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reading. I may have undergone ago. dinners, and for the conversation nies, you see, but every man who has which did not take place there, is been bred at an English public school this tolerable press practice, legitimate comes away from a private interview joking, or honorable warfare? I with Dr. Birch with a calm, even have not the honor to know my next a smiling face. And this is not im- door neighbor, but I make no doubt possible, when you are prepared. that he receives his friends at dinner ; You screw your courage up — you go I see his wife and children pass conthrough the business. You come stantly ; I even know the carriages of back and take your seat on the form, some of the people who call upon showing not the least symptom of un- him, and could tell their names. Now, easiness or of previous unpleasantries. suppose his servants were to tell mine But to be caught suddenly up, and what the doings are next door, who whipped in the bosom of your family comes to dinner, what is eaten and - to sit down to breakfast, and cast said, and I were to publish an account your innocent eye on a paper, and of these transactions in a newspaper, find, before you are aware, that “ The I could assuredly get money for the Saturday Monitor Black Mon- report ; but ought I to write it, and day Instructor” has hoisted you and what would you think of me for doing is laying on - that is indeed a trial. so? Or perhaps the family has looked at And suppose, Mr. Saturday Rethe dreadful paper beforehand, and viewer you censor morum, you who weakly tries to hide it. “Where is pique yourself (and justly and hon
The Instructor,'or The Monitor'?” orably in the main) upon your say you. “Where is that paper ?” character of gentleman, as well of says mamma to one of the young la- writer, suppose, not that you your- . dies. Lucy hasn't it. Fanny hasn't self invent and indite absurd twaddle seen it. Emily thinks that the gov- about gentlemen's private meetings erness hasit. Atlast,out it is brought, and transactions, but pick this wretchthat awful paper! Papa is amazing- ed garbage out of a New York street, ly tickled with the article on Thom- and hold it up for your readers' son; thinks that show-up of Johnson amusement--don't you think, my is very lively; and now — heaven be friend, that you might have been betgood to us! - he has come to the ter employed ? Here, is my "Saturday critique on himself -“Of all the Review," and in an American paper rubbish which we have had from Mr. subsequently sent to me, I light, asTomkins, we do protest and vow tonished, on an account of the dinthat this last cartload is " &c. Ah, ners of my friend and publisher, poor Tomkins ! - but most of all, which are described as “ tremendously ah! poor Mrs. Tomkins, and poor heavy,” of the conversation (which Emily, and Fanny, and Lucy, who does not take place), and of the guests have to sit by and see paterfamilias assembled at the table. I am informed put to the torture !
that the proprietor of The CornNow, on this eventful Saturday, I hill ” and the host on these occasions, did not cry, because it was not so much is a very good man, but totally unthe Editor as the Publisher of “ The read ; ” and that on my asking him Cornhill Magazine” who was brought whether Dr. Johnson was dining beout for a dressing; and it is wonderful hind the screen, he said, “ God bless how gallantly one bears the misfor- my soul, my dear sir, there's no pertunes of one's friends. That a writer son by the name of Johnson here, nor should be taken to task about his any one behind the screen,” and that books, is fair, and he must abide the a roar of laughter cut him short. I praise or the censure. But that a am informed by the same New York publisher should be criticised for his correspondent that I have touched up
a contributor's article ; that I once conversation for “ The New York said to a literary gentleman, who was Times”! proudly pointing to an anonymous Attack our books, Mr. Correspondarticle as his writing, “Ah! I thought ent, and welcome. They are fair I recognized your hoof in it.” I am subjects for just censure or praise. told by the same authority that “The But woe be to you, if you allow priCornhill Magazine "“ shows symp- vate rancors or animosities to influtoms of being on the wane,” and hav- ence you in the discharge of your pubing sold nearly a hundred thousand lic duty. In the little court where copies, he (the correspondent) “should you are paid to sit as judge, as critic, think forty thousand was now about you owe it to your employers, to your the mark.” Then the graceful writer conscience, to the honor of your callpasses on to the dinners, at which it ing, to deliver just sentences; and appears the Editor of the Magazine you shall have to answer to heaven " is the great gun, and comes out with for your dealings, as surely as my all the geniality in his power.”. Lord Chief Justice on the Bench.
Now suppose this charming intelli- The dignity of letters, the honor of gence is untrue ? Suppose the pub- the literary calling, the slights put by lisier (to recall the words of my haughty and unthinking people upon friend the Dublin actor of last month) | literary men, - don't we hear outcries is a gentleman to the full as well in- upon these subjects raised daily? As formed as those whom he invites to dear Sam Johnson sits behind the his table ? Suppose he never made the screen, too proud to show his threadremark, beginning “ God bless my bare coat and patches among the more soul, my dear sir,” &c., nor any thing prosperous brethren of his trade, there resembling it? Suppose nobody roared is no want of dignity in him, in that with laughing? Suppose the Editor homely image of labor ill rewarded, of “The Cornhill Magazine” never genius as yet unrecognized, independ“ touched up” one single line of the ence sturdy and uncomplaining. But contribution which bears “marks of Mr. Nameless, behind the publisher's his hand”? Suppose he never said screen uninvited, peering at the comto any literary gentleman, “I recog- pany and the meal, catching up scraps nized your hoof” in any periodical of the jokes, and noting down the whatever ? Suppose the 40,000 sub- guests' behavior and conversation, scribers, which the writer to New York what a figure his is ! Allons, Mr. “considered to be about the mark," Nameless ! Put up your notebook ; should be between 90,000 and 100,000 walk out of the hall ; and leave gen(and as he will have figures, there tlemen alone who would be private, they are)? Suppose this back-door and wish you no harm. gossip should be utterly blundering and untrue, would any one wonder? Ah ! if we had only enjoyed the happiness to number this writer TUNBRIDGE TOYS. among the contributors to our Magazine, what a cheerfulness and easy I WONDER whether those little confidence his presence would impart silver pencil-cases with a movable to our meetings ! He would find that almanac at the butt-end are still
poor Mr. Smith ” had heard that favorite implements with boys, and recondite anecdote of Dr. Johnson whether peddlers still hawk them behind the screen ;. and as for “the about the country ? Are there pedgreat gun of those banquets," with dlers and hawkers still, or are rustics what geniality should not I'“ come and children grown too sharp to deal out” if I had an amiable compan- with them? Those pencil-cases, as far ion close by me, dotting down my l as my memory serves me, were not
of much use. The screw upon which I certainly enjoyed the case at first the movable almanac turned was a good deal, and amused inyself with constantly getting loose. The i of twiddling round the movable calenthe table would work from its moor- dar. But this pleasure wore off. The ings, under Tuesday or Wednesday, jewel, as I said, was not paid for, and as the case might be, and you would Hawker, a large and violent boy, was find, on examination, that Th. or W. exceedingly unpleasant as a creditor. was the 23 of the month (which was His constant remark was, absurd on the face of the thing), and are you going to pay me that threein a word your cherished pencil-case and-sixpence ?
What sneaks your an uttetly unreliable time-keeper. relations must be? They come to Nor was this a matter of wonder. see you. You go out to them on Consider the position of a pencil-case Saturdays and Sundays, and they in a boy's pocket. You had hard- never give you any thing! Don't tell bake in it; marbles, kept in your me, you little humbug !” and so forth. purse when the money was all gone; The truth is that my relations were your mother's purse, knitted so fondly respectable ; but my parents were and supplied with a little bit of gold, making a tour in Scotland; and my long since — prodigal little son ! friends in London, whom I used to scattered amongst the swine I mean go and see, were most kind to me, amongst brandy-balls, open tarts, certainly, but somehow never tipped three-cornered
similar me. That term, of May to August, abominations. You had a top and | 1823, passed in agonies then, in constring; a knife; a piece of cobbler's sequence of my debt to Hawker. wax; two or three bullets; a Little What was the pleasure of a calendar Warbler ; and I, for my part, remem- pencil-case in comparison with the ber, for a considerable period, a brass- doubt and torture of mind occasioned barrelled pocket-pistol (which would by the sense of the debt, and the confire beautifully, for with it I shot off a stant reproach in that fellow's scowling button from Butt Major's jacket); eyes and gloomy, coarse reminders ? with all these things, and ever so How was to pay off such a debt out many more, clinking and rattling in of sixpence a week ? ludicrous ! your pockets, and your hands, of Why did not some one come to see course, keeping them in perpetual me, and tip me? Ah! my dear sir, movement, how could you expect if you have any little friends at school, your movable almanac not to be go and see them, and do the natural twisted out of its place now and thing by them. You won't miss the again - your pencil-case to be bent- sovereign. You don't know what a your licorice water not to leak out blessing it will be to them. Don't of your bottle over the cobbler's wax, fancy they are too old your bull's-eyes not to ram up the And they will remember you, and lock and barrel of your pistol, and so bless you in future days ; and their forth?
gratitude shall accompany your dreary In the month of June, thirty-seven after-lifo; and they shall meet you years ago, I bought one of those kindly when thanks for kindness are pencil-cases from a boy whom I shall scant. O mercy! shall I ever forget call Hawker, and who was in my that sovereign you gave me, Captain form. Is he dead ? Is he a million- Bob? or the agonies of being
debt naire ? Is he a bankrupt now? He to Hawker ? In that very term, a was an immense screw at school, and relation of mine was going to India. I believe to this day that the value I actually was fetched from school in of the thing for which I owed and order to take leave of him. eventually paid three-and-sixpence, afraid I told Hawker of this circumwas in reality not one-and-nine.
I own I speculated upon my
friend's giving me a pound. A Away I ran and paid Hawker his pound ? Pooh! A relation going to three-and-six. Ouf! what a weight India, and deeply affected at parting it was off iny mind! (He was a Norfrom his darling kinsman, might give folk boy, and used to go home from five pounds to the dear fellow ! . Mrs. Nelson's Bell Inn,” Aldgate There was Hawker when I came - but that is not to the point.) The back - of course there he was. As next morning, of course, we were an he looked in my scared face, his hour before the time. I and another turned livid with rage. He muttered boy sharcu a hackney-coach; twocurses, terrible from the lips of so and-six; porter for putting luggage young a boy. My relation, about to on coach, ihrcepence. I had no more cross the ocean to fill a lucrative ap- money of my own left. Rasherwell, pointment, asked me with much in my companion, went into the “Boltterest about my progress at school, in-Tun" coffee-room, and had a heard construe a passage of good breakfast. I couldn't; because, Eutropius, the pleasing Latin work though I had five and twenty shilon which I was then engaged; gave lings of my parents' money, I had me a God bless you, and sent me none of my own, you see. back to school; upon my word of I certainly intended to go without honor, without so much as a half- breakfast, and still remember how crown! It is all very well, my dear strongly I had that resolution in my sir, to say that boys contract habits mind. But there was that hour to of expecting tips from their parents' wait. A beautiful August morning friends, that they become avaricious, - I am very hungry. There is Rashand so forth. Avaricious! fudge ! erwell “ tucking ” away in the coffeeBoys contract habits of tart and toffee room. I pace the street, as sadly aleating, which they do not carry into most as if I had been coming to after-life. On the contrary, I wish I school, not going thence. I turn into did like 'em. What raptures of a court by mere chance - I vow it pleasure one could have now for five was by mere chance --- and there I see shillings, if one could but pick it off a coffee-shop with a placard in the the pastrycook's tray! No. If you window, Coffee, Twopence. Round of have any little friends at school, out buttered toast, Twopence. And here with your half-crowns, iny friend, and am I, hungry, penniless, with five impart to those little ones the little and twenty shillings of my parents' flecting joys of their age.
money in my pocket. Well, then. At the beginning of What would you have done? You August, 1823, Bartlemy-tide holidays see I had had my money, and spent came, and I was to go to my parents, it in that pencil-case affair. The five who were at Tunbridge Wells. My and twenty shillings were a trust place in the coach was taken by my by me to be handed over. tutor's servants — · Bolt-in - Tun, But then would my parents wish Fleet Street, seven o'clock in the their only child to be actually without morning, was the word. My Tutor, breakfast ? Having this money, and the Rev. Edward P-, to whom I being so hungry, so very hungry, hereby present my best compliments, mightn't I take ever litile ? had a parting interview with me: Mightn't I at home eat as much as I gave me my little account for my chose. governor: the remaining part of the Well, I went into the coffee-shop coach-hire ; five shillings for my own and spent fourpence. I remember the expenses; and some five and twenty taste of the coffee and toast to this shillings on an old account which had day — a peculiar, muddy, not-sweetbeen overpaid, and was to be restored enough, most fragrant coffee – a rich, to my family.
rancid, yet not-buttered-enough, deli
cious toast. The waiter had nothing. I for what we know: and even for that At any rate, fourpence I know was sin he was promptly caned by the the sum I spent. And the hunger beadle. The bamboo was ineffectual appeased, I got on the coach a guilty to cane that reprobate's bad courses being
out of him. From pitch-and-toss he At the last stage,
what is its proceeded to man-slaughter if necessaname?
I have forgotten in seven ry: to highway robbery ; to Tyburn and thirty years,
there is an inn and the rope there. Åh! heaven be with a little green and trees before it; thanked, my parents' heads are still and by the trees there is an open car- above the grass, and mine still out of riage. It is our carriage. Yes, there the noose. are Prince and Blucher, the horses; As I look up from my desk, I see and my parents in the carriage. Oh! Tunbridge Wells Common and the how I had been counting the days rocks, the strange familiar place which until this one came! Oh! how hap- I remember forty years ago. Boys py had I been to see them yesterday! saunter over the green with stumps But there was that fourpence. All and cricket-bats. Other boys gallop the journey down the toast had choked by on the riding-master's hacks. I me, and the coffee poisoned me. protest it is Cramp, Riding Master, as
I was in such a state of remorse it used to be in the reign of George about the fourpence, that I forgot IV., and that Centaur Cramp must the maternal joy and caresses, the be at least a hundred years old. Yontender paternal voice. I pull out the der comes a footman with a bundle twenty-four shillings and eightpence of novels from the library. Are they with a trembling hand.
as good as our novels? Oh! how “ Here's your money,” I gasp out, delightful they were ! Shades of Val“which Mr.
Powes you, all but ancour, awful ghost of Manfroni, how fourpence. I owed three-and-sixpence I shudder at your appearance ! Sweet to Hawker out of my money for a image of Thaddeus of Warsaw, how pencil-case, and I had none left, and often has this almost infantile hand I took fourpence of yours, and had tried to depict you in a Polish cap some coffee at a shop.”
and richly embroidered tights! And I suppose I must have been chok- as for Corinthian Tom in light blue ing whilst uttering this confession. pantaloons and Hessians, and Jerry
'My dear boy,” says the governor, Hawthorn from the country, can all “why didn't you go and breakfast at the fashion, can all the splendor of the hotel?
real life which these eyes have subse“He must be starved,” says my quently beheld, can all the wit I have mother.
heard or read in later times, compare I had confessed ; I had been a with your fashion, with your brilprodigal; I had been taken back to liancy, with your delightful grace, my parents' arms again. It was not and sparkling vivacious rattle? a very great crime as yet, or a very Who knows? They may have kept long career of prodigality ; but don't those very books at the library still we know that a boy who takes a pin at the well-remembered library on which is not his own will take a thou- the Pantiles, where they sell that desand pounds when occasion serves, lightful, useful Tunbridge ware. I bring his parents' gray heads with will go and see. I went my way to sorrow to the grave, and carry his the Pantiles, the queer little oldown to the gallows ? Witness the world Pantiles, where, a hundred years career of Dick Idle, upon whom our since, so much good company came friend Mr. Sala has been discoursing: to take its pleasure. Is it possible Dick only began by playing pitch-and that in the past century, gentlefolks toss on a tombstone: playing fair, 1 of the first rank (as I read lately in a