Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

38. Five High Tories.-Worm-eaten, uniform throughout, in the original impressed binding, set rare, calf gilt, not lettered.

Johannes Taurus-MDCCXCIJI. 39. A Whig.--Nunc demum in lucem editus, a profusion of blind tooling on all sides, calf extra.

London, 1830. 40. Three Radicals.-Imperfect, wants title, plain calf.

No place or date. This set would be given to the purchaser of the above two lots par dessus

le marché. 41. A Grammarian.-Very plain.

Colon. 42. Several Scotchmen.

Cremona. 43. A Nabob.--In rich old yellow morocco, rather stiff in the joints, profusely gilt.

Cheltenham, 1830. 44. A Poulterer.

Foulis. 45. A Marchioness.-Superbly bound in velvet and richly gilt, the Royal arms im

pressed on the side and back, with huge clasps. Privately printed, 1825. 46. A Shoemaker.—Boards, with leather back and corners.

Apud Johannem Crispinum. 47. Three Oxford Students, Five Half-pay Lieutenants, a Widower with Three

Children, Nine Clerks in Public Offices, Seventeen Younger Sons of all Descriptions, and a Commissioner of Excise.-A very interesting,scarce, and curious collection in one thick vol. calf extra.

31. 13s. 60. The excessive cheapness of the last work made me hurry my hand to the pocket that contained my purse ; and in my anxiety to pay for what I had made my own, I struck the bone (yclept the funny) against the elbow of my chair, and I fear burt it severely: luckily I had put an end to my ponderous purchase, and to my luxurious anthropography.

Dear Simpkin, yours, &c.

E. H. F.
No. IV.
My Dear Mrs. Shaw,

Naples Desember Sunday Nite. As I promized you some account of our jerney i would not wish to be wurse than my word more perticular to you who have always bin so constant to me as I may say but i should first tell you i was much disappointed in this same Naples having always heard of the buty of furen parts when i must needs own i have seen nothing to compare to the great hall in Berkshire were I lived with my first lady, however i have cartainly seen a deel of the world wich is what we lives for, having met with an overturn in a sad dangerous place and had all liked to have been tumbled into a grate river i think they call the rone, the people there were very kind to us and behaved very unlike those here wich seem to me as far as I can say as Hethenish a set as ever I met with they makes nothing of picking and steeling before one can turn ones back having no more regard for the Catekism than they have for their wives—and my misses as i am obliged to call her as conscientious and vertuous a lady as ever broke bread tells of a grate markwiss who stole nine silver spoons one hall nite--for the matter of that the English themselves seem to run stark mad as soon as they snuff this hair, going to the oproar every nite of the week and one of the Quality who has bin expelled from her husbands bosom walks about at open day with her concubine under her arm, if she had belonged to these parts i could not have much wondered but for English wice to hold up her head in another country is what I carnt understand, she passed mistress and our miss as close as to touch her pelisse a new one i had just bin makin, i saw the most butifullest court dress the other day besides virgils tomb and a part of a temple dedicated to Jupiter Seraph who I takes to have bin one of the Roman Hemperors. Misses has promised I should go to see Pompey before we go back, but I own i am rather disinclined to such a party since a Jerman Courear in a service here told me of two gentleman who were stripped to the skin by Ruffians at broad day, and I should not like the same to be done to me, as I have got a prickly heat out over my body, and besides it is not dacent to be visiting the tiquities barer than

Eve, being only sarvent as yet, though a prince kissed me the other day i should not have told you all this only as we have bin Keeping of company 5 years come next lady. I remain your loving friend,

E. W. PS. i dont sign as i hear the King sometimes opens our letters, he makes butter too but we dont get it, i dont know why for sartenly he has as good a rite as the rest. I hopes you have forgotten your first husband, and that you are sick of all grooms of the bedchamber as the King calls em. is Mr. Shaw a good husband and is he fond of you, of course you diddent tell him of your first Love Thomas. i never told it to no one neither.

To go on board at Calais France.
Mrs. Shaw, houskeper to

Jones Simkins, Esquire.

No. V.
Dear Simpkin,

September 25, 1831. They are done! The Bill has passed the Commons, and the last hope of the faction of Anti-Reform is in a majority, consisting of Pitt's twaddling old lords, who have lived to mustiness, and the Bench of Bishops, who hold their grandam's receipts, Mother Goose, and the memory of King Charles the Martyr next to the Bible in reverence. The defeated members of the House of Commons, as you may guess, died hard under the hands of Lord John Russell. Sir C. Wetherell kicked for more than five minutes—his contortions were not more extraordinary than when alive. His last words were as much in consonance with his awful situation, as his arguments in the House were with the Reform Bill. Instead of commending his soul to Heaven, he spoke of artificial noses and Taliacothus, the Emperor of China, and the Whigs, magnetism, and Juggernaut. I have amused myself writing epitaphs for the defuncts, and send you a few specimens. You know I rhyme sometimes. Show them to your Tory friends.

W

SIR C-
Hic jacet W once a rabid Tory,
Of rotten burghs the advocate and glory :
Silent at last that tongue which knew no resting,
From quivering, sputtering, fuming, jeering, jesting ;
Fierce in his fun, good-humour'd in his hate,-
Strange in his logic, stranger in his gait :
He sicken'd of Reform, which he'd defied,
Refused the medicine—“ Russell's Purge," and died !

COLONEL s-
“ I can't reform," the Colonel S cried;
He could not mend his nature, and he died :
And here he lies—laugh ye who read his speeches,
This spot the Speaker's summons never reaches !

ŃR. B
Underneath this bank lies B-
With nor Whig's nor Tory's thanks
Voting one side, t'other speaking,
Marring all he should be making-
Voting by accident one day-
In seven long years the honest way,
Unlike his hat, that mystic caul,
With no consistency at all :
When beneath Reform he died,
No one laugh'd and no one cried.
Here with Corfe Castle though he's laid,
Nigh the Treasury stalks bis shade!

MARQUIS OF C
Within this urn, in noble ashes lie
Tbe pride of Buckingham and yeomanry;.
Young, generous, gallant, strange he rank'd with those
Whom England numbers not with friends but foes;
Struck by Reform, he found an early fate,
And general pity, for none bore him hate :
Ye Tories weep upon his early bier,
Among you all he has not left his peer.

MR. B
Here

Blies, alternate Whig and Tory;
Lets hope from charity he's gone to glory-
There was no bearing with him, day by day
He took such pains to hold by neither way :
Betwixt two stools men tumble, so they tell,
Thus non-reformer B sat and fell ;
And men engage, all Hampshire to a cheese,
B now bears himself but ill at ease!

I'll send you more soon.

Dear Simpkin,
Ever yours,

W. 0.

No. VI.
Dear Sir,

Boulogne, Aug. 20. After bobbing about in a steam-boat, like a Billy-goat in an attack, I arrived here, thanks to the engineer, safe and sound. We had the usual recreations of a sea-passage, which consists of the passengers emptying themselves, and the crew capsizing the buckets. When I put my foot on shore, a generation of French commissioners of the Victualling board commenced a regular seizure of my person to convey it to their respective inns. “ Hôtel du Nord,” cries one.- “ The London Hotel,” said another, none the better pronounced for being in English.

“ Hôtel des Bain.”—“ Hôtel d'Angleterre."--" Oh, no,” said I, - that won't do yet for me,” for I understand that is merely another name for the gaol. “ First come—first served,” said I; “ so I am for the Hôtel du Nord,” and began to make sail in that direction. The gens d'arme, however, shaped my course for the Custom-house, to have myself and my traps overhauled. As the soldier spoke like an officer, and as we were both men of war, we saluted each other like friends, and I was soon on the right tack for the hotel. The house was crammed, excepting one berth at the top of the house, out of which one could take the altitude of the stars from the bed, there being no curtains, or shutters, or any thing else to keep out day or moonlight. I had hardly turned in, when a half-drunken man German courier took possession of the adjoining room, and began to unrig, scaling his guns every moment, and puffing out a stream of smoke of equal volume with the funnel of a steamboat when fresh coals are put on. He seemed well provided with brandy ; for, after tacking about the room, he ran foul of a door, and made a stern-board on the bed, where he snorted and howled like a sow in a gale.

As we were to have a grand review the next day, and the prefect of the department was to stand reviewing officer, I was out by daylight to see the muster and make observations. The cavalry of the National Guard were first in the field, consisting of sixteen men, headed by the son of the landlady of the Hôtel du Nord. They were not expected by their countrymen to do anything more than ride up and down the street, and they took good care not to surprise them by any further manœuvre. The drummers--the infernal drummers, walked up and down, beating the De

vil's tattoo upon copper drums, producing a noise like hammering so many tin pots, and never ceasing in their unremitted annoyance until about one o'clock, when the trumpets sounded. The troops took up a position in the market-place in the Grande Rue, and the prefect, a little, fat, podgy fellow, like a boy's hammock with a cocked-hat in the clews, paraded the line.—Line it could not be called, for they stood, certainly, at ease, and without much regularity. The most amusing part was when the National Guard walked past the prefect, and the adjutant gave the word “ Vive le Roi !” some bellowed in accordance, others preferred “ The Republic !" and some “ The Charter!" It was quite ludicrous to see the general for the day standing on the lower step of the church, backed by all the fish and fruit women, Lazarus-like beggars, and English women. In vain they attempted to keep the people back : it was voted a free country, and the mob were determined to tread upon the heels of their quondam nobility. It was five o'clock when I returned home, and they had just piped to dinner. I was ill inclined to talk, being fatigued beyond conception with walking over the miserably paved street. The French seem to be determined to do every thing contrary to experience, and therefore invariably place the stones the wrong side uppermost; if trottoirs could be made, it would increase the wealth of Boulogne. I found all our mess seated without any thing to eat, it being a rule with François to muster his animals before he feeds them. Such a motley group I never saw. I was placed opposite a nervous-looking young man, with a cultivated upper lip. He gave himself out to be a cornet, but it was evident enough to any goose that he was under false colours; and his question to an English gentleman, whom he first sounded as to his knowledge of that language, by asking him, in bad French, if he spoke English, soon confirmed me in my opinion. He asked, if the gentleman could recommend him to any place in Boulogne where he could borrow money! The answer was a good onem." There is no place in the world worse for that than Boulogne." Our company was enlivened by the bustling appearance of a gentleman, who entered in a consequential manner-stuck a chair in the only place where the servants could passbowed with the real English bend—and began a simultaneous attack upon the soup and the French ministry. It was quite amusing to hear the little man ruling the world: he settled Poland and Russia while he lacerated a fowl-gave France new boundaries as he held his plate for some pommes de terre, à la maitre d'Hôteland upset French and English ministry as he poured out a glass of vin ordinaire: whenever he paused in masticating, he kept his tongue alive by conversation. He knew the secrets of every court—the intrigues of the Pope, the private occupations of Ferdinand, the intentions of Pedro, the dismay of Miguel, the last words of Bolivar, and an intended insurrection of Mexico, a new alliance between the Oranges, Donna Maria of Terceira, and the prince of the same fruit—and canvassed the characters, private and public, of every man in the French chambers. His volubility, mistakes, and consequence, amused me prodigiously. An English linen-draper and his pretty ungenteel wife were in a loud whispering conversation. “Here," said the man to the waiter-“Garçon, wouley wous portey some beef here, for I can't eat this manufactory article these tobacco-pipes made easy,” meaning macaroni ;_" And, indeed,” said his young wife, who sat at table with a poke-bonnet on, trimmed with every coloured ribbon under the sun,

61 shan't drink this washy stuff you calls wine ; do you think, Mr. D., I came all this way to swallow this sour-crout thing, which they call ordinary; I suppose, because we dine here at this ordinary?why I'm sure I've got the Cholera Morbus already.”—“Lord ! look there, Mary,” said her sister; “ as I am alive, there's a pie with a cross upon that's done, because the cook's a Catholic: I would not eat any of that pastry, for it would change my religion.--I hope they have got a

it

Christian church here, or we shall all be heretics before we go back."

If once I do get back," said the married one, “I knows what's what I know I won't come back again here.”

The hotels are decidedly good and clean ; and if the landlady could forego a little of her love of gain, and be more accommodating, the Hôtel du Nord would be a capital lounging place for a short time, but her excessive niggardly disposition is eternally exciting disgust; she will not allow a single man to keep a sitting-room, because a family might arrive, and they would spend more ; for the same reason, if a carriage with only one person arrives, and she has one room vacant, she will declare she is full, in hopes of getting more fish in her net. But, my dear Sir, if ever you are fool enough to come here, take care of the commissioner---there is no greater vagabond unhung ; he will charge you five francs for the honour of landing and having your portmanteau conveyed to the inn-Avoid him if you have any regard for the children who are to inherit your wealth, and be not plundered by such a scarecrow.

The society here is far from general ; and it behoves a young man to be cautious of his associates. The immense influx of English now, as Brussels is not a peaceful habitation, has been composed of all sorts and all conditions. The retired linen-draper, with his pretty daughters, cannot, in mere appearance, be distinguished from the scions of aristocracy; nor can the wealthy horse-dealer be discovered, at first sight, by any vicious exterior. Swindlers, gamblers, and half-outlawed rogues --mere cheaters of men and the gallows, swarm to this nest of iniquity : and the stranger, who thoughtlessly associates with all the wanderers at Versial, may have to take an early walk on the sands, or be invited to receive company upon the damp meadow of Capicure, and meet the fate of the unfortunate man who was lately shot there for a disputed debt in a gambling-house. Strange is fatality !-On the ground the victim removed his watch to his waistcoat-pe doubtlessly with the intention of turning his adversary's ball from a vital part-The shot passed through his fob, and he was killed.

I had intended to have given some account of a few amusements, and to have touched upon the merits of the Pagliardinis, who enliven the evenings by their humour and their singing. It is quite a pity that such gems should be buried in such a hole. Desire John to send for my cab, and get the house in order ; I shall return on Wednesday, until then be

Your very loving nephew,

F. R.

lieve me

No. VII.
Sir,

February 22, 1831. The parson and his hounds have broked through the new fence you had made in the river paddock, and the sheep got out of it. Seven of the Merinos are lost. Two have choked in the fen. Must I spake to Mr. Crab the attorney about the business—’tis desarving of a persecution.Waiting your answer, with respect,

I am, Sir, your humble servant,

John HOLDHERD,

bailiff to Jonas Simpkin, Esq. N.B. The brown cow be very bad, I don't think as how she'll recover somehow, but she may bang on some time yet-shall I sell her to the sausage-makers? I've paid 10. 9. 1% to Mr. Harrow for the xparimental work—'tis more than worth twice told. Henry the huntsman says the hounds be all hearty. So no more from your sarvant to command.

« AnteriorContinuar »