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We defy him to combat, the enormous that some of the best actions we have roaring ruffian! We give him a meet- all of us committed in our lives have ing on the green plain before his been committed in fancy. It is not all castle. Green? No wonder it should wickedness we are thinking, que diable! be green : it is manured with human Some of our thoughts are bad enough, bones. After a few graceful wheels I grant you. Many a one you and I and curvets, we take our ground. have had here below. Ah, merey, We stoop over our saddle. "T'is but what a monster! what crooked horns! to kiss the locket of our lady-love's what leering eyes! what a flaming hair. And now the visor is up: the mouth ! what cloven feet, and what a lance is in rest (Gillott's iron is the hideous writhing tail! Oh, let us fall point for me). A touch of the spur in down on our knees, repeat our most the gallant sides of Pegasus, and we potent exorcisms, and overcome the gallop at the great brute.
brute. Spread your black pinions, “Čut off his ugly head, Flibberty- fly-fly to the dusky realms of Eblis, gibbet, my squire !" And who are and bury thyself under the pavingthese who pour out of the castle ? the stones of his hall, dark genie! But imprisoned maidens, the maltreated all thoughts are not so. Nowidows, the poor old hoary grand- There are the pure: there are the fathers, who have been locked up in kind: there are the gentle. There the dungeons these scores and scores are sweet unspoken thanks before a of years, writhing under the tyranny fair scene of nature: at a sun-setting of that ruffian ! Ah ye knights of below a glorious sea ; or a moon and the pen! May honor be your shield, a host of stars shining over it; at a and truth tip your lances ! Be gentle bunch of children playing in the to all gentle people. Be modest to street, or a group of flowers by the women. Be tender to children. And hedge-side, or a bird singing there. as for the Ogre Humbug, out sword, At a hundred moments or occurrences and have at him.
of the day good thoughts pass through the mind, let us trust, which never are spoken; prayers are made which
never are said; and Te Deum is sung ON TWO ROUNDABOUT PA- without church, clerk, choristers, par
PERS WHICH I INTENDED son, or organ. Why, there's my eneTO WRITE.*
my: who got the place I wanted; We have all heard of a place paved wanted to be well with; who sup
who maligned me to the woman I with good intentions : - a place planted me in the good graces of my which I take to be a very dismal, use-patron. I don't say any thing about less and unsatisfactory terminus for the matter : but, my poor old enemy, many pleasant thoughts, kindly fan- in my secret mind † have movements cies, gentle wishes, merry little quips of as tender charity towards you, you and pranks, harmless jokes which die old scoundrel, as ever I had when we as it were the moment of their birth. were boys together at school. You Poor little children of the brain! He ruffian ! do you fancy I forget that we was a dreary theologian who huddled were fond of each other? We are you under such a melancholy ceno- still. We share our toffy; go halves taph, and laid you in the vaults under at the tuck-shop; do each other's exthe flagstones of Hades! I trust ercises ; prompt each other with the
* The following paper was written in word in construing or repetition; and 1861, after the extraordinary affray be tell the most frightful fibs to prevent er in a house in Northumberland Street, meet each other in public. Ware a tween Major Murray and the money-lend- each other from being found out. We Strand, and subsequent to the appearance of M. Du Chaillu's book on Gorillas. fight! Get them into different parts
of the room! Our friends hustle round | twenty lines past, under a vast gusty us. Capulet and Montague are not awning, now with twenty thousand more at odds than the houses of fellow-citizens looking on from the Roundabout and Wrightabout, let us benches, now in the circus itself, a say. It is, “My dear Mrs. Buffer, do grim gladiator with sword and net, or kindly put yourself in the chair be- a meek martyr - was I? - brought tween those two men !” Or, “My out to be gobbled up by the lions? or dear Wrightabout, will you take that a huge, shagsy, taivny lion myself, charming Lady Blancmange down to on whom the dogs were going to be supper? She adores your poems; set? What a day of excitement I and gave five shillings for your auto- have had to be suro! But I must graph at the fancy fair." In like get away from Verona, or who knows
the peace-makers gather how much farther the Roundabout round Roundabout on his part; he Pegasus may carry me? is carried to a distant corner, and We were saying, my Muse, before coaxed out of the way of the enemy we dropped and perched on earth for with whom he is at feud.
a couple of sentences, that our unsaid When we meet in the Square at words were in some limbo or other, Verona, out flash rapiers, and we fall as real as those we have uttered; that to. But in his private mind Tybalt the thoughts which have passed owns that Mercutio has a rare wit, through our brains are as actual as and Mercutio is sure that his adversa- any to which our tongues and pens ry is a gallant gentleman. Look at have given currency. For instance, the amphitheatre yonder. You do besides what is here hinted at, I have not suppose those gladiators who thought ever so much more about fought and perished, as hundreds of Verona : about an early Christian spectators in that grim Circus held church I saw there ; about a great dish thumbs down, and cried, “ Kill, kill!” of rice we had at the inn; about the - you do not suppose the combatants bugs there ; about ever so many more of 'necessity hated each other? No details of that day's journey from more than the celebrated trained Milan to Venice; about lake Garda, bands of literary sword-and-buckler which lay on the way from Milan, and men hate the adversaries whom they so forth. I say what fine things we meet in the arena. They engage at have thought of, haven't we, all of us? the given signal; feint and parry; Ah, what a fine tragedy that was I slash, poke, rip each other open, dis- thought of, and never wrote ! On member limbs, and hew off noses : the day of the dinner of the Oysterbut in the way of business, and, I mongers' Company, what a noble trust, with mutual private esteem. speech I thought of in the cab, and For instance, I salute the warriors of broke down - I don't mean the cab, the Superfine Company with the hon- but the speech. Ah, if you could ors due among warriors. Here's at but read some of the unwritten you, Spartacus, my lad. A hit, I ac- Roundabout Papers – how you would knowledge. A palpable hit! Ha! be amused! Aha! my friend, I catch how do you like that poke in the eye you saying, “ Well, then, I wish this in return? When the trumpets sing was unwritten with all my heart.” truce, or the spectators are tired, we Very good. I owe you one. I do bow to the noble company: with- confess a hit, a palpable hit. draw; and get a cool glass of wine in One day in the past month, as I our rendezvous des braves gladiateurs. was reclining on the bench of thought,
By the way, I saw that amphithea- with that ocean “ The Times” newstre of Verona under the strange light paper spread before me, the ocean cast of a lurid eclipse some years ago : and up on the shore at my feet two famous I have been there in spirit for these subjects for Roundabout Papers, and
I picked up those waifs, and treasured | Pirate-ships? Why not? What a them away until I could polish them cavern of terror was this in Northumand bring them to market. That berland Street, with its splendid furscheme is not to be carried out. Initure covered with dust, its empty can't write about those subjects. And bottles, in the midst of which sits a though I cannot write about them, I grim “agent," amusing himself by may surely tell what are the subjects firing pistols, aiming at the unconI am going not to write about. scious mantelpiece, or at the heads of
The first was that Northumberland his customers Street encounter, which all the papers After this, what is not possible ? have narrated. Have any novelists It is possible Hungerford Market is of our days a scene and catastrophe mined, and will explode some day. more strange and terrible than this Mind how you go in for a penny ice which occurs at noonday within a few unawares. “ Pray, step this way," yards of the greatest thoroughfare in sàys a quiet person at the door. You Europe ? At the theatres they have enter into a back room : -- a quiet a new name for their melodramatic room; rather a dark room. Pray, pieces, and call them “ Sensation take your place in a chair.” And Dramas." What a sensation Drama she goes to fetch the penny ice. this is! What have people been flock- Malheureux ! The chair sinks down ing to see at the Adelphi Theatre for with you sinks, and sinks, and the last hundred and fifty nights ? sinks
- a large wet flannel suddenly A woman pitched overboard out of a envelops your face and throttles you. boat, and a certain Miles taking a Need we say any more?
After tremendous “ header," and bringing Northumberland Street, what is imher to shore? Bagatelle! What is probable? Surely there is no diffithis compared to the real life-drama, culty in crediting Bluebeard. I of which a mid-day representation withdraw my last month's opinions takes place just opposite the Adel- about ogres. Ogres? Why not? I phi in Northumberland Street? The protest have seldom contemplated brave Dumas, the intrepid Ains- any thing more terribly ludicrous than worth, the terrible Eugene Sue, the this “agent” in the dingy splendor cold-shudder-inspiring “ Woman in of his den, surrounded by dusty orWhite,” the astounding author of the molu and piles of empty bottles, firing “Mysteries of the Court of London,” pistols for his diversion at the mantelnever invented any thing more tremen- piece until his clients come in ! Is dous than this. It might have hap- pistol-practice so common in Northpened to you and me. We want to umberland Street, that it passes borrow a little money.
We are di- without notice in the lodging-houses rected to an agent.
We propose a there? pecuniary transaction at a short date. We spake anon of good thoughts. He goes into the next room, as we About bad thoughts? Is there some fancy, to get the bank-notes, and re- Northumberland Street chamber in turns with “ two very pretty, delicate your heart and mine, friend : close to little ivory-handled pistols,” and blows the every-day street of life: visited à portion of our heads off. After by daily friends : visited by people this, what is the use of being squeam- on business; in which affairs are ish about the probabilities and possi- transacted; jokes are uttered; wine bilities in the writing of fiction ? is drunk ; through which people Years ago I remember making merry come and go; wives and children over a play of Dumas, called Kean, in pass; and in which murder sits un. which the “ Coal-Hole Tavern" was seen until the terrible moment when represented on the Thames, with a he rises up and kills? A farmer, fleet of pirate-ships moored alongside. I say, has a gun over the mantelpiece
in his room where he sits at his daily | ture the awful tragedy glimmering bemeals and rest: caressing his children, hind-set me thinking, “Mr. Streetjoking with his friends, smoking his Preacher, here is a text for one of pipe in his calm. One night the gun your pavement sermons. But it is too is taken down: the farmer goes out: glum and serious. You eschew dark and it is a murderer who comes back thoughts : and desire to be cheerful and puts the piece up and drinks by and merry in the main.” And, such that fire-side." Was he a murderer being the case, you see we must have yesterday when he was tossing the no Roundabout Essay on this subject. baby on his knee, and when his hands Well, I had another arrow in my were playing with his little girl's quiver. (So, you know, had William yellow hair? Yesterday there was Tell a bolt for his son, the apple of no blood on them at all: they were his eye; and a shaft for Gessler, in shaken by honest men: have done case William came to any trouble many a kind act in their time very with the first poor little target.) And likely. He leans his head on one of this, I must tell you, was to have them, the wife comes in with her been a rare Roundabout performance anxious looks of welcome, the children one of the very best that has ever are prattling as they did yesterday appeared in this series. It was to round the father's knee at the fire, have contained all the deep, pathos and Cain is sitting by the embers, and of Addison ; the logical precision of Abel lies dead on the moor. Think Rabelais ; the childlike playfulness of of the gulf between now and yester- Swift ; the manly stoicism of Sterne; day. Oh, yesterday! Oh, the days the metaphysical depth of Goldwhen those two loved each other and smith; the blushing modesty of said their prayers side by side! le Fielding; the epigrammatic terseness goes to sleep, perhaps, and dreams of Walter Scott; the uproarious huthat his brother is alive. Be true, O mor of Sam Richardson ; and the dream! Let him live in dreams, and gay simplicity of Sam Johnson ;- it wake no more. Be undone, O crime, was to have combined all these qualiO crime ! But the sun rises : and ties, with some excellences of modern the officers of conscience come: and writers whom I could name : - but yonder lies the body on the moor. I circumstances have occurred which happened to pass, and looked at the have rendered this Roundabout Essay Northumberland Street house the also impossible. other day. A few loiterers were gaz I have not the least objection to ing up at the dingy windows. A tell you what was to have been the plain ordinary face of a house enough subject of that other admirable Round- and in a chamber in it one man about Paper. Gracious powers ! the suddenly rose up, pistol in hand, to Dean of St. Patrick's never had a slaughter another. Have you ever better theme. The paper was to have killed any one in your thoughts? been on the Gorillas, to be sure. I Has your heart compassed any man's was going to imagine myself to death? In your mind, have you ever be a young surgeon apprentice from taken a brand from the altar, and Charleston, in South Carolina, who slain your brother? How many plain ran away to Cuba on account of ordinary faces of men do we look at, unhappy family circumstances, with unknowing of murder behind those which nobody has the least concern; eyes ? Lucky for you and me, broth- who sailed thence to Africa in a large, er, that we have good thoughts un- roomy schooner with an extraordinary spoken. But the bad ones? I tell you vacant space between decks. I was that the sight of those blank windows subject to dreadful ill treatment from in Northumberland Street - through the first mate of the ship, who, when which, as it were, my mind could pic- I found she was a slaver, altogether
declined to put me on shore. I was few elephants, until, by the advice of a chased — we were chased by three guide, who, I now believe, was treachBritish frigates and a seventy-four, erous, we were induced to leave the which we engaged and captured ; but Pdodo, and march N.E., by N.N. were obliged to scuttle, and sink, as Here Lieutenant Larkins, who had we could sell them in no African port : persisted in drinking rum from mornand I never shall forget the look of ing to night, and thrashing me in his manly resignation, combined with sober moments during the whole jourconsiderable disgust, of the British ney, died, and I have too good reason Admiral as he walked the plank, after to know was eaten with much relish cutting off his pigtail, which he handed by the natives. At Mgoo, where there to me, and which I still have in charge are barracoons and a dépôt for our for his family at Boston, Lincolnshire, cargo we had no news of our expected England.
freight; accordingly, as time pressed We made the port of Bpoopoo, at exceedingly, parties were despatched the confluence of the Bungo and in advance towards the great WashSgglolo rivers (which you may see in aboo lake, by which the caravans usuSwammerdahl's map) on, the 31st ally come towards the coast. Here we April last year. Our passage had found no caravan, but only four nebeen so extraordinarily rapid, owing groes down with the ague, whom I to the continued drunkenness of the treated, I am bound to say, unsuccesscaptain and chief officers, by which I fully, whilst we waited for our friends. was obliged to work the ship and take We used to take watch and watch in her in command that we reached Bpoo- front of the place, both to guard ourpoo six weeks before we were expect-selves from attack, and get early news ed, and five before the coffres from of the approaching caravan. the interior and from the great slave At last, on the 230 September, as dépôt at Zbabblo were expected. I was in advance with Charles Rogers, Their delay caused us not a little dis- second mate, and two natives with comfort, because, though we had bows and arrows, we were crossing a taken the four English ships, we great plain skirted by a forest, when knew that Sir Byam Martin's iron- we saw emerging from a ravine what I cased squadron, with " The Warrior,” took to be three negroes a very tall “The Impregnable,"
,” “The Sanconia- one, one of a moderate size, and one thon," and "The Berosus,” were quite little. cruising in the neighborhood, and Our native guide shrieked out some might prove too much for us. words in their language, of which
It not only became necessary to Charles Rogers knew something. I quit Bpoopoo before the arrival of thought it was the advance of the the British fleet or the rainy season, negroes whom we expected.
“No!” but to get our people on board as soon said Rogers (who swore dreadfully in as might be. While the chief mate, conversation), “it is the Gorillas! with a detachment of seamen, hurried And he fired both barrels of his gun, forward to the Pgogo lake, where we bringing down the little one first, and expected a considerable part of our the female afterwards. cargo, the second mate, with six men, The male, who was untouched, four chiefs, King Fbumbo, an Obi gave a howl that you might have man, and myself, went N.W. by W., heard a league off; advanced towards towards King Mtoby's-town, where us as if he would attack us, and then we knew many hundreds of our be turned and ran away with inconceivatween-deck passengers were to be got ble
celerity towards the wood. together. We went down the Pdodo We went up towards the fallen river, shooting snipes, ostriches, and brutes. The little one by the female rhinoceros in plenty, and I think a l appeared to be about two years old.