« AnteriorContinuar »
Jies became engaged in its trade, and We proceeded to give notice to all shared in its prosperity, and although the world, by advertising in the public age was making serious inroads upon newspapers, and otherwise, that an anthe two elders, and they began to wax nual fair and a weekly market would feeble, yet they managed to preserve in future be held in Our Village, and their influence even over the stranger that the first fair would commence on part of our population, and no change a given day, and continue a week ; of any importance was concluded on and to it we invited all farmers, clountil it had received their sanction. thiers, horse-dealers, drovers, and all
Thus matters proceeded for a period others having cattle or goods of any of six years or upwards after the re. description to dispose of or to buy; conciliation of the two families, and and all keepers of menageries, showOur Village attained a great degree of men, tumblers, fiddlers, dancers, jugprosperity.
glers, ballad-singers, hurdygurdy playAi length we took it into our heads ers, fire-eaters, and all others capable that we ought to have a fair and a of making fun, or willing to be amused. market. In country places, especially Great indeed were our anticipations, places resembling Our Village, the and fearful the bustle of preparation! creature of yesterday, legal forms of Our Market-Hall was complete a full establishing a fair or a market are not fortnight before the time, and it was much regarded, even if it ever occurs with singular satisfaction that we listo any one that such things are neces. tened to the enquiries of strangers sary. In our case we were not suffi- about our fair, and heard their account ciently learned to be mystified, and so of the great influx of tradesmen and we called a meeting, and resolved, like visiters that would attend it. men of business, that we would have As the important day approached an annual fair and a weekly market. our excitement became greater, until
The project was nearly knocked on at length the majority of us were in a the head by some meddling fellow re- perfect fever of expectation; and when, marking, " That as people would bring two days previous to the day appointed produce and goods from a distance to for opening the fair, a waggon was our fairs and markets, we ought to announced as entering Our Village, lahave a Market-Hall and a Market, den with commodities for sale on the Place, which would cost money.” occasion, our ecstasy knew no bounds.
For a moment this threw us all The entire population turned out on a-back, but we recollected that some the occasion, and amidst the shouts village, not more than thirty miles and acclamations of the adults, and the from us, had a Market-Place, and as yells and screams of the juvenile part we had individually resolved, before of our community, the waggon was coming to the meeting, that we would conveyed to the ground upon which have a fair and a market, and as we the fair was intended to be held, and had collectively, at the meeting, re- there took up a position as important solved the same thing, we even put a in our estimation as any occupied by good face on the matter, and, in a an army on the eve of a serious battle. postscript to our resolutions, resolved The first waggon was speedily folthat we would have a Market-Hall lowed by others, and the workers in and a Market Place; and to put the linen, and in woollen, and in silk, and matter in a tangible shape, we forth. in cotton, and in iron, and in brass, with commenced a subscription for the not lacking a bountiful supply of the purpose.
children of Israel, cunning in works Our subscription went on swim- of gold, and of silver, and precious mingly, and the requisite amount was' stones (or what they pretended were soon raised. A committee was form- such, which to us was much the same ed to lay it out, under whose superin- thing), poured into Our Village, and tendence land was bought, and a pro- also took up allotted positions on the per hall and conveniences contracted ground appointed for the fair. to be built and fit for occupation in During the whole of that day and three months. The whole matter was the day following, which was the one pressed on with great energy, and a immediately preceding the fair, and day appointed for opening the fair, during the nights of those two days, which we determined should continue there was a continued stream of people for a week.
entering Our Village, accompanied by VOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXV.
conveyances of all kinds, and laden people were almost tickled into conwith articles of all descriptions. vulsions at the freaks of Mister Punch,
A goodly company of men from but there was a company of tumblers Yorkshire, knowing in horses and in that secured to themselves the patronbeeves, also attended, and brought age of the public by the untiring gri. with them a variety of stock; and there maces, the singular antics, and the came also, in odd-looking vehicles, witty drollery of their Merryandrew, goods of all sorts--tents for refresh. He hada good-humoured joke for every ments—artists in confectionary—esta- body, and, singular enough, his jokes blishments of millinery-toy-shops were remarkably applicable to the pershows for the old and the young- sons to whom addressed, or of whom tumblers-rope-dancers-jugglers uttered; and when he said nothing he fortune-tellers, and all those various looked so irresistibly droll, and moved nondescript trades, businesses, sights, his body about with contortions so and wonders, that constitute that om- comic, that if the spectator had the nium-gatherum a country fair. smallest particle of fun in his compo
They were all marshalled in due sition, he could not resist his inclinaorder on the ground appointed for the tion to laugh and be amused. fair, and thence, until the following Company crowded to the booth at morning, all was breathless expecta- which the good-natured Merryandrew tion, waiting anxiously for the moment exhibited, and the performance within when the fair was to be opened and must have been quite as satisfactory as the fun and the carnival to commence ; the exhibition without, for every body and so absorbed we were in this to us came out delighted; and the excel. important business, that no inhabitant lence of the performance and the speof Our Village presumed on that anxi- cial drollery of the Merryandrew beous night to close the eyes in sleep. came an universal theme.
On the morning of the fair crowds Thus closed the first day of our of strangers, dressed in their holiday fair. Every body appeared satisfied. clothes, entered Our Village, and an The sellers had met with good sale assemblage of those who usually took for their goods, and the purchasers the lead amongst us, including Adoni- were satisfied with their bargains. jah and Ichabod, having gone upon Those who attended for amusement the ground and formally announced expressed themselves highly gratified, the commencement of the fair, its and those who furnished the amusebusiness, its pleasures, and its frolics ment appeared satisfied with the rewere not long ere they burst forth in muneration they had received ; and on all their glory.
the morning of the second day peoSilks and satins and gay ribbons ple met with pleasant faces, and made were soon seen fluttering in the air. their arrangements for again pursuing Stalls were covered with wares of all the business or the amusements of descriptions, exhibiting the glittering the fair. variety of a bazaar with the regularity Adonijah and Ichabod, after attendof a shop. The various showmen an. ing the ceremony of opening the fair, nounced their wonderful performances had retired from the bustle; but on the in right stentorian voices, and the second day, having heard so good an yelling of wild beasts, mingled with account of the first, they agreed to the shouts of a delighted populace and walk through it together, and to take the noise of drums, trumpets, bagpipes, Kesiah betwixt them under their joint cymbals, gongs, fiddles, fifes, and all protection. the other instruments that are to be They accordingly went and viewed found at such an assemblage-some all its wonders_looked at the stores blown with the lungs of Boreas him. of goods arranged in beautiful and self, and others beat with the hearty tasteful order, and admired and wongoodwill of a Cyelops_united in form- dered at each thing they saw, and at ing such a dinning and stupifying the vast company collected together. noise as had never been heard in Our They strolled on, gazing at this thing Village before, and, as we verily be- and at that, until they found themselves lieved, never in any other place out of opposite to the booth where the facethe infernal regions.
tious Merryandrew was amusing a The various shows and exhibitions delighted audience. There he was, in gave wonderful satisfaction. The all the dignity of paint and tinsel, twisting himself about in the most sin- country as an itinerant tinker, and ulgularly droll evolutions, and exhibit- timately he joined the company with ing a face that defied gravity herself which he visited Our Village, to whom to maintain her stoic indifference, and his wit and drollery rendered him a dealing witticisms right and left that valuable acquisition, though his heart drew forth shouts of laughter from the was frequently ready to burst with anassembled multitude.
guish when he appeared the very perAdonijah and Ichabod pressed sonification of mirth and jollity. through the crowd and got to the During the whole time of his abfront, with Kesiah betwixt them link- sence he had heard no tidings of Keing an arm with each.
siah nor of his own family, and knowWild were the antics and the jests ing the implacable enmity that existed of the Merryandrew, and wild were betwixt his father and Adonijah, he the delighted screams of the specta- saw little chance that good would retors; but he caught a glimpse of Ke- sult from any enquiry he might insti. siah and her companions - his mirth tute. He had, therefore, remained siceased — he rolled off the stage on lent, and striven with might and main which he stood, and knelt at the feet to forget Our Village and all that it of the group. The facetious Merry- contained. But that might not be; andrew was the long lost Nehemiah for, in the midst of his hardships, and Wragg!
in the hour of his deepest distress, a It would be in vain to attempt to figure was present to his fancy, and describe the scene that ensued. Ke- floating visions passed before him in siah sank down in a swoon, and her his dreams, bearing comfort to him, two aged companions were in little and telling him of happiness to come, better condition. Some friends who and that figure was always prominent were present conveyed the whole par- in the scenes that were at those times ty away to the house of Adonijah; and pictured to his imagination, and althe wonderful return of Nehemiah ways promoted and shared in the blessWragg being soon spread through the ings that he in fancy enjoyed. village, all the relatives on both sides It cannot, therefore, be surprising were soon assembled there to satisfy that when Nehemiah, by an accident, themselves of the truth of his re-ap- heard of the rapid increase of Our Vilpearance.
lage, and of the fair intended to be Nehemiah had a long tale to tell – holden there, he prevailed on his coma long account to give of sufferings panions to travel a considerable disand privations, and a very small per tance out of their way to attend it; contra account of enjoyments, during trusting, as he did, that he should have the time he had been away from Our some opportunity to see Kesiah, and Village.
entertaining an undefined hope that He at first, it appeared, had travel something would occur favourable to led as far from his native home as his his wishes. With what did occur the money would enable him to do with reader is acquainted. out stopping. He then got work as a The business of the fair progressed farm-labourer, which, after some time, most satisfactorily to all parties, and he quitted, and entered into the ser- even the company with whom Nehevice of a gentleman as groom. He re- miah came to the village, although mained in that capacity until his mas- they regretted the loss of their compater died, after which he was reduced nion, did not suffer whilst with us to great distress, and joined a company from his abduction, for every indivi. of strolling players—the whole party dual of the village appeared to make were taken into custody, and impri- it a point of conscience to visit the soned as rogues and vagabonds; and scene of Nehemiah's drolleries, and after his liberation he had a narrow thus compensated to the company for escape of being enlisted for a soldier, the loss of his exertions. but instead of that got employment as At length the fair was at an end, a hand in a coasting vessel. There and all parties were delighted. The he remained some time, at very hard sellers and buyers, and the whole tribe work and for very little wages, and of amusers and amusees expressed their was ultimately wrecked. Quitting the pleasure ; and we were gratified besea, he assumed the original occupa- cause we had gained our great point tion of his father, and traversed the of establishing a fair. A market followed, as a matter of course; and a fair bod Wragg lived several years after and a market there have been from that, and saw their children and their that time to this, and are likely to con- children's children flourishing about tinue.
them, and at length sank into the The bustle and excitement of our grave, full of years, and carrying with great undertaking being over, the them the respect and the reverence people of Our Village had leisure to of their survivors—a proof that althink of something else, and they though a man may commence life in rushed almost in a body to congratus error, he may, by the Divine assistlate Nehemiah and Kesiah. The two ance, terminate it satisfactorily. families of Shufflebotham and Wragg Nehemiah and Kesiah are still manfully came forward to take the living, though life is with them getting stroller by the hand, and placed him into the sere and yellow leaf. Nehemiah in business with themselves, and an has partly retired from active business, immediate marriage was concluded in order to make way for his sons. upon betwixt the two, who, it was In the mean-time the prosperity of well known, had long been united in the two families of Shufflebotham and heart.
Wragg has gone on increasing, and And such a marriage it was! No various intermarriages have taken nonsensical parade—no affected post- place amongst them, so that they have, ponement—no driving away to spend in more respects than one, become one some time out of the sight and hearing united family. of their friends. No!-the Wednes- The prosperity of Our Village has day after the fair was named for the gone on in the same ratio, and many wedding, and publicly announced in improvements have taken place. Our the village, and we all thought that we Village is made the centre of a parish had not only a right, but that it was by Act of Parliament, and we have our bounden duty to be present. only just escaped being made a bo
On the morning of the wedding Ne- rough. hemiah and Kesiah walked to the altar, Our trade and our manufactures accompanied by every one of their re- have increased; we have lighted our spective families, and followed by the streets with gas, and we intend to lay entire of Our Village, man, woman, and down a railway to connect us with child, that was able to walk. We con- some important place; but we cannot sidered it a holiday, and we made it a at present make up our minds as to feast.
the particular place with which we After the ceremony we all accom- will be connected. panied them back to the house of Ado- In the midst of our prosperity and nijah Shufflebotham, and there the our change there are very few now whole multitude pronounced a loud left who know any thing, even by tradiand a fervent blessing upon them, and tion, of the origin of Our Village; and departed.
as the writer of this considers himself Such was their wedding, and they to be nearly the last possessed of that were blessed_blessed in their fortunes, information, he has thus recorded it for they have been prosperous——and in for the benefit aud edification of the their family, for they have children, future generations who may become who are virtuous and properous also. Our Village's inhabitants.
Adonijah Shufflebotham and Icha
LETTERS OF AN ATTACHÉ.
London, June 26. My Dear ALPHONSE,
deal of the advantages of an OpposiI HAVE several hundred times re- tion, but the English are our masters pented of my promise to tell you all I in politics still, and it will be long beshall have heard, felt, and understood fore ours can bespeak sunshine and during the London “ glorious days” settle the weather. of June ; so fortunate a companion- One of the things that struck me ship for our three “ glorious days” of most on my first arrival in London July. However, I at length have was the immensity of the multitude, braced up my indolence for the task, and its perpetual action. I involun. and if you find it intolerable, ennuy, tarily asked myself a hundred times, ant, detestable, &c., let yourself and where do all these people come from? your importunity bear the blame. In how do they exist? or what business revenge, I shall tell you every thing is it that keeps them in this eternal as it occurred, every thing as I saw it, movement. The idea of any one's every thing that came before me, new, hiring a couple of straw chairs and odd, or extravagant, in a scene which sitting down to look round him, in one was new even to the English, and in a of the streets, probably never came country where every thing was new to into the head of any individual of the your very diligent, very devoted, and, million and a half who rush hourly at present, very much tired friend. along the tide of life in London. Even
Cards for the ceremony of the the coffeehouses have no idlers gaping young Queen's putting on the diadem round the doors, or sipping ices and had been sent to the ambassador for lemonade within. All is done as a distribution among us. But, as it was matter of business. There are even left to our own choice to use them or no idlers in the Parks, the Tuilleries not; as I had imbibed an alarming and Champs Elysees of this monsteridea of sitting for twelve mortal hours metropolis. There the passengers are in a cold cathedral, larger than Notre as much in motion as every where else, Dame, and as (you will own the final and except at the hour when the world reason to be irresistible) I had been of fashion ride for an appetite before strongly tempted by the beautiful dinner, there is no promenade. SunLady B-- to solicit the ambassador day makes a distinction, but then the for one of his tickets, and had failed, Englishman walks, only because he I was only too happy to lay mine at has nothing to run after. In short, the lady's feet, and trust to my own in London is as unlike Paris as possible the streets for the day.
-a vast locomotive engine. To acquaint my inexperience with But for the week before the coronathe locale, I walked down the princi- tion the crowd was overwhelming; pal avenues which the programme the provinces poured their flow into marked for the procession a couple of the capital, the coaches and diligences days before. This was the 26th of from the country were packed up with June, the day first appointed for the men, women, and children, like wagceremony. But the Tories, who as- gons with bales and boxes ; they were sist the Cabinet in all cases of difficulty, huge beehives flying at the rate of ten and settle the affairs of the Government miles an hour. Steam-boats, railroads, on all occasions at their will, assisted canals, all were in activity, and all them on this, and ordered that they pouring the country population into should postpone the procession till the the streets. It was calculated that they 28th, thus saving them from one of added nearly half a million to the daily the sullen and rainy days of the sea- numbers of London. son, and appointing one of the finest Though it rained, blew, and gloomin its stead. In Paris we have a good ed with what Voltaire called the “ usual