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It was on the twentieth of December last that I waistcoated clerks, let loose upon a turkey. The received an invitation from my friend, Mr. Phiggins, second was, that I am not sufliciently well read in to dine with him in Mark Lane, on Christmay day. cotton and sugar, to enter with any spirit into the I lnd several reasons for declining this proposition. subject of conversation. And the third was, and The first was that Mr. P. makes it a rule, at all is, that I never drink Cape wine. But by far the these festivals, to empty the entire contents of his most prevailing reason remains to be told. I had counting house into his little dining parlor; and you been anticipating for some days, and was hourly consequently sit down to dinner with six white-l in the hope of receiving, an invitation to spend my
Christmas day in a most irresistible quarter. I was the leaf of a lily with a pen dipped in dew. I expecting, indeed, the felicity of eating plum-pud- opened it—and had nearly fainted with disappointding with an angel ; and, on the strength of my It was from a stock-broker, who begins an imaginary engagement, I returned a polite note to anecdote of Mr. Rothschild before dinner, and Mr. P., reducing him to the necessity of advertis- finishes it with the fourth bottle—and who makes ing for another candidate for Cape and turkey. his eight children stay up to supper and snap-dra
The twenty-first came. Another invitation—to gon. In Macadamizing a stray stone in one of his dine with a regiment of roast beef eaters at Clap- periodical puddings, I once lost a tooth, and with ham. I declined this also, for the above reason, it an heiress of some reputation. I wrote a most and for one other, viz., that, on dining there ten irritable apology, and despatched my warmest reChristmas days ago, it was discovered, on sitting gards in a whirlwind. down, that one little accompaniment of the roast December the twenty-fourth–I began to count beef had been entirely overlooked. Would it be the hours, and uttered many poetical things about believed !—but I will not stay to mystify—I merely the wings of Time. Alack! no letter came ;-yes, mention the fact. They had forgotten the horse I received a note from a distinguished dramatist, radish,
requesting the honor, etc. But I was too cunning The next day arrived, and with it a neat epistle, for this, and practised wisdom for once. I happened sealed with violet-colored wax, from Upper Brook to reflect that his pantomime was to make its apStreet. “Dine with the ladies-at home on Christ- pearance on the night after, and that his object was mas day.” Very tempting, it is true; but not ex- to perpetrate the whole programme upon me.
Reactly the letter I was longing for. I began, how- gret that I could not have the pleasure of meeting ever, to debate within myself upon the policy of Mr. Paulo, and the rest of the literati to be then securing this bird in hand, instead of waiting for and there assembled, was of course immediately the two that were still hopping about the bush, expressed. when the consultation was suddenly brought to a My mind became restless and agitated. I felt, close, by a prophetic view of the portfolio of draw- amidst all these invitations, cruelly neglected. They ings fresh from boarding-school--moths and roses served, indeed, but to increase my uneasiness, as on embossed paper;—to say nothing of the album, they opened prospects of happiness in which I in which I stood engaged to write an elegy on a could take no share. They discovered a most Java sparrow, that had been a favorite in the fam- tempting dessert, composed of forbidden fruit. I ily for three days. I rung for gilt-edged, pleaded took down “Childe Harold,” and read myself into a world of polite regret, and again declined. a sublime contempt of mankind. I began to per
The twenty-third dawned; time was getting on ceive that merriment is only malice in disguise, and rather rapidly; but no card came. I began to de- that the chief cardinal virtue is misanthropy. spair of any more invitations, and to repent of my I sat “nursing my wrath," till it scorched me; refusals. Breakfast was hardly over, however, when the arrival of another epistle suddenly charmed when the servant brought up—not a letter-but an me from this state of delicious melancholy and deaunt and a brace of cousins from Bayswater. They lightful endurance of wrong. I sickened as I surwould listen to no excuse; consanguinity required veyed, and trembled as I opened it. It was dated me, and Christmas was not my own.
but no matter; it was not the letter. In such cousins kept no albums; they are really as pretty a frenzy as mine, raging to behold the object of as cousins can be ; and when violent hands, with my admiration condescend, not to eat a custard, white kid gloves, are laid on one, it is sometimes but to render it invisible-to be invited perhaps to difficult to effect an escape with becoming elegance. a tart fabricated by her own ethereal fingers; with I could not, however, give up my darling hope of such possibilities before me, how could I think of a pleasanter prospect. They fought with me in joining a “friendly party,"—where I should inevififty engagements—that I pretended to have made. tably sit next to a deaf lady, who had been, when I showed them the Court Guide, with ten names a little girl, patted on the head by Wilkes, or my obliterated—being those of persons who had not Lord North, she could not recollect which—had asked me to mince-meat and mistletoe; and I ulti- taken tea with the author of “Junius,” but had mately gained my cause by quartering the remains forgotten his name — and who once asked me of an infectious fever on the sensitive fears of my “ whether Mr. Munden's monument was in Westaunt, and by dividing a rheumatism and a sprained minster Abbey or St. Paul's ?”—I seized a pen, and ankle between my sympathetic cousins.
presented my complimients. I hesitated for the As soon as they were gone, I walked out, saun- peril and precariousness of my situation flashed on tering involuntarily in the direction of the only my mind; but hope had still left me a straw to house in which I felt I could spend a “happy catch at, and I at length succeeded in resisting this Christmas. As I approached, a porter brought a late and terrible temptation. large hamper to the door. “ A present from the After the first burst of excitement, I sunk into country,” thought I; “yes, they do dine at home; still deeper despondency. My spirit became a they must ask me; they know that I am in town.” prey to anxiety and remorse. I could not eat; dinImmediately afterwards, a servant issued with a ner was removed with unlifted covers. I went out. letter: he took the nearest way to my lodgings, The world seemed to have acquired a new face; and I hurried back by another street to receive the nothing was to be seen but raisins and rounds of so-much-wished-for invitation. I was in a state of beef, I wandered about like Lear—I had given up delirious delight.
all! I felt myself grated against the world like a I arrived—but there was no letter. I sat down nutmeg. It grew dark- I sustained a still gloom. to wait, in a spirit of calmer enjoyment than I had ier shock. Every chance seemed to have expired, experienced for some days; and in less than half and every-body seemed to have a delightful engagean hour a note was brought to me. At length, the ment for the next day. I alone was disengaged-desired despatch bad come: it seemed written on | I felt like the Last Man! To-morrow appeared to
have already commenced its career; mankind had terday but a straw-to-day it is but the thistleanticipated the future; "and coming mince pies down; but I will cling to it to the last moment. cast their shadows before."
There are still four hours left; they will not dine In this state of desolation and dismay, I called till six. One desperate struggle, and the peril is I could not help it-- at the house to which I had past; let me not be seduced by this last golden apso fondly anticipated an invitation, and a welcome. ple, and I may yet win my race.”
The struggle My protest must here however be recorded, that was made—“I should not dine at home.” This was though I called in the hope of being asked, it was the only phrase left me; for I could not say that my fixed determination not to avail myself of so “I should dine out.” Alas! that an event should protracted a piece of politeness. No: my triumph be at the same time so doubtful and so desirable. would have been to have annihilated them with an I only begged that if any letter arrived, it might be engagement made in September, payable three brought to me immediately. months after date. With these feelings, I gave an The last plank, the last splinter, had now given agitated knock—they were stoning the plums, and way beneath me. I was floating about with no did not immediately attend. I rung-how unlike hope but the chance of something almost impossia dinner bell sounded! A girl at made ble. They had “left me alone,” not with my glory, her appearance, and, with a mouthful of citron, in- but with an appetite that resembled an avalanche formed me that the family had gone to spend their seeking whom it might devour. I had passed one Christmas-eve in Portland Place. I rushed down dinnerless day, and half of another; yet the promthe steps, I hardly knew whither. My first impulse ised land was as far from sight as ever. I recountwas to go to some wharf and inquire what vessels ed the chances I had missed. The dinners I might were starting for America. But it was a cold night have enjoyed, passed in a dioramic view before my -I went home and threw myself on my miserable eyes. Mr. Phiggins and his six clerks—the Clapcouch. In other words, I went to bed.
ham beef-eaters—the charms of Upper Brook street I dozed and dreamed away the hours till day- | -my pretty cousins, and the pantomime writerbreak. Sometimes I fancied myself seated in a the stock-broker, whose stories ore forgets, and the roaring circle, roasting chestnuts at a blazing log: elderly lady who forgets her stories – they all at others, that I had fallen into the Serpentine while marched by me, a procession of apparitions. Even skating, and that the Ilumane Society were piling my landlady's invitation, though unborn, was not forupon me a Pelion, or rather a Vesuvius of blankets. gotten in summing up my sacrifices. And for what? I awoke a little refreshed. Alas! it was the twenty- Four o'clock. Hope was perfectly ridiculous. I fifth of the month-It was Christmas day! Let had been walking upon the hair-bridge over a gulf, the reader, if he possess the imagination of Milton, and could not get into Elysium after all. I had conceive my sensations.
been catching moonbeams, and running after notes I swallowed an atom of dry toast-nothing could of music. Despair was my only convenient refuge ; calm the fever of my soul. I stirred the fire and no chance remained, unless something should drop read Zimmermann alternately. Even reason—the from the clouds. In this last particular I was not last remedy one has recourse to in such cases, disappointed; for, on looking up, I perceived a came at length to my relief: I argued myself into heavy shower of snow. Yet I was obliged to vena philosophic fit. But, unluckily, just as the Lethean ture forth; for being supposed to dine out, I could tide within me was at its height, my landlady broke not of course remain at home. Where to go I knew in upon my lethargy, and chased away by a single not: I was like my first father—"the world was all word all the little sprites and pleasures that were before me." I flung my cloak round me, and huracting as my physicians, and prescribing balm for ried forth with the feelings of a bandit longing for my wounds. She paid me the usual compliment, a stiletto. At the foot of the stairs, I staggered and then—“Do you dine at liome to-day, sir?" ab- against two or three smiling rascals, priding themruptly inquired she. Here was a question. No Span- selves upon their punctuality. They had just arrived ish inquisitor ever inflicted such complete dismay —to make the tour of Turkey. How I hated them! in so short a sentence. Blad she given me a Sphyns -As I rushed by the parlor, a single glance disto expound, a Gordian tangle to untwist; had she closed to me a blazing fire, with Lucy and several set me a lesson in algebra, or asked me the way to lovely creatures in a semi-circle. Fancy, too, gave Brobdignag; had sbe desired me to show her the me a glimpse of a sprig of mistletoe-I vanished North Pole, or the meaning of a melodrama :-- from the house, like a spectre at day-break. any or all of these I might have accomplished.
wandered about is doubtful. At But to request me to define my dinner-to inquire last I happened to look through a kitchen window, into its latitude—to compel me to fathom that sea with an area in front, and saw a villain with a fork of appetite which I now felt rushing through my in his hand, throwing himself back in his chair frame--to ask me to dive into futurity, and become choked with ecstasy. Another was feasting with a the prophet of pies and preserves !--My heart died graver air; he seemed to be swallowing a bit of Parwithin me at the impossibility of a reply.
adise, and criticising its flavor. This was too much She had repeated the question before I could col- for mortality-my appetite fastened upon me like lect my senses around me. Then, for the first time an alligator. I darted from the spot; and only a it occurred to me that, in the event of my having few yards further discerned a house, with rather an no engagement abroad, my landlady meant to invite elegant exterior, and with some ham in the window me ! “ There will at least be the two daughters,” that looked perfectly sublime. There was no time I whispered to myself; "and after all, Lucy Mat- for consideration—to hesitate was to perish. I enthews is a charming girl, and touches the harp di- tered; it was indeed “a banquet-hall deserted." vinely. She has a very small, pretty hand, I The very waiters had gone home to their friends. recollect; only her fingers are so punctured by the There, however, I found a fire; and there to sum needle—and I rather think she bites her nails. No, up all my folly and felicity in a single word—I I will not even now give up my hope. It was yes- | DINED.
THE SAYINGS AND DOINGS OF SAM SLICK, OF SLICKVILLE.
THE ROAD TO A WOMAN'S HEART.
into the sitting room, we found the female part of As we approached the Inn at Amherst, the Clock- the family extinguishing the fire for the night. maker grew uneasy. “It's pretty well on in the Mrs. Pugwash had a broom in her hand, and was evening, I guess," said he, “and Marm Pugwash is in the act (the last act of female housewifery) of as onsartin in her temper as a mornin' in April ; sweeping the hearth. The strong flickering light it's all sunshine or all clouds with her, and if she's of the fire, as it fell upon her tall fine figure and in one of her tantrums, she'll stretch out her neck beautiful face, revealed a' creature worthy of the and hiss, like a goose with a flock of goslins. I | Clockmaker's comments. wonder what on airth Pugwash was a thinkin' on, “Good evening, marm,” said Mr. Slick; “how when he signed articles of partnership with that do you do, and how's Mr. Pugwash ?” “He,” said are woman; she's not a bad lookin' piece of furni- she, “why he's been abed this hour; you don't exture neither, and it's a proper pity sich a clever wo- pect to disturb him this time of night, I hope ?” man should carry such a stiff upper lip—she re- " Oh no," said Mr. Slick, “certainly not, and I am minds me of our old minister, Joshua Hopewell's sorry to have disturbed you, but we got detained apple trees.
longer than we expected; I am sorry that 1. The old minister had an orchard of most par- “So am I," said she, “but if Mr. Pugwash will ticular good fruit, for he was a great hand at bud- keep an Inn when he has no occasion to, his family din', graftin', and what not, and the orchard (it was can't expect no rest." on the south side of the house) stretched right up Here the Clockmaker, seeing the storm gatherto the road. Well, there were some trees hung ing, stooped down suddenly, and staring intently, over the fence, I never seed such bearers, the ap- held out his hand and exclaimed, “Well, if that ples hung in ropes, for all the world like strings of ain't a beautiful child ! come here, my little man, onions, and the fruit was beautiful. Nobody and shake hands along with me-well, I declare, if touched the minister's apples, and when other folks that are little feller ain't the finest child I ever seed lost theirn from the boys, his'n always hung there —what, not abed yet? ah you rogne, where did like bait to a hook, but there never was so much you get them are pretty rosy cheeks; stole them as a nibble at 'em. So I said to him one day, from mamma, eh? Well, I wish my old mother • Minister,' said I, ‘how on airth do you manage to could see that child, it is such a treat.
In our keep your fruit that's so exposed, when no one country,” said he, turning to me, “the children are else can't do it nohow? Why,' says he, “they are all as pale as chalk, or as yallar as an orange. dreadful pretty fruit, an't they?' 'I guess,' said I, Lord, that are little feller would be a show in our “there an't the like on 'em in all Connecticut. country-come to me, my man.” Here the 'soft Well,' says he, “I'll tell you the secret, but you sawder' began to operate. Mrs. Pugwash said in needn't let on to no one about it. That are row a milder tone than we had yet heard, “Go, my next the fence, I grafted it myself; I took great dear, to the gentleman-go, dear." Mr. Slick kisspains to get the right kind. I sent clean up to ed him, asked him if he would go to the States Roxberry and away down to Squawneck Creek.' along with him, told him all the little girls woulu (I was afeard he was a goin' to give me day and fall in love with him, for they didn't see such a date for every graft, being a terrible long-winded beautiful face once in a month of Sundays. “Black man in his stories,) so says I, 'I know that, min-eyes-let me see—ah mamma's eyes too, and black ister, but how do you preserve them?' 'Why, I hair also; as I am alive, you are mamma's own was a goin' to tell you,' said he, 'when you stopped boy, the very image of mamma." “Do be seated,
That are outward row I grafted myseif with gentlemen,” said Mrs. Pugwash—“Sally, make a the choicest kind I could find, and I succeeded. fire in the next room." “She ought to be proud They are beautiful, but so etarnal sour, no human of you," he continued. “Well, if I live to return soul can eat them. Well, the boys think the old here, I must paint your face, and have it put on my minister's graftin' has all succeeded about as well clocks, and our folks will buy the clocks for the as that row, and they sarch no further. They sake of the face. Did you ever see,” said he, again snicker at my graftin', and I laugh in my sleeve, I addressing me, "such a likeness between one huguess, at their penetration.'
man and another, as between this beautiful little “Now, Marm Pugwash is like the Minister's ap- i boy and his mother ?” “I am sure you have had ples; very temptin' fruit to look at, but desperate no supper,” said Mrs. Pugwash to me; “you must
If Pugwash had a watery mouth when he be hungry and weary, too—I will get you a cup of married, I guess its pretty puckery by this time. tea.” "I am sorry to give you so much trouble," However, if she goes to act ugly, I'll give her a said I. “Not the least trouble in the world," she dose of soft sawder,' that will take the frown out replied ; on the contrary, a pleasure." of her frontispiece, and make her dial-plate as We were then shown into the next room, where smooth as a lick of copal varnish. It's a pity she's the fire was now blazing up, but Mr. Slick protested such a kickin' devil, too, for she has good points, he could not proceed without the little boy, and good eye-good foot-neat pastern—fine chest-a lingered behind to ascertain his age, and concluded clean set of limbs, and carries a good But by asking the child if he had any aunts that looked here we are, now you'll see what soft sawder' will like mamma. do."
As the door closed, Mr. Slick said, “it's a pity When we entered the house, the travellers' room she don't go well in gear. The difficulty with those was all in darkness, and on opening the opposite door | critters is to git them to start; arter that, there is
no trouble with them, if you don't check 'em too | Banks; beant he lovely! I do believe there wasn't short. If you do they'll stop again, run back and a gal in the Lowel factories, that warn't in love with kick like mad, and then Old Nick himself wouldn't him. Sometimes, at intermission, on Sabbath days, start 'em. Pugwash, I guess, don't understand the when they all came out together (an amazin' handnatur' of the crittur; she'll never go kind in har- som' sight, too, near about a whole congregation ness for him. When I see a child," said the Clock- of young gals), Banks used to say, 'I vow, young maker, “I always feel safe with these women folk; - ladies, I wish I had five hundred arms to reciprofor I have always found that the road to a woman's cate one with each of you; but I reckon I have a heart lies through her child."
heart big enough for you all; it's a wbapper, you “You seem,” said I, “to understand the female may depend, and every mite and morsel of it at heart so well, I make no doubt you are a general your service.' Well, how do you act, Mr. Banks,' favorite among the fair sex.” “Any man,” he re-half a thousand little clipper-clapper tongues would plied, " that understands horses, has a pretty con- say, all at the same time, and their dear little eyes siderable fair knowledge of women, for they are sparklin' like so many stars twinklin' of a frosty jist alike in temper, and require the very identical night. same treatment. Incourage the timid ones, be gentle Well, when I last see'd him, he was all skin and and steady with the fractious, but lather the sulky bone, like a horse turned out to die. He was teeones like Blazes.
totally defleshed, a mere walkin' skeleton. “I am People talk an everlastin' sight of nonsense dreadful sorry,' says I, to see you, Banks, lookin' about wine, women, and horses. I've bought and so peecked; why, you look like a sick turkey hen, sold 'em all, I've traded in all of them, and I tell all legs; what on airth ails you?' 'I am dyin',' you, there ain't one in a thousand that knows a says he, of a broken heart.' What,' says I, “hare grain about either on 'em. You hear folks say, the gals been jiltin' you?' 'No, no,' says he, “I Oh, such a man is an ugly grained critter, he'll beant such a fool as that neither.' Well,' says I, break his wife's heart; jist as if a woman's heart have you made a bad speculation ? No,' says he, was as brittle as a pipe stalk. The female heart, shakin' his head, 'I hope I have too much clear as far as my experience goes, is jist like a new grit in me to take on so bad for that.' What India-rubber shoe; you may pull and pull at it till under the sun, is it, then?' said I. “Why,' says he, it stretches out a yard long; and then let go, and 'I made a bet the fore part of summer with Lefte. it will fly right back to its old shape. Their heartsnant Oby Knowles, that I could shoulder the best are made of stout leather, I tell you; there's a bower of the Constitution frigate. I won my bet, plaguy sight of wear in 'em.
but the anchor was so etarnal heavy that it broke my "I never knowed but one case of a broken heart, heart.' Sure enough he did die that very fall, and and that was in tother sex, one Washington Banks. he was the only instance I ever heard tell of a He was a sneezer. He was tall enough to spit down broken heart.” on the heads of your grenadiers, and near about high enough to wade across Charlestown River, and as
FATIIER JOIIN O'SIIAUGIINESSY. strong as a tow boat. I guess he was somewhat “I was to Halifax, and who should I meet but less than a foot longer than the moral law and cate. Father John O'Shaughnessy, a Catholic Priest. I had chism too. He was a perfect pictur' of a man; met him afore in Cape Breton, and had sold him a you couldn't fault him in no particular; he was so clock. Well, he was a leggin' it off hot foot. Possijust a made critter; folks used to run to the winder ble,' says I, "Father John, is that you ? why, what on when he passed, and say, 'there goes Washington | airth is the matter of you? what makes you in such