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Title: George Cruikshank's Omnibus

Author: George Cruikshank

Editor: Laman Blanchard

Release Date: November 20, 2014 [EBook #47400]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

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GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S
OMNIBUS.


PREFACE.

"DE OMNIBUS REBUS ET QUIRUSDAN ALIIS."

PUBLISHED BY TILT & BOGUE, 86, FLEET STREET


GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S

OMNIBUS.

ILLUSTRATED WITH ONE HUNDRED ENGRAVINGS ON STEEL
AND WOOD.


"De Omnibus rebus et quibusdam aliis."


EDITED BY LAMAN BLANCHARD, ESQ.

LONDON:
TILT AND BOGUE, FLEET STREET.


MDCCCXLII.


LONDON:
BRADBURY AND EVANS, PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.


[v]

CONTENTS.

 PAGE
"Our Preface" described.
My Portrait1
My last pair of Hessian Boots8
Epigram13
Love seeking a Lodging14
Frank Heartwell; or, Fifty Years Ago,15, 39, 76,
   112, 144, 177,
   210, 246, 282.
Monument to Napoleon26
Photographic Phenomena; or, the New School of Portrait Painting29
Commentary on the New Police Act—Punch v. Law33
Original Poetry, by the late Sir Fretful Plagiary, Knt. "Ode to the Human Heart," 
"On Life et cetera," &c.35
Love has Legs52
Bernard Cavanagh, the Irish Cameleon53
The Ass on the Ladder54
Omnibus Chat59
Scene near Hogsnorton61
Chancery Lane Enigmaib.
Sonnets to Macready63
Large Order to a Homœopathic Apothecary, &c.64
"My Vote and Interest." 
A Communication from Mr. Simpleton Schemer, of Doltford Lodge, Crooksley65
The Census72
Love's Masquerading75
The Livery—Out of London89
Omnibus Chat92
Legend of Van Diemen's Land92
The Girl and the Philosopher94
The Grave of the Suicide (who thought better of it).ib.
A Rigid Sense of Duty95
Frights97
A Peep into a Leg-of-Beef Shop100
A Few Notes on Unpaid Letters102
First Discovery of Van Demon's Land104
The Muffin Man120
A Tiger Hunt in England121
Omnibus Chat124
Ingenious Rogueries124
The Sister Sciences of Botany and Horticulture126
Photogenic Pictures, No. II.127
A Negro Boy in the West Indiesib.
Legend of the Kilkenny Cats128
Mademoiselle Rachel129
Frights!—No. II.130
A Short Cruise at Margate132
Epigrams134
Passionate People135
Our New Cooks141
A Song of Contradictions143
A Warm Reception151
Tea-Table Tattle152
Omnibus Chat155
The Fashionsib.
Playbills and Playgoingib.
A Romance of the Orchestra156
One of the Curiosities of Literature157
An Incident of Travel158
Here's a Bit of Fat for You159
Heiress Presumptiveib.
Letter from Mrs. Toddles160
Frights!—No. III. Haunted Houses, &c.161
Little Spitz; by Michael Angelo Titmarsh167
Last Night of Vauxhall; by Laman Blanchard172
A Tale of the Times of Old176
An Anacreontic Fableib.
How to Raise the Wind; by Captain Marryatt, R.N.182
Peep at Bartholomew Fair; by Alpha188
Omnibus Chat[vi]191
Association of Ideasib.
Boys at School194
The Laceman's Lamentib.
The Height of Impudence195
Mrs. T. again196
The Artificial Floor for Skating197
Duns Demonstrated; by Edward Howard, Author of "Rattlin the Reefer"199
The Second Sleeper Awakened. Translated by Ali202
Just Going Out; by Laman Blanchard204
A Theatrical Curiosity216
Sliding Scales217
Sketches Here, There, and Everywhere; by A. Bird. A Stage-coach Race218
Another Curiosity of Literature222
A Horrible Passage in My Early Life223
Two of a Trade225
Omnibus Chat226
The Two Naval Heroesib.
Tar and Feathers227
An Acatalectic Monody228
Third Meeting of the Bright-ish Association for the Advancement of Everythingib.
Rum Corks in Stout Bottles229
A Highway Adventure230
Bearded like the Pardib.
Some Account of the Life and Times of Mrs. Sarah Toddles; by Sam Sly231
The Fire at the Tower of London233
Miss Adelaide Kemble238
Jack Gay, Abroad and at Home; by Laman Blanchard240
The King of Brentford's Testament; by Michael Angelo Titmarsh244
The Fire King Flue254
A Passage in the Life of Mr. John Leakey255
Omnibus Chat260
The Clerk, a Parodyib.
The British Association261
Playing on the Piano262
November Weather263
Mrs. Toddlesib.
Jack-o'lantern265
Christmas. By Sam Sly266
A Snap-Dragon. By Charles Hookey Walker, Esq.267
Sonnet to "Some One"ib.
The Homœopathist's Serenade. By Dr. Bulgardoib.
What do you do that for?268
Lines by a Y—g L—y of F—sh—on271
The Frolics of Time. A Striking Adventure. By Laman Blanchard, Esq.272
A Peep (Poetic) at the Age. By A. Bird276
A Still-life Sketch277
A Tale of an Inn278
"Such a Duck!"281
The Postilion289
"The Horse by the Head"292
A Floating Recollection293
The Pauper's Chaunt294
Sketches Here, There, and Everywhere295
Mrs. Toddles299
Sonnet to Mrs. Toddles300
Postscript304

[vii]

LIST OF ETCHINGS ON STEEL.


"DE OMNIBUS REBUS ET QUIBUSDAM ALIIS."

 PAGE
PREFACEto face title
PORTRAIT OF GEORGE CRUIKSHANK1
FRANK HEARTWELL, OR FIFTY YEARS AGO.15
COMMENTARY UPON THE NEW POLICE ACT, NO. I.33
COMMENTARY UPON THE NEW POLICE ACT, NO II.34
FRANK HEARTWELL'S FIRST INTERVIEW WITH BRADY47
"RUSH TO POLL"—AN ELECTION SQUIB65
FRANK HEARTWELL AND SAMBO, IN THE HOLD OF THE TENDER    85
FRIGHTS, NO. I.—"FLYING BEADLES"97
FRANK HEARTWELL, BEN, AND SAMBO, AMUSING THE NATIVES116
PORTRAIT OF RACHEL IN THE CHARACTER OF MARIE STUART129
FRIGHTS, NO. II.—"THIEVES."—"THE STRANGE CAT"130
RICHARD BROTHERS, THE PROPHET, AT MRS. HEARTWELL'S147
FRIGHTS, NO. III.—"GHOSTS"161
FRANK HEARTWELL DISCOVERING TREASURE181
A SKATING PARTY197
FRANK HEARTWELL PREPARING TO SWIM TO THE WRECK214
BREAKING INTO "THE JEWEL ROOM" AT THE TOWER233
PORTRAIT OF MISS ADELAIDE KEMBLE238
FRANK HEARTWELL SEIZING BRADY252
JACK O'LANTERN265
FRANK HEARTWELL287

[viii]

LIST OF WOOD-CUTS.

 PAGE
1. The peep-showPreface
2. Bust of Shakspeare with pipe2
3. G. C. in a drawing-room4
4. G. C. and a cabman5
5. A pair of bellows6
6. My last pair of Hessians8
7. A pair of shoes13
8. Love seeking a lodging14
9. Monument to Napoleon26
10. Photographic painting29
11. The sun painting all the world and his wife32
12. Love has legs52
13. The ass climbing the ladder54
14. The ass on the ladder54
15. The boy on the ladder54
16. Ditto56
17. A large order64
18. Love masquerading75
19. Foot-boy and bread90
20. Footman and pups91
21. Coachman and dumplings92
22. A rigid sense of duty95
23. Mrs. Toddles96
24. Leg-of-beef shop100
25. The Flying Dutchman106
26. Kangaroo dance109
27. Kangaroo and fiddler111
28. The muffin-man120
29. The strange cat131
30. The round hat and the cocked hat132
31. Sailor chasing Napoleon134
32. A passionate man138
33. T tree152
34. Emperor of China cutting off his own nose    153
35. Chinese cavalry153
36. Tea-pot154
37. The fashions155
38. The boy's revenge159
39. The living pincushion159
40. Mrs. Toddles160
41. Materials for making a ghost163
42. The ghost163
43. The bell-pull and the pigtail166
44. Little Spitz167
45. Last night of Vauxhall—the balloon172
46. Simpson à la Shakspeare175
47. Cupid with an umbrella176
48. Love breaking hearts176
49. Height of impudence195
50. Mrs. Toddles at Margate196
51. Ditto196
52. The Dun200
53. The Second Sleeper202
54. Sliding Scale217
55. Mile-stones—on the Rail-road222
56. Butcher's Boy225
57. Tar and Feathers227
58. Corks229
59. Turnpikeman and the Elephant230
60. Three Figures of Fashion230
61. Plan of the Tower of London233
62. Bowyer Tower235
63. Camperdown Anchor235
64. Lady Jane's Room236
65. The Fire-king Flue236
66. Grenadiers playing on the Piano262
67. Fireman playing on a Piano263
68. Colonel Walker (or Talker)264
69. Mrs. Toddles in a Fit264
70. Such a Duck281
71. The Horse by the Head292
72. Sheer Tyranny294
73. Sheer Kindness294
74. Pope's Guard296
75. Building an Angel297
76. Mrs. Toddles in the Dickey299
77. Mrs. T. and the Colonel dancing299
78. As Broad as it's Long300

[ix]


OUR PREFACE.

We have been entreated by a great many juvenile friends to "tell 'em all about our Engraved Preface in No. I.;" and entreaties from tender juveniles we never could resist. So, for their sakes, we enter into a little explanation concerning the great matters crowded into "our Preface." All children of a larger growth are, therefore, warned to skip this page if they please—it is not for them, who are, of course, familiar with the ways of the world—but only for the little dears who require a Guide to the great Globe they are just beginning to inhabit.

Showman.—"Now then, my little masters and missis, run home to your mammas, and cry till they give you all a shilling apiece, and then bring it to me, and I'll show you all the pretty pictures."

So now, my little masters and misses, have you each got your No. 1 ready? Always take care of that. Now then, please to look at the top of the circular picture which represents the world, and there you behold Her Majesty Queen Victoria on her throne, holding a court, with Prince Albert, in his field-marshal's uniform, by her side, and surrounded by ladies, nobles, and officers of state. A little to the right are the heads of the Universities, about to present an address. Above the throne you behold the noble dome of St. Paul's, on each side of which may be seen the tall masts of the British navy. Cast your eyes, my pretty dears, below the throne, and there you behold Mr. and Mrs. John Bull, and three little Bulls, with their little bull-dog; one little master is riding his papa's walking-stick, while his elder brother is flying his kite—a pastime to which a great many Bulls are much attached. Miss Bull is content to be a little lady with a leetle parasol, like her mamma. To the right of the kite you behold an armed man on horseback, one of those curious figures which, composed of goldbeater's skin, used to be sent up some years ago to astonish the natives; only they frightened 'em into fits, and are not now sent up, in consequence of being put down. And now you see "the world goes round." Turn your eyes a little to the right to the baloon and parachute, and then look down under the smoke of a steamer, and you behold a little sweep flourishing his brush on the chimney-top, and wishing perhaps that he was down below there with Jack-in-the-green. Now then, a little more to the right—where you see a merry dancing-group of our light-heeled and light-hearted neighbours, the leader of the party playing the fiddle and dancing on stilts, while one of his countrymen is flying his favourite national kite—viz., the soldier. In the same vicinity, are groups of German gentlemen, some waltzing, and some smoking meerschaums; near these are foot-soldiers and lancers supporting the kite-flyer. Now, near the horse, my little dears, you will see the mule, together with the Spanish muleteers, who, if not too tired, would like to take part in that fandango performed to the music of the light guitar. Look a little to the left, and you behold a quadrille-party, where a gentleman in black is pastorale-ing all the chalk off the floor; and now turn your eyes just above these, and you behold a joyful party of convivialists, with bottles in the ice-pail and bumpers raised, most likely to the health of our gracious Queen, or in honour of the Great Captain of the Age. And now, my little dears, turn your eyes in a straight line to the right, and you will perceive St. Peter's at Rome, beneath which are two young cardinals playing at[x] leap-frog, not at all frightened at the grand eruption of Mount Vesuvius which is going on in the distance. From this you must take a leap on to the camel's back, from which you will obtain a view of the party sitting just below, which consists of the grand Sultan smoking desperately against Ali Pacha. Now, look a little lower down, and you will see a famous crocodile-catcher of the Nile, said to bear a striking resemblance to Commodore Napier; and now, look upwards again to the farthest verge, and you behold the great Pyramid, and a wild horseman chasing an ostrich not so wild as himself. Now, the world goes round a little more, and you see some vast mountains, together with the temples of Hindostan; and upon the palm-tree you will find the monkeys pulling one another's tails, being very uneducated and having nothing else to do: here, also, you will discern the Indian jugglers, one throwing the balls, and another swallowing the sword, a very common thing in these parts. And now, my little dears, you can plainly see several very independent gentlemen and loyal subjects standing on their heads in presence of the Emperor of ever so many worlds, and the brother of the sun and moon; and behind these, hiding the wall of China, you will see a quantity of steam, (for they are in hot water there,) that issues from the tea-kettles. Leaving his Celestial Majesty smoking his opium, and passing the junks, temples, and pagodas, you see a Chinese joss upon his pedestal; and now you can descend and join that pretty little tea-party, where you will recognise some of your old acquaintances on tea-cups; only, if you are afraid of the lion which you see a long way off, you can turn to the left, and follow the tiger that is following the elephant like mad: and now, my little dears, you can jump for safety into that palanquin carried by the sable gentry, or perhaps you would join the party of Persians seated a little lower, only they have but one dish and no plates to eat out of. Just above this dinner-party you behold some live venison, or a little antelope eating his grass for dinner while a boa-constrictor is creeping up with the intention of dining upon him; so you had better make your way to that giraffe, who is feeding upon the tops of trees, which habit is supposed to have occasioned the peculiar shape of that remarkable quadruped; and now you fall again in the way of that ramping lion, from whose jaws a black is retreating only to encounter a black brother more savage than the wild beast. And now, if your eye follows that gang of slaves, chained neck to neck, who are being driven off to another part of the world, you will see what treatment they are doomed to experience there, in the flogging which is being administered to one of their colour—that is to say, black as the vapour issuing from that mountain in the distance; it is Chimborao, or Cotapaxi, I can't say exactly which, but it shall be whichever you please, my pretty little dears. In the smoke of it an eagle is carrying off a lamb—do you see?—Stop, let me wipe the glasses!—Ah, yes, and now you can clearly behold a gentleman of the United States smoking his cigar in his rocking-chair. A little behind is another gentleman driving his sleigh, and in front you won't fail to see an astonishing personage, who has just caught a cayman, or American crocodile, which he is balancing on his walking-stick, on purpose to amuse little boys and girls like you. At his side is the celebrated runaway nigger represented by Mr. Mathews, who says, "Me no likee confounded workee; me likee to sit in a sun, and play fiddle all day." Over his head is a steam-vessel, and at his feet an Indian canoe; towards it a volume of smoke is ascending from a fire, round which some savages are dancing with feeling too horrible to think of. So instead of stopping to dinner here, my little masters and misses, you would much rather, I dare say, take pot-luck with that group of gipsies above, who are going to regale upon a pair of boiled fowls, which I hope they came honestly by. Talking of honesty, we start upwards to the race-course; and now goes the world round again, until you get sight of a gentleman with a stick in his hand, who has evidently a great stake in the race, and who is so rejoiced at having won, that he is unconscious of what he is all the while losing in the abstraction of his pocket-book. And now we are in the midst of the fair, where we see the best booth, and merry doings in the shape of a boxing-match; but as "music has charms," turn your eyes and your ears too some little distance downwards in the direction of the organ player and the tambourine, where you will find some jovial drinkers, not far from the harp and violin of the quadrille-party. I hope their music won't be drowned by the noise of that Indian, to the left, beating the tom-tom, while the nautch-girls are dancing as if they couldn't help it, all to amuse the mighty Emperor of all the Smokers and Prince of Tobacco, who is seated, hookah in hand, in the centre of the globe—where we must leave him to his enjoyment, tracing our way back to the jovial drinking-party, where you will see Jack capering ashore, and getting on perhaps a little too fast, while the donkey-boy above him can't get on at all, and the fox-hunter, still higher up, seems to be in danger of getting off—especially if his horse should happen to be startled by his brother-sportsman's gun behind him. And now, my little dears, the gun has brought us round again to the royal guards, where the band is playing, in glorious style, God save the Queen! And thus ends, where it began, my History of the World!

George Cruikshank


[1]

GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S OMNIBUS.


"MY PORTRAIT."

I respectfully beg leave to assure all to whom "My Portrait" shall come, that I am not now moved to its publication, for the first time, by any one of the ten thousand considerations that ordinarily influence modest men in presenting their "counterfeit presentments" to the public gaze. Mine would possibly never have appeared at all, but for the opportunity thus afforded me of clearing up any mistakes that may have been originated by a pen-and-ink sketch which recently appeared in a publication entitled "Portraits of Public Characters."

The writer of that sketch was evidently animated by a spirit of kindness, and to kindness I am always sensitively alive; but he has been misinformed—he has represented me "as I am not," instead of "as I am;" and although it is by no means necessary that I should offer "some account of myself" in print, it is desirable that I should, without fatiguing anybody, correct some half-dozen of the errors into which my biographer has fallen.

A few words of extract, and a few more of comment, and my object, as the moralist declares when he seeks to lure back one sinner to the paths of virtue, will be fully attained.

The sketch, which professes to be "my portrait," opens thus:—

(1.) "I believe Geo. Cruikshank dislikes the name of artist, as being too common-place."

I have my dislikes; but it happens that they always extend to things, and never settle upon mere names. He must be a simpleton indeed who dislikes the name of artist when he is not ashamed of his art. It is possible that I may once in my life, when "very young," have said that I would rather carry a portmanteau than a portfolio through the streets; and this, perhaps from a recollection of once bearing a copper-plate, not sufficiently concealed from the eyes of an observant public, under my arm, and provoking a salutation from a little ragged urchin, shouting at the top of his voice, hand to mouth—"There goes a copper plate en-gra-ver!" It is true, that as I walked on I experienced a sense of the uncomfortableness of that species of publicity, and felt that the eyes of Europe were very inconveniently directed to me; but I did not, even in that moment of mortification, feel ashamed of my calling: I did not "dislike the name of artist."

(2.) "When a very young man, it was doubtful whether the weakness of his eyes would not prove a barrier to his success as an artist."

When a very young man, I was rather short-sighted, in more senses than one; but weak eyes I never had. The blessing of a strong and healthy[2] vision has been mine from birth; and at any period of time since that event took place, I have been able, even with one eye, to see very clearly through a millstone, upon merely applying the single optic, right or left, to the centrical orifice perforated therein. But for the imputation of weakness in that particular, I never should have boasted of my capital eye; especially (as an aged punster suggests) when I am compelled to use the capital I so often in this article.

(3.) "The gallery in which George first studied his art, was, if the statement of the author of 'Three Courses and a Dessert' may be depended on, the tap-room of a low public-house, in the dark, dirty, narrow lanes which branch off from one of the great thoroughfares towards the Thames. And where could he have found a more fitting place? where could he have met with more appropriate characters?—for the house was frequented, to the exclusion of everybody else, by Irish coal-heavers, hodmen, dustmen, scavengers, and so forth!"

I shall mention, en passant, that there are no Irish coal-heavers: I may mention, too, that the statement of the author adverted to is not to be depended on; were he living, I should show why. And now to the scene of my so-called "first studies." There was, in the neighbourhood in which I resided, a low public-house; it has since degenerated into a gin-palace. It was frequented by coal-heavers only, and it stood in Wilderness-lane, (I like to be particular,) between Primrose-hill and Dorset-street, Salisbury-square, Fleet-street. To this house of inelegant resort, (the sign was startling, the "Lion in the Wood,") which I regularly passed in my way to and from the Temple, my attention was one night especially attracted, by the sounds of a fiddle, together with other indications of festivity; when, glancing towards the tap-room window, I could plainly discern a small bust of Shakspeare placed over the chimney-piece, with a short pipe stuck in its mouth, thus—

This was not clothing the palpable and the familiar with golden exhalations from the dawn, but it was reducing the glorious and immortal beauty of Apollo himself to a level with the common-place and the vulgar. Yet there was something not to be quarrelled with in the association of ideas to which that object led. It struck me to be the perfection of the human picturesque. It was a palpable meeting of the Sublime and the Ridiculous; the world of Intellect and Poetry seemed thrown open to the meanest capacity; extremes had met; the highest and the lowest had united in harmonious fellowship. I thought of what the great poet had himself been, of the parts that he had played, and the wonders he had wrought, within a stone's-throw of that very spot; and feeling that even he might have well wished to be there, the pleased spectator of that lower world, it was impossible not to recognise the fitness of the pipe. It was the only pipe that would have become the mouth of a poet in that extraordinary scene; and without it, he himself would have wanted majesty and the right to be present. I fancied that Sir Walter Raleigh might have filled it for him. And what a scene was that to preside over and to contemplate[1]! What a picture of life was there! It was as though Death were dead! It was all[3] life. In simpler words, I saw, on approaching the window and peeping between the short red curtains, a swarm of jolly coal-heavers! Coal-heavers all—save a few of the fairer and softer sex—the wives of some of them—all enjoying the hour with an intensity not to be disputed, and in a manner singularly characteristic of the tastes and propensities of aristocratic and fashionable society;—that is to say, they were "dancing and taking refreshments." They only did what "their betters" were doing elsewhere. The living Shakspeare, had he been, indeed, in the presence, would but have seen a common humanity working out its objects, and have felt that the omega, though the last in the alphabet, has an astonishing sympathy with the alpha that stands first.

This incident, may I be permitted to say, led me to study the characters of that particular class of society, and laid the foundation of scenes afterwards published. The locality and the characters were different, the spirit was the same. Was I, therefore, what the statement I have quoted would lead anybody to infer I was, the companion of dustmen, hodmen, coal-heavers, and scavengers? I leave out the "and so forth" as superfluous. It would be just as fair to assume that Morland was the companion of pigs, that Liston was the associate of louts and footmen, or that Fielding lived in fraternal intimacy with Jonathan Wild.

(4.) "With Mr. Hone" (afterwards designated "the most noted infidel of his day") "he had long been on terms not only of intimacy, but of warm friendship."

A very select class of associates to be assigned to an inoffensive artist by a friendly biographer; coal-heavers, hodmen, dustmen, and scavengers for my companions, and the most noted infidel of his day for my intimate friend! What Mr. Hone's religious creed may have been at that time, I am far from being able to decide; I was too young to know more than that he seemed deeply read in theological questions, and, although unsettled in his opinions, always professed to be a Christian. I knew also that his conduct was regulated by the strictest morality. He had been brought up to detest the Church of Rome, and to look upon the "Church of England" service as little better than popish ceremonies; and with this feeling, he parodied some portions of the Church service for purposes of political satire. But with these publications I had nothing whatever to do; and the instant I heard of their appearance, I entreated him to withdraw them. That I was his friend, is true; and it is true, also, that among his friends were many persons, not more admired for their literary genius, than esteemed for their zeal in behalf of religion and morals.

(5.) "Not only is George a decided liberal, but his liberalism has with him all the authority of a moral law."

I have already said, that I never quarrel with names, but with things; yet as so many and such opposite interpretations of the terms quoted are afloat, and as some of them are not very intelligible, I wish explicitly to enter my protest against every reading of the word "liberal," as applicable to me, save that which I find attributed to it in an old and seemingly forgotten dictionary—"Becoming a gentleman, generous, not mean."

(6.) "Even on any terms his genius could not, for some time past, be said to have been marketable, Mr. Bentley the bookseller having contrived to monopolise his professional labours for publications with which he is connected."

This assertion was to a certain extent true, while I was illustrating[4] Oliver Twist and Jack Sheppard, works to which I devoted my best exertions; but so far from effecting a monopoly of my labours, the publisher in question has not for a twelvemonth past had from me more than a single plate for his monthly Miscellany; nor will he ever have more than that single plate per month; nor shall I ever illustrate any other work that he may publish.

(7.) "He sometimes sits at his window to see the patrons of 'Vite Condick Ouse' on their way to that well-known locality on Sundays," &c.

As my "extraordinary memory" is afterwards defined to be "something resembling a supernatural gift," it ought to enable me to recollect this habit of mine; yet I should have deemed myself as innocent of such a mode of spending the Sabbath as Sir Andrew Agnew himself, but for this extraordinary discovery. I am said to have "the most vivid remembrance of anything droll or ludicrous;" and yet I cannot remember sitting at the window "on a Sunday" to survey the motley multitude strolling towards "Vite Condick Ouse." I wish the invisible girl would sell me her secret.

(8.) "He is a very singular, and, in some respects, eccentric man, considered, as what he himself would call, a 'social being.' The ludicrous and extraordinary fancies with which his mind is constantly teeming often impart a sort of wildness to his look, and peculiarity to his manner, which would suffice to frighten from his presence those unacquainted with him. He is often so uncourteous and abrupt in his manner as to incur the charge of seeming rudeness."

Though unaccustomed to spend the Sabbath day in the manner here[5] indicated, I have never yet been regarded as Saint George; neither, on the other hand, have I ever before been represented as the Dragon! Time was, when the dove was not more gentle; but now I "frighten people from my presence," and the isle from its propriety. The "Saracen's Head" is all suavity and seductiveness compared to mine. Forty thousand knockers, with all their quantity of fright, would not make up my sum. I enter a drawing-room, it may be supposed, like one prepared to go the whole griffin. Gorgons, and monsters, and chimeras dire, are concentrated by multitudes in my person.

The aspect of Miss Jemima Jones, who is enchanting the assembled party with "See the conquering hero comes," instantaneously assumes the expression of a person singing "Monster, away." All London is Wantley, and all Wantley is terror-stricken wherever I go. I am as uncourteous as a gust of wind, as abrupt as a flash of lightning, and as rude as the billows of the sea. But of all this, be it known that I am "unconscious." This is acknowledged; "he is himself unconscious of this," which is true to the very letter, and very sweet it is to light at last upon an entire and perfect fact. But enjoying this happy unconsciousness—sharing it moreover with my friends, why wake me from the delusion! Why excite my imagination, and unstring my nerves, with visions of nursery-maids flying before me in my suburban walks—of tender innocents in arms frightened into fits at my approach, of five-bottle men turning pale in my presence, of banquet-halls deserted on my entrance!

(9.) "G. C. is the only man I know moving in a respectable sphere of life who is a match for the under class of cabmen. He meets them on their own ground, and fights them with their own weapons. The moment they begin to swagger, to bluster, and abuse, he darts a look at them, which, in two cases out of three, has the effect of reducing them to a tolerable state of civility; but if looks do not produce the desired results—if the eyes do not operate like oil thrown on the troubled waters, he talks to them in tones which, aided as his words and lungs are by the fire and fury darting from his eye, and the vehemence of his gesticulation, silence poor Jehu effectually," &c.

Fact is told in fewer words than fiction. It so happens that I never had a dispute with a cabman in my life, possibly because I never provoked one. From me they are sure of a civil word; I generally open the door to let myself in, and always to let myself out; nay, unless they are very active indeed, I hand the money to them on the box, and shut the door to save them the trouble of descending. "The greatest is behind"—I invariably pay them more than their fare; and frequently, by the exercise of a generous forgetfulness, make them a present of an umbrella, pair of gloves, or a handkerchief. At times, I have gone so far as to leave them a few sketches, as an inspection of the albums of their wives and daughters (they have their albums doubtless) would abundantly testify.

[6]

(10.) "And yet he can make himself exceedingly agreeable both in conversation and manners when he is in the humour so to do. I have met with persons who have been loaded with his civilities and attention. I know instances in which he has spent considerable time in showing strangers everything curious in the house; he is a collector of curiosities."

No single symp—— I was about to say that no single symptom of a curiosity, however insignificant, is visible in my dwelling, when by audible tokens I was (or rather am) rendered sensible of the existence of a pair of bellows. Well, in these it must be admitted that we do possess a curiosity. We call them "bellows," because, on a close inspection, they appear to bear a much stronger resemblance to "bellows" than to any other species of domestic implement; but what in reality they are, the next annual meeting of the great Scientific Association must determine; or the public may decide for themselves when admitted hereafter to view the precious deposit in the British Museum. In the mean time, I vainly essay to picture the unpicturable.

Eccentric, noseless, broken-winded, dilapidated, but immortal, these bellows have been condemned to be burnt a thousand times at least; but they are bellows of such an obstinate turn of mind that to destroy them is impossible. No matter how imperative the order—how immediate the hour of sacrifice, they are sure to escape. So much for old maxims; we may "sing old Rose," but we cannot "burn the bellows." As often as a family accident happens—such as the arrival of a new servant, or the sudden necessity for rekindling an expiring fire, out come the bellows, and forth go into the most secret and silent corners of the house such sounds of wheezing, squeaking, groaning, screaming, and sighing, as might be heard in a louder, but not more intolerable key, beneath the roaring fires of Etna. Then, rising above these mingled notes, issues the rapid ringing of two bells at once, succeeded by a stern injunction to the startled domestic "never on any account to use those bellows again," but, on the contrary, to burn, eject, and destroy them without reservation or remorse. One might as well issue orders to burn the east wind. A magic more powerful even than womanly tenderness preserves them; and six weeks afterwards forth rolls once more that world of wondrous noises. Let no one imagine that I have really sketched the bellows, unless I had sketched their multitudinous voice. What I have felt when drawing Punch is, that it was easy to represent his eyes, his nose, his mouth; but that the one essential was after all wanting—the squeak. The musician who undertook to convey by a single sound a sense of the peculiar smell of the shape of a drum, could alone picture to the eye the howlings and whisperings of the preternatural bellows. Now you hear a moaning as of one put to the torture, and may detect both the motion of the engine and the cracking[7] of the joints; anon cometh a sound as of an old beldame half inebriated, coughing and chuckling. A sigh as from the depths of a woman's heart torn with love, or the "lover sighing like furnace," succeeds to this; and presently break out altogether—each separate note of the straining pack struggling to be foremost—the yelping of a cur, the bellowing of a schoolboy, the tones of a cracked flute played by a learner, the grinding of notched knives, the slow ringing of a muffled muffin-bell, the interrupted rush of water down a leaky pipe, the motion of a pendulum that does not know its own mind, the creaking of a prison-door, and the voice of one who crieth the last dying speech and confession; together with fifty thousand similar sounds, each as pleasant to the ear as "When am I to have the eighteen-pence" would be, to a man who never had a shilling since the day he was breeched. The origin of the bellows, I know not; but a suspicion has seized me that they might have been employed in the Ark had there been a kitchen-fire there; and they may have assisted in raising a flame under the first tea-kettle put on to celebrate the laying of the first stone of the great wall of China. They are ages upon ages older than the bellows of Simple Simon's mother; and were they by him to be ripped open, they could not possibly be deteriorated in quality. The bellows which yet bear the inscription,

"Who rides on these bellows?
The prince of good fellows,
Willy Shakspeare,"

are a thing of yesterday beside these, which look as if they had been industriously exercised by some energetic Greek in fanning the earliest flame of Troy. To descend to later days, they must have invigorated the blaze at which Tobias Shandy lighted his undying pipe, and kindled a generous blaze under that hashed mutton which has rendered Amelia immortal. But "the days are gone when beauty bright" followed quick upon the breath of the bellows: their effect at present is, to give the fire a bad cold; they blow an influenza into the grate. Empires rise and fall, and a century hence the bellows may be as good as new. Like puffing, they will know no end.

(11.) And lastly—for the personality of this paragraph warns me to conclude—"In person G. C. is about the middle height and proportionably made. His complexion is something between pale and clear; and his hair, which is tolerably ample, partakes of a lightish hue. His face is of the angular form, and his forehead has a prominently receding shape."

As Hamlet said to the ghost, I'll go no further! The indefinite complexion, and the hair "partaking" of an opposite hue to the real one, may be borne; but I stand, not upon my head, but on my forehead! To a man who has once passed the Rubicon in having dared to publish his portrait, the exhibition of his mere profile can do no more injury than a petty larceny would after the perpetration of a highway robbery. But why be tempted to show, by an outline, that my forehead is innocent of a shape (the "prominently receding" one) that never yet was visible in nature or in art? Let it pass, till it can be explained.

"He delights in a handsome pair of whiskers." Nero had one flower flung upon his tomb. "He has somewhat of a dandified appearance." Flowers soon fade, and are cut down; and this is the "unkindest cut of all." I who, humbly co-operating with the press, have helped to give permanence to the name of dandy—I who have all my life been breaking[8] butterflies upon wheels in warring against dandyism and dandies—am at last discovered to be "somewhat" of a dandy myself.

"Come Antony, and young Octavius, come!
Revenge yourselves—"

as you may;—but, dandies all, I have not done with you yet. To resume. "He used to be exceedingly partial to Hessian boots." I confess to the boots; but it was when they were worn even by men who walked on loggats. I had legs. Besides, I was very young, and merely put on my boots to follow the fashion. "His age, if his looks be not deceptive, is somewhere between forty-three and forty-five." A very obscure and elaborated mode of insinuating that I am forty-four. "Somewhere between!" The truth is—though nothing but extreme provocation should induce me to proclaim even truth when age is concerned,—that I am "somewhere between" twenty-seven and sixty-three, or I may say sixty-four;—but I hate exaggeration.
Exit, G. Ck.


MY LAST PAIR OF HESSIAN BOOTS.


"Ah! sure a pair was never seen
So justly formed—"

Hoby would say, that as "all are not men who bear the human form," so all are not boots that bear the pedal shape. All boots, for example, are not Hessians; nor are all Hessians like my last pair. Mathews used to tell a story of some French Hoby, who, having with incredible genius constructed a pair of boots, which Tom Thumb when a little boy could no more have got on than Cinderella's sister could the magic slipper, refused to part with them for any sum of money—he had "made them in a moment of enthusiasm." Myriads of such moments were consumed in the construction of my last pair. The boots published by Mr. Warren in magazines and country newspapers, exhibiting the grinning portrait of a gentleman in the interesting act of shaving, or a cat bristling up and outwondering Katerfelto, were vulgar in form, and dull of polish, beside mine Hessians. Pleasant it was, just as I was budding into life, to draw them on, and sit with one knee crossing the other, to contemplate my favourite leg. I used to wish myself a centipede, to wear fifty pairs of Hessians at a time.

To say that the boots "fitted like gloves" would be to pay the most felicitous pair of white kids a compliment. They had just as many natural wrinkles as they ought to have; and for the tassels—we have all seen the dandies of that day take out a comb, and comb the tassels of their fire-bucket-looking boots as often as they got into disorder; but mine needed no aid from such trickery and finessing.

[9]

I had strolled forth at the decline of a day in spring, and had afterwards dined at Long's—my boots and I. They had evidently been the admiration of every observer. I was entirely satisfied with them, and consequently with myself. Returned home, a pair of slippers was substituted for them, and with my feet on the fender and the vapour of a cigar enwrapping me like a dressing-gown, I sat contemplating "my boots." Thought reverted to the fortunes of my Lord Marquis of Carabas, and I saw in my Hessians a brighter destiny than Puss in hers won for him. I thought too of the seven-leagued boots of my ancient friends the Ogres, and felt that I could take Old and New Bond Streets at a step.

That night those boots melted into thin air. There was "nothing like leather" visible there in the morning. My golden vision had vanished as suddenly as Alnaschar's—only his perished amidst the crash and clatter of a basket of crockery kicked into the clouds; mine had stolen away in solemn silence. Not a creak was heard, yet the Hessians were gone.

It was the remark of my housekeeper that boots could not go without hands. Such boots I thought might possibly have walked off by themselves. But when it was discovered that a window-shutter had been forced open, and sundry valuables carried away, it was plain that some conceited and ambitious burglar had eloped with my boots. The suspicion was confirmed by the detection of a pair of shoes conscientiously left behind, on the principle that exchange is no robbery. Ugh!—such shoes. Well might I declare that nothing like leather was visible. What odious feet had been thrust into my desecrated Hessians! I put my legs into mourning for their loss; and, convinced that I should never procure such another pair, sank from that moment into mere Wellingtons.

It was not long after this, that, seated in a coffee-room in Piccadilly, my attention was drawn to the indolent and comfortable attitude of a person, who, with his legs stretched conspicuously along the cushioned bench, was reading a newspaper. How it was I can hardly tell; but my eye was irresistibly attracted to his boots, just as Othello's was to the handkerchief bound round the wounded limb of Cassio. He seemed to be proud of them; they were ostentatiously elevated into view. The boots were Hessians. Though not now worn in their very "newest gloss," they were yet in excellent, I may say in enviable condition. My anxious glance not only wandered over their polished surface, but seemed to penetrate to their rich bright linings, the colour whereof was now no more a secret to me than were those silken tassels that dangled to delight the beholder. I knew my boots again. The wearer, having the newspaper spread before his face, could not notice any observation directed to his lower extremities; my opportunity of inspection therefore was complete. They were my Hessians. My first impulse was to ring the bell for a boot-jack, and claim them upon the spot; but before I could do so the stranger suddenly sprang upon his feet, seized his hat, and with one complacent glance at those tasselled habiliments, which were far from having lost all their "original brightness," swaggered out of the coffee-room.

Curiosity prompted me to follow—I caught a glimpse of the bright backs of my boots as they flashed round the corner of a neighbouring street. Pursuing them, I surveyed the wearer; and now perceived that not even[10] those incomparable Hessians could transform a satyr into Hyperion, or convert a vulgar strut into the walk of a gentleman. Those boots were never made for such limbs—never meant to be "sported" after so villanous a fashion. You could see that his calves were indifferently padded, and might have sworn the swaggerer was a swell blackleg—one of the shabby-genteel, and visibly-broken-down class. Accordingly, after a turn or two, it was anything but surprising to see him squeeze himself into a narrow passage over the door of which was written the word "Billiards." I heard my boots tramping up the dingy staircase to which the passage led—and my feet, as though from sympathy, and what the philosopher calls the "eternal fitness of things," were moving after them—when the "cui bono?" forcibly occurred to my mind! If I should demand my Hessians, was there a probability of obtaining them? and if I should obtain them, was there a possibility of my ever wearing them again? Could I think of treading in the boots of a blackleg, albeit they never were his own? No, I gave them up to the profanation which was their destiny. I called up Hamlet's reflection on the vile uses to which we may return; and as for the gambler, who in once virtuous boots threaded the paths of vice and depravity, I kicked him—"with my mind's toe, Horatio"—and passed on.

Shakspeare, in one of the most touching and beautiful of his sonnets, tells us how he bemoaned his outcast state,

"And troubled deaf heaven with his bootless cries;"

but with no such cries of mine is the reader doomed to be troubled. Indeed, when I parted from my Hessians on the occasion referred to, I never dreamed of mentioning them more. I had heard, as it seemed, their last creak. Not only were they out of sight, but out of mind. It appeared just as likely that I should ever again be excited on their account, as that I should hang them up à-la-General-Bombastes, and make war upon their adventurous displacer. Yet it was not three months after the event recorded, that in the city, in broad-daylight, my hat was all but lifted off by the sudden insurrection of my hair, on recognising my boots again. Yes, the very boots that once were mine, "et nullus error!" or, as we say in English, "and no mistake!" As easily to be identified were they as the freckled, wrinkled, shrunken features of a beloved friend, parted from in plump youth. I knew my boots, if I may so say, by their expression. Altered as they were, to me were they the same:—"alike, but oh! how different."

"The light of other days had faded."

It could not be said of either Hessian, that it figured on a "leg" this time. The wearer was evidently a collector in the "cast-off" line—had been respectable, and was still bent on keeping up appearances. This was plainly indicated by the one tassel which the pair of boots yet boasted between them—a brown-looking remnant of grandeur, and yet a lively compromise with decay. The poor things were sadly distorted; the heels were hanging over, illustrating the downward tendency of the possessor; and there was a leetle crack visible at the side. They were Dayless and Martinless—dull as a juryman—worn out like a cross-examined witness. They would take water like a teetotaller. There was[11] scarcely a kick left in them. They were in a decline of the galloping sort; and appeared just capable of lasting out until an omnibus came by. A walk of a mile would have ensured emancipation to more than one of the toes that inhabited them.

My once "lovely companions" were faded, but not gone. It was my fortune to meet them again soon afterwards, still further eastward. The recognition, as before, was unavoidable. They were the boots, but "translated" out of themselves; another pair, yet the same. The heels were handsomely cobbled up with clinking iron tips, and a worsted tassel of larger dimensions had been supplied to match the remaining silk one. The boots thus regenerated rendered a rather equivocal symmetry to the legs of an attorney's clerk, whose life was spent in endless errands with copies of writs to serve, and in figuring at "free-and-easys" and spouting-clubs. They were well able to bear him on his daily and nightly rounds, for the new soles were thicker than any client's head in Christendom. This change led me naturally enough into some profound speculations upon "wear and tear," and much philosophical musing on the absorption and disappearance of soles and heels after a given quantity of perambulation. But while I was wondering into what substances and what shapes the old leather might be passing, and also how much of my own original self (for we all become other people in time) might yet be remaining unto me, I lost sight for ever of the lawyer's clerk, but not of my boots—for I suspect he effected some legal transfer of them to a client who was soon as legally transferred to the prison in Whitecross-street; since, passing that debtors' paradise soon after, I saw the identical boots (the once pale blue lining was now of no colour) carried out by an aged dame, who immediately bent her steps, like one well acquainted with the way, towards "mine uncle's" in the neighbourhood.

Hessians that can escape from a prison may work their way out of a pawnbroker's custody; and my Hessians had something of the quality of the renowned slippers of Bagdad,—go where they might, they were sure to meet the eye of their original owner. The next time I saw the boots, they were on the foot-board of a hackney-coach; yea, on the very feet of the Jarvey. But what a falling-off! translation was no longer the word. They had suffered what the poet calls a sea-change. The tops were cut round; the beautiful curve, the tassels, all had vanished. One boot had a patch on one side only; the other, on both. I thought of the exclamation of Edmund Burke,—"The glory of Europe is extinguished for ever!" Instinct told me they were the boots; but—

"The very Hoby who them made,
Beholding them so sore decay'd,
He had not known his work."

I hired the coach, and rode behind my own boots: the speculative fit again seized me. I recollected how

"All that's bright must fade,"

and "moralized the spectacle" before me. How many had I read of—nay seen and known—who had started in life like my boots,—bright, unwrinkled, symmetrical,—and who had sunk by sure degrees, by wanderings farther and farther among the puddles and kennels of[12] society, even into the same extremity of unsightly and incurable distortion.

——"Not Warren, nor Day and Martin,
Nor all the patent liquids o' the earth,
Shall ever brighten them with that jet black
They owed in former days."

My very right to my own property had vanished. They had ceased to be my boots; they were ceasing to be boots. They cost me something nevertheless; for having in my perturbation merely told the driver to "drive on," he took me to Bayswater instead of Covent-garden; and, as the price of my abstraction, abstracted seven-and-six-pence as his fare.

From a hackney-coachman they seem to have descended to the driver of what had once been a donkey; to one who cried "fine mellow pears," "green ripe gooseberries," and other hard and sour assistants in the destruction of the human race. This I discovered one day by seeing "my boots" dragged to a police-office (their owner in them), where indeed one of the pair—if pair they might still be called—figured as a credible witness; it having been employed as a weapon, held by the solitary strap that yet adhered to it, for inflicting due punishment on the head of its master's landlord, a ruffian who had had the brutal inhumanity to tap at the door of an innocent tenant, and ask for his rent.

It is probable that in this skirmish they sustained some damage, and required "renovation" once more; for I subsequently saw them at one of those "cobbler's-stalls" which are fast disappearing (the stall becoming a shop, and the shop an emporium), with an intimation in chalk upon the soles—"to be sold." Of the original Hessians nothing remained but a portion of the leggings. They had been soled and re-soled; the old patches had disappeared; and there was now a patch upon the new fronts which they had acquired. Having had them from the last, to the last I resolved to track them; and now found them in the possession of a good ancient watchman of the good ancient time in Fleet-street, from whose feet, however, they were one night treacherously stolen as he sat quietly slumbering in his box. The boots wandered once more into vicious paths, having become the property of a begging-letter impostor of that day, in whose company they were seen to stagger out of a gin-shop—then to run away with their tenant—to bear him, all unconscious of kennels, on both sides of the road, faster than lamplighter or postman can travel—and finally to trip him up against the machine of a "needy knifegrinder" (his nose coming into collision with the revolving stone), who, compassionating the naked feet of his seemingly penniless and sober fellow-lodger, had that very morning presented him with part of a pair of boots, as being better than no shoe-leather. This fragmentary donation was the sad remnant of my Hessians—the "last remains of princely York."

When we give a pair of old boots to the poor, how little do we consider into what disgusting nooks and hideous recesses they may carry their new owner! Let no one shut up the coffers of his heart, or check even momentarily the noble impulse of charity; but it is curious to note what purposes a bashful maiden's left-off finery may be made to serve on the stage of a show at Greenwich fair; how an honest matron's muff, passed into other hands, may be implicated in a case of shop-lifting; how the hat of a great[13] statesman may come to be handed round to ragamuffins for a collection of half-pence for the itinerant conjuror; or how the satin slippers of a countess may be sandalled on the aching feet of a girl whose youth is one weary and wretched caper upon stilts!

"My Hessians"—neither mine, nor Hessians, now—were on their last legs. Theirs had not been "a beauty for ever unchangingly bright." They had experienced their decline; their fall was nigh. Their earliest patchings suggested, as a similitude, the idea of a Grecian temple, whose broken columns are repaired with brick; the brick preponderates as ruin prevails, until at length the original structure is no more. The boots became one patch! Such were they on that winter-morn, when a ruddy-faced "translator" sat at his low door, on a low stool, the boots on his lap undergoing examination. After due inspection, his estimate of their value was expressed by his adopting the expedient of Orator Henley; that is to say, by cutting the legs off, and reducing what remained of their pride to the insignificance of a pair of shoes; which, sold in that character to a match-vender, degenerated after a few weeks into slippers. Sic transit, &c.

Of the appropriation of the amputated portion no very accurate account can be rendered. Fragments of the once soft and glossy leather furnished patches for dilapidated goloshes; a pair or two of gaiter-straps were extricated from the ruins; and the "translator's" little boy manufactured from the remains a "sucker," of such marvellous efficacy that his father could never afterwards keep a lapstone in the stall.

As for the slippers, improperly so called, they pinched divers corns, and pressed various bunions in their day, as the boots, their great progenitors, had done before them, sliding, shuffling, shambling, and dragging their slow length along; until in the ripeness of time, they, with other antiquities, were carried to Cutler-street, and sold to a venerable Jewess. She, with knife keen as Shylock's, ripped off the soles—all besides was valueless even to her—and, not without some pomp and ceremony, laid them out for sale on a board placed upon a crippled chair. Yes, for sale; and to that market for soles there soon chanced to repair an elderly son of poverty; who, having many little feet running about at home made shoes for them himself. The soles became his; and thus of the apocryphal remains of my veritable Hessians, was there just sufficient leather left to interpose between the tender feet of a child, and the hard earth, his mother!


ON A WICKED SHOEMAKER.


You say he has sprung from Cain;—rather
Confess there's a difference vast:
For Cain was a son of the first father
While he is "a son of the last."

[14]

LOVE SEEKING A LODGING.

At Leila's heart, from day to day,
Love, boy-like, knock'd, and ran away;
But Love grown older, seeking then
"Lodgings for single gentlemen,"
Return'd unto his former ground,
And knock'd, but no admittance found—
With his rat, tat, tat.
His false alarms remember'd still.
Love, now in earnest, fared but ill;
For Leila in her heart could swear,
As still he knock'd, "There's no one there."
A single god, he then essay'd
With single knocks to lure the maid—
With his single knock.
Each passer-by, who watch'd the wight,
Cried "Love, you won't lodge there to-night!"
And love, while listening, half confess'd
That all was dead in Leila's breast.
Yet, lest that light heart only slept,
Bold Love up to the casement crept—
With his tip, tap, tap.
No answer;—"Well," cried Love, "I'll wait,
And keep off Envy, Fear, and Hate;
No other passion there shall dwell,
If I'm shut out—why, here's a bell!"
He rang; the ring made Leila start,
And Love found lodgings in her heart—
With his magic ring.
L.B.

Designed Etched & Published by George Cruikshank May 1st 1841


[15]

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER I.

It was about half a century ago in the closing twilight of an autumnal evening at that period of the season when the falling of the sear and yellow leaves indicated the near approach of winter, that a lady was seated at work in one of those comfortable parlours which, as far as the memory of living man can go back, were at all times considered essential to an Englishman's ideas of enjoyment, and which certainly were not and are not to be found, approaching to the same degree of commodious perfection, in any other part of the world. By her side sat a beautiful boy some seven or eight years of age, whose dark glossy ringlets hung clustering down his shoulders over the broad and open white cambric collar of his shirt. His full and fair face bore the ripened bloom of ruddy health, and his large blue eyes, even though a child, were strongly expressive of tenderness and love. The lady herself was fair to look upon, possessing a placid cast of countenance which, whilst it invited esteem and confidence, calmly repelled impertinence or disrespect; her eyes, like those of her son, were mild and full, and meltingly blue, and through the shades of long dark lashes discoursed most eloquently the language of affectionate solicitude and fond regard; and it was impossible to look upon them, or be looked upon by them, without experiencing a glow of pleasure, warming and nourishing all the better feelings and purposes of the heart. In age she was twenty-six, but matronly anxiety gave her the appearance of being some two or three years older; her figure was faultless, and the tight sleeve of her gown fitting closely to her arm, and confined with a bracelet of black velvet at the wrist, displayed the form of a finely moulded limb; and the painter or the sculptor would have been proud to copy from so admirable a model.

The floor of the room was covered with a soft Turkey carpet, which, though somewhat faded, still retained in many parts its richness of colours. The panelled walls were of oak that had endured for more than one generation; and though time had thrown his darkened shadows over them, as if to claim them for his own, art had been called in aid, if not to defeat his claims, yet to turn them to advantage; for the blackened wood was polished to a mirror-like brightness, and instead of dispensing gloom, its reflections were light and cheerful. Suspended in the upper compartments and surrounded with oval frames, tastefully carved and gilt, were well executed portraits by the celebrated masters of those and earlier days.

Between the two windows, where the whole of the light was thrown upon the person, hung suspended a pier looking-glass in a well-carved mahogany frame surrounded by the plume of the Prince of Wales, bearing the appropriate motto for the reflecting tablet itself, "Ich Dien;" and at the corners, in open work, were cut full-ripe ears of corn in their golden glory, sheaved together with true-love knots.

[16]

In one angle of the room stood a lofty circular dumb-waiter, its planes decreasing as they rose in altitude and bearing a display of wine-glasses with those long white tortuous spiral columns, which, like the screw of Archimedes, has puzzled older heads than those of childhood to account for the everlasting turns. There were, also, massive articles of plate of various periods, from the heavy spoons with the sainted apostles effigied at the extremity of the handles, to the silver filigree wrought sugar-stand, with its basin of blue enamelled glass. There were also numerous figures of ancient China, more remarkable for their fantastic shapes than either for ornament or for use.

The tables were of dark mahogany, the side slabs curiously deviced, and the legs assuming something of an animal form with the spreading paw of the lion or the tiger on each foot. One table, however, that was carefully placed so as to be remote from danger, had a raised open-work, about two inches in height, round the edges of its surface, to protect and preserve the handsome and much-prized tea-service, which had been brought by a seafaring ancestor as a present from the "Celestial Empire."

A commodious, soft-cushioned, chintz-covered sofa occupied one side of the parlour, and the various spaces were filled with broad and high-backed mahogany chairs, whose capacious seats were admirable representatives of composure and ease. But there was one with wide-spreading arms, that seemed to invite the weary to its embrace; it was stuffed with soft material, and covered entirely with thick yellow taffeta, on which many an hour of laborious toil had been expended to produce in needle-work imitations of rich fruit and gorgeous flowers; it was a relic of antiquity, and the busy fingers that had so skilfully plied the task had long since yielded to mouldering decay.

The fire-place was capacious, and its inner sides were faced with earthenware tiles, on which were represented scenes and sketches taken from scripture history. It is true that some of the delineations bore a rather incongruous character: the serpent erecting itself on the tip of its tail to beguile Eve; the apple, whose comparative dimensions was calculated to set the mouth of many a schoolboy watering; and not unfrequently a mingling of the Selectæ e Profanis amongst the groups caused curious speculations in the youthful mind. But who can call to recollection the many evening lectures which this constant fund of instruction and amusement afforded, without associating them with pleasing remembrances of innocence and peace?

The fire-grate was large, and of the old-fashioned kind, somewhat of a basket-like form, small at the bottom, but spreading out into wider range as its side boundaries ascended.

Lighted tapers were on the table, together with a lady's work-box, and the small, half-rigged model of a vessel, which the boy had laid down that he might peruse the history and voyages of Philip Quarll, and now, sitting by his mother's knee, he was putting questions to her relative to the sagacious monkeys who were stated to have been poor Philip's personal attendants and only friends.

Emily Heartwell was, in every sense of the term, the "beloved" wife of a lieutenant in the British royal navy, who had bravely served with great[17] credit to himself and advantage to the honour of his country's flag; but unfortunately becoming mixed up with the angry dissensions that had arisen amongst political partisans through the trial of Admiral Keppel by court-martial, he remained for some length of time unemployed, but recently, through the influence and intervention of his former commander and patron, Sir George (afterwards Lord) Rodney, he had received an appointment to a ship-of-the-line that was then fitting out to join that gallant admiral in the West Indies.

The father of Lieutenant Heartwell had risen from humble obscurity to the command of a West Indiaman; and his son having almost from his childhood accompanied him in his voyages, the lad had become early initiated in the perils and mysteries of a seaman's life, so that on parting with his parent he was perfectly proficient in all the important duties that enable the mariner to counteract the raging of the elements, and to navigate his ship in safety from port to port. What became of the father was never accurately known. He was bound to Jamaica with a valuable cargo of home manufactures; he was spoken off the Canaries, and reported all well; but from that day no tidings of him had been heard, and it was supposed that the ship had foundered at sea, and all hands perished.

By some fortuitous circumstance, young Heartwell had been brought under the especial notice of the intrepid Rodney, who not only placed him on the quarter-deck of his own ship, but also generously patronised and maintained him through his probationary term, and at its close, though involved in difficulties himself, first procured him a lieutenant's commission, and then presented him with a handsome outfit, cautioning him most seriously, as he was a good-looking fellow, not to get entangled by marriage, at least, till he had attained post-rank, or was regularly laid up with the gout, when he was perfectly at liberty to take unto himself a wife.

But the lieutenant had a pure, unsophisticated mind, sensibly alive to all the blandishments of female beauty, but with discretion to avoid that which he considered meretricious, and to prize loveliness of feature only when combined with principles of virtue rooted in the heart. Ardently attached to social life, it can excite but little wonder that on mature acquaintance with the lady who now bore his name, he had forgotten the injunction of his commander; and, being possessed of a little property, the produce of well-earned prize-money, he offered himself to the acceptance of one who appeared to realise his most fervent expectations; and, when it is considered that to a remarkably handsome person the young lieutenant united some of the best qualities of human nature, my fair readers will at once find a ready reason for his suit not being rejected. In short, they were married. The father of Mrs. Heartwell, a pious clergyman, performed the ceremony, and certainly in no instance could there have been found two persons possessing a stronger attachment, based on mutual respect and esteem.

An uncle, the brother of the lieutenant's father had, when a boy, gone out to the East Indies, but he kept up very little communication with his family, and they had for some time lost sight of him altogether, when[18] news arrived of his having prospered greatly, and the supposition was that he had amassed a considerable fortune. As this intelligence, however, was indirect, but little credit was given to it, and it probably would have passed away from remembrance, or at least been but little thought of, had not letters arrived announcing the uncle's death, and that no will could be discovered.

The lieutenant, as the only surviving heir, was urged to put in his claim; and, though he himself was not very sanguine in his expectations that his uncle had realised a large fortune, yet it gratified him to think that there might be sufficient to assist in securing a respectable and comfortable maintenance for his wife and child during his absence. From an earnest desire to surprise Mrs. Heartwell with the pleasing intelligence, he had for the first time since their union refrained from informing her of his proceedings; and on the afternoon of the day on which our narrative opens, he had appointed to meet certain parties connected with the affair at the office of Mr. Jocelyn Brady, a reputed clever solicitor in Lincoln's Inn, when the whole was to be finally arranged, and the deeds and papers placed in his possession in the presence of witnesses.

Cherishing not only the hope, but also enjoying the conviction, that in a short time he should be able to gladden her heart, the lieutenant imprinted a warm and affectionate kiss on the lips of his wife, and pressing his boy in his arms with more than his usual gaiety, he bade them farewell for a few hours, promising at his return to communicate something that would delight and astonish them.

But, notwithstanding the hilarity of her husband, an unaccountable depression weighed heavily on the usually cheerful spirits of Mrs. Heartwell; and, whilst returning the embrace of her husband, a presentiment of distress, though she knew not of what nature or kind, filled her bosom with alarm; and a heavy sigh—almost a groan—burst forth before she had time to exercise consciousness, or to muster sufficient energy to restrain it. The prospect of, and the near approach to, the hour of their separation, had certainly oppressed her mind, but she would not distress her husband by openly yielding to the manifestation of grief that might render their parting more keenly painful. She had vigorously exerted all her fortitude to bear up against the anticipated trial which awaited her, of bidding a long adieu to the husband of her affections and the father of her child; but the pressure which now inflicted agony was of a different character to what she had hitherto experienced. It was a foreboding of calamity as near at hand, an undefined and undefinable sensation, producing faintness of spirit and sickness of heart; her limbs trembled, her breath faltered, and she laid her head upon his shoulder and burst into convulsive sobbings, that shook her frame with violent agitation.

I am no casuist to resolve doubtful cases, but I would ask many thousands who have to struggle with the anxious cares, the numerous disappointments, and all the various difficulties that beset existence, whether they have not had similar distressing visitations, previous to the arrival of some unforeseen calamity. What is it, then, that thus operates on the faculties to produce these symptoms? It cannot be a mere affection of the nervous system, caused by alarming apprehensions of the future,[19] for, in most instances, nothing specific has been known or decided. May it not, therefore, be looked upon as a wise and kind ordination of providence, to prepare the mind for disastrous events that are to follow?

The lieutenant raised the drooping head of his wife, earnestly gazed on her expressive countenance, kissed away her tears, and then exclaimed, "How is this, Emily? what! giving way to the indulgence of sorrow at a moment when prosperity is again extending the right hand of good-fellowship? We have experienced adverse gales, my love, but we have safely weathered them; and now that we have the promise of favourable breezes and smooth sailing, the prospect of renewed joy should gladden your heart."

"But are you not soon to leave me, Frank?" returned Mrs. Heartwell, as she strove to subdue the feelings which agitated her, "and who have I now in the wide world but you?"

The lieutenant fervently and fondly pressed her to his heart, whilst with a mingled look of gentle reproach and ardent affection he laid his disengaged hand on the head of his boy, who raising his tear-suffused eyes to the countenance of his mother, as he endeavoured to smile, uttered, "Do not be afraid mama, I will protect you till papa comes back!"

The silent appeal of her husband and the language of her child promptly recalled the wife and the parent to a sense of her marital and maternal duties—she instantly assumed a degree of cheerfulness; and the lieutenant engaging to be home as early as practicable, took his departure to visit his professional adviser.

The only male attendant (and he was looked upon more in the character of a humble friend than as a servant) on the lieutenant's establishment was an attached and faithful seaman, of some five-and-thirty years of age, who had undeviatingly adhered to the fortunes of his officer from the first moment of his entering into the naval service. He had served under Rodney from boyhood, first in the Prince George ninety-eight—then in the Dublin seventy-four; and, subsequently, when the admiral hoisted his flag, he accompanied him in his career of glory, and was present in those memorable engagements which ultimately raised the British ensign to its proud supremacy on the ocean.

Possessed of a lively and contented turn of mind, Ben Brailsford was always cheerful and gay—his temper and his disposition coincided—there was, at all times, a pleasant smile upon his cheek and a kind word upon his tongue, and, in point of fact, his only faults were an occasional indulgence to excess in his favourite beverage—grog, and his still more excessive loquacity when spinning a tough yarn about his favourite commander, Rodney, though it not unfrequently happened that one helped on the other.

I have already remarked that young Frank—for he was named after his father—was by his mother's side, and questioning her upon the subject of Philip Quarll's monkeys—but though desirous of imparting instruction to her son, yet her spirit was too much bowed down even to attend to him; besides, this was a matter of natural history with which she was but little acquainted, and, therefore, he was referred to honest Ben, as the best authority to answer his inquiries. Ben was accordingly summoned, and smoothing down his hair over his forehead with his hard horny hand[20] as he entered the room, he "hoped as madam was well and master Frank all ship-shape."

"I am thinking of your master's departure, Ben," returned the lady, "and therefore cannot be very easy in my mind, when I consider the risks to which he will be exposed on the turbulent ocean, both in the storm and in the battle."

"Bless you, my lady," returned the seaman, "what's the vally of a bit of a breeze, where there's skill and judgment to read the face of the heavens, and good practical seamanship to ease her with the helm, when the wild seas break over us—and as for a fight, why its pretty sharp work whilst it lasts, but when it's over and the grog abroach—not, my lady, as I ever gives way to more than does me good—but as I was a saying, when the action's ended and the grog sarved out"—and here he cast his eyes towards a well-replenished liquor-case that stood in the corner, and from which he had often been supplied—"why we shares it along with our prisoners, and drinks to the mortal memory of them as is gone."

"But it must be a dreadful spectacle, Ben, to witness the dead and the dying mingled together," said the lady, with a shudder, "the slain and the wounded in one promiscuous heap."

"Bless you, my lady, that comes o' not knowing the jometry of the thing," returned Brailsford, in a tone and expression that evidenced experience; "they aren't by no manner o' means in one permiskus heap, for as soon as we find an onfortinate shipmate has let go the life-lines—and its easy diskivered by pressing the hand over the heart and feeling for the pallypitation—just for all the world Master Frank, as you'd listen for the ticking of a watch in a noisy place—and if so be as you don't find that there's not never no wibration, but all is motionless, from the main-spring having been carried away, so that the wheels have run down, why we knows well enough that the doctor's knife and all his medicine chest wouldn't get him to lend a hand to run out another gun, or rouse aboard the main-tack—so we launches him out at the port as expended stores, and we turns-to with a hearty good will to avenge his death."

"But do they serve the officers so?" inquired Mrs. Heartwell, whose cheeks had become blanched during the plain recital of the seaman; "surely there is some funeral ceremony, some—" and she paused.

"Bless you, my lady, what's the odds so as you're happy," responded Ben, scratching his head, whilst a good-humoured smile mantled over his face; "but the real truth of the thing is, that the officers being a sort of privileged class, expect a cast of the chaplin's wadee mecum—that's the parson's Latin for prayer-book, Master Frank; but to my thinking a poor dev—that is, I means an onfortinate as sticks his spoon in the beckets for a full-due and loses the number of his mess, whilst sarving his country heart and soul—has rubbed out a multitude of sins whilst sponging his gun in the regard of dooty."

"I dearly love my country, Ben; I should be unworthy the name of Englishwoman if I did not," returned the lady with fervour, as in the course of conversation she endeavoured to overcome her depression; "but why fight at all?"

This query to one of Rodney's tars would have been quite sufficient, had the law been administered then as it is in the present day, to have subjected[21] the questioner to a commission of lunacy; and Ben gave his mistress an earnest look, shading his eyes with his hand that he might not be deceived by the glare of the lights. At first he thought she was in joke, but finding from the unchangeableness of her countenance that she was serious, he replied—

"Well, my lady, in regard o' the upshot of fighting, it isn't for an onedecated tar like myself to dilute upon the religion of the thing; but, bless you, my lady, suppose as you had the English ensign hoisted on the staff, or, for the matter o' that, at the gaff-end, and an enemy was to dare to presume to be so onveterate bould as to fire a shot at it;" he warmed as he proceeded, "why wouldn't you, my lady, open your ports and run out your guns for the honour of ould England's glory? And when your guns are run out, why what's the use on 'em if you don't clap a match to the touch-holes and pour in a reg'lar broadside?"

"Oh, it must be horrible work, Ben," said Mrs. Heartwell, as the picture of her husband, mangled and dying, was visibly presented to her view; "you throw the supposed dead overboard without being certain that life is extinct—"

"Avast, my lady, avast; we never does that—no, no; a shipmate or a messmate aren't so easily expended," returned Ben, with a solemn shake of the head. "But there's a sort of nat'ral inkstink amongst us tars—a kind of cable-splice with each other, so that we knows at once as well as any doctor as ever sarved his time at pill-building when the strands are drawn, and the craft has slipped from its moorings; that is, my lady, jist as this here, we can tell in a moment when a shipmate or messmate has broke adrift and got beyond hail; bless you, they're all distinct afore we gives 'em a launch, and as for the wounded, why they're carried below to the cockpit to get dressed, or to have their precious limbs lopped off like old junk, condemned as onsarviceable. But what's the odds, my lady, so as you're happy?"

One of Ben's peculiarities, and which long habit had rendered perfectly familiar to him, was the general use of the expression "What's the odds so as you're happy?" and as he mostly contrived to lug it in whatever the course of conversation might be, it often happened that it found utterance on very inappropriate occasions. The idea of happiness connected with the amputating of a limb would never have entered the mind of any other person than Ben; but his mistress was too much accustomed to the humane and generous disposition of the worthy seaman to suppose that he was indulging in levity, or ridiculing distress; she was perfectly aware that all Ben intended to convey was, that "a contented mind might be supported under every trial and misfortune."

Young Frank had listened, as he always did, very attentively to Ben's explanations and descriptions, and though the delicate sensibilities of the lad were very naturally wounded by the recital of narratives of deeds of blood and violence, yet when the seaman entered upon details of chivalrous enterprise connected with the necessity of asserting his country's honour, his youthful heart would glow with earnest desire to be enrolled amongst the brave of his native land. His mother had discouraged his unmatured but ambitious aspirings; her maternal solicitude had looked forward with[22] sickening dread at the thoughts of her only child being exposed to the perils of the ocean. She had endured the long-suffering of anxious care and hope deferred during the absence of her husband, and her very soul dwelt with increased alarm and apprehension on the probability that not only would an additional weight of anxiety and distress encumber the every-day circumstances of life should her boy become a mariner, but there was also the certainty that in his departure she would lose one of the principal props to animated existence; the dear little companion of her leisure hours, with whom she could unreservedly converse upon a subject that was ever uppermost in her thoughts,—his father. Then the idea of loneliness preyed upon her mind; and, there is something so cold and chilling in the thoughts of being left alone in the world, cut off from connexions that were once eminently endearing to the affections, to sit hour after hour, and day after day, communing with one's own sad heart, to pass the nights in sleepless retrospection, as visions of past enjoyment flit in pleasing array before the imagination, and then to turn the mind's eye to the obscure but dreaded events of the coming future, where all is darkened by gloomy forebodings; there is a keen and horrible distress in such meditative contemplations, that is calculated to waste the stoutest frame, and to unsettle the soundest reason; and happy indeed are they who seek for consolation from whence it alone can be obtained.

Although Mrs. Heartwell experienced more pain than pleasure at Ben's recitals of storms and battles, yet she not unfrequently provoked him into narratives of danger and of death, for the purpose—as she hoped—of deterring her son from entering upon so hazardous an occupation as that of a seaman. But whilst she partially succeeded in awakening the acute sensibilities of the lad as to the difficulties to be encountered, so also was the pride and curiosity of an adventurous spirit aroused, and young Frank grew more attached to the interesting accounts of foreign lands, and delineations of distant countries, than frightened at the tales of the battle and the breeze.

Philip Quarll had been laid aside whilst Ben stood conversing with his mistress—whom he at all times honoured with the appellation of "my lady,"—but now the seaman was requested to sit down and explain the nature of the monkeys, the book was resumed, and Frank inquired "whether Ben had ever seen an ape wild in the woods."

"Why, yes, Master Frank," responded the seaman, as he seated himself near the table, but at a respectful distance from his mistress. "I have seen 'em hanging on by the eye-lids amongst the trees."

"Hanging on by the eye-lids, Ben!" repeated Frank, in surprise; "why how could they do that?"

"Why to be sure, Master Frank, they warn't exactly holding fast by the eye-lids," returned the seaman, smiling; "but we uses the term as a figure o' speech, meaning as it's next to dancing upon nothing."

This did not much mend the lad's knowledge of the matter, but as he was eager to hear something of the monkey tribe, he inquired "And how much bigger, Ben, is a Chimpanzee than an ape?"

"A what, Master Frank—a Jem Pansy?" demanded the seaman, looking at the picture of Quarll with his attendants. "Do they call them[23] Jem Pansies? well, to my thinking, it arn't natral to give a christen-like name to such oncivilized brutes as haven't got no rational faculties."

Frank explained, and the two were soon in deep and earnest conversation upon the relative qualities and characteristics of monkeys, whilst Mrs. Heartwell continued her work, occasionally listening to their discourse, but her thoughts principally engrossed by contemplating the coming separation from her husband. The ancient clock, which stood on a bracket at the first landing of the stairs, struck nine, and the lady, who had for some time been growing more and more uneasy at the lieutenant's stay, directed Ben to have the supper things in readiness, and when he had left the room, Frank was desired to prepare himself for bed. Kneeling at his mother's feet, with hands closed together, he repeated his evening prayer, imploring the Divine Being to bless his parents—the servant lighted him to his room—and weary nature soon found refreshment in the sweet repose of undisturbed slumber.

Another hour passed away, and the anxious wife grew more restless and uneasy; she laid her watch upon the table, and though the hour was late, yet she felt impatient at the tardy movement of the hands, hoping that each succeeding minute would bring her husband home. But still he came not, and time continued to progress, unheeding both the joy and the sorrow that accompanied his eventful career. In vain did she strive to subdue the fluctuating emotions that, like the undulating swell of the ocean giving warning of an approaching tempest, seemed to indicate that a severe trial was at hand. Every foot-fall in the street had excited hope, which died away with the receding sound; and the almost hysterical and sudden gush of delight was succeeded by a revulsion of sickening uncertainty and fearful surmisings. Why or wherefore, she could not tell.

But midnight was drawing near, the weather which had been fine became tempestuous, the winds howled and the rain beat against the windows, and the streets were deserted, except by the ancient watchman, whose slow and heavy tread could not be mistaken for the eager springiness of vigorous strength prompted by ardent affection hurrying to the home of the heart. Mrs. Heartwell tried to compose her mind by reading, but the effort was futile; the constant changes in the course of her thoughts disconnected the sentences, and the visions which torturing apprehensions conjured up were infinitely more vivid than the incidents recorded on the printed page. At length, weary nature claimed her due, and she fell into uneasy slumber; but though the mortal frame had yielded to fatigue, and strove to gain refreshing energy by repose, the intellect was still awake and powerful to witness the conflicting occurrences that filled up the scenic representations in the dramatic shiftings of her dream.

And oh, how fearfully confused were the visions of Mrs. Heartwell's restless sleep! She saw her husband struggling with the waves as the lightning flashed and the wild tempest howled above his head, and she rushed into the vortex of the dark and bubbling waters to try and snatch him from destruction. But vain were her endeavours to approach him—they were hurled hither and thither upon the crests of the foaming billows, but could not grasp each other's hands; and then the scene suddenly changed, and she beheld the lieutenant wounded and bleeding on the deck as the stream of life was ebbing fast away. They were surrounded[24] by the thunder and the smoke of battle; dark and vindictive, and gore-stained countenances were peering upon her through the curling vapours, and there was one amongst them more dark, more vindictive, more sanguinary than the rest, but the thickened and dense atmosphere was constantly throwing it into obscurity, so as to leave no especial tracings on the memory. She tried to get to her husband, but still that mysterious being constantly debarred her progress; her limbs became paralysed; she could see the lieutenant most distinctly, though the rest were enveloped in gloom; and as he looked at her with his sight fast fading away, the dim eyes were still expressive of the inseparable mingling of anxious solicitude and fervent tenderness.

Once more the picture changed; she was in her own dwelling, in that very parlour, clasped in his embrace as the fervid kiss of affection was impressed upon her lips. She would have chided his delay, but the delight that glowed within her bosom and the sound of his voice in cheerful greeting dispelled the anguish she had endured, and stifled the language of reproach before it could find utterance—She was again happy in his society. The lieutenant took his usual seat by the fireside opposite to his wife, and she was gazing upon him with feelings of gratification rendered more rich and delightful from the previous suffering she had experienced, when suddenly his features assumed a rigid and swollen aspect, a livid hue was on his cheeks, his limbs were stark and motionless, as he sat stiffly erect, whilst his eyes almost starting from his head were fixed intently upon her.

"You are ill, Frank," was her imagined exclamation, as she essayed to rise from her chair but could not. "Oh do not look upon me thus—speak, speak to me," but the figure remained immovable—not a muscle of the face was stirred, and again that dark mysterious countenance, with its undefined outlines and misty filling up, appeared between them. "Oh, what is this, Frank?" uttered she, in a voice shrill and piercing through the extremity of agony; and bursting the bonds of sleep, she sprang from her chair at the very instant that Ben opened the door of the room, and looked round it in surprise. "Where is he, Ben, where is he?" demanded the agitated woman, as she stared wildly on the vacant seat.

"Bless you, my lady," responded the seaman as he stood within the half-opened door, "I thought as Muster Heartwell were here, seeing as he hailed me jist now in the kitchen, and I've come to see what his pleasure is?"

A thrill of horror instantaneously seized upon every portion of Mrs. Heartwell's frame—a sensation that for the moment struck at the very seat of vitality, and was carried through the entire system. "It cannot be," at length she uttered; "no one has opened the doors—the servants are all in bed:" she gasped for breath as she falteringly continued, "Father of Heaven, in mercy relieve me from this dreadful state. Yes, yes, it must have been—it is nothing more than a dream," and seating herself upon the sofa, she buried her face upon the pillow, and burst into unrestrained and irrepressible tears.

Ben had implicitly obeyed the instructions of his mistress in seeing the supper materials prepared, and at the accustomed hour the maid-servants went to bed, leaving the gallant seaman alone in the kitchen to the enjoyment of his pipe and a well-filled stiff glass of cold grog. Unaccustomed to scrutinise the conduct of his superiors, Ben gave himself but little[25] trouble or consideration for the unusually long-continued absence of his master; and if a thought did obtrude it was merely to conjecture that the lieutenant might have fallen in with some old messmates or friends, who, in the height of enjoyment over their social or festive intercourse, had induced him to stay out beyond his ordinary time for returning. It is true Ben reasoned upon deductions based upon what he himself would have done under similar circumstances; for though the worthy tar had practised a little of the amiable towards Sally the housemaid, yet he was unacquainted with, and consequently could not well account for, the secret and hidden springs that prompted the undeviating attention of Mr. Heartwell in studying the comfort and happiness of his wife as intimately connected with his own.

Ben sat smoking and cogitating upon the station he should probably occupy when again upon the element he loved to control, and his spirit rose as he contrasted the busy routine of duty on board a smart ship at sea, with the idle and quiet of a calm life on shore even with Sally to sweeten it. He fancied himself once more at the weather wheel, as with a predominant feeling of pride he kept the given point of the compass without vibrating from the direct course he was ordered to steer; and then in his watch below with his brother tars keeping up Saturday night with grog, and jest, and jocund song; and as he made repeated applications to the jorum of strong beverage by his side, his fancy peopled the vacant space around him with messmates and shipmates till both pipe and glass were emptied, and he unconsciously resigned himself to the close embraces of a sailor's Morpheus.

He, too, had been dreaming, but it was of the mere ordinary concerns of the forecastle or main-top, without experiencing a single terrific sensation except when the supposed sonorous hail of the first lieutenant through his speaking-trumpet afforded a convincing testimonial that something more was expected in the exercise of their duties than the playfulness of childhood. But Ben heard it fearlessly, for he not only knew what he had to do, but he was also well versed in the most approved method of doing it, and ever active and obedient, he performed his task with alacrity and skill. Whilst thus involved in all the intricate mazes of visionary speculation, he thought he heard the well remembered sound of his master's voice calling upon him; and springing to his feet, he rubbed his eyes as he gave the usual responsive "Ay, ay, Sir," and found the lieutenant standing before him. But the delusion almost instantly ceased—the figure receded and disappeared, and as the door of the kitchen was shut, Ben concluded in his mind that it was all moonshine as to the appearance, that he really had heard his master's call, and hurrying up stairs he entered the parlour at the moment when his mistress awoke in such thrilling agony.

The flow of tears relieved her overcharged heart, and without questioning the seaman she sent him below again, and prostrating herself before her Maker, she offered up an earnest prayer for fortitude to undergo affliction, and tranquillity of mind to meet every dispensation that might occur—it was the poor dependant created, supplicating the high and Almighty creator; it was the weak and the defenceless imploring the aid of the Omnipotent. The appeal was heard and answered—the broken and the[26] contrite spirit was not despised; and Mrs. Heartwell arose from her knees strengthened in the confidence that He who spread abroad immeasurable space and displayed the firmament as his handy work—who fed the young ravens when they cried, and clothed the lilies of the field in all their beauty, would not desert her in the hour of tribulation.



MONUMENT TO NAPOLEON!

On the removal of Napoleon's remains, I prepared the above design for a monument; but it was not sent, because it was not wanted. There is this disadvantage about a design for his monument;—it will suit nobody else. This could not, therefore, be converted into a tribute to the memory of the late distinguished philosopher, Muggeridge, head master of the grammar-school at Birchley; nor into an embellishment for the mausoleum of the departed hero Fitz-Hogg, of the Pipeclays. It very often happens, however, that when a monument to a great man turns out to be a misfit, it will, after a while, be found to suit some other great man as well as if his measure had been taken for it. Just add a few grains to the intellectual qualities, subtract a scruple or so from the moral attributes—let out the philanthropy a little and take in the learning a bit—clip the public devotion, and throw an additional handful of virtues into the domestic scale—qualify the squint, in short, or turn the aquiline into a[27] snub—these slight modifications observed, and any hero or philosopher may be fitted to a hair with a second-hand monumental design. The standing tribute "We ne'er shall look upon his like again," is of course applicable in every case of greatness.


"Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones!
And can he thus survive!"

So Byron sang, in accents of astonishment, long before the object of it was even once buried. Is the note of wonder less called for, and less natural now—now that the world has lived to witness, not only the first, but the second funeral of its Imperial Agitator? Is this Napoleon le Grand! and looked Alexander after this fashion—barring the decorations of his bony extremities!

Agitator still! Aye, Agitator even in thine ashes thou must be called—whatsoever name else thou mayst be destined to survive! Whether Boney, Bonyparty, Buonaparte, Napoleon, Emperor! Whether in the future, as in the past, thou shalt be addressed by any one of that astounding collection of titles which the most metaphysical and admiring of thy biographers once gathered from the public journals and set forth in startling array—as Monster, Tyrant, Fiend, Upstart, Usurper, Rebel, Regicide, Traitor, Wretch, Villain, Knave, Fool, Madman, Coward, Impostor—or these again with suitable adjectives to reinforce them, as Unnatural Monster, Sanguinary Tyrant, Diabolical Fiend, Corsican Upstart, Military Usurper, Wicked Rebel, Impious Regicide, Perfidious Traitor, Vile Wretch, Base Villain, Low-born Knave, Rank Fool, Egregious Madman, Notorious Coward, Detestable Impostor;—or this other set of epithets, which, in more countries than France, and not unsparingly in our own, have since been associated with thy name—as Conqueror, Potentate, Preserver, Genius, Liberator, Law-giver, Statesman, Ruler, Regenerator, Enthusiast, Martyr, Hero, Benefactor—these again being reinforced as before, thus—Invincible Conqueror, Mighty Potentate, Glorious Preserver, Guardian Genius, Generous Liberator, Enlightened Law-giver, Magnificent Statesman, Wise Ruler, National Regenerator, Sincere Enthusiast, Devoted Martyr, Triumphant Hero, Beneficent Benefactor:—by these names, by any one of them possibly, thou mayst not be especially distinguished in after times; but as Agitator at least thou must be hailed while language lasts!

—It may justly be doubted whether the figure thus looking down upon a pyramid of skulls, is indeed "the man of thousand thrones"—whether he does "thus survive." The design is one of those that "show men as they ought to be, not as they are." That opening of the coffin at St. Helena opens up a world of curiosity, of wonder, and alarm. All the spectators were awed and astounded at the absence of the great Dictator of the Grave—Change! All the beholders were stricken to marble, or melted into water-drops, to see Death looking like Life; to survey the pale and placid features of the Emperor, expressing the serenity of repose, not the workings of decay—to witness a sign of power beyond that which ordinary clay may boast, and to feel that a "divinity did hedge" indeed the hero-king, in preserving all that was mortal of the[28] exiled chief from the ravages of the worm. There lay the Emperor Napoleon—(he was recognised then by the authorities, and should the parties meet in the Shades, even George the Fourth can no longer style him General Buonaparte)—there lay the Emperor—not simply in his habit as he lived, but in the very flesh which he took with him out of Longwood. There was the positive and unwasted substance—and there too was the seeming spirit. The eyes only were wanting to give it reality and consciousness. The Mighty Watcher had fallen asleep, but who could say that he never again was to wake up? The restless Visionary had sunk, torpid, into a dream of years. The Monarch had abdicated the throne of Life without finally crossing its confines. At best, the spectacle presented an extraordinary compromise with the insatiate Destroyer. The Archer had for once half-missed his aim.

Now, it will be remembered that Fauntleroy was considered to bear a decided resemblance to Napoleon—a very respectable "likeness-done-in-this-style" sort of portrait—and Fauntleroy, as we all hear, is said to be alive still! Somebody has remarked—in fact we remarked it ourselves—that on dit is French for "a lie;" and so it may be in this particular: still the coincidence is curious. Even the likeness of Napoleon is associated with things living; but Napoleon himself has been seen, recognised, identified—looking like life itself—sleeping, sightless, but not dead.

We have all been reminded lately of the manner in which his return from Elba was announced in the Moniteur. It will bear repetition here:—"1st announcement—The demon has escaped from banishment: he has run away from Elba. 2d—The Corsican dragon has landed at Cape Juan. 3d.—The tiger has shown himself at Gap—the troops are advancing from all sides, in order to arrest his progress—he cannot possibly escape. 4th—The monster has really advanced as far as Grenoble—we know not to what treachery to ascribe it. 5th—The tyrant is actually at Lyons. Fear and terror seized all at his appearance. 6th—The usurper has ventured to approach the capital to within sixty hours' march. 7th—Buonaparte is advancing by forced marches—but it is impossible he should reach Paris. 8th—Napoleon will reach under the walls of Paris to-morrow. 9th—The Emperor is at Fontainbleau. 10th—Yesterday evening his Majesty the Emperor made his public entry, and arrived at the palace of the Tuileries—nothing can exceed the universal joy!" What would be his reception now, were he—as he escaped so strangely from Elba, and worked his way still more strangely from under the willow of St. Helena—were he to wake where he is! The people cried Vive l'Empereur as the coffin that held him was borne by. And truly the Emperor yet lives in France!

[As for me, who have skeletonised him prematurely, paring down the Prodigy even to his hat and boots, I have but "carried out" a principle adopted almost in my boyhood, for I can scarcely remember the time when I did not take some patriotic pleasure in persecuting the great Enemy of England. Had he been less than that, I should have felt compunction for my cruelties; having tracked him through snow and through fire, by flood and by field, insulting, degrading, and deriding him everywhere, and putting him to several humiliating deaths. All that time, however, he went on "overing" the Pyramids and the Alps, as boys "over" posts, and playing at leap-frog with the sovereigns of Europe, so as to kick a crown off at every spring he made—together with many crowns and sovereigns into my coffers. Deep, most deep, in a personal view of matters, are my obligations to the Agitator—but what a Debt the country owes to him!]


[29]

PHOTOGRAPHIC PHENOMENA, OR THE NEW SCHOOL OF PORTRAIT-PAINTING.

"Sit, cousin Percy; sit, good cousin Hotspur!"—Henry IV.

"My lords, be seated."—Speech from the Throne.


I.—INVITATION TO SIT.

Now sit, if ye have courage, cousins all!
Sit, all ye grandmamas, wives, aunts, and mothers;
Daughters and sisters, widows, brides, and nieces;
In bonnets, braids, caps, tippets, or pelisses,
The muff, mantilla, boa, scarf, or shawl!
Sit all ye uncles, godpapas, and brothers,
Fathers and nephews, sons, and next of kin,
Husbands, half-brother's cousin's sires, and others;
Be you as Science young, or old as Sin:
Turn, Persian-like, your faces to the sun!
And have each one
His portrait done,
Finish'd, one may say, before it's begun.
Nor you alone,
Oh! slight acquaintances! or blood relations!
But sit, oh! public Benefactors,
[30]
Whose portraits are hung up by Corporations.
Ye Rulers of the likeness-loving nations,
Ascend you now the Photographic throne,
And snatch from Time the precious mornings claim'd
By artists famed
(In the Court Circular you'll find them named).
Sit too, ye laurell'd Heroes, whom detractors
Would rank below the statesman and the bard!
Sit also, all ye Actors,
Whose fame would else die with you, which is hard:
Whose Falstaffs here will never Slenders prove.
So true the art is!
M.P.'s, for one brief moment cease to move;
And you who stand as Leaders of great Parties,
Be sitting Members!
Ye intellectual Marchers, sit resign'd!
And oh! ye Authors, men of dazzling mind,
Perchance with faces foggy as November's,
Pray sit!
Apollo turned R.A.
The other day,
Making a most decided hit.
They say.
Phœbus himself—he has become a Shee!
(Morning will rank among the Knights full soon)
And while the Moon,
Who only draws the tides, is clean outdone,
The Stars are all astonishment to see
Earth—sitting for her portrait—to the Sun!

II.—THE PROCESS OF THE PORTRAITURE.

It's all very fine, is it not, oh! ye Nine?
To tell us this planet is going too fast,
On a comet-like track through the wilderness vast:
Instead of collision, and chances of splitting
In contact with stars rushing down the wrong line,
The world at this moment can't get on—for sitting:
And Earth, like the Lady enchanted in Comus,
Fix'd fast to her chair
With a dignified air,
Is expecting to sit for a century there;
Much wondering, possibly, half in despair,
How the deuce she's to find her way back to her domus.
"Keep moving," we know, was the cry long ago;
But now, never hare was "found sitting," I swear,
Like the crowds who repair
To old Cavendish Square,
And mount up a mile and a quarter of stair.
In procession that beggars the Lord Mayor's show!
[31]
And all are on tiptoe, the high and the low,
To sit in that glass-cover'd blue studio;
In front of those boxes, wherein when you look
Your image reversed will minutely appear,
So delicate, forcible, brilliant, and clear,
So small, full, and round, with a life so profound,
As none ever wore
In a mirror before;
Or the depths of a glassy and branch-shelter'd brook,
That glides amidst moss o'er a smooth-pebbled ground.
Apollo, whom Drummond of Hawthornden styled
"Apelles of flowers,"
Now mixes his showers
Of sunshine, with colours by clouds undefiled;
Apelles indeed to man, woman, and child.
His agent on earth, when your attitude's right,
Your collar adjusted, your locks in their place,
Just seizes one moment of favouring light,
And utters three sentences—"Now it's begun,"—
"It's going on now, sir,"—and "Now it is done;"
And lo! as I live, there's the cut of your face
On a silvery plate,
Unerring as fate,
Worked off in celestial and strange mezzotint,
A little resembling an elderly print.
"Well, I never!" all cry; "it is cruelly like you!"
But Truth is unpleasant
To prince and to peasant.
You recollect Lawrence, and think of the graces
That Chalon and Company give to their faces;
The face you have worn fifty years doesn't strike you!

III.—THE CRITICISMS OF THE SITTERS—THE MORAL.

"Can this be me! do look, mama!"
Poor Jane begins to whimper;
"I have a smile, 'tis true;—but, pa!
This gives me quite a simper."
Says Tibb, whose plays are worse than bad,
"It makes my forehead flat;"
And being classical, he'll add,
"I'm blow'd if I'm like that."
Courtly, all candour, owns his portrait true;
"Oh, yes, it's like; yes, very; it will do.
Extremely like me—every feature—but
That plain pug-nose; now mine's the Grecian cut!"
Her Grace surveys her face with drooping lid;
Prefers the portrait which Sir Thomas did;
Owns that o'er this some traits of truth are sprinkled;
But views the brow with anger—"Why, it's wrinkled!"
[32]
"Like me!" cries Sir Turtle; "I'll lay two to one
It would only be guess'd by my foes;
No, no, it is plain there are spots in the sun,
Which accounts for these spots on my nose."
"A likeness!" cries Crosslook, the lawyer, and sneers;
"Yes, the wig, throat and forehead I spy,
And the mouth, chin, and cheeks, and the nose and the ears,
But it gives me a cast in the eye!"

Thus needs it the courage of old Cousin Hotspur,
To sit to an artist who flatters no sitter;
Yet Self-love will urge us to seek him, for what spur
So potent as that, though it make the truth bitter!
And thus are all flocking, to see Phœbus mocking,
Or making queer faces, a visage per minute;
And truly 'tis shocking, if winds should be rocking
The building, or clouds darken all that's within it,
To witness the frights
Which shadows and lights
Manufacture, as like as an owl to a linnet.
For there, while you sit up,
Your countenance lit up,
The mists fly across, a magnificent rack;
And your portrait's a patch, with its bright and its black,
Out-Rembrandting Rembrandt, in ludicrous woe,
Like a chimney-sweep caught in a shower of snow.
Yet nothing can keep the crowd below,
And still they mount up, stair by stair;
And every morn, by the hurry and hum,
Each seeking a prize in the lottery there,
You fancy the "last day of drawing" has come.  L. B.

[All the World and his Wife must recollect that they are not figuring before a mere mortal artist with whom they may all the while laugh and chat. Here you must sit mute and motionless. You may wink; you may perhaps just put on a smile; but you must not laugh; for if you do, one half of your head will go off!]


COMMENTARY upon the late—"New Police Act" by which it appears that ... ...

Designed Etched & Published by George Cruikshank— June 1st 1841.

[See larger version]

[33]

PUNCH v. LAW.

I was dozing over the last half-dozen glasses of a bowl of punch (the rest of the club having departed) when the waiter at the British came into the coffee-room to remind me that it was Saturday night, and that in obedience to the New Police Act it was absolutely necessary that I should take my departure before Sunday morning—the door must be finally closed at twelve o'clock, and it then wanted but five minutes. This appeal, and a "Now, Sir, if you please," a few times repeated, were not more than half heard; sleep seized me irresistibly, and in twenty seconds more I was dreaming that I had fallen fast asleep, with the punch-bowl for a nightcap.

"Come, move on—make way here, will you though?—move on, you sir! No Punch and Judy now; it's unlegal by the law; ain't you awor o' the New Police Act what's put it down?" Such was the arbitrary order which in my dream Serjeant Higginbotham of the X division issued, as he pushed his way into the centre of a crowd of urchins assembled round that little stage on which Punch was playing off his antics in unapproachable style. As the words fell from his lips, they smote my heart with the fear that a revolution in the country must inevitably follow. Punch to be put down by Act of Parliament! Judy to be snatched away for ever by a vote of both Houses! Mirth, fun, jollity, to be legislated into nothing—in the passing of a clause, or the twinkling of the Speaker's eye! Impossible; put Punch down in one place, lo! he is up again in another; stifle his voice in the east, and hark! you hear him the next minute squeaking in the west, like the piping shepherd-boy, "as though he should never grow old." This was consolatory to my feelings; but yet methought, the mere intent, the bare threat of the legislature to banish the people's own Punch, their time-honoured favourite, would paralyse all London at first, and then all London would be seen on its legs rushing to the Queen's palace to petition!

To my astonishment, not a soul in that crowd took the smallest notice of Serjeant Higginbotham's imperative command to be off. Punch went on squeaking and rapping away; the troop of boys, girls, and miscellanies around, continued to grin, laugh, scream, and stretch their necks to stare over one another's heads as though they never could look enough; and what was more, the policeman, who had penetrated into the midst of them, and of whose presence they appeared so singularly heedless, stood there, grinning, laughing, screaming, and stretching his neck to stare too. There indeed stood Serjeant H., his truncheon dropping from one hand, while the other was tightly pressed against his side, where he seemed to be in imminent peril of a split. That truncheon he had scarce uplifted, when the laugh seized him, and his arm fell powerless. Serjeant Higginbotham, six feet high, was a little boy again. How he laughed and roared. I heard his "Ho! ho!" for days afterwards, and can even now see the tears run down his cheeks, fringing his whiskers like dewdrops on a bush.

Close by was a youngster flying his kite contrary to law; on the approach of a policeman, he let go, turned to run, caught a glimpse of[34] Punch—and there he stood fascinated by the fun. His pursuer, who was close behind him, was just about to catch him by the collar, when he too stopped short, and with distended jaws almost doubled the horse-laugh of the side-aching serjeant. Up came a sweep with the illegal cry of 'we-weep' on his lips, but he could not break the law by giving utterance to the cry—for laughter. Presently came by a genius playing an organ, and another blowing a trumpet—the policemen heard not the unlawful music, and it suddenly ceased, stopped by the irresistible and all-absorbing Punch. A boy came next trundling his hoop, with 46 D trundling after him; in two minutes they were standing side by side, laughing from ear to ear. A dustman had just raised his voice and got out, "du—" when his bell seemed to stop of itself, and "My eye!" was all he could articulate. A lad behind a hackney-coach jumped down, scorning a three-miles ride, under the influence of the prevailing risibility. All were drawn insensibly into the vortex of laughter. Every violator of the new law, albeit aware of having fallen under the vigilant observation of the police, lost on the instant all sense of responsibility, all inclination to shun the danger of apprehension, and joining the crowd, became utterly unconscious of any law but the law of nature, and supremely blessed in ignorance of the very existence of a constable. More astounding still was the suddenness with which the rush of policemen from all quarters, pursuing the offenders, came to a stand-still. Each in turn followed his intended victim into the charmed circle, gave up the chase in the moment of success, and surrendered himself captive to Punch instead of taking a prisoner.

"And those who came to seize, remain'd to laugh."

At length, half the trades, half the schools, all the idlers, and all the policemen of the metropolis, seemed gathered there together. And there they all stood spell-bound, wrought upon by one common emotion; shaking their sides against one another, and sending up a roar, compared with which the thunder of the Danish kettle-drums and cannon of old was a dead silence.

Here, methought, is a lesson for legislators! They would put down that which puts down nuisances, and turns public disturbers into the happiest and most harmless of mortals! And they would suppress it by agents who came in contact with the enemy only to join his ranks, "for we have all of us one human heart." Put down Punch! Fifty Parliaments could never do it! There's a divinity doth hedge him. Punch for a time can suppress kite-flying, hoop-trundling, bell-ringing, and trumpet-blowing—which the law cannot; how then should Punch himself be put down? Immortal puppet! the true friend of the people, and the promoter of good-humour among all her Majesty's loving subjects!

Such would have been my reflections; but the accumulated roar of the laughing throng awoke me—when I found that the waiter was snoring very loud in the lobby of the coffee-room. The house had long been shut for the night; and having violated the law, I was obliged to content myself with a broiled bone and a bed at the British—with an extra tumbler of punch!

COMMENTARY upon the "New Police Act" (No.2.)

Designed Etched & Published by George Cruikshank June 1st 1841

[See larger version]

[35]


"ORIGINAL POETRY:"

BY THE LATE SIR FRETFUL PLAGIARY, KNIGHT,

MEMBER OF THE DRAMATIC AUTHORS' ASSOCIATION, FELLOW OF THE PARNASSIAN SOCIETY, &c.


Now first printed from the original copies in the handwriting of that popular Author.

EDITED BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.

We have considerable pleasure in discharging the duty imposed upon us, of transcribing the MSS. which one of Sir Fretful Plagiary's numerous living descendants has placed in our hands, and of submitting to the public the following specimens of "something new." Whatever may be thought in other respects of these, the latest emanations—or, as some with equal correctness perhaps would say, effusions—of an immortal genius, we unhesitatingly pronounce them to be original. These poems bear no resemblance to anything ever before offered to the public. Now this is a declaration which cannot fail to awaken in the reader's mind a strong suspicion that the ideas are mere imitations, and the language a mere echo, of the thoughts and expressions of other poets. In this solitary instance the acute reader will be mistaken in his supposition. There is no one line that can be called an imitation—no phrase that can be pronounced an echo. Line after line is equally emphatic, interesting, melodious, and—original. This fact we might establish by citing at full length a remarkably novel and curious production of Sir Fretful's, which, with the fineness of Shakspeare and Dryden united, opens thus:—

"Farewell! thou canst not teach me to forget;
The power of beauty I remember yet."

But we prefer proceeding at once to a strikingly harmonious, and singularly analytical composition, bearing the designation of an

ODE TO THE HUMAN HEART.

Blind Thamyris, and blind Mæonides,
Pursue the triumph and partake the gale!
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees,
To point a moral or adorn a tale[2].
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears,
Like angels' visits, few and far between,
Deck the long vista of departed years.
[36]
Man never is, but always to be bless'd;
The tenth transmitter of a foolish face,
Like Aaron's serpent, swallows up the rest,
And makes a sunshine in the shady place.
For man the hermit sigh'd, till woman smiled,
To waft a feather or to drown a fly,
(In wit a man, simplicity a child,)
With silent finger pointing to the sky.
But fools rush in where angels fear to tread,
Far out amid the melancholy main;
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Dies of a rose in aromatic pain.
Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall.
My way of life is fall'n into the sere;
I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs,
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear,
Who sees through all things with his half-shut eyes.
Oh! for a lodge in some vast wilderness!
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Fine by degrees and beautifully less,
And die ere man can say 'Long live the Queen.'

If in the above any reader should be reminded of the "long resounding march and energy divine" of poets past or present, it can only be because our illustrious and profusely-gifted bard has clustered together more remarkable, and we trust they will long prove memorable, lines, than any one of his predecessors has in the same space given an example of. That poem can be of no inferior order of merit, in which Milton would have been proud to have written one line, Pope would have been equally vain of the authorship of a second, Byron have rejoiced in a third, Campbell gloried in a fourth, Gray in a fifth, Cowper in a sixth, and so on to the end of the Ode; which thus realises the poetical wealth of that well-known line of Sir Fretful's,

"Infinite riches in a little room."

But we must not, by prosaic comment, detain the impatient reader from other specimens of the striking originality of this writer's powers. Among some fragments thrown loose in his desk, we find the following:—

When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
There's such a charm in melancholy,
I would not if I could be gay.

Again:

There's a beauty for ever unchangingly bright,
For coming events cast their shadows before;
Oh! think not my spirits are always as light,
Like ocean-weeds cast on the surf-beaten shore.

We have pronounced these two stanzas to be original; and they are: but with reference to the first of them we admit that a distinguished living[37] critic, to whom it was shown, remarked that it did remind him a little of something in some other author—and he rather thought it was Goldsmith; a second critic, equally eminent, was forcibly reminded by it of something which he was convinced had been written by Rogers. So much for criticism! To such treatment is original genius ever subjected. Its traducers cannot even agree as to the derivation of the stolen property; they cannot name the author robbed. One cries, Spenser; another, Butler; a third, Collins. We repeat, it is the fate of Originality.

"Garth did not write his own Dispensary,"

says Pope jeeringly; Campbell has had his Exile of Erin vehemently claimed by a desperate wrestler for renown; and at this very time a schoolmaster in Scotland is ready to swear that the author of the "Burial of Sir John Moore" never wrote a line of it. But we now pass to another piece by Sir Fretful; and this, whether its sentiments be of a high or a low order, its imagery appropriate or incongruous, is entirely his own:—

Lives there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself has said,
"Shoot folly as it flies?"
Oh! more than tears of blood can tell,
Are in that word farewell, farewell!
'Tis folly to be wise.
And what is friendship but a name,
That boils on Etna's breast of flame?
Thus runs the world away:
Sweet is the ship that's under sail
To where yon taper cheers the vale,
With hospitable ray!
Drink to me only with thine eyes
Through cloudless climes and starry skies!
My native land, good night!
Adieu, adieu, my native shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more—
Whatever is is right!

We have thought it expedient to point out briefly the peculiar beauty of some of our author's lines; but it cannot be necessary to point out the one peculiar and exclusive quality of his writings—his perspicacity—his connectedness. His verse "flows due on to the Propontic, nor knows retiring ebb." You are never at a loss to know what he means. In his sublimest passages he is intelligible. This is his great beauty. No poet perhaps is so essentially logical. We close our specimens with another short poem; it is entitled,

"ON LIFE, ET CETERA."

Know then this truth, enough for man to know:
Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow,
Who would be free themselves must strike the blow.
Retreating lightly with a lovely fear
From grave to gay, from lively to severe,
[38]
To err is human, to forgive divine,
And wretches hang that jurymen may dine
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
The feast of reason and the flow of soul.
 *          *          *          *          *          *
We ne'er shall look upon his like again,
For panting time toils after him in vain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain;
Allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way
With sweet, reluctant, amorous delay!

Leaving this great poet's samples of the mighty line, or, as it is sometimes called, the lofty rhyme, to "speak for themselves," we conclude with a word or two on a subject to which one of his effusions here printed has (thanks to what are called the critics) unexpectedly led—we mean the subject of Literary Loans, or, as they are more familiarly and perhaps felicitously designated, Literary Thefts. A critic of high repute has said, "A man had better steal anything on earth, than the thoughts of another;" agreed, unless when he steals the thought, he steal the words with it. The economising trader in Joe Miller who stole his brooms ready made, carried on a prosperous business. Some authors steal only the raw material; or rather, they run away with another man's muse, but for fear of detection, and to avoid the charge of felony, leave the drapery behind—a practice which cannot be too severely reprehended. It is the same principle on which, according to Sheridan (Sir Fretful's friend!) gipsies disguise stolen children to make them pass for their own. Now Sir Fretful, alluding to Shakspeare in a poem which has never yet been published, says very nobly—

"Hereditary bondsmen, know ye not
He wants that greatest art, the art to blot!"

If we might dare to parody (Scott said it was a sin to parody—"We are seven") any one line sanctified by the genius of a Plagiary, we should say that too many of his descendants want that greatest art, the art to steal. They steal—but not with integrity. There may be, nay there is, such a thing as honest theft—equitable robbery—prigging with justice and honour. We hold that in all cases of literary borrowing, or robbery (for it comes to the same thing), it is ten million times better to rob or borrow without the least disguise, equivocation, or mutilation whatsoever. Take the line as you find it. Don't crack it as you would a nut, picking out the idea, appropriating it to your own purpose, and leaving only the husk behind. You will never get an artificial shell to grow round it; it will never be the nut it was before. Take it whole. Prudery in these cases is often worse than folly—it is shabbiness. It is folly, when, after stealing a fine symmetrical thought, a whole morning is spent in disguising, distorting, and deforming it, until at last all that remains of it merge into the unprofitable moral—"of no use to anybody but the owner." It is shabbiness, when, as is the practice of prose-writers, a splendid passage is purloined, and a bargain is struck with conscience; when, just for decency's sake, six words of the sentence are publicly attributed by inverted commas to the right owner, while all the rest assumes the[39] character of originality. We may give an example in the following passage from Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, which we will suppose to be thus printed:—

But the "age of chivalry" is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the "glory of Europe" is extinguished for ever. The unbought grace of life, the "cheap defence of nations[3]," the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, "is gone!"

This cunning practice of acknowledging a few words borrowed, with a view to divert suspicion from the many you have stolen, is like confessing a lawful debt of sixpence, due to the man which you have just plundered of fifty pounds; and this practice, Sir Fretful Plagiary, to his immortal honour, scorned to adopt. Could his original and abundant genius have stooped to steal, he would have stolen conscientiously; he would have taken the whole passage outright; instead of spoiling everything he laid his hands upon, and making (as Dryden says) "the fine woman end in a fish's tail." War is honourable, manslaying is not; pillage is legalised by custom, which cannot be said of picking pockets. Thus, as it is more honourable to pillage than to pilfer, so is it to seize upon a whole line, or even a couplet, than to extract the essence of it surreptitiously, or sneak off with a valuable epithet; and it is the more honest, because every author has a better chance, after the robbery has served its purpose, of getting back his own.

Had this principle been in operation from the beginning, what confusion it would have prevented! what discords between authors! what perplexities in settling their claims to disputed metaphors, and their rights in contested ideas! From the mere want of this common honesty in purloining, it is impossible, in many instances, to come to an equitable adjustment. It is a wise poet that knows his own conceit—or to prevent mistakes, let us say, his own idea. He sees his private property transferred to the pages of another, and cannot swear to it. There is no saying which is yours and which is his. Tuum rhymes to suum, and always will.


FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER II.

Time progressed, and though Mrs. Heartwell still laboured under unaccountable agitation and alarm, yet there was a counteracting influence that diffused itself through her frame and buoyed her up with hope. Honest Ben more than once or twice entered the room, and with diffidence inquired whether his mistress had any commands; he asked no intrusive questions—he made no observations—the matter was something beyond his comprehension, and it never for one moment entered into his thoughts to speculate upon causes and effects; yet desirous of affording[40] all the comfort and consolation which suggested itself to his mind, he took especial pains in making some excellent coffee, which he carried up to the distressed lady.

"You are kind and considerate, my good friend," said she whilst accepting the proffered refreshment. "I wish Mr. Heartwell was here to partake of it with me. Surely something unusual must have happened to detain him."

"No doubt on it, my lady," returned the seaman; "an ould messmate or shipmate mayhap, or an extra glass of grog or two."

The lady shook her head as she mournfully replied, "No, no, those would not be inducements strong enough to keep your master away from his home."

"Bless you, my lady," responded the seaman earnestly, as he busied himself about the parlour; "as to the strength of the deucements, all I can say is, that they mixes 'em strong enough when they pleases—though half-and-half ought to satisfy any reasonable man. But there, what's the odds so as you're happy?"

"You must prepare yourself, Ben, to go to Lincoln's Inn, and see if your master has been detained by business," said the lady, disregarding, or perhaps not observing the poor fellow's mistake. "You know the office of Mr. Brady."

"Yes, my lady," returned the seaman; "and I'll make sail as soon as ever you pleases to give orders."

"Wait then a little longer," added Mrs. Heartwell, as she looked at the watch: "go down now, and I will ring for you presently."

Accustomed to implicit obedience when afloat, the seaman still adhered to it now that he was ashore; and therefore again descending to the kitchen, he awaited the expected summons.

Drearily and heavily the minutes passed away, and yet as the fingers of the dial moved progressively over the divisions of the hour into quarters—marking the march of time—they seemed to have flown too quickly, for they afforded additional evidence that some calamity must have befallen the individual whose continued absence had caused increasing pain. Yet there the mourning watcher sat, suffering the extreme trial of human patience—waiting for those who came not.

Several times had the silent contemplations of Mrs. Heartwell been disturbed by the loud ticking and sudden stopping of a clock or watch. At first she scarcely heeded the noise, but the frequent repetition drew her attention more strongly to it, and she sought for the cause: it could not be the dial, for the vibrations of that were clear and continuous—it could not be her own watch, the sound was so different; but to satisfy herself, she wrapped it in a handkerchief and placed it in the table-drawer. Again the ticking came; it seemed to fill every corner of the apartment, sometimes heard in one place and sometimes in another; and when Mrs. Heartwell fancied she had found the spot from which it emanated, it suddenly ceased, and then commenced elsewhere. She rang the bell for Ben, who promptly answered, and stood within the open door. "Did Mr. Heartwell take his timepiece with him?" inquired she.

[41]

"Yes, my lady," responded Ben; "I saw the chain and seals hanging down as he went out at the door."

"Is there any strange watch or clock in the house that you know of?" demanded she again.

"No, my lady, not as I knows of," replied Ben, much surprised at the question, and somewhat fearful that grief had unsettled the reason of his mistress.

"Hark then, Ben,—listen, and tell me what is that," exclaimed she energetically, as the ticking was loudly renewed. "There must be a clock somewhere to produce such sounds."

Ben did listen as the eyes of his mistress were intently fixed upon him, but the tar shook his head and was silent.

"It must be some trick," said Mrs. Heartwell; "can you hear it distinctly?"

"It's easy enough to hear," responded the seaman with another slow shake of his head; "and though it's some years since I heard it afore, yet there's no mistaking that, my lady."

"What is it then?" demanded the excited woman in a tone assuming peremptory command; "what is it that produces so loud and peculiar a noise?"

"Bless you, my lady," returned the seaman solemnly, as he folded his arms across his breast. "Them sounds are out of all natur, for the works were never made by mortal fingers—there's no living hand as winds 'em up—no human spring as sets 'em a-going—that my lady is the death-watch:" and then Ben added his usual expletive, though his countenance was ruefully sad, "but what's the odds so as you're happy?"

Mrs. Heartwell was perfectly aware that what had generally been called "the death-watch," was nothing more than a small insect, and the noise it produced was caused by striking its proboscis against hollow wood to release itself from confinement; but her nervous system was greatly relaxed and her mental energies impaired through the violent agitation she had undergone during the night. For several minutes, therefore, a superstitious dread came over her mind—it was the first time she had ever heard the supposed monitor of the shroud and coffin, and Ben's impressive manner as he announced its alleged character threw an additional weight of gloom over her already oppressed spirits. But reason was not long in resuming its sway, though it could not utterly banish feelings which had been excited by such a visitation, especially acted upon as she was by previous apprehensions of some direful but unknown calamity.

The tapers on the table were nearly consumed, and the re-assured lady directed Ben to supply others in their places: she then walked towards the window, and unclosing one of the shutters, the bright gleams from a beautiful daylight mingling with the fading light of the newly-risen moon streamed full upon her.

Hallowed and tranquillising are the effects of a lovely dawn; darkness has fled before a mighty conqueror—the face of nature is again unveiled, and smiling beauty colours every feature with its rosy tints; the sorrows of the heart are for a time absorbed in the universal peace which prevails,[42] and even the dying who cannot expect to see its close, rejoice in the opening glory of another day.

The weary watcher as she looked up to the heavens felt relieved and comforted; a prayer rose spontaneously from her heart to that Being who had sent light from above to cheer her in the dreariness of night; and now with humble adoration she poured forth her gratitude at being spared to witness the early beams that illumed the east, and called man forth to his daily labour.

Ben was again summoned—the servants were called up from their beds—Mrs Heartwell went to the pillow of her sleeping boy, but his repose was so calm, his rest so undisturbed, that she would not awake him; but imprinting one gentle kiss on his fair forehead, she descended to the parlour to commence active operations in search of her husband.

The seaman was despatched to Lincoln's Inn, as the first essay, and after an absence of about an hour, he returned to report that he had waited some time at the door of Mr. Brady's office, till the porter had told him the office would not be open till nine o'clock, and he thought it best to come and let his mistress know.

"It is fast approaching that hour," said the lady. "Be quick and get your breakfast; I will go myself, and you and Frank shall accompany me."

"I wants no breakfast, my lady," returned the seaman. "I'm rigged and ready at once, if so be as you wishes to get under weigh"—

"No,—do as I direct you "—responded the lady, firmly. "Frank is not yet ready—we have had our meal whilst you were away, and you must not be deprived of yours."

The tar made his bow and descended to the kitchen, where the servants were assembled, and each endeavoured to catechise Ben on the events of the night; but he could tell them nothing, for he had nothing to tell, and even Sally failed in drawing forth any communication from the seaman.

When Frank entered the parlour, he ran and kissed his mother, but looked astonished at beholding his father's vacant chair—he gazed earnestly in his mother's face, and though she strove to smile upon her boy, yet fatigue and anxiety had left too visible an impression on her countenance—With the intuitive quickness of childhood Frank became instantly aware that something was wrong, and throwing his arms round his parent's neck, he burst into an agony of grief, whilst she strained him to her heart, and the tears of the mother and the child ran mingling down together.

As soon as emotion had subsided, Mrs. Heartwell briefly informed the lad that she feared something had happened to his father, and that she was about to make inquiries after him. The returning confidence and self-command of the mother produced not only a soothing influence, but also an animated spirit of investigation in the son; the mind of the child was fresh and vigorous from a night's repose—he had cherished no harassing fears, had endured no torturing suspense, and therefore, young as he was, his courage was aroused, and he longed to set out on the search which his mother had proposed.

His desire was soon gratified, and a very short time beheld Mrs. Heartwell[43] and Frank, followed by Ben, proceeding from their residence in Ormond Street towards Lincoln's Inn. The streets were not much crowded, for the worthy citizens were at that time accustomed to reside under the same roofs with their shops and warehouses, and consequently were always on the spot ready for business. Not that they are negligent in the present day, for no class of men are more punctual than our merchants and tradesmen; but the extension of commerce has compelled vast numbers to convert their dwellings into storehouses; and the City is, to a certain degree, deserted in the evening for the rural suburbs with their handsome mansions—delightful villas and cottage retreats. Man has a natural love for the country—the green fields—the pure air—and the fragrance of flowers—these are the works of the Creator, and our grateful admiration should be mingled with the worship which is his due.

The clock had not struck nine when they passed through the spacious area of Lincoln's Inn Fields, the trees in which had already become leafless, and gave an air of desolation to the dingy scenery. What a crowd of reflections do our Inns of Court give rise to—and yet how few who pass through them ever bestow one thought on the thousands who are toiling daily, and many nightly, within those walls to render perfect and secure for others the property which without the aid of the law would be unsafe! A writer in an American work has remarked, "what a happy country that would be where there were no lawyers;" but he must first people it with immaculate beings, to whom the ten commandments would become as a dead letter, and every one of the inhabitants must enjoy equality. To suppose such a thing is an absurdity—human passions and human prejudices will prevail, and it is to govern the one and guide the other—to protect the right—avenge the injured, and to punish crime—that laws were framed; and men indefatigably devoted themselves to study all their bearings that they might be carried into full effect. An honourable, useful, and manly profession is that of the lawyer; and though there are some unworthy members amongst the fraternity—(and what community is without them?)—yet, taken as a body, they bear a character of which England is justly proud.

Exactly at nine they reached the chambers of Mr. Brady, and at the same moment a tall, stout, boney man took a key from his pocket and opened the door.

"Mr. Brady is not yet come, madam," said he, observing that Mrs. Heartwell was about to address him. "His business-time is half-past nine, and you will find him punctual to the moment. Would you like to wait, or will you call again?"

"You are, I presume, in Mr. Brady's service?" said the lady, as she passed within the door.

"His assistant, madam—his clerk—his confidential clerk," responded the man, stiffly bowing and assuming a pompous manner.

But Mrs. Heartwell heeded not his conduct, her mind was too much engrossed by other matters, and she earnestly remarked, "You are then acquainted with all Mr. Brady's employers—"

"His clients, madam, I suppose you mean," interrupted the person[44] addressed, as he bent a keen look on the interesting countenance of the lady. "Oh yes—I necessarily know his clients well—"

"Then," returned she, "you perhaps can inform me whether Mr. Heartwell"—her voice became tremulous with emotion, but by a sharp struggle she mastered her feelings and repeated "whether Mr. Heartwell was here yesterday?"

"Lieutenant Heartwell of the Royal Navy, madam, I presume," said the clerk, obsequiously bowing. "Have I the honour to address his worthy lady?"

"He is my husband, sir," answered the lady, proudly, for there was something in the manners of the man that excited unpleasant sensations—a smirking attempt to please that but ill accorded with his look and appearance. "Was Mr. Heartwell here yesterday?"

"Most assuredly he was, madam," responded the clerk. "I hope nothing unpleasant has occurred."

"Confound the lubber, he seems to know it," mumbled Ben, whose keen gaze had been fixed upon the man. "I wish my lady ud let me ax him a bit of his catechiz."

"At what hour did Mr. Heartwell quit this office?" inquired the agitated woman.

"At what hour, madam?" repeated the clerk, casting his eyes up to a clock that hung, or rather stood, in the corner; "why really I cannot call to recollection the precise hour—I was so busily engaged upon the will of Mr. Checkwell, the rich banker, who was not expected to live many hours—indeed he died this morning, and if that last testament had not been made out as quick as it was, so as to enable him to sign it, all his property would have gone amongst his poor relations—but now he has bequeathed it to a favorite niece"—and the man smiled—"he will be a fortunate fellow who wins her favour—two hundred thousand pounds and—"

"Oh, what's the odds so as you're happy?" exclaimed Ben, peevishly interrupting him. "Jist tell my lady when the leftenant hauled his wind out of this."

"Hauled his wind out of this?" reiterated the clerk, giving the worthy tar a sidelong glance of contempt. "Speak English, my friend."

Ben was about to reply in no very gentle terms, but his mistress raised her hand, and the tar was silent. She then turned to the clerk. "I have put a plain and simple question to you, sir; will you oblige me with an answer?"

"Why really, madam, I beg pardon—but the question has escaped my memory," responded the man, as if desirous of gaining time.

"I asked you at what hour Mr. Heartwell quitted this place," repeated the lady, her heart swelling almost to bursting.

"Oh—ay—I trust you will excuse me. I remember now," answered the clerk, as he retired to his desk; "but the will, madam, the will of Mr. Checkwell occupied my whole attention. Yet let me see: it must have been eight o'clock. No, it was later than that; but Mr. Brady can inform you most correctly, I have no doubt: he will be here in a few minutes. Will you walk in, and the young gentleman with you?" and,[45] rising, he opened the door to an inner room. "There are chairs: as for my friend here, he will perhaps remain in the outer office."

Mrs. Heartwell entered a spacious apartment, the windows admitting an unobstructed light, which was thrown upon a large oblong table, bearing innumerable packages of letters and documents tied up with red tape or green ribbon, according to the rank of the client. The walls of the room were nearly concealed behind law-books and japanned boxes with painted initials on their fronts—though some bore in full the names of highly respectable firms and companies, and one or two displayed the titles of noblemen. On the floor were pieces of carpet resembling ancient tapestry, and there were three chairs of dark oak, the seats cased with leather, the original colour of which it was impossible to detect.

The lady, with her son by her side, retired into a part of the apartment that was somewhat obscured by shade; and here, as she sate awaiting the coming of the individual on whose knowledge seemed to rest her future happiness or misery, her thoughts reverted to the previous evening when her husband was in that very same apartment; and as there were two chairs placed at a part of the table that was cleared from papers, she conjectured that one had been occupied by the lieutenant; and small as the matter might seem in the estimation of others, she would have given much to have known which of the two it was. Then arose other contemplations: one of the chairs was doubtless for the clients—the other, at a more respectful distance, for the suppliants who came to entreat for delay against the execution of the law, or to appeal for the extension of mercy from his creditor. Oh! how many sorrowing spirits grieving over blighted hopes and desolated prospects—how many breaking hearts, crushed beneath the torturing pressure of affliction that verged upon despair—how many upbraiding consciences, filled with remorse at past deeds of shame or extravagance—had been there! Parents, who had reduced their offspring from affluence to poverty, through crime or indiscretion—husbands that had wasted their substance, and brought their wives to want—ruined merchants and tradesmen who had borne a good name in the world, but, surrounded by difficulties which they could not master, were compelled to have their names announced in the Gazette. What a wide field for reflection was there!

At length Mr. Brady arrived; and, after a short consultation with his clerk, the door of his room opened, and Mrs. Heartwell beheld a gentlemanly-looking man of about thirty years of age, whose firm-set frame gave evidence of strong muscular powers. His limbs were large, but yet in just proportion to the rest of his body; and a handsomely formed pair of legs were well displayed in tight black silk stockings. His features were of a repulsive cast: a round, bullet-head, with high cheek-bones and protruding bushy eyebrows that frowned above a pair of large but piercing black eyes, which, like the rattlesnake's, had something of fascination in them.

There is a world of language in the human eye that carries with it its own translation; and when Mrs. Heartwell saw the bright orbs of the lawyer as he looked round the room, a strange thrill came over her bosom—an indefinable sensation that sickened her very heart: she had never,[46] to her recollection, seen Mr. Brady before that moment; yet the piercing keenness of his eyes was vividly pictured on her memory—they were familiar to the mind as having at some former period occasioned much distress, but where or when, or with what connexion, baffled remembrance was utterly at fault.

The lady tremblingly arose as the lawyer approached; but her agitation was considerably diminished when a voice, soft and gentle, and sweetly harmonious, requested her "to be seated," and she again resumed the chair; whilst Frank, overawed by the presence of Mr. Brady, took up a position nearly behind his mother so as scarcely to be seen, though he commanded a perfect view of all that was going on. The lawyer retired to the corner of the table, against which he reclined with his left hand resting on the corner; he raised his right to his chin, and fixing his eyes on the distressed lady, seemed to devote himself to mute attention.

Mrs. Heartwell told her name and related the cause of her visit, which drew forth no remark nor a single token that she was heard, till the narrative was ended, and even then he continued for a minute or two in deep and unmoved silence. At length he uttered in accents of soothing kindness—

"I trust, my dear lady, that you will not distress yourself unnecessarily. Affairs may not be so bad as you anticipate; and yet—" he paused for a moment, and then inquired, "Had Mr. Heartwell no friends in your neighbourhood on whom he could call in his way home?"

"We have but few acquaintances, sir, and but fewer friends," returned the lady mournfully; "besides, I am certain that my husband would not have willingly remained away from home all night."

"Was Mr. Heartwell at all addicted—you will excuse my putting so plain a question, nothing but the urgency of the occasion would compel me—but was Mr. Heartwell at all addicted to drinking,—I mean so as to become inebriated?" inquired the lawyer.

"No, sir, never—never," said the lady firmly; "a better husband, a kinder father, a more sober man never existed—and these very qualities do but increase my fears for his safety."

"I am gratified to hear it," responded the lawyer. "Mr. Heartwell transacted business with me yesterday to a very large extent; we had some wine together, and what with his good fortune and the generous liquor, I must own he was somewhat elevated when we parted."

Mrs. Heartwell paused for a moment or two before she responded. The affection she had always cherished for her husband had produced unbounded confidence in all his actions: she knew that sailors were fond of the social glass, but she had never seen him indulge to excess, nor witnessed anything that could induce her to suppose that he had done so; and the thought that Mr. Brady implied, that he was drunk, went with thrilling anguish to her very soul, for it wounded her pride whilst it increased her fears. "Oh, do not say so, sir," said she; "do not say he was intoxicated; indeed he was ever too guarded to yield to intemperance."

Mrs. Heartwell and Frank's first interview with Mr. Brady.

London, Tilt & Bogue, Fleet Street

"You are labouring under error, my dear lady," said the lawyer mildly; "I did not say that he was intoxicated, but merely elevated—a single glass of wine when joy is overpowering the heart will oftentimes[47] produce the semblance of inebriety. I know you are not aware of the whole fact, for he mentioned his intention to surprise you, and great was his gratification at the thoughts of it—the property of his uncle exceeded his expectations—the whole was converted into gold, and notes, and securities, to the amount of many thousand pounds; he received it in this office from an agent of the bank, and at nine o'clock last night, both himself and the bags were deposited in a hackney-coach—the number of which, I dare say, can be ascertained—though, probably, my clerk, who is very particular in all matters of business, may recollect it—and the coachman was ordered to drive to Ormond Street." The lawyer touched a bell, and the clerk entered. "Pray, Mr. Shipkins, do you remember the number of the coach in which Mr. Heartwell left here last night?"

"Four hundred and seventy-five," replied the clerk; "coachman, red face, carbuncle nose—small eyes—drab box-coat, with seven capes; each cape bound with scarlet,—he held the light whilst we put in the bags."

The superior nodded, and the clerk withdrew. "Thus far then, my dear lady, it will not be difficult to trace your husband's progress; but it is necessary that we should claim the assistance of a magistrate."

Whilst these explanations were going on, Mrs. Heartwell felt almost crushed beneath the weight of perplexity that appeared to accumulate at every step. The mention of many thousand pounds as being in the possession of her husband had conjured up fearful visions; but when, in addition to this, she found that he was sent away in a coach alone, and that too in at least a state of elevation, her mind was wrought up to a pitch of indescribable anguish; she sprang from her chair, and wildly exclaimed, "It is but too plain, sir—it is but too plain! You send him in a coach with large sums of money. When he left me he mentioned his intention to surprise me—he would have returned—delightedly returned; but he has never been home—Oh my God, sustain me—he is dead—he is murdered!" and sinking back into her chair, she buried her face in her handkerchief, and sobbed hysterically, whilst little Frank clung to his mother, and fixing his tearful eyes upon Mr. Brady, who he supposed had caused her distress, he observed a twitching spasm convulse the lawyer's face, and a peculiar cast in one of his eyes, which had so fierce an expression as to terrify the lad, and which from that moment was never forgotten. The whole did but occupy a passing instant—the lawyer's face resumed its usual expression as he uttered,

"No, no, no; do not think that, my dear lady—do not give way to so horrid a thought. But come, no time should be lost." He started from the table and put on his hat. "We will walk to the nearest coach-stand, and proceed to Bow Street."

In accordance with this proposition they left the office; and Ben was despatched back to Ormond Street for the purpose of ascertaining whether anything had transpired during their absence, and with instructions to join his mistress with all expedition at Bow Street. The mother and son, with Mr. Brady, hastened to Lincoln's Inn Fields, where they found the very coach 475, in which the clerk had stated that the lieutenant had quitted the office the night before. The quick eye of Frank was the first to detect this; and he directly pointed it out to his mother, who at[48] the first glance saw that the coachman perfectly answered the description given by Shipkins; and she would have instantly questioned him but for the request of Mr. Brady, who cautioned her to take no notice lest it might excite his suspicion. He called him off the stand to receive a fare.

"To Bow Street Police Office," said the lawyer, as the coachman stood waiting for orders; and the door was closed, the box mounted, and off he drove. But who can describe the sensations of the agitated wife as she entered and took her seat in the very vehicle in which it was alleged that her husband had been conveyed from the office of the lawyer! her whole frame trembled and her heart grew sick. Mr. Brady was not idle—he examined every nook and corner of the interior of the carriage in which the lady assisted him, and every spot on the padded cushions raised a horrible terror in her breast as she fancied that it might be blood; but they discovered nothing that could in the slightest degree elucidate the matter. On reaching their destination, the coachman was directed to wait for the purpose of conveying them back again.

The doors of the office were thronged with a miscellaneous assemblage of characters, principally of the lower classes; but there were also many well-dressed persons in the crowd, for the notorious pickpocket George Waldron, or, as he named himself, George Barrington, had that morning been brought up for examination, charged with stealing a purse of money and a gold watch from the person of a gentleman in Drury Lane Theatre, and numbers of curious individuals of all ranks were desirous of beholding a man who by education and manners was the finished gentleman, but in habit a confirmed thief.

Through this crowd the lawyer and his party pushed their way into the outer office; and what a scene was presented there!—squalid poverty in rags—maudlin sensibility awaking from intoxication, and feverish from the night's debauch—the bucks of fashion, as the dandies of that day were called, still labouring under the influence of liquor, and detained to answer for a midnight spree—the detected pickpocket glorying in the mechanism of his profession, and only ashamed that he should have practised the art so clumsily as to be caught: these and numerous others occupied distinct portions to themselves—attended by the various peace-officers and watchmen, who hoped to profit, and largely too, by their earnest zeal in protecting his Majesty's liege subjects from let, hindrance, and molestation.

The first object of Mr. Brady was to detain the coachman; and on applying to one of the superiors, an officer was promptly set to watch his movements, with orders to take him into custody should he attempt to drive away. But the jarvey did not manifest the slightest intention to depart, for he sat apparently contented on his seat eyeing the different groups, and perhaps moralising on the instability of human affairs—for men of sedentary habits are generally found to be moralists, however humble their pretensions.

The urgency of Mrs. Heartwell's case procured an immediate admission to the office where the magistrates were sitting; but as they were at that moment busily engaged, the party was requested to stand aside till the hearing was disposed of.

[49]

At the bar was a tall man of very genteel appearance, whose habit and demeanour might readily have introduced him to society as a highly respectable clergyman. He appeared to be about thirty years of age; his countenance was sedate and indicative of benevolence; but there was at the same time an arch look in his small sharp eyes that evidenced pleasantry and wit. His hair was frizzed out and powdered according to the fashion of the times, and a queue with a plentiful expenditure of black silk hung down behind. His left hand was raised to his face, and displayed amazingly long fingers ornamented with rings, and he bowed occasionally in the most graceful manner to Mr. Bond, the sitting magistrate, when he had to reply to questions that were put to him. At the entrance of Mrs. Heartwell, he had turned and cast a rapid but sharp glance at the lady; and for the moment his dark sallow complexion assumed a more sickly hue; but finding that she was a stranger, he politely inclined his head, and resumed his position.

This was Barrington, the notorious pickpocket; and near him stood, in remarkable contrast, a smart well-made dapper little man, sprucely dressed, with silver buckles in his shoes, both of which were brightly polished; his head combed smooth and straight, so that not a hair was misplaced or out of order, but with a "natty curl" on each side—much in the same way as in after years the friseur was accustomed to ornament his brown wig;—his eyes were keen and hawk-like; and diminutive as he was, there was a something in his manner which strongly marked him as a man not to be trifled with. This was the afterwards celebrated Townsend.

On the bench with the magistrates, were two or three noblemen and gentlemen in high life, who had been summoned to give evidence; and amongst them was the well-known Major Hanger and General St. John, who deposed to "the previous capture of the pickpocket at the Theatre, his being taken to the lobby and searched, and the purse and watch found upon him."

"Pardon me, General," said the prisoner, respectfully bowing; "your memory has not served you correctly—neither purse nor watch was found upon my person, for this very simple but convincing reason—they had never been there."

"I remember now," resumed the General; "they were not found upon your person, but upon the floor close to where you were taken into custody."

"And I saw you drop them," exclaimed Major Hanger, hastily interrupting the witness.

Barrington bowed his head in the most bland manner, and gracefully waving his hand, uttered with much seeming good-humour, "One at a time, gentlemen, if you please—it is neither fair nor honourable to try and crush a man whom misfortune loves to sport with."

It is not necessary to go through the whole of the examination, which proved that from the Theatre, Barrington had been conveyed to the Brown Bear in Bow Street, where he contrived to escape from the charge of the constable, and since then had been levying contributions in different parts of the country, assuming a variety of characters as best suited his purpose.

He was subsequently detected in a northern town, mingling in the first circles, and dexterously carrying on his depredations; from thence he was conveyed to the metropolis. The charge was considered sufficiently[50] proven to commit; and this "king of thieves" was removed from the bar without evincing outwardly the slightest want of self-command.

As soon as he was gone, and the buzz arising from the conversation of the noblemen and gentlemen had subsided by their taking their departure, the next case was about to be called, when Mr. Brady earnestly solicited the private hearing of the magistrates for a few minutes, on a charge of some magnitude, involving, as it was supposed, the life and property of an officer in his Majesty's navy.

This was not spoken aloud, but only within the hearing of a few of the officers, and the request was promptly granted; Mr. Bond passed into a private room, where Mr. Brady having stated the case, Mrs. Heartwell was called in to give her deposition, which narrated every circumstance relative to the lieutenant's quitting his home the afternoon before, and promising "to be back early, and that he would then communicate something that would delight and astonish them." The lawyer and the magistrate looked earnestly at each other, for the former had mentioned that the circumstance of the officer having to receive considerable property had been concealed from the wife.

"Were you not at all acquainted with the object to which your husband alluded?" inquired Mr. Bond.

"Not to its full extent, sir," replied the lady; "I knew that he had business to transact with Mr. Brady, but was not informed of its purport, though I supposed it was in some measure connected with the decease of an uncle in the East Indies."

"My client," remarked the lawyer, "mentioned that his wife was not cognisant of the transactions between us; and he expressed great delight at the idea of communicating to her the intelligence that he was now able to raise his family to affluence."

"I must beg of you to compose yourself as much as possible, madam," said Mr. Bond with kindness; "the affair is certainly mysterious, but my best assistance shall be given."

The magistrate then went on with the examination, and Ben having in the mean time arrived, made his statement, corroborating that of his mistress—the lawyer also gave his testimony, and ultimately, the coachman was brought forward. His deposition went in substance to state, that "his name was Gervase Simpson, and on the night before, he had been hired off the stand in the 'Fields' shortly before nine o'clock, to take up a fare in Lincoln's Inn—that he went, and a middle-aged man brought out a light, which he held, whilst four or five small, but apparently heavy bags were put into the vehicle; the light was then taken away, and a navy officer came out with another gentleman; the former getting into the coach, and the latter bidding the navy officer 'good night,' told the deponent to drive to Ormond Street, and then he believed went in again. That he accordingly drove to Ormond Street, and felt the check-string pulled; he drew up, dismounted, and opened the door—the navy officer alighted, and having removed the bags, paid him his fare, and went down the street; but deponent took no further notice of his proceedings, remounted his box, and drove to the stand in Charles Street, Covent Garden. He then got another fare to the Borough, and afterwards went home to the stables at Newington."

[51]

"All this, if true, can easily be traced," said the magistrate; "it certainly is extremely mysterious—And the lieutenant did not go to his residence, nor has he been seen since? Was he a man of sober habits and reputable character?"

"Most unexceptionable in both," replied the lawyer; "it is true that he had taken a glass or two of wine, but he was perfectly master of his actions—though I cannot altogether account for his leaving the coach where he did."

"Pray," said the magistrate, addressing the coachman, "had you sufficient light or opportunity to observe the person of the officer?"

"Vy not exactly, your vurship," answered Jehu; "it vas wery dark in Linkun's Inn, and them lamps arn't much good, only to blind people; but I saw the glittering of his buttons and his hanger, and could jist make out he vas a tall man; but he vhipped in in sich a hurry, that I hadn't much time to notice; nor did I think of anything of this here kind happening, for as long as I'm civil and gets my full fare, your vurship, I seldom troubles myself about other consarns."

"But in Ormond Street," urged the magistrate, "there you possibly had better light and more time—what took place there?"

"Vell, your vurship, I've tould you all as I knows," responded the witness. "The lamps in Ormond Street arn't never no better nor the rest in regard of lighting—they're pretty much like an ould watchman's eye. I seed as he was an officer of the navy, but arter he tipped the fare, and there was somut handsome over and above the reglar, I was too busy reckoning my money to take much notice—he went off with the bags, some on 'em he had got tied up in a handkercher; but what he had in em' I never guv a moment's thought to."

"Was the officer sober?" inquired the magistrate.

"Vell, your vurship, it arn't ezactly clear vot sobriety is," answered the coachman; "he might or he might not, for I took no perticklar notice, only he seemed to valk avay steady enough. He guv me five shillings; I said 'Thanky, yer honor,' and he says 'Good night,' and that vos all."

"Should you know the gentleman again?" asked the lawyer, bending his keen gaze upon the man.

"Vy, yes, I think I should, if I vos to see him as I did last night," responded the coachman; "but daylight alters people's looks, and I shouldn't like to svear."

After other questions of no very material consequence, the magistrate decided that "the affair should be put into the hands of an experienced officer, who should thoroughly investigate the whole, and he would be ready to attend to any information as soon as it was obtained; but if no further light was thrown upon the transaction, and the lieutenant still remained absent, then he must request Mr. Brady to be in attendance at eleven o'clock the following morning, accompanied by his clerk, the bank agent, and all the evidence he could procure." In the mean time he recommended that intelligence should be given at the other offices, and diligent inquiry made at the hospitals; though in the first instance it would be best to commence the investigation in the neighbourhood of Ormond Street. Mr. Brady promised strict attention, and the parties withdrew.


[52]

LOVE HAS LEGS.

Strolling about from bower to hall,
Love paid Lavinia a morning call.
An hour soon went—she chatted and sang—
He staid—till at last the dinner-bell rang.
He staid, still charm'd; and rather alarm'd,
Lavinia felt she must ask him to stay.
"To tell you the truth," cried the radiant youth,
"I'm here for life, I shall ne'er go away."
Love's fire shot through her in one wild flush,
Till her heart itself might be seen to blush;
Love saw, and finding it faithful and kind,
Exclaim'd, "O Beauty, how long I've been blind!"
More grateful grew he, more fervent she,
More watchful, sensitive, warm, and fond;
So much like light was he to her sight,
She could not trust him a step beyond.
Still more she cherish'd him year by year,
Till at last each joy came tinged with fear;
She fear'd, if he stroll'd where wild flowers meet,
Lest thorns might pierce his delicate feet;
Or a reptile's sting beneath his wing
She fear'd, if he lay in the greenwood asleep;
Or walk'd he awake by the moonlit lake—
In dread of an ague, how would she weep!
[53]
She chatted and sang to Love no more,
Lest music and chat should prove "a bore;"
But she hung on his steps wherever he went,
And shut from the chamber the rose's scent.
She slept not a wink, for fear he should think
She dream'd not of Love—so her eyes grew dim;
She took no care of her beautiful hair,
For she could not spare one moment from him.
Love's bright fireside grew dark with doubt,
Yet home was a desert if Love went out;
In vain were his vows, caresses, and sighs;
"O Love," cried the lady, "I've given you eyes!
And ah! should some face of a livelier grace
Than mine ever meet them! Ah! should you stray!"
Love, wearied at last, was in slumber lock'd fast;—
"Those wings!" said the watcher, "he might fly away."
One awful moment! Oh! could she sever
Those wings from Love, he is hers for ever!
With trembling hand she gathers the wings—
She clips—they are off! and up Love springs.
"Adieu!" he cried, as he leapt from her side,
"Of folly's cup you have drunk the dregs;
My home was here; it is now with the deer;
Thank Venus, though wingless, Love has legs!"  L. B.

BERNARD CAVANAGH,

THE IRISH CAMELEON.


Bernard Cavanagh is the name of a person who is now raising considerable sums of money in Dublin by professing to work miracles—the greatest of them all consisting in his ability to live without any food whatever—which he is now said to have done for several months. Crowds flock to him to be cured of their lameness, deafness, &c.—Irish Papers.


Marvellous Erin! when St. Patrick's feat
Thy hills, vales, plains, and bogs from reptiles freed,
He little dream'd what monsters would succeed;
Sinners who drink not, saints who never eat!
And is there one, in whom the piece of meat
Which Paris raves about, no care can breed!
One who can never know a time of need,
Though corn be trampled by the tempest's feet!
Poor fellow! what enjoyment he foregoes!
Nothing but air, a scrap of summer cloud,
Fog with the chill off, is to him allow'd;
A fine thick mist, or rainbow when it shows;
But ah! for him no kitchen's steam up-flows;
No knives, forks, spoons, or plates, a pilèd crowd,
No dishes, glasses, salts, make music loud!
Sad sinecurists all—mouth, ears, and nose!

[54]

THE ASS ON THE LADDER.


"For lowliness is young Ambition's ladder."—Julius Cæsar.


At the end of the second volume of a Hebrew MS of the Bible, written on beautiful vellum, is the following passage, in fine large Hebrew characters:—"I, Meyer, the son of Rabbi Jacob, the scribe, have finished this book for Rabbi Abraham, the son of Rabbi Nathan, the 5052nd year (A.D. 1292); and he has bequeathed it to his children and his children's children for ever. Amen. Amen. Amen. Selah. Be strong and strengthened. May this book not be damaged, neither this day nor for ever, until the ASS ascends the LADDER." After which the accompanying rude figure is drawn.—Pettigrew's Bibliotheca Sussexiana, part I. vol. i.

It would appear from the curious sentence copied above, that no longer ago than five centuries and a half, the feat which is pictured to the spectator in a fac-simile of the original drawing was regarded as an event of extremely improbable occurrence. The inference indeed may be, that it was deemed an impossibility. The prayer of the inscription is, "May this book be undamaged for ever."— May it be preserved "until the ass ascends the ladder!"

"Till Birnam wood shall come to Dunsinane," is the unlikely occurrence which the weird sisters specify as the omen of Macbeth's fall; and "That will never be!" is the cry of the confident thane. In modern days we wish a man "good luck till he's tired of it;" or "prosperity till the sky falls." The despairing and lovelorn damsel in the ditty sings—

"When fishes fly, and swallows dive,
Young men they will prove true."

[55]

And one of the same ballad-family sets out with the affecting declaration, that—

"When gooseberries grow on the stem of a daisy,"

the singer's passion will be no more. These, and a thousand examples of the "Not till then," are but versions of the Hebrew assumption of impossibility, expressed in the grotesque fancy of "the ass on the ladder." But it is clear that Meyer the son of Rabbi Jacob was not in Moorfields last year; it is certain that Abraham, the son of Rabbi Nathan, little dreamed of what would be doing at Pimlico in the nineteenth century; for whether at Mayfair or at Bethnal Green, at Wapping or at Islington, one or both must have seen the impossibility realised, in the elevation of the donkey, before the upturned wondering eyes of a crowd of lingering mortals in the public thoroughfares.

Lest there should be some who never saw the modern street-mountebank, going forth like Leporello with his ladder, and like Sancho with his donkey, we must describe his performance. His greatest feat consisted in balancing upon his chin a ladder with an ass on it. All other tricks performed, and all eyes and mouths opened, curiosity on tiptoe and incredulity on the stretch, forth came the wooden machine, and with legs twisted through the staves, up went the animal. "Who," exclaims the minstrel, "Ah who can tell how hard it is to climb!" But what poet ever found a steep so difficult as that gradus ad Parnassum to the seemingly dislocated donkey? To the topmast round, you would see him clinging like Shakspeare's giddy sea-boy on the mast; and surveying the mountebank who had taught him to be such an astonishing ass, with a look that seemed to say, "You're another!" Then would his master send round the hat upon its last and greatest voyage of discovery; then would the halfpence therein be rattled harmlessly in the vacant faces of boys with vacant pockets, and then would the irresistible appeal be heard, "Come, good gen'lemen, be liberal, be liberal—tuppence more, and up goes the donkey." Then bending up each corporal agent for the terrible feat, up indeed would go the ladder, donkey and all; high up in air, until its lowest stave rested fairly and firmly on the protruded chin of the mountebank, where it stood poised, fixed, moveless—the astonishing type, or rather the exact model, of the balance of power in Europe.

The amazement now should be transferred from the balanced to the balancer; for what is the difficulty of such a gradus ad Parnassum to the ass, compared with the sore trial of the man below, who has made the bridge of his nose a pons asinorum! But in rivalship with the donkey, the human being shrinks into insignificance; the grotesque patience of the brute beats the strength and dexterity of the man hollow; the gazers are all wrapped in ecstasy to see how the ass hangs on, not how the cunning mountebank balances him. The sympathies of the crowd, men and boys, are triumphantly borne off by the four-legged performer, and every one of them goes away more convinced of the uncommon cleverness of the ass, and consequently on better terms with himself.

But the obstinacy of the long-eared animal is proverbial; and in nothing is it more strikingly exhibited than in the fact that he will eat if he can. So was it before the days of Æsop's ass, that cropped a thistle and was[56] torn in pieces for confessing it; and so has it been before and since the hour when Sterne's ass consumed the macaroon which curiosity and not charity presented to him. It is possibly this expensive habit that has led the mountebank, of late, to cast off the donkey, and to substitute a boy for him, in the feat of the ladder. The performance to this hour is the same, with that exception—a two-legged juvenile for a four. Perhaps the mountebank was jealous of the ass! Can we assume that, in the nature of a mountebank balancing on his chin a ladder surmounted by a long-eared brute, there is no room for vanity? Can we imagine a donkey-balancer incapable of feeling annoyed, when he sees his subordinate—the agent through whom his own abilities are to be demonstrated—creating peals of laughter by doing nothing, trotting off with the spoils he did not win, and cropping every thistle of fame that belongs to another? There is no mind too shallow for vanity to take root in, no talent too small for it to twine itself round, no competitor too contemptible to pique and wound it. "Why, Edmund Kean couldn't get a hand of applause, with such a noisy brute as that in the piece!" said an actor in the drama of the Dog of Montargis, when the quadruped was howling over the murdered body of his master, and breaking the hearts of the audience.

At all events the Boy has taken the Ass's place on the ladder. The change may have arisen out of that tenderness for the brute creation which is too amiable a feeling—when in excess—to pass unadmired. There is a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and to risk a donkey's life on a ladder, for the sport of a heedless crowd, might be dangerous to the mountebank. In this age, society at large knows what is due to donkeys; we can all enter into their feelings. But as there is no law, and no moral principle, against the elevation of a human urchin, even to the top stave of the ladder, there is no reason why the sport should not continue. Philosophers will explain to you, that a boy is a free agent, and has a right to be balanced on a human chin, if he likes; but a donkey has no will of his own at all—except—except when you've hired him for an hour, at Ramsgate, and are endeavouring to persuade yourself that you're trotting him out of the town.

The last boy we saw balanced was worthy of the chin that sustained him. The mountebank to be sure was a miracle, and could have balanced anything. If the books of the Bank of England were to get into disorder, every sum confused, and every figure out of its place—he could balance them. But the boy was at least two miracles rolled into one—a more than Siamese prodigy—a boy, and yet an ass too. He looked more like one than the reality, his predecessor. He evidently felt the[57] past importance of his elevation, high above his compeers. He seemed quite conscious that every inhabitant, not of that simply, but of the next parish, was gazing at him in profound amazement. He turned no glance, whether of contempt or benignant pity, on the open eyes and mouths around, but looked unutterable things at the knocker of a door opposite.

"So stands the statue that enchants the world!"

This, however, was only at the commencement of the performance, while the spectators were being coaxed to contribute, and while several among them, not knowing exactly what they were doing, were giving a half-penny. But when the ladder was deliberately hoisted up, and fixed on the chin, then came the utter hopelessness of presenting a true resemblance of the ass's face—the boy's we mean;—of the conscious pride in its own blankness, of its self-complacency, tinged with a slight touch of fear, amounting only to a pleasurable excitement! He was a boy picked out of the crowd around,—yet he was matchless. You saw at once that he was not employed by the mountebank—that he was not paid for being balanced. There was something in his look that distinguished him at a glance from the hired professor. It might be supposed that, the boy not being hired, there would be a little difficulty in procuring a substitute for the ass: not so; only blow a trumpet or beat a drum in the street, and you are surrounded in less than no time with able and willing volunteers. This boy entered into the soul of the ass's part; he did not hug, and hang on the ladder mechanically, or like one who had done the same thing a dozen times before, that very day. There was the freshness of the young aspiration, the delicious novelty of the first grand step in life—in the attempt. It was young Ambition (as Brutus says) just mounting his ladder. He was animated by the glorious intoxication of getting up in the world. He looked direct forward; not at, but through, the brick wall opposite, into futurity. If one of his schoolfellows had called out, "Master's a coming;" or, "Here's your father with the cartwhip;" or, "Bill, I'm blessed if here arn't the woman what we stole the apples on;"—no, even these notes of alarm would have failed to disturb his equanimity—or his equilibrium. "Have a slice o' cold pudden, Bill?" might have communicated perhaps to some part of his frame a momentary touch of human weakness—we can't say positively—boys are but men;—but nothing short of such an appeal to the weak side of his nature could have disturbed his rapt and lofty musings.

Since the days of the Hebrew with which we set out, when the Ass on the Ladder was but a fiction, history has recorded the doings—we had almost said the sayings—of scores of wonderful quadrupeds. We have had gifted horses, who should have been elected F.R.S.'s; learned pigs, who should have been chosen LL.D.'s; humane dogs, who merit statues like Howard's; and industrious fleas, who do the work of hot water in putting lobsters to the blush. But such an ass as the Lad on the Ladder eye never beheld but that once. His face spread before our curious and inquiring gaze, like a map of the world, and we traced in recollection an infinite variety of character. What it more immediately suggested was the expression in the face of a successful candidate at the moment of[58] "chairing," elevated in some fantastic car, surrounded with banners bearing patriotic mottoes and devices, and accompanied by roaring raggamuffins. It also conjured up a vision of a youthful aspirant, fresh from the office or the shop, strutting in Richard, or fretting in Hamlet, before eight long sixes, and a full bench of aunts, in a private theatre.

The ass on the ladder brings to memory a thousand other spectacles. When we behold an orator (to listen is impossible) flourishing his arms on the hustings, and ever and anon placing his hand upon his crimson waistcoat, or declaiming for an hour together before a private company to the exclusion of conversation, in full force of lungs, but in virtue of no mental superiority, we are forcibly reminded of the ass on the ladder.

When we see a sprig of fashion, who only obtained his nobility yesterday, and whose worth, if put up to auction, would be dear at the price of a mushroom, insolently claiming precedence of the untitled bearer of an ancient and honourable name; or when we observe the high-born, starched up to the eyes, sneering at humble birth, however associated with merit, and cutting modest respectability for a parvenu; in these cases we cannot help thinking of the ass on the ladder.

When we see a vulgar jack, in virtue of his office raised to the rank of gentleman, treating a poor suitor, who asks for his own, as if he were a beggar asking alms; or a sleek-headed, rosy-gilled idiot, who lives only in his own breeches-pocket, pretending to patronise talent because he doles out, for its exercise, what scarcely keeps its possessor from starving, we are very apt to call to recollection the ass on the ladder.

When a connoisseur, influential by position, sits down to decide, in just ten minutes, upon the merits of a work of art or science, which has cost the producer years of anxious study and ceaseless labour; or when a military despot lives but to harass, irritate, and torture the sensitive and honourable minds of those ill-fated officers, who, superior perhaps in everything else, happen to be below him in rank and fortune,—we immediately recur for a parallel to the ass on the ladder.

When we see a millionnaire, who has crawled along the road to riches until he can't stand upright, grasping with usurious hands at the little still retained by those who helped him to rise; or when a sudden puff of fortune has blown an adventurer into power and affluence, and we see him so giddy that he doesn't know his own poor relations, and actually can't recognise in broad daylight the struggling friend who lent him five pounds three months before,—then, and under all similar circumstances, we are sure to think of the ass on the ladder.

When we behold a gentleman turning jockey or stage-coachman, quitting the legislature for the stable or the cockpit, winking at the worst vices until he becomes himself tainted, and devoting his time and money to the destruction of his own health and the demoralisation of his hangers-on; or when we see a barrister, bullying with conscious impunity a trembling, blushing, inexperienced witness (perhaps a woman) until common sense becomes confused, truth begins to contradict herself, and honesty steps out of the witness-box, looking very much like a rogue,—why, who can fail to associate with spectacles like these, the ass on the ladder?

[59]

But it is not merely in the army and on the stage, at the bar and in literature, in the walks of commerce and in the world of fashion, that we daily detect some living prototype of the long-eared animal in the ascendant. If public meetings exhibit them, public schools do so no less abundantly. There is a great deal of ladder-climbing going on at the universities; and not a proctor in the precincts of learning but could tell many tales of asinine ambition. Who more irresistibly calls to mind the ass on the ladder than the noble knocker-wrencher, or the gentlemanly bell-destroyer, when brought up—many staves up the ladder now—before a magistrate, and indulgently allowed to take his choice—a fine of forty shillings, or a month at the treadwheel? When the noble and gentlemanly sport extends to the pummelling of police-officers, only stopping within an ace of manslaughter, then the animal may be said to have reached the topmost stave—an elevation where every kick with which he indulges himself in his playful humour adds incalculably to his own imminent danger. The higher the ascent, the greater the ass. We have seen many instances, more melancholy than ludicrous, of asses falling from the very top.

For ourselves, we must candidly confess to a painful consciousness of having been—occasionally, and for not many days together—yet of having been, ere now, beyond all mistake, upon the ladder adverted to. Nay, emboldened by the virtuous frankness of this self-criminating admission, we even venture to put it to our (male) readers, whether they cannot recollect having had their own feet, at some time of their lives, on the first round of the ladder; whether they do not feel sensible of having placed just one foot on that lowest step of the ascent—one only—for we would not dare to insinuate that they ever got farther, lest they should turn upon us with the mortifying, and perhaps not altogether mistaken discovery, that we ourselves, even in this moment of moralising, have reached the top of it!


OMNIBUS CHAT.


The "Omnibus" had hardly started off, on the first of the month, from the door of Messrs. Tilt and Bogue, and taken a westerly direction up Fleet Street, commencing without the loss of an hour its monthly tour in search of the picturesque, when it was stopped for the purpose of taking in a passenger. This was at the corner of Bolt Court, out of which classical and celebrated avenue tumbled rather than walked a gentleman stout and elderly, with a bluff good-humoured countenance, all the pleasanter for an air of sternness which was evidently affectation. Having got in, he seated himself immediately opposite to us, that is to say, at the left-hand corner of the vehicle next the door, and at once began, as though he had been the ghost of Dr. Johnson, and possessed the unquestionable right in that neighbourhood to take the lead in conversation.

"Sir," he said, "you have made a fair start, but a start is not a journey. Now there's a fact for you—and it's a fact which the producers of Number-ones are deplorably prone to forget. With me, Sir, first numbers go for nothing. Some people will tell you that your No. 1. is a proof as far as it goes of what you mean to do in this new vehicle of yours. Sir, some people are very fond of a 'proof as far as it goes.' But how far does it go? If you see a man in a black coat to-day, and you meet the same man in a blue coat to-morrow, it's 'a proof as far as it[60] goes,' that he is the possessor of three hundred and sixty-five coats, or one for every day in the year. But still, sir, you have made a fair start. Let me warn you against stoppages; never stop but when you have to take up or set down. Don't overload your vehicle. No racing, but go quietly. All of which means, don't cut knotted oaks with razors, and when you have a 'wee crimson-tipped flower' to paint, don't make a great red flare of it. Above all, sir, never follow advice, however excellent, when it is offered to you in a long speech; for the man who would presume to take up two minutes and a half of your valuable time at one sitting, deserves to be put into a Mile-end omnibus by mistake, when he's bound for Turnham Green direct."

We had scarcely time to thank our gruff but good-humoured adviser—whom we at once set down for a chip of that respectable old block, the Public in General, and identified as a specimen of Middle-aged People in Town and Country—we had barely time to assure him that his last important suggestion at all events should be especially remembered, when a voice burst forth from the further end of the vehicle, where in the dim light the speaker was only just visible. He was a very young man, evidently of the last new school, and in a tone of jocular familiarity he called out, "I wish that gentleman from Bolt Court would explain the phenomenon of a new work being started with a preface so totally unlike the prefaces of all new works published during the last half-century, which invariably begin with 'Dr. Johnson has observed.'"

The elderly passenger appealed to, frowned; but in less than a minute the frown gave way to a smile, and without further noticing the challenge, he said, "Dr. Johnson is not responsible for a ten-thousandth part of what during the last half-century has been observed in his name. His mimics are calumniators, and they have distorted his sentiments as remorselessly as they have disfigured his style. Since subjects of caricature are not prescribed in the present company, I may safely put it to the vote whether any exaggeration is more gross than that which commonly passes in the world for exact imitation. There are people who can trace resemblances in the most opposite and unlikely forms. Old ladies, stirring the fire, and tumbling the bright cinders into new combinations, will often hit upon a favourite coal and cry, 'Well, I declare if that isn't like Mrs. Jenkinson.' And no doubt the resemblance is quite as perfect as that between the ridiculed manner of Johnson, and the rumblings of his sneering mimics. He, with a full measure of language but not an overflow, with nice inflexions, a studied balance, yet with a simple elegance not destroyed by his formality, opens a story—stay, I can give you a graceful passage of the Doctor's, and in the same breath you shall hear how it would come spluttering forth from the clumsy pen of his imitators.

"'DR. JOHNSON HIMSELF.

"'Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promise of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow; attend to the History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia.'

"'DR. JOHNSON IMITATED.

"'Ye who listen with ignorant credulity to the whispering blandishments of fancy, and pursue with inconsiderate eagerness the enchanting and seductive phantoms of hope; who idly expect that grudging age will perform the rash but generous promise of thoughtless youth, and that the glaring deficiencies of the present day will be providentially supplied by the inexhaustible profusion of the morrow; attend to the moral history of Rasselas, Crown Prince of Abyssinia.'"

"There is much truth in what you observe," said a quiet modest-looking passenger on our left to the talkative Johnsonite, who deprecated long speeches; "much truth; and perhaps as you dislike exaggeration in whatever professes to imitate, you might be entertained with one of my 'Photographic Pictures,' warranted accurate. I am, sir, yours respectfully, H. G. A. Now as there happens to be one of these pictures distinctly present to my eye at this moment, though the scene is far from Fleet Street, I think I can copy it to the life, and if you please we'll call it—

[61]


"A Scene near Hogsnorton.

"A ditch frequented much by water-rats,
With velvet-headed rushes borderèd;
Two little boys who fish for tittlebats
With sticks, and crooked pins, and bits of thread;
Three willow trees that stand with drooping boughs
Upon the banks, and look disconsolate;
A bull that flings his tail up as he lows—
He's coming at those boys, as sure as fate!
A church spire peeping from amid the trees,
With vane in semblance of a fiery cock;
And Farmer Stubbles lolling at his ease,
Across a gate to view his fleecy flock;
A barn that seems just ready to fall down,
And would, but for the shores that stay its falling;
And, where yon row of elms the green slopes crown,
Is Thomas Noakes, with hand to mouth, outcalling
To Simon Simpson in the fields below,
And telling him to mind that precious bull—
He's fresh from town, poor lad, and does not know
What danger lurks amid the beautiful;
Here a tall oak its branches flingeth out,
As if it said—"I am of trees the king!"
And there an aged hawthorn spreads about
Its crooked arms—a queer misshapen thing;
Far off you see a mill—more trees—some houses—
Look at this frisking colt, why what a kicker!—
Feathers and parasols! here come the spouses
Of Dr. Dobbs, and Mr. Trench, the vicar,
The Smiths, the Joneses, and Jemimah Prescot—
I'm off, before they nail me for their escort!"

The reciter, who wore an air that bespoke him of the country, was here addressed by a metropolitan gentleman seated in his vicinity, who announced himself as a brother initialist, A. G. K. "Well, sir, Simon Simpson, 'fresh from town,' was not more awkwardly situated than I once was, in this very lane here, when fresh from the country. You see the vehicle has just turned out of Fleet Street, and is making for Holborn; so if you like to listen, I'll give you my impressions on first finding myself in

"Chancery Lane.

"I meditated the desperate design of hastening to Holborn by the first street which led thither; a desperate design, indeed, as I knew not the street through which I should have to pass. As ill-luck would have it, "Chancery Lane" was the first that offered, and well does it deserve the name; dark, narrow, crooked, long, and tedious is this Elysium of the Law! On every side I beheld long and careworn faces, and, as is generally the case with legal suits, I might easily have got through it alone, had I not been prevented by the many passengers, like the numerous little cases put into causes to protract and swell the client's difficulties. Perhaps it may be thought that I could have stepped into the middle of the street, and so have managed to walk on; not so—the vehicles were as numerous nearly as the passengers, and there was no resource but to wait. On this, I began to look around me, to see if I could discover anything that could take away the tedium of stoppage. I gazed on the persons nearest to me; from the youngest to the oldest—from the poorest to the richest, there was the same invariable careworn look.

"First there came the young office-boy, groaning under a large bag of parchment and what not; then the unfortunate articled clerk, desponding at the idea of five years in so gloomy a place, wherein his youth's best years were to be spent. The needy clerks, who received a stipend, came next; their little all had, with the characteristic theatrical mania of lawyers' clerks, vanished the night previous at the Adelphi, or adjacent tavern. But not alone did these wear a look of gloom: the fishermen, the snarers, even the attorneys themselves, looked vexed; the stoppage of the way teased them sadly. It was five minutes past the time when[62] that little bony wretch, the office boy, should have been screwed down to his comfortless stool, far from the apparition of a fire, from the phantom of heat! Last of all came the client: it will easily be surmised why he looked gloomy.

"The sun never shines there—the houses take care of that; in fact, the very 'fretwork' of the heavens seemed of a parchment yellow; the air breathed of briefs! No merry laugh is heard in Chancery Lane; no girl trips gaily along! No! the moaning of the dupe is heard there; the decrepit, grief-worn widow totters there, to find that her hope of subsistence is faded in useless expense. I have spoken of the numerous conveyances in the street. The horses were half-starved, the people within seemed bailiffs; and the omnibus proprietors (unlike our 'Omnibus') looked anxiously for in-comers.

"Chancery Lane is, indeed, a fit place for the law: the houses overhang the street—the smoky windows, ay even the few shops seem impregnated with it. I turned to a book-stall to relieve my aching gaze, when a massive row of calf-bound volumes frowned upon me; I looked in a fruiterer's stall,—dry musty raisins, bitter almonds, olives and sour apples met my view. I then cast my eyes at a perfumery-shop; the wax dummies were arrayed in judge's wigs and black legal drapery. In despair I turned to a tailor's: a figure arrayed in black, on a wooden mould, appeared; but it was swathed in a barrister's gown. There was another figure with finely-cut clothes certainly; but allegorically, I suppose, it had no head. Such is Chancery Lane. My associations with it are none of the pleasantest. What are yours?"

This question, addressed to everybody, was answered by nobody. We had now advanced to the upper end of Chancery Lane; and, passing those buildings on the left, in which Equity presides over the affairs of suitors, a passenger, who introduced himself under the designation of Sam Sly, and in whose eye there was a pleasant twinkle not ill associated with the appellation, observed in an inward tone, as if he were speaking to himself, "A poor devil who has once got into that court, must soon feel himself in the position of the letter r." As Mr. Sly's remark was not intended to be heard at all—so at least it seemed—it of course attracted general notice; and as there was a disposition manifested to know "why," Mr. Sly politely explained, "Because, though far advanced in Chancery, he can never get quite to the end of it. By the way," he proceeded, "all law is but an enigma; and talking of enigmas, I happen to have one—yes, here it is. Rather an old-fashioned sort of thing, an enigma, eh? True, but so are epics, you know. Am I to read? oh! very well, since you're all so pressing;"—and then to the following tune Mr. Sly trolled out his


ENIGMA.

"A delinquent there is, and we ever shall scout him,
For roguery never would flourish without him.
We're lovers of peace; but regardless of quiet,
This knave is the first in a row or a riot;
A strange, paradoxical elf, we declare,
That shies at a couple but clings to a pair.
Though at first in the right, still he's found in the wrong;
And though harmony wakes him, yet dies in the song.
Three fifths of the error that poisons our youth,
Yet boasts of a formal acquaintance with truth.
Though not fond of boasting, yet given to brag;
And though proud of a dress, still content with a rag.
He sticks to our ribs, and he hangs by our hair,
And brings with him trouble, and torment and care;
Stands thick in our sorrows and floats in our tears,
Never leads us to Hope, but returns with our Fears;
To the worst of our passions is ever allied,
Grief, Anger, and Hatred, Rage, Terror, and Pride.
Yet still, notwithstanding, the rogue we might spare
If he kept back his old ugly phiz from the Fair."

We had by this time stopped at the end of Drury Lane to take up a passenger, who now appeared, emerging from that very dirty avenue, with an exceedingly[63] small roll of MS. under his arm. The new-comer's eye was evidently in a fine frenzy rolling, and it was at once suspected from one end of the vehicle to the other, that he had just been writing a German Opera for Drury-lane Theatre. "Gentlemen," said he, the instant he had taken his seat, "you're all mistaken. Through that miserable cranny I have been picking a path to the theatre for the sole purpose of taking off my hat to the statue of Shakspeare, over the portico, in celebration of the event which renders its presence there no longer a libel and a mockery. You guess what I allude to. Mr. Macready has become the lessee of Drury; and the noble task which he assigned to himself in the management of Covent Garden, he purposes here to complete. The whole public will rejoice in the renewal of his experiment, which should be hailed in golden verse. I wish I could write sonnets like Milton or Wordsworth. Here are two, such as they are, addressed to the regenerator of the stage."


TO WILLIAM CHARLES MACREADY,

On his becoming the lessee of Old Drury.

I.
Macready, master of the Art supreme.
That shows to dazzled and else guideless eyes
(As doth Astronomy the starry skies)
The airy wonders of our Shakspeare's dream;
Com'st thou again to shed a wakening gleam
Of morals, taste, and learning, where the gloom
Most darkens, as around the Drama's tomb!
Oh, come, and show us yet the true Extreme;
Transcendent art, for coarse and low desire;
The generous purpose, for the sordid aim;
For noise and smoke, the music and the fire
Of time-crown'd poets; for librettos tame,
The emulous flashings of the modern lyre—
Come, and put scowling Calumny to shame!
II.
What though with thee come Lear, himself a storm
Of wilder'd passion, and the musing Dane,
The gallant Harry and his warrior-train,
Brutus, Macbeth, and truth in many a form
Towering! not therefore only that we warm
With hope and praise; but that thy glorious part
Is now to raise the Actor's trampled Art,
And drive from out its temple a loose swarm
Of things vice-nurtured—from the Porch and Shrine!
And know, Macready, midst the desert there,
That soon shall bloom a garden, swells a mine
Of wealth no less than honour—both most bare
To meaner enterprise. Let that be thine—
Who knowest how to risk, and how to share!
L. B.

Hereupon, a bard started up in the very remotest corner, and interposed in favour of the epigram, seeing that such oddities as sonnets and enigmas were allowed to pass current. Immediately, and by unanimous invitation, he produced some lines written in the album of a fair damsel, whose sire has but one leg, and complains of torture in the toes that he has not.

"The heart that has been spurn'd by you
Can never dream of love again,
Save as old soldiers do of pain
In limbs they left at Waterloo."

We expressed our acknowledgments, and then heaved a sigh to the memory of an old friend, who, having suffered from the gout before his limb was amputated,[64] felt all the pain, just as usual, at the extremity of his wooden leg, which was regularly flannelled up and rubbed as its living predecessor used to be. But here our reflections were broken off by a stoppage, as if instinctively, at a chemist's shop, the door of which, standing open, afforded a fair view of the scene which follows. On the subject of homœopathy we profess to hold no opinion; but, considering that it prescribes next to nothing to its patients, it must be an excellent system for a man who has next to nothing the matter with him. It is comical, at all events, to think of a doctor of that school literally carrying his "shop" in his pocket, and compressing the whole science of medicine into the smallest Lilliputian nut-shell. Imagine a little customer going with


A LARGE ORDER

TO A HOMŒOPATHIC APOTHECARY.

Little Girl. "Please, sir, I want the hundred-thousandth part of a grain of magnesia."

Young Chemist (Whose hair would certainly stand on end, were it not so tightly pommaded down, at the simplicity of the little innocent in asking for as much medicine as would kill or cure a whole regiment of soldiers). "Very sorry, miss, but we don't sell anything in such large quantities; you had better apply at Apothecaries' Hall." And he follows her to the shop-door to see whether she had brought with her a hackney-coach or a van to carry away the commodity she had inquired for!


Driver. I say, Tom, here's that there elderly lady a coming, as wanted to go with us at our first start.

Cad. Ay, well, it's no use, Bill—she's too late agen—ve're full—ALL RIGHT—GO ON!


An Election Squib.

[See larger version]

[65]

"MY VOTE AND INTEREST."

A COMMUNICATION FROM MR. SIMPLETON SCHEMER, OF DOLTFORD-LODGE, CROOKSLEY.


Crooksley doesn't return members to Parliament—I wish it did. I'm sure I took pains enough ten years ago to procure for it—all my property being situate there—the privilege which was at that time accorded to other towns of consideration and respectability; for although the population doesn't much exceed three hundred and sixty, I took upon myself to make a return of our numbers to the then Secretary of State, which ought to have prevailed in our favour; for I proved that the population amounted to within a dozen of seven thousand, merely by including the churchyard, which I well might do, as part and parcel of Crooksley itself, and adding the affectionate wives, virtuous husbands, and filial prodigies, now no more, to the estimate of the living inhabitants; also, by anticipating the returns of christenings for a few succeeding years; which was easily done by guessing, on the authority of Blandish (our medical man, with whom I was at that time friendly), what number of children extra the various increasing families within the boundaries of Crooksley were likely to be blessed with.

Not the smallest notice, however, was taken of my memorial; and Crooksley to this hour does not return a single representative. I read an advertisement the other day in our county paper, of some new patent strait-waistcoats; which advertisement was headed thus:—"Worthy the attention of the Insane!" Now, if Crooksley had been enfranchised, that is the very heading which might have been affixed to an advertisement for an independent candidate to represent it at the present crisis—"Candidate wanted—worthy the attention of the Insane!" for a place more unlucky in its elections, more ill-omened and perverse in all its contests, more predestined to choose the wrong candidate, or more wilfully bent on self-destruction by scorning the advice of its best friends and patrons, I never lived in, since the day I sold my stock and good-will, and retired from the Old Jewry for ever.

To every other place with which I am acquainted entrance is obtained by regular roads; to Crooksley, I verily believe, there is no egress whatever but by cross-roads. I'm thinking of selling Doltford-lodge—cheap.

The first contest that ever took place in Crooksley—for it is odd enough, but they never could get up a contested election until I, having retired from business, went to settle there in the enjoyment of concord, harmony, and peace,—the first contest occurred several years ago. It was a struggle—and well do I remember it—for the office of organist. No sooner was the place vacant—almost, I might say, before the bellows of the departed holder had lost their last breath of wind—than up started half-a-dozen of the nobs of Crooksley, with Dr. Blandish at their head, and down they came to me at the lodge with a flourishing testimonial to sign—a testimonial in favour of Miss Cramper, as a fit and proper person to fill the post of organist.

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Miss Cramper! And who was Miss Cramper, I internally asked myself. But I couldn't answer the question. I knew, in fact, little about her, except that she had lived long in the place, had decent connexions, not over rich, and happened to be a capital musician; the best organ-player, I must admit, that anybody ever heard in or out of our village. But with this exception she hadn't a single claim, not a pretension that I know of, to the post of organist. She was not asthmatic—she had not nine children, seven of them solely depending upon her for support—nor did she even pretend to have lost her eyesight, "or any part thereof," as Knix the lawyer says; for she was ogling Blandish all throughout the interview, as if she looked upon him to be the first-fiddle in Crooksley—Humph!

Well! I confess I didn't like the proceeding; and so, after assuring the requisitionists, in the friendliest manner, that Miss Cramper should certainly have my vote and interest—in the event, I added, more to myself, perhaps, than to them—in the event of no candidate coming forward to oppose her,—what did I do but I brought forward a candidate of my own!

It so happened that I had taken down there with me from the Old Jewry an elderly warehouseman, whom I couldn't well send adrift, and who was of no earthly use to me, either in the house or in the grounds. Now, poor Joggins, besides being bent double, chanced, very luckily, to have eyes like an owl, and there were the strongest hopes of their becoming speedily weaker; so that here at once was a qualification. In addition to that, he had had two sons: one, a waterman, drowned by the usual means, collision with a steamer, was easily elevated into a British seaman dying in defence of his country; and the other, for whom I had obtained a situation in the new police, was, of course, one of the brave devoted guardians of his native land. To crown our good-luck, Joggins had been very fond of playing the flute before wind got so very valuable to him, and really did know something practically of that enchanting instrument, so that his qualifications as an organist were more than indisputable.

Yet, strange to say, his nomination was the signal for violent opposition; and a tremendous conflict ensued. I was determined that Blandish, though backed by the vicar, should not carry everything before him with a high hand, nor become, what, ever since the part I had taken relative to the enfranchisement question, he was striving to be, the dictator of Crooksley. My own influence was not slight, and a powerful party rose up, notwithstanding our adversaries were earliest in the field. The walls were everywhere placarded, families were everywhere divided by circulars. "Vote for Joggins," "Vote for Cramper;" "Joggins and grey hairs," "Cramper and Musical Accomplishments;" "Joggins the veteran parent of our brave defenders," "Cramper and Female Virtue;" "Joggins and the failure of eyesight." "Cramper and Organic changes:" these were among the changes rung throughout the village, and a mile or two round it, for upwards of three weeks. I called public meetings, at which I took the chair, and personally carried the resolutions; and I started a Crooksley Chronicle, of which I was at once the editor[67] and all the correspondents. In both capacities I defied our antagonists to prove that their candidate had any one of the qualifications by which ours was so abundantly distinguished. I dared them to prove that there were any brave defenders on the other side; that there existed any ocular weakness; that there was a single grey hair or any symptom of decrepitude: while, on the other hand, I showed triumphantly that the legitimate candidate for the office of organist was a veteran flute-player, utterly and hopelessly incapable of any exertion whatever, and unobjectionable by the excess of his infirmity.

Blandish was so alarmed at the progress we made, that he began to give out in reply that Miss Cramper was considerably more advanced in years than had been insidiously suggested; that her eyesight was anything but vivid; that what seemed to be her own hair might not bear examination; and possibly he would have proceeded to other intimations tending to balance her claims with those of Joggins, had she not stopped him with the declaration that she would rather lose her election, rather retire from the contest, than sanction such gross misrepresentations of fact. Truth, she said, was everything, and it must prevail; her hair was her own, and her eyes piercers, she thanked Heaven.

But notwithstanding this electioneering attack upon his own nominee, I saw that Blandish was on the very best terms with Miss C.; and as the interest he took in her success could not solely be attributed to gratitude for her attendance at all his evening parties, to play his guests into patients, by provoking headaches that demanded draughts and powders in the morning, I issued, the day previously to the poll, a placard containing surely a very inoffensive query, thus—"WHY is Blandish the patron of Miss Cramper?" The "why" was in very large capitals. Now will it be believed that this, though it asserted nothing disrespectful, and merely put an innocent question, immediately created a very strong sympathy throughout Crooksley in favour of our adversaries, and that the popular feeling was instantly shown in tumultuous cries of "Cramper for ever!" So it happened, however. The result was, that the venerable Joggins had virtually lost his election before the expiration of the first hour of polling. I then, feeling that every vote was wanted, went forward to record my own; when perceiving Blandish (he had a horsewhip in his hand), I turned back with the view of bringing up a batch of electors from a distant part of the village; and on my return all was at an end, and so my vote wasn't wanted; for Joggins, the old idiot, had resigned. I had a disagreeable encounter afterwards with that Blandish, who is, I really think, fonder of carrying a horsewhip than any man I know; but gloriously was I at a subsequent period revenged; for I shammed a long illness, sent off to a neighbouring town for an apothecary, and paid him thirty-seven pounds odd for attendance which I never required, and medicine which I never tasted! Poor Blandish was so irritated, that he fell really ill himself, and took his own mixtures for three weeks.

About a year after this we had another election in Crooksley. The gravediggership became vacant. The Blandish party, who had the churchwardens with them, wanted to get in young Digdum, the son of[68] the late official; and he would have walked the course sure enough, if I hadn't brought forward little Spick the cross-sweeper to oppose him. Party feeling never ran so high, I think, as on this memorable occasion. Everybody felt the cause to be his own, and put forth his energies as though the issue of the struggle depended upon his exertions. It was like a life-and-death contest; and you would have thought that the consequence of being beaten was the being buried alive by the victorious candidate. I'm sure that if it had been to keep ourselves out of "apartments furnished" in the churchyard, we Spickites could not have toiled harder. Nor were the Digdumites idle.

On our side we had ranged, besides myself, who acted as chairman of the committee, Lawyer Knix (who handsomely volunteered his gratuitous services at two guineas a day); Fobbs, the landlord of the Crumpet and Spade; Tipson, of the Vicar's Head; (both of them very fond of an opposition, and always ready to further my views in bringing forward a candidate, and in keeping the poll open to the latest moment allowed by law;) then we had the crack printer of our town, whose charges were very moderate; several of the neighbouring gentry, friends of my own; and one Swarthy Sam, a character who had no fixed abode in Crooksley, nor indeed anywhere else, and had not, therefore, a vote to give—but who kindly took an interest in the contest, and who proved a most valuable agent, for he particularly knew what he was about in a row, could drown by his own unaided lungs the voice of the most stentorian speaker on the other side, and would tear down, I do think, more of the enemy's placards in an hour than they could stick up in a day. On their side, they had the fat churchwarden, and the stately master of the workhouse; the skeleton of a schoolmaster, the parish-lawyer (Knix was independent), and various other paid functionaries or hirelings.

Well, there wasn't one of them that didn't wish himself well out of Crooksley before the contest was over; for we left nothing of their private history unraked, I can tell you. The "Crooksley Chronicle" came again into play, and I wrote letters—in Junius's style—only under the various signatures of Vindex, Justitia, A Spickite, Philo-Spickite, Veritas, An Admirer of Crooksley, Anti-Digdum, &c. &c. We also raised with remarkable success, a cry of "No brickdust, no pigs' bristles!" in conjunction with the cry of "No Digdum." It did not in point of fact mean anything in particular, as far as we were aware, but it vexed the Digdum party amazingly, and made Spick surprisingly popular[4].

The best of the fun was that we had forestalled them in taking possession of both public-houses—the Crumpet and Spade, and the Vicar's Head—for our committee-rooms; so that they had only a little bit of a beer-shop to assemble in. This drove the Digdum party to distraction. They made incredible exertions to get us out of the Vicar's Head; and a deputation came privately to our worthy host's good dame, and offered, if Digdum were returned, to bury her husband for nothing—for poor Tipson[69] was sadly apoplectic! Such were the too-powerful temptations (for so in some instances they proved), such the demoralising practices, to which our depraved and desperate opponents had resort. They went to Clank the blacksmith, and promised, if he would but vote for Digdum, they would see him and all his family buried with pleasure free of charge; but Clank was not to be seduced, for having once had a turn-up with Swarthy Sam in the skittle-ground, he preferred being on the same side with Sam, you see—not caring to fall out—and to say the truth, they were not a few that had similar feelings. Sam was a capital canvasser, and it wasn't everybody that would like to say "No" to him.

At last dawn'd the day, the important day,
"Big with the fate of Digdum or of Spick."

Every soul in Crooksley was out of doors; the excitement was intense; seventeen pots of beer and best part of a round of beef were consumed at the Crumpet and Spade alone before ten in the morning. Every chaise, fly, and hack in old Wheeler's yard was in requisition. Both parties were particularly well satisfied with the result of the canvass, and assembled at the place of nomination with equal confidence. Our flags bore the several inscriptions of "Spick the opponent of Corruption," "Spick and Span," "Spades are trumps," &c.; theirs had, "No Cross-sweeper," "No Sweeping Changes," "Digdum and the Rites of the Departed," &c. &c. Blandish nominated Digdum, and then I proposed Spick in a neat and appropriate speech.

Well we gained our election—that is, we gained it by a show of hands; but the other party took the mean advantage of demanding a poll. There was instantly a rush of upwards of a dozen on their side, and very near a score on ours. To keep up the advantage we had gained was the thing. Unfortunately some of our safest voters were now drunk, having received eighteen-pence a piece to attend the nomination of candidates; and instead of flocking to the poll, off they went to the Vicar's Head, or the Crumpet and Spade, swearing they wouldn't vote at all unless supplied with pots round; which Fobbs and Tipson very readily drew for them: I having desired those disinterested persons in the morning not to stand very nice about a measure or two of ale, and they promised me they would not, as I was to pay. And this, in fact, I shouldn't have minded; but, unluckily, the worthy electors got so drunk that they absolutely forgot what colours they fought under, and went and voted for the wrong candidate.

This turned the scale against us. What was to be done? I had already got some of the Digdumites away; a tenant of mine, seven miles off, having engaged to "coop" them, that is, to make them "fuddled," and to prevent their return in time. A few more must be pounced upon. Swarthy Sam (that invaluable election-agent) undertook to inveigle them and manage the business. We got a vehicle or two; and partly by cajolery, partly by intimidation, and a display of the enemy's colours, off we carried in an opposite direction to the poll a batch of Digdum's supporters. Away we drove, Sam conducting us, through by-lanes and across ploughed-fields, I may say, so that I hardly knew where I was. Deaf to all remonstrances,[70] on we went, till, feeling pretty secure, I pretended it was time to turn back or we should all be too late for the poll, and jumped down to consult privately with Sam as to the expediency of further stratagems; when—to my inexpressible astonishment and confusion, as you may well imagine—my swarthy vagabond of an agent, whom I trusted on account of his bad character, and because nobody else would, indulged his lungs with the most vociferous roar of laughter I ever heard, to which the entire party added a chorus. In one instant the whole line of vehicles wheeled round and galloped off towards Crooksley, leaving me staggering helplessly into a deep ditch on my left, overcome with rage, mortification, and dismay.

They all arrived in time to vote for Digdum, Sam and all, who went up arm in arm with Clank, the blacksmith. As for me, I never found my way back until hours after the poll had closed; and as I approached the scene with a foreboding heart, the first person I encountered was the defeated Spick—Spick the rejected of Crooksley—who bitterly assailed me as the sole cause of his total "ruination," having spoiled his trade of cross-sweeping by exciting everybody against him, and reduced him to a condition that promised his successful rival immediate employment in his new profession. "I shouldn't ha' minded," he said, with a sneer, "your not guving on me your wote, but what I complains on is, you would guv me your hintrest!"

After this, as you may well suppose, I grew rather disgusted, and a little sick of exercising one's public spirit and disinterested philanthropy to no purpose; so I permitted Dr. Blandish to triumph on one or two occasions, rather than subject the town to the inconvenience of a contested election. I allowed the boy Bratts, whom he patronised, to get elected into our Juvenile Asylum without opposition; and when Soppy put up for the situation of turncock, full in the teeth of Blandish's pet candidate, though he came to me and implored the favour of my vote and interest, I gave him neither. I did not poll for him, nor did I solicit a soul in his behalf; yet Soppy won the election by a considerable majority. Indeed Blandish has been disgracefully beaten on more than one occasion when I had disdained to interfere at all; though whenever I have interfered—when I have canvassed my very heart out, and talked the teeth out of my head—bribing here, treating there—threatening this man with the loss of my custom, and tempting the other with all sorts of seductive promises—hang me (for it puts me in a passion!) if he hasn't been triumphantly successful.

There was the election of a contractor to supply leather-shorts to the charity school. I decided to take no part in it; but when I perceived which way the election was sure to go, when I saw which man would beat to a dead certainty, I changed my mind, threw all my influence into the scale of the popular candidate, gave him my entire support, and would have given him my vote—only he resigned on the morning of the election not having a chance of winning; for directly I took up his cause, he began to lose ground:—odd enough, you will say, but it so happened; although I set a barrel flowing at Tipson's, promised old coats at Christmas to two dozen ragged but independent electors, and gave at least half that number of the better class permission to shoot on my property.

[71]

The last great battle that I fought was on behalf of widow Bricks, candidate for the office of housekeeper to our Infirmary. Here Dr. B. was "top-sawyer," as they say; this was carrying the war into the enemy's country. All Crooksley was astonished, petrified almost, at my boldness; but I was lucky in my choice of a candidate, the Bricks having been resident in the place as long as Crooksley itself had been in existence, and the widow being left with eleven small children; while the Doctor's candidate hadn't the smallest scrap of offspring to go to the poll with. So to the work of philanthropy I went; and notwithstanding a hint from the Blandish faction, that if beaten the Doctor would certainly resign his office in the institution, I was successful beyond my hopes.

We elected the eleven little Bricks upon our committee, and took them about with us upon our canvas—a procession singularly imposing and irresistible. Nothing could equal the popular enthusiasm; and the greatest possible effect was created wherever they appeared, for we kept them all without their dinners up till bed-time, to make them cry; which is the only method of melting the public heart, since a constant drop, we are told, will wear away a stone. The eldest of the Bricks, a boy, had a turn for spouting; and we made him address the people from the window of the Vicar's Head, by reciting "My name is Norval," which he had heard done by some strolling-players. This was amazingly successful; but unfortunately the mob consisted chiefly of non-electors, for it was only the subscribers to the institution who had the privilege of voting. Voters, therefore, I made in scores, simply by paying their subscriptions for them. As fast as Blandish could extract promises from the old subscribers, I produced new ones; the list of qualified electors exceeded anything ever heard of in the annals of benevolence.

I spare you the speech I made at the nomination of candidates; merely remarking, that I wasn't aware there was so much virtue in woman as I discovered in the widow, and that I never knew there were half so many charms and graces in infancy, as I detected in her eleven little angels—who all stood in a heartrending row upon the hustings, crying lustily, for they had not been allowed a bit of breakfast on that important occasion. The effect was seen as the voting proceeded; the compassionate rushed to the poll and voted for Bricks, I may say, like bricks. Still our opponents mustered strongly, and I was compelled to make a good many people benevolent that morning who had never spent a shilling in charity in their lives.

The numbers for a considerable time were pretty nearly balanced; the excitement grew more intense, the shouts of "Vote for Bricks and Babbies," grew more vehement as the day advanced; till towards the close of the poll, the Blandish faction appeared a little a-head of us, but at last they were exhausted; they had polled their last Samaritan—the Doctor himself had given his vote—while I had purposely reserved mine. Now, mine alone was sufficient to win; mine alone would decide the contest in the widow's favour; for, having trebled my usual subscription, I had a right to six votes, and six would give us just a majority of one. With a heart swelling with conscious triumph, exulting in the cause of charity and the defeat of our factious adversaries, I walked up to the ballot-box (we voted by ballot), and there what do you think occurred?[72] Directing a haughty look to the Doctor's generally red face, now pale with rage, I was not sufficiently cautious in distinguishing between the Y for "Yes," and the N for "No," painted on the front of the balloting-machine; and inconsiderately turning my hand to the left instead of the right, I dropped the six cork marbles into the enemy's box—hang me, if I didn't vote against Widow Bricks. Dr. Blandish danced for joy, and I really thought he never would stand still again. Not another shilling will his infirmary get from me.

If Crooksley were to return four members to Parliament, I wouldn't be one of them.


THE CENSUS.


Important days to all householders in the United Kingdom, were Sunday and Monday, the 6th and 7th ult., and especially perplexing to those whose ideas of reading and writing were at all circumscribed. Nor was the discomfort confined to the said illuminated members of society. Ladies of a very certain age bridled up at being obliged to tell the number of summers that had passed over their heads: notwithstanding the loop-hole of the "five years" which the gallantry of the commissioners allowed them. Elderly gentlemen also, who wore dark wigs that hid those auricular tell-tales of the ci-devant jeune homme, the ears, inwardly execrated the system of exposure to which the census paper gave rise, and willingly ran the risk of a fine "not more than five pounds, nor less than forty shillings," rather than be classed as old bachelors.

From returns into which the commissioners have allowed us to peep, it appears that of the middle-aged population of these kingdoms, one in three has grown five years younger since the date of the last census; one in seven two years younger; one in twelve remains of the same age; one in thirty-eight, is five years older than at the period referred to; and one in five hundred and sixty has attained the full age that might have been anticipated from the lapse of years. We believe it has been distinctly ascertained by these returns that the highest age among the unmarried ladies in this country is twenty-nine—the average age is twenty-one and seven-eighths. The widows willing to marry again, are mostly quite juvenile; and it is a remarkable fact that many are younger now, as widows, than they appear to be in the previous return as wives. Indeed the effect of the whole calculation is to show, perhaps in compliment to our young Queen, that her subjects are the most decidedly juvenile people in Christendom.

Nor was the designation of the respective professions and callings of our fellow-countrymen a task of less difficulty. Commonplace and even plebeian, as is the simple question "Who are you?" widely as the interrogation was diffused a short time back by the gamins of London, it is a query we opine, in common with the cool audacious Mr. Dazzle, that would puzzle half the world to answer properly. Some are all profession—others are not any. Thousands live by their wits—thousands more by the total absence of them; many whom the world[73] gives credit to for working hard in an industrious état for their income, privately lead the lives of gentlemen; and many gentlemen whom we envy on account of their ostensible otiose existence, labour perchance in secret much harder than ourselves. Numbers would shrink if their employment was known, and numbers more would be extremely indignant if any other than their own was assigned to them.

The schedule stated that the professions of wives, or sons and daughters, living with and assisting their parents, needed not to be inserted. There was no mention at all made of the professions of faithless lovers, election candidates, and false friends; probably these were imagined to be of so little value as to be utterly beneath notice.

But although the commissioners were pleasantly minute and clear in their instructions for filling up their circulars, they will still be wide away from the real statistics of the population, when all the bills are returned and the totals properly added. What industrious enumerator, we would ask, did, with praiseworthy indefatigability, leave a schedule at the temporary habitations of the thousand individuals who on the Monday in question were located upon Ascot Heath, in anticipation of the approaching races? Who dared to penetrate into the mysteries of the yellow caravans there collected, or invade the Bohemian seclusion of the tilted hovels? What account was taken of the roadside tent-holders, and the number of the families of these real "potwallopers?" Is the following paper relating to these people, which has fallen into our hands, the mislaid document of a careless enumerator of the Sunning-hill district, or is it an attempt to play upon our credulity:

(COPY.)

Name, (if any) of the House, or of the Village or } Caravan, No. 937,654.
Hamlet in which it stands. }

Name of the Street or other part of the Town, (if in } Winkfield Lane.
a Town), and No. of the House. }

Name and surname of each
person who abode or slept
in this House on the night
of June 6.
Age
of
Males.
Age
of
Females.
Of what Profession,
Trade, or Employment,
or if of Independent
means.
If born in
the
County.
If born in
Ireland,
&c.
Bill Soames45 Shoman.Nodon't Kno
   Wife—vurks the  
Mary Soames 38barrul horgan outsideNoNo
Gipsy Mikenot Nown None.NoNo veres pertickler
Phelim Conolly35 Black vild ingian.not sartinnever Knowd
Sarah Cooper 24tellin off fortuns.No 
Young Chubby a babby2  ired fur the Races.St. Giles's 
Brummagim Harry40 keeps a Thimble-rig.Yes 

But there were many, many others, who were excluded from the privilege of registering their names amongst the population of their country. The unfortunate individuals who slept throughout the night in the stony precincts of the police-office lock-up cells, were deprived of this honour. Even admitting that the police had received instructions to take down the names of the stray-flocks under their charge, the ends of the commissioners were still defeated, for it was not probable that the Hon. Clarence Piercefield, who had kicked the head waiter at the Cider-cellars, for telling[74] him not to join in the glees so loudly—who had thrashed the cabman in Holborn—who had climbed up behind King Charles at Charing-cross, and who, finally, upon being pulled down again by the police and taken into custody, had given his name as Thomas Brown,—it was not probable, we repeat, that this honourable gentleman would see any occasion to alter the name in the schedule, or recant his alleged profession of "medical student." His rightful appellation found no place in the paper, no more than the hundreds who slept out altogether that night, from the wretched, shivering, poverty-stricken occupiers of the embryo coal-cellars of future houses in the neighbourhood of railway termini, to the tipsy gentleman who tumbled by mistake into a large basket of turnip-tops and onions in Covent Garden-market, and slept there until morning, dreaming that he was the inhabitant of an Eastern paradise, with houris pelting roses at him. Even the ill-used Mr. Ferguson, whom everybody has heard of, but nobody knows, failing in all his attempts to procure a lodging for the night, found no place in the strictly-worded schedule. The real name of Mr. Ferguson is Legion, yet he found a lodging nowhere. And many returns of the erratic youth of respectable families must prove, that their very fathers did not know they were out, to say nothing of their mothers: on the other hand, probably many more would be found wanting in the real numbers, were circumstances narrowly inquired into.

It is fortunate for the correctness of the statistics that Sunday was the day fixed upon for enumerating the population. Had it been any other, the numbers who slept in the house would have materially swelled the lists. The House of Commons might have furnished an imposing array of names every night in the week to begin with. The various literary institutions and scientific meetings of the metropolis, on their respective nights, would not have been behind hand; and even the theatres, might have sent in a tolerably fair muster-roll of slumberers, according to the nature of their performances.

We presume that the guards of mail-coaches, drovers who were going to the Monday's markets, watchmen of houses, newly-buried relations, and medical men attending Poor Law Unions, will be allowed a future opportunity of registering their names; for none of these individuals were ever known—at least we believe not—to sleep or abide one night in their houses. Are these hardworking and useful classes of society to be accounted as nothing—to be placed in a scale even beneath "persons sleeping over a stable or outhouse," who, although not worthy to be inserted along with their betters in the schedule, are, at all events allowed a paper to themselves? The care that arranged the manner of enumerating the population ought to have put forward plans for taking the census of the always-out-of-doors portion of the English on the night in question, hackney-coachmen included; and a space might, at the same time, have been appropriated in the schedule for "those who were not at home, but ought to have been." We will not dwell upon the material difference this important feature would have made to the calculations in many points. We give the commissioners a peep at the fallacy of their plans, and we leave it to them to remedy it. All we have to add, in conclusion is, that we sent in our own name according to the prescribed ordinance, but it was not Rocket.


[75]

LOVE'S MASQUERADING.

BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.

I.
Love never less surprises
Than when his tricks are tried;
In vain are all disguises,
Himself he cannot hide.
He came, the Masquerader,
To conscious Kate, one day,
Attempting to persuade her;
He then was—far away!
"Ah Love!" she cried, unfearing,
"Take any shape you will,
Strange, distant, or endearing,
This heart would know you still."
II.
Then Love came clad like Sorrow;
His robe was dark as night;
But like a golden morrow,
Flash'd forth his forehead's light;
She knew him, as with languor
He play'd the wounded dove:
Then fierce he frown'd—'twas Anger!
But still she knew 'twas Love!
III.
Then came he wreathed like Pleasure;
In vain he cried, "Rejoice!"
And sang a laughing measure—
She knew him, by his voice.
He tuned his tongue to railing,
Performing Envy's task;
His scowl was unavailing,
She saw him—through his mask.
IV.
Like cloak'd Revenge then stealing,
With poniard bare he came,
His limbs, his looks, concealing—
Yet still he seem'd the same.
Then he, his thoughts dissembling,
With Jealousy's wild air,
Stood raging, watching, trembling,—
Yet Love alone stood there.
V.
Next came he garb'd like Malice;
Yet wore his cheek the rose,
No poison crowns his chalice,
With wine it overflows.
And then as Joy, arrayed in
Rare colours from above;
He failed again—the maiden
In Joy saw only Love!
VI.
Then casting off his splendour,
He took black Hatred's guise;
But all his tones were tender,
She knew him—by his eyes.
In all he fail'd; when glancing
Like Fear, afraid to stir;
And when like Hope, half-dancing—
For Hope was Love to her.
"In vain," she cried, "your powers,
Take any shape you may;
Are hearts less wise than flowers,
That know the night from day?"

[76]

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER III.

A rigid search after Mr. Heartwell was instituted under the superintendence of two of the most efficient officers of the Bow Street establishment. The evidence given by the coachman was proved to be strictly correct, except that a small portion of time was unaccounted for between the period of his having—as he stated—set the lieutenant down in Ormond Street, and his arrival at the coach-stand in Covent Garden, which according to the deposition of the waterman was much later than would have been required to traverse the distance between the two places. But Simpson's explanation was that, having by request driven his fare very quick to Ormond Street, he merely walked his horses to Charles Street in order to cool them.

Nothing whatever having been elicited that day which was calculated to throw any light on the mysterious affair, Mr. Brady with his witnesses appeared before Mr. Bond on the following morning at the time appointed, when the officers made their reports, and were instructed to persevere. The Bank Agent deposed that he had paid over to the lieutenant at the office of Mr. Brady, and in the presence of the lawyer and his clerk, a thousand guineas in gold, and bank-notes to the amount of fourteen thousand pounds, besides securities and deeds, relating to property supposed to be of considerable value in the East Indies, all which had belonged to the lieutenant's uncle, who had died without issue and intestate: he produced the receipt for the charge he had delivered, and stated that he had earnestly advised the lieutenant to deposit the whole in the hands of his professional man to invest for him to the best advantage; but though Mr. Heartwell perfectly assented to the propriety of such a step, yet he expressed himself so desirous of displaying his newly acquired fortune to his wife, that as a matter of course he (the agent) offered no further argument against it.

Shipkins, the clerk, corroborated the statement of Mr. Brady; but in addition, mentioned that the lieutenant had declared that it was his intention to resign his appointment to the seventy-four for the purpose of remaining at home with his family, but that it would be necessary for him in the first instance to visit Portsmouth.

The officers used their utmost vigilance, and the Secretary of State offered a large reward to any one who could render information of the fate of the missing officer. Ben was despatched to Portsmouth to make inquiry whether his master had been seen in that neighbourhood, or on board the ship; but no clue was obtained.

Days—weeks—months passed away, and Mrs. Heartwell experienced an unmitigated state of anxiety and suspense. Yet though doubts prevailed that she should never behold him again, she determined never to clothe herself in the semblance of mourning till she had proof that he was dead.

[77]

Young Frank partook of the feelings of his mother; but the elasticity of boyhood does not long retain the acuteness of sorrow; the delightful changes which Nature is constantly presenting to the ardency of youth and

"All is beautiful, for all is new,"

superseded the grief which preys upon more advanced age, when the heart knoweth its own bitterness; and whilst the mother was pining and weeping over her heavy affliction, Frank forgot in the joys of amusement that there was anything like unhappiness in the world. He was a bold, free-hearted, jovial lad, who loved to frolic over the gardens and grounds round the British Museum. Nor was Ben inactive in either promoting the mirthful indulgences of the lad, although there might be a little mischief in progress, or seeing that fair-play was exercised when pugnacity or wrong led to pugilistic encounters. It is true that the fond parent in her solicitude would expostulate, and on some occasions reprove; but the ready acknowledgment of error which Frank always made when in the wrong, and the argument of Ben, "Bless you, my lady, you can't never go for to rig out an ould figure-head upon young shoulders—besides, what's the odds, so as you're happy?" soon produced reconciliation and pardon.

It has been said "Sweet are the uses of adversity;" but it is hard to contemplate the approach of poverty with its train of evils that no mortal influence can subdue; and such was the case with Mrs. Heartwell. Daily she saw her resources decreasing—the pay of the lieutenant was stopped; she could not claim her widow's pension, for she had no proof of her husband's death; there were no relations to whom she could apply in her distress for assistance or counsel. Mr. Brady had sent in a heavy bill for law business, and pressed for payment; difficulties in short accumulated on all sides. One, and only one, of her former associates continued to visit her; and this was an elderly man of unattractive manners, who claimed a distant relationship. He seldom spoke but when addressed; and his remarks were generally of a caustic and misanthropic cast, rendering him an object not only of dislike to many, but of fear to some. He was poor, but how he lived no one knew; and yet on more than one occasion he had spoken of important affairs even in the state, that displayed a tolerably accurate knowledge of persons and things far above his station in society: in short, he was a mystery that set conjecture at defiance.

Such was Mr. Unity Peach; in age between fifty and sixty; a large round face, with a great bushy wig upon his head, and one eye covered over with a black patch, the other grey and cold without expression; he was stout made, short, and with limbs like a giant, though he complained of feebleness and debility. He seldom uttered one word of cheering kindness, yet when asked for his advice he would give it; and it was seldom known to fail in its beneficial results. To Frank and the seaman he was an object of aversion that they did not care at all times to conceal; yet, with a perverseness that seemed congenial to his character, if there was any individual to whom the old man could be attached, it was Ben Brailsford.

"You are hurrying on to ruin," said Mr. Unity Peach one day, in[78] reply to a question from Mrs. Heartwell; "large house—lazy sailor—mischievous boy."

"But I would willingly quit the house, sir," returned the lady, "and strive by some means or other to provide for myself and child."

"Let lodgings—keep a school—make the boy a shoemaker—send that Jack Tar to sea," was the response.

"I have hitherto been guided in my conduct, Mr. Peach, by what I have supposed would be satisfactory to my husband could he witness my actions," replied the lady; "and yet—oh yes, I see there is no other resource, though I should prefer removing from this neighbourhood."

"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall," quoted the old man; "Go on and starve—no help for it."

"I wish I had some friend to counsel me," exclaimed the afflicted woman, as the tears gushed from her eyes.

"Bah!—nonsense!—friends, indeed! Won't take counsel—good morning;" and Mr. Unity arose to depart.

"I meant no reflections upon you, Mr. Peach," returned the lady. "You have at times advised me, and well too—but indeed, sir, your harshness——"

"I know it,—I know it," bitterly replied the old man, interrupting her, whilst a malicious grin played upon his swarthy countenance; "you hate me—you all hate me."

"You do me great injustice to suppose such a thing," responded Mrs. Heartwell, mildly; "I would wish to entertain respect and esteem——"

"Bah! folly!" uttered Mr. Unity, preventing the concluding remarks of the lady. "No such things in the world as respect, esteem—all deceit."

"I have a better opinion of my fellow-creatures——"

"Better opinion!" interrupted the old man, with a taunting sneer. "Yes—right—husband murdered—lawyer threatening—abandoned in trouble—sinking in poverty—eat up with pride—idle boy—saucy sailor—fellow-creatures indeed!"

At this moment Ben entered, and though deference and respect for his mistress kept him silent, yet the clenching of his fist and the indignation of his look plainly evidenced that he would, if he durst, have given Mr. Unity Peach a thrashing. Nor did the old man seem insensible to what was passing in the worthy seaman's mind, for he turned upon him a glance of contempt and defiance that but ill accorded with the angular inclination of his body, which betokened weakness and decrepitude.

Mrs. Heartwell, endeavouring to suppress her agitation, turned with a look of inquiry to Ben.

"Why, my lady, I don't perticklarly want anything," replied the seaman somewhat confusedly, as he fidgetted about the room in his accustomed way when he had any communication of importance to make.

"Has anything occurred?" asked the lady with impatience.

"Bless you, my lady," ejaculated Ben, whilst a flush spread over his cheeks, and a tear stood trembling in his eye; "I ounly wish I was rouling in gould and I'd soon capsize the lubbers; but ounly speak the word and I'll do it now, though the unconscionable scamps have boarded us in the smoke."

[79]

"Of whom are you speaking?" demanded Mrs. Heartwell, as a thrill of sickly apprehension passed through her heart. But the seaman had not time to answer before the door of the room was opened, and in walked a corpulent but athletic man, whose very appearance announced his calling to be that of a sheriff's officer; whilst close behind him came his assistant, though he did not venture beyond the door-way. "Werry sorry, ma'am—werry sorry," said the officer, producing a writ of execution, "I al'ays likes to be civil to ladies, but must do my dooty you know—mustn't I, sir?" and he turned to Mr. Unity Peach, who, bent down and leaning heavily on his stick, which he seemed to grasp convulsively, nodded assent.

"What is all this?" demanded Mrs. Heartwell, looking first at the officer and then at Mr. Peach, and then at Ben, who, though it was the height of summer, had got hold of the poker, and was busily stirring the white paper shavings that ornamented the grate.

"Oh, it's not werry much, ma'am," replied the officer, displaying the official document; "it's only a writ as I've got to sarve, and in course must trespass upon your family for board and lodging till the matter's settled—that's all."

"I do not understand it, Mr. Peach," said the distressed lady; "pray explain it to me."

"Bailiff!" replied the old man, pointing to the officer in an introductory manner; "come to seize furniture—some of your fellow creatures:" and then, mimicking the manners of the official, he wound up with the same exclamation—"that's all."

"That's all, ay, and enough too!" mumbled Ben as he made the room echo with rattling the poker in the grate; "I ounly wish my lady 'ud give the word, I'm blessed if it should be all; I'd larn 'em to seize furniture; and it arn't best for their health that they clap a flipper upon it whilst I'm here."

"Go to sea," muttered Mr. Unity Peach. "Work for your living—don't lazy away your time here!"

"I tell you what it is, ould genelman," exclaimed Ben, all the feelings of the tar aroused within his breast. "You're an oncantankerous scamp with your spiteful tongue. But bless you, my lady, ounly say the word and I'll clear the decks of the whole boiling of 'em afore you can look round you;" and the seaman flourished the poker in a menacing attitude at the officer and his follower, but the next instant he felt his arm restrained as if it had been fixed in the gripe of a blacksmith's vice, and by his side stood Mr. Unity Peach.

"Put that poker down," said the old man in a tone of command as he grasped the seaman's wrist; "obey the laws."

"All werry right, sir," uttered the sheriff's officer; "not as I'm afear'd of being attackted, but arter all there's nothing like obeying the law, and it shows as you're a man of sense. I must do my dooty, howsomever unpleasant. There's the writ, ma'am."

"At whose suit?" demanded Mr. Peach, who quietly took the weapon from Ben's hand, and replaced it within the fender.

"At the suit of Muster Jocelyn Brady," replied the officer, "attorney-at-law,[80] Lincoln's Inn. Debt and costs one hundred and seventeen pounds, six shillings, and eightpence."

"The villain!" uttered a voice, half suppressed, from some part of the room, but from whom it proceeded it would have been difficult to say.

Poor Mrs. Heartwell was almost overwhelmed, and Frank coming in from school and staring wildly at the spectacle, added to her distress. On seeing his mother's tears, he threw his arms round her neck and kissed her; and then, turning round with flushed cheeks and a fierceness that he seldom manifested, demanded of the officer "what business he had there?"

This Mr. Peach explained in as few words as possible, but not without instilling venom into what he did say, to the great anger of Ben, and the increased dislike of the boy.

But there was no avoiding the instrument of the law, nor any means to get rid of its agent. The execution was served, and the bailiff remained in charge. The almost heart-broken Mrs. Heartwell waited upon the lawyer, but he refused to see her; the furniture was sold; and it racked her heart to part with things which time and circumstances had endeared to her; and now she, who had been within a few minutes of attaining affluence, was reduced to the verge of destitution.

A small, ready-furnished apartment received the mourner and her son; but her money was gone, she knew no one to whom she could apply. Ben had expended every shilling that he possessed; but the worthy fellow would not desert his mistress; he got employment in a rigging gang to fit out East Indiamen, and, reserving a bare subsistence for himself, he devoted all that he could spare to the use of Frank and his mother. Nor was this all; for after his hours of labour were over in the week days, and each Sunday, he was constant in his attendance, to perform every kind office that he could without failing in the respect he had ever manifested towards his mistress. Nor did Mr. Peach forsake the afflicted lady, though his visits were not so frequent as before; and he was incessant in his complaints of bad health, decaying strength, and growing poverty.

"Mrs. Heartwell procured needlework, and toiled day and night to keep Frank at school, and to obtain him food and clothes." Nor could she even have done this but through the generosity of some unknown friend, who regularly transmitted her thirty shillings a month without note or comment. She believed her benefactor to be a kind and wealthy lady who had formerly taken an interest in her welfare; but it was evident the donor did not wish to be openly known.

Thus progressed another twelve months. Ben and Frank were inseparable companions as often as they could be together; and though Mr. Peach was constantly persuading his mother to bind the lad apprentice to a shoemaker, he still continued improving in his education, and the hard-toiling seaman often went without indulgences himself that he might secretly supply his young friend with pocket-money. At length to her great astonishment, Mrs. Heartwell received by post under a blank cover a note of the Bank of England for £100. Tears of joyous gratitude filled her eyes. The following day was devoted to recreation—the first she had known since the loss of her husband. And now came the consideration as to the best mode of employing the gift to the most advantageous[81] use. At first the feelings of the mother directed her sole attention to young Frank, and she thought of appropriating a large portion to putting him out in the world; but Mr. Peach, who was consulted on all important occasions, advised her to take a respectable house, furnish apartments, and let them to a respectable tenant: nor did he forget to insist upon his usual proposition of making Frank a cordwainer. In every particular, save the last, the advice was followed.

CHAPTER IV.

Never was there a more instructive lesson issued to the nations of the earth than that which marked the origin, progress, and termination of the French Revolution, with all its concomitant circumstances and final results.

England with free institutions, and increasing in population, industry, and commerce, had set a bright example of what may be achieved under constitutional means; and as the English were ardent lovers of liberty, it cannot be supposed that they were indifferent to its extension on the Continent. Nor were they inactive at home; the changes in France had caused a feverish excitement amongst the working classes here, which interested traders in politics were not slow in turning to their own advantage. In order to counteract and defeat the evil machinations of such men, the government took into pay a number of individuals to act as spies in the camp of the disaffected; and as their wages depended upon the continuance of commotion, it very naturally followed that in numerous cases they were the secret promoters of agitation. But the political movement was not confined exclusively to the lower ranks in life; many of the middle grade had joined in it, and amongst the active disseminators of revolutionary principles was Mr. Jocelyn Brady. But he moved in an elevated sphere, and was looked upon and treated with confidence by his party, both high and low. His legal practice was reported to be extensive, and he was said to be possessed of considerable property. He had both a town and a country residence, and he gave excellent dinners. But he was unrelenting in his avarice, vindictive when offended.

The principal associate of Mr. Brady in most of his political transactions was a Mr. Acteon Shaft, an acute intelligent man, whose grey hairs proclaimed him to be of an advanced age; and to him the lawyer was greatly indebted for much of the information and knowledge he obtained. Mr. Shaft had travelled far, and had visited foreign courts, and though his manners were rather uncouth, yet there was a charm in his conversation that rendered his society courted by men of talent. He was an ardent lover of rational liberty, and his generosity was the theme of universal praise.

Why two men so opposite in temper and disposition should form companionship must remain amongst those anomalies which every day's experience displays; even the pure metal requires a base alloy before it can be converted into sterling coin. But to return to Mrs. Heartwell, who had once more a comfortable residence, and devoted herself in every way to the improvement of her son. Frank, on his part, was most affectionately attached to his mother, whom he revered with an intensity of feeling that was truly gratifying to her heart, and she was pleased to see that he[82] evinced a kindly and generous feeling towards his fellow-creatures. He was mirthful, but inoffensive, mild and forbearing, except when aroused by severe injury to himself or others, and then his rage was uncontrollable.

The first lodger that occupied Mrs. Heartwell's apartments was a Monsieur Polverel, a French deputy, who under the specious pretext of visiting and studying the institutions of England, availed himself of the opportunity to disseminate the doctrines of "liberty and equality;" nor was he long in finding an enlarged circle of congenial spirits—members of revolutionary clubs and corresponding societies, who, though advocating "equality," took especial care that no one below a certain rank should be admitted to their meetings; and the minister of liberty from France, Monsieur Polverel, finding that his black servant was accustomed to go out during his absence, actually locked him up in his room whenever he himself went in an evening to enjoy festivity amongst his friends, and to preach up the blessings of freedom.

Ben and Frank, however, could not reconcile such tyranny to their minds, and a duplicate key being procured, the door was speedily thrown open, and forth issued Sambo to join in their amusements, and many hours did the youth listen to the negro's narratives of his native place—Port au Prince, in San Domingo—but care was always taken that he was again placed in confinement before the time of his master's return.

Monsieur Polverel was one of those finicking, all legs-and-wings sort of Frenchmen who when in conversation throw themselves into attitudes not inaptly resembling the wooden harlequins of children whose members are put into motion by pulling a string, only that his body was more elongated and had something of the greyhound build; his head was very large, and when he stood erect he looked like a beadle's staff with a globe on the top; in fact, it would have been no difficult task to have doubled him up like a two-foot rule, or to have put his body between his legs like a clasp knife. Although a leveller, and affecting to despise distinctions, his clothes were richly ornamented and his fingers were brilliant with costly rings.

When he passed an evening at home without company, he generally contrived to get Frank and Ben, and the negro into his room, where, in broken English, he propounded to them the doctrines of republicanism. Sometimes Mr. Peach was admitted, and the discussions, whilst they afforded mirth to Frank, and offence to the seaman, tended to open the understanding of the youth to subjects to which he had hitherto been a stranger.

Frank had now passed his thirteenth year. His predilection was for the sea; but his mother, who still had numerous difficulties to contend against, and looked upon her child as her best hope and encouragement, endeavoured by earnest persuasion to prevail upon him to settle on shore. In this she was supported by Mr. Peach; but the lad's longings could not be overcome, though he was deterred from proclaiming them, and thus balancing between affection for his parent and the desire to become a sailor, he remained undetermined and inactive.

It was about this time that, to the great regret of Mrs. Heartwell, and the almost inconsolable grief of her son, Ben Brailsford was pressed; and disdaining to be anything but a volunteer in the service of his king and country, he entered for a ship-of-the line, then commanded by the[83] Honourable Keith Elphinstone (afterwards, Lord Keith). He wrote to inform them of this event, hoped that he should make prize-money—wished Frank was with him on the quarter-deck as an officer—expressed sorrow at parting with them, but wound up all with his old expletive—"But what's the odds, so as you're happy?"

The youth fretted, and almost sickened at the loss of his old and faithful associate; he neglected his studies, became melancholy and restless, and adhered closer to Monsieur Polverel, so as to be noticed by a distinguished visitor to the deputy, no other than the Duke of Orleans, who had been prevailed upon to visit London, by Lafayette, in order to get him out of the way of doing mischief. Frank became a great favourite with the Duke, who treated him with much kindness, and made Mrs. Heartwell a very handsome present to assist in promoting the lad's welfare; and ultimately offered to take him to Paris and provide for him; but this was declined—the mother could not part with her child.

The beheading of the King of France excited a general feeling of horror and indignation throughout England. War was declared. The utmost activity prevailed in the dockyards; and a naval armament was put in motion. The aristocracy, the clergy, the corporate bodies, the landed proprietors, the merchants, the bankers, became alarmed, and took the lead in the re-action that ensued. The Sectarians looked upon the French as infidels, and hailed the approach of war as the mighty engine which was to restore religion and morality.

In this state of things the situation of Monsieur Polverel was not of the most pleasant description. He was well known to the French emigrants who crowded the metropolis; and on his returning one afternoon from a republican party, he was pointed out as a disseminator of those principles which had compelled them to abandon their country. A crowd collected, who vented their abhorrence in groans and hisses. He quickened his pace, but his pursuers increased as they progressed, till the deputy was urgently persuaded to run, by hearing the clattering of stones along the pavement, and feeling more than one or two hard blows on his back. Now it was that the length of his legs rendered him good service, and a chase commenced that caused roars of laughter to the spectators, who clapped their hands and shouted with delight. On reaching Mrs. Heartwell's he knocked and rung violently, but Sambo was locked up, and the maid-servant being busy, was in no great hurry to let him in. Frank, however, had been looking out at the window, and instantly suspecting the cause of the uproar, he ran and opened the door, and the Frenchman had just time to enter as his assailants were ascending the steps. It was at first feared that they would attack the house, but on being assured that Monsieur Polverel had taken his departure by the back way, the mob again set out in pursuit, but the deputy distanced them; for without waiting for bag or baggage, he hurried to Dover as fast as a chaise-and-four could convey him, and at this latter place he received a no very gentle intimation that his presence on British ground could be entirely dispensed with; and elated was Monsieur Polverel when he once more found himself within the gates of Calais.

Nothing could exceed the joy of Sambo at his master's departure—the[84] door was no longer locked upon him—he was free. Since Ben's departure Frank had greatly attached himself to the negro, whose good humour and constant willingness to oblige rendered him a favourite in the house. Other lodgers came to Mrs. Heartwell's; and as Sambo had become useful, his services were retained.

Frank continued at school for a few months longer, when a new scene opened before him. He had heard of a seventy-four to be launched at Deptford, and never having witnessed a ship-launch, he went, accompanied by Sambo, to see it. But the press-gangs were abroad, and they both fell into their hands; for such was, at that time, the demand for men and lads to complete the complements of the ships of war, that respectable shopkeepers, who had formerly been to sea, were impressed at their own doors, and youths of "gentle blood" forced away by the gangs if found near the water-side.

Sambo would have resisted when he saw that Frank was seized, but the youth saw how unavailing it would be, and desired him to desist. He told the officer that he was the son of a lieutenant in the navy, and requested to be allowed to return to his home; but this was positively refused. He then entreated that some one might be sent to apprise his mother of his detention, and the officer promised that it should be done, and the lad, who suffered most on his parent's account, became more appeased, till on being put on board the Tender, off the Tower, a spectacle presented itself that filled his very soul with disgust.

The receiving-ship was an old sloop of war, and in her hold were not less than three hundred human beings crowded together on the shingle ballast, without a single seat except the bundles which some few possessed, and sat upon for safe protection. Here were crowded together seamen and landsmen, pickpockets, the refuse of the streets, and shabby-genteel gentlemen. Many a countenance was marked by sorrow, but the principal portion was composed of wild, reckless, and even lawless, men. The gratings were over the hatchways, above which sentinels were placed, and the atmosphere in the hold was hot and fetid. Several of the impressed men were in a state of intoxication, which produced repeated quarrels; and though there was scarcely room to move, blows were exchanged, and heavy falls upon the shingle or against the timbers in the side caused swollen and blackened eyes, and severe contusions. Some had received cuts and injuries in their contest with the gangs, and lacerated faces presented a hideous and sickening spectacle.

There was but little light during the day; but when night arrived, only a solitary lantern shed its feeble rays, and the prowling thieves commenced their work of plunder upon their unfortunate fellow-captives. Resistance was vain; cries of distress arose, but they were quickly subdued; two or three held down the victim whilst his pockets were rifled: the means of obtaining liquor were thus in the power of the abandoned; nor was it scantily, though stealthily supplied; and drunkenness increased the disorder that prevailed till a general fight took place, which was only quelled by an armed party of seamen being sent down to preserve order.

Frank and Sambo, attacked by Ruffians, in the hold of the Tender.

Horrible, indeed, was that night to poor Frank. To sleep was impossible. The noise was almost deafening; and his heart sickened at the oaths and imprecations he was compelled to hear. A miscreant had forcibly[85] grappled with him and demanded his money; but Sambo, who had patiently borne with the jokes and the taunts, and even the mischievous pranks of his fellow-captives, would not endure this; he manfully resisted, exclaiming, "Me young massa good massa for me! Ye nebber for do him harm while Sambo here!" Nor did the youth tamely yield to the plunderers: his spirit was aroused, and placing himself in attitude, he not only repelled the attack, but with determined resolution he stood up to his assailants, whilst the negro dealt out sturdy blows and kept them in check. One fellow was struck down, but another immediately came on, whom Frank met with vigorous boldness; and thanks to the instructions of Ben, his opponent found that he had both courage and science to contend against; and having no love for fighting, and seeing Sambo come to the assistance of his young master, he drew back. But the thieves commenced another desperate attack. One of them rushed in and seized Frank by the throat; another gathered up a handful of shingle to throw in his face; whilst a third drew a large knife, and laying hold of the youth's long hair, was about to inflict a deadly wound, when a stout old man-of-war's man, who had been leaning against the mast, suddenly seized the cowardly rascal by the wrist, and twisting his arm round so as nearly to throw him on his back, exclaimed, "Avast there, you lubber! do you call that English fashion? bright blades again a countryman's fist? drop the knife, and let the lad alone—drop it, I say!" and another twist compelled the fellow to obey. The seaman gave him a kick in the stern that sent him flying away amongst the crowd, and then springing to Frank's rescue, the robbers were driven off.

"What cheer, what cheer, my lad, eh?" said the tar, taking the youth's hand; "you tackled to 'em bravely, the picarooning vagabones. But here, keep under my lee, and no soul fore and aft shall mislest you. Have you ever been to sea?"

"No," returned Frank, placing himself by the side of the seaman, "I have never been to sea, but I am the son of a sailor; my father was a lieutenant in the navy."

"Indeed!" said the tar, "and pray what name did he hail by?—the son of a British officer ought to have better usage."

Frank felt the justice of the latter remark, but he did not allude to it, and merely replied, "His name was Heartwell."

"What?" exclaimed the seaman, looking earnestly in the youth's face, "Heartwell,—Muster Frank Heartwell as was in the ould Robust?"

"Yes, he was the senior lieutenant of the Robust," responded the youth, who had through Ben's means made himself acquainted with his father's history.

"Then I sailed with him," rejoined the tar, "and a better officer never had charge of a quarter-deck. And what's become of him, my boy?"

The youth briefly related the circumstances of his father's disappearance, and a conversation ensued, the seaman fully performing his promise to preserve Frank from further molestation; he also praised the negro for standing up for his young master, and Sambo remarked, "Ah Massa Frank, dis no laand o' liberty board a ship."

Still Frank's wretchedness was great; he reflected on the delightful dictures of enjoyment from universal freedom and equality which Monsieur[86] Polverel had powerfully delineated, and he contrasted them with the scene before him, where the defenders of their country were treated worse than brutes by the hand of power. It is probable that he would have sunk under the infliction, but the hope that he cherished of seeing his mother come to his rescue. Yet even that hope was mingled with many misgivings, lest the officer should not have communicated with her, and he might be sent away without being able to acquaint her where he was.

The morning came, a cutter was hauled alongside the Tender, and Frank and Sambo, with about one hundred and fifty others, were put on board; her sails were set, and with a fair breeze she was soon gliding down the river. But Frank, though aware that they were on the move, could see nothing of the proceedings; the impressed men were all confined in the hold, and so crowded together that to sit down was impossible.

At length they reached the Nore, and the impressed hands were transferred to a gun-brig that immediately got under-weigh for the Downs. Confinement was now at an end, the men were permitted to be on deck, and the refreshing breeze came delightful to the wearied frame of the youth. Provisions were also served out, and by the time they had reached their first destination he had in a great measure recovered his proper tone. But the brig did not anchor here; a signal was made for her to proceed to Plymouth, and without delay she made sail through the Straits of Dover. The noble white cliffs and the beautiful scenery of the coast delighted Frank. The sun sparkled upon the waves of the blue ocean, and threw its golden gleams upon the fertile land of his nativity, whose lofty barriers rose in grandeur to defend its shores, and whose "wooden walls" floated in pride to protect its commerce. The horizon was studded with the white sails of distant vessels, and the ships as they approached or passed, hoisting their ensigns, gave a bright break in the picture.

Still the thoughts of his mother's uneasiness operated on Frank's heart, and he determined to write to her as soon as they got to Plymouth; but even this satisfaction was denied to him, for when abreast of Torbay a seventy-four came out and received a draft of hands from the brig, amongst whom was the disappointed lad and the negro, and without communicating with the shore she spread her canvas for the Mediterranean.

This preyed upon the lad's mind, but no time was allowed him to indulge in dejection; he was ordered to go to the purser's steward and get supplied with sailor's apparel, which having dressed himself in, he was mustered before the first lieutenant, who questioned him as to his abilities in order to give him a station. Frank at once told him he was the son of an officer, and had never been to sea before; he named his father, and as the circumstances of his disappearance were pretty well known, Mr. Evans not only took the lad by the hand, but declared himself an old friend and messmate of Mr. Heartwell's, and the emotion he evinced plainly indicated what his feelings towards him were. He was requested to stand on one side till the muster was over, when the lieutenant introduced him to the captain, a noble and generous-minded seaman, who listened with attention and commiseration to Frank's narrative, inquired whether he wished to continue in the service, and finding the lad was desirous to do so he sent for the clerk, and the rating of midshipman was entered against the name of Frank in the muster-book.

[87]

It would be impossible to describe the varied feelings of Frank at this favourable change in his fortune, which he regretted he could not at once communicate to his mother. On the passage out, however, they fell in with a corvette homeward bound, and the newly-made midshipman having a letter ready written describing the events that had occurred, he was enabled to send it by this conveyance, and his mind became more tranquil, and his heart more buoyant.

As for Sambo, he was very soon reconciled to his lot, especially when he saw that his young friend and master was made an officer, and treated with kindness and respect. The negro was stationed in the main-top, and showed himself desirous to learn his duty.

History has recorded the events connected with the occupation of Toulon by the allied forces; and here it was that Frank first beheld a scene of warfare. Splendid was the spectacle to his young and ardent mind. There lay the combined fleets of England and Spain, their bright colours and floating pennants flashing in the sun; whilst in the background rose the almost perpendicular mountains of granite, relieved at the base by the white batteries and buildings of the town. As they approached the noble harbour, the smoke from the cannon and musketry proclaimed that active hostility was going on; and Frank felt his heart swell at the thoughts of being engaged with the enemies of his country.

They had scarcely moored the ship, when reinforcements were demanded for the shore; and a party of seamen and marines was landed under the command of Lieutenant Evans, and Frank was permitted to accompany him on duty in the town.

Here he had indeed opportunity of beholding all the pomp, the circumstances, and the cruelties of war; for scarcely a day passed that did not bring with it a skirmish with the enemy. It was not, however, till several weeks had elapsed that Frank was engaged in hostility. It was on the night of the sortie made by General O'Hara against the masked battery that had been constructed by Buonaparte to play upon Fort Malbosquet.

Armed with a cutlass, a brace of pistols, and a pike, the young midshipman accompanied his party to the attack. He felt that he was now an officer in the service of his country; and though his heart palpitated at the thoughts of going into battle, he determined not to flinch. The night was dark; and silently and stealthily they proceeded up the mountain.

This enemy had suspected the design, and were in readiness to receive them; and then began the terrible affray. Frank kept as close to Mr. Evans as he could; he had in some measure become used to the peals of musketry, but not to the consequences of the murderous discharge; and his heart quailed when he beheld body after body rolling down the declivity, and heard the shrieks of the wounded as they lay bleeding on the ground, or fell from crag to crag mangled and dying.

This dread did not last long, for he was hurled into the very thick of the mêlée, and desperation lent strength to his arm. Encouraged by Mr. Evans, who cheered on his men, he rushed forward with the advance, his spirit rising as the strife increased. For a short time he was separated from the lieutenant, but the tide of contest ranging back, he once more joined him at the moment that he had been brought to the earth by a blow from the butt of a French musket; and the soldier was about to[88] repeat the stroke, when Frank with his pike charged with the utmost violence he could muster against the man; the sharpened iron entered his breast so as to throw the soldier off his balance, the blow descended short of the intended victim, and the weapon was shattered to pieces.

But the French soldier was not defeated; and snatching at the prostrate officer's sword he possessed himself of it, and prepared to take ample revenge on the stripling who had no other weapon to oppose to his gigantic strength than his cutlass. Frank gazed at his powerful adversary and believed his last hour was come; but he determined not to abandon the lieutenant. One thought—one moment's thought of his mother intruded—a pang of bitterness and anguish passed through his heart; and then placing himself on the defensive, and purposing if possible to elude his enemy by activity, he saw him advance. At this instant, however, a British corporal interposed, and lunged at the Frenchman with his bayonet; but the brave fellow had been previously wounded and his strength was failing him; still his spirit was indomitable, and a sharp conflict ensued, Frank occasionally getting a cut at the Frenchman, whose superior fencing gave him an admirable command of his weapon; and the youth with horror saw the sword of Mr. Evans passed through and through the body of the corporal: it was done with the rapidity of lightning, and the gallant man fell to the ground with one deep and parting groan.

A laugh—a horrible laugh of triumph issued from the enemy as he now considered his young victim safe to satiate his revenge. The body of the lieutenant lay between them; and as he began to give tokens of returning animation, the soldier seemed undecided whether he should attack the youth or give the officer the coup-de-grace. Frank beheld him advance—he would not retreat, but with cool determination parried the thrust; but the superior strength of his opponent prevailed; his guard was beat down, and the sword that had so recently taken life was again wet with blood; the youth was borne backward on its point, and in all probability another second would have stretched him lifeless by the side of Mr. Evans, had not a bold athletic seaman flung himself against the soldier, who promptly recovered his blade, but not till he was staggered by a blow from the tar, who shouted in a voice that Frank instantly recognised, "Ware hawse, you lubber—puckalow that—what's the odds, so as you're happy?"—it was Ben Brailsford.

A cry of delight burst from the youth as he incautiously hailed his old companion; for Ben was not aware who it was that he had preserved; but on hearing the well-remembered tongue of his young friend, he turned suddenly round. The Frenchman instantly perceived his advantage, and made a pass that must have dangerously wounded if not killed the worthy seaman, but that the tar, intuitively sensible of his error, sprang on one side, and the sword of his antagonist did but graze his arm. For several minutes the conflict was desperate; Ben was unskilled in the practices of scientific fencing, but he was perfect master of the guards and cuts; and the Frenchman's vigour began to relax through the wounds he had received, and the excessive exertions he had undergone. At last finding resistance futile, the soldier dropped the point of his sword in token of surrender, and the seaman, after disarming him, hastened to the side of the youth, who had fallen to the ground inanimate.


[89]

THE LIVERY—OUT OF LONDON.

At my friend the squire's, when he lived down at Grassby Farm in Cheshire, I was a constant visitor; and for nothing was that pleasant hospitable house more remarkable than for the eccentric animals that found their way into it, whether as guests or as servants. Of both classes, in the course of a very few years, there were several queer specimens. I laugh as I recal them to mind.

Delightful Grassby, what joyous hours have rolled away there! Well content should I have been to have remained a welcome guest there for ever, if I could but have secured the privilege of dining as sparingly as I liked, and of taking just as few glasses of the old ale or the old port as suited me, rather than my friend. But with the old-fashioned notions of hospitality prevalent there, the comfort of "enough" was out of the question. It was a word never used at the squire's table. If you desired to taste a second or a third dish, good bountiful Mrs. N. sent you a second or third dinner; and not to eat all that was placed before you, though already long past the point where appetite and desire cease, was to break through every principle of their establishment, and violate all their simple ideas of etiquette and good breeding. If you left the remaining wing of the turkey, they would be wretched for the rest of the day—"You didn't like it," "you were not comfortable." After a year or two, Mrs. N. did so far relax, and mingle mercy with her hospitality, as to say when placing two ribs of roast beef upon one's plate, "I hope if there's more than you wish for, that you won't scruple to leave it." The reader will be lucky if he can secure as much indulgence as this, at many country-houses where old fashions and principles yet prevail, and my Lady Bountiful reigns supreme.

Consequences the most alarming sometimes ensued from this sense of the necessity of consuming whatsoever was placed before you by your host. A travelling acquaintance of the squire's (one Mr. Joseph Miller) paid him a flying visit one morning; and as he could not possibly stay one moment, and insisted upon not taking any refreshment at all, he was let off with a tankard of ale, and some of the finest cheese in the county. The traveller threw upward a look of despair as he saw about half a magnificent "Cheshire" introduced to his notice; but as time was precious, he went to work, and ate with vigour for half-an-hour, when the postboy knocked to remind him of the necessity of completing that stage in a given time, or the journey would be fruitless. The answer returned was, that the traveller "would come as soon as he could;" and upon the cheese he fell again with increased energy. Another thirty minutes elapsed, when he paused to gaze, with evident symptoms of exhaustion, on the semicircle of Cheshire, not yet visibly diminished; a second rap now summoned him, but his reply was an anxious, hopeless look, and the faint ejaculation "Wait!" The attack on the cheese was once more renewed, but by no means fiercely. "Gad," cried the squire, at last, "had I guessed you could ha'[90] staid so long, we'd a hastened dinner a bit." "So long!" exclaimed the traveller in a tone of despair; "let me tell you such a piece of cheese as that isn't to be got through so soon as you think for!"

Another case, and a still more piteous one, was that of a young and simple damsel from a neighbouring county, who brought with her to Grassby Farm the established consciousness (prevailing still over a large portion of the country) of the unpardonable rudeness of sending away anything presented by the host. Accordingly, one day at dinner, when cheese was sent round, and a plate containing several pieces was handed to the young lady, she presumed it to be meant for her, and as in duty bound devoured the whole supply. It so happened that she did not visit at the squire's again for some considerable time; and then, when remonstrated with for not calling upon her friends at the farm, she said, "Well, I will call, I shall be delighted to dine with you again; but—pray don't give me so much cheese!"

All who entered the farm seemed alike under the influence of one dreary and imperative necessity; that they must take whatever was offered them—which never failed to be too much. A French gentleman one evening underwent with exemplary politeness the martyrdom of drinking sixteen cups of tea, simply from not knowing that he was expected, when tired, to put the spoon in the cup. This at last he did, by mere accident, or good Mrs. N. would have gone on pouring out for him all night, to her great felicity.

Never but once—only once—was that excellent lady convicted of a fit of moderation in the arrangements of her table, and that was when some fine London acquaintances had been persuading her to transform a rustic lout of a stripling into a page, and assuring her that thick pieces of bread at dinner were quite barbarous and vulgar. She did so far forget her original nature, as to decorate the boy with roley-poley buttons, to turn his Christian name of Colin into the surname of Collins, and to admonish him on the subject of bread thus—"Collins, don't cut up so many loaves when we have company at dinner; I don't like very small pieces, but then there shouldn't be too many; you should count heads; you must know how much bread will be wanted, and cut accordingly. Now mind!" Kind, hospitable dame, how was she punished for her precaution! When the next dinner-party assembled, and a dozen persons had taken their seats at the table, Collins proceeded to hand the bread round after the provincial fashion of twenty years ago; but by the time he reached his mistress, the last person of the dozen, the bread was gone. "Collins," said she, in a low discreet whisper, "some bread, some more bread." Collins's[91] whisper in reply was meant to be equally discreet, but it was more audible. "Please, ma'am, I did count heads, and cut twelve bits, but that 'ere gentleman has took two pieces!"

Collins, the page, was but the folly of a day; he speedily disappeared; yet there remained for some time in the heart of his mistress a lurking desire to engraft a few of the best London usages upon the more substantial country customs, and if not to keep pace with the spirit of the present age, at least to emerge out of the deep recesses of the past. Robin, the successor of Collins, was a victim to this spirit of innovation. He was a rustic of one idea; which was, to do whatever he was ordered as well as he could. If told to make haste, he would simply start off at the top of his speed; if told to fly, he would assuredly attempt with his arms and coatflaps an imitation of the action of a bird, and fly as well as he was able. He understood all instructions literally; Robin had no imagination. To bring in everything upon a waiter, was an order he could easily comprehend; mistake was impossible. "Well, I declare!" cried Mrs. N. to some visitors one morning, "you haven't yet seen my pets;" (some pups of an illustrious breed, that had just seen the light;) "Robin, bring in the pets—they are miracles." There was considerable delay, however, in the execution of this order; and more than one inquiry went forth, why Robin did not bring in the pups. At last, when curiosity was at its height, and expectation on tiptoe, Robin did contrive, after a "to do" outside the door, to make a formal appearance with the pups, and to explain the delay:—"Here be pups, ma'am, only dang it they won't keep on waiter."

Where the squire picked up the Imperturbable who came next, I never understood. At this distance of time it is not unreasonable to doubt whether he was in reality a human being; he might have been a talking automaton. He never appeared to have "organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions;" he seemed to be simply a thing of clock-work. "Master wants a bit more muffin," or "The ice has broke and master's drownded in the pond," would be uttered by him in exactly the same formal tone of voice, with exactly the same stiff and deliberate air. It was all one to him whether he had to announce—"There's a cricket-match on the common," or "the French have landed." Never shall I forget his walking into the room one day, an hour after dinner, and fixing himself beside his master's chair while the squire was telling us one of his sporting stories which were sometimes rather long; waiting patiently until the close for the signal to proceed, and then when the Squire had turned round leisurely to know what he wanted, saying in his slow tone, "When I went up stairs, sir, a little while ago, the house was a-fire! It's burning now."

[92]

But I ought to relate one more example of the manner in which the patience of the Squire's lady was tried, by the rusticity of her attendants, during the short season of her attempt to elevate her household arrangements into something like fashionable dignity. One day, when the Squire had sent off, upon some frivolous errand, every servant in the house except cook and coachman, in dropped a very important visitor who proffered his company at dinner, to the consternation of the lady: hospitable as she was, she was in a dilemma; but it could not be helped. The services of the coachman were duly called into requisition to wait at table, greatly to his chagrin, for he detested the duty, and whenever he chanced to be called upon to perform it, was sure to find some means of letting all the room know that he did. He abhorred indoor work, and took a pride in proclaiming himself to be coachee. On this occasion, having some apple-dumplings to bring in (vulgarities to which the Squire was considerably attached), the coachman, not qualified by daily practice for the duty, let some of them slip off the dish; but recovering himself, he contrived to balance the dish as he held it out, and to steady the rolling dumplings therein, with a "Who-o, whoo-oo, whut!" Neither the Squire nor his lady ever affected the "gentilities" after this, or allowed their honest hearts to be disconcerted about trifles; and with this last "tray" of domestic awkwardness, I for the present take my leave of the Livery.
Rus in Urbe.


OMNIBUS CHAT.

"Easy travelling this, sir; smooth roads, no turnpikes; no dirt thrown about, no splashing. Pleasant for me, who have just arrived from Van Diemen's Land," (we all looked up at our new visitor V. D. L.)—"yes, sir, where they are 'mending their ways,' as you are here, only not quite so fast; haven't got to Indian-rubber roads yet, though advanced beyond the point at which the traveller in my legend was obliged to stop." This allusion being evidently preparatory to the production of a story, V. D. L. was invited to explain, which he instantly did by chanting the following

LEGEND OF VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.

Long time ago, when public roads
In far Van Diemen's Land,
Were only fit for frogs and toads,
Composed of pools and sand;
[93]
(For folks had not tried newest modes
Of making wood-ways grand);
And narrow wheels, and heavy loads,
Made ups and downs on every hand:
Long time ago,
When things were so,
By some arch wag it was averr'd
The following incident occurr'd.—
It chanced, on one of old October's days,
A traveller was travelling along,
And, as he jolted in his strong-spring'd chaise,
"Beguiled the tedious minutes" with a song:
When, lo! a hat upon a pool he sees,
That did not seem to feel the "balmy breeze,"
But in the middle kept its place!
As if it had resolved, with honest pride,
Not to be driven down upon the side,
When it might hold the central space.
The traveller got out, and took it up,—
Most strange!—a head beneath the hat appears,
Whose hair had of the puddle ta'en a sup,
And now was weeping dirty-looking tears:—
"How?" said the traveller, "why! how is this?
You've sunk a precious depth, my friend, in mud;
How did you 'come to go' so much amiss,
As walk in muddy water—in cold blood?—
Ye gods! why, sir, you must have been like lead,
So deep into this puddle to have gone."
"If I'm so deep," the other gruffly said,
"Where, where, must be the horse that I am on?"

"Accidents of that sort will happen in the best regulated countries," remarked a modern Traveller, who had now, with an air of subdued jollity, taken his place amongst us, and who was distinguished among his familiars as Illustrious Tom, "though I can't say I ever witnessed such an adventure in Cheapside. But you call to mind a home-adventure, a scene at Bolton. Most towns, you must know, in almost every county, can boast of their little evening coterie, in which the affairs of the nation are more or less learnedly discussed, and where the wags of the place play off their jokes, practical, comical, or serious. It generally happens, too, that these congregated sons of smoke (for smokers they all are) take up some district name; as the 'Bolton Trotters,' the 'Wigan Badgers,' the 'Item Dolls,' the 'Corporation of the King's Arms Kitchen,' the 'Quarter of Hundred Bricks,' or a hundred other names that might be mentioned; and all these coteries are composed of about the same materials, the doctors, lawyers, retired tradesmen, country squires, and budding wags. It may be my province by and by to detail a few of the farcicalities which I have either taken part in, or heard related by some old Brick-Badger, Trotter, or Doll. For the present, here is a tale, related to me with many a deep sigh by an old one, whose trot is now reduced to a most miserable shamble.

"It had been a stormy November day, when a commercial traveller alighted at the door of the Swan Inn. It was almost dark. He was a gentleman from Leeds, in the cloth trade, and had ridden over the moors—not as the young ones do now who drive—but on a strong Cleveland bay cob, wrapped in a good Devon kersey coat, that would defy all weathers, much better than your nasty Mackintoshes. Well, sir, there was a good deal o' guessing, among us who were having a bit o' trot, at who he was. The waiter was called in, and 'thowt he was a new chap,'—he didn't know him. In about an hour he made his appearance, and begged to be allowed to join us. He was a strapping Leeds win'er, and no toy to play with, I assure you. The trotting was very slow for a time, when the bold wag, Jem Brown, went in to win, and filled his pipe. Mr. A., the lawyer, sat on one side the fire; the traveller, in what was called Travellers' Chair, on the other. Up got Jem to ring the bell, and then, as he passed by him—'You must[94] have had a rough day,' says Jem; 'didn't I see you ride in about an hour ago?' 'Mebby ye did, I come in about that toime,' was the answer. 'On a bay cob?' says Jem. 'Eigh, a did.' 'A clever little hack, I be bound,' says Jem again. 'Eigh,' rejoins the traveller, 'the fastest in any town he goes inta.' 'Wew!' says Jem, 'I'll upo'd him a good 'un, but that's going ow'er far.' 'I'll bet a pound on't,' says the traveller. 'Nay, I never bet money—but I'll bet brandies round, I've a faster.' 'Dun,' says the traveller. 'Order in the brandy, and book it,' says Mr. A. Down went the bet, and down went the brandy, and the horses were ordered out. The traveller was soon mounted, and sure enough it was as nice a tit as onny man need wish throw a leg over. The traveller began to be impatient, when Jem at last made his appearance at the door, pipe in hand. What's that your fast hoss? let's see him walk.' On he went. 'Here, come back, and come in, for ye've lost.' 'Lost, how?' 'Why,' says Jem, 'mine's been stuck fast at Bolton-moor clay-pit this three days, and gone dead this afternoon.' 'A fair trot,' cried the whole party, amidst a roar o' laughter, as Jem retreated out o' the way of the strapping and irritated loser. (Now it was on the same evening, and at the expense of this same sturdy Yorkshireman, to provoke whom was no joke, that a joke was played off, which is commemorated in an oil painting that now hangs up in the commercial room of the Swan. Mr. A.'s leg was covered with a black silk stocking; the traveller's was cased in stout leather; when a bet was laid that the wearer of the silks would hold his leg longer in hot water than the wearer of the leathers. The experiment was tried in boiling water. In two minutes the Yorkshireman was in agony, while the lawyer looked on with astonishing composure-for his was a cork leg.")

"But a Yorkshireman may be a philosopher," observed C.E.W., who now interposed a remark, "and philosophy can stand every description of hot water, save that which love brings us into. Practical jokes are of many kinds; a kiss is very often but a practical joke; and as an appropriate successor to your tale of the silk stocking and the boot, let me give you the story of

THE GIRL AND THE PHILOSOPHER.

As Kate went tripping up the town
(No lassie e'er looked prettier),
An "unco chiel" in cap and gown
(No mortal e'er looked grittier)
Accosted Kitty in the street,
As she was going to cross over,
And robb'd her of a kiss—the cheat,
Saying, "I'm a philosopher!"
"A what?" said Kitty, blushing red,
And gave his cap a toss over;
"Are you? Oh, phi!" and off she sped,
Whilst he bewail'd the "los-oph-er!"

"The learned lover, sir, who bewailed the 'los-oph-er'(said a visitor, who now favoured us with his company) was the last man in the world to die of love. No man ever died of love, who did not kill himself; and no man ever killed himself, who knew what philosophy was. True philosophy may buy prussic-acid, but, like Tantalus, taste not a drop; true philosophy saunters to the Serpentine, and then saunters back to supper and a cigar. This," said Dr. Bulgardo, L.S.D., "I shall endeavour to illustrate in a poetical tribute to


THE GRAVE OF THE SUICIDE (WHO THOUGHT BETTER OF IT).

My eye grew as dull as a half-scallop'd oyster,
And soon would my death in the Times have rejoiced her;
So to Battersea-fields, for no meadows are moister,
I hurried to drown both myself and my woes.
Down life's sunny stream many seasons I'd floated
Till pleasures now bored me, on which I had doted;
So I vowed that my death should by lovers be quoted
Where the pale, sentimental asparagus grows.
[95]
Alas! I exclaim'd, with a half-broken hiccup,
The soft crumbs of comfort no more can I pick up;
My sorrows are mix'd as it were in a tea-cup,
Without any sugar to take off the taste.
But sorrows are often inflicted to try us;
Kind fortune, invisibly, often stands by us;
And now on the roof of the famous eel-pie house
The blinker-eyed goddess was luckily placed.
She kindly assured me my views were mistaken,
That really by Betty I wasn't forsaken;
So I walk'd back to town and got into the Fakenham
coach, to return to my Betty again.
Four lovers already had tried to divert her
Attentions from me, but their eagerness hurt her;
She said that she knew that I wouldn't desert her,
And now is the suicide gayest of men!"

A RIGID SENSE OF DUTY.

At one of our sea-port towns there stood (and, we believe, doth stand there still) a fort, on the outside of which is a spacious field, overlooking a delightful prospect of land and water. At the time we are speaking of, a Major Brown was the commandant; and his family being fond of a milk diet, the veteran had several cows that pastured in the land aforesaid; a sentry was placed near the entrance, part of whose duty it was to prevent strangers and stray cattle from trespassing therein. Upon one occasion, an Irish marine, a stranger to the place, was on guard at this post, and having received the regular orders not to allow any one to go upon the grass but the major's cows, determined to adhere to them strictly. He had not been long at his post, when three elegant young ladies presented[96] themselves at the entrance for the purpose of taking their usual evening walk, and were quickly accosted by the marine with "You can't go there!"

"Oh! but we may," uttered the ladies with one voice, "we have the privilege to do so."

"Privilege," repeated the sentry; "fait an' I don't care what ye have, but you mustn't go there, I tell ye; it's Major Brown's positive orders to the conthrary."

"Oh—ay—yes—we know that," said the eldest of the ladies with dignity, "but we are Major Brown's daughters."

"Ah, well, you don't go in there then anyhow," exclaimed Pat, bringing his firelock to the post, "you may be Major Brown's daughters, but you're not Major Brown's cows."


The answer to Mr. Sly's Enigma (in last No.) is a liquid[5], which forms the third part of Rum, the fourth of Port, the fifth of Shrub, the sixth of Brandy, the seventh of Madeira, the eighth of Burgundy, the ninth of Bordeaux, the tenth of Maraschino. It is a letter which is not seen in the alphabet, forms no part of a syllable, and yet is found in every word.—V. D. L.


"Are there two 'S's' in St. Asaph?" asked Lord Dunce of a popular humourist, as he was directing a letter to a learned Bishop who bore that title. "Unless you wish to make an 'ass' of his Lordship, decidedly not," was the answer; and Lord Dunce finished the address without further inquiry.


Driver (calling out). Tom, is that 'ere elderly lady come, as ve vaited for last trip?

Cad. Vel, I do think I sees her a coming.

Driver. But are you sure it's the same?

Cad. Oh yes—Vy I was in the office ven the Governor booked her, by the name o' Mrs. Toddles, and eh?—hang me if she arn't a toddling off the wrong vay arter all. Vel, drive on, ve can't wait for nobody. Some people alvers aire too late, and alvers vill be.

Driver. Vy, yes, Tom; but I reckon it must take her a couple o' hours to put on that bonnet afore she comes out. She must git up a little earlier, or else I should reckimend her to put it on the night afore.


Oh my goodness there is a mouse!!!

Oh! my good gracious! here is a great
"Black Beadle" !!! !!!!

Flying Beadles.

[See larger version]

[97]

FRIGHTS!


There is no fever so contagious as fright. It runs, like a bell-wire, through the house, communicating from one line of agitation to another.

Frights, in a national point of view, are called "clouds on the political horizon." These clouds are very catching; if one nation in Europe has the vapours, all have—as we have lately had an opportunity of witnessing. In a civic, or we should say rather in a commercial, sense, frights are called "panics;" they are wonderfully contagious. No sooner is one house in danger, than another feels itself in peril. You walk at such a season through some vast capital, amidst lines of lofty and durable-looking mansions, and every one that begins to totter puts at least a couple in mind of tottering also. As this nods to its fall, that returns the nod instinctively. Once set the panic afoot, and each seems inclined to be foremost, rather than hindmost, in the road to ruin; let but a single firm topple down unexpectedly, and its neighbours break too, from nothing but sheer apprehension of breaking. Amidst large assemblages of people—in ball-rooms, theatres, often in churches—fright is irresistible in its progress, if once kindled. The cry of "fire," or a sound construed into the cracking of the wainscot, is enough. The strong, the weak, the bold, the nervous, the old stager and the young novice—are all reduced simultaneously to a common level: they become one mass of flying, fluttering, struggling, shrieking, selfish mortality—rushing to the door, and there effectually blocking up the way; each bent on escape, and each helping to render escape impossible; trampling, stifling, crushing one another, in hideous rout and disorder, without one rational idea amongst the bewildered multitude of the reality of the danger, or one courageous impulse to face it.

This wild alarm, like jealousy, makes the meat it feeds on. There is something so contradictory in it, that the presence of numbers, which should be its protection, increases its confusion. It sees its own pale, glaring, terror-stricken image in each man's face, and its diseased imagination multiplies the causes of fear, because its effects are manifold.

While such panics prevail, as all veracious chronicles show they do, amongst mankind, who shall presume ungallantly to laugh at thy innocent objects of terror, oh, womankind! or, childhood, even at thine! All have their favourite antipathies. Gentlemen ere now have been appalled at the sight of a black-bottle; many a lady yet looks aghast at the intrusion of a black-beetle; while the child still screams, affrighted at the idea of black-bogy. Leaving the first to the satirist, and the last to the schoolmaster, let us picture to the eyes of ladies a scene, in which every fair reader almost must have been, at least once in her life, an actress.

We will suppose that scene to be a lady's "finishing establishment"—for there are no schools now—the school went out of fashion with the shop, and the "establishment" came in with the "depôt" and the "emporium."

The group is the prettiest possible, as a specimen of still-life; there is not a whisper, scarcely a motion; the superior is silently calculating the amount of her Michaelmas accounts; the assistant is mutely wondering[98] whether young Ariosto Jackson, whom she met at Northampton last holidays, will again be there at the next breaking up; and several young ladies, in process of tuition, are learning irregular verbs by heart, reading treatises abstrusely scientific, and thinking all the time of nothing; when—all of a sudden—but no, that is not the word—quicker than lightning, transformed as by magic, the scene presents to the eye but one image of consternation—to the ear but one note of terror and dismay.

In the centre of the sacred apartment has been detected a small sable intruder. A cry of horror from one young lady—"Oh! my good gracious, there's a great black beadle!" brings every other young lady's heart into her mouth. In an instant the room resounds with wild piercing screams. Every chair has its pedestalled votary of Fear, its statue of Alarm exquisitely embodied; the sofa boasts a rare cluster of affrighted nymphs—more agonised by far than if they had been, by some wicked bachelor of a magician, locked for life into a nunnery. The lady-president, to exhibit an example of presence of mind, has leaped upon a chair for the purpose of pulling the bell; she at the same time conveys a lesson of industry, for she agitates it like a "ringer" pulling for a leg of mutton and trimmings. The bell-rope breaks, and the other is out of reach. The screams increase; the servants are summoned by more names than they were ever christened by. "Cook, Sarah, Betsy, Betsy, Jane, Cook, Sarah," are called, together with several domestics who have long since gone away.

In the mean time let us snatch a glance at the little dingy contemptible insect, the sable agitator, the Christophe of entomology, who has innocently created all this palpitation in tender bosoms, this distortion of beautiful features, this trembling of limbs, and this discord in voices the most musical. He stands a moment stupified, petrified with astonishment at the rush and the roar around him; recovering from his first surprise, he creeps a pace or two in blank perplexity; he wrestles with his fears—for frightened he is out of his little black wits, you may depend upon it—runs here and there, a few inches to the east, and then a few inches westward, to and fro like a bewildered thing; and then making up his mind, "away he cuts" as hard as he can pelt into the obscurest corner. The enemy out of sight, the boldest of the party, after a minute or two, ventures down and makes a desperate rush to the door; others soon follow this heroine's example; and when they reach the landing—there pale, though recent from the roasting jack, and peeping up from one of the lower stairs of the kitchen flight, they perceive the face of the cook—a face whose expression is half curiosity, half fear. Aspects of wonder and wo-begone alarm are discernible beyond, and fill up the picture of agitation.

"Oh, cook! where have you been?" cry the pretty tremblers.

"Oh, Miss! what is the matter?" sighs the cook sentimentally, observing at the same time that "her heart beats that quick as she ain't sure she knows her own name when she hears it."

"Oh, cook!" cries the least exhausted of the party, "here's a great—here's a great black beadle in the parlour!" On which a very small scream, and a pretty shudder at the recollection, pervade the assembly.

"A black-beadle, Miss Higgins! is that all! Lauk, well that is disappineting; we thought as you was all a being murdered, and so we[99] couldn't move, we was so frightened. Why, I minds a black-beadle no more nor—no more nor—no, that I don't! But if it had bin a hearwig, Miss Higgins!—ur-r-r-rh! now that's a ruptile as I never could abide!"

Had we rushed down stairs sooner, just before the first ring of the bell, a kitchen-group might have presented itself, not unworthy of being sketched. There should we have seen a feminine party of four seated round a table spread with solid viands; the actresses have played their parts to perfection; not like unfortunate players on the mimic stage, who raise to their parched lips empty japan cups, and affect to eat large slices of pasteboard turkeys. No; they have, in the fullest sense of the word, dined; and are in that delicious state of dreamy repose, induced by a hearty meal, about mid-day in summer, after having risen early and "washed" till twelve! It is at this juncture they hear the loud quick ring of the parlour-bell. At such a moment, when Missus know'd they was at dinner! Again, again, again; nay, the peal is continuous, and mingled with confused screams. Terror and the cold beef combined, strong ale and intense alarm, prevent them from stirring. Still the bell rings, the screams continue, and grow more distinct! Sarah faints, Betsy manages about half a fit, and Jane staggers a few paces and falls into the arms of Robert the gardener. A jug of ale, which the cook mistakes for water, flung into the face of the fair insensible, causes a sensation that arouses the whole party; and curiosity overcoming fear, leads them towards the stairs, where, hushed and horror-stricken, they await the dread intelligence that "a great black beadle has got into the parlour," his first appearance this season!

"Had it been a mad dog, indeed!" they all cry. Yes, and if it had been merely a tiny puppy with the smallest tin kettle tied to his tail, retreating affrightedly from roguish boys, they themselves would have been thrown into a fright indeed. Their instinct would have led them to cry, "Oh here's a mad dog," and to run right in his way.

Every man has his "fright." Toads are exceedingly unpopular. The deathwatch, like conscience, doth make cowards of us all. Spiders are unwelcome visitors. Rats (politics apart) are eminently disagreeable. One of a party who went out to kill buffaloes, happening to run away just as all his courage was required, explained the circumstance to his friends thus: "One man dislikes this, and another man that animal; gentlemen, my antipathy is the buffalo." But in certain climates, people are accustomed to horrors; they sup full of them. Nobody there screams out, "Oh here's a scorpion!" or "Good gracious, here's an alligator!" The visits of such common-places are not angelic, being neither few nor far between. It is only some rarer monster that can hope to make a sensation. Now, a hippopotamus, once a season, would come with a forty black-beetle power to an evening party; and a group of timid ladies, kicking the mere crocodiles and rattle-snakes away, may well be imagined rushing into a corner, startled by an unlooked-for intruder, and crying out "Oh my! if here isn't a mammoth! Mamma! here's a great large leviathan!"


[100]

A PEEP AT A "LEG-OF-BEEF SHOP."

It is a melancholy sight to witness the half-starved, anatomical-looking small youths, dressed in every variety of poverty's wardrobe, that linger for hours near a certain little bow-window in St. Giles's; where the nobility, gentry, and public are informed that by paying down the sum of threepence they will be allowed peaceably to depart with an imperial pint of leg-of-beef soup in their own jug. It is a moving sight. To see the hungry looks—the earnest gazes, that are darted through that little bow-window—to see with what intense relish they snuff up the odoriferous vapours which occasionally ascend through the gratings beneath that little bow-window, or roll out in their full fragrance through the doorway adjacent to that little bow-window, ensnaring at every other burst some new, hungry, unsuspecting wayfarer—to see this is indeed a moving sight. Seldom, very seldom is it the good fortune of these watchful youths to revel in such luxuries as leg-of-beef soup, or its rival, alamode; they are beings destined only to view such things afar off, and make vain speculations upon their ravishing flavour; to contemplate them as amalgams expressly prepared for the affluent—those happy ones who can spend threepence and not feel it. Oh! what felicity to be the master of such a shop!—to eat as much as he likes and nothing to pay—to be able to feast his eyesight with the savoury contents of those bright tin kettles when not hungry—to dress in a white apron and striped jacket, and to have supreme command of that ladle—to be able to look sternly upon those perturbed spirits without, and disregard their earnest whisperings of "Oh, don't it smell jolly; and warn't that piece prime, though!"—to be able to go on fishing up the delicious morsels with the same provoking coolness. Oh! to what joys are some men born!

[101]

But see. Here come two that have had their enjoyment; maybe each has eaten a whole three-penn'orth. No longer do the fumes possess any charm for them; they can now walk composedly past those magic kettles. Now, two happy beings are entering the elysium—two whose delights are yet to come. One of them is a dustman in a spotted neckerchief, red wrist-cuffs, and a cap peculiar to gentlemen in that line of business; the other is his lady, glorying in the euphonic name of "Doll."

See with what a majestic air he strides in and takes his seat, as if he could buy up the whole establishment twice over if he chose. Hark with what a lordly voice he calls the waiting-boy, whose benevolent master, for services rendered, rewards him with ninepence per week, and the gratuitous licking of all the crockery soiled on the premises.

"Vater!" again vociferates he of the neckerchief. "Yes, sir," is the reply. "Didn't you heear me call vater afore?" "Sorry, sir, but the gen'l'm'n as is just gone was agoin' to forget to pay, sir—that's all, sir." "That's nuffin to do vith me. Ven I calls 'vater,' I vants yer. I can't afford to vaste my precious breath to no purpose as the members o' parliament do, so just prick up them long ears of your'n, and then I think you'll grow the viser." "Yes, sir." "Vell, then, bring this here leddy and me a freeha'penny plate each, and two penny crusties, and ven a gen'l'm'n calls agin, listen to his woice, or maybe it's not unpossible he may get his bit o' wittles at some other ho-tel." With another professional "Yes, sir," the urchin vanishes from the presence.

Once more the purveyor's ladle dives into the bright tin kettle. Again he tortures the hungry beholders outside the window—as they look on with outstretched necks and spasmodic mouths—with glimpses of its treasures. They see the choice bits of gristle but for an instant, and no more; for whilst gazing at the sight, in a paroxysm of longing and fever of desire, the plates are borne off to that vile dustman.

"Now, Mr. Imperence," says the lady, addressing the purveyor's protégé, at the same time, with much dexterity and elegance, converting a fork she has discovered upon the seat into a toothpick. "Now, Mr. Imperence, I hope you've brought a little less paddywack in it than there was yesterday. As Will says," she continues, stirring and scrutinising the contents of the plate, "bless'd if this house ain't quite losing its caroter." "Brayvo! Doll!" ejaculates her lord approvingly, as leaning backwards with extended leg he draws from his pocket a coin of the realm. "Here, jist valk yer laziness across the vay, and travel back agin vith a pint of half-and-half. Now, vot do you stand ringing o' the money for? Do you think other people is as vicked as yerself?"—"Th' s'picious little warmint!" rejoins the lady, swallowing a spoonful of the soup with alarming expedition, and fulfilling the purposes of a napkin with the back of her hand. "Did you see wot a imperent grin the little beast give?" "Never mind, old gal, you get on," responds the dustman, lounging with both elbows upon the table, and regarding with an air of much complacency the thin-visaged youths outside. "You get on, for I must soon be astirring."

In due time the boy and the solution of malt and hops present themselves, and after a hearty draught of the grateful beverage, the dustman[102] evinces a disposition to become musical, and whistles an air or two with perhaps rather more of good will than of good taste. He suddenly looks round, and discovering his lady has finished the plate of soup and the last drain of beer also, summons forth the juvenile waiter from behind a little partition, just at the mortifying moment when his tongue is making clean the interiors and exteriors of two recently-used plates.

"Now, then, young imp, wot's the damage?"—"Sixpence, please sir," said the waiter, vainly endeavouring to quiet his tongue, which keeps playing round the sides of his mouth; "two plates and three loaves, please, sir." "We aint had free, you cheating little wagabond!" screams the lady; "we've only had two—you know that!" "Oh! beg pardon, ma'am," replies the boy, after a sly lick; "it was t'other box where the gen'lm'n was as had three. Fippence, then, please sir—two plates and two new'uns—fippence."

"You're a nice sample o' thievery for your age," says the dustman, contemplating the boy with one eye, and then counting out four penny pieces and four farthings with curious deliberation. "You're a nice article to cast a gen'l'm'n's bill. Do you happ'n to know a cove in London by the name o' Ketch—Jack Ketch?" "Yes, sir." "Vell then, the next time as you go his vay, have the goodness to leave your card, and say you was strongly recommended to him by me. Now, Doll."

Having delivered himself to this effect, greatly to the moral benefit of the boy, who mechanically replies at the conclusion of it, "Yes, sir," with a dignified step he leads the way to the door, merely condescending, as he places his foot upon the sill, to inform the proprietor, that "he's blow'd if there's a worser prog-shop in the whole blessed vurld!"
Alpha.


A FEW NOTES ON UNPAID LETTERS.


The penny-postage has already wrought an extraordinary change in the public ideas of the value of money. Formerly, according to the old maxim, ninepence was but ninepence; but even twopence has now become a sum sterling, to demand which is to stir men's blood as violently as if the said coins were flung in their faces. To put a letter into the post, and an intimate friend to the expense of twopence, was, only the other day, perfectly natural; under the present system, it is fiendish.

A letter sent free costs the sender a penny; to receive a letter not pre-paid, is to expend double the amount. In the degree of attention shown to this little fact, it is not impossible to find a test of the principles of mankind—of the whole corresponding portion of creation at least.

The last post-office returns show, that there are upon an average 7654 persons—monsters in the human form, we should rather say—in this metropolis alone, who walk about day by day dropping stampless epistles into ravenous letter-boxes, from sheer misanthropy—hatred of their fellow-creatures; which feeling they are pleased to call forgetfulness, stamplessness, or copperlessness, as convenience may dictate.

[103]

Never become enraged when you receive a missive from one of them—never storm when you pay double—lest you should chance to justify where you mean to condemn.

At unpaid letters look not blue,
Nor call your correspondent scamp;
For if you storm, he proves that you
Received his letter—with "a stamp!"

Reflect seriously upon the character of such a correspondent. The man whose letters are not pre-paid may be thus denounced:—

He is selfish, because he would rather you should pay twice, than that he should pay once.

He would rather inflict an injury on his friend, than act fairly himself.

He is disloyal, because he ought to grace his letter with the head of his Queen, and he declines doing so.

He prefers seeing his brother's two pockets picked, to having a hand thrust into one of his own.

He is an old fool, who wants to be thought young, and affects carelessness, because it is a youthful fault.

Rather than take a bottle of wine out of his own cellar, he would drink a couple at his neighbour's expense.

Sooner than experience a stamp on his toe, he would see his old father's gouty feet trampled on.

He is ready to discharge a double-barrelled gun at anybody, to escape a single shot at himself.

He would ride his friend's horse fifty miles, to save his own from a journey of five-and-twenty.

To avoid an easy leap from the first-floor window, he would doom his nearest connexion to jump from the roof.

Rather than submit to the privation of half a meal, he would subject any human being to the misery of being dinnerless.

He is penny wise and twopence foolish. His penny saved is not a penny got, since the damage he occasions will recoil upon himself.

He is more mindful of the flourishing finances of the postmaster-general, than of the scanty funds of individuals who are dear to him.

He has no care for the revenue, for he shrinks from prompt payment.

He is dishonest, for rather than pay in advance he won't pay at all.


Above all, never listen to anything that may be urged in his defence. Never attach the slightest importance to such arguments as these:—

He is the best of patriots, because he raises a sinking revenue.

He is the best of friends, for he impels all whom he addresses to do good to the state at a slight cost to themselves.

He is the most loyal of men, for he cannot bear to part with his Queen's likeness, even upon a penny-piece.

He is a gentleman, and never has vulgar halfpence within reach.

He is kind to street-beggars, and gives away the penny in charity before he can get to the post-office.

He is well read in ancient literature, and knows that those who pay beforehand are the worst of paymasters.

[104]

He is delicate-minded, and feels that a pre-paid letter implies a supposition that the receiver would care about the postage.

His house is open to his acquaintances, who write so many notes there that he never has a stamp to use.

He scorns to subject the portrait of his lady-sovereign to the indignity of being tattooed like a New-Zealander.

He is a logician, and maintains that if a penny-postage be a good thing, a twopenny-postage must be exactly twice as good.

He enables others to do a double service to their country, rather than by doing half that service himself, prevent them from doing any.

He denies himself one pleasure that his fellow-creatures may have two.

He sympathises in the postman's joy at the receipt of twopence, as it brings back old times, and restores to him his youth.

He is so anxious to write to those he loves, that the stamp, hastily affixed, comes off in the letter-box.

Signing himself "your most obedient humble servant," of course he dares not take the liberty of paying for what you receive.

He is married, and leaves it to bachelors to pay single postage.

Mark his hand-writing, nevertheless; and when his unpaid epistle arrives, let your answer be, a copy of the "Times," supplement and all, sealed up in an unstamped envelope.


FIRST DISCOVERY OF VAN DEMONS' LAND.

BY CAPTAIN MARRYAT, C. B.

The vessel rose upon the mountain waves, with her bowsprit pointing up to the northern star, and then plunged down into the trough of the sea, as if she were diving like the porpoises which played across her bows,—shaking and trembling fore and aft as she chopped through the masses of water which impeded her wild course. Sea after sea struck her on the chesstree or the beam, pouring over her decks and adding to the accumulation of water in her hold. Her sides were without a vestige of paint—her shrouds and standing rigging worn to less than inch-rope; her running rigging as mere threads; the foresail, the only sail set, as thin as gauze. Decay was visible in every part of her; her timbers were like touchwood; even her capstan had half rotted away; and her masts might have proved, if once ashore, a safe asylum to colonies of ants and woodpeckers. How then could a vessel in this forlorn condition continue afloat or contend with so fierce a gale? Because it was the spectre-ship with her spectre-crew; Vanderdecken, in the Flying Dutchman, still contending against the divine fiat, still persevering in his fatal oath—that he would double the Cape. Vanderdecken stood at the break of the weather-gangway with his chief officer, Jansen, by his side. The crew were most of them sheltering themselves under the weather-side of the deck; their large, flat, pale muffin faces sunk down deep in their chests; shoulders, high and[105] bony; their nether garments like bladders half shrunken, as if there was nothing in them. When they shifted from one part of the deck to the other, their broad, flat feet made no sound as they passed along the planks, which were soft as pith.

Their dresses were now of the colour of mahogany or chocolate; seaweed was growing here and there on their jackets; and to the seats of their small-clothes, a crop of barnacles had become firmly attached. They all looked melancholy and disheartened; and as they shivered, the rattle of their bones was distinctly to be heard.

Vanderdecken put his speaking-trumpet to his lips—

"Another pull of the weather fore-brace," cried he.

"Yaw, yaw," replied the spectre-crew, put into motion by the order.

The boatswain piped belay—the sound could hardly be distinguished, as from long use he had blown away much of the metal of which his pipe was composed. Jansen, the mate, looked up at the fore-yard, and then at Vanderdecken. He appeared at first irresolute when he looked into the dogged countenance of Vanderdecken;—at last, he hitched up his nether garments with both hands, and spoke—"It won't do, Captain Vanderdecken,—and the men say it won't do—do you not, my lads, all of you?"

"Yaw," was the hollow, melancholy response of the seamen.

"Donder und blitzen—what won't do?" replied the captain.

"We must bear up, Captain Vanderdecken," replied Jansen; "the ship leaks like an old sieve; our hold is full of water; the men are worn out; every sail we have has been bent and split; nothing but the foresail left. It's no use, Captain Vanderdecken, we must bear up and refit."

"You forget mine oath," replied Vanderdecken, surlily. "Hold on, Jansen, that sea is aboard of us."

Jansen shook his three jackets and ten pair of small-clothes, as soon as the drenching had passed over.

"I tell you, Mynheer Vanderdecken, it won't do—we must bear up."

"Yaw, yaw," responded the crew.

"Mine oath!" cried the captain again, as he held on by one of the belaying pins.

"Without sails, without provisions, and without fresh water on board, you cannot keep your oath—which was to double the Cape. We must bear up, refit, and then try it again."

"Mine Oath—I have sworn—I cannot—I will not bear up; Jansen, hold your tongue."

"Well, you may keep your oath—for we will bear up for you against your will."

"We will! Who will? Do you mutiny?"

"Yaw, yaw; we all mutiny," cried the sailors; "we have been now two years trying to double this stormy Cape, and never had a dry jacket the whole time; we must mend our small-clothes, and darn our stockings. For two years and more we have had no fresh meat, and that is contrary to the articles. Captain Vanderdecken we do not mutiny; but we will bear up; with your will, if you please; if not, against your will."

"So you mutiny, you ungrateful rascals! Well, stop a moment, till I go into my cabin; when I come out again, I will hear what you have to[106] say, and see if any man dares speak;" and Captain Vanderdecken in a great fury rushed aft and went into his cabin.

"I know what he will do, my men," said Jansen; "he has gone for his double-barrelled pistols, and will shoot us through the head;—we must not let him come out again."

"Nein, nein," replied the seamen; and they ran to the cabin-doors, and made them fast, so that Vanderdecken could not get out, and could shoot nobody but himself.

"Now my lads," said Jansen, "put the helm up, and square the yards."

"What's the course to be, Mynheer Jansen," asked the man at the helm.

"Keep her right before it, my man; how's her head now?"

"About south-west."

"That will do—it will fetch somewhere—she walks fast through it. Spielman, heave the log."

"What does she go?"

"Eighty-five miles an hour; but we must allow something for the heave of the sea," replied the second mate.

"She don't sail as well as she did; but we are half full of water," replied Jansen.

When a ship runs down more than two degrees of longitude in an hour, it does not take her long to go half round the world. The Flying Dutchman, as she flew along, was pursued by the demons of the storm[107] visible to the crew on board, although not to mortal eyes: some, with puffed-out cheeks, were urging her through the water; others mouthed and yelled; some kicked her stern in derision; others tumbled and curveted in the air above her—ever keeping pace with the vessel, jibing and jeering at their victory; for the Flying Dutchman no longer battled against the adverse elements, but at last had yielded to them. The Dutchmen cared little for the imps, they were used to them, and they smoked their pipes in silence, all but Vanderdecken; the mutiny of the men had put his pipe out.

On the second day they had passed Cape Horn without perceiving it; the wind veered more to the east, and they steered more to the northward. On the fourth evening, the sailor on the look-out at the bow called out "Land, hoh!" They steered right for it and entered a large bay; the anchor, in many parts not thicker than a pipe-stem, was dropped, the foresail clued up, and having first armed themselves, the seamen let the captain loose. Vanderdecken was as savage as a bear. He ran out with a pistol in each hand, but a pea-jacket was thrown over his head, and he was disarmed.

"Cowardly villains!" exclaimed the captain, as soon as the jacket was removed; "mutinous scoundrels—"

"We return to our duty, Captain Vanderdecken," replied the crew, "we will obey your orders. What shall we do first? Shall we mend the sails, or mend our clothes? Shall we darn our stockings, or go on shore for fresh water? Shall we caulk the ship, or set up the rigging? Speak, Captain Vanderdecken, you shall order us as you please."

"Tousend tyfels!" replied Vanderdecken, "go to——, all of you."

"Show us the way, captain, and we will follow you," replied the crew.

Gradually the captain's wrath was appeased; the ship required refitting and watering; he never could have doubled the Cape in the state she was in; the mutiny had prevented his breaking his oath—and now the seamen were obedient.

"Shall we take possession of the land, in the name of his most Christian Majesty?" said Jansen.

"Take possession in the name of his Satanic Majesty," replied Vanderdecken, turning sulkily away.

The captain had not quite recovered his good-humour—he returned to his cabin, mixed a tumbler of brandy and gunpowder, set fire to it, and drank it off—this tisane cooled him down, and when he came out, the crew perceived that all was right, so they went aft and touched their hats.

"Liberty on shore for an hour or two if you please," said they; "it's a long while that we've been treading the planks."

"Yes, you may go; but I'll keelhaul every man who's not off to his work by daylight—recollect that," replied Vanderdecken.

Donder und blitzen—we will all be on board, captain.

"They be queer sort of people in this country," observed Jansen, who had been surveying the shore of the bay with his telescope. "I can't make them out at all. I see them put their heads down close to the ground, and then they stand up again; they wear their breeches very low, and yet they jump remarkably well—Hundred tousend tyfels!" continued[108] he, as he looked through the telescope again; "there's one of them six feet high at least, and he has jumped twenty yards. It can't be a woman—if she is, what a springy partner she would make in a dance!"

"We'll take the fiddle and schnapps on shore, and have a dance with the natives," cried the boatswain.

"Mind you behave civilly and make friends with them," said Vanderdecken; "don't be rude to the women."

"Nein, Mynheer," replied the crew, who now lowered the boats and were very soon pulling for the shore—every man with his pipe in his mouth.

The spectre-crew gained the beach—quitted the boat, and took up a position under a high rock. The pipes were refilled—the schnapps handed round, and very soon they were as jolly as ghosts could be.

"Come, Jansen, give us a song," cried Spielman; "and you, Dirk Spattrel, keep company with your fiddle."

"My windpipe is not quite so fresh as it was once," said Jansen, putting his bony fingers up to his neck, "but here goes:—

"In spite of wind and weather,
In spite of mountain waves,
If our timbers hold together
And we sink not to our graves;
The Cape we still will double, boys,
The stormy Cape we'll clear,—
Who cares for toil or trouble, boys,
Who thinks of watery bier?
"We left our wives behind us,
Bright India's realms to gain,
Let nothing then remind us
Of them and home again;
Close luff'd with well-set sails, lads,
We still our course will steer,
And beaten back by adverse gales, lads,
Cry 'Thus, boys, and so near.'
"Who cares for mocking billows,
Or demons of the deep?
One half sleep on our pillows,
While t'others deck-watch keep;
Who cares for lightning's flashing, boys,
Or noisy thunder's roar?
We laugh at wild spray dashing, boys,
And clouds that torrents pour.
"The ocean is the seaman's slave,
Though mutiny it may;
Our beast of burden is the wave
As well by night as day;
To round the Cape we'll reckon, lads,
For so our captain will'd;
Three cheers for Vanderdecken, lads,
His vow shall be fulfill'd."

"Yaw—yaw," cried the crew, "we'll round the Cape yet. Drink, boys, drink—three cheers for Vanderdecken! We'll caulk the old ship; we'll repair our old sail; we'll mend our old clothes; we'll darn our old stockings, and then to sea again. Hurrah!—hurrah!"

Thus did they continue to drink and carouse until, if they had had any eyes left in their head, they never could have seen visually; but ghosts see mentally, and in the midst of their mirth and jollity, they saw some tall objects coming down gradually and peeping over the rocks, probably attracted by the fiddle of Dirk Spattrel.

"The natives!"—cried Jansen, "the natives!—now, my men, recollect the captain's orders—don't be rude to the women."

"Yaw—nein—yaw!" replied the reeling spectres; "oh, nein, but we'll get them down here and have a dance; that's civility all over the world."

"But I say," hiccupped Spielman, "what rum beggars these islanders be! only look, they are coming down to us, all of their own accord!"

This was true enough; a herd of kangaroos, attracted by the sound of the music, but of course not able to distinguish the spectre seamen, who, like all others of a similar nature, were invisible to mortal and to kangaroo eyes, had come down fearlessly to the foot of the rock where the crew were carousing.

[109]

The Dutchmen had never seen an animal so tall which stood erect like a man, and they were all very drunk; it is not therefore surprising that they mistook the kangaroos for natives clothed in skins, and as the broadest part of their dress was down on the ground, of course they fancied they were the women belonging to the island.

"Strike up, Dirk Spattrel," cried Jansen, taking hold of the paws of one of the kangaroos. "Wel sie valtz, Fraulein?"

The kangaroo started back, although it saw nothing, and of course said nothing.

"Don't be shamming modest, Fraulein. Now then, strike up, Dirk;" and Jansen passed his arm round the kangaroo, which appeared very much alarmed, but, seeing nothing, did not hop away. The rest of the seamen seized the other kangaroos by the paws or round the body, and in a short time such a dance was seen as never took place before. Some of the kangaroos stood upon their thick tails and kicked at their invisible partners with their hind feet, so as to send their ghostships many yards distant; others hopped and jumped in their fright many feet from the ground, taking their partners with them; others struggled violently to disengage themselves from their unseen assailants. Shouts, laughter, and shrieks resounded from the drunken crew at this strange junketting; at last, in their struggling to detain the animals, and the attempts of the[110] frightened kangaroos to escape, the Dutchmen found themselves all mounted on the backs of the kangaroos, who, frightened out of their senses, bounded away in every direction. Thus did the ball break up, every kangaroo carrying off its partner in a different direction. Dirk Spattrel was the only one left, but there was a kangaroo also unemployed; determined not to be left behind, the fiddler jumped on its back, and clinging fast by his legs, commenced such a furious screeching upon his instrument that the animal made a bound of nearly forty yards every time, Dirk Spattrel playing on like one possessed, until he had not only gained, but was far in advance of his brother riders. Away they all went over hill and dale, the fiddle still shrieking in advance, until the exhausted animals fell down panting, and the Dutchmen, tired with their own exertions, and overcome with liquor, dropped asleep where they fell,—for ghosts do sleep as well as mortal men.

The next morning there was no one on board at eight o'clock, and Vanderdecken was full of wrath.

At last Dirk Spattrel, the fiddler, made his appearance with the remains of his instrument in his hand.

"Donder und vind—where are the crew?" cried Vanderdecken.

"All gone off with the natives," replied the fiddler.

"I thought as much," roared Vanderdecken, "and now I'll give you something for your good news."

Vanderdecken seized the end of the fore-brace and commenced a most furious attack upon the shoulders of Dirk Spattrel. The blows were given with great apparent force, but there was no sound, it was like buffeting a bag of wind; notwithstanding Dirk worked round and round, twisting and wincing, and crying, "Ah, yaw, ah!"

"Take that, scoundrel!" cried Vanderdecken, as much out of breath as a ghost could be.

"They're coming off now, captain," said Dirk Spattrel, rubbing his shoulders.

Jansen and the rest of the crew now made their appearance, looking very sheepish.

"Where have you been, scoundrels?"

"Mynheer Vanderdecken," replied Jansen, "the island is peopled with ghosts and goblins, and demons and devils; one of them seized upon each of us and carried us off the Lord knows where."

"Fools!—do you believe in such nonsense as ghosts and spectres?" replied Vanderdecken, "or do you think me such an ass as to credit you? Who ever saw a ghost or spectre! Stuff, Jansen, stuff—you ought to be ashamed of yourself."

"It's all true, captain; they came down and ran away with us. Is it not so, men?"

"Yaw, yaw," said the crew, "it's all true, Captain Vanderdecken; they leaped with us as high as the moon."

"Much higher," cried Dirk Spattrel.

"You're a parcel of lying drunken dogs," roared Vanderdecken; "I stop all your leaves—you sha'nt go on shore again."

"We don't want," replied Jansen, "we will never go on shore at such[111] a place—full of devils—it is really Van Demon's Land;—we will have the fiddle on the forecastle."

"Nein," replied Dirk Spattrel, mournfully showing the fragments.

"De tyfel," exclaimed Jansen, "dat is the worst of all;—now, men, we will work hard and get away from this horrid place."

"Yaw, yaw," exclaimed the crew.

They did work hard; the sails were repaired, the ship was caulked, their clothes were mended, their stockings were darned, and all was ready.

The wind blew fiercely from off shore, roaring through the woods, and breaking down heavy branches.

Vanderdecken held his hand up—"I think there is a light air coming off the land, Jansen—Man the capstan."

"Only a cat's paw; it will not fill our sails, Captain Vanderdecken," replied the mate.

The gale increased until it was at the height of its fury. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the rain came down in torrents. The wind howled in its rage.

"I think we shall have a light pleasant breeze soon," said Vanderdecken. "Heave round, my lads, a little more of it and we shall do. Hoist blue Peter and fire a gun." A colourless flag, thin as a cobweb, went to the mast-head; the match was applied to the gun, which was so honeycombed and worn out, that the smoke came out of it in every direction as if it had been a sieve. The anchor was hove up by the spectre crew; the sails were set, and once more the phantom-ship was under weigh, once more bounding through the waves to regain her position, and fulfil her everlasting doom. And as she flew before the hurricane, the crew, gathered together on the forecastle, broke out in the following chorus:—

Away, away! once more away,
To beat about by night and day;
With joy, the Demons' land we leave,
Again the mountain waves to cleave.
With a Ha—Ha—Ha!
Once more the stormy Cape we'll view,
Again our fearless toil pursue;
Defy the spirits of the air,
Who scoffing bid us to despair.
With their Yaw—Yaw—Yaw!
Ha—Ha—Ha!

[112]

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER V.

Ben Brailsford lost not a moment in raising the insensible Frank in his arms, and was about to quit the ground, when he caught sight of the prostrate lieutenant, who now began to recover something like consciousness. He hesitated to depart, and that hesitation was fatal to their freedom, for the enemy had rallied, and receiving a strong reinforcement, became in turn the assailants. The allies were beaten back, and in a few minutes Ben and his young charge were prisoners of war under the guard of the very soldier who had so shortly before been defeated by the seaman. In their progress to the rear they stopped at a dilapidated house near Alcoule, which was occupied as an hospital, and Frank's wound, which was not very serious, was dressed by a surgeon, and the youth recovered.

In the same apartment were several wounded officers, amongst whom were General O'Hara and the man who subsequently ruled the destinies of France—Napoleon Buonaparte. But the young midshipman and his gallant protector were not suffered to remain; they were placed with a number of other prisoners under an escort, and proceeded on towards Paris. At Louviers they were joined by another detachment from Toulon, and amongst them was their old acquaintance Sambo. But the negro was not a prisoner: with the cunning of his race, he had no sooner been captured than he declared himself the servant of Monsieur Polverel, and that being forced into the English service, he was endeavouring to escape. His story was not at first credited; but being recognised by the younger Robespierre (then acting as the chief of the commissariat before Toulon), who had seen him in Paris, he was released. A plausible tale deceived the Frenchman, and Sambo was sent round to join his master.

Ben hailed the black with great glee, and Frank addressed him, expressing regret at his capture; but the wary negro pretended not to know them, though when they halted for the night, he found means to supply them with provisions, and clean straw to sleep upon.

At length they entered Paris, and were met by a revolutionary mob which had just been witnessing the feeding of the guillotine with victims from their own body. The appearance of the prisoners was hailed with loud shouts, and numbers of both sexes rushed forward to wreak their still unsatiated vengeance. Sambo had stood aloof; but when he saw the extreme danger which his old friends were in, he joined them, fully determined to afford all the protection in his power. The sight of a black seemed to awaken a still greater degree of excitement amongst the rabble, especially as the negro by his position manifested opposition to their designs. Yells and shouts arose. "A bas les noirs!" "à la lanterne!" "à la place de Grève!" "let us see what colour his blood is!" "an experiment! an experiment!" "away with him to the guillotine!" "we have had no negro yet! an experiment! an experiment!" A desperate rush was made upon them, and both Sambo and the young midshipman were separated from the rest and borne away by the mob.

[113]

It was perhaps well for Frank that he had been plundered of his uniform soon after his capture; for such was the demoniac hatred of the English, that, as an officer, he probably might have been torn to pieces. The negro addressed them in their own language, announcing himself a native of San Domingo, employed by Monsieur Polverel, but his voice was drowned in the universal outcry, and then he joined in their shouts of "Vive la Nation!" sung snatches of revolutionary songs, danced as they danced, and tried by every means to appease their fury. But the wretches wanted to see a black man die; it promised a new sensation.

The mob approached the Hôtel de Ville, when their progress was arrested by a tall man who was supported on a post that elevated him so as to be distinctly conspicuous to all. His dress was shabby in the extreme, and on his head he wore the revolutionary cap, but both Frank and the negro instantly recognised Monsieur Polverel. He spoke to the rabble, and in a vehement address that drew down loud applause he approved of their excesses, whilst the mob, to show that they had fresh victims to immolate, thrust forward the negro and the youth, so that he might see them. Polverel instantly descended, and, rushing amongst the throng, clasped the negro in his arms.

"What do you?" exclaimed he; "in your just fury the eye of reason is dimmed—is he not a man and a brother?" and again he embraced him, to the great surprise of the black. "Cease, my friends," continued Polverel; "know ye not that deputies have arrived from San Domingo to sit in the great council of the nation? This is one of them; I am a member of the Society of 'Les Amis des Noirs,' and know him well." He turned to Sambo, "Pardon, citizen deputy, the zeal of the people." He took the arm of the astonished negro, and pinching it most unmercifully, shouted "Vive le peuple, vive la nation;" the impressive hint was not lost, for Sambo's voice rose high in chorus.

In an instant the scene was changed, the merciless wretches were diverted from their purpose, and the negro whom they would have murdered in pastime but for this fortunate intervention was raised upon the shoulders of two stout men and greeted with cheers of welcome; they bore him along to the Hôtel de Ville. In his joy for deliverance Sambo forgot his young master, but it was only for the moment; and in turning to look for him, he saw that Monsieur Polverel had taken him under his protection, and was leading him away from the throng; for the Frenchman had not forgotten the obligation he was under to Frank for saving him from the fury of an English mob; he withdrew him cautiously from the dangerous company he was in, and placing the youth under the charge of a friend, followed the rabble in order to perfect the rescue of his servant.

The person to whose care Frank was entrusted was an elderly man apparently verging upon sixty years of age, but there was a keenness in his eye and a vivacity in his manner that manifested an active and intelligent mind; his dress was slovenly, but he wore a handsome tri-color sash round his loins, and carried a red cap in his hand. At first he spoke to Frank in French, but something occurring to displease him, he broke out into broad English, and muttered his anathemas against the cause.

[114]

"You are an Englishman, then," said Frank, with symptoms of disgust which did not escape the other's notice.

"Thou art right," returned the man; "I am an Englishman by birth, but a citizen of the world—a friend to the whole human race on the principles of universal liberty. Expatriated and driven from my country, this noble and enlightened nation has adopted me; and here in brotherly affection I can carry out into practice my theory of the rights of man. What is life, my young friend, without the blessings of freedom!"

At this moment a municipal officer, attended by three or four subordinates, stepped up to Frank's companion, and, grasping him by the arm, uttered "Citizen Paine, you are our prisoner."

"By whose authority?" demanded the Englishman, his face assuming a deadly paleness.

"The authority is here," returned the officer, showing a paper with the signature of Robespierre attached to it, and, a fiacre immediately stopping by their side, citizen Paine was hurried into it and driven off to the Luxembourg, where, in the chamber which had been occupied by many a victim to the revolutionary mania, he contemplated the paternal regard of the nation that had adopted him, and sighed for the blessing of that freedom of which he had so vainly boasted. He had sat in judgment on the mock trial of the unfortunate Louis, but had given his vote against the monarch's death. This had rendered the ambitious dictator his enemy, and an opportunity was soon sought to take his life. The egotistical boasting of Thomas Paine afforded a pretext for arresting him; he was sent to prison, and would have been sacrificed by "his friends" but for an accident which saved him.

Frank, hungry and thirsty, destitute of money, and but with few rags to cover him, now stood alone in one of the by-streets of Paris. As evening came on, he crept into the cellar-way of an uninhabited house. At daylight he emerged from his concealment, and proceeded in the same direction in which he had been going when parted from his guide. It was yet early when, on turning a corner, he beheld a well-looking young man, accompanied by a stout Amazonian female, who were hurrying forward, but, on seeing the youth, suddenly stopped, and Frank felt his arm grasped by the woman, whilst a chuckle of delight escaped from the young man, who uttered in a whisper—

"Yah no for peak-a me, Massa Frank, hearee? Dere him, massa, for me behind—tan lilly bit become for you."

Frank stared with astonishment—the voice was that of Sambo, but the skin was fair. "How—what is this?" demanded he.

"Oh, it's all ship-shape enough, Master Frank," said the woman in a masculine tone, and hitching up her petticoats in true nautical style. "I'm bless'd, young gentleman, but you do shake a cloth or two in the wind—but there, what's the odds so as you're happy? Mountseer Pulthebell is coming up astarn, and a precious cruise they've had arter you."

"Yah no for tand palaver here, Missy Ben," muttered Sambo, with a grin of mirth. "Golly me black deputy now, and dem debbil take off white head at 'em gullemtine, no sabby de citizen nigger," and he pushed forward with his companion.

[115]

In spite of all his mishaps Frank could not refrain from laughing at the awkwardness of the pretended female, who straddled along with swinging arms, the petticoats evidently embarrassing the wearer. In a few minutes the youth was joined by Monsieur Polverel, who cautioned him to preserve silence and follow his movements. Shortly afterwards he stopped before the entrance of a mean-looking building, and knocking at the door, was immediately admitted. Frank followed, and was ushered into an apartment poorly furnished, where he found Sambo and the seaman, and learned that Polverel, by means of his influence and some little intrigue, had procured Ben's release, and disguised in woman's clothes, under the guidance of Sambo, whose face was concealed beneath a mask, had got him clear away from present danger.

Refreshment was ordered, and Polverel led Frank through the house to some back premises, where the apartments were fitted up in the most elegant style, everything displaying an air of luxury which strongly contrasted with the appearance of the front building, which served as a blind to the populace, who had declared a lasting enmity to all things beyond their own sphere of enjoyment, though themselves were the principal sufferers through the want of demand for their manufactures and the consequent stoppage of industrious labour.

Here Frank and Ben remained, and Polverel renewed his attempts to undermine the youth's loyalty; he took him with him to the clubs; offers of lucrative appointments were made, powerful inducements were held out, but all were firmly rejected. He loved his country too well to swerve from his allegiance; his heart yearned to see his mother once again; but had there not been these incentives, the horrible atrocities he had witnessed were too deeply impressed upon his mind to permit a willing companionship with the wretches who perpetrated and sanctioned them.

In his evening excursions Frank had frequently encountered a tall man whose features were familiar to him, and more than once or twice he had observed him enter the house of Monsieur Polverel. An indefinable curiosity induced him to watch this man, and being on one occasion in a remote part of the room, when he and the deputy came in, he remained perfectly still and undiscovered, and was not long in ascertaining by their conversation that the stranger was an Englishman in the pay of the Jacobins, and had brought over some important intelligence relative to the designs of the English government, which he was now in a traitorous manner betraying to the enemy.

Frank scarcely suppressed an indignant exclamation, but fortunately he did suppress it, and rose to quit the room. This was the first intimation they had of his presence, and as he passed the spy the youth looked boldly in his face. In an instant the man's countenance underwent a change; there was the peculiar rolling of the eye which Frank had never forgotten, and lawyer Brady was revealed before him.

The young midshipman now resolved to attempt an escape, and Polverel finding that all his endeavours to detain him were useless, at last furnished him with the means. Stores were about to be forwarded to the Army of the North, and it was proposed that the seaman and his young officer should accompany them; the former habited as a Dutchwoman,[116] the latter as a volunteer, taking their chance to slip away wherever and whenever they could; but the very night these arrangements were completed, Polverel was seized by order of his friend, Robespierre, a sham trial was hurried over, and the next day he was consigned to the guillotine.

Frank did not delay another instant (for he was aware that the property of the deputy would be plundered by the populace), and being provided with the papers furnished by Polverel, set out on his journey, accompanied by Ben in short petticoats, wooden shoes, and a large hat; his whiskers were shaved off, but he would not part with his tail, and it was therefore braided up round his head, and a fine buxom vrow he made. Sambo had no inducement to remain behind; so securing what money he could find, and taking his fiddle, he joined his young master, and all three proceeded on their way. The stores for the army were not ready, and they, therefore, resolved to travel as "independent" characters.

In the evening they stopped at a small village, about thirty miles from Paris, and entering the kitchen of a cabaret, they ordered supper; but finding they were objects of notice, Frank directed Sambo to tune his violin, and he chanted forth a chansonette with much taste and feeling, to the great gratification of several young demoiselles, who honoured the performance with applause, and pronounced it "bien bon!"

Sambo next struck up a lively tune, and footing it first to one and then to another, the company caught up the humour, and to dancing they went with great glee. Frank, selecting a pretty little girl for a partner, joined in the sport; and Ben, in short, quilted, red petticoats, nearly up to his knees—his stout sustainers covered with blue worsted stockings and heavy sabots—with a tight-fitting woman's jacket and red neckerchief as a body-dress, and his pipe raised in the air, footed it merrily enough to Sambo and his violin. Frank, in a jacket with silver lace on the collar and cuffs, and diminutive worsted epaulettes on the shoulders—striped gingham trousers, and a tri-color sash round his loins, wheeled with grace and agility through the mazy figures with his beautiful little partner. She was tastefully arrayed in a white frock, embroidered with flowers, (for it was the festival of her tutelar saint,) and her hair was wreathed with vine-leaves, jasmine, and roses. Several young females, who had come to visit her on the occasion, were clad in their best attire, and, as a matter of course, the youths of the neighbourhood had joined them after their day's labour; and now they were all in motion, till dark night put an end to the revelry; and the trio, accommodated in a barn, soon forgot their cares and their pleasures in sweet, refreshing sleep.

The next morning the three quitted the cabaret—at the door they were accosted by a gendarme; but the youth told his ready tale, showed his papers, and they received no further molestation. Numerous were their adventures as they progressed—sometimes in extreme danger of detection—at others, enjoying themselves in perfect confidence. Two days they passed in the woods without food, journeying only by night.

Frank, Ben, and Sambo, amusing the Natives.

London, Tilt & Bogue, 86 Fleet Street.

At length they abandoned the direct road, and kept away to the left for the coast; hoping to reach some place in the neighbourhood of Blankenberg, a fishing village on the sea-shore. This they accomplished, and arrived about midnight on the beach, which they crept along, at some[117] distance from the vessels, lest they should be detected. Not a boat to suit their purpose could they find at liberty—all were fast secured by chains, and their oars removed, as if some such visitation as the present had been feared. In this dilemma they cautiously returned to the village, and searched amongst the cottages; but here they were again doomed to disappointment, and were about to retreat to some place of concealment till the following night, when the sound of voices was heard in a small cabin, and Frank, stealthily approaching to listen, at length got near enough to a chink in the window to see the interior, and ascertained that an Englishman, with two females, was endeavouring, by the offer of a considerable sum, to bribe three or four fishermen to convey them either to Holland or to England. The men at first seemed disinclined to listen to any proposals that might bring upon them the vengeance of the police, and they talked of surrendering them to the authorities.

"That will at once seal my doom!" exclaimed the Englishman, in agony. "Have not the wretches denounced me, because of the money they owed me, and their base designs upon my child? Oh, God! do thou appear for me in this trying moment!"

The fishermen consulted together in whispers, whilst the females clung to the Englishman; and Frank ascertained by their discourse that the elder lady was the wife, and the younger the daughter, of the man. Again the latter earnestly urged his appeal to their generosity, their humanity, and every better principle of human nature—the ladies, too, joined their entreaties. Frank was half-tempted to the hazardous experiment of bringing up his companions and forcing them into compliance.

At length the fishermen consented to embark them for Holland, or any place occupied by the Allies, on condition that they gave up all the money and every valuable in their possession previously to their departure, and insured a still further sum on reaching a place of safety. Elated at the prospect of escape, the terms were immediately complied with; and now Frank became aware of the extreme danger he should have incurred had he attempted to attack them, for whilst the Englishman and the females were divesting themselves of their cash and every valuable they had, three other athletic men came from an inner apartment—making seven in all—to claim their share of the spoil.

As soon as the division had taken place, they departed to launch their boat, commanding the Englishman and the ladies to remain quietly in the cottage till they were sent for. Frank concealed himself in an adjacent shed, occupied by his companions, till they were gone.

"It's all plain enough, young gen'l'man," whispered Ben; "they will get the great vessel afloat—come ashore in the punt for the passengers—we must seize on her, shove off, and capture the big craft—then take the ladies on board, and make sail for the North Foreland—though the wind is dead again us; but what's the odds—"

"That," interrupted Frank, "could only be effected by leaving our countryman and the ladies behind; an idea I will not for one moment entertain. Remain here—if I want you, I will whistle—then come without delay."

The youth returned to the cottage, and addressing the gentleman in French, he acknowledged that he had overheard their scheme, and earnestly[118] implored him to permit himself, a female servant, and a negro, to embark in the same vessel, provided they could gain the consent of the crew. The gentleman steadfastly refused—"he would not endanger his own safety by acceding to it."

Rather mortified at being thus harshly treated—especially as he knew that he might ensure his own safety by leaving them behind—Frank would have answered indignantly, but he preferred remonstrance, avowed himself a royalist desirous of joining the Allies, and assured him that no danger could occur by giving his consent. The man continued inflexible, till the ladies, won by the youth's earnestness, interceded, and an unwilling assent was obtained.

The light of coming day had become visible when one of the fishermen returned, and great was his apparent vexation to find other suppliants for a passage in the vessel. However, he offered but slight objection, and in a few minutes they were all down on the beach. Here a difficulty arose as to their embarkation. The punt would carry no more than two passengers beside the men that pulled, and the gentleman was unwilling to leave either his wife or his daughter behind, nor would the females consent to go without him.

"Do not fear," said one of the fishermen. "Time is precious with us—we ought to be all on board now; and rely upon it we are not such fools as to leave any one behind to betray our movements."

The latter argument was the most conclusive, and the gentleman embarked with his wife, leaving his daughter to the care of Frank, who spoke soothingly to her, and tried to allay her alarm; he took off his jacket and wrapped it round her shoulders, as a protection from the cold air, and in her fear she clung to his arm whilst he supported her.

The punt was not long away—all were soon aboard—the anchor was weighed, and they hauled off from the shore. The father with the females took up his station abaft, whilst Frank and his party occupied the midships, and the seaman and the negro were soon fast asleep; but the young midshipman's thoughts were too pleasantly occupied by his escape, and the prospects of an interview with his mother, to compose himself to slumber. Another object too now presented itself; it was the fair young creature who had so confidingly clung to him on the beach. However, to prevent observation, and the better to indulge in meditation, he closed his eyes, and pretended to be oblivious to all that passed. Whilst thus reclining, he overheard a sort of muttered conversation between two of the fishermen which, though he could only catch disjointed sentences, apprised him that treachery was at work; and he now readily understood the reason that greater obstruction had not been offered to the embarkation. The crew doubted the promise to receive further recompense, and expecting to be rewarded for delivering them up as prisoners, had come to the determination of making for a French port. Frank's ears tingled whilst listening to this avowal of abominable treachery, but he cautiously abstained from exciting any suspicion that he was aware of their designs. He determined to watch them narrowly, and when opportunity offered, he got close to Ben, who, on making a tack to windward, had roused up, and without mentioning particulars, told him "they were betrayed unless they could master the crew, and directed him to be ready for an attack at[119] a moment's warning." He then briefly conveyed a similar communication to Sambo, and vainly tried to catch the eye of the gentleman abaft for the purpose of inciting him to wariness.

The breeze was to the northward, with a lee tide running, so that, though apparently working to windward between the sands and the shore, they were rapidly drifting down towards Ostend, which was then in the hands of the French. Ben comprehended the whole of this in an instant, and saw, what the others, from their want of nautical knowledge, did not observe, that the helmsman frequently edged off from the wind, so as to facilitate their approach to Ostend, which was soon upon their lee-bow, and the boat standing for the harbour.

The gentleman, wholly insensible to the danger which threatened them, sat between his wife and daughter, and was speaking words of cheering import, relative to their being rescued from the enemy, and the prospect of soon enjoying the comforts of their native land. Everything was perfectly tranquil in the vessel, which was lightly dancing over the smooth waters and breaking the sun-light upon its surface. He also remarked upon the quietude of their fellow-passengers, and even ventured a joke upon the apparently solid countenance of the Dutchwoman, when suddenly—in an instant, as if madness ruled the moment, they saw her spring to her feet, and, grasping the pump-brake in her hand, she flourished it right and left, laying a fisherman prostrate at every blow. Sambo also grappled an opponent, whom he lifted over the gunwale, hurled into the sea and then attacked another, whilst Frank rushed aft to the steersman, shouting to the gentleman, "We are Englishmen, it is a French port under our lee, and we are betrayed; for the sake of those you love—hurrah!—do not remain inactive."

Nothing could exceed the amazement of the gentleman at this wholly unexpected occurrence, and his astonishment was still more increased when the supposed Dutchwoman, came bounding aft, flourishing her weapon, and shouting in the nautical language of his native land, as he hurled the steersman from his place,—"Ware hause, you lubber—what's the odds, so as you're happy?" and taking the tiller, he put the vessel right before the wind. "Bear a hand, Master Frank," continued Ben, "and keep her as she goes: and I'm saying, ould gentleman, jist you show yourself smart, and let 'em know as you've a little English blood in your veins. Hurrah!—what's the odds?"—and again he rushed forward to assist Sambo, who was stoutly contesting it with his foes.

British prowess triumphed—the struggle, though severe, did not last long—the Blankenbergers were conquered; the punt was cast adrift for those who were swimming—the remainder were bound hand and foot; the sails were trimmed to stand off from the land; and great indeed was the gratitude of the husband and the father, and still more delightful were the acknowledgments of the ladies, when they ascertained the great service that had been rendered to them. Mutual explanations ensued—hearty congratulations were given; and in the afternoon they fell in with an English brig which received them all on board. The fishermen, after a sound rope's-ending for their treachery, had their vessel restored; and the rescued party were the next morning gratified by entering the river Thames.


[120]

THE MUFFIN-MAN

A little man who muffins sold,
When I was little too,
Carried a face of giant mould,
But tall he never grew.
His arms were legs for strength and size,
His coat-tail touch'd his heels;
His brows were forests o'er his eyes,
His voice like waggon-wheels.
When fallen leaves together flock,
And gusts begin to squall,
And suns go down at six o'clock,
You heard his muffin call.
Born in the equinoctial blast,
He came and shook his bell;
And with the equinox he pass'd,
But whither none could tell.
Some thought the monster turn'd to dew,
When muffins ceased to reign,
And lay in buds the summer through
Till muffin-time again.
Or Satyr, used the woods to rove,
Or ev'n old Caliban;
Drawn by the lure of oven-stove
To be a muffin-man.
The dwarf was not a churlish elf,
Who thought folks stared to scoff;
But used deformity itself
To set his muffins off.
He stood at doors, and talk'd with cooks,
While strangers took his span,
And grimly smiled with childhood's looks
At him, the muffin-man.
When others fled from nipping frost,
And fled from drenching skies,
And when in fogs the street was lost,
You saw his figure rise.
One night his tinkle did not sound,
He fail'd each 'custom'd door;
'Twas first of an eternal round
Of nights he walk'd no more.
When, borne in arms, my infant eye
The restless search began,
The nursery-maid was wont to cry,
"See John, the muffin-man!"
My path, with things familiar spread,
Death's foot had seldom cross'd;
And when they said that John was dead,
I stood in wonder lost.
New muffin-men from lamp to lamp,
With careless glance I scan;
For none can ever raze thy stamp,
Oh John, thou muffin-man!
Thou standest snatch'd from time and storm,
A statue of the soul;
And round thy carved and goblin form,
Past days—past days unroll.
We will not part—Affection dim
This song shall help to fan;
And Memory, firmer bound to him,
Shall keep her Muffin-man.

[121]

A TIGER-HUNT IN ENGLAND.

"Who has let loose my tiger?" demanded Sir Pimpleton Pettibones of his butler, whom he had summoned to the breakfast parlour by the sound of the bell in a manner that indicated great impatience. "Who has dared to let him loose? I locked him up last night for robbing the larder, and this morning he is missing; where is he?"

The butler obsequiously bowed. "Extremely sorry, Sir Pimpleton; but really, Sir Pimpleton, I am ignorant and innocent of the whole affair."

"Somebody must have let him out," responded the irascible baronet, "and I shall be too late for the meet. Let search be instantly made—such a tiger as that is not to be caught every day."

The butler bowed and withdrew; whilst his master, arrayed in a scarlet hunting-coat, sat down to his repast, venting imprecations upon the tiger, whom he declared it was his determination to catch before he should accomplish further mischief. This happened at a beautiful mansion in Kent, whither Sir Pimpleton had gone down for the hunting season, taking his tiger (who was a great favourite) with him. Whilst the search was still in progress, word was brought to the baronet that the "creature" had been seen early that morning in the stable-yard, and a beautiful swift-footed pony was missing, which—as the tiger had shown great partiality to horse-flesh—it was supposed he had made away with.

"Hillio—hillio!—quick—saddle every horse in the stables," shouted the baronet, "we'll scour the country—the game is up—hark forward—hark forward!—yoicks, tally ho!" and away he went with grooms and keepers down to the stalls, where he himself saddled his best hunter, and in a few minutes he was flying away across the park, with a long straggling tail like a comet after him, towards the village.

"Have you seen my tiger?" demanded the baronet, reining up his gallant steed in front of the Pettibones Arms, and addressing the landlord—a red, platter-faced man of some seventeen stone; "have you seen him? he broke cover and stole away this morning—he must be prowling somewhere about—have you seen him?"

"Lor love yer honour, no," responded mine host, with a grin of astonishment and stupidity. "Them tigers are thirsty sowls; but he's never been here to drink."

"Hillio, hillio!" shouted Sir Pimpleton, as his attendants came riding up, "handle your whips and follow me;" and dismounting, he entered the hostelry, where the good dame was busy in culinary operations. "Where's my tiger?" was again the cry. "He's crouching somewhere here."

"Now laws ha' mercy upon us, I hope not, yer honour!" exclaimed the old dame in dreadful alarm. "What, a real tiger, yer honour? Be em a live un or a stuffed un?"

"Fool!" vociferated the baronet, "a live one to be sure, with large goggle eyes and a fang tooth. I must find his lair." The entire premises were examined, but the tiger was not there.

"To horse, to horse," commanded the baronet, to the great relief of the[122] old lady; "and hark ye, dame, if he should come here, shut him up directly, and let me know. Away, my men, away." Sir Pimpleton rushed forth, mounted his horse, and away he scoured like a madman, or what is next of kin to a madman, a break-neck squire.

"Jeames, Jeames," called the hostess as soon as the cavalcade had departed, "come in, Jeames, fasten the door, and get thees blunderbusk, and load un wi' bullocks" (bullets probably), "and if so be the crittur comes this way, shoot un, Jeames—shoot un without benefit of clargy."

On rode the baronet full pelt, and tailing after him followed half-a-dozen attendants in scarlet coats and black velvet caps. The coverts were tried, every nook was searched, but without effect, and they soon afterwards entered another village.

"My tiger! my tiger!" exclaimed the baronet as he burst into the first cottage, which contained a female with five or six children playing and sprawling about the floor. "Have you seen the tiger? he has broke loose, and cannot be far off."

"The tiger!" repeated the woman, terribly alarmed for the safety of her infants, which she speedily gathered up and thrust into a capacious closet. "Oh dear, what shall we do!" The cottage was searched, as were also several others, to the great consternation of the villagers. Then arose the cries of mothers for "Johnnies" and "Billies" and "Kitties" and "Sukies" and "Tommies," to collect the stray lambs of the fold, or, in other words, the toddling children that were playing on the green; and in a few minutes not a soul of that population was to be seen.

A turnpike was close at hand, and thither Sir Pimpleton galloped; and after a few words with the 'pikeman, his sonorous voice was heard. "Hillio—hillio!—stole away—hark forward—hark forward!" and clapping spurs to his steed, onwards they pressed, flying over hedges and ditches to make a short cut.

Now it so happened that the hounds of a neighbouring squire were out, and as the muster at the meet was pretty strong, and Sir Pimpleton was well known for an eccentric, several members of the hunt rode up and inquired "what game they had started?"

"A tiger! a tiger!" shouted the baronet; "we're hard upon him—hark forward—yoicks—tally ho!"

A tiger-hunt in England was something new in the annals of sporting; and though they thought it strange to chase the animal without dogs, yet they were aware that Sir Pimpleton had passed many years in the East Indies, and probably accustomed to the sport, they concluded it was "all right;" and desirous of witnessing the novelty, many joined in the pursuit, amongst whom was the master of the hounds and his pack.

The cavalcade drew near a large town, and in they dashed, the baronet still shouting, out of breath, "The tiger!—the tiger! Have you seen my Ben—g-g-gal?" The words were quickly caught up; and the announcement that a fierce Bengal tiger was adrift in the town spread like wildfire. The tradesmen shut up their shops; the inhabitants fastened their doors; there was a brief running to and fro in terror, but the streets were speedily cleared; and from many an up-stairs window was protruded a blunderbuss, a fowling-piece, or a pistol, the proprietors of which were[123] eagerly intent upon destroying the furious animal, though some few even thus elevated scarcely considered themselves safe from his bound. The cry of the hounds, the shouting of the hunters, the rattling of horses' hoofs upon the stones, and the wailings of women, with the cheers of the men, produced a clamour such as had never before been heard in that place. Mothers clasped their children and concealed them in beaufets, or turned them up in press-bedsteads—fathers armed themselves with defensive weapons, and a body of volunteers mustered in the inn yard with loaded muskets, taking good care however to keep the gates shut.

"Have you seen the tiger?" was still the cry; and Sir Pimpleton having obtained some information, "Stole away—hark forward," was again the word.

They shot up Shooter's-hill without stopping to breathe, and when on the brow, an animal, with apparently a blood-red back, was seen scouring towards Blackheath. The baronet, with the lungs of a northerly gale, uttered the "view halloo," which was caught up and repeated by the rest. The hounds gave tongue and made play. It was a beautiful burst. The whip and spur were plied. The steeds, though jaded, knew well by instinct that the "warmint" was in sight, and kept up their speed, and down the hill they swept like a mountain torrent.

But the tiger was not to be easily caught. There was no jungle or hollow to hide in, and away he scudded over the heath with great velocity, as if sensible that the enemy was behind him. Once he was missed, and it was supposed had run to earth in a sand-pit; but the next moment he was seen on the other side climbing the bank to shorten his distance, and in a few minutes he was over the brow of the hill past the Green Man, and descending at a tremendous rate. The hunters followed hard upon him, the hounds in full cry, and again rose the shout from a dozen voices—"The tiger! the tiger!" But the tiger had disappeared amongst the horses, and they had now no clue to his advance, except from the amazed spectators, who hastily cleared the road at the novel and somewhat alarming spectacle. "The tiger! the chase!" exclaimed Sir Pimpleton. Three or four hands were extended to point out the direction he had taken; and those who had not "dropped off" still followed the hounds. Away they rattled through the Broadway, Deptford, amidst cries and cheers of "Go it, you'll catch him directly. Hurrah!" And they once more caught sight of the tiger on the line of road towards New Cross. Cheerily again sounded the "view halloo,"—the animal seemed to be sensible that his pursuers were spurring in hot haste after him—the turnpike-men enjoyed the sport and threw open their gates—hounds and horses, and men rattled through—the Bricklayers' Arms, the Elephant and Castle, Westminster-bridge, saw them rush past like a whirlwind, the tiger still in advance; nor did the chase cease till the baronet's town mansion, close to St. James's Park, was reached. A reeking pony stood at the door, which was open. Sir Pimpleton dismounted, cheering the hunters on—the game was all alive; the whole threw themselves from their horses, and hounds and men following, the baronet bounced into the drawing-room, where Lady Pettibones was receiving morning visits from dashing young spinsters and elderly dowagers.

[124]

"The tiger—my tiger," exclaimed Sir Pimpleton, in a wild and loud voice, "he has broke loose, and is now in the house."

Dreadful was the consternation at this announcement—a mouse crossing the floor would have been terrific, but to have a savage and sanguinary tiger ranging about, the thought was horrible. Shrieks and screams abounded—some ladies threw themselves into the arms of the gentlemen, others ran hurriedly about, and many, in their terror, could not distinguish between the ferocious animal and a hound, so as to tell "vich vos the tiger and vich vos the dog." At length, one of the whippers-in rushed through the door-way, exclaiming "We've got him, your honour, they're bringing him along." The confusion grew tenfold. Screams and shrieks mingled with the loud cheers of the hunters, and the mouthing of the hounds, when a couple of grooms appeared, dragging in a diminutive being in a scarlet jacket, buckskin tights, and white top-boots, with several dirty and ragged fish hanging by a long string in his hand; they placed him in the middle of the floor right before the baronet, and it was with difficulty that the hounds could be kept off.

"You rascal," vociferated Sir Pimpleton, raising his whip, "what do you mean by leading me such a dance! Didn't I lock you up for thieving—didn't I?"

"Vy yes, your honour," responded this perfect miniature of man; "but afore that, you ordered me to carry a bundle o' red-herrings to town, and give this here letter to deliver to her ladyship, and, when I came back, to bring down the cab; so I only obeyed orders." He held up the letter, and whilst trying to conceal the tattered fish, he looked smirkingly in the baronet's face, and added, "I say, your honour, that 'ere pony's worth his weight in gowld."

"Be off then, and take every care of him," said the more appeased baronet, looking at the fish and laughing. The lad, winking at the grooms, waited for no further orders. "And now, ladies and gentlemen," continued Sir Pimpleton, "that is Ben Gall, my tiger. Men, take off the hounds; we have had a capital run, gentlemen, which, no doubt, must have given you good appetites. Your horses shall have every attention—refreshment shall be immediately brought up for yourselves—a bumper of brandy round shall open the entertainment, and since we are all here together, why we'll wind up the day like true sons of Nimrod after an English Tiger Hunt."


OMNIBUS CHAT.


Our monthly chat commences with a short dissertation on a very ample topic—

INGENIOUS ROGUERIES.

It may be remarked by any one who chooses to note the fact, that the most ingenious rogueries are seldom those which succeed best. The deep-laid scheme will often explode of itself; the right hand that never lost its cunning will sometimes miss its reward; the genius of knavery will walk barefoot, with an appetite as keen as itself; while the common bungler, the blundering rascal, the scoundrel who is idiot also, shall succeed in all his stupid, shallow, contemptible designs, and[125] ride home to dinner quite convinced that, though not strictly honest, he is astonishingly clever, or talented—for that is, in these cases, the more orthodox word.

It is not the most skilful burglar that safely worms his way to the butler's pantry, or insinuates with most success his hand into the plate-chest; nor is it the most dexterous picker of pockets who is permitted longest to ply his art, or earliest retires upon a Pelion of purses piled upon an Ossa of bandannas. The blockheads in this, as in some other professions, often carry off the palm. "Whom the gods love die young." The thief of high and cultivated talent, the swindler of fine taste and exquisite discernment, is frequently destined to suffer early the fate which considerably later overtakes the fool. Somehow the world does not do justice even to its rogues. It refuses to be taken in by the profound rascal, while it readily falls a victim to the veriest dunce in the great School for Scoundrels.

While we see so many expert horsemen breaking the necks of their nags, or throwing involuntary summersets;—while we observe how extremely careful, and how eminently well skilled, is every captain of every steamer that happens to figure in a horrible collision in broad daylight;—while we are called upon to bear witness to the excessive caution and singular scientific proficiency of every soul associated with a railway; and have to notice besides that all their care, and all their science, has invariably been exercised whenever a frightful accident may have happened upon their beat;—these failures of roguish talent, and misfortunes of accomplished knavery, cease to be peculiarly wonderful.

This remark has been suggested by observing the signal failure of a rather ingenious device, put forth in the form of an advertisement in some of the daily papers. It is an invitation to everybody who may chance to possess "unstamped receipts" for sums above £5, to communicate with the advertiser, who is, of course, to reward the production of such documents! Any simple person would suppose—as there are very droll specimens of collectors yet alive—more curious by far than any of the curiosities they collect—collectors of turnpike tickets, and of complete sets of checks for readmission to the Opera for eleven successive seasons!—that here was a gentleman who had taken a fancy for collecting a perfect set of unstamped receipts from the year 1800 to the present time. A little reflection, however, would show that his object might be to lay informations against the parties who had signed them. The design has been penetrated into still further; for it appears that all parties showing such receipts put themselves in the power of the advertiser, as being equally liable with the signers for accepting them unstamped!

Yes, we are bound to say that here was considerable ingenuity exercised. Here was a stone flung that seemed sure to kill two birds. The possessor of such a document was more than likely to be tempted to show it, by the reward of one sovereign; which the other party could well afford to pay out of the many sovereigns extracted in the shape of penalty from the said producer's pocket—to say nothing of the same amount drawn from the signer of the receipt. Since the coaxing cry of "Biddy, come and be killed" was first raised, no more seductive snare has been conceived. "I have assembled you," said the considerate proprietor of live stock in the story, "I have assembled you, my pretty birds, to learn from you what sauce you would like to be eaten with." "But we don't want to be eaten," said the birds with one voice. "You wander from the point," was the answer. So, perhaps, would the collector of unstamped receipts have said to the producers. "I have assembled you here to know what you would like to pay me in lieu of the penalty you have incurred." "But we don't want to pay any penalty." "You wander from the point."

We have all heard the most scandalous and groundless stories about lawyers;—of opinions delivered concerning the genuineness of a half sovereign, followed by the deduction of six-and-eightpence for the advice;—of thirteen-and-fourpence charged for "attending, consulting, and advising," when the occasion was a splendid dinner given by the client—followed by a demand on the angry client's part for wine had and consumed—and this succeeded in turn by an information against the said client for selling wine without a licence. These, and a thousand such libels, we can all remember; but the reality above recorded is at least as striking as the most ingenious of such fictions.

[126]

To contrast with the non-success of this wily experiment upon a grand scale, we may cite an instance of equal ingenuity, exercised in a much humbler walk, and taking the form of knavery in its mixed character. We distinctly remember it to have happened. The scene may be a seaport, or the banks of the Thames below bridge. A seaman, bearing a huge stone bottle, applies at the Nelson's Head for a gallon of whisky for Captain Rope of the Matilda, lying off shore—to fill up the bottle already half full. The spirit is duly poured in, and the cash demanded. "Oh! the capp'n said nothen about that"—the whisky was to be added to his account, and that was all he knew. But "mine host" did not know the captain well enough, and couldn't let the whisky go. The gallon was therefore poured back again into the landlord's measure, and set aside to be called for. So far there appeared to be no knavery at all; but the spirit so poured back, presently turned out to be, not whisky, but excellent one-water grog; for the two-gallon bottle of the sailor contained exactly one gallon of pure water when it was brought in, and one gallon of pure whisky and water when it was taken out.

The means in this, as in myriads of cases, are curiously disproportioned to the end. How miserably poor is the prize, considered in reference to the risk; to the cleverness in the invention of the stratagem; to the address demanded for the due execution of it, to the time consumed, the trouble taken, the agencies employed! But the truth is, that the very cleverest rascals are rarely more than half-cunning. The ablest of knaves must be at best half a blockhead. When we remember how the great Bardolph, having stolen a lute-case, "carried it twelve miles and sold it for three half-pence," the perilous, profitless, toilsome, half-witted nature of roguery needs no illustration. One would like to have seen him walking back, thirsty and way-wearied, under a broiling sun, and never sure but that the lady who once owned the lute-case might be walking that way too!

That famous exploit of Master Bardolph's ought to be registered in large letters over every judgment-seat, and on the door of every police-office. The record would save much judicial breath, and supersede volumes of admonition.


Shakspeare's illustrations of Vice might possibly have led us into a dissertation at least as long upon Shakspeare's illustrations of Virtue, but that the learned Dr. Bulgardo here honoured our humble vehicle with his presence, and called general attention to a contrast equally striking, under the following title:—


THE SISTER SCIENCES; OR, BOTANY AND HORTICULTURE.

By Dr. BULGARDO, L. S. D.,

Treasurer of several Learned Societies, and Professor of Asparagus at the University of Battersea.

BOTANY.

TO MARY, WITH A BUNCH OF FLOWERS.

Nay! say not faded—'tis despair
Has thus subdued them, for they see
That in themselves however fair,
They ne'er can hope to equal thee!
The Rose's joyous blush has fled,
With which no other lip could vie;
The Heartsease turns aside its head,
Fearing to meet thy deep-blue eye.
More sad the Myrtle's hue appears,
The Jasmine's silver star is dim;
Surpass'd by thee, thou seest the tears
That tremble on the Harebell's brim.
The Woodland Lily's silver cup
Was never seen to droop as now,
It dares not lift its flowerets up
To gaze upon thy gentle brow.
How canst thou look thus calmly on,
And watch them slowly die the while?
Recal them yet, ere life be gone,
Enchantress, with thy sunny smile!

HORTICULTURE.

TO MOLLY, WITH A BASKET OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.

Nay! say not shrivell'd—'tis despair
Has thus subdued them, for they see
That in themselves however fair,
They'll ne'er be relish'd, love, like thee!
A deeper blush the Raspberry paints,
Pale is the ruddy Beetroot's lip;
And e'en the red-cheek'd Apple faints,
As though it suffer'd from the pip.
Severely frown the Baking Pears;
The Artichoke's bold crest is down;
The awe-struck Medlar wildly stares
To see thy cheek a swarthier brown.
The icy Cucumber is hot,
The freckled Cauliflower wan;
The Mushroom has no longer got
A single leg to stand upon!
See how the rich, round-shoulder'd Figs
Bow to thy figure's graceful swell;
The sobbing Orange bursts its pigs
To find thee such a Nonpareil!

[127]

The Sister Sciences, female Siamese twins, having vanished from the scene, our correspondent, Mr. H. G. Adams, presented a second specimen of his curious


PHOTOGENIC PICTURES: A SCENE NEAR FOLKSTONE.

[Folkstone was made, says tradition, of the "odds and ends" left after the rest of the world was finished; and any one who has visited that jumble of heights and hollows, becomes impressed with the conviction that tradition sometimes speaks the truth.]

Some weather-beaten men with clothes all tar-ry,
Keeping a sharp look-out upon the ocean,
And little Tom, and Jack, and Bill, and Harry,
Making upon the beach a dire commotion,—
Dabbling, like dab-chicks, in the billows briny,
Hunting for crabs, and other things crustaceous,
While a Newfoundland dog, in sport called "Tiny,"
Wags his huge bushy tail, and looks sagacious:
Here wades a shrimper to his waist in water,
There swims a bather, snorting like a grampus;
And lo! James Muddle, with his wife and daughter,
All in a boat, and crying out, "Don't swamp us!"
Far in the offing you may see a cutter,
Her white sails gleaming like the sea-gull's pinions,—
She means to overhaul that craft, with butter
Laden, and cheese, from swampy Scheldt's dominions;
I shouldn't wonder if Schiedam—however,
That's not my business;—turn our glances landward,
There's Farley in his garden—well, I never!—
A-talking down the chimney, to my landlord;
He says, "I see you've got some greens for dinner,
"And pickled pork," but can't say more for coughing;
That smoke just serves him right—the prying sinner!
He's always jeering folks, and at them scoffing:
White cliffs, and houses, underneath and over,
And roads that seem to lead to regions airy—
Old boats converted into roofs, that cover
Buildings, in shape and size that greatly vary,
Denote the place, which popular believings
Point out as being made of ends and leavings.

Here we were reminded by a particularly ample, and unprecedentedly flaring wood-cut, borne on an appropriate pole past the vehicle, and intended to describe the indescribable effects of the fireworks in the Surrey Zoological Gardens, of a pleasant discourse which we overheard in that suburban retreat. "Quite a gem," cried a lady from Portland Place, contemplating the splendid pictorial model of Rome; "really quite a monument of the artist's abilities." "I see St. Paul's," said a lady from Shadwell, who was standing by, looking at the same time at the crowning feature of the picture, "I see St. Paul's quite plain, but where's the Monument?"

"How those butcher-boys do ride!" exclaimed an elderly gentleman in the further corner, as one of the blue-frocked fraternity, with basket on arm, and "spur on heel," dashed past at headlong speed. "Ay, sir, they ride sharp enough," replied his next neighbour, whose bronzed features and brawny shoulders bespoke him a son of old Ocean; "but of all the rough-riding I have ever seen, nothing comes up to


A NEGRO BOY IN THE WEST INDIES.

The negro boys there are the most cunning imps I have ever had to do with. I recollect on my last voyage to Jamaica, while my vessel was lying in St. Anne's bay, I had to go to Port Maria to look for some cargo; and on my way thither, near Ora Cabeça, I came to one of the numerous small rivers that empty themselves into the little bays along the coast—I think it was the Salt Gut. When at some distance, I had observed a negro boy belabouring a mule most heartily; but[128] before I got up he had left off his thumping and dismounted, and now appeared in earnest talk with his beast, which, with fore-legs stretched out firm, and ears laid down, seemed proof against all arguments to induce him to enter the water. Quashie was all animation, and his eyes flashed like fire-flies.

"Who—o! you no go ober? Berry well—me bet you fippenny me make you go—No? Why for you no bet?—why for you no go ober?" Here the mule shook his ears to drive off the flies, which almost devour the poor animals in that climate. "Oh! you do bet—berry well—den me try."

The young rascal (he was not more than ten years old) disappeared in the bush, and returned in a few seconds with some strips of fan-weed, a few small pebbles, and a branch of the cactus plant. To put three or four pebbles in each of the mule's ears, and tie them up with the fan-weed, was but the work of a minute. He then jumped on the animal's back, turned round, put the plant to his tail, and off they went, as a negro himself would say, "like mad, massa." Into the water they plunged—the little fellow grinning and showing his teeth in perfect ecstasy. Out they got on the other side—head and ears down—tail and heels up—and the boy's arms flying about as if they did not belong to him; and I lost sight of him as he went over the rocky steep at full gallop, where one false step would have precipitated them into the sea beneath, from whence there would have been but small chance of escape. No, no, a butcher's boy is nothing to a negro boy—the one may ride like the deuce, but the other is the very deuce himself riding.

"Did you see any more of him, sir?" inquired a young lady opposite.

"Yes, madam, about two hours afterwards I reached Port Maria, and in an open space near the stores, there sat, or rather lay, young Quashie eating cakes; and there also stood the mule, eating guinea grass, and looking much more cheerful than when I first saw him at the Salt Gut. 'Well, Quashie,' I said, 'you have got here I see, but which of you won?'—'Quashie win, massa—Quashie never lose.'—'But will he pay?' I inquired.—'Quashie pay himself, massa. You see, Massa Buccra, massa gib Quashie tenpenny-bit for grass for mule. Quashie bet fippenny him make him go ober de Gut—Quashie win—Quashie hab fippenny for cake, mule hab fippenny for grass.'"

"Had that defrauded mule, sir," here interposed a stranger, "been born in Ireland a brief while ago, he would have fallen to and devoured the young nigger out of hand, for cheating him of half his grass; that is, he would, if he had ever read the ancient records of that country, and become acquainted with the fact I am about to relate—but stay, perhaps you may relish it better in slip-shod verse."


THE TERRIFIC LEGEND OF THE KILKENNY CATS.

O'Flyn she was an Irishman, as very well was known,
And she lived down by Kilkenny, and she lived there all alone,
With only six great large tom-cats as knew their ways about,
And ev'ry body else besides she scrup'lously shut out.
Oh, very fond o' cats was she—(and whisky too, 'tis said,)
She didn't feed 'em very much, but she comb'd 'em well instead;
As may be guess'd, these large tom-cats, they didn't get very sleek
Upon a combing once a-day, and a "ha'porth" once a-week.
Now on one dreary winter's night, O'Flyn she went to bed,
The whisky-bottle under her arm, (the whisky in her head,)
The six great large tom-cats they sat all in a dismal row,
And horridly glared their hungry eyes—their tails wagg'd to and fro
At last one grim greymalkin spoke in accents dire to tell,
And dreadful were the words which in his awful whisper fell—
When all the other five tom-cats in answer loud did squall,
"Let's kill her—and let's eat her—body and bones and all!"
Oh horrible! oh terrible! oh deadly tale to tell!
When the sun shone in the window-hole all there seem'd still and well;
The cats they sat and lick'd their paws, all in a merry ring,
But nothing else within the place looked like a living thing;
Anon they quarrell'd savagely, and spit, and swore, and hollo'd,
Till at last these six great large tom-cats they one another swallow'd;
And nought but one long tail was left in that once peaceful dwelling,
And a very tough one too it was—it's the same as I've been telling. [C. B.]

In the Character of Marie Stuart.


[129]

MADEMOISELLE RACHEL.

Colley Cibber is the best theatrical critic we know, but if he had been asked to describe Rachel, we should fancy him falling into one of his old regrets. 'Could how Rachel spoke be as easily known as what she spoke, then might you see the muse of Racine in her triumph, with all her beauties in their best array, rising into real life and charming her beholders. But, alas! since all this is so far out of the reach of description, how shall I show you Rachel?'

The best attempt we have been able to make, is printed on the opposite page. Truth to say, a good portrait, such as one may bind up with one's copy of Racine, is the only tolerable criticism after all. So, gentle reader, there is Rachel for you: and to flatter your national likings, if you have any, she is in the dress of Mary Stuart, though the woes of Mary Stuart are not in Racine.

Quiet, earnest, intense, with a look of passion that has its spring in tenderness, that is just the expression she should wear. It pervaded all her performances, because in all of them she was the Woman. There it was, as you see it, when she said for this unhappy Mary that she was ready to go to death, for that all which could bind her to the earth had passed away; and as she said it, there came with its choking denial to her heart a sense of the still living capacity for joy or grief about to be quenched for ever. She wore that look, when, in Camille, she recalled the transient and deceitful dream wherein everything had spoken of her lover, and whispered happy issue to her love. It spread its mournful radiance over her face, when, for the wronged and deserted Hermione, she told the betrayer that she had loved him in his inconstancy, and with what something surpassing love would she have rewarded his fidelity.

Je t'aimais inconstant; qu'aurais-je fait fidèle!

Exquisitely perfect, let us say, was that performance of Hermione. Sometimes, it will not be heretical to whisper, her genius nodded or even slept: never here. The Roxane would not suffer her to do justice to her finest qualities: in the Emilie (for she was wilful) she refused herself that justice: in the Marie Stuart she was unequal: in Camille, always great undoubtedly, she had yet a very limited range: but in Hermione, she achieved a triumph of high and finished art, which will never fade from the recollections of those who witnessed it. It occurs to us, as we write, that it was in this very Hermione the famous Mademoiselle de Champmelé won the heart of Racine himself, who, after the performance, flung himself at her feet in a transport of gratitude, which soon merged into love. Luckless Rachel, that Champmelé should have been beforehand with her. How the poet would have shaken out love and gratitude upon her, from every curl of his full-bottomed peruke!

You have heard, no doubt, good reader—if you have not seen this accomplished Frenchwoman—that she is a scold, a fury, a womanly Kean, in a constant fret of passion. Do not believe it. Her forte is tenderness: she is much greater in the gentle grasp with which she embraces the whole intention of a part, than in the force with which she gives distinct hits: she is more at home in those emotions we call domestic, than in those which walk away from home on very lofty stilts. How the false notion obtained currency, we do not know. The French critics are men of lively imaginations, and it was perhaps natural that the feeling of that start of surprise with which Rachel broke upon them, should seek to ally itself to the occasionally sudden and terrible, the flighty and impetuous, rather than to the various tenderness and quiet truth which gave the actress her lasting victory.

What Rachel was before she was the first actress of France, probably the reader knows. She sold oranges on the Boulevards. Her name was Rachel Felix—an augury of fortune. An early hankering for the stage took her to the Gymnase in 1837, where she played bad parts badly enough. Not without a gleam of something beyond, however: for Sanson the actor happened to see her there, and thought it worth while to take her into teaching. He cured her of a false accent (she was a Swiss Jewess), and brought her out at the Francais in 1838, upon a salary of four thousand francs. She took the audience by storm, and her four thousand went up to a hundred and fifty thousand. Long may she flourish, to deserve and to enjoy them.


[130]

FRIGHTS!—No. II.

We now propose to turn to other illustrations of fright familiar to every family, and susceptible of description. Let us take a night-scene, conjured up by a sudden alarm of

Thieves!

'Tis midnight, and "the very houses seem asleep," out-houses and all. The "quiet family" has attained its utmost pitch of quietness. All sleep soundly, where no sound is heard. A breathless hush pervades the domicile. On a sudden, there is a smart crash, a rattling sound, below. This sleeper starts up in bed; that, darts farther under the clothes. "What's that?" is the inward question of everybody. The thought of thieves occurs to each in turn; one is certain that the area-door has been forced open; another is sure that the back-parlour sash has been raised. They lie still, with panting hearts, and listen. Again there is a noise; it is like creaking footsteps on the stairs, or the opening of drawers; then all is silent again, and then the noise is renewed.

At last one little quaking Miss ventures half-stifled to whisper, "Sarah, are you awake?" And Sarah faintly answers, "Yes, did you hear that?" and both bury themselves in the bed, and dare not breathe. And then they hear a door open softly, and they utter a low cry of terror; and then in another minute the door of their own room opens, and with a loud scream they start up—only to see their dear good mama with a candle in her hand; but she is pale and frightened, and desires to know if they had made the noise—but they had not; only they distinctly heard somebody getting in at the back-door, or the parlour-window. Then papa commands the whole assembled family "not to be frightened," and shakes dreadfully—with cold—as he looks at his blunderbuss, and avows his determination to proceed down-stairs. And then there is a "hush!" and a general listening. Yes, there is a noise still, and to the stairs he advances; while his better-half lights his way and holds his garments tight to check his desperate enthusiasm; and the eldest daughter hardly ventures beyond the chamber-door, but with astonishing boldness and exemplary daring springs a rattle; and the others hold on each by each, taking fresh fright from one another's fears. What an amount of suffering, dread, terror—is in the bosom of the little quiet family, as down to the scene of danger they creep with tortoise-pace! And what is all this anxiety, this trepidation, this sickness of the heart, for! What has occasioned so terrific a commotion! Perhaps the tongs have fallen down, and the clatter has filled their ears with all sorts of imaginary noises! Perhaps the cat is clawing at a string tied to the latch of the pantry-door; or perhaps the stupid little kitten, having got her tail into the catch of the last new patent mouse-trap, has dragged that excellent invention off the dresser, and is whisking round at intervals in a wearying and vain endeavour to extricate her unprehensile appendage! "Dear me! well I declare how I have been frightening myself!" cries every member of the shivering family; and the very next night, should the very same noises again be heard, the whole frightened family would start, turn pale, quake, wonder, pant, scream, and spring rattles, exactly as before. Where Fear has once taken possession, Experience does not always make folks wise.

"Thieves"!!!

The "Strange Cat".

[See larger version]

[131]

Let us take for another example of the daily domestic romance—

THE STRANGE CAT.

How vividly, among the events of our boyish days, do we remember the "strange cat" that got into the lumber-room at the top of the house! Our elder brother and "the boy" had endeavoured to dislodge the animal, which figured in their description as a thing of intense blackness and monstrous dimensions, with great frightful staring green eyes, horrid long claws, and such a tail! Not "frightened of cats" were we, for we had a favourite one of our own; but this—it trebled in magnitude and horror the wildest and most savage inhabitants of the then Exeter Change. Their own fears had magnified the "strange cat" into a monster; and then they wilfully enlarged the picture to terrify us—a feat, in which they succeeded, as we dared not go to the upper rooms alone. For two or three days this "reign of terror" lasted; when, a favourable opportunity being watched for, the "young master" and the "young man" marched up, broom and brush in hand, to hunt out this strange secreted intruder—the black tiger of the upper wilderness. As for our tiny self, we had ventured a part of the way up-stairs to witness the result, imagining that the enemy would make its exit by an attic window. Oh horror! A loud knocking was heard above; a tremendous shouting next arose, succeeded instantly by an appalling cry of "Here it comes!" This was, shall we say enough?—it was too much; we turned and flew down-stairs—the last "flight" of stairs being, with the aid of the handrail, but one leap. The street door! No, we could not open it. Against it then we set our back in an agony of fear, and uttered a cry that would have terrified a whole legion of cats. The hunters were in full cry. Down came the wild animal, followed by brooms and brushes, bounding and rattling over the stairs—a clatter that rent the roof. What saw we then? Not a poor half-starved frightened animal leaping over the banisters to get out of our way, and to escape through the garden-door; no, of this piteous, this actual spectacle we saw nothing,—but in its place—this!

This little "tail-piece" expanded to the dimensions of a full-sized Newfoundland dog, surrounded by a blaze of fire, will convey some idea of what, in the extremity of our apprehensions, we actually did see.

[132]


A SHORT CRUISE AT MARGATE.

Being at Margate the other day, we strolled, in company with "The Old Sailor," down to the "Jetty," where we were accosted by the veteran Hemptage, a boatman of the old school, who, with a salute, inquired "Will you take a trip this morning, Sir?"

"Not if it blows," answered the Old Sailor, assuming as much as possible the look and manners of a landsman, "I have made up my mind never to go sailing if there's a breath of wind."

The old man gave him a look, which spoke as plainly as look could—"Here's a precious lubber, to talk of sailing without wind."

"It would be on possible to move a-head and no breeze, Sir."

"I don't care for that," rejoined the Old Sailor, "I am very timid on the water; but if you're sure there's no danger, and it will be quite calm (it was nearly so), I will venture to take a sail."

"Danger!" repeated the veteran somewhat contemptuously, though there was an expression of doubt and suspicion on his countenance that seemed to say "I think you're a gammoning me."—"What danger can there be when there's hardly wind enough to fill the canvas?"

After some further conversation relative to the perils of the ocean, which drew forth some scornful glances from the veteran, we embarked in a pretty green boat, with two masts or poles, one sticking up behind and the other near the middle, to which sails were fastened. Whilst Hemptage was loosing what we believe is named the main-sail, the Old Sailor jumped aft to set what he called the "lug mizen," and he was shoving out a pole from the stern, right over the water. We immediately informed the boatman that our companion was "meddling with the things at the other end," and the veteran promptly turned round and exclaimed, "You'd better let that ere alone, Sir. You'll find somut as 'ull puzzle you there."

"Avast, old boy!" returned the Old Sailor, laughing; "I've rigged out as many bumkins[6] as you have in my time."

[133]

"Ay, ay," drawled out the veteran—"hang me if I didn't think so by the cut of your jib—I thought it was all gammon, and you knowed better than to go sailing without wind."

"You have belonged to a man-of-war," said the Old Sailor, as we were standing off from the shore.

"Why, yes, I've had a spell at it," returned Hemptage somewhat knowingly, "I was in the owld Hyacinth with Tommy Ussher, and a better Captain never walked a ship's quarter-deck. I was with him too in the Ondaunted frigate up the Mediterranean——"

"What! were you in her, in Frejus Bay, when Buonaparte embarked for Elba?" inquired the Old Sailor.

"Why to be sure I was, and remembers it well enough," returned he with animation. "And the first thing Boney did when he got aboard was to come forud on to the foksle and have a yarn with the foksle men[7]."

"What sort of a man was he?" we asked with quickness.

"What sort of a man," reiterated the veteran, "why a stout good-looking chap enough, only very swarthy. Them images as the Italian boys brings about is very like, only I never seed him in that little cocked hat."

"Why what did he wear then?" inquired we with some eagerness.

"Oh he wore a round hat[8]," replied Hemptage, "and he used to lean against the breech of the foksle gun and spin yarns with us for the hour together."

"Well!" we thought, "we never shall have done with Boney." We had never drawn him in a round hat, and the temptation was too strong to be resisted—so we have accordingly placed him at the head of this article—and as of course he would have a fashionable beaver, we have given him one of the shape of that period, and placed him in contrast with himself.—Boney versus Boney—cock'd hat against round.

It may be said "What's in a hat?" And when upon the head it becomes a rather important question. In many cases the answer would be "not much," but with respect to Napoleon it certainly must be admitted that there was something in it.

"But (we asked in continuation of our conversation) how could you talk with Buonaparte—did he speak English?"

"O yes, pretty well, considering—very well for him," replied Hemptage, "he mixed a little of his own lingo up with it—but we made it out. During the passage he used very often to come forud, and he told us he liked English sailors, and one had wounded him once at Toulon."

Fully aware that the fact of Napoleon's being wounded at Toulon had long been a disputed point, we questioned the man, and received the following statement:—

"Why," said the veteran, "he told us the English made a sortie, as they call it, and drove the French before them. Boney run as well as the rest, and an English seaman chaced after him; but whether the man was tired, or thought he'd gone far enough, he didn't know, but he gave him a shove in the starn with his bagonet, and said, 'Take that, you French Lubber.' The sailor might have killed him if he had been so disposed, but he acted generously and spared[134] his life. 'And,' says Boney, 'if ever I could have discovered the man who acted so nobly, I would have made him comfortable for life.' The wound was in his thigh."

Now had that Jack Tar taken one step further, or have made a deadly thrust, the fate of Major Buonaparte would have been sealed at Toulon, and the world would never have heard of the Emperor Napoleon. We fancy we hear some of our Hibernian friends exclaiming, "Faith, then, and it's a pity the sailor didn't know that Boney would be after doing so much mischief."

Thus conversing and moralising, we finished our "Short cruise at Margate." Hemptage is approaching his seventieth year, and his countenance displays the colours of a thorough seaman. He has been several times wounded, but looking hale and hearty. When paid off he was refused a pension—visitors will find him a pleasant shipmate in a trip—and the lovers of the marvellous may enjoy the satisfaction of conversing with a man who has seen and talked with "a live Bonyparty."


EPIGRAMS.

"Buonaparte was certainly, as Sir John Carr called him, a 'splendid scoundrel,' but he was a scoundrel still."—Daily Paper.

Not so, for if a scoundrel—doubt who will—
Napoleon was a scoundrel, never still!

SceneOUTSIDE OF THE GREYHOUND INN.

"You'll take a glass of ale or so?
Here's double X upon the door;"
"Is there," says John, "then I don't go—
It so reminds me of a score!"

THE MALADY OF DEBT.

Some people often have, they say,
What's call'd the "Maladie de pays"—
But Schneider of his customers was saying,
They had the malady of never paying.
C. H. W.

[135]

PASSIONATE PEOPLE.

"So you will fly out! Why can't you be cool like me? What good can passion do? Passion's of no use, you impudent, obstinate, overbearing reprobate."—Sir Anthony Absolute.

Of all the evils, all the injuries, all the calamities, by which passionate people are liable to be visited, none are so perilous, so overwhelming, as the encounter with a meek, cool, patient, unanswering adversary—if adversary such a wretch can be called. There is no trial in life like this. The bare idea of it puts one out of temper. To be placed, when in the full swing of a violent fit of rage, when indulging to an excess in the wildest transports of the soul, when giving loose to the most riotous emotions of our nature; to be placed at such a juncture right opposite some cold calm personification of indifference, some compound of sadness and tranquillity, with an air of entire submission, with drooping lids, and perhaps a smile not entirely free from pity; to see some such person sitting there imperturbably philosophical, putting the best construction possible upon one's violence, and evidently making silent excuses for one's ungovernable fury! I put it to any rational madman—that is to say to any man I know—whether this be not a species of exasperation too great to be borne, and quite enough to make one start off for Niagara, to enjoy the intense satisfaction, the indispensable relief, of jumping down.

I wouldn't give one drop of ink for a man who never goes into terrific passions, who never lets his blood boil over, at least now and then; but I should feel peculiar pleasure in hurling any inkstand—the writing-desk would be better—at the head of him whose fury did not instantly become ten thousand times more inflamed by the mere presence of that smooth oily virtue, that "ostentatious meekness," which at once sighs in submissiveness and smiles in superiority.

All the mischiefs that arise from the excesses of anger and rage must be conscientiously set down to the account of that provoking passiveness, that calmness which irritates the fiery beholder past endurance. Let the physician, who would minister to the mind diseased, take any shape but that. Who is there that cannot bear testimony to its galling effects from his own observation or experience! Only say to a man in a pet, "Now don't lose your temper," and he falls naturally into a rage; say to one already exasperated, and on the verge of a fit of fury, "Pray don't put yourself into a passion, it's all a mistake, there's nothing to be angry about;" and what so sure to set him off at a pace past stopping!

The image of "Patience on a monument smiling at Grief" has been greatly admired, but as a design it would hardly hold together for five minutes. Shakspeare was a little out for once. Patience smiling at Grief! How could Grief stand it! She would be transformed into Rage in no time. If at all in earnest, she must necessarily be provoked to jump down in a paroxysm, or to pitch Patience off the monument.

To the truly irritable, and I confess that I am one of them, all such irritation, to say the least of it, is superfluous. To us who have "free souls" no such provocation is wanting at any time. We are always ready to go ahead without this high pressure; our quick blood renders[136] the spur unnecessary. We never wait for "the motive and the cue for passion" that Hamlet speaks of.

The real relish and enjoyment of it consists in going into a rage about nothing. The next pleasure to that consists in being roused to fury about other people's affairs; in lashing oneself into madness about some grievance borne by a person who seems perfectly indifferent to it. There are numbers of people who may be thus said to go into passions by proxy. They have experienced a slight, of which they give a cool account to some susceptible friend, who stamps and raves at every word of the narrative. They calmly inform you that they have been shamefully ill-used; upon which they stroke their chins complacently, and leave you to tear your hair. The man who has been cruelly wronged describes with a glib tongue, while the uninjured auditor disinterestedly gnashes his teeth. I have always admired that passage in one of George Colman's plays, where a warm-hearted fellow, giving an account of some flagrant act of oppression to which he had been a witness, observes,—"Well, you know, that wasn't no affair of mine; no—and so I felt all my blood creeping into my knuckles"—and the result shows that he fell, with exemplary promptitude, into a glorious passion in behalf of the oppressed but uncomplaining stranger.

This bit of fiction calls to mind a fact which may with no impropriety be here related. It is an anecdote of a distinguished writer now no more, W. G. He had complained to me of some ungracious conduct, by which he felt hurt and insulted; he was helpless, and this made the sense of injury more acute. He spoke with bitterness, though in gentle tones. I did not echo those tones; for he was illustrious by his intellect, and venerable by his years; and, as the phrase is, I at once "rapped out"—pouring a torrent of reproach, and heaping a mountain of invectives, on the heads of those, who, to use his own words, "had dared to put an indignity upon him." He heard me, very quietly, until the full burst of indignation with which his more moderate complaint had inspired me was exhausted, and then said with an ejaculation short, sharp, and peculiar to him,—"I'm afraid you've been picking up some queer doctrines of late; the principle of them is, as far as I can understand, to be discontented with everything!" Now as he had taught me just then to be discontented, and as I was moreover only discontented on his account, I did not immediately leap out of my fit of passion into one of philosophy; and I believe he was upon that occasion much struck with certain metaphysical phenomena, on which I left him to brood; with the curious distinction, that is to say, between one fellow-creature undergoing the punishment of the knout without exhibiting a symptom of distress, and another fellow-creature looking on, all grief and anguish, shuddering at the spectacle, and feeling every lash on his own heart.

These are the most generous bursts of rage that can be indulged in; and, next to those that are altogether destitute even of the shadow of a cause, are the most delicious to the irritable. The wrongs, troubles, and perversities of individuals, from near relatives to total strangers, generally form a plentiful supply; in fact, the smallest offence will be thankfully received, as the history of irascible people amply shows. Very good[137] grounds for anger occur, as we can all remember, when a fellow-traveller at an inn refuses to take mustard with his pork-chop; or when another, in spite of every hint, persists in breaking his eggs at the small end, or lighting his cheroot at the large end; or when a sturdy fellow walks just before you through a smart shower of rain, and won't put his umbrella up, though you obligingly tap him on the shoulder, and remind him that it's pouring; or when an obstinate one declines the adoption of somebody else's opinion, merely because he has not been convinced of its reasonableness; or when an affected one pronounces the word London "Lunnun," and Birmingham "Brummagem," and, while he asserts in his justification that Lord Brougham calls the places by those names, refuses to distinguish his lordship as Lord Bruffham.

If individual grievances or peculiarities should fail, which is scarcely possible, national ones will do as well. Nay, I know a philanthropist whose heart was broken fifty times a year, whose blood boiled hourly, at the recollection of some great outrage that had happened in the dark ages. Passion, moreover, has this convenience, that it is an essential privilege of it to reason from the individual to the national; thus, if a Russian government, or a Russian faction, inflict wrongs on Poland, all Russia may be indiscriminately condemned; and thus too, if an American visiting this country should be wanting in good manners, or give you any cause of offence, you can with strict propriety launch out into a tirade against the American people, their customs and institutions, laws and dispositions—wrath will there find "elbow room." You may wind up with the observation that, bad as is the brute whom you have just encountered, you believe him to be quite as good as the very best of his countrymen.

This, indeed, may be laid down as a rule; when a Scotchman offends you, abuse all Scotland, and offer to prove that Burns was no poet;—when an Irishman puts you in a heat, be sure to denounce Ireland, and hint that St. Patrick was no gentleman, nor were his ancestors decent people. With an Englishman the case is rather different, because anything you may say against John Bull is pretty sure to please, instead of annoying a member of his family; who won't much mind a back-handed hit at himself, if you direct the principal force of your attack against the national character. It is expedient, therefore, to be less sweeping in your charge, to concentrate your forces, and to content yourself with a small explosion, fatal only to his immediate friends and relations. Point out how remarkable it is that so many persons of the same name should have been hanged for sheep-stealing; question the depth of his breeches-pocket, where he rattles a bunch of keys, as though he had anything to lock up; and pick out some cousin of his who is very badly off, and spitefully ask him to dinner. But you will never vent your rage satisfactorily, by merely abusing Old England in an Englishman's presence.

To get into a passion in the street is sometimes peculiarly awkward. It makes you feel like a bottle of soda-water that wants to go off and can't. Some people ought to have their hats wired down, cork-fashion. Walking with an irascible friend the other day—I am fond of such companions, and can boast a great variety of them—he worked himself into[138] as pretty a specimen of fury as I have lately seen; but what was to be done? There was nothing to cause it, and there was no relief to be had. Apple-stalls upset are but vulgar exploits; me, he could not strangle in the open street; there was no temptation to smash a lamp in the broad daylight, however agreeable and comforting at night; there was no loitering schoolboy in the way, to be kicked "for always tieing that shoe;" yet, "as fires imprisoned fiercest burn," out the blaze must burst, the volcano was not to be smothered up. Accordingly, just as we reached the open window of a butcher's shop, on the board of which a lad in blue sleeves, and black, glossy, curling hair, sat intently reading the "Sorrows of Werter," my passionate friend stopped. Whether he meant to snatch, a weapon, à la Virginius, was doubtful. I thought at least he would have snatched the grease-marked volume out of the hands of the sentimental butcher-boy, and trampled it under-foot; when instead, off he darted across the wide street, I following—rushed up to a house opposite, seized the large knocker, and plied it with the combined force of forty footmen, or a legion of penny-postmen rolled into one! I stood, looking on, amazed, while he knocked and knocked, without one moment's cessation, until the door was torn open, and the knocker dropped from his fingers. The servant-maid looked aghast, yet the accustomed spirit of inquiry, Who was he? What did he want? was uppermost in her face. "Oh!" said my now subdued companion, "Oh! ah!-a-I'm sorry to have troubled you! I-a-I don't want anybody—it's all right—thank you—I'm better now!" Thus saying he quietly took my arm, and we sauntered off. I never saw a fellow in a more charming flow of spirits than his were throughout the rest of that day.

But it is more judicious to choose a spot where you can fall into a rage comfortably. It is a pity for example to get excited at Charing-cross, merely by the sight of a Dover coach, with the name of the town upon it spelt with two o's, "Dovor." "There goes one of those confounded coaches again," said a companion the other day; "how savage they make me! Dovor! Why can't they spell the name properly?" "Oh, what does it signify?"—"Signify! why it's my native town! it puts me in such a passion that I can't walk;" and by the pace at which he went there appeared a probability of his overtaking the coach. As a man intoxicated can run easily, when walking is difficult, so a man in a passion finds similar relief. I have heard of a nervously-excited individual who was so annoyed by the cry of "Bank, Bank" all down the Strand, that he jumped into one of the vehicles, resolved to go to the Bank and draw[139] out his balance; nor did he remember, until he got there, that he had performed that ceremony the day before.

What I should respectfully recommend to any one on whom the fit comes suddenly out-of-doors, whether occasioned by some irritating train of thought, or a casual encounter equally provocative, is to go directly home, and give his family the benefit of it. Surely the best compliment he can pay his wife is to presume that her attachment to him is so great that she will endure any ill-usage—that she would rather see him return home in a tremendous passion than have him stay longer away from her. A man who truly relishes his fit of rage will find a sweet relief in making his family uncomfortable. The children he can immediately order up to bed in the dark; and if anything in the shape of protest falls from the doting mother, he can take an opportunity, slyly, of upsetting a vase of flowers, water and all, into her work-box, or of tilting the inkstand upon the favourite autograph in her album.

In the case of a single man, who has neither fond parent nor devoted partner to vent his fury on, a theatre is no bad resource; he can take his seat in some quiet corner and hiss the performance,—he will find it very soothing to his feelings; but he should choose, if possible, the first night of a new drama, and be constantly on his guard, or he will be tricked out of all his pleasure by the actors. I know a man who went in a great passion on purpose to hiss a new comedy, but being off his guard, he sat and laughed all the evening.

Brutus desires Cassius to "go show his slaves how choleric he is, and make his bondmen tremble;" implying that it was still more vulgar and degrading to go into a passion before servants. This notion prevails amongst a certain class of the choleric to this day. It is not at all uncommon in genteel families, where appearances must at all sacrifices be kept up, for John to be desired to shut the door, and perhaps to be despatched to the remotest part of the house, while his master and mistress sit down to fight out a pitched battle with bated breath; whispering their fierce retorts, and dealing out their virulence sotto voce, that it may not reach the kitchen; recrimination, with savage aspect, speaking in the blandest key, and threats of separate maintenance breathing in tones that would have added a delicious tenderness to the fondest sentiment. All of a sudden, perhaps, a violent crash is heard; the lady, who "could bear it no longer," has commenced some sportive sallies with the tea-cups, and the gentleman has promptly followed in some equally lively experiments with the saucers; and John, when in wild alarm he re-enters the apartment, perceives in an instant, as clear as crockery itself, that naughty Dash has not been jumping upon the tea-table, and that it is not that calumniated quadruped by whom the best blue-and-gold service has been devoted to destruction.

All these tamperings with passion are great mistakes; there can be no enjoyment but in speaking out, and letting all the world hear if they like. I always admired the unhesitating frankness of that respectable tradesman (I forget his name, purposely) who about nine one summer morning, after "some words" with his lady respecting the comparative merits of Souchong and Mocha, deliberately opened the first floor[140] window, and dashed out the whole breakfast set, tray and all, into one of the leading streets of the metropolis. People, it is said, put up their umbrellas as they pass, to this day, in constant expectation of a milky shower, with small squares of sugar for hailstones. But all such experiments with cups and saucers, glasses, vases, mirrors, &c., are much better performed, for obvious reasons, at other people's houses than at your own. It is very pleasant, and quite pardonable, to sweep a few glasses off the table in a fit of enthusiasm, now and then—when you are dining out; but it is perfectly ridiculous to proceed to such extremities at home, where the modes of venting rage are infinite. For a somewhat similar reason, I differ from those who systematically tear their own hair when they fall into a paroxysm; there is no occasion for it, because you might happen to be wearing a wig, and the effect would be ludicrous. It is far better to thrust your hand desperately into the loose locks of somebody sitting next to you, tearing them violently for the space of an instant, and then apologizing for the wildness of your excitement, and the extreme susceptibility of your feelings. Your sensibility and the frankness of your disposition will find many admirers; but to pull your own hair has at best but an affected and theatrical look.

The practice common to many of the choleric—that of taking off their hats, flinging them at the first object they see, and then kicking them, regardless of expense—is one that seems to have arisen out of an instinctive feeling, but until lately it was to be condemned as ruinous to those who fall very frequently into a passion; it is less exceptionable now; the cheap hats are immense conveniences to the choleric. It is better however to snatch a friend's off his head, and set your foot upon it, taking care to pick it up immediately, tenderly putting it into shape a little, brushing its injured nap, and returning it with your unfeigned regrets. I should not omit to mention one ingenious expedient, which is sure to produce a speedy relief to over-excited feelings. It is recommended on authority, as infallible. You should first lock the door of your sitting-room, and then lie down on your back upon the rug before the fire—taking at the same time one of the long bell-ropes in either hand. In this position you will find a little violent pulling very pleasant. But don't leave off, merely because everybody in the house comes rattling at the door, desiring to know, not for their own, but for Heaven's sake, what's the matter. Keep on tugging at both bells, until the door is broken open—you will then come-to quite comfortably.

The great have some advantages over the humble, but they lack the luxury of giving a loose to rage at all seasons; they cannot storm and rave at their own sweet will; while the lowest creature committed to prison by the magistrate can always spring from the grasp of the constable and break a window or two. This may seem a poor relief; not so; there is, doubtless, an exquisite satisfaction in knowing that nothing less than a large county must pay the damage. Suppose you only shatter a dozen panes, or effect other wilful injury, is there not something grand in being revenged upon Middlesex, or venting your fury on all Yorkshire?

Great or humble, Rage is sweet to all. Anger, not Love, is the universal emotion. The mildest and most even-tempered man I ever met, let[141] out the secret of his fiery disposition the other day, and betrayed the violent passions that sometimes seize him. Complaining of the extreme smallness of his new library, in a figurative style, at once emphatic and elegant, he said, "It isn't large enough to swing a cat in," adding, (evidently with a reference to his habits when under the influence of passion) "which is very inconvenient!" Cats are useful animals in a house. Is it doubtful, when Sir Anthony Absolute had stormed at the Captain, and the Captain in consequence had raved at Fag, and Fag in due succession had pummelled the footboy, that the footboy went forthwith and kicked the cat? L. B.


OUR NEW COOKS!


"Too many cooks"—"the proverb's something musty."


We have just had another new Cook; but too sure I am that, like the whole tribe of Cooks that enter our family, she will never pass the boundaries of the cognomen "New Cook." All our Cooks have been new. The oldest one we have ever had, in my remembrance, was a prodigy of a month's service in our kitchen; and although it must be confessed that, even during that period, she was twice threatened or warned by my mother, her long stay was astonishing to us all. Compared with her predecessors she was quite a fixture in the house.

It would take up "too much room in the Omnibus," to detail one half of the discrepancies of our Cooks. The great Cook who circumnavigated the globe—who traversed seas remote, and explored lands unknown, found no such curiosities among the monsters of the great deep, or the uncivilized eccentrics on shore. One, as my maiden aunt delicately observes, becomes quite "inebriated"—off she goes; another has "followers"—off she goes; another increases her "kitchen stuff" at the expense of the fat of the meat, which she cuts off to a nicety (and my father is particularly fond of fat)—off she goes—another cannot cook a potato—off she goes; another forms a clandestine match with the butler after a week's intimacy—off she goes—he too falling a victim and losing his place.

When I say that my mother seldom looks over the first offence, I explain pretty clearly how it is that every week finds us with a new cook. On the day of their engagement my sanguine parent invariably tells us "she has found a treasure;" a cook with such a character—never drinks—no followers—so honest—can cook anything;—such a woman for making "made up" (sometimes called French) dishes, &c. In a few days this treasure of a cook turns out to be, without a single exception, the very worst we ever had to endure (for it rather singularly happens that each in succession is "the very worst").—"Oh, that dreadful woman!" is the cry. She boils what she should roast, and roasts what she should boil; she is a snuff-taker, and almost everything she cooks is supposed to savour of Lundyfoot or Prince's mixture. Off she goes before we find out a fair half of her intolerable propensities.

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If it be but a chop to serve up, I like it served up in a style that I can depend upon. Underdone or overdone is of less consequence, so that I know beforehand, by experience of the cook's performances, how it will be done. But this continual succession of "treasures" subjects us to a continual series of experiments.

If we don't settle soon, the office, so far as our family is concerned, will be in danger of abolition. Already has my distracted mother observed, on five different occasions, each time with deeper emphasis, "I wish it were possible to do without a cook." Yesterday, when this exclamation escaped her, my father, who, excepting in a taste for fat, is a man of very philosophical notions, caught up the note, and said, doubtingly, "My dear, do you consider it to be quite necessary to have a dinner every day!"

The last treasure we had only cooked our dinner on one day! She must have been a practitioner in some wholesale cooking establishment; cook to an ordinary on a grand scale, where dinners for a hundred and forty were daily prepared. We had to dine on cold meat for a week after she left us. You must know, that on the first day of her instalment in office, the butcher had been directed (we lived a few miles from town, and at a distance from any market-place) to send us a supply of animal food sufficient to last for about eight days. There were a leg of mutton—a saddle of mutton—a sirloin of beef—a round of beef, and various small nick-nacks for side dishes. Well, my dear credulous mother received the new cook as usual. She found her to be a most enormous treasure; and she can at this day make affidavit, if necessary, that she gave her the proper directions about the dinner. On the day the circumstance I am about to relate took place, we had merely the family at dinner. On entering the dining-room, I observed my mother gently start, as her eye encountered a great number of large dishes round the table. She, however, suppressed her astonishment, took her place at the head of the table (my father never carved), said grace, and was sinking slowly into her chair as the servant raised the first cover. My mother instantly started up, exclaiming, in a tone of alarm, and with turned-up eyes,

"Mercy on us! the leg of mutton!"

All eyes turned in a moment upon the uncovered mutton, and then on my agitated mother. The servant, after a pause, laid his hand on the second cover, upon which my mother had bent her looks. Up went the cover amidst curling wreaths of steam.

"Good gracious! look at the sirloin!" cried my mother.

We all looked accordingly at the sirloin, but without discovering in it anything peculiarly different from other sirloins.

The removal of the next cover exhibited the round of beef—another exclamation from my mother. We now all commenced staring, first, at the joints, then at my mother, and then at each other. We certainly began to think, when a fourth joint had appeared in view, that there was "something wrong." A pause ensued—my father broke it.

"In the name of wonder," said he, "what's the matter?"

"O that new cook," answered my mother, with a groan.

"What has she done?" inquired my father.


[143]

"The whole weeks marketing!" said my mother, sinking into her chair, for she had been standing all this time.

"Stupid woman," continued my father, "send her off immediately."

"Did you ever hear of such a dreadful creature?" said my mother. "Off she goes the first thing in the morning;" and sure enough our new cook gave place to another new one the very next day.

My chief object in taking a trip in the "Omnibus" is the hope of meeting somebody, in the course of its rounds, who may recommend to us some treasure of a cook, likely to suit my mother, and remain with her, say, for a month or two; for this changing once a week worries the life out of me. You all know the proverb that speaks of too many cooks. How true it is in our case! We want one, instead of a multitude.

I shall not mention the name of the personage who is proverbially said to "send cooks." Perhaps we have already had a protegée or two of his among our professors; but a cook of anybody's sending would be eagerly welcomed by me—so that she would but be a little steady, and stop!
W. S.


A SONG OF CONTRADICTIONS.

BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.

"I am not what I am."—Iago.

I.
The Passions, in festival meeting,
I saw seated round, in a dream;
And vow, by my hatred of cheating,
The Passions are not what they seem.
There's mirth under faces the gravest,
There's woe under visages droll;
There's fear in the breast of the bravest,
And light in the desolate soul.
II.
Thus Joy, in my singular vision,
Sat sobbing and gnashing his teeth;
While Gentleness scoff'd in derision,
And Hope pick'd the buds from his wreath.
Despair, her tight bodice unlacing,
With laughter seem'd ready to die;
And Hate, her companions embracing,
Won each with a smile or a sigh.
III.
There Peace bellow'd louder and louder,
For Freedom, sent off to the hulks;
Fear sat on a barrel of powder,
And Pleasure stood by in the sulks.
Here Dignity shoots like a rocket
Past Grace, who is rolling in fat;
There Probity's picking a pocket,
Here Pity sits skinning a cat.
IV.
Then Temperance reeling off, quite full,
Charged Friendship with drugging her draught;
She vowed it was Love that was spiteful,
While Charity, blaming all, laugh'd;
When Rage, with the blandest expression,
And Vengeance, low-voiced like a child,
Cried, "Mercy, forgive the transgression!"
But Mercy look'd horribly wild.
V.
Old Wisdom was worshipping Fashion,
And Jollity dozing in gloom;
While Meekness was foaming with passion,
And Misery danced round the room.
Sweet Envy tripp'd off to her garret,
Bright Malice smiled worthy of trust,
Gay Want was enjoying his claret,
And Luxury gnaw'd a dry crust.
VI.
At Pride, as she served up the dinner,
Humility turn'd up her nose;
Suspicion shook hands with each sinner,
While Candour shunn'd all, as her foes.
There's mirth under faces the gravest,
There's woe under visages droll,
There's fear in the breast of the bravest,
And light in the desolate soul!

[144]

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER VI.

The agitation and distress of Mrs. Heartwell at finding that Frank did not return on the day of the ship-launch may readily be conceived—he was the only stay and hope of her heart. Suspecting the cause of his absence, she set out for the tender at the Tower; but as it was dark night, the sentries would neither allow her to come on board nor render any information, so that she was forced to return unsatisfied. But on the following morning she was again alongside, and learned the fate of her son and the negro, who were then at some distance down the river. This, though it removed her fears for his safety, did not diminish her anxiety for his welfare, nor was it till she received the letter announcing his being placed on the quarter-deck of the Thunderbolt, seventy-four, that she felt relieved from the sickening apprehensions that had almost overwhelmed her.

It was about this time that Richard Brothers, the supposed prophet, became extremely popular; and as he had declared that he was commanded by divine authority to proclaim the destruction of the city of London by earthquake and fire, many of his believers who resided within the doomed precincts quitted their habitations, and found temporary abodes outside the proscribed districts: amongst these was a Mr. Baurie, a tradesman of the Strand, who, terrified at the denunciation, at a very considerable sacrifice of business and property, left his house and occupied Mrs. Heartwell's apartments. Brothers resided in Paddington-street, where he was almost worshipped as the Prince of the Hebrews, and the Deliverer and King of the Jews, who was to restore them to New Jerusalem, and become their ruler; and as there had been some remarkable coincidences connected with his prophecies, thousands of all ranks—even bishops and clergy—visited him, and not a few gave full credence to his absurdities. He frequently called upon Baurie, and, being a lieutenant in the navy, Mrs. Heartwell had more than once or twice conversed with him about her husband. His answers were invariably the same—"Though he be dead, yet shall he live again—though he is lost, yet shall he be found." Ambiguous as this reply may be considered, it encouraged the cherished hope that her husband would be restored to her. Strong as her mind usually was, the mild and gentlemanly manners of the prophet, combined with his upright conduct and undeviating integrity, won upon her feelings; and though she pitied the weakness of his believers, there were times when his observations made a deeper impression upon herself than she liked to acknowledge.

Meetings were held in Baurie's apartment, which were attended by numbers of the select—the principal of whom were Brassey Allhead, an intelligent oriental scholar, who had resided many years in India, and now sat as member of Parliament for ——, William Bryan, George Turner, and others, who pretended to see visions, claimed the gift of prophecy, and bore testimony to the authenticity of Brothers's mission—that he was the[145] descendant of King David—the rod that was to come out of the stem of Jesse, &c., &c.: in fact, there only wanted the "unknown tongues," which has since been discovered by the disciples of fanaticism, to render the whole farce perfect in all its parts.

The twilight of a summer evening was gradually deepening its shade, when a hackney-coach stopped at Mrs. Heartwell's door, and the servant announced that a strange-looking woman who came in it had endeavoured to force her way into the house, and still remained clamorous to be admitted. Without a moment's hesitation, Mrs. Heartwell went to the hall—the door was re-opened, but the lady could not help retiring back with amazement, when she beheld a stout female, in short Dutch petticoats, wooden shoes, and a peaked-crown hat, who, in spite of the resistance of the servant, immediately and hurriedly advanced towards her.

"Who, and what are you?" demanded Mrs. Heartwell. "Keep the woman back, Mary!"

The girl caught hold of the intruder's petticoats, but, observing a thick club queue hanging down the female's back, she shouted, "Oh, my! ma'am, she's got a pig-tail!" and let them go again.

"What is all this?—who do you want?" demanded the lady, retreating. "Why don't you stop her, Mary?"

"Lor', ma'am, I carnt," replied the girl, again catching hold of the petticoats, whilst a well-remembered voice laughingly exclaimed,—

"Bless you, my lady—why, dont you know me? Howsomever I hope I arnt frightened you; but what's the odds so as you're happy?"

"Can it indeed be Ben!" said Mrs. Heartwell, in surprise. "But why are you dressed thus?"

"Oh, it's a long story, my lady!" replied the seaman; "and I've kept the duds on to circumwent the pressgangs. But I am so happy to see you again."

Mrs. Heartwell extended her hand to the worthy tar, and as her child was the first object of her thoughts, she eagerly inquired whether he "had seen or heard anything of Frank." From the answers she elicited, she very soon came to the conclusion that Frank was not far off. "He is here, Ben—I am sure of it. Open the door, Mary—the coach is still waiting—my son!—my son! Merciful Father, I thank thee!" The next minute the youth was in her arms; and Sambo, full of joy at his return, sprang in and caught the servant-girl round the neck, so as to excite something like jealousy in the mind of Ben, who however, in the fulness of delight, cut a few capers of the college hornpipe, exclaiming, "What's the odds, so as you're happy!" and making the hall echo again to the sounds of his wooden shoes.

There was pleasure that night at Mrs. Heartwell's, both in the parlour and in the kitchen. In the former Mr. Baurie and family and Mr. Unity Peach, who had called in, witnessed the gratification and anxiety of the mother as Frank recounted his adventures from first to last, not omitting his interview with Brady in the character of a traitorous spy, and stating that the merchant, with his wife and daughter, who had escaped in their company, had gone to an hotel in the neighbourhood.

Sambo and Ben in the kitchen enjoyed themselves to their heart's[146] content—the grog was abroach—the pipes sent forth their wreaths of curling smoke—the servants were delighted, and the hour was late before they all departed to their rest.

The next morning Frank and his two humble companions were supplied with suitable apparel, and Mrs. Heartwell looked with pride upon the handsome appearance of her son in his uniform, though a sigh would now and then escape as she contemplated the strong resemblance which he bore to his father, and when she thought how soon they must part again.

The young midshipman, accompanied by the seaman and the negro, went to the Admiralty and reported their escape to the secretary, who questioned Frank pretty closely relative to what he had witnessed in Paris. During the inquiry a tall, upright, stately gentleman entered the room, and not only remained to listen to the conversation, but put several questions to the youth, and seemed satisfied with the ready and pleasing manner in which they were answered. He was then directed to call the next day, and instructions would be given to him for their future proceedings.

Frank was quitting the Admiralty gates, when a government messenger tapped him on the shoulder and an officer took him into custody. Ben and the black would have resisted; but the youth desired them to desist, and, conscious of innocence of any crime, cheerfully accompanied the messenger, followed at a little distance by Sambo and the seaman. The whole had been done so quietly that no bustle was excited, and they were soon in the Home-office at Downing Street, and Frank was summoned into the presence of Mr. Dundas, the Secretary of State, and questioned relative to his having seen lawyer Brady at the house of Polverel, and what transpired there.

The youth explicitly answered every interrogatory, and was requested to accompany Mr. Dundas to the Privy Council, which was then about to sit. The carriage was waiting; and when Ben saw the smiling face of his young master as he nodded at him on ascending the steps of the vehicle, he became assured that nothing was wrong, though he determined to watch where he went to; and both the seaman and the black had a smart run for it till they saw the equipage enter the archway of a prison-like building, and Ben became fearful that the young officer was "going to be clapped in limbo." He went up to the sentry and, offering him a bite of pigtail, inquired "What place that was," His mind became more appeased, though his wonder was not lessened, on being told that it was "the King's Palace."

The Privy Council had met, and lawyer Brady was a prisoner before them on a charge of treasonable practices. Several witnesses were examined, who gave evidence against him; but as nothing very conclusive could be drawn from it, he remained cool and firm till Frank was introduced, when that peculiar rolling of the eye for which he was remarkable under sudden excitement plainly indicated strong internal emotion.

Richard Brothers the Prophet at Mrs. Heartwells.

London: Tilt & Bogue. 86. Fleet Street.

Frank was at first somewhat confused, but he was encouraged by the tall gentleman he had seen at the Admiralty, and who was, in fact, the Earl of Chatham, at that time the head of the navy. The youth narrated every particular that had transpired in connexion with Brady at Paris,[147] and at the close of his examination he was requested to withdraw. He was shown into a room where the other witnesses were assembled, and here Frank learned that Brady had been engaged by the government as a spy amongst certain of the higher classes of society, whom he first betrayed, and then, having obtained all the intelligence he could of national affairs, it was supposed had secretly gone over to communicate his information to the enemy. This last supposition Frank had confirmed; and the lawyer was committed to prison on a charge of high treason.

On the following day Frank had another interview with the secretary of the Admiralty, and was desired to leave his address and remain at home till further orders, and the seaman and the negro had leave of absence extended to them.

Mrs. Heartwell was much pleased at retaining her son with her for some time, especially as she received another handsome donation from her unknown friend, which enabled her to procure him a complete outfit. Mr. Wendover, the merchant, had called, and behaved with great kindness and attention to both the mother and son, and the latter was invited to pass a few days at a handsome mansion which had just been purchased near Finchley common, and which gave a right to the owner as lord of the manor. Frank was delighted—he had never ceased to treasure the most pleasing remembrances of the interesting girl who had clung to him for protection on the beach at Blankenburg, and she, with all the tenderness and devotion of youthful affection, secretly cherished a warm regard for the young midshipman, and she most earnestly longed to see him again.

On the evening previous to the intended visit, Brothers, the prophet, held a "meeting" in the drawing-room of Mr. Baurie's lodgings, and as on these occasions—which were looked upon in the light of devotional exercises—none were excluded, Mrs. Heartwell, Frank, Mr. Unity Peach, Ben and Sambo, and two or three of his leading disciples, as well as the servants, were present. There was nothing in the illusionist's general manner that could be construed into aberration of intellect. He was perfectly intelligible and sane when his monomania was not called into operation. He was a strong-limbed man; his hair was cropped close—his full eyes bent upon a book that he held in his right hand, and from which he commenced his address by reading passages from the prophecies of Daniel. His dress was remarkably plain, approaching to that usually worn by the Society of Friends, and his cravat was tied in the most exact manner, so that the bow in front resembled the cross of St. John of Jerusalem. At first, his voice was mild and gentle; but as he proceeded and became warmed with his subject, his countenance assumed an expression of wild energy, his utterance became deep and sepulchral, till at length, throwing down the book, he stood erect, with his arms crossed upon his breast, as the spirit of prophecy seemed to come upon him.

"Woe unto ye of the earth who seeing will not believe; who hear and yet despise. I am he of whom it is said, that a man will be revealed to the Hebrews as their prince, and to all nations as their governor, according to the covenant entered into with king David. Haste then and flee from the wrath to come, for have I not prophesied, and it hath[148] come to pass?—Have I not foretold, and the fulfilment is at hand? Did I not predict the downfal of monarchy in France? and lo! it hath fallen. Did I not foretel the death of Louis? and he is no more. Did I not say the king of Sweden was given over to destruction? The great Gustavus is laid in the tomb by the hand of an assassin. Have I not declared that England would be deserted by her allies? many of them are already gone, and the others will quickly follow.—The king of Prussia will acknowledge the republic of France;—the government of Poland will be changed, and the monarch driven from his throne;—the stadtholdership of Holland shall be cut off close to the ground! Hear and understand, ye men who are in authority! The prisons are crowded with captives charged with high treason, but the powers shall not prevail against them;—yet a little while and the prison doors shall be opened and the whole shall walk forth free. Hearken, oh! ye Hebrews, and listen, oh! ye people—London, with its Armageddon[9], shall be utterly destroyed.—Lo! I saw in a vision, and Satan clothed in white and scarlet, and breathing desecration and fire, was entering the condemned city, and suddenly there was strife and confusion among the citizens, and every man's hand was armed against his brother, till a river ran through London of the colour of blood, and there was a voice of fury and the noise of an earthquake, and there were groans of woe—woe—woe! And I prayed and wrestled with the spirit that the city might be spared, and He, the Mighty One, was angered, and his wrath frightened away the angel from my side, and all became dark and oblivious; yet I saw in my vision that London had sunk into the bowels of the ground, and between the Downs and Windsor there was but one vast sheet of water, so that no trace of the city could be found. Why will ye die, oh! house of Israel?—hear and believe! And a storm shall arise—there will be consternation amongst our rulers—the English Admiralty shall be shaken as a man would shake bread in a basket." (Frank looked at Ben, and his countenance evinced displeasure.) "The prop and stay of the nation shall be knocked away—her armies will be destroyed, and her navy will be annihilated—the carcases of her soldiers shall strew the earth—the bodies of her seamen in an ocean-grave lie buried—for the enemy shall prevail, and the proud ships shall be sunk or grace the triumph of the foe."

Here the prophet was interrupted by Ben, who, rising up and biting through his quid, as he hitched up his trowsers, ejaculated with vehemence the word "Gammon," seemingly to the great delight of Mr. Unity Peach, who screwed his face into all manner of shapes to conceal his mirth, and uttered, "Sit down, man—saucy sailor—go to sea." The prophet prepared to renew his subject; but Frank, seconding Ben's motion by rising also, boldly said, that "being a British naval officer he could not sit to hear the service he loved denounced—it would be treason to his country. The English ensign had been victorious on the seas, and its gallant defenders would never allow it to be dishonoured."

"Hurrah, Master Frank," shouted Ben, "who cares for a bit of a[149] breeze! Nillyhate our navy indeed!—bury all hands in the ocean!—strike to the enemy too!—Gammon, all gammon; but there, what's the odds so as you're happy."

"Neber see de day, boy," chimed in Sambo, as he imitated the example of his master, "Golly-make me tink ob em gullemtine."

The three withdrew, and Mr. Unity Peach soon afterwards left the party, "in order," as he said, "to scold the unmanly interruption given to Mr. Brothers," but in reality to vent his spleen against everybody; and the prophet very speedily took his departure.

The stately and elegant mansion purchased by Mr. Wendover was indeed delightfully situated, and the grounds had been laid out with considerable taste and skill. Joyous were the hours that Frank passed there in the society of friends, who esteemed him as their deliverer from death, and particularly with Helen, who not only admired the handsome young officer's improved appearance, but also very naturally evinced gratitude towards him for saving the life of her father.

Never were pair more truly happy; the present was to them all bright, and clear, and shining; they had no thought of the coming future; not a cloud intervened to cast a gloom upon their innocent enjoyments; and no pain was experienced till the time of separation approached, and then they felt how truly estimable and dear they were to each other. Frank was on the verge of his seventeenth birth-day; Helen had just passed her fifteenth; and both were experiencing those delightful sensations of affection, which in early life are so exquisitely delicious, because they are untainted by unhallowed thoughts or worldly desires.

On the estate was a beautiful little rural cottage, over which the vine grew in rich luxuriance, and its garden shone bright with the varied hues of many flowers. Often when passing it Frank had wished it was the home of his mother, whose health had become impaired by lodging-house keeping, and she earnestly desired to retire from it. The place had been unoccupied for several years, and Helen, without saying anything to Frank, had urged the suit with her parents to offer it to Mrs. Heartwell as a residence. Mrs. Wendover and Helen called upon that lady; and the former was so much gratified with the deportment and conversation of Mrs. Heartwell, that she at once made the proposition and invited her down to visit the place.

The invitation was accepted, but before the day arrived Frank was accosted in the street by Shipkins, who had acted as Brady's assistant, and he delivered a message from his employer, earnestly entreating that the youth would come to him, as he had affairs of importance to communicate. Shipkins also added his own persuasions to go immediately; but Frank peremptorily declined, until he had consulted with his mother, who, on his return home, not only advised the interview, but also resolved to accompany him as vague thoughts rose in her mind that possibly she might learn something respecting her husband. On the succeeding forenoon they went to the prison, and were informed that Brady had contrived to make his escape during the night, and the officers were then out in search of him.

Protected from impressment by leave from the admiralty, both Ben[150] and the negro could go where they pleased; and as the merchant had presented them with a liberal sum, they did not fail to avail themselves of the enjoyment of freedom. The Royal Circus (as the Surrey Theatre was then called) was a place of great celebrity for its melo-dramatic performances, and the "unrivalled" feats of horsemanship, enlivened as they always were by the quaint humour of a clever clown. Ben and Sambo had gone to visit a relation of the former somewhere in the neighbourhood of Walworth, and Frank had engaged to meet them at the notorious tea-gardens known by the sign of the Dog and Duck, in St. George's Fields, to accompany them to the Circus. The morning and evening promenades at the Dog and Duck were frequented by all the dashing bucks of the time, with their ladies; and amongst the company might often be seen gentlemen riders, whose modesty on the highway induced them to put crape over their faces as they uttered "Stand, and deliver"—in short, the place became the assemblage of the worst characters of society. Frank, habited in plain clothes (as his uniform would not have corresponded with the dress of his companions), was crossing the open fields to the place of appointment, when Shipkins again addressed him, and by assurances that he could inform him of the fate of his father, induced the young man to enter a respectable-looking house in the neighbourhood; but no sooner had they advanced into a room at the back of the premises, than Frank was seized by two stout men, a wet cloth bound over his mouth, and he was conveyed to a sort of dungeon in the rear of the building, where his clothes were stripped off, and a canvas shirt and trousers substituted in their stead; an iron band was then clasped round his body, and he found himself chained to the floor.

The intentions of Shipkins were now evident; and Frank conjectured that his death was determined upon. Thinking more of his mother than himself, the young man suffered great distress, which was not relieved by a confused noise that suddenly commenced; and by placing his ear against the ground, he thought he could distinguish the strife of many human voices. What it meant he could not tell, but he was not long kept in ignorance, for in another half hour the door of his dungeon was thrown open, and Ben and Sambo, with a crowd of people, entered to his rescue.

"He is not here," said the seaman mournfully, and not knowing the youth in his change of attire; "but this is another victim, anyhow—the man-trapping vagabones!"

The black, however, with keener eye, had recognised his master, and he exclaimed, "Golly, you blind, Misser Ben, for no see me young massa," and he bounded forward to release him; but the chain and band defied his strength—the key was not to be found; but the enraged populace applied crow-bars to the stone in which the staple was fixed, and, after much exertion, it was forced away, and Frank was carried to the open air, where other unfortunate captives had been previously conveyed.

It appeared that Ben and the black were passing the house, which was notoriously known as one of the numerous crimping establishments of the neighbourhood, when their progress was arrested by a crowd that had gathered in front of it, and two or three declared that they had seen a young gentleman decoyed into it, and so many crimes had been perpetrated there,[151] that they were determined to put a stop to them. Ben required a description of the young gentleman, which was given, and suspicion crossed his mind that induced him to join the assailants; in fact, he became their leader—the doors were beat in—the windows smashed, and a forcible entrance made by the mob, whose numbers increased every minute. Several poor creatures were discovered almost in a state of exhaustion, but the principals of the establishment had escaped. In one room Ben found a part of Frank's dress, and the sight almost maddened him. The search was continued, and resulted as has already been told; and now a wild but characteristic scene of lawless justice ensued. The mob dragged the furniture out into the fields, and piling it up fire was applied, and the whole was soon in a blaze. They next proceeded to demolish the building itself, nor did they cease till the whole was razed to the ground. But Frank did not wait to witness the termination—a locksmith had succeeded in forcing the clasp of the band, and releasing him from the encumbrance, which Sambo carried home with him as a trophy. Mrs. Heartwell was informed of what had taken place, and a probability was suggested that her husband might have been carried off in a similar way.

The visit to Finchley was made, and Mrs. Heartwell was persuaded by Frank to accept the tenancy of the cottage, hoping that Fortune would favour him with prize-money to render her life independent and comfortable. He had now twelve months' pay due, which, with what she would receive by disposing of part of her furniture, would serve for present exigencies; and a distant relation had bequeathed her an annuity of thirty pounds a year—so that prospects brightened before her.

Brady could not be found, and Frank was ordered down to join his ship, that was then refitting at Portsmouth, and to take Sambo with him, whilst Ben was directed to accompany them and procure a passage round to Plymouth to the Windsor Castle.

Frank received a letter to his captain from the secretary, and set out for Portsmouth, where he delivered his letter, and ascertained that it contained a strong recommendation of himself to the captain. Being somewhat of a favourite with the first lieutenant, the young midshipman earnestly solicited him to use his influence in getting Ben transferred to the same ship with him. The request prevailed; and Ben, by the admiral's directions, was entered on the books of the "Thunderbolt" seventy-four. Nor was he disappointed in his expectations of prize-money, for in the course of a few months several valuable captures were made, and the young midshipman enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that his mother was comfortably settled at the cottage with a competence, and that Helen when at Finchley visited her daily.

A WARM RECEPTION.

Harry paid twenty pounds of sterling metal,
To risk his life in a balloon, which burst;
Tom and his friends, pic-nicking, boil'd a kettle,
Which Harry (tumbling) fell into head first;
But long ere what it was they well could settle,
Arose unhurt from where he'd been immersed—
And, "Ah! why, Tom," said he, "how do, my buck?—
"You see I've just dropp'd in to take—pot-luck!"

[152]

TEA-TABLE TATTLE.

"Is your tea agreeable, my dear Miss Dibsley?"

"Thank you, dear Mrs. Hipson; quite pleasant; very much as I like it; all green with some black in it; a bit more sugar if you please."

"Glad you like the flavour; I've just changed my tea-dealer, and—"

"And new brooms sweep clean, as the saying is," tittered Miss Dibsley; "a trifle more cream,—thank you."

"Brooms!" ejaculated Mrs. Hipson gravely; "um! I hope you don't mean—by your mention of brooms—I assure you I ordered the very best seven shilling—"

"Oh dear, quite the reverse," returned Miss Dibsley, helping herself to another tea-cake.

"With some very superior green," proceeded Mrs. Hipson, "at eight-and-six, which I do think quite a catch; but really it's extremely difficult to find good teas now-a-days, for since this curious business with China—"

"Oh! pray do tell me something about that," said Miss Dibsley; "for I never yet found anybody who knew, and never had patience to listen if they did. What has this Emperor of Delf been doing? The cream—thank you."

"Why, my dear, I've luckily had it all explained to me by a gentleman deeply concerned in the Potteries, who consequently understands everything connected with China—it's his business—and he informs me on the best authority that the disturbance originally broke out thus:—You see there happens to be a place in America called the Boundary-line, the natives of which employed a gentleman named McLeod to seize upon one of our East India ships and destroy its cargo of tea—these Boundary-line people being jealous, as I'm told, of the spread of temperance in this country. Whereupon our merchants in India naturally became incensed; and they applied, it seems, to the Emperor of China for a considerable quantity of opium—of opium, don't you see?—with the view of selling it to America at a very reduced price, so that the Boundary-line people might be tempted to buy the injurious drug, and thus become the instruments of their own punishment."

"Now I begin to understand," said Miss Dibsley. "Euphemius Hipson, my dear, you can assist me to another lump of sugar?"

"Oh! yes Miss Dibsley," said the young gentleman, jumping up nervously and spilling his tea over his new pepper-and-salt habiliments; "and if you'd like a bit more of this cake, here's such a nice—"

"Euphemius, my darling," cried Mrs. Hipson, "Silence! Would you like to take some more cake, Miss Dibsley? Euphemius, go and sit down. Well, my dear, as I was saying, the Emperor of China, secretly instigated by his political crony, old Mehemet Ali—a very clever man, I need not tell you—positively refused to supply any opium to our merchants; and he seems to have acted with great obstinacy, for the French king and the Sultan together vainly endeavoured to counteract the policy of the Pacha, who had succeeded in persuading the Emperor that we wanted all this opium for home-consumption—in fact (only think!) that the British were going to destroy themselves with opium, and that thus he should lose his best customers for tea."

"I see it all," remarked Miss Dibsley; "Euphemius, take my cup; and I think I'll try the bread and butter."

"Well, the opium we could not get, though the applications that Lord Palmerston made were unknown; however we could punish Mehemet Ali for his part in the transaction, and you know as well as I how matters ended in Syria. I must tell you that his Celestial Majesty never once interposed to protect the Pacha, but[153] left him to his fate—this I know to be the case. Well, our quarrel with China still remained open—"

"Cream, Euphemius," said Miss Dibsley.

"We refused to take tea——"

"There's a good lad: a little bit more sugar."

"We refused to take their tea without the supply of opium;—the Emperor grew more and more incensed—told all manner of falsehoods, and asserted that our merchants had been administering opium to the Chinese, (where should they get it, I should like to know!) with the view of producing sleep and plundering the tea-factories. He then, it is said—though I don't understand this part of the story—flung his chops in the faces of the British, and at length provoked our sailors to make an attack on everything in the shape of junk that they could find. And so to war we went—all, as you perceive, through the people of the Boundary-line, and the meddling of Mehemet Ali."

"I never clearly understood the matter before," observed Miss Dibsley, stirring her fourth cup: "but what has the Emperor been doing lately?"

"Lately, why haven't you heard? My dear, to prevent the British from being supplied, he has been ordering all his people to destroy their stocks of teas—hyson, souchong, bohea, congou—all they have, and promising to indemnify them every sixpence."

"Well to be sure!" exclaimed Miss Dibsley; (a little more gunpowder in the pot would improve the next cup, my dear madam;) "only think! But isn't this a good deal like cutting his own nose off?"

"Of course it is, and what his Celestial Majesty will be doing next, I can't guess—I must ask my friend in the Potteries his opinion."

"I shouldn't at all wonder," returned Miss Dibsley, "if he were to hang himself up on one of his own tea-trees by his own pigtail, as a scarecrow to frighten away the barbarians."

"But if this destruction of tea is to go on, what are we to do? What is to become of the tee-totallers, Miss Dibsley?'

"Can't say, my dear Mrs. Hipson, unless they turn coffee-totallers."

"It's a melancholy affair, love."

"It is indeed, dear. That last crisp little biscuit there is positively tempting,—and now I think of it, I'll just venture on half a cup more tea; that sprinkling of gunpowder holds out deliciously. That'll do—thank you—charming!—These Chinese, I believe, have nothing of a navy?"

"I'm credibly informed," responded Mrs. Hipson, "that their ships are all made of earthenware—in the shape of milk-pots."

"Yes, and their cavalry are all mounted on tea-kettles, and go by steam."

[154]

"By the way—Oh! Miss Dibsley, I had almost forgot—you have never seen the sweet copy of verses that our dear Euphemius has been inditing on this curious Chinese business. Euphemius, my darling, show them to Miss Dibsley. He actually pictures the Celestial Emperor sitting on a teapot!—a teapot for a throne; how imaginative! I assure you—but I shouldn't like it to go farther—that our friend in the Potteries thinks them quite remarkable, and says that the youth's knowledge of facts is surprising: Euphemius is hardly seventeen yet—quite a child! What an age of genius this is! Euphemius, my dear, will you read?—Martha, you can take away.—Beg pardon, any more tea, Miss Dibsley? No!—not half a cup?—Take away, Martha. Euphemius, dear, proceed with your poetry."—"Hadn't I better read it for myself?" said Miss Dibsley. "No, I thank you," returned Euphemius; "you won't find out the jokes so well as I shall, 'cause I haven't put 'em all in italics." (Euphemius reads.)

The world rests on a tortoise,
And a teapot rests on that,
And on the teapot sitteth
Earth's Emperor fierce and fat.
He's brother to ten Comets,
And a dozen Suns and Moons;
The ocean is his slop-basin,
And his subjects are all spoons.
Forty cups of tea he taketh
Every minute of the day,
And he's owner of a milk-walk,
Called by men the milky way.
But for all his mighty emperorship,
I wouldn't be in his shoes,
For there's steam enough about him
To stew the chops he issues.
If stronger he his tea makes,
'Twill blow out half his teeth;
For hot's the water under him,
And there's gunpowder beneath.
Yet danger can't convince him,
Though it grow more strong and hot;
Of "green" he's proved a sample;
He's "a spoonful for the pot."
"Tu doces" means "thou tea-chest,"
But to teach old China's tribe,
We must read it thus, "Two doses,"
Such as Nelson would prescribe.
As sure as that's a teapot,
He'll go upward with a whiz,
And be, though more Celestial,
Less Majestic than he is.
As sure as that same crockery
Community are crackt,
Their spouts, and lids, and handles,
Will go smash, and that's a fact.
Though t be first and last of it,
In them there'll be no trust,
Till "with your leaf, or by your leaf,"
Death turns them to "fine dust."
How puzzled be their crania
Beneath our cannon's roar!
They never tasted anything
But "cannister" before.
They'll wonder what it's all about,
When shot yet more abounds;
They look into their teacups,
And can't understand the grounds.
While they fancy that there's nothing
With their own tea on a par,
I wonder what they think of
The British T-a-r.
This fact, Celestial Emperor,
From experience we may know,
If amongst the quick we leave you,
You will leave us—to the sloe.

"Very good indeed, Euphemius;" cried Miss Dibsley, with a slight yawn; "capital; if you live long enough I haven't a doubt that you'll cut a very pretty figure as a poet in the pages of the Stoke Poges Gazette, or Wormwood Scrubbs and Bullock-Smithey Register."


[155]

OMNIBUS CHAT.

Meditating luxuriantly in our Omnibus the other day upon the elegant forms of the fair as they flitted in the sunshine through the streets of the west end, it occurred to us that we had neglected

THE FASHIONS

of late, and that the public might be expecting from us some report on the costumes of 1841. In a vehicle like the "Omnibus" it would be unpardonable not to notice the Fashions. It is a subject to which we intend to pay especial attention.

While thus resolving, a lady swept across the road, and Blackie, the crossing-sweeper, attracted our attention by these observations upon the fair pedestrian:—

"Wot berry obliging an kin' hearted tings dem white lady is!—dey not ony gib poor nigger de coppers, but dey so kin' as help him sweepa de crossing.—Me suppose 'em not berry strong, poor tings, cos dey ony carry dem little doll umbrella, and dem little picanini bonnet; but dem berry nice lady, and look berry pretty for all dat. Bless 'em little heart, me neber wear out-a my broom, if dey go on a-wear dem nice long train."

"Blackie's right," cried our old acquaintance, Mr. Cavil, who now jumped in. Not quite (thought we); for we could not find it in our hearts to complain very seriously of the pretty dresses of the present day. Perhaps the train may be just a thought too long. But we left Mr. Cavil full room to denounce the pinafores turned hind part before, in which young gentlemen between sixteen and thirty-five perambulate on Sundays; the best pinafore is but a poor apology for the "Sunday coat," though they do try to carry it off with a grand air, and a cigar.

The subject of

PLAYBILLS AND PLAYGOING

now took the lead; for at this moment stepped into the vehicle, for the first time, a passenger, whose name it will be unnecessary to mention, if we introduce him under the designation of the Playgoer. Not old in years, he is not young in memory, and still less so in observation. By hearsay, or by optical note, he will tell you the colour of the small-clothes in which Munden took his farewell of the stage, and describe the exact pattern of Woodward's shoe-buckles. He hits off Keeley to the life, and gives you a very lively imitation of Stephens's pathetic execution of "Auld Robin Gray." Garrick he seems to have known from a boy, and he enlarges upon the grateful duty of subscribing to the fund now being raised for erecting a monument to Siddons, as though he had seen that incomparable actress (so every great authority proclaims her) make her first and last appearance. We ought to have been born earlier; we ought to have seen Mrs. Siddons. "You go to the theatre, I suppose, Mr. Cavil?" inquired the Playgoer of our old acquaintance beside him.

[156]

"No I don't," was the response of Mr. Cavil, "but I read the playbills. The playbill is the veluti in speculum for me. There I see human nature as in a mirror. There I read of envy, jealousy, and hatred—personal pique, private friendship—self-interest, sycophancy, adulation—in the varying forms of announcement, in the varying periods of omission—in the different sizes of type, in the significant conjunction of names—that may happen to compose the playbill. I see why this actor is to be run down now, and why the other is to be cried up then. I detect a reason for the implied insult, a motive for the palpable puff. Your playbill is a wonderfully accurate expositor of the mysteries of your human being. I don't want to go into the theatre, while I can read what I find at the doors. The bill's better than the play. If you want an example, look at that placard there (pointing as we passed to one that bore her Majesty's name at the head of it), I should like to see a comedy coming up to that! There you read of a piece—

"'Which, from its strongly affecting scenes, and powerfully harrowing situations, has nightly drawn tears of pity and commiseration from the sterner heart of man, from all who have one spark of the milk of human kindness, whilst woman's softer nature has swollen with bitterest indignation at the unmerited suffering and patient endurance of the hapless foundling.'

"Such a bill as that is payable at sight. I can't read it without tears. Its bold metaphorical originality is unequalled in our literature. We have heard of the 'fountain of our daily bread,' and of the 'fire of patriotism flowing into other channels;' but who ever before heard of a 'spark of the milk of human kindness!' Shakspeare never ventured to make the daring combination."

"Mr. Cavil," said the Playgoer, "I admire your literary acumen. As you have shown how the theatre furnishes amusement to those who never go into it, let me show in turn that, within, the field of amusement is not exclusively the stage. We need not travel just now 'behind the scenes;' there we may find ourselves another time; for the present we are satisfied with

"A ROMANCE OF THE ORCHESTRA."

I once witnessed a scene (say six or seven years ago) in the orchestra of Covent Garden, which for ludicrousness of effect, and the mysterious manner in which it arose, surpassed anything that ever came under my notice. A friend, considerably my senior, and a playgoer of the time of the Kembles, was one of my companions; the other was his wife, to accommodate whom, being shortsighted, we had established ourselves in the front row of the pit, on the prompter's side. At the commencement of the overture, we found that the scroll-end of one of the large double basses intercepted the lady's view of the stage, and a request was preferred by my friend to the performer (a most eccentric-looking genius, with only one eye, and that apparently turning on what mechanics call 'an universal centre'), to alter his position, but he very uncourteously refused to move; and still worse, on the rising of the curtain, he left the instrument secured in a perpendicular position, so as to completely obstruct our lady's view. Thus he left it, in spite of all our remonstrances. I, with the desperate indignation of youth, was for cutting the string and letting it fall down, but was restrained by my elder and more wily friend, who whispered me 'Never mind, I'll serve him out.'

He then changed places with his lady, and all went on quietly till the fall of the curtain, when I suddenly missed him. He returned, however, in a few minutes, with a large piece of—yes, of candle; and he gave me a look which indicated that I was not to see anything. Yet I did see, that while the rest of the audience were looking round the house, he leant over, and, unobserved by any one else, applied the grease with dexterity and effect to the strings of the offending instrument. He then took his seat, apparently as unconcerned as any spectator in the pit.

In due time the bell rang for the music to the afterpiece, and we saw our musical adversary enter, release his instrument, and seat himself. He then tried the strings at his ear, and finding all right indulged himself with a pinch of[157] snuff, and quietly awaited his time. The second bell rang-the leader gave the preliminary tap-tap, and off they went in the overture to Tancredi. After a few bars, it was our enemy's turn to chime in: he sawed away with right good will, but, to his utter amazement, without producing the desired effect. He looked down inquisitively with his single optic, but without comprehending the mystery. Again he tried, and of course with the same result; another downward look, and the truth seemed to flash across him. His one eye glared most horribly; but not on us did his anger fall. In front of him, perched on a high stool, with a step half way up for his feet, sat a little wee homo, working most industriously at a violoncello, as big as himself, and in a sweet unconsciousness of the storm gathering in his rear. On this unoffending victim did he of the double bass vent his rage—for after the second brief look at his useless instrument he darted one piercing glance at the violoncello player, deliberately deposited his bow on the desk before him, and dealt the little man so sound a cuff on the head, that musician, stool, violoncello, and desk, went down 'in one astounding ruin,' damaging the shins and toes of immediate neighbours, literally putting their pipes out, and producing discord dire throughout the realm of harmony.

In vain did the leader rap his desk and try to keep his flock together. On looking round he found his first flute and fourth violin busily rubbing their legs; the second trombone gentleman dreadfully irate at having a favourite corn hurt by the stool falling on it; the small violoncello player awfully pugnacious; while the grand cause of all was looking on, with a diabolical smile on what passed for his face, and muttering sotto voce, 'I'll teach you to play me tricks again.'

We looked quietly on, and my friend gave it as his opinion, that it was a great pity that the gentlemen could not settle their quarrels in private, instead of bringing them before the public in such a disgraceful way. How it ended I know not, for the curtain rose before it could be adjusted, and the 'harmonists' retired; but we subsequently learnt, that our hero of the double bass was, from a boorish temper, much disliked in the orchestra, and that to his great annoyance tricks had been frequently played off upon him; hence his sudden and violent retaliation on his supposed tormentor.


Our friend the Playgoer having thus introduced us to one of the curiosities of music—a practiser of sweet sounds, who was anything but the harmonist he seemed—his story suggested the image of an equally contradictory humorist, whom we had recently encountered; and we therefore without ceremony presented

ONE OF THE CURIOSITIES OF LITERATURE.

'Twas evening, and loud raged the autumn blast,
As in an Author's darken'd room I stood.
It was a sight to stir the pitying blood;
His soul seemed struggling with some trouble vast;
His thin hand held a pen—his eye, downcast,
Traced its slow movement o'er the blotted sheet;
His air was wild—his heart, I heard it beat!
Lone, pale, he sat, a spectre of the past,
Like Werner when the waters round him throng,
Or like the Banish'd Lord. His heavy task
Weighs on his brain—ah! when may it be done!
"What write you, troubled spirit?" then I ask;
In thrilling tones he said—"A Comic Song,
'Tis for the Jolly Sandboy, No. 1."

Here we stopped to take up another passenger, "his first appearance in our stage," though evidently an experienced literary traveller. We all welcomed the new arrival; and Mr. Quickly (for this was his name) pretty soon began to convince us of his qualifications for a pleasant companionship along the road of life. We pass by what he said of ourselves, with the bare remark, that like[158] Falstaff's story, "it was worth the listening;" but still worthier of it was this, which he recounted to us under the title of

AN INCIDENT OF TRAVEL.

"Will you put that window down, Sir?"

"Certainly not, Sir, I have a bad cold!"

Such was the request addressed to his vis-à-vis in the Royal Mail by a small gentleman in a suit of black and a profuse perspiration; and such was the answer returned thereto by the person addressed, a highly nervous individual rejoicing apparently in about fifteen stone, certainly in a blue coat with gilt buttons, a sealskin cap, a red face, and nose to correspond.—

"Will you put down the window, Sir?" again demanded, after a few minutes, our friend of the sable garments, in a tone half angry, half speculative.—

"Really, Sir," was the answer, "I am sorry, Sir—but must decline to do so."

"Do you intend to open the window?" a third time exclaimed the pertinacious votary of freedom—in accents wherein scorn and wrath were blended, with a quivering lip and pallid cheek. The lusty man shrunk back in his place—An assault with violence seemed impending. But though a large—he was a brave man, and he said "No!" * * *

Again there was a pause—a decidedly unpleasant and embarrassing silence. The little querist turned pale, and gave a deep sigh—At last, in a voice of thunder, he roared out. "Will you, Sir, or will you not put down that window?" and at the same moment his hand with nervous rapidity sought his coat pocket.

The red faced man trembled—he turned pale, and cast a supplicating glance at the other two inmates of the carriage, as who should say—"Pray help me—I may be murdered—I really think the wretched imp must have a stiletto or loaded pistol in his pocket." The glance seemed satisfactory—for the great gentleman after a short pause mildly said—"I will not, Sir!"

In a second—a large silk pocket handkerchief was suddenly jerked from its place of repose by the diminutive tormentor of his gigantic victim. With a face of ashy hue he held out the Indian kerchief with one hand—the other reclined gracefully on the region of his heart. Anger had passed away from his brow—slowly and deliberately he cast an unearthly look on his trembling victim, and said—

"Then—Sir—you—must—take the consequences, (here he gave symptoms of spasmodic affection,) for—I am—going to be—sick!" * * *

When the Royal Mail entered the town of S——, it was observed by the loiterers round the King's Head yard, where it changed horses, that, though a chilly day—both windows were down. A tall fat man too was observed reclining in the extreme corner of the vehicle, with a handkerchief tied round his face—evidently suffering from cold. His opposite neighbour—a little man in black—had his head out of the window—and there was a smile on his countenance.


Sympathy for our fat friend, writhing and shivering in the corner of the mail, at the mercy of that little black imp with a smiling countenance, naturally enough suggested "FATNESS" as a topic of conversation; everybody, as everybody does in these cases, giving his opinion upon the moral and physical tendencies of obesity; some regarding that condition as rather civic than courtly, and others speculating as to its effects upon the temper and disposition; this person holding a proper degree of it to be indispensable to a fine woman; and that asserting a plentiful supply to be essential to the weight of every person in authority. One contended that nobody could have good humour or generous wit without fat, and another, that genius and fat have from the very beginning of the world been divided. It was easy to gather, however, that fat, in the social code, was associated with a certain amount of respectability, and had always the invaluable property of redeeming its possessor from insignificance. We could observe too that those who had it were neither proud of it nor pleased with it, while those who had it not would give the world for a good slice of the blessing. We also noticed that every speaker in turn, apparently unconscious that his neighbour had just done the same thing, quoted the line—"Who drives fat oxen must himself be fat."

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At this instant all heads were attracted to the windows by a spectacle presented at the back of a carriage just then passing; behind it, in all the pride and pomp of white silk hose, appeared a splendid pair of calves, accompanied by a livery-coat, cocked hat, and cane. A little boy had presumptuously mounted the "step behind," and the proprietor of the calves, instead of ordering him off, thrust him brutally down by an application of his foot to the face of the unfortunate urchin. Boys are little men, especially in their passions; and resentment of injury is a sharp and subtle suggester. The youthful proselyte of vengeance, after an instant's consideration, darted forwards, caught hold of the rail of the carriage, ran behind it a few feet, and then thrust a pin into one of the broad, round, shaking calves of the footman. With uplifted leg he stood, while the carriage rapidly bore him away from his retreating tormentor. He had a stick, but he could not use it; he was in a free country, yet he dared not stop the carriage. He was hopelessly, ridiculously helpless. How he envied all those of his fraternity who wore padded calves. A cork leg would have been a real blessing!

"HERE'S A BIT OF FAT FOR YOU!"

cried a learned Professor of Obesity, at the same time tossing over to us an accurate account of the dimensions of one Thomas Hardy Kirman, whose case Mr. Pettigrew submitted to the Royal Society in 1833. This boy, before he was quite twelve years of age, measured five feet one, and weighed 198 lbs. He was 45½ inches round the waist, 18½ round the calf, and 19 across the shoulders. His obesity commenced at six years of age, at which time he fractured his thigh and was confined six weeks.

"Why didn't they let him out to hire," said Mr. Cavil, "to the Expositors of Mesmerism; he must have been made to stick pins into. Think of a human creature being turned into a pincushion! It fills all my flesh with a sense of glass splinters and Whitechapel blunts."

Here our young acquaintance, Charles Hookeywalker, with delicate tenderness, proposed a relief to the feelings of the speaker by volunteering a sonnet.

"Another sonnet!" cried Mr. Cavil, "worse and worse, I hate sonnets."

But the subject in this especial instance was voted to contain a saving grace, for it was addressed to the Princess Royal, while yet she is

HEIRESS PRESUMPTIVE.

O Royal Cherub! first-born of the queen!
Sweet babe! bright creature! light of all our eyes!
Young heavenly visitant! from the blue skies,
And from the Guelphs, descended! thou hast been
As a new moon to Britain—not a son;
But half a loaf is better far than none—
And so we welcomed thee; but oh! I ween,
(Not thee—I leave thy nurses to wean thee,)
Towards the next our expectations lean
Upon Hope's anchor, wishing for a "He;"
Who shall sometime rule Britons and the sea;
And till he rules our land and ocean green,
The princedom of its Wales his own will be,
That he may learn the trick of sovranty!

[160]

MRS. TODDLES.

TO THE PROPRIETOR OF GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S OMNIBUS.

Sir.—I write to complain of the conduct of some of your people, more specially of that impertinent fellow who is always holding his finger up at me (I suppose in derision); I wish I only knew his number. How dare he, Sir, make his impudent remarks about me or my bonnet! If I chuse to wear a large bonnet, I suppose it's no business of his, or anybody else's; the fact is, that that bonnet is quite a new one, I bought it just before this ridiculous fashion set in of wearing no bonnet at all—a fashion, let me tell you, that I am determined never to follow; besides, I found that altering would only spoil it, and I was not a going to do that to please no one. Besides, you will allow that it was very hard after paying for a large full-sized bonnet, to throw, as it were, so much of it away to waste, and to make a small one of it; and then I beg to tell the "govener," as those fellows call him, whoever he may be, that it is a very rude thing to stick one's picture up in the shop windows for every body to stare at, and make their rude remarks upon. I suppose I am not obliged to spoil all my dresses in order to follow this draggletail fashion; and as to my being too late "agen," as that vulgar creature says, why, I am quite sure that I have never been behind time more than ten minutes or a quarter of an hour at the outside. Besides, do not you invite ladies in particular to patronise your omnibus, and promise to accommodate them? Let me tell you, Sir, it's no accommodation to ladies, unless you can wait a few minutes for them. Now, when a gentleman is going out, he has nothing to do but to put his hat on; but consider, Sir, the number of things we have to look for when we are going out—bracelets, gloves, handkerchiefs, reticules, smelling-bottles, watch and chains, lockets, rings, parasols, and perhaps clogs—not to mention the difficulty of tying on one's bonnet sometimes to please one; and then again, there is the pinning of one's shawl or scarf, particularly if you've got a stupid bit of a girl to worry your life out, all of which you gentlemen know nothing about, and can't understand. And there are other reasons if I chose to mention them. I can tell you that my hairdresser was very near losing my custom for ever; and I dare say my milliner will learn the necessity of sending a dress cap home in time to try it on before one goes out another time.

In conclusion, Sir, I have only just to say, that all this hurry-skurry, and flying about after your omnibus, and being stuck up in the shop windows, has made me extremely ill; and I have only to add, that I have written to my friend, Colonel Walker, to acquaint him with the whole business, and if he advises me to enter an action for damage and libellous treatment, I shall certainly do so.—I am, Sir, your humble Servant,

Neat Cottage, Smallwood's Rents, (although insulted,)
Little Chelsea, July 26th, 1841. Sarah Toddles.

P. S. I am quite sure that this punctuality, as gentlemen are so particular about, will lead to serious mischief to the public; see what it has done in my case, in consequence of your omnibus not waiting for me. My dress cap (which my fool of a girl had done up in coloured paper that run) was entirely spoiled by the rain, so that I shall never be able to wear it; and two respectable tradespeople, you see, were nearly losing a good customer.

P. P. S. I open this letter to say I have just discovered that I have lost a very nice cambric pocket-handkerchief, and a bracelet is gone that I would not have lost for any money; besides which I got my feet wet, through going without my clogs.


⁂ We readily give insertion to the above letter, and while we regret the lady's disappointments, beg to assure her that no impertinence was intended by anybody connected with the Omnibus. We shall be proud to number her among our passengers if she can contrive, at some future period, to be in time. We lament her indisposition; but of course a lady of her good sense will not fail immediately to consult Dr. Buchan, or the erudite Culpepper; if we might suggest, we should respectfully advise the lady to put her feet in hot water, and to take a glass of nice warm rum and water, with a bit of butter in it.

GHOSTS.

Designed Etched & Published by George Cruikshank—Octr. 1st 1841

[See larger version]

[161]

FRIGHTS!—No. III.

It may be doubted whether malignity itself occasions greater mischief in the world than fun. If society may count up its thousands of victims to the venomous propensities of the envious and the revengeful, so may it also reckon its thousands of martyrs to propensities the very opposite to theirs—victims to passions the most joyous and guileless—to feelings the most sportive and child-like; in short, to a taste for frolic—to a love of fun.

The malice of an enemy is sometimes not more dangerous than the gamesomeness of a friend; the slanderous tongues of the envious and the vile often prove far less sharp and fatal, far less productive of permanent misery to the innocent, than the jocularity of a prankish old fool of a nurse, or the light-hearted sally of an affectionate but deplorably stupid parent. There is plenty of tragedy in this life, acted in earnest; but there is a good deal of real poisoning done "in jest." People will sport jokes that are no jokes.

To every domestic circle into which this page may penetrate, the subject will perhaps suggest some recollection of disasters more or less serious that have arisen from silly and unthinking frolics, prompted more especially by that for which human nature has so intense, so enlightened, and so philanthropic a relish—the fun of frightening people. We hope it may be from no bitter or melancholy experience that the reader concurs with us in seeing "no fun in it." The merry laughing face of this species of "fun," has proved a death's-head ere now; the figure of "fun" has turned out to be a hideous hobgoblin with outstretched arms—a finger-post pointing to the next lunatic asylum.

If the fatal consequences that frequently ensue from these practical jests admitted of any feeling in the mind, associated however remotely with ridicule, how exquisitely ludicrous would the position of that man appear, who having enjoyed his funny trick, and played out successfully his game of fright, beholds his triumph in the pallid visage, the wild glance, the trembling limbs, the hurried pulse, the panting heart of the object of his cruel sport; and becoming alarmed in turn at the effect which he had taken such pains to produce, is obliged to make some attempt to palliate his error and to chase away the spectres he has conjured up, by exclaiming in the most deprecating and apologetic tone—"I never thought it would have frightened you so, it was only my fun!"

We almost wish that the legislature would—just for the "fun" of the thing—pass some law that might reach these reckless and desperate experimentalists, and punish the humorous players upon people's nerves, with a severity proportioned to the whimsicality of the hoax. The law recognises the criminality of those who carelessly or wilfully sport with the safety of people's legs, arms, or necks; and it is peculiarly severe upon all who heedlessly venture to trifle with the sacredness of our goods and chattels; but it has no eye to the playful freaks of practical jokers, to whose insatiable thirst for fun the credulous child, the timid girl, the weak-nerved woman, fall victims; it has no ear for the short sudden shriek that bursts involuntarily from white and quivering lips, sounding[162] not unfrequently the knell of sanity in those who utter it, or proclaiming the approach of vacant, hopeless, miserable idiocy.

The disciples of this school of fun are sure to find plenty of nerves admirably suited for them to work upon. Children are prepared for the sport almost in their cradles. Nine out of ten are trained up in terror. They are taught the destructive lesson of fear, before they can even spell the word. Before they can speak plainly, they become practised in the instinctive expression of their feelings, by shuddering, screaming, and crying their little hearts out, at the idea of "bogie," and the horror of being left alone in the dark. The very moment this idea is engrafted upon the sensitive mind, the instant this horror takes possession of the child's imagination, it loses something of the health and happiness to which it was born. The dread of being in the dark—of being alone, and in the dark—clouds perhaps all its after life. It sees nothing that really is, in its true light, from the fear of seeing something which is not. The influence of the first horror of "bogie," remains for years and years after the particular species of "bogie" that had excited the agony of alarm has become an absurdity too childish to be even laughed at. Unconsciously, the mind is sensibly affected, in ten thousand different forms, by the very image which it despises and ridicules. The silly bugbear of the nursery has an abundant and most appalling progeny. In this, more perhaps than in any other respect, may it be said that "the child is father of the man."

The idea of darkness as something terrible would in few instances be fixed in the mind, were it not for the cruel and senseless practices, by which servants of all grades—we may add, teachers of some—work upon the imagination of children. They are taught to see in darkness a natural enemy, as they are sometimes taught to regard school as a punishment. "If you are not good, you shall be shut in the dark closet,"—or "If you don't behave better, you shall be sent to school immediately." These are family phrases not yet quite out of fashion. The consequences now and then take an unexpected turn. A little damsel of our acquaintance was shut up in a dark room; she cried bitterly, violently, for the first five minutes; then all was suddenly still—quite still; ten minutes went on, and yet there was a dead silence within. The family at length began to be uneasy—then frightened—too frightened to go and ascertain the cause of the phenomenon. At length they rush forth and burst open the door, when they discover that the little victim had—alone and in the dark—found her way to a plate of cheesecakes left accidentally in the apartment, and was making herself extremely ill for want of other amusement.


How many wits have been set wandering by roadside horrors, raised up from the elements of the ridiculous! The simplest objects become the means of deadly mischief. A donkey in the deep shadow, a cow in the dim moonlight, a stump of an old tree, a white finger-post at the corner of a by-path, have produced in myriads an agony of agitation; but what are these to the good old English country ghost, the elements that compose which we here set in their uncombined, and therefore unterrifying forms, before the spectator. Why, here are agents by which even[163] the most unskilful may succeed in frightening a whole parish—nay, a county. Look upon these the simple means, and then behold the easily manufactured ghost!

But of all fields for frights the church-yard is the most productive of terrors! Yet why? Whosoever wanders over one in the daytime will find, be he in town or country, that he is surrounded by none but the most amiable and affectionate people in the world—by the kindest of relations—the faithfullest of friends. Such people are little likely to start from behind their tombstones, in the dark, for the mere pleasure of frightening benighted wanderers. In a churchyard, if the inhabitants be rightly described, there should be no terror! But what shall we say for a church, the sanctuary of the disturbed passions, a temple dedicated to sacredness and love. Yet where is the pious individual who would feel no tremor, if left to pass the night within the gothic aisles of such an edifice?

In the vulgar superstition all churches are haunted, so also is every house that happens to be "in chancery." There are two classes of haunted tenements—one celebrated for mysterious Sights, and the other for mysterious Sounds. The old Cock-lane Ghost, and the various modern editions of that personage at Cambridge and elsewhere, are specimens of the Visible; the recent mysteries at Windsor and Dublin are examples of the Audible. Opinions differ as to which is the truly Terrible. For ourselves, though shadows without substances are eminently agitating—noises without the slightest possible cause—noises, sudden, strange, and above all self-existent—noises of this kind at midnight—in the wainscot, in the next apartment which is empty, in the room below where the gentleman took the dose of poison by mistake—are not, we make bold to confess, a sort of sound that we should like to go out of our way to listen to.

Of the Audible Ghost, Addison's comedy of the "Haunted House" contains the noisiest representative on record; and perhaps Defoe's account of the apparition of Mrs. Veal appearing to her friend, presents the Visible Ghost in most extraordinary reality to our all but believing eyes.

But talk of believing—we shall put the reader's faith to the test, by inviting him to take a peep into a "haunted house" which we have fitted up for his reception. Hark!


We remember two of papa's friends who were "regular story tellers." Mr. O'Brien had a store of Irish legends (of these hereafter); Mr. T. Smith had a variety of ghost stories. Of one of these a haunted house was the scene—a whole family of ghosts the dramatis personæ. We must premise, that at the time referred to, it was the fashion to wear "pigtails," and Mr. Smith, who had eschewed "pig-tail" and patronised "short cut," or crop, used to say when asked what he had done with his pig-tail, that "thereby hangs a tale," which joke he retailed at every opportunity. We may also intimate that a good "ghost story" was in those days a valuable little property. Mr. Smith seldom dined at home, and always passed his evenings at other people's firesides. In truth, for more than three parts of the year, his "ghost story" procured him "bed, board, and lodging," gratis, including[164] "coals and candles." Now then, let the reader imagine a small family party seated round the fire, on a winter's evening, and let Mr. Smith tell his own story in his own way.——

I was staying (he began) some years back at Squire Calf's, at Danglewitch-Hall, near Nantwich, in Cheshire: my friend, O'Brien here, was also a visitor. ("Sure I was," says Mr. O'B. with a grin—he was a merry fellow that O'B.) One evening the conversation turned upon Clay-hall, an old deserted mansion, that was reported to be haunted. Strange sights, strange sounds, and strange stories, filled the neighbourhood with alarm; and what surprised me at that time was, that all the Danglewitch people seemed firmly to believe in them. Being a little elevated, I bantered the family upon their ridiculous fears—I have since learned to pay more attention to other people's opinions—and so enraged the squire, that he offered to bet fifty guineas to one, that I would not dare to sleep in that house for one night. No sooner said than "Done," cried I, and proposed to go immediately. The squire instantly ordered the servant to get the key from the old women at Clay-park lodge, to light a fire in the blue-room, and to provide, besides a pipe and tobacco, a good bottle of brandy. The whole party, in a merry mood, sallied forth to conduct me to my quarters. Soon after I wished them all good night, and fastened the door. I had a brace of pistols and a good sword-stick. I drew my sword and went over the house at once, to see that the fastenings were secure—for though not afraid of ghosts, I objected to being surprised by robbers.

Everything was in a dilapidated state, but I ascertained that the locks and bolts, although rusty, were sufficiently strong to resist an intruder. I was also certain, that no one was concealed. I then proceeded to my apartment, which was on the first floor at the back of the house. I slowly ascended the large staircase. The sound of my footsteps echoed through the empty mansion. As I approached the landing I was startled by a sudden noise, like the slamming of a door, and recollected that one of the upper rooms was without a fastening. All was silent again. I could hear myself breathe. I then held up the light, and looked first up, and then down, the well staircase, and began to feel that I had done a rather foolish thing—there might be after all a secret inlet—I might be robbed, murdered. But it was too late to recede; and the fear of being laughed at overcame every other fear.

I now entered my chamber and secured the door. The bright fire and the candles gave a cheering look to a room otherwise dreary enough; for it was of large dimensions, and its colour was a deep dingy blue. At one end stood a huge four-post bedstead, hung with dark blue tattered damask curtains, edged with black; the head of each post was ornamented with a ragged plume of dark-blue feathers, which gave to it rather a funereal appearance. I examined every part, and beneath the bed perceived a large chest, which I found to be firmly locked. Pushing it aside, I proceeded to explore the two closets that flanked the fire-place. Amongst a quantity of loose lumber, wig boxes, hat boxes, and odd slippers, I discovered an old black letter volume (a good deal nibbled), but, as Sir Walter Scott says, "worth its weight in gold for all that;" it was "God's Revenge against Murther." I just gave it a bang upon the table to knock out the dust. The blow produced a most tremendous noise that nearly stunned me, and was echoed apparently from every corner of the building, followed by the rattling of falling mortar behind the wainscot, and a scampering as if ten thousand rats were flying in all directions. The cloud of dust almost stifled me; but not quite overcome, I applied myself to my brandy, and filled my pipe, stirred the fire, snuffed the candles, opened my book, and began to read. I read on in silence, broken only by the regular puffing of smoke, the ticking of my watch, and the singing, or rather sighing, of the kettle. The book absorbed my whole attention. I was insensibly moved by its revelations. I was so worked upon by it that I felt a kind of lifting of the chair beneath me, and a peeping shadow appeared evermore between the candle and the page. Suddenly, at a most exciting point, I heard a gentle rustling of the bed-curtains. On looking round—horror! never to be forgotten!——

I distinctly saw a tall figure enveloped in a long night-dress, which touched[165] the ground. It was standing sideways towards me, so that the face was hidden by a large feminine cap, which, however, it removed and threw upon the bed, discovering a most fearful and ghastly profile. It went through the operation of making its toilet before a small glass, then looked towards the trunk, and then to the bed. After a moment's hesitation, the trunk was opened, and it proceeded to put on an old-fashioned brocade dress. The figure then, after surveying itself in the mirror, slowly turned round, and moved towards me. I felt my blood curdle, my flesh crawl. It passed the foot of the bed, and advanced towards the door. The eyes were cast down; the hand was upon the fastenings. At this instant the village clock struck, or rather tolled out twelve—and as the last stroke of the bell floated on the breeze, the figure gradually raised its head, and fixed upon me a pair of horrible glaring eyes that turned my heart to ice. A sharp sliding noise on the wall opposite made me turn to look, and the two portraits, a lady, and an officer in a blue uniform, appeared to be leaning out of their frames, and watching me intently. The figure then hastily passed out of the room, uttering a screaming note, wilder than the moaning wind. This was answered seemingly from the cellars by a most hideous long-drawn howl, followed by the rattling of locks, bolts, and chains, and a confusion of strange unearthly sounds. I sprang up and seized my pistols. There was a dead silence. I could distinctly hear a whispering, not only on the stairs, but in the closets, the doors of which were slowly pushed open, and more than one pair of eyes flashed upon me from the dark; in an instant the door of the room creaked slowly, and I beheld two or three parchment faces, with fiery eyes, gazing at me. I made now a desperate effort, and levelling a pistol either way, uttered a fierce menace, threatening to fire, if they advanced. This threat was answered by a queer sort of tittering and snuffling; in desperation I pulled the triggers; the result was a double flash in the pan, which overspread the room like a sheet of blue lightning. Then broke forth—a laugh—ten times more horrible than the laughter of a herd of hyenas—I could endure no longer, and sank into the chair, the pistols dropping from my hands.

There was a dead pause, and I heard something like the mewing of a cat, yet seemed it like the voice of a child in distress; and my attention was attracted by the appearance of a black skeleton of a cat, who was setting up its back, growling and spitting. It then slowly advanced and prowled round the fire-place, and sitting down opposite to the fire with its back towards me, turned its head, and its fearful green eyes met mine. I next heard the whelping of a cur, and the distant, hollow, wolf-like baying of a watch-dog. The sounds approached; the dog-chain rattled up the stairs. I tried to seize my sword, but was paralysed. I could just glance towards the door, whence came a strange, shuffling sound, and the next moment I saw an extraordinary figure enter, with a large carving-knife in his hand. He was dressed in blue livery, with tags—a round paunch—high bony shoulders, and spindle-shanks—he wore a blue Welsh wig—and his nose, which was of enormous size and hooked, was of a deep blue also: it was like burning brimstone. He was followed by a skeleton-like figure; also in livery, and armed like his fellow. These stood and stared at me. They were followed by a figure, marching into the room with an air of consequence. He was not prepossessing: dimly-glaring saucer-eyes, with a decided cast in them; a small, pinched bit of blue nose; a spacious mouth, with a tooth or two exposed; the look of age diffused over all. He was wrapped in a blue dressing-gown, and wore a large curled blue wig. As he entered, all appeared blue—the candles, and the fire, whose flames curled themselves into the likeness of some ghastly thing. The whole company, for there were now many intruders, seemed covered with blue mould; they were the children of Mildew and Decay; they looked damp and slippery. The veteran in the dressing-gown advanced to the fireside with dignity, and looked at me with a withering scowl. I guessed at once that he was, or had been, the master of the mansion, and politeness prompted me to rise. He motioned me to be seated, and then took a chair. A little boy was at his side, and the stately figure of a lady also stood near him—other faces peered over his chair. My venerable host then bent forwards, and placing his[166] hands upon his knees, looked sternly in my face and said, in sepulchral tones,—"Pray, sir, did you ever hear that this house is haunted?" * * * *

I was thunderstruck! What answer could I make? Not a moment was allowed me for reflection, for I instantly felt a violent tug at my pigtail behind, and the brimstoned-nose butler, leering in my upturned face, exclaimed, "And you don't believe in ghosts!" My terror was at its height. I heard no more; but I saw—I saw the knife flashing, and felt that, though my head was not off, my pigtail was gone! Shouts of exulting malice rent the air——

But here Mr. Smith was interrupted by a shout of exulting laughter from one of his listeners. It was Mr. O'Brien. "O, ho!" screamed that gentleman; "I'll be kilt intirely. A mighty ingenious tale you've made of it, Mr. Smith. And sure I must tell the thruth, if you bate me for it. Sure and wasn't it the day after we had the stag-hunt, and didn't you get so over head and ears in liquor that you went sleep-walking about the house all night, disturbing the people that were fast asleep: and the night after, sure didn't we tie your pigtail to the bell-rope at the head of the bed, to keep you still, or give us notice of your rambles—and a pretty good notice we got, by the powers! for what wid the bell ringing and your bawling, we thought the house was on fire. I'll never forget seeing you pulling one way and the bell pull pulling the other—and all we could do, we could not keep you aisy, till we undid your tail; so faith it was Betty, the cook, I remember, who whipt out her scissors, and cut the knot. Oh! oh! och!—and that's the thrue way you lost your pigtail, Mr. Smith."

IRISH SIMPLICITY.

A military officer, living in barracks, ordered his Irish servant to boil him an egg for breakfast, adding an injunction to "boil it soft." The officer took up the newspaper and read for ten minutes, then wondered why his egg did not arrive, and rang the bell.—"My egg?"—"I'm seeing about it, sir." Another five minutes elapsed. "Where's this egg?" "Not done, sir." "Not done! do you mean to keep me waiting all day?" "Bring it directly, sir." Still no egg came; the bell rang once more: "Where is the egg?" thundered the officer. "Yer honor," cried Thomas, in alarm, "didn't you tell me to bile it soft, sir! and haven't I biled it this quarter of an hour, and it isn't soft yet."

[167]


LITTLE SPITZ.

A LENTEN ANECDOTE, FROM THE GERMAN OF PROFESSOR SPASS.

BY MICHAEL ANGELO TITMARSH.

"I think," said Rebecca, flinging down her beautiful eyes to the ground, and heaving a great sigh—"I think, Signor Lorenzo, I could eat a bit of—sausage."

"Of what?" said Lorenzo, bouncing up and forgetting all sense of politeness in the strange demand. "My dearest madam, you eat a sausage?"

"Ha, ha, I'm blesht," shouted Abednego, the banker, Rebecca's papa, "I'm blesht, if Signor Lorenz does not think you want to eat the unclean animal, Rebecca, my soul's darling. These shtudents are dull fellows, look you, and only know what's in their books. Why, there are in dis vicked vorld no less than four hundred kindsh of shausages, Signor Lorenz, of which Herr Bürcke, the court-butcher, will show you the resheipts.—Confess now, you thought my darling wanted to eat pig—faugh!"

Rebecca's countenance, at the very idea, assumed an expression of the most intolerable disgust, and she gazed reproachfully at Lorenzo. That young man blushed, and looked particularly foolish, as he said: "Pardon me, dearest madam, for entertaining a thought so unworthy. I did, I confess, think of pork-sausages, when you spoke, and although pretty learned on most subjects, am indeed quite ignorant upon the matter of which Herr Abednego has just been speaking."

"I told you so," says Abednego. "Why, my goot sir, dere is mutton-sausages, and veal-sausages, and beef-sausages, and—"

"Silence, papa," said Rebecca, sharply: "for what has Signor Lorenz to do with such things? I'm very sorry that I—that I offended him by asking for any dish of the kind, and pray let him serve us with what he has."

Rebecca sunk down in a chair looking very faint; but Lorenzo started[168] up, and swore that he would have himself cut up into little pieces, stuffed into a bladder, and made sausage-meat of, rather than that the lovely Israelite should go without the meat that she loved. And, indeed, such was the infatuated passion which this young man entertained for the Jewess, that I have not the least doubt but that he would have been ready to do as he said. "I will send down immediately into the town," continued he, "and in ten minutes, my messenger will be back again."

"He must run very fast," said the lady, appeased, "but I thought you said, Signor Lorenz, that you kept but one servant, and that your old housekeeper was too ill to move?"

"Madam, make your mind quite easy.—I have the best little messenger in the world."

"Is it a fairy," said the Jewess, "or a household demon? They say that you great students have many such at your orders, and I should like to see one of all things."

"You shall see him, dearest lady," replied the student, who took from a shelf a basket and a napkin, put a piece of money into the basket (I believe the poor devil had not many of them), and wrote a few words on a paper which he set by the side of the coin. "Mr. Bürcke," wrote he, "Herr Hofmetzler, (that is, Mr. Court-butcher,) have the goodness to send, per bearer, a rixdollar's worth of the best sausages—not pork." And then Lorenz opened his window, looked into his little garden, whistled, and shouted out, "Hallo! Spitz!"

"Now," said he, "you shall see my familiar;" and a great scratching and whining was presently heard at the door, which made Rebecca wonder, and poor old fat Abednego turn as yellow as a parsnip. I warrant the old wretch thought that a demon with horns and a tail was coming into the room.

The familiar spirit which now made its appearance had a tail certainly, and a very long one for such a little animal; but there was nothing terrible about him. The fact is, it was Lorenz's little turnspit-dog, that used to do many such commissions for the student, who lived half a mile out of the city of Krähwinkel, where the little dog was perfectly well known. He was a very sagacious, faithful, ugly little dog, as ever was seen. He had a long black back and tail, and very little yellow legs; but he ran excessively fast on those little legs, and regularly fetched his master's meat and rolls from the city, and brought them to that lovely cottage which the student, for quiet's sake, occupied at a short distance from town.

"When I give him white money," said Lorenz, caressing the little faithful beast, that wagged his tail between the calves of his master's legs, and looked up fondly in his face, "when I give him white money, he goes to the butcher's; when I give him copper, he runs to the baker's,—and was never yet known to fail. Go, my little Spitz, as fast as legs will carry thee. Go, my dog, and bring with thee the best of sausages for the breakfast of the peerless Rebecca Abednego." With this gallant speech, which pleased the lady greatly, and caused her to try to blush as much as possible, the little dog took the basket in his mouth, and trotted down stairs, and went off on his errand. While he is on the way[169] to Krähwinkel and back, I may as well mention briefly who his master was, how he came to be possessed of this little animal, and how the fair Jewess had found her way to a Christian student's house.

Lorenz's parents lived at Polkwitz, which everybody knows is a hundred leagues from Krähwinkel. They were the most pious, orderly, excellent people ever known, and their son bade fair to equal them in all respects. He had come to Krähwinkel to study at the famous university there; but he never frequented the place except for the lectures; never made one at the noisy students' drinking bouts; and was called, for his piety and solitary life, the hermit.

The first year of his residence, he was to be seen not only at lectures, but at church regularly. He never ate meat on a Friday; he fasted all through Lent; he confessed twice in a month; and was a model for all young students, not merely at Krähwinkel, Bonn, Jena, Halle, and other German universities; but those of Salamanca and the rest in Spain, of Bologna and other places of learning in Italy, nay, of Oxford and Cambridge in the island of England, would do well to take example by him, and lead the godly life which he led.

But I am sorry to say that learning oftentimes begets pride, and Lorenzo Tisch, seeing how superior he was to all his companions, ay, and to most of the professors of the university, and plunging deeper and deeper daily into books, began to neglect his religious duties at first a little, then a great deal, then to take no note of them at all; for though, when the circumstances of this true history occurred, it was the season of Lent, Lorenzo Tisch had not the slightest recollection of the fact, not having been at church, or looked into an almanack or a prayer-book, for many months before.

Lorenzo was allowed a handsome income of a hundred rixdollars per year by his parents, and used to draw this at the house of Mr. Abednego, the banker. One day, when he went to cash a draft for five dollars, the lovely Miss Rebecca Abednego chanced to be in the room. Ah, Lorenzo, Lorenzo! better for you to have remained at home studying the Pons Asinorum; better still for you to have been at church, listening to the soul-stirring discourses of Father Windbeutel; better for you to have been less learned and more pious: then you would not have been so likely to go astray, or allow your fancy to be inflamed by the charms of wicked Jewesses, that all Christian men should shun like poison.

Here it was Lent season—a holiday in Lent, and Lorenzo Von Tisch knew nothing about the matter, and Rebecca Abednego, and her father, were absolutely come to breakfast with him!

But though Lorenzo had forgotten Lent, the citizens of Krähwinkel had not, and especially one Herr Bürcke, the court butcher, to whom Tisch had just despatched Spitz for a dollar's worth of sausage-meat.

The visits of Tisch to the Jew's house had indeed caused not a little scandal. The student's odd, lonely ways, his neglect of church, his queer little dog that ran of errands for him, had all been talked of by the town's-people, who had come at last to believe that Lorenzo was no less than a magician, and his dog, as he himself said in joke, his familiar spirit. Poor Spitz!—no familiar spirit wert thou; only a little, faithful, ugly[170] dog—a little dog that Tisch's aunt Konisgunda gave to him, who was equally fond of it and him.

Those who know Krähwinkel (and who, I should like to know, is not acquainted with that famous city?) are aware that Mr. Bürcke, the court butcher, has his handsome shop in the Schnapps-Gasse, only a very few doors from Abednego's banking-house. Mrs. Bürcke is, or used to be, a lady that was very fond of knowing the doings of her neighbours, and passed many hours staring out of her windows, of which the front row gave her a command of the whole of that beautiful street, the Schnapps-Gasse, while from the back the eye ranged over the gardens and summer-houses without the gates of the town, and the great road that goes to Bolkum. Herr Lorenzo's cottage was on this road; and it was by the Bolkum-gate that little Spitz the dog entered with his basket, when he went on his master's errands.

Now, on this day in Lent, it happened that Frau Bürcke was looking out of her windows instead of listening at church to Father Windbeutel, and she saw at eleven o'clock Mr. Israel Löwe, Herr Abednego's valet, porter, coachman, gardener, and cashier, bring round a certain chaise that the banker had taken for a bad debt, into which he stepped in his best snuff-coloured coat, and silk stockings, handing in Miss Rachael in a neat dress of yellow silk, a blue hat and pink feathers, and a pair of red morocco slippers that set off her beautiful ankle to advantage.

"Odious people!" said Mrs. Bürcke, looking at the pair whom Mr. Löwe was driving, "odious, vulgar horse!" (Herr Bürcke kept only that one on which his lad rode;) "Roman-nosed beast! I shouldn't wonder but that the horse is a Jew too!"—and she saw the party turn down to the left into Bolkum-Strasse, towards the gate which I have spoken of before.

When Madame Bürcke saw this, she instantly flew from her front window to her back window, and there had a full view of the Bolkum road, and the Abednego chaise jingling up the same. Mr. Löwe, when they came to the hill, got off the box and walked, Mr. Abednego sat inside and smoked his pipe.

"Ey du lieber Himmel!" screamed out Mrs. Bürcke, "they have stopped at the necromancer's door!"

It was so that she called the worthy Tisch: and she was perfectly right in saying that the Israelitish cavalcade had stopped at the gate of his cottage; where also appeared Lorenzo, bowing, in his best coat, and offering his arm to lead Miss Rebecca in. Mrs. Bürcke could not see how he trembled as he performed this work of politeness, or what glances Miss Rebecca shot forth from her great wicked black eyes. Having set down his load, Mr. Israel again mounted his box, and incontinently drove away.

"Here comes that horrid little dog with the basket," continued Mrs. Bürcke, after a few minutes' more looking out of the window:—and now is not everything explained relative to Herr Lorenzo Tisch, Miss Rebecca Abednego, and the little dog?

Mrs. Bürcke hated Spitz: the fact is, he once bit a hole in one of her great, round, mottled arms, which had thrust itself into the basket that[171] Spitz carried for his masters provisions; for Mrs. B. was very anxious to know what there was under the napkin. In consequence, therefore, of this misunderstanding between her and the dog, whenever she saw the animal, it was Mrs. B.'s wicked custom to salute him with many foul words and curses, and to compass how to do him harm; for the Frau Hofmetzlerinn, as she was called in Krähwinkel, was a lady of great energy and perseverance, and nobody could ever accuse her of forgetting an injury.

The little dog, as she sat meditating evil against him, came trotting down the road, entered as usual by the Bolkum-gate, turned to the right, and by the time Madame Bürcke had descended to the shop, there he was at the door, sure enough, and entered it wagging his tail. It was holiday Lent, and the butcher-boys were absent; Mr. Bürcke himself was abroad; there was not a single joint of meat in the shop, nor ought there to be at such a season, when all good men eat fish. But how was poor Spitz to know what the season was, or tell what his master himself had forgotten?

He looked a little shy when he saw only Madame Bürcke in the shop, doubtless remembering his former disagreement with her; but a sense of duty at last prevailed with him, and he jumped up on his usual place on the counter, laid his basket down, whined, and began flapping the place on which he sat with his tail.

Mrs. Bürcke advanced, and held out her great mottled arm rather fearfully; he growled, and made her start a little, but did her no harm. She took the paper out of the basket, and read what we have before imparted to the public, viz.:—"Mr. Court Butcher, have the goodness to send per bearer a rixdollar's worth of best sausage meat, not pork.—Lorenz Tisch." As she read, the dog wagged his tail more violently than ever.

A horrible thought entered the bosom of Mrs. Bürcke, as she looked at the dog, and from the dog glanced at her husband's cleaver, that hung idling on the wall.

"Sausages in Lent!" said Mrs. Bürcke: "sausages to be fetched by a dog for that heathen necromancer and that accursed Jew! He shall have sausages with a vengeance." Mrs. Bürcke took down the cleaver, and


About twenty minutes afterwards Herr Lorenzo Tisch opened his garden gate, whither he had been summoned by the whining and scratching of his little faithful messenger. Spitz staggered in, laid the basket at his master's feet, licked his hand, and fell down.

"Blesh us, dere'sh something red all along the road!" cried Mr. Abednego.

"Pshaw! papa, never mind that, let's look at the sausages," said his daughter Rebecca—a sad gormandizer for so young a woman.

Tisch opened the basket, staggered back, and turned quite sick.—In the basket which Spitz had carried so faithfully lay the poor little dog's OWN TAIL!


What took place during the rest of the entertainment, I have never been able or anxious to learn; but this I know, that there is a single[172] gentleman now living with Madame Konisgunda Von Speck, in the beautiful town of Polkwitz, a gentleman, who, if he has one prejudice in the world, has that of hating the Jewish nation—a gentleman who goes to church regularly, and, above all, never eats meat in Lent.

He is followed about by a little dog—a little ugly dog—of which he and Madame Von Speck are outrageously fond; although, between ourselves, the animal's back is provided with no more tail than a cannon-ball.


"THIS NIGHT VAUXHALL WILL CLOSE FOR EVER!"

(BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.)

These were the words—or rather, this was the line of heartbreaking octosyllabic verse—that met the gaze of the living on every dead wall of the metropolis. They stared at me from the newspapers, they glared on me from the shoulders of perambulating board-men, they rang in my ears everywhere—Vauxhall will close for ever! Had it been the "Pyramids to be sold by auction, by George Robins," or "the positively last fall of the Falls of Niagara;"—had it been the "final extinction of Mount Etna," or "the Moon shining for this night only, after which it will be disposed of to cheesemongers, by sale of candle, or private contract," my spirit had been comparatively untroubled;—but Vauxhall!

Truly does our great Wordsworth tell us that there are thoughts which lie too deep for tears. I cannot cry, though this be a crying evil; my pen must weep its ink-drops over the event.

Had a dozen Union-workhouses been erected on Epsom downs, or a national school supplanted the grand stand at Doncaster. Had the Bank of England itself been turned into alms-houses, or the Royal Academy announced the last day of drawing—these, and millions of such minor evils, I could well have borne. Some[173] substitute for the departed might yet have been discovered. Were there no bread, cheap or dear, at home or abroad, and all the bakers above-ground had burnt themselves to cinders in their own ovens, still could we have gone to the pastry-cook's for comfort, and have eaten buns. But the Royal Gardens shut!—closed for ever!—hammered down!—the light put out, which no Promethean lampman can relume! Where should Othello go?

"The days of my youth," I exclaimed aloud, as I wandered sorrowfully through the brilliant avenues of the doomed garden on the last night—"the days of my youth, where are they?" and an echo answered, "Here we are!" And there they are indeed, buried for ever in dark Vauxhall, knocked down as part of the fixtures, swept away with broken lamps and glasses, with the picked bones of vanished chickens, and the crumbs of French rolls that are past.

To have visited Vauxhall, like bricks, for so many years, only to find bricks and Vauxhall becoming one!

But what a last night was that! There were many visions in one. From the Vauxhall of Victoria, fancy reverted to the Vauxhall of the first George, and the walks became immediately peopled with periwigged beaux, and courtly dames fresh from the frames of Kneller. Never did living eye behold such a congregation of grotesque beauties, out of a picture-gallery. The paint was brilliant as the great master's canvas, the arrangement of the patches was a triumph of art, the flash of the diamonds made the lamps look dim, the flutter of fans filled the air with a delicious freshness. All the wits of the last century were there, from Steele and Addison to Fielding and Goldsmith, and from these to Sheridan, and the gallant roysterers of a later era. There was Beau Brummell;—it was the first night the world ever saw the astonishing spectacle of a starched cravat—the first night the great Discoverer of Starch ever exhibited to the vulgar gaze his sublime invention. That morning, a friend who called upon him encountered his servant on the stairs, descending from the Beau's dressing-room, with a whole armful of stiffened but rumpled cravats—there were at least seventy of the curiosities.—"What, in the name of mystery, have you got there?" inquired the friend,—"what are those things?" "These, sir?" responded the valet,—"O, these are our failures!" The beau's cravat justified that night, by the perfection of its folds, the multiplicity of experiments. That seventy-first trial was indeed a triumph.


In the twinkle of an eye, what a change!—Beau Brummell had disappeared for ever! Renown and grace were dead. The stately dames had gone: fans, feathers, diamonds—all; and in their place appeared a very queer collection of feminine miscellanies, young and old, some from the country, some from the outskirts of the metropolis, dodging here and there, rushing from sight to sight, too eager and excited to see anything clearly; expressing their wonder in mingled peals of "My eye!" "Well, raally now!" and "Lauk-a-mercy!"—exclamations which were interrupted by frequent appeals to a bag of thick, home-manufactured sandwiches, borne on the arm—or critical observations on the ginger beer. The beaux, too, had vanished; and instead of the Sir Plumes, revelling in the "nice conduct of their clouded canes," came a crowd of London lads, with boots innocent of Warren and hands guiltless of gloves—creatures, at the bare sight of whom through a telescope, Sir Plume himself would have fainted. And as for the wits—behold, where they of late perambulated, a troop of practical jokers, staggering forwards through the walks, or gathered in twos and threes and half-dozens in the supper-boxes, extinguishing lamps, smashing crockery, beating in the crowns of hats, and it may be smoking cigars in a kind of open secrecy.


Short, however, is the duration of this scene. Retreating into another walk, out of the way of the reeling revellers, I obtained a new view of the yet famed and once fashionable gardens; and now, methought, their glory was indeed departed. The place, which before was brighter than the day, seemed the temple of Twilight. The most brilliant lamp it boasted shed but a miserable dimness round. The genius of Vauxhall was in the position of Damocles—only, instead of the sword it was a hammer that was suspended over her. Nothing flourished[174] there but the universal enemy—Decay. The gardens seemed to hold a place between Earth and the Eternal Shades. The words "Darkness Visible," formed the most conspicuous object,—the letters, of an enormous size, were composed of grey and black lamps, which the rain, descending in torrents, was fast putting out. A transparency, representing Melancholy playing the bagpipes, had a very striking and sombre effect; and another exhibition of a fountain that had ceased playing, with a pair of black swans floating in the puddle beneath, proved truly attractive to the few low-spirited stragglers that remained. A beautiful dioramic view of the Elysian fields, brilliantly illuminated, drew my attention; but on going to look, I saw nothing but a few acres of gloomy waste land, with a board, displaying the notice, "This ground to let on building leases." The farce performed in the rotunda was "Blue Devils," at some of the scenes in which the audience were quite broken-hearted, and the actors were called for amidst general sobs. In the orchestra, the muffled drum was extremely admired; the violins, reduced to one string, crumbled under the hands of the players like touchwood, otherwise their notes would have been highly dispiriting; the larger instruments spoke in hollow murmurs; the flutes gave forth the parting sighs breathed into them by the asthmatic and fading musicians. Ramo Samee, reduced to a nonentity, flung the balls up without even an effort to catch them, and the sword, like Macbeth's amen, "stuck in his throat." One "swallow" would have been a summer to him. The waiters went about with umbrellas and lanterns to collect orders. Through their threadbare, meagre, fleecy habiliments—coats of Scotch mist, and continuations of London fog—might be traced their thin and fleshless forms. Something sharper than penury had worn them to the bones—the sense that their occupation was gone. They shuffled from walk to walk, from box to box, carrying broken plates with faint impressions of various delicacies; semi-sandwiches were on some, and on others were exhibited narrow slices of transparent and shadowy ham. The soda-water they brought had caught the hue of the bottles, and it trickled forth in showers of tears. The sparkling champagne was perfectly still; the very punch was "drowned" in the bowl, spiritless and stagnant. The chicken looked as if it had been deposited for the last few years in the mummy-room of the British Museum. The tongue might have belonged to the first fat buck shot by Robin Hood.

Those weak, wan, dilapidated waiters! Those fossil remains of a forlorn hope! As the night advanced they grew more attenuated. The "any orders?" dwindled to a whisper, and the "coming, sir!" lapsed into a scarcely audible sigh. They had hardly strength enough left to carry away the fragments of a tart. They glided about like ghosts amidst the expiring lamps. Another hour elapsed, and everything denoted the End of the Change. Ruin had seized on all. The arrack dried up in the bowl, ere it could be carried to the appointed box. Every glass was cracked, every fork had forfeited a prong; and in the darkness and confusion men carved with the handles of their knives, macadamising their suppers! The trees and shrubs lost their natural character, and became yews and cypresses; and extending from branch to branch were to be seen large cobwebs, having the hue and substance of slices of boiled beef. Then there was a general rush through the rain to see the Invisible Fireworks. What a sight was that! The catherine wheels were stationary; the rockets changed their minds as they were going up, and the whiz was but a consumptive cough; the Roman candles had all been accommodated with extinguishers; and the shells broke their inflammatory hearts in smoke and silence. Three reluctant and doubtful bangs from a solitary cracker sounded the requiem of the Pyrotechnic art!

Then methought the company began to "disperse" indeed. Arms put themselves within other arms, and moved on, while the legs that had once belonged to them sought the promenade in another direction, and dragged themselves across it as over a ploughed field. The persevering and inexhaustible spirit of Vauxhall, however, was yet animate in some; and my eye caught glimpses of strange groups—parts of people—sometimes the lower extremities—sometimes the upper—disjointed dancers, all performing quadrilles in spasmodic movements, under umbrellas, to inaudible music, supplied by the Apparitions of Fiddlers.

[175]


Now came, on a sudden, another change. A light appeared in what had always been the dark walks of the garden, and as it advanced exhibited the figure of the celebrated Old Hermit. His head hung on his breast, as with a consciousness that his hour of oblivion was nigh, and he carried his closed volume under his arm. Another figure, scarcely less shadowy, joined him; it was Simpson,—yea, Simpson's self! the unforgotten master of the ceremonies. They advanced, arm in arm; and as they approached the spot on which I stood, riveted with awe, who should make his appearance, as though he descended from the air, but a third great adventurer—one equally immortal, but happily far more mortal than either—the undaunted and untiring aeronaut, Mr. Green! On the instant, the ground beneath opened, and the great Nassau balloon sprung upward, already filled with gas. I saw that the finale had arrived. Green embraced the ghost of the departed master, and, surrendering his own place, handed him into the car, into which he was followed by many of the unfading luminaries of the "property" in past and present times. In the moment of ascent, Simpson, my venerable preceptor in the arts of politeness, the acquaintance of my youth, perceived me in the crowd; he stretched forth a hand, which felt as cold, damp, and impalpable as fog, and, shaking mine, exclaimed with his usual urbanity, "One pinch at—parting?" I felt in my pocket for my snuff-box, eager for a friendly participation, when suddenly—quick as lightning, in fact—I felt a sharp tap on my shoulder; and on looking round—

I found myself amidst the old well known blaze of lights, surrounded by myriads of smart and merry loungers, with police constable 142 X arousing me as people are aroused from dreams, and saying, for my comfort, "Come sir, come! Why, you're asleep as you walk. You've been robbed, I tell you; for your pocket's turned inside out."


I got home about three, and at last fell asleep in reality. I dreamed that Vauxhall Gardens were entirely built over, covered with finished and half-finished houses, in streets and terraces; and that I was actually reposing at that moment in No. 16, Arrack-place, looking upon Sky-rocket-crescent. Methought there was a universal complaint among the inhabitants, of supernatural noises in the night. Not a wink was to be had for the tunings of musical instruments, the calling for waiters, the shouting of "encore," the mingling of thousands of voices; all crowned with peals of laughter, and whispers of "How tired I am, sure-ly!" Each night at twelve, every occupier of a tenement on that famous site was awakened from his first sleep by a multitudinous exclamation of, "O! Oh! Oh-h-h!" accompanied by a light, blue, red, green, yellow, et cetera, and a shower of falling sparks.


[176]

A Tale of the Times of Old.

It was a Maiden young and fair,
She sat and watch'd within her bower,
In days of yore when warriors were,
And belted knight, and moated tower;
Long, long ago!
She sat and watch'd one summer's eve—
Why doth she so?
Why will not she her lattice leave?
Ah, those were days when maids were true!
The hour was come,—and well she knew.
It was a Squire, a gentle squire,
Came spurring darkly down below;
His steed was splashed with foam and mire,
Oh, what but love could urge him so?
'Twas even so,
He crept beneath the castle-wall,
Long, long ago,
And on his love began to call;
The damsel o'er her lattice hung,
He touch'd his lute, and thus he sung:
"They told me, love, that thou wert fair,
And very fair thou art, 'tis true;
They said thy cheeks like roses were,
Thy lips, 'two rosebuds wet with dew;'
But is it so?
Could ever flower with thee compare?
Ah no! ah no!
Oh never yet was rose so fair!
Could flowers like thee in gardens grow,
The gardeners all were blithe, I trow.
"They said thine eye was like the star,
The brightest star that beams above,
Which men may gaze on from afar,
Admire and watch, in fear and love;
But is it so?
Was ever star so soft and fair?
Ah no! ah no!
Oh, would such stars in heaven there were
How glad I'd watch till morning's light,
To peep and worship all the night."
It was her Sire, a surly knight,
He slept, and slept, with many a snore;
He heard the song, and woke in spite,
And left his couch, y-grumbling sore.
He look'd below,
Then seized a huge cold-water bath—
Long, long ago—
And flung it o'er, in rage and wrath!—
The squire flew off, the damsel fled,
And then the knight went back to bed.
B. Hall.

AN ANACREONTIC FABLE.

Cupid, a spoiled and peevish boy,
Is always wanting some new toy;
And what is more, his mother Venus
Never denies—quodcunque genus
Any odd thing the urchin fancies,
From kings and queens to scullery Nancies.
His fondling mother, t' other day,
Gave him some hearts wherewith to play;
No sooner did the rascal take them,
Than he began to bruise and break them!
H. R.

[177]

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER VII.

From the moment that war was declared against the French republic, the navy of England reigned supreme upon the ocean; and such was the vigilance and gallantry of our tars, that scarcely a cruiser showed her nose out of an enemy's harbour, but she was quickly led by it into a British port. The captain of the Thunderbolt was a thorough seaman of the hard-fighting school, and with such an example in his commander, and with a private tutor like honest Ben, to teach him the practical details, young Heartwell could not fail to become well versed in his several duties. In Lord Bridport's action, off L'Orient, his ship was one of those most actively engaged, and gained great credit; but on her return into port, she was paid off, and the whole of her company transferred to a noble three-decker, which subsequently took the lead in the mutiny at Spithead.

It is unnecessary to enter into details of this event—in which the enemies of England sought to injure and humble the flag of Britannia, through the disaffection of her hardy seamen. Emissaries were constantly at work, endeavouring to inflame their passions, and poison the source of honour; but though the gallant tars were true to themselves, and to each other, they were also faithful to their country. Ben, as a matter of course, had joined his brother sailors in their equitable demands, and Sambo had very naturally followed the example. Frank's conduct, during this eventful period, was governed by the strictest sense of integrity. He was well aware that the claims of the seamen had been utterly disregarded by the government; and though averse to insubordination, yet he felt that they had been driven to extremities through the neglect of their remonstrances. But on all occasions in which the most violent counselled outrage, he boldly stood forward to counteract and oppose their schemes, and by appeals to those who only sought to obtain redress of grievances he was generally successful; especially in one instance, when Sir Alan Gardner, Sir John Colpoys, and Sir Maurice Pole, came on board the Queen Charlotte, to hold a conference with the delegates. Sir Alan, a rigid disciplinarian, who had been extremely irritable throughout the proceedings, was so exasperated by a fresh demand, that he swore at the delegates as "A set of mutinous dogs," and declared he would "have every one of them hanged—together with every fifth man in the fleet." The circumstance spreading through the ship like wildfire, the after-part of the main-deck was crowded by hundreds, ready to support their leaders. The sturdy admiral gave them a look of defiance, and shouting "Make a lane there!" spread his hands out on each side to force his way to the entrance-port—nor was he sparing of blows. Frank had witnessed the whole of the proceedings, and now saw with apprehension, that a number of the most violent characters were closing in upon Sir Alan. In all commotions, Ben and the black made it a point to keep near their young officer, and[178] at this moment they were close to him. Frank spoke to the seaman, who passed the word to Sambo, and then all three rushed forward; Ben exclaiming, "Avast there—don't go for to touch the admiral!" Numbers of the better-minded caught up the impulse, and followed the three, who cleared a road for Sir Alan to retreat; Ben and the black levelling the opposition. The admiral got down the side into his boat, and immediately shoved off for the shore.

Sir Alan Gardner did not forget this timely aid of the young midshipman, for on Earl Howe coming down to settle the disputes, Frank was appointed to steer Sir Alan's barge; when the noble earl and his countess, accompanied by several persons of distinction, embarked to pay an amicable visit to the ships at St. Helen's and Spithead.

It was a most interesting spectacle; the barges of the men-of-war each carrying its delegates assembled, on a May morning, and pulled in for the sally-port. The men were dressed in their best clothes, and the most perfect order and regularity was preserved, whilst the seamen on board the ships were anxiously watching them, for rumours were current that the earl had brought down the required proclamation, ensuring a general pardon.

On landing, the delegates proceeded to the governor's house, where they had an audience of the earl, and an affecting scene it was. The venerable nobleman in his seventy-second year—his head silvered over with age and arduous service, and arrayed in the uniform in which he had so nobly maintained British supremacy on the ocean, received the rebellious seamen graciously; and it was curious to observe the downcast and schoolboy looks of many of the hardy tars, who, but a few hours before, were in open and daring mutiny. But when the noble admiral, in the affectionate language of a father to his children, exhorted them to obedience and subordination, and even shed tears, as he declared that a continuance of the mutinous proceedings would break his heart, the rough dispositions of the seamen gave way, not in childish weakness—no! they evinced their stern emotion in habits peculiar to themselves, though it was evident every soul was moved. There stood their chief who had led them on to victory, subdued by the weight of calamity which had threatened his country.

After partaking of refreshment, in which the bold tars were waited upon by female youth and beauty, a procession was formed, and Earl Howe and his lady, with the admirals and captains, several accompanied by their families, walked to the sally-port.

During the interval Frank had proceeded to the Royal Sovereign's barge; and when first recognised, he was pointed out as the midshipman who had been instrumental in resisting the indignation of the Queen Charlotte's men, and rescuing Sir Alan Gardner, and numbers of the disaffected loudly expressed their disapprobation. Ben held the distinguished post of coxswain to Lord Bridport; but as a lieutenant was expected to steer Earl Howe out to the fleet, he had resigned the rudder in the Queen Charlotte's barge, and stationed himself at the stroke oar. The moment the honest fellow saw the feeling that prevailed against his officer, he addressed the boat's crew in a few energetic words, appealing to them who knew the merits of the midshipman, as a smart officer, but a seaman's firm friend.[179] It was a day of joy and reconciliation; and they felt it; for whilst the tumult against Frank was increasing, the bargemen of the Queen Charlotte simultaneously approached him, and having given a hearty cheer, he was hoisted on the shoulders of two of the stoutest amongst them, and in procession with the Union Jack in front, they carried him to and fro the beach, amidst the reiterated plaudits of thousands who had collected to witness the embarkation. This demonstration from his shipmates was enough; the bargemen of the other men-of-war were satisfied; and those who but a few minutes before had been loud in their anger, were now equally vociferous in their praise.

In the midst of their joyousness, Earl Howe and the delegates reached the sally-port, and instantly the boats were manned; and as they shoved off, and formed in order, the roars of the saluting cannon and the shouts of the populace mingled together in one vast burst of enthusiasm; and as the boats neared the ships, their armed sides poured forth responsive peals—the yards were manned—and joy sparkled in every eye.

Frank acquitted himself with great dexterity throughout the day, and all differences being adjusted with the seamen, they returned to the shore, where Earl Howe landed, about seven o'clock in the evening, and was carried on the shoulders of the delegates to the governor's house. Thus peace and harmony were restored to the Channel fleet, which put to sea on the following day, to meet the enemy.

Frank had now been three years away from his mother, without seeing her; and though they frequently corresponded, he earnestly longed to visit her again. The capture of an extremely valuable ship from Senegal, in which Frank was placed as second prize-master, afforded him an opportunity of returning to England, and as on her arrival at Portsmouth she was ordered to proceed up the Thames to Deptford, he now was enabled to repair to Finchley. It would be impossible to describe the young midshipman's feelings as he approached the cottage. Helen was for the moment forgotten: he opened the door, and in a few moments was in the embrace of his parent. The interesting scene was not unobserved, for in a remote part of the room sat a young lady, a gratified but agitated spectator of all that passed. As soon as the ebullition of joy had subsided, Mrs. Heartwell called her visitor to remembrance, and Frank and Helen met—at first with a degree of embarrassment, for they had in their memory pictured each other as they had last parted, nearly four years before, when both were in the gradual advance from childhood to maturity. Frank was then but a youth, but now he appeared the full-grown man, and seldom could there be seen a handsomer, or more candid countenance. Now he saw Helen before him in the perfection of female beauty, just entered upon womanhood; and yet both heart and features were the same, for as soon as the first few minutes had flown, reserve was banished and they conversed with ease as old acquaintances.

In private retirement the young officer learned from his mother and Mr. Unity Peach, (who came purposely to see him, and to grumble at all that he had done) that Brothers, the supposed prophet, had been apprehended under a warrant from the privy council; and after careful examination by two able physicians, had been declared insane, and placed[180] in Fisher's Lunatic Asylum, at Islington—that nothing had been heard respecting Brady, who it was supposed, had quitted the kingdom for ever.

The young people had now frequent opportunities of seeing each other, and every interview served to strengthen the ardent attachment which both cherished, but neither of them confessed. A little incident, in which Frank had relieved Helen from an importunate and insulting mendicant, who had intruded upon the grounds, first opened the eyes of Mr. Wendover. The merchant loved money, and he had, in a great measure, set his heart upon aggrandising his name and family, through Helen's union with a man of rank and opulence.

Without leading her to think that he was aware of her regard, he spoke to her on the subject of Frank's attentions, gained a full and perfect knowledge of her secret, and ascertained that in no instance had Frank addressed her in what is termed the language of love, nor had at any time openly avowed his affection. Mr. Wendover at once acquitted both Mrs. Heartwell and her son of sinister and dishonourable conduct; but his own line of procedure was determined upon, and he resolved to remove his daughter without delay to an estate he had recently purchased on the coast of Cornwall, where he trusted that absence would effect a change in the bosom of his child.

Great was the consternation of the young officer, when on his next visit he heard of their sudden and unexpected departure; and his impassioned and incoherent expressions when it was announced to him, betrayed the state of his heart to his mother. It was the first disappointment of the kind he had ever experienced, and its suddenness had overpowered him; but the reasoning and remonstrances of his parent restored him to more tranquil feelings. She encouraged him "to persevere in his profession, and by gaining an honoured and distinguished name, he perhaps might remove the bar which parental authority had seen fit to interpose between them."

"You are right, mother," said he with firmness. "I will yet prove to Mr. Wendover that I am not unworthy of his daughter's regard."

The prize he had come home in was condemned, and the prize-crew were removed to the guard-ship at the Nore; but Frank obtained leave to pass a few days at Finchley previous to his joining them, and the indulgence thus extended was a source of great relief to his irritated feelings.

Frank Heartwell discovering the treasure.

London, Tilt & Bogue, Fleet Street.

A night or two before his departure, he was awoke by a strange noise. At first he conjectured it might be caused by rats, and he endeavoured to compose himself to sleep again; but the sounds were so continuous and harsh, that after some time he rose and looked out at the window, when it instantly ceased. He stood for several minutes, earnestly gazing towards the splendid mansion of Mr. Wendover, his thoughts wholly absorbed by remembrances of Helen; and when he again laid himself down, sleep had utterly departed. In a few minutes the strange noise was renewed. Frank listened, and the hollow grating sounds seemed to be caused by some one scraping the outer wall of the building. He arose, and wrapping his cloak round him, crept noiselessly down to the door—the knocking on the building still continued, but ceased as[181] he undid the fastenings, so that when he stood in the open air everything was again still. He had descended without his shoes, which he returned to put on, and then walked round the cottage and through the garden, but nothing whatever appeared to elucidate the mystery. The next night he was aroused again by a noise rather more dull and heavy; as the rear of the building seemed to be the place of operation, he crept down to the back-door, and rushed out just in time to see a man jump down from a ladder reared against the gable-end. The intruder sprang over the wall and escaped. Without removing the ladder, Frank determined to watch; and though once or twice he fancied he could perceive a commotion amongst the foliage of the adjoining plantation, yet he remained unmolested till broad daylight, when he ascertained that the intruder had been working with a pick, to loosen several bricks in a part of the wall that was covered with ivy, and at a few feet below the eavings. A little reflection prompted Frank to further search; and by removing the thick mantling ivy he discovered that, at some period or other, an addition had been made to the side of the building, and that there was a considerable space between the outside and the in. His curiosity was strongly excited—the apartment he had slept in appeared to be everywhere the same; but on sounding round it, he ascertained that the part next to that where an attempt had been made to open an aperture, was of stout wood-work, carefully covered with the same papering as that which was on the other walls of the room.

He was not long in deciding what to do. Seizing a tomahawk, which had formerly belonged to Ben, he cut down the partition, and taking a light, passed through the opening he had made into a long narrow room that ran the whole depth of the house. Surprised as he was at this discovery, his wonder was still more increased, when ranged in various parts he observed several strong cases and boxes. On his right appeared an iron-bound oaken chest, on the top of which lay a cushion now damp and mouldy, but it was evident that it had formerly been used as a sort of seat or couch, as a table was close to it, bearing a lantern, a wine-glass, an inkstand with a pen in it, and remnants of writing-paper much torn by vermin. Suspended against the wall above the table were a brace of handsomely-mounted horseman's pistols, a dragoon's sword, a blunderbuss, and a bunch of rusty keys, whilst beneath was a stone bottle containing a small quantity of ardent spirits, and an empty wine-bottle. In other parts were books and papers much defaced, and the writing scarcely legible, whilst in one spot upon the floor were four or five canvas bags, part of the contents of which (guineas) had escaped through holes gnawed at the bottom, and now lay glittering before the eyes of the young officer.

In the floor of this room was a trap-door, which Frank raised up, and perceived there was a ladder beneath, down which he descended, and found himself in an apartment of the same dimensions as the one above, but more lofty, and a strange sensation crept over him, as he beheld what looked like coffins piled one upon the other, but on examination proved to be arm-chests, painted black, and containing muskets and bayonets. There were also several barrels (which Frank, from experience, knew at once to be powder-barrels), placed apart by themselves; and the head of[182] one of them having been beaten-in, a quantity of ball-cartridge became exposed;—in short, with pistols and sabres, and the necessary accoutrements, there was good equipment in arms and ammunition for several hundred men. From this room a flight of stone steps, slimy with reptiles and the damp, led into a kind of cellar, having in one corner a very large copper, and at a short distance from it a deep well; whilst broken worms and shattered liquor-casks, with the remains of various implements, offered proofs that an illicit distillery had formerly been carried on here. On one side was a vaulted underground passage, arched over, that was nearly filled with rubbish; but Frank, following its apparent direction in the garden, ascertained that it led to a stable (which was seldom used) at some distance in the rear of the cottage; and here he found that attempts had been made to break through a doorway that had been bricked-up, and an opening formed, large enough for a man to get through, but the archway having fallen in, and the passage completely stopped, further progress had been prevented that way.

Frank and his mother consulted together as to the best course to be pursued; and Mrs. Heartwell recommended her son to go and apprise Mr. Wendover's steward of the discovery. That individual promptly attended, accompanied by a legal agent, who informed the young midshipman that he had no claim whatever to the property, which belonged as a matter of right to the lord of the manor, and he accordingly took possession for Mr. Wendover; and before his departure, Frank saw the whole deposited in security at the Hall.


HOW TO RAISE THE WIND.

BY CAPTAIN MARRYAT, R.N.

The votaries of Fashion are considered heartless. Can they well be otherwise, when they worship a deity so remorseless and so unfeeling? Fashion not only ruins her own followers, but she is continually plunging into poverty and distress those who know nothing of her until they find that through her means they have become outcasts, deprived of their means of subsistence, and that their children are crying for bread. It is no matter how trifling may be the alteration which has been enforced by this despotic goddess, this is certain, that that alteration has been the cause of misery to hundreds; and if the step taken by her is one of magnitude, not only thousands, but whole towns, nay provinces, on the Continent are thrown from want of employment into misery. The town of Woodstock is one proof, out of many, how severely a community may suffer from change in fashion. The gloves formerly made there, and the manufacture of which had become a trade and means of livelihood to so many large families, are now no longer worn. The people had been brought up to this trade, and were not competent to any other, until they had begun anew and learnt one in their advanced life. Woodstock was once a flourishing town; now it has dwindled into comparative obscurity. Thus it has been, thus it is, and thus it will be with many more; for Fashion ever changes, and every change is accompanied with a petty revolution,[183] attended with distress, which her votaries, glorying in their close attendance upon her ear, either never hear of, or which, if heard by them, is received with nonchalance and indifference.

I have been drawn into the above remarks in consequence of my whole story depending upon an article which is now no longer to be seen—indeed, I may add, is no longer to be mentioned but in a circuitous manner. Why this extreme squeamishness has latterly taken place I really cannot imagine. A garment is but a garment; and as we may talk of all other garments used by either sex without fear of offence, why should this one have latterly fallen into disgrace? At all events, I must either mention this unmentionable article, or not tell my story. I have, therefore, only now to give due notice to all ladies who may already surmise what the article in question may be, that now is the proper time for them to close the book, or to skip over to the next contribution, for my narrative is wholly dependent upon a pair of them.

I remember when I was a boy, I should say about forty years ago, when this article of dress was considered not only to be indispensable, but also indispensable that it was made of buckskin. It was worn high up, reaching to the chest, met with a very short waistcoat; add to these a blue coat and metal buttons, and the hair well powdered, and a fashionable man of 1800 stood before you. There were inconveniences attending buckskin; but when Fashion dictates, her votaries overcome all obstacles; Pride knows no pain, is an English proverb, met by one from the opposite side of the Channel, Il faut souffrir pour être belle. The difficulty of getting into a pair of these articles, after they had been cleaned, was considerable; and when they became wet, they were anything but comfortable to the wearer. However, they have passed away, and this country has gained by their disappearance; for the leather out of which they were made came from the Continent, and the wool of this country has now occupied its place, in the cloth trousers which have succeeded them. And now to my story.

Before railroads were dreamt of, and people were satisfied with eight miles an hour, there was a certain person at Liverpool, who had gone down there on some sort of speculation or another; but whether it was to purchase cotton, or to attend the races, or to do a little business in any other way, does not exactly appear. This, however, is certain, that his speculations, whatever they might have been, failed, and that he found himself in the widest street in the town with exactly one guinea left in his pocket. One guinea would not pay his fare to London, whither he had decided upon going. He was, therefore, left to his own resources; that is, the resources of an ingenious mind, to help the one-pound-one, which was in his waistcoat-pocket.

It was not until he had walked up and down the long street for at least the tenth time that he came to any resolution: at last he slapped his buckskins, as much as to say I have it, and walking on a little farther, he looked at the clock which was in the coach-office, crossed the street, and went over to the hotel, which was directly opposite.

But I must now describe the appearance and dress of the person in question. He was a man of about thirty-five years of age, of handsome[184] exterior, tall, and well made; he wore powder, a white cravat, a blue coat, very short figured waistcoat, and the articles in question, to wit, a pair of buckskin inexpressibles, to which must be added a pair of white top-boots. He had also a surtout-coat, of fine cloth, over all, but which was unbuttoned when he entered the hotel. In short, he appeared to be a dandied, rakish sort of gentleman of the time, with a look and manner implying that he had plenty of money to spend, and did not care a fig for anybody. No one could have ever imagined, with such an external appearance, that he had no more than one guinea in his pocket. Our gentleman walked into the coffee-room of the hotel, and took his seat in one of the boxes, with an air of pretension. In an authoritative tone he called the waiter, and when the waiter came, he called for the bill of fare, which was humbly presented. Our gentleman ran down its contents. "I'll have a bit of fish, waiter,—which do you recommend to day?"

"All good, sir; but cod and oyster-sauce just in season."

"Well, then, let it be so, with a broiled chicken and mushrooms. If I recollect right, you had some good wine here once?"

"Yes, sir—we have the same bin now—the port you mean, sir?"

"Yes, the port; tell Mr.—— I forget the landlord's name."

"Mr. Bansom."

"Very true;—tell Bansom to let me have a bottle of his best, and a pint of good madeira for dinner."

"Yes, sir. When will you have your dinner?"

"As soon as it can be got ready. In the mean time get me a newspaper."

In due time the dinner made its appearance, and ample justice was done to it by our gentleman. After the cloth was removed, the port wine was produced, and this he appeared determined to enjoy, as he remained at table sipping it until every other person who had been in the coffee-room had quitted it, and he was left alone. He then poured out the last glass, rang the bell, and demanded his bill. It was all ready:—

 £ s.d.
Fish026
Fowl and mushrooms056
Madeira040
Port070
———————————————
Total, including extras6

"Not dear, I must say," observed the gentleman, after he had read the bill; "I must patronise this house again. The port is really good wine; I knew it again directly,—£1. 4s. 6d.—half-a-crown for the waiter, £1. 7s." Then the gentleman put his hand into his right waistcoat pocket, and felt for his purse, found it not there, so he inserted his other hand into his left waistcoat pocket, no purse there.—"Hum," says he, with surprise; down went his right hand into the pocket of his buckskins on the right side, no purse there; down into the left, even to the bottom, no purse there.—"The devil!" exclaimed he, feeling his coat pockets, as a last hope—both empty. "Why, waiter, I've left my purse!" exclaimed he, rising up from his seat; "and now, I perceive, I've not my watch and seals. I must have left them both on the table. You don't recollect me—what must I do?"

[185]

"If you please," replied the waiter, respectfully, coming to the point, "you must pay your bill."

"Of course I must," replied the gentleman; "I cannot expect you to trust me; what can I do? I must leave you something in pledge."

"If you please, sir," replied the waiter.

"What shall it be—my surtout coat? I can spare that."

"Yes, sir," replied the waiter, who surveyed his coat, and was satisfied; "that will do."

"Well, then, help me with it off. On second thoughts, I do not think I can let you have my coat, I have suffered so dreadfully with the rheumatism in my shoulders. I dare not, upon my soul, I daren't; you must have something else. What shall it be—my boots, my new white top-boots?"

"I think, sir, you couldn't well walk away in stockings without getting cold and rheumatism," replied the waiter.

"Very true, what a fool I am! but so unaccustomed to be placed in so awkward a position, I do believe I've lost my senses—to give my boots were madness. I'll tell you how it shall be, waiter, I'll give you my buckskins—bran new—worth two pair of boots; I shan't miss them if I walk fast and button up."

"As you please, sir," replied the waiter.

After a deal of trouble, the buckskins were in the hands of the waiter; our gentleman pulled on his boots again, buttoned his surtout close in front, and promising to redeem them faithfully by his servant the next morning, quitted the hotel, holding himself very erect, that no opening in the front of his surtout should discover that he was minus so very important and indispensable an article of habiliment.

Our gentleman did not walk very far; he crossed the street and entered the hotel which was opposite to the one which he had just quitted, and from which he knew that the coaches went to London.

Again he walked into the coffee-room, took his seat without his deficiencies being perceived, and calling the waiter, said to him—"The coach starts from this hotel to London, I believe?"

"Yes, sir."

"At what hour?"

"At half-past five exactly, sir."

"Well, then, I shall take a supper and a bed; and here," continued he, throwing his guinea down on the table, "book me an inside place by the name of Mr. William Baring."

The waiter had heard of the name before, and bowed respectfully.

"Any luggage, sir?"

"No, I took my place this night by the mail, and was compelled to stay on important business just as I was getting into the coach. My luggage went on, I shall find it when I arrive."

Our gentleman ordered a good supper, and at half-past ten requested to be shown to his bed-room.

"Boots," said he, "recollect you call me at half-past four exactly, as I am hard of waking. Don't forget; and if you don't see me getting up in five minutes, rouse me again."

[186]

"Yes, sir," replied the Boots.

At half-past four the Boots made his appearance with a lanthorn, and after some considerable shaking, our gentleman roused up and sat by the side of the bed. The Boots had lighted the candle, and stood by.

"Yaw—aw!" said our gentleman, shaking himself and yawning. "How horrid it is to be up before daylight. Ah, well! Boots, give me my stockings."

"Yes, sir."

The stockings were slowly dragged on. "Now then Boots, my buckskins." The Boots turned over the other garments, looked here and there, and upon every chair; at the foot of the bed, and in the bed, under the pillow, under the bolster.

"I can't see no buckskins, sir."

"Pooh, nonsense! man."

Another useless turn round the room. "Well, I'm sure, sir, I can't see them."

"How very odd!" exclaimed our gentleman; "perhaps I'm sitting on them." He rose, but there were no buckskins under him. "How excessively strange! You didn't take them away with you when you took the boots, did you?"

"No, sir; I never comed into the room. You put your boots outside."

"So I did, now I recollect; but still the buckskins must be found." Another ineffectual search of five minutes, during which our gentleman gradually showed that the serenity of his temper was ruffling, till at last he became in a furious passion.

"By heavens! this is too bad: in a respectable house, too. Boots, go up to your master, and tell him I must see him immediately—say immediately, and without delay—Mr. William Baring—recollect, instantly!"

In a few minutes the landlord of the hotel made his appearance, half dressed, and not very well pleased at being compelled to turn out at such an unseasonable hour; but the name of Baring had been mentioned, and was not to be trifled with.

"You wish to speak to me, sir?"

"Yes, sir, I do wish to speak to you. I came here last night, having been obliged to give up my place in the seven o'clock mail, in consequence of pressing and important business which detained me. I booked myself by the fast coach, supped and slept here, desiring that I might be called in good time, as my immediate return to London is important. On my being called and getting up, I found that somebody had stole my buck-skins—that's all—nothing more. My buckskins—buckskins, sir, have disappeared!"

"I'm very sorry, sir—very sorry; can't imagine how. Some mistake, I presume," stammered the landlord.

"My buckskins are gone, sir, and no mistake," replied our gentleman. "I considered this a respectable honest house, sir, but it appears——"

[187]

This attack upon the respectability of the house made the landlord angry—it was a sore point.

"My house is respectable, sir—always has been respectable, sir—always will be, I trust. No gentleman ever lost his buckskins here before, sir. What they brought they have always taken away!"

"Why, sir!" exclaimed our gentleman, in a towering passion, "what do you mean to imply, sir? Do you suppose that a gentleman would come here without such an indispensable article of dress?"

"No, sir, no," replied the landlord, who cooled down as his adversary became excited; "I didn't mean to say that, sir."

"Then you'll just hear what I have to say, sir," replied our gentleman: "I'm not to be robbed in this barefaced way;—and the credit of your house, sir, is gone; for as soon as I arrive in town, I will write a letter to the Times, Chronicle, Herald, Post, and Morning Advertiser, stating the whole of the infamous transaction, and sign it with my own name, sir—with my own name; and then we shall see how long you are in a position to rob the public in this way. Yes, sir, and my lawyer shall send you a letter, as soon as I arrive in town, for an action of damages and recovery, sir."

Then our gentleman walked rapidly up and down the room, his shirt waving to and fro as if it was as much excited as himself.

"I'm very sorry, sir—very sorry," said the landlord; "but, sir, I have a pair of double-milled trousers which I think would fit you, so as to enable you to go to town, until the buckskins can be replaced."

"Double-milled! thank you, sir. You appear to consider my loss as only amounting to a pair of buckskins, Mr. Landlord; but who, sir, is to repay me the forty pounds and upwards, in bank-notes, which were in the pockets of my buckskins—heh! sir?"

This was, indeed, a new feature in the case, which the landlord did not expect.

"Forty pounds odd, sir!" exclaimed the landlord.

"Yes, sir, forty pounds. Let me see, forty-four pounds exactly. Now, sir, is that money to be forthcoming?—in one word, sir—there is no time to lose. If I miss the coach, I post all the way to town at your expense, as soon as I have procured something to put on. The house of Baring can't go to town in its shirt—the house of Baring will be revenged, sir—your treatment is past bearing, and—I give you five minutes to decide."

The landlord did decide. The buckskins had disappeared—the credit of his house was at stake—the house of Baring was his enemy—there was no help for it. The double-milled and £45 were handed over—the wrath of our gentleman was appeased—he even, before he slipped into the coach, promised to patronise the hotel.

The coach had been on the road about six hours, when the waiter stepped over to his chum, the waiter of the hotel opposite, to tell him what a shindy there had been about a pair of buckskins; the other waiter produced the buckskins left in pledge; and on their description of our gentleman, no doubt was left but that, although not probable, it was very possible that a gentleman could come into an hotel without his inexpressibles.

[188]

The landlord was almost frantic at having been so imposed upon; but, as usual in all such cases, he soon made up the loss incurred by our gentleman's visit to the hotel, by charging it upon those who came there, not only with buckskins, but with money in their buckskins-pockets; and thus ends my story of "How to raise the Wind; or, the Buckskins."


A PEEP AT BARTHOLOMEW FAIR.

"Out, out, brief candle!"—Macbeth.


Something whispers us that we should here commence moralising, that we should first expatiate on the nothingness of worldly gaud and greatness—enlarge on the changefulness of human prospects, and discover to our readers' view the myriads of blanks with which that fraudulent jade Fortune dilutes the few prizes she dispenses from her wheel. But then again, another something whispers us, we had far better get on with our subject, and we think we had.

Be it known then, that ever since a certain morning, (Anno Domini something,) when our nursery-maid walked us through Bartholomew Fair, and showed us all the pretty things, and treated our little palate to one or two of the nice ones, we have felt a remarkable passion for fairs—Bartholomew fair in particular. We will adventure to measure our love for it against that of its tutelar saint—but alas! we forget—it has no tutelar saint now; he has long since turned his back upon it. Yes, when prosperity went hand in hand with it, when joy, mirth, and splendour, were its friends, then could that faithless guardian—but, we must commence again, this is too moral—too moral by half. Once more then.

It was the last day of Bartholomew Fair, and from some unaccountable cause, we had not been near the spot. But it was not yet too late. We bustled up at the thought, hastily pinned our handkerchief inside our hat, emptied all our pockets—save one, divested our person of watch and jewelry, (for we hold it heinous to encourage picking and stealing,) and then hurried out in the direction of Smithfield, resolving in the plenitude of our joy to visit every show, have a ride in every swing, take a chance at every penny turn, roll the marble down every tower of Babel, and pink with every winning needle, for the sake of lang syne. Five years had we been away from England—five years had we been absent from our own dear Fair; and yet, how well we remembered our last walk over the same ground, about the same hour, and on the same errand. What pleasure it was now to see that so little change had taken place in the streets! There, stood the old oyster-rooms exactly the same as ever; yonder, was the public-house beside the gateway, just as dirty, just the same people at the doors, just the same noise within as when we last passed by. There was even the same crooked old post at the corner. Recollection seemed as it were to shake hands with these objects as old familiar friends, and we pushed on with even yet more joy in our bosom, and ardent expectation in our heart, to the great—the Prince of Fairs.

Our heart leaped for joy as we shot past a little shop, displaying drums, dolls, kettles, portable tea-services, singing cuckoos, bow-wow poodles, and armies of soldiers barracked in flat deal boxes, with a background of whips, scratchers, trumpets, squeakers, diminutive culinary apparatus, and Waterloo-crackers: we say, our heart leaped for very joy at the sight; but it leaped no more that night, for, from that moment disappointment marked us for her own. There now insensibly crept upon us strange forebodings and presentiments that all was not right, for although close upon the fair, we felt no wonted squeeze, heard no confusion of tongues, saw no confluence of people all driving and pouring up the road to one point. No announcements of hot green peas, fried sausages, cooked eels, or other Bartholomew delicacies, came wafted on the breeze;—no ginger-beer stands, corn-plaster venders, brass-sovereign sellers, or spiced-elder-wine compounders, lined the street: the throng was even less than we had seen upon an ordinary cattle-day. We[189] grew frightened; and rushing forward, peeped into the fair itself. In that peep, the thermometer of our joy fell full five hundred degrees below zero. Why, where are the shows? where are the swings? where are the turn-abouts—the round-abouts? where are the people? where, where is the Fair? But down, struggling feelings, down, and let me write calmly. In 1841 there were but TWO SHOWS in the Great Bartholomew Fair! We now walked up the gingerbread walk—the only gingerbread walk. Time had been, when our first act was to store a pocket with the best spiced nuts, for until we had eaten a few of those little cakes, we never felt ourself in the fair; but now, we hadn't the heart to taste one. Nor nuts nor any gauds had charms for us. We gazed with a pitying eye on all. We saw black ruin hovering over and already darkening Smithfield's grandeur—we beheld destruction suspended only by the last weak thread of custom, which Time with his scythe, or pocket-scissors, was about to sever, to the extinction, the total annihilation, of our own—our beloved fair. In consequence of the prohibitory price asked for the lawful groundage, two shows had been forced to take unfurnished lodgings in Hosier-lane. This, was indeed a blow! To see two, old, aboriginal exhibitions—one miscellaneous, the other mechanical, with waxen kings, clock-work queens, and spring-wire princes, barbarously driven from their native fair—unhappy refugees, and sojourners in narrow-streets and Hosier-lanes! Rumours there were too, that one other miserable exile had sought an asylum in a neighbouring farrier's shop; that there, in the front of certain festoons of dirty red cloth which veiled an ugly forge, the pincers, hammers, anvils, and other appurtenances of farriery, wizards were manufacturing puddings in the company's hats, causing real beer to stream from any given part of any little boy, and pulverising watches in mortars, as choice ingredients for soup; but we lacked curiosity to go and test the truth of such reports—these shows were not in the fair, therefore over us possessed no magic influence. With a heavy heart we next sauntered by the groups of stalls, whereon were spread various fruits and seductive viands—articles of savour for such as were edaciously disposed; but nobody seemed hungry; people passed and repassed, and scarcely glanced at the temptations. True, oysters appeared somewhat in demand, as did certain vinegary relishes in tiny white saucers, but as to the more substantial boiled tripe, fried fish, pigs' feet, pickled salmon, &c., none but the smallest boys approached the stalls, and they, not to buy—only to enjoy a look. The very cries of the doll and toy women, as they recommended this article or that to the dreamy by-standers, seemed muffled with sadness; and the gipsy gambler who was casting dice upon an old tea-tray, and relieving one or two dirty-faced urchins of their farthings, seemed to be realising scarcely sufficient to pay for the flaring candle which lighted his dishonesty.

We now stood opposite Wombwell's menagerie. This was the star, the Hyperion of the fair—it stood out bright and undaunted as in happier times—it was the last gallant upholder of poor Smithfield's dying splendour. We admit that there was a crowd before this show, but it was not a Bartholomew-fair crowd. There was wanting—that pulling, that pushing, that hallooing, that hooting, that screaming of women, that shrieking of children, that treading on toes, that losing of shoes, that knocking in of hats, that demolishing of bonnets, that crying for help, that squeezing of ribs, that contest between "stream up" and "stream down," which there always was in days of yore. Such, do we remember as the features of a legitimate Bartholomew crowd; whilst from the surrounding shows, there thundered the clanging of gongs, the firing of pistols, the springing of rattles, the bellowing of speaking trumpets, the ringing of bells, the crashing of horns, with fiddles, bag pipes, cymbals, organs, drums, and the hoarse voices of the showmen, all uniting and confusing into one loud, discordant, ceaseless roar—Oh! happy, thrice happy days! To the left of the mighty Wombwell, like some tributary satellite, was a smaller—very much smaller show—a sort of domestic multum in parvo—a wee locomotive ark, as it were—into which, on some curious principle of condensation, the ingenious proprietor had compressed a dwarf, an Abyssinian princess with vermilion eyes and snow-white hair, a living skeleton, a remarkably accomplished pig, and several other monstrosities—exclusive of drum, barrel organ, household furniture, and his family. Over the doorway of this accommodative cabin swung[190] an iron dish, in which flared some grease and oakum, that threw a dull flickering light upon the portraiture above the van, which represented, among other things, the ruby-eyed princess combing her silver locks in the presence of company, the dwarf poised in a giant's hand, and the Crichton of pigs engaged in a game of cards. On the steps of this exhibition, dressed in a green velveteen shooting-coat with large moon buttons, and a red shawl wound about his neck, stood the proprietor himself. From top to toe he looked the showman; but the care upon his brow—the spiritless voice in which he reminded the scant mob about him of its being the last night of the fair, and exhorted them not to neglect the golden opportunity of witnessing his pig, dwarf, &c., told us that he, like ourself, was the victim of chagrin and disappointment. There had been a time when his hoarse voice rehearsing his catalogue of prodigies would have been drowned in the clamouring din around him, but now every word, every sentence he uttered, was pitiably distinct.

"Now, walk for'ard, walk for'ard!" he exclaimed, his wife accompanying his voice on the watchman's rattle ad libitum. "Only a penny remember! one penny there! the last night—one penny!" But nobody moved, nobody walked forward—the whole crowd seemed penniless.

"Don't stand fingrin' the suv'rins in yer pocket, young men, till yer vares 'em as thin as vafers and nobody vont take 'em," he continued. "Don't stand a-thinkin' yerselves inter consumptions, but treat yer sveethearts to the vunder o' the fair—come and vitness the most larn'd and eloquentest pig as wos iver born or created—a pig wot's a human bein' in everything but his tail and wices!" He paused, looked wistfully round, whilst his spouse performed a furious interlude upon the watchman's rattle: he then resumed. "Here, here, here, ladies, is the pritty cretur wot'll tell you the 'zact name o' the young man as is dyin' for yer—vether he's dark or light—fat or thin, and vare his country-'ouse is. The livin' skel'ton too, wot eats no other wittles but light and vind! Vun penny; no more, remember! Jist agoin' to begin—vun penny!" He paused again, but his oratory induced only two persons to ascend the steps. "The African princess too," he continued, tapping the illustrious portrait with a cane, "vith silver hair eight foot long, every hair on her head vorth a goulden guinea! Yoye—yoye—yoye, there, walk for'ard and don't be afear'd—Little children is as velcome as big men—Nobody's shut out but dogs and blind people. Yoye—yoye, the dwarf—the dwarf—the dwarf, here—so short, he can't vash his own face vithout he stands on a high stool. Now my little boys, put yer four fard'ns together and see vot you'll niver see agin if yer lives as long as the most oldest donkey—come and see the vunderful pig Toby as'll tell yer how old yer are—vare the key of yer master's till's kept, and vether you're to pick up the five-pun-note a valking home to-night, or next veek!"

But to little end is this budget of professional eloquence and strained humour reiterated in the ears of his gaping listeners; very few are so overcome by it as to "walk forward;" such as are, being kept in bondage till their open mutiny and rebellious language compel the proprietor to close the door; the exhibition then commences, and then concludes; and then again comes the Sisyphian labour of refilling the van.

Apprehensive lest our distress of feeling should be observed in our countenance, we turned our back upon the wretched spectacle, and gazed into the gloomy field before us, till our heart verily ached again. We had known a time when "Richardson's" in giant letters met our view—when wreaths and stars of variegated lamps, brilliant as the rainbow, depended and glittered from red festoons—when, side by side, the insidious conspirator, the valiant disinherited, and beauteous betrothed, paced the platform in mysterious communion—when funny clowns sang funny songs to a sea of delighted faces—when ladies in Scotch costume danced Highland flings—when countless people who had paid, stood conjecturing and anxiously waiting outside for the conclusion of the tragedy and pantomime then being executed inside, and feeling sensations of awe creep over them as the spangled knights, the frowning desperadoes, and Indian chiefs with bracelets on their arms and rings through their ears and noses, stalked past them in their dignified parade. Oh! torturing memory! Once more in thy dimless mirror do[191] we behold "Pavilion Theatre"—see the equestrian "Clarke's"—hear too their cry of "The riders, the riders"—see again the savage combat between the two fierce bandits, who perform north-east south-west, robbers' cut, and guard, with frantic bravery—again we see Master Clarke and Miss Clarke waltzing round and round in the innocence of childhood—again the din of Bartholomew rings in our ears—again is Smithfield thronged with its roystering thousands—again are we surrounded by booths, shows, dwarfs, giants, pigs link-eaters, fat boys, swings, round-abouts, conjurers, and steam glass-works. We should, past doubt, have swooned away at the vision we had raised, had we not turned opportunely to the little show behind us, which made us conscious of the chilling truth of the reality. Despairing and broken-spirited, the proprietor had forsaken his post, and whilst his consort screamed forth invitations to the inanimate crowd to walk forward, he leaned his back dejectedly against the wheel of his yellow habitation. As he stood, he was accosted by a man in knee corduroys, half-boots, and white stockings, who, removing the short pipe from his mouth and looking hard in the showman's face, exclaimed—

"Vot Bill!—vy I ardly know'd yer! Vot a precious long phiz you have got! Vot has give you the blues?"

"Blues!" echoed the showman, for an instant raising his eyes; "Ain't it enough to make a heart of stone bleed to see this here Fair? Ain't it enough to—" but here his eyes again fell upon the ground, and superintended a little hole which he was digging with his iron heel.

"Vell, but man," rejoined the corduroys, encouragingly, as he glanced about him, "there arn't a wery great squeege to-night, to be sure, but yer vosn't so thin yisterday, and the day afore, vos yer?"

"Wasn't we though," sighed the proprietor, with a significant nod, "in that ere precious pourer yisterday—we wasn't thin, eh?—oh, not at all!"—

"Vell, don't founder, old boy. Come, go up, go up, and then the people'll follow you!"

"Not they," returned the dejected man; "They hasn't the sperit, Jim. They sneeks avay to the gin-shops and destroys their morals—gets drunk, and goes home and whacks their innercent wives—here's a precious state o' things for a civilised country!"

"Vell, niver mind. See, your good woman's a-calling of yer; go up to her, for down here yer looks as miserable as a fish out o' water. Ve all regrets it, but if yer perfession is ruined, vy, try your hand in some other line, that's all."

"Niver! niver, Jim!" cried the indomitable showman; "I wos born in a wan—I wos edicated in a wan—I've lived in a wan, and—I'll die in a wan!" Saying which, he rushed frantically up the steps, vented the first burst of his feelings in a terrific flourish upon the trumpet, and ultimately calmed down at the barrel organ. Very soon after, St Paul's sonorous voice spoke his dismal fiat, and as he tolled out the eleventh hour, seemed to ring the knell of our dear departed Bartholomew Fair. Alpha.


OMNIBUS CHAT.

We were led by accident, the other day, into certain odd speculations upon

THE ASSOCIATION OF IDEAS.

Who was it that astonished his hearers by declaring that beefsteak-pudding always put him in mind of Westminster Abbey? It was the same man who responded to the "Why?" by saying, "O! I don't know why, but it does!"

"Association of Ideas" is arrangeable under two heads: the discoverable, and the undiscoverable. Of the last, first. How often do we every day jump from one point to another, as distinct in themselves as the sublime and the ridiculous, and far more widely asunder? We are talking of A, and Z starts up in the mind. White is the subject of the speculation, and in walks Black. It may be said, that as likes beget likes, so opposites beget opposites; and it may be very true that if you cannot directly call Z to mind when you want him, it is advisable to recollect A, as likelier to remind you of him than Y, or any other alphabetician.[192] Granted; but, on the same principle, when you want to think of water, you should order in some brandy. The connexion may be close, although the elements are opposite. In like manner, we are told, when trying to recal some reprobate's alias, to think of a church of the same name; as we might think of a duellist, to suggest the image of a practical Christian. So, if we would be reminded of the truth and simplicity of Shakspeare, we ought to remember how his plays are sometimes acted; we shall see the high point from the low. Again, the image of a poor-box might be useful to help us to the idea of fulness; as that of a medicine-chest might be, to suggest the sense of turtle and venison. But we need not multiply opposites; grant that suggestions arise thus, when ideas stand opposed in straight lines—when the electric wire runs direct between them, wonderfully connecting the remote—yet how are we to account for the association of ideas in cross-roads, where there cannot possibly be the slightest connexion—where the fancy starts off at all sorts of angles, or wriggles through all kinds of crooked lines, without an apparent chance of stumbling upon the image that nevertheless comes uppermost? Cases constantly occur where there is not a particle of affinity. The child-idea is born without a parent-idea; there is not the shadow of a traceable relationship. We are discussing the merits of Cerito, and one of Euclid's problems bursts upon us; we are quietly repeating to ourselves some verses of the Odyssey, and suddenly the mind wanders to the subject of muffins. What connexion is there between shirt-frills and glass bottles? Yet how rapidly may one follow the other, like debtor and creditor, and become as intimately related as needle and thread!

On the other hand the Discoverable links of association are often as clear and connected as pearls strung on silver; and sometimes, it must be owned, they are altogether as tangled and confused, though still traceable by a nice curiosity. It needs no ghost to tell us why twenty-one shillings suggest the idea of a guinea—though the one coin be of the more precious metal; nor is it necessary to show why a Manton at this season awakens associations of pheasants and partridges—the consanguinity is obvious. But how comes it that my simple little cat (Dummy by name) called up, the other evening, by a very ordinary movement, the image of Cleopatra? How? Why, the mere sweep of her sable tail reminded me of the black leopard in the Surrey Zoological Gardens: where the gigantic model of Rome suggested a thought of the Cæsars; Antony, of course, started up, and in the "hundred-thousandth part of the millionth division of a second," I was in Egypt old, gazing upon the undying glory of Cleopatra! What so simple! Such chains lengthen themselves incessantly in the mind—the links are drawn each to each, of their "own sweet will," and bind us unawares. Lightning is slow compared with the flight of thought. How quickly does an oyster beget the idea of our first parents! Thus: an oyster—Milton oysters—Milton—Adam and Eve! Let any reader who may happen to be thinking of wrought-iron, trace back his speculation, and laugh to find that it had its origin perhaps in camomiles; as camomiles had in turn been suggested by the "Pilgrim's Progress!"


—— But all this is less an address to the patient reader than an apology to an injured Correspondent. We wish to show, beyond mistake, how we misnamed a valued illuminator of our vehicle, who last month related an Incident of Travel. His name is Copus; we could not call it to mind, and so we styled him Quickly. Observe. Quickly in this case was the son of Mrs. Quickly; Mrs. Quickly was, in our imagination, the mother of Sack; Sack is, to our knowledge, the brother of Copus. The connexion is mysterious—yet mysteriously simple. Copus! How could we forget thee?—thou wert companion of our youth. We knew thee well—thou art a spicy fellow, and a cheerful! What youthful reveller in academic relaxations recollects thee not, with thy wine and toast, thy lemon, cloves, and seductive et ceteras! Here's a chant that particularises thy pleasantries:—

"Bring ale, bring wine,
Bring lemon too,
With the nutmeg fine—
We'll brew, we'll brew!
The toast throw in, and the clove divine,
'Twill do, 'twill do, 'twill do!
Here's a draught to the Queen,
And the days we have seen,
And a health to you, sir, you!"

[193]

And now shall Copus, John Copus, (late Quickly) speak for himself, on a subject which, by a natural sequence, treads on the heels of the foregoing.

I sometimes speculate as to what little boys at school now-a-days talk about, as to what form the chief subjects of their amusement. It is sadly to be feared, that the innocent and ingenuous ignorance of my school-days has been exchanged for a culpable smattering of sophisticated knowledge, foolishly so called. Oh! who could wish when he calls to mind the days of his boyhood—at least, who that has a particle of romance, the smallest dash of sentiment, in his heart, could wish, that the boys of the present day should be sceptical as to the soothing belief then so prevalent, that the luscious preparation of sugar and peppermint which they eat, is really and truly a portion of "Gibraltar Rock;" or that the "brandy balls," with which they beguile their happy hours, and clart their fingers' ends, are indeed remnants of the lot of those very "Nelson's bullets" which spread destruction on "Egypt, Hafnia, Trafalgar."

Some of my readers may perhaps know—I confess my ignorance on this point—what boys now are. Whether a Doudnean tunic and variegated cap of divers kinds of cloth warm the possessor of as much solid understanding, as the honest pepper-and-salt clothes and undoubted beaver hat did in times gone by. I will, however, endeavour to illustrate what boys were in the last generation. And first, you shall agree that they excelled as a body in the inventive faculty. I scarcely need instance Walter Scott—the following story will establish my point without further aid.

Let us suppose the scene—a moderate-sized room—with eighteen beds or so in it, and the same number of boys in them, varying in age from eight to twelve, with every variety of nightcap, from the cosey linen one fitting "snod" to the head, and tied well under the chin, to the dignified and manly double cotton with long tuft; these enclosing all the varieties of hair, known as turnips, carrots, candles, &c. "Now Grant," shouts the biggest of the lot, "it's your turn to tell a story to-night—don't be afraid, (he was a new lad,) any thing will do, so fire away, and I'll thrash the first that interrupts him." The youth thus addressed, having evidently prepared his story, begins slowly and argumentatively thus:—"Well, once upon a time there was a mill" (it was considered a solecism to omit a mill or a castle,) "in a great plain—and a family lived there—well—and so there were three men, and they went out one night and walked across the plain—and it grew quite dark;" (here, one of the youngest lads, frightened at the fearful ideas conjured up by the last words, gives a faint sigh;) "and so after a bit they began to feel hungry—and one said Look! there's a light! and they all swore a solemn oath that they would go to where it was, and get something to eat, or else kill one another." (Here evident proofs are given that the greater portion of the audience are deeply interested in the progress of the tale, for various small sighs are heard, indicative either of sympathy with sufferers under the pangs of hunger, or of apprehension lest the three "jurors," taking the Kilkenny cats as precedents, should eventually become all of them homicides.) "Well—and so they went to the mill—and one of them knocked—and then the miller got up, and sharpening a large knife went to the door and asked who was there?—and the boldest of the three told him, that they were three travellers, and wanted food and a lodging. So the miller let them in, and they had a jolly good tuck-out of tea and buttered toast, and then went to bed.——And so my story's ended."

"Grant—come here!" mildly observes the biggest of the crew. The youth thus addressed rises cheerfully—advances boldly—and falls precipitately—levelled by a well-aimed bolster. "Now Grant!" continues the non-appreciator of a tale worthy for its simplicity of conception of a Wordsworth—for its pensive dénouement of a Dickens;—"Now Grant, just pick that up—and won't I lick you to-morrow morning, you precious fool—that's all."

I cannot lay the flattering unction to my soul, of believing that the modern dormitory could produce so striking a proof of talent. No sir; from fountains such as these have risen the immortal strains of a —— and a —— (you can fill in the names). In vain will the survivors of the next generation look for any similar display of talent. But if this fail to convince you of the decided superiority of[194] the boys of auld lang syne in one branch of knowledge, give me your attention whilst I recount an overpowering proof, that in appreciation of real wit and talent for the ludicrous, they were indeed unrivalled. A new lad had come, who from having liberally bestowed various "tucks" on almost every one of his friends in the bed-room was popular on the whole, and received very cordially by us all. At all our stories connected with the various "masters," "monitors," "servants," boys that had left, and boys that remained, (and some of them were by no means amiss,) he seemed rather to sneer, so that he was voted a dull fellow—a spoon—a sap. When, however, emboldened by acquaintance with us, he began to talk of the school he had left, his delight, and even laughter, knew no bounds. "Oh! master was such a jolly fellow"—he said one day to a select circle of friends—"and such a funny fellow too he was you don't know—he! he! he! he used to make us laugh so—he! he! I'll tell you such a funny story of him. There was a lad called Brown, and master called him Jacky, because his name was John—he! he! he! Well, one day at dinner, Jacky had only had once of meat, but he'd two helps of pood;" "Of what?" we all exclaimed. "Oh! we called rolly, pood, to distinguish it from stick-jaw," was the explanation given. "So when master said, 'Well, Jacky, will you have any more pudding?' he! he! he! Jacky said, he! he! 'Please sir,' he! he! ha! and master said—he! he! 'Jacky's fond of pudding!' he! he! he! wasn't that funny?"


Having laughed immoderately at the profound and irresistible drollery of Jack Brown's dominie, protesting, that two such schoolmasters would be the death of us, we were all—that is, the whole Omnibus-fraternity in vehicle assembled,—suddenly checked in our hilarity, and sat with solemn visages to listen to

THE LACEMAN'S LAMENT.

"One struggle more and I am free From pangs that rend my heart in twain."—Byron.

Oh! thou, who wert my all of hope—
Of love—of joy, in early years;
Ere aught I knew about the shop,
Or view'd life through a veil of tears.
Some poet sings, that, "never yet,
The course of true love smooth did run;"
So mine, I'll take an even bet,
Must be the truest 'neath the sun!
'Tis long, long since I ceased to weep
O'er all thy broken vows of yore;
But, if you want some ribbon cheap,
I hope you'll not go past my door!
'Twas thee my youthful fancy drew
The fairest pattern of your kind;—
Lace patterns, now, alone I view,
And fancy muslins rule my mind.
Dearest and fairest! oh, forgive
The thought that prompts this simple lay;
'Tis just to tell you where I live—
I see you passing, every day.
I may, perchance, have measured short
The lines that are not in my line;
For yards, not feet, are now my forte,
And rhymes are ill to match and join.
In visions of a future day,
I see thy long-lost form appear;
And, o'er the counter, whispering, say—
"Pray can you make it cheaper, dear?"
Then I'll not call thee all unkind,
Nor every hope untimely drop;
Unless, in after days, I find
You take your custom past my shop.
J. P.

This pleasantry not unnaturally called to mind the departed author of a thousand similar essays; of a thousand songs, epigrams, odes, farces, and operas; of a thousand proofs of natural talent and untiring activity of mind. The allusion here made is to Thomas Dibdin, the son of the great sea-songster, the brother of the already by-gone Charles, and consequently, the last of the three! The remains of "Poor Tom" were interred on the 21st of September, in the burial-ground of St. James's Chapel, Pentonville, close by the grave of his old friend, Grimaldi.[195] May he sleep in peace nevertheless! The feeling of a friend seems to be expressed in the subjoined tribute:—

TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE THOMAS DIBDIN.

Alas! poor Tom! thy days are past,
Yet shall thy wit and humour last;
For few, of all the bay-crown'd train,
Could boast a more productive brain.
But what avails, if fleeting praise
Alone the poet's labour pays?
If, when the mind is worn away,
Pale misery waits on dim decay?
If talents rare no more can claim
Than idle transitory fame?
'Twas thine, poor Tom! in life's decline,
In sad reverse and want to pine;
Till Pity came, with angel-pow'r,
To soothe thee at thy latest hour.[10]
(Pity! on earth a heavenly guest,
And sweetest in a queenly breast.)
But rest thee well! nor let us grieve
Thou hadst no hoarded bags to leave;
One legacy of thine shall yet
Be valued more—thy Cabinet.
J. A. Williams.

It is the fate of one author to be overlooked by the Great, and of another to be overlooked by the Little. But we very much question, whether any author, be he poet or pamphleteer, occupying what is technically called a two-pair front, was ever subjected, whether sitting down to dinner or getting into bed, to the inconvenience of being Overlooked by the Great, after the fashion portrayed in the margin hereof. Now this we really take to be

THE HEIGHT OF IMPUDENCE!

Impudence has many degrees. When a stranger in a coffee-room politely requests to be allowed just to glance for one instant only at the newspaper you are reading, merely to look at an advertisement, and then, ordering candles into the next box, coolly sits down to read through the parliamentary debate—when a friend borrows your horse, to lend to a friend of his whom he would not trust with his own—a certain degree of impudence has unquestionably been attained. There is impudence in looking through a keyhole, in peeping over the parlour-blinds, in spying into the first-floor from the window "over the way;" but surely the highest stage of impudence is reserved for the man who stops as he strolls along at night, to look into your bed-room window, on the second floor—tapping at it probably with a request to be permitted to light his cigar at your candle, as the gas-light has gone out.


[196]

AN APPARENT CASE OF DETERMINED SUICIDE.

As we sauntered along the sea-beach the other day, in the neighbourhood of Margate, we observed a female standing out at a considerable distance from the cliffs, and at a point where she was likely to be cut off from the shore. As the tide at the time was "making in fast," prompted by a humane feeling (and not by an impertinent curiosity, in the hopes of seeing a pretty face), we immediately hastened towards her; upon a nearer approach the form was familiar to us—surely we had seen that figure before—it must be—it is—Mrs. Toddles! What can she be about? She stands motionless upon an elevated patch of sand—the white foam comes boiling and gurgling and hissing around her. She heeds it not—she stirs not; it begins to rain a little—she deliberately puts up her umbrella! What can she mean? Horrible thought! does she meditate self-destruction? Has she resolved to stand there until the mighty waters encompass her about—engulfing herself—her little black stockings—her bonnet—her shawl and all! in the deep, vast, salt, briny, hungry ocean. But what are we about? Let us hasten to prevent such an awful catastrophe! Springing forward therefore quickly, we exclaimed, "For heaven's sake, madam, what are you about? Are you determined to destroy yourself, or are you aware of your danger?" "Danger, sir?" cried Mrs. T. with a scream, "what danger, sir? I am only watching the waves." "Danger, madam! why in five minutes the waves will cut you off from all chance of escape," we exclaimed, and expressed a hope that she could swim. "Swim!" screamed Mrs. T.—"Swim! oh dear, oh dear!"—and away skuttled Mrs. T. along the sands, her little bit black legs going at a most surprising rate. However, leaving Mrs. T.'s legs to themselves, we took to our heels, and encouraged her to increased exertion, when suddenly we heard the little lady exclaim, "Oh, my basket,"—and upon looking round, we saw those little bit black legs hurrying back to the place from whence she started. We hallooed, we bawled—time and space were both narrowing with fearful rapidity—"Now! madam—haste, haste!—quick—your hand!—there, now!—ah!"—Ahah! too late! too late!—bang comes the wave—such a squash—poor Mrs. T. went off dripping wet; but we dare say she would find a little drop of comfort, in the shape of smuggled Hollands at her lodgings.

☞ We wonder how Mrs. T. got to Margate, and suppose it was in search of her friend, Colonel Walker—who, we presume, must be out of town—or we should have heard from him.


THE BITER BIT.

"Stop! stop!" cried a gentleman to an Omnibus cad[11], but the cad would neither hear nor stop. "Stupid fellow!" said the gentleman,—"he'll find it out, to his cost, bye-and-bye; for I have given him a counterfeit five-shilling piece!" But, on looking at the change, he exclaimed—"Well, I never! hang me if the rascal hasn't given me four shillings and sixpence bad money! But, never mind; I've had my ride for nothing!"

A SKAITING PARTY

A Sliding Siute

A Skaiting Academy

Designed, Etched & Published by George Cruikshank No.r-1 1841

[See larger version]

[197]

THE ARTIFICIAL FLOOR FOR SKATING.

If our grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, and great-grandmothers, and great-great-grandmothers, (who, depend upon it, were all very little people,) could only look down and see what is going on among us here below, how they would, as an Irish friend remarks, turn up their eyes! Those who were wont, while vegetaters in this world, to creep to bed with the lamb, for want of a light to sit up by, (before man "found out long-sixes,") must, upon peeping down now, be dazzled by the blaze of gas; yet what is gas compared to the Bude-light, already superseding it? Those who made their wills when they undertook a three-weeks journey from York to London, must be abundantly startled by our railroads; yet what is railway-travelling now to the velocity with which we are hereafter to move—when, seated on a cannon-ball, we shall be shot into a distant city in less time than it would take us to stop at home. But of all the wonders that must make them open their unsubstantial eyes, and rub their aerial spectacles, a Skating Assembly in a London drawing-room must assuredly take the lead. Balloons pilotable and walks under the Thames, iron ships and canals over carriage-ways,—these are mere common-places. Earth, air, fire, and water, are old-fashioned things. Artificial Ice is the new element that shall astonish the other four.

In America they are boasting the construction of a railroad to convey ice to Charlestown, for the supply of the West Indies! Very well; but that is real ice. England has done something more; she has established her independence of winter. She can do without frost altogether, and yet go on skating all the year round. She has discovered more than Parry did at the Pole; she has found out—Artificial Ice!

To Mr. Bradwell, whose ingenuity as a machinist has so long been signalized in Covent Garden theatre, the public will be indebted for the realization of this wonder. It is proposed that in what were once the nursery-grounds in the New Road the infant art shall be nursed and reared, and the New Road to Enjoyment be thrown open. Magnificent rooms, on a scale of extraordinary magnitude, will be laid with sheets of patent ice, upon which the common skate can be used with the same facility as upon the frozen Serpentine. There will be rooms for learners and private parties. The artificial ice has been put to the test of extreme heat, and is unaffected by it. It may be used in private houses, and be carpeted when skating is over.

Such is the accredited statement; and our inference naturally is, that skating will soon become popular all over the world. The speculators who long ago sent out skates to India will now make their fortunes. With ourselves it will soon be the national pastime. People will get up in the dog-days, early, and go out for a morning's skating. They will enjoy the sport with advantages hitherto undreamed of; there will be no keen winter-wind to cut them in two—no "mobocracy" to mix with—no rheumatisms to catch—no duckings to dread. The word "dangerous" will be as a term in the unknown tongue. They will not anticipate a drawback in the use of the drags, and though they mix in every society,[198] the "Humane" will be untroubled; there will be neither falling in nor falling out.

MR. AND MRS. SLIPPERS
REQUEST THE HONOUR OF
MR., MRS., AND MISS SLIDER'S
COMPANY TO AN EVENING PARTY,
ON THE 1ST OF JULY, 184—.

Skates at 10.

Skating-floors will, of course, be laid down in the houses of all the affluent, and invites will be issued from Portland-place and Park-lane, after the fashion of the accompanying card. It will be the privilege of a gentleman to solicit the hand of a lady for the next figure-of-eight, to beseech her to take part with him in the date of the year, or to join him in a true-lover's knot. Servants will skate in and out with real ice. The text of Milton will be altered in the next edition, and his couplet will be read—

"Come and trip it, long and late,
On the light fantastic skate."

But the skating-floor will be in equal request for family use as for company. On a wet morning, when it is impossible to go out, the gentleman will say—"Here's a soaker! no ride, no walk; James, bring me my skates." Or perhaps the lady will cry—"What a horrid dry day! nothing but dust! Why don't they put an awning all over Hyde Park! Eustace, my skates!" What an immense saving will there be in families in the article of firing, when people are thus irresistibly moved to "stir their stumps," instead of the fire.

But will the advantages end here? Certainly not. There can be no question but that the experiment will be tried in the new Houses of Parliament, where, should a skating-floor be laid down, notices of motion will be far less abundant than motions without notice. Changing sides will be a matter of constant practice; to cut figures, not to cultivate them, will be the order of the day; the noble lord will "feel great reluctance in reducing himself to the level of the honourable gentleman," and the honourable gentleman "will very unwillingly adopt the position of the noble lord." Supporting petitions will be of less consequence than supporting partitions; and the strong party measure that will be necessary, will be a strong party wall.

Westminster-hall will of course be furnished with a floor for the use of the lawyers, and the juries in waiting; the counsel will show where an action may lie, the plaintiff will naturally go against the defendant, and the defendant will as naturally move for a new trial. The town-halls throughout the kingdom will be similarly supplied. But may not patent-ice pavements be laid down in our popular thoroughfares? We have asphalte promenades and wooden highways; but what are such inventions as these to the convenience of ice-pavements, and the luxury of skating down Cheapside to be early on 'Change! What a ninth of November will that be which shows us the two Sheriffs skating away to Guildhall after the new Lord Mayor, followed by the Court of Aldermen and the Companies. A procession on skates! the Cabinet Ministers, the Judges,—the sword-bearer, and the men in armour—all skating like Dutchmen!

[If herein we exaggerate, we have not exaggerated the ingenuity of Mr. Bradwell, to whom we wish a signal success.]


[199]

DUNS DEMONSTRATED.

BY EDWARD HOWARD, AUTHOR OF "RATTLIN THE REEFER."

The dark ages of barbarism are generally supposed to have been more prolific of monsters; but modern times,—the times of civilization and refinement—have far excelled them in this respect. What are your giants, your anthropophagi, and "men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders," as monsters, compared with that maximum of monstrosity, a dun? He is an iniquity, who may claim Impudence and Usury for his father and mother. He is a devouring Sin, a rampant atrocity, a thing unendurable.

And then the double duplicity of the monster! He makes his first approaches towards his victim smiling—he actually smiles!—he offers to lend you money, the angel! or bestow upon you his goods; and then he is nothing but the beneficent assister of the poor: for every man who condescends to be in debt must be poor—if in want, pitiably poor in fact; if not in want, poor in spirit beyond the approach of contempt. But when his meshes have once entangled his prey, this seraph stands forth in the sublimity of the horrible—the Dun!

Come, as we are in a free nation, let us talk about the chains of slavery, tyranny's oppression, the morgue of aristocracy, and the fierté of those in authority; shall we not rise in arms against them "'Sblood! shall we not be rebels?" Stop. Let us first conquer a tyrant far stronger than any of these—a despot more despotic than any autocrat who ever existed. This persecutor violates all the sanctities of private life; he is with us at our meals, he penetrates the closet, even the bedchamber affords us no asylum. There is no sanctuary from the dun. Death? That may be, yet we know not. We should hesitate the accepting a grave gratis, even were it a mausoleum, near the "remains" of a dun. Nobody can answer for the force of habit.

The ancients had very correct notions on this subject. There was a dun at the very entrance to their "shades below;" how could any place of torment be complete without one? There was Charon, with his skinny hand outstretched for a penny. It was not much, certainly; but it is a great deal more than dutiful sons, affectionate nephews, and disconsolate heirs, can now afford to bestow upon the illustrious departed. It is a good thing for the modern dead that all this about Styx and the ferry-boat is held to be fiction.

Detestable as is the dun, there is something heroic about him. It has been matter of dispute among learned commentators whether the assertion respecting this right valourous Thomas Thumb should be construed literally or paraphrastically, "He made the giants first, and then he killed them." There can be no doubt about the deeds of the dun. He actually does "make his giants first, and then he kills them." Without him there would be no debtors to destroy. If debt be a crime, the creditor is more than particeps criminis. He is the originator of, and tempter to, the deed. Justice should really punish the dun for drawing his victim into debt. We deny not that lending money is glorious among the virtues: nobody can appreciate that more than ourselves. But to[200] punish a poor devil for affording a fellow-creature an opportunity for exercising the most exalted virtue, ranks next in heinousness to the crime of that man who may degrade himself into a dun.

But what is a dun? the ignorant affluent may exclaim. It is this that the abomination is: the quintessence of vexation; a single plague, a plaguey deal worse than the whole ten that plagued Egypt. He is a substantial ghost, perpetually haunting a man, and sucking away his substance more eagerly than ever James the First imagined that a hobgoblin sucked a witch. He is far more ravenous than "the horseleech, who always cries 'Give, give!'" In his voice he imitates the cuckoo, having but one note, provided that he gets hold of yours—"Pay, pay! money, money!" He is a troublesome fiend, not to be laid with Protestant prayers, or Papistical holy water, and yet can be exorcised merely by a check.

The dun hath an extraordinary sympathy with a knocker. For him, a knocker cannot be placed too high or too low, nor will his ready hand find it too heavy or too light. It is the instrument on which he most loveth to play. He can therewith simulate every man's tune; at the unobtrusive "one modest tap" of the poor cousin, the quaker-like simplicity of the postman's appel, the hearty rally of the intimate friend, and the prolonged thunder of the crimson-thighed lacquey, he is equally expert. The hypocrite can achieve every knock that has been or can be knocked in this knocking world. And yet, he can hardly deceive the poor tremulous debtor. Hence, since the times have become bad, and John Doe and Richard Roe have stalked through our streets triumphant, gentlemen have left off wearing certain appendages to the backs of their heads, as being too typical and too much reminiscent of "iteration" of the pertinacious foe.

What gentleman would like to have bobbing at his back an excrescence, which, if he walked slowly, would remind him of his tailor's—if fast, of his bootmaker's summons?

It would be planting an imp of importunity on his shoulders, which, like Sinbad's old man, he might shake, but could not shake off.

Many are the doubts of the dun's pedigree. Some hold that he descends from one of Nimrod's illegitimates, for he is a mighty hunter by profession, as well as a tyrant by nature. A blood-hound he is, of a notable quick scent to discover his game, with a deep mouth to pursue it. His presumption is boundless; for he pretends to ape creation by attempting to squeeze something out of nothing, and raise cash from a vacuum.

Etymologists have laid it down that he is called a dun, by antiphrasis, because he never will have done until he has undone you; and yet nothing is more natural and pleasant than the doing of a dun, nothing worse than his doings. Whether he repair to church or the meeting-house, he cannot be accounted a true Christian, as he never either gives or forgives, but merely lends in order to show that he has no forgiveness. He is the most persevering of all bores and the most penetrable; nothing[201] can divert him from his persecutions; and 'tis very lucky for him that doors cannot maintain actions of assault and battery.

The new penny postage is a fortunate measure for the afflicted victim of the dun. If he live so far off that he cannot be dunned three times a day, he will be punished to the amount only of what the good Samaritan gave to the wounded wayfarer; but this punishment will be daily, punctual as the day itself.

He is, this dun, the acutest mental torturer that exists, and the greatest tempter to all manner of wickedness. Near, he almost annihilates you; remote, he torments you, racking your very soul. He is to the poor creditor what the guilty conscience is to the murderer; he can neither eat, drink, sleep, or walk in quiet for him. Indeed, the tenter-hooks upon which he puts a man, are enough to warp the best nature in the world. With truth he will not be satisfied, and you are forced to rid yourself of him by a lie. At length his importunity provokes you to swear at him, and then he hardens you into a determination never to pay him at all. He thus enacts the gentleman-usher to the black gentleman, leading you on from lying to swearing, from swearing to dishonesty, till at last you pave your way to a "certain place,"—more certainly than ever you will pave it with your good intentions. It would not be difficult to prove that your thorough-paced dun was the father of the seven deadly sins.

Let us single out a specimen from a flock of dun-coloured duns: for the true dun affecteth not brilliancy of colours. He has marked his quarry. He pursues it cautiously, stealthily. He must be upon it, before he takes the alarm. Whilst he approaches, he puckers up his face into all the foldings of hypocrisy. He has gilded his countenance with a villanous smile. He is on tiptoe. He touches his unsuspecting victim on the shoulder—that victim was in the act of a triumphant pass with an admiring companion. He turns round!—where is the smile of exultation? He looks more affrighted than the flying hare, more ghastly than a tombstone by moonlight. And yet he suffers his clammy hand to be grasped in the horny palm of the dun—to be shaken: the contact is loathsome—he must bear it, for he owes the man money.

"My little account——"

Then comes the shuffling, the lying, the fawning—if the wretch be, as is generally the case, mean-spirited. One dun would go far to tame even Hercules—but two, with the assistance of a rascally sheriff's-officer, would subdue a whole army of heroes and demi-gods. It is a good thing for the wild beasts that they know not the use of money. How easy would have been Van Amburgh's task, could he but have lent his most violent lions some loose cash, and have discounted the note of paw of his most intractable tigers, they being amenable to mesne process! But that happy consummation for the duns is still far distant. It will be long before they induce carrion-crows to give an I O U, instead of a C A W; or that they will persuade eagles to indorse bills, excepting in the backs of their prey; so the dunning fraternity must be content with torturing their fellow-sharers in humanity, until men grow so wise as to discover that debt is nothing more than a moral obligation, and that it is both wickedness and folly to punish it as a crime.


[202]

THE SECOND SLEEPER AWAKENED[12].

Translated by Ali.

"'Tis a long 'Lane' that has no turning."

Old Prov.

Know, O Prince of the Faithful! that my name is Jöhn Thómkeens, and my father was Sháh Bandar of the merchants of Löhndöhn, and be resided in the street which is called Oksphut; and he had great riches, and possessed many stuffs, and jewels, and minerals, and female slaves, and black male slaves, and memlooks; and a great desire came upon me to travel, and divert myself with viewing the cities of the world; then said I to my father, "By Allah! O my father, I conjure thee that thou permittest me to travel from thee awhile, that I may divert myself with viewing the cities of the world!" But my father was not willing to hinder me from doing this, although it grieved him to part with me, so when I conjured him to let me go, he hung his head awhile towards the earth, for his bosom was contracted, and after a little space he raised his head, and said to me, "O, my son! great grief has afflicted me, by reason of this thy request; but as thou art eager to travel, may no harm befall thee; be careful of thy substance, and associate not with those with whom there is no avail to associate;" and he ceased not to advise me of that which it was right for me to do, until the hour of prayer; and after that he ordered his memlooks, and they prepared for me a mule, and put on its saddle and equipments. So my father advanced to embrace me, for the purpose of bidding me farewell, and he embraced me and wept until he fainted, and when he recovered he recited these verses:—

"The man from the bad coin parteth without sorrow[13];
But the bosom of the father is contracted with the loss of his child.
The lamb was eager to leave the fold, despising the words of his mother;
But when the wolf appeared, he longed for the safety of the fold."

Then I bade him farewell, and recited these verses:—

"Youthful strength despises not labour;
And strange things meet the eye of him that travels[14]."

[203]

I then pursued my journey, not knowing whither I was going, and I proceeded until I arrived upon the banks of a great river; and as I looked, lo! a vast bridge was before me, and I considered my case, and ascended upon the bridge, and a man met me, and said unto me, "By Allah! O, my son, thou canst not pass here, until thou hast paid unto me a penny!" So I gave him a penny, and proceeded; and the name of that river was Thámez, and the name of that bridge Vockshál.

And I proceeded a little space, and I looked, and lo! a great palace appeared before me, the doors of which were of the iron of China, and the door-posts of brass, and the walls thereof were inlaid with jewels and all kinds of precious stones, such as I had never before beheld. The gates of the palace were open, so I descended from my mule and entered, and lo! I found therein a spacious hall the like of which my eyes had never before beheld; and within this great hall were many ghools, and lo! they were busied about some great work; and I approached and beheld, and lo! they were stamping with the signet of Sulezmán, the son of Dáood (on both of whom be peace); and they were stamping the signets with astounding quickness; and when I beheld them, I said within myself, "God is great! What he willeth, that cometh to pass; and what he willeth not, doth not happen."

After that I proceeded; and as I was walking from the palace, my foot struck upon some hard substance, and I looked down, and lo! it was a bottle of brass, filled with something, and having its mouth closed with a stopper of lead, bearing the impression of the seal of Sulezmán, the son of Dáood (on both of whom be peace); then said I to myself, "By Allah, the great, the wonderful! I must open this and see what is in it." So I took out a knife, and picked at the lead until I had extracted it from the bottle of brass; and when I had so done, lo! a great quantity of smoke came forth, and I heard a sound as if of a strong rushing wind; and while I was looking, behold the smoke collected together, and shook, and it became an Efreet, horrible in form. His head was like a dome, and from it there rose a huge horn, like a great column; his hair was as kohl; his eyes flashed forth fire, and from his mouth issued flames; and when I beheld him the muscles of my sides quivered, my teeth were locked together, my spittle dried up, and I saw not my way.

Then the Efreet, when he saw me, cried out and said to me, "Fear not, O thou of the sons of Adam! for as thou hast released me from confinement, there shall no harm befall thee; and lo! I will now convey thee where thou mayest have all thy wants, and fulfil all thy desires; but keep thou in thine hand the impression of the signet of Sulezmán, the son of Dáood (on both of whom be peace), for thou wilt have need of it in thy way." Then said I unto him, "Whither is it that thou wilt lead me, O! Márid?" And he said, "I will lead thee to a place such as thou hast never before beheld, and show unto thee sights such as thou hast never before looked on. But fear not; for I swear to thee, by Allah, the good, the powerful! that no harm shall befall thee."

Then the Efreet took me up in his arms—I suffering him all this time, by reason of the extremity of my fear, which deprived me of all power over my limbs—and seated me on his shoulders, and flew away with me through the air. And he ceased not to fly until we came to a huge mountain, whose top reached unto the Seventh Heaven; and in the side of this mountain there was a great cavern, and I said unto the Efreet, "O, Efreet! enter not with me into this cavern; for verily I am in great fear, and my heart is contracted within my bosom." But the Márid answered, "Sit thou firm, O, man! and keep thou the impression of the signet in thine hand; and fear not." So I held firm the impression of the signet that was in my hand, and clung to the Efreet, and we entered together into the cavern. And I heard from within the cavern a great noise as if of the panting of many horses, and of ten thousand chariot-wheels, and a smell such as I had never before smelt the like of; my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth, and the muscles of my sides quivered, by reason of my fear, and I could not move by reason of my dread; and presently a great scream arose, shrill and dreadful, and lo! many ghools and márids surrounded us, making hideous faces, and grinning horribly.


[204]

And I clung to the Efreet who was carrying me, and he said to me, "Fear not; for we shall soon have passed through this cavern, and the ghools and the márids cannot approach thee; but thou must first behold and be presented to the chief of the Ján, who will inform you of all you have to do for the attainment of your wishes." Then said I, "I hear and obey;" and after that we proceeded. And again I heard that great scream, and the ghools, and the márids, and the jënnezeh, came around us; and the noise of the panting and the snorting of horses increased, and the sounds of the chariots became louder, and the whole air was filled with them; and I quaked with fear, and put my fingers into my ears, for I could not bear this great noise. And I looked, and lo! a great ján stood before us, whose head reached the utmost roof of the cavern, and whose arms were like winnowing forks, and his legs like masts; and when we stopped before him, the Efreet said to me, "Do obeisance, O thou of the sons of Adam!" And I kissed the ground before him, and humbled myself, and kissed his feet; after which I waited, and presently he opened his mouth, and cried unto me, saying,——"Station!"

And I found that, whilst sitting in the railway carriage, reading Lane's "Arabian Nights," I had converted myself into—

ONE OF THE "Sleepers" ON THE RAILWAY.


JUST GOING OUT.

BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.

"Going out" is sometimes a matter of exceeding difficulty; the phrase should rather be "getting out."

Morning is the time for the trial to which we allude. You have an appointment of very considerable importance, and it must be kept; or you have made up your mind, moved by the seductive serenity of the day, to take an easy stroll, and clear off an arrear of pleasant calls—you must go. The sunny look-out is exhilarating after a week's wind and rain, which has held you prisoner in your chambers, without so much as wafting or washing a single visitor to your door. You are tired of the house, and long for the fresh calm air, like a schoolboy for a whole holiday, or a usurer for cent, per cent. Every thing is looking quite gay, like a Christmas fire to one who has just come out of a Christmas fog. The people go by with smiling faces, and in smart attire; you consequently take a little more pains than usual with your dress,—rejecting this waistcoat as too quakerish, and selecting your liveliest pair of gloves to match—when, just as your personal equipments are all but complete, not quite,—"rat-tat-tat—tat-tat—tat!" there is a knock at the door.

Well, a knock at the door is no very astounding occurrence; but in this knock there is something startling, something ominous, something unwelcome. Nobody has knocked (nobody in the shape of a visitor) for some days, and it has an unusual sound. Had it suddenly broke in upon you while you were shaving, its effect might have been felt acutely; but you were just fixing the last shirt-stud, and a slight crumple is the sole consequence. You ring the bell hastily, rather anxious. "Tim," you cry softly, admonishing the sleepy little sinecurist that attends to the door; "Tim, there's a knock. Now, pray be cautious; I'm going out immediately; and can't see any stranger; you know whom I'm always[205] at home to—don't let anybody in that you don't know well—mind!" You listen, with your hands uncomfortably stretched towards the back of your neck, in the suspended action of fastening your stock; and distinctly catch Tim's responsive "Yes, sir!" So, then, you are at home to somebody; and Tim immediately announces Mr. Bluff, your oldest and best friend, who is ever welcome, and to whom you are at home at all hours;—Yes,—only—only you are just now going out! But, never mind. Will he wait five minutes? You won't be longer; and Tim hurries off to him with the Times.

Two minutes more bring you almost to the completion of your toilet, and one arm has already half insinuated itself into the—ay, in the hurry it happens, of course, to be the wrong sleeve of the waistcoat, when alarm the second sounds; there's another knock. "Tim, mind! pray mind! I'm going out. I can't see a soul—unless it's somebody that I must be at home to. You'll see who it is."

Tim returns with a card,—"Mr. Joseph Primly." "Primly, Primly! oh!—a—yes—that man, yes,—you didn't say I was at home?" Tim had not said you were at home, he had said that he didn't know whether you would be at home to him or not, and that he would go and see! "Stupid boy! Well, but this Primly—what can he want? I never spoke to him but once, I think—must see him, I suppose, as he's a stranger. Give him the Chronicle, and say, I'm coming down in one minute—just going out."

But before you can "come down," before you can quite coax on the last article of attire, the knocker is again raised, and rap the third resounds. Confusion thrice confounded! "Now, Tim, who is that? I can't be at home to anybody—you'll know whether I can be denied—I'm going out, Tim. Where are my gloves?—Pray mind!" And, with an anxious face you await the third announcement. "Mr. Puggins Cribb." This is provoking. You can't be out to him. He is your quarrelsome friend, to whom you have just been reconciled; the irascible brother of your soul, who suspects all your motives, makes no allowances for you, and charges you with the perpetual ill-usage which he himself inflicts. Should you be denied to him, he will be sure to suspect you are at home; and should he find you really are, he will make the grand tour of the metropolis in three days, visiting everybody who knows you, and abusing you everywhere. "Yes, Tim, very right—I must be at home to him. But gracious goodness, what's the time? I'm just going out!"

Misfortunes never come single, and visitors seldom come in twos and threes. Before you are fairly at the bottom of the stairs, a fourth arrival is in all probability announced. What can you do? There was an excellent plan, first adopted by Sheridan, of getting rid of untimely visitors; but then his visitors were creditors. They came early, at seven in the morning, to prevent the possibility of being tricked with the usual answer, "Not at home," and of course they would not go away. One was shut up in one room, and another in another. By twelve o'clock in the day there was a vast accumulation; and at that hour, the master of the house would say, "James, are all the doors shut?" "All shut, sir."[206] "Very well, then open the street-door softly;" and Sheridan walked quietly out between the double line of closed doors.

But this plan, though a thought of it darts across your mind, you cannot put in operation against friends. You therefore face them, grasping this one vigorously by the hand; then begging to be excused for a single moment, while, with a ceremonious bow, you just touch the fingertips of another to whom you have scarcely the honour to be known,—or nod familiarly to a third in the farther corner, who, by the way, is testifying to the intimacy of his friendship, by turning over your favourite set of prints with the brisk manner of an accountant tumbling over a heap of receipts and bills of parcels.

For each you have the same welcome, modified only by the tone and action that accompany it! "You are so happy that they arrived in time, for you were just going out, having a very important engagement;" and, curious to remark, each has the same reply to your hospitable intimation; but it is delightfully varied in voice and manner,—"I shall not detain you—don't let me keep you a moment." But each does;—one because he's an acquaintance only, and exacts formality; and another because he's a devoted friend, and thinks it necessary to deprecate formality fifty times over, with—"Nonsense, never mind me—come, no ceremony—I'm going." In fact, those detain you longest with whom you can use most freedom; and though you may bow out a formal visitor in twenty minutes, it takes you half an hour to push out a friendly one.

There are so many reasons why you must be at home to people; to a first, because he's a stranger, to a second because he's a relation; to one, because he was married the other day, and you must wish him joy; to another, because his play failed last night, and you must condole with him; to this, because he doesn't come for money; to that, because he does—which is the oddest of all.

After a succession of pauses, hints and gentle embarrassments, three out of the four yield one by one to the pressure of appearances, and as you are evidently "going out," allow you to get out by taking their departure. Only one will linger to say a few words that amount to nonsense, on business that amounts to nothing, occupying professedly a minute, but in fact fifteen; when, just as he is taking his fifth start, and going in reality, crash comes the knocker once more; and that man of all your acquaintances, who never stops to ask whether you are at home or not, but stalks forward, in "at the portal," as the ghost of Hamlet senior stalks out of it, now dashes rather than drops in, delighted to catch you before you make your exit, and modestly claiming just half an hour of your idle morning—not an instant more.

"My dear fellow, I'm going out—a particular engagement—been kept in all the morning;—will Friday do? Or shall I see you at the club?" No—nothing will do but listening; and your pertinacious and not-to-be-denied detainer has just settled himself in the easiest chair, and commenced his story with, "Now, come sit down, and I'll tell you all about it."—when the knocker once more summons the half-tired Tim, who forthwith enters with a proclamation in an under-tone, "Mr. Drone, sir, comes by appointment."

[207]

Luckily this occasions no difficulty. Mr. Drone was appointed to come at eleven, and it is now half-past two; he is therefore easily dismissed; besides, appointments, in these cases, are never troublesome; you can always be very sorry at a minute's notice, be particularly engaged very unexpectedly, and appoint another hour and another day with perfect convenience.—No, it is the dropper-in who blocks up your way—it is the idler who interrupts you in your expedition;—the man of business who comes by appointment may generally be despatched without ceremony or delay!

You return again to your guest with a disconsolate air, though with a desperate determination to look attentive; but sit you will not; for while you keep poking the fire almost out, you seem to be preparing for your exit; and while you saunter listlessly about the room, you seem to be going; till at last you are brought to a stand-still, and compelled to submit to another bit of delay, by your visitor (who dined out, and staid late somewhere the night before) asking for a glass of sherry, and some soda-water! You hurry to the bell with the happiest grace in the world; you are ashamed of not offering something of the sort before; you beg pardon—really; and taking a seat with a smiling countenance and a heavy heart, bid a mournful adieu to every thought about your hat for the next quarter of an hour at least.

At last he does go, and you feel that although the cream of the morning is skimmed off, it may still be worth while to take quietly what remains; you may visit the scene of your broken engagement, though too late; you may enjoy a diminished stroll, although the flower of the day is cropped; and in this spirit, cane in hand, and hat actually on head, you advance to the street-door delivered from every visitor. It is opened—you stand in the very door-way;—and then—then, in that moment of liberty, when you seemed free as air—you behold close to the step, and right in your path, another unconscionable acquaintance who never takes a denial, but always seizes a button instead! To retreat is impossible, to pass him unseen is equally so. Your hope of going out dies of old age and ill-usage within you—you can't get out. Your start of vexation and dismay is involuntary, and not to be concealed; but what cares he for your disappointment, so that he catches you! "Well, now I am lucky," he exclaims, "one moment more, and, presto! I had missed you for the morning! Come, 'going out,' is not 'gone,' anyhow—so I must just trouble you to turn back—I shan't keep you long!"

Of course, you explain, and protest, and are very civil and very sorry; but all this is idle. A visitor of the class to which the new-comer belongs knows very well the advantage he has over you. He smiles triumphantly, in a superb consciousness of your helpless and destitute condition. He is aware that you can't shut the door in his face; that if he persists in going in, under the pretence of a moment's interview, you must go in with him; that you are bound to be glad to see him, or stand exposed to the imputation of rudeness and inhospitality; that he may let you off if he likes, but that you cannot decently bolt without his consent; in short, that you are at his mercy—and this conviction teaches him to have no mercy upon you.

[208]

The result! who can ask it? You turn back, take off your hat, enter the nearest room, and without the slightest movement of hospitality beyond that—without the slightest hint to the remorseless being who has followed you in that there is such a thing as a chair in the room, you rest the fingers of one hand on the table, and with your hat held resolutely in the other, await your tyrant's pleasure. He!—powers of impudence in the garb of intimacy, where will ye find a limit? He, the most domesticated of animals, at once finds himself in his own house. He, when his foremost foot has once gained admittance into your sanctum, feels perfectly and entirely at home. He flings himself into a chair, and after a little parley about the weather (he acknowledges that it has been the loveliest morning of the season), and the glorious effects of exercise (he confesses that nothing on earth prevents him from taking his diurnal round in the bracing period of the day), launches boldly into a dissertation on some subject of immediate interest to himself—connected perhaps with municipal institutions, and the risk he incurs if he should decline to serve the office of sheriff; this suggests to him a recollection of the sheriff, his grandfather, whose history he relates at some length, followed by a narrative of his father's remarkable exploits in the whale-trade, and of his own life down to the period of his second marriage.

During all this time you have stood, too tired to interrupt—too polite at least to interrupt to any purpose—until at last, reminded by the shade creeping over the apartment that the beauty of the day is vanishing, that your meditated excursion is all but hopeless, and that you have been for the space of a brilliant summer's morning a prisoner in your own house, you savagely endeavour to bring him to the point. What does he want with you? Nothing; nothing of course, except a little rest after the pleasant saunter he has had—and a little refreshment also;—for when he looks at his watch (as you fondly suppose with the intention of going) he discovers that it happens to be his hour for "a snack." In short, this inveterate and uncompromising customer forcibly has the tray up; you haven't strength or courage to misunderstand his wishes, feeling rather faint yourself, sick of hope deferred, and inclining to potted beef. You place your hat and stick, both of which you have all this time held, upon the table; you draw off one glove; you fall-to with a famished fiend who has walked twice round the Park in the bracing air; and another hour is gone.

So at length is he! And now, even now the promised stroll may be seized—the coast is clear—you feel "like a giant refreshed," and after all, you cannot help owning, that it's a horribly vulgar thing to be seen strolling about before four o'clock in the day. You remember what the delicate philosopher said about the world not being properly aired before three; and bless your stars that what you have lost in health you have gained in reputation. On go your gloves once more, and—rap goes the knocker! It seems miraculous. All society is but one spiteful conspiracy against you. You forget that the same fine morning which quickened life in you kindled the fire of motion in others. No matter; the hour has at length arrived for "not at home to any human being. No, Tim, not to a living soul!" Unluckily, it is the fate of this most inflexible[209] decree to be countermanded; there is one exception to the rule of not at home to anybody. "If the surveyor calls about the repairs"—ay, and it is the surveyor. Well, the roof, and the cracked wall, must at once be looked to; however, that will not occupy ten minutes, and to the needful business you heroically devote yourself. Half-an-hour flies, and then you are finally released; but, unhappily, just at that moment the man brings home your two new coats; you must glance at one, for you may wear it at dinner. And then crawls up to the door that dilatory fellow whose tidings about the books you have been waiting for—yes, at least for a fortnight; and while discussing with him a particular achievement in binding on which you have set your heart, a letter arrives—a letter marked "important and immediate," though of no earthly consequence, and anything but pressing; still it must be answered, and accordingly the hat is once more taken off, the gloves are petulantly flung down, the cane is tossed anywhere, and—

Rat-tat-tat, &c. resound once more through the rooms; and following quick as though he were the visible echo of a single rap, Cool Sam comes in. He had found Tim at the open door chatting with the messenger in waiting. Cool Sam! Now own frankly that there is small chance of your escape on this side the dinner-hour—nay, there is none at all. An engagement you may have, a determination you may have formed; but do you for a single instant seriously expect to fulfil the one, or hold to the other? Then you are a fool. We prophesy at once, that you won't get out to-day. A man may be always going and going, and yet never be gone. You are Sam's till dinner-time, you are Sam's then, and you are Sam's afterwards. Till bed-time (and he himself fixes that hour) you are his. Mark our words if you are not. True, you tell him you have to write a letter. "Write away, boy," he responds, "I can wait." You warn him that the moment this feat is accomplished, you must sally forth on urgent and especial business. "All right," he rejoins, "I'll jump into a cab with you, and we'll come back and dine. I came on purpose."

A glance tells you, if your ears did not, that your guest has settled the thing. His looks, his tone, his bearing, are in exquisite agreement; for a quiet conviction, that what he has made up his mind to must take place, there never was anything like it. You write a word or two, and in agitation blot; another line, and then an erasure again. Does he mean to stop! Your perplexity increases. No, this smudge of a note will never do; you take another sheet and recommence your epistle. "Take your time, boy, take your time; we shan't dine till seven I suppose." Your eye wanders for an instant, and you discover that there is but one hat in the room, and that the one is your own. His is hanging up with his umbrella; he had disposed of both, like a man who means to stay, before he entered the apartment.

To struggle with Cool Sam is in vain, to attempt it absurd. To cry like the starling, "I can't get out," doesn't open the door of your cage. Instead of complaining, you soon feel grateful to him for his great consideration in allowing you to finish that letter. Instead of biting your lips through and through, you laugh over your good luck in being permitted to complete the work he had interrupted. But beyond that you have no[210] will of your own. Out! You might as well attempt to go out without your shadow. You may take a few turns at sunset, attended by your Mephistophiles; but before you go you must issue orders for what he calls "a light dinner with a few extras" at seven. You may mourn your day lost, if you will, but you must lose your evening nevertheless; and when once more alone at past midnight, you drop off to sleep, making to yourself many delicious vows of reform; the foremost of which is, that you will be up in good time in the morning, AND GET OUT.


FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER VIII.

The attempt to break into Mrs. Heartwell's cottage, and the important discovery that succeeded, were, as far as possible, kept secret; and Mr. Wendover's steward, in expectation of another visit from the nocturnal intruder, set a watch upon the premises. No one, however, appeared to disturb the tranquillity of the place; but still the lady could not suppress her fears, and a constant dread weighed heavily upon her spirits.

Frank had gone down to the Nore to join the prize-crew on board the Sandwich, but during his absence they had been sent round by sea to Plymouth, and as no other vessel was expected to go down the Channel for some time, he obtained permission to travel thither by land, hoping, as there had been a long run of strong westerly winds, to reach that port as soon as his men did. Accordingly he started for London to visit his mother, and finding her much alarmed, and averse to remaining at the cottage, he removed her to ready-furnished lodgings at Marylebone; when, after an interview with Mr. Unity Peach (who promised to use his best endeavours to promote the comfort of Mrs. Heartwell), the young officer set out in the mail for Plymouth, where, on his arrival, he at once reported himself on board the Admiral, and ascertained that the vessel with the seamen had not yet got round. As his own hammock and chest were in her, permission was granted for his remaining on shore till she came into the Sound. Of his ship nothing accurate was known, but it was believed she had gone up the Mediterranean, to join the fleet under Earl St. Vincent.

Frank's ardent attachment to Helen had always exercised a powerful control over his actions. Before her departure from Finchley he had cherished the most sanguine hopes that his affection was returned; nothing, in fact, had ever occurred to raise the slightest doubt in his mind upon the subject; for the course of his love, though unavowed, had experienced no obstruction, nor was it till their separation that he awakened to a painful conviction of the vast difference which existed in their pecuniary circumstances. This raised apprehensions that he might have been deceiving himself, by mistaking the operations of a grateful spirit for feelings of personal regard towards himself.

The mansion of Mr. Wendover was situated on the right bank of the[211] river Fowey, close to the pretty and romantic harbour of the same name. The distance from Plymouth could not exceed twenty miles—the Falmouth coach passed within a short walk of the neighbourhood—a strong westerly breeze was blowing—what, then, prevented him from trying to obtain an interview with the fair girl, and to learn from her own lips the real sentiments which she entertained for him?

Thus argued Frank. The temptation was too powerful to be subdued—his mind was tortured by suspense, and yielding to the quick impulse of his nature, in little more than three hours he was on the borders of the domain of the wealthy merchant—and a lovely place it was. The gradual development of spring was evidenced in the bright tints of the spreading foliage; the young grass was springing in rich luxuriance; art and nature were combined to heighten the beauty of the scenery; and slumbering on the surface of the stream that ran in front of the building, laid a superb little cutter-yacht, rigged with peculiar neatness, and her ensign blowing out freely in the wind. Frank's eyes glistened with the peculiar pleasure that a seaman always experiences when beholding a well-finished piece of work connected with his profession; but that was not all—the young midshipman rightly conjectured that the yacht belonged to Mr. Wendover; Helen had most likely sailed in it; and what would he not have given to have been with her, to display his knowledge of seamanship in managing the vessel.

The little punt, with two men in it, put off from the cutter to the shore; Frank hurried to meet them when they landed; it was a precious opportunity by which he might gain information relative to the family. Flatter a sailor's vanity in reference to his craft, and you at once possess a key to his heart. The young officer praised the beautiful vessel, and having expressed a wish to inspect her closely, he was invited to go on board. This was precisely what he wanted; the men were communicative, and he was not long in ascertaining that Mr. Wendover had been summoned to London on urgent business—that Mrs. Wendover was confined to the house by indisposition—and that Miss Helen was often to be seen taking her lonely walks about the grounds.

The deck of the yacht commanded a full view of the house and lawn, and Frank, whilst learning these particulars, watched eagerly, in hope that Helen would make her appearance; nor was he disappointed, for, after a short interval, a female was observed descending the steps of the mansion, and the spy-glass at once announced to him who it was. He had already taken a hasty survey of the vessel, and having presented a donation to the crew, he requested to be put on shore.

Helen had never ceased to cherish a strong feeling of real affection for Frank Heartwell, but she had never adequately known its power and extent, till the period of their separation; and though her father had not openly declared the occasion of her removal from Finchley, yet love is quick-witted in discovering causes; and knowing his determined character, she saw at once that he had opposed a barrier to her heart's dearest wishes. His conversations relative to her future prospects of aggrandisement opened to her conviction that he expected rigid obedience to his commands. But Helen could not—in fact, she did not try, to conquer the esteem for[212] the young sailor, which had strengthened with her years—he had been the means of rescuing herself and her parents from threatened destruction—gratitude had ripened into love, and had become the sweetest contemplation of her life. Yet Frank had never made any avowal, and doubts similar to his own would at times cross her mind. Mr. Wendover could not but be sensible, by the change in his daughter's health and gaiety, that the disappointment had caused the most acute distress; still, however, he hoped that time would deaden the affliction, and she would forget the young officer. It was in vain, however, that he strove to raise her sunken spirits by excursions of pleasure abroad, and amusing pastimes at home. The bloom was leaving her cheeks, and her beautiful form began to waste away, for there was a sickness at her heart.

When Helen left the house that morning, her thoughts were dwelling upon Frank with all the tenderness of woman's gentle nature; she loved to stroll through the avenues alone, for no one there could disturb her meditations. She was turning the angle of one of the alleys, when Frank stood before her, and, the ardour of her feelings overcoming the coldness of formality, the next instant she was encircled in his arms, whilst unrepressed tears of surprise and delight came gushing from her eyes.

When the first burst of joy at meeting had subsided, they conversed more calmly, and Frank, whose doubts had been at once dispersed through the undisguised manifestations of attachment which his reception had evinced, now unequivocally declared, that "the happiness of his future existence depended upon Helen. He was not insensible to the hostility he must expect to meet with from her father; but he hoped by strenuous exertions in his profession to overcome even that, provided he might rely with confidence on her undeviating regard."

Their interview was not of long duration, but it was decisive to the peace of both. Helen candidly admitted her love for Frank, and though with the acknowledgment came apprehensions of her father's displeasure, yet he tried to soothe her alarm, by assurances that his prospects would brighten—prosperity had already smiled upon him—and could he once attain the rank of captain, he should consider himself eligible to propose to Mr. Wendover for his daughter's hand. At all events, he determined to persevere with unremitting ardour and hope, and enterprise gave promise of success.

Harmonious to the ear and grateful to the heart is the persuasive voice of one beloved. Helen placed perfect reliance on all Frank said, and there, in the sight of Heaven, they mutually pledged their vows of faith and constancy. The young officer returned to Plymouth more assured, nay, comparatively happy, and, the vessel arriving with his people, he solicited to be put in active service. A number of ships were fitting out to join Earl St. Vincent, and strengthen the force in the Mediterranean. Frank and his men were sent on board a frigate, which soon afterwards went out from Hamoaze into Cawsand Bay, but, as a matter of course, the boats were still employed in bringing off stores.

It was about three weeks after his interview with Helen, that Frank had charge of a pinnace to convey a rather heavy freight from the Dockyard, and though blowing hard from the north-west, he had strict orders[213] to use his best endeavours to get out to the ship. The gale, however, increased, and the broken sea came tumbling in against a strong tide, so that he was driven to leeward. A dark night closed in upon them—the boat was half full of water—and, to add to their calamities, they struck upon the Shagstone rocks, and narrowly escaped with their lives. The pinnace was in a sinking state, when Frank deemed it advisable to lighten the boat, and to bear up for Yealur river; but the atmosphere was too dense to allow of their distinguishing objects on the land, and the sea was breaking fearfully high wherever they approached the shore, so that it threatened certain death should an attempt be made to run the boat in. All night they toiled, but towards daylight they were so close to the rocks, and drifted in so fast, that their fate seemed inevitable. The pinnace struck and was dashed to pieces; but Frank, being an excellent swimmer, after some buffeting amongst the breakers, succeeded in getting sure footing; and now that he was himself in safety, his anxious care was turned to his boat's crew. This is a trying moment to an officer, whose first thoughts are generally devoted to the brave fellows who have shared his perils, and Frank felt it. Two or three he knew were saved, for they were with him, but the fate of the rest could be but conjecture. Happily, however, though separated when wrecked, daylight brought them again round their officer, and the reckless humour of the tar soon prevailed over all sense of the dangers they had escaped. A few fishermen's huts afforded them shelter, and as these men occasionally ran across to Guernsey and Jersey, there was no lack of brandy, though at first it was produced with great caution.

The pinnace was irrecoverably gone—not a single trace of her was to be seen, and, consequently, after a plentiful repast, and a short rest, Frank prepared to set out with his men on foot for Mount Batten, where he expected to obtain boats to carry them over to Plymouth. The gallant fellows had mustered in what they called "good sailing trim," and were just on the point of departure when a cutter was seen urging her wild and headlong course towards the rocks, and from the manner of her approach, a nautical eye could easily detect that either her rudder was gone, or had sustained so much injury as to defy all control from the helm—her sails were blown to ribands—her topmast and bowsprit were carried away—and it was evident to all that she was hurrying to destruction.

Sometimes taking the seas clean over her broadside; at others almost buried beneath the waves that broke over as she rushed stem on, the deck of the cutter was now distinctly visible, as the crew, in wild despair, were clinging to the rigging; but what was Frank's agony when, by the aid of a glass he recognized the vessel to be the pretty little yacht that he had inspected, as she laid at anchor before Mr. Wendover's house, at Fowey; and as he could distinguish the white dresses of females, he made no doubt that Helen and her mother were on board. The young officer immediately assumed a command—his own men were prompt in obedience, and the fishermen were not less so through humanity. They tried to launch a boat, but the thing was impracticable; the sea drove her instantly back again, a perfect wreck.

Onwards came the cutter, till she struck on the rocks, at no great distance[214] from the shore; the boat was launched from her deck, and a temporary lull enabled most of those on board to jump into her; but another sea came rolling in, and the boat was separated from the vessel. What anxious agonizing moments were those to Frank! he could not see who had left the cutter; but amidst the foaming of the breakers, it was evident that more than one swimmer in his strong agony was struggling with death. The small boat rose buoyant on the summits of the waves; the men pulled steadily; the people on shore waved them to the safest place for landing, and thither they sped; but before they could reach the shore they were caught by the recoil of the sea, as a raging breaker came curling its monstrous head astern, the boat was overset by its violence, and then dashed up upon the strand. In a moment Frank threw off his coat and waistcoat, and with his hardy band, rushed forward and grasped at all within their reach; the young midshipman was guided to a female, by her clothes appearing for an instant floating on the surface of the troubled waters. She was sinking, but he dived and brought her up again, just as the swell washed them within the range of further help from the shore, and the female was carried forward to a place of safety; it was Helen's mother. But where was the daughter? Frank would have again plunged into the waves; but on passing through a group, near where the boat had been thrown up, he heard the voice of Mr. Wendover, in earnest entreaty for them "to save his child." He seemed to be almost bereft of reason, as he wildly clutched his hair in agony, and pointed to the cutter, where a female was discerned clinging to the taffrail.

"Launch the boat again!" he loudly shouted, "I will go myself if no one will accompany me;" and then with imploring cries he offered the most lavish rewards to any one who should save his child from such imminent danger.

To satisfy him, the men endeavoured to launch the boat—but Frank saw the impossibility of accomplishing it, and instantly nerved himself for the occasion, with coolness and intrepidity. He watched for a moment the set of the tide and the drift of the sea; then hurrying to a projecting rock to take advantage of both, he bound a handkerchief tight round his loins, as he looked undauntedly upon his task, breathed a short prayer to Heaven for its aid, and then exclaiming "Helen, Helen, I will save you or we will die together!" he plunged into the foaming billows just as the boat washed back again upon the beach showed the utter impracticability of affording help from that quarter.

All eyes were now directed towards the swimmer, who boldly breasted the surge, dashing aside the white spray, as the raging element yielded to the energy of his sinewy arms: sometimes lost to sight in the hollow between the waves, then rising on the coom of the sea, he became a conspicuous object as he fearlessly cleaved his way, and bursts of admiration, as well as fervent petitions for his success, arose from the throng assembled on the shore.

The Wreck.

London: Tilt & Bogue, Fleet Street.

The fainting Helen beheld his approach, but she knew not who it was that was thus risking his existence to try and preserve hers—the never-dying principles of hope revived her faculties; though at times when the head of the swimmer was obscured by intervening billows, her heart[215] sickened with alarm as she feared he had sunk to rise no more. Then again when surmounting the crest of the wave, she saw him fearlessly lessening the distance between them, a re-action took place in her bosom, and fervently she prayed to the Omnipotent to stretch forth his hand and save. The pleasures of past enjoyments never seem so precious and valuable as when the extreme of peril threatens dissolution. Home, friends, and those beloved cling round the very soul as if to bind it more firmly to existence, and to render more arduous the struggle of separation from the body. Helen experienced this as the seas came breaking over the cutter, and she beheld her relatives upon the shore. But her principal remembrances were devoted to Frank; and as the swimmer approached, and his features became more distinct, she fancied she could trace a resemblance to him of whom she was thinking; the bare conjecture caused a sudden thrill through every vein; but when she heard the voice of her lover as he ascended to the deck and gained the taffrail, even the appalling danger was almost forgotten in the sudden delight of her heart at his noble and generous conduct. His presence re-assured her; his soothing language allayed her fears; and though the sea at intervals broke over them, yet there was now a confidence in her bosom, for Frank was with her.

But no time was to be lost; the young midshipman feared that his own strength would not bear him out to carry her to the shore; the wreck of the main-boom was floating alongside, and he resolved to lash Helen to the spar. At first she shrunk from the hazard, but Frank clasped her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, and fervently imploring the blessing of Omnipotence upon his efforts, at once proceeded to his perilous undertaking; he succeeded in lashing Helen to the boom, impressed upon her mind the absolute necessity of clinging fast to her support, and then with his knife was cutting away the jaw-rope, as the body of a female floated up the space that had been covered by the skylight—she was dead.

Helen did not see her, and Frank, without delay, separated the boom from the wreck. Then springing into the sea, he directed the course of its drift for the shore, where the agonized father and the anxious seamen beheld what was passing, and waited in excited expectation for the result. The raft bore up its burthen well, and Frank swimming close to her cheered the terrified girl as they neared the land, and the waves dashed over them with resistless fury. The spectators calculating the precise spot where they would take the ground, hastened thither, and more than one brave fellow rushed through the surf to lend his officer a hand.

They were in the breakers; the boiling and bubbling foam was raging around them—the noise of the waters was hissing and howling in their ears, when Frank cut away the lashing that sustained Helen, and disengaged her from the spar, lest she should be injured by the concussion as it struck the rocks: supporting her by one arm, he manfully plied the other; two of the seamen kept near him; a heavy sea rolled them over, but Frank, though almost exhausted, still maintained his hold; the next minute they were washed up upon the shore, and, raised on the shoulders of the people, were carried to dry land.

Extreme, indeed, was the joy of Mr. Wendover as he clasped his child,[216] and implored blessings on her deliverer, whom in his wet condition, with his hair hanging about his face, the merchant did not recognize, but to whom he promised payment of the large reward which he had offered, supposing that alone to have been the motive for going to the rescue of Helen. Frank made no reply, for ignorant of Mr. Wendover's forgetfulness, he imagined that he must be known, and he felt indignant at money being offered for saving one who was far more precious to him than his own life. Helen was carried to the hut where her mother had already been kindly cared for, and the merchant never left his child, who, at first, sank into insensibility through terror and fatigue, and on her recovery gazed wildly round, and called upon Frank as her rescuer from death. Mr. Wendover at first considered it the ravings of a disordered imagination; but when grown more calm his daughter assured him of the fact, the merchant exclaimed, "The hand of Providence is in this; he above all others is the man I wish to see, nor will I any longer oppose your affection; he has a second time saved my child, and he is worthy of her."

Wishing to atone for his neglect, he went himself in search of Frank, but young Heartwell, after seeing Helen in security, had quitted the place with his people, and was some distance on his way to Plymouth. One of the seamen of the cutter accompanied them, and from him the young officer learned that they were on their way round to the Thames when the gale caught them. At the time the yacht struck the rocks and the boat was launched, a favourite servant of Miss Wendover's was in the cabin; Helen had generously hastened down with the captain to fetch her up. Whilst thus engaged, the rope that held the boat parted—the cabin was nearly filled—Helen was forced by the captain to the deck and lashed to the taffrail—he himself was washed overboard; and Frank rightly conjectured that the body he had seen floating was that of the drowned servant.

Mr. Wendover would have sent messengers after young Heartwell, but, as he purposed removing his family as soon as conveyances could be procured, he thought the delay of a day or two could not be of much consequence; but when the time arrived, and Helen was all delight at the prospect which was opening before her, they ascertained that the frigate had sailed only a few hours before for the Mediterranean.


A THEATRICAL CURIOSITY.

Once in a barn theatric, deep in Kent,
A famed tragedian—one of tuneful tongue—
Appeared for that night only—'twas Charles Young.
As Rolla he. And as that Innocent,
The Child of hapless Cora, on there went
A smiling, fair-hair'd girl. She scarcely flung
A shadow, as she walked the lamps among—
So light she seem'd, and so intelligent!
That child would Rolla bear to Cora's lap:
Snatching the creature by her tiny gown,
He plants her on his shoulder,—All, all clap!
While all with praise the Infant Wonder crown,
She lisps in Rolla's ear,—"Look out, old chap,
Or else I'm blow'd if you don't have me down!"

[217]

SLIDING-SCALES.

The most remarkable sliding-scale of which Fiction has any record is the rainbow on which Munchausen, with such inimitable ease, effected his railroad descent from mid-air; but Fact has her extraordinary sliding-scales too. Take a modern example in the one which carried Napoleon from Moscow to Elba, equalled only by that which bore him afterwards from Waterloo to St. Helena.

Life in its several stages is but a succession of sliding-scales. Take a bird's-eye view of society, and what do you see but two classes; one endeavouring to slide up an ascent, and another endeavouring not to slide down. The world, instead of being represented as round as an O, might more aptly be figured by the letter A, which is composed of two inclined planes; the way up being narrow and hard to climb, but the way down being broad and open enough.

There is the moral sliding-scale and the intellectual sliding-scale. On the one, we see a man passing, by regular degrees, from a meanness to a degradation; from a little shabbiness to a great crime; from a lie thought to a lie acted; from an evasion to a shuffle; from a shuffle to a swindle; from swindling to consummate depravity; from the first sixpence penuriously saved to the heaped hoards of avarice. On the other, we see the mind gradually drawn out from weakness to power; from dulness to brilliancy; from the frivolous dreams of childhood to the conceptions of a gigantic imagination; the heavy schoolboy ripening into the lively poet; the reckless truant settling into the wise and thoughtful student.

There is the sliding-scale of fortune, the sliding-scale of manners, the sliding-scale of appetite; penury slides into affluence, rustic modesty becomes town-bred impudence, the gourmand eats himself down to a dry crust. It is sad enough to see a gentlemen slide off his saddle-horse, and take to drawing a truck; but these declensions will happen, and they are not so distressing as it is to see a philosopher turning footman, an orator turning twaddler, or a patriot turning toady.

Then there is the sliding-scale theatrical. By what a natural and unerring sliding-scale does some popular tragedian come down at last from Richard the Third to the Lord Mayor! "I wore that very dress as Romeo," said a London player, of small parts, "when I starred it in the provinces." The romantic beauty of Juliet declines into the grotesque rheumatism of the Nurse.

We say nothing of the tradesman's scale, which is an affair of weights; nor of the scale-musical, which is one of measures. But of the sliding-scale which is best understood, and perhaps most freely acted upon in every great city and small town, our marginal series of "scenes from real life" will afford the best exemplification; and so we direct the reader to them.


[218]

SKETCHES HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE.

BY A. BIRD.

A STAGE-COACH RACE.

Poor Macadam! his honoured dust will soon be forgotten! In cities it is buried, or soon will be, in wood; and few of the millions who glide and slide over the wooden pavement, will think of the "Colossus of Roads," whose dust it covers like a coffin. Our course is no longer "o'er hills and dales, through woods and vales," which the many-handed Macadam made smooth and easy. Our carriage, placed like the toy of a child, goes without horses. The beautiful country—the cheerful "public," with its porch, its honeysuckle and roses—the sign which bade the "weary traveller rest" on the seat beneath the spreading elm;—these are no more!—This is the iron age—fire and steam are as the breath of our nostrils—we speak by the flash of lightning—we have given life to emptiness, and fly upon the wings of a vacuum—our path is through the blasted rock, the cold dark dreary tunnel—through cheerless banks, which shut us from the world like a living grave—on—on—on—we speed! The dying must die! The burning must burn! There is no appeal—no tarrying by the way. Like the whirlwind we are hurried to our end. The screech of women in despair is drowned by the clash, the din, the screech of the "blatant beast," the mad monster which man has laid his finger on, and tamed to his uses.

This is all very fine, and, doubtless, il faut marcher avec son siècle, if we do not wish to be left behind in the race that is before us. Doubtless, too, our children, like calves born by the side of a railroad, will look on these things as a matter of course, and let them pass with high-bred indifference. And if, as most assuredly will be the case, some of these children should become mothers in due course of time, we can fancy them so philosophized by force of habit, so inured to the wholesale smashing and crashing of the human form divine, that, should a door fly open and let an infant drop, the mama will sit quiet till the next station cries Halt! and then merely request that a man and basket be despatched to pick up the pieces left some seven miles off![15]

"Chi lo sa!" as the Neapolitans say in cases of extreme doubt and difficulty; "chi lo sa," say I; and having been born before the earth was swaddled up in iron, or the sea danced over by iron ships, I confess a sneaking fondness for the highways, and byways, and old ways of old England; and, when not pressed for time, I delight in honouring the remains of poor old Macadam.

A fortnight ago, having occasion to visit Somerset, I found myself[219] en route, at Cheltenham—a place, by the way, which always reminds me of miscellaneous articles stored in a second-hand shop; it is sure to come into use once in seven years. There I was for the night, luxuriously lodged in this Anglo-foreign town, this self-styled "queen of watering-places," this city of salt—or salts, as some malicious pluralists will have it—there I was, and long ere morning broke, I had decided upon cutting the rail and coaching it to Bristol; in other words, as time was not an object, I would not go some fifty miles round to save it.

I was soon seated by my old friend, "coachee." Coachee was a character sui generis, of a race which will soon be extinct; I had known him in the "palmy days" of the road, and remembered the time when he, with his pair, was selected to tease and oppose the prettiest four-in-hand that ever trotted fourteen miles an hour.

It was, if I'm not mistaken, in 1832, that "The Exquisite" first started from Exeter to Cheltenham, and weighing the coach, the cattle and coachman together, never was a turn-out more worthy of the title. To oppose this with a pair was a bold conception, but "coachee" was an old stager; "what man dared do" he dared, and did it well. "Strange changes, Mr. Coachee, since you and I first knew each other," said I to my right hand friend, as soon as we had cleared the rattle of the stones. Coachee turned his head slowly round, and looked me full in the face; he drew in such a sigh, and put on such a look of miserable scorn, that I felt for the silent sufferer. Yet was I dumbfounded by his silence; I had looked for the jibes and jests which were wont to put us outsides in a roar,—but to see "coachee" turned into a man of mute sorrow, was a character so new and unnatural, that—extremes will meet—I burst into a hearty fit of laughter.

Coachee attempted to preserve the penseroso, and with ill-feigned gravity tried to reprove me, by saying,—"You may laugh, sir, but it's no joke for us as loses." With what tact I could bring to bear, I revived the memory of former days, the coachman's golden age! I spoke of "the Exquisite," and asked if he did not once beat it with his pair.

"So you've heard tell of that, have you?" And Alexander never chuckled half so much to hear his praises sung, as coachee did at the thoughts of his victory. I told him I had heard of it from others, but never from his own mouth, which was half the battle. There needed but little persuasion to make him tell his own story.

"It's all as true as I am sitting on this here box, and this is how it came to pass. It was one Sunday evening that some of us whips had met to crack a few bottles. 'The Exquisite' had just been put upon the road, and who should be there but Mr. Banks as drove it, and who should be there too but I as was started to oppose it. Well, it so happened I hadn't a single passenger booked inside nor out, for Monday! Well, thinks I, Mr. Banks, if I and my coach can't give you the go-by to-morrow, I don't know inside from out, and so I told him. 'That's your opinion is it, Mr. Bond?' said Mr. Banks, with a smile, and a sniff at a pink in his button-hole. 'Yes, Mr. Banks,' says I; 'and what's more, I'll stick to it, and here's a sovereign to back it.' Will. Meadows, him as used to drive the 'Hi-run-dell,' he thought he'd do me; so he claps down his bit of gold, and the bet was made. There's an end of that, said[220] I, and now, Mr. Banks, let's have a bumper. 'Here's to you, my Exquisite,' says I, as we bobbed and nobbed. 'Here's to you, Mr. H-opposition,' says he, and I hopes you'll tell me the time o' day to-morrow morning.' But he didn't think I should for all that. Well, now, sir, what do you think I should find when I goes the first thing on Monday morning to our office?"

"Your H-opposition coach and a pair of horses?" said I, inquiringly.

"Right enough, so far,—but what think you of finding four ins and eight outs, all booked for Bristol! Well, thinks I, Mr. Banks, this alters the case, and my sovereign felt uncommon light all of a sudden. Howsomever, up I gets, and, says I to my box-companion, you won't mind if I goes a little fast, will you? 'Mind!' said he, 'why, you can't go too fast for me.' He was one of the right sort, d'ye see, and enjoyed the fun as much as me. 'All right?' says I; 'All right,' says Bill, and away we goes. I got the start, for in those days 'the Exquisite' was sure to load like a waggon. Away I went, with such a pair! they stepped as if they hadn't got but four legs between 'em; and, up to Gloucester, Mr. Exquisite's four tits couldn't touch 'em. Now, as ill-luck would have it, it wasn't my day for 'the Bell,' so while I turns out of the line to change at the Booth Hall, up comes 'the Exquisite' and gives us the go-by: there warn't no help for it, but what aggravated me the most was, to see Mr. Banks tip me a nod with his elbow, as much as to say, 'Good bye till to-morrow!' What was worse, two of my ins was booked for Gloucester; and what was worse again, they was both ladies. Now, ladies—bless 'em all for all that!—but ladies and luggage are one, says I, they never goes apart; and such a load of traps I never see'd, with a poll parrot, and a dozen dicky-birds for a clincher! Well, there warn't no help for it.—Come, Jacky, my boy, says I, give a hand with them straps—there—now t'other—all snug?—off with you!—And Jack soon found the wheel warn't meant for a footstool—off he leapt—the ladder fell into the gutter, and away we went at last. We couldn't touch 'em that stage—no wonder neither, for there never was a prettier team before me, and that 'ere Exquisite chap—though I used to call him 'Mr. H-opposition'—handled his ribbons like a man. The dust was light, and I tracked him like a hare in the snow. He never lost an inch that day—there were his two wheel-marks right ahead—straight as an arrow, and looked for all the world as if ruled with a—what do ye call them 'ere rulers that walk after one another?"

I hesitated for a moment, and then hit upon—a parallel ruler—

"Aye, to be sure. Well, his two tracks looked for all the world as if they'd been ruled with a parable ruler; but for all that, we got a sight of him before he changed again. 'Now or never!' thought I, for I could do as I liked in those days, as one man horsed the whole line. 'So,' says I to our ostler, 'you go and clap the harness on the bay-mare, while I tackle these two; I've a heavy load, and wants a little help.' No sooner said, than done. 'Now, my pretty one,' says I to the little mare, 'you must step out for me to-day, and it's in you I know.' So I just let my lash fall like a feather on her haunch, and, for the life and soul of me, I thought she'd have leapt out of the harness. All right, thinks I, I have it now; and bating twelvepence, my sovereign's worth a guinea.

[221]

"We wasn't long a coming up, and when 'Mr. H-opposition' saw my pair with the bay mare a-head, he didn't like it, you may be sure of that. Well, I let's him take the lead that stage. We wasn't long a changing—a wisp o' wet hay to the little mare's nose, and away she went again as fresh as a four-year-old, and 'the Exquisite' couldn't get away from us no more than a dog from his tail.

"'Ah!' says Mr. Banks, as I puts my leader alongside of him, 'is that you, Mr. Bond! have you been coming across the fields? I didn't think to hear the time o' day from you, Mr. Bond.' 'Didn't you?' says I. 'No,' says, he; 'shall I say you're a coming into Bristol?'

"Before I could say yes or no, he gave the prettiest double cut to his leaders with one turn of his hand, that ever I see'd—they sprang like light—whish! whish! went the double thong across the wheelers.—He warn't a second about it all, and while I looked, he was gone like a shot. Though I didn't like it much then, I must say it was the cleanest start I ever clapped eyes upon, and ne'er a whip in England couldn't say it warn't. 'No chance that stage,' said I, growing rather impatient; we warn't far behind for all that—and now, thought I, comes my turn—play or pay's the word—for I knowed my country; leaders down hill ben't no manner of use, quite contrawise; a coachman has enough to do to keep the pole from tickling their tails, and hasn't much time for nothing else. The little mare had done her work, and away we went with such a pair! They'd ha' pulled the wheels off if I'd 'a told them; they know'd I'd got a bet as well as if I'd said so, and away they went the railroad pace."

"What!" asked I, "before railroads were thought of?"

Coachee always had his answer—"What if they war'n't?—no odds for that—we got the start of them that day, and, maybe, they took the hint—worse luck too, say I—but away we went—it was all neck-and-neck—first and second—second and first. If Banks beat, up—Bond beat, down—till at last 'Mr. H-opposition' see'd how the game was going, and that he hadn't a chance; but he wouldn't allow it, not he. So he pulls up and calls to his guard, and tells him to put the tackle to rights, though there war'n't nothing the matter—and lets me go by as if he wasn't beaten. So, as we passes, I pulls out my watch and tells him the time o' day! 'and, Mr. Banks,' says I, 'what shall I order for your supper?'"

As coachee wound up the tale of his by-gone victory, it brought on a fit of laughter, which I began to think would never end; when, on a sudden it ceased, and with horror and consternation painted in his face, he exclaimed, "Well, bless my heart alive, that ever I should live to see such a thing!" "Where! what!" said I looking right and left, and almost expecting to see some wonderful beast pop over the hedge. "Well, now, it hasn't got no outside, and"—after a pause—"no, nor I'm blest if it has any inside!"

I guessed his meaning by this time; but affecting ignorance, I asked, "What is that wonderful animal without any inside?" "Animal!" he exclaimed, "why, don't you see the poor old Exquisite a coming by itself?"

"There is a coachman," said I, as gravely as I could. "Poor Banks!" said coachee, quite touched with compassion, and heedless of my remark. He pulled up, so did the Exquisite.


[222]

"Well, now, I'm blest, if this isn't worse than solitary confinement, it makes my stomach ache, Mr. Banks!"

(A poet would have said, "my heart," but depend upon it, coachee meant the same thing.)

"A bad day's work, Mr. Bond, but we can't expect no otherwise now," said he of the once "palmy" Exquisite, yet looking more cheerful than might have been expected.

"A sad change, Mr. Banks. Why, that 'ere near leader looks as if it hadn't strength to draw your hat off."

"You're about right there, Mr. Bond, but,"—and here the flash of humour of brighter days lit up the features of Mr. Banks,—"but do you know what the Tories are going to do with us old coachmen?"

Mr. Bond shook his head, and murmured—"Not I!"

"Well, then, I'll tell you, Mr. Bond: they're agoing to plant us for milestones along the railroad."

Another fit of laughter came on, and it was with difficulty that Mr. Bond could articulate, "Good bye! good bye!" as we drove on our course to Bristol.


ANOTHER CURIOSITY OF LITERATURE.

The Knocker aches with motion; day by day
The door groans on with hard and desperate knocks;
Duns—gentle, fervent, furious—come in flocks;
And still they press, and still they go away,
And call again, and saunter off, or stay;
Duns of all shapes—the goose, the wolf, the fox—
All punctual by their several parish-clocks:
And still the answer is the same—no pay!
Alas! that house one penny doth not hold,—
One farthing were not found, on hands and knees,
No, not a doit, in all its crevices;
Yet sits the Inmate, cramp'd, and lean, and cold,
Writing a pamphlet;—and its title? "Gold!
Or, England's Debt paid off with perfect ease."

[223]

A HORRIBLE PASSAGE IN MY EARLY LIFE.

"Make the most of your school-days, my lad; they'll be the happiest of your life!"

So said a kind friend, who called on me once when I was in that state called pupillaris. He gave me the advice, and I grinned approval; he did not give me a "tip," and I considered him a mean and despicable wretch, and his advice not worth listening to. Still did the words oft recur to me; and with especial force did they recur on the subsequent Saturday, when I was preparing to "avail myself of a kind invitation" to dine and sleep out, and was packing carefully up, in a crumpled piece of Bell's Life, (which, in the capacity of fag, I had appropriated as a perquisite from my master's store,) such necessaries as such a sojourn demanded. And the result was, that as my nose inhaled the undeniable evidence of the approach of dinner below, and I felt the pleasing conviction to an empty stomach, that, until seven, at least, I should not hear the apoplectic butler assert, in voice abdominal, that dinner was on the table, I gave a long sniff, and sighed, "Well! perhaps they are!"

I had got at last clear of the city. My pocket was devoid of coin—of the lowest even, else should I have called a cab, (for in those days neither Shillibeer nor G. Ck. had started a "bus.") As it was, I walked, and was just entering Piccadilly from the Circus, when a laugh in my rear made me turn rapidly, and my eyes encountered—a tall butcher's boy! He was habited in a grey frieze coat, corduroy smalls, and blue apron. His hair was well plastered down. He had no cap; but he had a pair of "aggravators" trained on either temple. His eyes were large; his cheeks beefy; and withal, he carried on his shoulder a tray, and it carried—ugh!—--a large piece of liver! That I saw then. An indescribable awe spread through my frame—my feelings were what the wretch behind me would have called "offal." I knew, as though by instinct, that I had in Piccadilly seen, what Napoleon saw at Acre—the man who should mar my destiny!

Abstractedly, there is nothing absolutely and inherently vicious in a butcher's boy; on the contrary, he may be decidedly virtuous—nay, we have in our mind's eye cases which would go far to prove that high moral integrity and humanity of sentiment are quite compatible with his most necessary trade. Is it then asked, why this individual should excite at once in my boyish bosom such lively feelings of horror—such forebodings of evil? I can give no more reason for it than did my friend Grant, (who tells such jolly stories,) for declining to show his box of silk-worms to an inquiring friend. "Grant! just let's have a look at your silk-worms—there's a good fellow!"—"No!"—"Why not, man?"—"Because not!" My answer must be similar in spirit, if not in letter. I knew that the odious individual was destined to be my evil genius for the day.

But to my tale. The owner of the large optics—the bearer of "the tray," returned my gaze. Its result as to any favourable impression of my personal appearance on his mind seemed doubtful. He merely remarked, however, "Vell, you are a nice swell for a small party, you are!"

I walked on. The observation set me contemplating my admirable blue jacket, with its neat row of buttons; my exceedingly pleasing waistcoat, and pantaloons of black; my large white collar, and unexceptionable shirt-front; not to mention the Oxford shoes, and the beaver hat, which, on a pretence of excessive heat, and after the manner of elderly gentlemen in Kensington Gardens, I took off, that my eyes might be satisfied that it was all right. The result of the scrutiny was a feeling that the remark of the wretch (who might or might not be following—look round again I dared not) was not only quite natural, but, taking the word "swell" in its better acceptation, quite consistent with the truth. On, therefore, I walked, and by the time I reached Sackville Street, became tranquil again. Now, to all London peripatetics the print-shop at the corner of that street must be well known. It was at this identical place that I made a halt, and a determination at the same time to have a regular jolly good look at all the pictures (for by[224] St. James's it was now only two o'clock); beginning, in the orthodox way, with the last bar of the "airy" up Sackville Street, and "the Norwich mail in a thunderstorm;" and gradually proceeding to the last bar up Piccadilly, and an earnest scrutiny of some stout gentleman in spectacles, who always will stand at the end of a print-shop window, to prevent one's satisfactorily finishing everything.

"How uncertain are all sublunary things!"—"All that's bright must fade," &c., are remarks which one occasionally meets with in the works of English authors, and is very apt to treat with contempt. Yet who can predicate at two o'clock that he shall be happy at a quarter past? I had, in the prosecution of my plan, got half-way down the railings in Sackville Street, and had arrived opposite a peculiar pane of glass, wherein, as in a mirror, my own happy face, and the especial whiteness of my shirt-collar, were revealed to my gratified vision. I had just given the last-named a gentle pull up, and was smiling in the consciousness of "youth and grace, and"—in short, I was satisfied with myself—when—

"Vell, I'm blowed if you an't precious sveet on that 'ere phiz o' your'n, young un!"

I turned in horror. Close behind me there stood a butcher's boy—the butcher's boy! (there was but one in London that day)—those eyes—those corduroys—that tray! I shrunk within myself—I almost wished that the bar I stood on might give way and admit me into the "airy." I mechanically uttered some deprecatory expression, scarce conscious of anything but the existence of a butcher's boy, with large eyes, and a tray!

"Vell, Turnips!" (I had light—very light hair) "vot are yer a looking at now?—a com-paring that ugly phiz o' yourn with a gen'leman's?" I felt that the last word conveyed a reproach, and my spirits rose so high as to explode in the assertion, "I didn't speak to you!"

"O, didn't yer, Turnips?-vell, just take that, then; and never mind the change!"

His hand was raised rapidly to his tray—a dark substance rose high in the air. Blash! it came—all over my face—my collar: the cherished collar! My eyes sought the pane wherein so lately I had gazed with pride. "One dark red stain" was too visible. I felt then, and knew, that I had had my face slapped—literally slapped—with a piece of liver!

The criminal on the gallows, exposed to the groans of the brutal mob, may feel as degraded (no one else can) as I did, whilst weeping I pursued my way. The very red plush smalls of him who admitted me at last into the privacy of a house, from the gaze of grinning thousands, seemed to mock my misery. I dared not go up-stairs. I remained below weeping; till a kind old lady—whence should relief to the wretched come?—came to comfort me. My face was cleansed from the stain, but remembrance could not be washed away; I was supplied with a pretty suit from her son's wardrobe—it could not cover my sense of degradation. Even the desired dinner failed to bring the desired oblivion; and when two elderly ladies who would sing duets began to practise their favourite one, the words that struck my ears were, "Flow on, thou shining liver!" * * *
John Copus.

The miscreant author of my woe has not escaped. For in one of his limnings in whose vehicle I ride, there may be seen, with a malicious grin on his face, such as he wore after the consummation of my woe, contemplating the capture of poor Oliver Twist by the interesting Nancy, and her ruffian Bill Sikes—a butcher's boy. Note him well—the butcher's boy. Hair—corduroys—and tray!—J. C.

⁂ Our sensitive and acutely-suffering correspondent who so keenly remembers the woes of his boyhood, has, by the force of his memory, recalled to our own recollection another specimen of the tray-carrying fraternity. We subjoin his portrait, for the benefit of every juvenile diner-out who entertains a horror of liver! The artist insists that it is a portrait, and no invention.

[225]


TWO OF A TRADE.

"With such a dear companion at my side."—-Wordsworth.

Oh! marvellous Boy, what marvel when
I met thy Dog and thee,
I marvell'd if to dogs or men
You traced your ancestry!
If changed from what you once were known,
As sorrow turns to joy,
The Boy more like the Dog had grown,
The Dog more like the Boy.
It would a prophet's eyesight baulk,
To see through time's dark fog,
If on four legs the Boy will walk,
Or if on two the Dog.
Oh pair! what were ye both at first?
The one a feeble pup;
A babe the other, fondly nursed—
How have ye been brought up?
Oh, Boy! and wert thou once a child,
A cherub small and soft,
On whom two human beings smiled,
And pray'd for, oft and oft?
A creature, rosy, plump and fair,
Half meekness and half joy;
A wingless angel with light hair!—
Oh! wert thou, Butcher-boy?
A thing more gentle, laughing, light,
More blythe, more full of play,
Than e'er he was—that luckless wight!—
The lamb you stuck to-day?
And thou, O Dog, with deep-set eyes,
Wert thou, like Love, once blind;
With helpless limbs, of pigmy size,
And voice that scarcely whined?
How grew your legs so like to his,
Your growl so like his tone?
And when did he first see your phiz
Reflected in his own?
Bravely have both your likeness worn;
Alike, without, within;
Brethren ye are, and each was born,
Like Happiness, "a twin!"
Yet can it be, oh! Butcher-boy,
Thou com'st of Adam's race?
Then Adam's gold has much alloy!—
Was this his form and face?
Art thou descended from the pair
From whom the Cæsars came?
Wore Alexander such an air?
Look'd Cheops much the same?
And thou, oh! Butcher's cur, is't true
That thy first parents e'er
From Eden's garden lapp'd the dew,
And breathed in rapture there?
Yes! those from whom you spring, no doubt,
Who lived like dogs, and died,
Must once have follow'd Eve about,
And walk'd by Adam's side.
L. B.

[226]

OMNIBUS CHAT.

The noble art of boxing made a hit in its day; but it is now numbered amongst the dead or dying, and the art of striking reigns in its stead. Little has been heard of throughout the month but the "strikes" that have taken place at the various public works, among the masons. "Masonic brethren" they have proved themselves, by the secrecy of their communications, and the sympathetic character of their movements. They struck first at the Houses of Parliament, then at Nelson's Monument, then at Woolwich. Not being in want of bread, they refused us a stone. Punctual to a moment, as the Horse Guards' clock struck, they did. Our Omnibus stopped, like the workmen, at Charing-cross. "So the masons at Nelson's Monument are going to strike," said we. "Glad to hear it," rejoined a punning acquaintance, "there ought to be something striking about a monument to him!"

The name of Nelson set all our companions talking; but an "old sailor" (not the) was the first to give his discourse a reportable shape, by relating a little historical fact that has escaped history—unimportant, perhaps, but not uninteresting.

THE TWO NAVAL HEROES.

Everybody knows Tower Hill, but it is not every one we meet with in an Omnibus, who can recollect it as it was fifty years ago, when Steel kept his shop there, and first published the Navy List. However, we cannot stop to speak of him, or his book, nor of the itinerants who were wont to vend their various wares under the trees which shaded the houses in Postern-row; nor of the pump, which then, as now, was declared to be a very good pump; nor of the ditch, into which, in that day, many a passenger was tumbled after being robbed and beaten by the thieves and disorderlies—land privateers as they were called, who cruised in the neighbourhood after dark. We do not intend to relate any thing of these, nor of the sundry stout, ill-favoured, savage-looking vagabonds in fearnought coats, who were ever to be found lolling over the row of posts which fenced the eastern side of the hill—the commissioned press-gang, who used to amuse themselves by scrutinizing the passers-by, and now and then by breaking the head of some unfortunate blue-jacket who had incautiously strolled too near their precincts to avoid capture or a fight.

We have taken you out of the city, reader, into a district not inhabited by the most honest or well conducted; but we must still bring you through East Smithfield into Wapping, to a spot a little west of the entrance of the London Docks; and hereabouts one Richardson kept a slop-shop.

Early one morning a cheerful-looking hale old man came out of Steel's navigation warehouse, leading by the hand a slender stripling of a lad who carried a chart under his arm, and seemed to regard his companion with the respect due to a patron. They took their way along the same track precisely by which we have conducted you, and parted opposite Richardson's slop-shop. As the man (it was Porteous, the king's pilot) shook the lad by the hand, he ejaculated loud enough to be heard half down the street—"Mind, high water at a quarter past twelve; I won't wait a minute; be there by twelve!"

Old Richardson was at this moment busied about his accounts, and too intent on his occupation to perceive that anybody had approached his counter, until the lad who had entered the shop drew his attention. He wanted some sea-clothing, and tendered a list of check shirts, duck trousers, &c. The articles were exhibited, examined, and approved; they were to be packed up and sent to the Dundee Arms by noon. The honest chapman recognized the signature at the foot of the order, and the youth took his departure.

There was something in the lad's manners and appearance that would have induced an observation upon the choice he had made of a profession so full of danger and difficulty; and the slopseller was once or twice about to address his[227] young customer on the subject, who however gave him no opportunity of entering upon it.

The lad gone, the shopkeeper resumed his employment at his books, and, as he turned over leaf after leaf, accompanied the process with certain verbal remarks which a pen he held between his lips rendered somewhat indistinct; at length, laying down the implement and adjusting his spectacles, he pondered over the contents of the page, and after a pause exclaimed—"Ah! I do remember, about the same time in the morning too. Let me see—watch-coat—fearnought trousers—pair of boots—sword-belt—he was rather a different looking chap to the lad that came just now; a hard-faced, smart-built, bold dog he was—fine eye; snapped at me as I showed him the things—sent 'em to Water-lane, but never got the money! Early customers differ otherwise than in looks; this pays, that don't—but it can't be helped; if they are not all—let's see, what's the lads name," (and here he re-examined the order that had just been left with him) "ay—Horatio Nelsons, they are not all Paul Joneses"—And these two widely distinguished heroes, reader, were the customers between whom old Richardson drew a comparison[16].

Nelson, and the modern navy, and Napier, and ship-building, and discipline, and improvement, were the changes rung for some time, until at last somebody adverted to a peculiarity of the Jack Tar which may be discussed under the title of

TAR AND FEATHERS.

The sailor must have his joke in defiance of danger and death. When Commodore Anson took Panama in 1742, his men clothed themselves over their jackets and trousers in all the gay apparel they could collect. They did the same at Capua under Nelson; and the hero, elevated on a cask in the grand square, and surrounded by motley groups of masquerading tars, drank rich wine out of a golden goblet to the toast of "Better times to us." In 1805, the brave Yeo, then a lieutenant of the Loire frigate, with a mere handful of men, stormed the heavy fort of El Muros, near Finisterre, and carried it at noon-day. Having destroyed the fortification and sent off the stores, the seamen arrayed themselves in the immense Spanish grenadiers' bear skin caps and accoutrements, and all black and dirty with their labour, rowed off in this state to the ship, to the great amusement of Captain Maitland and the hearty approval of their shipmates. Many other anecdotes of a similar kind might be related; and now it appears, by recent accounts from China, that Jack is still pursuing his old game; for it is related that at the destruction of several war-junks in the neighbourhood of Canton, the English seamen arrayed themselves in the spoils of the enemy, and figured away in mandarin caps and tunics, and the curly-toed shoes of the Chinamen; nor was the essential tail wanted; for many of the bodies were divested of this ornament, which Jack being in a "cue" for humour, suspended at his own back, occasionally raising it in a coil, and offering to take a messmate in tow by it.

[228]

We did not break up our little Naval Board without mentioning impressment, and a thing called the CAT; the word was no sooner out, than it operated like the morning-gun in "The Critic," and off went the following:—

AN ACATALECTIC MONODY!

A cat I sing, of famous memory,
Though catachrestical my song may be;
In a small garden catacomb she lies,
And cataclysms fill her comrades' eyes;
Borne on the air, the catacoustic song
Swells with her virtues' catalogue along;
No cataplasm could lengthen out her years,
Though mourning friends shed cataracts of tears
Once loud and strong her catechist-like voice
It dwindled to a catcall's squeaking noise;
Most categorical her virtues shone,
By catenation join'd each one to one;—
But a vile catchpoll dog, with cruel bite,
Like catling's cut, her strength disabled quite;
Her caterwauling pierced the heavy air,
As cataphracts their arms through legions bear;
'Tis vain! as caterpillars drag away
Their lengths, like cattle after busy day,
She ling'ring died, nor left in kit kat the
Embodyment of this catastrophe.—V. D. L.

"A play on words," said Mr. Cavil, (who happened to be our guest on this occasion), "a play on words, sir, is a pretty thing in its way; and I'm perfectly well aware that the public expect you to be jocular (as if there were nothing cheerful in seriousness). I know, too, that it's quite impossible to please everybody. But still, sir—still I think a little gravity now and then, eh?—a little gravity. I don't conceive that you give your attention sufficiently to science. Something scientific now—"

Mr. Cavil was not allowed to conclude; we had anticipated his want; we had already turned our thoughts that way, and could fortunately plume ourselves upon the presence of one of the illustrissimi of science, who forthwith illumined our humble vehicle by a transcendent and exclusive report of the

THIRD MEETING OF THE BRIGHT-ISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF EVERYTHING.

Section A.—Mathematical and Physical Science.

President—Prof. Cycloyd. Vice-Presidents—Dr. Spectrum & Major Fork.

"On an Experiment of Interference." By Inspector Jones.

The author stated, that one night he had observed a gentleman employed in experimenting upon the tintinnabular powers of bells, as produced by voltaic action communicated through copper wires; the end of the wire being conducted into the open air, and the point defended by a brass knob. Feeling interested in the prosecution of this experiment, the author immediately proceeded to the spot to make inquiries into its success; but when within two paces of the experimentalist, he had suddenly received so severe a shock that he was stunned for the moment. When he recovered from its effects, the gentleman was gone. This he particularly regretted, as he much wished to have discovered the power which had produced the shock that prostrated him; but as he had observed another gentleman a short distance behind him, he supposes that he, being an assistant of the experimentalist, was engaged in generating the galvanic fluid, which, passing from him to the one in connexion with the brass knob, (from thence to be communicated to the bell through the wire,) had produced the shock described—the author's body intercepting its flow, and thus being in a state of interference.

[229]

"A Comparison between the Results given by Rain-gauges and known Facts with regard to Lachrymatose precipitations."

By Dr. Daw.

The object of this paper was, to point out the connexion which exists between the quantities of rain received on horizontal surfaces, at different heights above the ground, and the quantity of lachrymal vapour condensed into tears, also at different heights; and showing that, in both cases, the less the elevation the greater were the quantities. Thus, a rain-gauge, four feet from the ground, will intercept less than one on the ground; and a child of four feet high will produce less than one two feet high.

"On the Expression of Unknown Quantities." By Prof. Muddelwitz.

A method of expressing unknown quantities by known formulæ has long been a desideratum in mathematical science. This process the author stated he had discovered; for that the fractions of coefficient indices, when used to express the powers of differential equations, are always capable of being solved into pure algebraic roots. Thus, if in an infinitesimal series, in which p, o, o2—t—t2 are unknown given quantities, a, a2, and e, known, and the value to be limited, the equation stands as follows:—

1.  a x — a2 × p o t2 = t, o, e.

2.  a x = t o e + a — p o t2

——————————
3.  x = 2 √(a - p o t2 + a2 — t o e)

Thus the generalization of the equation of x, to the nth degree, gives its fraction in the form of an algebraic root.

[To some readers the above demonstrations may seem rather obscure; but as the late Dr. Dundertop, in his treatise on the Perspicuous, clearly explains—"Ephpnxmqzomubh grudcnkrl, hqmpt on kronswt."]


We were all thrown into a state of such intense dumbness, such complete torpor, by the profundity of these scientific researches, that everybody tacitly admitted the appropriateness of the next subject; it was a case of still-life which met our startled eye the other evening, in the form of a pair of

RUM CORKS IN STOUT BOTTLES.

On our table stood, not one, but two "black bottles," two bottles that had held "Cork stout"—two we saw without seeing double. The corks had already been drawn, but upon them were two faces distinctly visible, which we resolved to draw likewise; and as the pencil wound itself about, we seemed to hear the following dialogue, in a sort of screw-like tone:—

"Arrah, Paddy now, and where are you from?"

"Sure I'm from Cork."

"Cork is it? fait den it's from Cork I am meself."

"Not such terrifying images, sir," said a nervous visitor, who trembled like Keeley in the old drama of the Bottle Imp, "not such terrifying images as that family of phantoms, that assemblage of the blues, which you conjured up in your last number. You might well call them "frights." I'm sure I've felt all over[230] like the Derbyshire turnpike-man ever since; but I'm not at all afraid of those two bottle conjurors there."

The allusion to this mysterious Derbyshire pike-man produced inquiry, and we were all forthwith reminded by our agitated companion, of a midnight scene—

A HIGHWAY ADVENTURE

which was lately recorded in the public papers. It appears that when Van Amburgh travels, the large elephant goes on foot in the night, attended by four East Indians, men of negro complexions, in white dresses,—three of them riding on the elephant's back, and one on his tusks. One night as they were passing over Worksop forest, the party arrived at a toll-bar that was closed. The call "Gate" was raised, and out came the toll-keeper in his nightcap. Now it is suspected that this unfortunate individual had been long anticipating the coming of a gentleman in black, whose name is never mentioned to ears polite; for observing the monstrous and unlooked-for spectacle that then presented itself to his drowsy eyes, he, instead of opening the gate, was so terrified, that he ran back into the house, exclaiming in frantic tones, "He's come at last!"

"Frightened at an elephant," cried Mr. Cavil, with a profusion of pishes! "At an elephant merely! I wonder if he ever saw a young lady—young ladies such as I have seen! I was never afraid of a woman while she wore her hair turned up, powdered, pomatumed, and frizzed like my mother's and grandmother's; but only imagine the terror of a sensitive mortal on encountering a specimen of the fashions of the present day; on meeting a sample of the feminine gender, who, not satisfied with milliner's 'whiskers,' must exhibit to the affrighted gazer a face

'BEARDED LIKE THE PARD.'

Frightened at an elephant! Bless his five wits!—if he were only to come to London!"


[231]

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MRS. SARAH TODDLES!

BY SAM SLY.

It is customary with the romancists and novelists of the day to track their heroes and heroines to some mysterious origin, for which purpose they either draw them from the foot of the gallows, or the precincts of the palace, and the jail returns are ransacked, and the old Court Guides dissected, for suitable titles and localities. Thus, whilst one will unkennel his favourites from workhouses, and obscure holes and corners, another finds his pet in the queen's best bed-room, or sleeping in state in a golden cradle. It is lucky for us we are not obliged to run to either extreme. Sarah Toddles' life lies in a nutshell. And here again we cannot help expressing our satisfaction, that we should be more fortunate than those who have to beat about the hedge, and make long speeches, and fill volumes in hazarding and conjecturing respecting nurses and birth-places. There is nothing at all remarkable about the dawning of Sarah; it was the most simple, natural, straight-forward, and legitimate birth imaginable: there was neither ringing of bells, nor flourishing of trumpets. Mrs. James was the nurse, Mrs. Sarah Gunn the mother, and Mr. Timothy Gunn the father. He was a gingerbread-baker, and lived at Bow—Mile-end Bow—and kept a shop not far from the bridge, and baked "Banburys" as well as "parliament" for the fair. Over the bow-window of this shop, and a little to the left, Sarah first saw daylight, and heard Bow bells—not at that interesting moment, because we have already said the elements were quiet. Sarah was an only child, the gun never went off but once—at least Sarah was the only "living shot."

Sarah—our Sally—was born on the same day as the Duke of Wellington, but she could not help that. It seemed a little curious, and somewhat presumptuous; and her mother, had she anticipated such a result, would no doubt have avoided giving any offence, by forwarding or retarding the business, but she had no friend at court. And, after all, it is doubtful which is most honoured by the fact, his Grace or Sarah Toddles.

But such is the course of things. Mrs. Gunn was soon off the stocks; she was up and stirring; and Sarah, with unheard of rapidity, got out of the nurse's arms, and from pap to pudding, and pudding to pork; and soon found out the use of her eyes and feet, and "toddled" into the shop, and tip-toed to the top of the counter, and fingered the "Banburys," and licked the "parliament," and dabbled in the treacle, and painted her face with it, and was shaken and smacked, and all that sort of thing. She became at last "quite a girl," and would run over the bridge, and round the church-yard, and up "Mile-end," and down Old Ford, and through Bow fields, and Stepney church-yard, and all about, till Mrs. Gunn was "frightened out of her wits," and determined to send her to school. Now Bow church was not then as it is at present. In the olden times, or when Sarah was young, there was a market held close in front of it, and over this market was a school, and a Mr. Brown was the master; and here Sarah was first led into the mystery of letters, and got through "Vyse's New London Spelling Book," and that's all (for her progress, like her genius and her stature, was small); so after spoiling many copy-books and green bags, and wearing out many pattens in trotting from the shop to the school, she was ultimately relieved from her studies and her troubles by being taken away. This was good news for Sarah, "for now she should do as she liked, and have such bits of fun at Bow fair, without being bothered to get her lessons in the morning before she went, when half the day was gone; and wouldn't she though have some rare games in Stepney church-yard, and look at the tombstones and the fish in the ring! and wouldn't she often go to the World's-end tea-gardens, and to Fairlop fair, and Epping forest to get blackberries! She just would then." And she just did then; and this was the sunny spot of her life.

Now her sun may be said to have gradually declined; she was no longer a free agent. She was told to "think and mind what she was about," and was kept at home, and enlisted in domestic services (for her parents had no other housemaid), and also assisted in baking and minding the shop. Thus days rolled on; and Sarah at last became a woman—not a very tall one it is true, but still a woman—little and good, "short and sweet."

Sarah was thrice married. Her first husband was a Mr. Lightfoot, her second a Mr. Heavisides, and her third, and last, Mr. Toddles—Thomas Toddles. With the first two we have nothing to do, they were dead and buried before we were thought of, and we never make a point of enlarging about parties where we are not asked to the funeral, but we may merely remark for the benefit of the curious, that Sarah Toddles chose them for no particular virtue or accomplishment, but merely for their size; they all stood four feet three in their shoes, all were timid men, and all died childless. There was nothing[232] at all wonderful about either of these courtships or weddings, all was "fair and above-board;" no rope ladders, no moonlight madness, no Gretna Green trips, no bribings, no hole-and-corner works, no skulking behind kitchen doors or tombstones, or winkings or blinkings in church, no lies, no sighs, no dyings for love and that trumpery, nothing of the sort. Mr. Gunn consented, Mrs. Gunn consented, Sarah consented, and they all consented; could anything be fairer? and what's the use of writing a volume upon it, as many of our contemporaries might? But, perhaps, we may be allowed to say a word or two on Mrs. Toddles' last engagement, since at his death we were asked to the funeral. As a baker, and doing a great deal of business for the fairs, Mr. Gunn required assistance, and he found a faithful and honest servant in Thomas Toddles. Mrs. Heavisides—our Sally—would often be found in the bakehouse helping her father and Thomas in "setting sponge," as it is termed, and in moulding and shaping buns and Banburys. Could anything be more natural than that words and looks should be exchanged on these occasions between her and Thomas, bordering upon the weather and the heat of the oven, and that this warmth should produce congenial thoughts and sentiments? It did so; for Thomas, though naturally timid, had all the arts or nature of an experienced lover. He would run from Buns to Banburys, and from Banburys to Bachelors, and from Bachelors to Bow Bells, and from Bow Bells to Bow Church, and from the Church to the Altar; he would then not forget to talk about rings, "and thought he knew of one just about her size"—here the oven would burn—"and would she allow him to try one." He would then steal a little nearer, and adopt a few innocent liberties, such as flirting a little flour in her face with his thumb and finger, then wipe it off afterwards with the corner of his apron, and, as a climax, "kiss the place to make it well," my Toddles!

It is not to be wondered at, that these things were a "decided hit," as the managers have it, and that they should have their full effect, by causing Bow Bells very soon to ring to the honour and happiness of Mr. and Mrs. Toddles. But all that lives must fade, and Mrs. Toddles' troubles now came thick upon her. First, her mother died, soon after, her father, who bequeathed all his "Banburys," goods, and chattels to her and her husband; and within a very few months Thomas died also. He was unusually busy one night in preparing for Bow fair, where he kept a stall, and over-exerting himself, caught a cold, was taken to bed, slept sweetly, but over-slept himself, and saw Sarah Toddles no more.

Soon after, Mrs. T. wound up the business, sold off her stock and interest, and purchased a small annuity. In order to fill up her time, and in some measure to obliterate the past, she volunteered her services in one or two tract and Dorcas societies, where she assists in the making up of those very small articles which she was once in her longings led to suppose might fill her own baskets. A great deal of absurdity has gone forth at her expense amongst cads and omnibus drivers, who would not wait even five or ten minutes for her, when at the furthest she was never more than a quarter of an hour behind time, and how few know the cause of all this! Some have attributed it to an over-solicitude in her toilet, some to this thing and some to that, some to the putting on of those little black stockings, and some to the tying of the velvet shoes; when, if the truth must be known, it is—Mrs. Sarah Toddles has corns.

Some little reminiscence of Mr. Toddles may be required. In height he was about four feet three. His clothes were much too large for him, coming over his knuckles, and over his shoes, with a skirt nearly touching the ground. Moreover he had a monstrous hat, swelling at the crown, very much boated before and behind, a large mouth, and large eyes. It was curious to see this little couple trotting up Mile-end road towards Whitechapel on a Saturday night, he first, and she after, for a cheap market—he carrying a basket and she a bag, which they would fill either from the shops or from the stalls by the roadside; but before returning, take care to call in at the Blind Beggar for a drop of "summat short," "but strictly medicinally."

That very shawl at the back of Mrs. Toddles, and the large parasol, or small umbrella, were presents from Mr. T. one Bow-fair day; she keeps them and wears them in respect to his memory, and will continue to do so through all the changes of fashion. Those stockings were knitted by Miss Toddles, and those velvet shoes made by Timothy Toddles, her dear husband's brother and sister; in short, she is enveloped and surrounded with gifts from top to toe. The arm-chair was a relic of her mother's, the footstool was her father's, the bottle Lightfoot's, and the glass Heavisides', and the table Toddles', her last dear Toddles; the carpet was her cousin's, and the urn her uncle's.

But time, like Sarah, is toddling on; let us hope that she may meet with more civility, and that her end may be peaceful. If we are invited to the funeral, we shall look after her epitaph.

We beg to state, that though assured of the great respectability of our correspondent, we do not personalty vouch for the authenticity of this Memoir.-Ed.

George Cruikshank.

Breaking into the Strong room in the "Jewel Tower" and Removal of the Regalia, on the night of the Fire, Octr. 30. 1841

London Tilt & Bogue 86 Fleet Street.

[233]

THE FIRE AT THE TOWER OF LONDON.

THE SCENE IN THE JEWEL TOWER—THE ARMOURY—THE BOWYER TOWER—LADY JANE GREY'S APARTMENT—THE TROPHIES.

The black portion of the plan shows the part which is burnt.

A Bowyer Tower. B Brick Tower. C Small Armoury.
D Map Office. E White Tower. F Horse Armoury.
G Powder Magazine. H Ordnance Office. I Bloody Tower.
K Governor's Lodgings. L St. Peter's Church. M Jewel Tower.

The Queen's loving subjects are divided into two parties—those who have, and those who have not, visited the Tower. The former have their recollections of the visit—the latter have their regrets for its postponement. And let this be a lesson to all procrastinative sight-seers, to see things while they are to be seen; for the Great—or, as it was somewhat oddly designated—the Small Armoury, is no longer among the visibles or the visitables.

Association first conducts us to the Jewel House, the scene of Col. Blood's and of Mr. Swifte's doings. It is curious, that after 170 years the burglary (we were near saying the treason) should be repeated; and that Blood, the crown-stealer, should have been succeeded by Swifte, the crown-keeper. The soldier was favoured by King Charles, the civilian by Queen Victoria—the merry Master pardoned, the august Mistress approved. The stealer was rewarded with a pension, the keeper's recompense is—to come.

Having the benefit of Mr. Swifte's acquaintance, we were indulged with a view of the Jewel-room. It is really a curious contrast! Light, security, and splendour, changed into darkness, desolation, and vacancy—the regal treasury become an empty sepulchre! The tokens and the instruments of the violence used—broken railings, hatchets, and crow-bars—scattered about, as if "the gallant Colonel" had but just absconded! It was a comfort to think that the imperial crown, instead of being battered to bits in his bag, was safe and whole in the Governor's cellar.

We have endeavoured, in our plate, to give light and life to the Jewel-room, now so desolate. Not the light of six Argands, flashing down on diadem and sceptre, and—brightest of all—on the crown of our liege lady's yet brighter brow, irradiating the matchless sapphire, blue as an Italian sky—the mound of diamonds, numerous as its stars—and the priceless ruby of Edward and of Henry, multiplying their thousand prisms:—but,[234] alas! the blink of one or two ten-to-the-pound tallows—sheepish-looking members of the "Kitchiner" tribe—glimmering on them, ghastly as dead men's eyes out of a plundered coffin.

And for the life of the scene? There stood the keeper himself, his wife at his side, partaking the peril; and the warders, whom he had summoned to the rescue. We cannot, however, portray the stifling heat and smoke; the clamour of the soldiers outside the closed portal, which the fires of the Armoury were striving to reach; nor the roar of the still-excluded flames, the clang of the pumps, the hissing of the water-pipes, the gathering feet and voices of the multitude. These are beyond the pencil.

"The pressure from without" increased. Again the clamour rose high, and the furnace heat rose higher. But the keeper abided his time—the crow-bars were raised in a dozen hands awaiting his word. It was given! The first blow since the days of King Charles descended on the iron fence; and Queen Victoria's crown, safely deposited in its case, and sheltered therein from smoke and flame and the common gaze, was removed to the Governor's house. Orbs, diadems, and sceptres—dishes, flagons, and chalices—the services of court and of church, of altar and of banquet, were sent forth in the care of many a sturdy warder, gallant John Lund being their leader. The huge baptismal font, soon to be called into use for the Prince of Wales, was last removed. The Jewel-room was as bare as if Blood the First had left nought behind him for Blood the Second. How must the spectators have gazed on the bright procession, as from window, and roof, and turret, the Armoury blazed out upon it! And how must the Colonel's ghost have wondered to behold his own meditated prey borne through that fiery midnight!

The Jewel-room was now emptied. The agents of its emptification quitted the peril—glad enough were they, we'll be sworn—and all was again solitude and silence.

The Armoury, with its three burning floors, each 345 feet in length—their trophies of past, and provisions of future victory, wrapped in one flame, and flanked at either end by the Chapel and the Crown Jewel House—(Church and State in equal danger!)—deserve our description. That memorable night—so memorable, that, as the keeper's ancestor, Dean Swift, says of O'Rourke's feast, it will be remembered

"By those who were there,
And those who were not,"

is described in two words, Fusion and Confusion. They tell their story.


Next in sublimity to the spectacle of the blazing pile, was the scene afterwards presented, when, as the fire lessened, and the smoke cleared off, the whole space within the walls of the enormous Armoury was opened to the straining eye—a sight of awe and wonder. Above was the "sky" of a November morn; and below, covering the immense sweep of the floor, heaps of fused metal, of dimensions scarcely to be credited, with bayonet-points bristling up everywhere, close-set and countless, like long blades of grass. Innumerable as the stand of small-arms had appeared, they now seemed, starting from the crushed mass, still more multitudinous; the space appeared larger; the scene of destruction more gigantic; and we thought of the moralizing fox walking beside the tree which had been thrown down by a tempest:—"This is truly a noble tree; I never thought it so great while standing."

[235]

BOWYER OR CLARENCE TOWER.

After a day or two there was something ridiculous blended with the terror of the spectacle. The Waterloo guns uninjured—(those guns which had played upon the guards at Waterloo with shot, and which the guards in return had played upon with water in loo of shot)—the enormous pieces of artillery; the mighty anchor; the myriad bayonet-points; the masses of metal, dull or shining; the broken columns; the smouldering rubbish; were strangely contrasted with the forms of gaily-attired ladies, courageously clambering over hot heaps, creeping through apparently unapproachable avenues, and raking among the ashes for relics—gun-flints, green, blue, or white, and picturesque bits of metal.

Outside this building, in various directions, the most terrific visible symptom of the intense burning that had made night hideous, were the streams of molten lead from surrounding roofs; the liquid metal, as it fell upon the flagstones, having splashed up and sprinkled the walls to the height of two or three feet.

ENTRANCE TO THE SMALL ARMOURY—CAMPERDOWN ANCHOR, WATERLOO GUNS, &C.

Order has at length succeeded to the Confusion, and orders on a large scale have followed the Fusion. The Armoury will be rebuilt and refurnished. The edifice, it is to be hoped, will be more in harmony with the antique character of the surrounding scene, and the new arms not less susceptible of beautiful arrangement for being better adapted to practical uses than the old. Thus far the nation will gain by its misfortune; nor will the loss, even in a pecuniary sense, be equal to a fourth of the first estimate. Every evil has been exaggerated—except the danger. That scarcely admitted of exaggeration.

Our fellow antiquaries, and not less (though for other reasons) our country-cousins everywhere, will join with us, not in lamenting the Loss, but in rejoicing at the Escape. The plan which heads this article, will enable them to understand it. Of the antiquities of the Tower, little or nothing has suffered. All that has stood for centuries, in fact, still stands there. That of which the[236] memory is imperishable has not perished. The buildings which are destroyed, are—the Armoury, which was modern; the upper part of the Bowyer or Clarence Tower, which was also modern. The antique remains are figured on the preceding page. This tower was three stories high. The large square window below, next the ladder, is that of the chamber in which Clarence is supposed to have been murdered. In the apartment immediately over this the fire commenced. Above the belt, in the centre, all was modern. It will be seen by the Plan that this tower is exactly in the centre of the Small Armoury, at the back. The Brick Tower is of considerable antiquity, and the interior of this has been wofully damaged, so that the apartment in which the gentle Lady Jane Grey was confined, wears now a more forlorn and ruinous aspect than the slow hand of Time would have invested it with in additional centuries. Still, even here, what is gone is but the wood-work, the outward coating, the modern accessories or accumulations of the scene; the Destroyer has neither eaten through the old walls, nor undermined the deep and enduring foundations of any portion of the Old Fortress.

As for the Trophies that are gone, they are things which this nation, more perhaps than any other, can afford to surrender without a sigh. If "Britannia needs no bulwarks, no towers along her steep," neither does she need tokens of her triumphant march over the mountain-wave in days gone by. Besides, as schoolboys say of birds'-eggs taken prisoners, or apples captured in orchards, "there's plenty more where these came from." It would have been something, to be sure, to have saved from the Consumer a thing so simple as the old wheel of the "Victory;" because it was no part of the vulgar spoil of war, no commonplace implement of devastation wrested from an enemy, but a precious relic associated with the dying-hour of England's favourite hero, and a symbol, in its very form, of the eternity of his fame. It is gone; but the list of losses is not half so long as fear made it; and among the trophies yet remaining, are numbers as indestructible as the great anchor taken at Camperdown, which, the day after the fire, was seen rearing its giant bulk amidst the multitude of bristling points, and masses of fused metal.

LADY JANE GREY'S ROOM IN THE BRICK TOWER.

[237]


THE BLAZING ARMOURY—THE RAMPARTS—A CONTRAST.

The lamps of the City burn dull and dead,
The wintry raindrops fall,
And thick mists, borne from the River's bed,
Round London's hoary Tower are spread,
O'erhanging, like a pall.
When, suddenly—look! a red light creeps
Up from the Tower on high!
One shriek of "fire!"—and lo! it sweeps
Through yon vast Armoury.
Up, up it springs, on giant wings,
That still expand and soar;
Can you not hear, through outcries loud,
The beaten drum, and the tramp of the crowd,
The mighty furnace roar!
Then trophy, and relic, and ancient spoil,
One molten mass went down,
And Ruin had stretch'd his red hand out
To seize the sacred Crown.
And faces, that else were white with fear,
Gleam'd in the woful light;
While perils that distant seem'd, drew near,
And ghastlier grew the night.
Dread rumour, outstripping the winged flame,
Still spoke of powder stored,
Ere deep in the moat 'twas safely roll'd,
Sparing the walls of that White Tower old,
Rich memory's darkest hoard.
And all the while the threaten'd pile
Rang with a mingled roar,
And hurried feet in danger meet,
And dread struck more and more.
Yet all night there, within the bound
Of that fortress black and stern,
The appointed guard went stilly round,
And on the customary ground
The Soldier took his turn.
High overhead the lurid blaze
Afar in fright was seen,
Yet there, unmoved, the Sentry paced
Each time-worn tower between.
Just o'er him broke the flash and smoke,
Around was wild uproar;
But there he trod, as there had trod
His fellow the night before.
Amidst the deep terrific swell
By myriad noises made,
An echo from the ramparts fell—
The measured tread of the Sentinel
In solitude and shade.
And to and fro, from hour to hour,
His deep slow step was heard,
Nor could the firemen there have pass'd
Without the secret word.
Thus, silent 'midst a tumult wild;
Thus, lonely 'midst a throng;
Thus, bent his usual watch to keep,
As though the Fortress were asleep,
Shadow'd in drear and dead midnight,
Yet neighbour'd by that living light,
The Sentry paced along!
L. B.

[238]

MISS ADELAIDE KEMBLE.

The month "in which Englishmen hang and drown themselves," has this year been signalised by first appearances;—the Heir-Apparent, Heaven bless him! having chosen to arrive in the midst of the bell-ringing and jollity of Lord Mayor's Day. Though a less glorious, scarcely a less welcome one—to all play-goers, artists, honest subjects "moved by concord of sweet sounds," and poets clinging to recollections of departed Genius—has been the entrance of "Norma" at Covent Garden. The artist has well caught her attitude on that evening as she advanced to take her place before her altar: as yet silent. We cannot keep pace with him, or write down a twentieth of the cheers of welcome that burst from heart and hand. Rarely have plaudits been so well merited!

What the Druidess may or may not do for the musical drama in England, let her own oracles expound. We are not prophets, but recorders; and while she is taking care for the future, we have but to say a word or two touching the past career of Miss Adelaide Kemble. As to the date of her birth-day, that concerns not us. We are reserved when ladies are in the case; and are contented to remind the public that she is the younger daughter of Mr. Charles Kemble—that, to the dramatic heritage derived from him, she adds a right to the musician's gift, being child of one who, some years since, made the name of De Camp famous, as belonging to one of the most fascinating stage-singers of the time. Every circumstance, therefore, of position and education combined to develop the talents which nature had given her. The air she breathed was a stimulus to perpetuate the most classical traditions of music and the drama. To this was added consciousness of the honourable position always maintained by her family, and their liberal general cultivation—exciting her to do her part also, and to become, not merely a voice—not merely a gesture personified, but an artist: that is, a gifted intelligence, to whom voice and gesture serve but as means of expressing its "fancies chaste and noble," and its elevated conceptions. Miss Kemble has trained herself for her profession, with that thorough-going industry and ardour, without which there are no Siddonses, no Pastas, no Malibrans. Like the second distinguished woman named, her voice, though amply sufficient for every theatrical purpose, may not originally have been a willing one. Nothing, strange to say, has been so fatal to the attainment of the highest musical excellence, as too great a facility and richness of organ. By it Catalani was led astray—by it sundry contemporary warblers——but "comparisons are odious." We are discreet as well as reserved. Enough, that, under Signor Bordogni of Paris, Miss Kemble went through all that severe course of study, to which too few of her countrywomen will subject themselves. She was first heard in London in 1835, where she sang at a few concerts. Though then weighed down by a consciousness of power, with means as yet inadequate for its utterance, though restrained by an excess of timidity, it was even then to be seen that a great dramatic artist was there. We remember two words from the great duet in "Semiramide," which we heard her sing with Tamburini—merely an exulting "O gioja!"—but they said enough to make us sure of what would come. At the end of that season, after appearing at the York Festival, Miss Kemble was heard of no more in England. But ere long, rumours came from Germany of an[239] English lady turning wise heads by her dramatic truth and energy of feeling; and late in the autumn of the year 1838, we were told that another of the Kembles had entered her proper arena, the stage—at no less distinguished a place than the Teatro della Scala, Milan.

Adelaide Kemble

In the Character of NORMA.

London. Tilt & Bogue, 86, Fleet Street.

From that time, in spite of lets and hindrances innumerable, which too generally beset the English gentlewoman undertaking a foreign artistic career, Miss Kemble has slowly and steadily advanced towards her present high position. At Venice she was applauded to the echo for her execution of Pasta's grand cavatina in "Niobe,"—at Mantua made a furore, as an actress who was "simpatica" (there is a good deal in the word, as all Italians know); later still at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, rising to such a height of popularity, that upon her contracting an engagement for Palermo, Barbaja, "le bourru bienfaisant" broke the contract, and paid the forfeit to retain her. Her chief parts have been in the operas of "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Norma," "Elena da Feltre," "Gemma di Vergy," "La Sonnambula," and "Beatrice di Tenda." But lest the English fancy that their favourite is but a signora in disguise, be it known to them that the subject of our notice is as fine a linguist in music as the most universal of her contemporaries. We have heard her applauded to the echo by the Rhinelanders for her singing of Schubert and Beethoven:—We believe that she possesses a cahier of French romances, which she can say as well as sing, with finesse enough to charm the fastidious ears of the Panserons and Adams who compose such dainty ware; and we know that she can do worthy homage—to Handel. The oratorio-goers may look for the Miriam in her, and will not be disappointed.

What more remains?—save to record, that after having made her mature talent heard at the never-to-be-forgotten Polish matinée at Stafford House, and at a private concert, Miss Kemble made a second German journey this autumn, as we said, to the infinite delight of the Rhinelanders, who are not easy to please;—and lastly, to give the second of this month as the date of her commencing a career among her own countrymen, which, for Art's sake, as well as her own, we fervently hope will be as long as it must be brilliant.

R. O. D.

What more remains? By way of postscript to our dull prose, the world will, we think, be glad of half-a-dozen verses from a most accomplished pen (we would not for the world reveal its owner!) dropped by mistake in an Omnibus, on the morning after Miss Kemble's first appearance.

'Twas not Pasta—'twas not e'en
Thy greater name,
That in charms of voice and mien
To fancy came—
As thy wild impassioned lays
Enthralled our ears,
And the eyes that fain would gaze
Were blind with tears!
Whence the ray, that could impart
Each subtle trace
That defines the mother's heart,
The matron's grace?
Whence the throes of jealousy
That struggling rise,
Big with mimic agony
To those young eyes?
Love and Joy, thy gentle brow
In turn caressing;
Hate, with scorn or vengeance, now
Its lines possessing:
On the classic pedestal
Achieved by thee,
Firm, and never failing, shall
Thy footing be!
And the brightness that will still
Thy name enshrine,
Take thou as the boon of God
To thee and thine!

[240]

JACK GAY, ABROAD AND AT HOME.

BY LAMAN BLANCHARD.

Who that had once met Jack Gay at dinner, where'er the feast of venison and the flow of port prevailed, ever forgot him! What lady, the luckiest of her sex, ever experienced his "delicate attentions" at a quiet evening party, a quiet concert, or a quiet dance, without speaking of him from that moment, not as the most charming of acquaintances, but as a very old friend—without feeling quite sure that she had known him all her life, though she had never seen him but that once?

What spirits he had! Other men had their jovial moods, but Jack was always jovial. To be lively by fits and starts, to be delightful when the humour sets in, to emulate the fair exquisite of Pope,

"And make a lover happy—for a whim—"

is within anybody's reach. But Jack had no fits and starts; the humour flowed in one unebbing course, and his whim consisted in making everybody as happy as he was at all seasons.

His joviality never depended upon the excellence of a dinner, the choice of wines, or any accident of the hour. His high spirits and invariable urbanity were wholly independent of the arrangements of the table, the selection of the guests, and the topics of conversation. He discovered pleasant things to hearken to, and found delightful themes to chat upon, even during the dreary twenty minutes before dinner. Yes, even that was a lively time to Jack. Whenever he went out it was to enjoy a pleasant evening, and he enjoyed it.

The fish was spoil'd, the soup was cold,
The meat was broil'd, the jokes were old,
The tarts were dumps, the wine not cool,
The guests were pumps, the host a fool—

but for all this Jack cared about as much as a flying-fish cares for a shower of rain. No combination of ill omens and perverse accidents ever proved a damper to him.

He is invited to meet (say) Johnson and Burke, and is greeted, on his entrance, with the well-known tidings that Johnson and Burke "couldn't come." Does Jack heave one sigh in compliment to the illustrious absentees, and in depreciation of the company who have assembled? Not he. No momentary shade of disappointment dims his smiling face. He seems as delighted to meet the little parlour-full of dull people, as though the room were crammed with Crichtons. He has the honour of being presented to little Miss Somebody, from the country, who seems shy; and he takes the same pains to show his pleasure in the introduction, and to tempt the timid stranger to talk, that he would have exerted in an effort to interest Mrs. Siddons. He sits next to a solemn ignoramus, who is facetious in expounding the humours of Squire Bog, his neighbour, or didactic in developing the character of Dogsby the great patriot in his parish; and Jack listens as complacently as though his ear were being regaled with new-born bonmots of Sheridan's, or anecdotes of the Earl of Chatham.

[241]

Jack, like some statesmen, was born to be out; and to him, as to some other statesmen, all parties were the same. The only preference he ever seemed to entertain was for the particular party that chanced at the particular moment to rejoice in his presence. He enjoyed everything that happened. Leigh Hunt, describing a servant-maid "at the play," observes, that every occurrence of the evening adds to her felicity—for she likes even the waiting between the acts, which is tiresome to others. So with Jack at a party. He enjoyed some dislocated experiments on the harp, by an astonishing child, aged only fifteen; and was the sole person in the room who encored with sincerity that little prodigy's convulsive edition of "Bid me discourse." He listened with laudable gravity to Master Henry's recitation of "Rolla's Address," and suggested the passages in which John Kemble was rather too closely followed. He enjoyed the glasses of warm wine handed round between the songs; he liked the long flat pauses, "when nobody said nothing to his neighbour;" and he liked the sudden burst of gabble in which, at the termination of the pause, as if by preconcerted agreement, every creature eagerly joined.

He liked the persons he had never met before, and those whom he was in the habit of meeting just seven times a week. He admired the piano that was always out of tune, and the lady who, kindly consenting to play, was always out of temper. He thought the persons to whom he had not been introduced very agreeable, and all the rest extremely entertaining. He was delighted with his evening, whether it exploded in a grand supper, or went-off, flash-in-the-pan fashion, with a sandwich.

He never bottled up his best things, to uncork them in a more brilliant company the next night; he was never dull because he was expected to shine, and never, by laborious efforts to shine, succeeded in showing that dulness was his forte. He pleased everybody because he was pleased himself; and he was himself pleased, because he could not help it. Many queer-looking young men sang better, but nobody sang with such promptness and good taste; many awkward gawkies danced with more exactness and care, but nobody danced so easily to himself or so acceptably to his partner; many handsome dashing fellows were more showy and imposing in their manners, but none produced the agreeable effect that followed a few words of his, or one of his joyous laughs—nay even a kind and sprightly glance. The elaborate, and long meditated impromptu of the reputed wit fell still-born, while one of Jack's unstudied gay-hearted sallies burst like a rocket, and showered sparkles over the room.

Everybody went away convinced that there was one human being in the world whose oasis of life had no surrounding desert. Jack lived but for enjoyment. The links of the chain that bound him to existence, were of pure gold—there was no rough iron clanking between. He seemed sent into the world to show how many may be amused, cheered, comforted, by one light heart. That heart appeared to tell him, that where his fellow-creatures were, it was impossible to be dull; and the spirit of this assurance prevailed in all he said and did; for if he staid till the last half dozen dropped off, he was just as fresh and jocund as when the[242] evening began. He never knew what it was to be tired, and as the hospitable door was at last closed upon him, you heard him go laughing away down the steps. Upon his tomb indeed might be written a paraphrase of the epitaph so gloriously earned by his illustrious namesake:—

So that the merry and the wise might say,
Pressing their jolly bosoms, "Here laughs Gay!"

But did anybody, who may happen to see this page, ever see the aforesaid Jack at home?—at high-noon, or in the evening when preparing to go out! Behold him on the eve of departure—just going—about to plunge, at the appointed moment, into the revelries of a brilliant circle, where, if he were not, a score of sweet voices would fall to murmuring "I wish he were here!" For the admiration, the envy, the cordial liking which surely await him there, you would now be apt to substitute commiseration, regret—a bit of friendly advice to him to stop at home, and a pull at the bell for pen-and-ink that he might write an excuse.

The truth is, that Jack was a morbid, irresolute, wayward, cross-grained chap. He was kind-hearted in the main, and even generous; but his temper was often sullen, and his spirit often cynical. Catch him on a winter's afternoon, half an hour before he dressed for dinner! You would think him twenty years older, and five bottle-noses uglier. You would conclude that he was going to dine with Diogenes in his tub, or to become a partaker of a skeleton-feast in Surgeons'-hall. The last time we ever saw Jack out of company, he was in such a mood as we have hinted at. It was a November afternoon between five and six—there was no light in the room—but by the melancholy gleam of a low fire, he was to be seen seated on a music-stool with his feet on the fender, his elbows on his knees, his head resting upon his hands, and his eyes listlessly wandering over the dull coals in search of the picturesque.

"Come in!" growled the voice of the Charmer. "Can you grope your way? Dreary rooms these—and lights make 'em worse."

Then without moving his seat to give us a share of the fire, he applied the poker to the cinders, not to kindle a blaze and throw a light upon the gloom, but evidently to put out any little stray flame that might happen to be lingering there. There was just light enough to show that his face wore an air of profound sadness and despondency. To a serious inquiry as to the cause—if any thing had happened.

"Yes," murmured the Fascinator, with an amiable scowl, "the weather has happened, November has happened, and dinner will happen in another hour. Here's a night to go three miles for a slice of saddle o' mutton! My luck! Cold and wet, isn't it?" continued the Irresistible, knocking cinder after cinder into the ashes; "I'm miserable enough at home, and so forsooth, I must dress and go out. Ugh! This is what they call having a pleasant life of it. I don't know what you may think, but I look upon an invitation to dinner as nothing less than an insult. Why should I be dragged out of my wretched nook here, without an appetite, and against my will? We call this a free country, where nobody's allowed to be miserable in his own way—where every man's a slave to ceremony—a victim to his own politeness, a martyr to civil notes. Here's my saddle[243] o' mutton acquaintance, for example; I never hurt or offended the man in all my days, and yet I must go and dine with him. I'd rather go to a funeral.—Well if you've anything to say, out with it—for my hour's come. Now mind, before I ring this bell, I predict that there's no hot water, and that my boots are damp."

The difference between Jack at six, and Jack at seven, was the difference between a clock down and a clock wound up—between a bird in the shell, and a bird on the wing—between a bowl of punch before, and after, the spirit is poured in,—it was the difference between Philip drunk and Philip sober (or the reverse if you will)—between a lord mayor in his plain blue-coat and kerseys, and a lord mayor in his state robes;—between Grimaldi at the side-scene waiting to go on, with that most melancholy shadow on his face which tradition has so touchingly painted, and Grimaldi on the stage, in view of the convulsed spectators, the illuminator of congregated dulness, the instantaneous disperser of the blues, the explorer of every crevice of the heart wherein care can lurk—an embodied grin. It was the difference, to speak more exactly still, between Sappho at her toilet, and Sappho at an evening mask.

To see Jack when just beginning to prepare for a drop-in somewhere, late at night—between ten and twelve—was almost as good as seeing him when arrived there. The rash promise made, he always contrived to fulfil it—though it was often ten chances to one that he did not, and he appeared to keep his engagements by miracle. As the hour drew nigh, you would imagine that he had just received tidings of the dreadful loss of several relatives per railroad, or that half his income had been swallowed up in a mine, or forged exchequer-bills. It would be impossible to conjecture that his shrugs and sighs, peevish gestures and muttered execrations, were but the dark shadows of a brilliant "coming event"—that discontent and mortification were the forerunners of the gay Hours, and that bitter moroseness, limping and growling, announced the approach of the dancing Pleasures!

So it was; for Jack at that moment, instead of hailing these dancing Pleasures by anticipation, and meeting them at least half-way, would gladly have ridden ten miles in any other direction. He could make himself tolerably comfortable anywhere, save at the place to which he was ruthlessly, imperiously bound—with anybody, save with the people who were anxiously waiting for a glimpse of his good-humoured visage. He was fully bent on going, in fact he felt that he must; yet he raised every obstacle that ill-temper could invent, knowing all the while that he should be obliged to surmount them.

He would even allow his reluctance to stir, to prevail so far over the gentlemanly principle of his nature, as to question secretly within himself whether he ought to go, while he entertained a suspicion that the people who had again invited him were not quite prudent in giving so many expensive parties!

He would catch hold of any rag of an acquaintance just then, to cover his loneliness, and to save him from utter solitude; to give him an excuse for procrastinating, and an opportunity of grumbling out his regrets at stripping from head to foot, not to go to bed, but to go out; at being[244] doomed to shake off his quiet moping mood, and plunge head-foremost into festivity. And then, when the effort had been made, when the last obstacle had been overcome, when he was arrayed from top to toe, and could no longer complain of this thing not in readiness, and that thing mislaid, or the glove that split in drawing it on, or the cab that was not (and never was) on the stand when he wanted one, he would ask himself with a deep-drawn sigh the melancholy question: "Isn't it hard that a man must go out, with a broken heart, to take an hour or two's jollification at this time of night!"

Off went Jack Gay; and until four in the morning the merry Hours lagged far behind his joyous spirits. Hospitality put on his magic boots to run a race with him, and the bewitching eyes of Pleasure herself looked grave and sleepy compared with the glistening orbs of her votary!


THE KING OF BRENTFORD'S TESTAMENT.

BY MICHAEL ANGELO TITMARSH.

The noble King of Brentford
Was old and very sick;
He summoned his physicians
To wait upon him quick;
They stepped into their coaches,
And brought their best physick.
They crammed their gracious master
With potion and with pill;
They drenched him and they bled him:
They could not cure his ill.
"Go fetch," says he, "my lawyer,
I'd better make my will."
The monarch's royal mandate
The lawyer did obey;
The thought of six-and-eightpence
Did make his heart full gay.
"What is't," says he, "your majesty
Would wish of me to-day?"
"The doctors have belaboured me
With potion and with pill;
My hours of life are counted,
O man of tape and quill!
Sit down and mend a pen or two,
I want to make my will.
"O'er all the land of Brentford
I'm lord, and eke of Kew;
I've three per cents., and five per cents.;
My debts are but a few;
And to inherit after me
I have but children two.
"Prince Thomas is my eldest son,
A sober prince is he,
And from the day we breeched him
Till now he's twenty-three,
He never caused disquiet
To his poor mama or me.
"At school they never flogged him,
At college, though not fast,
Yet his little go and great go
He creditably passed,
And made his year's allowance
For eighteen months to last.
"He never owed a shilling,
Went never drunk to bed;
He has not two ideas
Within his honest head;—
In all respects he differs
From my second son, Prince Ned.
"When Tom has half his income
Laid by at the year's end,
Poor Ned has ne'er a stiver
That rightly he may spend;
But spunges on a tradesman,
Or borrows from a friend.
"While Tom his legal studies
Most soberly pursues,
Poor Ned must pass his mornings
A-dawdling with the muse;
While Tom frequents his banker,
Young Ned frequents the Jews.
"Ned drives about in buggies,
Tom sometimes takes a 'bus;
Ah! cruel Fate, why made you
My children differ thus?
Why make of Tom a dullard,
And Ned a genius?"
"You'll cut him with a shilling,"
Exclaimed the man of writs;—
"I'll leave my wealth," said Brentford,
"Sir Lawyer, as befits;
And portion both their fortunes
Unto their several wits."
[245]
"Your Grace knows best," the lawyer said,
"On your commands I wait."
"Be silent, sir," says Brentford,
"A plague upon your prate!
Come, take your pens and paper,
And write as I dictate."
The will as Brentford spoke it
Was writ, and signed, and closed;
He bade the lawyer leave him,
And turned him round and dozed;
And next week in the churchyard
The good old king reposed.
Tom, dressed in crape and hat-band,
Of mourners was the chief;
In bitter self-upbraidings
Poor Edward showed his grief;
Tom hid his fat white countenance
In his pocket-handkerchief.
Ned's eyes were full of weeping,
He faltered in his walk;
Tom never shed a tear,
But onwards he did stalk,
As pompous, black, and solemn,
As any catafalque.
And when the bones of Brentford,
That gentle king and just,
With bell, and book, and candle,
Were duly laid in dust,
"Now, gentlemen," says Thomas,
"Let business be discussed.
"When late our sire beloved
Was taken deadly ill,
Sir Lawyer, you attended him
(I mean to tax your bill);
And as you signed and wrote it,
I pr'ythee read the will."
The lawyer wiped his spectacles,
And drew the parchment out;
And all the Brentford family
Sate eager round about.
Poor Ned was somewhat anxious,
But Tom had ne'er a doubt.
"My son, as I make ready
To seek my last long home,
Some cares I feel for Neddy,
But none for thee, my Tom;
Sobriety and order
You ne'er departed from.
"Ned hath a brilliant genius,
And thou a plodding brain;
On thee I think with pleasure,
On him with doubt and pain."
"You see, good Ned," says Thomas,
"What he thought about us twain."
"Tho' small was your allowance,
You saved a little store,
And those who save a little
Shall get a plenty more;"
As the lawyer read this compliment,
Tom's eyes were running o'er.
"The tortoise and the hare, Tom,
Set out at each his pace;
The hare it was the fleeter,
The tortoise won the race;
And since the world's beginning
This ever was the case.
"Ned's genius, blithe and singing,
Steps gaily o'er the ground;
As steadily you trudge it,
He clears it with a bound;
But dulness has stout legs, Tom,
And wind that's wondrous sound.
"O'er fruits and flowers alike, Tom,
You pass with plodding feet;
You heed not one nor t'other,
But onwards go your beat:
While Genius stops to loiter
With all that he may meet;
"And ever as he wanders
Will have a pretext fine
For sleeping in the morning,
Or loitering to dine,
Or dozing in the shade,
Or basking in the shine.
"Your little steady eyes, Tom,
Though not so bright as those
That restless round about him
Your flashing genius throws,
Are excellently suited
To look before your nose.
"Thank heaven then for the blinkers
It placed before your eyes;
The stupidest are steadiest,
The witty are not wise;
O bless your good stupidity,
It is your dearest prize!
"And though my lands are wide,
And plenty is my gold,
Still better gifts from nature,
My Thomas, do you hold—
A brain that's thick and heavy,
A heart that's dull and cold—
"Too dull to feel depression,
Too hard to heed distress,
Too cold to yield to passion,
Or silly tenderness.
March on; your road is open
To wealth, Tom, and success.
"Ned sinneth in extravagance,
And you in greedy lust."
("I'faith," says Ned, "our father
Is less polite than just.")
"In you, son Tom, I've confidence,
But Ned I cannot trust.
"Wherefore my lease and copyholds,
My lands and tenements,
My parks, my farms, and orchards,
My houses and my rents;
My Dutch stock and my Spanish stock,
My five and three per cents.;
[246]
"I leave to you, my Thomas."
("What, all?" poor Edward said;
"Well, well, I should have spent them,
And Tom's a prudent head.")
"I leave to you, my Thomas—
To you, IN TRUST for Ned."
The wrath and consternation
What poet e'er could trace,
That at this fatal passage
Came o'er Prince Tom his face;
The wonder of the company,
And honest Ned's amaze!
"'Tis surely some mistake,"
Good-naturedly cries Ned;
The lawyer answered gravely,
"'Tis even as I said;
'Twas thus his gracious majesty
Ordained on his death-bed.
"See here, the will is witnessed,
here's his autograph."
"In truth our father's writing,"
Says Edward with a laugh;
"But thou shalt not be a loser, Tom,
We'll share it half-and-half."
"Alas! my kind young gentleman,
This sharing may not be;
'Tis written in the testament
That Brentford spoke to me:
'I do forbid Prince Ned to give
Prince Tom a halfpenny.
"'He hath a store of money,
But ne'er was known to lend it;
He never helped his brother,
The poor he ne'er befriended;
He hath no need of property
Who knows not how to spend it.
"'Poor Edward knows but how to spend,
And thrifty Tom to hoard;
Let Thomas be the steward then,
And Edward be the lord;
And as the honest labourer
Is worthy his reward,
"'I pray Prince Ned, my second son,
And my successor dear,
To pay to his intendant
Five hundred pounds a-year;
And to think of his old father,
And live and make good cheer."
Such was old Brentford's honest testament.
He did devise his moneys for the best,
And lies in Brentford church in peaceful rest.
Prince Edward lived, and money made and spent;
But his good sire was wrong, it is confessed,
To say his son, young Thomas, never lent.
He did; young Thomas lent at interest,
And nobly took his twenty-five per cent.
Long time the famous reign of Ned endured
O'er Chiswick, Fulham, Brentford, Putney, Kew;
But of extravagance he ne'er was cured.
And when both died, as mortal men will do,
'Twas commonly reported that the steward
Was a deuced deal the richer of the two.

FRANK HEARTWELL; OR, FIFTY YEARS AGO.

BY BOWMAN TILLER.

CHAPTER IX.

When lawyer Brady was first taken into custody he seemed to treat the matter very lightly, for he relied greatly on his own sagacity in keeping his schemes from the knowledge of all except immediate confidants, who would, he trusted, render him every assistance for the purpose of dragging him through the difficulties in which he found himself involved. Amongst the most prominent of these was Mr. Acteon Shaft, to whom he promptly communicated his situation; but as no one was allowed to have a private interview with the prisoner, previously to his examination, Mr. Shaft forbore visiting him till after his committal for trial to Cold Bath Fields prison—at that time called the Bastille by the disaffected. He found Brady utterly subdued by the weight of evidence which had[247] been brought against him, and wholly at a loss to account for the accuracy by which it had been got up. The cunning of the lawyer had been completely foiled, and Frank's inauspicious appearance and testimony had almost overwhelmed him, whilst the dependence he had placed on old associates met with the disappointment which generally follows the unseemly combinations of disreputable characters,—he found himself abandoned by nearly all his former parasites and admirers, with the additional mortification of suspecting that some amongst them had been the medium through which his proceedings had been betrayed. In this frame of mind it cannot be expected that he was very communicative—in fact, he knew not on whom to fix; Shaft himself might be the individual who had given the information, and therefore he felt that it behoved him to exercise caution: their interview, consequently, was of short duration, and terminated abruptly, both apparently weary of the other.

To the clear view of the lawyer there seemed to be but one chance for his life, and that was escape from prison. Shipkins still adhered to his master, and was the supposed channel of correspondence between the latter and an eminent barrister, who, it was alleged, had undertaken Brady's cause, but for the present remained in the background. It is true that the clerk was suspected, and a watch was set upon them when together; but their conversation was generally carried on in too low a tone to be distinctly overheard or understood, though not unfrequently their gestures manifested warm disputes, if not downright quarrels, and muttered threats and menaces were exchanged, which usually terminated in earnest appeals from the master, and the seeming acquiescence of the clerk.

The apartment[17] occupied by Brady was one of those appropriated to state prisoners—and the lawyer was well acquainted with its locality, having frequently visited this particular part, to hold consultations with his clients, who were confined for political offences. Its dimensions were about twelve feet by eight; but one corner was occupied by the fire-place so as to face the opposite angle of the room, and as many indulgences were allowed by the authorities, and others were procured by the aid and connivance of turnkeys, there was an air of comfort about it which was rendered more striking by comparison with other parts of the building. There were two strongly-grated windows facing the north, and as the room was thirty feet from the ground it commanded a distant view of Highgate and the neighbouring upland, whilst the adjacent grounds—now nearly covered with houses—were at that time open fields.

In his visits Shipkins had contrived to furnish Brady with extremely sharp files, and the latter occupied himself, during several nights, in cutting through the bars of one of the windows, which after nearly a fortnight's labour he successfully effected, and from his general demeanour during the day no suspicion was excited. On the night which he had fixed for his escape, he was locked up at the usual hour, and anxiously did he await the time he had appointed with Shipkins to make the trial. Brady was not deficient in courage; but when he heard the deep sonorous[248] and lengthened tones of St. Paul's clock, as they came swelling on the breeze, a sickening sensation crept over him. Watt had recently been executed at Edinburgh for treason, under somewhat similar charges as those brought against Brady, but not of so aggravated a nature. The lawyer was aware of this, and being a clever man in his profession, he knew his case to be so glaring, that he could expect nothing but conviction, without a shadow of mercy. His present attempt, therefore, was for the preservation of his existence, and every stroke of the cathedral clock was to him as a death-knell, to warn him of his future fate, should his endeavours fail.

The sounds proclaiming the midnight hour had ceased—the wind from the south came in fitful gusts through the long passages and up the winding staircase, and its moaning noise resembled the wail of lamentation from those who were suffering the punishment for crime. Brady listened for a moment, and then his energies reviving, he wrenched away the bars from their slight hold, and cautiously placed them in the room. A coil of sash-line doubled and knotted was drawn forth from beneath his bed—one end was thrown over the projecting frieze of the side wall, which flanked his window, the other he held in his hand; but hardened as the man was, and thus peculiarly situated, he breathed forth a prayer to Heaven for deliverance. His descent was easy, but just as he had gained the ground, a lurid light was suddenly spread around him—and in the impulse of the moment, the villain, who but a minute or two before had been petitioning the Omnipotent to save him, now drew forth a sharp-pointed stiletto, determined to perpetrate murder should there be only one to oppose him. The light, however, disappeared, and he felt disposed to ridicule his own alarm, as he called to recollection that it emanated from a rocket which had been sent up from that noted and much-frequented place of amusement, Bagnigge Wells. Without further delay, he proceeded to the outer wall, about fifty yards distant, and here, at a particular spot, he found that a rope-ladder, with a stone attached to the end, had been thrown over, which satisfied him that his confederate Shipkins had not deserted him. In a few minutes he was on the summit of the wall, and could perceive a dark moving mass below; he looked over the dim expanse, and gloomy as it was in the dreariness of night, it reminded him of freedom. In a short time the rope was secured, by working it in between the coping stones, so that a knot could not be drawn through, and after trying his weight he descended totally unobserved, and found his ally awaiting him. The Fleet river, which flowed by the western wall, was passed, a hackney-coach was at hand in the road, and they drove off in the direction of Islington.

A few days subsequently Brady got down upon the coast, and obtained a passage across to France, where he remained a spectator of, and often an actor in, the revolutionary atrocities that marked this eventful era. Reports, however, were prevalent that he had returned to England—the police were directed to be on the alert; but though it was repeatedly averred that he had been seen in London and its precincts, he contrived to escape the vigilance of all.

[249]

CHAPTER X.

When Frank Heartwell visited the estate of Mr. Wendover, near Fowey, and had an interview with Helen, the merchant had journeyed to the metropolis to examine the property that had been so strangely discovered in the cottage at Finchley, and which had been deposited for security in his mansion; for his steward had discovered amongst the papers, deeds involving a vast amount, together with several thousand pounds in bank-notes, the whole belonging, he had every reason to believe, to a person then in existence. Mr. Wendover went down to Finchley, and ascertained by a registry of names and documentary evidence, that an extensive conspiracy, connected with the revolutionary societies of the day, had been in fearful progress, and that one of the principal leaders and agents had formerly been in possession of the cottage, where arms and ammunition had been collected to carry out their traitorous designs; but the promptitude of the government had arrested some of the chiefs in the intended insurrection, and the voice of the nation had so unequivocally declared against revolution, that the plan had been abandoned, and the arms remained in concealment. On examining the deeds, he was much struck by reading in numerous places the name of Heartwell; and even the parcels of bank-notes which were found in a tin-box had similar superscriptions on the envelopes which inclosed them; with only this difference, that the christened name in the former was Thomas, and on the latter Frank.

Mr. Wendover was well acquainted with Mrs. Heartwell's affecting history, and he could not help connecting the discovery of the wealth with the great loss she had sustained, especially as frequent mention was made of Calcutta, where a valuable property was situated; still there was nothing of a definite nature to prove the fact. The merchant, though fond of money, was also an honourable man: he might have appropriated the treasure to his own use, but he determined to institute a rigid investigation, and then act with integrity. He accordingly waited on Mrs. Heartwell, and minutely inquired into every circumstance of her melancholy story; from thence he repaired to the agent and banker, through whose hands the documents had passed; and here at once his doubts were set at rest, for most of the papers were identified by the clerk (now a partner in the firm), who had delivered them up in Brady's office, and produced the acknowledgment of their being received, in which the whole were distinctly noted and set forth, so as accurately to correspond with those which were found; and on referring to the books, the very numbers of the bank-notes were ascertained.

All was thus far perfectly satisfactory, and Mr. Wendover lost no time in communicating the intelligence to Mrs. Heartwell, to whom the acquisition of riches was only acceptable, as tending to promote the welfare of her son. Everything was put in proper train to secure her right, and she now experienced a melancholy satisfaction in returning to the cottage, as she cherished a fervent hope that there the mystery which hung over the fate of her husband would be solved. At no time had she yielded to utter despondency; but the merchant strongly suspected that[250] the lieutenant had been decoyed or forced to the cottage, murdered, and his remains deposited in some of the vaults underground, which (under pretence of requiring repairs, so as not to wound Mrs. Heartwell's feelings) were immediately ordered to be cleared, and every part strictly examined. This was faithfully executed, but nothing whatever was discovered to elucidate the affair, beyond the fact, that the former occupants were men of daring and desperate character, whose names were unknown in the neighbourhood.

Mr. Wendover returned to Cornwall for the purpose of removing his family to the metropolis; he promised Mrs. Heartwell to inform her son of the events which had transpired, and if possible to put into Plymouth and perform it personally. After some delay the anxious mother wrote all the particulars to the young officer, and the letter reached Plymouth on the very day that Frank sailed for the Mediterranean, so that he departed wholly ignorant of his good fortune.

Young Heartwell's breast glowed with warm and joyous feelings, when the thoughts of his having rescued Helen from death dwelt upon his mind:—and when did he forget it? He had shown her proud father that he was not undeserving of friendship and patronage, and he had again proved to Helen the devotedness of his regard. The Mediterranean offered a fair field for promotion to those who were determined to merit it; for Nelson was there, and his name carried with it a conviction that daring achievements and good conduct would not be suffered to sink into oblivion.

The frigate made a quick passage to Gibraltar, where she was suffered to remain only a few hours, and was then directed to pursue her way with despatches for Sir Horatio Nelson. It was known that the French fleet was out from Toulon, and the gallant admiral in pursuit, but his exact situation rested on conjecture. With a fine breeze the captain steered for Sicily, and found the fleet at Syracuse, preparing to get under weigh; the despatches were delivered, the supernumeraries of the frigate were transferred to the flag-ship—the Vanguard; and thus Frank and his two humble friends, Ben and Sambo, had the honour of being within the same heart-of-oak with the gallant hero whose fame has been immortalised throughout the world, and whose name is sanctified by a nation's gratitude. Nelson was ever kind and considerate to young officers,—he looked upon them as under his immediate protection and care, and Frank's appearance and manners very soon attracted his notice; he inquired relative to his future prospects—learned the story of his life—had been acquainted with his father, and he now promised to befriend the son, should the young man prove deserving of his patronage. As a pledge of his future intentions, he promoted a meritorious midshipman to the rank of lieutenant, and gave Frank the vacant rating, "in order," as the admiral said, "to give him a stronger claim upon the Admiralty when they had captured or destroyed the fleet of the enemy," for he entertained no doubt of the result could he but fall in with them.

The Battle of the Nile is a matter recorded in the pages of history, and no Englishman can be ignorant of its details—therefore description will be unnecessary here. Ben was in his glory, and though his gun was twice nearly cleared of men, and himself severely wounded, he continued[251] nobly performing his duty, taking a steady aim in the darkness by the fire of their opponents, the Spartiate and Aquilon—exclaiming as he applied the match to the priming, "Hurrah! there it goes, my boys! What's the odds so as you're happy?"

Frank was on the quarter-deck near the undaunted chief when he fell wounded into the arms of Captain Berry, and Nelson's face was instantly covered with blood that deprived his remaining eye of sight—a piece of langridge having struck him across the forehead and cut away a portion of skin, that hung down like a flap. Frank assisted in carrying the brave admiral to the cockpit, and was witness to his magnanimity, when he refused to have his own wounds dressed until those who had precedence of him were attended to. He recognised the midshipman by his voice—pressed his hand—requested Captain Berry not to forget his interests, and bade the young man "farewell," for Nelson believed that he was dying. Happily for his country, the hero lived—the enemy was beaten, and Frank, with strong certificates and recommendation, was sent home in one of the captured ships that he might be enabled to pass his examination at Somerset House, and avail himself of Nelson's kind intentions. It would be impossible to describe the emotions that agitated the young officer when apprised on his arrival of the events that had occurred to advance his good fortune, and the prospect of a favourable consideration in the esteem of Mr. Wendover, which promised him future happiness with the dear girl he so ardently loved.

As soon as possible he obtained leave of absence, and Ben, whose wounds required attention, accompanied him to London. The meeting with his mother and Helen was joyous and delightful; but still there came painful thoughts of his father blending with those of a happier mood, and, like Mr. Wendover, he connected circumstances together till something like conviction had established itself that the cottage was the spot in which his parent had been plundered and destroyed.

Helen was no longer forbidden to hold intercourse with Frank—the merchant himself now sanctioned the intimacy, and never ceased expressing his admiration at the young man's conduct when his yacht was wrecked. Ben found an asylum at the cottage; but when commiserated on account of the injuries he had sustained, he declared that he was proud of his "honourable scars."—"They were gained," he would say, "under Nelson, fighting for my king and country—and what's the odds so as you're happy?"

Frank passed his examination very creditably—he was not forgotten by Earl Chatham—his testimonials were excellent, and three days afterwards he was presented with a lieutenant's commission, appointing him to a seventy-four, recently launched at Woolwich; he joined without delay, as the duties would not prevent his frequent visits to Finchley. It was at the close of a dull November afternoon that he sat in the parlour of the cottage alone; for on his arrival about an hour previous, he ascertained that his mother and Ben had suddenly been summoned to the City on business of importance, and the servant-man had driven them to town in her own little carriage—the gardener had been sent for to the manor-house, and no one remained but the maid-servant and a young girl.[252] More than once the lieutenant rose from his seat, and taking his hat, prepared to set out, and pass an hour or two with Helen, but, anxious to learn the purport of his mother's embassy, and conjecturing that she would not be long before she made her appearance, he again seated himself in restless anxiety.

The early shades of evening began to fall heavily, and there was a sickly yellow mistiness in the atmosphere that gave a jaundiced complexion to the visions of the mind. Frank felt its influences, and was growing somewhat melancholy, when a stranger alighted from his horse at the gate, rung the bell, and having inquired for Mrs. Heartwell, rather intrusively walked into the house, and entered the parlour; but observing the lieutenant, he became evidently embarrassed, though, instantly recovering himself, he made a suitable apology in homely language. His dress and manners were those of a plain elderly country farmer—a drab great-coat with its cape encompassed his person, a capacious silk handkerchief was round his neck, his hair was cropped and grizzly, surmounted by a broad-brimmed hat, and he carried a hunting whip in his hand. Frank stirred the fire so as to throw a stronger light into the room, and having requested the stranger to take a chair, politely required his business. "You are, I understand, young gentleman, about to quit this cottage," replied he, "and as I am retiring from farming, and like the situation, I should be happy to take it off your hands—either as tenant, or by purchase."

"I am utterly unable, sir, to afford you any satisfactory answer on the subject," said Frank; "the cottage belongs to Mr. Wendover, the lord of the manor, and I am not yet certain that our quitting it has been decided upon, though I admit it may take place."

"In the event of your leaving, would the gentleman you have named feel disposed to part with it, think you?" inquired the stranger. "I would give him a handsome price—for in fact there are early associations connected with the place that attach me to it. You, perhaps, would exercise your influence in my favour?"

The mention of early associations aroused Frank's curiosity, he rang the bell, and ordered candles to be brought, and as soon as they were placed upon the table, he once more adverted to the pleasantness of the cottage, and then enquired, "Pray, sir, is it long ago since you resided here?"

"Yes—yes—I may say it is seventeen or eighteen years," responded the stranger. "I lived with a relation then, and admire the situation so much that I should like to pass the rest of my days upon the spot."

The lieutenant felt his blood tingle down to his fingers' ends at the mention of the period—it was one full of deep interest to him, and casting a searching look at the man, he demanded, "You must know Brady, then?"

Frank Heartwell seizing Brady as the murderer of his Father.

The question was like an electric shock to the stranger—he started, his countenance became contorted, and in the wild rolling of his eye, Frank was instantly reminded of the period at which he had first seen it when a child in the lawyer's room at Lincoln's Inn. He sprang from his chair, and grasping the man by the collar, exclaimed, "You—you are my father's murderer!" Brady drew a pistol, and presented it at Frank's head—the lieutenant knocked up the muzzle, and the ball flew harmlessly to the ceiling. At this moment two men rushed in to the lawyer's rescue, but[253] not till Frank had wrenched the pistol from his hand, and struck him a severe blow with the butt—the next instant the candles were extinguished, and Heartwell lost consciousness through the stunning effects of a hit on the back of his head, and resigned his grasp; he quickly, however, regained it, and a desperate struggle ensued. At this moment the gardener returned from the manor-house—he had seen a light waggon standing on the common under the care of a boy, and on entering the gate, had been nearly knocked down by a tall stout man, who mounted a horse that was in waiting, and galloped off. Hurrying into the cottage, his timely succour turned the fate of the encounter—the two scoundrels were overmatched; one contrived to steal away, Frank still grasped the other, and having managed to get hold of his dirk that lay upon a sofa, the fellow was wounded past resistance and sank upon the floor. Lights were brought; the lieutenant gazed earnestly on the face of his prisoner—it was not Brady, but Shipkins; for the lawyer, though desperately hurt, had taken advantage of Frank's momentary weakness to throw down the candles and effect his escape, and the lieutenant had unknowingly seized the clerk in his stead.

Great were the consternation and alarm of Mrs. Heartwell on her return from the metropolis, to which she had been deluded by a pretended message got up by the vile confederates. The gardener too was similarly deceived; for the scoundrels, unaware that the treasure had been removed, had hoped to find the cottage destitute of protection, so that they might easily carry off the booty they expected to find. Frank's presence had disconcerted Brady, who invented a plausible excuse, but villany met with detection and punishment, as already described.

When calmness was somewhat restored, it was proposed to send Shipkins to prison in the waggon which had brought him out on his nefarious excursion; but the man was evidently dying, and Mrs. Heartwell conjectured that by detaining him at the cottage, and treating him with kindness, he might be induced to make admissions and confessions which would tend to elucidate the past. At first, however, he was stubborn and morose, and refused the assistance that was proffered him—he was not aware that his last hour was so near at hand, but when assured by a surgeon that he had not long to live, and he was earnestly exhorted to unburthen his mind of guilty concealment before entering the presence of his Maker, the hitherto hardened sinner was subdued—the near approach of death, and the terrors of a future state, wrought powerfully on his conscience, and these increased as his physical energies decayed.

None can tell the agonised suspense of Mrs. Heartwell and the agitation of her son as that period seemed to be drawing nearer and nearer which, they expected, would disclose the fate of a husband and a father. Frank, though much hurt, would not quit his mother, and both occasionally visited the room of the dying man. Remorse at length prevailed, and willing to atone as far as practicable for his misdeeds, he requested that a magistrate might be sent for to take his deposition. Mr. Wendover, acting in that capacity, promptly attended, and to him he revealed acts of enormity and crime in which he and Brady had for years been engaged, particularly the circumstances connected with the victim of their diabolical practices—Lieutenant Heartwell.


[254]

THE FIRE-KING FLUE.

I.
Who burnt the House of Lords?
Who, sir, who?
An answer broke
Through fire and smoke,
"I burnt it down,
And it wasn't in joke!
With a horrible flare-up
I caused it to glare up,
I done it 'quite brown'
To astonish the town!
Yes, I burnt it down!"
You, you! Who are you?
"Why, I am the Fire-King Flue!"
II.
Who burnt St. Stephen's Chapel?
Ay, who, sir, who?
In thunder the same,
Through fume and flame,
The answer came,
"I burnt the chapel,
And panted to grapple
With Abbey and Hall;
'Twere easy to do
As roasting an apple,
Or smashing a stall—
For I am the Fire-King Flue!"
III.
Who fired the Royal Exchange?
Yes, who, sir, who?
The reply as before
Came in ravage and roar—
"I fired the 'Change
With a bad kitchen range!
Should I do it once more
When 'tis rear'd up anew,
You must not think it strange,
Since I'm fire-proof too;
Yes, I am the Fire-King Flue!"
IV.
Who tried to fire the Bank?
Ah! who, sir, who?
"Why, I tried the Bank,
Though it wouldn't quite do;
And the City may thank
The fire-brigade
With their hose and tank;
Or the blaze I made
Would have fired that too—
Yes, I, the great Fire-King Flue!"
V.
Oho! is it so?
Then we pretty well know,
Who set fire to the Tower.
We do, we do!
In evil hour,
King Flue, 'twas you!
With your red-hot pipe
For mischief ripe—
With your fiery breath
Bringing ruin and death—
With your cast-iron face,
You set fire to the place—
Oh! pest of our race,
Grim, ghastly, Fire-King Flue!
VI.
Who burnt Woolwich Dockyard, eh?
Who, who, who?
"I—King Flue!
A bit of a flare, you'll say;
Yes, thanks to the drum and gong,
And the engines thundering along,
And sappers and miners,
All regular shiners,
Marines and artillery,
And convicts that flock'd
As if freed from the pillory;
Or between me and you
The Dockyard had been dock'd,
As sure as my name's King Flue!"
[255]
VII.
Who'll set the Thames on fire?
"I will," says Flue;
"'Tis the thing I should like to do!
Only give me the Tunnel
To use for a funnel
Of thrice-heated air,
And you'll see such a flare!
Or the Monument—that would do;
In fact I should much prefer it;
'Twould make such a capital flue;
Or when the tide turning
Found out it was burning,
'Twould do for a poker to stir it."
VIII.
To save our notes and gold,
And our trophies now too few;
To save our buildings old
And to save our buildings new;
Tell us, Braidwood, what shall we do?
Spirits Aquatic, help us through,
For we're in the clutch of fierce King Flue!
This prayer at least put up,
Good people, before you sup:
"God bless the Queen, and her loving Prince,
And the Royal Infants two;
And castle and palace
Preserve from the malice
Of this terrible Fire-King Flue!"

P.S.—May we ask who threw
That shell in the Horse Guards,
With one in the barrack-yards
To blow up the Gallery too?
"Ha ha! Ho ho!" roars Flue,
"With that I had nothing to do;
So mind number one,
For foul deeds may be done,
Without coming through a foul flue!"

[Formerly, when a public building was scorched or burnt, the accident was accounted for by saying, "Oh! the plumbers have been at work"—or "It was the carpenter's glue-pot." "The flue" in these days supersedes every explanation; it is the great mystery that solves all other mysteries.]


A PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF MR. JOHN LEAKEY.

BY JOHN COPUS.

Mr. John Leakey inherited an income of five hundred a-year, and a very neat cottage, situated on the high road about three miles from C——, in one of the finest parts of the county of Essex. Of his parentage little need be said. His father was a clergyman, his maternal parent a cook in his grandfather's establishment whom his progenitor rashly married. This fact was a constant source of misery to the sensitive John, and will fully account for the decided antipathy, manifested by him on all occasions, to that useful class of domestics in general, and especially to that particular individual who happened for the time to superintend the culinary department of Hill Cottage. Indeed his language regarding cooks was occasionally quite shocking. His maiden sister Jemima, a highly nervous female of spare and meagre proportions, frequently went into small fits caused by John's outrageous and unbecoming language or conduct, when the subject of cooks was by any chance introduced.

"If I had my way," worthy John would say with stern voice and solemn countenance, "I'd let no woman be a cook who was not fifty at least; had it not been for Jane Grubbings I might hold up my head as a gentleman. They are all of them a set of vicious, impudent, and designing hussies. I attribute half the miseries of human life to cooks."

"No doubt, John—like enough!" replies the ever calm and peaceful Jemima, anxious to agree with her brother in all things; "I've always[256] said that nothing causes greater misery than indigestion, and badly-cooked things, you know, cause it; don't they, John?"

"Jemima, you're a jackass, so hold your tongue!" was the tender answer given to poor Jemima's remarks, on this and on every occasion.

It may be necessary to give the reader some idea of Mr. Leakey. He was a large tall man, of an unwieldy form and ogre-like gait. His countenance was broad and singularly flat; his eyes large and heavy; and as to his nose, I am quite at a loss in what category to class that nasal organ of his. At the top it was all very well, but in its descent it was like the stone gathering moss—a vires acquirit eundo kind of affair; for by the time it reached its termination it was fearfully broad. It was a family nose not maternally but paternally obtained, and that was one comfort. He had it in full vigour at school, and Jemima told a story about it. "Poor John," she would say to a gossip, "certainly has a funny nose. When he was at school, a procacious boy (Jemima occasionally miscalled words) took it into his head, d'ye know, that John had pushed it on purpose into his face, and every morning regularly when he got up, he used to pull it as hard as he could to ascertain, as he said, whether that sneaking nose of Leakey's would come out." A poor Irishman too who had applied for relief at Hill Cottage, and been repulsed, spoke of Leakey as a "quare gentleman anyhow! wid a face for all the world as if a crowner's quest had been on it, and the crowner being a great man, had sat on his face entirely, and the rist of them on his body, and brought in a vardict of 'Found Soft.'"

Enough, however, has been said of John's personal appearance; I only add that he wore bluchers, with trousers tightly strapped over them, cherished flannel waistcoats and comforters, was an intolerable politician because he never read anything but the ——, which was his oracle; and on the whole was a little close-fisted.

Years had flown quietly over Hill Cottage, from which, farther than occasionally to C——, neither John nor his sister Jemima had ever gone; nor indeed did they wish to go. Great, consequently, was the amazement and consternation which prevailed in their quiet little breakfast parlour, when there came from Mr. Jiggins, John's agent in town, a letter announcing said John's accession to some property, and the necessity of his appearance in the great metropolis for a few hours at the least.

"Three hundred a-year, John!" exclaimed his sister; "indeed you are a very fortunate man."

"Ay, ay! no doubt, Jemima; but what in the name of goodness gracious am I to do in London? I've not been there for thirty-five years."

"Well, love!" soothingly answered Jemima; "you can go up at seven by the Star, you know, and return again the same night. So you'd better write and tell Mr. Jiggins when you mean to go, and he can arrange matters accordingly." And John did write forthwith, appointing the hour of twelve on the following Tuesday, to meet the necessary parties at Jiggins' offices, in Tokenhouse Yard.

On Tuesday morning the whole household was in motion as early as four, the coach leaving at seven. There was such a wrapping of shawls, airing of musty camlet cloaks, and putting up of sandwiches and ginger lozenges, as never was seen before. Nay, Jemima insisted on his carrying[257] a basket with him in which she told him had been placed the Rousseaux left at yesterday's dinner.

The arrival of the Star at Hill Cottage put an end to all these preparations, and with fear and trembling Mr. Leakey was consigned to the inside of the coach. Jemima, elevated on her pattens, and bearing a lantern, came down to the end of the little garden for the purpose of recommending her brother to the especial care of the coachman Burrell, adding by way of further inducement on his part to attend to her request, a small fib, to the effect that "indeed he had not been at all well lately."

Nimrod has so eloquently described the utter amazement of a gentleman of the old school when travelling by a modern ten-mile-an-hour coach, as to render it quite unnecessary for me to attempt any description of worthy John's surprise at the rapid progress made by the Star towards the metropolis; how he gazed in silent wonder at the splendid teams of cattle which at every stage stood ready in their glittering harness to carry him on to town; and finally, how he marvelled when in the space of four hours he was safely landed in Aldgate, having travelled thirty-eight miles in that short time: on all this it is unnecessary for me to dilate. His troubles now seemed to crowd upon him.

"Vant a cab, sir?" eagerly demands an impudent-looking fellow, rushing up, whip in hand, to where the unhappy Leakey stood utterly confounded by the bustle which surrounded him. "Gen'lm'n called me, Bill," exclaims a second in a chiding voice; "I see him a noddin' his head as he come along!" "Don't you go vith them, sir!" angrily breaks in a third; "I've got a reg'lar comfortable old jarvey, sir, cut down o' purpose for you, 'cos I know'd you vos a coming up to-day—and sich a hoss—only cab fares, sir—this vay!" And he was beginning to drag off the unresisting Leakey, when, "Come, just move orf!" exclaims the burley voice of Burrell; "I'll put you into a coach, sir, and remember I leaves this here place at hafe past three, punctooal!" So John was placed in a coach.

"Vhere's shall I drive, sir?" demands the coachman. "Oh! ah!" exclaims our hero, drawing forth a card from which he reads—"a basket,—an umbrella,—a camlet cloak,—two shawls,—a great-coat,—a comforter,—a pair of galoshes,—all right—and self?—yes, then drive to Mr. Jiggins' offices in Tokenhouse Yard, Lothbury." "Wery good, sir." And off they went.

Arrived at Mr. Jiggins's office, he found that worthy engaged, and the other parties not arrived. "Give Mr. Leakey a chair, Jemes," said Mr. Jiggins, "and here's this morning's paper, sir; splendid leader, Mr. Leakey; powerful writing. Stir the fire, Jemes, and put some more coals on—that'll do."

So Leakey was placed on a chair before the fire to amuse himself with a perusal of a paper of whose existence he was only conscious by the fearful denunciations contained occasionally in the —— against it. There sat Leakey, still enveloped in his panoply of cloth and camlet, shawl and galoshes, eyeing "the leader" which had been the subject of Jiggins's eulogium. He read on. Could his eyes have ceased to possess discriminating power? or was there living the caitiff wretch so utterly reprobate[258] as to call his loved —— by such names? It was too true. The more he read, the more convinced was he of the utter depravity of the human heart, and especially of the horrible wickedness of the man who could coolly declare that long article in the ——, over which he, John Leakey, had only yesterday gloated, to be "twaddle." His anger was excessive; another moment and he would have cast "that pestilential rag," as he ever afterwards denominated the vituperating journal, into the fire, had not Jiggins at that moment entered, and with him the men whose presence was required for the settlement of John Leakey's affairs.

Scarcely checking his excited feelings, John suffered himself to be led to business. This being, after a time, satisfactorily finished, an adjournment took place to a neighbouring hostel; John, for once in his life, on the strength of three hundred a-year added to his former property, being generous enough to volunteer tiffin. The beefsteaks were done to a turn, the stout magnificent, the sherry first-rate. Jiggins had no particular business to call him home, so, with the two gentlemen beforenamed, thoroughly enjoyed himself at Leakey's expense, making fun occasionally of poor John, who, luckily, at all times rather obtuse, was becoming more and more muddled and confused every moment, so as not to dream, when his friends burst out into a loud laugh, that he was the subject of it. At half-past three, Jiggins accompanied our friend to Aldgate, saw him safely deposited once more in the Star, and as it was now raining heavily, and he had no further inducement to remain, wished him good-bye, and returned to Tokenhouse Yard.

The coach was full inside, and John had just satisfactorily arranged his camlet, &c., when Burrell came to the door, put his head gently in at the window, as he stood on the steps, and said, "Have you any objection, gen'lm'n, to let a young ooman ride inside? it's raining fearful, and she'll get her death, I know she will, outside."

"No, no!" gruffly responded the other three. It would have been well had John been equally opposed to five inside. As it was, however, "tiffin" had enlarged his heart, and he said, "Oh, yes, Burrell, I'll make room for her; you know, gentlemen, it would be a sad thing if she got her death through our unkindness."

The persons addressed made no reply, nor had Leakey much time to consider the prudence of his act, before the door was opened, and Burrell handed a good-looking young woman into the coach, who seeing no disposition on the part of the other three to make room for her, very quietly sat down on Mr. J. Leakey's knees, being no mean weight. This was, however, scarcely a voluntary act, for the coach moved on at the moment and forced her to assume that position. Thus for twelve miles did he sit, at times wincing rather under his somewhat uncomfortable position, and not particularly pleased with the undisguised amusement of the others.

Eventually he was liberated, for the three hard-hearted individuals left the coach at the end of twelve miles, and Leakey and the interesting female were left together. John felt that some little stimulus to his exhausted spirits might be desirable, so called for a glass of brandy-and-water; of which he drank as much as he wished for, and offered the rest to his fair vis-à-vis, who really seemed a very pleasing kind of person. She thanked[259] him, and saying, "Here's to your very good health, sir," smirked, and drank it off. When the coach went on again, Leakey felt wonderfully invigorated, and entered into conversation with the lady, who proved highly communicative as to the respectability of her mother, and the moral excellence of all her relations. It was a very critical moment for an old bachelor, muddled as poor John most undoubtedly was. He called to mind Jemima's spare figure and not very beautiful face, and more than once thought how much pleasanter it would be to have at the head of his table so comely and intelligent a person as seemed the interesting individual now before him.

"Infatuated a second time" (as Julia Mannering says to Bertram on his arrival from Portanferry at Woodburne, but why I never could discover)—"Infatuated a second time" was our hero, for a second glass of brandy-and-water was had at the next stage, and duly consumed between the lady and himself. Leakey was now thoroughly fuddled, and the lady more agreeable than ever. In short—for the afflicting, the humiliating truth will force its way—before the coach stopped to change for the last time, the frantic John Leakey had actually proposed to his unknown enslaver—nay, worse—he was her accepted!

It was not until this climax of his folly had put a temporary stop to conversation that he had time to think at all. Muddled as he was, he began to fear he had been too hasty. The fair lady was silent, as labouring under powerful emotions; and the coach having changed at C——, was not more than a mile from Hill Cottage, when she said, mildly—

"It's a very fortnit circumstance, sir, as I met with you; becos, I'm a going to a old genlm'n as lives near here—as——"

"Eh?" groaned John, "as—what, eh?"

"Oh, I was a going as cook; on'y, in course, I shan't stay with him long."

"As cook! my gracious me!" exclaimed, or rather screeched, the miserable man; "what's the gentleman's name?—tell me quick!"

"Mr. Leakey, sir!"

When Burrell opened the coach-door as soon as Hill Cottage was gained, he found the unhappy John Leakey perfectly frantic. "Coachman, Burrell, take her away! she's a cook! she's a vicious, designing, impudent thing! she's made me propose to her—me—me—the son of a cook—Oh! o-oh! o-o-oh!"

Draw we a veil over the proceedings which followed. Mr. Leakey, what with brandy and agony of mind, was put to bed perfectly raving. The cook was taken in for the night, and on being attacked by Jemima was scarcely restrained from flying at that exemplary spinster, who called her all the names she had ever heard her brother apply to women of her class. Next morning cook was dismissed, and shortly threatened an action, which Leakey was glad to compromise by the payment of one hundred pounds; making at the same time a solemn vow that he never would travel inside a coach again, or if he did, that he never would take compassion on a woman so far as to let her ride inside, though it should rain cats, dogs, and hedgehogs!


[260]

OMNIBUS CHAT.

It is essential to the full effect of a parody, whatever that may be, that the original—or, in other words, the thing parodied—should be familiar to the reader. Now, several parodies which we have this month received, undoubtedly possess that advantage. We have had three or four versions of "The Sweet Little Cherub that sits up aloft," dictated by the happy event that has given a young Prince to Wales, and a glad Promise to all England; we have received half-a-dozen parodies on "Gray's Elegy," suggested by the conflagration at the Tower; and we have also been favoured with a like number of variations of the "Beggar's Petition," commemorative of the detection of the fasting philosopher, Bernard Cavanagh, in the act of purchasing a "saveloy." But although the originals are all well known, we are tempted to pass these parodies by, in favour of one upon a poem which should be well known too. We allude to Alfred Tennyson's "Mariana at the Moated Grange." Whoso knoweth it not, will wisely let what follows attract his notice to a singularly touching production; and whoso remembereth it, will read with better relish, and no irreverence to the Beautiful thus companioned by the Burlesque, our accomplished correspondent's ingenious story of

THE CLERK.

A PARODY.

With black coal-dust the walls and floor
Were thickly coated one and all;
On rusty hinges swung the door
That open'd to the gloomy wall;
The broken chairs looked dull and dark,
Undusted was the mantel-piece,
And deeply speck'd with spots of grease
Within, the chamber of the clerk.
He only said, "I'm very weary
With living in this ditch;"
He said, "I am confounded dreary,
I would that I were rich."
His bills came with the bells at even;
His bills came ere their sound had died;
He could not think why bills were given,
Except to torture clerks—and sigh'd.
And when the flickering rushlight's flame
In darkness deep could scarce be seen,
He mutter'd forth his bottled spleen,
Unheard by aught of mortal frame.
He said, "My life is very dreary
With living in this ditch;"
He said, "I am tarnation weary,
I would that I were rich."
Upon the middle of the bed,
Sleeping, he dream'd of hoarded gold;
Sovereigns were jingling in his head,
And in his ken was wealth untold.
But when he woke, no hope of change,
In silver or in circumstance,
Before his sorrowing eyes did dance;
He thought that it was very strange—
But only said, "My life is dreary,
I'll go to sleep," he said;
He said "I am infernal weary,
I would that bill were paid."
About six fathoms from the wall,
A blackened chimney (much askew)
Smoked in his face—and round and small
The chimney-pots destroy his view,
Hard by—a popular highway,
With coal-dust turned to pitchy dark,
Where many a little dog doth bark,
Some black, some mottled, many grey.
He only said, "My life is dreary
With living in this ditch;"
He said, "I am fatigued and weary,
I would that I were rich."
E. P. W.

The intense melancholy of the solitary clerk, sighing in his ditch, brought up our scientific reporter, Charles Hookey Walker, with some lucid and valuable notes of an appropriate discourse lately delivered; we append them here, for the benefit of all the doleful clerks throughout her Majesty's dominions.

[261]

THE BRIGHTISH ASSOCIATION.—Section B.—Chemistry and Mineralogy.

President—The Rev. Hugh Wells. Vice-Presidents—Dr. Durham & Prof. Hammer.

"On the Formation and Analysis of a Direct Sigh." By Mr. F. Silly.

The author stated that the sigh-direct was that to which he had paid the greatest attention. The "sigh-direct," he explained, was entirely different from the "sigh-inverse," the one being the production of the heart, and the other of the brain; the first being the thing itself, the second merely the symbol of the thing. He found the sigh-direct to consist generally of floating ideas, in the forms of "O dear!" "Ah me!" and "Alas!" held in solution by about their own bulk of a vague composition, formed of wishes and a cloud-vapour (of that class which is used as a site for erecting castles in the air upon), but which were so mixed and intercorporated, as to be inseparable to the nicest analysation. From the analysis, he had determined that the prime motive of a sigh is a longing for more; and that the functions thus acted upon expand the animal economy to its greatest extent, for the purpose of gratifying the longing for getting as much as it can of something, which, in this case, is only air. And this led him to a concluding remark on the extreme uselessness and futility of sighing, perceiving, as he did, that it only gave extra work to the muscles, for no tangible consideration.

Mr. W. R. Fixe read a memoir on the probability of there being a constant chemical action, producing results yet unknown, in the interior of the earth, and that a current of electric fluid was constantly circulating through mineral veins; and that this circulation through the veins of living rocks was of as much importance in the formation of new productions, as the circulation of the blood in the veins of living men.

Our esteemed reporter proceeded to describe the proceedings of another Section.

Section D.—Zoology and Botany.

President—Sir Ely Phante. Vice-Presidents—Proffs. Munky and Nape.

"A New Method of Supplying Agricultural Surfaces." By S. Sappy.

The author had often remarked the tendency of thatched roofs to grow corn; and it struck him that these, at present unemployed surfaces, should be made use of to conduce to the support of the inmates of houses. By growing corn in this manner a family might render itself partially independent of the farmer, grow its own wheat, and thus, at once, be elevated in the scale of existence! He would call this practice stegoculture. He had introduced it in some of his tenants' cottages, and could assure the Association that nothing could have answered better than that experiment.

Mr. Soft observed it was one of those beautifully simple discoveries of application, as he would phrase it, which, like Columbus's egg, only required to be set up in the right manner, to stand a monument of ingenuity and genius to all future ages!

Mr. Plunkey (from the Statistical section) said, that this discovery had relieved his mind of a heavy weight; he had long hoped for some light to dissipate the gloom with which he viewed the increase of population, while the land did not increase, but, on the contrary, diminished; for, as generations sprung up, houses rose also; thus, as more crop-ground was needed, more ground was needed for buildings. But with the aid of stegoculture, he had now no reason to apprehend a scarcity of growing-room, but, on the contrary, it was evident to any geometrist, that the two sides of a roof were of greater area than the ground they cover, thus giving an increase instead of a diminution of surface. With the impressions he had of the usefulness of this mode of culture, he looked forward to the time when agriculture would vanish before the spread of human habitations, and the science of stegoculture become of universal application.

The President read a letter from Professor de Lenz, and the Schah Pyez, (Professor of Twigology in the University of Cairo), giving an animated description of their discovery of the skeleton of a male flea in the folds of a mummy cloth.

The secretary then read the report of the committee which was appointed last year to inquire into the reason, "why crocodiles laid eggs." The report stated,[262] that, the Association having furnished them with means (£500) to prosecute this inquiry, so important to science; they found it absolutely necessary to take a long and arduous journey into Egypt, to investigate the facts upon the spot. They had run great risks in pursuing their researches: having killed a crocodile for the purpose of dissection (which act had filled the Arabs with horror, as they consider the crocodile holy), they had narrowly escaped becoming martyrs in the cause of science. They had examined many hieroglyphics, and had discovered upon some of the most ancient, figures of a crocodile with wings,—this proved them to have been at one and the same time inhabitants of the water, the earth, and the air, and therefore, from their assimilation to the functions of birds, they laid eggs. This the committee had concluded was the reason of the phenomenon. They also stated, that, from the various facts which had come under their notice during this inquiry, they had no doubt that dragons at one time existed,—and proposed that a grant should be made for the purpose of searching for the skeleton of the famous Dragon of Wantley.

Mr. Smith (of London) read a paper showing that the popular story of "Jack and the Bean-stalk" was founded upon the old tradition of the Lotus-eaters, and that the idea of the tale had been taken from the alleged power the Lotus-fruit had in producing an elevation-above-the-clouds sort of feeling in the eater,—which was only transferred into reality in the case of Jack: the injunction of Pythagoras to his disciples to abstain from beans, being supposed to refer to the Lotus, may have given the idea of a bean-stalk to the novelist.

Dr. Daub stated, that by watering the ground round the roots of flowers with different chemical solutions, suited to the changes in colour wished for, he had been able to alter the tints of the petals to various colours, thus producing an agreeable and novel effect.


PLAYING ON THE PIANO.

The above communication having been read, a speculative listener suggested as a subject for one of the learned professors, the sympathetic connection which evidently exists between Music and Fire. He cited, as an old example of this, the fiddling of Nero during the burning of Rome; and related, as a recent proof of the secret affinity, the following story: "It is known," he said, "that during the fire at the Tower the soldiers in the fortress, as well as others, were occupied in removing the furniture of many of the inhabitants;" and free access was of course afforded them for that purpose. In one instance, a lady who had rushed up to the top of the house to secure some valuables, was, on descending after a short absence to the drawing-room, astonished to see two enormous 'British Grenadiers' attempting to play the Piano; upon being discovered, they struck up the 'Grenadiers' March' to 'double-quick time,' carrying off the 'upright grand' in a very orderly and soldier-like manner.

By the way, as we have here recurred to the subject with which we opened this Number, the fire at the Tower, we may mention that a relic of the wheel of the Victory is yet in existence; for a friend of ours assures us that while the fire was raging in the upper floors of the Armoury he saw a person saw off one of the handles of the said wheel; and if he have not yet given it into the hands[263] of the proper parties, we would recommend him to do so at once, or it may be made a handle against him.

It was upon another occasion that a lady and gentleman, who had just seen their opposite neighbour's house burnt down, were discussing the spectacle with great seriousness. "How I grieved," said the lady, "to see poor Mrs. Tims's beautiful damask curtains on fire." "Ah," returned her husband, who had a musical taste, "I didn't so much mind the curtains; but what grieved me most was to see the fireman playing upon that capital grand piano of theirs."

The subject next started was equally seasonable—though not seductive. The poet is evidently in the situation of one of her Majesty's subjects that we know of—who is the parent of more of her Majesty's subjects than we do know of—who, in fact, declares that his house is so "full of children" he cannot shut the street-door for them.


NOVEMBER WEATHER.

Autumn leaves are falling round us
Now, in all the late green gardens!
Summer flowers would quite astound us—
—Rare are they as "Queen Ann's fardens!"
Once green lanes are now mere sloshes;
Garden walks are quite unpleasant;
Cloaks, umbrellas, and goloshes,
Now are aught but evanescent!
All the shrubberies are dripping—
Plots of grass are soft and spungy—
Roads seem only made for slipping—
And we fall like—Missolunghi!
Now the streets are clear of rabble—
Shopkeepers find no employment—
Ducks and geese keep gabble, gabble—
Mocking us with their enjoyment!
Now we cry, "When will it leave off?"—
"What a very nasty day 'tis!"—
"There!—'tis clearing, I believe, off!"—
"No—how tiresome!—that's the way 'tis!"
"Sarah," says mama, "my dear love,
Don't waste time in looking out there,
Come, and learn your lesson here, love—
—Jacky, mind what you're about there!"
"John dear, MIND! you'll break that window,
Come away, John, there's a darling!—
Jane, love, put away that pin, do!—
Tom, do keep that dog from snarling!"—
"There! you've broke it, John!" "O please, ma,
—Couldn't help it!"—(here a blubber)
(Enter Pa.) "Why how you tease ma!—
Peace, you little squalling lubber!"
"Pray, my dear, don't let the children
Break the panes and roar like this now—
Lauk, the noise is quite bewild'ring!"
"Pa, give little Jane a kiss now."
Sweet to be "shut in" and quiet,
Pleasant souls all snug together!
But when "brats" are there to riot,
Heaven defend us from wet weather!—
C. H. W.

MRS. TODDLES.

Even the most agreeable offices and employments of life are sometimes accompanied by melancholy misadventures; and the pleasure which we enjoy from month to month in the good-humoured reader's company, is now subject to a very serious drawback; for a painful duty is imperatively imposed upon us. We have to express our deep and poignant regret at being the medium, innocently and unconsciously, of wounding the susceptible feelings of a lady. We have hurt the feelings of Mrs. Toddles, by publishing some particulars of her life. It is true, we did not consider them to be in the slightest degree calculated to produce such an effect, nor did we vouch for their accuracy: no matter; her feelings are hurt, her sensibilities are shocked; and that deeply-injured lady is entitled to, and is hereby offered, the expression of our most sincere and heartfelt regret.

Thus far in deference and delicacy to Mrs. Toddles. We must now proceed to state that we have received a letter from Col. Walker, or Talker, as he appears to sign himself, in which he remonstrates with us for publishing some professed particulars of the life of Mrs. Toddles, demands satisfaction and atonement on her part, and declares that even while his letter was being written, that injured lady was in violent hysterics. We conclude[264] from the tone of the gallant Colonel's complaints, that the public mention of Mrs. T.'s "age" has given offence; and our correspondent is pronounced to be totally misinformed on that as on other points. We grant this to be possible; we did not vouch for the accuracy of Mr. Sly's statement, and are of opinion that no gentleman can know a lady's age so well as she knows it herself. Our maxim is, that every lady has a right to be, at all periods of her life, exactly what age she pleases—thirty odd at sixty-two if she likes. We also admit that every lady has a right to go into hysterics as often as she sees occasion; but because Mrs. T. chooses to exercise these sacred privileges of her sex, we do not recognise Col. Talker's right to threaten us with "law," or to attempt to frighten us with notices of "action." We are not to be intimidated there; we have too many lawyers among our acquaintances, and very pleasant fellows they are too.

Col. Walker, as he was seen when going to fetch the Peppermint.

But, after all, we cannot conceive that there is any very great harm done; for we are perfectly well aware, whatever Col. Talker may say, that Mrs. T.'s "fit" was not of a nature to show that her sensibilities had been very seriously shocked, and we shall at once let the Colonel into our secret. We beg to tell him candidly that we know all about it. The fact is, that a correspondent of ours happens to reside exactly opposite Mrs. T.'s first floor, and without wishing to spy into other people's apartments, or affairs, could not help being a spectator of the scene he thus describes.

He says that Col. T., entering Mrs. T.'s apartment on the first floor aforesaid, found that lady in a state of great excitement, the "Omnibus," No. 7, in her hand. After pointing in a very agitated manner to the last page, she drew forth her pocket handkerchief. The gallant Colonel paced the room evidently moved; he then appeared to be attempting to soothe her, but in vain—she shook her bonnet violently, and went off in a fit. The Colonel hereupon, instead of rushing to the chimney-piece for the smelling-bottle, seized a pint decanter, and hastily quitted the house. Immediately after, the bit of a girl was seen attempting to force a glass of cold water upon her mistress, which only seemed to make her worse; for she kicked the girl's shins with those dear little bits of black legs of hers most violently, something in the manner of Mr. Punch after he has been thrown from his horse. The gallant Colonel, after a short absence, knocked at the street door, and the moment the girl left the room to admit him, up jumped Mrs. Toddles—fact!—ran to the looking-glass over the fire-place, put her bonnet to rights, completing the adjustment with the usual side glances right and left, and then, to the utter astonishment of our informant, she resumed her seat—and her fit!—Oh, Mrs. T.!

We suppress the remainder of our informant's description, merely remarking, that the pint decanter, when Colonel T. drew it from his pocket, contained, to all appearance, some strong restorative, the virtue and quality whereof the Colonel at once tested, by tossing off a bumper in the most gallant manner. We have since ascertained that it was peppermint.

Whether our statement will be satisfactory to Colonel Walker we neither know nor care; but with respect to Mrs. Toddles we have expressed our contrition, and promise never to mention her age again. Any kindness we can render her will be at all times hers, and as a slight token of our sincerity, we respectfully beg that lady's acceptance of a pound of mixed tea, (eight-shilling green, and six-shilling black, very good,) which is left at our publisher's, if she will send her girl for it.

Designed. Etched & Published by George Cruikshank. January 1st 1842.

Jack o'Lantern.


[265]

JACK-O'LANTERN.

Every man has his Jack-o'lantern;—in dark night, in broad noon day—in the lonely wild, or in the populous city—each has his Jack-o'lantern.

To this man Jack comes in the likeness of a bottle of old port, seducing him from sobriety, and leaving him in a quagmire; to that man, he appears in the form of a splendid phaeton and a pair of greys, driving him into bankruptcy, and dropping him into the open jaws of ruin. To one he presents himself in the guise of a cigar, keeping him in a constant cloud; to another he appears in no shape but that of an old black-letter volume, over which he continues to pore long after his wits are gone. Here you see Jack blazing in scarlet, and luring his dazzled follower on by military trappings alone to the pursuit of glory; and there Jack jumps about in the brilliant motley of harlequin, tempting a grave and leaden-heeled victim to dance away his nights and days. Jack-o'lantern is to some people, a mouldy hoarded guinea—and these he leads into the miser's slough of despond; with others, when he pays them a visit, he rolls himself up into the form of a dice-box—and then he makes beggars of them.

Poetry is one man's Jack-o'lantern, and a spinning-jenny is another's. Fossil bones, buried fathoms deep in the earth, act Jack's part, and lure away one class to explore and expound; Cuyps and Claudes, in the same way, play the same part with a second class, and tempt them to collect, at the sacrifice of every other interest, or pursuit in life. Jack will now take the likeness of a French cook, and draw a patriot from his beloved country to enjoy a foreign life, cheap; and now he will assume the appearance of a glass of water, persuading the teetotaller, who "drank like a fish" in his young days, to go further astray, and drink a great deal more like a fish in his old days.

Jack-o'lantern has some attractive shape for every age and condition. In childhood, he lures us, by overhanging clusters of cherries and currants, into regions consecrated to steel-traps and spring-guns; in after-age, he takes us irresistibly into the still more dangerous region of love and romance, winning us by his best lights—the bright eyes of woman; and to the very end of our days he finds some passion or prejudice wherewith to woo us successfully—some straw wherewith to tickle us, how wise-soever, and unwilling we may be.

The very seasons of the year—each has its Jack-o'lantern. The bright glancing sunshine of a spring morning, when it tempts us into a sharp east-wind under promise of sultriness;—the rich luxuriousness of summer, when it fills us with aches and cramps, after revelling in romps among the grass. Christmas—yes, Christmas itself has its Jack-o'lantern. We do not mean the great blazing fire, which has been properly called the heart and soul of it; no, Jack plays his part amidst the roysters in the jovial time, by urging extra plum-pudding, which involves extra brandy with it; by suggesting mince-pies, and other irresistibles, that involve a[266] fit of indigestion; by conjuring up blind-man's-buff, to lead one into the peril of rent skirts, and bruised heads; or by appearing in the form of a pack of cards, to the loss perhaps of one's money or one's temper * * *

Moralize we no longer upon Jack-o'lantern; he has led us to Christmas, and let him leave us there in pleasant company.


CHRISTMAS.

BY SAM. SLY.

Now is the time
For all things prime!
Cramm'd Turkeys, dropsied Lambs, and oily Geese,
Forced Chickens, bloated Pigs, and tons of grease;
Sir-loins of suet—legs, and wings, of fat,
And boys from school, to say they "can't touch that;"
Mountains of Mutton, tubs of tails and blubber,
Larks by the yard, like onions on a string,
And giblets by the pailful is a thing
Enough to turn the stomach of a grubber,
Unless he tweak his nose and shut his eyes.
And then again there's piles of Lemon-peel,
Hillocks of nutmegs, currants, plums, and figs;
And children gazing "merry as the grigs,"
Longing (for that which joy cannot conceal)
That some of these may sweeten their "minced pies."
Now, men get civil—lads more mild appear,
Than they were wont to do throughout the year;
The hat is doff'd—civilities come fast
That after Christmas who shall say will last?
Now, pens are busy writing out "old scores,"
And birds get pert and hop about our doors,
Fighting their comrades for the largest crumbs.
See that old lady shivering as she goes,
Furr'd to the eyes, and muffled to the nose,
And he who thumps his sides to warm his thumbs.
Mark the lone berry on the Mountain Ash
Like a child's coral on a leafless twig—
Watch the Tom-tit
That's shaking it:
He's getting desperate—bolting it slap dash—
A decent mouthful for a throat not big.
Now here's a pretty lesson for all sinners,
Hunger's the sauce to sweeten Christmas dinners.
The fire burns blue—the nearest part gets roasted—
The "off-side" suffers in the frigid zone;
Just like a slice of bread that's been half toasted—
One spot is brown'd—the other cold as stone.
The winds are hoarse, the sun gets shy and cool,
That is, he's not so warm with his embraces—
And old Jack Frost instead begins to rule,
So with his brush puts rouge on ladies' faces;
A tint more lovely than the finest powder,
And speaking to the eye and heart much louder.
Now friends get close—and cousins meet their cousins,
Babbies their daddies—aunts their pretty nieces;
The jokes go round, and lies perhaps by dozens,
And Jacky pulls his master all to pieces.
Now prayers and cards are all the go—
How's that you ask? Well, I don't know;
I only know—the fact is so!

[267]

A SNAP-DRAGON:

CONSISTING OF A SONG, A SONNET, AND A SERENADE.

A "JOLLY" SONG—By Charles Hookey Walker, Esq.

Leave, O! leave, that set of fellows,
Who are always sensible;
They give one the blues and yellows—
'Tis most reprehensible!
Stretch your mouths from ear to ear,
Never mind your beauty:
Wisdom never holds it dear—
Laugh, and do your duty!
Laughing does a person good,
Muscles exercising;
Helping to digest the food—
So 'tis not surprising
That by laughing all grow fat,
Chasing off the yellows,
The blue devils, and all that;
Laugh, then, jolly fellows!
Push the bottle round the board,
Tell the tale so merry,
Sing the songs that are encored.
Let's be happy—very!
Push the bottle round about,
Let us hear your singing,
Give it voice, and troll it out.
Set the glasses ringing!
"Here's a health to her I love!
Hip! hip! hip! hurra, sirs!"
"D'ye think, sir, that the gods above
Shave themselves with razors?"
"No, sir, to be sure they don't,
But with shells of oysters!"
"Wine with me, sir?" "No, I won't!"
Thus go on the roysters.
Laughing, quaffing, glee and fun!
That's the time of day, sir;
Laugh that life was e'er begun,
Laugh your life away, sir!
Never wish you ne'er were born,
Don't sit sadly sighing;
Morn and eve, from eve to morn,
Laugh, for time is flying!

SONNET TO "SOME ONE."

And thou wert there! and I was not with thee!
Thy bright eyes shone on many, but their ray
Was just as if you had been Alice Gray,
And hadn't braided up your hair for me.
This method of expressing it, you see,
Implies the same as if I were to say
(As vide song) your eyes were turned away,
And my heart's breaking!—as it ought to be—
(And so it is of course). This world is drear!
Most drear—without thee, Some One! at my side!
Death! peace! I'll go and drown myself, that's clear!
In the affairs of men I'll find my tide.
Yes! life has now no music for my ear,
Except that tune of which the old cow died!—C. H. W.

THE HOMŒOPATHIST'S SERENADE.

BY DR. BULGARDO.

The toiling sun has sped
To his ever-distant goal;
And the moon hangs overhead
Like a silver parasol.
Long has she not unfurled
Her banner thus on high,
But looked, for all the world,
Like a muffin in the sky.
The tears saline, I weep,
Have no effect I see;
The screech-owl talks in her sleep,
But thou say'st nought to me.
Thy eyelashes, love, are soft,
And long as a skein of silk;
Thou'rt harmless, it strikes me oft,
As a grain of sugar of milk.

[268]

WHAT DO YOU DO THAT FOR?

BY JOHN COPUS.


In this age of "why and because," wherein even Master Thomas is considered to be devoid of his proper share of intellects unless he demand a full and clear statement of the grounds on which papa considers it expedient that he should learn his letters—in this age of essays, treatises, and commissions, wherein a plethoric pig cannot quietly stuff itself to death without some Diabolus Gander investigating the probable causes which eventually led to that result—it has come into the head of one deeply and many times pondering, to call the attention of a discerning and inquiring public to various little customs and practices prevalent in the world; and this with a view of eliciting at some future time satisfactory explanations of their probable origin and rationale from abler pens and keener intellects than my own, rather than with the intention of supplying them myself.


Mr. Brown has seated himself in his cosey arm-chair by the fire, in his little parlour at Camberwell, having just bid adieu to the "bus" which daily conveys him to and from the City, and, with handkerchief spread over his broad countenance, is settling himself to sleep, surrounded by a wife and various olive branches; when—"Oh, my gracious evins!" exclaims his amiable spouse, a comely dame, of warm feelings, and peculiarity in expressing them, "here's Johnny been and cut hisself in such a manner you never see! Lawky-daisey me! Mr. Brown! Mr. Brown!! Johnny's a'most cut his finger orf!"

"Tsut, tsut, tsut, tsut!—deary me!—poor fellow!—tsut, tsut, tsut!" responds that individual, starting up.

Now, what on earth do you do that for, Brown? Come, roundly, your reason, sir? Do pray tell me why you produced the series of peculiar sounds represented by "tsut, tsut," &c. You are a stout man, and a sober man,—why, in the name of all that's unaccountable, did you utter them? But the fact is, you are not alone, Brown, in your inability to solve this difficult question. For I never yet encountered the man who could satisfactorily explain to me how or why those sounds have come to be admitted into general society, as heralds or harbingers of a condoling and sympathising speech, or indicative, without further remark, of inward and heartfelt commiseration for suffering humanity in the breast of him who utters them. Philosophers, just explain this!


"Let us go and hear Miffler preach this morning," said a friend to me the other morning, in the country: "his congregation is composed entirely of the poorest, and, I should think, the most ignorant portion of our agricultural population. But they say that he manages to preach so plainly, that every one can understand and follow him."

So off we set, and a pleasant walk across the fields brought us to Elmsleigh church—one of those exceedingly picturesque old places, with a funny wooden steeple, or spire, if it can be called so, rising from the still more ancient square tower. We found Mr. Miffler in the reading-desk[269] already, and, by his scarlet hood, knew him an Oxonian (we subsequently found he had been a first-class man). After reading the prayers exceedingly well, he ascended to the pulpit, and commenced his sermon. Now, supposing his congregation to have consisted of men of my friend's mental calibre, it was an exceedingly good and intelligible sermon; but to the majority of those present it was about as intelligible as High Dutch would have been, or Hebrew without the points. I could not help glancing at a countryman in his smockfrock and leggins, whose countenance forcibly recalled to my mind one of those grotesque satyrs occasionally seen carved on old chimney-pieces; and wondering as I gazed at him what train of thought the words which Miffler had just uttered—"the noxious dogmas exhibited in certain patiestic commentators, subsequent to the Nicene council"—had conjured up in his mind! Then again Miffler gravely informed his hearers that ambition was a deadly sin, warning them against it. Ambition!—to a clodhopper whose only aspiration after greatness is to get Farmer Jeffreys to keep him on at work through the winter!

Miffler, what do you do that for? But you, again, do not stand alone. Are there not many, many Mifflers guilty of the same absurdity, and equally unable with your reverend self to give any satisfactory reason for so doing, except that their predecessors have done it before them? Oh, ye hebdomadal boards, caputs, and convocations, explain all this!


"Yes, I assure you, Johnson, you never saw or heard of such a perfect fool in all your life. He literally thinks I am going to support him in idleness, and he doing nothing."

"No!"

"Yes! And, would you believe it, he called on poor Thompson, and tried to persuade him that I had behaved so shabbily to him that he really shall be obliged to cut me!"

"No!"

"Yes! and he told Brown, I owed him ever so much money."

"No!"

Johnson! what do you do that for? Why in the name of common sense do you say No! no! no! when you thoroughly believe all that poor Dickson has been telling you? This is a peculiar custom. Philosophers, all of you, attend to it. It needs explanation.


"Here's an invitation again from that odious Mrs. Peewitt!" says the fair but excitable Mrs. Framp, as she opens a scented envelope, and extracts therefrom an elegant note. "Yes! here it is:—

"'Mrs. John George Peewitt requests the pleasure of Mr. and Mrs. Framp's company to an evening party on Wednesday the —, at half-past eight.—Plover Lodge, Tuesday morning. An early answer will oblige.'"

"Now, my dear Framp," continues his lady wife, "I literally hate and detest that abominable Mrs. Peewitt!"

"Well, Laura, she is no favourite of mine, I promise you," retorts the male Framp: "and as to that Peewitt, he's a vulgar little brute. So you'd better answer it at once, Laura, declining it, you know—eh?"

[270]

In the course of the same afternoon Mrs. J. G. Peewitt is gratified by the reception of this—

"Mrs. Framp feels exceedingly grieved that she and Mr. Framp are unable to accept Mrs. J. G. Peewitt's kind invitation for Wednesday,——inst.—Grumpion Parade, Tuesday afternoon."

Now Mrs. Framp, what did you do that for? Between you and me, and to speak in plain English—you are a story-teller, Mrs. Framp. A story-teller! And you, old gentleman—the man Framp I address—are equally guilty of the fib, as an accessory before the fact. Again, this is a prevalent custom. Philosophers, summon moralists to your aid, and descant on this subject.


"I am sure you sing, Mr. Frederick," says a pasty-faced individual of the 'female sect,' to a young gentleman in white satin waistcoat and red whiskers, who has been pottering about the piano for some time.

"No, indeed, Miss Gromm!" he replies. "I assure you that I scarcely sing at all."

"Oh! I am quite sure, now, you do sing. Pray do sing. Will you look over this music-book? there are a great many songs in it. I am sure you will find something that will suit you."

"Oh! upon my word, Miss Gromm, I scarcely ever sing."

Fred! you know you've brought all your music with you to-night, and have practised it carefully over with your pretty sister Bessy, purposely to sing at the Gromms'.

Thus adjured, Mr. Frederick begins to turn over the leaves of the music-book, his eyes resting occasionally on such songs as 'The Rover's Bride,' 'The British Oak,' 'Wanted a Governess,' and other songs which Fred abominates. At last he turns to a very pretty girl sitting near him, and says faintly, "Bessy! did you bring any of your music?" His sister, who has been watching his proceedings, in mute surprise answers innocently enough, "Oh! yes, Fred, I brought all your songs, you know!" Fred looks blue; but by the time the neat case containing them has been presented to him by a servant, he has recovered himself. Now, reader, what song do you suppose this young gentleman, who scarce sings at all, will select? You are a judge of music, and you pronounce his selection admirable—for it falls on 'Adelaide,' a song of which I (but this quite entre nous) would sooner be the composer than of any song that ever was sung: but you fear lest Fred would not do justice to it, as he sings so seldom. You are wrong. A finer tenor, better taste, and more correct ear, one rarely meets with in private than are possessed by Fred. Every one exclaims that it is a treat to hear him sing. And so it is.

Now, my excellent good Fred, what the deuce did you do that for? I mean, why did you lessen the pleasure which otherwise we should have all experienced, by giving us so unfavourable a view of your character at the outset—by fibbing, my friend—downright fibbing?—There are not a few Freddys, though of various degrees of excellence. This therefore is a practice which, as in the last case, calls for the investigation of moralists—aided by the Royal Academy of Music, perhaps.

[271]

This is an endless subject. I have, as it were, but just touched upon it. Let others, their bosoms expanding at the thought of conferring endless benefits on the human race by so doing, rush eagerly and at once on the grand task of following it up. Let them explore all societies. Let an emissary be despatched into the crowded saloons of my Lady Hippington. Let an accredited and competent reporter be sent to the dinner-table of Mr. Titmouse, as well as into the doubtful regions of lower life. And let their desire be, to afford as strong, as cogent, and as rational explanations of the varied customs and practices with which they may become acquainted, as my friend Tam Ridley gave when asked for his reasons for using a peculiar form of speech.

"Hoy, Jem!" said that individual, a jolly Yorkshire lad, as he pulled up his waggon opposite to a hostelrie in the North Riding,—"Hoy, Jem! what has't getten to sup te' 'morn?" "What has I getten to sup t' 'morn, Tam?" responded mine host, making his appearance in the doorway. "Ay, lad! what hast getten to sup, I say?" "Why a, I'se getten yal—dos't like yal, Tam?" "Ay! I does." "Why a then, wil't have a sup?" "Ay! I will." "Wil't have it otted, Tam?" "Ay! I will." "Why a, now, what maks thee say Ay sae aften?" "Why a, then, I'll mebbe say yes, when t' days is langer and t' weather's warmer!"


LINES BY A Y—G L—Y OF F—SH—N,

WHO "NEVER TOLD HER LOVE, BUT LET CONCEALMENT," ETC.

"She speaks, yet she says n—th—g!"—R—o and J—t.

Go, bid the st—rs forget to shine,
The o—n-tides to ebb and flow,
Bid fl—rs forget to blush and pine,
But bid not me to b—n—sh w—e!
Thou canst not guess my s—rr—w's source,
My pass—n's spring thou canst not see;
Thou knowest not its depth and force,—
Thou dreamest not 'tis l—ve for th—!
Fiercer than fires in Æ—a's breast
My s—cr—t burns in this lone h—t;
D—y brings no light, sl—p yields no rest,
And h—vn no air, but where th— art.
I listen to the w—nds at night,
They speak of th— in whispers fine;
In D—n's or Au—ra's light,
I see no beauty, none but th—!
All l—ve save mine's an idle tale
Of Hy—n's torch and C—d's bow;
I envy Cl—p—ra's wail,
Or S—pho leaping, wild, below.
For V—ry's pâté holds for me—
Or G—nt—r's soup—no poison rare;
And leaping from a b—lc—y,
Were quite absurd—in Belg—ve Square.
My s—st—r raves of H—w—ll, Ja—s,
And thinks with dr—ss to ease my thrall;
She deems not of d—vour—g flames
Beneath one's f—fty-g—nea sh—wl!
M—ma to M—rt—r and St—rr
Drags me with sweet maternal haste;
My p—rls of s&mdash