Part 2 out of 4
"Do you hever go out?" said Wiggns.
"Sildom-werry sildom," replied the widow.
"Vos you never at the Vite Cundic, or the hEagle, or any of them places
on a Sunday?"
"How can I go," replied the widow, sighing, "vithout a purtector?"
Hereupon the enamoured Wiggins said, "How happy he should be," etc., and
the widow said, "She was sure for her part," etc. and so the affair was
settled. On the following Sunday the gallant Mr. Wiggins figged out, in
his best, escorted the delighted and delightful Mrs. Warner to that place
of fashionable resort, the White Conduit, and did the thing so
handsomely, that the lady was quite charmed. Seated in one of the snug
arbors of that suburban establishment, she poured out the hot tea, and
the swain the most burning vows of attachment. "Mr. Viggins, do you take
sugar?" demanded the fair widow. "Yes, my haingel," answered he,
emphatically. "I loves all wot's sweet," and then he gave her such a
tender squeeze! "Done--do--you naughty man!" cried she, tapping him on
the knuckles with the plated sugar-tongs, and then cast down her eyes
with such a roguish modesty, that he repeated the operation for the sake
of that ravishing expression. Pointing his knife at a pat of butter, he
poetically exclaimed, "My heart is jist like that--and you have made a
himpression on it as time will never put out!" "I did'nt think as you
were quite so soft neither," said the widow. "I ham," replied the
suitor--"and there," continued he, cutting a hot roll, and introducing
the pat, "I melts as easily afore the glance of your beautiful heyes!"
Resolved to carry on the campaign with spirit, he called for two glasses
of brandy and water, stiff, and three cigars! And now, becoming
sentimental and communicative, he declared, with his hand upon his heart,
that "hif there vos a single thing in life as would make him completely
happy, it vos a vife!"
The Courtship of Mr. Wiggins.
Mr. Wiggins was so intoxicated with love, brandy-and-water and cigars,
that he scarcely knew how he reached home. He only remembered that he
was very dizzy, and that his charming widow--his guide and friend--had
remonstrated with him upon the elevation of his style, and the
irregularity of his progression.
With his head in his hand, and a strong "dish of tea" without milk,
before him, he was composing himself for business the following morning,
when an unexpected visitor was announced.
"Please, sir, there's Mrs. Warner's 's boy as wants to speak vith you,"
said his landlady.
"Show him up," languidly replied our lover, throwing his aching head from
his right to his left hand.
"Vell, Jim, vot's the matter!" demanded he--"How's your missus?"
"She ain't no missus o' mine no longer," replied Jim.
"I tell you vot it is, sir, she promised to give me a shillin'-aweek an'
my feed; an' she ain't done vun thing nor t' other; for I'm bless'd if I
ain't starved, and ain't seen the color of her money sin' I bin there.
Father's goin' to summon her."
"It's some mistake, sure?"
"It's no mistake tho'," persisted Jim, "an' I can tell you she ain't got
a farden to bless herself vith!--an' she's over head-and-ears in debt
too, I can tell you; an' she pays nobody--puttin' 'em all off, vith
promises to pay wen she's married."
"My heye!" exclaimed the excited Wiggins, thrown all a-back by this very
agreeable intention upon his funds.
"More nor that, sir," continued the revengeful Jim, "I know she thinks as
she's hooked a preshus flat, an' means to marry you outright jist for vot
she can get. An' von't she scatter the dibs?--that's all; she's the
extravagantest 'ooman as hever I came anigh to."
"But, (dear me! ) she has a good stock--?"
"Dummies, sir, all dummies."
"Yes, sir; the sugars on the shelves is all dummies--wooden 'uns, done up
in paper! The herrin' tub is on'y got a few at top--the rest's all
shavins an' waste.--There's plenty o' salt to be sure--but the werry
soap-box is all made up."
"And so's my mind!" emphatically exclaimed the deluded Wiggins, slapping
the breakfast-table with his clenched fist.
"Jim--Jim--you're a honest lad, and there's half-a-crown for you--"
"Thank'ye for me, sir," said the errand-boy, grinning with delight--"
and--and you'll cut the missus, Sir!"
"Hooray! I said as how I'd have my rewenge!" cried the lad, and pulling
the front of his straight hair, as an apology for a bow, he retreated
from the room.
"What an escape!" soliloquized Wiggins-- "Should n't I ha' bin properly
hampered? that's all. No more insinniwating widows for me!--"
And so ended the Courtship of Mr. Wiggins.
The Itinerant Musician.
A wandering son of Apollo, with a shocking bad hat, encircled by a
melancholy piece of rusty crape, and arrayed in garments that had once
shone with renovated splendour in that mart of second-hand habiliments
'ycleped Monmouth-street, was affrighting the echoes of a fashionable
street by blowing upon an old clarionet, and doing the 'Follow, hark!' of
Weber the most palpable injustice.
The red hand of the greasy cook tapped at the kitchen-window below, and
she scolded inaudibly--but he still continued to amuse--himself, as
regardless of the cook's scolding as of the area-railing against which he
leaned, tuning his discordant lay.
His strain indeed appeared endless, and he still persevered in torturing
the ambient air with, apparently, as little prospect of blowing himself
out as an asthmatic man would possibly have of extinguishing a smoky link
with a wheeze--or a hungry cadger without a penny!
The master of the mansion was suffering under a touch of the gout,
accompanied by a gnawing tooth-ache!--The horrid noise without made his
trembling nerves jangle like the loose strings of an untuned guitar.
A furious tug at the bell brought down the silken rope and brought up an
"D--- that, etc.! and send him to, etc.!"
And away glided the liveried rotundity.--
Appearing at the street-door, the musician took his instrument from his
lips, and, approaching the steps, touched his sorry beaver with the side
of his left hand.
"There's three-pence for you," said the menial, "and master wishes you'd
"Threepence, indeed!" mumbled the man. "I never moves on under sixpence:
d'ye think I doesn't know the walley o' peace and quietness?"
"Fellow!" cried the irate footman, with a pompous air--"Master desires as
you'll go on."
"Werry well"--replied the other, touching his hat, while the domestic
waddled back, and closed the door, pluming himself upon having settled
the musician; but he had no sooner vanished, than the strain was taken up
again more uproariously than ever.
Out he rushed again in a twinkling--
"Fellow! I say--man! vot do you mean?"
"Vy, now didn't you tell me to go on?"
"I mean't go off."
"Then vy don't you speak plain hinglish," said the clarionist; "but, I
say, lug out t'other browns, or I shall say vot the flute said ven his
master said as how he'd play a tune on him."
"Vot vos that?"
"Vy, he'd be blow'd if he would!"
"You're a owdacious fellow."
"Tip!" was the laconic answer, accompanied by an expressive twiddling of
"Vell, there then," answered the footman, reluctantly giving him the
price of his silence.
"Thank'ye," said the musician, "and in time to come, old fellow, never do
nothin' by halves--'cept it's a calve's head!"
Oh! lor, here's a norrid thing.'
The Confessions of a Sportsman.
"Vell, for three year, as sure as the Septembers comes, I takes the
field, but somehow or another I never takes nothin' else! My gun's a
good 'un and no mistake!--Percussions and the best Dartford, and all that
too. My haim ain't amiss neither; so there's a fault somewhere, that's
certain. The first time as I hentered on the inwigorating and manly
sport, I valks my werry legs off, and sees nothin' but crows and that
'ere sort o' small game.
"I vos so aggrawated, that at last I lets fly at 'em in werry spite, jist
as they vos a sendin' of their bills into an orse for a dinner.
"Bang! goes the piece;--caw! caw! goes the birds; and I dessay I did for
some on 'em, but I don't know, for somehow I vos in sich a preshus hurry
to bag my game, that I jumps clean over vun bank, and by goles! plump
into a ditch on t'other side, up to my werry neck!
"The mud stuck to me like vax; and findin' it all over vith me, and no
chance o' breaking a cover o' this sort, I dawdled about 'till dusk, and
vos werry glad to crawl home and jump into bed. I vos so 'put out' that
I stayed at home the rest o' that season.
"The second year come, and my hardor vos agin inflamed. 'Cotch me
a-shootin' at crows,' says I.--Vell, avay I goes a-vhistling to myself,
ven presently I see a solentary bird on the wing; 'a pariwidge, by
jingo!' says I--I cocks--presents, and hits it! Hooray! down it tumbles,
and afore I could load and prime agin, a whole lot o' 'em comes out from
among the trees. 'Here's luck' says I; and jist shouldered my piece, ven
I gets sich a vop behind as sent me at full length.
"'Vot's that for?' says I.
"'Vot are you a shootin' at my pigeons for?' says a great hulking,
"A hexplanation follered; and in course I paid the damage, vich stood me
a matter of a suv'rin, for he said he'd take his davy as how it vos a
waluable tumbler!--I never sees a 'go' o' rum and vater but vot I thinks
on it. This vos a sickener.
"The third year I vos hout agin as fresh as a daisy, ven I made a haim at
a sparrer, or a lark, or summit o' that kind--hit it, in course, and vos
on the p'int o' going for'ard, ven lo! on turning my wision atop o' the
bank afore me, I seed a norrid thing!--a serpent, or a rattle-snake, or
somethink a-curling itself up and a hissing like fun!
"I trembled like a haspen-leaf, and-didn't I bolt as fast as my werry
legs would carry me, that's all?
"Since that time I may say, with the chap in the stage-play, that my
parent has kept myself, his only son, at home, for I see no sport in sich
rigs, and perfer a little peace at home to the best gun in the field!"--
THE JOLLY ANGLERS.
On a grassy bank, beside a meandering stream, sat two gentlemen averaging
forty years of age. The day was sultry, and, weary of casting their
lines without effect, they had stuck their rods in the bank, and sought,
in a well-filled basket of provisions and copious libations of bottled
porter, to dissipate their disappointment.
"Ain't this jolly? and don't you like a day's fishing, Sam?"
"O! werry much, werry much," emphatically replied his friend, taking his
pipe from his mouth.
"Ah! but some people don't know how to go a-fishinq, Sam; they are such
"That's a werry good remark o' your'n," observed Sam; "I daresay as how
hangling is werry delightful vhen the fishes vill bite; but vhen they
von't, vhy they von't, and vot's the use o' complaining. Hangling is
just like writing: for instance--you begins vith, 'I sends you this 'ere
line hoping,' and they don't nibble; vell! that's just the same as not
hanswering; and, as I takes it, there the correspondence ends!"
"Exactly; I'm quite o' your opinion," replied his companion, tossing off
a bumper of Barclay's best; "I say, Sammy, we mustn't empty t'other
"Cos, do you see, I'm just thinking ve shall vant a little porter to
carry us home: for, by Jingo! I don't think as how either of us can
toddle--that is respectably!"
"Nonsense! I'd hundertake to walk as straight as a harrow; on'y, I must
confess, I should like to have a snooze a'ter my pipe; I'm used to it,
d'ye see, and look for it as nat'rally as a babby does."
"Vell, but take t'other glass for a nightcap; for you know, Sammy, if you
sleep vithout, you may catch cold: and, vhatever you do, don't snore, or
you'll frighten the fish."
"Naughty fish!" replied Sammy, "they know they're naughty too, or else
they voud'nt be so afear'd o' the rod!--here's your health;" and he
tossed off the proffered bumper.
"Excuse me a-rising to return thanks," replied his friend, grasping
Sammy's hand, and looking at him with that fixed and glassy gaze which
indicates the happy state of inebriety, termed maudlin; "I know you're a
sincere friend, and there ain't nobody as I value more: man and boy have
I knowed you; you're unchanged! you're the same!! there ain't no
difference!!! and I hope you may live many years to go a-fishing, and I
may live to see it, Sammy. Yes, old boy, this here's one of them days
that won't be forgotten: it's engraved on my memory deep as the words on
a tombstone, 'Here he lies! Here he lies!'" he repeated with a hiccup,
and rolled at full length across his dear friend.
Sammy, nearly as much overcome as his friend, lifted up his head, and
sticking his hat upon it, knocked it over his eyes, and left him to
repose; and, placing his own back against an accommodating tree, he
dropped his pipe, and then followed the example of his companion.
After a few hours deep slumber, they awoke. The sun had gone down, and
evening had already drawn her star-bespangled mantle over the scene of
their festive sport.
Arousing themselves, they sought for their rods, and the remnants of
their provisions, but they were all gone.
"My hey! Sammy, if somebody bas'nt taken advantage of us. My watch too
has gone, I declare."
"And so's mine!" exclaimed Sammy, feeling his empty fob. "Vell, if this
ain't a go, never trust me."
"I tell you vot it is, Sammy; some clever hartist or another has seen us
sleeping, like the babes in the wood, and has drawn us at full length!"
What a mysterious being is the bill-sticker! How seldom does he make
himself visible to the eyes of the people. Nay, I verily believe there
are thousands in this great metropolis that never saw a specimen. We see
the effect, but think not of the cause.
He must work at his vocation either at night or at early dawn, before the
world is stirring.
That he is an industrious being, and sticks to business, there cannot be
the shadow of a doubt, for every dead-wall is made lively by his
operations, and every hoard a fund of information--in such type, too,
that he who runs may read. What an indefatigable observer he must be;
for there is scarcely a brick or board in city or suburb, however newly
erected, in highway or byeway, but is speedily adorned by his handiwork
--aye, and frequently too in defiance of the threatening--"BILL-STICKERS,
BEWARE!"--staring him in the face. Like nature, he appears to abhor a
vacuum. When we behold the gigantic size of some of the modern arches,
we are almost led to suppose that the bill-sticker carries about his
placards in a four-wheeled waggon, and that his paste-pot is a huge
cauldron! How he contrives to paste and stick such an enormous sheet so
neatly against the rugged side of a house, is really astonishing. Whether
three or four stories high, the same precision is remarkable. We cannot
but wonder at the dexterity of his practised hand: The union is as
perfect as if Dan Hymen, the saffron-robed Joiner, had personally
superintended the performance.
The wind is perhaps the only real enemy he has to fear. How his heart
and his flimsy paper must flutter in the unruly gusts of a March wind! We
only imagine him pasting up a "Sale of Horses," in a retired nook, and
seeing his bill carried away on an eddy!
We once had the good fortune to witness a gusty freak of this kind. The
bill-sticker had affixed a bill upon the hooks of his stick, displaying
in prominent large characters--"SALE BY AUCTION--Mr. GEO. ROBINS--Capital
Investment,"--and so forth, when a sudden whirlwind took the bill off the
hooks, before it was stuck, and fairly enveloped the countenance of a
dandy gentleman who happened at the moment to be turning the corner.
Such a "Capital Investment" was certainly ludicrous in the extreme.
The poor bill-sticker was rather alarmed, for he had never stuck a bill
before on any front that was occupied.
He peeled the gentleman as quickly as possible, and stammered out an
apology. The sufferer, however, swore he would prefer a bill against him
at the ensuing sessions. Whether his threat was carried into execution,
or he was satisfied with the damages already received, we know not.
There is a certain period of life beyond which the plastic mind of man
becomes incapable of acquiring any new impressions. He merely elaborates
and displays the stores he has garnered up in his youth. There are
indeed some rare exceptions to the rule; but few, very few, can learn a
language after the age of forty. 'Tis true that Cowper did not commence
the composition of his delightful poems till he had attained that age;
but then it must be remembered that he had previously passed a life of
study and preparation, and that he merely gave the honey to the world
which he had hived in his youth, bringing to the task a mind polished and
matured by judgment and experience. But, generally speaking, we rather
expect reason than rhyme from an elderly gentleman; and when the reverse
is the case, the pursuit fits them as ridiculously as would a humming-top
or a hoop. Yet there are many who, having passed a life in the sole
occupation of making money--the most unpoetical of all avocations--that
in their retirement entertain themselves with such fantastic pranks and
antics, as only serve to amuse the lookers-on. A retired tradesman, it
is true, may chase ennui and the 'taedium vitae,' by digging and planting
in his kitchen-garden, or try his hand at rearing tulips and hyacinths;
but if he vainly attempt any other art, or dabble in light literature or
heavy philosophy, he is lost. Old Foozle was one of those who, having
accumulated wealth, retire with their housekeepers to spend the remnant
of their days in some suburban retreat, the monotony of whose life is
varied by monthly trips to town to bring tea and grocery, or purchase
some infallible remedy for their own gout, or their housekeeper's
rheumatism. Unfortunately for his peace, Old Foozle accidentally dipped
into a tattered tome of "Walton's Complete Angler;" and the vivid
description of piscatorial pleasures therein set forth so won upon his
mind, that he forthwith resolved to taste them. In vain were the
remonstrances of his nurse, friend, and factotum. The experiment must be
tried. Having more money than wit to spare, he presently supplied
himself with reels and rods and tackle, landing-nets and gentle-boxes,
and all the other necessary paraphernalia of the art.
Donning his best wig and spectacles, he sallied forth, defended from the
weather by a short Spencer buttoned round his loins, and a pair of
double-soled shoes and short gaiters. So eager was he to commence, that
he no sooner espied a piece of water, than, with trembling hands, he put
his rod together, and displayed his nets, laying his basket, gaping for
the finny prey, on the margin of the placid waters. With eager gaze he
watched his newly-varnished and many-coloured float, expecting
every-moment to behold it sink, the inviting bait being prepared
'secundum artem.' He had certainly time for reflection, for his float
had been cast at least an hour, and still remained stationary; from which
he wisely augured that he was most certainly neither fishing in a running
stream nor in troubled waters.
Presently a ragged urchin came sauntering along, and very leisurely
seated himself upon a bank near the devoted angler. Curiosity is natural
to youth, thought Foozle--how I shall make the lad wonder when I pull out
a wriggling fish!
But still another weary hour passed, and the old gentleman's arms and
loins began to ache from the novel and constrained posture in which he
stood. He grew nervous and uneasy at the want of sport; and thinking
that perhaps the little fellow was acquainted with the locality, he
turned towards him, saying, in the blandest but still most indifferent
tone he could assume, lest he should compromise his dignity by exposing
"I say, Jack, are there any fish in this pond?"
"There may be, sir," replied the boy, pulling his ragged forelock most
deferentially, for Old Foozle had an awful churchwarden-like appearance;
"there may be, but I should think they were weary small, 'cause there vos
no vater in this here pond afore that there rain yesterday."
The sallow cheeks of the old angler were tinged with a ruddy glow, called
up by the consciousness of his ridiculous position. Taking a penny from
his pocket, he bade the boy go buy some cakes: and no sooner had he
gallopped off, than the disappointed Waltonian hastily packed up his
tackle, and turned his steps homeward; and this was the first and last
essay of Old Foozle.
THE "CRACK-SHOTS." No. I.
A club, under the imposing style of the "Crack-Shots," met every
Wednesday evening, during the season, at a house of public entertainment
in the salubrious suburbs of London, known by the classical sign of the
"Magpye and Stump." Besides a trim garden and a small close-shaven
grass-plat in the rear (where elderly gentlemen found a cure for 'taedium
vitae' and the rheumatism in a social game of bowls), there was a meadow
of about five or six acres, wherein a target was erected for the especial
benefit of the members of this celebrated club; we say celebrated,
because, of all clubs that ever made a noise in the world, this bore away
the palm-according to the reports in the neighbourhood. Emulation
naturally caused excitement, and the extraordinary deeds they performed
under its influence we should never have credited, had we not received
the veracious testimony of--the members themselves.
After the trials of skill, they generally spent the evenings together.
Jack Saggers was the hero of the party; or perhaps he might be more
appropriately termed the "great gun," and was invariably voted to the
chair. He made speeches, which went off admirably; and he perpetrated
puns which, like his Joe Manton, never missed fire, being unanimously
voted admirable hits by the joyous assembly.
Their pleasures and their conversation might truly be said to be of a
"Gentlemen"--said Jack, one evening rising upon his legs--"Do me the
favour to charge. Are you all primed and loaded? I am about to propose
the health of a gentleman, who is not only an honour to society at large,
but to the 'Crack-Shots' in particular. Gentlemen, the mere mention of
the name of Brother Sniggs--(hear! hear!)--I know will call forth a
volley!--(Hear! hear!) Gentlemen, I give you the health of Brother
Sniggs! make ready, present and fire!"
Up went the glasses, and down went the liquor in a trice, followed by
three times three, Jack Saggers giving the time, and acting as
Sniggs, nervously fingering his tumbler of "half and half," as if he
wanted the spirit to begin, hemmed audibly, and
"Having three times shook his head
To stir his wit, thus he said,"
"Gentlemen, I don't know how it is, but somehows the more a man has to
say, the more he can't! I feel, for all the world, like a gun rammed
tight and loaded to the muzzle, but without flint or priming----"
"Prime!" exclaimed Jack Saggers; and there was a general titter, and then
he continued; "as we cannot let you off Sniggs, you most go on, you
"Gentlemen," resumed Sniggs, "I feel indeed so overloaded by the honors
you have conferred on me, that I cannot find words to express my
gratitude. I can only thank you, and express my sincere wish that your
shots may always tell."
And he sat down amidst unbounded applause. "By no means a-miss!" cried
"A joke of mine, when I knocked down a bird the other morning," said
Sniggs: "you must know I was out early, and had just brought down my
bird, when leaping into the adjoining field to pick it up, a
bird-catcher, who had spread his nets on the dewy grass, walked right up
"I've a visper for you, Sir," says he, as cool as a cucumber; "I don't
vish to be imperlite, but next time you shoots a bird vot I've brought to
my call, I'll shoot you into a clay-pit, that's all!"
"And pray what did you say, Sniggs?" asked Jack Saggers. "Say?--nothing!
but I looked unutterable things, and--shouldering my piece--walked off!"
THE "CRACK-SHOTS." No. II.
"Sniggs's rencontre with the bird-catcher reminds me of Tom Swivel's
meeting with the Doctor," observed Smart.
"Make a report," cried Jack Saggers.
"Well, you must know, that I had lent him my piece for a day's shooting;
and just as he was sauntering along by a dead wall near Hampstead,
looking both ways at once for a quarry (for he has a particular squint),
a stout gentleman in respectable black, and topped by a shovel-hat,
happened to be coming in the opposite direction. With an expression of
terror, the old gentleman drew himself up against the unyielding bricks,
and authoritatively extending his walking-stick, addressed our sportsman
in an angry tone, saying: 'How dare you carry a loaded gun pointed at
people's viscera, you booby?' Now Tom is a booby, and no mistake, and so
dropping his under jaw and staring at the reverend, he answered: 'I don't
know vot you mean by a wiserar. I never shot a wiserar!'"
"Devilish good!" exclaimed Saggers; and, as a matter of course, everybody
Passing about the bottle, the club now became hilarious and noisy; when
the hammer of the president rapped them to order, and knocked down Sniggs
for a song, who, after humming over the tune to himself, struck up the
When the snow's on the ground and the trees are all bare,
And rivers and gutters are turned into ice,
The sportsman goes forth to shoot rabbit or hare,
And gives them a taste of his skill in a trice.
Bang! bang! goes his Joe,
And the bird's fall like snow,
And he bags all he kills in a trice.
Bang! bang! goes his Joe,
And the bird's fall like snow,
And he bags all he kills in a trice.
If he puts up a partridge or pheasant or duck,
He marks him, and wings him, and brings him to earth;
He let's nothing fly--but his piece--and good luck
His bag fills with game and his bosom with mirth.
Bang! bang! goes his Joe,
And the bird's fall like snow,
And good sport fills his bosom with mirth.
Bang! bang! et. etc.
When at night he unbends and encounters his pals,
How delighted he boasts of the sport he has had;
While a kind of round game's on the board, and gals
Are toasted in bumpers by every lad.
And Jack, Jim, and Joe
Give the maid chaste as snow
That is true as a shot to her lad!
And Jack, Jim and Joe
Give the maid chaste as snow
That is true as a shot to her lad!
The customary applause having followed this vocal attempt of Sniggs, he
was asked for a toast or a sentiment.
"Here's--'May the charitable man never know the want of--'shot.'" said
"Excellent!" exclaimed Saggers, approvingly; "By Jupiter Tonans, Sniggs,
you're a true son of--a gun!"
THE "CRACK-SHOTS."--No. III.
"Sich a lark!" said Bill Sorrel, breaking abruptly in upon the noisy
chorus, miscalled a general conversation; "sich a lark!"
"Where?" demanded Saggers.
"You've jist hit it," replied Sorrel, "for it vere worry near 'Vare vhere
it happened. I'd gone hout hearly, you know, and had jist cotched sight
of a bird a-vistling on a twig, and puttered the vords, 'I'll spile your
singin', my tight 'un,' and levelled of my gun, ven a helderly gentleman,
on t'other side of the bank vich vos atween me and the bird, pops up his
powdered noddle in a jiffy, and goggling at me vith all his eyes, bawls
pout in a tantivy of a fright, 'You need'nt be afear'd, sir,' says I, 'I
aint a-haiming at you,' and vith that I pulls my trigger-bang! Vell, I
lost my dicky! and ven I looks for the old 'un, by Jingo! I'd lost him
too. So I mounts the bank vere he sot, but he vas'nt there; so I looks
about, and hobserves a dry ditch at the foot, and cocking my eye along
it, vhy, I'm blessed, if I did'nt see the old fellow a-scampering along
as fast as his legs could carry him. Did'nt I laugh, ready to
"I tell you what, Sorrel," said the president, with mock gravity, "I
consider the whole affair, however ridiculous, most immoral and
reprehensible. What, shall a crack-shot make a target of an elder?
Never! Let us seek more appropriate butts for our barrels! You may
perhaps look upon the whole as a piece of pleasantry but let me tell you
that you ran a narrow chance of being indicted for a breach of the peace!
And remember, that even shooting a deer may not prove so dear a shot as
bringing down an old buck!"
This humorous reproof was applauded by a "bravo!" from the whole club.
Sorrel sang--small, and Sniggs sang another sporting ditty.
"Our next meeting," resumed Saggers, "is on Thursday next when the
pigeon-match takes place for a silver-cup--the 'Crack Shots' against the
'Oriental Club.' I think we shall give them I taste of our quality,'
although we do not intend that they shall lick us. The silver-cup is
their own proposal. The contest being a pigeon-match, I humbly proposed,
as an amendment, that the prize should be a tumbler--which I lost by a
minority of three. In returning thanks, I took occasion to allude to
their rejection of my proposition, and ironically thanked them for having
cut my tumbler."
"Werry good!" shouted Sorrel.
"Admirable!" exclaimed Sniggs; and, rising with due solemnity, he
proposed the health of the "worthy president," prefacing his speech with
the modest avowal of his inability to do what he still persisted in doing
"Brother Shots!" said Saggers, after the usual honours had been duly
performed, "I am so unaccustomed to speaking (a laugh), that I rise with
a feeling of timidity to thank you for the distinguished honour you have
conferred on me. Praise, like wine, elevates a man, but it likewise
thickens and obstructs his speech; therefore, without attempting any
rhetorical flourish, I will simply say, I sincerely thank you all for the
very handsome manner in which you have responded to the friendly wishes
of Brother Sniggs; and, now as the hour of midnight is at hand, I bid you
farewell. It is indeed difficult to part from such good company; but,
although it is morally impossible there ever can be a division among such
cordial friends, both drunk and sober may at least separate--in spirits,
--and I trust we shall all meet again in health--Farewell!"
Old Doctor Spraggs! famed Doctor Spraggs!
Was both well fee'd and fed,
And, tho' no soldier, Doctor Spraggs
Had for his country-bled.
His patients living far and wide
He was compell'd to buy
A horse; and found no trouble, for
He'd got one in his eye!
He was a tall and bony steed
And warranted to trot,
And so he bought the trotter, and
Of course four trotters got.
Quoth he: "In sunshine quick he bounds
"Across the verdant plain,
"And, e'en when showers fall, he proves
"He--doesn't mind the rain!"
But, oh! one morn, when Doctor Spraggs
Was trotting on his way,
A field of sportsmen came in view,
And made his courser neigh.
"Nay! you may neigh," quoth Doctor Spraggs,
"But run not, I declare
"I did not come to chase the fox,
"I came to take the--air!"
But all in vain he tugg'd the rein,
The steed would not be stay'd;
The "Doctor's stuff" was shaken, and
A tune the vials play'd.
For in his pockets he had stow'd
Some physic for the sick;
Anon, "crack" went the bottles all,
And forma a "mixture" quick.
His hat and wig flew off, but still
The reins he hugg'd and haul'd;
And, tho' no cry the huntsmen heard,
They saw the Doctor--bald!
They loudly laugh'd and cheer'd him on,
While Spraggs, quite out of breath,
Still gallopp'd on against his will,
And came in at the death.
To see the Doctor riding thus
To sportsmen was a treat,
And loudly they applauded him--
(Tho' mounted) on his feat!
Ye Doctors bold, of this proud land
Of liberty and--fogs,
No hunters ride, or you will go
Like poor Spraggs--to the dogs!
SCENE IX. (b)
"Well, Bill, d'ye get any bites over there?" "No, but I'm afeard I shall,
soon have one."
Two youths, by favour of their sponsors, bearing the aristocratic names
of William and Joseph, started early one morning duly equipped, on
piscatorial sport intent. They trudged gaily forward towards a
neighbouring river, looking right and left, and around them, as sharp as
two crows that have scented afar off the carcase of a defunct nag.
At length they arrived at a lofty wall, on the wrong side of which,
musically meandered the stream they sought. After a deliberate
consultation, the valiant William resolved to scale the impediment, and
cast the line. Joseph prudently remained on the other side ready to
catch the fish--his companion should throw to him! Presently an
exclamation of "Oh! my!" attracted his attention.
"Have you got a bite?" eagerly demanded Joe.
"No! by gosh! but I think I shall soon!" cried Bill. Hereupon the
expectant Joseph mounted, and seating himself upon the wall, beheld to
his horror, Master Bill keeping a fierce bull-dog at bay with the butt
end of his fishing-rod.
"Go it, Bill!" exclaimed Joe, "pitch into him and scramble up."
The dog ran at him.--Joe in his agitation fell from his position, while
Bill threw his rod at the beast, made a desperate leap, and clutched the
top of the wall with his hands.
"Egad! I've lost my seat," cried Joe, rolling upon the grass.
"And so have I!" roared Bill, scrambling in affright over the wall.
And true it was, that he who had not got a bite before, had got a
Bill anathematised the dog, but the ludicrous bereavement he had
sustained made him laugh, in spite of his teeth!
Joe joined in his merriment.
"What a burning shame it is?" said he; "truly there ought to be breaches
ready made in these walls, Bill, that one might escape, if not repair
"No matter," replied Bill, shaking his head, "I know the owner--he's a
Member of Parliament. Stop till the next election, that's all."
"Why, what has that to do with it?" demanded Joe.
"Do with it," said Bill emphatically, "why, I'll canvass for the opposite
party, to be sure."
"And what then?"
"Then I shall have the pleasure of serving him as his dog has served me.
Yes! Joe, the M. P. will lose his seat to a dead certainty!"
THE POUTER AND THE DRAGON.
"Another pigeon! egad, I'm in luck's way this morning."
Round and red, through the morning fog
The sun's bright face
Shone, like some jolly toping dog
Of Bacchus' race.
When Jenkins, with his gun and cur
On sport intent,
Through fields, and meadows, many fur--
--longs gaily went.
He popp'd at birds both great and small,
But nothing hit;
Or if he hit, they wouldn't fall--
No, not a bit!
"It's wery strange, I do declare;
I never see!
I go at sky-larks in the hair
Or on a tree."
"It's all the same, they fly away
Has I let fly--
The birds is frightened, I dare say,
And vill not die."
"Vhy, here's a go! I hav'nt ramm'd
In any shot;
The birds must think I only shamm'd,
And none have got."
"I'll undeceive 'em quickly now,
I bet a crown;
And whether fieldfare, tit, or crow,
Vill bring 'em down."
And as he spake a pigeon flew
Across his way--
Bang went his piece--and Jenkins slew
The flutt'ring prey.
He bagg'd his game, and onward went,
When to his view
Another rose, by fortune sent
To make up two.
He fired, and beheld it fall
With inward glee,
And for a minute 'neath a wall
Stood gazing he.
When from behind, fierce, heavy blows
Fell on his hat,
And knock'd his beaver o'er his nose,
And laid him flat.
"What for," cried Jenkins, "am I mill'd,
Sir, like this ere?"
"You villain, you, why you have kill'd
My pouter rare."
The sturdy knave who struck him down
With frown replied:--
"For which I'll make you pay a crown
Nor be denied."
Poor Jenkins saw it was in vain
To bandy words;
So paid the cash and vow'd, again
He'd not shoot birds--
At least of that same feather, lest
For Pouter shot
Some Dragon fierce should him molest--
And fled the spot.
THE PIC-NIC. No. I.
A merry holiday party, forming a tolerable boat-load, and well provided
with baskets of provisions, were rowing along the beautiful and
picturesque banks that fringe the river's side near Twickenham, eagerly
looking out for a spot where they might enjoy their "pic-nic" to
"O! uncle, there's a romantic glade;--do let us land there!" exclaimed a
beautiful girl of eighteen summers, to a respectable old gentleman in a
broad brimmed beaver and spectacles.
"Just the thing, I declare," replied he--"the very spot--pull away, my
lads--but dear me" continued he, as they neared the intended
landing-place, "What have we here? What says the board?"
"PARTIES ARE NOT, ALLOWED TO
LAND AND DINE HERE"
Oh! oh! very well; then we'll only land here, and dine a little further
"What a repulsive board"--cried the young lady--"I declare now I'm quite
"Never mind, Julia, we won't be bored by any board"--said the jocose old
"I'm sure, uncle"--said one of the youths--"we don't require any board,
for we provide ourselves."
"You're quite right, Master Dickey," said his uncle; "for we only came
out for a lark, you know, and no lark requires more than a little turf
for its entertainment; pull close to the bank, and let us land."
"Oh! but suppose," said the timid Julia, "the surly owner should pounce
upon us, just as we are taking our wine?"
"Why then, my love," replied he, "we have only to abandon our wine, and,
like sober members of the Temperance Society--take water."
Pulling the wherry close along side the grassy bank, and fastening it
carefully to the stump of an old tree, the whole party landed.
"How soft and beautiful is the green-sward here," said the romantic
Julia, indenting the yielding grass with her kid-covered tiny feet; "Does
not a gentleman of the name of Nimrod sing the pleasure of the Turf?"
said Emma: "I wonder if he ever felt it as we do?"
"Certainly not," replied Master Dickey, winking at his uncle; "for the
blades of the Turf he describes, are neither so fresh nor so green as
these; and the 'stakes' he mentions are rather different from those
contained in our pigeon-pie."
"But I doubt, Dickey," said his uncle, "if his pen ever described a
better race than the present company. The Jenkins's, let me tell you,
come of a good stock, and sport some of the best blood in the country."
"Beautiful branches of a noble tree," exclaimed Master Dicky, "but,
uncle, a hard row has made me rather peckish; let us spread the
provender. I think there's an honest hand of pork yonder that is right
worthy of a friendly grasp;--only see if, by a single touch of that
magical hand, I'm not speedily transformed into a boat."
"What sort of a boat?" cried Julia. "A cutter, to be sure," replied
Master Dicky, and laughing he ran off with his male companions to bring
the provisions ashore.
Meanwhile the uncle and his niece selected a level spot beneath the
umbrageous trees, and prepared for the unpacking of the edibles.
THE PIC-NIC. No. II
Notwithstanding the proverbial variety of the climate, there is no nation
under the sun so fond of Pic-Nic parties as the English; and yet how
seldom are their pleasant dreams of rural repasts in the open air fated
to be realized!
However snugly they may pack the materials for the feast, the pack
generally gets shuffled in the carriage, and consequently their promised
pleasure proves anything but "without mixture without measure."
The jam-tarts are brought to light, and are found to have got a little
jam too much. The bottles are cracked before their time, and the liberal
supplies of pale sherry and old port are turned into a--little current.
They turn out their jar of ghirkins, and find them mixed, and all their
store in a sad pickle.
The leg of mutton is the only thing that has stood in the general melee.
The plates are all dished, and the dishes only fit for a lunatic asylum,
being all literally cracked.
Even the knives and forks are found to ride rusty on the occasion. The
bread is become sop; and they have not even the satisfaction of getting
salt to their porridge, for that is dissolved into briny tears.
Like the provisions, they find themselves uncomfortably hamper'd; for
they generally chuse such a very retired spot, that there is nothing to
be had for love or money in the neighbourhood, for all the shops are as
distant as--ninety-ninth cousins!
However delightful the scenery may be, it is counterbalanced by the
prospect of starvation.
Although on the borders of a stream abounding in fish, they have neither
hook nor line; and even the young gentlemen who sing fail in a catch for
want of the necessary bait. Their spirits are naturally damped by their
disappointment, and their holiday garments by a summer shower; and though
the ducks of the gentlemen take the water as favourably as possible,
every white muslin presently assumes the appearance of a drab, and,
becoming a little limp and dirty, looks as miserable as a lame beggar!
In fine, it is only a donkey or a goose that can reasonably expect to
obtain a comfortable feed in a field. It may be very poetical to talk of
"Nature's table-cloth of emerald verdure;" but depend on it, a damask
one, spread over that full-grown vegetable--a mahogany table--is far
Giles was the eldest son and heir of Jeremiah Styles--a cultivator of the
soil--who, losing his first wife, took unto himself, at the mature age of
fifty, a second, called by the neighbours, by reason of the narrowness of
her economy, and the slenderness of her body, Jeremiah's Spare-rib.
Giles was a "'cute" lad, and his appetite soon became, under his
step-mother's management, as sharp as his wit; and although he
continually complained of getting nothing but fat, when pork chanced to
form a portion of her dietary, it was evident to all his acquaintance
that he really got lean! His legs, indeed, became so slight, that many
of his jocose companions amused themselves with striking at them with
straws as he passed through the farmyard of a morning.
"Whoy, Giles!" remarked one of them, "thee calves ha' gone to grass,
"Thee may say that, Jeames," replied Giles; "or d'ye see they did'nt
find I green enough."
"I do think now, Giles," said James, "that Mother Styles do feed thee on
nothing, and keeps her cat on the leavings."
"Noa, she don't," said Giles, "for we boath do get what we can catch, and
nothing more. Whoy, now, what do you think, Jeames; last Saturday, if
the old 'ooman did'nt sarve me out a dish o' biled horse-beans--"
"Horse-beans?" cried James; "lack-a-daisy me, and what did you do?"
"Whoy, just what a horse would ha' done, to be sure--"
"Noa--I kicked, and said 'Nay,' and so the old 'ooman put herself into a
woundy passion wi' I. 'Not make a dinner of horsebeans, you dainty
dog,' says she; 'I wish you may never have a worse.'--'Noa, mother,' says
I, 'I hope I never shall.' And she did put herself into such a tantrum,
to be sure--so I bolted; whereby, d'ye see, I saved my bacon, and the old
'ooman her beans. But it won't do. Jeames, I've a notion I shall go a
recruit, and them I'm thinking I shall get into a reg'lar mess, and get
shut of a reg'lar row."
"Dang it, it's too bad!" said the sympathising James; "and when do thee
"Next March, to be sure," replied Giles, with a spirit which was natural
to him--indeed, as to any artificial spirit, it was really foreign to his
"But thee are such a scare-crow, Giles," said James; "thee are thin as a
"My drumsticks," answered he, smiling, "may recommend me to the
band--mayhap--for I do think they'll beat anything."
"I don't like sogering neither," said James, thoughtfully. "Suppose the
French make a hole in thee with a bagnet--"
"Whoy, then, I shall be 'sewed up,' thee know."
"That's mighty foine," replied James, shaking his head; "but I'd rather
"Oh! Jeames, a mother-in-law's a greater bore than a bagnet, depend on't;
and it's my mind, it's better to die in a trench than afore an empty
And with this unalterable determination, the half-starved, though still
merry Giles, quitted his companion; and the following month, in pursuance
of the resolve he had made, he enlisted in his Majesty's service.
Fortunately for the youth, he received more billets than bullets, and
consequently grew out of knowledge, although he obtained a world of
information in his travels; and, at the expiration of the war, returned
to his native village covered with laurels, and in the Joyment of the
half-pay of a corporal, to which rank he had been promoted in consequence
of his meritorious conduct in the Peninsula. His father was still
living, but his step-nother was lying quietly in the church-yard.
"I hope, father," said the affectionate Giles, "that thee saw her buried
in a deep grave, and laid a stone a-top of her?"
"I did, my son."
"Then I am happy," replied Giles.
[WATTY WILLIAMS AND BULL]
"He sat, like patience on a monument, smiling at grief."
Watty Williams was a studious youth, with a long nose and a short pair of
trowsers; his delight was in the green fields, for he was one of those
philosophers who can find sermons in stones, and good in everything. One
day, while wandering in a meadow, lost in the perusal of Zimmerman on
Solitude, he was suddenly aroused from his reverie by a loud "Moo!" and,
turning about, he descried, to his dismay, a curly-fronted bull making
Now, Watt., was so good-humoured a fellow, that he could laugh at an
Irish bull, and withal, so staunch a Protestant, that a papal bull only
excited a feeling of pity and contempt; but a bull of the breed which was
careering towards him in such lively bounds, alarmed him beyond all
bounds; and he forthwith scampered over the meadow from the pugnaceous
animal with the most agile precipitation imaginable; for he was not one
of those stout-hearted heroes who could take the bull by the
horns--especially as the animal appeared inclined to contest the meadow
with him; and though so fond of beef (as he naturally was), he declined a
round upon the present occasion.
Seeing no prospect of escape by leaping stile or hedge, he hopped the
green turf like an encaged lark, and happily reached a pollard in the
midst of the meadow.
Climbing up with the agility of a squirrel, he seated himself on the
knobby summit of the stunted willow.
Still retaining his Zimmerman and his senses, he looked down and beheld
the corniferous quadruped gamboling playfully round his singular asylum.
"Very pleasant!" exclaimed he; "I suppose, old fellow you want to have a
game at toss!--if so, try it on with your equals, for you must see, if
you have any gumption, that Watty Williams is above you. Aye, you may
roar!--but if I sit here till Aurora appears in the east, you won't catch
me winking. What a pity it is you cannot reflect as well as ruminate;
you would spare yourself a great deal of trouble, and me a little fright
The animal disdainfully tossed his head, and ran at the tree--and
"Away flew the light bark!"
in splinters, but the trunk remained unmoved.
"Shoo! shoo!" cried Watty, contemptuously; but he found that shoo'ing
horns was useless; the beast still butted furiously against the harmless
"Hallo!" cried he to a dirty boy peeping at a distance--"Hallo!" but the
lad only looked round, and vanished in an instant.
"The little fool's alarmed, I do believe!" said he; "He's only a cow-boy,
I dare say!" And with this sapient, but unsatisfactory conclusion, he
opened his book, and read aloud, to keep up his courage.
The bull hearing his voice, looked up with a most melancholy leer, the
corners of his mouth drawn down with an expression of pathetic gravity.
Luckily for Watty, the little boy had given information of his dilemma,
and the farmer to whom the bull belonged came with some of his men, and
rescued him from his perilous situation.
"The gentleman will stand something to drink, I hope?" said one of the
"Certainly" said Watty.
"That's no more than right," said the farmer, "for, according to the New
Police Act, we could fine you."
"Why, we could all swear that when we found you, you were so elevated you
could not walk!"
Hereupon his deliverers set up a hearty laugh.
Watty gave them half-a-crown; saying, with mock gravity--
"I was on a tree, and you took me off--that was kind! I was in a fright,
and you laughed at me; that was uncharitable. Farewell!"
Lounging in Hyde Park with the facetious B____, all on a summer's day,
just at that period when it was the fashion to rail against the beautiful
statue, erected by the ladies of England, in honour of the Great
"The hero of a hundred fights,"--
"How proudly must he look from the windows of Apsley House," said I,
"upon this tribute to his military achievements."
"No doubt," replied B____; and with all that enthusiasm with which one
man of mettle ever regards another! At the same time, how lightly must
he hold the estimation of the gallant sons of Britain, when he reflects
that he has been compelled to guard his laurelled brow from the random
bullets of a democratic mob, by shot-proof blinds to his noble mansion:
'The unkindest cut of all,'
after all his hair-breadth 'scapes, by flood and field, in the service.
of his country, to be compelled to fortify his castle against domestic
"A mere passing cloud, that can leave no lasting impression on his great
mind," said I; "while this statue will for ever remain, a memorial of his
great deeds; and yet the complaint is general that the statue is
indelicate--as if, forsooth, this was the first statue exhibited in
'puris naturalibus' in England. I really regard it as the senseless
cavilling of envious minds."
"True," said B____, laughing; "there is a great deal of railing about the
figure, but we can all see through it!" at the same time thrusting his
walking-stick through the iron-fence that surrounds the pedestal. As for
delicacy, it is a word that is used so indiscriminately, and has so many
significations, according to the mode, that few people rightly understand
its true meaning. We say, for instance, a delicate child; and
pork-butchers recommend a delicate pig! Delicacy and indelicacy depend
on the mind of the recipient, and is not so much in the object as the
observer, rely on't. Some men have a natural aptitude in discovering the
indelicate, both in words and figures they appear, in a manner, to seek
for it. I assure you that. I (you may laugh if you will) have often
been put to the blush by the repetition of some harmless phrase, dropped
innocently from my lips, and warped by one of these 'delicate' gentlemen
to a meaning the very reverse of what I intended to convey. Like men
with green spectacles, they look upon every object through an artificial
medium, and give it a colour that has no existence in itself!
It was only last week, I was loitering about this very spot, when I
observed, among the crowd of gazers, a dustman dressed in his best, and
his plump doxy, extravagantly bedizened in her holiday clothes, hanging
on his arm.
As they turned away, the lady elevated the hem of her rather short
garments a shade too high (as the delicate dustman imagined) above her
ancle. He turned towards her, and, in an audible whisper, said,
'Delicacy, my love--'delicacy!'--'Lawks, Fred!' replied the damsel, with
a loud guffaw,'--'it's not fashionable!--besides, vot's the good o'
having a fine leg, if one must'nt show it?'
So much for opinions on delicacy!
"Now, Jem, let's shew these gals how we can row."
The tide is agin us, I know,
But pull away, Jem, like a trump;
Vot's that? O! my vig, it's a barge--
Oh! criky! but that vos a bump!
How lucky 'twas full o' round coals,
Or ve might ha' capsized her--perhaps!
See, the bargemen are grinning, by goles!
I never seed sich wulgar chaps.
Come, pull away, Jem, like a man,
A vherry's a coming along
Vith a couple o' gals all agog--
So let us be first in the throng.
Now put your scull rig'ler in,
Don't go for to make any crabs;
But feather your oar, like a nob,
And show 'em ve're nothink but dabs!
The vaterman's leering at us,
And the gals is a giggling so--
They take us for green'uns, but ve
Vill soon show 'em how ve can row.
Alas! for poor Bobby's "show off"--
He slipp'd in a trice from his seat--
While his beaver fell into the stream,
And the gals laugh'd aloud at his feat.
For his boots were alone to be seen,
As he sprawled like a crab on its back;
While the waterman cried--"Ho! my lads!
I think you'd best try t'other tack!"
Says Bobby--"You fool, it's your fault;
Look--my best Sunday castor is vet:
Pull ashore, then, as fast as you can.
I can't row no more--I'm upset.
"I think that my napper is broke,
Abumpin' agin this wile boat;
You may laugh--but I think it's no joke:
And I shan't soon agin be afloat.
"I'll never take you out agin--
I've had quite enough in this bout!"
Cried Jem--"Don't be angry vith me;
Sit still, and I'll soon--PUT YOU OUT!"
STEAMING IT TO MARGATE.
"Steward, bring me a glass of brandy as quick as you can."
Since the invention of steam, thousands have been tempted to inhale the
saline salubrity of the sea, that would never have been induced to try,
and be tried, by the experiment of a trip. Like hams for the market,
every body is now regularly salted and smoked. The process, too, is so
cheap! The accommodations are so elegant, and the sailors so smart! None
of the rolling roughness of quid-chewing Jack-tars. Jack-tars! pshaw!
they are regular smoke jacks on board a steamer! The Steward ("waiter"
by half the cockneys called) is so ready and obliging; and then the
provisions is excellent. Who would not take a trip to Margate? There's
only one thing that rather adulterates the felicity--a drop of gall in
the cup of mead!--and that is the horrid sea-sickness! learnedly called
nostalgia; but call it by any name you please, like a stray dog, it is
pretty sure to come.
The cold perspiration--the internal commotion--the brain's giddiness--the
utter prostration of strength--the Oh! I never shall forget the
death-like feel!--Fat men rolling on the deck, like fresh caught
porpoises; little children floundering about; and white muslins and
parasols vanishing below! The smoking-hot dinner sends up its fumes, and
makes the sick more sick. Soda-water corks are popping and flying about
in every direction, like a miniature battery pointed against the assaults
of the horrid enemy!
"Steward!" faintly cries a fat bilious man, "bring me a glass of brandy
as quick as you can."
But alas! he who can thus readily summon spirits from the vasty deep, has
no power over the rolling sea, or its reaches!
"O! my poor pa!" exclaims the interesting Wilhelmina; and is so overcome,
that she, sweet sympathizer! is soon below pa in the ladies' cabin. In
fact, the greater part of the pleasure-seekers are taken--at full length.
Even young ladies from boarding-school, who are thinking of husbands,
declare loudly against maritime delight! while all the single young men
The pier at last appears--and the cargo of drooping souls hail it with
delight, and with as grateful a reverence as if they were received by the
greatest peer of the realm!
They hurry from the boat as if 'twere Charon's, and they were about
stepping into the fields of Elysium!
A change comes o'er the spirit of their dream--their nerves are braced;
and so soon are mortal troubles obliterated from the mind, that in a few
days they are ready again to tempt the terrors of sea-sickness in a
voyage homewards--notwithstanding many of them, in their extremity, had
vowed that they never would return by water, if they outlived the present
infliction; considering, naturally enough, that it was "all up" with
PETER SIMPLE'S FOREIGN ADVENTURE.
"Loud roared the dreadful thunder."--Bay of Biscay.
The good ship Firefly tossed and tumbled on the mountainous waves of the
stormy sea, like a cork in a gutter; and when she could not stem the
waves, politically tried a little tergiversation, and went stern
foremost! The boatswain piped all hands, and poor Peter Simple piped his
eye; for the cry of the whole crew was, that they were all going to Davy
Jones's locker. The waves struck her so repeatedly, that at last she
appeared as ungovernable as a scold in a rage; and as she found she could
not, by any means, strike the storm in the wind, and so silence it, she
gave vent to her fury by striking upon a rock!
It was a hard alternative truly; but what could she do? The long boat
was soon alongside, and was not long before it was filled with tars and
salt-water. Alas! she was speedily swamped, and the crew were compelled
to swim for their lives. Peter, however, could not swim, but the sea
gave him a lift in his dilemma, and washed him clean ashore, where he lay
for some time like a veritable lump of salt-Peter! When the storm had
abated he came to himself, and of course found himself in no agreeable
Sticking his cocked-hat on his head, and grasping his dirk in his hand,
he tottered to a rock, when, seating himself, he philosophically rocked
to and fro. "Oh! vy vos I a midshipman," cried he, "to be wrecked on
this desolate island? I vish I vos at home at Bloomsbury! Oh! that I
had but to turn and embrace my kind, good, benevolent, and much respected
grandmother." As he uttered this pathetic plaint, he heard a chatter--of
which, at first considering that it proceeded from his own teeth, he took
no notice--but the sounds being repeated, he turned his head, and beheld
a huge baboon with a dog-face and flowing hair, grinning with admiration
at his cocked hat.
One look was sufficient! he leaped from his seat, and rushed wildly
forward, threading a wood in his way, and turning in and out--in and out
--with the sharpness and facility of a needle in the heel of a worsted
stocking--he never stayed his flight, 'till he fell plump into the centre
of a group of Indians, who received him with a yell!--loud enough to
split the drums of a whole drawing-room full of ears polite.
He would have fallen headlong with fear and exhaustion upon the turf, had
not a gentle female caught the slender youth in her arms, and embraced
him with all the energetic affection of a boa-constrictor.
Peter trembled like a little inoffensive mouse in the claws of a tabby!
At the same time one of the Indians stepped forward, brandishing his
He was the very prototype of an animated bronze Hercules; and, seizing
the poor middy's lank locks, with a peculiar twist, in his iron
PETER SIMPLE'S FOREIGN ADVENTURE. No. II.
"O! what a lost mutton am I!"--Inkle and Yarico.
Most luckily for poor Peter was it, that he fell into the hands, or
rather the arms, of the Indian maid; for she not only preserved his crop,
but his life. When he recovered from his swoon, he found himself seated
beside his preserver, who, with one arm round his waist, was holding a
cocoa-nut, filled with a refreshing beverage, to his parched and pallid
lips. A large fire blazed in the middle of the wide space occupied by
the Indians, and he beheld the well-known coats and jackets of the brave
crew of the Firefly scattered on the greensward.
His heart palpitated-he thought at first that the villainous Indians had
stripped them, and left them to wander in a state of nature through the
tangled and briery woods. He was, however, soon--too soon--convinced
that the savages had dressed them! Yes, that merry crew--who had so
often roasted him--had been roasted by the Indians!
From this awful fate the lovely Ootanga had preserved him. She had
suddenly conceived a violent affection for the young white-face; and,
after a long harangue to the chief, her father, his consent was obtained,
and the nuptials were celebrated.
"I smell a rat," said Peter--"I'm booked; but better booked than cooked,
at any rate;" and forthwith returned thanks to the company for the honour
they had conferred upon him, in the fashion of an after-dinner speech,
accompanied with as much pantomime as he could manage.
A dance and a feast followed, of which Peter partook; but whether rabbit,
squirrel, or monkey, formed the basis of his wedding-supper, he was not
naturalist enough to determine.
Ootanga's affection, however, was sufficient to make amends for anything;
she was, in truth, a most killing beauty, for she brought him tigers
slain by her own hands, and made a couch for him of the skins.
She caught rattlesnakes for him, and spitch-cooked them for his
breakfast. In fact, there was nothing she left undone to convince him of
her unbounded love.
Peter's heart, however, was untouched by all this show of tenderness; for
the fact is, he had already given his heart to a white-face in his own
The only consolation he had in his forlorn situation was to talk of her
continually; and, as Ootanga understood not a syllable of what he
uttered, she naturally applied all his tender effusions to herself, and
laughed and grinned, and showed her white teeth, as if she would devour
her little husband.
Seated on a tiger skin, with his lawful spouse beside him, arrayed in
shells, bows, feathers, and all the adornments of a savage bride, he
still sighed for home, and plaintively exclaimed:--
"Here I am, married to the only daughter of the great chief, who would
have roasted me with the rest of our crew, had I not given a joyful
consent. Oh! I wonder if I ever shall get home, and be married to Miss
The lovely wide-mouthed Ootanga patted him fondly on the chin, and
dreamed in her ignorance that he was paying her a compliment in his
A LEGEND OF HORSELYDOWN.
It may be accepted as an indubitable truth, that when the tenderest
epithets are bandied between a married couple, that the domestic affairs
do not go particularly straight.
Dobbs and his rib were perhaps the most divided pair that ever were yoked
by Hymen. D. was a good-humored fellow, a jovial blade, full of high
spirits--while his wife was one of the most cross-grained and
cantankerous bodies that ever man was blessed with--and yet, to hear the
sweet diminutives which they both employed in their dialogues, the world
would have concluded that they were upon the best terms conceivable.
"My love," quoth Mrs. D., "I really now should like to take a boat and
row down the river as far as Battersea; the weather is so very fine, and
you know, my dear love, how fond I am of the water."
D. could have added (and indeed it was upon the very tip of his
tongue)--"mixed with spirits"--but he wisely restrained the impertinent
"Well, my duck," said he, "you have only to name the day, you know, I am
always ready to please,"--and then, as was his habit, concluded his
gracious speech by singing--
"'Tis woman vot seduces all mankind--
Their mother's teach them the wheedling art."
"Hold your nonsense, do," replied Mrs. D____, scarcely able to restrain
her snappish humour, but, fearful of losing the jaunt, politically added,
"Suppose, love, we go to-day--no time like the present, dear."
"Thine am I--thine am I," sang the indulgent husband.
And Mrs. D____ hereupon ordered the boy to carry down to the stairs a
cargo of brandy, porter, and sandwiches, for the intended voyage, and
taking her dear love in the humour, presently appeared duly decked out
for the trip.
Two watermen and a wherry were soon obtained, and Dobbs, lighting his
cigar, alternately smoked and sang, while his duck employed herself most
agreeably upon the sandwiches.
The day was bright and sunny, and exceedingly hot; and they had scarcely
rowed as far as the Red-House, when Mrs. D____became rather misty, from
the imbibation of the copious draughts she had swallowed to quench her
A lighter being a-head, the boatmen turned round, while Dobbs, casting up
his eyes to the blue heavens, was singing, in the hilarity of his heart,
"Hearts as warm as those above, lie under the waters cold," when the boat
heeled, and his duck, who unfortunately could not swim, slipped gently
over the gunwhale, and, unnoticed, sank to rise no more.
"Ah!" said Dobbs, when, some months afterwards, he was speaking of the
sad bereavement, "She was a wife! I shall never get such another, and,
what's more, I would not if I could."
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM.
Among all the extraordinary and fantastic dishes compounded for the
palate of Heliogabalus, the Prince of Epicures, that delicious admixture
of the animal and the vegetable--Strawberries and Cream--is never
mentioned in the pages of the veracious chronicler of his gastronomic
Yes! 'tis a lamentable truth, this smooth, oleaginous, and delicately
odorous employment for the silver spoon, was unknown. Should the
knowledge of his loss reach him in the fields of Elysium, will not his
steps be incontinently turned towards the borders of the Styx--his
plaintive voice hail the grim ferryman, while in his most persuasive
tones he cries--
"Row me back--row me back,"
that he may enjoy, for a brief space, this untasted pleasure? Ye gods!
in our mind's eye we behold the heartless and unfeeling Charon refuse his
earnest prayer, and see his languid spirit--diluted by disappointment to
insipidity--wandering over the enamelled meads, as flat and shallow as an
overflow in the dank fens of Lincoln.
His imagination gloats upon the fragrant invention, and he gulps at the
cheating shadow until Elysium becomes a perfect Hades to his tortured
Mellow, rich, and toothsome compound! Toothsome did we say? Nay, even
those who have lost their 'molares, incisores,' canine teeth, 'dentes
sapientiae,' and all can masticate and inwardly digest thee!
Racy and recherche relish!
As delicate as first love--
As white and red as a maiden's cheek--
As palateable as well-timed flattery--
As light and filling as the gas of a balloon--
As smooth as a courtier--
As odorous as the flowers of Jasmin---
As soft as flos silk--
As encouraging, without being so illusory, as Hope--
As tempting as green herbage to lean kine--
------------ a Chancery suit to the Bill of a cormorant-lawyer--
------------ a pump to a thirsty paviour--
------------ a sun-flower to a bee--
------------ a ripe melon to a fruit-knife--
------------ a rose to a nightingale--or
------------ a pot of treacle to a blue-bottle--
As beautiful to the eye as a page of virgin-vellum richly illuminated
As satisfactory as a fat legacy!
Talk of nectar! if Jupiter should really wish to give a bonne-bouche to
Juno, Leda, or Venus, or any one of his thousand and one flames, let him
skim the milky-way--transform the instrumental part of the music of the
spheres into 'hautboys,' and compound the only dish worth the roseate
lips of the gentle dames 'in nubibus,' and depend on it, the cups of
Ganymede and Hebe will be rejected for a bowl of--Strawberries and Cream.
A DAY'S PLEASURE.--No. I.
THE JOURNEY OUT.
"It's werry hot, but werry pleasant."
Says Mrs. Sibson to her spouse
"The days is hot and fair;
I think 'twould do the children good
To get a little hair!
"For ve've been moping here at home
And nothin' seen o' life;
Vhile neighbor Jones he takes his jaunts
O' Sundays vith his vife!"
"Vell! vell! my dear," quoth Mr. S____
"Let's hear vot you purpose;
I'm al'ays ready to comply,
As you, my love, vell knows.
"I'll make no bones about the cost;
You knows I never stick
About a trifle to amuse,
So, dearest Pol, be quick."
"Vhy, this is it:--I think ve might
To Hornsey have a day;
Maria, Peg, and Sal, and Bet
Ve'd pack into a 'chay.'
"Our Jim and Harry both could valk,
(God bless their little feet!)
The babby in my arms I'd take--
I'm sure 'twould be a treat;"
Quoth he: "I am unanimous!"
And so the day was fix'd;
And forth they started in good trim,
Tho' not with toil umnix'd.
Across his shoulders Sibson bore
A basket with the "grub,"
And to the "chay" perform'd the "horse,"
Lest Mrs. S____ should snub.
Apollo smiled!--that is, the sun
Blazed in a cloudless sky,
And Sibson soon was in a "broil"
By dragging of his "fry."
Says S____, "My love, I'm dry as dust!"
When she replied, quite gay,
"Then, drink; for see I've bottled up
My spirits for the day."
And from the basket drew a flask,
And eke a footless glass;
He quaff'd the drink, and cried, "Now, dear,
I'm strong as ____" let that pass!
At last they reach'd the destined spot
And prop and babes unpacked;
They ran about, and stuff'd, and cramm'd,
And really nothing lack'd.
And Sibson, as he "blew a cloud,"
Declared, "It vos a day!"
And vow'd that he would come again--
Then call'd for "Vot's to pay?"
A DAY'S PLEASURE.--No. II.
THE JOURNEY HOME.
"Vot a soaking ve shall get."
Across the fields they homeward trudged, when, lo! a heavy rain
Came pouring from the sky;
Poor Sibson haul'd, the children squall'd; alas! it was too plain
They would not reach home dry.
With clay-clogg'd wheels, and muddy heels, and Jim upon his back,
He grumbled on his way;
"Vell, blow my vig! this is a rig!" cried Sibson, "Vell! alack!
I shan't forget this day!
"My shoes is sop, my head's a mop; I'm vet as any think;
Oh! shan't ve cotch a cold!"
"Your tongue is glib enough!" his rib exclaim'd, and made him shrink,
--For she was such a scold--
And in her eye he could descry a spark that well he knew
Into a flame would rise;
So he was dumb, silent and glum, as the small "chay" he drew,
And ventured no replies.
Slip, slop, and slush! past hedge and bush, the dripping mortals go
(Tho' 'twas "no go" S____ thought);
"If this 'ere's fun, vy I for vuu," cried he, with face of woe,
"Von't soon again be caught.
"Vet to the skin, thro' thick and thin, to trapes ain't to my mind;
So the next holiday
I vill not roam, but stick at home, for there at least I'll find
The means to soak my clay.
"Tis quite a fag, this 'chay' to drag--the babbies too is cross,
And Mrs. S____ is riled.
'Tis quite a bore; the task is more--more fitt'rer for an horse;
And vith the heat I'm briled!
"No, jaunts adoo! I'll none o' you!"--and soon they reach'd their home,
Wet through and discontent--
"Sure sich a day, I needs must say," exclaim'd his loving spouse,
"Afore I never spent!"
"Beside a meandering stream
There sat an old gentleman fat;
On the top of his head was his wig,
On the top of his wig was his hat."
I once followed a venerable gentleman along the banks of a mill-stream,
armed at all points with piscatorial paraphernalia, looking out for some
appropriate spot, with all the coolness of a Spanish inquisitor,
displaying his various instruments of refined torture. He at last
perched himself near the troubled waters, close to the huge revolving
wheel, and threw in his float, which danced upon the mimic waves, and
bobbed up and down, as if preparing for a reel. Patiently he sat; as
motionless and unfeeling as a block. I placed myself under cover of an
adjoining hedge, and watched him for the space of half an hour; but he
pulled up nothing but his baited hook;--what his bait was, I know not;
but I suppose, from the vicinity, he was fishing for a "miller's thumb."
Presently, two mealy-mouthed men, from the mill, made their appearance,
cautiously creeping behind him.
I drew myself up in the shadow of the luxuriant quickset to observe their
A paling in the rear offered the rogues an effectual concealment in case
the angler should turn.
Close to his seat ran some wood-work, upon which they quietly drew the
broad tails of his coat, and driving in a couple of tenpenny nails, left
the unconscious old gentleman a perfect fixture; to be taken at a
valuation, I suppose, part of his personal property being already
"brought to the hammer!" the clattering clamour of the wheel precluding
him from hearing the careful, but no less effectual taps. I certainly
enjoyed the trick, and longed to see the ridiculous issue; but he was so
intent upon his sport--so fixed that he did not discover the nature of
his real attachment while I remained.
Doubtless if he were of a quick and sudden temperament, a snatch of his
humour rent his broad cloth, and he returned home with a woful tail, and
slept not--for his nap was irreparably destroyed!
I hate all twaddle; but when I see an old fool, with rod and line,
"Sitting like patience on a monument,"
and selling the remnant of his life below cost price in the pursuit of
angling,--that "art of ingeniously tormenting,"--a feeling,
"More in sorrow than in anger,"
is excited at his profitless inhumanity.
Vainly do all the disciples of honest Izaak Walton discourse, in
eulogistic strains, of the pleasure of the sport. I can imagine neither
pleasure nor sport derivable from the infliction of pain upon the meanest
thing endowed with life.
This may be deemed Brahminical, but I doubt that man's humanity who can
indulge in the cruel recreation and murder while he smiles.
"What, heretical sentiments," exclaims some brother of the angle, (now I
am an angle, but no angler.) "This fellow hath never trudged at early
dawn along the verdant banks of the 'sedgy lea,' and drunk in the dewy
freshness of the morning air. His lines have never fallen in pleasant
places. He has never performed a pilgrimage to Waltham Cross. He is, in
truth, one of those vulgar minds who take more delight in the simple than
the--gentle!--and every line of his deserves a rod!"
"Sweet is the breath of morn when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds."---MILTON.
"Well, this is a morning!" emphatically exclaimed a stripling, with a
mouth and eyes formed by Nature of that peculiar width and power of
distension, so admirably calculated for the expression of stupid wonder
or surprise; while his companion, elevating his nasal organ and
projecting his chin, sniffed the fresh morning breeze, as they trudged
through the dewy meadows, and declared that it was exactly for all the
world similar-like to reading Thomson's Seasons! In which apt and
appropriate simile the other concurred.
"Tom's a good fellow to lend us his gun," continued he--"I only hope it
ain't given to tricking, that's all. I say, Sugarlips, keep your powder
"Leave me alone for that," replied Sugarlips; "I know a thing or two,
although this is the first time that ever I have been out. What a
scuffling the birds do make"--added he, peeping into the cage which they
had, as a precautionary measure, stocked with sparrows, in order that
they might not be disappointed in their sport--"How they long to be on
"I'll wing 'em, presently!" cried his comrade, with a vaunting air--" and
look if here ain't the very identical spot for a display of my skill.
Pick out one of the best and biggest, and tie up a-top of yonder stile,
and you shall soon have a specimen of my execution." Sugarlips quickly
did his bidding.
"Now--come forward and stand back! What do ye think o' that, ey?" said
the sportsman--levelling his gun, throwing back his head, closing his
sinister ocular, and stretching out his legs after the manner of the
Colossus of Rhodes--"Don't you admire my style?"
"Excellent!" said Sugarlips--"But I think I could hit it."
"Why, the stile to be sure."
"Keep quiet, can't you--Now for it--" and, trembling with eagerness, his
hand pulled the trigger, but no report followed. "The deuce is in the
gun," cried he, lowering it, and examining the lock; "What can ail it?"
"Why, I'll be shot if that ain't prime," exclaimed Sugarlips, laughing
"What do you mean?"
"I've only forgot the priming--that's all."
"There's a pretty fellow, you are, for a sportsman."
"Well, it's no matter as it happens; for, though 'Time and tide wait for
no man,' a sparrow tied must, you know. There! that will do."
"Sure you put the shot in now?"
"If you put the shot into Dicky as surely, he'll never peck groundsel
again, depend on it."
Again the "murderous tube" was levelled; Sugarlips backed against an
adjoining wall, with a nervous adhesiveness that evidently proved him
less fearful of a little mortar than a great gun!
"That's right; out of the way, Sugarlips; I am sure I shall hit him this
time." And no sooner had he uttered this self-congratulatory assurance
(alas! not life-assurance!) than a report (most injurious to the innocent
cock-sparrow) was heard in the neighbourhood!
"Murder!--mur-der!" roared a stentorian voice, which made the criniferous
coverings of their craniums stand on end
"Like quills upon the fretful porcupine."
In an instant the sportsman let fall his gun, and Sugarlips ran
affrighted towards the stile. He found it really "vox et preterea
nihil;" for a few feathers of the bird alone were visible: he had been
blown to nothing; and, peeping cautiously round the angle of the wall, he
beheld a portly gentleman in black running along with the unwieldy gait
of a chased elephant.
"Old Flank'em, of the Finishing Academy, by jingo!" exclaimed Sugarlips.
"It's a mercy we didn't finish him! Why, he must actually have been on
the point of turning the corner. I think we had better be off; for, if
the old dominie catches us, he will certainly liberate our sparrows, and
--put us in the cage!"
But, where's the spoil?"
"Spoil, indeed!" cried Sugarlips; "you've spoiled him nicely. I've an
idea, Tom, you were too near, as the spendthrift nephew said of his
miserly uncle. If you can't get an aim at a greater distance, you'd
never get a name as a long shot--that's my mind."
Uncle Samson was a six-bottle man. His capacity was certainly great,
whatever might be said of his intellect; for I have seen him rise without
the least appearance of elevation, after having swallowed the customary
half dozen. He laughed to scorn all modern potations of wishy-washy
French and Rhine wines--deeming them unfit for the palate of a true-born
Englishman. Port, Sherry, and Madeira were his only tipple--the rest, he
would assert, were only fit for finger-glasses!
--He was of a bulky figure, indeed a perfect Magnum among men, with a
very apoplectic brevity of neck, and a logwood complexion,--and though a
staunch Church-of-England-man, he might have been mistaken, from his
predilection for the Port, to be a true Mussulman. To hear him discourse
upon the age of his wines--the 'pinhole,' the 'crust,' the 'bees'-wing,'
etc., was perfectly edifying--and every man who could not imbibe the
prescribed quantum, became his butt. To temperance and tea-total
societies he attributed the rapid growth of radicalism and dissent.
"Water," he would say, with a sort of hydrophobic shudder, "is only a fit
beverage for asses!"--"To say a man could drink like a fish, was once the
greatest encomium that a bon-vivant could bestow upon a brother
Bacchanalian--but, alas! in this matter-of-fact and degenerate age, men
do so literally--washing their gills with unadulterated water!--Dropsy
and water on the chest must be the infallible result! If such an order
of things continue, all the puppies in the kingdom, who would perhaps
have become jolly dogs in their time, will be drowned! Yes, they'll
inevitably founder, like a water-logged vessel, in sight of port. These