Imatges de pÓgina

so thin in

began to appear; he bowed to several well-dressed persons, who, by their manner of returning the compliment, appear. ed perfect strangers. At intervals he drew out a pocketbook, seeming to take memorandums before all the company, with much importance and assiduity. In this manner he led me through the length of the whole Mall, fretting at his absurdities, and fancying myself laughed at as well as he by every spectator.

When we were got to the end of our procession, Blast me,' cries he, with an air of vivacity, "I never saw the Park

life before ; there's no company at all to-day

. Not a single face to be seen. No company interruped 1, peevishly ; no company, where there is such a' crowd! Why, man, there is too much. What are the thousands that have been laughing at us but company! Lord, my dear,' returned he, with the utmost good-humour, you seem immensely chagrined; but, blast me, when the world laughs at me, I laugh at the world, and so we are even. My Lord Trip, Bill Squash the Creolian, and I, sometimes make a party at being ridiculous. But I see you are grave; so if you are for a fine grave sentimental companion, you shall dine with my wife; I must insist on't ; I'll introduce you to Mrs Tibbs, a lady of as elegant qualifications as any in nature; she was bred, but that's between ourselves, under the inspection of the Countess of Shoreditch. A charming body of voice! But no more of that, she shall give us a song You shall see my little girl too, Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Tibbs, a sweet pretty creature ! I design her for my Lord Drumstick's eldest son; but that's in friendship, let it go no farther; she's but six years old, and yet she walks a minuet and plays on the guitar immensely already. I intend she shall be as perfect as possible in every accomplishment. In the first place, I'll make her a scholar; I'll teach her Greek myself, and I intend to learn that language purposely to instruct her; but let that be a secret.'

Thus saying, without waiting for reply, he took me by the arm, and hauled me along. We passed through many dark alleys and winding ways. From some motives to me unknown, he seemed to have a particular aversion to every frequented street; but, at last, we got to the door of a dismal looking house in the outlets of the town, where he in. formed me he chose to reside for the benefit of the air.

We entered the lower door, which seemed ever to lie most hospitably open; and began to ascend an old and creaking


stair-case; when, as he mounted to show me the way, he demanded, whether I delighted in prospects; to which answering in the affirmative, “Then,' says he, 'I shall show you one of the most charming out of my windows, for I live at the top of the house ; we shall see the ships sailing, and the whole country twenty miles round, tip top, quite high. My Lord Swamp would give ten thousand guineas for such a one ; but, as I sometimes pleasantly teil him, I always love to keep my prospects at home, that my


may come to see me the oftener.'

By this time we were arrived as high as the stairs would permit us to ascend, till we came to what he was facetiously pleased to call the first floor down the chimney; and knocking at the door, a voice, with a Scotch accent, from within, demanded, “Wha's there?' My conductor answer

vered, that it was him. But this not satisfying the querist, the voice again repeated the demand ; to which he answered louder than before ; and now the door was opened by an old maidservant, with cautious reluctance.

When we were got in, he welcomed me to his house with great ceremony, and turning to the old woman, asked where her lady was. Good troth,' replied she in the northern dialect, she's washing your twa shirts at the next door, because they have taken an oath against lending out the tub any longer.'..My two shirts! cries he, in a tone that faltered with confusion, "what does the idiot mean?' 'I ken what I mean well enough,' replied the other; "she's washing your twa shirts at the next door, because'-'Fire and fury, no more of thy stupid explanations,' cried he.- Go and inform her we have got company.

Were that Scotch hag,' continued he, turning to me, 'to be for ever in my family, she would never learn politeness, nor forget that absurd poisonous accent of hers, or testify the smallest specimen of breeding or high-life; and yet it is very surprising too, as I had her from a parliament-man, a friend of mine from the Highlands, one of the politest men in the world ; but that's a secret.'

We waited some time for Mrs Tibbs's arrival, during which interval I had a full opportunity of surveying the chamber and all its furniture ; which consisted of four chairs with old wrought bottoms, that he assured me were his wife's embroidery; a square table that had been once japanned, a cradle in one corner, a lumbering cabinet in the other; a broken shepherdess, and a mandarine without a

head, were stuck over the chimney; and round the walls several paltry, unframed pictures, which he observed were all of his own drawing: What do you think, Sir, of that head in the corner, done in the manner of Grisoni ? There's the true keeping in it; it's my own face; and, though there happens to be no likeness, a countess offered me a hundred for its fellow ; I refused her, for, hang it, that would be mechanical


know.' The wife, at last, made her appearance; at once a slattern and a coquet; much emaciated, but still carrying the remains of beauty. She made twenty apologies for being seen in such an odious dishabille, but hoped to be excused, as she had staid out all night at Vauxhall Gardens with the countess, who was excessively fond of the horns. "And indeed, my dear,' added she, turning to her husband, his lordship drank your health in a bumper. Poor Jack, cries he, a dear good natured creature, I know he loves me; but I hope, my dear, you have given orders for dinner; you need make no great preparations neither, there are but three of us; something elegant, and a little will do ; a turbot, an ortolan, or

Or what do you think, my dear, interrupts the wife, of a nice pretty bit of ox-cheek, piping hot, and dressed with a little of my own sauce ?_The very thing,' replies he; it will eat best with some smart bottled beer; but be sure to let's have the sauce his grace was so fond of. I hate your immense loads of meat; that is country all over ; extreme disgusting to those who are in the least acquainted with high-life.'

By this time my curiosity began to abate, and my appetite to increase ; the company of fools may at first make us smile

, but at last never fails of rendering us melancholy. I therefore pretended to recollect a prior engagement, and, after having shown my respect to the house, by giving the old servant a piece of money at the door, I took my leave-Mr Tibbs assuring me that dinner, if I staid, would be ready at least in less than two hours.

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The following humorous sketch is from The Devil's Elixer,' a German novel, by E. T. A. Hoffmann, lately translated into English by Mr Gillies, we believe-all whose translations are distinguished for their spirit, taste, and fidelity.


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On my way home, about a year ago, I came to a large handsome village, about four German miles from Berlin ; and being much fatigued, resolved to rest there, instead of going to the capital. The landlord directly showed me to a good room, where, after supper, I threw myself into bed, and directly fell asleep. About one in the morning, how. ever, I was suddenly awoke by a noise, which,, assimilating with a fearful dream with which I had just then been haunted, I imagined to be either the shrieking of an owl at the window, or the cries of a person in distress, for I had dreamed of both.

It was, however, the sound of a German flute which proceeded from a room very near me; but in my whole life, before or since, I have never heard such an abominable attempt at music. The man must have had monstrous and gigantic powers of lungs ; for, in one loud, shrill, cutting key, he went on without mercy, so that the character of the instrument was perfectly annihilated. What added, if possible, to this enormity, was, that he blew everlastingly the same

passage over and over, not granting me the slightest

an endeavour at a tune, so that nothing could be conceived more abominable. I raved at, cursed, and abused this infernal musician, who so cruelly deprived me of needful rest, and by whom my ears were so barbarously outraged; but, like the wound-up piece of clock-work, the diabolical flute continued to utter the same notes over and

identical relief, by

over, until I thought the devil himself must be the player, for no one else could have had physical strength to hold out so long. At last, I heard something thrown with great vio. lence, and a loud crack against the wainscot; after which there was a dead silence, and I could for the rest of the night sleep in peace.

In the morning I heard a great noise of quarrelling and scolding in the lower floor of the house. In the row I could now and then distinguish the voice of my host, who was scarcely allowed, however, to throw in a word, by a man who roared without ceasing, in broken German-May your house be damned ! Would that I had never been so unlucky as to cross the threshold ! The devil himself must have brought me hither, where one can neither drink, eat, nor enjoy himself-where every thing is infamously bad, and dog-dear. There, Sir, you have your money; and as for your rascally gin-shop, you shall never more see me again within its walls. Having just then finished my toilet, I was in time to behold the author of all this disturbance. He was a little, withered man, in a coffee-brown coat, and a round fox-red wig, on which, with a martial air of defiance

, he stuck a little grey hat; then ran out of the house towards the stable, from which I soon afterwards saw him re-appear, with a horse fully as odd-looking as himself, on which he mounted, and, at a heavy awkward gallop, rode off the field.

Of course, I supposed he was like myself, an entire stranger, who had quarrelled with the landlord, and had now taken his final departure. I dismissed him, therefore, from my thoughts; but, at dinner-time, (having been induced to remain another day at the village,) how was I surprised, on taking my place at the table d'Hote, to perceive the same absurd coffee-brown figure, with the fox-red wig, who, without ceremony, drew in his chair opposite to mine! He had one of the ugliest, and most laughable visages that I had ever beheld. In his whole demeanour, there was a kind of grave and solemn absurdity that was irresistible. During dinner, I kept up a monosyllabic dialogue with mine host, while the stranger continued to eat voraciously, and took no notice whatever of any one.

At last, the innkeeper, with a sly wink at me, led the discourse to national peculiarities, and asked me whether I had ever been acquainted with an Irishman, or knew what was meant by Irish bulls, for which that country was cele

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