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buck, a decent-looking inn with a rough-cast coating, the gilt horns and hoofs of the animal which forms the sign, being softened down and relieved by a pictured punchbowl in its rear. I make no account of your landlord; gifted with a red waistcoat, and a nose of the same colour, his duty seems to be confined to smoking and gazing vacantly at the horses heels: the real man of business is the wife. The room into which you are shown has a faded and heel-worn Turkey-carpet in its centre: its extremities consist of plain deal boards. Over the sideboard is a sampler worked by the landlady's mother, subscribed " Fear the Lord. Jane Mills: 4 July, 1764." Your dinner being ordered, viz. mutton-chops, potatoes, and French beans, you make a tour of the room to survey the portraits that adorn its walls. These consist of the Marquess of Granby in cracked glass; a man in a scarlet hunting frock, flying over a five-barred gate with seventeen hounds, and a fox sweeping up the back-ground; Sky-scraper, belonging to his Grace of Queensbury, held by the bridle by a groom in a jockey-cap; His late Majesty, in the third position, engraved from a full-length portrait by Gainsborough; Queen Charlotte with a high toupee, from ditto; and Harry Dunbury's Country Club. There is also a map of the county, printed in the year 1779, suspended over the fire-place, rather yellow from age, and not hanging particularly straight. After satisfying yourself with these curiosities, you look at your watch; and, finding that it wants an hour and a half to dinner-time, you determine to take a survey of the town. Standing on the threshold of the Roebuck, you cast your eyes to the left, and behold one of the projecting parts of the Town Hall, in Saint Peter's-street. You then look toward the right, and you see the dwarf wall of the churchyard in Saint Faith's-street. In the meantime, crockeryware, intermixed with hay, adorns the pavement of the market-place in front: a grunting hog, with a rope tied to his left leg, is driven with difficulty past your footpath; and the barber in his white apron, and the butcher in his blue one, stand at their respective doors. At this period, my dear Joshua, you are seized with a fit of moralizing. You say to yourself—" Alas! among all these busy crowds what individual here cares a button for me! Is there a man, woman, or child, among them, who would give a sixpenny piece to prevent my tumbling down in an apoplectic fit?" In answer to this inquiry, I have only to say, in the words of Doctor Johnson to James Boswell, " My dear Sir, clear your mind of cant." Only reflect, upon a moderate calculation, what a number of respectable hardware-men like yourself, my dear Joshua, quit London every September in quest of the coy goddess Hygeia. If every man, woman, and child, in every country town, were to care for every such civic emigrant, at the rate of sixpence a head, pray consider what a sum it would amount to at the year's end. My dear Sir, they could not afford it: their means are too circumscribed. Resides, Joshua, have the goodness to reflect how many sixpennypieces I/uii care for I hem. Plain-dealing is a jewel. Do not expect the reciprocity to be all on one side.
Passing the hatter's shop, where all the articles are ticketed with their respective prices, you now passed over a pretty smart new bridge, and had your coat well dusted by steering under the wake of a corn-mill. T+ip blacksmith's forge shone bright on the opposite side of the way, and the proprietor had the hind leg of a cart-horse in his leathercoated lap. The smart white house, with a polished door-plate, could only appertain to George Moss, attorney-at-law. The next range of old brick tenements consisted of St. Leonard's Alms-houses, founded in 1628, by Gregory Robinson, citizen and usurer; his snub-nosed bust adorning the centre. This holy foundation being passed, I see you enter the churchyard. The south door of the church is, as a matter of course, adorned on either side by a stone cherub, hunching up the small remnant of his shoulders, with a face expressive rather of pleasure than of pain; and no wonder, Joshua, pressed as he is with peine, fort et dure, arising from a stone tablet on his chest, and the weight of the whole building on his back. You preferred not giving the sexton a shilling for looking at the interior of the edifice, and, therefore, strolled among the tombstones in the churchyard. The first monumental inscription which you here encountered, was " Affliction sore long time I. bore;" the second was "Weep not for me, my parents dear," upon a wooden tombstone, (why not as well as a glass inkhorn?) much overgrown with nettles; the third was not legible, being appurtenant to a defunct mayor, enriched by smuggling, and consequently hemmed in by iron palisades from vulgar inspection.1 You now sat you down, Joshua, upon the aforesaid dwarf wall, which girded the cemetery, and you forthwith opened an additional vein of moralizing. You pondered, in good set sentiments, upon the frail tenure under which life is held; and you asked yourself of what use is the ceaseless toil which men undergo in the acquisition of wealth, when, sooner or later, death must level all in the dust. It grieves me much, Joshua, to check such fine feelings by mere computation: but do it I must. Your mathematician is a sore enemy to your moralizer: he is to him what the housemaid's broom is to the web of Arachne. If death were not common to all men; or, in other, words, if all men who were ever born were permitted to continue to live, 1 have ascertained, Mr. Pinchbeck, by an arithmetical calculation, that long before the close of the year 1824, this whole globe would be peopled by natives as thickly stowed as the mob at the ensuing Bientford Election. How such a mass of population is to be fed, clothed, and lodged, I leave it to Jeremy Bentham to ascertain. Until that philosopher has surmounted that difficulty, I am perfectly well satistied to leave things as they are, and to let the dead make way for the living. Not that you and I, Joshua, mean to take our departure quite so early as the rest of mankind: no, there are two exceptions in our favour: I will allow you to reach the age of old Parr, 152: for myself, I mean to be considerably above par; my precedent is Henry Jenkins, who attained 169,—that's my span. • I heartily wish, Joshua, that the modern world produced one hundredth part of the number of kind fathers, indulgent husbands, virtuous wives, and dutiful children, that one meets with in a churchyard. One's virtues have a strange knack of lying perdue till the sexton calls them fbrth. We are absolutely like so many potatoes, the best part of us is underground. After pondering for half an hour upon these monuments of departed excellence, I will now take you back toward the Roebuck with gilt hoofs and horns, in quest of your mutton 'chop and French beans. Upon casting, however, a "lingering look behind," at the church clock (over which, by the way, you found the pole of the weathercock hent by. time into,the attitude of the Tower at Pisa,) you ascertained that it wanted half an hour to dinner-time. You, therefore, on re-arriving at the mill-dam, took a letter from your coat pocket, and tore it into divers little boats, which you set afloat on the east side of the bridge, and then stept across.to see them make their re-appearance on the west. Some few of them arrived safe under the mill, but the majority were engulphed in the black, bubbling, and remorseless eddy. This pastime is much in vogue among regimental lieutenants in country quarters. Whilst at dinner, Joshua, you asked the names of the two families who represented the borough, and found that one of them was in the Tory or blue interest, and the other in the Whig or yellow' The blues and the yellows you found were much at loggerheads about three years ago, when the town stood a contested election; but for this twelvemonth past, you ascertained that both those colours dwelt in contiguous harmony, as they are wont to do on the fly-leaf of the Edinburgh Review. The landlord had small beer, but could not venture to recommend it: his mild ale was alleged to be remarkably good. Dinner despatched, your pint of port swallowed, and the devil's tattoo duly drummed by your left foot under the table, you began to cast your eyes about you in quest of amusement. Again you perused the sampler of Jane Mills, (the landlady's mother who feared the Lord on the 4th July 1764,) the Marquess of Granby in cracked glass, the tally-ho man in scarlet flying over a five-barred gate, His Grace of Queensbury's Sky-scraper, His late Majesty in the third position, Her late Majesty in a high toupee, and Harry Bunbury's Country Club. You now alighted upon an old European Magazine, for the year 1786, crammed into a corner cupboard wherein you found that, unmoved at the interference of the King of Prussia, and the complaints of the Stadtholder, the States of Holland and West Friezeland had declared that they did not find either in the letters from Berlin, or in the Prince of Orange's Manifesto, any argument that could in the least incline them to rescind the resolution complained of: which resolution .they alleged themselves determined to put in force. This intelligence might have been highly palatable at the time, but politics may be kept too long in bottle. You accordingly skipped the article, and alighted upon an Ode to Spring, commencing " Come, Fancy, Nature's pleasing child," This was tost aside to make way for " Leaves collected from the Piozzian wreath," and the leaves shortly withered to usher in a critique upon the "Comedy of the Heiress." Flattening your nose against the window-pane, upon which you had previously decyphered "George Frost dined here to his cost, 4lh April, 1819."—" What's that to us, you booby?"—and "Howl love Arabella Clark!"—your eyes next encountered a huge play-bill skewered upon the back of a dead sheep pendant at the opposite butcher's shop, with red ink capitals, denoting the performance on that very evening of " Macbeth, or the Scottish Murderer," with "The Farmer, or Jemmy Jumps in Jeopardy." Yoa leaped, mast high, at the intelligence, and found the usual complement of six. people in the boxes, and twenty-six in the pit. Mr. Truncheon, who performed Macbeth, and Mr. Gag, who personated the staymaker, appeared to you to be so very superior to Kemble and Edwin, in these parts, that you determined to write to EUiston to engage the one and to Charles Kemble to snap up the other; it being your equitable intension to scatter your stars impartially over the two hemispheres. If your i letters be not already despatched, I entreat you, Mr. Joshua Pinch^
beck, to pause ere you commit them to the box at the grocer's bow-window, whereon the words "general post" are imprinted. Messieurs Truncheon and Gag are very great men where they are (many men are very great men in their own county), but, transplanted to the metropolis, I will wager a golden sovereign against one of those shining brass curtain-pins which I have observed to decorate the exterior of the brown-paper parcels in your shop-window in Monumnntyard, that, in the shifting of a scene, Mr. Truncheon will sink down from Macbeth to Donalbain, and Mr. Gag will exchange Jemmy Jumps in the Farmer for Dubbs in the Wags of Windsor. On returning to the Roebuck to sleep, the chambermaid (contracted Tjy the waiter to chammaid) has made her appearance with your bed-candle. You have found her to possess one of those faces which Hogarth loved to paint, pert, pale, pugnacious: free from all Salvator Rosa traits of sublimity: still it was feminine; and if you had met it on the plains which trench upon Cape Coast Castle, where white women are scarce, you possibly might have reverenced it.
Eaclid has many assumed propositions, but not one more undeniable than that which I am now about to lay down, namely, that on entering your bed you have kept as quiet upon your back as the knight in Westminster Abbey who reposes upon a marble mattress, not a hundred miles from Poets' Corner. One false move will have proved your ruin: the upper sheet will have burst its cerements, and for ihe whole of the ensuing night nothing but a rough blanket will have been left your bed to brag of. Your uneasy slumber was broken by a rattle at your chamber-door, at half-past four, and a shrill exclamation of "Coach is ready, sir," intended for the man who sleeps in No. 6; at five o'clock you were again aroused by a heavy clump, and another shrill cry of" Your boots, sir," meant for the Birmingham rider, who reposes in No. 8; and at a quarter past six, n fat chirping sparrow gave you a twit, twit, twit, that kept you art-ake Hntil it was time to arise. I know that sparrow of old. When absent from London, he never gives me a moment's quiet: he haunts me, when in quest of a mouthful of country air, as regularly, every morning at five, as the old woman in a box did him who was in quest of the talisman of Oromanes. By the time of despatching your breakfast on the ensuing morning, Joshua, I know very well, though you may be rather shy of owning it, that you began to be heartily sick of your rural scheme, insomuch so, that taking advantage of the return coach to Londori, you were in seven hours and a half re-depositcd with your portmanteau at the Elephant and Castle. A da capo most devoutly to be wished by ninety-nine traders out of a hundred. Here then, Joshua, I find you, notwithstanding all the inducements to emigrate which the absence of stair-carpets and the closing of your front-windows in Guildford-street (your wife's doing) can hold forth; and here you will probably remain fashionably incog; taking your exercise in the dusk up and down the interior steps of " London's column," which still retains its inscription malgre Mr. Charles Butler. I am aware that your wife is on a visit to her father at Hammersmith: and you tell me that you neither like your wife's father nor Hammersmith. Herein, Joshua, yon are far from singular. Show me any man who likes either his wife's father or Hammersmith, and I will show you a tortoise-shell tom-cat!
THE CITIES OF THE PLAIN.
The fearful morning dawn'd in "grim repose,"
The Patriarch wept that awful sight to see,—