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gany slab in the hall, proudly surmounted a heap of dirty plates filled with fruit-parings.
Its cool and liquid appearance was decisive ; conscious of doing wrong, but unable to resist, our hero mounted a chair, and, futter. ing with apprehension, lifted, though not without difficulty, the weighty vessel from its exalted situation, and had just bɔrne it safely to the filter, when the man-servant (to whose care it had been specially intrusted) approached, and with horror beheld his young master thus employed. Place-character—wages, (with an indirect glance at paying for breakages,) floated before the menial's eyes; he involuntarily cried,
“Ah! you've no business to lay hold of that.”
So probably thought the child, for he no sooner heard the words than he let go the handle ; and the jug, complying with the law of gravity, commenced descending the kitchen-stairs.
Paralyzed at the sight, both Frederick and the man watched it as it leisurely hopped from one stair to another without sustaining the slightest damage. Seeing this, a tumultuous hope arose that it might miraculously escape altogether; when, just at that moment, as if exulting in the feats it had performed, it playfully sparkled with more than ordi. nary lustre, while, rolling on to the stones at the bottom, with a loud crash it shivered into a thousand pieces.
“ That's done for! There'll be a jolly row!” mournfully ejecu. lated the servant. To prove these words true the little delinquent tuned his strong lungs for the celebration of the misfortune, and in a few moments the space around him was thronged. Mrs. Jackman heard the tale,-looked upon the fragments,-pronounced rivets and Chinese cement of no avail.—and hastily retired. Mr. Jackman was equally distressed—not for his loss—this he at first did not so particularly consider; but he was distressed to know in what manner he ought to comfort himself. In his own mind he had, by his speech of thanks, given the surrounding guests a magnificent opinion of his mental resources, and he was anxious to confirm the impression thus created by the loftiness of his bearing on the present trying occasion. How to do this was all he wanted to know. He accordingly thrust one hand within his vest, and the other into his pocket, and with a decided look of nothingness waited for a cue from the conduct of those around.
" It's very vexatious !” said one.
Mr. Jackman thrust his hand a little further into his waistcoat, and sighed. " Don't distress yourself about it,” considerately murmured another.
“ Thank you! thank you !" cried the host in violent emotion. “I'm his father! but, however, I 'll bear it! I 'll bear it !”
" What could the child have been doing ?" inquired a third.
“ Heaven only knows. I can't tell. If he had spoken to me, sooner than this should have happened I'd have denied him nothing. My heart, to the fullest extent of my means, he knows is his. What then could he want with that pitcher ? But go, sir, go !” added Jack. man, turning to the culprit ; " I shall never make you a gentleman. Go, sir, and get another father who can tolerate your acts, and put up with your extravagance. You'll find the difference, sir. I re. nounce you. You have severed yourself from me for ever. There,
take him, take him, some one ; take him from this house. I give him to you. Let me never see the boy again!" And thus saying, Mr. Jackman strutted away with the air of a man who heroically sacrifices feeling to duty.
His audience were all astonishment.. “Could the father be seri. ous ?" cach seemed by his looks to ask of the other. “ And if,” thought they, “ he is serious, which of us does he expect is to be burthened with the mischievous child whose tricks have sundered the affections of his natural father ?" A simultaneous uneasiness pervaded the group, which, however, soon gave place to a desire of further consoling the afflicted parent, in which kind purpose they so speedily embarked, that Master Frederick found himself shortly after his father's departure standing by the side of his uncle, Mr. Alex. ander, alone.
Alexander was a kind-hearted man. He was a Scot, without one of those bad qualities which some think characterize a whole nation.
He, from a feeling of compassion lest the child might be too severely chastised for his error, took him home, and (being a dealer in canvass and sail-cloth) turned the young scapegrace into his warehouse, with full permission to do all the damage he was able. The boy was delighted with his liberty, and by next morning had made a bosom friend of the only constant inhabitant and guardian of the place, a huge Newfoundland dog,— Lion by name,-a massive beast, of grave and shaggy aspect, who passed his life chained to an enormous kennel, so placed as to command the principal entrance. Here Master Frederick romped with the brute, and tumbled about the heavy bales which were everywhere strewn over the place, nor for a moment thought how far his parents had become reconciled to his last night's adventure.
“ He's not at all like other children ; he is so mischievous," re. marked Mrs. Jackman, at her breakfast table.
“ If he'd only do as I tell him," responded her lord : “Heaven knows, I never speak but for his good. That child, Jane, has, I'm afraid, a natural disposition for blackguardism. I don't see the end of him."
“Everybody would let him drink," rejoined the lady," though I kept begging of them not to do so. I never saw a child take strong wine as he did ; and, when he was asleep in the drawing-room I felt quite ashamed, he looked so red and vulgar. I thought then something must happen; and what could the servants have been about! But London servants are getting so religious, they can think of nothing but wages, and perquisites, and their Sundays out."
“ Twenty pounds!" cried the father. “There isn't a gentleman in London can produce its fellow! Could he find nothing to break but that? Give me my hat! I'll teach him to behave himself! I'll make a gentleman of him, or he shall smart for it!" And the report of a door slammed violently, announced Mr. Jackman's departure.
As he went his pace increased beyond all common ambulatory movements; snorting and jumping he passed along, as though he sought to illustrate the turbulence of his passions by unevenness of motion. Thus proceeding, his eye caught a horsewhip ticketed for
sale at two-and-sixpence in a saddler's window. Mr. Jackman paused. It was decidedly cheap; nerertheless, after a solemn shaking of his head he slowly walked on,—then stopped again.-looked back hesitatingly, and, retracing his steps, scrutinized the article for a considerable time with the profoundest gravity. It was a cruel wea. pon to lay upon so young a child, but the weight of the hand might do him a greater injury. The idea of humanity was lugged in to justify severity. He bought the horsewhip ; and, did he entertain any doubt as to the propriety of his conduct, he gave his indigna. tion towards his son the full benefit of his uneasiness, and soon stood at the warehouse-door, flourishing his new purchase before the child.
“ You will come here, sir! Come here, Frederick !"
The summons was certainly productive of a movement, but in the opposite direction to that pointed out by filial obedience.
* You had better come here, sir ! You had better come here, Frederick !"
The child evidently entertained a different opinion : he quickened: his retreat.
“ Look sharp, little ’un, or you'll want no fire to warm ye this day. Now keep your eyes open, and hop for it ; and if ye rin, isn't there a chance he'll not catch you for once, darling ?” cried some
Mr. Jackman drew himself up, and looking with savage pride towards the place whence the words proceeded, beheld an Irish porter, whose face was glistening in the expectation of amusement from the proposed chase. Keenly sensitive to a parent's natural dislike to any interference, and peculiarly alive to the mortifying idea of his anger being food for an inferior's low amusement, Jackman muttered something “ not loud but deep," and darted vigorously after his son, thinking to decide the question at once by a coup de main ; but the child had considerable advantages ;-he could glide in between bales of canvass, or creep through holes, which his father either could not penetrate, or was forbidden by dignity to attempt in the presence of a menial. “ Only let me catch you, you young
villain ! To
expose your own father thus! Come here, sir !—will you come here ?-ugh!-only let me catch you, sir !"
“Only do that thing, and you'll catch it, little 'un!” jeered the Hibernian, capering with delight at witnessing Jackman's irritation. “ Och ! rin for the life of ye, rin! Iligant ! If the ould ’un don't see whiskey till he whacks ye, sure there's a dry wake for him.—Ah! missed that same, now luck's on the side of ye. Rin, jewel!och! ha! ha!-rin, honey, rin!"
Goaded by the man's coarseness, what remained of Jackman's temper entirely forsook him. Blind with passion, he rushed wildly forward, cutting with the horsewhip without aim on all sides ; but hardly had he gone a dozen paces ere, stumbling over a heap of goods, he measured his length upon the ground. The Irishman fairly yelled with delight ; while Jackınan, bounding from the floor, saw his son toddling almost leisurely along at a considerable distance. Become now, from rage, regardless of dignity, the father leaped over several intervening obstacles, and once more neared the boy, who was imprudent enough to quit his cover and cross the open
floor of the warehouse. It was evident that here he had no chance. With a short involuntary cry of exultation, his loving papa sprang forward, and had almost grasped Freddy by the hair, when, as if by magic, the urchin suddenly disappeared, and Mr. Jackman shot some distance past the spot before he could check himself and return to examine it. ' He was hurrying to do this, when a huge black nose, reposing between two formidable paws, warned him to proceed no farther. Master Frederick had in fact for refuge entered the kennel, at the extremity of which he was discovered crouching behind the dog.
“ Lie down !" said Mr. Jackman, as, resolved on punishment, he slowly advanced, though with considerable doubt as to what part the new actor intended to take in the scene ; “ lie down, Lion !—fine fellow !-good old doggy poor old Lion!—lie down !"
Notwithstanding this insinuating language, the dog remained, to all appearance, ignorant even of Mr. Jackman's vicinity. Once, indeed, the deep muzzle slightly quivered ; but it was hardly per ceptible, and did not interrupt the settled expression of grave medi. tation which characterized the countenance of the brute. Emboldened by this stillness, Jackman approached nearer and nearer still, and from the spot where he now stood might, if the animal should continue to act in the true spirit of neutrality, drag forth his rebel. lious offspring. However, previously to attempting this, he deemed it prudent to reconnoitre farther, and bent his body for the purpose. The dog instantaneously raised his small expressive eyes, looked Mr. Jackman steadfastly in the face, and then slowly closed the orbs in apparent slumber.
“ There's a good dog !" cried Jackman, recovering his self-possession.
The sound of the voice now seemed to irritate the animal, and this alarming the child, Master Frederick patted the broad back of the brute with his little hand, which Mr. Jackman perceiving, misconstrued into an attempt to make the dog attack him.
“ You little blackguard !--set the dog at your own father!” cried Jackman, his rage aggravated beyond even its former excess. Thrusting forth one arm, he seized his son by the neck, but in an instant released him again ; for he heard the Irishman shout, a chain rattle, and the deep grinding of a dog's growl. He felt that there was danger; yet, before he could avoid it, a sudden agonizing pain de. manded his immediate attention.
When the first flash of fear had passed away, Mr. Jackman pero ceived that the dog was in his rear, and what more nearly touched him, in possession of a considerable portion of his flesh. With con. sciousness returned his regard for the opinion of other people, and his sensitiveness to anything bordering upon the ridiculous ; and apprehending that his present predicament was liable, if known, to become a jest among his friends, he struggled to restrain the cries that rose thickly in his throat. He remembered that the Irishman was present, and, notwithstanding the pain which it occasioned him, (as every movement on his part was now answered by fresh furor on that of the animal,) he managed to turn his body so as to face the porter, when, to add to his grief, he discovered the fellow, disabled through laughter, leaning for support against the wall. Resolved rather than to be eaten up alive than call on others for assistance, what
could the unhappy Jackman do? Hope was not a feeling to be cherished by a man whose body was detained by a Newfoundland dog. It was too quiet a sensation for one who every moment felt the beast batting at him, as it were, with his nose, to renew his bite, or shaking him in an endeavour either to tear off the flesh or prove the firmness of his grip.
No means of escape presented themselves to the hurried glance of the sufferer, whose only chance, indeed, was through the interference of the porter. Stifling the hatred that this man's conduct had created, Jackman at length called to him for help; but the fellow only lifted up his head, and seeing Jackman's face, fell into another such excessive peal of merriment as precluded all hope from that quarter.
Pride, the proverb says, has no feeling; but those who indulge it have; and Mr. Jackman grew faint as a probability of the dog's ultimately throwing him down and mangling him occurred to his imagination. Every moment his fears increased ; even his desire to avoid exposure passed away; and, after making one or two strange guttural sounds, the voice at length burst forth in a volume that defies description.
The place was soon crowded. People passing in the street rushed to the entrance; the inmates of Mr. Alexander's house hurried to the spot; while a sudden energy of terror lent Jackman strength to free himself from the animal, though at the loss of a considerable portion of that garment peculiar to his sex.
Any other man under such circumstances, would have hastily sought concealment, availing himself of Mr. Alexander's pressing invitation to “ step in doors ; " but Mr. Jackman's character was not of the ordinary stamp. When the immediate danger had passed, his conceit returned ; and catching a glance of two servants who were tittering and whispering at the extreme end of the place, he resolved not to quit that spot before he had lent a dignity to misfortune.
“ Alexander !” cried he, endeavouring to look firm, though his every nerve in motion, and the tears standing in his eyes, " Alexander !
--n the dog !—The good-for-nothing !- Alexander, you see what a state I'm in ; and I request you will pull that boy out-Oh!”
“I dare na do it," replied Mr. Alexander, with difficulty suppress. ing his laughter ; “ besides, any friend, even, o' yours is welcome to my house, and I canna, therefore, refuse your
ain son the use o' my kennel.”
“ Now, mark me—that boy will ruin me if he's not corrected ;no friend of mine shall interfere. Now, Alexander, either drag him out, or, as I'm a mortal man, I'll leave your house this instant for ever!"
“ What! in those breeks ?" dryly asked the Scot, pointing to the drapery that hung in picturesque tatters.
“It is dacent he is for travelling, sure enough, masther!" bawled the Irishman, emboldened by observing his employer smile.
This was no brilliant jest, but it came in just when one of some sort was wanted ; and the bystandeis now beginning to understand circumstances, the Hibernian's remark, was, to the confusion of Mr. Jackman, received with shouts. During their continuance, that gen. tleman thus addressed his son, who remained crouching, the picture of infant dread, in his humble asylum.