« ElőzőTovább »
have a mayor and corporation, a town- perhaps ask why this jolly, good-huhall and lock-up house, and other moured looking young gentleman had visible signs of corporate dignity. such a magnificent name as Plantage
Cast your eye, oh reader! “ through net; but I submit that that is a ques. the dim vista of departed years," and tion more properly directed to his it is highly probable, if you look godfathers and godmothers than to sharp, you will see a youthful couple me; but, at the same time, if you seated under the elm-trees at the west merely ask for information, and with end of the flourishing town of Buzzle- no sinister intention, I will only menton, on the fourth day of June, eighteen tion to you that his father was the hundred and thirty-seven. I cannot most eloquent man in our parish, and take it upon me positively to affirm that rejoiced in long words. Now, as Planthe lady was “ beautiful exceedingly," tagenet is a name, you will observe, or that she had the slightest appearance of four syllables, whereas Stubbs is of being a native of a “far countrie;" only of one, you will at once see a for it was impossible to suppose for a primâ facie reason why the royal demoment that those bright, cherry- nomination was preferred, and the looking lips, rosy-coloured cheeks, and name of the maternal uncle -- Mr mild happy blue eyes, belonged, by Stubbs, the opulent brewer in Chadpossibility, to any one but a nice mo- field_ for this occasion rejected. This dest English girl of eighteen or nine- is my own opinion ; but of course you teen. Nor would it be safe to delude are at liberty to devise any other reathe reader into an improper sympathy son for it that may be more agreeable with the hero, by hinting that he had to yourself. the slightest resemblance to those We are not to suppose that the
whiskered pandours and those fierce couple I have now introduced to you hussars," who make such a tremendous sat silent all this time, merely because sensation in novels of fashionable life. I have not yet given you any account No one could ever have fancied him a of their conversation; for it is a cirHungarian magnate, or Polish prince, cumstance well known to our whole or even a German baron; for the town that Miss Padden had a total fat county of Suffolk was visible aversion to the absurd doctrines of the in every feature of the object of my Pythagoreans, so far as their silence description. A brown surtout with was concerned, and in fact lost no black buttons, thrown loosely back, opportunity of practising the divine showed a considerable extent of a faculty of speech. She spoke very fancy-coloured waistcoat, for the in- well and prettily, and there can be no teresting individual-(but why keep doubt that such beautiful lips and in. up a vain mystery, which the accom- teresting blue eyes would have made plished reader has penetrated long ago? very inferior language pass off for elo-it was Simpkinson, junior, himself- quence,
at all events in the opinion of in short, John Plantagenet Simpkin. Mr Simpkinson, junior. son, sitting tête-à-tête with Mary Pad- “ So you are going off to-morrow, den)-for the interesting individual. Tadgy? (And here, oh reader, in as I was going to say when this paren- another parenthesis, let me call your thesis interrupted me-rejoiced in a attention to the endearing diminutive vast expanse of chest, of which he was “ Tadgy" — short for Plantagenet! a little conceited ; though candour at To what vile uses may we come, Hothe same time compels me to admit, ratio ?) that the ample “breadth and verge “ Yes," said Tadgy, with a mournenough,” which was so becoming, and ful shake of the head. indeed heroic, as revealed by the afore- « Oh it must be such a pretty place said fancy-coloured waistcoat, extend that London, with Hyde Park and ed itself considerably below the point Almack's, and Westminster Abbey, at which it ought to have grown“ fine and Madame Tussaud. How I envy by degrees, and beautifully less," and you all the sights ! Ain't you happy, constituted altogether a stout, square- Tadgy?”. built young man, with every appear. "No," replied the youth, “ I would ance of health and strength, but none rather stay at Buzzleton, and be near of that stiff-necked noodleism which
you, Polly." the French people and English milli. “ Your servant, Mister Plantage ners call an air distingué. You will net," said the young lady, gently with
drawing her hand from the clasp of people at Almack's and Vauxhall, the sentimental swain--but whether and". from coquetry, or propriety, or to “ Never trouble yourself about depreserve a new white kid glove, I will signing people, dear Polly ; write to not undertake to determine _“I wasn't me every week, and as I am to come fishing for a compliment, I assure down every half year for three weeks,
we shall do almost as well as if we " But it is no compliment, Polly- met." it is only the truth; and why shouldn't “ And you will write faithfully, and I be sorry to leave Buzzleton? There think of me always ?" said Mary, in a will be no nice walks like this, nor voice from which all liveliness had listening to your songs, nor talking of disappeared. what's to happen.
Mr Plantagenet Simpkinson again " When?" interrupted Miss Pad- laid his hand upon the pretty little den.
white kid glove, which this time was " Why, when your father and mine not withdrawn, and looking in the think we are sensible. Now, don't sweet blue eyes which I have already pretend, Polly-for this is our last day mentioned, saidtogether, and I want to hear you tell r. Won't I ?--that's all." me again seriously and solemnly that Miss Padden seemed quite as satis. you will keep constant for the two fied with this declaration as if it had years, and marry me at the end." been made in the words of fire upon
“Shall we be sensible then, Tadgy?" the bended knee; and I do not feel enquired the lady, looking archly at myself at liberty to give any account the earnest face of her admirer.
of what was said on either side for at • Father says so," was the reply, least ten minutes. At the end of that and in a tone that showed that that time an individual was seen walking awful authority would have secured towards them at the other extremity Mr Plantagenet's credence to a still of the alley. more wonderful event.
• Here's that horrid boy, Bob,” “ We ought to be much obliged to said Mary, looking somewhat disour fathers," said the young lady, pleased. “ for guaranteeing such a reforma. " Infernal troublesome fool!" mut. tion ; but indeed, Tadgy, the chance tered Mr Plantagenet, “ I should like of changing your mind is all on your to kick him into the river." side. You will see such designing
CHAPTER II. The enquiring reader is anxious to strong inclination in the usually pacibe informed who and what was Bob. fic bosom of Plantagenet to drown him Bob was Mary's younger brother, and in the deep waters of the Buzzle. Bob, the most disagreeable detestable boy however, as if unconscious of any feel. that ever was known in Buzzleton. ings of the kind, lounged up to where Those who had studied Gulliver's Tra- the youthful pair were seated, and, rels called him the Yahoo ; those who with a sulky look towards the young trusted only to their own sense of fit- gentleman, enquired of his sister what ness in the art of nomenclature called she was always walking about with him the Beast. But this, being a ge. Tadgy Simpk's'n for? nerie name, was varied by the more Now, this is a very embarrassing acute disciples of Buffon, by referring sort of question, and accordingly him to any particular species which Miss Mary, whether from not having appeared appropriate to his peculiar studied the motives of her so doing, qualities-the ass, the owl, the ostrich, or from not wishing to reveal them, the baboon, and a variety of other re- remained silent ; whereupon Mr Simpspectable citizens of the animal king-- kinson addressed the Yahoo, in a tone dom, were called upon to furnish a of voice by no means common with designation for Mr Robert Padden; that good-natured individual, and said: and it was this amalgam of Mr Po. " Your sister has a right to please lito's menagerie that caused such a herself, I suppose." disagreeable sensation by his appear- : “ I s'pose she has and she does it ance in the elm walk, and excited a too," replied the agreeable youth; " I
only want to know who she'll walk with better come home, Mary; for, if any next, when you're gone up to the gro. body does tell father, and I'm called cer's shop in London.”
in as a witness, I am afraid I must “ Grocer's shop!” exclaimed Plan- tell all I've seen." tagenet; “ It is the greatest West India " What have you seen, you insolent house in the City.”
blockhead ?" said Plantagenet, spring• Well, they sell sugar, don't they? ing up. -and that's a grocer, isn't it? There's « Oh, never mind! If you're really no use trying to gammon us here. going to marry our Mary, it doesn't You're going to be a grocer: now, the much matter. I only hope she wont last man Mary was spoony with was be disappointed again—that's all." something better than that, at any “ I never was disappointed, you idle, rate."
false-tongued, intolerable wretch!" - What do you mean, Robert ?" exclaimed Mary, the tears of anger asked the sister.
and vexation springing into her eyes. " Why, Bob Darrel, the Chadfield “ Weren't you ?" replied the benedoctor. You know very well ; but volent brother ;“then that's a pleasure he's married now, and so you're doing to come ; for you may depend upon the civil to Tadgy."
it, when Tadgy rises to be a grocer “ Never mind him, Mary, my dear," on his own account, he'll forget you said Tadgy; “ I don't believe a word as easily as Doctor Darrell.”
the same time I never The speaker came more abruptly to knew that you were acquainted with a close than was his custom, for he Dr Darrell.
saw something so peculiar in the flash“ I had a fever three years ago, ing eyes and swelling chest of Plantawhen I was staying at your uncle genet, that he thought it better to de. Stubbs's, and he was called in." camp at once. He accordingly stroll
“ Yes, and nearly called out too; ed off in the same listlesss manner in for young Stubbs, that's gone into the which he had made his approach ; and army, wanted to shoot him for being the lovers felt as if relieved from some too attentive. Those doctor fellows horrible oppression, when they saw are always squeezing hands, and the long figure of the overgrown Yaclutching hold of arms; and pretend hoo, with his coat a mile too large for it's only feeling the pulse. I think his thin body, and his trowsers a mile Stubbs should have shot him.”
too short for his long legs, thereby re" What for?" asked Plantagenet. vealing nearly the whole extent of his “ Why, for marrying that other Wellington's, slowly disappear at the
He ought to have married turning of the elm walk. Mary.”
" Thank heaven I have not shoved “ How can you listen to such non- him into the water !" was the pious ex. sense, Tadgy?" said Mary;“you know clamation of Plantagenet, when he Bob's agreeable way of saying plea- found that, for this occasion, he was sant things. I assure you Dr Dar- free from the guilt of murder. rel was only a very good and kind " I can't understand what pleasure doctor ; and, if you like to believe me the boy can have in saying disagreerather than Bob, you will not mind able things, and inventing such aboany thing more he says.”
minable stories," was the contemporaPlantagenet looked at the honest neous observation of his sister. open countenance of his future bride, And hereupon followed a full explaand saw that no deceit could possibly nation of all the incidents that the Yalie on those sunny cheeks, and in those hoo, either then or at any former time, clear innocent eyes ; so he gave her had alluded to ; and, as usually haphand a gentle squeeze, and looked with pens in affairs of that kind, both parties ineffable disdain on the mischievous felt that the attempt of Mr Bob to countenance of Mister Bob.
sow dissension, had had the very op“ Well,” said that gentle squire, posite effect, by giving an opening to
you needn't sit billing and cooing a more full and free communication here all day. I'm afraid somebody than could have been found under any may go and tell father; and I know other circumstances. he would be very angry if he knew On getting up to go home, it might you had been carrying on your rigs have been remarked by those who are before the whole town. You had superstitiously inclined, that the first
object that presented itself to the eyes decidedly oratory. He was oratorical of the lovers, was an enormous pla. at breakfast, at dinner, in the newscard on a man's back, containing, in room, in buying a pound of snuff, in letters at least three inches long, the ordering a pair of trowsers.
In fact, words “ Tapps for Bellman ;” and he was altogether an orator ; and you in smaller letters, “ come to the poll could no more have stood five minutes on Tuesday the eleventh." I do not under an archway with him than with know whether any thrill of sympathe. Edmund Burke, without discovering tic horror rushed through the hearts that he was an extraordinary man. of Mary and her admirer on seeing Mr Simpkinson was of no profession : those appalling words; but it is highly it was hinted he was sleeping partner probable, if they had foreseen all the in the Chadfield clothmills, and also misfortunes that those large red letters that he had a share in Stubbs's brewgave rise to, they would have wished ery; but whether he had entered into that the father of Mr Tapps the can- any of those speculations or not, does didate had died in his infancy, or not materially concern any body but that Tapps himself had been run over himself. Mr Padden also lived, as the by the Manchester and Liverpool train. phrase has it, on his means-a plain I have no reason to suppose, however, man, without much affectation, except that any of those aspirations with re- an affectation of knowing whether gard to Mr Tapps or his father were any thing was “gentlemany” or not, uttered by either of our friends; so I a sort of provincial Chesterfield, who will not detain the reader any longer, forgaye any thing, however wrongbut inform him that, with a heavy murderitself, I verilybelieve-provided heart, a large trunk, and two carpet- it were done in a gentlemanly manner. bags, Plantagenet Simpkinson took His origin, like that of the Guelph his departure from Buzzleton on the family, was unknown. He maintained following day, and in due course of a strict silence, as indeed you find is time arrived at his destination in done by all the real aristocracy, on the the city. And there, for a short space, subject of his ancient descent, and even I leave him to his invoices and bills on the inferior point of the achieveof lading-his three-legged stool, and ments of his former days; but people his letter once a-week to the true. in our town suspected, from an almost hearted Mary Padden.
superhuman knowledge he displayed I don't believe that there ever was about ribbons and sarsenets, that he a man who was a great orator, or a must have come from Coventry. This great poet, or a great any thing, (ex. suspicion had been binted to him by cept perhaps a great ass,) without one or two of his acquaintance; but he knowing it. There never was such a showed so much touchiness and irritathing as a mute inglorious Milton, a bility on the subject, that few people dumb Demosthenes, or a blind Thom. would have ventured to renew the inson of Duddingstone. It is therefore sinuation. This, I grant, is a very not to be supposed that Mr Simpkin- meagre account of our two chief son, senior, was ignorant of his own inbabitants; but I hope any deficiency powers; so far from it, indeed, that I in exactness or resemblance will be have even heard it hinted, that, if it supplied in the next edition of Lord were possible, he overrated them; but Brougham's sketches of distinguished this, even if it were true, is a very characters in the reigns of the two last venial fault, for it is surely much bet. Georges. Therein also, let it be perter to be a little anxious to discover mitted me to hope, that Tapps will and dwell upon modest merits, wher- not be forgotten. ever they are found, whether in one's On the eventful Tuesday the eleself or in others, than to deny or un- venth, the whole town rushed distractdervalue them. There were few things edly to the town-hall: Tapps on the in which Mr Simpkinson found himself one side of the chair, Hicks the rival deficient ;-history, theology, archi- candidate on the other; the mayor tecture, sporting, politics, business, or between the two, looking as like as he accomplishments, were equally at his could to Hercules between vice and finger-ends; but his forte, as I have virtue; the expectant faces of the asalready hinted in my attempt to ex- semblage--for it was rumoured that plain the reason of his calling his son Mr Simpkinson would speak-these, Plantagenet instead of Stubbs, was
with the inferior accessories of clerks
NO, CCLXXXVII, VOL, XLVI.
at the table, and the widow of the every bit as that illustrious language deceased Bellman in the foreground, to the greater part of his auditory. bearing the badge of her late husband's " When I reflect,” he said, “ on the office, during this momentous interreg momentaneous interests for which we num formed a subject which I feel are here dissembled, I feel that in this surprised has not yet been seized upon question is evolved, not the mere by Hayter or Wilkie. A bustle is office of bellman, high and honourable heard in the middle of the hallman as that office is, but the glory, the arm bearing aloft a best white beaver, might, the power and independence waves impatiently forward to the of the rate.payers of Buzzleton. chair--a way is made, and Mr Pad. What! are we to cringe to a divariden mounts the steps, and turns to- cated hallucination ? Are we to bend wards the audience as if in act to speak. ourselves at the shrine of a dephlogisHe speaks, he swells, he waves his ticated parabola, and yield intense hand, he thumps the table. Oh hea submission to the dictates of an apavens! oh earth 1 oh sea! he concludes thematized hyperbole? Perish the a powerful harangue by proposing thought! Tapps, and no other_no Hicks! What ! Padden propose Hicks-creeping through existence Hicks - when he knew-when all under the adumbrated essence of metaBuzzleton—when all England knew, phorical seclusion-no Hicks-bear. that Simpkinson supported Tapps ! ing aloft in one hand the embodied Astonishment kept the whole assem- ingenuity of detruncated velocity; bly silent for a space, which was and, in the other, the faded majesty only interrupted by the short proud of meretricious susceptibility - no cough with which the orator cleared Hicks, with the tiger eyes of humanity his throat. His throat was at last breathing forth the condensed maligcleared ; he stood forward a little, and, nity of atrocious horror !— Tapps ! beginning in a low tone of voice, he Tapps only, shall be bellman of this worked himself into a paroxysm of town!"-(great cheers.) eloquence ; then sinking his tone But it is impossible to report the again, went through the whole com- speech as it deserves, and, therefore, pass of his wonderful voice, fleeching, as I recollect reading in some book of praying, roaring, bullying, scolding, criticism, that the great art of elevastamping, and thumping, sometimes ting one's hero, consists not in mere the little table, sometimes one hand description, but in representing the against the other, till it was impossible effects produced by him upon others, not to believe that he was Demos- I shall proceed to the next morning, thenes, and was speaking Greek. I namely Wednesday the 12th, when have every reason to believe, that the following correspondence took what he did say was, in fact, as good place.
But here, before entering on this whether those puffs are mere inarticuvery disagreeable portion of my task, late blowings, such as those with I cannot forbear venting a few sighs which, in my impatient youth, I used over the uncertainty of friendship. A to cool my pudding, or form them. chain that it has taken years to rivet, selves into words and syllable men's may be puffed in fifty pieces by a few
Who could have thought syllables ;-in that respect resembling that a friendship of twenty years could the knot which jugglers tie upon have been dissolved by such a very a handkerchief, apparently strong inconsiderable event as the election of enough to hang the most determined John Tapps to the bellmanship of and fattest of suicides, but which, by Buzzleton? Yet, so it was ; and the being simply blown upon, untwines volcano that smouldered in the bosom itself in an instant, and leaves not a of Mr Padden was blown up to ex. vestige of its ever having been tied. plosive heat, and astounded our peaceOh juggler's knot! oh friendship! able town with a prodigious eruption, (not to continue the interjections, and in the manner I now proceed to resay) oh love! you ought all three to late. be ashamed of yourselves, and not be On the evening of Tuesday, our blown aside by a few puffs of wind, amiable friend Bob waited impatiently