wish to see me, which I
think is hardly probable;" and with a cold "good-night" I left him.

I called upon Herbert on my way home, and told him all that had taken
place. He was surprised and shocked.

"Saville," said he, after a long pause, during which he had been
absorbed in reflection, "this cursed affair is destroying you. I am a
plain man. You may shake your head, and tell me coolly and calmly that
you have ceased to feel the injury which all the while is preying upon
you. It is that calmness which I fear most; it will kill you, or worse
than that,--you understand me. You must pursue this matter no farther.
The man is dead, and your wife---- Well," he resumed, "I beg your
pardon; I was wrong to call her by that name. May I speak plainly?"

"You may."

"She is evidently in a state of want--of destitution. This must not be.
You must allow her--settle upon her--enough to rescue her from poverty
and its temptations. She must not starve;--I see you could not bear
that. And you must forget her. It will not do to see a young man like
yourself sacrificed, self-sacrificed, to the villany of a scoundrel. I
will say no more, Saville. Vice has too much homage paid to her when an
honourable man is made her victim."

Herbert was right--he was always so. No, no;--she must not starve. That
were indeed a miserable triumph to me. I went to my solicitor on the
next morning, and a deed was made out, settling a competence upon her,
and I sent with it as much money as she could require for immediate
exigencies. And I was resolved that I would forget her. The worst was
past, and time and occupation would do much, and I would think this
misery down. But the worst was not yet past.

I was informed, one morning, that a woman in the hall desired to
speak with me. Concluding that she was one of the many persons who
are accustomed to wait upon the wealthy with petitions, I ordered the
servant to admit her. A woman meanly dressed, and whose countenance was
concealed, moved towards me, and sinking upon her knees, with her palms
pressed together and raised towards me, looked up into my face. Madness
in me, and misery and famine in her, must have wrought more strongly, if
that were possible, than they had done, could I have failed to recognise
that face instantly. Her lips moved,--she would have spoken, but she had
no power to speak,--and with a deep and heavy groan she fell upon the
floor before me. I rang the bell violently. A servant entered the room.

"Send Mrs. Martin to me instantly. Mrs. Martin," said I, as the woman
hastened into the room, "let Dr. Herbert be sent for immediately. You
must take care of her. See that she wants nothing."

"Gracious God! it is my mistress!" said the woman, as she raised
her head upon her knee. "You will let her remain in the house, Mr.
Saville?--in one of the upper rooms?"

"In her own room, Mrs. Martin.--I commit her to you. When she recovers,
we can make other arrangements."

It is out of the power of fortune or of fate to excite such feelings
within me now as pressed upon my heart for some days after this scene.
I thank God for it. Human strength or weakness could not again endure
so dreadful a conflict of brute passion and of human feeling. That
piteous face raised to mine would not depart from me. That she should
kneel,--that she should have been degraded abjectly to crouch before me
for forgiveness, for pardon, for the vilest pity,--and that I should
know and feel that the base expiation was the poorest recompense--oh! I
cannot pursue this farther.

Some days after this,--it was on a Sunday forenoon,--Mrs. Martin entered
the room. She took a seat opposite to me.

"I am come to speak with you, Mr. Saville," she said.

"Well, madam, proceed."

"Mrs. Saville, my mistress, sir, is dying."

I spoke not for some minutes, although I was not altogether unprepared
for a communication of this nature.

"You will take the child to her, madam; she will wish to see him."

"Oh, sir, she has seen him every day since she came here, and he is with
her now. You will not be offended, sir, if I tell you that she has seen
him many times within the last two years. Yes, sir, when you were----"

"Mad, madam!--speak plainly!--I _was_ mad."

"She came, sir, to me, and fell at my feet, imploring to see the child,
and I could not refuse her. I could not bear that my mistress should
kneel to me, and not be permitted to behold her own son;" and here the
woman wept bitterly.

"It is very well," said I, after a pause; "I do not blame you. It is
better, perhaps, that it should have been so."

"Could I prevail upon you, sir?" she continued, wiping her eyes; "might
I be so bold as to hope----"

I anticipated the woman's thoughts.

"She has expressed no wish that I should see her, Mrs. Martin."

"She does not mention your name even to me," said she; "but she must not
die without seeing you;--she _must_ not, Mr. Saville."

My nature at times was changed from what it had been since I was
released from the mad-house. I cast a glance at the woman, which she
understood and feared.

"Mention not this subject again, madam, and leave me. I would be alone."

I was disturbed by what the housekeeper had told me. She was dying. It
was well. I wished her to die. I felt that until she was dead, my heart
could not be brought to forgive her.

I walked out, and bent my steps towards the lodging which Hastings had
formerly occupied. I found the woman of the house at home, and, with
a calmness which I have since marvelled at, I drew from her all the
particulars of their sojourn at her house. They had been living with
her about ten months before the death of Hastings, who, she understood,
had been entirely deserted by his relations, but why she knew not. About
a month previous to the decease of Hastings, he came home one night,
saying that he had been waylaid by a ruffian and much injured, and he
had never risen from his bed again.

I ventured to ask "if Mr. Harris and his wife lived happily together?"

The woman shook her head. "There was a strange mystery about them," said
she, "which I never could rightly make out. She was ever gentle and
obedient; but still there was something unlike a wife, I used to think,
whenever she addressed him. And he, sir,--poor man! we should not speak
ill of the dead,--but when he came home--from the gaming-house, we often
thought--how he used to strike and beat her, telling her to go to her
Mr. Saville! He was jealous of you, sir, I suppose, but I am certain
without cause; for she was an angel, sir, if ever angel was born upon
this earth.--But you are ill, sir. What is the matter?"

"Nothing, nothing," said I, rising suddenly; "I am better now;" and
pressing my purse upon the woman, I rushed from the house.

God of justice! how dreadful is thy vengeance, and how thou oft-times
makest the sinner work out his own punishment! I thought not of the wife
at first,--I thought of Isabella Denham. My heart dwelt upon her once
more as I had first beheld her at the theatre,--the young, the lovely,
the innocent being of former days. I remembered when but to see her
for a moment at the window was happiness unspeakable,--when even the
pressure of her hand in mine was a blessing and a delight to me. And to
think that this creature, who had lain in my bosom, who had been tended,
watched, almost served, with a degree of love akin to idolatry,--who had
never seen one glance of unkindness from me, who had heard no tone from
my lips save of affection--too often of foolish weakness;--to think that
this creature should have become the slave, the drudge,--the spurned and
beaten drudge of a brutal miscreant,--the thought was too horrible!

I had scarcely entered my own house when Mrs. Martin sought me.

"For mercy's sake, sir!" she said in agitation, "come and take your last
leave of my mistress. She is dying, and has prayed to see you once more."

I followed her in silence. I met Herbert at the door of the room. "I am
glad you are come," said he. He was in tears.

"I am too weak, Herbert; am I not?"

He pressed my hand,--"No, no,"--and he left me.

I entered the room, and sat down by her side. She spoke not for some
minutes.

"I wished to see you once more, Mr. Saville," she said at length in a
low tone, and without raising her eyes to my face, "to implore, not
your pardon, for that I dare not expect; but that you will not curse
my memory when I am gone. You would not, Edward,"--and she tremblingly
touched my hand as it lay upon the bed,--"if you knew all, or if I could
tell you all."

I answered something, but I know not what.

"I have been guilty," she resumed, "but I did not meditate guilt. Heaven
is my witness that I speak the truth. I was betrayed;--and the rest was
fear, and frenzy, and despair!"

I could conceive that now--I could believe it:--I did believe it,--and I
was human. I took both her hands in mine: "Look at me, Isabella! look in
my face!"

She did so, but with hesitation, and as she did so she started.--"Nay,
we are both altered: but other miseries might have done this. I forgive
you from my heart and from my soul. As we first met, so shall we now
part. All shall be forgotten,--all is forgiven. God bless you!"

Those words had killed her. Her eyes dwelt upon me for one moment with
their first sweetness in them;--a sigh,--and earth alone remained!



               A FRAGMENT OF ROMANCE.
                  WARRANTED GENUINE.

              [ A young lady who rejoices in
            the appellation of Czarina Amabelle St. Cloud has
            addressed a lengthened epistle to us, in which she
            feelingly deplores the gradual decline and downfall of
            the Minerva Press. She has favoured us with a catalogue
            of her unpublished works, and a spirit-stirring extract
            from her last manuscript romance, which is indeed a
            masterpiece in a department of literature now unhappily
            but too much neglected. We willingly subjoin both. For
            a young lady under twenty years of age, Miss St. Cloud
            in the most voluminous writer we ever had the pleasure
            of meeting with.--ED. ]

    CATALOGUE OF MISS ST. CLOUD'S UNPUBLISHED WORKS.

    A Nympholept Lover, or, the Whispering Fungus.
    Lycanthropy, the Wolfish Exquisite.
    The Vampyre's Elixir, or, the Undying Wanderer.
    The Spectre Steam-boat's Monster Supercargo.
    The Pawned Shadow; a Vision of Invisibility.
    The Idiot Oracle and the Infant Wizard.
    Ventriloquism; the Life of a Fratricidal Freemason.
    Dyke-impia, the Watery Doublegoer.
    Basiliska, the Snake-eyed Skeleton of Enniskillen.
    The Last Woman; or, the Parentless Pigmies.
    Amuletus's Enchanted Chessmen; from the German.
    Second Sight; or, the Crimson Behemoth.
    Frozen Echoes; or, Wraithology; a Shetland story.
    The Evil Ear: a legend of love.
    Venomgorgia, the Arsenic-eater; a pastoral romance.
    The Politics of the Gnomes; a satiric allegory.
    Pestilia, the Plague Perie; or, the Eternal Earthquake.
    The Fog Fairy; or, a Fire in Fleet-ditch.
    The Hydra of Hyde Park; or, High-life Eclogues.
    Aristocratic Atrocities; or, the Banker's Widow.
    The Fatal Furbelow; or, the Tempted Templar.
    The Murderous Marchioness of Mesopotamia. With coloured plates.
    Boadicea at Jaugarnaut; interspersed with Della Cruscan Poetry.
    Romanzritter and Nomansreden; a tradition of ancient Norwegia.


                   _Extract._

"Let the tear of sensibility be wiped for the simple Clotilde, who,
fresh as an opening zoöphyte, awoke her aged nurse, Fidgita, to prepare
her for the evening masque; and still the unconscious being warbled,

    "While meekly blends the azure dew,
      And starry dawn invests the grove,
    When listening doves in fancy coo,
      O'er faintest dreams by memory wove;
    Then shall the blameless brigand bless
      The suit of his Bohemian fair,
    Or read in every golden tress
      The token flowers of India's air!
        Singing tink a tink, fal lira la,
            Fal lira la, sing tink a tink!"

"Gramercy!" quoth the garrulous crone, who had numbered ninety summers;
"will my foster babe mock with troubadour odes, and ballads, and the
like, one whose every artery hath hardened into a tendon? Hear me,
wench, and tremble!" In an unearthly and sepulchral tone, she gutturally
muttered the ancient Runic prophecy--

    "Two children, each of spell-bound mother,
    Shall meet, and one shall love the other;
    But mother young, and mother old,
    Each the blessing shall withhold.
    When by parent's tooth is child's flesh riven,
    When by child's hand, parent hurl'd from heaven,
    Then shall the serfs with joy be tipsy,
    For then shall the robber espouse the gipsy."

The mysterious Fidgita disappeared. Clotilde pondered o'er the
prediction. She was, indeed, a natural daughter of a wealthy baron, by
some beauteous wanderer. The lawless but exemplary idol of her heart
had rescued herself and nurse from these Tartar hordes, and restored
her to her father, in whose halls she had been received by the Hebrew
Duchess Ketura Boaz, and wooed, somewhat against the will of that
mature enchantress, by the Danish Lord Wooden Murkenhole, whose cause
Fidgita had warmly espoused. Clotilde still stood, clammily clasping her
clay-cold hands, as her sportive Grace tripped into the corridor.

"Is the Lady Gunterzwartz turned puritan?" she asked with her wonted wit.

"Not at all," was the dignified reply; for the high patrician blood
which had descended from the old Romans to our fair papist ill brooked
the familiarity of the Israelitish dame.

"Lady Clotilde," resumed the Duchess Ketura, playing with the handle of
the dagger which marked her caste, and which, like other creoles of that
region and period, she wore stuck in her plaid bonnet, "I must tell your
ladyship----"

"Nothing about that Wooden Murkenhole!" interrupted Clotilde. "Were he
a sable pagan Esquimaux bowing to the abominations of Isis, I could not
regard him with more repugnance."

"Ha!" laughed her Grace of Boaz, "'tis only when Guzman sails his
gondola beneath the spreading cocoa-trees, and strikes his ganjam to
the praise of thy charms, that thou art pleased, flirting Tory! Truly,
friend Clotilde, I little dreamed, an' please you, when, flying from
the invading Normans, I left the luxurious woods of Dover, and the
contingent mountains of Cheshire, that I should find thee, my own--no
matter! so unlike in taste to thy hapless--hush!"

"Oh, Albion!" sighed Clotilde, "decidedly thou must be the queen of
cities. Thy gallant outlaws and highwaymen will with joy the bride
of Guzman greet; for, rather than wive the Rosicrucian Murkenhole, I
will throw myself off Mount Damthopovit, or into the monastery of St.
Kussanblastre."

"My lovely pupil," said Ketura, "had far better accompany me to the
munchen-hall, where the kooken-vrow is already serving up the duntarags."

Clotilde followed her friend. What, then, was her amaze at finding the
phorontrom filled with armed men, headed by the rejected and vindictive
Wooden! To seize his victim; to place her in the fatal trot-joggeur;
to drive across the extensive crags of Smashaltobitz; to consign her
to the dungeons of Glumanough,--was the work of a moment. It was not
long, however, ere Fidgita apprised the Chevalier Guzman of his lady's
peril: that nobleman, we may well imagine, lost no time in attempting to
succour.

We must now return to the chateau. Between those fated women stood the
unforgiving one.

"Mothers both!" he uttered, pointing jocosely. "Mother, traitress to
your son, we part no more. Mother, rival to your daughter, Jewess or
Gingaree, you have lost your Clotilde. Vainly, like your sires, may you
wander crying Chloe! Chloe! till she too is old Clo--till--"

But we draw the curtain o'er his savage joy. Poison and poignard had
been pacific penances to those he dealt the Duchess, ere, with delirious
haste, he ascended with his wretched parent in the aërial car. The Lady
Ketura, meanwhile, fled to her skiff, which, but for the incantations
of the wizard Gorius, she could not have steered, her wrists being yet
stiff from the thumb-screws applied to extort her unutterable secret.
Thus for weeks did they buffet,--one with ether, the other with the
waves,--without touching even earth, much less any more palatable food.
Their squalid tatters spread pestilence around, and the rage of hunger
gnawed them both.

It was now that the volcano began to spout in tragic lines of liquid
fire: a furious tempest added shipwreck to the scene. A flaming brand
from the irruption lighted on the sail,--the conflagration spread,--a
spiral blaze darted on high,--the roar of combustion announced that it
had ignited the infernal gas, and the accursed aëronaut was precipitated
on the shore. Ketura now remembered how she _had_ loved, and crawled to
kiss the dear perfidious Murkenhole. Bats, toads, lemurs, owls, snails,
spiders, and other reptilous vermin, slimily beset her loathsome way,
gibbering with too intelligible triumph; but, leaning her back against a
rock, and firmly placing her foot before, she shouted, "Come one, come
all! this rock shall fly from its firm base as soon as Ketura!"

He of the charmed life had fallen unharmed, and, hearing this heroic
defiance, rushed to consummate his hellish vengeance. But the Duchess
of Boaz anticipated his asking eye. Madly she dashed her veined
temples against the jagged rock--all was black darkness. Wooden hurried
forward,--slipped,--fell. Was it the ocean foam which rendered his path
precarious? He scooped up some, in the hollow of his hand, to quench
his burning thirst, and lend him voice for one more vow of hate! Holy
nature! his slide was formed of Ketura's brain!--'twas that his lip had
touched. Still, as life ebbed from her gangrenous coagulated wounds, her
lacerated arms, like crushed vipers, wound their torn muscles round his
felon knee. With a glare of fury he beheld the demon laughing o'er his
prey, but, as the master of these forfeit souls, spurned the already
putrescent masses of still conscious mortality into the turgid sable of
that yawning gulf: their life-rending shriek awaked the distant bandits,
who had been deaf to the phenomena of nature. What sight awaits them?

Now all the gods to speed! it is the Steam Beacon of the Railroad, which
begins to flare in token of their chieftain's victory: and lo! he comes,
bearing in one hand two papers;--the first, a free pardon for himself
and gallant band; the second, a restitution of his Italian estates,
as the rightful Count Cigaro. In his other hand he leads the rescued
Clotilde, followed by her venerable father Sir Gunterzwartz; and if a
momentary cloud o'ershadowed their spirits at the memory of the dead, it
was dissipated on the morrow at the altar of Hymen, where the Druidic
high-priest, assisted by his patriarchs, conferred the blushing hand of
Clotilde on the joy-o'erflowed eye of her devoted Guzman; announcing
to the assembled senate this moral lesson,--that necromancy dislocates
every vital tie; but that whene'er irregular valour substitutes, in
favour of injured beauty, the boudoir of bliss for the dungeon of
despair, there is in such exchange no robbery."

To this we can only add, that Miss St. Cloud and a young gentleman we
know might write a delightful book between them; and that the sooner
they form a literary partnership, the better.



                            LINES

  _On seeing "The Young Veteran,"_ JOHN BANNISTER, _toddling up
      Gower-street, after he had attained his seventieth birthday_.

   WRITTEN BY SIR GEORGE ROSE, AND COMMUNICATED BY J. P. HARLEY, ESQ.

    With seventy years upon his back,
    Still is my honest friend "Young Jack,"
    Nor spirits check'd nor fancy slack,
        But fresh as any daisy.
    Though Time has knock'd his stumps about,
    He cannot bowl his temper out;
    And all the _Bannister_ is stout,
        Although the STEPS be crazy.

  [Illustration: An Irish Patient]



                       HANDY ANDY.--No. II.

Andy walked out of the room with an air of supreme triumph, having laid
the letters on the table, and left the squire staring after him in
perfect amazement.

"Well, by the holy Paul! that's the most extraordinary genius I ever
came across," was the soliloquy the master uttered as the servant closed
the door after him; and the squire broke the seal of the letter that
Andy's blundering had so long delayed. It was from his law-agent, on the
subject of an expected election in the county which would occur in case
of the demise of the then-sitting member;--it ran thus:

                 "Dublin, Thursday. MY DEAR
            SQUIRE.--I am making all possible exertions to have
            every and the earliest information on the subject of
            the election. I say the election,--because, though the
            seat for the county is not yet vacant, it is impossible
            but that it must soon be so. Any other man than the
            present member must have died long ago; but Sir Timothy
            Trimmer has been so undecided all his life that he
            cannot at present make up his mind to die; and it is
            only by Death himself giving the casting vote that the
            question can be decided. The writ for the vacant county
            is expected to arrive by every mail, and in the mean
            time I am on the alert for information. You know we
            are sure of the barony of Ballysloughgutthery, and the
            boys of Killanmaul will murder any one that dares to
            give a vote against you. We are sure of Knockdoughty
            also, and the very pigs in Glanamuck would return you;
            but I must put you on your guard in one point where
            you least expected to be betrayed. You told me you
            were sure of Neck-or-nothing Hall; but I can tell you
            you're out there; for the master of the aforesaid is
            working heaven and earth to send us all to h--ll. He
            backs the other interest; for he is so over head and
            ears in debt, that he is looking out for a pension,
            and hopes to get one by giving his interest to the
            Honourable Sackville Scatterbrain, who sits for the
            borough of Old Gooseberry at present, but whose friends
            think his talents are worthy of a county. If Sack wins,
            Neck-or-nothing gets a pension,--that's _poz_. I had
            it from the best authority. I lodge at a milliner's
            here:--no matter; more when I see you. But don't be
            afraid; we'll bag Sack; and distance Neck-or-nothing.
            But, seriously speaking, it's a d--d good joke that
            O'Grady should use you in this manner, who have been
            so kind to him in money matters; but, as the old song
            says, 'Poverty parts good company;' and he is so cursed
            poor that he can't afford to know you any longer, now
            that you have lent him all the money you had, and the
            pension _in prospectu_ is too much for his feelings.
            I'll be down with you again as soon as I can, for I
            hate the diabolical town as I do poison. They have
            altered Stephen's Green--_ruined_ it, I should say.
            They have taken away the big ditch that was round it,
            where I used to hunt water-rats when a boy. They are
            destroying the place with their d--d improvements.
            All the dogs are well, I hope, and my favorite bitch.
            Remember me to Mrs. Egan, Whom all admire. My dear
            squire, Your's per quire, "_To Edward Egan, Esq.
            Merryvale._"
                                                   MURTOUGH MURPHY.

Murtough Murphy was a great character, as may be guessed from his
letter. He was a country attorney of good practice;--good, because
he could not help it,--for he was a clever, ready-witted fellow, up
to all sorts of trap, and one in whose hands a cause was very safe;
therefore he had plenty of clients without his seeking them. For,
if Murtough's practice had depended on his looking for it, he might
have made broth of his own parchment; for though, to all intents and
purposes, a good attorney, he was so full of fun and fond of amusement,
that it was only by dint of the business being thrust upon him he was
so extensive a practitioner. He loved a good bottle, a good hunt, a
good joke, and a good song, as well as any fellow in Ireland; and
even when he was obliged in the way of business to press a gentleman
hard,--to hunt his man to the death,--he did it so good-humouredly that
his very victim could not be angry with him. As for those he served,
he was their prime favourite; there was nothing they _could_ want to
be done in the parchment line that Murtough would not find out some
way of doing; and he was so pleasant a fellow, that he shared in the
hospitality of all the best tables in the county. He kept good horses,
was on every race-ground within twenty miles, and a steeple-chase was
no steeple-chase without him. Then he betted freely, and, what's more,
won his bets very generally; but no one found fault with him for that,
and he took your money with such a good grace, and mostly gave you
a _bon-mot_ in exchange for it,--so that, next to winning the money
yourself, you were glad it was won by Murtough Murphy.

The squire read his letter two or three times, and made his comments as
he proceeded. "'Working heaven and earth to send us to--' So, that's the
work O'Grady's at--that's old friendship--d--d unfair: and after all the
money I lent him too;--he'd better take care--I'll be down on him if he
plays foul;--not that I'd like that much either;--but--Let's see who's
this is coming down to oppose me?--Sack Scatterbrain--the biggest fool
from this to himself;--the fellow can't ride a bit,--a pretty member
for a sporting county! 'I lodge at a milliner's'--divil doubt you,
Murtough; I'll engage you do.--Bad luck to him!--he'd rather be fooling
away his time in a back-parlour, behind a bonnet-shop, than minding the
interests of the county. 'Pension'--ha!--wants it sure enough,--take
care, O'Grady, or by the powers I'll be at you.--You may baulk all the
bailiffs, and defy any other man to serve you with a writ; but, by
jingo! if I take the matter in hand, I'll be bound I'll get it done.
'Stephen's Green--big ditch--where I used to hunt water-rats.'--Divil
sweep you, Murphy! you'd rather be hunting water-rats any day than
minding your business.--He's a clever fellow for all that. 'Favourite
bitch--Mrs. Egan.' Ay!--there's the end of it--with his bit o' po'thry
too! The divil!

The squire threw down the letter, and then his eye caught the other two
that Andy had purloined.

"More of that stupid blackguard's work!--robbing the mail--no
less!--that fellow will be hanged some time or other. 'Egad, maybe
they'll hang him for this! What's best to be done?--Maybe it will be the
safest way to see who they are for, and send them to the parties, and
request they will say nothing: that's it."

The squire here took up the letters that lay before him, to read their
superscriptions; and the first he turned over was directed to Gustavus
Granby O'Grady, Esq. Neck-or-nothing Hall, Knockbotherum. This was
what is called a curious coincidence. Just as he had been reading all
about O'Grady's intended treachery to him, here was a letter to that
individual, and with the Dublin post-mark too, and a very grand seal.

The squire examined the arms, and, though not versed in the mysteries
of heraldry, he thought he remembered enough of most of the arms he had
seen to say that this armorial bearing was a strange one to him. He
turned the letter over and over again, and looked at it back and front,
with an expression in his face that said, as plain as countenance could
speak, "I'd give a trifle to know what is inside of this." He looked at
the seal again: "Here's a--goose, I think it is, sitting in a bowl, with
cross-bars on it, and a spoon in its mouth: like the fellow that owns
it, maybe. A goose with a silver spoon in his mouth! Well, here's the
gable-end of a house, and a bird sitting on the top of it. Could it be
Sparrow? There's a fellow called Sparrow that's under-secretary at the
Castle. D--n it! I wish I knew what it's about."

The squire threw down the letter as he said "d--n it," but took it
up again in a few seconds, and, catching it edgewise between his
fore-finger and thumb, gave a gentle pressure that made the letter gape
at its extremities; and the squire, exercising that sidelong glance
which is peculiar to postmasters, waiting-maids, and magpies who inspect
marrow-bones, peeped into the interior of the epistle, saying to himself
as he did so, "All's fair in war, and why not in electioneering?"
His face, which was screwed up to the scrutinizing pucker, gradually
lengthened as he caught some words that were on the last turn-over of
the sheet, and so could be read thoroughly, and his brow darkened into
the deepest frown as he scanned these lines: "As you very properly and
pungently remark, poor Egan is a _bladder_--a mere _bladder_." "I am a
_bladdher_? by Jasus!" said the squire, tearing the letter into pieces
and throwing it into the fire. "And so, _Misther_ O'Grady, you say
I'm a bladdher!" and the blood of the Egans rose as the head of that
pugnacious family strided up and down the room: "I'll bladdher you, my
buck,--I'll settle your hash!"

Here he took up the poker, and made a very angry lunge at the fire, that
did not want stirring, and there he beheld the letter blazing merrily
away. He dropped the poker as if he had caught it by the hot end, as he
exclaimed, "What the d--l shall I do? I've burnt the letter!" This threw
the squire into a fit of what he was wont to call his "considering cap;"
and he sat with his feet on the fender for some minutes, occasionally
muttering to himself what he began with,--"What the d--l shall I do?
It's all owing to that infernal Andy--I'll murder that fellow some time
or other. If he hadn't brought it, I shouldn't have seen it--to be sure,
if I hadn't looked; but then the temptation--a saint couldn't have
withstood it. Confound it! what a stupid trick to burn it. Another here,
too--must burn that as well, and say nothing about either of them;" and
he took up the second letter, and, merely looking at the address, threw
it into the fire. He then rang the bell, and desired Andy to be sent
to him. As soon as that ingenious individual made his appearance, the
squire desired him with peculiar emphasis to shut the door, and then
opened upon him with,

"You unfortunate rascal!"

"Yis, your honour."

"Do you know that you might be hanged for what you did to-day?"

"What did I do, sir?"

"You robbed the post-office."

"How did I rob it, sir?"

"You took two letters you had no right to."

"It's no robbery for a man to get the worth of his money."

"Will you hold your tongue, you stupid villain! I'm not joking: you
absolutely might be hanged for robbing the post-office."

"Sure I didn't know there was any harm in what I done; and for that
matther, sure, if they're sitch wondherful value, can't I go back again
wid 'em?"

"No, you thief! I hope you have not said a word to any one about it."

"Not the sign of a word passed my lips about it."

"You're sure?"

"Sartin."

"Take care, then, that you never open your mouth to mortal about it, or
you'll be hanged, as sure as your name is Andy Rooney."

"Oh, at that rate I never will. But maybe your honour thinks I ought to
be hanged?"

"No,--because you did not intend to do a wrong thing; but, only I have
pity on you, I could hang you to-morrow for what you've done."

"Thank you, sir."

"I've burnt the letters, so no one can know anything about the business
unless you tell on yourself: so remember,--not a word."

"Faith. I'll be as dumb as the dumb baste."

"Go, now; and, once for all, remember you'll be hanged so sure as you
ever mention one word about this affair."

Andy made a bow and a scrape, and left the squire, who hoped the secret
was safe. He then took a ruminating walk round the pleasure-grounds,
revolving plans of retaliation upon his false friend O'Grady; and
having determined to put the most severe and sudden measure of the law
in force against him for the monies in which he was indebted to him,
he only awaited the arrival of Murtough Murphy from Dublin to execute
his vengeance. Having settled this in his own mind, he became more
contented, and said, with a self-satisfied nod of the head, "We'll see
who's the _bladdher_."

In a few days Murtough Murphy returned from Dublin, and to Merryvale he
immediately proceeded. The squire opened to him directly his intention
of commencing hostile law proceedings against O'Grady, and asked what
most summary measures could be put in practice against him.

"Oh! various, various, my dear squire," said Murphy; "but I don't see
any great use in doing so _yet_,--he has not openly avowed himself."

"But does he not intend to coalesce with the other party?"

"I believe so;--that is, if he's to get the pension."

"Well, and that's as good as done, you know; for if they want him, the
pension is easily managed."

"I'm not so sure of that."

"Why, they're as plenty as blackberries."

"Very true; but, you see, Lord Gobblestown swallows all the pensions
for his own family; and there are a great many complaints in the market
against him for plucking that blackberry-bush very bare indeed; and
unless Sack Scatterbrain has swingeing interest, the pension may not be
such an easy thing."

"But still O'Grady has shown himself not my friend."

"My dear squire, don't be so hot: he has not _shown_ himself yet----"

"Well, but he means it."

"My dear squire, you oughtn't to jump a conclusion like a twelve-foot
drain or a five-bar gate."

"Well, he's a blackguard."

"No denying it; and therefore keep him on your side, if you can, or
he'll be a troublesome customer on the other."

"I'll keep no terms with him;--I'll slap at him directly. What can you
do that's wickedest?--latitat, capias--fee-faw-fum, or whatever you call
it?"

"Hollo! squire, you're overrunning your game: maybe, after all, he
_won't_ join the Scatterbrains, and----"

"I tell you it's no matter; he intended doing it, and that's all the
same. I'll slap at him,--I'll blister him!"

Murtough Murphy wondered at this blind fury of the squire, who, being a
good-humoured and good-natured fellow in general, puzzled the attorney
the more by his present manifest malignity against O'Grady. But he had
not seen the turn-over of the letter: he had not seen "_bladdher_,"--the
real and secret cause of the "war to the knife" spirit which was kindled
in the squire's breast.

"Of course you can do what you please; but, if you'd take a friend's
advice----"

"I tell you I'll blister him."

"He certainly _bled_ you very freely."

"I'll blister him, I tell you, and that smart. Lose no time, Murphy, my
boy: let loose the dogs of law on him, and harass him till he'd wish the
d--l had him."

"Just as you like; but----"

"I'll have it my own way, I tell you; so say no more."

"I'll commence against him at once then, as you wish it; but it's no
use, for you know very well that it will be impossible to serve him."

"Let me alone for that: I'll be bound I'll find fellows to get the
inside of him."

"Why, his house is barricaded like a jail, and he has dogs enough to
bait all the bulls in the country."

"No matter; just send me the blister for him, and I'll engage I'll stick
it on him."

"Very well, squire; you shall have the blister as soon as it can be got
ready. I'll tell you whenever you may send over to me for it, and your
messenger shall have it hot and warm for him. Good-b'ye, squire."

"Good-b'ye, Murphy!--lose no time."

"In the twinkling of a bed-post. Are you going to Tom Durfy's
steeple-chase?"

"I'm not sure."

"I've a bet on it. Did you see the Widow Flanagan lately? You didn'?
They say Tom's pushing it strong there. The widow has money, you know,
and Tom does it all for the love o' God; for you know, squire, there are
two things God hates,--a coward and a poor man. Now, Tom's no coward;
and, that he may be sure of the love o' God on the other score, he's
making up to the widow; and, as he's a slashing fellow, she's nothing
loth, and, for fear of any one cutting him out, Tom keeps as sharp a
look-out after her as she does after him. He's fierce on it, and looks
pistols at any one that attempts putting his _comether_ on the widow,
while she looks "as soon as you plaze," as plain as an optical lecture
can enlighten the heart of man: in short, Tom's all ram's horns, and the
widow all sheep's eyes. Good-b'ye, squire!" And Murtough put spurs to
his horse and cantered down the avenue, singing.

Andy was sent over to Murtough Murphy's for the law process at the
appointed time; and, as he had to pass through the village, Mrs. Egan
desired him to call at the apothecary's for some medicine that was
prescribed for one of the children.

"What'll I ax for, ma'am?"

"I'd be sorry to trust to you, Andy, for remembering. Here's the
prescription; take great care of it, and Mr. M'Grane will give you
something to bring back; and mind, if it's a powder, don't let it get
wet as you did the sugar the other day."

"No, ma'am."

"And if it's a bottle, don't break it as you did the last."

"No, ma'am."

"And make haste."

"Yis, ma'am:" and off went Andy.

In going through the village he forgot to leave the prescription at the
apothecary's, and pushed on for the attorney's: there he saw Murtough
Murphy, who handed him the law process, enclosed in a cover, with a note
to the squire.

"Have you been doing anything very clever lately, Andy?" said Murtough.

"I don't know, sir," said Andy.

"Did you shoot any one with soda-water since I saw you last?"

Andy grinned.

"Did you kill any more dogs lately, Andy?"

"Faith, you're too hard on me, sir: sure I never killed but one dog, and
that was an accident----"

"An accident!--D--n your impudence, you thief! Do you think, if you
killed one of the pack on purpose, we wouldn't cut the very heart out o'
you with our hunting-whips?"

"Faith, I wouldn't doubt you, sir: but, sure, how could I help that
divil of a mare runnin' away wid me, and thramplin' the dogs?"

"Why didn't you hold her, you thief?"

"Hould her, indeed!--you just might as well expect to stop fire among
flax as that one."

"Well, be off with you now, Andy, and take care of what I gave you for
the squire."

"Oh, never fear, sir," said Andy, as he turned his horse's head
homeward. He stopped at the apothecary's in the village to execute his
commission for "misthis." On telling the son of Galen that he wanted
some physic "for one o' the childre up at the big house," the dispenser
of the healing art asked _what_ physic he wanted.

"Faith, I dunna what physic."

"What's the matter with the child?"

"He's sick, sir."

"I suppose so, indeed, or you wouldn't be sent for medicine.--You're
always making some blunder. You come here, and don't know what
description of medicine is wanted."

"Don't I?" said Andy with a great air.

"No you don't, you omadhaun!" said the apothecary.

Andy fumbled in his pockets and could not lay hold of the paper his
mistress entrusted him with until he had emptied them thoroughly of
their contents upon the counter of the shop; and then taking the
prescription from the collection, he said, "So you tell me I don't know
the description of the physic I'm to get. Now, you see you're out; for
_that's_ the _description_." And he slapped the counter impressively
with his hand, as he threw down the recipe before the apothecary.

While the medicine was in the course of preparation for Andy, he
commenced restoring to his pockets the various parcels he had taken
from them in hunting for the recipe, Now, it happened that he had laid
them down close beside some articles that were compounded, and sealed
up for going out, on the apothecary's counter; and as the law process
which Andy had received from Murtough Murphy chanced to resemble in form
another enclosure that lay beside it, containing a blister, Andy, under
the influence of his peculiar genius, popped the blister into his pocket
instead of the packet which had been confided to him by the attorney,
and having obtained the necessary medicine from M'Grane, rode home with
great self-complacency that he had not forgot to do a single thing that
had been entrusted to him: "I'm all right this time," said Andy to
himself.

Scarcely had he left the apothecary's shop when another messenger
alighted at its door, and asked "If Squire O'Grady's things was ready?"

"There they are," said the innocent M'Grane, pointing to the bottles,
boxes, and _blister_, he had made up and set aside, little dreaming that
the blister had been exchanged for a law process; and Squire O'Grady's
own messenger popped into his pocket the legal instrument, that it was
as much as any seven men's lives were worth to bring within gun-shot of
Neck-or-nothing Hall.

Home he went, and the sound of the old gate creaking on its hinges
at the entrance to the avenue awoke the deep-mouthed dogs around the
house, who rushed infuriate to the spot to devour the unholy intruder
on the peace and privacy of the patrician O'Grady; but they recognised
the old grey hack and his rider, and quietly wagged their tails and
trotted back, and licked their lips at the thoughts of the bailiff
they had hoped to eat. The door of Neck-or-nothing Hall was carefully
unbarred and unchained, and the nurse-tender was handed the parcel from
the apothecary, and re-ascended to the sick-room with slippered foot as
quietly as she could; for the renowned O'Grady was, according to her
account, "as cross as two sticks;" and she protested, furthermore, "that
her heart was grey with him."

Mrs. O'Grady was near the bed of the sick man as the nurse-tender
entered.

"Here's the things for your honour now," said she in her most soothing
tone.

"I wish the d--l had you and them!" said O'Grady.

"Gusty, dear!" said his wife. She might have said stormy instead of
gusty.

"Oh! they'll do you good, your honour," said the nurse-tender,
curtsying, and uncorking bottles, and opening a pill-box.

"Curse them all!" said the squire. "A pretty thing to have a gentleman's
body made a perfect sink for these blackguard doctors and apothecaries
to pour their dirty stuff into--faugh!"

"Now, sir, dear, there's a little blisther just to go on your chest--if
you plaze----"

"A _what_!"

"A warm plasther, dear."

"A _blister_ you said, you old _divil_!"

"Well, sure, it's something to relieve you."

The squire gave a deep growl, and his wife put in the usual appeal of
"Gusty, dear!"

"Hold your tongue, will you? how would _you_ like it? I wish you had it
on your----"

"'Deed-an-deed, dear,--" said the nurse-tender.

"By the 'ternal war! if you say another word, I'll throw the jug at you!"

"And there's a nice dhrop o' gruel I have on the fire for you," said the
nurse, pretending not to mind the rising anger of the squire, as she
stirred the gruel with one hand, while with the other she marked herself
with the sign of the cross, and said in a mumbling manner, "God presarve
us! he's the most cantankerous Christian I ever kem across!"

"Show me that infernal thing!" said the squire.

"What thing, dear?"

"You know well enough, you old hag!--that blackguard blister!"

"Here it is, dear. Now, just open the brust o' your shirt, and let me
put it an you."

"Give it into my hand here, and let me see it."

"Sartinly, sir;--but I think, if you'd let me just----"

"Give it to me, I tell you!" said the squire, in a tone so fierce
that the nurse paused in her unfolding of the packet, and handed it
with fear and trembling to the already indignant O'Grady. But it is
only imagination can figure the outrageous fury of the squire, when,
on opening the envelope with his own hand, he beheld the law process
before him. There, in the heart of his castle, with his bars, and bolts,
and bull-dogs, and blunderbusses round him, he was served--absolutely
served,--and he had no doubt the nurse-tender was bribed to betray him.

A roar and a jump up in bed, first startled his wife into terror, and
put the nurse on the defensive.

"You infernal old strap!" shouted he, as he clutched up a handful of
bottles on the table near him and flung them at the nurse, who was near
the fire at the time; and she whipped the pot of gruel from the grate,
and converted it into a means of defence against the phial-pelting storm.

Mrs. O'Grady rolled herself up in the bed-curtains, while the nurse
screeched "murther!" and at last, when O'Grady saw that bottles were of
no avail, he scrambled out of bed, shouting, "Where's my blunderbuss?"
and the nurse-tender, while he endeavoured to get it down from the rack,
where it was suspended over the mantelpiece, bolted out of the door,
which she locked on the outside, and ran to the most remote corner of
the house for shelter.

In the mean time, how fared it at Merryvale? Andy returned with his
parcel for the squire, and his note from Murtough Murphy, which ran thus:

               "MY DEAR SQUIRE.--I send you the
            _blister_ for O'Grady, as you insist on it; but I think
            you won't find it easy to serve him with it. "Your
            obedient and obliged, "MURTOUGH MURPHY." "_To Edward
            Egan, Esq. Merryvale._"

The squire opened the cover, and when he saw a real instead of a
figurative blister, grew crimson with rage. He could not speak for some
minutes, his indignation was so excessive. "So!" said he, at last, "Mr.
Murtough Murphy--you think to cut your jokes with me, do you? By all
that's sacred! I'll cut such a joke on you with the biggest horsewhip
I can find, that you'll remember it. '_Dear squire, I send you the
blister._' Bad luck to your impidence! Wait till awhile ago--that's all.
By this and that, you'll get such a blistering from me that all the
spermaceti in M'Grane's shop won't cure you."



               TO A LYRIC AND ARTIST.

            (_Which we received from a Correspondent, and could not
               possibly insert in a more appropriate place than this._)

    No wonder that Painters are "drawing long faces,"
      And Poets write badly, the while they discover
    How truly the Muses, how fondly the Graces,
      Receive the addresses of one little LOVER.



        BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF RICHARDSON, THE SHOWMAN.
            _With a Peep at Bartholomew Fair._

        BY THE AUTHOR OF FISHER'S NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY.
                  _Seventeenth Edition, 4to._

In a periodical like the present, a contributor, if he really have
anything in him, ought to set off at score. Such is my determination.

Works of the sort can only be produced by the exhibition of three rare
qualities, namely, Wit, Humour, and entertaining Fiction. The first has
been compared to a razor, which "cuts the most when exquisitely keen;"
the second I will venture to liken to a table-knife, which slashes away
at all on the board, and the best when broadly shining and tolerably
sharp in the edge; and the last is familiar enough to everybody, under
the term of "throwing the hatchet." But whatever the instrument, be it
razor, or knife, or axe, it is quite essential that it should never lose
its temper.

    Mais l'audace est commune, et le bon sens est rare;
    Au lieu d'être piquant, souvent on est bizarre:

which, being freely translated, means,

    In life there's so much impudence,
    And very little common sense,
    That writers trying to be witty,
    Are only foolish: more's the pity!

"The Showman,"--for so was this eminent individual designated by the
world at large, and so upon memorable occasions he called himself;--was,
it will be felt, a title of high distinction. When we look around
us, and see how many men are playing showmen, and how miserably they
succeed, we shall at once be convinced that nothing but very superior
merit could have won for Richardson the glory of the definite "the."
_He_ was not showing off himself, but others: he was nor showing off
his own follies, but the follies of society. Thus, instead of being a
laughing-stock, he laughed in his own sleeve; and by keeping a fool,
instead of making a fool of himself, he eschewed poverty, and ultimately
died in the odour and sanctity of wealth.

Richardson originated at _Great_ Marlow, in the county of Bucks; the
very name of the place seeming to intimate that he was born to achieve
greatness. Whether he was lineally descended from the author of Clarissa
Harlowe is, and will long continue to be, a disputed fact. There was a
family resemblance between them; both were country gentlemen, and both
wore top-boots.

For breeding, Mr. Richardson was indebted to the parish workhouse,--fair
promise of his future industry. In those days the poor laws had not been
amended; and children, being victualled satisfactorily, generally throve
accordingly. Under correction be it spoken, workhouses in country towns
were then far from being houses of correction. So our hero grew up.

When big enough, he acquitted himself with reputation in the employment
of out o' door activity; for he never resembled the lazy fellow reduced
by idleness to want, who said in excuse, "When they bid me go to the ant
to learn wisdom, I am almost always going to my uncle's."

From Marlow, after due probation, young Richardson, it is stated,
sought his fortune in the metropolis, and entered into the service of
Mr. Rhodes, a huge cow-keeper--a colossus in the milky way. Here it
is probable he acquired a taste for pastorals, and that extraordinary
proficiency in the Welsh language which rendered his dialogue in
after-times so strikingly rich and Celto-Doric. Some etymologists thence
infer that it was _Pick't_; but we don't believe it.

We never read the life of an actor or actress without being told, about
the period of Richardson's career at which we have now arrived, that the
"ruling passion" took such strong possession of them, that they must
break all bounds, run away, and join some strolling company, to "imp
their wings," or some flight of that sort. So it happened with our hero:
he cut the cows, and hastened to adhere to Mrs. Penley, then performing
with unprecedented success in a club-room at Shadwell, a small town in
the vicinity of Wapping. The houses were crowded; receipts to the full
amount of five shillings nightly crowned their efforts, and the corps,
consisting of two gentlemen and two ladies, divided the five among
four, playing as it were all fours in a fives court. Encouraged by this
success, Richardson resolved to extend his fame, and accordingly visited
many parts of the provinces, starring it from the Shadwell boards.
Mighty as must have been his deserts, he met with no Bath manager, no
Tate Wilkinson, no Macready or Kemble, to appreciate his histrionic
talents. One night, having accidentally witnessed a representation of
the School for Scandal, he fancied he could play the little broker; so
he returned to London, and took a small shop in that line of business.
About the year ninety-six, he was enabled to rent the Harlequin, a
public-house near the stage-door of old Drury, and much frequented by
dramatic wights. It was of one of these that Richardson used to tell his
most elaborate pun. Being asked if he did anything in the dramatic line,
he answered, "I do more or less in it in every way: I do what I can in
the first syllable, _dram_, and in the first two syllables, _drama_; in
the last two syllables, _attic_, I am to be seen every night; and in the
last, _tick_--m' eye! I wish you knew my exertions."

It was not to be expected that the Harlequin could last long without a
change; for not only was the sign contrariwise thereto, but the place
itself was a change-house. Our landlord therefore let it; and crying
"Damned be he that lets me!" bought a caravan, engaged a company from
among his customers, and opened his first booth at Bartholomew Fair.
But the name of this famed annual assemblage--now, alas! in a deep
decline--is enough to tempt a scribbler for hire to branch off into an
episode. And here it is.

Proclaimed on the 3rd of September, to last during three lawful days,
exclusive of the day of proclamation, "Bartholomew Faire," as appears
from a pamphlet under that title, printed for Richard Harper, at the
Bible and Harpe, in Smithfield, A. D. 1641, began on the 24th of August,
old style. About the year 1102, in the reign of Henry the First, Rahere,
a minstrel of the king, founded the priory, hospital, and church of
St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, as requested by the saint himself in a
dream, and, it is presumed, upon a bed where the dreamer could guess
what it was to be flea'd alive. Rahere was the first prior, and in his
time there was a grand row with Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury,
on a visitation, when sundry skulls of canons, monks, and friars were
cracked, which probably suggested that the site would be very eligible
for an annual fair. Henry the Second accordingly granted that privilege
to the clothiers of England and the drapers of _London_; and his charter
to the mayor and aldermen is extant to this day. Theretofore called
"The Elms," from the noble trees which adorned it, Smithfield became in
turn a place for splendid jousts, tournaments, pageants, and feats of
chivalry; a market for cattle and hay; a scene of cruel executions; and
one where, as old Stow acquaints us, loose serving-men and quarrelsome
persons resorted and made uproars, thus becoming the rendezvous of
bullies and bravoes, till it earned the appropriate name of "Ruffians'
Hall." King Solomon, _alias_ Jacobus Primus, caused it to be paved
two hundred and twenty years agone, which we have on the authority of
Master Arthur Strange-ways, whose statement leads us to infer that the
Lord Mayor of 1614 had never opened a railroad, like Lord Mayor Kelly
in 1886. Then and there our ancient civic magnates were wont to disport
themselves with witnessing "wrastlings," shooting the broad arrow and
flights for games, and hunting real wild rabbits by the city boys, with
great noise and laughter.

Posterior to the priors, and superior to the sub-priors of St.
Bartholomew, the canons have been succeeded by common guns; and the
friars by fried pigs, the most renowned viand of the festival;[48] the
monks have given place to monkeys, and the recluses to showmen. Such
are the mute abilities of Father Time. "The severall enormityes and
misdemeanours, which are there seene and acted," are they not upon
record? "Hither resort (says Master Harper, 1641) people of all sorts,
high and low, rich and poore, from cities, townes, and countrys; of
all sects, Papists, Atheists, Anabaptists, and Brownists; and of all
conditions, knaves and fooles, cuckolds and cuckoldmakers, pimpes and
panders, rogues and rascalls, the little loud-one and the witty wanton.
The faire is full of gold and silver drawers: just as Lent is to the
fishmonger, so is Bartholomew Faire to the pick-pocket. It is his high
harvest, which is never bad but when his cart goes up Holborne. Some of
your cut-purses are in fee with cheating costermongers. They have many
dainty baits to draw a bit; fine fowlers they are, for every finger
of theirs is a lime-twigge with which they catch dotterels. They are
excellently well read in physiognomy, for they will know how strong you
are in the purse by looking in your face; and, for the more certainty
thereof, they will follow you close, and never leave you till you draw
your purse, or they for you, though they kisse Newgate for it."

[48] Besides the fried pigs were other most famous delicacies, which to
this day are not quite obsolete. There were called _sasserges_.--ED.

Hone, in his Every-day Book (Part X.), furnished an excellent view of
this fair, full of curious dramatic and other matter. He describes the
shows of 1825, among which, _àpropos_, Richardson's theatre figures
prominently. The outside, he tells us, was above thirty feet in height,
and occupied one platform one hundred feet in width. The platform was
very elevated, the back of it lined with green baize, and festooned
with deeply-fringed crimson curtains, except at two places where the
money-takers sat, in roomy projections fitted up like Gothic shrinework,
with columns and pinnacles. There were fifteen-hundred variegated
illumination-lamps, in chandeliers, lustres, wreaths, and festoons.
A band of ten musicians in scarlet dresses, similar to those worn by
his Majesty's Beefeaters, continually played on various instruments;
while the performers paraded in their gayest "properties" before the
gazing multitude. Audiences rapidly ascended on each performance
being over; and, paying their money to the receivers in their Gothic
seats, had tickets in return, which, being taken at the doors,
admitted them to descend into the "theatre." The performances were
the Wandering Outlaw, a melodrama, with the death of the villain and
appearance of the accusing spirit;--a comic harlequinade, Harlequin
Faustus;--and concluding with a splendid panorama, painted by the first
artists.--Boxes, two shillings; pit, one shilling; and gallery, sixpence.

The theatre held nearly a thousand people, continually emptying and
filling, and the performances were got over in about a quarter of an
hour! And, though anticipating a little of our personal narrative, we
may as well mention here, that occasionally, when the outside platform
was crowded with impatient spectators waiting for their turn to be
admitted, though the performances had not lasted more than five minutes,
Mr. Richardson would send in to inquire if _John Over-y_ was there,
which was the well-known signal to finish off-hand, strike the gong,
turn out the one audience, and turn in their successors, to see as much
of the Outlaw, the Devil, or Dr. Faustus, as time permitted.

Ben Johnson's play of Bartholomew Fair in 1614 explains many of its
ancient humours, and particularly the eating of Bartholomew pig, already
noticed, and not to be repeated, as we desire to pen something more to
the purpose in Smithfield than a dry antiquarian essay, though it relate
to hares playing on the tabor, or tigers taught to pluck chickens. In
the latter way a ballad of 1655 may suffice.

    In 55, may I never thrive
      If I tell ye any more than is true,--
    To London she came, hearing of the fame
      Of a fair they call Bartholomew.

    In houses of boards men walk upon cords,
      As easy as squirrels crack filberds;
    But the cut-purses they do bite, and rub away,
      But those we suppose to be ill birds.

    For a penny you may see a fine puppet play,
      And for twopence a rare piece of art;
    And a penny a cann, I dare swear a man
      May put zix of 'em into a quart.

    Their zights be so rich, is able to bewitch
      The heart of a very fine man-a;
    Here's Patient Grizel here, and Fair Rosamond there,
      And the history of Susanna.

    At Pye-corner end, mark well, my good friend,
      'Tis a very fine dirty place;
    Where there's more arrows and bows, the Lord above knows,
      Than was handled at Chevy Chase.

    Then at Smithfield Bars, betwixt the ground and the stars,
      There's a place they call Shoemaker's-Row,
    Where that you may buy shoes every day,
      Or go barefoot all the year, I tro.

In 1715 the largest booth ever erected was in the centre of Smithfield,
"for the King's Players;" and, in later times, we read of Garrick going
to see the pieces at Yates' and Shuter's booth. Hogarth in his youth
painted scenes for a famous woman who kept a droll in the fair; and
the old lady refused to pay because Dutch metal was used instead of
real gilding with leaf-gold. Pidcock and Polito exhibited their finest
animals; Astley his troop of horse, succeeded by Saunders. Puppet-shows,
or motions, as they were called, were also always popular here; and
giants, dwarfs, and whatever was singular in nature, or could be made
to seem so by art, have from time immemorial been the wonders and
favourites of Bartholomew Fair.

Having now brought "_the_ Showman" to the management of what he might
have designated the National Theatre, with the long-established Jonases,
Penleys, Jobsons, _et hoc genus omne_ as his rivals,--the commencement
of a career of half a century's duration,--may we not pause to point
towards him the finger of admiration? What are the lessees of Drury
Lane or Covent Garden when compared to him? What have they done, or
what are they likely to do, for the legitimate drama, when compared
to him? He was a manager who paid his performers weekly on the nail;
meaning by "the nail" the drum-head. On the Saturday evening, assembling
them all, willing and buoyant, around him, he spread the sum total of
their salaries upon the drum,--not double base, like the frauds of
modern managers,--and then there was a roll-call of the most agreeable
description. Sometimes the merry vagabonds would shove one another up
against their paymaster; but the worst of his resentment was to detect
the _larker_, if he could, and pay him last; or, if sorely annoyed,
forget to invite him to the following supper: punishments severe,
it must be acknowledged; but still the sufferers had their money to
comfort themselves withal, and were not obliged to wait, like the waits
in the streets at midnight, till after Christmas for the chance of
their hard-earned wages. And he was grateful, too. When marked success
attended any performer or performance, a marked requital was sure to
follow. The Spotted Boy was a fortune to him, though not all so black as
Jim Crow; and his affection grew with his growth. His portrait adorned
the Tusculum of the Showman; and, after his death, he could not withdraw
the green silk curtain from it without shedding tears. Had that boy
lived to be a man, there is no doubt but Richardson would have made him
independent of all the dark specks on life's horizon. As it was, he was
treated as by a father like a spotless boy, and buried in the catacombs
of the race of Richardson.

Next to the Spotted Boy, the performer whom Richardson most boasted of
having belonged to his company was Edmund Kean. He, with Mrs. Carey,
_quasi_ mamma, and Henry, _quasi_ brother, were engaged by our spirited
manager; and Kean, over his cups, used to brag of having, by tumbling in
front of the booth, tumbled hundreds of bumpkins in to the spectacles
within. He did Tom Thumb as tiny Booth does now at the St. James's
Theatre; and at a later period, viz. 1806, is stated to have played
Norval, and Motley in the Castle Spectre, for him at Battersea fair.
Another story adds, that he was called on to recite his Tom-Thumbery
before George the Third at Windsor; but we will not vouch for the truth
of the newspaper anecdote.

From the metropolitan glory of Bartholomew Fair, the transition to
the principal fairs of the kingdom was obvious. Mr. Richardson went
the whole hog, and, in so doing, had nearly gone to the dogs. At that
revolutionary period, neither the fairs nor the affairs of the country
were in a wholesome condition. Politics are ever adverse to amusements.
Vain was the attempt to beguile the snobbery of their pence; and our
poor caravan, like one in the deserts of the Stony Araby, toiled on
their weary march with full hearts and empty stomachs. At length it is
told, at Cambridge Fair,--well might it be called by its less euphonous
name of Stirbitch, so badly did the speculation pay,--that Richardson
and his clown, Tom Jefferies, of facetious memory, were compelled to
take a sort of French leave for London, leaving much of their _materiel_
in pawn. Undamped by adversity, they took a fiddler with them; and the
merry trio so enamoured the dwellers and wayfarers upon the road, that
they not only extracted plentiful supplies for themselves, but were
enabled to provide sufficiently for the bodily wants of the main body of
the company, who followed at a judicious and respectable distance.

The pressure from without was, however, luckily but of temporary
endurance; and Richardson was soon well to do again in the world. Fair
succeeded fair, and he succeeded with all. His enterprise was great, and
his gains commensurate. He rose by degrees, and at length became the
most renowned of dramatic caterers for those classes who are prone to
enjoy the unadulterated drama. Why, his mere outside by-play was worth
fifty times more than the inside of large houses, to witness such trash
as has lately usurped the stage, and pushed Tragedy from her throne, and
Comedy from her stool. Of these memorabilia we can call to mind only a
few instances; but they speak volumes for the powers of entertaining
possessed by our hero.

It was at Peckham one day,--and a day of rain and mud,--when Richardson,
stepping from the steps of his booth, as Moncey, the king of the
beggars, was shovelling past on _his boards_, happened to slip and fall.
We shall not readily forget the good-humour with which he looked, not
up, but level, upon his companion, and sweetly said, "'Faith! friend, it
seems that neither you nor I can keep our feet."

At Brook Green, as the fair and happy were crushing up to the pay-door,
a pretty servant-girl was among the number. "I should like to _hire_
that girl," said a dandy to his comrade. "I rather guess you would like
to _lower_ her," whispered Mr. R. in his ear. But she was a good lass,
and not at all like the French gentleman's maid, to whom her master
uttered these humiliating words: "Bah! you arre a verry bad girl, and I
shall make you _no_ better."

Mr. R. misliked drunkenness in his troop. "A fellow," he exclaimed to
one he was rating for this vice,--"a fellow who gets tipsy every night
will never be _a rising man_ in any profession."

In a remote village some accident had destroyed a grotto necessary to
the representation of the piece entitled "The Nymphs of the Grotto."
What was to be done? There was no machinist within a hundred miles! "Is
there not an _undertaker_?" exclaimed Mr. R.: "he could surely execute a
little shell-work!"

In an adjoining booth at Camberwell was exhibited a very old man, whom
the placards declared to have reached _a hundred and five years of age_.
"Here is a pretty thing to make a show of," observed R. "A wonder,
indeed! Why, if my grandfather had not died, he would have been _a
hundred and twenty_!"

But why should we dwell on his facetiæ? Only to point the poignant grief
which tells us we shall never hear them more,--shall never look upon his
like again! Yes: let others mourn their Prichards, their Garricks, their
Kembles, and their Keans;--our _keen_ is for thee, John Richardson, the
undisputed head of thy profession, the master-spirit of them all, the
glory of the mighty multitude,

          "Where thou wert fairest of the _Fair_."

And how liberal thou wert! Thou wert not a manager to debar from their
just privileges thy dramatic brethren, or insult the literary characters
who honourably patronised thy honourable endeavours. Thy "Walk up!" was
open and generous. When Jack Reeve and a party from the Adelphi visited
the splendid booth at Bartholomew Fair, the veteran recognised his
brethren of the buskin, and immediately returned to them the money they
had paid on entrance, disdaining to pocket the hard-earned fruits of the
stage. "You, or any other actor of talent," said the old man, "are quite
welcome to visit my theatre free of expense." "No, no," replied Reeve,
"keep it, or (noticing a dissenting shake of the head) give it to the
poor." "If I have made a mistake," retorted John, "and have not done so
_already_, give it to them yourself; I will have nothing to do with it,
and I am not going to turn parish overseer."

At length, alas! his days--his fair days--were numbered, and, as the
song says, "the good old man must die." As his first, so was his last
exhibition at Smithfield; but Smithfield, like the other national
theatres, shorn of its splendour, degenerate, and degraded. It seemed
as if the last of the fairs: others had been abolished and put down;
and this, the topmost of them all, was sinking under the march of
intellect, the diffusion of knowledge, and the confusion of reform.
Fairs in Britain were ended, and it was not worth Richardson's while
to live any longer. He retired, tired and dejected, to his "Woodland
Cottage" in Horsemonger-lane; and on the morning of the 14th of November
was expected by the Angel of Death. His finale was serene: his life
had been strange and varied, but industrious and frugal. The last time
we saw him,--and it was to engage him on his last loyal and public
patriotic work, namely, to erect the scaffolding for the inauguration
of the statue of George III. in Cockspur-street,--he approached us with
a fine cabbage under his arm, which he had been purchasing for dinner.
His manners, too, were equally simple and unaffected;--he was the
Cincinnatus of his order. He told us of the satisfaction he had given
to George IV. by transporting the giraffe in a beautiful caravan to
Windsor Park. The caravan was Richardson's world; and he might well have
applied to that vehicle the eastern apologue, "the place which changes
its occupants so often is not a palace, but a 'caravan'-serai." But we
are giving way to sorrow, though "away with melancholy" is our motto. A
wide-mouthed musician--we forget whether clarionet or trombone--applied
to Richardson at Easter for an engagement at Greenwich fair: "You won't
do any thing till Christmas," said he: "you must wait, as you are only
fit for a Wait: you are one to play from ear to ear."

It is said that Richardson died rich; and indeed the sale of his effects
by auction showed that if other persons were men of property, he was a
man of properties. Three hundred and thirty-four lots of multitudinous
composition were submitted to the hammer; and it was truly a jubilee to
see how the Jews did outbid each other. There were Nathan, and Hart,
and Clarke, and Levy, besides an inferior and dirtier lot, who got
velvets, and silks, and satins, for the old song, "Old Clo'!" Though
their late owner, in the heyday of his prime, observed, "I have to show
my dresses by daylight, and they must be first-rate; anything will do
for the large theatres in the night-time, either green-baize, or tin, or
dog-skins for ermine;" yet their prices were by no means considerable.
Two Lear's dresses, two Dutch and one Jew's ditto, sold for thirty-five
shillings; one spangled Harlequin's dress, one clown's, one magician's,
and pantaloon's, came to one pound eleven shillings and sixpence; five
priests' and a cardinal's dress, and the next lot, six robbers' dresses
and a cardinal's dress, went very low; and six satyrs' dresses were
absolutely given away. A large scene waggon brought fourteen pounds, and
a ditto scene carriage only eight pounds. Then there were sundries of
curious character in the catalogue:

Ten common w_h_igs, trick-bottle, and trick-box (probably what Stanley
called the thimble-rig).

A trick-sword, a coffin and pall: tomb of _Capulate_.

_The_ old oak chest, with skeleton and two inscriptions (a very superior
property).

A spangled woman's dress, white gown, &c. complete.

Two handsome spangled women's dresses, with caps, complete.

Five chintz women's dresses, two bow [qy. beau?] strings and scarf,
eight fans, four baskets, and fifteen tails.

A man's ghost dress, complete.

A handsome woman's velvet dress, and Roman father's ditto.

Three magicians' dresses, and five musicians' ditto.

Nine spangled flys.

A handsome demon's dress, spangled and ornamented with gilt [guilt]
mask, and mace.

Four demons' dresses, with _masks, complete_!

_Executioner's_ dress and cap, complete; six black gowns, and _four
falls_.

A superfine admiral's coat and hat, trimmed with gold lace, breeches,
and waistcoat.

Ditto (no breeches).

Lion, bear, monkey, and cat's dresses, with two masks.

Two handsome _nondescript_ dresses.

Such and so various were the articles in this unique three days' sale;
and in the last some pieces of good old china were knocked down. Three
weeks previously their owner was deposited in the cold church-yard of
Great Marlow, in the grave, we are assured, of the Spotted Boy. The
funeral was, at his request, conducted without _Show_; and his nephews
and nieces--for he left no family--inherit his worldly wealth, under
the executorship of Mr. Cross, the proprietor of the Surrey Zoological
Garden and its giraffery.

Many actors who have risen to celebrity began their course with him:
Kean, first as outside and inside tumbling boy, and afterwards as a
lending tragedian, with a salary of five shillings a day; Oxberry,
Mitchell, Walbourn, and Sanders, A. Slader, Thwaites, Vaughan, S.
Faucett, &c. were introduced to the public under his auspices. Who now
shall open the gates of the temple to dramatic fame? The Janitor is gone
for ever. A hearse is the last omnibus, after all. A hearse is the end
of the showman's caravans, and the sexton is the last toll-collector he
encounters in this world. John Richardson,

                                 FAREWELL!



            PADDY BLAKE'S ECHO.
    A NEW VERSION FROM THE ORIGINAL IRISH.

           "_Ecco_ ridente," &c.

                     I.
    There's a spot by that lake, sirs,
      Where echoes were born,
    Where one Paddy Blake, sirs,
      Was walking one morn
    With a great curiosity big in his mind!
        Says he, "Mrs. Blake
          Doesn't _trate_ me of late
        In the fashion she did
          When I first call'd her Kate:
        She's crusty and surly,--
          My cabin's the _dhiaoul_,
        My pigs and my poultry
          Are all cheek by jowl;
    But what is the cause, from the _A_cho I'll find."

   (_Spoken._)

So up he goes _bouldly_ to the _A_cho, and says, "The top o' the mornin'
t'ye, Misther or Missus _A_cho, for divil a know I know whether ye wear
petticoats or breeches."

"Neither," says the _A_cho in Irish.

"Now, that being the case," says Paddy, turnin' sharp 'pon the _A_cho,
d'ye see, "ye can tell me the stark-naked truth."

"'Troth, an' ye may say that, with yir own purty mouth," says the _A_cho.

"Well, thin," says Paddy agin, "what the divil's come over Mrs. Blake of
late?"

"_Potcheen!_" says the _A_cho.

"Oh! (_shouting_) by the pow'rs of Moll Kelly," says Paddy, "I thought
as mich:--

    "It wasn't for nothin' the taypot was hid,
    Though I guess'd what was in it, by smelling the lid!"

                     II.
        There's another suspicion
          Comes over my mind,
        That with all this _contrition_
          And pray'rs, and that kind,
    Ould Father Mahony's a wag in his way.
        When a _station_, he says,
          Will be held at _my_ house,
        _I_ must go my ways,
          Or be mute as a mouse.
        For _him_ turkey and bacon
          Is pull'd from the shelf;
        Not so much as a cake on
          The coals for myself:
    But what all this _manes_, why, the _A_cho will say.

   (_Spoken._)

Up he goes agin to the _A_cho, and says, "Tell me, aff ye plase, what
is't brings ould Father Mahony so everlastingly to my country seat in
the bog of Bally Keeran?"

"Mrs. Blake!" says the _A_cho.

"Oh! hannimandhiaoul!" says Paddy, "I thought as mich--the thief o' the
world--I thought as mich. Oh! tundher-a-nouns!

    "I'll go home an' _bate_ her, until my heart's sore,
    Then give her the key of the street evermore!"
                                                       W.



             RECOLLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD.
            BY THE AUTHOR OF HEADLONG HALL.

                   THE ABBEY HOUSE.

I passed many of my earliest days in a country town, on whose immediate
outskirts stood an ancient mansion, bearing the name of the Abbey House.
This mansion has long since vanished from the face of the earth; but
many of my pleasantest youthful recollections are associated with it,
and in my mind's eye I still see it as it stood, with its amiable,
simple-mannered, old English inhabitants.

The house derived its name from standing near, though not actually
on, the site of one of those rich old abbies, whose demesnes the pure
devotion of Henry the Eighth transferred from their former occupants
(who foolishly imagined they had a right to them, though they lacked
the might which is its essence,) to the members of his convenient
parliamentary chorus, who helped him to run down his Scotch octave of
wives. Of the abbey itself a very small portion remained: a gateway,
and a piece of a wall which formed part of the enclosure of an orchard,
wherein a curious series of fish-ponds, connected by sluices, was
fed from a contiguous stream with a perpetual circulation of fresh
water,--a sort of piscatorial panopticon, where all approved varieties
of fresh-water fish had been classified, each in its own pond, and kept
in good order, clean and fat, for the mortification of the flesh of the
monastic brotherhood on fast-days.

The road which led to the Abbey House terminated as a carriage-road
with the house itself. Beyond it, a footpath over meadows conducted
across a ferry to a village about a mile distant. A large clump of old
walnut-trees stood on the opposite side of the road to a pair of massy
iron gates, which gave entrance to a circular gravel road, encompassing
a large smooth lawn, with a sun-dial in the centre, and bordered on both
sides with tall thick evergreens and flowering shrubs, interspersed in
the seasons with hollyhocks, sun-flowers, and other gigantic blossoms,
such as are splendid in distance. Within, immediately opposite the
gates, a broad flight of stone steps led to a ponderous portal, and
to a large antique hall, laid with a chequered pavement of black and
white marble. On the left side of the entrance was the porter's chair,
consisting of a cushioned seat, occupying the depth of a capacious
recess resembling a niche for a full-sized statue, a well-stuffed body
of black leather glittering with gold-headed nails. On the right of
this hall was the great staircase; on the left a passage to a wing
appropriated to the domestics.

Facing the portal, a door opened into an inner hall, in the centre of
which was a billiard-table. On the right of this hall was a library;
on the left a parlour, which was the common sitting-room; and facing
the middle door was a glazed door, opening on the broad flight of stone
steps which led into the gardens.

The gardens were in the old style: a large square lawn occupied an ample
space in the centre, separated by broad walks from belts of trees and
shrubs on each side; and in front were two advancing groves, with a long
wide vista between them, looking to the open country, from which the
grounds were separated by a terraced wall over a deep sunken dyke. One
of the groves we called the green grove, and the other the dark grove.
The first had a pleasant glade, with sloping banks covered with flowery
turf; the other was a mass of trees, too closely canopied with foliage
for grass to grow beneath them.

The family consisted of a gentleman and his wife, with two daughters
and a son. The eldest daughter was on the confines of womanhood, the
youngest was little more than a child; the son was between them. I do
not know his exact age, but I was seven or eight, and he was two or
three years more.

The family lived, from taste, in a very retired manner; but to the few
whom they received they were eminently hospitable. I was perhaps the
foremost among these few; for Charles, who was my schoolfellow, was
never happy in our holidays unless I was with him. A frequent guest
was an elderly male relation, much respected by the family,--but no
favourite of Charles, over whom he was disposed to assume greater
authority than Charles was willing to acknowledge.

The mother and daughter had all the solid qualities which were
considered female virtues in the dark ages. Our enlightened age
has, wisely no doubt, discarded many of them, and substituted show
for solidity. The dark ages preferred the natural blossom, and the
fruit that follows it; the enlightened age prefers the artificial
double-blossom, which falls and leaves nothing. But the double blossom
is brilliant while it lasts; and when there is so much light, there
ought to be something to glitter in it.

These ladies had the faculty of staying at home; and this was a
principal among the antique faculties that upheld the rural mansions of
the middling gentry. Ask Brighton, Cheltenham, _et id genus omne_, what
has become of that faculty. And ask the ploughshare what has become of
the rural mansions.

They never, I think, went out of their own grounds but to church, or to
take their regular daily airing in the old family-carriage. The young
lady was an adept in preserving: she had one room, in a corner of the
hall, between the front and the great staircase, entirely surrounded
with shelves in compartments, stowed with classified sweetmeats,
jellies, and preserved fruits, the work of her own sweet hands. These
were distinguished ornaments of the supper-table; for the family dined
early, and maintained the old fashion of supper. A child would not
easily forget the bountiful and beautiful array of fruits, natural and
preserved, and the ample variety of preparations of milk, cream, and
custard, by which they were accompanied. The supper-table had matter for
all tastes. I remember what was most to mine.

The young lady performed on the harpsichord. Over what a gulph of time
this name alone looks back! What a stride from that harpsichord to one
of Broadwood's last grand-pianos! And yet with what pleasure, as I
stood by the corner of the instrument, I listened to it, or rather to
her! I would give much to know that the worldly lot of this gentle and
amiable creature had been a happy one. She often gently remonstrated
with me for putting her harpsichord out of tune by playing the bells
upon it; but I was never in a serious scrape with her except once. I
had insisted on taking from the nursery-maid the handle of the little
girl's garden-carriage, with which I set off at full speed; and had not
run many yards before I overturned the carriage, and rolled out the
little girl. The child cried like Alice Fell, and would not be pacified.
Luckily she ran to her sister, who let me off with an admonition,
and the exaction of a promise never to meddle again with the child's
carriage.

Charles was fond of romances. The "Mysteries of Udolpho," and all the
ghost and goblin stories of the day, were his familiar reading. I cared
little about them at that time; but he amused me by narrating their
grimmest passages. He was very anxious that the Abbey House should
be haunted; but it had no strange sights or sounds, and no plausible
tradition to hang a ghost on. I had very nearly accommodated him with
what he wanted.

The garden-front of the house was covered with jasmine, and it was a
pure delight to stand in the summer twilight on the top of the stone
steps inhaling the fragrance of the multitudinous blossoms. One evening,
as I was standing on these steps alone, I saw something like the white
head-dress of a tall figure advance from the right-hand grove,--the dark
grove, as we called it,--and, after a brief interval, recede. This, at
any rate, looked awful. Presently it appeared again, and again vanished.
On which I jumped to my conclusion, and flew into the parlour with the
announcement that there was a ghost in the dark grove. The whole family
sallied forth to see the phenomenon. The appearances and disappearances
continued. All conjectured what it could be, but none could divine. In
a minute or two all the servants were in the hall. They all tried their
skill, and were all equally unable to solve the riddle. At last, the
master of the house leading the way, we marched in a body to the spot,
and unravelled the mystery. It was a large bunch of flowers on the
top of a tall lily, waving in the wind at the edge of the grove, and
disappearing at intervals behind the stem of a tree. My ghost, and the
compact phalanx in which we sallied against it, were long the subject of
merriment. It was a cruel disappointment to Charles, who was obliged to
abandon all hopes of having the house haunted.

One day Charles was in disgrace with his elderly relation, who had
exerted sufficient authority to make him a captive in his chamber.
He was prohibited from seeing any one but me; and, of course, a most
urgent messenger was sent to me express. I found him in his chamber,
sitting by the fire, with a pile of ghostly tales, and an accumulation
of lead, which he was casting into dumps in a mould. Dumps, the
inexperienced reader must know, are flat circles of lead,--a sort of
petty quoits,--with which schoolboys amused themselves half a century
ago, and perhaps do so still, unless the march of mind has marched off
with such vanities. No doubt, in the "astounding progress of intellect,"
the time will arrive when boys will play at philosophers instead of
playing at soldiers,--will fight with wooden arguments instead of wooden
swords,--and pitch leaden syllogisms instead of leaden dumps. Charles
was before the dawn of this new light. He had cast several hundred
dumps, and was still at work. The quibble did not occur to me at the
time; but, in after years, I never heard of a man in the dumps without
thinking of my schoolfellow. His position was sufficiently melancholy.
His chamber was at the end of a long corridor. He was determined not
to make any submission, and his captivity was likely to last till the
end of his holidays. Ghost-stories, and lead for dumps, were his stores
and provisions for standing the siege of _ennui_. I think, with the aid
of his sister, I had some share in making his peace; but, such is the
association of ideas, that, when I first read in Lord Byron's Don Juan,

    "I pass my evenings in long galleries solely,
    And that's the reason I'm so melancholy,"

the lines immediately conjured up the image of poor Charles in the midst
of his dumps and spectres at the end of his own long gallery.



                EPIGRAM.
            BY JOYCE JOCUND.

    So well deserved is Roger's fame,
      That friends who hear him most, advise
    The EGOTIST to Change his name
      To "Argus--with his hundred I's!"


   [Illustration: The Spectre of Tappington]



                    FIRE-SIDE STORIES.--No. I.
                    THE SPECTRE OF TAPPINGTON.

"It is very odd, though, what can have become of them?" said Charles
Seaforth, as he peeped under the valance of an old-fashioned bedstead,
in an old-fashioned apartment of a still more old-fashioned manor-house;
"'tis confounded odd, and I can't make it out at all. Why, Barney, where
are they? and where the d--l are you?"

No answer was returned to this appeal; and the lieutenant, who was in
the main a reasonable person,--at least as reasonable a person as any
young gentleman of twenty-two in "the service" can fairly be expected
to be,--cooled when he reflected that his servant could scarcely reply
extempore to a summons which it was impossible he should hear.

An application to the bell was the considerate result; and the footsteps
of as tight a lad as ever put pipe-clay to belt sounded along the
gallery.

"Come in!" said his master. An ineffectual attempt upon the door
reminded Mr. Seaforth that he had locked himself in. "By Heaven! this is
the oddest thing of all," said he, as he turned the key and admitted Mr.
Maguire into his dormitory.

"Barney, where are my pantaloons?"

"Is it the breeches?" asked the valet, casting an inquiring eye round
the apartment; "is it the breeches, sir?"

"Yes; what have you done with them?"

"Sure then your honour had them on when you went to bed, and it's
hereabouts they'll be, I'll be bail;" and Barney lifted a fashionable
tunic from a cane-backed arm-chair, proceeding in his examination.
But the search was vain. There was the tunic aforesaid,--there was a
smart-looking kerseymere waistcoat; but the most important article in a
gentleman's wardrobe was still wanting.

"Where _can_ they be?" asked the master with a strong accent on the
auxiliary verb.

"Sorrow a know I knows," said the man.

"It must have been the devil, then, after all, who has been here and
carried them off!" cried Seaforth, staring full into Barney's face.

Mr. Maguire was not devoid of the superstition of his countrymen, but he
looked as if he did not subscribe to the _sequitur_.

His master read incredulity in his countenance. "Why, I tell you,
Barney, I put them there, on that arm-chair, when I got into bed; and,
by Heaven! I distinctly saw the ghost of the old fellow they told me of,
come in at midnight, put on my pantaloons, and walk away with them."

"Maybe so," was the cautious reply.

"I thought, of course, it was a dream; but then,--where the d--l are the
breeches?"

The question was more easily asked than answered. Barney renewed his
search, while the lieutenant folded his arms, and, leaning against the
toilet, sunk into a reverie.

"After all, it must be some trick of my laughter-loving cousins," said
Seaforth.

"Ah! then, the ladies!" chimed in Mr. Maguire, though the observation
was not addressed to him; "and will it be Miss Caroline, or Miss
Margaret, that's stole your honour's things?"

"I hardly know what to think of it," pursued the bereaved lieutenant,
still speaking in soliloquy, with his eye resting dubiously on the
chamber door. "I locked myself in, that's certain; and--but there must
be some other entrance to the room--pooh! I remember--the private
staircase: how could I be such a fool?" and he crossed the chamber to
where a low oaken door-case was dimly visible in a distant corner. He
paused before it. Nothing now interfered to screen it from observation;
but it bore tokens of having been at some earlier period concealed by
tapestry, remains of which yet clothed the walls on either side the
portal.

"This way they must have come," said Seaforth; "I wish with all my heart
I had caught them!"

"Och! the kittens!" sighed Mr. Barney Maguire.

But the mystery was yet as far from being solved as before. True, there
_was_ the "other door;" but then that, too, on examination, was even
more firmly secured than the one which opened on the gallery,--two heavy
bolts on the inside effectually prevented any _coup de main_ on the
lieutenant's _bivouac_ from that quarter. He was more puzzled than ever;
nor did the minutest inspection of the walls and floor throw any light
upon the subject: one thing only was clear,--the breeches were gone! "It
is _very_ singular," said the lieutenant.

       *       *       *       *       *

Tappington (generally called Tapton) Everard, is an antiquated but
commodious manor-house in the eastern division of the county of Kent. A
former proprietor had been high sheriff in the days of Elizabeth, and
many a dark and dismal tradition was yet extant of the licentiousness of
his life, and the enormity of his offences. The Glen, which the keeper's
daughter was seen to enter, but never known to quit, still frowns darkly
as of yore; while an ineradicable bloodstain on the oaken stair yet bids
defiance to the united energies of soap and sand. But it is with one
particular apartment that a deed of more especial atrocity is said to be
connected. A stranger guest--so runs the legend--arrived unexpectedly at
the mansion of the "Bad Sir Giles." They met in apparent friendship; but
the ill-concealed scowl on their master's brow told the domestics that
the visit was not a welcome one. The banquet, however, was not spared;
the wine-cup circulated freely,--too freely, perhaps,--for sounds of
discord at length reached the ears of even the excluded serving-men as
they were doing their best to imitate their betters in the lower hall.
Alarmed, some of them ventured to approach the parlour; one, an old and
favoured retainer of the house, went so far as to break in upon his
master's privacy. Sir Giles, already high in oath, fiercely enjoined his
absence, and he retired; not, however, before he had distinctly heard
from the stranger's lips a menace that "There was that within his pocket
which could disprove the knight's right to issue that, or any other,
command within the walls of Tapton."

The intrusion, though momentary, seemed to have produced a beneficial
effect; the voices of the disputants fell, and the conversation was
carried on thenceforth in a more subdued tone, till, as evening closed
in, the domestics, when summoned to attend with lights, found not only
cordiality restored, but that a still deeper carouse was meditated.
Fresh stoups, and from the choicest bins, were produced; nor was it
till at a late, or rather early, hour, that the revellers sought their
chambers.

The one allotted to the stranger occupied the first floor of the
eastern angle of the building, and had once been the favourite apartment
of Sir Giles himself. Scandal ascribed this preference to the facility
which a private staircase, communicating with the grounds, had afforded
him, in the old knight's time, of following his wicked courses unchecked
by parental observation; a consideration which ceased to be of weight
when the death of his father left him uncontrolled master of his estate
and actions. From that period Sir Giles had established himself in what
were called the "state-apartments;" and the "oaken chamber" was rarely
tenanted, save on occasions of extraordinary festivity, or when the Yule
log drew an unusually large accession of guests around the Christmas
hearth.

On this eventful night it was prepared for the unknown visitor, who
sought his couch heated and inflamed from his midnight orgies, and in
the morning was found in his bed a swollen and blackened corpse. No
marks of violence appeared upon the body; but the livid hue of the lips,
and certain dark-coloured spots visible on the skin, aroused suspicions
which those who entertained them were too timid to express. Apoplexy,
induced by the excesses of the preceding night, Sir Giles's confidential
leech pronounced to be the cause of his sudden dissolution: the body was
buried in peace; and, though some shook their heads as they witnessed
the haste with which the funeral rites were hurried on, none ventured to
murmur. Other events arose to distract the attention of the retainers;
men's minds became occupied by the stirring politics of the day, while
the near approach of that formidable armada, so vainly arrogating to
itself a title which the very elements joined with human valour to
disprove, soon interfered to weaken, if not obliterate, all remembrance
of the nameless stranger who had died within the walls of Tapton Everard.

Years rolled on: the "Bad Sir Giles" had himself long since gone to his
account, the last, as it was believed, of his immediate line; though
a few of the older tenants were sometimes heard to speak of an elder
brother, who had disappeared in early life, and never inherited the
estate. Rumours, too, of his having left a son in foreign lands were at
one time rife; but they died away, nothing occurring to support them:
the property passed unchallenged to a collateral branch of the family,
and the secret, if secret there were, was buried in Denton churchyard,
in the lonely grave of the mysterious stranger. One circumstance alone
occurred, after a long intervening period, to revive the memory of these
transactions. Some workmen employed in grubbing an old plantation, for
the purpose of raising on its site a modern shrubbery, dug up, in the
execution of their task, the mildewed remnants of what seemed to have
been once a garment. On more minute inspection, enough remained of
silken slashes and a coarse embroidery to identify the relics as having
once formed part of a pair of trunk hose; while a few papers which fell
from them, altogether illegible from damp and age, were by the unlearned
rustics conveyed to the then owner of the estate.

Whether the squire was more successful in deciphering them was never
known; he certainly never alluded to their contents; and little would
have been thought of the matter but for the inconvenient memory of one
old woman, who declared she had heard her grandfather say that when the
"stranger guest" was poisoned, though all the rest of his clothes were
there, his breeches, the supposed repository of the supposed documents,
could never be found. The master of Tapton Everard smiled when he heard
Dame Jones's hint of deeds which might impeach the validity of his own
title in favour of some unknown descendant of some unknown heir; and
the story was rarely alluded to, save by one or two miracle-mongers,
who had heard that others had seen the ghost of old Sir Giles, in his
night-cap, issue from the postern, enter the adjoining copse, and wring
his shadowy hands in agony as he seemed to search vainly for something
hidden among the evergreens. The stranger's death-room had, of course,
been occasionally haunted from the time of his decease; but the periods
of visitation had latterly become very rare,--even Mrs. Botherby, the
housekeeper, being forced to admit that, during her long sojourn at the
manor, she had never "met with anything worse than herself;" though, as
the old lady afterwards added upon more mature reflection, "I must say I
think I saw the devil once."

Such was the legend attached to Tapton Everard, and such the story
which the lively Caroline Ingoldsby detailed to her equally mercurial
cousin Charles Seaforth, lieutenant in the Hon. East India Company's
second regiment of Bombay Fencibles, as arm-in-arm they promenaded a
gallery decked with some dozen grim-looking ancestral portraits, and,
among others, with that of the redoubted Sir Giles himself. The gallant
commander had that very morning paid his first visit to the house of
his maternal uncle, after an absence of several years passed with his
regiment on the arid plains of Hindostan, whence he was now returned
on a three years' furlough. He had gone out a boy,--he returned a man;
but the impression made upon his youthful fancy by his favourite cousin
remained unimpaired, and to Tapton he directed his steps, even before
he sought the home of his widowed mother,--comforting himself in this
breach of filial decorum by the reflection that, as the manor was so
little out of his way, it would be unkind to pass, as it were, the door
of his relatives without just looking in for a few hours.

But he found his uncle as hospitable and his cousin more charming
than ever; and the looks of one, and the requests of the other, soon
precluded the possibility of refusing to lengthen the "few hours" into a
few days, though the house was at the moment full of visitors.

The Peterses were there from Ramsgate; and Mr., Mrs., and the two Miss
Simpkinsons, from Bath, had come to pass a month with the family;
and Tom Ingoldsby had brought down his college friend the Honourable
Augustus Sucklethumbkin, with his groom and pointers, to take a
fortnight's shooting. And then there was Mrs. Ogleton, the rich young
widow, with her large black eyes, who, people did say, was setting her
cap at the young squire, though Mrs. Botherby did not believe it; and,
above all, there was Mademoiselle Pauline; her _femme de chambre_, who
"_Mon-Dieu_'d" everything and everybody, and cried "_Quel horreur!_"
at Mrs. Botherby's cap. In short, to use the last-named and much
respected lady's own expression, the house was "choke-full" to the
very attics,--all, save the "oaken chamber," which, as the lieutenant
expressed a most magnanimous disregard of ghosts, was forthwith
appropriated to his particular accommodation. Mr. Maguire meanwhile
was fain to share the apartment of Oliver Dobbs, the squire's own man;
a jocular proposal of joint occupancy having been first indignantly
rejected by "Mademoiselle," though preferred with the "laste taste in
life" of Mr. Barney's most insinuating brogue.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Come, Charles, the urn is absolutely getting cold; your breakfast
will be quite spoiled: what can have made you so idle?" Such was the
morning salutation of Miss Ingoldsby to the _militaire_ as he entered
the breakfast-room half an hour after the latest of the party.

"A pretty gentleman, truly, to make an appointment with," chimed in Miss
Margaret. "What is become of our ramble to the rocks before breakfast?"

"Oh! the young men never think of keeping a promise now," said Mrs.
Peters, a little ferret-faced woman with underdone eyes.

"When I was a young man," said Mr. Peters, "I remember I always made a
point of----"

"Pray how long ago was that?" asked Mr. Simpkinson from Bath.

"Why, sir, when I married Mrs. Peters, I was--let me see--I was----"

"Do pray hold your tongue, P., and eat your breakfast!" interrupted his
better half, who had a mortal horror of chronological references; "it's
very rude to tease people with your family affairs."

The lieutenant had by this time taken his seat in silence,--a
good-humoured nod, and a glance, half-smiling, half-inquisitive, being
the extent of his salutation. Smitten as he was, and in the immediate
presence of her who had made so large a hole in his heart, his manner
was evidently _distrait_, which the fair Caroline in her secret soul
attributed to his being solely occupied by her _agrémens_,--how would
she have bridled had she known that they only shared his meditations
with a pair of breeches!

Charles drank his coffee and spiked some half-dozen eggs, darting
occasionally a penetrating glance at the ladies, in hope of detecting
the supposed waggery by the evidence of some furtive smile or conscious
look. But in vain! not a dimple moved indicative of roguery, nor did
the slightest elevation of eyebrow rise confirmative of his suspicions.
Hints and insinuations passed unheeded,--more particular inquiries were
out of the question:--the subject was unapproachable.

In the mean time, "patent cords" were just the thing for a morning's
ride, and, breakfast ended, away cantered the party over the downs,
till, every faculty absorbed by the beauties, animate and inanimate,
which surrounded him, Lieutenant Seaforth of the Bombay Fencibles
bestowed no more thought upon his breeches than if he had been born on
the top of Ben Lomond.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another night had passed away; the sun rose brilliantly, forming with
his level beams a splendid rainbow in the far-off west, whither the
heavy cloud, which for the last two hours had been pouring its waters on
the earth, was now flying before him.

"Ah! then, and it's little good it'll be the claning of ye,"
apostrophised Mr. Barney Maguire, as he deposited, in front of his
master's toilet, a pair of "bran-new" jockey boots, one of Hoby's
primest fits, which the lieutenant had purchased in his way through
town. On that very morning had they come for the first time under the
valet's depuriating hand, so little soiled, indeed, from the turfy ride
of the preceding day, that a less scrupulous domestic might, perhaps
have considered the application of "Warren's Matchless," or oxalic
acid, altogether superfluous. Not so Barney: with the nicest care had
he removed the slightest impurity from each polished surface, and there
they stood rejoicing in their sable radiance. No wonder a pang shot
across Mr. Maguire's breast as he thought on the work now cut out for
them, so different from the light labours of the day before; no wonder
he murmured with a sigh, as the scarce dried window-panes disclosed
a road now inch-deep in mud. "Ah! then, it's little good the claning
of ye!"--for well had he learned in the hell below that eight miles
of a stiff clay soil lay between the manor and Bolsover Abbey, whose
picturesque ruins,

          "Like ancient Rome, majestic in decay,"

the party had determined to explore. The master had already
commenced dressing, and the man was fitting straps upon a light
pair of crane-necked spurs, when his hand was arrested by the old
question,--"Barney, where are the breeches?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Seaforth descended that morning, whip in hand, and equipped in
a handsome green riding-frock, but no "breeches and boots to match"
were there: loose jean trousers, surmounting a pair of diminutive
Wellingtons, embraced, somewhat incongruously, his nether man, _vice_
the "patent cords," returned, like yesterday's pantaloons, absent
without leave. The "top-boots" had a holiday.

"A fine morning after the rain," said Mr. Simpkinson from Bath.

"Just the thing for the 'ops," said Mr. Peters. "I remember when
I was a boy----"

"Do hold your tongue, P.," said Mrs. Peters,--advice which that
exemplary matron was in the constant habit of administering to "her
P.," as she called him, whenever he prepared to vent his reminiscences.
Her precise reason for this it would be difficult to determine, unless,
indeed, the story be true which a little bird had whispered into Mrs.
Botherby's ear,--Mr. Peters, though now a wealthy man, had received a
liberal education at a charity-school, and was apt to recur to the days
of his muffin-cap and leathers. As usual, he took his wife's hint in
good part, and "paused in his reply."

"A glorious day for the Ruins!" said young Ingoldsby. "But, Charles,
what the deuce are you about?--you don't mean to ride through our lanes
in such toggery as that?"

"Lassy me!" said Miss Julia Simpkinson, "won't you be very wet?"

"You had better take Tom's cab," quoth the squire.

But this proposition was at once overruled; Mrs. Ogleton had already
nailed the cab, a vehicle of all others the best adapted for a snug
flirtation.

"Or drive Miss Julia in the phaeton?" No; that was the post of Mr.
Peters, who, indifferent as an equestrian, had acquired some fame as
a whip while travelling through the midland counties for the firm of
Bagshaw, Snivelby, and Ghrimes.

"Thank you, I shall ride with my cousins," said Charles with as much
_nonchalance_ as he could assume,--and he did so; Mr. Ingoldsby, Mrs.
Peters, Mr. Simpkinson from Bath, and his eldest daughter with her
_album_, following in the family coach. The gentleman-commoner "voted
the affair d--d slow," and declined the party altogether in favour
of the gamekeeper and a cigar. "There was 'no fun' in looking at old
houses!" Mrs. Simpkinson preferred a short _séjour_ in the still-room
with Mrs. Botherby, who had promised to initiate her in that grand
_arcanum_, the transmutation of gooseberry jam into Guava jelly.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Did you ever see an old abbey before, Mr. Peters?"

"Yes, miss, a French one; we have got one at Ramsgate; he teaches the
Miss Joneses to parleyvoo, and is turned of sixty."

Miss Simpkinson closed her album with an air of ineffable disdain.

Mr. Simpkinson from Bath was a professed antiquary, and one of the first
water; he was master of Gwillim's Heraldry, and Milles's History of the
Crusades; knew every plate in the Monasticon, had written an essay on
the origin and dignity of the office of Overseer, and settled the date
of a Queen Anne's farthing. An influential member of the Antiquarian
Society, to whose "Beauties of Bagnigge Wells" he had been a liberal
subscriber, procured him a seat at the board of that learned body,
since which happy epoch Sylvanus Urban had not a more indefatigable
correspondent. His inaugural essay on the President's cocked hat was
considered a miracle of erudition; and his account of the earliest
application of gilding to gingerbread, a masterpiece of antiquarian
research. His eldest daughter was of a kindred spirit: if her father's
mantle had not fallen upon her, it was only because he had not thrown
it off himself; she had caught hold of its tail, however, while yet
upon his honoured shoulders. To souls so congenial what a sight was
the magnificent ruin of Bolsover! its broken arches, its mouldering
pinnacles, and the airy tracery of its half-demolished windows. The
party was in raptures; Mr. Simpkinson began to meditate an essay, and
his daughter an ode: even Seaforth, as he gazed on these lonely relics
of the olden time, was betrayed into a momentary forgetfulness of his
love and losses; the widow's eye-glass turned from her _cicisbeo_'s
whiskers to the mantling ivy; Mrs. Peters wiped her spectacles; and
"her P." pronounced the central tower to be "very like a mouldy Stilton
cheese,--only bigger." The squire was a philosopher, and had been there
often before; so he ordered out the cold tongue and chickens.

"Bolsover Priory," said Mr. Simpkinson with the air of a
connoisseur,--"Bolsover Priory was founded in the reign of Henry the
Sixth, about the beginning of the eleventh century. Hugh de Bolsover had
accompanied that monarch to the Holy Land in the expedition undertaken
by way of penance for the murder of his young nephews in the Tower.
Upon the dissolution of the monasteries the veteran was enfeoffed in
the lands and manor, to which he gave his own name of Bowlsover, or
Bee-owls-over, (by corruption Bolsover,)--a Bee in chief, over three
Owls, all proper, being the armorial ensigns borne by this distinguished
crusader at the siege of Acre."

"Ah! that was Sir Sidney Smith," said Mr. Peters; "I've heard of him,
and all about Mrs. Partington, and----"

"P. be quiet, and don't expose yourself!" sharply interrupted his lady.
P. was silenced, and betook himself to the bottled stout.

"These lands," continued the antiquary, "were held in grand serjeantry
by the presentation of three white owls and a pot of honey----"

"Lassy me! how nice!" said Miss Julia. Mr. Peters licked his lips.

"Pray give me leave, my dear----owls and honey, whenever the king
should come a rat-catching into this part of the country."

"Rat-catching!" ejaculated the squire, pausing abruptly in the
mastication of a drumstick.

"To be sure, my dear sir: don't you remember that rats once came under
the forest laws--a minor species of venison? 'Rats and mice, and such
small deer,' eh?--Shakspeare, you know. Our ancestors ate rats;" ("The
nasty fellows!" shuddered Miss Julia in a parenthesis) "and owls, you
know, are capital mousers----"

"I've seen a howl," said Mr. Peters; "there's one in the Sohological
Gardens,--a little hook-nosed chap in a wig,--only it's feathers and----"

Poor P. was destined never to finish a speech.

"_Do_ be quiet!" cried the authoritative voice, and the would-be
naturalist shrank into his shell like a snail in the "Sohological
Gardens."

"You should read Blount's 'Jocular Tenures,' Mr. Ingoldsby," pursued
Simpkinson. "A learned man was Blount! Why, sir, his Royal Highness the
Duke of York once paid a silver horse-shoe to Lord Ferrers----"

"I've heard of him," broke in the incorrigible Peters; "he was hanged at
the Old Bailey in a silk rope for shooting Doctor Johnson."

The antiquary vouchsafed no notice of the interruption; but, taking a
pinch of snuff, continued his harangue.

"A silver horse-shoe, sir, which is due from every scion of royalty
who rides across one of his manors; and if you look into the penny
county histories, now publishing by an eminent friend of mine, you will
find that Langhale in Co. Norf. was held by one Baldwin _per saltum
sufflatum, et pettum_; that is, he was to come every Christmas into
Westminster Hall, there to take a leap, cry hem! and----"

"Mr. Simpkinson, a glass of sherry?" cried Tom Ingoldsby hastily.

"Not any, thank you, sir. This Baldwin, surnamed _Le ----_"

"Mrs. Ogleton challenges you, sir; she insists upon it," said Tom still
more rapidly; at the same time filling a glass, and forcing it on
the sçavant, who, thus arrested in the very crisis of his narrative,
received and swallowed the potation as if it had been physic.

"What on earth has Miss Simpkinson discovered there?" continued Tom;
"something of interest. See how fast she is writing."

The diversion was effectual; every one looked towards Miss Simpkinson,
who, far too ethereal for "creature comforts," was seated apart on
the dilapidated remains of an altar-tomb, committing eagerly to paper
something that had strongly impressed her: the air,--the eye in a fine
frenzy rolling,--all betokened that the divine _afflatus_ was come. Her
father rose, and stole silently towards her.

"What an old boar!" muttered young Ingoldsby; alluding, perhaps, to a
slice of brawn which he had just begun to operate upon, but which, from
the celerity with which it disappeared, did not seem so very difficult
of mastication.

But what had become of Seaforth and his fair Caroline all this while?
Why, it so happened that they had been simultaneously stricken with the
picturesque appearance of one of those high and pointed arches, which
that eminent antiquary, Mr. Horseley Curties, describes as "a _Gothic_
window of the _Saxon_ order;"--and then the ivy clustered so thickly
and so beautifully on the other side, that they went round to look at
that;--and then their proximity deprived it of half its effect, and
so they walked across to a little knoll, a hundred yards off, and, in
crossing a small ravine, they came to what in Ireland they call "a bad
step," and Charles had to carry his cousin over it;--and then, when
they had to come back, she would not give him the trouble again for the
world, so they followed a better but more circuitous route, and there
were hedges and ditches in the way, and stiles to get over, and gates to
get through; so that an hour or more had elapsed before they were able
to rejoin the party.

"Lassy me!" said Miss Julia Simpkinson, "how long you have been gone!"

And so they had. The remark was a very just as well as a very natural
one. They were gone a long while, and a nice cosey chat they had; and
what do you think it was all about, my dear miss?

"Oh, lassy me! love, no doubt, and the moon, and eyes, and nightingales,
and----"

Stay; stay, my sweet young lady; do not let the fervour of your feelings
run away with you! I do not pretend to say, indeed, that one or more
of these pretty subjects might not have been introduced; but the most
important and leading topic of the conference was--Lieutenant Seaforth's
breeches.

"Caroline," said Charles, "I have had some very odd dreams since have
been at Tappington."

"Dreams, have you?" smiled the young lady, arching her taper neck like a
swan in pluming. "Dreams, have you?"

"Ay, dreams,--or dream, perhaps, I should say; for, though repeated, it
was still the same. And what do you imagine was its subject?"

"It is impossible for me to divine," said the tongue; "I have not the
least difficulty in guessing," said the eye, as plainly as ever eye
spoke.

"I dreamt of--your great grandfather!"

There was a change in the glance--"My great grandfather?"

"Yes, the old Sir Giles, or Sir John, you told me about the other day:
he walked into my bedroom in his short cloak of murrey-coloured velvet,
his long rapier, and his Ralegh-looking hat and feather, just as this
picture represents him; but with one exception."

"And what was that?"

"Why, his lower extremities, which were visible, were--those of a
skeleton."

"Well!"

"Well, after taking a turn or two about the room, and looking round him
with a wistful air, he came to the bed's foot, stared at me in a manner
impossible to describe,--and then he--he laid hold of my pantaloons,
whipped his long bony legs into them in a twinkling, and, strutting
up to the glass, seemed to view himself in it with great complacency.
I tried to speak, but in vain. The effort, however, seemed to excite
his attention; for, wheeling about, he showed me the grimmest-looking
death's head you can well imagine, and with an indescribable grin
strutted out of the room."

"Absurd, Charles! How can you talk such nonsense?"

"But, Caroline,--the breeches are really gone!"

       *       *       *       *       *

On the following morning, contrary to his usual custom, Seaforth was
the first person in the breakfast-parlour. As no one else was present,
he did precisely what nine young men out of ten so situated would have
done; he walked up to the mantelpiece, established himself upon the
rug, and subducting his coat-tails one under each arm, turned towards
the fire that portion of the human frame which it is considered equally
indecorous to present to a friend or an enemy. A serious, not to say
anxious, expression was visible upon his good-humoured countenance, and
his mouth was fast buttoning itself up for an incipient whistle, when
little Flo, a tiny spaniel of the Blenheim breed,--the pet object of
Miss Julia Simpkinson's affections,--bounced out from beneath a sofa,
and began to bark at--his pantaloons.

They were cleverly "built," of a light grey mixture, a broad stripe of
the most vivid scarlet traversing each seam in a perpendicular direction
from hip to ancle,--in short, the regimental costume of the Royal Bombay
Fencibles. The animal, educated in the country, had never seen such a
pair of breeches in her life--_Omne ignotum pro magnifico!_ The scarlet
streak, inflamed as it was by the reflection of the fire, seemed to
act on Flora's nerves as the same colour does on those of bulls and
turkeys, she advanced at the _pas de charge_; and her vociferation, like
her amazement, was unbounded. A sound kick from the disgusted officer
changed its character, and induced a retreat at the very moment when the
mistress of the pugnacious quadruped entered to the rescue.

"Lassy me! Flo! what _is_ the matter?" cried the sympathising lady, with
a scrutinizing glance levelled at the gentleman.

It might as well have lighted on a feather-bed.--His air of
imperturbable unconsciousness defied examination; and as he would not,
and Flora could not, expound, that injured individual was compelled
to pocket up her wrongs. Others of the household soon dropped in, and
clustered round the board dedicated to the most sociable of meals;
the urn was paraded "hissing hot," and the cups which "cheer, but not
inebriate," steamed redolent of hyson and pekoe; muffins and marmalade,
newspapers and Finnon haddies, left little room for observation on
the character of Charles's warlike "turn-out." At length a look from
Caroline, followed by a smile that nearly ripened to a titter, caused
him to turn abruptly and address his neighbour. It was Miss Simpkinson,
who, deeply engaged in sipping her tea and turning over her album,
seemed, like a female Chrononotonthologos, "immersed in congibundity
of cogitation." An interrogatory on the subject of her studies drew
from her the confession that she was at that moment employed in putting
the finishing touches to a poem inspired by the romantic shades of
Bolsover. The entreaties of the company were of course urgent. Mr.
Peters, who "liked verses," was especially persevering, and Sappho at
length compliant. After a preparatory hem! and a glance at the mirror
to ascertain that her look was sufficiently sentimental, the poetess
began:--

    "There is a calm, a holy feeling,
      Vulgar minds can never know,
    O'er the bosom softly stealing,--
      Chasten'd grief, delicious woe!
    Oh! how sweet at eve regaining
      Yon lone tower's sequester'd shade--
    Sadly mute and uncomplaining----"

--Yow!--yeough!--yeough!--yow!--yow! yelled a hapless sufferer from
beneath the table.--It was an unlucky hour for quadrupeds; and if "every
dog will have his day," he could not have selected a more unpropitious
one than this. Mrs. Ogleton, too, had a pet,--a favourite pug,--whose
squab figure, black muzzle, and tortuosity of tail, that curled like a
head of celery in a salad-bowl, bespoke his Dutch extraction. Yow! yow!
yow! continued the brute,--a chorus in which Flo instantly joined.
Sooth to say, pug had more reason to express his dissatisfaction than
was given him by the muse of Simpkinson; the other only barked for
company. Scarcely had the poetess got through her first stanza, when
Tom Ingoldsby, in the enthusiasm of the moment, became so lost to the
material world, that, in his abstraction, he unwarily laid his hand on
the cock of the urn. Quivering with emotion, he gave it such an unlucky
twist, that the full stream of its scalding contents descended on the
gingerbread hide of the unlucky Cupid. The confusion was complete; the
whole economy of the table disarranged; the company broke up in most
admired disorder; and "vulgar minds will never know" anything more of
Miss Simpkinson's ode till they peruse it in some forthcoming annual.

Seaforth profited by the confusion to take the delinquent who had caused
this "stramash" by the arm, and to lead him to the lawn, where he had
a word or two for his private ear. The conference between the young
gentlemen was neither brief in its duration, nor unimportant in its
result. The subject was what the lawyers call tripartite, embracing the
information that Charles Seaforth was over head and ears in love with
Tom Ingoldsby's sister; secondly, that the lady had referred him to
"papa" for his sanction; thirdly and lastly, his nightly visitations and
consequent bereavement. At the two first items Tom smiled auspiciously;
at the last he burst out into an absolute "guffaw."

"Steal your breeches? Miss Bailey over again, by Jove!" shouted
Ingoldsby. "But a gentleman, you say, and Sir Giles too--I am not sure,
Charles, whether I ought not to call you out for aspersing the honour of
the family!"

"Laugh as you will, Tom,--be as incredulous as you please. One fact is
incontestible,--the breeches are gone! Look here--I am reduced to my
regimentals; and if these go, to-morrow I must borrow of you!"

Rochefoucault says, there in something in the misfortunes of our very
best friends that does not displease us; certainly we can, most of us,
laugh at their petty inconveniences, till called upon to supply them.
Tom composed his features on the instant, and replied with more gravity,
as well as with an expression, which, if my Lord Mayor had been within
hearing, might have cost him five shillings.

"There is something very queer in this, after all. The clothes, you say,
have positively disappeared. Somebody is playing you a trick, and, ten
to one, your servant has a hand in it. By the way, I heard something
yesterday of his kicking up a bobbery in the kitchen, and seeing a
ghost, or something of that kind, himself. Depend upon it, Barney is in
the plot!"

It struck the lieutenant at once that the usually buoyant spirits of
his attendant had of late been materially sobered down, his loquacity
obviously circumscribed, and that he, the said lieutenant, had actually
rung his bell three several times that very morning before he could
procure his attendance. Mr. Maguire was forthwith summoned, and
underwent a close examination. The "bobbery" was easily explained. Mr.
Oliver Dobbs had hinted his disapprobation of a flirtation carrying
on between the gentleman from Munster and the lady from the Rue St.
Honoré. Mademoiselle boxed Mr. Maguire's ears, and Mr. Maguire pulled
Mademoiselle upon his knee, and the lady did _not_ cry _Mon Dieu!_ And
Mr. Oliver Dobbs said it was very wrong; and Mrs. Botherby said it was
scandalous, and what ought not to be done in any moral kitchen; and
Mr. Maguire had got hold of the Honourable Augustus Sucklethumbkin's
powder-flask, and had put large pinches of the best double Dartford into
Mr. Dobbs' tobacco-box; and Mr. Dobbs' pipe had exploded and set fire
to Mrs. Botherby's Sunday cap, and Mr. Maguire had put it out with the
slop-basin, "barring the wig;" and then they were all so "cantankerous,"
that Barney had gone to take a walk in the garden; and then--then Mr.
Barney had seen a ghost!

"A what? you blockhead!" asked Tom Ingoldsby.

"Sure then, and it's meself will tell your honour the rights of it,"
said the ghost-seer. "Meself and Miss Pauline, sir--or Miss Pauline
and meself, for the ladies comes first any how,--we got tired of the
hobstroppylous skrimmaging among the ould servants, that didn't know a
joke when they seen one; and we went out to look at the Comet,--that's
the Rory-Bory-alehouse, they calls him in this country,--and we walked
upon the lawn, and divel of any alehouse there was there at all; and
Miss Pauline said it was becase of the shrubbery maybe, and why wouldn't
we see it better beyonst the trees? and so we went to the trees, but
sorrow a Comet did meself see there, barring a big ghost instead of it."

"A ghost? And what sort of a ghost, Barney?"

"Och, then, divel a lie I'll tell your honour. A tall ould gentleman he
was, all in white, with a shovel on his shoulder, and a big torch in
his fist,--though what he wanted with that it's meself can't tell, for
his eyes were like gig-lamps, let alone the moon and the Comet, which
wasn't there at all; and 'Barney,' says he to me,--'cause why he knew
me,--'Barney,' says he, 'what is it you're doing with the colleen there,
Barney?' Divel a word did I say. Miss Pauline screeched, and cried
murther in French, and ran off with herself; and of coorse meself was in
a mighty hurry after the lady, and had no time to stop palavering with
him any way; so I dispersed at once, and the ghost vanished in a flame
of fire!"

Mr. Maguire's account was received with avowed incredulity by both
gentlemen; but Barney stuck to his text with unflinching pertinacity. A
reference to Mademoiselle was suggested, but abandoned, as neither party
had a taste for delicate investigations.

"I'll tell you what, Seaforth," said Ingoldsby, after Barney had
received his dismissal; "that there is a trick here, is evident; and
Barney's vision may possibly be a part of it. Whether he is most knave
or fool, you best know. At all events, I will sit up with you to-night,
and see if I can convert my ancestor into a visiting acquaintance.
Meanwhile your finger on your lip!"

       *       *       *       *       *

    "'Twas now the very witching time of night,
    When churchyards yawn, and graves give up their dead."

Gladly would I grace my tale with decent horror, and therefore I do
beseech the "gentle reader" to believe, that if all the _succedanea_ to
this mysterious narrative are not in strict keeping, he will ascribe
it only to the disgraceful innovations of modern degeneracy upon the
sober and dignified habits of our ancestors. I can introduce him, it is
true, into an old and high-roofed chamber, its walls covered on three
sides with black oak wainscoting, adorned with carvings of fruit and
flowers long anterior to those of Grinling Gibbons; the fourth side is
clothed with a curious remnant of dingy tapestry, once elucidatory of
some Scriptural history, but of _which_ not even Mrs. Botherby could
determine. Mr. Simpkinson, who had examined it carefully, inclined to
believe the principal figure to be either Bathsheba or Daniel in the
lions' den; while Tom Ingoldsby decided in favour of the King of Bashan.
All, however, was conjecture; tradition being silent on the subject. A
lofty arched portal led into, and a little arched portal led out of,
this apartment; they were opposite each other, and both possessed the
security of massy bolts on the interior. The bedstead, too, was not one
of yesterday; but manifestly coeval with days ere Seddons was, and when
a good four-post "article" was deemed worthy of being a royal bequest.
The bed itself, with all the appurtenances of paillasse, mattresses, &c.
was of far later date, and looked most incongruously comfortable; the
casements, too, with their little diamond-shaped panes and iron binding,
had given way to the modern heterodoxy of the sash-window. Nor was this
all that conspired to ruin the costume, and render the room a meet haunt
for such "mixed spirits" only as could condescend to don at the same
time an Elizabethan doublet and Bond-street inexpressibles. With their
green morocco slippers on a modern fender in front of a disgracefully
modern grate, sat two young gentlemen, clad in "shawl-pattern"
dressing-gowns and black silk stocks, much at variance with the high
cane-backed chairs which supported them. A bunch of abomination, called
a cigar, reeked in the left-hand corner of the mouth of one, and in the
right-hand corner of the mouth of the other;--an arrangement happily
adapted for the escape of the noxious fumes up the chimney, without that
unmerciful "funking" each other, which a less scientific disposition
would have induced. A small pembroke table filled up the intervening
space between them, sustaining, at each extremity, an elbow and glass of
toddy; and thus in "lonely pensive contemplation" were the two worthies
occupied, when the "iron tongue of midnight had tolled twelve."

"Ghost-time's come!" said Ingoldsby, taking from his waistcoat pocket a
watch like a gold half-crown, and consulting it as though he suspected
the turret-clock over the stables of mendacity.

"Hush!" said Charles; "did I not hear a footstep?"

There was a pause: there _was_ a footstep--it sounded distinctly--it
reached the door--it hesitated, stopped, and--passed on.

Tom darted across the room, threw open the door, and became aware of
Mrs. Botherby toddling to her chamber at the other end of the gallery,
after dosing one of the housemaids with an approved julep from the
Countess of Kent's "Choice Manual."

"Good night, sir!" said Mrs. Botherby.

"Go to the d--l!" said the disappointed ghost-hunter.

A hour--two--rolled on, and still no spectral visitation, nor did aught
intervene to make night hideous; and when the turret-clock sounded at
length the hour of three, Ingoldsby, whose patience and grog were alike
exhausted, sprang from his chair, saying,

"This is all infernal nonsense, my good fellow. Deuce of any ghost shall
we see to-night; it's long past the canonical hours. I'm off to bed; and
as to your breeches, I'll ensure them for twenty-four hours at least, at
the price of the buckram."

"Certainly. Oh! thankye; to be sure!" stammered Charles, rousing himself
from a reverie, which had degenerated into an absolute snooze.

"Good night, my boy. Bolt the door behind me; and defy the Pope, the
Devil, and the Pretender!"

Seaforth followed his friend's advice, and the next morning came down to
breakfast dressed in the habiliments of the preceding day. The charm was
broken, the demon defeated; the light greys with the red stripe down the
seams were yet in _rerum naturâ_, and adorned the person of their lawful
proprietor.

Tom felicitated himself and his partner of the watch on the result of
their vigilance; but there is a rustic adage, which warns us against
self-gratulation before we are quite "out of the wood."--Seaforth was
yet within its verge.

       *       *       *       *       *

A rap at Tom Ingoldsby's door the next morning startled him as he was
shaving: he cut his chin.

"Come in, and be d--d to you!" said the martyr, pressing his thumb on
the wounded epidermis. The door opened and exhibited Mr. Barney Maguire.
"Well, Barney, what is it?" quoth the sufferer, adopting the vernacular
of his visitant.

"The Master, sir----"

"Well, what does he want?"

"The loanst of a breeches, plase your honour."

"Why, you don't mean to tell me----By Heaven, this is too good!"
shouted Tom, bursting into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. "Why,
Barney, you don't mean to say the ghost has got them again?"

Mr. Maguire did not respond to the young squire's risibility; the cast
of his countenance was decidedly serious.

"Faith, then, it's gone they are, sure enough. Hasn't meself been
looking over the bed, and under the bed, and in the bed, for the matter
of that, and divel a ha'p'orth of breeches is there to the fore at all:
I'm bothered entirely!"

"Harkye! Mr. Barney," said Tom, incautiously removing his thumb, and
letting a crimson stream "incarnadine the multitudinous" lather that
plastered his throat,--"this may be all very well with your master, but
you don't humbug me, sir: tell me instantly what have you done with the
clothes?"

This abrupt transition from "lively to severe" certainly took Maguire
by surprise, and he seemed for an instant as much disconcerted as it is
possible to disconcert an Irish gentleman's gentleman.

"Me? is it meself, then, that's the ghost to your honour's thinking?"
said he, after a moment's pause, and with a slight shade of indignation
in his tones; "is it I would stale the master's things,--and what would
I do with them?"

"That you best know: what your purpose is I can't guess, for I don't
think you mean to 'stale' them, as you call it; but that you are
concerned in their disappearance, I am satisfied. Confound this
blood!--give me a towel, Barney."

Maguire acquitted himself of the commission. "As I've a sowl, your
honour," said he solemnly, "little it is meself knows of the matter; and
after what I seen----"

"What you've seen? Why, what _have_ you seen? Barney, I don't want to
inquire into your flirtations; but don't suppose you can palm off your
saucer eyes and gig-lamps upon me!"

"Then, as sure as your honour's standing there, I saw him; and why
wouldn't I, when Miss _Pauline_ was to the fore as well as meself,
and----"

"Get along with your nonsense,--leave the room, sir!"

"But the master?" said Barney imploringly; "and the breeches?--sure
he'll be catching cowld!"

"Take that, rascal!" replied Ingoldsby, throwing a pair of pantaloons
at, rather than to, him; "but don't suppose, sir, you shall carry
on your tricks with impunity; recollect there is such a thing as a
tread-mill, and that my father is a county magistrate."

Barney's eye flashed fire,--he stood erect and was about to speak; but,
mastering himself, not without an effort, he took up the garment, and
left the room as perpendicular as a Quaker.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Ingoldsby," said Charles Seaforth, after breakfast, "this is now past
a joke; to-day is the last of my stay, for, notwithstanding the ties
which detain me, common decency obliges me to visit home after so long
an absence. I shall come to an immediate explanation with your father on
the subject nearest my heart, and depart while I have a change of dress
left. On his answer will my return depend; in the mean time tell me
candidly,--I ask it in all seriousness and as a friend,--am I not a dupe
to your well-known propensity to hoaxing? have you not a hand in----"

"No, by Heaven! Seaforth; I see what you mean: on my honour, I am as
much mystified as yourself; and if your servant----"

"Not he: if there be a trick, he at least is not privy to it."

"If there _be_ a trick? why, Charles, do you think----"

"I know not _what_ to think, Tom. As surely as you are a living man, so
surely did that spectral anatomy visit my room again last night, grin in
my face, and walk away with my trousers; nor was I able to spring from
my bed, or break the chain which seemed to bind me to my pillow."

"Seaforth," said Ingoldsby, after a short pause, "I will--But hush! here
are the girls and my father. I will carry off the females, and leave you
clear field with the Governor: carry your point with him, and we will
talk about your breeches afterwards."

Tom's diversion was successful: he carried off the ladies _en masse_
to look at a remarkable specimen of the class _Dodecandria Monogynia_,
which they could not find; while Seaforth marched boldly up to the
encounter, and carried "the Governor's" outworks by a _coup de main_. I
shall not stop to describe the progress of the attack; suffice it that
it was as successful as could have been wished, and that Seaforth was
referred back again to the lady. The happy lover was off at a tangent;
the botanical party was soon overtaken; and the arm of Caroline, whom a
vain endeavour to spell out the Linnæan name of a daffy-down-dilly had
detained a little in the rear of the others, was soon firmly locked in
his own.

                "What was the world to them,
    Its noise, its nonsense, and its 'breeches' all?"

Seaforth was in the seventh heaven; he retired to his room that night
as happy as if no such thing as a goblin had ever been heard of, and
personal chattels were as well fenced in by law as real property. Not
so Tom Ingoldsby: the mystery--for mystery there evidently was,--had
not only piqued his curiosity, but ruffled his temper. The watch of
the previous night had been unsuccessful, probably because it was
undisguised. Tonight he would "ensconce himself,"--not indeed "behind
the arras,"--for the little that remained was, as we have seen, nailed
to the wall,--but in a small closet which opened from one corner of the
room, and, by leaving the door ajar, would give its occupant a view of
all that might pass in the apartment. Here did the young ghost-hunter
take up a position, with a good stout sapling under his arm, a full
half-hour before Seaforth retired for the night. Not even his friend did
he let into his confidence, fully determined that if his plan did not
succeed, the failure should be attributed to himself alone.

At the usual hour of separation for the night, Tom saw, from his
concealment, the lieutenant enter his room; and, after taking a few
turns in it, with an expression so joyous as to betoken that his
thoughts were mainly occupied by his approaching happiness, proceed
slowly to disrobe himself. The coat, the waistcoat, the black silk
stock, were gradually discarded; the green morocco slippers were kicked
off, and then--ay, and then--his countenance grew grave; it seemed to
occur to him all at once that this was his last stake,--nay, that the
very breeches he had on were not his own,--that to-morrow morning was
his last, and that if he lost _them_----A glance showed that his mind
was made up; he replaced the single button he had just subducted, and
threw himself upon the bed in a state of transition, half chrysalis,
half grub.

Wearily did Tom Ingoldsby watch the sleeper by the flickering light of
the night-lamp, till the clock, striking one, induced him to increase
the narrow opening which he had left for the purpose of observation. The
motion, slight as it was, seemed to attract Charles's attention; for he
raised himself suddenly to a sitting posture, listened for a moment,
and then stood upright upon the floor. Ingoldsby was on the point of
discovering himself, when, the light flashing full upon his friend's
countenance, he perceived that, though his eyes were open, "their sense
was shut,"--that he was yet under the influence of sleep. Seaforth
advanced slowly to the toilet, lit his candle at the lamp that stood on
it, then, going back to the bed's foot, appeared to search eagerly for
something which he could not find. For a few moments he seemed restless
and uneasy, walking round the apartment and examining the chairs,
till, coming fully in front of a large swing-glass that flanked the
dressing-table, he paused, as if contemplating his figure in it. He now
returned towards the bed, put on his slippers, and, with cautious and
stealthy steps, proceeded towards the little arched doorway that opened
on the private staircase.

As he drew the bolt, Tom Ingoldsby emerged from his hiding-place;
but the sleep-walker heard him not: he proceeded softly down stairs,
followed at a due distance by his friend, opened the door which led out
upon the gardens, and stood at once among the thickest of the shrubs,
which there clustered round the base of a corner turret, and screened
the postern from common observation. At this moment Ingoldsby had nearly
spoiled all by making a false step: the sound attracted Seaforth's
attention, he paused and turned; and, as the full moon shed her light
direct upon his pale and troubled features, Tom marked, almost with
dismay, the fixed and rayless appearance of his eyes:

    "There was no speculation in those orbs
    That he did glare withal,"

The perfect stillness preserved by his follower seemed to reassure
him; he turned aside, and, from the midst of a thickset laurustinus,
drew forth a gardener's spade, shouldering which he proceeded with
greater rapidity into the midst of the shrubbery. Arrived at a certain
point, where the earth seemed to have been recently disturbed, he
set himself heartily to the task of digging; till, having thrown up
several shovelfuls of mould, he stopped, flung down his tool, and very
composedly began to disencumber himself of his pantaloons.

Up to this moment Tom had watched him with a wary eye; he now advanced
cautiously, and, as his friend was busily engaged in disentangling
himself from his garment, made himself master of the spade. Seaforth,
meanwhile, had accomplished his purpose; he stood for a moment with

          "His streamers waving in the wind,"

occupied in carefully rolling up the small-clothes into as compact a
form as possible, and all heedless of the breath of heaven, which might
certainly be supposed at such a moment, and in such a plight, to "visit
his frame too roughly."

He was in the act of stooping low to deposit the pantaloons in the grave
which he had been digging for them, when Tom Ingoldsby came close behind
him, and with the flat of the spade----

       *       *       *       *       *

The shock was effectual; never again was Lieutenant Seaforth known to
act the part of a somnambulist. One by one, his breeches, his trousers,
his pantaloons, his silk-net tights, his patent cords, and his showy
greys with the broad red stripe of the Bombay Fencibles, were brought
to light, rescued from the grave in which they had been buried, like
the straw of a Christmas pie; and, after having been well aired by Mrs.
Botherby, became once again effective.

The family, the ladies especially, laughed; Barney Maguire cried
"Botheration!" and _Ma'mselle Pauline_, "_Mon Dieu!_"

Charles Seaforth, unable to face the quizzing which awaited him on all
sides, started off two hours earlier than he had proposed: he soon
returned, however; and having, at his father-in-law's request, given up
the occupation of Rajah hunting and shooting Nabobs, led his blushing
bride to the altar.

Mr. Simpkinson from Bath did not attend the ceremony, being engaged
at the Grand Junction Meeting of _Sçavans_, then congregating from
all parts of the known world, in the city of Dublin. His essay,
demonstrating that the globe is a great custard, whipped into
coagulation by whirlwinds, and cooked by electricity,--a little too
much baked in the Isle of Portland, and a thought underdone about the
Bog of Allen,--is highly spoken of and, it is supposed, will obtain a
Bridgewater prize.

Miss Simpkinson and her sister acted as bridesmaids on the occasion;
the former wrote an _epithalamium_, and the latter cried "Lassy me!"
at the clergyman's wig. But as of these young ladies, of the fair
widow, Mr. Sucklethumbkin, Mrs. Peters and her P. we may have more
to say hereafter, we take our leave for the present; assuring our
pensive public that Mr. and Mrs. Seaforth are living together quite as
happily as two good-hearted, good-tempered bodies, very fond of each
other, can possibly do; and that since the day of his marriage Charles
has shown no disposition to jump out of bed, or ramble out of doors
o' nights,--though, from his entire devotion to every wish and whim
of his young wife, Tom insinuates that the fair Caroline does still
occasionally take advantage of it so far as to "slip on the Breeches."



            THE WIDE AWAKE CLUB.
            BY RIGDUM O'FUNNIDOS.

The clubs of London! I recollect once reading a book so called; but
as for any _bonâ fide_ information touching the _soi disant_ social
assemblies, I might as well have been perusing the Shaster, or reading
the Florentine copy of the Pandects! _The_ clubs of London afford, as I
have reason to know, ample material for the most abundant fun; but they
who expect to find it at Crockford's, the Athenæum, and other _maisons
de jeu_, where yawning dandies, expert _chevaliers_, old men of the
town, _roués_ of all sorts,

    Mingle, mingle, mingle,
    As they mingle may,

will be wofully disappointed. The clubs, _par excellence_, take them one
and all,--from the Oriental, stuck, with a due disposition and attention
to habits of Eastern indolence, in the dullest corner of the dullest
square in London, down to, or up to, I care not which, the staring
bow-windowed Omnibus Union in Cockspur-street,--are all alike destitute
of the requisite material. I perhaps may have a touch at them in the
middle of the session and season, when the _élite_ of the club-men
are in town, and when their sayings and doings may by possibility be
worth recording, even if it were only to have a laugh over them. But,
as Copp says, "let that pass for the present." The clubs that I intend
to introduce to the readers of the Miscellany are certain of those
convivial associations composed of the middlemen of society in the
metropolis, who assemble on certain stated nights in the week to sing
songs, smoke pipes, and imbibe moisture in the shape of divers goes of
spirit and pints of ale. My reminiscences of these assemblies, I think,
would fill a goodly tome. To begin with the last, Hebrew fashion. In was
my lot one evening, a short time since, to be introduced by Mr. Timmins,
my landlord, who, seeing I was rather low-spirited, volunteered the
invitation, on a social community called the "WIDE AWAKE CLUB."

"Sir," said Mr. Timmins,--a very worthy knight of the needle, who called
me "the genelman wot lodges in my first floor," (whether up or down the
chimney, deponent sayeth not,)--"you looks werry oncomfutable this here
nasty evening. Prowisin it ain't takin' of too great a liberty, and you
feel noways disinclined, I think an hour or two at our club--(I have the
privilege of introducing a wisitor wot I can answer for in regard to
respectability)--might do you good."

"And pray, Mr. Timmins, what is the character of your club?"--"Oh!
sir, the character of our club is _on_-doubted, sir; we are all men of
experence, sir: no one is admitted a member _on_less he shows he is a
_wide awake_ cove."

"What do you mean by a wide awake cove," said I, "Mr. Timmins?"--"Vy,"
said Timmins, "there's no von hellgibble to be a member on our society
but what gets a woucher from a member that he has a summut to say, and
prove wot has made him _wide awake_,--that is to say, more up and down
to the ways of the world than the generality of people, by experence."

"You mean, if I understand you rightly, Mr. Timmins, that your club is
one where a certain number of persons meet to spend the social hours of
relaxation in giving each other the tale of some particular event or
occurrence that has taught them to know there is more roguery in the
world than certain philanthropists would lend us to believe."--"You've
hit it, sir," said Timmins; "down as a hammer."

"Well, Timmins, I shall be happy to join you," I replied.

During our walk, in answer to certain questions, Timmins informed me
that the president of the club was a Mr. Phiggins, a retired draper;
and that the leading members were Mr. Pounce, a lawyer's clerk, Mr. Bob
Jinks, a butcher, Mr. Shortcut, a tobacconist, Mr. Sprigs, a fruiterer.
"But," said Timmins, "you'll know them all in five minutes. I don't
think this wet evening, there will be a strong muster: howsomdever, we
can console ourselves that, if not numerous, we are select."

"Very proper consolation, Timmins," said I.

When we arrived at the _Three Pies_, the sign of the house where the
club was held, Timmins went up stairs to communicate the fact of my
being below, and to assure the company that all was regular and right,
as he said; and shortly afterwards I was ushered into the presence,
and introduced to the worthies previously named. The president, a
jolly-looking man about fifty, sat in an elevated chair at the top of
a long table, which gave a goodly display of pipes, glasses of grog,
&c. On each side, the members sat at their most perfect ease, smoking
and chatting. It would appear that they had been at business some time,
for it seemed ebb-tide with the contents of the glasses; and several
worthies were in the act of knocking the ashes out of their respective
pipes. After ordering a glass of punch and a segar, and another for
Timmins, a conversation which was going on before we came in was
resumed, of which the following is a faithful report.

"That puts me in mind of M'Flummery," said Pounce, the lawyer's clerk,
putting his hand--accidentally, I suppose, of course,--into Shortcut's
open screw of tobacco, and filling his pipe therefrom; "I mean him as
was hung at the Old Bailey some ten years back."

"And what was he hung for?" asked the president.--"Why, not exactly for
his good behaviour. He set out in life as heavy a swell as ever flowed
up in the regions of the West End--carried on the game for about a dozen
years in bang-up style.--My eye! how precious drunk he made Snatch'em,
the bum, and I, one night as we pinned him coming home in his cab from
the Opera to give a champaign supper at the Clarendon."

"Champaign supper?" said the president. "Why, champaign is a wine; and
no man, I maintain, can make a supper off wine, 'coz wine is drink, and
supper, it stands to reason, is eating."

"And no mistake," said Shortcut.

"With submission, Mr. Chair," replied Pounce, "I'll explain. This
champaign supper meant a regular slap-up feed; but no one was allowed
any other drink with their grub, but champaign punch made with green tea
in a silver kettle."

"I pity their stint," said Jinks.

"Ay," said the president, "that stands to reason. But how did it happen
this gentleman came to be hanged?"--"Why," continued Pounce, "I was
a-coming to that point. As I said just now, there never was a greater
dasher at the West End than this M'Flummery; but, like many other
swells, he was very often lodging in Queer-street for the want of the
ready. One day he came to my old master Snaps, of the Temple, when I
was managing common-law clerk,--for, you see, he knew my governor well,
seeing that he had issued about fourteen writs against him. I never
shall forget the day he came: it was a precious wet 'un. He drove up to
the gate in a jarvey, and sent a porter down to our office to know if
Snaps was in, without sending his name. So Snaps sends me to see who it
was, and bring him down. When I got up to the coach, I spied M'Flummery.
'Ah! my man,' says he, quite familiar, 'how do you like champaign punch?
Here, just pay this fellow his fare,' says he, quite off-hand. 'I've no
change about me;' and off he bolts under the gateway, leaving me to fork
out an unknown man. Well! how was I to know what the Jarvey's fare was?
That was a pozer. I wasn't going to ask him, 'How much?' or where he
took up. No! I was too _wide awake_!"

"WIDE AWAKE!" said the chairman, and down went a hammer of appropriate
brass upon the table three times.

"Hear! hear! hear!" responded _omnes_.

"So I tipped two shillings. 'Vot's this for?' said coachee, holding it
open in his hand, and looking at the money in a way money ought never by
no means to be looked at. 'Your fare from the Clarendon, Bond-street,'
said I, quite stiff and chuff. 'Fare be blowed!' said he; 'my fare's
eight bob.' 'Then you shall swear it and prove it,' said I, pulling out
a handful of silver, taking his number, and giving the wink to Hobbling
Bob, one of the porters, to be witness. 'Take your demand, and we'll
meet in Essex-street on Thursday.' 'Well,' says he, 'I ought to have
eight bob--what _will_ you give me?' 'Two,' said I. 'Well,' says he, 'I
ain't a going to stand chaffing in the wet with such a ----' and then
he abused me in a way I can't repeat. 'Overcharge and insolence!' said
I. 'We'll meet again at Philippi.' 'Fillip I,' said Jarvey, driving
off, 'I should like to fillip you!' In going back to the office, I
thought I ought to charge Mr. M'Flummery the eight shillings. Taking
into consideration that I had advanced money--that I had got wet--had
been abused, and last, though not least, that there was a strong risk
touching repayment. I entered the expenditure thus: 'Coachman's demand,
eight shillings. Paid _him_.' I said _him_, not _it_, you see, for I was
_wide awake_!"

"WIDE AWAKE!" said the president, hitting the table three sonorous
clinks with the club-hummer of brass, again.

"When I got back to the office, Snaps called for me through the pipe
to come up stairs:--he always had me as a witness when he was _doing
particular business_, such as discounting a bill, bargaining for a bond,
or arranging an annuity.

"'Sort those papers,' said Snaps, scratching his left ear.

"That means 'Cock your listeners,' thought I; and I proceeded to fumble
over a bundle of old abstracts as diligently as if I was hunting for a
hundred-pound note.

"As I turned over the dusty papers, I overheard the following
conversation:

"'So you can't manage it for me any way?' said M'Flummery to Snaps.

"'I have not anything at my bankers',' answered Snaps,--(a lie, for his
was the best account of any professional man at Brookes and Dixon's, and
I had that morning paid in five hundred and eighty pounds eleven and
tenpence;)--'and, by the bye, Pounce, my confidential man, knows that.
Have I, Pounce?'

"'Not anything,' said I; 'I'll be on my oath!'

"With that M'Flummery said, 'It's cursed hard.--I must be at Newmarket
on Tuesday, and nothing less than two thousand will do for me.--So you
cannot get it on my bond or note?'

"'Money is money, and holders are firm,' said Snaps. 'What do you think
of a mortgage? You gave, if I recollect right, six thousand for the
hunting-lodge and the acres in Leicestershire.'

"'Yes!' replied M'Flummery, 'and lost it six months since in one
morning, at Graham's.'

"'The house in Park Lane?'

"'Belongs to Miss V. the rich old maid.'

"'The furniture?'

"'Is Gillow's.'

"'Your stud?'

"'I stalled at Tattersall's for six hundred advance.'

"'Your commission?'

"'Is pounded at Greenwood's for ditto.'

"'Then, in point of fact,' said Snaps, 'Mister,'--(whenever Snaps
intended to say anything uncivil, he always addressed the favoured
individual as 'Mr.')--'in point of fact, Mr. M'Flummery, you are a
beggar, possessing neither house, land, goods, or chattels, or property
of any sort, kind, or description.'

"M'Flummery bit his lips, and walked to the window, and Snaps continued,

"'How, after making the avowals you have, Mr. M'Flummery, you could have
the impudence----'

"'What do you say, wretch?' cried M'Flummery, rushing and collaring
Snaps, 'Impudence!'

"'Pounce,' cried my master, 'an assault! Call the copying-clerks up.'
But while I was in the act of summoning the scribes down the pipe,
M'Flummery relaxed his hold, and said,

"'I forgive you, Snaps! It certainly did warrant the term, after my
declarations of insolvency; but it just flashes across my mind,--how it
could have escaped me I know not,--that all is not so bad with me. I
have a chest of plate!'

"'A chest of plate!' ejaculated Snaps. 'Why, my dear sir,----'

"'A plate-chest!' said I.

"'Yes,' continued M'Flummery, 'my splendid sporting service,--quite
new,--never used,--made not six months since by Rundell and Bridge. How
could I have forgotten this!'

"'Sit down, my dear sir,' said Snaps. 'Your recollection of this
_com-plete-ly_ alters the case! Perhaps we _can_ manage the matter.'

"'But money is money, I am afraid; and holders are firm, Mr. Snaps,'
said M'Flummery, with what I thought the most devilish and malicious
laugh that ever was uttered.

"'True, true,' replied my master; 'but there is a mode of tempting even
a miser.'

"'I think there is,' said M'Flummery, just as Old Nick might have spoken
the words, and looking Snaps full in the face.

"'Where is the chest?" inquired Snaps. "There is no lien on it?' he
continued gravely. 'It is not at----"

"'My uncle's? No, no!'

"'Satisfactory so far. What might it have cost you?'--'Three thousand
pounds.'

"'And you want _two_. It is possible, my dear sir, that the matter _can_
be managed. I'll see about it directly. Call here to-morrow with the
chest, and we'll see what can be done. I'll go into the City directly.'

"'Then I may as well go with you,' said M'Flummery; 'I will look in at
Rundell's on our way, where you can assure yourself of the fact and
value of the purchase.' So saying, my master and his client went out."

"It does not yet seem clear to me," said the president, interrupting
Pounce at this period of his story, "how the gentleman came to be hung.
He seems to have been an honest man, who had more money than he thought
he had."

"No, he had not," said Pounce; "for, before he went out of the office,
I asked him for the fare of the coach. 'Oh!' said he, quite cool, 'my
little quill-driver, I'll owe you that till to-morrow.'"

"Well," resumed Pounce, after the waiter had been declared "in the
room," had "taken his orders," and gone "out of the room," and
re-entered the room with the said orders _executed_, preparatory
(paradoxical as it may read) to their being _despatched_,--"Well,"
said Pounce, "when Mr. Snaps returned in the afternoon, he said to me,
rubbing his hands, 'Pounce, it's all right! I have seen the chest of
plate. I have handled and examined every article,--solid and beautiful!
as fine a service as ever was turned out of hand.'

"'Glad to hear it, sir!' says I; 'I had my doubts;'--throwing as much
of knowingness into my look as befitted a confidential managing common
law-clerk when speaking to his governor.

"'And so had I,' said Snaps seriously: 'but what do you think, Pounce?'
and my master beckoned me close to him.

"'What _should_ I think, sir?' said I, deferentially,--'Why, he not only
bought this most splendid service of plate I ever saw--massive--solid;
but--but--'

"'Yes, sir?'--'But he actually paid for it!' said Snaps; giving me a
playful dig in the ribs with one hand, while he took a huge pinch of
snuff in the other, snapping the dust off his fingers as though so many
crackers were exploding.

"'I shouldn't have thought he was a good one for paying, Mr. Snaps,' I
replied, thinking of the fare.

"'Nor I, Pounce,' said Snaps; 'but, hark-ye, be sure you are in the way
to-morrow at three;' and we parted,--Mr. Snaps being a religious man,
and deacon of Zion Tabernacle in Jehoshaphat Terrace, to attend lecture,
and I to finish a match at bumble-puppy at the Pig and Tweezers.

"The very next day, at three, punctual came M'Flummery, and I'm blessed
if it didn't take four porters to carry the chest he brought with him.
(By the way, I may here promiscuously observe, that in the experience
of a long professional life I never knew but one case of unpunctuality
in the attendance of people who had _to receive_ money, and that was
explained by the fact of the party's dying of the cholera over night.)
The chest was duly brought up stairs, and deposited in a corner of Mr.
Snaps' private room."

"'Now, Snaps,' said M'Flummery, 'I hope you are ready with the needful
two thousand upon the nail.'--'Why, my dear sir,' said my master, 'I
have with great difficulty been able to manage _one_ thousand.'

"'Two thousand was the sum agreed for,' said M'Flummery.--'True, my dear
sir; but money is money.'

"'Ay! and holders are firm, it appears, Snaps; but look at the security;
plate will always fetch a safe and certain sum.'--'Satisfactory; truly
so, my dear sir. Most unquestionable; but----'

"'Come, we are losing time. In a word, put fifteen hundred down on
the desk, and we close; if not, I'm off to old Lombard.'--'Say twelve
hundred,' cried Snaps, 'and I'll see what I can do.'

"'Fifteen,' said M'Flummery.--'It will not leave me a farthing,' said
Snaps; 'and if I do find the odd five hundred, it must be added to the
bond.'

"'Well! add it, and be d--d to you, Shylock the second!' said
M'Flummery; 'you shall have your bond;' and he burst out into what I
considered an unnecessary loud laugh.

"The money was counted, and the bond drawn out.

"'But, now,' said my master, 'if you please, you'll pardon me, my
dear sir; but, in order that there may be no mistake, you will let my
confidential clerk, Pounce, take a view of the contents of the chest.'

"'Most certainly,' said M'Flummery; and, unlocking it, he desired me to
see if the articles corresponded with the inventory.

"I did so, and found that my master gave an approving look. After
lifting up the several trays, and handling and examining some four or
five articles, M'Flummery, turning to Snaps, said,

"'Are you satisfied, Mr. Snaps?'

"'Quite so,' said my master.

"'Then there only remains one thing to satisfy me,' said M'Flummery,
locking the box and padlocks. 'This box will be in your possession for
eighteen months as security; but, as I do not wish to have _my plate
hired out_ or _used_, you will pardon me, Mr. Snaps,--I only say this in
order, as you observed, that there may be 'no mistake,'--I will put my
seal upon the chest, and keep the key!'

"'The key!' said Snaps; 'my dear sir!'

"'Why,' said M'Flummery, 'what do you want with the key? You have the
power at the end of eighteen months to break open the chest, and sell
the plate, in default of payment; but you have no power over the plate
till then. What, therefore, do _you_ want with the key?'

"Snaps was beginning to say something; but M'Flummery stopped him short
by saying, 'It is a bargain, or it is not, Mr. Snaps. I seal the chest,
and keep the key.'

"'Very well,' said Snaps, looking very much like a tiger that had
suddenly lost sight of his dinner.

"This was accordingly done, the bond signed, and the money handed over;
and M'Flummery shook hands with my master, saying,

"'Snaps, you are a cunning fellow!'

"'Oh! my dear sir,' said my master, attempting to blush,--a feat, by the
way, he never accomplished during his life that I know of.

"'But I recollect,' continued M'Flummery, 'an old fisherman telling me,
when I was a boy, that, deep as some fishes were in the sea, there were
always others that swam just as deep. Good-b'ye, old Shylock! you shall
have your bond.' So saying, he left.

"I confess, this curious remark so astonished me that I quite forgot
at the moment to ask for the fare of the coach. My master also seemed
struck with the observation.

"'What can he mean?' said Snaps; 'surely there is nothing wrong? Pooh!
pooh! impossible! There is the chest, and possession is nine points of
the law.'

"'The first of the maxims, sir,' said I."

Here Pounce paused, filled his pipe, and emptied his tumbler of grog
into that depository where grog had gone in _goes_ for years and years.

"Well!" said the president, "may I be spiflicated,--ay, and
exspiflicated,--if you have not been humbugging us, Pounce, with a
pretty piece of bam! What the deuce has all that you have said to do
with the fact of the gentleman being hanged?"

"Everything," cried Pounce.

"I say _nothing_," said the president.

"So do I," followed Shortcut.

"Everything, I maintain," rejoined the lawyer's clerk; "_for_ six months
afterwards his words came true."

"Whose?" shouted several of the company.

"M'Flummery's," said Pounce; "he proved himself as deep and deeper than
Snaps. He was a _wide awake one_!"

"WIDE AWAKE!" said the chairman; and down went the directing sceptre,
with the customary clink.

"Hear! hear! hear!" resounded through the room.

"Yes," continued Pounce; "about six months after, and about five in
the evening, a man came into the office, looking as like a turnkey or
Bow-street runner as any of you gentlemen might ever have known in your
life. He asked to see Mr. Snaps.

"Just as I was preparing to give my master a hint by one of the
writing-clerks to be on his guard, who should walk into the office but
Snaps himself?

"'I believe your name is Snaps?' said the hang-gallows-looking messenger.

"Snaps was rather near-sighted, and it was getting dark, so that he did
not see the winks and nods of the head I was giving him.

"'My name _is_ Snaps,' he answered.

"'You're done,' thought I.

"'Then you are the person I am to give this letter to,' says the man.

"Snaps took the letter,--and, strange to say, it _was_ a letter,--coolly
read it, and, folding it up, said, to my great relief, 'Tell the
prisoner I shall attend;' and off went Grimgruffinhoff with his answer.

"'M'Flummery is in Newgate for passing forged notes;' said my master,
taking a pinch of snuff. 'I thought he would be jugged some day,' he
said, with a half-laugh. 'He wants to see me to-morrow morning about
business of the greatest importance to _me_. What can he have to say to
_me_?'

"'Ay, indeed!' said I, 'what sir?'

"'It is as well that I should go,' said my master, 'for there may be
something----'

"'True,' said I, 'there may be.'

"The next morning we went to Newgate, which is not the most pleasant
lodging in that neighbourhood, although you have it in the biggest
house, and they charge you nothing for the apartments. When we entered
the prisoner's cell, he was busy writing.

"'Snaps!' said he, 'I'm glad to see you here!'

"'I am sorry I cannot return the compliment,' said my master.

"'Never mind,' said M'Flummery; 'every dog has his day.'

"'And then he is hanged,' said Snaps, drily, taking a pinch of snuff.

"M'Flummery here gave a spasmodic groan, and exclaimed, 'As little
reference to my present condition as possible, Mr. Snaps. It was not
about myself that I requested your visit, but touching matters in which
you alone are interested.'

"'Well, sir; and here I am," said Mr. Snaps. 'To tell you the truth,
I do not feel myself very comfortable in the place, so I shall feel
obliged by your stating the nature of your business with me as briefly
as possible.'

"'I will,' said the prisoner, with a demonic look. 'You have, or _rather
think you have_, Mr. Snaps, a chest of plate.'

"'What!' shrieked my master. 'Is it not silver? Have you cheated me?'

"'You have often robbed me, Mr. Snaps,' was the reply; 'I but returned
the compliment. That which you believe is silver plate, manufactured
by Rundell and Bridge, was made at Sheffield, and cost me two hundred
pounds.'

"Snaps groaned, and hid his face.

"'It is true I did buy a service from those eminent goldsmiths; but,
after the Sheffield firm had copied the pattern, I pledged it with old
Lombard, the pawnbroker. It was redeemed for a day to satisfy you, Mr.
Snaps, and then repledged. The Earl of A. bought the duplicate, and now
has the real property, of which you have the counterfeit service.'

"'You are a cursed villain,' said my master; 'and thank Heaven! you will
be hanged!'

"'Only that a felon's cell in Newgate is not the most fit place to bandy
compliments in, I should willingly aspirate the same of you, Snaps!"

"'And was it to tell me this, you atrocious scoundrel, that you sent for
me?' said my master.

"'Not exactly,' answered M'Flummery; 'not exactly, Snaps; I want you to
do me a favour.'

"'Was there ever such audacity?' said Snaps. 'Ask me to do you a favour!
You, who have told me to my face that you have swindled, cheated,
plundered, robbed me! A favour! Come Pounce,' he added, turning to me,
'let us be gone.'

"'Stay!' said the prisoner; 'you have said I shall be hanged!'

"'Ay, as sure as fate!'

"'My fate is death, I know; but not perhaps by hanging. I have potent
interest at work for me at this moment; and, though sure of conviction,
I may yet get the sentence of death commuted to transportation for
life, and you would not like that would you, Snaps? You wish me
dead--dead--dead!'

"After an inward struggle my master muttered out, 'I do.'

"'Then, Mr. Clerk,' said M'Flummery, in a deep whisper, handing me
secretly a small sealed paper, 'be so good as to open this, when you
get outside these walls, and give it to your master.' Then, aloud to
Snaps, 'My business with you, _sir_, is finished.' So saying, he resumed
writing; and I led my master, who was trembling with agitation, revenge,
and passion, out of the cell and prison.

"When we got into a coach, I produced the paper, and mentioned to my
master what M'Flummery had said. With trembling hand he opened it, and
read the following:

"'Your soul burns with revenge. You wish me dead. It is my desire also
to die. There is a strong probability that I shall not undergo the last
punishment of the law. If you would render my death certain, and feed
your revenge, send me, in a small phial, an ounce of prussic acid:
and the bearer of your welcome gift shall carry back the fact that
M'Flummery the swindler, highwayman, and forger,--M'Flummery, who has
cheated all through life, has terminated his career by cheating the law!'

"I shall never to my dying day forget the face of Snaps when he read
this. He did not say a word; and we sat silent till we got back to the
office. My master went up stairs, saying to me, 'Pounce, be silent as
the grave! and be ready when I call for you.' Shortly afterwards I heard
a loud hammering in his room. 'He's breaking open the chest,' said I;
and true enough he was. Curiosity led me up stairs; and, on entering the
room, there was Snaps, standing aghast over the open chest, with some
broken tea-spoons in his hand.

"'The villain has told the truth,' said he. 'The contents of the chest
are not worth fifty pounds. I thought I had taken every precaution; but
I find I was not sufficiently _wide awake_.'"

"WIDE AWAKE!" said the chairman, and down went the hammer.

"Hear! hear! hear!" chorused the company.

"And ever since then, gentlemen," said Pounce, "I have always had my
eyes open when doing a bill, when I had plate, the best of all possible
security."

"But what became of M'Flummery?" asked Bob Jinks.

"Ay!" said the president, "when was he hanged?"

"He wasn't hanged at all," replied Pounce.

"I'm blowed," said the chairman, "if I didn't think so, all along."

"_How_ he got it I do not pretend to know," said Pounce, blowing his
nose, and looking aside, "but the very next day after we had paid him
a visit, he was found dead on his bed, with a small empty phial, that
smelt strongly of prussic acid, clenched in his fist."

The clock here stuck twelve, the hour at which the club disperses
according to the rules; so Timmins and I toddled home.



             OUR SONG OF THE MONTH.
          No. III. March, 1837.

                        I.
    March, March! why the de'il don't you march
      Faster than other months out of your order?
    You're a horrible beast, with the wind from the East,
      And high-hopping hail and slight sleet on your border:
    Now, our umbrellas spread, flutter above our head,
      And will not stand to our arms in good order;
    While, flapping and tearing, they set a man swearing
      Round the corner, where blasts blow away half the border!

                       II.
    March, March! I am ready to faint
      That St. Patrick had not his nativity's casting;
    I am sure, if he had, such a peaceable lad
      Would have never been born amid blowing and blasting:
    But as it was his fate, Irishmen emulate
      Doing what Doom, or St. Paddy may order;
    And if they're forced to fight through their wrongs for their right,
      They'll stick to their flag while a thread's in its border.

                      III.
    March, March! have you no feeling,
      E'en for the fair sex who make us knock under?
    You cold-blooded divil, you're far more uncivil
      Than Summer himself, with his terrible thunder!
    Every day we meet ladies down Regent-street,
      Holding their handkerchiefs up in good order;
    But, do all that we can, the most merciful man
      _Must_ see the blue noses peep over the border.
                                                 S. LOVER.



      OLIVER TWIST; OR, THE PARISH BOY'S PROGRESS.
                       BY BOZ.
           ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.


                   CHAPTER THE THIRD

    RELATES HOW OLIVER TWIST WAS VERY NEAR GETTING A PLACE,
            WHICH WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SINECURE.

For a week after the commission of the impious and profane offence
of asking for more, Oliver remained a close prisoner in the dark and
solitary room to which he had been consigned by the wisdom and mercy
of the board. It appears, at first sight, not unreasonable to suppose,
that, if he had entertained a becoming feeling of respect for the
prediction of the gentleman in the white waistcoat, he would have
established that sage individual's prophetic character, once and for
ever, by tying one end of his pocket handkerchief to a hook in the wall,
and attaching himself to the other. To the performance of this feat,
however, there was one obstacle, namely, that pocket handkerchiefs being
decided articles of luxury, had been, for all future times and ages,
removed from the noses of paupers by the express order of the board
in council assembled, solemnly given and pronounced under their hands
and seals. There was a still greater obstacle in Oliver's youth and
childishness. He only cried bitterly all day; and when the long, dismal
night came on, he spread his little hands before his eyes to shut out
the darkness, and crouching in the corner, tried to sleep, ever and anon
waking with a start and tremble, and drawing himself closer and closer
to the wall, as if to feel even its cold hard surface were a protection
in the gloom and loneliness which surrounded him.

Let it not be supposed by the enemies of "the system," that, during the
period of his solitary incarceration, Oliver was denied the benefit
of exercise, the pleasure of society, or the advantages of religious
consolation. As for exercise, it was nice cold weather, and he was
allowed to perform his ablutions every morning under the pump, in a
stone yard, in the presence of Mr. Bumble, who prevented his catching
cold, and caused a tingling sensation to pervade his frame, by repeated
applications of the cane; as for society, he was carried every other
day into the hall where the boys dined, and there sociably flogged as a
public warning and example; and, so far from being denied the advantages
of religious consolation, he was kicked into the same apartment every
evening at prayer-time, and there permitted to listen to, and console
his mind with, a general supplication of the boys, containing a special
clause therein inserted by the authority of the board, in which they
entreated to be made good, virtuous, contented, and obedient, and to be
guarded

   [Illustration: Oliver escapes being bound apprentice to the Sweep]

from the sins and vices of Oliver Twist, whom the supplication
distinctly set forth to be under the exclusive patronage and protection
of the powers of wickedness, and an article direct from the manufactory
of the devil himself.

It chanced one morning, while Oliver's affairs were in this auspicious
and comfortable state, that Mr. Gamfield, chimney-sweeper, was wending
his way adown the High-street, deeply cogitating in his mind, his
ways and means of paying certain arrears of rent, for which his
landlord had become rather pressing. Mr. Gamfield's most sanguine
calculation of funds could not raise them within full five pounds of
the desired amount; and, in a species of arithmetical desperation, he
was alternately cudgelling his brains and his donkey, when, passing the
workhouse, his eyes encountered the bill on the gate.

"Woo!" said Mr. Gamfield, to the donkey.

The donkey was in a state of profound abstraction,--wondering, probably,
whether he was destined to be regaled with a cabbage-stalk or two, when
he had disposed of the two sacks of soot with which the little cart was
laden; so, without noticing the word of command, he jogged onwards.

Mr. Gamfield growled a fierce imprecation on the donkey generally,
but more particularly on his eyes; and, running after him, bestowed a
blow on his head which would inevitably have beaten in any skull but a
donkey's; then, catching hold of the bridle, he gave his jaw a sharp
wrench, by way of gentle reminder that he was not his own master: and,
having by these means turned him round, he gave him another blow on the
head, just to stun him till he came back again; and, having done so,
walked up to the gate to read the bill.

The gentleman with the white waistcoat was standing at the gate with
his hands behind him, after having delivered himself of some profound
sentiments in the board-room. Having witnessed the little dispute
between Mr. Gamfield and the donkey, he smiled joyously when that person
came up to read the bill, for he saw at once that Mr. Gamfield was just
exactly the sort of master Oliver Twist wanted. Mr. Gamfield smiled,
too, as he perused the document, for five pounds was just the sum he had
been wishing for; and, as to the boy with which it was encumbered, Mr.
Gamfield, knowing what the dietary of the workhouse was, well knew he
would be a nice small pattern, just the very thing for register stoves.
So he spelt the bill through again, from beginning to end; and then,
touching his fur cap in token of humility, accosted the gentleman in the
white waistcoat.

"This here boy, sir, wot the parish wants to 'prentis," said Mr.
Gamfield.

"Yes, my man," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat, with a
condescending smile, "what of him?"

"If the parish vould like him to learn a light, pleasant trade, in a
good 'spectable chimbley-sweepin' bisness," said Mr. Gamfield, "I wants
a 'prentis, and I'm ready to take him."

"Walk in," said the gentlemen with the white waistcoat. And Mr. Gamfield
having lingered behind, to give the donkey another blow on the head, and
another wrench of the jaw as a caution not to run away in his absence,
followed the gentleman with the white waistcoat, into the room where
Oliver had first seen him.

"It's a nasty trade," said Mr. Limbkins, when Gamfield had again stated
his wish.

"Young boys have been smothered in chimneys, before now," said another
gentleman.

"That's acause they damped the straw afore they lit it in the chimbley
to make 'em come down again," said Gamfield; "that's all smoke, and no
blaze; vereas smoke ain't o' no use at all in makin' a boy come down; it
only sinds him to sleep, and that's wot he likes. Boys is wery obstinit,
and wery lazy, gen'lm'n, and there's nothink like a good hot blaze to
make 'em come down vith a run; it's humane too, gen'lm'n, acause, even
if they've stuck in the chimbley, roastin' their feet makes 'em struggle
to hextricate theirselves."

The gentleman in the white waistcoat appeared very much amused with
this explanation; but his mirth was speedily checked by a look from
Mr. Limbkins. The board then proceeded to converse among themselves
for a few minutes; but in so low a tone that the words "saving of
expenditure," "look well in the accounts," "have a printed report
published," were alone audible: and they only chanced to be heard on
account of their being very frequently repeated with great emphasis.

At length the whispering ceased, and the members of the board having
resumed their seats, and their solemnity, Mr. Limbkins said,

"We have considered your proposition, and we don't approve of it."

"Not at all," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat.

"Decidedly not," added the other members.

As Mr. Gamfield did happen to labour under the slight imputation of
having bruised three or four boys to death, already, it occurred to him
that the board had perhaps, in some unaccountable freak, taken it into
their heads that this extraneous circumstance ought to influence their
proceedings. It was very unlike their general mode of doing business, if
they had; but still, as he had no particular wish to revive the rumour,
he twisted his cap in his hands, and walked slowly from table.

"So you won't let me have him, gen'lmen," said Mr. Gamfield, pausing
near the door.

"No," replied Mr. Limbkins; "at least, as it's a nasty business, we
think you ought to take something less than the premium we offered."

Mr. Gamfield's countenance brightened, as, with a quick step he returned
to the table, and said,

"What'll you give, gen'lmen, however this page all spelt as shown? Come,
don't be too hard on a poor man. What'll you give?"

"I should say three pound ten was plenty," said Mr. Limbkins.

"Ten shillings too much," said the gentleman in the white waistcoat.

"Come," said Gamfield; "say four pound, gen'lmen. Say four pound, and
you've got rid of him for good and all. There!"

"Three pound ten," repeated Mr. Limbkins, firmly.

"Come, I'll split the difference, gen'lmen," urged Gamfield.
"Three pound fifteen."

"Not a farthing more," was the firm reply of Mr. Limbkins.

"You're desp'rate hard upon me, gen'lmen," said Gamfield, wavering.

"Pooh! pooh! nonsense!" said the gentlemen in the white waistcoat. "He'd
be cheap with nothing at all, as a premium. Take him, you silly fellow!
He's just the boy for you. He wants the stick now and then; it'll do
him good; and his board needn't come very expensive, for he hasn't been
overfed since he was born. Ha! ha! ha!"

Mr. Gamfield gave an arch look at the faces round the table, and,
observing a smile on all of them, gradually broke into a smile himself.
The bargain was made, and Mr. Bumble was at once instructed that Oliver
Twist and his indentures were to be conveyed before the magistrate for
signature and approval, that very afternoon.

In pursuance of this determination, little Oliver, to his excessive
astonishment, was released from bondage, and ordered to put himself
into a clean shirt. He had hardly achieved this very unusual gymnastic
performance, when Mr. Bumble brought him with his own hands, a basin of
gruel, and the holiday allowance of two ounces and a quarter of bread;
at sight of which Oliver began to cry very piteously, thinking, not
unnaturally, that the board must have determined to kill him for some
useful purpose, or they never would have begun to fatten him up in this
way.

"Don't make your eyes red, Oliver, but eat your food, and be thankful,"
said Mr. Bumble, in a tone of impressive pomposity. "You're a-going to
be made a 'prentice of, Oliver."

"A 'prentice, sir!" said the child, trembling.

"Yes, Oliver," said Mr. Bumble. "The kind and blessed gentlemen which
is so many parents to you, Oliver, when you have none of your own, are
a-going to 'prentice you, and to set you up in life, and make a man of
you, although the expence to the parish is three pound ten!--three pound
ten, Oliver!--seventy shillin's!--one hundred and forty sixpences!--and
all for a naughty orphan which nobody can love."

As Mr. Bumble paused to take breath after delivering this address, in an
awful voice, the tears rolled down the poor child's face, and he sobbed
bitterly.

"Come," said Mr. Bumble, somewhat less pompously; for it was gratifying
to his feelings to observe the effect his eloquence had produced. "Come,
Oliver, wipe your eyes with the cuffs of your jacket, and don't cry into
your gruel; that's a very foolish action, Oliver." It certainly was, for
there was quite enough water in it already.

On their way to the magistrate's, Mr. Bumble instructed Oliver that
all he would have to do, would be to look very happy, and say, when
the gentleman asked him if he wanted to be apprenticed, that he should
like it very much indeed; both of which injunctions Oliver promised to
obey, the more readily as Mr. Bumble threw in a gentle hint, that if he
failed in either particular, there was no telling what would be done to
him. When they arrived at the office, he was shut up in a little room by
himself and admonished by Mr. Bumble to stay there, until he came back
to fetch him.

There the boy remained with a palpitating heart for half an hour, at the
expiration of which time Mr. Bumble thrust in his head, unadorned with
the cocked-hat, and said aloud,

"Now, Oliver, my dear, come to the gentleman." As Mr. Bumble said this,
he put on a grim and threatening look, and added in a low voice, "Mind
what I told you, you young rascal."

Oliver stared innocently in Mr. Bumble's face at this somewhat
contradictory style of address; but that gentleman prevented his
offering any remark thereupon, by leading him at once into an adjoining
room, the door of which was open. It was a large room with a great
window; and behind a desk sat two old gentlemen with powdered heads,
one of whom was reading the newspaper, while the other was perusing,
with the aid of a pair of tortoise-shell spectacles, a small piece of
parchment which lay before him. Mr. Limbkins was standing in front of
the desk, on one side; and Mr. Gamfield, with a partially washed face,
on the other; while two or three bluff-looking men in top-boots were
lounging about.

The old gentleman with the spectacles gradually dozed off, over the
little bit of parchment; and there was a short pause after Oliver had
been stationed by Mr. Bumble in front of the desk.

"This is the boy, your worship," said Mr. Bumble.

The old gentleman who was reading the newspaper raised his head for a
moment, and pulled the other old gentleman by the sleeve, whereupon the
last-mentioned old gentleman woke up.

"Oh, is this the boy?" said the old gentleman.

"This is him, sir," replied Mr. Bumble. "Bow to the magistrate, my dear."

Oliver roused himself, and made his best obeisance. He had been
wondering, with his eyes fixed on the magistrates' powder, whether all
boards were born with that white stuff on their heads, and were boards
from thenceforth, on that account.

"Well," said the old gentleman, "I suppose he's fond of
chimney-sweeping?"

"He dotes on it, your worship," replied Bumble, giving Oliver a sly
pinch, to intimate that he had better not say he didn't.

"And he _will_ be a sweep, will he?" inquired the old gentleman.

"If we was to bind him to any other trade to-morrow, he'd run away
simultaneously, your worship," replied Bumble.

"And this man that's to be his master,--you, sir,--you'll treat him
well, and feed him, and do all that sort of thing,--will you?" said the
old gentleman.

"When I says I will, I means I will," replied Mr. Gamfield doggedly.

"You're a rough speaker, my friend, but you look an honest, open-hearted
man," said the old gentleman, turning his spectacles in the direction of
the candidate for Oliver's premium, whose villanous countenance was a
regular stamped receipt for cruelty. But the magistrate was half blind,
and half childish, so he couldn't reasonably be expected to discern what
other people did.

"I hope I am, sir," said Mr. Gamfield with an ugly leer.

"I have no doubt you are, my friend," replied the old gentleman, fixing
his spectacles more firmly on his nose, and looking about him for the
inkstand.

It was the critical moment of Oliver's fate. If the inkstand had been
where the old gentleman thought it was, he would have dipped his
pen into it and signed the indentures, and Oliver would have been
straightway hurried off. But, as it chanced to be immediately under his
nose, it followed as a matter of course that he looked all over his desk
for it, without finding it; and happening in the course of his search
to look straight before him, his encountered the pale and terrified
face of Oliver Twist, who, despite all the admonitory looks and pinches
of Bumble, was regarding the very repulsive countenance of his future
master with a mingled expression of horror and fear, too palpable to be
mistaken even by a half-blind magistrate.

The old gentleman stopped, laid down his pen, and looked from Oliver
to Mr. Limbkins, who attempted to take snuff with a cheerful and
unconcerned aspect.

"My boy," said the old gentleman, leaning over the desk. Oliver started
at the sound,--he might be excused for doing so, for the words were
kindly said, and strange sounds frighten one. He trembled violently, and
burst into tears.

"My boy," said the old gentleman, "you look pale and alarmed. What is
the matter?"

"Stand a little away from him, beadle," said the other magistrate,
laying aside the paper, and leaning forward with an expression of some
interest. "Now, boy, tell us what's the matter: don't be afraid."

Oliver fell on his knees, and, clasping his hands together, prayed that
they would order him back to the dark room,--that they would starve
him--beat him--kill him if they pleased--rather than send him away, with
that dreadful man.

"Well!" said Mr. Bumble, raising his hands and eyes with most impressive
solemnity,--"Well! of _all_ the artful and designing orphans that ever I
see, Oliver, you are one of the most bare-facedest."

"Hold your tongue, beadle," said the second old gentleman, when Mr.
Bumble had given vent to this compound adjective.

"I beg your worship's pardon," said Mr. Bumble, incredulous of his
having heard aright,--"did your worship speak to me?"

"Yes--hold your tongue."

Mr. Bumble was stupified with astonishment. A beadle ordered to hold his
tongue! A moral revolution.

The old gentleman in the tortoise-shell spectacles looked at his
companion: he nodded significantly.

"We refuse to sanction these indentures," said the old gentleman,
tossing aside the piece of parchment as he spoke.

"I hope," stammered Mr. Limbkins,--"I hope the magistrates will not
form the opinion that the authorities have been guilty of any improper
conduct, on the unsupported testimony of a mere child."

"The magistrates are not called upon to pronounce any opinion on the
matter," said the second old gentleman sharply. "Take the boy back to
the workhouse, and treat him kindly. He seems to want it."

That same evening the gentleman in the white waistcoat most positively
and decidedly affirmed, not only that Oliver would be hung, but that
he would be drawn and quartered into the bargain. Mr. Bumble shook his
head with gloomy mystery, and said he wished he might come to good; to
which Mr. Gamfield replied, that he wished he might come to him, which,
although he agreed with the beadle in most matters, would seem to be a
wish of a totally opposite description.

The next morning the public were once more informed that Oliver Twist
was again to let, and that five pounds would be paid to anybody who
would take possession of him.


                    CHAPTER THE FOURTH.

         OLIVER, BEING OFFERED ANOTHER PLACE, MAKES HIS
                 FIRST ENTRY INTO PUBLIC LIFE.

In great families, when an advantageous place cannot be obtained, either
in possession, reversion, remainder, or expectancy, for the young man
who is growing up, it is a very general custom to send him to sea. The
board, in imitation of so wise and salutary an example, took counsel
together on the expediency of shipping off Oliver Twist in some small
trading vessel bound to a good unhealthy port, which suggested itself
as the very best thing that could possibly be done with him; the
probability being, that the skipper would either flog him to death, in
a playful mood, some day after dinner, or knock his brains out with
an iron bar,--both pastimes being, as is pretty generally known, very
favourite and common recreations among gentlemen of that class. The
more the case presented itself to the board, in this point of view, the
more manifold the advantages of the step appeared; so they came to the
conclusion that the only way of providing for Oliver effectually, was to
send him to sea without delay.

Mr. Bumble had been despatched to make various preliminary inquiries,
with the view of finding out some captain or other who wanted a
cabin-boy without any friends; and was returning to the workhouse to
communicate the result of his mission, when he encountered just at the
gate no less a person than Mr. Sowerberry, the parochial undertaker.

Mr. Sowerberry was a tall, gaunt, large-jointed man, attired in a suit
of threadbare black, with darned cotton stockings of the same colour,
and shoes to answer. His features were not naturally intended to wear
a smiling aspect, but he was in general rather given to professional
jocosity; his step was elastic, and his face betokened inward
pleasantry, as he advanced to Mr. Bumble and shook him cordially by the
hand.

"I have taken the measure of the two women that died last night, Mr.
Bumble," said the undertaker.

"You'll make your fortune, Mr. Sowerberry," said the beadle, as he
thrust his thumb and forefinger into the proffered snuff-box of the
undertaker, which was an ingenious little model of a patent coffin. "I
say you'll make your fortune, Mr. Sowerberry," repeated Mr. Bumble,
tapping the undertaker on the shoulder in a friendly manner, with his
cane.

"Think so?" the undertaker in a tone which half admitted and half
disputed the probability of the event. "The prices allowed by the board
are very small, Mr. Bumble."

"So are the coffins," replied the beadle, with precisely as near an
approach to a laugh as a great official ought to indulge in.

Mr. Sowerberry was much tickled at this, as of course he ought to be,
and laughed a long time without cessation, "Well, well, Mr. Bumble,"
he said at length, "there's no denying that, since the new system
of feeding has come in, the coffins are something narrower and more
shallow than they used to be; but we must have some profit, Mr. Bumble.
Well-seasoned timber is an expensive article, sir; and all the iron
bundles come by canal from Birmingham."

"Well, well," said Mr. Bumble, "every trade has its drawbacks, and a
fair profit is of course allowable."

"Of course, of course," replied the undertaker; "and if I don't get a
profit upon this or that particular article, why, I make it up in the
long run, you see--he! he! he!"

"Just so," said Mr. Bumble.

"Though I must say,"--continued the undertaker, resuming the current
of observations which the beadle had interrupted,--"though I must say,
Mr. Bumble, that I have to contend against one very great disadvantage,
which is, that all the stout people go off the quickest--I mean that the
people who have been better off; and have paid rates for many years, are
the first to sink when they come into the house; and let me tell you,
Mr. Bumble, that three or four inches over one's calculation makes a
great hole in one's profits, especially when one has a family to provide
for, sir."

As Mr. Sowerberry said this, with the becoming indignation of an
ill-used man, and as Mr. Bumble felt that it rather tended to convey a
reflection on the honour of the parish, the latter gentleman thought it
advisable to change the subject; and Oliver Twist being uppermost in his
mind, he made him his theme.

"By the bye," said Mr. Bumble, "you don't know anybody who wants a
boy, do you--a porochial 'prentis, who is at present a dead-weight,--a
millstone, as I may say--round the porochial throat? Liberal terms, Mr.
Sowerberry--liberal terms;"--and, as Mr. Bumble spoke, he raised his
cane to the bill above him, and gave three distinct raps upon the words
"five pounds," which were printed therein in Roman capitals of gigantic
size.

"Gadso!" said the undertaker, taking Mr. Bumble by the gilt-edged lappel
of his official coat; "that's just the very thing I wanted to speak to
you about. You know--dear me, what a very elegant button this is, Mr.
Bumble; I never noticed it before."

"Yes, I think it is rather pretty," said the beadle, glancing proudly
downwards at the large brass buttons which embellished his coat. "The
die is the same as the parochial seal,--the Good Samaritan healing
the sick and bruised man. The board presented it to me on New-year's
morning, Mr. Sowerberry. I put it on, I remember, for the first time, to
attend the inquest on that reduced tradesman who died in a doorway at
midnight."

"I recollect," said the undertaker. "The jury brought in 'Died
from exposure to the cold, and want of the common necessaries of
life,'--didn't they?"

Mr. Bumble nodded.

"And they made it a special verdict, I think," said the undertaker, "by
adding some words to the effect, that if the relieving officer had----"

"Tush--foolery!" interposed the beadle angrily. "If the board attended
to all the nonsense that ignorant jurymen talk, they'd have enough to
do."

"Very true," said the undertaker; "they would indeed."

"Juries," said Mr. Bumble, grasping his cane tightly, as was his wont
when working into a passion,--"juries is ineddicated, vulgar, grovelling
wretches."

"So they are," said the undertaker.

"They haven't no more philosophy or political economy about 'em than
that," said the beadle, snapping his fingers contemptuously.

"No more they have," acquiesced the undertaker.

"I despise 'em," said the beadle, growing very red in the face.

"So do I," rejoined the undertaker.

"And I only wish we'd a jury of the independent sort in the house for a
week or two," said the beadle; "the rules and regulations of the board
would soon bring their spirit down for them."

"Let 'em alone for that," replied the undertaker. So saying, he smiled
approvingly to calm the rising wrath of the indignant parish officer.

Mr. Bumble lifted off his cocked-hat, took a handkerchief from the
inside of the crown, wiped from his forehead the perspiration which his
rage had engendered, fixed the cocked-hat on again; and, turning to the
undertaker, said in a calmer voice,

"Well, what about the boy?"

"Oh!" replied the undertaker; "why, you know, Mr. Bumble, I pay a good
deal towards the poor's rates."

"Hem!" said Mr. Bumble. "Well?"

"Well," replied the undertaker, "I was thinking that if I pay so much
towards 'em, I've a right to get as much out of 'em as I can, Mr.
Bumble; and so--and so--I think I'll take the boy myself."

Mr. Bumble grasped the undertaker by the arm, and led him into the
building. Mr. Sowerberry was closeted with the board for five minutes,
and then it was arranged that Oliver should go to him that evening "upon
liking,"--a phrase which means, in the case of a parish apprentice, that
if the master find, upon a short trial, that he can get enough work out
of a boy without putting too much food in him, he shall have him for a
term of years, to do what he likes with.

When little Oliver was taken before "the gentlemen" that evening,
and informed that he was to go that night as general house-lad to a
coffin-maker's, and that if he complained of his situation, or ever came
back to the parish again, he would be sent to sea, there to be drowned,
or knocked on the head, as the case might be, he evinced so little
emotion, that they by common consent pronounced him a hardened young
rascal, and ordered Mr. Bumble to remove him forthwith.

Now, although it was very natural that the board, of all people in the
world, should feel in a great state of virtuous astonishment and horror
at the smallest tokens of want of feeling on the part of anybody, they
were rather out, in this particular instance. The simple fact was, that
Oliver, instead of possessing too little feeling, possessed rather
too much, and was in a fair way of being reduced to a state of brutal
stupidity and sullenness for life, by the ill usage he had received. He
heard the news of his destination in perfect silence, and, having had
his luggage put into his hand,--which was not very difficult to carry,
inasmuch as it was all comprised within the limits of a brown paper
parcel, about half a foot square by three inches deep,--he pulled his
cap over his eyes, and once more attaching himself to Mr. Bumble's coat
cuff, was led away by that dignitary to a new scene of suffering.

For some time Mr. Bumble drew Oliver along, without notice or remark,
for the beadle carried his head very erect, as a beadle always should;
and, it being a windy day, little Oliver was completely enshrouded by
the skirts of Mr. Bumble's coat as they blew open, and disclosed to
great advantage his flapped waistcoat and drab plush knee-breeches.
As they drew near to their destination, however, Mr. Bumble thought
it expedient to look down and see that the boy was in good order for
inspection by his new master, which he accordingly did, with a fit and
becoming air of gracious patronage.

"Oliver!" said Mr. Bumble.

"Yes, sir," replied Oliver, in a low, tremulous voice.

"Pull that cap off of your eyes, and hold up your head, sir."

Although Oliver did as he was desired at once, and passed the back of
his unoccupied hand briskly across his eyes, he left a tear in them
when he looked up at his conductor. As Mr. Bumble gazed sternly upon
him, it rolled down his cheek. It was followed by another, and another.
The child made a strong effort, but it was an unsuccessful one; and,
withdrawing his other hand from Mr. Bumble's, he covered his face with
both, and wept till the tears sprung out from between his thin and bony
fingers.

"Well!" exclaimed Mr. Bumble, stopping short, and darting at his little
charge a look of intense malignity,--"well, of _all_ the ungratefullest,
and worst-disposed boys as ever I see, Oliver, you are the----"

"No, no, sir," sobbed Oliver, clinging to the hand which held the
well-known cane; "no, no, sir; I will be good indeed; indeed, indeed, I
will, sir! I am a very little boy, sir; and it is so--so--"

"So what?" inquired Mr. Bumble in amazement.

"So lonely, sir--so very lonely," cried the child. "Everybody hates me.
Oh! sir, don't be cross to me. I feel as if I had been cut here, sir,
and it was all bleeding away;" and the child beat his hand upon his
heart, and looked into his companion's face with tears of real agony.

Mr. Bumble regarded Oliver's piteous and helpless look with some
astonishment for a few seconds, hemmed three or four times in a husky
manner, and, after muttering something about "that troublesome cough,"
bid Oliver dry his eyes and be a good boy; and, once more taking his
hand, walked on with him in silence.

The undertaker had just put up the shutters of his shop, and was making
some entries in his day-book by the light of a most appropriately dismal
candle, when Mr. Bumble entered.

"Aha!" said the undertaker, looking up from the book, and pausing in the
middle of a word; "is that you, Bumble?"

"No one else, Mr. Sowerberry," replied the beadle. "Here, I've brought
the boy." Oliver made a bow.

"Oh! that's the boy, is it?" said the undertaker, raising the candle
above his head to get a full glimpse of Oliver. "Mrs. Sowerberry! will
you come here a moment, my dear?"

Mrs. Sowerberry emerged from a little room behind the shop, and
presented the form of a short, thin, squeezed-up woman, with a vixenish
countenance.

"My dear," said Mr. Sowerberry, deferentially, "this is the boy from the
workhouse that I told you of." Oliver bowed again.

"Dear me!" said the undertaker's wife, "he's very small."

"Why, he _is_ rather small," replied Mr. Bumble, looking at Oliver as
if it were his fault that he wasn't bigger; "he is small,--there's no
denying it. But he'll grow, Mrs. Sowerberry,--he'll grow."

"Ah! I dare say he will," replied the lady pettishly, "on our victuals,
and our drink. I see no saving in parish children, not I; for they
always cost more to keep, than they're worth: however, men always think
they know best. There, get down stairs, little bag o' bones." With
this, the undertaker's wife opened a side door, and pushed Oliver down
a steep flight of stairs into a stone cell, damp and dark, forming the
ante-room to the coal-cellar, and denominated "the kitchen," wherein sat
a slatternly girl in shoes down at heel, and blue worsted stockings very
much out of repair.

"Here, Charlotte," said Mrs. Sowerberry, who had followed Oliver down,
"give this boy some of the cold bits that were put by for Trip: he
hasn't come home since the morning, so he may go without 'em. I dare say
he isn't too dainty to eat 'em,--are you, boy?"

Oliver, whose eyes had glistened at the mention of meat, and who was
trembling with eagerness to devour it, replied in the negative; and a
plateful of coarse broken victuals was set before him.

I wish some well-fed philosopher, whose meat and drink turn to gall
within him, whose blood is ice, and whose heart is iron, could have seen
Oliver Twist clutching at the dainty viands that the dog had neglected,
and witnessed the horrible avidity with which he tore the bits asunder
with all the ferocity of famine:--there is only one thing I should
like better; and that would be to see him making the same sort of meal
himself with the same relish.

"Well," said the undertaker's wife, when Oliver had finished his supper,
which she had regarded in silent horror, and with fearful auguries of
his future appetite, "have you done?"

There being nothing eatable within his reach, Oliver replied in the
affirmative.

"Then come with me," said Mrs. Sowerberry, taking up a dim and dirty
lamp, and leading the way up stairs; "your bed's under the counter. You
won't mind sleeping among the coffins, I suppose?--but it doesn't much
matter whether you will or not, for you won't sleep any where else.
Come; don't keep me here, all night."

Oliver lingered no longer, but meekly followed his new mistress.



    A REMNANT OF THE TIME OF IZAAK WALTON.
         VENATOR, AMATOR, EBRIOLUS.

               _Venator._
    Good morrow, good morrow! say whither ye go,--
    To the chase above, or the woods below?
    Brake and hollow their quarry hold,
    Streams are bright with backs of gold:
    'Twere shame to lose so fair a day,--
    So, whither ye wend, my masters, say.

               _Amator._
    The dappled herd in peace may graze,
    The fish fling back the sun's bright rays;
    I bend no bow, I cast no line,
    The chase of Love alone is mine.

               _Ebriolus._
    Your venison and pike
    Ye may get as ye like,
      They grace a board right well;
    But the sport for my share
    Is the chase of old Care,
      When the wine-cup tolls his knell.

               _Venator._
    Give ye good-den, my masters twain,
    I'll flout ye, when we meet again:
    Sad lover, lay thee down and pine;
    Go thou, and blink o'er thy noon-day wine;
    I'll to the woods. Well may ye fare
    With two such deer, as Love and Care.



                 THE "ORIGINAL" DRAGON.
             A LEGEND OF THE CELESTIAL EMPIRE.

  _Freely translated from an undeciphered MS. of Con-fuse-us,_[49] _and
        dedicated to Colonel Bolsover, (of the Horse Marines,)
                   by C. J. Davids, Esq._

                        I.
    A desperate dragon, of singular size,--
      (His name was _Wing-Fang-Scratch-Claw-Fum_,)--
    Flew up one day to the top of the skies,
      While all the spectators with terror were dumb.
    The vagabond vow'd, as he sported his tail,
      He'd have a _sky lark_, and some glorious fun;
    For he'd nonplus the natives that day without fail,
      By causing a _total eclipse of the sun_![50]
    He collected a crowd by his impudent boast,
      (Some decently dress'd--some with hardly a rag on,)
    Who said that the country was ruin'd and lost,
      Unless they could compass the death of the _dragon_.

                       II.
    The emperor came with the whole of his court,--
      (His majesty's name was _Ding-Dong-Junk_)--
    And he said--to delight in such profligate sport,
      The monster was mad, or disgracefully drunk.
    He call'd on the army: the troops to a man
      Declar'd--though they didn't feel frighten'd the least--
    They never could think it a sensible plan
      To go within reach of so ugly a beast.
    So he offer'd his daughter, the lovely _Nan-Keen_,
      And a painted pavilion, with many a flag on,
    To any brave knight who would step in between
      The _solar eclipse_ and the dare-devil _dragon_.

                      III.
    Presently came a reverend bonze,--
      (His name, I'm told, was _Long-Chin-Joss_,)--
    With a phiz very like the complexion of bronze;
      And for suitable words he was quite at a loss.
    But, he humbly submitted, the orthodox way
      To succour the _sun_, and to bother the foe,
    Was to make a new church-rate without more delay,
      As the clerical funds were deplorably low.
    Though he coveted nothing at all for himself,
      (A virtue he always delighted to brag on,)
    He thought, if the priesthood could pocket some pelf,
      It might hasten the doom of this impious _dragon_.

                      IV.
    The next that spoke was the court buffoon,--
      (The name of this buffer was _Whim-Wham-Fun_,)--
    Who carried a salt-box, and large wooden spoon,
      With which, he suggested, the job might be done.
    Said the jester, "I'll wager my rattle and bells,
      Your pride, my fine fellow, shall soon have a fall:
    If you make many more of your damnable yells,
      I know a good method to make you sing small!"
    And, when he had set all the place in a roar,
      As his merry conceits led the whimsical wag on,
    He hinted a plan to get rid of the bore,
      By putting some _salt_ on the _tail_ of the _dragon_!

                        V.
    At length appear'd a brisk young knight,--
      (The far-fam'd warrior, _Bam-Boo-Gong_,)--
    Who threaten'd to burke the big blackguard outright,
      And have the deed blazon'd in story and song.
    With an excellent shot from a very _long bow_
      He damag'd the dragon by cracking his crown;
    When he fell to the ground (as my documents show)
      With a smash that was heard many miles out of town.
    His death was the signal for frolic and spree--
      They carried the corpse in a common stage-waggon;
    And the hero was crown'd with the leaves of green tea,
      For saving the _sun_ from the jaws of the _dragon_.

                       VI.
    A poet, whose works were all the rage,--
      (This gentleman's name was _Sing-Song-Strum_,)--
    Told the terrible tale on his popular page:
      (Compar'd with _his_ verses, _my_ rhymes are but rum!)
    The Royal Society claim'd, as their right,
      The spoils of the vanquish'd--his wings, tail, and claws;
    And a brilliant bravura, describing the fight,
      Was sung on the stage with unbounded applause.
    "The valiant _Bam-Boo_" was a favourite toast,
      And a topic for future historians to fag on,
    Which, when it had reach'd to the Middlesex coast,
      Gave rise to the legend of "_George and the Dragon_."

[49] "Better know to illiterate people as _Confucius_."
     --WASHINGTON IRVING.

[50] In _China_ (whatever European astronomers may assert to the
     contrary) an _eclipse_ is caused by a _great dragon
     eating up the sun_.

To avert so shocking an outrage, the natives frighten away the monster
from his intended _hot_ dinner, by giving a morning concert, _al
fresco_; consisting of drums, trumpets, cymbals, gongs, tin-kettles, &c.



            A PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF BEAUMARCHAIS.
                      BY GEORGE HOGARTH.

M. de Beaumarchais, the celebrated French dramatist, was one of the
most remarkable men of his time, though his fame now rests in a great
measure on his two comedies, _Le Barbier de Seville_, and _Le Mariage
de Figaro_; and even these titles are now-a-days much more generally
associated with the names of Rossini and Mozart, than with that of
Beaumarchais. Few comedies, however, have been more popular on the
French stage than these delightful productions. The character of Susanna
was the _chef d'oeuvre_ of the fascinating Mademoiselle Contat; and
has preserved its attractions, almost down to the present time, in the
hands of her evergreen successor, the inimitable Mars. The Count and
Countess Almaviva, Susanna, Figaro, and Cherubino, have now become
the property of Italian singers; and, in this musical age, even the
French public have been content to give up the wit, satire, point, and
playfulness of the original comedies, for those meagre outlines which
have been made the vehicles for the most charming dramatic music in
the world. Not that _Il Barbiere di Siviglia_ and _Le Nozze di Figaro_
are not lively and amusing, considered as operas; but the _vis comica_
of Beaumarchais has almost entirely evaporated in the process of
transmutation.

None of the other dramatic works of Beaumarchais are comparable to
these. Some of them bear marks of immature genius; and his last play,
_La Mère Coupable_, the conclusion of the history of the Almaviva
family, was written after a long interval, and when advanced age, and
a life of cares and troubles, appear to have extinguished the author's
gaiety, and changed the tone of his feelings. The play is written with
power, but it is gloomy, and even tragical; succeeding its lively and
brilliant precursors as a sunset of clouds and darkness closes a bright
and smiling day. It painfully disturbs the agreeable associations
produced by the names of its characters; and, for the sake of these
associations, every one who reads it must wish to forget it.

But it is not so much to the writings of Beaumarchais, as to himself,
that we wish at present to direct the attention of our readers. His life
was anything but that of a man of letters. He possessed extraordinary
talents for affairs; and, during his whole life, was deeply engaged
in important pursuits both of a private and public nature. Extensive
commercial enterprises, lawsuits of singular complication, and missions
of great moment as a political agent, withdrew him from the walks of
literature, and probably prevented him (as one of his biographers
has remarked) from enriching the French stage with twenty dramatic
masterpieces, instead of two or three. In this respect he resembled our
Sheridan, as well as in the character of his genius; for we know of no
plays that are more akin to each other, in many remarkable features,
than _The School for Scandal_ and _Le Mariage de Figaro_.

It is a remarkable circumstance in the history of Beaumarchais, that a
considerable portion of his literary fame was derived from a species
of composition from which anything of the kind could hardly have been
expected,--the pleadings, or law-papers, in the various causes in
which he was involved. The proceedings in the French parliaments, or
high courts of justice, were totally different from those with which
we are acquainted in England; though they were similar to those which
were practised in the Scottish court of session, (a tribunal formed
on the French model,) before that court came in for its share in the
general progress of reform. There were no juries; the proceedings were
conducted under the direction of a single judge, whose business it was
to prepare the cause for decision, and then to make a report upon it
to the whole court, by whom the judgment was given. A favourable view
of the case from the reporting judge was, of course, an object of much
importance; and the most urgent solicitations by the litigants and their
friends--nay, even bribes--were often employed to obtain it. A charge
against Beaumarchais,--a groundless one, however,--of having attempted
to bribe the wife of one of these judges, exposed him to a long and
violent persecution. Among his enemies were men of rank and power; the
grossest calumnies against him were circulated in the highest quarters,
and countenanced by the court in which he was a litigant; the bar became
afraid to support him, and he could no longer find an advocate. In these
forlorn circumstances the energy of his character did not abandon him,
and he resolved to become his own advocate.

The pleadings in the French courts of those days were all written. The
cause was debated in _mémoires_, or memorials, in which the pleas of
the parties were stated without any of our technical formality. Law,
logic, eloquence, pathos, and sarcasm, were all employed, in whatever
way the pleader thought most advantageous. The paper was printed and
distributed, not only among the judges, but among the friends and
connexions of the parties; and when the case excited much interest, the
distribution was often so extensive as almost to amount to publication.
Beaumarchais, deserted by his former advocates, began to compose his own
memorials, to which he found means to obtain the mere signature of some
member of the bar. In this manner he fought a long and desperate battle,
in which, after some severe reverses, (one of which was the burning of
a series of his memorials by the common hangman, pursuant to a sentence
of the court,) he at length achieved a complete and signal victory over
all his enemies, whom he not only defeated on the immediate subjects of
dispute, but overwhelmed with universal ridicule and contempt.

In the mean time these _mémoires_ produced an extraordinary sensation
throughout France. When a new one appeared, it flew from hand to hand
like lightning. The causes in which Beaumarchais was involved were so
interesting in themselves, and connected with such strange occurrences,
that, had they belonged to the period of the _Causes Célèbres_, they
would have made a remarkable figure in that famous collection. Their
interest was increased a thousand-fold by the memorials of Beaumarchais.
"The genius," says a French writer, "with which they are marked, the
originality of the style, the dramatic form of the narrative, mingled
with fine bursts of eloquence, keep the attention always awake; while
the logical clearness of the reasoning, and the art of accompanying
every statement of facts with striking and conclusive evidence, lay hold
of the mind, and interest and instruct, without fatiguing the reader.
But their most remarkable feature is the noble firmness of mind which
they display; the serenity of a lofty spirit which the most terrible
and unforeseen reverses were unable to subdue or intimidate; the stamp,
in short, of a great character which is impressed upon them." These
writings of Beaumarchais are spoken of in terms of admiration by the
most eminent literati of that day, especially by Voltaire, in many parts
of his correspondence; they attracted the notice of the government, and
procured for their author several political missions, the results of
which had no small influence on the public affairs of the time.

We have given this sketch of the character of Beaumarchais by way of
introduction to an account of a remarkable incident of his life, taken
from one of those extraordinary productions. Among other calumnies, he
had been charged, at one time with a series of atrocities committed in
Spain ten years before; and, among other things, with having endeavoured
to bully a Spanish gentleman into a marriage with his sister, whom that
gentleman had kept as a mistress; and it was added that he had been
expelled from Spain in disgrace. In one of his _mémoires_ he answers
these accusations, by giving a narrative of his residence in Spain
during the period in question. It is a leaf of "the romance of real
life," and the interest of the story is heightened by the conviction
of its entire truth; for every fact is confirmed by evidence, and the
smallest incorrectness, as the writer knew, would be laid hold of by
his enemies. Goethe, it is not immaterial to add, has made it the
subject of his tragedy of _Clavijo_, the characters of which consist
of Beaumarchais himself, and the other persons introduced into his
narrative; though the great German dramatist has taken some poetical
liberties with the story, especially in its tragical catastrophe.

The following narrative is a _condensation_ of the original, which
contains minute details and pieces of evidence, of great importance to
M. de Beaumarchais' object at the time,--a conclusive vindication of his
character, but not at all conducive to the interest of the story.

"For some years I had enjoyed the happiness of living in the bosom
of my family; and our domestic union consoled me for all I suffered
through the malice of my enemies. I had five sisters. Two of them had
been committed by my father, at a very early age, to the care of one of
his correspondents in Spain, so that I had only that faint but pleasant
remembrance of them which is associated with our days of childhood. This
remembrance, however, was kept alive by frequent correspondence.

"In February 1764, my father received from his eldest daughter a letter
of very painful import. 'My sister,' she wrote, 'has been grossly abused
by a powerful and dangerous man. Twice, when on the point of marrying
her, he has broken his word, and withdrawn without condescending to
assign any reason for his conduct; and my poor sister's wounded feelings
have thrown her into a state of depression from which we have faint
hopes of her recovery. For these six days she has not spoken a word.
Under this unmerited stigma, we are living in the deepest retirement.
I weep night and day, and endeavour to offer the unhappy girl comfort
which I cannot find myself.'

"My father put his daughter's letter into my hands, 'Try, my son,' he
said, 'what you can do for these poor girls. They are your sisters as
well as the others.'

"'Alas, my dear father,' I said, 'what can I do for them? What
assistance shall I ask? Who knows but they may have brought this
disgrace upon themselves by some fault of their own?'

"My father showed me some letters from our ambassador to my elder
sister, in which he spoke of both of them in terms of the highest
esteem. I read these letters. They gave me courage; and my father's
phrase, 'They are your sisters as well as the others,' had sunk into my
heart. 'Console yourself,' I said to him, 'I am going to adopt a course
that may surprise you; but it appears to me the surest and the most
prudent. My eldest sister mentions several respectable persons in Paris
who can give testimony to the good conduct and virtue of her sister. I
will see them; and if their testimony is as honourable as that of our
ambassador, I shall instantly set out for Madrid, and either punish the
traitor who has outraged them, or bring them back with me to share my
humble fortune.'

"My inquiries were completely satisfactory. I immediately returned to
Versailles, and informed my august patronesses,[51] that business, no
less painful than urgent, demanded my immediate presence at Madrid.
I showed them my sister's letter, and received their permission to
depart, in terms of the kindest encouragement. My preparations were
soon made, as I dreaded that I might not arrive in time to save my poor
sister's life. I obtained the strongest letters of recommendation to
our ambassador at Madrid; and my ancient friend, M. Duvernay, gave me
a credit on himself to the amount of two hundred thousand francs, to
enable me to transact a piece of commercial business, and at the same
time to increase my personal consideration. I was accompanied by one of
my friends, a merchant, who had some business in Spain; but who went
also partly on my account.

"We travelled day and night, and arrived in Madrid on the 18th of May
1764. I had been expected for some days, and found my sisters in the
midst of their friends. As soon as the feelings, caused by a meeting
between a brother and his sisters, so long separated, and seeing each
other once more under such circumstances, had subsided, I earnestly
conjured them to give me an exact account of all that had happened, in
order that I might be able to serve them effectually. The story was long
and minute. When I had heard it to an end, I embraced my young sister:

"'Now that know all, my dear girl,' I said, 'keep your mind at ease. I
am delighted to see that you no longer love this man, and my part is all
the easier on that account. All that I want now, is to know where I can
find him.'

"Our friends began eagerly to advise me to go, first of all, to
Aranjuez, and wait upon the French ambassador, in order to obtain his
protection against a man whose official situation gave him so much
influence with people in power. But I had made up my mind to follow a
different course; and, without giving any intimation of my intention, I
merely begged that my arrival might be kept a secret till my return from
Aranjuez.

"I immediately changed my travelling dress, and found my way to the
residence of Don Joseph Clavijo, keeper of the archives of the
crown. He was from home, but I went in search of him; and it was in
the drawing-room of a lady whom he had gone to visit that I told him,
that, having just arrived from France, and being intrusted with some
commissions for him, I was anxious to have an interview with him as
soon as possible. He asked me to breakfast the following morning; and I
accepted the invitation for myself and the French merchant who was along
with me.

"Next morning, I was with him at half-past eight o'clock. I found him in
a splendid house, which, he said, belonged to Don Antonio Portugues, the
highly-respected head of one of the government offices, and so much his
friend, that in his absence he used the house as if it were his own.

"'I am commissioned, sir,' I began, 'by a society of men of letters,
to establish, in the different towns which I visit, a literary
correspondence with the most distinguished men of the place; and I am
sure that I cannot serve my friends more effectually than by opening a
correspondence between them and the distinguished author of the papers
published under the title of the '_Pensador_'.[52]

"He seemed delighted with the proposal. That I might the better know
my man, I allowed him to expatiate on the advantages which different
countries might derive from this kind of literary intercourse. His
manner became quite affectionate; he talked like on oracle; and was all
smiles and self-satisfaction. At last he bethought himself of asking
what business of my own had brought me to Spain, politely expressing his
wish to be of service to me.

"'I accept,' I said, 'your kind offers with much gratitude, and assure
you, sir, that I shall explain my business very openly.'

"With the view of throwing him into a state of perplexity in which I
intended him to remain till it should be cleared up by the conclusion
of what I had to say, I again introduced my friend to him, telling him
that the gentleman was not unacquainted with the matter, and that his
presence would do no harm. At this exordium, Clavijo turned his eyes on
my friend with an air of curiosity. I began:

"'A French merchant, who had a numerous family and a narrow fortune,
had several correspondents in Spain. One of the richest of them,
happening to be at Paris nine or ten years ago, proposed to adopt two
of his daughters. He would take them, he said, to Madrid; he was an
old bachelor; they should be to him as children, and be the comfort of
his old age; and after his death they should succeed to his mercantile
establishment. The two eldest daughters were committed to his care. Two
years afterwards he died, leaving the Frenchwomen without any other
advantage than the burden of carrying on an embarrassed commercial
house. Their good conduct, however, and amiable qualities, gained them
many friends, who exerted themselves to increase their credit and
improve their circumstances.'

"I observed Clavijo become very attentive.

"'About this time, a young man, a native of the Canaries, got an
introduction to their house.'

"Clavijo's gaiety of countenance vanished.

"'Anxious to make himself known, this young gentleman conceived the
idea of giving Madrid a pleasure of a novel description in Spain, by
establishing a periodical paper in the style of the English _Spectator_.
He received encouragement and assistance, and nobody doubted that his
undertaking would be fully successful. It was then that, animated by the
hope of reputation and fortune, he made a proposal of marriage to the
younger of the French ladies. The elder told him, that he should first
endeavour to succeed in the world; and that as soon as some regular
employment, or other means of honourable subsistence, should give him
a right to think of her sister, her consent, if he gained her sister's
affections, should not be wanting.'

"He became restless and agitated. Without seeming to notice his manner,
I went on.

"'The younger sister, touched by her admirer's merit, refused several
advantageous proposals; and, preferring to wait till he who had loved
her, for four years, should realise the hopes which he and his friends
entertained, encouraged him to publish the first number of his journal
under the imposing title of the _Pensador_.'

"Clavijo looked as if he were going to faint.

"'The work,' I continued with the utmost coldness, 'had a prodigious
success. The king, delighted with so charming a production, gave
the author public marks of favour; and he was promised the first
honourable employment that should be vacant. He then removed, by an open
prosecution of his suit, every other person who had sought my sister's
hand. The marriage was delayed only till the promised post should be
obtained. At six months' end the post made its appearance, but the man
vanished.'

"Here my listener heaved an involuntary sigh, and, perceiving what he
had done, reddened with confusion. I went on without interruption.

"'The matter had gone too far to be allowed to drop in this manner. A
suitable house had been taken; the bans had been published. The common
friends of the parties were indignant at such an outrage; the ambassador
of France interfered; and when this man saw that the French ladies had
protectors whose influence might be greater than his own, and might even
destroy his opening prospects, he returned to throw himself at the feet
of his offended mistress. He got her friends to intercede for him; and
as the anger of a forsaken woman has generally love at the bottom, a
reconciliation soon took place. The marriage preparations were resumed;
the bans were re-published; the ceremony was to take place in three
days. The reconciliation had made as much noise as the rupture. The
lover set out for St. Ildefonso to ask the minister's consent to his
marriage; entreating his friends to preserve for him till his return the
now precarious affection of his mistress, and to arrange everything for
the immediate performance of the ceremony.'

"In the horrible state into which he was thrown by this recital, but
yet uncertain whether I might not be telling a story in which I had
no personal interest, Clavijo from time to time fixed his eyes on my
friend, whose _sangfroid_ was no less puzzling than mine. I now looked
him steadily in the face, and went on in a sterner tone.

"'Two days afterwards he returned indeed from court; but, instead of
leading his victim to the altar, he sent word to the poor girl that he
had once more changed his mind, and would not marry her. Her indignant
friends hastened to his house. The villain no longer kept any measures
with them, but defied them to hurt him, telling them that if the
Frenchwomen were disposed to give him any trouble, they had better take
care of themselves. On hearing this intelligence, the young woman fell
into convulsions so violent, that her life was long despaired of. In
the midst of their desolation, the elder wrote to France an account of
the public affront that they had received. They had a brother, who,
deeply moved by the story, flew to Madrid, determined to investigate
the affair to the bottom. _I_ am that brother. _It is I_ who have left
everything--my country, my family, my duties--to avenge in Spain the
cause of an innocent and unhappy sister. _It is I_ who come, armed with
justice and resolution, to unmask and punish a villain; and _it is you_
who are that villain.'

"It is easier to imagine than describe the appearance of this man by
the time I had concluded my speech. His mouth opened from time to time,
and inarticulate sounds died away on his tongue. His countenance, at
first so radiant with complacency and satisfaction, gradually darkened;
his eyes became dim, his features lengthened, his complexion pale and
haggard.

"He tried to stammer out some phrases by way of justification. 'Do not
interrupt me, sir,' I said; 'you have nothing to say to me, and much to
hear from me. In the first place, have the goodness to declare before
this gentleman, who has accompanied me from France on account of this
very business, whether, owing to any want of faith, levity, weakness,
ill-temper, or any other fault, my sister has deserved the double
outrage she has received from you.'

"'No, sir; I acknowledge Donna Maria, your sister, to be a young lady
full of charms, accomplishments, and virtues.'

"'Has she ever, since you have known her, given you any ground of
complaint?'

"'No, never.'

"'Well, then, monster that you are! why have you had the barbarity to
bring a poor girl to death's door, merely because her heart gave you the
preference over half a dozen other persons more respectable and better
than you?'

"'Ah, sir, I have been advised, instigated: if you knew----'

"I interrupted him: 'That is quite sufficient,' I said. Then, turning
to my friend, 'You have heard my sister's justification; pray go, and
make it known. What I have further to say to this gentleman requires no
witness.'

"My friend left the room. Clavijo rose, but I made him resume his seat.

"'It does not suit my views, any more than yours, that you should marry
my sister; and you are probably aware that I am not come here to play
the brother's part in a comedy, who desires to bring about his sister's
happiness, as it is called. You have thought fit to insult a respectable
young woman, because you thought her friendless in a strange land; your
conduct has been base and dishonourable. You will please, therefore,
to begin by acknowledging, under your hand, at perfect freedom, with
all your doors open and all your domestics in the room, (who will not
understand us, as we shall speak French,) that you have causelessly
deceived, betrayed, insulted my sister. With this declaration in my hand
I shall hasten to Aranjuez, where our ambassador is; I shall show him
the paper, and then have it printed; to-morrow it shall be abundantly
circulated through the court and the city. I have some credit here--I
have time and money; all shall be employed to deprive you of your place,
and to pursue you without respite, and in every possible way, till my
sister herself shall entreat me to forbear.'

"'I shall make no such declaration,' said Clavijo, almost inarticulate
from agitation.

"'I dare say not, for I don't think, were I in your place, that I should
do so myself. But you must consider the other alternative. From this
moment I remain at your elbow. I will not leave you a moment. Wherever
you go, I will go, till you shall have no other way of getting rid of so
troublesome a neighbour but by going with me behind the Palace of Buen
Retiro. If I am the survivor, sir, without even seeing the ambassador,
or speaking to a single soul here, I shall take my dying sister in my
arms, put her in my carriage, and return with her to France. If the luck
is yours, all is ended with me. You will then be at liberty to enjoy
your triumph, and laugh at your dupes as much as you please. Will you
have the goodness to order breakfast.'

"I rose, and rang the bell; a servant brought in breakfast. I took my
cup of chocolate, while Clavijo, in deep thought, walked about the room.
At length he seemed all at once to form a resolution.

"'M. de Beaumarchais,' he said, 'hear me. Nothing on earth can justify
my conduct towards your sister; ambition has been my ruin; but if I
had imagined that Donna Maria had a brother like you, far from looking
upon her as a stranger without friends or connexions, I should have
anticipated the greatest advantages from our union. You have inspired
me with the greatest esteem; and I throw myself on your generosity,
beseeching you to assist me in redressing, as far as I am able, the
injuries I have done your sister. Restore her to me, sir; and I shall
esteem myself too happy in receiving, from your hands, my wife and
forgiveness of my offences.'

"'It is too late,' I replied; 'my sister no longer loves you. Write a
declaration,--that is all I require of you; and be satisfied that, as an
open enemy, I will avenge my sister's wrongs till her own resentment is
appeased.'

"He made many difficulties; objecting to the style in which I demanded
his declaration; to its being all in his hand-writing; and to my
insisting that the domestics should be in the room while he was writing
it. But the alternative was pressing, and he had probably some lurking
hope of regaining the affections of the woman who had loved him so
long. His pride, therefore, gave way; and he submitted to write the
declaration, which I dictated to him, walking about the room. It
contained an ample testimony to the blameless character of my sister,
and an acknowledgment of his causeless treachery towards her.

"When he had written and signed the paper, I put it in my pocket, and
took my leave, repeating what I had said, as to the use I meant to make
of it. He besought me, at least, to tell my sister of the marks of
sincere repentance he had exhibited; and I promised to do so.

"My friend's return before me, to my sister's, had produced great alarm
in the little circle that were waiting for us. I found the females
in tears, and the men very uneasy. But when they heard my account of
my interview, and saw the declaration, the general anxiety was turned
into joy and congratulation. Every one was of a different opinion: some
insisted on ruining Clavijo; others were inclined to forgive him; and
others, again, were for leaving everything to my prudence. My sister
entreated that she might never hear of him more. I resolved to go to
Aranjuez and lay the whole affair before the Marquis D'Ossun, our
ambassador.

"Before setting out, I wrote to Clavijo, telling him that my sister
would not hear a word in his favour, and that I was therefore determined
to adhere to my intention of doing all I could to avenge her injuries.
He begged to see me; and I went without hesitation to his house. His
language was full of the most bitter self-reproach; and, after many
earnest entreaties, he obtained my permission to visit my elder sister,
accompanied by a mutual friend, and my promise, in case he should fail
in obtaining forgiveness, not to publish his dishonour till after my
return from Aranjuez.

"The Marquis D'Ossun received me very kindly. I told him my story,
concluding with an account of my meeting with Clavijo, which he could
hardly credit, till I showed him the declaration. He asked me what
were my views--did I desire to make Clavijo marry my sister?--'No, my
lord, my object is to disgrace him publicly.' The Marquis dissuaded me
from proceeding to extremities. Clavijo, he said, was a rising man,
and evidently in the way of great advancement; ambition had alienated
him from my sister; but ambition, repentance, or affection, seemed
to be bringing him back; all things considered, Clavijo seemed an
advantageous match, and the wisest thing I could do was to get the
marriage celebrated immediately. He hinted further, that, by following
his advice, I should do him a pleasure, for reasons which he could not
explain.

"I returned to Madrid, much troubled by the result of this conference.
On arriving at my sister's, I found that Clavijo had been there,
accompanied by some mutual friends, in order to beseech my sisters to
forgive him. Maria, on his appearance, had fled to her own room, and
would not appear; and I was told he had conceived hopes from this little
ebullition of resentment. I concluded, for my part, that he was well
acquainted with woman, whose soft and tender nature, however deeply she
may have been injured, is always prone to pardon the repentant lover
whom she sees kneeling at her feet.

"After my return from Aranjuez, Clavijo found means to see me every
day. I was delighted with his talents and attainments, and, above all,
with the manly confidence he appeared to have in my mediation. I was
sincerely desirous to favour his suit; but the profound respect which my
poor sister had for my judgment rendered me very circumspect in regard
to her. It was her happiness, and not her fortune, that I wished to
secure; her heart, and not her hand, that I wished to dispose of.

"On the 25th of May, Clavijo suddenly left the house of M. Portugues,
and retired to the house of an officer of his acquaintance, in the
quarters of the invalids. This hasty move appeared somewhat singular,
though it did not, at the moment, give me any uneasiness. I went to
see him: he explained his precipitate retreat by saying that, as M.
Portugues was very much opposed to his marriage, he thought he could
not give me a better proof of his sincerity than by leaving the house of
so powerful an enemy of my sister. This appeared probable, and I felt
obliged to him for so delicate a proceeding.

"Next day I received a letter from him, breathing the utmost frankness,
honour, and good feeling. He renewed his offer of marriage, if my sister
would only forgive his past conduct. He protested the most devoted and
unalterable love for her; and called upon me to perform my promise of
interceding for him. If it were possible for him, he said, to leave
Madrid without an express order from the head of his department, he
would instantly set out for Aranjuez to obtain that minister's consent
to the marriage: he therefore begged that I would undertake that matter
for him; and said that my prompt compliance would be the most convincing
proof of my sincere good wishes.

"I read this letter to my sisters; Maria burst into tears. I embraced
her tenderly. 'Well, poor child, you love him after all; and are
mightily ashamed of it, no doubt! I see it all; but never mind--you
are a good excellent girl, notwithstanding; and since your resentment
is dying away, let it be extinguished altogether in the tears of
forgiveness. They are sweet and soothing after tears of grief and anger.
He is a sad fellow, this Clavijo, to be sure, like most men; but, such
as he is, I join our worthy ambassador in advising you to forgive him.
For his own sake, perhaps,' I added, laughing, 'I might have been as
well pleased had he fought me; for yours, I am much better pleased that
he has not.'

"I ran on in this way till my sister began to smile in the midst of her
tears. I took this as a silent consent, and hastened away in search of
her lover. I told him he was a hundred times happier than he deserved;
and he agreed that I was in the right. I brought him to my sister's. The
poor girl was overwhelmed, on all hands, by entreating friends, till
at last, with a blush and a sigh of mingled pleasure and shame, she
whispered a consent that we might dispose of her as we pleased. Clavijo
was in raptures. In his joy, he ran to my writing-desk, and wrote a
paper containing a brief but formal mutual engagement, which he signed,
and then kneeling, presented it to my sister for her signature. The
gentlemen present, joined their entreaties to his, and thus a written
consent was extorted from my poor sister, who, no longer knowing where
to hide her head, threw herself weeping into my arms, whispering in my
ear, that really I was a hard-hearted man, and had no pity for her.

"We spent a very happy evening, as may well be imagined. At eleven
o'clock I set out for Aranjuez, for in that warm climate the night is
the pleasantest time for travelling. I communicated all that had passed
to the ambassador, who was much pleased, and praised my conduct more
than it deserved. I then waited on M. de Grimaldi, the minister at the
head of Clavijo's department. He received me kindly, gave his consent to
the marriage, and wished my sister every happiness; but observed that
Don Joseph Clavijo might have spared me the journey, because a letter to
the minister was the usual form, and would have been quite sufficient.

"On my return to Madrid, I found a letter from Clavijo, written in great
apparent agitation, in which he told me, that copies of a pretended
declaration, said to be by him, had got into circulation, and that it
was in such terms that he could not show his face while impressions
subsisted so derogatory to his character and honour. He therefore begged
me to show the paper he had really signed, and give copies of it.
Subjoined to his letter was a copy of this pretended declaration, which
was conceived in the most false, exaggerated, and abominable language,
and was all in his own hand-writing. He further said, that, in the mean
time, and till the public should be disabused, _it would be better that
we should not see each other for a few days_; for, if we did, it might
be supposed that the pretended paper was the real one, and that the
other, now appearing for the first time, was concocted afterwards.

"I was a little out of humour at the conclusion drawn by Clavijo from
this base fabrication. I reproached him gently for taking such an
unreasonable view of the matter; and, as I found him unwell, I promised
that as soon as he was able to go out, we should go everywhere together,
and that I should make it appear that I looked upon him as a brother and
an honourable man.

"We made all the arrangements for the marriage. In case he might not be
fully supplied with money, I offered him my purse; and I presented him
with some jewels and French laces, to enable him to make my sister a
wedding gift. He accepted the jewels and laces, because, as he said, it
would be difficult to find anything so handsome at Madrid; but I could
not prevail on him to receive the money I offered him.

"Next day, a Spanish valet robbed me of a large sum of money and a
number of valuable articles. I immediately waited on the governor of
Madrid to make my complaint, and was somewhat surprised at the very cold
reception I met with. I wrote to the French ambassador on the subject,
and thought no more of it.

"I continued my attentions to my sick friend, which were received with
every appearance of affectionate gratitude; but, on the 5th of June,
when I came as usual to see him, I found, to my utter astonishment, that
he had, once more, suddenly decamped.

"I got inquiries made after him at all the lodging-houses in Madrid, and
at last discovered his new abode. I expressed my surprise in stronger
language than on the previous occasion. He told me that he had learned
that his friend with whom he was staying, had been blamed for sharing
with another a lodging which was given by the king for his own use
only; and that he had been so much hurt at this, that he thought it
necessary to leave his friend's apartments instantly, without regarding
the embarrassment it might occasion, the state of his health, the
untimely hour, or any other consideration. I could not but approve of
his delicacy; but kindly scolded him for not having come to reside at
my sister's, whither I offered to take him at once. He thanked me most
affectionately, but found some reason for excusing himself.

"Next day, under trifling pretexts, he refused my repeated offers of
an apartment at my sister's. My friends began to shake their heads,
and my sister looked anxious and unhappy. It was similar evasions
that had twice already preceded his total desertion. I felt angry at
these forebodings, which I insisted were groundless; but I found that
suspicion was creeping into my own mind. To get rid of it, on the day
fixed for signing the contract, (the seventh of June,) I sent for the
apostolic notary, whose function it is to superintend this ceremony.
But what was my surprise when this official told me that he was going
to make Señor Clavijo sign a declaration of a very different nature; as
he had, the day before, received a writ of opposition to my sister's
marriage, on the part of a young woman who affirmed that she had a
promise from Clavijo, given in 1755, nine years before!

"I inquired who the woman was, and was told by the notary that she was a
waiting-woman. In a transport of rage, I ran to Clavijo, loaded him with
threats and reproaches. He besought me to moderate my anger and suspend
my opinion. He had long ago, he said, made some such promise to Madame
Portugues's waiting-woman, who was a pretty girl; but he had never since
heard of it, and believed that the girl was now set on by some enemy of
Donna Maria. The affair, he assured me, was a trifle, and could be got
rid of by the aid of a few pistoles. He repeated his vows of eternal
constancy to Maria, and begged me to return at eight o'clock in the
evening, when he would go with me to an eminent advocate, who would
easily put him on the way of getting rid of this trifling obstacle.

"I left him, full of indecision and bitterness of heart. I could make
nothing of his conduct, or imagine any reasonable object he could have
in deceiving me. At eight o'clock I returned to his lodgings with two of
my friends; but we had hardly got out of the carriage, when the landlady
came to the door, and told me that Señor Clavijo had removed from her
house an hour before, and was gone she knew not whither.

"Thunderstruck at this intelligence, and unable to believe it, I went
up to the room he had occupied. Every thing belonging to him had
been carried off. Perplexed and dismayed, I returned home, and had
no sooner arrived than a courier from Aranjuez brought me a letter,
which he had been ordered to deliver with the utmost speed. It was
from the French ambassador. He informed me that the governor of Madrid
had just been with him, to tell him that Señor Clavijo had retired to
a place of safety, in order to protect himself from the violence he
apprehended from me, as I had, a few days before, compelled him, in his
own house, and with a pistol at his breast, to sign an engagement to
marry my sister. The Marquis, at the same time, expressed his belief
of my innocence; but feared that the affair might be turned to my
disadvantage, and requested that I would do nothing whatever until I had
seen him.

"I was utterly confounded. This man, who for weeks had been treating me
like a brother,--who had been writing me letter upon letter, full of
affection,--who had earnestly besought me to give him my sister, and had
visited her again and again as her betrothed husband,--this monster had
been all the while secretly plotting my destruction!

"Suddenly an officer of the Walloon guards came into the room. 'M. de
Beaumarchais,' he said, 'you have not a moment to lose. Save yourself,
or to-morrow morning you will be arrested in your bed. The order is
given, and I am come to apprise you of it. Your adversary is a monster.
He has contrived to set almost everybody against you, and has led you
into snare after snare, till he has found means to make himself your
public accuser. Fly instantly, I beseech you. Once immured in a dungeon,
you will have neither protection nor defence.'

"'I fly!--I make my escape!--I will die sooner. Say not a word more, my
friends. Let me have a travelling carriage to-morrow morning at four
o'clock, and meanwhile leave me to prepare for my journey to Aranjuez.'

"I shut myself up in my room. My mind was utterly exhausted. I threw
myself into a chair, where I remained for two hours in a state of total
vacuity of thought. At length I roused myself. I reflected on all the
circumstances of the case, and on the abundant proofs of my integrity. I
sat down to my desk, and, with the rapidity of a man in a high fever, I
wrote an exact journal of my actions since my arrival at Madrid: names,
dates, conversations,--everything sprang, as it were, into my memory,
and fixed itself under my pen. I was still writing at five in the
morning, when I was told that my carriage was ready. Some friends wanted
to accompany me. 'I wish to be alone,' I said. 'Twelve hours of solitude
are not more than necessary to calm the agitation of my frame.' I set
out for Aranjuez.

"When I arrived, the ambassador was at the palace, and I could not see
him till eleven o'clock at night. He was glad, he said, I was come; for
he had been very uneasy about me. During the last fortnight my adversary
had gained all the avenues of the palace; and, had it not been for him,
I should have been already arrested, and probably sent to a dungeon for
life, on the African coast. He had done what he could with M. Grimaldi,
the minister, to whom he had earnestly represented his conviction of my
probity and honour; but all was without effect. 'You must really go, M.
de Beaumarchais,' he continued. 'You have not a moment to lose. I can do
nothing in opposition to the general impression against you, or against
the positive order that has been issued for your imprisonment; and I
should be sincerely grieved should any calamity happen to you in this
country. You must leave Spain instantly.'

"I did not shed tears while he was speaking, but large drops of water
fell at intervals from my eyes, gathered in them by the contraction
of my whole frame. I was stupified and speechless. The ambassador was
affected by my situation, and spoke to me in the kindest and most
soothing manner; but still persisted in saying that I must yield to
necessity, and escape from consequences which could not otherwise be
averted. I implored him to think of the ruin to my own character in
France if I fled from Spain under such circumstances;--to consider the
situation of my unhappy, innocent sister. He said he would write to
France, where his account of my conduct would he credited; and that, as
to my sister, he would not neglect her. I could bear this conversation
no longer; but, abruptly quitting his presence, I rushed out of the
house, and wandered all night in the dark alleys of the park of
Aranjuez, in a state of inexpressible anguish.

"In the morning, my courage rose; and, determined to obtain justice or
perish, I repaired to the levee of M. Grimaldi, the minister. While I
waited in his ante-chamber, I heard several voices pronounce the name
of M. Whal. That distinguished and venerable statesman, who had retired
from the ministry that, in the close of life, he might have a brief
interval of repose, was then residing in M. Grimaldi's house. I heard
this, and was suddenly inspired with the idea of having recourse to him
for protection. I requested permission to see him, as a stranger who had
something of importance to communicate. I was admitted; and the sight
of his mild and noble countenance gave me courage. I told him that my
only claim to his favour was that I was a native of the country in which
he himself was born, persecuted almost to death by cruel and powerful
enemies; but this title, I trusted, was sufficient to obtain for me the
protection of a just and virtuous man.

"'You are a Frenchman,' he said, 'and that is always a strong claim with
me. But you tremble--you are pale and breathless; sit down--compose
yourself, and tell me the cause of such violent agitation.' He ordered
that no one should be admitted; and I, in an unspeakable state of
hope and fear, requested permission to read my journal of occurrences
since my arrival in Madrid. He complied, and I began to read. As I
went on, he from time to time begged me to be calm, and to read more
slowly that he might follow me the better; assuring me that he took the
greatest interest in my narrative. As I proceeded, I laid before him
in succession the letters and other documents which were referred to.
But when I came to the criminal charge against me,--to the order for my
imprisonment, which had been only suspended for a little by M. Grimaldi
at the request of our ambassador,--to the urgent advices which I had
received to make my escape, but which I avowed my determination not to
follow,--he uttered an exclamation, rose, and took me kindly by the hand:

"'Unquestionably the king will do you justice, M. de Beaumarchais. The
ambassador, in spite of his regard for you, is obliged to act with the
caution which befits his office; but I am under no such restraint. It
shall never be said that a respectable Frenchman, after leaving his
home, his friends, his business,--after having travelled a thousand
miles to succour an innocent and unfortunate sister, has been driven
from this country, carrying with him the impression that no redress or
justice is to be obtained in Spain. It was I who placed this Clavijo
in the king's service, and I feel myself responsible for his infamous
conduct. Good God! how unhappy it is for statesmen that they cannot
become sufficiently aware of the real character of the persons they
employ, and thus get themselves surrounded by specious knaves, of whose
shameful actions they often bear the blame. A minister may be forgiven
for being deceived in the choice of a worthless subordinate; but when
once he comes to a knowledge of his character, there is no excuse for
retaining him a moment. For my part, I shall immediately set a good
example to my successors.'

"So saying, he rang, ordered his carriage, and took me with him to the
palace. He sent for M. Grimaldi; and, while waiting for the arrival
of that minister, went into the king's closet, and told his majesty
the story, accusing himself of indiscretion in recommending such a man
to his majesty's favour. M. Grimaldi came; and I was called into the
royal presence. 'Read your memorial,' said M. Whal,--'every feeling and
honourable heart must be as much moved by it as I was.' I obeyed. The
king listened with attention and interest; examined the proofs of my
statements; and the result was an order that Clavijo should be deprived
of his employment, and dismissed for ever from his majesty's service."

From subsequent parts of the narrative, it appears that Clavijo
exerted all his powers of cunning and intrigue in order to get himself
re-instated in his situation; not omitting further attempts to impose
upon M. de Beaumarchais, accompanied with abject entreaties and
hypocritical professions. All, however, was in vain; and this man, who
seems to have been an extraordinary compound of intellectual ability and
moral depravity, seems to have sunk into contempt and insignificance.
The young lady recovered the shock she had received; and was afterwards
happily married, and settled at Madrid.

[51] The Princesses of France, in whose household M. de Beaumarchais
     held an office.

[52] The Reflector.



            MARS AND VENUS.

    One day, upon that Trojan plain,
    Where men in hecatombs were slain,
    Th' immortal gods (no common sight)
    Thought fit to mingle in the fight,
    And found convincing proof that those
    Who will in quarrels interpose
    Are often doom'd to suffer harm--
    Venus was wounded in the arm;
    Whilst Mars himself, the god of war,
    Receiv'd an ignominious scar,
    And, fairly beat by Diomed,
    Fled back to heav'n and kept his bed.
    That bed (the proof may still be seen)
    Had long been shared with beauty's queen;
    For, with th' adventure of the cage,
    Vulcan had vented all his rage, (a)
    And, like Italian husbands, he
    Now wore his horns resignedly.
    Ye modest critics! spare my song:
    If gods and goddesses did wrong,
    And revell'd in illicit love,
    As poets, sculptors, painters, prove,
    Is mine the fault? and, if I tell
    Some tales of scandal that befell
    In heathen times, why need my lays
    On ladies' cheeks more blushes raise,
    When read (if such my envied lot)
    In secret boudoir, bower, or grot,
    Than scenes which, in the blaze of light,
    They throng to witness ev'ry night?
    Ere you condemn my humble page,
    Glance for a moment at the stage,
    Where twirling gods to view expose
    Their pliant limbs, in tighten'd hose,
    And goddesses of doubtful fame
      Are by lord chamberlains allow'd,
    With practis'd postures, to inflame
      The passions of a gazing crowd:
    And if great camels, such as these,
    Are swallow'd with apparent ease,
    Oh! strain not at a gnat like me,
    Nor deem me lost to decency,
    When I now venture to declare
    That Mars and Venus--guilty pair--
    On the same couch extended lay,
    And cursed the fortunes of the day.
    The little Loves, who round them flew,
      Could only sob to show their feeling,
    Since they, of course, much better knew
      The art of wounding than of healing,
    And Cupid's self essay'd in vain
    To ease his lovely mother's pain:
    The chaplet that his locks confin'd
    He tore indeed her wound to bind;
    But from her sympathetic fever
    He had no nostrum to relieve her,
    And, thinking that she might assuage
    That fever, as she did her rage,
    By talking loud,--her usual fashion
    Whenever she was in a passion,--
    He stood, with looks resign'd and grave,
    Prepar'd to hear his mother rave.
    Who thus began: "Ah! Cupid, why
    Was I so silly as to try
    My fortune in the battle-field, (b)
    Or seek a pond'rous spear to wield,
    Which only Pallas (hated name!)
      Of all her sex can wield aright?
    What need had I of martial fame,
      Sought 'midst the dangers of the fight,
    When beauty's prize, a trophy far
    More precious than the spoils of war,
    Was mine already, won from those
    Whom rivalry has made my foes,
    And who on Trojan plains would sate
    E'en with my blood that ranc'rous hate
    Which Ida's neighb'ring heights inflame,
    And not this wound itself can tame?
    Ah! why did I not bear in mind
    That Beauty, like th' inconstant wind,
    Is always privileg'd to raise
    The rage of others to a blaze,
    Then, lull'd to rest, look calmly on,
    And see the work of havoc done?
    'Twas well to urge your father, Mars,
    To mingle in those hated wars;
    'Twas well--" But piteous cries of pain,
    From him she named, here broke the chain
    Of her discourse, and seem'd to say,
    "What want of feeling you display!"
    So, turning to her wounded lover,
    She kindly urged him to discover
    By whom and where the wound was given,
    That sent him writhing back to heaven.
    The god, thus question'd, hung his head,
    A burning blush of shame o'erspread
    With sudden flush his pallid cheek,
    As thus he answer'd: "Dost thou seek
    To hear a tale of dire disgrace,
    Which all those honours must efface,
    That, hitherto, have made my name
    Pre-eminent in warlike fame?
    Yet--since 'twas thou who bad'st me go
    To fight with mortals there below--
    'Tis fitting, too, that thou shouldst learn
    What laurels 'twas my fate to earn.
    At first, in my resistless car,
    I seem'd indeed the god of war;
    The Trojans rallied at my side;
    Changed in its hue, the Xanthus' tide
    Its waters to the ocean bore,
    Empurpled deep in Grecian gore;
    And o'er the corpse-impeded field
    The cry was still 'They yield!--they yield!'
    But soon, the flying ranks to stay,
    Thy hated rivals joined the fray;
    They nerved, with some accursed charm,
    Each Greek's, but most Tydides' arm,
    And, Venus, thou first felt the smart
    Of his Minerva-guided dart.
    I saw thee wounded, saw thee fly,--
    I saw the chief triumphantly
    Tow'rds me, his ardent coursers turn,
    As though from gods alone to earn
    The highest honours of the fight;
    I know not why, but, at the sight--
    Eternal shame upon my head!--
    A panic seized me, and I fled--
    I fled, like chaff before the wind,
    And, ah! my wounds are all--behind!"
    When thus at length the truth was told,
      (The shameful truth of his disgrace,)
    Again, within his mantle's fold,
      The wounded coward hid his face; (c)
    Whilst Venus, springing from his side,
    With looks of scornful anger, cried,
    "And didst thou fly from mortal foe,
    Nor stay to strike one vengeful blow
    For her who fondly has believ'd,
    By all thy val'rous boasts deceiv'd,
    That in the god of war she press'd
    The first of heroes to her breast?
    Cupid, my swans and car prepare--
    To Cyprus we will hasten, where
    Some youth, as yet unknown to fame,
    May haply raise another flame;
    For Mars may take his leave of Venus,
      No coward shall enjoy my love;
    And nothing more shall pass between us,--
      I swear it by my fav'rite dove."
    She spake; and through the realms of air,
    Before the humbled god could dare
    Upraise his head to urge her stay,
    Already she had ta'en her way;
    And in her Cyprian bow'r that night,
    (If ancient scandal tell aright,)
    Forgetful of her recent wound,
    In place of Mars another found,
    And to a mortal's close embraces
    Surrender'd her celestial graces.
    'Tis said that Venus, wont to range
    Both heav'n and earth in search of change,
    Was not unwilling to discover
    Some pretext to desert her lover;
    Nor do I combat the assertion,
    But from the _cause_ of her desertion,
    Whilst you, fair readers, justly rail
      Against _her morals_, I will dare
    To draw _this moral_ for my tale,--
      "None but the brave deserve the fair!"

                      NOTES.

 (a) Ovid thus speaks of the result of Vulcan's
     exposure of his wife's infidelity:

     "Hoc tibi profectum, Vulcane, quod ante tegebant,
       Liberius faciunt ut pudor omnis abest;
     Sæpe tamen demens stultè fecisse fateris,
       Teque ferunt iræ poenituisse tuæ."

 (b) Leonidas, in his beautiful epigram to Venus armed, says,

     [Greek: Areos entea tauta tinos charin, ô Kythireia,
     Endidysai, keneon touto pherousa baros,
     Auton Arê' gymnê gar aphoplisas, ei de lileiptai
     Kai theos, anthrôpois opla matên epageis.]

 (c) The ancients were seldom guilty of making the actions of their
     gods inconsistent with their general character and attributes;
     but there seems to have been much of the Captain Bobadil in
     the mighty god of war, and the instance of cowardice here alluded
     to is not the only one recorded of him by the pts. In the wars
     with the Titans he showed a decided "white feather," and suffered
     himself to be made prisoner.



              AN EVENING MEDITATION.

    I love the sound of Nature's happy voice,
    The music of a summer evening's sky,
    When all things fair and beautiful rejoice,
    As though their glory ne'er would fade and die.
    Sweet is the breeze as 'mid the flowers it sings,
    Sweet is the melody of falling streams,
    Sweet is the sky-lark's song as borne on wings
    Of waving light--a bird of heaven she seems.
    Oh! for the hours, when wrapt in joy I've sat,
    And felt that harmony--"_all round my hat!_"
                                                  SIGMA.



                THE DEVIL AND JOHNNY DIXON.
           BY THE AUTHOR OF "STORIES OF WATERLOO."

                _Arnold._ Your form is man's,
                and yet you may be the devil.

                _Stranger._ Unless you keep company with
                him (and you seem scarce used to such high company)
                you can't tell how he approaches. _The Deformed
                Transformed._

I remember having been exceedingly amused by a book of German
_diablerie_, in which the movements of his Satanic Majesty were
faithfully and fashionably chronicled. He had chosen, it would appear,
for good and cogent reasons, to revisit our earth _incognito_; and as
potentates steal occasionally a glance at the world to see how things
move in their ordinary courses, he too indulged his princely curiosity,
and, _selon la règle_, during his travels assumed a borrowed title.

I had business to transact in a very remote district of the kingdom
of Connaught, and, as some delay was unavoidable, I threw a few books
carelessly into my portmanteau. Among them the wild conception of
Hoffmann, entitled "The Devil's Elixir," was included; and in the
perusal of that strange tale, I endeavoured to amuse the tedium of as
wet a day as often comes in Connemara. Bad as the morning had been, the
evening was infinitely worse: the wind roared through the mountains; the
rain came down in torrents; and every unhappy wayfarer pushed hastily
for the nearest inn.

I had been an occupant of the best (and only) parlour of Tim Corrigan
during the preceding week; and so unfrequent were the calls at his
caravansera, that, like Robinson Crus, I could stroll out upon the
moor, and proclaim that I was absolute over heath and "hostelrie." But,
on this night, two travellers were driven to the "Cock and Punchbowl."
They were bound for a fair that was to be holden on the morrow some
twenty miles off; and, although anxious to lodge themselves in some
more contiguous hostel, the weather became so desperate, that by mutual
consent they abandoned their intention, and resolved to ensconce
themselves for the night in a double-bedded room, which, fortunately for
them, happened to be unoccupied in the "Cock and Punchbowl."

Had their resolution to remain been doubtful, one glance at the kitchen
fire would have confirmed it. There, a well-conditioned goose was
twisting, on a string appended to the chimney-breast; while divers
culinary utensils simmered on the blazing turf, giving sure indications
that other adjuncts were to accompany the bird, and the dinner would be
a substantial one. I, while taking "mine ease in mine inn," had seen the
travellers arrive; and, the door being ajar, heard the "to ride or not
to ride" debated. That question settled, other cares arose.

"Tim," said the younger guest to the landlord, as he nodded
significantly at the goose, "I'm hungry as a hawk."

The host shrugged his shoulders, and, pointing to the "great chamber,"
where I was seated, replied in an undertone, "There's a customer before
ye, Master Johnny."

"A customer!--only one, Tim?"

"Sorrow more," replied the host.

"Why, the curse of Cromwell on ye for a cormorant!" said the traveller.
"Three priests, after confessing half a parish, would scarcely demolish
that wabbler. I'll invite myself to dinner; and if I be not in at the
dissection, it won't be Johnny Dixon's fault."

"Arrah! the devil a fear of that," returned the landlord. "Your modesty
nivir stopped your promotion, _Shawn avourneen_![53]" and he of the Cock
and Punchbowl laughed heartily as the traveller entered the parlour.

He was a stout, middle-sized, foxy-headed fellow of some six or
eight-and-twenty. His face was slightly marked with small-pox, and
plain, but not unpleasing. The expression was good-humoured and
intelligent; while, in the sparkle of his light blue eye, there was a
pretty equal proportion of mirth and mischief. He advanced to me with
perfect nonchalance; nodded as if he had known me for a twelvemonth;
and, as if conferring a compliment, notified with great brevity that it
was his intention to honour me with his company. No proposition could
have pleased me better, and it was fortunate that I had no wish to
remain alone; for, I verily believe, the traveller had already made up
his mind, _coute qui coute_, to aid and assist in demolishing the bird
that saved the Capitol.

Presently the hostess announced that all preparations were complete. The
traveller, who had been talking of divers affairs, rural and political,
suddenly changed the conversation. "There was," he said, "an unlucky
sinner outside, who like himself had been storm-stayed that evening. He
was a priest's nephew, a harmless poor devil, whom the old fellow had
worked like a nigger, until one sweet evening he smothered himself in
poteen-punch, leaving Peter Feaghan a kettleful of gold. If he, Peter,
were only let in, he would pray for me during life; and, as to eating,
would be contented with the drumsticks."

I laughed, and assented; and "Master Johnny" speedily produced a
soft-looking, bullet-headed farmer; who, after scraping his leg across
the floor, sate himself down at the corner of the table.

Dinner came. I, since I breathed the keen air of Connemara, had felt a
quickened appetite; but "Master Johnny" double-distanced me easily as
a trencher-man, and he, in turn, could not hold a candle to the nephew
of the defunct priest. Peter Feaghan was a silent and a steady workman,
and I firmly believe the drumsticks were regularly skeletonized before
the priest's heir was disposed to cry "Hold, enough!" At last the cloth
was removed; and a quart-bottle, a basin of sugar, with a jug of boiling
water of enormous capacity, were set down.

"What an infernal night it is!" ejaculated the younger traveller, as a
gust of wind drove the hail against the window. "Were you not in luck,"
he continued, "that chance drove two Christian men, like Peter and me,
among the mountains? Honest Tim is speechless by this hour, or he has
shortened his allowance greatly since I was here last. No flirting in
the house, for Mrs. Corrigan is a Carmelite, and _Brideen dhu_[54] has
bundled off with a _peeler_.[55] In short, you must have got drunk in
self-defence, and, for lack of company, as I have often done, drank one
hand against the other."

"Or," said I, "diluted the poteen with a draught of 'The Devil's
Elixir.'"

"The Devil's Elixir!" repeated the foxy-headed traveller; "and pray what
may that be?"

In reply, I handed him a volume of the Prussian Counsellor; he looked
at the title-page, and read the motto, "_In that yeare the Deville was
als seene walking publiclie on the streetes of Berline_." Laughing
loudly, he turned to the priest's heir.

"Holy Mary! had your poor uncle Paul been in town, he would have had a
shy at ould Beelzebub, or made him quit the flagway."

"And who was Uncle Paul?" I inquired of the stranger.

"What!" he exclaimed, in manifest astonishment, "not know that excellent
and gifted churchman,--one before whom the devil shook like a whipped
schoolboy?"

"And was Mr. Feaghan's influence over him, surnamed 'the Morning Star,'
so extraordinary?"

"Extraordinary you may well call it," resumed Foxy-Head. "The very
mention of Paul's name would produce an ague-fit. Many a set-to they
had--a clear stage and no favour--and in all and every, the devil was
regularly floored. There is the old house of Knockbraddigan,--for
months, man, woman, or child could not close an eye. Priest, monk,
and friar, all tried their hands in vain. Holy-water was expended
by the gallon--masses said thrice a week--a saint's finger borrowed
for the occasion, and brought all the way from Cork,--and even the
stable-lantern had a candle in it, blessed by the bishop. For all these
'Clooty' did not care a button, when Father Paul toddled in, and saved
the house and owner."

"Indeed?"

"Ay! and I'll tell you the particulars. It was the year after the
banks broke--times were bad--tenants racked--and Tom Braddigan, like
many a better man, poor fellow! was cleaned out by the sheriff. Never
was a _shuck_[56] sinner harder up for a few hundreds; and, to make a
long story short, _Hoofey_ came in the way, and Tom 'sould himself'
regularly. I never heard the sum, but it is said that it was a large
figure; and that, to give the devil his due, he never cobbled for a
moment, but paid a sporting price, and came down like a man. Well,
the tenure-day came round; Clooty was true to time, and claimed his
customer: but Tom was awake; Paul Feaghan was at his elbow, and, as it
turned out, Paul proved himself nothing but a good one.

"'Arrah! what do ye want here, honest man?' says the priest to the
devil, opening the conversation civilly.

"'No offence, I suppose,' says the other, 'for a body to look after his
own.'

"'None in the world,' replied Father Paul, answering him quite politely;
and all the while, poor Tom shaking like a Quaker.

"'Mr. Braddigan,' says the devil, 'we have a long drive before us, and
the carriage is waiting. Don't mind your _Cotamore_,[57] Tom; and the
eternal ruffian put his tongue in his cheek. 'Though the day's cold,
'pon my conscience, you shall have presently an air of the fire.'

"'Asy,' says the priest, 'what call have you to a Catholic?'

"'A Catholic!' replied the devil, with a twist of his lip, mimicking
Father Paul; 'maybe your reverence would tell us when he was last at
confession?'

"At this the priest lost temper. 'What the blazes,' says he, 'have you
to do with that? Was there any body present at the bargain _betune_[58]
ye?'

"'Hell to the one,' replied the devil.

"'Then,' says Father Paul, 'sorrow leg you would have to stand on if the
whole thing came before the barrister.'

"The devil gave a knowing look, and, dipping his hand into the left
breeches-pocket, took out a piece of paper, and, as an attorney shows
the corner of a promissory-note to an unwilling witness, he held it out
to Tom, and asked him was it his hand-writing: 'Tummas a Brawdeen,'[59]
says he, in Irish, 'is that yer fist?'

"'There's no denying it,' says Tom, with a shudder.

"'Then draw on yer boots, and let us be jogging.'

"'Asy,' says Father Feaghan. 'Did ye get the consideration, Tom?'

"The devil seemed uncommonly affronted. 'Paul Feaghan,' says he, 'I
didn't think you would suppose that I would take his I.O.U. and not
post the coal! By my oath,' he continued, 'and let him contradict me if
he can, a Tuam note he would not touch with the tongs; and the devil
a flimsy would go down with him, good or bad, but a regular Bank of
Ireland!'

"'Oh, be Jakers!' says the priest, 'you're done, Tom! Show me the note.'

"'Bedershin!' says the devil, clapping his right fore-finger on his nose.

"'Honour bright!' replied Father Paul.

"'Will ye return it?' inquired Old Hoofey.

"'Will a duck swim?' says the priest. 'Be this book,' says he, laying
his hand upon the tea-caddy, 'ye shall have it in two twos.'

"'There it is, then,' replied the other, 'and make your best of it.
Come, Tom, there's no turnpikes to pay where you're going to; so on with
your wrap-rascal,' pointing to the cotamore.

"But, sorrow wink was on Father Feaghan all the while. He examined the
note, and not a letter was wanting. It was regular, as if the devil had
been bound to an attorney--drawn on a three-shilling stamp,--and, as he
turned it round and round, it crumpled like singed parchment.

"'You're dished,' ejaculated his reverence, looking over at Tom.

"'Murder! murder!' says he, as Hoofey held out his hand for the I.O.U.

"'Arrah!' says Father Paul, 'do ye keep your papers in a tinderbox?'

"'They're over dry, I allow,' replied the devil; 'but in my place it's
hard to find a cool corner.'

"'We'll damp this one a little,' says the priest, slipping his hand fair
and asy into a mug of holy-water, and splashing half a pint of it on
_Tummas a Brawdeen's_ note. 'Put that in yer pocket to balance yer pipe.'

"In a moment the devil changed colour. 'Bad luck attend ye night and
day, for a circumventing villain!' says he.

"'Off with ye, you convicted ruffin!' roared Father Paul, making a
flourishing [cross]; and before Tom Braddigan had time to bless himself,
Clooty went up the chimney in a flash of fire, leaving the room
untenantable for a fortnight, from the sulphur; and _Tummas a Brawdeen_
sung, for the remainder of his life, 'Wasn't that elegantly done?'"

"Nothing could be better," said I, as Red-head closed his story. "What
a sensation the affair must have occasioned. 'Like angels' visits,' I
presume, the old gentleman's are 'few and far between?'"

"By no means," returned the stranger, "there are few families of any
fashion in this country, who have not, at some period or other, been
favoured with a call; and I myself was once honoured by his company at
supper."

I stared at the man; but he bore my scrutiny without flinching.

"Had you a party to meet his Satanic Majesty?" I inquired, with a smile.

"Not a soul," replied he. "We supped _tête-à-tête_; and a pleasanter
fellow never stretched his legs beneath a man's mahogany."

"You certainly have excited my curiosity not a little," said I.

"If I have," returned the fox-headed stranger, "I shall most willingly
give you a full account of our interview.

"It was the first Friday after the winter fair of Boyle. I was returning
home in bad spirits; for, though I sold my bullocks well, I had been
regularly cleaned out at loo, and hit uncommonly hard in a handicap. For
three nights I scarcely won a pool, and that was bad enough; but to lose
the best weight-carrier that was ever lapped in leather, for a paltry
ten-pound note, and a daisy-cutter with a fired leg and feathered eye,
would make a saint swear, and a Quaker kick his mother.

"Night had closed in, as I passed the cross-roads of Kilmactigue,
about two miles from home; and I pulled up into a walk, to bring my
bad bargain cool to the stable. Just then I heard a horse behind me,
coming on in a slapping trot; and, before you could say Jack Robinson, a
strange horseman was beside me.

"'Morra,[60] Mistre Dixon,' says he.

"'Morra to ye, sir,' says I, turning sharp about to see if I could
know him. He looked in the dim light a 'top-sawyer,' and, as far as I
could judge, the best-mounted man I had met for a month of Sundays. He
appeared to be dressed in black; his horse was the same colour as his
coat, and I began to tax my memory, hard, to recollect the place where
he and I had met before.

"'You have the advantage of me, sir,' says I.

"'Faith, and that's odd enough,' says he, 'for you and I rode head and
girth together at the stag-hunt at Rathgranaher.'

"'Death and nouns!' says I, 'is this Mr. Magan?'

"'I believe so,' says he, 'for want of a better.'

"'Ah! then,' said I, 'I'm glad I met you. Is that the black mare that
carried you so brilliantly?'

"'The same,' he replied.

"'No wonder I didn't know ye: you wore at Rathgranaher a light-green
coatee, and now you're black as a bishop.'

"'I buried an aunt of mine lately,' says he.

"'Maybe you could do as much for a friend,' replied I; 'I have a couple
at your service; and, as I pay them a hundred a year, I wish them often
at the devil.'

"'I'll make no objection on my part,' replied Mr. Magan. 'But how far is
it to Templebeg? It will be late before I reach it, I fear.'

"'It's the worst road in Connaught,' said I: 'my den is scarcely a mile
off; and, if you are not in a hurry, turn in for the night, and you
shall have a warm stall, a grilled bone, and a hearty welcome.'

"'Never say it again,' says Mr. Magan; and on we rode, cheek by jowl,
talking of fairs, horses, and the coming election. Lord! nothing came
amiss to him: he was up to every thing, from _écarté_ to robbing the
mail-coach; and in politics so knowing, that one while I fancied him a
Whig, and at the next I would have given my book oath he was a black
Orangeman.

"Before we reached the avenue, I tried if he would 'stand a knock.'[61]

"'Would you part with the mare?' says I.

"'If I was bid a sporting price, I would part with my grandmother, if I
had one,' was the reply.

"'What boot will you take, and turn tails?' said I.

"'Neighbour,' replied Mr. Magan, 'it must be a long figure that gets
Black Bess. What's that you're riding?'

"'A thorough-bred four-year old, by Langar, out of a Tom Pipes mare.'

"'Bedershin!' says Mr. Magan; 'Tom died before you were born.'

"This was a hard hit. Devil a one of me knew how the horse was bred;
but, as he happened to be a chestnut, I thought I would give Langar for
a sire. Pretending not to hear the remark, I continued,

"'He's uncommon fast up to twelve stone; will take five feet, 'coped and
dashed,' without a balk; and live the longest day with any fox-hounds on
the province. At three years old, Peter Brannick refused fifty for him.'

"'And didn't ask a rap for a dark eye and a ring-bone,' observed Mr.
Magan.

"'Oh!' says I, to myself, 'Magan, there's no coming over ye!' So I
thought that I had better leave horse-flesh alone, and try if I could
draw him at a setch of loo, or a hand of five and ten.

"With that we had ridden into the yard, and given our prads to the men,
with a hundred charges from the stranger, that his mare should have a
bran-mash and warm clothing. Well, I ushered him into the parlour, and
there was a roaring fire, and the cloth laid for supper; for, luckily
enough, Judy Mac Keal had expected me home. Mr. Magan took off his
cotamore, laid his hat and whip aside, and then threw his eyes over the
apartment.

"'_Mona mon diaoul!_'[62] says he, 'if there's a snugger hunting-box
between Birr and Bantry.'

"'Oh!' said I, 'the cabin's well enough for a loose lad like me.
Everything here is rough and ready; and, as it's a bachelor's shop, you
must make allowances.'

"'Arrah! nabocklish![63] I'm a single man myself, and it's wonderful how
well I get my health, and manage with a housekeeper. By-the-bye,' and he
looked knowing as a jailor, 'is Judy Mac Keal with you still?'

"'And what do you know about Judy, neighbour?' says I.

"'Don't be offended,' replied he. 'The boys were joking after supper
at Dinny Balfe's; and Maurice Ffrench named her for face and figure,
against any mentioned, for a pony.'

"'Ffrench is a fool!' I replied. 'But as you know Judy already, we'll
ring, and see if there's any chance of supper.'

"She answered the bell; told us the ducks were at the fire, and that in
half an hour all would be ready. When she went away, Magan swore she
was the best-looking trout he had laid eyes on for a twelvemonth; and,
spying out a pack of cards upon the chimney-piece, proposed that we
should kill time with a game of hookey or lansquenet.

"It was the very thing I wanted; but I took the offer indifferently.

"'Egad! I'm afraid of you,' says I, as I laid the pack upon the
table-cloth. He cut the cards.

"'The deal is yours. What an infernal ass I am to touch paper,' says
he; and kissing the knave of clubs. 'By this book, I'm such an unlucky
devil, that I verily believe, had my father bound me to a hatter, men
would be born without heads. Come, down with the dust!' and he pulled
from his breast-pocket a parcel of notes as thick as an almanack. They
were chiefly fives and tens; and when I remarked them all the black
bank,[64] I set him down a Northman.

"We played at first tolerably even; but, by the time supper was served,
I found myself a winner of twenty pounds. This was a good beginning; and
I determined to continue my good luck, and, if I could, do Mr. Magan
brown.

"Down we sate; my friend had an excellent appetite, and finished a duck
to his own share. We drank a bottle of sherry in double-quick, got the
cards again, and called for tumblers and hot water.

"Judy brought in the materials, and Mr. Magan began to quiz her.

"'Arrah! Miss Mac Keal,' says he, 'will ye come and keep house for me,
and I'll double your wages?'

"'And where do ye live?' replied she.

"'Down in the North,' returned Magan; 'and I have as nate a place, ay,
and as warm a house, as ever you laid a foot in!'

"'Have done with your joking,' says Judy, 'and go home to your own
dacent wife.'

"'I have her yet to look for,' replied he.

"'Devil have the liars,' says Judy.

"'Ah then, amen!' said Magan.

"'I wouldn't believe ye,' continued she, 'if you kissed the vestment on
it.'

"'_Liggum lathé_,'[65] says he.

"'Why, what good Irish you have for a Northman!' replied Judy.

"'My mother was a Munster woman,' says Mr. Magan.

"'Is she alive?' inquired she.

"'Dead as Cleopatra,' he said, with a laugh; and Judy afterwards
remarked, 'she knew he was a rascal, or he would have added, 'God rest
her soul!'

"When the housekeeper disappeared, the stranger filled a bumper. 'Egad!'
thought I, 'I'll try him now, whether he be radical or true-blue; and,
lifting up the tumbler, I proposed, 'The glorious, pious, and immortal
memory--'

"'Of the great and good King William,' says he, taking the word out of
my mouth.

"'Who freed us from Pope and popery, knavery, slavery--'

"'Brass money, and wooden shs,' returned the Northman.

"'May he who would not, on bare and bended knee, drink this toast, be
rammed, crammed--'

"'And damned!' roared Magan, as if the sentiment came from his very
heart. 'Here's the Pope in the pillory, and the Devil pelting priests at
him!' cried the Northman; and, with a laugh, off went the bumpers, and
we commenced the cards anew.

"Well, sir, that night I had the luck of thousands. The black bank-notes
came over the table-cloth by the dozen; and, as the Northman lost his
money, his temper went along with it. He cursed the cards, and their
maker; swore he would book himself[66] against bones and paper for a
twelvemonth; made tumbler after tumbler; and, as he drank them boiling
from the kettle, I wondered how he could swallow poteen-punch hot enough
to scald a pig.

"'Come,' says he, in a rage, 'I see how the thing will end; and the
sooner I am cleaned out, the better. Instead of a beggarly flimsey, fork
out a five-pound note.'

"'With all my heart,' replied I.

"'Curse of Cromwell attend upon all shmakers!' ejaculated Mr. Magan,
with a grin.

"'Arrah! what's vexing ye now?' says I, pulling the third five-pounder
across the cloth.

"'Every thing!' returned he, 'I have the worst of luck, a tight boot,
and a bad corn.'

"'I'll get ye slippers in a shake.'

"'Mind your cards,' says he, rather cross; 'there's nobody here but
ourselves, and I'll pull off my boot quietly under the table!'

"He did so: we continued play; and, though he lost ahead, he recovered
his temper, and seemed to bear it like a gentleman. It was quite clear
that the boot had made him cranky. No wonder: an angry corn and tight
shoe would try the patience of a bride.

"Well, the last of his bundle of bank-notes was in due course
transferred to me, and I fancied I had him 'polished off;' but, dipping
his hand into his big-coat pocket, he produced a green silk purse,
half a yard long, and stuffed, apparently, with sovereigns. I lighted
a cigar, and offered him another, but he declined it; and, after
groping his _cotamore_ for half a minute, produced a _dudheen_,[67]
which he lighted at the candle. I have smoked tobacco here these ten
years,--Persian or pigstail were all the same to me;--but the first
whiff of Magan's pipe I thought would have smothered me on the spot.

"'Holy Bridget!' says I, gasping for breath. 'Arrah! what stuff is that
you're blowing?'

"'It's rather strong,' says he, 'but beautiful when you're used to it.
Cut the cards; and, as they say in Connaught, 'if money stands, luck may
turn.'

"Just then Judy come in to ask Mr. Magan if he would have a second pair
of blankets on his bed.

"'Will you come with me?' says he, putting his arm round her jokingly.

"'God take ye, if possible!' cried Judy: 'pheaks! ye'r not over well
honest man, for your hand's in a fever!'

"'It's the liker my heart, Judy,' and he gave her a coaxing smile.

"'Sorrow one of me liked his making so free. 'Go on with your game,'
says I, 'and don't be putting your _comether_[68] over my housekeeper.'

"At the moment a horse-tramp was heard in the yard, and Judy ran to the
window.

"'Who's that?' says I. 'Devil welcome him, whver he is;' for I thought
he would interrupt us.

"'It's a short man on a grey pony,' says Judy, 'with a big blue cloak
about him.'

"'Phew!' and I whistled. 'It's Father Paul Feaghan.'

"'Father Paul!' ejaculated Mr. Magan, turning pale as a shirt-frill, and
dropping the _dudheen_ on the floor.

"'Oh, death and nouns! the carpet will be ruined!' roared Judy, plumping
down upon her knees, and snatching at the pipe; but, before she reached
it, she gave a wild scream, as if she saw a ghost, and began blessing
herself busily. But, scarcely had she made the sign of the [cross], when
a thunderclap shook the lodge; a blaze lightened through the
supper-room, and Mr. Magan, taking with him the black bank-notes, and
the hand of cards he was playing with, vanished up the chimney. No doubt
he would have taken the roof away into the bargain, had not Father Paul
been fortunately so near us."

"And," said I, "did no other evil consequences attend this unhallowed
visit?"

"Evil consequences!" returned Johnny Dixon, as he repeated my words:
"my stable-boy was frightened into fits; Judy Mac Keal kept her bed for
a fortnight,--and, _mona mon diaoul!_[69] thirty shillings did not pay
the glazier--for Magan,--the Lord's curse light upon him!--smashed the
windows into smithereens. But it grows late," he continued, addressing
his companion; "and you and I, Peter, must be up ere cockcrow. Good
night, sir!" and he turned to me. "Should you ever meet Mr. Magan--while
you remain in his society, never be persuaded, as they say in Mayo, to
'prove agreeable;' or, 'fight, flirt, play cards, or hold the candle.'"

[NOTE.-The story was told me at a supper-table by a Connaught gentleman,
with the most profound gravity imaginable. He, the hero, believed
it religiously himself; and w be to the sceptic who gainsayed its
authenticity.

Poor Johnny lies under a ton weight of Connemara marble. _Requiescat!_
A better fellow never took six feet in a stroke, carried off a third
bottle, or gave a job to the coroner. _Requiescat! Amen!_]

[53] _Anglicè_, John, my jewel.

[54] _Anglicè_, Black Biddy.

[55] A policeman.

[56] An Irish phrase, synonymous with _distressed_.

[57] Great-coat.

[58] Between.

[59] _Anglicè_, Tom Braddigan.

[60] Good-morrow.

[61] A handicap.

[62] An Irish imprecation.

[63] Be quiet.

[64] One of the Belfast banks is thus named.

[65] _Anglicè_, Have it your own way.

[66] Take his oath.

[67] _Anglicè_, A short pipe.

[68] A phrase expressive of using the power of persuasion.

[69] My soul to the devil.



                       A MERRY CHRISTMAS.
                    BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.

                                   Dover, December 20th, 1836.
            DEAR YOUR LORDSHIP,--I never writ to a lord before,
            and don't do it now spontaneous; but Mrs. Miggins
            desires me to ask you to join our Christmas party
            next week. Now I think that will be what you call a
            bore, because 'tisn't only us ourselves, but I can't
            give up old friends and relations, and so there'll be
            more Migginses than you ever saw before; and, always
            excepting daughter Sophy, I suspect you've seen more
            already than you ever wish to see again. However,
            daughter Sophy did seem to attract your notice like,
            last autumn here, when you was staying with the duke.
            I saw clear enough you didn't want the duke nor the
            duchess to know about it, and so I were glad when you
            took yourself away; but Sophy hankers after you, and
            my wife says,--and she's right enough there, though it
            dsn't generally follow that a thing's right because
            she says it,--that there's no reason why daughter
            Sophy shouldn't be a lord's wife and a lady herself,
            like other fine girls no ways her betters; and, though
            I did make my money in the soap and candle line, the
            money, now it's made, an't the worse; and so, if you
            really wants to marry Sophy, say it out and out, and
            I'll give my consent. It is but fair and right to tell
            your Lordship that there's another young man desperate
            about her,--not, when I say another young man, that
            I mean to call your lordship a young man, for I know
            that wouldn't be respectful. However, if I had my
            own way in all things,--which I haven't, and few men
            have,--Captain Mills of the artillery would be the man
            for Sophy. He's a mighty proper man to look at, and
            I've asked him down to spend Christmas here too; so, if
            your lordship don't think it worth while to come, why
            only say the word, and, to my thinking, Captain Mills
            will have a good chance.

            People do report things that I don't want
            to believe about your lordship's ways of going on;
            but if you do marry Sophy, hang it! make her happy.
            Don't take her away from them as loves her, and then
            be neglectful and unkind; for she don't know yet what
            unkindness is, and I know 'twould break her heart,
            and then I should break mine, and my poor wife would
            follow,--so that would break us all. But a lord must
            be a gentlemen, and a gentleman can't behave like a
            blackguard to a woman. So some down here on Saturday
            the 24th, and we'll have a merry Christmas and a happy
            New Year. In all which my wife and Sophy do join. So
            no more at present From your dear lordship's humble
            servant at command,        PETER MIGGINS.

Peter Miggins's letter to Lord John Lavender has probably sufficiently
introduced him to the reader. The right honourable personage to whom
that letter was addressed was the youngest son of a duke, and in all
respects as great a contrast to all the blood of the Migginses as can
possibly be imagined.

Lord John had been, for many years, one of the best-looking men about
town; so many years, indeed, had he been a beauty, that it was quite
wonderful to detect no change in his figure, face, or manner. He still
looked as he always had looked, and probably always intended to look.
There is this one great advantage in beginning to _make up_ early
in life,--nobody detects any difference. The toilet requires a more
protracted attention, and a steadier hand; but, once completed, to the
eye of the observer the colours and the outline are the same. No woman
ever thought more about her appearance than did Lord John Lavender; yet
there was a manliness in his manner and conversation which rescued him
from the charge of effeminacy.

He was devoted to the fair sex; so much so, that the world could
not help giving him credit for being so sedulously attentive to the
beautification of his person solely that he might render himself
agreeable in their eyes.

He certainly succeeded most admirably; and, at the same time that he
was in all societies courted and caressed by the fairest and the most
distinguished, there was one little well-known theatrical connexion,
_of_ which we will say as little as possible, and _to_ which old Mr.
Miggins had alluded in his letter.

Lord John Lavender's income was small, his expectations minute, his
expenses great, and his debts amounted to his overplus expenditure
for the number of years he had been about town. Of the sum total of
his incumbrances he was ignorant. Bills came in at stated periods,
and were carelessly thrown aside; for what was the use of looking at
their amount, knowing beforehand that he could not pay them? But he was
aware this could not go on for ever; he knew that, according to custom,
tradesmen would trust him, as they constantly trust others, almost to
any amount, for a certain period, without having from the first the
slightest reason to suppose that the individual so trusted would ever be
in a condition to pay them; and then all of a sudden they would pounce
upon him, demand payment of all arrears, and trust no more.

Now, it was quite impossible for Lord John to think of retrenchment.
Among the absolute necessaries of life he reckoned at least two pair of
primrose kid gloves a-day, at three shillings a-pair. Two guineas a-week
for gloves,--the price of a moderate bachelor's lodging! Life would be
intolerable without such things; so, in order that he might continue in
the land of the living, his fastidious lordship had deigned to smile
upon Miss Sophy Miggins, and had permitted the idea of marriage with a
plebeian to enter his aristocratic mind.

No wonder that Sophy should be dazzled by smiles from such a quarter.
She was pleased and flattered, and imagined that she liked his lordship
exceedingly, though she never felt at ease in his presence. He was
so unlike everybody with whom she had been accustomed to associate,
that she had sense enough to suppose she must be equally unlike his
former companions, and she was always afraid of exciting his wonder and
ridicule by some awkward breach of the usages of good society. But then
to walk about with a lord, was a thing not to be resisted; and though
she would have been much happier with the Captain Mills of whom her
father made honourable mention in his letter to Lord John, still she
never could bring herself to reject the proffered arm of his lordship.

And had she made up her mind to accept the _hand_ of Lord John Lavender,
should that also in due course of time be proffered? Not exactly; but
Mrs. Miggins had decided for her. That his intentions were honourable,
she could not doubt. Honourable! nay, was he not a _right_ honourable
lover? So, in full expectation of an offer for her daughter, the
old lady bought a "Peerage," placed it in a conspicuous part of her
drawing-room, and looked very coldly on Captain Mills.

The captain was ordered to Woolwich; and Lord John having left Dover,
Sophy could not, at parting, help evincing to poor Mills a little of
the partiality which she felt. Such was the position of affairs when
Mr. Miggins, who had no notion of men (nor lords neither) being shilly
shally, as he called it, was determined to bring matters to a crisis.
He therefore, after much serious cogitation, wrote the letter which has
been confidentially exhibited to the reader; and also another, requiring
infinitely less forethought, which he dispatched to Captain Mills.

"What day of the month is it?" said Lord John to his valet, after
perusing the epistle of his Dover correspondent.

"The twenty-first, my lord."

"The twenty-first!" exclaimed his lordship finishing his
coffee.--"Wednesday, I declare!--and Sunday is Christmas-day! If I go at
all, I must go on Saturday at latest."

"My lord?"

"I must go to Dover, Friday or Saturday."

"Oh! on your way to the Continent? I think it would be advisable, my
lord."

"The Continent! no:--why advisable?"

"Why, my lord; _may_ I speak?" inquired Faddle, as he removed breakfast.

"Certainly: what have you to say?"

"Why, the tradespeople, my lord:--just at Christmas-time the bills do
fall in like a shower of paper-snow in a stage-play."

"Oh! and you think I must get out of the way, and let the storm blow
over, eh?"

"I do, indeed, my lord; for I'm sorry to say it's very threatening."

"Oh, well! we'll go as far as Dover; there's no occasion to cross that
odious channel."

"If I may make bold to ask, why will your lordship be safer at Dover
than in London?"

"Don't you remember that pretty girl, Faddle? the girl with the rich
father,--Miss Miggins?"

"Oh! _marriage!_" said Faddle, with a very deep sigh.

"Yes, Faddle, marriage."

"And here's a billet from May-fair!"

"Ah! let me see;" and Lord John opened an elegant little note, penned on
a rose-leaf,--at least, in colour and fragrance it resembled one.

"She acts to-night, and desires me to dine with her on Christmas-day.
Leave me, Faddle. Give me pen, ink, and paper; send me the _coiffeur_
directly. I must speak to Tightfit's man at one; appoint Heeltap at two,
and Gimcrack and Shine a quarter of an hour later."

"To speak about their bills, my lord?"

"Oh dear, no; to elongate their bills. But _they_ are too distinguished
in their respective lines to breathe a hint about the _trifles_. As to
the _canaille_ of tradesmen, mention my intended marriage."

"Oh! it's settled?"

"Why, to be sure; you don't suppose I've anything to do _but to go_!"

The valet bowed, and left the noble lord to his meditations. At three he
was in his cab,--at five in May-fair,--at eight in the green-room.

Rapidly passed Thursday and Friday; and, among his many preparations
for departure on Saturday, Lord John forgot to write to his future
father-in-law, to intimate that it was his intention to depart. No
matter; they would only be the more delighted at his unexpected arrival.
Faddle packed up all his things; and, as his cambric handkerchiefs and
kid gloves entirely filled one portmanteau, some notion may be formed
of the quantity of luggage which it was absolutely necessary for him to
take.

All this, however, was despatched by the mail on Friday night, directed
to "Lord John Lavender, Worthington's Ship Hotel." On Saturday morning,
his lordship, accompanied by his faithful Faddle, was to follow in a
post-chariot and four. But Saturday morning came, and with it came
another rose-leaf, on which were lines so delicately penned, that----

Suffice it to say that Lord John Lavender postponed his departure, dined
in May-fair on Christmas-day, and, having resolved to travel all night,
ordered horses to be at the door at ten. He at length tore himself away,
wrapped himself up in several cloaks, threw himself into a corner of
the carriage, and fell fast asleep. Poor Faddle in the rumble was most
uncomfortably situated. It was no common snow-storm that commenced on
Christmas-night 1836, nor was it a commonly keen wind that blew upon
him. He shivered and shook, muttering foul curses on May-fair; and
very shortly became as white as a sugar ornament on the exterior of a
twelfth-cake, and very nearly as inanimate. With much ado they reached
Canterbury; their stopping suddenly, roused Lord John Lavender from his
repose. Somebody tapped at the window, and most reluctantly he opened it.

"If you please, my lord, we can't go any further," stammered the
miserable and long-suffering Faddle.

"If _I_ please! nonsense: horses out directly!"

"They say it's not possible, my lord: we've come through terrible
dangers as it is."

"Not possible! why not?"

"The snow, my lord."

"Snow! nonsense!--as if it never snowed before! Tell them who I am. I
say, you fellows, put horses to,--the distance is nothing;--go on;" and
Lord John pulled up the glass, threw himself again into his corner, and
the landlord, knowing that though they would inevitably be obliged to
return, the horses must be paid for, tipped the postilion the wink, and
on they went.

_But not to Dover!_ Slowly they proceeded: now one wheel was up in the
air, and then the other. Lord John was himself startled when he saw the
deep drifts through which they waded; and when at last they stopped at a
low miserable hovel by the road-side, he no longer urged the possibility
of proceeding farther.

"We must return to Canterbury."

"Impossible, my lord: after we passed a part of the road which had been
cut between two hills, an immense mass of snow fell, and blocked it up.
It is a mercy it did not fall upon _us_;--we had a narrow escape."

"We _can't_ stay here," said Lord John, looking at the wretched hut
before him.

"We _must_ stay here," said one of the drivers.

"Why, I haven't got my things!--what can I do, Faddle, without my
things? I haven't even a clean cambric handkerchief, nor a tooth-brush!"

It was too true: it had appeared so easy to have his "_things_" unpacked
and placed on his dressing-table the moment he arrived at Dover, that
literally nothing had been provided. Intense cold soon drove Lord John
into the hut; from which, however, his first impulse was to emerge
again, so execrable were the fumes of bad tobacco, and so odious the
group which preoccupied the low chamber.

"Walk in and welcome," cried a tipsy waggoner; "we be all friends."

"Oh, faith!" said an Irish _lady_, whose husband, a "needy
knife-grinder," was asleep on the floor, "he's a rale gintleman, and
I'll give him a sate by myself, and p'raps he'll trate me to a drop of
comfort."

Lord John felt exceedingly sick; and, choking with anger and
tobacco-smoke, he turned to the ragged lad of the house, and ordered a
private room.

"There be no room, sir, but this here, besides that there up the ladder."

"Up there, then," said his lordship, approaching it.

"No, but ye can't though," said the lad interposing: "mother and
sister's asleep up there, and the waggoner's wife, and all the females
except she as sits there, by the fire."

Lord John paused; he could not invade the territory of the fair sex:
what was to be done?

"Can't I have a bed?"

"There _be_ some dry straw left, I take it: I'll go and see, and give
you a shake down here, and welcome."

"A shake down!" groaned his lordship, "Faddle!"

"Yes, my lord."

"Where are you?"

"Here--dying, I believe; I never was so ill!" and there in truth lay
Faddle, rolling on the bare floor.

"I say, Mother Murphy," said the tipsy Waggoner, "that ere chap's a
lord!"

"They be going to do away wi' them, I hear," said the Radical
knife-grinder, waking up; "and a good job too;--werry useless fellors, I
take it."

"Bless his pretty face!" said the Irish lady: "exchange is no robbery;
and I'd gi' him a kiss for a drop of the cratur."

"You be hung!" cried her husband, throwing a stool at her head; "you've
had too much already."

The fair representative of Hibernia was not to be put upon; up she
started, and there was a pitched battle between her and her husband,
which ended in the fall of both.

Unused to fatigue, Lord John at last threw himself on his straw. But
what a night did he pass! the noise, the smell, the discomfort, the
fleas--oh!

By many will the last week of 1836 be long remembered, but by none with
greater horror than by the Right Honourable Lord John Lavender.

Without wholesome food,--without a change of linen,--exposed to cold,
privation, and every possible annoyance, he became seriously unwell; and
when, at the end of a week, the indefatigable Mr. Worthington opened a
communication between Dover and Canterbury by means of a sledge, the
poor prisoner was unable to avail himself of it. Some comforts and
necessary restoratives were, however, conveyed to him; and at the end
of another week, after the road had been traversed by many, four horses
were again put to his carriage, and, entering it like the shadow of his
former self, he once more started on his way to Dover. We have said that
there is a great advantage in having begun to "_make up_" early in life.
Not so, however, when the process has been suddenly and unavoidably
interrupted. But Lord John was sure to find all he wanted as soon as he
arrived at the Ship Hotel; a few hours' renovation would prepare him
for his interview with the fair Sophy. He threw himself back in the
carriage, and indulged in the most gratifying anticipations.

He was roused from his reverie by the rapid approach of a chariot and
four greys; and, leaning forward, he caught a glimpse of Sophy,--the
lovely, amiable Sophy,--who, having heard of his dilemma, had,
doubtless, set out to seek him!

"Stop! stop!" cried Lord John. "Here, Faddle, get down; call to those
drivers. Hollo there!--open the door--let down the step--give me your
arm--that will do: I'm delighted to see you, Sophy; I recognised you in
a minute: I was on my way to Dover to pay my respects."

Sophy blushed, and smiled, and did not seem to know what to say: at last
she articulated,

"Papa and mamma will be happy to see you, my lord: allow me to introduce
to your lordship my husband, Captain Mills;" and a gentleman leaned
forward and bowed, who had before been invisible.

"Your lordship will be in time for the wedding-dinner; you will have the
kindness to say you have seen us."

Saying thus, Captain Mills and _his lady_ again bowed and smiled; and,
leaving his lordship in amazement, the wedding equipage dashed on.

Lord John Lavender proceeded to Dover, and, looking into some Sunday
chronicle of fashionable scandal, he saw that his friend of May-fair had
just entered into another _arrangement_. His case was desperate; and,
accompanied only by his valet, he proceeded on what lords and gentlemen
so circumstanced, call, a _Continental trip_.

They who choose to read a document on a certain church-door, may
ascertain, that though no Robin Hood, the Right Honourable Lord John
Lavender is an outlaw.



                  FAMILY STORIES.--No. II.
                  LEGEND OF HAMILTON TIGHE.


                                         Tapton Everard, Feb. 14, 1837.
FRIEND BENTLEY,--I see you have got hold of some of our family secrets;
but Seaforth was always a blab. No matter: as you _have_ found your way
into our circle, why, I suppose we must even make the best of it, and
let you go on. The revival of "Old Sir Giles's" story has set us all
rummaging among the family papers, of which there is a large chest full
"apud _castro_ de Tappington," as a literary friend of mine has it. In
the course of her researches, Caroline the other day popped upon the
history of a far-off cousin, some four or five generations back,--a
sad story,--a sort of Uriah business,--in which a principal part was
played by a great-great-aunt of ours. In order to secure her own child's
succession to a fair estate, she was always believed to have wantonly
exposed the life of her husband's only son by a former marriage; and
through the assistance of her brother, a sea-captain, to have at least
thrust him unnecessarily into danger, even if their machinations went
no farther. The lad was killed; and report said that an old boatswain
confessed on his death-bed--But Miss Simpkinson will tell you the
story better than I can. She has dished it up for you in her choicest
Pindarics; and though the maiden is meek, her muse is masculine.

                                          Yours, as it may be,
                                             THOMAS INGOLDSBY.


         THE LEGEND OF HAMILTON TIGHE.

    The captain is walking his quarter-deck,
    With a troubled brow and a bended neck;
    One eye is down through the hatchway cast,
    The other turns up to the truck on the mast;
    Yet none of the crew may venture to hint
    "Our skipper hath gotten a sinister squint!"

    The captain again the letter hath read
    Which the bum-boat woman brought out to Spithead--
    Still, since the good ship sailed away,
    He reads that letter three times a-day;
    Yet the writing is broad and fair to see
    As a skipper may read in his degree,
    And the seal is as black, and as broad, and as flat,
    As his own cockade in his own cock'd hat:
    He reads, and he says, as he walks to and fro,
    "Curse the old woman--she bothers me so!"

    He pauses now, for the topmen hail--
    "On the larboard quarter a sail! a sail!"
    That grim old captain he turns him quick,
    And bawls through his trumpet for Hairy-faced Dick.

    "The breeze is blowing--huzza! huzza!
    The breeze is blowing--away! away!
    The breeze is blowing--a race! a race!
    The breeze is blowing--we near the chase!
    Blood will flow, and bullets will fly,--
    Oh where will be then young Hamilton Tighe?"--

    --"On the fman's deck, where a man should be,
    With his sword in his hand, and his f at his knee.
    Cockswain, or boatswain, or reefer may try,
    But the first man on board will be Hamilton Tighe!"

         *       *       *       *       *

    Hairy-faced Dick hath a swarthy hue,
    Between a gingerbread nut and a Jew,
    And his pigtail is long, and bushy, and thick,
    Like a pump-handle stuck on the end of a stick.
    Hairy-faced Dick understands his trade;
    He stands by the breech of a long carronade,
    The linstock glows in his bony hand,
    Waiting that grim old skipper's command.

    "The bullets are flying--huzza! huzza!
    The bullets are flying--away! away!"
    The brawny boarders mount by the chains,
    And are over their buckles in blood and brains:
    On the fman's deck, where a man should be,
          Young Hamilton Tighe
          Waves his cutlass high,
    And _Capitaine Crapaud_ bends low at his knee.

    Hairy-faced Dick, linstock in hand,
    Is waiting that grim-looking skipper's command:--
          A wink comes sly
          From that sinister eye--
    Hairy-faced Dick at once lets fly,
    And knocks off the head of young Hamilton Tighe!

         *       *       *       *       *

    There's a lady sits lonely in bower and hall,
    Her pages and handmaidens come at her call:
    "Now haste ye, my handmaidens, haste and see
    How he sits there and glow'rs with his head on his knee!"
    The maidens smile, and, her thought to destroy,
    They bring her a little pale mealy-faced boy;
    And the mealy-faced boy says, "Mother dear,
    Now Hamilton's dead, I've a thousand a-year!"

    The lady has donn'd her mantle and hood,
    She is bound for shrift at St. Mary's Rood:--
    "Oh! the taper shall burn, and the bell shall toll,
    And the mass shall be said for my step-son's soul,
    And the tablet fair shall be hung up on high,
    _Orate pro anima Hamilton Tighe!_"

          Her coach and four
          Draws up to the door,
    With her groom, and her footman, and half a score more;
    The lady steps into her coach alone,
    And they hear her sigh and they hear her groan;
    They close the door, and they turn the pin,
    _But there's one rides with her who never stept in_!
    All the way there, and all the way back,
    The harness strains, and the coach-springs crack,
    The horses snort, and plunge, and kick,
    Till the coachman thinks he is driving Old Nick:
    And the grooms and the footmen wonder and say,
    "What makes the old coach so heavy to-day?"
    But the mealy-faced boy peeps in, and sees
    A man sitting there with his head on his knees.

    'Tis ever the same, in hall or in bower,
    Wherever the place, whatever the hour,
    That lady mutters and talks to the air,
    And her eye is fixed on an empty chair;
    But the mealy-faced boy still whispers with dread,
    "She talks to a man with never a head!"

         *       *       *       *       *

    There's an old yellow admiral living at Bath,
    As grey as a badger, as thin as a lath;
    And his very queer eyes have such very queer leers,
    They seem to be trying to peep at his ears.
    That old yellow admiral gs to the Rooms,
    And he plays long whist, but he frets and fumes,
    For all his knaves stand upside down,
    And the Jack of clubs ds nothing but frown;
    And the kings, and the aces, and all the best trumps,
    Get into the hands of the other old frumps;
    While, close to his partner, a man he sees
    Counting the tricks with his head on his knees.

    In Ratcliffe Highway there's an old marine store,
    And a great black doll hangs out at the door;
    There are rusty locks, and dusty bags,
    And musty phials, and fusty rags,
    And a lusty old woman, called Thirsty Nan,
    And her crusty old husband's a hairy-faced man!

    That hairy-faced man is sallow and wan,
    And his great thick pigtail is wither'd and gone;
    And he cries, "Take away that lubberly chap
    That sits there and grins with his head in his lap!"
    And the neighbours say, as they see him look sick,
    "What a rum old covey is Hairy-faced Dick!"

    That admiral, lady, and hairy-faced man
    May say what they please, and may do what they can;
    But one thing seems remarkably clear,--
    They may die to-morrow, or live till next year,--
    But wherever they live, or whenever they die,
    They'll never get quit of young Hamilton Tighe.



            NIGHTS AT SEA:
  _Or, Sketches of Naval Life during the War_.
           BY THE OLD SAILOR.

         THE CAPTAIN'S CABIN.

    For the purple Nautilus is my boat,
    In which I over the waters float;
    The moon is shining upon the sea.
    Who is there will come and sail with me?--L.E.L.

Of all the craft that ever swam upon salt-water give me the dashing
forty-four gun frigate, with a ship's company of dare-devils who would
board his Satanic Majesty's kitchen in the midst of cooking-time, if
they could only get a gallant spirit to lead them. And pray, what would
a ship's company be without leaders? for, after all, it is the officers
that make the men what they are; so that, when I see a well-rigged
man-o'-war, in which discipline is preserved without unnecessary
punishment or toil, that's the hooker for me; and such was his Britannic
Majesty's frigate, "the saucy, thrash-'em-all SPANKAWAY," for by that
title was she known from Yarmouth Roads to the Land's End. Oh, she was a
lovely creature! almost a thing of life! and it would be outraging the
principles of beauty to give her any other than a female designation.
Everybody has been in love some time or other in the course of his
existence, and the object of affection was no doubt an angel in the eyes
of the ardent lover:--just so was the frigate to me--an angel; for she
had wings, and her movements were regulated by the breath of heaven.
She was the very standard of loveliness, the most exquisite of graceful
forms. At anchor she sat upon the water with all the elegance and ease
of the cygnet, or like a queen reclining on her downy couch. Under weigh
she resembled the pretty pintado bird skimming the billow tops, or the
fleet dolphin darting from wave to wave. Then to see her climb the
rolling swell, or cleave the rising foam, baptising her children with
the spray, and naming them her seamen--Oh, it was a spectacle worth a
life to witness!

And who was her captain? the intrepid Lord Eustace Dash; a man more
ennobled by his acts than by the courtesy which conferred his title; one
who loved the women, hated the French, and had a constitutional liking
for the rattling reports of a long-eighteen. His first lieutenant, Mr.
Seymour, knew his duty, and performed it. The second lieutenant, Mr.
Sinnitt, followed the example of his senior. The third lieutenant, Mr.
Nugent, obeyed orders, touched the guitar, and was extremely anxious
to become an author. Then there was Mr. Scalpel, the surgeon; Mr.
Squeez'em, the purser; and Mr. Parallel, the master; with the two marine
officers, Plumstone and Peabody. Such were the _élite_ of the frigate;
but it would be unpardonable--a sort of sea-sacrilege--not to notice Mr.
Savage, the boatswain; Mr. Blueblazes, the gunner; and Mr. Bracebit, the
carpenter, all good men and true, who had come in at the hawse-holes,
and served through the various gradations till they mounted the
anchor-button on their long-tailed coats. As for the mates, midshipmen,
and assistant-surgeons, there was a very fair sprinkling,--the demons of
the orlop, each with his nickname. Her crew--but we will speak of them
presently.

Hark! it is four bells, in the first dog-watch; and there rolls the
summons by the drum, calling the brave to arms. See how the hatchways
pour forth the living mass! and in three minutes every soul fore and aft
is at his appointed post. The gallant ship lies almost slumbering on the
fair bosom of the waters, and the little progress she ds make is as
noiseless as a delightful dream; like the lone point in the centre of
a circle, she is surrounded by the blue waves, and nothing intervenes
to break the connected curve of the horizon. Upon the quarter-deck, his
right hand thrust into his waistcoat, and his feet firmly planted on the
white plank, as if desirous of making the bark feel his own peculiar
weight, stands her brave commander: near him Mr. Squeez'em and two
young imps of aides-de-camp take up their allotted stations; the former
to note and minute down the details of action, the latter to fly to
the infernal regions of the magazine,or anywhere else, at the bidding
of their chief. The lieutenants are mustering their divisions through
the agency of the young gentlemen; the surgeon and his assistants,
happily having nothing to do below, appear abaft the mizen-mast;
whilst Mr. Parallel holds brief consultation with the veteran Savage,
whose portrait is affixed to each cat-head. Mr. Bracebit is sounding
the well, and old Blueblazes is skimming about wherever circumstances
require his presence. The marines, stiffened with pipe-clay, and their
heads immoveable from what the negroes appropriately call "a top-boot
round de neck," are parading on the gangway--their thumbs as stark as
tobacco-stoppers, and their fingers as straight as a "hap'orth of pins."
What a compound of pomatum and heel-ball, pipe-clay and sand-paper!

And now the officers give in their reports to the captain, who walks
round the quarters to make a personal inspection, and, as he looks along
the frowning battery, his lordship is proud of his bonny bark; whilst,
as he gazes on his gallant crew, his heart exults in beholding some of
the finest specimens of Britain's own that ever made their "home upon
the deep."

"What think you of the weather, Mr. Parallel?" inquires his lordship, on
returning to the quarter-deck. "Will it be fine to-night?"

The old man scans the horizon with an eye of professional scrutiny,
and then replies, "I have my doubts, my lord; but at this time o' year
the helements are beyond the ken of human understanding. I've been up
the Mediterranean, off and on, man and boy, some five-and-forty years;
it is to me like the face of a parent to a child, but I never could
discover from its features what was passing in its heart, or the fit it
would take next; one minute a calm, the next a squall; one hour a gentle
breeze that just keeps the sails asleep, the next a gale of wind enough
to blow the devil's horns off."

Lord Eustace well knows the veteran's peculiarities; indeed he is the
only privileged talker in the ship, and so much esteemed by all, that no
one seeks to check his loquacity.

"Beat the retreat, and reef the topsails, Mr. Seymour," cries the
captain to his first lieutenant, and the latter despatches one of the
young gentlemen to repeat the orders.

Rub-a-dub gs the drum again; but before the sound of the last tap has
died away, the twhit-twhit of the boatswain's call summons his mates
to their duty; a loud piping succeeds, and "Reef topsails ahoy!" is
bellowed forth from lungs that might have been cased with sheet-iron,
so hoarse is the appeal. And see! before you can slue round to look,
from the tack of the flying-jib to the outer clue of the spanker, the
lower rattlins of the fore, main, and mizen shrouds are thronged with
stout active young men, who keep stealthily ascending, till the first
lieutenant's "Away aloft!" sends them up like sparks from a chimney-pot.
The topsails are lowered, the studding-sail booms are triced up, the
topmen mount the horses, the earings are hauled out, the reef-points
tied, the sails rehoisted, and the men down on deck again in one minute
and fifty-two seconds from the moment the halliards first rattled from
the rack.

"Very well done, Mr. Seymour!" exclaims his lordship, as he stands near
the wheel, with his gold repeater in his hand; "and cleverly reefed too:
those after-points are well taut, and show as straight a line as if it
had been ruled by a schoolmaster."

"Natur's their schoolmaster, my lord," says old Parallel, with a pleased
and business-like countenance; "and, consequently, they have everything
well taut."

"Very good, master," exclaimed his lordship, laughing, "you get more
witty than ever."

"It's strange," muttered the veteran, surlily, "that I can't speak a
simple truth, without their logging it down again' me for wit. For my
part I see no wit in it."

"Pipe the hammocks down, Mr. Seymour; give them half an hour, and then
call the watch," orders his lordship.

"Ay, ay, sir!" responds the first lieutenant. "Stand by the hammocks,
Mr. Savage."

"Twhit-twhit!" gs the boatswain's call, followed by a voice like a
distant thunderclap, "Hammocks ahoy!" and away flies every man to the
nettings; but not a lashing is touched till the whole have found owners,
(the occupation of a minute,) when the first lieutenant's "Pipe down!"
draws forth a lark-like chirping of the calls, and in a few seconds the
whole have disappeared; even the hammock-men to the young gentlemen have
fetched their duplicate, and the cloths are rolled up for the night. The
gallant Nelson had his coffin publicly exhibited in his cabin; but what
of that? the seaman constantly sleeps in his coffin, for such is his
hammock should he die at sea.

Lord Eustace has retired to his cabin, and the officers are pacing to
and fro the quarter-deck, conversing on

          "Promotion, mess-debts, absent friends, and love."

The glory of the day is on the wane; the full round moon arises bright
and beautiful, like a gigantic pearl from the coral caverns of the
ocean; but there is a sort of sallow mistiness upon the verge of the
western horizon, tinged with vermeil streaks from the last rays of the
setting sun, that produce feelings of an undefined and undefinable
nature: yet there is nothing threatening, for all is delightfully
tranquil; no cloud appears to excite apprehensions, for there is a
smile upon the face of the heavens, and its dimples are reflected on
the surface of the clear waters as assurances of safety. Yet, why are
there many keen and experienced eyes glancing at that sickly aspect of
the west, as if it were something which tells them of sudden squalls,
of whirling hurricanes, like the unnatural flush that gives warning of
approaching fever.

"The captain will be happy to have the company of the gun-room officers,
to wind up the day, sir," said his lordship's steward, addressing the
first lieutenant.

"The gun-room officers, much obliged, will wait upon his lordship,"
returned Mr. Seymour; then, turning to Mr. Parallel, "Come, master; what
attracts your attention there to windward? The captain has sent us an
invitation to take our grog with him. Are you ready?"

"Ay, ay!" responded the old man, "with pleasure; his lordship means
to make Saturday night of it, I suppose; and I must own it has been a
precious long week, though, according to the log, it's ounly Thursday."

The cabin of Lord Eustace had nothing splendid about it; the guns were
secured by the tackles, ready for instant use, and everything was plain
and simple; the deck was carpeted, and the furniture, handsome of its
kind, more suited for utility than show. The baize-covered table was
amply supplied with wines, spirits, and liquors, which his lordship
prided himself in never having but of the best quality; and a jovial
party sat around to enjoy the invigorating cheer.

"Gentlemen," said his lordship, rising, "The King!"

Heartily was that toast drunk, for never was monarch more affectionately
served by his royal navy than George the Third. Other toasts were
given, national and characteristic songs were sung; the relaxation of
discipline loosened the restraints on harmony, and that kindly feeling
prevailed which forms the best bond of union amongst the officers, and
commands respect and esteem from the men.

"Come, Mr. Nugent, have you nothing new to give us? no fresh effusion of
the muse?" enquired his lordship.

"As for any thing fresh," said old Parallel, "I know he puts us all into
a pretty pickle with his 'briny helement,' and in his 'salt-sea sprays,'
everlasting spouting like a fin-back at play; what with him and the
marines' flutes I suffer a sort of cable-laid torture."

"You've no taste for ptry, master," returned the young officer: "but
come, I'll give you my last song; Plumstone has set it to music;" and
with a clear sonorous voice he sang the following:

    "Hail to the flag--the gallant flag! Britannia's proudest boast;
    Her herald o'er the distant sea, the guardian of her coast;
    Where'er 'tis spread, on field or flood, the blazonry of fame;
    And Britons hail its mastery with shouts of loud acclaim.

    Hail to the flag--the gallant flag! in battle or in blast;
    Whether 'tis hoisted at the peak, or nail'd to splinter'd mast;
    Though rent by service or by shot, all tatter'd it may be,
    Old England's tars shall still maintain its dread supremacy.

    Hail to the flag--the gallant flag, that Nelson proudly bore,
    When hostile banners waved aloft, amid the cannon's roar!
    When France and Spain in unison the deadly battle close,
    And deeper than its own red hue the vital current flows.

    Hail to the flag--the gallant flag! for it is Victory's own,
    Though Trafalgar re-echs still the hero's dying groan;
    The Spaniards dows'd their jaundiced rag on that eventful day,
    And Gallic eagles humbly crouch'd, acknowledging our sway.

    Hail to the flag--the gallant flag! come, hoist it once again;
    And show the haughty nations round, our throne is on the main;
    Our ships are crowns and sceptres, whose titles have no flaw,
    And legislators are our guns dispensing cannon law.

    Once more then hail the gallant flag! the seaman's honest pride,
    Who loves to see it flaunt the breeze, and o'er the ocean ride;
    Like the genius of his country, 'tis ever bold and free;
    And he will prove, where'er it flies, we're sovereigns of the sea."

"Very fair, very fair, Mr. Nugent," said his lordship; "and not badly
sung, either."

"Ay, ay, my lord, the youngster's well enough," chimed in old Parallel;
"but, what with his ptry and book-making, I'm half afraid he'll forget
the traverse-tables altogether."

"And pray how ds the book-making, as the master calls it, get on,
Nugent?" inquired the captain: "have you made much progress?"

"I have commenced, my lord," returned the junior lieutenant, pulling out
some papers from his pocket; "and, with your lordship's permission----"

"You'll inflict it upon us," grumbled the old master, and shrugging up
his shoulders as he perceived his messmate was actually about to read,
whether the captain sanctioned it or not.

"Now then, attention to my introduction!" said Nugent, holding up the
manuscript, heedless of the nods and winks of his companions; "I'm sure
you'll like it. 'The moon is high in the mid heavens, and not a single
envious cloud frowns darkly upon her fair loveliness; there is a flood
of silvery light; and fleecy vapours, with their hoary crests, like
snow-wreaths from the mountain top, float on its surface to do honour to
the queen of night. The winds are sporting with the waters; the amorous
waves are heaving up their swelling bosoms to be kissed by the warm
breeze that comes laden with perfumes from the sunny clime of Italy.
There is a glow of crimson lingering in the west, as if departing day
blushed for her wanton sister. Hail, thou inland sea, upon whose breast
the gallant hers of the British isles have fought and conquered!
Ancient history recounts thy days of old, and the bold shores that
bind thee in their arms stand as indubitable records of the truth of
Holy Writ. The tall ship, reflected on thy ocean mirror, seems to view
her symmetry in silent exultation, as if conscious of her grandeur and
her beauty, her majesty and her might. The giantess of the deep, her
lightnings sleeping and her thunders hushed, dances lightly o'er thy
mimic billows, and curtseys to the gentle gale.' There, my lord, that is
the way I begin: and I appeal to your well-known judgment whether it is
not a pretty picture, and highly ptical."

"A pretty picture truly," grumbled old Parallel: "it ounly wants a
squadron of angels seated with their bare starns upon the wet clouds,
scudding away before it like colliers in the Sevin, and in one corner
the heads of a couple o' butcher's boys blowing wooden skewers, and
then it would be complete. Why, there's the marine a-laughing at you.
Talk about the winds kissing the waves, indeed. Ay, ay, young sir, when
you've worked as many reckonings as ould Will Parallel,--and that's
myself,--you'll find 'em kiss somat else, or you'll have better luck
than your neighbours. Why don't you stick to Natur, if you mean to
write a book? and how'll the log stand then?--Why, His Majesty's ship
Spankaway cruising in the Mediterranean: and if you've worked your day's
work, you ought to know the latitude and longitude. Well, there she is,
with light winds and fine weather, under double-reefed top-sels, jib,
and spanker, the courses snugly hauled up, the t'gant-sels furled in
a skin as smooth as an infant's, the staysels nicely stowed, and not
a yard of useless canvass abroad. There'd be some sense in that, and
everybody would understand it; but as for your kissing and blushing, and
such like stuff, why it's all nonsense."

"That's always the way with you matter-o'-fact men," retorted
the lieutenant: "you make no allowance for the colourings of the
imagination; your ideas of the picturesque never go beyond the ship's
paint."

"But they do, though, my young friend," asseverated the master, to the
great amusement of all present. "Show me the ship's paint that can
compare with the ruby lustre of this fine old port--here's a discharge
of grape."

"That's a metaphor, master," said the purser; "and, moreover,"--and he
seemed to shudder at the abomination,--"it is a pun."

"Ay, ay," answered the veteran, holding up his glass to the light, and
eyeing its contents with evident satisfaction, "we've often met afore;
and as for the pun, I'll e'en swallow it;" and he drank off his wine
amidst a general laugh. "But do you really mean to write a book, Nugent?"

"I do, indeed, master," answered the lieutenant; "but whether it will be
read or not is an affair for others to determine. I've got as far as I
have repeated to you, and must now pick up incidents and characters."

"A bundle of shakings and a head-rope of wet swabs!" uttered the old
master contemptuously. "Stick to your log-book, Mr. Nugent, if ever
you hopes to get command of such a sweet craft as this here, of which
I have the honour to be the master. Larn to keep the ship's reck'ning,
and leave authorship to the poor devils who starves by it. There's
ounly two books as ever I look at--Hamilton Moore and the Bible; and
though I never yet sailed in a craft that rated a parson in commission,
yet I make out the latter tolerably well, notwithstanding my edication
sometimes gets jamm'd in a clinch, and my knowledge thrown slap aback:
but that's all nat'ral; for how can a man work to wind'ard through a
narrow passage without knowing somut o' the soundings or the outline
o' the coast. Howsomever, there's one course as is plain enough, and I
trust it will carry me clear at last,--to do my duty by my king, God
bless him!--and whilst the yards of conscience are squared by the lifts
and braces of honesty, I have no fear but I shall cheat the devil of one
messmate, and that's ould Will--myself."

"A toast, gentlemen--a toast!" exclaimed his lordship in high animation;
"'The master of the Spankaway and his lady-mate.'"

"I beg pardon, my lord," interrupted the surgeon, "the master is not
married; he is yet a solitary bachelor."

"True--most true," chimed in Nugent, laughing; "for, according to the
words of the pt,

          "None but himself can be his PARALLEL."

"You are too fastidious, gentlemen," said his lordship: "remember, it
is 'Wives and sweethearts;' and, as it is a favourite toast of mine,
we will, if you please, drink it standing." The toast was drunk with
all due honours. "And now," continued his lordship, "without further
preface, I shall volunteer a song, which Nugent may hoist into his book,
if he pleases.

    "Drink, drink to dear woman, whose beautiful eye,
    Like the diamond's rich lustre or gem in the sky,
    Is beaming with rapture, full, sparkling, and bright--
    Here's woman, the soul of man's choicest delight.

                   CHORUS.
    Then fill up a bumper, dear woman's our toast,
    Our comfort in sorrows--in pleasure our boast.

    Drink, drink to dear woman, and gaze on her smile;
    Love hides in those dimples his innocent guile:
    'Tis a signal for joy--'tis a balm for all w;--
    Here's woman, dear woman, man's heaven below.

                   CHORUS.
    Then fill up a bumper, dear woman's our toast,
    Our comfort in sorrow--in pleasure our boast.

    Drink, drink to dear woman, and look on her tear:--
    Is it pain?--is it grief?--is it hope?--is it fear?
    Oh! kiss it away, and believe whilst you press,
    Here's woman, dear woman, man's friend in distress.

                   CHORUS.
    Then fill up a bumper, dear woman's our toast,
    Our comfort in sorrow--in pleasure our boast.

    Drink, drink to dear woman, whose exquisite form
    Was never design'd to encounter the storm,
    Yet should sickness assail us, or trouble o'ercast,
    Here's woman, dear woman, man's friend to the last.

                   CHORUS.
    Then fill up a bumper, dear woman's our toast,
    Our comfort in sorrow--in pleasure our boast."

As in duty bound, this song elicited great applause, and Nugent declared
he should most certainly avail himself of his lordship's proposal for
inserting it in his book. "But you have done nothing, Mr. Nugent," said
the captain. "You say you want incident and character. You have already
taken the frigate for your text;--there's the master now, a perfect
character."

"For the love of good old port," exclaimed Parallel, as if alarmed, "let
me beg of you not to gibbet me in your consarn. But I'm not afraid of
it; book-making requires some head-piece; there's nothing to be done
without a head, nor ever has been."

"I must differ with you there, Mr. Parallel," said Seymour
unobtrusively; "for I myself saw a very difficult thing done literally
without a head.

"Galvanised, I suppose," uttered the doctor in a tone of inquiry; "the
power of the battery is wonderful."

"There assuredly was a battery, doctor," responded the lieutenant,
laughing; "and a very heavy one too. But the event I'm speaking of had
no connexion with galvanism: it was sheer muscular motion."

"Out with it, Seymour!"--"Let's have it by all means!"--"It will be an
incident for Nugent!"--"Out with it!" burst forth simultaneously from
all.

"It certainly is curious," said the first lieutenant, assuming much
gravity of countenance, "and happened when I was junior luff of the old
Sharksnose. We were running into Rio Janeiro man-o'-war fashion, with a
pennant as long as a purser's account at the masthead, and a spanking
ensign hoisted at the gaff-end, with a fly that would have swept all the
sheep off of the Isle of Wight. Away we gallop'd along, when a shot from
Santa Cruz, the three-deck'd battery at the entrance, came slap into our
bows. 'Tell him we're pretty well, thanky,' shouted the skipper; and
our jolly first, who took his meaning, literally pointed the fokstle
gun, clapp'd the match to the priming, and off went the messenger, which
struck the sentry, who was pacing his post, right between the shoulders,
and whipt off his head as clean as you would snap a carrot; he was a
stout-made powerful-looking man, and by sheer muscular motion, as I said
before, his head flew up from his body at least a fathom and a half,
and actually descended upon the point of his bayonet, where it stuck
fast, and the unfortunate fellow walked the whole length of the rampart
in that way; nor was it till he got to the turn, and was steering round
to come back again, that he discovered the loss of his head, when,
according to the most approved practice in similar surgical cases, he
fell to the ground. It was sheer muscular motion, gentlemen,--sheer
muscular motion."

"He would, no doubt, have been a good mussulman, Seymour, if he had been
a Turk," said his lordship.

"He couldn't come the right-about face," said Peabody, "having lost his
head. It would have been a comical sight to have seen him present arms;
pray did he come to the present?"

"No, nor yet to the recover, I'll be sworn," observed Plumstone; "no
doubt he grounded his arms and his head too."

"Them chance shots often do the most mischief," remarked Parallel. "Who
would have thought that it would have gone right through his chest, so
as to leave him a headless trunk. Pray may I ax you whether he was near
his box?"

"Well hove and strong, master," exclaimed Sinnitt, joining in the
general laugh; "your wit equals your beauty."

"What have I said that's witty now?" returned the veteran; "I can't open
my mouth to utter a word of truth, or to ax a question, but I'm called a
wit; for my part, I see no wit in it."

"Your anecdote," said his lordship, "reminds me of something similar
that I witnessed, when a youngster, at one of the New Zealand Isles. Our
captain took a party of us to see his dun-coloured majesty at court.
The monarch was seated in a mud, or rather clay building, nearly in
a state of nudity, his only covering being an old uniform coat and a
huge cocked-hat: his queens--happy man! I think he had seventy--not
quite so decently dressed as himself, were squatting, or lying down, in
different directions; several of them with such ornaments through their
lips and noses, as would have answered the purpose of rings in the decks
to a stopper'd best bower cable. I heartily wish some of our court
ladies could have seen this royal spectacle. We were ushered in through
an entrance, on each side of which was a pile of heads without tails
to them, most probably dropped in their hurry to wait upon the king.
His majesty was a man of mild countenance, and of most imperturbable
gravity; behind him stood a gigantic-looking rascal, with an enormous
dragoon's sabre over his shoulder, by way of warning to his majesty's
wives not to disturb his majesty's repose, or it was amongst the chances
of royalty that he would shorten their bodies and their days at the
same moment,--a sort of summary process to make good women of them; and
I began to suspect that some of those which we saw at the entrance had
once touched noses with his most disgusting majesty,--for a filthier
fellow I never set eyes on. You've, no doubt, seen some of those
curiously figured heads which grow upon New Zealand shoulders, for many
have been brought to England: our skipper, who was a sort of collector
of curiosities, was extremely desirous of obtaining one, but he was
aware that it was only the head men who were thus marked or tattod,
and he had run his eye over the samples at the doorway, but could not
detect one chief who had been deprived of his caput. Nevertheless,
by signs and through means of a Scotch interpreter, (for the prime
minister to Longchewfishcow was a Scotchman,) his majesty was informed
of the captain's wish; and in a short time several natives handsomely
tattod were drawn up within the building: the skipper was requested
to select the figures which pleased him most; and he, imagining that
the chiefs had been exhibited merely by way of pattern, fixed upon one
whose features appeared to have had pricked off upon them every day's
run of the children of Israel when cruising in the wilderness. The chief
bowed in token of satisfaction at being thus highly honoured; but,
before he could raise his head, it sprang away from his shoulders into
the captain's arms, with thanks for the compliment yet passing from the
lips:--the life-guardsman of the king had obeyed his majesty's signal,
and the dragoon's sabre had made sharp work of it."

"It was quick and dead," said the old master. "Now, Mr. Nugent, you may
begin your book as soon as you please. I'm sure you have plenty of heads
to work upon."

"You talk as if I had no head of my own, master," retorted the
lieutenant, somewhat offended; "and with all your wit you shall find
that I have got a head."

"So has a scupper-nail," returned the veteran, "but it requires a deal
of hammering before you can get it to the leather."

"Good-humour, gentlemen! good-humour!" said the captain, laughing; "no
recriminations, if you please, or we shall bring some of your heads to
the block."

"To make blockheads of 'em, I suppose," observed old Parallel; "by
every rope in the top, but that's done already! Howsomever, as you are
lecturing upon heads, why I'll just relate an anecdote of a circumstance
that I was eyewitness to upwards of thirty years ago. I was then just
appointed acting-master of the 'Never-so-quick,' one o' your ould ship
sloops; and we were cruising in among the West Ingee islands, but more
especially boxing about the island of Cuba, and that way, for pirates.
Well, one morning at daybreak the look-out had just got upon the
foretopsel-yard, when word was passed that there were two sail almost
alongside of each other, and dead down to looard of us. There was a
nice little breeze, and so we ups stick, squares the yards, and sets
the stud'nsels a both sides, to run down and overhaul the strangers,
though we made pretty certain it was a pirate plundering a capture; and
we was the more convinced of the fact when broad daylight came, and our
glasses showed that one of 'em was a long low schooner, just such a one
as the picarooning marauders risk'd their necks in, and certainly better
judges of a swift craft never dipp'd their hands in a tar-bucket. She
saw us a-coming, and away she pay'd off before the wind, and up went a
squaresel of light duck that dragg'd the creatur along beautifully. The
other craft, a large brig, lay quite still with her maintopsel to the
mast, except that she came up and fell off as if her helm was lash'd
a-lee, Now the best point of the ould Never-so-quick's sailing was right
afore it, and so we not only held our own, but draw'd upon the vagabond
thief that was doing his best to slip his head out of a hangman's
noose, when it fell stark calm, the brig lying about midway between his
Majesty's ship and the devil's own schooner. Out went her sweeps, and
out went our boats; but she altered her course to get in shore, and
without a breath of wind they swept her along at the rate of four knots
and a half, whilst our ould beauty would hardly move; so the captain
recalls the boats, and orders 'em to overhaul the brig. We got alongside
about noon, a regular wasting burning hot noon; and we found a hand cut
off at the wrist grasping one of the main-chain plates, so that it could
hardly be disengaged."

"Muscular power!" said Seymour; "the death-grapple, no doubt!
astonishing tenacity notwithstanding."

"Howsomever, we did open the fingers," continued the master, "and found
by its delicate whiteness, and a ring on the wedding-finger, that it
belonged to a woman. When we got on board, the blood in various parts
of the quarter-deck, and at the gangways, indicated the murderous
tragedy that had been acted; but no semblance of human being could we
find except a head,--a bloody head that seemed to have been purposely
placed upon a flour-cask that was upended near the windlass. 'Well,
I'm bless'd,' says one of our boasun's-mates, who had steered the
pinnace,--'I'm bless'd if they arn't shaved you clean enough at any
rate; but d--my tarry trousers, look at that!--why then I'm a Dutchman
if it arn't winking at me.'--'Bathershin!' says an Irish topman, 'it's
stretching his daylights he is, mightily plased to see such good
company;' and sure enough the eyes were rolling about in a strange
fashion for a head as had no movables to consort to it; and presently
the mouth opened wide, and then the teeth snap'd to again, just like
a cat-fish at St. Jago's. 'It's a horrible sight,' said one of the
cutters, 'and them fellows'll go to ---- for it, that's one consolation;
but ain't it mighty queer, sir, that a head without ever a body should
be arter making such wry faces, and opening and shutting his sallyport,
seeing as he's scratched out of his mess?' A hideous grin distorted
every feature,--so hideous that it made me shudder; and first one eye
and then the other opened in rapid succession. 'I say, Jem,' says one of
the pinnaces to the boasun's-mate,--'I say, Jem, mayhap the gentleman
wants a bit o' pig-tail, for most likely he arn't had a chaw since
he lost his 'bacca-box.' This sally, with the usual recklessness of
seamen, produced a general laugh, which emboldened Jem to take out his
quid, and, watching an opportunity, he claps it into between the jaws;
but before he could gather in the slack of his arm, the teeth were fast
hold of his fingers, and there he was, jamm'd like Jackson, and roaring
out ten thousand murders. He tried to snatch his hand away, but the head
held on to the cask like grim death against the doctor; at last away
it roll'd over and Jem got clear, but the head stuck fast, and then
we discovered that there was a body inside. The head of the cask had
been taken out, and a hole cut hardly large enough to admit of the poor
fellow's neck; but nevertheless it had been hoop'd up again, and when
we got on board he was in the last convulsive gasps of strangulation.
We released him immediately, but it was only to find him so shockingly
mutilated that he died in about ten minutes afterwards; and not a soul
was left to tell us the fatal tale, though from an ensign and some
shreds of papers we conjectured the brig was a Spaniard. The pirates had
scuttled her. She made water too fast to think of saving her, and in a
couple of hours she went down."

"Thankye, master, thankye," exclaimed several; "why we shall have you
writing a book before long, and you'll beat Nugent out and out. See,
he's ready to yield the palm."

"Him!" uttered the old man, with a look expressive of rather more
contempt than the young lieutenant merited. "Him!"

"Come, master," said Nugent, "we _must_ have your song,--it is your turn
next."

"So it appears," replied the old man, as the frigate suddenly heeled
over. "You have had so much singing that even the winds must have a
_squall_." They were rising hastily from their seats, when in an instant
the frigate was nearly thrown on her beam-ends. Away went Parallel
right over the table into the stomach of the marine Peabody, whom he
capsized; and before another moment elapsed the gallant captain and his
officers were scrambling between the guns to leeward, and half buried in
water, amidst broken decanters and glasses, sea-biscuit and bottles. Old
Parallel grasped a decanter of port that was clinking its sides against
a ring-bolt, and, unwilling that so much good stuff should be wasted,
clapped the mouth to his own; the purser was fishing for his wig, as he
was extremely tenacious on the score of his bald head; the captain and
Seymour were trying for the door; the doctor got astride one gun, and
the two marine officers struggled for the other, so that as fast as one
got hold his messmate unhorsed him again. Sinnitt had crawled up to the
table, and Nugent twisted his coat-laps round him to preserve his MS.
from becoming saturated. The frigate righted again. His lordship and his
lieutenants rushed on deck, to behold the three topmasts, with all their
lengths of upper spars, hanging over the side, having in a white squall
been snapped short off by the caps. We will leave them in the present to

          "Call all hands to clear the wreck."



                   REMAINS OF HAJJI BABA.

It appears that Hajji Baba, the Persian adventurer, known in this
country as the author of certain memoirs, is no more. In what particular
manner he quitted this world, we have not been able to ascertain; but,
through the kindness of a friend recently returned from the East, we
have been put in possession of the fragment of a Journal written by him,
by which we learn that he once again visited England (although incog.)
some time after the passing of the Reform bill. The view which he, his
Shah, and his nation, took of that event, is so characteristic of the
ignorance in which Eastern people live in matters relative to Europe,
and to England in particular, that we deem ourselves fortunate in being
able to lay so curious a document before our readers, and shall take
the liberty, from time to time, to insert portions of it, until it be
entirely exhausted.


                         CHAPTER I.

Since my return from Frangistan, the current of my existence flowed more
like the waters of a canal than those of a river. I have been allowed to
smoke the pipe of tranquillity, rested upon the carpet of content; and
as my duties, which principally consisted in standing before the king
at stated times, and saying "_Belli_--Yes," and "_Mashallah_--Praise
be to God!" at proper intervals, I could not complain of the weight of
responsibility imposed upon me.

I lived in the smallest of houses, consisting of one room, a sh
closet, and a small court; also of a kitchen. My principal amusement
was to sit in my room and look into my court-yard, and, as one must
think, my thoughts frequently would run upon my travels, upon the
strange things which I had seen, and upon the individuals with whom I
had become acquainted. My heart would soften as it dwelt upon the charms
of the moon-faced Bessy, and would rouse into anger when I reflected
that she was possessed by the infidel Figsby, at a time that she might
have been the head of the harem of a true believer. I frequently
recalled to myself all the peculiarities of the strange nation with
which I had lived, and compared it with my own. I brought to mind all
its contrivances to be happy, its House of Commons and its House of
Lords, its eternal quarrels, its cryings after "justice and no justice,"
and its dark climate. I read over my journals, and thus lived my life
over again; but in proportion as years passed away, so I thought it
right, in relating my adventures to my countrymen, to diminish the most
wonderful parts of my narrative, for I found that, had I not done so, I
should have been set down as the greatest liar in Persia. Truth cannot
be told at all times,--that is a common saying; but now I found, in
what regarded the Francs, that truth ought never to be told. When,
on my return to Persia, I informed my countrymen that their men and
women lived together promiscuously,--that everybody drank wine and ate
pork,--that they never prayed,--that their kings danced, and that they
had no harems, I was believed, because I had many to confirm what I
said; but now that I stood alone, I found it would not do to venture
such assertions, for whenever I did I was always told that such events
might have taken place when I was in Frangistan, but that now Allah was
great, and that the holy Prophet could not allow such abominations to
exist.

The news of the death of the King of England, to whom I had been
presented, had reached the ears of our Shah; and we were informed that
he was succeeded by his brother, a lord of the sea. Years passed away,
with all their various events, without much intercourse taking place
between Persia and England. England required no longer the friendship of
the Shah, and she therefore turned us over to the Governor of India, for
which she duly received our maledictions; and every one who knew upon
what a footing of intimacy the two nations had stood, said, as he spat
upon the ground, "Pooh! may their house be ruined!" She left our country
to be conquered, our finest provinces to be taken from us, and never
once put her hand out to help us.

However, _Allah buzurg est!_--God is great! we soon found that the good
fortune of the king of kings had not forsaken him. Rumours began to be
spread abroad that affairs in England were in a bad way. Many foreigners
had enlisted themselves in the Shah's troops, and from them we learned
that, no doubt, ere long that country must be entirely ruined, for great
dangers threatened their present king. He was said to have got into the
possession of a certain rebellious tribe, whose ultimate aim was to set
up a new sovereign, called 'People Shah,' and to depose him and his
dynasty. We heard that great poverty reigned in that land, which I had
known so rich and prosperous; and that every department in the state had
been so reduced, that the king had not a house to live in, but that the
nation was quarrelling about the expense of building him one.

We still had an English _elchi_ at our court, but he enjoyed little
or no consideration; and the news of the poverty of his country was
confirmed to us by what we learnt from his secretaries. Orders, it
seems, had just arrived from his court that every economy should be
observed in his expenses; and one may suppose to what extent, when we
are assured that, by way of saving official ink, it had been strictly
prohibited to put dots to the _I_'s, or strokes to the _T_'s. Presents
of all sorts were done away with:--the ambassador would not even
receive the common present of a water-melon, lest he should be obliged
to send one in return; and his whole conduct seemed more directed
by the calculations of debtor and creditor, like a merchant, than by
the intercourse of courtesy which ought to take place between crowned
heads. Some wicked infidels of French would whisper abroad, that kings
in Europe, like Saadi at Tabriz, were now become less than dogs, and
that therefore their representatives had no dignities to represent;
the English _elchi_, however, would not allow this, but gave us other
reasons for the economy practised in his country, stating that, although
every one allowed that such policy was full of mischief, yet that it
was necessary to humour the whim of this People Shah, who aspired to
the crown, and whose despotism was greater than even that of our famous
Nadir Shah.

When I appeared at the King's Gate, and took my seat among the minor
officers who awaited the presence of the vizier previously to his going
before the Shah, the enemies of England, of whom there were many, would
taunt me with the news spread to her disadvantage, for I was looked upon
as a Frangi myself.

"After all," said one, "own, O Hajji! that these Ingliz are an unclean
generation; that it is quite time they should eat their handful of
abomination."--"We are tired of always hearing them lauded," said
another. "Praised be the Prophet! that little by little we may also
defile their fathers' graves, and point our fingers at their mothers."

"Why address me, O little man?" said I. "Am I their father, mother,
brother, or uncle, that you address me?--It was my destiny to go
amongst them; it was my destiny to come back. A fox ds not become a
swine because he gs through the ordure of the sty in search of his
own affairs. Let their houses be bankrupt, let their fathers grill in
Jehanum--what is that to me?"

"What words are these?" said a third. "Your beard has changed its
colour. What are become of your guns that would reach from Tehran to Kom
placed side by side, or to Ispahan placed lengthwise? Where now are your
ships that spout more fire than Demawand, and your women like houris
that can read and write like men of the law? Formerly there was nothing
in the world like Francs; now you look upon them as dirt."

Had I persisted in upholding my Ingliz friends, now that the tide had
turned against them, I should have done them no good, and myself harm;
therefore I applied the cotton of deafness to the ear of unwillingness.
Most true, however, it was that they daily lost in public estimation;
and rumours of the approaching downfal of English power and prosperity
came to us from so many quarters, that we could not do otherwise than
believe them. Whenever an Englishman now appeared in the streets, he was
called pig with impunity; and, instead of the bastinado which the man
who so insulted him formerly was wont to get, he now was left to repeat
the insult at his leisure.

The fact principally urged was, that a disorder had broken out amongst
them, which affected the brain more than any other organ; that it had
taken possession of high and low, rich and poor, master and servant; and
raged with such violence, that it was almost dangerous to go amongst
them, although strangers were said not to catch it. It was neither
cholera, plague, nor heart-ache, and could not be assimilated to any
known disorder in the East. We have no name for it in Persia; in England
it is called _Reform_: and, as it had suddenly attacked the country when
in a state of great health and prosperity, it was supposed that some one
great evil eye had struck it, and that therefore no one could foresee
what might be its mischievous results.


                         CHAPTER II.

Whilst seated one morning in my room, inspecting my face in my
looking-glass and combing my beard, preparatory to going to the daily
selam before the king, and thanking Allah from the bottom of my heart
for being secure in my mediocrity from all the storms and dangers of
public life, a loud knocking at my gate announced a visiter of no small
importance. My servant, for I kept one, quickly opened it, and I soon
was greeted by the _selam al aikum_ of one of the royal ferashes, who
exclaimed "The Shah wants you."

So unusual a summons first startled, then alarmed me. A thousand
apprehensions rushed through my mind as quick as lightning, for on such
occasions in Persia one always apprehends--one never hopes. However,
I immediately gave the usual "_Becheshm!_--Upon my eyes be it!" and
prepared to obey his command. "Can I have said '_Belli_' in the wrong
place," thought I, "at the last selam? or did I perchance exclaim
'_Inshallah_--Please God,' instead of saying '_Mashallah_--Praise be to
God'? Allah only knows," thought I, shrugging up my shoulders, "for I am
sure I do not. Whatever has happened, Khoda is merciful!"

I followed the ferash, but could gain no intelligence from him which
could in the least clear up my doubts. One thing I discovered, which was
that no _felek_, or sticks, had been displayed in the Shah's presence as
preparatory to a bastinado; and so far I felt safe.

The Shah was seated in the _gulistan_, or rose-garden; the grand vizier
stood before him, as well as Mirza Firooz, my old master. When I
appeared, all my apprehensions vanished, for with a goodnatured voice
the king ordered me to approach. I made my most profound bow, and stood
on the brink of the marble basin without my shs.

The king said, "_Mashallah!_ the Hajji is still a _khoobjuan_--a fine
youth; he is a good servant."

Upon hearing these ominous words, I immediately felt that some very
objectionable service was about to be required of me. I answered,

"May the shadow of the centre of the universe never be less! Whatever
your slave can do, he will by his head and by his eyes."

After consulting with the grand vizier, who was standing in the
apartment in which the king was seated, his majesty exclaimed,

"Hajji, we require zeal, activity, and intelligence at your hands.
Matters of high import to the state of Persia demand that one, the
master of wit, the lord of experience, and the ready in eloquence,
should immediately depart from our presence, in order to seek that of
our brother the King of England. You are the man we have selected; you
must be on horseback as soon as a fortunate hour occurs, and make your
way _chappari_--as a courier, to the gate of power in London."

With my thanks for so high an honour sticking in my throat, I knelt
down, and kissed the ground; but if any one present had been skilful in
detecting the manning of looks, surely he would have read dismay and
disappointment in mine.

"It is plain," said the Shah, turning towards the vizier and Mirza
Firooz occasionally as he spoke, "from all that has been reported to us,
that England, as it is now, is not that England of whose riches, power,
and prosperity so much has been said. It has had its day. It is falling
fast into decay. Its men are rebellious. Its ancient dynasty ere this
may have been supplanted by another, and its king a houseless wanderer."

"_Belli! belli!_" said the vizier and Mirza Firooz.

"In the first place," continued the Shah, "you must acquaint the king,
my brother, if such he still be, that the gate of the palace of the king
of kings is open to all the world; it is an asylum to kings as well
as to beggars; the needy find a roof, and the hungry food. Should the
vicissitudes of life, as we hear they are likely to do, throw him on the
world, tell him he will find a corner to sit in near our threshold; no
one shall molest him. He shall enjoy his own customs, saving, always,
eating the unclean beast; wine shall he have, and he will be allowed
to import his own wives. He may sit on chairs, shave whatever parts
of his body he likes, wear a shawl coat, diamond-beaded daggers, and
gold-headed furniture to his horse. Upon all these different heads make
his mind perfectly easy."

"Upon my eyes be it!" I exclaimed, with the profoundest respect.

"In the next place," said the king, "we have long heard that England
possesses a famous general, a long-tried and faithful servant to his
king. If he be a good servant, he will stick by his master in his
distress. You must see him, Hajji, and tell him from the lips of the
king of kings that he will be welcome in Persia; that he will find
protection at our stirrup, and, _Inshallah!_ he will be able to make his
face white before us. Whatever else is necessary to our service will be
explained to you by our grand vizier," said the Shah; and then, after
making me a few more complimentary speeches, I was dismissed.

When I left the presence, I could not help thinking that the Shah must
be mad to send me upon so long a journey upon so strange an expedition;
and I inferred that there must be something more in it than met the eye.
I was not mistaken. No sooner had the grand vizier been dismissed than
he called me into his _khelvet_, or secret chamber, and there unfolded
to me the true object of my mission.

"It is plain," said he, with the most unmoved gravity, "that the graves
of these infidels have been defiled, and that ere long there will be
an end of them and their prosperity. We must take advantage of their
distress. Much may be done by wisdom. In the first place, Hajji, we
shall get penknives and broad-cloth for nothing, that is quite clear;
then, spying-glasses and chandeliers, for which they are also famous,
may be had for the asking; and--who knows?--we may obtain the workmen
who manufactured them, and thus rise on the ruins of the infidels. All
this will mainly depend upon your sagacity. Then the Shah, who has
long desired to possess some English slaves in his harem, has thought
that this will be an excellent moment to procure some, and you will be
commissioned to buy as many as you can procure at reasonable prices.
Upon the breaking up of communities at the death of kings and governors,
we have always found, both in Iran and Turkey, that slaves and virgins
were to be bought for almost nothing; and, no doubt, that must be the
case among Francs."

I was bewildered at all I heard; and thus at once to be transformed from
a mere sitter in a corner to an active agent in a foreign country, made
my liver drop, and turned my face upside down.

"But, in the name of Allah," said I, "is it quite certain that this ruin
is going on in England? I have not read that wise people rightly, if so
suddenly they can allow themselves to be involved in misery."

"What words are these?" said the vizier. "Everybody speaks of it as the
only thing certain in the world. Their own _elchi_ here allows it, and
informs everybody that a great change is going to take place in his
government. And is it not plain, that, if under their last government
they have reached the height of prosperity, a change must lead them to
adversity?"

"We shall see," said I; "at all events, I am the Shah's servant;
whatever he orders I am bound to obey."

"It is evident the good fortune of that country," exclaimed Mirza
Firooz, who was present also, "has turned ever since it abandoned Persia
to follow its own selfish views. Did I not say so a thousand times to
the ministers of the king of England; but they would not heed me?"

"Whatever has produced their misfortunes, Allah only knows," said the
grand vizier; "it is as much their duty to submit, as it is ours to take
advantage of them. We must do everything to secure ourselves against
the power of our enemies. You must say to the King of England that the
asylum of the universe is ready to do everything to assist him; and,
as he is a man of the sea, you will just throw out the possibility
of his obtaining a command of the Shah's _grab_ (ship of war) in the
Caspian Sea. As for the famous general of whom the Shah spoke, (may the
holy Prophet take him in his holy keeping!) when once we have obtained
possession of him, _Inshallah!_ not one Russian will we leave on this
side the Caucasus; and it will be well for them if we do not carry our
arms to the very walls of Petersburg."

To all these instructions all I had to say was, "Yes, upon my eyes be
it!" and when I had fully understood the object of my mission, I took my
departure, in order to make preparations for my journey.



                     THE PORTRAIT GALLERY.

Physiognomy is the most important of all studies. Well versed in this
science, no man will be cursed with a scolding wife, a pilfering
servant, or an imbecile teacher for the offspring of his connubial
felicity. It has ever been my favourite pursuit; and, when a child, I
would not have tossed up with a pieman if he had exhibited a crusty
countenance. Lavater's immortal works are my _vade mecum_, and I have
carefully collected engraved portraits to discover the character of
every individual the limner had painted ere I read their lives. I lately
found that the Marquis of ---- had pursued a similar plan. His splendid
gallery of pictures is well known in all Europe; but his collection
of portraits at his favourite seat in ---- has been seen but by a few
privileged persons, and I, fortunately, was one of the number, having
been taken to his delightful mansion by his librarian, an old college
_chum_.

Over the entrance of this gallery is an allegorical painting by
Watteau, or Lancret, which my guide explained. On the summit of a rock,
apparently of granite, and older than the Deluge, rose the Temple of
Fame. The paths that led to it, were steep and intricate, difficulties
that were not foreseen by the travellers tempted to thread this
labyrinth by the roseate bowers that formed their entrance, inviting the
weary pilgrim to seek a soft repose in their refreshing shade. But when
he awoke from his peaceful slumber and delicious visions, renovated and
invigorated, to pursue his journey, the scene soon changed; brambles,
bushes, and tangling weeds impeded his path; and, despite the apparent
solidity of the ground he trod, quicksands and moving bogs would often
dishearten the most adventurous. Numerous were the travellers who
strove to ascend the height, but few attained its wished-for summit;
while many of them, overcome with fatigue, and despairing of success,
stopped at some of the houses of reception, bad, good, and indifferent,
that they found on the road-side.

However, the back part of the acclivity presented a different prospect.
There, the rock formed a terrific precipice, that no one could ascend
by the ordinary means of locomotion. A balloon at that period had not
been invented; yet I beheld a good number of visitors merrily hopping
over the flowery mead that led to the temple, culling posies and running
after butterflies, and in hearty fits of laughter on beholding the poor
pilgarlicks who were puffing and blowing in vain to climb up the other
face of the hill. The success of these fortunate adventurers amazed me,
until my _cicerone_ pointed out to me, a personage fantastically dressed
in the height of fashion, bewhiskered and moustached, hoisting up his
favourite companions with a rope, securely fastened to the brink of the
cliff. This individual, I found, was a brother of the goddess, and his
name was _Effrontus_. His sister had long endeavoured to rid herself of
his importunities, and had frequently complained to Jupiter to send the
knave out of the country; but the fellow had so ingratiated himself at
court,--more especially with the ladies, one of whom, by name _Famosa_,
supported him in all his extravagancies,--that he snapped his fingers at
his sister, and, by means of a latch-key, (forged by Vulcan as a reward
to Mercury for his vigilance over his wife, when he was obliged to be
absent in his workshop,) he could admit his impertinent cronies into
the very _sanctum_ of her abode, where they not only revelled in every
luxury, but actually sent out their scouts and tigers to increase the
obstacles that rendered the roads up the hill more impracticable, and
terrify by alarming reports the timid voyagers who were struggling up
the rugged steep. The contrast between these adventurers was curious.
The creatures of _Effrontus_, whom he had hoisted up, were all clad in
cloth of gold, or in black suits of silk and broadcloth, and some of
them wore large wigs of various forms and dimensions; while the poor
pilgrims were all in tatters, and, to all appearance, not rich enough to
purchase wigs, although they most needed them, as they were nearly all
bald or greyheaded. Howbeit, these fortunate candidates for celebrity
were not always prosperous; for the height they had ascended, swinging
to and fro by the rope of _Effrontus_, like boys bird-nesting in the
Isle of Wight, suspended from the cliff, frequently made them giddy,
and occasioned vertigs and dimness of sight, in consequence of which
they would sometimes fall over the precipice when they fancied they were
roaming about in security, and were dashed to pieces in the very dirty
valley where not long before they had grovelled.

This allegory appeared to me ingenious; but when my guide opened
the door, and I found myself in a room hung round with portraits of
celebrated physicians, I observed that the painting was most applicable
to the gallery. My companion smiled at my remark, and proceeded to
describe some of the doctors whose likenesses I beheld. He said "This
gentleman, so finically dressed, with powdered curls, Brussels lace
frills and ruffles, was the celebrated DR. DULCET. You may perceive that
a smile of self-complacency plays on his simpering countenance, yet his
brow portrays some anxious cares, arising from inordinate vanity; and
those furrows on the forehead show that, fortunate as he may have been,
ambition would sometimes ruffle his pillow.

Dulcet was of a low origin, and his education had been much neglected;
however, he possessed a good figure, handsome features, and a tolerable
share of impudence. When an apothecary's apprentice, his advantageous
points had been perceived by a discriminating duchess, who sent him to
Aberdeen to graduate; and shortly after his return, he was introduced
to royalty and fashion. Aware of the fickleness of Fortune, and well
acquainted with the miseries that attend her frowns, he displayed a tact
in courting the beldame's favour that would have done honour to the most
experienced and _canny_ emigrant from the Land of _Cakes_ roving over
the world in search of _bread_. He commenced his career, by courting
the old and the ugly of the fair sex, and devoting his _petits soins_
soon to all the little urchins whom he was called to attend. Handsome
women he well knew were satiated with adulation, whereas flattery was a
god-send to those ladies who were not so advantageously gifted: these
he complimented on their intellectual superiority, their enlightened
mind, "that in itself contains the living fountains of beauteous and
sublime." Though the object of his attentions never opened a book,
save and excepting the Lady's Magazine, or read any thing but accounts
of fashionable _fracas_, offences, and births, deaths, and marriages
in the newspapers, he would discourse upon literature and arts, bring
them publications as intelligible to them as a Hebrew Talmud, ask their
opinion of every new novel or celebrated painting,--any popular opera
or favourite performer. If the lady had children, the ugliest little
toad was called an angel; and such of the imps who had been favoured by
nature in cross-breeding, he would swear were the image of their mother.
To court the creatures, he constantly gave them sugar-plums (which
afforded the double advantage or ministering to their gluttony and to
his friend the apothecary); while he presented them with _pretty_ little
books of _pictures_, and _nice_ toys. He had, moreover, a happy knack
of squeezing out a sympathetic tear from the corner of his eye whenever
the brat roared from pain or perversity; and on those occasions he would
screw his eyes until the crystal drop was made to fall upon the mother's
alabaster hand. It is needless to add, that the whole _coterie_ rang
with the extreme sensibility, the excellent heart of the dear doctor,
who had saved the darling's life, although nothing had ailed the sweet
pet but an over-stuffing.

Another quality recommended him to female protection. Husbands and
father she ever considered as intruders in a consultation: he merely
looked upon them as the bankers of the ladies. It is true that, after
a domestic breeze, his visits were sometimes dispensed with for a
short time; but dreadful hysterics, that kept the whole house in an
uproar both night and day, soon brought back the doctor, who was the
only person who knew _my lady's_ constitution, and on these occasions
the lady's lord was too happy to take his hat and seek a refuge at
Crockford's, or some other consolatory refuge from nerves. It was
certainly true that Dulcet had made many important discoveries in the
treatment of ladies' affections. For instance, he had ascertained that
a pair of bays were more effectual in curing spasms, than chestnuts
or greys, unless his patient preferred them. Then, again, he was
convinced that Rundell and Bridge kept better remedies than Savory
and Moore: a box at the Opera was an infallible cure for a headache;
and the air of Brighton was absolutely necessary when its salutary
effects were increased by the breath of Royalty. Cards he looked upon as
indispensable, to prevent ladies from taking laudanum; and a successful
game of _écarté_ was as effectual an opiate, as extract of lettuce,--one
of his most favourite drugs.

In this career of prosperity, a circumstance arose that for a time
damped his ardour. Dulcet had attended an East-Indian widow, the wealthy
relict of a civil servant of the Company. Her hand and fortune would
have enabled the doctor to throw physic to the dogs, and all the nasty
little brats whom he idolised after it. He had succeeded in becoming a
great favourite. The disconsolate lady could not eat, drink, or sleep,
without giving him his guinea. She scarcely knew at what end she was to
break an egg, or how many grains of salt she could safely put in it,
without his opinion; but, unfortunately, there was a certain colonel,
an old friend of her former husband, who was a constant visitor, and
who seemed to share with her medical attendant the lady's confidence.
Though Dulcet ordered her not to receive visitors when in a nervous
state, somehow or other the colonel had been admitted. On such occasions
he would shake his head in the most sapient manner, and observe that
the pulse was much agitated; but he did not dare forbid these (to him)
dangerous visits, and therefore endeavoured to attain his ends by a
more circuitous route, and gain time until the colonel's departure for
Bengal afforded him the vantage-ground of absence. The widow would
sometimes complain of her moping and lonely life. On these occasions
Dulcet would delicately hint that at some _future period_ a change of
condition might be desirable, and the widow would then sigh deeply,
and perchance shed a few tears, (whether from the recollection
of her dear departed husband, or the idea of the '_future period_' of
this change of condition,--a _futurity_ which was _sine die_,--I cannot
pretend to say); but the doctor strove to impress upon her mind, that
in her _present_ delicate state, the cares of a family, the pangs of
absence, the turmoil of society, would shake her 'too tender frame' to
very atoms, while the slightest shadow of an unkind shade would break
her sensitive heart; whereas a _leetle_ tranquillity would soon restore
her to that society of which she was considered the brightest ornament!
And then the sigh would become still deeper, and the tears would trickle
down her pallid cheek with increased rapidity, until Dulcet actually
fancied that 'the Heaven-moving pearls' were not beaded in sorrow,
but were 'shed from Nature like a kindly shower.' Still he knew the
sex too well, to venture upon so delicate a subject as matrimonial
consolation; and he, with no little reluctance, parted with a few fees
to obtain some intelligence regarding the lady's toilet-thoughts and
conversation with her favourite woman, a certain cunning abigail named
Mercer. Mercer was of course subject to nervous affections, which she
caught from her mistress; and Dulcet was as kind to the maid as to
her lady, well knowing that as no hero is a great man in the eyes of
his valet, no widow was crystalised with her waiting-maid. The visits
of the colonel had not been as frequent as usual; nay, Dulcet fancied
that he was received with some coolness, and on this important matter
Mercer was prudently consulted. The result of the conference fully
confirmed the doctor's fondest hopes; for he learnt from Mercer that
'her missus liked him above all and was never by no means half as fond
of the colonel, as she knew for certain that those soldier-officers
were not better than they ought to be, and there were red-rags on every
bush.' This communication, although made with cockney vulgarity, had a
more powerful effect upon the doctor than had he heard Demosthenes or
Cicero; and he could have embraced the girl with delight and gratitude
had he dared it,--but she was handsomer than her mistress; he, moreover,
fancied that such a condescension might tempt the girl's vanity to
boast of the favour; but he gave her something more substantial than a
kiss,--a diamond ring that graced his little finger, and which he always
displayed to advantage when feeling a tender pulse.

Dulcet now altered his plan of campaign, redoubled his assiduity,
assured the widow that she was fast recovering her pristine strength
and healthy glow, and recommended her to shorten the 'futurity of the
period' he had alluded to; assuring her that _now_ the cares of a
family would give her occupation, and society once more would hail her
presence with delight. In her sweet smiles of satisfaction he read his
future bliss and independence. The colonel never came to the house; and,
one day, our doctor was on the point of declaring the purity and the
warmth of his affection, when the widow rendered the avowal needless,
informing him that she had resolved to follow his _kind advice_, and
that the ensuing week she was to be married to THE COLONEL, who had
gone down into the country to regulate his affairs. The blow fell upon
Dulcet like an apoplexy. Prudence made him conceal the bitterness of
his disappointment, and even induced him to be present at the wedding
breakfast; though his appetite was doubly impaired when he found that
Miss Mercer had married the colonel's valet, and he beheld his diamond
guarding her wedding-ring, while an ironical smile showed him, what
little faith was to be reposed in ladies' women.

The report of this adventure entertained the town for nine days; but
on the tenth, through the patronage of his protectresses, Dulcet was
dubbed a knight, and soon after married a cheesemonger's daughter, ugly
enough to have a hereditary claim to virtue; but who possessed an ample
fortune, and was most anxious to become a lady.

The librarian was proceeding to give me an account of the next
personage, a Dr. Cleaver, when the bell rung for dinner, and we
adjourned our illustrations until the following morning.           V.



              THE SORROWS OF LIFE.

    Who would recal departed days and years
    To tread again the dark and cheerless road,
    Which, leading through this gloomy vale of tears,
    His weary feet in pain and toil have trod!
    I've felt the bitterness of grief--I've shed
    Such tears as only wretched mortals pour,
    And wish'd among the calm and quiet dead
    To find my sorrows and my sufferings o'er;
    Yet firm in heart and hope I still bear up,
    And onward steer my course true--a true "Flare-up".
                                                   SIGMA.



                      STRAY CHAPTERS.
                         BY "BOZ."


                         CHAPTER I.

                     THE PANTOMIME OF LIFE.

Before we plunge headlong into this paper, let us at once confess
to a fondness for pantomimes--to a gentle sympathy with clowns
and pantaloons--to an unqualified admiration of harlequins and
columbines--to a chaste delight in every action of their brief
existence, varied and many-coloured as those actions are, and
inconsistent though they occasionally be with those rigid and formal
rules of propriety which regulate the proceedings of meaner and less
comprehensive minds. We revel in pantomimes--not because they dazzle
one's eyes with tinsel and gold leaf; not because they present to us,
once again, the well-beloved chalked faces, and goggle eyes of our
childhood; not even because, like Christmas-day, and Twelfth-night,
and Shrove Tuesday, and one's own birth-day, they come to us but once
a-year;--our attachment is founded on a graver and a very different
reason. A pantomime is to us, a mirror of life; nay more, we maintain
that it is so to audiences generally, although they are not aware of it;
and that this very circumstance is the secret cause of their amusement
and delight.

Let us take a slight example. The scene is a street: an elderly
gentleman, with a large face, and strongly marked features, appears.
His countenance beams with a sunny smile, and a perpetual dimple is
on his broad red cheek. He is evidently an opulent elderly gentlemen,
comfortable in circumstances, and well to do in the world. He is not
unmindful of the adornment of his person, for he is richly, not to say
gaudily dressed; and that he indulges to a reasonable extent in the
pleasures of the table, may be inferred from the joyous and oily manner
in which he rubs his stomach, by way of informing the audience that he
is going home to dinner. In the fullness of his heart, in the fancied
security of wealth, in the possession and enjoyment of all the good
things of life, the elderly gentleman suddenly loses his footing, and
stumbles. How the audience roar! He is set upon by a noisy and officious
crowd, who buffet and cuff him unmercifully. They scream with delight!
Every time the elderly gentleman struggles to get up, his relentless
persecutors knock him down again. The spectators are convulsed with
merriment! And when at last the elderly gentleman ds get up, and
staggers away, despoiled of hat, wig, and clothing, battered to pieces,
and his watch and money gone, they are exhausted with laughter, and
express their merriment and admiration in rounds of applause.

Is this like life? Change the scene to any real street;--to the Stock
Exchange, or the City banker's; the merchant's counting-house, or even
the tradesman's shop. See any one of these men fall,--the more suddenly,
and the nearer the zenith of his pride and riches, the better. What a
wild hallo is raised over his prostrate carcase by the shouting mob; how
they whoop and yell as he lies humbled beneath them! Mark how eagerly
they set upon him when he is down; and how they mock and deride him as
he slinks away. Why, it is the pantomime to the very letter.

Of all the pantomimic _dramatis personæ_, we consider the pantaloon
the most worthless and debauched. Independent of the dislike, one
naturally feels at seeing a gentleman of his years engaged in pursuits
highly unbecoming his gravity and time of life, we cannot conceal from
ourselves the fact that he is a treacherous worldly-minded old villain,
constantly enticing his younger companion, the clown, into acts of fraud
or petty larceny, and generally standing aside to watch the result of
the enterprise: if it be successful, he never forgets to return for his
share of the spoil; but if it turn out a failure, he generally retires
with remarkable caution and expedition, and keeps carefully aloof until
the affair has blown over. His amorous propensities, too, are eminently
disagreeable; and his mode of addressing ladies in the open street at
noon-day is downright improper, being usually neither more nor less
than a perceptible tickling of the aforesaid ladies in the waist, after
committing which, he starts back, manifestly ashamed (as well he may be)
of his own indecorum and temerity; continuing, nevertheless, to ogle and
beckon to them from a distance in a very unpleasant and immoral manner.

Is there any man who cannot count a dozen pantaloons in his own social
circle? Is there any man who has not seen them swarming at the west end
of the town on a sun-shiny day or a summer's evening, going through
the last-named pantomimic feats with as much liquorish energy, and as
total an absence of reserve, as if they were on the very stage itself?
We can tell upon our fingers a dozen pantaloons of our acquaintance
at this moment--capital pantaloons, who have been performing all
kinds of strange freaks, to the great amusement of their friends and
acquaintance, for years past; and who to this day are making such
comical and ineffectual attempts to be young and dissolute, that all
beholders are like to die with laughter.

Take that old gentleman who has just emerged from the _Café de l'Europe_
in the Haymarket, where he has been dining at the expense of the young
man upon town with whom he shakes hands as they part at the door of the
tavern. The affected warmth of that shake of the hand, the courteous
nod, the obvious recollection of the dinner, the savoury flavour of
which still hangs upon his lips, are all characteristics of his great
prototype. He hobbles away humming an opera tune, and twirling his
cane to and fro, with affected carelessness. Suddenly he stops--'tis
at the milliner's window. He peeps through one of the large panes of
glass; and, his view of the ladies within being obstructed by the India
shawls, directs his attentions to the young girl with the bandbox in her
hand, who is gazing in at the window also. See! he draws beside her. He
coughs; she turns away from him. He draws near her again; she disregards
him. He gleefully chucks her under the chin, and, retreating a few
steps, nods and beckons with fantastic grimaces, while the girl bestows
a contemptuous and supercilious look upon his wrinkled visage. She
turns away with a flounce, and the old gentleman trots after her with a
toothless chuckle. The pantaloon to the life!

But the close resemblance which the clowns of the stage bear to those
of every-day life, is perfectly extraordinary. Some people talk with a
sigh of the decline of pantomime, and murmur in low and dismal tones the
name of Grimaldi. We mean no disparagement to the worthy and excellent
old man when we say, that this is downright nonsense. Clowns that
beat Grimaldi all to nothing turn up every day, and nobody patronises
them--more's the pity!

"I know who you mean," says some dirty-faced patron of Mr.
Osbaldistone's, laying down the Miscellany when he has got thus far;
and bestowing upon vacancy a most knowing glance: "you mean C. J. Smith
as did Guy Fawkes, and George Barnwell, at the Garden." The dirty-faced
gentleman has hardly uttered the words when he is interrupted by a
young gentleman in no shirt-collar and a Petersham coat. "No, no,"
says the young gentleman; "he means Brown, King, and Gibson, at the
'Delphi." Now, with great deference both to the first-named gentleman
with the dirty face, and the last-named gentleman in the non-existing
shirt-collar, we do not mean, either the performer who so grotesquely
burlesqued the Popish conspirator, or the three unchangeables who have
been dancing the same dance under different imposing titles, and doing
the same thing under various high-sounding names, for some five or six
years last past. We have no sooner made this avowal than the public,
who have hitherto been silent witnesses of the dispute, inquire what on
earth it is we _do_ mean; and, with becoming respect, we proceed to tell
them.

It is very well known to all play-grs and pantomime-seers, that the
scenes in which a theatrical clown is at the very height of his glory
are those which are described in the play-bills as "Cheesemonger's
shop, and Crockery warehouse," or "Tailor's shop, and Mrs. Queertable's
boarding-house," or places bearing some such title, where the great
fun of the thing consists in the hero's taking lodgings which he has
not the slightest intention of paying for, or obtaining goods under
false pretences, or abstracting the stock-in-trade of the respectable
shopkeeper next door, or robbing warehouse-porters as they pass under
his window, or, to shorten the catalogue, in his swindling everybody he
possibly can; it only remaining to be observed, that the more extensive
the swindling is, and the more barefaced the impudence of the swindler,
the greater the rapture and ecstasy of the audience. Now it is a most
remarkable fact that precisely this sort of thing occurs in real life
day after day, and nobody sees the humour of it. Let us illustrate our
position by detailing the plot of this portion of the pantomime--not of
the theatre, but of life.

The Honourable Captain Fitz-Whisker Fiercy, attended by his
livery-servant Do'em,--a most respectable servant to look at, who has
grown grey in the service of the captain's family,--views, treats for,
and ultimately obtains possession of, the unfurnished house, such a
number, such a street. All the tradesmen in the neighbourhood are in
agonies of competition for the captain's custom; the captain is a
good-natured, kind-hearted, easy man, and, to avoid being the cause of
disappointment to any, he most handsomely gives orders to all. Hampers
of wine, baskets of provisions, cart-loads of furniture, boxes of
jewellery, supplies of luxuries of the costliest description, flock
to the house of the Honourable Captain Fitz-Whisker Fiercy, where
they are received with the utmost readiness by the highly respectable
Do'em; while the captain himself struts and swaggers about with that
compound air of conscious superiority, and general blood-thirstiness,
which a military captain should always, and ds most times wear, to
the admiration and terror of plebeian men. But the tradesmen's backs
are no sooner turned, than the captain, with all the eccentricity of a
mighty mind, and assisted by the faithful Do'em, whose devoted fidelity
is not the least touching part of his character, disposes of everything
to great advantage; for, although the articles fetch small sums, still
they are sold considerably above cost price, the cost to the captain
having been nothing at all. After various manoeuvres, the imposture is
discovered, Fitz-Fiercy and Do'em are recognised as confederates, and
the police-office to which they are both taken is thronged with their
dupes.

Who can fail to recognise in this, the exact counterpart of the best
portion of a theatrical pantomime--Fitz-Whisker Fiercy by the clown;
Do'em by the pantaloon; and supernumeraries by the tradesmen? The best
of the joke, too, is that the very coal-merchant who is loudest in his
complaints against the person who defrauded him, is the identical man
who sat in the centre of the very front row of the pit last night and
laughed the most boisterously at this very same thing,--and not so well
done either. Talk of Grimaldi, we say again! Did Grimaldi, in his best
days, ever do anything in this way equal to Da Costa?

The mention of this latter justly-celebrated clown reminds us of his
last piece of humour, the fraudulently obtaining certain stamped
acceptances from a young gentleman in the army. We had scarcely laid
down our pen to contemplate for a few moments this admirable actor's
performance of that exquisite practical joke, than a new branch of our
subject flashed suddenly upon us. So we take it up again at once.

All people who have been behind the scenes, and most people who have
been before them, know, that in the representation of a pantomime, a
good many men are sent upon the stage for the express purpose of being
cheated, or knocked down, or both. Now, down to a moment ago, we had
never been able to understand for what possible purpose a great number
of odd, lazy, large-headed men, whom one is in the habit of meeting
here, and there, and everywhere, could ever have been created. We see it
all, now. They are the supernumeraries in the pantomime of life; the men
who have been thrust into it, with no other view than to be constantly
tumbling over each other, and running their heads against all sorts of
strange things. We sat opposite to one of these men at a supper-table,
only last week. Now we think of it, he was exactly like the gentlemen
with the pasteboard heads and faces, who do the corresponding business
in the theatrical pantomimes; there was the same broad stolid
simper--the same dull leaden eye--the same unmeaning, vacant stare; and
whatever was said, or whatever was done, he always came in at precisely
the wrong place, or jostled against something that he had not the
slightest business with. We looked at the man across the table, again
and again; and could not satisfy ourselves what race of beings to class
him with. How very odd that this never occurred to us before!

We will frankly own that we have been much troubled with the harlequin.
We see harlequins of so many kinds in the real living pantomime, that we
hardly know which to select as the proper fellow of him of the theatres.
At one time we were disposed to think that the harlequin was neither
more nor less than a young man of family and independent property, who
had run away with an opera-dancer, and was fooling his life and his
means away in light and trivial amusements. On reflection, however,
we remembered that harlequins are occasionally guilty of witty, and
even clever acts, and we are rather disposed to acquit our young men
of family and independent property, generally speaking, of any such
misdemeanours. On a more mature consideration of the subject, we have
arrived at the conclusion, that the harlequins of life are just ordinary
men, to be found in no particular walk or degree, on whom a certain
station, or particular conjunction of circumstances, confers the magic
wand; and this brings us to a few words on the pantomime of public and
political life, which we shall say at once, and then conclude; merely
premising in this place, that we decline any reference whatever to the
columbine: being in no wise satisfied of the nature of her connexion
with her parti-coloured lover, and not feeling by any means clear
that we should be justified in introducing her to the virtuous and
respectable ladies who peruse our lucubrations.

We take it that the commencement of a session of parliament is neither
more nor less than the drawing up of the curtain for a grand comic
pantomime; and that his Majesty's most gracious speech, on the opening
thereof, may be not inaptly compared to the clown's opening speech of
"Here we are!" "My lords and gentlemen, here we are!" appears, to our
mind at least, to be a very good abstract of the point and meaning
of the propitiatory address of the ministry. When we remember how
frequently this speech is made, immediately after the _change_ too, the
parallel is quite perfect, and still more singular.

Perhaps the cast of our political pantomime never was richer than at
this day. We are particularly strong in clowns. At no former time, we
should say, have we had such astonishing tumblers, or performers so
ready to go through the whole of their feats for the amusement of an
admiring throng. Their extreme readiness to exhibit, indeed, has given
rise to some ill-natured reflections; it having been objected that by
exhibiting gratuitously through the country when the theatre is closed,
they reduce themselves to the level of mountebanks, and thereby tend to
degrade the respectability of the profession. Certainly Grimaldi never
did this sort of thing; and though Brown, King, and Gibson have gone
to the Surrey in vacation time, and Mr. C. J. Smith has ruralised at
Sadler's Wells, we find no theatrical precedent for a general tumbling
through the country, except in the gentleman, name unknown, who threw
summersets on behalf of the late Mr. Richardson, and who is no authority
either, because he had never been on the regular boards.

But, laying aside this question, which after all is a mere matter of
taste, we may reflect with pride and gratification of heart on the
proficiency of our clowns as exhibited in the season. Night after night
will they twist and tumble about, till two, three, and four o'clock
in the morning; playing the strangest antics, and giving each other
the funniest slaps on the face that can possibly be imagined, without
evincing the smallest tokens of fatigue. The strange noises, the
confusion, the shouting and roaring, amid which all this is done, too,
would put to shame the most turbulent sixpenny gallery that ever yelled
through a boxing-night.

It is especially curious to behold one of these clowns compelled to go
through the most surprising contortions by the irresistible influence of
the wand of office, which his leader or harlequin holds above his head.
Acted upon by this wonderful charm he will become perfectly motionless,
moving neither hand, foot, nor finger, and will even lose the faculty
of speech at an instant's notice; or, on the other hand, he will become
all life and animation if required, pouring forth a torrent of words
without sense or meaning, throwing himself into the wildest and most
fantastic contortions, and even grovelling on the earth and licking up
the dust. These exhibitions are more curious than pleasing; indeed they
are rather disgusting than otherwise, except to the admirers of such
things, with whom we confess we have no fellow-feeling.

Strange tricks--very strange tricks--are also performed by the harlequin
who holds for the time being, the magic wand which we have just
mentioned. The mere waving it before a man's eyes will dispossess his
brain of all the notions previously stored there, and fill it with an
entirely new set of ideas; one gentle tap on the back will alter the
colour of a man's coat completely; and there are some expert performers,
who, having this wand held first on one side, and then on the other,
will change from side to side, turning their coats at every evolution,
with so much rapidity and dexterity, that the quickest eye can scarcely
detect their motions. Occasionally, the genius who confers the wand,
wrests it from the hand of the temporary possessor, and consigns it to
some new performer; on which occasions all the characters change sides,
and then the race and the hard knocks begin anew.

We might have extended this chapter to a much greater length--we might
have carried the comparison into the liberal professions--we might have
shown, as was in fact our original purpose, that each is in itself a
little pantomime with scenes and characters of its own, complete; but,
as we fear we have been quite lengthy enough already, we shall leave
this chapter just where it is. A gentleman, not altogether unknown as a
dramatic poet, wrote thus a year or two ago--

                "All the World's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;"

and we, tracking out his footsteps at the scarcely-worth-mentioning
little distance of a few millions of leagues behind, venture to add,
by way of new reading, that he meant a Pantomime, and that we are all
actors in The Pantomime of Life.



               IMPROMPTU.

    Who the _dickens_ "Boz" could be
      Puzzled many a learned elf;
    Till time unveil'd the mystery,
      And _Boz_ appear'd as DICKENS' self!
                                      C. J. DAVIDS.



                MEMOIRS OF SAMUEL FOOTE.

Few writers obtained a larger share of notoriety during their lifetime
than Samuel Foote. If the interest which he excited was not very
profound, it was at any rate very generally diffused throughout the
community. His witty sayings were in every one's mouth; his plays were
the rage of the day; he was the constant guest of royalty, the Dukes
of York and Cumberland being among his staunchest friends and patrons;
and the "Sir Oracle" of all the _bons vivants_ and would-be wits of
the metropolis. Take up any light memoir of those days, and you shall
scarcely find one that does not bear testimony to the powers of this
incomparable humourist. Yet, what is he now? A name,--perhaps a great
one,--but little more. His plays are seldom acted, though the best Major
Sturgeon and Jerry Sneak that the stage ever had are still among us;
and as seldom perused in the closet, or assuredly they would have been
republished oftener than has been the case of late years.

We are induced, therefore, to give a brief memoir of our English
Aristophanes, accompanied by as brief a criticism on his genius, such a
task falling naturally, indeed almost necessarily, within the scope of
our Miscellany. But enough of preface: "now to business," as Foote's own
Vamp would say.

Samuel Foote was born at Truro in the year 1720. His family was of
credible extraction, his father being a gentleman of some repute in
Cornwall as receiver of fines for the duchy; and his mother, the
daughter of Sir Edward Goodere, Bart. M.P. for Herefordshire. From
this lady, whom he closely resembled in appearance and manner, he is
supposed to have inherited that turn for "merry malice" for which he
was famous above all his contemporaries. Mr. Cooke, in his notices of
Foote, describes his mother as having been "the very model of her son
Samuel,--short, fat, and flabby," and nearly equally remarkable for the
broad humour of her conversation.

At an early age, young Foote was despatched to a school at Worcester,
where he soon became notorious for his practical jokes and inveterate
propensity to caricature. He was the leader in all the rebellions of the
boys, and perpetrated much small mischief on his own private account.
Among other of his freaks, it is stated that he was in the habit of
anointing his master's lips with ink while he slept in the chair of
authority, and then bewildering and overwhelming the good man with a
host of grave apologies. Yet, with all this, he was attentive to his
studies, reading hard by fits and starts; and left Worcester with the
reputation of being that very ambiguous character--a "lad of parts."

   [Illustration: SAMUEL FOOTE]

At the usual period of life, Foote was entered of Worcester College,
Oxford, where, as at school, his favourite amusement consisted in
quizzing the authorities,--more especially the provost, who was a grave,
pedantic scholar, of a vinegar turn of temperament. The following hoax
is recorded as having been played off by him in his Freshman's year. In
one of the villages near Oxford there was a church that stood close by
a shady lane, through which cattle were in the habit of being driven to
and fro from grass. From the steeple or belfry of this church dangled
a rope, probably for the convenience of the ringers, which overhung
the porch, and descended to within a few feet of the ground. Foote,
who chanced to see it in the course of one of his rambles, resolved to
make it the subject of a practical joke; and accordingly, one night,
just as the cattle were passing down the lane, tied a wisp of fresh
hay tightly about the rope by way of bait. The scheme succeeded to a
miracle. One of the cows, as she passed the church-porch, attracted by
the fragrant smell of the fodder, stopped to nibble at, and tear it
away from the rope; and by so doing set the bell tolling, infinitely
to the astonishment and perplexity of the village authorities, who
did not detect the hoax, which was repeated more than once, till the
circumstance had become the talk of the neighbourhood for miles round.
We do not vouch for the authenticity of this anecdote, though more than
one biographer has alluded to it; but, as it is highly characteristic of
Foote, we think it not unlikely to be true.

On quitting the university, Foote returned for a few months to his
father's house at Truro, at which period it was that a frightful tragedy
occurred in his family, which he seldom spoke of afterwards, and never
without the deepest emotion. We allude to the murder of his uncle Sir
John Goodere, by the baronet's brother Captain Goodere, which took
place about the year 1740. The parties had been dining together at a
friend's house near Bristol; apparently a reconciliation--for they
had been for some time on bad terms with each other, owing to certain
money transactions--had been agreed to between them; but, on his return
home, Sir John was waylaid, by his brother's orders, by the crew of his
vessel, which lay at anchor in the roads; carried on board, and there
strangled; the assassin looking on the while, and actually furnishing
the rope by which the murder was perpetrated. For this atrocious deed,
the Captain and his confederates, who, it appears, made no attempt at
concealment, were tried at the Bristol assizes, found guilty, and hanged.

But the strangest part of this strange story remains to be told. On the
night the murder was committed, Foote arrived at his father's house at
Truro, and describes himself as having been kept awake for some time by
the softest and sweetest strains of music he had ever heard. At first
he imagined that it was a serenade got up by some of the family, by way
of a welcome home; but, on looking out of his windows, could see no
trace of the musicians, so was compelled to come to the conclusion that
the sounds were the mere offspring of his imagination. When, however,
he learned shortly afterwards that the catastrophe to which we have
alluded, had occurred on the same night, and at the same hour when he
had been greeted by the mysterious melody, he became, says one of his
biographers, persuaded that it was a supernatural warning, and retained
this impression to the last moment of his existence. Yet the man who
was thus strongly susceptible of superstitious influences, and who
could mistake a singing in the head, occasioned possibly by convivial
indulgence, for a hint direct from heaven, was the same who overwhelmed
Johnson with ridicule for believing in the Cock-lane ghost!

At the age of twenty-two, shortly after he had quitted Oxford, Foote
entered the Temple; rented an expensive set of chambers; sported a
dashing equipage; gave constant convivial parties; gambled--betted--aped
the man of fashion and of title--in a word, distinguished himself as
one of the most exquisite fops about town. In those days the fop was
quite a different sort of person from what he is now. He was a wit,
and very frequently a scholar; whereas he is now, in the majority of
instances,--to quote Swift's pungent sarcasm,--"a mere peg whereon
to hang a trim suit of clothes." The last legitimate fop, or dandy,
vanished from the scene of gay life with Brummell. He was the _Ultimus
Romanorum_.

One of Foote's most frequent places of resort was the Bedford
Coffee-house, then the favourite lounge of all the aspiring wits of the
day. Here Fielding, Beauclerk, Bonnell Thornton, and a host of kindred
spirits, used to lay down the law to their consenting audience; and here
too many of those verdicts issued which stamped the character of the
"last new piece." Such desultory habits of life--to say nothing of his
inveterate propensity to gambling--soon dissipated the handsome fortune
which Foote had acquired by his father's death; and, at the end of three
years, he was compelled to quit the law, and resort to some other means
of gaining a livelihood.

From a young and enthusiastic amateur of the stage to a performer on its
boards, is no unnatural transition; and we find Foote, somewhere about
the year 1743, associated with his friend Macklin in the management of
a wooden theatre in the Haymarket. Having a lofty notion of his tragic
capabilities, he made his _debut_ in the character of Othello; and,
like Mathews, Liston, and Keeley, who began their theatrical career in
the same mistaken spirit, convulsed the audience with the grotesque
extravagance of his passion, and the irresistible drollery of his
pathos. Finding therefore that his forte did not lie in tragedy, he
next had recourse to comedy, and made a tolerable hit at Drury-lane
in the parts of Sir Paul Pliant, Bayes, and Fondlewife. We have seen
a portrait of him in this last character,--one of Congreve's earliest
and raciest,--and, if it be at all like him, we do not wonder at his
success, for his countenance is replete with the true sly, oily,
hypocritical expression.

In the ear 1747, Foote produced his first piece at the Haymarket, in
which he mimicked the peculiarities of several well-known actors, and,
among others, Macklin. The play was successful; but its performance
having been interdicted by the Westminster magistrates, Foote brought
it out in a new form, under the title of "Diversions of the Morning,"
and issued cards of invitation to the public, requesting the honour of
their company to a tea-party (at playhouse prices) at the Haymarket.
The experiment was a decided hit, and was followed up next season by an
"Auction of Pictures," in which the author lashed with pitiless ridicule
the Virtuoso follies of the day.

Foote was now once again in possession of a handsome competency, for, in
addition to the money made by his labours as an author and an actor, an
unexpected legacy was left him by some branch of his mother's family.
Intoxicated by his good fortune, and unwarned by experience, he resumed
his old habits of extravagance; but, finding that his funds did not
disappear fast enough, he accelerated their diminution by a trip to
Paris, where he remained two or three years, and did not return home
until he found himself, as before, reduced to his last shilling.

Immediately on his arrival in London, Foote renewed his engagement at
Drury-lane, and performed the principal character in his own play of
"The Knights;" but this proving less attractive than the two former
ones, he abruptly quitted town, and crossed the channel to Dublin,
where, in the year 1760, he brought out at the Crowstreet theatre his
celebrated comedy, "The Minor." This, which was then a mere crude sketch
in two acts, was unequivocally damned; but the circumstance, so far from
depressing the author's spirits, only stimulated him to fresh exertions,
and after mercifully revising the play, and adding a third act, he
produced it at the Haymarket. His industry did not go unrewarded. The
success of the comedy equalled his most sanguine expectations, being
played without intermission throughout the season, to houses crammed to
the very ceiling.

It is a singular fact connected with this piquant play, that its
author, doubtful of its reception, sent it in MS. to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, with a request that, if he found any objectionable passages,
he would do him the favour to expunge them. Of course, his Grace
declined all interference with such a heterodox production, observing to
a friend, that if he had made the slightest alteration, the wag might
possibly have published it, as "corrected and prepared for the press by
the Archbishop of Canterbury!" This is as good a story as that told of
Shelley, who is said to have sent a copy of his "Queen Mab" to each of
the twenty-four bishops. The part which Foote played in the "Minor" was
that of the notorious Mother Cole; and the Parson Squintem, to whom this
exemplary specimen of womankind--as Jonathan Oldbuck would say--makes
such repeated allusions, is supposed to have been the celebrated
Whitfield.

"The Minor" was followed in 1762 by "The Liar," which was brought out
at Covent Garden. This drama, the idea of which is borrowed from the
"Menteur" of Corneille, brought full houses for the season; and was
succeeded in the same year by the "Orators,"--an amusing play, but by
no means one of its author's best,--in which he ridiculed Falkner,
the printer of the Dublin Journal, and for which he got entangled in
a tedious law-suit that was not compromised without difficulty. About
this time, too, Foote, according to Boswell, announced his intention
of bringing Dr. Johnson on the stage; but the threat of a public
chastisement, with which "Surly Sam" threatened him, induced him to
abandon his intention. "What is the price of a good thick stick?"
said the Doctor on this remarkable occasion. "A shilling," replied
the individual to whom he put the question. "Then go, and buy me a
half-crown one; for if that rascal, Foote, persists in his attempt to
mimic me, I will step from the boxes, thrash him publicly before the
audience, and then make them a speech in justification of my conduct."
It is almost to be regretted that the satirist gave up his design, for a
capital Philippic has been thereby lost to the world.

From this period Foote chiefly confined himself to the Haymarket,
where appeared in succession his "Mayor of Garratt," "Patron," and
"Commissary." The first, which was founded on the whimsical custom,
now discontinued, of choosing a mock M.P. for the village of Garratt
in Surrey, is a laughable hit at the warlike propensities of cockney
volunteers. After some years' neglect, it was revived with success
during the height of the anti-Jacobin phrensy, when Major Sturgeons
again sprung up as plentiful as mushrooms,--when every tailor strutted a
hero, and every Alderman felt himself a William Tell.

Foote was now afloat on the full tide of prosperity, drawing crowded
houses whenever he performed; patronised by the nobility, at whose
tables he was a sort of privileged guest; and everywhere acknowledged as
the great lion of the day. In the year 1766, when on a visit with the
Duke of York at Lord Mexborough's, he had the misfortune to break his
leg by a fall from his horse in hunting. A silly peer condoling with him
shortly afterwards on this accident, the wag replied, "Pray, my lord, do
not allude to my weak point, I have not alluded to yours," at the same
time pointing significantly to the nobleman's head.

By this misfortune Foote was withdrawn some months from his profession,
but on his recovery he purchased the Haymarket, and opened it with an
extravaganza entitled "The Tailors, or a Tragedy for Warm Weather." The
next year appeared his "Devil on Two Sticks," the machinery of which
is derived from the "Diable Boiteux" of Le Sage. This play, which was
a severe satire on those medical quacks who then, as now, infested the
metropolis, was so popular, that its author cleared upwards of three
thousand pounds by it, but, a few weeks after, lost it all by gambling
at Bath.

Foote's next production was the "Maid of Bath", which was performed
in the year 1771. The principal characters in this comedy--Flint, the
avaricious old bachelor, and Miss Linnet, the vocalist to whom he is
represented as paying his addresses,--were portraits from life; the
former having been intended for Walter Long, a rich Somersetshire
squire, who died in 1807 at the age of ninety-five, leaving property to
the amount of a quarter of a million sterling to Miss Tilney Long, who
married the present Mr. Wellesley; and the latter for the beautiful Miss
Linley, afterwards Mrs. Sheridan. The "Maid of Bath" is a lively play,
containing one or two terse, brilliant witticisms worthy of Congreve;
such, for instance as the definition of marriage,--that it is like
"bobbing for a single eel in a barrel of snakes." Its best-sustained
character is that of Flint; in sketching which, Foote had evidently in
view the Athenian miser alluded to by Horace, for he makes him say, "Ay,
you may rail, and the people may hiss; but what care I? I have that at
home which will keep up my spirits,"--which is a manifest paraphrase from

        ----"Populus me sibilat; at mihi plaudo
    Ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor in arcâ."

This comedy is further deserving of notice, as showing the exquisite
tact and readiness with which Foote availed himself of the floating
topics of the day. At the time it appeared, the town was greatly
diverted by a squabble between Wilkes and the notorious political parson
John Horne, afterwards Horne Tooke, the latter of whom accused the
former of having sold some rich court-dresses which he had entrusted
to his care at Paris. In allusion to this amusing quarrel, Flint says,
speaking of the clergyman whom he has engaged to marry him to Miss
Linnet, "You have seen friend Button, the Minister that has come down to
tack us together; he don't care much to meddle with the pulpit, but he
is a prodigious patriot, and a great politician to boot; and, moreover,
he has left behind him at Paris a choice collection of curious rich
clothes, which he has promised to sell me cheap."

The "Maid of Bath" was followed by the "Nabob" and the "Bankrupt," the
first of which was an effective attack on the habits of many of those
old curmudgeons who, about the middle of the last century--the period
of Anglo-Indian prosperity--returned with dried livers from the East,
rich as Chartres, and equally profligate; and the last, on the crazy
commercial speculations of the day. The sketch of Sir Robert Riscounter
in the "Bankrupt" is supposed to have been meant for the well-known Sir
George Fordyce, who failed, in the year 1772, for an almost unparalleled
amount. Of these two plays, the "Nabob" is the most carefully finished;
but its breadth and grossness must ever prevent its revival.

In 1774 came out the "Cozeners," a pungent satire on the venal
politicians of the day. The corruption which had been sanctioned and
made systematic by Walpole and the Pelhams, was then in the full vigour
of its rank luxuriance; every man had his price; never therefore was
satire better applied than this of Foote's. The "Mrs. Fleec'em" of the
"Cozeners," a lady of accommodating virtue, and somewhat relaxed in
her notions of _meum_ and _tuum_, was intended for the notorious Mrs.
Catherine Rudd, who, after inducing the two brothers (Perreau) to commit
forgery, gave evidence against them, on the strength of which they were
hanged. Yet this creature, tainted as she was with the foulest moral
leprosy, was admitted into the best society, and died at a good old age
with the character of a discreet, respectable matron!

We come now to Foote's last production. In the year 1775, the famous
Duchess of Kingston was tried before the House of Lords for bigamy, and
found guilty. Her case excited extraordinary interest throughout the
country; availing himself of which, Foote introduced her in the "Trip to
Calais" under the character of Lady Kitty Crocodile, which coming to her
Grace's ears, she procured its prohibition by the Lord Chamberlain, and,
not content with this measure of retaliation, got up through her minions
of the press, of whom she had numbers in her pay, a charge against
Foote of a most odious complexion,--so odious, indeed, that he had no
alternative but to demand an instant public trial, which ended, as might
have been anticipated, in his triumphant acquittal. But this result,
satisfactory as it was, had no power to restore him to his wonted peace
of mind. The dagger had struck home to the heart. His friends, too, for
the first time, began to look coolly on him; the anonymous agents of the
Duchess still pursued him with unrelenting acrimony; many of those whose
follies and crimes he had lashed, but who had feared to retort in his
hour of pride, swelled the clamour against him; and he found himself, in
the decline of health and manhood, becoming just as unpopular as he once
was the reverse. In vain he endeavoured to rally and make head against
this combination; his moral fortitude wholly deserted him; and after
performing a few times, after his trial, at the Haymarket, but with none
of his former vivacity, he was seized with a sudden paralytic affection,
and bade adieu to the stage for ever.

About six months subsequent to his retirement, he was attacked by a
complaint which ultimately terminated his life; and, by his physician's
order, quitted London for the Continent, with a view to pass the winter
at Paris. But his constitution was too much shattered to admit of the
fatigue of such a journey, and he was compelled to halt at Dover, where,
on the morning after his arrival, a violent shivering fit came over him
while seated at the breakfast table, which in a few hours put an end to
his existence. No sooner was his death known in the metropolis, than a
re-action commenced in his favour. It was then discovered that, with all
his errors, he had been "more sinned against than sinning;" and some of
his friends even went the length of proposing the erection of a monument
to his memory! Just in the same way, a few years later, was Burns
treated by the world. He, too, was alternately caressed and vilified;
and finally hurried to a premature grave, the victim of a broken heart.
But this is the penalty that superior genius must ever be prepared to
pay. It walks alone along a dizzy, dangerous height, the observed of all
eyes; while gregarious common-place treads, secure and unnoticed, along
the tame, flat "Bedford level" of ordinary life!

Having closed our brief memoir of Foote, it remains to say a few words
of his literary peculiarities. His humour was decidedly Aristophanic;
that is to say, broad, easy, reckless, satirical, without the slightest
alloy of _bonhommie_, and full of the directest personalities. There is
no playfulness or good-nature in his comedies. You laugh, it is true, at
his portraits, but at the same time you hold them in contempt; for there
is nothing redeeming in their eccentricities; nothing for your esteem
and admiration to lay hold of. We cannot gather from his writings,
as we can from every page of Goldsmith, that Foote possessed the
slightest sympathies with humanity. He seems everywhere to hold it at
arm's length, as worthy of nought but the must supercilious treatment;
which accounts for, and to a certain extent justifies, the treatment
he received from the world in his latter days. Foote could never have
drawn a "Good-natured Man," or even a "Dennis Brulgruddery;" for, though
he may have possessed the head to do so, yet he lacked the requisite
sensibility. So greatly deficient is he in this respect, that, whenever
he attempts to put forth a refined or generous sentiment, he almost
always overdoes it, and degenerates into cant. Yet his characters--with
the exception of his virtuous and moral ones, which are the most insipid
in the world--are admirably drawn, are sustained with unflagging spirit,
and evince a wide range of observation which, however, rarely pierces
beyond the surface.

As works of art, Foote's dramas are by no means of first-rate
excellence. They show no fancy, no invention, no ingenuity in
constructing, or tact in developing plot; but are merely a collection
of scenes and incidents huddled confusedly together for the purpose
of drawing out the peculiarities of some two or three pet characters.
The best thing we can say of them is, that they exhibit everywhere the
keenness, the readiness, the self-possession, of the disciplined man
of the world, combined with a pungent malicious humour that reminds
us of a Mephistopheles in his merriest mood. It must also be urged in
their favour, that they are, in every sense of the word, original.
Foote copied no model, but painted direct from the life. He took no
hints from others, but gave his own fresh impressions of character. He
did not draw on his fancy, like Congreve, or study to make points like
Sheridan, but availed himself hastily of such materials as came readiest
to hand. The very extravagances of his early life were in his favour, by
bringing him in contact with those marked, out-of-the-way characters,
who, like Arabs, hang loose on the skirts of society, and constitute the
quintessence of comedy. Thus his inveterate love of gambling furnished
him with his masterly sketch of Dick Loader; and his long-continued
residence at Paris--into whose various dissipations he entered with all
the zeal of a devotee--with his successful hits at the absurdities of
our travelled fops.

Foote's three best plays are his "Minor," his "Liar," and his "Mayor
of Garratt." Perhaps the last is his masterpiece; for it is alive and
bustling throughout, is finished with more than the author's ordinary
care, and contains two characters penned in his truest _con amore_
spirit. Jerry Sneak and Major Sturgeon are, in their line, the two most
perfect delineations of which the minor British drama can boast. There
is no mistaking their identity. They speak the genuine, unadulterated
vulgar tongue of the City. Their sentiments are cockney; their meanness
and their bluster, their pompous self-conceit and abject humility,
are cockney; they are cockney all over from the crown of the head
to the sole of the shoe. What a rich set-off to the "marchings and
counter-marchings" of the one, is the other's recital of his domestic
grievances! Jerry's complaint that his wife only allows him "two
shillings for pocket-money," and helps him to "all the cold vittles
at table," is absolutely pathetic, if--as Hazlitt observes--"the last
stage of human imbecility can be called so." While Bow bells ring, and
St. Paul's church overlooks Cheapside, Foote's cockneys shall endure.
Nevertheless, while we acknowledge their excellence, we entertain
the most intense contempt for them, and feel the strongest possible
inclination to fling the Major into a horse-pond, and smother Jerry
Sneak in a basin of water-gruel.

Foote's conversational abilities were, if possible, superior to his
literary ones. For men of the world, in particular, they must have
had an inexpressible charm. There is no wit on record who has said so
many good things, or with such perfect ease and readiness. Foote never
laid a pun-trap to catch the unwary. He had humour at will, and had
no need to resort to artifice. His mind was well, but not abundantly
stored; and he had the tact to make his knowledge appear greater than
it really was. The most sterling testimony that has been borne to his
colloquial powers, is that furnished by Dr. Johnson, who says, "The
first time I was in company with Foote, was at Fitzherbert's. Having no
good opinion of the fellow, I was resolved not to be pleased; and it
is very difficult to please a man against his will. I went on eating
my dinner pretty sullenly, affecting not to mind him; but the dog was
so very comical, that I was obliged to lay down my knife and fork,
and fairly laugh it out. Sir, he was irresistible." Foote's favourite
butt was Garrick, whose thrifty habits he was constantly turning into
ridicule. Being one day in company with him, when after satirizing
some individual, David had wound up his attack by saying, "Well, well,
perhaps before I condemn another, I should pull the _beam_ out of my own
eye," Foote replied. "And so you would, if you could _sell the timber_."
On another occasion, when they were dining together, Garrick happened
to let a guinea drop on the floor. "Where has it gone to?" asked Foote,
looking about for it. "Oh, to the devil, I suppose," was the reply.
"Ah, David," rejoined his tormentor, "you can always contrive to make a
guinea go farther than any one else."

Such was Samuel Foote,--the wit, the satirist, the humourist--whose life
inculcates this wholesome truth, that those who set themselves up, with
no superior moral qualifications to recommend them, to ridicule the
follies and lash the vices of the age, but "sow the wind, to reap the
whirlwind!"



                      THE TWO BUTLERS.

In all countries and all languages we have the story of _Il Bondocani_.
May I tell one from Ireland?

It is now almost a hundred years ago--certainly eighty--since Tom--I
declare to Mnemosyne I forget what his surname was, if I ever knew it,
which I doubt,--It is at least eighty years since Tom emerged from his
master's kitchen in Clonmell, to make his way on a visit to foreign
countries.

If I can well recollect dates, this event must have occurred at the end
of the days of George the Second, or very close after the accession
of George the Third, because in the course of the narrative it will
be disclosed that the tale runs of a Jacobite lord living quietly in
Ireland, and that I think must have been some time between 1740 and
1760,--or say 65. Just before the year of the young Pretender's burst,
a sharp eye used to be kept upon the "honest men" in all the three
kingdoms; and in Ireland, from the peculiar power which the surveillance
attendant on the penal laws gave the government, this sharp eye could
not be surpassed in sharpness,--that is to say, if it did not choose to
wink. Truth, nevertheless, makes us acknowledge that the authorities of
Ireland were ever inclined at the bottom of their hearts to countenance
lawlessness, if at all recommended by anything like a noble or a
romantic name. And no name could be more renowned or more romantic than
that of Ormond.

It is to be found in all our histories well recorded. What are the lines
of Dryden?--and Dryden was a man who knew how to make verses worth
reading.

And the rebel rose stuck to the house of Ormond for many a day;--but it
is useless to say more. Even I who would sing "Lilla bullalero bullen a
la,"--if I could, only I can't sing,--and who give "The glorious, pious,
and immortal memory," because I can toast,--even I do not think wrong of
the house of Ormond for sticking as it did to the house of Stuart. Of
that too I have a long story to tell some time or another.

Never mind. I was mentioning all this, because I have not a 'Peerage' by
me; and I really do not know who was the Lord Ormond of the day which I
take to be the epoch of my tale. If I had a 'Peerage,' I am sure I could
settle it in a minute; but I have none. Those, therefore, who are most
interested in the affair ought to examine a 'Peerage,' to find who was
the man of the time;--I can only help them by a hint. My own particular
and personal reason for recollecting the matter is this: I am forty,
or more--never mind the quantity more; and I was told the story by my
uncle at least five-and-twenty years ago. That brings us to the year
1812,--say 1811. My uncle--his name was Jack--told me that he had heard
the story from Tom himself fifty years before that. If my uncle Jack,
who was a very good fellow, considerably given to potation, was precise
in his computation of time, the date of his story must have fallen in
1762--or 1763--no matter which. This brings me near the date I have
already assigned; but the reader of my essay has before him the grounds
of my chronological conjectures, and he can form his opinions on _data_
as sufficiently as myself.

I recur fearlessly to the fact that Tom--whatever his surname may have
been--emerged from the kitchen of his master in Clonmell, to make his
way to foreign countries.

His master was a very honest fellow--a schoolmaster of the name of
Chaytor, a Quaker, round of paunch and red of nose. I believe that some
of his progeny are now men of office in Tipperary--and why should they
not? Summer school-vacations in Ireland occur in July; and Chaytor--by
the bye, I think he was _Tom_ Chaytor, but if Quakers have Christian
names I am not sure,--gave leave to his man Tom to go wandering about
the country. He had four, or perhaps five, days to himself.

Tom, as he was described to me by my uncle over a jug of punch about
a quarter of a century ago, was what in his memory must have been a
smart-built fellow. Clean of limb, active of hand, light of leg, clear
of eye, bright of hair, white of tooth, and two-and-twenty; in short, he
was as handsome a lad as you would wish to look upon in a summer's day.
I mention a summer's day merely for its length; for even on a winter's
day there were few girls that could cast an eye upon him without
forgetting the frost.

So he started for the land of Kilkenny, which is what we used to call
in Ireland twenty-four miles from Clonmell. They have stretched it
now to thirty; but I do not find it the longer or shorter in walking
or chalking. However, why should we gamble at an act of "justice to
Ireland?" Tom at all events cared little for the distance; and, going it
at a slapping pace, he made Kilkenny in six hours. I pass the itinerary.
He started at six in the morning, and arrived somewhat foot-worn, but
full not only of bread, but of wine, (for wine was to be found on
country road-sides in Ireland in those days,) in the ancient city of
Saint Canice about noon.

Tom refreshed himself at the Feathers, kept in those days by a man named
Jerry Mulvany, who was supposed to be more nearly connected with the
family of Ormond than the rites of the church could allow; and having
swallowed as much of the substantial food and the pestiferous fluid that
mine host of the Feathers tendered him, the spirit of inquisitiveness,
which, according to the phrenologists, is developed in all mankind,
seized paramount hold of Tom. Tom--? ay, Tom it must be, for I really
cannot recollect his other name.

If there be a guide-book to the curiosities of Kilkenny, the work has
escaped my researches. Of the city it is recorded, however, that it can
boast of fire without smoke, air without fog, and streets paved with
marble. And there's the college, and the bridge, and the ruins of St.
John's abbey, and St. Canice, and the Nore itself, and last, not least,
the castle of the Ormonds, with its woods and its walks, and its stables
and its gallery, and all the rest of it, predominating over the river.
It is a very fine-looking thing indeed; and, if I mistake not, John
Wilson Croker, in his youth, wrote a poem to its honour, beginning with

          "High on the sounding banks of Nore,"

every verse of which ended with "The castle," in the manner of Cowper's
"My Mary," or Ben Jonson's "Tom Tosspot." If I had the poem, I should
publish it here with the greatest pleasure; but I have it not. I forget
where I saw it, but I think it was in a Dublin magazine of a good many
years ago, when I was a junior sophister of T. C. D.

Let the reader, then, in the absence of this document, imagine that
the poem was infinitely fine, and that the subject was worthy of the
muse. As the castle is the most particular lion of the city, it of
course speedily attracted the attention of Tom, who, swaggering in all
the independence of an emancipated footman up the street, soon found
himself at the gate. "Rearing himself thereat," as the old ballad has
it, stood a man basking in the sun. He was somewhat declining towards
what they call the vale of years in the language of poetry; but by
the twinkle of his eye, and the purple rotundity of his cheek, it was
evident that the years of the valley, like the lads of the valley, had
gone cheerily-o! The sun shone brightly upon his silver locks, escaping
from under a somewhat tarnished cocked-hat guarded with gold lace, the
gilding of which had much deteriorated since it departed from the shop
of the artificer; and upon a scarlet waistcoat, velvet certainly, but
of reduced condition, and in the same situation as to gilding as the
hat. His plum-coloured breeches were unbuckled at the knee, and his
ungartered stockings were on a downward progress towards his unbuckled
shoes. He had his hands--their wrists were garnished with unwashed
ruffles--in his breeches pockets; and he diverted himself with whistling
"Charley over the water," in a state of _quasi_-ruminant quiescence.
Nothing could be plainer than that he was a hanger-on of the castle off
duty, waiting his time until called for, when of course he was to appear
before his master in a more carefully arranged costume.

Ormond Castle was then, as I believe it is now, a show-house, and the
visitors of Kilkenny found little difficulty in the admission; but, as
in those days purposes of political intrusion might be suspected, some
shadow at least of introduction was considered necessary. Tom, reared
in the household of a schoolmaster, where the despotic authority of the
chief extends a flavour of its quality to all his ministers, exhilarated
by the walk, and cheered by the eatables and drinkables which he had
swallowed, felt that there was no necessity for consulting any of the
usual points of etiquette, if indeed he knew that any such things were
in existence.

"I say," said he, "old chap! is this castle to be seen? I'm told it's a
show; and if it is, let's have a look at it."

"It is to be seen," replied the person addressed, "if you are properly
introduced."

"That's all hum!" said Tom. "I know enough of the world, though I've
lived all my life in Clonmell, to know that a proper introduction
signifies a tester. Come, my old snouty, I'll stand all that's right if
you show me over it. Can you do it?"

"Why," said his new friend, "I think I can; because, in fact, I am----"

"Something about the house, I suppose. Well, though you've on a laced
jacket, and I only a plain frieze coat, we are both brothers of the
shoulder-knot. I tell you who I am. Did you ever hear of Chaytor the
Quaker, the schoolmaster of Clonmell?"

"Never."

"Well, he's a decent sort of fellow in the _propria quæ maribus_ line,
and gives as good a buttock of beef to anybody that gets over the
threshold of his door as you'd wish to meet; and I am his man,--his
valley de sham, head gentleman----"

"Gentleman usher?"

"No, not usher," responded Tom indignantly: "I have nothing to do with
ushers; they are scabby dogs of poor scholards, sizards, half-pays, and
the like; and all the young gentlemen much prefer me:--but I am his
_fiddleus Achates_, as master Jack Toler calls me,--that's a purty pup
who will make some fun some of these days,--his whacktotum, head-cook,
and dairy-maid, slush, and butler. What are you here?"

"Why," replied the man at the gate, "I am a butler as well as you."

"Oh! then we're both butlers; and you could as well pass us in. By
coarse, the butler must be a great fellow here; and I see you are rigged
out in the cast clothes of my lord. Isn't that true?"

"True enough: he never gets a suit of clothes that it does not fall to
my lot to wear it; but if you wish to see the castle, I think I can
venture to show you all that it contains, even for the sake of our being
two butlers."

It was not much sooner said than done. Tom accompanied his companion
over the house and grounds, making sundry critical observations on all
he saw therein,--on painting, architecture, gardening, the sublime and
beautiful, the scientific and picturesque,--in a manner which I doubt
not much resembled the average style of reviewing those matters in what
we now call the best public instructors.

"Rum-looking old ruffians!" observed Tom, on casting his eyes along
the gallery containing the portraitures of the Ormondes. "Look at that
fellow there all battered up in iron; I wish to God I had as good a
church as he would rob!"

"He was one of the old earls," replied his guide, "in the days of Henry
the Eighth; and I believe he did help in robbing churches."

"I knew it by his look," said Tom; "and there's a chap there in a
wilderness of a wig. Gad! he looks as if he was like to be hanged."

"He was so," said the cicerone; "for a gentleman of the name of Blood
was about to pay him that compliment at Tyburn."

"Serve him right," observed Tom; "and this fellow with the short
stick in his hand;--what the deuce is the meaning of that?--was he a
constable?"

"No," said his friend, "he was a marshal; but he had much to do with
keeping out of the way of constables for some years. Did you ever hear
of Dean Swift?"

"Did I ever hear of the Dane? Why, my master has twenty books of his
that he's always reading, and he calls him Old Copper-farthing; and the
young gentlemen are quite wild to read them. I read some of them wance
(once); but they were all lies, about fairies and giants. Howsoever,
they say the Dane was a larned man."

"Well, he was a great friend of that man with the short stick in his
hand."

"By dad!" said Tom, "few of the Dane's friends was friends to the
Hanover succession; and I'd bet anything that that flourishing-looking
lad there was a friend to the Pretender."

"It is likely that if you laid such a bet you would win it. He was a
great friend also of Queen Anne. Have you ever heard of her?"

"Heard of Brandy Nan! To be sure I did--merry be the first of August!
But what's the use of looking at those queer old fools?--I wonder who
bothered themselves painting them?"

"I do not think you knew the people;--they were Vandyke, Lely, Kneller."

"I never heard of them in Clonmell," remarked Tom. "Have you anything to
drink?"

"Plenty."

"But you won't get into a scrape? Honour above all; I'd not like to have
you do it unless you were sure, for the glory of the cloth."

The pledge of security being solemnly offered, Tom followed his
companion through the intricate passages of the castle until he came
into a small apartment, where he found a most plentiful repast before
him. He had not failed to observe, that, as he was guided through
the house, their path had been wholly uncrossed, for, if anybody
accidentally appeared, he hastily withdrew. One person only was detained
for a moment, and to him the butler spoke a few words in some unknown
tongue, which Tom of course set down as part of the Jacobite treason
pervading every part of the castle.

"Gad!" said he, while beginning to lay into the round of beef, "I am
half inclined to think that the jabber you talked just now to the
powder-monkey we met in that corridor was not treason, but beef and
mustard: an't I right?"

"Quite so."

"Fall to, then, yourself. By Gad! you appear to have those lads under
your thumb--for this is great eating. I suppose you often rob my
lord?--speak plain, for I myself rob ould Chaytor the schoolmaster; but
there's a long difference between robbing a schoolmaster and robbing a
lord. I venture to say many a pound of his you have made away with."

"A great many indeed. I am ashamed to say it, that for one pound he has
lost by anybody else, he has lost a hundred by me."

"Ashamed, indeed! This is beautiful beef. But let us wash it down. By
the powers! is it champagne you are giving me? Well, I never drank but
one glass of it in my life, and that was from a bottle that I stole out
of a dozen which the master had when he was giving a great dinner to the
fathers of the boys just before the Christmas holidays the year before
last. My service to you. By Gor! if you do not break the Ormonds, I
can't tell who should."

"Nor I. Finish your champagne. What else will you have to drink?"

"Have you the run of the cellar?"

"Certainly."

"Why, then, claret is genteel; but the little I drank of it was mortal
cold. Could you find us a glass of brandy?"

"Of course:" and on the sounding of a bell there appeared the same valet
who had been addressed in the corridor; and in the same language some
intimation was communicated, which in a few moments produced a bottle of
Nantz, rare and particular, placed before Tom with all the emollient
appliances necessary for turning it into punch.

"By all that's bad," said the Clonmellian butler, "but ye keep these
fellows to their knitting. This is indeed capital stuff. Make for
yourself. When you come to Clonmell, ask for me--Tom--at old Chaytor's,
the Quaker schoolmaster, a few doors from the Globe. This lord of yours,
I am told, is a bloody Jacobite: here's the Hanover succession! but we
must not drink that here, for perhaps the old fellow himself might hear
us."

"Nothing is more probable."

"Well, then, mum's the word. I'm told he puts white roses in his dog's
ears, and drinks a certain person over the water on the tenth of June;
but, no matter, this is his house, and you and I are drinking his
drink,--so, why should we wish him bad luck? If he was hanged, of course
I'd go to see him, to be sure; would not you?"

"I should certainly be there."

By this time Tom was subdued by the champagne and the brandy, to say
nothing of the hot weather; and the spirit of hospitality rose strong
upon the spirit of cognac. His new friend gently hinted that a retreat
to his _gîte_ at the Feathers would be prudent; but to such a step Tom
would by no means consent unless the butler of the castle accompanied
him to take a parting bowl. With some reluctance the wish was complied
with, and both the butlers sallied forth on their way through the
principal streets of Kilkenny, just as the evening was beginning to
assume somewhat of a dusky hue. Tom had, in the course of the three or
four hours passed with his new friend, informed him of all the private
history of the house of Ormond, with that same regard to veracity
which in general characterises the accounts of the births, lives, and
educations of persons of the higher classes, to be found in fashionable
novels and other works drawn from the communications of such authorities
as our friend Tom; and his companion offered as much commentary as is
usually done on similar occasions. Proceeding in a twirling motion
along, he could not but observe that the principal persons whom they
met bowed most respectfully to the gentleman from the castle; and, on
being assured that this token of deference was paid because they were
tradesmen of the castle, who were indebted to the butler for his good
word in their business, Tom's appreciation of his friend's abilities
in the art of "improving" his situation was considerably enhanced. He
calculated that if they made money by the butler, the butler made money
by them; and he determined that on his return to Clonmell he too would
find tradesfolks ready to take hats off to him in the ratio of pedagogue
to peer.

The Kilkenny man steadied the Clonmell man to the Feathers, where the
latter most potentially ordered a bowl of the best punch. The slipshod
waiter stared; but a look from Tom's friend was enough. They were
ushered into the best apartment of the house,--Tom remarking that it
was a different room from that which he occupied on his arrival; and in
a few minutes the master of the house, Mr. Mulvany, in his best array,
made his appearance with a pair of wax candles in his hands. He bowed to
the earth as he said,

"If I had expected you, my----"

"Leave the room," was the answer.

"Not before I order my bowl of punch," said Tom.

"Shall I, my----"

"Yes," said the person addressed; "whatever he likes."

"Well," said Tom, as Mulvany left the room, "if I ever saw anything to
match that. Is he one of the tradespeople of the castle? This does bate
everything. And, by dad, he's not unlike you in the face, neither! Och!
then, what a story I'll have when I get back to Clonmell."

"Well, Tom," said his friend, "I may perhaps see you there; but
good-b'ye for a moment. I assure you I have had much pleasure in your
company."

"He's a queer fellow that," thought Tom, "and I hope he'll be soon back.
It's a pleasant acquaintance I've made the first day I was in Kilkenny.
Sit down, Mr. Mulvany," said he, as that functionary entered, bearing a
bowl of punch, "and taste your brewing." To which invitation Mr. Mulvany
acceded, nothing loth, but still casting an anxious eye towards the door.

"That's a mighty honest man," said Tom.

"I do not know what you mean," replied the cautious Mulvany; (for,
"honest man" was in those days another word for Jacobite.)

"I mane what I say," said Tom; "he's just showed me over the castle, and
gave me full and plenty of the best of eating and drinking. He tells me
he's the butler."

"And so he is, you idiot of a man!" cried Mulvany. "He's the chief
Butler of Ireland."

"What?" said Tom.

"Why, him that was with you just now is the Earl of Ormond."

My story is over--

          "And James Fitzjames was Scotland's king."

All the potations pottle-deep, the road-side drinking, the champagne, the
cognac, the punch of the Feathers, vanished at once from Tom's brain, to
make room for the recollection of what he had been saying for the last
three hours. Waiting for no further explanation, he threw up the window,
(they were sitting on a ground-floor,) and, leaving Mr. Mulvany to
finish the bowl as he pleased, proceeded at a hand-canter to Clonmell,
not freed from the apparition of Lord Ormond before he had left Kilcash
to his north; and nothing could ever again induce him to wander in
the direction of Kilkenny, there to run the risk of meeting with his
fellow-butler, until his lordship was so safely bestowed in the family
vault as to render the chance of collision highly improbable. Such is my
_Il Bondocani_.
                                                                T. C. D.

   [Illustration: The Little Bit of Tape]



                   THE LITTLE BIT OF TAPE.
                    BY RICHARD JOHNS, ESQ.

"Slow and sure" has been the motto of my family from generation to
generation, and wonderfully has it prospered by acting on this maxim;
the misfortunes of the house of Slowby having apparently been reserved
for the only active and enterprising individual ever born unto that
name. Reader, I am that unhappy man! Waiters upon Fortune, plentifully
have all my progenitors fared from the dainties of the good lady's
table; while I, in my anxiety to share in the feast, have generally
upset the board, and lost every thing in the scramble.

Sir James Slowby, my worthy father, was a younger son, and his portion
had been little more than the blessing of a parent, conveyed in the form
of words always used in our family--"Bless thee, my son; be slow and
sure, and you will be sure to get on." He did get on; for, was he not
one of the feelers of that huge polypus in society, the Slowbys? Ways of
making money, which other men had diligently sought in vain, discovered
themselves to him; places were conferred on him, and legacies left
him, for no one reason that could be discovered, except that he seemed
indifferent to such matters, and latterly became so wealthy, that he did
not require them. He was slow in marrying; not entering the "holy state"
till he was forty. He did not wed a fortune: no! he rather preferred a
woman of good expectations; and these were, of course, realised,--the
money came "slow and sure." He lived to a good old age; but death,
though slow, was sure also; and he at length died, leaving two sons: on
one he bestowed all his wealth; the other, my luckless self, he left a
beggarly dependent on an elder brother's bounty. The fact of the matter
was, I had too much vivacity to please so true a Slowby as my father;
while James was a man after his own heart: and, perhaps I had circulated
a little too much of the old gentleman's money in what he strangely
called my "loose kind of life;" but which I only denominated "living
fast." He might have confessed that I was not altogether selfish in my
pleasures. I often made my father most magnificent presents; and though,
perhaps, he ultimately had to pay the bills, the generosity of the
intention was the same.

The following letters were written just before our worthy parent's
death, by his two sons. James was at the paternal mansion in ---- Square,
I at a little road-side public-house about four and twenty miles from
Newmarket. I must premise that I was thus far on my way to London, in
answer to my brother's summons; but, at "Ugley" over the post-chaise
went--a wheel was broken, and so was my left arm. The post-boys swore
it was my fault, because I had not patience to have the wheels properly
greased; and I, because it was my misfortune to be obliged to delay my
journey till the mischief was repaired--I mean as regards the WEAL of my
arm, not the wheel of the chaise,--for, had I been able, I would rather
have ridden one of the post-horses to the next stage, than not have
pursued my route.

                                                  "_---- Square._
               MY DEAR BROTHER,--Your
            father requests that you will take an early opportunity
            of coming to town, as he is supposed to be on his
            death-bed. His will only awaits your arrival to receive
            signature. Should you solemnly promise not to dissipate
            money as you have heretofore done, he will leave you a
            gentlemanly competence. Dr. Druget is of opinion that
            our father may live till Sunday next; so, if you are
            here at any period before that date, you will be in
            sufficient time for the above-mentioned purpose.
                       "Your affectionate brother,    JAMES SLOWBY."

               "DEAR JIM,--_You_ might think
            it wise to delay my seeing our dear father, but _I_
            did not;--so started at once,--double-fee'd the
            post-boys,--double feed for the horses,--away I bowled,
            till off came the wheel at Ugley. Here I am, with
            a broken arm. Tell my father I am cut to the quick
            that we may never meet again. I'll promise any thing
            he likes. I now really see the folly of being always
            in such a devil of a hurry; particularly in spending
            money, paying bills, and that kind of thing: say that I
            will now for ever stick by the family motto, 'slow and
            sure.'
                            "Yours in haste,        RICHARD SLOWBY."

            "P.S. I send my own servant to ride whip
            and spur till he puts this in your hands; he will
            beat the post by an hour and a half, which is of
            consequence."

This latter epistle never reached its destination,--my poor fellow broke
his neck at Epping; and, as the letter was despatched in too great haste
to be fully directed, it was opened and returned to me by the coroner in
due course of post.

I did not get to town till long after the death of my father. The will
signed at last, my absence being unaccounted for, gave my brother the
whole property; nor did he seem inclined to part with a shilling. A
place in the T----, which the head of our ancient house, Lord Snaile,
had bestowed on my father, and still promised to keep in the family,
might yet be mine,--I was his lordship's godson, and had a fair chance
for it; but the now Sir James Slowby, second of the title, and worthy of
the name, would not withdraw his claim as eldest born.

"I won't move in the matter, Richard," said my slow and sure brother;
"but if my lord gives me the offer, I will accept it. I am not greedy
after riches, Heaven knows; but it would be tempting Providence not to
hold what is put into my possession, nor freely take what is freely
given. His lordship has requested, by letter, that we both wait upon him
in Curzon Street, no doubt about the appointment; he makes mention of
wishing to introduce us to the ladies, after 'the despatch of business.'
Our cousin Maria used to be lovely as a child, and, though not a
fortune, may come in for something considerable, ultimately."

Such was my brother's harangue. Sick of his prosing I left his
house, comforting myself that I had, at least, as much chance of
the appointment as he had; nor was I altogether without my hopes of
supplanting him with Maria, though _he_ might be worthy of wedding her
at Marylebone; and I, even with her own special licence, would have to
journey on the same errand as far as Gretna.

I dined that day at Norwood with an old schoolfellow. At his house I
was to pass the night, and on the morrow, at two o'clock, my fate was
to be decided. On this eventful morning I was set down in Camberwell by
my friend's phaeton. I had seen the Norwood four-horse coach start for
town long before we left home, and had given myself great credit for not
allowing it to convey me that I might have from thence been enabled to
intrude on Lord Snaile's privacy an hour or two before I was expected.
But I recollected I had annoyed his lordship on more than one occasion
in a similar manner, and I seriously resolved that I would no longer
mar my fortunes by my precipitation. It was now, however, within two
hours of the time of appointment; my friend's vehicle was not going any
farther, and I might, at least, indulge myself by reaching Oxford Street
by the quickest public conveyance. Omnibuses had just been introduced
on that road; and the Red Rover, looking like a huge trap for catching
passengers, was drawn up at the end of Camberwell Green. "Charing Cross,
sir!"--"Oxford Street, sir!"--"Going directly, sir!" was music to my
ears, even from the cracked voice of a cad, and in I unfortunately got;
and there did I sit for ten minutes, while coaches innumerable, passed
me for London. Still I preserved my patience, firm in my good resolves.
At length another Westminster omnibus drove up.

"Are you going now; or are you not?" said I, very properly restraining
an oath just on the tip of my tongue.

"Going directly, sir--be in town long before him, sir," said the cad,
pointing to the other 'bus, for he saw my eye was turned towards it.

At that moment a simple-looking servant-girl with a bandbox came across
the Green, and a fight commenced between the _conducteurs_ of the rival
vehicles for the unfortunate woman, in which she got not a little pulled
about. The Red Rover, however, won the day; and glad enough was I when
we started, at a rattling pace. But my pleasure was of short duration.

"Where are you going?" asked an old women opposite me, who knew the
road, which I did not.

"Going to take up, ma'am," said the cad. "We shall be back to the Green
Man in ten minutes if you've left any thing behind."

"Where is my bandbox?" said the girl.

"I knows nothing about it, not I; I suppose it went by the other 'bus
if you arn't a got it. Why did you let it out of your own hands, young
'oman? That 'ere cad is the greatest thief on the road."

The girl began to cry, and declared she should lose her place; and I to
swear, for I thought it very likely I should lose mine. But we at length
once more passed the Green, and tore along at the rate of ten miles an
hour, till we set down passengers at the Elephant and Castle. Reader,
do you happen to know a biscuit-shop occupying the corner of the road
to Westminster, opposite the aforesaid Elephant and Castle? There it
was, the Red Rover drew up, and the cad descended to run after a man and
woman, who seemed undetermined whether they would take six-pennyworth
or not. My patience was now quite exhausted. A four-horse Westminster
coach was just starting across the way, and, determined to get a place
in a more expeditious conveyance, I dashed open the door of the omnibus
just as the _conducteur's_ "all right" again set the carriage in motion;
he, having failed in his canvassing, at the same instant jumped on
the step behind the 'bus. The consequences were direful. The cad was
transferred to the pavement by a swingeing blow on the temple from the
opening panel, while I lost my equilibrium, and made a full-length
prostration into mud four inches thick, which formed the bed of the
road. I had fallen face downward, and the infuriated official of the
'bus quickly bestrode me, grasping me by the nape of the neck. I gasped
for breath. Never shall I forget what I then inhaled. To bite the
dust is always disagreeable; but, I can assure you, it is nothing to
a mouthful of mud. Rescued at last by the intervention of the police,
I was permitted to rise. I had no time to dispute the question of
right and wrong; glad enough was I to be allowed to medicate the cad's
promissory black eye with a sovereign; for which I was declared by all
present, and particularly by the man what rides behind the 'homnibus'
"to be a perfect gemman, only a little hasty." Never was a gentleman
in a worse pickle. The road had been creamed by the _reign_ of wet
weather that marks an English summer. Had I been diving in a mud-cart,
or "far into the bowels of the land," through the medium of a ditch in
the neighbouring St. George's Fields, I could not have presented a more
extraordinary appearance. I might have been rated as a forty-shilling
landholder, and rich soil into the bargain. As soon as I could clear my
eyes sufficiently to permit of the exercise of vision, I espied an old
clothes' shop in the distance; and in this welcome retreat I speedily
bestowed myself amid cries of "How are you off for soap?"--"There you
go, stick-in-the-mud!"--"Where did you lie last?" and other specimens
of suburban wit. Having left the admiring gaze of about two hundred
spectators, I obtained a washing-tub and a private room from my
newly-formed acquaintance, Isaacs; and, my ablutions being complete, I
equipped myself in a full suit of black, which, though the habiliments
were rather the worse for wear, fitted me pretty well, and had been,
withal, decently made. I was also supplied with shirt and drawers,
"goot ash new," and a hat which Isaacs swore was only made the week
before, and "cheap ash dirt." I appreciated the simile, but the hat I
could scarcely get on my head; time was however wearing away, and I was
obliged to have it, as well as a pair of Blucher boots, not a Wellington
fitting me in the Jew's whole stock of such articles. I again started.
There happened to be a hackney-coach passing just as I emerged from the
shop. This was fortunate; for, to hide my low boots, Isaacs had strapped
my trousers down so tightly, that, not trusting much to the material, I
thought it might be advisable to avoid walking.

I had yet sufficient time before me to keep my appointment, and I
was now fairly on my way to Curzon Street; nothing interrupting my
meditation for the next half hour but the paying of a turnpike. I had
certainly met with many vexatious annoyances during the morning; but I
felt pleased with myself for so far conquering my impetuous spirit as to
have exhibited, on the whole, but little irritation under my suffering.
For this, I thought I deserved to succeed in my present visit to that
high-priest of Fortune, a patron. Then I bethought me of Maria, and took
a glance at my suit of black. I fancied that I must look very like an
undertaker,--I knew not why: I had imagined myself perfectly gentlemanly
in appearance when I left my toilet at Norwood, and I had only changed
one suit of black for another,--but then these were not made for me.
Perhaps some poor fellow had been hanged in them. I got nervous and
miserable.

My hat galled my head; I removed it, and held it in my hand. It
certainly did not look like a new one. I was ingeniously tormenting
myself with calling to memory every disease of the scalp I had ever
heard of, when I reached the corner of Curzon Street; and, not wishing
to desecrate the portals of the fastidious peer by driving up in a
"Jarvey," I got out, and made my approach on foot. I had knocked--there
was a delay in opening the door. The porter is out of the way, thought
I; and I took an opportunity of looking at my heels, to see if I had
walked off with any straws from the coach. I heard the door opening;--I
say heard, for I did not look up, my eyes just then resting on a small
_piece of tape_ that I had been dragging in the dirt--Oh! luckless
appurtenance of the drawers of the Jew!--Yes! the door was opening to
admit me to the presence of my noble relation--my patron--who I trusted
was waiting with an appointment of 1500_l._ a-year, anxious to bestow it
on his godson--the morning that was to witness my introduction to her
whom I had already wedded in my imagination--I saw a little piece of
tape dangling at my heels! Before the portals of the mansion had quite
gaped to receive me, my finger was twisted round this cruel instrument
of destiny, in the hope of breaking it. I pulled. Acting like a knife on
the trousers, fast strapped to my boots, and too powerful a strain on
the drawers, though "goot ash new," both were rent to the waistband;--my
coat ripped at the shoulder by the action of my arm;--my hat fell off,
and was taken by the wind down the street;--and the servant, to whom,
having finished this ingenious operation, I stood fully disclosed,
unfortunately saw but the effects, without knowing the cause of my
disaster.

The man was too well-bred to remark my appearance, but he had every
reason for thinking me either mad or drunk; as, to crown all, my face
must have been flushed and distorted from rage and mortification.

"My lord expects you in the library, sir," said the astounded servant.

An abrupt "Tell my lord I'll call again" was my only reply, delivered
over my shoulder as I dashed from the door, perfectly unconscious of
what I was about, till I found myself in a tavern, the first friendly
door that was open to receive me. I here composed my bewildered
senses, despatched a messenger for a tailor, and set myself down to
concoct a note to Lord Snaile. But how narrate to the most particular,
matter-of-fact, and yet fastidious, man in the world the events of
that morning? I threw the pen and paper from me in despair. Nothing
now remained but to wait patiently, if possible, till I could make my
excuses in person.

The tailor came, and in about an hour and a half I was again on my way
to his lordship's residence; but alas! ere I reached it, I met my steady
young brother, who with much formality thus addressed me.

"Richard Slowby, your conduct this morning is the climax of your
excesses. His lordship requests that he may not in future be favoured
with your visits in Curzon Street; and I consider it my duty to inform
you, that these will be equally disagreeable in ---- Square."

I felt at that moment too proud to ask for, or offer, explanations.
I saw by the twinkle of his cold grey eye that _he_ had received the
appointment, and of course it would have been against his principles to
resign it in my favour; so I merely told him that I should have great
pleasure in attending to the wishes of two men I so _equally_ respected
as Lord Snaile and Sir James Slowby: and, bidding him a very good
morning, I left him to his self-gratulations.

About a twelvemonth afterwards, I elicited from the servant who had
opened the door to me, and delivered my unfortunate message to his
lordly master, the following particulars.

It appears that on the man entering the library he found the peer
and the baronet seated together, the eyes of the former fixed on a
time-piece, which told the startling fact that the hour of appointment
was past, by five minutes. "Is Mr. Slowby come?" said my lord, turning
suddenly towards the servant.

"Yes, my lord; but----"

"Show him in directly, sir. Did I not tell you I expected Mr. Slowby,
and ordered him to be admitted?"

"I told the gentleman so, my lord, and that you were waiting for him,
and he said he would call again. I am afraid the gentleman is unwell, my
lord."

"Unwell!" cried his lordship, "and you allowed him to quit the house?"

"He ran away, my lord;" and here, not knowing how far it would be safe
to give the conclusion he had drawn from my extraordinary manner and
appearance, the man hesitated.

"Tell me why, this instant, sir," exclaimed his master; "there is some
mystery, and I will know it."

"I beg pardon, my lord, but Mr. Slowby seemed much excited--was
without his hat, had torn clothes--scarcely decent, my lord. I hope
your lordship will excuse me, but the gentleman seemed flushed with
after-dinner indulgence in the morning, my lord."

On this well-bred announcement of my being drunk, the peer and his
companion exchanged significant looks.

"You may go," said my lord, bowing his head to the servant: but ere
my informant got further than the neutral ground between the double
doors, he heard my kind brother say, "Just like him;--dined yesterday at
Norwood."

"A disgrace to the family!" sorrowfully remarked his lordship. "I had
hoped to benefit him, but"--a pause--"the appointment is yours, Sir
John. I could not trust it with a man of his character."

It is satisfactory to know the particulars of one's misfortunes, and
these were given me at the "Bear" in Piccadilly. After being cut by all,
as a graceless vagabond, when it was discovered that I had few meals
to say grace over, I am now considered dead to society; but I am, in
fact, "living for revenge." To spite the omnibuses, and abuse the cads
at my leisure, I drive a short stage out of town; and if any gentleman
knows one Dick Hastings, and will "please to remember the coachman," he
who will drink to his honour's good health will be the luckless Richard
Slowby.



                HIPPOTHANASIA; OR, THE LAST OF TAILS.
                A LAMENTABLE TALE; BY WILLIAM JERDAN.

            "London and Brighton _Railway_ (quatuor);
            Brighton and London _Railway_, without a tunnel;
            Gateshead, South-Shields, and Monk-Wearmouth
            _Railway_; London Grand-junction _Railway_; Northern
            and Eastern _Railway_; Southeastern _Railway_; Great
            Northern _Railway_; Great Western _Railway_; London
            and Birmingham _Railway_; London and Greenwich
            _Railway_; Croydon _Railway_; North-Midland _Railway_;
            London and Blackwall _Railway_; Commercial-road
            _Railway_; Wolverhampton and Dudley _Railway_;
            Liverpool and Manchester _Railway_; Hull and Selby
            _Railway_; Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Carlisle _Railway_;
            Kingston-upon-Hull _Railway_; Durham Junction
            _Railway_; Edinburgh and Glasgow _Railway_; Dublin and
            Kingstown _Railway_; Dublin and Bantry Bay _Railway_;
            London and Gravesend _Railway_; Commercial _Railway_;
            Eastern Counties _Railway_; Llanelly _Railway_; London,
            Salisbury and Exeter _Railway_; Preston and Wye
            _Railway_; Bristol and Exeter _Railway_; Gravesend and
            Dover _Railway_; Gravesend, Rochester, Chatham, and
            Stroud _Railway_; London and Southampton _Railway_;
            Gateshead and South Shields _Railway_; Cheltenham
            and Great Western _Railway_; Lincoln _Railway_;
            Leicester and Swannington _Railway_; Newcastle and
            York _Railway_; Birmingham and Derby _Railway_;
            Bolton and Leigh _Railway_; Canterbury and Whitstable
            _Railway_; Clarence _Railway_; Cromford and Peak
            Forest _Railway_; Edinburgh and Dalkeith _Railway_;
            Dean Forest _Railway_; Hartlepool _Railway_; St.
            Helens and Runc. Gap _Railway_; Manchester and Oldham
            _Railway_; Preston and Wigan _Railway_; Stanhope and
            Tyne _Railway_; Stockton and Darlington _Railway_;
            Warrington and Newton _Railway_; the Grand Incomparable
            North-southern, East-western _Railway_, with parallel
            and radiating Branches," &c. &c. &c.

"It may be observed," (says a newspaper in our hand, quite as correctly
informed as newspapers usually are,) "that the railway companies now
forming, of which we have a list before us, require a capital of upwards
of thirty millions of pounds, divided into nearly five hundred thousand
shares."

This was in the year 1836; and the horror it excited in the race of
horses, native and foreign, inhabitants of the British empire, is not
to be described. A knowledge of the habits and intelligence of this
species is only to be obtained from the writings of our matter-of-fact
and lamented predecessor, Captain Lemuel Gulliver, whose travels among
the Houyhnhnms, rather more than a century ago, may have been heard
of by a few of our antiquarian and classical readers. To that work we
would refer, to show that Houyhnhnm is "the perfection of nature;" which
truth will partly account for the following melancholy narrative. "I
admired" (the author writes) "the strength, comeliness, and speed of
the inhabitants; and such a constellation of virtues in such amiable
persons, produced in me the highest veneration."

Having the view of horse-flesh which this preface opens, though we
have not had an opportunity of studying it so purely under our mixed
government, breeds, and circumstances, it is unnecessary to explain
the panic which arose on the announcement of so universal a system of
railways to supersede the noble animal in every beneficial and elegant
office, and reduce it to the condition of a useless sinecurist, even
if permitted to live on human bounty. The result was that, when the
severities of winter fell thick and fast, a convocation was held by
moonlight in Smithfield, and adjourned, owing to the multitude, to
Horselydown, (so called from King John being tumbled off his nag by that
process in that locality,) and, after a most interesting discussion,
it was unanimously resolved that every horse in Great Britain should
die. Wherefore should they live? Steam-boats had thrown the wayfaring
trackers out of hay; steam-ploughs, the agricultural labourers out of
oats; steam-carriages, the best of posters out of employment; steam
guns, the military out of service; steam-engines, the mechanics out of
mills and factories;--in short, their occupations were gone, and they
knew not where they could get a bit to their mouths. Wherefore should
they live!

The resolution having been communicated throughout the country, and
an hour appointed for the catastrophe, though it had nigh broken the
hearts of some petted ponies and favourites, it was obeyed with all
the stubborn _sted_-fastness of this illustrious creature. Racers and
hunters, coach and cart, high-bred and low, drays and galloways, saddle
and side ditto, Suffolk punches and dogsmeat, cobs and cabs, hacks
and shelties, respectables and rips, old and young, stallions, mares,
geldings, colts, foals, and fillies,--all perished at the same time.
O'Connell's tail was the only one that remained extant in England,
Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; but this our tale hath no reference to
that. It may be inquired by the physiologist what were the means of
death to which the abhorrence of steam induced the horses to resort; and
it is gratifying to be able to satisfy their thirst for knowledge by
stating that they died of the _Vapours_.

But we now come to the extraordinary results which must spring from
the fatal fact we have just recorded. "_What next?_" as the political
pamphleteer sayeth:--ay, _what next_? How will the country go on? _What
will the Lords do_--without horses?

The revolution produced by the event was immediately felt in every part
of the empire, in every pursuit, in every trade, in every amusement.
Within four-and-twenty hours, the isle was frighted from her propriety,
and England could no longer be recognised for herself. It is true that
the crown remained; but how shorn of its beams! And then the whole
_Equestrian_ order had been destroyed at a blow. Talk of swamping the
Peers! it was done, and they could dragoon the representatives of the
people no more. And in proportion to their fall was the rise of the
_Commoners_. Not a donkey-man whose ass fed on these wastes, but found
himself in a higher and more powerful position. When horses are out of
the field, great is the increase of the value of asses. The brutes, it
is true, are still long-eared, obstinate, devoid of speed, rat-tailed,
and stupid; but, in the absence of nobler beasts, whatever is, must be
first. And so it now happened. The huckster, the gipsy, the higgler, the
donkey-driver of Margate, the costermonger, the sandman, every asinine
possessor mounted in the scale, as it fell out, with a one or more
ass power, and the scum became the top of the boiling-pot of society,
who all at once found themselves gentlemen of property and influence.
Little had the superior classes dreamed how entirely their dignity and
consequence depended on their "cattle;" but now, when a Wellington,
a Grey, a Melbourne, an Anglesey, a Jersey, a Cavendish, a Fane, a
Somerset, had to trudge on foot through the muddy streets, whilst the
Scrogginses, the Smiths, the Gileses, the Toms, Bills, and Charleys
honoured them with a nod and a splash as they scampered by, shouting "Go
it, Neddy!" it was sadly demonstrated to them, and to the world, that
their former personal vanity, pride, and presumption had been built on
a false foundation; for it was not themselves, but their fine and noble
horses, that had won the observance and submissiveness of their fellow
men unmounted.

The instant effects of the hippo-hecatomb in every circle and business
of life were as remarkable as they were important. No previous
imagination could have suggested a homoeopathic part of the vast
change. His Majesty had decided to open parliament, not by proxy, but in
person,--that is to say, he was to proceed to the House in royal state,
and read his speech as if it were his own, instead of leaving it to five
gentlemen in large cloaks, as if it were theirs, and he ashamed to march
through Coventry with them; but, alas the day! the cream-coloured steeds
were all dead, and the blacks were as pale as the cream. Windsor awoke
in affright and dismay. There were the royal carriages, and there the
coachmen, and there the grooms, and there the hussars; but where were
the horses? Gone! It was a moment for an ebullition of loyalty, and we
record it as an everlasting honour to their young patriotic feelings,
that the boys at Eton, in this mighty emergency, respectfully offered
their services to drag the King to London, providing the head-master
sat upon the box as driver, and the ushers clustered behind, in the
character of the footmen. A council held on the proposition decided
that the task would be too much for the tender years of the Etonians,
and especially as drawing had hardly been taught in that classic
establishment; so that, instead of being competent to draw a monarch,
there was not a boy in the school who could draw anything. At Woolwich
it was quite the reverse. In the increasing dilemma,--for his Majesty
declined the walk, and the route by the river could not be performed in
time,--it was resolved to despatch one of the royal messengers on the
swiftest ass which the town could produce, and order a short prorogation
till measures could be adopted to meet the awful exigences of the crisis.

In London, meanwhile, the consternation was equally overwhelming, if not
more so. Ministers met in cabinet, but, as usual, knew not what to do;
and so agreed to lie by, a bit, and see how matters might shape their
own course. The First Lord of the Treasury and three secretaries sat
down to a rubber of long whist, half-crown points; the Lord President
of the Council, First Lord of the Admiralty, President of the Board
of Control, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Lord Privy
Seal, preferred three-card loo; and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
and the President of the Board of Trade had a capital _tête-à-tête_
bout at brag. The other officers of state employed themselves as
they could, from the Lord High Chancellor to the store-keepers and
under-secretaries. And meanwhile the public mind, that is to say, all
the mind inside the hats of the mob about Whitehall and Westminster, was
in a tumult of excitement. Two o'clock struck, and no guns were heard:
three, and the patereros were dumb. The clock of the Horse Guards--the
Horse Guards! a name of departed glory and present woe!--told the
hour in vain; till, just as it gave warning for four, a breathless
and panting ass was seen galloping into Downing street. It bore the
express from Windsor, who by prodigious exertions had accomplished the
journey in less than seven hours. The unfinished rubber was broken up,
to the heavy mortification of the First Lord, who scored eight, and was
looking forward to a call of the honours; the loo-scores were balanced
and settled, the First Lord of the Admiralty pocketing the profits, in
consequence of taking one for his heels as the donkey turned up; and
"I brag" fell no more from Exchequer or Trade. But it was already too
late to restore order; and confusion in the midst of deliberation only
became worse confounded. Extraneous calamities every instant interfered.
No mails had arrived, and very few peeresses. The letters containing
friendly assurances from foreign governments were in post-offices,
Heaven knew at what distances. Such of the ministers, bachelor as well
as married, as were directed by their grey mares, had no opportunity
for consulting and receiving their commands, though it must have been
in some degree a consolation to feel that they remained amid the wreck
of horse-flesh. In short, in politics, as at cards, the game was up.
The English constitution was not the constitution of a horse, and it
gave way before the frightful revolution; and, to add to the individual
horrors of the scene, the Master of the Buckhounds, the Master of the
Horse, the Postmaster-General, and the Master of the Rolls (why _he_,
could never be conjectured) committed suicide in the course of the
ensuing night; and the Lord Chancellor became a confirmed lunatic, under
his own care.

It were tedious to trace all the varieties of aspects into which this
awful event plunged the nation: a few, briefly described, may suffice
to indicate its universal extent and terrible alterations. Routs, ball,
at homes, operas, and every fashionable amusement and resort were
abrogated. The ladies of the land were bowed to the ground. Visits
could not be paid: to dress was unnecessary. There was no crush-room;
and milliners, mantua-makers, perfumers, and jewellers were crushed.
Seventeen old sedan-chairs were the total that could be discovered
in London; and these, with the succedaneum suggested by the witty
Countess of ----, viz. mounting such of the porters' hall-chairs as
were susceptible of the improvement upon poles, in a similar manner,
constituted the whole migrations of the fashionable world. We will not
allude to the meetings baulked, and the assignations broken, through
this unfortunate state of things; and are only sorry to say it did not
add to the sum of domestic felicity.

The Park--dismal was the Park! Exquisites, more helpless than ever,
tottered along its almost deserted walks. There was not one who,

    ----With left heel insidiously aside,
    Provoked the caper he would seem to chide;

nor was there a pretty woman to smile at him if he had. Could the race
have obtained asses, it would have been most unnatural to ride them; and
thus they vanished from the vision of society.

Ascot was not particularly unhappy, though the King's cup was a cup of
dregs. But Bentinck and Crocky, Richmond and Gully, Exeter and Lamb,
Rutland and ----, Jersey and ----, Chesterfield and the rest of the legs,
got up an excellent two days' sport. Running in sacks afforded ample
opportunities for betting heavily; and wheelbarrow races, with the
barrow-drivers blindfolded or partially enlightened, were found quite as
good as anything which had been done before, and allowing quite as much
scope for the honourable strategies of the turf. An immense number of
useless horsecollars were brought to be grinned through; and the books
of literature and intelligence surpassed, if anything, those of other
times.

At Epsom, the old and general patrons of that course having now the
ascendency, indulged in donkey races, at which the poor nobility gazed
with speechless regret. The last were truly the first, here.

Among the instances of individual ruin, none was more unentertaining
than that of Mr. Ducrow. Reduced to a single zebra, he was obliged to
turn wanderer and mendicant; the stripes of Misfortune were vividly
impressed upon him. Circuses and amphitheatres ceased; and the dragon
was more than a match for the poor horseless St. George. What a symbol
of the decline of England, when even her patron saint must yield to a
Saurian reptile!

Of all human beings affected by the calamity, deep as were the
afflictions of others, perhaps those who evinced the most sensitive and
overpowering feelings on the occasion, were the butchers' boys. As a
class, they evidently suffered beyond the rest. Betrayed, unsupported,
and wretched, they trudged under the heavy burthens of fate, as if
the world--as indeed in one sense it was--were out of joint for them.
The centaurs of antiquity were destroyed by a demigod; but the modern
centaurs had nothing to soothe their pride. They were hurled down, but
living and without a hope. Poor lads! every heart bled for them.

There were another set of men, almost equally unfortunate, though they
endured it with greater equanimity,--the late royal horseguards, with
all their splendid caparisons, their tags and tassels, their sashes
and sabres, their spurs and epaulettes, their helms and feathers; the
officers, people of the first families in the country, the men, the
picked and chosen of the plebeian many. The high _élite_ and the low,
reduced alike by unsparing destiny to foot it with the humblest,--it
was a grievous blow; and, considering their Uniform conduct, most
undeserved. And it was accordingly felt that among the earliest evils
for which a remedy should be sought, was the remounting of those so
essential to the dignity of the throne and the safety of the realm. True
it was, that of the animals they once bestrode not a skin was left; but
donkeys were to be procured at excessive prices; and they were obtained
for this especial purpose. As yet, the manoeuvres of the Royal Ass
Guards are more amusing than seemly; but there is no doubt that with
time and discipline they will be, as before, the foremost corps in the
service.

It were easy to enlarge upon similar topics to the end of this tome,
but they would only serve to illustrate that which, we trust, we have
illustrated enough. At Melton it was melancholy to see the gay hunter,
unable to risk his limbs and neck, reduced to stalking,--and stalking,
too, without a horse. Carts being _hors de combat_, the truck system
began to prevail in all quarters, and, bad as it was, what could not
be cured must be endured. Londonderry went into mourning on account of
having exported seventy asses to Canada by a vessel which sailed about a
month before, about the same period that the old bear at the Tower was
sent to America, together with the monkey which bit Ensign Seymour's
leg. Scotland suffered in the extreme, in spite of its excellent banking
business and assets, for there was scarcely an ass in the country,
except among some gipsies at Yetholm (vide Guy Mannering); and if, as
we are certain it is not, one in a thousand of our readers ever saw a
dead jackass anywhere, it will be agreed that not one in a million could
ever enjoy that spectacle on the north side of Tweed. But enough: the
kingdom was turned upside down,--old gentlemen without their hobbies,
young gentlemen without their exhibitions, sportsmen without their
sports, schoolboys in the holidays without their ponies, ladies without
their rides and knights,[70] coachmen without their hacks, waggoners
without their teams, barges without their draughts, the army without
cavalry, and a king and aristocracy without equipages,--the revolution
is complete.

In picturing this appalling change, it is but proper to notice that
the agricultural interests have not been so severely dealt with. The
substitution of bullocks was effected without much difficulty in most
farms; and in others hand labour was happily introduced, which employed
the poor, and, upon the whole, rather ameliorated the condition of the
people.

At first, and for a while, it appeared as if dogs, as well as asses,
would rise in value; but it was soon discovered that every dog would
have only a short day. Like honest creatures as they are, they pulled
and tugged at the cruel loads imposed upon them, till gradually their
strength departed from them, and they died away. Their supply of food
had failed, and the last of the knackers had followed the last of the
tails. Pigs were tried, but positively refused to train. They smelt
the wind, or what was in it; and, when out of breath, had no idea
of getting a new one. A few goats in babies' shays were honoured as
well-bearded and respectable-looking substitutes for the departed; and
the Principality published several triads on the auspicious circumstance.

But there was a curious coincidence in London, which puzzled the British
Association, the Royal Society, and other learned bodies, and which
it is probable never can be satisfactorily accounted for. We refer to
the sudden and enormous rise in the price of German, Strasburg, and
Bologna sausages. Epping, like Epsom, might be involved in the national
difficulty; but how distant countries, Germany and Italy, could by
possibility be affected, was a mystery which the Geographical, and even
the Statistical Society, professed themselves incompetent to determine.

From bad to worse has been the rapid declension of the empire since
the fatal day of the fatal catastrophe which is the subject of this
pitiable historical record. Competition, too faint for success, having
ceased, steam and smoke have everywhere usurped the once blooming
soil. From them, we are now a land of clouds,--murky clouds, to which
those of Aristophanes are but fanciful and brilliant exhalations.
Intersected by railroads, the iron age is restored, and the golden has
vanished for ever. The commonweal revolves on the axes of tramwheels and
trains; the reins of government are utterly relaxed; and the country,
saddled with taxes and burthens, can no longer afford its inhabitants
a single morsel. Engineers and speculators are bringing us to a dead
level everywhere; and a republic is the inevitable consequence. For
our parts, with the stomach of a horse, and loving beyond measure a
sound horse-laugh, emigration is our immediate purpose. By Strasburg
and Bologna will we wend our way, and endeavour to fathom the
sausage-wonder; and thence, if no better may be, we shall sail for the
Houyhnhnms' Land, (to the south of Lewin's and Nuyt's Land, and the west
of Maelsuyker's Isle), and, at all events, make our finale like Trojans,
by trusting to the horse!

[70] _Quære_, rides and ties.



       OUR SONG OF THE MONTH.
       No. IV. April, 1837.
           APRIL FOOLS.

   _Giojosamente! e con espressione burlesca._

   [Music: April Fools]

    Now mer-ry Mo-mus rules
          _A-pril fools! A-pril fools!_
    And with quirp and quil-let schools
          _A-pril fools!_
    'Tis the sea-son of the year,
    When we hold it to be clear
    That all, more or less, ap-pear
          _A-pril fools! A-pril fools!_

    Now, at every turn, we meet
          _April fools! April fools!_
    In park, in square, and street,
          _April fools!_
    Now "_pigeon's milk_" is sought,
    "Useful knowledge" cheaply bought,
    Pleasant lessons, too, are taught
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now little boys are made
          _April fools! April fools!_
    (By bigger boys betrayed,)
          _April fools!_
    Now boys, the world calls "old,"
    Deceived by damsels bold,
    Find out they are cajoled
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now sportive nymphs beguile,
          _April fools! April fools!_
    With gamesome trick and wile,
          _April fools!_
    In vain the charming sex
    Would their lovers' heart perplex,
    They may cheat, but cannot vex
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now Evans and his crew,
          _April fools! April fools!_
    Find fighting will not do,
          _April fools!_
    Now Sarsfield, Espartero,
    And many a battered hero,
    Place Spanish funds at zero,
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now ministers are termed
          _April fools! April fools!_
    And their titles are confirmed,
          _April fools!_
    Now Whigs astute, kicked out,
    Hear the deep derisive shout
    Echo wide the land throughout,
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now costermonger scribes--
          _April fools! April fools!_--
    Pen their dullest diatribes,
          _April fools!_
    In Bentley's Magazine,
    Alone, are to be seen
    Wits, who scourge with satire keen
          _April fools! April fools!_

    Now readers, grave or gay,
          _April fools! April fools!_
    We shall terminate our lay,
          _April fools!_
    And we trust that you perceive,
    We are laughing in our sleeve,
    As these idle rhymes we weave,
          _April fools! April fools!_



                      OLIVER TWIST;
             OR, THE PARISH BOY'S PROGRESS.
                         BY BOZ.

             ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.


                   CHAPTER THE FIFTH.

 OLIVER MINGLES WITH NEW ASSOCIATES, AND, GOING TO A FUNERAL FOR THE
  FIRST TIME, FORMS AN UNFAVOURABLE NOTION OF HIS MASTER'S BUSINESS.

Oliver, being left to himself in the undertaker's shop, set the lamp
down on a workman's bench, and gazed timidly about him with a feeling
of awe and dread, which many people a good deal older than Oliver will
be at no loss to understand. An unfinished coffin on black tressels,
which stood in the middle of the shop, looked so gloomy and death-like,
that a cold tremble came over him every time his eyes wandered in
the direction of the dismal object, from which he almost expected to
see some frightful form slowly rear its head to drive him mad with
terror. Against the wall were ranged in regular array a long row of
elm boards cut into the same shape, and looking in the dim light like
high-shouldered ghosts with their hands in their breeches pockets.
Coffin-plates, elm-chips, bright-headed nails, and shreds of black
cloth, lay scattered on the floor; and the wall above the counter was
ornamented with a lively representation of two mutes in very stiff
neckcloths, on duty at a large private door, with a hearse drawn by four
black steeds approaching in the distance. The shop was close and hot,
and the atmosphere seemed tainted with the smell of coffins. The recess
beneath the counter in which his flock-mattress was thrust, looked like
a grave.

Nor were these the only dismal feelings which depressed Oliver.
He was alone in a strange place; and we all know how chilled and
desolate the best of us will sometimes feel in such a situation. The
boy had no friends to care for, or to care for him. The regret of no
recent separation was fresh in his mind; the absence of no loved and
well-remembered face sunk heavily into his heart. But his heart _was_
heavy, notwithstanding; and he wished, as he crept into his narrow
bed, that that were his coffin, and that he could be laid in a calm
and lasting sleep in the churchyard ground, with the tall grass waving
gently above his head, and the sound of the old deep bell to soothe him
in his sleep.

Oliver was awakened in the morning by a loud kicking at the outside
of the shop-door, which, before he could huddle on his clothes, was
repeated in an angry and impetuous manner about twenty-five times; and,
when he began to undo the chain, the legs left off their volleys, and a
voice began.

   [Illustration: Oliver plucks up a spirit.]

"Open the door, will yer?" cried the voice which belonged to the legs
which had kicked at the door.

"I will directly, sir," replied Oliver, undoing the chain, and turning
the key.

"I suppose yer the new boy, a'nt yer?" said the voice, through the
key-hole.

"Yes, sir," replied Oliver.

"How old are yer?" inquired the voice.

"Eleven, sir," replied Oliver.

"Then I'll whop yer when I get in," said the voice; "you just see if
I don't, that's all, my work'us brat!" and, having made this obliging
promise, the voice began to whistle.

Oliver had been too often subjected to the process to which the very
expressive monosyllable just recorded bears reference, to entertain
the smallest doubt that the owner of the voice, whoever he might be,
would redeem his pledge most honourably. He drew back the bolts with a
trembling hand, and opened the door.

For a second or two, Oliver glanced up the street, and down the street,
and over the way, impressed with the belief that the unknown, who had
addressed him through the key-hole, had walked a few paces off to warm
himself, for nobody did Oliver see but a big charity-boy sitting on the
post in front of the house, eating a slice of bread and butter, which
he cut into wedges the size of his mouth with a clasp-knife, and then
consumed with great dexterity.

"I beg your pardon, sir," said Oliver, at length, seeing that no other
visitor made his appearance; "did you knock?"

"I kicked," replied the charity-boy.

"Did you want a coffin, sir?" inquired Oliver, innocently.

At this the charity-boy looked monstrous fierce, and said that Oliver
would stand in need of one before long, if he cut jokes with his
superiors in that way.

"Yer don't know who I am, I suppose, work'us?" said the charity-boy,
in continuation; descending from the top of the post, meanwhile, with
edifying gravity.

"No, sir," rejoined Oliver.

"I'm Mister Noah Claypole," said the charity-boy, "and you're under me.
Take down the shutters, yer idle young ruffian!" With this Mr. Claypole
administered a kick to Oliver, and entered the shop with a dignified
air, which did him great credit: it is difficult for a large-headed,
small-eyed youth, of lumbering make and heavy countenance, to look
dignified under any circumstances; but it is more especially so, when,
superadded to these personal attractions, are a red nose and yellow
smalls.

Oliver having taken down the shutters, and broken a pane of glass in
his efforts to stagger away beneath the weight of the first one to a
small court at the side of the house in which they were kept during the
day, was graciously assisted by Noah, who, having consoled him with the
assurance that "he'd catch it," condescended to help him. Mr. Sowerberry
came down soon after, and, shortly afterwards, Mrs. Sowerberry appeared;
and Oliver having "caught it," in fulfilment of Noah's prediction,
followed that young gentleman down stairs to breakfast.

"Come near the fire, Noah," said Charlotte. "I saved a nice little piece
of bacon for you from master's breakfast. Oliver, shut that door at
Mister Noah's back, and take them bits that I've put out on the cover of
the bread-pan. There's your tea; take it away to that box, and drink it
there, and make haste, for they'll want you to mind the shop. D'ye hear?"

"D'ye hear, work'us?" said Noah Claypole.

"Lor, Noah!" said Charlotte, "what a rum creature you are! Why don't you
let the boy alone?"

"Let him alone!" said Noah. "Why everybody lets him alone enough, for
the matter of that. Neither his father nor mother will ever interfere
with him: all his relations let him have his own way pretty well. Eh,
Charlotte? He! he! he!"

"Oh, you queer soul!" said Charlotte, bursting into a hearty laugh, in
which she was joined by Noah; after which they both looked scornfully
at poor Oliver Twist, as he sat shivering upon the box in the coldest
corner of the room, and ate the stale pieces which had been specially
reserved for him.

Noah was a charity-boy, but not a workhouse orphan. No chance-child was
he, for he could trace his genealogy back all the way to his parents,
who lived hard by; his mother being a washerwoman, and his father a
drunken soldier, discharged with a wooden leg and a diurnal pension of
twopence-halfpenny and an unstateable fraction. The shop-boys in the
neighbourhood had long been in the habit of branding Noah in the public
streets with ignominious epithets of "leathers," "charity," and the
like; and Noah had borne them without reply. But now that fortune had
cast in his way a nameless orphan, at whom even the meanest could point
the finger of scorn, he retorted on him with interest. This affords
charming food for contemplation. It shows us what a beautiful thing
human nature is, and how impartially the same amiable qualities are
developed in the finest lord and the dirtiest charity-boy.

Oliver had been sojourning at the undertaker's some three weeks or a
month, and Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, the shop being shut up, were taking
their supper in the little back-parlour, when Mr. Sowerberry, after
several deferential glances at his wife, said,

"My dear--" He was going to say more; but, Mrs. Sowerberry looking up
with a peculiarly unpropitious aspect, he stopped short.

"Well!" said Mrs. Sowerberry, sharply.

"Nothing, my dear, nothing," said Mr. Sowerberry.

"Ugh, you brute!" said Mrs. Sowerberry.

"Not at all, my dear," said Mr. Sowerberry, humbly. "I thought you
didn't want to hear, my dear. I was only going to say----"

"Oh, don't tell me what you were going to say," interposed Mrs.
Sowerberry. "I am nobody; don't consult me, pray. _I_ don't want to
intrude upon your secrets." And, as Mrs. Sowerberry said this, she gave
an hysterical laugh, which threatened violent consequences.

"But, my dear," said Sowerberry, "I want to ask your advice."

"No, no, don't ask mine," replied Mrs. Sowerberry, in an affecting
manner; "ask somebody else's." Here there was another hysterical laugh,
which frightened Mr. Sowerberry very much. This is a very common and
much-approved matrimonial course of treatment, which is often very
effective. It at once reduced Mr. Sowerberry to begging as a special
favour to be allowed to say what Mrs. Sowerberry was most curious to
hear, and, after a short altercation of less than three quarters of an
hour's duration, the permission was most graciously conceded.

"It's only about young Twist, my dear," said Mr. Sowerberry. "A very
good-looking boy that, my dear."

"He need be, for he eats enough," observed the lady.

"There's an expression of melancholy in his face, my dear," resumed Mr.
Sowerberry, "which is very interesting. He would make a delightful mute,
my dear."

Mrs. Sowerberry looked up with an expression of considerable wonderment.
Mr. Sowerberry remarked it, and, without allowing time for any
observation on the good lady's part, proceeded,

"I don't mean a regular mute to attend grown-up people, my dear, but
only for children's practice. It would be very new to have a mute in
proportion, my dear. You may depend upon it that it would have a superb
effect."

Mrs. Sowerberry, who had a good deal of taste in the undertaking way,
was much struck by the novelty of the idea; but, as it would have been
compromising her dignity to have said so under existing circumstances,
she merely inquired with much sharpness why such an obvious suggestion
had not presented itself to her husband's mind before. Mr. Sowerberry
rightly construed this as an acquiescence in his proposition: it was
speedily determined that Oliver should be at once initiated into the
mysteries of the profession, and, with this view, that he should
accompany his master on the very next occasion of his services being
required.

The occasion was not long in coming; for, half an hour after breakfast
next morning, Mr. Bumble entered the shop, and supporting his cane
against the counter, drew forth his large leathern pocket-book, from
which he selected a small scrap of paper which he handed over to
Sowerberry.

"Aha!" said the undertaker, glancing over it with a lively countenance;
"an order for a coffin, eh?"

"For a coffin first, and a porochial funeral afterwards," replied Mr.
Bumble, fastening the strap of the leathern pocket-book, which, like
himself, was very corpulent.

"Bayton," said the undertaker, looking from the scrap of paper to Mr.
Bumble; "I never heard the name before."

Bumble shook his head as he replied, "Obstinate people, Mr. Sowerberry,
very obstinate; proud, too, I'm afraid, sir."

"Proud, eh?" exclaimed Mr. Sowerberry with a sneer.--"Come, that's too
much."

"Oh, it's sickening," replied the beadle; "perfectly antimonial, Mr.
Sowerberry."

"So it is," acquiesced the undertaker.

"We only heard of them the night before last," said the beadle; "and we
shouldn't have known anything about them then, only a woman who lodges
in the same house made an application to the porochial committee for
them to send the porochial surgeon to see a woman as was very bad. He
had gone out to dinner; but his 'prentice, which is a very clever lad,
sent 'em some medicine in a blacking-bottle, off-hand."

"Ah, there's promptness," said the undertaker.

"Promptness, indeed!" replied the beadle. "But what's the consequence;
what's the ungrateful behaviour of these rebels, sir? Why, the husband
sends back word that the medicine won't suit his wife's complaint, and
so she shan't take it--says she shan't take it, sir. Good, strong,
wholesome medicine, as was given with great success to two Irish
labourers and a coalheaver only a week before--sent 'em for nothing,
with a blacking-bottle in,--and he sends back word that she shan't take
it, sir."

As the flagrant atrocity presented itself to Mr. Bumble's mind in full
force, he struck the counter sharply with his cane, and became flushed
with indignation.

"Well," said the undertaker, "I ne--ver--did----"

"Never did, sir!" ejaculated the beadle,--"no, nor nobody never did;
but, now she's dead, we've got to bury her, and that's the direction,
and the sooner it's done, the better."

Thus saying, Mr. Bumble put on his cocked-hat wrong side first, in a
fever of parochial excitement, and flounced out of the shop.

"Why, he was so angry, Oliver, that he forgot even to ask after you,"
said Mr. Sowerberry, looking after the beadle as he strode down the
street.

"Yes, sir," replied Oliver, who had carefully kept himself out of
sight during the interview, and who was shaking from head to foot at
the mere recollection of the sound of Mr. Bumble's voice. He needn't
have taken the trouble to shrink from Mr. Bumble's glance, however;
for that functionary on whom the prediction of the gentleman in the
white waistcoat had made a very strong impression, thought that now the
undertaker had got Oliver upon trial, the subject was better avoided,
until such time as he should be firmly bound for seven years, and all
danger of his being returned upon the hands of the parish should be thus
effectually and legally overcome.

"Well," said Mr. Sowerberry, taking up his hat, "the sooner this job
is done, the better. Noah, look after the shop. Oliver, put on your
cap, and come with me." Oliver obeyed; and followed his master on his
professional mission.

They walked on for some time through the most crowded and densely
inhabited part of the town, and then striking down a narrow street more
dirty and miserable than any they had yet passed through, paused to look
for the house which was the object of their search. The houses on either
side were high and large, but very old; and tenanted by people of the
poorest class, as their neglected appearance would have sufficiently
denoted without the concurrent testimony afforded by the squalid looks
of the few men and women who, with folded arms and bodies half doubled,
occasionally skulked like shadows along. A great many of the tenements
had shop-fronts; but they were fast closed, and mouldering away: only
the upper rooms being inhabited. Others, which had become insecure
from age and decay, were prevented from falling into the street by
huge beams of wood which were reared against the tottering walls, and
firmly planted in the road; but even these crazy dens seemed to have
been selected as the nightly haunts of some houseless wretches, for many
of the rough boards which supplied the place of door and window, were
wrenched from their positions to afford an aperture wide enough for the
passage of a human body. The kennel was stagnant and filthy; the very
rats that here and there lay putrefying in its rottenness, were hideous
with famine.

There was neither knocker nor bell-handle at the open door where Oliver
and his master stopped; so, groping his way cautiously through the
dark passage, and bidding Oliver keep close to him and not be afraid,
the undertaker mounted to the top of the first flight of stairs, and,
stumbling against a door on the landing, rapped at it with his knuckles.

It was opened by a young girl of thirteen or fourteen. The undertaker at
once saw enough of what the room contained, to know it was the apartment
to which he had been directed. He stepped in, and Oliver followed him.

There was no fire in the room; but a man was crouching mechanically over
the empty stove. An old woman, too, had drawn a low stool to the cold
hearth, and was sitting beside him. There were some ragged children in
another corner; and in a small recess opposite the door there lay upon
the ground something covered with an old blanket. Oliver shuddered as
he cast his eyes towards the place, and crept involuntarily closer to
his master; for, though it was covered up, the boy _felt_ that it was a
corpse.

The man's face was thin and very pale; his hair and beard were grizzly,
and his eyes were blood-shot. The old woman's face was wrinkled, her two
remaining teeth protruded over her under lip, and her eyes were bright
and piercing. Oliver was afraid to look at either her or the man,--they
seemed so like the rats he had seen outside.

"Nobody shall go near her," said the man, starting fiercely up, as the
undertaker approached the recess. "Keep back! d--n you, keep back, if
you've a life to lose."

"Nonsense! my good man," said the undertaker, who was pretty well used
to misery in all its shapes,--"nonsense!"

"I tell you," said the man, clenching his hands, and stamping furiously
on the floor,--"I tell you I won't have her put into the ground. She
couldn't rest there. The worms would worry--not eat her,--she is so worn
away."

The undertaker offered no reply to this raving, but producing a tape
from his pocket, knelt down for a moment by the side of the body.

"Ah!" said the man, bursting into tears, and sinking on his knees at the
feet of the dead woman; "kneel down, kneel down--kneel round her every
one of you, and mark my words. I say she starved to death. I never knew
how bad she was, till the fever came upon her, and then her bones were
starting through the skin. There was neither fire nor candle; she died
in the dark--in the dark. She couldn't even see her children's faces,
though we heard her gasping out their names. I begged for her in the
streets, and they sent me to prison. When I came back, she was dying;
and all the blood in my heart has dried up, for they starved her to
death. I swear it before the God that saw it,--they starved her!"--He
twined his hands in his hair, and with a loud scream rolled grovelling
upon the floor, his eyes fixed, and the foam gushing from his lips.

The terrified children cried bitterly; but the old woman, who had
hitherto remained as quiet as if she had been wholly deaf to all that
passed, menaced them into silence; and having unloosened the man's
cravat, who still remained extended on the ground, tottered towards the
undertaker.

"She was my daughter," said the old woman, nodding her head in the
direction of the corpse, and speaking with an idiotic leer, more ghastly
than even the presence of death itself.--"Lord, Lord!--well, it is
strange that I who gave birth to her, and was a woman then, should be
alive and merry now, and she lying there, so cold and stiff! Lord,
Lord!--to think of it;--it's as good as a play--as good as a play!"

As the wretched creature mumbled and chuckled in her hideous merriment,
the undertaker turned to go away.

"Stop, stop!" said the old woman in a loud whisper. "Will she be buried
to-morrow--or next day--or to-night? I laid her out, and I must walk,
you know. Send me a large cloak--a good warm one, for it is bitter
cold. We should have cake and wine, too, before we go! Never mind: send
some bread--only a loaf of bread and a cup of water. Shall we have some
bread, dear?" she said eagerly, catching at the undertaker's coat, as he
once more moved towards the door.

"Yes, yes," said the undertaker, "of course; anything, everything." He
disengaged himself from the old woman's grasp, and, dragging Oliver
after him, hurried away.

The next day, (the family having been meanwhile relieved with a
half-quartern loaf and a piece of cheese, left with them by Mr. Bumble
himself,) Oliver and his master returned to the miserable abode, where
Mr. Bumble had already arrived, accompanied by four men from the
workhouse, who were to act as bearers. An old black cloak had been
thrown over the rags of the old woman and the man; the bare coffin
having been screwed down, was then hoisted on the shoulders of the
bearers, and carried down stairs into the street.

"Now, you must put your best leg foremost, old lady," whispered
Sowerberry in the old woman's ear; "we are rather late, and it won't do
to keep the clergyman waiting. Move on, my men,--as quick as you like."

Thus directed, the bearers trotted on, under their light burden, and the
two mourners kept as near them as they could. Mr. Bumble and Sowerberry
walked at a good smart pace in front; and Oliver, whose legs were not as
long as his master's, ran by the side.

There was not so great a necessity for hurrying as Mr. Sowerberry had
anticipated, however; for when they reached the obscure corner of the
churchyard in which the nettles grew, and the parish graves were made,
the clergyman had not arrived, and the clerk, who was sitting by the
vestry-room fire, seemed to think it by no means improbable that it
might be an hour or so before he came. So they set the bier down on the
brink of the grave; and the two mourners waited patiently in the damp
clay with a cold rain drizzling down, while the ragged boys, whom the
spectacle had attracted into the churchyard, played a noisy game at
hide-and-seek among the tombstones, or varied their amusements jumping
backwards and forwards over the coffin. Mr. Sowerberry and Bumble, being
personal friends of the clerk, sat by the fire with him, and read the
paper.

At length, after the lapse of something more than an hour, Mr. Bumble,
and Sowerberry, and the clerk, were seen running towards the grave;
and immediately afterwards the clergyman appeared, putting on his
surplice as he came along. Mr Bumble then threshed a boy or two, to
keep up appearances; and the reverend gentleman, having read as much of
the burial service as could be compressed into four minutes, gave his
surplice to the clerk, and ran away again.

"Now, Bill," said Sowerberry to the grave-digger, "fill up."

It was no very difficult task, for the grave was so full that the
uppermost coffin was within a few feet of the surface. The grave-digger
shovelled in the earth, stamped it loosely down with his feet,
shouldered his spade, and walked off, followed by the boys, who murmured
very loud complaints at the fun being over so soon.

"Come, my good fellow," said Bumble, tapping the man on the back, "they
want to shut up the yard."

The man, who had never once moved since he had taken his station by
the grave side, started, raised his head, stared at the person who had
addressed him, walked forward for a few paces, and then fell down in a
fit. The crazy old woman was too much occupied in bewailing the loss of
her cloak (which the undertaker had taken off) to pay him any attention;
so they threw a can of cold water over him, and when he came to, saw him
safely out of the churchyard, locked the gate, and departed on their
different ways.

"Well, Oliver," said Sowerberry, as they walked home, "how do you like
it?"

"Pretty well, thank you, sir," replied Oliver, with considerable
hesitation. "Not very much, sir."

"Ah, you'll get used to it in time, Oliver," said Sowerberry. "Nothing
when you _are_ used to it, my boy."

Oliver wondered in his own mind whether it had taken a very long time to
get Mr. Sowerberry used to it; but he thought it better not to ask the
question, and walked back to the shop, thinking over all he had seen and
heard.


                        CHAPTER THE SIXTH.

   OLIVER, BEING GOADED BY THE TAUNTS OF NOAH, ROUSES INTO ACTION,
                    AND RATHER ASTONISHES HIM.

It was a nice sickly season just at this time. In commercial phrase,
coffins were looking up; and, in the course of a few weeks, Oliver had
acquired a great deal of experience. The success of Mr. Sowerberry's
ingenious speculation exceeded even his most sanguine hopes. The
oldest inhabitants recollected no period at which measles had been so
prevalent, or so fatal to infant existence; and many were the mournful
processions which little Oliver headed in a hat-band reaching down
to his knees, to the indescribable admiration and emotion of all the
mothers in the town. As Oliver accompanied his master in most of his
adult expeditions too, in order that he might acquire that equanimity of
demeanour and full command of nerve which are so essential to a finished
undertaker, he had many opportunities of observing the beautiful
resignation and fortitude with which some strong-minded people bear
their trial and losses.

For instance, when Sowerberry had an order for the burial of some
rich old lady or gentleman, who was surrounded by a great number of
nephews and nieces, who had been perfectly inconsolable during the
previous illness, and whose grief had been wholly irrepressible even
on the most public occasions, they would be as happy among themselves
as need be--quite cheerful and contented, conversing together with as
much freedom and gaiety as if nothing whatever had happened to disturb
them. Husbands, too, bore the loss of their wives with the most heroic
calmness; and wives, again, put on weeds for their husbands, as if, so
far from grieving in the garb of sorrow, they had made up their minds
to render it as becoming and attractive as possible. It was observable,
too, that ladies and gentlemen who were in passions of anguish during
the ceremony of interment, recovered almost as soon as they reached
home, and became quite composed before the tea-drinking was over. All
this was very pleasant and improving to see; and Oliver beheld it with
great admiration.

That Oliver Twist was moved to resignation by the example of these good
people, I cannot, although I am his biographer, undertake to affirm
with any degree of confidence; but I can most distinctly say, that
for some weeks he continued meekly to submit to the domination and
ill-treatment of Noah Claypole, who used him far worse than ever, now
that his jealousy was roused by seeing the new boy promoted to the black
stick and hat-band, while he, the old one, remained stationary in the
muffin-cap and leathers. Charlotte treated him badly because Noah did;
and Mrs. Sowerberry was his decided enemy because Mr. Sowerberry was
disposed to be his friend: so, between these three on one side, and a
glut of funerals on the other, Oliver was not altogether as comfortable
as the hungry pig was, when he was shut up by mistake in the grain
department of a brewery.

And now I come to a very important passage in Oliver's history, for I
have to record an act, slight and unimportant perhaps in appearance,
but which indirectly produced a most material change in all his future
prospects and proceedings.

One day Oliver and Noah had descended into the kitchen, at the usual
dinner-hour, to banquet upon a small joint of mutton--a pound and a
half of the worst end of the neck; when, Charlotte being called out of
the way, there ensued a brief interval of time, which Noah Claypole,
being hungry and vicious, considered he could not possibly devote to a
worthier purpose than aggravating and tantalising young Oliver Twist.

Intent upon this innocent amusement, Noah put his feet on the
table-cloth, and pulled Oliver's hair, and twitched his ears, and
expressed his opinion that he was a "sneak," and furthermore announced
his intention of coming to see him hung whenever that desirable event
should take place, and entered upon various other topics of petty
annoyance, like a malicious and ill-conditioned charity-boy as he was.
But, none of these taunts producing the desired effect of making Oliver
cry, Noah attempted to be more facetious still, and in this attempt
did what many small wits, with far greater reputations than Noah
notwithstanding, do to this day when they want to be funny;--he got
rather personal.

"Work'us," said Noah, "how's your mother?"

"She's dead," replied Oliver; "don't you say anything about her to me!"

Oliver's colour rose as he said this; he breathed quickly, and there was
a curious working of the mouth and nostrils, which Mr. Claypole thought
must be the immediate precursor of a violent fit of crying. Under this
impression he returned to the charge.

"What did she die of, work'us?" said Noah.

"Of a broken heart, some of our old nurses told me," replied Oliver,
more as if he were talking to himself than answering Noah. "I think I
know what it must be to die of that!"

"Tol de rol lol lol, right fol lairy, work'us," said Noah, as a tear
rolled down Oliver's cheek. "What's set you a snivelling now?"

"Not _you_," replied Oliver, hastily brushing the tear away. "Don't
think it."

"Oh, not me, eh?" sneered Noah.

"No, not you," replied Oliver, sharply. "There; that's enough. Don't say
anything more to me about her; you'd better not!"

"Better not!" exclaimed Noah. "Well! better not! work'us; don't be
impudent. _Your_ mother, too! She was a nice 'un, she was. Oh, Lor!"
And here Noah nodded his head expressively, and curled up as much of
his small red nose as muscular action could collect together for the
occasion.

"Yer know, work'us," continued Noah, emboldened by Oliver's silence,
and speaking in a jeering tone of affected pity--of all tones the most
annoying--"Yer know, work'us, it carn't be helped now, and of course yer
couldn't help it then, and I'm very sorry for it, and I'm sure we all
are, and pity yer very much. But yer must know, work'us, your mother was
a regular right-down bad 'un."

"What did you say?" inquired Oliver, looking up very quickly.

"A regular right-down bad 'un, work'us," replied Noah, coolly; "and it's
a great deal better, work'us, that she died when she did, or else she'd
have been hard labouring in Bridewell, or transported, or hung, which is
more likely than either, isn't it?"

Crimson with fury, Oliver started up, overthrew chair and table, seized
Noah by the throat, shook him in the violence of his rage till his teeth
chattered in his head, and, collecting his whole force into one heavy
blow, felled him to the ground.

A minute ago the boy had looked the quiet, mild, dejected creature that
harsh treatment had made him. But his spirit was roused at last; the
cruel insult to his dead mother had set his blood on fire. His breast
heaved, his attitude was erect, his eye bright and vivid, and his whole
person changed, as he stood glaring over the cowardly tormentor that lay
crouching at his feet, and defied him with an energy he had never known
before.

"He'll murder me!" blubbered Noah. "Charlotte! missis! here's the new
boy a-murdering me! Help! help! Oliver's gone mad! Char--lotte!"

Noah's shouts were responded to, by a loud scream from Charlotte, and a
louder from Mrs. Sowerberry; the former of whom rushed into the kitchen
by a side-door, while the latter paused on the staircase till she was
quite certain that it was consistent with the preservation of human life
to come further down.

"Oh, you little wretch!" screamed Charlotte, seizing Oliver with her
utmost force, which was about equal to that of a moderately strong
man in particularly good training,--"Oh, you little un-grate-ful,
mur-de-rous, hor-rid villain!" and between every syllable Charlotte gave
Oliver a blow with all her might, and accompanied it with a scream for
the benefit of society.

Charlotte's fist was by no means a light one; but, lest it should not be
effectual in calming Oliver's wrath, Mrs. Sowerberry plunged into the
kitchen, and assisted to hold him with one hand, while she scratched his
face with the other; and in this favourable position of affairs Noah
rose from the ground, and pummeled him from behind.

This was rather too violent exercise to last long; so, when they
were all three wearied out, and could tear and beat no longer, they
dragged Oliver, struggling and shouting, but nothing daunted, into
the dust-cellar, and there locked him up; and this being done, Mrs.
Sowerberry sunk into a chair, and burst into tears.

"Bless her, she's going off!" said Charlotte. "A glass of water, Noah,
dear. Make haste."

"Oh, Charlotte," said Mrs. Sowerberry, speaking as well as she could
through a deficiency of breath and a sufficiency of cold water, which
Noah had poured over her head and shoulders,--"Oh, Charlotte, what a
mercy we have not been all murdered in our beds!"

"Ah, mercy, indeed, ma'am," was the reply. "I only hope this'll teach
master not to have any more of these dreadful creatures that are born to
be murderers and robbers from their very cradle. Poor Noah! he was all
but killed, ma'am, when I came in."

"Ah, poor fellow!" said Mrs. Sowerberry, looking piteously on the
charity-boy.

Noah, whose top waistcoat-button might have been somewhere on a level
with the crown of Oliver's head, rubbed his eyes with the inside of his
wrists while this commiseration was bestowed upon him, and performed
some very audible tears and sniffs.

"What's to be done!" exclaimed Mrs. Sowerberry. "Your master's not at
home--there's not a man in the house,--and he'll kick that door down in
ten minutes." Oliver's vigorous plunges against the bit of timber in
question rendered this occurrence highly probable.

"Dear, dear! I don't know, ma'am," said Charlotte, "unless we send for
the police-officers."

"Or the millingtary," suggested Mr. Claypole.

"No, no," said Mrs. Sowerberry, bethinking herself of Oliver's old
friend; "run to Mr. Bumble, Noah, and tell him to come here directly,
and not to lose a minute; never mind your cap,--make haste. You can hold
a knife to that black eye as you run along, and it'll keep the swelling
down."

Noah stopped to make no reply, but started off at his fullest speed;
and very much it astonished the people who were out walking, to see a
charity-boy tearing through the streets pell-mell, with no cap on his
head, and a clasp-knife at his eye.



               A CONTRADICTION.

    Bent upon extra thousands netting,
      Graspall's the oddest mortal living!
    His only object seems _for-getting_--
      How strange he should not be _for-giving_!
                                                 H. II.



          THE GRAND CHAM OF TARTARY, AND THE HUMBLE-BEE.

               _Abridged from the voluminous
            Epic Poem by Beg-beg (formerly a mendicant
            ballad-singer, afterwards Principal Lord Rector
            of the University of Samarcand, and subsequently
            Historiographer and Poet Laureate to the Court of
            Balk,)                      by C. J. Davids, Esq._

                          I.
    The great Tartar chief, on a festival day,
    Gave a spread to his court, and resolv'd to be gay;
    But, just in the midst of their music and glee,
    The mirth was upset by a humble-bee--
                          A humble-bee--
    They were bored by a rascally _humble-bee_!

                         II.
    This riotous bee was so wanting in sense
    As to fly at the Cham with malice prepense:
    Said his highness, "My fate will be _felo-de-se_,
    If I'm thus to be teas'd by a humble-bee--
                          A humble-bee--
    How _shall_ I get rid of the humble-bee!"

                        III.
    The troops in attendance, with sabre and spear,
    Were order'd to harass the enemy's rear:
    But the brave body-guards were forced to flee--
    They were all so afraid of the humble-bee--
                          The humble-bee--
    The soldiers were scar'd by the humble-bee.

                         IV.
    The solicitor-general thought there was reason
    For indicting the scamp on a charge of high-treason;
    While the chancellor _doubted_ if any decree
    From the woolsack would frighten the humble-bee--
                          The humble-bee--
    So the lawyers fought shy of the humble-bee.

                          V.
    The Cham from his throne in an agony rose,
    While the insect was buzzing right under his nose:--
    "Was ever a potentate plagued like me,
    Or worried to death by a humble-bee!
                          A humble-bee--
    Don't let me be stung by the humble-bee!"

                         VI.
    He said to a page, nearly choking with grief,
    "Bring hither my valiant commander-in-chief;
    And say that I'll give him a liberal fee,
    To cut the throat of this humble-bee--
                          This humble-bee--
    This turbulent, Jacobin, humble-bee!"

                        VII.
    His generalissimo came at the summons,
    And, cursing the courtiers for cowardly _rum-uns_,
    "My liege," said he, "it's all fiddle-de-dee
    To make such a fuss for a humble-bee--
                          A humble-bee--
    I don't care a d--n for the humble-bee!"

                        VIII.
    The veteran rush'd sword in hand on the foe,
    And cut him in two with a desperate blow.
    His master exclaim'd, "I'm delighted to see
    How neatly you've settled the humble-bee!"
                          The humble-bee--
    So there was an end of the humble-bee.

                         IX.
    By the doctor's advice (which was prudent and right)
    His highness retired very early that night:
    For they got him to bed soon after his tea,
    And he dream'd all night of the humble-bee--
                          The humble-bee--
    He saw the grim ghost of the humble-bee.

                        MORAL.
    Seditious disturbers, mind well what you're _arter_--
    Lest, humming a prince, you by chance catch a _Tartar_.
    Consider, when planning an impudent spree,
    You may get the same luck as the humble-bee--
                          The humble-bee--
    Remember the doom of the humble-bee!



           THE DUMB WAITER.

    I can not really understand,
      (Said Henry to his aunt,)
    Why a dumb waiter this is called,--
      Upon my word, I can't;
    For I have heard you often say
      It _answers_ very well.
    Why, then, the waiter is called _dumb_,
      I cannot think, or tell.

    Between you, boy, this difference know,--
      For once attention lending,--
    While without _speaking_ this _attends_,
      You _speak_ without _attending_.



                 FAMILY STORIES.--No. III.

                      GREY DOLPHIN.
                 BY THOMAS INGOLDSBY, ESQ.

"He won't--won't he? Then bring me my boots!" said the Baron.

Consternation was at its height in the castle of Shurland--a caitiff had
dared to disobey the Baron! and--the Baron had called for his boots!

A thunderbolt in the great hall had been a _bagatelle_ to it.

A few days before, a notable miracle had been wrought in the
neighbourhood; and in those times miracles were not so common as
they are now:--no Royal Balloons, no steam, no railroads,--while the
few Saints who took the trouble to walk with their heads under their
arms, or pull the Devil by the nose, scarcely appeared above once in a
century:--so it made the greater sensation.

The clock had done striking twelve, and the Clerk of Chatham was
untrussing his points preparatory to seeking his truckle-bed: a
half-emptied tankard of mild ale stood at his elbow, the roasted
crab yet floating on its surface. Midnight had surprised the worthy
functionary while occupied in discussing it, and with the task yet
unaccomplished. He meditated a mighty draught: one hand was fumbling
with his tags, while the other was extended in the act of grasping the
jorum, when a knock on the portal, solemn and sonorous, arrested his
fingers. It was repeated thrice ere Emanuel Saddleton had presence of
mind sufficient to inquire who sought admittance at that untimeous hour.

"Open! open! good Clerk of St. Bridget's," said a female voice, small,
yet distinct and sweet,--"an excellent thing in woman."

The clerk arose, crossed to the doorway, and undid the latchet.

On the threshold stood a lady of surpassing beauty: her robes were
rich, and large, and full; and a diadem, sparkling with gems that shed
a halo around, crowned her brow: she beckoned the clerk as he stood in
astonishment before her.

"Emanuel!" said the lady; and her tones sounded like those of a silver
flute. "Emanuel Saddleton, truss up your points, and follow me!"

The worthy clerk stared aghast at the vision; the purple robe, the
cymar, the coronet,--above all, the smile;--no, there was no mistaking
her; it was the blessed St. Bridget herself!

And what could have brought the sainted lady out of her warm shrine at
such a time of night? and on such a night? for it was as dark as pitch,
and, metaphorically speaking, "rained cats and dogs."

Emanuel could not speak, so he looked the question.

"No matter for that," said the Saint, answering to his thought. "No
matter for that, Emanuel Saddleton; only follow me, and you'll see."

The clerk turned a wistful eye at the corner-cupboard.

"Oh, never mind the lantern, Emanuel; you'll not want it: but you may
bring a mattock and shovel." As she spoke, the beautiful apparition held
up her delicate hand. From the tip of each of her long taper fingers
issued a lambent flame of such surpassing brilliancy as would have
plunged a whole gas company into despair--it was a "Hand of Glory,"
such a one as tradition tells us yet burns in Rochester Castle every
St. Mark's Eve. Many are the daring individuals who have watched in
Gundulph's Tower, hoping to find it, and the treasure it guards;--but
none of them ever did.

"This way, Emanuel!" and a flame of peculiar radiance streamed from her
little finger as it pointed to the pathway leading to the churchyard.

Saddleton shouldered his tools, and followed in silence.

The cemetery of St. Bridget's was some half-mile distant from the
clerk's domicile, and adjoined a chapel dedicated to that illustrious
lady, who, after leading but a so-so life, had died in the odour of
sanctity. Emanuel Saddleton was fat and scant of breath, the mattock was
heavy, and the saint walked too fast for him: he paused to take second
wind at the end of the first furlong.

"Emanuel," said the holy lady good-humouredly, for she heard him
puffing; "rest a while, Emanuel, and I'll tell you what I want with you."

Her auditor wiped his brow with the back of his hand, and looked all
attention and obedience.

"Emanuel," continued she, "what did you and Father Fothergill, and the
rest of you, mean yesterday by burying that drowned man so close to me?
He died in mortal sin, Emanuel; no shrift, no unction, no absolution:
why, he might as well have been excommunicated. He plagues me with his
grinning, and I can't have any peace in my shrine. You must howk him up
again, Emanuel!"

"To be sure, madam,--my lady,--that is, your holiness," stammered
Saddleton, trembling at the thought of the task assigned him. "To he
sure, your ladyship; only--that is--"

"Emanuel," said the Saint, "you'll do my bidding; or it would be better
you had!" and her eye changed from a dove's eye to that of a hawk, and
a flash came from it as bright as the one from her little finger. The
Clerk shook in his shoes, and, again dashing the cold perspiration from
his brow, followed the footsteps of his mysterious guide.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning all Chatham was in an uproar. The Clerk of St.
Bridget's had found himself at home at daybreak, seated in his own
arm-chair, the fire out, and--the tankard of ale quite exhausted.
Who had drunk it? Where had he been? How had he got home?--all was a
mystery: he remembered "a mass of things, but nothing distinctly;" all
was fog and fantasy. What he could clearly reco