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which no thingumbob comes back, he must apply to my executors for leave to search among my papers. I have taken a few notes, in my poor way, of some of that man's proceedings,-my adopted brother, sir,—which would amaze you. He made use of an expression, sir, only on the fifteenth of last month,—when he could not meet a little bill, and the other party would not renew,-which would have done honour to Napoleon Bonaparte, in addressing the French army.
Peck. And pray what may be Mr. Slyme's business here, --if I may be permitted to inquire ?
Tigg. You will give me leave, sir, first to introduce myself. My name, sir, is Tigg. The name of Montague Tigg will perhaps be familiar to you, in connexion with the most remarkable events of the peninsular war?
Peck, shakes his head.]
Tigg. No matter,—that man was my father, and I bear his name. I am consequently proud,--proud as Lucifer. Excuse me, one moment. I desire my friend Slyme to be present at the remainder of this conference. [Withdraws, and returns, followed by Slyme, who looks stupidly at Pecksniff, and Pecksniff looks coldly at him.]
Tigg, [pretending to address Slyme,—who has been whispering in his ear, touching his elbow, and making other signs to him to ask money of Pecksniff. T. speaks loud enough for Mr. P. to hear.] Chiv, I shall come to that presently. I act upon my own responsibility, or not at all. To the extent of such a trifling loan as a crown-piece, to a man of your talents, I look upon Mr. Pecksniff as certain.–O Chiv, Chiv! You are, upon my life, a strange instance of the little frailties that beset a mighty mind! If there had never been a telescope in this world, I should have been quite certain, from my observation of you, that there were spots on the sun! Well, never mind! Moralize as we will, the world goes on.
As Hamlet says, Hercules may lay about him with his club, in every possible direction; but he can't prevent the cats from making a most intolerable row on the roofs of the houses, or the dogs from being shot, in the hot weather, if they go about the streets unmuzzled.—Life's a riddle, a most confoundedly hard riddle to guess, Mr. Pecksniff. Like that celebrated conundrum, · Why's a man in jail like a man out of jail ?'—there's no answer to it.-Chiv, my dear fellow, go out and see what sort of a night it is. [S. goes out. T. turns to P.] We must not be too hard upon the little eco
centricities of our friend Slyme.—You saw him whisper me ?
Peck. I did.
Tigg. Five shillings, eh? Ah! what an extraordinary fellow :very moderate, too. Five shillings, to be punctually paid, next week: that's the best of it.—You heard that.
Peck. I did not.
Tigg. No! That's the cream of the thing, sir, I never knew that man fail to redeem a promise in my life. You're not in want of change, are you?
Peck. No, thank you, not at all !
Tigg. Just so: if you had been, I'd have got it for you. [Whistles, and walks about with an air of unconcern.] Perhaps you 'd rather not lend Slyme five shillings?
Peck. I would much rather not.
Tigg. It's very possible you may be right. Would you entertain the same sort of objection to lending me five shillings, now?
Peck. Yes : I couldn't do it, indeed. Tigg. Not even half-a-crown, perhaps ? Peck. Not even half-a-crown. Tigg. Why, then we come to the ridiculously small sum of eighteen-pence! ha! ha!
Peck. And that would be equally objectionable.
Tigg, [shaking P. by both hands.] Sir, I protest you are one of the most consistent and remarkable men I have ever met. I desire the honour of your better acquaintance. There are many little characteristics about my friend Slyme, of which, as a man of strict honour, I can by no means approve. But I am prepared to forgive him all these slight drawbacks and many more, in consideration of the great pleasure I have this day enjoyed in my social intercourse with you, sir. It has given me a far higher and more endur. ing delight, than the successful negotiation of any small loan, on the part of my friend, could possibly have imparted. I beg leave sir, to wish you a very good evening. [They go off different ways.]
EXERCISE XXXIV.-NIAGARA FALLS.-Anonymous. [The following vivid but chaste description of the great cataract, furnishes a good example of descriptive expression. The tone deepens and strengthens, as the picture heightens, till the narrative of personal adventure is introduced, when it becomes more familiar aud lively. In the closing paragraph, the tone of sublimity and awe,-low, but strong, and slow,-returns, with increased effect, and reaches its maximum in the concluding lines.]
While yet at a distance of several miles, looking and listening, with intense eagerness, for some visible, or audible indication of the local presence of this greatest natural wonder of our land, I first saw two neighbouring cones of dense, rolling mist, of a peculiar hue, that appeared to undulate, to swell and diminish, or to loom up and fall occasionally, as the wind buoyed it up, or pressed it down. It looked like a broad ascending rain shower, or inverted jet d'eau, as in effect it is.
I could not withdraw my eyes from this lofty coronal of rolling vapour. As I approached nearer to the spot, which had led me to deviate so many hundred miles from the direct course to my home, I beheld a strange agitation in the waters of the broad and hitherto smooth current of the river, which began to move with an increased rapidity. For a considerable space, they spread out into a wider sheet, as if seeking, on either shore, a way to escape from the slippery descent, which grew every moment more steep. Unable to arrest their onward progress, they are seized with trembling, and break into foam. Like a man, who feels that he is sliding towards a fearful and inevitable precipice, that is to plunge him into a fathomless abyss, they utter a voice,' as of terror, that waxes louder and louder, as their descent quickens, and they approximate to their fall.
Again the width of the river narrows; and they seem, like the crew of a ship about to perish, to huddle together, as is usual with a ship's company, when at the moment of going, down. The tumult and noise grow more violent and loud, as they near the brink of the precipice, and the waters are divided by Goat Island; and they hurry on, the one part to the right, and the other to the left, as if impatient to pass the awful bourne, whence there is no return. Yet there is a little space towards the edge, where they become smooth, then, in a moment, are invested in a winding sheet of foam of the purest white, and are precipitated down a perpendicular descent of one hundred and forty-eight feet, on the Can
ada side, and, on the American, one hundred and sixty-four feet. The tumultuous roar of the rapids, previous to their descent, is drowned in the deep and solemn reverberation of their fearful plunge into the depths below,—resembling, to one on the brink above, the hollow sound of subterranean thunder.
The mighty rush of the waters behind you, and the noise of the boiling abyss beneath, as you look down over the edge of the fearful precipice ;-the accumulated surplus waters of the long chain of lakes to the far West, supplied from hun. dreds of rivers and smaller streams, here converted into two broad, white, perpendicular columns of foam, the one spread out in the form of a crescent or horseshoe, six hundred yards fronting towards the east and north,—the other, a beautiful and regular convex curve, looking upwards and nearly confronting the former towards the north and west, three hundred yards in width ;-between these a narrow and most beautiful sheet, separated from the main one by an islet on the American side of Goat Island, called the central fall ;the foam of the boiling abyss below, rebounding far into the upper air, and falling in a continual shower of fine rain or mist;—when the sun shines, two or more rainbows, suspended over the awful gulf, like the Christian's hope, that gilds with rays, borrowed from the source of light, the palpable obscure' of the grave ;—the tranquil flow of the waters after they have passed the gulf, resembling the composed features of the shrouded sleeper, after having passed the agony of dissolution ;—the perpendicular sides of the channel, nearly three hundred feet in height on either hand, composed of regular strata of lime-stone, forming a magnificent mausoleum for the sleeping waters, resting from their hurry and turmoil, previous to their burial here ;—the little islet covered with evergreens, that cluster about the main central island, which stands like a fast anchored ship of the line, in the midst of a surrounding sea of foam and tumult, having her convoy of small craft about her ;—the deep shade and quiet in the midst of that island ;—the shrill cry of the white gulls, that hover above the deep abyss, to catch the fish that are killed by the dashing down of the torrent, when they are carried over, or venture too near the base of the cataract ;-that cry, mingling, like a sharp treble, with the awful swell of the full, deep organ, that peals its everlasting anthem to the praise of the Creator :-all these objects, filling to their utmost capacity the organs of vision and hearing, form together an assemblage of the sublime, the awful, the
grand, the terrific, and the beautiful, which cannot be found combined, with any approach to equality in any other spot upon the earth. As has been often remarked, the spectacle is unparalleled, indescribable, and unique.
The view which I have above essayed to give, combines the greatest number of the most striking features of this great spectacle ; yet it was not the view that I first took of it, and which gave me the most vivid and profound impressions of its grandeur. I had heard, or read, that it depended much
upon the point from which the first view and impression is taken, whether the visitor is disappointed or not; and to avoid all the lesser traits and impressions, I passed wide from the parts above, and went with my eyes averted down the ferry steps to a level with the water below, and then looked upward :—the sublime height, the vast volume of the foaming cataract, its plunge into the whirling depths below, the deafening, roar of the waters, and the trembling of the ground on which I stood, impressed me with awe and wonder; and I experienced, in a degree I had never felt before, the emotion, described by rhetoricians, of the sublime bordering upon terror. I then crept up a cone-shaped mass of ice and snow, accumulated during the winter, to the height of thirty or forty feet, upon a rock that lies just at the edge of the boiling cauldron, into which the headlong torrent plunges, and looked down till I felt my brain begin to whirl at the view of the frightful abyss, where
• The tortured waters foam, and hiss, and boil,
In endless agony.' I retreated from my perilous position, which had not been before attempted, I was told ; and which, as I afterwards saw, was so undermined by the spray as to be in imminent danger of falling. Once more upon the level and firm ground, I stood in silent admiration and awe before the stupendous cataract. I looked westward to the broader sheet of foam ; I heard it respond to the nearer thunder, where I stood, deep calling unto deep,' one answering to the other in everlasting response; and my thoughts were of the greatness and majesty of God.