Imatges de pÓgina

he mentioned as “likely lots” to his com- manned, or officered, and have known no panion, I imagined him to be a timber other water than that mixture of fresh merchant. But the very next day, en- Tamar and salt sea, which forms the Hacountering him in the train, bearing in his moaze anchorage. Now through the Salthand a shining wooden box, which looked as ash viaduct (which, crossing the Tamar, if it contained an accordion, and noticing carries the rail way, at a height of one that whenever the train stopped at a station hundred feet above the water, from the mysterious-looking men with their fustian hills of Devon to the hills of Cornwall, trousers strapped up round their knees, which is three hundred feet longer than and with acres of red clay upon their the far-famed Britannia Tube, and pleaheavy boots, came up and held whispered santer, in the fact that its sides are open, communication with him, I changed my giving one a view of the broad winding idea, and finally discovered that he was a river, and the lovely scenery on its banks); superior employé in the out-door service past Saltash village, straggling up the cliff, of the Telegraph Department, clear-headed, with its irregular succession of fishermen's active, and intelligent, as that service de- whitewashed cottages, reaching from the mands. Let me try to recal one of those shore below to the railway above; now pleasant trips, undertaken in Mr. Cumber- thundering over the dangerous-looking land's company, amongst the great barren wooden viaducts, which are so numerous moors, green headlands, red cliffs, and on this line, past St. Germans, erst the shining blue seas, in the lovely West of home of Sir John Eliot, Hampden's friend, England.

and the subject of Mr. Forster's admirable It is eight o'clock on a bright morning biography, past Menheniot, where we get in the early days of May, and I am seated the first sound of a true Cornish name, and in the Cornwall train under the wretched so on to Liskeard. We have no chance shed which does duty for a terminal station now for a divergence to Looe, prettiest at Plymouth. The engine has its steam up, and quaintest of unspoiled seaside villages, the guards are rushing to and fro, slamming where the fishers dwell in their primitive the doors, and I am becoming very anxious simplicity, even though on the way we about Mr. Cumberland, when that worthy should be enabled to visit the Well of St. slips into the station and takes his seat be- Keyne, the miraculous powers of whose side me just as the wheels begin to revolve. waters in awarding supremacy in conjugal Business enters but little into our projects disputes are celebrated in Southey's wellfor this day, at least so far as I am con- known ballad. No time to stop at Doublecerned, though I notice that throughout bois (a name which, pronounced by the our progress, wherever a telegraph wire or porters“ Double boys," brings pathetic repost is to be seen, Mr. Cumberland's quick miniscences to the parents of male twins); eye is roving in their direction, and from no time to catch more than a fleeting glimpse time to time he makes little entries in his of the lovely tower and spire of Lostnote-book. We are bound for the little withiel Church-unique in its beauty, or Cornish town of Helston, where, from time of the broad sands and breaking waves immemorial, high festival has been held on just visible as we flit by Par; no time to the 8th of May, and quaint old rites per visit the Fowey Consolidated Mines, whose formed, at the celebration of which we enormous works rear their great crosshave determined to be present. We have, trees within our sight, and whose " tickethowever, rather a long journey to make, ings” are quoted weekly in the London and our way lies through some of the journals. Villa residences dotted here and most beautiful and interesting portions of there, so different in their smug gentility the county. Past Devonport, where our from the grand old country seats which third-class is boarded by a number of we have occasionally seen in the distance soldiers and sailors, some holiday-making, on our route, proclaim our approach to some changing their stations, and where the outskirts of a large town, and soon we get a fine view of the Hamoaze, where we see lying beneath us the church-tower lie, rotting and useless, and representing and the handsome public buildings, and many hundreds of thousands of pounds, the hilly streets of Truro. Here we leave some fifty of the wooden walls of Old our carriage, which proceeds to Penzance, England, many of which were being built and enter another train bound for Fal

. when the iron walls of Old England sud- mouth. In it, however, we go no further denly came into fashion, and consequently than the next station, Penryn, where Mr. have never been finished, never rigged, Cumberland bids me alight, disappearing


himself immediately afterwards, as he we reached the opposite eminence, whence mutters something relative to a glass of we have a long level stretch into the heart bitter.”

of the country, I am too much occupied At the little Penryn station there are with the lovely view of Falmouth harbour, several conveyances, public and private, lying as it were immediately below us, to for the transport of passengers to Helston, pay any further attention to the ill-timed which is some seven miles off; farmers' chatter. Mr. Cumberland, who, as he himgigs, roomy, rumbling vehicles, never now, self says, “has poled and wired every mile seen in more civilized places, a smart dog- of the county,” is an excellent guide, pointcart, into which jump two well-dressed, ing out every interesting place, and being good-looking young men, who have been admirably stocked with local stories and trathe subjects of much salutation from the ditions. From him I learn that, according to bystanders, and a stage-coach with three the popular legend, Helston owes its name horses harnessed unicorn fashion, on which to a huge block of granite, which was less we take our seats. “Davey's” coach is than a century ago to be seen in the courtwell known in these parts, and has always yard at the Angel Inn, but which about a fair complement of passengers, but to that time was broken up and used as part day its load is excessive. I on the seat of the building material of the assemblybehind the driver and between Mr. Cum- room then erected. This stone the country berland and a youth who has a day's folk believe originally lay at the mouth of holiday from his private tutor, and who hell, whence it was one day carried away takes care to let us know the fact, as by the devil, who intended to put it to though it gave him dignity and status. some diabolical use. But as his satanic He is smoking a very nasty cigar, and majesty was crossing the county of Corndelighting in the conversation of the pas- wall

, he was encountered by St. Michael, senger on the other side of him, a recruiting the guardian saint of the town. A fight sergeant of dragoons, a bumptious, swag- ensued, in which the devil being defeated, gering varlet, with his hair flattened with took to his heels or wings, and dropped grease to his head, and his great coarse the hell - stone in his fight. In commoustache waxed and lacquered. He is memoration of this event the inhabitants an Irishman, but tries desperately hard instituted the festival at which we to disguise his brogue, and the stories of about to assist, the Floral, or Furry Day, experiences in life which he pours into the which, whatever its origin, has ear of the silly boy so eagerly listening to doubtedly, from time immemorial, been them, were not of the “ battles, sieges, held on the 8th of May. With edifying fortunes, he had passed,”_but of the gravity Mr. Cumberland requests me on delights of dissipation in Knightsbridge no account to let it be known to any of Music Hall and Aldershot canteens, and the inhabitants that our visit has relation Portsmouth dancing-houses. He has but to business of any kind, inasmuch that, a poor opinion of the service in which he is according to custom, any person who can engaged, and speaks of it disparagingly, be detected at work on Furry Day is but he leers horribly as he mentions the instantly seized and carried astride upon fascination which the uniform has for a pole to the river, into which, if he does women, and the vicious laziness of his not buy his release at a pretty liberal life. He has, it appears, great hopes of price, he is forthwith flung. Indeed, accordensnaring some of the bumpkins who will ing to Mr. Cumberland, the pleasure inbe present at the Helston festivities; pro- dulged in by the Helstonians is in itself bably his expectations are not ill-founded, quite enough labour for that day at least. as the country people, who are our fellow- The fun commences at nine o'clock, when passengers, are perpetually staring at this they assemble at the grammar school and blustering hero with evident wonder and demand their prescriptive holiday. Then, admiration.

a general subscription having been made This military gasconade is not com- to defray the expenses, they proceed into menced until we have reached the foot of the the fields and woods, whence they return steep and winding hill, in driving his horses laden with armfuls of flowers and branches down which the hard-featured coachman of trees. ""What do they do then ?” I ask, had to exercise no little skill and caution but Mr. Cumberland, laughingly declines to (indeed, during the descent I noticed the state. I must see that with my own eyes, hero clinging very tightly to the iron rail he says, and he will not by any description against which he sat), and by the time anticipate my amusement. Besides, even



if he agrees to tell me, there is no time, as which are, to say the least of them, curious. we are there.

Notably eccentric is the drummer, who, Garlands of flowers festooned across the round his volunteer uniform cap, had road, flags flying from nearly every win- twined an enormous wreath of flowers, dow, shops all closed, main street so which hangs gracefully over his face, thus crammed with folks in holiday clothes, rendering him a pleasing combination of that it is with great difficulty we can get Mars and Flora. ap to the Angel door, bells ringing, general As soon as the notes of the “Furry" glee, happiness, and perspiration---these are tune (a well-known Cornish air heard what I find at Helston. The last item is, constantly throughout the county, and to I notice, most profuse in a certain number be found in Mr. Chappell's collection of of people of both sexes, and of all ages, Ancient English Melodies) are heard, the who are the recipients of great attention bystanders gravely take their partners, from their fellow townspeople. I am and commence dancing a step, which is about to inquire what these worthies may half jig, half polka. In amazement I see have been doing, but all I can see of Mr. grey-whiskered men in black broadcloth Cumberland is the end of his coat-skirt whirling round with girls in book-muslin, vanishing into the Angel, where, following and stout matrons clinging desperately to in hot pursuit, I find him perfectly at tall, weedy boys. All sorts and condihome. The hall and passages are cram

ammed, tions join the throng; the Cornish taranthe coffee-room and commercial-room are tula has bitten them, and they are off! overflowing, thirsty men, clamorous for Preceded by the band, the drunken liquor, are wedged on the stairs, or cling- drummer banging at his instrnment with ing like bees to the balustrades; but Mr. the heartiest goodwill, and having the Cumberland has calmly made his way to way cleared for them by a fussy old the inner bar, and there is seated, smiling policeman, the long procession dances and happy, with a glass of bitter” by his down the passage of the Angel into the side. He knows Mrs. Bennett, of course main street. Then in at the side door (what tourist wandering through the of the next house, through the back Lizard district does not know and respect parlour, the furniture of which has been that queen of old-fashioned landladies, in heaped up on one side to permit of their whose hotel the acme of cleanliness and progress, down the centre of the shop, and comfort is to be found ?); he knows the out into the street again! This goes on four or five bouncing, cherry-cheeked wai- through countless houses, and through tresses in their clean

and smart


whole streets. Whenever the head of the who laugh and say “ La, now !” as he ad- procession emerges it is received with roars dresses them each by their christian name; of delight; whenever the tail of the prohe knows commercial who travels in cession disappears it is followed by nucider and another who travels in hides; he merous adherents, who join on, and begin has a pleasant word for every one, and dancing too. The “Furry" tune is quaint makes himself so agreeable that he manages and provocative in its melody; its effects to find a place for me by his side without on Nr. Cumberland, coupled, perhaps, evoking any discontent.

with those of the various "glasses of I am in the midst of my luncheon, when bitter,” are such, that to my alarm and asI hear a few notes played by a band ont tonishment, he forthwith announces his side, and one of the extremely warm intention of “having a turn,” and casts gentlemen whom I had previously noticed, his eyes round among the assembled a little man in spectacles, with damp maidens, in search of one with whom to whiskers and shirt-collar, rushes into the share the pleasures of the dance. It is bar, calling ont, “Second round! Take only by pointing out to him the loss of your partners, we are starting for the official dignity which he must inevitably second round.” At this invitation every- snstain, the impossibility of doing business body jumps up with alacrity, and rushes the next day with a man who, twenty-four into the outer court, where, following them, hours previously had seen him capering I find the volunteer band, whose music Í to the music of an intoxicated band, that I had previously heard. Looking at the can induce him to refrain, and even then band it strikes me that I am not the only he wags his head, and beats time with his person who has been lunching. There is feet, and follows the dancers, cheering them a redness in the faces of its members, and to the echo. a wild vigour in their style of playing, There are three or four of these "ronnds" during the day, during the course of which pographer counts up in the metropolis no nearly all the houses in the town, freely fewer than one hundred and eighty streets thrown open, are steadily danced through. which bear this appellation which has long Nor does the terpsichorean mania there ago become a misnomer. Newgate is not end; for, as I understand, about nine in very new now, for it has been a prison the evening, the better classes of the towns- since King John's time.

The present people meet in the ball-room of the Angel, building dates back to a year after the Gorand dance away until dawn. These rites, don riots, and four of the allegorical figures however, are not for me, nor, indeed, for that adorn its south front are as old as 1672. Mr. Cumberland, who, in the midst of all It was originally the fifth of the seven gates his pleasure, is mindful of business, and of London Wall, and was erected, according remembers that he has to be up betimes to Stow, in the reign of Henry the First, the next day. So we once again climb on or Stephen, when St. Paul's was rebuilding, to Davey's coach, and through the sweet and the highway from Aldgate and Cheap spring evening air are carried back to to Ludgate was stopped up. It was repaired Penryn, taking with us into the rattling in 1422 by the executors of the famous train a pleasant reminiscence of the quaint Whittington, lord mayor, and on that celebration at which we have assisted, and account the figure of Liberty which used of the lovely appearance of Falmouth har- to adorn the building had a cat at its feet. bour, bathed in the moonlight, which we It was large enough for its purpose in 1672, caught a glimpse of ere we were borne when it was rebuilt; but London vice and away by the steam dragon.

crime soon out-grew the prison, and the

result was such a crowding of felons that THE PASSING BELL.

at once produced disorder and immorality,

and disease and death followed remorseThe mist creeps upward from the shadowy vale, The mist hangs thickly o'er the little town, lessly as ever on their track. The ventilaThe swollen river stirs its willows pale,

tion was bad, the water insufficient, and The swollen rill foams murky from the down. The heavy drops upon the cold winds float,

the room altogether inadequate. In his eviThe long gray grasses rustle in the dell,

dence before the House of Commons, Mr. And from the minster towers, note by note, Akerman, one of the keepers of Newgate, Booms the deep echo of the Passing Bell.

stated that, independently of great morThe Passing Bell, it wont of old to say, “Pray for the parting soul, ye Christians all."

tality among the prisoners, nearly two The eager traveller paused upon his way,

sets of turnkeys had died of jail-fever The busy peasant let his mattock fall.

since he had been in office; and that at The loiterer crossed his brow and hushed his jest, The laughing child laid by his latest toy,

the memorable spring sessions in 1750, The solemn summons thrilling, every breast, two of the judges, the lord mayor, several Waking to prayer, love, business, grief, and joy.

of the jury, and others, to the number of Advancing years our ancient customs steal, We toll the bell when all is over now,

sixty persons and upwards, had died of When our stern truthful creed no late appeal,

the Newgate jail-distemper. The result Against our God's great dictum can allow. was, that a new building was proposed by But human agony, but human loss, For the tree fallen, for the darling gone,

George Dance, the architect of the ManBut nature's cry beneath the bitter cross,

sion House; and on the 31st of May, Wails in the Passing Bell's funereal tone. 1770, Alderman Beckford laid the first Thy wild wet dawn, oh year so newly born,

stone. Thy days by fever's lurid lustre lit,

The work evidently went on but slowly, Thy nights of sobbing rain and winds forlorn, Well does the dirge thy gloomy mood befit !

for in 1780, when the old prison was burnt Pass thou-let winter hear the sad earth's prayers,

by the Gordon rioters, the new prison was Come to thy throne usurped, gay glittering frost; not yet completed. The building was And crisp dead leaves on fresh north breezes tossed. then pushed on; and in 1783, Tyburn was

abandoned, and the first execution took CHRONICLES OF LONDON

place before the walls of Newgate.

The jail-birds that have rubbed their STREETS.

hideous faces against Newgate bars, have

not been remarkable for the milder virtues. There is nothing that more strikingly | The mere burglar shone a saint among proves the atter want of imagination in such villanous murderers and highwaythe ordinary run of people than the habit men as Jerry Abershaw and Blueskin, in cities of naming a street, terrace, or Galloping Dick and Sarah Malcolm; but square “ New :" por are Londoners more still the prison has held good men with imaginative than others. Some recent to- large hearts and pure hands, for Penn



thought over Christian charity in New- garret window, and stole softly downgate, and De Foe wrote there brave words stairs—a woman of the house hearing against tyranny and intolerance.

his irons clink, but thinking it was the The first great instance of prison-break- cat—and let himself out. Just after ing from Newgate occurred in 1724, when twelve he passed by the watch-house of the escapes of that nimble thief, Jack St. Sepulchre, and going up Gray'sSheppard, were for a time the talk of all inn-lane, hid himself in a cow-house London. On August the 30th, in that in the fields near Tottenham-court. The year, Sheppard and Blueskin were next day he bribed a shoemaker with tenced to death for stealing cloth from a twenty shillings to procure him a smith's Mr. Kneebone, a draper in the Strand, hammer and punch, and he then got rid who had apprenticed Sheppard. Nimble of his irons. A few nights after he broke Jack first broke off the spike from a hatch into a pawnbroker's shop in Drury-lane, in the lodge at Newgate, leading from the stole a sword, some coats, snuff-boxes, condemned hole, and by the assistance of rings, and watches, and rigged himself out two women who came to see him at the in wig, ruffled shirt, silver-hilted sword, hatch, was pulled through, and so escaped. diamond ring, and gold watch. That On being retaken at Finchley, where he was same night, getting drunk, he was retaken hiding, the jailers threw the quick-eyed and thrown into Newgate. Sir James young thief into a strong room called the Thornhill, Hogarth's father-in-law, painted Castle, handcuffed him, loaded him with a his portrait in prison; and he was hung heavy pair of irons, and chained him to at Tyburn on the 16th of November, in a stout staple in the floor. People of all the twenty-third year of his age. An ranks came to see him, and all gave him opera and a farce were founded upon his money, but extreme care was taken that adventures, and allusions to him were no one should pass him a chisel or file. / made by several City preachers of the day. One quiet afternoon, when the keepers were Of the state of Newgate in 1744 we busy at the sessions, Jack went to work. have a very interesting record in the anHe had already found a small nail, with tobiography of that most excellent selfwhich he could unfasten his chain from denying man, Silas Told, one of Wesley's the floor. He then slipped off his hand school teachers. His narrative shows us cuffs, and then fastened up his fetters as what vast good was effected by the Weshigh as he could with his garters. In leyan missionaries in a corrupt city, at a getting up the chimney, being stopped by time when our Church was rich and fat as an iron bar, he worked it out with a piece it was lazy and intolerant. A sermon by of his broken chain; with this weapon he Wesley, on the text, “I was sick and in soon forced his way into the Red Room prison, and ye visited me not," struck like over the Castle, and there found a large an arrow in the conscience of Told, and nail, which was in the highest degree use- the faint whisper of the inner voice roused ful to him. The Red Room door had not him as if it had been a thunder-call from been opened for seven years; but Jack heaven. He felt it was his duty to visit wrenched off the lock in less than seven prisoners; and, a few days after, a mesminutes, and got into the passage leading senger came to the school, begging that to the chapel. To force a bolted door here, some one might be sent to visit ten malehe broke a hole through the wall, and so factors then under sentence of death. In pushed back the bolt; with an iron spike the Wesleyan language, “they were all from the chapel door he got into an entry much awakened ; one of them, named John between the chapel and the lower leads. Lancaster, was converted, and appeared In the dark, Sheppard forced the box of full of the love of God." Told went to the lock of the door of this entry. The Newgate, and desired Lancaster to call his next door being also locked, he forced that companions together into his cell. They also. It was now eight o'clock; he now all “ seemed clear of their acceptance;" unbolted another door, and got over a and Lancaster said that “that morning, wall to the upper leads. He then boldly about four o'clock, his conversion had taken went back for his blanket, as he resolved place.” to alight on a turner's house adjoining Out of these ten men, the death-warrants Newgate. He made the blanket fast to came down for eight; the other two, wbo the wall of Newgate, and sliding down, remained hard and impenitent, were redropped on the turner's leads just as the spited. The night before their execution clock struck nine. He got in at a the keeper had been requested to lock them

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