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Title: Odd Volume - Or, Book Of Variety
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 "Odd Volume - Or, Book Of Variety" ***

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ODD VOLUME; OR, BOOK OF VARIETY

By Various

Illustrated By Robert Seymour and Robert Cruikshank

The Engravings by Samuel Slader

1835



PREFACE.

Emboldened by the popularity of the late entertainment, entitled
"Cruikshank at Home," an Odd Candidate for fame now enters the lists.

The greatest care having been taken to render the subjects which have
been selected as interesting as possible, this Volume may safely be
pronounced even _more_ attractive than either of its predecessors;
and the publisher has the additional pleasure of announcing that the
Engravings are the joint production of _two_ clever artists--the one,
Mr. Cruikshank, a long-established favorite *--the other, Mr. Seymour,
a gentleman of far superior talent, but hitherto not quite, perhaps, so
extensively known, in consequence of his short residence in London.

     * These designs were originally intended for a fourth volume
     of "Cruikshank at Home," but, in consequence of the late
     disagreement between the two brothers Cruikshank (in
     reference to the question, "Which is the real Simon Pure?")
     the projected title has been changed, and the work, by the
     assistance of Mr. Seymour, metamorphosed into an "Odd"
     Volume.

[Illustration: 013]

As Mr. Seymour will have the entire management of all _future_
volumes--so far, at least, as relates to the Illustrations--this notice
is considered necessary for his formal introduction--it being a far
better channel than an ordinary Advertisement, and entirely superseding
the necessity for employing a BILL-STICKER.



THE ODD VOLUME



LEGEND OF THE LARGE MOUTH.


     "Here's a large mouth indeed!"
     Shakspeare--King John.

Arriving one evening at an inn in Glasgow, I was shewn into a room which
already contained a promiscuous assemblage of travellers. Amongst the
rest, there was one whose features struck me as being the most horrible
I ever beheld. He was a large, pursy old man, with a head "villainous
low," hair like bell-ropes, eyes that were the smallest and most porkish
of all possible eyes, and a nose which shewed no more prominence _en
profile_, than that of the moon as exhibited in her first quarter upon
a freemason's apron; but all these monstrosities were as beauties--as
lovelinesses--as absolute perfections, compared with the mouth--the
enormous mouth, which, grinning beneath, formed a sort of rustic
basement to the whole superstructure of his facial horrors. This
mouth--if mouth it might be called, which had so little resemblance to
the mouths of mankind--turned full upon me as I entered; and, happening
at the moment to be employed in a yawn, actually seemed as if it would
have willingly received me into its prodigious crater, mumbled me to a
mummy, and then bolted me, spurs and all!

On sitting down, and proceeding to make myself acquainted with the
rest of the company, I discovered this monster to be a person of polite
manners and agreeable conversation. He spoke a good deal, and always in
a lively style. The best of him was, that he seemed quite at ease upon
the subject of his mouth. No doubt, he was conscious of his supernatural
ugliness,--for, whatever may be said of vanity and so forth, every
person, male and female, with unpleasant features, is so; but he had
none of the boggling, unsteady, un-complacent deportment, so remarkable
in most of the persons so circumstanced. On the contrary, there was
an air of infinite self-satisfaction about him, which told that he was
either so familiar with the dreadful fact as to mind it not; or that he
was a man of the world, above considering so trivial a particular; or
that he was rich, and could afford to be detested. His talk occasionally
displayed considerable humour, and even wit; but he never laughed at his
own jokes. He evidently dared not. Though his conversation, therefore,
was exceedingly agreeable, his deportment was rather grave. He never
opened his whole mouth at once. It was like a large car-riage-gate, with
a wicket for the convenience of foot-passengers. A small aperture,
about the middle of it, sufficed for the emission of his words. And,
sometimes, he made an opening at either flank to relieve guard upon
the central hole, especially when he happened to speak to some person
sitting close by his side. Now and then, it closed altogether, and
looked (for it could look) forward into the fire, with an appearance of
pensive composure, as if speculating upon the red embers, and auguring
the duration of the black coal above.

As the time of supper drew nigh, I began to feel an intense anxiety
about the probable conduct of the mouth at table. How so extraordinary
a character would behave, what it would ask for, after what manner it
would masticate, and, above all, how much it would devour, were to me
subjects of the most interesting speculation. I thought of the proverb
of my native country, so ungracious to people with large mouths, and
wondered if it would be in this case belied or confirmed. Should the
appetite, thought I, be in proportion to the mouth, the scene will
either be prodigiously Horrible or highly amusing. But, perhaps, after
all, this man is misrepresented by his mouth; great eaters have been
known to be little, thin, shrivelled persons; while fat men have been
supported, ere now, upon two spare meals a-day: more would seem to
depend upon the activity of the internal machine, than upon its outward
capacity. Who Knows but this man, with all his corporeal size and large
mouth, may turn out a perfect example of abstemiousness? The question
was one of deep concernment, and I continued to consider it till it was
announced that supper was ready. Upon the mention of that interesting
word, I observed the mouth suddenly bustle up, and assume an air of
promptitude, that seemed rather more favourable to the proverb than I
could have desired. The man rose, and, going to a corner of the room
where a number of portmanteaus lay heaped, selected and brought forward
one. He opened it with a deliberation that was inexpressibly provoking,
and, slowly turning up a few articles, at length produced a parcel,
wrapped in brown paper. This he laid down upon the table, while I gazed
on it with great and impatient curiosity, till the owner as deliberately
strapped up, locked, closed, and finally replaced the portmanteau.
He then took up the parcel, unfolded the paper, and took out a large
strange-looking spoon. The proverb, thought I, will stand yet,--the
spoon might have served in the nursery of Glumdalclitch.

It was a silver implement, of peculiar shape. The _calix_ was circular,
like the spoons of the Romans, about four inches in diameter, and one
deep in the centre, altogether bearing some resemblance to an ordinary
saucer; and it had a short, sturdy handle with a whistle at the
extremity. Observing the attention of the company to be strongly
directed towards his spoon, the old man showed it round, with the most
good-natured politeness, telling us, that he had been so long accustomed
to use this goodly article at home, that, when he happened to travel, he
was always obliged to take it along with him, being unable to make
such neat work of his soup with the ordinary implements which he found
abroad. "But, indeed, gentlemen," said he, "why should I make this a
matter of delicacy with you? The truth is, the spoon has a history, and
my mouth--none of the least, you see--has also a history. If you feel
any curiosity upon these points, I shall give you a biographical sketch
of the one, and an autobiographical sketch of the other, to amuse you
till supper is ready." To this frank proposal all the company joyfully
assented; and the old man began a narrative, of which the following is
the substance:--His mouth was the chieftain and representative of a
long ancestral line of illustrious and most extensive mouths, which had
flourished, for upwards of two centuries, at a place called Tullibody,
somewhere in the western parts of Fife. There was a tradition, that the
mouth originally came into the family by marriage. Its introduction was
a story of itself. A paternal ancestor of the speaker, woo'd, and was
going to marry a lady of great beauty, but no fortune, when his design
was knocked on the head by the interference of his father, who very
kindly told him, one morning, that, if he married that tocherless dame,
he would cut him off with a shilling; whereas, if he took to wife a
certain lady of his appointment, he would be so good as--not do that.
The youth was somewhat staggered by his father's declarations, and
asked time to consider. The result was, that he married the lady of
his father's choice, who was the heiress to a large fortune and a large
mouth, both bequeathed to her by her father, one of the celebrated
kail-suppers of Fife. When this was told to the slighted lady of his
love, she was so highly offended, that she wished the mouth of her
fortunate rival might descend, in all its latitude, to the latest
generation of her faithless swain's posterity; and then took ill,
and--married another lover, her _second best_, next week, by way of
revenge. The country people, who pay great attention to the sayings and
doings of ladies condemned to wear the willow, waited anxiously for the
fulfilment of her malediction; and, accordingly shook their heads, and
had their own thoughts, when the kail-supper's daughter brought forth a
son, with a mouth reflecting back credit on her own. The triumph of the
ill-wisher was considered complete, when the second, and third, and
all the other children, were found to be equally distinguished by this
feature; and, what gave the triumph still more piquancy, was, that
the daughters were found to be no more excepted than the sons from
the family doom. In the second generation, moreover, instead of being
softened or diluted away, the mouth rather increased; and so it had done
in every successive generation since that time. The race having been
very prolific, it was now spread so much, that there was scarcely a face
in Tullibody altogether free of the contagion: the people there had
almost ceased to regard a large mouth as a joke: it was so common as
not to be noted; or there were so many, that there was not one mouth to
laugh at another.

Fate and fortune are said to be very favourable to people with large
mouths. So it proved in this case. After the mouth came into the family,
luck also came; and still as the mouth had increased with successive
generations, just so had riches increased. The third in line from the
"first man," a cooper by profession, became so wealthy before he died,
that he might have got his name handed down to immortality on a certain
conspicuous, though dusty and illegible, board in the parish church,
along with those of other charitable persons by leaving "ane hunder
merks Scots to ye pvir."

Despising the humble glory of making such a legacy, and being too poor
to found a college, and too wise to endow a cat, he did better; he
_founded a spoon_--a spoon which should go down to future ages as a
traditionary joke upon his family-feature, and remain for ever in the
hands of those who could appreciate his beneficence. He left it under
certain provisions, or statutes of foundation. The main scope of his
intentions, was, simply, that the spoon should always be possessed by
his largest-mouthed descendant. In the first place, after his own death
it was to fall into the hands of his eldest son, a youth of highly
promising mouth; or, indeed, whose mouth was fully entitled to the
proverbial praise bestowed upon the cooper of Fogo,--"that it was his
father's equal and mair," and who moreover, entertained such a respect for
the will of his parent, that he seemed likely to preserve and transmit
the precious heir-loom with all due zeal and care. At his death, it was
to become the property of the son, daughter, nephew, or niece (for it
was not limited _heredibus masculis_, but, with laudable regard for the
claims of the fairer sex, destined _heredibus quibuscunque_), who should
appear to him, judging conscientiously, and in his right mind, to have
the mouth most fitted to enjoy it in all its latitude. At the death of
that person, it was to go to the next largest mouth (_isto vel ista,
judice_), and so on, in all time coming. After passing the second
generation, of course uncles, cousins, and grand-nephews, might become
eligible, provided that the family should spread itself out into these
relationships; but, _quibus deficientibus_, the nearest of kin and
largest of mouth whatsoever, so that they were of the name, might come
in as competitors, the same being always subject to the review and
choice of the former possessor. In the case of any possessor being cut
off suddenly, without appointing a successor to his trust, then the
affair was to be decided by a popular election.

It may seem a strange though a liberal and even gallant thing, in the
founder of the spoon, that he should have considered the females of his
posterity in the statutes, seeing that, according to the ordinary rule
of human nature, there was little chance of their ever being found
to excel the males in point of mouth. Yet this was a very proper and
well-judged article. The truth is, that, as the feature had originally
come into the family by a lady, so had it always continued to
distinguish the daughters, to an equal, if not superior, degree with the
sons. Indeed, the wisdom of the statute was put beyond a doubt, by
the circumstance of a daughter having actually been, upon one
occasion (nearly a century ago), the possessor of the spoon! And this
circumstance was the more remarkable on the following account:--This
lady, when her mouth was brought to its last speech, attempted to
bequeath the valuable heir-loom to her second, and favourite, and
largest-mouthed son--a person, of course, not eligible, on account of
his being only the _half-blood_, and wanting the necessary name By
this infraction of the statute, the spoon might have fallen into the
possession of a new family altogether, and probably never again reverted
to any one of the name and mouth of the founder. It is true, the
articles were somewhat defective upon this point, and the question might
have stood a discussion before the Fifteen. Yet the thing looked at
least against the _spirit_ of the founder's intentions and, any how, the
male heirs determined, at all hazards, to oppose her will. Having come
to this resolution at a general meeting, they forthwith marched _in
posse_ to the bed of their dying relative; and there after lecturing
her for some time upon the heinousness of her intentions--which they did
_cum oribus_, not only _rotundis_, but also both _longis et latis, imo
etiam perlatis_, as Dominie Sampson would have said--they demanded the
spoon, which they said, she had fairly forfeited by her misconduct, one
of the statutes containing the clause _ad vitam aut culpam_. The sons of
the dying lady proposed to dispute the point: but she told them, that,
as she repented of her fault, she would endeavour to repair it, before
time and she should part for ever, by surrendering the spoon of her
ancestors to its just and lawful claimants; and this she forthwith
did. The large-mouthed host then went away satisfied, and proceeded to
adjudge it by votes to one of two or three persons of the true blood,
who entered as candidates for the highly-prized trust.

After the election, the whole clan entered into a paction, whereby they
bound themselves and their posterity to take similar measures in case of
the same exigency recurring. They might, however, have spared themselves
this trouble, and left posterity free to act as it thought proper; for,
thenceforward (fate seeming to take so important a matter into her own
hand), to the surprise and satisfaction of the family, the daughters
began to be born with less, and the sons with larger mouths than
formerly; so that, though the law of _Tanistry_ * still prevailed, that
entitled the _Salique_ came into full force, as it were, of its own
accord; and no instance had occurred, for a century past, of any
female, married or unmarried, becoming so much as a competitor for the
invaluable vessel, which now glided peacefully down the current of ages,
in the possession of a lineal male line of truly respectable mouths,
prized by the happy inheritors, and honoured by the homage and
veneration of all the rest of the family. **

     * The phrase applicable to the succession of uncles and
     nephews, in preference to sons, customary in the early ages
     of the Scottish monarchy.

     ** Since this story was first printed, the author has been
     informed of another similar heir-loom which belonged to the
     family of Crawfurd of Crawfurdland, in Ayrshire (now extinct
     in the male line), and which bore the following
     inscription:--


     This spoune I leave for a legacie
     To the muckle-mou'd Crawfurds after me.

Just as the old gentleman concluded his narrative, supper was
introduced, and we all rose, in order to re-arrange ourselves round the
table. I now knew the history of his mouth and spoon; but I was still
ignorant of the extent of his appetite. The confessions of the Mouth had
been ample and explicit; but it had been silent as the grave, which it
resembled, upon the corresponding matter of the stomach. My anxiety upon
this point was excessive--was painful--was intolerable. I did not know
what to expect of it. Ere we sat down, I cast towards it a look of awful
curiosity. It was hovering like a prodigious rainbow over the horizon of
the table, uncertain where to pitch itself--

     "--------Avi similis, quae circum litora, circum
     Piscosos scopulos,----- volat--------"

There was an air of terrible resolution about it, which made me almost
tremble for what was to ensue. Still I hoped the best; and I, at last,
sat down, with the resigned idea that time would try all.

The Mouth--for so it might be termed _par excellence_--was preferred
by acclamation to the head of the table,--a distinction awarded, as I
afterwards understood (_secundum morem bagman_), not so much on account
of its superior greatness, as in consideration of its seniority, though
I am sure it deserved the _pas_ on both accounts. The inferior and
junior mouths all sat down at different distances from the great mouth,
like satellites round a mighty planet. It uttered a short gentleman-like
grace, and then began to ask its neighbours what they would have. Some
asked for one thing, some for another, and in a short time all were
served except itself For its own part, it complained of weak appetite,
and expressed a fear that it should not be able to take anything at all.
I could scarcely credit the declaration. It added, in a singularly prim
tone of voice, that, for its part, it admired the taste of Beau Tibbs in
Goldsmith,--"Something nice, and a little will do,--I hate your immense
loads of meat; that's country all over!" Hereupon I plucked up courage,
and ventured to look at it again. It was still terrible, though placid.
Its expression was that of a fresh and strong warrior, who hesitates
a moment to consider into what part of a thick battle he shall plunge
himself, or what foes he shall select as worthy of particular attack.
Its look belied its words; but again I was thrown back by its words
belying its look. It said to a neighbour of mine, that it thought it
might perhaps manage the half of the tail of one of the herrings at his
elbow, if he would be so kind as carve. Was there ever such a puzzling
mouth! I was obliged again to give credit to words; yet again was I
disappointed. My neighbour, thinking it absurd to mince such a matter as
a herring, handed up a whole one to the chairman. The mouth received it,
with a torrent of refusals and remonstrances, in the midst of which it
began to eat, and I heard it continue to mumble forth expostulations,
in a fainter and fainter tone, at the intervals of bites, for a few
seconds, till behold, the whole corporate substance of the fish had
melted away to a long meager skeleton! When done, its remonstrances
changed into a wonder how it should have got through so plump a fish--it
was perfectly astonishing--it had never eaten a whole herring in its
life before--it was an unaccountable miracle. I did not hear the latter
sentences of its wonderments; but, towards the conclusion, heard the
word "fowl" distinctly pronounced. The fowls lying to my hand, I found
myself under the necessity of entering into conference with it, though
I felt a mortal disinclination to look it in the mouth, lest I should
betray some symptom of emotion inconsistent with good manners. Drawing
down my features into a resolute pucker, and mentally vowing I would
speak to it, though it should blast me, I cast my eyes slowly and
cautiously towards it, and made inquiry as to its choice of bits. In
return for my interrogation, I received a polite convulsion, intended
for a smile, and a request, out of which I only caught the important
words "breast" and "wing." I made haste to execute the order; and,
on handing away the desired viands, received from the Mouth another
grateful convulsion; and then--thank God, all was over! Well, thought
I, at this juncture, a herring and fragment of fowl are no such great
matters; perhaps the Mouth will prove quite a natural mouth, after all.
In brief space, however, the chairman's plate was announced as again
empty; and, I heard it receive, discuss, and answer various proposals of
replenishment made to it by its more immediate neighbours. I thought I
would escape; but no,--"the fowl was really so good, that it thought it
would trouble me for another breast, if I would be so kind," &c. I was,
of course, obliged to look at it again, in order to receive its request
in proper form; and, _oh, me miserum_; neglecting this time my former
preparations of face, I had nearly committed myself by looking it full
in the mouth, with my eyes wide open, and without having screwed
my facial muscles into their former resolute astringency. However,
instantly apprehending the amount of its demands, my glance at the Mouth
fortunately required to be only momentary, and I found immediate relief
from all danger in the ensuing business of carving. Yet even that glance
was in itself a dreadful trial; it sufficed to inform me, that the Mouth
was now more terrible than before \ that there was a fearful vivacity
about it--a promptitude--an alacrity--an energy--which it did not
formerly exhibit. Should this increase, thought I, it will soon be truly
dreadful. I handed up a whole fowl to it, in a sort of desperation. It
made no remonstrances, as in the case of the herring, at the abundance
of my offering. So far from that, it seemed to forgive my disobedience
with the utmost good will; received the fowl, and despatched it with
silence and celerity, and then again looked abroad for farther prey.
Indeed, it now began to crack jokes upon itself,--a sportive species of
suicide. It spoke of the spoon; lamented that, after all, there should
be no soups at table, whereon it might have exhibited itself; and
finally vowed, that it would visit the deficiences of the supper upon
the dessert, even unto the third and fourth dish of _Blanc-mange_. The
proprietor of the Mouth then laid down the spoon upon the table, there
to lie in readiness, till such time as he should find knives and forks
of no farther service--as the Scottish soldiery, in former times used
to lay their shields upon the ground while making use of their spears. I
now gave up all hopes of the Mouth observing any propriety in its future
transactions. But, having finished my own supper, I resolved to set
myself down to observe all its sayings and doings, without giving
myself any farther concern about the proverb, which I was formerly so
solicitous that it should not fulfil. Its placidity was now gone--its
air of self-possession lost. New powers seemed to be every moment
developing themselves throughout its vast form--new and more terrible
powers. It was beginning to have a _wild look!_ It was evident that
it was now _fleshed_--that its naturally savage disposition, formerly
dormant for want of excitement, was now rising tumultuously within
it--that it would soon perform such deeds as would scare us all! It had
engaged itself, before I commenced my observations, upon a roast jigot
of mutton, which happened to lie near it. This it soon nearly finished.
It then cast a look of fearful omen at a piece of cold beef, which lay
immediately beyond it, and which, being placed within reach by some kind
neighbour it immediately commenced upon, with as much fierceness as it
had just exemplified in the case of the mutton. The beef also was soon
laid waste, and another look of extermination was forthwith cast at a
broken pigeon-pie, which lay still farther off. Hereupon the eye had
scarcely alighted, when the man nearest it, with laudable promptitude,
handed it upwards. Scarcely was it laid on the altar of destruction,
when it disappeared too; and a fourth, and a fifth, and a sixth look,
were successively cast at other dishes, which the different members
of the party* as promptly sent away, and which the Mouth as promptly
despatched. By this time, all the rest of the party were lying upon
their oars, observing, with leisurely astonishment, the progress of the
surviving, and, as it appeared to them, eternal feeder. _He_ went on,
rejoicing in his strength, unheeding their idleness and wonder, his
very soul apparently engrossed in the grand business of devouring. They
seemed to enter into a sort of tacit compact, or agreement, to indulge
and facilitate him in his progress, by making themselves, as it were,
his servitors. Whatever dish he looked at, therefore, over the wide
expanse of the table, immediately disappeared from its place. One
after another, they trooped off towards the head of the table, like the
successive brigades which Wellington despatched at Waterloo, against a
particular field of French artillery; and, still, dish after dish,
like the said brigades, came successively away, broken, shattered,
diminished. Fish, flesh, and fowl, disappeared at the glance of that
awful eye, as the Roman fleet withered and vanished before the grand
burning glass of Archimedes. The end of all things seemed at hand! The
Mouth was arrived at a perfect transport of voracity! It seemed to be
no more capable of restraining itself than some great engine, full of
tremendous machinery, which cannot stop of itself. It had no self-will.
It was an unaccountable being. It was a separate creature, independent
of the soul. It was not a human thing at all. It was every thing that
was superhuman--every thing that was immense--inconceivably enormous!
All objects seemed reeling and toppling on towards it, like the
foam-bells upon a mighty current, floating silently on towards the
orifice of some prodigious sea-cave. It was like the whirlpool of
Maelstrom, every thing that comes within the vortex of which, for miles
round, is sure of being caught, inextricably involved, whirled round,
and round, and round, and then down, down that monstrous gulf--that
mouth of the mighty ocean, the lips of which are overwhelming waves,
whose teeth are prodigious rocks, and whose belly is the great abyss!

Here I grew dizzy, fainted, and--I never saw the Mouth again.

[ROBERT CHAMBERS.]

[Illustration: 043]



STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM.

Hail to thee, loveliest June! Thy smile awaited me at my birth; may
it rest upon me at the hour of death--may it cast its sunshine into my
grave as my coffin descends into the earth, and the few who loved me
look upon it for the last time!

The fruits--the luscious ruby fruits--are swelling into ripeness. I know
nothing of the fruits of the south--I talk of those of my own country. I
have a thorough contempt for Italy with its grapes!--I detest Spain with
its oranges!--I should be happy to annihilate Turkey and Asia with their
olives and citrons!--I am writing and thinking only of England. I was a
child once;--Reader! so were you. Do you recollect the day and the hour
when the blessed influence of strawberries and cream first flashed on
your awakened mind, and you felt that life had not been given you in
vain? I was just seven years old--my previous existence is a blank in
memory--when I spent a June in the country.

I may have picked before in the blind ignorance of infancy, some little
red pulpy balls, which may have been presented to me on a little blue
plate by my aunt or grandmother--but never--never till my seventh year
was I aware that in the melting luxuriance of one mouthful, so large
a share of human happiness might be comprised. Sugar, cream, and
strawberries! Epicurean compound of unimaginable ecstasy! trinity of
excellence! producing the only harmonious whole known to me in all the
annals of taste! The fresh vigour of my youthful palate may have yielded
somewhat to the deadening effect of time, but the glorious recollections
of those profound emotions, excited by my first intoxicating feast on
strawberries and cream, is worth every other thought that memory
can conjure up. Breathes there the man who presumes to smile at my
enthusiasm? Believe me, he is destined to pass away and be forgotten,
as the insect upon which you tread. He is a measurer of broad-cloth or a
scribbler of juridical technicalities.

Such is not the destiny awaiting yonder rosy group of smiling prattlers.
I love the rogues for the enlarged and animated countenances with
which they gaze upon the red spoils before them. Never speak to me of
gluttony. It is a natural and a noble appetite, redolent of health and
happiness, and I honour it. There is genius in the breathing expression
of those parted lips which, now that the good dame is about to commence
her impartial division, seem to anticipate, in a delightful agony of
expectation, the fulness of coming joy. Observe with how much vigour
that youthful Homer grasps his silver spoon! Would you have thought
those rose-bud lips could have admitted so vast a mouthful of
strawberries?--Yet, down they go that juvenile oesophagus, and, as
Shakspeare well expresses it, "leave not a wreck behind!" Turn your gaze
to this infantine Sappho. What unknown quantities of cream and sugar the
little cherub consumes!--Cold on the stomach! Pho! the idea is worthy of
a female Septuagenarian, doomed to the horrors of perpetual celibacy. If
she speak from experience, in heaven's name, give her a glass of brandy,
and let her work out her miserable existence in fear and trembling.

If there be a merrier party of bon-vivants at this moment in
Christendom, may I never enter a garden again! Yet, at this very moment,
there are prime ministers sitting down to cabinet dinners, and seeing in
every guest another step in the ladder of ambition; at this very moment,
the table of the professional epicure is covered with all that is
_recherché_ in the annals of gastronomy; at this very moment, the bride
of yesternight takes her place of honour, for the first time, at the
table of her rich and titled husband. Alas! there are traitors at the
statesman's board; there is poison and disease within the silver dishes
of the epicure; and there are silent but sad memories of days past away
for ever, strewed like withered flowers round the heart of the young
bride! But before you is a living garland, still blooming, unconscious
of the thousand cankers of earth and air.

On the whole, I am not sure that strawberries ought to be eaten when any
one is with you. There is always under such circumstances, even though
your companion be the dearest friend you have on earth, a feeling of
restraint, a consciousness that your attention is divided, a diffidence
about betraying the unfathomable depth of your love for the fruit before
you, a lurking uneasiness lest he should eat faster than yourself, or
appropriate an undue share of the delicious cream; in short there is
always, on such occasions, a secret desire that the best friend you have
in the world were at any distant part of the globe he might happen to
have a liking for. But, oh! the bliss of solitary fruition, when there
is none to interrupt you--none to compete with you--none to express
stupid amazement at the extent of your godlike appetite, or to bring
back your thoughts, by some obtrusive remark, to the vulgar affairs of
an unsubstantial world!--Behold! the milky nectar is crimsoned by the
roseate fruit! Heavens! what a flavour! and there is not another
human being near to intrude upon the sacred intensity of your joy!
Painter--poet--philosopher--where is your beau-ideal--happiness? It
is concentrated there--and, divided into equal portions by that silver
spoon, glides gloriously down the throat! Eat, child of mortality! for
June cometh but once in the year! eat, for there is yet misery in store
for thee! eat, for thy days are numbered! eat, as if thou wert eating
immortal life!--eat, eat, though thy next mouthful terminate in
apoplexy!

My dream of strawberries hath passed away! the little red rotundities
have been gathered from the surface of the globe, and man's insatiate
maw has devoured them all! New hopes may arise, and new sources of
pleasure may perhaps be discovered;--the yellow gooseberry may glitter
like amber beads upon the bending branches--the ruby cherry may be
plucked from the living bough, and its sunny sides bruised into nectar
by the willing teeth--the apple, tinted with the vermillion bloom of
maiden beauty, may woo the eye, and tempt the silver knife--the golden
pear melting into lusciousness, soft as the lip, and sweet as the breath
of her thou lovest most, may win, for a time, thy heart's idolatry--the
velvet peach, or downy apricot, may lull thee into brief forgetfulness
of all terrestrial woe--the dark-blue plum, or sunbeam coloured _magnum
bonum_, may waft thy soul to heaven--or, last of all, thy hot-house
grapes, purple on their bursting richness, may carry thee back to the
world's prime, to the fawn and dryad-haunted groves of Arcady, or lap
thee in an elysium of poetry and music--but still the remembrance of thy
first love will be strong in thy heart, and, pamper thy noble nature as
thou wilt, with all the luxuries that summer yields, never, never, will
the innermost recesses of thy soul cease to be inhabited by an immortal
reminiscence of "Strawberries and Cream!"

[Memoirs of a Bon Vivant.]

[Illustration: 052]



THE ROSE IN JANUARY.

I had the good fortune to become acquainted, in his old age, with the
celebrated Wieland, and to be often admitted to his table. It was there
that, animated by a flask of Rhenish, he loved to recount the anecdotes
of his youth, and with a gaiety and _naivete_ which rendered them
extremely interesting. His age--his learning--his celebrity--no longer
threw us to a distance, and we laughed with him as joyously as he
himself laughed in relating the little adventure which I now attempt to
relate. It had a chief influence on his life, and it was that which he
was fondest of retracing, and retraced with most poignancy. I can well
remember his very words; but there are still wanting the expression of
his fine countenance--his hair white as snow, gracefully curling round
his head--his blue eyes, somewhat faded by years, yet still announcing
his genius and depth of thought; his brow touched with the lines of
reflection, but open, elevated, and of a distinguished character; his
smile full of benevolence and candour. "I was handsome enough," he used
sometimes to say to us--and no one who looked at him could doubt
it: "but I was not amiable, for a _savant_ rarely is," he would add
laughingly,--and this every one doubted; so to prove it, he recounted
the little history that follows:--

"I was not quite thirty," said he to us, "when I obtained the chair of
philosophical professor in this college, in the most flattering
manner: I need not tell you that my _amour propre_ was gratified by
a distinction rare enough at my age. I certainly had worked for it
formerly: but at the moment it came to me, another species of philosophy
occupied me much more deeply, and I would have given more to know what
passed in one heart, than to have had power to analyze those of all
mankind. I was passionately in love; and you all know, I hope, that when
love takes possession of a young head, adieu to every thing else; there
is no room for any other thought. My table was covered with folios of
all colours, quires of paper of all sizes, journals of all species,
catalogues of books, in short, of all that one finds on a professor's
table: but of the whole circle of science, I had for some time studied
only the article _Rose_, whether in the Encyclopaedia, the botanical
books, or all the gardeners' calendars that I could meet with. You shall
learn presently what led me to this study, and why it was that my window
was always open, even during the coldest days. All this was connected
with the passion by which I was possessed, and which was become my sole
and continual thought. I could not well say at this moment how my
lectures and courses got on; but this I know, that more than once I have
said, 'Amelia,' instead of 'philosophy.'

"It was the name of my beauty--in fact, of the beauty of the University,
Mademoiselle de Belmont. Her father, a distinguished officer, had
died on the field of battle. She occupied with her mother a large and
handsome house in the street in which I lived, on the same side, and
a few doors distant. This mother, wise and prudent, obliged by
circumstances to inhabit a city filled with young students from all
parts, and having so charming a daughter, never suffered her a
moment from her sight, either in or out of doors. But the good lady
passionately loved company and cards; and to reconcile her tastes
with her duties, she carried Amelia with her to all the assemblies of
dowagers, professors' wives, canonesses, &c. &c., where the poor girl
_ennuyed_ herself to death with hemming or knitting beside her mother's
card-table. But you ought to have been informed, that no student,
indeed no man under fifty, was admitted. I had then but little chance
of conveying my sentiments to Amelia. I am sure, however, that any
other than myself would have discovered this chance, but I was a perfect
novice in gallantry; and until the moment when I imbibed this passion
from Amelia's beautiful dark eyes, mine, having been always fixed upon
Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, &c., understood nothing at all of
the language of the heart. It was at an old lady's, to whom I was
introduced, that I became acquainted with Amelia; my destiny led me
to her house on the evening of her assembly; she received me--I saw
Mademoiselle de Belmont, and from that instant her image was engraven
in lines of fire on my heart. The mother frowned at the sight of a
well-looking young man: but my timid, grave, and perhaps somewhat
pedantic air, re-assured her. There were a few other young
persons--daughters and nieces of the lady of the mansion; it was
summer--they obtained permission to walk in the garden, under the
windows of the saloon, and the eyes of their mammas. I followed them;
and, without daring to address a word to my fair one, caught each that
fell from her lips.

"Her conversation appeared to me as charming as her person; she spoke
on different subjects with intelligence above her years. In making some
pleasant remarks on the defects of men in general, she observed, that
'what she most dreaded was violence of temper.' Naturally of a calm
disposition, I was wishing to boast of it; but not having the courage, I
at last entered into her idea, and said so much against passion, that I
could not well be suspected of an inclination to it. I was recompensed
by an approving smile; it emboldened me, and I began to talk much better
than I thought myself capable of doing before so many handsome women;
she appeared to listen with pleasure; but when they came to the chapter
of fashions, I had no more to say--it was an unknown language; neither
did she appear versed in it. Then succeeded observations on the flowers
in the garden; I knew little more of this than of the fashions, but
I might likewise have my particular taste; and to decide, I waited to
learn that of Amelia: she declared for the _Rose_, and grew animated in
the eulogy of her chosen flower. From that moment, it became for me the
queen of flowers. 'Amelia,' said a pretty, little, laughing, _Espiègle_,
'how many of your favourites are condemned to death this winter?' 'Not
one! replied she; 'I renounce them--their education is too troublesome,
and too ungrateful a task; and I begin to think I know nothing about
it.'

"I assumed sufficient resolution to ask the explanation of this
question and answer. She gave it to me. 'You have just learned that I
am passionately fond of roses: it is an hereditary taste: my mother is
still fonder of them than I am; since I was able to think of any thing,
I have had the greatest wish to offer her a rose-tree in blow (as a new
year's gift) on the first of January; I have never succeeded. Every
year I have put a quantity of rose-trees into vases; the greater number
perished; and I have never been able to offer one rose to my mother.' So
little did I know of the culture of flowers, as to be perfectly ignorant
that it was possible to have roses in winter; but from the moment that
I understood that it might be, without a miracle, and that incessant
attention only was necessary, I promised myself, that this year the
first of January should not pass without Amelia's offering her mother
a rose tree in blow. We returned to the saloon--so close was I on
the watch, that I heard her ask my name in a whisper. Her companion
answered, 'I know him only by reputation; they say he is an author;
and so learned, that he is already a professor.' 'I should never have
guessed it,' said Amelia; 'he seems neither vain nor pedantic.' How
thankful was I for this reputation.--Next morning I went to a gardener,
and ordered fifty rose-trees, of different months, to be put in vases.
'It must be singular ill fortune,' thought I, 'if, among this number,
one at least does not flower.' On leaving the gardener, I went to my
bookseller's--purchased some works on flowers, and returned home full of
hope. I intended to accompany my rose-tree with a fine letter, in which
I should request to visit Madame de Belmont, in order to teach her
daughter the art of having roses in winter; the agreeable lesson, and
the charming scholar, were to me much pleasanter themes than those of
my philosophical lectures. I built on all this the prettiest romance
possible; my milk-pail had not yet got on so far as _Perrettes_; she
held it on her head; and my rose was not yet transplanted into its
vase; but I saw it all in blow. In the mean time, I was happy only in
imagination; I no longer saw Amelia; they ceased to invite me to the
dowager parties, and she was not allowed to mix in those of young
people. I must then be restricted, until my introducer was in a state
of presentation, to seeing her every evening pass by with her mother, as
they went to their parties. Happily for me, Madame de Belmont was such a
coward in a carriage, that she preferred walking when it was possible. I
knew the hour at which they were in the habit of leaving home; I learned
to distinguish the sound of the bell of their gate from that of all the
others of the quarter; my window on the floor was always open; at the
moment I heard their gate unclose, I snatched up some volume, which
was often turned upside down, stationed myself at the window, as if
profoundly occupied with my study, and thus almost every day saw for an
instant the lovely girl; and this instant was sufficient to attach me
to her still more deeply. The elegant simplicity of her dress; her
rich dark hair wreathed round her head, and falling in ringlets on her
forehead; her slight and graceful figure--her step at once light and
commanding--the fairy foot, that the care of guarding the snowy robe
rendered visible, inflamed my admiration; while her dignified and
composed manner, her attention to her mother, and the affability with
which she saluted her inferiors, touched my heart yet more. I began
too, to fancy, that, limited as were my opportunities of attracting her
notice, I was not entirely indifferent to her. For example, on leaving
home, she usually crossed to the opposite side of the street; for had
she passed close to my windows, she guessed, that, intently occupied as
I chose to appear, I could not well raise my eyes from my book; then, as
she came near my house, there was always something to say, in rather
a louder tone, as, 'Take care mamma; lean heavier on me; do you feel
cold?' I then raised my eyes, looked at her, saluted her, and generally
encountered the transient glance of my divinity, who, with a blush,
lowered her eyes, and returned my salute. The mother, all enveloped in
cloaks, and hoods, saw nothing. I saw every thing--and surrendered my
heart. A slight circumstance augmented my hopes. I had published 'An
Abridgement of Practical Philosophy.' It was an extract from my course
of lectures--was successful, and the edition was sold. My bookseller,
aware that I had some copies remaining, came to beg one for a customer
of his, who was extremely anxious to get it; and he named Mademoiselle
Amelia Belmont. I actually blushed with pleasure; to conceal my
embarrassment, I laughingly inquired, what could a girl of her age
want with so serious a work? 'To read it, sir, doubtless;' replied the
bookseller; 'Mademoiselle Amelia does not resemble the generality of
young ladies; she prefers useful to amusing books.' He then mentioned
the names of several that he had lately sent to her; and gave me a high
opinion of her taste. 'From her impatience for your book,' added he,
'I can answer for it, that it will be perused with great pleasure; more
than ten messages have been sent; at last I promised it for to-morrow,
and I beg of you to enable me to keep my word.' I thrilled with joy,
as I gave him the volumes, at the idea that Amelia would read my
sentiments, and that she would learn to know me.

"October arrived, and with it my fifty vases of rose-trees; for which
of course, they made me pay what they chose;--and I was as delighted
to count them in my room, as a miser would his sacks of gold. They all
looked rather languishing, but then it was because they had not yet
reconciled themselves to the new earth. I read all that was ever written
on the culture of roses, with much more attention than I had formerly
read my old philosophers; and I ended as wise as I began. I perceived
that this science, like all others has no fixed rules, and that each
vaunts his system, and believes it the best. One of my gardener authors
would have the rose-trees as much as possible in the open air; another
recommended their being kept close shut up; one ordered constant
watering; another absolutely forbade it. 'It is thus with the
education of man,' said I, closing the volumes in vexation. 'Always in
extremes--let us try the medium between these opposite opinions.'

"I established a good thermometer in my room; and, according to its
indications, I put them outside the windows or took them in; you may
guess that fifty vases, to which I gave this exercise three or four
times a-day, according to the variations of the atmosphere, did not
leave me much idle time; and this was the occupation of a professor of
philosophy! Ah! well might they have taken his chair from him, and sent
him back to school, a thousand times more childish than the youngest
of those pupils to whom I hurried over the customary routine of
philosophical lessons: my whole mind was fixed on Amelia and my rose
trees.

"The death of the greater number of my _eleves_, however, soon lightened
my labour; more than half of them never struck root I flung them into
the fire; a fourth part of those that remained, after unfolding some
little leaves, stopped there. Several assumed a blackish yellow tint,
and gave me hopes of beautifying; some flourished surprisingly, but only
in leaves; others, to my great joy, were covered with buds; but in a few
days they always got that little yellow circle which gardeners call the
collar, and which is to them a mortal malady--their stalks twisted--they
drooped--and finally fell, one after the other, to the earth--not a
single bud remaining on my poor trees. This withered my hopes; and the
more care I took of my invalids--the more I hawked them from window to
window, the worse they grew. At last one of them, and but one, promised
to reward my trouble--thickly covered with leaves, it formed a handsome
bush, from the middle of which sprung out a fine vigorous branch,
crowned with six beautiful buds that got no collar--grew, enlarged, and
even discovered, through their calices, a slight rose tint. There were
still six long weeks before the new year; and certainly four, at
least, of my precious buds would be blown by that time. Behold me now
recompensed for all my pains: hope re-entered my heart, and every moment
I looked on my beauteous introducer with complacency.

"On the 27th of November, a day, which I can never forget, the sun
rose in all its brilliance; I thanked Heaven, and hastened to place my
rose-tree, and such of its companions as yet survived, on a peristyle in
the court. (I have already mentioned that I lodged on the ground floor.)
I watered them, and went, as usual, to give my philosophical lecture.
I then dined--drank to the health of my rose--and returned to take my
station in my window, with a quicker throbbing of the heart.

"Amelia's mother had been slightly indisposed; for eight days she had
not left the house, and consequently I had not seen my fair one. On the
first morning I had observed the physician going in; uneasy for her,
I contrived to cross his way, questioned him, and was comforted. I
afterwards learned that the old lady had recovered, and was to make her
appearance abroad on this day at a grand gala given by a baroness, who
lived at the end of the street. I was then certain to see Amelia pass
by, and eight days of privation had enhanced that thought; I am sure
Madame de Belmont did not look to this party with as much impatience
as I did. She was always one of the first: it had scarcely struck five,
when I heard the bell of her gate. I took up a book--there I was at my
post--and presently I saw Amelia appear, dazzling with dress and beauty
as she gave her arm to her mother: never yet had the brilliancy of her
figure so struck me; this time there was no occasion for her to speak
to catch my eyes; they were fixed on her, but her's were bent down;
however, she guessed that I was there, for she passed slowly to prolong
my happiness. I followed her with my gaze, until she entered the house;
there only she turned her head for a second; the door was shut, and she
disappeared; but remained present to my heart. I could neither close
my window, nor cease to look at the baroness's hotel, as if I could see
Amelia through the walls; I remained there till all objects were fading
into obscurity--the approach of night, and the frostiness of the
air, brought to my recollection that the rose-tree was still on the
peristyle: never had it been so precious to me; I hastened to it; and
scarcely was I in the anti-chamber, when I heard a singular noise, like
that of an animal browsing, and tinkling its bells. I trembled, I flew,
and I had the grief to find a sheep quietly fixed beside my rose-trees,
of which it was making its evening repast with no small avidity.

"I caught up the first thing in my way; it was a heavy cane: I wished
to drive away the gluttonous beast; alas! it was too late; he had just
bitten off the beautiful branch of buds; he swallowed them one after
another; and in spite of the gloom, I could see, half out of his mouth,
the finest of them all, which in a moment was champed like the rest. I
was neither ill-tempered, nor violent; but at this sight I was no longer
master of myself. Without well knowing what I did, I discharged a blow
of my cane on the animal, and stretched it at my feet.

[Illustration: 073]

"No sooner did I perceive it motionless than I repented of having killed
a creature unconscious of the mischief it had done. Was this worthy of
the professor of philosophy, the adorer of the gentle Amelia? But thus
to eat up my rose-tree, my only hope to get admittance to her! When I
thought on its annihilation, I could not consider myself so culpable.
However, the night darkened; I heard the old servant crossing the lower
passage, and I called her. 'Catherine,' said I, 'bring your light, there
is mischief here; you left the stable doon open (that of the court was
also unclosed), one of your sheep has been browsing on my rose-trees,
and I have punished it.'

"She soon came with a lanthorn in her hand. It is not one of our sheep,'
said she; 'I have just come from them; the stable gate is shut, and
they are all within. O, blessed saints! blessed saints! What do I
see'--exclaimed she, when near, 'it is the pet sheep of our neighbour
Mademoiselle de Belmont. Poor Robin! what bad luck brought you here! O!
how sorry she will be.' I nearly dropped down beside Robin.

"'Of Mademoiselle Amelia!' said I in a trembling voice; 'has she actually
a sheep?' 'O! good Lord! no; she has none at this moment--but that which
lies there, with its four legs up in the air: she loved it as herself;
see the collar that she worked for it with her own hands.' I bent to
look at it. It was of red leather, ornamented with little bells, and
she had embroidered on it, in gold thread--'Robin belongs to Amelia de
Belmont; she loves him, and begs that he may be restored to her.' 'What
will she think of the barbarian who killed him in a fit of passion--the
vice that she most detests; she is right, it has been fatal to her; yet
if he should be only stunned by a blow; Catherine, run, ask for some
aether, or _Eau de Vie_, or hartshorn,--run, Catherine, run!'

"Catherine set off; I tried to make it open its mouth,--my rose-bud was
still between its hermetically-sealed teeth; perhaps the collar pressed
it: in fact the throat was swelled. I got it off with difficulty;
something fell from it at my feet, which I mechanically took up and put
into my pocket without looking at, so much was I absorbed in anxiety for
the resuscitation. I rubbed him with all my strength; I grew more and
more impatient for the return of Catherine. She came with a small new
phial in her hand, calling out in her usual manner, 'Here, sir, here's
the medicine. I never opened my mouth about it to Mademoiselle Amelia; I
pity her enough without that.'

"'What is all this Catherine? where have you seen Mademoiselle Amelia?
and what is her affliction, if she does not know of her favourite's
death?' 'O, sir, this is a terrible day for the poor young lady. She was
at the end of the street searching for a ring which she had lost; and
it was no trifle, but the ring that her dead father had got as a present
from the Emperor, and worth, they say, more ducats than I have hairs on
my head. Her mother lent it to her to day for the party; she has lost
it, she knows neither how nor where, and never missed it till she drew
off her glove at supper. And, poor soul! the glove was on again in a
minute, for fear it should be seen that the ring was wanting, and she
slipped out to search for it along the street, but has found nothing.'

"It struck me that the substance that had fallen from the sheep's collar
had the form of a ring--could it possibly be!--I looked at it; and judge
of my joy!--it was Madame de Belmont's ring, and really very beautiful
and costly. A secret presentiment whispered to me that this was a better
means of presentation than the rose-tree. I pressed the precious ring to
my heart, and to my lips; assured myself that the sheep was really dead;
and leaving him stretched near the devastated rose-trees, I ran into the
street, dismissed those who were seeking in vain, and stationed myself
at my door to await the return of my neighbours. I saw from a distance
the flambeau that preceded them, quickly distinguished their voices,
and comprehended by them, that Amelia had confessed her misfortune. The
mother scolded bitterly; the daughter wept, and said, 'Perhaps it may
be found.' 'O yes, perhaps,'--replied the mother with irritation, 'it
is too rich a prize to him that finds it; the emperor gave it to your
deceased father, on the field, when he saved his life; he set more value
on it than on all he possessed besides, and now you have thus flung it
away; but the fault is mine for having trusted you with it. For some
time back you have seemed quite bewildered.' I heard all this as I
followed at some paces behind them; they reached home; and I had the
cruelty to prolong, for some moments more, Amelia's mortification.--I
intended that the treasure should procure me the entrée of their
dwelling, and I waited till they had got up stairs. I then had myself
announced as the bearer of good news; I was introduced, and respectfully
presented the ring to Madame de Belmont: and how delighted seemed
Amelia! and how beautifully she brightened in her joy, not alone that
the ring was found, but that I was the finder. She cast herself on her
mother's bosom, and turning on me her eyes, humid with tears, though
beaming with pleasure, she clasped her hands, exclaiming, 'O, sir, what
obligation, what gratitude do we owe to you!'

"'Ah, Mademoiselle!' returned I, 'you know not to whom you address the
term gratitude.' 'To one who has conferred on me a great pleasure,'
said she.' 'To one who has caused you a serious pain--to the killer of
Robin.'

"'You, sir?--I cannot credit it--why should you do so? you are not so
cruel.'

"'No, but I am so unfortunate. It was in opening his collar, which
I have also brought to you, that your ring fell on the ground--you
promised a great recompence to him who should find it. I dare to solicit
that recompence; grant me my pardon for Robin's death.'

"'And I, sir, I thank you for it,' exclaimed the mother. 'I never could
endure that animal; it took up Amelia's entire time, and wearied me
out of all patience with its bleating. If you had not killed it,
Heaven knows where it might have carried my diamond. But how did it get
entangled in the collar? Amelia, pray explain all this.'

"Amelia's heart was agitated; she was as much grieved that it was I who
had killed Robin, as that he was dead.--'Poor Robin,' said she, drying a
tear, 'he was rather too fond of running out; before leaving home, I had
put on his collar that he might not be lost--he had always been brought
back to me. The ring must have slipped under his collar. I hastily drew
on my glove, and never missed it till I was at supper.

"'What good luck it was that he went straight to this gentleman's,'
observed the mother.

"'Yes--for you,' said Amelia; 'he was cruelly received--was it such a
crime, sir, to enter your door?'

"'It was night,' I replied; 'I could not distinguish the collar, and
I learned, when too late, that the animal belonged to you.' "'Thank
Heaven, then, you did not know it!' cried the mother, or where would
have been my ring?'

"'It is necessary at least,' said Amelia, with emotion, 'that I should
know how my favourite could have so cruelly chagrined you.'

"'O Mademoiselle, he had devoured my hope, my happiness, a superb
rose-tree about to blow, that I had been long watching, and intended
to present to--to--a person on New-Year's-Day.' Amelia smiled, blushed,
extended her lovely hand towards me, and murmured,--'All is pardoned.'
'If it had eaten up a rose-tree about to blow,' cried Madame de
Belmont, 'it deserved a thousand deaths. I would give twenty sheep for
a rose-tree in blow.' 'And I am much mistaken,' said Amelia, with the
sweetest _naïveté_, 'if this very rose-tree was not intended for you.'
'For me! you have lost your senses child; I have not the honour of
knowing the gentleman.' 'But he knows your fondness for roses; I
mentioned it one day before him, the only time I ever met him, at Madame
de S.'s. Is it not true, sir, that my unfortunate favourite had eaten up
my mother's rose-tree?' I acknowledged it, and I related the course of
education of my fifty rose-trees.

"Madame de Belmont laughed heartily, and said, 'she owed me a double
obligation.' Mademoiselle Amelia has given me my recompence for the
diamond,' said I to her;--'I claim yours also, madame.' 'Ask, sir--'
'Permission to pay my respects sometimes to you!' 'Granted,' replied
she, gaily. I kissed her hand respectfully, that of her daughter
tenderly, and withdrew. But I returned the next day--and every day--I
was received with a kindness that each visit increased,--I was looked on
as one of the family. It was I who now gave my arm to Madame de Belmont
to conduct her to the evening parties; she presented me as her friend,
and they were no longer dull to her daughter. New-Year's-Day arrived. I
had gone the evening before to a sheepfold in the vicinity to purchase
a lamb similar to that I had killed. I collected from the different
hot-houses all the flowering rose-trees I could find; the finest of them
was for Madame de Belmont; and the roses of the others were wreathed in
a garland round the fleecy neck of the lamb. In the evening I went to my
neighbours, with my presents. 'Robin and the rose-tree are restored
to life,' said I, in offering my homage, which was received with
sensibility and gratefulness. 'I also should like to give you a
New-Year's-gift,' said Madame de Belmont to me, 'if I but knew what you
would best like.' 'What I best like--ah! if I only dared to tell you.'
'If it should chance now to be my daughter--.' I fell at her feet,
and so did Amelia. 'Well,' said the kind parent, 'there then is your
New-Year's-gift ready found; Amelia gives you her heart, and I give you
her hand.' She took the rose wreath from off the lamb, and twined it
round our united hands. 'And my Amelia,' continued the old professor, as
he finished his anecdote, passing an arm round his companion as she sat
beside him, 'My Amelia is still to my eyes as beautiful, and to my heart
as dear, as on the day when our hands were bound together with a chain
of flowers.'"

[FROM THE GERMAN.]

[Illustration: 085]



THE MARCH OF MIND.

Mr. Job Spimkins, grocer and vestryman of Crutched-Friars, was a stout,
easy, good-natured, middle-aged gentleman, who--to adopt a mercantile
phrase--was "well to do in the world," and had long borne an exemplary
character throughout his ward for sobriety, punctuality, civility,
and all those homely but well-wearing qualities which we are apt to
associate with trade. Punctuality, however, was the one leading feature
of his mind, which he carried to so extravagant a height, that having
formed a scale of moral duties, he had placed it in the very front rank,
side by side with honesty--or the art of driving a good bargain--and
just two above temperance, soberness and chastity. Even in his social
hours, this peculiar trait of character decided his predilections; for,
notwithstanding he was much given to keeping up feasts and holidays,
and had a high respect for Michaelmas-Day, Christmas-Day, Twelfth-Day,
New-Year's-Day, &c., yet he always expressed an indifferent opinion
of Easter, because, like an Irishman's pay-day, it was seldom or never
punctual. Next to this engrossing hobby was our citizen's abhorrence of
poetry, an abhorrence which he extended with considerate impartiality to
every branch of literature.

But Dr. Franklin's works formed an exception. He pronounced his
commercial maxims to be the _chefs-d'oeuvre_ of genius, and used to set
them as large text-copies for his son, when he and the school-bill
came home together for the holidays from Dr. Thickskull's academy at
Camberwell. But poetry--our prosaic citizen could not for the life of
him abide it. The only good thing, he used to say, he ever, yet saw
in _verse_, was the Rule of Three; and the only _rhymes_ that had the
slightest reason to recommend them, were "Thirty days hath September."

To these opinions Mrs. Spimkins, like a dutiful wife, never failed
to respond, "Amen." In person, this good lady was short and stoutly
timbered, with a face on which lay the full sunshine of prosperity,
in one broad, unvaried grin. Three children were her's: three "dear,
delightful children," as their grandmother by the father's side never
failed to declare, when punctually, every New-Year's-Day, she presented
them each with a five-shilling-piece, wrapt up in gilt-edged note-paper.
Thomas, the eldest, was a slim, sickly youth; easy, conceited, and
eighteen: Martha, the second, was a maiden of more sensibility than
beauty: while Sophy, the youngest and sprightliest, to a considerable
portion of the maternal simper and the paternal circumference, added a
fine expanse of foot, which spreading out semi-circularly, like a lady's
fan, at the toes, gave a peculiar weight and safety to her tread.

The habits of this amiable family were to the full as unassuming as
their manners. They dined at one o'clock, with the exception of Sundays,
when the discussion of roast, or boiled, was, for fashion's sake,
adjourned to five; took tea at six; supped at nine; and retired to rest
at ten. The Sabbath, however, was a day not less of fashion than of
luxury. The young folks--Thomas, especially, who was growing, and wanted
nourishment--were then indulged with two glasses of port wine after
dinner; and, at tea-time, were made happy in the privilege of a "blow
out" with one or more friendly neighbours. Once every year they went
half-price to the Christmas pantomimes, a memorable epoch, which never
failed to deprive them of sleep, and disorganize their nervous system
for at least a fortnight beforehand. Such were the habits of the
Spimkins' family, a family rich, respectable, and orderly, until the
March of Mind, which our modern philosophers are striving so hard to
expedite, reduced them from wealth to poverty; and, from having been the
pride, compelled them to become the pity of Crutched-Friars.

Every one must remember the strange, bewildering enthusiasm excited by
Sir Walter Scott's first appearance as a novelist. All the world
was Scott-struck. His songs were set to music; fair hands painted
fire-screens from his incidents; playwrights dramatized his heroes; and
even the great Mr. Alderman Dobbs himself was so enraptured with his
descriptions of Highland scenery, that he actually took an inside place
in the Inverness mail, in order, as he shrewdly remarked, "to judge
for himself with his own eyes"--a feat which he would infallibly have
accomplished, but for two reasons; first, that the coach passed the most
picturesque part of the Highlands in the night-time; secondly that the
worthy alderman himself fell fast asleep during the best part of his
journey. He returned home, however, as might have been expected, in
ecstacies.

Among the number of those who caught this poetic influenza in its
most alarming form, were the two Misses Spinks, daughters of Mr.
Common-Council Spinks, once a mighty man on' Change, but who had lately
retired from business to enjoy life, alternately at his town house in
Crutched-Friars, and his charming summer villa at Newington Butts, near
the Montpellier Tea Gardens. As these young ladies lived next door
to Mr. Spimkins, and cultivated the gentilities of society--a little
neutralized, perhaps, by the circumstance of their indulging in
certain pleonastic peculiarities of aspiration, by virtue of which the
substantive "air" would be accommodated with an _h_, and the adverb
"very" be transformed into a _wherry_--it may reasonably be inferred
that they were much looked up to by their neighbours. The Misses
Spimkins, in particular, took pattern by them in all things. They were
the standards by which, in secret, they regulated their demeanor--the
mirror in which they longed to see themselves at full-length reflected.

Things were in this state, when one morning Miss Spinks, a young lady of
a grave and intellectual cast of mind, with a face broad at the forehead
and peaked at the chin, like a kite, called at the Spimkinses for the
purpose of inquiring the character of a servant maid. The Spimkinses
were delighted by such condescension. Miss Spinks was such a charming
young woman! such a dear creature!--so well-bred, so well-dressed, and,
above all, so well-informed! Such, for at least a month afterwards, was
the hourly topic of conversation at the grocer's table: it came up
with the breakfast tray, it helped to digest the dinner, it served as a
night-cap after supper, until at length old Spimkins, in consideration
of his neighbour's importance, was prevailed on to depart so far from
his homely notions of household economy, as to allow his wife and
children to return Miss Spinks' visit. In due time, both parties, as a
matter of course, became intimate; but as literature was all the rage at
the common councilman's, the Misses Spimkins were for a time at
fault, until a seasonable supply of novels, procured secretly from a
fashionable publisher in the Minories, enabled them to converse on a
more equal footing.

It was just about this period, that the Third Series of the Tales of My
Landlord appeared. The Spinkses, who had heard from Alderman Dobbs that
the descriptions were "uncommon like natur," of course read it; so of
necessity did the Spimkinses; and, as Miss Spinks kept an album, it came
to pass that she one day commissioned Thomas Spimkins to copy into it
a few of the most notable passages. On what slight circumstances do
the leading events of life depend! The youth, delighted with his task,
ventured, after concluding it, to interpolate some stanzas of his own;
Miss Spinks inquired who was the author; when Tom, blushing, like _Mrs.
Malaprop_, "confessed the soft impeachment," was instantly pronounced
a genius, and as such introduced by the Spinkses to all their high
acquaintances.

Genius! What a fatal talisman exists in that portentous word! How many
industrious families has it led astray! How much common-sense has
it shipwrecked! How many prospects, once bright and imposing, has it
utterly, incurably blighted!

Astonished at her son's promise, dazzled by the hopes of his preferment,
all Mrs. Spimkins's usual good sense forsook her. The wisdom of the
world was lost in the feelings of the mother. She gave play at once to
the most ambitious expectations, and resolved henceforth not to let an
hour escape without striving to inoculate her husband. With this view,
she called every possible resource to her aid. She appealed to his
affection as a father, to his pride as a man; she pointed out the
injustice, not to say the inhumanity, of thwarting the genius of Thomas;
she talked of his wealth, his deserts, his dignities; and, finally, by
some miracle, for which I have never yet been able to account, persuaded
the old gentleman to relax so liberally in his anti-poetic notions, as
to despatch Thomas to Oxford, where he would infallibly have gained the
prize poem, had it not, by some unaccountable mistake, been transferred
to another.

It is from this period that the historian of the Spimkinses must date
their decline and fall. Thomas returned home in due time from the
university, a finished genius, but as poor as such geniuses are apt to
be; while his father, who now began to repent having sent him there,
proposed buying him a share in a grocer's shop at Whitechapel. But the
gifted youth disdained such base employment. He had a soul above figs!
What! Thomas Spimkins, Esq., of Brazen Nose, author of a poem which
was within an inch of gaining the Chancellor's prize, stand behind
the counter in a white apron, answering the demands of some uneducated
customer for "a quarter of a pound of moist sugar, and change for
sixpence!" Impossible! the idea was revolting to humanity!

Nevertheless, something must be done: one cannot live upon gentility,
even though certificated at Oxford. Old Spimkins was precisely of this
way of thinking; so, as a next resource, proposed articling his son to
an attorney. But here again a difficulty presented itself. The business
of a solicitor requires, it is well known, the impudence of a Yorkshire
postboy, whereas Thomas was diffidence itself. Law, then, was out of
the question; the church presented equal impediments; the navy, though
respectable, was inappropriate; the army ruinously expensive. In this
exigence, nothing remained but literature; to which, after many an
urgent, impassioned, but fruitless remonstrance from his father, the
young man finally resolved to addict himself. Meanwhile, his kind
patrons, the Spinkses, thinking, naturally enough, that genius should
vegetate among congenial scenery, took him on a visit to their villa
at Newington Butts, where, in a romantic summer-house, built up of red
bricks and oyster-shells, he gave vent to some of the sweetest stanzas
imaginable. One of these, inspired by that poetic ceremony, the Lord
Mayor's Show, fell accidentally into the hands of his lordship himself,
who pronounced the author to be "a clever fellow, and one as knew what's
what." This opinion, delivered in public by so great a judge, soon made
the round of Crutched-Friars; so that, whenever Thomas chanced to make
his appearance in public, the very shop-boys would whisper admiringly
after him, "I say, Jack, there goes a poet!"

Behold, then, our sensitive minstrel, the pride of his neighbourhood,
the "young Astyanax" of his family! As such, it became him to affect
eccentricity. Accordingly, he grew "melancholy and gentleman-like,"
eschewed his cravat, and even advised his father to addict himself
to Scott and Byron. But the old gentleman winced exceedingly at this
proposal. Recollections of a poetic apprentice he once had, who had for
some months carried on a very irregular flirtation with the till, came
thronging fast upon his mind, and spurred him at once to a refusal. But
what can resist the eternal solicitations of the shrewder sex? By
day his daughter, by night his wife, kept teazing him into gradual
compliance with their wishes. First he was prevailed on to dine at five,
instead of two o'clock; secondly, to listen to his daughter's execution
of "Oh! 'tis love, 'tis love!" sung with a twist of the mouth peculiarly
provocative of that passion; and lastly (the severest cut of all), to
give _conversaziones_ to his son's literary acquaintances.

At these parties, a strange and talented group never failed to present
themselves. All were men of genius, but exhibited, in their respective
persons, proofs of the amazing rancour that subsists between genius and
gentility. Among them was a lively Irishman, named O'Blarney, a reporter
for the daily press, with sandy hair, a nose that turned up like a
fish-hook, and a mouth which, from its extensive dimensions, afforded
the most copious facilities for grinning. This promising young Papist,
whose estates unfortunately lay in the most Protestant part of Ireland,
was the very gem of Mr. Spimkins' parties; and as he mixed much in
fashionable society, and could beat even a negro in dancing, his
presence never failed to create a lively sensation at Crutched-Friars.
Another of the old gentleman's guests was a rising versifier of
twenty-two, whose appearance would have been sentiment itself, had not
a pair of dingy whiskers, which grew back towards his ears, as if
enamoured of the latter's unusual length, given him a slight touch of
the grotesque. As it was, his fine, open, full-blown face, resembled a
cherub on a country tomb-stone. It would be injustice to acknowledged
ability were I here to omit the mention of another poet, whose genius
taking an uxorious turn, exploded in admiring apostrophes to his wife.
This bard displayed infinite sweetness of versification--as the extracts
from the different reviews, inserted, accidentally, at the end of his
volume--assured him. There were no intemperate sallies, no startling
originality, no audacious imagery in his rhymes; all was sweetly and
agreeably uniform, like the features on a barber's block. Such, with the
addition of three historians from St. Mary Axe, two political economists
from Long Acre, a pastoral writer from Wapping, and an essayist from
Houndsditch, were the _literati_ whose dazzling abilities illumined the
fortunate neighbourhood of Crutched-Friars. Old Spimkins, meanwhile, to
whom the whole scene was a novelty that well nigh took away his breath,
kept moving backwards and forwards among his guests, oscillating in
spirits, between a sigh and a smile; at one moment looking grave and
dignified, like the Scotch Highlander at a tobacconist's; at another,
simpering sweetly and benignly, and perpetrating, whenever he ventured
on a remark, the strangest possible blunders. The three French consuls
he invariably mistook for the three per cent, consols; quoted Moore's
Almanack in illustration of Moore's Melodies; inquired whether those
two great poets, Hogg and Bacon, were not of the same family; and, when
asked his opinion of Crabbe, gave a decided preference to lobster.

This sort of work had continued for the best part of a year, during
which time the good-natured old grocer had been subjected to every
species of expence and annoyance; when one morning, towards the close
of October, news arrived that a literary gentleman, for whom his son
had persuaded him to become bail to a pretty considerable amount, had
presented him in return, with what is termed leg-bail--a species of
gratitude whereby the locomotive powers are exercised at the expense of
principle. The same post brought a letter from Miss Spinks at Newington,
with the intelligence that Sophy--the sprightly Sophy Spimkins--who had
been on a visit there for some days, had just set out with O'Blarney,
on a hasty visit of inspection to the latter's estates at Monaghan. This
letter enclosed another from the fair fugitive herself, in which she
implored her father's forgiveness for the "rash step" she had taken; but
assured him that immediately on her arrival at the old family castle,
she should become Mrs. O'Blarney, and return home the very instant
that her husband had secured his election for the county. The epistle
concluded with affectionate remembrances to the family circle, and a
hope that, when things were a little in order, her eldest sister would
be prevailed upon to accompany her back to Monaghan.

This intelligence, notwithstanding his son's very sanguine anticipations
on the subject, annoyed poor Mr. Spimkins exceedingly; while, as if
to fill up the measure of his tribulation, his former acquaintance at
Crutched-Friars, finding that, for months past, he had shewn evident
symptoms of a wish to cut them, began in self-defence, to set up reports
injurious to his reputation. Rumours so circulated soon obtained belief.
First one customer dropped off--then a second--then a third--then a
fourth, fifth, and sixth--until at length the whole neighbourhood set it
down, confidently down in their minds, that the Spimkinses were a losing
family. Even the parish-clerk himself, a person of considerable local
authority, was heard to observe that they were getting too clever for
business--an opinion which, pronounced gravely and oracularly by a
gentleman in a double chin, produced an instantaneous effect.

But where all this time were the Spinkses? Where were they whose
patronage should have shielded, and whose kindness should have
cherished, the unfortunate but still interesting Spimkinses? Alas! they
had set out, only a few weeks before, for the Holy Land, with the
avowed intention of taking furnished lodgings for at least six months at
Jerusalem.

As if this, of itself, were not sufficiently vexatious, Miss Spimkins
took it into her head to espouse a gentleman for the very last thing
a lady usually thinks of looking for in a husband--his intellect.
The origin of her amour is curious. She had read in the Gentleman's
Magazine, the "Confessions of a Wanderer," who had been shipwrecked on
the Thames, at night-fall, off Chelsea Reach; which Confessions were
penned in so poetic a spirit, and described so feelingly the horrors
of the catastrophe, the hoarse dash of the waves--the howling of the
winds--and the subsequent encounter of the vessel against the fourth
arch of Battersea bridge, that the susceptible Miss Spimkins was
on thorns till she became acquainted with the author. This, by her
brother's intervention, was soon brought about; an invitation to dinner
confirmed the intimacy; the lady, like _Desdemona_, loved the Wanderer
"for the perils he had passed;" and he, like _Othello_, "loved her that
she did pity them." It has been well said, one marriage makes many:
scarcely had his sister embraced the nuptial state, when Thomas handed
to the same altar a widow lady, whom he had accidentally met at Margate,
and had mistaken for a person of quality, but who had since turned out
to be the leading tragic actress of Sadler's Wells, at a rising salary
of eighteen shillings per week, exclusive of benefits. It is but justice
to add, that if this young lady brought her husband no fortune, she
brought him, what to a sensitive mind is infinitely preferable, two fine
boys, one of whom was breeched, the other yet in petticoats.

Such accumulated incidents--calamities he ungratefully called
them--occurring to old Spimkins at a period when the mind, having
lost the first elasticity of youth, is not yet mellowed down into the
philosophy of age, but stands, restless and unsettled, between the two,
in a sort of crepuscular condition, heaped "sackcloth and ashes on his
head." He neglected his ledger, he neglected his house, he neglected
himself, and, worst of all, he neglected his customers. In fact, for
months together, he did nothing but sigh and swear. His family, even
in this exigency, could render him not the slightest assistance. His
daughter, who still lived with him, had, by a diligent cultivation of
the intellect, long since forgotten the household duties of a wife; her
husband, as the old man used often to remark, "was of no more use than
a cargo of damaged coffee;" and even Thomas--the inspired Thomas
himself--had dwindled down into a mere mortal, and now dwelt in aerial
seclusion up two pair of stairs at Pentonville. Thus widowed in
his age--for his wife, I should observe, had, three months since,
transferred herself from his to Abraham's bosom--the disconsolate
grocer abruptly sold his business, pensioned off his daughter and her
"Wanderer," and retired alone, on a small annuity, to a back street in
Islington--a memorable illustration of' the March of Mind and its very
peculiar concomitants.

Here it was that I first became acquainted with him, and gleaned the
particulars of the history I have just ventured to sketch. Our intimacy
continued upwards of a year, during which period I will do my old friend
the justice to say, that I heard the anecdote of the poetic apprentice
who had robbed him, at least a dozen times. Now and then, when I
ventured to express my astonishment that a tradesman of his good sense,
who held such proper notions on the score of poetry and punctuality,
should have so far forgotten himself as to have encouraged the one, and
abandoned the other, to his own manifest ruin, the venerable sage would
answer, "True Sir, but it was all my wife's doing. She kept perpetually
telling me that the Spinkses--who, one would have thought must have
been good judges, for they were capital customers, and always paid their
way--had pronounced my son to be a genius, and that it was a shame to
thwart his abilities; so I was over-persuaded, you see, to send him to
college, when, had he but stuck to business, who knows but he might have
become a common-councilman; or, perhaps, even in time a sheriff! But
there's no doing any thing with poets. I remember an apprentice of mine,
once---- But I see you're affected!"--and here the old man would pause,
shake the ashes from his pipe, and then revert to some less ungracious
topic. It was on one of these occasions, when, having concluded a longer
story than usual, he had stopped to take his customary allowance of
breath, that on waking from a nap which his affecting anecdotes rarely
failed to bring on, I found him stretched in an apoplectic fit upon the
floor. With some difficulty he was brought to his senses; but, a relapse
occurring in a few days, it became but too evident that, like the late
John Wesley, he had had a call--that, in short, his closing hour was
come. I was with him in his last extremity, and have every reason to
be satisfied with the Christian character of his exit. He swore most
incredibly at all poets; left Thomas his blessing and six half-crowns;
his daughter a MS. Essay, by the political economist of Houndsditch; and
then, with a convulsive jerk of his left leg, which lamed the bed-post
for life, set out on his travels to eternity, with the story of the
apprentice on his lips.

Of his three children, Thomas is the sole survivor. The "Wanderer's"
wife was taken off, about a fortnight since, by dyspepsia, the
consequence of inordinate indulgence in tripe and toast-and-water; while
her sprightly sister, Sophy, threw herself headlong into a mill-pond at
Holyhead (having previously tied down her petticoats at the ankles), on
being informed by O'Blarney, in one of those confidential moments which
brandy-and-water seldom fails to elicit, that he was already the devoted
husband of three wives and a proportionate abundance of pledges, and
had quitted London, not so much with a view to visit any Irish
estates--which, as a matter of course, existed only in his fancy--as
to obviate the personal inconveniences likely to arise from the
circumstance of his having, in a moment of forgetfulness, appropriated
to his own use the purse and pocket-book of one of his most intimate
and valued acquaintances. The poor girl's body was fished up, a few days
afterwards, by a Welsh clergyman, who was trolling in spectacles for
pike: and a coroner's inquest having been summoned, the evidence of
O'Blarney was taken, from which it clearly appeared that the deceased
was at times insane, and, only two hours before her death, had made
three attempts to swallow a salt-cellar. The young Irishman deposed to
these and other facts with so much feeling, earnestness, and simplicity,
that the coroner complimented him highly on his humanity; and an account
of the inquest having been furnished by himself for the _North Wales
Chronicle_, it soon afterwards made the round of the London newspapers,
under the title of "Distressing Suicide."

Of poor Thomas, my account, I grieve to say, must be equally
disheartening. An epic poem, on which he had been some months engaged,
having not only failed, but even contributed to introduce its publisher
to ready-furnished lodgings in the Fleet, he is now driven to the
necessity of jobbing for minor periodicals, thereby adding one more to
the already swollen catalogue of those who, mistaking the _ignis fatuus_
of vanity for the sober radiance of intellect, start off prematurely
on the voyage of life, without pilot to steer, compass to direct, or
ballast to steady their course.

When I called on the young man, a few mornings since, I was much struck
with his more than usually picturesque condition. Being always fond of
air, he had hired a back attic, overlooking two charming gardens filled
with clothes'-lines, and commanding a distant view of some brick-fields,
a pig, and an Irish hodman from Carrickfergus. His wife was seated at
the fire, watching a leg of mutton as it pirouetted before the grate, at
the end of a bit of whipcord: Fernando, her eldest boy, was riding with
manifest ecstacy on the back of an old chair: and her two other darling
babes, Alphonso and Eleonora, were fast asleep, on a turn-up bedstead,
in an adjoining room. Close by Thomas, who was busy writing reviews at a
deal table with three legs, was an elderly cotton shirt, hanging to
dry on a small wooden horse, quite a pony in its dimensions; and at the
further end of the room, near the door, stood a pot of half-and-half,
a pen'orth of pickled cabbage in a tea-cup, a twopenny French roll, a
black horn dinner knife, and a fork with two prongs, both of which were
broken. On observing these evident symptoms of domestic conviviality,
I abruptly hastened my departure; but, on my return home by way of
Crutched-Friars, could not refrain from stopping an instant in order
to survey my old friend's establishment. It was in the most deplorable
condition possible. The voice of its till was mute; the very fixtures
themselves were removed; and advertisements, three deep, specifying in
large red characters the virtues of Daffy's Elixir, were posted up, on
door, wall, and window-shutter. Altogether, the scene was of the most
affecting character, and forcibly impressed on my mind the calamities
attendant on what Shakspeare calls "ill-judged ambition."

[ANONYMOUS.]

[Illustration: 116]



THE OLD GENTLEMAN'S TEETOTUM.

At the foot of the long range of the Mendip hills, standeth a village,
which, for obvious reasons, we shall conceal the precise locality of, by
bestowing thereon, the appellation of Stockwell. The principal trade
of the Stockwellites is in coals, which certain of the industrious
operative natives sedulously employ themselves in extracting from
our mother earth, while others are engaged in conveying the "black
diamonds," to various adjacent towns, in carts of sundry shapes and
dimensions. The horses engaged in this traffic are of the Rosinante
species, and, too often, literally raw-boned.

Stockwell, moreover, hath its inn, or public house, a place of no small
importance, having for its sign a swinging creaking board whereon
is emblazoned the effigy of a roaring, red, and rampant lion.--High
towering above the said lion are the branches of a solitary elm, the
foot of which is encircled by a seat, especially convenient for those
guests whose taste it is to "blow a cloud" in the open air; and it is of
two individuals, who were much given thereon to enjoy their "_otium cum
dignitate_," that we are about to speak.

George Syms had long enjoyed a monopoly in the shoemaking and cobbling
line (though latterly two oppositionists had started against him), and
Peter Brown was a man well to do in the world, being "the man wot"
shod the raw-boned horses before-mentioned, "him and his father, and
grandfather," as the parish-clerk said, "for time immemorial." These two
worthies were regaling themselves, as was their wonted custom, each with
his pint, upon a small table, which was placed for their accommodation,
when an elderly stranger, of a shabby genteel appearance, approached
the Lion, and inquired the road to an adjoining village.--"You are late,
Sir," said George Syms. "Yes," replied the stranger, "I am;" and he
threw himself on the bench, and took off his hat, and began to call
about him, notwithstanding his shabby appearance, with the air of one
who has money in his pocket to pay his way. "Three make good company,"
observed Peter Brown. "Ay, ay," said the stranger. "Holloa, there! bring
me another pint! This walk has made me confoundedly thirsty. You may as
well make it a pot--and be quick!"

Messrs. Brown and Syms were greatly pleased with this additional guest
at their symposium; and the trio sat and talked of the wind, and the
weather, and the roads, and the coal trade, and drank and smoked to
their hearts' content, till time began to hang heavy, and then the
stranger asked the two friends, if ever they played at tee-to-tum. "Play
at what?" asked Peter Brown. "Play at what?" inquired George Syms. "At
tee-to-tum," replied the stranger, gravely taking a pair of spectacles
from one pocket of his waistcoat, and the machine in question from the
other. "It is an excellent game, I assure you. Rare sport, my masters!"
and he forthwith began to spin his teetotum upon the table, to the no
small diversion of George Syms and Peter Brown, who opined that the
potent ale of the ramping Red Lion had done its office.--"Only see how
the little fellow runs about!" cried the stranger, in apparent ecstacy.
"Holloa, there! Bring a lantern! There he goes, round and round--and now
he's asleep--and now he begins to reel--wiggle-waggle---down he tumbles!
What colour, for a shilling?"--"I don't understand the game," said Peter
Brown. "Nor I, neither," quoth George Syms: "but it seems easy enough to
learn"--"Oh, ho!" said the stranger; "you think so, do you? But, let me
tell you that there's a great deal more in it than you imagine. There
he is, you see, with as many sides as a modern politician, and as many
colours as an Algerine.--Come, let us have a game! This is the way!"
and he again sat the teetotum in motion, and capered about in exceeding
glee. "He, he, he!" uttered George Syms; and "Ha, ha, ha!" exclaimed
Peter Brown; and, being wonderfully tickled with the oddity of the
thing, they were easily persuaded by the stranger just to take a game
together for five minutes, while he stood by as umpire, with a stopwatch
in his hand.

When precisely five minutes had elapsed, although it was Peter Brown's
spin, and the teetotum was yet going its rounds, and George Syms had
called out yellow, he demurely took it from the table and put it in his
pocket, and then, returning his watch to his fob, walked away into the
Red Lion, without as much as saying good-night. The two friends looked
at each other in surprise, and then indulged in a very loud and
hearty fit of laughter; and then paid their reckoning, and went away
exceedingly merry, which they would not have been, had they understood
properly what they had been doing.

In the meanwhile, the stranger had entered the house; and he found it
not very difficult to persuade them likewise to take a game at teetotum
for five minutes, which he terminated in the same unceremonious way as
that under the tree, and then desired to be shown the room wherein he
was to sleep. Mrs. Philpot immediately, contrary to her usual custom,
jumped up with great alacrity, lighted a candle, and conducted her guest
to his apartment; while Sally, contrary to _her_ usual custom, reclined
herself in her mistress's great arm-chair, yawned three or four times,
and then exclaimed, "Heigho! it's getting very late! I wish my husband
would come home!" Now as we are not fond of useless mysteries, we
think proper to tell the reader, that the teetotum in question had the
peculiar property of causing those who played therewith to lose all
remembrance of their former character, and to adopt that of their
antagonists in the game. During the process of spinning, the personal
identity of the two players was completely changed. Now, on the evening
of this memorable day, Jacob Philpot, the landlord of the rampant Red
Lion, had spent a few convivial hours with mine host of the Blue Boar,
a house on the road-side, about two miles from Stockwell; and the
two publicans had discussed the ale, grog, and tobacco, in the manner
customary with Britons, whose insignia are roaring, rampant red lions,
green dragons, blue boars, &c. Therefore, when Jacob came home, he began
to call about him, with the air of one who purposeth that his arrival
shall be no secret; and very agreeably surprised was he when Mrs.
Philpot ran out from the house, and assisted him to dismount, for
Jacob was somewhat rotund; and yet more did he marvel, when, instead
of haranguing him in a loud voice (as she had whilom done on similar
occasions, greatly to his discomfiture), she good-humouredly said that
she would lead his nag to the stable, and then go and call Philip
the ostler. "Humph!" said the host of the Lion, leaning with his back
against the door-post, "after a calm comes a storm. She'll make up for
this presently, I'll warrant." But Mrs. Philpot put up the horse, and
called Philip, and then returned in peace and quietness, and attempted
to pass into the house, without uttering a word to her lord and master.

"What's the matter with you, my dear?" asked Jacob Philpot; "a'nt you
well?"--"Yes, Sir," replied Mrs. Philpot, "very well, I thank you.--But
pray take away your leg, and let me go into the house."--"But didn't you
think I was very late?" asked Jacob. "Oh! I don't know," replied Mrs.
Philpot; "when gentlemen get together, they don't think how time goes."
Poor Jacob was quite delighted, and, as it was dusk, and by no means,
as he conceived, a scandalous proceeding, he forthwith put one arm round
Mrs. Philpot's neck, and stole a kiss, whereat she said, "Oh dear me!
how could you think of doing such a thing?" and immediately squeezed
herself past him, and ran into the house, where Sally sat, in the
armchair before mentioned, with a handkerchief over her head, pretending
to be asleep.

"Come, my dear," said Jacob to his wife, "I'm glad to see you in such
good humour. You shall make me a glass of rum and water, and take some
of it yourself." He then good-humouredly told her to go to bed, and he
would follow her presently, as soon as he had looked after his horse,
and pulled off his boots. This proposition was no sooner made, than
the good man's ears were suddenly grasped from behind, and his head
was shaken and twisted about, as though it had been the purport of the
assailant to wrench it from his shoulders. Mrs. Philpot instantly made
her escape from the kitchen, leaving her spouse in the hands of the
enraged Sally, who, under the influence of the teetotum delusion, was
firmly persuaded that she was justly inflicting wholesome discipline
upon her husband, whom she had, as she conceived, caught in the act of
making love to the maid. Sally was active and strong, and Jacob Philpot
was, as before hinted, somewhat obese, and, withal, not in excellent
"wind;" consequently it was some time ere he could disengage himself;
and then he stood panting and blowing, and utterly lost in astonishment,
while Sally saluted him with divers appellations, which it would not be
seemly here to set down.

When Jacob did find his tongue, however, he answered her much in the
same style; and added, that he had a great mind to lay a stick about
her back. "What," strike a woman! "Eh--would you, you coward?"--and
immediately she darted forward, and, as she termed it, put her mark
upon him with her nails, whereby his rubicund countenance was greatly
disfigured, and his patience entirely exhausted: but Sally was too
nimble, and made her escape up stairs. So the landlord of the Red Lion,
having got rid of the two mad or drunken women, very philosophically
resolved to sit down for half an hour by himself, to think oyer the
business, while he took his "night cap." He had scarcely brewed the
ingredients, when he was roused by a rap at the window; and, in
answer to his inquiry of "Who's there?" he recognised the voice of his
neighbour, George Syms, and, of course, immediately admitted him; for
George was a good customer, and, consequently, welcome at all hours. "My
good friend," said Syms, "I dare say you are surprised to see me here at
this time of night; but I can't get into my own house. My wife is drunk,
I believe."--"And so is mine," quoth the landlord; "so sit you down
and make yourself comfortable. Hang me if I think I'll go to bed to
night!"--"No more will I," said Syms; "I've got a job to do early in the
morning, and then I shall be ready for it." So the two friends sat down,
and had scarcely begun to enjoy themselves, when another rap was heard
at the window, and mine host recognised the voice of Peter Brown, who
came with the same complaint against his wife, and was easily persuaded
to join the party, each declaring that the women must have contrived
to meet, during their absence from home, and all got fuddled together.
Matters went on pleasantly enough for some time, while they continued
to rail against the women; but, when that subject was exhausted, George
Syms, the shoe-maker, began to talk about shoeing horses; and Peter
Brown, the Blacksmith, averred that he could make a pair of jockey boots
with any man for fifty miles round. The host of the rampant Red Lion
considered these things at first as a sort of joke, which he had no
doubt, from such good customers, was exceedingly good, though he could
not exactly comprehend it. But when Peter Brown answered to the name of
George Syms, and George Syms responded to that of Peter Brown, he was
somewhat more bewildered, and could not help thinking that his guests
had drunk quite enough. He, however, satisfied himself with the
reflection that that was no business of his, and that "a man must live
by his trade." With the exception of these apparent occasional cross
purposes, conversation went on as well as could be expected under
existing circumstances, and the three unfortunate husbands sat and
talked, and drank, and smoked, till tired nature cried, "hold, enough!"

Leaving them to their slumbers, we must now say a word or two about the
teetotum, the properties of which were to change people's characters,
spinning the mind of one man or woman into the body of another.
The duration of the delusion, caused by this droll game of the old
gentleman's, depended upon the length of time spent in the diversion;
and five minutes was the specific period for causing it to last till
the next sun-rise or sun-set _after_ the change had been effected.
Therefore, when the morning came, Mrs. Philpot and Sally, and Peter
Brown and George Syms, all came to their senses. The two latter went
quietly home with aching heads and very confused recollections of the
preceding evening; and shortly after their departure Mrs. Philpot awoke
in great astonishment at finding herself in the garret; and Sally was
equally surprised and much alarmed, at finding herself in her mistress's
room, from which she hastened in quick time, leaving all things in due
order.

The elderly stranger made his appearance soon after, and appeared to
have brushed up his shabby genteel clothes, for he really looked
much more respectable than on the preceding evening. He ordered
his breakfast, and sat down thereto very quietly, and asked for the
newspaper, and pulled out his spectacles, and began to con the politics
of the day much at his ease, no one having the least suspicion that he
and his teetotum had been the cause of all the uproar at the Red Lion.
In due time the landlord made his appearance, with sundry marks of
violence upon his jolly countenance, and, after due obeisance made to
his respectable-looking guest, took the liberty of telling his spouse
that he should insist upon her sending Sally away, for he had never been
so mauled since he was born; but Mrs. Philpot told him that he ought to
be ashamed of himself, and she was very glad the girl had spirit enough
to protect herself, and that she wouldn't part with her on any account.
She then referred to what had passed in the back kitchen, taking to
herself the credit of having inflicted that punishment which had been
administered by the hands of Sally.

Jacob Philpot was now more than ever convinced that his wife had been
paying her respects to a huge stone bottle of rum which stood in the
closet; and he "made bold" to tell her his thoughts, whereat Mrs.
Philpot thought fit to put herself into a tremendous passion, although
she could not help fearing that, perhaps, she might have taken a drop
too much of something, for she was unable, in any other manner, to
account for having slept in the garret.

The elderly stranger now took upon himself to recommend mutual
forgiveness, and stated that it was really quite pardonable for any one
to take a little too much of such very excellent ale as that at the Red
Lion. "For my own part," said he, "I don't know whether I didn't get a
trifle beyond the mark myself last night. But I hope, madam, I did not
annoy you."

"Oh dear, no, not at all, Sir," replied Mrs. Philpot, whose good-humour
was restored at this compliment, paid to the good cheer of the Lion,
"you were exceeding pleasant, I assure you, just enough to make you
funny; we had a hearty laugh about the teetotum, you know."--"Ah!" said
the stranger, "I guess how it was then. I always introduce the teetotum
when I want to be merry."

Jacob Philpot expressed a wish to understand the game, and after
spinning it two or three times, proposed to take his chance, for five
minutes, with the stranger; but the latter, laughing heartily, would
by no means agree with the proposition, and declared that it would be
downright cheating, as he was an overmatch for any beginner. "However,"
he continued, "as soon as any of your neighbours come in, I'll put you
in the way of it, and we'll have some of your ale, now, just to pass the
time. It will do neither of us any harm after last night's affair, and I
want to have some talk with you about the coal trade."

They accordingly sat down together, and the stranger displayed
considerable knowledge in the science of mining; and Jacob was so much
delighted with his companion, that an hour or two slipped away, as he
said, "in no" and then there was heard the sound of a horse's feet
at the door, and a somewhat authoratative hillo!

"It is our parson," said Jacob, starting up, and he ran to the door to
enquire what might be his reverence's pleasure. "Good morning," said the
Reverend Mr. Stanhope. "I'm going over to dine with our club at the Old
Boar, and I want you just to cast your eye on those fellows in my home
close; you can see them out of your parlour window."--"Yes, to be
sure, Sir," replied Jacob "Hem!" quoth Mr. Stanhope, "have you any body
indoors?"--"Yes, Sir, we have," replied Jacob, "a strange gentleman,
who seems to know a pretty deal about mining and them sort of things. I
think he's some great person in disguise, he seems regularly edicated,
up to every thing."--"Eh, ah! a great person in disguise!" exclaimed Mr.
Stanhope; "I'll just step in a minute. It seems as if there was a shower
coming over, and I'm in no hurry, and it is not worth while to get wet
through for the sake of a few minutes." So he alighted from his horse,
soliloquizing to himself. "Perhaps the Lord Chancellor! Who knows?
However, I shall take care to show my principles;" and straightway he
went into the house, and was most respectfully saluted by the elderly
stranger; and they entered into a conversation upon the standing English
topics of weather, wind, crops, and the coal trade; and Mr. Stanhope
contrived to introduce therein sundry unkind things against the Pope and
all his followers; and avowed himself a staunch "church and king" man,
and spake enthusiastically of our "glorious constitution," and lauded
divers individuals then in power, but more particularly those who
studied the true interests of the church, by seeking out and preferring
men of merit and talent to fill vacant benefices. The stranger thereat
smiled significantly, as though he could, if he felt disposed, say
something to the purpose; and Mr. Stanhope felt more inclined than ever
to think the landlord might have conjectured very near the truth, and
consequently, redoubled his efforts to make the agreeable, professing
his regret at being obliged to dine out that day, &c. The stranger
politely thanked him for his polite consideration, and stated that he
was never at a loss for employment, and that he was then rambling, for a
few days, to relax his mind from the fatigues of an overwhelming mass of
important business, to which his duty compelled him to attend early and
late. "Perhaps," he continued, "you will smile when I tell you that I
am now engaged in a series of experiments relative to the power of the
centrifugal force, and its capacity of overcoming various degrees of
friction." (Here he produced the teetotum.) "You perceive the different
surfaces of the under edge of this little thing. The outside, you see,
is all of ivory, but indented in various ways; and yet I have not been
able to decide whether the roughest or smoothest more frequently arrest
its motions. The colours, of course, are merely indications. Here is my
register, and he produced a book, wherein divers mathematical abstruse
calculations were apparent.

"I always prefer other people to spin it, as then I obtain a variety of
impelling power. Perhaps you will do me the favour just to twirl it
round a few times alternately with the landlord? Two make a fairer
experiment than one. Just for five minutes. I'll not trouble you a
moment longer, I promise you."--"Hem!" thought Mr. Stanhope--

     "Learned men, now and then,
     Have very strange vagaries!"

However, he commenced spinning the teetotum, turn and turn with Jacob
Philpot, who was highly delighted both with the drollery of the thing,
and the honour of playing with the parson of the parish, and laughed
most immoderately, while the stranger stood by, looking at his
stop-watch as demurely as on the preceding evening, until the five
minutes had expired; and then, in the middle of the Reverend Mr.
Stanhope's spin, he took up the little toy and put it into his pocket.

Jacob Philpot immediately arose, and shook the stranger warmly by the
hand, and told him, that he should be happy to see him whenever he came
that way again; and then nodding to Mr. Stanhope and the landlady, went
out at the front door, mounted the horse that stood there, and rode
away. "Where's the fellow going?" cried Mrs. Philpot; "Hillo! Jacob, I
say!"--"Well mother," said the Reverend Mr. Stanhope, "what's the
matter now?"--but Mrs. Philpot had reached the front of the house, and
continued to shout. "Hillo! hillo, come back, I tell you!"--"That woman
is always doing some strange thing or other," observed Mr. Stanhope
to the stranger "What on earth can possess her to go calling after the
parson in that manner?"--"I declare he's rode off with squire Jones's
horse," cried Mrs. Philpot, re-entering the house. "To be sure he
has," said Mr. Stanhope; "he borrowed it on purpose to go to the Old
Boar."--"Did he?" exclaimed the landlady; "and without telling me a word
about it! But I'll Old Boar him I promise you!"--"Don't make such a fool
of yourself, mother," said the parson; "it can't signify twopence to you
where he goes."--"Can't it?" rejoined Mrs. Philpot. "I'll tell you
what, your worship-"--"Don't worship me woman," exclaimed the teetotum
landlord parson; "worship, what nonsense now! Why, you've been taking
your drops again this morning, I think. Worship, indeed! To be sure, I
did once, like a fool, promise to worship _you_; but if my time was to
come over again, I know what-. But, never mind now--don't you see it's
twelve o'clock? Come, quick, let us have what there is to eat, and then
we'll have a comfortable pipe under the tree. What say you, Sir?"--"With
all my heart," replied the elderly stranger. The latter hoped they
should have the pleasure of Mrs. Philpot's company; but she looked
somewhat doubtfully till the parson said, "Come, come, mother, don't
make a bother about it." Therefore she smoothed her apron and made one
at the dinner table, and conducted herself with so much precision, that
the teetotum parson looked upon her with considerable surprise,
while she regarded him with no less, inasmuch as he talked in a very
unclerical manner; and, among other strange things, swore, that his
wife was as "drunk as blazes" the night before, and winked at her, and
behaved altogether in a style very unbecoming a minister in his own
parish.

At one o'clock there was a great sensation caused in the village of
Stockwell, by the appearance of their reverend pastor and the elderly
stranger, sitting on the bench which went round the tree, which stood
before the sign of the roaring rampant Red Lion, each with a long pipe
in his mouth, blowing clouds, which would not have disgraced the most
inveterate smoker of the "black diamond" fraternity, and ever and anon
moistening their clay with "heavy wet," from tankards placed upon a
small table, which Mrs. Philpot had provided for their accommodation.
The little boys and girls first approached within a respectful distance,
and then ran away giggling to tell their companions; and they told their
mothers, who came and peeped likewise; and many were diverted, and many
were scandalized at the sight; yet the parson seemed to care for none of
these things, but cracked his joke, and sipped his ale, and smoked
his pipe, with as much easy nonchalance as if he had been in his own
arm-chair at the rectory. Yet it must be confessed that now and then
there was a sort of equivocal remark made by him, as though he had some
faint recollection of his former profession, although he evinced not
the smallest sense of shame at the change which had been wrought in him.
Indeed this trifling imperfection in the change of identity appears to
have attended such transformations in general, and might have arisen
from the individual bodies retaining their own clothes (for the mere
fashion of dress hath a great influence on some minds), or, perhaps,
because a profession or trade, with the habits thereof, cannot be
entirely shaken off, nor a new one perfectly learned, by spinning a
teetotum for five minutes. The time had now arrived when George Syms,
the shoemaker, and Peter Brown, the blacksmith, were accustomed to take
their "pint and pipe after dinner," and greatly were they surprised to
see their places so occupied; and not a little was their astonishment
increased, when the parson lifted up his voice, and ordered Sally to
bring out a couple of chairs, and then shook them both warmly by
the hand, and welcomed them by the affectionate appellation of "my
hearties!"

[Illustration: 145]

He then winked, and in an under tone began to sing--

     "Though I'm tied to a crusty old woman,
     Much given to scolding and jealousy,
     I know that the case is too common,
     And so I will ogle each girl I see.
     Toi de roi, loi, &c.

"Come, my lads!" he resumed, "sit you down, and clap half a yard of
clay into your mouths." The two worthy artisans looked at each other
significantly, or rather insignificantly, for they knew not what to
think, and did as they were bid. "Come, why don't you talk?" said the
teetotum parson landlord, after a short silence. "You're as dull as a
couple of tom cats with their ears cut off--talk, man, talk--there's no
doing nothing without talking." This last part of his speech seemed
more particularly addressed to Peter Brown, who, albeit a man of a sound
head, and well skilled in such matters as appertained unto iron and the
coal trade, had not been much in the habit of mixing with the clergy;
therefore he felt, for a moment, as he said, "nonplushed;" but
fortunately he recollected the Catholic question, about which most
people were then talking, and which every body professed to understand.
Therefore, he forthwith introduced the subject; and being well aware of
the parson's bias, and having, moreover, been told that he had written
a pamphlet; therefore (though to do Peter Brown justice, he was not
accustomed to read such publications) he scrupled not to give his
opinion very freely, and concluded by taking up his pint and drinking a
very unchristian-like malediction against the Pope. George Syms followed
on the same side, and concluded in the same manner, adding thereunto,
"Your good healths, gemmen."--"What a pack of nonsense!" exclaimed the
parson, "I should like to know what harm the Pope can do us! I tell you
what, my lads, it's all my eye and Betty Martin. Live and let live,
I say. So long as I can get a good living, I don't care the toss of a
halfpenny who's uppermost. The Pope's an old woman, and so are they that
are afraid of him." The elderly stranger here seemed highly delighted,
and cried, "Bravo!" and clapped the speaker on the back, and said,
"That's your sort! Go it, my hearty!" But Peter Brown took the liberty
of telling the parson, in a very unceremonious way, that he seemed to
have changed his opinions very suddenly. "Not I," said the other; "I was
always of the same way of thinking."--"Then words have no meaning,"
observed George Syms, angrily, "for I heard you myself. You talked as
loud about the wickedness of 'mancipation as ever I heard a man in my
life, no longer ago than last Sunday."--"Then I must have been
drunk--that's all I can say about the business," replied the other,
coolly; and he began to fill his pipe with the utmost nonchalance, as
though it was a matter of course. Such apparently scandalous conduct
was, however, too much for the unsophisticated George Syms and Peter
Brown, who simultaneously threw down their reckoning, and, much to their
credit, left the turncoat reprobate parson to the company of the elderly
gentleman.

If we were to relate half the whimsical consequences of the teetotum
tricks of this strange personage, we might fill volumes; but as it is
not our intention to allow the detail to swell even into one, we must
hastily sketch the proceedings of poor Jacob Philpot, after he left the
Red Lion to dine with sundry of the gentry and clergy of the Old
Boar, in his new capacity of an ecclesiastic, in the outward form of a
somewhat negligently dressed landlord. He was accosted on the road by
divers of his coal-carrying neighbours with a degree of familiarity
which was exceedingly mortifying to his feelings. One told him to
be home in time to take part of a gallon of ale that he had won of
neighbour Smith; a second reminded him that to-morrow was club-night at
the Nag's Head; and a third asked him where he had stolen his horse. At
length he arrived, much out of humour, at the Old Boar, an inn of a very
different description from the Red Lion, being a posting house of
no inconsiderable magnitude, wherein that day was to be holden the
symposium of certain grandees of the adjacent country, as before hinted.

The landlord, who happened to be standing at the door, was somewhat
surprised at the formal manner with which Jacob Philpot greeted him, and
gave his horse into the charge of the hostler; but, as he knew him only
by sight, and had many things to attend to, he went his way without
making any remark, and thus, unwittingly, increased the irritation of
Jacob's new teetotum sensitive feelings. "Are any of the gentlemen come
yet?" asked Jacob, haughtily, of one of the waiters.--"What gentlemen?"
quoth the waiter. "Any of them," said Jacob, "Mr. Wiggins, Doctor White,
or Captain Pole?" At this moment a carriage drove up to the door, and
the bells all began ringing, and the waiters rah to see who had arrived,
and Jacob Philpot was left unheeded.--"This is very strange conduct!"
observed he; "I never met with such incivility in my life! One would
think I was a dog!" Jacob walked into the open air to cool himself, and
strolled round the garden of the inn, till the calls of hunger forced
him to return to the house, where the odour of delicate viands was quite
provoking; so he followed the guidance of his nose, and arrived in
the large dining-room, where he found, to his great surprise and
mortification, that the company were assembled, and the work of
destruction had been going on for some time, as the second course had
just been placed on the table. Jacob felt that the neglect with which
he had been treated was "enough to make a parson swear;" and perhaps he
would have sworn, but that he had no time to spare and, therefore, as
all the seats at the upper end of the table were engaged, he deposited
himself on a vacant chair about the centre, between two gentlemen with
whom he had no acquaintance, and, spreading his napkin on his lap,
demanded of a waiter what fish had gone out. The man replied only by a
stare and a smile, a line of conduct which was by no means surprising,
seeing that the most stylish part of Philpot's dress was, without
dispute, the napkin aforesaid. "What's the fellow gaping at?" cried
Jacob, in an angry voice; "go and tell your master I want to speak
to him directly. I don't understand such treatment. Tell him to come
immediately! Do you hear?" The loud tone in which this was spoken
aroused the attention of the company; and most of them cast a look of
inquiry, first at the speaker, and then round at the table, as if to
discern by whom the strange gentleman in the scarlet and yellow plush
waistcoat and the dirty shirt might be patronized but there were others
who recognized the landlord of the Red Lion at Stockwell. The
whole, however, were somewhat startled when he addressed them as
follows:--"Really, gentlemen, I must say, that a joke may be carried too
far; and, if it was not for my cloth (here he handled the napkin),
I declare I don't know how I might act. Mr. Chairman, we have known each
other now for a good many years, and you must be convinced that I can
take a joke as well as any man; but human nature can endure this no
longer. Mr. Wiggins! Captain Pole! my good friend Doctor White! I appeal
to you." Here the gentlemen named looked especially astounded. "What!
can it be possible that you have _all_ agreed to cut me! Oh, no! I will
not believe that political differences of opinion can run _quite_ so
high. Come--let us have no more of this nonsense!"--No, no, we've had
quite enough of it," said the landlord of the Old Boar, pulling the
chair from beneath the last speaker, who was consequently obliged again
to be upon his legs, while there came, from various parts of the table,
cries of "Chair! chair! Turn him out!"--"Man!" roared the teetotum
par-soned landlord of the Red Lion, to the landlord of the Old Boar,
"Man! you shall repent of this! If it wasn't for my cloth, I'd soon-"--
"Come, give me the cloth!" said the other, snatching away the napkin,
which Jacob had buttoned in his waistcoat, and thereby causing that
garment to fly open and expose more of dirty linen and skin than is
usually sported at a dinner party. Poor Philpot's rage had now reached
its acme, and he again appealed to the chairman by name. "Colonel
Martain!" said he, "can you sit by and see me used thus? I am sure that
you will not pretend that you don't know me!"--"Not I," replied the
chairman; I know you well enough, and a confounded impudent fellow you
are. I'll tell you what, my lad, next time you apply for a license, you
shall hear of this." The landlord of the Old Boar was, withal, a
kind-hearted man; and, as he knew that the loss of its license would be
ruin to the rampant Red Lion and all concerned therewith, he was
determined that poor Philpot should be saved from destruction in spite
of his teeth; therefore, without further ceremony, he, being a muscular
man, laid violent hands upon the said Jacob, and, with the assistance of
his waiters conveyed him out of the room, in despite of much struggling,
and sundry interjections concerning his "cloth." When they had deposited
him safely in an armchair in "the bar," the landlady, who had frequently
seen him before, in his proper character, that of a civil man, who "knew
his place" in society, very kindly offered him a cup of tea; and the
landlord asked how he could think of making such a fool of himself; and
the waiter, whom he had accosted on first entering the house, vouched
for his not having had any thing to eat or drink; whereupon they spoke
of the remains of a turbot, which had just come down stairs, and a
haunch of venison that was to follow. It is a sad thing to have a mind
and body that are no match for each other. Jacob's outward man would
have been highly gratified at the exhibition of these things; but the
spirit of the parson was too mighty within, and spurned every offer, and
the body was compelled to obey. So the horse that was borrowed of the
squire was ordered out, and Jacob Philpot mounted and rode on his way in
excessive irritation, growling vehemently at the insult and indignity
which had been committed against the "cloth" in general, and his own
person in particular.

"The sun sunk beneath the horizon," as novelists say, when Jacob Philpot
entered the village of Stockwell, and, as if waking from a dream, he
suddenly started, and was much surprised to find himself on horseback,
for the last thing that he recollected was going up stairs at his own
house, and composing himself for a nap, that he might be ready to join
neighbour Scroggins and Dick Smith, when they came in the evening to
drink the gallon of ale lost by the latter. "And, my eyes!" said he, "if
I haven't got the squire's horse that the parson borrowed this morning.
Well--it's very odd! however, the ride has done me a deal of good, for I
feel as if I hadn't any thing all day, and yet I did pretty well too at
the leg of mutton at dinner." Mrs. Philpot received her lord and nominal
master in no very gracious mood, and said she should like to know where
he had been riding. "That's more than I can tell you," replied Jacob;
"however, I know I'm as hungry as a greyhound, though I never made a
better dinner in my life."--"More shame for you," said Mrs. Philpot; "I
wish the Old Boar was a thousand miles off."--"What's the woman talking
about?" quoth Jacob. "Eh! what! at it again, I suppose," and he pointed
to the closet containing the rum bottle. "Hush!" cried Mrs. Philpot,
"here's the parson coming down stairs!"--"The parson!" exclaimed Jacob;
what's he been doing up stairs, I should like to know?"--"He has been to
take a nap on mistress's bed," said Sally.--"The dickens he has! This is
a pretty story," quoth Jacob. "How could I help it?" asked Mrs. Philpot;
"you should stay at home and look after your own business, and not go
ramshackling about the country. You shan't hear the last of the Old Boar
just yet I promise you." To avoid the threatened storm, and satisfy the
calls of hunger, Jacob made off to the larder, and commenced an attack
upon the leg of mutton.

At this moment the Reverend Mr. Stanhope opened the little door at
the foot of the stairs--On waking, and finding himself upon a bed, he
concluded that he must have fainted in consequence of the agitation of
mind produced by the gross insults which he had suffered, or perhaps
from the effects of hunger. Great, therefore, was his surprise to find
himself at the Red Lion in his own parish; and the first questions he
asked of Mrs. Philpot were, how and when he had been brought there. "La,
Sir!" said the landlady, "you went up stairs of your own accord, after
you were tired of smoking under the tree."--"Smoking under the tree,
woman!" exclaimed Mr. Stanhope; "what are you talking about? Do you
recollect whom you are speaking to?"--"Ay, marry, do I," replied the
sensitive Mrs. Philpot; "and you told Sally to call you when Scroggins
and Smith came for their gallon of ale, as you meant to join their
party."

The Reverend Mr. Stanhope straightway took up his hat, put it upon his
head, and stalked with indignant dignity out of the house, opining that
the poor woman was in her cups; and meditated as he walked home, on the
extraordinary affairs of the day. But his troubles were not yet
ended, for the report of his public jollification had reached his own
household; and John, his trusty man-servant, had been dispatched to the
Red Lion, and had ascertained that his master was really gone to bed
in a state very unfit for a clergyman to be seen in. Some remarkably
good-natured friends had been to condole with Mrs. Stanhope upon the
extraordinary proceedings of her good man, and to say how much they were
shocked, and what a pity it was, and wondering what the bishop
would think of it, and divers other equally amiable and consolatory
reflections and notes of admiration.--Now Mrs. Stanhope, though she had
much of the "milk of human kindness" in her composition, had, withal, a
sufficient portion of "tartaric acid" mingled therewith. Therefore, when
her beer-drinking husband made his appearance, he found her in a state
of effervescence. "Mary," said he "I am extremely fatigued. I have been
exposed to-day to a series of insults, such as I could not have imagined
it possible for any one to offer me."

"Nor any body else," replied Mrs. Stanhope; "but you are rightly served,
and I am glad of it. Who could have supposed that you, the minister of a
parish?--Faugh! how filthily you smell of tobacco! I vow I cannot
endure to be in the room with you!" and she arose and left the divine to
himself, in exceeding great perplexity. However, being a man who loved
to do all things in order, he remembered that he had not dined, so he
rang the bell and gave the needful instructions, thinking it best to
satisfy nature first, and _then_ endeavour to ascertain the cause of his
beloved Mary's acidity. His appetite was gone but that he attributed to
having fasted too long, a practice very unusual with him; however, he
picked a bit here and there, and then indulged himself with a bottle
of his oldest port, which he had about half consumed, and somewhat
recovered his spirits, ere his dear Mary made her re-appearance, and
told him that she was perfectly astonished at his conduct.--And well
might she say so, for _now_ the wine, which he had been drinking with
unusual rapidity, thinking, good easy man, that he had taken nothing all
day, began to have a very visible effect upon a body already saturated
with strong ale. He declared that he cared not a fig for the good
opinion of any gentleman in the county; that he would always act and
speak according to his principles, and filled a bumper to the health of
the Lord Chancellor, and drank sundry more exceedingly loyal toasts; and
told his astonished spouse, that he should not be surprised if he was
very soon to be made a dean or a bishop; and as for the people at the
Old Boar, he saw through their conduct--it was all envy, which doth
"merit as its shade pursue." The good lady justly deemed it folly to
waste her oratory upon a man in such a state, and reserved her powers
for the next morning; and Mr. Stanhope reeled to bed that night in a
condition which to do him justice, he had never before exhibited under
his own roof.

The next morning, Mrs. Stanhope and her daughter Sophy, a promising
young lady about ten years old, of the hoyden class, were at breakfast,
when the elderly stranger called at the rectory, and expressed great
concern on being told that Mr. S. was somewhat indisposed, and had not
yet made his appearance. He said that his business was of very little
importance, and merely concerned some geological inquiries, which he was
prosecuting in the vicinity; but Mrs. Stanhope, who had the names of all
the ologies by heart, and loved occasionally to talk thereof, persuaded
him to wait a short time, little dreaming of the consequence; for the
wily old gentleman began to romp with Miss Sophy, and, after a while,
produced his teetotum, and, in short, so contrived it, that the mother
and daughter played together therewith for five minutes. He then
politely took his leave, promising to call again; and Mrs. Stanhope
bobbed him a curtsey, and Sophia assured him that Mr. S. would be
extremely happy to afford him every assistance in his scientific
researches. When the worthy divine at length made his appearance in the
breakfast parlour, strangely puzzled as to the extreme feverishness
and langour which oppressed him, he found Sophy sitting gravely in an
arm-chair, reading a treatise on craniology. It was a pleasant thing
for him to see her read any thing; but he could not help expressing his
surprise, by observing, "I should think that book a little above your
comprehension, my dear."--"Indeed! Sir," was the reply; and the
little girl laid down the volume, and sat erect in her chair, and thus
continued:--"I should think, Mr. Nicodemus Stanhope, that after the
specimen of good sense and propriety of conduct which you were pleased
to exhibit yesterday, it scarcely becomes _you_ to pretend to estimate
the _comprehension_ of others."--"My dear," said the astonished divine,
"this is very strange language! You forget whom you are speaking
to!"--"Not at all," replied the child. "I know _my_ place, if you don't
know yours, and am determined to speak my mind." If anything could add
to the Reverend Mr. Nicodemus Stanhope's surprise, it was the sound of
his wife's voice in the garden, calling to his man John to stand out of
the way, or she should run over him. Poor John, who was tying up some of
her favourite flowers, got out of her way accordingly in quick time, and
the next moment his mistress rushed by, trundling a hoop, hallooing and
laughing, and highly enjoying his apparent dismay. Throughout that day,
it may be imagined that the reverend gentleman's philosophy was sorely
tried; and we are compelled, by want of room, to leave the particulars
of his botheration to the reader's imagination.

We are sorry to say that these were not the only metamorphoses which the
mischievous old gentleman wrought in the village of Stockwell.

There was a game of teetotum played between a sergeant of dragoons,
who had retired upon his well-earned pension, and a baker, who happened
likewise to be the renter of a small patch of land adjoining the
village. The veteran, with that indistinctness of character before
mentioned, shouldered the peel, * and took it to the field, and used it
for loading and spreading manure, so that it was never afterwards fit
for any but dirty work. Then, just to show that he was not afraid of any
body, he cut a gap in the hedge of a small field of wheat which had just
been reaped, and was standing in sheaves, and thereby gave admittance
to a neighbouring bull, who amused himself greatly by tossing the said
sheaves; but more particularly those which were set apart as tythes,
against which he appeared to have a particular spite, throwing them high
into the air, and then bellowing and treading them under foot. But--we
must come to a close. Suffice it to say, that the village of Stockwell
was long in a state of confusion in consequence of these games; for the
mischief which was done during the period of delusion, ended not, like
the delusion itself, with the rising or setting of the sun.

     * "Peel--A broad, thin board, with a longhandle, used by
     bakers to put their bread in and out of the oven."--Johnson.

Having now related as many particulars of these strange occurrences as
our limits will permit, we have merely to state the effects which they
produced upon ourselves. Whenever we have since beheld servants aping
the conduct of their masters or mistresses, tradesmen wasting their
time and money at taverns, clergymen forgetful of the dignity and sacred
character of their profession, publicans imagining themselves fit for
preachers, children calling their parents to account for their conduct,
matrons acting the hoyden, and other incongruities--whenever we witness
these and the like occurrences, we conclude that the actors therein have
been playing a game with the Old Gentleman's Teetotum.

[ABRIDGED FROM BLACKWOOD.]

[Illustration: 168]



A WATER PARTY.

     Oh, Laura! such a charming party!
        You've missed our pic-nic, foolish girl;
     I do assure you from my heart,
        I Hate you, now you're Mrs. Searle.

     You know I dote upon the river--
        'Twas settled we should row to Kew;
     And though the cold did make us shiver,
        In England that's not very new.

     But I should tell you that our number
        Was rather more than you would like;
     For Ma would ask that living lumber,
        That dull, but worthy, Mrs. Pike:

     Then _she_ insisted that her daughter
        Could not, for worlds, be left behind;
     The poor girl screamed so, on the water--
        I wonder mothers are so blind!

     We'd Clara Smith, and Major Morris,
        Besides Sir John, and Lady Gann--
     Their nephew too--his name is Horace--
        A well-bred, clever, tall young man:

     Papa, Mamma, and all my brothers--
        Sophia, Kate, Georgina, and me;
     I have not time to name the others,
        Except your old flame, Dr. Lea.

     The whole arrangement was quite charming;
        Miss Smith, though, is a shocking flirt;
     Her conduct really was alarming--
        Her Mamma is so very pert.

     The men all chose to praise her singing!
        But one's so sick of "Home, sweet Home!"
     And "Hark, the Village Bells are ringing!"
        Is duller than the Pope of Rome.

     Then her "La ci darem la mano,"
        Was murdered by poor Major M.;
     She whispered him, in vain, "_piano!_"
        That little man is quite a gem--

     I mean to those who're fond of quizzing,
        Which you and I, of course, are not;
     He looks like soda-water, fizzing,
        Or like a mutton-chop when hot.

     The doctor offered to be funny--
        That is, to sing a comic song;
     But what it was, for love or money,
        I cannot tell--it was so long.

     He gave us too, a "recitation"--
        To me a most enormous bore;
     My brother muttered, "botheration!"
        My father wished him at the Nore.

     We all had clubbed to take provision,
        And meant to dine in some one's field;
     Old Pike opposed this said decision--
        His wife, however, made him yield.

     But when, at last, we'd fairly landed,
        And spread our cloth upon the ground,
     (If you won't laugh, I will be candid),
        We found our dinner almost drowned!

     Champagne and claret--every bottle
        Had cracked, and deluged fowls and ham
     But yet it had not spoiled the "tottle"--
        There still was pigeon-pie and lamb.

     With cider, porter, port and sherry,
        We managed vastly well to dine:
     In spite of all, we were so merry--
        But still the weather was not fine.

     In fact, before we finished dinner,
        There was a kind of Scottish mist;
     And had our dresses been much thinner,
        It might have made us somewhat triste.

     But good stout silk is now the fashion--
        My green one, though, was sadly spoiled;
     Mamma flew into such a passion!
        I could not help its being soiled.

     We owe, however, to the shower
        An unexpected source of mirth;
     For, when the sky began to pour,
        The men proposed a snugger berth:

     Instead of getting wet by rowing,
        They voted to return by land;
     We all agreed, without well knowing
        How we should ever reach the Strand.

     Just while we wisely were debating,
        An Omnibus appeared in sight,
     Which quickly settled all our prating,
        And very much to my delight:

     Yet this machine could scarcely carry
        The whole of four-and-twenty friends;
     But, as it would not do to tarry,
        We popped in all the odds and ends.

     Such an odd, facetious journey!
        We went so fast--'twas Jike a dream!
     The coachman, quite another Gurney,
        Only without that worthy's steam.

     In short, the whole was most delightful--
        We wanted nothing, dear, but you;
     And now, my paper being quite full,
        I'll only add--adieu!--adieu!

[Monthly Magazine.]

[Illustration: 175]



THE ANGLER AND THE FOWLER.

There the new-breeched urchin stands on the low bridge of the little bit
burnie! and with crooked pin, baited with one unwrithing ring of a dead
worm, and attached to a yarn-thread, for he has not yet got into hair,
and is years off gut, his rod of the mere willow or hazel wand, there
will he stand during all his play-hours, as forgetful of his primer as
if the weary art of printing had never been invented, day after day,
week after week, month after month, in mute, deep, earnest, passionate,
heart-mind-and-soul engrossing hope of some time or other catching a
minow or a beardie!

[Illustration: 178]

A tug--a tug! with face ten times flushed and pale by turns ere you
could count ten, he at last has strength, in the agitation of his fear
and joy, to pull away at the monster--and there he lies in his beauty
among the gowans on the greensward, for he has whapped him right over
his head and far away, a fish a quarter of an ounce in weight, and, at
the very least, two inches long! Off he flies, on wings of wind, to
his father, mother, and sisters, and brothers, and cousins, and all the
neighbourhood, holding the fish aloft in both hands, still fearful of
its escape, and, like a genuine child of corruption, his eyes brighten
at the first blush of cold blood on his small fishy-fumy fingers. He
carries about with him, up stairs and down stairs, his prey upon a
plate; he will not wash his hands before dinner, for he exults in the
silver scales adhering to the thumbnail, that scooped the pin out of the
baggy's maw--and at night, "cabin'd, cribb'd, confined," he is overheard
murmuring in his sleep, a thief, a robber, and a murderer, in his yet
infant dreams!

From that hour Angling is no more a mere delightful day-dream, haunted
by the dim hopes of imaginary minnows, but a reality--an art--a
science--of which the flaxen headed school-boy feels himself to be
master--a mystery in which he has been initiated, and off he goes
now, all alone, in the power of successful passion, to the distant
brook--brook a mile off--with fields, and hedges, and single trees, and
little groves, and a huge forest of six acres, between him and the house
in which he is boarded or was born! There flows on the slender music
of the shadowy shallows--there pours the deeper din of the birch-tree'd
waterfall. The sacred water-pyet flits away from stone to stone, and
dipping, disappears among the airy bubbles, to him a new sight of joy
and wonder. And oh! how sweet the scent of the broom or furze, yellowing
along the braes, where leap the lambs, less happy than he, on the knolls
of sunshine! His grandfather has given him a half-crown rod, in two
pieces--yes, his line is of hair twisted--platted by his own soon
instructed little fingers. By heavens, he is fishing with the fly! and
the Fates, who, grim and grisly as they are painted to be by full-grown,
ungrateful, lying poets, smile like angels upon the padler in the brook,
winnowing the air with their wings into western breezes, while at the
very first throw, the yellow trout forsakes his fastness beneath the
bog-wood, and with a lazy wallop, and then a sudden plunge, and then a
race like lightning, changes at once the child into the boy, and
shoots through his thrilling and aching heart the ecstacy of a new
life expanding in that glorious pastime, even as a rainbow on a sudden
brightens up the sky. _Fortuna favet fortibus_--and with one long pull,
and strong pull, and pull altogether, Johnny lands a twelve incher on
the soft, smooth, silvery sand of the only bay in all the burn where
such an exploit was possible, and dashing upon him like an Osprey, soars
up with him in his talons to the bank, breaking his line as he hurries
off to a spot of safety, twenty yards from the pool, and then flinging
him down on a heath-surrounded plat of sheep-nibbled verdure, lets him
bounce about till he is tired, and lies gasping with unfrequent and
feeble motions, bright and beautiful, and glorious with all his yellow
light and crimson lustre, spotted, speckled, and starred in his scaly
splendour, beneath a sun that never shone before so dazzlingly; but now
the radiance of the captive creature is dimmer and obscured, for the
eye of day winks and seems almost shut behind that slow sailing mass of
clouds, composed in equal parts of air, rain, and sunshine.

Springs, summers, autumns, winters,--each within itself longer, by many
times longer than the whole year of grown up life, that slips at last
through one's fingers like a knotless thread,--pass over the curled
darling's brow, and look at him now, a straight and strengthy stripling,
in the savage spirit of sport, springing over rock-ledge after
rock-ledge, nor heeding aught as he splashes knee-deep, or waist-band
high, through river-feeding torrents, to the glorious music of his
running and ringing reel after a tongue-hooked salmon, insanely seeking
with the ebb of tide, but all in vain, the white breakers of the sea. No
hazel or willow wand, no half-crown rod of ash framed by village wright,
is now in his practised hands, of which the very left is dexterous: but
a twenty feet rod of Phin's, all ring-rustling, and a-glitter with the
preserving varnish, limber as the attenuating line itself, and lithe
to its topmost tenuity as the elephant's proboscis--the hiccory and the
horn without twist, knot, or flaw, from butt to fly, a faultless taper,
"fine by degrees, and beautifully less." the beau ideal of a rod by the
skill of a cunning craftsman to the senses materialised! A fish-fat,
fair, and forty! "She is a salmon, therefore to be woo'd--she is a
salmon, therefore to be won"--but shy, timid, capricious, headstrong,
now wrathful, and now full of fear, like any other female whom the cruel
artist has hooked by lip or heart, and, in spite of all her struggling,
will bring to the gasp at last, and then with calm eyes behold her lying
in the shade dead, or worse than dead, fast-fading and to be reillumined
no more the lustre of her beauty, insensible to sun or shower, even the
most perishable of all perishable things in a world of perishing!--But
the salmon has grown sulky, and must be made to spring to the plunging
stone. There, suddenly, instinct with new passion, she shoots out of the
foam, like a bar of silver bullion; and, relapsing into the flood, is
in another moment at the very head of the water-fall! Give her the
butt--give her the butt--or she is gone for ever with the thunder into
ten fathom deep! Now comes the trial of your tackle--and when was
Phin ever known to fail at the edge of cliff or cataract? Her snout is
southwards--right up the middle of the main current of the hill-born
river, as if she would seek its very course where she was spawned! She
still swims swift, and strong, and deep--and the line goes, steady,
boys, steady--stiff and steady as a Tory in the roar of opposition.
There is yet an hour's play in her dorsal fin--danger in the flap of her
tail--and yet may her silver shoulder shatter the gut against a rock.
Why, the river was yesterday in spate, and she is fresh run from the
sea. All the lesser waterfalls are now level with the flood, and
she meets with no impediment or obstruction--the course is clear--no
tree-roots here--no floating branches, for during the night they have
all been swept down to the salt loch--_in medio tutissimus ibis_--ay,
now you feel she begins to fail--the butt tells now every time you
deliver your right. What! another mad leap! yet another sullen
plunge! She seems absolutely to have discovered, or rather to be an
impersonation of the Perpetual Motion. Stand back out of the way, you
son of a sea-cook--you in the tattered blue breeches, with the tail
of your shirt hanging out. Who the devil sent you all here, ye
vagabonds?--Ha! Watty Richie, my man, is that you? God bless your honest
laughing phiz! What Watty, would you think of a Fish like that about
Peebles? Tam Grieve never gruppit sae heavy a ane since first he
belanged to the Council. Curse that colley! Ay! well done Watty! Stone
him to Stobbo. Confound these stirks--if that white one, with caving
horns, kicking heels, and straight up tail, come bellowing by between
me and the river, then, "Madam! all is lost, except honour!" If we lose
this Fish at six o'clock, then suicide at seven. Our will is made--ten
thousand to the Foundling--ditto to the Thames Tunnel-ha--ha--my beauty!
Methinks we could fain and fond kiss thy silver side languidly lying
afloat on the foam, as if all farther resistance now were vain,
and gracefully thou wert surrendering thyself to death No faith in
female--she trusts to the last trial of her tail--sweetly workest thou,
O Reel of Reels! and on thy smooth axle spinning sleep'st, even,
as Milton describes her, like our own worthy planet.

Scrope--Bainbridge--Maule--princes among Anglers--oh! that you were
here! Where the devil is Sir Humphrey? At his retort? By mysterious
sympathy--far off at his own Trows, the Kerss feels that we are killing
the noblest Fish, whose back ever rippled the surface of deep or shallow
in the Tweed. Tom Purdy stands like a seer, entranced in glorious
vision, beside turreted Abbotsford. Shade of Sandy Givan! Alas! alas!
Poor Sandy--why on thy pale face that melancholy smile!--Peter! The
Gaff! The Gaff! Into the eddy she saüs, sick and slow, and almost with
a swirl--whitening as she nears the sand--there she has it--struck
right into the shoulder, fairer than that of Juno, Diana, Minerva, or
Venus--fair as the shoulder of our own beloved, and lies at last in all
her glorious length and breadth of beaming beauty, fit prey for giant or
demi-god angling before the Flood!

     "The child is father of the man,
     And I would wish my days to be
     Bound each to each by natural piety!"

So much for the Angler. The Shooter again, he begins with his pop
or pipe gun, formed of the last year's growth of a branch of the
plane-tree--the beautiful dark-green-leaved and fragrant-flowered
plane-tree, that stands straight in stem and round in head, visible
and audible too from afar the bee-resounding umbrage, alike on stormy
sea-coast and in sheltered inland vale, still loving the roof of the
fisherman's or peasant's cottage.

Then comes, perhaps, the city popgun, in shape like a very musket, such
as soldiers bear--a Christmas present from parent--once a Colonel of
volunteers--nor feeble to discharge the pea-bullet or barley-shot,
formidable to face and eyes; nor yet unfelt, at six paces, by hinder
end of play-mate, scornfully yet fearfully exposed. But the shooter soon
tires of such ineffectual trigger--and his soul, as well as his hair,
is set on fire by that extraordinary compound--Gunpowder. He begins with
burning off his eyebrows on the King's birth-day--squibs and crackers
follow--and all the pleasures of the pluff. But he soon longs to let off
a gun--"and follows to the field some warlike lord"--in hopes of being
allowed to discharge one of the double-barrels, after Ponto has made his
last point, and the half-hidden chimneys of home are again seen smoking
among the trees. This is his first practice in fire-arms, and from that
hour he is--a Shooter.

Then there is in most rural parishes--and of rural parishes alone do we
condescend to speak--a pistol, a horse one, with a bit of silver on
the butt--perhaps one that originally served in the Scots Greys. It is
bought, or borrowed, by the young shooter, who begins firing, first at
barn doors, then at trees, and then at living things--a strange cur,
who, from his lolling tongue, may be supposed to have the hydrophobia--a
cat that has purred herself asleep on the sunny church-yard wall, or is
watching mice at their hole-mouths among the graves--a water-rat in the
mill-lead--or weasel that, running to his retreat in the wall, always
turns round to look at you--a goose wandered from his common in
disappointed love--or brown duck, easily mistaken by the unscrupulous
for a wild one, in pond, remote from human dwelling, or on meadow by the
river side, away from the clack of the muter mill. The corby crow, too,
shouted out of his nest on some tree lower than usual, is a good flying
mark to the more advanced class, or morning magpie, a-chatter at skreigh
of day close to the cottage door among the chickens, or a flock of
pigeons wheeling over head on the stubble-field, or sitting so thick
together that every stook is blue with tempting plumage.

But the pistol is discharged for a fowling piece--brown and rusty,
with a slight crack, probably in the muzzle, and a lock, out of
all proportion, to the barrel. Then the young shooter aspires at
half-pennies thrown up into the air--and generally hit, for there is
never wanting an apparent dent in copper metal; and thence he mounts to
the glancing and skimming swallow, a household bird, and therefore to be
held sacred, but shot at on the excuse of its being next to impossible
to hit him, an opinion strengthened into belief by several summers'
practice. But the small brown and white marten wheeling through below
the bridge, or along the many holed red sand bank, is admitted by all
boys to be fair game--and still more, the long-winged legless black
devilet, that, if it falls to the ground, cannot rise again and
therefore screams wheeling round the corners and battlements of towers
and castles, or far out even of cannon-shot, gambols in companies of
hundreds, and regiments of a thousand, aloft in the evening ether,
within the orbit of the eagle's flight. It seems to boyish eyes, that
the creatures near the earth, when but little blue sky is seen between
the specks and the wall-flowers growing on the coign of vantage--the
signal is given to fire, but the devilets are too high in heaven to
smell the sulphur. The starling whips with a shrill cry into his
nest, and nothing falls to the ground but a tiny bit of mossy mortar,
inhabited by a spider!

But the Day of Days arrives at last, when the school-boy--or rather the
college boy returning to his rural vacation--for in Scotland, college
winters tread close--too close--on the heels of academies--has a
gun--a gun in a case--a double barrel too--of his own--and is provided
with a license--probably without any other qualification than that of
hit or miss. On some portentous morning he effulges with the sun, in
velveteen jacket and breeches of the same--many-buttoned gaiters, and an
unkerchiefed throat. Tis the fourteenth of September, and lo! a pointer
at his heels--Ponto of course--a game bag like a beggar's wallet by
his side--destined to be at eve as full of charity--and all the
paraphernalia of an accomplished sportsman. Proud, were she to see
the sight, would be the mother that bore him the heart of that old
sportsman, his daddy, would leap for joy! The chained mastiff in the
yard yowls his admiration, the servant lassies uplift the pane of their
garret, and, with suddenly withdrawn blushes, titter their delight in
their rich paper curls and pure night-clothes. Rab Roger, who has been
cleaning out the barn, comes forth to partake of the caulker, and away
go the footsteps of the old poacher and his pupil through the autumnal
rime, off to the uplands, where--for it is one of the earliest of
harvests, there is scarcely a single acre of standing corn. The
turnip-fields are bright green with hope and expectation--and coveys
are couching on lazy beds beneath the potatoe shaw. Every high hedge,
ditch-guarded on either side, shelters its own brood--imagination hears
the whirr shaking the dew-drops from the broom on the brae--and first
one bird and then another, and then the remaining number, in itself no
contemptible covey, seems to fancy's ear to spring single, or in clouds,
from the coppice brushwood, with here and there an intercepting standard
tree.

Poor Ponto is much to be pitied.--Either having a cold in his nose,
or having ante-breakfasted by stealth on a red herring, he can scent
nothing short of a badger; and, every other field, he starts in horror,
shame, and amazement, to hear himself, without having attended to his
points, inclosed in a whirring covey. He is still duly taken between
those inexorable knees; out comes the speck and span new dog-whip, heavy
enough for a horse; and the yowl of the patient is heard over the whole
parish. Mothers press their yet unchastised infants to their
breasts; and the schoolmaster, fastening a knowing eye on dunce and
ne'er-do-well, holds up, in silent warning, the terror of the tawse.
Frequent flogging will cow the spirit of the best man and dog in
Britain. Ponto travels now in fear and trembling, but a few yards
from his tyrant's feet, till, rousing himself to the sudden scent of
something smelling strongly, he draws slowly and beautifully, and

     "There fixed, a perfect semi-circle stands."

Up runs the Tyro, ready-cocked, and in his eagerness, stumbling among
the stubble, when mark and lo! the gabble of grey goslings, and the
bill-protruded hiss of goose and gander! Bang goes the right-hand barrel
at Ponto, who now thinks it high time to be off, to the tune of "ower
the hills and far away," while the young gentleman, half ashamed and
half incensed, half glad, and half sorry, discharges the left-hand
barrel, with a highly improper curse, at the father of the feathered
family before him, who receives the shot like a ball in his breast,
throws a somerset, quite surprising for a bird of his usual habits, and
after biting the dust with his bill, and thumping it with his bottom,
breathes an eternal farewell to this sublunary scene--and leaves
himself to be paid for, at the rate of eight-pence a pound to his justly
irritated owner, on whose farm he had led a long, and not only harmless,
but honourable and useful life.

It is nearly as impossible a thing as we know, to borrow a dog about
the time the Sun has reached his meridian, on the First day of the
Partridges. Ponto by this time has sneaked, unseen by human eye, into
his kennel, and coiled himself up into the arms of tired Nature's
sweet restorer, balmy sleep. A farmer makes offer of a colley, who from
numbering among his paternal ancestors a Spanish pointer, is quite a Don
in his way among the chirpers, and has been known in a turnip-field
to stand in an attitude very similar to that of setting. Luath has no
objection to a frolic over the fields, and plays the part of Ponto to
perfection. At last he catches sight of a covey basking, and leaping in
upon them, open-mouthed, dispatches them right and left, even like the
famous dog Billy, killing rats in the pit at Westminster. The birds are
bagged, with a gentle remonstrance, and Luath's exploit rewarded with
a whang of cheese. Elated by the pressure on his shoulder, the young
gentleman laughs at the idea of pointing, and fires away, like winking,
at every uprise of birds, near or remote; works a miracle by bringing
down three at a time, that chanced, unknown to him, to be crossing; and
wearied with such slaughter, lends his gun to the attendant farmer, who
can mark down to an inch, and walks up to the dropped pout, as if he
could kick her up with his foot; and thus the bag in a few hours is half
full of feathers, while to close with eclat the sport of the day, the
cunning elder takes him to a bramble bush, in a wall nook, at the edge
of a wood, and returning the gun into his hands, shows him poor pussie
sitting with open eyes fast asleep! The pellets are in her brain, and
turning herself over, she crunkles out to her full length, like a piece
of untwisting Indian rubber, and is dead. The posterior pouch of the
jacket, yet unstained by blood, yawns to receive her--and in she goes
plump, paws, ears, body, feet, fud and all--while Luath, all the way
home to the Mams, keeps snoking at the red drops oozing through--for
well he knows in summer's heat and winter's cold, the smell of pussie,
whether sitting beneath a tuft of withered grass on the brae, or
burrowed beneath a snow wreath. A hare, we certainly must say, in spite
of haughtier sportsman's scorn is, when sitting, a most satisfactory
shot.

But let us trace no further, thus step by step, the Pilgrim's Progress.
Look at him now,--a finished sportsman--on the moors--the bright black
boundless Dalwhinnie Moors, stretching away, by long Lock-Erricht-side,
into the dim and distant day that hangs, with all its clouds, over the
bosom of far Loch-Rannoch. Is that the pluffer at partridge pouts who
had nearly been the death of poor Ponto? Lord Kennedy himself might
take a lesson now from the straight and steady style in which, on the
mountain brow, and up to the middle in heather, he brings his Manton to
the deadly level! More unerring eye never glanced along brown barrel!
Finer forefinger never touched a trigger! Follow him a whole day, and
not one wounded bird. All most beautifully arrested on their flight
by instantaneous death! Down dropped, right and left, like lead on
the heather--old cock and hen singled out among the orphan's brood,
as calmly as a cook would do it in the larder--from among a pile
of plumage. No random shot within--no needless shot out of
distance--covered every feather before stir of finger--and body, back,
and brain, pierced, broken, scattered! And what perfect pointers!
There they stand, still as death--yet instinct with life--the whole
half-dozen--Mungo, the black-tanned--Don, the red-spotted--Clara, the
snow-white--Primrose, the pale yellow--Basto, the bright brown, and
Nimrod, in his coat of many colours, often seen afar through the mists
like a meteor.

[BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE.]

[Illustration: 201]



THE ELOPEMENT.

On the banks of the rivulet Lockwitz, in Hungary, and upon the borders
of Thuringia, where a convent formerly stood, which was destroyed in the
time of the Hussites, is situated the Castle of Lauenstein. This church
property, in process of time, came under the secular arm, and became the
possession of the Count of Orlamunda, who gave this deserted domain as
a feu to one of his vassals, who, upon the ruins of the convent, built
himself a castle, and either gave his name to the property, or took his
from it, for he was called the Baron of Lauenstein.

It soon became manifest that the property of the church does not prosper
in the hands of the laity, and that such sacrilege is always punished
in one way or another. The bones of the holy nuns, which for ages had
reposed in peace in the gloomy caverns of the grave, could not, with
indifference, endure this profanation of their sanctuary. These mouldy
dead bones rebelled against the violation, rattled and rustled in the
silence of night, and raised a fearful clattering and noise in the
passage leading to the church, which had not been destroyed. The nuns,
with solemn pomp, often made a procession round the castle, wandered
through the apartments, opened and dashed to the doors, by which the
Baron was disturbed in his sleep, and could not get rest in his bed.
They raged in the hall, or in the stables, terrified the maids,
twitched and pinched them, sometimes here, sometimes there;--plagued the
cattle--the cows were drained of their milk, and the horses pranced and
snorted, and beat their stalls to pieces. This mischievous behaviour of
the pious sisters, and their incessant tricks, which embittered the life
of both man and beast, touk away all spirit from every member of the
household, down to the very bull-dog.

[Illustration: 204]

The Baron spared no expense, by means of the most renowned exorcists,
to bring these tumultuary inmates to peace and silence; but the most
powerful exorcisms, before which the whole kingdom of Belial trembled,
and the sprinkling brush dipped in holy water, which generally chases
away the evil spirits, as a fly-flap chases away the flies from the
apartment, for a long time could do nothing against the obstinacy of
those spectre Amazons, who so stoutly maintained their right to their
former possessions, that the exorcists, with the holy implements of
relics, were sometimes obliged to take to flight, and leave them masters
of the field. At last, a conjuror, who was travelling about the country
for the purpose of spying out witches, catching goblins, and delivering
the possessed from the brood of evil spirits, succeeded in bringing the
spectral night revellers to obedience, and again shut them up in their
gloomy vaults, with permission there to wag their skulls, and rattle and
clatter their bones, as much as they pleased.

All was now quiet in the Castle, the nuns again slept the still sleep
of death; but, after seven years, one unquiet sister spirit again
awoke, and once more made her appearance in the night, and for some time
continued her former pranks, until she tired, then rested seven years,
and then paid another visit to the upper world, and re-visited the
Castle. In time, the family became accustomed to the apparition; only,
when the period of her appearance approached, the domestics took care to
avoid the passage through which she was to come, and kept close to their
apartments.

After the decease of the first possessors, the inheritance fell to the
next in descent, and there never had failed a male heir, until the
time of the thirty years' war, when the last branch of the Lauensteins
flourished: in whose production nature appeared to have exhausted her
power. So lavish had she been of the stuff which composed his body, that
at the period when it had reached its highest perfection, so enormous
was his size, that he weighed nearly as much as the far-famed Franz
Finatzie of Presburg, and his corpulence was only a few inches less than
that of the well-fed Holstener, known by the name of Paul Butterbread,
who formerly exhibited himself as a show to Parisian belles. However,
Baron _Sieg_ mund was a very stately man till this period, when his
body resembled a tun; he lived well, and though he did not waste the
inheritance of his fathers, he spared himself none of the enjoyments
of life. No sooner had his progenitors made way for him, and he found
himself in possession of Lauenstein, than, after the manner of his
fathers, he married, and at the end of a year, he became a father; but,
alas! it was of a girl, and as he had no hopes of succeeding children,
with this he was forced to be content. The thrifty mother, who at
her marriage took charge of the domestic concerns, now commenced the
education of her daughter. The more papa's paunch gained the upper hand,
the more obtuse became his mind, till at length the Baron took no notice
of anything, except what was either roasted or boiled.

From the accumulation of family affairs, Fraulein Emily was, for the
most part, left to the care of mother Nature, and thereby found herself
never the worse. This secret artist, who does not like to put her
reputation at stake, and generally makes up by a master-stroke, for any
error she commits, had better proportioned the body and talents of the
daughter than those of the father--she was beautiful, clever, and witty.
As the charms of the young Fraulein expanded, the views of the mother
increased, and she resolved, that through her the splendour of their
expiring race should again be restored. The lady possessed a secret
pride which was not remarked in the common occurrences of life, except
in regard to her pedigree, which she considered the most glorious
ornament of their house; and so high were her pretensions, that,
except the family of the Counts of Reiuss, there was no race in
Hungary sufficiently ancient and noble, into which she would choose
to transplant the last blossom of the Lauenstein stem. And much as the
young gentlemen in the neighbourhood wished to secure the rich prize,
the crafty mother always contrived to frustrate their intentions. She
watched the heart of the Fraulein with as much care as a customhouse
officer does the harbour, lest any contraband goods should slip through;
overturned every speculation of match-making aunts and cousins; and had
such high expectations for her daughter, that no young man ventured to
approach her. As long as the heart of a maiden listens to advice, it
resembles a boat upon the calm unruffled sea, which sails wherever the
rudder directs it; but when the winds and waves arise and rock the
light bark, it no longer obeys the helm, but follows the current of the
stream.

So it was with the tractable Emily, who willingly allowed herself to
be led on in the path of pride by the maternal leading-strings, for her
still unsophisticated heart was susceptible of every impression. She
at least expected a Prince or Count to do homage to her charms; and any
less high born paladins who paid their court to her, were repulsed
with cold disdain. But before a suitable adorer could be found for the
Lauenstein Grace, a circumstance occurred which disappointed all the
matrimonial schemes of the mother; and such were its effects, that, had
all the princes and counts of the Roman and German empire sued for the
heart and hand of the fair Fraulein, they would have found themselves
too late.

In the troubled times of the thirty years' war, the army of the braye
Wallenstein came into Hungary for winter quarters, and Baron Siegmund
received many uninvited guests into the castle, who did more mischief
than the former hobgoblins; for, although they had even less right to
the property than the former, no sorcerer could exorcise them away. The
proprietor saw himself forced to put a good face on this wicked game,
for the purpose of keeping these commanding gentlemen in good humour,
and so induce them to keep up proper discipline in the castle. Banquets
and balls succeeded each other without intermission; at the first the
lady presided, at the latter the daughter. And whenever the military
band began to play the accompanying favourite waltz, it was the signal
for the gallant Fritz to lead the fair Emily to the dance These splendid
feasts made the rough warriors more pliant: they respected the house
which had so hospitably entertained them, and guests and host were
satisfied with each other.

Among these warriors there were many young heroes, who might even have
tempted limping Vulcan's beautiful helpmate to become unfaithful. But
there was one in particular who eclipsed them all. A young officer,
called the handsome Fritz, had the appearance of a helmed god of
love. To an elegant figure, this young Apollo joined the most engaging
manners; he was gentle, modest, agreeable, of a lively disposition and,
above all, a charming dancer. Until this moment no one had made the
slightest impression on the heart of Emily, but this youth raised in her
innocent bosom a new sensation, which filled her soul with inexpressible
delight.

But the wonder was, that this enchanting Adonis was neither called the
handsome Count, nor the handsome Prince, but neither more nor less than
the handsome Fritz. She interrogated his brother officers, one after
another, about the young man's name and descent, but no one could
enlighten her upon the subject. All praised the handsome Fritz as
a brave man, and a good officer, and who possessed the most amiable
character, but at the same time it appeared that all was not right in
regard to his pedigree. There were as many reports of his birth as
of that of the well known and enigmatical Count Cagliostro, who was
sometimes said to be the descendant of the Grand Master of Malta, and by
the maternal side, nephew to the Grand Seignior; sometimes the son of a
Neapolitan coachman, then a full brother of Zannowichs, pretended Prince
of Albania, and by profession a worker of miracles; and then it was
rumoured that he was a wig-maker. All these reports arose from the
handsome Fritz having raised himself from the pike to the sash, and
all agreed, that, should fortune again favour him, he would reach the
highest situations in the army. The secret inquiries of the inquisitive
Emily were not long concealed from the object of them. His companions
thought to flatter him with the intelligence, and generally accompanied
it with all sorts of favourable conjectures. His modesty attributed her
advances to jest and mockery; nevertheless, the inquiries of the young
damsel pleased him well, for the first look had inspired him with an
ecstasy, which is the usual harbinger of love.

No language possesses such energy, and is likewise so well understood,
as the sweet feeling of sympathy; through the operation of which, a
first acquaintance sooner rises into love than one can rise from the
pike to the sash.

Some time elapsed before the lovers came to a verbal explanation, but
they were aware of each other's sentiments, their looks met half-way,
and said what timid love dared not disclose. From the uproar in the
house, the negligent mother had, at a very wrong season, removed the
watch over the heart of her beloved daughter; and seeing this important
post unoccupied, the crafty smuggler, Love, seized his opportunity, and
secretly stole in. No sooner had he obtained possession, than he taught
the Fraulein quite a different lesson from mamma. The sworn enemy of all
ceremony, he immediately removed the prejudices of his obedient scholar,
and soon taught her to think, that birth and rank were not to be put
in competition with all-conquering Love, and that lovers should not be
classed, like beetles and worms, in a collection of insects.

The frosty pride of ancestry melted as quickly in her soul as the
figures upon a frozen window dissolve when the rays of the sun begin to
warm the atmosphere; till at length Emily cared not whether her lover
had pedigree or not, and she even carried her political heresy so far
as to maintain, that the prerogatives of high birth, in comparison with
love, were the most insufferable yoke with which the freedom of mankind
had ever been burthened.

The handsome Fritz, who adored the Fraulein, with joy perceived that his
fortune in love was as propitious as his fortune in war. He seized
the first opportunity which offered of disclosing the situation of
his heart. She received his declaration with blushes, but with inward
delight, and the lovers exchanged vows of inviolable fidelity. They
enjoyed the present moment, but shuddered at the future. The return
of spring again called the army into tents, and the sorrowful moment
approached which was to separate the lovers. They now held a serious
consultation on ratifying their vows of love, so as that nothing but
death could part them. The Fraulein acquainted her lover with the
sentiments of her mother on the subject of marriage; and that it was not
to be expected that the proud lady would deviate one hair's-breadth from
her darling system, to sanction a union of affection.

A hundred plans were adopted and rejected, for with each there was
always some difficulty in the way which rendered its success doubtful.
Meanwhile the young hero found his betrothed determined to take any
course which would accomplish their wishes; upon which he proposed an
elopement, as the surest way which love had yet thought of, which has
succeeded innumerable times, and which will succeed in destroying the
plans of parents, and in vanquishing their obstinacy. Emily considered
for a little, and then consented; one thing was still to be considered,
how she would escape from the walls and bulwarks of the castle, to
throw herself into the arms of the welcome robber; for well she knew
the moment that the Wallenstein garrison marched out of the castle, the
vigilant mother would again take possession of her post, and her steps
would be so watched she would never be allowed to go out of her sight.
But inventive Love conquers every difficulty. It was well known to
the Fraulein, that, according to tradition, on All-soul's Day, in the
approaching autumn, the Spectre Nun, after a lapse of seven years, would
again revisit the castle. The terror of the inmates at the expectation
of her appearance was also well known to her; she therefore determined
upon the bold freak of playing the nun's part. Accordingly she secretly
prepared a nun's dress, and under this disguise resolved to elope.

The handsome Fritz was delighted with this invention, and although the
time of the thirty years' war was too early for freethinking, yet the
young officer was enough of a philosopher to doubt the existence of
spirits, or at least to trouble himself very little about the matter.

Their plans being thus arranged, Fritz threw himself into his saddle,
and, commending himself to the protection of Love, departed at the
head of his squadron. It appeared that Love had heard his prayer, for,
although he exposed himself to all dangers, the campaign terminated most
prosperously, and he escaped unhurt. Meanwhile Emily lived between hope
and fear; she trembled for the life of her faithful Amadis--she sought
diligently to obtain intelligence how it went with them in the field.
Every new rumour of a skirmish put her in terror and anxiety, which her
mother took for the sign of a feeling heart, without its creating any
suspicion. The hero let no opportunity slip of privately corresponding
with his beloved, and through the channel of a trusty waiting-maid, he
from time to time gave her intelligence of his fate, and through the
same messenger received accounts from her. As soon as the campaign was
ended, he prepared every thing for his secret expedition, bought four
steeds and a travelling carriage, and looked carefully in the Calendar
for the day on which he was to be at the appointed place of meeting,
in the little grove, not far from the castle. On All-soul's Day, Emily,
with the assistance of her attendant, prepared to carry her plan
into execution. As had been agreed upon, she feigned herself a little
indisposed, and retired early to her apartment, where she immediately
transformed herself into the prettiest hobgoblin that had ever haunted
the earth. The evening hours, by Emily's calculation, seemed to have
doubled themselves, and, as she thought of the work she had in hand,
every moment increased her wish to accomplish her adventure. Meanwhile
the pale Luna, the secret friend of lovers, with her soft glimmer, shone
on the castle of Lauenstein, in which the tumult of the busy day was by
degrees lost in the solemn stillness of the night. None were awake in
the castle but the housekeeper, who sat late in the night calculating
the expenses of the kitchen--the capon-stuffer, who was plucking for the
breakfast of the household a score of larks--the porter, who had also
the office of watchman, and called out the hours, and Hector, the
vigilant house-dog, who with his howls bayed the rising moon.

As the midnight hour sounded, the intrepid Emily set out upon her way.
She had provided herself with a master-key which opened all the doors.
Softly and secretly she descended the steps that led through the
cloister, in crossing which she observed there was still a light in the
kitchen. Upon this she rattled her bunch of keys with all her might,
dashed to the doors with a deafening noise, and boldly opened the
house-door and the wicket without accident. As soon as the four waking
inmates of the castle heard this unusual noise, they looked for the
appearance of the roving Nun. The capon-stuffer, terrified, fled into a
closet; the housekeeper into bed; the watchdog into his kennel; and the
porter into the straw beside his wife. The Fraulein soon arrived in the
open field, and hastened to the grove, where she thought she saw at a
distance the carriage and fleet horses waiting her appearance. But on
a nearer approach she discovered it was only the deceitful shadow of a
tree. From this she concluded she had mistaken the place of appointment.
She crossed and recrossed the shrubbery from one end to another, but her
knight, with his equipage, was nowhere to be found. Astonished at this
circumstance, she knew not what to think.

After an appointed rendezvous, not to appear, is considered among lovers
a high misdemeanour, but in the present case to fail, was little less
than high treason against Love; the thing was to her incomprehensible.
After having waited, but in vain, for an hour long, and her heart
trembling from anxiety and cold, she began to wail and weep. "Ah! the
perfidious one," she exclaimed, "he lies in the arms of some coquette,
from whom he cannot tear himself away; he mocks me, and has forgot my
true-love."

This thought suddenly brought the long-forgotten pedigree to her
recollection, and she felt ashamed of having so far demeaned herself as
to love a man without a name, or noble feeling. In this moment when the
intoxication of passion had somewhat subsided, and reason had resumed
her sway, this faithful counsellor advised her to re deem this false
step, by immediately returning to the castle, and trying to forget the
false perjurer. The first she did, without delay; and, to the great
surprise of her faithful confidant, to whom she revealed every thing,
she reached her chamber safe and sound; but the second point she
resolved to reflect upon at leisure.

Nevertheless, the man without a name, was not so much to blame as the
enraged Emily supposed. He had not failed to be punctual at the place of
meeting. With a heart full of rapture, he waited with impatience for the
moment which was to put him in possession of his lovely treasure. As
the midnight hour approached, he secretly hastened to the castle,
and listened when the little gate would open. Sooner than he supposed
possible, the beloved figure of the nun stepped out. He immediately
rushed from his concealment towards her, seized her in his arms,
exclaiming, "I have thee--I hold thee. Never shall I leave thee. Dear
love, thou art mine--I am thine, with body and soul." Joyfully he bore
his lovely burden to the carriage, and soon they rattled over stocks and
stones, up hills and down vallies. The horses plunged and snorted, shook
their manes, and became so wild and unmanageable, that they would
no longer obey the reins. A wheel flew off, and the sudden shock
precipitated the coachmen to the ground; and carriage and horses, and
man and mouse, all rolled over a steep abyss into a gulf below. The fond
lover knew not what had happened; his body was bruised, his head was
crushed, and, from the severity of the fall, he lost all recollection;
but when he came to himself, he missed his beloved companion. After
spending the rest of the night in this helpless situation, he was found
by some peasants in the morning, who carried him to the nearest village.

The carriage was dashed to pieces, the four horses had broken their
necks. This loss, however, grieved him little; but the fate of the
beautiful Emily plunged him in the greatest distress. He despatched
people in every direction to try and gain some tidings of her; but they
all returned as they went, nothing was to be heard of the runaway. The
midnight hour was the first thing which cleared up this mystery. As the
clock struck twelve, the door opened, and his lost travelling companion
stepped into the apartment, not however in the form of the beautiful
Emily, but of the Spectre Nun, a hideous skeleton. The handsome Fritz,
with horror, perceived that he himself had made this dreadful mistake.
Death-cold perspirations burst over him; he began to cross and bless
himself, and ejaculate every prayer he could think of.

The nun little heeded this; she stepped up to the bed, stroked his
burning cheeks with her withered ice-cold hand, and said, "Fritz, Fritz,
be resigned to it I am thine--thou art mine, with body and soul" She
thus continued to torture him with her presence for an hour, and then
vanished. This game she acted every night, and she even followed him
into the place where his regiment was quartered. He had neither peace
nor repose from the love of this hobgoblin, which so grieved and fretted
him, that he lost all spirit; so much so, that his companions began to
remark his deep melancholy; and these gallant officers truly sympathized
with his distress. They could not imagine what had happened to their
former lively associate, for he carefully shunned the horrible secret,
which he divulged to no one.

Among his companions, Fritz had one very intimate friend, whom rumour
reported master of all magical arts, and who possessed the lost art of
making himself invulnerable, could call up spirits, and had every day a
free shot. This experienced warrior, with affectionate impatience, urged
his friend to disclose the secret grief which so evidently oppressed
him. This martyr of love, who was sick of his existence, at length,
under the seal of secrecy, was prevailed on to divulge it. "Brother, is
this all?" said the exorcist, with a smile; "I shall soon release you
from this torment.--Follow me into my quarters." He began by making
secret preparations, drew several circles and characters upon the floor,
and, at the summons of the exorcist, in a dark chamber which was lighted
only by a magician's lamp, the midnight guest for this time appeared
at the mid-day hour. He scolded her very much, and banished her and her
mischievous pranks to a hollow willow in a lonely valley, with strict
commands at that very hour to set out to this Patmos.

The spectre vanished, but at the same moment there arose such a storm
and whirlwind, as set the whole town in commotion. It was an old pious
custom when a high wind blew, that twelve deputed citizens should
instantly take horse, and make a solemn pilgrimage through the streets,
chanting a song of repentance to sing the wind away. As soon as the
twelve booted and well-mounted apostles had rode out, the howling voice
of the hurricane ceased, and the spirit never again appeared. * Fritz
now perceived that this devilish ape's play was intended to entrap his
poor soul, and was rejoiced that the tormenting spirit had left him. He
again prepared to join the formidable Wallenstein in Pomerania, where he
finished three campaigns without hearing anything of the lovely Emily,
and behaved with such bravery, that on his return to Bohemia, he
commanded a regiment of horse. He took his way through Hungary, and when
he came in sight of the Castle of Lauenstein, his heart began to beat
with anxiety and doubt lest, in his absence, his beloved had been
forgetful of him. He merely announced himself as a friend of the family,
and, according to the rites of hospitality, gates and doors were soon
thrown open to him. We may mention here, that it is still the custom
in this town for this wind-laying cavalcade to perambulate the streets
during a storm.

Ah! how astonished was the lovely Emily, when her supposed faithless
lover, the handsome Fritz, stepped into the apartment! Joy and anger
by turns assailed her soul. She could not resolve to vouchsafe him one
friendly look, and yet this league with her beautiful eyes cost her the
greatest difficulty.

For three long years she had debated with herself whether she would
forget, or not, her nameless, and, as she believed, faithless lover, and
therefore he was never one moment from her thoughts. His image floated
continually before her; and, besides, it appeared that the God of Dreams
was his patron, for the innumerable dreams that the Fraulein had of
him ever since his absence, either excused or defended him. The stately
Colonel, whose high rank the harsh survey of the mother somewhat
softened, soon found an opportunity to try the apparent coldness of his
beloved. He related to her the horrible adventure of the Elopement,
and she frankly acknowledged to him the pain the thoughts of his
faithlessness had given her. The lovers now agreed to reveal their
secret to mamma, and endeavour to prevail with her to favour their
attachment.

The good lady was as much astonished at the secret attachment of the
cunning Emily, as at the communication of the _species facti_ of the
Elopement. She thought it just that love, which had stood so severe a
trial, should be rewarded. It was only the man without a name that was
offensive to her; and as the Fraulein observed, that it was incomparably
more sensible to marry a man without a name, than a name without a man,
against this argument she had nothing to reply.

They were married, and as the secret treaty had already prospered, and
no Count lay at the bottom of her heart, the good dame gave her maternal
consent to it. The handsome Fritz embraced his lovely bride, and
quietly and happily accomplished his marriage, without the slightest
interruption on the part of the Spectre Nun.

[ODD VOLUME.]

[Illustration: 233]



SUBJECTS OF CONVERSATION.

Subjects of conversation are sometimes exceedingly difficult to be
had. I have known many a company of well dressed men and women feel
themselves most awkwardly situated for want of something to talk about.
The weather, which is said to be a never failing subject, cannot hold
out above a few minutes at a time. It will stand a round or two rounds,
but not more. It is then knocked up for the evening, and cannot with
decency be again brought forward. Being thus disposed of, the subject
of "news" is tabled; but, as a matter of course, there being "no news
stirring," "not a word," "nothing in the papers," that subject is also
soon dispatched. If there happen to be any very remarkable occurrence
worth talking of, what a blessing it is on such occasions! It is food
for the company a whole night, and may be again and again brought above
board for their amusement. But it much more frequently happens that
there is no exciting event to talk about, and then the condition of the
company is truly miserable. There being ladies present, or there being
two factions in the room, politics are proscribed; and even if they
could be brought forward, the question of reform immediately comes in
with all its tiresomeness, and is put down by general consent. Every
attempt at getting up a topic failing, the company look into the fire,
or in each others faces, or begin to examine with much interest the
pattern of the carpet; and the silence which ensues is truly terrific.
A slight whisper is the only sound in the apartment, and is caught at
or watched by the company, for it may chance to be the commencement of
a conversation in which they may join, without exciting particular
attention. But it, too, dies away. It was only a passing under-current
of remark between the two married ladies in the blue and white turbans,
on the dearth of coals, the difficulty of getting good servants, or the
utility of keeping children muffled in flannel nightgowns from October
till March. At length some good soul makes an effort to brush away his
diffidence. He projects a remark across the room towards the little man
with the smirking countenance, about Mr. This, or Miss That, or
Signor Such-a-thing, who are at present enlivening the town with their
exhibitions. The remark is in itself a very ordinary remark, but it
has its use; it quickens the intellects of those who hear it, and the
tongues of a number of individuals are set a-going upon the subject of
theatrical amusements, singing in the Assembly Rooms, Pasta, Paganini,
and private parties, so that the original remark is lost sight of, and
the company go on pretty well with what it has produced, for perhaps
half an hour. All these topics being exhausted, another horrible silence
ensues. The company again look into the fire, or in one another's faces,
and once more examine the carpet. What is to be said next? All think
upon saying something, yet nobody speaks. The national _mauvaise honte_
is now displayed to the height of its perfection. The agony of the
company, however, approaches its crisis.--The awful stillness is broken,
and in a most natural and unexpected manner. The young man in the
starched cravat sitting in the corner of the room, near the end of the
piano, who has been thinking what he shall say or do for the last half
hour, takes heart of grace; he rises and snuffs the candles, going
through the self-imposed duty in as neat and elegant a style as he can
possibly affect. The snuffing of the candles is an operation which every
member of the company has seen performed ten thousand times; but it
affords interest for even the ten thousandth and first time. It may not
intrinsically be worth heeding, yet in a case of this nature, it is of
very great importance. It suggests a new theme, and that is exactly what
is wanted, for one subject invariably leads to the discussion of half
a dozen others. The operation of snuffing the candles therefore induces
some one to remark, how beautiful gas light is. Then this brings on a
disquisition on the danger of introducing it into private houses;
ils cost in comparison with oil is next touched upon; then follows an
observation about the last illumination; which leads to reminiscences
of similar displays on the occasions of the great naval victories--the
victories lead to Nelson--Nelson to his biographer, Southey--Southey,
to poetry--poetry, to Byron--and Byron, to Greece. This whirl of
conversation, however, also runs out; an accident jars it, and it is all
over. Suddenly the speakers pause, as if they had received a galvanic
shock; one small voice is alone left prominent above the silence; but
finding itself unsupported, it is immediately lowered to a whisper, and
the whisper subsides to a dead silence.

I have often pitied the host or hostess on occasions of this nature;
but I could not help blaming them for not providing against such dismal
pauses in the conversation of the parties. To guard against these
occurrences, I would recommend them to bring forward what I have
remarked to be never-failing sources of conversational entertainment,
namely, a tolerably good-looking cat, a lap-dog or a child. The last is
the best, it ought to be about two years of age, and be able to walk. If
adroitly played off, or permitted to play, it will amuse the party for
an hour at least. It must be placed on the hearth-rug, so as to attract
all eyes; and while in the room, no other subject of discourse will be
thought of. Any endeavour to draw off attention, by the relation of some
entertaining anecdote, will be deemed sedition against the majesty
of the household. If a cat, a dog, or an interesting child, cannot be
conveniently had, I would advise the invitation of some one who has a
loud voice and the happy effrontery of speaking incessantly, however
ridiculously, on all subjects; a person who can speak nonsense to any
extent, and has the reputation of being a most agreeable companion.
This man is of vast use in tabling subjects; for he has no diffidence
or modesty, and has a knack of turning every observation to account.
His voice also serves as a cover to much bye conversation; there being
hundreds who speak fluently enough, provided a bag-pipe were kept
playing beside them, or who could have their voices drowned by some
other species of noise. The loud and voluble talker is therefore an
excellent shelter for those of weaker nerves, and will be found a useful
ingredient in all mixed companies.

The difficulty of starting subjects of conversation, as well as
the difficulty of sustaining them, is often as observable when two
acquaintances meet in the street, as when a roomful of company is
collected. The unhappy pair exhaust all that they can remember they
ought to say to each other, in the space of a minute and a half, and
another minute may be consumed in going through the process of taking a
pinch of snuff; the next half minute is spent in mutual agony. Neither
knows how to separate. As the only chance of release, one of the parties
at last brings in a joke, or what is meant to be such, to his aid.
The other, of course, feels bound to laugh, and both seizing the
opportunity, escape in different directions under cover of the
witticism.

[CHAMBERS' JOURNAL.]

[Illustration: 242]



INCONVENIENCIES RESULTING FROM BEING HANGED.


"TO THE EDITOR OP THE REFLECTOR." *

Sir,--I am one of those unhappy persons whose misfortunes, it seems, do
not entitle them to the benefit of pure pity. All that is bestowed upon
me of that kindest alleviator of human miseries, comes dashed with a
double portion of contempt. My griefs have nothing in them that is felt
as sacred by the bystanders. Yet is my affliction, in truth, of the
deepest grain. The heaviest task that was ever given to mortal patience
to sustain. Time, that wears out all other sorrows, can never modify or
soften mine. Here they must continue to gnaw.

     * London, 1810.

Why was I ever born? Why was innocence in my person suffered to be
branded with a stain which was appointed only for the blackest guilt?
What had I done, or my parents, that a disgrace of mine should involve a
whole posterity in infamy? I am almost tempted to believe, that, in some
preexistent state, crimes to which this sublunary life of mine hath been
as much a stranger as the babe that is newly born into it, have drawn
down upon me this vengeance, so disproportionate to my actions on this
globe.

My brain sickens, and my bosom labours to be delivered of the weight
that presses upon it, yet my conscious pen shrinks from the avowal. But
out it must--

O, Mr. Reflector! guess at the wretch's misery who now writes this to
you, when, with tears and burning blushes, he is obliged to confess,
that he has been--Hanged-

Methinks I hear an involuntary exclamation burst from you, as your
imagination presents to you fearful images of your correspondent,
unknown,--_hanged!_

Fear not, Mr. Editor. No disembodied spirit has the honour of addressing
you. I am flesh and blood, an unfortunate system of bones, muscles,
sinews, arteries, like yourself.

_Then, I presume, you mean to be pleasant. That expression of yours, Mr.
Correspondent, must be taken somehow in a metaphorical sense_.

In the plainest sense, without trope or figure. Yes, Mr. Editor, this
neck of mine has felt the fatal noose,--these hands have tremblingly
held up the corroborative prayer-book,--these lips have sucked the
moisture of the last consolatory orange,--this tongue has chaunted the
doleful cantata which no performer was ever called upon to repeat,--this
face has had the veiling night-cap drawn over it.

But for no crime of mine. Far be it from me to arraign the justice of my
country, which, though tardy, did at length recognize my innocence. It
is not for me to reflect upon the judge or jury, now that eleven years
have elapsed since the erroneous sentence was pronounced. Men will
always be fallible, and perhaps circumstances did appear at the time a
little strong--

Suffice it to say, that after hanging four minutes,--(as the spectators
were pleased to compute it,--a man that is being strangled, I know from
experience, has altogether a different measure of time from his friends
who are breathing leisurely about him, I suppose the minutes lengthen as
time approaches eternity, in the same manner as the miles get longer as
you travel northward),--after hanging four minutes, according to the
best calculation of the bystanders, a reprieve came, and I was cut
down--

Really, I am ashamed of deforming your pages with these technical
phrases, if I knew how to express my meaning shorter--

But to proceed.--My first care, after I had been brought to myself by
the usual methods (those methods that are so interesting to the operator
and his assistants, who are pretty numerous on such occasions, but which
no patient was ever desirous of undergoing a second time for the benefit
of science), my first care was to provide myself with an enormous stock
or cravat, to hide the place--you understand me; my next care was to
procure a residence as distant as possible from that part of the country
where I had suffered. For that reason I chose the metropolis as the
place where wounded honour (I had been told) could lurk with the least
danger of exciting enquiry, and stigmatised innocence had the best
chance of hiding her disgrace in a crowd. I sought out a new circle
of acquaintance, and my circumstances happily enabling me to pursue my
fancy in that respect, I endeavoured, by mingling in all the pleasures
which the town affords, to efface the memory of what I had undergone.

But alas! such is the portentous and all-pervading chain of connection
which links together the head and members of this great community, my
scheme of lying _perdu_ was defeated almost at the outset. A countryman
of mine, whom a foolish lawsuit had brought to town, by chance met me,
and the secret was soon blazoned about.

In a short time, I found myself deserted by most of those who had been
my intimate friends. Not that any guilt was supposed to attach to my
character. My officious countryman, to do him justice, had been candid
enough to explain my perfect innocence. But, somehow or other, there
is a want of strong virtue in mankind. We have plenty of the softer
instincts, but the heroic character is gone. How else can I account for
it, that of all my numerous acquaintance, among whom I had the honour of
ranking sundry persons of education, talents, and worth, scarcely here
and there one or two could be found, who had the courage to associate
with a man that had been hanged.

Those few who did not desert me altogether, were persons of strong but
coarse minds; and from the absence of all delicacy in them, I suffered
almost as much as from the super-abundance of a false species of it
in the others. Those who stuck by me were the jokers, who thought
themselves entitled, by the fidelity which they had shown towards me,
to use me with what familiarity they pleased. Many and unfeeling are the
jests that I have suffered from these rude (because faithful) Achateses.
As they passed me in the streets, one would nod significantly to his
companion and say, pointing to me, smoke his cravat, and ask me if I
had got a wen, that I was so solicitous to cover my neck. Another would
enquire, what news from * * * Assizes? (which you may guess, Mr. Editor,
was the scene of my shame) and whether the sessions was like to prove
a maiden one? A third would offer to ensure me from drowning. A fourth
would teaze me with enquiries how I felt when I was swinging, whether I
had not something like a blue flame dancing before my eyes? A fifth
took a fancy never to call me any thing but _Lazarus_. And an eminent
bookseller and publisher, who, in his zeal to present the public with
new facts, had he lived in those days, I am confident, would not have
scrupled waiting upon the person himself last mentioned, at the most
critical period of his existence, to solicit a _few facts relative to
resuscitation_, had the modesty to offer me--guineas per sheet, if I
would write, in his Magazine, a physiological account of my feelings
upon coming to myself.

But these were evils which a moderate fortitude might have enabled me
to struggle with. Alas! Mr. Editor, the women,--whose good graces I had
always most assiduously cultivated, from whose softer minds I had hoped
a more delicate and generous sympathy than I found in the men,--the
women began to shun me--this was the unkindest blow of all.

But is it to be wondered at? How couldest thou imagine, wretched est of
beings, that that tender creature Seraphina would fling her pretty arms
about that neck which previous circumstances had rendered infamous? That
she would put up with the refuse of the rope, the leavings of the cord?
Or that any analogy could subsist between the knot which binds true
lovers, and the knot which ties malefactors.

I can forgive that pert baggage Flirtilla, who, when I complimented her
one day on the execution which her eyes had done, replied, that to be
sure, Mr. * * was a judge of those things. But from thy more exalted
mind, Celestina, I expected a more unprejudiced decision.

The person whose true name I conceal under this appellation, of all the
women that I was ever acquainted with, had the most manly turn of
mind, which she had improved by reading and the best conversation.
Her understanding was not more masculine, than her manners and whole
disposition were delicately and truly feminine. She was the daughter
of an officer who had fallen in the service of his country, leaving his
widow and Celestina, an only child, with a fortune sufficient to set
them above want, but not to enable them to live in splendour. I had the
mother's permission to pay my addresses to the young lady, and Celestina
seemed to approve of my suit.

Often and often have I poured out my overcharged soul in the presence
of Celestina, complaining of the hard and unfeeling prejudices of
the world; and the sweet maid has again and again declared, that
no irrational prejudice should hinder her from esteeming every man
according to his intrinsic worth. Often has she repeated the consolatory
assurance, that she could never consider as essentially ignominious
an _accident_, which was indeed to be deprecated, but which might have
happened to the most innocent of mankind.--Then would she set forth some
illustrious example, which her reading easily furnished, of a Phocion
or a Socrates unjustly condemned; of a Raleigh or a Sir Thomas More, to
whom late posterity had done justice; and by soothing my fancy with
some such agreeable parallel, she would make me almost to triumph in my
disgrace, and convert my shame into glory.

In such entertaining and instructive conversations the time passed on,
till I importunately urged the mistress of my affections to name a day
for our union. To this she obligingly consented, and I thought myself
the happiest of mankind. But how was I surprised one morning on the
receipt of the following billet from my charmer:--

     "Sir,--You must not impute it to levity, or to a worse
     failing, ingratitude, if, with anguish of heart, I feel
     myself compelled by irresistible arguments to recal a vow
     which I fear I made with too little consideration. I never
     can be yours. The reasons of my decision, which is final,
     are in my own breast, and you must everlastingly remain a
     stranger to them. Assure yourself that I can never cease to
     esteem you as I ought."

     "Celestina"

At the sight of this paper, I ran in frantic haste to Celestina's
lodgings, where I learned, to my infinite mortification, that the mother
and daughter were set off on a journey to a distant part of the country,
to visit a relation, and were not expected to return in less than four
months.

Stunned by this blow, which left me without the courage to solicit an
explanation by letter, even if I had known where they were (for the
particular address was industriously concealed from me), I waited with
impatience the termination of the period, in the vain hope that I might
be permitted to have a chance of softening the harsh decision, by a
personal interview with Celestina after her return. But before three
months were at an end, I learned from the newspapers, that my beloved
had--given her hand to another!

Heart-broken as I was, I was totally at a loss to account for the
strange step which she had taken; and it was not till some years after,
that I learned the true reason from a female relation of hers, to whom
it seems Celestina had confessed in confidence, that it was no demerit
of mine that had caused her to break off the match so abruptly, nor any
preference which she might feel for any other person, for she preferred
me (she was pleased to say) to all mankind; but when she came to lay the
matter closer to her heart, she found that she never should be able to
bear the sight--(I give you her very words as they were detailed to me
by her relation)--the sight of a man in a nightcap, who had appeared on
a public platform; it would lead to such a disagreeable association of
ideas! And to this punctilio I was sacrificed.

To pass over an infinite series of minor mortifications, to which this
last and heaviest might well render me callous, behold me here, Mr.
Editor! in the thirty-seventh year of my existence (the twelfth,
reckoning from my re-animation), cut off from all respectable
connexions, rejected by the fairer half of the community,--who in my
case alone seem to have laid aside the characteristic pity of their sex;
punished because I was once punished unjustly; suffering for no other
reason than because I once had the misfortune to suffer without any
cause at all. In no other country, I think, but this, could a man have
been subject to such a life-long persecution, when once his innocence
had been clearly established.

Had I crawled forth a rescued victim from the rack in the horrible
dungeons of the Inquisition,--had I heaved myself up from a half
bastinado in China, or been torn from the just-entering, ghastly
impaling stake in Barbary,--had I dropt alive from the knout in
Russia, or come off with a gashed neck from the half-mortal,
scarce-in-time-retracted scymetar of an executioneering slave in
Turkey,--I might have borne about the remnant of this frame (the mangled
trophy of reprieved innocence) with credit to myself, in any of those
barbarous countries. No scorn, at least, would have mingled with the
pity (small as it might be) with which what was left of me would have
been surveyed.

The singularity of my case has often led me to enquire into the reasons
of the general levity with which the subject of hanging is treated as
a topic in this country. I say as a topic; for let the very persons who
speak so lightly of the thing at a distance, be brought to view the real
scene,--let the platform be _bona fide_ exhibited, and the trembling
culprit brought forth,--the case is changed; but as a topic of
conversation, I appeal to the vulgar jokes which pass current in every
street. But why mention them, when the politest authors have agreed in
making use of this subject as a source of the ridiculous? Swift, and
Pope, and Prior, are fond of recurring to it. Gay has built an entire
drama upon this single foundation. The whole interest of the _Beggar's
Opera_ may be said to hang upon it. To such writers as Fielding and
Smollett it is a perfect _bon bouche_.--Hear the facetious Tom Brown, in
his _Comical View of London and Westminster_, describe the _Order of the
Show at one of the Tyburn executions_ in his time:--"Mr. Ordinary
visits his melancholy flock in Newgate, by eight. Doleful procession
up Holborn-hill, about eleven. Men handsome and proper that were never
thought so before, which is some comfort, however. Arrive at the fatal
place by twelve. Burnt brandy, women, and Sabbath-breaking, repented
of. Some few penitential drops fall under the gallows. Sheriffs' men,
parson, pickpockets, criminals, all very busy. The last concluding
peremptory psalm struck up. Show over by one."--In this sportive strain
does this misguided wit think proper to play with a subject so serious,
which yet he would hardly have done, if he had not known that there
existed a predisposition in the habits of his unaccountable countrymen
to consider the subject as a jest. But what shall we say to Shakspeare,
who (not to mention the solution which the _Grave-digger_ in _Hamlet_
gives of his fellow workman's problem), in that scene in _Measure for
Measure_, where the _Clown_ calls upon _Master Barnardine_ to get up and
be hanged, which he declines on the score of being sleepy, has
actually gone out of his way to gratify this amiable propensity in his
countrymen; for it is plain, from the use that was to be made of his
head, and from _Abhorson's_ asking, "is the axe upon the block,
Sirrah?" that beheading, and not hanging, was the punishment to which
_Barnardine_ was destined. But Shakspeare knew that the axe and block
were pregnant with no ludicrous images, and, therefore, falsified the
historic truth of his own drama (if I may so speak) rather than he
would leave out such excellent matter for a jest as the suspending of a
fellow-creature in mid air has been ever esteemed to be by Englishmen.

One reason why the ludicrous never fails to intrude itself into our
contemplations upon this mode of death, I suppose to be, the absurd
posture into which a man is thrown who is condemned to dance, as the
vulgar delight to express it, upon nothing. To see him whisking and
wavering in the air, to behold the vacant carcase, from which the life
is newly dislodged, shifting between earth and heaven, the sport of
every gust; like a weathercock, serving to show from which point the
wind blows; like a maukin, fit only to scare away birds; like a nest
left to swing upon a bough when the bird is flown; these are uses to
which we cannot, without a mixture of spleen and contempt, behold the
human carcase reduced. We string up dogs, foxes, bats, moles, weasels.
Man surely deserves a steadier death.

     As the wind you know will wave a man; *

     * Hieronimo in the Spanish tragedy.

Another reason why the ludicrous associates more forcibly with this than
with any other mode of punishment, I cannot help thinking to be, the
senseless costume with which an old prescription has thought fit to
clothe the exit of malefactors in this country. Let a man do what
he will to abstract from his imagination all idea of the whimsical,
something of it will come across him when he contemplates the figure of
a fellow-creature in the day-time (in however distressing a situation)
in a night-cap. Whether it be that this nocturnal addition has something
discordant with day-light, or that it is the dress which we are seen in
at those times when we are "seen," as the Angel in Milton expresses it,
"least wise;" this I am afraid will always be the case; unless, indeed,
as in my instance, some strong personal feeling overpower the ludicrous
altogether. To me, when I reflect upon the train of misfortunes which
have pursued me through life, owing to that accursed drapery, the cap
presents as purely frightful an object as the sleeveless yellow coat
and devil-painted mitre of the San Benitos. An ancestor of mine, who
suffered for his loyalty in the time of the civil wars, was so sensible
of the truth of what I am here advancing, that, on the morning of
execution, no entreaties could prevail upon him to submit to the odious
dishabile, as he called it, but he insisted upon wearing, and actually
suffered in, the identical flowing periwig which he is painted in, in
the gallery belonging to my uncle's seat.

Suffer me, Mr. Editor, before I quit the subject, to say a word or two
respecting the minister of justice in this country; in plain words,
I mean the hangman. It has always appeared tome, that, in the mode
of inflicting capital punishments with us, there is too much of the
ministry of the human hand. The guillotine, as performing its functions
more of itself, and sparing human agency, though a cruel and disgusting
exhibition, in my mind, has in many ways the advantage over _our way_.
In beheading, indeed, as it was formerly practised in England, and in
whipping to death, as is sometimes practised now, the hand of man is no
doubt sufficiently busy; but there is something less repugnant in these
downright blows, than in the officious barber-like ministrings of the
other. To have a fellow with his hangman's hands fumbling about your
collar, adjusting the thing as your valet would regulate your cravat,
valuing himself on his menial dexterity--I never shall forget meeting
my rascal--I mean the fellow who officiated for me,--in London
last winter. I think I see him now,--in a waistcoat that had been
mine,--smirking along as if he knew me.

[Illustration: 265]

In some parts of Germany that fellow's office is by law declared
infamous, and his posterity incapable of being ennobled. They have
hereditary hangmen, or had at least, in the same manner as they had
other hereditary great officers of state, and the hangman's families of
two adjoining parishes intermarried with each other, to keep the breed
entire. I wish something of the same kind were established in England.

But it is time to quit a subject which teems with disagreeable images,
lest we should suffer by _contamination._

Permit me to subscribe myself, Mr. Editor, your unfortunate
friend,--Pensilis.

[CHARLES LAMB.]

[Illustration: 267]



THE NEW "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST."

Marshal Mont-Jean was as respectable a soldier as good king Francis had
in his army. It was currently reported in his troop that he had once
been young, although his hair was now grey, and that he had once
been alert, although the wounds from sword, lance, and bullet, which
cicatrised his body all over, had rendered him fit only for garrison
duty. He was entrusted with an important fortress on the frontiers of
Piedmont, for his royal master knew that his stiff and shrivelled body
would as little think of budging from before an enemy as the stone and
lime he was set to guard.

Marshal Mont-Jean had a young wife--a lineal descendant of the noble
family of Chateaubriant--a girl in her seventeenth year, of a clear
car-nated complexion, through which the eloquent blood shone forth at
every word she spoke, with dark eyes at once penetrating and winning,
and with an elastic, buoyant, coquettish sort of a gait. Owing to family
politics, she had been married to the marshal before she very well knew
what marriage was. Naturally of an affectionate disposition, she loved
the tough old soldier--who, imperative and stern to all others, was
gentle to her--as a daughter might have done. Her little thoughts ran
more upon her gowns, headtires, and feathers, than any thing else.
She would have had no objections, had it lain in her power, to have
displayed these objects of her affections before the eyes of young
French gallants, but unluckily there were none such within reach. The
soldiers of the garrison were old and grizzled as their commander, or
the walls they tenanted. The Marquis of Saluzzo visited the marshal
sometimes, to be sure; but although not exactly old, he was ugly. His
features were irregular, his eyes dull and bleared, his complexion a
yellowish black: he had a big belly and a round back, and was heavy and
lumpish in all his motions. So the pretty lady had no one to please by
her dresses but herself, her handmaidens, and her venerable husband. And
yet she was daily dressed like the first princess of the land. It had
been a fair sight to see the delicate ape attired like unto some stately
queen, and striving to give to her petite figure, mincing steps, and
laughing looks, an air of solemn and stately reserve.

Every thing has an end, at least the life of Marshal Mont-Jean had.
His little widow was sincerely sorry, but her grief was not exactly
heartbreaking. She had respected him, but love was out of the question;
and with all her esteem for the man, and resignation to her fate, there
was something unnatural in the union of persons so widely differing in
age. But had she been ever so inclined to lament him, she would not
have had time. She was under the necessity of transporting herself
immediately, with all her own and her late husband's retainers, to her
estates in France, and she had not a single sol left in her possession.
Her estates were large, but even had there been time to await the
arrival of money from them, the times were too unsafe to hazard its
transmission. The country around her was too mountainous, and its air
too pure and keen to nourish usurers. Her dresses were of immense value,
but there was no one near who cared for such frippery, or could or would
advance money upon its pledge. The little lady was at her wit's end.

She felt no great alleviation of her troubles, when one day--after
wondering for a quarter of an hour what was the meaning of the tan tara
of trumpets before the gate, and the clattering of horses' hoofs in the
court-yard--the Marquis of Saluzzo was ushered into her presence. He was
gaily apparelled in a tunic and hose of white silk, laced with silver,
and a hat of the same materials, with bushy white plumes waving over his
head. This costume communicated to his countenance--which rivalled in
colour the feet of a duck that has all day been wading in the mud--a
yet more repulsive expression. The young widow thought--when she saw
the portly belly come swagging into the hall before its owner, and
the worshipful marquis panting after it, with a multitude of ungainly
bows--that she had never seen any thing half so hideous.

[Illustration: 273]

Her visitor came at once to the point, for he was none of those who are
troubled with a fastidious delicacy. He had learned the situation of
embarrassment in which the marshal had left his lady, and came to inform
her that he was himself on the road to Paris, whither, if she would
favour him with her company, and join her train of attendants with his,
he would defray her expenses. He urged her acceptance of his proffered
aid with garrulous and indelicate importunity, fixing his gooseberry
eyes upon her, with an attempt to look languishing. Nay, in the pride of
his heart, he let her know that already many suitors were mustering to
urge their claims to the hand of the wealthy widow of Mont-Jean, the
heiress apparent of the noble house of Chateaubriant, and that he was
not without hopes of insinuating himself into her good graces during
their journey. In our days, it would be thought indelicate for a woman
in the lady's situation to accept an essential service from so blunt a
knight; but in those days the fair sex were not so particular. There was
danger even then of being inveigled; but Marie was young, lighthearted,
undaunted, and fond of a joke. She knew not enough of the world to be
aware of the use an artful man might take of such a journey, to render
appearances against her, should she finally repulse his advances.
Lastly, there was no choice left her, the new commandant was daily
expected, and she could not raise a maravedi.

The marquis and his fair companion were, by their style of travelling,
and the want of other company, kept close together during great part of
the journey. He was constantly by her bridle on the road, he was ready
with the proffer of his services whenever she dismounted, he sat by her
at the board--most frequently spread under the shadow of some branchy
tree. Marie gradually got reconciled to his appearance; and although she
could not respect a man, who in his incessant prattling gave tokens only
of a proud, foolish, and selfish mind, she learned to take pleasure in
the unconscious manner in which he displayed his character. His attempts
to express his love, too, were endless as ludicrous, and Marie was not
the person to shrink from a little coquetry, more particularly when the
object afforded her at the same time matter for a hearty laugh. She had
a natural talent for coquetting, and the restraint laid upon her of late
by her situation only heightened her desire to exercise it now.

Before the party reached Lyons, however, she was made painfully
sensible of her error. She remarked that the marquis took care to blazon
immediately to the whole train, every encouragement she gave him. In
private, he assumed a dictatorial tone, arranging who of her domestics
it were most advisable to retain or dismiss--assuming that their
future union was an event which must undoubtedly happen. His attendants
affected to look upon her with a peculiarly intelligent expression, and
used every artifice to draw from her speeches which might favour their
master's hopes. "Ah, senora," said the steward, one day, as she was
rallying him about some trifle, "these sharp words require a sweetener."

"Depend upon it, good Jaques," she replied, "you shall have as heavy a
gold chain as the steward of the best marquis in the land, the day of my
marriage." She could have bit her tongue for vexation, when she saw
the old thief scuttle up to his master, and tell him the story, with a
profusion of "nods and becks, and wreathed smiles."

She learned, about the same time, from her female attendants, that they
had been prevented from forwarding any intelligence to their friends
in France; that her own messengers had been detained, and dispatches
addressed to her intercepted. She saw now that the wily Italian was
closing his meshes around her. She had looked upon him as a fool, a
creature out of whom she could extract amusement and advantage, and
shake him off--as lightly as the flower the refreshing dewdrop, when the
western breeze begins to blow. She found that the lowest order of minds
possess most practical cunning. She was fretted and anxious. His train
outnumbered hers, which consisted, moreover, chiefly of her female
attendants. She was, however, of too gay and confident a disposition to
remain long uneasy. They were now approaching Lyons, and in the city he
would not dare to detain her person by force. Her few men-at-arms were
hardy soldiers, and implicitly to be relied upon.

Arrived in the hostelrie, she made an excuse for retiring early. The
window of her apartment opened upon the Rhone. She sat, her head buried
in her hands, striving, but in vain, to determine upon some line of
conduct. The door opened, and her favourite tirewoman introduced a
young gentleman, richly but not gaudily equipped, of martial bearing. "A
messenger, my lady, from your cousin, Vieilleville." The messenger bore
a letter, in which the Sieur de Vieilleville informed her that it was
currently reported in Paris she had promised her hand to the Marquis
of Saluzzo, and that the king, for political considerations, was intent
upon the match; that he, however, could not for a moment believe her so
inconsiderate, and that he was at hand with a body of sixty gens-d'armes
to free her.

The lady recognised at once the rude craft of Saluzzo in the reports
to which her cousin alluded. She trembled at the thought of the king
seconding the wishes of her unknightly suitor, but she rejoiced that the
full extent of her danger had only been laid open to her at the moment
that certain aid presented itself. Vieilleville was one of those
straightforward daring persons, who, having neither fear nor dishonesty
in their character, always pursue the direct road to their object.
It was well known that he had often opposed the king in his darling
projects, yet without losing his favour; for Francis knew that thoughts
of self never stained Vieilleville. The proudest nobles of France,
the princes of the blood, did not disdain to seek his countenance and
protection, although he was yet but a lieutenant of gendarmerie and a
simple knight--not even a member of the order.

With tumultuous joy, Marie addressed to her cousin a warm letter of
thanks for his confidence in the propriety of her conduct. Love for a
man of Saluzzo's character was out of the question. As for the king's
deep-laid schemes, she had been sacrificed when a child to political
considerations, but now, a woman and her own mistress, she would submit
to such treatment from no one. She threw herself unreservedly upon her
cousin's protection. As, however, the marquis and she were next day to
cross the hills to Rouanne, there to embark on the Loire, and sail down
to Briare, whence they were to proceed by land through Essonne to Paris,
she ventured to suggest what seemed the quietest mode of getting her out
of the marquis's hands. She proposed that Vieilleville should advance
with his troop to Corbeil, taking care to arrive the same evening
that she reached Essonne. Next day he was to direct his course towards
Juvizy, and entering it at the same time, her steward should so arrange
matters that her attendants could in a moment separate themselves
from the cortège of the marquis, and attach themselves to that of
Vieilleville. With such a knight opposed to him, and in the broad eye of
day, Saluzzo would yield without resistance.

Marie, as she next day rode across the mountains, was wild with joy. The
fresh breezes of the uplands, and the rapturous thought of approaching
freedom, filled her with transport. She teased her steed to perform a
thousand gambols, she sung in emulation of the birds by the way-side,
she squandered a thousand malicious kind looks upon the lout by her
side, she had a good word and a gift for every menial in the train, Her
delicate figure, flashing eyes, and graceful wildness, kept all eyes
fixed upon her with love and wonder.

Next day the party embarked upon the Loire, but the first intoxication
of joy was over. The equable motion of the boat, the gentle rippling
of the waves, the heat of the day, the deep shades beneath which they
occasionally passed, relaxed her frame. A band of music which the
marquis had engaged at Lyons, aided, by its soft plaintive melodies,
to give a melancholy character to her reflections. She thought of her
indiscretion, of the toils from which she was not yet free, of the
slanders and calumnies to which she might be exposed. The careless
innocence of a young woman may lead her into conduct, to look upon
which impresses her with a tormenting consciousness of sullied purity,
although not one criminal thought has ruffled her white mind. It was
thus with Marie. Lost in self-reproach, she bowed her head over the
gunwale of the boat, and played in the water with her fingers, while
a big tear gathered beneath each jetty eyelash. Her ugly companion sat
beside her, gazing upon the fair mourner with a nauseous expression of
affection and confidence. The change of her mood since yesterday, was
too palpable to escape even his gross apprehension. But he attributed it
with great complacency to the waywardness of love, believing himself to
be the object. His attachment to Marie was a strange mixture of avarice,
gratified vanity, and admiration of her beauty.

Let us hasten to the close of our story. It was mid-day, and the crowds
which had thronged the market-place of Juvizy were dispersing, when a
knight, armed at all points, his vizor up, rode into the great square,
followed by eighty men-at-arms. He sat on his strong black horse like an
upright pillar of iron. His look was sedate, but frank and careless, as
of one whose blood flowed as calmly, and whose thoughts were as clear
amid the thunder of the fight as in the retirement of his own chamber.
There was a universal expression of love and reverence, for every
peasant knew Vieilleville. His troop drew up in a wide street which
abutted on the market-place, at one end of the town-house.

They had not waited many minutes when the sound of approaching horses
was heard, and soon after, a large company, in which were a number of
females, the men, though more numerous, neither so well equipped nor
skilfully arranged as those of Vieilleville, entered the square. A
knight and a lady rode foremost. The eye of the latter glanced bright as
it fell upon Vieilleville and his attendants. They advanced towards the
town-house, the greater proportion of their followers edging off
towards a street at the other end of the building from that occupied by
Vieilleville. The women, and a few soldiers, turned their horses towards
the troop which had arrived before them. Saluzzo (for it was he),
espying this, called after them that they had mistaken their way.

"With your pardon, fair Sir," said Marie, checking her steed, "they are
quite right. Your lodgings are at the hostelrie of the Bear; mine at
that of St. Denis. My cousin Vieilleville is here to relieve you of
the charge I have so unwillingly imposed upon you; and you know how
indecorous it would be to prefer the protection of a stranger to so near
a relation. My steward will reckon with yours at Paris for any expense
you may have incurred on my account. The debt of gratitude I owe you I
never can hope to pay." And here the innate devil of coquetry resumed
its sway as her spirits rose. "I leave my heart in your keeping, fair
Sir. Take good care of it." Saluzzo was too well aware of his own powers
to dream of coping with Vieilleville. He saw his fairy visions melting
away, and he wept for spite and sorrow. With a cowed look he took her
proffered hand, and pressed it to his lips. In the very wantonness of
malice, she gently pressed his paw, smiled, and cast one of her most
winning glances at him; then, turning suddenly, as if to hide a blush,
she cantered smiling towards her cousin. The crest-fallen marquis
retired in a super-eminently savage mood to his den.

On reaching the hostelrie, Vieilleville presented to Marie a young
knight, whom she recognised as the bearer of his letter. "The Prince
of Roche-sur-Yonne, fair cousin--the playmate of your childhood, the
admirer of your womanly beauties, and one who, as you well know, lately
undertook a service of some danger and difficulty for your sake." The
prince was certainly an amiable and handsome young man, his late service
gave him some claim to a kind reception, and in the course of a few
hours' conversation, so many childish hours of happiness had been
re-awakened in Marie's memory, that she felt as if her youthful playmate
and she, although separated, had never been disjoined--she persuaded
herself that some invisible bond had held them together, although
herself had remained unaware of it until circumstances drew the noose
tighter. The prince secured his footing by a thousand delicate and
unpretending attentions. On the eve of the third day, just before
they entered Paris, Vieilleville reminded his cousin of the danger she
incurred from the king's anxiety to see her married to Saluzzo, and
urged a speedy private marriage to the prince. Marie saw the propriety
of the advice; her own inclinations were not adverse; the good marshal
dwelt in her memory rather as a revered parent than as a beloved
husband--in short, she consented.

This arrangement was kept of course a profound secret from Saluzzo. On
recovering from his dumps, the malicious pressure of his hand, and the
rosy smile which accompanied it, broke like morning on his memory. It is
strange what a power of self-deception the mind possesses. When a lover
has long wished to gain his mistress's affections, picturing to himself
the possible awakening of love in her breast, and all the nes of his
future happiness, the images of his fancy grow so vivid, that he cannot
persuade himself they are unreal. The slightest indication is eagerly
caught at as a proof of their reality. A thousand proofs of dislike are
effaced from recollection by one kind look. This holds true even with
such questionable passions as that of Saluzzo. He paid a daily visit to
Marie Mont-Jean, still trusting that although one visit afforded no room
for hope, the next might. In vain: the Prince of Roche-sur-Yonne was
always there before him, managed to remain longer, and engrossed all the
conversation and kind looks of the lady.

At last Saluzzo resolved to change his tactics. He summoned the
lady before the parliament, to be adjudged to implement a promise of
marriage, which he alleged she had made to him during their journey.
Vieilleville, the prince, and Marie, held a council of war, and it was
agreed that their measures should be directed by the first mentioned.

The president and counsellors were assembled in full chamber, after
receiving a brief but pithy hint from the king, to take care how they
crossed his wishes. The clerk of the court was mending his pen with the
most assiduous gravity. Saluzzo approached the bar, attended by a lean,
sallow notary, and some creatures of the court. At the same moment,
Marie de Montespedon, relict of the late Marshal Mont-Jean, entered
the hall, leaning on the arm of the redoubted Monsieur de Vieilleville,
attended by a gallant train of ladies, lords, and gentlemen.

The preliminary forms having been observed the president directed the
lady to take the oath of verity with bared and uplifted hands. The first
interrogatory put to her was. "Did you ever promise marriage to the
noble gentleman, the Marquis of Saluzzo, now in presence?" The blood
rushed into the cheeks of the lady; she turned her eyes resolutely upon
the marquis, who looked upon the ground, his colour growing blacker
and yet more bloodless. She replied in a low whisper, which was heard
through the whole hall, "No, by the virtue of mine oath." The president
opened his mouth as if to put another question, and the clerk sharpened
his ears, and brought his pen in contact with the paper, but the lady
interrupted them, her face glowing crimson, in hurried but distinct
words: "Gentlemen! I am not accustomed to such exhibitions. I fear my
woman's wit may be entangled amid your forms and subtleties. I will cut
this matter short. Before this noble company I declare as I shall answer
to King Francis with my broad lands, and to God with my soul, as I live
and regard my honour, I never gave troth, nor faith, nor promise of
marriage, to that lying caitiff, nor ever dreamed of such a folly. And
if any one call in question this my declaration, here"--she continued,
taking Vieilleville by the hand--"here stands my champion, whom I
present to maintain my words, which he knows to be true, and from the
mouth of a lady of honour, if ever one existed. I place my trust, under
God and my good cause, in his valour."

"That alters the case," said the president, smiling with secret
satisfaction at being freed from the necessity of displeasing the king.
"Clerk, you may remove your books--there is no more need of writing. The
lady has preferred a form of process much more summary than ours. And
you, Sir Marquis! What is your pleasure?" Saluzzo had too sincere a
respect for his ungainly body to hazard it against Vieilleville. "I will
marry no woman by constraint," he muttered, "If she do not affect me, I
can do without her." As Vieilleville passed through the antechamber, one
of the judges accosted him in a low voice. "You have saved yourself a
six months' work, worse than the _corvée_, by this wager of battle. The
marquis had a list of forty interrogations for the lady, in which every
word she ever spoke to himself or servants, every pressure of his hand,
was enumerated."

"Well," said he "it is only a French woman who has outwitted a hundred
Italians."

"No," pursued his informant, "it is your valour which has extricated
her from an ugly scrape. Away, and celebrate the wedding; for I much
misinterpret the looks of the prince and lady if that be not what you
are driving at."

[EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL.]

[Illustration: 294]



TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. FORTY YEARS AGO.

It was a lovely morning; a remittance had arrived in the very nick of
time; my two horses were in excellent condition; and I resolved, with a
college chum, to put in execution a long concerted scheme of driving to
London, Tandem. We sent our horses forward, got others at Cambridge, and
tossing Algebra and Anarcharsis "to the dogs" started in high spirits.
We ran up to London in style--went ball-pitch to the play--and after a
quiet breakfast at the St. James's, set out with my own horses upon a
dashing drive through the west end of the town. We were turning down the
Haymarket, when whom, to my utter horror and consternation, should I
see crossing to meet us, but my old warmhearted, but severe and peppery
uncle, Sir Thomas.

[Illustration: 297]

To escape was impossible.--A cart before, and two carriages behind, made
us stationary; and I mentally resigned all idea of ever succeeding to
his five thousand per annum. Up he came. "What! can I believe my eyes?
George? what the-do you here? Tandem too, by---- (I leave blanks for the
significant accompaniments which dropped from his mouth like pearls, and
rubies in the fairy tale, when he was in a passion.) I have it, thought
I, as an idea crossed my mind which I resolved to follow. I looked
right and left, as if it was not possible it could be me he was
addressing.--"What! you don't know me, you young dog? Don't you know
your uncle? Why, Sir, in the name of common sense--Pshaw! you've done
with that. Why in ------ name a'nt you at Cambridge?"

"At Cambridge, Sir?" said I. "At Cambridge, Sir," he repeated,
mimicking my affected astonishment; "why I suppose you never were at
Cambridge!--Oh! you young spendthrift; is this the manner you dispose of
my allowance? Is this the way you read hard? you young profligate, you
young ------ you ------." Seeing he was getting energetic, I began to
be apprehensive of a _scene_; and resolved to drop the curtain at once,
"Really, Sir," said I, with as brazen a look as I could summon upon
emergency, "I have not the honour of your acquaintance." His large eyes
assumed a fixed stare of astonishment. "I must confess you have the
advantage of me. Excuse me; but, to my knowledge, I never saw you
before."--A torrent, I perceived, was coming.--"Make no apologies, they
are unnecessary. Your next _rencontre_ will, I hope, be more fortunate,
though your finding your country cousin in London is like looking for a
needle in a bundle of hay.--Bye, bye, old buck." The cart was removed,
and I drove off, yet not without seeing him, in a paroxysm of rage, half
frightful, half ludicrous, toss his hat on the ground, and hearing
him exclaim--"He disowns me! the jackanapes! disowns his own uncle by
------."

Poor Philip Chichester's look of amazement at this finished stroke of
impudence is present, at this instant, to my memory. I think I see his
face, which at no time had more expression than a turnip, assume that
air of a pensive simpleton, _d'un mouton qui rêve_, which he so often
and so successfully exhibited over an incomprehensible problem in
"Principia."

"Well! you've done it.--Dished completely. What could induce you to
be such a blockhead?" said he. "The family of the blockheads, my dear
Phil," I replied, "is far too creditably established in society to
render their alliance disgraceful. I'm proud to belong to so prevailing
a party."

"Pshaw! this is no time for joking. What's to be done?"

"Why, when does a man want a joke, Phil, but when he is in trouble?
However, adieu to _badinage_, and hey for Cambridge, instantly."

"Cambridge?"

"In the twinkling of an eye--not a moment to be lost. My uncle will post
there with four horses instantly; and my only chance of avoiding that
romantic misfortune of being cut off with a shilling, is to be there
before him."

Without settling the bill at the inn, or making a single arrangement,
we dashed back to Cambridge. Never shall I forget the mental anxiety I
endured on my way there. Every thing was against us. A heavy rain
had fallen in the night, and the roads were wretched, the traces
broke--turnpike gates were shut--droves of sheep and carts impeded our
progress; but in spite of all these obstacles, we reached the college in
less than six hours. "Has Sir Thomas -------- been here?" said I to the
porter, with an agitation I could not conceal. "No, Sir." Phil "thanked
God, and took courage."

"If he does, tell him so and so," said I, giving _veracious_ Thomas his
instructions, and putting a guinea into his hand to sharpen his memory.
"Phil, my dear fellow, don't shew your face out of college for this
fortnight. You twig! God bless you."--I had barely time to get to my
own room, to have my toga and trencher beside me, Newton and Aristotle
before me--optics, mechanics, and hydrostatics, strewed around in
learned confusion, when my uncle drove up to the gate.

"Porter, I wish to see Mr. ------," said he; "is he in his rooms?"

"Yes, Sir; I saw him take a heap of books there ten minutes ago." This
was not the first bouncer the Essence of Truth, as Thomas was known
through college, had told for me; nor the last he got well paid for.
"Ay! Very likely; reads very hard, I dare say?"

"No doubt of that, I believe, Sir," said Thomas, as bold as brass.
"You audacious fellow! how dare you look in my face and tell me such a
deliberate falsehood? You know he's not in college!"

"Not in college! Sir; as I hope----"

"None of your hopes or fears to me. Shew me his rooms.--If two hours ago
I did not see ------. See him,--yes, I've seen him, and he's seen the
last of me."

He had now reached my rooms; and never shall I forget his look of
astonishment, of amazement bordering on incredulity, when I calmly came
forward, took his hand, and welcomed him to Cambridge. "My dear Sir,
how are you? What lucky wind has blown you here?"--"What George!
who--what--why--I can't believe my eyes!"--"How happy I am to see you!"
I continued; "How kind of you to come! How well you're looking!"--"How
people may be deceived! My dear George (speaking rapidly), I met a
fellow, in a tandem, in the Haymarket, so like you in every particular,
that I hailed him at once. The puppy disowned me--affected to cut a
joke--and drove off. Never was I more taken off my stilts. I came down
directly, with four post-horses, to tell your tutor; to tell the master;
to tell all the college, that I would have nothing more to do with you;
that I would be responsible for your debts no longer; to inclose
you fifty pounds and disown you for ever"--My dear Sir, how
singular!"--Singular! I wonder at perjury no longer, for my part. I
would have gone into any court of justice, and would have taken my oath
it was you. I never saw such a likeness. Your father and the fellow's
mother were acquainted, or I'm mistaken. The air, the height, the voice,
all but the manner, and--that was _not_ yours. No, no, you never would
have treated your uncle so."--"How rejoiced I am, that--"

"Rejoiced; so am I. I would not but have been undeceived for a thousand
guineas. Nothing but seeing you here so quiet, so studious, surrounded
by problems, would have convinced me. Ecod! I can't tell you how I was
startled. I had been told some queer stories, to be sure, about your
Cambridge etiquette. I heard that two Cambridge men, one of St. John's,
the other of Trinity, had met on the top of Vesuvius, and that though
they knew each other by sight and reputation, yet, never having been
formally introduced, like two simpletons, they looked at each other in
silence, and left the mountain separately and without speaking: and that
cracked fellow-commoner, Meadows, had shewn me a caricature, taken from
the life, representing a Cambridge man drowning, and another gownsman
standing on the brink, exclaiming, 'Oh! that I had had the honour of
being introduced to that man, that I might have taken the liberty of
saving him!' But,--it, thought I, he never would carry it so far with
his own uncle!--I never heard your father was a gay man," continued he,
musing; "yet, as you sit in that light, the likeness is--" I moved
instantly--"But it's impossible, you know, it's impossible. Come, my
dear fellow, come; I must get some dinner. Who could he be? Never were
two people so like!"

We dined at the inn, and spent the evening together; and instead of the
fifty, the "_last fifty_," he generously gave me a draft lor three times
the amount. He left Cambridge the next morning and his last words were,
as he entered his carriage, "My brother _was_ a handsome man; and there
_was_ a Lady Somebody, who, the world said was partial to him. She _may_
have a son. Most surprising likeness. God bless you. Read hard, you
young dog; remember. Like as two Brothers!"--I never saw him again.

His death, which happened a few months afterwards, in consequence ol his
being _bit_ in a bet, contracted when he was a "little elevated," left
me the heir to his fine estate; I wish I could add, to his many and
noble virtues. I do not attempt to palliate deception. It is always
criminal. But, I am sure, no severity, no reprimand, no reproaches,
would have had half the effect which his kindness, his confidence, and
his generosity wrought on me. It reformed me thoroughly, and at once.
I did not see London again till I had graduated: and if my degree was
unaccompanied by brilliant honours, it did not disgrace my uncle's
liberality or his name. Many years have elapsed since our last
interview; but I never reflect on it without pain and pleasure--pain,
that our last intercourse on earth should have been marked by the
grossest deception; and pleasure, that the serious reflections it
awakened, cured me for ever of all wish to deceive, and made the open
and straightforward path of life.

AN OLD STUDENT--[ANONYMOUS.]

[Illustration: 308]



NECK OR NOTHING.

The Art of Tying the Cravat is an art without the knowledge of which all
others are useless.

[Illustration: 310]

It is the very key-stone to polite society; it is the _open sesame_ to
the highest honours both in church and state. Look at any individual
making his _entrée_ into a drawing-room, where there is a circle in the
slightest degree distinguished for taste and elegance. Is it his coat,
his waistcoat, his shirt, his inexpressibles, his silk stocking, or his
shoe, to which the glass of the critic, or the soft eye of beauty, is
principally directed? No! it is none of these. It is the cravat that
instantaneously stamps the character of its wearer. If it be put on
with a _recherché_ air--if its folds be correct, and its set _comme il
faut_--then he may defy fate. Even though his coat should not be of the
last _cut_, and his waistcoat buttoned a whole button too high, still he
will carry everything before him. The man of fashion will own him for
an equal--beauty will smile upon him as a friend--and humbler aspirants
will gaze with fond and respectful admiration on the individual who
has so successfully studied the art of tying the cravat. But behold
the reverse of the picture! Suppose that the unhappy wretch is but an
ignorant pretender to a knowledge of the proper mode of covering that
part of the person which separates the shoulders from the chin--a being
who disgraces his laundress by the most barbarous use of her well-ironed
and folded neckcloths, starched with that degree of nicety, that a
single grain more or less would have made the elasticity too great or
the suppleness too little;--suppose this Yahoo, with a white cravat tied
round his neck like a rope, somewhat after the fashion most in
vogue among the poorer class of divinity students, were to enter a
drawingroom! What man on earth would not turn away from him in disgust?
The very poodle would snap at his heels, and the large tortoise-shell
cat upon the hearth-rug would elevate her back into the form of an arch,
bristle up her tail like a brush, and spit at him with sentiments of
manifest indignation. Ladies would shrink from the contamination of his
approach, and the dearest friend he had in the world would cut him dead
upon the spot. He might, perhaps, be a man of genius; but what is the
value of genius to a person ignorant of the "Art of Tying the Cravat?"
Let us inquire for a moment into the history of the cravat, and the
influence it has always held over society in general. "_L'art de mettre
sa cravate_," says a French philosopher (Montesquieu, we think), "_est à
l'homme du monde ce que l'art de donner à diner est à l'homme d'etat_."
It is believed that the Germans have the merit of inventing the cravat,
which was first used in the year 1636, by a regiment of Croats then in
their service. Croat, being pronounced Cro-at, was easily corrupted
into cravat. The Greeks and Romans usually wore their neck free and
uncovered, although in winter they sometimes wrapped a comforter round
their throats, which they called a _focalium_, from _fauces_. Augustus
Cæsar, who was particularly liable to catch cold, continually used a
_focalium_ or _sudarium_. Even now, it is only some of the European
nations who use cravats. Throughout all the east the throat is
invariably kept uncovered, and a white and well-turned neck is looked
upon as a great beauty, being, metaphorically compared to a tower of
ivory. In France, for a long period, the ruff, stiffened and curled in
single or double rows, was the favourite ornament of the neck; but when
Louis XIII. introduced the fashion of wearing the hair in long ringlets
upon the shoulders, the ruff was necessarily abandoned. In 1660, when
a regiment of Croats arrived in France, their singular _tour de cou_
attracted particular attention. It was made of muslin or silk, and the
ends, arranged _en rosette_, hung gracefully on the breast. The cro-at
(now cravat) became the passion; and the throat, which had hitherto
been comparatively free, lost its liberty for ever. Many varieties were
introduced; but a fine starched linen cloth acquired the ascendency over
all other, and retains it to this day. Abuses crept in, however, for the
fancy of the _èlégans_ ran wanton on the subject of pieces of muslin,
stiffeners, collars, and stocks. At one time it was fashionable to wear
such a quantity of bandaging round the neck, that shot has been known
to lodge in it with perfect impunity to the wearer, and few sabre
cuts could find their way through. Stocks are a variety of the cravat
species, which are now very general. Collars were the _avant-couriers_
of stocks, and were sometimes worn by the Egyptians and Greeks, made of
the richest metals, and ornamented with precious stones. Of late years,
a black silk cravat has come into great favour, and with a white or
light-coloured waistcoat especially, it has a manly and agreeable
effect. Bonaparte commonly wore a black silk cravat, and in it he fought
at Lodi, Marengo, and Austerlitz. It is somewhat remarkable, however,
that at Waterloo he wore a white neckcloth, although the day previous he
appeared in his black cravat. Some persons have attempted to introduce
coloured silk cravats, but, much to the honour of this country, the
attempt has failed. A cravat of red silk in particular, can be worn only
by a Manchester tailor.

Such is a very brief abstract of the rise and progress of cravats;
if they are ever destined to lose the place they at present hold in
society, we fervently trust that some Gibbon may appear, to furnish
us with a narrative of their decline and fall. But though all this
knowledge is valuable, it is only preliminary to the great art of tying
the cravat. _Hic labor, hoc opus_. The first tie--the parent of all the
others, the most important, and by far the most deeply interesting--is
the _noeud Gordien_, or Gordian knot. Alexander the Great would have
given half his empire to have understood it;--Brummell was a prouder, a
happier, and a greater man, when he first accomplished it. The mode of
forming this _noeud Gordien_ is the most important problem that can
be offered to the student of the cravat. It is no easy task; and we
seriously advise those, who are not initiated into the mysteries of
this delightful science, to make their first essays on a moderate-sized
block.

We can confidently assure them, that, with tolerable perseverance, they
will be enabled to pursue their studies with pleasure and advantage,
and in a more profitable manner--on themselves. All the practice that is
necessary, need not occupy more time than a couple of hours a day!

After the _noeud Gordien_ come a host of others, all of which ought to
be known for the sake of variety, and that the tie may be made to suit
the occasion on which it is worn. There is the _cravate à l'Orientale_,
when the neckcloth is worn in the shape of a turban, and the ends form
a crescent;--the _cravate à l'Américaine_, which is simple, but not
much to our taste, and the prevailing colours are detestable, being
sea-green, striped blue, or red and white;--the _cravate collier de
cheval_, in which, after making the _noeud Gordien_, the ends are
carried round and fastened behind; a style much admired by ladies' maids
and milliners, but in our opinion essentially vulgar, unless when used
out of doors;--the _cravate sentimentale_, in which a _rosette_ is
fastened at the top immediately under the chin, and which ought to
be worn only by dapper apprentices, who write "sweet things" on the
Sundays, or by Robert Montgomery, the author of "The Omnipresence of the
Deity"--a young man much puffed by Mr. William Jerdan;--the _cravate à
la Byron_, very free and _dégagée_, but submitted to by the noble poet,
only when accommodating himself to the _bien séances_ of society;--the
_cravate en cascade_, where the linen is brought down over the breast
something like a _jet d'eau_, and is a style in great vogue among valets
and butlers;--the _cravate à la Bergami_, and the _cravate de bal_,
where there is no knot at all, the ends being brought forward,
crossed on the breast, and then fastened to the braces;--the _cravate
mathématique_, grave and severe, where the ends descend obliquely, and
form two acute angles in crossing;--the _cravatte à l'Irelandoise_,
upon the same principle as the preceding, but somewhat more airy;--the
_cravate à la gastronome_, which is a narrow neckcloth, without starch,
fastened very slightly, so that in cases of incipient suffocation it
may be removed at a moment's notice;--the _cravate de chasse_, or _à la
Diane_, which is worn only on the hunting field, and ought to be deep
green the _cravate en coquille_, the tie of which resembles a shell, and
is very pleasing, though a little finical; the _cravate romantique, à
la fidélité, à la Talma, à l'Italienne, à la Russe_, together with the
_cravate Jesuitique et diplomatique_, are interesting, and may all be
studied to advantage.

In concluding these observations, which are meant to rouse, if possible,
the attention of a slumbering public to a subject, the vast importance
of which the common herd of mankind are too apt to overlook, we cannot
help reflecting with feelings of the most painful kind on the very small
number of persons who are able to tie their cravats in any thing like
a Brummellian or Pe-tershamic style. We call upon our readers, if they
value their necks, to show a greater regard for their cravats. They may
rest assured that a well-tied cravat is better than the most flattering
letter of introduction, or most prepossessing expression of countenance.
An elegant _noeud Gordien_ has been known to secure for its possessor
5,000 L. a-year, and a handsome woman into the bargain. Let it not be
viewed as a light or trifling matter; a cravat, _comme il faut_, is
synonymous with happiness, and they who know the difference between neck
and nothing, will at once perceive that the "march of intellect" means
little more than a due appreciation of the value of the cravat, and as
near an approach as possible to perfection, in the art of tying it.

[EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL.]

[Illustration: 322]



THE MYSTERIOUS VISITOR.

"In the year 1704, a gentleman, to all appearance, of large fortune,
took furnished lodgings in a house in Soho Square. After he had resided
there some weeks with his establishment, he lost his brother, who had
lived at Hampstead, and who, on his death-bed, particularly desired
to be interred in the family-vault at Westminster Abbey. The gentleman
requested his landlord to permit him to bring the corpse of his brother
to his lodgings, and to make arrangements there for the funeral. The
landlord, without hesitation, signified his compliance.

"The body, dressed in a white shroud, was accordingly brought in a very
handsome coffin, and placed in the great dining-room. The funeral was
to take place the next day, and the lodger and his servants went out to
make the necessary preparations for the solemnity. He staid out late;
but this was no uncommon thing. The landlord and his family, conceiving
that they had no occasion to wait for him, retired to bed as usual about
twelve o'clock. One maid-servant was left up to let him in, and to boil
some water, which he had desired might be ready for making tea on his
return. The girl was accordingly sitting all alone in the kitchen, when
a tall, spectre-looking figure entered, and clapped itself down in a
chair opposite to her.

"The maid was by no means one of the most timid of her sex; but she
was terrified beyond expression, lonely as she was, at this unexpected
apparition. Uttering a loud scream, she flew out like an arrow at a side
door, and hurried to the chamber of her master and mistress. Scarcely
had she awakened them, and communicated to the whole family some portion
of the fright with which she was herself overwhelmed, when the spectre,
enveloped in a shroud, and with a face of deathlike paleness, made
its appearance, and sat down in a chair in the bed-room, without their
having observed how it entered. The worst of all was, that this chair
stood by the door of the bedchamber, so that not a creature could get
away without passing close to the apparition, which rolled its glaring
eyes so frightfully, and so hideously distorted its features, that they
could not bear to look at it. The master and mistress crept under the
bed-clothes, covered with profuse perspiration, while the maid-servant
sunk nearly insensible by the side of the bed.

"At the same time the whole house seemed to be in an uproar; for though
they had covered themselves over head and ears, they could still hear
the incessant noise and clatter, which served to increase their terror.

"At length all became perfectly still in the house. The landlord
ventured to raise his head, and to steal a glance at the chair by the
door; but, behold, the ghost was gone! Sober reason began to resume
its power. The poor girl was brought to herself after a good deal of
shaking. In a short time, they plucked up sufficient courage to quit
the bed-room, and to commence an examination of the house, which
they expected to find in great disorder. Nor were their anticipations
unfounded. The whole house had been stripped by artful thieves, and the
gentleman had decamped without paying for his lodging. It turned
out that he was no other than an accomplice of the notorious Arthur
Chambers, who was executed at Tyburn in 1706; and that the supposed
corpse was this arch rogue himself, who had whitened his hands and face
with chalk, and merely counterfeited death. About midnight he quitted
the coffin, and appeared to the maid in the kitchen. When she flew up
stairs, he softly followed her, and, seated, at the door of the chamber,
he acted as a sentinel, so that his industrious accomplices were enabled
to plunder the house without the least molestation."

[GHOST STORIES.]

[Illustration: 327]



THE CLOAKS.

The following tale is taken from a work by M. Loeve Veimars, entitled
'Les Manteaux.' The scene is laid in Germany, and the story opens with
the election of a magistrate of the little city of Birling. Full of
his new dignity, he repairs to his home, where he acquaints his patient
wife, to whom he is in the habit of playing the tyrant, with the
accession to his importance. His old friend, Waldau, the town clerk,
comes to ask him if he has any commands for Felsenbourg, the seat of
the administration, whither he is about to repair. The new councillor
requests him to deliver a letter to his younger brother, Maurice, who
had quitted his home suddenly, and of whom he has heard nothing until
very recently, and who has now applied to him for a share of their
father's property, or some pecuniary assistance. The answer of the elder
brother is at once unsatisfactory and unfeeling: he tells him that
their parent died without any fortune, and concludes with a sneer at his
youthful irregularities. The councillor's amiable spouse is affected by
her husband's cruelty; Waldau's dress is more consistent with his scanty
means than adapted to the inclemency of the weather, and she expresses a
hope that his travelling costume is a warmer one.

'Alas! no,' replies Waldau; 'I had a cloak, but I have given it to my
grandmother, who is confined to her arm-chair with the gout, and I am in
truth, setting off like the prodigal son.'

'Dear Philip,' said Marie to her husband, in a supplicating tone, 'lend
him yours.'

'Mine!' replied the councillor, 'indeed I cannot; but my late father's
is somewhere upstairs, and I will look it out for you, Waldau.'

Marie blushed at her husband's selfishness. 'It is old, indeed,' said
she, 'but it is large and stout. There is nothing splendid about it,
Waldau; it is simple and useful, like its former possessor; and I
beseech you, when you shall see our brother Maurice, give it to him in
my name. It may be useful to him, notwithstanding its homely appearance;
at all events, while it must recall to Maurice's recollection the memory
of his father, it may also bring him wise reflections.'

She bids him also tell Maurice how much she feels for him, and regrets
that she is unable to offer him any assistance. Waldau wraps himself
in the cloak, and proceeds to Felsenbourg, which he reaches, but not
without being overturned on the road. He is rather hurt by the fall, but
not so much as to prevent his repairing immediately to find Maurice.

The evening was somewhat advanced, and the streets of the city, very
different from those of the obscure but peaceful town in which Waldau
dwelt, were crowded still with passengers on horseback and on foot.
Waldau observed directly before him a portico well lighted, over which
he saw inscribed, in large characters, "The Palace of Felsenbourg." He
entered with some timidity, and looked around for some one who might
direct him in this vast building, when a young man, passing close
by him, attracted his attention. He was clothed in a court dress,
glittering with embroidery, and held in his hand the hat of a noble,
adorned with large white plumes. The old town-clerk drew himself up
hastily, but who can describe his surprise when he saw, in the half
glance which his awe permitted him to cast upon this person, that he was
the banished son, his early friend; in short, Maurice himself? Waldau
was petrified with astonishment: could he believe his eyes, or did they
abuse him? He wished to speak, but the words died upon his lips; all
that he could do was to follow with his eyes this unexpected figure.

When he recovered the use of his faculties, the object who had deprived
him of them, was no longer before him; but he saw him as he withdrew
beneath the shadows of the columns, by the splendour of his garments,
the gems on which glittered beneath the lamps which filled the vault.
A little man dressed in black now approached, and dispelled the ideas
which were bewildering his brain. 'Will you be so obliging,' he said to
this person, 'as to tell me the name of the gentleman who passed us just
now?'

'It is Mr. Wiesel.'

'It is Maurice, then! Good heavens! but tell me what part does he play
here?'

'A very important part, Sir: nothing less than that of the prince's
confidant,' replied the little man, gravely, and with a low bow.

The honest old man is overjoyed, and, without pressing his inquiries any
further, he writes in all haste to the councillor, to inform him of his
brother's good fortune. Upon the receipt of the letter, the elder Wiesel
sets out for Felsenbourg, frightened to death lest Waldau should have
delivered the unkind epistle, which he now wishes he had never written.
Poor Waldau is, in the mean time, suffering from the effects of his
fall; and, on the day following his arrival, he finds himself unable
to rise from his bed. To crown his misfortunes, his money is exhausted;
and, relying upon the generosity of Maurice's temper, and ever doubting
that the prince's confidant is well able to assist him, he writes to him
for a loan, requests an introduction to the minister, and his interest
in procuring the remission of a tax. Maurice hastens to him immediately,
and, after the first congratulations are over, the following
conversation ensues:--

'To speak seriously, my dear Waldau,' said Maurice, 'your request for
money distresses me, because I am not in a situation to comply with it;
but, as to your other request, I have laughed heartily at it. That
I should introduce you to the minister! that I should procure the
remission of a tax! pray, for whom do you take me?'

'For whom? Good heaven!' replied the old man, cursing in his heart all
courtiers and their impudence; 'why, for the favorite of his highness,
for his Jonathan, for the elect of the tribe, the _primus a rege_.'

'My poor friend,' said Maurice, 'is more ill than I thought; and the joy
I feel at meeting him again, is damped at this discovery. It must be the
fever, dear Waldau, which has thus troubled your judgment.'

'Oh, yes,' said Waldau, 'I suppose so; _aegria somma?_ said Waldau
bitterly. 'It was one of those delusions which a fever works upon sick
brains, that I beheld yesterday traversing the palace of Felsenbourg to
go to the court; it was in a delirium that I beheld him shining in gold
and jewels, _gemmis atque auro_.'

'I, going to the court V 'You, or who else is the prince's favorite?

'The prince's favorite! Dear Waldau, am I to laugh or to weep at these
extravagances?'

'_Auri sacra fames_, the thirst of wealth will soon render you incapable
of doing either the one or the other.'

'How can you thus deceive yourself!'

'He deceived himself too, then--the little man in black, who followed
the glittering Weisel under the portico of the palace.'

'Ha, ha, what charming simplicity!' cried Maurice, laughing heartily.
'Still the same honest, excellent, innocent Waldau.--I a courtier, I
a favourite! this is indeed an everlasting joke. Know, then, my poor
credulous friend, that I am a member of a strolling company who are
engaged to play in the hotel of the Count of Felsenbourg. I played
yesterday the part of the _Confidante_, in the new piece; and the little
man in black, of whom you speak, is the head tailor, who had just
been fitting me with a coat of scarlet serge, covered with tinsel and
spangles, and to which habit I am indebted for the respect with which
you have overwhelmed me.'

'God bless me!' cried Waldau, 'and are you then a player?'

'A player, it is true, but of the prince's company; and, I swear to you,
vanity apart, not one of the worst.'

'Then am I ruined--totally undone,' ejaculated the town-clerk; 'the
councillor will certainly kill me.'

Maurice ceased to laugh when he saw the terror of Waldau. He soon saw
his brother's letter, which lay upon the table, and, opening it, found
not only that Pierre was still the same, but that his last hope--the
share of his father's fortune--was for ever gone. He was burdened
with debts, the payment of which could no longer be postponed. 'Ah! my
Louisa--ah, my promised happiness--farewell,' cried he, mournfully.

This Louisa, of whom Maurice spoke, was the preserving angel of an
infirm mother and two sisters, for whom she procured, by her own
exertions, the necessaries of life. The obscure chamber which they
occupied was near that of the player; and they frequently saw each
other, and the innocence of the young girl, her simple candour, and the
boyish good temper of Maurice, soon gave rise to a tender and reciprocal
feeling. Poverty has at least this good effect, that it breaks down
some of those obstacles which beset the more exalted ranks. Wiesel soon
became the assiduous and indispensable friend of the family. Louisa,
daily more attracted by his amiable character, and charmed by the
frankness with which he expressed his affection, did not seek to conceal
that she loved him. The deplorable condition of their fortunes alone
stood in the way of their union they swore eternal constancy, and
resolved to wait for better times; but the letter of Pierre seemed to
make that time more distant than ever.

Maurice is obliged to quit the sick man to go to the theatre, and an old
woman comes to take his place. The weather is excessively severe, and
Waldau requests him to put on the old cloak which his brother has sent,
and in which, he adds, 'Your father breathed his last.' Maurice seizes
it, and, kissing it respectfully, goes out.

The councillor arrives, and, finding from Waldau that his brother has
had his letter, he runs, without waiting for an explanation, to the
hotel Felsenbourg, where the porter, in answer to his inquiries for
M. Wiesel, tells him he is in the theatre. He enters, and is first
terrified by seeing an old man on the stage dressed in the gray cloak of
his dead father; and no sooner has he recovered from his terror than he
finds that his brother is a player. He rushes out of the theatre, half
mad with rage.

Maurice, in the meantime, has returned to his sick friend, where he
finds his brother's wife, for whom he has a warm affection. Quitting the
chamber, to fetch some medicine from a neighbouring apothecary, he
sees an old woman, who, looking at him very attentively, passes her
shrivelled hand several times over the collar of his coat.

Maurice, not quite understanding this familiarity, draws back, and looks
at her attentively. Her thin and colourless features were strangely
contrasted with the benevolent vivacity which seemed to animate them.
She asks him to sell his cloak, and, on his refusal, expresses some
surprise that he can be attached to such a rag.

'No matter,' he replies; 'rag as it is, it is dear to me.'

'Not for its beauty, surely?'

'No; but if you must know, it's my father's legacy.'

'Your father's! Oh, my child, you ought to honour his memory; for no one
can deny that you are his son. Every feature resembles him, excepting
that you have a good-natured sort of smile in the corner of your mouth,
which he never had.

'Oh, yes, he had once, but the world had deprived him of it?'

'Say rather, that years had, child; for they do every thing in this
world; and even I, who now talk to you, if I had some few scores of
years less, would you have let me stand here in the snow so long? Oh,
no; you would have whipped this precious cloak over my shoulders.'

'Go along, you old gipsey; such nymphs are not to my taste.'

'Well, my son, the frankness of your heart pleases me, and I will reward
it.'

'Oh, pray keep your rewards: I am not in want of them.'

'How naturally that word want comes out of your mouth; and merely
because your head is full of it.'

'Who are you, infernal sybil?' said Maurice, drawing her towards the
light.

'The sight of my wrinkled face will give you no great pleasure, my
child, but, perhaps, my advice may. Listen to me, then. Go home to your
own chamber, lock the door, and rip up the collar of your cloak, and
when you have done so you will have nothing more to do but to pray to
God, as the great king Solomon did, to grant you wisdom.' As she spoke
thus, the old woman hobbled hastily away.

Maurice put his hand to the collar of his cloak, and thought he heard a
noise like the rustling of paper. He hastened back to Marie and the town
clerk, and told them of his adventure.

'Just heaven!' cried Waldau, 'it must be so. You remember your late
father, Maurice, and his eternal apprehensions, which all the locks
in the world could not have quieted. You know, too, that he was often
obliged to come to this city for the purpose of receiving large sums of
money. What would a suspicious man do in such a case? He would convert
his money, not into gold, but into paper, because they might easily be
concealed.

I do not doubt, from the story of the old woman, who has perhaps been
his hostess, his housekeeper, or some faded flower of the mysterious
garland of the past, that this cloak served your father for a strong
box. Better acquainted with handling ducats than a needle, he probably
had recourse to this old woman. You know it was upon his return from a
journey that he died. Marie, open the collar quickly--Maurice, take my
scissors, they are in my bag--quick.'

Marie uttered a joyful exclamation, as she felt papers through the fold
of the cloth. At the same moment, a loud noise was heard, and Maurice
rose.

The unhappy Pierre, upon quitting the theatre in a state of distraction,
had fallen into the canal, and, although he was quickly extricated,
he had only time to mention the place of his abode before he died. The
noise was caused by persons bringing home his corpse. In the confusion
which followed, the cloak, now become so important an object, was
stolen, and all searches and inquiries for its recovery were fruitless.

When the first grief for the death of Pierre is over, Maurice finds that
his father's property, which he divides with his brother's widow, is
enough to enable him to marry his Louisa: he returns to Berling, and on
the day fixed for the wedding, on which also Waldau is married to Marie,
the old woman appears at the door in the old cloak. Maurice brings her
into the middle of the room.

'Who are you?' said he, 'and whence did you get this cloak?--What brings
you here?--Quick--speak--explain yourself.'

'You put a great many questions at once,' said the old woman. 'What
brings me here?--your good stars. As to the cloak--it is mine, for I
bought it.'

While she spoke, Maurice looked at her, distrustingly. 'This old woman,'
said he to himself, 'has duped me once, and would willingly do so again.
She has found the money in the cloak, and has now come to make a merit
of restoring just so much of it as she thinks fit.'

The old woman seemed to comprehend what was passing in his mind. 'I see
what you think,' said she; 'but why, Mr. Giddybrain, did you despise
my advice? why did you so easily abandon this precious cloak? Did I not
find it one fine day hanging up before the shop of my neighbour, the old
clothesman, who told me he bought it of a porter? and what would become
of the bills for twenty thousand florins which are sewed up in it, if
I had not bought them at the exorbitant price of three silver pieces?
There, take your own; keep it more safely for the future, and thank
heaven for having preserved the life of your father's nurse.'

Maurice embraces the old woman, who receives the praises and thanks
of every body present. 'Well, children,' said she, 'since you are all
happy, you must find some little corner among you for me, where I may
end my days in peace.'

'O, yes!' said Marie, with warmth, 'you shall never quit us.'

A few days afterwards you might have thought that the old woman had
never quitted the ancient dwelling, so much did the two families seem
to look upon her as a mother. Their happiness was such as springs from
humble virtue. Piety, innocence, and gentleness, adorned their lives,
and their days had passed in an uniform and peaceable manner, when,
about a year after the return of the old nurse, she appeared one morning
before Maurice in the same attitude as on the day of his marriage,
and covered with the same old cloak. He offered to embrace her, but,
repulsing him, 'Gently,' said she, 'take care.'--'Do you bring me
another treasure, then, my good mother?' She smiled as she opened the
cloak;--it was a son, which his Louisa had just given him.

[LES MANTEAUX.]

[Illustration: 347]



A COMICAL ADVENTURE.

As a sort of proëmium to the relation of the following adventure, I
must preadmonish my readers, that I have always entertained a monstrous
aversion to being roused from a comfortable sleep, by the appalling cry
of "murder." Heaven defend us! the very thought of such matters, even in
broad day-light, causes a queer sensation about one's throat and fifth
rib: but at the solemn hour of midnight,--"just as the clock strikes
twelve,"--when the winds are howling, and casements creaking, with
all the other paraphernalia of a portentous night (vide 'Mysteries of
Udolpho')--oh! it festers up the faculties, and acts as a scare-crow
to the senses. Having premised thus much, and not in the least doubting
that I have touched a sympathetic string in every bosom, I will
forthwith proceed to relate my adventure.

Those who have travelled in the north of Scotland, may perchance
recollect the road between Kincardine and Dingwall. On the right, stands
a decently snug tenement, from which a swinging appendage announces to
all peregrinators, that excellent entertainment is there provided for
"man and beast." In those parts it was my fortune to be travelling, on
a bleak November evening, with no remarkably near prospect of supper
or bed, when my eyes were suddenly gladdened by the appearance of the
afore-mentioned sign; and so, it appears, were those of my horse, for
without receiving previous notice from me, he instinctively halted
at the door. I alighted, and after a comfortable supper, found myself
snugly deposited in bed, next floor but one to the sky, the other floors
being pre-engaged. But scarcely had gentle sleep diffused its balm over
my eyelids, when I was aroused by a horrible confusion of noises in
an adjoining apartment, from which I was separated only by a slight
partition. First, I heard sundry stampings, and divers violent
exclamations; then I plainly distinguished halfstifled cries of murder,
and, at last, the groans of one, as it were, in his last agony. I was
on my feet in the twinkling of an eye, and the reader may imagine that
there was no occasion to make use of my hands in doffing my night-cap;
the first sound of the word "murder" caused that to deposit itself very
quietly on my pillow. My first movement was towards the door, from
which I as quickly retreated, on discovering a murderous-looking person
through the half-opened door of the next apartment; not, however, before
I had uttered a yell loud enough to rouse all the inmates of the house.
I next made towards the window, but there saw nothing, save a fearful
profundity, which, I was well aware, was terminated by a yard, paved
with rough stones.'Twas agony.

My last resource was the chimney, in which I forthwith proceeded to
enshell myself, taking good care to leave the space of a yard or two
between me and the floor. Scarcely had I thus disposed of myself, when
the landlord entered my apartment, followed by his wife and domestics;
whose voice I no sooner distinguished, than I began very _coolly_
to descend: but, unfortunately, this being my first attempt at
chimney-sweeping, I made such an unsweeper-like descent, that the
landlord and his train, thinking Old Nick was at hand, scampered off,
myself following with all imaginable speed. Helter-skelter we rushed
down the first flight of stairs; at the bottom of which, finding a door
half open, with a night-capped head protruding, in order, no doubt, to
discover the cause of such a disturbance, we all burglariously entered,
knocking down in our tumultuous incourse, the lawful possessor. There
at length the foremost of our party wheeled to the right about, and
the landlady, discovering me, hastily asked me what was the matter.
I explained, as well as I could, the cause of my alarm; to which
explanation, turning up the whites of her eyes, she replied, half
festily, half laughing, "Quwhy, Gude safe us, Sir,'twas nae mair than
just Sanders Mac Grabbit, ane o' the play-folk, a skirlin the bit
tregedy, as he's ganging to play in our barn like."--"Um!" re-answered
I; and in less than five minutes my nasal organ was playing bass to my
next door neighbour's treble.

[DIARY OF A TRAVELLER.]

[Illustration: 352]



HOW TO MAKE A PAPER.


SCENE.--THE SANCTUM AT THE ESTABLISHMENT IN CATHERINE-STREET, STRAND.

_The Editor sitting with his hands in his breeches' pockets, leaning
back in his chair, and looking very earnestly at the ceiling. In about
ten minutes he gets up and walks to the window, breathes hard upon
the glass, and flourishes a capital R with his finger in the wet he has
made. Looks at his watch, and rings the Printer's bell. Enter Printer._

_Editor_. How much matter have you got, Mr. Pica?

_Mr. P. (After a pause.)_ Not more than two columns, Sir.

_Editor_. The devil!--How many ads * can you muster to-day?

_Mr. P._ Three columns and a half, Sir, including quacks; but I must use
"When men of education and professional skill," and the "Real blessing
to mothers."

_Editor_. Have you no standing matter? ** _Mr. P_. Not a line, Sir,
I used the last of the standing matter yesterday, the account of the
"American sea-serpent," which was left out full two months ago, to make
room for the "Fire in Fleet-street."

_Editor. (Musing.)_ Very well: I'll touch your bell as soon as I have
any copy ready.

     * Advertisements.

     **  Articles already composed, or in type, but not yet used;
     such as good jokes that will keep a week or two--murders in
     America--or curious discoveries in the East Indies; that
     will read as well at Christmas as in the dog-days.

_Mr. P._ The men are all standing still, Sir, just now If you have any
matter which you intend to use a week hence, they may as well be going
on with it.

_Editor. (Rummages among his papers.)_ Here, take this "Romantic
suicide." It will do for any day when you want half a column for the
back page.

_[Exit Mr. Pica; and a minute after, enter reading boy, in a hurry._

_Boy._ Copy--if you please, Sir!

_Editor_. I have just given Mr. Pica half a column.

_Boy_. Oh--I beg your pardon, Sir--I did not see Mr. Pica--I came from
down stairs. _[Exit._

_Editor: (Puts his hands into his breeches' pockets again, and begins to
whistle a tune.)_ This will not do---I must write something--but what it
is to be about I know no more than the monument. _(Nibs his pen--settles
his inkstand--and gets his paper ready)_. The parliament is up--the law
courts have adjourned for the long vacation--the Opera House and the
Winter Theatres have closed--and at the Haymarket and English Opera
House, they have both brought out pieces which are having a run--nothing
stirring--not even a case of decent oppression in a night constable--or
of tyranny in a police magistrate. Whigs and Tories have shaken
hands, and political delinquencies are too common to be either new
or scandalous. The editor of a daily paper may be aptly compared to a
galley slave. When the winds roar, and the tempest is abroad, and the
waves swell, his bark moves along swiftly; but when the calm comes, and
the sky is serene, and the breeze is hushed, and the sea is smooth, it
is then he must ply the oar, and tug, and pull, and toil, to give the
vessel motion.--_( Takes his pen and writes furiously.)_ That will do
for one of those short leaders * about nothing--. which look very
much as if they alluded to something that could not be mentioned,
_(Reads.)_--"There are certain rumours afloat--upon a delicate subject
which has lately occasioned a great sensation in particular quarters.
We are in possession of facts connected with this extraordinary affair,
which we may perhaps feel ourselves at liberty to mention in a few days.
Meanwhile, all we can say at present is, that disclosures _must_ take
place, however painful they may be to _more than one distinguished_
individual. We shall only add, that the Duke of Wellington left town
yesterday in his travelling chariot, with four horses, for Windsor,
after a private interview of nearly three hours with an Illustrious
Personage; and that it is reported his Grace ordered summonses for a
cabinet council this day, before his departure from London. We shall
not lose sight of this business." _(Rings the Printer's bell--Mr. Pica
enters.)_ Make this the first leader, and you may as well put it in
double leads. **

     * "Leaders", are those important articles in a paper, which
     are printed in large letters, and wherein the editorial _We_
     is supposed to utter oracles _de omnibus rebus_.

     ** "Double leads" is a technical phrase for a mode of
     printing which is employed only when an article is either
     supposed to be, or is wished to be supposed, super-import-
     ant. The lines stand wide apart, and look like the bars of a
     gridiron.

_Mr. P._ Very well, Sir. There's a long police case just come in, of
a baronet's daughter taken up for shoplifting; and an account of the
bursting of a gasometer, which killed eleven men, three boys, and an old
woman, who lived in a front garret over the way.

_Editor_. Use them both, the shop-lifting under the head of "Mysterious
Charge of Theft," and the accident to the gasometer under that of
"Tremendous Explosion!--Fifteen Lives Lost!"

_Mr. P._ We shall do better with the _ads_. than I expected. Robins
has just sent a long list of his auctions, which he says must go in
to-morrow; and Kidd's clerk has left eight or ten good book _ads._, so I
shall be able to make out a full page without using the quacks. *

     * It is necessary to remark here, by way of explanation,
     that there are gradations of rank and respectability in
     advertisements; and that a high aristocratical feeling
     pervades their location in a well regulated paper. The
     _quack ads_., alluded to by Mr. Pica, are those benevolent
     offers of aid to the afflicted, which announce that
     "rheumatism and lumbago are effectually relieved by a new
     process;" that the most excruciating toothache is allayed in
     one minute by an unrivalled anodyne cement; that "gout is
     cured without medicine, in a few hours," and "blotched faces
     in no time at all;" that red whiskers are changed in a
     single night to beautiful shades of brown or black;" that
     "the healthy functions of the stomach and intestinal canal,
     are restored by an improved domestic instrument," &c. &c.
     These are never allowed to show their faces in the genteel
     company of the other advertisements, unless there happens to
     be a lack of gentility, but herd together in what is
     technically called the, "back page" of the paper.

_Editor_. So much the better: I abominate "Nervous complaints and
debility," or the "Patent bug destroyer by steam only," side by
side with, "Thirty-five thousand pounds wanted"--"The daughter of a
clergyman"--"Books published this day."--_(Exit Printer, laughing at
the humourous vein of the Editor.)_--Well! one leader only: I must write
something else. No Paris papers--no Dutch mail--no Flander's mail--no
German mail--no mail from Buenos Ayres--no New York papers! By-the-bye,
it will look like a piece of information to announce that there
is nothing. _(Writes._')--"We have seldom known a day so barren of
intelligence of every description. There has not been a single arrival
from the Continent, nor any ship, letters, or papers from the other side
of the Atlantic. Whether this profound calm may be considered as the
harbinger of a coming storm we know not; but when we remember the
ominous complexion of the advices last received from the East of Europe,
and the louring aspect of affairs in general in the transatlantic
hemisphere, it is not unreasonable to conclude that our next accounts
from both quarters will be important. Our readers have not forgotten the
opinion we expressed on Tuesday, and the comprehensive view we took on
Wednesday, of the whole of our political relations. We are standing,
as it were, upon the crater of a volcano, which may break forth every
moment. The attitude of Russia is equivocal--the intentions of France
are doubtful--Austria still wears her mask (though we are not deceived
by it)--while the Peninsula becomes more and more embarrassing to the
great powers of Europe. If we turn our eyes towards the United States
of North America, what do we behold? Alas! this question needs no answer
from us. And if we look at the new republics of South America, does
not the same scene present itself? But we will not pursue this painful
theme. A few hours, in all probability, will put us in possession of
facts that will more than justify all our predictions." _(A knock at the
door.)_ Come in. (Dr. Froth _enters_.) Froth, how are you?

_Dr. F_. Quite well, at your service, my friend.

_Editor._ Thank you--but you may keep your health for yourself, and your
service for your other friends--you shall not physic me.

_Dr. F._ Ha! ha! ha! very good--you are always brilliant--any news
to-day?

_Editor_. Not a syllable, that I have heard--have you any?

_Dr. F. (Looking grave.)_ The king is very ill!

_Editor_. Indeed!

_Dr. F_. He is, by Jove! It wont do to mention it, because of the way
in which it came to my ears; but you may depend upon it he is in a very
ticklish situation just now.

_Editor_. How do you mean? _(Dr. F. points to his head, with a very
significant look.)_ Pooh! I don't believe a word of it! where did
you hear it? _(Dr. F. looks round the room, and then whispers in the
Editor's ear.)_ That should be good authority, but----

_Dr. F_. It is a fact, and you'll hear more about it, before long. I met
Mr. Peel on his way to Downing-street as I came here, and he appeared
very agitated. He was walking uncommonly fast, though the day is so
hot. But I'll not interrupt you any longer, for I know your time
is precious--so good bye. Do you happen to have the Haymarket card
disengaged this evening? And if you _could_ spare me your Vauxhall
ticket for next Friday I should be very much obliged to you. And when
you have no _other_ use for it, I wish you would remember me for Mathews
and Yates at the Adelphi. I have promised Mrs. Froth to take her; and
she particularly desired me to ask you whether you have orders for any
of the minor theatres? She does not care which--the Cobourg, or the
Surrey, or Astley's---but she wants to give our cook a treat before the
season is over.

_Editor._ My Haymarket card is engaged this evening, I know; but the
English Opera House is at liberty, if that will do.

_Dr. F_. Thank you, I'll take it--and perhaps you'll keep the Haymarket
for me to-morrow evening? Can I have Vauxhall on Friday?

_Editor._ Yes.

_Dr. F_. You are a fine fellow--You'll not forget Mathews and the
minors--Good bye.

_Editor._ No, no. _(Exit Dr. Froth.)_--D--n these tickets--it is half
my business every day to remember to whom they are promised. _( Writes.
)_--

"There is a painful rumour in circulation this morning, in the highest
quarters, upon a subject which is too delicate to mention explicitly. We
hope it may prove altogether unfounded, or at leastmuch exaggerated: but
the peculiar sources, from which we derive our information, justifies us
in attaching more than ordinary weight to the distressing report. Should
any thing further transpire, after our paper is put to press, we shall
not fail to communicate it to our readers in a second edition." _(Rings
the Printer's bell. Mr. Pica enters.)_ Here are two more leaders, Mr.
Pica. How does your _matter stand now?_*

     * (i.e.) How much more do you want to fill the paper?

_Mr. P_. I measured it just before you rung the bell, and I had about
a column and a quarter open; but these leaders will make a third of a
column.

_Editor_. Rather more I think.

_[Exit Mr. Pica. Editor alters a paragraph, just left for him to insert
by an irritated dramatic manager, and falls into a brown study, which
lasts several minutes. It is interrupted by the entrance of the clerk,
who brings him the card of a gentleman below stairs, who wishes to speak
with him for one minute. The clerk is ordered to show the gentleman up,
and the Rev Judiah Flinn enters.]_

_Rev. Mr. Flinn_. Are you the Editor of the A--?

_Editor_. I am.

_Rev. Mr. F_. Then I have called upon you, Sir, to request that you
will contradict a most malicious and unfounded report of the death of my
uncle, which appeared in your paper yesterday.

_Editor_. With great pleasure, if it be unfounded; but I can assure you
there was nothing malicious in the statement. Who is your uncle?

_Rev. Mr. F._ The Bishop of --------. This is a letter I received from
him this morning, dated only yesterday; and your paper says, he died
suddenly at his Episcopal palace, last Saturday. These false reports are
not only most distressing to the friends and relations of an individual,
but they are cruel disappointments to a numerous class of your readers.
I have met three deans and one prebendary already, who have hurried up
to town in consequence of the scandalous rumour.

_Editor_. I am really very sorry; but the fact is the rumour did not
originate with us; it was copied from another paper: however I shall be
most happy to give it a positive contradiction.

_Rev. Mr. F_. Sir, I am obliged to you. _(The Rev. Judiah Flinn puts his
uncle's letter into his pocket and departs.)_

_Editor. (Writes.)_ "We cannot sufficiently reprobate the manner in
which some of our contemporaries give circulation to the most unfounded
reports. We, yesterday, incautiously copied from another paper a
statement of the pretended death of the Bishop of --------. We have
the best authority for asserting that this paragraph is wholly without
foundation. We have seen a letter from the Right Reverend prelate,
written four days after the date of his alleged decease, and at which
period he was in the enjoyment of excellent health. We are happy
in being thus enabled to dispel the gloom which the report of his
lordship's death must have occasioned, wherever talents, piety, moral
worth, private virtue, and public integrity are held dear. At any time,
the loss of such a man as the Bishop of -------- would be severely felt;
but at a moment like this, when the best interests of the church are in
danger, it would be a national calamity. In the words of Shakspeare we
are ready to exclaim--

     --'He's a learned man. May he continue
     Long in his country's favour, and do justice
     For truth's sake, and his conscience, that his bones,
     When he has run his course, and sleeps in blessings,
     May have a tomb of orphans' tears wept on'em.'"

Come, I shall do pretty well for leaders, after all, though there _is_
nothing to write about. _(Rings Mr. Pica's bell.)_ Here is more copy
ready;--this is a leader, and this a common _par. in l. p._ *

     * "A common _par_." is "a common paragraph;" and "l.
     p," stands for that description of letter which is called
     _long primer_. Paragraphs, in a paper, have their places of
     precedency, and their select company as well as
     advertisements. There is as much difference, in point of
     dignity and rank, between an l. p. par. (or a paragraph in
     large letters), coming immediately after the leaders, and a
     scrubby minion par. (or a paragraph in small letter), shoved
     any where, as between a minister's private secretary, and
     the private secretary's private clerk. Your l. p. par. is a
     gentleman, and keeps good society. You will always find him
     in the midst of their excellencies the ambassadors, who have
     paid visits to the foreign office, or received despatches
     from their own governments; side by side with peers and
     west-end commoners, who have gone out of town, come into
     town or given grand dinners; surrounded with princesses and
     other illustrious personages, who have taken an airing or
     paid a morning visit. But your minion par. is a sneaking,
     shabby, obscure little fellow, poked down in a corner by
     himself, or at best, only permitted to associate with
     "melancholy accidents"--"daring robberies"--"more fires"--
     "extraordinary longevity"--the puff particular of Warren's
     Blacking, and the puffs universal of Colburn's authors. It
     is only when parliament is sitting, or there is "a press of
     matter," that these distinctions are levelled in one common
     fate of pars, and even leaders. It is then only, that lords
     and ladies, M.P's. and quack doctors, hops, crops, and
     concerts, fops, fiddlers, and philosophers, large turnips
     and theatrical stars, bishops and burglaries, are all
     equally the minions of the daily press, and distinguished
     only by their "station in the file."

_Mr. P_. I have too much already, by at least half a column, and I don't
know what to leave out.

_Editor._ Half a column too much!--then you do not want any more from
me.

_Mr. P_. No, Sir; I was thinking of keeping the "Awful thunder storm"
till to-morrow, only it is a week old already.

_Editor_. Never mind. We shall have some more thunder storms by
to-morrow, in all probability, and then you can put them all together.

_Mr. P_. Do you care about the "Grand Seignior" and the "Flying Fish"
going in to-day? Because, if they are left out, I can make room for the
"White Witch," the "Persian Ambassador," and "Waterloo Bridge."

_Editor_. Find a place for the "White Witch." She has been standing for
a long time--ever since Monday.

_Mr. P_. So has "Waterloo Bridge," Sir. _Editor, (with an arch look.)_
Yes, but that was intended to stand.

_Mr. P. (laughing.)_ I shall want two or three small pars., of about six
lines each, to make out the columns, for none of the long articles will
fit exactly.

_Editor._ Wait a moment, and I'll give them to you. (
Writes.)--"Mackarel are just now in season, and remarkably cheap. We
are glad of it, for they furnish an economical and wholesome meal to the
poorer classes, with a few potatoes."

"The metropolis was visited by a violent storm last night. The rain fell
in torrents. We have not heard it extended beyond the immediate vicinity
of London."

"If the hot weather continues much longer, there will be too much of it.
The farmers are already crying out sadly for rain."

"As a man was driving a pig yesterday down the Haymarket, the obstinate
animal ran between the legs of an old woman who was carrying a heavy
basket of cabbages on her head, and threw her down. The poor old
creature bruised her elbow shockingly. The pig ran off in the direction
of St. James's-square. The writer of this saw the accident. What are the
street-keepers about, to allow fellows thus to drive their pigs on
the foot-pavement, in one of the most crowded thoroughfares of the
metropolis?"

"_Anecdote_.--An exquisite, that is, a tiptop dandy, was calling a coach
the other day, opposite Southampton-street in the Strand. The delicate
creature could not make his voice heard; when a rough Jack-tar,
who happened to be passing by, hailed coachee, in a voice like a
speaking-trumpet.

"'Here,' said Jack, looking unutterable things at the dandy, 'here's
_something_ wants you.'"

"_A Legal Conundrum_.--When a ship of war has but an indifferent crew,
and is ill provided with cannon, she is in want of the assistance of two
learned counsel. Who are they! _Man_-ning and _Gun_-ning.--N.B. This is
not one of Lord Norbury's _lasts_."

There are half-a-dozen _pars_, for you. If you do not want them all
to-day, use any of them that will fit, and keep the rest for another
time.

_[Exit Mr. Pica. The Editor puts away his letters and papers--locks
up his writing-desk--washes his hands--adjusts his cravat--buttons his
coat--puts on his hat and gloves--and sallies forth into the Strand? to
enjoy the fresh air, while Mr. Pica is usings all necessary diligence to
get the paper ready for publication.]_

[SHARPE'S MAG.]

[Illustration: 373]



THE NIGHTMARE.

     I come in the gleams, from the land of dreams,
     Wrapp'd round in the midnight's pall;
     Ye may hear my moan, in the night-wind's groan,
     When the tapestry flaps on the wall;--
     I come from my rest in the death-owl's nest,
     Where she screams in fear and pain;
     And my wings gleam bright in the wild moonlight,
     As it whirls round the madman's brain;
     And down sweeps my car, like a falling star,
     When the winds have hush'd their breath;
     When ye feel in the air, from the cold sepulchre,
     The faint damp smell of death.


     My vigil I keep, by the murderer's sleep,
     When dreams round his senses spin;
     And I ride on his breast, and trouble his rest,
     In the shape of his deadliest sin;
     And hollow and low is his moan of woe
     In the depth of his strangling pain,
     And his cold black eye rolls in agony,
     And faintly rattles his chain.

     The sweat-drops fall on the dark prison wall--
     He wakes with a deep-drawn sigh;
     He hears my tread, as I pass from his bed,
     And he calls on the saints on high.

     I fly to the bed where the weary head
     Of the poet its rest must seek,
     And with false dreams of fame I kindle the flame
     Of joy on his pallid cheek.
     No thought does he take of the world awake,
     And its cold and heartless pleasure,
     The holy fire of his own loved lyre
     Is his best and dearest treasure.

     But neglect's foul sting that cheek shall bring
     To a darker and deadlier hue;
     The last dear token, his lyre, is broken,
     And his heart is broken too.

     When the maiden asleep for her lover may weep,
     Afar on the boundless sea,
     And she dreams he is press'd to her welcome breast,
     Return'd from his dangers free--
     I come in the form of a wave of the storm,
     And sweep him away from her heart,
     And then in a dream she starts with a scream,
     To think that in death they part;
     And still in the light of her stream-bound sight
     The images whirl and dance,
     Till my swift elision dispels the vision,
     And she wakes as from a trance.

     When the clouds, first-born of the breezy morn,
     In the eastern chambers roam,
     I glide away in the twilight gray
     To rest in my shadowy home;
     And darkness and sleep to their kingdom sweep,
     And dreams rustle by like a storm;
     But where I dwell no man can tell
     Who hath seen my hideous form;
     Whether it be in the caves of the sea,
     Where the rolling breakers go,
     Or the crystal sphere of the upper air,
     Or the depths of hell below.

[EQUUS.]

[Illustration: 376]



A GALL-ING SYSTEM.

When Dr. Gall first announced his new system of Craniology, the wits of
Paris found it a good subject on which to exercise their talents, and it
was attacked with all the light artillery of jokes and epigrams. Among
others, Mercier, the author of the _Tableau de Paris_, entered the
lists with his _Podology_ against _Craniology_, in a squib, in which
he contended, that "it is not in the head that ideas reside, nor by
the head that man differs from other animals; that a man without a head
would not on that account, be less reflecting; in short, that the head
says nothing, does nothing, and contributes nothing to the observation
of man. It is his _foot_ which does every thing. It is in the foot that
we must seek and find the stamp of man's original dignity. In the
foot? Yes, Sir, in the foot. Look at the footman, who smiles at your
surprise--is it not the foot which supports the head? Does not the
foot express anger and indignation? In Spain, all matters of love and
gallantry begin with the foot. The foot, in China, plays the first part.
There is nothing more rude than to tread upon another's foot; when a
man gets intoxicated, his foot refuses to carry him in that state of
debasement; in fact, the foot cannot lie like the mouth and eyes. You
must perceive, then, that the foot has all those qualities which prove a
man to be a thinking being, or, in other words, the foot is the seat
of the soul. If you would know, therefore, whether a woman is tender or
faithless, if a man has the understanding of Montesquieu, or the folly
of ------, instead of looking at his skull, you must see his foot.
Yes, good Dr. Gall; you shall see my _head_, and I will examine your
feet."--So much for the System of

[Illustration: 379]

craniology.





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