Imágenes de página

fectly unjust; for I will proudly re- he gets to leeward so very rapidly, peat, I am not what you think me. I that, den me, if I don't think the could as easily as fearlessly lay every little brain he ever had is leaving him event of my life before you—but-you fast; and if God and the Admiralty must excuse me-No-it may not be spare him a few years more of the first at this time; nor is it at all necessary fiddle of a guardo, he'll get as mude that I should bring needless degrada- dled, and crank, and pompously stu. tion on highly respected names by as- pid, as a port-admiral, or a dock-yard sociating them with such a despicable commissioner.” being as a man-of-war's man.

Here Toddrell's laughter overcame “ Very well, young man,” cried his wit, and he bayed away, as our Captain

Farrell, “very well, take your Campbell says, both long and loud; own way of it, and content yourself; to the great admiration of all his jufor your concerns you know are no- niors, who joined him as a chorus with thing to me, and I have something great glee. Captain Farrell's gravity, else to do than stand here prating with however, and his utterance of a peevish you. I must tell you, however, that I pshaw! soon abridged the view of their think you are a queer one, and no well scrubbed teeth, and put their better, I doubt me much, than you merry muscles in a more decorous and ought to be. You may leave me. business-like form. Leaving them,

So saying, Captain Farrell turned therefore, moresedately making various on his heel, and walked towards his remarks on the unexampled strength officers, leaving poor Davies to join his of that Scottish genius, whose magic bandit companions in a state of mind pencil make such paltry fragments as far from being enviable.

the Fern Íslands, objects of such high “Well, sir," said Toddrell, “ don't interest in the literary world,--and the you think poor Ralph’s headpiece is juniors busied in taking observations in a sad taking? An unaccountable, of the headlands of the beautiful coast forsooth! Pray God all our matters of Northumbria—the saucy Whipperwere as easy to be accounted for as snapper nimbly walking through it that fellow-who is a smartlad enough, meanwhile we will conclude for the but who, no doubt, is some barber's present, content with having introclerk ashore, who has bilked his tailor, duced our man-of-war's man, howand run for it. However, I'm really ever inauspiciously, to the notice of sorry for Highgate, poor fellow ! for our readers.


THE STEAM-BOAT ; Or, The Voyages and Travels of Thomas Duffle, Cloth-merchant in the

Saltmarket of Glasgow,

No. VII.

LONDON ADVENTURES. On the morning after the Coronation, the meantime, much solaced with ocI found myself in a very disjasked caşional visitations from that most state, being both sore in lith and limb, worthy divine, Dr Pringle. He was and worn out in my mind with the indeed to me a friend among strangers, great fatigue I had undergone, toge- in that foreign land of London, and ther with a waff of cold that had come took a pleasure in letting me know, from upon me, no doubt caused by that his past experience, what was most bedisaster of the thunder plump that coming of notice and observation. drookit me to the skin, as I have re The first place of note that I went to hearsed at length in the foregoing see, was the Gardens of Vauxhall; and chapter. I was thereby constrained to I had for my companion, Mr Ettle, a keep my lodgings for a day; and Mrs Greenock gentleman, that I had dined Damask was wonderful attentive, and with in the house of Mr Tartan, my sparing in no pains to get me pleased friend and correspondent in that town. and comfortable. However, hy and He was a busy man, seeing all sort of by, I came to my ordinar, and then I things. I trow no grass grew beneath went about to see the sights, being, in his feet on the plainstanes of London;

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

for he considered it his duty, having and Mr Ettle seeing this, pushed in come to visit the metropolis as a party and kittled her under the oxster_“O of pleasure, to spare no trouble in Sawney Sowans o' Paisley, whar are compassing the ends of his journey. ye? Come here, come here, for a man's

Going with Mr Ettle to the masque- meddling wi' me.”—The which shout rade at Vauxhall, ilk in a domino, of terrification caused a loud uproar of which is just like a minister's gown, laughter, that was just a sport to enand with black false faces on, when joy. But after it, Mr Ettle made himwe were paying our money at the door self known as a friend, for Mrs Sowans for admittance, we saw before us a was sincerely frightened, and it beholittle, fat, and round lady, and a gen- ved him to pacify her, by telling that tleman in the same guise and garb as what he had done was but a masquerourselves; and following them in, the ading for diversion. Some exchange lady, when she beheld the lamps and of discourse anent London and the bowers and arbours, cried out with a crowning of the King then ensued, shrill voice of admiration, " Eh, Gor. and Mr and Mrs Sowans, telling where don's Loan, Prussia Street ! Sawney they bided, invited both me and Mr Sowans, what's tat? was ever sic à Ettle to come and see them in their sight seen !" By the which ejaculation, lodgings, the mistress saying in her we discerned that this was a Paisley couthy way to me, “I hope, Mr Duffle, woman, and Mr Ettle said he knew ye'll no neglec to gie me a ca' before them well, they being no other than ye lea the toon;" which I promised Mr and Mrs Sowans from that town. with meikle good will, for Mrs Sowans

“We'll get some fun out of them, is in the main a decent woman, and no so keep close at their heels,” said he given to hide her pedigree, as was

With that we walked behind them shewn by her to the minister of the listening to their discourse, and to eve- parish when the maister bigget his new ry“ Gordon's Loan, Prussia Street," house. “I can sit at the window," said with which the mistress testified her Mrs Sowans," and see sax houses wonderment at the ferlies of the place. where I was in servitude, and no ane “ I'm confoundit, Sawney Sowans, o' them a' half so good or so bein as said she," at the lights and lamps. my ain.” Eh! Gordon's Loan, Prussia Street ! When we had paraded, as I have said, luk up,

luk up, can yon be booits for a season, we then went into an ala too?" and she pointed to the starns in cove and had a small bowl of punch; the firmament with a jocosity that was and here I must notice an uncivil thing just a kittle to hear.

on the part of Mr Ettle, for when I By and by, after parading from one was sitting resting myself he slipped part of the gardens to another, harken- away out, and left me my leaful lane. ing to the music here, and looking to where he went, and who he forgatherladies and gentlemen dancing there, ed with, he kens best himsel, for I never we entered into a most miraculous saw hilt or hair of him more that night. round room, with divers other halls So I began to grow eerie at being soliand places, as if built up by a Geni, tary in an unkent multitude, and coand stood before a batch of foreign ming to the yett of the gardens, hired musicants, that were piping on the a hackney that took me home to Mrs Pan's pipe, nodding their heads in a Damask's in perfect safety, by half an most methodical manner, and beating hour past eleven o'clock. The misdrums and triangles at the same time. tress marvelled at seeing me so soon Mr and Mrs Sowans were just trans- from Vauxhall, and thought I had ported to see this, and the gudeman surely met with some great misfortune, said to her, as he turned to go away, either in purse or person, and could -“ It's all in my eye.”

_"What's à not divine how it was possible that I in your eye?" quo' she." Its just could be uneasy at Vauxhall. clockwork,” said he; at which she gave The night following I went to hear a skirl of pleasure, and cried “Na, na, the music in the Opera--a most suprigudeman, ye're glammer'd there, for sing playhouse, and I sat down beside they're living images of human crea- Mr Ettle, whom I saw in the pit. I tures like oursels.

had not, however, been long there The crowd had now assembled in when a most beautiful and fine lady great numbers. In going out of one came and clinkit herself to my side, room into another the mistress was di- saying, “Eh! save's, Mr Duffle, what's vided from eleeking with her husband, brought you frae the Sautmarket to

[ocr errors]

London ? and how's Mrs MʻLeckit?" she was well treated as an innocent -I was, as may well be supposed, in country maiden both by lords and gena consternation at this cordiality from tlemen of high degrees. To do the a personage that was a match for a poor creature justice, however, I am countess, and looked for a space of bound to say she was very glad to see time in amazement:“Do ye no ken me, and requested me very warmly to me,” cried the madam, I'm Jenny come to her house in London Street, Swinton, that was wee lass to your and take my tea with her. And Docneighbour Mr Sweeties." —And sure tor Pringle, to whom I mentioned the enough it was the same glaikit girlie. adventure next day, advised me to go, She had misfortune that she gied and offered himself to accompany me, the wyte o' to some o' our neer-do- in the hope that by our exhortations weel gentlemen; but after this she Jenny might be persuaded to eschew fell into an open course of immorali- the error of her way. But I had a ty, till she made Glasgow o'er het to notion that the invitation was all a hold her. Then she went into Edin- trick of Mr Ettle's, to draw me into a burgh; and syne, having gathered situation with this strange woman; some lady-like cleeding, she spoused for they seemed to be very thick the her fortune, and set out to try her luck gither, though he pretended that he in London, where, as I could learn, didna ken her.


THE EFFIGIES. The more I saw of the great Tarsh- showed that his reserve was but a ree ish, my spirit was filled with won- solution-not habitual, nor from the der, and borne onward with a longing custom of his nature. “ The least for new things. Finding it was not interesting things about this town," convenient to go home for my dinner, said he, “to a man who looks deeper when I was in a distant part of the than the outside of the packing-case town, I dropped into the nearest cof- of society, are the buildings, the feehouse, when I felt an inclination to wealth,-and the appearance of the eat,—and by this means I sometimes people. The pre-eminence of Lonforgathered with strange

persons, deep- don consists in the possession of a race ly read in the mysteries of man. of beings that I call the Effigies. Among others, I one day, when I felt They resemble man in action and ex, the wonted two o'clock pinkling in my ternal bearing ; but they have neither belly, stepped into an eating-house, passions, appetites, nor affections ;to get a check of something, and sat without reason, imagination, or heart, down at a table in a box where an el- they do all things that men do, but derly man, of a salt-water complexion, they move onward to the grave, and was sitting. Having told the lad that are covered up in the parent and conwas the waiter what I wanted, I en- genial clay with as little regret by those tered into discourse with the hard-fa- who knew them best, as you feel for voured stranger. His responses to me the fate of that haddock you are now were at first very short, and it seemed about to eat." as if he had made up his mind to stint And what are the things?" was my the freedom of conversation. But there diffident answer. “ Why,” says he, was a quickened intelligence in his "they are for the most part foundlings eye, which manifested that his mind of fortune,-beings without relations ; neither slumbered nor slept. I told adventurers, who at an early period him that I was come on purpose to of life, perhaps begged their way to inspect the uncos in London, and London, and have raised themselves, how content I was with all I saw ; not by talent or skill, but by a curious and my continued marvel at the great kind of alchemy, into great riches. I apparition of wealth that seemed to have known several. They are com. abound everywhere. “ I think," said monly bachelors,-bachelors in the 1,“ that its only in London a man can heart. They live in a snug way,see the happiness of the British na- have some crony that dines with them tion.”—“And the misery,” was his re- on Sunday, and who knows as little ply. This caustical observe led to fur- of their affairs as of their history:ther discant anent both sides of the The friendship of such friends usually question, until he opened up, and commences in the Hampstead or Hacks

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ney stages, and the one is commonly promise you it will be heard of;" and a pawnbroker and the other a banker. when it was not taken up, it was heard The professions of such friendship- of, and that too with a vengeance. He less friends are ever intrinsically the never gave a groat in charity, because samenor can I see any difference he never had one to give. He lived between the man who lends money on all his days as literally from hand to bills and bonds, and him who does the mouth as when he entered London same thing on the widow's wedding- without a penny. If you wanted a bill Ting, or the clothes of her orphans. discounted, he never did it off-hand. They both grow rich by the edi. He had all his own cash previously ents of the necessitous or the unfortu- put out at usury, and was obliged to nate. They make their money by apply to his bankers. They got at the habit, without motive, and they be- rate of five per cent. per annum. Joe queath it to some charity or public agreed to sell some article of merchancharacter, merely because they are by dize to his customer,—and the price the force of custom required to make he put on it left him not less in genea will.-I am a traveller, I know some- ral than five per cent. per month, upthing of all the principal cities of Eu- on the principal of the bill discounted. rope, but in no other has the Effigian But the wealth he thus gathered, species any existence. Their element might almost be said to have been unconsists of the necessities of a commer- blest, for it brought him no new encial community, which embraces all joyment. At the age of three score, the other vicissitudes to which man- and possessed of half a million, he was kind are ordinarily liable.

taken ill with vexation in consequence “One of the most decided, the purest of a clerk dying insolvent, who had blood of the Effigies, was the lateold Joe been in his service three and twenty Brianson. Whether he beggedor work- years, and to whom he had discounted ed his way to London is disputed ; but a bill for twenty pounds in anticipa- he commenced his career as a porter. tion of his salary; the poor man beNo one ever heard him mention the ing at the time under the necessity name of any of his kin; perhaps he of submitting to an operation for the had some good reason for the conceal- stone. ment. The first week he saved a “ Joe married when he was about crown, which he lent to a brother fifty. His wife was the daughter of a bearer of burdens who was in need, man with whom he had formed an acon condition of receiving six shillings quaintancein the Islington stage-coach. on the Saturday following. In the She was beautiful and accomplished, course of the third week after his ar- and beloved by a handsome young rival, he was worth one pound ster- butcher ; but educated at a fashionling ;-and he died at the age of 73, able boarding school, the butcher's leaving exactly a million, not taking trade was unsavoury to her imaginaout of the world one idea more than tion. Her own father was a nighthe brought into London fifty-six years man—a dealer in dung-hills. There before ; -and yet the history of Joe is some difference between a banker would be infinitely more interesting and a butcher; and old sordid Joe was and important than that of all the on that account preferred to the young men of fame and genius that ever ex- butcher by the nightman's daughter. isted. For although he was, in the They begat a son and a daughter. truest sense of the times, a usurious The former, at the age of twenty-two, huncks, he was never drawn into one was elected into Parliament by his fatransaction against the statutes. I ther's purse. The latter, at the age of knew him well in my younger years, nineteen, was married by the same pofor I had often occasion to apply to him. tentiality to an Earl. Joe died-his I was constituted somewhat different- son and daughter put their servants ly, and without being so good a mem- into mourning when he ceased to disber of society, I do not say much for count, and in less than three months myself when I affirm that I was a bet- after gave them new liveries, in hoter man. Joe was most faithful to nour of their mother's second marriage. his word-his promise was a bond; There are no such beings as these in but like a bond, it always contained a any other capital of Europe, and yet penalty. If this bill," he used to they are common in London. Father, say, is not pointedly taken up, “I mother, son, and daughter, belong to

a peculiar species, and it would be a rehearser observing, said, “ But the libel on human nature to rank them Effigies are perhaps not so remarkable with the race of man.”

as another class, of a very opposite deHere I could not refrain from say- scription.—I do not well know by what ing to the strange man, having by this epithet to distinguish them; but if you time well finished my dinner, that I will join me in a bottle of wine, I will thought he had a sour heart towards give you some account of one of them, the sons and daughters of success and and the tale may be called “The Broprosperity. “No,” says he,“ you ken heart.'”. This was a very agreemisunderstand me. I was only speak- able proposal to me, who had no other ing of the Effigies, a species of the end in view at the time but my own same genus as man, but widely differ- recreation ; so we ordered in one of the ent in the generalities of their nature.” landlord's old bottles ; during the

I could not say that this story left drinking of which my companion proany satisfaction with me, which the ceeded to the following effect.



“ There are but two kinds of ad- ed with something of an inordinate venturers who succeed in London ;- keenness into every species of cheerthose who, like Joe Brianson, come to ful amusement. He was praised for it pennyless, with industrious propen- this. It was thought he had the sities, and those who have friends of interests of his sisters in view,-and power and influence. Young men, courted society, to give the gentlebrought up as gentlemen in the coun- men of his acquaintance an opportry, rarely prosper in London; and it tunity of knowing their worth and is of one of these I would now speak. beauty; for they were lovely, amiThe person I allude to was the son of able, and accomplished to an uncoma clergyman. He was known among mon degree. This, however, was but his companions by the nickname of the first stage of the mortal malady Buskin ; and his unhappy fate makes with which poor Buskin was seized. me remember him by no other.

“ The symptoms of gaiety and “He was one of a large family.- good humour continued about a year, His father, however, had a good living, when others began to appear.

In but it was unfortunately in a genteel his dress and manners, the patient neighbourhood, and the sons and still seemed the same individual, but daughters in consequence acquired no- his temper became sharp and irritable. tions of elegance inconsistent with He was satisfied with nothing; the their fortune. While the old man sun itself never shone properly ; when lived, this produced no evil. At his he went into the fields, the west wind death, the whole family was plunged had lost its genial freshness, and the into poverty. By that time, however, blossoms, that garlanded the boughs in Buskin, who had come to London as spring, seemed to him tawdry. The a clerk, was settled in a business, song of the lark was harsh in his ears ; which, while there was no other drain and he was heard often to repine at on it than his own expences, was ade. the lot of the day-labourer, whose quate, it appeared, to all his wants, anxieties terminated with the hours of notwithstanding his extra-gentility. his task, and who had none beyond the But, from the time that he was neces- daily period of his toil. sitated to contribute to the support of “At first this attracted no particular his brothers and sisters, his efforts notice, or when it was noticed, it only were unavailing to make it sufficient- seemed to provoke the banter of his ly productive, and a change was soon friends ; but the misanthropic humour perceptible in his appearance. Pre- continued to grow, and at last it beviously he had been rather a sedate gan to be surmised, that his affairs character-something given to reflec- were not thriving. I never obtrude tion and sentiment. He wrote poetry, my advice ; but ay, when he was and played on the flute. But soon unusually petulant, I could not refrain after the arrival of his friends in town, from remarking to him the alteration he became remarkably gay-forswore, I have mentioned, and to express my it would seem, the Muses—and enter- fears.

« AnteriorContinuar »