Imatges de pÓgina

and pricked him with their swords. After against the men of Bloomsbury, and rushed three or four such chases they returned to eastward to establish a religion of his own. the club and entertained their amiable The learned Whiston trying to dissuade friends with exaggerated narratives of Henley from leaving the Church of Eng. their adventures. The knocking down land, Henley warned him not to enter his the old watchmen in the Regent's time room in Newport Market at his peril. The seems quite a playful amusement after such orator preached his absurd sermons on Sun. ferocity.

days, and lectured on general subjects on In a chapel at the corner of Lincoln's Wednesdays and Fridays. He also wrote inn-fields, that harlequin preacher and pamphlets, satirised all public persons, and clever quack of Pope's time, Orator Henley, issued a weekly periodical called the Hypset up his “gilt tub.” Before this he had Doctor, for which Sir Robert Walpole, never wooed for three years the butchers of New- very scrupulous about the means he used, port Market.

Pope talks of Henley's is said to have subsidised him. The sub butchers, and in the Dunciad feathers him jects of this half-madman's sermons were with his poisoned arrows, every one sent eccentric enough. Among others, we find full and straight at the noisy impostor. discourses on Lot's Wife, What Language

Our Saviour will use on the Last Day, the Still break the benches, Henley, with thy strain, While Sherlock, Hare, and Gibson preach in vain ;

Tears of Magdalen, St. Paul's Cloak, and worthy thou of Egypt's wise abodes,

the Last Wills of the Patriarchs. He is de. A decent priest where monkeys were the gods ; But fate with butchers placed thy priestly stall,

scribed as leaping into the pulpit through a Meek modern faith to murder, hack, and maul.

sort of spring door, and falling to work with

hands, arms, legs, and head, all at once. The Hogarth, or one of his imitators, had his attack on the Essay of Man he answered by gird at Henley, introducing his sly leering a lecture on Whether Mr. Pope be a Man face at a christening; and in another place of Sense in one Argument—Whatever is, showing him mounted on a scaffold, with a is Right. On one occasion he filled his monkey by his side, perhaps in allusion to room with ladies by advertising an Oration Pope's lines.

on Marriage. He began by shaking his Orator Henley was the son of a Leices- head impudently at the fair audience, and tershire vicar, and had been well educated. telling them he was afraid they oftener On leaving Cambridge he returned home, came to church to get husbands than to opened a school, wrote a poem called Esther, hear the preacher. Another time he drew and began a Universal Grammar in ten together a crowd of shoemakers by anlanguages, before he yet knew his own. nouncing that he could teach a method of Driven from the country by some scandal, making shoes with extraordinary facility. he hurried to London, and for a short time The secret consisted, however, merely in did duty in a chapel in Bedford-row.cutting the tops off old boots. His imUnder the Earl of Macclesfield's patronage pudence, indeed, was boundless, and the he translated Pliny's Epistles and several butchers carried him through many scrapes, French works. Still restless and ambi- hustling away and threatening aggressive tious, Henley competed for a lectureship intruders. Once the government stretched in Bloomsbury, but the parishioners com- out a claw towards him, and he was, in plained that he threw himself about too 1745, cited before the Privy Council for much in the palpit. This drove the orator ridiculing Herring, the Archbishop of almost out of his senses, for “regular York, who had armed his clergy to face action” was what he considered the first the Pretender. Henley, vigorous, cool

, requisite for a great preacher.

with strong voice and strange gestures, Blockheads,” he shouted to the asto- baffled the lords, saying he thought there nished vestrymen, are you qualified to was no harm in cracking a joke on a red judge of the degree of action necessary for herring. “My lords, I must live.”. a preacher of God's Word ? Were you able "I don't see the necessity,” replied the to read, or had got sufficient sense, you sorry Earl of Chesterfield. knaves, to understand the renowned orator “That is a good thing,” said Henley, of antiquity, he would tell you almost the “ but it has been said before," and this only requisite of a public speaker was quelled the rising laugh. The man had action, action, ACTION. But I despise and some wit, for when accused of doing all defy you, provoco ad populum; the public for lucre, he replied sharply, "Well, some shall decide between us.

do nothing for it.” During one sermon So saying he cast the dust off his feet he publicly rebuked a Bloomsbury vestryman, whom he spied out among the undisguised begging as a means of extractaudience: “You see, sir,” he roared, ing halfpence from the lieges. “there are a few sensible persons in the Our two ladies are not long in being beworld who consider me as not totally un- sieged. The venders of cigar-lights and qualified for the office I have undertaken.” the purveyors of Echoes indeed allow them Henley, however, sometimes met his match, to pass undisturbed, but the others—the for once challenging two Oxford men, they proprietor of the fragmentary broom escame with such a strong escort of cudgels, pecially—are clamorous and pressing in that the butchers shunned the contest, and their attentions. Likely victims, no doubt, Henley stole away through the theatrical both these ladies, as far as appearances go. spring door. The orator used to boast that The elder of the two, a comfortable-looking no one dared answer his challenges, that personage, about sixty-five years old, has he could study twelve hours a day, and a kind and sensible face, with something of write three dissertations a week, without a nervous, anxious look about it, which forhelp.

bids the notion of a phlegmatic or crabbed In spite of his talent, and satire, and the nature. The younger looks pretty and patronage of the butchers, Orator Hen- good-natured, and is quite unable to reley gradually grew coarse and drunken, press a smile as the small urchin already and died in obscurity in 1756, aged sixty- alluded to runs in front of her and her comfour. It is reported that he died mad. He panion, sweeping vigorously right and left, left behind him six hundred manuscripts, as he scuttles along, without being at all which he valued at a guinea apiece, and influenced by the fact that there is nothing one hundred and fifty volumes of notes. whatever to sweep. The whole were sold for less than one “I really must give him something,” hundred pounds. The orator has gone, says

the younger lady. but the butchers still flourish. As Henley Her companion shook her head. “It once said, “One must live;" and people, sounds uncharitable and hard, I know," though they can perhaps do without oratory, she said, “but I do most earnestly beg that heresy, or satire, still require their chop and you won't.” steak.

" It seems so unkind,” urged the other; “look at his little bare feet on the ground.”

“What you give him—for I see there's HOW WE MAKE THIEVES. no hindering you-will not keep his feet

from the ground, my dear, of that you may Two ladies-an old and a young one, be very sure. Indeed, those bare feet are, walking at their ease along a certain I suspect, a part of his stock-in-trade.” fashionable thoroughfare in the extreme “I can't help it—and then he looks so west of the great metropolis, find them- delightfully impudent. Just this once, I selves suddenly in the midst of a small must.” gang of urchins, varying between the ages “Well, just this once, I suppose you of six and twelve years, and characterised must, especially as he has heard every by an almost inconceivable raggedness and word we are saying, and sees you getting squalor of “get up.” Perhaps among them out your purse; but when we get home -they number some half-dozen — they I'll tell you a story of something that hapmay boast five shoes, a cap and a half, and pened to myself, which will enable various detached portions of other articles understand how it happens that I am so of wearing apparel, no complete garment, hard-hearted, as I am sure you believe me however, being found in possession of any to be.” one of them. The professional engage- “ Time was, my dear,” the old lady ments of these youths are various. One or went on, when she and her companion two of them appear to have embarked their were afterwards seated at work in a comcapital in the match or cigar-light trade; fortable drawing-room at Kensingtonone is a purveyor of literary food, and has “time was, and that not so very long ago, a bundle of Echoes under his arm; another when I used to talk and feel very

much as carries a fragment of a broom, with which you do, thinking it harsh and unfeeling to he makes a great show of sweeping the turn a deaf ear to such an appeal as that path in front of any special wayfarer whom which we have just heard, and to which he happens to have selected as the recipient you have, in spite of my entreaties, reof his attentions. One or two have no sponded; but not very long ago something stock-in-trade at all, trusting to open and happened which I will tell you about, and

you to I was

which materially affected my views as to delightfully impudent. But the most requestions of this sort, and, indeed, as to markable thing about this small protégé of matters of sentiment generally.

mine was decidedly his hair. It was in a “Some years ago-fifteen or eighteen, I tangled mass all over his head, and not should

say, at least—I was living-an old very familiar with comb or brush, but it maid then, as I am now-in the immediate was of a colour so exceedingly rich and neighbourhood of Sloane-street.

uncommon that it was impossible not to be very much then what I am now. I was struck by its beauty. The artists who fond of the society of my friends, fond of were in the habit of coming to see me having things comfortable and neat about always used to rave about the child's hair, me, particular about my tea, much more saying that it was of that particular hue sentimental than I am now, rather ad- which is a modification of red without being dicted to routine, but very fairly happy, actually red, and which Titian and Gioras I believe a prodigious number of old gione loved to paint. I must confess that maids-when once they have made up their I believe that this Giorgione tint had a minds to accept the situation-are. I have great deal to do with my patronage of the said that I was living in the neighbourhood little rascal, and not only with mine, but of Sloane-street, and I confess I do not see with that of a great many ladies, old and why I should not state at once that the young both, who lived about the neighbourexact locality in which I had taken up my hood. abode was that queer, old-fashioned, in- “ All the time that I lived in Hans-place, consistent, half-secluded, half-frequented I used to pass this small urchin's crossing bit of the world which goes by the name two or three times a day, and generally, I of Hans-place. Not far from this parti- think, gave him something-any halfpence cular thoroughfare,' there was a certain I might have got in change from the tradescorner which I passed at least twice every people-or sometimes even a threepenny. day of my life, and sometimes much oftener, bit or a sixpence. Not unfrequently, too, and here, my dear, there used generally to I would direct the servants to give him be assembled a little group of street urchins, some broken victuals on the door-step, and very much like those from whom we have he was even, on one or two occasions, ad. just escaped, and who, like them, depended mitted inside the house to partake of a for a living on what is generally called good meal; but that was when I was popular benevolence. There were no Echoes making a picture of the Infant St. John to sell in those days, but there were matches the Baptist, for which I made him sit to and cigar-lights, and there were sometimes me, but which, somehow or other, I never horses to be held—much oftener for some could finish quite to my satisfaction. reason than seems to be the case now “ It was no doubt a bad thing for little and then there were omnibuses travelling Mike'—that was the name he went byup and down Sloane-street, alongside of when the time came for my breaking up which it was quite competent for these my abode in Hans-place. The move made little creatures to run, turning somersaults, a great change in all my arrangements, and and converting themselves temporarily into one difference which it caused was that I catharine-wheels, with a view of inducing rarely set eyes on my young St. John the those who were riding outside to fling any Baptist. At last I went abroad for a conloose coppers they might have to spare siderable time, and when I came back to into the road; besides which, it was always London, after being away the best part of possible to get hold of the stump of a broom, two years, I found that he had disappeared and pretend to sweep a crossing, like your altogether, and that nobody could tell me little friend just now.

anything about him. “Well, my dear, there was one special * You must suppose now, my dear, that little ragamuffin belonging to this gang a considerable time-some years, in fact, of which I have been speaking, of whom, went by. Of course it was not likely that whenever I went out, I used almost in such a lapse of time could take place variably to take some sort of notice. He without bringing about all sorts of changes, was a pretty little rascal, neatly and well both in the small events of my somewhat made, uncommonly nimble and active, with monotonous life, and in the opinions and bright mischievous blue eyes, and a face feelings to which these events gave birth. which we instinctively set down as belong. With regard to the first—the circumstances ing to the Irish type. In addition to all of my life during this interval-I need not which he was, as you said just now, 'most trouble you, more especially as they are in

I was

the main known to you already; while as policemen who stood about, in less time to the last—the changes of opinion which than it takes me to relate what happened. those circumstances brought about—I need “I need not tell you, who know me so only mention one: strong conviction, well, how much I was disturbed and aginamely, of the enormous importance of tated by this unpleasant affair. I was not training in very early life, and of the used to adventures, and this one might organisation of some system for the rescu- have upset anybody much more accustomed ing of young children from the bad in- to stirring incidents than I was. fluences to which, when left to go adrift in horribly upset, and should have given in the London streets, they must necessarily be altogether but for my nephew, who, howexposed. This impression was one which ever, could not stay with me. All he could every day's experience served to confirm do was to see me safely out of the crowd, and strengthen; and a certain incident, the after which he went off to attend to the telling of which will bring this narration to entering of the charge at the police station. a conclusion, was all that was wanting to When he came back I found, to my horror, convert strong impressions into absolute that it would be necessary for me, as well conviction.

as my nephew, to appear at the magistrate's One day, my dear, something less than court next day to give my evidence. a year ago, it was on the occasion of the “Now, if there is one thing that I dread queen's opening the Royal Albert Hall— more than another in this world, it is I left my sister's home at Brompton about coming forward in public and making eleven o'clock in the forenoon, intending myself conspicuous in any way whatsoever. to take my accustomed stroll in Kensing- That night I did not sleep a single wink ton Gardens. I was not alone, for my sailor for thinking what was in store for me, nephew, Sam, who happened to be in town and when I came down in the morning I for a short time, on leave from his ship at had almost made up my mind that I Devonport, had come out with me to smoke would let the whole thing pass and not his cigar, intending to give me the advan- appear to give evidence in the case at all. tage of his escort as far as the gates of If I had known what was coming I am the gardens. Our line of route from quite certain that I should have stopped Brompton lay along one of those great new away; but I didn't know, and when I thoroughfares which lie on each side of began to hint at my feelings at breakfast the Horticultural Gardens, and it very soon time, I was met by such a volley of argubrought us into the midst of the crowd ments from my sister and her son, that I which had assembled in the neighbourhood was fairly beaten at the first onslaught, of the Albert Hall, with a view of seeing and constrained to give in, and face what all that might be seen of the day's pageant was before me with what courage I might. from the road outside the amphitheatre. Both


sister and my nephew were very “ I have a great dread of a crowd, and strong on its being a public duty, this that as soon as I saw we were becoming in- I had to perform, and both said that if I volved in one, was for turning back, but neglected it, I should be guilty of nothing my nephew would not hear of it, and less than a gross offence against the public, pledged himself to bring me through it and I don't know what besides. I have safely, and so he did, as far as my personal always felt that I have been much too insecurity was concerned.

different about what are called public mat"Well, my dear, we had not been long ters, public losses, public gains, public fighting our way through the mob—for it rejoicings, and so on, limiting my interest was nothing less—when, just as all eyes too much to my own small circle and its were directed to the Queen’s carriage, belongings, so now I thought to myself that which was passing at the moment, I felt a I was going to suffer for my selfishness, and distinct tug at my watch-chain, and look that here was an opportunity of making ing round saw a very ill-looking fellow, who amends in a sort of way. I didn't like had been standing close beside me, making the prospect before me a bit better after off with my watch in his hand. The coming to this conclusion, I must confess. involuntary exclamation which burst from “How any one is got to accept the post me attracted my nephew's attention, and of magistrate, and to sit in a police court he, catching sight of the thief almost at all day long examining into the dreadful the same moment that I did, dashed off cases which come up for trial, is more than after him, and had collared him, and I am able to conceive. There were one handed him over to one of the numerous or two other cases to be disposed of before mine came on, and my heart positively cumstance, and that was, that whoever ached as I sat and listened to the miserable was speaking – whether the magistrate details of paltry roguery, and cheating, questioning the witnesses, or my nephew and theft, and at the wretched aspect of asserting the prisoner's identity, or the the half-developed, imperfect creatures who policeman describing how he had taken were implicated in them. Poor, servile, the charge—this repulsive-looking fellow degraded wretches, what could be expected throughout kept his eyes fixed on me, and of beings who really, for the most part, on me alone, and never took them off me seemed hardly a degree removed from the to look at any other person whatever. I condition of the lowest specimens of the suffered a good deal under this scrutiny, brute creation ?

and once or twice was on the point of in“By the time my case was called on quiring what it could possibly mean, but I I was reduced to a condition of the very abstained from doing so, from that dread lowest despondency by all that I had seen of publicity which I have already spoken and heard, and felt more thar ever the wish of, and which caused me to shrink from that it might have been possible for me to drawing on myself any larger share of have evaded, by any means in the world, public attention than fell to me inevitably this dreadful public duty which was being in consequence of my unenviably prominent forced upon me.

Oh, dear! Here was I position. actually going to appear against one of “ These being my feelings, it may be those miserable creatures for whom I had imagined in some degree what my sensabeen feeling so much compunction. Was tions were when the prisoner, after being there no way out of it?

fully committed for trial, just as he was “None. There was my culprit-even about to be removed from the dock, turned while the thought was in my mind-being round towards the magistrate, and said, in shuffled into the place just vacated by a a loud and distinct voice, "If you please, wretched woman who had got her “three your worship, I've something I want to months” for shop-lifting. There he was, say before I go something to say to that and here I was, and the ordeal must be lady as has just gave her evidence against gone through. He was a very ill-looking me,' and he pointed with his hand to the fellow, of, I should say, about thirty years place where I was standing. of age, and distinguished by a certain hang- « « To that lady?' said the magistrate. dog aspect, which seemed to pervade him What can you possibly have to say to her?' from head to foot. A big, powerful, sturdy Yon have heard her evidence, and you can't man, with large, blue eyes, somewhat gainsay it, can you ?' evasive, but quite the best part of him, and • I don't want for to gainsay it,' the hair of a peculiar reddish hue, which re- man answered; but what I do want for minded me of—of something that had hap- to say is that she,' and he pointed at me pened long ago, but what it was I could not again, and the like of she, have helped to define or remember. The case was a very bring me to this here condition, and have simple one, only too simple, in short. I brought me to it, too, as sure as you're a had seen the prisoner snatch at my chain, sitting there upon the bench and I'm a and my nephew had caught him with the standing in this here dock.' watch in his hand. As to the question of “ Is the prisoner known to yon, madam? identity there was, unhappily, no doubt. I said the magistrate, addressing me. was eagerly on the look-out for any loop- “I looked at the man more attentively hole of escape that might suggest itself, than I had done before, but could not get but I could find none. It was not possible hold of anything stronger than a faint sug. for me to help admitting that I was able to gestion that something about him dimly identify the prisoner, and as to my nephew, called to mind some bygone memory of his conviction amounted to positive cer- past days. tainty. He would know him by his hair, "It is barely possible,' I replied after Sam said, if by nothing else, and could a pause, that I may have seen him before, swear to him anywhere on the strength of but even if I have I cannot say when or its peculiar colour. His hair_where was where, nor under what circumstances.' it that I had seen hair like that? What “Seen me before, the man broke out. was it that it reminded me of ?

Seen me before. I should rayther think “Now, all the time that the examination you had seen me before. What, don't you of the prisoner was going on, I could not remember the little cove that used to sell help being particularly struck by one cir- matches and sweep the crossing at the

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