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Title: Pelham — Volume 08
Author: Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron
Language: English
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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 "Pelham — Volume 08" ***

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                             VOLUME VIII.

                             CHAPTER LXXX.

      K. Henry.  Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.

      Say.  Ay, but I hope your Highness shall have his.
                   --2nd Part of Henry IV.

Punctual to his appointment, the next morning came Mr. Job Jonson. I had
been on the rack of expectation for the last three hours previous to his
arrival, and the warmth of my welcome must have removed any little
diffidence with which so shame-faced a gentleman might possibly have been
troubled.

At my request, he sat himself down, and seeing that my breakfast things
were on the table, remarked what a famous appetite the fresh air always
gave him. I took the hint, and pushed the rolls towards him. He
immediately fell to work, and for the next quarter of an hour, his mouth
was far too well occupied for the intrusive impertinence of words. At
last the things were removed, and Mr. Jonson began.

"I have thought well over the matter, your honour, and I believe we can
manage to trounce the rascals--for I agree with you, that there is not a
doubt that Thornton and Dawson are the real criminals; but the affair,
Sir, is one of the greatest difficulty and importance--nay, of the
greatest personal danger. My life may be the forfeit of my desire to
serve you--you will not, therefore, be surprised at my accepting your
liberal offer of three hundred a year, should I be successful; although I
do assure you, Sir, that it was my original intention to reject all
recompence, for I am naturally benevolent, and love doing a good action.
Indeed, Sir, if I were alone in the world, I should scorn any
remuneration, for virtue is its own reward; but a real moralist, your
honour, must not forget his duties on any consideration, and I have a
little family to whom my loss would be an irreparable injury; this, upon
my honour, is my only inducement for taking advantage of your
generosity;" and as the moralist ceased, he took out of his waistcoat
pocket a paper, which he handed to me with his usual bow of deference.

I glanced over it--it was a bond, apparently drawn up in all the legal
formalities, pledging myself, in case Job Jonson, before the expiration
of three days, gave that information which should lead to the detection
and punishment of the true murderers of Sir John Tyrrell, deceased, to
ensure to the said Job Jonson the yearly annuity of three hundred pounds.

"It is with much pleasure that I shall sign this paper," said I; "but
allow me (par parenthese) to observe, that since you only accept the
annuity for the sake of benefiting your little family, in case of your
death, this annuity, ceasing with your life, will leave your children as
pennyless as at present."

"Pardon me, your honour," rejoined Job, not a whit daunted at the truth
of my remark, "I can insure!"

"I forgot that," said I, signing, and restoring the paper; "and now to
business."

Jonson gravely and carefully looked over the interesting document I
returned to him, and carefully lapping it in three envelopes, inserted it
in a huge red pocket-book, which he thrust into an innermost pocket in
his waistcoat.

"Right, Sir," said he, slowly, "to business. Before I begin, you must,
however, promise me, upon your honour as a gentleman, the strictest
secrecy, as to my communications."

I readily agreed to this, so far as that secrecy did not impede my
present object; and Job being content with this condition, resumed.

"You must forgive me, if, in order to arrive at the point in question, I
set out from one which may seem to you a little distant."

I nodded my assent, and Job continued.

"I have known Dawson for some years; my acquaintance with him commenced
at Newmarket, for I have always had a slight tendency to the turf. He was
a wild, foolish fellow, easily led into any mischief, but ever the first
to sneak out of it; in short, when he became one of us, which his
extravagance soon compelled him to do, we considered him as a very
serviceable tool, but one, that while he was quite wicked enough to begin
a bad action, was much too weak to go through with it; accordingly he was
often employed, but never trusted. By the word us, which I see has
excited your curiosity, I merely mean a body corporate, established
furtively, and restricted solely to exploits on the turf. I think it
right to mention this, because I have the honour to belong to many other
societies to which Dawson could never have been admitted. Well, Sir, our
club was at last broken up, and Dawson was left to shift for himself. His
father was still alive, and the young hopeful having quarrelled with him,
was in the greatest distress. He came to me with a pitiful story, and a
more pitiful face; so I took compassion upon the poor devil, and procured
him, by dint of great interest, admission into a knot of good fellows,
whom I visited, by the way, last night. Here I took him under my especial
care; and as far as I could, with such a dull-headed dromedary, taught
him some of the most elegant arts of my profession. However, the
ungrateful dog soon stole back to his old courses, and robbed me of half
my share of a booty to which I had helped him myself. I hate treachery
and ingratitude, your honour; they are so terribly ungentlemanlike.

"I then lost sight of him, till between two and three months ago, when he
returned to town, and attended our meetings with Tom Thornton, who had
been chosen a member of the club some months before. Since we had met,
Dawson's father had died, and I thought his flash appearance in town
arose from his new inheritance. I was mistaken: old Dawson had tied up
the property so tightly, that the young one could not scrape enough to
pay his debts; accordingly, before he came to town, he gave up his life
interest in the property to his creditors. However that be, Master Dawson
seemed at the top of Fortune's wheel. He kept his horses, and sported the
set to champagne and venison; in short, there would have been no end to
his extravagance, had not Thornton sucked him like a leech.

"It was about that time, that I asked Dawson for a trifle to keep me from
jail; for I was ill in bed, and could not help myself. Will you believe,
Sir, that the rascal told me to go and be d--d, and Thornton said amen? I
did not forget the ingratitude of my protege, though when I recovered I
appeared entirely to do so. No sooner could I walk about, than I relieved
all my necessities. He is but a fool who starves, with all London before
him. In proportion as my finances increased, Dawson's visibly decayed.
With them, decreased also his spirits. He became pensive and downcast;
never joined any of our parties, and gradually grew quite a useless
member of the corporation. To add to his melancholy, he was one morning
present at the execution of an unfortunate associate of ours: this made a
deep impression upon him; from that moment, he became thoroughly moody
and despondent. He was frequently heard talking to himself, could not
endure to be left alone in the dark, and began rapidly to pine away.

"One night, when he and I were seated together, he asked me if I never
repented of my sins, and then added, with a groan, that I had never
committed the heinous crime he had. I pressed him to confess, but he
would not. However, I coupled that half avowal with his sudden riches and
the mysterious circumstances of Sir John Tyrrell's death, and dark
suspicions came into my mind. At that time, and indeed ever since Dawson
re-appeared, we were often in the habit of discussing the notorious
murder which then engrossed public attention; and as Dawson and Thornton
had been witnesses on the inquest, we frequently referred to them
respecting it. Dawson always turned pale, and avoided the subject;
Thornton, on the contrary, brazened it out with his usual impudence.
Dawson's aversion to the mention of the murder now came into my
remembrance with double weight to strengthen my suspicions; and, on
conversing with one or two of our comrades, I found that my doubts were
more than shared, and that Dawson had frequently, when unusually
oppressed with his hypochondria, hinted at his committal of some dreadful
crime, and at his unceasing remorse for it.

"By degrees, Dawson grew worse and worse--his health decayed, he started
at a shadow--drank deeply, and spoke, in his intoxication, words that
made the hairs of our green men stand on end.

"We must not suffer this," said Thornton, whose hardy effrontery enabled
him to lord it over the jolly boys, as if he were their dimber-damber;
"his ravings and humdurgeon will unman all our youngsters." And so, under
this pretence, Thornton had the unhappy man conveyed away to a secret
asylum, known only to the chiefs of the gang, and appropriated to the
reception of persons who, from the same weakness as Dawson, were likely
to endanger others, or themselves. There many a poor wretch has been
secretly immured, and never suffered to revisit the light of Heaven. The
moon's minions, as well as the monarch's, must have their state
prisoners, and their state victims.

"Well, Sir, I shall not detain you much longer. Last night, after your
obliging confidence, I repaired to the meeting; Thornton was there, and
very much out of humour. When our messmates dropped off, and we were
alone, at one corner of the room, I began talking to him carelessly about
his accusation of your friend, whom I have since learnt is Sir Reginald
Glanville--an old friend of mine too; aye, you may look, Sir, but I can
stake my life to having picked his pocket one night at the Opera.
Thornton was greatly surprised at my early intelligence of a fact,
hitherto kept so profound a secret; however, I explained it away by a
boast of my skill in acquiring information: and he then incautiously let
out, that he was exceedingly vexed with himself for the charge he had
made against the prisoner, and very uneasy at the urgent inquiries set on
foot for Dawson. More and more convinced of his guilt, I quitted the
meeting, and went to Dawson's retreat.

"For fear of his escape, Thornton had had him closely confined to one of
the most secret rooms in the house. His solitude and the darkness of the
place, combined with his remorse, had worked upon a mind, never too
strong, almost to insanity. He was writhing with the most acute and
morbid pangs of conscience that my experience, which has been pretty
ample, ever witnessed. The old hag, who is the Hecate (you see, Sir, I
have had a classical education) of the place, was very loth to admit me
to him, for Thornton had bullied her into a great fear of the
consequences of disobeying his instructions; but she did not dare to
resist my orders. Accordingly I had a long interview with the unfortunate
man; he firmly believes that Thornton intends to murder him; and says,
that if he could escape from his dungeon, he would surrender himself up
to the first magistrate he could find.

"I told him that an innocent man had been apprehended for the crime of
which I knew he and Thornton were guilty; and then taking upon myself the
office of a preacher, I exhorted him to atone, as far as possible, for
his past crime, by a full and faithful confession; that would deliver the
innocent, and punish the guilty. I held out to him the hope that this
confession might perhaps serve the purpose of king's evidence, and obtain
him a pardon for his crime; and I promised to use my utmost zeal and
diligence to promote his escape from his present den.

"He said, in answer, that he did not wish to live; that he suffered the
greatest tortures of mind; and that the only comfort earth held out to
him would be to ease his remorse by a full acknowledgment of his crime,
and to hope for future mercy by expiating his offence on the scaffold;
all this, and much more, to the same purpose, the hen-hearted fellow
told me with sighs and groans. I would fain have taken his confession on
the spot, and carried it away with me, but he refused to give it to me,
or to any one but a parson, whose services he implored me to procure him.
I told him, at first, that the thing was impossible; but, moved by his
distress and remorse, I promised, at last, to bring one tonight, who
should both administer spiritual comfort to him and receive his
deposition. My idea at the moment was to disguise myself in the dress of
the pater cove, [Note: A parson, or minister--but generally applied to a
priest of the lowest order.] and perform the double job--since then I
have thought of a better scheme.

"As my character, you see, your honour, is not so highly prized by the
magistrates as it ought to be, any confession made to me might not be of
the same value as if it were made to any one else--to a gentleman like
you, for instance; and, moreover, it will not do for me to appear in
evidence against any of the fraternity; and for two reasons: first,
because I have taken a solemn oath never to do so; and, secondly, because
I have a very fair chance of joining Sir John Tyrrell in kingdom come if
I do. My present plan, therefore, if it meets your concurrence, would be
to introduce your honour as the parson, and for you to receive the
confession, which, indeed, you might take down in writing. This plan, I
candidly confess, is not without great difficulty and some danger; for I
have not only to impose you upon Dawson as a priest, but also upon
Brimstone Bess as one of our jolly boys; for I need not tell you that any
real parson might knock a long time at her door before it could be opened
to him. You must, therefore, be as mum as a mole, unless she cants to
you, and your answers must then be such as I shall dictate, otherwise she
may detect you, and, should any of the true men be in the house, we
should both come off worse than we went in."

"My dear Mr. Job," replied I, "there appears to me to be a much easier
plan than all this; and that is, simply to tell the Bow-street officers
where Dawson may be found, and I think they would be able to carry him
away from the arms of Mrs. Brimstone Bess without any great difficulty or
danger."

Jonson smiled.

"I should not long enjoy my annuity, your honour, if I were to set the
runners upon our best hive. I should be stung to death before the week
was out. Even you, should you accompany me to-night, will never know
where the spot is situated, nor would you discover it again if you
searched all London, with the whole police at your back. Besides, Dawson
is not the only person in the house for whom the law is hunting--there
are a score others whom I have no desire to give up to the gallows--hid
among the odds and ends of the house, as snug as plums in a pudding. God
forbid that I should betray them, and for nothing too! No, your honour,
the only plan I can think of is the one I proposed; if you do not approve
of it, and it certainly is open to exception, I must devise some other:
but that may require delay."

"No, my good Job," replied I, "I am ready to attend you: but could we not
manage to release Dawson, as well as take his deposition?--his personal
evidence is worth all the written ones in the world."

"Very true," answered Job, "and if it be possible to give Bess the slip,
we will. However, let us not lose what we may get by grasping at what we
may not; let us have the confession first, and we'll try for the release
afterwards. I have another reason for this, Sir, which, if you knew as
much of penitent prigs as I do, you would easily understand. However, it
may be explained by the old proverb, of 'the devil was sick,' As long as
Dawson is stowed away in a dark hole, and fancies devils in every corner,
he may be very anxious to make confessions, which, in broad day-light,
might not seem to him so desirable. Darkness and solitude are strange
stimulants to the conscience, and we may as well not lose any advantage
they give us."

"You are an admirable reasoner," cried I, "and I am impatient to
accompany you--at what hour shall it be?"

"Not much before midnight," answered Jonson, "but your honour must go
back to school and learn lessons before then. Suppose Bess were to
address you thus: 'Well you parish bull prig, are you for lushing jackey,
or pattering in the hum box?' [Note: Well, you parson thief, are you for
drinking gin, or talking in the pulpit?] I'll be bound you would not know
how to answer."

"I am afraid you are right, Mr. Jonson," said I, in a tone of self-
humiliation.

"Never mind," replied the compassionate Job, "we are all born ignorant--
knowledge is not learnt in a day. A few of the most common and necessary
words in our St. Giles's Greek, I shall be able to teach you before
night; and I will, beforehand, prepare the old lady for seeing a young
hand in the profession. As I must disguise you before we go, and that
cannot well be done here, suppose you dine with me at my lodgings."

"I shall be too happy," said I, not a little surprised at the offer.

"I am in Charlotte-street, Bloomsbury, No.--. You must ask for me by the
name of Captain Douglas," said Job, with dignity, "and we'll dine at
five, in order to have time for your preliminary initiation."

"With all my heart," said I; and Mr. Job Jonson then rose, and reminding
me of my promise of secrecy, took his departure.



                            CHAPTER LXXXI.

                   Pectus praeceptis format amicis.
                                 --Horace.

                   Est quodam prodire tenus, si non datur ultra.
                                 --Horace.

With all my love of enterprise and adventure, I cannot say that I should
have particularly chosen the project before me for my evening's
amusement, had I been left solely to my own will; but Glanville's
situation forbade me to think of self, and so far from shrinking at the
danger to which I was about to be exposed, I looked forward with the
utmost impatience to the hour of rejoining Jonson.

There was yet a long time upon my hands before five o'clock; and the
thought of Ellen left me in no doubt how it should be passed. I went to
Berkeley-square; Lady Glanville rose eagerly when I entered the drawing-
room.

"Have you seen Reginald?" said she, "or do you know where he has gone
to?"

I answered, carelessly, that he had left town for a few days, and, I
believed, merely upon a vague excursion, for the benefit of the country
air.

"You reassure us," said Lady Glanville; "we have been quite alarmed by
Seymour's manner. He appeared so confused when he told us Reginald left
town, that I really thought some accident had happened to him."

I sate myself by Ellen, who appeared wholly occupied in the formation of
a purse. While I was whispering into her ear words, which brought a
thousand blushes to her cheek, Lady Glanville interrupted me, by an
exclamation of "Have you seen the papers to-day, Mr. Pelham?" and on my
reply in the negative, she pointed to an article in the Morning Herald,
which she said had occupied their conjectures all the morning--it ran
thus:--

"The evening before last, a person of rank and celebrity, was privately
carried before the Magistrate at--. Since then, he has undergone an
examination, the nature of which, as well as the name of the individual,
is as yet kept a profound secret."

I believe that I have so firm a command over my countenance, that I
should not change tint nor muscle, to hear of the greatest calamity that
could happen to me. I did not therefore betray a single one of the
emotions this paragraph excited within me, but appeared, on the contrary,
as much at a loss as Lady Glanville, and wondered and guessed with her,
till she remembered my present situation in the family, and left me alone
with Ellen.

Why should the tete-a-tete of lovers be so uninteresting to the world--
when there is scarcely a being in it who has not loved. The expressions
of every other feeling comes home to us all--the expressions of love
weary and fatigue us. But the interview of that morning, was far from
resembling those which the maxims of love at that early period of its
existence would assert. I could not give myself up to happiness which
might so soon be disturbed, and though I veiled my anxiety and coldness
from Ellen, I felt it as a crime to indulge even the appearance of
transport, while Glanville lay alone, and in prison, with the charges of
murder yet uncontroverted, and the chances of its doom undiminshed.

The clock had struck four before I left Ellen's, and without returning to
my hotel, I threw myself into a hackney coach, and drove to Charlotte-
street. The worthy Job received me with his wonted dignity and ease; his
lodgings consisted of a first floor, furnished according to all the
notions of Bloomsbury elegance--viz. new, glaring Brussels carpeting;
convex mirrors, with massy gilt frames, and eagles at the summit;
rosewood chairs, with chintz cushions; bright grates, with a flower-pot,
cut out of yellow paper, in each; in short, all that especial neatness of
upholstering paraphernalia, which Vincent used not inaptly, to designate
by the title of "the tea-chest taste." Jonson seemed not a little proud
of his apartments--accordingly, I complimented him upon their elegance.

"Under the rose be it spoken," said he, "the landlady, who is a widow,
believes me to be an officer on half pay, and thinks I wish to marry her;
poor woman, my black locks and green coat have a witchery that surprises
even me: who would be a slovenly thief, when there are such advantages in
being a smart one?"

"Right, Mr. Jonson!" said I; "but shall I own to you that I am surprised
that a gentleman of your talents should stoop to the lower arts of the
profession. I always imagined that pickpocketing was a part of your
business left only to the plebeian purloiner; now I know, to my cost,
that you do not disdain that manual accomplishment."

"Your honour speaks like a judge," answered Job: "the fact is, that I
should despise what you rightly designate 'the lower arts of the
profession,' if I did not value myself upon giving them a charm, and
investing them with a dignity never bestowed upon them before. To give
you an idea of the superior dexterity with which I manage my slight of
hand, know, that four times I have been in that shop where you saw me
borrow the diamond ring, which you now remark upon my little finger; and
four times have I brought back some token of my visitations; nay, the
shopman is so far from suspecting me, that he has twice favoured me with
the piteous tale of the very losses I myself brought upon him; and I make
no doubt that I shall hear in a few days, the whole history of the
departed diamond, now in my keeping, coupled with your honour's
appearance and custom. Allow that it would be a pity to suffer pride to
stand in the way of the talents with which Providence has blest me; to
scorn the little delicacies of art, which I execute so well, would, in my
opinion, be as absurd as for an epic poet to disdain the composition of a
perfect epigram, or a consummate musician, the melody of a faultless
song."

"Bravo! Mr. Job," said I; "a truly great man, you see, can confer honour
upon trifles." More I might have said, but was stopt short by the
entrance of the landlady, who was a fine, fair, well dressed, comely
woman, of about thirty-nine years and eleven months; or, to speak less
precisely, between thirty and forty. She came to announce that dinner was
served below. We descended, and found a sumptuous repast of roast beef
and fish; this primary course was succeeded by that great dainty with
common people--a duck and green peas.

"Upon my word, Mr. Jonson," said I, "you fare like a prince; your weekly
expenditure must be pretty considerable for a single gentleman."

"I don't know," answered Jonson, with an air of lordly indifference--"I
have never paid my good hostess any coin but compliments, and, in all
probability, never shall."

Was there ever a better illustration of Moore's admonition--

'O, ladies, beware of a gay young knight,

After dinner, we remounted to the apartments Job emphatically called his
own; and he then proceeded to initiate me in those phrases of the noble
language of "Flash," which might best serve my necessities on the
approaching occasion. The slang part of my Cambridge education had made
me acquainted with some little elementary knowledge, which rendered
Jonson's precepts less strange and abstruse. In this lecture, "sweet and
holy," the hours passed away till it became time for me to dress. Mr.
Jonson then took me into the penetralia of his bed-room. I stumbled
against an enormous trunk. On hearing the involuntary anathema this
accident conjured up to my lips, Jonson said--"Ah, Sir!--do oblige me by
trying to move that box."

I did so, but could not stir it an inch.

"Your honour never saw a jewel box so heavy before, I think," said
Jonson, with a smile.

"A jewel box!" I repeated.

"Yes," returned Jonson--"a jewel box, for it is full of precious stones!
When I go away--not a little in my good landlady's books--I shall desire
her, very importantly, to take the greatest care of 'my box.' Egad! it
would be a treasure to MacAdam: he might pound its flinty contents into a
street."

With these words, Mr. Jonson unlocked a wardrobe in the room, and
produced a full suit of rusty black.

"There!" said he, with an air of satisfaction--"there! this will be your
first step to the pulpit."

I doffed my own attire, and with "some natural sighs," at the deformity
of my approaching metamorphosis, I slowly inducted myself in the clerical
garments: they were much too wide, and a little too short for me; but
Jonson turned me round, as if I were his eldest son, breeched for the
first time--and declared, with an emphatical oath, that the clothes
fitted me to a hair.

My host next opened a tin dressing box, of large dimensions, from which
he took sundry powders, lotions, and paints. Nothing but my extreme
friendship for Glanville could ever have supported me through the
operation I then underwent. My poor complexion, thought I, with tears in
my eyes, it is ruined for ever. To crown all--Jonson robbed me, by four
clips of his scissars, of the luxuriant locks which, from the pampered
indulgence so long accorded to them, might have rebelled against the new
dynasty, which Jonson now elected to the crown. This consisted of a
shaggy, but admirably made wig, of a sandy colour. When I was thus
completely attired from head to foot, Job displayed me to myself before a
full length looking glass.

Had I gazed at the reflection for ever, I should not have recognized
either my form or visage. I thought my soul had undergone a real
transmigration, and not carried to its new body a particle of the
original one. What appeared the most singular was, that I did not seem
even to myself at all a ridiculous or outre figure; so admirably had the
skill of Mr. Jonson been employed. I overwhelmed him with encomiums,
which he took au pied de la lettre. Never, indeed, was there a man so
vain of being a rogue.

"But," said I, "why this disguise? Your friends will, probably, be well
versed enough in the mysteries of metamorphosis, to see even through your
arts; and, as they have never beheld me before, it would very little
matter if I went in propria persona."

"True," answered Job, "but you don't reflect that without disguise you
may hereafter be recognized; our friends walk in Bond-street, as well as
your honour; and, in that case, you might be shot without a second, as
the saying is."

"You have convinced me," said I; "and now, before we start, let me say
one word further respecting our object. I tell you, fairly, that I think
Dawson's written deposition but a secondary point; and, for this reason,
should it not be supported by any circumstantial or local evidence,
hereafter to be ascertained, it may be quite insufficient fully to acquit
Glanville (in spite of all appearances), and criminate the real
murderers. If, therefore, it be possible to carry off Dawson, after
having secured his confession, we must. I think it right to insist more
particularly on this point, as you appeared to me rather averse to it
this morning."

"I say ditto to your honour," returned Job; "and you may be sure that I
shall do all in my power to effect your object, not only from that love
of virtue which is implanted in my mind, when no stronger inducement
leads me astray, but from the more worldly reminiscence, that the annuity
we have agreed upon is only to be given in case of success--not merely
for well meaning attempts. To say that I have no objection to the release
of Dawson, would be to deceive your honour; I own that I have; and the
objection is, first, my fear lest he should peach respecting other
affairs besides the murder of Sir John Tyrrell; and, secondly, my
scruples as to appearing to interfere with his escape. Both of these
chances expose me to great danger; however, one does not get three
hundred a year for washing one's hands, and I must balance the one by the
other."

"You are a sensible man, Mr. Job," said I; "and I am sure you will richly
earn, and long enjoy your annuity."

As I said this, the watchman beneath our window, called "past eleven,"
and Jonson, starting up, hastily changed his own gay gear for a more
simple dress, and throwing over all a Scotch plaid, gave me a similar
one, in which I closely wrapped myself. We descended the stairs softly,
and Jonson let us out into the street, by the "open sesame" of a key,
which he retained about his person.



                            CHAPTER LXXXII.

                   Et cantare pares, et respondere parati.
                                 --Virgil.

As we walked on into Tottenham-court-road, where we expected to find a
hackney-coach, my companion earnestly and strenuously impressed on my
mind, the necessity of implicitly obeying any instructions or hints he
might give me in the course of our adventure. "Remember," said he,
forcibly, "that the least deviation from them, will not only defeat our
object of removing Dawson, but even expose our lives to the most imminent
peril." I faithfully promised to conform to the minutest tittle of his
instructions.

We came to a stand of coaches. Jonson selected one, and gave the coachman
an order; he took care it should not reach my ears. During the half hour
we passed in this vehicle, Job examined and reexamined me in my "canting
catechism," as he termed it. He expressed himself much pleased with the
quickness of my parts, and honoured me with an assurance that in less
than three months he would engage to make me as complete a ruffler as
ever nailed a swell.

To this gratifying compliment I made the best return in my power.

"You must not suppose," said Jonson--some minutes afterwards, "from our
use of this language, that our club consists of the lower order of
thieves--quite the contrary: we are a knot of gentlemen adventurers who
wear the best clothes, ride the best hacks, frequent the best gaming
houses, as well as the genteelest haunts, and sometimes keep the first
company in London. We are limited in number: we have nothing in common
with ordinary prigs, and should my own little private amusements (as you
appropriately term them) be known in the set, I should have a very fair
chance of being expelled for ungentlemanlike practices. We rarely
condescend to speak "flash" to each other in our ordinary meetings, but
we find it necessary, for many shifts to which fortune sometimes drives
us. The house you are going this night to visit, is a sort of colony we
have established for whatever persons amongst us are in danger of blood-
money. [Rewards for the apprehension of thieves.] There they sometimes
lie concealed for weeks together, and are at last shipped off for the
continent, or enter the world under a new alias. To this refuge of the
distressed we also send any of the mess, who, like Dawson, are troubled
with qualms of conscience, which are likely to endanger the commonwealth;
there they remain, as in a hospital, till death, or a cure, in short, we
put the house, like its inmates, to any purposes likely to frustrate our
enemies, and serve ourselves. Old Brimstone Bess, to whom I shall
introduce you, is, as I before said, the guardian of the place; and the
language that respectable lady chiefly indulges in, is the one into which
you have just acquired so good an insight. Partly in compliment to her,
and partly from inclination, the dialect adopted in her house, is almost
entirely "flash;" and you, therefore, perceive the necessity of appearing
not utterly ignorant of a tongue, which is not only the language of the
country, but one with which no true boy, however high in his profession,
is ever unacquainted."

By the time Jonson had finished this speech, the coach stopped--I looked
eagerly out--Jonson observed the motion: "We have not got half-way yet,
your honour," said he. We left the coach, which Jonson requested me to
pay, and walked on.

"Tell me frankly, Sir," said Job, "do you know where you are?"

"Not in the least," replied I, looking wistfully up a long, dull, ill-
lighted street.

Job rolled his sinister eye towards me with a searching look, and then
turning abruptly to the right, penetrated into a sort of covered lane, or
court, which terminated in an alley, that brought us suddenly to a stand
of three coaches; one of these Job hailed--we entered it--a secret
direction was given, and we drove furiously on, faster than I should
think the crazy body of hackney chariot ever drove before. I observed,
that we had now entered a part of the town, which was singularly strange
to me; the houses were old, and for the most part of the meanest
description; we appeared to me to be threading a labyrinth of alleys;
once, I imagined that I caught, through a sudden opening, a glimpse of
the river, but we passed so rapidly, that my eye might have deceived me.
At length we stopped: the coachman was again dismissed, and I again
walked onwards, under the guidance, and almost at the mercy of my honest
companion.

Jonson did not address me--he was silent and absorbed, and I had
therefore full leisure to consider my present situation. Though (thanks
to my physical constitution) I am as callous to fear as most men, a few
chilling apprehensions, certainly flitted across my mind, when I looked
round at the dim and dreary sheds--houses they were not--which were on
either side of our path; only here and there, a single lamp shed a sickly
light upon the dismal and intersecting lanes (though lane is too lofty a
word), through which our footsteps woke a solitary sound. Sometimes this
feeble light was altogether withheld, and I could scarcely catch even the
outline of my companion's muscular frame. However, he strode on through
the darkness, with the mechanical rapidity of one to whom every stone is
familiar. I listened eagerly for the sound of the watchman's voice, in
vain--that note was never heard in those desolate recesses. My ear drank
in nothing but the sound of our own footsteps, or the occasional burst of
obscene and unholy merriment from some half-closed hovel, where infamy
and vice were holding revels. Now and then, a wretched thing, in the
vilest extreme of want, and loathsomeness, and rags, loitered by the
unfrequent lamps, and interrupted our progress with solicitations, which
made my blood run cold. By degrees even these tokens of life ceased--the
last lamp was entirely shut from our view--we were in utter darkness.

"We are near our journey's end now," whispered Jonson

At these words a thousand unwelcome reflections forced themselves
voluntarily on my mind: I was about to plunge into the most secret
retreat of men whose long habits of villany and desperate abandonment,
had hardened into a nature which had scarcely a sympathy with my own;
unarmed and defenceless, I was going to penetrate a concealment upon
which their lives perhaps depended; what could I anticipate from their
vengeance, but the sure hand and the deadly knife, which their self-
preservation would more than justify to such lawless reasoners. And who
was my companion? One, who literally gloried in the perfection of his
nefarious practices; and who, if he had stopped short of the worst
enormities, seemed neither to disown the principle upon which they were
committed, nor to balance for a moment between his interest and his
conscience.

Nor did he attempt to conceal from me the danger to which I was exposed;
much as his daring habits of life, and the good fortune which had
attended him, must have hardened his nerves, even he, seemed fully
sensible of the peril he incurred--a peril certainly considerably less
than that which attended my temerity. Bitterly did I repent, as these
reflections rapidly passed my mind, my negligence in not providing myself
with a single weapon in case of need: the worst pang of death, is the
falling without a struggle.

However, it was no moment for the indulgence of fear, it was rather one
of those eventful periods which so rarely occur in the monotony of common
life, when our minds are sounded to their utmost depths: and energies of
which we dreamt not, when at rest in their secret retreats, arise like
spirits at the summons of the wizard, and bring to the invoking mind, an
unlooked for and preternatural aid.

There was something too in the disposition of my guide, which gave me a
confidence in him, not warranted by the occupations of his life; an easy
and frank boldness, an ingenuous vanity of abilities, skilfully, though
dishonestly exerted, which had nothing of the meanness and mystery of an
ordinary villain, and which being equally prominent with the rascality
they adorned, prevented the attention from dwelling only upon the darker
shades of his character. Besides, I had so closely entwined his interest
with my own, that I felt there could be no possible ground either for
suspecting him of any deceit towards me, or of omitting any art or
exertion which could conduce to our mutual safety or our common end.

Forcing myself to dwell solely upon the more encouraging side of the
enterprise I had undertaken, we continued to move on, silent and in
darkness, for some minutes longer--Jonson then halted.

"Are you quite prepared, Sir?" said he, in a whisper: "if your heart
fails, in God's name let us turn back: the least evident terror will be
as much as your life is worth."

My thoughts were upon Sir Reginald and Ellen, as I replied--

"You have told and convinced me that I may trust is you, and I have no
fears; my present object is one as strong to me as life."

"I would we had a glim," rejoined Job, musingly; "I should like to see
your face: but will you give me your hand, Sir?"

I did, and Jonson held it in his own for more than a minute.

"'Fore Heaven, Sir," said he, at last, "I would you were one of us. You
would live a brave man and die a game one. Your pulse is like iron; and
your hand does not sway--no--not so much as to wave a dove's feather; it
would be a burning shame if harm came to so stout a heart." Job moved on
a few steps. "Now, Sir," he whispered, "remember your flash; do exactly
as I may have occasion to tell you; and be sure to sit away from the
light, should we be in company."

With these words he stopped. I perceived by the touch, for it was too
dark to see, that he was leaning down, apparently in a listening
attitude; presently, he tapped five times at what I supposed was a door,
though I afterwards discovered it was the shutter to a window; upon this,
a faint light broke through the crevices of the boards, and a low voice
uttered some sound, which my ear did not catch. Job replied, in the same
key, and in words which were perfectly unintelligible to me; the light
disappeared; Job moved round, as if turning a corner. I heard the heavy
bolts and bars of a door slowly withdraw; and in a few moments, a harsh
voice said, in the thieves' dialect,

"Ruffling Job, my prince of prigs, is that you? are you come to the ken
alone, or do you carry double?"

"Ah, Bess, my covess, strike me blind if my sees don't tout your bingo
muns in spite of the darkmans. Egad, you carry a bane blink aloft. Come
to the ken alone--no! my blowen; did not I tell you I should bring a
pater cove, to chop up the whiners for Dawson?"

"Stubble it, you ben, you deserve to cly the jerk for your patter; come
in, and be d--d to you."

Upon this invitation, Jonson, seizing me by the arm, pushed me into the
house, and followed. "Go for a glim, Bess, to light in the parish bull
with proper respect. I'll close the gig of the crib."

At this order, delivered in an authoritative tone, the old woman,
mumbling "strange oaths" to herself, moved away; when she was out of
hearing, Job whispered,

"Mark, I shall leave the bolts undrawn, the door opens with a latch,
which you press thus--do not forget the spring; it is easy, but peculiar;
should you be forced to run for it, you will also remember, above all,
when you are out of the door, to turn to the right and go straight
forwards."

The old woman now reappeared with a light, and Jonson ceased, and moved
hastily towards her: I followed. The old woman asked whether the door had
been carefully closed, and Jonson, with an oath at her doubts of such a
matter, answered in the affirmative.

We proceeded onwards, through a long and very narrow passage, till Bess
opened a small door to the left, and introduced us into a large room,
which, to my great dismay, I found already occupied by four men, who were
sitting, half immersed in smoke, by an oak table, with a capacious bowl
of hot liquor before them. At the back ground of this room, which
resembled the kitchen of a public house, was an enormous skreen, of
antique fashion; a low fire burnt sullenly in the grate, and beside it
was one of those high-backed chairs, seem frequently in old houses, and
old pictures. A clock stood in one corner, and in the opposite nook were
a flight of narrow stairs, which led downwards, probably to a cellar. On
a row of shelves, were various bottles of the different liquors generally
in request among the "flash" gentry, together with an old-fashioned
fiddle, two bridles, and some strange looking tools, probably of more use
to true boys than honest men.

Brimstone Bess was a woman about the middle size, but with bones and
sinews which would not have disgraced a prize-fighter; a cap, that might
have been cleaner, was rather thrown than put on the back of her head,
developing, to full advantage, the few scanty locks of grizzled ebon
which adorned her countenance. Her eyes large, black, and prominent,
sparkled with a fire half vivacious, half vixen. The nasal feature was
broad and fungous, and, as well as the whole of her capacious
physiognomy, blushed with the deepest scarlet: it was evident to see that
many a full bottle of "British compounds" had contributed to the feeding
of that burning and phosphoric illumination, which was, indeed, "the
outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace."

The expression of the countenance was not wholly bad. Amidst the deep
traces of searing vice and unrestrained passion; amidst all that was
bold, and unfeminine, and fierce, and crafty, there was a latent look of
coarse good humour, a twinkle of the eye that bespoke a tendency to mirth
and drollery, and an upward curve of the lip that shewed, however the
human creature might be debased, it still cherished its grand
characteristic--the propensity to laughter.

The garb of this dame Leonarda was by no means of that humble nature
which one might have supposed. A gown of crimson silk, flounced and
furbelowed to the knees, was tastefully relieved by a bright yellow
shawl; and a pair of heavy pendants glittered in her ears, which were of
the size proper to receive "the big words" they were in the habit of
hearing. Probably this finery had its origin in the policy of her guests,
who had seen enough of life to know that age, which tames all other
passions, never tames the passion of dress in a woman's mind.

No sooner did the four revellers set their eyes upon me than they all
rose.

"Zounds, Bess!" cried the tallest of them, "what cull's this? Is this a
bowsing ken for every cove to shove his trunk in?"

"What ho, my kiddy," cried Job, "don't be glimflashy: why you'd cry beef
on a blater; the cove is a bob cull, and a pal of my own; and, moreover,
is as pretty a Tyburn blossom as ever was brought up to ride a horse
foaled by an acorn."

Upon this commendatory introduction I was forthwith surrounded, and one
of the four proposed that I should be immediately "elected."

This motion, which was probably no gratifying ceremony, Job negatived
with a dictatorial air, and reminded his comrades that however they might
find it convenient to lower themselves occasionally, yet that they were
gentlemen sharpers, and not vulgar cracksmen and cly-fakers, and that,
therefore, they ought to welcome me with the good breeding appropriate to
their station.

Upon this hint, which was received with mingled laughter and deference,
for Job seemed to be a man of might among these Philistines, the tallest
of the set, who bore the euphonious appellation of Spider-shanks,
politely asked me if I would "blow a cloud with him?" and, upon my
assent--for I thought such an occupation would be the best excuse for
silence--he presented me with a pipe of tobacco, to which dame Brimstone
applied a light, and I soon lent my best endeavours to darken still
further the atmosphere around us.

Mr. Job Jonson then began artfully to turn the conversation away from me
to the elder confederates of his crew; these were all spoken of under
certain singular appellations which might well baffle impertinent
curiosity. The name of one was "the Gimblet," another "Crack Crib," a
third, the "Magician," a fourth, "Cherry coloured Jowl." The tallest of
the present company was called (as I before said) "Spider-shanks," and
the shortest "Fib Fakescrew;" Job himself was honoured by the venerabile
nomen of "Guinea Pig." At last Job explained the cause of my appearance;
viz. his wish to pacify Dawson's conscience by dressing up one of the
pals, whom the sinner could not recognize, as an "autem bawler," and so
obtaining him the benefit of the clergy without endangering the gang by
his confession. This detail was received with great good humour, and Job,
watching his opportunity, soon after rose, and, turning to me, said,

"Toddle, my bob cull. We must track up the dancers and tout the sinner."

I wanted no other hint to leave my present situation.

"The ruffian cly thee, Guinea Pig, for stashing the lush," said Spider-
shanks, helping himself out of the bowl, which was nearly empty.

"Stash the lush!" cried Mrs. Brimstone, "aye, and toddle off to Ruggins.
Why, you would not be boosing till lightman's in a square crib like mine,
as if you were in a flash panny."

"That's bang up, mort!" cried Fib. "A square crib, indeed! aye, square as
Mr. Newman's courtyard--ding boys on three sides, and the crap on the
fourth!"

This characteristic witticism was received with great applause; and
Jonson, taking a candlestick from the fair fingers of the exasperated
Mrs. Brimstone, the hand thus conveniently released, immediately
transferred itself to Fib's cheeks, with so hearty a concussion, that it
almost brought the rash jester to the ground. Jonson and I lost not a
moment in taking advantage of the confusion this gentle remonstrance
appeared to occasion; but instantly left the room and closed the door.



                           CHAPTER LXXXIII.

                      'Tis true that we are in great danger;
      The greater, therefore, should our courage be.
                   --Shakspeare.

We proceeded a short way, when we were stopped by a door; this Job
opened, and a narrow staircase, lighted from above, by a dim lamp, was
before us. We ascended, and found ourselves in a sort of gallery; here
hung another lamp, beneath which Job opened a closet.

"This is the place where Bess generally leaves the keys," said he, "we
shall find them here, I hope."

So saying, Master Job entered, leaving me in the passage, but soon
returned with a disappointed air.

"The old harridan has left them below," said he, "I must go down for
them; your honour will wait here till I return."

Suiting the action to the word, honest Job immediately descended, leaving
me alone with my own reflections. Just opposite to the closet was the
door of some apartment; I leant accidentally against it; it was only a-
jar, and gave way; the ordinary consequence in such accidents, is a
certain precipitation from the centre of gravity. I am not exempt from
the general lot; and accordingly entered the room in a manner entirely
contrary to that which my natural inclination would have prompted me to
adopt. My ear was accosted by a faint voice, which proceeded from a bed
at the opposite corner; it asked, in the thieves' dialect, and in the
feeble accents of bodily weakness, who was there? I did not judge it
necessary to make any reply, but was withdrawing as gently as possible,
when my eye rested upon a table at the foot of the bed, upon which, among
two or three miscellaneous articles, were deposited a brace of pistols,
and one of those admirable swords, made according to the modern military
regulation, for the united purpose of cut and thrust. The light which
enabled me to discover the contents of the room, proceeded from a rush-
light placed in the grate; this general symptom of a valetudinarian,
together with some other little odd matters (combined with the weak voice
of the speaker), impressed me with the idea of having intruded into the
chamber of some sick member of the crew. Emboldened by this notion, and
by perceiving that the curtains were drawn closely around the bed, so
that the inmate could have optical discernment of nothing that occurred
without, I could not resist taking two soft steps to the table, and
quietly removing a weapon whose bright face seemed to invite me as a long
known and long tried friend.

This was not, however, done in so noiseless a manner, but what the voice
again addressed me, in a somewhat louder key, by the appellation of
"Brimstone Bess," asking, with sundry oaths, "What was the matter?" and
requesting something to drink. I need scarcely say that, as before, I
made no reply, but crept out of the room as gently as possible, blessing
my good fortune for having thrown into my way a weapon with the use of
which, above all others, I was best acquainted. Scarcely had I regained
the passage, before Jonson re-appeared with the keys; I showed him my
treasure (for indeed it was of no size to conceal).

"Are you mad, Sir?" said he, "or do you think that the best way to avoid
suspicion, is to walk about with a drawn sword in your hand? I would not
have Bess see you for the best diamond I ever borrowed." With these words
Job took the sword from my reluctant hand.

"Where did you get it?" said he.

I explained in a whisper, and Job, re-opening the door I had so
unceremoniously entered, laid the weapon softly on a chair that stood
within reach. The sick man, whose senses were of course rendered doubly
acute by illness, once more demanded in a fretful tone, who was there?
And Job replied, in the flash language, that Bess had sent him up to look
for her keys, which she imagined she had left there. The invalid
rejoined, by a request to Jonson to reach him a draught, and we had to
undergo a farther delay, until his petition was complied with; we then
proceeded up the passage, till we came to another flight of steps, which
led to a door: Job opened it, and we entered a room of no common
dimensions.

"This," said he, "is Bess Brimstone's sleeping apartment; whoever goes
into the passage that leads not only to Dawson's room, but to the several
other chambers occupied by such of the gang as require particular care,
must pass first through this room. You see that bell by the bedside--I
assure you it is no ordinary tintannabulum; it communicates with every
sleeping apartment in the house, and is only rung in cases of great
alarm, when every boy must look well to himself; there are two more of
this description, one in the room which we have just left, another in the
one occupied by Spider-shanks, who is our watch-dog, and keeps his kennel
below. Those steps in the common room, which seem to lead to a cellar,
conduct to his den. As we shall have to come back through this room, you
see the difficulty of smuggling Dawson--and if the old dame rung the
alarm, the whole hive would be out in a moment."

After this speech, Job left the room, by opening a door at the opposite
end, which shewed us a passage, similar in extent and fashion, to the one
we had left below; at the very extremity of this was the entrance to an
apartment at which Jonson stopped.

"Here," said he, taking from his pocket a small paper book, and an ink-
horn; "here, your honour, take these, you may want to note the heads of
Dawson's confession, we are now at his door." Job then applied one of the
keys of a tolerably sized bunch to the door, and the next moment we were
in Dawson's apartment.

The room which, though low and narrow, was of considerable length, was in
utter darkness, and the dim and flickering light Jonson held, only
struggled with, rather than penetrated the thick gloom. About the centre
of the room stood the bed, and sitting upright on it, with a wan and
hollow countenance, bent eagerly towards us, was a meagre, attenuated
figure. My recollection of Dawson, whom, it will be remembered, I had
only seen once before, was extremely faint, but it had impressed me with
the idea of a middle sized and rather athletic man, with a fair and
florid complexion: the creature I now saw, was totally the reverse of
this idea. His cheeks were yellow and drawn in; his hand which was
raised, in the act of holding aside the curtains, was like the talons of
a famished vulture, so thin, so long, so withered in its hue and texture.

No sooner did the advancing light allow him to see us distinctly, than he
half sprung from the bed, and cried, in that peculiar tone of joy, which
seems to throw off from the breast a suffocating weight of previous
terror and suspense, "Thank God, thank God! it is you at last; and you
have brought the clergyman--God bless you, Jonson, you are a true friend
to me."

"Cheer up, Dawson," said Job; "I have smuggled in this worthy gentleman,
who, I have no doubt, will be of great comfort to you--but you must be
open with him, and tell all."

"That I will--that I will," cried Dawson, with a wild and vindictive
expression of countenance--"if it be only to hang him. Here, Jonson, give
me your hand, bring the light nearer--I say--he, the devil--the fiend--
has been here to-day, and threatened to murder me; and I have listened,
and listened, all night, and thought I heard his step along the passage,
and up the stairs, and at the door; but it was nothing, Job, nothing--and
you are come at last, good, kind, worthy Job. Oh! 'tis so horrible to be
left in the dark, and not sleep--and in this large, large room, which
looks like eternity at night--and one does fancy such sights, Job--such
horrid, horrid sights. Feel my wristband, Jonson, and here at my back,
you would think they had been pouring water over me, but its only the
cold sweat. Oh! it is a fearful thing to have a bad conscience, Job; but
you won't leave me till daylight, now, that's a dear, good Job!"

"For shame, Dawson," said Jonson; "pluck up, and be a man; you are like a
baby frightened by its nurse. Here's the clergyman come to heal your poor
wounded conscience, will you hear him now?"

"Yes," said Dawson; "yes!--but go out of the room--I can't tell all if
you're here; go, Job, go!--but you're not angry with me--I don't mean to
offend you."

"Angry!" said Job; "Lord help the poor fellow! no, to be sure not. I'll
stay outside the door till you've done with the clergyman--but make
haste, for the night's almost over, and it's as much as the parson's life
is worth to stay here after daybreak."

"I will make haste," said the guilty man, tremulously; "but, Job, where
are you going--what are you doing? leave the light!--here, Job, by the
bed-side."

Job did as he was desired, and quitted the room, leaving the door not so
firmly shut, but that he might hear, if the penitent spoke aloud, every
particular of his confession.

I seated myself on the side of the bed, and taking the skeleton hand of
the unhappy man, spoke to him in the most consolatory and comforting
words I could summon to my assistance. He seemed greatly soothed by my
efforts, and at last implored me to let him join me in prayer. I knelt
down, and my lips readily found words for that language, which, whatever
be the formula of our faith, seems, in all emotions which come home to
our hearts, the most natural method of expressing them. It is here, by
the bed of sickness, or remorse, that the ministers of God have their
real power! it is here, that their office is indeed a divine and
unearthly mission; and that in breathing balm and comfort, in healing the
broken heart, in raising the crushed and degraded spirit--they are the
voice, and oracle of the FATHER, who made us in benevolence, and will
judge of us in mercy! I rose, and after a short pause, Dawson, who
expressed himself impatient of the comfort of confession, thus began--

"I have no time, Sir, to speak of the earlier part of my life. I passed
it upon the race-course, and at the gaming-table--all that was, I know,
very wrong, and wicked; but I was a wild, idle boy, and eager for any
thing like enterprise or mischief. Well, Sir, it is now more than three
years ago since I first met one Tom Thornton; it was at a boxing match.
Tom was chosen chairman, at a sort of club of the farmers and yeomen; and
being a lively, amusing fellow, and accustomed to the company of
gentlemen, was a great favourite with all of us. He was very civil to me,
and I was quite pleased with his notice. I did not, however, see much of
him then, nor for more than two years afterwards; but some months ago we
met again. I was in very poor circumstances, so was he, and this made us
closer friends than we might otherwise have been. He lived a great deal
at the gambling-houses, and fancied he had discovered a certain method of
winning [Note: A very common delusion, both among sharpers and their
prey.] at hazard. So, whenever he could not find a gentleman whom he
could cheat with false dice, tricks at cards, he would go into any hell
to try his infallible game. I did not, however, perceive, that he made a
good livelihood by it; and though sometimes, either by that method or
some other, he had large sums of money in his possession, yet they were
spent as soon as acquired. The fact was, that he was not a man who could
ever grow rich; he was extremely extravagant in all things--loved women
and drinking, and was always striving to get into the society of people
above him. In order to do this, he affected great carelessness of money;
and if, at a race or a cock-fight, any real gentlemen would go home with
him, he would insist upon treating them to the very best of every thing.

"Thus, Sir, he was always poor, and at his wit's end, for means to supply
his extravagance. He introduced me to three or four gentlemen, as he
called them, but whom I have since found to be markers, sharpers, and
black-legs; and this set soon dissipated the little honesty my own habits
of life had left me. They never spoke of things by their right names;
and, therefore, those things never seemed so bad as they really were--to
swindle a gentleman, did not sound a crime, when it was called 'macing a
swell'--nor transportation a punishment, when it was termed, with a
laugh, 'lagging a cove.' Thus, insensibly, my ideas of right and wrong,
always obscure, became perfectly confused: and the habit of treating all
crimes as subjects of jest in familiar conversation, soon made me regard
them as matters of very trifling importance.

"Well, Sir, at Newmarket races, this Spring meeting, Thornton and I were
on the look out. He had come down to stay, during the races, at a house I
had just inherited from my father, but which was rather an expense to me
than an advantage; especially as my wife, who was an innkeeper's
daughter, was very careless and extravagant. It so happened that we were
both taken in by a jockey, whom we had bribed very largely, and were
losers to a very considerable amount. Among other people, I lost to a Sir
John Tyrrell. I expressed my vexation to Thornton, who told me not to
mind it, but to tell Sir John that I would pay him if he came to the
town; and that he was quite sure we could win enough, by his certain game
at hazard, to pay off my debt. He was so very urgent, that I allowed
myself to be persuaded; though Thornton has since told me, that his only
motive was, to prevent Sir John's going to the Marquess of Chester's
(where he was invited) with my lord's party; and so, to have an
opportunity of accomplishing the crime he then meditated.

"Accordingly, as Thornton desired, I asked Sir John Tyrrell to come with
me to Newmarket. He did so. I left him, joined Thornton, and went to the
gambling-house. Here we were engaged in Thornton's sure game, when Sir
John entered. I went up and apologized for not paying, and said I would
pay him in three months. However, Sir John was very angry, and treated me
with such rudeness, that the whole table remarked it. When he was gone, I
told Thornton how hurt and indignant I was at Sir John's treatment. He
incensed me still more--exaggerated Sir John's conduct--said that I had
suffered the grossest insult, and, at last, put me into such a passion,
that I said, that if I was a gentleman, I would fight Sir John Tyrrell
across a table.

"When Thornton saw I was so moved, he took me out of the room, and
carried me to an inn. Here he ordered dinner, and several bottles of
wine. I never could bear much drink: he knew this, and artfully plied me
with wine till I scarcely knew what I did or said. He then talked much of
our destitute situation--affected to put himself out of the question--
said he was a single man, and could easily make shift upon a potatoe--but
that I was encumbered with a wife and child, whom I could not suffer to
starve. He then said, that Sir John Tyrrell had publicly disgraced me--
that I should be blown upon the course--that no gentleman would bet with
me again, and a great deal more of the same sort. Seeing what an effect
he had produced upon me, he then told me that he had seen Sir John
receive a large sum of money, that would more than pay our debts, and set
us up like gentlemen: and, at last, he proposed to me to rob him.
Intoxicated as I was, I was somewhat startled at this proposition.
However, the slang terms in which Thornton disguised the greatness and
danger of the offence, very much diminished both in my eyes--so at length
I consented.

"We went to Sir John's inn, and learnt that he had just set out;
accordingly, we mounted our horses, and rode after him. The night had
already closed in. After we had got some distance from the main road,
into a lane, which led both to my house and to Chester Park--for the
former was on the direct way to my lord's--we passed a man on horseback.
I only observed that he was wrapped in a cloak--but Thornton said,
directly we had passed him, "I know that man well--he has been following
Tyrrell all day--and though he attempts to screen himself, I have
penetrated his disguise; he is Tyrrell's mortal enemy."

"'Should the worst come to the worst," added Thornton, (words which I did
not at that moment understand) we can make him bear the blame.'"

"When we had got some way further, we came up to Tyrrell and a gentleman,
whom, to our great dismay, we found that Sir John had joined--the
gentleman's horse had met with an accident, and Thornton dismounted to
offer his assistance. He assured the gentleman, who proved afterwards to
be a Mr. Pelham, that the horse was quite lame, and that he would
scarcely be able to get it home; and he then proposed to Sir John to
accompany us, and said that we would put him in the right road; this
offer Sir John rejected very haughtily, and we rode on.

"'It's all up with us,' said I; 'since he has joined another person.'

"'Not at all,' replied Thornton; 'for I managed to give the horse a sly
poke with my knife; and if I know any thing of Sir John Tyrrell, he is
much too impatient a spark to crawl along, a snail's pace, with any
companion, especially with this heavy shower coming on.'

"'But,' said I, for I now began to recover from my intoxication, and to
be sensible of the nature of our undertaking, 'the moon is up, and unless
this shower conceals it, Sir John will recognize us; so you see, even if
he leaves the gentleman, it will be no use, and we had much better make
haste home and go to bed.'

"Upon this, Thornton cursed me for a faint-hearted fellow, and said that
the cloud would effectually hide the moon--or, if not--he added--'I know
how to silence a prating tongue.' At these words I was greatly alarmed,
and said, that if he meditated murder as well as robbery, I would have
nothing further to do with it. Thornton laughed, and told me not to be a
fool. While we were thus debating, a heavy shower came on; we rode
hastily to a large tree, by the side of a pond--which, though bare and
withered, was the nearest shelter the country afforded, and was only a
very short distance from my house. I wished to go home--but Thornton
would not let me, and as I was always in the habit of yielding, I stood
with him, though very reluctantly, under the tree.

"Presently, we heard the trampling of a horse.

"'It is he--it is he,' cried Thornton, with a savage tone of exultation--
'and alone!--Be ready--we must make a rush--I will be the one to bid him
to deliver--you hold your tongue.

"The clouds and rain had so overcast the night, that, although it was not
perfectly dark, it was sufficiently obscure to screen our countenances.
Just as Tyrrell approached, Thornton dashed forward, and cried, in a
feigned voice--'Stand, on your peril!' I followed, and we were now both
by Sir John's side.

"He attempted to push by us--but Thornton seized him by the arm--there
was a stout struggle, in which, as yet, I had no share--at last, Tyrrell
got loose from Thornton, and I seized him--he set spurs to his horse,
which was a very spirited and strong animal--it reared upwards, and very
nearly brought me and my horse to the ground--at that instant, Thornton
struck the unfortunate man a violent blow across the head with the butt
end of his heavy whip--Sir John's hat had fallen before in the struggle,
and the blow was so stunning that it felled him upon the spot. Thornton
dismounted, and made me do the same--'There is no time to lose,' said he;
'let us drag him from the roadside and rifle him.' We accordingly carried
him (he was still senseless) to the side of the pond before mentioned--
while we were searching for the money Thornton spoke of, the storm
ceased, and the moon broke out--we were detained some moments by the
accident of Tyrrell's having transferred his pocket-book from the pocket
Thornton had seen him put it in on the race ground to an inner one.

"We had just discovered, and seized the pocket-book, when Sir John awoke
from his swoon, and his eyes opened upon Thornton, who was still bending
over him, and looking at the contents of the book to see that all was
right; the moonlight left Tyrrell in no doubt as to our persons; and
struggling hard to get up, he cried, 'I know you! I know you! you shall
hang for this.' No sooner had he uttered this imprudence, than it was all
over with him. 'We will see that, Sir John,' said Thornton, setting his
knee upon Tyrrell's chest, and nailing him down. While thus employed, he
told me to feel in his coat-pocket for a case-knife.

"'For God's sake!' cried Tyrrell, with a tone of agonizing terror which
haunts me still, 'spare my life!'

"'It is too late,' said Thornton, deliberately, and taking the knife from
my hands, he plunged it into Sir John's side, and as the blade was too
short to reach the vitals, Thornton drew it backwards and forwards to
widen the wound. Tyrrell was a strong man, and still continued to
struggle and call out for mercy--Thornton drew out the knife--Tyrrell
seized it by the blade, and his fingers were cut through before Thornton
could snatch it from his grasp; the wretched gentleman then saw all hope
was over; he uttered one loud, sharp, cry of despair. Thornton put one
hand to his mouth, and with the other gashed his throat from ear to ear.

"'You have done for him, and for us now,' said I, as Thornton slowly rose
from the body. 'No,' replied he, 'look, he still moves;' and sure enough
he did, but it was in the last agony. However, Thornton, to make all
sure, plunged the knife again into his body; the blade came into contact
with a bone, and snapped in two; so great was the violence of the blow,
that instead of remaining in the flesh, the broken piece fell upon the
ground among the long fern and grass.

"While we were employed in searching for it: Thornton, whose ears were
much sharper than mine, caught the sound of a horse. 'Mount! mount,' he
cried; 'and let us be off.' We sprung up on our horses, and rode away as
fast as we could. I wished to go home, as it was so near at hand; but
Thornton insisted on making to an old shed, about a quarter of a mile
across the fields; thither, therefore, we went."

"Stop," said I, "what did Thornton do with the remaining part of the
case-knife? did he throw it away, or carry it with him?"

"He took it with him," answered Dawson, "for his name was engraved on a
silver plate, on the handle; and, he was therefore afraid of throwing it
into the pond, as I advised, lest at any time it should be discovered.
Close by the shed, there is a plantation of young firs of some extent.
Thornton and I entered, and he dug a hole with the broken blade of the
knife, and buried it, covering up the hole again with the earth."

"Describe the place," said I. Dawson paused, and seemed to recollect; I
was on the very tenterhooks of suspence, for I saw with one glance all
the importance of his reply.

After some moments, he shook his head; "I cannot describe the place,"
said he, "for the wood is so thick: yet I know the exact spot so well,
that were I in any part of the plantation, I could point it out
immediately."

I told him to pause again, and recollect himself; and, at all events, to
try to indicate the place. However, his account was so confused and
perplexed, that I was forced to give up the point in despair, and he
continued.

"After we had done this, Thornton told me to hold the horses, and said he
would go alone, to spy whether we might return; accordingly he did so,
and brought back word, in about half an hour, that he had crept
cautiously along till in sight of the place, and then throwing himself
down on his face by the ridge of a bank, had observed a man, (whom he was
sure was the person with a cloak we had passed, and whom, he said, was
Sir Reginald Glanville,) mount his horse on the very spot of the murder,
and ride off, while another person (Mr. Pelham), appeared, and also
discovered the fatal place.

"'There is no doubt now,' said he, 'that we shall have the hue-and cry
upon us. However, if you are staunch and stout-hearted, no possible
danger can come to us; for you may leave me alone to throw the whole
guilt upon Sir Reginald Glanville.'

"'We then mounted, and rode home. We stole up stairs by the back-way--
Thornton's linen and hands were stained with blood. The former he took
off, locked up carefully, and burnt the first opportunity; the latter he
washed; and that the water might not lead to detection, drank it. We then
appeared as if nothing had occurred, and learnt that Mr. Pelham had been
to the house; but as, very fortunately, our out-buildings had been lately
robbed by some idle people, the wife and servants had refused to admit
him. I was thrown into great agitation, and was extremely frightened.
However, as Mr. Pelham had left a message that we were to go to the pond,
Thornton insisted upon our repairing there to avoid suspicion."

Dawson then proceeded to say, that, on their return, as he was still
exceedingly nervous, Thornton insisted on his going to bed. When our
party from Lord Chester's came to the house, Thornton went into Dawson's
room, and made him swallow a large tumbler of brandy; [Note: A common
practice with thieves, who fear the weak nerves of their accomplices.]
this intoxicated him so as to make him less sensible to his dangerous
situation. Afterwards, when the picture was found, which circumstance
Thornton communicated to him, along with that of the threatening letter
sent by Glanville to the deceased, which was discovered in Tyrrell's
pocket-book, Dawson recovered courage; and justice being entirely thrown
on a wrong scent, he managed to pass his examination without suspicion.
He then went to town with Thornton, and constantly attended "the club" to
which Jonson had before introduced him; at first, among his new comrades,
and while the novel flush of the money, he had so fearfully acquired,
lasted, he partially succeeded in stifling his remorse. But the success
of crime is too contrary to nature to continue long; his poor wife, whom,
in spite of her extravagant, and his dissolute habits, he seemed really
to love, fell ill, and died; on her deathbed she revealed the suspicions
she had formed of his crime, and said, that those suspicions had preyed
upon, and finally destroyed her health; this awoke him from the guilty
torpor of his conscience. His share of the money, too, the greater part
of which Thornton had bullied out of him, was gone. He fell, as Job had
said, into despondency and gloom, and often spoke to Thornton so forcibly
of his remorse, and so earnestly of his gnawing and restless desire to
appease his mind, by surrendering himself to justice, that the fears of
that villain grew, at length, so thoroughly alarmed, as to procure his
removal to his present abode.

It was here that his real punishment commenced; closely confined to his
apartment, at the remotest corner of the house, his solitude was never
broken but by the short and hurried visits of his female gaoler, and
(worse even than loneliness), the occasional invasions of Thornton. There
appeared to be in that abandoned wretch what, for the honour of human
nature, is but rarely found, viz., a love of sin, not for its objects,
but itself. With a malignity, doubly fiendish from its inutility, he
forbade Dawson the only indulgence he craved--a light, during the dark
hours; and not only insulted him for his cowardice, but even added to his
terrors, by threats of effectually silencing them.

These fears had so wildly worked upon the man's mind, that prison itself
appeared to him an elysium to the hell he endured; and when his
confession was ended, I said, "If you can be freed from this place, would
you repeat before a magistrate all that you have now told me?"

He started up in delight at the very thought; in truth, besides his
remorse, and that inward and impelling voice which, in all the annals of
murder, seems to urge the criminal onwards to the last expiation of his
guilt--besides these, there mingled in his mind a sentiment of bitter,
yet cowardly, vengeance, against his inhuman accomplice; and perhaps he
found consolation for his own fate, in the hope of wreaking upon
Thornton's head somewhat of the tortures that ruffian had inflicted upon
him.

I had taken down in my book the heads of the confession, and I now
hastened to Jonson, who, waiting without the door, had (as I had
anticipated) heard all.

"You see," said I, "that, however satisfactory this recital has been, it
contains no secondary or innate proofs to confirm it; the only evidence
with which it could furnish us, would be the remnant of the broken knife,
engraved with Thornton's name; but you have heard from Dawson's account,
how impossible it would be in an extensive wood, for any to discover the
spot but himself. You will agree with me, therefore, that we must not
leave this house without Dawson."

Job changed colour slightly.

"I see as clearly as you do," said he, "that it will be necessary for my
annuity, and your friend's full acquittal, to procure Dawson's personal
evidence, but it is late now; the men may be still drinking below; Bess
may be still awake, and stirring; even if she sleeps, how could we pass
her room without disturbing her? I own that I do not see a chance of
effecting his escape to-night, without incurring the most probable peril
of having our throats cut. Leave it, therefore, to me to procure his
release as soon as possible--probably to-morrow, and let us now quietly
retire, content with what we have yet got."

Hitherto I had implicitly obeyed Job; it was now my turn to command.
"Look you," said I, calmly, but sternly, "I have come into this house
under your guidance solely, to procure the evidence of that man; the
evidence he has, as yet, given may not be worth a straw; and, since I
have ventured among the knives of your associates, it shall be for some
purpose. I tell you fairly that, whether you befriend or betray me, I
will either leave these walls with Dawson, or remain in them a corpse."

"You are a bold blade, Sir," said Jonson, who seemed rather to respect
than resent the determination of my tone, "and we will see what can be
done: wait here, your honour, while I go down to see if the boys are gone
to bed, and the coast is clear."

Job descended, and I re-entered Dawson's room. When I told him that we
were resolved, if possible, to effect his escape, nothing could exceed
his transport and gratitude; this was, indeed, expressed in so mean and
servile a manner, mixed with so many petty threats of vengeance against
Thornton, that I could scarcely conceal my disgust.

Jonson returned, and beckoned me out of the room.

"They are all in bed, Sir," said he--"Bess as well as the rest; indeed,
the old girl has lushed so well at the bingo, that she sleeps as if her
next morrow was the day of judgment. I have, also, seen that the street
door is still unbarred, so that, upon the whole, we have, perhaps, as
good a chance to-night as we may ever have again. All my fear is about
that cowardly lubber. I have left both Bess's doors wide open, so we have
nothing to do but to creep through; as for me, I am an old file, and
could steal my way through a sick man's room, like a sunbeam through a
keyhole."

"Well," said I, in the same strain, "I am no elephant, and my dancing
master used to tell me I might tread on a butterfly's wing without
brushing off a tint: poor Coulon! he little thought of the use his
lessons would be to me hereafter!--so let us be quick, Master Job."

"Stop," said Jonson; "I have yet a ceremony to perform with our caged
bird. I must put a fresh gag on his mouth; for though, if he escapes, I
must leave England, perhaps, for ever, for fear of the jolly boys, and,
therefore, care not what he blabs about me; yet there are a few fine
fellows amongst the club whom I would not have hurt for the Indies; so I
shall make Master Dawson take our last oath--the Devil himself would not
break that, I think! Your honour will stay outside the door, for we can
have no witness while it is administered."

Job then entered; I stood without;--in a few minutes I heard Dawson's
voice in the accents of supplication. Soon after Job returned, "The
craven dog won't take the oath," said he, "and may my right hand rot
above ground before it shall turn key for him unless he does." But when
Dawson saw that Job had left the room, and withdrawn the light, the
conscience-stricken coward came to the door, and implored Job to return.
"Will you swear then?" said Jonson; "I will, I will," was the answer.

Job then re-entered--minutes passed away--Job re-appeared, and Dawson was
dressed, and clinging hold of him--"All's right," said he to me, with a
satisfied air.

The oath had been taken--what it was I know not--but it was never broken.
[Note: Those conversant with the annals of Newgate, will know how
religiously the oaths of these fearful Freemasonries are kept.]

Dawson and Job went first--I followed--we passed the passage, and came to
the chamber of the sleeping Mrs. Brimstone. Job leant eagerly forward to
listen, before we entered; he took hold of Dawson's arm, and beckoning to
me to follow, stole, with a step that a blind mole would not have heard,
across the room. Carefully did the practised thief veil the candle he
carried, with his hand, as he now began to pass by the bed. I saw that
Dawson trembled like a leaf, and the palpitation of his limbs made his
step audible and heavy. Just as they had half-way passed the bed, I
turned my look on Brimstone Bess, and observed, with a shuddering thrill,
her eyes slowly open, and fix upon the forms of my companions. Dawson's
gaze had been bent in the same direction, and when he met the full,
glassy stare of the beldame's eyes, he uttered a faint scream. This
completed our danger; had it not been for that exclamation, Bess might,
in the uncertain vision of drowsiness, have passed over the third person,
and fancied it was only myself and Jonson, in our way from Dawson's
apartment; but no sooner had her ear caught the sound, than she started
up, and sat erect on her bed, gazing at us in mingled wrath and
astonishment.

That was a fearful moment--we stood rivetted to the spot! "Oh, my
kiddies," cried Bess, at last finding speech, "you are in Queer-street, I
trow! Plant your stumps, Master Guinea Pig; you are going to stall off
the Daw's baby in prime twig, eh? But Bess stags you, my cove! Bess stags
you."

Jonson, looked irresolute for one instant; but the next he had decided.
"Run, run," cried he, for your lives," and he and Dawson (to whom, fear
did indeed lend wings) were out of the room in an instant. I lost no time
in following their example; but the vigilant and incensed hag was too
quick for me; she pulled violently the bell, on which she had already
placed her hand: the alarm rang like an echo in a cavern; below--around--
far--near--from wall to wall--from chamber to chamber, the sound seemed
multiplied and repeated! and in the same breathing point of time, she
sprang from her bed, and seized me, just as I had reached the door.

"On, on, on," cried Jonson's voice to Dawson, as they had already gained
the passage, and left the whole room, and the staircase beyond, in utter
darkness.

With a firm, muscular, nervous gripe, which almost shewed a masculine
strength, the hag clung to my throat and breast; behind, among some of
the numerous rooms in the passage we had left, I heard sounds, which told
too plainly how rapidly the alarm had spread. A door opened--steps
approached--my fate seemed fixed; but despair gave me energy: it was no
time for the ceremonials due to the beau sexe. I dashed Bess to the
ground, tore myself from her relaxing grasp, and fled down the steps with
all the precipitation the darkness would allow. I gained the passage, at
the far end of which hung the lamp, now weak and waning in its socket;
which, it will be remembered, burnt close by the sick man's chamber that
I had so unintentionally entered. A thought flashed upon my mind,
and lent me new nerves and fresh speed; I flew along the passage,
guided by the dying light. The staircase I had left, shook with
the footsteps of my pursuers. I was at the door of the sick thief--I
burst it open--seized the sword as it lay within reach on the chair,
where Jonson had placed it, and feeling, at the touch of the familiar
weapon, as if the might of ten men had been transferred to my single arm,
I bounded down the stairs before me--passed the door at the bottom, which
Dawson had fortunately left open--flung it back almost upon the face of
my advancing enemies, and found myself in the long passage which led to
the street-door, in safety, but in the thickest darkness. A light flashed
from a door to the left; the door was that of the "Common Room" which we
had first entered; it opened, and Spider-shanks, with one of his
comrades, looked forth; the former holding a light. I darted by them,
and, guided by their lamp, fled along the passage, and reached the door.
Imagine my dismay! when, either through accident, or by the desire of my
fugitive companions to impede pursuit, I found it unexpectedly closed.

The two villains had now come up to me, close at their heels were two
more, probably my pursuers, from the upper apartments. Providentially the
passage was (as I before said) extremely narrow, and as long as no fire-
arms were used, nor a general rush resorted to, I had little doubt of
being able to keep the ruffians at bay, until I had hit upon the method
of springing the latch, and so winning my escape from the house.

While my left hand was employed in feeling the latch, I made such good
use of my right, as to keep my antagonists at a safe distance. The one
who was nearest to me, was Fib Fakescrew; he was armed with a weapon
exactly similar to my own. the whole passage rung with oaths and threats.
"Crash the cull--down with him--down with him, before he dubs the jigger.
Tip him the degen, Fib, fake him through and through; if he pikes, we
shall all be scragged."

Hitherto, in the confusion I had not been able to recall Job's
instructions in opening the latch; at last I remembered, and pressed, the
screw--the latch rose--I opened the door; but not wide enough to scape
through the aperture. The ruffians saw my escape at hand. "Rush the b--
cove! rush him!" cried the loud voice of one behind; and at the word, Fib
was thrown forwards upon the extended edge of my blade; scarcely with an
effort of my own arm, the sword entered his bosom, and he fell at my feet
bathed in blood; the motion which the men thought would prove my
destruction, became my salvation; staggered by the fall of their
companion they gave way: I seized advantage of the momentary confusion--
threw open the door, and, mindful of Job's admonition, turned to the
right, and fled onwards, with a rapidity which baffled and mocked
pursuit.



                            CHAPTER LXXXIV.

             Ille viam secat ad naves sociosque, revisit.
                          --Virgil.

The day had already dawned, but all was still and silent; my footsteps
smote the solitary pavement with a strange and unanswered sound.
Nevertheless, though all pursuit had long ceased, I still continued to
run on mechanically, till, faint and breathless, I was forced into
pausing. I looked round, but could recognize nothing familiar in the
narrow and filthy streets; even the names of them were to me like an
unknown language. After a brief rest I renewed my wanderings, and at
length came to an alley, called River Lane; the name did not deceive me,
but brought me, after a short walk, to the Thames; there, to my
inexpressible joy, I discovered a solitary boatman, and transported
myself forthwith to the Whitehall-stairs.

Never, I ween, did gay gallant, in the decaying part of the season,
arrive at those stairs for the sweet purpose of accompanying his own
mistress, or another's wife, to green Richmond, or sunny Hampton, with
more eager and animated delight than I felt at rejecting the arm of the
rough boatman, and leaping on the well-known stones. I hastened to that
stand of "jarvies" which has often been the hope and shelter of belated
member of St. Stephen's, or bewetted fugitive from the Opera. I startled
a sleeping coachman, flung myself into his vehicle, and descended at
Mivart's.

The drowsy porter surveyed, and told me to be gone; I had forgotten my
strange attire. "Pooh, my friend," said I, "may not Mr. Pelham go to a
masquerade as well as his betters?" My voice and words undeceived my
Cerberus, and I was admitted; I hastened to bed, and no sooner had I laid
my head on my pillow, than I fell fast asleep. It must be confessed, that
I had deserved "tired Nature's sweet restorer."

I had not been above a couple of hours in the land of dreams, when I was
awakened by some one grasping my arm; the events of the past night were
so fresh in my memory, that I sprung up, as if the knife was at my
throat--my eyes opened upon the peaceful countenance of Mr. Job Jonson.

"Thank Heaven, Sir, you are safe! I had but a very faint hope of finding
you here when I came."

"Why," said I, rubbing my eyes, "it is very true that I am safe, honest
Job: but, I believe, I have few thanks to give you for a circumstance so
peculiarly agreeable to myself. It would have saved me much trouble, and
your worthy friend, Mr. Fib Fakescrew, some pain, if you had left the
door open instead of shutting me up with your club, as you are pleased to
call it."

"Very true, Sir," said Job, "and I am extremely sorry at the accident; it
was Dawson who shut the door, through utter unconsciousness, though I
told him especially not to do it--the poor dog did not know whether he
was on his head or his heels."

"You have got him safe," said I, quickly.

"Aye, trust me for that, your honour. I have locked him up at home while
I came here to look for you."

"We will lose no time in transferring him to safer custody," said I,
leaping out of bed; "but be off to--Street directly."

"Slow and sure, Sir," answered Jonson. "It is for you to do whatever you
please, but my part of the business is over. I shall sleep at Dover
tonight, and breakfast at Calais to-morrow. Perhaps it will not be very
inconvenient to your honour to furnish me with my first quarter's annuity
in advance, and to see that the rest is duly paid into Lafitte's, at
Paris, for the use of Captain Douglas. Where I shall live hereafter is at
present uncertain; but I dare say there will be few corners except old
England and new England, in which I shall not make merry on your honour's
bounty."

"Pooh! my good fellow," rejoined I, "never desert a country to which your
talents do such credit; stay here, and reform on your annuity. If ever I
can accomplish my own wishes, I will consult your's still farther; for I
shall always think of your services with gratitude, though you did shut
the door in my face."

"No, Sir," replied Job--"life is a blessing I would fain enjoy a few
years longer; and, at present, my sojourn in England would put it
woefully in danger of 'club law.' Besides, I begin to think that a good
character is a very agreeable thing, when not too troublesome: and, as I
have none left in England, I may as well make the experiment abroad. If
your honour will call at the magistrate's, and take a warrant and an
officer, for the purpose of ridding me of my charge, at the very instant
I see my responsibility at an end, I will have the honour of bidding you
adieu."

"Well, as you please," said I. "Curse your scoundrel's cosmetics! How the
deuce am I ever to regain my natural complexion? Look ye, sirrah! you
have painted me with a long wrinkle on the left side of my mouth, big
enough to engulph all the beauty I ever had. Why, water seems to have no
effect upon it!"

"To be sure not, Sir," said Job, calmly--"I should be but a poor dauber,
if my paints washed off with a wet sponge."

"Grant me patience," cried I, in a real panic; "how, in the name of
Heaven, are they to wash off? Am I, before I have reached my twenty-
third year, to look like a methodist parson on the wrong side of forty,
you rascal!"

"The latter question, your honour can best answer," returned Job. "With
regard to the former, I have an unguent here, if you will suffer me to
apply it, which will remove all other colours than those which nature has
bestowed upon you."

With that, Job produced a small box; and, after a brief submission to his
skill, I had the ineffable joy of beholding myself restored to my
original state. Nevertheless, my delight was somewhat checked by the loss
of my ringlets: I thanked Heaven, however, that the damage had been
sustained after Ellen's acceptation of my addresses. A lover confined to
one, should not be too destructive, for fear of the consequences to the
remainder of the female world: compassion is ever due to the fair sex.

My toilet being concluded, Jonson and I repaired to the magistrate's. He
waited at the corner of the street, while I entered the house--

           "'Twere vain to tell what shook the holy man,
           Who looked, not lovingly, at that divan."

Having summoned to my aid the redoubted Mr. _____, of mulberry-cheeked
recollection, we entered a hackney-coach, and drove to Jonson's lodgings,
Job mounting guard on the box.

"I think, Sir," said Mr. _____, looking up at the man of two virtues, "that I
have had the pleasure of seeing that gentleman before."

"Very likely," said I; "he is a young man greatly about town."

When we had safely lodged Dawson (who seemed more collected, and even
courageous, than I had expected) in the coach, Job beckoned me into a
little parlour. I signed him a draught on my bankers for one hundred
pounds--though at that time it was like letting the last drop from my
veins--and faithfully promised, should Dawson's evidence procure the
desired end (of which, indeed, there was now no doubt), that the annuity
should be regularly paid, as he desired. We then took an affectionate
farewell of each other.

"Adieu, Sir!" said Job, "I depart into a new world--that of honest men!"

"If so," said I, "adieu, indeed!--for on this earth we shall never meet
again!"

We returned to--Street. As I was descending from the coach, a female,
wrapped from head to foot in a cloak, came eagerly up to me, and seized
me by the arm. "For God's sake," said she, in a low, hurried voice, "come
aside, and speak to me for a single moment." Consigning Dawson to the
sole charge of the officer, I did as I was desired. When we had got some
paces down the street, the female stopped. Though she held her veil
closely drawn over her face, her voice and air were not to be mistaken: I
knew her at once. "Glanville," said she, with great agitation, "Sir
Reginald Glanville! tell me, is he in real danger?" She stopped short--
she could say no more.

"I trust not!" said I, appearing not to recognize the speaker.

"I trust not!" she repeated, "is that all!" And then the passionate
feelings of her sex overcoming every other consideration, she seized me
by the hand, and said--"Oh, Mr. Pelham, for mercy's sake, tell me is he
in the power of that villain Thornton? you need disguise nothing from me,
I know all the fatal history."

"Compose yourself, dear, dear Lady Roseville," said I, soothingly; "for
it is in vain any longer to affect not to know you. Glanville is safe; I
have brought with me a witness whose testimony must release him."

"God bless you, God bless you!" said Lady Roseville, and she burst into
tears; but she dried them directly, and recovering some portion of that
dignity which never long forsakes a woman of virtuous and educated mind,
she resumed, proudly, yet bitterly--"It is no ordinary motive, no motive
which you might reasonably impute to me, that has brought me here. Sir
Reginald Glanville can never be any thing more to me than a friend--but
of all friends, the most known and valued. I learned from his servant of
his disappearance; and my acquaintance with his secret history enabled me
to account for it in the most fearful manner. In short I--I--but
explanations are idle now; you will never say that you have seen me here,
Mr. Pelham: you will endeavour even to forget it--farewell."

Lady Roseville, then drawing her cloak closely round her, left me with a
fleet and light step, and turning the corner of the street, disappeared.

I returned to my charge, I demanded an immediate interview with the
magistrate. "I have come," said I, "to redeem my pledge, and acquit the
innocent." I then briefly related my adventures, only concealing
(according to my promise) all description of my help-mate, Job; and
prepared the worthy magistrate for the confession and testimony of
Dawson. That unhappy man had just concluded his narration, when an
officer entered, and whispered the magistrate that Thornton was in
waiting.

"Admit him," said Mr. _____, aloud. Thornton entered with his usual easy and
swaggering air of effrontery; but no sooner did he set his eyes upon
Dawson, than a deadly and withering change passed over his countenance.
Dawson could not bridle the cowardly petulance of his spite--"They know
all, Thornton!" said he, with a look of triumph. The villain turned
slowly from him to us, muttering something we could not hear. He saw upon
my face, upon the magistrate's, that his doom was sealed; his desperation
gave him presence of mind, and he made a sudden rush to the door; the
officers in waiting seized him. Why should I detail the rest of the
scene? He was that day fully committed for trial, and Sir Reginald
Glanville honourably released, and unhesitatingly acquitted.



                             CHAPTER LXXXV.

The main interest of my adventures--if, indeed, I may flatter myself that
they ever contained any--is now over; the mystery is explained, the
innocent acquitted, and the guilty condemned. Moreover, all obstacles
between the marriage of the unworthy hero, with the peerless heroine,
being removed, it would be but an idle prolixity to linger over the
preliminary details of an orthodox and customary courtship. Nor is it for
me to dilate upon the exaggerated expressions of gratitude, in which the
affectionate heart of Glanville found vent for my fortunate exertions on
his behalf. He was not willing that any praise to which I might be
entitled for them, should be lost. He narrated to Lady Glanville and
Ellen my adventures with the comrades of the worthy Job; from the lips of
the mother, and the eyes of the dear sister, came my sweetest addition to
the good fortune which had made me the instrument of Glanville's safety,
and acquittal. I was not condemned to a long protraction of that time,
which, if it be justly termed the happiest of our lives, we, (viz. all
true lovers) through that perversity common to human nature, most
ardently wish to terminate.

On that day month which saw Glanville's release, my bridals were
appointed. Reginald was even more eager than myself in pressing for an
early day: firmly persuaded that his end was rapidly approaching, his
most prevailing desire was to witness our union. This wish, and the
interest he took in our happiness, gave him an energy and animation which
impressed us with the deepest hopes for his ultimate recovery; and the
fatal disease to which he was a prey, nursed the fondness of our hearts
by the bloom of cheek, and brightness of eye, with which it veiled its
desolating and gathering progress.

From the eventful day on which I had seen Lady Roseville, in--Street, we
had not met. She had shut herself up in her splendid home, and the
newspapers teemed with regret, at the reported illness and certain
seclusion of one, whose fetes and gaieties had furnished them with their
brightest pages. The only one admitted to her was Ellen. To her, she had
for some time made no secret of her attachment--and of her the daily news
of Sir Reginald's health was ascertained. Several times, when at a late
hour, I left Glanville's apartments, I passed the figure of a woman,
closely muffled, and apparently watching before his windows--which, owing
to the advance of summer, were never closed--to catch, perhaps, a view of
his room, or a passing glimpse of his emaciated and fading figure. If
that sad and lonely vigil was kept by her whom I suspected, deep, indeed,
and mighty, was the love, which could so humble the heart, and possess
the spirit, of the haughty and high-born Countess of Roseville.

I turn to a very different personage in this veritable histoire. My
father and mother were absent, at Lady H.'s, when my marriage was fixed;
to both of them I wrote for their approbation of my choice. From Lady
Frances I received the answer which I subjoin:--

"My dearest Son,

"Your father desires me to add his congratulations to mine, upon the
election you have made. I shall hasten to London, to be present at the
ceremony. Although you must not be offended with me, if I say, that with
your person, accomplishments, birth, and (above all) high ton, you might
have chosen among the loftiest, and wealthiest families in the country,
yet I am by no means displeased or disappointed with your future wife, to
say nothing of the antiquity of her name. (The Glanvilles intermarried
with the Pelhams, in the reign of Henry II.) It is a great step to future
distinction to marry a beauty, especially one so celebrated as Miss
Glanville--perhaps it is among the surest ways to the cabinet. The forty
thousand pounds which you say Miss Glanville is to receive, makes, to be
sure, but a slender income; though, when added to your own, it would have
been a great addition to the Glenmorris property, if your uncle--I have
no patience with him--had not married again.

"However, you will lose no time in getting into the House--at all events,
the capital will ensure your return for a borough, and maintain you
comfortably, till you are in the administration; when of course it
matters very little what your fortune may be--tradesmen will be too happy
to have your name in their books; be sure, therefore, that the money is
not tied up. Miss Glanville must see that her own interest, as well as
yours, is concerned in your having the unfettered disposal of a fortune,
which, if restricted, you would find it impossible to live upon. Pray,
how is Sir Reginald Glanville? Is his cough as bad as ever? He has no
entailed property, I think?

"Will you order Stonor to have the house ready for us on Friday, when I
shall return home in time for dinner? Let me again congratulate you, most
sincerely, on your choice. I always thought you had more common sense, as
well as genius, than any young man, I ever knew: you have shown it in
this important step. Domestic happiness, my dearest Henry, ought to be
peculiarly sought for by every Englishman, however elevated his station;
and when I reflect upon Miss Glanville's qualifications, and her renommee
as a belle celebree, I have no doubt of your possessing the felicity you
deserve. But be sure that the fortune is not settled away from you; poor
Sir Reginald is not (I believe) at all covetous or worldly, and will not
therefore insist upon the point.

"God bless you, and grant you every happiness.

"Ever, my dear Henry,
"Your very affectionate Mother,

"F. Pelham."

"P.S. I think it will be better to give out that Miss Glanville has
eighty thousand pounds. Be sure, therefore, that you do not contradict
me."


The days, the weeks flew away. Ah, happy days! yet, I do not regret while
I recal you! He that loves much, fears even in his best founded hopes.
What were the anxious longings for a treasure--in my view only, not in my
possession--to the deep joy of finding it for ever my own! The day
arrived--I was yet at my toilet, and Bedos, in the greatest confusion
(poor fellow, he was as happy as myself), when a letter was brought me,
stamped with the foreign post-mark. It was from the exemplary Job Jonson;
and though I did not even open it on that day, yet it shall be more
favoured by the reader--viz. if he will not pass over, without reading,
the following effusion--

                                  "Rue des Moulins, No.__, Paris.

"Honoured Sir,

"I arrived in Paris safely, and reading in the English papers the full
success of our enterprise, as well as in the Morning Post of the __th,
your approaching marriage with Miss Glanville, I cannot refrain from the
liberty of congratulating you upon both, as well as of reminding you of
the exact day on which the first quarter of my annuity will be paid--it
is the--of--; for, I presume, your honour kindly made me a present of the
draft for one hundred pounds, in order to pay my travelling expenses.

"I find that the boys are greatly incensed against me; but as Dawson was
too much bound by his oath, to betray a tittle against them, I trust I
shall, ultimately, pacify the club, and return to England. A true
patriot, Sir, never loves to leave his native country. Even were I
compelled to visit Van Diemen's land, the ties of birth-place would be so
strong as to induce me to seize the first opportunity of returning. I am
not, your honour, very fond of the French--they are an idle, frivolous,
penurious, poor nation. Only think, Sir, the other day I saw a gentleman
of the most noble air secrete something at a cafe, which could not
clearly discern; as he wrapped it carefully in paper, before he placed it
in his pocket, I judged that it was a silver cream ewer, at least;
accordingly, I followed him out, and from pure curiosity--I do assure
your honour, it was from no other motive--I transferred this purloined
treasure to my own pocket. You will imagine, Sir, the interest with which
I hastened to a lonely spot in the Tuileries, and carefully taking out
the little packet, unfolded paper by paper, till I came--yes, Sir, till I
came to--five lumps of sugar! Oh, the French are a mean people--a very
mean people--I hope I shall soon be able to return to England. Meanwhile,
I am going into Holland, to see how those rich burghers spend their time
and their money. I suppose poor Dawson, as well as the rascal Thornton,
will be hung before you receive this--they deserve it richly--it is such
fellows who disgrace the profession. He is but a very poor bungler who is
forced to cut throats as well as pockets. And now, your honour, wishing
you all happiness with your lady,

"I beg to remain,
"Your very obedient humble Servant,

"Ferdinand De Courcy, etc."


Struck with the joyous countenance of my honest valet, as I took my
gloves and hat from his hand, I could not help wishing to bestow upon him
a similar blessing to that I was about to possess. "Bedos," said I,
"Bedos, my good fellow, you left your wife to come to me; you shall not
suffer by your fidelity: send for her--we will find room for her in our
future establishment."

The smiling face of the Frenchman underwent a rapid change. "Ma foi,"
said he, in his own tongue; "Monsieur is too good. An excess of happiness
hardens the heart; and so, for fear of forgetting my gratitude to
Providence, I will, with Monsieur's permission, suffer my adored wife to
remain where she is."

After so pious a reply, I should have been worse than wicked had I
pressed the matter any farther.

I found all ready at Berkeley-square. Lady Glanville is one of those good
persons, who think a marriage out of church is no marriage at all; to
church, therefore, we went. Although Sir Reginald was now so reduced that
he could scarcely support the least fatigue, he insisted on giving Ellen
away. He was that morning, and had been, for the last two or three days,
considerably better, and our happiness seemed to grow less selfish in our
increasing hope of his recovery.

When we returned from church, our intention was to set off immediately
to--Hall, a seat which I had hired for our reception. On re-entering the
house, Glanville called me aside--I followed his infirm and tremulous
steps into a private apartment.

"Pelham," said he, "we shall never meet again! no matter--you are now
happy, and I shall shortly be so. But there is one office I have yet to
request from your friendship; when I am dead, let me be buried by her
side, and let one tombstone cover both."

I pressed his hand, and, with tears in my eyes, made him the promise he
required.

"It is enough," said he; "I have no farther business with life. God bless
you, my friend--my brother; do not let a thought of me cloud your
happiness."

He rose, and we turned to quit the room; Glanville was leaning on my arm;
when we had moved a few paces towards the door, he stopped abruptly.
Imagining that the pause proceeded from pain or debility, I turned my
eyes upon his countenance--a fearful and convulsive change was rapidly
passing over it--his eyes stared wildly upon vacancy.

"Merciful God--is it--can it be?" he said, in a low inward tone. At that
moment, I solemnly declare, whether from my sympathy with his feelings,
or from some more mysterious and undefinable cause, my whole frame
shuddered from limb to limb. I saw nothing--I heard nothing; but I felt,
as it were, within me some awful and ghostly presence, which had power to
curdle my blood into ice, and cramp my sinews into impotence; it was as
if some preternatural and shadowy object darkened across the mirror of my
soul--as if, without the medium of the corporeal senses, a spirit spake
to, and was answered by, a spirit.

The moment was over. I felt Glanville's hand relax its grasp upon my arm-
-he fell upon the floor--I raised him--a smile of ineffable serenity and
peace was upon his lips; his face was as the face of an angel, but the
spirit had passed away!



                            CHAPTER LXXXVI.

                   Now haveth good day, good men all,
                   Haveth good day, young and old;
                   Haveth good day, both great and small,
                   And graunt merci a thousand fold!
                   Gif ever I might full fain I wold,
                   Don ought that were unto your leve
                   Christ keep you out of cares cold,
                   For now 'tis time to take my leave.
                                 --Old Song.

Several months have now elapsed since my marriage. I am living quietly in
the country, among my books, and looking forward with calmness, rather
than impatience, to the time which shall again bring me before the world.
Marriage with me is not that sepulchre of all human hope and energy which
it often is with others. I am not more partial to my arm chair, nor more
averse to shaving, than of yore. I do not bound my prospects to the
dinner-hour, nor my projects to "migrations from the blue bed to the
brown." Matrimony found me ambitious; it has not cured me of the passion:
but it has concentrated what was scattered, and determined what was
vague. If I am less anxious than formerly for the reputation to be
acquired in society, I am more eager for honour in the world; and instead
of amusing my enemies, and the saloon, I trust yet to be useful to my
friends and to mankind.

Whether this is a hope, altogether vain and idle; whether I have, in the
self-conceit common to all men, peculiarly prominent in myself, overrated
both the power and the integrity of my mind (for the one is bootless
without the other,) neither I nor the world can yet tell. "Time," says
one of the fathers, "is the only touchstone which distinguishes the
prophet from the boaster."

Meanwhile, gentle reader, during the two years which I purpose devoting
to solitude and study, I shall not be so occupied with my fields and
folios, as to render me uncourteous to thee. If ever thou hast known me
in the city, I give thee a hearty invitation to come and visit me in the
country. I promise thee, that my wines and viands shall not disgrace the
companion of Guloseton: nor my conversation be much duller than my book.
I will compliment thee on thy horses, thou shalt congratulate me upon my
wife. Over old wine we will talk over new events; and if we flag at the
latter, why, we will make ourselves amends with the former. In short, if
thou art neither very silly nor very wise, it shall be thine own fault if
we are not excellent friends.

I feel that it would be but poor courtesy in me, after having kept
company with Lord Vincent, through the tedious journey of three volumes,
to dismiss him now without one word of valediction. May he, in the
political course he has adopted, find all the admiration his talents
deserve; and if ever we meet as foes, let our heaviest weapon be a
quotation, and our bitterest vengeance a jest.

Lord Guloseton regularly corresponds with me, and his last letter
contained a promise to visit me in the course of the month, in order to
recover his appetite (which has been much relaxed of late) by the country
air.

My uncle wrote to me, three weeks since, announcing the death of the
infant Lady Glenmorris had brought him. Sincerely do I wish that his loss
may be supplied. I have already sufficient fortune for my wants, and
sufficient hope for my desires.

Thornton died as he had lived--the reprobate and the ruffian. "Pooh,"
said he, in his quaint brutality, to the worthy clergyman, who attended
his last moments with more zeal than success; "Pooh, what's the
difference between gospel and go--spell? we agree like a bell and its
clapper--you're prating while I'm hanging."

Dawson died in prison, penitent and in peace. Cowardice, which spoils the
honest man, often ameliorates the knave.

From Lord Dawton I have received a letter, requesting me to accept a
borough (in his gift), just vacated. It is a pity that generosity--such a
prodigal to those who do not want it--should often be such a niggard to
those who do. I need not specify my answer. One may as well be free as
dependant, when one can afford it; and I hope yet to teach Lord Dawton,
that to forgive the minister is not to forget the affront. Meanwhile, I
am content to bury myself in my retreat with my mute teachers of logic
and legislature, in order, hereafter, to justify his lordship's good
opinion of my senatorial abilities. Farewell, Brutus, we shall meet at
Philippi!

It is some months since Lady Roseville left England; the last news we
received of her, informed us, that she was living at Sienna, in utter
seclusion, and very infirm health.

      "The day drags thro', though storms keep out the sun,
      And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on."

Poor Lady Glanville! the mother of one so beautiful, so gifted, and so
lost. What can I say of her which "you, and you, and you--" all who are
parents, cannot feel, a thousand times more acutely, in those recesses of
the heart too deep for words or tears. There are yet many hours in which
I find the sister of the departed in grief, that even her husband cannot
console; and I--I--my friend, my brother, have I forgotten thee in death?
I lay down the pen, I turn from my employment--thy dog is at my feet, and
looking at me, as if conscious of my thoughts, with an eye almost as
tearful as my own.

But it is not thus that I will part from my reader; our greeting was not
in sorrow, neither shall be our adieus. For thee, who hast gone with me
through the motley course of my confessions, I would fain trust that I
have sometimes hinted at thy instruction when only appearing to strive
for thy amusement. But on this I will not dwell; for the moral insisted
upon often loses its effect, and all that I will venture to hope is, that
I have opened to thee one true, and not utterly hacknied, page in the
various and mighty volume of mankind. In this busy and restless world I
have not been a vague speculator, nor an idle actor. While all around me
were vigilant, I have not laid me down to sleep--even for the luxury of a
poet's dream. Like the school boy, I have considered study as study, but
action as delight.

Nevertheless, whatever I have seen, or heard, or felt, has been treasured
in my memory, and brooded over by my thoughts. I now place the result
before you,
                     "Sicut meus est mos,
          Nescio quid meditans nugarum;--

but not, perhaps,
                   --totus in illis."


Whatever society--whether in a higher or lower grade--I have portrayed,
my sketches have been taken rather as a witness than a copyist; for I
have never shunned that circle, nor that individual, which presented life
in a fresh view, or man in a new relation. It is right, however, that I
should add, that as I have not wished to be an individual satirist,
rather than a general observer, I have occasionally, in the subordinate
characters (such as Russelton and Gordon), taken only the outline from
truth, and filled up the colours at my leisure and my will.

With regard to myself I have been more candid. I have not only shewn--non
parca manu--my faults, but (grant that this is a much rarer exposure) my
foibles; and, in my anxiety for your entertainment, I have not grudged
you the pleasure of a laugh--even at my own expense. Forgive me, then, if
I am not a fashionable hero--forgive me if I have not wept over a
"blighted spirit," nor boasted of a "British heart;" and allow that, a
man, who, in these days of alternate Werters and Worthies, is neither the
one nor the other, is, at least, a novelty in print, though, I fear,
common enough in life.

And, now my kind reader, having remembered the proverb, and in saying one
word to thee, having said two for myself, I will no longer detain thee.
Whatever thou mayest think of me and my thousand faults, both as an
author, and a man, believe me it is with a sincere and affectionate wish
for the accomplishment of my parting words, that I bid thee--FAREWELL!





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