Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

pass muster. The ancients very wisely put truth in a well, and there let her lie and be-drowned. She never yet was sufficiently in favour to drink any thing but water; and if any one is mad enough to doubt the fact, let him only try the experiment. Let him only for one week determine to

speak aloud all that passes through his
mind in society, and to show himself
to his fellow creatures such as he real-
ly is, in thought, word, and deed; and
if he does not repent of his bargain
before half the time is expended, why
then say I am not-
M.

MACADAMIZATION.

A Letter from BILLY O'ROURKE to the Editor.

Pavet arduam viam,

He paves the high-way.

(Phelim O'Flinn, my Schoolmaster.)

MR. WHAT'S-YOUR-NAME,

IAM a prince by descent and a pa- I stole from my uncle; I wrote all the

vier by profession. True, I am a foreigner and barbarian,-for I come from Ireland,—but there is blood in my veins which heretofore ran riot up and down the O'Rourkes and O' Shaughnessies. Milesius was my greatgrandfather forty times removed, and my great-grandmother of the same generation was cousin by-the-buttonhole to O'Connor, progenitor and propropagator of the present great Roger O'Connor of Dangan Castle, who was found innocent of robbing the mail a few years ago, when the Orangemen were in want of a head to adorn King William's lamp-post at the Anniversary of the Boyne Water. Thus, Mr. Thingumbob, you see though I do fillip the paving-stones with a three-man beetle, though I do peg a few pebbles every day into the scull of our old Mother Earth (alma tellus, as Phelim used to call her),-I really was born to a royal rattle. Excuse alliteration, Mr. Blank; I am not only a prince and a pavier, but a poet.* I broke half the panes in the province of Leinster scribbling amatory verses, epigrams, and epitaphs on Miss Kitty M'Fun, with a glazier's diamond that

best lines in the "Emerald Isle" (all the bad ones were written by Coun sellor Phillips), and I gave Tom Moore hints for Thomas Little's poems. But this is all bother. What I want to say is this:-I don't like at all at all this new-fashioned out-ofthe-way way of paving the streets with jackstones. Who ever saw a street covered with gun-flints by way of pavement? This is pretty wig-mak ing! I suppose the next thing we'll do is to spread them with Turkey carpets that our old duchesses and debauchees may trundle along to the Parliament House and the Opera without shaking themselves to pieces a season too soon! O give me the sweet little pebblement of my own native city in Shamrockshire-Dublin! Major-Taylorization against Macadamization any day !+ Where the jingles totter over the streets like boats on a river of pav ing stones! Up an down! right and left! Hohenlo! toss'd hither and thi ther! from pebble to puddle! from gully to gutter!-Splish splash! there they go while the Rawney leers through one of his dead-lights back at Mr. Paddy O'Phaeton, Paddy for lack

* 'Twas my mother's foster-brother wrote "The Groves of Blarney;" her maiden name was.

she is the identical she of whom the author says

Kelly, and

And av you would see sweet Mabel Kelly,
No nightingull sings half more bright—

which is the true reading.

+ Major Taylor, Paving-Master General to the City of Dublin.

↑ Jingles, one-horse wooden baskets, upon three wheels, and another on Sundays.

§ Corrupted from the paternal Spanish-Rosinante, we suppose.-Ed.

[ocr errors]

of a lash applies his perpetual toe to Rawney's abutment, and the lob within sits on his knuckles to keep his breeches from wearing out the cushions that feel as if stuffed with potatoes! That's something like jaunting; a man feels that he's getting the worth of his money. But to slidder over the arable like a Laplander in a sledge, to have your streets as smooth and soaporiferous as a schoolboy's phyzzonomy,-Booh! I'd as soon tumble down Greenwich Hill with a feather-bed for my partner!

66

Will you lend me the loan of a page or so in your truly excellent and widely-circulating" periodical. Mr. What-ever-your-name-is, to make this case properly public? Sure, I know you will!-Besides the beauty and gentility of pebblement which I have already noticed, I have two or three observations to make in its favour which I'd thank any Macadamite between this and himself to an

Secondly and foremost. The nobility and gentry will be no such gainers after all by exploding the pebblement-system. We all know that every one is thought of exactly in proportion to the noise he or she makes in the world. Now if my lady this and my lord that, are to whistle through the city as softly as Mr. Macadam would make them, without kicking up a continual row in their carriages, why they'll never be heard of! But they can never do the latter without the help of paving stones. When the Duchess of Devilment's barouche and four rattled down Regent-street pommelling the pebblement,and knocking fire from the flints, with her fullbottomed, flour-pated,rosy-nosed,threecocked-hat-covered coachman joggling from side to side of his box, and her silk-stockin'd, sleek-cheek'd, slyeyed brace of livery-men bumping and bobbing up and down on the footboard as the vehicle chattered along ; then indeed was her ladyship something more in our eyes than a motherape in petticoats; then indeed was she heard and seen, though perhaps neither felt nor understood;-in short, she was somebody. But now, if the King himself were to sweep from Carlton House to the Crescent we should think him little better than a biped like one of ourselves!

swer.

I'll make him eat,-not a potato, but a paving-stone if he dosn't confess himself knocked down by the arguments I've brought to silence him.

Firstly and foremost. I, and the rest of us, that is, all who live at present upon paving-stones, must now begin to starve with all possible alacrity upon nothing. Irishmen can't live like cameleopards* upon air, no more than an Englishman on potato and point. But if the streets are to be thrown holus-bolus into the hands of nobody but stone-crackers and levellers, what is to become of the professors of the Noble Art of Paving,-me and the rest of us! Or does Mr. Macadam (the son of an original sinner!) think we'll dishonour the cloth by turning manufacturers of jackstones and shovellers of shingles ? Does he think (the sand-piper!) that gentlemen of the paving-profession will descend to get up on a little heap of pebbles and keep cracking there all day for his honour's advantage?— Och the gander! He knows a little less than nothing if he thinks to bamboozle us in this way!

Thirdly and foremost. I see nothing the Macadamites have brought with them in exchange for our pavingstones but dust in one hand and dirt in the other. If the new system of streetification goes on, London will shortly be nothing but a criss-cross of high-roads, and the houses will be worse than so many citizens' country boxes, built on the brink of the roadside, and enveloped like the Lord Chancellor's head in a wig-full of dust and confusion. In summer the streetwalkers and flag-hoppers of every description and denomination will be covered from head to foot with surtouts a la poudre, and look like a population of millers just turned loose from the hopper-loft. In winter they

* Our correspondent probably forgets the exact distinction between cameleopards and cameleone; he, however, we think, fully supports the national character, as given by Hudibras

As learned as the Wild Irish are.-Ed.

will be over the boots in mud and slipslop; they'll be as cleanly bespattered as if they had stood the brunt of Fleetmarket in the pillory; they'll be taken by the pigeons, tailors, peripatetic caterwaulers, and all the other odd fish that frequent the house-tops, for nothing but gigantic gutter-snipes and magnified mud-larks!* And our rows of shoppery too! Why they'll be filled to the tip-top shelf with whirlwinds of powdered jackstones! ribbons and bobbins, laces and braces, caps and traps, petticoats and waistcoats, all their paraphernalia and strumpetry,tagrag-merry-derry-periwig-and-hat-band, will be dredged with ground-pepper dust! and the prentices within will be choaked extempore before they can whistle Jack Robinson !-'Twont do, Mr. Nobody! By the powders, it wont!

Lastly and foremost. We shall lose all our old women! Think of that Mr. Thingumbob! We shall lose our old women as fast as hops !-A friend of mine let me into this secret t'other day behind a pot of Whitbread. The blood of all our old beggar-women will be on Mr. Macadam's head, if he goes on with his pippin-squeezing system of streetification! He will be guilty of universal aniseed! In a few years if the Macadamites should supplant the Paving-Board, we shall not be able to get an old woman for love or money. Why?--I'll tell you. Won't they be sure to be run over wherever they are to be found crossing a crossing! When the coaches and cavalry travel on velvet,-when the rattle of a wheel or the tramp of a quodrapid shall be drowned in the dust,-will any old woman but a witch be able to hear what's coming upon her? When the streets are so soft and smack-smooth that one may drive from No. any thing in any place, St. Paul's, or to West

minster, in the tick of a death-watch, may not a blind beldame of any sex, age, or condition, be torn from the de lights of this life and in a manner kicked into the middle of the next, without so much as "By your leave" or "Beg your pardon"? Or do we expect an old woman to run like a lamplighter when she sees the pole of a carriage within an inch of her beard? or to skip like a hen on a hot griddle when she feels a couple of coachhorses treading on her toes, and per haps whipping off her wig like hay from a pitch-fork? Even with all the "notes of preparation" which paving stones could give, our coachmen generally contrived to demolish some dozen of sexagenerian pedestrians eve ry twelvemonth. Aniseed is great fun of an opera night for the big-wigs on the boxes; and even gentlemenwhips have been known to practise this interesting kind of murder when they wished to show how quietly they could trot over an old woman without losing their balance.

For all these reasons, Mr. MyFriend, and a great many worse ones, I think Macadamization is very supe riorly un-preferable to pebblement. So do all the profession. We are about to get up an address to the Parliament, which is to be called-The Pavior's Petition, in which we pray for paving stones, and show that the new system of streetification comes under the penalty of the Chalking-Act,being a capital innovation upon the long-established customs of the country. As for Mr. Macadam, we are determined to take the law into our own hands, and stone him the first time we catch his honour in London.

No more at present from your loving and affectionate BILLY O'ROURKE.

* Gutter-snipes and mud-larks, poetical names for pigs, in Ireland. We do not profess to know the precise difference between them. Our learned correspondent perhaps only makes use of the rhetorical figure-pleonasmus, to fill up his period.-Ed.

† We thought ourselves tolerable philologists, but this word we acknowledge sets our ingenuity at def

ance.-Ed.

Sic in MSS.

§ I'd a grand-aunt that was kilt once in this fashion; she died above twenty years after with the mark of a horse-shoe on ber-The gentleman that kilt her gave her a penny.

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

FORGET ME NOT.

A CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S PRESENT FOR 1825.

MR.
R. ACKERMANN was the first
publisher in England to adopt
the continental plan of providing a
work of this class worthy of being of
fered to the refined and intelligent, at
the season when we are in the habit of
reminding our young and fair friends,
by such gifts, that we "Forget them
not."

We most willingly copy part of a tale entitled The Alcazar of Seville, by the Author of Doblado's Letters.

and neither contradicted nor injured the poor woman. Unable, however, to remove the suspicion which lay at his door, he ordered his own bust to be fixed in a niche upon the spot, as the heads of malefactors are set up to mark the scene of their crimes. The name of the narrow street which opens in front of the bust bears still, as we all know, the name of Candilejo, from the lamp said to have been brought out by the old woman.

The scene is laid in Seville. The author has before described the Alcazar, originally an Arch palace, and rebuilt by Peter the Cruel, of whom and Maria Padilla he gives an interesting sketch, and thus continues :—

"The state of public morals at that period, and the weakness of the law against the privileged orders, may be conceived from another traditional story which the annalists of Seville have preserved. A prebendary of the "I once asked Don Antonio's opin- cathedral was, in the early part of ion of the real character of Peter. Peter's reign, trying to seduce a beau'Some have of late represented him, tiful woman, the wife of a mechanic. (said my friend) as a man of great se- The frequency of the lover's visits verity of character, but not cruel by roused the jealousy of the husband, nature. That he was goaded into fe- and he desired the clergyman to derocity, I have already told you. But sist from troubling the peace of his it cannot be denied that in the latter household. The prebendary, incenspart of his reign he grew faithless and cd at what he conceived to be an intreacherous to his friends, and a blood- sult, waylaid and killed the man. He thirsty monster to his enemies. Even then took sanctuary in the cathein his best years, he at times gave dral, and was soon after set free by the way to fierce anger; though there archbishop under a very slight punishstill appeared to be a mixture of can- ment. A son of the murdered man, dour and justice in his character. who, though young and poor, posEvery body in this town knows the sessed a high spirit, appeared before bust of Peter the Cruel, which still the king, in an open space with seats, marks the spot where he killed a man built of stone, near one of the gates of in a chance affray, while walking in the palace, where he used daily to the night alone and in disguise. To hear the complaints and petitions of believe the traditional story, the mur- his subjects. The structure I allude derer would never have been suspect- to was pulled down so lately as the ed but for an old woman, who, hear- middle of the seventeenth century. ing the clash of swords, looked with The orphan youth complained bitterly a lamp from her window. She soon of the archbishop, who had allowed withdrew the lamp in great fright, the murderer of his father to go unwithout seeing the man who had slain punished. Peter heard the lad with his adversary. When questioned by great attention, and, taking him aside, the magistrates the next day, she de- asked him if he felt courage enough to clared her persuasion that the murder- avenge his father? The lad declared, er was no other than the king himself, he wished for nothing so ardently. whom she had discovered by the well-Go, then, (said the king,) and come known rattling of his knees. Peter to me for protection.' The heartheard the accusation with composure, blood of the murderer dripped soon

after from the orphan's dagger. He was hotly pursued to the palace, where, being given in charge to the cross-bowmen, a day was appointed for the trial. Peter, in open court, heard the archbishop's counsel against the prisoner; and asked the sentence of the ecclesiastical judge against the prebendary. He was, please your highness, (answered the prosecutor.) suspended a whole year from his of fice.' 'What is your trade or occupation, young man,' said the king. am a shoemaker,' was the answer. Then let it be recorded as the sentence of this court, that, for the space of a whole year, the prisoner shall not be allowed to make shoes.'

I

6

quest of Seville, allotted to the Moors who wished to remain under the dominion of the Christians. There is another portion of the town, on the same side, which, as you know, is still called the Jewry. The superior knowledge possessed by these two classes of people, when the Spaniards were almost exclusively employed in the arts of war, exposed them to the suspicion of their ignorant neighbours. Medicine, I believe, was at one time practised in Spain by none but Jews and Moors; and, as this science is intimately connected with chemistry, the vials, alembics, and furnaces of a laboratory, could not fail to confirm the prejudices of the Christians on the score of magic. These prejudices were, besides, industriously kept alive and strengthened by imposters, who, finding themselves already suspected, were glad to derive some profit from popular fear and credulity. I recol lect that in one of the plays of Lope de Rueda, (the first who intro duced acting in Spain,) a Moriscoe is consulted as the regular magician of the place. In later times, when all the descendants of Spanish Moors were, with as much cruelty as impoli cy, expelled from the country, the notion that they had left their money concealed and secured by supernatural means became general. Stories of enchanted treasures are as common among us as in some parts of Germany. We are just in view of a house which, in my youth, I saw for a long time uninhabited, because it was said to be haunted by an unfortunate Moorish woman, whose ghost was bound in suffering to a concealed treasure.I know the house very well, (said I,) but having heard it called Cosca del Duende,* believe that the supernatural story connected with it, belonged to the ludicrous part of the world of spectres. By no means, (replied my friend,) the story whether of itself, or from my having heard it when a child, has something melancholy or impres sive to my mind. I will tell it you we walk home.'

as

(

"On another occasion I questioned Don Antonio concerning a report of a large serpent having once attacked Peter the Cruel. You mistake the story, my young friend, (said he.) The allusion you have heard is to a very grave charge of sorcery, preferred by some writers of the fourteenth century against Maria Padilla. They assert that Blanche of Bourbon gave Peter, at their wedding, a beautiful belt, with which he was highly pleased. Maria, if we believe these writers, fearing to lose the king's affection, put this belt into the hands of a Jew, a great magician; and replaced it in her lover's wardrobe, after having had it exposed to the influence of a powerful spell. In full court the next day, the king, wearing the belt, was rec ing the homage of the grandees, who came to congratulate him upon his marriage; suddenly a hideous serpent appeared coiled round the middle of his body. During the first alarm the monster glided rapidly out of sight: with it the king's belt, the gift of his bride, had disappeared. It is added, that from that moment Peter could not endure the sight of Blanche.' "It would be desirable, (said I,) to have a collection of tales of enchantment, from the traditionary legends of this part of the country. It would, indeed, (answered Don Antonio,) and this quarter of the town would, I am sure, furnish a considerable contribution. All the streets to the south-east of the Alcazar were, from the con

*The Goblin-house.

was led to

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »