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Full text of "Little Pedlington and the Pedlingtonians"

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LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



AND 



THE PEDLIMTONIANS. 



BT 



JOHN POOLE, ESQ. 

AUTHOR OP "PAUL PRY," **THK COMIC SKETCH-BOOK," BTC. 



** Mine own romantic town." — Scott. 



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PEEFAOE. 



Pope, in his Advertisement to the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, 
says : " Many will know their own pictures in it ; but I have, 
for the most part, spared their names, and they may escape being 
laughed at if they please." 

I cannot say so much for the record of my two visits to Little 
Pedlington : " many will know their own pictures in it," but that 
will be owing to no skill of mine in the art of portraiture, but 
simply to the circumstance of my having adopted the inexpert 
sign-painter's expedient, and named them outright. Having no 
motive for concealment, I have concealed nothing; and I here 
declare in the face of the whole world. Little Pedlington not 
excepted, that Hobbleday is Hobbleday ; Rummins, Rummins ; 
Daubson, Daubson ; Piat, Piat ; Strut, Strut ; Miss Cripps, Miss 
Cripps; Tippleton, Tippleton — and so of the rest. Had I 
fastidiously taken refuge in such poetical persomfications as 
Humbug, Quackery, Morbid Vanity, Cant, Puffery, Affectation, 
Unmitigated Selfishness, and others, the Pedlingtonians them- 
selves would have seen through the hollow device, and applied 
those abstractions with tolerable precision; whilst certain 
wicked-minded Londoners migVitlia\e dvs\.r^\x\.^^S)£i^^s^'assv^^^ 



IV PB.BPACB. 

their own acquaintance, each according to his fancy — a danger 
'particularly to he avoided, 

I am less anxious concerning incidents and events, which I 
have accurately narrated ; the habits and manners of the great 
mass of Little Pedlingtonians, and their amusements in public 
and private, which I have faithfully described j their Theatricals, 
sonie branches of their Literafture, and some portions of their 
Critical Press ; of all which I have treated largely, as becomes 
their importance, and exhibited many specimens for (as I trust) 
imitation ; — concerning all these I am less anxious : and should 
any ingenious reader choose to amuse himself by imagining 
parallels to them elsewhere, he is at perfect liberty to do so. 

Little Fedlington I first visited as long ago as July, 1835 ; and 
notes of that, and of a subsequent visit, were published, from 
time to time, between that period and January of the present 
year. Li arranging the papers for publication collectively, it 
became necessary to add, to alter, and to retract ; yet, notwith- 
standing great care in the work, I fear I have to apologize for 
some few trifling, though almost unavoidable, repetitions. 

Li the course of these volumes are so many allusions to the 
"Guide Book,"* that for the assistance of such readers as are 
unacquainted with it, and to whom, consequently, those allusions 
would be unintelligible, it has been deemed expedient that it 
should be inserted in the Introduction ; they, therefore, who, by 
its aid, or haply, by a visit to the place, are already familiar with 
the history and localities of Little Pedlington, will pardon its 
re-appearance in favour of those who are less fortunate. 



Once already re-pubhahedi in ** Sketches «n.d Bjooollections." 



PBETACIS. V 

Cant, Puffery, Humbug, and Quackery, words whicli I have 
already used, are, undoubtedly, very ugly words ; but, as is the 
case with some faces, their ugliness is fully redeemed by their 
expressiveness. The qualities which they represent I detected — 
must I confess it ? — even in Little Pedlington. I have taken the 
liberty to laugh at them. Should the reader laugh with me, I 
shall be satisfied. 

J. P. 



LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



AND 



THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 



INTEODIJCTION. 



Felix Hoppy, Esq., Master of tlie Ceremonies at Little 
Pedlington, has conferred npon the world in general, and upon 
me in particular, a never-sumciently-to-be-appreciated favour, by 
the publication of the Little Pedlington Guide. At the 
approach of the summer season, — that season when London (and 
smce the pacification of Europe, all England) is declared to be 
unendurable by all those who fancy that they shall be happier 
anywhere than where they happen to be, and who possess the 
means and the opportunity oi indulging in the experiment of 
change of place ; at the approach of that season, this present, I 
found myself, like Othello, " perplexed in the extreme." The 
self-proposed question, " And where shall I go this year ? " I 
could not answer in any way to my satisfaction. I nad visited, 
as I believed, every spot in Europe which celebrity, from some 
cause or other, had rendered attractive. I had climbed many 
thousands of feet up Mont Blanc, and stood on the very summit 
of Greenwich Hill; I had " swam on a gondola" at Venice, and 
" patienced " in a punt at Putney ; had found my way through 
the dark and tangled forests of Germany, and lost it in the 
Maze at Hampton Court ; bathed in the changing waters of the 
Rhone, and floundered in the consistent mud of Gravesend; 
beheld the fading glories of old Rome, and the rising splendours 
of New Kemp Town ; I had heard the Miserere performed in 
the Sistine Chapel, and the hundred-and-fourth psalm sung by 
the charity boys in Hampstead church ; I had seen the Raphaels 
at Plorence, the Correggios at Dresden, the Rembrandts at 
Rotterdam, and the camera-obscura at Margate ; I had tasted of 
caviare on the shores of the Black Sea, and of white-bait on the 
banks of Blackwall ; I had travelled on a Russian sledge and in 
a Brentford omnibus; I had been eveT^'w\\et^ i^^xa^-^^i — 
the boundarj of aU mj travelling pTo^ec\.s\ ^"cyaft ^-s^r^^^Kvxv^* 

B 



2 LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

seen everything, heard everything, and tasted of everything. 
Novelty and change of scene are the idle man's inducements to 
travel : for me there remained neither : I was — to use a melan- 
choly phrase I once heard feelingly uttered by a young nobleman 
who had not then attained his twentieth year — blase stir tout/ 
Still the unanswerable question recurred — "And where shall I 
go ^^w year?" 

As for the hundredth time I exclaimed, " And where shall I 
go this year ? " a packet was sent to me by my bookseller, who 
has a general order to supply me with all voyages, travels, 
journeys, tours, road-books, guides, and atlases, as soon as 
published. The parcel contained new editions of " Denham's 
Travels in Africa," of " Humboldt's in South America," and of 
" Parry's Voyages ;" together v^ith, just published, and almost 
wet from the press, " The Stranger's Guide through Little Ped- 
lington, by Eelix HQppy, Esq., M.C." Throwing aside the 
rest as unimportant to my present purpose, I, on the instant, 
perused this last. 

I was much pleased with the amiable understanding that 
seemed to exist between this and all other guide-books which I 
had ever consulted. It is but altering the name of the place in 
the title-page, as occasion may require, and the same book will 
carry you very creditably through every watering-place in 
England. You have in each a High Street, and a North Street, 
and a Crescent ; a parish church, a poor-house, and a charity 
school: the best supplied market in the kingdom; the most 
highly-talented apothecary in Europe ; the most learned parson 
in Christendom ; the most obliging circulatin^-library-keeper in 
the knovm world ; the most accommodating mistress of a board- 
ing-house in the universe ; and the most salubrious of climates, 
adapted to the cure of every imaginable disorder and to the. 
improvement of every possible constitution. It is true that the 
traidesmen recommended to you by one Guide-book are severally 
named Scarsnell, Larkins, and Simcoe, (the iown's-people 
usually consisting of ramifications of about three families ;) whilst 
by another you are referred to nothing but Tupfords, K/uffens, 
and Whiffnells. This certainly is a remarkable difference, but it 
is the only one which I could ever discover in these polite Cice- 
roni ; all other points, or, at least, nineteen out of every twenty, 
being notices of precisely the same things in precisely the same 
language, and the twentieth hardly ever worth the trouble of a 
dlstiuction. Bui here is Mr. Ho^p^'a \ — 



THE STRANGERS GUIDE 

THBOUGH 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON: 

COMPRISINO 

ITS HISTORY PROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO 

THE PRESENT TIME ; 

TOGETHER WITH AN ACCOUNT OV 

1 

|t» ginliqttities, €>nmBitm, ginmsjemeitts, ^romettaJrts, fe.j 

ALSO A DESCRIPTION OF ITS ENVIRONS. 

BY FELIX ia:OPPY, Esq. 

blaster of the Ceremonies, 

EMBELLISHED WITH FOUR ELEGANT ENGRAVINGS, OP THE PARISH 

rUMP, THE REV. JONATHAN JUBB, THE VALE OF HEALTH, 

AND THE EXTENSIVE NEW BURYING-GROUND. 



" Hail, Pkdlingtonia 1 Hail, thou favoured spot ! 
What's good is found in thee } what's not, is not. 
Peace crowns thy dwellings, Health protects thy fields. 
And Plenty all her cornucopia yields.'* 

Pedlinotonia : a Descriptive Poem by the Rev, J, Jubb, 



JAMES YAWKINS, LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

183—. 



4 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



HISTORY. 



I 



The Universal Deluge, which transformed the variegated and 
smiling face of our terrestrial globe into one unvaried and mono- 
tonous mass of the aqueous element, and which, in its ruthless and 
unpitying course, overwhelmed and swallowed up cities, empires,^ 
and nations, sparing neither the monarch's palace nor the peasant's * 
hut ; and which bowed down alike the gentle hill and the giant 
mountain, rooting up not only the tender plant of the garden, but - 
ako the mighty oak of the forest ; and which, unlike the genial 
and beneficial showers of spring, which beneficently fost^ the 
fruits of the earth for the use otman; but which, more like the 
raging cataract, converted our rolling planet into one wide, vast, 
waste of waters, disfigured also the fair spot on which now stands 
the town of Little Pedlington. 

But to descend to a later period. 

Little Pedlington (or, as it has at various times been written, 
Peddle-le-town, Peddle-in-town, Piddletown, Peddletown, and 
Peedletown), (it is now invariably called by its more euphonious 
appellation of Pedlington), is situated in the county of , at 

the distance of — miles from London. And here, reflecting on 
these successive changes, we cannot refrain from quoting that apt 
line of the Swan of Avon,* — 

" Each doth suffer a sea change." 

But to proceed. 

Of the extreme antiquity of this place there can be no doubt, 
for our ingenious townsman, Simcox Rummins, Esq., F.S.A., has 
clearly proved, in his learned and elaborate Essay on that subject 
(a few copies of which may still be obtained by an early applica- 
tion to Mr. Yawkins, Bookseller, Market Square), that the iden- 
tical ground on which the present town is built existed long prior 
to the invasion of Britain by Julius Csesar ! And, if SirtW ; 
proof were wanting, it might oe adduced in an ancient coin, dilg ! 
, up about thirty years ago by some workmen, who were employ^ ' 
in removing Hob's Pound, which formerly stood at the nortb- 
east corner of South Street, and of which the curious visitor may i 
still discover some faint traces. Of such antiquity is this precious 

^ * We need not inform our poetVc^A readw^ ^'b.\. \?ft ^Uuda to tho 
hk immortal ShakBpoaro. \ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 5 

relic, that one side of it is worn perfectly smooth, whilst, on the 
other, nothing more can be perceived than the almost impercep- 
tible outline of two heads, and these remains of the legend, which 
have baffled the attempts of the most profound antiquaries to 
determine to which epoch of Eoman greatness to refer it : 

GUL— US ET M— R— 

The sneers of a certain bookseller not a hundred miles from South 
Street, who has published what he calls a Pedlington Guide, and 
who describes the coin as nothing more than a WilSam-and-Mary's 
shilling, we treat with the contempt they deserve. It is in the 
possession of the eminent gentleman we have already mentioned, 
who, with his well-known liberality, is always happy to offer it to 
the inspection of intelligent visitors, who will know how to decide 
between the ignorant assertion of a Sn-gg-rst-n and the opinion of 
a E;Ummins ! 

During the Civil Wars between the rival houses of York and 
Lancaster, as well as in the later conflicts between Charles and 
the Parliament, indeed, in every case where courage and wisdom 
were called into action — 

*' that dissension should our land divide ! " 

Pedlingtonia. 

it doe^ not appear, from any positive record, that our tovm took 
any part ; — ^but who can doubt that it did ? " The fortifications," 
(see Unmmins,) " if any did ever exist, must long since have been 
demolished, for not the slightest traces of any are to be found. 
I must, however, except the ditch which traverses the north end 
of High Street, and which, although it now be dry, and so nar- 
row as to allow of one's stepping across it, must, if ever it had 
been a military work, have been so wide and deep as to be capable 
of containing a considerable quantity of water. Nor must 1 con- 
ceal the fact that, not many years ago, two sword-blades and a can- 
non-ball were therein discovered : these are now in my possession." 
The testimony of so impartial a vnriter to the prowess of the Ped- 
lingtonians cannot be too highly valued ; nor must their modesty 
recoil if we again quote the unrivalled poem from whence we have 
extracted our motto : — ' 

" Fair are thy daughters; and thy sons how brave I 
No Pedlivgtonian ^er will he a sla-ee. 
Friend to bis country, and his King*a'we\\-'m^«t, 
At Glory's caJJ he'll servo in tho mWitia. " 



6 LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

But it is only of late years that Little Pedliugton has assumed its 
present importance, and justified its claims to be ranked amongst 
those towns and cities which adorn and dignify the British em- 
pire ; and, if it yield the palm for extent and splendour to the 
metropolis of England,* it will confess itself second to no othar 
for antiquity, beauty, and salubrity ; nor need it fear to enter the 
lists in honourable competition with any, for the meed due to in- 
tellect and refinement, coasting, as it does, of possessing in its 
bosom a Rummins and a Juhh, a few copies of whose uhrivalled 
and truly classical Poem, called Pedlingtonia, descriptive of 
the beauties of the place, may still be had at Yawkins's Library, 
^ price 2^. with a plate, and for which an early application is ear- 
nestly recommended. 

"We have no hesitation in declaring it as our impartial opinion 
that, for classic purity of taste and style, nothing, since the cmys of 
'Pope, has appeared worthy of comparison with this Poem : it is truly 
Doric. Without intending to decry B-r-n, C-mpb-U, M — re, K-g-rs, 
or Sc-tt, we will venture to prophesy that this work will operate a 
reform in the public taste, bring back poetry to whaX it ought to be, ajid 
obtain for its author a deathless fame. We are proud to say it is 
the production of our highly-gifted Curate and townsman, the Bev. 
Jonathan Jubb." — See tJie Pedlington Weekly Observer, June 17th. 

THE TOWN. 

The entrance to Little Pedlington from the London road is by 
High Street, and presents to the astonished eye of the visitor an i 
aspect truly imposing ; nor will the first impression thus created | 
be easily obliterated from the "mind's eye."f On one side, after 
passing between two rows of well-grown elms, stands Minerva 
Mansion, a seminary for young ladies, kept by Miss Jubb, sister 
of the ilev. J. Jubb, \mder whose able supermtendence is Birch 
House, in the Crescent, a seminary for young gentlemen, the 
terms of both of which may be had at Yawkins's Library ; and 
on the other, the view is met by the Green Dragon Inn, kept by 
Mr. Scorewell, whose politeness and attention aie proverbial, ana 
where travellers may be sure of meeting with every accommodsp 
tion on very reasonable terms. 

Passing along, we come to East Street, West Street, North 
Street, and South Street, so named from the several directions 
thejr take (see Rummins), all converging into a focus, designated 

* London. "V ^^^akapeas^. 



' Ain) THB FBDUN&TONIANS. 



Market Square (now one of the fashionable promenades), the 
market having formerly been held on the identical spot now occu- 
pied bj the New Pump ; of which more in its proper place. 

But, if we are at a loss to which of these noble streets to give 
the preference, whether for regularity or cleanliness, in wbat terms 
shall we describe the Crescent ? Well may it be said, that English- 
men are prone to explore foreign countries ere yet they are ac- 
quainted with their own ; and many a one will talk ecstatically 
of the marble palaces of Venice and Herculaneum, who is ignorant 
of the beauties of Little Pedlington. The Crescent, then, is at 
the end of North Street, and is so called from the peculiarity of 
its form (we are again indebted to Rummins), it being somewhat 
in the shape of a half-moon. It consists of twenty-four houses, 
mansions we might say, uniformly built of bright red bricks, 
which, when the sun is full upon them, are of dazzling brilliancy. 
There are bow-windows to all the edifices ; and each having a light 
green door with a highly-polished brass knocker, three snow-white 
steps lorming the ascent, an effect is produced which to be ad- 
mired need only to be seen, and which, thougb some other places 
mayperhaps equal, none certainly can surpass. 

We cannot quit the Crescent without calling the attention of 
the literary pilgrim to the second house from the left-hand comer. 
No, 23. Tbekb lives Jubb ! 

^ A somothing inward tells me that my name 
May shine conspicuous in the rolls of Fame ; 
The traveller here his pensive brow may rub, 
And softly sigh, * Here dwelt the tuneful Jubb.*'* 

Pbdmnqtonia. 



THE BOARDING-HOUSES, LIBRARIES, PUBLIC 
AMUSEMENTS, ETC. 

iSroceed we now to matters which, albeit of less stirring in- 
terest^ axe yet not devoid of pleasure and ntUity. And first, to 
the • 

BOARDING-HOUSES. 

The principal Boarding-house is kept by Mrs. Stintum, and is 
delightfuUjr situated No. 17, Crescent. Tto ex^e-^^x^ ^^Xai^S^^- 
ment combines elegance with comfort, andiio\i\mv^ ^iasi^"iji^^^S5ft& 
oure and attention of the proprietresa to\iet ^<e«»\;5i,^V^ ^^^ss^^ 



8 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

under her fostering auspices all that their own homes would afford. 
This house is always thronged with the most elegant company. 

Mrs. Starvum's Boarding-house, which yields to none for com- 
fort, and which for elegance few can excel, is most beautifully 
situated No. 11, South Street. The attention and assiduity of 
Mrs. Starvum are proverbial. As none but the haut ton are re- 
ceived here, we need not add, that visitors will not find a defi- 
ciency in any of those comforts and conveniences which they 
have been accustomed to in their own houses. 

LIBRAKIES. 

Yawkins's Library, in Market Square, has long been known to 
the frequenters of Little Pedlington ; and, if an excellent collec- 
tion of books, urbanity, all the new publications, attention, all 
sorts of choice perfumery, tooth-brushes, dispatch in the execu- 
tion of orders, Tunbridge-ware, &c.,^&c., all at the most moderate 
prices, can claim the suffrages of the public, we have no hesita- 
tion in requesting their patronage of Mr. Yawkins. 

Nor should we be just in failing to recommend Snargate's 
long-established Library in High Street. Here vrill subscribers 
be lumished vrith both old and new publications with the utmost, 
readiness, and with a politeness highly creditable to the 
proprietor. And, if moderate charges for Tunbridge-ware, 
perfumery of the best quality, &c., &c., &c., are a desideratum, 
Mr. Snargate will be certain of an ample share of support. Here 
also is the Post-office. 

There is also (as we are told) a minor establishment in Market 
Street, kept by a person of the name of Sniggerston, the pub- 
lisher of a would-be Pedlington Guide. It would ill become tts to 
speak of the work itself, which abounds in errors of the grossest 
kind, and will be found altogether useless to the traveller ; but of 
the establishment we are bound in fairness to say, that nothing 
can be urged against it, as we are informed that it is lesorted to 
by some of the respectable teades-people of the town, and 
the PABMEES and country-polks on Market-days. 

THE THEATRE. 

From time immemorial the drama has been a chief source of 
amnsemeiki to the intellectual and the enlightened; nay, the 
Greeks and Romans patronized this iauocent refuge from the 
busy cares of life; and it is beyond dis^uW V\i^^ \X«»X.x^"& ^t-t<^\j^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIAKS. U 

be found in the kingdoms both of Kome and Atliens. No 
wonder is it, therefore, that Little Pedlington should languish 
for a fitting temple for the reception of Thalia and Melpomene ;* 
and that lawkins's timber-yard should be contemplated as a 
convenient site for its erection. Mr. Snargate, the architect, has 
already executed a plan for a theatre, which will, in every 
respect, be worthy of our town: we need say no more ; and 
Messrs. Yawkins, Snargate, and Co., our obliging bankers, have 
liberally consented to receive subscriptions for that purpose. 
At present, Mr. Strut's inimitable company, from Dunstable, 
perform in a commodious outhouse belonging to Mr. Sniggerston, 
the brewer, which is tastefully fitted up for the occasion. Ere 
long, however, we hope to receive the facetious Tippleton, the 
heart-rending Snoxell, and the versatile and incomparable Mrs. 
Biggleswade, in an edifice more becoming their high deserts. 

YAWKINS'S SKITTLE-GROUND. 

Nor should the lover of skittles and the fine arts fail to visit 
this place. On entering, he is astonished at beholding, at the 
further extremity, a Grenadier, with firelock and fixed bayonet, 
standing, as it were, sentry. " What ! " he involuntarily exclaims, 
"the military in these peaceful retreats!" But, on nearer 
approach, he discovers it to be— what ? — ^incredible as it may 
seem, nothing more than a painted canvass ! Such is the illusion 
of art ! Eor this unrivalled work we are indebted to the pencil 
of Mr. Daubson, portrait-painter, ISo. 6, West Sttfeet, where 
likenesses are taken in a superior style at five shillings to one 
guinea, and profiles done in one minute,, at only one shilling 
each. 

Yet, will it be believed ! a certain jealous body of artists, in 
London, refused to exhibit this production, now the pride of 
Little Pedlington ! Such is the force of jaundiced envy ! Well 
might our " tuneful Jubb" thunder out the satire, which, should 
it demolish them, it will be well for modest merit, like our 
Daubson's, and they will have no one to thank for it but 
themselves. 

** ' Where seek him * (cries th* astonish'd stranger here), 
' Who drew this ail-but breathing Grenadier ? ' — 
Not where, in academic pride, we see 
Sir David Wilkie and Sir Martin Shee, 



ThQ Groddesses of Tragedy au^i Com^^^' . 



10 LITTLE F1DLIK6T0H 

Briggs, PhiUijDS, Landseer, Pickersgill^ and^ yea ! 

Turner j and K. E. Reinagle, E.A. 

His works they hide in darksome nook^ while they 

Exhibit theirs in all the blaze of day ; 

His hang they high upon their highest wall^ - 

Or, such their envy i hang them, not at all. 

Stand forth, my Baubson, matchless and alone ! 

And to the world in general be it known 

That Pedlingtonia proud proclaims thee for her own ! 

Pedlingtonia. 



INNS. 



,..} 



Of the inns, we have already mentioned the Green Dragon. 
No way inferior to it for accommodation, civility, and reason- 
able charges, i^ Stintum's Golden Lion in East Street ; and 
truth compels us to pass the same encomium upon the Butterfly 
and Bullflnch, in Market Street, kept by Snargate. 

BATHS. 

That immersion in water, or, as it is commonly called, bathing, 
was practised, both for health and cleanliness, by the ancients, is 
clearly proved by the existence of baths in Rome, still bearing 
the names of the emperors for whose use they were constructed 
— emperors long since crumbled into dust ! But baths, properly 
so called, were reserved for the use only of the great ; the mid- 
dling and lower classes plunging (such is the opinion of our 
learned townsman, Rummins) into the liber * Our town, how- 
ever, can boast of two establishments, to which all classes may 
resort ; anfl if we hesitate to say that Mrs. Tawkins's hot and 
cold baths. No. 22, West Street, are unequalled for comfort and 
cleanliness, it is only because we must, m justice, admit, that 
nothinff can exceed the cleanliness and comfort to be found at 
the cold and hot baths kept by Widow Sniggerston, No. 14, 
Market Square. 

THE MARKET. 

The Market is in Market Street, which (as Rummins has in- 
geniously observed in his Antiquities of Little Fedlington^ a 
work which no traveller should be without) approj)riately derives 
its name from that circumstance. This edifice is well worthy 

* A river in B^me. 



AND TSE PEDLIN6TONIA17S. 11 

the inspection, of the curious. It is an oblong building, ioiih a 
roof, which effectually protects the various articles exposed for 
sale from the inclemencies of the weather. Formerly, the market 
was held in the open air, to the great inconvenience of both pur- 
chaser and vendor, as well as to the injury of property ; when it 
struck the intelligent mind of our townsman, Mr. Snargate, the 
builder Tto whose patriotic exertions we are indebted for the pre- 
sent edince), that an enclosed building would at once obviate all 
those inconveniences — an example which, we doubt not, will be 
followed in other parts of the kingdom. A subscription was 
soon raised for the purpose; and the Market of Little Ped- 
lin^ton now stands an eternal monument to his fame. Here are 
stalls for the sale of the finny tribe, the feathered creation, the 
produce of the earth, &c., &o., all separate from each other ; and 
in such abundance, and so reasonable, that, not onljr for occa- 
sional visitors, but for the continual residence of families, espe- 
cially of limited incomes, we sho\ild recommend this place as 
preferable to any other in England. 



CURIOSITIES, ETC. 

A few years ago, the Stocks, which bad stood, time imme- 
morial, at the church door, were removed, and the present Cage 
was substituted in their place. Mr, Bummins, however, with 
praiseworthy zeal, anxious to preserve a relic of the venerable 
machine which had confined the legs of so many generations of 
offenders, petitioned the competent authorities of the town for 
leave to place one of the sliding-boards in his collection of 
curiosities. This was granted ; and Mr. R. is always happy to 
exhibit this interesting fragment to respectable persons, between 
the honrs of twelve and two, on any Eriday during the season. 

The New Pump, which stands in the centre of Market Square, 
is an elegant and conspicuous object, as seen from the further 
end of any of the four leading streets ; but it wiU amply repay 
the curious for a close and attentive inspection. It is composed 
entirely of cast iron, its predecessor having been merely of wood : 
such IS the progress of luxury and civilization ! It is in the 
form of an obelisk, or nearly so, on the top of which is a small 
figure of Neptune brandishing his trident, the attitude of which 
is much admired. The spout represents a lion's month ; and the 
effect, as the water flows from it, is aa ^\Gas«v"^ ^^s^Sx.Ss^^'S^^ 
piiate. The handle is in the iOrxa o^ a ^o\^x^^ \tt^— ^"^si.^ 



12 LITTLE TEDLINGTON 

emblem ! On the front, towards South Street, is the following 
inscription, for which wc are indebted to the classical pen of 
Mr. Rnmmins: — 

"THIS PUMP, 

THE OLD ONE BEING WORN OUT, 

ON THE IST OP APRIL, 1829, 

WAS PLACED WHERE IT NOW STANDS 

AT THE EXPENSE OP THE PARISH OP LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

THOMAS YAWKINS, CHURCHWARDEN, 

HENRY SNARGATE, OVERSEER." 

To the disgrace of human nature, we regret to add, that, 
shortly after its erection, the ladle which was suspended to it, 
that " the thirsty might drink," was stolen by some monster in 
human form ! ! This circumstance gave rise to dissensions 
which disturbed the town for many months, one party support- 
ing the motion for a new ladle, the other as warmly opposing it. 
We rejoice to say, however (for we make no secret of our opi- 
nions on that subject), that a new ladle, with a strong double 
chain, was affixed to the pump, and that all rancorous party- 
feeling is fast subsiding, notwithstanding the efforts of a certain 
publisher of a certain Guide to prolong it. The robbery is finely 
and indignantly alluded to by Mr. Jubb, in his galling satire on a 
certain magistrate who opposed the restoration : — 

*' I'd rather be, than such a thing as Cr*mp, 
The wretch that stole the ladle from the pump." 

THE ENVIRONS. 

Having conducted the stranger through the town, we will now 
lead him to its environs, and point out those spots most worthy 
of a morning's drive or walk. And first to the Vale of Health. 

There is, perhaps, no place in Europe which can boast of so 
salubrious an air as Pedlington. Such, indeed, is the declared 
opinion of those eminent sons of Esculapius, Drs. Drench and 
Drainum, of this town. But the Vale of Health is paramount ; 
and for invalids suffering from asthma, fits, tooth-ache, indigestion, 
coms^ weakness of sight, gout, and other disorders of the same 
class, no other spot can be so safely recomiaended. It is most 
deJjght fully and conveniently situated neaic t\xft u'e.^ ^\A ^-i^^ciivi^ 



\ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 13 

Burying-ground (the old churchyard having long been full) which 
was planned by Doctors D. and D., who had the honour of laying 
the nrst stone of the entrance-gate, and is distant little more than 
a quarter of a mile from the town. 

Nor should any lover of the picturesque leave us without 
visiting Snapshank Hill. There is no carriage-road to it ; and, 
the path being broken and uneven, full of holes and ruts, con- 
sequently not altogether safe for horses, we would recommend a 
pedestrian excursion, as by far the most agreeable. It is exactly 
five miles distant from the Pump in Market Square, and the 
path is for the whole of the way a tolerably steep ascent. On 
arriving at the summit of the hill, a scene presents itself whicb 
the world cannot equal. But, since prose is too tame to do 
justice to it, we must borrow the exquisite description by our 
poet : — 

" liO, Snapshnnk Hill ! thy steep ascent I climb. 
And fondly gaze upon the scene sublime : 
Fields beyond fields, as far as eye can spy ! 
Above — ^that splendid canopy, the sky ! 
Around — fair Nature in her green attire ; 
There — Pedlingtonia and its antique spire ! 
I gaze and ^ze till pleasure turns to pain : 
O Snapshank Hill ! I'll now go down again." 

We now take our leave. 

Respecting the subscriptions to the Master of the Ceremonies' 
book, which lies at Yawkins's and at Snargate's libraries, as also 
to his weekly balls, it is not for us to speak ; we therefore refer 
the visitor to those exceedingly obliging and attentive persons, 
who will candidly acquaint the inquirer with what is 'proper and 
customary on the occasion, as well as furnish him with his terras 
for teaching the pleasing art of tripping on the li^ht fantastic 
toe. We cannot more appropriately conclude than by repeating 
the charming lines which we selected for our motto :— 



tt 



Hail, Pedlingtonia ! Hail, thou favoured spot ! 
What's good is found in thee ; what's not, is not. 
Peaco crowns thy dwelUngs, Health protects thy fields. 
And Plenty all her cornucopia yields." 



14! UTTLB PEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER I. 

Personal Narrative of the Journey to Little Pedlington — Pleasures of 
Poppleton-End — Blind Bob: a Job's Comforter — An agreeable 
Morning at Squashmire-Oate — ^The practice of receiving Money at 
Show-houses, defended — The Lippleton " Wonder " — Arrival at 
Little Pedlington. 

No longer was I doubtful concerning my " whereabout." 
Little Pedlington, thought I, must be a Paradise! And had 
not my desire to visit this heaven upon earth been sufficiently 
excited hy the exquisite lines, so aptly quoted by the M.C. from 
the charming poem of the " tuneful Jubb," — 

" Hail ! Pedlingtonia ! Hail, thou favoured spoti 
What's good is found in thee ; what's not, is not ! " — 

had not the promise of so much to gratify as well the intellect 
as the senses induced me thither ; a feeling of shame, the con- 
sciousness that the bitter reproof uttered by the M.C. himself 
applied in its fullest force to my case, would alone have urged 
me to make the amende honorable by an immediate journey to the 
place. 

" Well may it be said," he exclaims, ** that Englishmen are 
prone to explore foreign countries ere yet they are acquainted 
with their own ; and many a one will talk ecstatically of the 
marble palaces of Venice and Herculaneum, who is ignorant of 
the beauties of Little Pedlington." 

True, true, indeed ! and, myself standing in that predicament, 
I felt the sarcasm the more acutely. It was a suffering of/ a 
nature not long to be borne with patience ; so I resolved to book 
a place for that same evening in the Little Pedlington mail. 

Not a little was my astonishment on learning that there was no 

mail to that celebrated place j but great indeed it was when I was 

inforraed that there was no public conveyance whatever direct 

thither! However, I found that the "WiDkVextiCiMlVic.QWLla. (^liich 

ran nearer to it than any other) wo\dd ae\. m^ ^<^i^u ^\.'2<ir^^'i*V2rcL 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 15 

End ; that there I should he pretty sure of mfeeting with some one 
who would carry my luggage to Squashmire-Gate, a short three 
miles ; and that from thence to Little Pedlington, a distance of 
eight miles — ^there or thereabouts — a coach ran regularly three 
times a-week during the season. Too happy to get there in any 
manner, I took a place in the Winklemouth coach, and, shortly 
afterwards, was rattling on towards the goal of my desires. 

Between four and five in the morning the coach pulled up at 
the comer of a narrow cart-road, of no very inviting appearance, 
the soil being of clay, and the holes and wheel-tracts filled with 
water by the late heavy rains. A slight drizzling rain was falling 
then. The country for miles round was a dead flat, and not a 
house or shelter of any kind, save here and there a tree, was to 
be seen. 

Poppleton-End, sir," said the guard, as he let down the step. 
What ! is ^w Poppleton-End ? " said I. 
Yes, sir," replied he (adding, with a leer, which clearly indi- 
cated that he was satisfied of the excellence of his joke), " and 
has been, time ont of mind." 

"But I have a heavy valise with me," said I, as I alighted. 

** Yes, sir," replied the guard, taking it down from the top pf 
the coach, and placing it against the boundary-stone at the comer 
of the lane ; " it is precious heavy, mdeed." 

" Well — ^I was informed that I should find somebody here who 
would carry it to Squashmire-Gate ; but there is no person within 
sight, and I can't carry it myself." 

"Why, no, sir, I don't very well see how you can ; at least," 
continued he, in the same facetious tone, " it wouldn't be alto- 
gether pleasant. Hows'ever, sir, you have a very good chance 
of Blina Bob coming up with his truck in about ha&-an-hour or 






so." 



I hate the phrase "or so." It is a cheat, an impostor, a 
specious and an insidious rogue. In all matters involving an 
inconvenience, I have invariably found that it is an aggravation 
of the original evil at least threefold. Thus, your "tnree miles, 
or so, furtner," to the place of your destination, after a wearisome 
walk in a strange country, may usually be computed at nine ; 
** a guinea or so," in an uncertain charge, at tnree ; if waiting 
the arrival of your bride, " an hour or so," at a day, a week, a 
year ; if of your wife — but that is a case dependent upon pecu- 
liar circumstances. 

"And pray, guard," inquired I, lailtict i^-^S^^^^^^^^sst^^iss^ 
I to wait awing tha,t lialf-houi>-or ao ^ " 



IC) LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

"Why, sir, if yon should chance to miss Blind Bob, you 
might perhaps find it a leetle awkward with that large trunk of 
yours ; so if you'll take my advice, sir, you'll wait where yoa 
are. Good morning, sir. I don't think it will be much of a 
rain, sir. All right. Bill ; get on." So saying, he mounted the 
coach, and left me seated, beneath my umbrella, on the boundary- 
stone at Poppleton-End, at half-past four of the morning, in a 
drizzling rain. 

They who travel much must be prepared to meet with diffi- 
culties; sometimes to encounter dangers: these carry a com- 
pensation with them in the excitement which they produce, and 
the exalted feelings they inspire. But one sinks under a tame 
and spiiitless inconvenience: one's fortitude sneaks off, as it 
were, and one's temper oozes away. At five, at half-past five, at 
six o'clock, there I still sat, and not a human creature had come 
near me. The abominable rain, too ! Kain ! it was unworthy 
the name of rain. A good, honest, manly shower^ which would 
have made one wet tbrough-and-through in five seconds, I could 
have borne without complaint; but to be made to suffer the 
intolerable sensation of dampness merely^ by a snivelling, drivel- 
ling, mizzling, drizzling sputter, and that, too, by dint of the 

exercise of its petty spite for a full hour-and-a-half ! There 

are annoyances which, it is said, are of a nature to make a 
parson swear; but this would have set swearing the whole 
tench of bishops, with their Graces of York and Canterbury at 
their head. 

At length, I perceived, at some distance down the lane, a man 
dragging along a truck, at what seemed to me a tolerably brisk 
pace, considenng the state of the road. He drew it by means of 
a strap passing over his shoulders and across his chest : and he 
carried in his hand a stout staff, which he occasionally struck 
upon the ground, though apparently not for support. He was 
rather above the middle height, broad, square, and muscular, — a 
cart-horse of a fellow. On arriving within two steps of my 
resting-place he stopped, and, with a voice of ten-boatswain 
power, shouted — 

"Any one here for Squash'ire-Gate?" 

" Yes," said I, almost stunned by the report, " don't you see P 
I am here." 

"I wish I could," replied he; "but as I have li^ed Blind 
Bob all my life, Blind Bob I shall die." 

Tpe guard's .description of my intended guide and carrier as 
^ Blind Boh " htxd certainly not prcpixte^ ta^ "L^st ^OQa ^^■^'c^^sv^^issa. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 17 

I was now to witness. Had I, indeed, paid any attention to it, 
the utmost I shonld have expected, as a justification of it, would 
have been a deduction of fitty per cent, from the nsual allow- 
ance of eyes, in the case of the party in question. But here was 
a guide stone blind ! * 

" Blind !" I exclaimed ; "under such circumstances, you have 
chosen a strange occupation." 

" We can't choose what we like in this world, sir ; if I wam't 
blind I*d never ha' chose to get my living by being a guide, that 
I promise you." 

On my informing him that I had a portmanteau with me, and 
indicating the spot where it stood, he moved towards it, and, 
lifting it up, he tossed it, heavy as it was, over his shoulder into 
the truck, and instantly set forward towards Squashmirc Gate. 

" The " short three miles'i' turning out, as a matter of course, 
to be " a long five," and the whole of the road for that agree- 
able distance, being ankle-deep in mud, it was nearly nine o'dock 
when we came to the end of this portion of the journey, The 
conversation of my companion on the way might possibly have 
proved to be pleasant could I have afforded to purchase it at his 
price, which was — from the extraordinary loud tone of his voice 
— to suffer a smart box o' the ear at each word he uttered : this 
was beyond my power of endurance, so that, after a question 
and a remark or two, I remained silent. 1 called to mind a 
certain person, who being accosted in the street by a blind 
clarionet-screecher with " Have pity on the poor blind," replied, 
" I would if I myself were deaf ! " 

Squashmire Gate cannot, with strict regard to truth, be termed 
a pretty place ; but as it puts forth no claim to that character, 
and as it is, moreover, the last stage on the road to Little Ped- 
lington, it would be ungrateful as well as unjust to criticise it 
severely. It consists merely of a small public-house, of the most 
modest pretensions, situate on one side of a crooked road, slushy 
and miry ; a small farriery on the other ; a barn, a pigsty, and a 
horse-trough. And such is Squashmire Gate^ where I was doomed 
to exist, as best I could, till the arrival of the coach — a term (I 
was told) of three mortal hours ! 

Tell not me of the clock or of the dial as the true indicators of 

* Many persons may have seen the blind man who is (or lately was 
frequently to be found at the "Bull" at Stroud, aiid ^Vq ^^xs'.vS^ ^5»ss> 
fjukle to strangers across the country bet^veeii WioA. -^^ce^ tccv^"^^"^^- 
worth. His services wore scarcely ever Tec\\MT<i^ esL«te>^\» c>\2l ^acfv:^ 
nights, when he led the way with a lantern iiv\\ia\\ccuv\. 

C 



18 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

the progress of time. Nay, there are periods in every one's 
existence when the very sun himself is a " lying chronicler." 
There are occasions when, between his rising and his setting, 
months, years, ages, drag slowly along — ^in hope, doubt, or 
anxiety — ^in sickness or in sorrow — or when waiting the arrival of 
the Little Pedlington coach at such a place as Squashmire 
Gate ! 

Well! breakfast would beguile the half of an hour; so I 
ordered breakfast, which I took to the accompaniment of a 
" concord of sweet sounds : " the squeaking of a child cutting its 
teeth, the croaking of a raven in a wicker cage, the creaking of 
the sign-board on its rusty hinges, the occasional braying of a 
donkey ; and the ceaseless yelping of a cur confined m a cup- 
board. 

Breakfast ended, and only half-past nine ! What was to be 
done next ? " Are there any books in the house ? " — " No, not 
one." — "A newspaper?" — " No." — " Then bring me pen, ink, 
and paper." They were " quite out" of paper, the cat nad just 
broken the ink-bottle, and, somehow, they had mislaid the pen 
— a circumstance the importance of which was considerably 
diminished by the two previous accidents. 

I turned for amusement to the window-panes. There was not 
a line, nor a word, nor a letter, nor a scratch to be seen. The 
vulgar scribble upon the glass, by which one is usually offended 
at country inns, would to me, in my then desolate condition, 
have been delight ineffable. To have been informed that " J". P. 
and C. S. dind hear on the \Zth of Februry ;" or that " ^phraim 
Trist lovs Jane Higs ; or that " Susen Miles is a beatifull cretear;" 
or even such tender exclamations as " Mariar ! " or " 
Foly!!'* — this, the smallest information, would not only have 
been thankfully received, but it would have become to me 
matter of profound interest. But not a line, not a letter. 

At length, after a considerable lapse of time, it came to be ten 
o'clock. 

" And pray, my good woman," inquired I of the hostess, "is 
there no chance of the Little Pedlington coach coming through 
this place earlier than twelve to-day ? " 

"Not earlier, sir; indeed I shouldn't wonder if its arter 
instead of afore, seeing the state of the roads ! " 

" What ! " shouted Blind Bob, who was in the kitchen and 
overheard our short colloquy — " What ! afore ! and with tbem 
'ere roads ! The Lippleton * Wonder* won't be here afore three 
to-day, Blesh vou, it carCt^^ 



I 



AKD TlIE PEDLI^GTO^'IANS. 19 

" Three ! " I exclaimed ; " it is impossible to remain here 
till three o'clock; I shall die of impatience and ennui. Can I have 
a chaise, or a gig ? " 

"No, sir," replied the woman; "we have nothing of thai 
sort. To be sure, we have a one-horse kind of a cart" — ^here 
was a prospect of escape — " but our horse died Priday-week, 
and my good man hasn't yet been able to suit himself with 
another." 

" Then," said I, " as the rain has ceased, I'll leave my port- 
manteau to be sent on by the * Wonder,' and will walk the eight 
miles to Little Pedlington." 

" What ! " again shouted my evil genius — for as such I now 
began to consider him ; " eight mile ? It's thirteen good mile any 
day of the year ; and as you must go round by Lob's Parm, 
'cause of the waters being out at Slush-lane, it's a pretty tightish 
seventeen just now." Had it'so chanced that Job had espoused 
Griselda, and I had been the sole offspring of so propitious a 
union, sole inheritor of their joint wealth of patience, my whole 
patrimony would have been insufficient to answer the exorbitant 
demands now made upon it. To find my journey len^hening in 
nearly the proportion in which it ought to have diminished ; to 
be mud-ho\md in a place like this, without a resource of any kind, 
corporeal or intellectual, to beguile the time ; and, in aggravfition 
of these annoyances, to be condemned to the ceaseless infliction 
of the combined yell, yelp, squeak, screech, and scream of the 
sick child, the soriy puppy, and the other performers, animate and 
inanimate, in the cruel concert which I have before alluded to — ! 
I know not how my imagined parents would have acted under a 
similar pressure of ills ; out, for my part, I surrendered at dis- 
cretion to the irresistible attack, and striking the table with 
a force which caused the astonished teapot to leap an inch 

" And must I," I exclaimed, *' must I remain in this infernal 
place for the whole of this miserable day ? " 

The poor woman, evidently hurt at the opprobrious term which 
I had cast upon her village Tfor such, I suppose, she considered 
Squashmire Gate to be), slowly s6ook her head ; and with a look 
of mild rebuke, and in a corresponding tone, — 

" Sir," she said, " all the world can't be Lippleton ; if it was, 
it would be much too fine a place, and too good for us poor 
sinners to live in." 

I would not be thought to undervcXw^ \)aa ^^-aX. ^w!«. ^ 
Felix Boppy, Esq., M.C. ; but admixaVA© «ia \\. \a ^^^ >t5t\a ^^^gsasR. 

c 2 



20 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

of its style, and unrivalled for the graphic (that, I believe, is the 
word now commonly in use upon these occasions), the graphic 
power of its descriptions, I declare that that one simply eulogistic 
phrase of ray hostess would as effectually have excited my 
desire to behold the beauties and the wonders of Little Ped- 
lington, as had already been accomplished by the more elaborate 
temptation offered by the illustrious Hoppy himself. 

Although this was adding fuel to the fire of my impatience, I 
was at once overcome by the gentleness of th^ woman's manner; 
and unwiDing that she should consider me as an incamation,of 
slander and detraction, I " explained," somewhat after the Par- 
liamentary fashion, assuring her that by the phrase "infernal 
place," I meant nothing more than that it was the sweetest spot 
on earth, but that I was anxious to proceed on my journey. 

And now, having satisfied her that I meant no offence to 
Squashmire Gate, — " Consider," said I, " consider that I have 
yet five hours to remain here: you cannot furnish me either 
with books, or paper, or with any earthly thing which would 
serve to lighten the time " — (adding, in the most imploring tone 
I could assume); "tell me, tell me, what can I do to amuse 
myself?" 

The landlady looked at me as if she felt my appeal in its 
fullest force ; then, fondly casting her eyes on the sick, squalling 
child, which she carried on her arm ; then, again looking at me, 
she said, " I'm sure I hardly know, sir, what you can do ; but 
if you would like to nurse babby for two or three hours you are 
heartily welcome, indeed you are, sir." 

Nothing, perhaps, could more strikingly illustrate the forlorn 
and helpless condition to which I was reduced, than that it 
should have instigated one human being to venture such a pro- 
posal to another. Inviting as was the offer, I declined it, taking 
due credit to myself for so exemplary a display of self-denial. 

The weather cleared, and the impartial sun shed a portion of 
its brightness even upon the ugliness of Squashmire Gate. The 
landlady seized the auspicious moment to vindicate the reputa- 
tion of the place, and, leading me to the door, exclaimed, in a 
tone of triumph, "Now look, sir! It stands to reason, you 
know, that no place can look pretty in bad weather.'* 

Yet could I not eiult in my positioi). Perhaps, the first im- 
pression may have produced an unfavounible prejudice in my 
mind; yet, a barn, a horse-trough, a pigsty, and a smithy, witn 
here and there a stunted tree, we\e not materials out of which 
to extract beauty, or capable oi excV\im^ ^\^^"&\\x^^ ^m^Y:s^ 



■ \ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 21 

No ; in these my cooler moments of reflection, I still maintain 
that Squashmire Gate is not a pretty place. 

I walked, or rather waded, outside the house. I peeped into 
the pigsty, looked into the bam, examined the smithy, and 
counted the ducks in* the pond. Next, to vary my amusement, 
I began with the barn, then proceeded to inspect the pigsty, 
then on to the duck-pond, and so forth. But, by the greatest 
possible exercise of my ingenuity, I could not force the time on 
beyond hdf-past eleven. "And here I must needs remain till 
three ! " thought I. 

Upon occasions like the present, when one happens to be 
coach-bound, or otherwise detained in a country place, the 
churchyard is an infallible resource, and an epitaph-hunt will 
generally repay the labour of the chase. 

I inquired whereabouts was the church. 

" Just over at Hogsnorton, sir." 

" And what's the distance to Hogsnorton, ma'am ? " 

" We call it five mile ; but it may be five mile and a half." 

"Hogsnorton five and a half!" shouted Bob; "it's seven 
mile or so, a^y day." 

The " or so " was sufficient ; so I decided against a pilgrimage 
to Hogsnorton. 

" But, la ! sir, how couid I come to forget it ? " exclaimed the 
landlady, upon the impulse of a sudden recollection; there's 
Dribble Hall you might see. if it wam't that the roads are so 
bad." 

"And what, and where, is Dribble Hall, pray P " 

"La ! sir; have you never heard of DriDble Hall„ as belongs 
to Squire Dribble. Why, sir, folks come from far and near to 
see Dribble HaU. Such picturs ! and such statties ! and such 
grounds ! and such a person as the Squire Himself is ! Dear 
me ; if it wam't for the roads " 

" Never mind the roads," said I (delighted at the chance of 
an agreeable mode of getting through this intolerable morning) ; 
" never mind the roads, if tue place be within a reasonable dis- 
tance." 

" Ifs only two mile and a half," replied she. 

" What ! roared Blind Bob (I expected that, as usual, he 
was preparing to multi|)ly the distance by three ; but this time 
I was agreeably disappointed). "What I two mile and a half! 
that's going by the road ; but if the gentl^vascsi \,"a5ia^ \s^ *^^ 
green gate^ it an't much more tlian a mile.'' 

''Andpraj, Bob, wiuch way must 1 gp^ " 



22 LITTLE PEDLINGTOK 

" Why, sir, when you get out, keep on straight to tlie left till 
you come to the green gate — green gate, mina, — and then turn 
smack to the right, and that takes you up to the house, across 
the squire's meadows ; but be sure you turn to the right as soon 
as ever you come to the green gate, or you'll chance to be getting 
back again to Poppleton End." 

" But wben I have been at tbe pains of walking to Dribble 
Hall, will the squire allow me to see his place ?" 

"O yes, sir," replied the landlady, "and glad enougb too; 
for all that the housemaid — the hoxxse-keeper she is called at the 
Hall — who receives no wages — ^gets less than ten pound a year 
from visitors, the Squire is obliged to make good to her ; wliilst 
whatever she gets above that, he shares with her, — ^which is but 
fair, you know, sir." 

In a commercial country, where everything is considered 
relatively to its money-value, it certainly is "but fair" that 
noblemen and gentlemen, whose mansions and their contents are 
worth an inspection, should allow their servants to make a 
charge for the exhibition of them. I do not pretend that such a 
proceeding is noble, or dignified, or handsome, or, indeed, at all 
worthy of a person of high station, but, merely and strictly, that 
it is^»V. We pay for seeing the sights in the Tower, the lions 
in WombwelPs booth, and in that in Drury Lane ; a charge is 
made for showing Westminster Abbey, and the wax-works at 
Madame Tussaud's rooms; and upon what principle, either of 
justice or equity, are we to expect that the JDuke of A. or the 
Earl of Z., if they allow us to see their galleries or their grounds, 
should grant us such an indulgence gratis ? The notion is pre- 
posterous. There are, indeed, certain thriftless proprietors of 
what are called show-houses, who are so inconsiderate as to do 
this, but they form an exception to the general rule ; and, 
happily for the honour and integrity of the maxim, " Give nothing 
for nothing," such instances of improvidence are not numerous. 
Yet I cannot help thinking that Squire Dribble pushes the 
practice a Utile too far, though he deserves some praise for 
honestly avowing the principle upon which it is founded. 

" Well ; I set forth for Dribble Hall, along a road which one 
might have imagined had been constructed of boot-jacks, for, at 
each step I took, my boots were half-drawn off my feet by the 
necessary effort of extricating them from the tenacious soil. 
T'oYiowmg Bob's directions witn punctuality equal to their pre- 
cision, I kept to (he left; but aitei -w^Md^^— ;\^ stTu^gling 
through such a road may be so termed.— iot cQita\^«t^^ ^^\fe 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 23 

than an hour, I had not arrived at a green gate — the point at 
which I was to change my course for the right. Gates of all 
colours, black, white, and brown, I had passed, and occasionally 
a road branching off in a different direction, but no green gate 
had I seen. Nevertheless, confiding in the instructions of my 
blind guide, I proceeded ; when, lo ! at the expiration of another 
hour, I found myself in the lane which I had traversed in the 
morning, about mid-way between Squashmire Gate and Poppleton 
End ! "0, Little Pe(fiington !" thought I ; " a paradise oefore 
the fall must thou be to compensate me for all that I have this 
day endured for thy sake ! " 

Disappointed, wearied, and vexed, I returned to my hotel at 
Squashmire Gate ; and there, on a bench before the door, sat 
Blind Bob. 

" Rascal ! " I exclaimed ; " how dared you thus deceive me P 
how dared you send me on this wildgoose chase ? " 

" Couldn't you find the Hall, sir ? I told you to keep to tlic 
left till jou came to the green gate, and then — " 

*' I did keep to the left till here I am again ; but the deuce a 
green gate is there the whole way." 

** I think I ought to know best, sir. Tell me o' no green 
gate, indeed ! Did you notice two tall poplars, with a gate 
between them, leading into a meadow ? " 

" I did, — a newly-painted tohite gate." 

"White ! nonsense, sir, begging your pardon; what does that 
signify ? That be the green gate, and has been always called ?*c» 
in these parts, time out o' mind. It's o' no use to be an^ry 
witb me : it's no fault o' mine if Squire has taken and had it 
painted white." 

Obdurate must be his heart who is not to be pacified by a 
reason, or something that sounds like one. Besides, Blind Bob's 
excuse was strengthened by the explanation of the landlady, 
who told me that, although the green gate had always served as 
a sort of road-guide, yet S(juire Dribole, being " a gentleman 
who looked sharply after his farthings," had resolved that for 
the future it should be painted white — ^white paint being rather 
cheaper than green. 

" Order dinner," said a generally-too-late friend with whom I 
had agreed to dine at a tavern one day ; *' order dinner at six for 
half-past, and I will positively be with you at seven." The 
Little Pedlington " Wonder" being expected u^ attlu:e.e.,\fe^^^- 
sequently arrived at half-past four. And " 0\ '««W^ ^wos®.^ 
minutes told I o'er" ia th^t long iuteival \ 



24 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

The Little Pedlington "Wonder" was a heavy, Ittmberuig 
coach, licensed to carry six inside and fourteen out ; was drawn 
by two skinny horses, and driven by a coachman built after the 
exact fashion of the coach he drove, id est, lumbering axvd 
heavy. 

" JFull out, room for one in," was the coachman's reply to my 
question whether I could have a place. I expressed my dis«a>- 
pointment at not having an outside place, as I should thus be 
deprived of obtaining the first possible view of Little Pedlington ; 
nor was my disappointment diminished by coachee's remark, 
that that was indeed a sight ! 

" And how long will it be before you start, coachman ? " 

" About a quarter of an hour or so, sir," was the reply* 

" What ! " bellowed forth my everlasting friend. Bob ; " % 
quarter of an hour ! You'll not get away from here afojTQ six. 
Master Giles, and you know you won't." 

Mr. Giles was part proprietor of the " Wonder" (the only 
coach on that road), widen he drove up one day and down, the 
next ; so, there being no opposition, he carried matters with a 
high hand, deferring to the wishes or the eonvenience of one 
ody person that ever travelled by the " Wondier," which one was 
himself. 

" Six !" said Giles, taking up the word of Blind Bob, "whTj» 
to be sure ; mustn't I have a bit of summut to eat ? and mustn t 
I rest a bit ? and mustn't my cattle rest a bit ? How^flf» I get 
off afore six ? My tits are tolerable good ones ; but if I didn't 
give 'em a rest here and there, how'd ever they get on to Xipple- 
ton, I should like to know P " 

Considering the appearance of his "tits," the load they had to 
drag, and the roads along which they were doomed to drag it, 
that question was, certainly, a poser. When I was told of tha 
Little Pedlington " Wonder, my expectations were of a 
rapidity of progress second in degree only to that of flying ; bui 
in the present case, the sole claim which the vehicle could qoqt 
scientiously make to the title was, that it could be prevailed 
upon to move at all. It was, therefore, not without tre|)idati(»k 
that I ventured to inquire at about what time we were Hhel^ ^ 
get into Little Pedlington. 

"Why," replied Giles, "we must take the long road thia 
afternoon, on account of the waters ; so we shan't get in mueik 
afore nine." 

"And verj fair travelling, too," said I, happy at len^ nk 
knowing when this day oJt disagteesWt'i^ ni^ V^ ^Ksrsiaail^x 



A3SJ) THB PEDLINGTONIANS. 25 

seventeen miles in three hours is not to be complained of^ 
nnder the circumstances." 

"What!" again shouted the inveterate Blind Bob; "nine! 
you'll' not see Lippleton afore eleven to-night. Whv, the 
* Wonder ' never does more nor four mile an hour at the best o' 
times, and here's the long road to take, and as heavy as putty. 
Besides, won't you stop three times more to rest the norses P I 
say you'll not see Lippleton afore eleven ; it stands to reason, 
and you know you won't." 

" why, you stupid old fool," said Giles, you say yourself I 
must stop three times to rest the horses : then how can I get in 
afore eleven? Some folks talk as if they were out of their 
common senses." Saying which, Giles entered the house, leav- 
ing me in some doubt whether the Eates might not have deter- 
mmed against my" ever seeing Little Pedlington at all. 

Something must be contrived to pass the time between this 
and six o'clock, and dinner was the only expedient that occurred 
to me. I called the landlady, who came, as usual, with that in- 
evitable squalling child on her arm. It was screaming as if it 
would have screamed its head off, and I could not avoid com- 
mencing my address by a profane parody on Shakspeare : — 
"First of all, my good woman, ' silence that dreadful 
childr' 

" I^a, sir ! consider, you were once a child yourself," was her 
reply ; a rebuke, by the by, which you invariably receive if you 
presume to complain of the performance of that the most in- 
tolerable music ever composed by Nature. 

Now, admitting the fact that I was once a child myself, it by 
no means follows as a necessary consequence that I was a 
squalling child ; the justice, therefore, of applying the rebuke to 
me I am always disposed to question. On the other hand, if I 
did delight in that atrocious mode of exalting my voice, my pre- 
sent opinion is that, for the comfort of society, I ought to have 
been, in some way or other — to use a favourite melo-dramatic 
phrase — "disposed of." I throw this out merely as a hint, 
though I by no means positively advise that it be acted upon in 
any manner that might be unpleasant to the rising generation. 
Query : Was King Herod at heart a wicked man ? 

Havinff, at the risk of a sore throat, contrived to scream 
louder uian the child, I inquired what I could have for 
dinner. 

" What would you like, sir ? " 



26 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

" We have never a chickeu, sir ; l)ut would you like some eggs 
aiid bacon ? " 

**No. Can I have a lamb-cbop?" 

" No, sir ; but our eggfe and bacon is very nice." 

" Or a cutlet — or a steak ?" 

'•'No, sir; but we are remarkable liere for our eggs and 
bacon." 

*•' Have you anything cold in your larder?" 

" Not exactly, sir; but I'm sure you "will admire our eggs and 
bacon." 

"Then what have you got?" 

" Why, sir, we have got nothing but eggs and bacon." 

" ! then have the goodness to give me some eggs and 
bacon." 

" I was sure you'd choose eggs and bacon, sir ; we are so 
famous for it." 

Having finished my dinner, I thought it proper, for the good 
of the house, to inquire what wine I could have — of course, not 
expecting that my cnoice would be much perplexed by the variety 
offered. 

" What would you like, sir ?" 

" Some port." 

" We have no port, sir." 

"A little sherry, then." 

"We don't keep sherry, sir; in short, we have so little call 
for wine, that we don't keep any of no kind." 

" Then pray give me some lemonade." 

" Yes, sir. Do you — do you prefer it with lemon, or with- 
out?" 

"How!" 

"Why — only we happen just now to be out of lemons." 

Finding that I should be obliged to " malt it," I asked for 
— ^what, from its delicious flavour, is now becoming the rage with 
the drinkers of England's Own — CoUins's Richmond Ale. For- 
tunately, they could supply me with that, so I had but little 
cause to regret their being " out" of the rest. 

At length, the welcome moment for our departure arrived. 

"I think," said Giles, as he clumsily clambered up 
to his box — " I think we shall have a little more rain 
yet." 

" What ! " for the l,ast time cried our Job's comforter ; " a 
little ? You'll have rain enough to drownd ^o\l lon^ afore you're 
Iialf way to Lippleton, and thunder a\onig m^;^l \V.-, xwca^^ \\ 



AND THE PEDLIHGTONIANS. 27 

you don't. I can feel it in luy head, and it stands to 
reason." 

I took my place inside the coach ; and now, being fairly on 
my road to that haven of bliss. Little Pedlington, I soon forgot 
all the past annoyances of the day. Yet was not my position 
one of absolute comfort. I was jammed in between two cor- 
pulent ladies, of whom one was suffering under a violent tooth- 
ache, and the other from headache. Opposite to me was a stout 
man with part of a strong Cheshire cheese on his knee ; another, 
saturated with the fumes of bad cigars with which he had been 
regaling himself ; and the third had with him a packet of red- 
herring. Between the two ladies a constant dispute was 
maintained as to whether the glasses should be up or down : she 
of the tooth declaring that if the windows were open the air 
"would be the death of her ; whilst the cephalagian as eagerly 
contended that she should incontestably expire from the 
heat if they were shut ; and. as the contest was carried on 
across me, I was in imminent danger of suffocation under 
the weight, not of the arguments, but the arguers. In 
addition to the compound of odours I have mentioned, one 
of the fair sufferers was using camphor, and the other, ether. 

We proceeded at what might be the pace of a hearse in a 
hurry — something short of four miles an hour. At every hovel 
hj the roadside, Mr. Giles pulled up to enjoy his " tithe of talk" 
with its inhabitants. Eemonstrance and entreaty on the part 
of us, the impatient travellers, were useless. He plainly told us, 
that as there was no opposition on the road, he had always had 
his own way; and that he saw no reason why he should be 
baulked of it now. Then, he stopped at one small public-house 
to eat, and at the next to drink, ana at another to rest. A long 
journey, fairly performed, is not an affair to complain of ; but, 
oh 1 the torments of a short one prolonged by needless delay ! 
At ten o'clock we had yet six miles of ours to accomplish. The 
night was dark ; suddenly, as the sea-son^ has it, '* the rain a 
delude poured,*' and (to continue the quotation) " loud roared the 
dreaaful thunder," when — within about two miles of Little 
Pedlington — crash ! the pole broke. Whether or not the horses 
took fnght I have never had any means of ascertaining : certain 
however it is, they neither became unmanageable, nor did thev 
run away ; they were not in a state to do either ; so, like jaded, 
sensible horses as they were, they stood stock-still. Mi^^^-^- 
siderabk delaj^ and manv fruitless attempts to xe^wx V\i^^^cv\^^» 
we were compelled to walk tJirough apeltmg a\iavjer \Xi^x««v»»^«t 



28 LITTLE PEDLTNGTON 

of the way. As I approached the town (though, from the utter 
darkness, I could not see it), I felt as one feels on first beholding 
Rome, or as Bonapart(f is said to have felt at the first sight of 
the pyramids ; and when, at length, I found myself in a bed- 
room at Scorewell's hotel, the Gi'een Dragon, in High-street — 
forgetting all my bygone troubles, I exultingly exclaimed— 
" And here I am m Little Pedlington ! " 



\ 



AND THE PEDLIKGT0KIA5S. 29 



CHAPTER II. 

Profession of tho spirit in which this journal will be (as all journals 
are) written — First morning in Little Pedlington — ^Am always the 
jlnt to complain — Visit from mine host — Already a stirring event 
announced— Symptoms of envy, hatred, and malice even here — The 
four naughty people in the town denounced — ^The family with the 
fly— <Jreat folks in little places — Becoming attentions — Visit from a 
great man — Everthing to be had in a country town excepting what 
you want. 

June 15. — "All the vorld can't be Little Pedlington: if it 
was^ it would be much too fine a place, and too good for us 
poor sinners to live in." Those words, which made so powerful 
an impression upon me when uttered by mine hostess in rebuke 
of my evil-speaking of Squashraire Gate — those words occurred 
to me, as I awoke at eight o'clock of this, the morning of the 
15th of June: those words, therefore, have I placed on the first 
page of the journal which 1 now commence, and which I purpose 
to continue during my residence in Little Pedlington. Each 
night will I repeat them ere I register the events of the by-ffone 
day; or minute down the conversations to which I may have 
listened, or in which I may have shared ; or ere I venture to 
record my judgment and opinions, whether of persons or of 
things : so shall the Spirit of Indulgence guide my pen ! And 
should it be my chance to encounter amongst the Pedlio^tonians 
some whose manners, whose acquirements, or whose genms may 
fail to satisfy my full-strained expectation, let me remember that 
as all the world cannot be one entire and perfect Little Pedling- 
tou, so neither can I reasonably hope to find in every Pedling- 
tonian a Hoppy, a Rummins, or a Jubb. Let me, O Trutli ! 
walk hand in hand with thee ! And if, haply, upon occasion I 
slightly deviate from thy path severe, be it only to " hide the 
fault 1 see" — be it to " extenuate," not to " set down in malice." 
Bit if to propitiate the demon Vanity — ^if to purchase, <^^ 1<^ 
nMBtain, a rqjutation for wit or seniw&eiA., iot «e,xisC<«^>X^ ^st 
sarcasm, for taleut or for ^ac^, I sacri^ce, O God<\B'&^\ w^^ -^wsl 



30 LITTLE PEDLTS'GTON 

of thy divine spirit at the shriuc of Detraction, may I he hunted 
from the High Street to the Crescent, from Yawkins's skittle- 
ground to the ** new pump which stands in the centre of Market u 
Square," and driven with scorn and contumely from out tbe 
peaceful precincts of Little Pedlington, never to return ! 

So now to proceed. 

Rose at eight. With what emotions did I listen to the dock 
of Little Pedlington Church, as, /or the fint time, I heard it 
strike the hour ! Thought of my own dear clock which stands 
on the mantlepiece in my library, in my still-remembered 

" home, sweet home," No. 16, Street, and was preparing to 

shed a tear, when I was interrupted by the chambermaid^ who 
knocked at my door and inquired whether I wished for some 
warm water? Although the most approved method of com- 
mencing a journal, even of a trip from Gower Street to Graves- 
end, is hy a pathetic reflection or two upon the home we have 
left; yet, as I didn't come to Little Pedhngton to do the senti- 
mental, I was not sorry for the interruption. The jug of warm 
water she brought me being a small one, I desired she would 
bring a larger. 

« « i*^ m * . 

[With, perhaps, blamable fastidiousness, I suppress many 
points which (it may be) are not of sufficient importance to in- 
terest the general reader : as in the present case, tor instance : — 
" The second jug of water not being sufficiently warm, I sent it 
away to be heated — nearly seven minutes before she returned 
with it!" And afterwards, when writing of my breakfast^ I 
have suppressed the fact, that " one of the eggs being too 
much boiled, I desired that another might be sent me, boiled . I 
only three minutes and a quarter. A hard egg is my mortal ' 
aversion." The reflection, however, I have thought worth pre- 
serving. Tbe suppressions I may, perhaps, print hereafter, m a 
separate volume, for distribution amongst my private friends.] 

Having finished dressing, was in doubt whether to walk out 
before breakfast, or to take breakfast before walking out. After 
a long deliberation with myself, resolved, notwithstanding my 
impatience to see the place, to breakfast first ; as, that operation 
bemg performed, I should then enjoy the uninterrupted command 
of the morning. On my way down to the coffee-room met the 
chambermaid. Liquired of her which was considered to be the 
principal inn of the place. Told me that thit was — that there 



AliD THE PEDLINGT02fIAKS. 31 

were two others which were so-so places upon the whole, but 
quite ««ferior for gentlefolks — that all the tip-top people came 
liere. Here she was interrupted by the violent ringing of a bell. 
Made her excuses for being obliged to leave me so " abrupt ;" 
but explained, that if the bell of the family with the fly were not 
answered on the instant, the house would not be big enough to 
hold them. — Could not comprehend what was meant by the family 
with the fly. 

Went into the coffee-room — ^not a creature in it. Looked out 
»k the window — ^not a soul to be seen. Thought the town must 
ue deserted. Rang the bell — enter waiter — white cotton stock- 
ings with three dark stripes above the heel of the shoe, indi- 
cating the number of days' duty they had performed. Ordered 
breakfast — coffee, eggs, and dry toast; observing, that if they 
were not au fait at making coffee, I should prefer to take tea. 
Waiter, rather piqued, assured me that I was the first gentleman 
who had ever said O fie ! at their coffee, for that it gave general 
satisfaction. 

Strange ! It has invariably been my misfortune to be the 
Jlrsi to complain of anything «'^^soever, at any tavern, coffee- 
iiouse, or hotel wkeresoeYer; the slightest expression of dis- 
content at my wine, my dinner, my accommodation — no matter 
what — ^having always been met with, " Dear me, sir ! that's 
very extraordinary ! This is the very first time we have heard a 
complaint of t^a^, I assure you." I wonder whether my case 
in this respect is singular ? 

Breakfast brought ; poured out from a huge japanned tin 
vessel, standing eighteen inches high, a nankeen-coloured liquid, 
liose for the purpose of looking into the unfathomable machine 
— full to the brim ! Made according to the most approved 
English coffee-house recipe — " to half an ounce of coffee add a 
quart-and-a-half of water:" but as their coffee "gave general 
satisfaction," I would not, by complaining, risk an appearance in 
so remarkable a minority as one, 

^ » « « ii( 

A hard egg is my mortal aversion. 

W fP ^ ¥^ w 

" You are the first gentleman that ever complained of our 
ot?^-boiling our eggs, I assure you, sir," said i\sA 'vw^x* 
** Dojou take a London paper here?" 



82 LITTLE PEDLIN6T0N 

''In course, sir; a house like ours takes a London paper. 
We have the Morning Post up to last Saturday week, sir, and 
shall have all last week's down by next week's carrier. But I 
hope, sir, you are in no hurry to see the papers !" 

*' And why so ? " 

" Because, sir, the family with the fly has got them ; and it 
would be as much as their custom is worth to ask for them till 
they are quite done with." 

Before I had time to ask for an explanation concerning a 
family so oddly distinguished, the landlord, Mr. Scorewell, came 
hastily into the room, and angrily said to the waiter, " Don't 
you hear, sir? The family-with-the-fly bell has rung twice/* 
Away scampered the waiter, as though he had been goaded on to 
his duty by the combined attack of every fly of every kind in 
Little Pediington. 

Scorewell, with inconceivable rapidity, converted his angry 
frown into the sweetest innkeeper-smile I ever witnessed ; and, 
in a tone indescribably bland, accompanied by the matter-of- 
course bow, he welcomed me to " Lippleton " — that being the 
abbreviated name of the place. 

" Is this your first visit to our place, sir?" 

I told him it was. 

" Then, sir, I can only say, you have a great treat to come." 

" Your town seems to me to be empty," said I ; " excepting 
yourself and your servants, I have not seen a human being." 

" Quite the contrary, sir — fullest season ever known." 

" Then what is become of all the people ?" 

" Dear me, sir ! didn't the waiter tell you ? how very stupid 
of him 1 'Tis his duty to tell visitors when anything particmar 
is going on in the town. I dare say, sir, you would have liked 
to go?" 

" What is it, and where ?" I eagerly inquired. 

" Why, sir, everybody is gone down to the market-place to 
hear Miss Cripps's bag cried. Had the misfortune last night to 
lose her peagreen silk bag with a scarlet ribbon and a sky-blue 
bindini^, containing two sovereigns, a silver thimble, a lump of 
orris-root, three shillings, a pot of lip-salve, a new flaxen front, 
two half-crowns, a new tooth, a paper of carmine, and eighteen 
sixpences. And would you believe it, sir, though the crier has 
been three times round the town already, and has offered one- 
andnincpenoe reward, there are no tidings of it, high or low ? 
Miss C. declares that it isn't the loss of the money she cares 
about; but she is anxious on accoxxnt ol Wv^ tl^'^ V^otW^, \)w^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 83 

orris-root, the carmine, lip-salve, and flaxen hont-^-'ichich belonged 
io a friend of hers." 

These latter words the landlord (checking his volubility) 
tittered with particular emphasis, accompanied by a comically 
^rave expression of countenance. 

"A thousand pities, sir," continued ScoreweU, "that you 
should have missed hearing the crier ; the more so, owing to the 
extraordinary coin<?tdence of so interesting a thing occurring the 
very first morning of your being in Lippleton, when all the town, 
as I may say, is in a state of excitement about it." 

"I am greatly annoyed at my loss," said I ; " but concerning 
Miss Cripps's, I entertain no apprehensions; for if what I 
hear of your towns-people be true — that they are as re- 
markable for their goodness and virtue, as your town is for its 
beauty " 

" lou may sajr that, sir ; and though I am a Pedlingtonian 
myself, this I will say, that for good-heartedness, and honour, 
and honesty — with never a grain of envy, hatred, or malice — 
and as for evil-speaking, why, bless you, sir, we don't know 
what the thing means. Ah ! it is, indeed, a proud thing to be 
able to say, that in such a prodigious population as ours (for we 
count twenty-nine hundred and seventy-two, men women, and 
children) there are ody two rascals to be found." 

" Then pray teJl me who they are, in order that I may avoid 
them." 

" O sir, they are very well known : one is that villain Stintum 
that keeps the Grolden Lion ; the other is that scoundrel Snar- 
gate, of the Butterfly and Bullfinch. But I suppose, sir, there 
must be a black sheep or two in every flock, or the world 
would not be the world. Foul-mouthed villains, too ! Why, 

sir, they never mention my name without ^but I beg pardon, 

sir — there's the family-with-the-fly bell — will be with you again 
in a minute." 

Ere I had ceased to wonder that a community so near to per- 
fection as that of Little Pedlington should allow itself to be thus 
defiled, when it might become immaculate by ejecting only two 
of its members, Scorewell returned. 

Not choosing to inquire directly what they meant by their 
family with the flv, I led to the question by asking Scorewell if 
his house was fall. 

" Why, sir, I should have been full if it hadn't been for those 
yiUains who kidnaps, positively kidnaps, cvxstomet^ m\.<i ^Oassa. 
hOQBes, Sending their cards about — ^uudeic-C^ax^va^ ^<^i V)b.^ T m 

D 



34 LITILE PEDLIN6T0N 

sure they cannot get a living profit — and then, setting about a 

report that my chimneys smokes, d — n 'em ! I'm a maD, sir, 

that speaks ill of nobody, and wishes ill to no man ; but as for 
tkenif the day I see their names in the Gazette (and it wont be 
long first) will be the happiest day of my life. And then, agani, 
sir, those boarding-houses ! rull, indeed ! FU ask you, sir, 
how is one to be full, or how is an honest innkeeper to get a 
livelihood with such opposition as that ? Little Pedlington, sir, 
would be a perfect Paradise if it wam't for them boarding-houses. 
But they are the pest of the place ; they ought to be annillia^ed; 
government ought to interfere and put them down. When we 
send members to Parliament (which we have as good a right to 
do as many other places), I'll give my vote and support to who- 
somever will go in upon the independent interest, and bring in a 
bill to put down boarding-houses. And yet, upon the whole, I 
can't say they do me much harm, for real gentlefolks don't go to 
them. Real gentlefolks don't like to be pisen'd with stale fisk 
and bad meat. T know how much a-pound Mrs. Stintum of the 
Crescent-boarding-house pays for her meat; and I know how 
Mrs. Starvum of South-street bargains for her fish and poultay, 
I don't say it to their disparagement, poor devils! because 
people must live ; and those who sell cheap must buy cheap— 
only, they ought to be a little more careful in cholera times. 
But go to mybutcher, sir, and ask him what sort of meat Score- 
well of the Green Dragon buys — my son George, who is the 
most pre-eminent butcher in the market ; and ask my other 
son, Tobias, who serves me with every morsel of fish and poultnr 
that comes into this house, what prices / pay for my commodi- 
ties : I'm not ashamed to have my larder looked into before the 
victuals is cooked. If, indeed, they would only live and let live, 
as I say—but two stingy, cheating, undermining, evil-speaking 
old tabbies like them, who cannot bear to see anybody thrive 
but themselves-1-especially me! They are the only two nui- 
sances in the place, and it would be better for everybody if they 
were out of it. The world is big enough for us all, so there's no 
need of envy and jealousy, and of trying to do one's neighbour 
harm : that's my maxim ; and I wish that they, and those rascals 
at the Butterfly and Bullfinch, and the Golden Lion, would profit 
by it." 

I took advantage of Scorewell's taking breath to ask him who 
were the visitors he had in his house. 

'' Why, sir/* replied he, " I have not mtBj, but they are afl 
of the £rst respectability. Tbetfc's "Mit. ko^IIw. "^x^TAstSticisfe.^ 



\ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 35 

Mr. St. Knitall and his lady ; Mr. De Stewpan ; Mr. Twistwire- 
ville; and Mr. Hobbs Hobbs and his family — very tip-top people, 
indeed, sir — the family with the fly. They always honour us 
with their company — the fourth season they have been at ray 
house — ^Mr. Hobbs Hobbs and his lady; their two daughters. 
Misses Eieonora and Tlorentina ; Master William Hobbs Hobbs, 
the younger son, and Mr. Hobbs Hobbs Hobbs, the elder — six 
altogether, sir, and always travel in their own one-horse fly." 

So, the mystery of the " family with the fly" was explained. 

" Of course, sir," continued Scorewell, " as you are from 
London, you must know most of the parties — have heard of them, 
at any rate ? " 

There was a touch of aristocracy — of gentility at the least — 
implied by the Fitzes and the Filles^ and the imposing duplication 
of the Hobbs ; yet I could not call to mind that I had ever heard 
any one of those names before. 

At this moment there was again a violent ringing of bells. 

" Nobody answering the family-with-the-fly bell ! " exclaimed 
the landlord. " Beg pardon for leaving you, sir, but I must 
attend to it myself. You know, sir, it behoves a person in my 
situation to be most ^particularly attentive and obliging to car- 
riage company." 

1 felt something like a shock on learning that there were two 
rascals (the innkeepers) in so virtuous a town as Little Ped- 
lington ; but when Scorewell informed me that there were two 
ladies also in the same unfortunate category — making an aggre- 
gate of four bad characters — ^I was inclined to believe that the 
reputation of the place for goodness, however it might deserve 
it for beauty, had been over-rated. And yet, thought I, com- 
pared with the mass of crime, villany, and roguery, of every 
description, that exists in London and other great cities, four 
offenders in such " a prodigious population as twenty-nine hun- 
dred and seventy-two " constitute no very alarming proportion 
of wickedness. The guide-book of Pelix Hoppy, Esq^., M.C., 
aided by the commentary of my landlady at Squashmire-Gate, 
had determined me to think favourably of Little Pedlin^ton, 
and I resolved not to abandon my good opinion of it for ioiu's 
sake. 

As I rose from my seat, and struck my hands together, as one 
does upon having made up one's mind with one's self, Scoreyre.\L 
enterea the room, and, with a low bo^, \iscvi^t^ xjv^ ^^.^Ss^^cvkl^ 
ticket, saying, '^Wiih. his very best com\)\vccveTiV^ «xA \aafaN» 
profound respects, he has the inexptessftA^ \iO\iW3X ^ca^ 



36 



LITTLE PEDLTNGTON 



greatest possible felicity in •vrelcoming you to Little Ped- 

UDgtOU." 

Heavens ! what did I behold ? It was from the illostrioas 
M.C. himself! — a card (somewhat larger than Hardy's Great 
Moguls), beautifully glazed and richly embossed, haying at tbe 
top an Apollo's head, at the four corners, respectiydy, a lyre^ 
a French-horn, a fiddle and bow, and the Pandean pipes ; these 
connected at the sides by true-lovers' knots and roses placed 
alternately. In the midst of this vast combination of elegance 
and splendour, there appeared in characters of gold — as such s 
name deserves to appear — 



MR 


FELIX HOPPy, 

No. 4, 

WEST STREET, 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 


M.C. 


Please to 


ring the bottom hell. 





" A great man, sir ! " said my loquacious host ; "and a danc- 
ing-master. Lippleton, sir, would never have been what it is 
without him — ^I mean for elegance and fashion. He has made 
the Lippleton ladies what they are. You may tell his pupils a 
mile off by their walk. Bless you, sir, he makes them turn 
their toes out till thev almost come behind their heels ! And 
then such a dancer as he is himself ! I sometimes read in the 
London papers about the opera ; and Lord ! the fuss they make 
with their Cooluns and Elslums and Tagglenotdi! i wish 




" I was not aware of his excellence in that way,*' said I ; "my 
admiration of him is grounded upon his book, — his ' Little Pei 
lington Guide.' " 

" A book, indeed. Ah, sir, you may well call it a book ! Not 
many book^ in the world like that, eh, sir ? But, as the saying is, 
mans work is never perfect ; there are two terrible faults in it, and 
J onc0 made bold to tell him so. "H-O^ could \v&m'a!!L<a m^x^YscL^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 37 

the Butterfly and EuUfinch, and tbe Golden Lion, — and those 
rascally boarding-bouses, too ! But it shows his good nature. 
But, after all, sir, for writing you must see our Jubb — ' Ped- 
lingtonia's Pride,' as he calls, himself somewhere in his poetry. 
And Bummins, too — the great Kumrains! Of course, you 11 
stay here till Friday, if it's only to see his museum. But be 
snre you ask him to show you the sliding-board of the old stocks 
that were removed when the new cage was built : there you see 
the holes that the folks' legs used to go through, as plain, ay, sir, 
as plain as if they were only made yesterday. Antiquities are 
wonderful things, sir, ar'n't they ?" 

" As I came not only to see the place, but its celebrated in- 
habitants also, I shall endeavour to obtain introductions to 
Mr. Bummins and Mr. Jubb; and to your painter, Daubson, 
too ! " 

" There, again ; Daubson ! a great creature, indeed ! Some 
of your Lunnuners — saving your presence, sir — come down here 
as big as bulls, talking of their celebrated * this ' and their great 
't'other;' but when they have seen what we cp^^ show in 
LippUton, they soon draw in their horns, that I clii tell you, 
sir. 

"Well," said I, somewhat impatiently (for, to confess the 
truth, although 1 was prepared to pay due homage to the great 
men of Little Pedlington, I was grovdng envious of their supe- 
riority to all the rest of the world), — "well, Mr. Scorewell, 
that will do for the present. I will now, guide-book in hand, 
pay a visit to the town; at five o'clock I will return; and 
since (as I perceive by the book) you have a well-supplied 
market " 

" The best in the whole universe, sir." 

" Well, then, you will let me have a nice little dinner ; some 
fish and '' 

" Fish ! To-day is Monday, you know, sir, and Wednesdays 
and Saturdays are our fish-days. Couldn't get fish to-day 
in Lippleton for love or money. But I'll tell you what, 
sir; if Joe Higgins should bring any gudgeons in to-morrow, 
rU take care of 'em for yow, — unless, indeed, the family with the 
fly should want 'em." 

" A veal cutlet then, and ^" 

" Veal ! We only kill veal in Lippleton, sir, once a week, 
and that's o' Tuesdays. But if you'd please to leave it to m^ 
cook, sir, she'll send you up as nice a Yitt\e dVravec ^a '^wjl ^^>S^ 
wish to sit down to." 



38 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

I adopted the landlord's suggestion. As I was preparing to 
depart, lie exclaimed, " Dear me, sir ! I was near lorgettin^ to 
remind you — but, if Miss Cripps's bag sliould*nt be found betore 
twelve o'clock, you'll be sure to hear it cried then, if you go 
down to Market Square. As these tilings don't happen every 
day, they are the more interesting, you know, sir. Besides, 

when but, beg pardon, sir ; — ^there's the family-with-the-fly 

bell again." 



AND THE PEDLIKGTONIAKS. ^^*^ 



CHAPTER III. 

An interesting ceremony— Little Pedlington bank : obliginely give 
change for a Bank-of-England note to an utter stranger— Pedling- 
tonians apparently not theatrical — New Pump — Caution in criticism 
— A pleasant acquaintance : little Jack Hobbleday, a thorough-going 
Pedlingtonian — Civilities proffered : to be introduced to the magnates 
of the land — Mr. Shrubsole — Something like scandal — Hobbleday's 
candid opinion of his friend Shnibsole — Zoological Garden : monkey- 
mania of the Pedlingtonians — New burying-ground — Symptoms of a 
bore — Shrubsole's candid opinion of his friend Hobbleday — Evidence 
of the salubrity of the Vale of Health — Mineral spring discovered — 
Universal Knowledge S9ciety — Rival confectioners — Mr. Yawkins, 
the eminent publisher: important new works in progress — Miss 
Tidmarsh, and a tale of horror — Daubson's celebrated picture visited 
and oritioised — Culpable' conduct of the B. A's. 

Went first of all to the***** 

Next went to see the***** 

Afterwards went to look at the***** 

[Upon comparing my own notes with the masterly descrip- 
tions of the M.C., 1 find them so decidedly inferior to his, that 
(with only one or two exceptions) I shall suppress them ; 
confining myself chiefly to events, characters, and conversations.] 

Nearty twelve o'clock. Crowds of persons; with countenances 
eager and anxious, hurrying from all quarters to Market Square. 
Joined them. Exclamations of " Cruel loss ! " " Unparalleled 
villany ! " " Poor Miss Cripps !" " Serve her right ! " " It will 
be the death of her ! " &c., &c. Guessed the cause of the 
assemblage. As the clock struck twelve the crier appeared. 
Sudden silence, — almost awful, from its contrast with the pre- 
vious buzz. The crier carried a bell, which he sounded thrice, 
each time exclaiming (as nearly as I could understand the 
words), " Yes ! " Here some heartless reprobate in the 
crowd cried out, " no, if you think the bag will ever come to 
light." Symptoms of iust indignation, and ema ^l " ^^O^. 
shame!'' The crier then proceeded-, and ftilex d^\.«^%>">»^^ 



40 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

tone of voice interestingly monotonous, the contents of the bag, 
as already described to me by Scorewell, he concluded nj 
offering a reward of two-and-three-pence for its recovery (an 
advance of sixpence upon the first tempting inducement to an 
honest proceeding), and declaring, that " no higher reward won't 
be offered." Altogether an impressive ceremony. Would not 
have missed it for worlds. 

Went into a shop to purchase a pair of gloves. Found one of ^ 
my pockets turned inside out and my purse gone. Could not 
have been better done in London. Assured by the glover — who 
was a hardware-man also, and vendor of Burgess's fish-sauceft 
and Day and Martin's blacking — that " It was never no Ped- 
lingtonian what did that — they were above such things." My 
nasty, suspicious mind doubted, for a moment, whether Little 
Pediington were much better than other places, after all. Four 
not over-good people in it, by Scorewell's own admission, — and 
he a staunch Pedlingtonian, too. Psha ! it must have been the 
work of one of the London swell mob. Fortunately, my pocket- 
book was safe. 

Went to Messrs. Yawkins, Snargate, and Co. (the " obliging 
bankers," as they are truly designated in the guide-book ; agents 
also to the London Salamander Fire-office, and for the sale of 
James's powders), to change a twenty-pound note. Asked 
me how 1 chose to take it. Replied, "Sovereigns." Mr. 
Snargate, the junior partner, went into the back office. Li a 
few minutes returned with Mr. Yawkins, the head of the 
respectable firm. Mr. Yawkins regretted that at that moment 
they were rather short of specie. Obligingly paid me nineteen 
of their own notes (with a beautiful picture of the new pump 
upon them), a half-sovereign, seven-and sixpence in silver, and 
half-a-crown in halfpence. Suspect I must have looked rather 
queer at the notes, for Mr. Yawkins, without any other pro- 
vocation, assured me they were "as good as the Bank." 
" Which ? " thought I. Obligingly offered to send their " head 
clerk" (a scrubby-headed boy, who was watering the shop), 
with the halfpence to my inn. " Obliging bankers," indeed ! — a 
lesson for Lombard-street. Inquired how the subscription for 
the erecting of a new theatre went on. Mr. Yawkins shook his 
head. Said that although Mr. Ephraim Snargate, the architect 
(proposer of the scheme), had patriotically headed the list with 
a subscription of one-pound-one, — although Mr. Luke Snargate, 
the builder, had nobly followed his example, — althou?;h the 
Reamed Rummins had kindly pTom\seA ?oft. \\i?.ct\\AKwv icix VXsa 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 41 

foTindation-stone, and the celebrated Jubb a poetical address for 
the opening night, — nay, although their "house" had volun- 
tarily offered to receive subscriptions, he was sorry to add that 
'*^the Pedlingtonians did — not — subscribe" Shook wy head in 
reply, and took my leave. Sighed as I reflected upon such 
neglect of the drama even in Little Pedlington. 

Being so near the new pump, took the opportunity to examine 
it. Deserves all the praise that has been bestowed upon it : with 
its lion-mouthed spout, dolphin-tailed handle, and the figure of 
Neptune brandishmg his trident on the top, it is certainly far 
superior to any pump I have seen in London, scarcely even 
excepting that m Burlington Gardens. Aware as I am that it 
is not very agreeable to the inhabitants of any strange place one 
may visit to express an unfavourable opinion (although it be a 
true one) touching even so small a matter as a pump-ladle, yet, 
at the risk of being charged with want of candour, with malevo- 
lence, and ii^ratitude, I must say that I think the form of the 
ladle attachea to the latter is preferable ; certainly the botcl is 
more capacious. Perhaps a Pedlingtonian would not admit this ; 
but as this point is one, not of mere taste, but of positive depth 
and circumference, an actual measurement of boto ladles would 
settle it with mathematical precision, should any serious dispute 
arise on the subject : let us hope, however, that such will never 
occur. Made sKetches of the pump from three different points 
of view. Whilst I was thus engaged, was accosted by a fat, 
rosy, round-faced little man in a nankeen jacket and trousers, 
white waistcoat, and brown cloth foraging cap. Name (as I 
afterwards learnt) Hobbleday — familiarly cafled little Jack 
Hobbleday. He had been observing me for several minutes, 
and with evident satisfaction. 

''Man of taste, I perceive — intelligent traveller — laudable 
curiosity— ;yo« don't pass over the wonaers of nature with half 
an eye. Prom London, sir P'* 

" Yes, sir." 

"Never saw London; in fact, never was out of Little Ped- 
lington. Had the honour of being bom in the place — have had 
the honour of passing all my life in it — ^hope to have the honour 
of laying my bones in it. Should have no objection, though, to 
pass two or three days in London, just to see the sights, and yet, 
a Pedlingtonian needn't break his heart if he never did. You 
can show nothing there like that, I take it," (^^voiva.^ Vi ^^ 
pump). "Pooh, jpooh \ yon know yon caaoit" 

"1 don't think we can, sir — exactly." 



42 LITTLE PEDLXNGTON 

'' Well, well, Rome wasn't built in a day ; but as I understaad 
you are making great improvements there, why, one of theie 
days, perhaps — sir ; / am old enough to remember when we had 
nothing but a draw-well here; then came the old pump — a 
wooden thiug with a leaden handle, which, in those days, we 
thought a very fine affair ; at length — ^but you behold it. Ah, 
sir, this is a wonderful age we live in ! If my poor father could 
rise out of his grave and see this, where would he fancy himself? 
certainly not in Little Pedlington. By-the-bye, sir, my deare^ 
friend, as I am proud to call him, Mr. Simcox Bummins, the 
celebrated antiquair, has got the old pump-handle in his masean^ 
and I'm sure he'll nave great pleasure in showing it to you ; but 
— but — ^you must not attempt to take a drawing of it ; thai he 
toon't allow." 

"Perhaps, sir," said I, "as I am a stranger here, whose 
chief object in this visit is to see your sreat men, and M& 
llummins is a friend of yours, you would favour me with an 
introduction to him." 

" With the greatest pleasure in life, sir." 

" And to the Reverend Jonathan Jubb, your great poet P " 

" Why, that is rather more difficult, for he is literally torn te 
pieces by the curiosity of strangers to see him; however, at 
I am proud to say he is the best friend I have in the world, I wilL'* 

" I fear you will think me indiscreet ; but Mr. Baubson^ the 
celebrated painter " 

I' Daubson ? proud to say the oldest friend I have in the wcdld 
—introduce you with pleasure." 

" As for Mr. Hoppy " 

"Dear, darling Hoppy! proud to say my most intimaia 
friend — will introduce you. Most elegant creature! perfect 
gentleman! On Wednesday he ,gives a public breakfast ai 
Yawkins's skittle-ground ; you ought not to miss that— tha 
prettiest sight in all Pedlington, Daubson's greatest work ia 
there, you know — ^the " Grenadier," so finely described by Jubb. 
They'll fire the gun off, too — an immense cannon. They do say 
it is a four pounder, but, for my part, I only believe half I hear. 
And that extraordinary creature too, heHl exhibit his wonderM 
talents— a man, sir, who actually plays on the Pandean pipei 
and beats a drum at the same time — true, I assure you. Ah, 
Shrubsole," said he, to a person who approached us, " anything 
new to day ? " 

" Yes," replied Shrubsole, " Mrs. Sni^getaton. was brought la 
bed of twins, at two minutes past teui\i\amom\\v^r 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 43 

" Queen Anne's dead," said the other ; '•' that's old news to 
me ; lon^ before a quarter past I heard of it. But what about 
Miss Cnpps's bag ? " 

"No tidings of it. I just called Ihere, but she is in such 
a state of mind she doesn't see anybody — wouldn't even see me." 

" Ahem ! — I say, my dear S., now, between yon and me, what 
is your opinion about the two sovereigns which she says were in 
the bag?" 

" She says so, so no doubt there they were; but as I said just 
now to Mrs. S. * who ever saw Cripps witli gold in her purse ?' 
You know her whole income is but fifty-five pounds a year, and 
her quarter won't be due till next Wednesday week. !Besides, / 
know a certain person who wanted two pounds of her on Eriday, 
when she had not got them to pay; and you know that when her 
money does come in, nobody pays more punctually than poor 
dear Cripps. But the false front, the tooth, the rouge, a^d the 
orris-root ! that is a cruel exposure, to be sure. My little 
womauvwas right : she always insisted that Miss Cripps wore a 
false fronts ana now the murder's out." 

" Pooh, pooh ! that's nothing," said my friend ; " but the 
orris-root-— that's very odd. Though, I say, my dear Shrubsole, 
— isn't it good for the breath ? " 

" So I've heard ; and, as all Little Pedlington knows> she wa» 
always gnawing it. Well, good day, Hobbleday; I must go 
home. Mrs. Applegarth has just put up her new drawing-room 
curtains, and I have promised to take Mrs. S. to see them. I 
think they are the old ones dyed in turmeric ; and I'll answer for 
it my little woman will be of the same opinion." And away 
went Mr. Shrubsole. 

" To give you my candid opinion of that Mr. Shrubsole, sir," 
said Hoobleday, "he and his * little woman' are the most insuffer- 
able gossips in the place, and censorious to a degree ! The Mrs. 
Sniggerston he mentioned — the twin lady — is the wife of Snigger- 
ston, the library-keeper, who once tried to set up a guide-book 
itt opposition to Hoppy's — ^wouldn't do — my friend Hoppy's 
carriea all before it. Well, sir, she and Tupkin, the butcher 
there in the market — ahem ! — How poor Sniggy can be so blind 
is astonishing, when the affair is talked of from one end of 
Little Pedlington to the other ! But she comes of a bad stock 
^ — she's a Shrapnell ; her father, Tom Shrapnell, the grocer, 
formed a connection with Mrs. Kumble, an. 8LcUes»?» \s^ ^\.yvj^^ 
oompauj here — turned his wife (a dear goodaovjX) owXiOii ^'^^x'Sfr^ 
and compelled her to live upon a separate mMXi\.«ftatt!Cfc oi ^\«wft. 



44 LITTLE PEDLDfGTON 

pounds a year. Then, her sister Flora, who was housemaid it 
my uncle's at the time he had the honour of being chordl- 
warden here, ran off with the guard of the Winklemouth ooaob, 
and has never since been heard of." 

"What!" thought I, "slander and detraction, lobberiefl, 
elopements, separate maintenances, and worse, in suck a place ii 
Little Pedlington! — then have honesty, honour, and viiine 
abandoned the world, and one might almost as well pass one's 
life in wicked, abominable London." 

" Now, sir," continued Hobbleday, in a half-whisper, " ihi&tt 
things would not so much matter if they were conmied to our 
own class; but when one sees upper-servants in families, and 
tradesfolks — ^mere tradesfolks — ^apemg their betters, it puts aa 
end to all distinctions, you know, sir." 

After a short pause, he resumed. " Will you walk, sir P Per- 
il aps you would like to see our Zoological Garden? The admis- 
sion to strangers is two-pence; but as I have the honour of bem^ 
a life-governor, I have tne privilege of introducing a friend.** 

" There is no mention of such a thing in the guide-book," 
said I. 

"Why, no— aU done, projected and executed, within these 
three months ; and, considering the time, we are getting on veiy 
well. Let me see — (and he counted on his fingers) — panOt, 
cockatoo, guinea-pig, duck— not vour common duck-and-green- 
peas sort of duck, but a Virginia auck, I think they call it-— #im 
monkeys, a stuffed leopard, nearly ^/fy stuffed birds, two live 
canaries, and — ^we shall have an uncommon fine swan when the 
man ha^ finished digging the pond for it. Getting up something 
of the same sort in London, I understand. Lost no time in 
taking our hint, eh P But will you ffo ? Won't be at all oat of 
my way : going to the Vale of Health to pay visits of condo- 
lence to poor Hubkins, who has in^t lost his wife and three 
children bj scarlet-fever, and to Widow Grieves, whose oiliir 
daughter is just dead of asthma. Go ? All in my way — oir 
Zoo is just between the Vale of Health and the new btuying- 
ffround. How do, Digges — ^how do ? Nothing fresh about Jdln 
Cripps's bag, eh P" 

This he s^dressed to a tall, stout, rosy-faced man in black» iHm) 
was walking alon^ at a stately pace. 

" That man, sir, ought to he the happiest fellow in Litde 
Pedlington, for he's making a fortune. It is Digges, the under- 
taker-— just married Dr. Drencli'a eldest dovi^det — great con- 
neotion for him, for the doctor's i^xaeXivee \^ "^e-r^ ^T^^sc^asA^ 



AND THE PBDLINGTONIANS. 45 

and he naturally recommends his own son-in-law. Come ; now 
^go!" 

To the Zoological Garden. — Cockatoo good — could not say 
much for the guinea-pig; but, in consideration of my new 
acquaintance's civility, abstained from uttering an unfavourable 
opinion, which might have given him pain. Like Samuel John- 
son, LL.D. (who, it is at length discovered, was but a mere 
twaddler after all), I may be set down for " a fat ojd fool — a 
dense fool," for this : so be it : yet can't help wishing that 
some of my fellow-joumalizers would follow xny squeamish 
example. My conductor kindly (importunately, I had almost 
said) directed my most particular attention to every individual 
thing that was to be seen, even to the last tail of the last stuffed 
bird in the collection — treading their several descriptions from 
the well-digested catalogue (written on a slate), with which, as 
life-governor, he had on our entrance been furnished by the 
keeper, who was digging the pond for the swan. N.B.— -CJata- 
logue the joint wont of Simcox Rummins, F.S.A., and Dr. 
Drainum ; assisted (on particular points of natural history) by 
Mr. Chickney, the poulterer. Good-naturedly detained me up- 
wards of ten minutes looking at the parrot swinging on a vrire. 
" Vastly curious ! " as he justly observed. Unfortunately, the 
monkeys sulky, and would not show. To go again on Sunday, 
at a quarter past one, immediately upon coming out of chuTch, 
to see them do something or another which he did not exactly 
explain, but which, he assured me, is the most beautiful sight in 
the universe, worth going miles to see, and is all the rage, par- 
ticularly with the ladies, in Little Pedlington. 

Being so near the new burying-ground, Hobbleday kindly in- 
sisted upon taking me all over it. Was so obliging as to stop 
me at every individual tomb-stone, and to read sJoud every word of 
every inscription — assuring me, now and then, that if I chose to 
copy any of them that particularly pleased me, he was not in the 
least huriy. This I declined, bein^ unwilling to trespass over- 
much upon his good nature. Havmg looked at seventy-two of 
these interesting memorials, I complained of the heat, which 
(under a broiling sun) was intense, and proposed to depart. 
Hobbleday put his arm through mine, and declared he coula not 
think of my going till I had seen all — only about fortv more to 
see. Did see all, as I thought. Yet one more, whicn he had 
reserved for the last — the bonne do«cAe— ou Wiwsxssi^ ^\.*"^'6» 
" sweetly prettf " epit&]phy as he termed it, aadL ^^3M2Si»V^ 's^^* 
was attributed to Jnbh. Had to traver&e tVi^i NAiOie \«\\^^ ^ 



46 LITTLE PEDLnfGTON 

the grouiid to gel afc it;. Forced me to take a copy of it, lie 

repeating it to me : — 

" Afflictions soro 
Long time I here; " — * 

As he uttered these four words, involuntarily exclaimed, " Yoa 
do !" II ne m^ ipargnera pas nn oignmi, thought I. 

" And now," said my obliging cicerone, " being so near tlie 
Vale of Health, we'll see that" Endeavoured to excuse mysd( 
on the score of the trouble to him^ — fatigue, and the incon- 
venience of the heat, to myself ; but in vain. On to the Vrfe 
of Health. Upon our way thither, I expressed my admiration 
of the virtues of the Pedlingtonians, as proved by the " short 
and simple annals " recorded on the tomb-stones of the departed 
who reposed in the, new burying-ground : they being the " best <rf 
husbands," the "most affectionate of wives," the "most dutiful 
of children," or the " most faithful of friends." " True," said 
Hobbleday; " and it is something for us to be proud of. *Ti8 
the same thing, too, in the old burying- ground — they were angels 
upon earth, rest their souls ! I wish, though, we could say as 
much of the live ones : I could name a few of them, who, wnen 
they go, won't be quite so favourably mentioned. Stop — pardon 
one moment, whilst I leave my compliments of condolence over 
the way." 

Left me for a few minutes. Took refuge in my own reflections. 
Not comfortable at hearing this slur upon some of the live Ped- 
lingtonians. Eelt certain misgivings as to whether this retired 
country-town were much more moral, or, in other respects, much 
better than " populous cities proud." 

Whilst I was waiting the return of Hobbleday, Mr. Shrubsole 
came up to me. 

"I think, sir," said he, "that was my friend Hobbleday who 
just left you?" 

I told him it was. 

" I dare say you find him a charming companion. What a 
tongue he has 1 I wish, though, he didn't sometimes make so 
ill a use of it ; for, to give you my candid opinion of that Mr. 
Hobbleday, he is the most censorious little wretch in the place; 

* Having since boon informed by an intelligent friend that this 
epJiapb is to be found in two or three oiYier -^A^cea m ^Ti!^^TA>Q^^\ds^ 
Li6tJe PedliDgton, I suppress tho remaindeT. 



AND THE PEDUNGTOinANS. 47 

slanderous, malidous, malignant! Well, he may say what he 
pleases about me ; thank my stars, he can say nothmg to my 

disadvantage. Grood mor Ob, when Hobbleday returns, 

pray tell him that my little woman and I have just seen the new 
window-curtains, wmch, as we suspected, turn out to be nothing 
but the old ones died in turmeric, after all. But that old woman 
is the vainest, the most boastful — in short, the greatest liar in all 
Little Pedlington. Grood morning, sir." 

In one respect, I was not sorry to learn that Mr. Hobbleday 
was of somewhat a censorious turn : it gave me hope that some 
of the live Little Pedlingtonians might be better than his report 
of them. He returned. 1 delivered the message, but suppressed 
the opinion. Took me all over the Vale of Health. Must admit 
that we have nothing at all like it in or near London — if, indeed, 
we except a cow-field near Camden-town. Eighteen small houses, 
scattered about, chiefly occupied by invalids, who retire thither 
on account of the superior salubrity of the spot. At a very 
pretty cottage, called Hygeia Lodge, saw two mutes standing 
at the door. 

Taken to the extreme corner of the Vale. A man busy 
planting shrubs and young trees about a deep hole. Wondered 
what that was for. Informed by Hobbleday that Doctors Drench 
and Drainum (their celebrated physicians, and the proprietors of 
that portion of the ground) had had the good fortune to discover 
there a mineral spring of the nastiest water you ever put to 
your lips. " Tve tasted it," continued Hobbleday ; " enough to 
poison a dog ! so it will be the making of the place, as they say. 
But what is to become of Cheltenham, Harrowgate, Tunbridge 
Wells, and such places ? — however, poor devils ! that's their 
affair." Fancied 1 smelt something like the detestable odour of 
a tan-yard. Peeped through the window of a small shed, the 
door of which was fastened by a strong padlock. Saw a box of 
sulphur, a couple of bags of iron filings, a pile of stale red- 
herrings, some raw hides cut into strips, and a quantity of bark, 
such as the tanners use. Wondered what that was for. As 
Hobbleday wondered also, I was nothing the wiser for my 
inquiry. 

Went by the way of High Street ; returned by the Crescent. 
Crescent worthy of all the praise bestowed upon it by Felix 
Hoppy. Mr. Hobbleday regretted that the sun had "gone in," 
so that the " highly- polished brass knockers" d\4 «iQk\. ^\i«s&\saii 
as much as he hm sometimes seen. them. 'B^\\^'^ XJofc \sss^a» 
whcTfi ''dwelt the tuneful Jubbl" An od^ ke\v^%, -^YvSft. V 



48 LITTLE PEDLIN6T0N. 

shall neither attempt to describe nor account for^ comes OTtt 
one upon these occasions. Contemplating the abode of genim! 
At tms moment, perhaps, the bard of Fedlingtonia is in t 
raptured trance. 

Walked down South Street. Hobbleday directed mj attcfr 
tion to a painted board just underneath the first-floor window of 
No. 18 : it bore the words, '' Little Fedlin^on Uniyenal- 
Knowledge-Societj ;" and these were surmounted bj a Britannia 
(evidently copied from a penny-piece), with a trident in the left 
nand, and a cockatoo held forth in the right. With a slidt 
inclination of the head, accompanied by a complacent smileiJbe 
said, "/— /, sir, have the honour of being a member, comoin^ 
with Kummins, Jubb, Hoppy, Daubson — ^in short, all the big- 
^wigs of Little Fedlington. We have meetmga'^conversyiioi^ 
— ^twice a week : a library, too ? — Murray's * Grammar,* Entidifs 
'Dictionary,' Guthrie's 'Geography,* and (besides other useivl 
works) we have the ' Penny Magazine,' complete Jrom — the — very 
firstr 

"But what is the meaning of that figure, sir ?" said I, point- 
ing to the Lady Britannia. 

" Ha ! thought you'd notice that. That, sir, is the work of 
our own Daubson : needn't go out of Little Pedlington for sndi 
things. The figure, I needn't tell you^ is Minerva — 'flttiif 
emblem!' as Hoppy says of the dolphin's tail for our pnn^ 
handle." -, 

" Minerva! — and with a cockatoo in her hand !" 

" Dear me ! that's very odd. You are almost the firstperson— 
a visitor, I mean — ^who ever noticed that. Of course, we knov 
veiy well it ought, in strictness, to be an owl ; but Daubson, wix) 
is the arbitrator elegantium of Little Pedlington, thought thai i 
cockatoo would be a prettier thing; and as we luckily nappened 

to have one in our Zoo for him to paint from, why . 1 saj, 

how naturally he has got the yellow tuft on the head, and tJie 
red spot on the neck ! Clever creature I clever creature ! Sf^ 
we go at once to the skittle-ground, and see his greai work-^the 
famous grenadier ? " 

This I declined, pleading, as my excuse, fatigue and tke 
intense heat. 

" Well, then," said my obliging companion, " to-morrow. 

You must allow me to call upon you to-morrow, and I'll show 

you more of the beauties and curiosities of our place. No denial, 

now — 220 trouble to rae. Never so happy as when I am in the 

company of an intelligent visitor" — (^cxe\i^\iQ^^^ — '^^-^V'Ck^fc. 



AND THE PEDLIXGTOJflAKS^ 49 

appreciate — ^you understand. Besides, from my position in 

society, I enjoy opportunities which . Eor instance — 

Rummins's public day for his Museum is Friday : now /, from 
my position, as I said, am allowed the privilege of introducing a 
fnend there any day in the week : for, besides being a member of 
the Knowledge Society, and a life-governor of the Zoo, I have 
the honour, sir, to be — ahem' ! — Deputy Chairman of the Little 
Pedlington Savings Bank. Good morning ; I wish you a very 
good morning. Ha! a rush at Yawkins's library. Shouldnt 
wonder if they have news of Miss Cripps's bag." And to the 
library Mr. Hobbleday proceeded. 

Dymg of heat and thirst. Inquired of a boy, who was carry- 
ing a band-box, whether they had a confectioner in the place ? 

" What ! " said he, " a confectioner in such a place as Lipple- 
ton ! Where do you come from, I should like to know ? We 
have two in our place — Stintum's over the way, and Mrs. Shanks's, 
in Market Square. I say. Bill" — (this was addressed to another 
boy who happened to pass) — "here's a gentleman wants to know 
if we hav'n't never a confectioner in Lippleton. That's a good 
one, isn't it?" 

To Stintum's. — ^A confectioner! Gingerbread, raspberry- 
tarts, hard biscuits, and three-cornered puffs on the counter; 
bottles of lollipops, sugar-candy, bull's-eyes, and coloured sugar- 
plums on the window-shelves ; — a clear case of a Gunter adapted 
to the capacity of the rising generation. Mr. Stintum told me, 
in answer to my request for an iced cream, that he had nothing 
to do with sucn nonsense, nor had his father before him ; that 
he didn't want to get himself into the Gazette^ by going out of 
his line, though a certain person in Market Square might. He 
didn't care to make a fine show in his window : all he desired 
was, to maintain his character as an honest tradesman. "I 
don't want to speak ill of a neighbour," continued he : " every 
one must look after their own soul ; Tve done nothing in this 
world to forfeit mine. I can sleep at night, because I've nothing 
weighty upon my conscience ; and if it were the last word I had 
to spejut" — (what horrid crime can that unhappy Mrs. Shanks 
have committed, thought I, that should excite the fears even of 
a rival pastrycook for her salvation?) — "if it were the last 
word I had to speak, I could safely say that I never put salt 
butter into my tarts." 

Went to the shop of Mrs. Shanks, in M?iTkei\. ^^^^x^ \ yoL "s^ 
respects, except one, worthy of Little PedVm^Voiv. ^Vcv^<^"^ 
decorated with an exquisite model, iu "barley -SM^iax, ^l ^^vvi ^^^ 

E 



50 LITTLE IEDLI^■GTON 

pump in Market Square, and paste figures innumerable of 
Apollos and Yenuses, shepherds and shepherdesses, &c. fte. 
Announcements in various parts of " Suppers provided on the 
shortest notice," " Confectionary of all sorts," " Water ioes 
and iced creams." Mrs. Shanks, a skinny little woman, perched 
on a high chair behind the counter; yellow face; green patch 
over the right eye ; curly, flaxen wig, encircled by a wreath ol 
faded artificial roses ; pale-blue silk dress ; hn^ ^t neek-duda 
and bracelets ; a jug before her, with flowers m it. Reminded 
me of the once celebrated divinity of the Cafe des Mille Cokman 
in the Palais Roval. Lamentable to reflect that the sonl con- 
tained in such a Dody should be in jeopardy, and all on aocxRist 
of a little salt butter smuggled into a tart. 

" What ice can I have, Mrs. Shanks ?" 

" Whatever you please, sir." 

" Lemon-water, then." 

Mrs. Shanks opened alon^, narrow book, in a parchment 
cover, dipped a pen into the ink, and inquired, "When for, air? 
and how much do you wish to have ?" 

** Now, if you please ; and one glass to begin with." 

" Oh ! we don't keep ices ready-made, sir ; but we can make 
you any quantity you please, not less than a quart, at only cue 
day's notice." 

Assuredly Little Pedlington possesses many advantages ; ye^ 
oh ! dear London ! 

" Is there any other shop in the town where I may get some ? 
I'm dying for it." 

** N o, sir ; ours is the only house in the line in all the place where 
respectable people can go. We don't make our pastry witii 
mutton dripping ; we don't use red-lead and copper to colour our 
. sugar-plums ; we never gave poor little Susan Gobbleton — the 
sweetest child in the world ! — the colic it died of. But I'm 
certain that monster Stintum, sir, can't sleep in his bed; and 
that's the comfort of it." 

Little more than twelve hours, sleeping and waking, in this 
place, — " too good for us poor sinners to live in," — and have 
already heard of as much vice, immorality, and roguery, grett 
and small, going on in it, as if it were a wicked, large town; 
yet not the convenience of procuring an iced cream on a hot day 
(excepting, indeed, by ordering it a day before-hand) as a set-oH 
against it all ! 

Four 0^ clock. Went to Yawkina'a libraiy. Subscribed fort 
month, Set my name down also mWve "^«0?^\»^» '^S^uj^ 



\ 



AND THE FEDUNGTONIANS. 51 

to fcnow the present station of the — th dragoons, as I was 
desirous of writing by that night's post to a friend who was in 
it, and requested Mr. Yawldns to let me see the Army List. 
Fortunate in subscribing with him, for his was the only library 
in the place that possessed one. Produced the list for last 
November twelvemonth. Yawkins deserves his character for 
" urbanity," (vide " Guide,") for he told me, if I particularly 
wished to see it, he would order a new one down, along with the 
magazines, next Tuesday week. Purchased Jubb*s "Pedling- 
tonia," price two shillmgs, and Eummins's '' Antiquities of 
Little Pedlington," price one-and-sixpence. Yawkins assured 
me they were the two greatest works that had ever issued from 
the Little Pedlington press — Hoppy's " Guide" scarcely excepted. 
Yawkins expressed some astonishment that neither of those 
works had been noticed either in the " Quarterly" or the 
" Edinburgh." Thought such marked neglect of the two master- 
minds of the age a manifestation of a psdtry spirit. Altogether 
above such pettiness at Little Pedlington. The Pedlmgton 
" Weekly Observer" had spoken of Rogers, and Moore, and 
Campbell, of Hallam, Lingard, and Southey, and such like ; — ay, 
and with great kindness, too, notwithstanding. "I verily 
believe," he continued, — ** I verily believe, there are but two men 
in our town who would not have acted with equal generosity, 
and those are Snargate and Sniggerston, who keep an inferior 
sort of circulating libraries here: but they are, notoriously, 
a couple of paltry fellows, and I have no hesitation in saying 
so !" 

" What ! two more of them ! " thought I. 
' " And pray, Mr. Yawkins, is Mr. Rummins engaged upon any 
new work?" 

** A work which will nroduce a powerful sensation, sir ; espe- 
cially here in Little Pedlington. feummins is writing the * Life 
and Times* of Jiis great contemporary, Jubb." 

"AndMr.Jubb?" 

" Jubb, sir, is writing the * Life and Times' of his illustrious 
townsman, Rummins. Rummins, you know, sir, is an P.S.A., 
so that the world will naturally look for a biography of him / " 

" Would not the ' Table Talk' of such a man be interest- 



ing 



?»» 



" Why — aw — ^to speak candidly, I do not think that — ^to the 
generality of readers, at least — I don't t\mik. iX.-^QroW^ ^^-t^Hsv 
say tbe truth, be — aw — never says anyt\mie ^t ?)J^. "^^, ^^^ \ "^^ 
Is one ofjrourthiakmgmexk, as you. maj gav;xetixwa.V\^^^^^i«^^• 

s 2 



52 LITTLE PEDLINGTO^r 

But Jubb, now— Jubb's * Table-talk/ indeed! But I Lave 
reason to believe Hoppy is engaged upon that work, and the 
very man for the purpose. I have lived in Little Pedlington all 
my life, sir, yet, I give you my honour, such another talker as 
Jubb / neter met with. A\''onaerful, truly wonderful ! — ^I have 
heard him talk for three hours without stopping ; and so pro- 
found, so amazingly profound, is his conversation, that one-naif 
of what he says his hearers cannot understand, whilst he himself 
does not understand the other. Truly wonderful, indeed ! " 

At this moment, a tall, thin, elderly lady, in deep monmin^ 
entered the shop. One end of a long blacK ribbon she held in 
her hand, and to the other was fastened a fat, waddling French 
poodle. The lady was attended by a jaded-looking footman, 
m an orange-coloured coat, profusely ornamented with green 
worsted lace : he carried a large, wadded, black silk cloak, a 
shawl, a book, a bag of biscuits, a camp-chair, and a footstool. 

" Good moniing, mem," said Yawkins, as the lady took a seat; 
" I hope you arc a little better to-day ?" 

" I shall never again be the person I was, — at least in this 
world, Yawkins. I shall never recover from the effects of it." 

*' It was a heavy blow, — a sad loss indeed, mem. And that 
the monster who perpetrated the crime should have escaped 
undiscovered ! But justice will overtake him, sooner or later, 
take my word for it, mem." 

" That will be a benefit to society, Yawkins, but no consola- 
tion to mc. That won't restore him to life." 

" Poor lady !" thought I ; " some relation, or dear friend, bar- 
barously murdered!" 

The lady continued : — "Is the first volume of the *Sad Story' 
at home yet ? I have been upwards of a month 'down* for it." 

" Mo, mem ; but as soon as it does come home, you shall have 
it." 

"Remember that, now; for you know I read the two last 
volumes first, to oblige Miss Cripps, who was waiting for them." 

"Why, mem, you know if subscribers didn't accommodate 
each other in that way, we shouldn't get on at all. Talking of 
Miss Cripps, sorry to say that the report so general, about an 
hour ago, of her having recovered her bag, is not true." 

" Poor Cripps ! I'm very sorry for it, — not that I believe a 
word about the two sovereigns. Pray, Yawkins, how does the 
raffle for the tea-tray and patent snuffers get on?" 

" Whj mcmy you know the list \\a.stii'\» Xi^evi u^ ^Wi^ ^ Cort- 

4 SLud foitj chances^ at aeibiWias ?k^\ettft,\.^^^\Qiti^^\s!ifc 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 53 

to fill up. However, we arc getting on : eiglileen down already, 
and I have every reason to expect that Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs and 
Mrs. Pit35-Bobbin — ^visitors from London — ^will each take two 
chances. They are considering abont it." 

" Well, Yawkins, it is but fair to tell you that, on Saturday, I 
tea'd with Mrs. Hobbleday, in the Crescent ; there was a large 
party ; the whole evening we talked about little else but your 
raffle ; and the general opinion was, that yoa would have done 
much better with eighty chances at sixpence." 

** How, mem ! " exclaimed Yawkins, with an air of oifended 
dignity ; " much obliged to Mrs. Hobbleday and her party : a 
sixpenny raffle might do very well at such a place as Sniggers- 
ton's, or Snargate's, but I should like to know what the company 
at Yawkins' 8 would say to such a thing. No, mem" — (here he 
turned his eyes up to the ceiling, and placed his hand on his 
heart) — "no, mem; rather than so compromise the respecta- 
bility of mi/ establishment, I would almost sooner return the 
eighteen shillings to the subscribers, and sell the tea-tray and 
snuffers at prime cost." 

The lady, after feeding the fat poodle with a couple of biscuits 
from the bag, withdrew— having first sent her unhappy servant 
forward with her commands that he would place her chair and 
foot-stool ready for her at the sunny comer of the Crescent. 

"That's the Miss Titmarsh y^ou must have heard so much 
about in London, sir," said Yawkins. 

"I never heard the name till now," replied I. "But what is 
the nature of the calamity which has befallen her ?" 

" Why, that is it, sir. Dear me ! it's very extraordinary you 
should not have heard of it in London ! Why, sir, it kept all 
Little Pedlington in a ferment for a month. Except about that 
atrocious affair of stealing the pump-ladle, — ^which, of course, 
you must have heard of, — I never knew the town in a state of 
such tremendous excitement. She had a most beautiful Prench 
poodle, sir — twice as fat as the one she has got with her now — 
such a quantity of hair, too, and as soft as silk ! She was in 
this very shop with it, sir, only the day before it happened. 
Well, sir, one morning she missed the dog: about two hours 
afterwards the poor thing returned, but in what a state ! Con- 
ceive her horror — conceive the agonizing shock to her feelings ! 
Some monster, some fiend in human form, had cut all its hair off 
— got hold of Miss Titmarsh's poodle and a\iai>TG^ \\< — ^-ar^^^Si^, 
sir, as smooth as the palm of your handl" 

"Horrible, indeed I " I exclaimed ; " au^ ^^i^^i «fiL cn^^ ^^ 



54 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

such 'stirring interest' in Little Pecjlin^on should remain 
unknown to ttsP* Adding, ''But strange as it may seem to you, 
Mr. Yawkins, it is my fixed belief that were a troop of monsters, 
a legion of fiends m human shape, to shave all the dogs of 
every description that infest one-half of London, the other half 
would probably never know anything of the occurrence." 

" Then blessed be Little Pedlington ! " replied Tavkins, 
where everybody is acquainted with everybody else's affairs, at 
least as well as with his own." 

Yet half-an-hour to spare before dinner. Time enough, 
perhaps, to see Daubson's grand picture — ^the grenadier. In- 
quirea whereabouts was Yawkins's skittle-ground. Informed 
tnat it was an immense way off — quite at the further end of the 
town. Hopeless for to-day, tnought I; but asked what the distance 
might be. Told, nearly four minutes' walk. Went; stood 
before the " ail-but-breathing Grenadier," as it is designated by 
Jubb. Hard to describe its first effect upon me. As I ap- 
proached it, involuntarily took off my hat. Thermometer 84* 
m the shade. Daubson certainly an original genius: unlike 
Reynolds, Lawrence, Phillips, Briggs, or Pickersgill. Neither 
did his work put me miich in mind of Titian or Vandyke— 
not in the least of Rembrandt. No servile imitator — ^in fact, 
no imitator at all. Perhaps a military critic mi^ht object 
that the fixed bayonet is rather longer than the musket itself: 
be this as it may, owing to that contrivance, it appears a most 
formidable weapon. In order that the whole of tne arms and 
accoutrements may be seen by the spectator, the painter, with 
considerable address, has represented the cartridge-box and the 
scabbard of the bayonet in front. Scabbard about one-third the 
length of the bayonet — judicious — ^needless to exaggerate in this 
— nothing formidable m the appearance of a long scabbard, 
whatever may be thought of a long bayonet. Legs considerably 
thicker than the thighs — grand idea of stability— character- 
istic of a "grenadier standing sentry." Upon the whol& a 
work worthy of its fame, notwithstanding its rejection by that 
envious and exclusive, that much and justly-censured body, the 
KA.'s. 

Took ray leave of the Grenadier, resolving to "put in" for a 
chance for immortality, by having my profile in black, done by 
the unrivalled hand of the Pedlingtonian Apelles. 



a:.'d the rEDLINGIOI;IA^^s. 35 



CHAPTER IV. 

Suramer-dkinor at a country inn— Mr. Hobbloday, the kind and 
obliging : his call merely to look at the clock — Invite him to wine — A 
charming member of society described — Modern abbeys, castles, 
&c. : why so designated — Old acquaintance : Colonel Dominant an(^ 
Mr. Truckle — Hobbleday a "humbug" ? ! — News worth waking for. 

Five o'clock. Returned to " as nice a little dinner as I could 
wish to sit down to." Such was I promised by mine host. 
Thermometer inveterately holding to 84°. Huge not round of 
beef, which filled the room with steam ; hot suet dumplings, and 
hard ; hot carrots, each as big as the grenadier's leg ; scalding 
hot potatoes in their skins, Sice little dinner indeed — for the 
season ! 

Five minutes past five, Finished dinner and ordered some 
wine. Wine fiery as brandy, and warm: complained of it. 
Scorewell assured me it was the very same wine he was in the 
habit of serving to the family with the fly, and that they never 
complained of it. Indeed, neither did the St. Knitalls, nor the 
Fitz-Bobbins, nor Mr. TwistwireviUe, nor even Mr. De Stew- 
pan (who was remarkably particular about his wine), — in short, 
this was the first time his (Scorewell's) wine bad ever been com- 
plained of by mortal man. Such authorities it would have been 
downright insolence to oppose. Said no more, but simply ordered 
a little weak brandy-and-water. Scorewell undertooK to "try 
again." Whilst he was away, fancied I heard a pump-handle at 
work. Returned; wine by no means so strong, and much 
cooler. The first decanter chipped at the lip ; so was this — odd 
coincidence. Inquired how the decanter came to be so wet out- 
side ? Scorewell replied, that he had just given it a minute in 
ice. That's a reason, thought I. 

Whilst I was sipping my wine, and reading Jubb's " Pedling- 
tonia," — (found Rummins's "Antiquities" too kair^ad, \m 
profound, for after-diimer reading), — -Mr. "Hlo\^^'&^^1 ^sasaa \\i.. 
Mereljr looked in to see the time by \\ie co^I^^-xootcdl 0^<^^. 



56 LITTLE PEDLIXGTON 

EecollectiDg his civilities to me in the morning, invited him to 
» wine. Ordered a fresh bottle. " Know the sort of wine Mr. 
Hobbleday likes," said Scorewell, as he quitted the room. 

" Good creature that Scorewell," said Hobbleday, '* and this 
one of the best inns in Little Pedlington." 

" Then I am fortunate," said I, " in having accidentally been 
broil rrht to it. The other innkeepers are but moderately nonest. 
—at least so I am told by Scorewell ; and for a stranger, as I 
am, to have fallen upon the only one who " 

" What I say, understand me, I say in confidence. Good 
creature — capital inn ; but call your bill every morning — ^that is, 
if you should find it possible to stay at it for more than a day o\ 
two. Call it, I say, every morning — ^you understand. In the 
hurry of business, people sometimes forget what you have not 
had, and down it goes into the bill. After a week or so, you 
can't tax your memory as to whether you had such or sudi a 
thing, or not; and, rather than dispute about it, why you— 
ahem ! Now, Scorewell, what have you done for us, eh P Is 
that some of Colonel Dominant's wine ?" 

Scorewell assured us that it was, and left us. 

" Who is Colonel Dominant?" inquired I. 

" What ! " cried Hobbleday, with astonishment ; " who is 
Colonel Dominant ? Pooh, pooh ! you can't ask that question 
seriously. Tou know — everybody knows — must know him. 
Great man — lately returned from the East Indies — ^was governor 
of Fort Popan'gobang. Should like the colonel to hear anybody 
ask who he is P " 

" Erom India ! That somehow brings the name to my mind." 

" I was sure you had heard of him, sir," said Hobbleday. 
" Why, he is a descendant of the great Drawcansir : his cr^ 
is a sledge-hammer, and his motto, ' All this I can do be- 
cause I dare.' Has got a place about ten miles off — Guttlebuiy 
Abbey." 

" Guttlebury Abbey! Some interesting ruins to be seen 
there, eh, Mr. Hobbleday?" 

" Ruins ! Pooh, pooh ! They say there was an abbey there^ 
or thereabouts, millions of ages ago, but there is not a stick or a 
stone remaining of it." 

"Then why does the gallant colonel call his place an 
abbey?" 

"Eirst," gravely replied Hobbleday, " because it's the fashion; 
and, secondly, because it's a small, aq]aMejT^dVimt\\a\\se^ stand* 
jng in a cabbsLge-garden." 



AND THE PEDIINGTONIANS. 5? 

The second being as good a reason as is frequently to be fonnd 
for nicknaming residences of similar pretensions manors, abbeys, 
places, and castles, I was satisfied with it. 

" He is here now," continued Hobbleday ; " he generally 
passes the fashionable season here : stays at Mrs. Stintum's 
Doarding-house. You should dine there some day: there you 
would see him in all his glory. Extraordinary creature ! — has 
got a tail." 

" Got a tail ! " exclaimed I ; " the monster ! " 

" Pooh, pooh ! I don't mean that sort of tail ; but a tail, you 
know, — obsequious followers; toadies, as we call them here. 
He has only to say that black is white, and they must swear to it." 

"Poor devils!" I exclaimed. "But why call this wine 
Colonel Dominant's ? Is he a wine-merchant ?" inquired I. 

" No," replied Hobbleday ; " but he says it is the only wine 
in the place fit to drink, and he knows everything better than 
anybody else — at least, he thinks he does : consequently, every- 
thing he may choose to say about all things in the world is like 

the law of the Medes and Prussians in Little Pedlington at 

least, he thinks it ought to be." 

"Is he, then, a man of such exquisite taste, such extensive 
knowledge, such unerring judgment, such " 

"Of course," replied Hobbleday, — "at least, he thinks he is. 
He is the man that came over in two ships, that I can tell you, 
— at least, he thinks he did. Pleasant, amiable creature, though, 
and easily satisfied upon the whole : requires nothing more than 
to have everything exactly his own way ; and, at Mrs. Stintum's 
boarding-house, especially, he will have it, — at least, as often as 
he can get it. When he can't, why, he naturally growls at 
everything and everybody." 

" An agreeable companion for the other guests at Mrs. Stint- 
um's boarding-house," said I. 

" Have you any of the Dominant family in London ?" inquired 
Hobbleday. 

" I never met with one," replied I ; " nor do I think that an 
animal such as yon have described would long be tolerated there 
in any society possessing the slightest respect for itself, or the 
power of relieving itself of so offensive an associate." 
. At this moment, Hobbleday, starting from his seat, exclaimed, 
"There he goes!" I looked out into the street, and beheld^ 
strutting along, the identical Colonel I)otmxiasi\., ^\iws\. ^ V^ 
acddentallf wet a few years before, and -vAiose TMWRa \ia^ \5x^ 
now struck me as being not altogether unknown. ^Qxaa* 



68 UTTLB PEDMNGTON 

Picard, ia the preface to one of his pleasant comedies, says oC' 
a certain character — "It was drawn from the life: its or^imLi 
paid roe a visit one morning ; almost whilst he was speakuig I ■ 
wrote down his words — ei voila la scene,*' Thus, of the tmeftf 
following short scenes, I may say, that they are literal transoriiitel 
from what I actually witnessed. Of the names of the dramaik& 
personcB I shall say nothing; but the dialogue I give withoiU 
exaggeration, and 1 really believe without the alteration of *a 
material word. .i 

If with unblushing effrontery I can confess, not only that It 
know where is Bloomsbury Square, but that I have been in it«fi 
if I have the hardihood to acknowledge as my friends, humaaj 
beings who absolutely reside there : nay, more ; if, without tbod. 
slightest sense of shame or of remorse, I own that, upon oocasioiv:) 
I positively visit them, it will be the less wondered at thai lb 
should be capable of declaring in the face of all Europe that>i 
once I was at Margate. But as Goldsmith's bear danced to^ 
" none but the genteelest of tunes," so did I appear at none but 
the genteelest of places — ^the French Bazaar, Bettison's Ldbraii^ \ 
Clifton*s Bathing-Rooms,* and Howe's (The Royal) Hoteli 
By the bye, I am informed that, smce I was there, the hotel and.) 
the library, both being ruined, are closed ; the consequence oCi 
which is, that not a soul is to be seen in or near Hawley Sqoaxc^j 
wherein they are situated. But ought not this desertion of tfafti 
neighbourhood to be attributed rather to the circumstance ife 
the theatre (which is near it) being open ? It is so elsewhcirs. ■ 

It was at Margate, then, that scenes the first and seccoui' 
occurred. 

Iwas taking my dinner in the coffee-room at Howe's Hoiet: 
At a table opposite to mine (the only other table in the spacioas:> 
apartment that was occupied) sat two gentlemen,. Goldiidc f 
Dominant and Mr. Truckle. The former was a tall man, thii; | 
and stiff, with red hair cut very close, large bilious-looking cjev: 
and complexion of the colour of the very best pickled mangooiL', 
He wore a blue coat, buff waistcoat, buttoned close up to i^. 
throat, white duck trowsers, and a black military stock. He "sm 
reclining back in his seat, reading a newspaper, with his fei^: 
each resting on the back of a chair, elevated to a level with Wk- 



* A certain person at this place being once shown into a bath-room 
by no means remarkable for its cleanliness, with much simplicity 
inquired ot the proprietor— "Pray, a\v, vjhcvo \s\t i^eoplego to wasb, 
after bathing here ? '* 



AND THE PEDLINGTOXIANS. 59 

own nose. He had lately returned from the East Indies after 

. many years of profitable service — to himself at least. 

I Mr. Truckle was a small, slight man, of about five-and-forty 

i Tears of age, with a head entirely destitute of hair, a good- 

f humoured olue eye, and a perpetual smile upon a countenance 

I strongly indicative of its owner^s willingness to be pleased and 

I happy as long as the world would let him. He was dressed in 

i a black coat and waistcoat (not of the newest), white trowsers, 

and a white cravat, ornamented with a huge bow and ends. His 

: voice, like himself, was small, and his manners mild and un- 

i assuming in the extreme. He sat opposite to the colonel, with 

his hands resting on his knees, and his legs unostentatiously 

tucked under his chair. He was a distant relation of the 

colonel's, who certainly did not seem inclined to diminish the 

distance between them by any inviting apj)roaches on his part ; 

and that he was the poor relation also, his attitude and demeanour, 

as contrasted with tnose of the former, sufficiently attested. 

Generally speaking, there is nothing of the humorous or the 
ludicrous m a display of unfeeling domination on one side, of 
the " all this I can do because 1 dare,"— and of helpless ac- 
quiescence on the other : pity for the oppressed, and disgust or 
Hatred of his petty, paltry tyrant, are the only emotions it 
excites. There does not at this moment occur to me a more 
remarkable illustration of this than the early scenes between 
Sir Giles Overreach and Marall in the " New Way to pay Old 
Debts ;" though there, perhaps, somewhat of contempt for the 
interested subserviency of the latter may mingle with one's 
compassion for his slavery. But in the case of Truckle it was 
otherwise : he was humble, submissive, and satisBed, as if he 
conceived it to be in the immutable nature of things that he 
should be so ; and the ludicrous of the situation arose simply 
out of the immeasurable disproportion between his gentle 
attempts, now and then, to hint at a wish or a desire of his own, 
and the nature of the execration with which they invariably were 
met by Colonel Dominant. 

Be it observed, that the coloners voice, though deep-toned, was 
harsh, and that his utterance was abrupt and snappish, sounding 
like the word of command when given, by an ill-tempered drill- 
serjeant : except, indeed, when he delivered the emphatic word of 
the execration alluded to, and upon that he would drawl. 

It was five minutes past six. Truckle looked at the clock 
which was facing him, hummed part o£ a txxn^ UjWi<^\K^"«ss:j^ 
liimseJf hy beating with his fingers on t\ie tviJoV^)^ «sA \ 



60 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

tatingly, and in a gentle tone of voice, said-^" Dear me ! Fife 
minutes past six ! Well — I think — really I do think it is tiw 
they brought our dinner. 

I'he colonel threw down his paper suddenly, tlirust out )sm, 
arm (extending it to its full length across the table), with loi 
fore-finger pointed directly at Truckle's face, and vociferated,— : 

" What's that ? — I say, sir, what's that you say ?" j 

"Why, sir," mildly, and smilingly, replied Truckle, ^'dinuir 
was ordered at six ; it is now five minutes past ; and as th(|i 
might as well be 'punctual,' I merely ventured to " 

" D — n your arkogance ! ! Punctual ! Have the pon 
devils here nothing to do but attend upon you ? Have / oo»> 
plained ? Am I in any hurry for my dinner ? Yet you talk 
about ' punctual ! ' D — ^n your arrogance ! " 

" True, sir, you didn't say you were in any hurry, but I— i 
thought, sir 



gut, sir " 



Thought ! Thought y did you ? Tou thought ! Da — a — i 
your arrogance ! " 

Arrogance and poor little Trucklq named in the same year I 
He, in thought, feeling, manner, and conduct, an impersonatiflt 
of humility ! 

Their dinner was served. Dominant helped himself, and thai 
thrust the dish across to his companion. Just at this time I 
happened to call to a waiter for some Chili vinegar. 

" Dear me ! " said Truckle, looking into his plate, smiling, ani 
rubbing his hands at the same time — " dear me ! I think-*- 
yes, really I do think I should like a little Chili vinegar mysdl' 
Waiter ! Bring me a little Chili vinegar, too." 

" What's that you want, sir ? I say, sir, what's that joi; 
want ?" (These words were accompanied by the same gestun 
of pointing the finger as before.) 

"Why, sir," answered Truckle, "I heard that gentleman vk \ 
for Chili vinegar, and I thought that — Chili vinegar, you knoir» 
is a very nice relish, sir ; so I thought that when that gentleman 
had quite done with it, why — ^why I should like a little ChiK 



vinegar." 



Chili vinegor ? D — ^n your arrogance ! Who are you, sir, 
that you can't eat your dinner without Chili vinegor ? Do / ask 
for Chili vinegor ? But it's just like you, with your insatiabk 
desires : whatever you see or hear of you want, d — n your arro? 
gance ! Waiter ! No Chili vinegor to be brought to this tabk. 
Chili vinegor, indeed ! Da — a — a — mn your arrogance." 
« « « « Ht « % 



AND THE PEDIJNGTONIANS. Gl 

Scene the Second. — ^In the evening I went into Bettison's 
Library. They were playing eight-shilling loo. I approached 
the table. Close to it, and in the front rank of a small crowd, 
forming three or four deep, stood Truckle. He was earnestly 
watching the proceedings, but did not play ; though ever and 
anon his right hand made an ineffective move towards his 
breeches' pocket. A few games had " come off," and the 
insinuating dealer was announcing, in the usual seductive phrase, 
the near completion of another > — 

" Now, ladies and gentleman, otilif three numbers wanting 
to complete this loo : 2, 3, and 5. — Thank'ee, sir. — Only 2 and 
6 vacant. — Thank'ee madam. — Number 2 gone. — Only one want- 
ing. — Number 5 vacant." 

Here was a tantalizing pause. There was no bidder for No. 5. 
At length. Truckle exclaimed : — 

" Dear me ! Well, now, I think — ^really I do think Fll have a 
■chance." 

His hand made a desperate plunge into his pocket, and, in an 
instant, or ere reflection could come to his aid, his shilling lay 
glittering on the table. In the same second of time a voice was 
heard from behind the crowd : — 

" What are you doing there, sir? — I say, sir, what is it you are 
doing there ? " 

There stood Colonel Dominant, his white hat seen high above 
the crowd in front of him ; his outstretched arm reaching over 
their heads ; and the fatal fore-finger pointing directly m the 
face of poor Truckle, who had turned as suddenly as if he had 
been twirled round by some mechanical power inherent in and 
peculiar to the voice of his tyrant. 

" I say, sir, what is it you are doing there ? " 

Not in the slightest degree contused or abashed by this 
authoritative interference, public as it was. Truckle good- 
hum ouredly replied : — 

*' Why, sir, I — you see, sir, this is a loo ; and by putting 
down a shilling " 

" Put down a shilling ! You, sir, ! — ^D — ^n your arrogance ! 
How dare you put down a shilling ? Take it up, sir." 

" But this is a loo, you see, sir ; and by putting down one 
shilling I may win seven ; that is to say, 1 may win a ticket 
which " 

"D — n your arrogance ! Win seven upoaoxiel "WViS^Tv^X. 
have you to try to wm seven shillings o£ tYies^ ^oot ^^^^€^ 
money with one of yours ? D— n your arxoga»aft\ ^"siaH^ '^'^' 



62 LITTLE PEDLINGTOK 

Take it up, I say, Ta^a — a — ke it up, sir. Da — «— < 
your arrogance ! " 

i^cene the Third. — I left Margate by the steamer. We U 
completed about one hour of our homeward-bound voya^ ifHk 
Colonel Dominant ascended the deck from the after-cabm. ft 
set himself down on the gunwale, midway between the stemtf 
the vessel and the paddle-box. I believe 1 have applied the ten 
" gunwale" correctly ; but not feeling perfectly at my ease 
ceming it, it were safer I should explain that thereby I mean ttt 
sort of paling which runs along the sides of the deck to profrti 
one's tumbling into the water. By this modest caation tit 
points are gained : if the term be the proper one, it may still li 
unintelligible to many, whose voyages, like my owii, liaYe beet 
limited to those seas ; if otherwise, I have taken it out of tli 
power of any seaman more experienced than myself to assail 
with — " D — n your arrogance ! " 

The colonel, as I have said, was sitting on the ^anwale» it 
that aristocratic division of a Margate steamer which lies bi* 
twecn the paddle-box and the stem. His arms were sap» 
ciliously folded across his chest ; his head was erect and moftiflfr 
less, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left ; whilst li 
eyes disdained to encounter any meaner object than the gkniw 
heavens themselves. Presently I saw emerging from the fii^ 
cabin, the happy, good-humoured Mr. Truckle. Smiling; «ri 
rubbing his hands together with an air of self-enjoyment, li 
sooner were his feet fairly on deck than, in the fmness o{ li 
delight, he exclaimed : — 

" Capital breakfast ! I never made a better breakfast in ill 
my life. And such a beautiful morning as it is ! And snAt! 
fine passage as we shall have ! " 

Trippingly he approached the colonel. 

" Charming morning, sir ! I*m happy to inform yon, the at- 
tain assures me that " 

On the instant, out went the arm with the portentous foM- 
finger at the end of it. 

" What do you want here, sir P D — ^n your arrogance ! "WW 
do you want here?" 

" Why, sir, as the captain told me that we shall have a de* 
J^btful passage, and that we s\iaW. \)e ^\. ^^\i&lQr««t \s^ \^-^ 
three, I thou^t you'd like to ka ?* 



AND THE PEDLIKGI0KIA17S. 63 

" D — ^n your arrogance ! Come here, sir." 

The colonel, followed by Truckle, placed himself in front of 
the paddle-box, and directed the attention of the latter to certain 
words which were thereon inscribed; saying, 

" Read that, sir. Read that, I say." 

Truckle looked at the words for just so lon^ a time as might 
suffice to read them, and then nodded hijs head in token that he 
had done so. 

" Do YOU hear me, sir ? Read that." 

" Well, sir, I have read it," replied Truckle, with his usual 
smile. 

" You have read it ! D — n your arrogance ! Read it aloud» 
sir." 

Truckle read : 

" Whoever passes the paddle-box mil be expected to pay the - 

FIBST-CABIN farer 

"Then, d — n your arrogance! what do you do here? Go 
back, sir." 

" Why, sir, as I said before, I thought you might like 
to " 

"And, because you presume to think, am I to pay two 
shillings additional for your d — d arrogance? Go back, sir; 
d — ^n your arrogance ! Go back. Go back, I say ; g — o — o — o 
back, da — a — a — mn your arrogance ! " 

Shortly after this, I accidentally met poor Truckle as he was 
descending the steps of some chambers in Paper Buildings, 
Temple. 1 amused myself for some time in fancying what could 
have been his business there. At length, I came to this con- 
clusion : — ^He was desirous of saying to Colonel Dominant that 
" his soul was his own ;" and had been to take opinion of counsel 
learned in the law as to whether he had any right to make the 
assertion. 

« «.« « 4» « « « 

Eight o^clock, " No more wine," said Hobbleday, " I must 
go. We have a meeting of our Universal-Knowledge Society. 
Never miss it. Although I have been a member upwards of two 
years, I am still in want of an immense deal of knowledge — 
you'd be astonished to hear how many things 1 ^\sv\gQa\«c&. ^W 
Some of our learned members say, that 1 \ioxe \\ia\ft. \.^ ^^'^Ssw 
with questions. Can't help that, you Yhont. "^^ 'vsa^ ^ ^^"^ 



64 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

scribe one's money to a Knowledge-Society, unless one is alloirdi 
to profit by it." 

Expressed a desire to attend the meeting. 

" Take you witli the greatest pleasure — ^not to-night— 'iia xut 
my turn — any other night you choose." 

Reminded him of his promise to introduce me to KammiiB^ 
Jubb, and the rest of the great Little Pedlingtonians. 

" To-morrow I'll introduce you to them all. Let me see- 
come and take a bachelor's chop with me at five : I'll invitB 
them to meet you — Hoppy and Daubson, too — just we six— 
\ flow of reason, feast of soul/ eh ? If they are all imengigel 
and can all come — five to-morrow, ehP Let you know \g 
twelve. Good evening. Capital wine that." (To Scorewdl, 
who just then entered the room) — " I say, Scorewell, if you 
should hear anything positive about Miss Cripps's bag, send 
word to me at the U. N. S. Grood evening." 

*' What does he mean by the U. N. S., Mr. Scorewell ? " ifl- 
quired I. 

" Universal-Knowledge Society, sir. — Pleasant gexLtleiiua^ 
Mr. Hobbleday, sir." 

"And exceedingly civil to me," said I. 

" Invited you to dine with him to-morrow, sir. Ahem ! Nice 
gentleman, sir ; but the greatest humbug in Little Pedlingtoa 
He never gave a dinner to anybody in his life — ^a tea and tn»- 
out, now and then — and never once offered an invitation withoot 
an if tacked to it. He knows that to-morrow is Mr. Hoppy^ 
teaching day, so he can't come : he knows that Mr. Jubb is «»• 

faged to dine with Mr. Rummins (for he heard Mr. R. ordw t 
ottle of Cape Madeira to-day for the purpose), so ih^ can^ 
come. I say again, sir, the greatest humbug in all Littk 
Pedlington." 

This was " the most unkindest cut of all." That there should 
be to be found in Little Pedlington roguish innkeepers, disre- 
putable librarians, poisoning pastry-cooks, and pick-purses ; the 
envious, the malicious, and the scandalmonger ; wicked husbands 
and naughty wives; nay, even purloiners of pump-ladles, and 
shavers of pet poodles — little as I expected to hear of all or of 
any of these, I might, in the course of time, have reconciled 
myself to the circumstance. Knowing them, I might ayoid 
them. But that there should exist in this pre-eminently virtuotis 
town one of that contemptible race so emphatically named by 
mine host — n race (as I had \iit\\etto \\xv9c»mtd^ ^^.culiar to 
London ! — ''As soon should l^ave ex.^c;U^\" \ e^^^^wsi^/^Nft 



AKD I^HE fEDLINGTOKIAKS. 65 

hear that you have amongst you one of those uttermost mis- 
creants, who are at once the scorn of the honourable profession 
which they disgrace, and the despised of the society they infest — 
a pettifogging attorney ! " 

" Unhappily for us, sir," said Scorewell, " we have one. To- 
morrow Fll tell you some of the rogue's tricks. His name is 
Hitch beg pardon, sir ; I hear the family-with-the-fly bell." 

Regretted that I didn't hear his name at length. Resolved to 
inform myself of it to-morrow; and (together with the account 
of his tncks, with which Scorewell is to favour me) to insert it 
inmyjoum^d, that it may stand as a "Beware" to all future 
visitors to Little Pedlington. 

4t « « 4t it 4^ 4t 

Ten 0^ clock. Finished reading " Pedlingtonia," and felt in- 
clined for bed ; fatigued (no doubt by the excitement of the day), 
and there being a busy morrow in store for me. Rang for cham- 
bermaid. Mem. Inquire of Hoppy (when I shall have the 
honour and happiness of seeing him) who and what those Fitzes 
and Filles really are. Prom a momentary glimpse I had of 
Hobbs Hobbs, Esq., fancied there was something of the valet cut 
even about him. Chambermaid, to "marshal me the way." Met 
Scorewell in the passage. Had just returned from the office of the 
"Pedlington Weekly Observer." Nothing certain yet about Miss 
Cripps's Dag. Editor keeps the press open till the last possible 
moment, in order to give his readers to-morrow the latest intel- 
ligence concerning it. Happy Pedlingtonians ! An affair of ten 
times this " stirring interest " would scarcely produce a percep- 
tible effect upon us poor, over-excited Londoners. Desired they 
would let me have the paper in the morning, to extract anything 
remarkably interesting. " Good night." 

Half-'past twelve, A loud knocking at my door. 

" Are you asleep, sirP" 

"I was, and soundly too, till you disturbed me. Who is it, 
and what do you want?" 

" Please to get up, and open the door ajar, sir. It's chamber- 
maid." 

" Ugh ! There— now— what's the matter ? " 

" Master thought you'd like to know, sir : Miss Cripps has 
got her bag safe, with everything in it — except the money." 



S 



60 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER V. 

A COUNTRY NEWSPAPER. 

Little Pedlington Weekly Observer :— Anxieties of an Editor: 
obstinacy and provoking indi£ference of Crowned Heads — Distresediig 
event, and editor's singular delicacy and impartiality touohing tlie 
same — Awful calamity — ^Extraordinary phenomenon — ^ProvidentiU 
escape — Literary, learned, and artistical — ^To the lovers of chaJB- 
pagne — Notices to correspondents — The theatre — Foundling hof* 
pitol for the muses : poetical contributions — ^The joumalizer ventuni 
a few remarks suggested by some of them — Advertisement of ft 
magnificent property confidea to the hammer of Mr. FudgCKfield, thi 
great auctioneer of Little Pedlington. 

Tuesday, June 16th. — Found the "Little Pedlingtoi 
Weekly Observer " on my breakfast-table. Surely that EmpMV 
of Eussia must be an obstinate, pig-headed fellow, and tlM 
editor of the paper the most enduring of men! Were I thi 
latter, I would at once abandon the poor infatuated creature 16 
his unhappy fate, for advice and remonstrance seem .to be uttei^ 
lost upon mm. For my own part, I declare that there is notliiiitf 
I can imagine in the power of the world to bestow which wonU 
induce me to undertake the direction of the conduct of folks of 
that stamp, who, after all, mil do just as they please. Yet here 
is Mr. Simcox Kummins, junior (tne editor in question, and wa 
of the great antiqjuary), sacrificing his time, temper, andpatienoeb 
his health and his peace of mind, — or, in that most expres8i?0 
of old-woman's-phrases, "worrying his soul to fiddle-stnnga,"— 
and all because an Emperor of Russia won't do as he bids him! 
As exhibiting at once the editor's temper, the power uid the 
elegance of his style, and the practical utility of his labours, I 
extract the following passage from his leading article :— - 

" Once more we call the attention of his imperial majesty to 
wiat we have so often said, and wVisA. "ti^ \iw^ xe^^-a.tft.d above; 
sAall we add, for the last time ? B\x\., no \ iot ^wsj^^-^^sswfc^ \ 



AND THE PEDIINGTONIANS. C? 

like the eagle, which wings its airy flight through the boundless 
realms of ether, must descend at length to rest its weary wing, 
yet shall ours still soar upwards whilst, with the piercing eye of 
hope, we behold a ray of expectation that our advice will not, 
like the sands of the desert, be eventually lost upon him. He 
may continue to not notice us in any of his decrees or mani- 
festoes, and thus affect to be indifferent concerning what we say 
to him ; but we have it on the best authority that he is fre- 
quently seen thoughtful and musing— not, indeed, in his moments 
of noisy revelry, when immersed in the vortex of pleasure, and 
surrounded by flatterers, who, like locusts, would bar our honest 
counsel from his ear, but in the nocturnal solitude of his chamber. 
There it is that our warning voice, wafted on the wings of the 
viewless wind, pierces the perfumed precincts of the palace of 
Petersburg, and carries conviction, like the roaring of the 
rushing cataract, into his mind. And if the 'Little Pedlington 
Observer' does sometimes address the autocrat in terms of more 
than usual severity, let him remember, that we do so * more in 
friendship than in anger ;' that we regret the necessity we are 
under of giving him pain, but that, 'like skilful surgeons, 
who,' " &c. 

Decidedly I would not for the universe be the editor of the 
"Little Pedlington Observer." What an anxious life must he 
lead ! Upon reading on, I find he takes just the same trouble 
to manage the King of the French, the King of the Belgians, the 
Emperor of China, &c., not one of whom (if I may judge from 
his complaints of their indifference to his counsel) seems to mind 
him a whit more than he of Kussia. Surely, it must be a subject 
of ceaseless mortification to him, that, notwithstanding the infi- 
nite pains he is at to settle, or to reform, the government of every 
country in the known world, his advice is so little, if at all, 
attended to. ye monarchs, and ye ministers to monarchs ! 
were I he, I would let you go to ruin your own way, nor raise a 
finger to save you. 

Under the head of Little PEDLiNaTON, I find the fol- 
lowing :— 

"Distressing Event. — ^Yesterday, our peaceful town was 
thrown into a state of excitement, which it far tiwvsc,^xida» ^^js: 
feeble powers to describe, by one of those eveii\.^^V\^^^^^^J^- 
natelf, as tbej do not often happen, so do Wie^ Tio\. \x^Qjo«o&i^ 
occur. Late on Sund&j evening it waa "wlais^ec^^ ^^nj^i S3i.^0B» 

7 2 



68 LiTTLt! I^EDLINGTOK 

best-informed circles — tliough We were in possession of positive 
information of the fact as early as a quarter past nine — ^that our 
amiable and talented townswoman. Miss Honoria Cripps (whose 
virtues are the theme of universal admiration, and whose 
numerous fugitive little offspring are the chief ornaments of our 
* Eoundling Hospital/ which this day is again enriched with one 
of her charming effusions), had had the misfortune to lose her 
silk bag, containing many articles of no use to any one but the 
owner; and, 'though last, not least,' as Shakspeare hath it, a 
sum amounting nearly to three pounds ! But whatever doubts 
might have existed in certain quarters as to the correctness of 
the report on Sunday night, the truth was placed beyond the 
remotest shadow of dispute yesterday morning, at eight o'clock 
by a circumstance which, we will venture to say, must have 
convinced the most incredulous ; the bag was cned about tiie 
town by the indefatigable Coggleshaw, whose accuracy in 
describing its contents was the theme of general approbation; 
though we must say that we object to his holding, at least in 
these times, the office of crier and of sexton also; especially ii^ 
as it is rumoured, any addition is to be made to his fees in the 
latter capacity, more particularly when a person, whom we can 
conscientiously recommend as fit for the employment, is willing to 
undertake it upon the existing terms. But, for more upon this 
subject, we refer our readers to an admirable letter, signed 
'An Anti-Pluralityarian,' in another part of this day's paper, 
which, by a strange coincidence, recommends the very person we 
have alluded to ; which expresses also the identical opinions we 
entertain on the subject ; and must, therefore, carry conviction 
to every unprejudiced and reflecting mind. 

"The appeal of the crier was not attended with that success 
which every honourable kqA feeling mind desired. At twelve 
o'clock, agam was the same experiment repeated, but, alas ! with 
the same much-to-be-lamented result. From that time till a late 
hour in the evening, groups of anxious inquirers might be seen 
in Market Square, in the Crescent, and at the public libraries, 
their countenances expressive of the deepest interest in the event. 
Judge, then, what must have been the feelings of the amiable 
lady herself ! However, last night, at five minutes before twelve, 
the bag was clandestinely dropped down Miss Cripps's area^ when 
it was discovered that the lip -salve, the tooth, the false frcmt, 
the carmine, in short, that everything was restored to her, 
except — and we must add, to \.\ie €;vet\^\.vc^^ ^\^^^^ifc ^ ^s«i 
Kcept the money \ But \ix^\^"Mi^ ^a "w^ ^2» ^ "^^ais^ 




AND THE PBDLINGTONIANS. 69 

act, we cannot, in the present excited state of our feelings, 
venture any remarks upon it ; we shall, therefore, reserve them 
as thfe subject for the leading article in our next, when, as im- 
partial journalists, we shall be happy to publish any letters we 
may receive, free of postage, either for or against an assertion 
we have heard in more quarters than one, — viz., that the money 
in the bag at the time it was lost did not amount to anything 
like the sum stated hy the fair lady herself Till then, as in 
fairness bound, we shall offer no opinion upon the subject.*' 



The following extracts are from the miscellaneous depart- 
ment : — 

" AwpuL Calamity. — On Thursday last, this town was visited 
by a terrific hail-storm. Several of the stones were picked up of 
a size truly tremendous. The devastation it occasioned was 
awful. At Mrs. Stintum's boarding-house, five panes of glass 
were broken ; four at Yawkins's library ; a like number at Mrs. 
Hobbleday's, in the Crescent, who had the misfortune, also, to 
have the top of a cucumber-frame literally smashed to 'pieces ! 
But the greatest sufferer by the calamity is Mr. Snargate, the 
builder, twenty-nine panes of whose green-house are entirely 
destroyed, and fourteen others more or less injured. Many 
pNBrsons have visited the scene of destruction. Such is the irre- 
sistible power of the elements !" 



"ExTBAOBJ)rNAB,T PHENOMENON. — ^lu a Utter of pigs which 
we have lately seen at Mrs. Sniggerston's, the keeper of the 
baths, there are actually two without tails ! Such are the ex- 
traordinary freaks of Nature ! " 



"Providential Escape. — On "Wednesday afternoon, as a 
labourer in the employ of Mr. Luke Snargate, the builder, was 
crossing the Snapshank Road, about a quarter of a mile from 
High Street, his foot slipped, and he fell with such violence, 
that, for a few minutes, the poor fellow was unable to rise. He, 
however, soon recovered himself. Providentially, the accident 
did not occur on a dark night, at the moment when our heavily- 
laden coach, the 'Wonder,' was passing, or the unfortunate 
man would, in all human probability, have \ieeiW. x\i\^ ^'^^t ^j»^ 
yjUed on the spot, leaving a disconsolate wVdo^ ^^i^TLYs^aV^^^'^^ 
eluldren, totalij unprovided for, to depWe "^^aVi?*^?* 



70 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

"L1TE11AB.T, Leabned, and Aktistical. — ^The last meetiof 
of the 'Little Pedlington Universal-Knowledge Society' ww 
paost particularly interesting. Our celebrated poet, Jubb, read B 
portion of his forthcoming 'Life and Times of Rummins/ our 
well-known antiquary ; and Rummins favoured the members by 
reading a portion of his forthcoming * Life and Times of Jubb.* 
Our eminent painter, Daubson, exhibited a very curious drawing, 
which he has lately completed. It is a profile in black, whioL 
looked at one way, represents a man's head in a cocked hat, vbA 
with a large bow to nis cravat; but, when turned topsy-turvy, shows 
the face of an old woman in a mob-cap ! Who shall presume to 
set bounds to the ingenuity of art ? But the thing by far the 
most interesting was, what was stated by our learned antiquary, 
Mr. Kummins, to be a helmet of the time of King John. It was 
dug from the ruins of an old house lately pulled down, in Nortk 
Street, and is now the property of Mr. Kummins himself. It ii 
corroded by the rust of ages ; and, except that it has no handle^ 
is in form not unlike a saucepan of our own days. Mr. R. 
read a learned memoir, which he has drawn up upon the subject 
(and which, together with a drawing, he intends to forward to 
the Society of Antiquaries), wherein he states, that when he was 
in Lon^ion, and saw the play of * King John' acted, the principal 
actors wore helmets of precisely that shape. Its authenticity is 
thus proved beyond all manner of doubt. But, upon these pointy 
who shall presume to question the judgment of a Rummins P 

" The presentations to the library, and for the sole use of the 
members, were, * Goldsmith's History of England,' abridged for 
the use of schools, and Tooke's * Pantheon ' (an account of all 
the heathen gods and goddesses, with numerous cuts), both the 
gift of our muniBcent townsman, Mr. Yawkins, the banker. 

" On the motion of Mr. Hobbleday, the question was put and 
carried, that En tick's 'Spelling Book' being much worn by 
constant use, the said book be newly bound at the expense of 
the Society." 



" To THE LovEES OP CHAMPAGNE. — ^Wc cauflot too stroBgly 
recommend that admirable substitute for Champagne, the goose- 
berry-wine made and sold by Hubkins, the grocer, in Market 
Square. We speak from our own knowledge, as he has obligingly 
sent us six bottles as a sample. We can say nothing of his other 
howe'inade wines, which he only mentions to us, «»a ^^ ^^xnxka^*, 
mill a consoieatious regard to* out duty as \m^^x\i\^\«>aLTMiJ^\» 



, AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 71 

venture an opinion which we do not possess the means of 
^tfifying hy a triaW 



These from the 

"NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

" %* The letter from a certain oilman in East Street, requesting 
va to give a favourable opinion of his pickles, anchovy paste, &c., 
must be paid for as an advertisement. Wc cannot compromise 
our independence by praising what he has not given us an oppor- 
tunity 01 tasting." 

*^%* Wo we obliged to our valuable correspondent, Philo- 
iSjpkyusnus, for the answer to the charade in our last, which is 
Siihles, Perhaps he will favour us by exercising his ingenuity 
on our charade of this day." 



"THE THEATRE. 

'* We ara at length enabled to state, that Mr. Sniggerston (in 
oonsequenoe of the present amount of the subscription towards 
building a new theatre not being sufficient to warrant the under- 
taking), having again kindly consented to grant the use of one of 
bis commodious outhouses, though, at what seems to us to be a 
rather exorbitant rent, our liberal and spirited manager, Mr. 
Strut, from Dunstable, will positively open his campaign on the 
15th of next month ; though, in our opinion, it would answer his 
purpose much better did he delay the opening till the 18th, not 
out that he might open with great advantages on the 15 th, or 
even the 12th. The preparations are on the most extensive 
scale ; and a new drop-scene (of which we have been favoured 
with a private view) has been painted by our unrivalled Daubson. 
The' subject is a view of the new pump, in Market Square, as 
seen from South Street; though, it seems to us, the painter 
would have done better had he represented it as seen from North 
Street ; not but that we 'think South Street a very favourable 
point for viewing it, and no man has greater taste in these 
matters than Daubson, when he chooses to exercise \t.. TVi& 
manager has done well in engaging all our o\^ iviwsxs^^a*,*^^ 
most prominent of whom are, ' the f acetioxxa T\^\i\^V«vi, \)aa V««sV 



72 LITTLE PEDLIKGTON 

rending Snoxell, and the versatile and incomparable Mei. 
Biggleswade/ as they are aptly characterized by our tasteful 
Master of the Ceremonies in his * Guide Book ; * but why has be 
not also engaged Mrs. Croaks, the celebrated vocalist, who, we 
understand, is unemployed ? This he must do. Yet if, as we are 
told, she requires twice as much as has ever been paid to 
any other performer for doing only half the usual work, we 
must say that Strut is right in resisting such a demand ; though 
we admit that talent like ners cannot be too highly remuner^t^ 
and are of opinion she is perfectly justified in making her own 
terms ; nevertheless, we recommend her to follow the example of 
moderation set by the three eminent performers we have named, 
they having liberally consented to take each a fourth of the clear 
receipts, allowing the remaining fourth to be divided amongst 
the rest of the company in any way the manager may think proper, 
after deducting one-third of that for himself. Tippleton, with his 
usual disinterested zeal for the good of the concern, has consented 
to play any part whatever which may be likely to conduce to that 
end, provided, in the first place, it be a good part in itself; 
secondly, that it be the only good part in the piece ; and lastly, 
that the part be, in every possible respect, to his own entire and 
perfect satisfaction. The only particular stipulations he has 
made are, that no person shall have a clear benefit but himself; 
that no person shall be allowed to write as many orders nightly 
as himself; that no person shall have their name printed in 
the play-bills in large letters but himself; and that he shall not at 
any time be expected to do anything to serve anybody — but 
himself. 

" With such spirited exertions on the jjart of the management, 
and such liberality and zealous co-operation on that of the per- 
formers, the concernmust succeed; though we would recommendthe 
manager not to act so much himself as he did last season; though 
we admit that his assistance is usually indispensable. However, 
as far as we are concerned. Strut may rely on having our sup- 
port — ^for, indeed, he deserves it ; not that we altogether approve 
of the arrangements he has made, which, in our opinion, are, in 
many respects, faulty in the extreme; nevertheless, he is an 
enterprising manager, and ought to be patronized by the Ped- 
lingtonians ; not that we should recommend them to go into a 
hot theatre, to see plays, sometimes, to say the truth, indifferently 
acted — nor, indeed, can he expect that they should." 
Admired the profoundness of the ctitic'a te^^c\Ao\v&,Wi^ exiecLt. 
and minuteness of his information, the wisdom ol\iAs ^Wvi^^wx^. 



AST> THE PEDMNGTONIANS. 73 

J all, his beautiful consistency. Fancied I had somewhere 
ionally read something in a similar style — could not 
iect where. 



ese from the 

"FOUNDLING HOSPITAL FOR THE MUSES. 

Doctors Drench and Drainuniy on their grand discovert/ of a 
Mineral Spring in the Vale of Health, 



ft 



Galen and Esculapius men may praise, 
(Apothecaries great in by-gone days ;) 
But you, my friends, Drainum ! and Drench ! 
At once the flambeaus of their merit quench. 
They no chalybeate for our use e'er foimd 
On Pedlingtonia's health-restoring grouivd : 
That task the gods, to Pedlingtonia true. 
Reserved, my Drainum and my Drench, for you ! 
So shall your names for aye their names outshine. 
Immortal in the poet's deathless line ! 
That task^ thrice-fiiTour'd Jubb, that happy task be mine ! 

"Jonathan Jubb." 



"A CHARADE. 

" A member of the feathered race, 
With half a certain well-known place, 
If rightly you do guess, I ween, 
You 11 name the pretty thing I mean. 

"Enaj Sbburcs." 



*^* The following charming, pathetic little gem, composed 
-ai days ago, assumes a most peculiar feature of melancholy 
3st, when we consider the present distressing state of mind 
ired under by the fair poetess, the full particulars of the 
of whose reticule (containing — ^besides a large sum in 
y, of her own — a lump of orris-root, a pot of lip-salve, a 
flaxen front, a new false tooth, and a ipai^et ^1 ^saxxfiMsa, 
7f^/o a friend of hers), we have giveu m ^XiGVJsi'et ^-w^* ^sJl 
bia day s) paper, — -^d. 



74 MTTLB PBDLINGTON 

*' 0, gentle Strephon, cease to woo 1 ' 
spare poor Chloe's virgin heart ! 
tempt me not ! but cease to sue ; — 
In pity spare me, and depart. 

do not praise the roseate blush 
On Chloe's grief- worn cheek displayed ! 

Alas ! 'tis but a hectic flush; 
Which soon^ too soon^ in death pdust fade. 

speak not of the teeth that shine 
Like pearls, 'twixt lips like cherries twain. 

Tinted with Nature's pure carmine : 
Alas ! fond youth, 'tis all in vain. 

Nor praise no more the balmy breath 

Thou dost to orris sweet compare. 
When soon the icy arms of death 

In the cold grave those sweets must share. 

U^ not thy suit, but fly me now, 
Fond youth ! nor praise those looks of flax 

Thou say'st adorn my ivory brow — 
Leave me to die — 'tis all I ax. 

"HONOBIA.** 



A punctilious critic would, perhaps, raise an objection to the 
" locks of flax," and (with a greater show of right on his side) 
to the concluding word of Miss Cripps*s "charming little 
gem." But surely this would not be the case with a candid ■ 
reader, inclined (as I own I always am) to be pleased. By 
the " locks of flax," it is clear the Sappho of Little Pedlington 
means flaxen locks, whatever may be the exact import oi the 
words she uses ; and with respect to the other point, it is to be 
defended on the plea of necessity. " Any port in a storm," sayfe 
the sailor ; and, driven by stress of rhyme, I think the lady is 
fortunate in not having been forced into a less commodious 
haven ; for the most fastidious ear must be satisfied with the 
rhyme, which is perfect ; whilst the only objection that can be 
made to the word o^ (as a word) is, that the Exclusives, the 
Almacks of the Dictionary, refuse to acknowledge it as a member 
of their super-refined Society. But I fear I entertain a dislike 
of the general tone of the poem, exquisite as it is in detail. 
Why need the lady be so contoundedly — ^I cannot help swearing 
at it — so confoundedly dismal ? "Wh^ a\iCi\M ^\ift e^et\3ia\.\\i^'5 
(as I perceive by a former number oi tUe " ■^o\xxL'3K«i^'YLQ«^'^*^^ 



AND THE PEDLIK6T0NUKS. 75 

be tampering with sucli disagreeable matters as " death," and 
"the grave," and '*the canker-worm," and "the Wighted hope," 
*• the "withered heart," " the seared soul," and a thousand other 
such uncomfortable fancies ? If her woes be real, most sincerely 
do I pity the poor lady, and the sooner her gloomy aspirations 
after death and the grave are gratified, the better it will be for 
her ; if feigned, I shall say no more than I wish that, for the 
pleasure of the readers of the " Little Pedlington Observer," 
she would exercise her imagination upon subjects of a more 
agreeable character. I am aware I may oe told that Miss Cripps 
v&y par excellence, the "Songstress of Woe;" that she " strings 
her lyre with tears;" and that much also will be said about 
" finer sensibilities," " poetical temperament," " flow of feeling," 
and " outpourings of soul." Fiddle-de-dee ! the mere common- 
place twaddle of criticism. Could the performances on this tear- 
strung Ijfie be restricted to the hand of Miss Cripps alone (the 
inventress of the instrument, and its mistress also), I should not 
so much object to an occasional movement doloroso; but her 
genius, as it is evinced in the effusion which has occasioned these 
passing remarks, might, unhappily, beget a brood of imitators, 
who, like imitators in general, would select only the worser 
qualities of their model : then should we have every young lady 
in Little Pedlington whimpering about "blighted hopes" at 
fourteen ; at fifteen, invoking death, and sighing for the quiet of 
the cold, cold, grave ; and, at sixteen, running off with a tall 
footman, or a haberdasher's mustachioed " assistant." Rather 
than these things should occur, I would suggest — since extremes 
provoke extremes — an Act of Parliament to prohibit lady-poets 
from meddling with any other subjects than silver moons, radiant 
rainbows, blushing roses, modest violets, and the like ; and to 
restrict them, in their gloomiest moods, to illustrations the most 
sad and dismal of which should be — a cloudy night in summer. 



Amongst the advertisements, the following is the most pro- 
minent. My attention was first attracted by that portion of it 
which is printed in capital letters, and which I read (as I would 
recommend all readers to do) independently of the context in 
humbler type. "Magnificent property, indeed !" thought I. As 
I have never met with anything of the kind at all comparable 
with it, I think it worth extracting ; — 



76 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

CHATSWORTH AND BLENHEIM 

Are not likely either speedily or soon to be brought to the hammer^ 
but a most desirable Freehold Property in the Vale of Healthy 

WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION, 

On the premises, on Monday next, at twelve o'clock precisely, 

BY MR FUDGEFIELD. 



It seldom falls to the fortunate lot of an auctioneer to have to offer 
to the public a property, to describe which puts to the utmost stretdi 
of extension the most sublime and inexhaustible powers of descrip- 
tion for to describe ; and which, to convey an idea of sufficientiy 
adequately, would be required to be described by the unequalled and 
not to be paralleled descriptive powers of a 

LORD BYRON. 

What then, must be the feelings of Mr. Fudgefield on the present 
occasion, when he has to offer for sale that most desirable residence, 
situate in the Vale of Health, and known by a name as appropriate as 
it is befitting, and well merited as it is most richly deserved, 

PARADISE HOUSE! 

The particulars of this most desirable and charming residence, which 

may truly be called 

A PERFECT RUS IN URBE A LITTLE WAT OUT OF 

TOWN, 

will, in the course of this advertisement, be stated fully and at length ; 
and which Mr. Fudgefield owes it as a duty to his employers to state 
as circumstantially as he would if it were a 



/ - AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 77 

Fit for the residence of 

A NOBLEMAN'S FAMILY. 

Being near the town and in its immediate vicinity, where everything 
that Nature's multitudinous desires can wish for can be obtained when 
wanted, it is not necessary, and scarcely Jrequisite that it should 
boast of 

THREE DOUBLE COACH-HOUSES 

AND 

ACCOMMODATION FOR TWENTY HORSES; 

Nor, indeed, should it be expected, when the town can boast of two 
confectioners, that it should possess a 

WELL-CONSTRUCTED ICE-HOUSR 

* 

It is also the opinion of many persons that, as it occasions great 
expense, outlay, and disbursement, to maintain and keep up 

ONE OF THE FINEST PINERIES IN THE 

KINGDOM, 

NUMEROUS GREENHOUSES AND CONSERVATORIES, 
A WELL-STOCKED FISH-POND, 

AND 

AN AVIARY WORTHY THE ATTENTION 

OF ALL EUROPE, 

None but such as those whose fortunes are equal, and whose means are 

adequate, to such 

AND OTHER LUXURIES, 

Vtjg-bt to encumber themselves with them. ¥roia \Aaa xxi^a Sa XksA. \ft\sa 

excepted 



78 LITTLE PBBLINGTOK 

A CHOICE COLLECTION OP RARE BOOKS, 

ALL IN COSTLY BINDINGS, 

when from any of the circulating libraries in the town any book to 
convey pleasure to the understanding, instruction to the imaginataotif 
or information to the intellect, may be obtained at the cost of a 
moderate and not unreasonable subscription. The same obserratioitf 
would apply to 

A SHALL BUT TRULY SELECT SELECTION 07 

CHINA, 

FBOM THE FAB-FAMED AND WELL-KNOWN MANUFACTOBIES OF 

SEVRES AI^D DRESDEN; 

And one of the 

MOST SPLENDID COLLECTION OF ' PICTURES, 

BT THE OLD MASTEBS, EVEB BBOUQHT TO THE HAMM£B : 

Including several by 

RAPHAEL ANGELO, LUNARDI DE VINSY, PAUL VERYUNEASY, 
THE THREE STORAGES, VANDYKI, RUBINI, PAUL 
POTTERER, SEBASTION PLUMPO, JULIET RO- 
MANO, TITAN, JERRY DOW, GEORGE 
ONY, OLD PALMER, DON MYCHINO, 
AND OTHER SPANISH, ENGLISH, AND ITALIAN ANCIENT 

OLD MASTERS. 

For the reasons above adduced, and as Mr. Strut's unrivalled com- 
pany are shortly to exhibit their well-known talents in a theatre of 
their own, a 

SMALL BUT ELEGANT PRIVATE THEATRE 

Would be supererogatory and superfluous ; as also, considering the 

CHARMING DRIVES AND RURAL 
PBOMElSiLDIE.^, 



AITD THE PBDLINGTONIAKS. 79 

BemindiDg the enchanted eye of the enraptured beholder of the 

ELYSIAN FIELDS, 

Which are to be enjoyed at every turn in the neighbourhood of Little 

Pedlington, an 

EXTENSIVE PAEK AND PLEASURE GROUNDS 

Would hardly compensate the Purchaser for the immense cost which 
he must be at for planting and laying out perhaps as many as would 

COMPRISE 10,000 ACRES 1 ! I 

It is only necessary further to add, that 

PARADISE HOUSE 

Ootudsts of four rooms, small but commodious ; with wash-house ahd 
most convenient kitchen, detached : with a garden of a quarter of atl 
acre in extent, more or less ; from which (should they ever honour the 
Vale of Health with a visit) the fortunate purchaser of this most desir- 
able Property would be enabled most distmctly to see the 

QUEEN AND ALL THE ROYAL FAMILY 



80 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER VI. 

Little Jack Hobbleday calls — Specimens of the Art of boring, paaimr^ 
Hobbleday's pressing invitation — Advantages of the possession of a 
little musical talent — Stpppage of the Little Pedlington Bank and its 
disastrous consequences— Too friendly by half— Equivocal compli- 
ment — Sit to the matchless Daubson — Cant of connoisseurship — 
"Your candid opinion, sir," and its customary consequenco8-4No 
professional envy in this place — Daubson's cool contempt for the 
Boyal Academy, and a hmt worth the attention of that exolusiye 
body — Remarkably kind note from Hobbleday. 

ScAECELT had I finished the reading of my newspaper when 
Scorewell, bill-of-fare in hand, entered the room, and thus 
addressed me : — 

"Mr. Hobbleday wishes to see you, sir. Bill-of-fare, sir. 
What would you choose to have for dinner, sir ? " 

" It is probable, Mr. Scorewell," replied I, "I shall not dine 
at home. You may remember Mr. Hobbleday invited me to 
dine with him to-day, for the purpose of meeting some of the 
worthies of this place." 

" Yes, sir, with an i^, sir. That's why I ask you what yon 
would please to order, sir. Mr. Hobbleday, as I said last ni^ht, 
sir, is a nice gentleman, but the greatest humbug in Littie 
Pedlington. And then, sir, if I might make free to tell you, sir, 
don't say anything to him you would wish to keep secret, sir.** 

" I never do, landlord, to anybody," said I. 

" What I mean is this, sir : he is very intimate with Mr. 
Sim cox Rummins, junior, sir, the editor of our newspaper, sir; 
and people suspect that whatever he hears he ^But here he 

• 'it 

IS, sir. 

Mr. Hobbleday made his appearance — stopped short in the 
middle of the room — thrust his hands into his pockets — ^looked at 
the clock — then at me — smiled with an air of self-satisfaction— 

ag'ajn looked at the clock — ^wheu t\\eu. ^\.o biAxs^^. ^i.'^SJA.om ^orm 

of phrase), "when then thus HoWeda^ \" — 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 81 



Do you see that ? Told yon I would be here at twelve, nnd 
Ive it is to a minute. That's what I call punetuality. Pride 



twelve 

myself on being punctual. To be sure, it is no great merit in 
me to be so — ^nothing else to do — ^no business, no occupation — 
ffcntleman at large, as I may say — a ninety pounds a-year, in- 
aependent. And yet it is something to be proud of, never- 
theless, eh P But I'm afraid I interrupt you — ^you were reading 
the paper. Now, no ceremony with me — if I do interrupt you, 
say so. Never bore anybody, if I know it — hate to be bored 
myself. But some people have no tact. Ahem!" 

It must here be noted that before and after every " ahem," 
Mr. Hobbleday paused for a second or two — a habit which gave 
additional importance, if not interest, to what he was pleased to 
CMtH his conTcrsation ; and which, at the same time, contributed 
to allay any feeling of impatience that might otherwise have 
arisen in his hearers. 

" Ahem ! No man is better acquainted with his faults than 
I am "with mine — sorry to say I nave many; but this I may 
safely say for myself, whatever else I may be, I am aiiytliing but 
a bcfre. But all owing to tact, eh ? Can't endure a bore ; and 
now, U Ido interrupt you " 

Assured him he did not, reminded him that I was prepared 
for his visit, and requested he would take a seat. Deliberately 
seated himself opposite to me — deliberately placed his straw hat 
upon the table — deliberately unbuttoned his nankeen jacket, and 
deliberately took off his gloves. Seemed — like rain, when one 
least desires it — regularly set in for the day. 

"Sure, now, you have finished reading your newspaper? 
Resemble me in one respect, I dare say. Eeadini' a newspaper 
18 all very weU, but prefer conversation, eh ? Well, then, won't 
apologize for the interruption. Nothing eq^ual to pleasant con- 
versation; for my part, I may almost say I hve upon it ! — Ahem! 
—Breakfast not removed — you breakfast late, eh? Now I 
breakfast at eight in summer, at nine in winter ; and, what is 
very remarkable, have done so as long as I can remember. Now 
Fll tell youwhat my breakfast consists of." 

Obligingly communicated to me the fact, that he took three 
tl^ek slices of bread-and-butter, one 'cg^, and two cups of tea ; 
adding to the interest of the information, by a minute detail of 
the price he paid for the several commodities, the quantities of 
tea and su»ar he used, the time he allowed his e^^ \,<i ViovV, ^scA. 
his tea to draw; and also, by a particular descv\\>\AViW ofl \Xw. ^Qt\s\. 
jmd size of Ms teapot. The ugh early in the daj , 1 cxTi^xSevi^^^ "« 

G 



82 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

sensation of drowsiness, for wliich (having slept weH at night) I 
could not account. 

"Dear me !" exclaimed Hobbleday, as the clock struck; ''one 
o'clock, I declare ! How time flies when one is engaged in plea- 
sant conversation ! But, perhaps, I'm boring you, eh ? If i am, 
say so. — Ahem ! — By the oye — a sad disappomtment — ^nev^ so 
put out by anything in my me. Had made up my mind to one 
of the pleasantest afternoons imaginable. But Jubb can't come 
— engaged to dine with Rummins. No matter, we must arrange 
for some other day. I won't let you off; so, let me see— or, no 
—fix your own day — ^now, come; fix a day you must. But 
don't say to-morrow — to-morrow is Hoppy's day for his public 
breakfast at the skittle-ground ; and on Thursday I'm engaged 
at a rout at Mrs. Applegarth's, who shows ofP her new drawing- 
room curtains — sad ostentation ! " 

" Well, then," said I, " on Friday, if you please." 

" That's Hummms's day for showing his museum ; and on 
Saturday I tea with Miss Shrubsole. Can't say, though, that 
her parties are at all in my way." Here he shook his arm, as if 
in the act of dealing out cards, and, with a grave look, continued : 
— "You understand; — tremendous play! Like a quiet, old- 
fashioned rubber very well ; — ^have no objection even to a round 
game, when played in moderation ; but when it comes to three- 
penny shorts, and when, at loo, the lady of the house is so /or^ 
innate as to turn up pam almost every time she deals — ahem !-— 
But, to the point. Sunday, of course, is out of the questioa; 
and — a " 

" And on Monday, at the latest, I must return to town." 

" No, no, I can't consent to that : I must not be deprived of 
the pleasure of introducing you to my eminent friends. Do yon 
positively leave us on Monday F" 

"Positively; business of importance, which will require my 
presence " 

" No, no ! pooh, pooh ! — won't listen to such a thing ; won'i^ 
I tell you : for on Tuesday I shall consider you as engaged to 
dine with me. A week's notice to my eminent friends wul secure 
their company." 

" Your politeness and hospitality," said I, " deserve a suitable 
return on my part. Since you are so pressing in your invitation, 
it would be ungracious in me to refuse it ; so I will write to 
town by this night's post, and, even at the risk of some incon- 

venience, will remain here till " 

"'Ahem ! — ah& I — ^Never so fLaUeted. \i3 wo^^Jsvoi^ m ^ \ss| 



AND THE PEDLINGDONIANS. 83 

life; but, no«*-won't listen to it — wouldn't put you to incon- 
Tenience for all the world ; — say no more about it ; never mind 
my disappointment ; we shall see you in Little Pedlington again. 
Sadly disappointed, indeed : but don't you let that interfere with 
your arrangements. Come, will you take a turn?" 

8coreweU, who just before had come into the room, and heard 
the concluding part of the conyersation, again presented his 
bill-of-fare, with — " Bill-of-fare, sir. Now what would you choose 
to have for dinner, sir ?" 

Puzzled to guess what he intended by his emphasis upon the 
**now;'* neither could I understand what he meant by the 
odd twinkle of the eye with which he accompanied his question. 

Whilst I was doubting over Scorewell's bill-of-fare, Hobble- 
day amused himself by breathing upon one of the window-panes, 
and making marks thereon with his fore-finger. 

"Draw r" said he, in an inquiring tone. 

Told him I did. 

"Pretty accomplishment. I've a taste that way myself.— 
Ahem !— Play the flute ? " 

Told him 1 did not. 

*' Pity : you'd find it a great comfort. Besides — gets one into 
the best society — at least, I find it so in Little Pedlmgton. For 
instance, now, there's Yawkins, the eminent banker, hates me, 
yet invites me to all his music-paflies. You'd think that odd, 
perhaps — ^not in the least. Why ? Because he can't do with 
oui me. His daughter is a very fine performer on the piano- 
forte, I admit — first-rate — ^no more taste, though, than a bag- 
piper ; yet, what would be the * Battle of Prague,' or the overture 
to * Lodoiska,' without little Jack Hobbleday's flute accompani- 
ment P Pooh ! pooh ! nothing, I tell you. — Ahem ! — malicious 
little creature that daughter of his. Never stops for you when 
she finds you sticking at a difficult passage, but rattles on, and 
finishes five minutes before you, merely to show her own skill. 
I had my revenge, though, the other evening. Caught her at 
fault — ^ha ! ha ! ha ! — my turn now, thought I ; so on I went ; 
and hang me if I didn't come to my last tootle-tootle-too, 
while she had still nearly a whole page to play. Tit for 
tat, eh?" 

*' But what cause can Mr. Yawkins have for hating you, as 
you say, Mr. Hobbleday ?" 

" I did him a service, my dear sir'; and, with aom^ ^^^^<fe., 
that is cause suBcient You must know t\vsA. — ^aXi'e«v\ \<swl 
ifao'i want Scorevfrell, eh ? Scorewell, ^o\i ma.^ \fe^^e \)aa \wsavV 

G 2 



84 UTTLB PEDMNGTON 

Scorewell, with some reluctance, and a glance at Hobbledajj 
bespeaking no veiT wonderful affection for that gentkmaiiy tbd[ 
the hint and withdrew. 

" That is the most impertinent, prying rascal in all litild 
Pedlington," continued Hobbleday. " He pretends to be busied 
in dusting the wine-glasses and decanters on the side-board^ 
when, in fact, he is listening to your conversation. Whaiieyet 
he hears, he reports to our newspaper, and for that he receiTes 
his paper gratis. Between ourselves, he is not the only 6ne in 
this place I could mention who does the same thing." 

" Are these rivals in the same trade ?" thought I, " or vbich 
of them is it that belies the other? Oh! Little Pedlington} 

Ah ! Little Pedlington ! if these be thy doings ^Yet, no ; 

Scorewell shall, upon Hobbleday's testimony, be written down 
a publican of moaerate honesty ; Hobbleday, upon the word of 
Scorewell, shall stand recorded what eye, methought, had never 
seen, what tongue had never named, in this all-perfect place — a 
humbug ; but that either of them, or that any other redling- 

tonian should be suspected of betraying No, no, no; they 

are labouring under some strange delusion, and know not what 
thej say. This, for mine own happiness, I must and will 
beheve." 

Hobbleday resumed : — " But respecting Yawkins. You re- 
member the panic a few years ago, which, as Jubb describes it, 
* Like roaring torrent overwhelmed the Banks!* Up at six in 
the morning, * my custom (as Shakspeare aptly says), my custom 
always in the afternoon.' I was the first in Little Pedlington 
to hear of the great crash. Saw a traveller just arrived nom 
London, long before the post came in — told me of this bank 
going in consequence of a run upon it, and of that bank going 
in consequence of a run upon it. Thought of my friends law- 
kins, Snargate, and Co. No fear, though, for such a firm as 
ihat,—^mxm^ as a roach, at bottom. Yet prevention is better 
than cure, thought I ; for if the Little Pedlington bank should 
go, the credit of the world's at an end. Well, sir, what does 
little Jack Hobbleday do? I'll tell you what he does* He 
runs to his friend Shrubsole, and knocks him up two honrs 
earlier than his usual time. * Shrubsole,* says I, ' don't be 
alarmed; there's a tremendous run upon the banks all over 
England ; the consequence is, they are smasliing like glass. I 
know you have cash at Yawkins's, but be calm, and don't press 
f^popi /Aeniy and jour money will be safe •, but should there be a 
iim upon them to-day, they mxist \ie xum^^. Xwi >Mksy« \ss^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 85 

friendship for old Yawkins in particular : follow my advice, and 
I shall take it as a personal favour/ From him I run to my 
friend Chickney, — knock him up. ' Chickney,' says I, * don't 
be alarmed ; there's a tremendous,' &c. &c. &c. Well, sir, from 
him I run to my friend Stint um, — knock him up. * Stint uni,' 
says I," &c. &c. &c. 

^ Two o'clock, — Hobbleday had already mentioned the names of 
nineteen persons to whom he had run, and repeated to me the 
same speech in precisely the same words as he had delivered it 
to each of them ; always commencing with — " Well, sir, from 
him I run," &c. 

Greatly^ admire this method of telling a story, as I do my 
friend Major Boreall's manner of narratmg ; who, for instance, 
is a longer time in telling you of his ordering a dinner than it 
would take you to eat it. As thus : — " First of all I say to 
Kave, ' Kaye,' says I, ' you will be very particular in letting 
us haTe a tureen ol very nice spring-soup at one end of the table;' 
then I say to Kaye, * Kaye,' says I, * you will be very particular in 
lettii^ us have a tureen of very nice soupe-a-la-reine at the other;' 
then 1 say to Kaye, ' Kaye,' &c." and so on, through the whole 
service, even to a biscuit with the dessert. The great advantage 
of this system is, that a vast deal of time is consumed by it ; 
and they will not be disposed to object to it whom experience 
has taught that human life is considerably too long for any use- 
fid purpose, and who have found that, but for expedients of this 
Idna for "beguiling the time," many hours woula have been left 
fit their own dispoMl for which they must have sought employ- 
ment. Long live the BoreaUs and the Hobbledays of the world 
for relieving us of this care ! 

Continued his story, in precisely the same form, through 
thirteen names more, and then proceeded : — 

** Well, sir, having taken all this trouble to prevent a run 
upon the house of this ungrateful man, it was near eight o'clock ; 
so home I go and get a mouthful of breakfast. Look at my 
banker's book — find 1 have eleven pound two in their hands. 
Eleven pound two, as I hope to be saved ! Bank opens at 
nine, thinks I ; post won't be in till ten ; probably the firm will 
know nothing of what is going on in London till then. Eleven 
pound two a great deal to me, though not much to a house like 
the Yawkins's — I'll go down quietly, as if I knew nothing, 
and draw my balance — that can't hurt them. Gio — ^'b^. \)ckKt^ -aJ^ 
a quarter before nine — what do I see? — l'\\.te\\^ou^\\»^^^^ftfe- 
I see Sbmbsole, I see Chickney, I see Stmtuta, 1 «^ \Wcft^a» 



86 LITTLE PEDLINCMPOK 

recapitulated the whole of the two-and-thirty names he had 
already mentioned, ending with] and I see Sniggerston; all, 
with consternation painted on their faces, crowding abont thjB 
door. Notwithstanding my request that they would not pre© 
upon my friend Yawkins, there they all were — and before, me, 
too! What was the consequence? I'll tell you.. The cott- 
sequence was, the first ten or a dozen that contrived to squeeze 
in were paid ; but that could not last, you know ; human nature 
couldn't stand it. Pooh ! pooh ! I tell you it couldn't : so 
after paying nearly two hundred pounds — stop! a rc^lar 
stoppage, sir. I was at the tail of the crowd ; and when I saw 
the green door closed you might have knocked me down with a 
feather. However, at the end of two years, although the 
outstanding claims amounted to nearly a thousand pounds, a 
dividend was paid of four shillings in the pound : and now, 
Snargate drives his gig again, old lawkins rides his cob, and, to 
the honour of our town be it said, the Little Pedlington Bank 
is as firm and sound as any in Europe. Never kept cash there 
since, though ; no more oankers for me — eleven pound two— 
the sight of that green door — no, no — one such fright in a 
man's life is enough. Ahem ! " — Here he paused. 

" But," said I, " you have not told me the point of the story 
—the cause of Mr. Yawkins's hatred of you, which led yon to 
favour me with these interesting details." 

" Dear me — ^no more I have — ^forgot the point. You must 
know, then, that he has always declared — ^mark the black 
ingratitude ! — that if I had not gone running all over Little 
Pedlington, frightening his customers by telling them not to be 
alarmed, and tous causing them to take him by surprise, he 
needn't have stopped payment — till he thought best." 

Here was another pause. Clock struck three. 

" Three o'clock, as sure as I'm born ! " exclaimed my enter- 
taining acquaintance. Now who'd have thought that? But, 
as I said before, time does fly when one is engaged in pleasant 
conversation. Have not enjoyed so agreeable a morning for a 
long while. Afraid I've kept you at home, though; lost all 
your morning, — eh ? — ^Ha ! there goes Shrubsole. Ahem I the 
greatest bore in Little Pedlington. He'll sit with you for three 
hours, and not say a word — man of no conversation. Btft yon 
are thinking about something — eh ? " 

Hobbledaj right. Thinking about Sir Gabriel Gabble, a 
eAa^^erin^ bore, and Major Mum, a silent \iatft. CiTka-w^ ^\^ 
witli yon tete-a-tete through a long malei^a «^cH«i^, ^ ^ssss^fc ^& 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 87 

if he had but just issued from the cave of Trophonius, and (as 
C3iarles Bannister said of Dignura) thinks he's thinking \ the 
other will chatter your very head off — his matter compounded of 
dull trivialities, commonplace remarks, and the most venerable 
of old woman's gossip, all which he calls conversation. Query 
1. Which of the two is the least to be endured? Query 2. 
Were you to be indicted for that you did accidentally toss them 
both (or any of the like) out at window, whereby did ensue " a 
consummation devoutly to be wished," would not a jury of any 
sensible twelve of your countrymen return a verdict of " Justi- 
fiable Bore-icide F" 

Hobbleday rose to depart — but didn't. Almost wished he 
would. Expressed an apprehension that I was trespassing too 
far upQn his patience and good-nature by detaining him. Assured 
me I didn't in the least. Sorry, indeed, to leave me ; but it was 
past his dinner time. Slowly drew on one glove, smoothing 
each finder separately with the other hand : drew on the other 
glove with (as the French say) le memejeu. Deliberately took up 
his hat, looked into the crown of it, and whistled part of a tune. 
Reiterated his regrets that I didn't play the flute ; and repeated 
his assurance that I should find it a very great comfort. Made a 
move — ("At last ! " thought I) — but not towards the door. His 
move, lie a knight's at chess, brought him, by a zigzag, onlv 
into another comer. Made the circuit of the room, and read all 
the cards and advertisements that were hanging against the 
walls, whistling all the time. 

" Well, now — go I must. Sorry to leave you, for the 
presentJ* 

Can't account for it ; but, on hearing these three words, you 
might — (to use Hobbleday's own expression) — you might have 
knocked me down with a feather. 

" By the bye, promised to take you to see my dear friend 
Hummins's museum on a private day. Can't to-morrow. Thurs- 
day, I'm engaged. Let me see ; — ay, I'll send you a letter of 
introduction to him — 'twill be the same thing — he'll do anything 
to oblige me. Now remember ; anything I can do to be agree- 
able to you whilst you stay in our place — command me. Sorry 
our little dinner party can't take place this time ; but when you 
come again to Little Pedlington — remember — come you must — 
positively won't take no for an answer. Everybody knows little 
Jack Hobbleday. Pooh, pooh ! I tell you they do. Always 

willing to — always anxious to good b^e — ^aee ^cyoL^^^"^^^^ 

pabJj'c breaMast to-morrow — good bye." 



88 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Ueally he is an obliging creature ; and not to avail myself of 
liis proffered civilities would be an offence. 

Strolled out — (four o'clock, and the thermometer at 83°) and 
found the town deserted. Informed it was the fashionable dij 
for walking to Snapshank Hill to see the view,— only ^Ye miles 
distant. How unfortunate am I that Hobbleday didn't acquaint 
me with this ! for, as I am informed, having reached the top of 
the hill, one may look back again, and, with a tolerable telescope, 
discover the spire of Little Pedlington church — that being the 
chief purpose of the pilgrimage, though the spire, with the 
church into the bargam, may be seen without any trouble at 
all, from any one of the four comers of Little Pedlington diurch- 
yard. 

Approached a window wherein were exhibited several profiles 
in black, and a notice that " Likenesses are taken in this mannar, 
at only one shilling each, in one minute.^' There was a fall- 
length of Hobbleday — no mistaking it — and of Mrs. Shanks, the 
confectioner ; and of Miss Tidmarsb, with her poodle ; ^d <rf 
many others, the originals of which I knew not, but all unques- 
tionable likenesses, no doubt; for the works before me were 
Daubson's ! Recollected his " all-but-breathing grenadier ;" 
recollected, too, Jubb's noble apostrophe to him, oommenoiDg 
with 

" Stand forth, my Daubson, matchless and alone 1 " 

and instantly resolved to sit to him for a black profile. 

My request to see Mr. Daubson was answered by a little 
girl, seated at a little table, and employed in preparing the happy 
canvas destined to receive immortality &om the hand of the great 
artist : in other words, she was cuttmg up a sheet of drawing- 
card into squares of different sizes. 

" Mr. Daubson can't possibly be disturbed just yet, sir," said 
she, with an air of importance befitting the occasion ; " he is 
particularly engaged with a sitter." 

" Then," replied I, '* I will call again in an hour or two, or 
to-morrow, or the next day." 

" But," continued she (not noticing what I said), " if yoa 
will take a seat, sir, for half a minute or so, he will see you. 
The lady has been with him nearly a minute already ! " 

Recollected Daubson*s expeditious method of handing down 
to posterity his mementos of the woTt\i\fca oi his Qwa. timie— 
"^ perpetuating" is, I believe, t\ie -woidl ou!S^\.\ft "Ofia* 



AND THE PEDLINGTONLLNS. 89 

And this word reminds me of an untoward circumstance which 
occurred (not in Little Pedlington, but at another equally well- 
known place — Paris) upon the occasion of a Welsh friend re- 

oaesting me to take him to the studio of the Chevalier G , 

^questionahlj the best portrait-painter in France), whose 
works he expressed a great desire to see. The name of the 
party introduced, which was well known, would have been a 
sufficient passport to the chevalier, even had it not been coun- 
tersigned by me, and he was received with flattering attention — 
the painter himself conducting him through the studio, and 
carefully exhibiting to him his choicest productions. The 
cheyalier's portraits were of high merit as works of art, jret, 
I must admit, he had been somewhat unfortunate in his origi- 
nals, who certainly had not furnished his pencil with the most 
beautiful specimens of the ''human face divine." My friend 
examined the pictures with great minuteness, but made no re- 
mark, although the chevalier understood English perfectly well. 
Having completed the tour of the gallery, the painter, whose 
vanity was scarcely less than his politeness, turned towards his 
visitor with an evident, and no unnatural, expectation of some 
complimentary observation. The latter, having given one last 
and general glance around him, exclaimed, — " Monsieur le 
Chevalier — ^what devilish infatuation can induce people to desire 
to perpetuate their d — d ugly faces ! — Monsieur U Chevalier^ I 
wish you good morning." 

Resolved that the recollection of this anecdote should not be 
lost upon me on the present occasion. 

Ushered into the presence of the great artist. As it usually 
happens vrith one's preconceived notions of the personal appear- 
ance of eminent people, mine, with respect to Daubson, turned 
out to he all wrong. In the portrait of Michael Angelo, you 
read of the severity and stem vigour of his works ; of tender- 
ness, elegance, and delicacy in Kaphael's ; in B;embrandt's, of 
his coarseness as well as of his strength ; in Yandyck*s, of 
refinement ; in all, of intellectual power. But I must own that, 
in Daubson, I perceived nothing indicative of the creator of the 
"Grenadier." Were I, however, to attempt to convey by a 
single word a general notion of his appearance, I should say it 
is interesting. To descend to particulars : — He is considerably 
below the middle height ; his figure is slim, except towards the 
lower part of the waistcoat, where it is pTot\iW«ci\.\ ^J^'a. ^xws^ 
are long, and bis knees have a tendency to aipmoBi^^ ^"SwOa. ^>iJasst\ 
£ioe smaJi sharp, and pointed ; compleidon. oi «k\i\^<i^3a \55M&»^^ 



90 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

effect, doubtless, of deep study ; small gray eyes ; busby black 
eyebrows ; and head destitute of hair, except at the hinder part^ 
where the few stragglers are collected and bound together pi^tailr 
wise. Dress : — coat of brown fustian ; waistcoat, stockiiigi^ 
and smalls, black; silk neckerchief, black; and, I bad abnoit 
added, black shirt, but that I should hardly be warranted ii 
declaring on this point upon the small' specimen exhibited. 
Manners, language, and address, simple and unaffected ; and in 
these you at once recognized the Genius. 

Having told him. in reply to his question whether I came to 
be "done ?" that I had come for that purpose, he (disdaining the 
jargon, common to your London artists, about " Kitcata," and 
** whole-lengths," and " Bishop's half-lengths," and " three- 
quarters," and so forth) came at once to the point, by sayings— 

" Do you wish to be taken short — or long, mister ?" 

Told him I should prefer being taken short. 

" Then get up and sit down, if you please, mister." 

I was unable to reconcile these seemingly contradictory direc- 
tions, tiU he pointed to a narrow, high-backed chair, placed on a 
platform, elevated a few inches above the floor. By the side of 
the chair was a machine of curious construction, from wfaidi 
protruded a long wire. 

Mounted, and took my seat. 

"Now, mister, please to look at that," said Daubson ; at the 
same time pointii^ to a Dutch cuckoo-clock which hung in a 
comer of the room. "Twenty-four minutes and a half past four. 
Head stiddy^ mister." 

He then slowly drew the wire I have mentioned over my bead, 
and down my nose and chin; and having so. done, exclaimed, 
" There, mister, now look at the clock — ^twenty^p^ minutes and 
a half. What do you think of that r 

What could I think, indeed ! or what could I do but uttep an 
exclamation of astonishment ! In that inconceivably short time 
had the " great Daubson " produced, in profile, a perfect outline 
of my bust, with the head throvm back, and the nose interest- 
ingly perked up in the air. " Such," might Hoppy well exclaim, 
— -" such are tne wonders of art ! " 

" Now, mister, while I'm giving the finishing touches to the 

pictur*, — that is to say, filling up the outline with Ingy-vak^ — ^I 

wish you'd just have the goodness to give me your candid 

opinion of my works here. But no flattery, mister; — ^tell me 

what; you really think. I like to \)e to\d ol to^ iwj\\,^ \ WsmL it 

^^ account; I improve by it." 



AND THE PEDLINGTOKIANS. 91 

Can a more agreeable task be assigned to yon than that of 
ddivering to an artist, an author, or, indeed, to anybody, a candid 
cpimon of his productions ; especially if, in the excess of your 
eandour, jou temper a hundred-weight of praise with but one 
little gram of censure? Let mine enemj walk through the 
zooms of the Bx)yal Academy arm-in-arm with an exhibitor, and 
try it— that's all. 

Looked at the profiles hanging about the room. Said of 
them, severally, "Beautiful!"— "Charming!"— ."Exquisite!" 
—•* Divine!" 

** So, so, mister," said Daubson, rising, " I've found you out: 
joa are an artist." 

" I assure you, sir," said I, "you are mistaken. I am sorry 
I cannot boast of being a member of that distinguished pro- 
fession." 

" You can't deceive me, mister. Nobody, excepting one of 
us, can know so much about art as you do. Your opinions are 
so just, it can't be otherwise. But these are trifles not worth 
speakinff of — though they may be very well in their way, mister 
•—and tnough, vrithout vanity, I mav say, I don't know the man 
that can beat them. But what think vou of my great work— my 
* Grenadier,' mister P Now, vrithout flattery." 

I^oouraged by the praise of my connoisseurship, and from so 
idgh a quarter, I talked boldly, as a connoisseur ought to do ; 
not forffettinff to make liberal use of those terms by the employ- 
ment of which one who knows little may acquire a reputation for 
connoisseurship amongst those who know less ; and concluding 
(like the last discharge of rockets at Yauxhall) hj letting off all 
ny fiaTonrite terms at once. — " Mr. Daubson," said I, "I assure 
you, that for design, composition, drawing, and colour, — for 
middle distance, foreground, background, chia^-oscuro, tone, fore- 
•bortening, and light and shade, — ^for breadth, depth, harmonv, 
perspective, pencilTing, and finish, I have seen nothing in Little 
Pted Hng ton that would endure a moment's comparison with it." 

" miere could you have got your knowledge of art, your fine 
taste, your sound judgment, if you are not an artist ? I wish I 
oould have the advantage of yoiir opinion now and then— so 
correct in tdl respects — ^1 am sure I should profit by it, mister. 
Now — ^there is your portrait: as like you as one pea is to another, 
mister." 

" Yes," said I, " it is like; but isn't the liftad \.\aQrw\i x«Sass. 
too much backwards F" 
. ^ubaoa'a oountenance fell ! 



92 LITTLE PEDLIlfGTOH 

" Too much backwards ! Why, mister, how would you ha?e 
the head?" 

"My objection goes simply to this, Mr. Daubson. It seems 
to me that, by throwing the head into that position *' 

" Seems to you, mister ! I think I, as a professional attiBt, 
ought to know best. But that is the curse of our professicm: 
people come to us, and would teach us what to do." 

"You asked me for a candid opinion, sir; otherwise I should 
not have presumed to ^" 

" Yes, mistei*, I did ask you for a candid opinion ; and so loD^ 
as you talked like a sensible man, I listened to you. But whea 
you talk to a professional man upon a subject he, naturally, must 
be best acquainted with— —backwards, indeed ! I never placed 
a head better in all my life ! " 

Reflecting that Daubson, " as a professional man," must, con- 
sequently, be infallible, I withdrew my objection, and efaianged 
the subject. 

" How is it, sir," said I, " that so eminent an artist as you is 
not a member of the Royal Academy?" 

"D — ^n the Royal Academy!" exclaimed he, his yellow face 
turning blue : " D — ^n the Royal Academy ! they shall never see 
me amongst such a set. No, mister ; I have thrown down the 
gauntlet and defied them. When they refused to exhibit my 
' Grenadier,' I made up my mind never to send them anotiMr 
work of mine, mister ; never to countenance them in any way : 
and I have kept my resolution. No, mister ; they repent their 
treatment of me, but it is too late ; Daubson is unappeasable : 
they may fret their hearts out, but they shall never see a pictui' 
of mine again. Why, mister, it is only last year that ^friend of 
mine — without my knowledge — sent them one of my pictur*8, and 
they rejected it. They knew well enough whose it was. But I 
considered that as the greatest compliment ever paid me, — it 
showed they were afraid of the competition. D — ^n 'em ! if they 
did but know how much I despise 'em ! I never bestow a 
thought upon 'em ; not I, mister. But that den must be broken 
up ;-— there will be no high art in England whilst that exists. 
Intrigue ! cabal ! It is notorious that they never exhibit any 
man's pictur's, unless he happens to have R.A. tacked to his 
name. It is notorious that they pay five thousand a-year to the 
Times for praising their works and for not noticing mine. D — ^n 
'em ! what a thorough contempt I feel for 'em ! I can imagine 
them at their dinners, which coat Wiem WiQiws«GL<i^ ^-'^ewiv— • 
there thej axe, Phillips, andS\iee, m^Y\cV<&t^^»«5A^'''SKL^, 



AlTD THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 93 

and Briggs, l«jing their heads together to oppose me! But 
vhich of them can paint a ' Grenadier ?' D — ^n 'em ! they are 
one mass of envy and uncharitableness^ that I can tell you, 
mister/' 

" Happily, Mr. Daubson," said I, " those vices scarcely exist 
in Little Pedlington." 

" Unheard of, mister. I don't envy them — I envy no man- 
on the contrary, I'm always ready to lend a hand to push on any 
rising talent that comes forward ; — though, to be sure, I'll allow 
no man to take profiles in Little Pedlington whilst / live : that's 
self-preservation. But they ! — they'd destroy me if they could. 
Bat, bad as some of them are, the worst are those envious fel- 
lows. Turner and Stanfield. They have done their utmost to 
crush me, but they have not succeeded. Why, mister, last 
summer I began to do a little in the landscape way. No sooner 
were my views of the Crescent and of Little Pedlmgton Church 
mentioned in our newspaper, than down comes a man from Lon- 
don with a camera-obscura to oppose me ! Who was at the 
bottom of that ? Who sent him ? Why, they did, to be sure. 

The envious ! But I didn't rest till I got him out of the 

tovm ; so that scheme failed. No, no, mister ; they'll not get 
me amongst them in their d — d Academy, at least, not whilst 
they go on in their present style. But let them look to it ; let 
them take care how they treat me for the future ; let them do 
their duty by me — ^they know what I mean — or they may bring 
the * Little Pedlington Weekly Observer' about their ears. Por 
my ovni part, I never condescend to bestow a thought upon them ! 
D — n 'em ! if they did but know the contempt I feel for 
them!" 

Here another sitter was announced ; so I received my por- 
trait from the hands of the great artist, paid my shilling, and 
departed. 

" So then," thought I, " genius, even a Daubson's, is not 
secure from the effects of envy and persecution (real or ima- 
ginary) even in Little Pedlington ! " 

Six o'clock. Returned to mine inn. In the course of the 
evening received a note from Hobbleday, enclosing sealed letters 
to liummins and Jubb. 

** Deab, Sib, — Sorry cannot have pleasure of accompanying 
you to my dear friend Bummins, neither to my worthy friend 
Jubb. Send letters oi introduction, — spoV^e m ^^xm^^\. \fcY«va», 
— ^ joa can desire. Sorry sha'n't see "^ou \o ^m^ rnVXi. "ssv^ 



94 LITTLE FEDLINGTON 

this time, — next time you must, — ^no denial. Beiieye me^ mj 
dear sir, your most truly affectionate friend, 

" John Hobbledat. 

" P.S. — Do think of my advice about flute, — do turn your 
mind to it — will find it a great comfort." 

Will not believe otherwise than that Hobbleday is a warm- 
hearted, sincere little fellow. 

To-morrow to Ho})py's public breakfast, where I shall meet all 
the beauty and fashion oi Little Pedlin^^ton. Afterwards witii 
my letters to Rummins and Jubb. With such warm intro- 
ductions from their friend Hobbleday, what a reception do I 
anticipate ! 



AND THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 95 



CHAPTER VIL 



Awful conflagration — ^Pleasures and advantages of early rising — 
Charity tinezampled — Meet a great man. Who ? — Jack Hobbleday's 
marketiDg : well-considered economy — The great man no less a 
personage than Felix Hoppy, M.C. — How to get your money's worth 
— ^Another of the advantages of early rising — A visit to Simooz 
Bummins, F.S.A. — Projects of the F.S. A. : all disinterestedly and 
praiseworthily pro bono publico — Avail myself of Hobbleday's 
introduction and present his flattering letter : results — " 0, Mr. 
Hobbleday ! ! ! " 

Wednesday, June 17th. — Aroused by a violent knocking 
at my door. " What is the matter ? " said I, startled by the 
noise. 

" Get up, sir, for Heaven's sake, get up," cried the chamber- 
maid : " the house is o' fire ! *' 

"The house on fire ! What's o'clock ?" inquired I. 

** Almost six, sir. Get up, get up, get up ! 

" Only six o'clock ? and the house on fire ! " To this there 
was no repl^; for the chambermaid having fulfilled her duty by 
communicating the intelligence to me, was proceeding in her 
laudable occupation of alarming such of the lodgers as were 
still fto speak poetically) " in the arms of Morpheus." 

Aloeit unused to pay my respects to the sun at his levee, the 
present provocation was irresistible. Rising early for the idle 
purpose of "brushing with early feet the morning dew," and 
listening to the matin song of the lark, is one thing ; perform- 
ing the same disagreeable exploit to avoid being burned in one's 
bed, is another; so I arose and, dressed. Expected, as the 
smallest compensation for this untimely disturoauce, that I 
should be enabled to enrich this my journal with an account of 
the dangers I had to encounter m making my way through 
doolds of curling smoke and volumes m iiie ^^ ^^^^\£ras% 
element '^--^f rasmng along corridors and d.oHni ^Xaca.^'^&K?:^ 



96 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

enveloped in flame — ^haply of snatching a female, young and 
beantitul, from the " awiul jaws of destruction." Alas ! no 
such good fortune was mine. On opening my door I was 
regaled, to be sure, with a very disagreeable odour of soot; 
but, disappointment ineffable ! I walked down stairs uninterr 
rupted by either of the antagonists for whose opposition I ha3 
prepared myself. Nowhere was a blaze, nor even a single 
spark of fire, to be seen ; and (to render my mortification oom- 
plete), in reply to my anxious inquiries concerning the where- 
about and the extent of the conflagration^ I was informed by 
Scorewell that it was only the kitchen-(7^e»2% which had been 
o' fire, but that he, assisted by the waiter, had succeeded ii 
extinguishing it with a, bucket of water or two ! 

" And was it for this ? " thought I, with a sigh. 

In about half-an-hour after the event — ^time enough to have 
allowed of the " Green Dragon" being burned to the ground- 
three ragged little boys, headed by the parish bea(8e> came 
dragging along a fire-engine somewhat bigger than a wheel- 
barrow. Having waited for some time, with eyes anxiousljy 
fixed on the budding, and nothing occurring to require their 
services, "Come, boys," with a shake of the head, and in ft 
melancholy tone, said the liveried guardian of the public safety, 
— " come, boys, take the engine back again : there^s no hope.'* 

This reminded me of the native complaint of a certain person 
(well known as a subscriber to most of the public charitieai, a 
follower of the public sights and amusements of London, and a 
constant attendant at the parks in the skating season), that 
although he had been a life-governor of the Humane Society for 
nearly four months, and visited the parks every skating day, he 
had not j^et been lucky enough to see any one drownea ! 

There is, generally speaking, a beautiml proportion in things. 
The destruction of the Houses of Parliament by fire was, i&t 
some time, the prevailing topic of conversation m London : in 
like manner, the fire in Scorewell's kitchen-chimney obliterated 
the remembrance of the losing and the finding of Miss Crippsfs 
bag, and became the talk of all Little Pedlington during the 
whole of this day. Compared with the relative extent, popu- 
lation, and importance, of^the two towns, the interest of tlM 
two events is about equal. The political economist, perhaps, 
and the statistician, may think lightly of this notion ; yet I 
apprehend there is something in it which might be worth the 
consideration of the moralist or the observer of manners, never- 
llieJess. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 97 

Well, having been at the trouble of rising at six o'clock, I 
would not go to bed again, although it was then no nlore than 
leren. I have occasionally heard the pleasures and advantages 
of early rising extolled, especially by the Hobbledays of my 
acquaintance. I must be unlucky, indeed, thought I, it I do not 
derive some benefit from this experiment ; though, as it is my 
first, my expectations shall be wisely moderate. 

'Walked into the town. Had the satisfaction of seeing the 
shutters taken down from several shop-windows — ^a very pretty 
sifffat ; though, as none of the various commodities intended for 
sue are exhibited till later in the day, that is all there was to see. . 
Passing a door, was almost choked by a cloud of dust and dirt 
suddeiJy broomed out by a young gentleman who was sweeping 
the shop. A little farther on, encountered another young gentle- 
man, who, with a huge watering-pot, was describing large figures 
of eight on the pavement, whistling all the while. Endeavouring 
to skip out of reach of his fountain, first on one side, then on the 
other, received at each attempt a plentiful supply of water about 
the legs. Unacquainted, as yet, with early-morning etiquette, 
as the young gentleman did not beg mt/ pardon, but, with an un- 
concerned air, continued to whistle and to water, I thought it 
might be proper to beg his. Did so. " No offence," said the 
young gentleman. Turning the corner of a street, came in con- 
tact with a chimney-sweeper ; my appearance not improved by 
the collision. " All right again ! " exclaimed a facetious baker, 
who ran against me vrithin the same minute. An admirable illus- 
tration of the principle of compensation, certainly. A butcher's 
boy, turning suddenly round to nod to an acquaintance, struck 
me a smart blow on the head vrith the comer of his tray, out of 
which a le^ of mutton was jerked by the concussion : received at 
the same time a well-merited rebuke, though in not very choice 
terms, for my awkwardness. Nearly thrown down by the milk- 
man of Little Pedlington swinging one of his sharp-rimmed pails 
against my legs ; the consequence was, a bruised shin, the 
injury of my trowsers, and a copious effusion of milk. Preparing 
to express my displeasure at the man's carelessness, but it being 
the unanimous opinion of three market-women, a bricklayer's 
labourer, the dustman, an itinerant tinker, the chimney-sweeper 
aforesaid (who strengthened the evidence against me by crying 
out, " Vy, he run against me, just now," and pointing to my 
dress in support of nis testimony), together with an old la.d^ 
with a hasket of matches, a young one sc\]^g ■waX-vst^xe&'s*^^^ ^0^^ 
pnckdnst msm, and the knife-grinder, by aW oi \?Voxsi\^^W^^- 

U 



98 LITTLE TEDLINGTON 

diately surrounded — it being the unanimous opinion, I say, of 
this respectable asssmblage, that I ought to ma&e the man some 
compensation for the loss of his milk, I gave him half-a-crown, 
rubbed my shins and walked on. 

Proceeded to a less frequented part of the town — theCresoeni 
Counted seven housemaids beating the dust out of seven doo^ 
mats, and five others trundling mops. Did'nt suffer mnoh 
inconvenience from either of those operations, as I contrived to 
keep as far as possible out of the sphere of their influence, by 
walking in the muddy carriage-road. Saw several pretty headi 
peeping through the iron railings of the areas, in dose oonvena- 
tion with juvenile butchers, bakers, grocers, and other eharfk 
d'affaires of various tradesmen, occupied, no doubt, in delivering 
their mistresses' orders for the day. Witnessed an interesting 
incident — an act of charity ! — a footman giving broken victuals to 
a beggar-girl. Concealed myself behind a projecting dcx>rway, 
and paused to moralize the scene. 

The beggar-girl was pretty, and, though all tattered were her 
garments, her person was plump and sleek, whilst her chedc 
glowed, ndt with the artificial hue borrowed by the wealthier and 
happier of her sex from the emporium of Hendry or Deloroix, 
but with the tinge which the finger of Hygeia herself had 
implanted there. In one hand she carried an empty basket 
covered with a cloth, the other bore one single bunch of matches. 
Small was the fan-like bundle of the slender and sulphur-pointed 
shreds, as might well befit a maiden's hand to bear; but the 
osier-woven pannier was capacious. " A footman has a heart," 
thought I. " Yes, ye lords ! who for your tyrannous oppressicm 
and manifold crimes are, ere long, to oe unlorded — gainsay it as 
you will, I call Nature to witness, a footman has a heart ! " 

The beggar-girl approached and held towards him her now 
uncovered basket, whilst he — his ready hand obeying the impulse 
of his benevolent heart — threw into it the remnants, swept in 
disdain, perhaps, from the groaning table of his pampered and 
o*er-fed lord — those all-despised remnants which, to her, poor 
want-stricken maiden ! were an epicurean banquet. She covered 
her basket — ^in an ecstasy of gratitude she approached the 
benevolent youth — he (his compassionate heart swelling with 
rapture as he contemplated the object whose life, perhaps, his 
charity had saved) pressed his lips to hers— a bell was heard as 
from within the house — he, the oppressed slave to its tyrant 
summons, rushed headlong to obe^ it — &\ve, Wife ^^i^t ^\Aw^\s.ous 
igbter of want and woe, startled at t\i^ w\m.^,^^^>aLs. ^iioR. 



AND TKB PEDLINGTONIANS. 99 

timid deer aroused by the insatiate hunter's horn — and vanished 
from my sight. 
With truth may Jubb exclaim, that for Pedliugtonia, 



ft 



Plenty all her Cornucopia yields ! " 



when the very " broken victuals" (as such donations are termed) 
bestowed in the present instance, consisted of a rump-steak 
undressed, a cold roasted fowl minus a wing, a quantity of 
uncooked vegetables, an uncut quartern loaf, and a silver fork 
and table spoon ! These last articles in the list prove, not only 
that a footman has a heart, but that his heart may be suscep- 
tible of the most refined delicacy of attention towards the fair 
Bex. "In Little Pedlington alone,'* thought I, "could be 
witnessed a scene so interesting and so edifying : never, surely, 
bath Charity in form so refined oeen known to walk up the steps 
of a London area." 

Walked on towards the market. On my way thither met a 
ff entleman, who, from his dress, was evidently returning home 
&om a very late party, for it was not yet much past seven 
o'clock. In walking he turned out his toes in a most exemplary 
style ; and trod as lightly as if the streets of Little Pedlington 
bad been paved with burning coals. As he passed, he honoured 
me with a very low bow : his bow was remarkable. He lifted 
bia hat, at arm's length, from his head, and, in stooping, almost 
swept the ground with it. On turning to look after him, found 
that this act of politeness was not intended as a singular com- 
pliment to me, for that he did the same thing to every person he 
met : so that his hat was never out of his hand, and no sooner on 
bis head than off again. Any common observer would have 
wondered that he did not wear out his hat ; my wonder was he 
did not wear out his head : the constant friction had, indeed, 
worn out his hair, for his head was bald. His person was small, 
but finely proportioned ; and his dress calculated to exhibit it to 
the utmost advantage. Black coat, fitted to his form with an 
accuracy which might have excited the envy of one of those 
wooden blocks we see at the doors of the London emporiums 
for cheap fashion ; waistcoat white, from which rushed a cataract 
of shirt-frill, ornamented, as Mr. Fudgefield, the auctioneer of 
Little Pedlington, would describe it, with an unparalleledly 
large \mock'\ diamond \jMch if it were real would he\^^\"0^^^ 
least, £ve hundred pounds; black smaWa*, o^^ixv-^o^YsA X^Nsy^ 
ant stockings, which set off a leg ot exquVaiV-e ioTTs\, Wws.^ ^ 

n 2 



100 LITTLE PEDLENGTON 

fastidious eye, perhaps, might deem it superabundant in calf; 
and dancing-pumps decorated with huge rosettes of blaok 
riband. Between the fore-finger and thumb of the left band he 
held a small black cane, with a large black silk tassel dependii^ 
from it; and, as if to show that he used it as an ornament 
merely, and not for support, he carried it with his fore-ana 
extended forward, and his elbow resting on his hip. Wondered 
who he could be : satisfied he was not one of the nobodies of thi 
place. 

In the market saw Hobbleday. Intended to inquire of him 
who was the remarkable gentleman I had just passed; but, au 
he was busily occupied — (tor he was running about from stall to 
stall, and, with an earnest countenance, examining the YBrions 
articles exposed for sale ; whispering questions to the market- 
people, and mysteriously placing his ear to their lips to receive 
their replies) — I felt it would be ill-timed and improper to divert 
his attention from what was clearly an affair of some importance 
to him. Gould account for the extraordinary trouble he was 

S'ving himself upon one of only two suppositions : either that 
obbleday was official inspector of the market; or that he had 
undertaken, as steward for some great entertainment to be 
given, to purchase the choicest commodities at the most reason- 
able prices. Did not long remain in doubt, for I was speedily 
jomed by my obliging acquaintance. 

" Ha ! so you're here, eh P" said Hobbleday. " Well, every- 
thing must have a beginnii^ — sure you'll like early rising when 
you get used to it. Yet it is a pity you are so late." 

" Late !" exclaimed I ; " why, it is hardly half-past seven!" 

" Bless your soul, my dear fellow ; I've been here these two 
hours— since half-past five — saw the first basket of cabbages 
opened ; pooh-pooh ! tell you I did." 

" He is Inspector, then," thought I. 

"Prodigious advantage in coming here early — save fifty jpcr 
cenL in one's purchases." 

Withdrew my too hasty conclusion, and resolved that the 
other supposition must be the true one. 

" Now see here," he continued, at the same time drawing a 
lettuce from his pocket : " now guess what I paid for this P" 

" I am not expert at guessing," replied I ; " besides, as I am 
not a housekeeper, I am miserably ignorant of the usual cost or 
value of such commodities." 

"Butsaess : — do guess." 
J would not for worlds have it \mag\nfi^V\iaJb'SLO^^^Na^ 



AND !riIE PEDLINGtOKIA"N'S. lOl 

bore ; yet, as a bore would have done, he eleven times reiterated 
bis desire that I would " guess." At length he continued— -de- 
livering the conclusion of his speech with an emphasis worthy 
the importance of the occasion : — 

" Well, since you can't guess, I'll tell you. Sir, I paid for 
this fine lettuce, such as you see it, only — one — penny !" 

"And is it possible, Mr. Hobbleday," exclaimed I, with 
•stoiushment, " that you have been at the trouble of coming 
here at five in the morning to purchase a penny lettuce V 

** Trouble, my dear sir ! Bless you, it is no trouble to me : 
one must do something, you know. Besides, as I said before, I 
flaye Mtjper cent, by it ; I must have paid three halfpence for it 
at a shop." 

" But surely that is not your only purchase ?" 

" My only purchase ! W hy, sir, this lettuce will serve me 
two days. Now Til tell you how I contrive with it. The first 
day! take my lettuce and " 

Here the obliging creature favoured me with a lon^ detail 
(which occupied twenty minutes) of his method of coaxing one 
penny lettuce into the performance of two days' duty. But as I 
naye mislaid my notes relative to this point, I will not venture to 
trust my memory upon so important a matter. 

** Pray pardon my curiosity," said I : " you come here at five 
in the morning; I find you busied in inspecting all the stalls, 
and asking questions of aU the market-people ; yet the upshot of 

all this is the purchase of " 

^ " What of that, my dear sir?" said Hobbleday (accompanying 
his words with a pote in my ribs); " it isn't for what I buy; 
but one gets at the price of things ; one stores one's mind with 
knowledge — ^information. I'm no boaster; but" — (here he drew 
me down by the collar of my coat till he had brought my ear 
close to his mouth, when he added, in an emphatic whisper) — 
** but though I don't buy much, there's no man in all Little 
Pedlington knows the price of things so well as little Jack 
Hobbleday; and that's something to be able to say, eh?" 

At this moment the gentleman whom I had lately passed 
crossed the market, bowing and bowing and bowing, as before. 
Inquired of my companion who he was. 

" Who !— he ! — ^that ! " — exclaimed Hobbleday, in evident 
amazement at my ignorance. " Who should he be ? That, my 
dear sir, is our Hoppy ! " 

With becoming reverence 1 looked a^tex t\i\a e^'iJat^^^ '^^"■ 
aonage till be bad bowed himself out o! SAsJit, 



102 LIITLE PEDMNGTON 



" Judging by his dress," said I, " he must have been up all 
ni^t at some party or assembly." 

Hobbleday looked at me with an expression of countenance, 
and a shake of the head, which convinced me that I had not, by 
my remark, raised myself in his estimation — at least for my 
notions of the proprieties of society. 

" Assembly ! — ^Party ! Pooh ! pooh ! What can that^ haye 
to do with his dress ? Never saw him dressed otherwise in my 
life: sunshine or rain; morning, noon, or night. Really, xot 
dear sir, you seem to forget what he is. Dancing-master, ana 
Master of the Ceremonies, too, of such a place as Little Pedling* 
ton ! how should he dress ? Must excuse me for saying a cutting 
thing : but clear to see you have no Master of the Ceremonies of 
London." 

Abashed by the rebuke, and unable to boast of such a func- 
tionary for poor London, I abruptly changed the subiect of con- 
versation. Thanked him for the letters of introduction which he 
had sent me to Kummins and Jubb. Told him that, after break- 
fast, I should avail myself of them. 

"Oh — ah!" said Hobbleday, with something like a show of 
confusion, which I attributed to regret at having just now so 
deeply wounded my feelings ; " ah ! — surely ! Have said all 
you can desire. — Ahem ! — But you say after breakfast. Thought 
you were going to Hoppy's Public Breakfast, at Yawkins's skittle- 
ground, at one o'cIock." 

" So I intend," replied I ; " but I shall take breakfast at my 
inn." 

" I see, you mean only to make a dinner of it, eh P" 

" Nor dinner neither, said I. 

"How odd! Don't you see what the bill says?" said Hob- 
bleday, directing my attention to a posting-bill which announced 
the Grand Public Breakfast. * 

" Yes, Mr. Hobbleday, I see : ' Admission, two shillings, re- 
freshments included * " 

He interrupted my reading with — " Refreshments ? — Tea and 
hot rolls, my dear fellow — ^ham and eggs. You must pay two 
shillings whether you eat or not ; so I always make it a rule 
to " 

I continued to read : " Refreshments included, ad libitum,*' 

"' Pooh ! nonsense ! " exclaimed he ; " limit *em indeed ! The 
bill says so, to be sure ; limit who they please, they don't limit 
Jitth Jack Hobbleday, that I can tell ^ow. ^<i, ivq, my dear 
fellow; pay my two shillings — ^no tn^'b, ^ouYxtfs^ — ^si\\aaita 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. . 103 

it serve me for breakfast and dinner both. And, I say," — (here 
he brought my ear in contact with his mouth, as bemre, at the 
same time honouring me with another poke in the ribs) — " and, 
I say, half the people who go there do the same thing, that I can 
tell you, too'^ 

After a moment's pause, " Now," continued he, " I'll carry 
home my lettuce, and then I'll go to our Universal Knowledge 
Society, and read ' Guthrie's Geography ' for an hour or two ; 
and then I'll take a nap for an hour or two ; and that will just 
fill up the time till the JBreakfast." 

" A nap so early in the day ! " exclaimed I, somewhat 
astonished. 

"Of course," replied he; "Nature is Nature" — (a philo- 
sophical reflection which I was not at the moment prepared to 
dispute); and he continued: "Ah! my dear fellow, I perceive 
you know nothing of the pleasures— ot the advantages of early 
lising. Ah ! for shame ! You, who lie in bed till nine or ten, 
are as fresh as a lark all day long, eh ? — in the evening ready for 
anythiM— read, talk, sing, dance, — ^no wish for bed ; no enjoy- 
ment of your natural rest, as I have. But I, when eight o'clock 
comes, can't keep my eyes open ; and am half asleep all the rest 
of the day into the bargain." 

« « ji^ « « 

"Eleven o^chck. Two hours to spare between this and the 
time fixed for the Master of the Ceremonies' Breakfast. Rum- 
mins's public day for exhibiting his museum is Friday ; but as 
his "dear friend," and my most obliging acquaintance, who 
already does me the honour to " my dear-tellow " me, and (who 
has, as he assured me, "the privilege of introducing a friend 
there on any day of the week ") has furnished me with a flatter- 
ing letter of introduction to the great antiquary, I will at once 
avail myself of the advantage of it. Under such auspices as 
Hobbleaay's, I feel confident of an agreeable reception. But, 
for my own satisfaction, let me once more refer to the exact 
words of Hobbleday's kind note to me . 

" Sorry cannot have pleasure of accompanying you to my dear 
friend Kuramins, neither to my worthy friend Jubb. Send 
letters of introduction — spoke in warmest terms — all you can 
d^ire. * * * * 

" Your most truly affectionate Ftleud^ 



]04t 4 LITTLE :pedlington 

"Most truly affectionate friend!" Kind, obliging, marah 
hearted Hobbleday ! Yet this is the man stigmatized by Seo»- 
well as a humbug ! O friendship ! spontaneous as it is diiiii* 
terested and pure ! shades of Castor and of Pollox ! 
Pylades ! and Orestes, ! You, ye sublime exemplars of tba 

noble passion ! If ever about to proceed to Rummins'a, I 

have not time to work out my apostrophe in a way worthy at 
the subject ; but what I mean to say is this, let those who OOB- 
plain that friendship is not to be found on the surface of our 
wicked world — a complaint which I do most devoutly believe to 
be rarely well grounded, except in the case of such as do nol 
deserve to find it — ^let them, I say, try Little Pedlington. 

To the residence of Simcox Rummins, Esq., P.S.A. The door 
opened by a little, slim woman, aged and tottering — the HiuOBlit 
specimen of the living antiquities of the place I had yet seoi— 
an appropnate appendage to the domestic establishment of the 
P.S.A. Her age (as I was afterwards told) ninety-four. Asked 
me if I wanted to see " little master." 

" Little master ! No," replied I. " My visit, my good lady, 
is to Mr. Uummins, the elder, who is, as I am informed, a gentler 
man of near sixty." 

" That's him, sir," reioined the old woman, as she ushered me 
into a small parlour : " out that's the name he has always gone by 
with me, and it's natural enough, for I was his nurse and weaned 
the dear babby when he was only three weeks old — as fine a 
babby as ever war — and he has never been out of my sight never 
since." (Without halting in her speech, she pointed to a draw- 
ing suspended over a buffet.) " There he is, bless him ! done 
when he was only three years old over the cupboard with a dog 
behind him in sky-blue jacket and trowsers with sugar-lou 
buttons running after a butterfly in a brown beaver hat just 
afore he was taken with the small-pox with a Brussels lace coliai 
to his shirt and an orange in his hand which he bore like an 
angel though the poor dear babby's sufferings " 

"Thankee, thankee, thankee," cried I, forcing a passage 
through her speech ; " but if you will have the kindness to in- 
form Mr. " 

It was in vain : for (unlike the generalitjr of ladies of her 
vocation, who are usually not over-communicative of their infor- 
mation concerning the early diseases, sufferings, and escapes, of 
their interesting chargesj she bestowed upon me a particular 
account of the "poor dear babby's" (the present illustrious 
IlS,A/s) progress thiough. tlie ama\\-^ox,cXi\ii\L^Ti-^cii.^m<^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 105 

booping-coQgh, rash, rash, thrush, mumps, dumps, croup, roup, 
and forty other sublime inventions, which I had, or had not, 
before heard of, for diminishing the numbers of the infantine 
population ; nor did she cease till she had safely conveyed him 
through the scarlet fever which "took him" — happily, not off — 
in his fifteenth year. She then withdrew to inform Mr. Hum- 
miss of my visit. 

Cannot say that I felt at all obliged to the old lady for the 
information, since it must, to a certain extent, diminish my 
interest in little master's " Life and Times," which is preparing 
for the press by Jubb, who wUl, doubtless, treat of those matters 
with becoming minuteness. 

Being left flone, read the various printed " Schemes," " Pro- 
jects,*' and "Prospectuses," which were scattered about the 
tables. The great antiquary's learning almost equalled by his 
philanthropy and patriotism. All conceived with a view to the 
benefit of tne empire at large ; but, as might be expected, to that 
of Little Pedlington more particularly; and — as it somehow 
stmok me — tnost particularly to the advantage of Simcox Rum- 
minsy Esq., P.S.A., himself. Amongst many others were the 
two or three following : — 

PROSPECTUS 

OF A 

NATIONAL EDITION 

OF 

l^umntlns's Antiquities of Utttlc ^etilington* 

When we reflect upon the march of intellect : when we 
reflect upon the spread of intelligence: when we reflect upon 
the improvements in the arts of printing and engraving ; when 
we reflect upon steam-boats and rail-roads : when we reflect 
upon the facility with which all nations of the civilized world are 
brought into intercourse with each other by these means : when 
we reflect upon their mutual anxiety, in consequence of such 
facility, to become acquainted with each other's Topography and 
JntiquUieB: above all, when we reflect upon the growing im- 
portance of Little Pedlington, it cannot but be a matter of 
wonder and of regret that, although Troy baa b^cvi ^liJeasXx'a^fc^ 
hj ha CkJl and Athens hj its Stuart, otjb. Tonts €tiwiJ^^TiRN» ^ 



106 LITTLE PEDLTNGTON 

jet bave put forth a work worthy of its station ia the map of 
Europe, and capable of satisfying the growing desires of society 
in its present more enlightened state. It is true that Mr. Rqid- 
mins's * Antiquities/ in a small duodecimo volume (to be had of 
the author, price onc-and-sixpence), may be ' an admirable vade- 
mecum and pocket companion for the traveller, and which no 
traveller should be without,' (see 'Little Pedlington Weekly 
Observer,' 25th April), yet, as that intelligent journal adds, 'a 
splendid edition, worthy of our town, and fit for the sheWes of 
the library, is still a desideratum : and it is disgraceful to oar 
country that no such monument exists,' &c. &c. 

Mr. Eummins, feeling deeply for the honour of his nstal 
town, and of the kingdom at large, is resolved that this reproach 
shall no longer have cause for existence; and, regardless of 
time, labour, and expense, has determined to publish an enlarged 
and improved edition of hiis work. 

TERMS. ' 

This National Edition, in one volume, post octavo, 
embellished with four elegant lithographic engravings, to be 
published by subscbiption, price four shillings; one-half to 
be paid at the time of subscribing, and the other half to be 
paid on delivery of the copies. Only five hundred copies will 
be printed ; and, to prevent delay, the work will go to press 
as soon as four hundred and ninety-nine copies are subscribed 
for. To prevent trouble, subscriptions will be received by the 
author only. 

Patriotic Rummins ! 

PLAN FOR AIDING THE FUNDS OF THE LITTLE 
PEDLINGTON ALMS-HOUSES. 

Mr. Rummins, — having learnt, with the deepest and most 
heartfelt regret, that the eloquent sermon delivered on Sunday 
last by our highly-gifted curate, the Kev. Jonathan Jubb, in 
favour of the above-named charity (although it melted the 
hearts and drew tears from the eyes of a numerous congre- 
gation), did not (from a variety of adverse causes) produce (in 
a pecuniary point of view) the effect anticipated (only four 
sbnUngs and twopence having been collected at the church-door), 
Mr. E, submits to the nobility, geiiU^, V\€\\,qx^, ^\A \.Qj«\sg> 



AND THE FEDUNGTOKIANS. 107 

people of Little Pedlington, who are ever foremost in the heart- 
soothing work of charity, the following plan for supplying the 
deficiency :— • 

ME. R. PROPOSES TO PUBLISH, 

IN AID OF THE FUNDS OF THE SAID INSTITUTION, 

An el^rant Engraving of his lately-acquired treasure, 

THE HELMET OF THE TIME OF KING JOHN. 

The drawing will be made on stone by Mr. R. himself; and, 
after five hnndred copies are sold, at one shilling each, to defray 
the necessary expenses, Mr. R. will pbesent all that may after- 
wards remain, together with the copyright in the stone itself^ to 
the trustees for the management of that praiseworthy institu- 
tion ; the whole of the ^refits thereof to he applied in aid of its 
fknds ! 

Philanthrophic Rummins ! 

BEAUTIFYING OUR ANCIENT AND VENERABLE 

CHURCH. 

The churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Little 
Pedling^ton having, in the most prompt and liberal manner, com- 
plied with the wish of several of the parishioners, * that the roof 
of our ancient and venerable church be whitewashed,' Mr. 
Hummins suggests that a general meeting of the inhabitants 
of the place be held at the Green Dragon, on Wednesday next, 
at one o'clock, for the purpose of passing a vote of thanks to 
those gentlemen. Mr. R., regardless of all personal incon- 
venience to himself, will take the chair, and hopes and trusts 
that the meeting will be as numerous as the occasion requires. 

Mr. R. having had the said vote of thanks (which he has 
gratuitously drawn np) printed on an elegantly-embossed card, 
each person, on entering the room, will have an opportunity of 
becoming possessed of this memorial of the occasion, price only 
nxpence. 

Disinterested Rnmmins ! Eind me such an E.S.A. elsewhere 
than in Little Pedlington ! 

" Jjitile Master " entered the room. Six iee\i Wo, \flA ^<csv)^ 
Bi proportion. Fort and demeanour dignifieA— 1 \«i)i ^\fta%\.«».\ 



108 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

pompous — but what else ought I to have expected in so great ft 
man? Speech, slow and solemn; — pro-nun-ci-a-ti-on precise^ 
accurate even to inaccuracy, and so distinct as to be almoe^ 
unintelligible — at least, to one accustomed, as I had hitherfel 
been, to the conversation of ordinary people, who utter tbiii; 
words in an every-day sort of manner. The great antiquiij 
delivered each syllable separately, — upon its own responsibui^^ 
as it were,— disconnected from its companions in the same wora: 
in short, as a child does when it first gets into " words of Uas^ 
syllables" in its spelling-boofc. He wore a green shade OTer 
his eyes. 

Slowly raising his head, so as to enable himself to see me ftom 
beneath his green shade, he pointed amongst the papers on fhe 
table, to the prospectus for his national edition, saying, in a 
sort of taking-it-for-granted tone, "Por this;" at the same time 
he put a pen into my hand. IJnable to comprehend what he 
meant, I at once delivered to him Hobbleday's kind letter of 
introduction, and said, "No sir — ^for this!" accompanying my 
words with a bow, and the involuntary "a-hem" which nenoallf 
escapes one on feeling perfectly satisfied that that (such or tmm 
a thing) settles the business. Rummins first raised the letter to 
the tip of his nose, then slowly lowering it, held it out at arm's 
length, turned it up, down — examined it lengthways, breadths- 
ways — ^looked at the superscription, the seal ; at length he made 
the solemn inquiry, — 

" Prom whom ? " — (pronouncing it icoom) — " and what may be 
its ob-ject or laur-pawtf" 

"It is, sir,'^ replied I, "a letter of introduction to yon, with 
which your friend Mr. Hobbleday has favoured me. t, like the 
rest of the world, am desirous of viewing your museum ; but, as 
my st^ in this place till Friday, your public day, is unoertam, 
and Mr. Hobbleday being allowed by you to introduce a friend 
on any day " 

Here I was interrupted by a long-drawn "ffe///" growled 
forth in a tone of mingled astonishment and disdain. I paused 
in awful doubt of what might next occur. 

The F.S.A. having made three strides, which carried him from 
one end of the room to the other, and three strides back again, 
desired I would read the letter to him, the state of his eyes (in 
consequence of a cold he had taken) rendering it inconvenient to 
him to undertake the task himself : and he concluded witb— 
'^ITfi m-trO'de-oos to the E,ummms\aii.M.waewml" 
Either (thought I) Hobbleday, c«ci\fcdL wi«s >ii \a& qgS^sap 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIAIIS. 109 

nastic love of obli^g — ^perhaps by his scarcely-merited friendship 
for me, has promised a little oeyond his power to fulfil ; or, it 
may be, that 1 have chosen my time unluckily — ^have disturbed 
Ifr. Rummins in his moments of profound meditation ; in short 
(md reason sufficient), it may be, that Mr. Rummins is " not i' 
tlie vein.*' But here is Hobbleday's letter to the " dearest friend 
lie has in the world/' and, douotless, that will set the matter 
right. Heassored by this reflection, I opened the letter, 
and lead. 

« Sir, " 

Somewhat disappointed that it was not " Dear Rummins," or 
** My Dear Priena," or, at worst (that lowest degree in the scale 
of friendship), "Dear Sir." 



«SiB, 

"Pardon liberty — ^not my fault — ^bearer wants to see 
yonr museum on a private day — wouldn't take such a liberty for 
myself; but you know how one is sometimes pestered — one 
don't like to refuse — so promised him letter of introduction. 
OniemoOf as the French say, don't know much of him — just took 
some wine with me at Scorewell's, t'other afternoon ; so do as 
you like — don't put yourself to smallest inconvenience on 
aooount of, 

"Sir, 

*' Your very respectful, humble Servant, 

"John Hobbleday." 

^ P.S. — Can say you're busy. Leaves Lit. Ped. end of this 
week, so please say, will be nappy to oblige me any day next 
week, for won't be here. Please read this to yourself, and please 
destroy when read." 

Utterly confounded ! Looked at Rummins. Eummins (who, 
in the excess of his astonishment, removed the green shade from 
bis eyes) looked at me. I explained, and, as briefly as possible, 
fftatea the circumstances of my acquaintance with Hobbleday. 
Showed him Hobbleday's kind letter which had enclosed the 
introductions to himself and Jubb. Broke open the introductory 
note to Jubb, and found it in substance a counterpart of the other. 

" Ex-tra-or-di-iia-iy .' " exclaimed the ^.SA.*, " Ti€\>i)aKt\Tisst 
mj Illastnous friend admit him to our bouses •, bfe Vi «k\»-«tr 



110 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

" And," said I, apprehensively, and with hesitation,—- for I fett 
deeply anxious for the purity of Little Pedlington in this one 
respect, — " and a — ^hum Dug P " 

" E-mi-nent-ly so," replied Rummins. 

" And is it so ? " I mentally exclaimed ; and a transitory wish 
crossed my mind that 1 were back again in London. 

There was a pause, during which Mr. Rummins twiddled the 
corner of the subscription-sheet for his National Edition. 

" Unpleasant for you, sir— very. If, sir, you had an in-tro- 
duc-ti-on to me — any sort of in-tro-duc-ti-on — "-r-and his eyes 
involuntarily fell on the subscription-sheet. 

Bewildered as I was, and scarcely conscious of what I was 
doing, I wrote down my name as a subscriber for two copies^ and 
paid the subscription-money in full. 

At the end of a flattering speech from the learned antiquary 
(how I had come to merit it 1 ^now not), I received an invita- 
tion for that very evening, at six o'clock, to tea; when not 
only should I see his museum, but I should also meet Jubb him- 
self ! 

This piece of good fortune, seconded by an hour's brisk 
walking on the Snapshank road, restored my spirits and my 
temper. On my return, I found parties of the beauty and 
fashion of Little Pedlington hastening to Hoppy's public break- 
fast, at Yawkins's skittle-ground. I joined the crowd. Mr. 
Hobbleday had informed me he should be there : and having 
resolved upon the course I should pursue with respect to him, I 
paid my two shillings and entered. 



AND THE PEDLIKGTONIANS. Ill 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Hoppy's Public Breakfast— Tlie M.C.'s announce-bill, a model for 
that style of writing — Signer RumboUo del Squeaki, the unrivalled 
loreign AHiste — His t/iird last appearance — Unparalleled rapacity 
of the foreign Artiste : Who's to blame ? — A hitch in the scenery, 
and symptoms of dissatisfaction amonp:st the M.C.'s generous 
patrons — Meet Hobbleday, and overwhelm him with shame and 
confusion — A hitch again : another disobedient performer — Un- 
reasonable demands of the generous patrons : successfully resisted — 
Indispensable ceremony — The family with the fly — Altercation 
between the fashionables — Precedency : a point worthy of the- con- 
sideration of the Ladies Patronesses of Almack's or the Herald's 
College — ^Awful ex^osee. 

Upon entering Yawkins's skittle-ground, where Mr. Felix 
Hoppy gave his seventh public breakfast, a printed programme of 
the morning's entertainments was presented to me. The prin- 
cipal object of attraction appeared to be that "extraordinary 
creature who" (according to Hobbleday's description of him) 
" actually played upon the Pandean pipes and beat a drum at the 
same time 1 " And^ judging by the Loudon estimate of a per- 
former's talents, whicn are justly considered to be in exact pro- 
portion to the size of the letters m which his name is announced, 
this Pandean-piper must be one of unparalleled ability, for each 
letter of his was a foot long. Though an enthusiastic admirer of 
both the instruments performed upon, I do not pretend to a 
practical knowledge of either, nor, indeed, to a very nice judgment 
of the superiority of one performer upon them over another : 
therefore, as in all similar cases, I bow to the large letters, 
make an uncouditional surrender to them of my own opinion, 
and applaud vehemently. Besides, were I sce\ktvc^\ est \^'Qrt«s&. 
enovgh to doubt, or svMcientlj learned to decide, \ ^ws\.^\ifc%. 
bold man indeed to do either, when these ate I'We'^icrj \«ra!fik>ca. 



112 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

wluch the master of the ceremonies himself speaks of the ariUt^ 
he has engaged for the delight of Little Pedlington. By the 
way, it cannot be doubted that this well, nay, elegantly- written 
announcement is the work of Mr. Hoppy himself : his taste and 
refinement are apparent in every line. Never did he draw more 
copiously from tne " Well of English undefiled," than upon 
this occasion ; and, upon the whole, never, perhaps, were his 
literary powers, of which he is justly proud, exhibited to greater 
advantage. 



''BE-ENGAGEMENT FOR THIS MORNING ONLY, 
And posUively the labt last ajopearance 

OP THE UNRIVALLED AND NEVEB-EQUALLED 

SIGNOR RUMBELLO DEL SQUEAKI, 

Principal Pandea-tympanist to his Majesty the King of Naples, 

''The Master of the Ceremonies has the pleasing gratification of 
announcing to his numerovis most honoured Friends and Patrons, that 
(in consequence of the imexampled crowd of visitors at the jirk lart 
appearance, and in compliance with the most earnest request and 
entreaty of numerous families of distinction who were unable to obtain 
admission, in consequence of the unpreccdentedly immense overflow, at 
the second last appearance, of this most imrivalled foreign ArtiiU, 
whose astonishing performance on the Drum and the Pandean Pipes 
at the same time has set all competition at defiance, and is, unquestkm- 
ably, in the opinion of all competent judges, the most^ perfect mortea» 
of musical skill that has ever electrifiea a British audience) he has 
fortunately succeeded, regardless of expense, in prevailing upon the 
SiGNOn to condescend to accept an engagement for this morning only, 



* Artiste : an admirable word (albeit, somewhat Frenchified), of late 
applied, with nice discrimination, to every species of exhibitor, from a 
rope-dancer or an American Jim Crow, down to a mere paintur or 
sculptor. On looking into little Entick (my great authority in these 
matters), I find we nave already the word artist; but, with stupid 
English perversity, we have hitherto used that in a much more 
restricted sense than its newly-imported rival, which it is now the 
excellent fashion to adopt. It is qnestionablo, however, whether 
tumblers, buffoons, and the clowns in Duci*ow's circle, will feel them- 
selves much gratified at being comprehended xmder the same general 

term with such folks as Bauly, Cbontrey, T^xMrast, ^t«k^, IjsoxdsAQV^ 

Wilkie, and the like. 



AND THE PEDLINGTOKIAXS. 113 

hemg vosiiively his very last appearance hero, as ho is conipcllod to 
leave Little Pedlington this evening, having received orders iVoin 

HIS EXCELLENCY THE NEAPOLITAN AMBASSADOR 

to return immediately to his post in 

LE CAFELLO DE LA BOI DE LE NAPLES. 

" Upon this occasion, Siqnob Rumbello del Squeaki will perform 
severm of the most admired fashionable airs, and will also condescend 
to accompany the dancing from two o'clock till tour, the commence- 
ment and conclusion of which will be notified by the 

PIRING OF A REAL CANNON. 

" *»* ^ Wednesday next will be given the Eighth Public Break- 
&st of the Season, being for the 

BENEFIT OF SIGNOR RUMBELLO DEL SQUEAKI, 
And MOST POSITIVELT his last appearance.' 



)t 



What ! more last words ! a third last appearance this morn- 
ing; off for Naples to-night; and another last appearance on 
Wednesday next ! How are these seeming contradictions to be 
reconciled ? or how is the intended jonrney to be performed ? 
However, as I never interfere with what does not immediately 
CQBcem me, I shall ask for no explanation of the difficulty ; but 
merely note it down that the thing seems odd, and that they 
have a method peculiar to themselves of arranging these matters 
in Little Pedlington. 

No sooner had I entered the ground than Mr. Felix Hoppy, 
tripping on tip-toe, came to welcome mc to what he called "the 
Property." He was dressed precisely as I had seen him this 
morning, at seven o'clock, in the market-place. The loss of two 
front teeth gave an interesting lisp to his utterance, which 
(together vdth what, for want at the moment of any more 
expressive term, I shall call a mincing manner) was in the 
highest degree becoming a dancing-master and Master of the 
Ceremonies. Each word or two was accompanied with a bow. 
He completely fulfilled the idea conveyed by Hobbleday's brief, 
but forcible, description of liim — " an elegant creature." 

"Highly honoured — ^paramountlv flattered — most welcome to 
the property — most exceedingly flattered by youx Voviovrw^^ 
patronage, excellent sir," 

I 



114! LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Having thanked him for his polite reception of me, I expressed 
my regret at witnessing so thin an attendance — ^at the apparent 
backwardness of the public to reward his exertions for their 
amusement: there beings as I guessed, hardly fifty pencils 
present. 

"Pray condescend to pardon me, obliging sir; but this is the 
fullest attendance of the season — forty-three paying visitor*^ 
upwards ol four pounds already taken at the door ! With wash 
honourable patronage 'theProperty'^/i^j^ succeed. Atthesaate 
time, I can credibly assure you, kind sir, that our expenaet sre 
enormous. In the first place, there's our great gun '* 

" As to that, Mr. Hoppy," said I (with an ootuseness to iiie 
figurative at which, on consideration, I blushed), — "as to that, is 
your great gun is fired only twice, I don't perceive how——'* 

" Pray condescend once more to pardon me, honourable air; 
by our great ffun I mean the Del Squeaki. On his first engage- 
ment, we paid him five shillings a day, double the sum we had 
ever paid to any musician before ; at his second, he insisted upon 
having his dinner into the bargain; and now, finding he is of 
some use to us" — (this he added with a sigh) — "»o» he has 
advanced upon us to three half-crowns ! " 

"To the honour of our country," exclaimed I, " native tsMt, 
in that department, is less rapacious." 

To this remark the Master of the Ceremonies replied only hj 
a slight shake of the head ; and I continued, — 

" But, doubtless, in proportion to your outlay for the amuse- 
ment of the Pedlingtonians, you are rewarded by their patron- 
age.'' 

"Sorry I must once more entreat your pardon, considerate 
sir ; but the fact is, we depend for support entirely upon noble 
and illustrious visitors from London. The trade*speople and 
shopkeepers of the place are, of course, excluded from an elegant 
assemblage like this ; and for the gentry, as most of them lire in 
the Crescent, it would be preposterous — (here again he heaved 
a sigh, which seemed to proceed from the very bottom of his 
dancing pumps) — " it would be out of human nature to expect 
tk^ should come." 

Unable to perceive the slightest connection between the 
consequence and the imputed cause — to understand why it 
should be " out of human nature " to expect a person's attend- 
ance at a public entertainment simply because lie happened to 
reside in a crescent — ^I ventured to ike M,G, a hint of my diffi- 



^ cultf. 



AND THE PEDUNGTONLiNS. 115 



€t 



See there, good sir," said he (at the same time pointing to 
the back of a row of houses, the windows of which, occupied by 
men, women, and children, commanded a view of the skittle- 
ground) — "see there ! a heart-breaking sight it is; and yet one 
can hardly expect that people should pay to see my dancmg and 
my fireworks, and hear my music, when they can enjoy it all from 
their windows, free — ^gratis — for nothing." * 

"But yonder I see Mr. Hobbleday,'" said I; "with whom, 
by the bye, I must presently have a few words of explanation : he, 
at least, is, as he tells me, one of your constant patrons." 

" Hobbleday ? — Gobbleda,j ! " exclaimed Mr. Hoppy, with a 
fierceness of manner strikingly inconsistent with the previous 
blandness of the Master of the Ceremonies. " Patron, indeed ! 
He comes in upon a free admission; devours eggs and ham in 
the most unfeeling manner; finds more fault with the enter- 
tunments than our newspaper critic himself; and is laid up with 
a fit of the gout once a year — which invariably happens to be on 
the night of my annual benefit-ball." 

I had the authority of the Master of the Ceremonies himself 
for the fact, or I could not have believed that such instances of 
illiberality and unmitigated meanness were to be found in Little 
PedHngton. 

Here our conversation was interrupted by cries, from various 
of the company, of "Shame! shame!" "Begin! begin!" 
"Mr. Hoppy ! " " Master of the Ceremonies !" 

Mr. Hoppy, looking at his watch, explained to me that it was 
ten minutes past the time when the si^nor ought to have com- 



* By an association of ideas less remote than that which I have just 
alluded to, bethought me of an anecdote related by the g^ndfather of 
the present young Earl of D. His lordship had had some dispute 
(respectiD^ the right of shooting over certain grounds) with one of his 
tenants, uie back of whose house happened to be close upon his 
lordship's preserves. Some time afterwards the good-natured earl 
net the man, who was about to pass him with a sulky bow, and thus 

accosted him : " What ! not stop and talk to me, B ! Although 

I woiddn't allow you to shoot;, I told you that you might at any time 
have game for your fiimily by sending to my keeper for it. Why 
liaven*t you done so? Never bear malice, man." — "Not I, thank 
you, my lord," replied the independent farmer; "I'll accept none of 
your game. Your lordship's pheasants come and roost o' nights in the 
trees under my windows ; when I want a bird I put my hand out o* 
window and quietly pull one in by the tail : so you scci 1'tol tiqX. MJaa 
Tunn to ho under an obligation to the beat lord iu t\i© ^asA. ^wA 
ds/^ my lord.*' 

I 2 



116 UTTLE PEDUNGTON 

menced his performance, and that the company were impatient of 
the delay. 

Mr. Hoppy left me, and, hat in hand, tripped towards the dis- 
contents. He bowed and simpered with overpowering elegince : 
what he said, I know not ; but almost on the instant of his inter- 
ference order was restored. From them he went, bowing all tiie 
way, to a bench at a short distance, on which was seatea Signer 
Rumbello del Sc[ueaki himself. The "Principal Fandea-tym- 
panist to his Majesty the King of Naples " was appropriate 
nabitcd in the costume of an Italian brigand ; though, to my mi- 
practised eye, his dress appeared to be a cast-off from the ward- 
robe of one of the London theatres. Some minutes elapsed, 
during which they were in conversaton ; and, as I inferred fron 
their gestures, and the sulky air of the si^or, in no friendly 
mood. On approaching, I heard the M. 0. in an ibploring tooe 
say to the artiste — 

" But, my kind signer, allow me to entreat yon — consider— 4t 
is nearly twenty minutes past time — the disappointment— tiie 
—you may rely upon having it after the performance, up<m mj/ 
honour" These latter words he accompanied with a profound 
bow, and by placing his hand upon that part of his white waist- 
coat beneath which, he would have the signer to understand, mA 
to be found a heart incapable of deception. 

To this the " unrivalled poreign artiste " replied — 

" Come, come. Muster 'Oppy, it's o' no use your trying to 
gammon me. I'm agreed to 'ave three ha' -crowns for playing 
'ere, and not a thump o' my drum or a blow o' my pipes ck> yoa 
get till I've got my money safe in 'and." 

Astonished at the language of this address, I could not help 
exclaiming, in the words of Shakspeare — "Extant, and written 
in choice Italian" 

"But, my good signor," resumed the M. C, "if you will but 
have the condescension to recollect our agreement ** 

" Ay, ay ; our agreement ware as I toare to 'ave 'alf my money 
down, ana the rest arterwards ; but on second thoughts, I'll 'aye 
it all. I ar'n't the chap to run no risk, not I. Suppose, ven all 
vas over, you vos to pocket the cash and run avay, as Joe Stnitty 
did at Branford Fair ? then I mought vistle, you know. So 'and 
over the stuff, or you gets no play out o' me." 

The visitors again becoming clamorous, and the " unrivalled 
foreign artiste " continuing obdurate, Mr. Hoppy was reluctantly 
compelled to comply with the demaiid. 
The Del /Squeati now adjusted \i\a ^Vo^^ \.q\!ci^ Ocmju «v^^mm|, 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 117 

his big drum across his shoulders. Already had he set one foot upon 
the small platform on which he was to exhibit : there was a pro- 
found quiet, disturbed only by loud cries of " Silence ! silence ! " 
vhen he turned to the Master of the Ceremonies, and abruptly 
declared, that he would not begin unless he gave him a pot of 
ale! 

** This is perfectly preposterous ! " lisped the M.C. ; " that is 
Mi^ in our agreement." 

" No matter for that. Muster 'Oppy ; I've just taken it into 
my *ed, 'and TU 'ave iU" He withdrew his foot from the plat- 
form, and continued : " Give me vot I ax, or, as sure as my 
name's Rob Squeaks, I'm off to join my master vot I'm engaged 
to,— that's to say, the famous Muster Richar'son, at Vinkle- 
mooth Fair — and then there'll be a row in your garden. You 
can't do without me ; so, you see, give me a pot of ale vot ani'i 
in my agreement, or I von't play : and then the company vill 
break your benches and tables — and sarve you right." 

Mr. Hoppy now threw himself upon the opinion of his gene- 
rous patrons, and, .in terms pathetic, and witn imploring looks, 
entreated them to support him in resisting such impudent ex- 
ti»rtion — so gross an attempt to take an unfair advantage of his 
helpless condition. To this his generous patrons unanimously 
repned, that that was no affair of theirs : that, indeed, they con- 
ceived it to be quite in order that an "unrivalled foreign arHste" 
should be humoured in everything he might desire : that as the 
Neapolitan ambassador [id. est, according to signer's own ac- 
count, Mr. Richardson] had commanded his immediate return to 
his post in Le Capello de la Roi de le Naples {id. est, according to 
the same authority, Winklemouth Fair], they would not relin- 

2uish the present opportunity of hearing him; and that, in 
hort, having paid their money for that purpose, they would in- 
sist upon it that Mr. Hoppy should, by all means, and at what- 
ever sacrifice, fulfil his contract with them — ^Mr. Hobbleday (who 
had come in with an order) being one of the most strenuous in 
maintaining the justice of these positions. The Master of the 
Ceremonies consented to the new demand of the Del Squeaki. 
As he was proceeding to issue his mandate to one of the waiters 
to convey a pot of ale to the artiste, the latter, perceiving that 
the advantage was on his side, naturally, and as is usual in such 
cases, made the most of it : accordingly — " And summut to eat, 
also," vociferated the signer. 

This supplementary request being also C0TnpV\ei^ m^Ja., ^Odl^"^^ 
Squeaki went through his astonishing peifoTvn\«iG^\ «Q^^ ^^ 



118 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

auditors were delighted, enraptured, ecstasized, &c., &c., &o., as 
never before had auditors been delighted, enraptured, ecstasized, 
&c., &c., &c., in this sublunary wond ! 

Found, upon subsequent inquiry, that the liberal entrepremur, 
after paying expenses (including the three half-crowns, &c^ to 
the Del Squeaki), was a loser of no more than four-and- sixpenoe 
by the morning's entertainment. Told also that Mr. Hoppy 
complained of even this moderate loss. Plague on the man! 
how much less did he wish to lose ? But it is a trite obeer^ 
vation that some people are never satisfied. Told, moreover, 
that the M.C. complains of what he calls the *' tyranny and 
oppression" to which he has been obliged to submit ! 

Now, with submission, this is somewhat unreasonable. Be- 
praised and be-pufPed, even to his own amazement, the " unri- 
valled artiste" very wisely doubles his terms : these complied 
with, he very considerately trebles them : compliance with tMs 
begets a natural demand for a pot of ale, although it be not " so 
nominated i' the bond ;" and thence, as was decent and Droper, 
the Principal Pandea-tympanist to his Majesty the King of 
Naples (or, as it might more truly have been set forth, his itine- 
rant Majesty, Eichardson, King of Boothid), insists upon being 
supplied with an unstipulated " summut to eat also." Ah, Mr. 
Hoppy ! if I might venture to perpetrate a profane parody on a 
line m the immortal " Tom Thumb," 1 should whisper in your 
ear — 

" You make the giants first, and then carCt kill them." 



'' Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast," and well 
was it for Hobbleday that there is much truth in this. I had 
not been unperceived by him, but he was too busily engaeed to 
come to me, being laudably employed in diminishing tiie mbbor 
of the waiters — that is to say, by packing inside himself a quan- 
tity of eggs, ham, hot-roUs, and coffee, which, but for such 0(hl- 
siderate assistance, they must have undergone the trouble of 
removing. At length, the breakfast-tables being cleared prepara- 
tory to the commencement of the dancing, he approached^ me. 
His mouth was full ; in one hand he bore a huge ham-sandwich 
which he had constructed for bva\sd^, an^ \a \£ft <a\.W ^cu^ of 
coffee. 



AND TUE PEDLINGTONIANS. 119 

** Ah ! my dear fellow/' said he (talking; and eating at the 
same time), " you're here, eh ? But not eat anything ! How odd ! 
Must pay just the same whether you do or not, you know. 
Pooh, pooh ! I tell you, you must ! I say, little Jack Hobbleday 
was right, eh ? . Extraordinary creature that Signer del " 

"That extraordinary creature, Mr. Hobbleday," replied I 
^emphasizing every other word or two, as is the practice when one 
is savagely bent upon cutting a person to the very soul), — "that 
extraordinary creature, sir, oy his * concord of sweet sounds,' 
has so calmed my irritated feelings — so completely subdued the 
raae and indignation that were rising in my breast, that I shall 
take no further notice of your very — extraordinary — behaviour ^ 
than just to return you your very flattering letters of introduction 
i^'^Gsjx friends Rummins and Jubb." And with these words I 
presented to him both his letters open. 

Conscience-striken, with some difficulty he bolted the morsel 
which he had in his mouth, the effort producing a violent fit of 
coog^g, which greatly alarmed me for his safety ; and that, in 
its tnm, by the convulsive movement which it communicated to 
his arms, causing him to jerk the lumps of ham from out their 
envelope of bread-and-butter, and to spill the entire contents of 
his cup over his nankeen trousers. When he was sufficiently 
recovered to articulate a few words, abashed and confused, he 
thns attempted to excuse himself, crossing his address to me with 
a disjointed apostrophe to his damaged nankeens : — 

" My dear fellow — really, my dear sir — did you ever see such a 
mess? — Indeed, sir, if you'll believe me — wet through and 
through, as I hope to be saved! — most improper conduct of 
theirs to show my confidential letters — ^it will give me my death 
of cold. — As for Rummins, his age protects him, else, may I 
perish if— cost sixteen-and-sixpence, and new on only yesterday. 
Can take no notice of Jubb ; his cloth protects him. — ^They'll 
wash, to be sure ; but their beauty's gone for ever ! — But don't 
set me down for a humbug, don't. \i there's one character I 
despise more than another, it's a — awful accident, indeed! 
Can't conceive how uncomfortable one feels with one's — No 
fanlt of mine, 'pon my life ; and, rest assured, that next time you 
Tisit onr place — All eyes are upon me ; must go. — Between our- 
selves, his museum not worth seeing — ^pooh, pooh ! I tell you it 
isn't ! and thafs the reason why I — Can't stay to dance in such 
a mess; though I know my dear friend Hoppy has set his heart 
upon little Jack JSobbleday's dancing — ^o, iiOjTm 2u\i:^\si%\sQ5s» 
a humbug J and if there's anything else vrla3i.te\^i \ ^"Wi Sa Vst 



120 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

you, except E-ummins and Jubb — Good-bye, my dear fellow«^ 
Awful accident ! — a thousand pities ! The best fit I ever had k 
all my lire!" 

Symptoms of dissatisfaction again. Two o'clock has stmek^ 
and the signal for the commencement of dancing (" the firinff of a 
real cannon ") not yet made. Calls for the Master of the Uere- 
monies, and a repetition of the customary cries of '' Shame 1 
shame ! " 

For the honour of the M.C., I am bound to declare n^ 
opinion that the blame for the delay ought not to haye been 
attributed to him. Eor the last four or five minutes he had 
been sedulously poking at the touch-hole of the piece with a 
lighted candle fastened to the end of a very long pole — ft pn- 
caution which, as he made no pretensions to considerable skiU m 
the science of gunnery, he had prudently adopted, in order to 
keep himself as far as possible out of the dangers necessarfly 
attending such an undertaking. But the gun would not ^ di; 
it was evident (to use a theatrical phrase) there was a hitoh ii 
the scenery. 

" Had he put any gunpowder into the cannon ? " inquired cmmu*^ 

*' Plenty,' was his reply. 

"Which had he put in first — the powder or the wadding P** 
asked another. 

After a moment's reflection, Mr. Hoppy declared, that "he 
was pretty clear — nay, he was positively certain, he had put the 
powder in first." 

"Perhaps he might have omitted the trifling ceremony of 
priming P " 

" ^0 : he always made it a rule to prime the gun before ha 
fired it." 

Then, in that case, the company could come to but one oan- 
clusion : the devil was in the gun. 

But the unlucky gentleman who is generally held answerable 
for the ill consequences of our own blunders, or negligences, or 
offences, could establish his innocence, in the present instance^ 
by proving an alibi ; ioT, upon a careful inspection, the true 
cause of the disobedient conduct of the obstinate four-pounder 
appeared to be, that some dull perpetrator of practical jokes had 
abstracted the priming, and, in place of it, filled the touch-hole 
with wet tea-leaves ! Hereupon hisses, groans, and, from four 
or five persons (sounds most fearful to the ears of an M.C. !) 
calls of '^ Return the money \" TVieae \8i\.ct ^-fed^o^i ^i»t, 
never having witnessed the ceremony o^ \e\X\T\^ ^^ ^ ^is;xi,^^^ 



AOT) THE PEDLINGTONIAIIS. 121 

had come upon that inducement only — reminding me of a certain 
intelligent person who made Paris his residence during an entire 
sommer, for no other purpose than to eat melons and see balloons 
let off. 

Mr. Hoppy now mounted a bench, and entreated the indulg- 
ence of his "honourable, noble, and illustrious patrons." He 
assured them that in the whole course of the many years he had 
" belonged to the Property," such an accident had never before 
occurred, and that he would raise heaven and earth to prevent a 
similar accident occurring again : that there was nothing he 
would not willingly do or suffer — no sacrifice he would, for a 
moment, hesitate to make — to satisfy the wishes of such an as- 
sembly as the one he had the honourable gratification of addressing. 
But (he continued) as to returning the money, he most humbly 
leqnested permission to take the liberty of assuring them, in the 
most respectful manner, that that was a moral impossibility, and 
altogether inconsistent with the long-established usages of " the 
Property." Moreover, he hoped he miffht be allowed to remind 
his mumficent patrons that they had already enjoyed the break- 
fast which he had had the satisfaction of providing for them : as 
also to hint to two or three of those kind friends who had conde- 
scended to honour " the Property " with their presence, and who 
were the most clamorous in demanding the return of their money 
—that they had come in with orders ! 

The reasonableness of this address, seconded by its master-of- 
the-ceremony-like politeness and elegance, lulled the rising 
storm, and the preparations for dancing proceeded. 

In a place like Little Pedlington, and at such an entertain- 
ment as a public breakfast given by the Master of the Cere- 
monies in Yawkins's skittle-ground, it may not unreasonably be 
supposed that "noble and illustrious visitors from London," who 
attend it, are tenacious concerning the etiquette of precedency. 
And although, in the confusion of a rush of upwards of forty 
persons, each struggling to secure the most advantageous place 
for listening to the ravishing performance of the Del Squeaki; 
or even in the scarcely more regular arrangement of the break- 
fast table (at which each naturally takes possession of any seat 
nearest to the cold ham or the hot rolls, which may chance to be 
vacant), the observance of such ceremony is not insisted upon : 
it is, nevertheless, important, if not absolutely indispensable, to 
the existence of polite society, that, when peisoTi"& «cfc Xst^^i'^ 
tofether for the aancej the Jaws of precedetic^ sWd!^\i^ xs^gS^ 
aaaered to. 



123 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

It appears that hitherto the place of honour had been unheti- 
tatin^ly conceded to Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs (Scorewell'a 
"family with the fly," it maybe remembered), except, indeedkl 
when Colonel Dominant condescended to honour the saBdnL^ 
with his presence. Upon such occasions the colonel, alUioiigk 
he did not dance, would just occupy the enviable place for ». 
minute or so — "Just to prove his right to it," as he said— «iid. 
then retire. Before his pretensions, even those of the Hobfai 
Hobbses quailed. 

Upon the present occasion, the Master of the Geremomes wit 
sorely perplexed by the several and contending claims of dis- 
tinguished persons who had this day for the first time honoiu^ 
him with their company; these being people of no less iai- 
portance than Mr. St. ]f nitall and his lady, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Fitzbobbin. Colonel Dominant not mabn^ his appearance. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs were proceeding to tneir. uaoal 
station, when Mr. and Mrs. Eitzbobbin rushed passed them and 
took possession of it. 

" Come out o' that," said Mr. Hobbs Hobbs : "them 'ere is 
our places."* 

"We shan't," fiercely replied Mr. !Fitzbobbin; at the same 
time pulling on a white Idd glove in a way that clearly showed 
he was not the man to be put down : " we shan't : we paid 
our money as well as you, so the place is as much our*]! as 
your'n." 

" If some folks don't know how to behave themselves whea 
they get into genteel company, perhaps there's other folks as 
*11 teach 'em," said Mr. Hobbs Hobbs. 

" I wish you may get it," coolly observed the other, iHbe 
did not appear to be in the least intimidated by the implied 
thrp&t 

"My dear Mr. Hobbs Hobbs," said Mrs. H. H., "dont 
bemean yourself by getting into a con^(H;ion with such folks. 
Leave the Master of the Ceremonies to settle the pint. You may 
see as how they have never been at Little Pedlington afore. 
Margate — ^by the steamer. Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 



* The gallant achievement of cramming four grammatical blmideis 

into only seven monosyllables stands, as yet, I believe, unrivalled. — 

" So," said a certain person (in the presence of several others who can 

vouch lor the &ct) to a well-known and wealthy patron of the opera ; — 

''So, I uj]</erstand you are going ViOo. * * * * \^ \}tv.^ <y9«t^ tj^. 

nls:ht V'-~*'mm and we Aoa tooA; two bVaWs;' ^»a ^2ttfi xe^Vj « 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 123 

The altercation had proceeded thus far when, fortunately, the 
Master of the Ceremonies arrived to interpose his authority. 
Tbis he exereised with so much jadgment, and with decision so 
tempered by suavity, that though he could not exactly please 
botii parties, even the dissatisfied acquiesced in his decree. He 
ftwaraed the contested place to the Hobbs Hobbses upon two 
gtounds : first, by right of long-maintained possession ; and next, 
and chiefly, for that they travelled in their own one-horse fly, 
which the other party did not. As Mrs. Eitzbobbin receded, ishe 
said with a sneer, " Of course, my dear Fitz, we must give up 
to earriage company ! But sitch carriage company ! One- 
horse fly ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! Carriage company ! All round my 

•*Ha! ha! ha! That's a teazer, I think," said Mr. E, with 
an approving chuckle at his lad/s wit: "and what'll you 
bet we can't buy 'em out and out — ^fly and all ? Ha 1 ha ! ha ! " 

** I shouldn't wonder," quietly observed Mr. Hobbs Hobbs, 

and scarcely deigning a look at his adversary. Then, turning to 

bis lady, he said in an affected whisper, yet so loud as that every 

one should hear him: "When we relate this 'ere scene to our 

ftiend Lord Squandermere, I think he won't laugh a bit." (1 ! I) 

During these disputes, Mr. Twistwireville and Mr. De Stewpau 
rtiie latter being the gentleman mentioned by mine host of the 
Gieen Dragon as " remarkably jjarticular about his wine") were 
standiuGp arm-in-arm, picking their teeth, and looking on with an 
aifectecUy careless air. Occasionally they indulged in a titter, 
saiiled, turned up their noses, and whispered each other : by all 
which it was clear they would impress you with a notion how 
ea^ceedingly amusing were the disputes of such people to men of 
iMr quMity. 

But here a new difficulty arose, and one, apparently, less easy 
of settlement than the former. Mrs. St. Knitall, though she 
wiltingly conceded the right of the first place to the party with 
the imposing duplication of name, and the friends of a lord, 
moreoyer, stul thought she had quite as good a right to the 
second as Mrs. Eitzbobbin — for who «?«« Mrs. Eitzbobbin, she 
should like to know ? 

^ T3ie point for the M.C. now to decide was one of sufficient 
nicety to perplex a herald at a coronation, or even the con- 
ductors of Almack's, namely : Whether or not a Fitz had a right 
to take precedence of a 8t, A question turning upon so delicate 
h point might have puzzled a wiser head than evcxi"^x."^Q^Yf ^\ 
so Mr, Hoppy did not hesitate to conieaa Ytrav^^l ^x^aaNsi^ 



124 UTTLB FEDUNGTON 

exceedingly. He suggested that, setting aside that distmoiioD, 
the party whose name appeared first in fiis sa1>scripti(»&-book 
should have precedence. To this Mr. St. Knitall objected; 
knowing, probably, that his did not. Hereupon h!ga words 
occurred between Mr. St. £. and Mr. Eitz B. This altermi^ 
was not carried on in the playful and neatly-sarcastic style which 
had distinguished the previous one: here was no small-awoid 
fence, but the bludgeon : in this case the gentlemen had reeoune 
to language which---in short, they regularly O'Connellized eadi 
other. 

Cards were hastily (and as the event proved, inconsideratelj) 
exchanged ; and fatal might have been the consequences had not 
the M.C. adroitly seized them both in their transit. He sug- 
gested that the gentlemen should permit him to throw both 
cards up into the air ; and that whichever first fell to the ground 
should determine the disputed point in favour of its owner. 
This was agreed to ; when, lo ! it appeared that " Thomas Ejutall, 
hosier, Leadenhall Street,'' was the victor in the contest for 
precedence with "Samuel Bobbin, haberdasher, Tottenhanh 
court Road." 

Upon this discovery the Hobbs Hobbses withdrew ; decUniBg 
to dance " in sitch company," as Mr. Hobbs Hobbs expressed it. 

"I say, De Stewpan," said Twistwireville, with a titter, 
" here's a precious expo-sr^^ / Porsitively ridielus f' 

"Emezm^j ridielus " rejAied his companion — ^he the ''remark- 
ably particularly about his wine." 

"Well," exclaimed the late Mr. Fiiz Bobbin, who had 
prudently concealed his knowledge of the other parties for so 
long as he had his own trifling disguise to maintain, but who 
now was resolved not to fall alone — " weU, at any rate we are 
as ^ood as Mr. Twistvdre, the birdcage-maker of Holbom, or 
Dick Stewpan, a cook at the Lunnun Tavern, let out on an 
'oliday for a week in the dull season." 

At this moment a groom in livery rushed in, crying to the 
doorkeeper, " I am not going to stay : I only want to speak a 
word to Mr. Hobbs." 

" George Hobbs," said he, addressing the family-with-the-fly 
gentleman, " your holiday's cut short : Lord Squandermere has 
sent me to order ]youup to town immediately : Mounseer is taken 
suddenly ill, and till you return, my lord has nobody that he 
can fancy to tie a shoe-string for him." And away went the 
groom wbistUng Handel's "Every Falet «JMiS^\» ^^u2l\j^." 
The sky bad been lounng lot &ome MvcaB, «sA ykj^^'s^^ ^ 



JUSTD THE PEDLINGTOKIANS. 1S5 

shower came down, whicli abruptly terminated the mom- 
imusements — an interruption not disagreeable, perhaps, to 
a. of the company, 
ng engaged for this evening at Mr. Rummins's, returned 

to an early dinner: — ^wondering by the way whether 
tsions upon a similar scale, or a smaller, or a greater, 
h upon no better foundation, are ever asserted in other 
> besides Little Pedlington. 



126 UTILE PfiBLINGllOir 



CHAPTER IX. 

9 

RUMMINS'S CONVERSAZIONE. 

A time-serving innkeeper : delicate attentions. — ^A CONVERSAZIOH*— 
Introduced by the great antiquary to sJl the big-wms of littte 
Pedlington — A prodigy: a juvenile "Controller of DeslinieB^— 
Abstraction, poetical and scientific — The Bumminsiak MiraiUI 
exhibited — Its rare contents described, and learnedly descanted «n 
by the F.S.A. — Antiquarian arguments, as usual, unanswerablo— 
Symptons of jealousy and impatience, unexampled at a wnverBOsiofM 
— Song by Miss Oripps, the Pedlingtonian Sappho: the most 
approved [English] method of singing — Patronizing Gapitalnt— 
Cant of Criticism : its usefulness — Astoimding discovery : " Gaztii 
did not write his own Dispensary " ! — Pretty compliment from 
Sappho — Each partial to his own pursuits: a rational distinotloa 
touching the collecting-mania — His pictur^ neglected, Daubson de- 
parts in dudgeon — Snargate's grand architectuiil project explained : 
an objection ventured ; consequences ; awful denunciation of Ten- 
geance by the Controller of Destinies — Bare occurrenoe: Kt,, 
toadying a critic — Envy incompatible with true genius : Bumndns 
and Jubb — Jubb impatient to recite his " Ode to Patience" — Qualified 
praise dangerous — Sappho and the Conundrumist women above 
vulgar prejudices : interesting proofe thereof— N.B. Never to qnit a 
conversazione till the last : "I leave my character behind me.* — 
Bid fiirewell to Little Pedlington ; and why. 

Having ordered for my dinner nothing more than a veal-cntlet, 
I was not a little astomshed at the parade with which the repist 
was served. Heard Scorewell withoutside calling, in an autho- 
ritative tone, "Now — ^Number Sixteen's dinner — look sharp." 
Presently the door was thrown open, and there entered, in pro- 
cessioii, Scorewell with a dish of cutlets, who was succedea by 
the head-waiter carrying a dish of broccoli, who was followed by 
a boy with a couple of potatoes, who was followed by another 
hoj with a butter-boat. These things being placed in due fonn 
upon the table, Scorewell and Vila a^XeWVt^^ Vq-y^^^^sA^xyM 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 127 

round and round it ; one officiously moving the pepper-castor half 
an inch to the right of the place where it stood ; another shoving the 
vinegar-cruet half an inch to the left ; a third taking up a spoon 
and laying it down again with an air of busy-ness, — each doing 
something which did not need to be done. This display of good- 
for-nothing activity ended, the assistants left the room; and 
Scorewell, after a short preparatory cough (at the same time, 
with a sort of chess-playing action, displacing and replacing 
everyarticle on the table), said, — 

" Hope you'll excuse what's past, sir — ^attendance in future 
shall be better than it has been, sir — ^no fault of ours, sir ; but 
now that that family-with-the-fly is gonfe, as I am happy to say, 

sir ^Plague on 'em ! The gentleman — I mean that man, that 

Hobbs, who has no more got two Hobbses in his name than I 
liave, turns out, after all, to be nothing more than valet to 
Lord Squanderraere ! But I was right : I thought from the 
first they were nobody. Your real gentlefolks never give 
'no trouble, never complain. But, as for them, nothing was 
never good enough for *em • and as for waiting on, I'm sure the 
little profit I have got by 'em will hardly pay for the bell-wires 
they nave worn out. Ahem! What wine would you choose 
to take to-day, sir ? " 

** Remembering what you told me a day or two ago," replied 
I — { and to my shame I confess it, it is with malice prepense that 
I did so) — "remembering that, Scorewell, I shall not pretend 
to a choice ; so give me a little of the wine which you are in the 
habit of serving to Mr. — ^Mr. — I forget his name^ but I mean 
the gentleman who is so * remarkably particular about his wine :' 
Mr. De Stewpan, I think it is." 

" Particular, indeed ! Another bird of the same feather, sir. 
Cook at the London Tavern, sir. But he never deceived me. 
From the first moment I saw him, sir, I thought he was no real 
gentleman, for all the De to his name. And his friend Twist- 
wire, the birdcage-maker, with a ville tacked to his ! A pretty 
show-up of the whole party, indeed, there has been at Mr. 
Hoppy's public breakfast this morning. When great folks go 
into a strange place incog, they make themselves look little; 
your little folks have nothing for it, therefore, upon such 
occasions, but to look big. But I saw through them from the 
first, and glad am I that they have taken themselves off. 
Of course, they could not stay in this place after such an ex- 
posure." 

"And yet, if I remember rightly, it was bvx\. ix ^^'^ ^^ V^^^^ 



128 » LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

you described them all to me as being 'very tip-top people 
indeed/ " 

" O— yes — true, sir — ^that's to say, they spent a good deal of 
money ; but I never meant that they were gentlefolks. No, no, 
sir; my occupation sharpens a man's wits; and, for my parti I 
have seen so much of the world (as is natural in a plaoe like 
Little Pedlington), that I can make out what people are with 
half an eye. Mem ! I think you told me yesterd&y, sir, that 
you were not in the army — nor the navy — ^but that you— -that 
you " He hesitated and paused. 

" I told you nothing on the subject." 

" And I am sure you are not in the church, sir, by your wea^ 
ing a blue coat. No, no, sir ; Scorewell has seen too much jol 
the world to be mistaken on such points.— Ahem ! — ^I haie 
heard it said, sir, that the bar is a very fine profession; audi 
should think you ought to know, sir." 

*' I have no better means than any one else of knowing x^" 
replied I, resolved to throw him upon his own self-vaunted peaa- 
tration for making me out. 

Having been at fault in the army and the navy, in divinity and 
law, he tried physic, the arts, science, commerce, each with no 
better sucbess. 

" Very odd !" said he ; " very : I'm confident, quite confident, 
sir, vou have nothing to conceal " (and this he said with a length- 
ened countenance and a suspecting look which belied his pro- 
fessions of confidence) ; " but *' 

" You asked me what wine I should choose to take,'* said I 
(pretending not to have noticed his hint). "Let me have some 
claret. Good wine, I know, can only be obtained at a good 
price ; and I have already seen enough of you, ScoreWell, to be 
satisfied that I may trust to you for its quality." 

"The best in Europe, sir. No, no, sir, as I said, q|uite aue 
you have nothing to conceal, for" — (here was an adroit ohange 
of one little word) — "for, as I said to my wife, the moment ygu 
came into the house, that is none of your shim-shammies." 

" A time-serving rogue of an innkeeper even in virtuous Little 
Pedlington!" thought I, as I swallowed a couple of glasses of 
incontestable raspberrjr-juice. 

As the learned antiquary teas at six, it was now time for me 
to betake myself to his house. At the door of the Green Dragon 
was accosted by mine host : — 

"Goin^ to Mr. Rummins's conversation^, I understand, sir. 
At what time shall I send the bo^ mWi Wi^^X^ti^X.^ ^wx^^^ " 



AND THE PEBLINGTONIA^S. 129 

" Send a boy with a lantern ! " exclaimed I. 

"Why, sir, Mr. Rummins's parties are always very late— 
TOmetimes, indeed, they don't bixak up much before eleven — and 
as we naturally don't light the lamps in Little Pedlington till 
alter Michaelmas, and as there will be no moon to-night- — " 

" I'll contrive to find my wajr home in the dark, Scorewell." 

^ " As you please, sir. Then, if you will have the kindness to 

IM the Hiffht'heW, sir, you will find boots sitting up for you, sir." 

O for the comforts and conveniences of a dear little country- 
town ! Send a boy with a lantern ! In London, now, one mignt 
break forty legs (it one had them) in the course of a walk home, 
on a dark night, for the want of such an accommodation. To 
be sure, there is a gas-lamp here and there. Then, again, to ring 
the i»^^-bell at eleven, when I shall find poor boots drowsily 
waiting to let me in ! A volume could not say more in favour 
of the moral habits of these peaceful Pedlingtonians than is im- 
plied by these few words. They have no time, indeed, for vice 
or wickedness, great or small; for at an hour when the reprobate 
knockers of London are scarcely yet vocal for the nightly revel, 
/iky are virtuously "reclining" (as Miss Cripps would express 
it) "in the arms of Morpheus." But I must hasten to Mr. 
Rummins's Conversazione. 

On my way thither indulged in the pleasing reflection, that if 
anywhere a meeting of the kind could be free from the intrusion 
of spleen, envy, madice, pretension, or affectation, it must be in 
such a place as this. 

"1 stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs," says Childe 
Harold. With feelings not less strongly excited, I apprehend, 
than his upon that occasion when, for the first time, ne beheld 
the fairy city, did I find myself standing opposite to a small door 
on the first floor of Mr. Rummins's house. Upon this door, 
which was the entrance to a small back room, was pasted » 
square bit of paper, bearing, in German text, carefully written,i 
the words — 




)■ 



The little girl who had conducted me up stairs (telling ws 6f 
the way that master and the company were at tesd m \>\^ \SL\>i53QSQnK^ 
aanoanoed my arrival, ^ 



130 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

The learned F.S.A. received me mih all the civility due to a 
subscriber for two large-paper copies of his work^ and introduced 
me to each of the distinguished persibns present. HJb iq>pear- 
ance and manner, as well as his peculiar, out appropriate mode 
of uttering and pronouncing his words, I have already attempted 
to describe. First of all i was in-tro-de-oos'd to-—" One wnom 
I am proud, sir, to call m^^ son : B.ummins the younger, condiictor 
of that tremendous engine of power, the 'Little Fedlinstoa 
Weekly Observer.' " Me added m a whisper — " And marveuons 
is it, that the destinies of Europe should be controlled by one 80 
young, he being barely twenty. His yesterday's castigatioa of 
the Emperor of Russia cannot fail to produce effects whicli— • 
But more of this anon." 

Although I abstained from expressing it, my own private 
opinion nevertheless is, that there is nothinff marvellous aboofc 
the fact. For such a controller of destinies, whether they be tht 
destinies of a people or a play-house, an autocrat ''or an aotcx; 
twenty is a mature age ; and (whatever a fond father, in his par- 
tiality, may imagine to the contrary) the time gives it proot 
Here and there, indeed, may be found one who, with ohildigh 
timiditi|r, has delayed to set up as a " Controller of destinieSy" 
till having lived long enough to see much, hear much, and leant 
much, ana leisurely to compare and resflect, he at length oonoeiTes 
himself to be in some degree qualified for the undertaking. 
These, however, form but the exceptions to the rule: oouse- 
quently, Mr. Eummins, the elder, may be assured that his son ii 
not a Phoenix in his generation. 

"Our Daubson," continued the F.S.A., pursuing the ceremonj 
of introduction ; " our Baubson, whom I find you know> as M 
informs me that " 

" Yes," said the painter, "he had the honour of sitting' to me 
yesterdajr for his profile." Then, with an uneasy recollection of 
my criticism upon it, he said to me, " The head thrown too mudi 
back, eh. Mister ? If you have the work with you, we'll by-and- 
by take the unbiassed opinion of all present upon that point; 
and we shall then see who will dare to pretend to know oetter 
than me." 

"Mr. Felix Hoppy, also, you have met before," continued 
Rummins. " Not in his capacity of Master of the Cere- 
monies, which I esteem not, do I receive him as my friend; 
but as he is the author of the Little Pedlington Guide, a work, 

sir, which " 

Mr, Hoppy blushed, bowed, diew \iSa '«^-^cd\i35«^ \«aL' 



AND THE PEDUNGTOIn^IANS. 131 

kercliief across his face« and entreated Mr. Kummins to " spare 
him." 

I "was next presented to Miss Cripps (" our Sappho/' as she 
was designated by Rnmmins), whose exquisite verses I copied 
from yesterday's "Observer" into my journal. Miss C, tall 
and slender, and apparently on, what I shall take the liberty of 
calling, the sedate sidei of fifty. She was reclining back in her 
chair; her arms were folded across her bosom, and her eyes 
fixed with an air of abstraction on Mr. Rummins's ceiling. 
Her oountenance bore the traces of recent and still-existing 
sorrow. The Pedlington newspaper has recorded the loss of 
her bag. Dress — pink muslin gown, trimmed with pale blue 
ribands, yellow sash, shoes of red morocco, and a wreath of 
roses, crimson and yellow alternately, bound around her curly 
fiaxea — [Private mem. Wig] — ^haii*. 

Mr. Itiunmins proceeded — 

**!&. Yawkins, the head of our bauL Mr. Snargate, the 
arcliitect, of whom I need say no more than that he furnished 
the design for our new pump." 

ICr. Snargate drew himself up to the height of nearly five 
feet. 

■* Miss Jane Scmbbs, whose name is so universally known 
thai '' 

I fear my looks must have betrayed my culpable ignorance of 
so celebrated a name ; for Mr. Rummins, drawing me a little 
aside, said in an under-tone — 

" My dear sir ! — Is it possible ? — ^Why, sir, that lady is the 
Biuj Sbburcs, who does the charades and conundrums for our 
newspaper. Ignorant of her name! Bless my soul! — But, 
now, sir — now — I am last of all to in-tro-de-oos you to my illus- 
trioQS friend, the Reverend Jonathan Jubb — the Bard of Ped- 
IIKCKCONIA ! — (Here again followed what is theatrically termed 
an aside.) " Simple in appearance, unaffected in' manners — ^in- 
stead of the popular poet, you would be inclined to set him down 
for nothing more than one of yourselves — ahem ! — rather than 
one of us. But so it ever is with genius of a high order." 

And, truly (though contrary to my reasonable expectations), 
there sat the illustrious poet, neither attitudinizing, nor sighing, 
nor looking either sad, solemn, or sentimental, nor in any manner 
striving after-effect, but unaffectedly swallowing tea and munching 
hot muffins, with as much earnestness as if (to re^^eat R>ivc^\3kvq&'^ 
pharase) he had, indeed, been nothing more thaTi owe ol c>xrR>0«^i^ 

JSbertJj after the conclusion of the ceremoB^ oi Vn^iX'^^^^ssa* 



132 LITTLE PEDLnfGi;ON 

Rummins desired his servant to ''take away the tea-things." 
" Then," said he, " I will exhibit to you the RnmrnirMmn 
Collection." 

The little girl, having made the circuit of the Toom, iftd 
collected on a japanned waiter the emptied tea-caps, i^proadhdd 
Miss Cripps ; but *' Sappho," still rapt in meditation, did libt 
observe her. Having for some time stood unheeded, the gixl vat 
her lips to Miss Cripps's ear, and screamed, " Done with your Wl- 
cup, ma'am?" Miss Cripps, startled, let drop her cup nd 
saucer, both of which were demolished by the fall, and dnndpg 
her hand across her forehead, exclaimed, with a sigh — 

'* 'Tis gone, 'tis lost ; the fairy chain is broken." 

" Yes, madam," angrily said the P.S. A., "and so is my crookecT. 
I do wish. Miss Cripps, that, for the future, vou would not fiul 
into your poetic reveries till after tea. This is tne fourth time the 
thing has occurred, and always when a stranger has happmed to 
be present^ 

Miss Cripps made no reply, but, slowly shaking her beid, 
patiently resumed her Madonna-like attitude. 

At the same moment, Enaj SbburcSy who also had been ^bsoilied 
by meditation, though, as was presently shown, upon a sulject 
infinitely more abstruse, suddenly started from her chair^ and 
exclaimed, " Pig's pettitoes !" 

"That's it, that's it!" cried the editor, adding, with a con- 
descending nod to the lady, "Without flattery. Miss Scmbte, 
there is no one in all Little Pedlington who can approach ^o« in 
your own way ; and my opinion upon these matters is, as you 
know ** 

" You overwhelm me, Mr. Rummins," replied Miss S. " Your 
favourable judgment might well make any one proud — at least, if 
one had not the ^od sense to know, that when one has passed a 
life in these studies, a little superiority must be the conseqifienee." 

Miss Jane Scrubbs's exclamation of " Pig's pettitoes, neither 
the meaning nor the merit of which did I immediately perceive, 
was, as it was afterwards explained, the solution of an enigma, 
which had for the last five weeks baffled the ingenuity of alTthe 
wits of Little Pedlington. 

Bumminsian Collection is contained partly in an old- 
'*' iooi-case, with glazed dooia, «cA ^w^-^ Vdl ^ ^sssombc- 
"" the shelves of which the \mo^va M\M^«ar---wa5s«B5Baj^ 



TjatBum 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 133 

I may venture to say, without fear of exaggerating, to eighty iu 

number — are systematicaUy arranged. In the department of 

natural history, it is not remarkably rich, possessing only a 

. stuffed lap-dog and parrot, a dried snake, a feather of a peacock's 

.tail, the skeleton or a monkey, and the skin of a cat, tne latter 

. d^efly interesting from the circumstance of its original wearer 

. liaviDg been, during fourteen years, the prime favourite of the 

antiquary's ^ndmother. Indeed, he himself admits that, in this 

-portion of lus museum, he cannot coxxvpete with the Zoo, meaning 

thereby their 2iOological-gardens ; but in mineralogy he can boast 

of no fewer than a dozen specimens of the ores of tin, copper, 

and iron, "all curious" (as iiummins profoundly observed) "all 

carious, as showing you that sort of thmg in a state of natur'." 

In Numismatics — ^for each compartment of the book-case and 
oomer-cupboard is appropriately labelled — ^in numismatics the 
museum contains, first, the " antique Roman coin " which occa- 
sioned so fierce a controversy as to whether it were such, or, in 
lealilr, nothing more than a plain William-and-Mary's shilling ; 
for the particulars of which, vide Hoppy's "Guide Book." 
Secondly, a farthing, which Rummins pronounces to be one of the 
fiunous three of Queen Anne, boldly challenging the world to 
prove, from any internal evidence, the contrary, inasmuch as it is 
worn perfectly smooth on both sides. Third, and lastly, a medal 

21 form and size, and in general appearance, indeed, resembling 
ose local tokens which many years ago were issued for the 
purpose of supplying a deficiency in the copper coinage), bearing 
on one side the head, and the name also, of Brutus (the Elder), 
and on the reverse, a cap of liberty, with the figures 1793. That 
it is a genuine medal of the time of the worthy whose effigies it 
bears, Mr. Rummins entertains not the smallest doubt ; and with 
respect to the numerals (the only difficulty in the case), which by 
the ignorant mi^ht be mistaken for the date of the period when 
it was struck, the F.S.A. learnedly inquires, "How is it possible 
for us at this time of day to tell what they meant by tnem ? " 
Bie estimation in which these three objects are held by their for- 
tunate possessor is sufficiently marked by the circumstance of each 
being carefully preserved beneath the inverted bowl of a broken 
' wme-glass. 

•* But we are now coming to that portion of the Rumminsian 
Museum," said the exhibitor, " upon which I chiefly pride myself 
—the Pedlingtonian relics." 

The P.S.A. had been minute and elaVioi^le— \ ^<3^\. ^^"SJc*^ 
\ffw^j 08 it win sometimes happen, under sim^kt cvicvi\si^\»»Rs», 



134 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

to the best-intentioned T.S.A. — ^in describing each of the objjects 
of curiosity, as they were in succession exhibited to my astonuhod 
eyes. Fancied that in some of the party I perceiv^ symptoms 
of weariness, and of impatience in others, xhe banker and the 
architect were fast asleep ; Miss Gripps, with folded arms, ins 
sighing, and looking — sonnets ; Jubb drew from his podkei a 
hn^e manuscript, " a-hem'd," and thrust it in again ; Danbioii 

audibly d a the museum, and muttered, " The daylight will 

be gone before I can show my pictur' ;" Hoppy appeared matlj 
inclined to follow the example set by the banker; whiut tiie 
'' controller of destinies " and Enaj Sbburcs were seated, Hterally, 
tete-ck'tete, in the recess of a window, partly concealed by a ear- 
tain, making (I suppose) conundrums. 

The most remarkable of the Pedlingfconian relics are the slid- 
ing-board of the old stocks, d^iidi the handle of th& old pump, iroon 
each of which the E.S.A. expatiated lengthily and leameoly ; 
easily digressing from the one, to the cage which has lately been 
erected in the Marketplace — remarkii^g, bv the way, upon ttle 
horrors of the Bastille and the atrocities of the Inquisition ;•— 
from the other, to the Roman Aqueducts, Bernini's fountams, 
and " our New Pump." 

To the military antiquary the most interesting objects in the 
collection would be the two sword-blades and the cannon-ball, 
picked up in a ditch at a short distance from the town ; and the 
helmet of the time of King John. Of the two sword-blades, 
one is formed exactly like a sickle, the other bears some resem- 
blance to the blade of an old-fashioned carving-knife. These 
circumstances sufficiently attest their antiquity ; for, as Mr. K. 
triumphantly exclaimed, " Where do you see such swords now-a- 
days ! '' On the latter may still be traced these curious remains 
of an ancient inscription *. — 

Th-mps-n an- Co, Sh-f-^ld, 

Of this, the learned antiquary himself despairs of finding an 
explanation, modestly confessing that its meaning is lost in the 
lapse of ages. 

The cannon-ball is of the size of a four-and-twenty-pounder, 
but wonderfully light in proportion ; weighing not more, indeed, 
than a hollow cistern-ball of the same circumference ! Weil 
might Mr. R. observe, " The tooth of antiquity has preyed upon 
lis very vitals." 

Of the helmet of the time o£ lS.\ng 5o\m, ^ c!\ma>a^ x^rsrsq^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 135 

bling a saucepan of the time of our own gracious Queen Victoria, 
I need say nothing in this place, as an accurate description of it 
will be found amongst the extracts from the " L. P. Observer." • 
From these military remains the learned Rummins clearly infers 
that, at some remote period of our history, the Pedlin^onians 
must have been engaged in a desperate conflict, in which pro- 
digions numbers must have fallen on both sides, and that, at its 
t^nnination, yictory must have been declared for the Pedling- 
tonians. To state the arguments by which those inferences were 
supported would hardly be fair towards Mr. Kummins, since they 
are to appear in the new edition of his " Antiquities ;" but I 
may observe generally, that the arguments whereoy he attempted 
to prove incontrovertibly that which it is incontrovertibly im- 
possible to prove at all, were as ingenious, and quite as con- 
vincing, as antiquary arguments, m similar cases, usually 
we. 

The Bumminsian MSS., though not numerous, are rare. Of 
these the most interesting are — 

1st. A book containing nearly four hundred recipes (many of 
ibem unique) in cookery, confectionery, medicine, &c., &c., &c. 
"^allin the handtoriting of the antiquary' s late mother, 

2nd. A comjplete collection of Mr. Rummins's own school 
copy-books. "This," as Mr. R. modestly observed,, "will 
scarcely be valued during my lifetime." 

3rd^ Minutes of all the public proceedings in Little Pedlington 
during the last thirty years ; together with biographical notices of 
all those who have served the offices of churchwarden and 
overseer within the same period. 

"This, I may say," said Mr. R., "is a work of profound 
research, and one which will be of eminent utility to the anti- 
quary of future times. It contains, also, correct reports of all 
the debates occasioned by that spirit-stirring event, the abstrac- 
tion of the pump-ladle — an event, sir, concerning which (although 
it kept this town in a state of tremendous excitement for many 
months) I will venture to assert you have yet many interesting 
particulars to learn in London." 

4th, and lastly, carefully framed and glazed, the original draft, 
in his own handwriting, of Mr. R.'s inscription for the New 
Pump. There it is, with all his erasures, additions, alterations, 
&c. ! This mieresting and valuable documeiL^i \\^ \vaa Vw^^-Bi^^ 
fas be j'n formed me) to his native town, on oondaJoatL w^^^'^KSk 



136 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

death, it be placed over the chimney-piece of the vesiry-iooift-^ 
there to remain for ever ! 

Catherine U. promised a splendid reward to one of bif' 
emissaries (as snch disreputable cattle are styled in melo-dnaytt} 
if he shonld succeed in procuring {id est, stealing) for her, from th» ■ 
Beurberini Palace, the celebrated vase, latterly Imown as the Port- 
land vase, and which is now in the British Museum. "Rfmftwlur'' 
this fact, ye vestrymen of Little Pedlii^on, and be vigikufe 1 . - , 

Thanked Mr. Eummins for the grati&ation which tne insptf^ 
tion of his museum had afforded me. Observed— perhi^ te- 
want of something better to say — ^that I had lateh^ pauod a 
morning in the British Museum. To this the P.S.A., loj^kiDg tho : 
door of his comer^cupboard, and putting the key into his pookel^. 
carelessly replied — 

" Ay — ^they have some curious things there, also." 

" Come," said Daubson, unable any longer to restrain hit ' 
impatience, " come ; now there's an end of that, you shall see mj^ 
pictur^r 

"Pardon, my dear friend," said Hoppy (interposing witii 
master-of-the-ceremony-like gallantry), "we must conc^e tbtt 
J9fl5«7 to the ladies." 

At the same moment the poetess cleared her voice, and thft . 
fair conundrumist smilingly drew a strip of paper from her 
reticule ; whilst the M.C. continued : — 

"Miss Cripps has written a charming song — an exquisite 
little effusion— of which she intends to favour us with a private 
hearing, and " 

" And ^ou, I see, have brought your guitar to accompany i^ - 
Mr. Hoppy," said Miss Scrubbs, angrily; adding, with a snedr . 
(at the same time thrusting her paper back into her reticule)^ 
" it is vastly polite of you to give the paw to the iadies" 

" How plaguily impatient some people are to show themaelveB 
off ! " whispered the painter to the architect. 

" Contemptible vanity ! " replied the latter, in a similar tone. 
"And then we shall have Jubo with his rea^ng, and Rummins 
with his reading. I wish they were all at Jericho \ The evening 
will be at an end before I can exhibit my great plan for the 
improvement of Little Pedlington." 

" Now, my dear Miss Cripps, if you mean to sing, pray sing at 
once," said Mr. Rummins, the elder. "My illustrious friend 
Jubb intends to read some specimens of a new work of his — 
after I have read a few from one of my own." 
A good quarter of an hour was exx^awa^.^^ \y3 "fc. 1EL<Qf^^ \a. 



AND THE PEDLIXGTONIAXiJ. 137 

tnmng his guitar, and by Miss Cripps in protestations that she 
didn't sing, couldn't sin^, never did sing — that she was hoarse, 
oat of health, out of spints, &c. 

'' Besides," she added (and in a manner resembling an ill-made 

salad — ^that is to say, containing three vinegars to one oil), 

" besides, my effusion has nothing to recommend it but a little 

fi ri imff a nd sentiment — and imagination. I can't pretend to such 

abstruse efforts as charades and enigmas." 

JHwrf Sbbures bent her head in acknowled^ent of the compli- 
ment. Hien, turning to the editor, she whispered — 

** I wonder how Imss Cripps (who certainly is not altogether 
an idiot) can be preyaiLed upon to sing her pwn nonsensical 
yerses !"* 

Mr. Hoppy preluded. Miss Cripps meantime looked down 
upon her thumos, and, having to sing, she very naturally closed 
her teeth and lips ; just leaving a small aperture at one comer of 
ber month to sing through. The air being a well-known one, 
Miss Cripps's own poetry formed, of course, the chief attraction 
of the performance. Thanks to the lady's method of singing-— a 
metiiod which, I am informed, is commonly taught in Little JPed- 
lii^ton — ^I can answer for it that the following copy of her " ex- 
qn&ite little effusion" is literally correct : — 

" Se turn sn en sm se. 
Me o sn tarn se oo. 
To nm te a te me 
Pe tam ta o te poo." 

And these words, running through five verses, she articulated 
witb as much distinctness as if she had been regularly educated 
as a sinffer for the English Opera. 

To Mr. Hoppy, for the precision of his accompaniment, too 
modi praise could not be given ; for, whenever he was out, he 
requested the lady to "stop" till he had fully satisfied himself 
that he had got fast hold ot the right chord. 

Hianks to the fair poetess from all the party : though, from 
some of them (as I guessed from the bustle amongst them) they 
were tendered for that the conclusion of the performance gave 
them an opportunity for a display of their own — each after its 

* This is not unlike the well-turned compliment paid by an eminent 
member of Mr. Bmnmins's body to the Diuce of Cleveland of a former 
day : — *' I dined at Raby Castle, Lord Darlingtotfs. TYie o\^Ti\3i!L<^ ^1 
Cleyeland witb us. A cheerful old man, and in coTweTsaXiVoTL •oeT'ij J^**" 
/?«•* an uitof/'—PENNANT, Tour from Ashto% Moot to HaTTowgaU* 



138 UTTLE PBDUUGTOBr 

kind. Miss Scmbbs alone was silent : tbroaghont the perfom 
ance she was sleeping — or pretendinff to sleep. 

Mr. Hoppy, who had observed the trick (if trick it were), 
whispered to Miss Cripps — 

" Offensively contemptuous ! " 

" No," whispered Miss Cripps, in reply, " merely &atncnm.^ 

Now, for my own part, I thought them both much too MWft 
upon poor Miss Scrubbs; being generally inclined to conider 
such conduct (although it certainly may appear like rodcfltteBs) 
as nothing more than an evidence of drowsy stupidity* 

" Fine song ! great genius !" exclaimed the banker. *' How 
I envy people of talent ! " And he jingled the shillings in his 
pocket. 

Being seated between the poet and the antiquary, I whis- 
pered to the latter that I was not prepared to find in Mr. 
Uoppy (the author of so profound a work as the ** Little Pad- 
lingtonGhiide"), a man of such various talents, or one poeBCfliu% 
so many of the lighter accomplishments. 

"He's a charming creature, sir,'* replied Mr. IRummins. *'Biit 
what think you of his ' Guide ' ? — I mean the historical addk anti- 
quarian portions of the work ?" 

Here was an opportunity for me to show the F.8.A. tiuit I 
was not altogether ignorant of how I ought to behave myself at 
a literary conversazione. So I mumbled a reply which meant 
nothing in particular, but which I took care to render telUna, by 
ringing the changes upon the customary common-place excuuDA- 
tions — " learned ! " " erudite ! " " profound ! " " deeply-seiffck- 
ing !" " widely-grasping I" and some others which I had beud 
delivered, in the same manner, upon similar occasions. 

" You are an excellent critic, sir," said Mr. Bummins; *'iJhte 
portions of the work / wrote." 

" But what may be your notion, idea, or opinion of the de- 
scriptive parts of the book P " inquired Mr. Jubo. 

Here was another opportunity for me; so I proceeded as 
before, merely varying my common-places with the occasion. 
These were now — " picturesque !" " life-like ! " " dioramio I" 
"vivified!" "graphic!" "spirit-stirring!" &c., &c., &c.— tak- 
ing care to thrust in at least six graphics to any one ' of tiie 
otners. 

" I'm highly flattered : all the descriptive parts are mine," 
said the illustnous author of " Pedlingtonia ! " 

" Then pray, gentlemen," inc^yyiie^ 1, " \^ ovift ^^ ^qtl wrote 
the descriptive portions of llie woik, «vi^ \)svfe Q\\iet ^^ 



AND THE PBDUNGTONIANS. 139 

qoarlan and historical, Trhat was there left for the illustrious 
Hoppy to write P " 

" Nothing more, sir," answered Rummins, "nothing more than 
a receipt for the sum of seven pounds ten, which he paid us for 
our joint labours/' 

80, then ! I have encountered the perils of Poppleton End, and 
tasted of the miseries of Squashmire Gate, on my journey 
Mtherward— a journey induced, in a great measure, by an earnest 
desire to, look upon the eminent author of the " Little Pedlington 
Guide," and what is my reward? What is it I behold? 
Strutting in all a peacock's pride, with glittering plumage 
daariing the e^es of tne admiring world, a peacock we pronounce 
him : but, fnul as it is false, his ostentatious tail, surrendering 
at a pull, is scattered by the wind, and, lo ! he stands confessed 
-Hfc goose ! Can London, in the plenitude of its quackery, 
fiurniui a parallel to this ? " Speak, ye who best can tell ! " 



:s 



Answer me, A , B , C , D , E , F 

yea, all of you to the very end of the alphabet. I challenge you 
to the reply — Can London, in the plenitude of its quackery, 
furnish a parallel to this ? 

Expect the next piece of agreeable information I shall receive 
will be, that Rummins " did not write his own" " Antiquities," 
or Jubb his " Pedlingtonia." 

My unpleasant reflections interrupted by Miss Ciipps, who 
beckoned me across the room to her, and requested my candid 
ofHnion of the verses she had just now sung. No request more 
oommon upon such occasions, none more flattering to the taste 
of the request*^, or more easily complied with. Answered as 
before, but with the requisite variations. These were — "gem !" 
*'i^am /" " tear-moving ! " " heart-probing ! " " soul-searching ! " 
"intense!" "quintessence of grief!" "concentrated feeling!" 
" verge of agony ! " and so forth. Miss Cripps's opinion of my 
opinion more flatteringly expressed than by words — she begged 
I would write something in her album which she had brought 
with her. Being no poet, I wrote down a portion of the line 
and well-known supplication of Eve to Adam, from the " Para- 
dise Lost," commencing, "Eorsake me not, OAdam!" Miss 
Giipps was so kind as to say I had a pretty turn for poetry, yet 
she wished that I had written it in rhyme. 

During this time some of the party were collected around a 
circular table, which was coverea with Penny Magazines, and 
subecription-Jwte for rarious of Mr. Rummins's p^i\i^c»l\.\cya&.'^\^ 
Jdae Scmbbs told me she was a collector o£ iraniks *. \\i^\. ^'^'^A 



140 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

some which were very interesting, iDasmuch as they were per- 
fectly illegible — even to the writer's own name, wbioh wii^ 
indeed, the most difficult of all to decipher : that sho was ipf§ 
for a frank of Mr. Mortarly TroweFs, the patriotic repreBeatativB 
of the new constituency of Seven Dials (St. Giles's) ; and Ikit 
she should hold herself eternally obliged to me if I ooald ]^ 
cure for her that— or any others. 

''I am astonished. Miss Scrubbs/' exclaimed the F.8yL, 
" positively astonished that a woman of your intellect dKMld 
condescend to so trifling an occupation as that of eoltentisg 
autographs! But I, sir," (this he addressed to me), "J 401 
collecting impressions from seals. Now, if you happeSo. to \tm 
any letters about you, and would just pick ofT the seals for afe, 
that would be doing me a great favour mdeed." 

Presented him with two: one (from my friend James Jca- 
kinson) bearing the interesting initials, J.J.; the other oeU- 
biting the pretty device, " Inquire mthin" With the latter, tiu 
learned antiquary expressed himself highly gratified. 

Nine o^clock, — ^Mr. Eummins rang the oell, and denied Mb 
little maid to bring a light. 

'' And bring my hat at the same time," fiercely cried Danbaon. 

" Surelv, my Daubson," said Eummins, " you are not geng 
without showing us your new work ! " 

" Show you my work, mister ! " replied the painter : ** tldi is 
adding insult to injury. How is a work like this — a prafileof \ 
a man on horseback, all at full length — how is a work like tiuB, \ 
I say, to he seen by candle-light ! An architectural plan, £ke 
Snargate's, indeed, might be " 

He was interrupted by Mr. Snargate, who, with allovaUe 
anger, said, " £nough of your scurrility, sir. I know what ]f<m 
would insinuate ; but my works, sir, — my works, I am proud to 
say, will bear any light." , 

" You are too severe, my friend Snargate," whispered the 
Reverend Jonathan Jubb, in a tone of mild rebuke : " remember 
he is your fellow-creature, and be merciful." 

'' (]ome, come, Mr. Daubson," said the Controller of Destinies 
(who expected that his interference would allay the stonn), 
" stay where you are: we — ^I mean / have a particular motive for 
desiring to inspect your work. Should it satisfy us— I mean me 
^-as I doubt not it will, we shall give — ^I mean I shall give such 
a notice of it in our — ^I mean in my next, that if the Boyal 
Academy do not instantly t\ixo^ N«\d^ \<.^ ^ottela to receive 
jou " 



AND THE PEDIINGTOXIANS. 141 

Here the rage of the unrivalled profilist became nngovemable. 
stamped aboat the room, rolmig, unrolling, and re-rolling 
Ua drawing, which he brandished like a truncheon ; turning every 
wnr and then towards the editor, against whose unfortunate head 
Im thunders were chiefly directed. 

■■•' *'T<m inspect my work ! " he said, or rather screamed. " You 
presume to patronize a Daubson, you young puppy ! You 

fet-me into the Eoyal Academy ! D — ^n the Koyal Academy ! 
o mention such a set in my presence I take as a personal insult. 
Tliej shall never see me amongst them; they shall never be 
bonoared with the i)resence of a Daubson : no, mister ; when 
ihej refused to exhibit my ' Grenadier,' I made up my mind to 
tfaat. You get me in, indeed ! No, no ; this is my passport." 
(Here he shook his drawing above his head.) " This is what 
^aU force open the doors of the Academy for a Daubson ; here 
are mv credentials, mister. Talk to me of the Royal Academy ! 
*-*a despicable set ! But when they get a Daubson amongst 

them ! Good night. You shall none of you see my work; 

and this is the last time you will be honoured with the presence 
of a Daubson at any of your d — d conversAonies. 

So saying, he rushed out of the room, violently closing the 
door bemnd him. 

Mr. Snargate expressed his astonishment that Mr. Daubson 
sboold behave so like a fool. 

Tranquillity being restored, Mr. Snargate said, that, having an 
cnga^meut at half-past nine, he woiud at once exhibit and 
ezplam his plan. 

''Let him, let him," petulantly whispered Jubb to Rummins, 
** and then we shall have done with it ; for, in addition to my 
pfosa readings, I am anxious to recite my new 'Ode to 
&tience.' " 

Mr. Snargate spread out his plan upon the table, and pro- 
ceeded to read his explanation, which appeared to occupy about 
nxij folio pages. The exordium was elegantly written : it ran 
thus:— 

" When we consider that ^adual improvement — ^that reform, 
temperate as it is wise, and wise as it is moderate, are the pecu- 
liar characteristics of the age we live in : when we consider that, 
m the advance of knowledge, the tardy heel of one improvement 
is aspiringly trodden upon by the advancing toe of another: 
when we consider * * * * ♦ 

* * [And so on through seven pagea."^ * * 



143 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mr. Snargate confidently submits to the pnblio the fbllowing 
scheme for the improvement of the town of Little Pedlin^fton. 
In the first place, then, he proposes '* 

Bximmins looked at his watch ; Jnbb yawned. 

" It is not upon my own account," said the F.S. A., •* that I 
remind you that the evening is getting on ; but our gifted fiiend, 
here, also has something to read to us. Couldn't yon oontrive, 
therefore, without going into particulars, to tell us at onoe what 
is the great feature of your improvement P " 

''That is the point I was proceeding to, sir," replied tii8 
architect, with (as I thought) a tinge of acrimony in his mmuMr. 
'' I shall not long detain yo« from if our display," continued he; 
" and I promise you you shall not be interrupted by me.-^la the 
first place, then, I propose to pull down the whole of the present 
town, and then to build an entirely new one at the foot of Bum- 
shank Hill." 

" Gigantic scheme ! " exclaimed Mr. Rummins. 

" Sweetlj pretty ! " exclaimed Sappho Cripps. 

" Miltonic conception ! " exclaimed Jubb. 

''What a-plomb! An entreehat-six in its way!" eidaimed 
the M. C. 

"Worthy of Indigo Jones!" exclaimed the banker. •'What 
would I ^ve to possess such talent ! " And again he rattled the 
shillings m his pocket. 

Mr. Snargate listened unconcernedly to these praisee: they 
were his just due. He proceeded : — 

" In the second place, I propose " 

Here he was interrupted oy the editor of the " Little Pedling- 
ton Weekly Observer." 

" My dear Snargate," said he, " allow me to stop you at the 
^rst place. You begin by pulling down the old town, and iken 
you build a new one. Now we would inquire where you intend 
to put all the people in the meanwhile P" 

"A pretty question, upon my word!" said the arcbiteot. 
" What have I to do with that ? My project, sir, stands upon 
its own independent merits. 'Put the people,' indeed I If one 
is to be stopped by such petty considerations, there is an end at 
once to all T»Jational Improvements upon a gband scale/* 

** Notwithstanding that," replied the editor, " we must press 
our objection; for, from our position, as the leading oipin of 
this place, we must be supposed to know somethift^ of these 
matters." 
This he uttered with an air oi \)e<soxDM^ ^^-wsSkSsv&TkSs^ \ 'ssSy.V 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 143 

ing, in a tone of patronage proper to a young controller of 
d^tinies, — 

" You know, Snargate, we have always given you our support; 
we have always taken you by the hand ; in our columns, we haye 
always placed you in an imposing attitude, and all this we shall 
oontmue to do ; but with resjject to the point in question—** 

" Patronizing puppy ! " cried the arcnitect. " And is a man 
of my standing, a man of ni^ experience, a man of wy reputa- 
tion, to be met upon his own ground by a whipper-snapper of a 
boj P If you were not in your father's house, 1 would toss you 
out at the window ! But Daubson was in the right ; he could 
stand it no longer ; he went off like a sensible man as he is, and 
I shall follow his example. I wish you all a very good night. 
• Put the peonle,' indeed ! " 

So saying, ne rolled up his plans and papers, and rushed out 
of the room, a-la-Daubson. 

"I hope you will resent this," whispered the conundrum lady 
to the eoitcar. 

^ " Rely upon that," fiercely replied he ; " we will annihilate 
him — ^in our next." 

''Mr. Snargate ought to be ashamed of himself," said Miss 
GripiM, addressing herself to the editor, who had now crossed 
to where she was seated. " To dispute with one of your profound 
learning, universal knowledge, correct judgment, exquisite taste! 
—By the bye, what do you really think of the trifle I attempted 
to sing to-night P " 

"Ajq exquisite little gem, indeed," replied the editor; "a 
perfect bijouy overflowing with But, if you have no ob- 
jection, we will insert it, together with our opinion of it, in our 
next." 

"Then here is a correct copy of it," said the lady. Then, 
laying her taper fingers on his arm, she added, " I hope you have 
no engagement for to-morrow evening. I expect a few friends. 
Do come and tea with me, for a party is nothing without you." 

" With great pleasure ; for no one's parties are half so 
delightful as yours. Late, as usual, I suppose, eh ? Half-past 
six, eh P" 

" And — a — ^Rummins — ^bring your little critique with you ; I 
should like to see it in manicrips. But be impartial ; say what 
you really think of it, notwithstanding." 

This conversation passed in a half whisper. 

Mr. Jubb now read some extracts from \\\a ""S^^^^^ ^^a. ^^ 
Literary Character of iho unrivalled Uximmmti-" ^\«it 'vN^^jSai^ 



144 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mr. RummiDS favoared us with portions of his " Essay on the 
Literary Character of the imec^ualled Jubb." In these, not a 
word of censure, not a trait ot envy or of jealousy, ooouned; 
but each, with manly frankness, did homage to the transoendciit 
genius of the other. Informed by Hoppy that a Review, to be 
called the "Impabtial," is about to be established in little 
Pedliogton : of this (sub rosd) Rummins and Jubb are to be oo- 
editors. 

The capitalist, who had been sound asleep during these xetd- 
ings, was inhumanly disturbed by the applause which snooeeded 
them. He started, yawned, rubbed his eyes, clapped his hands, 
and (again jingling his money) declared there was nothing in tin 
world he so much desired as to be a man of talent. Then, turn- 
ing to me, he asked me what I thought of the town, of the 
people, and whether I was not perfectly astonished at the nnraiMr 
of great men they had amongst them r 

''Yet," he added, ''in a population, sir, amounting to two 
thousand nine huncb*ed and seventy-two, it is scaroelj to be 

wondered at that we ^Apropos : what may happen to be tlie 

amount of the population of London ? " 

Expressed my regret at my inability to answer him with Men- 
racy equal to £is own, but told him it was computed at ftboot 
one million and some odd hundreds of thousands. 

"Bless my soul ! " exclaimed the worthy and sapient bante*; 
"dear me! you don't say so! Immense! Prodigious! But 
surely it must be much too large for anything like comfort ! " 

"And now,'' said Rummins, junior, "perhaps Miss SonilibB 
will favour us with her new conundrum P '' ^ 

Miss Scrubbs eagerly availed herself of the request; add, 
scarcely allowing the interval of a second to elapse, she dashed off 
with " Now, then : ' Why is a man in a blue coat uid a white 
waistcoat, riding on a black horse, along a green lane, like a' " 

"A thousand pardons, Miss Scrubbs," said Jubb ; "bnt, as it 
is growing late, allow me first to recite my new 'Ode to 
Patience.' " And without allowing a pause for reply he did so. 
It was greatly applauded by the enraptured listeners — ^Miss 
Scrubbs excepted, who, during the recitation, appeared to be 
absorbed in the study of a " Penny Magazine." 

" The finest thing you ever wrote, sir," said the yonng Con- 
troller of Destinies; "it has all the sublimitv of Pope, ul the 
ease of Milton, all the polished elegance of Crabbe, all the vigour 
of Moore; it is equal to Campbell, and on. a level with Rogers : 
notwithstandmg^ you will allow tlwkt 



AND THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 1^ 

" None of your ' notwithstandings/ young gentleman, if you 
please/' said toe poet ; at the same time rising and putting his 
ttanosoript into his pocket : " You would be an excellent critic 
if you knew where to stop ; but let us have none of your * not- 
witLstandings.' Dear me ! it is nearly half-past ten, I declare ! 
Hummins, my illustrious friend, good night. Ladies and gentle- 
men, good night." And so departed the illustrious Jubb. 

^ " I wonder how you coulcf listen to such stvff! " said the 
liL^hlj-gifted maker of conundrums and charades. *' Why, half 
oiit was about religion ! A pretty subject to touch upon in the 
pK»sence of men of intellect, women of mind, original thinkers, 
rational beings, spirits emancipated from childish prejudices, &c., 
&0.; master-spirits, march of intellect, gifted creatures, en- 
lightened age, master-minds, philosophical research, human 
understanding, test of reason," &c., &c. 

I by no means pretend that Miss Jane Scrubbs uttered these 
words and phrases in the precise order in which I give them ; 
that, however, is a matter of not the slightest importance. 
Soffice it to say, that without uttering one sentence possessing a 
mia of meaning, she did, most ingemously and didactically, ring 
the changes upon them for a full quarter of an hour, — repeating 
the phrase, " women of mind," more frequently than any other 
to be found in the march-of-intellect vocabulary of cant. 

Miss Scrubbs's lantern was announced. The lady, accom- 
panied by 4be editor (the offer of whose escort she condescend- 
wgfj accepted^, took her leave. As the former quitted the 
room. Miss Cnpps muttered something about its being " easy to 
sae through that — ^the mean-spiritedness of ear-wigging editors 
—fishing for a puff of her new conundrum." 

"Masculine-minded creature ! " exclaimed Hoppy, with a 
gestnre of admiration. 

"Thinks for herself upon all points, moral, political, and 
social ! " exclaimed Rummins. 

"Not a prejudice remaining! " responded the M.C., "and has 
no more religion than a horse ! " 

" Woman of mind ! " exclaimed the banker ; " and to my cer- 
tain knowledge. Miss Scrubbs will not be nineteen till the end of 
next month.— Pray, my dear Hoppy, did you ever see her baby 
that is at nurse in the Vale of Health ? " 

"Saw it yesterday," replied the M.C. ; " and a fine child it is 
for only five months old." 

" Noble-mwded creature!'^ exclaimed i\ie \iM3toc. ^^"^^ 
wbale income is but forty pound'3 a year — ^30\x "kivav, ^"^i cailwi% 



146 UTTLB FEDLTNGTON 

at our honse-^-yet she maintains it at her own expense, xatiur 
than " 

Here Miss Cripps interfered. " I can't help saying, Mr. Bui- 
mins, that — condaering — circumstances — I am hy no means ploned 
at yo«r inviting her when you expected wtf." 

" You surpnse me. Miss Cripps ! " replied the I".S.A. "Itaii, 
who yourself are a woman of mmd, ought to know that wnsan 
of mmd are above the vulgar prejudices by which wqudbOl^ 
common intellect submit to be governed. It is the peodiir 
privilege of mind, of original thinkmg, of daring investigraon, to 
—to emancipate itself from a — ^I should say from the—" ^ . 

<' Miss Gnpps's lantern!" cried the little maid, just popping 
her head in at the door. She did not add, ''stops the wn;^ 
but what, unfortunately, indeed, its arrival, did stop, was Jfr. 
Rummins's speech. Whilst the lady was busied outside tiie 
room, in putting on her clogs, and affixing to her head a ess* 
trivance which, in form, mechanism, and almost in size, resemUsd 
the hood of an old-fashioned one-horse-«^y, Mr. Yawkins said 
to Hoppy,— 

" Very unfeeling on the part of Miss Cripps to be so bssd 
about poor Miss Scrubbs, when it is very well known thai die 
herself " 

"But that happened so mam years ago, she has nainnllf 
forgotten all about it," replied Soppy. 

" Ay, that's true, rejoined the banker : " so, as she^enetf his 
forgotten all about it, she naturally supposes that nobody else 
remembers it." 

"Miss Cripps does not stand alone in that happy dehisiai^? 
thought I. «.'!j. 

"What /blame her for," said the F.S.A., "is, that bow 
herself 9l highly-gifted creature — for I look upon the iMui 
English she writes, and her faults in pro»(»f»ciation, as owing 
merely to her want of education and breeding — ^what / bfauns 
her for is — Hush ! here she comes." 

Miss Cripps curtsied and withdrew, accompanied by the M.C., 
who, as he handed; her downstairs, whispered to her, that the 
evening would have been perfect, had there been a little dandag. 
" But," added he, " the fault of these meetings is, that moe^ 
people come for the purpose of showing themselves off. Now, 
though I was dying to play two or three of my new quadrille- 
tnnes, and had actually got my flageolet in my pocket ha the 
purpose, I could not, for the soxil ol m«i, ^eX «a. Q>Y^xK!«cEfi&s^f' 
"Well, my dear Rummins," sa\^ \\i'b>sw^«t»*^'V\flawkHR 



AND THE PEDMNGTONIANS. 14-7 

tiiank TOU for another great treat. Talented creatures ! People 
of mind ! Would give the world to be able to understand wnat 
Umt talk about! £ut, though I myself don't pretend to bo 
injoody or anything," — (here he once more jingled the money 
m his pocket), — " Fm never so happy as when I am in tlio 
oompany of intellectual people," — (here he yawned), — "Good 
Wfjtitf my dear Rummins. Nothing was wanting to make the 
tfwesdDft perfectly delightful but a rubber at sixpenny lonas. 
flood night/' 

It was now my turn to thank the T.S.A. for the treat I had 
enjoyed. 

** I can't say much for it, sir," replied he. " Nobody admires 
poetrr, and music, and the fine arts, more than I do, but one 
may haye too much of them. They ought not altogether to 
Bopersede more important matters. "What oetween Miss Cripps, 
and Daubson, and Soargate, and my illustrious friend, Jubb, — 
who, by-the-bye, is much too fond of reading his own produc- 
tkms,-— I was prevented reading a rather interesting paper of 
my own, wherem I cite two hundred and fifty-three authorities 
io prove that our church was built in 1694 — ^not 1695, the date 
QBually assigned to it : thus, sir, thus proving its greater anti- 
quity by one entire year !" 

lie rain nouring down in torrents! No umbrella. Mr. 
Eummins's taxen by Mr. Hoppy, who will not return it till the 
monmig. No sending to the nearest stand for a hackney-coach, 
lor the satisfactory reason that, there being no hackney-coaches 
here, there is no stand to send to. There is, indeed, one fly 
kept in the town — that, it must be acknowledged, is a considci- 
me convenience — but it is never let out after ten at night, 
vdess bespoke in the morning. Endeavour to grope my way 
home in the dark : find myself in the Vale of Health, and over 
tke ankles in water ! Meet the new policeman, to whose vigi- 
lanee (vice two old watchmen, deposed) is intrusted the safety of 
the whole town. Sets me on ray right road. Find my sell' in 
mine inn. Wet through. Desire to have a glass of brandy-and- 
water very hot. Told by Boots that, it being eleven o'clock, 
everybody but himself (who had sat up purposely to let me in) 
was in iJed ; that the kitchen fire was out, and the bar locked 
up; that I could have nothing at such a time of night, but that 
I might rely upon having what I had asked for the first thing in 

the morning. In reprobate London, now S\x.\., xtfi x^tl^^^- 

i3ona; so, supperkss and comfortless, to bed. 
Setbbugbt me of the words of the landlady ^ ^^^^\kv\^ 

T o 



148 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Gate — "Ah! sir, if all the world were Lippleton, it would be 
too Hoe a place, and too good for us poor sixmers to live in!" 
I have passed three entire days in this the beau^ideal of a coiid- 
try town : I have seen all it has to show of places, things^ and 
people : I have observed its society in aU its modes, fonss, and 
graaes, carefully noting their habits, their maimeri^ their fieel- 
ings, and their characters. Now, without a partiality or a prs- 

judice to indulge, I declare that But, it being past oleTeii, it 

IS, in a place like Little PedlingtoD, the decent ana pioper iiffog 
to go to sleep. 

Thursday, June 18M. — ^I am again in London ; and, sinner as 
I am, Lo^]DON, with all its naughty doings, and all ijta vidbed 
people in it, is good enough for me. 



AND THE FEDUNGTOKIAKS. 149 



CHAPTER X. 

ndooement to re-visit Little Pedlington — Expectations wisely mode- 
rated — ^Advantafire of travelling by a Patent Safety-coach — Arrival 
at Scoreweirs— Interesting event : opening of the Theatre — The 
Flay-Bill : a master-piece in that department of Literature. 

kxWTEBiNG by the Regent's Circus, my attention was attracted 
jj a bill in the window of one of the coach-offices, announcing 
*an elegant, new, light, four-horse Patent Safety-coach to 
iittle Pedlington, through Doddleton and Guttlebury." It was 
low three years since I visited the interesting town, to which 
his elegant, new, light coach was bound ; and, although I left it 
rith fe^ings of disappointment and dissatisfaction at finding its 
ohabitants not much better, upon the whole, than us Londoners, 
! had often wished to see it once again. What, then, prevented 
aj gratifying that wish P Frankly, it was the dread of having 

re-encounter the miseries of Poppleton End and Squashmire 
late: when one goes out for the express purpose of "pleasur- 
Qg," he feels less pleased than upon other occasions at being 
aade superlatively uncomfortable. But here was offered me a 
onveyance which avoided both those detested places bv at least 
ifteen miles, so I instantly availed myself of it, and oooked a 
ilace to Little Pedlinffton, for the following day. 

Tor the town itseu," thought I, "it is, unquestionably, the 
•erfection of a small provincial town. If it did not furnish me 
rith everything I reouired as readily as I might have procured it 

1 London ; if I could not get an iced-cream in the dog-days, 
uless by giving four-and-twenty hours* notice of my want ; if, 
aTing immediate occasion to refer to the army list, I was assured 
hat tbere was not one in the whole place of less mature age than 
ig^teen months, and consoled by the promise of an ooli^\tv% 
ookseller^ that be would get the latest for me m\«\flxi ^iQrt\ssM^\» 
"wAj, these were tiMing inconyeniences, ioi N?\aft\i\ wx^V^ 



150 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

have been prepared, knowing that they are incident to ev 
distant from, and not quite as large as, the metropolis, 
the people — ^if I did not find them one mass of unaJloyed 
is to my own unwise and over-excited expectations that 
to attribute my disappointment. Pedlingtonians are, afte 
men, subject to human feelings, swayed by human 
Had I expected less, I might nave enjoyed more. I < 
least, to have dealt out to them the same measure of in 
that I would have done to my own fellow-Londoners, 
time I will." 

At the time when I made these reflections I was i] 
amiable mood, for the sky was bright, and the atmos; 
unusually pure, that, from the Regent's Circus, I coul< 
distinguish the Duke of York's column. Lord help tl 
Pedlingtonians had it been a murky day in November ! 

The day for my journey, fine. Took my place on th 
box. Driver an agreeable, chatty man. During som< 
from the moment of our quitting London, he entertained 
accounts of all the dreadful accidents wluch had lately 
on railroads and in steamboats ; swore that, for safety- 
nothing of its gentility — ^there was no conveyance coi 
with an elegant, light, four-horse coach. At this momei 
within seven miles of Doddleton, the horses took fright f 
woman in a scarlet cloak, and gedloped off at race-hors 
Whatever we met on the road avoided us as if a pestil* 
been approaching. At half a mile's distance from the vil 
elegant, new, light, four-horse Patent Safety-coach was u; 
we the outsides (inside passengers there were none), wei 
over a hedge into a field of standing com. We were all 
less hurt by sprains and bruises ; but none of us suffic 
to prevent our assisting the* driver, who lay senseles 
ground, with a broken Teg and a dislocated shoulder, 
conveyed to Doddleton, where he immediately received 
assistance. The coach was so much damagea that it c 
continue the journey, so another was provided to « 
forward. Certainly, for safety, there is nothing like an 
light, four-horse coach. 

At my last visit to Little Pedlington I stayed at Sc( 
hotel. There was either a Bible or a volume of religio 
ostentatiously placed upon a table in every room in h 
and his charge? were proportionably high ; to say nothi 
attempt (whicli I successfully xeavste^ to impose urn 
chaise for two or three thiaga 'w^nj^ \ \»Sl x^aX. V^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 161 

these little accidents arc not peculiar to Scorewell's hotel, but 
oommon to all bouses of entertainment where the comfort of a 
Tolume of religious tracts is' provided for one ; and as 1 would 
iitber be cheated (in moderation) than exchange familiar faces 
lor new ones, I resolved upon taking up my old quarters at 
Socnrewell's. 

The coach stopped at his door, and out came mine host, who 

gaTe me a cordial welcome — ^innkeepers are very kind in this 

..vetpect — and reminded me that three years had elapsed since my 

last visit, adding, "I see, sir, I see; you have come from 

liOndon on purpose for the occasion/' 

" For what occasion ? " inquired I. 

** What occasion, indeed ! Why, sir, to-night our theatre is 
to open for the season ! It has set all Little Pedliugton agog; 
and, surely, you must have heard of it in London ! " 

"I can assure you," replied I, "that excepting the few whom 
fashion carries to talk at the opera, or to sleep at a French 
play^ the good Londoners are scarcely conscious of the opening, 
or the being open, of their own theatres. However," continued 
If "the opening of the theatre of a place like this is an interest- 
ing event ; so I am delighted at being here to witness it." 
. It being alreadv nine o'clock (p.m.), I ordered some supper, 
and went early to bed. 

Monday. — ^Immediately after breakfast I sallied forth to visit 
all my favourite spots. This I did with that eager interest 
which every one has felt on his first return, after long absence, 
to a place endeared to him either by its own intrinsic charms, or 
%Ythe stronger charm of association. The Crescent, the Market- 
place, the New Pump, the Vale of Health, Yawkins's Skittle-ground, 
each and all received from me the homage of a glance. Time 
would hardly permit more : for, to become fuUv and satisfactorily 
acquainted with the beauties, natural and artincial, of a place of 
the extent of Little Pedlington ; to inspect with care and accu- 
racy its libraries, its museum, its Zoological Grarden, &c., would 
require the devotion of a considerable portion of a day to the 
task. Even as it was, when I had made the tour of the entire 
town, and intersected it in every possible way, devoting a minute 
or two to the examination of one remarkable object, a minute 
or two to the consideration of another, I found it was almost one 
o'clock. " Thus doth Time fly ! " as a moralist would say. 

On coming into Market Square, I perceived numbers of per- 
sons divided into separate crowds of two, three, nay, in some 
places, four, with iiieir faces all eagerly tutIV!e^\.Qi^^^^^^Jvi^'^^^'^ 



vl52 LITTLE PEDLIKGTON 

or the shop-\vindows. I was at first astonished at this nn^nkr 
sight, but my astonishment was not of long duration : the cir- 
cumstance was presently accounted for; the people were all 
pressing to get a sight of the play-bills announcing the eveninff's 
performances at the theatre. The hand-bills exliibited in toe 
shop-windows — such as, for the convenience of the spectator, an 
sold in the theatre — were scarcely four feet long; but the posters 
— ^those pasted on the walls — somewhat exceeded four yards. 
At the head of these was a spirited woodcut, representing the 
interior of a cow-house, with a man (holding a hatchet in coe 
hand, and the head of a female, young and lovely, in the other) 
standing astride the decapitated body of the massacred milk- 
maid ! 

This interesting document (a copy of which I subjoin) is 
avowedly the composition of the manager, Mr. Strut, himself. 
And here I must confess that, in attributing to Mr. Hoppy the 
authorship of the announcement of the Del Squeaki,* T was 
guilty of an act of injustice towards Mr. Strut, to whom I find the 
M.C. was indebted for it. Indeed, upon a comparison of the 
two papers, it will be evident that they both are the product of 
the same elegant pen : in these matters '' none but himself can 
be his parallel ; " and to Strut, therefore, must all the praise 
bestowed upon Hoppy be transferred. 

* Vide p. 112. 



AND tWB PBBIINGTONIANS. 163 

THEATRE ROYAL, 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

Mr. Strut has the heartfelt gratification of announcing to the No- 
bility, Gentry, and the Public in general, that he has once more the 
honour of assuming the direction of this Theatre, which will open this 
Eyening, and takes the liberty to flatter himself that the 

VARIOUS AND NUMEROUS NOVELTIES, 

ALL ENTIRELY NEW 11 
which are in preparation, and which will succeed each other 

IN RAPID SUCCESSION, 

and which will be produced in a style of 

SPLENDOUR! MAGNIFICENCE! AND GRANDEUR! 

hitherto miprecedented and without example in the annals of 
Theatricals, and which will be got up 

REGARDLESS OF EXPENSE, 

AND WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OP OUTLAY ! 

and which, in point of 

SCENERY I DRESSES ! DECORATIONS ! AND PROPERTIES ! 

which, as they will be prepared on a scale of extent which was never 
before attempted, and which is now undertaken for the first time, 
cannot &il to form a pivot of attraction to 

DEFY COMPETITION ! ! ! 

In addition to this he has the pleasing gratification to announce, 
that he has, without any view to the consideration of expenditure, 
succeeded in bringing together, 

IN ONE PHALANX, 
A COMBINATION OF COMBINED TALENT ! ! ! 

such as has never yet been amalgamated within the arena of the walls 
of any theatre, and constituting a simultaneous 

IMPETUS OF COMBINED ATTRACTION \\\ 

WHICH MUST BET ALL BIVALRT AT DEE1AS01L\\\ 



164 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mr. Strut has the satisfaction to announce that, in addition to 
many other valuable engagements which he is thinking of having it in 
contemplation to enter into, he has secured the talents of the following 
distinguished Hites : — " ' 

Messrs. SNOXELL, 
WADDLE, 
EUGENE STRUT, 
AUGUSTUS STRUT, 
STANISLAUS STRUT, 
STRIDE, 
STAGGER, 

AND 

TIPPLETON. 
Mesdames BIGGLESWADE, 
STRUT, 
E. STRUT, 
T. STRUT, 
WARBLE, 
Mile. SARA DES ENTRECHATS. 

Messrs. Higs, Nigs, Pigs, Wigs, Oigs/C, Qigs, T, Oigs, R, Oiijs, 

Brigs, and Knigs. 

Mesdames Nohs, Hobs, Dobs, F, Dobs, L, Dobs, J. Dobs, Wobt, 

Phobs, and SnobSf 

AND 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES, 

{Her first appearance on any stage). 



The performances will commence with an entirely new obiqikaL 
domestic Melodrame, never before performed, and now acted for the 
lirst time, founded on the affecting, barbarous, and interesting murder 
cf Martha Squigs, to be called 

THE HATCHET OF HORROR; 

OB, 

THE MASSACRED MILKMAID. 

Principal characters by the following unprecedented cast ! ! ! 
MESSBB. SNOXELL, WADDLE, STRIDE, EUGENE STRUT, AND 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 155 

MESDAMES BIGGLESWADE, T. STRUT, MISS WARBLE, 

{with a Song), 

MLLE. SARA DES ENTRECHATS {mtJi a Pas Seul), 

AND THE PABT OP 

MARTHA SQUIGS {the Massacred Milkmaid) by MISS JULIA 

WRIGGLES. 

In the course of the piece will be introduced a new and splendid 

representation of 

THE FATAL COW-HOUSE, 

in which the Murder was committed ! 
Together with the identical 

BLOOD-STAINED HATCHET, WITH A LOOK OF THE VICTIM'S 

HAIR STICKING TO IT ! ! 

Vfith which the Murder was committed ! ! ! 

And the identical 

FAVOURITE COW OP THE MASSACRED MILKMAID ! ! ! 1 

for which the Murder was committed ! ! ! ! ! 

At the conclusion of the piece a favourite Song by 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

After which, an entirely new and elegant Burletta, without songs or 
any musical accompaniment whatever, in one Act, to be called 

ALL ROUND MY HAT. 

With the following powerful cast ! ! ! 

MM, TIPPLETON, 

Mossrs. Pigs, Gigs, and Brigs ; Mesdames Hobs, Phobs, and Snobs, 

and {wiili a Song) 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

Previous to which, for the first time, a fisishionable Interlude, to be called 

■WHO ARE YOU? 

The principal characters by 

MESSRS. TIPPLETON AND GIGS, 

AND 

MISS JULIA WRIGQtli^^, 



166 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

To be preceded by an occasional Address, to be spoken by 

MISS JULIA WEIGGLES. 

Prior to which, the fEkvourite 

BROAD -SWORD HORNPIPE, 

BY 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

In the course of the evening, a laughable comic Song by 

MR. AUGUSTUS STRUT. 

The whole to conclude with, never acted, a laughable Farce, to be 

called 

SHE SRALL BE AN ACTRESS. 

Colonel Dash, by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! 

Harlequin by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! 

Venus by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! ! 

Molly O'Rooney (an Irish Girl), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! ! ! 
Jeannio M'Bride (a Scotch Gh*l), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! ! ! I 
Eugenie La Belle (a French Girl), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES !!!!!! 
Matilda Schwabstz (a German Girl), 
by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES !!!!!!! 

AND 

Lady Olara^iovely (an English Lady 
of Fashion), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! i i I ! ! ! ! 

The Orchestra, as is usual at this Theatre, will he numerous and ^ 
dent, consisting of Ten Perjormers 111 

On this occasion Mr. SNOXELL and Mrs. BIGGLESWADE will 

perform. 

On this occasion, Mr. TIPPLETON will perform. 

On this occasion Miss JULIA WRIGGLES, Miss WARBLE, and 
Mile. SARA DES ENTRECHATS will perform. 

On this occasion Mr. TIPPLETON and Miss JULIA WRIGGLES WILL 

PEHFOBM IN TWO FIBOES ! ! ! 



On this occasion the WHOLE of the powerful and unprecedented 
Company engaged aJt this theatre, and announced eu above, to perform 
m tAe evening's perftyrmawies, WILL YIKEOTB^WX 



AmO THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 157 

The interest excited by this promise of elegant recreation was 
evidently intense. All Little Pedlington seemed disposed to 
attend the theatre. " I wish I knew where to get an order ! " 
exclaimed one : " I wish I knew somebody who could pass me 
in ! " said another : a third, with an air of determination wiiich 
indicated the inveterate play-goer and the true patron of the 
drama, exclaimed — " I, for one, am resolved to go — if I can con- 
trive to get in for nothing." Inferring from these and similar 
manifestations of anxiety to witness the night's performances 
that there would be a crowded house, I thought it prudent to go 
to the box-office to secure, if possible, a place. 



158 UITLE TEDLIKGION 



CHAPTER XL 

Theatre Royal, Little Pedlington : the Manager^s room — ^Patrons of 
the drama — Tempting terms — More patronage — Elegant epistle—! 
a Manager's bed of roses — Rival Tragedians : the lieart-rending 
Snoxell ; Waddle — Contentions and compromises — ^The versatile 
Mrs. Biggleswade : the Manager inexorable — ^Petticoat goyemmoit : 
the Manager's manager — Dramatist and donkey-man, each bed&b- 
tingly treated — Consultation with the treasurer — Privilege of the 
free-list valuable and oom^ilimentar^ — ^The facetious Tip^eUm, the 
plural-singular : his complaints : dismterested zeal for the oonoen^— 
Success unquestionable. 

This bein? the opening day for the season of the Theatre Boya], 
Little Pedlington, all within its walls is bustle and tuoHntj, 
while crowds of suitors for an interview with the manager are 
impatiently waiting without. Amidst the din of hammers and 
the grating of saws, the tragedians are on the stage rehearsing 
an entirely new melo-drama, to be called the Hatchet of Horror; 
or, the Massacred Milkmaid, In the green-room. Miss WarU^ 
assisted by the director of the orchestra, is practising the sooe 
"incidental to the play;" in the painting-room, Mr. Smearweu 
is giving the last touches to the scene "painted expressly for the 
occasion;" in the saloon. Miss Sally Jumps— or, as she is de- 
scribed in the play-bUl, Mademoiselle Sara des Entrechats — ^is 
endeavouring to place her right foot on her left shoulder, and 
performing others of the ordinary exercises preparatory to the ex- 
ecution of a grand jD^ seul ; whilst, in a small shed connected with 
the stage, are the machinist and the property-man, sewing up a 
donkey in a cow's hide, to Represent the "identical favourite 
cow" of the massacred milkmaid. But let us proceed to the 
manager's room. 

At a table covered with play-Vioota, m«Hxxs.c«!^\&, «i^ VXHrsr, 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 159 

in an easy chair is seated Mr. Stmt, the ''enterprising and 
spirited" manager. With evident satisfaction be is contem- 
plating the bill of the night's performances. At each magnilo- 
aoent phrase he rubs liis hands ; his eyes sparkle with delight as 
tiey are attracted b^ the lines which stand prominent, in the full 
dignity of large capitals ; and, as he connts the notes of admi- 
ration, which oristle on the paper like pins in the ornamental 
cushion of a lady's toilet-table, his imagination riots in the 
promise of nightly overflows throughout the season. 

" This will do ! " exclaimed Strut, as he finished the readinjg 
of that extraordinary announcement. " This must do. If this 
don't bring them it is all over with the legitimate drama." 

Mr. Strut rang the bell for Stumps, the messenger of the 
theatoe. 

Sirui. — ^Is Mr. Dumps, the treasurer, in the theatre ? 

Simmps, — ^Tes, sir ; he is up in the treasury, very busy sorting 
tbe cheobs for to-night. 

S^t — ^Tell him I wish to see him when he is at leisure. And, 
Stamps ! is Mr. Tippleton arrived yet ? 

Stumps, — ^I have not seen him, sir. But I believe that in that 
hen> of letters you will find one from him. 

Strut. — ^Letters ! Ha ! I have not had time to open them. 
One — ^five — ^ten — fifteen — twenty — twenty -three ! Twenty -three 
letters to read and reply to ! If I were not apprehensive that 
mj correspondents would suspect that I could not write a com- 
mon letter with common propriety, I would follow the example 
of Scrubs, the manager of the Theatre Koyal, Fudgeborou^h, 
and mount a private secretary. Let me see ! Ha ! this is it ! 
Confound the long-winded, prosing fellow ! Three closely- 
written pages, containing a detailed account of how he chanced 
to miss yesterday's coach, by which accident he was prevented 
being at Little Pedlington last night ; and one line (in a post- 
scrij^t) informing me of all I care to know — " Shall be with you 
in time for rehearsal to-morrow!" — ^Now, as soon as Mr. Tip- 
pleton comes, let him be sent to me^ And, tStumps ! you have 
a list of the persons I have appointed to see me here ? 

Stumps, — ^les, sir. 

Strut, — Then, mind me ! I am not to be seen by any one else 
upon any pretence whatever. 

Stumps, having received his instructions, quits' the room. 

*' And now to read mj letters ! " exclaims t^e m^aa^'bx. ** ^^ 
the daj of my opening, thej are doubtless a\\ \x^o\i ^xiNiY-^Vi's* ^'^. 
importance and interest to me." 



160 MTTLB PEDLINGTON 

He opens the first of the heap, and reads :— 

" Little Fedlington, 

" Monday morning. 
"Dear Sib, 

" As a lover of the drama, and a well-wisher of yoon, 
permit me, though almost a stranger to you, to express my 
delight at your having resumed the management of our thefttre. 
The drama must be supported ; and the magnificent bill you \m% 
just issued, confirms, what never has been doubted, that, xmder 
your liberal and spirited mana^ment, it will deserve sup* 
port. Pardon the liberty I take in thus wishing you saooeM!, 
and assuring you that no one is more anxious to promoto it 
than 

" Yours, faithfully, 

" James Tupew." 

" Upon my word," says Strut, " this is gratifying l After 
this, WDO shall say there is no patronage for the theatre in little 
Pedlingtou P But stop ! here is something more:"— 

" Please turn over. — ^Postscript. Could you oblige me with 
an order for two for your opening night P" 

'' Ha ! one of the true patrons of the drama. Under soeh 
auspices I must succeed. Well ! to the rest." 






" Vale of Health, L. P. 

Monday morning. 

Miss Cripps presents compliments to Mr. Strut — ^wonld be 
obliged by an order for two for to-night. Miss G. wishes two 
places to be kept for her on the front row of one of the stage- 
boxes — whichever may be most convenient to Mr. S.-*-^hofl§^ 
the left-hand side is her favourite side of the house. 

" Should Mr. S. happen not to be in the theatre when thk 
note arrives, he will have the kindness to send the orders to the 
V. of H. by his messenger, as Miss C. cannot conveniently send 
for them, her maid being engaged washing." 



''Weill cool, it must be acknowVtd^e^X^' cns^^Vs^Q.^, **^J 
aimounce-bUls arc scarcely dry, 1\l^ \?jat ^^a^^ ^\«X» \a miBtnS:^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 161 

swept frpm the stage, ere I am thus beset by my friends and 
patrons! Come! to the next. — Business, at last! — From 
BeUowmore, the great tragedian who leads the business at 
Dunstable. Thjs is worth attending to/' 



•'Sib, 

" It is not my intention to play anywhere this summer" 
— j[I5l«» why the plague does he write to me F'] — " my health, 
owmg to my great exertions for some time past, rendering it 
imperatiye upon me that I should remain qaiet for a few weeks. 
No doubt yon have learnt from the newspapers that I have 
drawn immens^ wherever I have acted," — lOA /] — " and my 
hot night at Dunstable produced the greatest receipt ever 
known!" — [^h!^ — "Butl must consider my health; and, so 
xesolTed to ao, I have refused engagements of the most advan- 
TAOEOTTS KIND, which have been pressed upon me from all 
parts of the country." — [Ah ! ha !'\ — " My apothecary prescribes 
• few weeks of the air of Little Pedlington:" — \I see^ — " and, 
should my health improve by it, perhaps I might have no 
objection to go the round of my pnncipal characters. I have, 
over and over again, refused eight-tenths of the clear receipts^ and 
a free benefit, for a twelve nights' engagement, in theatres 
holding more than yours. If you could make it worth my 
while, by advancing upon these terms, and my health should so 
much improve as to enable me to encounter the fatigue of twelve 
performances^ perhaps I should have no objection to treat 
with you. 

"Yours, 

"Augustus Teed. Bellowmobe." 

" Favour me with your immediate reply, as I am not quite 
decided whether to rusticate at L.P. or at Fudgeborough, where 
(as I understand) Mr. Scrubs is straining every nerve to secure 
attraction." 



tt 



Tragic and dignified," observes Strut. " Worth considera- 
tion, though. Let me see. Eight-tenths P That will leave two- 
tenths to be divided amongst the rest of the company, the 
orchestra, painters, tailors, carpenters, servants, &c. — and 
njBelf.— I must consait Di^mps upon ike m^\iV^x. ^<3^, v^ 
the next" 



162 littlb fedlington 

"My Dear Strut, 

*' Perhaps you may remember meeting me one eren- 
ing, many months ago, atone of poor Rnmmins's eottvenazkmei, 
where I enjoyed half-an-hour's very delightful chat with yon. 
You may recall the circumstance to mind — though my name 
may have escaped your recollection, as we never met .oat that 
once — by my Imving had the good fortune to a^ree entirely with 
you in everything you said upon every Bub)eot» and uj my 
requesting you (at the end of our confab.) to take me bdniid 
your scenes, and to ^ve me an order for the lollowinff nig[^hf8 p»- 
formance — both which requests you most politely, obligix^Iy,nd 
good-naturedly granted. I like your bill amaadnffly — ^it must 
carry all Little Pedlington before it. I should uke nmoh to 
bring Mrs. A. and my young folks to witness your firrt night's 
triumph, — which will be a glorious one, and well do yon deserve 
it, my dear fellow, — but, as they are just cleared of the siok-liflt, 
you can, perhaps, spare me a private box for them. However, 
should this be at all inconvenient to you, use no ceremony about 
saying so ; in which case, orders for six must-oontent ns, and we 
must do the best we can for ourselves, in the pukUc boxes. On 
occasions like this, one is bound to make some sacrifice of one's 
own convenience for the advantage of the house. 

** Wishing you every success, believe me, my dear feUow, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

" Ain)REW ASKENOTJGH.** 

" P.S. Do drop in some evening and take a friendly dish of tea 

with us." 

" Confound his impudence ! " exclaimed Strut, as he threw 
down the letter. " This from a mau who, according to his own 
confession, never spoke to me but once in his lue, and who 
doubts whether I shall even recollect his name ! Well : there 
are many more like him in Little Pedlington. Now, to pro- 
ceed ;" and he continued to open and read his letters. 



"Captain Sniggerston's best compliments ♦ ♦ ♦ * orders 
for two." 



"Mrs. Sfcintem presents her kixwix^gjaida, and * » ♦ * orden 
for four," 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 163 

*'Dr. Drench presents his very best respects * * * con- 
gratulates him * * * spirit and enterprise * * * success * * ♦ 
every true lover of the drama * * * oblige him with orders for 
three, or so." 



** Mr. Snargate, Sen., will esteem it a favour if Mr. Strut will 
acnd him orders for himself and lady. He would not trouble 
him, but that, fond as he is of a play, he is free to confess, that 
these are not times for peojjle to spend money for theatrical 
amusements. He sincerely wishes Mr. Strut every success." 



'*A11 singing to the same tune, by the Lord Harry! So, 
because th^ are not times for people to pay for their amuse- 
ments, I am expected to open a the&tre gratis / One-half of 
latile PedMngton — ^the patrons of the drama — are of this 
opinion; the other half — the would-be fashionables, the little 
Gnreat, who imagine that when they have voted the theatre 
tul^w, they have established their own claim to be considered 
genteel — never go to a play at all. Thus, between the two 
parties, my chances of success are in a hopeful way ! Well; on 
with mj correspondents." 



"Sib, . 

" Bein^ out off an engagment shud be glad to engag 
in yor kumpmr if yo can find Exmie to engag me. i hav led the 
Bisnies inn Mr. Scrubs kumpny att Eudeebery for 2 ears besids 
staring att other plasis inn my Princeple Pats. Left Mr. S. 
knmpny becas Mr. S. find me 2 shilans & deduckt out off my 
sallyry last sataday becas i refus to leaf the stag wen i was 
rehorsing Richard the 3rd upon Mrs. S. haven the impotence toe 
order me toe goe toe the £uchers toe fetch the muton chopps 
for thare dinner & i apel toe yo Sir if i warnt write to uphold 
my diggmty & refus toe goe toe fetch the chopps haven to plav 
Kichard that very nit. Sir i dont pretend to kompar mysulf 
with Mr. Tipiltin and Mr. Snoxil but I send you a peas cut off 
the Pudgebory Gazete toe shoe what they sed off me att my 
bendyfit when i plaid Archer inn the Bostrantygem after which 
lipt tnrew a Noop 15 feet i. Also sung 2 komac songs with grat 
Inlaws — after which Othelio in 2 ax — the hole to caaklwd'^^L 
htelpikel inn the Spile chile. Sir i indoa «b "^^t ^1 ^^ \«^^ 

H 2 



164f LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

wat i am quit component to play & am quit up inn them & end 
get out on my bed any nit and play them at a mommins notas. 
& opin for your reply i am Sir yor most humbil servent toe 
comarnd 

" Chas. Setmoue St. EGBJSMOisra " 

"P.S. — ^i can also manige the gash lites, dans the tit n^, 
& mak fire works." 



" So, so, Mr. St. Egremont ! A gentleman who can play 
everything, from Archer m the 'Beaux Stratagem,' and !Richaia 
the Third, down to Little Pickle in the * Spoilt Child ' — ^sing 
comic songs, and leap through a hoop fifteen feet high, into the 
bargain — is worth attending to. £ut as to the praises of ^e 
' Pudgeborough Gazette,' on the occasion pf your own benefit, I 
have been manager of a playhouse long enough to know how to 
value that." 

Here was a loud tap at the door. 

" Come in !" cried the manager; and Mr. Snoxell, the leading 
tragedian, with a painted wooden hatchet in his hand^ entered 
the room. 

" Mr. Strut," said the tragedian, in an angry tone, " I have a 
complaint to make — two complaints — in short, sir, I have 
many complaints to make. In the first place, sir, look at this 
hatchet." 

Strut — ^Well, sir, what 's the matter with it ? 

Snoxell. — Matter, sir ! Do you expect that I should go on 
at night with such a thing as this for a hatchet P 

Strut. — Why, really, Snoxell, it seems to me that the property 
is remarkablywell made. 

Snoxell. — ^Well made ! well made ! See this, sir {pointing to a 
plav'bill) — ^you have made a line of it in your bills. The public 
will expect something. One little dab of red ochre, one paltry, 
small tuft of horse-hair glued to it ! Why, sir, the blood and the 
hair won't be seen by the third row in the pit. 

Strut. — Rely on it, my dear Snoxell, it will tell exceedingly well 
at night. 

Snoxell. — Very well, sir — ^I have only this to say : I have a 
reputation at staKC in Little Pedlington, and I toill — not — go on 
at night with such a thing as this for a hatchet. 

S^ru^. — Sit down for a minute, SuoxeAl *, ^^"11 s^e^ shout it. 
Mr. Strut rang the bell, and desvteA. ^\.uxt^^^ ^Ck ^^\A^q5q«»^sSs, 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 1G5 

the property-mau, to him. Squeaks, a little man, with a voice 
like that of Punch in a showbox, speedily appeared. 

Strut. — Come here, you scoundrel ! Is this a property fit to 
be given to such a person as Mr. Snoxell ? 

Squeaks. — ^Why, sir, I made it agreeable to the order I got 
from Mr. Siffle, sir, the prompter, sir. 

Strut. — ^And what was his order, you rascal ? 

Squeaks. — ^Why, sir, he ordered me to make the identrical 
blood-stained 'atchet, sir, with a lock of the victim's 'air sticking 
to it, sir, with which the murder was committed, sir : and there's 
the blood, sir, and there's the 'air, sir, and that's all I can say 
about it, sir. 

Strut. — Gret along, you little villain, and put more red paint, 
and another tuft or two of horse-hair to it. 
^ Squeaks. — ^Very well, sir, if you please, sir ; but I can only say, 
sir, that 'ere property, sir, will come to near ninepence, as it is, 
sir, and Mr. Dumps, the treasurer, sir, will grumble at that, sir, 
and if it comes to any more, sir, Mr. Dumps '11 stop it out of my 
salary o' Saturday, sir, and that '11 be very 'ard upon me, sir. 

Strut. — Get out, you scoundrel, and do as you are ordered ! 

Squeaks, with his blood-stained hatchet, withdrew. 

Strut. — ^There, Snoxell, I hope you are satisfied. 

Snoxell. — Yes — ^perhaps. 

Strut. — ^Now, what more have you to say ? 

Snoxell. — ^Why, I have next to say, I will not act Grumps in 
the new piece. 

"Not act Grumps!" exclaimed Strut, with astonishment. 
** Bless my soul, Mr. Snoxell ! — how can you possibly object to 
thepart ? It is a very fine part, and so you saia at the reading." 

Snoxell. — And so I thought ; but it does not come out in the 
acting, and I won't play it. 

Strut. — Won't ! Won't, indeed ! Either, / am manager in my 
own theatre, Mr. — aw — Snoxell, or — aw — ^you are ! (and as he 
uttered these words, Mr. Strut put his hands into his breeches 

Sockets, glided gently down his chaii, his head falling back, and 
is feet s&ding under the table). 
Snoxell.^^ir, I will not play the part. 
Strut. — ^You won't ! Does it occur to your recollection, Mr.— 
aw — Snoxell, that there is such a word as "forfeit" in your 
articles — and that if you refuse a part, sir, I can forfeit you ten 
shillings? 

jSktw^//.-^For£eiih--forCeit I Do you say ioi'5e\\.,sa^ '^aA^\\.TaR\ 
8aaxellf^''tbe beart-rendmg Snoxell," as 1 am ^cmx^i ^^i^- 



166 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

nated. That word again, Mr. wbat's-your-name^ and Fli ffecrav 
up my engagement. 

It must here be observed that, but for the letter just reoomd 
from Bellowmore, the manager would no more have yenturedy it 
such a juncture as the present, to assume the tone he did tovvds 
his leading tragedian, than have attempted to swallow him alife. 
He used the circumstance adroitly, and the conrersatioii thu 
proceeded. 

Strut. — Throw it up, if you please, sir. 

Snoxell. — ^Throw it up ! Mr. Strut— 70U— surely you are not 
in earnest. Who could you find to lead the serious business f 

Strut. — ^Bellowmore. 

Snoxell. — ^Bellowmore ! What ! Is he in little PedlingtcmP 

Strut. — No : but here is a letter I have just receired fxxm 
him. 

Snoxell. — ^What can he want P 

Strut. — An engagement. I can have him at an hour's notion 
and upon my own terms. 

Snoxell. — Ha ! ha ! ha ! Bellowmore ! I have a great resoeet 
for him — think highly of his talents — but he can no more isad 
the tragic business m such a place as Little Pedlington than 

. I should be the last man in the world, my dear Struts 

to throw any impediment in the way of your openings as my re- 
tirement from the theatre just at this time would do ; therefore 
— — Come — confess that — come now, confess that my letiremoot 
would— 

Strut. — y^ — aw — certainly — ^aw — ^I — aw — 

Snoxell. — ^That's sufficient—! am satisfied — FU play the part 
But upon one condition. 

Strut.— WhtiVs that ? 

Snoxell. — Why, there's that speech, a very fine speech, m tl» 
part of Growler, which Waddle is to play : the speecn, you Ipiow, 
when he discovers me, with the hatchet in my hand, lifting the 
latch of the cow-house door — ^you know the speech I mean — 
beginning—- 

'' Bumble thou hurrioaDous wind, and shake 
The trembling stars from out their ftrm-s^ hemispheraiy 
Till all in one black ruin clouded is." 

Now, I'll tell you in confidence : Waddle can do nothing irith 
that speech. It is too much fox him*, it is riding fifteen stone 
OB a pony. He'll not get a hand \.o \\r— \&\, \Qa «^"«b5sL^Js»»«lS^.\.^ 
bring down three roaii&. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 167 

Strut'^Yerj well, Snoxell. Speak to Dowlas, the author of 
the piece, about it, and settle it as you please. 

Snojpell. — ^Bellowmore, indeed! My dear Strut, with that 
speech in the part, I'll make such a thing of Grumps as shall 
astonish even Little Pedlin^ton. 

Not only soothed but satisfied, Snoxell quitted the room. 

The manager left to himself, prepared to answer his corre- 
spondents. Scarcely had he taken pen in hand, when he was 
startled by a violent thump at the door. 

*' Gome in," cried the manager ; and Mr. Waddle rushed into 
tlie-room. For some minutes Waddle was unable to speak. 
With hurried and unequal step he paced the apartment; he 
rubbed his face with his handkerchief, drew his fingers through 
his hair, and occasionally gave a twitch under the cuff of his 
coat-sleeve, as if a little snow-white Holland had been there to 
appear at the summons. 

iS^rui. — ^Now, Waddle ; what is it you want ? You see I am 
vwy busy. 

Waddle. — ^Want, sir ? Want, indeed ! Why, sir, what I 
want is this : do you expect me to play Growler to Mr. Snoxell's 
Gmmps ? That's what I want, sir. 

Strut. — Certainly I do, sir. 

Waddle, — ^What, sir! and cut me out of the speech about 
•' hurricanous wind ! " Why, sir, it is the only bit of fat I have 
in my part : twenty lengths,* and all the rest as flat as a pan- 
cake— no pOBsibili^ of getting a hand. I have a great respect 
for Mr. Snoxell — very great — and think highly of his talents ; 
not but that I do think there is somebody else in the theatre 
who could play Grumps — ^fine as the part is — as well as he. But 
to add my only telling speech to such a part as his — where every 
line would be a hit, if he knew what to do with it— why, it is 
absolutely putting butter to bacon.f However, sir, as I have a 
reputation at stake in Little Pedlington, I have thrown the part 
down on the prompter's table. 

Strut.-^Yerj well, sir ; then when you go into the treasury 
next Saturday, you will find yourself minus ten shillings. 

Waddle. — Why, sir, it is not only my own opinion that I am 
not well treated in the matter ; but everybody at rehearsal, from 
Mrs. Biggleswade, down to little Laura Dobs, who goes on in 
the choruses, thinks so, too. The speech had better have been 

* A length is about forty lines. 

•^A stage-phrase, more remarkable, perliapa, tot Vfaa ei?giteiS!k€v^^\!«fia 
than its elegance. 



168 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

given to !Miss Julia Wriggles at once, and that would lunre 
made the thiug perfect. 

Strut. — I desire, sir, you will make no impertinent allusion to 
that young lady. 

Waddle. — I don't intend it, sir. But eyen Mrs. Biggleswide 
says, that the whole bill is sacrificed to her, and that ererj one 
in the company is made to hold up her train. 

Strut. — Do you mean to play the part, or not, sir? 

Waddle. — Why, sir, as my salary is but twenty shilliiigt a 
week — although Snoxell has twenty-five — I can't afford to jty 
forfeit. But I'll tell you what, sir ; as I know tliat withdrawing 
my name from the piece would be 'fatal to it, I'll play the part 
without the " hurricanous wind," on condition that you put aa 
up to sing the " Little Earthing Rushlight" in the course of the 
evening. 

Strut. — Very well, very well ; sing a hundred-weight of rush- 
lights, if you choose. 

Waddle. — But I must be announced in as large letters as Mr. 
Tippleton. 

Strut. — ^You shall, you shall. 

Waddle. — ^And I must not come after Miss Wriggles's song 

Strut. — Yery well. 

Waddle. — ^ox before her broadsword hornpipe. 

Strut. — ^Very weU, very well. 

Waddle. — Nor between her 

Strut. — ^You shan't, you shan't. Now, d — nation!^ do but 
leave me to my business, and you may come on and sing jour 
song at three o'clock in the morning, and have the house aU to 
yourself. 

Waddle. — I'm satisfied. There is not much left in Ghrowkry 
to be sure ; but I see where I can hit them ; and if I donft stick 
it into SnoxcU in a way to astonish all Little Pedlington, you 
may send me on to carry messages — ^that's all. 

The door had hardl}[ closed on Waddle when there was a 
gentle knock, which being duly responded to by the permissm 
" come in," Mrs. Biggleswade — ^both the Siddons and uie Jordan 
of the company — entered the room, and took a seat at the taUe 
opposite to Strut. 

Mrs. B. — My dear soul, I see you are busy. I have but one 

word to say. 1 have been up into the wardrobe, and there is not 

a dress I can wear for Dame Squigs, in the " Hatchet of Horrw." 

I mvisi positively have a new one made for me ; and so Mrs. 

Tinsel, the wardrobe-keeper, aajs. 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 169 

Strut. — ^My dear Mrs. Biggleswade, I cannot afford anything 
new, in the way of dresses, for this piece — not a quarter of a 
jBrd of sixpenny ribbon. I am at a ruinous outlay in the get- 
ting-up, as it is : if I get clear for seven pounds I shall think 
myself fortunate. 

Mrs. B. — ^Then, my dear creature, what is to be done ? There 
is nothing in the wardrobe that comes within a hundred miles of 
the thing : besides, you advertise dresses, and so forth, entirely 
new. 

Strut, — ^Ay, that is a matter of course ; we do that upon all 
occasions. 

Mrs. B. — ^But the public, whom you so much respect, as you 
tcU them in your play-bills, will expect that 

Strut, — The nuolic be d— d : leave me to humbug the public. 

Mrs, B, — ^Well, then, I suppose I must go on for Dame Squigs 
in my Lady Macbeth dress ; for Mrs. Tinsel declares ske can do 
nothing to help me. Now, my dear soul, what am I to do ? 

Strut. — Why, my dear madam, according to your articles, you 
are bound to find your own dresses ; and 

Mrs. B. — Whv, yes, but — ^this is a sort of character-dress, you 
knofw, and — ^Indeed the only thing Mrs. Tinsel thinks can be 
done is to put the skirt I wore in the " Blue Posts" to the body 
I wore in the " Cruel Murderer," with the trimmings from my 
" Perocious Earmer" dress. It may look very well at night ; 
and if you think that will do, why 

JS^rut. — O, it will do very well. 

Mrs. B. — ^Then we'll manage it so. But, my dear soul, you 
will allow me to have a new 

Strut. — ^Not a pin that is not found sticking in my wardrobe ; 
sa let us say no more about it. — ^How is your rehearsal going ? 

Mrs. B. — ^Very well ; very well, indeed. 

Strut. — ^And — ^pray— and — how is Miss Wriggles getting on P 
^ Mrs. B, — ^That little girl will do Martha charminffly — con- 
sidering. But don't you think my niece, little Phobs, would 
luiTe been better in the part P 
. Strut. — ^Miss Phobs ! Miss Phobs ! 1 Agirl at four shillings 
a week, who goes on in the choruses ! W hy, bless my som ! 
what can you be thinking about ! In my opinion, Miss Wriggles 
is the very thing for it, in all respects. 

Mrs. B. — ^Yes ; she is tall, well-made, handsome ; and, between 
ourselves, my dear soul, beauty is all that the public look for 
now-a-days. 

x$H^/. — You don't pretend to say, madam, l\i«A. ^"&\\a&Tka\.'^«3^?« 



170 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mrs, B, — ^Bless your soul ! no : she is full of talent — but raw, 
very raw. Though that is nothing : for we know very well that 
after three or four years' hard practice she may turn out to be a 
very good actress. Now— don't be angry : you know I always 
speak candidly, though I never say an ul-natured thing of any- 
body ; and considering it is to be the dear child's^r^^ appeartmee 
on any stage — Ahem ! — ^Wigs was saying just now, he has ^fM 
notion of having acted with ner for the last three years in Scrubs's 
company over at Fudgeborouffh. 

Strut. — Wigs said so, did he ? Very well. 

[Strut writes a memorandum upon a slip of paper.] 

Mrs, B. — ^But there is one thing you must do for her — come 
now, you must : she will require a pretty dress for the part, and 
you must let her have the best that can be found in tne ward- 
robe. 

Strut. — 0, there are some new dresses being made for her. 

Mrs. B. — So, I have you. Miss Julia Wriggles can haVe what 

she pleases, whilst poor Biggleswade ! O, you naugh^ man! 

!3ut I hope poor dear Mrs. Strut has no notion— 

Strut. — I must request, madam — desire, madam — ^no insiima- 

tions, madam ^that young lady, madam, is a — a — niece of 

mine, and — and 

Mrs. B. — Of course, of course ; and it is natural that one 
should do the best for one's own family. — Ahem ! — ^But I never 
heard that you had a brother— or a sister ; and I know poor 
dear Mrs. S. has not ; so how can she be your niece ? Ha ! 
ha ! ha ! Now, don't be angry. Your cousin, your cousin, it is 
all one. Ha ! ha ! ha ! Well, I mustn't keep the stage waiting. 
By the bye, whilst you have the pen in your hand, just write me 
an order for two for to-night. 

Strut. — ^Very sorry to refuse you — ^not a single order will be 
admitted. 

Mrs. B. — ^Very well, very well. Ha! ha! ha! O, you 




Mrs. Biggleswade obeyed the call-boy's summons of *' Every- 
body for the last scene," and quitted the room. 

Again Mr. Strut resumed his pen ; but he had proceeded no 

further in his answer to the first of his letters than — '* Sir, iu 

rep — " when (without the usual formality of tap-tap) the door 

was thrown open, and Miss 3\j\\a "Wn^v^"^^— \aV^ \a.Wted^ the 

accomplished, the refined, tbe e\eg^TLV---^o\xxi^^^\xiiQ >iXsa^ts«i\Sk. 



AND THE MJDIINGTONIANS. 171 

Strvi.-^WtWj my love, what do you want ? 

Miss W. — ^My love, indeed ! What a fool you are ! My love / 
Bo you want to be heard all over the theatre, you stupid 
foolP 

Strut — ^Well, dear, I only spoke. 

Miss W, — Spoke, indeed ! Hold your tongue, do. An't I to 
play Colonel Dash in " She Shall be an Actress ?'* and an*t I to 
go on in male attire ? Hold your tongue. Then why an't it 
printed in the bills — Colonel Dash, in mwe attire, by Miss Julia 
Wriggles P Hold your tongue. Every one of them 'ere bills as 
is gone out, must be called in, and fresh uns, with my name in 
male attire, must be printed. 

Strut, — Preposterous, my love ! Are you aware that to hill 
such a town as Little Pedlmgton costs nearly eight shillings P 

Miss W. — ^Hold your tongue : I'll have it done — at least, it 
must be done in the bills of to-morrow, and that's letting you off 
easT. Hold your tongue. Do it, or I shall just walk myself 
back to Pudgeborough, and then where are you? And then, 
agaiji« I find the people here complain of your late hours — ^that 
tney can't get to bea before eleven o'clock, and I'm not going to 
stand plaving 'em out at that 'ere time o' night. The "Actress" 
must be aone as a middle piece. 

/S'/nrf.— But, my dear darling creature, it can't be. Mr. Tip- 
pleton — ^the " facetious Tippleton," as he is called here — ^always 
stipulates for the middle of the evening. 

miss W. — Hold your tongue, you stupid fool ! I don*t care 
for Tippleton, or you either. If you don't do it I walks 
mjsdf off to Fudgeborough, that's all. And the dress they've 
made me for Martha Squigs won't do, not by no manner o' 
means. They must make me another. Hold your tongue. And 
if they dare even to show me that dress again, I'll tear it into a 
thousand million of atoms. Hold your tongue, and immediately 

fVe orders to Tinsel to obey my orders, and make me whatever 
think proper to order ; or this very day I walks myself off to 
Pudgeborough. And that reminds me — give me some orders. 

Strut. — ^Really, Julia, I — I can't. Orders won't go ; and I 
have just refused Mrs. Biggleswade. 

Miss W, — ^I don't care for that. Mrs. Biggleswade may stand 
being refused ; I don't, you know ; so don't try to come none of 
your nonsense over me. Hold your tongue. Give me a dozen 
double box-orders; if I want more I'll send for them. Hold 
jroar tongue. Fm called. Now remember ^la^it Ww^ V\^ ^^^ 
to do; and if it an't done in less than no tm«» \iX. ^>"V \^^ 



172 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

walks myself back to Fudgeborough ; and tbat will make you 
look tolerable blue, we flatters ourselves. 

Miss Julia Wriggles bounced out of the room. At the same 
moment, the manager was cut short in the middle of a deep 
sigh by the entrance of Stumps. 

Stumps. — The gentleman who sent the new tragedy the other 
day, sir, wishes to see you. He will be glad of your answer 
about it. 

Stmt. — ^Busy, — can't see him, — ^no answer, at present, — nnut 
come some other time. 

Stumps. — Yes, sir. And Mr. Bray, sir, the man that belangs to 
the donkey, is here. 

Strut. — ^The donkey-man ! Why didn't you show him in in- 
stantly ? Admit him. O, here he is. Bray, my dear fellow, 
how d'ye do? Devilish glad to see you. Take a seat. Well; 
how did your donkey get on at rehearsal : d'ye think he'll do ? 

Bray. — ^Do ! Why, Master Tim, I wish some of the humane 
donkeys in your company would act their parts as well as my 
donkey will act his'n. Sew'd up in the hide, too, he looks a 
'nation sight more like a cow than many of t'others will look 
what they've ^ot to represent. To be sure, he set off a-braying 
in high style m the principal scene ; but that's natural enough, 
vou know : even a donkey, when he gets upon the stage, likes to 
iiave a bit of gag of his own.* Hows'ever, that won't do at 
night, so I'll muzzle him, 'cause it am't in the natur' of a cow 
to bray, you know ; and in this theatre natur* goes afore all 
Why, don't you know, Tim, that for a cow to bray would be 
like his talking a foreign lingo, just the same as if me and yon 
was to talk French — and the Tedlingtonians are deep enough to 
know that a real cow, as you've advertised him, would never 
think of doing that. 

Strut. — ^That's true. Now, as to terms, I believe we under- 
stand each other. Two shillings a-week for the use of him. ^ 

Bray. — That's to say, I let him out to play for three nights 
a-week, at two shillings. 

Strut. — ^Three nights ! Nonsense ! There was no such limita- 
tion understood. 

Bray. — Don't care. Mine's the principal donkey in the piece, 
'cause he's the only one ; and he snan't injure his constitution 
by playing more than three nights a week unless he's paid extra 

« 

* Gay, in theatrical parlance, meaiva t\iQ e^\.©TO.TeQiwa^wQa csa^o^^o^- 
menta uttered by an actor beyond wYiat \a ** set ^oirtx" iat\am\.. 



AND THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 173 

for it, just the same as the principal actors of your own. Gome 
— Ibuipence for each night additional, or I goes directly and 
iq>s him out of the hide and takes him home ; and if I takes 
•war my donkey, what'll you do for a cow ? 

otruL — ^Well ; if I must, I must. Agreed. 

£ray. — ^Now, then ; what am I to be paid P 

Sirui.—You ! For what ? 

Bray, — ^Why, MasterTim, you've engaged my donkey, but you 
haven't engaged me to drive him. Ha ! ha ! ha ! and he'll be of 
no use if you don't. My donkey's as obstinate as a mule, and 
nobody but me can't manage him ; and I can't think of taking a 
less salarv than his'n. Ha ! ha ! ha ! You see I have ^rou 
there. !No use to talk ; he won't move a peg if I an't with him. 

Strut, — ^Then I must say, this is the most unblushing piece 
of * 

Bray, — Stuff and nonsense, Tim ; it's all fair in a theatre, you 
know. How does my donkey know that before the week's over 
yon won't put him upon half-salary ? So it's all fair, I tell you. 
Besides, you can't do without that hanimal in the piece no more 
than any of the others ; so pay me you must. 

The manager having no refuge but in compliance with this 
unexpected demand, it is agreed to, and Mr. Bray takes 
his leave. He is presently succeeded by Mr. Dumps, the 
Treasurer. 

Strut, — I am glad you are come. Dumps. I am expecting 
Tqipleton, and I should wish you to be present when he comes. 
But, how do you like the bill ? 

Bumps, — ^Hm! Don't know. Wants cutting. Where's the 
use of saying at the bottom of the bill, that on this occasion 
Tippleton wiB perform, and Snoxell will perform, and so forth, 
when you have already said so in the middle ? 

Strut, — The use of it, my dear fellow! Why, look at its 
length ! A reader might forget all that, but for such a reminder 
at uie end of it. 

Bumps. — Then, why advertise " The Hatchet of Horror" as a 
new piece, when you know very well it was run off its legs, two 
years ago, over at Eudgeborough. I don't think that's quite 
the thing at the Theatre Royal, Little Pedliugton. 

Strut. — Hush ! nobody here will be the wiser for it, unless we 
tell 'em. But, I say. Master Tommy ; I have been looking over 
the salary-list : it is awful ! 

*Not without a precedent. 



174 LITTLE FEDLINfiTON 

Dumps. — Hm, bm ! — That wants catting, at any rate. 

Strut. — Then cut Wigs. He's a bad actor— of no U8e--ind— 
and a troublesome fellow in the company. Pay him a week's 
salary and discbarge him. Have you seen the box-book? Hov 
does it look ? 

Dumps. — ^Hm ! Why — that dofCt want cutting. Only thiiteen 
. places taken. 

/S^r«^.-^Thirteen already ! Why, my dear fellow, tkit's 
glorious. 

Dumps. — ^Hm ! The old set of orderlies : the Crippe'it thi 
Stintems, the Snargates. They have all just now wnkten to 
me for orders. 

Strut. — ^To you, also ? Why, confound their impudenee ! They 
have applied to me, too ! Secure the best places in mj boxes, 

and These be your only patrons of the drama. But, see: 

here's a letter from Bellowmore. What think you of it P 

Dumps. — " Eight-tenths of the clear receipts ! " Hm ! Cool 
Better ask for eleven-tenths. Do no good. Never drew his 
salary. 

Strut. — And what's your opinion of ^? [Tap-taj^'] Gome 

in.— -My dear Hobbleday, I am exceedingly busy, and cwi't 
speak to you now. Is it anything very particular joa have 
to say ? 

Hobbleday. — No, my dear Strut; nothing. See yoQ are fausj. 
No ceremony with me. How-do, Dumps P Merehr called to 
wish you success. Saw your bill. Splendid ! All little Ped- 
lington raving about it. Julia Wriggles. Charming girl, I under- 
stand, eh ? No doubt of your success. Poob, pooh ! can't be. 
All the town will come — now, mind, I tell you so. May be lore 
of one person, and that's little Jack Hobbleday. Good pair of 
bands, eh ? Well, I see you are busy. Good by6. Wish you 
success. Sure of a bumper. Good bye. Make your fortune, take 
my word for it. — Oh ! I say. Strut : could you just scribldi me 
such a thing as an order for two for to-night P 

Strut. — I'm sorry to refuse you, my dear fellow ; but not au 
order of any kind or description whatever, will be admitted o& 
any account or pretence whatever. However, I'll put your name 
on the free-list for the season. 

Hobbleday. — ^No ! Will you ? WeD, now — ^really — ^vastly kind 
— greatly obliged — most flattering compliment, I declare. 
Haven't words to express how much I am obliged. 

S^ruL — ^It is but fair, tbougW, lo «L\>\stvz.e you, that on this 
particular occasion, and on evcrj m^\\. o^ ^iWm^jM^^tos^^^ssssi* 



AND THIS FEDUNGTONIAKS. 175 

the 8ea8(Hi, the free-list will be altogether, entirely, and totally 
■Qspended, in toto. 

HMledatf, — ^No matter. That don't si^ify. A most flatter- 
ing compliment, nevertheless. Greatly obhgea — highly flattered* 
Good bye. Strut. Good bye, Damps I 

The manager and his right trusty chancellor of the exchequer 
had scarcely recovered from this interruption, when again they 
were disturoed by a tap at the door, and Mr. Tippleton (who 
had but just descended from the top of the coach) made his 
appearance. 

Tippleton, — ^How are you. Stmt ? How do. Dumps ? I've a 
complaint. 

Strut. — ^What ! You have scarcely set foot in the theatre, and 
already you complain ? 

Dumps. — ^Hm 1 What the deuce can you find to complain 
about P Haven't you the highest salary in the theatre ? 

Tippleton. — ^Yes ; and that's my complaint. Look to my ar- 
ticles. Tippleton is to be paid the highest salary of anybody — 
twenty-five shillings a week. Now, I have discovered that you 
pay Snoxell twenty-five shillings a week, so that mine is no longer 
the Ugiest salary. 

Dumps. — ^Hm ! And how does that affect you ? Snoxell had 
twenty shillings; this season he is advanced to twenty-five. 
Would you have us reduce his salary for a point of form ? 

Tippieton, — ^No. I'll injure no man — ^no man shall injure me. 
I'll tell you how the affair may be amicably arranged: raise 
my salary to thirty. There. 

Dumps. — ^Hm ! And where's the money to come from ? As 
it is, we shan't draw up the curtain under nine-pound-eighteen ; 
and cram the house to the roof we can't get more than fifteen 
pounds into it. 

Tippleton. — ^Don't care. Look to mj articles. Money come 
from ! Who bring the money ? Tragedians ? — No. The come- 
dians bring the money. Who are the comedians ? Bobby Tip- 
pleton are the comedians, therefore Bobby Tippleton must be 
paid. Don't care. Can go over to Fudgeborougn — carte blanche 
—my own terms— do what I like. 

Strut. — ^Well; I suppose I must comply. You shall have 
thirty shillings. 

Tippleton. — I'm satisfied. — I've a complaint. 

/»r«^.— What now ? 

Tij)pleton. — I/ooic at this play-bill. Look, lo m^ ot\as3«,%. "^S::! 
mme to he printed in the largest-sized \eUeta. ^fifcV«»*.— 



176 LITTLE FEDLIKGTOK 

''All round my Hat ;" — Tippleton in italic capitals. Miss Julia 
Wriggles in large capitals. — Great respect for Miss Julia 
Wriggles— don't want ner to hold up my train — ^won't hold up 
her train. Thing must be altered. 

Strut. — ^'Tis a mistake of the printer's : it shall be set ri^ in 
to-morrow's bills. 

Tippleton. — I'm satisfied.— Fve a complaint. 

Strut. — ^Another ! 

Tyfpleton. — " Who are you .^" Tippleton and Gigs in one liM 
«*Miss Julia Wriggles in a line by herself. Great respect for 
Gigs, also ; but Tippleton must stand alone. OfiTered my own 
terms at Fudgeborough, remember. 

Strut. — Well ; that also shall be altered. 

Tippleton. — ^I'm satisfied. — ^I've a complaint. 

Strut. — ^And what — ^the — devil —more — can yon find to com- 
plain about P 

Tippleton. — You've sent me a part in a new piece to study. 

Strut. — ^And a very fine part it is. 

Tippleton. — ^Don't say the contrary ; but I stand to my ar- 
ticles. Willing to oblige ; in these times an actor ought to put 
his shoulder to the wheel; I put 7ny shoulder to the wheel: so 
if it be a good part, and the very best part in the piece, and I 
happen to like the part, and the part should please me in every 
possible respect, wny I have no objection to 

Dumps. — Hm, hm! But there's no such clause as thai in 
your articles, I'll swear ; though there is something about a fine 
for refusing a part. 

Tippleton. — bon't care for articles. Tines are all very proper 
—never could get through business in a theatre without them : 
— any performer, high or low, who refuses a part, fine him:— all 
right—only you mustn't fine Bobby Tippleton. Scrubs, over at 
Fudgeborough, has offered me 

Strut. — You are a pleasant fellow. Master Bobby ! Nov, 
suppose I sign a blank sheet of paper, and allow you to fill it 
up with terms, conditions, and stipulations, entirely aocordiDg 
with your own wishes — ^will that content you P 

Tippleton. — Can't say — ^must look to my articles. Well — ^Pm 

called to rehearsal. Good day. — Stop ! I've a compl No 

matter: I'll think it over, and let you know by and by. [Ti^ 
pleton withdraws^ 

JStrut. — ^Well, Dumps, what think you of the appearance <rf 
affairs now? 
Dumps, — ^Hm ! TU tell you. wWV 1 VXsm^-. 'W^^'tVsa. «i^ 



AUD THE PBDLINGTONIANS. 177 

Stt^KeD, and Mrs. Biggleswade and Miss Wriggles — ^puU alto- 
getber as hard as they will — ^won't draw, expenses into the 
nonse. 

iS^nw?.— Psha ! With snch flattering assurances — {he points to 
ike pile {^applications /or orders)-^oi the support of the worthy 
townspeople; — with such friendly, such zealous, such disin- 
terested oo-opetation on the part of the company — the Theatbs 

BOTAX^ LlITLB PSBLINOTON, mUSt SUCCecd. 

Ikm^.'-^'Emi hm, hm ! I wish you may get it. 



CHAPTER XII. 



Odv one place Taoant ! Just in time— The Arch-Humbiig of Little 
I'^dlington agsin — Secrets touching the Dancer and the DihutanU — 
Awful consequences of the tittle- tattle of a bnsy-body : a lady*s 
dignified resentment — Irrepai*able loss : death of Kummins — Jubb's 
El€g7 thereon : unayoidable co-incidences of thought — Important 
diBBnetioik in the orthography of names — Intimacies of authors and 
aaton with critics: suspicious? — How to form an opinion: "My 
papar says." 

"Hj^m voa any place in the boxes for to-night, sir ? " inquired 
I of the Dox book-keeper. 



(« 



H«# manr do you want, sir P " inquired he in return. 
^ ' one fa 



**Oiih' one for myself," replied I. 

"lAicldly," oontmued he, " I have one place, which has just 
been giren up." 

'^Becanse/' said I, inquiringly, " it was not worth keeping— a 
seat on a bade row at the top of the house ? " 

"Beg pardon, sir, it most luckily happens to be a seat on the 
first TOW of the centre dress-box." 

'* I am fortunate, indeed ! " exclaimed I. " You. ex^^\. ^ ^^«^ 
hon»?" 

'^Tremendousj sir! Every place taken.'* 




178 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Not having any silver, I tendered a half-sovereign in ]^ymeiit 
for my ticket — ^the price of admission to the boxes bemg two 
shillings. 

The functionary opened a drawer, in which there were two or 
three stray shillings. He then felt successively^ thoiu^ not 
successfully, in each of his pockets. Upon m^ telline mm, in 
reply to his inquiry whether I could obli^ him with sncn a tlmig 
as two shillings in silver, that I had no silver at all, he ezpnased 
his regret at having given away all his small money in AiMwe. 
[It somehow happened that I saw neithe^^ notes nor gold in nis 
drawer]. He then desired a boy to go into the treasury, and see 
whether Mr. Dumps had change for a half-soverei^ tiere. After 
some delay, the boy returned, and accounted for his long absaice, 
by stating that he had been obliged to go for change to lawkins's 
Bank. 

That the only vacant place in the house, that place being ako 
the very best in it, and that place, again, having fortonatebrbeen 
relinquished by its first proprietor, should fall to my lot, rarmed 
a combination of lucky circumstances, upon which I could not bat 
congratulate myself. 

Strolled into Yawkins's library; there I saw my old ficiend 
Hobbleday. 

"My dear fellow!" exclaimed Hobbleday — ''most happy, 
most delighted to see you ! When did you arrive P " 

" Last night," replied I. 

" Of course you come to make a stay," said he. 

" Probably I shall go away to-morrow," replied I, tlunig^ not 
intending any such thing. 

"To-morrow! No, no — you vrill stay till Wednesday,** een- 
tinued Hobbleday ; " or must you positively go to-monow P " 

" Positively, su: — ^I shall leave Little Pe(flington to-monow," 
I answered. 

" That's decided, is it ? " said he. "Well, dear me ! tint is 
very provoking; for I intended to ask you to dine with me on 
Wednesday. However, since you can't, you can't." 

Here the exquisite little humbug was interrupted by Tai^ins, 
who, after a few words of recognition and of welcome, said,-— 

" Ah ! sir, the world has sustained an irreparable loss since 
last you were here. That great luminary, that master-spmt, is 
extinguished. The immortal Eummins is dead ! Died, sir, on 
tibe first of April last." 

"Dead ! " I exclaimed. ""BL^immVaa ^<ea.^V* Wsosudlwidet 

[--flhall I confess it ?— alue^ a \.cox. 



AND THE TEDLTNGTONIANS. 179 

"And a most extraordinary coincidence !" said Hobbleday. 
"Our cockatoo at our Zoological Gardens died on that very same 
day ! Poor Rummins ! We had him stuffed ; and there he is 
on a perch in a glass-case, looking all bat alive/' 

"Stoff'dP" exclaimed I. "Simcox Rummins, F.SA., 
stuffed ! Embalmed (you would say), as an antiquary so learned 
..imd profound deserveato be." 

"hummins!" cried Hobbleday; "no, the cockatoo. Ever 
see a stuffed cockatoo ? Most curious thing ! The only one in 
all this place. Come," continued he, taking me by the arm — 
"come with me and see it." 

" I thank you," said I ; " but I cannot at present." 

"But why not ? What is there to prevent you ? " said he. 

*• I have not the time to spare, Mr. Hobbleday." 

"Pooh, pooh! it won't take long. Come, now; do come. 
It is not far — ^it will be a nice little walk for us. But tohi^ won't 
yoagoP" 

After enduring twenty more "why's" and " what's-your- 
« reasons," I thanked him for his pertinacious politeness, and 
tamed to speak to Yawkins. 

" Your theatre has put forth a very attractive bill," said I ; 
at the same time pointing to one which was hanging in the 
shop, and which reached nearly from the ceiling to the floor. 

"Never before, sir," replied Yawkins, "was there such a 
company collected together in Little Pedlington. Why, sir, 
Tippleton is in himself a host ; Snoxell is a host ; Waddle is a 

1k^; Qigs is a host ; Mrs. Biggleswade is a host ; Mrs. ^In 

short, there is scarcely one in the whole company but is singly 
A-host." 

" Mademoiselle Sara des Entrechats, who is to dance, is, of 
Qoune, from Paris," said I. 

" WTiy, no ; not exactly from Paris," replied Yawkins ; " she 
comes from Eudgeborough, and her name is Sally Jumps. But, 
liord, sir ! the connoisseurs of Little Pedlington would as soon 
allow that a woman could dance gracefully and well with a 
veoden leg as with an English name." 

" I say, my dear fellow," said Hobbleday in a half-whisper to 
me (twitching my sleeve, and giving me a Knowing wink at the 
same time), " that Mamzell Ontershaw is a charming little girl. 
—Ahem ! — ^I say, my dear fellow ; if you should happen to see a 
certain person in a French bonnet and shawl walkm"^ ^oro^ N3s^^ 
Vale ofMealth, or a miJe or so on the Snaps\iank.to^'i,«xmm «nsL 
with tmotber certain person — ahem 1 — yiho is tio\. v^ry Wi^wa.^^s^ 

N 2 



180 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

at this moment, do you pretend not to notice us — them, I slioald 
Lave said." 

I assured Mr. Hobbleday that I was discretion itself. 

Yawkins drew me aside and whispered : — " To my certaia 
knowledge he never spoke to her in his life^ sir. She has beea 
scarcely three days in the town." 

I made no remark upon this little |)iece of illustratiTe in- 
formation, but again turned to the play-bill, saying :— 

" This Miss Julia Wriggles, whose name occurs so frequently 
in the bill ; who not only acts in tragedy, comedy, and faroep 
sings a song, delivers an aadress, and dances a broad-sword horn- 
pipe ; but concludes her labours by acting eight parts in one 
piece — that is to say, by playing the whole piece herself — ^tbk Miss 
Julia Wriggles, I say, must be a young lady of pre-eminent 
ability. Why, to execute well what she has undertaken to p«> 
form, would seem to require the combined powers of any six 
actresses I ever heard of." 

"A wonderful person indeed, sir," replied Yawkins; "and a 
great favourite " 

" Favourite ! " exclaimed I ; " why, this is announced as ker 
first appearance on any stage ! " 

" of the manager's," continued Yawkins, somewhat drilj. 

'^ But as to a first appearance, sir, I can't say much for that : for 
it is whispered, in the best-informed circles, that she has oeen 
acting these three years past over at Eudgeborough. One tlusc^ 
however, is certain, Mr. Strut, the manager, has discharged Mr. 
Wigs, a very promising young actor, for merely saying so ; and 
that, I think, gives an appearance of probability to the thino. 

"Theatrical news travels fast in Little Pedlington," thonmt I. 

"But she must be a prodigious genius," continued Ya^^ins: 
" for Mr. Strut has opened the theatre chiefly on her aocoaiit^ 
I which he would not have done this season unless he had had the 
good fortune to secure her services." 

"Fortunate Strut !" thought I. 

"What a charming, domestic creature is poor Mrs. Strati*^ 
said Hobbleday. " I say, Yawkins, you have heard that she Ijjbs 
determined to sue for a separate maintenance P" 

"Now, really, Mr. Hobbleday," cried Yawkins, "this is too 

bad ! It was I myself who, not an hour ago, mentioned to you, 

in strict confidence, that such a proceeding was probable. I gave 

YOU no authority to repeat it : yet, no dwjfct, b^ this time jou 

nave trotted all over Little "Ped^ngloiito ^S^AasJCsiSJi ^^csvsr^ ^ 

the information.'* 



AND THE PEDLDfGTONIANS. 18l 



"Not I, I assure you, sir," cried Hobbleday, with an air of 
offended dignity ; " not I, sir ; am incapable of such a proceeding. 
Have mentioned it but to one person — to whom it could be no 
seeret — ^Mrs. Strut herself." 

** Impossible ! And you told her you received the report from 

" No, sir ; did *ot tell her I received it from you. Did not 
say, Tawhins told me — pooh, pooh ! have too much tact for that 
— inerely said, * I heard it at Yawkins's.' " 
. *' So, sir, you left my shop, full pufP, for the express purpose 

of " 

' ** No sir ; not for the purpose. This is how it happened, sir : 
ny friend Strut has had the politeness to put my name upon the 
itee-list ; but as the free-list is ' Entirely and totally suspended 
in toto,' as the bills say, I waited about the stage-door in the 
hope of meeting with somebody who could give me an order. 
PreaentlT saw Mrs. Strut. Could not help saying how sorry I 
was at bearing such a report — should have been a brute if I 
oonld-^and requested an order for two, which she most kindly 
gave me. Ana that is the whole truth of the matter." 

Hobbleday had not finished speaking when a boy entered the 
shop, threw a note down upon the counter, and, without uttering 
a word, went out again. Whilst Yawkins was reading the note, 
Hobbleday said — 

•* Of course, you'll be there to-night. Like to go behind the 
aeenes, eh P ru take jrou. Show you the green-room. Intro- 
daoe you to all the principal performers. TU look out for you 
in the theatre. What say you P " 

Becollecting his promise, upon a former occasion, to introduce 
me to all the eminent people of the place, when, as it afterwards 
appeared, he himself was but slightingly considered by them, I 
declined his kind offer. 

"Here, sir," cried Yawkins, in a voice trembling with rage (at 
the same time holding out the note in one hand, and striking his 
counter heavily with the other) : " here, Mr. Hobbleday ! these 
are the awful consequences of your busy tittle-tattling ! Listen, 
tir!'* 

Mr. Yawkins read the note, which was in the words follow- 

" Mrs. Strut desires Mr. Yawkins will instantly send in his 
bill for the two cakes of Windsor soap, also the tooth-brush she 
owes him for, as she intends to withixaw \xei ckx&Wkv te^L \s!»a» 
^4^j and give it somewhere where people Wie ewixx^ \si ^^ to 



182 LITTLE lEDLIXGTOX 

mind their own btmness ■without troubling themselves about other 
peoples. Mrs. S. also informs Mr. Y. that she does not intend 
to renew her subscription to his library when her present week 
is out, as people taken up with pleasant conversation naturally 
forget to send new works when bespoke. Mrs. S. also informs 
Mr. Y. that she has struck his name off the free-list of the 
theatre, which she has still a right to do, whatever Mr. T. ma^ 
report to the contrary. Mrs. S. desires Mr. Y. will be sure to 
receipt the bill, as people who trouble themselves so much foith 
what does not concern them might forget to scratch it out of their 
books, when paid, and she is not fond of disputes.*^ 

Hobbleday did not wait to receive the reproaches which 
Yawkins was preparing to shower upon him ; but, pretending to 
hear himself called by some one who passed the door, he bustled 
out of the shop. 

" That, sir, said Yawkins, " is the most pestilent little gossip 
in the town. A secret runs through him like water through a 
sieve. He is not happy till he has got it, and is miserable till he 
is rid of it. He is worse than forty old women. You cannot 
be sure of the duration of a common acquaintance for a day, if 
he gets between you. He is a sort of cholera in social fife ; 
and, when he * breaks out ' in a place, he ' carries off* friend- 
ships by the dozen. Ah ! sir, you ought to be very happy that 
you have no Hobbledays in London." 

" In London," said I — (glad of an opportunity of elevating 
the character of that pretty town in th? opinion of a Pedling- 
tonian) — " in London, we entertain a virtuous horror of slander, 
scandal, tittle-tattle, and oid-apple-woman gossip ; so that tkerCy 
sir, a Hobbleday would not be endured ; he could not exist; he 
would fail from the utter want of encouragement." 

" Happy London ! " exclaimed the eminent bibliopolist. 

'* Heaven forgive me I " thought I, reflecting on the enormity 
of my assertion. 

I took up a book which lay on the counter. It was " Jubb's 
Pedlingtonia, a new edition, with additions." The only con- 
siderable addition, however, was an ' Elegy on the Death of 
Rummins.' Here it is. It is remarkable for its sweetness, 
its pathos, its elegiac tenderness; but, by the generality of 
readers, it will, perhaps, be most admired for its originality. 

" The curfew tolls the knell of parting day ; 
No more iUustrio\ia Rxnamma s\iall I see I 
0, Simcox Rummina, somor, Y.^.k., 
fc. Why leave the world to da.T\LXie®a «xi^ \a xwb \ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 183 

In vain thy Jubb thy ' Life and Times * shall write. 
For since, Simoox, thou'rt no longer there 

Tojoin in thy biographer's delight. 
He wastes his sweetness on the desert air. 

Ah ! who can tell how hard it is to climb 
The height which thou, my Rummins, didst attain ! 

An say in prose what Jubb now sings in rhjrme — 
We ne'er shall look upon thy like again. 

A man thou wast to all the country dear ; 

Great was thy learning and profound thy lore ; 
And, passing rich with ninety pounds a year. 

Thou gav'st relief that Heaven might bless thy store. 

One mom I miss'd thee on th' accustom'd hill, 
Near yonder copse where once the garden smiled. 

Ah ! ruthless Death ! and couldst thou Rummins kill ! 
In wit a man, simplicity a child. 

Since, then, I'm doom'd my dearest friend to lose. 

In Pedlington no longer stay I can. 
The world is all before me where to choose — 

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man ! " 

I purchased the yolume, thought of the illustrious defunct, 
paid iialf-a-crown — and sighed. 

At this moment, Mr. Hummins, son of the ^reat Rummins, and 
editor of the Pedliagton newspaper, came into the shop. He 
was accompanied by a gentleman short and stout. It was 
Waddle^ ^ tne tragedian ! who was that night to enact 
.Growler in the " Hatchet of Horror ! " Rummins, after saying 
a few words to Yawkins, was invited by the latter to stay 
dinner. 

" CanV' replied Rummins; "I dine with Waddle." 

" Then will you. come and sup after the play ?" said Yawkins. 

" Can't," again replied Rummins ; " I sup with Waddle." 

The editor was about to quit the shop, when I took the 
liberty of reminding him that, on my former visit, I had had 
the honour of an introduction to him at a conversazione at the 
house of his late illustrious father. He condescended to make 
me a remarkably polite bow, and, with becoming dignity, wished 
me good morning, and went away. 

" Upon that same occasion," said I, turning to Yawkins, 
" I had the pleasure also of meeting Miss Cripps, the poetess." 

'^At that time, sir," said Yawkins, " ^\ss CiVgr^^ «c^\ka^^^ 



ISds LiriLE TEDLINGION 



f 



rcat fricuds, and she used to invite liim to all her tea-parties; 
ut since tlien they have quarrelled.'' 

*' Indeed ! " exclaimed I ; ^' I am sony to hear that. What 
was the cause of the rupture ?" 

" Why, sir," replied Yawkins, " Miss Cripps wrote some very 
charming verses on the death of the cockatoo in our Zoologiciil 
Gardens ; and Mr. Rummins, in his notice of them^ said that 
they were far superior to MOton, but not quite equal to Jubb. 
At this. Miss Cripps took offence, and she has never amoe 
invited Mr. Rummins to tea. Eor my own part, I think her in 
the wrong ; for a poem may be very fine, yet inferior to the 
compositions of such a writer as Jubb. And to say the truth, 
Miss Cripps is one of those ladies who are never satisfied with 
anything short of the very top of the tree. However, he is now 
all in all with Miss Jane Scrubbs, the lady who wntes riddles 
and charades, and things of that sort.'' 

*' I had the pleasure of meeting her, too. Pray ifl she any 
relation of the manager of the En(^borough theatre ? " 

" Not in the least ; and nothing offends ner more than that it 
should be thought she is. Besides, sir," continued Yawkins, 
with a solemn nod of the head, " Scrubs has only (me b in iif 
name, whilst Miss Scrubbs spells hers with tiooJ' 

*' That's an important and an honourable distinction**' said L 

"Sir, sir, sir," suddenly cried Yawkins, "did you ever see 
Mr. Snoxell off the stage ? " 

" Never," said I ; " which is he P " 

"You see those three gentlemen arm in arm^ orosaiog the 
square," said Yawkins. "The middle one is Mr. Fiat» iHio 
writes the ' Dictator ;' he on his ri^t arm is Mr. Dowla^ ^nthor 
of the melodrama, the * Hatchet of Horror,' which is to be aeted 
to-night ; the gentleman on his left is Mr. Snoxell." 

With becoming admiration I looked at them, till, by taming a 
comer, thev were lost to view. 

" But what is the 'Dictator ?' " I inquired. 

" 0, very true, sir, I remember," replied Yawkins. " When 
last you were here we had but onepaj)er — ^the * Little Pedlington 
Weekly Observer,' edited by Rummins the Younger, the gen- 
tleman who just now looked in. We have now another — the 
'Little Pedlington Dictator,' written by Mr. Piat. It ia a pnb- 
lication exclusively devoted to politics, literature, the drama^ the 
fine arts, science, political economy, geology, ecology, oon- 
chology, pathology, craniology " 

''Stop, stop, for Heaven's sake, "iilLi. Xwii^KBasr ^swtft. \, 



AND THE PEDIitNGTOKIANS. 185 

" Surely you do not pretend that Mr. Fiat himself writes upon 
all those subjects ?" 

"Indeed, but I do, sir," replied he; "and upon all with 
equal knowledge, taste, and judgment. In his criticisms upon 
acting, he is, for tragedy, a Snoxellite ; for comedy, a Tipple- 
tonian. Rummins, on the contrary, is a Waddleite and a 
Gigsite. What they will say about Miss Julia Wriggles is a 
mystery ; but my own private opinion is, that Rummins, being 
a friend of the manager's, the * Observer ' will be all on her side ; 
whilst Fiat, who (between ourselves, sir) is said to be over head 
and ears in love vdth little Laura Dobs — a pretty little girl who 
fiiDgs in the choruses — will be against her." 

"And pray, Mr. Yawkins," inquired I, "which, in your 
opinion, is the greater actor of the two : Snoxell or Waddle ?" 

" Why, really, sir," replied he, " that is a question which it is 
utterly impossible to answer. When I had but one paper to 
read ('The Observer') I was convinced that Waddle was the 
better; but since 'The Dictator' has been established, which 
gives the preference to Snoxell, I am greatly perplexed." 

" But have you no opinion of your own ? " inquired I, with 
some degree of astonishment. 

With an appearance of equal astonishment Tawkins echoed 
—"An opinion of my own ? Bless me, sir, what an extraor- 
dinary qu^tion! Where is the use of reading a newspaper if 
one is t^^ at tbj trouble of thinking for oneself after all ? No, 
no, sip^ we are^ot such fools in Little Pediington as that comes 
to L 'ioui bapf^ are they who are content to read but one paper, 
ftti^n&^lMfccase, they know exactly tohat to think." 
2# w TOen," said I, "you Pedlingtonians are very wise people. 
Ear diflbrent is it with us in London. T/iere, no one is news- 
paper-led ; and such a phrase as * But my paper says,' is never 
neard. Well ; I wish you good morning, Mr. Yawkms. I shall 
go to the theatre this evening. To-morrow I will write to my 
friends what /think of the performances; and at the same time 
send them the criticisms both of the 'Observer' and the 
•Dictator.'" 

I returned to Scorewell's ; took a hasty dinner ; and at half- 
past ^ve — the performances being to commence at six o'clock 
precisely — proceeded to the Tiieatbe Royal, Little Ped- 

LINGTON. 



186 LITTLE TEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER XIII* 

" And Sessions-papers tragedize my stj'le." 

Bbamstone's 3/an qf 2Viife. 

The opening nioht — Impartial criticism intended : how a4;taixiable~ 
Excmplary architect: singular accuracy of a building^estimato- 
Useful knowledge for the rising generation — On crowds — Ui^HrcQe 
dented conduct of a box-opener — Conversation with Hobbleday 001 
ceming London theatric£ds — Destitute condition of the Londa 
actors deplored : their emigration defensible — Cliques and coteriM-^ 
Miss Scrubbs's last — The '* Encore " [query] nuisance — Great reoee 
tion of Miss Julia Wri^les : the Wreath [query] hunUmff — AjmUju 
of the '* Hatchet oi !^rror," with remarks thereon, passivk-^ 
morality, and the beneficial effects of this school of Drama on th 
lower orders insisted upon— Symptoms of party feeling : Speedie 
of Snoxell and Waddle — The terms "Original and "Domestic 
explained — Discriminating compliment : the Call-for-actors [query 
nuisance — Summary of the performances. 

MONDAT NIGHT — QUABTER PAST ELEVEN. — Just retained frOB 

the theatre. Now, whilst the impression of all that I h»T 
witnessed is strong upon my mind, I will transfer it to tiie pa^ 
of my journal. I shall claim for my record a reliance on it 
fidelity and impartiality, for I have not the honour of a penKHU 
acquaintance with Snoxell or with Waddle ; I dine neither wit) 
Tippleton nor with Gigs, nor do I sup with either Mrs. Bigg^ 
wade or Miss Julia Wriggles ; I nev^er spoke to Mr. Dowlu, th 
author ; I know not Mr. Strut, the manager ; have no desire i 
come out at his theatre, or to go in — ^without paying for m; 
admission ; moreover, never having perpetrated a dramatic worl 
I have no " acceptation " to hope for, no " rejection " to fear- 
the contrary of all or any of which circumstances might, possiUj 
give a slight bias to my statements. Not being a critic by pro 
fession, it would, of course, be presumptuous in me to msJie Hot 
smallest claim to infallibifity ; my opinions, therefore, may b 
open to objection, honest though they be; but what I stat 
as fact, is fact, and this I will maintain, even though such hig! 

* Tbo &V0 chapters in tliis voVvravoi, "«^otv W\^ \aV.U^ Pedlingto; 
theatricals, were written prior to tVi© xQ.ot\.\j\i oi K.^\ii\»\%'Sl . 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 187 

authorities as Mr. Fiat, of the " Little Pedlington Dictator," 
and Mr. Rnmmins, of the "Little Pedlington Weekly Observer," 
should combine to gainsay me. 

Formerly (according to the Guide Book) the performances 
took place "ma commodious outhouse belonging to Mr. Snig- 
gjerston, the brewer, tastefully fitted up for the occasion;" but 
since my last visit here, an elegant theatre has been erected. It 
is the vrork of Mr. Snargate, the celebrated architect of this 
place, and does infinite credit to his taste and skill. According 
to a minute estimate made by that gentleman, it was to cost 
ezaotlv £671. 15s. 7id. ; and the estimate having been formed 
with the accuracy for which Mr. Snargate is upon all occasions 
distinguished, the edifice, when finished, actually cost no more 
flian £1,343. 11*. ^jd. — onlv one farthing more than double the 
som originally required ! This money was raised in shares of five 
pounds each, for which the subscribers were to receive five per 
ee»i. interest---when they could get it — and nothing more. And it 
is gratifying to be enabled to add, that (such is the prosperous 
8t»ce of theatricals in Little Pedlington !) the laUer condition is 
pnnctiiaUy fulfilled. 

*' Tremendous ! Every place taken !" was the reply I received 
this morning to my question to the box book-keeper, as to whether 
he expected a full house. This information, in addition to the 
notification at the foot of the play-bill, that the free-list would be 
suspended, and that not an order would be admitted, induced me 
to be at the theatre by half-past five precisely, the hour appointed 
for the opening of the doors ; for, although I had paid for, and 
secured, a place on the front row of the centre dress-box, I pru- 
deotfy- bonsidered that, in case of a rush, my precaution might be 
of but little avwl. I did not repent the resolution I had taken ; 
for, on arriving at the theatre, which was not yet opened, 1 
foimd crowds assembled at the doors. At the pit-door 1 counted 
t?e persons, at the gaUery seven, whilst at the box-entrance was 
a dense mass, composed of no fewer than eighteen or (I think 1 
nsy venture to say) twenty. 

broaching, smuggling, highway-robbery, and murder, being the 
staple of the principal piece to be acted, I need scarcely say that, 
of the seven persons collected at the gallery-door, six were 
children, girls and boys, of from ten to twelve years of age, 
aspirants for the honours of the hulks and the halter. 

To teach the young idea how to s\ioo\i \" 



188 LITTLE FEDLINGTOX 

It seems to be the principle of a crowd, whether large or 
small, whenever or for whatever purpose collected, to make eaoh 
other as uncomfortable as they can. If fifty people are aasem- 
bled at the entrance to a place which they know to be ci^paUe of 
accommodating five thousand, they will squeeze, jostle, thore; 
push forwards, backwards, sideways ; they will do anTthing bat 
stand still, although peif ectly convinced they can " take nodyng 
by their motion" — save a few needless bruises or a broken lib. 
I never but once heard a satisfactory reason for this propeniity. 
'* Pray, sir," said a person who till that moment haa. been the 
backmost of a crowd, to another who had just joined it— •'' Fray, 
sir, have the kindness not to press upon me ; it is uimeoeiaaiy, 
since there is no one behind to press upon you !" ^' But than 
may be, presently," said the other ; " besides, air, Where's the 
good of being in a crowd if one mayn't shove P" The good 
people here seemed to be of the same opinion; for the five who 
were assembled at the pit-door (which, by the bye, is quite wide 
enough to allow conveniently of one person entering at a time^ 
if they would but take the matter coolly), were jostling; aquiees- 
ing, and kicking each other, as vigorously as if their livea da* 
pended upon who should be first. 

But the great struggle was at the box-entrance^ which is 
between the other two. When the door — ^for there ia but one, 
though of double the width of the last mentioned — ^when the 
door was thrown open, the rush was overwhelming. Little Jaok 
Hobbleday was in the midst of the crowd ; and, fairly carried off 
his legs, squeezed upwards and turned round bv tne preaaure, 
he was borne along with his head above the others, fuad bad^ 
foremost. An idea of the intensity of the pressure will be beat 
conveyed in the words of Hobbleday himself. Gasping for 
breath, he cried, "This is aw^l! Tiemenduoiu/ B\mL be 
squeezed as flat as a pancake ; pooh, pooh 1 know I ahall. 
Never saw such a crowd in Little Pedlington since the d&j I 
was bom \" I followed the stream and entered. That taming 
to the left, I did the same. A voice proceeding from a heaa 
ensconced in a sort of pigeon-hole in the wall on the opposite 
(the right-hand) side, cried, " Orders this way ! " There was a 
simultaneous rush of the whole party in that airection, and I was 
left standing alone. " Money this way ! " exclaimed another 
voice issuing from a similar hole on the left-hand side. There I 
presented the ticket which I had purchased in the morning, and 
was admitted. I thought this arrangemeivt judicious, for there 
was not a soul at the pay-door to VacommQ^^ m^. 



AND TItE PEDLINGTOXU^'S. 189 

I took my seat. Presently I heard the voice of Hobbleday. 
He was conversing, in an under tone, with the box-opener. 

" Every place taken, I assure you, sir," said the latter. 

" Pooh, pooh ! my dear Jobs," said Hobbleday, " but you mnsi 
fiad a sesU; for me. There " (pointing to the bench on which I 
wu Bitting), " there, next to that gentleman. Particular friend 
of mine. Expects me. Something of great importance to talk 
about." 

•* Qaite impossible, Mr. Hobbleday," said Jobs ; "every place 
in that box is taken and paid for." 

** Come now, my dear Jobs," continued the unextinguishable 
Hobbkday^ " see what you can do for me ; and when vour 
bvwfit CQones— ^em !— you'll know where little Jack Hobble- 
day is to be found." 

" !Fint company !" cried Jobs, throwing open the box-door : 
** Mx« Hobbleaay's place : front row." And Mr. Hobbleday took 
liB flcat betide me. 

^Glad to meet you of all people," said my old acquaintance. 
"Well, here we are in whole skins. What a crush! At one 
time thought I should give up the ghost. Worse inside the 
home than out. Such a crush at the free door ! Lucky for vou, 
you paid — you escaped it. Miss Cripps got one of her sharp 
elbows stuck so deep in my ribs, I tnought I felt it coming 
tktough on the other side~-did, as I hope to be saved. Never 
obI in the way of a woman with sharp elbows, if you can help it. 
Too bad of the manager, though ! He ought to be ashamed of 
himself for not making some better arrangement for the accom- 
modation of parties who come with orders. Tve a great mind to 
write a letter to the 'Dictator* about it, and sign myself An 

IXBEFBIffDENT PLA-Y-GOER." 

" You will have half the town on your side, sir," said I. 
Hobbleday made no reply to this, but looking round the house 
said, in a tone of triumph, " Well, what think you of our new 
theatreP" 

" I cannot judge of it by comparison," replied I, " for I never 
had the good fortime to see the old one ; but it is a pretty little 
theatre." 

."Pretty! — Little!" exclaimed Hobbledav ; "you mean 
plendid, immense ! Why, it is more than double the size of 
rston's out-house, in which the company used to perform ! 
Littler! — It will hold nearly three hundred people. Little, 
imdeed ! Compjainfc generally is, that it is too W^'^— AJaa^ ^X!i& 
can neither see nor hear so well as in tbe oVd OTkSi* "^\i\,*CMi^»R^ 



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PREFACE. 



Pope, in his Advertisement to the Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, 
says : " Many will know their own pictures in it ; but I have, 
for the most part, spared their names, and they may escape being 
laughed at if they please." 

I cannot say so much for the record of my two visits to Little 
Pedlington : " many will know their own pictures in it," but that 
will be owbg to no skill of mine in the art of portraiture, but 
simply to the circumstance of my having adopted the inexpert 
sign-painter's expedient, and named them outright. Having no 
motive for concealment, I have concealed nothing; and I here 
declare in the face of the whole world. Little Pedlington not 
excepted, that Hobbleday is Hobbleday ; Rummins, Rammins ; 
Daubson, Daubson ; Piat, Piat ; Strut, Strut ; Miss Cripps, Miss 
Cripps; Tippleton, Tippleton — and so of the rest. Had I 
fastidiously taken refuge in such poetical personifications as 
Humbug, Quackery, Morbid Yanity, Cant, Puffery, Affectation, 
Unmitigated Selfishness, and others, the Pedlingtonians them- 
selves would have seen through the hollow device, and applied 
those abstractions with tolerable precision; whilst certain 
mcked-minded Londoners might have distiiWleOi \k^m ^\xv^\i^^X» 



IV PB.BPACB. 

their own acquamtance, each according to his fancy — a danger 
particularly to be avoided. 

I am less anxious concerning incidents and events, which I 
have accurately narrated ; the hahits and manners of the great 
mass of Little Pedlingtonians, and their amusements in public 
and private, "which I have faithfully described ; their Theatricals, 
some branches of their Literature, and some portions of their 
Critical Press ; of all which I have treated largely, as becomes 
their importance, and exhibited many specimens for (as I trust) 
imitation ; — concerning all these I am less anxious ; and should 
any ingenious reader choose to amuse himself by imagining 
parallels to them elsewhere, he is at perfect liberty to do so. 

Little Pedlington I first visited as long ago as July, 1835 ; and 
notes of that, and of a subsequent visit, were published, from 
time to time, between that period and January of the present 
year. Li arranging the papers for publication collectively, it 
became necessary to add, to alter, and to retract ; yet, notwith- 
standing great care in the work, I fear I have to apologize for 
some few trifling, though almost unavoidable, repetitions. 

Li the course of these volumes are so many allusions to the 
"Guide Book,"* that for the assistance of such readers as are 
unacquainted with it, and to whom, consequently, those allusions 
would be unintelligible, it has been deemed expedient that it 
should be inserted in the Introduction ; they, therefore, who, by 
its aid, or haply, by a visit to the place, are already familiar with 
the history and localities of Little Pedlington, will pardon its 
re-appearance in favour of those who are less fortunate. 

* Once already r^-publiahed in '* Sketches and Recollections." 



FKEPAGS. V 

Cant, Puffery, Humbug, and Quackery, words which I have 
already used, are, undoubtedly, very ugly words ; but, as is the 
case with some faces, their ugliness is fully redeemed by their 
expressiyeness. The qualities which they represent I detected — 
must I confess it ? — even in Little Pedlington. I have taken the 
liberty to laugh at them. Should the reader laugh with me, I 
shall be satisfied. 

J. P. 



LITTLE PEDLINOTON 



AND 



THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 



INTEODUCTION. 



Felix Hoppy, Esq., Master of tlie Ceremonies at Little 
Pedlington, has conferred upon the world in general, and upon 
me in particular, a never-sumciently-to-be-appreciated favour, by 
the publication of the Little redlington Guide. At the 
approach of the summer season, — that season when London (and 
since the pacification of Europe, all England) is declared to be 
unendurable by all those who fancy that they shall be happier 
anywhere than where they happen to be, and who possess the 
means and the opportunity oi indulging in the experiment of 
chanse of place ; at the approach of that season, this present, I 
found myself, like Othello, " perplexed in the extreme." The 
self-proposed question, " And where shall I go this year ? " I 
could not answer in any way to my satisfaction. I had visited, 
as I believed, every spot in Europe which celebrity, from some 
cause or other, had rendered attractive. I had climbed many 
thousands of feet up Mont Blanc, and stood on the very summit 
of Greenwich Hill ; I had " swam on a gondola" at Venice, and 
** patienced " in a punt at Putney ; had found my way through 
the dark and tangled forests of Germany, and lost it in the 
Maze at Hampton Court ; bathed in the changing waters of the 
Blione, and floundered in the consistent mud of Gravesend; 
beheld the fading glories of old Rome, and the rising splendours 
of New Kemp Town ; I had heard the Miserere performed in 
the Sistine Chapel, and the hundred-and-fourth psalm sung by 
the charity boys in Hampstead church ; I had seen the Raphaels 
at Florence, the Correggios at Dresden, the Rembrandts at 
Botterdam, and the camera-obscura at Margate ; I had tasted of 
caviare on the shores of the Black Sea, and of white-bait on the 
banks of Blackwall ; I had travelled on a Russian sledge and in 
a Brentford omnibus; I had been everywhere (m 3£iV3ita^^! — 
the bonndarr of all my travelling projects), done e^erj^Xivcv^^ 

B 



2 UTTLE PBDLINGTON. 

seen everything, heard everything, and tasted of everything. 
Novelty and change of scene are the idle man's inducements to 
travel : for me there remained neither : I was — to use a melan- 
choly phrase I once heard feelingly uttered by a young nobleman 
who had not then attained his twentieth year — blase sur tout ! 
Still the unanswerable question recurred — "And^^^^r^ shall I 
go ^^w year?" 

As for the hundredth time I exclaimed, " And where shall I 
go this year ? " a packet was sent to me by my bookseller, who 
has a general order to supply me with all voyages, travels, 
journeys, tours, road-books, guides, and atlases, as soon as 
published. The parcel contained new editions of " Denham's 
Travels in Africa," of ** Humboldt's in South America," and of 
" Parry's Voyages ;" together with, just published, and almost 
wet from the press, " The Stranger's Guide through Little Ped- 
lington, by Eelix Hqppy, Esq., M.C." Throwing aside the 
rest as unimportant to my present purpose, I, on the instant, 
perused this last. 

I was much pleased with the amiable understanding that 
seemed to exist between this and all other guide-books which I 
had ever consulted. It is but altering the name of the place in 
the title-page, as occasion may require, and the same book will 
carry you very creditably through every watering-place in 
England. You have in each a High Street, and a North Street, 
and a Crescent; a parish church, a poor-house, and a charity 
school ; the best supplied market in the kingdom ; the most 
highly-talented apothecary in Europe ; the most learned parson 
in Christendom ; the most obliging circulating-library-keeper in 
the known world ; the most accommodating mistress of a board- 
ing-house in the universe ; and the most salubrious of climates, 
adapted to the cure of every imaginable disorder and to the 
improvement of every possible constitution. It is true that the 
traidesmen recommended to yon by one Guide-book are severally 
named Scarsnell, Larkins, and Simcoe, (the town's-people 
usually consisting of ramifications of about three families ;) whilst 
by another you are referred to nothing but Tupfords, Kuffens, 
and Whiffnells. This certainly is a remarkable difference, but it 
is the only one which I could ever discover in these polite Cice- 
roni ; all other points, or, at least, nineteen out of every twenty, 
being notices of precisely the same things in precisely the same 
Jano-uage^ and the twentieth hardly ever worth the trouble of a 
dJstmctioD. But here is Mr. Hoppy's ;— 



HE STRANGERS GUIDE 

THSOUGH 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON: 

COMFRI8INO 

S HISTORY PROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO 
THE PRESENT TIME ; 

TOOETHBR WITH AN ACCOUNT OF 

I 

^xdiqmim, €nmsiim, ^xmumtxdB, ||romen»irt$, tid 

ALSO A DESCRIPTION OF ITS ENVIRONS. 

BY FELIX HOPPY, Esq. 

Master of the Ceremonies* 

IBBLLISHED WITH FOUR ELEGANT ENGRAVINGS, OP THE PARISH 
PUMP, THE REV. JONATHAN JUBB, THE VALE OF HEALTH, 
AND THE EXTENSIVE NEW BURYING-GROUND, 



*• Hail, Pbdlingtonia ! Hail, thou favoured spot ! 
What's good is found in tlice ; what's not, is not. 
Peace crowns thy dwellings. Health protects thy ftclds. 
And Plenty all her cornucopia yields." 

Pedlinotonia : a Descriptive Poem hy the Rev. J. Jubh, 



JAMES YAWKINS, LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

183—. 



LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



HISTORY. 



V 



The Universal Deluge, which transformed the variegated and 
smiling face of our terrestrial globe into one unvaried and mono- 
tonous mass of the aqueous element, and which, in its ruthless and 
unpitying course, overwhelmed and swallowed up cities, empires, 
and nations, sparing neither the monarch's palace nor the peasant's ' 
hut ; and which bowed down alike the gentle hill and the giant 
mountain, rooting up not only the tender plant of the garden, but 
also the mighty oak of the forest ; and which, unlike the genial 
and beneficial showers of spring, which beneficently foster the 
fruits of the earth for the use oi man; but which, more like the 
raging cataract, converted our rolling planet into one wide, vast, 
waste of waters, disfigured also the &ir spot on which now stands 
the town of Little Pedlington. 

But to descend to a later period. 

Little Pedlington (or, as it has at various times been written, 
Peddle-le-town, Peddle-in-town, Piddletowu, Peddletown, and 
Peedletown), (it is now invariably called by its more euphonious 
appellation of Pedlington), is situated in the county of — , at 
the distance of — miles from London. And here, reflecting on 
these successive changes, we cannot refrain from quoting that apt 
line of the Swan of Avon,* — 

" Each doth suffer a sea change." 

But to proceed. 

Of the extreme antiquity of this place there can be no doubt, 
for our ingenious townsman, Simcox Rummins, Esq., F.S.A., has 
clearly proved, in his learned and elaborate Essay on that subject 
(a fevD copies of which may still be obtained by an early applica- 
tion to Mr. Yawkins, Bookseller, Market Square), that the iden- 
tical ground on which the present town is built existed long prior 
to the invasion of Britain by Julius Csesar! And, if further 
proof were wanting, it might oe adduced in an ancient coin, dug 
up about thirty years ago by some workmen, who were employed 
in removing Hob's Pound, which formerly stood at the north- 
east corner of South Street, and of which the curious visitor may 
still discover some faint traces. Of such antiquity is this precious 

* We need not inform our poetical readeY^ WiaA. \i^ sAlMda to tho 
"mortal Shakspcaro. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 5 

relic, that one side of it is \rorii ][)erfectly smooth, whilst, on the 
other, nothing more can be perceived than the almost impercep- 
tible outline of two heads, and these remains of the legend, which 
haye biiffled the attempts of the most profound antic[uarics to 
determine to which epoch of Koman greatness to refer it : 

GUL— US ET M— Rr- 

!nie sneers of a certain bookseller not a hundred miles from South 
Street, who has published what he calls a Pcdlington Guide, and 
who describes the coin as nothing more than a William-and-Mary's 
shilling, we treat with the contempt they deserve. It is in tne 
possession of the eminent gentleman wc have already mentioned, 
who, with his well-known Rberality, is always happy to offer it to 
the inspection of intelligent visitors, who will know how to decide 
between the ignorant assertion of a Sn-gg-rst-n and the opinion of 
a Rammins ! 

During the Civil Wars between the rival houses of York and 
Lancaster, as well as in the later conflicts between Charles and 
the Parliament, indeed, in every case where courage and wisdom 
were called into action — 

" that dissension should our land divide ! " 

Pedlingtonia. 

it doc^ not appear, from any positive record, that our town took 
any part ; — ^but who can doubt that it did ? " The fortifications," 

Ssee RummiHs,) " if any did ever exist, must long since have been 
lemolished, for not the slightest traces of any arc to be found. 
I must, however, except the ditch which traverses the north end 
of High Street, and wtiich, although it now be dry, and so nar- 
row as to allow of one's stepping across it, must, if ever it had 
been a military work, have boon so wide and deep as to be capable 
of containing a considerable quantity of water. Nor must 1 con- 
oealthe fact that, not many years ago, two sword-blades and a can- 
mm-haU were therein discovered : these are now in my possession." 
The testimony of so impartial a writer to the prowess of the Ped- 
Imgtonians cannot be too highly valued ; nor must their modesty 
leooil if we again quote the unnvalled poem from whence we have 
extraoted our motto : — 

" Pair are thy daughters^ and thy sons how hrave I 
No PedliTif^tonia n. ^er will he a slave. 
FiioDcl to his country, an J Lis King's wo\\-wisher. 
At Glory's call he'll servo iv tho militia." 



6 LITTLE PBDLINGTON. 

But it is only of late years that Little Pedlington has assumed its 
present importance, and justified its claims to be ranked amongst 
those towns and cities which adorn and dignify the British em- 
pire ; and, if it yield the palm for extent and splendour to the 
metropolis of England,* it will cOnfess itself second to no other 
for antiquity, beauty, and salubrity ; nor need it fear to enter the 
lists in honourable competition with any, for the meed due to in- 
tellect and refinement, boasting, as it does, of possessing in its 
bosom a Rummins and a Jubb, a few copies of whose unrivalled 
and truly classical Poem, called Pedlingtonia, descriptive of 
the beauties of the place, may still be had at Yawkins's Library, 
^ price 2«. with a plate, and for which an early application is ear- 
nestly recommended. 

"We have no hesitation in declaring it as our impartial opinion 
that, for classic purity of taste and style, nothing, since the days of 
/Pope, has appeared worthy of comparison with this Poem : it is truly 
Doric. Without intending to decry B-r-n, C-mpb-11, M — re, R-g-rs, 
or Sc-tt, we will venture to prophesy that this work will operate a 
reform in the pubHc taste, bring back poetry to what it ought to he, and 
obtain for its author a deathless fame. We are proud to say it is 
the production of our highly-gifted Curate and townsman, the Rev. 
Jonathan Jubb." — See tiie Pedlington Weekly Observer , June 17th. 

THE TOWN. 

The entrance to Little Pedlington from the London road is by 
High Street, and presents to the astonished eye of the visitor an 
aspect truly imposing ; nor will the first impression thus created 
be easily obliterated from the "mind's eye."f On one side, after 

Sassing between two rows of well-grown elms, stands Minerva 
lansion, a seminary for young ladies, kept by Miss Jubb, sister 
of the Rev. J. Jubb, under whose able superintendence is Birch 
House, in the Crescent, a seminary for young gentlemen, the 
terms of both of which may be had. at Yawkins's Library ; and 
on the other, the view is met by the Green Dragon Inn, kept by 
Mr. Scorewell, whose politeness and attention are proverbial, and 
where travellers may be sure of meeting with every accommoda- 
tion on very reasonable terms. 

Passing along, we come to East Street, West Street, North 
Street, and South Street, so named from the several directions 
they take (see Rummins), all converging into a focus, designated 

* London. *)* Shakspe&xe. 



a:nd thb fbdungtonians. 7 

Market Square (now one of the fashionable promenades), the 
market haying formerly been held on the identical spot now occu- 
pied by the New Pump ; of which more in its proper place. 

But, if we are at a loss to which of these noble streets to give 
tlie preference, whether for regularity or cleanliness, in what terms 
shall we describe the Crescent ? Well ma^ it be said, that English- 
men are prone to explore foreign coimtries ere yet they arc ac- 
ipiainted with their own ; and many a one will talk ecstatically 
of the marble palaces of Venice and Herculaneum, who is ignorant 
of the beauties of Little Pedlington. The Crescent, then, is at 
the end of North Street, and is so called from the peculiarity of 
its form (we are again indebted to Eummins), it being somewhat 
in the shape of a half-moon. It consists of twenty-tour houses, 
mansions we might say, uniformly built of bright red bricks, 
whioh, when the sun is full upon them, are of dazzling brilliancy. 
l^ere are bow-windows to all the edifices ; and each having a light 
gieen door with a highly-polished brass knocker, three snow-white 
steps forming the ascent, an effect is produced which to be ad- 
mired need only to be seen, and which, though some other places 
mayperiiaps equal, none certainly can surpass. 

vVe eamu)t quit the Crescent without calling the attention of 
the literazT pilgrim to the second house from the left-hand comer. 
No. 23. These lives Jubb ! 

<' A Bomathing inward tells me that my name 
May shine conspiouous Id the rolls of Fame ; 
The traveller here his pensive brow may rub. 
And softly sigh, ' Here dwelt the tuneful Jubb.' " 

Pedlinqtonia. 



THB BOAEDING-HOUSES, LIBRAKIES, PUBLIC 
AMUSEMENTS, ETC. 

!ESroceed we now to matters which, albeit of less stirring in- 
ine6t» are yet not devoid of pleasure and utility. And first, to 
the • 

BOARDING-HOUSES. 

The princijjal Boarding-house is kept by Mrs. Stintum, and is 
AiightiuUjr situated No. 17, Crescent. This e^ceWevi^. ^^VvjJtXx'^- 
ment commnea elegance with comfort, and notlimg ca^i C!SJC^^^ V\\^ 
and attention o/ tie proprietress toliei gu.es\.a,^W V^^\i<^ 



8 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

under her fostering anspices all that their own homes would afford. 
This house is always thronged with the most elegant company. 

Mrs. Starvum's Boarding-house, which yields ^o none for com- 
fort, and which for elegance few can excel, is most beautifully 
situated No. 11, South Street. The attention and assiduity of 
Mrs. Starvum are proverbial. As none but the haut ton are re- 
ceived here, we need not add, that visitors will not find a defi- 
ciency in any of those comforts and conveniences which they 
have been accustomed to in their own houses. 



LIBRARIES. 

Yawkins's Library, in Market Square, has long been known to 
the frequenters of Little Pedlington ; and, if an excellent collec- 
tion of books, urbanity, all the new publications, attention, all 
sorts of choice perfumery, tooth-brushes, dispatch in the execu- 
tion of orders, Tunbridge-ware, &c., &c., all at the most moderate 
prices, can claim the sxiffrages of the public, we have no hesita- 
tion in requesting their patronage of Mr. Yawkins. 

Nor should we be just in failing to recommend Snargate's 
long-established Library in High Street. Here will subscribers 
be lumished with both old and new publications with the utmost 
readiness, and with a politeness highly creditable to the 
proprietor. And, if moderate charges for Tunbridge-ware, 
perfumery of the best quality, &c., &c., &c., are a desideratum, 
Mr. Snargate will be certain of an ample share of support. Here 
also is the Post-office. 

There is also (as we are told) a minor establishment in Market 
Street, kept by a person of the name of Sniggerston, the pub- 
lisher of a would-be Pedlington Guide. It would ill become tts to 
speak of the work itself, which abounds in errors of the grossest 
kmd, and will be found altogether useless to the traveller ; but of 
the establishment we are bound in fairness to say, that nothing 
can be urged against it, as we are informed that it is resorted to 
by some of the respectable trades-people of the town, and 
the PARMERS and country-polks on Market-days. 

THE THEATRE. 

Prom time immemorial the drama has been a chief source of 
amusement to the intellectual and the enh'ghtened; nay, the 
Greeks and Romaus patronized this innocent refuge from the 
busy cares of life; and it is beyond dispule t\iaX. Wier^Xxe.^ ^et^\.^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIAKS. 'J 

be fonnd in the kingdoms both of Home and Athens. No 
wonder is it, therefore, that Little Pedlington should languish 
for a fitting temple for the reception of Thalia and [Melpomene ;* 
and that lawkins's timber-yard should be contcmphitcd cis a 
oonyenient site for its erection. 2k[r. Snargate, the architect, has 
already executed a plan for a theatre, which will, in every 
respect, be worthy of our town: ice 7ieed say no more ; and 
Messrs. Yawkins, Snargate, and Co., our obliging bankers, have 
liberally consented to receive subscriptions for that purpose. 
At present, Mr. Strut's inimitable company, from Dunstable, 
perform in a commodious outhouse belonging to Mr. Sniggerston, 
the brewer, which is tastefully fitted up for the occasion. Ere 
long, however, we hope to receive the facetious Tippleton, the 
heart-rending Snoxell, and the versatile and incomparable Mrs. 
Biggleswade, in an edifice more becoming their high deserts. 

YAWKINS'S SKITTLE-GROUND. 

Nor should the lover of skittles and the fine arts fail to visit 
this place. On entering, he is astonished at beholding, at the 
further extremity, a Grenadier, with firelock and fixed bayonet, 
standing, as it were, sentry. " What ! " he involuntarily exclaims, 
"the military in these peaceful retreats ! " But, on nearer 
approach, he discovers it to be — ^what ? — incredible as it may 
seem, nothing more than a painted canvass ! Such is the illusion 
of art ! For this unrivalled work we are indebted to the pencil 
of Mr. Daubson, portrait-painter, Mo. 6, AVest Street, where 
likenesses are taken in a superior style at five shillings to one 
guinea, and profiles done in one minute, at only one shilling 
each. 

Yet, will it be believed ! a certain jealous body of artists, in 
London, refused to exhibit this production, now the pride of 
Little Pedlington ! Such is the force of jaundiced envy ! Well 
might our " tuneful Jubb" thunder out the satire, which, should 
it demolish them, it will be well for modest merit, like our 
Daubson's, and they will have no one to thank for it but 
themselves. 

" ' Where seek him* (cries th' astonish'd stranger here), 
' "Who drew tills ail-but breathing Grenadier ? ' — 

Not where, in academic pride, we see 

Sir David Wilkie and Sir Martin Shee, 



* n 



Tbo Goddossea of Tragedy and Comedy. 



10 UTTLB FEDLIKGTOK 

Briggs, Phillips, Landseer, Piokersgill, and, yea ! 

Turner, and K. R. Reinagle, R.A. 

Jfw works they hide in darksome nook, while they 

Exhibit theirs in all the blaze of day ; 

His hang they high upon their highest wall. 

Or, such their envy ! hang them not at all. 

Stand forth, my Daubson, matchless and alone ! 

And to the world in general be it known 

That Pedlingtonia proud proclaims thee for her own 

Pedlingtonia. 



INNS. 



,..} 



Of the inns, we liave already mentioned the Green Dragon. 
No way inferior to it for accommodation, civility, and reason- 
able charges, i^ Stintum's Golden Lion in East Street ; and 
truth compels us to pass the same encomium upon the Butterfly 
and Bullflnch, in Market Street, kept by Snargate. 

BATHS. 

That immersion in water, or, as it is commonly caUed, bathing, 
was practised, both for health and cleanliness, by the ancients, is 
clearly proved by the existence of baths in Rome, still bearing 
the names of the emperors for whose use they were constructed 
— emperors long since crumbled into dust ! But baths, properly 
so called, were reserved for the use only of the great ; the mid- 
dling and lower classes plunging (such is the opinion of our 
learned townsman, Rummins) into the Tiber.* Our town, how- 
ever, can boast of two establishments, to which ail classes may 
resort ; anft if we hesitate to say that Mrs. "Yawkins's hot and 
cold baths. No. 22, West Street, are unecjualled for comfort and 
cleanliness, it is only because we must, m justice, admit, that 
nothing can exceed the cleanliness and comfort to be found at 
the cold and hot baths kept by Widow Sniggerston, No. 14, 
Market Square. 

THE MAEKET. 

The Market is in Market Street, which (as Rummins has in- 
geniously observed in his Antiquities of Little Fedlington, a 
work which no traveller should be without) appropriately derives 
its name from that circumstance. This edifice is well worthy 

* A river in Rome. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIAKS. 11 

the inspeoiioxL of the carious. It is an oblong building, with a 
roof, wnich effectually protects the various articles exposed for 
sale from the inclemencies of the weather. Formerly, the market 
was held in the open air, to the great inconvenience of both pur- 
chaser and vendor, as well as to the injury of property ; when it 
struck the intelligent mind of our townsman, Mr. Snargate, the 
builder (to whose patriotic exertions we are indebted for the pre- 
sent edince), that an enclosed building would at once obviate all 
those inconveniences — an example which, we doubt not, will be 
followed in other parts of the kingdom. A subscription was 
soon raised for the purpose; and the Market of Little Pcd- 
lin^on now stands an eternal monument to his fame. Here are 
stms for the sale of the finny tribe, the feathered creation, the 
produce of the earth, &c., &c., all separate from each other ; and 
in such abundance, and so reasonable, that, not onl^ for occa- 
sional visitors, but for the continual residence of families, espe- 
cially of limited incomes, we should recommend this place as 
preferable to any other in England. 



CURIOSITIES, ETC. 

A few years ago, the Stocks, which had stood, time imme- 
morial, at the church door, were removed, and the present Cage 
▼as substituted in their place. Mr, Bummins, however, with 
praiseworthy zeal, anxious to preserve a relic of the venerable 
machine which had confined the legs of so many generations of 
offenders, petitioned the competent authorities of the town for 
leave to place one of the sliding-boards in his collection of 
cariosities. This was granted ; and Mr. R. is always happy to 
exhibit this interesting fragment to respectable persons, between 
the hours of twelve and two, on any Friday during the season. 

The New Pump, which stands in the centre of Market Square, 
is an elegant and conspicuous object, as seen from the further 
end of any of the four leading streets ; but it will amply repay 
the curious for a close and attentive inspection. It is composed 
etUirefy of cast iron, its predecessor having been merely of wood : 
such is the progress of luxury and civmzation ! It is in the 
form of an obelisk, or nearly so, on the top of which is a small 
figure of Neptune brandishing his trident, the attitude of which 
is much admired. The spout represents a lion's mouth ; and the 
effect, as the water flows from it, is as pleasing ^ \\. *\^ \i.Y^\^ 
pruUe, The handle is in the form of a do\p\mi'^ \,^— -^Nksi^ 



12 LITTLE rEDLlNGTOJJ 

emblem ! On the front, towards South Street, is the following 
inscription, for "which wc are indebted to the classical pen of 
Mr, Bummins: — 

"THIS PUMP, 

THE OLD ONE BEING WORN OUT, 

ON THE 1st OP APRIL, 1829, 

WAS PLACED WHERE IT NOW STANDS 

AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PARISH OF LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

THOMAS YAWKINS, CHURCHWARDEN, 

HENRY SNARGATB, OVERSEER." 

To the disgrace of human nature, we regret to add, that, 
shortly after its erection, the ladle which was suspended to it, 
that " the thirsty might drink," was stolen by sonic monster in 
human form ! ! This circumstance gave rise to dissensions 
which disturbed the town for many months, one party support- 
ing tlie motion for a new ladle, the other as warmly opposing it. 
We rejoice to say, however (for we make no secret of our opi- 
nions on that subject), that a new ladle, with a strong double 
chain, was affixed to the pump, and that all rancorous party- 
feeling is fast subsiding, notwithstanding the efforts of a certain 
publisher of a certain 6uide to prolong it. The robbery is finely 
and indignantly alluded to by Mr. Jubb, in his galling satire on a 
certain magistrate who opposed the restoration : — 

*' I'd rather be, than such a thing as Cr*mp, 
The wretch that stole the ladle from the pump." 

THE ENVIRONS. 

Having conducted the stranger through the town, we will now 
lead him to its environs, and point out those spots most worthy 
of a morning's drive or walk. And first to the Vale of Health. 

There is, perhaps, no place in Europe which can boast of so 
salubrious an air as Pedlington. Such, indeed, is the declared 
opinion of those eminent sons of Esculapius, Drs. Drench and 
Drainum, of this town. But the Vale of Health is paramount ; 
and for invalids suffering from asthma, fits, tooth-ache, indigestion, 
corns, weakness of sight, gout, and other disorders of the same 
class, no other spot can be so safely recommended. It is most 
deJightfuUy and convenientlj situated near t\ie ueTi ^li^ e^\.^m\N^ 



AND THE FEDLIKGTONIAXS. 13 

Burying-ground (the old churchyard having long been full) which 
was planned by Doctors D. and D., who had the honour of laying 
the nrst stone of the entrance-gate, and is distant little more than 
a qnarter of a mile from the town. 

lior should any lover of the picturesque leave us without 
visiting Snapshank Hill. There is no carriage-road to it ; and, 
the path being broken and uneven, full of holes and ruts, con- 
sequently not altogether safe for horses, we would recommend a 
pedestrian excursion, as by far the most agreeable. It is exactly 
five miles distant from the Pump in Market Square, and the 
path is for the whole of the way a tolerably steep ascent. On 
arriving at the summit of the hill, a scene presents itself whicb 
the world cannot equal. But, since prose is too tame to do 
justice to it, we must borrow the exquisite description by our 
poet: — 

" Ix>, Snapshnnk Hill ! thy steep ascent I climb, 
And fondly gaze upon the scene sublime : 
Fields beyond fields, as far as eye can spy ! 
Above — that splendid canopy, the sky ! 
Around — ^fair Nature in her green attire ; 
There — Pedlingtonia and its antique sph-e ! 
I gaze and ^ze till pleasure turns to pain : 
Snapshamc Hill ! I'll now go down again." 

We now take our leave. 

Respecting the subscriptions to the Master of the Ceremonies' 
book, which lies at Yawkins's and at Snargate's libraries, as also 
to his weekly balls, it is not for us to speak ; we therefore refer 
the visitor to those exceedingly obliging and attentive persons, 
who will candidly acquaint the inquirer with what is prefer and 
customary on the occasion, as well as furnish him with his terms 
for teaching the pleasing art of tripping on the li^ht fantastic 
toe. We cannot more appropriately conclude than oy repeating 
the charming lines which we selected for our motto : — 

" Hail, Pedlingtonia ! Hail, thou favoured spot ! 
What's good is found in thee ; what's not, is not. 
Poaco orowns thy dwelUngs, Health protects thy fields. 
And Plenty all her cornucopia yields." 



14 IiITTLB PEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER I. 

Personal Narrative of the Journey to Little Pedlington — Pleasures of 
Poppleton-End — Blind Bob: a Job's Comforter — An agreeable 
Morning at Squashmire-(Jate — ^The practice of receiving Money at 
Show>houses, defended — The Lippleton " Wonder " — Arrival at 
Little Pedlington. 

No longer was I doubtful concerning my " whereabout." 
Little Pedlington, thought I, must be a Paradise! And had 
not my desire to visit this heaven upon earth been sufficiently 
excited hj the exquisite lines, so aptly quoted by the M.C. from 
the charming poem of the " tuneful Jubb," — 

" Hail ! Pedlingtonia ! Hail, thou favoured spot 1 
What's good is found in thee ; what's not, is not ! " — 

had not the promise of so much to gratify as well the intellect 
as the senses induced me thither ; a feeling of shame, the con- 
sciousness that the bitter reproof uttered by the M.C. himself 
applied in its fullest force to my case, would alone have urged 
me to make the amende honorable by an immediate journey to the 
place. 

** Well may it be said," he exclaims, " that Englishmen are 
prone to explore foreign countries ere yet they are acquainted 
with their own ; and many a one will talk ecstatically of the 
marble palaces of Venice and Herculaneum, who is ignorant of 
the beauties of Little Pedlington." 

True, true, indeed ! and, myself standing in that predicament, 
I felt the sarcasm the more acutely. Jt was a suffering of' a 
nature not long to be borne with patience ; so I resolved to book 
a place for that same evening in tne Little Pedlington mail. 

Not a little was my astonishment on learning that there was no 

mail to that celebrated place ; but great indeed it was when I was 

informed that there was no public conveyance whatever direct 

tliither! However, libund that the Winklemoxith. coocck (wliich 

raunearer to it than any other) would set me Ao^n ft.X.'fiQ.Y^^X.^^ 



AST) THE FEDLIN6T0NLLNS. 15 

find ; that there I should he pretty sure of mbeting with some one 
▼ho would carry 1117 luggage to Squashmire-Gate, a short three 
miles ; and that from thence to Little Pedlington, a distance of 
eight miles — ^there or thereabouts — a coach ran regularly three 
times a-week during the season. Too happy to get there in any 
manner, I took a place in the Winklemouth coach, and, shortly 
afterwards, was rattling on towards the goal of my desires. 

Between four and five in the morning the coach pulled up at 
the comer of a narrow cart-road, of no very inviting appearance, 
the soil being of day, and the holes and wheel-tracks filled with 
water by the late heavy rains. A slight drizzling rain was falling 
then. The country for miles round was a dead flat, and not a 
bouse or shelter of any kind, save here and there a tree, was to 
be seen. 

*'Poppleton-End, sir," said the guard, as he let down the step. 

" What ! is this Popplcton-End ? " said I. 

** Yes, sir," replied he (adding, with a leer, which clearly indi- 
oatod that he was satisfied of the excellence of his joke), "and 
has been, time out of mind." 

*'But I have a heavy valise with me," said I, as I alighted. 

** Yes, sir," replied the guard, taking it down from the top of 
the coadb, and placing it against the boundary-stone at the comer 
of the lane ; " it is precious heavy, indeed." 

" Well — ^I was informed that I shoiUd find somebody here who 
wonld carry it to Squashmire-Gate ; but there is no person within 
sight, and I can't carry it myself." 

" Why, no, sir, I don't very well see how you can ; at least," 
continued he, in the same facetious tone, " it wouldn't be alto- 
gether pleasant. Hows'ever, sir, you have a very good chance 
of Blina Bob coming up with his tmck in about haLf-an-hour or 



80." 



I hate the phrase "or so." It is a cheat, an impostor, a 
specious and an insidious rogue. In all matters involving an 
inconvenience, I have invariably found that it is an aggravation 
of the original evil at least threefold. Thus, your " three miles, 
or 90, further," to the place of your destination, after a wearisome 
walk in a strange country, may usually be computed at nine ; 
**a guinea or so," in an uncertain charge, at three; if waiting 
the arrival of your bride, " an hour or so," at a day, a week, a 
year ; if of your wife — but that is a case dependent upon pecu- 
liar circumstances. 

" And ma^, guard," inquired I, rather peeVi&\ii:^» *^ ^\iKt^ «c\ 
J to wait during that baH-houi-.-^i so ? " 



IC) LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

"Why, sir, if you should chance to miss Blind Bob, you 
might perhaps find it a leetle awkward with that large trunk of 
yours ; so if you'll take my advice, sir, you'll wait where you 
are. Good morning, sir. I don't think it will be much of a 
rain, sir. All right. Bill ; get on." So saying, he mounted the 
coach, and left me seated, beneath my umbrella, on the boundary- 
stone at Poppleton-End, at half-past four of the morning, in a 
drizzling rain. 

They who travel much must be prepared to meet with diffi- 
culties; sometimes to encounter dangers: these carry a com- 
pensation with them in the excitement which they produce, and 
the exalted feelings they inspire. But one sinks under a tame 
and spiritless inconvenience: one's fortitude sneaks off, as it 
were, and one's temper oozes away. At five, at half-past five, at 
six o'clock, there I still sat, and not a human creature had come 
near me. The abominable rain, too ! Kain ! it was unworthy 
the name of rain. A good, honest, manly shower^ which would 
have made one wet through-and-through in five seconds, I could 
have borne without complaint; but to be made to suffer the 
intolerable sensation of dampness merely, by a snivelling, drivel- 
ling, mizzling, drizzling sputter, and that, too, by dint of the 

exercise of its petty spite for a full hour-and-a-half ! There 

are annoyances which, it is said, are of a nature to make a 
parson swear; but this would have set swearing the whole 
Dcnch of bishops, with their Graces of York and Canterbury at 
their head. 

At length, I perceived, at some distance down the lane, a man 
dragging along a truck, at what seemed to me a tolerably brisk 
pace, considenng the state of the road. He drew it by means of 
a strap passing over his shoulders and across his chest : and he 
carried in his hand a stout staff, which he occasionally struck 
upon the ground, though apparently not for support. He was 
rather above the middle height, broad, s(juare, and muscular, — a 
cart-horse of a fellow. On arriving within two steps of my 
resting-place he stopped, and, with a voice of ten-Doatswain 
power, shouted — 

"Any one here for Squash'ire-Gate?" 

" Yes," said I, almost stunned by the report, " don't you see ? 
I am here." 

"I wish I could," replied he; "but as I have lived Blind 
Bob all my life. Blind Bob I shall die." 

The guard's .description of my intended guide and carrier as 
'Blind Boh ''had certainly not prepared u\e te \i\i& ^^uQm^u^^u 



AHD THE PEDLINGTONIAKS. 17 

I iras now to witness. Had I, indeed, paid any attention to it, 
the utmost I should have expected, as a justification of it, would 
have been a deduction of fifty per cent, from the usual allow- 
ance of eyes, in the case of the party in question. ]But here was 
a gaide stone blind ! * 

"Blind!" I exclaimed; "under such circumstances, you have 
chosen a strange occupation." 

"We can't choose what we like in this world, sir; if I wam't 
blind rd never ha' chose to get my living by being a guide, that 
I promise yon." 

On my informing him that I had a portmanteau with mc, and 
indicating the spot where it stood, he moved towards it, and, 
lifting it up, he tossed it, heavy as it was, over his shoulder into 
the truck, and instantly set forward towards Squashmiro Gate. 

" The " short three miles'' turning out, as a matter of course, 
to be " a long five," and the whole of the road for that aCTcc- 
aWe distance, being ankle-deep in mud, it was nearly nine o'clock 
when we came to the end of this portion of the journey. The 
conversation of my companion on the way might possibly have 
proved to be pleasant could I have afforded to purehasc it at his 
price, which was — from the extraordinary loud tone of his voice 
— to suffer a smart box o' the ear at each word he uttered : this 
was beyond my power of endurance, so that, after a question 
and a remark or two, I remained silent. 1 called to mind a 
certain person, who beinp: accosted in the street by a blind 
clarionet-screecher with " Have pity on the poor blind," rc])lied, 
" I would if I myself were deaf ! " 

Squashmirc Gate cannot, with strict regard to tnith, be termed 
a pretty place ; but as it puts forth no claim to that character, 
and as it is, moreover, the last stage on the road to Little Pcd- 
lington, it would be ungrateful as well as unjust to criticise it 
severely. It consists merely of a small public-house, of the most 
modest pretensions, situate on one side of a crooked road, slushy 
and miry; a small farriery on the other ; a barn, a pigsty, and a 
horse-trough. And such is Squashmire Gate, where I was doomed 
to exist, as best I could, tiU the arrival of the coach — a term (I 
was told) of three mortal hours ! 

Tell not me of the clock or of the dial as the true indicators of 

• Many persons may have seen the blind man who is (or lately was 
frequently to be found at tho "Bull" at Stroud, and \v\\o tvc\oA\ ^^.-3, 
gwde to strangers aoix^s the country between that \Aaco axvOi^lc^^- 
wcrih, Ifts serviocB wcro scarcely ever rc« quired e^eo\io f^\i iV^tVx 
ja^ti^ whon holed tlw way with a Jant'jrn in Uis liuiv.\. 

n 



18 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

the progress of time. Nay, there are periods in every one's 
existence when the very sun himself is a " lying chronicler." 
There are occasions when, between his rising and his setting, 
months, years, ages, drag slowly along — ^in hope, doubt, or 
anxiety — in sickness or in sorrow— or when waiting the arrival of 
the Little Pedlington coach at such a place as Squashmire 
Gate ! 

Well! breakfast would beguile the half of an hour; so I 
ordered breakfast, which I took to the accompaniment of a 
" concord of sweet sounds : " the squeaking of a child cutting its 
teeth, the croaking of a raven in a wicker cage, the creaking of 
the sign-board on its rusty hinges, the occasional braying of a 
donkey ; and the ceaseless yelping of a cur confined in a cup- 
board. 

Breakfast ended, and only half-past nine ! What was to be 
done next ? " Are there any books in the house ? " — " No, not 
one." — " A newspaper ? " — " No." — " Then bring me pen, ink, 
and paper." They were " quite out" of paper, the cat nad just 
broken the ink-bottle, and, somehow, they had mislaid the pen 
— a circumstance the importance of which was considerably 
diminished by the two previous accidents. 

I turned for amusement to the window-panes. There was not 
a line, nor a word, nor a letter, nor a scratch to be seen. The 
vulgar scribble upon the glass, by which one is usually offended 
at country inns, would to me, in my then desolate condition, 
have been delight ineffable. To have oeen informed that *" J, P. 
and C. S. dind hear on the \^th of Fehrury ;" or that " Ephraim 
Trist lovs Jane Higs ; or that " Susen Miles is a heatifull cretear;" 
or even such tender exclamations as " Mariar ! " or " 
Fohf!!^^ — this, the smallest information, would not only have 
been thankfully received, but it would have become to me 
matter of profound interest. But not a line, not a letter. 

At length, after a considerable lapse of time, it came to be ten 
o'clock. 

" And pray, my good woman," inquired I of the hostess, " is 
there no chance of the Little Pedlington coach coming through 
this place earlier than twelve to-day ? " 

"Not earlier, sir; indeed I shouldn't wonder if its arter 
instead of afore, seeing the state of the roads ! " 

" What ! " shouted Blind Bob, who was in the kitchen and 
overheard our short colloquy — " What ! afore ! and with them 
*ere roads 1 The Lippleton * Wonder' won't be here afore three 
to-day, BlesA you, it can^t,'* 



AKD TllK PEDLINGTOMANS. ID 

" Three ! " I exclaimed ; " it is impossible to remain here 
till three o'clock; I shall die of impatience and ennui. Can I have 
a chaise, or a gig ? " 

"No, sir," replied the woman; "we have nothing of iliat 
sort. To be sure, we have a one-horse kind of a cart" — ^bere 
was a prospect of escape — " but our horse died Friday-week, 
and mj good man hasn't yet been able to suit himself with 
another." 

" Then," said I, " as the rain has ceased, I'll leave my port- 
manteau to be sent on by the * Wonder,' and will walk the eight 
miles to Little Pedlington." 

" What ! " again shouted my evil genius — for as such I now 
began to consider him ; " eight mile ? It's thirteen good mile any 
day of the year ; and as you must go round by Lob's Farm, 
'cause of the waters being out at Slush-lane, it's a pretty tightish 
seventeen just now." Had it so chanced that Job had espoused 
Qriselda, and I had been the sole offspring of so propitious a 
onion, sole inheritor of their joint wealth ot patience, my whole 
patrimony would have been insufficient to answer the exorbitant 
demands now made upon it. To find my journey len^bening in 
nearly the proportion in which it ought to have dimmished ; to 
be jRif^bound in a place like this, without a resource of any kind, 
corporeal or intellectual, to beguile the time ; and, in agf^ravation 
of uiese annoyances, to be condemned to the ceaseless infliction 
of the combined yell, yelp, squeak, screech, and scream of the 
sick child, the sorry puppy, and the other performers, animate and 
inanimate, in the cruel concert which I have before alluded to — ! 
I know not how my imagined parents would have acted under a 
similar pressure of ills ; but, for my part, I surrendered at dis- 
cretion to the irresistible attack, and striking the table with 
a force which caused the astonished teapot to leap an inch 
high— 

" And must I," I exclaimed, " musi 1 remain in this infernal 
place for the whole of this miserable day ? " 

The poor woman, evidently hurt at the opprobrious term which 
I had cast upon her village f for such, I suppose, she considered 
Squashmire Gate to be), slowly sliook her head ; and with a look 
of mild rebuke, and in a corresponding tone, — 

" Sir," she said, " all the world can't be Lippleton ; if it wasy 
it would be much too fine a place, and too good for us poor 
sinners to live in." 

I would not be thought to undervalue ll[ie ^xe^V \«w*4. <3J^ 
PfJ/x Boppjr, Esq., M.C.; but admirable as it is to V>cv^ ^\^^^fioa^ 

c 3 



20 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

of its style, and unrivalled for the graphic (that, I believe, is the 
word now commonly in use upon these occasions), the graphic 
power of its descriptions, I declare that that one simply eulogistic 
phrase of ray hostess would as effectually have excited my 
desire to behold the beauties and the wonders of Little Ped- 
lington, as had already been accomplished by the more elaborate 
temptation offered by the illustrious Hoppy himself. 

Although this was adding fuel to the fire of my impatience, I 
was at once overcome by the gentleness of the woman's manner; 
and unwilling that she should consider me as an incamation,of 
slander and detraction, I " explained," somewhat after the Par- 
liamentary fashion, assuring her that by the phrase "infernal 
place," I meant nothing more than that it was the sweetest spot 
on earth, but that I was anxious to proceed on my journey. 

And now, having satisfied her that I meant no offence to 
Squashmire Gate, — " Consider," said I, " consider that I have 
yet five hours to remain here: you cannot furnish me either 
with books, or paper, or with any earthly thing which would 
serve to lighten the time " — (adding, in the most imploring tone 
I could assume); "tell me, tell me, what can I do to amuse 
myself?" 

The landlady looked at me as if she felt my appeal in its 
fullest force ; then, fondly casting her eyes on the sick, squalling 
child, which she carried on her arm ; then, again looking at me, 
she said, " I'm sure I hardly know, sir, what you can do ; but 
if you would like to nurse babby for two or three hours you are 
heartily welcome, indeed you are, sir." 

Nothing, perhaps, could more strikingly illustrate the forlorn 
and helpless condition to which I was reduced, than that it 
should have instigated one human being to venture such a pro- 
posal to another. Inviting as was the offer, I declined it, taking 
due credit to myself for so exemplary a display of self-denial. 

The weather cleared, and the impartial sun shed a portion of 
its brightness even upon the ugliness of Squashmire Gate. The 
landlady seized the auspicious moment to vindicate the reputa- 
tion of the place, and, leading me to the door, exclaimed, in a 
tone of triumph, "Now look, sir! It stands to reason, you 
know, that no place can look pretty in bad weather." 

Yet could I not eiult in my position. Perhaps, the first im- 
pression may have produced an unfavourable prejudice in my 
mind ; yet, a barn, a horse-trough, a pigsty, and a smithy, with 
Aere and there a stunted tree, were not materials out of which 
i^o extract beauty, or capable of exdtmg ^pVeasvix^W^^ ^m^Xivorji^, 



AND TILE FEDLINGTONIANS. 21 

No ; in thfese my cooler moments of reflection, I still maintain 
that Squashmire Gate is not a pretty place. 

I walked, or rather waded, outside the house. I peeped into 
the pigsty, looked into the bam, examined the smithy, and 
counted the ducks in* the pond. Next, to vary my amusement, 
I began with the barn, then proceeded to inspect the pigsty, 
then on to the duck-pond, and so forth. But, by the greatest 
possible exercise of my ingenuity, I could not force the time on 
beyond half-past eleven. " And here I must needs remain till 
three ! " thought T. 

Upon occasions like the present, when one happens to be 
oofMsn-bound, or otherwise detained in a country place, the 
churchyard is an infallible resource, and an epitaph-hunt will 
generally repay the labour of the chase. 

I inquired whereabouts was the church. 

"Just over at Hogsnorton, sir." 

**And what's the distance to Hogsnorton, ma'am P" 

"We call it five mile; but it may be five mile and a half." 

"Hogsnorton five and a half!" shouted Bob; "it's seven 
mile or so, ai\y day." 

The " or so " was sufficient ; so I decided against a pilgrimage 
to Hogsnorton. 

" But, la ! sir, how could I come to forget it ? " exclaimed the 
landlady, upon the impulse of a sudden recollection; there's 
Dribble Hall you might see, if it wam't that the roads are so 
bad." 

"And what, and where, is Dribble Hall, pray P " 

"La ! sir; have you never heard of Dribble Hall, as belongs 
to Squire Dribble. Why, sir, folks come from far and near to 
see Dribble Hall. Such picturs ! and such statties I and such 
grounds ! and such a person as the Squire himself is ! Dear 
me ; if it wam't for the roads " 

"Never mind the roads," said I (delighted at the chance of 
an agreeable mode of getting through this intolerable morning) ; 
" never mind the roads, if the place be within a reasonable dis- 
tance." 

"Ifs only two mile and a half," replied she. 

"What! roared Blind Bob (I expected that, as usual, he 
was preparing to multiply the distance by three ; but this time 
I was agreeably disappointed). " What ! two mile and a half! 
that's going by the road ; but if the gentleuxMi \^'e.^ Vj \)Ckft 
gteen galte, it an't much more than a mile." 

''Aadpraj, Boh, which way must I go? " 



22 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

" Why, sir, when you get out, keep on straight to the left till 
you come to the green gate — green gate, mind, — and then turn 
smack to the right, and that takes you up to the house, across 
the squire's meadows ; but be sure you turn to the right as soon 
as ever you come to the green gate, or you'll chance to be getting 
back again to Poppleton End." 

"But when I have been at the pains of walking to Dribble 
Hall, will the squire allow me to see his place ?" 

"O yes, sir," replied the landlady, "and glad enough too; 
for all that the housemaid — the house-keeper she is called at the 
Hall — ^who receives no wages — ^gets less than ten pound a year 
from visitors, the Squire is obliged to make good to her ; whilst 
whatever she gets above that, he shares with her, — which is but 
fair, you know, sir." 

In a commercial country, where everything is considered 
relatively to its money-value, it certainly is " but fair " that 
noblemen and gentlemen, whose mansions and their contents are 
worth an inspection, should allow their servants to make a 
charge for the exhibition of them. I do not pretend that such a 
proceeding is noble, or dignified, or handsome, or, indeed, at all 
worthy of a person of high station, but, merely and strictly, that 
it is fair. We pay for seeing the sights in the Tower, the lions 
in Wombwell's booth, and in that in Drury Lane ; a charge is 
made for shovnng Westminster Abbey, and the wax-works at 
Madame Tussaud's rooms; and upon what principle, either of 
justice or equity, are we to expect that the I)uke of A. or the 
Earl of Z., if they allow us to see their galleries or their grounds, 
should grant us such an indulgence gratis ? The notion is pre- 
posterous. There are, indeed, certain thriftless proprietors of 
what are called show-houses, who are so inconsiderate as to do 
this, but they form an exception to the general rule ; and, 
happily for the honour and integrity of the maxim, " Give nothing 
for nothing," such instances of improvidence are not numerous. 
Yet I cannot help thinking that Squire Dribble pushes the 
practice a Utile too far, though he deserves some praise for 
nonestly avowing the principle upon which it is founded. 

" Well ; I set forth for Dribble Hall, along a road which one 
might have imagined had been constructed of boot-jacks, for, at 
each step 1 took, my boots were half-drawn off my feet by the 
necessary effort of extricating them from the tenacious soil. 
Eollowing Bob's directions with punctuality equal to their pre- 
"-'^n, I kept to the left; but after waMu^— if struggling 
^"^ Buck a road may be so termed— iox coiis^Aifct^Vj xxvw^ 




AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 23 

than an hour, I had not arrived at a green gate — tbc point at 
▼hich I was to change my course for the right. Gates of all 
colours, black, white, and bro\ni, I had passed, and occasional!/ 
a road branching off in a different direction, but no green gate 
had I seen. Nevertheless, confiding in the instructions ot* my 
blind guide, I proceeded ; when, lo ! at the expiration of anotlicr 
hour, 1 found m;^self in the lane which I had traversed in the 
morning, about mid-way between Squashmire Gate and Popnleton 
End ! "O, Little Pemington ! " thought I ; " a paradise before 
the fJEiU must thou be to compensate me for all that I liavc this 
day endured for thy sake ! " 

Disappointed, wearied, and vexed, I returned to my hotel at 
Squaamniie Gate ; and there, on a bench before the door, sat 
BUnd Bob. 

" Bascal ! " I exclaimed ; " how dared you thus deceive me ? 
how dared you send me on this wildgoose chase ? " 

" Couldn't you find the Hall, sir ? I told you to keep to tltc 
left tiU you came to the green gate, and then — " 

" I did keep to the left till here I am again ; but the deuce a 
green gate is there the whole way/' 

"I think I ought to know best, sir. Tell me o' no green 
gate, indeed ! Bid you notice two tall poplars, with a gate 
between them, leading into a meadow ? " 

** I did, — a newly-painted white gate." 

*' White ! nonsense, sir, begging your pardon; what does that 
signify P That be the green gate, and has been always called sc< 
in these parts, time out o' mind. It's o' no use to be angiy 
with me : it's no fault o' mine if Squire has taken and had it 
painted white." 

Obdurate must be his heart who is not to be pacified by a 
reason, or something that sounds like one. Besides, Blind Bob's 
excuse was strengthened by the explanation of the landlady, 
who told me that, although the green gate had always served as 
a sort of xoad-guide, yet Scjuire Dribble, being " a gentleman 
who looked sharply after his farthings," had resolved that for 
the future it should be painted white — ^white paint being rather 
oheaper than green. 

*' Order diimer," said a generally-too-late friend with whom I 




jdlington " Wonder" being expected 

iqipently vrnved at balf-past four. And " 0\ vi\i?k.V. ^^vscwi.\ 
mmUeg told I o'er" in that long interval I 



24; UTTLB PEDLINGTON 

The Little Pedliiigton "Wonder" was a heavy, lumberijag 
coach, licensed to carry six inside and fourteen out ; was drawn 
by two skinny horses, and driven by a coachman built after the 
exact fashion of the coach he drove, id est, lumbering and 
heavy. 

" i'ull out, room for one in," was the coachman's reply to my 
question whether I could have a place. I expressed my disap- 
pointment at not having an outside place, as I should thus be 
deprived of obtaining the first possible view of Little Pedlington ; 
nor was my disappointment diminished by coachee's remark, 
that that was indeed a sight ! 

" And how long vidll it be before you start, coachman ? " 

" About a quarter of an hour or so, sir," was the reply* 

" What ! " bellowed forth my everlasting friend. Bob ; " a 
quarter of an hour ! You'll not get away from here afbxe six. 
Master Giles, and you know you won't." 

Mr. Giles was part proprietor of the " Wonder" (the only 
coach on that road), wnich he drove up one day and down tlie 
next ; so, there being no opposition, he carried matters with a 
hiffh hand, deferrmg to the wishes or the convenience of one 
only person that ever travelled by the " Wondier," which one was 
himself. 

" Six !" said Giles, taking up the word of Blind Bob, "why, 
to be sure ; mustn't I have a bit of summut to eat ? and mustn't 
I rest a bit ? and mustn't my cattle rest a bit ? How can I get 
off afore six ? My tits are tolerable good ones ; but if I didn't, 
give 'em a rest here and there, how'd ever they get oa to Lipple- 
ton, I should like to know ? " 

Considering the appearance of his "tits," the load they had to 
drag, and the roads along which they were doomed to drag it, 
that question was, certaimy, a poser. When I was told of the 
Little Pedlington " Wonder," my expectations were of a 
rapidity of progress second in degree only to that of flying ; but 
in the present case, the sole claim which the vehicle could con- 
scientiously make to the title was, that it could be prevailed 
upon to move at all. It was, therefore, not without trepidatioa 
that I ventured to inquire at about what time we were likely tQ 
get into Little Pedlington. 

"Why," replied Giles, "we must take the long road this 
afternoon, on account of the waters ; so we shau't get in wuch 
afore nine." 

**And very fair travelling, too," said I, happy at length at 
knowing wAen this day ol disagseeaHclftat ^«ft Vi^ \.W5sajD«^\ 



AND THE PEDLIK6T0NIANS. 25 

se?enteen miles in three hours is not to be complained of, 
inder the circumstances." 

"What!" again shouted the inveterate Blind Bob; "nine! 
joull' not see Lippleton afore eleven to-night. A/V'hv, the 
'Wonder' never does more nor four mile an hour at the test o' 
. times, and here's the long road to take, and as heavv as putty. 
Besides, won't you stop three times more to rest the horses P I 
say you'll not see Lippleton afore eleven ; it stands to reason, 
and you know you won't." 

" Why, you stupid old fool," said Giles, you say yourself I 
must stop three times to rest the horses : then how can I get in 
afore eleven? Some folks talk as if they were out of their 
common senses." Saying which, Giles entered the house, leav- 
ing me in some doubt whether the Fates might not have deter- 
mined against my ever seeing Little Pedlington at all. 

Sometning must be contrived to pass the time between this 
and six o'clock, and dinner was the only expedient that occurred 
to me. I called the landlady, who came, as usual, with that in- 
evitable squalling child on her arm. It was screaming as if it 
would have screamed its head off, and I could not avoid com- 
mencing my address by a profane parody on Shakspeare : — 
"First of all, my good woman, * silence that dreadful 
ehildr' 

" I^a, sir I consider, you were once a child yourself," was her 
reply ; a rebuke, by the by, which you invariably receive if you 
presume to complain of the performance of that the most in- 
tolerable music ever composed by Nature. 

Now, admitting the fact that I was once a child myself, it by 
no means follows as a necessary consequence that I was a 
squalling child ; the justice, therefore, of applying the rebuke to 
me I am always disposed to question. On the other hand, if I 
did delight in that atrocious mode of exalting my voice, my pre- 
sent opmion is that, for the comfort of society, I ought to have 
been, m some way or other — to use a favourite melo-dramatic 
phrase — "disposed of." I throw this out merely as a hint, 
thougli I by no means positively advise that it be acted upon in 
any maimer that might be unpleasant to the rising generation. 
,Qaery : Was £ing Herod at heart a wicked man ? 

Having, at the risk of a sore throat, contrived to scream 
krnder San the child, I inquired what I could have for 



•* What woiildvou like, sir ? " 
''A bcibd duchn." 



26 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

" We have never a chiclven, sir ; hut would you like some eggs 
and bacon ? " 

*'No. Can I have a lamb-cliop ?" 

" No, sir ; but our eggfe and bacon is very nice." 

" Or a cutlet — or a steak ?" 

'•'No, sir; but wc are remarkable liere for our eggs and 
bacon." 

"Have you anything cold in your larder?" 

"Not exactly, sir; but I'm sure you will admire our eggs and 
bacon." 

"Then what liate you got?" 

" Why, sir, we have got nothing but eggs and bacon." 

" ! then have the goodness to give me some eggs and 
bacon." 

" I was sure you'd choose eggs and bacon, sir ; we are so 
famous for it." 

Having finished my dinner, I thought it proper, for the good 
of the house, to inquire what wine I could have — of course, not 
expecting that my cnoice would be much perplexed by the variety 
offered. 

" What would you like, sir?" 

" Some port." 

" We have no port, sir." 

" A little sherry, then." 

" We don't keep sherry, sir ; in short, we have so little call 
for wine, that we don't keep any of no kind." 

" Then pray give me some lemonade." 

"Yes, sir. Do you — do you prefer it with lemon, or with- 
out?" 

"How!" 

"Why — only we happen just now to be out of lemons." 

Finding that I should be obliged to " malt it," I asked for 
— ^what, trom its delicious flavour, is now becoming the rage with 
the drinkers of England's Own — Collins's Eichmond Ale. For- 
tunately, they could supply me with that^ so I had but little 
cause to regret their being " out" of the rest. 

At length, the welcome moment for our departure arrived. 

"I think," said Giles, as he clumsily clambered up 
to his box — " I think we shall have a little more rain 

yet." 

" What ! " for the last time cried our Job's comforter ; " a 
JJitle F You'll have rain enough to drownd ^ou \cm^ a^ote^ jQu're 
JtaJf way to Lippkton, and thunder along m\i\i \\.\ \xvYa.^> VI 



AND THE PEDUSGTOXIAXS. 27 

you don't. I can feci it in my Lead, and it stands to 
reason." 

I took my place inside the coach ; and now, being fairly on 
my road to that haven of bliss, Little Pedlington, I soon forgot 
all the past annoyances of the day. Yet was not my position 
one of absolute comfort. I was jammed in between two cor- 
pulent ladies, of whom one was suffering under a violent tootli- 
acbe, and the other from headache. Opposite to me was a stout 
man with part of a strong Cheshire cheese on his knee ; another, 
saturated with the fumes of bad cigars with which he had been 
regaling himself ; and the third had with him a packet of red- 
herring. Between the two ladies a constant dispute was 
maintained as to whether the glasses should be up or down : she 
of the tooth declaring that if the windows were open the air 
woiuld be the death of her ; whilst the cephalagiau as eagerly 
contended that she should incontestably expire from the 
heat if they were shut; and. as the contest was carried on 
across me, 1 was in imminent danger of suffocation under 
the weight, not of the arguments, but the arguers. In 
addition to the compound of odours I have mentioned, one 
of the fair sufferers was using camphor, and the other, ether. 

We proceeded at what might be the pace of a hearse in a 
hurry — something short of four miles an hour. At every hovel 
by the roadside, Mr. Giles pulled up to enjoy his "tithe of talk" 
with its inhabitants. Eemonstrance and entreaty on the part 
of us, the impatient travellers, were useless. He plainly told us, 
that as there was no opposition on the road, he had always had 
his own way; and that he saw no reason why he should be 
baulked of it now. Then, he stopped at one small public-house 
to eat, and at the next to drink, and at another to rest. A long 
journey, fairly performed, is not an affair to complain of ; but, 
oh ! Uie tormenls of a short one prolonged by needless delay ! 
At ten o'dock we had yet six miles of ours to accomplish. The 
nieht was dark ; suddenly, as the sea-son§ has it, " the rain a 
d^uee poured," and (to continue the quotation) " loud roared the 
dreadfal thunder," when — within about two miles of Little 
PCMJlin^n — crash ! the pole broke. Whether or not the horses 
took fnght I have never nad any means of ascertaining : certain 
bowerer it is, they neither became unmanageable, nor did they 
run away; they were not in a state to do either ; so, like jaded, 
MMfffl^lft horses as they were, they stood stock-still. M\.^t ^\!l- 
gjdenihlffAJy; and many fruitless attempts to lepak \>\\&ac^\^^'v^, 
w9 weneoapelled to wsdk through a pelting sliowei \,Viex«ai«cA«t 



28 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

of the way. As I approaclied the town (though, from the utter 
darkness, I could not see it), I felt as one feels on first beholding 
Rome, or as Bonapart(p is said to have felt at the first sight of 
the pyramids ; and when, at length, I found myself in a bed- 
room at Scorewell's hotel, the Green Dragon, in High-street — 
forgetting all my bygone troubles, I exultingly exclaimed — 
" And here I am m Little Pedlington ! " 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 99 



I CHAPTER II. 

r 

j Profession of tlio spirit in which this journal will be (as all journals 
are) written — First morning in Littlo Pedlington — Am always the 
jirH to complain — Visit from mine host — Already a stirring event 
annoiHiced— Symptoms of envy, hatred, and malice even here — The 
four naughty people in the town denounced — The family with the 
fly — Great folks in little places — Becoming attentions — Visit from a 
great man — ^Everthing to be had in a country town excepting what 
you want. 

June 15. — "All the world can't be Little Pedlington: if it 
was, it vonld be much too fine a place, and too good for us 
poor sinners to live in." Those words, which made so powerful 
an impression upon me when uttered by mine hostess in rebuke 
of my evil-speaking of Squashmire Gate — those words occurred 
to me, as I awoke at eight o'clock of this, the morning of the 
15th of June : those words, therefore, have I placed on the first 
page of the journal which 1 now commence, and which I purpose 
to continue during my residence in Little Pedlington. Each 
night will I repeat them ere I register the events of the by-gone 
day; or minute down the conversations to which I may have 
listened, or in which I may have shared ; or ere I venture to 
record my judgment and opinions, whether of persons or of 
things : so sludl the Spirit of Indulgence guide my pen ! And 
should it be my chance to encounter amongst the Pedlingtonians 
some whose manners, whose acquirements, or whose genius may 
fail to satisfy my full-strained expectation, let me remember thai; 
as all the world cannot be one entire and perfect Little Pedling- 
ton, so neither can I reasonably hope to find in every Pedling- 
fconian a Hoppy, a Rummins, or a Jubb. Let me, Truth ! 
walk hand in hand with thee ! And if, haply, upon occasion I 
tiighUy deviate from thy path severe, be it only to " hide the 
fault I see" — be it to "extenuate," not to " set down in malice." 
Bat if to propitiate the demon Vanity — ^if to purchase, or to 
flHiitaiii^ a repwtation for wit or sentiment, iiot %^xi^\W\\>^ ^t 
sajvasm, for talent or for tact, I sacrifice, O Godde^a\ owoi ^\si\sv 



30 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

of tby divine spirit at the sbriiio of Detraction, may I be hnnted 
from the High Street to the Crescent, from Yawkins's skittle- 
gronnd to the " new pump which stands in the centre of Market 
•Square," and driven with scorn and contumely from out the 
peaceful precincts of Little Pedlington, never to return ! 

So now to proceed. 

Rose at eight. With what emotions did I listen to the clock 
of Little Pedlington Church, as, for the first time, I heard it 
strike the hour ! Thought of my own dear clock which stands 
on the mantlepiece in my library, in my still-remembered 

" home, sweet home," No. 16, Street, and was preparing to 

shed a tear, when I was interrupted by the chambermaid, who 
knocked at my door and inquired whether I wished for some 
warm water? Although the most approved method of com- 
mencing a journal, even of a trip from Grower Street to Graves- 
end, is by a pathetic reflection or two upon the home we have 
left; yet, as i didn't come to Little Pedlington to do the senti- 
mental, I was not sorry for the interruption. The jug of warm 
water she brought me being a small one, I desired she would 
bring a larger. 

^ Hi iiJ ^t ^ 

[With, perhaps, blamable fastidiousness, I suppress many 
points which (it may be) are not of sufficient importance to in- 
terest the general reader : as in the present case, for instance : — 
" The second jug of water not being sufficiently warm, I sent it 
away to be heated — ^nearly seven minutes before she returned 
with it ! " And afterwards, when writing of my breakfast, I 
have suppressed the fact, that " one of the eggs being too 
much boiled, 1 desired that another might be sent me, boiled 
only three minutes and a quarter. A hard t^^ is my mortal 
aversion." The reflection, however, I have thought worth pre- 
serving. The suppressions I may, perhaps, print hereafter, fn a 
separate volume, for distribution amongst my private friends.] 

Having finished dressing, was in doubt whether to walk out 
before breakfast, or to take breakfast before walking out. After 
a long deliberation with myself, resolved, notwithstanding my 
impatience to see the place, to breakfast first ; as, that operation 
bemg performed, I should then enjoy the uninterrupted command 
of the morning. On my way down to the coffee-room met the 
chambermaid. Inquired of her which was considered to be the 
piinoipBl inn of the place. Told me that this was — ^that there 



AND THE Pi:i)UNOTO>iIANS. 31 

▼ere two others which were so-so places upon the whole, but 
quite ««ferior for gentlefolks — that all the tip-top people came 
here. Here she was interrupted by the violent ringing of a bell. 
Made her excuses for being obliged to leave me so *' abrupt ;" 
but explained, that if the bell of the family with the fly were not 
answered on the instant, the house woulci not be big enough to 
hold them. — Could not comprehend what was meant by the family 
with the fly. 

Went into the coffee-room — ^not a creature in it. Looked out 
»k the window — ^not a soul to be seen. Thought the town must 
Be deserted. Rang the bell — enter waiter — white cotton stock- 
ings with three dark stripes above the heel of the shoe, indi- 
cating the number of days' duty they had performed. Ordered 
breakfast — coffee, eggs, and dry toast; observing, that if they 
were not au /ait at making coffee, I should prefer to take tea. 
Waiter, rather piqued, assured me that I was the furst gentleman 
who had ever said O fie ! at their coffee, for that it gave general 
satisfaction. 

Strange ! It has invariably been my misfortune to be the 
first to complain of anything frA^x^soever, at any tavern, coffee- 
house, or hotel where^otNtv ', the slightest expression of dis- 
content at my wine, my dinner, my accommodation — no matter 
what — ^havin» always been met with, " Dear me, sir ! that's 
very extraordinary ! This is the very first time we have heard a 
complaint of that, I assure you." I wonder whether my case 
in this respect is singular ? 

Breakfast brought ; poured out from a huge japanned tin 
vessel, standing eighteen inches high, a nankeen-coloured liquid. 
Hose for the purpose of looking into the unfathomable machine 
—full to the brim ! Made according to the most approved 
English coffee-house recipe — " to half an ounce of coffee add a 
quwrt-and-a-half of water : " but as their coffee " gave general 
satisfaction," I would not, by complaining, risk an appearance in 
so remarkable a minority as one. 

« « « « « 

A hard egg is my mortal aversion. 

« « 4ic ^ « 

"Yon are the first gentleman that ever complained of our 
owr-boiling our eggs, I assure you, sir," said the waitex« 
" "Do/oa take a London paper here ?" 



82 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

^^ In course, sir; a house like ours takes a London ps^er. 
We have the Morning Post up to last Saturday week, sir, and 
shall have all last week's down by next week's carrier. But I 
hope, sir, you are in no hurry to see the papers !" 

*' And why so ? " 

" Because, sir, the family with the fly has got them ; and it 
would be as much as their custom is worth to ask for them till 
they are quite done with." 

Before I had time to ask for an explanation concerning a 
family so oddly distinguished, the landlord, Mr. Scorewell, came 
hastily into the room, and angrily said to the waiter, " Don't 
you hear, sir? The family-with-the-fly bell has rung twice/* 
Away scampered the waiter, as though he had been goaded on to 
his duty by the combined attack of every fly of every kind in 
Little PedJington. 

Scorewell, with inconceivable rapidity, converted his angry 
frown into the sweetest innkeeper-smile I ever witnessed ; and, 
in a tone indescribably bland, accompanied by the matter-oF- 
course bow, he welcomed me to " Lippleton " — that being the 
abbreviated name of the place. 

" Is this your first visit to our place, sir?" 

I told him it was. 

" Then, sir, I can only say, you have a great treat to come." 

" Your town seems to me to be empty," said I ; " excepting 
yourself and your servants, I have not seen a human being." 

" Quite the contrary, sir — fullest season ever known." 

" Then what is become of all the people ?" 

" Dear me, sir ! didn't the waiter tell you ? how very stupid 
of him ! 'Tis his duty to tell visitors when anything particular 
is going on in the town. I dare say, sir, you would have liked 
to go?" 

" What is it, and where ?" I eagerly inquired. 

" Why, sir, everybody is gone down to the market-place to 
hear Miss Cripps's bag cried. Had the misfortune last night to 
lose her peagreen silk bag with a scarlet ribbon and a sky-blue 
bindinf^, containing two sovereigns, a silver thimble, a lump of 
orris-root, three shillings, a pot of lip-salve, a new flaxen front, 
two half-crowns, a new tooth, a paper of carmine, and eighteen 
sixpences. And would you believe it, sir, though the crier has 
been three times round the town already, and has oflfered one- 
and-ninepenoe reward, there are no tidings of it, high or low ? 
Miss C. declares that it isn't the loss of the money she cares 
about; but she is anxious on account ot i\ve "vi^nn \.QkQW\, Wi^ 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 83 

orris-root, the carmme, lip-salve, and flaxen front— ^^m;A belonged 
to a friend of hers" 

These latter words the landlord (checking his volubiliW) 
uttered with particular emphasis, accompanied by a comicafiy 
gxBYe expression of countenance. 

"A tnousand pities, sir," continued ScorewelJ, "that yoa 
ahonld have missed hearing the crier ; the more so, owing to the 
extraordinary coin^rtdence of so interesting a thing occurring the 
very first morning of your being in Lippletou, when all the town, 
as I may say, is m a state of excitement about it." 

"I am greatly annoyed at my loss," said I ; " but concerning 
Miss Gripps's, I entertain no apprehensions; for if what I 
hear of your towns-people be true— that they are as re- 
markable for their goodness and virtue, as your town is for its 
beanty- 






Tea may sa^r that, sir ; and though I am a Pedlingtonian 
myself, this I will say, that for good-heartedness, and honour, 
and honesty — with never a grain of envy, hatred, or malice — 
and as for evil-speaking, why, bless you, sir, we don't know 
what the thing means. Ah ! it is, indeed, a proud thing to be 
able to say, that in such a prodigious population as ours (for we 
count twenty-nine hundred and seventy-two, men women, and 
children) there are only two rascals to be found." 

" Then pray teJl me who they are, in order that I may avoid 
them." 

" O sir, they are very well known : one is that villain Stintum 
that keeps the Golden Lion ; the other is that scoundrel Snar- 
gate, of the Butterfly and Bullfinch. But I suppose, sir, there 
must be a black sheep or two in every flock, or the world 
would not be the world. Foul-mouthed villains, too ! Why, 

sir, they never mention my name without ^but I beg pardon, 

sir — there's the family-with-the-fly bell — will be with you again 
in a minute." 

Ere I had ceased to wonder that a community so near to per- 
fection as that of Little Pedlington should allow itself to be thus 
defiled, when it might become immaculate by ejecting only two 
of its members, Scorewell returned. 

Not choosing to inquire directly what they meant by their 
fiunily with the fly, I led to the question by asking Scorewell if 
Ids house was full. 

" Why, sir, I should have been full if it hadn't been for thQs.<i 
▼illaiiis who kidnaps^ positively kidnaps, customera m\.o ^evs. 
>0BSM9. SeDding tbeir cards about — uuder-chaxgiwg so, V\v^^ T w 



IT 



34 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

sure they cannot get a living profit — and then, setting about a 

report that my chimneys smokes, d — n 'em ! I'm a man, sir, 

that speaks ill of nobody, alid wishes ill to no man ; but as for 
them, the day I see their names in the Gazette (and it wont be 
long first) will be the happiest day of my life. And then, again, 
sir, those boarding-houses ! Tull, indeed ! Til ask you, sir, 
how is one to be full, or how is an honest innkeeper to get a 
livelihood with sueh opposition as that ? Little Pedlington, sir, 
would be a perfect Paradise if it wam't for them boarding-houses. 
But they are the pest of the place ; they ought to be annilliated; 
government ought to interfere and put them down. When we 
send members to Parliament (which we have as good a right to 
do as many other places), Vll give my vote and support to who- 
somever will go in upon the independent interest, and bring in a 
bill to put down boarding-houses. And yet, upon the whole, I 
can't say they do me much harm, for real gentlefolks don't go to 
them. Real gentlefolks don't like to be pisen'd with stale fish 
and bad meat. I know how much a-pound Mrs. Stintum of the 
Crescent-boarding-house pays for her meat; and I know how 
Mrs. Starvum of South-street bargains for her fish and poultry. 
I don't say it to their disparagement, poor devils! because 
people must live ; and those who sell cheap must buy cheap- 
only, they ought to be a little more careful in cholera times. 
But go to mybutcher, sir, and ask him what sort of meat Score- 
well of the Green Dragon buys — my son George, who is the 
most pre-eminent butcher in the market ; and ask my other 
son, Tobias, who serves me with every morsel of fish and poultry 
that comes into this house, what prices / pay for my commodi- 
ties : I'm not ashamed to have my larder looked into before the 
victuals is cooked. If, indeed, they would only live and let live, 
as I say — but two stingy, cheating, undermining, evil-speaking 
old tabbies like them, who cannot bear to see anybody thrive 
bat themselves-f-especially me! They are the only two nui- 
sances in the place, and it would be better for everybody if they 
were out of it. The world is big enough for us all, so there's no 
need of envy and jealousy, and of trying to do one's neighbour 
harm : that's my maxim ; and I wish that they, and those rascals 
at the Butterfly and Bullfinch, and the Golden Lion, would profit 
by it." 

I took a(3 vantage of Scorewell's taking breath to ask him who 
wet^ the visitors he had in his house. 

" Why, sir," replied he, " I have not many, but they are all 
iAe £rst respectability. There's M.t. wi^ l&x%. ¥\\T.-Viti\*ML\ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 35 

Mr. St. Knitall and his lady ; Mr. De Stewpan ; Mr. Twistwirc- 
▼ille; and Mr. Hobbs Hobbs and his family — very tip-top people, 
indeed, sir — the family with the fly. They always lionour us 
■with their company — the fourth season they have beeu at my 
liouse — ^Mr. Hobbs Hobbs and his lady; their two daughters. 
Misses Eieonora and Elorentina ; Master William Hobbs Uobbs, 
the younger son, and Mr. Hobbs Hobbs Hobbs, the elder — six 
altogether, sir, and always travel in their own one-horse fly." 

So, the mystery of the "family with the fly" was explained. 

" Of course, sir," continued Scorewell, " as you are from 
London, you must know most of the parties — have heard of them, 
at any rate?" 

There was a touch of aristocracy — of gentility at the least — 
implied hy the Fitzes and the Filiesy and the imposing duplication 
of the Hoobs ; yet I could not call to mind that I had ever heard 
any one of those names before. 

At this moment there was again a violent ringing of bells. 

" Nobody answering the family-with-the-fly bell ! " exclaimed 
the landlord. " Beg pardon for leaving you, sir, but I must 
attend to it myself. You know, sir, it behoves a person in my 
situation to be most particularly attentive and obliging to car- 
riage company." 

I felt something like a shock on learning that there were two 
rascals (the innkeepers) in so virtuous a town as Little Ped- 
lineton ; but when Scorewell informed mc that there were two 
ladies also in the same unfortunate category — making an aggre- 
gate of four bad characters — ^I was inclined to believe that the 
reputation of the place for goodness, however it might deserve 
it for beauty, had been over-rated. And yet, thought T, com- 
pared with the mass of crime, villany, and roguery, of every 
desoription, that eiists in London and other great cities, four 
offenders in such " a prodigious population as twenty-nine hun- 
dred and seventy- two " constitute no very alarming proportion 
of wickedness. The guide-book of Eelix Hoppy, Esc^., M.C., 
aided by the commentary of my landlady at Squashmire-Gate, 
had determined me to think favourably of Little Pedlington, 
and I resolved not to abandon my good opinion of it for four's 
sake. 

As I rose from my seat, and struck my hands together, as one 
does upon having made up one's mind with one's self, Scorewell 
entered the room, and, with a low bow, handed ttv^i v\. ^\s.\\\»% 
Udcet sa/in^, "With his very best compliments wi^ \ftw^\. 
profifand respects, be has the inexpresaiVAe \iCitkO\« ^"sA 

D 9 



36 LITTLE PEDLTKGTON 

greatest possible felicity in welcoming you to Little Ped- 
fiDgton." [ 

Heavens ! what did I behold ? It was from the illustrious 
M.C. himself! — a card (somewhat larger than Hardy's Great 
Moguls), beautifully glazed and richly embossed, having at the 
top an Apollo's head, at the four comers, respectivdy, a lyre, 
a French-horn, a fiddle and bow, and the Pandean pipes ; these 
connected at the sides by true-lovers' knots and roses placed 
alternately. In the midst of this vast combination of elegance 
and splendour, there appeared in characters of gold — as such a 
name deserves to appear — 



MR 


FELIX HOPPY, 

No. 4, 

WEST STREET, 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 


M.C. 


Please to 


ring the bottom bell. 





" A great man, sir ! " said my loquacious host ; "and a danc- 
ing-master. Lippleton, sir, would never have been what it is 
without him — ^I mean for elegance and fashion. He has made 
the Lippleton ladies what they are. You may tell his pupils a 
mile off by their walk. Bless you, sir, he makes them turn 
their toes out till they almost come behind their heels ! And 
then such a dancer as ne is himself ! I sometimes read in the 
London papers about the opera ; and Lord ! the fuss they make 
with their Cooluns and Elslums and Tagglenonu! I wish 
they'd just come to Lippleton and see the great Hoppy: 
he'a soon take the shine out of them, I promise you. Ah, 
sir ! there ar'n't many Hoppys in the world, you may rely upon 
ihatr 

" I was not aware of his excellence in that way," said I ; "my 
admiration of him is grounded upon his book, — his * Little Ped- 
lington Guide.' " 

** A book, indeed. Ah, sir, you may well call it a book ! Not 
many boolw in the world like that, eh, sir ? But, as the saying is, 

8 woTK IS never perfect ; there are two terrible faults in it, and 

ms^de bold to tell him so. How could ^em-aka TSi«vi\hsy£i ^\ 




AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 37 

tbe Butterfly and Eallfiach, and the Golden Lion, — aud tliose 
rascally boaraing-bouses, too ! But it shows his good nature. 
Bat, titer all, sir, for writing you must see our Jubb — * Ped- 
lingtonia's Pride,' as he calls himself somewhere in his poetry. 
And Rummins, too — the great Kummins! Of course, you'll 
stay here till Friday, if it's only to see his museum. But be 
sure yon ask him to show you the sliding-board of the old stocks 
that were removed when the new cage was built : there you see 
the holes that the folks' legs used to go through, as plain, ay, sir, 
as plain as if they were only made yesterday. Antiquities are 
wonderful things, sir, ar'n't they?" 

"As I came not only to see the place, but its celebrated in- 
habitants also, I shall endeavour to obtain introductions to 
Mr. Rummins and Mr. Jubb; and to your painter, Daubson, 
too!" 

" There, again ; Daubson ! a great creature, indeed ! Some 
of your Lunnuners — saving your presence, sir — come down here 
as big as bulls, talking of their celebrated ' this ' and their great 
't'other;' but when they have seen what we cp'^ show in 
Lippleton, they soon draw in their horns, that I cuu tell you, 
sir.'* 

"Well," said I, somewhat impatiently (for, to confess the 
truth, although I was prepared to pay due homage to the great 
men of Little Pedlington, I was growing envious of their supe- 
riority to all the rest of the world), — "well, Mr. Scorewell, 
that will do for the present. I will now, guide-book in hand, 
pay a visit to the town; at five o'clock I will return; and 
siuce (as I perceive by the book) you have a well-supplied 
market ^ 

*' The best in the whole universe, sir." 

"Well, then, you will let me have a nice little dinner ; some 
flsh and " 

**Fish! To-day is Monday, you know, sir, and Wednesdays 
and Saturdays are our fish-days. Couldn't get fish to-day 
in Lippleton for love or money. But I'll tell you what, 
sir ; if Joe Hi^gins should brin^ any gudgeons in to-morrow, 
m take care ol 'em for you, — ^unless, indeed, the family with the 
ftj should want 'em." 

" A veal cutlet then, and ^" 

" Veal ! We only kill veal in Lippleton, sir, once a week, 
and that's o' Tuesdays, But if you'd please to leave it to my 
oook^ sir, she'll send yon up as nice a little diMvet «& "^wx ^wi^ 
wish to sit down to." 



38 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

I adopted the landlord's suggestion. As I was preparing to 
depart, he exclaimed, " Dear me, sir ! I was near forgetting to 
remind you — but, if Miss Cripps's bag shoiUd'nt be found before 
twelve o'clock, you'll be sure to hear it cried then, if you go 
down to Market Square. As these things don't happen every 
day, they are the more interesting, you know, sir. Besides, 

when but, beg pardon, sir : — there's the family-with-the-fly 

bell again." 



A2s'D THE PEDLIKGT0>'1AN'S. "^^^ 



CHAPTEll III. 

An interesting ceremony— Littlo Podlington bank : obligingly give 
change for a Bank-of-England note to an uttor stranger— red ling- 
tonians apparently not theatrical — New Pump — Caution in criticism 
— A pleasant acquaintance : little Jack Hobblcday, a thorough-going 
Pedlingtonian — Civilities proflfored : to bo introduced to the magnates 
of the land — Mr. Shrubsole — Something like scandal — Hobbloday's 
candid opinion of his fiiend Shnibsolo — Zoological Garden : monkey- 
mania of the Pedlingtonians — New burying-ground — Symptoms of a 
hore — Shrubsole's candid opinion of his friend Hobbleday — Evidence 
of the salubrity of the Vale of Health — Mineral spring discovered — 
Universal Knowledge Society — Rival confectioners — Mr. Yawkins, 
the eminent publisher : ' important new works in progress — Miss 
Tidmarsh, and a tale of horror — Daubson's celebrated picture visited 
and oritioised — Culpable' conduct of the E.A's. 

Went first of all to the***** 

Next went to see the***** 

Afterwards went to look at the***** 

[Upon comparing my own notes with the masterly descrip- 
tions of the M.C., 1 find them so decidedly inferior to his, that 
(with only one or two exceptions) I shall suppress them ; 
confining myself chiefly to events, characters, and conversations.] 

Nearhf twelve o'clock. Crowds of persons, with countenances 
ea^er and anxious, hurrying from all quarters to Market Square. 
Joined them. Exclamations of " Cruel loss ! " " Unparalleled 
villany ! " " Poor Miss Cripps !" " Serve her right ! " " It will 
be the death of her ! " &c., &c. Guessed the cause of the 
assemblage. As the clock struck twelve the crier appeared. 
Sadden silence, — almost awful, from its contrast with the pre- 
vious buzz. The crier carried a bell, which he sounded thrice, 
each time exclaiming (as nearly as I could understand the 
•words), " Yes ! " Here some heartless reprobate in the 
crowd cried out, " no, if you think the bag will ever come to 
light." Symptoms of iust indignation, and ciiea ol " ^V-a^sfcX 
shame!" The crier then proceeded; and ailei deX^T3L^»\u^ 



40 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

tone of voice interestingly monotonous, the contents of the bag, 
as already described to me by Scorewell, he concluded by 
offenDg a reward of two-and-three-pence for its recovery (an 
advance of sixpence upon the first tempting inducement to an 
honest proceeding), and declaring, that " no higher reward won't 
be offered." Altogether an impressive ceremony. Would not 
have missed it for worlds. 

Went into a shop to purchase a pair of gloves. Found one of - 
my pockets turned inside out and my purse gone. Could not 
have been better done in London. Assured by the glover — who 
was a hardware-man also, and vendor of Burgess's fish-sauces 
and Day and Martin's blacking — that " It was never no Ped- 
lingtonian what did that — they were above such things." My 
nasty, suspicious mind doubted, for a moment, whether Little 
Pediington were muck better than other places, after all. Four 
not over-good people in it, by Scorewell's own admission, — and 
he a staunch Pedlingtonian, too. Psha ! it must have been the 
work of one of the London swell mob. Fortunately, my pocket- 
book was safe. 

Went to Messrs. Yawkins, Snargate, and Co. (the " obliging 
bankers," as they are truly designated in the guide-book ; agents 
also to the London Salamander Fire-oflBice, and for the sale of 
James's powders), to change a twenty-pound note. Asked 
me how I chose to take it. Replied, " Sovereigns." Mr. 
Snargate, the junior partner, went into the back office. In a 
few minutes returned with Mr. Yawkins, the head of the 
respectable firm. Mr. Yawkins regretted that at that moment 
they were rather short of specie. Obligingly paid me nineteen 
of their own notes (with a beautiful picture of the new pump 
upon them), a half-sovereign, seven-and sixpence in silver, and 
half-a-crown in halfpence. Suspect I must have looked rather 
queer at the notes, for Mr. Yawkins, without any other pro- 
vocation, assured me thev were "as good as the Bank." 
" Which ? " thought I. Obligingly offered to send their " head 
clerk" (a scrubby-headed boy, who was watering the shop), 
with the halfpence to my inn. " Obliging bankers," indeed ! — a 
lesson for Lombard-street. Inquired how the subscription for 
the erecting of a new theatre went on. Mr. Yawkins shook his 
head. Said that although Mr. Ephraim Snargate, the architect 
(proposer of the scheme), had patriotically headed the list with 
a subscription of one-pound-one, — although Mr. Luke Snargate, 
the builder, had nobly followed his example, — although the 
Jeamed Mummins had kindly promised aw mscn^^WQiw. ici^ \X\a 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 41 

ondatioii-stone, and the celebrated Jubb a poetical address for 
e opening night, — ^nay, although their "house" had volun- 
rily offered to receive subscriptions, he was sorry to add that 
the Pedlingtonians did — not — subscribe.'* Shook mi/ head in 
ply, and took my leave. Sighed as I reflected upon such 
luect of the drama even in Little Pedlington. 
Being so near the new pump, took the opportunity to examine 
Deserves all the praise that has been bestowed upon it : with 
i lion-monthed spout, dolp»hin-tailed handle, and the flp:ure of 
eptnne brandishmg his trident on the top, it is certainly far 
iperior to any pump I have seen in London, scarcely even 
lOepting that in Burlington Gardens. Aware as I am that it. 
not very agreeable to the inhabitants of any strange place one 
ay visit to express an unfavourable opinion (although it be a 
ae one) touching even so small a matter as a pump-ladle, yet, 
the risk of being charged with want of candour, with malevo- 
aoe, and ii^ratitude, I must say that I think the form of the 
die attachea to the latter is preferable ; certainly the bowl is 
ore capacious. Perhaps a Pealingtonian would not admit this ; 
it as this point is one, not of mere taste, but of positive depth 
id circumference, an actual measurement of both ladles would 
title it with mathematical precision, should any serious dispute 
ise on the subject : let us hope, however, that such will never 
jcur. Made sketches of the pump from three different points 
' view. Whilst I was thus engaged, was accosted by a fat, 
»sj, round-faced little man in a nankeen jacket and trousers, 
hite waistcoat, and brown cloth foraging cap. Name (as I 
terwards learnt) Hobbleday — familiarly called little Jack 
io^bleday. He had been observing me for several minutes, 
id with evident satisfaction. 

*'Man of taste, I perceive — intelligent traveller — laudable 
wtadij-^ou don't pass over the wonaers of nature with half 
I eye. Irom London, sir P" 
"Yes, sir." 

** Never saw London; in fact, never was out of Little Ped- 
igton. Had the honour of being bom in the place — have had 
le honour of passing all my life in it — hope to have the honour 
■ laying my bones in it. Should have no obiection, though, to 
isatwoor three days in London, just to seethe sights, and yet, 
Pedlingtonian needn't break his heart if he never did. You 
in show nothing there like that, I take it," (poitLtm^ to "VJaa 
imp). **Tooh, pooh ! you know you can't," 
'^ 1 don't tbiDk we can, sir — exactly." 



42 liule pedlington 

"Well, well, Rome wasn't built in a day ; but as I understand 
you are making great improvements there, why, one of these 
days, perhaps — sir ; / am old enough to remember when we had 
nothing but a draw-well here; then came the old pump — ^a 
wooden thing with a leaden handle, which, in those days, we 
thought a very fine aiFair ; at length — but you behold it. Ah, 
sir, this is a wonderful age we live in ! If my poor father could 
rise out of his grave and see this, where would he fancy himself? 
certainly not in Little Pedlington. By-the-bye, sir, my dearest 
friend, as I am proud to call him, Mr. Simcox E-ummins, the 
celebrated antiquair, has got the old pump-handle in his museum, 
and I'm sure he'll have great pleasure in showing it to you ; hvt 
— hut — ^you must not attempt to take a drawing of it ; that he 
toor^t allow." 

"Perhaps, sir," said I, "as I am a stranger here, whose 
chief object in this visit is to see your great men, and Mr. 
llummins is a friend of yours, you would favour me with an 
introduction to him." 

" With the greatest pleasure in life, sir." 

" And to the Reverend Jonathan Jubb, your great poet ? " 

" Why, that is rather more difficult, for he is literally torn to 
pieces by the curiosity of strangers to see him; however, as 
1 am proud to say he is the best friend I have in the world, I will." 

" I fear you will think me indiscreet ; but Mr. Daubson, the 
celebrated painter " 

" Daubson P proud to say the oldest friend I have in the world 
—introduce you with pleasure." 

" As for Mr. Hoppy " 

"Dear, darling Hoppy! proud to say my most intimates 
friend — will introduce you. Most elegant creature! perfect 
gentleman! On Wednesday he .gives a public breakfast at 
Yawkins's skittle-ground ; you ought not to miss that — the 
prettiest sight in all Pedlington, Daubson's greatest work is 
there, you know — ^the " Grenadier," so finely described by Jubb. 
They'll fire the gun off, too — an immense cannon. They do say 
it is a four pounder, but, for my part, I only believe half I hear. 
And that extraordinary creature too, heHl exhibit his wonderful 
talents — a man, sir, who actually plays on the Pandean pipes 
and beats a drum at the same time — true, I assure you. Ah, 
Shrubsole," said he, to a person who approached us, " anything 
new to day ? " 

" Yes, " replied Shrubsole, " Mrs. Sniggerston was brought to 
bed of twins, at two minutes past ten IW motivwi^?* 



AND THE PEDLINQTONIANS. 43 

" Qaeen Anne's dead," said the other ; ** that's old news to 
me ; ion^^ before a quarter past 1 heard of it. But wliat about 
Miss Cnpps's bag ? " 

"No tidings of it. I just called there, but she is in such 
a state of mind she doesn't sec anybody — wouldn't even see ;«<?.'' 

" Ahem ! — I say, my dear S., now, between you and me, what 
is vour opinion about the two sovereigns which she savs were in 
thebagP" 

''She say8 so, so no doubt there they were; but as I said just 
now to Mrs. S. * who ever saw Cripps with gold in her purse 1" 
loo. know her whole income is but nfty-five pounds a year, and 
hex quarter won't be due till next Wednesday week. Besides, / 
Imow a certain person who wanted two pounds of her on Eriday, 
when she had not got them to pay; and you know tliat when her 
mimesj doet come in, nobod^r pays more punctually than poor 
iear Cripps. But the false front, the tooth, the rouge, and the 
Drrifl-Toot ! that is a cruel exposure, to be sure. My little 
woman^was right : she always insisted that Miss Cripps wore a 
false fronts ana now the murder's out." 

" Pooh, pooh ! that's nothing," said my friend ; " but the 
Oiria-Toot-— that's vety odd. Though, I say, my dear Shrubsole, 
—isn't it good for the breath ? " 

" So I'tc heard ; and, as all Little Pedlington knows, she was 
always enawing it. Well, good day, Hobbleday ; I must go 
home. Mrs. Applegarth has just put up her rieic drawing-room 
Bortains, and I have promised to take Mrs. S. to see them. / 
think they are the old ones dyed in turmeric ; and I'll answer for 
it my little woman will be of the same opinion." And away 
vent Mr. Shrubsole. 

** To give you my candid opinion of that Mr. Shrubsole, sir," 
laid Hobbleclay, " he and his ' little woman' are the most insufPer- 
shlo gossips in the place, and censorious to a degree ! The Mrs. 
Sniggerston he mentioned — the twin lady — is the wife of Snigger- 
slon, the library-keeper, who once tricd*^ to set up a guide-book 
im opoosition to Hoppy's — ^wouldn't do — my friend Hopj)y's 
oazriea all before it. Well, sir, she and Tupkin, the butcher 
there in the market — ahem ! — How poor Suiggy can be so blind 
11 astonishing, when the affair is talked of from one end of 
Little Pedlington to the other ! But she comes of a bad stock 
■<Hihe's a Shraj)nell; lier father, Tom Shrapnell, the grocer, 
fonned a connection with Mrs. Bumble, an actress in Stcvkf « 
onapany here — turned his wife (a dear good sonV) owl oi ^ciCix^ — 
tad compelled her to live upon a separate maintoiiaQAe o1 ^\AeOi 



44 LITTLE PEDLINGTOK 

pounds a year. Then, her sister Flora, who was housemaid at 
my uncle's at the time he had the honour of being church- 
warden here, ran off with the guard of the Winklemouth coacb, 
and has never since been heard of." 

" What ! " thought I, " slander and detraction, robberies, 
elopements, separate maintenances, and worse, in suck a place as 
Little Pedlington ! — then have honesty, honour, ana virtue 
abandoned the world, and one might almost as well pass one's 
life in wicked, abominable London." 

" Now, sir," continued Hobbleday, in a half-whisper, " these 
things would not so much matter if they were connned to our 
own class; but when one sees upper-servants in families, and 
tradesfolks — ^mere tradesfolks — apemg their betters, it puts an 
end to all distinctions, vou know, sir." 

After a short pause, he resumed. " Will you walk, sir P Per- 
haps you would like to see our Zoological Garden? The admis- 
sion to strangers is two-pence ; but as I have the honour of being 
a life-governor, I have the privilege of introducing a friend." 

" There is no mention of such a thing in the guide-book," 
said I. 

" Why, no — all done, projected and executed, within these 
three months ; and, considering the time, we are getting on very 
well. Let me see — (and he counted on his nngers) — ^parrot, 
cockatoo, guinea-pig, duck — ^not your common duck-and-green- 
peas sort of duck, but a Yirginia duck, I think they call it — two 
monkeys, a stuffed leopard, nearly fifty stuffed birds, two live 
canaries, and — ^we shall have an uncommon fine swan when the 
man hak finished digging the pond for it. Getting up something 
of the same sort in London, I understand. Lost no time in 
taking our hint, eh ? But will you ffo ? Won't be at all out of 
my way : going to the Yale of Hesdth to pay visits of condo- 
lence to poor Hubkins, who has just lost his wife and three 
children bj scarlet-fever, and to Widow Grieves, whose other 
daughter is just dead of asthma. Go P All in my way—- our 
Zoo is just between the Vale of Health and the new burying- 
flTound. How do, Digges — ^how do ? Nothing fresh about Miss 
Cripps's bag, eh P" 

This he addressed to a tall, stout, rosy-faced man in black, who 
was walking alon^ at a stately pace. 

" That man, sir, ought to be the happiest fellow in Little 
Pedlington, for he's msiing a fortune. It is Digges, the under- 
taker— just marned Dr. Drench's eldest daughter — great con- 
nection for him, for the doctor's ipracWce \^ ^erj ei^Vetssw^, 



AND THE PBDLINGTOKIANS. 45 

and be natorallT recommends his own son-in-law. Come ; now 
dosor 

To the Zoological Garden. — Cockatoo good — could not say 
much for the gninea-pig; bnt, in consideration of my new 
loqnaintance's civility, abstained from uttering an unfavourable 
opinion, which might have given him pain. Like Samuel John- 
aon, LL.D. (who, it is at length discovered, was but a mere 
.twaddler after all), I may be set down for ** a fat ojd fool — a 
dense fool," for this : so be it : yet can't help wishing that 
some of my fellow-joumalizers would follow my squeamish 
example. Mv conductor kindly (importunately, I had almost 
aaid) directea my most particular attention to every individual 
tMng that was to be seen, even to the last tail of the last stuffed 
bird in the collection — reading their several descriptions from 
the well-digested catalogue (written on a slate), with which, as 
life-governor, he had on our entrance been furnished by the 
keeper, wbo was digging the pond for the swan. N.B. — Cata- 
logue the joint wonc of Simcox Rummins, F.S.A., and Dr. 
Drainum; assisted (on particular points of natural history) by 
Mr. Chickney, the poulterer. Good-naturedly detained me up- 
wards of ten minutes looking at the parrot swinging on a wire. 
" Vastly curious ! " as he justly observed. Unfortunately, the 
monkeys sulky, and would not show. To go again on Sunday, 
at a quarter past one, immediately upon coming out of church, 
to see them do something or another which he did not exactly 
explain, but which, he assured me, is the most beautiful sight in 
the universe, worth going miles to see, and is all the rage, par- 
ticularly with the ladies, in Little Pecfiington. 

Being so near the new burying-ground, Hobbleday kindly in- 
sisted upon taking me all over it. Was so obliging as to stop 
me at every individual tomb-stone, and to read doud every word of 
erery inscription — assuring me, now and then, that if I chose to 
OOpy any of them that particularly pleased me, he was not in the 
Jeast hurry. This I declined, bein^ unwilling to trespass over- 
much upon his good nature. Having looked at seventy-two of 
these interesting memorials, I complained of the heat, which 

Snder a broiling sun) was intense, and proposed to depart. 
obbleday put his arm through mine, and declared he could not 
think of my going till I had seen all — only about forty more to 
see. Did see all, as I thought. Yet one more, which he had 
reserved for the last — the bonne boucke^^QVL accoviiLt ^1^^ 
•* sweetly pret^j " epitaph, as he termed it, aadNrVa^^^V^ wl^^ 
9315 attributed to Jubh. Had to traverse the 'w\io\e \e\\^3^ ^^ 



46 LITTLE PEBLTN6T0N 

the ground to get at it. Porced me to take a copy of it, he 
repeating it to me : — 

" Afflictions sore 
Long time I bore ; " — * 

As he uttered these four words, involuntarily exclaimed, " You 
do !" II ne frCi^argnera pas un oignmi, thought I. 

" And now," said my obliging cicerone, " being so near the 
Vale of Health, we'll see that" Endeavoured to excuse myself, 
on the score of the trouble to him, — ^fatigue, and the incon- 
venience of the heat, to myself; but in vain. On to the Vale 
of Health. Upon our way thither, I expressed my admiration 
of the virtues of the Pedlingtonians, as proved by the " short 
and simple annals " recorded on the tomb-stones of the departed 
who reposed in th§ new burying-ground : they being the " best of 
husbands," the " most affectionate of wives," the " most dutiful 
of children," or the "most faithful of friends." "True," said 
Hobbleday; " and it is something for us to be proud of. 'Tis 
the same thing, too, in the old burying-ground — they were angels 
upon earth, rest their souls ! I wish, though, we could say as 
much of the live ones : I could name a few of them, who, when 
they go, won't be quite so favourably mentioned. Stop — pardon 
one moment, whilst I leave my compliments of condolence over 
the way." 

Left me for a few minutes. Took refuge in my own reflections. 
Not comfortable at hearing this slur upon some of the live Ped- 
lingtonians. Felt certain misgivings as to whether this retired 
country-town were much more moral, or, in other respects, much 
better than " populous cities proud." 

Whilst I was waiting the return of Hobbleday, Mr. Shrubsole 
came up to me. 

"I think, sir," said he, "that was my friend Hobbleday who 
just left you ? " 

I told him it was. 

" I dare say you find him a charming companion. What a 
tongue he has ! I wish, though, he didn't sometimes make so 
ill a use of it ; for, to give you my candid opinion of that Mr. 
Hobbleday, he is the most censorious little wretch in the place ; 

* Having since been informed by an intelligent friend that this 
epitaph is to he found in two or three other p\QkX^Q» m l&ii^Wid be^&ides 
Little Pedlington, I suppress tho remamder. 



AJSjy THB PEDLENGTONIANS. 47 

riandeions, malicioiis, malignant! Well, he may say what he 
pleases about me ; thank my stars, he can say nothmg to my 

duadyanta^e. Good mor Ob, wlien llobbleday returns, 

pray tell him that my little woman and I have just seen the Tiew 
window-curtains, which, as we suspected, turn out to be nothing 
but the old ones died in turmeric, after all. But that old woman 
18 the yainest, the most boastful — in short, the greatest liur in all 
Little Pedlington. Grood morning, sir." 

In one respect, I was not sorry to learn that Mr. Hobbleday 
was of somewhat a censorious turn : it gave me hope that some 
of the live Little Pedlingtonians might be better than his report 
of them. He returned. I delivered the message, but suppressed 
the opinion. Took me all over the Vale of Health. Must admit 
that we have nothing at all like it in or near London — if, indeed, 
we except a oow-field near Camden-town. Eighteen small houses, 
Boatterea about, chiefly occupied by invalids, who retire thither 
on account of the superior salubrity of the spot. At a very 
pretty cottage, called Hygeia Lodge, saw two mutes standing 
at the door. 

Taken to the extreme corner of the Yale. A man busy 
planting shrubs and young trees about a deep hole. Wondered 
what tAafwRS for. Informed by Hobbleday that Doctors Drench 
andDrainum (their celebrated physicians, and the proprietors of 
that portion of the ground) had had the good fortune to discover 
there a mineral spring of the nastiest water you ever put to 
your lips. "I've tasted it," continued Hobbledny; "enough to 

Soison a dog ! so it will be the making of the place, as they say. 
nt what is to become of Cheltenham, Harrowgato, Tunbridge 
Wella, and such places ? — however, poor devils ! that's their 
alFair." Fancied I smelt something like the detestable odour of 
a tan-yard. Peeped through the window of a small shed, the 
door of which was fastened by a strong padlock. Saw a box of 
0iilphur, a couple of bags of iron filings, a pile of stale red- 
heirings, some raw hides cut into strips, and a quantity of bark, 
such as the tanners use. Wondered what that was for. As 
Hobbleday wondered also, I was nothing the wiser for my 
inquiry. 

Went by the way of High Street ; returned by the Crescent. 
Crescent worthy of all the praise bestowed upon it by i'elix 
Hoppy. Mr. Hobbleday regretted that the sun had "gone in," 
80 that the " highly-polished brass knockers" did not shv\!i<?i V\a\i 
as much as he had sometimes seen them. ^e\ie\d. ^;^\^ Vo^svsft. 
whePB '^ dwelt the tuneful Jubb!" An odd keWw^, "^V^cJa. \. 



48 LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

shall neither attempt to describe nor account for, comes o?er 
one upon these occasions. Contemplating the abode of Renins I 
At this moment, perhaps, the bard of Pedlingtonia is in a 
raptured trance. 

Walked down South Street. Hobbleday directed my atten- 
tion to a painted board just underneath the first-floor window of 
No. 18 : it bore the words, " Little Pedlington Universal- 
Knowledge-Society ;" and these were surmounted by a Britannia 
(evidently copied from a penny-piece), with a trident in the left 
hand, and a cockatoo held forth in the right. With a sb'ght 
inclination of the head, accompanied by a complacent smile, he 
said, "/ — I, sir, have the honour of being a member, conjointly 
with Rummins, Jubb, Hoppy, Daubson — ^in short, all the big- 
^wigs of Little Pedlington. We have meetings— <?o«t?tfr*y*A<wfy* 
— ^twice a week : a library, too t — Murray's * Grammar,' Entick's 
'Dictionary,' Guthrie's 'Geography,* and (besides other useful 
works) we have the ' Penny Magazine,' complete Jrom — the — very 
firstr 

"But what is the meaning of that figure, sir ?" said I, point- 
ing to the Lady Britannia. 

" Ha ! thought you'd notice that. That, sir, is the work of 
our own Daubson : needn't go out of Little Pedlington for such 
things. The figure, I needn't tell you^ is Minerva — 'fitting 
emblem!' as Hoppy says of the dolphin's tail for our pump- 
handle." ■, 

" Minerva! — and with a cockatoo in her hand !'* 

" Dear me ! that's veiy odd. You are almost the firsiperson — 
a visitor, I mean — ^who ever noticed that. Of course, we know 
very well it ought, in strictness, to be an owl ; but Daubson, who 
is the arbitrator elegantium of Little Pedlington, thought that a 
cockatoo would be a prettier thing ; and as we luckily happened 

to have one in our Zoo for him to paint from, why . I say, 

how naturally he has got the yellow tuft on the head, and the 
red spot on the neck ! Clever creature ! clever creature ! Shall 
we go at once to the skittle-ground, and see his great work — the 
famous grenadier ? " 

This I declined, pleading, as my excuse, fatigue and the 
intense heat. 

"Well, then," said my obliging companion, "to-morrow. 

You must allow me to call upon you to-morrow, and I'll show 

you more of the beauties and curiosities of our place. No denial, 

MOW— no trouble to me. Never so happy as when I am in the 

company of an intelligent visitor'* — (\ieTe\ie\io^^^'^ — ^* -^V^ ^^ 



AND THE PEDLIXGTONIAKS. 49 

appreciate — ^you understand. Besides^ from my position in 
society, I enjoy opportunities which—. Tor instance — 
Knmmins's public day for his Museum is Friday : now /, from 
mj position, as 1 said, am allowed the privilege of introducing a 
£nend there any day in the week : for, besides being a member of 
the Knowledge Society, and a life-governor of the Zoo, 1 have 
the honour, sir, to be — ahem ! — ^Deputy Chairman of Ihc Little 
Pedlington Savings Bank. Good morning ; I wish you a very 
good morning. Ha! a rush at Yawkins's library. Shouldn't 
wonder if they have news of Miss Cripps's bag." And to the 
libraiy Mr. Hobbleday proceeded. 

Dymg of heat and thirst. Inquired of a boy, who was carry- 
ing a buid-box, whether they had a confectioner in the place P 

" What ! '* said he, " a confectioner in such a place as Lipple- 
ton ! Where do you come from, I should like to know ? We 
have two in our place — Stintum's over the way, and Mrs. Shanks's, 
in Market Square. I say. Bill" — (this was addressed to another 
boy who happened to pass) — "here's a gentleman wants to know 
if we hav*n't never a confectioner in Lippleton. That's a good 
one, isn't it?" 

To Stintum's. — ^A confectioner! Gingerbread, raspberry- 
tartBy hard biscuits, and three-cornered puffs on the counter; 
hottles of lollipops, sugar-candy, bull's-eyes, and coloured sugar- 
plums on the window-shelves ; — a clear case of a Gunter adapted 
to the capacity of the rising generation. Mr. Stintum told me, 
in answer to my request for an iced cream, that he had nothing 
to do with such nonsense, nor had his father before him ; that 
he didn't want to get himself into the Gazette, by going out of 
his line, though a certain person in Market Square might. He 
didn't care to make a fine show in his window : all he desired 
was, to maintain his character as an honest tradesman. "I 
don't want to speak ill of a neighbour," continued he : " everj 
one must look after their own soul ; I've done nothing in this 
world to forfeit mine. I can sleep at night, because I've nothin*' 
weighty upon my conscience ; and if it were the last word I had 
to speti" — (what horrid crime can that unhappy Mrs. Shanks 
have committed, thought I, that should excite the fears even of 
a rival pastrycook for her salvation?) — "if it were the last 
word I had to speak, I could safely say that I never put salt 
hutter into my tarts." 

Went to the shop of Mrs. Shanks, in Market Sqvi^x^ •, ya. ^ 
nspcctBj except one, worthy of Little PedVmgloTi. \? \t\^q»^ 
doeorated with an exquisite inodel, iu barley-sugar, ol Vv.^ ^^"^ 

JE 



60 LITTLE iedli>:gton 

pump in Market Square, and paste figures innumerable of 
ApoUos and Venuses, shepherds and shepherdesses, &c. &c. 
Announcements in various parts of " Suppers provided on the 
shortest notice," "Confectionary of all sorts," "Water ices 
and iced creams." Mrs. Shanks, a skinny little woman, perched 
on a high chair behind the counter; yellow face; green patch 
over the right eye ; curly, flaxen wig, encircled by a wreath of 
faded artificial roses ; pale-blue silk dress ; hu^e ^ilt neck-chain 
and bracelets ; a jug before her, with flowers in it. Keminded 
me of the once celebrated divinity of the Cafe des Mills Colonnes 
in the Palais Royal. Lamentable to reflect that the soul con- 
tained in such a body should be in jeopardy, and all on account 
of a little salt butter smuggled into a tart. 

" What ice can I have, Mrs. Shanks ?" 

" Whatever you please, sir." 

" Lemon-water, then." 

Mrs. Shanks opened a lon^, narrow book, in a parchment 
cover, dipped a pen into the mk, and inquired, "When for, sir? 
and how much do you wish to have ?" 

" Now, if you please ; and one glass to begin with." 

" Oh ! we don't keep ices ready-made, sir ; but we can make 
you any quantity you please, not less than a quart, at only one 
day's notice." 

Assuredly Little Pedlington possesses many advantages ; yet, 
oh ! dear London ! 

" Is there any other shop in the town where I may get some ? 
Fm dying for it." 

" No, sir ; ours is the only house in the line in all the place where 
respectable^ people can go. We don't make our pastry with 
mutton dripping ; we don't use red-lead and copper to colour our 
. sugar-plums ; we never gave poor little Susan Grobbleton — ^the 
sweetest child in the world ! — the colic it died of. But I'm 
certain that monster Stintum, sir, can't sleep in his bed; and 
that's the comfort of it." 

Little more than twelve hours, sleeping and waking, in this 
place, — " too good for us poor sinners to live in," — and have 
already heard of as much vice, immorality, and roffuery, great 
and small, going on in it, as if it were a wicked, large town ; 
yet not the convenience of procuring an iced cream on a hot day 
(excepting, indeed, by ordering it a day before-hand) as a set-off 
against it all ! 

J^our o'clock. Went to Yawkins's library. Subscribed for a 
month. Set my name down also intYie ^.C^Xy^^v ^N^'^^ 



AND THE PEDMNGTONIAKS. 51 

to know the present station of the — th dragoons, as I was 
desirous of writing by that night's post to a friend who was in 
it, and requested Mr. Yawkins to let me see the Army List. 
Fortanate in subscribing with him, for his was the only library 
in the place that possessed one. Produced the list for last 
November twelvemonth. Yawkins deserves his character for 
** urbanity," (vide " Guide,") for he told me, if I particularly 
wished to see it, he would order a new one down, along with the 
magazines, next Tuesday week. Purchased Jubb's "Pedling- 
toma,'' price two shillmgs, and Rummins's " Antiquitiai of 
Little Pedlington," price one-and-sixpence. Yawkins assured 
me they were the two greatest works that had ever issued from 
the Little Pedlington press — Ho^py's " Guide" scarcely excepted. 
Yawkins expressed some astonishment that neither of those 
works had oeen noticed either in the " Quarterly" or the 
"Edinburgh." Thought such marked neslect of the two master- 
minds of the age a manifestation of a paltry spirit. Altogether 
above such pettiness at Little Pedlington. The Pedlmgton 
" Weekly Observer" had spoken of Rogers, and Moore, and 
Campbell, of Hallam, Lingard, and Southey, and such like ; — ay, 
and with great kindness, too, notwithstanding. *^ I verily 
believe," he continued, — " I verily believe, there are but two men 
in our town who would not have acted with equal generosity, 
and those are Snargate and Sniggerston, who keep an inferior 
sort of circulating libraries here: but they are, notoriously, 
a couple of paltry fellows, and I have no hesitation in saying 
so!" 

** What ! two more of them ! " thought I. 
• " And pray, Mr. Yawkins, is Mr. Rummins engaged upon any 
new work?" 

" A work which will nroduce a powerful sensation, sir ; esjje- 
dally here in Little Pedlington. Rummins is writing the * Life 
•and Times* of his great contemporary, Jubb." 

" And Mr. Jubb ? " 

*' Jubb, sir, is writing the * Life and Times' of his illustrious 
townsman, Rummins. Rummins, you know, sir, is an E.S.A., 
80 that the world will naturally look for a biography of him ! " 

" Would not the * Table Talk' of such a man be interest- 
ing?" 

** Why — aw — ^to speak candidly, I do not think that — ^to the 
generality of readers, at least — I don't think. itwoxM*, \<st,\.^ 
wy the truth, he — ^aw— never says anything at aW. l^o, «it % Xi^a 
k aae of your thinking men, as jou may gather irom Yoa-wf^xa^^ 

E 2 



52 lilTTLE PEDLINGTOir 

But Jubb, now — Jubb's 'Table-talk,' indeed! But I have 
reason to believe Hoppj is engaged upon that work, and the 
very man for the purpose. I have lived in Little Pedlington all 
my life, sir, yet, 1 give yoti my honour, such another talker as 
Jubb / never met with. Wonderful, truly wonderful ! — I have 
heard him talk for three hours without stopping ; and so pro- 
found, so amazingly profound, is his conversation, that one-half 
of what he says his hearers cannot understand, whilst he himself 
does not understand the other. Truly wonderful, indeed ! " 

At this moment, a tall, thin, elderly lady, in deep mourning, 
entered the shop. One end of a long black ribbon she held m 
her hand, and to the other was fastened a fat, waddling Erench 
poodle. The lady was attended by a jaded-looking footman, 
in an orange-coloured coat, profusely ornamented with green 
worsted lace : he carried a large, wadded, black silk cloak, a 
shawl, a book, a bag of biscuits, a camp-chair, and a footstool. 

" Good morning, mem," said Yawkins, as the lady took a seat ; 
" I hope you arc a little better to-day ?" 

** I shall never again be the person I was, — at least in this 
world, Yawkins. I shall never recover from the effects of it." 

" It was a heavy blow, — a sad loss indeed, mem. And that 
the monster who perpetrated the crime should have escaped 
undiscovered ! But justice will overtake him, sooner or later, 
take my word for it, mem." 

" That will be a benefit to society, Yawkins, but no consola- 
tion to me. That won't restore him to life." 

" Poor lady !" thought 1 ; " some relation, or dear friend, bar- 
barously murdered !" 

The lady continued : — "Is the first volume of the ' Sad Story' 
at home yet ? I have been upwards of a month ' down' for it." 

" No, mem ; but as soon as it does come home, you shall have 
it." 

"Kemember that, now; for you know I read the two last 
volumes first, to oblige Miss Cripps, who was waiting for them." 

"Why, mem, you know if subscribers didn't accommodate 
each other in that way, we shouldn't get on at all. Talking of 
Miss Cripps, sorry to say that the report so general, about an 
hour ago, of her having recovered her bag, is not true." 

" Poor Cripps ! I'm very sorry for it, — ^not that I believe a 
word about the two sovereigns. Pray, Yawkins, how does the 
raffle for the tea-tray and patent snuffers get on?" 

'^ Why mew, you know the list hastn't been m^ ^\iQNe a. fort- 
^Jaujs'Mj and forty ciances* at a ahilling a ^vece, \.^^ \jk\Qr£i^^\Ska 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 53 

io fill up. However, we arc getting on : eighteen down already, 
and I have every reason to expect that Mi*s. Hobbs Hobbs and 
Mrs. Eitz-Bobbin — ^visitors from London — ^will each take two 
ohanoes. They are considering abont it." 

** Well, Yawkins, it is but fair to tell you that, on Saturday, I 
tea'd with Mrs. Hobbleday, in the Crescent ; there was a large 
party ; the whole evening we talked about little else but your 
raffle ; and the general opinion was, that you would have done 
much better with eighty chances at sixpence." 

*'How, mem!" exclaimed Yawkins, with an air of offended 
dignity; "much obliged to Mrs. Hobbleday and \i^x jiarlif : a 
sixpenny raffle might do very well at such a place as Sniggers- 
ton's, or Snargate's, but I should like to know what the company 
at Yawkins^ 8 would say to such a thing. No, mem" — (here he 
turned his eyes up to the ceiling, and placed his hand on his 
heart) — "no, mem; rather than so compromise the respecta- 
bility of my establishment, I would almost sooner return the 
eighteen shillings to the subscribers, and sell the tea-tray and 
snuffers at prime cost." 

The lady, after feeding the fat poodle with a couple of biscuits 
from the bag, withdrew — having first sent her unhappy servant 
forward with her commands that he would place her chair and 
foot-stool ready for her at the sunny comer of the Crescent. 

"That's the Miss Titmarsh you must have heard so much 
about in London, sir," said Yawkins. 

"I never heard the name till now," replied 1. "But what is 
the nature of the calamity which has befallen her ?" 

** Why, that is it, sir. Dear me ! it's very extraordinary you 
should not have heard of it in London ! Why, sir, it kept all 
Little Pedlington in a ferment for a month. Except about that 
atrocious affair of stealing the pump-ladle, — ^which, of course, 
you must have heard of, — I never knew the town in a state of 
such tremendous excitement. She had a most beautiful French 
poodle, sir — twice as fat as the one she has got with her now — 
such a quantity of hair, too, and as soft as silk ! She was in 
this very shop with it, sir, only the day before it happened. 
Well, sir, one morning she missed the dog: about two hours 
afterwards the poor thing returned, but in what a state ! Con- 
ceive her horror — conceive the agonizing shock to her feelings ! 
Some monster, some fiend in human form, had cut all its hair off 
— got hold of Miss Titmarsh's poodle and shaved, it — ^\\a.N^^ ''^^ 



sir, as smooth as the palm of jour hand I" 
''Horrible, indeed!" I exclaimed: " 



and that «a cver^. o1 



54 LITTLE PEDLTNGTON 

such * stirring interest ' in Little Petjlington should remain 
unknown to ttal" Adding, "But strange as it may seem to you, 
Mr. Yawkins, it is my fixed belief that were a troop of monsters, 
a legion of fiends in human shape, to shave all the dogs of 
every description that infest one-half of London, the other half 
would probably never know anything of the occurrence." 

" Then blessed be Little Pedlington ! " replied Yawkins, 
where everybody is acquainted with everybody else's affairs, at 
least as well as with his own." 

Yet half-an-hour to spare before dinner. Time enough, 
perhaps, to see Daubson's grand picture — the grenadier. In- 
quirea whereabouts was Yawkins's skittle-ground. Informed 
tnat it was an immense way off — quite at the further end of the 
town. Hopeless for to-day, tnought I; but asked what the distance 
might be. Told, nearly foux minutes' walk. Went; stood 
before the " all-but-breathing Grenadier," as it is designated by 
Jubb. Hard to describe its first effect upon me. As I ap- 
proached it, involuntarily took off my hat. Thermometer 84° 
m the shade. Daubson certainly an original genius: unlike 
Reynolds, Lawrence, Phillips, Briggs, or Pickersgill. Neither 
did his work put me mtich in mind of Titian or Vandyke — 
not in the least of Rembrandt. No servile imitator — in fact, 
no imitator at all. Perhaps a military critic might object 
that the fixed bayonet is rather longer than the musket itself : 
be this as it may, owing to that contrivance, it appears a most 
formidable weapon. In order that the whole of tne arms and 
accoutrements may be seen by the spectator, the painter, with 
considerable address, has represented the cartridge-box and the 
scabbard of the bayonet in front. Scabbard about one-third the 
length of the bayonet — judicious — ^needless to exaggerate in this 
— ^nothing formidable m the appearance of a long scabbard, 
whatever may be thought of a long bayonet. Legs considerably 
thicker than the thighs — ^grand idea of stability — character- 
istic of a "grenadier standing sentry." Upon the whole, a 
work worthy of its fame, notwithstanding its rejection by that 
envious and exclusive, that much and justly-censured body, the 
KA.'s. 

Took ray leave of the Grenadier, resolving to "put in" for a 
chance for immortality, by having my prome in black, done by 
the unrivalled hand of the Pedlingtonian Apelles. 



a:.'d the rEDLiNGTo:;iAXs. 55 



CHAPTER IV. 

ummer-dkinor at a country inn — ]Mi*. Hobbloday, tho kind and 
obliging : his call merely to look at the clock — Invitis him to wine — A 
channing member of society described — Modern abbeys, castles, 
&o. : why so designated — Old acquaintance : Colonel Dominant and* 
Mr. Truckle — Hobbleday a "humbug" ? ! — News worth waking for. 

Hve o'clock. Returned to *^ as nice a little dinner as I could 
rish to sit down to." Such 'aras I promised by mine host. 
.liermometer inveterately holding to S4P. Huge hot round of 
»eef, which filled the room with steam ; hot suet dumplings, and 
aid; hot carrots, each as big as the grenadier's leg ; scalding 
lOt potatoes in their skins, Nice little dinner indeed — for the 
eason! 

Five minutes past Jive, Finished dinner and ordered some 
rine. Wine fiery as brandy, and warm: complained of it. 
Icorewell assured me it was the very same wine he was in the 
labit of serving to the family with the fly, and that they never 
omplained of it. Indeed, neither did the St. Knitalls, nor the 
I'itz-Bobbins, nor Mr. Twistwireville, nor even Mr. De Stew- 
lan (who was remarkably particular about his wine), — in short, 
his was the first time his (Scoreweirs) wine had ever been com- 
ilained of by mortal man. Such authorities it would have been 
lownright insolence to oppose. Said no more, but simply ordered 
. Uttle weak brandy-and-water. Scorewell undertooK to "try 
gain." Whilst he was away, fancied I heard a pump-handle at 
rork. Returned; wine by no means so strong, and much 
ooler. Tlie first decanter chipped at the lip ; so was this^dd 
oincidencc. Inquired how the decanter came to be so wet out- 
ide P Scorewell replied, that he had just given it a minute in 
36. That's a reason, thought I. 

Whilst I was sipping my wine, and reading Jubb's " Pedling- 
onia," — (found Kummins's "Antiquities" too learned, too 
irofound, for after-dinner reading), — ^Mr. HobVAa^o^ ca»m^ \^. 
Sere]j^ looked ia to see the time by the cof^ee-xoova. ^c^Ois.. 



56 



LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



Recollecting his civilities to me in the morning, invited him to 
9 wine. Ordered a fresh bottle. " Know the sort of wine Mr. 
Hobbleday likes," said Scorewell, as he quitted the room. 

" Good creature that Scorewell," said Hobbleday, " and this 
one of the best inns in Little Pedlington." 

" Then I am fortunate," said I, " in having accidentally been 
brought to it. The other innkeepers are but moderately honest 
' — at least so I am told by Scorewell ; and for a stranger, as I 
am, to have fallen upon the only one who " 

" What I say, understand me, I say in confidence. Good 
creature— capital inn ; but call your bill every morniog — that is, 
if you should find it possible to stay at it for more than a day oj; 
two. Call it, I say, every morning — you understand. In the 
hurry of business, people sometimes forget what you have not 
had, and down it goes into the bill. After a week or so, you 
can't tax your memory as to whether you had such or such a 

thing, or not ; and, rather than dispute about it, why you 

ahem ! Now, Scorewell, what have you done for us, eh ? Is 
that some of Colonel Dominant's wine ?" 

Scorewell assured us that it was, and left us. 

" Who is Colonel Dominant?" inquired I. 

" What ! " cried Hobbleday, with astonishment ; " who is 
Colonel Dominant ? Pooh, pooh ! you can't ask that question 
seriously. Tou know — everybody knows — must know him. 
Great man — lately returned from the East Indies — ^was governor 
of Fort Popan'gobang. Should like the colonel to hear anybody 
ask who he is ? " 

" From India ! That somehow brings the name to my mind." 

" I was sure you had heard of him, sir," said Hobbleday. 
" Why, he is a descendant of the great Drawcansir : his crest 
is a sledge-hammer, and his motto, * All this I can do be- 
cause I dare.' Has got a place about ten miles off — Guttlebury 
Abbey." 

"Guttlebury Abbey! Some interesting ruins to be seen 
there, eh, Mr. Hobbleday?" 

" Ruins ! Pooh, pooh ! They say there was an abbey there, 
or thereabouts, millions of ages ago, but there is not a stick or a 
stone remaining of it." 

"Then why does the gallant colonel call his place an 
abbey?" 

"First," gravely replied Hobbleday, " because it's the fashion ; 
snd, secondly, because it's a small, squaie, red brick house, stand- 
Ing in a, cabbs^e-garden.'^ 



AND THE PEDMNGTONIANS. 57 

The second bein^ as good a reason as is frequently to be fonnd 
for nicknaming residences of similar pretensions manors, abbeys, 
places, and castles, I was satisfied with it. 

•* He is here now," continued Hobbleday ; " he generally 
passes the fashionable season here : stays at Mrs. Stintum's 
Doardine-honse. You should dine there some day: there you 
would fee him in aU his glory. Extraordinary c/eaturel-U 
got a tail." 

" Got a tail ! " exclaimed I ; " "the monster ! " 

"Pooh, pooh! I don't mean that sort of tail; but a tail, you 
know, — obsequious followers; toadies, as we call them here. 
He has only to say that black is white, and they must swear to it." 

"Poor devils!" I exclaimed. "But why call this wine 
Colonel Dominant's ? Is he a wine-merchant ?" inquired I. 

" No," replied Hobbleday ; " but he says it is the only wine 
in the place fit to drink, and he knows everything better than 
anybody else — at least, he thinks he does : consequently, every- 
thmg he may choose to say about all things in the world is like 

the law of the Medes and Prussians in Little Pedlington at 

least, he thinks it ought to be." 

"Is he, then, a man of such exquisite taste, such extensive 
knowledge, such unerring judgment, such " 

" Of course," replied Hobbleday, — " at least, he thinks he is. 
He is the man that came over in two ships, that I can tell you, 
—at least, he thinks he did. Pleasant, amiable creature, though, 
and easily satisfied upon the whole : requires nothing more than 
to have everything exactly his own way ; and, at Mrs. Stintum's 
boarding-house, especially, he will have it, — at least, as often as 
he can get it. When he can't, why, he naturally growls at 
ererything and everybody." 

"An agreeable companion for the other guests at Mrs. Stint- 
nm's boarding-house," said I. 

" Have you any of the Dominant family in London ?" inquired 
Hobbleday. 

"I never met with one," replied I; "nor do I think that an 
animal such as you have described would long be tolerated there 
in any society possessing the slightest respect for itself, or the 
power of reheving itself of so offensive an associate." 
. At this moment, Hobbleday, starting from his seat, exclaimed, 
" There he goes ! " I looked out into the street, and beheld, 
strutting along, the identical Colonel Dominant, "wViotft. 1 V-a^ 
acoidentaJJf met a few years before, and "wldose name V-aA. \\s&V. 
now struck me as being not altogether unknown, to me. 



58 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Picard, in the preface to one of his pleasant comedies, says of 
a certain character — "It was drawn from the life: its original 
paid me a visit one morning; almost whilst he was speaking! ' 
wrote down his words — et voila la scene." Thns, of the three- ^ 
following short scenes, I may say, that they are literal transorip<ai.1 
from what I actually witnessed. Of the names of the dranusUt^t 
personoB I shall say nothing; but the dialogue I give withouii 
exaggeration, and i really believe without the alteration of a .? 
material word. 

If with unblushing effrontery I can confess, not only that I 
know where is Bloomsbury Square, but that I have been in it : 
if I have the hardihood to acknowledge as my friends, human ' 
beings who absolutely reside there : nay, more; if, without the * 
slightest sense of shame or of remorse, I own that, upon occasion, 
I positively visit them, it will be the less wondered at that I 
should be capable of declaring in the face of all Europe that 
once I was at Margate. But as Goldsmith's bear danced to 
" none but the genteelest of tunes," so did I appear at none but 
the genteelest of places — ^the French Bazaar, Bettison's Library, 
Clifton's Bathing-Rooms,* and Howe's (The Royal) Hotel. 
By the bye, I am informed that, since I was there, the hotel and 
the library, both being ruined, are closed ; the consequence of 
which is, that not a soul is to be seen in or near Hawley Square, 
wherein they are situated. But ought not this desertion of the 
neighbourhood to be attributed rather to the circumstance of 
the theatre (which is near it) being open ? It is so elsewheje. 

It was at Margate, then, that scenes the first and second 
occurred. 

I was taking my dinner in the coffee-room at Howe's Hotel. 
At a table opposite to mine (the only other table in the spacious 
apartment tnat was occupied) sat two gentlemen. Colonel 
Dominant and Mr. Truckle. The former was a tall man, thin, 
and stiff, with red hair cut very close, large bilious-looking eyes, 
and complexion of the colour of the very best pickled mangoes. 
He wore a blue coat, buff waistcoat, buttoned close up to the 
throat, white duck trowsers, and a black military stock. He was 
reclining back in his seat, reading a newspaper, with his feet, 
each resting on the back of a chair, elevated to a level with his 



* A certain person at this place being once shown into a bath-room 
by no means remarkable for its cleanliness, with much simplicity 
inquired ot the iiY0xnnfi\/Qx—'*^ Pray, sir, vjhoYo \a\t ^^e^o^lQ^ to wash, 
after baihinsr here ? '' 



AND THE PEDLINGTOXIANS. 59 

>wn nose. He bad lately returned from the East Indies after 
n^ years of profitable service — ^to himself at least. 
Mr. Truckle was a small, slight man, of about fiye-and-forty 
RIB of ace, with a head entirely destitute of hair, a good- 
nmurared blue eye, and a perpetual smile upon a countenance 
tnmgly indicative of its owner's willingness to be pleased and 
isppy as long as the world would let him. He was dressed in 
. Uaok coat and waistcoat (not of the newest), white trowsers, 
nd a white cravat, ornamented with a huge bow and ends. His 
dice, like himself, was small, and his manners mild and un- 
asumioff in the extreme. He sat opposite to the colonel, with 
lis hands resting on his knees, and his legs unostentatiously 
ocsked under his chair. He was a distant relation of the 
idonePs, who certainly did not seem inclined to diminish the 
listance between them by any inviting approaches on his part ; 
ind that he was the poor relation also, his attitude smd demeanour, 
iS contrasted with those of the former, sufficiently attested. 

Generally speaking, there is nothing of the humorous or the 
odierons m a display of unfeeling domination on one side, of 
he '^ all this I can do because 1 dare," — and of helpless ac- 
quiescence on the other : pity for the oppressed, and disgust or 
Mfcred of his petty, paltry tyrant, are the only emotions it 
sxcites. There does not at this moment occur to me a more 
emarkable illustration of this than the early scenes between 
5ir Giles Overreach and Marall in the " New Way to pay Old 
Debts ;". though there, perhaps, somewhat of contempt for the 
nterested subserviency of toe latter may mingle with one's 
iompassion for his slavery. But in the case of Truckle it was 
>iherwise : he was hnmbie, submissive, and satisfied, as if he 
xmceived it to be in the immutable nature of things that he 
ihoidd be so ; and the ludicrous of the situation arose simply 
mt of the immeasurable disproportion between bis gentle 
iltempts, now and then, to hint at a wish or a desire of his own, 
»d the nature of the execration with which they invariably were 
net brf Colonel Dominant. 

Be it observed, that the colonel's voice, though deep-toned, was 
larsh, and that his utterance was abrupt and snappish, sounding 
ike the word of command when given. by an ill-tempered drill- 
jerjeant : except, indeed, when he delivered the emphatic word of 
;he execration alluded to, and upon that he would drawl. 

It was ^'v& minutes past six. Truckle looked at the clock 
jrhich was hcmg him, nummed part of a tunc (?uccoxK^«xm\i^ 
dmsel/ bjr beating with bis Bngers on tbe tame), «si<SL \ka«vr 



60 LITTLE PEDLIKGTON 

tatiugly, and in a gentle tone of voice, said — " Dear me ! Five 
minutes past six ! Well — I think — really I do think it is timet 
they brought our dinner." 

I'be colonel threw down his paper suddenly, thrust out his 
arm (extending it to its full length across the table), with his 
fore-finger pointed directly at Truckle's face, and vociferated, — 

" What's that ? — I say, sir, what's that you say ?" 

" Why, sir," mildly, and smilingly, replied Truckle, " dinner 
was ordered at six ; it is now five minutes past ; aud as thcj 
might as well be ' punctual,' I merely ventured to " 

" D — n your arkogance ! ! Punctual ! Have the poor 
devils here nothing to do but attend upon you ? Have / com- 
plained? Am I in any hurry for my dinner? Yet you talk 
about * punctual ! ' D — ^n your arrogance ! " 

" True, sir, you didn't say you were in any hurry, but I — ^I 
thought, sir " 

" Thought ! Thought, did you ? You thought ! Ba — a — a — a — mn 
your arrogance ! " 

Arrogance and poor little Trucklq named in the same year ! 
He, in thought, feeling, manner, and conduct, an impersonation 
of humility! 

Their dinner was served. Dominant helped himself, and then 
thrust the dish across to his companion. Just at this time I 
happened to call to a waiter for some Chili vinegar. 

" Dear me ! " said Truckle, looking into his plate, smiling, and 
rubbing his hands at the same time — " dear me ! I think- 
yes, really I do think I should like a little Chili vinegar myself. 
Waiter ! Bring me a little Chili vinegar, too." 

" What's that you want, su: ? I say, sir, what's that you 
want ?" (These words were accompanied by the same gesture 
of pointing the finger as before.) 

" Whj, sir," answered Truckle, " I heard that gentleman ask 
for Chill vinegar, and I thought that — Chili vinegar, you know, 
is a very nice relish, sir; so I thought that when that gentleman 
had quite done with it, why — ^why / should like a little Chili 
vinegar." 

" Chili vinegor ? D — ^n your arrogance ! Who arc you, sir, 
that you can't eat your dinner without Chili vinegor ? Do / ask 
for Chili vinegor ? But it's just like you, with your insatiable 
desires : whatever vou see or hear of vou want, d — n vour arro- 
gance ! Waiter ! No Chili vinegor to be brought to this table. 
ChUi vinegar, indeed ! Da — a — a — mn your arrogance." 



AND THE PEDLlNGTONIAlsS. 61 

the Second. — ^In the evening I went into Bettisou's 
They were playing eight-shilling loo. I approached 
3. Close to it, and in the front rank of a small crowd, 
three or four deep, stood Truckle. He was earnestly 
g the proceedings, but did not play ; though ever and 
s right hand made an ineffective move towards his 
J* pocket. A few games had " come off," and the 
ing dealer was announcing, in the usual seductive phrase, 
• completion of another : — 

w, ladies and gentleman, onlif three numbers wanting 
lete this loo : 2, 3, and 5. — Thank'ee, sir. — Only 2 and 
t. — ^Thank'ee madam. — Number 2 gone. — Only one want- 
umber 5 vacant." 

was a tantalizing pause. There was no bidder for No. 5. 
th. Truckle exclaimed : — 
vt me ! Well, now, I think — really I do think Fll have a 

land made a desperate plunge into his pocket, and, in an 

or ere reflection could come to his aid, his shilling lay 

ig on the table. In the same second of time a voice was 

•cm behind the crowd : — 

lat are you doing there, sir? — I say, sir, what is it you arc 

liere?" 

B stood Colonel Dominant, his white hat seen high above 

ird in front of him ; his outstretched arm reaching over 

ads; and the fatal fore-finger pointing directly m the 

poor Truckle, who had turned as suddenly as if he had 

tried round by some mechanical power inherent in and 

r to the voice of his tyrant. 

ay, sir, what is it you are doing there ? " 

in the slightest degree contused or abashed by this 

tative interference, public as it was, Truckle good- 

edly replied : — 

hy, sir, I — you see, sir, this is a loo ; and by putting 

shilling " 

t down a sliilling ! YoUy sir, ! — T> — n your arrogance ! 
are you put down a shilling ? Take it up, sir." 
it this is a loo, you see, sir ; and by putting down one 
I may win seven ; that is to say, 1 may win a ticket 

-n your arrogance ! Win seven upon one I Whs.t t\^\\. 
m to try to win seven shillings of tViese \)00t ^%«^€^ 
Titb one of jours ? D— -n your arrogaoicel 'S^^^ \X» '^'^' 



£2 ihtle rEDUsGios 



Take it up, I sar, Ta^a — a — Jk it i^ ar. Uar — a — < 



TOUT aoTDs^nce ! " 



»Scemf fie Tiird. — I left Mzrvate br tiie steamer. We had 
completed about one boor of our ]ioiiieward4MHi]id YOja^ wliea 
Colonel DomiiiaDt ascended the deck firom the after-eabm. He 
set himself down on the gunwale, midwar betweoi the stem of 
the Tessel and the paddle-box. I beUete 1 hare applied the term 
" gunwale" correctl j ; but not feelii^ peifectlj at mj ease eon- 
cemin^ it, it were ssJer I should expUmi that tlMcrebj I mean the 
sort of paling which runs along the sides of the deck to prefent 
one's tumbling into the water. Bj this modest caution two 
points are gained : if the term be the pnmr one, it may still be 
unintelligible to manj, whose Tojagesy lice my own, liaye been 
limited to those seas ; if otherwise, I haTe tacen it out of the 
power of any seaman more expeiienoed than myself to assail me 
with — " D — ^n jroKT airc^ance ! " 

The colonel, as I hare said, was sitting on the ^[unwale, in 
that aristocratic division of a Margate steamer whidi lies be- 
tween the paddle-box and the stem. His arms irere super- 
ciliously folded across his chest ; his head was erect and motion- 
less, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left ; whilst his 
eyes disdained to encounter any meaner object than the glorious 
heayens themselves. Presently I saw emerging from the Jbre- 
cabin, the happy, good-humoured Mr. Truckle. Smiliiig^ and 
rubbing his hands together with an air of self-enjoyment, no 
sooner were his feet fairly on deck than, in the fulness of his 
delight, he exclaimed : — 

'' Capital breakfast ! I neyer made a better breakfast in all 
my life. And such a beautiful morning as it is ! And such a 
fine passage as we shall have !" 

Trippingly he approached the colonel. 

" Charming morning, sir ! I'm happy to inform you, the cap- 
tain assures me that ^" 

On the instant, out went the arm with the portentous fore- 
finger at the end of it. 

" What do you want here, sir ? D — n your arrogance ! What 
do you want here ?" 

" Why, sir, as the cs^tain told me that we shall haye a de- 
I^htfal passage, and that we sViSiW. \^ «^ \ib!&TQi^ire£ by half-past 
ihrc^ I thought you'd like to ka ■" 



AND THE PEBLIKGTOKIOS. 63 



" D — ^n your arrogance ! Come here, sir." 

The colonel, followed by Truckle, placed himself in front of 
the paddle-box, and directed the attention of the latter to certain 
voras which were thereon inscribed ; saying, 

" Read that, sir. Read that, I say." 

Truckle looked at the words for just so lon^ a time as might 
suffioe to read them, and then nodded his head in token that he 
bad done so. 

" Do YOU hear me, sir ? Read that." 

" Well, sir, I have read it," replied Truckle, with his usual 
9imle. 
^ " You have read it ! D — ^n your arrogance ! Read it aloud. 



«r." 



Truckle read : 

*' Whoever passes the paddle-box mil be expected to pay the 

FIEST'CABIN farer 

*' Then, d — n your arrogance ! what do you do here ? Go 
back, sir." 

" Why, sir, as I said before, I thought you might like 
to *' 

"And, because you presume to think, am I to pay two 
shillings additional for your d — d arrogance? Go back, sir; 
d — ^n your arrogance ! Go back. Go back, I say ; g — o — o — o 
back, da — a — a — mn your arrogance ! " 

Shortly after this, I accidentally met poor Truckle as he was 
flescending the steps of some chambers in Paper Buildings, 
7emple. I amused myself for some time in fancying what could 
haye been his business there. At length, I came to this con- 
clusion : — ^He was desirous of saying to Colonel Dominant that 
' ** his soul was his own ;" and had been to take opinion of counsel 
learned in the law as to whether he had any right to make the 
assertion. 



» 



g; 



Eight o'clock, " No more wine," said Hobbleday, " I must 
. We have a meeting of our Universal-Knowledge Society. 
ever miss it. Although I have been a member upwards of two 
years, I am still in want of an immense deal of knowledge — 
•you'd be astonished to hear how many things I am ignorant o^ \ 
Some of our learned members say, that I bore lYietn. \.ci ^^^^i)>[v 
with qaestioBS. Can't help that, you know. ISo \xsg \» «vii^ 



64! LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

scribe one's money to a Knowledge-Society, unless one is allowed 
to profit by it." 

Expressed a desire to attend the meeting. 

" Take you wiib the greatest pleasure — ^not to-night — ^'tis not 
my turn — any other night you choose." 

Reminded hina of his promise to introduce me to Rummins, 
Jubb, and the rest of the great Little Pedlingtonians. 

" To-morrow I'll introduce you to them all. Let me see — 
come and take a bachelor's chop with me at ^ve ; I'll invite 
. them to meet you — Hoppy and Daubson, too — just we six— 
' flow of reason, feast of soul,' eh ? If they are all unengaged, 
and can all come — five to-morrow, eh? Let you know by 
twelve. Good evening. Capital wine that." (To Scorewell, 
who just then entered the room) — " I say, Scorewell, if you 
should hear anything positive about Miss Cripps's bag, send 
word to me at the U. N. S. Good evening." 

*' What does he mean by the U. N. S., Mr. Scorewell ? " in- 
quired I. 

"Universal-Knowledge Society, sir. — Pleasant gentleman, 
Mr. Hobbleday, sir." 

"And exceedingly civil to me," said I. 

" Invited you to dine with him to-morrow, sir. Ahem ! Nice 
gentleman, sir ; but the greatest humbug in Little Pedlington. 
He never gave a dinner to anybody in his life — a tea and turn- 
out, now and then — and never once offered an invitation without 
an if tacked to it. He knows that to-morrow is Mr. Hoppy's 
teaching day, so he can't come : he knows that Mr. Jubb is en- 

faged to dine with Mr. Rummins (for he heard Mr. R. order a 
ottle of Cape Madeira to-day for the purpose), so they can't 
come. I say again, sir, the greatest humbug in all Little 
Pedlington." 

This was " tl^e most unkindest cut of all." That there should 
be to be found in Little Pedlington roguish innkeepers, disre- 
putable librarians, poisoning pastry-cooks, and pick-purses ; the 
envious, the malicious, and the scandalmonger ; wicked husbands 
and naughty wives; nay, even purloiners of pump-ladles, and 
shavers of pet poodles — little as I expected to hear of all or of 
any of these, I might, in the course of time, have reconciled 
myself to the circumstance. Knowing them, I might avoid 
them. But that there should exist in this pre-eminently virtuous 
town one of that contemptible race so emphatically named by 
mine host — a race (as I had hitherto imagined) peculiar to 
Zondon ! — "As soon ishould Iliaye e3.pecU^\" \ e^^\i\m^^/* \a 



I 



AKD ITHE PEDLINGTOXIANS. 65 

hear that you have amongst you one of those uttermost mis- 
creants, who are at once the scorn of the honourable profession 
which they disgrace, and the despised of the society they infest — 
a pettifogging attorney ! " 

" Unhappily for us, sir," said Scorewell, " we have one. To- 
morrow I'll tell you some of the rogue's tricks. His name is 
Hitch beg pardon, sir ; I hear the family- with-the-fly bell." 

Regretted that I didn't hear his name at length. Resolved to 
inform myself of it to-morrow; and (together with the account 
of his tncks, with which Scorewell is to favour me) to insert it 
in my journal, that it may stand as a " Beware " to all future 
visitors to Little Pedlington. 

Ten 0^ clock. Finished reading ** Pedlingtonia," and felt in- 
clined for bed ; fatigued (no doubt by the excitement of the day), 
and there being a busy morrow in store for me. Ran? for cham- 
bermaid. Mem. Inquire of Hoppy (when I shall have the 
honour and happiness of seeing him) who and what those Fitzes 
and VUle8 really are. Erom a momentary glimpse I had of 
Hobbs Hobbs, !Esq., fancied there was something of the valet cut 
even about him. Chambermaid, to " marshal me the way." Met 
Scorewell in the passage. Had just returned from the office of the 
"Pedlington Weekly Observer." Nothing certain yet about Miss 
Cripps's Dag. Editor keeps the press open till the last possible 
moment, in order to give his readers to-morrow the latest intel- 
l^nce concerning it. Happy Pedlingtonians ! An affair of ten 
times this " stirrmg interest " would scarcely produce a percep- 
tible effect upon us poor, over-excited Londoners. Desired they 
would let me have the paper in the morning, to extract anything 
remarkably interesting. " Good night." 

Half-past twelve, A loud knocking at my door. 

'* Aie you asleep, sir ? " 

"I was, and soundly too, till you disturbed me. Who is it, 
and what do you want?" 

" Please to get up, and open the door ajar, sir. It's chamber- 
maid." 

" tJgh ! There—now— what's the matter ?" 

" Master thought you'd like to know, sir : Miss Cripps has 
got her bag safe, with everything in it — except the money." 



60 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



CBUPTER V. 

A COUNTRY NEWSPAPER. 

Little Pedlington Weekly Observer : — Anxieties of an Editor : 
obstinacy and provoking indifference of Crowned Heads — Distressing 
event, and editor's singular delicacy and impartiality touching the 
same — Awful calamity — Extraordinary phenomenon — Providential 
escape — Literary, learned, and artistical — ^To the lovers of cham- 
pagne — Notices to correspondents — The theatre — Foundling hos- 
pital for the muses : poetical contributions — The joumalizer ventures 
a few remarks suggested by some of them — Advertisement of a 
magnificent property confided to the hammer of Mr. Fudgefield, the 
great auctioneer of Little Pedlington. 

Tuesday, June 16th. — Found the "Little Fedlingtoii 
Weekly Observer " on my breakfast-table. Surely that Emperor 
of Russia must be an obstinate, pig-headed fellow, andf the 
editor of the paper the most enduring of men ! Were I the 
latter, I would at once abandon the poor infatuated creature td 
his unhappy fate, for advice and remonstrance seem to be utterly 
lost upon him. For my own part, I declare that there is nothin&t 
I can Imagine in the power of, the world to bestow which wool! 
induce me to undertake the direction of the conduct of folks of 
that stamp, who, after all, will do lust as they please. Yet here 
is Mr. Simcox Rummins, junior (tne editor in question, and son 
of the great antiquary), sacrificing his time, temper, and patience, 
his health and his peace of mind,->or, in that most expressive 
of old-woman's-phrases, "worrying his soul to fiddle-strings,"— 
and all because an Emperor of Russia won't do as he bids him ! 
As exhibiting at once the editor's temper, the power and the 
elegance of his style, and the practical utility of his labours, I 
extract the following passage from his leading article :— ^ 

" Once more we call the attention of his imperial majesty to 
wAai we have so often said, and what "we have repeated above ; 
sliaJJ we add, for the last time ? "Bwt, tlo -, iot ^Jcioroj^^^xk^-^^^ 



AND THE PEDIiINGTONIANS. C7 

like the eagle, which wings its airy flight through the boundless 
realms of ether, must descend at length to rest its weary wing, 
vet shall ours still soar upwards whilst, with the piercing eye of 
nope, we behold a ray of expectation that our advice will not, 
like the sands of the desert, be eventually lost upon him. He 
may continue to not notice us in any of his decrees or mani- 
festoes, and thus affect to be indifferent concerning what we say 
to him ; but we have it on the best authority that he is fre- 
quently seen thoughtful and musing — not, indeed, in his moments 
of noisy revelry, when immersed in the vortex of pleasure, and 
surrounded by flatterers, who, like locusts, would bar our honest 
counsel from his ear, but in the nocturnal solitude of his chamber. 
There it is that our warning voice, wafted on the wings of the 
riewless wind, pierces the perfumed precincts of the palace of 
Petersburg, ana carries conviction, like the roaring of the 
rushing cataract, into his mind. And if the 'Little Pedlington 
Observer' does sometimes address the autocrat in terms of more 
than usual severity, let him remember, that we do so * more in 
friendship than in anger ;' that we regret the necessity we are 
under ot giving him pain, but that, 'like skilful surgeons^ 
who,* " &c. 

Decidedly I would not for the universe be the editor of the 
"Little Pedlington Observer." What an anxious life must he 
lead ! Upon reading on, I find he takes just the same trouble 
to manage the King of the Ereuch, the King of the Belgians, the 
Emperor of China, &c., not one of whom (if I may judge from 
his complaints of their indifference to his counsel) seems to mind 
him a wnit more than lie of Russia. Surely, it must be a subject 
, of ceaseless mortification to him, that, notwithstanding the lufl- 
site pains he is at to settle, or to reform, the government of everv 
country in the known world, his advice is so little, if at all, 
attended to. O ye monarchs, and ye ministers to monarchs ! 
were I he, I would let you go to ruin your own way, nor raise a 
finger to save you. 

Under the head of Little Pedlington, I And the fol- 
lowing:— 

*• Distressino Event. — ^Yesterday, our peaceful town was 
thrown into a state of excitement, which it far transcends our 
feeble powers to describe, bj one of those events ^\i\Ci\v, IwX.xs.- 
imteff^ as tbej do not often happen, so do tliey tio\. iteo^eofics 
ooear. Late on Sundaj evening it vfraa yrhispeied i)\^Q\v^ m^^ 

jp 2 



68 LITTLI5 fEDLINGTON 

best-informed circles — though We were in possession of positive 
information of the fact as early as a quarter past nine — ^that our 
amiable and talented townswoman. Miss Honoria Cripps (whose 
virtues are the theme of universal admiration, and whose 
numerous fugitive little offspring are the chief ornaments of our 
* Foundling Hospital/ which this day is again enriched with one 
of her charming effusions), had had the misfortune to lose her 
silk bag, containing many articles of no use to any one but the 
owner; and, 'though last, not least,' as Shakspeare hath it, a 
sum amounting nearly to three pounds ! But whatever donbts 
might have existed in certain quarters as to the correctness of 
the report on Sunday night, the truth was placed beyond the 
remotest shadow of dispute yesterday morning, at eight o'clock, 
by a circumstance which, we will venture to say, must have 
convinced the most incredulous ; the bag was cned about the 
town by the indefatigable Coggleshaw, whose accuracy in 
describing its contents was the theme of general approbation ; 
though we must say that we object to his holding, at least in 
these times, the office of crier and of sexton also; especially if, 
as it is rumoured, any addition is to be made to his fees in the 
latter capacity, more particularly when a person, whom we can 
conscientiously recommend as fit for the employment, is willing to 
undertake it upon the existing terms. But, for more upon this 
subject, we refer our readers to an admirable letter, signed 
'An Anti-PluraKtyarian,' in another part of this day's paper, 
which, by a strange coincidence, recommends the very person we 
have alluded to ; which expresses also the identical opinions we 
entertain on the subject ; and must, therefore, carry conviction 
to every unprejudiced and reflecting mind. 

** The appeal of the crier was not attended with that success 
which every honourftble and feeling mind desired. At twelve 
o'clock, again was the same experiment repeated, but, alas ! with 
the same much-to-be-lamented result. From that time till a late 
hour in the evening, groups of anxious inquirers might be seen 
in Market Square, in the Crescent, and at the public libraries, 
their countenances expressive of the deepest interest in the event. 
Judge, then, what must have been the feelings of the amiable 
lady herself ! However, last night, at five minutes before twelve, 
the bag was clandestinely dropped down Miss Cripps's area, when 
it was discovered that the lip -salve, the tooth, the false front, 
the carmine, in short, that everything was restored to her, 
except — and we must add, to t\ie e^etVasVYti^ ^\s.^^^^ oC our 
town — except the money ! But iadi^wA ^ 'v^ ^^^ "^ ^i«!^ 



7sf 



AND THE PBDMNGTONIANS. 69 

act, we cannot, in the present excited state of our feelings, 
TNitare any remarks upon it ; we shall, therefore, reserve them 
as thfe subject for the leading article in our next, when, as im- 
partial journalists, we shall be happy to publish any letters we 
maj receive, free of postage, either for or against an assertion 
▼e have heard in more quarters than one, — viz., that the money 
in the bag at the time it was lost did not amount to anything 
like ike sum stated by the fair lady herself. Till then, as in 
fairness bound, we shall offer no opinion upon the subject.'* 



The following extracts are from the miscellaneous depart- 
ment : — 

** AwpuL Cala:mity. — On Thursday last, this town was visited 
tj a terrific hail-storm. Several of the stones were picked up of 
a size truly tremendous. The devastation it occasioned was 
awful. At Mrs. Stintum's boarding-house, five panes of glass 
were broken; four at Yawkins's library; a like number at -.Mrs. 
Hobbleday's, in the Crescent, who had the misfortune, also, to 
have the top of a cucumber-frame literally smashed to pieces / 
Bnt the greatest sufferer by the calamity is Mr. Snargate, the 
builder, twenty-nine panes of whose green-house are entirely 
destroyed, and fourteen others more or less injured. Many 
persons have visited the scene of destruction. Such is the irre- 
sistible power of the elements ! " 



"ExTBAOBDiNABY PHENOMENON. — ^lu a litter of pigs which 
we have lately seen at Mrs. Sniggerston's, the keeper of the 
baths, there are actually two without tails ! Such are the ex- 
traordinary freaks of Nature ! " 



"Fbovedbntial Escape. — On Wednesday afternoon, as a 
labourer in the employ of Mr. Luke Snargate, the builder, was 
Grossing the Snapshank Road, about a quarter of a mile from 
High Street, his foot slipped, and he fell with such violence, 
that, for a few minutes, the poor fellow was unable to rise. He, 
however, soon recovered himself. Providentially, the accident 
did not occur on a dark night, at the moment when our heavily- 
laden coach, the 'Wonder,' was passing, or the unfortunate 
man would, in all human probability, have beeu ru\i o^^x ^\s.^ 
killed on the spot, leaving a disconsolate widow au^mxia\i€^JV'&^^ 
Mldrei^ totally unprovided for, fo deplore l^ia \oaa '* 



70 . , LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

"LiTEiuLEY, Leakned, AND Artistical. — The last meeting 
of the 'Little Pedliiigton Universal-Knowledge Society' waa 
paost particularly interesting. Our celebrated poet, Jubb, read a 
portion of his forthcoming * Life and Times of Rummins/ our 
well-known antiquary ; and Rummins favoured the members by 
reading a portion of his forthcoming ' Life and Times of Jubb/ 
Our eminent painter, Daubson, exhibited a very curious drawing, 
which he has lately completed. It is a profile in black, which, 
looked at one way, represents a man's head in a cocked hat, and 
with a large bow to nis cravat; but, when turned topsy-turvy, shows 
the face of an old woman in a mob-cap ! Who shall presume to 
set bounds to the ingenuity of art ? But the thing by far the 
most interesting was, what was stated by our learned antiquary, 
Mr. Rummins, to be a helmet of the time of King John. It was 
dug from the ruins of an old house lately pulled down, in North 
Street, and is now the property of Mr. Rummins himself. It is 
corroded by the rust of ages ; and, except that it has no handle, 
is in form not unlike a saucepan of our own days. Mr. R. 
read a learned memoir, which he has drawn up upon the subject 
(and which, together with a drawing, he intends to forward to 
the Society of Antiquaries), wherein he states, that when be was 
in Lon#[on, and saw the play of * King John' acted, the principal 
aotors wore helmets of precisely that shape. Its authenticity is 
thus proved beyond all manner of doubt. But, upon these points, 
who shall presume to question the judgment of a Rummins P 

" The presentations to the library, and for the sole use of the 
members, were, * Goldsmith's History of England,' abridged for 
the use of schools, and Tooke's ' Pantheon ' (an account of all 
the heathen gods and goddesses, with numerous cuts), both the 
gift of our munificent townsman, Mr. Yawkins, the banker. 

" On the motion of Mr. Hobbleday, the question was put and 
carried, that Entick's 'Spelling Book' being much worn by 
constant use, the said book be newly bound at the expense of 
the Society." 



" To THE Lovers op Champagne. — ^We cannot too strongly 
recommend that admirable substitute for Champagne, the goose- 
berry-wine made and sold by Hubkins, the grocer, in Market 
Square. We speak from our own knowledge, as he has obligingly 
sent us six bottles as a sample. We can say nothing of his other 
home'iDade wines^ which he only mentions to ««, aa we cannot, 
TFjtli a conscientious regard to* out dut^ aa \m^^x\\'8X\^\irMa^^ 



ASD THE P£DLINGTONIANS. 71 



vnatare an opinion which we do not possess the means of 
wifying hy a iriaW 



»i 



These from the 

"NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. 

" %* The letter from a certain oilman in East Street, requesting 
yjA to give a favourable opinion of his pickles, anchovy paste, &c., 
most be paid for as an advertisement. We cannot compromise 
our independence by praising what he has not given us an oppor- 
tnnitj 01 tasting." 

***^*We are obliged to our valuable correspondent, Philo- 
Akynanut, for the answer to the charade in our last, which is 
Skiiiies. Perhaps he will favour us by exercising his ingenuity 
on our charade of this day." 



"THE THEATRE. 

" We are at length enabled to state, that Mr. Sniggerston (in 
oonsequenoe of the present amount of the subscription towards 
building a new theatre not being sufficient to warrant the under- 
taking), having again kindly consented to grant the use of one of 
hia oommodious outhouses, though, at what seems to us to be a 
rather exorbitant rent, our liberal and spirited manager, Mr. 
Stmt, from Dunstable, will positively open his campaign on the 
16th of next month ; though, in our opinion, it would answer his 
purpose much better did he delay the opening till the 18th, not 
out that he might open with great advantages on the 15tli, or 
even the 12th. Tne preparations are on the most extensive 
scale ; and a new drop-scene (of which we have been favoured 
with a private view) has been painted by our unrivalled Daubson. 
The,' suDJect is a view of the new pump, in Market Square, as 
seen from South Street; though, it seems to us, the painter 
would have done better had he represented it as seen from North 
Street ; not but that we 'think South Street a very favourable 
point for viewing it, and no man has greater taste in these 
matters than Daubson, when he chooses to exercise it. The 
manager has done well in engaging all our o\d iBL^owrsX.^^,^^ 
magipraminent of whom are, ' the faoetions Tip\Aeton, VXi'fcV'EswV 



72 LITTLE PEDLIKGTON 

rending Snoxell, and the versatile and incomparable Mrs. 
Biggleswade,' as they are aptly characterized by our tasteful 
Master of the Ceremonies in his * Guide Book ; ' but why has be 
not also engaged Mrs. Croaks, the celebrated vocalist, who, we 
understand, is unemployed ? This he must do. Yet if, as we are 
told, she requires twice as much as has ever been paid to 
any other performer for doing only half the usual work, we 
must say that Strut is right in resisting such a demand ; though 
we admit that talent like hers cannot be too highly remnner^bted, 
and are of opinion she is perfectly justified in making her own 
terms ; nevertheless, we recommend her to follow the example of 
moderation set by the three eminent performers we have named, 
they having liberally consented to take each a fourth of the clear 
receipts, allowing the remaining fourth to be divided amongst 
the rest of the company in any way the manager may think proper, 
after deducting one-third of that for himself. Tippleton, with his 
usual disinterested zeal for the good of the concern, has consented 
to play any part whatever which may be likely to conduce to that 
end, provided, in the first place, it be a good part in itself; 
secondly, that it be the only good part in the piece ; and lastly, 
that the part be, in every possible respect, to his own entire and 
perfect satisfaction. The only particular stipulations he has 
made are, that no person shall have a clear benefit but himself; 
that no person shall be allowed to write as many orders nightly 
as himself; that no person shall have their name printed in 
the play-bills in large letters but himself; and that he shall not at 
any time be expected to do anything to serve anybody — but 
himself, 

" With such spirited exertions on the part of the management, 
and such liberality and zealous co-operation on that of the per- 
formers, the concemmust succeed; though we would recommend the 
manager not to act so much himself as he did last season; though 
we admit that his assistance is usually indispensable. However, 
as far as we are concerned. Strut may rely on having our sup- 
port — ^for, indeed, he deserves it ; not that we altogether approve 
of the arrangements he has made, which, in our opinion, are, in 
many respects, faulty in the extreme; nevertheless, he is an 
enterprising manager, and ought to be patronized by the Ped- 
lingtonians ; not that we should recommend them to go into a 
hot theatre, to see plays, sometimes, to say the truth, indifferently 
acted — nor, indeed, can he expect that they should." 
Admired the profoundness of the critic's teHectioiis, the extent 
and minuteness of his information, the ^wisdom qI\v^^ ^^^Vvi^^Wi.^, 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 73 

above all, his beautiful consistency. Fancied I had somewhere 
oocasionfdly read something in a similar style — could not 
reooUect where. 



These from the 

"FOUNDLING HOSPITAL FOR THE MUSES. 

** To Doctors Drench and Drainum, on their grand discovery of a 
Mineral Spring in the Vale of Health, 

" GkJen and Esculapius men may praise, 
(Apothecaries ^eat in by-gone days ;) 
But you, my fhends, Drainum ! and Drench ! 
At once the flambeaus of their merit quench. 
ThevTiO chalybeate for our use e'er found 
On Pedlingtonia's health-restoring ground : 
That task the gods, to Pedlingtonia truo, 
Beserved, my Drainum and my Drench, for you ! 
So shall your neunes for aye their names outshine. 
Immortal in the poet's deathless line ! 
That task^ thrice-fiivour'd Jubb, that happy task be mine ! 

"Jonathan Jubb." 



"A CHARADE. 

" A member of the feathered race. 
With half a certain well-known place. 
If rightly you do guess, I ween, 
You'll name the pretty thing I mean. 

"En A J Sbburcs." 



*'%*The following charming, pathetic little gem, composed 
several days ago, assumes a most peculiar feature of melancholy 
interest, when we consider the present distressing state of mind 
laboured under by the fair poetess, the fall particulars of the 
loss of whose reticule (containing — ^besides a large sum in 
mooiey, of her own — a lump of orris-root, a pot of lip-salve, a 
new flaxen front, a new false tooth, and a paper of CM\xvv\!i&, 
helimpin^ io a Jrte/id of kers), we have given in aiio\Xiet ^^x\. ^1 
TOT (ibia daj'a) paper.-^ED. 



i 



74 LITTIiB PSBUNOTON 

" Of Srentle Btrephon, cease to woo I ' 
spare poor Chloe's virgin heart ! 
tempt me not ! but cease to sue ;— 
In pity spare me, and depart. 

do not praise the roseate blush 
On Chloe's grief- worn cheek displayed ! 

Alas ! 'tis but a hectic flush. 
Which soon^ too soon, in death must fade. 

speak not of the teeth that shine 
Like pearls, 'twixt lips like cherries twain. 

Tinted with Nature's pure carmine : 
Alas ! fond youth, 'tis all in vain. 

Nor praise no more the balmy breath 

Thou dost to orris sweet compare. 
When soon the icy arms of death 

In the oold grave those sweets must share. 

Urge not thy suit, but fly me now, 
Fond youth ! nor praise those locks of flax 

Thou say'st adorn my ivory brow — 
Leave me to die — 'tis all I ax. 

"HONOBIA." 



A punctilious critic would, perhaps, raise an objection to the 
"locks of flax," and (with a greater show of right on his side) 
to the concluding word of Miss Cripps's "charming little 
gem." But surely tbis would not be tbe case with a candid • 
reader, inclined (as I own I always am) to be pleased. By 
the "locks of flax," it is clear the Sappho of Little Pedlington 
means flaxen locks, whatever may be the exact import of the 
words she uses ; and with respect to the other point, it is to be 
defended on the plea of necessity. " Any port in a storm," says 
the sailor ; and, driven by stress of rhyme, I think the lady is 
fortunate in not having been forced into a less commodious 
haven; for the most fastidious ear must be satisfied with the 
rhyme, which is perfect ; whilst the only objection that can be 
made to the word air (as a word) is, that the Exclusives, the 
Almacks of the Dictionary, refuse to acknowledge it as a member 
of their super-refined Society. But I fear I entertain a dislike 
of the general tone of the noem, exquisite as it is in detail. 
Why need the lady be so confoundedly — ^I cannot help swearing 
at it — so confoundedly dismal ? Why s\iO\3ld «.lkft ^yerkatinffly 
(as I perceive by a former number oi t\ie"^o\Mi'3iMx^l2LQ«^^"w?'^ 



AND TH£ PEDLING^ONIAKS. 75 

be tampering with such disagreeable matters as " death," and 
"the grave," and **the canker-worm," and "the blighted hope," 
" the withered heart," " the seared soul," and a thousand other 
such uncomfortable fancies ? If her woes be real, most sincerely 
do I pity the poor lady, and the sooner her gloomy aspirations 
after death and the grave are grati^ed, the better it will be for 
her ; if feigned, I shall say no more than I wish that, for the 
pleasure of the readers of the " Little Pedlington Observer," 
she would exercise her imagination upon subjects of a more 
agreeable character. I am aware I maybe told that Miss Cripps 
ia, par excellence, the "Songstress of Woe;" that she " strings 
her lyre with tears;" and that much also will be said about 
" finer sensibilities," " poetical temnerament," " flow of feeling," 
and " outpourings of soul." Fiddle-de-dee ! the mere common- 
place twaadle of criticism. Could the performances on this tear- 
strung Ijre be restricted to the hand of Miss Cripps alone (the 
inventress of the instrument, and its mistress also), I should not 
80 much object to an occasional movement dolor oso ; but her 
genius, as it is evinced in the effusion which has occasioned these 
passing remarks, might, unhappily, beget a brood of imitators, 
who. Eke imitators in general, would select only the worser 
(][nalities of their model : then should we have every young lady 
in Little Pedlington whimpering about "blighted hopes" at 
fourteen ; at fifteen, invoking death, and sighing for the quiet of 
the cold, cold, grave ; and, at sixteen, running off with a tall 
footman, or a haberdasher's mustachio'd " assistant." Rather 
than these things should occur, I would suggest — since extremes 
provoke extremes — an Act of Parliament to prohibit lady-poets 
from meddling with any other subjects than silver moons, radiant 
rainbows, blushing roses, modest violets, and the like ; and to 
restrict them, in their gloomiest moods, to illustrations the most 
sad and dismal of whici should be-a cloudy night in summer. 



Amongst the advertisements, the following is the most pro- 
minent. My attention was first attracted by that portion of it 
which is printed in capital letters, and which I read (as I would 
recommend all readers to do) independently of the context in 
humbler type. "Magnificent property, indeed !" thought I. As 
I have never met with anything of the kind at all comparable 
with it, I think it worth extractmg : — 



76 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

CHATSWORTH AND BLENHEIM 

Are not likely either speedily or soon to be brought to the hammer^ 
but a most desirable Freehold Property in the Vale of Health, 

WILL BE SOLD BY AUCTION, 

On the premises^ on Monday next^ at twelve o'clock precisely, 

BY MR FUDGEFIELD. 



I 



It seldom falls to the fortunate lot of an auctioneer to have to oflFer 
to the public a property, to describe which puts to the utmost stretch 
of extension the most sublime and inexhaustible powers of descrip- 
tion for to describe ; and which, to convey an idea of sufficiently 
adequately, would be required to be described by the unequalled and 
not to be paralleled descriptive powers of a 

LORD BYRON. 

What then, must be the feelings of Mr. Fudgefield on the present 
occasion, when he has to offer for sale that most desirable residence, 
situate in the Vale of Health, smd known by a name as appropriate as 
it is befitting, and well merited as it is most richly deserved, 

PARADISE HOUSE! 

The particulars of this most desirable and charming residence, which 

may truly be called 

A PERFECT RUS IN URBE A LITTLE WAY OUT OF 

TOWN, 

will, in the course of this advertisement, be stated fully and at length ; 
and which Mr. Fudgefield owes it as a duty to his employers to state 
as circumstantially as he would if it were a 

-af J.GNIFICENT M.A.'S^^\01S^, 



AND THE PBDUNGTONIANS. 77 

Fit for the residence of 

A l^OBLEMAN'S FAMILY. 

Being near the town and in its immediate vicinity, where everything 
that Nature's multitudinous desires can wish for can be obtained when 
wanted, it is not necessary, and scarcely i^quisite that it should 
boast of 

THREE DOUBLE COACH-HOUSES 

AND 

ACCOMMODATION FOR TWENTY HORSES; 

Nor, indeed, should it be expected, when the town can boast of two 
confectioners, that it should possess a 

WELL-CONSTRUCTED ICE-HOUSR 

It ia also the opinion of many persons that, as it occasions great 
expense, outlay, and disbursement, to maintain and keep up 

ONE OF THE FINEST PINERIES IN THE 

KINGDOM, 

NUMEROUS GREENHOUSES AND CONSERVATORIES, 
A WELL-STOCKED FISH-POND, 

AND 

AN AVIARY WORTHY THE ATTENTION 

OF ALL EUROPE, 

None but such as those whose fortunes are equal, and whose moans are 

adequate, to such 

AND OTHER LUXURIES, 

Oqffbt to encumber tbemaelvea with them. From ihaa r\iVft \a xiaV. \*i\i^ 

excepted 



78 LirVLB PBDLIN6T0K 

A CHOICE COLLECTION OP RARE BOOKS, 

ALL IN COSTLY BINDINGS, 

when from any of the circulating libraries in the town any book to 
convey pleasure to the understanding, instruction to the imagination, 
or information to the intellect, may be obtained at the cost of a 
moderate and not unreasonable subscription. The same observatuMUi 
would apply to 

A SMALL BUT TRULY SELECT SELECTION 07 

CHINA, 

FROM THE FAB-FAMED AND WELL-ENOWN MANUFACTORIES OF 

SEVRES AIJD DRESDEN; 

And one of the 

MOST SPLENDID COLLECTION OF* PICTURES, 

BT THE OLD MASTERS, EVER BROUGHT TO THE HAMMER : 

Including several by 

RAPHAEL ANGELO, LUNARDI DE VINSY, PAUL VERYUNEASY, 
THE THREE STORAGES, VANDYKI, RUBINI, PAUL 
POTTERER, SEBASTION PLUMPO, JULIET RO- 
MANO, TITAN, JERRY DOW, GEORGE 
ONY, OLD PALMER, DON MYCHINO, 
AND OTHER SPANISH, ENGLISH, AND ITALIAN ANCIENT 

OLD MASTERS. 

For the reasons above adduced, and as Mr. Strut's unrivalled com- 
pany are shortly to exhibit their well-known talents in a theatre of 
their own, a 

SMALL BUT ELEGANT PRIVATE THEATRE 

Would be supererogatory and superfluous ; as also, considering the 

CHARMING DRIVES AND RURAL 
PBOMENAD^a, 



I 



AND THE PBDLINGT0NLi2fS. 79 

Beminding tho enchanted eye of the enraptured beholder of the 

ELYSIAN FIELDS, 

Which are to be enjoyed at every turn in the neighbourhood of Little 

Pedlington^ an 

EXTENSIVE PARK AND PLEASURE GROUNDS 

Would hardly compensate the Purchaser for the immense cost which 
ho must be at for planting and laying out perhaps as many as would 

COMPRISE 10,000 ACRES 1 ! ! 

It is only necessary further to add, that 

PARADISE HOUSE 

Consists of four rooms, small but commodious ; with wash-house and 
most convenient kitchen, detached : with a garden of a quarter of an 
acre in extent, more or less ; from which (should they ever honour the 
Vale of Health with a visit) the fortunate purchaser of this most desir- 
able Property would be enabled most distinctly to see the 

QUEEN AND ALL THE ROYAL FAMILY 



80 LITTLE PEDLIlfGTON 



CHAPTER VI. 

Little Jack Hobbleday calls — Specimens of the Art of boring, paMim-^ 
Hobbleday's pressing invitation — Advantages of the possession of a 
little musical talent— Stppmge of the Little Pedlin^^n Bank and its 
disastrous consequences— Too friendly by half— Equivocal compli- 
ment — Sit to the matchless Daubson — Cant of connoisseurship— 
''Your candid opinion, sir," and its customary consequencos^-JTo 
professional envy in this place — Daubson's cool contempt for the 
Koyal Academy, and a hint worth the attention of that exclusive 
boay — Remarkably kind note from Hobbleday. 

ScAECELY had I finished the reading of my newspaper when 
Scorewell, bill-of-fare in hand, entered the room, and thns 
addressed me : — 

"Mr. Hobbleday wishes to see yon, sir. Bill-of-fare, sir. 
What would you choose to have for dinner, sir ? " 

" It is probable, Mr. Scorewell," replied I, " I shall not dine 
at home. You may remember Mr. Hobbleday invited me to 
dine with him to-day, for the purpose of meeting some of the 
worthies of this place." 

"Yes, sir, with an if, sir. That's why I ask you what you 
would please to order, sir. Mr. Hobbleday, as I said last night, 
sir, is a nice gentleman, but the greatest humbug in Little 
Pedliugton. And then, sir, if I might make free to tell you, sir, 
don't say anything to him you would wish to keep secret, sir." 

" I never Ho, landlord, to anybody," said I. 

" What I mean is this, sir : he is very intimate with Mr. 
Simcox Rummins, junior, sir, the editor of our newspaper, sir; 

and people suspect that whatever he hears he ^But here he 

is, sir. 

Mr. Hobbleday made his appearance — stopped short in the 

middle of the room — thrust his hands into his pockets — ^looked at 

the clock — then at me — smiled with an air of self-satisfaction — 

a^am looked at the clock — when t\ien ^to bAo^\. «i."^\!A«\iia form 

of phrase), "when then thus HoWedaj ;'* — 



AlTD THE PEDLTNGTONIANS. 81 

" Do you see that ? Told yon I would be here at twelvo, fiud 
twelve it is to a minute. That's what 1 call punctuality. Pride 
myself on being punctual. To be sure, it is no great merit in 
me to be so — ^iiotning else to do— no business, no occupation — 
centleman at large, as I may say — a ninety pounds a-year, in- 
dependent. And yet it is something to be proud ot, never- 
theless, eh P But I'm afraid I interrupt you — ^you were reading 
the paper. Now, no ceremony with me — if I do interrupt you, 
say so. Never bore anybody, if I know it — hate to be bored 
myself. But some people have no tact. Ahem!" 

It must here be noted that before and after every " ahem," 
Mr. Hobbleday paused for a second or two — a habit which gave 
additional importance, if not interest, to what he was pleased to 
Oftll his conversation ; and which, at the same time, contributed 
to allay anj feeling of impatience that might other^visc have 
arisen in his hearers. 

" Ahem ! No man is better acquainted with his faults than 
I am "with mine — sorry to say I nave many ; but this I may 
safely say for myself, whatever else I may be, 1 am anything but 
a bore. But all ovring to tact, eh ? Can't endure a bore ; and 
now, if I ^0 interrupt you " 

Assured him he did not, reminded him that I was prepared 
for his visit, and requested he would take a seat. Deliberately 
seated himself opposite to me — deliberately placed his straw hat 
upon the table — oeliberately unbuttoned his nankeen jacket, and 
deliberately took off his gloves. Seemed — ^likc rain, when one 
least desires it — regularly set in for the day. 

"Sure, now, you have finished reading your newspaper? 
Besemble me in one respect, I dare say. Keadin^ a newspaper 
is all very well, but prefer conversation, eh ? Well, then, won't 
apologize for the interruption. Nothing equal to pleasant con- 
versation; for my part, 1 may almost say I live upon it ! — Ahem! 
—Breakfast not removed — you breakfast late, eh? Now I 
breakfast at eight in summer, at nine in winter ; and, what is 
very remarkable, have done so as long as I can reraember. Now 
m tell you what my breakfast consists of." 

Obligingly communicated to me the fact, that he took three 
tlgek slices of bread-and-butter, one -egg, and two cups of tea ; 
uSdmg to the interest of the information, by a minute detail of 
the price he paid for the several commodities, the quantities of 
tea and sn^ar he used, the time he allowed his egg; to boil, \>.\\5i 
his tea to draw; and also, bv a particular descvipliou o^ \X\^. 'icvtm 
Mud size of his teapot. Though early in the day, I ciJ^mcvi^^^ "a. 

G 



82 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

sensation of drowsiness, for which (having slept weH at night) I 
could not account. 

"Dear me !" exclaimed Hobbleday, as the clock struck; "one 
o'clock, I declare ! How time flies when one is engaged in plea- 
sant conversation ! But, perhaps, I'm boring you, eh ? If 1 am, 
say so. — ^Ahem ! — Bj the bye — a sad disappointment — ^never so 
put out by anything in my life. Had made up my mind to one 
of the pleasantest afternoons imaginable. But Juob can't come 
— engaged to dine with Rummins. No matter, we must arrange 
for some other day. I won't let you off; so, let me see— or, no 
—fix your own day — ^now, come; &i. a day you must. But 
don't say to-morrow — ^to-morrow is Hoppy's day for his public 
breakfast at the skittle-ground; and on Thursday I'm engi^ed 
at a rout at Mrs. Applegarth's, who shows off her new drawing- 
room curtains — sad ostentation ! " 

Well, then," said I, " on Friday, if you please.'* 
That's Hummms's day for showing his museum; and on 
Saturday I tea with Miss Shrubsole. Can't say, though, that 
her parties are at all in my way." Here he shook his arm, as if 
in the act of dealing out cards, and, with a grave look, continued : 
— "You understand; — tremendous play! Like a quiet, old- 
fashioned rubber very well ; — ^have no objection even to a round 
game, when played in moderation ; but when it comes to three- 
penny shorts, and when, at loo, the lady of the house is so /ot' 
tunate as to turn up pam almost every time she deals — ahem !— 
But, to the point. Sunday, of course, is out of the questioii; 

and-a ^" 

" And on Monday, at the latest, I must return to town." 
" No, no, I can't consent to that ; I must not be deprived of 
the pleasure of introducing you to my eminent friends. Do yoa 
jpositively leave us on Monday ?^' 

Positively; business of importance, which will require my 
presence- 






ivt!i>y icavc us uu jxLunUfay /"' 

X UOlblV Ci 

" No, no ! pooh, pooh ! — ^won't listen to such a thing ; won't, 
I tell you : for on Tuesday 1 shall consider you as engaged to 

[• uuuipiui^y 
ft ~ 



dine with me. A week's notice to my eminent friends wul secure 
their company.' 

Your politeness and hospitality," said I, " deserve a suitable 
return on my part. Since you are so pressing in your invitation, 
it would be ungracious in me to reiuse it ; so I will vmte to 
town by this night's post, and, even at the risk of some incon- 

venience, will remain here till " 

*'Ahem I — ahsL I — ^Never so ftaUeted. V)^ wi'^VJsiai^ m ^ \ss| 



^ AUD THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 83 

life; but, no— won't listen to it — ^wouldn't put you to incon- 
Tenience for all the world ; — say no more about it ; never mind 
mj disappointment ; we shall see you in Little Pedlington again. 
SmIj disappointed, indeed : but don't you let that interfere with 
joor airangements. Come, will you take a turn?" 

ScoreweD, who just before had come into the room, and heard 
the conduding part of the conversation, again presented his 
bill-of-fare, with — " Bill-of-fare, sir. Note what would you choose 
to have for dinner, sir P" 

Puzzled to guess what he intended by his emphasis upon the 
**iiOfw;'* neither could I understand what he meant by the 
odd twmkle of the eve with which he accompanied his question. 

Whilst I was douoting over Scorewell's bill-of-fare. Hobble- 
day amused himself by breathing upon one of the window-panes, 
and making marks thereon with bis fore-finger. 

^'Drawr' said he, in an inquiring tone. 

Toldhimldid. 

"Pretty accomplishment. I've a taste that way myself. — 
Ahem 1— Play the flute ? '' 

Told him I did not. 

" Pity : you'd find it a great comfort. Besides — gets one into 
the best society — ^at least, I find it so in Little Pedlington. For 
instance, now, there's Yawkins, the eminent banker, hates me, 
yet invites me to all his musio-pafties. You'd think that odd, 
perhaps — ^not in the least. Why ? Because he can't do with 
out me. His daughter is a very fine performer on the piano- 
forte, I admit — ^firat-rate — ^no more taste, though, than a bag- 
piper ; yet, what would be the ' Battle of Prague,' or the overture 
to ' Lodoiska,' without little Jack Hobbleday's flute accompani- 
ment P Pooh ! pooh ! nothing, I tell you. — Ahem ! — malicious 
litUe creature that daughter of his. W*ever stops for you when 
she finds you sticking at a difficult passage, but rattles on, and 
finishes five minutes before you, merely to show her own skill. 
I had my revenge, though, the other evening. Caught her at 
fault — ^ha ! ha ! na ! — ^my turn now, thought I ; so on I went ; 
and hang me if I didn't come to my last tootle-tootle-too, 
while she had still nearly a whole page to play. Tit for 
tat, eh?" 

** But what cause can Mr. Yawkins have for hating you, as 
you say, Mr. Hobbleday P" 

**I did him a service, my dear sir; and, with some T^e.Q^\<fc^ 
that is cause su&cient ion must know that — ^aJji^mX \^w. 
^Soo'i^ want Scorewell, eh ? Scorewell, ^ou may Vta^^ \)ti^ \^^^»^ 

Gr 2 



84 LITTLE PEDMNGTON 

Scorewell, with some reluctance, and a glance at Hobbleday^ 
bespeaking no veir wonderful affection for that gentlemaD, ttok 
the hint and withdrew. 

" That is the most impertinent, prying rascal in all Idtild 
Pedlington," continued Hobbleday. " He pretends to be busied 
in dusting the wine-glasses and decanters on the side-board, 
when, in lact, be is listening to your conversation. Whateve* 
he hears, he reports to our newspaper, and for that he receives 
Ms paper gratis. Between ourselves, he is not the only One in 
this place I could mention who does the same thing." 

** Are these rivals in the same trade?" thought I, " or which 
of them is it that belies the other? Oh! Little Pedlington} 

Ah! Little Pedlington ! if these be thy doings ^Yet, no; 

Scorewell shall, upon Hobbleday's testimony, be written down 
a publican of moderate honesty ; Hobbleday, upon the word of 
Scorewell, shall stand recorded what eye, methought, had never 
seen, what tongue had never named, in this all-perfect place — a 
humbug ; but that either of them, or that any other Pedling- 

tonian should be suspected of betraying No, no, no; they 

are labouring under some strange delusion, and know not what 
they say. This, for mine own happiness, I must and will 
believe." 

Hobbleday resumed : — " But respecting Yawkins. You re- 
member the panic a few years ago, which, as Jubb describes it, 
' Like roaring torrent overwhelmed the Banks !^ Up at six in 
the morning, * my custom (as Shakspeare aptly says), my custom 
always in the afternoon.' I was the first in Little Pedlington 
to hear of the great crash. Saw a traveller just arrived from 
London, long before the post came in — told me of this bank 
going in consequence of a run upon it, and of that bank going 
in consequence of a run upon it. Thought of my friends law- 
kins, Snargate, and Co. No fear, though, for such a firm as 
thaty—^^QnaA as a roach, at bottom. Yet prevention is better 
than cure, thought I ; for if the Little Pedlington bank should 
go, the credit of the world's at an end. Well, sir, what does 
little Jack Hobbleday do? I'll tell you what he does. He 
runs to his friend Shrubsole, and knocks him up two hours 
earlier than his usual time. * Shrubsole,' says I, ' don't be 
alarmed; there's a tremendous run upon the banks all over 
England ; the consequence is, they are smashing like glass. I 
know you have cash at Yawkins's, but be calm, and don't ptess 
^jP(m ^Jiem, and your money will be safe-, but should there be a 
m£aa upon them to-daj, they must loe lum^^. Xwx \xksy« 'm^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 85 

friendship for old Yawkins in particular : follow my advice, and 
I shall take it as a personal favour.' From him I run to my 
friend Chickney, — knock him up. ' Chickney/ says I, ' don't 
be alarmed \ there's a tremendous,' &c. &c. &c. Well, sir, from 
Mm I run to my friend Stintum, — knock him up. * Stint um,' 
says I," &c. &c. &c. 

^ Ttoo o^clock, — Hobbleday had already mentioned the names of 
nineteen persons to whom he had run, and repeated to me the 
same speech in precisely the same words as he had delivered it 
to each of them ; always commencing with — " Well, sir, from 
him I run," &c. 

Greatly^ admu-e this method of telling a story, as I do my 
friend Major Boreall's manner of narratmg ; who, for instance, 
is a longer time in telling you of his ordering a dinner than it 
would take you to eat it. As thus : — " Eirst of all I say to 
KayCf 'Kaye,' says I, 'you will be very particular in letting 
ns nave a tureen of very mce spring-soup at one end of the table;' 
then I say to Kaye, ' Kaye,' says I, ' you will be very particular in 
letting us have a tureen of very nice soupe-a-la-reiiie at the other;* 
then I say to Kaye, ' Kaye,' &c." and so on, through the whole 
service, even to a biscuit with the dessert. The great advantage 
of this system is, that a vast deal of time is consumed by it ; 
and they will not be disposed to object to it whom experience 
has taught that human life is considerably too long for any use- 
fdl purpose, and who have found that, but for expedients of this 
kind for "beguiling the time," many hours would have been left 
at their own disposal for which they must have sought employ- 
ment. Long live the Borealls and the Hobbledays of the world 
for relieving us of this care ! 

Continued his story, in precisely the same form, through 
thirteen names more, and then proceeded : — 

( *' Well, sir, having taken all this trouble to prevent a run 
upon the house of this ungrateful man, it was near eight o'clock ; 
so home I go and get a mouthful of breakfast. Look at my 
banker's book — find 1 have eleven pound two in their hands. 
Eleven pound two, as I hope to be saved ! Bank opens at 
nine, thinks I ; post won't be in till ten ; probably the firm will 
know nothing of what is going on in London till then. Eleven 
pound two a great deal to me, though not much to a house like 
the Yawkins's — I'll go down quietly, as if I knew nothing, 
and draw my balance — that can't hurt thera. Go — ^<e\. Wi^x^ "aX 
a quarter before nine — what do I see ? — ^I'll teW ^ou \i\i'aJc*\%^^ •- 

laeeSbrabsole, I see Chickney, I see Stintum, 1 «i^ \\!isx^Vfe 



86 IITTLB PEBLINGTON 

recapitulated tlie whole of the two-and-thirty names he had 
already mentioned, ending -with] and I sec Sni^gerston; aD, 
with consternation painted on their faces, crowding about the 
door. Notwithstanding my request that they would not press 
upon my friend Yawkins, there they all were — and before, me, 
too! What was the consequence? Til tell you.. The conr 
sequence was, the first ten or a dozen that contrived to squeeze 
in were paid ; but that could not last, you know ; human nature 
couldn't stand it. Pooh ! pooh ! I tell you it couldn't : so 
after paying nearly two hundred pounds — stop! a regular 
stoppage, sir. I was at the tail of the crowd ; and when I saw 
the green door closed you might have knocked me down with a 
feather. However, at the end of two years, although the 
outstanding claims amounted to nearly a thousand pounds, a 
dividend was paid of four shillings in the pound: and now, 
Snargate drives his gig again, old Yawkins rides his cob, and, to 
the honour of our town be it said, the Little Pedlington Bank 
is as firm and sound as anv in Europe. Never kept cash there 
since, though ; no more bankers for me — eleven pound two— 
the sight of that green door — no, no — one such fright in a 
man's life is enough. Ahem ! " — Here he paused. 

" But," said I, " you have not told me the point of the stoiy 
— ^the cause of Mr. Yawkins's hatred of you, which led you to 
favour me with these interesting details." 

"Dear me — ^no more I have — forgot the point. You must 
know, then, that he has always declared — mark the black 
ingratitude ! — that if I had not gone running all over Little 
Pedlington, frightening his customers by telling them not to be 
alarmed, and tous causing them to take him by surprise, he 
needn't have stopped payment — till he thought best." 

Here was another pause. Clock struck three. 

" Three o'clock, as sure as I'm born ! " exclaimed my enter- 
taining acquaintance. Now who'd have thought that? But, 
as I said before, time does fly when one is engaged in pleasant 
conversation. Have not enjoyed so agreeable a mormng for a 
long while. Afraid I've kept you at home, though; lost all 
your morning, — eh ? — Ha ! there goes Shrubsole. Ahem ! the 
greatest bore in Little Pedlington. He'll sit with you for three 
hours, and not say a word— man of no conversation. Brft you 
are thinking about something — eh ? " 

HobbJedaj right. Thinking about Sir Gabriel Gabble, a 
eAa/fenn^ bore, and Major Mum, a silent Xicst^. O^^a^^rML %\t 
witli you ^eife-a-tete through a long 'winter's c^cttOi'?,, ^ ^^j^j^ ^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 87 

if he had but just issued from the cave of Trophonius, and (as 
Charles Bannister said of Dignum) tkMs he's thinking \ the 
other "will chatter your very head off — his matter compounded of 
doll trivialities^ commonplace remarks, and the most venerable 
of old woman's gossip^ all which he calls conversation. Query 
1, Which of the two is the least to be endured? Query 2. 
Were you to be indicted for that you did accidentally toss theui 
both (or any of the like) out at window, whereby did ensue " a 
consummation devoutly to be wished," would not a jury of any 
sensible twelve of your countrymen return a verdict of "Justi- 
fiable Bore-idde F" 

Hobbleday rose to depart — but didn't. Almost wished he 
would. Expressed an apprehension that I was trespassing too 
far upon his patience and good-nature by detaining him. Assured 
me I didn't in the least. Sorry, indeed, to leave me ; but it was 
past his dinner time. Slowly drew on one glove, smoothing 
each fing^er separately with the other hand: drew on the other 
glove with (as the French say) le memejeu. Deliberately took up 
his hat, looked into the crown of it, and whistled part of a tune. 
Reiterated his regrets that I didn't play the flute ; and repeated 
his assurance that I should And it a very great comfort. Made a 
move — ("At last ! " thought I) — but not towards the door. His 
move, like a knight's at chess, brought him, by a zigzag, only 
into another comer. Made the circuit of the room, and read all 
the cards and advertisements that were hanging against the 
walls, whistling all the time. 

" Well, now — ^go I must. Sorry to leave you, for the 
fretent*' 

Can't account for it ; but, on hearing these three words, you 
might — (to use Hobbleday's own expression) — you might have 
knocked me down with a feather. 

" By the bye, promised to take you to see my dear friend 
Hummins's museum on a private day. Can't to-morrow. Thurs- 
day, I'm engaged. Let me see ; — ay, I'll send you a letter of 
introduction to him — 'twill be the same thing — he'll do anything 
to oblige me. Now remember ; anything I can do to be agree- 
able to you whilst you stay in our place — command me. Sorry 
our little dinner party can't take place thin time ; but when you 
come again to Little redlington — ^remember—come you must — 
positively won't take no for an answer. Everybody knows little 
Jack Hobbleday. Pooh, pooh ! I tell you they do. Always 

wiUii^ to — alwajs anxious to ^good bye — see 30u^.\."^<a^^"^^^ 

public breakfast to-morrow — ^good bye." 



88 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Really he is au obliging creature ; and not to avail myself of 
his proffered civilities would be an offence. 

Strolled out — (four o'clock, and the thermometer at 82°) and 
found the town deserted. Informed it was the fashionable day 
for walking to Snapshank Hill to see the view, — only five miles 
distant. How unfortunate am I that Hobbleday didn't acquaint 
me with this ! for, as I am informed, having reached the top of 
the hill, one may look back again, and, with a tolerable telescope, 
discover the spire of Little redlington church — that being the 
chief purpose of the pilgrimage, though the spire, with the 
church into the bargain, may be seen without any trouble at 
all, from any one of the four comers of Little Pedlington church- 
yard. 

Approached a window wherein were exhibited several profiles 
in black, and a notice that "Likenesses are taken in this manner, 
at only one shilling each, in one minute." There was a full- 
length of Hobbleday — no mistaking it — and of Mrs. Shanks, the 
confectioner ; and of Miss Tidmarsh, with her poodle ; ^nd of 
many others, the originals of which I knew not, but all unques- 
tionable likenesses, no doubt; for the works before me were 
Daubson's ! Recollected his " all-but-breathing grenadier ;" 
recollected, too, Jubb's noble apostrophe to him, commencing 
with 



" Stand forth, my Daubson, matchless and alone ! 



» 



and instantly resolved to sit to him for a black profile. 

My request to see Mr. Daubson was answered by a little 
girl, seated at a little i able, and employed in preparing the happy 
canvas destined to receive immortality from the hand of the great 
artist : in other words, she was cuttmg up a sheet of drawing- 
card into squares of different sizes. 

" Mr. Daubson can't possibly be disturbed just yet, sir," said 
she, with an air of importance befitting the occasion ; " he is 
particularly engaged with a sitter." 

" Then," replied I, " I will call again in an hour or two, or 
to-morrow, or the next day." 

" But," continued she (not noticing what I said), " if you 
will take a seat, sir, for half a minute or so, he will see you. 
The lady has been with him nearly a minute alreadv ! " 

Eecollected Daubson's expeditious method of nanding down 
to posterity his mementos of the woT\k\fea oi \y\s» owa. tme — 
^perpetuating" is, I believe, the ■woTdlou!^\.\ft>x&^. 



Am) THE PEDUNGTONIAXS. 89 

And this word reminds me of an untoward circumstance which 
occurred (not in Little Pedlington, but at another equally well- 
known place — Paris) upon the occasion of a Welsh friend re- 
Sesting me to take him to the studio of the Chevalier G , 
Dquestionablj the best portrait-painter in France), whose 
works he expressed a great desire to see. The name of the 
party introduced, which was well known, would have been a 
sufficient passport to the chevalier, even had it not been coun- 
tersigned by me, and he was received with flattering attention — 
the painter himself conducting him through the studio, and 
carefully exhibiting to him his choicest productions. The 
chevalier's portraits were of high merit as works of art, jret, 
I must admit, he had been somewhat unfortunate in his origi- 
nals, who certainly had not furnished his pencil with the most 
beautiful specimens of the ''human face divine." My friend 
examined the pictures with great minuteness, but made no re- 
mark, although the chevalier understood English perfectly well. 
Having completed the tour of the gallery, the painter, whose 
vanity was scarcely less than his politeness, turned towards his 
visitor with an evident, and no unnataral, expectation of some 
complimentary observation. The latter, having given one last 
and general glance around him, exclaimed, — " Monsieur le 
ChevcUier — ^what devilish infatuation can induce people to desire 
to perpetuate their d — d ugly faces ! — Monsieur le CAevalUr, I 
wisn you good morning." 

Besolv^ that the recollection of this anecdote should not be 
lost upon me on the present occasion. 

Ushered into the presence of the great artist. As it usually 
happens vnth one's preconceived notions of the personal appear- 
ance of eminent people, mine, with respect to Daubson, turned 
out to be all wrong. In the portrait of Michael Angelo, you 
read of the severity and stem vigour of his works ; of tender- 
ness, elegance, and delicacy in Kaphael's ; in B^mbrandt's, of 
his coarseness as well as of his strength ; in Yandyck*s, of 
refinement ; in all, of intellectual power. But I must own that, 
in Daubson, I perceived nothing indicative of the creator of the 
"Grenadier." Were I, however, to attempt to convey by a 
single word a general notion of his appearance, I should say it 
is iiUereMting. To descend to particulars : — He is considerably 
below the middle height ; his figure is slim, except towards the 
lower part of the waistcoat, where it is protubet^ttfe', \i\s. ^\.\fta» 
are kmg, and bis knees have a tendency to appioac\i fe^'^^ <i^iJM?t % 
faoeameJJ, abarp, and pointed; complexion oi ai^V^iwjka\wj&»'*^^ 



90 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

effect, doubtless, of deep study ; small gray eyes ; busby black 
eyebrows ; and head destitute of hair, except at the hinder part, 
where the few stragglers are collected and bound together pigtail- 
wise. Dress : — coat of brown fustian ; waistcoat, stockings, 
and smalls, black; silk neckerchief, black; and, I had almost 
added, black shirt, but that I should hardly be warranted Ie 
declaring on this pouit upon the small' specimen exhibited. 
Manners, language, and address, simple and unaffected ; and in 
these you at once recognized the Genius. 

Having told him, in reply to his question whether I came to 
be "done ?'* that I had come for that purpose, he (disdaining the 
jargon, common to your London artists, about " Kitcata," and 
" whole-lengths," and " Bishop's half-lengths," and " three- 
quarters," and so forth) came at once to the point, by saying— 

" Do you wish to be taken short-^or long, mister ?" 

Told him I should prefer being taken short. 

" Then get up and sit down, if you please, mister." 

I was unable to reconcile these seemingly contradictory direc- 
tions, till he pointed to a narrow, high-backed chair, placed on a 
platform, elevated a few inches above the floor. By the side of 
the chair was a machine of curious construction, from which 
protruded a long wire. 

Mounted, and took my seat. 

"Now, mister, please to look at that," said Daubson ; at the 
same time pointing to a Dutch cuckoo-clock which hung in a 
comer of the room. " Twenty-four minutes and a half past four. 
Head stiddy, mister." 

He then slowly drew the wire I have mentioned over mv head, 
and down my nose and chin ; and having so . done, exclaimed» 
" There, mister, now look at the clock — twenty 3/?©^ minutes and 
a half. What do you think of that?** 

What could I think, indeed ! or what could I do but utter an 
exclamation of astonishment ! In that inconceivably short time 
had the " great Daubson " produced, in profile, a perfect outline 
of my bust, with the head thrown back, and the nose interest- 
ingly perked up in the air. " Such," might Hoppy well exclaim, 
— " such are the wonders of art ! " 

" Now, mister, while I'm giving the finishing touches to the 

pictur*, — ^that is to say, filling up the outline with /«^y-ink, — ^I 

wish you'd just have the goodness to give me your candid 

opinion o! my works here. But no flattery, mister; — ^tell me 

wnat you really think. I like to be toVd ol isfj iw:^\.^ % WxircLvt 

IH^ account; I improve by it.'* 



N 



AND THB PEDUXGTOKIAKS. 91 

Can a more agreeable task be assigned to you than that of 
ddiFeringtoan arast, an author, or, indeed, to anybody, a candid 
opinion of his productions ; especially if, in the excess of your 
eandour, jou temper a hundred-weight of praise with but one 
little gram of censure? Let mine enemy walk through the 
rooms of the Royal Academy arm-in-arm with an exhibitor, and 
try it — ^that's all. 

Looked at the profiles hanging about the room. Said of 
them, severally, " Beautiful ! "— " Charming ! "— " Exquisite ! " 
-^"Divine!" 

" So, 80, mister," said Daubson, rising, " I've found you out: 
yon are an artist." 

" I assure you, sir," said I, " you are mistaken. I am sorry 
I cannot boast of being a member of that distinguished pro- 
fession." 

"You can't deceive me, mister. Nobody, excepting one of 
us, can know so much about art as you do. Your opinions are 
so just, it can't be otherwise. But these are trifles not worth 
speakinff of — ^though they may be very well in their way, mister 
— and though, without vanity, I mav say, I don't know the man 
that can beat them. Bat what think vou of my great work~-my 
* Grenadier,' mister ? Now, without flattery." 

^ EnooQxaged by the praise of my connoisseurship, and from so 
lugli a quarter, I talked boldly, as a connoisseur ought to do ; 
not f(»reetting to make liberal use of those terms by the employ- 
ment of which one who knows little may acquire a reputation for 
connoisseurship amongst those who know less ; and concluding 
(like the last discharge of rockets at Yauxhall) hj letting off all 
my favourite terms at once. — " Mr. Daubson," said I, "I assure 
yon, ihaJb for design, composition, drawing, and colour, — for 
middle distance, foreground, background, chiar'-oscuro, tone, fore- 
shortening, and Hsht and shade, — ^for breadth, depth, harmonv, 
perspective, pencdlTing, and finish, I have seen nothing in Little 
Pftd nng ton tnat would endure a moment's comparison with it." 

*• "V^ere could you have got your knowledge of art, your fine 
taste, your sound judgment, if you are not an artist ? I wish I 
oonld nave the advantage of your opinion now and then— so 
correct in tUl respects — I am sure I should profit by it, mister. 
Now — ^there is your portrait: as like you as one pea is to another, 
mister." 

"Yes," said I, "it is like; but isn't the bead t\iTO^?ni x^JO^Kt 
too much backwards P" 

'Taubson'a countenance fell I 



^ LXTTIiE P£DLINGTOK 

" Too much backwards ! Why, mister, how would you have 
the head?" 

"My objection goes simply to this, Mr. Daubson. It seems 
to me that, by throwing the head into that position " 

" Seems to you, mister ! I think I, as a professional artist, 
ought to know best. But that is the curse of our profession : 
people come to U5, and would teach us what to do." 

"You asked me for a candid opinion, sir; otherwise I should 
not have presumed to " 

" Yes, mistei*, I did ask you for a candid opinion ; and so long 
as you talked like a sensible man, I listened to you. But when 
YOU talk to a professional man upon a subject he, naturally, must 

be best acquainted with -backwards, indeed ! I never placed 

a head better in all my life ! " 

Reflecting that Daubson, " as a professional man," must, con- 
sequently, be infallible, I withdrew my objection, and changed 
the subject. 

" How is it, sir," said I, " that so eminent an artist as you is 
not a member of the Royal Academy ?" 

"D'— n the Royal Academy ! " exclaimed he, his yellow face 
taming blue : "D — ^n the Royal Academy ! they shsul never see 
me amongst such a set. No, mister ; I have thrown down the 
gauntlet and defied them. When they refused to exhibit my 
' Grenadier,' I made up my mind never to send them another 
work of mine, mister ; never to countenance them in any way : 
and I have kept my resolution. No, mister ; they repent their 
treatment of me, but it is too late ; Daubson is unappeasable : 
they may fret their hearts out, but they shall never see a pictur' 
of mine again. Why, mister, it is only last year that & friend of 
mine — without my knowledge — sent them one of my pictures, and 
they rejected it. They knew well enough whose it was. But I 
considered that as the greatest compliment ever paid me, — it 
showed they were afraid of the competition. D — ^n 'em ! if they 
did but know how much I despise 'em ! I never bestow a 
thought upon 'em; not I, mister. But that den must be broken 
up ;---there will be no high art in England whilst that exists. 
Intrigue ! cabal ! It Is notorious that they never exhibit any 
man's pictur's, unless he happens to have R.A. tacked to his 
name. It is notorious that they pav five thousand a-year to the 
Times for praising their works and lor not noticing mine. D — ^n 
'em ] what a thorough contempt I feel for 'em ! I can imagine 
tbem at their dinners, which cost l\iem \Xiows.wA^ iiv.-^^«t\-^ 
^Jiere they axe, Phillips, andSliee, aadY\GVei^^,m\^^SsB^R, 



XSTD THE FEDUNGTONIANS. 93 

and Briggs, laying their heads together to oppose me! But 
which of them can paint a ' Grenadier ?' D — ^n 'em ! they are 
one mass of enyy and nncharitableness, that I can tell yon, 
mister." 

" Happily, Mr. Daubson/' said I, " those vices scarcely exist 
in Little Pedlington." 

'* Unheard of, mister. I don't envy them — ^I envy no man- 
on the contrary, I'm always ready to lend a hand to push on any 
rising talent that comes forward ; — though, to be sure, I'll allow 
no man to take profiles in Little Pedlington whilst / live : that's 
self-preservation. But they ! — they'd destroy me if they could. 
But, bad as some of them are, the worst are those envious fel- 
lows, Tomer and Stanfield. They have done their utmost to 
crush me, but they have not succeeded. Why, mister, last 
summer I began to do a little in the landscape way. No sooner 
were my views of the Crescent and of Little Pedlington Church 
mentioned in our newspaper, than down comes a man from Lon- 
don with a camera-obscura to oppose me ! Who was at the 
bottom of that ? Who sent him ? Why, they did, to be sure. 

The envious ! But I didn't rest till I got him out of the 

tovm ; so that scheme failed. No, no, mister ; they'll not get 
me amongst them in their d — d Academy, at least, not whilst 
they go on in their present style. But let them look to it ; let 
them take care how they treat me for the future ; let them do 
their duty by me — ^they know what I mean — or they may bring 
the 'Little Pedlington Weekly Observer' about their ears. Eor 
my ovm part, I never condescend to bestow a thought upon them ! 
Th—TL *em ! if they did but know the contempt 1 feel for 
them!" 

Here another sitter was announced ; so I received my por- 
trait from the hands of the great artist, paid my shilling, and 
departed. 

" So then," thought I, " genius, even a Daubson's, is not 
secure from the effects of envy and persecution (real or ima- 
ginary) even in Little Pedlington 1 " 

Six o'clock. Returned to mine inn. In the course of the 
evening received a note from Hobbleday, enclosing sealed letters 
to llummins and Jubb. 

" Deab Sib, — Sorry cannot have pleasure of accompanying 
you to my dear friend llummins, neither to my worthy friend 
JubK Send letters of in tod action, — spoke in Nvaiv!at?>\. \,^\xsv&^ 
— all jrou can desire. Sorry sha'n't sec you lo d\xv^ m^Xi tskfc 



94 UTTLE FEDLINGTON 

this time, — next time you must, — no denial. BeUeve me, my 
dear sir, your most truly affectionate friend, 

*' John Hobbusbat. 



"P.S. — jDo think of my advice abont flute, — do turn your 
mind to it— will find it a great comfort." 



Will not believe otherwise than that Hobbleday is a warm- 
hearted, sincere little fellow. 

To-morrow to Ho^py's public breakfast, where I shall meet all 
the beauty and fashion of Little Pedlinston. Afterwards with 
my letters to Kummins and Jubb. With such warm intro- 
ductions from their friend Hobbleday, what a reception do I 
anticipate ! 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 95 



CHAPTER VII. 



Awful conflagration — ^Pleasures and advantages of early rising — 
Charity unexampled — Meet a great man. Who ? — Jack nobbleday's 
mai^eting : well-considered economy — The great man no less a 
personage than Felix Hoppy, M.C. — How to get your money's worth 
— ^Another of the advantages of early rising — A visit to Simcox 
Bummins, F.S.A. — Projects of the F.S.A. : all disinterestedly and 
praiseworthily pro bono publico — Avail mysell' of Hobbleday's 
introduction and present his flattering letter : results — " O, Mr. 
Hobbleday ! ! ! " 

Wednesday, June 17th. — ^Aroused by a violent kncxiking 
at my door. "What w the matter?" said I, startled bj the 
noise. 

" Get up, sir, for Heaven's sake, get up," cried the chamber- 
maid : " the house is o' fire ! *' 

"The house on fire ! What's o'clock ?" inquired I. 

" Almost six, sir. Get up, get up, get up ! " 

" Only six o'clock ? and the house on fire!" To this there 
was no reply; for the chambermaid having fulfilled her duty by 
communicating the intelligence to me, was proceeding in her 
laudable occupation of alarming such of the lodgers as were 
still rto speak poetically) *' in the arms of Morpheus." 

Aloeit unused to pay my respects to the sun at his levee, the 
present provocation was irresistible. Eising early for the idle 
puipose of "brushing with early feet the morning dew," and 
nstening to the matin song of the lark, is one thing ; perform- 
ing the same disagreeable exploit to avoid being burned in one's 
bed, is another; so I arose and, dressed. Expected, as the 
smallest compensation for this untimely disturoauce, that I 
should be enabled to enrich this my journal with an account of 
the dangers I had to encounter m making my way through 
doolds of ourlin£[ smoke and volumes ol tne " ^e^oviTai^ 
danenf^-^f rasbing along corridors and down ^\«M^^a^ 



96 MTTLB PBDLINGTON 

enveloped in flame — ^haply of snatchmg a female, young and 
beautitul, from the " awful jaws of destruction." Alas ! no 
such good fortune was mine. On opening my door I was 
regaled, to be sure, with a very disagreeable odour of soot; 
but, disappointment ineffable ! I walked down stairs uninter- 
rupted by either of the antagonists for whose opposition I had 
prepared myself. Nowhere was a blaze, nor even a single 
spark of fire, to be seen ; and (to render my mortification com- 
plete), in reply to my anxious inquiries concerning the where- 
about and the extent of the conflagration, I was informed by 
Scorewell that it was only the \\iGn&i-chimley which had been 
o' fire, but that he, assisted bv the waiter, had succeeded m 
extinguishing it with a bucket of water or two ! 

" And was it for this ? " thought I, with a sigh. 

In about half-an-hour after the event — time enough to have 
allowed of the " Green Dragon" being burned to the ground — 
three ragged little boys, headed by the parish beadle, came 
dragging along a fire-engine somewhat bigger than a wheel- 
barrow. Havin» waited for some time, with eyes anxiously 
fixed on the bunding, and nothing occurring to require their 
services, "Come, boys," with a shake of the head, and in a 
melancholy tone, said the liveried guardian of the public safety, 
— " come, boys, take the engine back again : there's no hope" 

This reminded me of the naive complaint of a certain person 
(well known as a subscriber to most of the public charities, a 
follower of the public sights and amusements of London, and a 
constant attendant at the parks in the skating season), that 
although he had been a life-governor of the Humane Society for 
nearly four months, and visited the parks every skating day, he 
had not jret been lucky enough to see any one drowned ! 

There is, generally speaking, a beautiful proportion in thinga. 
The destruction of the Houses of Parliament bjr fire was, for 
some time, the prevailing topic of conversation in London : in 
like manner, the fire in ScoreweU's kitchen-chimney obliterated 
the remembrance of the losing and the finding of Miss Grippes 
bag, and became the talk of all Little PedBngton during the 
whole of this day. Compared with the relative extent, popo- 
latioD, and importance, of the two towns, the interest of the 
two events is about equal. The political economist, perhaps, 
and the statistician, may think lightly of this notion ; yet I 
apjExrehend there is something in it which might be worth tbe 
consideration of the moralist or t\ie oVwcnct oi mwixiiets, nevwr- 
tbeless. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 97 

Well, having been at the trouble of rising at six o'clock, I 
would not go to bed again, although it was then no nlore than 
seven. I have occasionally heard the pleasures and advantages 
of early rising extolled, especially by the Hobbledays of my 
icqaaintance. I must be unlucky, indeed, thought I, if I do not 
denve some benefit from this experiment ; though, as it is my 
first, my expectations shall be wisely moderate. 

'Walked into the town. Had the satisfaction of seeing the 
shatters taken down from several shop- windows — ^a very pretty 
sight ; though, as none of the various commodities intended for 
sale are exhioited till later in the day, that is all there was to see. . 
Passing a door, was almost choked by a cloud of dust and dirt 
suddenly broomed out by a young gentleman who was sweeping 
the shop. A little farther on, encountered another young gentle- 
mai^ wno, with a huge watering-pot, was describing large figures 
of &f^t on the pavement, whistling all the while. Endeavouring 
to skip out of reach of his fountain, first on one side, then on the 
other, received at each attempt a plentiful supply of water about 
the legs. Unacquainted, as yet, with early-morning etiquette, 
as the young gentleman did not beg my pardon, but, with an un- 
ooncemed air, continued to whistle and to water, I thought it 
might be proper to beg his. Did so. " No offence," said the 
young gentleman. Turning the comer of a street, came in con- 
tact witn a chimney-sweeper ; my appearance not improved by 
the collision. "All right again!" exclaimed a facetious baker, 
who ran against roe within the same minute. An admirable illus- 
tration of the principle of compensation, certainly. A butcher's 
boy, turning suddenly round to nod to an acquaintance, struck 
me a smart blow on the head with the comer of his tray, out of 
which a le^ of mutton was jerked by the concussion : received at 
the same time a well-merited rebuke, though in not very choice 
ienns, for my awkwardness. Nearly thrown down by the milk- 
man of Little Pedlington swinging one of his sharp-rimmed pails 
a^Bonst my legs ; the consequence was, a bruised shin, the 
inpiij of my trowsers, and a copious effusion of milk. Preparing 
to express my displeasure at the man's carelessness, but it being 
the unanimous opinion of three market-women, a bricklayer's 
labourer, the dustman, an itinerant tinker, the chimney-sweeper 
aforesaid (who strengthened the evidence against me by crymg 
out, " Vy, he run against me, just now,'* and pointing to my 
dress in support of nis testimony), together with «jft. o\<i XaA-^ 
xnth a basket of matches, a joung one selling "watctcte^^^^, w^ 
/aickdaai manj and the hufe-griimGr^ by all o£ \v\iom\vi^&\m\svsi.- 

H 



98 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

diatelj surrounded — it being the unanimous opinion, I say, of 
this respectable asssrablage, that I ought to mate the man some 
compensation for the loss of his milk, I gave him half-a-crown, 
rubbed my shins and walked on. 

Proceeded to a less frequented part of the town — ^the Crescent. 
Counted seven housemaids beating the dust out of seven door- 
mats, and five others trundling mops. Did'nt suffer much 
inconvenience from either of those operations, as I contrived to 
keep as far as possible out of the sphere of their influence, by 
walking in the muddy carriage-road. Saw several pretty heads 
peeping through the iron railings of the areas, in close conversa- 
tion with juvenile butchers, bakers, grocers, and other chargk 
d'affaires of various tradesmen, occupied, no doubt, in delivenng 
their mistresses' orders for the day. Witnessed an interesting 
incident — an act of charity ! — ^a footman giving broken victuals to 
a beggar-girl. Concealed myself behind a projecting doorway, 
and paused to moralize the scene. 

The beggar-girl was pretty, and, though all tattered were her 
garments, her person was plump and sleek, whilst her cheek 
glowed, not with the artificial hue borrowed by the wealthier and 
happier of her sex from the emporium of Hendry or Delcroix, 
but with the tinge which the finger of Hygeia herself had 
implanted there. In one hand she carried an empty basket 
covered with a cloth, the other bore one single bunch of matches. 
Small was the fan-like bundle of the slender and sulphur-pointed 
shreds, as might well befit a maiden's hand to bear ; but the 
osier-woven pannier was capacious. " A footman has a heart," 
thought I. " Yes, ye lords ! who for your tyrannous oppression 
and manifold crimes are, ere long, to be unlorded — gainsay it as 
you will, I call Nature to witness, a footman has a heart ! " 

The beggar-girl approached and held towards him her now 
uncovered basket, whilst he — ^his ready hand obeying the impulse 
of his benevolent heart — ^threw into it the remnants, swept in 
disdain, perhaps, from the groaning table of his pampered and 
o'er-fed lord — those all-despised remnants which, to her, poor 
want-stricken maiden ! were an epicurean banquet. She covered 
her basket — in an ecstasy of gratitude she approached the 
benevolent youth — he (his compassionate heart swelling with 
rapture as he contemplated the object whose life, perhaps, his 
charity had saved) pressed his lips to hers— a bell was beard as 
from within the house — he, the oppressed slave to its tyrant 
summons, rushed headlong to obey it — «>\ve, Wife \«i^ \i.\i^ wv^Ja^is 
danf^bter of want and woe, starUed at t\ic ^oxxsi^A^^^^^ '^^ 



AND THE PBDLINOTONIANS. 99 

timid deer aroused by the insatiate hunter's horn — and vanished 
from my sight. 
With truth may Jubb exclaim, that for Pedliugtonia, 



it 



Plenty all her Cornucopia yields I " 



when the very " broken victuals" (as such donations are tenned) 
bestowed in the present instance, consisted of a rump-steak 
undressed, a cold roasted fowl minus a wing, a quantity of 
uncooked vegetables, an uncut quartern loaf, and a silver fork 
and table spoon ! These last articles in the list prove, not only 
that a footman has a heart, but that his heart may be suscep> 
tible of the most refined delicacy of attention towards the fair 
8ex. "In Little Pedlington alone," thought I, "could be 
witnessed a scene so interesting and so edifying : never, surely, 
hath Charity in form so refined been known to walk up the steps 
of a London area." 

Walked on towards the market. On my way thither met a 
eentleman, who, from his dress, was evidently returning home 
nx)m a very late party, for it was not yet much past seven 
o'clock. In walking he turned out his toes in a most exemplary 
style ; and trod as lightly as if the streets of Little Pedlington 
had been paved vrith burning coals. As he passed, he honoured 
me with a very low bow : his bow was remarkable. He lifted 
his hat, at arm's length, from his head, and, in stooping, almost 
swept the ground with it. On turning to look after him, found 
that this act of politeness was not intended as a singular com- 
pliment to me, for that he did the same thing to every person he 
net : so that his hat was never out of his hand, and no sooner on 
his head than off again. Any common observer would have 
wondered that he did not wear out his hat ; my wonder was he 
did not wear out his head : the constant friction liad^ indeed, 
worn out his hair, for his head was bald. His person was small, 
but finely proportioned ; and his dress calculated to exhibit it to 
the utmost advantage. Black coat, fitted to his form with an 
accuracy which might have excited the envy of one of those 
wooden blocks we see at the doors of the London emporiums 
for cheap fashion ; waistcoat white, from which rushed a cataract 
of shirt-frill, ornamented, as Mr. Pudgefield, the auctioneer of 
Little Pedlington, would describe it, with an unparalleledly 
large \mocJc\ diamond [which if it were real would he\^^\S^^^ 
least, Ave hundred pounds ; black smalls •, opcu-^oxka^ \i\a.^ 
a3k stockings, which set off a leg of exquisite ioxta, Wwx^ ^ 

n 2 



100 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

fastidious eye, perhaps, might deem it superabundant in calf; 
and dancing-pumps decorated with huge rosettes of black 
riband. Between the fore-finger and thumb of the left hand he 
held a small black cane, with a large black silk tassel depending 
from it; and, as if to show that he used it as an ornament 
merely, and not for support, he carried it with his fore-arm 
extended forward, and his elbow resting on his hip. Wondered 
who he could be : satisfied he was not one of the nobodies of the 
place. 

In the market saw Hobbleday. Intended to inquire of him 
who was the remarkable gentleman I had just passed ; but, ais 
he was busily occupied — (for he was running about from stall to 
stall, and, with an earnest countenance, examining the varioas 
articles exposed for sale ; whispering questions to the market- 
people, and mysteriously placing his ear to their Hps to receive 
their replies) — I felt it would be ill-timed and improper to div^ 
his attention from what was clearly an affair of some importance 
to him. Could account for the extraordinary trouble he was 

S'ving himself upon one of only two suppositions : either that 
obbleday was official inspector of the market; or that he had 
undertaken, as steward for some great entertainment to be 
given, to purchase the choicest commodities at the most reason- 
able prices. Did not long remain in doubt, for I was speedily 
joined by my obliging acquaintance. 

" Ha ! so you're here, eh P" said Hobbleday. " Well, every- 
thing must have a beginning — sure you'll like early rising when 
you get used to it. let it is a pity you are so late." 

" Late !" exclaimed I ; " why, it is hardly half-past seven !" 

" Bless your soul, my dear fellow ; I've been here these two 
hours — since half-past five — saw the first basket of cabbages 
opened ; pooh-pooh ! tell you I did." 

" He is Inspector, then," thought I. 

"Prodigious advantage in coming here early — save fifty |?tff 
cent, in one's purchases." 

Withdrew my too hasty conclusion, and resolved that the 
other supposition must be the true one. 

" Now see here," he continued, at the same time drawing a 
lettuce from his pocket : " now guess what I paid for this ?" 

" I am not expert at guessing," replied I ; " besides, as I am 
not a housekeeper, I am miserably ignorant of the usual cost or 
value of such commodities." 
^'JBut gaesa : — do guess." 
J would not for worlds have it imagme^>i)a."aXi'YL0«J«5i^^\si> 



AND ^HE PEDLINGtONIAyS. lOl 

bore ; yet, as a bore would have do7ie, he eleven times reiterated 
his desire that I would " guess." At length he continued — de- 
Ihrering the conclusion of his speech with an emphasis worthy 
the importance of the occasion : — 

" Well, since you can't guess, I'll tell you. Sir, I paid for 
this fine lettuce, such as you see it, onli/ — one^-penni/ !" 

"And is it possible, Mr. Hobbleday," exclaimed I, with 
tstoiushment, " that you have been at the trouble of coming 
here at five in the morning to purchase a penny lettuce ?" 

** Trouble, my dear sir ! Bless you, it is no trouble to me : 
one must do something, you know. Besides, as I said before, I 
aave Mij per cent, by it ; I must have paid three halfpence for it 
at a shop/' 

** But surely that is not your only purchase ?" 

** My only purchase ! Why, sir, this lettuce will serve me 
two days. Now Fll tell you how I contrive with it. The first 
day! take my lettuce and " 

Here the obliging creature favoured me with a lon^ detail 
(which occupied twenty minutes) of his method of ooaxmg one 
penny lettuce into the performance of two days' duty. But as I 
nave mislaid my notes relative to this point, I will not venture to 
trust my memory upon so important a matter. 

** Pray pardon my curiosity," said I : " you come here at five 
in the morning ; I find you busied in inspecting all the stalls, 
and asking questions of all the market-people ; yet the upshot of 
all this is the purchase of " 

** What of tnat, my dear sir?" said Hobbleday (accompanying 
his words with a poke in my ribs); ** it isn't for what I buy; 
but one gets at the price of things ; one stores one's mind with 
knowledge — ^information. I'm no boaster; but" — (here he drew 
me down by the collar of my coat till he had brought my ear 
close to his mouth, when he added, in an emphatic whisper) — 
•* but though I don't buy much, there's no man in all Little 
Pedlington knows the price of things so well as little Jack 
Hobbleday; and that's something to be able to say, eh?" 

At this moment the gentleman whom I had lately passed 
crossed the market, bowing and bowing and bowing, as before. 
Inquired of my companion who he was. 

" Who ! — he ! — that ! " — exclaimed Hobbleday, in evident 
amazement at my ignorance. " Who should he be ? That, my 
dear sir, is our Hoppy ! " 

With becoming reverence I looked after t\na c^^^i^^^ "^^'t- 
foaage till be bad bowed himself out of sight. 



102 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



" Judging by his dress/' said I, " he must have been up all 
ni^t at some party or assembly." 

Hobbleday looked at me with an expression of countenance, 
and a shake of the head, which convinced me that I had not, by 
my remark, raised myself in his estimation — at least for my 
notions of the proprieties of society. 

" Assembly ! — ^Party ! Pooh ! pooh ! What can that have 
to do with his dress ? Never saw him dressed otherwise in my 
life: sunshine or rain; morning, noon, or night. Really, my 
dear sir, you seem to forget what he is. Dancing-master, and 
Master of the Ceremonies, too, of such a place as Little Pedlingr 
ton ! how should he dress ? Must excuse me for saying a cutting 
thing : but clear to see you have no Master of the Ceremonies of 
London." 

Abashed by the rebuke, and unable to boast of such a func- 
tionary for poor London, I abruptly changed the subiect of con- 
versation. Thanked him for the letters of introduction which he 
had sent me to Hummins and Jubb. Told him that, after break- 
fast, I should avail myself of them. 

" Oh — ah ! " said Hobbleday, with something like a show of 
confusion, which I attributed to regret at having just now so 
deeply wounded my feelings ; " ah ! — surely ! Have said all 
you can desire. — Ahem ! — ^But you say after breakfast. Thought 
you were going to Hoppy's Public Breakfast, at Yawkins's skittle- 
ground, at one o'clock." 

" So I intend," replied I : " but I shall take breakfast at my 
inn. 

" I see, you mean only to make a dinner of it, eh ?" 

" Nor dinner neither," said L 

"How odd! Don't you see what the bill says?" said Hob- 
bleday, directing my attention to a posting-bill which announced 
the Grand Public Breakfast. ♦ 

" Yes, Mr. Hobbleday, I see : ' Admission, two shillings, re- 
freshments included ' " 

He interrupted my reading with — " Refreshments ? — Tea and 
hot rolls, my dear fellow — ham and eggs. You must pay two 
shillings whether you eat or not ; so I always make it a rule 
to " 

I continued to read : " Refreshments included, ad libitum" 

"Pooh ! nonsense 1" exclaimed he; "limit 'em indeed ! The 
bill says so, to be sure ; limit who they please, they don't limit 
JJttJe Jack HohhJedaj, that I can. te\\ -joxii. "No, no, my dear 
m^^ow; pay mj two shillings — ^no tn^e, '30\k.\itfy« — ^^Q\\si^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. . 103 

it serve me for breakfast and dinner both. And, I say," — (here 
he brought my ear in contact with his mouth, as before, at the 
same time honouring me with another poke in the ribs) — " and, 
I say, half the people who go there do the same thing, that I can 
tell you, too!^ 

Alter a moment's pause, " Now," continued he, " I'll carry 
Lome my lettuce, ana then I'll go to our Universal Knowledge 
Society, and read ' Guthrie's Geography ' for an hour or two ; 
and then I'll take a nap for an hour or two ; and that will just 
fill up the time till the Breakfast." 

" A nap so early in the day ! " exclaimed I, somewhat 
astonished. 

"Of course," replied he; "Nature is Nature" — (a philo- 
sophical reflection which I was not at the moment prepared to 
dispute); and he continued: "Ah! my dear fellow, I perceive 
you know nothing of the pleasures — ot the advantages of early 
rising. Ah I for shame ! You, who lie in bed till nine or ten, 
are as fresh as a lark all day long, eh ? — in the evening ready for 
any thiM— read, talk, sing, dance, — no wish for bed ; no enjoy- 
ment of your natural rest, as I have. But I, when eight o'clock 
comes, can't keep my eyes open ; and am half asleep all the rest 
of the day into the bargain." 



"Eleven o^clock. Two hours to spare between this and the 
time fixed for the Master of the Ceremonies' Breakfast. Rum- 
xnihs's public day for exhibiting his museum is Friday ; but as 
liis "dear friend," and my most obliging acquaintance, who 
ahready does me the honour to "my dear-fellow" me, and (who 
has, as he assured me, "the privilege of introducing a friend 
there on anif day of the week ") has nimished me with a flatter- 
ing letter of introduction to the great antiquary, I wiU at once 
aval] myself of the advantage of it. Under such auspices as 
Hobbleday's, I feel confident of an agreeable reception. But, 
for my own satisfaction, let me once more refer to the exact 
words of Hobbleday's kind note to me . 

" Sorry cannot have pleasure of accompanying you to my dear 
friend Kummins, neither to my worthy friend Jubb. Send 
letters of introduction — spoke in warmest terms — all you can 
desire. * * * * 



" Your most truly aifectionate Erieud, 



104 4 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

"Most truly affectionate friend!" Kind, obliginff, warm* 
hearted Hobbleday ! Yet this is the man stigmatized by Seore- 
well as a humbug! O friendship! spontaneous as it is disi]^ 
terested and pure ! O shades of Castor and of Pollux I 
Py lades ! and Orestes, ! You, ye sublime exemplars of the 

noble passion ! If ever about to proceed to Rummins's, I 

have not time to work out my apostrophe in a way worthy <rf 
the subject ; but what I mean to say is this, let those who com- 
plain that friendship is not to be found on the surface of oar 
wicked world — a complaint which I do most devoutly believe to 
be rarely well grounded, except in the case of such as do not 
deserve to find it — ^let them, I say, try Little Pedlington. 

To the residence of Simcox Rummins, Esq., F.S.A. The door 
opened by a little, slim woman, aged and tottering — the finest 
specimen of the living antiquities of the place I had yet seen— 
an appropriate appendage to the domestic establishment of the 
P.S.A. Her age (as I was afterwards told) ninety-four. Asked 
me if I wanted to see "little master." 

" Little master ! No," replied I. " My visit, my good lady, 
is to Mr. Rummins, the elder, who is, as I am informed, a gentle- 
man of near sixty." 

" That's him, su*," rejoined the old woman, as she ushered me 
into a small parlour : " out that's the name he has always gone by 
with me^ and it's natural enough, for I was his nurse and weaned 
the dear babby when he was only three weeks old — as fine a 
babby as ever war — and he has never been out of my sight never 
since." (Without halting in her speech, she pointed to a draw- 
ing suspended over a buffet.) " There he is, bless him ! done 
when he was only three years old over the cupboard with a dog 
behind him in sky-blue jacket and trowsers with sugar-loaf 
buttons running after a butterfly in a brown beaver hat just 
afore he was taken with the small-pox with a Brussels lace collar 
to his shirt and an orange in his hand which he bore like an 
angel though the poor dear babby's sufferings " 

"Thankee, thankee, thankee," cried I, forcing a passf^ 
through her speech ; " but if you will have the kindness to in- 
form Mr. — " 

It was in vain : for (unlike the generality of ladies of her 
vocation, who are usually not over-communicative of their infor- 
mation concerning the early diseases, sufferings, and escapes, of 
their interesting chargesj she bestowed upon me a particular 
account of the "poor aear babby's" (the present illustrious 
F,S,A/s) progress ihiQTi^ tbe sma\\-pox,ci\i\^Vcii-^<i3.,\s!k&^\!^ 



ASJ> THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 105 

hooping-congh, msh, rasb^ thrush, mumps, damps, croup, roup, 
and forty other sublime inveutions, which I had, or had not, 
before heard of, for diminishing the numbers of the infantine 
population ; nor did she cease till she had safely conveyed him 
through the scarlet fever which "took him" — happily, not off — 
m. his fifteenth year. She then withdrew to inform Mr. Rum- 
rnins of my visit. 

Cannot say that I felt at all obliged to the old lady for the 
information, since it must, to a certain extent, diminish my 
interest in little master's " Life and Times," which is preparing 
for the press by Jubb, who will, doubtless, treat of those matters 
with becoming minuteness. 

Being left sdone, read the various printed " Schemes," " Pro- 
jeots," and "Prospectuses," which were scattered about the 
tables. The great antiquaiy's learning almost equalled by his 
philanthropy and patriotism. All conceived with a view to the 
benefit of the empire at large ; but, as might be expected, to that 
of Little Pedlington more particularly; and — as it somehow 
struck me — most particularly to the advantage of Simcox Kum- 
mins, Esq., !F.S.A., himself. Amongst many others were the 
two or three following : — 

PROSPECTUS 

OF A 

NATIONAL EDITION 

OF 

i^ummWs ^nttquittes of iltttle ^elilmgtnm 

When we reflect upon the march of intellect: when we 
reflect upon the spread of intelligence: when we reflect upon 
the improvements m the arts of printing and engraving : when 
we renect upon steam-boats and rail-roads: when we reflect 
npon the facility with which all nations of the civilized world are 
hrought into intercourse with each other by these means : when 
we reflect upon their mutual anxiety, in consequence of such 
&Gility, to become acquainted with each other's Tiypography and 
Anti^itUies: above all, when we reflect upon the growing im- 
portance of Little Pedlington, it cannot but be a matter of 
wonder and of regret that, although Troy baa \ieeo. i^^3&\x«.\&\ 
IfyHg QeU, and Athens bj its Stuart^ otjb. Tont^ ^QiV]XdLiiQ\> %& 




106 LITTLE PEDLTNGTON 

yet Lave put forlH a work worthy of its station ia the map of 
Europe, and capable of satisfying the growing desires of society 
in its present more enlightened state. It is true that Mr. Knm- 
mins's * Antiquities,' in a small duodecimo volume (to be had of 
the author, price onc-and-sixpence), may be * an admirable vade- 
mecum and pocket companion for the traveller, and which no 
traveller should be without,' (see 'Little Pedlington Weekly 
Observer,' 25th April), yet, as that intelligent journal adds, ' a 
splendid edition, worthy of our town, and fit for the shelves of 
the library, is still a desideratum : and it is disgraceful to onr 
country that no such monument exists,' &c. &c. 

Mr. Rumrains, feeling deeply for the honour of his natal 
town, and of the kingdom at large, is resolved that this reproach 
shall no longer have cause for existence; and, regardless of 
time, labour, and expense, has determined to publish an enlarged 
and improved edition of his work. 

TEBMS. ' 

This National Edition, in one volume, post octavo, 
embellished with four elegant lithographic engravings, to be 

Eublished by subscription, price four shillings; one-half to 
e paid at the time of subscribing, and the other half to he 
paid on delivery of the copies. Only five hundred copies will 
be printed; and, to prevent delay, the work will go to press 
as soon as four hundred and ninety-nine copies are subscribed 
for. To prevent trouble, subscriptions will be received by the 
author only. 

Patriotic Eummins ! 

PLAN FOR AIDING THE FUNDS OF THE LITTLE 
PEDLINGTON ALMS-HOUSES. 

Mr. Rummins, — having learnt, with the deepest and most 
heartfelt regret, that the eloquent sermon delivered on Sunday 
last by our highly-gifted curate, the Kev. Jonathan Jubb, in 
favour of the above-named charity (although it melted the 
hearts and drew tears from the eyes of a numerous congre- 
gation), did not (from a variety of adverse causes) produce (m 
a pecuniary point of view) the effect anticipated (only four 
shDlings and twopence having been collected at the church-door), 
if, submits to the nobility, geuU^, V\^V^^i^, ^^jA \.^^^c!&. 



A17B THE FEDUKGTOKIANS. 107 

people of Little Pedlington, who are ever foremost in the heart- 
aoothing work of chiuritj, the following plan for supplying the 
deficiency :— 

3k£R. R. PROPOSES TO PUBLISH, 

US AID OP THE FUNDS OP THE SAID INSTITUTION, 

An elegant Engraving of his lately-acquired treasure, 

THE HELMET OF THE TIME OF KING JOHN, 

The drawing will be made on stone by Mr. R. himself; and, 
after five hundred copies are sold, at one shilling each, to defray 
tlie necessary expenses, Mr. R. will present all that may after- 
wards remain, together with the copyright in the stone itself, to 
the trustees for the management of that praiseworthy institu- 
tion ; the whole of the prcfits thereof to be applied in aid of its 
fknds! 

Philanthrophic Rummins ! 

BEAUTIFYING OUR ANCIENT AND VENERABLE 

CHURCH. 

The churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Little 
Pedlingjton havine, in the most prompt and liberal manner, com- 
plied with the wish of several of the parishioners, * that the roof 
of our ancient and venerable church be whitewashed,' Mr. 
Rnmmins suggests that a general meeting of the inhabitants 
of the place be held at the Green Dragon, on Wednesday next, 
at one o'clock, for the purpose of passing a vote of thanks to 
those gentlemen. Mr. R., regardless of all personal incon- 
yenience to himself, will take the chair, and hopes and trusts 
that the meeting will be as numerous as the occasion requires. 

Mr. R. having had the said vote of thanks (which he has 
gratuUoushf drawn up) printed on an elegantly-embossed card, 
each person, on entering the room, will have an opportunity of 
becoming possessed of this memorial of the occasion, price only 
tispenee. 

Disinterested Rummins ! Find me such an F.S.A. elsewhere 
tliaa in Little Pedlington ! 

" Utile Master " entered the room. Six ieet Wo, wA ^\.ws5^» 
Of proparfiojL Fort and dem eanour dignifiLed— L \mA ^\aa^\. ^"kA 



108 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

pompous — but what else ought I to have expected in so great tk. 
man? Speech, slow and solemn; — pro-nun-ci-a-ti-on precise^ 
accurate even to inaccuracy, and so distinct as to be almosfc 
unintelligible — at least, to one accustomed, as I had hitherto 
been, to the conversation of ordinary people, who utter tin^ 
words in an evenr-day sort of manner. The great antiquxi^r 
delivered each syllable separately, — ^upon its own responsibili^g 
as it were,— disconnected from its companions in the same wora: 
in short, as a child does when it first gets into " words of thw 
syllables" in its spelling-book. He wore a green shade over 
his eyes. 

Slowly raising his head, so as to enable himself to see me from 
beneath his green shade, he pointed amongst the papers on tiie 
table, to the prospectus for his national edition, saying, in a 
sort of taking-it-for-granted tone, "For this;" at the same time 
he put a pen into my hand. Unable to comprehend what he 
meant, I at once delivered to him Hobbleday's kind letter of 
introduction, and said, " No sir — for this ! " accompanying my 
words with a bow, and the involuntary "a-hem" which usuaU? 
escapes one on feeling perfectly satisfied that that (such or sa<k 
a thmg) settles the business. Rummins first raised the letter to. 
the tip of his nose, then slowly lowering it, held it out at arm** 
length, turned it up, down — examined it lengthways, breadth- 
ways — ^looked at the superscription, the seal ; at length he made 
the solemn inquiry, — 

" From whom ? " — (pronouncing it woom) — " and what may be 
its ob-ject or laur-pawtF" 

"It is, sir," replied I, "a letter of introduction to you, with 
which your friend Mr. Hobbleday has favoured me. I, like the 
rest of the world, am desirous of viewing your museum ; but, as 
my stay in this place till Friday, your public day, is uncertain, 
and Mr. Hobbleday being allowecf by you to introduce a Mend 
on any day " 

Here I was interrupted by a long-drawn "He///'* growled 
forth in a tone of mingled astonishment and disdain. I paused 
in awful doubt of what might next occur. 

The F.S.A. having made three strides, which carried him from 
one end of the room to the other, and three strides back again, 
desired I would read the letter to him, the state of his eyes (in 
consequence of a cold he had taken) rendering it inconvenient to 
him to undertake the task himself : and he concluded with— • 
''j0e m-tTO'de-oos to the E.nmmms\aTiM.\i^^\3Lm\" 
Either (thought I) Hobbleday, caciifc^ kwwj >s^ \sv& ^sc&ba^ 



AKB THE PEDLINGTOKIANS. 109 

nstic love of obli^g — ^perhaps by his scarcely-merited friendship 
m me, has promised a little oeyond his power to fulfil ; or^ it 
mj be, that 1 have chosen my time unluckily — ^have disturbed 
Ifr. Rummins in his moments of profound meditation ; in short 
'md reason sufficient), it may be, that Mr. Eummins is " not i' 
be vein." But here is Hobbleday's letter to the " dearest friend 
le has in the world,'* and, doubtless, that will set the matter 
^t. Eeassured by this reflection, I opened the letter, 
aDdread. 

«• Sir, '' 

Somewhat disappointed that it was not " Dear Rummins," or 
'My Dear Triena," or, at worst (that lowest degree in the scale 
f fiaendship), "Dear Sir." 

"Sib, 

*' Pardon liberty — ^not my fault — bearer wants to see 
oor museum on a private day — wouldn't take such a liberty for 
Bjself : but you know how one is sometimes pestered — one 
km't like to refuse — so promised him letter of introduction. 
"htiemooy as the French say, don't know much of him — just took 
ome wine with me at Scorewell's, t'other afternoon ; so do as 
on like — don't put yourself to smallest inconvenience on 
eoount off 

"Sir, 

*' Your very respectful, humble Servant, 

"John Hobbleday.'* 

•* P.S. — Can say you're busv. Leaves Lit. Ped. end of this 
reek, so please say, will be happy to oblige me any day next 
rede, for won't be here. Please read this to yourself, and please 
iestroy when read." 

Utterly confounded ! Looked at Rummins. Rummins (who, 
n the excess of his astonishment, removed the green shade from 
OB eves) looked at me. I explsoned, and, as briefly as possible, 
ttt^ the circumstances of my acquaintance with Hobbleday. 
Showed him Hobbleday's kind letter which had enclosed tne 
ntroductions to himself and Jubb. Broke open the introductory 
kcite to Jubb, and found it in substance a counterpart of the other. 

"i^-tra-or-di-iia-rj/" exclaimed the IP.S.A..-, "Tid\\i«t\\L^x 
jfiUustrioua Mend admit him to our houses *, \ie \& 9i\y^-^xr 



110 MTTLE PEDLINGTON 

" And,** said I, apprehensively, and with hesitation, — ^for I fdt 
deeply anxious for the purity of Little Pedlington in this one 
respect, — " and a — ^humbug P '* 

" E-mi-nent-ly so," replied Rummins. 

" And is it so ? " I mentallY exclaimed ; and a transitory ymk 
crossed my mind that I were back again in London. 

There was a panse, during which Mr. Rummins twiddled the 
corner of the subscription-sheet for his National Edition. 

" Unpleasant for you, sir — very. If, sir, you had an in-tro- 
duc-ti-on to me — any sort of in-tro-duc-ti-on — *'-^and his eyes 
involuntarily fell on the subscription-sheet. 

Bewildered as I was, and scarcely conscious of what I was 
doing, I wrote down my name as a subscriber for two copies, and 
paid the subscription-money in full. 

At the end of a flattering speech from the learned antiquaiy 
(how I had come to merit it 1 Jmow not), I received an invita- 
tion for that very evening, at six o'clock, to tea; when not 
only should I see his museum, but 1 should also meet Jubb him- 
self ! 

This piece of good fortune, seconded by an hour's brisk 
walking on the Snapshank road, restored my spirits and my 
temper. On my return, I found parties of the beauty and 
fashion of Little Pedlington hastening to Hoppy's public break- 
fast, at Yawkins's skittle-ground. I joined the crowd. Mr. 
Hobbleday had informed me he should be there : and having 
resolved upon the course I should pursue with respect to him, I 
paid my two shillings and entered. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. Ill 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Hoppx's Public Breakfast— Tlio M.C.'s aunounco-bill, a model for 
that style of writing — Signor RumboUo del Squeaki, the unrivalled 
ioreign AHiste — His third last appearance — Unparalleled rapacity 
of the foreign Aiiiiste : Who's to blame ? — A hitch in the scenery, 
and symptoms of dissatisfaction amonp^t the M.C.'s generous 
patrons — Meet Hobbleday, and overwhelm him with shame and 
conftision — A hitch again : another disobedient performer — Un- 
reasonable demands of the generous patrons : successfully resisted — 
Indispensable ceremony — The family with the fly — Altercation 
between the fashionables — Precedency : a point worthy of the con- 
edderation of the Ladies Patronesses of Almack's or the Herald's 
College — Awfiil expocee. 

"Upon entering Yawkins's skittle-ground, where Mr. Telix 
Hoppy gave his seventh public breakfast, a printed programme of 
the morning's entertainments was presented to me. The prin- 
cipal object of attraction appeared to be that "extraordinary 
creature who" (according to Hobbleday's description of him) 
" actually played upon the Pandean pipes and beat a drum at the 
same time ! " And, judging by the London estimate of a per- 
former's talents, whicn ai-e justly considered to be in exact pro- 
portion to the size of the letters m which his name is announced, 
this Pandean-piper must be one of unparalleled ability, for each 
letter of his was a foot long. Though an enthusiastic admirer of 
both the instruments performed upon, I do not pretend to a 
practical knowledge of either, nor, indeed, to a very nice judgment 
of the superiority of one performer upon them over another : 
therefore, as in all similar cases, I bow to the large letters, 
make an unconditional surrender to them of my own opinion, 
and applaud vehemently. Besides, were I sceptical ot \^^\^!ci^ 
enough to doubt, or suitwiontly learned to decide^^ ^Q^^\k^^ 
bold man indeed to do eit/jci', when these aic t\\c N^r3 \,^x\siSi''«a. 



112 LITTLE FEDLINGTON 

which the master of the ceremonies himself speaks of the artiste 
he has engaged for the delight of Little Pedlington. By the 
way, it cannot be doubted that this well, nay, elegantly-written 
announcement is the work of Mr. Hoppy himself : his taste and 
refinement are apparent in every line. Never did he draw more 
copiously from the " Well of English undefiled," than upon 
this occasion ; and, upon the whole, never, perhaps, were his 
literary powers, of which he is justly proud, esdiibited to greater 
advantage. 



''BE-ENGAGEMENT FOR THIS MORNING ONLY, 
And positively the LAST latt appearatice 

OF THE UNRIVALLED AND NEVER-EQUALLED 

SIGNOR RUMBELLO DEL SQUEAKI, 

Principal Pandea-tympaniat to his Majesty the King of Naples. 

"The Master of the Ceremonies has the pleasing gratification of 
announcing to his numerous most honoured Friends and Patrons, that 
(in consequence of the unexampled crowd of visitors at the Jirst last 
appearance, and in compliance with the most earnest request and 
entreaty of numerous families of distinction who were unable to obtain 
admission, in consequence of the unprecedentedly immense overflow, at 
tiie second last appearance, of this most unrivalled foreign ArtiiU, 
whose astonishing performance on the Drum and the Pandean Pipes 
at the same time has set all competition at defiance, and is, unquestion- 
ably, in the opinion of all competent judges, the most^ perfect morceatk 
of musical skill that has ever electrified a British audience) he has 
fortunately succeeded, regardless of expense, in prevailing upon the 
SiGNOR to condescend to accept an engagement for this morning only. 



* Artiste : an admirable word (albeit, somewhat Frenchified), of late 
appUedy with nice discrimination, to every species of exhibitor, from a 
rope-dancer or an American Jim Crow, down to a mere painter or 
sculptor. On looking into little Entick (mv great authority in these 
matters), I find we have already the word artist; but, with stupid 
English perversity, we have hitherto used that in a much more 
restricted sense than its newly-imported rival, which it is now the 
excellent fashion to adopt. It is questionable, however, whether 
tumblers, buffoons, and the clowns in Ducrow's circle, will feel them- 
selves much gratified at being comprehended under the same general 

term with such folks as Bsnly, Chantrey, Tlxaiiat, ^^i^^, Lsskdaaer^ 

WUkie, and the like. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONLVNS. 113 

htang positively his very last appearance here, .is ho is compelled to 
leave Little Pedlington this evening, having received orders iVoiu 

mS EXCELLENCY THE IfEArOLITAN AMBASSADOR 

to return immediately to his post in 

LE CAFELLO DE LA BOI DE LE NAPLES. 

" Upon this occasion, Signob Bumbello del Squeaei will perform 
seversJ of the most admired fiashionable airs, and will also condescend 
to accompany the dancing from two o'clock till tour, the commence* 
mont and conclusion of which will be notified by the 

FIRING OF A REAL CANNON. 

" %* On Wednesday next will be given the Eighth Public Break- 
&st of the Season, being for the 

BENEFIT OF SIGNOR RUMBELLO DEL SQUEAKI, 
And MOST POSITIVELT his last appearance.' 



u 



What ! more last words ! a third last appearance this mom* 
ing; off for Naples to-night; and another last appearance on 
Wednesday next ! How are these seeming contradictions to be 
leconciled P or how is the intended jonrney to be performed P 
However, as I never interfere with what does not immediately 
CQaocm me, I shall ask for no explanation of the difficulty ; but 
merely note it down that the thing seems odd, and that they 
have a method peculiar to themselves of arranging these matters 
in Little Pedlii^on. 

No sooner had I entered the ground than Mr. Felix Hoppy, 
tripping on tip-toe, came to welcome me to what he called " the 
Property." He was dressed precisely as I had seen him this 
morning, at seven o'clock, in tnc market-place. The loss of two 
front ti^th gave an interesting lisp to his utterance, which 
(together with what, for want at the moment of any more 
expressive term, I shall call a mincing manner) was in the 
highest degree becoming a dancing-master and Master of the 
Ceremonies. Each word or two was accompanied with a bow. 
He completely fulfilled the idea conveyed by Hobbleday's brief, 
but forcible, description of Jiim — " an elegant creature." 

"Highly honoured — ^paramountly flattered— most welcome to 
the property — most exceedingly flattered by ^out \io\i^\rc^)5^^ 
patzvnaffe, excellent sir/' 

I 



114 LITTLE TEDLINGTON 

Having thanked him for his polite reception of me, I expressed 

. my regret at witnessing so thin an attendance — at the apparent 

backwardness of the public to reward his exertions for their 

amusement: there being, as I guessed, hardly fifty persons 

present. 

"Pray condescend to pardon me, obliging sir; but this is the 
fullest attendance of the season — forty-three paying visitors— 
upwards ot four pounds already taken at the door ! With such 
honourable patronage * the Property' must succeed. At the same 
time, I can credibly assure you, kind sir, that our expenses are 
enormous. In the first place, there's our great gun " 

" As to that, Mr. Hoppy," said I (with an ootuseness to the 
figurative at which, on consideration, I blushed), — " as to that, as 
your great gun is fired only twice, I don't perceive how •" 

" Pray condescend once more to pardon me, honourable sir; 
by our great gun I mean the Del Squeaki. On his first engage- 
ment, we paid him five shillings a day, double the sum we ud 
ever paid to any musician before ; at his second, he insisted upon 
having his dinner into the bargain ; and now, finding he is of 
some use to us" — (this he added with a sigh) — "now he has 
advanced upon us to three half-crowns ! " 

"To the honour of our country," exclaimed I, " native izlfsat, 
in that department, is less rapacious." 

To this remark the Master of the Ceremonies replied only by 
a slight shake of the head ; and I continued, — 

" But, doubtless, in proportion to your outlay for the amuse- 
ment of the Pedlingtonians, you are rewarded by their patron- 
age?" 

"Sorry I must once more entreat your pardon, considerate 
sir ; but the fact is, we depend for support entirely upon noble 
and illustrious visitors from London. The tradespeople and 
shopkeepers of the place are, of course, excluded from an elegant 
assemblage like this ; and for the gentry, as most of them live in 
the Crescent, it would be preposterous" — (here again he heaved 
a sigh, which seemed to proceed from the very bottom of his 
dancing pumps) — " it would be out of human nature to expect 
thev should come." 

Unable to perceive the slightest connection between the 
consequence and tlie imputed cause — to understand why it 
should be " out of human nature " to expect a person's attend- 
ance at a public entertainment simply because lie happened to 
reside in a crescent — ^I ventured to llie M.G, a hint of my dp- 
cultf. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 115 



€t 



See there, good sir," said he (at the same time pointing to 
the back of a row of houses, the windows of which, occupied by 
men, women, and children, commanded a view of the skittle- 
ground) — "see there ! a heart-breaking sight it is; and yet one 
can hardly expect that people should pay to see my dancmg and 
my fireworks, and hear my music, when they can enjoy it all from 
-their windows, free — gratis — for nothing." * 

"But yonder I see Mr. Hobbleday," said I; "with whom, 
by the hje, I must presently have a few words of explanation: he, 
at least, is, as he tells me, one of your constant patrons." 

" Hobbleday P — Gobbled&j ! " exclaimed Mr. Hoppy, with a 
ileroeness of manner strikingly inconsistent with the previous 
blandness of the Master of the Ceremonies. " Patron, indeed ! 
He comes in upon a free admission ; devours eggs and ham in 
the most unfeeling manner; finds more fault with the enter- 
tamments than our newspaper critic himself; and is laid up with 
a fit of the gout once a year — ^which invariably happens to be on 
the night of my annual benefit-ball." 

I had the anthoritv of the Master of the Ceremonies himself 
for the fact, or I conld not have believed that such instances of 
illiberality and unmitigated meanness were to be found in Little 
Pedlington. 

Here our conversation was interrupted by cries, from various 
of the company, of "Shame! shame!" "Begin! begin!" 
**Mr. Hoppy ! " " Master of the Ceremonies ! " 

Mr. Hoppy, looking at his watch, explained to me that it was 
ten minutes past the time when the si^nor ought to have com- 



* By an association of ideas less remote than that which I have just 
r alluded to, bethought me of an anecdote related by the grandfather of 
.010 present young Earl of D. His lordship had had some dispute 
A«Bpecting tne right of shooting over certain grounds) with one of his 
tenants, &e back of whose house happened to be close upon his 
lordship's preserves. Some time afterwards the good-natiu'ed earl 
net the man, who was about to pass him with a sulky bow, and thus 

accosted him : " What ! not stop and talk to me, B ! Although 

I woiJdn't allow you to shoot^, I told you that you might at any time 
have game for your femily by sending to my keeper for it. Why 
lutven^ you done so? Never bear malice, man." — "Not I, thank 
yoa, my lord/' replied the independent farmer; "I'll accept none of 
rjoiir game. Your lordship's pheasants come and roost o' nights in the 
troes under my windows ; when I want a bird I put my hand out o* 
tnndow and quietly pull one in by the tail : so you see I'la. \iQV. \3aft 
man to be under an obligation to the best lord m \Xi© \kcv^. ^^^^ 
d»jr, my lord," 

I 2 




116 . LITTLE PEDLmGTON 

xnenced his performance, and that the company were impatient of 
the delay. 

Mr. Hoppy left me, and, hat in hand, tripped towards the dis- 
contents. He bowed and simpered with overpowering elegance ; 
what he said, I know not ; but almost on the instant of his inter- 
ference order was restored. From them he went, bowinff all the 
way, to a bench at a short distance, on which was seated Signer 
Rumbello del Sq[ueaki himself. The "Principal Pandea-tyin- 

Eanist to his Majesty the King of Naples " was appropriately 
abited in the costume of an Italian brigand ; though, to my un- 
practised eye, his dress appeared to be a cast-off from the ward- 
robe of one of the London theatres. Some minutes elapsed, 
during which they were in conversaton ; and, as I inferred from 
their gestures, and the sulky air of the signer, in no friendly 
mood. On approaching, I heard the M. C. in an imploring tone 
say to the artiste — 

" But, my kind signer, allow me to entreat yon — consider— it 
is nearly twenty minutes past time — the disappointment — ^tbe 
—you may rely upon having it after the performance, up<m «y 
honour*' These latter words he accompanied with a profom^ 
bow, and by placing his hand upon that part of his white waist- 
coat beneath which, he would have the signer to understand, nas 
to be found a heart incapable of deception. 

To this the " unrivalled foreign artiste " replied — 

" Come, come. Muster 'Oppy, it's o' no use your trying to 
gammon me. Fm agreed to 'ave three ha' -crowns for playing 
'ere, and not a thump o' my drum or a blow o' my pipes do yoa 
get till I've got my money safe in 'and." 

Astonished at the language of this address, I could not help 
exclaiming, in the words of Shakspeare — " Extant, and written 
in choice Italian" 

"But, my good signer," resumed the M. C, "if you will but 
have the condescension to recollect our agreement " 

" Ay, ay ; our agreement ware as I ware to *ave 'alf my money 
down, and the rest arterwards ; but on second thoughts, I'D 'ave 
it all. I ar'n't the chap to run no risk, not I. Suppose, ven all 
vas over, you ves to pocket the cash and run avay, as Joe Strutty 
did at Branford Pair r then I mought vistle, you know. So 'and 
over the stuff, or you gets no play out o' me." 

The visiters again becoming clamorous, and the " unrivalled 
foreign artiste " continuing obdurate, Mr. Hoppy was reluctantly 
compelled to complj with the demand. 
Tie Del Sqneaki now adjusted bia ^yo^^ Iq\l\^ Odl^xix wA^scm^ 



AlTD THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 117 

his big dram across his shoulders. Already had he set one foot upon 
the small platform on which he was to exhibit : there was a pro- 
found qniet, disturbed only by loud cries of " Silence ! silence ! '' 
when he turned to the Master of the Ceremonies, and abruptly 
declared, that he would not begin unless he gave him a pot of 
ale! 

** This is perfectly preposterous ! " lisped the M.C. ; " that is 
not in our agreement." 

" No matter for that. Muster 'Oppy; IVe just taken it into 
my *ed, and Til 'ave it/* He withdrew his foot from the plat- 
form, and continued : " Give me vot I ax, or, as sure as my 
name's Rob Squeaks, I'm off to join my master vot I'm engaged 
to,— that's to say, the famous Muster Richar'son, at Vmkle- 
Bumth Fair — and then there'll be a row in your garden. You 
can't do without me ; so, you see, give me a pot of ale vot afi't 
in my agreement, or I von't play : and then the company vill 
break your benches and tables — and sarve you right." 

Mr. Hoppy now threw himself upon the opinion of his gene- 
rous patrons, and,. in terms pathetic, and with imploring looks, 
entreated them to support him in resisting such impudent ex- 
tortion — so gross an attempt to take an unfair advantage of his 
helpless condition. To this his generous patrons unanimously 
replied, that that was no affair of theirs : that, indeed, they con- 
ceived it to be quite in order that an "unrivalled foreign artiste" 
should be humoured in everything he might desire : that as the 
Neapolitan ambassador [id. est, according to signor's own ac- 
count, Mr. Bichardson] had commanded his immediate return to 
his post in Le Capello de la Roi de le Naples \id. est, according to 
the same authority, Winklemouth Pair], they would not relin- 

2uish the present opportunity of hearing him; and that, in 
bort, having paid their money for that purpose, they would in- 
sist upon it that Mr. Hoppy should, by all means, and at what- 
ever sacrifice, fulfil his contract with them — Mr. Hobbleday (who 
had come in with an order) being one of the most strenuous in 
maintaining the justice of these positions. The Master of the 
Ceremonies consented to the new demand of the Del Squeaki. 
As he was proceeding to issue his mandate to one of the waiters 
to convey a pot of ale to the artiste, the latter, perceiving that 
the advantage was on his side, naturally, and as is usual in such 
cases, made the most of it : accordingly—-" And summut to eat, 
also," vociferated the signer. 

This supplementary request being also compYve^L m\Jii, Wsft^^ 
Squeaki went through his astonishing pexioTmwici^*, «^^ ^^ 



118 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

auditors were delighted, enraptured, ecstasized, &c., &c., &c., as 
never before had auditors been delighted, enraptured, ecstasized, 
&c., &c., &c., in this sublunary world ! 

Found, upon subsequent inquiry, that the liberal entrepreneur,^ 
after paying expenses (including the three half-crowns, &c., to 
the Del SqueaJci), was a loser of no more than four-and silence 
by the morning's entertainment. Told also that Mr. Hoppy 
complained of even this moderate loss. Plague on the maul 
how much less did he vnsh to lose ? But it is a trite obser- 
vation that some people are never satisfied. Told, moreover, 
that the M.C. complains of what he calls the " tyranny and 
oppression" to which he has been obliged to submit ! 

lyTow, with submission, this is somewhat unreasonable. Be- 
praised and be-puffed, even to his own amazement, the " unri- 
valled artiste" very wisely doubles his terms : these complied 
with, he very considerately trebles them : compliance with tMs 
begets a natural demand for a pot of ale, although it be not " so 
nominated i' the bond ;" and thence, as was decent and proper, 
the Principal Pandea-tympanist to his Majesty the King <rf 
Naples (or, as it might more truly have been set forth, his itine> 
rant Majesty, Bichardson, King of Boothia.), insists upon being 
supplied with an unstipulated '' summut to eat also." Ah, Mr. 
Hoppy ! if I might venture to perpetrate a profane parody on a 
line m the immortal " Tom Thumb," I should whisper in your 
ear — 

** You make the giants first, and then can't kill them." 

" Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast," and well 
was it for Hobbleday that there is much truth in this. I had 
not been unperceived by him, but he was too busily engaged to 
come to me, being laudably employed in diminishing the labour 
of the waiters — that is to say, by packing inside himself a quan- 
tity of eggs, ham, hot-rolls, and coffee, which, but for such con- 
siderate assistance, they must have undergone the trouble of 
removing. At length, the breakfast-tables being cleared prepara- 
tory to the commencement of the dancing, he approached me. 
His mouth was full ; in one hand he bore a huge ham-sandwich 
wh'ch be had coDstructed for himseV?, twiOi Va. \£fc ^xXi'sst ^ cui^ of 
cp£ee. 



AND TUE PEDLINGTONIANS. 119 

" Ah ! my dear fellow/' said lie (talking and eating at the 
same time), " you're here, eh ? But not eat anything ! How odd ! 
Must pay just the same whether you do or not, you know. 
Pooh, pooh ! I tell you, you must ! I say, little Jack Hobbleday 
was right, eh ? . Extraordinary creature that Signer del " 

** That extraordinary creature, Mr. Hobbleday," replied I 
^emphasizing every other word or two, as is the practice when one 
is savagely bent upon cutting a person to the very soul), — "that 
extraordinary creature, sir, oy his * concord of sweet sounds,' 
has so calmed my irritated feelings — so completely subdued the 
rMW and indignation that were rising in my breast, that I shall 
take no further notice of your very — extraordinary — behaviour, 
than just to return you your very flattering letters of introduction 
to joxa Jriends Rummins and Jubb." And with these words I 
present^ to him both his letters open. 

Conscience-striken, with some aifficulty he bolted the morsel 
which he had in his mouth, the effort producing a violent fit of 
coughing, which greatly alarmed me for his safety ; and that, in 
its tum^ by the convulsive movement which it communicated to 
his arms^ causing him to jerk the lumps of ham from out their 
^▼elope of bread-and-butter, and to spill the entire contents of 
his cup over his nankeen trousers. When he was sufficiently 
recovered to articulate a few words, abashed and confused, he 
thus attempted to excuse himself, crossing his address to me with 
a disjointed apostrophe to his damaged nankeens : — 

" My dear fellow — really, my dear sir — did you ever see such a 
messP — ^Indeed, sir, if you'll believe me — wet through and 
through, as I hope to be saved! — ^most improper conduct of 
theirs to show my confidential letters — ^it will give me my death 
of cold. — As for Rummins, his age protects him, else, may I 
perish if— cost sixteen-and-sixpence, and new on only yesterday. 
Uan take no notice of Jubb ; his cloth protects kirn. — ^They'll 
wash, to be sure ; but their beauty's gone for ever ! — But don't 
set me down for a humbug, don't. If there's one character I 
despise more than another, it's a — awful accident, indeed! 
Can't conceive how uncomfortable one feels with one's — No 
firalt of mine, 'pon my life; and, rest assured, that next time you 
▼iait our place — ^All eyes are upon me ; must go. — Between our- 
sdyes, his museum not worth seeing — ^pooh, pooh ! I tell you it 
isn't ! and that's the reason why I — Can't stay to dance in such 
a mess; though I know my dear friend Hoppy lias set his keatt 
vpoa little Jack Hohhledafs dancing — ^No, no, I'm. ^xi^N)KV\i^\s^ 
B humbug; and if tliere's anything else wliaUvexl c^\i SaloJt 



120 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

you, except Rummins and Jubb — Grood-bye, my dear feUoW"-- 
Awful accident ! — a thousand pities ! The best fit I ever had k 
all my lite!" 

Symptoms of dissatisfaction again. Two o'clock has stiuck^ 
and the signal for the commencement of dancing C the firing of a 
real cannon ") not yet made. Calls for the Master of the Cere- 
monies, and a repetition of the customary cries of ''Shame! 
shame ! " 

For the honour of the M.C., I am bound to declare my 
opinion that the blame for the delay ought not to have been 
attributed to him. For the last four or five minutes he had 
been sedulously poking at the touch-hole of the piece with a 
lighted candle fastened to the end of a very long pole — a pre- 
caution which, as he made no pretensions to considerable skill in 
the science of gunnery, he had prudently adopted, in order to 
keep himself as far as possible out of the dangers necessarQy 
attending such an undertaking. But the gun would not go off; 
it was evident (to use a theatrical phrase) there was a hitoh ix 
the scenery. 

" Had he put any gunpowder into the cannon ? " inquired obc.^ 

" Plenty,* was his reply. 

"Which had he put in first — the powder or the wadding?'* 
asked another. 

After a moment's reflection, Mr. Hoppy declared, that "he 
was pretty clear — nay, he was positively certain, he had put the 
powder in first." 

"Perhaps he might have omitted the trifling ceremony of 
priming P " 

" No : he always made it a rule to prime the gun before he 
fired it." 

Then, in that case, the company could come to but one oon- 
clusion : the devil was in the gun. 

But the unlucky gentleman who is generally held answerable 
for the ill consequences of our own blunders, or negligences, or 
offences, could establish his innocence, in the present instancy 
by proving an alibi ; for, upon a careful inspection, the true 
cause of the disobedient conduct of the obstinate four-pounder 
appeared to be, that some dull perpetrator of practical jokes had 
abstracted the priming, and, in place of it, filled the touch-hole 
with wet tea-leaves ! Hereupon hisses, groans, and, from four 
or five persons (sounds most fearful to the ears of an M.C. !) 
oaUs of "Retnxn the money \" Tkeae \a,Uct ^^^^^ \kjaji», 
never having witnessed the ceremoiiy ol \B\Xm^ ^^ ^ ^\££w»\Jqk^ 



AND THE PEpLINGTONIAlffS. 121 

bad come upon that inducement only — reminding me of a certain 
intelligent person who made Paris his residence during an entire 
rommer, for no other purpose than to eat melons and see balloons 
let off. 

Mr. Hoppy now mounted a bench, and entreated the indulg- 
ence of his "honourable, noble, and illustrious patrons." He 
assured them that in the whole course of the many years he had 
•* belonged to the Property," such an accident had never before 
occurred, and that he would raise heaven and earth to prevent a 
similar accident occurring again : that there was nothing he 
would not willingly do or suffer — no sacrifice he would, for a 
moment, hesitate to make — ^to satisfy the wishes of such an as- 
sembly as the one he had the honourable gratification of addressing. 
But (he continued) as to returning the money, he most humbly 
requested permission to take the liberty of assuring them, in the 
m<xst respectful manner, that that was a moral impossibility, and 
altogether inconsistent with the long-established usages of ** the 
Property." Moreover, he hoped he might be allowed to remind 
his mumficent patrons that they had jJready enjoyed the break- 
fast which he had had the satisfaction of providing for them : as 
also to hint to two or three of those kind friends who had conde- 
scended to honour " the Property " with their presence, and who 
were the most clamorous in demanding the return of their money 
—that ihey had come in with orders ! 

The reasonableness of this address, seconded by its master-of- 
the-ceremony-like politeness and elegance, lulled the rising 
storm, and the preparations for dancing proceeded. 

In a place like Little Pedlington, and at such an entertain- 
ment as a public breakfast given by the Master of the Cere- 
monies in Tawkins's skittle-ground, it may not unreasonably be 
sapposed that "noble and illustrious visitors from London," who 
attend it, are tenacious concerning the etiquette of precedency. 
And although, in the confusion of a rush of upwards of forty 
persons, each struggling to secure the most advantagex)us place 
tor listening to the ravishing performance of the Del Squeaki; 
or even in the scarcely more regular arrangement of the break- 
fast table (at which each naturally takes possession of any seat 
nearest to the cold ham or the hot rolls, which may chance to be 
vacant), the observance of such ceremony is not insisted upon : 
it is, nevertheless, important, if not absolutely indispensable, to 
the existence of polite society, that, when peison<& «^e^ \$t^\\3^ 
iqeetiier for the aance, the Jaws of precedency sWoil^Xi^ xvs^sfii:^ 



123 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

It appears that hitherto the place of honour had been unhesi- 
tatingly conceded to Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs (Scorewell'sy 
"family with the fly," it maybe remembered), except, indeed»r 
when Colonel Dominant condescended to honour the gacdfin,- 
with his presence. Upon such occasions the colonel, altiuni|^ 
he did not dance, would just occupy the enviable place for •.. 
minute or so — " Just to prove his right to it," as he said — and :■ 
then retire. Before his pretensions, even those of the Hobbft 
Hobbses quailed. 

Upon the present occasion, the Master of the Ceremonies was 
soreljr perplexed by the several and contending claims of dis^ 
tinguished persons who had this dav for the first time honouxed 
him with their compau^; these being people of no less im- 
portance than Mr. St. Knitall and his lady, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Fitzbobbin. Colonel Dominant not making his appearancei. 
Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs were proceeding to tneir. usoaL 
station, when Mr. and Mrs. !Fitzbobbin rushed passed them and 
took possession of it. 

"Come out o' that," said Mr. Hobbs Hobbs : "them 'ere is 
our places."* 

"We shan't," fiercely replied Mr. I^tzbobbin ; at the same 
time pulling on a white Idd glove in a way that clearly showed 
he was not the man to be put down : " we shan't : we paid 
our money as well as you, so the place is as much our'n as 
your'n." 

" If some folks don't know how to behave themselves when, 
they get into genteel company, perhaps there's other folks as 
'11 teach 'em," said Mr. Hobbs Hobbs. 

" I wish you may get it," cooMj observed the other, vrh» 
did not appear to be in the least intimidated by the implied 
threat. 

"My dear Mr. Hobbs Hobbs," said Mrs. H. H., "don't 
bemean yourself by getting into a contortion with sach folks. 
Leave the Master of the Ceremonies to settle the pint. You may 
see as how they have never been at Little Pedlington afore, 
Margate — ^by the steamer. Ha! ha! ha!" 



* The gallant achievement of cramming four grammatical blmideis 

into only seven monosyllables stands, as yet, I believe, unrivalled. — 

" So," said a certain person (in the presence of several others who can 

vouch, for the &ct) to a well-knovm and wealthy patron of the opera ; — 

^^So, I understand you are going "w\t\i ♦ * * * \» \}cv^ o^xv^ \Ki. 

^^ht V'-'^'Him and me, has took two slaWs;' -««& \i)aa xq^Vj , 



AND THE FEDLINGTOKIANS. 123 

The altercation had proceeded thus far when, fortunately, the 
Master of the Ceremonies arrived to interpose his authority. 
T3uB he exereised with so much judgment, and with decision so 
tempered hy suavity, that though he could not exactly please 
both parties, even the dissatisfied acquiesced in his deciee. He 
awaraed the contested place to the Hohhs Hohbses upon two 
gnmnds : first, by right of long-maintained possession ; and next, 
and chiefly, for that they travelled in their own one-horse fly, 
which the other party did not. As Mrs. Pitzbobbin receded, ishe 
said "with a sneer, " Of course, my dear Pitz, we must give up 
to earruwe company! But sitch carriage company! One- 
hcnrse fly f Ha ! ha ! ha ! Carriage company ! All round my 
hat/' 

•*Ha! ha! ha! That's a teazer, I think," said Mr. T, with 
an approving chuckle at his lady's wit: "and what'U you 
bet we can't buy 'em out and out — ^fly and all ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! " 

** I shouldn't wonder," quietly observed Mr. Hobbs Hobbs, 

and scarcely deigning a look at his adversary. Then, turning to 

bis lady, he said in an affected whisper, yet so loud as that every 

one should hear him: "When we relate this 'ere scene to our 

JH&ttd Lord Squandermere, I think he won't laugh a bit." (! ! !) 

Daring these disputes, Mr. Twistwireville and Mr. De Stewpan 
rtbe latter being the gentleman mentioned by mine host of the 
Qfeen Dragon as " remarkably particular about his wine") were 
standing arm-in-arm, picking their teeth, and looking on with an 
aflbcteiuy careless air. Occasionally they indulged in a titter, 
smiled, turned up their noses, and whispered each other : by all 
which it was clear they would impress you with a notion how 
eieeedinffly amusing were the disputes of such people to men of 
ikeir qai£ty. 

But here a new difficulty arose, and one, apparently, less easy 
of settlement than the former. Mrs. St. Knitall, though she 
wiltingly conceded the right of the first place to the party with 
the imposing duplication of name, and the friends of a lord^ 
moreover, stul thought she had quite as good a right to the 
second as Mrs. Titzbobbin — for who was mis. Fitzbobbin, she 
should like to know P 

13ie point for the M.C. now to decide was one of sufficient 
nicety to perplex a herald at a coronation, or even the con- 
ductors of Almack's, namely : Whether or not a Fitz had a right 
to take precedence of a St, A question turning upon, so delk-al^ 
B point m^bt have puzzled a wiser head than eveu^fij:.^a\iY^^^\ 
BO Mr, Soppy did not hesitate to confess \i\a\s^\i ^waaXs.^ 



124 MTTLB PBDMNGTON 

exceedingly. He suggested that, setting aside that distinciiOD, 
the party whose name appeared first in liis subscriptioiwbodc 
should have precedence. To this Mr. St. Knitall objected; 
knowing; probably, that his did not. Hereupon hign words 
occurred between Mr. St. K. and Mr. Eitz £. This altercaiioq 
was not carried on in the playful and neatly-sarcastic style which 
had distinguished the previous one: here was no small-swoEcl 
fence, but the bludgeon : in this case the gentlemen had recourse 
to language which — in short, they regularly O'Connellized each 
other. 

Cards were hastily (and as the event proved, inconsiderately) 
exchanged ; and fatal might have been the consequences had not 
the M.C. adroitly seized them both in their transit. He sug- 
gested that the gentlemen should permit him to throw both 
cards up into the air ; and that whichever first fell to the ground 
should determine the disputed point in favour of its owner. 
This was agreed to ; when, lo ! it appeared that " Thomas Knitall, 
hosier, Leadenhall Street,'^ was the victor in the contest for 
precedence with ''Samuel Bobbin, haberdasher, Tottenham- 
court Road." 

Upon this discovery the Hobbs Hobbses withdrew ; declinmg 
to dance " in aitch company,'' as Mr. Hobbs Hobbs expressed it. 

"I say, De Stewpan," said Twistwireville, with a titter, 
" here's a precious expoxr^^ / Porsitively ridielus P* 

"Emezm^j n«?«?^«*," replied his companion — he the "remark- 
ably particularly about his wine." 

"Well," exclaimed the late Mr. Fiiz Bobbin, who had 
prudently concealed his knowledge of the other parties for so 
long as he had his own trifling disguise to maintain, but who 
now was resolved not to fall alone — " well, at anv rate we are 
as good as Mr. Twistwire, the birdcage-maker of Holborn, or 
Dick Stewpan, a cook at the Lunnun Tavern, let out on an 
'oliday for a week in the dull season." 

At this moment a groom in livery rushed in, crying to the 
doorkeeper, " I am not going to stay : I only want to speak a 
word to Mr. Hobbs." 

" George Hobbs," said he, addressing the family-with-the-fly 
gentleman, "your holiday's out short: Lord Squandermere has 
sent me to order 70U up to town immediately : Mounseer is taken 
suddenly ill, and till you return, my lord has nobody that he 
can fancy to tie a shoe-string for him." And away went the 
groom whistling Handel's " Every Valet a\v3\i\ifc exsiJiX.^ " 
The sky had been louring ioc some tm^, wcA ^\^^^Tjis^, ^ 



AND THE FEDIIKOTONIANS. 135 

shower came down, whicli abruptly terminated the morn- 
amusements — an interruption not disagreeable, perhaps, to 
n of the company. 
ng engaged for this evening at Mr. Rummins's, returned 

to an early dinner: — ^wondering by the way whether 
isions upon a similar scale, or a smaller, or a greater, 
h upon no better foundation, are ever asserted in other 
{ besides Little Pedlington. 



126 tllTLE PEBLINGtOl^ 



CHAPTER IX. 

RUMMINS'S CONVERSAZIONE. 

A time-serving innkeeper : delicate attentions. — A CONVEBSAZIOOT— 
Introduced by the ^eat antiquary to all the big-wi^s of LtttSe 
Pedlington — A prodigy: a juvenile "Controller of Destinies'*— 
Abstraction, poetical and scientific — The Rumminsian Muskux 
exhibited — Its rare contents described, and learnedly descanted on 
by the F.S.A. — Antiquarian arguments, as usual, unanswerable— 
Symptons of jealousy and impatience, imexampled at a converstizioM 
— Song by Miss Cripps, the Pedlingtonian Sappho: the most 
approved [English] method of singing — Patronizing Capitalist — 
Cant of Criticism: its usefulness — Astounding discovery: "Garth 
did not write his own Dispensary " ! — Pretty compliment from 
Sappho — Each partial to his own pursuits: a rational distinction 
touching the collecting-mania — His pictur* neglected, Daubaon de- 
parts in dudgeon — Snargate's grand architectural project explained : 
an objection ventured ; consequences ; awful denunciation of ven- 
geance by the Controller of Destinies — Hare occurrence: t.e., 
toadying a critic — Envy incompatible with true genius : Kummins 
and Jubb — Jubb impatient to recite his " Ode to Patience" — Qualified 
praise dangerous — Sappho and the Conundrumist women above 
vulgar prejudices : interesting proofs thereof— N.B. Never to quit a 
conversazione till the last : " I leave my character behind me,"— 
Bid fiu*ewell to Little Pedlington ; and why. 

Having ordered for my dinner nothing more than a veal-cutlet, 
I was not a little astonished at the parade with which the repast 
was served. Heard Scorewell withoutside calling, in an autho- 
ritative tone, "Now — Number Sixteen's dinner — look sharp/* 
Presently the door was thrown open, and there entered, in pro- 
cession, Scorewell with a dish ot cutlets, who was succedea by 
the head-waiter carrying a dish of broccoli, who was followed by 
a boy with a couple or potatoes, who was followed by another 
bof with a butter-boat. These things being placed in due form 
upon the table, Scorewell aud Us aaXe\\\\.^a Vq^.^^^ ^^^ ^x^-^^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 127 

ronnd and round it ; one officiously moving the pepper-castor half 
an inch to the right of the place where it stood ; another shoving the 
vinegar-cruet half an inch to the left ; a third taking up a spoon 
and laying it down again with an air of busy-ness, — each doing 
somethiug which did not need to be done. This display of good- 
for-nothing activity ended, the assistants left the room; and 
Scorewell, after a short preparatory cough (at the same time, 
with a sort of chess-playing action, displacing and replacing 
everyarticle on the table), said,— - 

"Hope you'll excuse what's past, sir — ^attendance in future 
shall be better than it has been, sir — ^no fault of ours, sir ; but 
now that that family-with-the-fly is gone, as I am happy to say, 

sir ^Plague on 'em ! The gentleman — I mean that man, that 

Hobbs, who has no more got two Hobbses in his name than I 
liaye, turns out, after all, to be nothing more than valet to 
Ix)rd Squandermere ! But I was right : I thought from the 
first they were nobody. Your real gentlefolks never give 
•no trouble, never complain. But, as for them, nothing was 
never good enough for 'em ; and as for waiting on, I'm sure the 
little profit I have got by 'em will hardly pay for the bell-wires 
they nave worn out. Ahem ! What wine would you choose 
to take to-day, sir ? " 

"Remembering what you told me a day or two ago," replied 
I — 1( and to my shame I confess it, it is with malice prepense that 
Idiaso) — "remembering thatt Scorewell, I shall not pretend 
to a choice ; so give me a little of the wine which you are in the 
habit of serving to Mr. — ^Mr. — I forget his name» but I mean 
the gentleman who is so * remarkably particular about his wine :' 
Mr. De Stewpan, I think it is." 

" Particular, indeed ! Another bird of the same feather, sir. 
Cook at the London Tavern, sir. But he never deceived me. 
From the first moment I saw him, sir, I thought he was no real 
gentleman, for all the De to his name. And his friend Twist- 
wire, the birdcage-maker, with a i?i7/^ tacked to his! A pretty 
show-up of the whole party, indeed, there has been at Mr. 
Hoppy's public breakfast this morning. When great folks go 
into a strange place incog, they make themselves look little; 
your little folks have nothing for it, therefore, upon such 
occasions, but to look big. But I saw through them from the 
first, and glad am I that they have taken themselves off. 
Of course, they could not stay in this place after such an ex- 
posure." 

"And yet, if I remember rightly, it was but r^ d«5 ^x V^Q ^^ 



128 » ' LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

you described them all to me as bemg 'verj tip-top people 
indeed/ " 

"O — yes — ^tnie, sir — ^that's to say, they spent a good deal of 
money ; but I never meant that they were gentlefolks. No, bq, 
sir ; my occupation sharpens a man's wits ; and, for my pari^ I 
have seen ^o much of the world (as is natural in a place like 
Little Pedlington), that I can make out what people are with 
half an eye. Ahem ! I think you told me yesterday, sir, that 
you were not in the army — ^nor the navy — ^but that you-*tiuiA 
you " He hesitated and paused. 

" I told you nothing on the subject." 

" And I am sure you are not in the church, sir, by your wear* 
ing a blue coat. No, no, sir ; Scorewell has seen too much joI 
the world to be mistaken on such points. — ^Aheml — ^I have 
heard it said, sir, that the bar is a very fine profession; aadl 
should think you ought to know, sir.'' 

" I have no better means thsui any one else of knowing i^" 
replied I, resolved to throw him upon his own self-vaunted peaa- 
tration for making me out. 

Having been at fault in the army and the navy, in divinity and 
law, he tried physic, the arts, science, commerce, each with no 
better sucbess. 

" Very odd ! " said he ; " very : I'm confident, quite confident, 
sir, you have nothing to conceal " (and this he said with a length- 
ened countenance and a suspecting look which belied his pro- 
fessions of confidence) ; " but " 

" You asked me wnat wine I should choose to take,'* said I 
(pretending not to have noticed his hint). ''Let me have some 
claret. Good wine, I know, can only be obtained at a good 
price ; and I have already seen enough of you, Scorewell, to be 
satisfied that I m^y trust to you for its quahty." 

" The best in Europe, sir. No, no, sir, as I said, quitQ sose 
you have nothing to conceal, for" — (here was an adroit change 
of one little word) — "for, as I said to my wife, the moment yga 
came into the house, that is none of your shim-shammies." 

" A time-serving rogue of an innkeeper even in virtuous Little 
Pedlington!" thought I, as I swallowed a couple of glasses of 
incontestable raspberry-juice. 

As the learned antiquary teas at six, it was now time for me 
to betake myself to his house. At the door of the Green Dragon 
was accosted by mine host : — 

"Gom^ to Mr. Rummins's conversationy^ I understand, sir. 
At what time shall I send the boy mlVi \.\i^\asiX^^xi.\.^ ^q^^'I " 



AND THE pei)lixgtonia:ss. 129 



tg 



Send a boy with a lantern !" exclaimed I. 
Why, sir, Mr. Rummins's parties are always very lat 
Mmetimes, indeed, they don't bceak up much before eleven — and 
aa we naturally don't light the lamps in Little Pedlington till 
after Michaelmas, and as there will be no moon to-night- — " 

" rU contrive to find my way home in the dark, Scorewell." 

^ " As you please, sir. Then, if you will have the kindness to 

ring the mffki-heU, sir, you will find boots sitting up for you, sir." 

O for the comforts and conveniences of a dear little country- 
town ! Send a boy with a lantern ! In London, now, one might 
break forty legs (it one had them) in the course of a walk home, 
<m a dark night, for the want of such an accommodation. To 
be sure, there is a gas-lamp here and there. Then, again, to ring 
tiie iii^^-bell at eleven, when I shall find poor boots drowsily 
waiting to let me in ! A volume could not say more in favour 
of the moral habits of these peaceful Pedlingtonians than is im- 
plied by these few words. They have no time, indeed, for vice 
or wickedness, great or small; for at an hour when the reprobate 
knockers of London are scarcely yet vocal for the nightly revel, 
/4^ are virtuously "reclining" (as Miss Cripps womd express 
it) "in the arms of Morpheus." But I must hasten to Mr. 
Kummins's Conversazione. 

On my way thither indolged in the pleasing reflection, that if 
anywhere a meeting of the xind could be free from the intrusion 
of spleen, envy, mdice, pretension, or affectation, it must be iu 
iucA a place as this. 

•*1 stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs," says Childe 
Harold. With feelings not less strongly excited, I apprehend, 
than his upon that occasion when, for the first time, ne beheld 
the fairy city, did I find myself standing opposite to a small door 
on the first floor of Mr. Eummins's house. Upon this door, 
which was the entrance to a small back room, was pasted » 
square bit of paper, bearing, in German text, carefolly written, 
the words — 




i» 



The little girl who had conducted me up stairs (telling tns ^ 
the way that master and the company were at i^^ ia t\ie mxussKoaS^ 
aaaoanoed wf arrival. 



130 UTTLE PEDUNGTON 

The learned F.S.A. received me with all the civility due to a 
subscriber for two large-paper copies of his work, and introduced 
me to each of the distinguished. pers^ons present. His appear- 
ance and manner, as well as his peculiar, but appropriate mode 
of uttering and pronouncing his words, I have already attempted 
to describe. Pirst of all 1 was in-tro-de-oos'd to-—" One wnom 
I am proud, sir, to call my son : Rummins the younger, conductor 
of that tremendous engine of power, the 'Little PedlinstoK 
Weekly Observer.' " He added in a whisper — " And marvellous 
is it, that the destinies of Europe should be controlled by one so 
young, he being barely twenty. His yesterday's castigatiou of 
the Emperor of Russia cannot fail to produce effects which— '^— 
But more of this anon." 

Although I abstained from expressing it, my own private 
opinion nevertheless is, that there is nothine marvellous aboufc 
the fact. For such a controller of destinies, whether they be the 
destinies of a people or a play-house, an autocrat 'or an actor^ 
twenty is a mature age ; and (whatever a fond father, in his par« 
tiality, may imagine to the contrary) the time gives it pioot 
Here and there, indeed, may be found one who, with ohildiph 
timidity, has delayed to set up as a " Controller of destinies,*' 
till having lived long enough to see much, hear much, and learn 
much, and leisurely to compare and reject, he at length conceives 
himself to be in some degree qualified for the undertaking. 
These, however, form but the exceptions to the rule: conse- 
quently, Mr. Rummins, the elder, may be assured that his son is 
not a Phoenix in his generation. 

"Our Baubson," continued the F.S.A., pursuing the ceremony 
of introduction ; " our Daubson, whom I find you know, as he 
informs me that ' ■ " 

"Yes," said the painter, "he had the honour of sitting to me 
yesterday for his profile." Then, with an uneasy recollection of 
my criticism upon it, he said to me, "The head thrown too mudi 
back, eh. Mister ? If you have the work with you, we'll by-aud- 
by take the unbiassed opinion of all present upon that point ; 
and we shall then see who will dare to pretend to know oetter 
than me." 

" Mr. Felix Hoppy, also, you have met before," continued 
Rummins. " Not in his capacity of Master of the Cere- 
monies, which I esteem not, do I receive him as my friend; 
but as he is the author of the Little Pedlington Guide, a work, 

sir, which " 

Mr, Hoppy blushed, bowed, dreNT \i\a ^^-^^xlxiasi^^ \i3S5sSi.* 



AND THE PEDLINGTOlftANS. 131 

kerobief across his face, and entreated Mr. Eummins to '^ spare 
Mm." 

I was next presented to Miss Cripps (" our Sappho," as she 
was designated bj Rummins), whose exquisite verses I copied 
ftom yesterday's " Observer" into my journal. Miss C, tall 
and slender, and apparently on, what I shall take the liberty of 
calling, the sedate sida of fifty. She was reclining back in her 
chair; her arms were folded across her bosom, and her eyes 
ficed with an air of abstraction on Mr. Rumrains's ceiling. 
Her countenance bore the traces of recent and still-existing 
sorrow. The Pediington newspaper has recorded the loss of 
her bag. Dress — pink muslin gown, trimmed with pale blue 
ribands, yellow sash, shoes of red morocco, and a wreath of 
roses, crimson and yellow alternately, bound around her curly 
flaxen — [Private mem. Wig] — haii*. 

Mr. lUimmins proceededf — 

**Mx. Yawkins, the head of our banL Mr. Snargate, the 
arcldteoty of whom I need say no more than that he furnished 
the design for our new pump." 

Mr. Snargate drew himself up to the height of nearly five 
feet. 

" Miss Jane Scrubbs, whose name is so universally known 
that " 

I fear my looks must have betrayed my culpable ignorance of 
so celebrated a name ; for Mr. Rummins, drawing me a little 
aside, said in an under-tone — 

" My dear sir ! — Is it possible ? — ^Why, sir, that lady is the 
Snaj Sbburcs, who does the charades and conundrums for our 
newspaper. Ignorant of her name ! Bless my soul ! — But, 
now, sir — now — I am last of all to in-irO'de^oos you to my illus- 
trioas friend, the Reverend Jonathan Jubb — the Bard of Ped- 
UNGTONii. ! — (Here again followed what is theatrically termed 
an aside.) " Simple in appearance, unaffected in' manners — ^in- 
stead of the popular poet, you would be inclined to set him down 
for nothing more than one of yourselves — ahem ! — rather than 
one of us. But so it ever is witn genius of a high order." 

And, truly (though contrary to my reasonable expectations), 
there sat the illustrious poet, neither attitudinizing, nor sighing, 
nor looking either sad, solemn, or sentimental, nor m any manner 
striving after-effect, but unaffectedly swallowing tea and munching 
hot muffins, with as much earnestness as if (to repeat ^xslYsvckoi^^ 
phrase) he had, indeed, been nothing more tliaji one ol OMX^^^^'a*^ 
Sboxtij after the conclusion of the ceremony oi \Ti\.TQ^^vQ\v» 

K 2 



132 LITTLE PEDLING'i;OX 

Rummins desired his servant to "take away the tea-things." 
" Then/' said he, " I will exhibit to you the Rumminsbui 
Collection." 

The little girl, having made the circuit of the room, aid 
collected ou a japanned waiter the emptied tea-cups, approad^ 
Miss Cripps ; but " Sappho," still rapt in meditation, did iiot 
observe her. Having for some time stood unheeded, the girl pat 
her lips to Miss Cripps's ear, and screamed, " Done with your fe- 
chp, ma'am?" Miss Cripps, startled, let drop her cup aid 
saucer, both of which were demolished by the fall, and drawing 
her hand across her forehead, exclaimed, with a sigh — 



" 'Tis gone, 'tis lost ; the fairy chain is broken." 

" Yes, madam," angrily said the F.S. A., "and so is my crookety. 
I do wish. Miss Cripps, that, for the future, you would not all 
into your poetic reveries till after tea. This is the fourth time the 
thing has occurred, and always when a stranger has happened to 
he present,'* 

Miss Cripps made no reply, but, slowly shaking her head, 
patiently resumed her Madonna-like attitude. 

At the same moment, Enaj Shhurcs, who also had been absorbed 
by meditation, though, as was presently shown, upon a subject 
infinitely more abstruse, suddenly started from her chair, akid 
exclaimed, " Pig's pettitoes !" 

"That's it, that's it!" cried the editor, adding, with a con- 
descending nod to the lady, "Without flattery. Miss Scrabbs, 
there is no one in all Little Pedlington who can approach you in 
your own wslj ; and my opinion upon these matters is, as you 
know " 

" You overwhebn me, Mr, Rummins," replied Miss S. " Your 
favourable judgment might well make any one proud — ^at least, if 
one had not the ^od sense to know, that when one has passed a 
life in these studies, a little superiority must be the conseqifenee." 

Miss Jane Scrubbs's exclamation of " Pig's pettitoes," neither 
the meaning nor the merit of which did I immediately perceive, 
was, as it was afterwards explained, the solution of an eniema, 
which had for the last five weeks baffled the ingenuity of all the 
wits of Little Pedlington. 

The Rumminsian Collection is contained partly in an old- 
fasbioned booJc-case, with glazed dooia, «vid ^«x^i\:3 Via. \j* ^»swmkc- 
^^pboard, on the shelves of which t\ie'vmo\va«md^"ar--^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTOSIAXS. 133 

I may venture to say, without fear of exaggerating, to eighty iu 
number — are systematically arranged. In the department of 
natural history, it is not remarkably rich, possessing only a 
stuffed lap-dog and parrot, a dried snake, a feather of a peacock's 
'tail, the skeleton of a monkey, and the skin of a cat, the latter 
chiefly interesting from the circumstance of its original wearer 
liaviug been, during fourteen years, the prime favourite of the 
antic^uary's ^andmother. Indeed, he himself admits that, in this 
portion of his museum, he cannot compete with the Zoo, meaning 
thereby their Zoological-gardens ; but in mineralogy he can boast 
of no fewer than a dozen specimens of the ores of tin, copper, 
andiron, "all curious" (as Kummins profoundly observed) "all 
curious, as showing you that sort of thmg in a state of natur'.'* 

In Numismatics — for each compartment of the book-case and 
comer-cupboard is appropriately labelled — ^in numismatics the 
mnseum contains, first, the " antique Roman coin " which occa- 
sioned so fierce a controversy as to whether it were such, or, in 
realihr, nothing more than a plain William-and-Mary's shilling ; 
for the particulars of which, vide Hoppy's "Guide Book." 
Secondly, a farthing, which Rummins pronounces to be one of the 
famous three of Queen Anne, boldly challenging the world to 
prove, from any internal evidence, the contrary, inasmuch as it is 
worn perfectly smooth on both sides. Third, and lastly, a medal 
Qn form and size, and in general appearance, indeed, resembling 
those local tokens which many years ago were issued for the 
purpose of supplying a deficiency in the copper coinage), bearing 
Ofn one side the head, and the name also, of Brutus (the Elder), 
and on the reverse, a cap of liberty, with the figures 1793. That 
it is a genuine medal of the time of the worthy whose effigies it 
bears, Mr. Bummins entertains not the smallest doubt ; and with 
respect to the numerals (the only difficulty in the case), which by 
the ignorant might be mistaken for the date of the period when 

■ it was struck, the F.S. A. learnedly inquires, " How is it possible 

■ for ns at this time of day to tell what they meant by tnem ? " 
The estimation in which these three objects are held by their for- 
tonate possessor is sufficiently marked by the circumstance of each 
being carefully preserved beneath the inverted bowl of a broken 
inne-glass. 

"But we are now coming to that portion of the Bumminsian 
Mnseum," said the exhibitor, " upon which I chiefly pride myself 
—the Pedlingtonian relics." 

The r.S.A. bad been minute and elaborale— \ ^qt^\. \cv^'»s^ 
jffiasy, as it will sometimes happen, under simiiiai G\x^\i\Qs\.«Cka^^, 



134 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

to the best-intentioned F.S.A. — ^in describing each of the objects 
of curiosity, as they were in succession exhibited to my astonished 
eyes. Fancied that in some of the party I perceived symptoms 
of weariness, and of impatience in others. The banker and tbe 
architect were fast asleep ; Miss Cripps, with folded arms, was 
sighing, and looking — sonnets ; Jubb drew from his pocket a 
hu^e manuscript, " a-hem'd," and thrust it in again ; jDaabson 

audibly d a the museum, and muttered, " The daylight will 

be gone before I can show my pictur* ;" Hoppy appeared ereatly 
incuned to follow the example set by the banker; whibt the 
" controller of destinies " and Enaj Sbburcs were seated, literally, 
iete-h'tetey in the recess of a window, partly concealed by a cur- 
tain, mal^g (I suppose) conundrums. 

The most remarkable of the Pedlingtonian relics are the slid- 
ing-board of the old stocks, d^ndi the handle of the old pump, upon 
each of which the F.S.A. expatiated lengthily and leamecDy; 
easily digressing from the one, to the cage which has lately been 
erected in the Market Place — remarkii\g, by the way, upon tte 
horrors of the Bastille and the atrocities of the Inquisition ; — 
from the other, to the Koman Aqueducts, Bernini's fountams, 
and " our New Pump." 

To the military antiquary the most interesting objects in the 
collection would be the two sword-blades and the cannon-ball, 
picked up in a ditch at a short distance from the town ; and the 
helmet of the time of King John. Of the two sword- blades, 
one is formed exactly like a sickle, the other bears some resem- 
blance to the blade of an old-fashioned carving-knife. These 
circumstances sufficiently attest their antiquity -, for, as Mr. £,. 
triumphantly exclaimed, " Where do you see such swords now-a- 
days ! " On the latter may still be traced these curious remains 
of'an ancient inscription:- 

Th-mps-n an- Co. Sh-f-^ld. 

Of this, the learned antiquary himself despairs of Ending an 
explanation, modestly confessing that its meaning is lost in the 
lapse of ages. 

The cannon-ball is of the size of a four-and-twenty-pounder, 

but wonderfully light in proportion ; weighing not more, indeed, 

than a hollow cistern-ball of the same circumference ! Well 

might Mr. R. observe, " The tooth of antiquity has preyed upon 

its very vitsls" 

Of me helmet of the time o£ ISah^ 3o\«i, w> cQrtfi>i.^^ T:^^^\ar 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 135 

bling a saucepan of the time of our own gracious Queen Victoria, 
I need say nothing in this place, as an accurate description of it 
will be found amoDgst the extracts from the " L. P. Observer." ■ 
From these military remains the learned Rummins clearly infers 
that, at some remote period of our history, the Pedlingtonians 
must have been engaged in a desperate conflict, in which pro- 
digious numbers must have fallen on both sides, and that, at its 
t^nination, victory must have been declared for the Pedling- 
tonians. To state the arguments by which those inferences were 
supported would hardly be fair towards Mr. Rummins, since they 
are to appear in the new edition of his "Antiquities;" but I 
may observe generally, that the arguments whereby he attempted 
to prove incontrovertibly that which it is incontrovertibly im- 
possible to prove at all, were as ingenious, and quite as con- 
vincing, as antiquaiy arguments, m similar cases, usually 
are. 

The Rumminsian MS8., though not numerous, are rare. Of 
these the most interesting are — 

1st. A book containing nearly four hundred recipes (many of 
them unique) in cookery, confectionery, medicine, &c., &c., &c. 
•*^aU in the handtotiting of the antiquafys late mother. 

2nd. A complete collection of Mr. Rummins's own school 
copy-books. "This," as Mr. R. modestly observed,, "will 
scarcely be valued during my lifetime." 

3rd^ Minutes of all the public proceedings in Little Pedlington 
during the last thirty years ; together with biographical notices of 
all those who have served the offices of churchwarden and 
overseer within the same period. 

"This, I may say," said Mr. K, "is a work of profound 
research, ahd one which will be of eminent utility to the anti- 
quary of future times. It contains, also, correct reports of all 
toe achates occasioned by that spirit-stirring event, the abstrac- 
tion of the pump-ladle — an event, sir, concerning which (although 
it kept this town in a state of tremendous excitement for many 
months) I will venture to assert you have yet many interesting 
particulars to learn in London." 

4th, and lastly, carefully framed and glazed, the original draft, 
in his own handwriting, of Mr. R.'s inscription for the New 
Pump. There it is, with all his erasures, additions, alterations, 
&c. ! This interesting and valuable document \\e \i'a.^\ife^<KaiiJftR^ 
faa be informed me) to his native town, on ooii^\ivcrDL HX^^ ^\si& 



336 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

death, it be placed over the chimney-piece of the vestry-rooia-r» 
there to remain for ever ! \ 

Catherine II. promised a splendid reward to one of \m^ 
emissaries (as such disreputable cattle are styled in melo-dramas) 
if he should succeed in procuring {id est, stealing) for her, from tli» i 
Barberini Palace, the celebrated vase, latterly Imown as the TmA-^ 
land vase, and which is now in the British Museum. HemeBibir- 
this fact, ye vestrymen of Little Pedlington, and be vigilant ! .-/ 

Thanked Mr. Rummins for the gratification which the inspflc- 
tion of his museum had afforded me. Observed-nperhaps fo- 
want of something better to say — ^that I had lately passed a 
morning in the British Museum. To this the P.S.A., lo9kiog tiie : 
door of his comer^cupboard, and putting th^ key into his pocke^ 
carelessly replied — 

" Ay — ^they have some curious things there, also." 

"Come," said Daubson, unable any longer to restrain hit ; 
impatience, " come ; now there's an end of that, you shall see mf 
pictuf^." ' 

"Pardon, my dear friend," said Hoppy (interposing with 
master-of-the-ceremony-like gallantry), "we must concede tiie 
pata to the ladies." 

At the same moment the poetess cleared her voice, and thci . 
fair conundrumist smiHngly drew a strip of paper from her 
reticule ; whilst the M.C. continued :rr- 

"Miss Cripps has written a charming song — an exquisite 
little effusion— of which she intends to favour us with a private 
hearing, and " 

" And you, I see, have brought your guitar to accompany it, ' 
Mr. Hoppy," said Miss Scrubbs, angrily ; adding, with a sneer > 
(at the same time thrusting her paper back into her reticule), ; 
" it is vastly polite of you to give thepatv to the ladies,'* 

" How piagnily impatient some people are to show themselves ^ 
off ! " whispered the painter to the arcnitect. 

" Contemptible vanity ! " replied the latter, in a similar tone. . 
" And then we shall have Jubo with his reading, and Rummins 
with his reading. I wish they were all at Jericho ! The evening 
will be at an end before I can exhibit my great plan for the 
improvement of Little Pedlington." 

" Now, my dear Miss Cripps, if you mean to sing, pray sing at 
once," said Mr. Rummins, the elder. "My illustrious friend 
Jubb intends to read some specimens of a new work of his — 
after I have read a few from one of m^ on«iy." 
A good quarter of an hour was exka\xa\.^^ Vj ^x, "^o^-^-^ *\si 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANiJ. 137 

tamnff his gaitar, and by Miss Cripps in protestations that she 
didn't sing, coaldnH sing, never did sing-^tbat she was hoarse, 
out of health, out of spints, &c. 

" Besides," she added (and in a manner resembling an ill-made 

sakd — that is to say, containing three vinegars to one oil), 

'* betides, my effnsion has nothing to recommend it but a little 

^Mm/ — and semtiment — and imagination. I can't pretend to such 

abetnise efforts as charades and enigmas/' 

JRmf Sbbures bent her head in acknowledgment of the compli- 
ment. Hien, turning to the editor, she whispered — 

** I wonder how Mss Cripps (who certainly is not altogether 
an idiot) can be prevailed upon to sing her <)wn nonsensical 
verses !*'* 

Mr. Hoppy preluded. Miss Cripps meantime looked down 
upon her thumos, and, having to sing, she very naturally closed 
her teeth and lips ; just leaving a small aperture at one comer of 
her month to sing through. The air being a well-known one, 
Miss Cripps's own poetry formed, of course, the chief attraction 
of the performance. Thanks to the lady's method of singing-— a 
meibod which, I am informed, is commonly taught in Little Jred- 
Hn^ton — ^I can answer for it that the following copy of her " ex- 
qoisite little effusion" is literally correct : — 

" Se turn sn en sm se, 
Me o sn tarn se oo. 
To nm te a te me 
Pe tam ta o te poo." 

And these words, running through five verses, she articulated 
with as much distinctness as if she had been regularly educated 
as a singer for the English Opera. 

To Mr. Hoppy, for the precision of his accompaniment, too 
mndi praise could not be given ; for, whenever he was out, he 
leqnested the lady to " stop" till he had fully satisfied himself 
that he had got fast hold of the right chord. 

lluaiks to the fair poetess from all the party -. though, from 
some of them (as I guessed from the bastle amongst them) they 
were tendered for that the conclusion of the performance gave 
them an opportunity for a display of their own — each after its 

* This \a not unlike the well-turned compliment paid by an eminent 
member of Mr. Bummins's body to the Duke of Cleveland of a former 
day : — **I dined at Rabj Castle, Lord Darlington's. T\v© o\^l>\3i&ft oS. 
Oereland with ub. A cheerful old man, and in converssAA-Oti 'oeT'ij Jav 
Aw^ an tHurt."— Pennant, Tour from Ashton Moor to HarroxogaU. 



138 MTTLB PBDLIN6T01T 

kind. Miss Scrabbs alone was silent : tbroaghout the pffirfom 
ance she was sleeping — or pretendinff to sleep. 

Mr. Hoppy, who nad observed tbe trick (if trick it were), 
whispered to Miss Cripps-— 

" Offensively contemptuous ! *' 

" No," whispered Miss Cripps, in reply, " merely eri^naoBf^ 

Now, for my own part, I thought them both roudt too sevote 
upon poor Miss Scrubbs ; being generally inclmed to eoiAider 
such conduct (although it certainly may appear like radeioss) 
as nothing more than an evidence of drowsy stupidity* 

" Fine song ! great genius ! " exclaimed the banker. •* How 
I envy people of talent ! " And he jingled the shilliDgs m kk 
pocket. 

Being seated between the poet and the antiquary, I whis- 
pered to the latter that I was not prepared to find in Mr. 
Hoppy (the author of so profound a work as the " Little Ped- 
Hngton Gfuide"), a man of such various talents, or one po>ecmi i | ' 
80 many of the lighter accomplishments. 

"He's a charming creature, sir," replied Mr. Bnmmins. **Biit 
what think you of his ' Guide ' ? — I mean the historical and anti- 
quarian portions of the work ?" 

Here was an opportunity for me to show the F.S.A. tint I 
was not altogether ignorant of how I ought to behave myself at 
a literary conversazione. So I mumbled a reply which meant 
nothing m particular, but which I took care to render tellina, by 
ringing the changes upon the customarv common-place excutma- 
tions — " learned ! " " erudite ! " " profound ! " " deeply-search- 
ing!" " widely-grasping !" and some others which I had kMffd 
delivered, in the same manner, upon similar occasions. 

" You are an excellent critic, sir," said Mr. Rummins; *'iiote 
portions of the work / wrote." 

" But what may be your notion, idea, or opinion of the <fe- 
scriptive parts of the book P " inquired Mr. Jubo. 

Here was another opportunity for me; so I proceeded as 
before, merely varying my common-places with the occasion. 
These were now — "picturesque!" "life-like!" "dioramiot" 
"vivified!" "graphic!" "spirit-stirring!" &c., &c., &c.-4»k- 
in^ care to thrust in at least six graphics to any one ' of tlie 
others. 

" Fm highly flattered : all the descriptive parts are mine," 
BsaA the illustrious author of " Pedlingtonia ! " 
''Then pray, gentlemen," inqoai?^ \, " '\l ^^'a ^I'^wLwrote 
tbe deacn^iiwe portions o! t\ie "voxY, ««i^ ^i)Elfc Q'Obsst ^^ %aa&.- 



AKD THE FBSLINGTONIANS. 139 

?iiarian and historical, T^hat was there left for the illustrions 
[oppy to write ? " 

" ifothing more, sir," answered Rummins, " nothing more than 
• receipt for the sum of seven pounds ten, which he paid us for 
our joint labours." 

60, then ! I have encountered the perils of Poppleton End, and 
tuted of the miseries of Squashmire Gate, on my journey 
Itttherward — a journey induced, in a great measure, by an earnest 
desire to, look upon the eminent author of the " Little Pedlington 
Guide," and what is my reward? What is it I behold? 
Strattiug in all a peacock's pride, with glittering plumage 
dawtling the e^es of the admiring world, a peacock we pronounce 
him : but, fnul as it is false, his ostentatious tail, surrendering 
at a pull, is scattered by the wind, and, lo ! he stands confessed 
— « goose ! Can London, in the plenitude of its quackery, 
fBiniflJi a parallel to this ? " Speak, ye who best can tell ! '' 



:s 



Aoswer me, A , B , C , D , E , F 

yea, all of you to the very end of the alphabet. I challenge you 
to the reply — Can London, in the plenitude of its quackery, 
famish a parallel to this ? 

Expect the next piece of agreeable information I shall receive 
will DO, that Rumniins " did not write his own" " Antiquities," 
or Jubb his "Pedlingtonia." 

My unpleasant reflections interrupted by Miss Cripps, who 
beckoned me across the room to her, and requested my candid 
QfHnion of the verses she had just now sung. No request more 
oonimon upon such occasions, none more flattering to the taste 
of the requesttf^, or more easily complied with. Answered as 
Wore, but with the requisite variations. These were — "gem !" 
^^Hjim /" " tear-moving ! " " heart-probing !" " soul-searching ! " 
"intense!" "quintessence of grief!" "concentrated feeling!" 
"verge of agony ! " and so forth. Miss Cripps's opinion of wy 
opinion more flatteringly expressed than by words — she begged 
I "would write something in her album which she had brought 
with her. Being no poet, I wrote down a portion of the line 
and well-known supplication of Eve to Adam, from the " Para- 
diM Lost," commencing, " Eorsake mo not, O Adam ! " Miss 
Oripps was so kind as to say I had a pretty turn for poetry, yet 
she wished that I had written it in rhyme. 

During this time some of the party were collected around a 
eiroiilar table, which was covered with Penny Magazines, ^^i^ 
nSoBcnp^on-ists for vMious of Mr. Rummins's pn\i\ica\.\QiTkS.^\^^ 
JMae Serabba told me she was a collector of irank^s ; \);i^\i ^'^ V^^ 



140 LITTLE PEDMNGTON 

some Tyhicli were very interesting, inasmuch as they were per- 
fectly illegible — even to the writer's own name, whieli wife, 
indeed, the most difficult of all to decipher : that she iraff difkg 
for a frank of Mr. Mortarly Trowel's, the patriotic representime 
of the new constituency of Seven Dials (St. Giles's) ; and HbA 
she should hold herself eternally obliged to me if I coBld pro- 
cure for her that — or any others. 

''I am astonished. Miss Scrubbs," exclaimed the F.8dL, 
*' positivelv astonished that a woman of your intellect ^iboM 
condescend to so trifling an occupation as that of coUoeliig 
autographs! But I, sir," (this he addressed to me), **/na 
collecting impressions from seals. Now, if you happeoi tohttt 
any letters about you, and would just pick ofS. the seals forii^ 
that would be doing me a great favour mdeed." « 

Presented him with two : one (from my friend James Jtt- 
kinson) bearing the interesting initials, J.J.; the other exhi- 
biting the pretty device, " Inquire toithin." With the latter, the 
learned antiquary expressed himself highly ^ratified. 

Nine o'clock, — ^Mr. Eummins rang the hell, and ddsiied hb 
little maid to bring a light. 

" And bring my hat at the same time," fiercely cried Danbson. 

" Surely, my Daubson," said Rummins, " you are not mi^ 
without showing us your new work ! " 

" Show you my work, mister ! " replied the painter : " this is 
adding insult to injury. How is a work like this — a mofile of 
a man on horseback, ail at full length — how is a work likt iluB, 
I say, to be seen by candle-light ! An architectural plan, Jike 
Snargate's, indeed, might be " 

He was interrupted by Mr. Snargate, who, with allovahie 
anger, said, "Enough of your scurrility, sir. I know whaiyou 
would insinuate ; but my works, sir, — my works, I am proud to 
say, will bear any light." , 

** You are too severe, my friend Snargate," whispered the 
Reverend Jonathan Jubb, in a tone of mild rebuke : '' remconber 
he is your fellow-creature, and be merciful." 

" Come, come, Mr. Daubson," said the Controller of Destinies 
(who expected that his interference would allay the stona), 
" stay where you are: we — ^I mean / have a particular motive for 
desinng to inspect your work. Should it satisfy ns — \ mean me 
—as I doubt not it will, we shall give — ^I mean I shall give such 
a notice of it in our — ^I mean in my next, that if the Royal 
Academy do not instanUy tkiovf '^Vdi^ W.^ ^^xi-ais to receive 
jon " 



AND THE FEDLINGTONIANS. 141 

• Here the rage of tbe unrivalled profilist became ungovernable. 
He stamped about the room, roliing, unrolling, and re-rolling 
kia drawing, which he brandished like a truncheon ; turning every 
jMnr and then towards the editor, against whose unfortunate head 
-JuB thunders were chiefly directed. 

'- " Tou inspect my work ! '* he said, or rather screamed. " You 
presume to patronize a Daubson, you young puppy ! You 
get me into the Boyal Academy ! X) — nthe Koyal Academv ! 
To mention such a set in my presence I take as a personal insult. 
Tfaej shall never see me amongst them; they shall never be 
honoured with the presence of a Daubson: no, mister; when 
they refused to exhibit my ' Grenadier,' I made up my mind to 
that. You get me in, indeed ! No, no ; this is iny passport." 
(Here he shook his drawing above his head.) " Ijus is what 
■hall force open the doors of the Academy for a Daubson; here 
sre mj credentials, mister. Talk to me of the Eoyal Academy ! 
•—a despicable set ! But when thev get a Daubson amongst 

them ! Good night. You shall none of you see my work; 

end this is the last time you will be honoured with the presence 
of a Daubson at antf of your d — d convershomes. 

So saying, he rushed out of the room, violently closing the 
door bemnd him. 

Mr. Snargate expressed his astonishment that Mr. Daubson 
should behave so like a fool. 

Tranquillity being restored, Mr. Snare^te said, that, having an 
CBga^ment at half-past nine, he would at once exhibit and 
ei^lam his plan. 

''Let him, let him," petulantly whispered Jubb to Eummins, 
•^■nd then we shaU have done with it; for, in addition to my 
'UKMe readings, I am anxious to recite my new 'Ode to 
VMtmeJ " 

Mr. Snargate spread out his plan upon the table, and pro- 
oeeded to read his explanation, which appeared to occupy about 
iiiiy folio pages. The exordium was elegantly written : it ran 
thus:— 

** When we consider that ^dual improvement — that reform, 
temperate as it is wise, and wise as it is moderate, are the pecu- 
liar characteristics of the age we live in : when we consider that, 
-lathe advance of knowledge, the tardy heel of one improvement 
IS aspiringly trodden upon by the advancing toe of another: 
■vhen we consider ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

* * [And so on through seven pagea,']^ * * 



142 UTTLE PEDLIN6T0N 

Mr. Snargate confidently snbmits to the pnblio the following 
scheme for the improvement of the town of Little Pedlington. 
In the first place, then, he proposes " 

Rammins loolsed at his watch ; Jnbb yawned. 

" It is not upon my own acoonnt," said the P.S.A., ** that I 
remind yon that the evening is setting on ; bnt onr gifted friend, 
here, also has something to read to ns. Couldn't yon oontrive, 
therefore, without going into particulars, to tell us at once what 
is the great feature of yonr improvement P " 

"That is the point I was proceeding to, sir,'' replied the 
architect, with (as I thought) a tinge of acrimony in his mymier. 
'* I shall not long detain yo» from your display," continued he; 
" and I promise you you shall not be interrupted by me. — In tte 
first place, then, I propose to pull down the whole of the present 
town, and then to build an entirely new one at the foot of Snip- 
shank HiU.'/ 

Gigantic scheme ! " exclaimed Mr. Kummins. 
Sweetly pretty ! " exclaimed Sappho Cripps. 
Miltonic conception ! " exclaimed Jnbb. 
What a-plomb / An entreehat-sup in its way ! '' exdaimed 
the M. G. 

"Worthy of Indigo Jones!" exclaimed the banker. **Wh«k 
would I ^ve to possess such talent ! " And again he rattled the 
shillings m his pocket. 

Mr. Snargate listened unconcernedly to these praises ; tihey 
were his just due. He proceeded :— 

" In the second place, I propose " 

Here he was interrupted by the editor of the " Little Pedling- 
ton Weekly Observer. 

"My dear Snargate," said he, "allow me to stop you at the 
first place. You begin by pulling down the old town, and iie» 
you build a new one. Now we would inquire where you intend 
to put all the people in the meanwhile?" 

"A pretty question, upon my word!" said the architect. 
" What have I to do with that ? My project, sir, stands upon 
its own independent merits. *Put the people,' indeed I If one 
is to be stopped by such petty considerations, there is an end at 
once to all I>Jational Improvements upon a gband scale.'* 

** Notwithstanding that," replied the editor, " we must press 
our objection; for, from our position, as the leading oi^gan of 
this place, we must be supposed to know something ot these 
jnatters." 
This he uttered with an air oi \>ecoTDM^ ^^^i-^\sSkss^a\!kSs^ \ ^V 



(t 
(t 



ASB THS PEDLIXGTONIANS. 143 

lug; in a tone of patronage proper to a young controller of 
destinies, — 

** You know, Snargate, we have always given you our support; 
we have always taken you by the hand ; in our oolumus, we have 
ahrajs placed you in an imposing attitude, and all this we shall 
(XULtmue to do ; but with resj)ect to the point in question—** 

" Patronizing puppy ! " cried the architect. *' And is a man 
of my standing, a man of my experience, a man of my reputa- 
tion, to be met upon his own ground by a whipper-snapper of a 
boy P If you were not in your father's bouse, I would toss you 
otti at the window ! But Daubson was in the right ; be could 
stand it no longer ; he went off like a sensible man as he is, and 
I ahall follow his example. I wish you all a very good night. 
* Put the people,' indeed ! " 

So saying, he rolled up his plans and papers, and rushed out 
of the room, a-la-Daubson, 

**I hope you will resent this," whispered the conundrum lady 
to the eoitor. 

** Bely upon that," fiercely replied he ; " we will annihilate 
him — ^in our next." 

''Mr. Snargate ought to be ashamed of himself," said Miss 
GzimM, addressing herself to the editor, who had now crossed 
to where she was seated. " To dispute with one of your profound 
learning, universal knowledge, correct judgment, exquisite taste! 

^By the bye, what do you really think of the trifle I attempted 

to sing to-night P " 

** Ail exquisite little gem, indeed," replied the editor; "a 
perfect bijouy overflowing with But, if you have no ob- 
jection, we will insert it, together with our opinion of it, in our 

"Then here is a correct copy of it," said the lady. Then, 
laying her taper fingers on his arm, she added, '* I hope you have 
no engagement for to-morrow evening. I expect a few friends. 
Do come and tea with me, for a party is nothing without you." 

" With great pleasure ; for no one's parties are half so 
delightful as yours. Late, as usual, I suppose, eh ? Half-past 
six, eh?" 

" And — ^a — ^Rummins — bring your little critique with you ; I 
should like to see it in manicrips. But be impartial ; say what 
you retUly think of it, notwithstanding." 

This conversation passed in a half whisper. 

Mr. Jubb now read some extracts from h\a "lEiS^«5 ^ti ^^ 
Id'tetaiy Character of the unrivalled EiUmmma ;" «itet 'V>»5S\^ 



144 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mr. Rummins favoured us with portions of his " Essay on the 
Literary Character of the unecpailed Jubb." In these, not a 
word of censure, not a trait oi envy or of jealousy, ocooired; 
but each, with manly frankness, did homage to the transcendent 
genius of the other. Informed by Hoppy that a Review, to be 
called the "Impaetial,'' is about to oe established in Little 
Pedliugton : of this (sub rosa) Rummins and Jubb are to be oo- 
editors. 

The capitalist, who had been sound asleep during these read- 
ings, was inhumanly disturbed by the applause which succeeded 
them. He started, yawned, rubbed hb eyes, clapped his hands, 
and (again jingling his money) declared there was nothing in the 
world ne so much desired as to be a man of talent. Then, ton- 
ing to me, he asked me what I thought of the town, of the 
people, and whether I was not perfectly astonished at the number 
of great men they had amongst them ? 

"Yet," he added, "in a population, sir, amounting to two 
thousand nine hundred and seventy-two, it is scarcely to be 

wondered at that we ^Apropos : what may happen to be the 

amount of the population oi London ? " 

Expressed my regret at my inability to answer him with aoeu- 
racy equal to his own, but told him it was computed at aboat 
one million and some odd hundreds of thousands. 

"Bless my soul ! " exclaimed the worthy and sapient baidcer ; 
"dear me! you don't say so! Immense! Proaigious! But 
surely it must be much too large for anything like comfort ! " 

" And now," said Rummins, junior, " perhaps Miss Scrubbs 
will favour us with her new conundrum ? " 

Miss Scrubbs eagerly availed herself of the request; and, 
scarcely allowing the interval of a second to elapse, she dashed off 
with " Now, then : * Why is a man in a blue coat and a white 
waistcoat, riding on a black horse, along a green lane, like a' ■■ * * 

" A thousand pardons. Miss Scrubbs," said Jubb ; " but, as it 
is Rowing late, allow me first to recite my new 'Ode to 
Patience.' " And without allowing a pause for reply he did so. 
It was greatly applauded by the enraptured listeners — Miss 
Scrubbs excepted, who, during the recitation, appeared to be 
absorbed in the study of a "Penny Magazine." 

" The finest thing you ever wrote, sir," said the young Con- 
troller of Destinies ; " it has &11 the sublimity of Pope, SH the 
ease of Milton, all the polished elegance of Grabbe, all the vigour 
of Moore; it is equal to Campbeu, and on.^lwd.'mth Rogers; 
notwitbstan(Ungf you will allow ih»it -'* - > 



AND TH£ PEDLIK6T0NIANS. 145 

** None of your ' notwitlistandings,* young gentleman, if you 
please/' said tne poet ; at the same time rising and putting his 
manusoript into his pocket : " You would be an excellent critic 
if you knew where to stop ; but let us have none of your * not- 
^thstandings.' Dear me ! it is nearly half-past ten, I dtclare ! 
Rummins, my illustrious friend, good night. Ladies and gentle- 
men, good night." And so departed the illustrious Jubb. 

"I wonder how you could listen to such stvff!'^ said the 
highly-gifted maker of conundrums and charades. " Why, half 
otit was about religion ! A pretty subject to touch upon in the 
presence of men of intellect, women of mind, original thinkers, 
rational beings, spirits emancipated from childish prejudices, &c., 
&a; master-spirits, march of intellect, gifted creatures, en- 
lightened age, master-minds, philosophic research, human 
understanding, test of reason," &c., &c. 

I by no means pretend that Miss Jane Scrubbs uttered these 
vords and phrases in the precise order in which I ^ve them ; 
that, however, is a matter of not the slightest importance. 
Suffice it to say, that without uttering one sentence possessing a 
gmin of meaning, she did, most ingeniously and didactically, rmg 
Hie changes upon them for a full quarter of an hour, — repeating 
the phrase, " women of mind," more frequently than any other 
to be found in the march-of-intellect vocabulary of cant. 

Miss Scrubbs's lantern was announced. The lady, accom- 
panied by ^e editor (the offer of whose escort she condescend- 
iifglj accepted), took her leave. As the former quitted the 
room. Miss Cnpps muttered something about its being " easy to 
B|W through that — ^the mean-spiritedness of ear-wigging editors 
r-fishing for a puff of her new conundrum." 
. '^ Masculine-minded creature ! " exclaimed Hoppy, with a 
gesture of admiration. 

- ''Thinks for herself upon all points, moral, political, and 
social ! " exclaimed Eummins. 

" Not a prejudice remaining ! " responded the M.C., " and has 
no more reugion than a horse ! " 

" Woman of mind ! " exclaimed the banker ; " and to my cer- 
tain knowledge. Miss Scrubbs will not be nineteen till the end of 
next month. — Pray, my dear Hoppy, did you ever see her baby 
that is at nurse in the v ale of Health ? " 

"Saw it yesterday," replied the M.C. ; " and a fine child it is 
£ar only five months old." 

"NMe-minded creature!" exclaimed t\ie \iailkex. "'V^et 
whole iaaome is but forty pounib a year— -you. kno^, ^"^ caslics 

L 



146 UTTLB PEDLINGTON 

at our honse-^yet she maintaiiis it at her own expensCj mtiiflr 
than " ^ -^ 

Here Miss Gripps interfered. " I can't help saying, Mr. Bvii- 
mins, that — consiaering — circumstances — I am by no means pleased 
at yo«r inviting her wnen you expected me.^' 

" You surpnse me. Miss Cripps ! " replied the P.S.A. " IGoo, 
who yourself are a woman of mmd, ought to know that wotiai 
of mmd are above the vulgar prejudices by which womfl&jof 
common intellect submit to be governed. It is the pendiar 
privilege of mind, of original thinking, of daring investigatioii, to 
—to emancipate itself from a — ^I should say from the * * ^ - 

*' Miss Cnpps's lantern!" cried the little maid, just popping 
her head in at the door. She did not add, ''stops the wOT';V 
but what, unfortunately, indeed, its arrival, did stop, was Mr. 
Rummins's speech. Whilst the lady was busied outside & 
room, in putting on her clogs, and amxing to her head a og»- 
trivance which, m form, mechanism, and almost in size, resemUfld 
the hood of an old-fashioned one-horse-«A^iy, Mr. Yawkins said 
toHoppy,— 

" Very unfeeling on the part of Miss Cripps to be so haid 
about poor Miss Scrubbs, when it is very well known that die 
herself '* 

"But that happened so mam years ago, she has naturally 
forgotten all about it," replied Hoppy. » 

" Ay, that's true, rejoined the baiJ^er : " so, as she^erself has 
forgotten all about it, she naturally supposes that nobody else 
remembers it." 

"Miss Cripps does not stand alone in that happy delnskn^^ 
thought I. .■•» 

" What / blame her for," said the F.S.A., " is, that bem 
herself a highly-gifted creature — for I look upon the intt 
Enghsh she writes, and her faults in pro;2(>2;;2ciation, as owii^ 
merely to her want of education and breeding — what / biame 
her for is — ^Hush ! here she comes." 

Miss Cripps curtsied and withdrew, accompanied by the M.C., 
who, as he handed; her downstairs, whispered to her, that the 
evening would have been perfect, had there been a little dandag. 
" But," added he, " the fault of these meetings is, that most 
people come for the purpose of showing themsdves oflp. Now, 
though I was dying to play two or three of my new quadrille- 
tunes, and had actually got my flageolet in my pocket for tbe 
purpose, I could not, for the soul ot me, ^"eX «a. 0^^^^''^^='^" 
'' Well, my dear Rummins," aaid Wi^ Xiw^ct, *^ "V \as^ \ft 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 14:7 

tiumk Tou for another great treat. Talented creatures ! People 
of mind ! Would give the world to be able to understand what 
tiber talk about! tint, though I myself don't pretend to be 
iBBPfbodj or anything," — (here he once more jingled the money 
in his pocket), — " Fm never so happy as when I am in tlic 
oompanj of intellectual people," — (here he yawned), — "Good 
nig^t, my dear Rummins. Nothing was wanting to make the 
ercming perfectly delightful but a rubber at sixpenny lon^s. 
flood night/' 

It was now my turn to thank the F.S.A. for the treat I had 
enjoyed. 

** I can't say much for it, sir," replied he. " Nobody admires 
poetry, and music, and the fine arts, more than I do, but one 
may niave too much of them. They ought not altogether to 
mpersede more important matters. What oetween Miss Cripps, 
and Daubson, and Snargate, and my illustrious friend, Jubb, — 
vho, by-the-bye, is much too fond of reading his own produc- 
tions,-— I was prevented reading a rather interesting paper of 
my own, wherem I cite two hundred and fifty-three authorities 
to prove that our church was built in 1694 — ^not 1695, the date 
nsoallv assigned to it : thus, sir, thus proving its greater anti- 
qmty by one entire year !" 

lie ndn nouring down in torrents! No umbrella. Mr. 
Kummins's taken by Mr. Hoppy, who will not return it till the 
mondng. No sendmg to the nearest stand for a backney-coacb, 
lor the satisfactory reason that, there being no hackney-coaches 
here, there is no stand to send to. There is, indeed, one fly 
kept in the town — that, it must be acknowledged, is a considei- 
able convenience — but it is never let out after ten at night, 
sndess bespoke in the morning. Endeavour to grope my way 
iiome in the dark : find myself in the Yale of Health, and oveV 
tke ankles in water ! Meet the new policeman, to whose vigi- 
kiiOB (vice two old watchmen, deposed) is intrusted the safety of 
the whole town. Sets me on my right road. Find myself in 
mine inn. Wet through. Desire to have a glass of brandy-ai)d- 
water very hot. Told by Boots that, it being eleven o'clock, 
ererybody but himself (who had sat up purposely to let me in) 
WIS in bed; that the kitchen fire was out, and the bar locked 
np; that I could have nothing at such a time of night, but that 
I mi^it rely upon having what I had asked for the first thing in 

tJie morning. In reprobate London, now li\3A., itfi x^^rr.- 

iions; so, supperkss and comfortless, to bed. 
Belbougbt me of the words of the landlady ».t ^c^^-^xsiYt^ 

L 2 



148 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Gate — "Ah! sir, if all the world were Lippleton^ it would be 
too fine a place, and too good for us poor simiers to live in!" 
I have passed three entire days in this the beatt^ideal of a cons- 
try town : I have seen all if has to show of places^ things, and 
people : I have observed its society in all it« modes, formsi and 
grades, carefully noting their habits, their manners, t^ir feel- 
ings, and their characters. Now, without a partiality or a pre- 
judice to indulge, I declare that But, it being past eleven, it 

IS, in a place like Little Pedlington, the decent ana proper thing 
to go to sleep. 

Thursday, June \^th. — ^I am again in London ; and, sinner as 
I am, Lo^;DON, with all its naughty doings^ and all ita wi^ed 
people in it, is good enough for me. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIAHS. 149 



CHAPTER X. 

Ihdtioement to re-visit Little Pedlington — Expectations wisely mode- 
rated — ^Advantage of travellii^ by a Patent Safety-coach — Arrival 
at Scoreweirs— Interesting event : opening of the Theatre — The 
Play-Bill : a master-piece in that department of Literature. 

SAxmTEBiNG by the Regent's Circus, my attention was attracted 
by a bill in the window of one of the coach-offices, announcing 
"an elegant, new, light, four-horse Patent Safety-coach to 
litile Pedlington, through Doddleton and Guttlebury." It was 
BOW three years since I visited the interesting town, to which 
this elegant, new, light coach was bound ; and, although I left it 
with fadings of disappointment and dissatisfaction at finding its 
inhabitants not much better, upon the whole, than us Londoners, 
I had often wished to see it once again. What, then, prevented 
my gratifying that wish P Frankly, it was the dread of having 
to re-encounter the miseries of Poppleton End and Squashmire 
Gate: when one goes out for the express purpose of ** pleasur- 
ing," he feels less pleased than upon other occasions at being 
made superlatively uncomfortable. But here was offered me a 
oonveyance which avoided both those detested places by at least 
fifteen miles, so I instantly availed myself of it, and hooked a 
place to Little Pedlington, for the following day. 

"For the town itseff," thought I, "it is, unquestionably, the 
perfection of a small provincial town. If it did not furnish me 
"with everything I reouired as readily as I might have procured it 
in London ; if I could not get an iced-cream in the dog-days, 
unless by giving four-and-twenty hours' notice of my want ; if, 
haTine immediate occasion to refer to the army list, I was assured 
that there was not one in the whole place of less mature age than 
eighteen months, and consoled by the promise of an ovili^va^ 
hSoksG^er, that he would get the latest for me mtYau «b lat\7Kv^\. 
— iwfrjpj tJiese wero tnimg inconyeniences, fox N?\nG\iy ovx'^o^X*^ 




150 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

liave bceu prepared, knowing that tbey are incident to every town 
distant from, and not quite as large as, the metropolis. And for 
the people — ^if I did not find them one mass of unalloyed Tirtiie, it 
is to my own unwise and over-excited expectations that I OTigi[t 
to attribute my disappointment. Pedlingtonians are, after aD« ont 
men, subject to human feelings, swaged by human passioin. 
Had I expected less, I might have enjoyed more. I oj " 
least, to have dealt out to them the same measure of inf 
that I would have done to my own fellow-Londoners, 
time I will." 

At the time when I made these reflections I was in a most 
amiable mood, for the sky was bright, and the atmosphere so 
unusuallj pure, that, from the Eegent's Circus, I could clearly 
distinguish the Duke of York's column. Lord help the Little 
Pedlingtonians had it been a murky day in November ! 

The day for my journey, fine. Took my place on the coach- 
box. Driver an agreeable, chattv man. During some bom, 
from the moment of our quitting London, he entertained me with 
accounts of all the dreadful accidents which had lately occnned 
on railroads and in steamboats ; swore that, for safety — to say 
nothing of its gentility^there was no conveyance compardble 
with an elegant, light, four-horse coach. At this moment, beine 
within seven miles of Doddleton, the horses took fright at an oia 
woman in a scarlet cloak, and gedloped off at race-norse speed. 
Whatever we met on the road avoided us as if a pestilence had 
been approaching. At half a mile's distance from the village, the 
elegant, new, light, four-horse Patent Safety-coach was npset, and 
we the outsides (inside passengers there were none), were tossed 
over a hedge into a field of standing com. We were all more or 
less hurt by sprains and bruises ; but none of us sufficient^ so 
to prevent our assisting the' driver, who lay sensdess on the 
ground, with a broken ie^ and a dislocated shoulder. He was 
conveyed to Doddleton, where he immediately received surgical 
assistance. The coach was so much damaged that it could not 
continue the journey, so another was provided to cany ns 
forward. Certainly, for safety, there is nothing like an el^ant, 
light, four-horse coach. 

At my last visit to Little Pedlington I stayed at Scorewell's 
hotel. There was either a Bible or a volume of religious tracts 
ostentatiously placed upon a table in every room in his house, 
and his charges were proportionably high ; to say nothing of an 
attempt (whch I successtulVy xesist^^ to m^oae noon me a 
charge for two or three thmga 'stoci\i "1 \ffl^^ xka\. \i3ba» "^m^vb. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 161 

these little accidents arc not peculiar to Scorewell's hotel, but 
common to all houses of entertainment where the comfort of a 
volume of religious tracts is provided for one; aud as 1 would 
ntber be cheated (in moderation) than exchange familiar faces 
fbr new ones, I resolved upon taking up my old quarters at 
Scorewell's. 

The coach stopped at his door, and out came mine host, who 
gave me a cordial welcome — ^innkeepers are very kind in this 
respect-y-and reminded me that three years had elapsed since my 
last visit, adding, "I see, sir, I see; you have come from 
London on purpose for the occasion." 

"For what occasion ? " inquired I. 

"What occasion, indeed! Why, sir, to-night our theatre is 
to open for the season ! It has set all Little Pedliugton agog; 
and, surely, you must have heard of it in London ! " 

" I can assure you," replied I, "that excepting the few whom 
fashion carries to talk at the opera, or to sleep at a French 
play, the good Londoners are scarcely conscious of the opening, 
or the being open, of their own theatres. However," continued 
J, "the opening of the theatre of a place like this is an interest- 
ing event ; so I am delighted at being here to witness it." 

It being alreadv nine o'clock (p.m.), 1 ordered some supper, 
and went early to bed. 

Monday. — ^Immediately after breakfast I sallied forth to visit 
all my favourite spots. This I did with that eager interest 
vhich every one has felt on his first return, after long absence, 
to a place endeared to him either by its own intrinsic charms, or 
Lvthe stronger charm of association. The Crescent, the Market- 
Iuaoe,theNew Pump, the Vale of Health, Yawkins's Skittle-ground, 
each and all received from me the homage of a glance. Time 
vonld hardly permit more : for, to become fully and satisfactorily 
acquainted with the beauties, natural and artincial, of a place of 
the extent of Little Pedlington ; to inspect with care and accu- 
racy its libraries, its museum, its Zoological Garden, &c., would 
require the devotion of a considerable portion of a day to the 
task. Even as it was, when I had made the tour of the entire 
town, aud intersected it in every possible way, devoting a minute 
or two to the examination of one remarkable object, a minute 
or two to the consideration of another, I found it was almost one 
o'clock. " Thus doth Time fly ! " as a moralist would say. 

On coming into Market Square, I perceived numbers of per- 
sons divided into separate crowds of two, three, nay^ in some 
jdMces, four, with their faces all eagerly turned to^w^^ XJafc ^^J^^ 



OL52 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

or the shop-windows. I was at first astonished at this singolar 
sight, but my astonishment was not of long duration : the cir- 
cumstance was presently accounted for; the people were all 
pressing to get a sight of the plaj-bills announcing the evening's 
performances at the theatre. The hand-bills exnibited in toe 
shop-windows — such as, for the convenience of the spectator, are 
sola in the theatre — ^were scarcely four feet long; but the posters 
— ^those pasted on the walls — somewhat exceeded four yards. 
At the head of these was a spirited woodcut, representing the 
interior of a cow-house, with a man (holding a hatchet in one 
hand, and the head of a female, young and lovely, in the other) 
standing astride the decapitated body of the massacred milk- 
maid! 

This interesting document (a copy of which I subjoin) is 
avowedly the composition of the manager, Mr. Strut, himself. 
And here I must confess that, in attributing to Mr. Hoppy the 
authorship of the announcement of the Del Squeaki,* 1 was 
guilty of an act of injustice towards Mr. Strut, to whom I find the 
M.C. was indebted for it. Indeed, upon a comparison of the 
two papers, it will be evident that they both are the product of 
the same elegant pen : in these matters " none but himself can 
be his parallel ; " and to Strut, therefore, must all the praise 
bestowed upon Hoppy be transferred. 

* Vldo p. 112. 



AlTD THE PBDLtNGTONIOS. 153 

THEATRE ROYAL, 

LITTLE PEDLINGTON. 

Mb. Strut has the heartfelt gratification of announcing to the No- 
biHty^ Gentry, and the Public in general, that he has once more the 
honour of assuming the direction of this Theatre, which will open this 
Evening, and takes the liberty to flatter himself that the 

VARIOUS AND NUMEROUS NOVELTIES, 

ALL ENTIRELY NEW 1 1 

which are in preparation, and which will succeed each other 

IN RAPID SUCCESSION, 

and which will be produced in a style of 

SPLENDOUR! MAGNIFICENCE! AND GRANDEUR! 

hitherto imprecedented and without example in the annals of 
Theatricals, and which will be got up 

BEQARDLESS OF EXPENSE, 
AND WITHOUT CONSIDERATION OP OUTLAY ! 

and which, in point of 

SCENERY ! DRESSES ! DECORATIONS ! AND PROPERTIES ! 

which, as they will be prepared on a scale of extent which was never 
before attempted, and which is now undertaken for the first time, 
cannot fidl to form a pivot of attraction to 

DEFY COMPETITION ! ! ! 

In addition to this he has the pleasing gratification to announce, 
that he has, without any view to the consideration of expenditure, 
Bucoeeded in bringing together, 

IN ONE PHALANX, 
A COMBINATION OF COMBINED TALENT ! I ! 

such as has never yet been amalgamated within the arena of the walls 
of any theatre, and constituting a simultaneous 

IMPETUS OF COMBINED ATTRACTION \\\ 

wmoa MUST set all biyalbt at defia»oi&\\\ 



154 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mr. Strut has the satisfaction to announce that, in addition to 
many other valuable engagements which he is thinking of having it in 
contemplation to enter into, he has secured the talents of the following 
distinguished Elites : — ^ • 

Messrs. SNOXELL, 
WADDLE, 
EUGENE STRUT, 
AUGUSTUS STRUT, 
STANISLAUS STRUT, 
STRIDE, 
STAGGER, 

AND 

TIPPLETON. 
Mesdames BIGGLESWADE, 
STRUT, 
E. STRUT, 
T. STRUT, 
WARBLE, 
Mile. SARA DES ENTRECHATS. 

Messrs. Higs, Nigs, Pigs, Wigs, Oigs,'C, Qigs, T. Ch'gs, R, Oi(/s, 

Brigs, and Knigs. 

Mesdames Nobs, Hobs, Dobs, F. Dobs, L. Dobs, J. Dobs, Wobs, 

Phobs, and Snobs^ 

AND 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES, 

{Her first appearance on any stage). 



The performances will commence with an entirely new original 
domestic Melodrame, never before performed, and now acted for the 
lirst time, founded on the affecting, barbarous, and interesting murder 
of Martha Squigs, to be called 

THE HATCHET OF HORROR; 

OR, 

THE MASSACRED MILKMAID. 

Principal characters by the following imprecedented cast ! ! ! 

MESSRS. SNOXELL, WADDLE, STRIDE, EUGENE OTRUT, AND 

STAOGrTSR. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 155 

MESDAMES BIGGLESWADE, T. STRUT, MISS WABBLE, 

{wiih a Song), 

MLLE. SARA DES ENTRECHATS {wia a Pas Seul). 

AND THE PABT OP 

MARTHA SQXnGS {the Massaaed Milkmaid) by MISS JULIA 

WRIGGLES. 

In the course of the piece will be introduced a new and splendid 

representation of 

THE FATAL COW-HOUSE, 

in which the Murder was committed ! 
Together with the identical 

BLOOD-STAINED HATCHET, WITH A LOOK OP THE VICTIM'S 

HAIR STICKING TO IT ! ! 

with which the Murder was committed ! ! ! 

And the identical 

FAVOURITE COW OP THE MASSACRED MILKMAID ! ! ! I 

for which the Murder was committed ! ! ! ! ! 

At the conclusion of the piece a favourite Song by 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

After which, an entirely new and elegant Burletta, without songs or 
any musical accompaniment whatever, in one Act, to be called 

ALL EOUND MY HAT. 

With the following powerful cast 1 ! I 

MM, TIPPLETON, 

Messrs. Pigs, Gigs, and Brigs ; Mesdames Hobs, Phobs, and Snobs, 

and {with a Song) 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 
Previous to which, for the first time, afisishionable Interlude, to be called 

WHO ARE TOU? 

The principal characters by 

MESSRS. TIPPLETON AND GIGS, 

AND 

MISS JULIA WRIGQIilia, 



166 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

To be preceded by an occasional Address, to be spoken by 
MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

Prior to which, the &yourite 

BROAD-SWORD HORNPIPE, 

BY 

MISS JULIA WRIGGLES. 

In the course of the evening, a laughable comic Song by 

ME. AUGUSTUS STRUT. 

The whole to conclude with, never acted, a laughable Farce, to be 

called 

SHE SHALL BE AN ACTRESS. 

Colonel Dash, by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! 

Harlequin by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! 

Venus by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! ! 

Molly O'Rooney (an Irish Girl), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES ! ! ! ! 
Jeannie M'Bride (a Scotch Girl), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES !!!!.» 
Eugenie La Belle (a French Girl), by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES !!!!!! 
Matilda Schwabstz (a German Girl), 
by Miss JULIA WRIGGLES !!!!!!! 

AND 

Lady Clara Xiovely (an English Lady 
of Fashion), by Miss JULLA. WRIGGLES ! ! 1 1 ! ! ! ! 

The Orchestra, at is usual at this Theaire, will he numerous arid effi- 
cient , consisting of Ten Perjormers III 

On this occasion Mr. SNOXELL and Mrs. BIGGLESWADE will 

perform. 

On this occasion, Mr. TIPPLETON will perform, 

^ ■ ■111 IB^ I - !■ ■ I II - - ' ' ' ' 

On this occasion Miss JULIA WRIGGLES, Miss WARBLE, and 
Mile. SARA DBS ENTRECHATS wUl ptrfbrm. 

On this occasion Mr. TIPPLETON and Miss JULIA WRIGGLES will 

FEKFOBM Uf TWO PIBOES ! ! I 

On this occa>sion the WHOLE of the powerful and unprecedented 
Company eiiga^ed aJt this theatre, and announced as ahove, to perform 
m iAe evenings performance, WILL PlRF0B3fi.\\\ 



Aim THE FEDUNGTONIANS. 157 

The interest excited by this promise of elegant recreation mtsls 
evidently intense. All Little Pedlington seemed disposed to 
attend the theatre. " I wish I knew where to get an order ! " 
exclaimed one : " I wish I knew somebody who could pass me 
in ! " said another : a third, with an air of determination which 
indicated the inveterate play-goer and the true patron of the 
drama, exclaimed — " I, for one, am resolved to so — if I can con- 
trive to get in for nothing." Inferring from these and similar 
manifestations of anxiety to witness the night's performances 
that there would be a crowded house, I thought it prudent to go 
to the box-office to secure, if possible, a place. 



158 LITTLE TEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER XL 

Theatre Royal, Little Pedlington : the Manager's room — Patrons of 
the drama — Tempting terms — ^More patronage — Elegant epistle—. 
a Manager's bed of roses — Rival Tragedians : the neart-rendisg 
Snoxell ; Waddle — Contentions and compromises — The versatile 
Mrs. Biggleswade : the Manager inexorable — Petticoat government: 
the Manager's manager — Dramatist and donkey-man, each ho&k- 
tingly treated — Consultation with the treasurer — Privilege of the 
free-list valuable and complimentary — ^The facetious Tippleton, the 

glural-singular : his complaints : disinterested zeal for the conoem— 
uccess unquestionable. 

This hems the opening day for the season of the Theatre Boyal, 
Little Pedlington, all within its walls is bustle and actiyity, 
while crowds of suitors for an interview with the manager are 
impatiently waiting without. Amidst the din of hammers and 
the grating of saws, the tragedians are on the stage rehearsing 
an entirely new melo-drama, to be called the Hatchet of Horrer; 
oTy the Massacred Milkmaid, In the green-room. Miss Warble» 
assisted by the director of the orchestra, is practising the soi^ 
"incidental to the play;" in the painting-room, Mr. Smearweu. 
is giving the last touches to the scene ''painted expressly for the 
occasion ;" in the saloon. Miss Sally Jumps — or, as she is de- 
scribed in the play-bill. Mademoiselle Sara des Entrechats — is 
endeavouring to place her right foot on her left shoulder, and 
performing others of the ordinary exercises preparatory to the ex- 
ecution of a grand jDA^tf^/ ; whilst, in a small shed connected with 
the stage, are the machinist and the property-man, sewing u]^ a 
donkey in a cow's hide, to fepresent the "identical favourite 
cow " of the massacred milkmaid. But let us proceed to iJie 
manager's room. 

At a table covered with pUybooka, laa^^i^cin^Xs, «A\^\X&\^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGT0NIAN8. 159 

in an easy chair is seated Mr. Stmt, the "enterprising and 

X'rited" manager. With evident satisfaction he is contem- 
ting the bill of the night's performances. At each magnilo- 
2* nent phrase he rubs his hands ; his eyes sparkle with delight as 
[ley are attracted b^ the lines which stand prominent, in the full 
dignity of large capitals ; and, as he counts the notes of admi- 
ration, which l)ristle on the paper like pins in the ornamental 
cushion of a lady's toilet-table, his imagination riots in the 
promise of nightly overflows throughout the season. 

"This will do!*' exclaimed Strut, as he finished the reading 
of that extraordinary announcement. " This mitsi do. If this 
don't bring them it is all over with the legitimate drama." 

Hr. Strut rang the bell for Stumps, the messenger of the 
theato. 

Sirui, — ^Is Mr. Dumps, the treasurer, in the theatre ? 

Stumps. — ^Yes, sir; he is up in the treasury, very busy sorting 
the checks for to-night. 

8tnU. — ^Tell him I wish to see him when he is at leisure. And, 
Stumps ! is Mr. Tippleton arrived yet ? 

Stumps. — ^I have not seen him, sir. But I believe that in that 
heap of letters yon will find one from him. 

Strut, — ^Letters ! Ha ! I have not had time to open them. 
One — ^yt — ^ten — fifteen — twenty — twenty-three ! Twenty -three 
totters to read and reply to ! if I were not apprehensive thac 
my correspondents would suspect that I could not write a com- 
mon letter with common propriety, I would follow the example 
of Scrubs, the manager of the Theatre Koyal, Fudgeborou^h, 
and mount a private secretary. Let me see ! Ha ! this is it ! 
Confound the long-winded, prosing feUow ! Three closely- 
written pages, containing a detailed account of how he chanced 
to miss yesterday's coach, by which accident he was prevented 
being at Little Pedlington last night ; and one line (in a post- 
script) informing me of all I care to know — " Shall be with you 
jn time for rehearsal to-morrow!" — Now, as soon as Mr. Tip- 
pleton comes, let him be sent to mc And, SItumps ! you have 
a list of the persons I have appointed to see me here P 

Stumps, — ^Yes, sir. 

Strut, — ^Then, mind me ! I am not to be seen by any one else 
upon any pretence whatever. 

Stumps, having received his instructions, quits* the room. 

** And now to read mj letters ! " exclaims t\ie taaca^'et, " ^w. 
the daj of my opening, they are doubtless al\ w^oii «v3J«\e.^\& ^'l 
imgiartaBce and interest to me." 



160 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

He opens the first of the heap, and reads : — 

" Little Pedlington, 

" Monday morning, 
"Dear Sib, 

" As a lover of the drama, and a well-wisher of ycum, 
permit me, though almost a stranger to you, to express my 
delight at your having resumed the management of our thetttie. 
The drama must be supported ; and the magnificent bill you hav^ 
just issued, confirms, what never has been doubted, that, nsd^ 
your liberal and spirited management, it will deserte su^k 
port. Pardon the liberty I take in thus wishing you suooea^ 
and assuring you that no one is more anxious to promote it 
than 

« Yours, faithfully, 

"James Tupwh." 

" Upon my word," says Strut, " this is gratifying ! After 
this, who shall say there is no patronage for the theatre ia lottle 
Pedlington ? But stop ! here is something more:"— 

" Please turn over. — ^Postscript. Could you oblige xne wiUi 
an order for two for your opening night ?" 

" Ha ! one of the true patrons of the drama. Under s«ch 
auspices I must succeed. Well ! to the rest." 



" Vale of Health, L, P. 

" Monday morning, 

" Miss Cripps presents compliments to Mr. Strut — ^would be 
obliged by an order for two for to-night. Miss C. wishes two 
places to be kept for her on the front row of one of the stage* 
boxes — whichever may be most convenient to Mr. S.-*-thoag^ 
the left-hand side is her favourite side of the house. 

" Should Mr. S. happen not to be in the theatre when this 
note arrives, he will have the kindness to send the orders to the 
V. of H. by his messenger, as Miss C. cannot conveniently send 
for them, her maid being engaged washing." 



''Weill coo], it must be acknowlBcA^e^X''* cnRi?i^\jWL\». "Ifc 
announce-bills are scarcely dry, l\xe laat ^e«c*^ ^\«k\» Sa i«»sa&^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 161 

swept frpm the stage, ere I am thus beset by my friends and 
|mtrons ! Come ! to the next. — Business, at last ! — ^From 
Mllowmore, the great tragedian who leads the business at 
Dunstable. Tl^s is worth attending to." 



" It is not my intention to play anywhere this summer" 
^~-{Tken why the ^plague does he write to meF'\ — "my health, 
owing to my great exertions for some time past, rendering it 
imperative upon me that I should remain quiet for a few weeks. 
No doubt yon have learnt from the newspapers that I have 
drawn immense^ wherever I have acted," — {Oh!'] — "and my 
last night at Dunstable produced the greatest receipt ever 
knoum!^* — [Ah!'] — "Butl must consider my health; and, so 
xesolYed to ao, I nave refused engagements of the most advan- 
TAGEOtrs KIND, which have been pressed upon me from all 
parts of the country." — [Ah I ha .Q — " My apothecary prescribes 
a few weeks of the air of Little Pedlington-." — [I see J] — " and, 
should my health improve by it, perhaps I might have no 
objection to go the round of my pnncipal characters. I have, 
over and over again, refused eight tenths of the clear receipts, and 
a free benefit^ for a twelve nights' engjagement, in theatres 
holding more than yours. If you could make it worth my 
while, by advancing upon these terras, and my health should so 
muck improve as to enable me to encounter the fatigue of twelve 
performances^ perhaps I should have no objection to treat 
with you. 

"Yours, 

"Augustus Teed. Bellowmoke." 

** Favour me with your immediate reply, as I am not quite 
decided whether to rusticate at L.P. or at Fudgeborough, where 
(as I understand) Mr. Scrubs is straining every nerve to secure 
attraction." 



^ ** Tragic and dignified," observes Strut. " Worth considera- 
tion, though. Let me see. Eight-tenths ? That will leave two- 
tenths to be divided amongst the rest of the company, the 
^diestra, painters, tailors, carpenters, servants, &c. — and 
sognedf."— 1 2005^ consult D^mps upon the maXto. ^<3^, \.^ 
ihoMext,'^ 



162 little pedlington 

"My Dear Strut, 

" Perhaps you may remember meeting me one erca- 
ing, many months ago, atone of poor Rnmrnins's cotwersazumet, 
where I enjoyed half-an-honr's very delightfnl chat with yon. 
You may recall the circumstance to mind — ^though my name 
may have escaped your recollection, as we never met .but that 
once — by my having had the good fortune to agree entirety with 
you in everything you said upon every subject, and by my 
requesting you (at the end of our confab,) to take me behind 
your scenes, and to ^ve me an order for the lollowinff ni|^ht*8 per- 
formance — both which requests you most politely, obligmgly, and 
good-naturedly granted. I like your bill amazingly — ^it must 
carry aU Little Pedlington before it. I should uke much to 
bring Mrs. A. and my young folks to witness your firat night's 
triumph, — which will be a glorious one, and well do you deMsrve 
it, my dear fellow, — but, as they are just cleared of the sick-list, 
you can, perhaps, spare me a private box for them. However, 
should this be at all inconvenient to you, use no ceremony about 
saying so; in which case, orders for six must content us, and we 
must do the best we can for ourselves, in the public boxes. On 
occasions like this, one is bound to make some sacrifice of one's 
own convenience for the advantage of the house. 
** Wishing you every success, believe me, my dear fellow, 

" Yours very sincerely, 

" Andrew Askenough.^' 

, "P.S. Do drop in some evening and take a friendly dish of tea 
with us." 

" Confound his impudence ! " exclaimed Strut, as he threw 
down the letter. " This from a man who, according to his own 
confession, never spoke to me but once in his life, and who 
doubts whether I shall even recollect his name ! Well : there 
are many more like him in Little Pedlington. Now, to pro- 
ceed ;" and he continued to open and read his letters. 



"Captain Sniggerston's best compliments ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ orders 
for two." 



^^Mrs. Stintem presents her kin.d"^^gaid&»wNd * * ♦ ♦ ofdea 
for four," 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 163 

'*Dr. Drench presents his very best respects * * * con- 
gratulates him * * * spirit and enterprise * * ^ success * * * 
every true lover of the drama * * * oblige him with orders for 
three, or so." 



" Mr. Snargate, Sen., will esteem it a favour if Mr. Strut will 
send him orders for himself and lady. He would not trouble 
him, but that, fond as he is of a play, he is free to confess, that 
these are not times for people to spend money for theatrical 
amusements. He sincerely wishes Mr. Strut every success." 



'*A11 singing to the same tune, by the Lord Harry! So, 
beeaose th^ are not times for people to pay for then: amuse- 
ments, I am expected to open a theaixe ^atts / One-half of 
latile Pedhngton — ^the patrons of the drama — are of this 
opinion; the other half — ^the would-be fashionables, the little 
Great, who imagine that when they have voted the theatre 
9ulffato, they have established their own claim to be considered 
genteel — never go to a play at alL Thus, between the two 
parties, my chances of success are in a hopeful way ! Well; on 
with my correspondents." 



•'Sib, 

" Bein^ out off an engagment shud be glad to engag 
in yor knmpny if yo can find Rome to engag me. i hav led the 
Bisnies inn mi. Scrubs kumpny att IHid^ebery for 2 ears besids 
staring att other plasis inn my Princeple Pats. Left Mr. S. 
knmpny becas Mr. S. find me 2 shilans & deduckt out off my 
sallyry last sataday becas i refus to leaf the stag wen i was 
rehorsing Eichard the 3rd upon Mrs. S. haven the impotence toe 
order me toe goe toe the Buchers toe fetch the muton chopps 
fyr thare dinner & 1 apel toe yo Sir if i warnt write to uphold 
my digginty & refus toe goe toe fetch the chopps haven to plav 
Kichara that very nit. Sir i dont pretend to kompar mysulf 
with Mr. Tipiltin and Mr. Snoxil but I send you a peas cut off 
the ISidgebory Gazete toe shoe what they sed off me att my 
bendyfit when i plaid Archer inn the Bostrantygem after which 
Upt threw a Noop 15 feet i. Also sung 2 komac songs with grat 
Bfl&ws — after whieh Othello in 2 aiL — ^the bo\e 1lq QnQ2si\A^^ir>^ 
hielfikel inn the Spile chile. Sir i indoa b^ ^&\. ol ^SR> ^"^i^^ 

H 2 



164 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

wat i am quit component to play & am quit up inn them & end 
get out on my bed any nit and play them at a mommins notas. 
& opin for your reply i am Sir yor most humbil servant toe 
comamd 

" Chas. Seymoub St. Egkemont." 

"P.S. — ^i can also manige the gash lites, dans the tit rop, 
& mak fire works." 



" So, so, Mr. St. Egremont ! A gentleman who can play 
everything, from Archer in the * Beaux Stratagem,' and Bichatd 
the Third, down to Little Pickle in the * Spoilt Child ' — ^sing 
comic son^, and leap through a hoop fifteen feet high, into the 
bargain — is worth attending to. But as to the praises of the 
* Pudgeborough Gazette,' on the occasion of your own benefit, I 
have been manager of a playhouse long enough to know how to 
value that." 

Here was a loud tap at the door. 

" Come in !" cried the manager ; and Mr. Snoxell, the leading 
tragedian, with a painted wooden hatchet in his hand, entered 
the room. 

" Mr. Strut," said the tragedian, in an angry tone, " I have a 
complaint to make — two complaints — in short, sir, I have 
many complaints to make. In the first place, sir, look at this 
hatchet." 

Strut — Well, sir, what 's the matter with it ? 

Snoxell. — Matter, sir ! Do you expect that I should go on 
at night with such a thing as this for a hatchet ? 

Strut. — Why, really, Snoxell, it seems to me that the property 
is remarkably well made. 

Snoxell. — WeU made ! well made ! See this, sir {pointing to a 
plav-bilC) — ^you have made a line of it in your bills. The public 
will expect something. One little dab of red ochre, one paltry, 
small tuft of horse-hair glued to it ! Why, sir, the blood and the 
hair won't be seen by the third row in the pit. 

Strut. — Rely on it, my dear Snoxell, it will tell exceedingly well 
at night. 

Snoxell. — Very well, sir — ^I have only this to say : I have a 
reputation at stake in Little Pedlington, and I will — not — ^go on 
at night with such a thing as this for a hatchet. 

S&u^. — Sit down for a minute, Suox^eVV *, \fe?V\ ^^^ ^\iWLt it. 
Mr. Stmt rang the bell, and desired ^V\x>k\^^ Vc> ^cvA^\^^.^, 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 165 

the property-nmi], to him. Squeaks, a little man, with a voice 
like that of Punch in a showbox, speedily appeared. 

Strut. — Come here, you scoundrel ! Is this a property fit to 
be given to such a person as Mr. SnoxeU ? 

Squeaks. — Why, sir, I made it agreeable to the order I got 
from Mr. Siffle, sir, the prompter, sir. 

Strut. — And what was his order, you rascal P 

Squeaks. — ^Why, sir, he ordered me to make the identrical 
blood-stained 'atchet, sir, with a lock of the victim's 'air sticking 
to it, sir, with which the murder was committed, sir : and there's 
the blood, sir, and there's the 'air, sir, and that's all I can say 
about it, sir. 

Strut, — Get along, you little villain, and put more red paint, 
and another tuft or two of horse-hair to it. 
^ Squeaks. — ^Very well, sir, if vou please, sir ; but I can only say, 
sir, that 'ere property, sir, will come to near ninepence, as it is, 
sir, and Mr. JJumps, the treasurer, sir, will grumble at that, sir, 
and if it comes to any more, sir, Mr. Dumps '11 stop it out of my 
salary o' Saturday, sir, and that '11 be very 'ard upon me, sir. 

Strut. — Get out, you scoundrel, and do as you are ordered ! 

Squeaks, with his blood-stained hatchet, withdrew. 

Strut. — ^There, Snoxell, I hope you are satisfied. 

SnoxeU. — Yes — ^perhaps. 

Strut. — ^Now, what more have you to say P 

Snoxell. — ^Why, I have next to say, I will not act Grumps in 
the new piece. 

"Not act Grumps!" exclaimed Strut, with astonishment. 
** Bless my soul, Mr. SnoxeU ! — how can you possibly object to 
thepart ? It is a very fine part, and so you saia at the reading." 

3ioxell. — ^And so I thought ; but it does not come out in the 
acting, and I won't play it. 

Strut. — ^Won't ! Won't, indeed ! Either, / am manager in my 
own theatre, Mr. — aw — Snoxell, or — aw — ^you are ! (and as he 
uttered these words, Mr. Strut put his hands into his breeches 
pockets, glided gently down his chaii, his head falling back, and 
nis feet sliding under the table). 

Snoxell. — Sir, I will not play the part. 

Strut. — ^You won't ! Does it occur to your recollection, Mr.— 
aw^|— Snoxell, that there is such a word as " forfeit " in your 
artioles — and that if you refuse a part, sir, I can forfeit you ten 
shillingsP 



/Skartf^.-^Forfeit— forfeit ! Bo you say iorfe\\.,s\c^. 'Scsde^ 
Saoxenf^-'"tbe beart-rending Snoxell," aa 1 am geiiet^^ 






166 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

nated. That word again, Mr. what's-your-name, and Fll i^nm 
up my engagement. 

It must here be observed that, but for the letter just reodted 
from Bellowmore, the manager would no more have ventured, at 
such a juncture as the present, to assume the tone he did towitds 
his leading tragedian, than have attempted to swallow him aliTe. 
He used the circumstance adroitly, and the conversation thus 
proceeded. 

Strut. — Throw it up, if you please, sir. 

Snoxell. — Throw it up ! Mr. Strut— ^ou — surely you are nol 
in earnest. Who could you find to lead the serious business f 

Strut. — ^Bellowmore. 

Snoxell. — ^Bellowmore ! What ! Is he in Little PedlingtonP 

Strut. — No : but here is a letter I have just received from 
him. 

Snoxell. — ^What can he want ? 

Strut. — An engagement. I can have him at an hour's notice, 
and upon my own terms. 

Snoxell. — Ha ! ha ! ha ! Bellowmore ! I have a great respect 
for him — think hi^ly of his talents — but he can no more lead 
the tragic business in such a place as Little Fedlin^ton than 

. I should be the last man in the world, my dear Strut, 

to throw any impediment in the way of your opening, as my re- 
tirement from the theatre just at this time woiild do ; therefore 
— — Come — confess that — come now, confess that my retirement 
would— 

Strut. — ^Why — aw — certainly — aw — ^I — aw — 

Snoxell. — ^That's sufficient— i am satisfied — I'll play the part 
But upon one condition. 

StruL-^-WhiiVs that ? 

Snoxell. — Why, there's that speech, a very fine speech, in the 
part of Growler, which Waddle is to play : the speecn, you know, 
when he discovers me, with the hatchet in my hand, lifting the 
latch of the cow-house door — ^you know the speech I mean— 
beginning-^- 

'* Rumble thou hurrioanous wind, and shake 
The trembling stars from out their firm-set hemisphere!. 
Till all in one black ruin clouded is." 

Now, I'll tell you in confidence : Waddle can do nothing with 
tliat speech. It is too much fox liim *. \t i^ lidm^ fi.fteen stone 
on a poijjr. He'll not get a hand to \\r— \e\. xoa «^^'-^^ «MS.M\i 
bring' down three roauds. 



Ain> THB PEDLINtlTONIANS. 167 

i8J(!r»#.— Very well, Snoxell. Speak to Dowlas, the author of 
tlie piece, about it, and settle it as you please. 

Smseli. — ^Bellowmore, indeed! My dear Strut, with that 
speech in tbe part, I'll make such a thing of Grumps as shall 
astonish even Jjittle Pedlin^ton. 

Not only soothed but satisfied, Snoxell quilted the room. 

The manager left to himself, prepared to answer his corre- 
spondents. Scarcely had he taken pen in hand, when he was 
startled by a violent thump at the door. 

" Gome in,** cried the manager ; and Mr. Waddle rushed into 
the room. For some minutes Waddle was unable to speak. 
With hurried and une(]^ual step he paced the apartment; be 
rubbed his face with his handkerchief, drew his fingers through 
his hair, and occasionally gave a twitch under the cuff of his 
coat-sleeve, as if a little snow-white Holland had been there to 
appear at the summons. 

Sirui, — ^Now, Waddle ; what is it you want ? You see I am 
veiy busy. 

Waddle. — ^Want, sir ? Want, indeed ! Why, sir, what I 
want is this : do you expect me to play Growler to Mr. Snoxell's 
Qmmps P Tbat*s what I want, sir. 

/Strut — Certainly I do, sir. 

Waddle, — What, sir! and cut me out of the speech about 
" hurricanous wind ! " Why, sir, it is the only bit of fat I have 
in my psirt : twenty lengths,* and all the rest as flat as a pan- 
oake— no possibility of getting a hand. I have a great respect 
for Mr. Snoxell — very great — and think highly of his talents ; 
not but that I do think there is somebody else in the theatre 
who catUd play Grumps — ^fine as the part is — as well as he. But 
to add my only telling speech to such a part as his — where every 
line would be a hit, if he knew what to do with it — why, it is 
ftbeolately putting butter to bacon.f However, sir, as I have a 
reputation at stake in Little Pedlington, I have thrown the part 
down on the prompter's table. 

iSiftrirf.— Very well, sir ; then when you go into the treasury 
next Saturday, you will find yourself minus ten shillings. 

Waddle. — Why, sir, it is not only my own opinion that I am 
not well treated m the matter ; but everybody at rehearsal, from 
Mrs. Biggleswade, down to little Laura Dobs, who goes on in 
tbe diorases, thinks so, too. The speech had better have been 

* A liTigih is about forty linos. 

i'A stag-e-pbrase, more remai'kable, perhaps, for \Va erpteia&v?«CkfiB& 
tium its el^ance. 



168 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

given to ^Fiss Julia Wriggles at once, and that would have 
made tlie thing perfect. 

Strut. — I desire, sir, you will make no impertinent allasion to 
that young lady. 

Waddle. — I don't intend it, sir. But even Mrs. Biggleswade 
says, that the whole bill is sacrificed to her, and that every one 
in the company is made to hold up her train. 

Strut. — bo you mean to play tne part, or not, sir ? 

Waddle. — ^Why, sir, as my salary is but twenty shillingi t 
week — although Snoxell has twenty-five — I can't ajuord to pay 
forfeit. But I'll tell you what, sir ; as I know that withdrawiBg 
my name from the piece would be 'fatal to it, I'll play the part 
without the *' hurricanous wind," on condition that you put Btt 
up to sing the " Little Farthing Eushlight" in the course of the 
evening. 

Strut. — Very well, very well ; sing a hundred-weight of msh* 
lights, if you choose. 

Waddle. — But I must be announced in as large letters as Mr. 
Tippleton. 

Strut. — ^You shall, you shall. 

Waddle. — And I must not come after Miss Wriggles's song 

Strut. — Very well. 

Waddle. — ^Nor before her broadsword hornpipe. 

Strut. — ^Very well, very well. 

Waddle. — ^Nor between her 

Strut. — You shan't, you shan't. Now, d — nation!^ do but 
leave me to my business, and you may come on and sing your 
song at three o'clock in the morning, and have the house aU to 
yourself. 

Waddle. — ^I'm satisfied. There is not much left in Growls, 
to be sure ; but I see where I can hit them ; and if I don't stick 
it into Snoxell in a way to astonish all Little Pedlington, jou 
may send me on to carry messages — ^that's all. 

The door had hardly closed on Waddle when there was a 
p;cntle knock, which being duly responded to by the permisaiTe 
" come in," Mrs. Biggleswade — ^both the Siddons and the Jordan 
of the company — entered the room, and took a seat at the table 
opposite to Strut. 

Mrs. B. — My dear soul, I see you are busy. I have but one 

word to say. I have been up into the wardrobe, and there is not 

a dress I can wear for Dame Squigs, in the " Hatchet of Horror." 

I must positively have a new one made for me ; and so Mrs. 

Tinsel the wardrobe-keeper, says. 



AND TH£ PEDLIN6T0NIAKS. 169 

Strut. — ^My dear Mrs. Biggleswade, I cannot afford anything 
new, in the way of dresses, for this piece — ^not a quarter of a 
jiard of sixj^enny ribbon. I am at a ruinous outlay in the get- 
ting-np, as it is : if I get clear for seven pounds I shall think 
myself fortunate. 

Mrs. B, — ^Then, my dear creature, what is to be done ? There 
is nothing in the wardrobe that comes within a hundred miles of 
the thing : besides, you advertise dresses, and so forth, entirely 
new. 

StnU, — ^Ay, that is a matter of course ; we do that upon all 
occasions. 

Mrs, A— But the public, whom you so much respect, as you 
tell them in yourplay-bUls, will expect that- 



Strut, — The public be d — d : leave me to humbug the public. 

Mrs.B, — ^Well, then, I suppose I must go on for Dame Squigs 
in mj Lady Macbeth dress ; for Mrs. Tinsel declares she can do 
nothing to help me. Now, my dear soul, what am I to do ? 

Strut. — ^Why, my dear madam, according to your articles, you 
are bound to find your own dresses ; and 

Mrs. B. — ^Why, yes, but — ^this is a sort of character-dress, you 
know, and — ^Indeed the only thing Mrs. Tinsel thinks can be 
done is to put the skirt I wore in the " Blue Posts" to the body 
I wore in the " Cruel Murderer," with the trimmings from my 
** Perocious Farmer" dress. It may look very well at night ; 
and if you think that will do, why 

Strut.~^0, it will do very well. 

Mrs, B. — ^Then we'll manage it so. But, my dear soul, you 
win allow me to have a new 



Strut. — ^Not a pin that is not found sticking in my wardrobe ; 
80 let us say no more about it. — How is your rehearsal going ? 

Mrs. B. — ^Very well; very well, indeed. 

Strut. — ^And-*-pray— and — how is Miss Wriggles getting on ? 

Mrs, B. — ^That little girl will do Martha charmingly — con- 
sidering. But don*t you think my niece, little Phobs, would 
hare been better in the part ? 

Strut, — ^Miss Phobs ! Miss Phobs ! ! Agirl at four shillinffs 
a week, who goes on in the choruses ! W hy, bless my soul ! 
what can you be thinkii^ about ! In my opinion, Miss Wriggles 
it tiie Y€Xj thing for it, in all respects. 

Mrs. B. — ^Yes ; she is tall, well-made, handsome ; and, between 
oimdlYes, my dear soul, beauty is all that the public look for 
now-a-days. 

j^frif^. — You doB'tpretend to say, madara,t\ial s\i^\i^'&Xia\.^eo5C^» 



170 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Mrs, B, — ^Bless your soul ! no : she is full of talent — ^but raw, 
very raw. Though that is nothing : for we know very well that 
after three or four years' hard practice she may turn out to be a 
very good actress. Now— don't be angry : you know I always 
speak candidly, though I never say an ill-natured thing of any- 
body ; and considering it is to be the dear child's^r*/ appearance 
on any stage — Ahem ! — Wigs was saying just now, he has Vkfaud 
notion of having acted with her for the last three years in Scrubs's 
company over at Fudgeborouffh. 

Strut. — ^Wigs said so, did he ? Very well. 

[Strut writes a memorandum upon a slip of paper.] 

Mrs. B. — ^But there is one thing you must do for her — come 
now, you must : she will require a pretty dress for the part, and 
you must let her have the best that can be found in the ward- 
robe. 

Stmt. — 0, there are some new dresses being made for her. 

Mrs. B, — So, I have you. Miss Julia Wriggles can haVe what 

she pleases, whilst poor Biggleswade ! O, you naughty man! 

But I hope poor dear Mrs. Strut has no notion—— 

Strut. — I must request, madam — desire, madam — ^no insixnia- 

tions, madam ^that young lady, madam, is a — a — niece of 

mine, and — and 

Mrs. B. — Of course, of course ; and it is natural that one 
should do the best for one's own family. — Ahem ! — ^But I never 
heard that you had a brother— or a sister ; and I know poor 
dear Mrs. S. has not \ so how can she be your niece ? Ha ! 
ha ! ha ! Now, don't be angry. Your cousin, your cousin, it is 
all one. Ha ! ha ! ha ! Well, I mustn't keep the stage waiting. 
By the bye, whilst you have the pen in your hand, just write me 
an order for two for to-night. 

Strut. — ^Very sorry to refuse you — ^not a single order will be 
admitted. 

Mrs. B. — Very well, very well. Ha! ha! ha! O, you 
naughtv man! But you must give an order or two to poor 
little Wriggles. One s own niece, and a first appearance, too ! 
She'll require support, you know. Ha ! ha ! ha I 

Mrs. Biggleswade obeyed the call-boy's summons of *' Every- 
body for the last scene," and quitted the room. 

Again Mr. Strut resumed his pen; but he had proceeded no 

further in his answer to the first of his letters than — " Sir, in 

rejp — " when (without the usual formality of tap-tap) the door 

was thrown open, and Miss Julia 'VJi\^^<&?» — \35\^ XA^eiAAd, the 

accomplished, the refined, the e\egaiL\.---\io\ixv^^^m\.Q \Xv^x<5Ki\sv. 



AND THE FEDIIKGTONIANS. 171 

Strvt.-^WtW, my love, what do you want ? 

Miss W. — ^My love, indeed ! What a fool you are ! My love/ 
Do YOU want to be heard all over the theatre, you stupid 
bolr 

Strut — ^Well, dear, I onlv spoke. 

Miss W, — Spoke, indeed f Hold your tongue, do. An't I to 
>lay Colonel Dash in " She Shall be an Actress ?" and an't I to 
ro on in male attire ? Hold your tonffue. Then why an't it 
irinted in the bills — Colonel Dash, in m£ue attire, by Idiss Julia 
WTriggles ? Hold your tongue. Every one of them 'ere bills as 
8 gone out, must be called in, and fresh uns, with my name in 
ntue attire, must be printed. 

Strut, — Preposterous, my love ! Are you aware that to bill 
nich a town as Little Pedbngton costs nearly eight shillings P 

Miss W, — ^Hold your tongue : 111 have it done — at least, it 
nust be done in the bills of to-morrow, and that's letting you off 
saar. Hold your tongue. Do it, or I shall just walk myself 
]acc to Pudgeborough, and then where are you? And then, 
leain, I find the people here complain of your late hours — ^that 
taey can't get to bed before eleven o'clock, and I'm not going to 
rfcand playing 'em out at that 'ere time o' night. The " Actress " 
n«8t be done as a middle piece. 

S^rut. — ^But, my dear darling creature, it can't be. Mr. Tip- 
>Ieton — ^the " facetious Tippleton," as he is called here — always 
ttipolates for the middle of the evening. 

Mms W, — Hold your tongue, you stupid fool ! I don't care 
in: Tippleton, or you either. If you don't do it I walks 
myself off to Pudgeborough, that's all. And the dress they've 
nade me for Martha Squigs won't do, not by no manner o' 
neans. They must make me another. Hold your tongue. And 
f they dare even to show me that dress again, I'll tear it into a 
ihousand million of atoms. Hold your tongue, and immediately 
nve orders to Tinsel to obey my orders, and make me whatever 
L fhink proper to order ; or this very day I walks myself off to 
Pudgeborough. And that reminds me — give me some orders. 

8tr%t, — ^Really, Julia, I — ^I can't. Orders won't go \ and I 
lave just refused Mrs. Biggleswade. 

M%ss W, — ^I don't care for that. Mrs. Biggleswade may stand 
Miog refused ; I don't, you know ; so don't try to come none of 
rour nonsense over me. Hold your tongue. Give me a dozen 
bable box-orders; if I want more I'll send fox t\i^\s\. HaW. 
var tongue, Fm called. Now remember wlaat 1 "W^ \.Ov!^l ^<i>x 
do; and if it an't done in less than no tme ^\,^\ \^^^ 



172 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

walks myself back to Fudgeborougli ; and tbat will make you 
look tolerable blue, we flatters ourselves. 

Miss Julia Wriggles bounced out of the room. At the same 
moment, the manager was cut short in the middle of a deep 
sigh by the entrance of Stumps. 

Stumps. — The gentleman who sent the new tragedy the other 
day, sir, wishes to see you. He will be glad of your answer 
about it. 

Strut. — ^Busy, — can't see him, — ^no answer, at present, — ^must 
come some other time. 

Stumps. — Yes, sir. And Mr. Bray, sir, the man that beloi^ to 
the donkey, is here. 

Strut. — ^The donkey-man ! Why didn't you show him in in- 
stantly ? Admit him. O, here he is. Bray, my dear fellow, 
how d'ye do? Devilish glad to see you. Take a seat. Well; 
how did your donkey get on at rehearsal : d'ye think he'll do ? 

Brai/. — ^Do ! Why, Master Tim, I wish some of the humane 
donkeys in your company would act their parts as well as my 
donkey will act his'n. Sew'd up in the hide, too, he looks a 
'nation sight more like a cow than many of t'others will lode 
what they've got to represent. To be sure, he set off a-braying 
in high style m the principal scene ; but that's natural enougl^ 
vou know : even a donkey, when he gets upon the stage, likes to 
have a bit of gag of his own.* Hows'ever, that won't do at 
night, so I'll muzzle him, 'cause it am't in the natur' of a cow 
to bray, you know ; and in this theatre natur* goes afore all. 
Why, don't you know, Tim, that for a cow to bray would be 
like bis talking a foreign lingo, just the same as if me and yon 
was to talk French — and the redlingtonians are deep enough to 
know that a real cow, as you've advertised him, would never 
think of doing that. 

Strut. — ^That's true. Now, as to terms, I believe we under- 
stand each other. Two shillings a-week for the use of him. 

Bray. — That's to say, I let him out to play for three nights 
a-week, at two shillings. 

Strut. — ^Three nights ! Nonsense ! There was no such limita- 
tion understood. 

Bray. — ^Don't care. Mine's the principal donkey in the piece, 
'cause he's the only one ; and he shan't injure his constitution 
by playing more than three nights a week unless he's paid extra 

* &a^, in theatrical parlance, means t\ie e^\.ettv^T«aac!raa eo&j^KjsSs^.- 
ments uttered by an actor beyond w^iat \a ** aet ^owcv'" iat\!raa. 



AND TH£ FEJDLINGTONIANS. 173 

or it, just the same as the principal actors of your own. Gome 
-fouipenoe for each night additional, or I goes directly and 
qps him out of the hide and takes him home ; and if I takes 
iway my donkev, what'll you do for a cow P 

Strut. — ^Well ; if I must, I must. Agreed. 

Bratf, — ^Now, then ; what am I to be paid P 

Strut.— Yo\i\ For what P 

Bre^. — ^Why, MasterTim, you've engaged my donkey, but you 
layen't engaged me to drive him. Ha ! ha ! ha ! and he'U be of 
10 use if you don't. My donkey's as obstinate as a mule, and 
lobody but me can't manage him ; and I can't think of taking a 
ess salary than his'n. Ha ! ha ! ha ! You see I have ^[ou 
here. No use to talk ; he won't move a peg if I an't with him. 

Strut. — ^Then I must say, this is the most unblushing piece 
»f * 

Bray. — Stuff and nonsense, Tim ; it's all fair in a theatre, you 
3L0W. How does my donkey know that before the week's over 
rou won't put him upon half-salary ? So it's all fair, I tell you. 
Besides, you can't do without that hanimal in the piece no more 
Jian any of the others ; so pay me you must. 

The manager having no refuge but in compliance with this 
inexpected demand, it is agreed to, and Mr. Bray takes 
lis leave. He is presently succeeded by Mr. Dumps, the 
Dreasurer. 

Strui. — ^I am glad you are come. Dumps. I am expecting 
rippletoii, and I should wish you to be present when he comes. 
Bat, how do you like the bill P 

Dumps. — Hm! Don't know. Wants cutting. Where's the 
ise of saying at the bottom of the bill, that on this occasion 
l^ppleton wiS perform, and Snoxeli will perform, and so forth, 
ir&ii you have already said so in the middle P 

Strut, — ^The use of it, my dear fellow! Why, look at its 
jength ! A reader might forget all that, but for such a reminder 
iXvbA end of it. 

Dumps. — Then, why advertise " The Hatchet of Horror" as a 
new piece, when you know very well it was run off its legs, two 
fears ago, over at Pudgeborough. I don't think that's quite 
the thing at the Theatre Royal, Little Pedlington. 

Strut. — ^Hush ! nobody here will be the wiser for it, unless we 
tell 'em. But, 1 say. Master Tommy ; I have been looking over 
Lhe salary-list : it is awful ! 

* Not without a procedont. 



174 LITTLE FSBLIN6T0N 

Dumps, — Hm, hm ! — That wants cutting, at any rate. 

Strut, — Then cut Wigs. He's a bad actor— of no use-*-Aod- 
and a troublesome fellow in the company. Pay him a we^; 
salary and discbarge him. Have you seen the box-book F Hoi 
does it look ? 

Dumps. — Hm ! Why — that dofCt want cuttiBg. Chily tlurteei 
. places taken. 

/S^r»^.-*-Thirteen already ! Why, my dear fellow^ tbat'i 
glorious. 

Dumps. — ^Hm ! The old set of orderlies : the Grippe's, tlu 
Stintems, the Snargates. They have all just now writUa V 
me for orders. 

Strut. — ^To you, also ? Why, confound their impudence ! The 
have applied to me, too ! Secure the best places in my boies 

and ^These be your only patrons of the drama. But, see 

here's a letter from Bellowmore. What think you of it ? 

Dumps. — " Eiffht-tenths of the clear receipts ! " Hm ! Cod 
Better ask for eleven-tenths. Do no good. Never drew hi 
salary. 

Strut. — And what's your opinion of ^P [Tap-ta]^'] CJom 

in.— My dear Hobbleday, I am exceedingly busy, and owi' 
speak to you now. Is it anything very particular you hav 
to say P 

Hobbleday. — No, my dear Strut ; nothing. See you are bofj 
No ceremony with me. How-do, Dumps ? Merely called t 
wish you success. Saw your bill. Splendid! All little Fed 
lington raving about it. Julia Wriggles. Charming girl, I nndei 
stand, eh P No doubt of your success. Pooh, pooh ! can't be 
All the town will come — ^now, mind, I tell you so. May be sor 
of one person, and that's little Jack Hobbleday. Grooa pair c 
hands, eh ? Well, I see you are busy. Good by^ Wish yoi 
success. Sure of a bumper. Good bye. Make your fortune, tak 
my word for it. — Oh ! I say. Strut : could you just scribUe n 
such a thing as an order for two for to-night ? 

Strut. — ^I'm sorry to refuse you, my dear fellow ; but not a 
order of any kind or deseription whatever, will be admitted oi 
any account or pretence whatever. However, I'll put your nam* 
on the free-list for the season. 

Hobbleday. — ^No ! Will you ? Well, now — really — vastly kin 

— ^greatly obliged — most flattering compliinent, I declan 

Haven't words to express how much I am obl^cd. 

Slrui. — It is but fair, tbougYv, to ^Y^m«, ^^ou, that on thi 

particular occasion, and on ever^ ii\^\\. oS. ^tlwm-askRa^^^M'^iss' 



AND IH£ FEDLTNGTONIANS. 175 

the season, the free-list will be altogether, entirely, and totally 
fospended, in toto. 

Mobbleday, — No matter. That don't si^fy. A most flatter- 
ing compliment, nevertheless. Greatly obhged — ^highly flattered. 
Good bye. Stmt. Good bye. Bumps I 

The manager and his right trusty chancellor of the exchequer 
had scarcely recovered from this interruption, when again tney 
were disturbed by a tap at the door, and Mr. Tippleton (who 
had but just descended from the top of the coach) made his 
appearanoe. 

Tifpletim, — ^How are you. Stmt ? How do. Dumps ? I've a 
complamt. 

Strut. — ^What ! Tou have scarcely set foot in the theatre, and 
already you complain ? 

Dumps, — Hm ! What the deuce can ifou find to complain 
about P Haven't you the highest salary in the theatre ? 

Tippleton, — ^Yes ; and that's my complaint. Look to my ar- 
tides. Tippleton is to be paid the highest salary of anybody — 
twenty-five shillings a week. Now, I have discovered that you 
pay Snoxell twenty-five shillings a week, so that mine is no longer 
the highest salary. 

Dumps, — Hm ! And how does that affect you ? Snoxell had 
twenty shillings; this season he is advanced to twenty-five. 
Would you have us reduce his salary for a point of form ? 

Tippleton, — ^No. I'll injure no man — no man shall iniure me. 
I'll tul you how the affair may be amicably arranged: raise 
mj salary to thirty. There. 

Dumps, — ^Hm ! And where's the money to come from ? As 
it 18, we shan't draw up the curtain under nine-pound-eighteen ; 
and Gram the house to the roof we can't get more than fifteen 
pounds into it. 

Timleton. — ^Don't care. Look to mjr articles. Money come 
horn ! Who bring the money ? Tragedians ? — No. The come- 
dians bring the money. Who are the comedians ? Bobby Tip- 
pleton are the comedians, therefore Bobby Tippleton must be 
paid. Don't care. Can go over to Pudgeborough — carte blanche 
— my own terms— do what I like. 

Strut, — ^Well; 1 suppose I must comply. You shall have 
thirty shillings. 

Tippleton, — I'm satisfied. — I've a complaint. 

i»nrf.— What now ? 



mme 



Tijs^le^m. — liook at this play-bill. Look lo 103 ^t\a!^<ks.. "^&:^ 
ue to be printed ia ihQ largest-sized \eUeia. ^^^\iBWk%— 



176 LITTLE PEDLXNGTON 

^^All round my Hat ;" — ^Tippleton in italic capitals, Miss JaHa 
Wriggles in large capitals. — Great respect for Miss Julia 
Wriggles— don't want ner to hold up my train — ^won't hold up 
her train. Thing must be altered. 

Strut. — ^"Tis a mistake of the printer's : it shall be set right ia 
to-morrow's bills. 

Tippleton. — ^I'm satisfied.-^I've a complaint. 

Strut. — ^Another ! 

Tippleton. — " Who are you .^" Tippleton and Gigs in one line 
—Miss Julia Wriggles in a line by herself. Great respect for 
Gigs, also ; but Tippleton must stand alone. Offered my own 
terms at Fudgeborough, remember. 

Strut. — Well ; that also shall be altered. 

Tippleton. — I'm satisfied. — I've a complaint. 

Strut. — ^And what — ^the — devil— more — can you find to com- 
plain about ? 

Tippleton. — You've sent me a^ part in a new piece to study. 

Strut. — ^And a very fine part it is. 

Tippleton. — Don't say the contrary ; but I stand to my ar- 
ticles. Willing to oblige ; in these times an actor ought to put 
his shoulder to the wheel; I put wy shoulder to the wheel: so 
if it be a good part, and the very best part in the piece, and I 
happen to like the part, and the part should please me in every 
possible respect, why I have no objection to 

Dumps. — Hm, hm ! But there's no such clause as that in 
your articles, I'll swear ; though there is something about a fine 
for refusing a part. 

Tippleton. — ^Don't care for articles. Fines are all very proper 
—never could get through business in a theatre without them : 
— any performer, high or low, who refuses a part, fine himr— all 
right—only you mustn't fine Bobby Tippleton. Scrubs, over at 
Fudgeborough, has offered me 

Strut. — lou are a pleasant fellow. Master Bobby ! Now, 
suppose I sign a blank sheet of paper, and allow you to fill it 
up with terms, conditions, and stipulations, entirely according 
with your own wishes — ^will that content you ? 

Tippleton. — Can't say — must look to my articles. Well — ^I'm 

called to rehearsal. Good day. — Stop ! I've a compl ^No 

matter : I'll think it over, and let you know by and by. [Tip- 
pleton withdraws.^ 

JSirut. — ^Weli, Dumps, what think you of the appearance of 
affairs MOW.*' 
Dumps. — Km \ Til tell you w\ia\. 1 V^m:^-, 'W^k^^Xm. vo.^ 



AND THS PBDUNGTONIANS. 177 

and Mrs. Biggleswade and Miss Wriggles — ^puU alto- 
s hard as tney will — ^won't draw, expenses into the 

-Psha ! With such flattering assurances — {he points to 
f applicoHons for order8)--oi the support of the worthy 
pie; — ^with such friendly, such zealous, such disin- 
KM>peration on the part of the company — the Theatbs 
iiiTLB Pesungton, must succeed. 
v^Hniy hm, hm ! I wish you may get it. 



CHAPTER XIL 

place vacant I Just in tune— The Arch-Humbiig of Little 
ton again — Secrets touching the Dancer and the Dibutante — 
sonseqnences of the tittle-tattle of a busy-body : a lady's 
i resentment — Irrepai*able loss : death of Rummins — Jubb's 
hereon : nnaToidable co-incidences of thought^ — Important 
km in the orthography of names — Intimacies of authors and 
wth critics: suspicious? — How to form an opinion: "My 

rem any place in the boxes for to-night, sir P '' inquired 
K)x book-keeper. 

manr do you want, sir ? " inquired he in return. 

one for myself," replied I. 

Hy,'' contmued he, " I have one place, which has just 
m up." 
■■e," said I, inquiringly, " it was not worth keeping— ft 

baek row at the top of the house ? " 
ptfdon, sir, it most luckily happens to be a seat on the 
of the centre dress-box." 

fortunate, indeed J " exclaimed I. " You eT^w\. ^ ^^»^ 

mdous, sir! Every place taken.'* 

IT 



178 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Not having any silver, I tendered a half-sovereign in payment 
for my ticket — ^the price of admission to the boxes being two 
shillings. 

The functionary opened a drawer, in which there were two or 
three stray shillings. He then felt successively, thoa^ not 
successfully, in each of his pockets. Upon m^r telline bim, in 
reply to his inquiry whether 1 could oblige him with sucn a tlmg 
as two shillings in silver, that I had no silver at all, he expressed 
his regret at having given away all his small money in ekmue. 
[It somehow happened that I saw neithey notes nor gold in nis 
drawer]. He then desired a boy to go into the treasury, and see 
whether Mr. Dumps had change for a half-soverei^ tkire. After 
some delay, the boy returned, and accounted for his long absence, 
by stating that he nad been obliged to go for changeto lawkins's 
Bank. 

That the only vacant place in the house, that place bdng ako 
the very best in it, and that place, again, having fortunatekbeen 
relinquished by its first proprietor, should faU to my lot, rormed 
a combination of lucky circumstances, upon which I could not bat 
congratulate myself. 

Strolled into Yawkins's library; there I saw my old friend 
Hobbleday. 

"My dear fellow!" exclaimed Hobbleday — "most hK^, 
most delighted to see you ! When did you amve P " 

" Last night," replied I. 

" Of course you come to make a stay," said he. 

" Probably I shall go away to-morrow," replied I, though not 
intending any such thing. 

"To-morrow! No, no— you will stay till Wednesday,** con- 
tinued Hobbleday ; " or must jou positively go to-monow P " 

" Positively, sir— I shall leave Little Peffington to-vaom/w" 
I answered. 

" That's decided, is it ? " said he. " WeU, dear me ! that is 
very provokine ; for I intended to ask you to dine with me on 
Wednesday. However, since you can't, you can't." 

Here the exquisite little humbug was interrupted by TswkiBs, 
who, after a few words of recognition and of welcome said, — 

" Ah ! sir, the world has sustained an irreparable loss since 
last you were here. That great luminary, that master-spirit, is 
extinguished. The immortal Eummins is dead ! Died, sir, on 
the £rst of April last." 

"Dead ! " I exclaimed. ""RummvEL'a ^<ewiV^ WsQsr&a^vada^ 
and — shall I confess it ? — ^ahed a \eax. 



AND THE TEDLINGTONIANS. 179 

"And a most extraordiuary coincidence !" said Hobbleday. 
." Oar cockatoo at our Zoological Gardens died on that very same 
day ! Poor Rummins ! We had him stuffed ; and there he is 
: on a perch in a glass-case, looking all but alive." 

"Stuff'dP" exclaimed 1. "Simcox Rummins, r.S.A., 
. ^tiQiffed ! Embalmed (you would say), as an antiquary so learned 
1 .pnd profound deserved to be." 

I *• feummins ! " cried Hobbleday ; " no, the cockatoo. Ever 
see a stuffed cockatoo ? Most curious thing ! The only one in 
ail this place. Come," continued he, taking me by the arm — 
** come with me and see it." 

** I thank you," said I ; "but I cannot at present." 

*'But why not ? What is there to prevent you ? " said he. 

**I have not the time to spare, Mr. Hobbleday." 

**Pooh, pooh! it won't take long. Come, now; do come. 
-It is not far — ^it will be a nice little walk for us. But why won't 
yoago?" 

Alter enduring twenty more "whjr's" and " what's-your- 
• reasons," I thanked him for his pertinacious politeness, and 
tamed to speak to Tawkins. 

" Your theatre has put forth a very attractive bill," said I ; 
at the same time pointing to one which was hanging in the 
shop, and which reached nearly from the ceiling to the noor. 

"Never before, sir," replied Yawkins, "was there such a 
company collected together in Little Pedlington. Why, sir, 
Tippleton is in himself a host; Snoxell is a host; Waddle is a 

host; Gigs is a host ; Mrs. Biggleswade is a host ; Mrs. ^In 

short, there is scarcely one in the whole company but is singly 
a host." 

** Mademoiselle Sara des Entrechats, who is to dance, is, of 
Qoone, from Paris," said I. 

" WTiy, no ; not exactly from Paris," replied Yawkins ; "she 

.ocnnes from Eudgeborough, and her name is Sally Jumps. But, 

. Lord, sir ! the connoisseurs of Little Pedlington woula as soon 

allow that a woman could dance gracefully and well with a 

..veoden leg as with an English name." 

" I say, my dear fellow," said Hobbleday in a half-whisper to 
. nie (twitching my sleeve, and giving me a knowing wink at the 
same time), " that Mamzell Ontershaw is a charmmg little girl. 
'-^em ! — ^I say, my dear fellow ; if you should happen to see a 
certain person in a Erench bonnet and shawl 'v^Akva!^ ^^-^ 'C^sa 
VaJi? of Health, or a mile or so on the Snaps\iaT]ik.to«A,«xmm «ra^« 
wHb another certain person — ^ahem ! — ^who is no\i wr}j ^^ ixovsv^^'^ 

N 2 



180 LITTLE PEDLIXGTON 

at ibis moment, do you pretend not to notice us — them, I sLooU 
Lave said." 

I assured Mr. Hobbleday tbat I was discretion itself. 

Yawkins drew me aside and whispered : — " To my certain 
knowledge be never spoke to ber in bis life, sir. Sbe has been 
scarcely three days in the town." 

I made no remark upon this little |)iece of illuatratiTC in- 
formation, but again turned to the play-bill, saying :— 

" This Miss Julia Wriggles, whose name occurs so freqaent^ 
in the bill ; who not only acts in tragedy, comedy, ana farce, 
sings a song, delivers an aadress, and dances a broad- sword bora- 
pipe ; but concludes her labours by acting eight parts m ope 
piece — ^that is to say, by playing the whole piece herself — ^this Miss 
Julia Wriggles, I say, must be a young lady of pre-eminent 
ability. Why, to execute well what she has undertaken to pw* 
form, would seem to require the combined powers of aixj six 
actresses I ever heard of." 

•*A wonderful person indeed, sir," replied Yawkins ; "and a 
great favonrite " 

" Tavourite ! " exclaimed I ; " why, this is announced as ker 
first appearance on any stage ! " 

" —of the manager's, continued Yawkins, somewEat drily. 
" But as to a first appearance, sir, I can't say much for that; for 
it is whispered, in the best-informed circles, that she has been 
acting these three years past over at Tudgeborough. One thin^ 
however, is certain, Mr. Strut, the manager, has discharged Mr. 
Wigs, a very promising young actor, for merely saying so ; and 
that, I think, gives an appearance of probability to the tl ' 

"Theatrical news travels fast in Little Pedlington," thou^^t I 

"But she must be a prodigious genius," cantinued Yawl 
" for Mr. Strut has opened the theatre chiefiy on her aocoant^ 
I which he would not have done this season unless he had Ikad the 
good fortune to secure her services.'' 

" Fortunate Stmt I " thought I. 

" What a charming, domestic creature is poor Mrs. Stmt l*' 
said Hobbleday. " I say, Yawkins, you have heard that she l)§s 
determmed to sue for a separate maintenance P '* 

"Now, really, Mr. Hobbleday," cried Yawkins, "this is too 

bad ! It was I myself who, not an hour ago, mentioned to yon, 

f» strict confidence, that such a proceeding was probable. I gave 

von no authoritj to repeat it : ^et, tvo ao^V,\s^ NXs^ \\H«k \qu 

nave trotted all oyer Little Pedfingtaito ^c^\xx\k«si ^ovacs^ ^ 

the information,'* 



AlTD THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 181 



€€' 



Not I, I assure you, sir," cried Hobbleday, with an air of 
offended dignity ; '* not I, sir ; am incapable of such a proceeding. 
Have mentioned it but to one persou — to whom it could be no 
aeeret — 'hSn, Strut herself." 

** Jinpossible ! And you told her you received the report from 
meP" 

** No, sir ; did Mot tell her I received it from you. Did not 
say, Fmctins told me — pooh, pooh ! have too much tact for that 
—merely said, * I heard it at Yawkins's.' " 
. '' 60^ sir, you left my shop, full pu£P, for the express purpose 

of " 

' ** No sir ; not for the purpose. This is how it happened, sir : 
ny friend Strut has had the politeness to put my name upon the 
free-list ; but as the free-list is ' Entirely and totally suspended 
in totOy as the bills say, I waited about the stage-door in the 
hf^ of meeting with somebody who could give me an order. 
Fresentlr saw Mrs. Strut. Could not help saying how sorry 1 
was at neuing such a report — should have been a brute if 1 
eonld— and requested an order for two, which she most kindly 
gave me. Ana that is the whole truth of the matter." 

Hobbleday had not finished speaking when a boy entered the 
shop, threw a note down upon the counter, and, without uttering 
a word, went out again. Whilst Yawkins was reading the note, 
Hobbleday said — 

•* Of course, you'll be there to-night. Like to go behind the 
seenes, eh P rll take jrou. Show you the green-room. Intro- 
dnoe you to all the principal performers. I'll look out for you 
in the theatre. What say you P " 

. BecoUecting his promise, upon a former occasion, to introduce 
me to all the eminent people of the place, when, as it afterwards 
appeared, he himself was but slightingly considered by them, I 
declined his kind offer. 

"Here, sir," cried Yawkins, in a voice trembling with rage (at 
the same time holding out the note in one hand, and striking his 
counter heavily with the other) : " here, Mr. Hobbleday ! these 
are the awful consequences of your busy tittle-tattling ! Listen, 
•ir!** 

Mr. Yawkins read the note, which was in the words follow- 
ing:— 

" Mrs. Strut desires Mr. Yawkins will instantly send in his 
bill for the two cakes of Windsor soap, also the tooth-hrvi&h. si^ 
owes Mm for, as she intends to witharaw \xei c»\5&\.om ix^"^ \sns» 
f4i^, and give it somewhere where people laa.'^e ewovx^ ^^ ^'si U 



182 LITTLE PEDLINGTOX 

mind their own business -without troubling themselves about other 
jpeopWs. Mrs. S. also informs Mr. Y. that she does not intend 
to renew her subscription to his library when her present week 
is out, as people taken up with pleasant conversation naturally 
forget to send new works when bespoke. Mrs. S. also informs 
Mr. Y. that she has struck his name off the free-list of the 
theatre, which she has still a right to do, whatever Mr. Y. may 
report to the contrary. Mrs. S. desires Mr. Y. will be sure to 
receipt the bill, as people who trouble themselves so much with 
what does not concern them might forget to scratch it out of their 
books, when paid, and she is not fond of disputes ^^ 

Hobbleday did not wait to receive the reproaches which 
Yawkins was preparing to shower upon him ; but, pretending to 
hear himself called by some one who passed the door, he bustled 
out of the shop. 

" That, sir, said Yawkins, " is the most pestilent little gossip 
in the town. A secret runs through him like water through a 
sieve. He is not happy till he has got it, and is miserable till he 
is rid of it. He is worse than forty old women. You cannot 
be sure of the duration of a common acquaintance for a day, if 
he gets between you. He is a sort of cholera in social fife ; 
and, when he 'breaks out' in a place, he 'carries off' friend- 
ships by the dozen. Ah ! sir, you ought to be very happy that 
you have no Hobbledays in London." 

" In London," said I — (glad of an opportunity of elevating 
the character of that pretty town in th^ opinion of a Pedling- 
tonian) — " in London, we entertain a virtuous horror of slander, 
scandal, tittle-tattle, and old-apple-woman gossip ; so that there, 
sir, a Hobbleday would not be endured ; he could not exist; he 
would fail from the utter want of encouragement." 

" Happy London ! " exclaimed the eminent bibliopolist. 

" Heaven forgive me ! " thought I, reflecting on the enormity 
of my assertion. 

I took up a book which lay on the counter. It was " Jubb's 
Pedlingtonia, a new edition, with additions." The only con- 
siderable addition, however, was an ' Elegy on the Death of 
Rummins.* Here it is. It is remarkable for its sweetness, 
its pathos, its elegiac tenderness; but, by the generality of 
readers, it will, perhaps, be most admired for its originality. 

" The curfew tolls the knell of parting day ; 
No more illustrious B.\imm\Tvs a\ia.V\ 1 «fta \ 
O, Simeon Rummins, semor, "F.^.K., 
Why leave the world to datkiieaa «ii^\a mfi\ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 183 

In vam thy Jubb thy ' Life and Times * shall write. 
For since, Simcox, thou'rt no longer there 

Tojoin in thy biographer's delight. 
He wastes his sweetness on the desert air. 

Ah ! who can tell how hard it is to climb 
The height which thou, my Rimimins, didst attain ! 

AU say in prose what Jubb now sings in rhyme — 
We ne'er shall look upon thy like again. 

A man thou wast to all the ooimtry dear ; 

Great was thy learning and profoimd thy lore ; 
And, passing rich with ninety pounds a year. 

Thou gairst relief that Heaven might bless thy store. 

One mom I miss'd thee on th' accustom'd hill. 
Near yonder copse where once the garden smiled. 

Ah ! ruthless Death ! and couldst thou Bummins kill ! 
In wit a mauj simplicity a child. 

Since, then, I'm doom'd my dearest friend to lose, 

Li Pedlington no longer stay I can. 
The world is all before me where to choose — 

Pity the sorrows of a poor old man ! " 

I purchased the volame, thought of the illustrious defunct, 
paid ludf-a-crown — ^and sighed. 

At this moment, Mr. Knmmins, son of the ^reat Eummins, and 
editor of the Pedlington newspaper, came into the shop. He 
vas accompanied by a gentleman short and stout. It was 
WaddlCj tne tragedian ! who was that night to enact 
.Growler in the " Hatchet of Horror ! " Rummins, after saying 
a few words to Yawkins, was invited by the latter to stay 
dinner. 

« Can't," replied Rummins ; " I dine with Waddle." 

** Then will yon come and sup after the play ?" said Yawkins. 

" Can't," again replied Rummins ; " I sup with Waddle." 

The editor was about to quit the shop, when I took the 
liberty of reminding him that, on my former visit, I had had 
the honour of an introduction to him at a conversazione at the 
house of his late illustrious father. He condescended to make 
me a remarkably polite bow, and, with becoming dignity, wished 
me good morning, and went away. 

" Upon tiiat same occasion," said I, turning to Yawkins, 
" I had the j)leasure also of meeting Miss Cripi^s, the i^oetess " 

^At that time, sir" said Yawkins, " lA\ss OtV^^^ «sA\s&'^'5«k 



ff. 



184 LITTLB lEDUNGTON 

great friends, and she osed to invite him to all her tea-parties; 
but since then they have quarrelled." 

" Indeed ! " exclaimed I ; *' I am sorry to hear that. What 
was the cause of the rupture ?" 

" Why, sir," replied Yawkins, " Miss Cripps wrote some very 
charming verses on the death of the cockatoo in our Zoological 
Gardens ; and Mr. Eummins, in his notice of them, said that 
they were far superior to MOton, but not quite equal to Jubb. 
At this. Miss Cripps took offence, and. she has never since 
invited Mr. Rummins to tea. Eor my own part, I think her in 
the wrong ; for a poem may be very fine, yet inferior to the 
compositions of such a writer as Jubb. And to say the truth, 
Miss Cripps is one of those ladies who are never satisfied with 
anything short of the very top of the tree. However, he is now 
all in all with Miss Jane Scrubbs, the lady who writes riddles 
and charades, and things of that sort.'' 

*' I had the pleasure of meeting her, too. Pray is she any 
relation of the manager of the Eu^eborough theatre ? " 

''Not in the least ; and nothing offends her more than that ife 
should be thought she is. Besides, sir," continued Yawkins, 
with a solemn nod of the head, " Scrubs has only one h in Ms 
name, whilst Miss Scrubbs spells hers with two" 

" That's an important and an honouralde distinction,** said L 

"Sir, sir, sir," suddenly cried Yawkins, "did you ever see 
Mr. Snoxell off the stage ? " 

" Never," said I ; " which is he ? " 

"You see those three gentlemen arm in arm, ecossing the 
square," said Yawkins. "The middle one is Mr. Eiot, who 
writes the ' Dictator;' he on his ri^t arm is Mr. Dowlas, ^oUior 
of the melodrama, the ' Hatchet of Horror,' which is to be aeted 
to-night ; the gentleman on his left is Mr. Snoxell." 

With becoming admiration I looked at them, till, by torning a 
comer, thev were lost to view. 

"But what w the 'Dictator ?' " I inquired. 

" 0, very true, sir, I remember," replied Yawkins. " When 
last you were here we had but one pajjer — ^the * Little Pedlington 
Weekly Observer,' edited by Rummins the Younger, the gen- 
tleman who just now looked in. We have now another — the 
'Little Pedhngton Dictator,' written by Mr. Fiat. It is a pub- 
lication exclusively devoted to politics, literature, the drama» the 
fine arts, science, political economy, geology, zoology, con- 
chologj, pathology, craniology " 

'^Stop, atop, for Heaven's sake, "iilLi. \wiYcasr ^xss^\. 



AND THE PEDIitKGTONIAUS. 185 

** Surely you do not pretend that Mr. Fiat himself writes upon 
all those subjects ?" 

"Indeed, but I do, sir," replied he; "and upon all with 
equal knowledge, taste, and judgment. In his criticisms upon 
acting, he is, for tragedy, a Snoxellite ; for comedy, a Tipple- 
tonian. Rummins, on the contrary, is a Waddleite and a 
Gigsite. What they will say about Miss Julia Wriggles is a 
mTstery; but my own private opinion is, that Rummins, being 
a friend of the manager's, the * Observer ' will be all on her side ; 
whilst Piat, who (between ourselves, sir) is said to be over head 
and ears in love with little Laura Dobs — a pretty little girl who 
sings in the choruses — will be against her." 

"And pray, Mr. Yawkins," inquired I, "which, in your 
opinion, is the greater actor of the two : Snoxell or Waddle ?" 

" Why, really, sir," replied he, " that is a question which it is 
utterly impossible to answer. When I had but one paper to 
read ('The Observer') I was convinced that Waddle was the 
better; but since *The Dictator' has been established, which 
gives the preference to Snoxell, I am greatly perplexed." 

"But have you no opinion of your own? " inquired I, with 
some degree of astonishment. 

With an appearance of equal astonishment Yawkins echoed 
—"An opinion of my own? Bless me, sir, what an extraor- 
dinary question ! Where is the use of reading a newspaper if 
one is tf>^ at tbs trouble of thinking for oneself after all ? No, 
no, fir; we apt not sucli fools in Little Pedlington as that comes 
Inid bappy are they who are content to read but one paper, 
case, they know exactly what to think." 
_ -^- , said I, "you Pedlingtonians are very wise people. 
Far diflbrent is it with us in London. There, no one is news- 

Eaper-led: and such a phrase as * But my paper sajs,' is never 
eard. weU ; I wish you good morning, Mr. Yawkins. I shall 
go to the theatre this evening. To-morrow I will write to my 
friends what /think of the performances; and at the same time 
send tbem the criticisms both of the * Observer' and the 
*DicUtor.'" 

I returned to Scorewell's ; took a hasty dinner ; and at half- 
past ^^Q — the performances being to commence at six o'clock 
precisely — proceeded to the Theatre Royal, Little Ped- 

LIVGTOK. 




186 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



CHAPTER XIII* 

" And Sessions-papers tragedize my style." 

Bramstone's 3fan of Taute^ 

The opening nwht — Impartial criticism intended : how attainable- 
Exemplary architect: singular accuracy of a building-estimate— 
Usefiu knowledge for the rising generation — On crowds — Unprece- 
dented conduct of a box-opener — Conversation with Hobbleday oofir 
ceming London theatricals — Destitute condition of the Iiondoii 
actors deplored : their emigration defensible — Cliques and coteries-^ 
Miss Scrubbs's last — The *' Encore " [query] nuisance — Great recep- 
tion of Miss Julia Wriggles : the Wreath [query] humbuff — ^Analy^ 
of the " Hatchet <rf Horror," with remarks thereon, passim — ^Ib 
morality, and the beneficial effects of this school of Drama on the 
lower orders insisted upon — Symptoms of party feeling : Speeches 
of Snoxell and Waddle— The terms "Original" and "Domestic" 
explained — Discriminating compliment : the Call-for-actors [query] 
nuisance — Summary of the performances. 

Monday night — Quahter past eleven. — Just returned from 
the theatre. Now, whilst the impression of all that I have 
witnessed is strong upon my mind, I will transfer it to the pa^ 
of my journal. I shall claim for my record a reliance on its 
fidelity and impartiality, for I have not the honour of a personal 
acquaintance with Snoxell or with Waddle ; I dine neither with 
Tippleton nor with Gigs, nor do I sup with either Mxs, Biggies- 
wade or Miss Julia Wriggles ; I never spoke to Mr. Dowlas, the 
author ; I know not Mr. Strut, the manager ; have no desire to 
come out at his theatre, or to go in — ^without paying for my 
admission ; moreover, never having perpetrated a dramatic worl^ 
I have no " acceptation " to hope for, no " rejection " to fear— 
the contrary of all or any of which circumstances might, possibly, 
give a slight bias to my statements. Not being a critic by pro- 
fession, it would, of course, be presumptuous in me to make the 
smallest claim to infallibiUty ; my opinions, therefore, may be 
open to objection, honest though they be; but what I state 
as fact, is fact, and this I will maintain, even though such high 

* Tbo 6v0 chapters in this volume, vipoiv W\e> IaUX^ Pedlington 
tbeatricalSf woro written prior lo the montYi oi K.^ic\\.,\%'il . 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 187 

authorities as Mr. Fiat, of the " Little Pedlington Dictator," 
and Mr. Rummins, of the "Little Pedlington Weekly Observer," 
should combine to gainsay me. 

Formerly (according to the Guide Book) the performances 
took place "ma commodious outhouse belonging to Mr. Snig- 
gjBrston, the brewer, tastefully fitted up for the occasion;" but 
Bince my last visit here, an elegant theatre has been erected. It 
is the vFork of Mr. Snargate, the celebrated architect of this 
place, and does infinite credit to his taste and skill. According 
to a minute estimate made by that gentleman, it was to cost 
exactly £671. 15s. 7id. ; and the estimate having been formed 
nith the accuracy for which Mr. Snargate is upon all occasions 
distingoished, the edifice, when finished, actually cost no more 
than £1,343. lis. Z^d.—oi^ one farthing more than double the 
Sam originally required ! This money was raised in shares of five 
pounds each, for which the subscribers were to receive five per 
mm/, interest-— when they could get it — and nothing more. And it 
is gratifying to be enabled to add, that (such is the prosperous 
state of theatricals in Little Pedlington !) the latter condition is 
pnmctnally fulfilled. 

** Tremendous ! Every place taken !" was the reply I received 
this morning to my question to the box book-keeper, as to whether 
he expected a full house. This information, in addition to the 
notification at the foot of the play-bill, that the free-list would be 
suspended, and that not an order would be admitted, induced me 
to be at the theatre by half-past five precisely, the hour appointed 
for the opening of the doors ; for, although 1 had paid for, and 
seonred, a place on the front row of the centre dress-box, I pru- 
destity bonsidered that, in case of a rush, my precaution might be 
of but little avsdl. 1 did not repent the resolution 1 had taken ; 
for, on arriving at the theatre, which was not yet opened, 1 
immd crowds assembled at the doors. At the pit-door 1 counted 
t?e persons, at the gallery seven, whilst at the box-entrance was 
a dense mass, composed of no fewer than eighteen or (1 think 1 
Bugr venture to say; twenty. 

Poaching, smuggling, highway-robbery, and murder, being the 
staple of the principal piece to be acted, I need scarcely say that, 
of the seven persons collected at the gallery-door, six were 
ehildren, girls and boys, of from ten to twelve years of age, 
aspirants for the honours of the hulks and the halter. 

• " Sweet l\\e t^x^ 
To teach the young idea how to s\ioo\i \" 



188 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

It seems to be the principle of a crowd, whether large ot 
small, whenever or for whatever purpose collected, to make each 
other as uncomfortable as they can. If fifty people are assem- 
bled at the entrance to a place which they know to be capable of 
accommodating five thousand, they will squeeze, jostle, shove ; 
push forwards, backwards, sideways ; they will do anTthing iwt 
stand still, although perfectly convinced they can " take notbuig 
by their motion" — save a few needless bruises or a broken rib. 
I never but once heard a satisfactory reason for this propensity. 
' " Pray, sir," said a person who till that moment had been tbs 
backmost of a crowd, to another who had just joined it — " Pray, 
sir, have the kindness not to press upon me ; it is unneoes88zy« 
since there is no one behind to press upon you !" '^ But thdre 
may be, presently," said the other ; " besides, sir, wbere's tbs 
good of being in a crowd if one mayn't shove?" The good 
people here seemed to be of the same opinion; for the five who 
were assembled at the pit-door (which, by the bye, is quite wids 
enough to allow conveniently of one person entering at a time, 
if they would but take the matter coolly), were jostling, squeez- 
ing, and kicking each other, as vigorously as if their lives de* 
pended upon who should be first. 

But the great struggle was at the box-entrance, which is 
between the other two. When the door — for there is but one, 
though of double the width of the last mentioned — ^wb^ ths 
door was thrown open, the rush was overwhelming. Little Jack 
Hobbleday was in the midst of the crowd ; and, fairly carried off 
his legs, squeezed upwards and turned round bv the pressure, 
he was borne along with his head above the others, and back 
foremost. An idea of the intensity of the pressure will be best 
conveyed in the words of Hobbleday himself. Gasping for 
breath, he cried, "This is awful! TiGmendiwus / Sbadl be 
squeezed as fiat as a pancake ; pooh, pooh ! know I shall. 
J^ever saw such a crowd in Little Pedlington since the d&j I 
was bom ! " I followed the stream and entered. That tununft 
to the left, I did the same. A voice proceeding from a head 
ensconced in a sort of pigeon-hole in the wall on the opposite 
(the right-hand) side, cried, " Orders this way!" There was a 
simultaneous rush of the whole party in that direction, and I was 
left standing alone. " Money this way ! " exclaimed another 
voice issuing from a similar hole on the left-hand side. There I 
presented the ticket which I had purchased in the morning, and 
was admitted, I thouglit tliia aiiau^emettfe YvJ^mwv&^^Qt \k<3fl» 
was not a soul at the pay-dooi to iacouxmo^^ m^. 



AND THE PEDLINGTOXIANS. 189 

I took my seat. Presently I lieard the voice of Hobbleday. 
Hie was oonversing, in an under tone, with the box-opener. 

** Every place taken, I assure you, sir," said the latter. 

" Pooh, pooh ! my dear Jobs," said Hobbleday, " but you mnsi 
fisd a seat for me. There " (pointing to the bench on which I 
was sitting), " there, next to that gentleman. Particular friend 
of mine. Expects me. Something of great importance to talk 
about." 

** Quite impossible, Mr. Hobbleday," said Jobs ; "every place 
in that box is taken and paid for." 

•• Come now, my dear Jobs," continned the nnextinguishable 
Hobbkdaj, "see what you can do for me; and when your 
bowfit comes-^em !— you'll know where little Jack Hobble- 
day is to be found." 

** First company !" cried Jobs, throwing open the box-door : 
"Mr. Hobbkday's place : front row." And Mr. Hobbleday took 
his seat beside me. 

''Glad to meet you of all people," said my old acquaintance. 
"Well, here we are in whole skms. What a crush! At one 
time thought I should give up the ghost. Worse inside the 
house than out. Such a crush at the nee door ! Lucky for you, 
you paid — you escaped it. Miss Cripps got one of her sharp 
elbows stuck so deep in my ribs, I thought I felt it coming 
tlmnigh on the other side— -4id, as I hope to be saved. Never 
aet uk tbe way of a woman with sharp elbows, if you can help it. 
Too bad of the manager, though ! He ought to be ashamed of 
himself fc»: not making some better arrangement for the accom- 
modation of parties who come with orders. Tve a great mind to 
write a letter to the 'Dictator* about it, and sign myself An 
Ikdspendbnt Pla-y-gobb." 

** You will have half the town on your side, sir," said I. 

Hobbleday made no reply to this, but looking round the house 
saidy in a tone of triumph, " Well, what thiok you of our new 
tiieatie P " 

" I oannot judge of it by comparison," replied I, " for I never 
had the good fortune to see the old one ; but it is a pretty little 
theatre.'^ 

."Pretty! — Little!" exclaimed Hobbleday; "you mean 
splendid, immense ! Why, it is more than d.ouble the size of 
l^i^^rston's out-house, in which the company used to perform ! 
little! — It will hold nearly three hundred people. Little, 
imdeed ! Complaint generallj is, that it is too W^'ft— -"Ocsa^ ^'^^ 
aaa neither see nor hear so well as in t\ie o\d ona* ^^i^X. >^'5i^»s^ 



190 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

is, Snargate, the architect, has such magnificent ideas !— ^oes 
everything on such a grand scale. Bight, perhaps, after all; 
with the eyes of the universe upon him, and the character of 
such a place as Little Pedlington at stake, quite right." 

"For my own part," said I, "I am partial to a small theatre, 
wherein you may count every line of the burnt cork oa tJbe 
actor's nose — trace every mark of the hare's foot on his cheek; 
where they can practise none of that roguery dignified by the 
term illusion, but where paint is, palpably, paint, and tinsel, 
tinsel." 

"Exactly my notion, my dear fellow," said Hobbledaj: "ia 
these good, sensible, matter-of-fact, march-of-intellect times, 
rational folks won't allow of any advantage being taken of their 
imagination, even in a play-house." 

"The words "pretty" and "little," which I had unfortunately 
used, were stilLoperatrng uncomfortably upon flobbleday's mini 

" And pray," said he, after a short pause, " since you speak of 
the Theatre Koyal, Little Pedlington, as being pretty and little, 
what may be the size of the Theatre Royal, London ? " 

" Which of them ? " inquired I. 

" Which ! " responded Hobbleday : " why, you talk as if you 
would have one believe you had half a dozen ! " 

"More," said L 

" Ahem ! I like that," said he, in a tone sufficiently indicative 
of the value at which he estimated my veracity : " perhaps you 
have eight ? " 

" Go on again, Mr. Hobbleday," replied I. 

"Twelve ? — fourteen ? " contmued he. 

" You are still considerablv within the number, sir." 

Hobbleday stared at me, arew in his breath, and after emitting 
it again in a low whistle, said, " Well, I can't go on guessing m 
night. In a word, how many have you got ? " 

" To confess the truth, sir," replied I, " that is a question 
difficult to answer, inasmuch as there are several parts of the 
metropolis which I had not visited for nearly three weeks prior 
to my leaving it — each of which may (for anything that I can 
assert to the contrary), be at this moment provided with a 
theatre of its own. As for instance, on my return to town, at 
the end of next week, I may find, newly erected, a * Theatre 
Uoyal, Cranboume Alley ; ' a * Theatre Royal, Holywell Street;* 
a ' Theatre Royal, St. Giles's;' a * Theatre Royal, Martlett 
Court; 'and so forth, — all of N?\nc\xl\ie^\a.^-^'Qiav?»'^Q''cl<is^ 
SrreatJj in need of." 



AND THE PEDLINGTOKIAJiS. 191 

**But what right have they to them P " inquired Hobbleday. 

" Right, sir ! exclaimed I, with astomshraent : " right ! i ou, 
a marcQ-of-intellect man, ask such a question ! Why sir, they 
have the right that evervbody now claims to everything, regardless 
of the rights of everybody else. Besides, sir, by what other 
means could the interests of the drama be protected, the respect- 
ability of the histrionic profession maintained, and the accommoda- 
tion of the public provided for ? I believe, Mr. Hobbleday, that, 
ftt present, there are not more than twenty theatres, large and 
smaU, open every night, all of which, as it is perfectly notorious, 
are invariablv crammed to suffocation. The unhappy conse- 
quences of this paucity of theatres are, that there are hundreds 
of actors of eminent ability walking about town unable to procure 
enga^ments; and thousands of play-mad Londoners who are 
oontinually suffering from the want of a play-house wherein they 
can find sufficient room to put their noses." 

" Oh, in that case," said Hobbleday, " all is as it should be. 
And yet if it be so," continued he, " your theatres must be pro- 
digiously small, eh P " 

"They are of various capacities," replied I; "we have one 
which is capable of holding about three thousand persons; 
another " 

" Hold, hold, hold," cried Hobbleday, interrupting me ; " that 
won't do. Pooh, j^ooh ! can't mean to say you could put all 
Little Pedlington into one of them ! Why, that's more than 
our whole po{)ulation, which is two thousand nine hundred and 
ninety-six — (ninety-«tfp^, I should say; for Mrs. Ephraim Snar- 
gate was brought to bed this morning of a little girl)— and as to 
the notion of a theatre that would hold all the people in such a 
place as this Pooh ! that's an idea the mind can't compre- 
hend." These latter words he rather muttered to himself tnau 
addressed to me. 

" Now, suppose a person were in London, and wished to see 
your best actors," continued Hobbleday, "to which theatre 
wotdd you send him P " 

"To the theatre New York, Mr. Hobbleday," replied I. 

"What! " exclaimed he, with a look of incredulity, "New 
Yorkf in Africa ! If that be true — I say if, mind you — then, 
shame upon London ! " 

** But what blame is there upon poor London ? " inquired I. 

**Pooh, pooh ! " said he ; " can't deceive little Jack Hobbleday. 
Your actors are not encourajjed at home — ^ivo\, rcmuuexatedr-^m- 
paid'^riren to seek a subsistence in a iotevga. ^iQMCD&r^\«R»»sft 



192 LITTLE PEDUNGTOJf 

they can't get salt to their porridge in their own. Don't contra- 
dict nie — know it must be so— can't be otherwise; else, with 
their spree de corpse^ would they wander abroad, and leave their 
profession to go to rack and ruin at home? Ah ! poor things? 
that must be the heart-breaking part of the business to them ! " 

I hardly expected to be met m this knock-down style. But 
though compelled to acknowledge in my own mind the truth of 
every word uttered by my interlocutor, I attempted a defence c# 
the spirit of the Londoners, by saying — 

"Well, sir; I make no doubt that when the eight or ten netr 
theatres now in progress, or in contemplation, shall be com- 
pleted, that not only will the wanderers be induced to return^ 
but (which in my opmion is of still greater importance) that the 
present vast superfluity of histrionic talent in London will find 
both employment and reward." 

I was not sony when a turn was given to the conversation by 
Hobbleday's asking me what I thought of the drop-scene P The 
landscape, as he called it, — that being a view of the Crescent, with 
its twenty-four houses, with green doors and brass knoc fccra 
was the work of the theatricad scene-painter, Mr. Smearwell ; the 
figures — a grenadier standing sentry at each comer — were pat 
in by Mr. Daubson, the celebrated portrait-painter. It appecffed 
to me that Mr. Smearwell was a little out in his perspective ; . 
for whilst the centre house Was firmly placed on the ground, the 
others, right and left, appeared to be curling up into the air. 
However, as it cannot be an easy matter to draw foar-and^ 
twenty houses in the exact form of a crescent, I thought that 
any remark I should offer upon the point might be considered a> 
hypercritical. Upon the wnole, therefore, 1 could not but el- 
press my admiration of the painting. 

"But how is it, Mr. Hobbleday," said I, "that the soldier^ 
are made to appear taller than the houses P Their caps o'ertop 
the chimney-pots ! " 

" In the nrst place," answered Hobbleday, somewhat tartly^ 
" I suppose our Daubson, who painted the famous grenadier m 
Yawkins's skittle-ground, knew very well what he was about : 
he wasn't going to paint hop-o'-my-thumbs that might be mis- 
taken for drummer-boys ; they are grenadiers^ artft they P Itt 
the next place, sir, was a man like Daub^n to play second ^dsSit 
to Smearwell ? — 'though Smearwell is a great man in his way." 

"I don't quite understand the beadn^o^ t.V\a.t ojiestion" 
saidL 
''Bless my soul ! " exclaimed HobUeOi^l, ^jcrsAwss^^H. ^ 



ANJ) THE PEDIIKGTOKIANS. 193 

lidity ; " if Daubson had painted bis figures smaller, would 
Smearwell have had the best of it P As it is^ the grena- 
« are the first things that catch onr attention. It stands to 
ton, doesn't it ? " 

*o attempt to argae against a reason (and such a reason !) 
aght I, would be about as wise a proceeding as running my 
d against a stone wall ; so all I said in reply was — ''^XJn- 
Btionably, sir." 

had been so closely engaged in the foregoing conversation 
h Hobbleday that I paid uttlc or no attention to what was 
oe on around me ; but I was suddenlystartled by the tuning 
the instruments in the orchestra. The band was — as the 
f-bills expressed it — "numerous and efficient." Indeed it 
y (as Hobbleday assured me) the very band usually provided 
" balls and assemblies," by the celebrated Mr. Waeglebow, 
principal (that is to say, the only) music-seller in the place. 
. Wagglebow himself played the first violin, and led; the 
RT violin (the first second as it would technically be called in 
hedtras still more numerous and efficient than this) was 
jred by Mr. Wagglebow, junior ; the harp was by a younger 
. of Mr. W.'s ; and the flt^olet bv his youngest. There was 
> » big drum, which was performea upon by an elderly sentle- 
Dy . an amateur, as Hobbleday informed me. This Tpenonaear 
not servilely follow his leader, as less inspired musicians are 
xfc to do ; nor did he play from book. He seemed to trust 
irely to his own genius, and the necessity of the case, both 
what he should do, and when he should do it ; and it was 
f when he perceived that something was not quite right, or 
an he fancied there was a deficiency of force in the orchestral 
ots, that he brought his powerful aid to bear by giving one,. 
1^ three, or even half a aozen, heavy thumps on his drum,, 
ording to his own notion of what the particular circum- 
ices required. 

', counted the orchestra over and over again, but could make- 
Ho more than five performers in place of the ten announced.- 
tl would rather distrust the evidfence of my own eyes thani 
ibt the word of so honourable a gentleman as Mr. Strut,, 
iberately pledged in his announcements. 
Vhilst the band was performing the pleasing ceremony of 
ing, I looked around the house. There wore about thirty 
sons in the pit ; about fifty (including tbe cicrwd c>l oTderUei^^ 
be boxes; and (thoush I could not see tVie ^^Werf^\ ^oroi^ 
w from ''the areadmJ pother o'er otxi li^'sr TN\i\^ ^^^^ 

o 



194 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

kept by " the great gods," tliere could not be fewer than twebty 
in that division of the theatre. The house, taken altogether, might 
have been about one-third filled ; though, when the half-priee 
was in, it was about half full. This was, what Hobbleday oalkd, 
'* a most capital house." It was his opinion, however (he haTin? 
come in with an order), that the prices must be lowered.— And 
here I must tdce occasion to note dovm that my old acqnaintanoe 
was invaluable to me, since, but for the information I received 
from hiro, I might have remained ignorant upon many important 
points. 

" There ! " cried he ; " yon see Miss Cripps, our Sappho, in 
that little box? Well; the two gentlemen who have just joined 
her are, Mr. Dowlas, the author of the * Hatchet of Horror,' 
and Mr. Fiat, of the * Dictator.' JPiat, by the bye, great friend of 
8noxelPs and Tippleton's. Sweet, they say, npon little Laura 
Dobs — ahem ! And there, in that box opposite, is Miss Jane 
Scrubbs. She is the celebrated writer of the riddles and conan- 
drums in our * Observer.* She signs herself Enaj Sbbnrcs— the 
name reversed. Very ingenions, eh P Ah ! Itummins, the 
editor, has joined her. He is very intimate with Waddle and 
Gigs, and is a great friend of Mr. Stmt's, the manager." 
. I paid particular attention to this piece of information tonohing 
^e respective intimacies of the critics. Whtf I did so I searetlf 
know, 

"Clever at gnessing riddles, ehP" inquired Hobbleday; who 
received from me no other answer than a shake of the head, 
continued : — " Miss Scrubbs's last is wonderful ; most wonder- 
ful ! All Little Pedlington been trying at it for a week ; yet 
nobody has guessed it, although Kummins, in his paper, offers a 
prize to the successful guesser. Have been trying at it mTOlf 
night and day, but can do nothing with it. It m a puzzler. Qsly , 
listen. 

" Though blest with body, head, and tail, 
' Yet have I ueiUier leg nor limb ; 

The waters am I doom'd to swim. 
And often I'm exposed for sale. 
I'm sometimes boil'd, I'm sometimes fried. 
Sometimes I'm stew'd, and sometimes dried. 
Of all that lives beneath the sky, 
Come, tell me, tell me, what am I ? " 

"It can't be ^fisky^ said Ho\i\Aed«j, " i«t «^^ fool oonld gaeas 
/5ir/. ^ut stop — they are strikmg w^ mwsvci.'* mA^^ qx^^s^s^ 
perfoimed the march in the l^tUe ol "St^Jgoa ^'\^^^^^«^fe^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 195 

pfeeision and effect, the instrnments beiog scarcely half a note 
out of tune with each other, and all the performers arriving at 
the last bar nearly at the same moment with the leader — ^he, of 
course, as leader, coming in a leetle before the others. The 
overture was loudly applauded, and unanimously encored. The 
sallery called for it a third time. This call, however, was resisted 
by the rest of the house. A contest which lasted for some time 
ensued, and everybody at once crying " Silence ! " instead of 
holding their tongues, a tremendous noise was the consequence. 
The most uproarious of the gods (a large, fat man) being singled 
out, several gentlemen in the boxes called, " Turn him out, turn 
him out ! " whilst the pit, as with one voice, in the most disinte- 
• rested manner, insisted upon it that he should be tlirown over, 
utterly regardless of the fact, that obedience to their command 
must have been attended with certain uncomfortable consequences 
to some amongst themselves. The large, fat Little Pedlingtonian 
(apparently not approving of this mode of visiting the pit at 
gallery price) became silent, and the rest followed his example. 

Miss JuUa Wriggles then appeared before the curtain, to speak 
SQ address, written for the occasion by the celebrated Miss Cnpps. 
She was received with a loud and general clapping of hands. The 
address was composed with that elegance for which Miss Cripps 
ii 80 justly celebrated, and contained many new points, the most 
remarkable of which were, that it deprecated censure, and solicited 
praise. It concluded with these lines :— 

*' Since British hearts are true to virtue's cause. 
Long Hve the Queen ! and grant us your applause.'' 

Owing either to the smallness of the theatre, or the indistinct- 
ness of the fair speaker, I missed many words. The address and 
Miss Julia Wrigffles were, however, vehemently applauded, and 
the lady made her curtsy and withdrew. The instant she 
disappeared there was a general call for Miss Julia Wriggles ; 
and after this call had been repeated some dozens of times, she 
returned. She looked confused, and grateful, and modest, and, 
in shorty she looked everything that it is possible, under such 
circumstances, to look; and, amidst the waving of handker- 
chiefs, and cries of " Brayvo !" a wreath of flowers was thrown 
upon the stage. It came from an upper side-box. The lady 
gracefuUj and gratefully took it up, pressed it lo \iet\ia^\\., «cl^ 
again withdrew, 
^'Bhee mj soul ! dear me I " said Hobbleday •, " Y \ ^\fta^\.\«l 

o 2 



196 U^rtLU PEDLINGTON 

my life I saw th'at thrown from the manager's box ; but, no ; I 
mnst be mistaken." 

Tingle-tingle went the prompter's bell, and the curtain rose. 

The piece first performed was — 

' THE HATCHET OF HOEROR; 

OB, 

THE MASSACRED MILKMAID. 

Gi^ps a footpad (iu love with Martha X ^ snoxell. 
Squigs) ) 

Growler, his friend Mr. Waddlb. 

Muzzle, a poacher (also in love with Martha ) j^ Stride 
Squigs) ) ' 

Lord Hardheart Mr. Stagoeb. 

Mrs. Squigs, mother of Squigs and Martha . . Mrs. Bigoleswadil 

Mrs. Grumps, wife of Grumps Mrs. A. Strut. 

Lavinia Grumps, her daughter, with a song . . Miss Warble. 

Ninnypochia, a dumb gypsy-girl, with a ) Mile. Sara DES En- 

pas seul ) TRKCHATS. 

Martha Squigs, the Massacred Milkmaid . . . . Miss Julia Wriggles. 

In addition to these there are some subordinate characters: 
poachers, smugglers, housebreakers, highwaymen, incendiaries, 
&c., all in the most approved taste. 

The scene lies at, and in the immediate neighbourhood of, 
Hardheart Hall, the seat of Lord Hardheart, who, being a noMe- 
man, and a magistrate moreover, is naturally represented as a 
tyrant and an oppressor. At the Hall is Martha Squids, engaged 
in the humble but innocent duties of a milkmaid. She has been 
there only nineteen days, and it was (as she tells us) to escape from 
the persecution of Grumps's addresses (Grumps being a married 
man, and she having given her heart to Muzzle, a gulmt young 
poacher) that she quitted 

*'Tho roof maternal, mother's lowly cot." 

There is, besides this, another reasouloT\ketVw?\xi^\'fc^\»V<5stV^^^ 
B^er mother'3 circumstances \)exDS i«t iiwa. mss«8&.» ^jsiWsx. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 197 

r's profession of rather a precarious nature^ slie prudently 
Ivecf (again I quote her own words) — 

" To scrape together something of my own. 
And so provide against a rainy day." 

he piece opens with the discovery of Lord Hardheart (Mr. 
;ger) seated kt a table in his library, and surrounded by his 
estics, amongst whom is Martha (Miss Julia Wriggles), 
se are assembled to hear the examination of a poacher, who 
bobt to be brought before his lordship. He comes on in the 
ody of two gamekeepers. It is young Muzzle (Stride). 
tha Squigs is no common heroine : she neither faints nor 
ams.: she utters the half-stifled exclamation, " Oh, Heavens 1 " 
ps her hands, leans forward upon her right toe, and heaves, 
her bosom only, but the whole upper part of her body 
d, neck, shoulciers, and all), as if at each respiration it 
Id come away from the hips. Muzzle stands undaunted. He 
es a sign of silence to Martha. Of course, neither this nor 
tha's emotion are observed by any of the other characters. 
1 Hardheart begins : — 

I H, — " So, Mr. Muzzle, here thou art again ! 

Come, tell us what thou'st got to say to this. 
Thou know'st I oft have let thee off before. 
But now, Sir Poacher ! 

aU — (with firmness), I am innocent ! 

And if I snared those partridges last night, 
{Pointing to four partridges which the first gamekeeper 

has placed on the table), 
I wish I may not have the luck to take 
Another head of game this week to come ! 

Iff. — Beware, rash youth ! retract that dreadful oath, 
Nor steep thy soul in perjury so black. 

de, — "Wliat I have sworn, my lord, I've sworn ; and if 
Those four dead witnesses upon the table 
Had tongues within their heads to tell their talcs, 
They'd cry aloud, ' Jack Muzzle's innocent ! ' 
They're dead ! 

t JBT.— How died they ? 

tU. — E'en as I would — ^game ! 

Zeeper, — My lord, I'll take my oath he snared them birds : 
I caught the fellow in the very act. 

zle (to Keeper). — Silence, base minion of a tyrant lord ! — 

{to Lord it.) — Proud lord ! base tyrant ! vile oppressor, hear 
me ! 
What right hast* thou to have me w^^ietoc^ 'OQa^\ 
What right hast thou to punish, dciq lot Tj)Qa.^vck.'^\ 
What right hast thou to/' &o. &c. 



198 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

In a tirade of some sixty lines, Muzzle makes it perfeetly 
clear that, being fond of partridge, but not liking to pay m 
it, he. 



ti 



A free-bom Englishman, no lordling's slave," 



has an unquestionable right to steal it : that no person in the 
world (himself excepted) has the smallest right to his own pro- 
perty, if any other person in the world should happen to takek 
lancj to it : that to visit any sort of offence witn ajiy sort of 
punishment is — 

"Kank oppression, ii-on tyranny : ** 
and that in these times, 

" When mind is mind, and thinking men can think," 

it were a downright absurdity to contend for the distinctions of 
rank, or of any other distinctions whatsoever, and for this obvious 
reason : — 

" Thou art a lord, but let me tell thee this : 
Jack Muzzle, though a poacher — ^is A man ! " 

Lord Hardheart, like a tyrant as he is, in reply to all this, 
says— 

*' Deluded man, I'm not of thy opinion ; 
This once, however, I will let thee off ; 
But if thou ever shouldst be caught again 
Stealing my birds or anybody's else's. 
Thou shalt be prosecuted, take my word for't. 
Jack, with the utmost rigour of the law. 
Muzzle (aside). — Inhuman tyrant ! but I'll be revenged : 

Tms night your lordship's haystacks I'll set fire to."^ 



Martha, who, throughout this scene, had been entirely occupied 
in pumping up emotion, at length, on her lover's liberation, 
exclaims, — 

'' I breathe again ! my Muzzle is set free ! " 

Up to this moment the applause had been neither general nor 
enthusiastic. The gallery, indeed, composed chiefly of the inter- 
esiiuff jroung students already not\ced,^^xm\^\.cy^\x:^^'^\xv^^^ 
speecbes, or rather, his sentimeTxta \ ^xA o\)fcL^it ^«sX,^ ^lS>£i^V^^iSR. 



AND THE PEBLINGTONIANS. 199 

ojNressed their approbation of his manner of giving "E'en as I 
irt)nld-*-game!" and "a poacher — is a man!" There was one 
solitary, but resolute, hiss to this sentiment. It was from 
Mr. Yawkins, the banker, who (as my companion informed me) 
has a manor of nearly four acres in extent in the neighbourhood 
of Snapshank Hill. Nor did Miss Julia Wriggles's " Oh, 
Heavens ! " pass uncompliraented. But, for anything like 
general and vehement applause, that young lady may be said 
S) have drawn first blood. On giving the words, "My Muzzle 
is set free !" a pair of hands (which, as Hobbleday informed me, 
were the property of Mr. Strut, the manager) were thrust for- 
ward from a small box over the stage, analed the way to three 
distinct rounds. Mr. Stride came forward one pace and bowed; 
One of the pair of hands in question waved to him to retire ; 
and Miss Julia Wriggles, casting at him a look of indignation, 
and placing herself immediately before him, continued curtsying 
to the audience till they gave her three rounds more. 

Hobbleday, whilst employed in clapping his hands, whispered 
to me, "Fine sentiments those of Muzzle's ; quite of my way 
of thinking ; I'm for liberty and equality, and all that ; rights of 
man, eh ? Only, I say, musn't tduch the Eunds : I've got sixty 
pound a year in 'em." 

The piece proceeded. An exciseman comes on and states that 
they have taken a smuggler. The nrisoner is produced. It is 
Sam Squiggs (E. Strut), Martha's brother, and suitor for the 
hand otLavinia Crumps. This situation, so far as it affboted 
Martha, was a counterpart of the former one ; and Miss Julia 
Wriggles again exclaimed, "Oh, Heavens!" and again went 
through the pumping process, though with somewhat diminished 
effect. The depositions against Squigs are taken ; and, when he 
is asked what he has to say^ in his defence, he follows precisely 
the line of argument which had been adopted by Muzzle, — 
merely substituting the word " smuggling " for " poaching." He 
thus concludes his address :— 

" A man's a man ; that no one can deny • 
And if a man mayn't do a bit of smuggling ' 
Whenever he has got a mind to it. 
Then make a slave of him at once, say I : 
A pretty world to live in were it so ! 
A free man, I ; so what I'd do I'll do ; 
As for the laws, the laws be d d, say I." 

(T/iis line was loudly applauded, clueJl\)"Vj\\\lv,t 
juvenile students ctbcoe.^ 



800 LITTLE FfiDLlNGTON 

The tyrant, Lord Hardheart, proceeds to explain to Mr. 
Sguigs, that his principles, however convenient they maj be te 
his own individual purposes, are by no means calculated to 
promote the interests of society at large, as societry^ is at piesofc 
constituted ; but offers, on condition of his promismf!^ to aWdon 
what he (Lord H.) is bound to consider an unlawful callings fx 
this once to pardon him. Squigs, choosii^ rather to aigne tk 
point that, as he did not himseli frame the laws against smog- 
gling, it is not necessary he should observe them, r^iuea to 
comply with the condition. Upon this. Lord H. prepaxes.^ 
sign a warrant for his committal ; when, at the very moment, ha 
mother, Mrs. Sqoigs (Mrs. Biggleswade), rushes on, and a soeie 
of dishevelled hair, tears, and implorations, ensues. The tyrant 
lord repeats h^ oSei of clemency; but Squigs, remaming 
heroically obdurate, the officers prepare to remove him. Mrs. 
Squigs and Martha faint in each other's arms at one comer of 
the stage : in the centre stands Squigs resisting the officers, who 
each hold him by an arm ; Grumps (Snoxell ! ) and Growler 
(Waddle) rush on at the other comer, and, throwing themselves 
into attitudes of defiance, the whole of them maintain their 

utions for just so long as the audience continue to applaud. 

?his, as Hobbleday informed me, was "what they call a iab- 

uf"] Grumps (who during the whole of this pause perfcMrms 
the pumping manceuvre, so successfully executed by Mjss JuUa 
Wriggles), now prepares to speak. [Cries of "Braypo/" 
" Hush ! " " Snoxell for ever ! " " Silence ! " fromvarions parts 
of the theatre.] At length — ^his breast heaving, almost buntliig 
with emotion — thus Grumps : — 

" My friend ! — My Squigs ! — In chains ! — No, no : — no chains— 
The tyrant dared not that— but still — in custody ! 
Speak ! — Tell me ! — Wherefore this ? — Will no one answer ? 
Must I in tenfold ignorance abide ? 
Or, like the seaman on the mountain-top, 
Defy the foaming ocean in its wrath. 
Till every element of mortal agony 
Cries for compassion to the roaring surge ? 
Or, must I, like— Oh ! no, not so ! — ^a &h 
Of lightning intercepted in its course, 
A&ight the tremblmg clouds and cleave the earth. 
Till the scared sea>gull, cowering in its nest, 
Awakes pale Echo from her iron slumber 
To tell me wherefore— why my Squigs is here ? " 

This speech was tremendous\^ a^^^xjA^^. k\A\\fii»fiJs.\^^ 



AND TUB PEDLIN6T0NIAKS. 201 

lis opportouity to observe, that whilst the rest of the piece is 
ntten in a free, easy, idiomatic (^jet not inelegant) stjle, the 
hole part of Gmmps is in a strain ot high — ^nay, the highest-flown 
letrr. Amongst those who applauded' londest and longest was 
Or. Dowlas himself (the author of the niece), who was in Miss 
cipps's box. This 1 thought rather odd. Hobbleday, however, 
isiired me he was merely applauding the actor, not the speech. 
his distinction was obvious. 

Gramps is informed of the nature of the offence of which 
idgs (who is affianced to his daughter), is accused. In a 
wodb, in no way inferior to his last, Grumps defends the prac- 
06 of smuggling, and denounces Lord Hardheart as 



it 



The tyrant minister of tyrant laws." 



pon this. Growler (Waddle), rushes forward, and, throwing 
mself into a striking attitude, exclaims in a voice of thunder, 

*' I'm altogether of my friend's opinion.'* 

This is all Waddle has to say or do in the present act ; but 
is he did in a way to extort applause even from the Snoxellites 
-ftnd the party was easily distinguishable. The speech was 
lodved with three rounds of appWise, together with cries of 
Bnwvo, Waddle ! " « Go it. Waddle ! " " Waddle for ever ! " 
radole still remained in attitude, and another three rounds. 
warded him. Waddle, apparently liking it, continued immo- 
ible as a statue, and the Waddleites endeavoured to get up a 
did three rounds; but Snoxell rushing forward, and placmg 
mself directly between Waddle and the audience, there was an 
unediate cry of "Silence," and the performance proceeded. 
Grumps, finding his argument of no avail with the obdurate 
agistrate, ^ves a loud whistle. At this signal, a party of 
mmps's fnends — footpads, smugglers, poachers, &c., rush on, 
id Squigs is carried off in triumph. 

The next is a love-scene between Muzzle and Martha Squigs. 
be expatiates on her own terrors during his late examination, 
id conjures him by the love he bears her, to abstain from the 
dl practice of poaching. He feigns compliance, and in the 
ECess of his seeming obedience to her wishes, adds — 

*' To please thee, I'll not even poach an egg. 
Martha, — Nay, thou'rt too land ! Then, soon, ui^ ^"erotta MxonXa, 

I'll name the day shall make thy M.aT\)ML \X5M\a. 
Ymgle.-^ Thy MuzzWa happy !— (A«ide.) ISov \iO fcc^>(Jaa^8Xas3«&^ 



209 LETTLB FEOLINGTON 

As Muzzle goes off at one side, Gramps comes on at tiie 
other. The latter addresses Martha in a long spaeck com* 
menoing with — 

" My Martha ! — Martha Squigs I — Alone ! — Untended ! 
E'en — as the dove — ^whose inno — cent — repose, — 
Soft — as the limpid — stream — ^in summer's prime^ ftc." 

and ending, 

" So, — like the eagle, — soaring — ^to the skies, — 
Again — I — come — to press — my ardent — ^suit.** 

To this the virtuous Martha artlessly replies :— 

''No, Mr. Gnimps, 'tis all of no use talking ; 
Though poor, I'm honest ; virtuous, though not rich. 
Virtue is all I have, save nine-pound-ten. 
Which I by honest labour have obtained. 
Nay — ^press me not — I tell thee, once for all, 
That Martha Squigs is not at all the girl 
To give her hand where she can't give her heart — 
Especially to one already married. 

Grumps, in a strain of poetry equal to any of the rest, urges 
many edif\jng arguments m the hope of prevailing with her; but 
in vain. Then, in a momentary access of morahty, he acknow- 
ledges, that while such an ohstacle to his suit as the one al- 
luded to exists, it would be not altogether proper to persist in it; 
and consequently declares (m a side speech) that his We shall 
be " disposed of." With this resolution he departs, and Martha 
withdraws. 

This scene was well, but not finely acted. Snoxell seemed to 
be reserving himself for some great effort; and Miss JnMa 
Wriggles, owing to the culpable inattention of the prompter, 
who did not give her the word as often as it was his duty to do 
it, was made to appear as if she was imperfect in her part. 
With the exception of the first word of her lines, as •*No,** 
"Though," "Virtue," "Which," " Nay," &c. (where his voice 
was audible enough), she had scarcely any assistance from him 
worth speaking of. Indeed, on one occasion, the young lady 
was actually compelled to go to what, I believe, they call " first 
entrance, prompt side," and cry to him, " Why don't you give 
me the word, you stupid fool P" 
The next scene represents "LordHardheart's haystacks, by 

moonlight." Mnzzle enters*, and, »i\. W'a erA^l ^^^-^^^^Sci.'jSRtfsQS;. 

'^ Sweet revenge," he places oom\)\is\.TJ[AB^m^^^i«3« ^^ssssas?. 



AKD TH£ FEDLDfCKCOKIANS. 303 

footsteps, he retires. Ninnypochia, the dnmb gipsj-girl (an al> 
most indispensable character in a melodrame at JLittle Pedling- 
ton), appears. She pokes her forefinger into her month to 
denote tnat she is dumb. She then signifies that she has ob- 
served Mnzzle's proceedings, and that she will go instantlj and 
ffive information at the halL Thus resolved, she remains to 
dance Skpas seul. After that, away she goes. Muzzle reappears 
and sets fire to the stacks. There is a "terrific conflagration," 
and all the characters rush on and form a tableau. Thus ends 
the fijrst act. 

The next act is opened by a quarrel-scene between Grumps 
and Growler. They have knocked down and robbed Lord Hard- 
heart ; and the dispute arises out of what Growler considers to 
be an unjust division of the s|)oil. This scene was verv spirit- 
edly acted : it was a trial of skill between the two rival trage- 
dians, and it is difficult to decide to which of them the praise 
of superiority belongs. 

Qrumps. — "No more, my Growler ! never be it said 

That we, like Yultures, on the Arabian plains. 
Dispute and quarrel for a pound or two. 

Orowler, — Don't talk to me of vultures — stuff and nonsense : 
Your high-flown blarney won't come over me. 
You say, you picked Lord Hardheart's pocket — granted : 
But who was't knock'd him down first-— you or I ? 

Grumps,"-' *Twas thou, my Growler — thou 'twas didst the deed^ 
And therefore — like the bark tnat dares the main, 
Cleaving her way with top-mast glittering high 
Against the sunny pinions of the winds. 
To reach the wished-for haven — I consent 
To give my Growler half a sovereign more." 

Growler declares that he will be satisfied with nothing short 
of an equal division of the booty. To this Grumps decidedly 
ofagects. After a long scene of mutual reproach and recrimina- 
tion, the friends (now deadly foes) separate: each (in a side 
vpoech) announcing his determination " to dispose " of the other. 

In tnis scene every speech was applauded at its conclusion : 
csries of ^Brafvo, Snoxeil !" or "Waddle for ever !" accompany- 
ing the dappiug of hands, according as the one or the other was 
the speaker. Upon the whole, I should say that the " heart- 
rending Snoxeil was the favourite with the redlingtonians. 

The interest increases as the piece proceeds ; each succeeding 
incident, indeed, being alone of power sufficient to sui2\)Qrt a 
/uficsa In the next scene, Grumps seeks a ^pxcXesA, \.c> ^isxx^ 
wM Ms wife (the obstacle to his sucoeaa V\\\i ^^ ^x\?assvis* 



204; LITTLE PEDLll^GTON 

Martha), and "disposes of her" with a hatchet. [Immense 
applause.! There is yet another " obstacle " — Muzzle, the |* 
favoured loyer. In the scene following this, Gruipps meets him, 
and "disposes of" him also, by means of the same instrument^ 
the hatchet, which gives the piece its first title. But the neatt 
and last scene is the crowning glory, as Mr. Mat would say, of 
the whole. It is " the fatal cow-house," as the play-bill desoimes 
it. Grumps has been offered by a person whom he acoideiitally 
meets, ana who has the honour of being a perfect strai^ra to 
him, eight pounds for a cow. Having none of his own, he re- 
solves (in accordance with the liberal system of justice and 
morality which it is the tendency of the play to inculcate) to 
" possess himself of," or (as it would be expressed in unpoetical 
phrase) to steal one of Lord Hardheart's. For this purpose he 
approaches the cow-house. And here occurs one of the 
finest, if not the finest, speech in the piece, commencing witii 
" Rumble thou hurricanous wind." But scarcely had Snoxell 

fiven the first line of it, when he was interrupted by a volley of 
isses, and cries of " Off, off ! " These evidently proceeded from 
the Waddleites, and were instantly met by loua cheering and 
cries of " Shame ! shame !" from the Snoxeflites. After this up- 
roar had continued some time, Snoxell came forward ; and when, 
at length, he succeeded in obtaining a hearing, he thus addressed 
the audience :— 

"Ladies and gentlemen, — Are you — or are you not — Little 
Pedlingtonians ? If you be, I throw myself — with confidence— 
on your candour — and liberality. [Great applause.] I know the 
cause of the disapprobation — ^no — not disapprobation — opposi- 
tion which some or you — ^have manifested. [" Bravo ! " from one 
party; " No, no," from the other.] But I have this favour — ^to 
ask — at your hands : — Tell me — am I — Snoxell — or am I — not? 
[Loud and general cheering.] I am Snoxell, then. Ladies— 
and Grentlemen, — ^I have only further — most respectfully— and 
most humbly to entreat — that I may not again — ^be — interrujited 
— in the performance — of — my — pro — fessional — duties." 
[Thunders of applause ; and Snoxell proceeded in his part.] 

Grumps, with hatchet in hand, is about to burst open the door 
of the cow-house. At this moment Growler comes on and 
watches his proceedings. But here again was an interruption ; 
the Waddleites now crying, "Brai/DO, vTaddkl" and the Snox- 

eJIites, '' Off ! off ! " When ^addVe, \u \i\^ \.xvm, ^\.i\Qfc^Vw^ 

io speak, be thus delivered himaeVi ;— 



AND THE PEDLINGTOKIANS. 205 

'* Ladies and Gentlemen. — Ahem ! I appeal to your generosity 
Little Pedlingtonians. [Thunders of applause from all parts 
of the theatre.] I have been most shamefully — ahem !— it is 
not for me to — ahem ! — but professionally speaking — ahem !— 
ior the many years I have haa the honour — ahem !— and as I 
ahall ever consider it my duty to — ahem! — and as I am ad- 
itoeMing myself to a Little Pedungton audience [Again, thunders 
of ^ appkuse], I trust — ahem ! — I hope — ahem ! — that I have 
said enough." The audience testifying by their unqualified 
i^pUmse that they thought so too, the piece again proceeded.* 

Grumps breaks open the cow-house door, and leads forth the 
•* favounte cow of the massacred milkmaid " (I quote the play- 
)nll) ; he is taking it away, when he is interrupted in the execu- 
tion of his '' fell design " by the appearance of Martha. She has 
heard of the two " deeds of horror " he has but so lately perpe- 
trated ; refuses to listen to the addresses of 



tt 



A blood-stain'd murderer with gory hand," 



and concludes a powerful speech — the last she is to utter in this 
world 1 — ^in the words following : — 

" Take and let go that oow, thou horrid monster ! 
Thou kill'dst thy wife — ay, I know all about it — 
Thou slay'dst my lover, and wouldst steal my cow. 
Away, away ! I hate the sight of thee." 

Grumps, irritated to fury, drags Martha into the cow-house, 
and with the " Hatchet of Horror" chops off her head — Growler 
exclaiming— 

" Ill-fated Martha Squigs, I will avenge thee 1 " 

follows Grumps into the cow-house: there they providentially 
&id two shields and two broadswords. A " terrific combat " 
efoanes. After Growler has been beaten down, and has fought 
on bb knees five times round Ihc stage, and that, in his turn, 
Grumps has been beaten down, and has fought nine times round 
(m his side, the villain Grumps is slain. A thunderbolt strikes 
the cow-house, which is shattered to atoms; the ghost of the 

* An explanation of the cause of this singular (and, apparently, 
llieaq>lioable) interruption may, perhaps, be fo\md by reterring to a oon- 
rsnatum which took place between Mr. BnoxeW, tx«X«, «XkdL ^^x^^s^ 
Mr. Waddle, and the manager. 



206 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

murdered Mrs. Gmmps appears — ^the other characters of the piece 
come on and form another tableau, and in the midst of ^reen fire^ 
bine fire, red fire, and fire of all colours, accompanied with sqnibs, 
crackers, and the sound of a gong, the curtain drops. I must 
add, that there is an underplot, of which the subject is the lo^es 
of young S<]^uiggs and Lavinia Grumps ; but, in m j opimon, it 
might be dispensed with, as, instead of assisting, it rsthes 
encumbers the main action of the piece. 

Considered as a whole, I look upon the " Hatchet of Horror " 
as being, at least, equal to any melodrame which I have bad the 
pleasure of seeing for a long time past ; as a piece of writing, it 
is infinitely superior to the best ; but its greatest claim to pndse 
is, that it is both Original and Domestic. By oriainal is meant, 
that it is not [said to be] taken from the !^ncb, and that its 
characters, incidents, and situations, although forming the staple 
of this species of composition time immemorial, are interwoven 
with a story not exactly like that of any of its predecessors. By 
domestic, we arc to understand, that its leading characters are 
not kings, princes, and princesses, nor ladies and gentlemen, nor 
eyen what is usually implied by the term " decent people," but 
gallant, independent, free-thinking spirits, selected from low (or, 
to use the cant word, domestic) life, who are admirably oontrived, 
by their actions and sentiments, at once to illustrate the tyranny 
of the laws, and teach the oppressed and suffering "lower 
orders " the pleasure, as well as the propriety, of resisting them. 
Hobbleday was entirely of this opinion. 

" How interesting and edifying ! " exclaimed he, as the curtain 
fell. "Poaching, smuggling, robbery, arson, and murder, all in 
one piece ! And then, what liberal sentiments ! This is the sort 
of thing, my dear fellow, to improve — to enlarge the under- 
standing of the lower classes. Glad they didn't talk about 
touching the Funds, though — my sixty pounds a year, you 
know." 

On the fall of the curtain, there was a call for Snoxell and 
Miss Julia Wriggles. After a decent delay they appeared. One 
bowed and bowed, the other curtsied and curtsied. A wreath^ 
it appeared to me to be the same that had already made its 
appearance — ^was thrown from the little box over the staffc. It 
fell immediately between the lady and gentleman. Snoxell, with 
a bow and smile, was stooping to pick it up, when Miss Julia, 
putting her foot upon it, and at the same time saying to Snoxell, 
'^NotJor you, jovL stupid fooW" tooVTpo^^^^\atLal>i)afc^'^, 
Cheers and waving of handkerci^da wicom^waa^^^'t^^wass^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 207 

of these favourites. The next favourites who were honoured 
with a similar disHneiion (the wreath excepted) were Waddle and 
Mn. Biggleswade. The next complimented were Stride, Stagger, 
Mn. A. Strut, and Mile. Sara des Entrechats. After these — 
in short, every one of the performers in the piece was in turn 
oalled for, to receive the same compliment — a proceeding which, of 
course, added greatly to its value. Some one then called for 
Mr, Siffle, the prompter, who, though not seen, had been dis- 
tinotly heard ; but as that gentleman had not actually appeared 
upon the stage, the call was overruled. I was somewhat asto- 
nished that the good Pedlingtonians did not call &r the cow, 
which had appeared. But, upon Hobbleday's informing me that 
the animal was nothing more ihan a donkey sewed up m a cow's 
hid^ and also observing how nearly it had spoiled Snoxell's great 
scene, by braying when the tragedian lea him forth — an act 
which tms Life-Governor of the Zoological Garden assured me 
was not natural to the character he represented — I felt satisfied 
that the incautious quadruped did not aeserve the compliment. 
My notices of the rest of the performances must be brief. 

Bboad-Swoed Hornpipe, by Miss Julia Wriggles. Performed 
three times. Miss J. W. called for, wreath, &c. In apothecary 
phrase^ "Dose as before." 

Am. Round my Hat, " a new and elegant Burletta, without 
songs or anv musical accompaniment whatever." (Hobbleday 
asked me what could be meant by a burletta without songs ? 
Could not explain, ileferred him to the Master of the Cere- 
monies of Little Pedlington, and Licencer also, who ought to be 
able to give him the information.) Piece eminently successful. 
Pijncipal characters by Tippleton (" the facetious Tippleton") 
and Mss Julia Wriggles. Both called for, &c. 

Who abb You ? " a fashionable interlude." — Unequivocally 
damned, although supported by the whole strength of Tippleton, 
Giffs, and Miss Julia Wriggles. Nevertheless, they were all 
caUed for, and so forth. 

Shb shalIi be an Actress. As the whole of the characters 
(dght!) were performed by Miss Julia Wriggles, the piece 
might have carried a second title — ^Whether or No. Com- 
plete success. Miss J. W. called for, and the wreath again. 

Of ^le performers I shall merely say — Sno^eW., ^^^^.^'^-a.^^^ 
gwki but prone to rant; Tippleton, hard aad sXVS. ^ Tiai\s5Mk 



208 LIITL£ PEBLINGTOir 

poker ; Gigs, rich and racy ; Mrs.Bigglbswade4 first rate ; Hiss 
Julia Wriggles, wonderful — ^Ibr a first appearance — ^for she pla?ed 
with all the aplomb of a practised stiver. Her forte^ tragedy ; 
in comedy, elegant but cold; sings (I must say it^ like arayen; 
but dances — ^like one of Ducrow's horses. In her eight characters 
her various dialects were good, but all alike: Irish, Erench, 
German, Scotch — all Irish. 

Owing to the length of the performances, the theatre not 
closed till near eleven o'clock! ''Late hours for Little 
Pedlington," said Hobbleday, as he shook hands with me at 
parting. 

To-morrow morning I shall see how far my statement of facts 
is borne out by the " Dictator," and the " Observer." As for 
opinions, theirs will be theirs, as mine are mine. And so good 
night ! 



CHAPTER XIV. 

*'Who shall decide when doctors disagree?" — ^PoFX. 

CONPlOTiNa Critioisms— Tte "Little Pedlington Dictator"— The 
** Little Pedlington Weekly Observer " — ^The impartial and veEadous 
playbill. 

Tuesday Moening.— Breakfast, the "Little Pedlington 
Dictator," the " Little Pedlington Weekly Observer,*' and the 
play-bill for this evening, are afl before me. The play-bill being 
intended, I presume, as a mere announcement of the performaaoe 

Provided for the entertainment of the public, I cannot expect to 
e informed by it of any fact beyond that, or to receive trom it 
any opinion at all. As well might I look to the simple adver- 
tisements of Mr. Eudgefield (the celebrated auctioneer of this 
place) to find a hogshead of vine^, which he may have to sell, 
converted into a few dozens of choice wine; a broken-down 
hack, invested with all the attributes of a " Flying Childers ;" 
or a mad'bovel transformed, by t\\fe m«ki^c ^^^« wi. ^^sm^tion, 
lato an ItaUan villa. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 209 

The first paper before me being the " Little Pedlington 
Dictato:b^" with that I begin. Its motto (adopted, no doubt, 
for its rigid applicability) is, — 

" I am Sir Oracle, 
And when I ope my lips let no dog bark." 



THEATRICAL DIOTATOB. 

■ *' Last night onr Dramatic Temple was opened for the season 
to the votaries of Thalia and Melpomene. Long before the 
rising of the curtain the house was filled in every part to a degree 
of compact and impervious density. Nor is this to be wondered 
at : a new melodnmia, written by that subtle and deep-searching 
dramatist, Mr. Dowlas, the principal, or, indeed, the chief and 
main-sustaining character of which was to be represented by that 
heart-probing and soul-enthralling actor, Mr. Snoxell, was 
of itself sufficient to account lor the circumstance^ But, 
when it is considered that, in addition to this, an Occasional 
Address from the feminine and graceful pen of Miss Cripps was 
to be delivered; and, also, that the facetious and murtn-com- 
pelling Mr. Tippleton was to appear in two pieces, written 
expressly for the purpose of displaying his unrivalled and incom- 
parable powers, wonder must altogether subside and cease. 

"Having taken our place, our eye rested, with throbbing 
'satisfaction and delight, on the new drop-scene, the joint work 
of those singularly eminent and gifted artists, Daubsou and 
Smearwell. ISut we must suggest what would be a grand and 
dbf ions improvement, and one that must be made. The neutral 
Hbts IB the middle distance contrasting abruptly with the bright 
ipd sunny radiance of colour in the foreground, whilst a deep 
tfid mysterious shadow pervades the back ; the consequence is 
thfit the chiaroscuro of tne aerial perspective is diminished, and 
tiie general sentiment and feeling of the whole picture weakened 
and subdued. Were it otherwise, with what captivating 
•Dd Claude-like effect would the twenty-four green doors, each 
With its gorgeously-glowing brass-knocker, relieve the solemn 
iad B;embrandt-like tones of the back-ground ! whilst the medi- 
titive repose and TitiaMsque breadth and stability of the ^rena- 
d&isn at the corner, would present a inastexVy exam^^ ^\ *^^ 
IfufAaa/aj^e/es^ue suhlimitj o^ the pictorial at\.\ "t\ias» owx ^'^^^ 



210 LITTLE PBDLIN6T0N 

nion cannot be disputed— or we have studied our * Vocabulary of 
Art' to very little purpose." 

« Conclusive cnticism, this of Mr. Fiat's ! " thought I. " T3ie 
young gentleman is blest with a stifle, too ! " Now, as charity 
IS said to cover a multitude of sins, so may it be said of a style 
— 9k sijle par excellence — ^that it is ample compensation for the 
absence of sense and meaning. Some there may be who dis- 
agree with me to the extent of desiring a modicum of measisff, 
a small portion of sense : Be it so : I — to use the fashional»B 
phrase — " go the whole hog." Give me but a fine sfyle^-'-ht it 
the " graphic," the " picturesque," the •* suggestive " (which, I 
believe, is the last-invented nickname), the ** spirit-stirrin&" 
the " intensely-thriUing," the " widely-grasping," the *' deeply- 
searching," the — ^the — in short, be it any one of the thousand 
new-fangled styles, so it be but a fine style — ^and I am satisfied. 
Any one commonplace person may write what any other com- 
monplace person majr understand. But Mr. Fiat writes like a 
genius, and is rarely intelligible ; and such is my admiraticm of 
his style, even upon this short acquaintance with it, that bo 
power upon earth, short of the power of an Act of Parliament, 
shall compel me to understand it. — ^But let me contiime the 
perusal oithe " Dictator : — " 

" The overture was performed with that chromatic intona^OB, 
that wondrous power of harmonic modulation, and that singu- 
larly Mozart-like oneness of effect for which Mr. Wa^lebow's 
band is so eminently celebrated. But looking, as is our wont to 
do, beneath the surface, and penetrating the innermost soul 
and under-current of things, we must say, that there were pas- 
sages of that marvellous work (the March in the Battle of 
Prague) which were not given in accordance with the subUme 
and astounding intention of the master-spirit which produced 
it. It is not with a composition of such masterly and wide- 
sweeping grandeur, such subtlety of depth, and prodigality of 
refinement as this, as it may be with such works as 'li^lly put 
the Kettle on,' or *Hey Cockalorum Jig,' which appeal merely 
to the more obvious sympathies of our nature. This addresses 
itself as well to the mysterious operations of the finest intel- 
lect, as to the more general, but deeply-moving power, of pas- 
sion and sentiment ; and requires, accordingly, a kindred zest, 
and strong tendency towards the loftiest faculties of apprecia^ 
tioD, on the part of the perfotmet. We do not mean to assert 
that the TFagglebows were totaWy de^dett^V. m XJaa-aR Qjaa&iMi&^^ 
that the performer upoxi the l^ig dEum ^^ "oSiX. Q?iSim^\is^'%'®»^ 



AND THE PEDUNGTONIANS. 211 

nifest a fine feeling for the remoter and more subtle beauties of 
the composer ; but if they hope to make a closer and more in- 
tense approach towards perfection, they must dive into the pro- 
fondities of the great Maestro, with a patient and learned spirit, 
88 we have done. This they must do. And, indeed, upou all 
musical matters our opinion and advice must be received witti 
implidt acquiescence — or it is to very little purpose that we 
have been qualifying ourselves for this branch of our high office, 
bj learning to play upon the fiddle for these six months and 
upwards." 

K this be not "diving into the profundities" of things, the 
deuce is in it. But, to the " Dictator" again : — 

** An Occasional Address, of excelling loveliness, and surpass- 
ing purity and grace, was now spoken, or rather, we should say, 
at&mpted to be spoken, by Miss Julia Wriggles. Of this fine 
production, the work of our highly-gifted and singularly-accom- 
plished poetess. Miss Cripps, we sheul give two or three speci- 
mens ; and if these do not bear us out in pronouncing it to be 
the emanation of a mind of powerful, yet subtle and feminine 
tenderness, as well as vigorous and searching grasp, we have 
studied the writings of our illustrious Jubb to very little pur- 
pose. How graphic, how full and sweeping, yet how delicately 
shadowed forth are the opening lines ! Ana then, What a fine 
perception of the subtle and imperceptible limits which, in a 
finelj-Knr^nized and female intellect, divide dogmatic learning 
from femininely and gracefully timid classicality, is conveyed in 
the * I think ' m the third line : — 

' Once more within these flittering walls you're seen. 
Sacred to Thalia and to Melpomene ; 
O'er Comedy (I think) fair Thalia sways, 
While Tragedy great Melpomene obeys.' 

" Afiain ; how surpassingly forcible and spirit-stirring are the- 
following — 

' If to hear music hero you also come. 
Here you'll hear fiddles and here hear the di^m,* 

« We have printed the word drum in italics, because, accord 
inff to our appreciation, it is introduced with wondrous power 
and effect, and moves us like as unto the sound oC a tx\3>xK^^\.. 
We are almost tempted to give the whole oi \i\i\a ^wkV-^xi^ws^^ 
mdaetiouj but we can afford space for on\y oiie ^x\x^O^ \sswt^. 
if h MB appeal In favour of the new periormeia eTL^^*^*^^ ^'Coa 

p 2 



212 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

theatre, and is touched with a hand of excelling tenderness and 
delicacy. Tor exquisitely graceful simplicity, indeed, we pro- 
nounce it to be unnvalled ; — 

' To-night, old favourites will be brought to view : 
Be kind to them, but don't forget the new/ 

" But why was the delivery of this admirable poem intnuied 
to Miss Julia Wriggles ? Why not to Miss Laura Dobs — a yonng 
lady who is n^ade to sing in the choruses, whilst she possenes 
(as it is rumoured) talent of the most consummately-promismg 
order, which must raise her to the most eminently-elevated ruic 
in her profession. The Address itself, however, was abnndantlj 
applauded, and a complimentary wreath was thrown to the fair 
poetess, who was (as we are informed) discovered in some part 
of the theatre. Unluckily it fell upon the sts^, and was 
greedily snatched up by Miss Julia Wriggles ; who, with sur- 
passing assurance, appropriated the honour to herself 

Now, let me see. " Why not to Miss Laura Dobs P " — " As 
it is rumoured." — "As we are informed." The wreath "greedily 
snatched up by Miss Julia Wriggles." — "Surpassing assurance." 

I turn to my last night's notes, and find it thus written: — 
" There ! " cried he (Hobbleday) ; " you see Miss Cripps, onr 
Sappho, in that little box P Well, the two gentlemen who have 
jusi joined her are Mr. Dowlas, the author of the 'Hatchet of 
Horror,' and Mr Fiat of the ' Dictator^ {As we are nrroBMBD!] 
"Eiat, by the bye, great friend of Snoxell's and Tippleton's. 
Sweety they say^ upon little Laura Dobs — ahem ! " [who pos- 
sesses (as it is humoured) talents, &c.] Again ; I find that, 
after speaking the Address, "the lady (Miss Julia Wriggles) 
made her curtsy and withdrew. The instant she disappeared, 
there was a general call for Miss Julia Wriggles ; and after this 
call had been repeated some dozens of times ^ she returned ♦ * ♦ * 
and amidst the waving of handkerchiefs and cries of bnwvo, a 
wreath of flowers was thrown upon the stage. * * * * The 
lady gracefully, and gratefully, took it up, pressed it to her 
heart, and again withdrew. [Surpassing assurance f] 

Now, as f am as positive about the facts which I have stated 
as I am careless concerning my opinions, the discrepancies 
between Mr. Eiat's statement and mine astonish me ! By no 
exguisitelj subtle and deep-searching process of intellect, as the 
"Dictator" would say, can. 1 leconcaVe \\ieia. '^Vssi Mr. Fiat is 
sweet upon little Laura Do\is (accQitto?;\.o^c3^^^^,^t'^iKs{s» 
he is in the habit of tea-ing mt\i lfiM» C:.tv^^ V>R.^^^>as^ "Vft"^^ 



A17D THE PEBLINGTOKIAirS. 213 

iDformation of Mr. Yawkins, the library-keeper), are drcnm- 
stances which can have no weight in the estimation of a critic — 
at least in Little Pedlington. So now to proceed : — 

"The theatre was now hushed into a deeply intense and 
concentrated silence, rendered the more awful and profound by 
the audible respirations of the spell-bound audience, as the 
curtain rose for the performance of Mr. Dowlas's glorious melo- 
draine, the * Hatchet of Horror,' in which it was known that Mr. 
Snoxell was provided with a part of surpassing power and 
grandeur. 

** The opening scene presents us with a creature called Lord 
Hardheart, who, in virtue of his hellish office of a magistrate, is 
waiting the appearance of a fellow-being, whom, doubtless, he 
has predetermined to consign to the eternal and Erebusean 
dungeon, or the hungry and life-devouring gibbet. And here, at 
the very threshold of this noble and deeply-searching drama, Mr. 
Dowlas evinces the same subtle and philosophic reach of thought 
which are the rare and mind-embracing characteristics of nis 
other unapproached and truly overwhelming productions, — such 
as * Swing ; or, the Avenging Bick-bumer ;' — * Bellingham the 
Bold; or, a Pattern for Patriots;' — 'Turpin the Intrepid; or, 
the High-minded Highwayman;' — ^ Laura the Lovely; or, the 
Aocom^ished Concubine,' &c. &c. &c. &c. ; in all of which he 
adfocates, with transcendent depth and originality, and in lan- 
guage flowing with palpable form and colour, those glorious and 
som-stirring attributes of man — as many — at the bare mention of 
which tyrants shrink into the darkest caverns of mental opacity. 
The offence — offence, forsooth ! — of which the victim upon whom 
the lordling magistrate is empowered to exercise his vengeance 
is aocnsed, is, that he has removed some vermin, or (as in the 
oppressor's tyrannical jargon it is expressed) poached some 
game. The mtended victim is Muzzle. We here take occasion 
to say that Muzzle was not altogether badly acted by Mr. Stride ; 
bat there are passages in his part of a delicacy too fine and 
sabile, jet of a breadth and boldness of grandeur too terribly 
impressive, though finely shadowed off into an evening-like soft- 
ness and beauty, for the limited, though respectable, capabilities 
of that artist to do justice to. Those passages ought to have 
been moulded and wrought into the part of Grumps, allotted to 
Mr. Snoxell. For instance : with what terrible and soul- 
appalling effect, yet quiet and concentrated grandeur, blended, 
at the same time, with dove-like grace awd '^unV^, >«^\W^^i^ct. 
Sboiell have hmled, as it were, at the Ucb^^ ^l ^"^ Ni^^^ 



214 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

oppressor, these lines of wondrous and heart-searching trathfal- 
ness :— 

' Thou art a lord, but let me tell thee this : 
Jack Muzzle, though a poacher — ^is a man.* 

" We can imagine the scorching and "withering look withwhioh 
he would have accompanied the word * lord,' with an attitude of 
what surpassing dignity and grace he would have uttered the 
words * Jack Muzzle, though a poacher,' and then, after a tmb 
and most artistical pause, with what a tone of excellent thtiDiiig- 
ness he would have subsided into the self-supporting and sabHme 
assertion — * is a man.' We can conceive that thus, and br him, 
delivered, the passage would have caused the very heart of nearts 
within us to flush and grow pale. Mr. Stride, on the contrary, 
produced none of these effects. With the exception of a sneer 
with which he gave the word * lord,' he slurred over all the rest 
of this finely and deeply-conceived passage, with stiiringless 
apathy, till he came to the last three words, when, rushing to the 
foot-hghts, he struck his breast with his right hand, elevated the 
left aBove his head, distended his legs like a pair of compasses, 
and roared at the top of his voice, ' is a jian ; ' the conaequeme 
of this was, an expression of loud and veir general disappiomddoa. 
Indeed, we must inform Mr. Stride, that he never can be an aetor 
of subtle and artistical power, unless he will explore the 1lnde^ 
current of things, and seek the sources of the terrible and sublime 
throes of passion and sentiment, in the complicated, yet not 
barren, fields of intellect, and the unerring bosom of nature her- 
self. We assert that this, our opinion, is indisputable, or we have 
studied the * Cant* of Criticism ' to very little purpose.'* 

Now, I must repeat, that £ have nothing to do with the 
'^ Dictator's " opinions. All this criticism I admit to be fine, and 
profound, and deep-searching, and wide-srasping, and subtle, and 
acutelv metaphysical, and philosophically analytical-— eritioism, 
indeed, of the mghest, deepest, wisest, anythingest order ; and if 
there be any who do not clearly understand it, I shall take 
the liberty to say, on behalf of the " Dictator," that it is no part of 
his contract with his readers, to provide them with understanding. 
But again I am at issue with him upon a point of fact. He states, 
that Mr. Stride's ** is a man," excited " loud and very general 
disapprobation." Now, I assert, that the house expressed its 

* Cant of Criticism.— Is this Hot a Tmsprmt iot TLfcjSJi ^^ Qisstocbsi 
aietaphysicmn) on Criticism? "— i{8\icVio.'WOt\L\fcBw\». 



AND THB FEDUKGTONIANS. 215 

approbation of his maimer of giviDg "E'en as I would— game/' 
and "a poacher — is a man." This I do assert upon the authority 
of my last night's notes aad this I will maintain to be true, or I 
have used my ears (to adopt a favourite phrase of the " Dic- 
tator's") ** to very little purrpose." And further on, the 
''Dictator" says : — 

" Indeed, the whole of this scene was played with an un- 
e^ergetic tameness, which went far to endan^ger this singularly 
filie drama ; and but for the momentary and intense expectation 
of the appearance of Mr. Snoxell, which riveted the innermost 
souls of the audience, the piece would not have been allowed to 
pirooeed. No blame for this attaches to the highly- gifted author, 
fOT the scene abounds in passages of singular power and beauty : 
witness the marvellously fine exclamation, * Heavens ! * which 
is uttered by Martha Squigs, when, in the person of the accused 
poacher, she recogmzes her lover. Jack Muzzle. This was given 
by Miss Julia Wriggles in a suppressed tone ! ! Now, Martha 
Squigs is here represented as in a situation of awfully agonizing, 
yet self-sastained, terror and suspense ; and we have studied to 
nttle purpose the subtle and imperceptible (imperceptible to the 
Tolgar apprehension, at least) workings of the under-current of 
the deep-seated springs of human passion, if this incomparable 
exclamation ought not to have been fulminated in a singularly 
wild and soul-piercing scream. We can imagine with what 
ftvfdlly-thrilling power, and volcanic electricity of effect, it 
would have been given by Mr. Snoxell. Again ; what is there in 
the whole range of dramatic poetry finer than the line spoken by 
Martha Squigs when her lover is liberated? especially that 
portion of it which we have printed in italics : — 

* 1 breathe again t My Muzzle is set free ! ' 

Bjit it was lost upon the actress, who seemed not to be aw&re of 
& excelling truth and' power, and was consequently overlooked 
^ the aumence. Why was not this, also, intrusted to Mr. 
naoxell ? who, with that profound and artistical * ♦ * * &c. &c. 
Die fact is, that the part ought to have been allotted to Miss 
lAnra Dobs, who (as we are informed), without much experience 
of the stage, is possessed (as we are informed) in an eminent 
decree of a deep and subtle feeling for the truth and beauty of 
things, and would therefore have exhibited the character in all its 
BorpasAu^ loveliness and excelling grace." 
Now, here again the " Dictator" liaa Tft\a-^\.^\.^^» ^^ ^^ ^ 



216 LITTLE PEDLINGTOr 

polite) mis-conceived, a fact. My notes say : Nor did Miss Julia 
Wriggle's * Oh ! Heavens ! ' pass uncomplimented. But, for 
anything like general and vehement applause, that young lady 
may be said to have drawn first blood, on giving the words, 
' My Muzzle is set free ! * " — and, so on, till they record the 
fact, that she was honoured with twice three rounds of applause ! 
Here, certainly, is a disagreement between us, which, I suppose, 
can be accounted for only by " piercing into the under-current of 
the deep and subtle nature of things," I almost wish my friend 
Hobbleaay would drop in to enlighten me. 

The "Dictator" proceeds. — fiut, as this exquisite pudding 
(not meaning, however, to speak irreverently of such an authority, 
but being merely led away by an enticing metaphor) is too large 
to be carried off entire, I shall content myself with picking out 
a few of its plums.* 

•* Grumps (Mr. Snoxell) rushes on. We need hardly say that 
the appearance of this singularly great and surpassingly endowed 
actor was the signal for the most deafening ourst of applause 
ever, perhaps, heard .within the walls of a tneatre. When this 
tribute to his excelling genius and inexhaustible variety of power 
had subsided into calmness and repose, Mr. Snoxell proceeded. 

* Apropos of plums. Some years ago, a certain person, A. (if yoa 
please), a small hanger-on upon the then goyemment, and who WBfilook- 
mg out, as a reward for his services (whatever they may have been), kx 
the first place which should become vacant, met an acquaintance, B. ; 
and between them the following conversation occurred : — 

A. So, at length there is a place about to become vacant ; and, as 
CJovernment owes me a good turn, I shall apply for it. GiflFord, as I 
know, is too ill to continue the editorship of the * Quarterly.' 

B. Well ; and what then. 

A. I shall apply for it. It is in the gift of Government, isn*t it ? 

B. The ' Quarterly ' is considered to be one of the organs of Govern- 
ment ; but I am not aware that Government has anything to do wttii 
the appointment of its editor, or that the editorship is considered in 
the hght of a place. Besides, if it were, you can*t write. 

^. No ; but I understand that Gifibrd scarcely ever writes an artide 
now ; so that I am as fit for the place as anybody else. 

B. It may be true that he now seldom writes an article, but he puts 
in a great many plums. 

A. Puts in plums ! What do you mean by putting in plums ? 

B. Why he looks over an article, and puts in a good thing — a strong, 
telling point, here and there ; which points, indeed, sometimes give its 
chief y^ue to a paper. That is what they call putting in plums. 

A. Oh ! — well I — If that be what yon. mostxi \>^ -i^vAtviyj^ m plums, and 
^ejr abould expect me to put in plnms, 1 mxifi^ \oo\l q\)\> ic)T %c^TCk!^ Ok^^ 
place. 



AND THE FEDIIN6T0HIANS. 217 

Still mainiammghis attitude, which was ontoi Baphaelesgne, and 
most imaginative grace and beauty; a masterly emblending of 
the most appalling dignity with the most intense and hi^hly- 
fnished simplicity and delicacy — we say that, still maintamiog 
this attitude (upon which the delighted eye might for ages have 
gloated with ineffable admiration, and evermore returned to it 
with UDsated and inappreciable pleasure), he exclaims, on behold- 
ing Squigs in custod^, 'My friend !' This unrivalled and sin- 
giuarly &e exclamation Mr. Snoxell uttered with a rare com- 
niDation of intellectual subtlety, of truth and force, of masterly 
insight into the complicated workings of the soul, of deep and 
solemn sensibility, of excelling purity and grace ; and in a tone 
of pathos singufarl;^ touching, taught with deeply-felt throes of 
heart, and carried with infinite and unapproachable skill, through 
the endless varieties of all the moods and forms of impulse and 
paision. Nor was he less successful in his delivery of the highly 
dramatic exclamation which immediately follows — ' My Squigs ! ' 
And it was in his mode of varying this from the other that the 
unapproachable genius of this truly great artist manifested itself 
— at least, to the mind of a critic who pierces with a fine and 
subtle apprehension into those hidden recesses of thought and 
feeling wnich are closed against vulgar intrusion. For, whereas 
be gave the first, 'My friend!' with an antique severity and 
grandeur, though exquisitely softened into grace and beauty ; he 
rooke this, 'My Squigs !' with a Doric and home-breathing ten- 
derness and purity, and with ravishing simplicity, familiarity, and 
nature, though nobly elevated by a mighty and self-sustaining 
dignity. But if anything could exceed these, it was the manner 
in which this mighty artist uttered the next exclamation — ' In 
chains ! * Here, with excelling and surpassing skill, * * * * 
and concludes this marvellous^ fiae speech in a wild, volcanic 
burst, with— 

" * Tell me wherefore-^why my Squigs is here ? * 

To attempt any description of the singular power and effeet 
with which he gave the word ' Why,* would be * * * * and, 
indeed, intelli^ble only to those lundred spirits of fine and 
subtle * * * *. Growler (Mr. Waddle) now comes forward 
and declares — 

" ' I'm altogether of my friend's opinion. 

ds tbis 28 the oniy speech Mr. Waddlo ia c\iax^<^^'Vi^'^'^^^^ 



218 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

first act, we are astonished it "was not given to Mr. Snoxell. "We 
can imagine that in the hands of that consummate artist * * • « 
infinite and unapproachable skill, surpassing excellence, excelhng 
beauty, mastery, and mighty achievement * * * *. As it was, 
this singularly fine line was entirely overlooked by the au- 
dience." 

Again must I bring this super-exquisite critic to the fact. 
My notes say of this very line — " This is all Mr. Waddle has to 
say or do in the present act ; but this he did in a way to extort 

applause even from the Snoxellites " This, no ^oubt, is an 

oversight on the part of Mr. Fiat. I am coming presently to 
Mr. Rummins's paper, and I trust that there I sh^ find justice 
done not only ios/Lr, Waddle, but to all parties. 

" * * * * and the young lovers, Squig; (Mr. E. Strut), and 
Lavinia Grumps (Miss Warble), meet. We must extract the 
opening of this exquisite scene, for its rare and surpassing purity 
and beauty :— 

' Squigs. — Lavinia, how d'ye do ? 
Lavinia. — Why, pretty well. 

Squids. — I'm very glad to hear it. How's your aunt? 
Lavinia, — She's but so-so ; she's got a little cold. 

And means to-night to take some water-gruel.' 

Now, the Doric and antique simplicity of this may be of a ^i- 
cacy too fine and subtle for the apprehension of any bat a mind 
deeply imbued with a probing appreciation of the gentlest and 
truest harmonies of nature. Eor boldness and bre^tb (^ con- 
ception, softened and subdued by excelling grace and loyolini^ 
of expression, mingled with a feeling of. home-delight and inno- 
cence, this surely is a passage of surpassing fascination; and we. 
have read ' Enfield's Speaker' with but little advantage to our- 
selves, if we may not assert that this nobly-simple piece of ^tij 
is unequalled. We know of nothing, even in Jubb, superior to 
it; nay, we doubt whether Mr. DOwlas himself has ever pro- 
duced anything of more excelling grace and tenderness." 



" This scene (the scene between Grumps and Martha Sqnigs 

— ^I quote my own notes), this scene was well, but not finely 

acted. Snoxell seemed to be reserving himself for some great 

effort, " &o. The "Dictator," on the contrary, says — 

"Thia scene was acted by "Mi. ^noxsJ^. Vy^XSl tsa&X.^^ «b^ 

Bin^alar power and effect. Tne auWe «sv^ c^«!Q«&^\3^\««sfta«^ 



JiSH THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 319 

jf the poetry which Mr. Dowlas has here put into the mouth of 
Gframps were shadowed and tinted hj the actor with cousum- 
nate art and skill. His delivery of these exquisite lines, 

•' ' So like the eagle soaring to the skies. 
Again I come to press my ardent suit,' 

vmithe most gorgeous example of declamation we ever remember 
;o have witnessed; and the word ' soaring/ in particular, was 
looomiumied with an action of inconceivable sublimity. And, 
igain, in giving the lines, 

*' 'Reject me ! — I've a wife, thou say'st.'— That's tnie. 
Whilst Mrs. Crumps shall live thou canst not have me ; 
What's right is right — {aside) — so she shall be disposed of,' 

16 presented a fearful specimen of the awful and truly tragic 
itn]^le of the great moral principle with the native and over- 
}earmg impulses of the heart, which formed a picture of terrible 
jprandeur and beauty. Had Miss Laura Dobs been intrusted 
iith the part of Martha, this scene might have been one of per- 
'eot and unexampled effect ; even as it was, such was the tran- 
icendent ability, excelling skill, and surpassing power displa;^ed 
n Mr. Snoxelf, that the audience was moved as by the rusmng 
jt a mighty tempest. 

: M « • « « « which brings us to the last scene of this singularly 
be drama — ^the ' fatal cow-house.' This scene is one of unex- 
ubpled power and beauty ; and Mr. Snoxell's acting in it was a 
bie jUastration of the deep and penetrating spirit, the profound 
lad quiet research, the intellectual grandeur, with which he 
siiiitx)aies the subtler and less obvious beauties of his author. 
Cbere is always, indeed, in this gentleman's acting an under- 
spent of purpose almost too nne and evanescent for the 
mderstanding ot any but a critic of acute and philosophic sensi- 
nlity. It was for this reason (as we are informed), that that 
pigeons burst of poetry commencing, ' Rumble, thou hurrica- 
Kms wind,' was intrusted to his deUvery instead of Mr. 
iVaddle's. Certainly Mr. Waddle could have done nothing^ with 
i i and the interruption occasioned by that gentleman's friends, 
i)ien Mr. Snoxell began to speak it, was resented by the audience 
n a manner which singularly and abundantly proved that they 
w^ee BBtiaied with the (Mange.* * ** Gmmpa \a ^■BM^^VJaa^^'^- 
oaaejs Sred by a thunderbolt, the ghost oi t\ie mxato^\^^"«^' 



220 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

Grumps appears, and the curtain falls upon the solemn smd Michael* 
angelesque gloom of this awful and terrible catastrophe. Both 
author and actor achieved a great and gorgeous triumph, and we 
are happy to record their surpassing and excelling success. A 
broad and obvious moral, at which tyrants and oppressors must 
quail, reigns throughout this singularly fine production, which is 
destined to maintain a lasting and enduring immortality. At 
the conclusion of the play, Mr. Snoxell was loudly called for, and 
on his appearance, a triumphal wreath was thrpwn to him. Mas 
Julia Wriggles, however, who had followed him, appropriated it 
to herself." 

!N either does this statement of the affair of the wreath, nor 
any portion of that which follows, exactly coincide with my notes; 
but a little inaccuracy concerning facts, may be pardoned for so 
much fine, profound, and acute criticism. The rest of the per- 
formances are shortly noticed by the " Dictator -. — " 

" Miss Julia Wriggles's broad-sword hornpipe was a miserable 
affair. Entrusted to Miss Laura Dobs it might have been an 
exhibition of singular and surpassing excellence. ' All round mjr 
Hat* was drag^d through by the inimitable powers of th^ 
surpassing comedian, Mr. Tippleton. The infinite humour asd 
excelling richness of that singularly fine and racy actor certainly 
saved this trashy affair, which is said to be the production 
of Mr. R — ^mm — ns. Editor of the 'Little Pedlington W— ily 
Obs — ^rv — r.* We do not choose to name the author more 
particularly. This was followed by an admirable piece^ attributed 
(as we are informed), to Mr. Dowlas, and called *JFAo are fouF' 
The audience expressed some sl^ht disapprobation at the 
singular inefficiency of Mr. Gigs, and the surpassing unfitness of 
Miss Julia Wriggles for her part ; but the rich and deeply- 
discriminative acting of Mr. Tippleton, and the infinite wit and 
fine under-current of humour of the piece itself, prevaQed. *Wio 
are you?* cannot fail to become an enduring favourite. The 
piece opens with a chorus, in which the fine and organ-like 
contralto voice of Miss Laura Dobs, was heard with raviidung 
effect. Why is not this young lady placed in a situation of more 
eminent and perceptible prominence? Something or other 
written expressly for Miss Julia Wriggles, concluded the enter- 
tainments ; but as we did not think it worth while to stay to see 
it, we must take it for granted no one else did.'' 

Br&Yo ! Mr, Eiat of the " Dictatoi I 



Now for the statements and o^lmona ol \Jaft*^\iBs»akY^a- 



AND THE PEDMNGTONl/LNS. 221 

roTON Obseevee." The motto to this paper (from Jubb) 

" An parties to please, and all difference to smother. 
What in one line we state we retract in another." 

THE THEATRE. 

* Last night, our theatre was opened for the season. In this, 
think, ]^. Strut, the manager, was wrong. In onr opinion 
ironld have been more to his advantage bad he delayed the 
>ning till to-morrow evening ; and yet, as the extent of his 
son IS limited, it would have been injudicious in him to throw 
IT the advantage of two nights' performances ; though, were 
playing on them to bad houses, as it is possible he might, it 
aid be of no advantage to him, as in that case he would be a 
3r by so domg. However, upon the whole, perhaps it is better 
it is. 

*The house was not by any means as full as it might have been 
»ected, considering this was the opening night ; though that is 
; to be wondered at, considering that Signer Rumbello del 
leaki (who is once more in our town) displayed his extraor- 
ary feat of performing on the drum and the Pandean pipes, 
k at the same ti?ne, at Yawkins's skittle-ground, in the 
ming. This was hardly fair towards the manager, as those 
attended the morning performance would not be much 
lined to go to a second entertainment in the evening ; though 
roold not have been just towards the Signor had he been 
vented the employment of his talents when and where he 
BSed. The interests of the theatre ought, however, to be 
lected; thoush there is no reason why any man ought not to 
allowed to do the best he can for himself. Yet Strut is an 
erprising man, and deserves support ; and it is clear that if 
r. od. (the sum stated to have been taken at the door of the 
ttle-grOund) had been paid at the theatre, his loss upon the 
ht's performance would have been by so much less than we 
r it is. Upon this ground, therefore, we are right in our ' 
oion. If, notwithstanding, he should wind up this season at 
refit, he will have nothing to complain of, though we know 
lost ninety pounds upon the last ; but if, on the conti-ary, he 
►uld be a loser, by the present, of another ninety, it will bring 
loss upon the two seasons up to the enormous sum of oua 
\dred and eighty pounds. In this case, ol ca\rt^^,V^^<5^^ 
iqw'sb the /nana/jement. But, if tVie m^\iV\^ x^i^^v^V'^ ^qv^\ 



222 LITTLE PEDLINGTOlf 

exceed the nightlj expenditure by two pounds, this, upon an 
average of fifty nights, would leave him a considerable gamer, 
and there would be no necessity for his taking such a step. 
Indeed, having netted a hundred pounds, he would not Be 

1'ustified in relinquishing the management; though it would 
lardly be fair to compel him to retain it if he could get any one 
to take it off his hands. 

"The house has not undergone any alteration, nor has it, 
indeed, even been fresh painted. This we think an injudicioiu 
economy. However, as it is only two years since it was buOt, it 
did not, perhaps, require it ; in which case, the manager would 
have been highly blamable for laying out any money upon it. 
We cannot speak in too high terms of the new drop-scene, which 
represents our Crescent, guarded by two grenadiers. But why 
did not Smearwell give us a view of our new pump instead? 
Daubson mi^ht still have introduced his grenadiers. However^ 
they are both clever men, and know what they are about ; and if, 
as we have heard, their reason for not doing so was, that the 
subject of the former drop-scene was the new pump, they have 
perhaps chosen for the best. They might, however, have eiven 
the pump in a different point of view ; so that we are ri^t in 
the main. 

*' We stated in our last that the march in * Blue Beard ' would 
be played as the overture. We find, however, that we oi^ht 
to have said the march in the ' Battle of Prague ; ' but as ihej 
both are marches, we were not altogether wrong. Indeed, we 
do not know but that the march in * Blue Beard ' would have 
been better aft^r all, so that we were right upon the whole ; not 
but that the audience seemed very well satisfied with the former, 
though it is by no means certain they would not have preferrea 
the latter. The orchestra performed the march in a manner 
that left nothing to be desired; not but that we think it was 
played at least twice too fast for a slow march ; though if, as it 
IS said, this was necessary in consequence of the late hour at 
which it was expected the performances would terminate, and 
which rendered it expedient to save as much time as possible, 
we think Wagglebow did what was proper; though perhaps, 
upon the whole, he was hardly justified m yielding to such a 
consideration. 

" Miss Jidia Wriggles, a young lady who made her first ap- 
pearance on anj stage, now came loxwotdlo ^^^^^ «xl Occasional 
Address, Of the Address, w"hic\i \a Wie wo^^^ ^\^^\isJCv«!L^\ 
Miss Cnpps, we cannot speak in any lerca^ ol ^x^\^^, "VsAsfc^^ 



AND THE PEDLmGTONIANS. 223 

bnt for the excellent manner in which the fair debtt^nte de^Yered 
it, it would not have been listened to. Why was not Miss Jane 
Scnibbs applied to to furnish one? Perhaps she was, and 
declined to enter into the competition. Indeed, considering her 
great popularity, and the imposing attitude she has assumed in 
consequence of the sensation produced in Little Pedlington by 
her ingenious riddle which appeared in our last (the answer to 
which is, ajish), she ought not to have been expected to compete. 
The task ought at once to have been intrusted to her hands. 
The audience testified their approbation of the fair speaker by 
unanimously presenting her with a wreath, whilst their gallantry 
induced them to forbear hissing the words of the^^tV writer." 

This differs widely from the statement of the " Dictator," and, 
I miist acknowledge, from my own notes also. These say, that 
**the Address and Miss Julia Wriggles were vehemently ap- 
plauded." Concerning the audience unanimously presenting her 
with a wreath, the wreath was (according to Hobbleday) 
apparently thrown to her from the manager's box. But these 
are trifles. If there were ever to be a perfect agreement, 
even upon points like these, the world would be too msipid to 
live in. 

"We stated in our last that the theatre would certainly open 
with Mr. Dowlas's popular melodrame of ' Smna ; or, the 
Avenging Rick-burner^ and we still have reason to believe that 
such was originally Mr. Strut's intention. Why did he not abide 
by it P We do not think the alteration a judicious one ; though, 
from Strut's experience in these matters, we have no doubt be 
has good reasons for it. Probably, he thought the * Hatchet of 
Horror 'would be more attractive; if so, ne was right to .give 
that the preference, though the attendance last night did not 
bear him out in that opinion. However, as the theatre did, in 
factj open with a piece of Mr. Dowlas's, as we said it would 
(the only difference being, that instead of ' Swing,' it was the 
'Hatchet of Horror'), we were right in the main. 

"The play-bills say that the piece is entirely new; but as it 
has been a stock-piece at the Fudgeborough theatre for the last 
three years, this assertion is incorrect, and we wonder that a man 
like Strut should lend himself to such an imposition upon the 
public. It is very disreputable ; not but that Strut himself may 
have been imposed upon, though we have no reason to suppose 
that Mr. Dowlas would be a party to such a proceeding. If^ 
however, the words are intended to mean mex^^ \)Qai(.\^^^\K^^ 
i eotirefy new to a Little Pedlingtoa aaiQafeXkaa, ^xjx nr^x^\ 



324! LITTLE PEBLDfGTON 

manager is perfectly iustified in using them : not but that they 
are in some degree calculated to mislead the public, and therefore 
not to be defended on any grounds. We are Bony that ve 
cannot speak favourably of the piece as a whole, althougb it con- 
tains passages, and even entire scenes of great merit ; and, indeed, 
taken altogether, itHs perhaps equal to anything Dowlas has pro- 
duced. Nevertheless, we think it much inferior to ' Bellingham the 
Bold,' and not at aJl to be compared with ' Swing.' It waa» 
however, well received, and is likely to become a favourite. It 
has, besides, the great merit of inculcating fine principles and 
excellent morals, in doiiig which no man is more sucoessfnl than 
Dowlas. Still, Dowlas is mainly indebted to the actors for his 
success in this instance ; for, but for the ^eat exertions^ of 
Waddle in Growler, and Miss Julia Wriggles in Martha Squigs, 
we doubt whether the piece would have gone through. Mrs. 
Biggleswade, too, made the most of a very indifferent part; 
though, upon the whole, we do not recollect to have seen this 
lady to less advantage. But why was Grumps given to Snoxell? 
He is too short and too stout for such a character ; whereas, 
Mr. Waddle (although he also is short and stout) is in every 
respect fitted for it. In the first act Mr. Waddle has but one 
line to say : — 



({ 



Tm altogether of my friend's opinion.* 



and his manner of saying it (though we are of opinion he will 
see the propriety of giving it differently in future) produced an 
electric effect. This, and Miss Julia Wriggles's 

"'I breathe again — ^my Muzzle is set free ! 'j 

were, upon the whole, the gems of the evening. Yet» after all, 
little praise is due to the performers ; for these lines are so 
telling in themselves, that any one of common ability mi^^t 
have spoken them with almost equal effect. 

**But the great struggle for superiority between the rival 
tragedians, Mr. Waddle and Snoxell, was in the quarrel scene, 
in the second act beginning with 



t( 



' No more, my Growler ! never be it said,' &c. ; 



and, in our opinion, Mr. Waddle proved himself altogether the 

victor ; not but that Snoxell played tolerably well. The audience, 

however, were of our opinion, iot at ^^i^a coii^^xisvssft. ^"l «M3«\.^t 

his speeches, Mr. Waddle waal[iououiedm\Xi^«»Ii«K«v%^\s^3a^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 225 

lis account does not quite agree with my veracious and 
martial notes^ and diners altogether from that of the 
)ictator."] "But why was not the scene opened by Mr. 
iddle instead of Snoxell ? Waddle coming in abruptly with 

' Don't talk to me of vultures — stuff and nonsense — ' 

old have produced greater effect ; though, on the other hand, 
allusion to vultures might not have been generally under- 
od; and yet, as it would still have been implied, we are 
fectly justified in our opinion. We haVe heara it rumourei^ 
t the speech beginning ' Kumble thou hurricanous wind ' was 
anally in the part of Growler (Mr. Waddle), and that Mr. 
)xell insisted upon havii^ it put into his." ["Heard it 
Qoured!" Innocent Mr. Kummins. It is not m the least 
sly that he received the information from Mr. Waddle him- 
r, though I saw those gentlemen come, arm in arm, into 
nrkins's library this morning, and heard Mr. B. say that he 
} engaged to " dine with Waddle ! " " Heard it rumoured ! "] 
* Por our own part we do not credit the report, for certainly 
iddle is not the man to be treated in such a way ; nevertheless, 
re can be no doubt of the correctness of our information, for 
instant Snoxell attempted to speak the speech, he was 
irrupted by a universal shout of disapprobation ; whilst Mr. 
iddle, who presently afterwards appeared, was received with 
fenin^ applause. Mr. Snoxell stammered a few words in 
ilanation, which we could not distinctly hear; and Mr. 
iddle having addressed the audience in a manly and elegant 
ech (a correct report of which we hope to be enabled to lay 
Dre our readers in our next), the performance was allowed to 
ceed." [Again a slight difference between us.] " We trust, 
rever, that at the next performance the speech will be 
»red to the part of Growler. Indeed, as an act of justice, it 
:ht to be. And why not, at the same time, give Mr, Waddle 
line from the character of Muzzle — 

' Jack Muzzle, though a poacher— is a man ! * 

: although it was not badly delivered by Stride, still it would 
duce a greater effect in the hands of such a man as Waddle ; 
I although it may be impossible to make the transposition, 
'^rtheless our opmion is correct in the main, ***** And 
B the piece concludes. 

'The chief fault of the 'Hatchet ot H-OtTox* Ss. \\.^ ^-i^-wssfc 
tA. It must be ppmpressed into ou^ OiCX., ox ^\» ^Ras^. ^^^^ 



226 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

siderably curtailed, particularly in the part of Grumps (Snoxell) ; 
though, upon the whole, we do not see where a line could be 
advantageously omitted. Why did not Dowlas (and no man 
understands these things better) introduce a comic character ^r 
Gigs ? By so doing he might have made three acts instead of 
two, which is always better when it can be done ; though, in the 
present instance, we think, nevertheless, that two acts are 
quite sufficient. Dowlas's great merit is, that his pieces are 
always original. We are uncertain, however, whether or not 
there be a French piece called, ^La Hached'Horreur ; ou, la 
Laitiere Massacree* If there be, it is not improbable that he has 
translated a part, if not indeed the whole or it. At the conclu- 
sion bf the melodlrama. Waddle and Miss Julia Wriggles were 
loudly and deservedly called for. A wreath was thrown to the 
fair debutante, which Snoxell Twho, we believe, was also called for) 
was about to appropriate to himself; but the audience apprising 
him of his mistake, ne was obliged to relinquish it to its nghtfm 
owner. 

" Miss Julia Wriggles's broad-sword hornpipe was succeeded 
by a new burletta, called * All Round my Hai ! * Circumstances 
prevent our saying more of it than that the audience con- 
descended to receive it with unequivocal approbation, though the 
author, whoever he may be, is much indebted for its success to 
the performers, although Tippleton make but little of his part, 
which would have produced roars of laughter had it been acted 
by Gigs. The piece is not a translation of the Frendi vaude- 
ville, called * Tout autour de mon Chapeau,^ as it has been falsely 
asserted in a certain upstart newspaper. 

" We must not omit to mention a song by Miss Warble. She 
is a charming singer, though her voice is not pleasant, and she 
has neither taste nor execution. But why does she pronounce 
sky and fly, skoi and floi, when it is the practice of the best 
singers to pronounce them skee-i ajidflee-if 

"A miserable thing called ' Who are TouF' was deservedly 
sent to the tomb of all the Capulets, though Gigs and Miss 
Julia Wriggles did all in their power to save it. Tippleton, of 
course, did his best — such as it is — ^but all to no purpose. We 
have been doomed to listen to much trash upon various occasions, 
but * * * * The author is Mr. F— t, Ed-t-r of a thing called the 
* D-ct-t-r.' A Miss Laura Dobs was thrust into the affair, who 
annoyed us with her sharp, shrill, croaking voice. Strut is a sensible 
mauj and is wrong to have petmiUed IW A'^^^^^'^'Bi.%:\^^s«^ 
motives for it, in which case we mwst «S\o^\i^\^\xiV)afcT\^.'^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 227 

evening's performances concluded with ^ Slie suaiAj be an Aciress,' 
in which Miss Julia Wriggles performed eight characters ! This 
was a great task for a young ladj on the night of her first appear- 
ance on any stage ; but if, as it is said, she has been playing with 
Scrubs at Fudgeborough, for the last three years, the effort is 
not very extraordinary. Notwithstanding this, it is a very ex- 
traordinary effort under any circumstances ; so that we are right 
in our opinion after all. Though the performances were not 
over till nearly eleven o'clock, not a soul quitted the theatre - 
till their termination. The manager ought to drop his curtain 
at twenty- five minutes past ten, or half-past, at the latest. This 
he must do, though that would hardly be fair towards those who 
oome in at half-price ; and as be could but seldom possibly bring 
his performances within that time, we think he would not be 
justified in making the experiment." 

A few extracts from another comer of the paper : and then to 
peep at the play-bill. 

THEATRICAL INTELLIGENCE. 

" We stated, in our last, that Bellowmore had entered into an 
engagement with Strut for three years, at a weekly salary of two 
pounds five and sixpence (higher terras than had ever been paid 
oefore), with a benefit, upon which he was to be secured ten 
pounds, and permission to go and play at Fudgeborough the 
first and third Thursdays in every month. Upon inquiring, how- 
ever, we find this statement was not exactly correct ; indeed, we 
doubted it at the time. According to Bellowmore's letter to 
Mr. Strut, which we have just seen, it was for a twelve nights* 
engagement he applied (not three years), at eight-tenths of the 
clear receipts nightly (not a weekly salary of 21. 5*. 6^?.), and a free 
benefit (not a sum of ten pounds secured) ; and that no stipula- 
tion at all was proposed about playing occasionally at Fudge- 
borough. In fact, he has not entered into an engagement, which, 
we think, is to be regretted ; though, with Waddle to lead the 
tragic business, supported by Snoxell, we are of opinion he 
would have been useless. Indeed, he did not, strictly speaking, 
even apply for an engagement. However, as it is certain he 
wrote to Strut concerning theatrical matters, we were right in 
the main." 

" To the Editor of tlie ' Little Pedlington Observer* 

"Sir, — ^Inyour last there appeared the following mx:a>.^^^\>.-. 
^'We understand that the ni{i;\it\^ e:L^e,TiS.^'8» <:£ w, ws^'^ 



228 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

amount to fifteen pounds^ whilst the house will contain no more 
than nine pounds eighteen, at the utmost. This will leave a 
nightly loss of five pounds two ! But if the house should not 
be crammed full (and it is not to be expected that it will), and 
the average receipts should be no more than five pounds, the 
loss per night will amount to the enormous sum of ten pounds ! 
We suppose, therefore, Strut will close the theatre after a night 
or two, as he cannot fairly be expected to keep it open with ruin 
staring him in the face; though in so doing he will not be justified 
towards the parties concerned with him/ — ^Now, sir, the direct 
reverse of your statement is the fact (the nightly expenses being 
nine pounds eighteen, and the possible receipts fifteen pounds) ; 
and the paragraph being calculated to do the manager consider- 
able injury, I am desired by him to request that you will give it 
a full and immediate contradiction. 



** I am, sir, your obedient servant, 

"Thomae Dumps, Treasurer, 
" T. R. L. P. 

" Monday morning" 

" We willingly ^ve insertion to the above, which the worthy 
writer is perfectly justified in demanding, although we think his 
complaint somewhat captious ; as, even admitting that we were 
in error, we have merely put the cart before the horse. Jceord- 
ing to his own showing, we have stated the sums correcth/ ; and if, 
as we said, the receipts should never exceed five pounds (and we 
do not see how it can be expected that they should), the loss, 
even then, will be four pounds eighteen nightly ; and this, spread 
over a season of one hundred nights, would amount to nearly five 
hundred pounds; though, were Strut to curtail his season to fifty 
nights, the loss would be but half that sum ; yet, on the other 
hand, were he to play the whole year round (which, fortunately 
for him, he is not allowed to do), the loss would be about treble; 
and no man could pay his way under such adverse circumstances. 
As we should be sorry that any statement made by us should go 
to injure the credit of our worthy manager, we have given this 
explanation; though, as our calculations cannot be disputed, they 
prove that we were right in the main." 



"Sm, — rou saj in your last, '"We ax^ ^atTj \.q \i^«i "CMi^ 
Mrs. Croaks, the once eminent vocaWst^^ W mt<iQN^x^^\^^\» 



AIJD THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 229 

her Yoioe, owing to a slip in stepping out of the Poppleton 
coach/ It is true, sir, as now I did slip in stepping out of the 
coach ; but as my voice an't by no manner of means injured by 
it, what you say will ruin me in my profession if you don't con- 
ti;adict it, being in treaty with several managers for an engage- 
ment. 

And am, sir, yours truly, 

Juliana Croats." 



XLUU auj, oi 



" We insert the above, though, as the fair writer admits that 
she did slip in stepping out of the coach, which we take to be the 
main point, we were not altogether wrong. We should be glad 
to hear that Strut has engaged her, and, indeed, this he ought to 
do. She is, or rather was, a woman of extraordinary talent, and 
ought to^be before the public ; but, as her voice cannot be as 
good as it formerly was, she ought to be moderate in her demands. 
No doubt she wifl be ; though we have reason to believe she re- 
quires the same salary she had nine years ago. This, of course, 
the manager will not accede to ; for with Miss Warble in his 
company, who has youth and beauty in her favour, we do not see 
that Mrs. Croaks can be of much, if of any, use to him." 



These extracts will sufficiently show the tact and propriety 
with which the editor of this paper has selected his motto. 
Well informed upon ^1 points which he discusses, learned, pro- 
iband, argumentative, convincing, with truth may he say — 

"What in one line we state we retract in the other." 

And, as Mr. Dangle says, in the " Critic," " The interpreter is 
the hardest to be understood of the two," so may it be said of 
Mr. Rummins's explanations, and corrections of mistakes and 
mis-statements, that they invariably make the matter worse than 
it would have been without them, thus fulfilling, with admirable 
ingenuity, the intention expressed in the first line of the 
qnotation : — 

" All parties to please, and all difference to smother." 



J tarn to the play-hill, for the mere pux^os^ ^l \kotk«i%^^^ 
are to be the performances this evening. P\a^-\i\\\^\i€«i%\^5^»'eo.^^^ 



230 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

as simple advertisements, it is not to be expected that tbeir in^ 
diters should take upon themselves the office of critics or reviewers. 
If, therefore, at any time, those good-natured and impartial per- 
sons should choose to encumber themselves vrith that additional 
• task, we ought to be the more obh'ged to them. But, alas ! this 
worldly world is every day becoming more worldly, so it were 
vain to look to them for any such disinterested sacrifice of time 
and trouble. 

The body of this day's play -bill is precisely the same as that of 
yesterday. Every piece performed last ni^ht is to be repeated 
this evening — even " Who are You r^ which, accordii^ to the 
evidence of my ears and eyes, was "unequivocally damned," 
or (in the more elegant language adopted by Mr. Rummins) "sent 
to the tomb of all the Capulets." This is odd, and only to be 
accounted for on the supposition that the management intends to 
request for it another and a more indulgent hearing. 

The heading of the bill is different — ^it is expressed in terms 
few and simple, yet (as Mr. Fiat might say) of excellent foroe, 
and mighty, yet subtle comprehensiveness : — 

, UNPRECEDENTED COMBINED JUNCTION OP UNITED 

ATTRACTION ! 

SEE THE HATCHET OP HORROK! 

;MISS JULIA WKIGGLES EVERY NIGHT ! 

GREATEST AND MOST UNHEARD-OP SUCCESS EVER KNOWN !* 

But the most important additions are made to what (I believe) 
Is technically called the underlining. Besides the information, 
that " On this occasion Mb. Snoxell will perform; " "On tKii 
occasion Miss Julia Wriggles will per^orm,'^ Sfc. ^c, which, 
as it has been stated in not more than a dozen other parts of the 
bill, it is indispensably necessary to repeat, we are told :— 

%* " The Hatchet op Horror," the finest and most affect- 
ing melodrame ever produced, having been received with the 

* I was informed, in the course of the morning, that seven lines 

more, of a similar character, had been sent to the printers ; but that, 

owing to the rmtoward circumstance of a great quantity of large 

letters being in use for the advertisements of Gloss's Patent Self-reno- 

VBtiDg BJackinf^, and Dr. Drench'a Patent PTO-«a\.\-oTS!iT£v-^T«^«<a*i- 

carative Pills, the Theatre Royal, LitU© PeaL\\I\g^ft^, covjX^ wcA. \» 

accommodated with them to a further ex^ut. T\iia Sa, m^^^, ^ ^\^.l . 



AKD THE PEDLDTGTONIAKS. 931 

ost enthusiastic and tremendous bursts of applause, b^ the 
est crowded and suffocating overflow ever collected within the 
alls of this theatre, and unanimously declared, by the most 
shionable and judicious audience ever collected within any 
.eatre, to be the most heart-rending and splendid spectacle ever 
"oduced on the stage of any theatre whatever, it will be per- 
rmed every evening till further notice. 

%* Miss Julia Wbiggles, having last night, on the occasion 
' her first appearance on any stage, been received with more 
ithnsiastic and tremendous applause than ever before shook the 
alls of any theatre to their very foundation, and having been 
jknowledged by the most competent judges to be the most 
3rfect and paramount actress that ever appeared on the British 
age, Mr. Strut, regardless of expense, is nappy to say, that he 
IS thought it his duty to the inhabitants of Little Pedlmgton, to 
•avail upon that versatile and incomparable artiste to consent to 
iter into an engagement with him, at an enormous salary, ybr 
\e whole of the present season. 

%* "All Eoitnd my Hat" having been received vrith still 
ore enthusiastic, &c. 

*i|j* The fashionable interlude, called " Who abjj You ?" was 
jceived throughout with the most tremendous af)plause, and 
jcompanied aU through, from beginning to end, with the most 
aceasing laughter ever heard within the walls of a theatre, and 
as given out, at its conclusion, for performance every evening 
11 further notice, with the most enthusiastic cheering, and with- 
it one single dissentient voice (! ! !). 

%* If possible, still more tremendous applause having accom- 
anied the performance of " She shall be an Actress," and 
[iss Julia Wriggles having been received vrith, if possible, still 
lOre^ &c. &c. 

%* In order to accommodate tbe hundreds who could not 
btain admission last night at the doors, this evening the win- 
3WS also will be thrown open. 

%* To-morrow, being the anniversary of the death of the late 
[hinent antiquary, Simcox Rummins, Esq., F.S.A., this theatre 
ill, by an order received through the parish beadle, be closed ; 
ad as, on this solemn occasion, there can be no performance, a 
iriety of moat JanghabJe enter tainmeTv.\s m\\.\i^ ^^^^"^^ "^^^^\«. 
pressed in the hills of the day." 



232 LITTLE PBDLINGTON 

Herein do I find ranch to astonisli me ; but this conduding 
paragraph is utterly perplexing ! Had there, indeed, been two 
theatres in the town, separated from each other by only a street's 
width, I could have understood why, out of respect to thia^ or 
any " solemn occasion," the performances should be prohibited 
at one, yet permitted at the other ; because it is manifest that 
what would be outrageously offensive if done on the north side 
of a puddle, is, nevertheless, perfectly harmless on the south. 

But here, where there is only ^Would my friend Hobbleday 

were here to explain it to me ! But, for the present at least, 1 
must, as Grumps expresses it, " in tenfold ignorance abide." 



CHAPTERXV. 

YAWKINS'S SPLENDID ANNUAL. 

The annual race — Unfeir competition — ^Advantages of the moot 
mystenr system — Ladies publicly proclaimed as beauties : HobUe* 
day's mstidious objection to the custom — Pastry-cook's estimate of 
the value of Annuals — Their beneficial effects upon literature and 
art — Opinions of Daubson and Hobbleday &vourable to them — 
Choice specimens of the ''Double-distilled Moonbeam." 

Went to Yawkins's, the eminent publisher and circulating- 
library-keeper, to purchase some pens and paper, tooth-brushes, 
and shaving-soap. Mr. Yawkins having attended to two cus- 
tomers, who had precedence of me (serving one with a pot of 
pomatum* and the other with a volume of the latest new fashion, 
able novel, entitled, " Percy de Fitz-Belcourville; or. Cham- 
pagne and Pine-apples"), he obligingly supplied my wants. 

** Happy to say we shall be out to-morrow, sir," said Yawkins, 
whilst occupied in making up my purchases into a neat little 
packet. 

" Out? Out of what ? Paper, or tooth-brushes, or" 

"Beg pardon, sir," said the great \A\A\o^^e,'\\i\.wrQ^^^ 



AND TH£ PEDUNGTONIAXS. 233 



" you misnnderstand me ; not out of, but out mih. To-morrow 
we shall be out with our splendid Annual for the next year." 

" You are early in the field, then," said I, " considering that 
we are now only in the middle of July." 

"Earl^, sir!" exclaimed Yawkins. "Lord bless you! the 
boci is mtended for a Christmas present, or new-year's gift, for 
the year to come. Early! no, no, sir: we are not positively 
iaU, and that is the best we can say of it. Flatter myself, how- 
ever, I have given those scoundrels the go-by this time." 

" What scoundrels ?" inquired I ; " and what is the go-by ?" 

" Why, sir, the year before last, I announced that my Annual 
for Christmas woula be published in November. What does that 
villain Snargate do, but publish his in October ! In conse- 
quence of tnat, last year 1 was preparing to publish in Septem- 
ber, when that rascal, Sniggerstone, gave his trumpery would-be 
thing to the world in August. The vagabonds ! However, I 
am beforehand with them this time ; though" (added he, with a 
sigh) "it has put me to a world of extra trouble and expense 
to be so." 

"But, if this race is to be continued, Mr. Yawkins, your 
rivals wiD, next year, publish their works in June, or May, or 
April ; and then, what will you do ?" 

** JDo, sir ! " exclaimed Yawkins, looking absolutely ferocious, 
and striking the counter violently with his fist ; " I'll out with 
my Annual twelve, nay, fifteen months before Christmas, but I'll 
distance all my rascally competitors — ^the villains ! Sir, it was I 
who first published a thing of the kind, a pretty little book, 
quite good enough for its purpose, with two engravings, price 
only three shillings. No sooner was it found to succeed, than 
Snargate, in the most dishonest way, got up one a little bigger, 
with three plates, price half-a-crown. Of course, I could not SQow 
such a proceeding to pass with impunity ; so, next year, I came 
Out bigger still, with four plates, and reduced my price to two 
shillings. Well, sir; wasn't that a hint — I may say, a very 
broad hint— -which any respectable publisher would have 
taken?" 

'' A hint of what, Mr. Yawkins ? " 

" Why, sir, that I was resolved to crush all competitors, and 
keep the field entirely to myself. But, no ; that scoundrel Snig- 
gerston, in the most dishonourable manner, in a manner the most 
atrocious and most iniquitous, comes out still bigger than me 
again^ with siar plates, and has the rascality to c\i?ct^'& ^JcL^fc ^^si^^ 
ijo more for bis book than I for mine. Cati "jou ccmGev^^ «s:^- 



234 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

thing more infamous towards a brother publisher than this ? 
However, sir, I think I have settled the business this time. My 
new Annual, sir, will be the largest ever seen, with ttoehe plates, 
and price only eighteen pence. No, no : I am not the man to 
be put down. Fair competition I have no objection to; but no 
one in Little Pedliugton has a right to publish an Annual but 
me ; and should those scoundrels persist in so doing, I'll ruin 
them, or perish in the attempt." 

As these last words were nttered in a tone of determinatioD, 
and accompanied with a shaking of a clenched fist, the sincerity 
of Mr. Yawkins's intention could not be doubted. 

" You will not issne your work to the public till to-morrow," 
said I ; " but " — (this I added with hesitation and considerable 
diffidence) — " but might 1 request " 

" I understand," said Yawons (putting his forefinger to his 
lips, and slowly bending and again raising his head), " I under- 
stand : an early copy. But mnm's the word." 

Yawkins went to an inner room and instantly returned ; tri- 
umphantly holding above his head a small volume (a duodecimo, 
I think it is callea) bound in pea-green satin, and bedaubed over, 
or, as it is usually expressed, ornamented, with gold. 

"What think you of this, sir?" exclaimed the publisher; at 
the same time turning the book about in various directions, so as 
to catch the light on every part of it. " There's a binding ! I 
think I shall astonish Little Pedlington this time. Every person 
of any pretension to gentility, must buy it, for no drawmg-room 
can be complete without it." 

" Nor any library, I should hope ?" said I inquiringly 

What would have been Yawtins's reply I know not ; for it 
was prevented by a lady who came into the shop for a little bottle 
of lavender-water. Having served his customer, he returned to 
me, and resumed : — 

" The binding alone is worth the money, sir, to say nothing of 
twelve engravings, after pictures by all the first artists in the 
place — that is to say, Daubson ; ana all engraved by Scrape, the 
only man in the world fit to be named." 

"Yet, if I recollect rightly," said I, "you once told me that 
Mr. Scratch, who en^aved for you the portrait of the illustrious 
Jubb, which embelhshes the Guide-book, was your finest en- 
graver." 

''Ay — ^rue— yes — ^when I em^Ao^edlim he was \ but it is all 
over with him : he can do not\i\Tvg ivo^ ^\.\.Q\i^ViO^^^^. "^^ 
has taken to work for tliose ieVWa ^m^^.^x^X.^^'asA'^^^^^^XR., 



AND THE FBDUKOTONIAKS. . 285 

nay do very well for them ; but rely upon it, sir, my man 

» IS the only one." 

)o mnch for the plates and the binding; bat to whom 

fon indebted for the literary portion of your work, Mr. 

dns?". 

5ir, I am proud to say that I have enlisted under my banners 

le beauty and fashion of Little Pedlington." 

Lnd talent also P '' 

Sighteen-pence, if you please, sir," replied Yawkins, not 

sg, but, as I suppose, misunderstanc&ngmy question. *' Shall 

'e the pleasure of sending the book, or will you take it with 

sir?" 

ixious to regale myself with Yawkins's Splendid Annual, I 

the book into my pocket, and proceeded to the Vale of 

th ; where, taking a seat on a bench beneath a spreading 

I read : — 

THE, 
DOUBLE-DISTILLED MOONBEAM; 

OB, 

THE BOWER OE BEAUTY; 

on, 
PEDLINGTONIA'S PRESENT. 

A SPLENDID ANNUAL FOR THE TEAR 183— . 

dlished with twelve highly-finished Engravings, by RAPHAEL 
iOBGHEN Scrape, Esq., after drawings made expressly 

for the work, by 

Michael Angelo Daubson, Esq. 
Edited by the Author of " Snooks ; or. The Child of Woe !" 



k captivating title-page," thought I. Tlie iieiL\.\^^l y^^- 
ime with the — 



286 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 



LIST OP CONTRIBUTORS. 

The Lady Caroline Bratmore ; Lady Teazlb ; 

Lady Racket ; Lady Duberly ; 

The Hon. Miss Lucretia Mac-Tab; 

The Right Hon. the Earl of Fitz-Balaam ; 

The Right Hon. the Earl op Oqleby ; 

Sm Peter Teazle, Bart. ; Sir Benjamin Backbite^ Bab; 

Sir David Dunder, Bart. ; The Hon. Tom 

Shuppleton, M.P. j Major Sturgeon 

(Author of " Peeps in the Peninsula ") ; 

CORNEUTJS Cockletop, Esq., F.S.A. ; 
The Author of " Leaves of Loveliness ; *' The Authoress c 

Beams of Beauty ; " 



tt 



A.B.C. ; D.E.F. ; G.H.I. ; P.Q.R. ; S.T.V. ; 

AND 

The celebrated X.Y.Z. 

In addition to the contributions of the above distinguished wi 
will be found those also of the Reverend J. J. (Jonathan J 
Author of "Pedlingtonia"); F. H. (Felix Hoppy, Esq., ] 
Author of the "Guide-Book"); 'Salwod/ (Dowlas, Author a 
"Hatchet of Horror") ; &c. &c. &c. 



Next came the list of embellishments :— 

1. The Deluded One. 

2. The Deserted One. 

3. The Desolate One. 

4. The Destitute One, 

5. The Forlorn One. 

6. The Remembered One. 

7. The Forgotten One. 

8. The Lost One. 

9. The Found One. 

10. The TJssees O^t^. 

11. The "UiairaoTfrs O-s-a. 

12. The \3TS0AitED-^oi& O^^. 



AND THE PEDUNGTONLLNS.' 237 

ar had I proceeded when I perceived Jack Hobbleday 
)wards me. Unwilling to be interrupted, I pretended 
ve observed him, and continued to read. In vain ! In 
haK a minute he was seated at my side. B^collecting 
s "Mum's the word!" touching the early copy, and 
lat I must of necessity undergo more or less of Hobble- 
stily closed the book and thrust it into my pocket. My 
ok off his hat, rubbed his steaming heaa with a blue 
nderchief, and thus began : — 

do, mv dear fellow ? Here's a day ! Broiling ! They 
the dog-days, and well they may ! Fool I was to go 
. N. S. — our Universal Knowledge Society — to look at 
nometer: hadn't a notion how hot I was till then, 
ive in the shade, as I hope to be saved ! Thermometer 
mention, nevertheless. Don't you think so — eh ? " 
pretty indeed, sir." 

[*m aftaid I interrupt you. If I do, say so. Sometimes 
re to be interruptea when one is reading, and one hates 
sd. Don't you — eh ? — I do." 

irately do I hate it, Mr. Hobbleday ; but what is a 
) when a dense, unfeeling, and unmerciful bore has re- 
granple him tooth and nail ? " said I ; these words being 
led DY an irrepressible groan. 

t, indeed! " replied Hobbleday. " One can't say to 
u're a bore! ' for that would hardly be civil ; and a tore 
jd a quiet hint, — so we have nothing for it but to 
nwardly and wish him we know where, eh ! my dear 
•Ahem! — ^You appeared to be reading; — ^may I ask 

ing of any importance," replied I. 
, pooh! pea-green satin binding — oh, you cunning 
I saw — ^hawks — eagles — lynxes — not a bird amongst 
got such an eye as little Jack Hobbleday, I flatter 
* Double-distilled Moonbeam,' eh ? Now don't deny it 
)py — ^I know all about it, but never mind how I came 
it. Early copy — ahem ! Jubb had one yesterday ; so 

egarth; so had Shrubsole; so had . I say: 

ourselves, your friend Yawkins is a little bit of a 

eh?" 

Dw nothing about that, sir; I have always found him 

attentive m his business, and that is s\]L£ifi\fiXL\i Iotl^sl^^. 

jou call Mm mj friend- '* 



238 LITTLE PEDLINGTOK 

"Friend! pooh, pooTi ! when one says 'friend/ why oi 
means nothing more than — yes, to be sure, and you know it, 
know you do. But he is an enterprising fellqw — splendid 
—and all the world ought to buy it, or how is he to be rem 
rated for his tremendous outlay P He's a liberal fdilow, 
ought to be encouraged — I tell you so — ^went to Yaw 
yesterday, and told him so — my candid opinion — ^ahem 1 — m 
me a present of a superb copy — ^*tis here ! " Sayisg ▼Meh, x^ 
companion drew from his pocket the Splendid Annuu. 

rinding that I had no longer a secret to preserve, I confesai 
that I also was the possessor of an early copy : nor» indeed, ^ 
I now sorr^ for this meeting, since it affordeGl me an opportaoi^ 
of asking tor information upon two or three points concemiJ 
which I required enlightenment. 

" Who is the editor of this work ? " inquired I. 

" Who ? " exclaimed Hobbleday, with astonishment ; " wlq 
don't you see? The author of 'Snooks; or. The Child t 
Woe.' " 

'' But as I know not who is the author of ' Snooks/ I am s 
wiser than I was before." 

Hobbleday drew my head down tiU my ear touched his lip 
and then whispered, " Humphrey Grubs, JSsquire." 

" Then why not at once say, edited by Humphrey Grul 
Esquire?" 

Hobbleday made no reply ; but putting into my hand t 
last number of Rummins's " Weekly Observer/' he pointed t 
a paragraph which ran thus : — 

" It is reported in the highest and most influential circla 
that the author, or, more properly speaking, the authoress ( 
* Snooks ' is Lady Caroline Braymore, daugnter of Lord Fitd 
Balaam, both of whom are now honouring our town with thrf 
presence, for the benefit of drinking Drench and Brainam^ 
newly-discovered mineral water. If so, and we have no doubt «( 
the fact, Yawkins may consider himself fortunate in haviiri 
secured her ladyship as editress of his beautiful ' Doable-dlstiiy 
Moonbeam.* in other circles, however, equally high and influed 
tial, it is thought that the writer of ' Snooks ' is Lady Teazk 
with which opinion we entirely agree, although we do not in tb 
least differ from those who attribute that work to Lady Rac^ 
or even the Honourable Miss Lucretia Mac-Tab. It 
indeed, have emanated from, the pen of the elegant 
Og'Ieby, and there is intemal eVvSieii^^ \\v VJiia \«^\l \taftlf tl 
such is the case; nevert\ie\eaa, '\\. '\^^^i^\ft»»S^«t ^,^^'^' 



: 




AKD THE PEDLINGTONIANS, 239 

jkbe production of the Honourable Tom ShuiOieton, assisted, 
probably, by that worthy and talented baronet. Sir Benjamin 
Backbite ; not that Mr. Shuffleton is incapable of writing such a 
work as * Snooks ' without assistance, and, indeed, we are well 
assured he would not condescend to accept any. One thing is 
quite clear, and that is, that it must be the production of some 
person of high rank and fashion; yet, why may we not be 
indebted for it to some one of our own celebrated townsmen, 
or even townswomen — Jubb, or Hoppy, or Miss Cripps, for 
instance ? And this, we think, will most likely turn out to be 
the fact. At all events, the public may place perfect reliance 
upon what we have here stated." 

" Now don't you see ?" said Hobbleday. 

" The paragraph to which you have directed my attention,'* 
replied I, "is as pellucid, and as much to the point, as any I 
ever read of Mr. llummins's, but it does not serve to answer my 
question." 

"Pooh, pooh!" said Hobbleday, "I tell you it does, and 

S»u. know it. Edited by the author of "]* Snooks ! ' Now, if 
umphrey Grubs were announced as the editor of the * Moon- 
beam,' why all thtf world would know that the * Moonbeam ' was 
edited by Humphrey Grubs ; but as it is — Come, come, you 
cunning rogue ! " continued he, with a good-humoured chuckle, 
and favouring me with a poke in the ribs, which for a moment 
took away my breath, " you understand me well enough, though 
yon won't own it. Mystery — doubts — conjectures : — 'tis all 
right and proper, I tell you, and you know it is." 

"Thanli to your explanation, I am perfectly satisfied of it. 
Now, pray tell me who is A.B.C. ; and who the celebrated 
X.Y.Z. ? " 

Hobbleday stared at me for some time with a look of wonder- 
ment, and then said — 

" Come, now, come, you don't ask that question seriously ; 
there is no secret about that. A.B.C. is the famous Miss 
Scrubbs, sub roses; and X.Y.Z. the renowned Miss Cripps, ditto. 
Why, that is as well known all over our town as that Jack 
Hobbleday is Jack Hobbleday ; and even they themselves have 
made no secret of it for months past." 

" Then where is the sense of affecting a mystery, when there 
is no longer any mystery at all ? So long, indeed, as they might 
have had motives pourgarder Vanonynie^ as the Ereufik e.u$^^^^ 
i t ' 



ft 



I understand the expression, my dear ieWo^" ^^^^0^^^- 



240 LITTLE FEDLINQTON 

day ; " but I tell you those ladies gave up guarding their anony 
mouses long ago. 

" Then, to persist in their A.B.C.'s and X.Y.Z.'s seems to he 
—I say it with great submission — a silly affectation, an ab- 
surd " 

" Don't, now, my dear fellow, don't say it at all," said Bobble- 
day, with a shake of the head, and in a tone of mingled kindness 
and admonition : " consider that you are but a visitor here ; and 
though, no doubt, you manage these matters differently in 
London, you shouldn't speak disparagingly of a practice which is 
thought to be pretty and interesting in such a place as Little 
Pedlmgton." 

I felt the justice ofthe reb^ike, and was silent. 

" The * Bower of Beauty ;* and they may well call it so ! " 
exclaimed my friend, as he looked at the prints one after another. 
;* The ' Deluded One '—sweet ! The ' Desolate One '—charm- 
ing ! The * Uncared-for One ' — divine ! I have some respect 
for the fair sex, and I say, my dear fellow," — (this was illustrated 
by a nudge with the elbow) — " some affection, too : — have seen 
millions of beautiful women in my time ; yet must say I never 
saw a round dozen of such * Ones ' as these." 

"The beau ideal" said I. 

" Pooh, pooh ! The belle ideal in this case ; never saw any 
live women like them. Ah ! our Daubson is the man, rely upon 
it — beats Nature hollow. See ! fingers as long as other wosi^'s 
arms ; necks as lon^ as other women's bodies ; eyes as big as 
other women's heads, with a double allowance of eyebrows and 
eyelashes; mouths like holes bored with a gimlet; hair be- 
devilled — dishevelled I should say; — and as for their waists, 
tapering down to a pin's point — hang me if they don't look as if 
the top part of their bodies were made to screw in and out of 
the bottom part ! Pretty ! — may venture to sav sweetly pretty ! " 

I asked Mr. Hobbleday (really not intending the slightest 
offence) whether any of the fair occupants of tne " Bower of 
Beauty " were portraits. 

" Portraits ? Portraits / " cried he, in a tone of astonishment 
and indignation: "do you mean to insult the ladies of onr 
]>]ace? " Then, after a pause, he added, in his usual mild and 
amiable manner. *^ Come, come, I know you didn't ; confess you 
dJdn't" 
''I may fairly confess t\iat," m^il*, " lox ^\!kEt^\s»i\A offence ^ 
in supposing a lady would a\\o^ \iet ^ox\;t^\.\.ck>Q^ ^^d^w^V^ 
''No ham in tAat;' leplied TloW^^^i •, ** ^^i^^-'^ ^ ^^n^- 



AND THE PEDLIXGTONIANS. 2ll 

ferent thing; but tliis book is called the 'Bower of Beauti/ ;^ 
all the women in it are set up as regular beauties, and " 

" Again let me ask, where is the harm of that ? " 

" Harm of it ? Pooh, pooh ! my dear fellow. If you had a 
handsome wife, or a beautiful sister, or a pretty daughter, how 
should you like to see her face stuck up in every shop window, 
to be stared at by every butcher's boy as a declarea beauty f 
And I tell you what : I should be astonished if any delicate- 
minded woman could allow herself to be so paraded." 

** Mighty nice in Little Pedlington ! " thought I. 

*' Charming binding, that we must say," said Hobbleday, 
looking with delight at the outside of his volume. " Pea-green 
8atin--^t edges— uncommon tasty! No wonder Yawkins has 
got such names to write in it." 

"We agree as to the binding and the embellishments," said I; 
and should the literary portion of the work answer to " 

Mrs. Shanks, the pastrycook and confectioner, passing just at 
this moment, Hobbleday beckoned her towards us. 

** Ha ! Mrs. Shanks, now do, Mrs. Shanks ? See here ! Sweet 
pretty book, eh ? Suppose you intend to treat yourself with the 
new Annual this year, eh ?" 

*' Oh dear, no, sir," replied the lady ; " I cannot afford to buy 
a book for the sake of the pictures ; and as for the littery part, 
that doesn't answer my purpose at all." 

** Literary you mean, my dear Mrs. Shanks," said Hobbled^. 

* How contradic/to»* you are, Mj?. Hobbleday," said Mrs. 8. ; 
"I say Utiery part, and I appeal to that gentleman which of us 
is Mht." 

Wot having yet read a line of the work, it was impossible for 
me to decide." 

** As it is, I have nearly half a hundred-weight of the littery 
part," persisted Mrs. S., " of last year's annual's on hand ; but 
the paper is so smooth, and glossy, and crackly, it's of no use 
for maKing up parcels ; and as for putting it at the bottom of 
tarts, the nasty ink on it would pisen the people. Wish you 
verygood morning, gentlemen." 

"T&rts!" exclaimed Hobbleday, as Mrs. Shanks withdrew; 
"parcels ! pooh, pooh ! foolish woman ! doesn't know what she 
talks about. 'Double-distilled Moonbeams,' and such things, 
very serviceable to the cause of wholesome literature ; and as 
for the fine arts — but here comes Daubson ; heax >n\\^\. lie' U ^-wj 
Bhout that Ha I Dauby, my boy, glad to see "SOmX ^q.\. ^o^is. 
'Beauties, ' you see ?" 

B 



242 LITTLE PEDLINGXON 



" Well," growled the testy Apelles of Pedliugton, "and wliat 
do you think of them ? And you, mister ? Come, give ns your 
candid opinions, but mind you don't say anything impertinent." 

Hobbleday was rapturous and unqualified in nis praise. 

" Eight, quite right ! " said Daubson ; " there is not in all the 
place a better ju(^ of art than you. But come^ if you have 
any fault to find, state it candidly." 

"Fault? pooh, pooh! what fault? None in the world 
except " 

"Except !" cried the painter; "you are coming with your 
excepts, are you ? Well, what is it ?" 

"Nothing, my dear fellow," replied Hobbleday; "but," 
added he, timidly, "this whole-length figure of the 'Deluded 
One,' seated on a stile — ^hair dishevelled — milk-pail on one side— 
skimming-dish on t'other — cow in the distance " 

" Well, mister, and how else was I to make out the subject— 
the 'Deluded One ; or. The Deserted Dairy-maid ?* If you have 
nothing else to object to but that '* 

" No, my dear Dauby, 'tbn't that : that is ingenious, fine, 
tremendously fine ; but, if she were to stand up, wouldn't she 
look rtfther tall?" 

Daubson snatched the book out of Hobbleday's hand, and 
thrust it into mine, saying, "JZather taU, indeed 1 D— d fool ! 
What say you to it, mister ? I'll answer for it, you know more 
about these matters than he does." 

Hobbleday was so far right in his criticism that, had the lady 
got upon her legs, she would have appeared to be, in proportion 
to the objects around her, about nine feet in height. I merely 
observed, however, that in making his dairy-maid somewhat 
taller than the common run of women, Mr. Daubson had only 
availed himself of what is understood by the term " painter's 
license." 

" You are right, mister ; my object was to draw a fine woman, 
a maffnificent creature. D — d fool, that Hobbled^! Who 
woula buy my ' Beauties,' I should like to know, if I were to 
cramp my genius by creeping and sneaking at the heels of 
Natur', and paint such women as one may see on any day of the 
week ? Where would be the genius of that, eh, mister ? D— d 
fool!" 

"In your opinion, Mr. Daubson," inquired I, "is the cause of 
iigh art likelj to be promoted by T^ublications of this kmd ? " 

"High art be d — d I " cned Dwo^i^cm*, " ^>m.\. \% \sN^"w.i ta 
^e ? Mj Grenadier in yaw^Lina'a s\\\XV^xq>^^^N&\s\^«^^^ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS, 243 

the world will get no more grenadiers from me, d — n 'em. 
That took me two months to paint, and scarcely paid me for 
canvas and colours; whilst I can knock off a dozen 'Beauties' 
in a week, and get five shillings apiece for 'em. I have always 
said I should like to see your a — d high art knocked o' the head ; 
and I'm delighted to say, our 'Double-distilled Moonbeams' 
are doing it as fast as they can." 

"Do you hold it to be the same thing with respect to the 
art of engraving, sir ? " inquired I. 

" Why, to be sure, mister. There's Scrape, d — ^n him ! he 
won't undertake any great work so long as he can get these little 
things to niggle at, d — n him! But that's too bad, and he 
ought to be compelled to do it, before he touches anything else. 
How dare he neglect my great pictur' ? a work truly national, 
mister : our new * Churchwardens and Overseers, presiding at a 
Select Vestry ' — eleven portraits in it, all black profiles. But 
there it is, and I can't get him to take it up, d — ^n him ! " 

" But, my dear Dauby," said Hobbleday, " why blame Scrape, 
who is but following your example ? " 

"Hold your tongue, you d — d fool! " cried Daubson, "that's 
a diiferent thing altogether. My great pictur' ought to be 
dissem»»ated to the world before all things. Then tne public, 
d — ^n *em ! they lay out aU their print-money for these trumpery 
trifles, and neglect such important works as my * Sdect Vestry.* 
Instead of subscribing three shillings at once for a thin^ like 
that, which, it would be creditable to possess, they dribble it 
away, a penny at a time, for these paltry affairs. 1 shouldn't 
eare about it, if my pictur' were engraved. 'Live and let live,' 
«ay I ; but as long as this rage for the cheap and pretty lasts, 
you'll not see my great national work in the shop-wmdows. 
Ifobody '11 engrave it, nobody '11 publish it, nobody '11 buy it, 
^ nobody '11— 5D — ^n high art ! d — n engravers ! d — n pub- 
lishers ! d — ^n the public ! d — n and so, good morning to 

yon ! " And away strutted the illustrious Daubson. 

" I am glad," said I, " to have received the opinion of so 
eminent an artist as Mr. Daubson upon a point which I consider 
to be of some importance. With respect to what we were about 
to say concerning the effect of these publications upon litera- 
ture " 

" Must be beneficial," said Hobbleday. " Pretty books, pretty 
• pictures, pretty outsides — all must be of a piece — what's the 
consequence? Contributors, pretty women, i^tett^ xcv^wa.— ^iRrcw- 
tnbations, pretty verae, pretty prose — aW mii^t be Yf^^^-* ^^^"'^ 

B 2 



^4i4i LITTLE PEDLlNGTOJt 

mil be pretty ; it stands to reason ; and remember, it is little 

Jack Hobbleday that tells you so. Pooh, pooh ! rely upon it." 

Hobbleday read aloud a portion of the table of contents : — 

" Selim, a Tale of Turkey, by Lady Teazle. 
Melissa, a Tale of Greece, by Lord Ogleby. 
Epanthe, a Tale of Greece, by Lady Duberly. 
OsMYN, a tale of Turkey, by The Hon. Miss Mac-Tab. 
The Bandit op Greece, by Sir David Dunder. 
The Brigand op Turkey, by Lady Caroline Braymobe. 
The Captive op Turkey, by Lord Fitz-Balaam. 
The Prisoner op Greece, by The Most Noble the Mar ** 

" Why, Mr. Hobbleday," cried I, interrupting him, " this is a 
strange oill of fare ! It is all Turkey and Greece ! " 

"Why, my dear fellow," replied he, "that's all the go in 
Little Pedlington just now. Pooh, pooh ! I tell you it is. 
Could no more do without Turkey and Greece in a Christmas 
Annual, than without turkey and sausages at a Christmas 
dinner. It is all right: Greece and Turkey two interesting 
countries — one likes to get a good notion of their people, their 
characters, habits, manners, customs, and all that, don't you 
know ? — Can't go oneself — obliged to any one who will give us 
correct information about them. Then the style — sweet ! pretty ! 
poetical ? — Have a bit of Lord Ogleby's tale as a specimen ? " 

" If you will read a portion of it, I shall be thankful to you," 
replied I. 

Hobbleday cleared his voice and began : — 

" 'It was one of those soft and balmy evenings at the end of 
June, so peculiar to the East, whose zephyrs brought upon their 
wings the commingled odours of the rose and jessamine, fanning 
the bosom with a refreshing coolness after the intense heat of 
the mid-day sun, so characteristic of that climate, rendered the 
more exquisite by the accompanying warblings of the songstress 
of night, whose notes are nowhere so melodious as in that 
country. Melissa sat at the window of her seraglio, silently 
eazing at the uprising queen of night, whose brightness in 
those regions is unparaUeled ; her large blue eyes fixed upon the 
shining orb; her arched eyebrows, and long silken lashes, 
together with her flowing hair, which fell in profuse ringlets 
adown her swan-like neck, and half concealed her shoulders of 
more than alabaster whiteness, T\va\\\\xg Wife ^^^^1 \^^. ^\siwsA« 
of the isLven, Her sylpb-like iotm N««»a ^\\^^\'S \i^^^. ViT^^\ 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 245 

her waist, taper as the gazelle's, encircled with an ataghan of 
. costly price; whilst in her long and slender fingers sue held 
the chibouque, whose notes no longer resounded to her gentle 
touch.' "— 

" Ha ! " said Hobbleday, " there's a picture of her exactly as 
she is described. Charming! See! 'Melissa, or the I'orgotten 
One ? ' " — He continued^ 

" * Her whole attitude was immersed in attention, which a 
sculptor might have studied, whilst the beating of her heart was 
audible in the stillness of the night, which in those territories is 
of peculiar silence. Presently the clock of the neighbouring 
muezzin struck ten. 

" * Yet he comes not ! ' exclaimed Melissa, starting from the 
silken kiosk on which she was seated, and ringing the bulbul 
for her faithful female capote. 

** * In a moment the slave was in her presence. 

"'Tambourgi,' said she, *fly to the jerreed where he dwells, 
and tell him this.' 

" * Here she whispered something to the capote, who replied, 
*Iiady of the Seraglio of Loneliness ! it shall be done. But, oh I 
lady, some signal to soothe his lacerated heart.' 

" Tor a moment Melissa hesitated. A tear bedimmed the 
sapphire blueness of her eye, and fondly nestled in the silken 
lash' 

** 'Nestled in the silken lash ! ' Charming ! — sweet ! — pretty 
style, eh, my dear fellow?" said the enraptured Hobbleday. 
H!e proceeded — 

*** — silken lash. She gathered some flowers from the 
pots, which at once enlivened and adorned her minaret; 
and giving them to the capote, said in those tones of silvery 
sweetness so characteristic of the daughters of the East, * He 
will nnderstand this token. Away ! ' 

" * It was midnight — yet Missolonghi came not. One — ^two ! 
yet was no footstep heard to send its wished-for echoes along 
the vaulted roof of the maiden's seraglio. Wearied with watching, 
she seized a lamp, with a heartrending sigh, which was lighted 
with a perfumed oil, whose odoriferous essence imparted a 
pleasing fragrance to the chamber, retired to her harem, and 
throwing herself upon a downy tophaike, dismissed her atten- 
dant houris for the night, whose assistance she declined, hut nat 
to sleep.*" 

"If the other chapters are equal to ttiVa ia?\. ^^'e^r ^"^^ 
Hobbleday, " 'Melissa' will be the sweetest t\i\xv^ I t^i^x^^"«>^^ 



246 LITTLE rEDLINGTON 

But come, we'll have a specimen of the poetry; and then I 
must leave yon, for I dine at two." He turned over a few 
pages, and read — 

STANZAS ADDRESSED TO THE DESOLATE ONE. 

BY THE HON. TOM SHUFFLETON, M.P. 

Most desolate, I love thee ! 

By thy eye of melting blue ; 
In life and death I'll prove mq 

Faithful, kind, and true ! 

Most desolate, I love thee ! 

By the heart that now I give ; 
Oh ! let my fond prayers move thee, 

To bid me hope and live I 

" What say you to that ? " cried Hobbleday. " Hang me if 
that poetry isn t almost equal to our Jubb's ! " 

"1 thint," said I, "I have met with verses very like those in 
some one of our London Annuals." 

"Pooh ! pooh ! don't tell me : you'll meet vrith no such poetry 
out of Little Pedlington. Editor man of exquisite taste — ^profound 
judgment ! Now what say you to the effect of these things 
upon wholesome literature — high art ? I tell you what, my 
dear fellow : if the ' Double-distilled Moonbeam * should contain 
many more * gems ' like those I have read to you (and I'll answer 
for it it does), it will be the very best Annual that ever was 
published." 

" Upon that point, sir," said I, " I am entirely of your opinion." 
And hereupon we shook hands and parted. 



AND THE PEDLINGTONIANS. 247 



CHAPTER XVI. 

A Bust Week — Dinner-hunting : a delicate attention — Private views 
— Cockney propensity to touch, vindicated : its gratifying results — 
Threatened dispersion of the Bumminsian Museum — Choice cellar of 
wine, d la Fudgefield — Conduct of the rulers of Little Podlington 
censured — ^Extraordinary "salutations in the Market-place" — "A 
fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind" — Diflfici^ties of admission 
into learned societies — Great copyright-meeting. 

The first person I meet on quitting my hotel is, as usual, my 
unavoidable friend, Hobbleday. Jack seems to possess the 

Sower of ubiq uity ; for in all places, upon all occasions, there is 
ttle Jack Hobbleday. 

"Here still, eh ?'* cried Jack; "glad of it, knew you would. 
Once in a place like Little Pedlington, no easy matter to get 
away from it, eh?" Dreadful excitement, though; always 
something goin^ on." 

" What is gomg on now, Mr. Hobbleday ? " inquired I. * 

"What! oceans of things; no end to them. Such a season 
as the present I have not known for years — ages — centuries! 
Three tea-parties last week 1 — at them all — ^never once in bed 
much before eleven — wasn't, as I hope to be saved. Two more 
this week, besides a rubber at threepenny longs to-night at 
Snargate, the builder's." 

"And my landlord, Scorewell," said I, "tells me there is 
to be a grand dinner-party at Mr. Yawkins, the banker's, on 
Saturday." 

" No ! " exclaimed Hobbleday, with a look of astonishment. 
" How very odd ! As Scorewell told you so, no doubt it is true; 
but it is strange, very strange, that I should have heard nothing 
of it. He seldom forgets me. I have not called at his house 

for this week past, to be sure; but, notwithstanding You 

.know a little of Yawkins — ^wish you knew more — you ought-*— an 
excellent man — ^most hospitable creature — ^not a more hospitable 
creature in all Little Pedlington — ^now, that I tell you — and a 
very old and dear friend of mine. Gran^ AAimex-^^\.'s^\ "^^ "^>c>& 
bv^ I just now met Miss Tidmarsh, ^Vo \,c^^iaa\Xi^X"i^^^^^^ 



248 LITTLE PEDLINGTON 

Yawkins had Popsy, his favourite Prench poodle, clipped. Not 
prudent — coldish, rawish day, and the dog is a delicate little dog 
—now, I tell you I know it is. Til just call and ask Yawkins 
how the poor little thing bears it? He likes such little 
attentions — he appreciates them — ^now I know he does. Walk 
towards Market Square— I'll be with you again in ^ve minutes." 

Away skipped Hobbleday ; and in little more than the time 
specified, he, with a face radiant with joy, returned to me. 

" You'll be delighted to know that joor Popsy is quite well — 
hasn't suffered in the least. I gave it a few sugar-plums which 
I happened to have in my pocket, and the poor thine seemed 
quite to enjoy them — quite. Kind-hearted creature is Yawkins! 
Felt my attention — really felt it. By the by, we have a grand 
dinner-party at his house on Saturday.'* (A pause.) — "Ahem! 
— ^I don't know how many we shall be — sure to be pleasant, 
though — Yawkins's the best dinuer-parties in all the place.*' 

Mem. For the future to carry about with me a supply of sugar- 
plums, and look out for sick poodles. 

" Dreadful excitement I" resumed Hobbleday. " Had no 
notion of what a place ours is, eh P — ^know you hadn't. Glad 
to get quietly settled down in London again P — ^know you will ! 
But, I say, my dear fellow, how is it you were not at the private 
view yesterday P" 

" Private view ! Of what ? " 

"Kangaroo — I had a ticket. To-morrow, private view of 
Daubson s great picture of Snoxell and Waddle, as Gnunps and 
Growler, in the * Hatchet of Horror' — ^Ihave a ticket. Netit 
day, private view of the Humminsian Museum, at Eodgefield's 
Auction-Rooms — I have a ticket. Day after that, Friday, grand 
sight ! — total eclipse of the sun : — always something going on in 
Little Pedlington." 

"You, of course, Mr. Hobbleday, have a ticket for the pri- 
vate view of that too, on the day before P" 

"No, you rogue; but if anybody had, I flatter myself it 
would be little Jack Hobbleday. But, I say, are you likely to 
have an eclipse soon in. your place ?" 

"How! Why — on Friday, to be sure," replied I, with a 
laugh. 

"Friday I Pooh ! pooh ! Eclipse in two places on the same 
day ! nonsense, I tell you." 

"But what about the kangaroo ?" said I. 

''7s it possible you did not \ieax ol \\.^ Tssa yswa. \ayi.', 
Chickuej, the poulterer, who lias ixa\AivtaJiV}\i^^'vx ^-^^'imX^^V^'^'st 



AND THE rEDLIKGTONIANS. 249 

of our Zoological Gardens, and honorary secretary, has presented 
ns with a stnJffed kangaroo. Yesterday there was a private view 

of it. Interesting sight ! Subdued, quiet interest, though 

not of an exciting interest like the monkeys on the ladies* days, 
Sundays, you faiow. Interesting creature, though. Paper 
pasted on it — * Fisitors are reqestednot to touch J Very foolish — 
gave great ofiPence. How can one tell what kangaroos are made 
of if one isn't allowed to touch ? Besides, Tm a friend of the 
people — ^public property — ^people have a right to touch ; and the 
moment Chickney's back was turned people did touch. And 
what harm did they do ? Nothing but a little bit of its tail, one 
fore-paw, and two claws of the other, broken off. Chickney 
angry — ^very foolish to be angry — told him so. Easy to glue the 
pieces on again-r-if ever he should get them back. If not, what 
then? What is that in comparison with the rights of the 
people? I don't know how the case may be with you Londoners, 
out this I can tell you, my dear fellow, no free-bom Pedling- 
tonian will relinquish his right at an exhibition of touching 
whatever he can lay his hands upon." 

As I thought the tone in which Mr. Hobbleday uttered this 
last remark was intended to convey an offensive doubt of the 
patriotism of my dear fellow-Londoners, I replied to him some- 
what sharply : — 

** Mr. Hobbleday, allow me to tell you, sir, that the London 
pnbHo are as well acquainted with their rights, and as jealous of 
them as the Little redlingtonians, sir, ortheirs. And, sir,"-— 
(I was vexed, and could not help /SiV-ing him a little,) — " and, 
sir, if in a picture-gallery one entertains a doubt as to whether 
the Tarnish on a picture be dry, he will satisfy his very laudable 
curiosity by rubbing his hand over it ; if as to what it may be 
painted on, he will poke at it with his finger ; and to point out 
its beauties, he, like a free-bom Londoner, will use the end of 
his stick or his umbrella. In a museum, sir, doubting as to 
whether a statue be of marble, or stone, or plaster, he will exer- 
cise his right of twitching it by a finger, or any part most easily 
fractured, in order to inform himself; and in all places