Imatges de pÓgina

During the repair of Christ's Church, at contempt for Mopetown, never buying Cork, in 1829, a human heart, in a leaden even "a yard of ribbon” in the placecase, was found imbedded among the ma- though I could not see how such a limited sonry; but to whom it had belonged, what purchase could benefit its trade-still did was its story, the piety or love its owner not disdain to turn the wretched place to wished to commemorate, no legend or in- profit, when it suited her ends. She enscription remained to tell.

joyed the intimacy of the fashionable wife In 1774, Sir Francis Dashwood, Lord of a remote bishop, who viewed Mrs. Towler Le Despenser, seems to have received the precisely as that lady viewed Mopetown, singular bequest of a human heart, as the namely, as a sort of hind or serf, whom she obituaries of that year record, that when could harness to her coach or make other" Paul Whitehead, Esq., a gentleman much wise convenient. In her turn she was subadmired by the literati for his publications, servient to that dear Lady Mountattic, who died at his apartments in Henrietta-street, combined balls and sermons, clergy and Covent Garden, among other whimsical desirable young men, with an extraordinary legacies was his heart, which, with fifty harmony. It was she who was constructpounds, bequeathed to his lordship.” ing the Swallow's Nest, a little retreat for But of all the relics on record, perhaps the the tiny sisters of the small boys “who ran most singular, if the story be true, is that about the streets," who were to be collected, related in the second volume of the me- washed, dressed in a pretty Watteau-like moirs of the Empress Josephine, published dress, shown to visitors, reared, and finally in 1829, when the Duc de Lauragnois had turned into picturesque dairy-maids. The not only the heart of his wife, to whom he Duchess of Blank had promised to take was tenderly devoted, but her entire body, four, the Countess of Asterisk two, Lady “ by some chemical process reduced to a A. one; in short, it was charming;" so sort of small stone, which was set in a ring, good, so nice, so romantic, so elegant, and that the duke always wore on his finger. so religious. The remote bishop had said After this, who will say that the eighteenth “that a blessing would be upon the work,” century was not a romantic age ?

and St. Clair, a young architect of fashion, “who had altered Rookery Towers” (which

was always quoted as though it had been a FANCY FAIR AT MOPETOWN. patent or a degree), had designed a charm

ing little Gothic structure, like a bit of a I HEAR it constantly repeated that Mope- scene in a play, the rooms in which had town* is “at the back of Godspeed,” a

the air of tiny boudoirs. The noble and slough of despond, a hundred years be- genteel ladies took the greatest delight in hind the world, with other compliments of the scheme, and pictured the most charmthe same kind. Yet is it not a pheno- ing little scenes in their dainty chambers, menon, a Mopetownian might fairly ask, “teas," flirtations-picnicing almost. that so degenerate a place should, through

Mrs. Towler, then, had started the bazaar. the medium of its Rooms, exhibit all the A number of ladies in the town—the docturns and elements of civilisation ? The tor's lady, the bank manager's lady, the very posters, if filed, would, to an anti- lady of the head of Simmons and Co.'s quarian, furnish evidence of an almost epi- Drapery Mart, who, on other occasions, curean luxury. For instance, when I last were never noticed, were glad to place visited the place a fancy fair was being themselves at the orders of the great percelebrated : a fair marvellously akin to other sonages. They were all to hold stalls. Mrs. fairs in places of infinitely more pretension. Towler herself was to have one, on a sort

It was for Mrs. Towler's "Swallow's of daïs or throne, which was, in fact, to be Nest.” A bewildering term, yet it seemed the stall; the others were mere little booths, familiar to every one. Going to do some- just to fill up, or prevent an unpleasant thing for the Nest ?” “Shall give this to sense of blankness. They were to get the Nest," " They will make a good deal money from other sources ; above all, not for the Nest,” were phrases that fluttered to sell much, as it was expected that every about one's ears like the wings of little one was to buy exclusively at the grand birds. What did it mean? It seems that lady's table. Mrs. Towler, though having a sovereign It was my lot, then, to arrive at Mope

town on the very morning of this festival • See ALL TIE Year Round, New Series, vol. vi., day. I passed by the Rooms, which I had

now come to regard quite as an old friend.

p. 610.




As usual, its boards reclined outside, in

more entertaining than his. their favourite sloping attitude, and pro- Jealousy has been known to reign in the claiming "Fancy Fair for the Swallow's breast even of the most holy. But step in, Nest. Under distinguished patronage”- and let us see how the ladies are getting the Bishop of Blackwall, and Mrs. Moun- on." tain, the Lady Hautboy, Mrs. Towler, We stepped in forthwith, I not a little Rev. Arthur Duffy, &c. As I was reading puzzled by my new friend. It would be the names, a pink-faced, large-whiskered, hard to give an idea of the almost comgood-humoured clergyman stopped to read mercial air of the Mopetown Rooms. also, and said, abruptly, “My name looks “We've done wonders in the time,” said as well as any in those red capitals? That Mr. Duffy. “I was here half the night big A is like the trousers on the French with the young ladies, hammering and tinsoldiers, eh?”

kering, with an apron about me. Faith, I could not help smiling. “Oh, you are it's the only apron they'll ever let me the Reverend Arthur Duffy, then ?" wear; and for that matter I've done more

“ They tell me so. Come, sir, we'll see useful things in it than many a bishop would you in it. If you only buy a cushion, or a in his." pair of handscreens, you'll lay your head The place had quite a bustling air. The on your pillow with the reflection that doors were about to open, and the fair shopyou've fed a swallow or two for a day. keepers had scurried to their places, think Step in, my dear sir.”

ing that we were the first instalment of the This gentleman seemed to be what is public. There were nine “establishments, called a character. Before I could reply, four on each side, with a glorified one in he exclaimed, “I declare, the walking the centre, a sort of arbour made out of poker himself!"

pink calico and muslin, with a wreath at I saw a prim, stiff, tall, dry-looking the centre of the arch. This was the Towler clergyman coming along, with an expres- bower. The rest were exposed, as they sion of disgust on his face.

should be, being mere plebeians, under the “Well, Doctor Pitt,” said the jovial naked canopy of the ceiling. A card pinned clergyman, you won't come in and rafile at the side of each bore the names of the for the seal-skin cloak ?”

fair venders. The Towler stall was tenantDoctor Pitt replied: “I request, Mr. less for the nonce. Duffy, you will not address me on the My friend had left me, and, I saw, was subject. You are too free, sir ; much too almost at once surrounded by a number of free.”

flushed young ladies, whom in two or three “Well, it's the land of freedom, you seconds he had convulsed with laughter. I know, and as for addressing your reverence glanced leisurely round the stalls, and took on the subject

note of each seller, enthroned behind a heap "None of your buffoonery with me, sir," of coloured paper boxes, dolls, toys, cushions, said Doctor Pitt, furiously. “Don't give antimacassars, some pieces of paper washed me these ridiculous titles. You are going over in faint tones, and complimentarily too far, Mr. Duffy, and will get yourself described as “water-colour drawings,” teainto a scrape.”

caddies, slippers, &c.—things which I do I listened, quite amazed, to this altercation not enumerate in any spirit of invidiousness between two holy men—officially holy-a as to Mopetown, for every one, I am sure, compliment at least owing to their white will admit they have seen precisely the ties.

same wares at sale-rooms in towns of Mr. Duffy laughed when Doctor Pitt had greater fashion. Behind each table was a passed on, and, with a strange confidence, matron, more or less ugly, each assisted explained the matter.

by a band of ladies-daughters, or friends' He and Pitt had taken opposite sides as daughters—with, in most cases, a businessto the bazaar. “That old stuck-up prig like looking spinster, of plain exterior, but

- whose very bowels were made of starch who, I could see, was useful, had done all and buckram-had set himself against the the hard work without recognition, and bazaar from the beginning. He had opposed who was not meant to be recognised. it, I can't say tooth and nail," added Mr. Some Miss Smith, or Miss Jones, or Miss Duffy, "for he is only imperfectly furnished Wilkinson, in whose instance virtue, and with those articles. It means opposing the pride of bustle and of being useful, was me. You must know, the people about here to be its own reward. These human eleare handsome enough to say that my ser- ments I have also noticed at other bazaars. The platform on which so many enter- do, so far, as to come for a day or so. Not tainers had figured was occupied by the of course for her own sake would she make quadrille band of Mopetown—à scant com- such a sacrifice, but for the Swallow's Nest, pany of musicians—à pianoforte, fiddle, where her heart was. German concertina, and cello, who were

The sensation was indescribable, as may already tuning, but did not dare to begin be well conceived, as the illustrious pair antil the Towlers arrived. There was a were led up. Every one crowded round, little structure half-way down the Mope- the stall-keepers stood up to gaze. The town Rooms of a curious sort, the pur- august party was led forthwith to the daïs, pose of which I could not so much as where the bishop's lady was duly enthroned divine, and which I could only set down in something almost like ecclesiastical state. as a sort of refined Punch and Judy show. Soon after the public were admitted, I noticed also some fussing men, who were orders having been given to throw open always rushing about, and consulting with the doors, as though a vast crowd were the matrons; and also some impetuous struggling to force their way in. This and high-coloured young girls, who, as it operation was effected without inconvewere, cantered about from stall to stall, nience, and, beyond the mere fact of the carrying orders and despatches-female opening, made no difference in the situation. aides-de-camp. Some of the stall-holders There were no more persons in the building were appallingly plebeian : Mrs. Muggins, after the opening than before. All the fair Mrs. Shackford, Mrs. Bigger, Mrs. Briggs, stall-keepers were now in their places, and and the like. There was, however, one arrayed in the most seductive smiles. showy, though not very refined-looking Feeling some curiosity as to the result dame, a Mrs. Whelply, at whom I could see of this experiment, I returned in a couple snortings and tossings of manes, as though of hours, and found that trade had much it were some enemy that had got in among improved, and might, indeed, be called these fair creatures. I foresaw that she brisk. The room was tolerably full, all would be the most successful merchant of the aristocracy of Mopetown, who did not the day—that her wares would be swept like to arrive before the fashionable hour, away like magic, and that her own sex being present, though their dresses might would be ready, as indeed they were now, have caused a little surprise in Rotten Row. to eat her.

Strange to

say I could only make out some Hark to a commotion at the doors, half a dozen gentlemen, apart from the with a sound of carriage wheels ! Instantly committee men, as being present; and of a number of both sexes, including the these I could only set myself down and anReverend Arthur Duffy, with some of the other as being what might be called “install-keepers, literally scampered down the dependent,” that is, unconnected with the room to the door. It was the committee, and various shops and marts. I at once bethe committee going to meet the august came an object of attention, that was inqueen of the whole, Mrs. Towler. They convenient to myself in the highest degree, reappeared in a moment two and two, the being, as it were, “spotted” as a stranger, Reverend Arthur Duffy last, smiling and and fairly baited and harried to a dechattering, as he conducted two ladies, gree that made life almost insupportable. one gorgeously attired in yellow with very The young girls, whom I may call, I hope light bonnet strings and large bows, the without unpoliteness, “touts” for various other in pale slate-coloured satin, very trading establishments, accosted me with prim, neat, and Quakeresque. Joy! here the strangest freedom, and a manly famiwas a surprise. A murmur ran round, liarity. Every one had tickets-one had “The bishop's lady!" It seemed almost a pair of handscreens, another a wax doll miraculous, the heavenly inspired sugges- arranged in wedding-dress. The trustee tion which came to Mrs. Towler at the last of the latter almost unsexed herself with moment. Perhaps the bishop's lady would the boldness of her importunities. not be offended, though the acquaintance “ Take a ticket for the bride, only a was so slight-would she excuse the free shilling each. Come, now, you won't redom, come down in person, and accept fuse me.hospitality at Towlers ? A crushing repulse Only a boor could refuse, and two were might be anticipated for such a liberty. purchased. The exhibition of money thus Strange to stay, the bishop's lady was paid out inflamed the emulation of others, gracious, indulgent, would overlook the and I was instantly mobbed by the handaffront, as some of these great people often screeners, the cushion, the antimacassars, the fender stool. One lady caught hold of and bore away my copy of the bishop's my arm ; another, when I declined rather sermon. bluntly, fell back on ridicule and sarcasm I have no wish to hold up Mopetown in to effect her purpose.

particular, for the reader will own that he “Surely you can afford a sixpence or has found a strange uniformity in human two; it won't break you, will it? I'm nature as to this matter of bazaar. Everysure you wouldn't have come here without where, as at Mopetown, the exhibition a few shillings in your pocket.”

appears to call out a bold license, turning Even the proprietress of the bride, to all the young creatures into a species of whom I appealed, to my astonishment camp-followers, making them free, even turned against me.

impudent. On other occasions they are “Well, he needn't boast of that. Mr. afraid to stir from mamma's side; now Shank took ten shillings' worth yesterday ! they will range public rooms in presence Come, take half a dozen tickets for the of crowds, and will familiarly accost perbride, and we'll let you off.”

fect strangers with theatrical seduction. I felt that the free Mopetown young ladies This seems to be common to all bazaars could not be offended by a corresponding within and outside Mopetown. I should bearing, so keeping the demeanour of certain say the post-office device was the most commercial gentlemen at the Dolphin well demoralising feature of all. It obtained before me, I tried a little rustic repartee at Mopetown a highly elaborate shape, as a last desperate resource. “If they put and I was informed that the damsels you in a raffle, my dear,” I said, with an actually competed for the honour of being engaging air, “I would take no end of officials in the establishment—the publicity tickets. This stroke had the happiest and the opportunity for exhibition were effect. Her boldness deserted her, and her so favourable. At Mopetown there were voice

grew faint. “Come,” I went on, "if a number of charming, but very forward all these young ladies were thrown in as “touts," who, in coquettish costume, acted bridesmaids, I would go as far as five the part the “bringer” does for the reshillings a ticket.” This produced a scare, cruiting sergeant. These young creatures and fluttered them all as Coriolanus did exercised all their wiles and fascinations to the Volscians. But I could not count upon draw visitors to the post-office.

" There is a impunity. The Reverend Mr. Duffy was letter for you, I know,"one would say—"a down upon me in a moment.

letter from a lady you admire.” The victim “Come up to Mrs. Towler's table; they was then led off to a little green-baize were asking me who

you were.

You must office, with a pigeon-hole, where a charmbuy a nick-nack—it's expected—and it's ing but business-like young post-mistress only civility. Come now.”

was installed. The bringer, asking my Mr. Duffy's arm was in mine, and in a name, which seemed strange, considering moment he had dragged me up to the that she had assured me there was a letter great ladies. They were gracious. waiting for me, duly informed the post“What will you have ?''

the bishop's lady mistress, who, by way of carrying out the said. “The cigar-case ? just the thing. Oh, fiction of a poste restante, bent down as and you must take the cushion. Five if to make a search among the despatches, shillings, please. Every one that takes a but, in reality, to inscribe the inquirer's ticket is entitled to the bishop's sermon on name on the envelope of a species of valenthe Trinity. A Trinity,' dear, for this tine. A shilling fee was charged for this gentleman.

trouble, and it is astonishing the amount “ That's right,” said Mr. Duffy, malig- of hysterical giggling and skittish simpernantly turning on me when he had gained ing that attended on the childish transhis point, "pluck him, pillage him. He's action. The Reverend Mr. Duffy, however, rich, and has no friends. Come, sir, down revelled in the pastime, came again and with the rhino; the cigar-case is yours at again for letters, and was comic and goodtwo ten. What, you won't ? Well, you humoured; but I noticed he never was are a millionaire !"

charged any fee. There is an economy in "Oh, Mr. Duffy, we don't ask so much. thus being an agreeable cleric, and the We'll let this gentleman have the case for gigglings and blushings which attended a pound.”

his remarks showed how popular he was. There was great disgust when this offer Late in the day arrived a reinforcement, was declined; however, I was allowed to consisting of three or four officers from the depart on taking a ticket for the cushion, detachment quartered close by, who had been implored and cajoled by Mrs. Towler Lonely among the sand-hills.

Lonely where'er I be, into attending. The sensation produced

Oh vainly boasted power of song! by these warriors was indescribable. They In my bitter need it can but prolong were followed with adoration, but they

The dirge of the desolate sea. would have nothing to do with the postoffice, or the fair post-mistress. In fact, I heard one of the party dismiss the sugges

A TALE OF TOLEDO. tion with a sotto voce “rot !"-a word, I believe, of military slang, signifying ab- Never in all Spain was there so fascinathorrence and disgust. But the popular ing a gentleman as the young Andalusian, feeling in their favour was changed into Don Juan de Aguilar. To express his something like execration when it was dis- power over hearts, the phrase "look and covered that the military gentlemen de- die” would be altogether inadequate ; for voted themselves to the stall of the showy the noblest ladies became desperately enbut low-born Mrs. Whelply - disdaining amoured of him without having seen him what they called “old Mother Towler's' at all, a mere description of his perfecshow, with its episcopal attraction—and tions sufficing to kindle the most ardent that from this lady they bought many passion. His command of courtly language cushions, dolls, and handscreens. Nay, was alone sufficient to render him irrehorror ! a young lady tout reported to Mrs. sistible, without the attraction of his person, Towler and the committee that the odious since there was not a tongue that had a Mrs. Whelply had consented to a proposal greater command over those pretty conmade by one of the young


ceits that were so much in vogue in the “I'll give you a sov., Mrs. Whelply, for days of Philip the Third, than that of Don a cigar, if you promise to bite the end off.” Juan de Aguilar. Moreover, he was so

Why, this was sheer impropriety! The perfect a caballero, his fine sense of honour woman would contaminate our young girls! and his consciousness of lofty lineage were What could you expect ?--the woman had so plainly indicated by his features and been a scheming governess.

his general bearing, that the proudest genSuch was the fancy fair at Mopetown. tlemen no sooner set eyes on him, than In the evening an auction was held of all they felt inclined to grasp his hand, and the unsold articles, which went little short solemnly vow eternal friendship. If the of the articles originally on sale. The description we have just given of Don Reverend Mr. Duffy officiated as salesman, Juan's qualities appears somewhat highly and convulsed everybody with his humour coloured, and if the sentiments expressed aud spirits. But this seemed to have been in the course of the following narrative the only result of his wit. Being held at seem somewhat constrained, it will be borne the Mopetown Rooms, the fancy fair, as a in mind that we are not speaking of modern matter of course, succumbed to the destiny Europe, but of Spain early in the seventhat attended that place of exhibition. teenth century, the period when the Spanish There was no pecuniary success—absolutely hidalgo combined an abandonment to the no profit.

dictates of a passionate nature with obedience to an extremely artificial code of

morality, after a fashion to which the AMONG THE SAND-HILLS. SILENCE among the sand-hills.

history of the world affords no parallel. Only the ceaseless roar,

Notwithstanding the great personal and The thundering roll of the sullen surge,

mental advantages of Don Juan, few would As lashed by the black north-easter's scourge, have envied him, when he stood one fine

It crashes upon the shore. Quiet among the sand-hills.

day on the heights of the Castel de San Only the sea-mews fly,

Cervantes, in the vicinity of Toledo. The Blending their shrill unceasing wail

reputation of his sister had been comWith the ominous sob of the rising gale,

promised by a noble who was studying at Flitting 'twixt sea and sky. Dreary among the sand-hills.

the university of Seville, and who had The great grey sweep of waves,

basely fled to Toledo after winning her As cold and as dull as the heavy sorrow,

affections. Accordingly, without loss of That seems from the scene new strength to borrow, To reckon the past's thick graves.

time, Don Juan, like a noble caballero, set Lonely among the sand-hills.

off from Seville in pursuit of the fugitive, In a helpless, hopeless woe,

whose blood, he was resolved, should wash While the wild birds cry and the wild winds moan,

out the stain on the family honour. When And the white surf creeps over sand and stone, And the great tides ebb and flow.

he had got as far as the castel, and paused

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