« AnteriorContinua »
considering that less than the usual number of members are present to-night, will prove much lighter than the one already mentioned."
Mr. Rogers began to breathe more freely. "That penalty, Mr. Chairman, is, that the gentlemen now present have the privilege of ordering anything of the waiter they please, to the extent of a shilling each, at your expense. It is for yourself, Mr. Chairman, to make your choice."
"Moost (must) I pay either penalty?" groaned Mr. Rogers.
"Oh, certainly; it's indispensable," shouted all present, with one voice.
"Well, gentlemen, if I moost, I moost; but I'm so taken by surprise that I hardly know what to do."
"It is not my intention to dictate, Mr. Chairman; but, as it may be inconvenient for you, who are to be only a short time in town, to give the requisite number of sittings for your portrait, I think it would be the better way to
accept the latter alternative at once.
"If you take my advice, Mr. Chairman," said John's other friend, "you will decide in favour of the latter penalty at once; for see," he added, pointing to the wall, "out of the many hundreds who have been chosen as you have this night, and, consequently, incurred the penalty annexed to the high honour, only those three chose to have their portraits taken; all the others preferred the second alternative.
"Yes, and those three would have done the same, only they knew they had exceedingly handsome countenances, of which they were very vain. The portrait of any one not having a handsome face would look horrible, by contrast, if placed beside them."
This decided Mr. Rogers; he hesitated no
longer. He was the proprietor of one of the most ugly visages which anybody ever witnessed, and, what was more, was sensible of the fact. "Waiter!" he shouted most lustily, though the functionary wanted was within a few yards of him. "Waiter!"
"How many gentlemen are there here?" "Besides yourself, sir?"
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten
"Then bring them in a shilling's-worth of whatever they shall order."
"Yes, sir," responded William.
"Come, come, Mr. Chairman, you're forgetting yourself," interrupted Mr. Huggins.
"Oh, must I order something for myself also?"
'Why, certainly, there's no compulsion; but surely, Mr. Chairman, you would not sit and see us all enjoying ourselves at your expense, and not join us."
Bring me a glass of brandy-and-water." Mr. Rogers paid his £2 10s., with a trifle to the waiter. The usual speechification was proceeded with; but the expenditure of his money deprived him of all the pleasure which he would otherwise have derived from the distinction of being chairman. He vacated the chair at an early hour,resolved that he would never again cross the threshold of Cogers' Hall, and inwardly heaping maledictions on the heads of the friends who had "taken him in" in a double sense.
Joseph, seeing the necessity, resolves to do something for his own support-Determines, with that view, on the publication of a poem entitled "The Universe"-Calls on the prince of publishers, to offer him the manuscript-Is disappointed in not obtaining an interview-Returns home, and sends the manuscript for the bibliopole's inspection
BEFORE Joseph had been many weeks in the metropolis, he discovered that his limited funds were rapidly undergoing the process of diminution. Every stranger in London, who wishes to make any appearance in society, will, however careful he may be to avoid extravagance, soon make the same discovery; for he is liable to overcharge and imposition at every step he takes. Consequently, though living in London be expensive at all times and to all persons, it is peculiarly so to the man who is unacquainted with its ways. Our hero, finding his funds fast