Imatges de pÓgina

the contemplation of the sweets that a kind of liquid oozed out of his compressed lips, whether he would or whether he would not. Oh! how the chap longed for the delicate morsels to be within his teeth, but then he had not wherewithal to buy any, so that his face assumed a fretful and peevish expression, which said, “What's the use a living if one a’nt got nothing to suck atween one's gums ? Why, I'd sooner be a hofficer in the army than this here purfession ; that I would.”.

"Would you ?” asked the wet Quaker, as he spied the black looking at the lollypops. Would you, my boy?” ejaculated Smiler, inwardly; " then it's passing strange if I don't elevate you more than a little above the rank or standing of a British officer, and all in carrying out the sweet trade."

Yes, Ephraim made up his mind how to act on the instant when he saw the dissatisfaction written upon the black's face; so that he beck. oned him in, right amongst the centre of the lollypops, and said, blandly,

“Now, friend, let me ask you, are ye fond of sweets ?"
"Why, master, I jest am, if you particularly wants a hanser."
"Then take any out of the window, will ye?

Are you joking, master? Are you sure you a'nt joking? becos if you a'nt I just should like a bit o' hard-bake.”

“Take it, friend, take it,” the Quaker repeated ; and he had scarcely got the words out of his mouth when Rum Striker seized hold of a large sheet of that article, and began crunching it between his teeth, just as though he had been born for the especial purpose of dissolving all the sweets upon the surface of the earth.

Now, whilst Striker was thus engaged, Smiler watched him narrowly, and began turning in his own mind as to the manner of effecting his purpose, when he gradually brought the man into a conversation about the exhibition he advertised upon his back, when Striker explained that it was no easy matter to bring the fleas to a proper state of docility, because of their elastic natures.

“What we does with the hannimals is to catch 'em first, which we does from a rag bag, and to coax 'em afterwards, which we does timidly. Why, if we was to use force with the hannimals they'd never hact as we wants 'em, because we tried it on with Napoleon, and he wouldn't fire off the cocked hat from the cannon. No, master," the black continued, as he took up a third sheet of hard-bake. “No, I'v been a thinking that it an't no more use to thrash a flea than it is a human Christian, because the blood won't stand it. The blood may seem to stand it, but give me the flea as has had a kind school edication afore him as an't, because"

Here Striker was interrupted by the Quaker, who asked him rather abruptly what he earned weekly by his present occupation, and affected to be surprised when the black informed him that seven shillings, and a pint a day, was the extent of it.

" Why I asked you, Striker," began the bland man; “why I asked you, was because there's to be an execution at the prison opposite, and I thought you might get a rise in wages by paying attention to the sweet trade."

“ How, master, how?" asked Rum Striker, eagerly, as he began a ninth sheet of hard-bake.

“Why, friend, I'll tell you."

Here the Quaker informed the black that he wanted just such a man to carry an announcement about the streets of London, which should inform the inhabitants that the very cast of Biddulph's face was to be seen in his shop window, done in and with the best sweetmeat.

“Of course I shall sell 'em at so much a face, and as I think it'll make

my fortune, I mean to give a history of the murderer to each purchaser, so that they may be initiated into the whole mystery."

“Good, master, good," ejaculated Striker, through his mouthful of sweets. “Good, master, good; and I'm ready to change for the better, so as it is for the better."

Well, the bargain was struck; and accordingly, after bidding adieu to the fleas, Striker went about with the sweetshop announcement, and as Fate would have it, the experiment answered amazingly well; so much so, indeed, that the shop was regularly besieged by dukes as well as citizens, who were all eager to possess so extraordinary a relic, from the fountain-head itself.

Now, it is to be understood that the cast was taken by the barber who shaved the murderer daily, and the history was written by a celebrated Quakeress who had access to the very cell in which the prisoner was confined. The history began with the school-days, the punishment and the consequent expulsion from the illustrious foundation. It then took a glance at the “cat” as used upon the back of soldiers in the British army, and it finally wound up its very simple narrative by intimating that, like unto Shakspeare's Lear, Biddulph was nearly as much “sinned against as sinning.

There cannot be a question the idea of a sweetmeat cast of a murderer's face was a novel idea on the part of Smiler, and the very questioning as to the guilt of a convicted murderer was quite new to a great portion of the public; so that both the one and the other sold amaz. ingly.

Smiler's object was profit, there is no doubt of that, whilst the charitable lady--blessings on her beloved memory-whilst the charitable lady handed over her share of the proceeds to a personal-visiting society; still, both acting as they did, they effected much good to the public morality; for whilst the sugar cast expressed a determined devilism, the little book answered the question as to why it was so. gave the same reply that the man himself would have given about early punishment, destroying early virtue, or rather, having turned it into most disastrous viciousness.

Rum Striker walked about the streets with the extraordinary announcement, which gained universal attention from all manner of persons, who, after reading, went straightway to the sweetshop, and by such means the whole city rang again with it from one end to the other, whilst Richard Biddulph was attended by two turnkeys and one chap, lain in his cell; and whether it was from being in the neighbourhood, or whether it was from some species of electricity, most certain was it that he, the murderer, and Mrs. Mary Smiler, the wet Quaker's wife, actually saw one another through the stone of the invulnerable prisonay, they actually talked with one another, and this is the way they did so ;-

Yes, the book

It was towards night when Biddulph was looking over the pictures of the Bible, that after pondering over the face of a girl for a time, he all at once shut his eyes bodily, and grasped one of the chains which bound him, when he saw the gentle companion of his boyish days--that is, he saw her with his spirit, and conjured her into positive actuality. Then he grasped still more firmly the fetter, and cried,

Mary, my own Mary, pray for me." At these words the jailors looked at the chaplain, who again looked at the jailors, when the murderer continued,

“I know I am a lost man—ay, eternally lost—but still if you pray for me, why no ill can come of it, and good may. There, there, speak louder; ay, louder still.”

Now, at this very moment Mrs. Smiler, who had been watching one of the casts for a long time, said,

“Do you know, Ephraim, dear, that I had an early love ?" "No, Mary, had you ?

“Yes,” the woman cried, hysterically. “ Yes, before I knew you, dear, and when my heart was joyous I had a girlish love for a boy.”

“No, Mary, had you?"

“Yes, and we told one another our small thoughts about the future, and we even kissed one another."

"No, Mary, did you though ?"

Yes, it was the love of a child, a mere doll of a love, a mere nothing of a love by the side of that I felt for you, Ephraim ; still, for all that, it was a love."

"No, Mary, you surprise me.”

"Yes, Ephrain, and I shall surprise you more when I tell you that this cast of a face was my girlish affection."

“What! Richard Biddulph, the murderer ?” asked Smiler, with emotion. “What, the reprobate deserter from the British army ; and the premeditated murderer was the fellow you refer to ?”

Yes, Ephraim, dear, yes,” Mrs. Smiler began, as she took hold of the sugar face and continued, in a feeling manner, “Oh, yes ! Ephraim, this was the very face, but it was not marked as it is now, for there was a plumpness and a boyishness about it, a half smile and a dimple ; and this lip was curled more than it is now. Then look at the eye! why, it hadn't the hollowness or the determination about it when I first saw it in a country church. But even then I saw the first sorrow sit upon it, which was after the first punishment; then it became more haggard than the other boys' faces, and now, after the treatment he has received, look at it-oh! look at it now."

“Mary," quoth Smiler. “Mary, I don't half like your first love, and

yet I like the candour which induced you to tell your husband of it. Now, let me ask you, do you like Biddulph now ?

Ephraim,” replied Mary; “ as there is a difference between the child's face and the face of a murderer, so is there a difference between my love for him then and now. Yet, Ephraim, you will not mind if ! pray for him, will you ?”

“No, Mary, no."

" Then I will do so." And Mary did pray, for the first thought she had as a girl, and she asked the Almighty Father to turn his haggard

face into what it was when she first saw it as a child ; and the prayer ascended to the throne of mercy. There was an electricity about this prayer, as there is about all prayers, so that they are high in the heavens on the instant of their creation upon the earth; and with Mary's prayer there went a prayer from the old bone, from Jerico, from Mrs. Harty, as well as from many generous-hearted souls who imagined they would be heard and ratified. Yes, the prayers were so many sparks of electricity, which, when collected together, went up into the sky and formed an everlasting star, so that the dark world might be illuminated by it.

But stay a minute such poetical imaginings, lest the picture should not be a perfect one, and in case it should be rumoured that this history is as long to be continued as a star, I wish to communicate a secret, upon the understanding that it be not divulged. “Well, what is it?" What is it? Why it is, that in the very next number of this magazine the Life of Biddulph will be taken from him by the public executioner, and as a consequence, “ The Adventures of a School-boy” will be before the metropolitan world. Even the idea of parting worries me amazingly but when the time comes I dare say I shall be able to ejaculate, as I do now, God bless you.




When yet this world of beauty own'd your sway

And happy beings, close-link'd hand in hand,
With joy in silken wreath's were wont to stray

O’er lovely visions brought from fable-land-
How chang'd, alas ! since upon all around

Your cheerful worship glitter'd bright; and ah!
Since blessed mortals first your temples crown'd

Venus Amathusia!


Her veil'sweet Poesy then gently drew

Around the real and life's free-gushing tide,
While every feeling yet was fresh and new

Flow'd copiously throughout creation wide;
And to be folded to Love's breast once more,

In every clime, wherever mankind trod,
A look divine ennobl'd Nature wore,

And all reveal'd the traces of a God.


Where hrough the fields of space there may be seen

Wheeling a soulless globe of flame afar,

With fiery steeds in majesty serene

Rode the bright Helios in his golden car. On every tree there dwelt, as sages say,

A Dryad; Oreads throng'd each sunny hill; Fair Naiads sprinkl'd then the silv'ry spray,

Flung from their urns on every mountain rill.


Mute is the child of Tantalus in that home

That Laurel erewhile gently bowed for aid, From that reed rose Syringa's whisper'd moan,

And Philomela warbled from that shade; There for Persephone by eye hath been

Into that rippling brook dropp'd many a tear, From mountain top hath call’d the Cyprian Queen

In vain, alas ! her darling cannot hear.


Deucalion's race the Gods to earth beguild,

Celestial beings the dark world illum’d,
To win the heart of Pyrrha's beauteous child,

The shepherd's crook Latona's son assum'd ;
Mortals on earth and gods and heroes then

United were in Love's enchanting band, And gods and heroes worshipping with men

Paid native rites in Amathantian land.


Dark Melancholy, Resignation sad,

From your bright service were then seen to fly; To you turned all hearts, and at once were glad,

And looks of rapture beam’d from every eye. Nought save the beautiful was then divine,

No god conceal'd of joy the mantling ray, Wherever rul'd the chaste and blushing Nine,

Where'er was felt the Graces' gentle sway.


Your fanes, like palaces, were seen to smile

At Isthmian Games, which thrill’d heroic soul, The crown-rich banquet gladd'ning every isle,

Extolld you, Chamisto, thund'ring to the goal. In joy ecstatic dances circl'd round

Your sparkling altars choirs of maiden's fair ; The wreaths of victory your temples crown'd,

And floral garlar ds grac'd your fragrant hair.

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