Imatges de pÓgina

they squinted askance at the twain, and allowed a good space of earth for the new officers to walk upon.

Soon after this the New Poor Law came into full operation, when Mr. and Mrs. Death ascended the stone steps to their new apartinents, and put upon their faces a savage, unsatisfied expression, which said to the poor people, "Scum o' the earth; vagrants; imperant, half-starved men and women, do this, will you? There now, quick ; but mind, however fast you do it, or however well you do it, you won't satisfy us, that we can tell you; you toothless herrings, you." Ay, their faces were but a small index to their tongues and hearts, for they let out at the poor folks upon every occasion, just as though they were paid for doing so.

The union workhouse was divided into just so many cells as there were different species of inmates. One cell had men in it; one cell had women in it; one cell had young men in it, and one cell had young women in it, some of whose eyes were trying all they could do to pierce through the dark wall which separated them from their helpless children. All the paupers were dressed in union dresses, which covered their thin and emaciated bodies, and all the paupers had complaining yet humble faces, with eyes in them more like the eyes of the rabbit which is stricken by the serpent than those of plain, good, unfortunate Christians. There was palsy, there was ague, there was disease of every character and kind, which horrified the kind doctors, and made the miserable even yet more and more desolate. To be sure amongst the paupers there were perhaps one or two who had lived so long in the workhouse that they imagined they should die within its walls, and they were people worthy of compassion, for the spirit of life and of independence had deserted their bodies, and left only the corpse; so that it would have been better for Mr. Death to have put them into coffins; but the other poor folks were there per force, and contrary to their own inclination. They had no bread and had lost a portion of their souls, but then they had paid poor's rates in their time, and had ministered to the afflictions of the wretched when they had the opportunity; so that, barring that, they had a claim upon the hospitality of their common country: nay, one had read history, and remembered a portion of it, which recorded how the bishops' carriages and the rectors' wines and peaches were but a part and parcel of the poor man's bread, cheese, and clothing. Now there was no poetry here, for formerly the needy surrounded the doors of those who collected tithes for the purposes of charity, and who were glad, as they felt themselves bound, to bestow it properly. Why, what the devil does so much a year paid to a bishop mean? or so much a year handed over to a lean rector-1 mean a sanctimonious-looking dog, who is all religion in the pulpit, and who is all the world out of it ? What, in the name of propriety, does he get his money for if it be not to foster and protect the shoeless wanderer, whose meek face is a libel on the land ? But, no! these scions of religious profession cannot see the matter so, for that would take so much a year out of their tightly-fastened pockets; so they give evidence about poor laws and the suppression of the poor, just as though they were very authorities on the subject. They are nothing like authorities, and they know nothing, positively nothing, about the matter ; for the heart of the parson is so shielded against the cry or moan of the poor, so guarded by fallacious moral principles, that it would be just as well to ask the devil his opinion of the Holy Bible as to get anything like kind motives from a parson in behalf of the poor. The poor know this, and the new unions are a great evidence of the fact that the poor are wronged by those who ought to be the first to place poverty above the level of crime.

Mr. and Mrs. Death were just the organs for carrying out the principles of the New Poor Laws, and as it is better perhaps to get out of a nasty chapter into one of life, health and activity, come, my dearest reader, with me, that's a good fellow-into another; so put your wrath into a clean decanter, and fix in the stopper.






There cannot be a question, that marking the game for gentlemen who played billiards was a pleasant occupation enough for a time, and the man would have continued at it for half an age or so if it had not been for the manner in which they treated him. Lord bless you, the marker is none other than a desperate ruffian, who is driven to that profession as a last resource; and woe be to that youngster who once settles his mind to adopt it, for naturally he gets to play now and then, and as naturally he imbibes the spirit of gambling; then he has time upon his hands and does not know how to use it, when but too often he leaves the table and goes straightway to the devil. Thus has it been with many, and thus was it with Richard Biddulph. The balls flew against one another and made cannons, as well as went now and then into the pockets, whilst the marker's eye followed each turn, twist, or strike so as to call the game for the players. The marker, thus, was a part and parcel of the game, but then he was not considered equal to associate with the gentlemen. They appealed to the marker---nay, they played with the marker, but they did not in any way associate with the marker, who was like an empty pocket in the centre of the great metropolis, for he was amongst men who were of very different complexionssharpers as well as honest gentlemen--yet he was treated with contempt by all, for there was not one of them, desperately poor as they might have been, who would have been seen walking in the streets or taking a kidney at a coffee house with a marker, for the whole world. Thus the marker was a lonely, desolate, miserably forlorn object, with impatient, anxious eyes, and a heart callous to everything that was holy. He was a black spot, a plague, a wilderness, and his mind was as dark as the devil's babitation. At the table there was lots of play, but upon one occasion there was none; when Richard Biddulph sat upon one of the cushions and went to sleep with his' eyes open. Yes, his eyes were wide open, for he saw, as plain as a pike-stafl, several figures dancing you!

about upon the table, which said fantasies—for they were nothing more-kept stopping when they came close to him, when they made horrid faces, and assumed a variety of shapes, being daggers one moment, and the next pure Christians. The man's mother was foremost in the dance, and came up to him grinning savagely, and not in any way as a mother ought to go up to a son; then there was an old man -the old bone that was—who smiled upon him satirically, when he faded away into a pitchfork; then there were other personages, but the personage of all was his old incarnate enemy Dr. Frampton, who came up to him with a blacking bottle, which he dabbed against his heart and all over his inner brain, whilst the fellow held a rod within his grasp-not a cobwebby rod but a new one—which he Aogged him with so lastily and so smilingly, that the man sprang all of a sudden upon his feet, and cried out, Ah! ah! it was only a dream, I know that, and I was only a child then, and I know that; but this I know, that my path through life has been blasted by that villain who first destroyed my young and generous heart. Yes, I see you now, you devil I

see you now, and I will see you again, or my name's not Biddulph. No," he cried, as he caught hold of the cushion as though the strength of twenty giants was in him, “no, you shan't escape, but shall go down to bell with me, you viper you, that you shall !”

Gradually the man relaxed his hold, when he stood up, apparently satisfied, until he found he had been acting instead of repaying the monster who had blasted his prospects in the world.

“Oh! devil! devil! devil!” the man said, as he pondered over his childish persecutions; “but I'll be equal with you, and nothing but death shall stop my way to your unrelenting heart."

Then the fellow, hardened, corrupted, jaundiced, as he then was, fell suddenly upon his knees, and, for the first time for many many years, lifted


eyes steadfastly and fixedly towards heaven and asked in a bold voice why he sliould not be revenged; and upon no answer coming down from God, he exclaimed as he sprang again upon his feet, "I'll murder the devil! I will, by

-!" Now if there had not been determination in it I should be happy to say so; but, unluckily for the twain, the old schoolmaster and his former scholar--the matter was chronicled, and, as far as circumstances then stood, the murder was done. Soon after this chaps came in to play, but the man marked badly, for his heart was in another purpose, so that he got more

than he could count, and more curses than it is convenient herein to record. Sufficient is it to know, that his game was a game of murder, and what the world would call coldblooded murder, although he did'nt think so ; and if, instead of the school. master, Richard Biddulph were now grappling the throat of the system, really I fancy I should be taken up as a participator in the crime (?). Crime? oh! yes, it would be a crime in the eyes of a lord chief baron, but it would not be a crime with a great and almighty God, and that I am bold enough to record. Such a resolution as Biddulph's did not go to sleep either in the day or in the night time, but kept its eyes wide, staringly wide, open, so as to find anything like an opportunity ; and that there will be an opportunity I can now take upon myself to promise the reader.

The marker left the billiard rooms, and having learnt the exact spot where his old enemy resided in the country, the man straightway set off on foot-on foot because a coach would have assisted the operation, and he wanted no assistance whatsoever—and by short stages he went along, pondering on the frenzy as well as the unmitigated delight he should experience when, meeting with Dr. Frampton in the broad daylight face to face and man to man, he should say, “I am a wretch, but you made, me so! I am an outcast, and I soon shall be a murderer; it was you who lighted the torch, so now burn and blast everlastingly in the wellmerited retribution !”

At this juncture I must beg you to stop a month, my friend, lest it should be too much for you ; but mind you are prepared to see recorded the last gasp of a tyrant, and really I think you ought to pray that it may be so. God grant there are no tyrants now, and God also grant his best smiles upon the virtuous and the benevolent. So, until October, adieu.




PRETTY Rosa, the star of St. James', was wed

To a very great fool and a very great earl ;
Of course he was handsome, genteel

, and well-bred,
And his whiskers-ye gods !-how his whiskers did eurl.
From St. George's they drove to a Bond Street hotel,

The bride in her white orange blossom and lace,
The bridegroom as gay as his own marriage bell-
He trimm’d his pet whiskers and ogled with grace.

Pretty Rosa, the pride of St. James'.

All compliments paid and the bridal-veil down

To hide the sweet blushes and tears of the bride,
The four splendid bays whirld them swiftly from town,

To a lovely retreat by the Thames' silver tide ;
But the star of St. James', sweet Rosa, soon found,

That solitude lessen'd the charms of her mate;
That his small talk each day took the same stupid round,
And his whiskers were all in advance of his pate.

Pretty Rosa, &c.

But, return'd to St. James', and lost in the train

Of dresses and jewels, of fête and of ball,
Pretty Rosa forgot that her lord wanted brain,

For his rank and his riches made up for it all.
Thus they run the gay round, and as day follows night,

Take their drive in the park like a bridegroom and bride;
She smiles on the beaux in her beauty so bright,
He trims his pet whiskers or sleeps at her side.

Pretty Rosa, &c.

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My name is Julius Smith-Doctor Julius Smith ; a few months ago it was merely the Reverend Julius Smith, M.A., but now each letter that I receive bears the proud superscription—“ The Reverend Julius Smith, D.D." In short, in the month of July I took my Doctor's degree, and why I was induced to undertake this mighty step, this my Chapter I., will explain to the reader.

I am, or at least I was, an old-fashioned country clergyman. Do not fancy when I say old-fashioned that I am old, for I am not; next December will but write the number 49 on my brow; but I passed through my university career very quietly, at an early age, was ordained to a small curacy in the North immediately that my years allowed me to offer myself for ordination, and having remained steadily performing my duties for nearly twenty years, was at length presented by a certain noble lord to a certain vicarage, value four hundred and eighty-five pounds per annum, in a certain midland county, and then my difliculties began. In my former cure I had lived quietly by myself, with no ambition or desire for aught beyond what I possessed, and it was almost with a feeling of wonder at my own importance, as sole rector of a parish all my own, that I entered on my duties for my first Sunday. My present church and congregation was little less humble

former, but yet I can hardly say why I felt rather inclined to be nervous in appearing for the first time before my parishioners. They were chiefly small farmers and common labourers ; indeed, there were but two families that could, with reason, lay claim to the title of respectable, and those were the surgeon's, a bustling, self-important little man, with a wife a rather more bustling and self-important little woman; and the other-ah ! that other--a widow lady of perhaps forty-five (at any rate I did not know her age at that time, though I suppose I do now), who lived in a rather good old-fashioned house situated on the hill above the church, and who was called by the villagers, "the lady," or Madam, not Mistress, Cullender.

As I had not arrived at my rectory till late on the Saturday



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