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them back with his hand, exclaiming, “ No! she is mine, and we will live or die together!” Oh! lady, what a scene was that! The frown quitted the lieutenant's brow, and a tear trembled in his eye. The generous Howe and his brave companions gathered round, and there was not a heart that did not feel what it was to be beloved. Yes! mine alone was dreary, like the lightning-blasted wreck. We were rapidly approaching the French admiral's ship, the Montague : the main decks fired, and the lower deck followed the example. The noise brought her to her recollection ; she gazed wildly on all, and then clinging closer to her lover, sought relief in tears,
,” said his lordship, mildly, " this must not be --Go, go, my lad; see her safe in the cockpit, and then I know that you will do your duty.” A smile of animation lightened up his agitated face. “ I will! I will !” cried he, “ God bless your lordship, I will! for I have always done my duty;"—and taking his trembling burthen in his arms, supported her to a place of safety. In a few minutes he was again at his gun, and assisted in pouring the first raking broadside into our opponent's stern. Since that time I have served in most of the general actions; and knelt by the side of the hero Nelson, when he resigned himself to the arms of death. But, whether stationed
upon deck amidst the blood and slaughter of battle—the shrieks of the wounded, and groans of the dying—or clinging to the shrouds during the tempestuous howling of the storm, while the wild waves were beating over me -whether coasting along the luxuriant shores of the Mediterranean, or surrounded by ice-bergs in the Polar sea,-one thought, one feeling possessed my soul, and that was devoted to the being I adored. Years rolled away; but that deep, strong, deathless passion distance could not subdue, nor old age founder. about seven years since the British troops under Wellington were landed on the Continent. I was employed with a party of seamen on shore in transporting the artillery and erecting batteries. A body of the French attacked one of our detachments, and, after considerable slaughter on both sides, the enemy were compelled to retreat. ordered to the field to bring in the wounded and prisoners. Nevernever shall I forget that day: the remembrance even now unmans me. Oh, lady! forgive these tears, and pity the anguish of an old man's heart. Day had just began to dawn when we arrived upon
the plain, and commenced our search among the bodies, to see if there were any who yet remained lingering in existence. Passing by and over heaps of dead, my progress was suddenly arrested, and every fibre of my heart was racked, on seeing a female sitting by the mangled remains of an English soldier. She was crouched
upon the ground, her face resting on her lap, and
every feature hid from view. Her long black hair hung in dishevelled flakes about her shoulders, and her garments closed round her person, heavy with the cold night-rains ; one hand clasped that of the dead soldier, the other arm was thrown around his head. Every feeling of my soul was roused to exertion-I approached—she raised herself up, and-and-great Heaven! 'twas she--the woman whom I loved ! She gazed with sickly horror; and, though greatly altered—though time and sorrow had chased away the bloom of health— though scarce a trace of former beauty remained, those features were too deeply engraven on my memory for me to be mistaken ; but she knew me not. I forgot all
my wrongs, and rushing forward, clasped her to my breast. Oh what a moment was that ! she made an ineffectual struggle for release, and then fainted in my arms. Some of my shipmates came to the spot, and, turning over the lifeless form before us, my eyes rested on the countenance of him who had once been my friend. But death disarms resentment; he was beyond my vengeance, and had already been summoned to the tribunal of the Most High. When I had last seen them, affluence, prosperity, and happiness, were the portion of us all. Now --but I cannot, cannot repeat the distressing tale; let it suffice, lady, that she was carried to a place of safety, and every effort used to restore animation, in which we were eventually successful. How shall I describe our meeting, when she recognized me?—it is impossible ; I feel it now in every nerve, but to tell you is beyond my power. Through the kindness of a generous officer, I procured her a passage to England, and gave her all that I possessed, with this one request, that she would remain at Plymouth till my return to port. In a few months afterwards we anchored in the Sound, and, as soon as duty would permit, I hastened to obtain leave to go on shore; it was denied me--yes, cruelly denied me. Stung to madness, I did not hesitate; but as soon as night had closed in, slipped down the cables and swam to land. With eager expectation I hurried to the house in which I had requested her to remain. I crossed the threshhold unobserved, for all was silent as the grave, and gently ascended the stairs. The room door was partly open, and a faint light glimmered on the table. The curtains of the bed were undrawn, and there—there lay gasping in the last convulsive agonies of nature- -Oh, lady! she was dying— I rushed into the room, threw myself by her side, and implored her to live for me. She knew me—yes, she knew me but at that very instant an officer with an armed party entered the apartment. They had watched me, and I was arrested as a deserter-arrested did I say? Ay! but not till I had stretched one of the insulting rascals at my feet. I was handcuffed, and bayonets were pointed at my breast. Vain was every entreaty for one hour, only one hour. The dying woman raised herself upon her pillow—she stretched forth her hand to mine, manacled as they were she fell back, and Emma-yes, my
Emma Despair, rage, fury, worked up the fiends within my soul! I struggled to burst my fetters, dashed them at all who approached me; but overcome at length, was borne to the common gaol. I was tried for desertion, and, on account of my resistance, was flogged through the fleet. I had acted improperly as a seaman, but I had done my duty as a man. It was not my intention to desert my ship, but my feelings overpowered me, and I obeyed their dictates. Yet now I felt indignant at my punishment, and took the first opportunity to escape ; but whither could I go? -- there was no protection for me. One visit, one lonely visit was paid to the
grave of her who was now at rest for ever; and I again entered on board the
bound to the West India station. I fought in several actions, and lost my arm.
But the R* for desertion was still against my name, and though I obtained a pension for my wound, I could obtain none for servitude. I cannot apply to the friends of my youth, for they believe me dead; and who would credit the assertions of a brokenhearted sailor ?-No, no: a few short months, and the voyage of life will be over; then will old Will Jennings be laid in peace by the side of
Emma Wentworth, and wait for the last great muster before Him who searches all hearts, and rewards those seamen who have done their duty.” Here he ceased, while D- turned to his wife, whose loud sobs gave witness to the sympathy of her heart; but the agony increased to hysteric convulsions—she sprang hastily on her feet-shrieked, " "Tis he ! 'tis William ! 'tis my uncle !" and fell upon his neck !
THE STAR CHAMBER.
As we were peregrinating up Regent Street one morning last June, we encountered, at no great distance from New Burlington Street, two of those useful and innocuous persons who perambulate London, living advertisements from top to toe, for eighteen-pence a-day; and of whom it may be said, so bizarre and truly original a figure do they cut, that 'none but themselves can be their parallel. They were engaged, when we passed them, in earnest conversation, and appeared to be communicating to each other the private instructions for their day's campaign, which had been drilled into them by their respective employers. Similarity of pursuit had brought them into contact with each other, and that sort of freemasonry which leads the members of particular professions to seek each other's society, had united them in bonds of the strictest intimacy and friendship. We had afterwards frequent opportunities of witnessing the delightful sympathy of these very congenial souls; for although inseparable, they appeared to be omnipresent. They flashed upon our astonished eyes, with their gigantic white pasteboard placards swathed around them, and glistening in the mid-day sun, in all parts of the metropolis. They were the Orestes and Pylades of pedestrian puffs; or rather, for one of them seemed to be the presiding spirit, and to be looked up to (he was a tall brawny Irishman) by his companion (a diminutive, pallid, phthisicky-looking animal, knock-kneed and lob-sided) the Mentor and Telemachus of animated announcements. The caster of the grenadier was entirely enveloped in a large placard, blue as the character of the inscription traced upon its surface, viz.
SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION!!! At a first glance we took him to be an employé of the proprietor of the Representative, then newly started ; and imagined that Pat's province was to direct public attention to the fact, that, independently of other subordinate merits “ too numerous to be particularized in an advertisement,” the new journal would “ support the constitution.”
In glancing down, however, at the larger ensign which depended from his neck, we perceived that he was an emissary of the worthy and celebrated Dr. Eady, of Dean Street, Soho. His companion, pretty similarly accoutred, was, as we afterwards discovered, employed by the publisher of a new work, entitled “ Star Chamber," in making known among the mobility of that neighbourhood the happy news of its birth, În accordance with the object of his expedition, he
was almost extinguished by a pair of huge placards, that reached from his chin to his feet; the inscription upon which is worthy of being recorded in this place.The Star Chamber of to-morrow will contain the Dunciad of to-day,---a Satire for which all living authors, but more especially the following, are requested to prepare themselves.” This highly-attractive announcement was succeeded by a list of all the authors of the day whose names the editor of the Star Chamber happened to recollect at the time he was drawing out his magnetic invitation.
On directing our glance further down the paste-board apron of this peregrinating advertisement, we perceived that, independently of a hash of Mesdames Hemans, Landon, Tighe, de Genlis, Benger, Mitford, &c., and Messrs. Campbell, Barry. Cornwall, Alaric Watts, Barton, Cunningham, Clare, Galt, the Smiths, Milman, Wiffen, Hogg, and “ all living authors,” the bill of fare promised, moreover, to mince into a private biography “ various families residing in the London squares, beginning with the Putney Smiths, of Russell Square;” and to dish up, by name, all the persons referred to in Vivian Grey. Such an annonce was irresistible, as far as we were concerned. We delight in a good thing, and had rather read a joke at our own expense, than not read one at all; and naturally anticipating something clever and personal from so captivating a bill of fare, we sallied into a bookseller's shop, determined to possess ourselves of this apparently lively and spirited periodical. The friendly publisher, however, who replied to our interrogations, too good-natured to allow us to pay for what he could afford to present to us gratuitously, and possessed of too much good feeling to sell that which had been presented to him by a brother bibliopole, threw himself into form, and begged our acceptance of the publication; adding, that he was assured it would be very clever and sarcastic. Like many worthy persons, however, who determine to be respectable at some future and indefinite period of their existence, but who happen to die before they think of turning over a new leaf, the Star Chamber had the ill-luck to be gathered to the tomb of all the Capulets before it took it into its head to exhibit the slightest talent or intelligence. Upon further inquiry, we learned that this unhappy bantling was born deformed, in consequence of its parent having been disappointed of the professional aid of her regular accoucheur (Mr. Colburn), and delivered by an obscure practitioner (a Mr. Marsh), in Oxford Street. Like most misshapen urchins, its disposition was soon discovered to be spiteful and malicious in the extreme; so much so, indeed, that before it was six weeks old, it could not refrain from kicking and scratching all the neighbouring children who were cleverer, better-looking, or betternatured than itself. At the end of nine weeks vegetation, for to say it really enjoyed the functions of vitality, would be to libel it most inhumanly, having been afflicted with nausea and vomitings, brought on by envy, hatred, and uncharitableness, and having put its affectionate father to the expense 1201. for doctoring it, it departed this life (on Wednesday the seventh of June) to the infinite regret of one housekeeper, three ladies' maids, two under butlers, and half a dozen footmen, who had all, at the instance of the friend by whom it had been begotten, agreed to contribute something towards its support.
To waive the language of metaphor, and descend to more intel
ligible English, Mr.D'Israeli, junior, the author of Vivian Grey, wishing to have an outlet for his rancour and malignity, independently of that publication, resolved to set on foot a sixpenny periodical, entitled the Star Chamber; proposing to secure for it notoriety, in the first instance, by abusing all those living authors who had committed the shocking offence of being better known to the public than himself. The first number of a periodical with this title was accordingly printed by Messrs. Bentley, of Dorset Street, (the printers of the New Monthly Magazine); but no sooner did this specimen of Mr. D’Israeli, junior's editorial discretion come under the observation of Mr. Colburn, than he determined that (after the hubbub which his scribes had made about the personality of Blackwood, and the John Bull Newspaper) it would not do for it to make its appearance from the immaculate sanctum of New Burlington Street. It was consequently consigned to a retail bookseller in Oxford Street, by whom it was published up to the day of its demise. The second and subsequent numbers were not printed at the New Monthly Magazine press ; lest, as one of the objects of Mr. D’Israeli, junior, in setting the thing afloat was to puff his catchpenny novel, the public should smell a rat. That a publication so essentially talentless and stupid, should, notwithstanding its flippancy and impotent attempts at wit, have found few readers, is not much to be wondered at; although the extraordinary means adopted by the ex-editor of the Representative must, one would suppose, have attracted some subscribers, had the work been any thing but what it was. But dull and pointless attempts at satire, combined with political essays which would disgrace the most paltry of the provincial newspapers, and five or six pages out of every sixteen composed of Mr. Colburn's advertisement lists and announcements of new books, was scarcely likely to be endured long. What the catchpenny wanted in interest and talent, 'was, however, amply compensated for by impudence and pretension---qualities, of which the author of Vivian Grey appears to possess quantum suf.
Before we proceed to examine the literary merits of this publication, it may not be unamusing to direct the attention of our readers to the internal evidence every where to be met with in its pages, that Mr. DʻIsraeli, jun., the author of Vivian Grey, and the editor of the Star Chamber, are one and the same person. Both indulge in the same wouldbe fashionable slang, and affect to be for ever mixing in good society ; which they hold is not to be found a mile without the purlieus of Cavendish Square. Both are continually repeating Croker's stale joke of the ignorance of all decent people of the geography of Russell Square. Both are equally vulgar and unsuccessful in their attempts to hit off the language of high life. In the Star Chamber, Mr. DʻIsraeli, jun. says, that his colleagues are seated at a table, which“ besides anchovytoast, olives, and La Fitte,” &c. Both of them are everlastingly making use of French terms, (for instance, resumer, resumé*), in the most absurd and affected manner that can be conceived; which terms, from
* In Vivian Grey, Mr. D‘Israeli, jun., says, like a coxcomb as he is, “ I shall resumer, for the benefit of the reader.”
“Let him have a luminous resumé.--Star Chamber, No. 1.