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IrRi^ox Library 




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Sii v^XiS'ir a ]i]> Sa I sf (B V(D IT. 

wk-Mv.-o«a '^t-tl^ 





Felix Hoppy, Esq., Master of the Ceremonies at 
Little Pedlington^ has conferred upon the world in 
general, and upon me in parti cular« a never-sufficient- 
ly-to-be-appreciated favour, by the publication of the 
Liittle-Pedlington Guide. At the approach of the 
summer season — ^that season when London (and 
since the pacification ofEurope, all England) is de- 
clared to be unendurable by all those who fancy that 
they shall be happier any where than where they 
happen to be, and who possess the means and the 
opportunity of indulging in the experiment of change 
of place — ^at the approach of that season, this present, 
I found myself, like Othello, ^< perplexed in the ex- 
treme." 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 climb- 
ed many thousands of feet up Mont Blanc, and had 
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 iti, 
the Maze of Hampton Court; bathed in the changing 
waters of the Rhope and in the consistent mud of 
Gravesend;beheld the fading glories of old Rome, 
and the rising splendours of New Kenip 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 Corregios at Dresden, 
the Rembrandts at Rotterdam, and the camera-ob- 
scura 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 every 
where (in Europe — the boundary of all my travel- 
ling projects), done every thing, seen every thing, 
heard every thing, and tasted of every thing. Novel- 
ty, and change of scene, are the idle man's induce- 
ments to travel: for me there remained neither. I 
was — to use a melancholy phrase I once heard feel- 
ingly uttered by a young nobleman who had not 
then attained his twentieth year — blas6 sur tout! 
Still the unanswerable question recurred — ^'^And 
where shall I go this year?" 

As for the hundredth time I exclaimed, «^An4 
where shall I go this year!" a packet was sent 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 pub- 
lished, and wet from the press, "The Stranger's 


Guide through Little Pedlington, by Felix Hoppy, 
Esq., M. C' Throwing aside the rest as unimpor* 
tant to my present purpose, I, on the instant, perused 
this last. 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 by the 
exquisite lines so aptly quoted by the M. C. from 
the charming poem of the « tuneful Jubb," — 

Hail, Pedlingtonia! bail, thoa fayourM spot! 
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 feel- 
ing of shame, the consciousness that the bitter reproof 
uttered by the M. C. himself applied in its fullest 
force to my case, would alone have urged m^ to make 
the amende honourable by an immediate journey 
to the place. 

'< Well may it be said," he exclaims, " that Eng- 
lishmen 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 sufiering 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; but great 
indeed it was when I was informed that there was 



HoweTCT, I Jouod that tlie WmUemooth cO*^ 
(wlijeli ran iiearer to it thaa any <i4li«r) wo<M *^ 
tne down at PojipletDo-Eod; that there I should b& 
preiiy tmt of ineetJog with poMne one who woolA 
«OT3f oiy litigage to SqoashiDir&-gate, a short tliT^ 
toiJe*; and tliat from thrace to LitUe-Pedling/^ 
» diiUiiee of eight mi Ja^— there or thereatj^^^*' 
h rail rerukrJtrthr^e time§a Weet j-_/^^**^'^ 

• coach ran fegylarJ)r three times a we^k 


py to get there lo a^y _ 



towards U^^ 


^^ Ave m the 


prtJC-r of 

narrow tart^ 

»^nce the soil beina. 



N* s 


ir '? 



" Why — I was informed that I should find some-* 
"^7 here who would carry it to Squashmire-gate; 
but there is no person within sights and I can't car- 
ry it myself.** 

^ '^y no. Sir, I don't very well see how you 

^^^* ieaatj" continued he, in the same facedous 

^t vvouldn^t be altogether pleasant* However, 

^ nave a very good chance of Blind Bob com- 

^^"ilh his truck in about half-an-hour — or so*" 

i^^ or so." It is a cheatj an impos- 

^and an insidious. In all mat- 

Dnvenience, I have invariably 

ravation of the original evil at 

I your " three miles or so, far- 

P^our desti nation, after a vveari- 

ige country, may usually be 

L guinea or so,'^ in an uncertain 

laiting the arrival of yourbridej 

raday, a week, a year; if of your 

lease dependent upon peculiar err- 

rd," inquired I, rather peevish ly, 

wait during that half-hour — or so?" 

; you should chance to miss Blind 

.it iierhiijis fuid it a ieetie awkward 

of -; so if youMl take my 

ini arc. Good morn- 

r^^e much of a rain. Sir. 

^^ying, he mounted the 

enealh my umbrelk on 

ppleton-End, at half-past 

Irizzling rain* 



the end of this portion of the journey. The conver- 
sation of my companion on the way might possibly 
have proved td be pleasant could I have afforded to 
purchase it at his price, which was— from the extra- 
ordinary loud tone of his voice — to suffer a smart 
box o' the ear at each word he uttered: this was be- 
yond my power of endurance, so that, after a ques- 
tion and a remark or two, 1 remained silent. I call- 
ed to mind a certain person, who, being accosted in 
in the street by a blind clarionet-screecher wfth 
" Have pity on the poor blind,'* replied, "I would 
if I myself were deaf!*' 

Squashmire-Gate cannot, with strict regard to 
truth,. he 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 Pedlington, 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 pig-sty, 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 of three mortal hours! 

Tell not me of the clock or of the dial as the true 
indicators of the progress of time. Nay, there are 
periods in every one's existence when the very sun 
himself is a "lying chronicler." There are occa- 
sions 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 hourf 
so 1 oHered breakfast^ which I took to the accom- 
paniment 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 cupboard. 

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 had just broken the ink-bottle, 
and somehow they had mislaid the pen: — a circum- 
stance 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. dined hear on the 1 5th off 
June; and that Ephraim Trist loves Jane Higs; 
or that Susen Miles is a beattfull e^etear; or even 
such tender exclamations as O? Mariar? or O 
Poly!! — 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 the lapse of considerable time^ it 
calne 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 earlier than twelve to-day?*' 

" Not earlier J Sir; indeed I shouldn't wonder if 
it's arter instead of qfore^ seeing the state of the 

"What!" shouted Blind Bob, who was In the 
kitchen and overhead our short colloquy. " What! 
afore! and with them 'ere roads! The Lippleton 
*Wonder' won't be here afore three to day. Blesh 
you, it cav^V^ 

« Three!" I exclaimed. " It is impossible to re- 
main 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 that sort To be sure we have a one horse kind 
of a cart" — ^here was a prospect of escape — " but our 
horse died Friday 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 portmanteau to be sent on by the <Wonder,'iind 
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 lightish 
seventeen just now." 

Had it so chanced that Job had espoused Griselda, 
and I been the sole offspring of so propitious an 
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 lengthening in nearly the 
proportion in which it ought to have diminished; to 
be mud-bound in a place like this, without a resource 
of any kind, corporeal or intellectual, to beguile the 
time: and, in aggravation of these annoyances, to be 
condemned to the ceaseless infliction of the combined 
yell, yelp, sqjieak, 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 
inuigined parents would have acted under a similar 
pressure of ills; but,^for my part, I surrendered at 
discretion to the irresistible attack, and, striking the 
table with a force which caused the astonished tea-pot 
to leap an inch high 

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

The poor woman, evidently hurt at the opprobi- 
ous term which I had cast upon her village (for such 
I suppose, she considered Squashmire-Gate to be), 
slowly shook her head; and with a look of mild re- 
buke, and in a corresponding tone 

« Sir," she said, « all the world can't be Lipple- 
ton; 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 undervalue the great 
work of Felix Hoppy, Esq., M. C; but admirable 
as it is for the elegance of its style, and unrivalled 
for the graphic (that, I believe, is the word now 
commonly in use upon these occasions), the gra- 
phic power of its descriptions, I declare that that one 


simply-eulogistic phrase of my hostess's would as 
effectually have excited my disire to behold the 
beauties and the wonders of Little^Pedlington^ as 
had already been accomplished by the most elabo- 
rate temptation offered by the illustrious Hoppy 

Although this was adding fuel to the fire of my 
impatience, I was at once overcome by the gentle- 
ness of the woman's manner; and, unwilling that she. 
should consider me as an incarnation of slander and 
detraction, I <*explained" somewhat after the Parlia- 
mentary 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 anx- 
ious to proceed on my journey. And now, having 
satisfied her that I meant no offence to Squashmire- 
Gate, " Consider," said 1, " consider that 1 have yet 
five hours to remain here: you cannot furnish me 
either with books, or papers, or with any earthly 
thing which would serve to lighten the time;" (ad- 
ding, 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 ap- 
peal in its fullest force; then fondly casting her eyes 
on the sick, squalling child which she carried oti her 
arm; then again looking at me, said — ^^Vm sure I 
hardly know. Sir, what you can do; but if you would 
like to nurse baby for two or three hours yoii are 
heartily welcome, indeed you are. Sir." 

Nothing perhaps could more strikingly illustrate 
the forlorn and helpless condition to which I was re- 
duced, than that it should have instigated one human 


being to venture such a proposal to another. Invit- 
ing 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 auspi 
cious moment io vindicate the reputation of the 
place, and, leading me to the door^exclaimed in atone 
of triumph, ^^Now look. Sir! It stands to reason, you 
know, that no place can look pretty in bad weather.'' 

Yet could I not exult in my position. Perhaps 
the first impression may have produced an unfavour- 
able prejudice in my mind; yet, a barn, a horse- 
trough, a pig-sty, and a smithy, with here and there 
a stunted tree, were not materials out of which to 
extract beauty, or capable of exciting pleasurable 
emotions. No; in these my cooler moments of re- 
flection, I still maintain that Squashmire-Gate xsnot 
a pretty place. 

I walked, or rather waded, outside the house. I 
peeped into the pig-sty, looked into the barn, exa- 
mined the smithy, and counted the ducks in the pond. 
Next, to vary my amusement, I began with the barn, 
then proceeded to inspect the pig-sty, 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 I. 

Upon occasions like the present, when one hap- 
pens to be coach-bound, or otherwise detained in a 
country-place, the church-yard is an infallible re- 


source, and an epitaph-huot 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^all it five mile; but it may befive mile and 
a half." - 

"Hogsnortonfive and a half!" shouted Bob; <<it's 
seven mile or so, any 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 sod- 
den recollection ; '* there's Dribble-Hall you might 
see,' if it warn't that the roads are so bad." 

'^ And what, and where, is Dribble-Hall, pray !" 

" La ! Sir; haVe you never heard of Dribble-Hall, 
as belongs to Squire Dribble ?" [I shall take a fu- 
ture opportunity of introducing my readers to Squire 
Dribble.] "Why, Sir," continued mine hostess, 
<< folks come from far and near to see Dribble-Hall. 
Such picturs ! and such stattys ! and such grounds ! 
and such a person as the Squire himself is ! Dear 
me; if it warn'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 distance." 

" It's only two mile and a half," replied she. 

« What !" roared Blind Bob ; (I expected thW, 
as usual he was preparing to multiply the distan<!fe" 
by three ; but this time I was agreeably disappoint- 
ed.) " What ! two mile and a half ! that's going 


by the road : but if the gentleman takes by the green , 
gate^ it an't much more than a mile." 

"And pray, Bob, which way must I go ?'* 

" 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 

" yes. Sir," replied the landlady, " and glad 
enough, too ; for all the house-maid — the house-keep- 
ershe 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 what- 
ever she gets above that, he shares with her,— 'Which 
is but fair, you know. Sir." 

In a commercial country, where every thing is 
considered relatively to its money-value, it certainly 
is " but fair" that nobtemen and gentlemen, whose 
mansions and their contents are worth an inspection, 
should allow their servants to make a charge for the 
exhibition of them, 1 do not pretend that such a 
proceeding is noble, or dignified, or handsome, in- 
deed, altogether worthy of a person of high station; 
but merely and strictly that it is fair. We pay for 
seeing the lions in the Tower and in Wombell's 
booth; a <;harge is made for showing the wax-work 
in^Westminster Abbey and at Mrs. Salmon's rooms; 


and upon what principle either of justice or equity 
are we to expect that the Duke of A. or the Earl of 
Z.f if they allow us to see their galleries or their 
grounds, should grant us such an indulgence ^a^i^.^ 
The notion is preposterous. There are indeed cer- 
tain 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 improvi- 
dence are not numerous. Yet I cannot help think- 
ing 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 construct- 
ed of boot-jacks, for, at each step I took, my boots 
were half-drawn ofif my feet by the necessary effort 
of extricating them from the tenacious soil. Fol- 
lowing Bob's directions, with punctuality equal to 
their precision I kept to the l^t ; but after walking 
— if struggling through such a road may be so term- 
ed— rfor considerably more 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, 1 had passed, and 
occasionally a road branching off in a different direQ- 
tion ; 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 1 had traversed 
in the morning, about mid-way between Squashmire 


Gate and Poppleton-End ! << O, Liitle-Pedlington!'' 
thought li^^^a paradise before 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 BoBl 

^< Rascal!'^ I exclaimed; how dared you thus de- 
ceiye me? how dared you send me on this wild-goose 

<< Couldn't you find the Hall, Sir? I told you to 
keep to the left till 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 1 ought to know best. Sir. Tell me of 
no green gate, indeed! Did you notice two tall 
poplars, with a gate between them, leading into a 

«< I did, — a newly painted white gate." 

*< White ! nonsense. Sir, begging your pardon ; 
what does that signify ? That be the green gate, and 
has been always called so in these parts, time out o' 
mind. It's o' no use to be angry with me : it's no 
fault o' mine if Squire has taken and had it painted 

Obdurate must be his heart who is not to be paci- 
fied by a reason, or strengthened by the explanation 
of the landlady, who told me that, although the 
gate had always served as a sort of road-guide, yet 
Squire Dribble being <<a gentleman who looked 
jriiarply 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 tarern one day; 
<< Order dinner at six for half-past, and 1 will posi- 
tively be with you at seven." The Little-Pediing- 
ton " Wonder" being expected up at three, it conse-* 
quently arrived at half-past four. And ^' O ! what 
damned minutes told I o'er^' in that long interval! 

The Little Pedlington « Wonder** was a heavy, 
lumbering 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 esij lumbering and heavy. 

"Full out, room for one in," was the coachman's 
reply to my question whether I could have a place. 
I expressed my dtsappointmentat not having an out- ' 
side 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 ! 

" AndJiow long will it be before you start, coach- 
man ?" ' 

^ About a quarter of an hour or so, Sir," was the 

« What !** bellowed forth my everlasting friend. 
Bob ; *^ a quarter of an hour ! You'll not get away 
from here afore six. Master Giles, and you know you 

Mr. Giles was part proprietor of the ** Wonder" 
(the only coach on that road) which he drove up one 
day, and down another ; so, there being no opposi* 


tion^he carried matters with a high hand, deferring 
to the wishes or the convenience of one only person 
that ever travelled by the << Wonder/' which one was 

« Six !" said Giles, taking up the word of filind 
fiob ; ^ why, to be sure ; mustn't I have a bit of 
summut U> eat? an<^ 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 qpes ', but if 
I didn't give 'em a rest here and there, how'd ever 
they get on to Lippleton 1 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, certainly, 
a poser. When I was told of the Little Pedling- 
ton << 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 ve- 
hicle could conscientiously make . to the title was, 
that it could be prevailed upon to move at all. It 
was, therefore, not without trepidation that I ven- 
tured to inquire at about what time we were likefy 
to get into Little Pedlington. 

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

« And very fair travelling, too," said 1, happy at 
lengthy at knowing when this day of disagreeables 
was to terminate: << seventeen miles in three hours 
is not to be complained of — under the circumstan- 

^ What !" again shouted the inveterate Blind Bob; 


« nine ? you'll not 'see Lippleton afore eleven to^ 
night Why, the * Wonder/ never does more nor 
four milean hour the besto'times, and here's the long 
road to take, and as heavy as putly. Besides, won't 
you stop three times more to rest the horses ? 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 yours^f 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 : 
leaving me in some doubt whether the Fates might 
not have determined against my ever seeing Little 
Pedlington atalL 

" 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 inevitable 
squalling child upon her arm. Jt was screaming as 
if it would have screamed its head off, and I could 
not avoid commencing my address by a profane 
parody on Shakspeare:—^* First of all, my good 
woman, « silence that dreadful childJ " 

"La ! Sir; consider you were once a child your- 
self," was her reply: a rebuke, by-the-by, which 
you invariably receive if you presume to complain 
of the performance of that the most intolerable music 
ever composed by Nature. Now, admitting the fact 
that I was once a child myself, it by no means fol- 
lows as a necessary consequence that I was a squall- 
ing child: the justice, therefore, of applying the re- 


buke to me I am always dispoiSed to question. Oq 
the other hand, if I did delight in that atroeious mode 
of exalting my voice, my present opinion is, that, 
for the comfort of society, I ought to have been, in 
some way or other — to use a Favourite ^melo-drama- 
tic phrase — '« disposed of." I throw this Ait mere- 
ly as a hint; though I by no means positively advise 
that it be acted upon in any manner that might be 
unpIeasanMo the rising generation. Query : JVias 
King Herod, at heart, a wicked man ? 

Having, at the risk of a sore ihroat, contrived to 
scream louder than the child, I inquired what I could 
have for dinner. 

<< What would you like. Sir?" 

" A boiled chicken.'^ 

**We have never a chicken, Sir; but would you 
like some eggs and bacon." 

« No. Can I have a lamb chop?" 

« No, Sir; but our eggs and bacon is very nice." 

" Or a cutlet— or a steak?" 

<<No, ^ir; but we are remarkable here for our 
eggs and bacon«^' 

« Have you any thing cold in your larder?" 

^ Not exactly. Sir; but I'm sure you will like our 
eggs and bacon." 

*< Then wha^t have you got?" 

<^ Why, Sir, we have got nothing but eggs and 

<<0! — ^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, 
tor ^he good of the house, to inquire what wine I 
could have — of course, not expecting that my choice 
would be inuch 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 

« Then pray give me some lemonade." 

« Yes, Sir. Do you prefer it with lemon or with- 


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

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 JBogland's 
Own — Collin's Richmond Ale. Fortunately 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 

" 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 com- 
forter; "a little? You'll have rain enough to droumd 
you long afore you're half way to Lippleton, and 
thunder along with it, mind if you don't. I can feel 
it in my 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 Ped- 
lington, I soon forgot all the past annoyances of the 
day. Yet was not my position one of absolute com- 
fort I was jammed in between two corpulent ladies 
—of whom one was suffering under a violent tooth- 
ache, and the other from head-ache. Opfiosite to 
me was a stout man with a strong Stilton 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 herrings. 
Between the two ladies a constant dispute was maih- 
tained 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 weighty 
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 

We proceeded at what might be the pace of a 
hearse in a hurry — something short of four miles 
jm hour. At every hovel by the road-side Mr. Giles 
pulled up to enjoy his << tithe of talk" with its inhabi- 
tants. Remonstrance and entreaty on the part of 
us, the impatient travellers, were useless, He plain- 
ly 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 reat A 
long journey, fairly performed^ ia not an affair to 
complain of; hut, oh ! the torments of a short one 
prolonged hy needless delay ! At ten o'clock we 
had yet'^six miles of ours to accomplish. The night 
was dark; suddenly, as the sea-song has it, << the rain 
a deluge^ poured,'' and (to continue the quotation) 
<< loud roared the dreadful thunder," when — within 
ahout two miles of Little Pedlington— crash! the 
pole broke. Whether or not the horses took fright, 
I have never had any means of ascertaining; certain 
it i», they neither became unmanageable, nor did 
they run away; they were not in a state to do either; 
so, like jaded, sensible horses as they were, they 
stood stock-still. After considerable delay, and ma- 
ny fruitless attenopts to repair the accident, we were 
compelled to walk through a pelting shower the re- 
mainder of the way. As I approached the to^n, 
(though from the utter darkness I could not see it,) 
I felt as one feels on first beholding Rome, ,or as 
Bonaparte 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, in High-street — ^for- 
getting all my by-gone troubles, I exultingly ex- 
claimed — ^^And here I am in Little-Pedllngtoni" 

Early the next morning 

But here I must pause. — All that follows will ap- 
pear in the form of a Journal kept during a 
assiPENCE IN Little-Pedlington. 



** AH the world can't be Little Pedlkigton; if it wat-At would 
be much too fine a place, and too good for vm poor ainnere to live 

Monday f June 15. — Those words which made 
ao powerful an impression upon me when uttered 
by mine hostess in rebuke of my evil speaking of 
Squash mire-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 I now com- 
mence, 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 day 
past, or minute down the conversation to which I 
may have listened; or in which I may have shared 
— or ere I venture id record my judgment and opin- 
ions, 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 Pedlingto- 
nians some whose manners, whose acquirements, or 
whose genius may fail to satisfy my full-strained 
expectation, let me remember that as all the world 
cannot be one entire and perfect Little Pedlington, so 
neither can I reasonably hope to find in every Pedling- 
ton aHoppy,aRummins,oraJubb. Letme, OTriith! 
walk hand in hand with thee. And if haply upon 

32 R£6iD£ircs iir 

Went into the coffee-room — not a creature in it. 
Looked out at the window — not a soul to be seen. 
Thought the town must be deserted. Rang the bell 
—enter waiter — white cotton stockings with three 
dark stripes above the heel of the shoe, indicating 
the number of days' duty they had performed. Or- 
dered breakfast-'-coffee, eggs, and dry toast; observ- 
ing that if they were not aufait at niaking coffee, 
1 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 gav§ 
general satisfaction* 

Strange! It has invariably been my misfortune 
to be ii\Q first to complain of any thing whatBO&veVj 
at any tavern, coffee-house, or hotel wheresoever. 
The slightest expression of discontent at your wine, 
your dinner, your accommodation — ^no matter what 
— isxertain to be met with, <^ Dear me. Sir! that'ii 
very extraordinary! This is the very first time we 
have heard^ complaint of that, I assure you.'' Per- 
haps my case in this respect is not singular. 

Breakfast brought; poured out from a huge japan- 
ned-tin vessel, standing eighteen inches high, a nan- 
keen-coloured liquid. Rose for the purpose of looking 
into the unfathomable machine — ^full to the brim! 
Made according to the most approved English coffee- 
house receipt — ^^< to half an ounce of coffee adda quart- 
and-a half of water;" but as their cofifee ^^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. 

LITTLE P£]>LINGT01f. 33 

* * » ■» « 

«' You are^the first gentleman that ever complain- 
ed of our over-hoiVitig our eggs, I assure you, Sir,*' 
flaid the waiter. 

<* Do you take a London paper here?" 

^< Of course, Sir, a house like our's takes a Lon- 
don 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 as£ for them till they are quite done with." 

Before I had time to ask for an explanation con- 
cerning the family so oddly distinguished, the land- 
lord, 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 Pedlington. 

Scorewell, with inconceivable rapidity, converted 
his angry frown into the sweetest innkeeper smile I 
ever witness^ed; and in a tone indescribably bland, ac- 
companied by the matter-of-course bow, he welcom- 
ed me to " Lippleton. " 

<< Is this your first visit to our place. Sir?" 

I told him it was. 

« Then, Sir, I can only say that you have a great 
treat to con>e." 

^ Your town seems to me to be empty," sM I; 


<^ except yourself and your servants, I have not seen 
a human being/' 

<< Quite the contrary, Sir — fullest season ever 

" 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 any thing 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, every body is gone down to the mar- 
ket-place to hear Miss Cripps's bag cried. Had 
the misfortune last night to lose her pea-green silk 
bag with a scarlet ribbon and a sky-blue binding, con-> 
taining two sovereigns, a silver thimble, a lump of 
orris-root, three shillings, a pot of lip-salve, a new 
flaxen fronl^ 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- 
and-ninepence 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 of the new tooth, the orris-root, the car-: 
mine, lip-salve, and flaxen front— -u^AicA belonged 
to a friend of hersJ^ 

These latter words the landlord (checking bis vo* 
lability) uttered with particular emphasis^ accom- 
panied by a comically grave expression of counte- 

^^ A thousand pities. Sir," continued Scorewell^ 
<< that you should have missed hearing the crier; the 

LrrrXB PEDLIN«TOir< 35 

more so, owing to the eXtraordioary coiDcidence of 
so iDteresting a thing occurring the very first morn* 
ing of your being in Lippleton-r-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 Gripps's, I entertain no apprehen« 
sions; for if what I hear of your townVpeople be 
true — that they are as remarkable for their goodness 
and virtue, as your town is for its beauty. " 

<< You may say 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! li is indeed a proud thing 
to be able to say, that in such a prodigioas popula- 
tion 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 tell me who they are, in order that I 
may avoid them." 

"0, Sir, they are very well known; one is that 
villain Stintum that keeps the Golden Lion; the 
other is that scoundrel Snargate 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 with- 
out ^But I beg pardon, Sir — there's the family-^ 

with-the-fly-bell — will be with you again in a mini- 

Ere I had ceased to wonder that a commu&ity so 


near to perfection as that of Little Pedlington should 
not allow itself to be thus defiled, when it might be- 
come immaculate by ejecting only two of its mem- 
bers, Scorewell returned. 

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

« Why, Sir, I should have been full, if it hadn't 
been for those villains who kidnaps, positively kid- 
naps, customers into theirhouses. Sending their cards 
about — under-charging so, that Pm sure they can- 
not get a living profit — and then, setting about a re- 
port that my chimneys smokes, d — n 'em? I'm 

a in^n, Sir, that speaks ill of nobody, and wishes ill 
to no man ; but as for Mem, the day I see their names 
in the Ga2ette (and it won't be long first) will be 
the happiest day of my life. And then again, Sir, 
Uiose boarding-houses! Full, indeed! IHl ask you, 
^ir, how is one to be full, or how is an honest inn- 
keeper to get a liVeHhood with such' opposition as 
that? Little Pedlington, Sir, would be a perfect 
Paradise if it warn't for them boarding-houses; but 
they are the pest of the place. They ought to be 
annilliated. Government ought to interfere n and 
put them down. When we send members to Par- 
liament (which we have as good a right to do as 
many other places), /'// give my vote and support 
to whomsoever will go in upon the independent in- 
terest, and bring in a bill to put down boarding-hou- 
ses. 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 bepri$n*d with stale 


fish and bad meat I know how much a«-pound Mra^ 
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. 1 don't say 
it to their disparagement, poor devils! because peo* 
pie must live; and those who s^ell cheap must buy >^ 
cheap— only, they ought to M a little more careful 
in cholera times. But go to my butcher, Sir, and 
ask him what kind of meat Scorewell 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 mor* 
sel of fish and poultry that comes into this house, 
what prices / pay for my commodities: 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, un- 
dermining, evil-speaking old tabbies like them, who 
cannot bear to see any body thrive but themselves-*-* 
especially me! They are the only two nuisances in 
the place, and it would be better for every body 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 fiutterfiy and Bullfinch, and the Golden Lion, 
would profit by it." 

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

« Why, Sir," replied he, " I have not many, but 

. they are all of the first respectability. There's Mr. 

andMrs.Fitzbobbin,Mr.St Knitall andA«> lady,Mr. 


De Stewpan, Mr^ Twistwireville, 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 my house — Mr. Hobbs Hobbs and his lady; 
their two daughters, Misses Eleonora and Floren- 
tina; 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 
— 4iave heard of them, at any rate?" 

There was a touch of aristocracy — of gentility 
at the least — implied by the Fitzes and the Villesy 
and the imposing duplication of the Hobbs; yet I 
could not call to mind that 1 had ever heard any 
one of those names before. 

At this moment there was a again a violent ring- 
ing 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 carriage 

I felt something like a shock on learning that 
there were two rascals (the inn-keepers) in so virtu- 
ous a town as Little Pedlington; but when Score, 
well 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 be- 
lieve that the reputation of the place for goodness, 
however it might deserve it for beauty, had 4)een 
over-rated. And yet, thought I, compared 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 popula- 
tion as twenty-nine hundred and seventy-two'' con- 
stitute no very alarming proportion of wickedness. 
The guide-book of Felix Hoppy, Esq., M. C, aided 
by the commentary of my landlady at Squashmire- 
gate, had determined me to think favourably of Lit- 
tle Pedlington, and I resolved not to abandon my 
good opinion of it fq^r four's sake. 

As I rose from my seat, and struck my hands to- 
gether, as one ^does upon having made up one's 
mind with one's-self, Scorewell entered the room, 
and, with a low bow, handed me a visiting ticket; 
saying, « With his very best compliments -and most 
profound respects, he has the inexpressiblcL honour 
and greatest possible felicity in welcoming you to 
Little Pedlington." - 

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 corners, respectively, a lyre, a French 
horn, a fiddle and bow, and the Pandean pipes; these 
connected with the sides by truelover's knots and 
roses placed alternately. In the midst of this vast 
combination of elegance and splendour there ap- 

40 1US8I0BVCE nr 

peared in eharacters of gold as such a name deseir- 
ed to appear— 


No. 4. 
Please to ring the bottom bell. 

^A great man. Sir!" said my loquacious host; 
<< and a dancing, master. Lippleton, Sir, would never 
have been what it is without him — I mean for ele* 
gance and fashion. He has made the Lippletoa 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 he is himself! I 
sometimes read in the London papers about the 
Opera; and Lord! the fuss they make with their 
Cooluns Siud Parrots and Tagffienonlif I wish 
they'd just come to Lippleton and see thOigreat 
Hoppy; he'd soon take the shine out of them, I 
promise you. Ah! Sir, there ar'nt many Hoppys 
in the world, you may rely upon Mo/." , 

<< I was not a Ware of his excellence in that way," 
said I; ^'my admiration of him is grounded upon 
his book, — his < Little Pedlington Guide.' " 

<< A book, indeed! Ah, Sir,, you may well call it 
a book! Not many booksln the world like that, 
eh. Sir? But, as the saying is, man's work fs never 
perfect: there are two terrible faults in it, and I once 


made bold to fell him so. How could he make 
mention of the Butterfly and Bullfinch, and the 
Golden Lion, — and those rascally boarding-houses, 
too! shows his good-nature. But after all. 
Sir, for writing' you must see our Jubb, — * Pedling- 
tonian's Pride,' as he calls himself somewhere in 
his poetry. And Rummins, too — the great Rum- 
mins! Of course you'll stay here till Friday if it's 
only to see hrs museum. But be sure 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, aye. 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 inhabitants also, I shall endeavour to ob- 
tain introductions to Mr. RummtYis and Mr. Jubb; 
and to your painter, Daubson, too!" 

"There, again; Daubson! a great creature, in- 
deed! Some of your Lunnuners — saving your pres- 
ence. 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 can show in Lip- 
pletouy they soon draw in their horns, that I can tell 
you. Sir." 

"Well," said I, somewhat impatiently, (for, to 
confess the truth, although I was prepared to paiy 
due homage to the great men of Little Pedlinglon, 
I was growing envious of their superiority 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 Tisit to the town; at five o'clock I will 
return; and since (as I perceive by the book) yoa 
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 Lippleion for love or 
money. But I tell you what. Sir; if Joe Hi^ns 
should bring any gudgeons in te-m«rrow, I'll take 
care of 'em for you, — unless, indeed, the family 
with the fly should want 'em." 

<< A veal cutle^' then, and " 

"Veal! We only kill veal in I^ippleton, Sir^ 
once a week, and (hat's o' Tuesday. But if you'd 
please to leave it to my cook. Sir, she'll send you 
up as nice a little dinner as you could wish to sit 
down to." 

I adopted the landlord's suggestion. As I was pre- 
paring to depart, he exclaimed, ^ Dear nft, Sir? I 
was near forgetting to remind you. But if Miss 
Gripps's bag shouldn't be found before twelve 
o'clock, you'll be sure to hear it cried then, if you 
go down to the market-place. 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." 

Went first of all to the****** 
^ Next went to see the****** 

Afterwards went to look at the****** 

[On comparing my own notes with the masterly 
descriptions by the M. C, 1 find them str decidedly 


inferior to his, that, (with only one or two excep- 
tions) I shall suppress them; confining myself chief- 
ly to events, characters, and conversations.] 

Nearly twelve o'clock. Crowds of persons, with 
countenances ^ager and anxious, hurrying from all 
quarters to the Market-square. Joined them. Ex- 
clamations of "Cruel loss!'' « Unparallelled vil- 
lany!" "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 previous buzz. The 
crier carried a bell which he sounded thrice, each 
time exclaiming (as nearly as I could understand the 
words) "0 Yes!" Here some heartless reprobate 
in the crowd cried out, " O no, if you think the bag 
will ever come to light." Symptoms of just indig- 
^ion and cries of " Shame! shame!" The crier 
then proceeded; and after detailing, in a tone of voice 
interestingly monotonous, the contents of the bag, 
as already described to me by Scorewell, he con- 
cluded by offering a reward of two-and-three-pence 
for its recovery, (an advance of six pence on the 
first tempting inducement to an honest proceeding,) 
and declaring that "no higher reward won't be of- 
fered." Altogetheran impressive ceremony. Would 
not have missed it for worlds. 

Went into a shop to purchase a pair of gloves. 
Found my pocket 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-sauoes and 

44 R£8IB£KCS IK 

Day and Martin's blacking — that << It was never no 
Pedlingtonian what did that — ^they were above sueh 
things.'' My nasty, suspicious mind doubted 
for a moment whether Little Pedlington were 
much better than other placSs after all. Four not 
over-good people in it by Scofewell's .own admis- 
stony-^nd he is a staunch Pedlingtonian, too. 
Psha! it must have been the work of one of the 
London swell mob. Fortunately my pdcket-book 
was safe. 

Went to Messrs. Yawkins, Snargate and Ca (the 
<< obliging bankers" as they are truly designated in 
the guide-book, jind agents to the London Salaman^ 
der Fire-office, and for the sale of James's pow- 
ders), 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. Yj 
kins, the head of the respectable firm. Mr. Yawk1 
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 six- 
pence in Silver, and half-a-crown in halfpence. Sus- 
pect I must have looked rather queer at the notes, 
for Mr. Yawkins, without any other provocation, 
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 half-pence to my inn. 
"Obliging bankers," indeed ! A lesson for Lom- 
bard-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 sub- 
scription of ten shillings, — although Mr. Luke Snar- 
gate, the builder, had nobly followed his exam|Sle, 
— although the learned Rummins had kindly pro- 
mised an inscription for the foundation-stone, and the 
celebrated Jubb a poetical address for the opening 
night, — nay, although their "house" had volunta- 
rily offered to receive subscriptions, he was sorry to 
add that "the Pedlingtonians did — not — sub- 
scribe," Shook my head in reply, and took my 
leave. Sighed as I reflected on such neglect of 
the drama even in Little Pedtington. 

Being so near the new pump, took the opportu- 
nity 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 
brandishing his trident on the top, it is certainly far 
superior to any pump I have seen in London, not 
even excepting that in Burlington Gardens. Yet, 
at the risk of being suspected of partiality, I must 
say that I think the /brm of the ladle attached to 
the latter is preferable; certainly it is more capa^ 
cious. Perhaps a Pedlingtonian would not admit 
this; but as the point is one not of mere taste, but 
of positive depth and circumference, an actual 
measurement of both ladles would settle it with the 
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 little roan in nankeen 
jacket and trousers, and a straw hat Naroe (as I 
afterwards learned) Hobbleday. He had been ob- 
serving me for several minutes, and with evident 

" Man of taste, I perceive — intelligent traveller 
— laudable curiosity — you donU pass over the won- 
ders of nature with half an eye. From London, 

« Yes, Sir." 

<< Never saw London; in fact, never was out of 
Little Pedlington. Had the honour of being born 
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 day sin London, just to see the 
sights; and yet, a Pedlingtonian needn't break his 
heart if he never did. You can show nothing ther^ 
like that^ I take it" (pointing to the pump). 

" I don't think we can, Sir— exactly." 

<< 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-weil here; then came the old pump-— a 
wooden thing 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 inl If my poor fatlier could rise out of his 
grave and see this, where would he /ancy himself? 
certainly not in Little Pedlington. By-the-bye 


Sir, my clearest friend, as 1 am proud to eall him, 
Mr. Simcox Rummins, the -celebrated antiqqarjr, 
has got the old pump-4iandle in his museum, and 
I'm sure he'll have great pleasure in ahowjog it to 
you; bvt — but — you must not attempt to take a 
drawing of it; that he wonH allow." 

<< Perhaps, Sir," said I, <<as I am a stranger here, 
whose chief object in this visit is to see your gireat 
men, and Mr. Rummins is a friend of yours, yoa 
would favour me with an introduction to him/' 
"With the greatest pleasure in life. Sir." 
«< And to the Reverend Jonathan Jubb, your great 

<* Why, that is ratlier more difficult, for he* is 
literally torn to pieces by the curiosity of strangnv 
to see him; however, as 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. 

Daubson, tlie celebrated painter " 

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

« As for Mr. Hoppy " 

" Dea^, darling Hoppy ! proud to say my most in- 
timate 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 oflF too — an immense 
^'nnon; they do say it is a six-pounder, but for my 
part I only believe half what I hear. And that ex- 


traordioary creature, too, he^U exhibit bis wonder- 
ful 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, << any thing new to- 

« Yes, replied Shrubsole, " Mrs. Sniggerston was 
brought to bed of two twins, at two minutes past 
two this morning." 

« Queen Anne's dead," said the other; " that's 
old news to me; long before a quarter past I heard 
of it But what about Miss Cripps's bag?" 

^<<No tidings of it I just called there, but she is 
in such a stat6 of mind she doesn't see any body — 
wouldn't even see mc.'* 

"Ahem! I say, my dear S., now between 
you 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 
with gold in her purse? You know her whole in- 
come 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 Friday, when she had not got them to 
pay; and you know that when her money dots come 
in, no body pays more punctually than poor dear 
Cripps. But the false front, the toothy the rouge, 
and the orris-root! that is a cruel elcposure, to be 
sure. My little woman was right: she always in- 
sisted that Miss Cripps wore a false front, and now 
the murder's out" 


«Psha! 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 allLittle-Pedlington knows^ 
she was always gnawing it Well, good day, Hob* 
bleday^; I must go home. Mrs Applegarth has just 
put up her tuw drawing-room curtains, and I haiFe 
promised to take Mrs. S. to see them. I think thqr 
are the old. ones dyed in turmeric, and I'll answer 
for it my little woman will be of the same opin- 

^^That Mr. Shrubsole, Sir," said Hobbled^y, 
<< that Shrubsole and his ^ little woman' are the most 
insufferable gossips in the place, and censorious to 
a degree! The Mrs. Sniggen^on he mentiotied— 
the twin Jady — ^is the wife of Sniggerston, the li- 
brary-keeper, who once tried to set up a guide-book 
in-opposition to Hoppy's — wouldn't do— my friend 
Hoppy^s carried all before it. Wdl, Sir, she and 
Tupkin, the butcher here in tbe market— ahem !•— 
How poor Sniggy can be so blind U astonishing, 
when the aiSair 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 Shrapnel], 
the grocer, formed a connexion with Mrs. RumUe, 
an actress in Strut's company here — ^turned his wife 
(•' (a dear good soul^) out of doors — and compelled her 
to live upon a separate maintenance of fifteen pounds 
a year. Then her sister Flora, who was housemaid 
at my uncle's at the time he had the honour of be- 
ing churchwarden here, ran off with the guard of 

so ll£dtDXKCfi tS 

the Winklemouth coach, and has never since been 
heard of." 

'<What," thought I, "slander and detraction, ^ 
robberies, elopements, separate maintenances, and 
worse, in such a place as Little-Pedlington! — then 
have honesty, honour, and 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 confined to our own class; but when one 
sees upper-servants in families, and tradesfolks — 
mere tradesfolks — apeing their betters, it puts an 
end to all distinctions you know. Sir." 

After a short pause, he resumed. << Will you walk 
Sir? Perhaps you would like to see our Zoological. 
Garden! The admission 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 fingers) — << parrot, cockatoo, 
guinea-pig, duck — not your common ducknand- 
green-peas sort of duck, but a Virginia duck, I think 
they call it — ttvo monkeys, a stufied leopard, nearly 
J^y stufied birds, two live canaries, and — we shall 
have an uncommon fine swan when the man has fi- 
nished digging the pond for it. Getting up some- 
thnig of the same sort in London, I understand. 


Lost no time in taking our hint, eh? But will you 
go? Won't be at all out of my way: going*to the 
Vale of Health to pay visits of condolence to poor 
Hubkins, who has just lost his wife and three chil- 
dren by scarlet fever, and to Widow Grieves, whose 
other daughter is just dead of asthma. Go? All 
in my way — our Zoo is just between the Vale of 
Health and the new burying-ground. How do 
Digges— how do ? Nothing fresh about Miss 
Cripps's bag, eh?" 

This he addressed to a tall stout rosy-faced man 
in black, who was walking along at a stately pace. 

« That man. Sir, ought to be the happiest fellow 
in Little-Pedlington, for he's making a fortune. It 
is Digges, the undertaker— just married Dr. Drench's 
eldest daughter — great connexion for him. Come; 
now do go!" 

To the Zoological Garden. Cockatoo good — 
could not say much for the guinea pig; but, in con- 
sideration of my new acquaintance's civilty, abstain- 
ed from uttering an unfavourable opinion, which 
would have given him pain. Like Samuel Johnson, 
L. L. D. (who, it is at length discovered, was but a 
mere twaddler after all), I may be set down for ^< a 
fat old fool — a dense fool" for this: so be it: yet can't 
help wishing that some of my fellow journalizers 
would follow my 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 — reading their sev- 
eral descriptions from the well-digested catalogue 


(written on a slate), with which, as life-governor, he 
had been furnished by the keeper (who was digging 
the pond for the swan), on our entrance. N. B. Cata- 
logue the joint work 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 upwards of ten minutes 
looking at the parrot swinging on a wire. ^ Vastly 
curious !" as he justly observed. Unlortunately the 
monkeys sulky, and would not show. To go again 
on Sunday, at a quarter past one, immediately on 
coming out of church, to see them do something or 
other which he assures me is the most beautiful sight 
in the universe, worth going miles to itee, and is all 
the rage at Little-Pedlington. 

Being so near the new bury ing-ground, Hobbleday 
kindly insisted on taking me all over it. Was so 
obliging as to stop me at every individual tomb- 
stone, and to read aloud every word of every in- 
scription—assuring me now and then, that if I 
chose to copy any *of them that particularly 
pleased me, he was not in the least hurry. This I 
declined, being unwilling to trespass over-much on 
his good nature. Having 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 could not think of my going 
till I had seen all — only about forty more to see. 
Did see all, as 1 thought. Yet one more, which he 
reserved for the last— the bonne bouehe — on account 
of its « sweetly pretty" epitaph, as he termed it, and 


which he said was attributed to Jubb. Had to retra- 
verse the whole length ojf the ground to get at it 
Forced me to take a copy of .it, he repeating it to 
me: — 

"-- . . " Affliclions sore 

Long time Ibore***-^^ 

As he uttered these four words, involuntarily ex- 
claimed, " You do!" H he m^^argnera pas un 
(ngnon, thought I. 

" And now,"'said my obliging cicerone, " being 
so near the Vale of Health, we^l see that J' Endeav- 
oured to excuse myself, on the score of the trouble 
to hz7n, fatigue, and the inconvenience of the heat, 
to myself; but in vain. On to the Vale of Health. 
On 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 of hus- 
bands," the " most affectionate of wives," the " most 
dutiful of children," or the " most faithful of 
friends." " True," said Hobbleday; " and it is some- 
thing for U9 to be proud of. 'Tis the same thing, 
too, in the old burying-ground — 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 thei/ go, wont be q^uite so favourably 
mentioned. Stop— pardon one moment, whilst I 

* Having since been informed by an intelligent friend that 
this epitaph is to be found in two or three other places in 
England besides Little Pedlington, I suppress the remainder. 


leave my compliments of condolence over the way/' 
Left me for a few minutes. Took refnge in my own 
reflections. Not comfortable at hearing this slur 
upon some of the live Pedlingtonians. 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 \^iting the return of Hobbleday, 
Mr. Shrubsole came up to me. 

" 1 think, Sir," said he, " that was my friend Hob- 
bleday 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 did'nt 
sometimes make so ill a use of it He is the most cen-^: 
sorious little wretch in the place; slanderous, mali- 
cious, malignant! W-ell; he may say what he pleases 
about me; thank my stars, he can say nothing to my 
disadvantage. Good mor Oh, when Hobble- 
day returns, pray tell him that my little woman and 
I have just seen the new window-curtains, which, as 
we suspected, turn out to be nothing but the old ones 
dyed in turmeric, after all. But that old woman is 
the vainest, the most boastful — in short the greatest 
' liar in all Little-Pedlington. Good 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-Ped- 
Hngtonians might be better than his report of them. ' 
He returned. I delivered the message, but sup- 
pressed the opinion. Took me all over the Vale of 
Health. Must admit that we have nothing at all like 


it io or near Londoo — rif^ indeed, we except a cow 
field near Camden-town. Eighteen small houses, 
scattered about, chiefly occupied by invalids, who re- 
tire 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 Hobble- 
day that Drs. 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. "I've tasted it," continued Hob- 
bleday; ^enough to poison a dog! It will be the 
making of the place, as they say; but what is to be^ 
come of Cheltenham, Harrowgate, Tunbridge-Wells, 
and such places? — however poor devils! that's their 
affair." Fancied I smelt something like the detest- 
able odour of a tan-yard. Peeped through the win- 
dow 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 ^tale 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 be- 
stowed upon it by Felix Hoppy. Mr. H. regretted 
diat the sun had " gone in" so that the " highly-po- 
lished brass knockers" did not shine half as much as 


he had sometimes seen them. Beheld the house 
where ^< dwelt the tuneful Jubb!'^ An odd feeling 
which I shall neither attempt to describe nor to ac- 
count for, comes over one upon these occasions. 
Contemplating the abode of genius! At this mo- 
ment perhapsthe Bard of Pedlington is in a raptured 

Walked down South Street. Hobbleday directed 
my attention to a board just underneath the first-floor 
window of No 18: it bore the words " Little-Ped- 
lington 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 
slight inclination of the head, accompanied by a 
complacent smile, he said, « /— /, Sir, have the ho- 
nour of being a member, conjointly with Rummins, 
Jubb, Hoppy, Daubson — in sliort, all the bigwigs of 
Little-Pedlington. We have meetings, conversi' 
shonys — ^twice a week: a library, too: — ^Murray'« 
< Grammar,' Entick's < Dictionary,' Guthrie's < Ge- 
ography,' and (besides other useful works) we have 
the * Penny Magazine,' complete from — the — very 

"But what is the meaning of that figure, Sir?'? 
said T, pointing 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 
neednit tell youj is Minerva — ^< fitting emblem!' as 
Hoppy says of the Dolphin's tail for our pump- 

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


<< Dear me! that's very odd. You are almost the 
first person — a visiter, 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 or- 
bitraiur eleganiiutn 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 . 1 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, now — no trou- 
ble to me. Never so happy as when I am in the com- 
pany of an intelligent visiter" — (here he bowed) — 
" who can appreciate — ^you understand. Besides, 
from my position in society, I enjoy opportunities 

which . For instance, Rummins's puWic day for 

his Museum is Friday: now /, from my position as 
I said, am allowed the privilege of introducing a 
friend 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! — Chairman of the Little-Pedlington Savings 
Bank. Good morning; I wish you a very good 
morning. Ha ! a rush at Yawkins's library. 

SS ftcsmsircs j(k 

Should'nt wonder if they hare news of Miss Cripps's 


Dying of heat and thirst Inquired of a boy, 
who was carrying a band-box whether they had a 
confectioner's in the place? 

^^What!" said he, ^a confectioner's in snch a 
place as Lippleton ! Where do you come from, I 
should like to know? fFe have two in our place — 
Stintum's over the way, and Mrs. Shanks's, in Mar- 
ket Square. I say Bill''^ — (this was addressed to an- 
other boy, who happened to pass) — ^ here's a gen- 
tleman wants {^vknow if we hav'n't never a confec- 
tioner's in Lippleton. That's a good one isn't it. 

To Stintum's. — A confectioner's! Gingerbread, 
raspberry-tarts, hard-biscuits, and three-cornered 
puffs on the counter; bottles of lolipops, sugar-candy, 
bull's-ey^s, and coloured sugar-plums on the win- 
dow-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 iitto 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: "everyone must look 
after their own soul; I've 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 speak" — (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 in my tarts. 

Went to the shop of Mrs. Shanks in Market 
Square; in all respects, except one, worthy of Little- 
Pedlington. Window decorated with an exquisite 
model, in barley*sugar, of the new pump in Market 
Square, and paste figures innumerable of Apolios 
and Venuses, shepherds and shepherdesses, &c. &c. 
Announcements in various parts of ^' Suppers pro? 
vided on the shortest notice,'^ << Confectionary'of all 
sorts,^' <' Water ices and iced creams." Mrs. Shanks 
a skinny little woman, perched on a high chair be- 
hind 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; huge gilt 
neckochainan^ bracelets; a jug beforeherwith flowers 
in it Reniinded me of the once-celebrated divinity of 
the Caji des Mills Colonnes in the Palais Royal 
Lamentable to reflect that the soul contained 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 long, narrow book, in a 
parchment cover, dipped a pen into the ink, and in- 
quired, " When for, Sir? and how much do you wish 
to have?" 

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

<^ Oh! we dont keep ices ready made, Sir; but we 

can make yoa any quantity you pleaae, not less than 
a quart, at only one day's notice." 

Assuredly I«ittle*Pedlington possesses many ad- 
Tantages; yet, oh! dear London. 

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

^ No, Sir; ours is the only house in the line in 
all the place where rtspeetabk people can go. We 
dont make our pastry with mutton dripping; toe 
don't use red lead and copper to colour our sugar- 
plums; toe 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 wak- 
ing, in this place — << too good for us poor sinners to 
live jn"**-and have already heard of as much vice, 
immorality, and rougery, 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 (except indeed by ordering it a day before-hand) 
as a set-off against it all ! 

Four o'clock. Went to Yawkins's library. Sub- 
scribed for a m9nth. Set my name down also in the 
M. C.'s book. Wished 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 re- 
quested Mr. Yawkins to let me see the Army List. 
Fortunate in subscribing with him, for his was the 
only library in* the place that bad one. Produced 
the list for last November twelvemonth. Yaw- 
kins deserves his charact^ for << urbanity" (vide 


« Guide''), for he told me that if I particularly 
wished to see it, he would order a new one down, 
along with the magazines, next Tuesday week. Pur- 
chased Jubb's " Pediingtonia,'' price two shillings, 
and Rummins's " Antiquities of Little-Pedlington,'* 
price one and six-pence. Yawkins assured me they 
were the two greatest works that had ever issued 
fr6m the Little Pedlington press— Hoppy's "Guide" 
scarcely excepted. Yawkins expressed some as- 
tonishment that neither of those works had been 
noticed either in the " Quarterly" or the « Edin- 
burgh.'' Thought such marked neglect of the two 
master-minds of the age a manifestation of a paltry- 
spirit. Quite superior to all such pettiness at Little- 
Pedlington. The Pedlington « Weekly Observer" 
had spoken of Rogers and Moore, and Campbell, of 
Hallam, Lingard, and Sharon Turner, and such like; 
— aye, and with great kindness, too, notwithstand- 
ing. « 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 aa 
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 en- 
gaged upon any new work?" 

" A work which will produce a powerful sensa- 
tion. Sir ; especially here in Laltle^edliiigton. 
Runimins is writing the < Life and Times' of hia 
great contemporary Jubb.' 



<<Jubb, Sir, is writing the <Life and Times' of 
his illustrious townsmaoy Rummios. KumminSy 
3rou know. Sir, is an F. S. A., so .that the world 
will naturaDy look for a biography of himJ' 

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

<< Why — aw — to speak candidly, I <fo not think 
that — ^to the generality of readers, at least — I don't 
think it would; for, to say the truth, he — aw — never 
says anything at all. No, Sir; he is one of yoor 
thinking men, as you may gather from his writings. 
But Jubb, now— Jubb's ' Table-talk,' indeed i But 
I have reason to believe Hoppy is engaged apon 
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 a talker as Jubb I never 
met with. Wonderful, truly wonderful! I have 
heard him talk for three hours without stopping; 
and so profound, so amazingly profound is his con- 
versation, that one-half of what he says his hearers 
cannot understand, whilst he himself does not un- 
derstand 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 in her hand, and to the other 
was fastened a fat, waddling, Freneh 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 foot-stool. 


^ Oood mornings Mem/^ said Yawkins, as the 
lady took a seat;^ << I hope you are a little better to- 

<' I shall never again be the person 1 was,-»r-at least 
in this world, Yawkins. 1 shall never recover from 
the effects of it/' 

«It was a heavy blow, — a sad loss indeed, Mem. 
^d that the monster who perpetrated the crime 
should have escaped undiscovered ! But justice will 
overtake him, sooner or later, take my word for it, 

<< That will be a benefit to society, Yawkins, but 
no consolation- to me. That won't restore him to 

" Poor lady !" thought I; " some relation, or dear 
friend, barbarously murdered!" 

The lady continued. << Is the first volume of the 
< Sad'^ory' 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" 

« 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 ac-r 
commodate 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 hav- 
ing 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, 


Yatvkin8,how does the raffle for the tea-tray and 
patent snuffers get on?" 

« Why, Mem, you know the list hasnH been up 
above a fortnight, and forty chances at a shilling 
a-piece take a long while to fill up. However, we 
are getting pn: eighteen down already, and 1 have 
every reason to expect that Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs and 
Mrs. Fitz-bobbin— visiters from London— will e^h 
take two chances. They are considering about it." 

« Well, Yawkins,it is but fair to tell you that, on 
Saturday, I tea'd with Mrs. Hobbleday in the Ores- 
cent; 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 at sixpence." 

« How, Mem," exclaimed Yawkins, with an air 
of offended dignity; « much obliged to Mrs. Hobble- 
day and h^v party: a sixpenny raffle might.4p;very 
well at such a place as Sniggerstone's, or Snargate^s, 
but I should like to know what the company at 
Yawkins' s would say to such a thing. No ^ Mem ;" 
—(here he turned his eyes up to the ceiling and 
placed his hand upon his heart)— « No, Mem; 
rather than so compromise the respectability 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 cou- 
ple of biscuits from the bag, withdrew— having first 
sent her unhappy servant forward with her com- 
mands that he would place h^r chair and foot-stool 
ready for her at the sunny corner of the Crescent. 


. " That's the Miss Tidmarsh you 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, Ma/ is it. Sir. Dear me! it's very ex- 
traordinary you should not have heard of it in Lon- 
don! Why, Sir, it -set all Little-Pedlington in a 
ferment for a month. Except about that atrocicrus 
iafiair 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 Aop with it. Sir, only the 'day before it hap- 
pened. Well,Sir,one morning she missed the dog: 
about two hours afterwards the poor thing returned, 
but in what a state ! Conceive her horror — conceive 
the agonizing shock to her feelings! Some mon- 
ster, some iiend in human form, had cut all its hair 
off — got hold of Miss Tidmarsh's poodle and shaved 
it — shaved it. Sir, as smooth as the palm of your 

"Horrible, indeed!" I exclaimed; "and that ap 
event of such 'stirring interest' in Little-PetUing- 
ton should remain unknown to t^^.'" 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 
any thing of the occurrence." 

"Then blessed be Little-Pedlington!" replied 
Yawkins, "where' every body is acquainted with 
every body else's affairs, at least as well as with his 

Yet half an hour to spare before dinner. Time 
enough, perhaps, to see Daubson's grand picture — 
thegrenadier. Inquired whereabouts was Yawkina'a 
skittle-ground. Informed that it was an immense 
way off — quite at the farther end of the town. 
Hopeless for to-day, thought I; but asked what the 
distance might be. Told nearly four minutes' walk. 
Went; stood before the " all-but-breathing Grena* 
dier," as it is designated by Jubb. Hard to describe 
its^first effect upon me. 'As I approached it, involun* 
tarily took off my hat. Thermometer 84° in the 
shade. Daubson certainly an original genius; unlike 
Reynolds, Lawrence, Phillips, orPickersgill. Nei* 
ther did his work put me much in mind of Titian 
or Vandyke — not in the least of Rembrandt. No 
servile imitator — in fact, no imitator at all. Per- 
haps a military critic might object that the iixed 
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 the arms and accoutrements may be seen by the . 
spectator, the painter, with considera|)le 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 exag- 


gerate in this — nothing formidable in the appearance 
of a ]ong scabbard, whatever may be thought of a 
long bayonet Legs considerably thicker than the 
thighs — grand idea of stability — characteristic of a 
** grenadier standing sentry." Resolved to sit to 

Five o'clock. Returned to << as nice a little din* 
ner as I could wish to sit down to." Such was I 
promised by mine host. Thermometer inveterately 
holding to 84°. Huge hot round of beef which filled 
the room with steam — h^|Kuet dumplings and hard 
— -hot carrots, each as big as the grenadier*8 leg — 
scalding hot potatoes in their skins, Nice little 
dinner indeed — for the season ! 

Five minutes past Jive. Finished dinner and 
ordered some wine. Wine fiery as brandy, and 
warm; complained of it. Score well assured me it 
was the very same wine he was in the habit of serv- 
ing to the family with the fly, and that thej/ never 
complained of it Indeed, neither the St Knitalls, 
nor the Fitz-bobbins, nor Mr. Twistwireville, nor 
even Mr. De Stewpan (who was remarkably particu- 
lar about his wine) — ^in short this was the first time 
his (Scorewell's) wine had ever been complained 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. Re- 
turned; wine, by no means so strong, and much 
cooler. The first decanter chipt at the lip; so was 


this — odd coincidence. Inquired how the decanter 
came to be so wet outside? Scorewell replied, that 
he had just giyen it a minute in ice. That's a rea- 
son, thought I. 

WhilstI was sipping my wine, and reading Jubb's 
" Pedlingtonia'* — (found Rummins's " Antiquities'^ 
too learned, too profound, for afler-dinner reading), 
Mr. Hobbleday came in. Merely looked in to see 
the time by the coffee-room clock. Recollecting 
his civilities to me in the morning, invited him to 
wine. Ordered a fresh ^tle. ^< Know the sort of 
wine Mr. Hobbleday likes,'^ said Scorewell, as he 
quitted the room. 

« Good creature that Scorewell," said Hobble- 
day, « and one of the best inns in Little-Pedling- 

" Then I am fortunate," said I, « in having acci- 
dentally 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, Y 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 or two. Call it, I 
say, every morning— you understand. In the hur- 
ry 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! 

'little PSDLINdTON. 69 

NoWy Scorewelly what have you done for U9, eh? 
la that some of Squire Dribble's wine?" Score- 
well aasured us that it was. 

^< Squire Dribble! Isn't that the gentleman who 
has a place in this part of the country — a collection 
of pictures-— statues?" inquired I. 

" The sajne," replied Hobbleday ; " about a mile 
beyond Squashmire Gate. My most intimate friend. 
I'll give you a letter of introduction to him, which 
you'll find yery useful. Fine place, fine place! 
Squire himself as great a curiosity as any thing he 

has to show." 

♦ » » ♦ • 

Eight o^ clock. ^ No more wine/' said Hobble- 
day^ '< I must go. We have a meeting of our Uni- 
versal Knowledge Society. Never miss it Al- 
though 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 of! Some of^our learned members say 
that I bore them to death with questions. Can't 
help that, you know. No use to subscribe one's 
money to a Knowledge Society, unless one is al- 
lowed to profit by it." 

Expressed a desire to attend the meeting. 

<< Take you with* the greatest pleasure — ^not to 
night — 'tis not my turn — any other night you 

Reminded him of his promise to introduce me to 
Rummins, Jubb, and the rest of the great Littie- 
- Pedlingtonians. 

*< To-morrow I'll introduce you to them alK Let 


xne see — come and take a bachelor's chop with me 
At five; I'll invite them to meet you — ^Hoppy and 
Daubson, too — just we six — f flow of reason, feast of 
soul/ et? 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 yoii should hear any thing 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. Score- 
well," inquired 1. 

" 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 hum- 
bug in Little^Pedlington. He never gave a dinner 
to any body in his life — a tea and turn-out now and 
then — and never once offered an inyitation without 
an if tacked to it. He knows that to-morrow is 
Mr. Hoppy's teaching day, so he can't oome: he 
knows that Mr. Jubb is engaged to dine with Mr. 
I^ummins (for he heard Mr. R. order a bottle of 
Q^pe Madeira to-day for the purpose), so Ihey can't 

This was << the most unkindest cut of all." That 
there should be to be found in Little-Pedlington 
roguish innkeepers, disreputable librarians, poison- 
ing pastry-cooks, and pick-purses; the envious, the 
malicious, and the scandal-monger; wicked husbands 
and naughty wives^ nay, even purloiners of pump- 


ladles, and - shavers of pet poodles — ^little as I ex- 
pected to hear of all or any of these, I might, in the 
course of time, have reconciled myself to the cir^ 
camstance. Knowing them, I might avoid them. 
But that there should exist in this pre-eminently 
virtuous town one of that contemptible race so em 
phatically named by mine host — ^a race (as I had 
hitherto imagined) peculiar to London — ! "As soon 
should I have expected,'* I exclaimed, « to hear, 
that you have amongst you one of those uttermost 
miscreants who are at once the scorn of the honour- 
able profession which they disgrace, and the despis- 
ed of the society they infest — a pettifogging attor- 

"Unhappily for us. Sir," said ScoreweH, "we 
have one. To-morrow I'll tell you some of the 

rogue's tricks. His name is ^Beg pardon, Sir; 

I hear the family-with-the-fly bell." 

Regretted that 1 didn't hear his name. Resolved 
to inform myself of it to-ntiorrow; and (together 
with the account of his 'tricks, with which Score- 
well is to favour me) to hitch it into my journal, 
that it may stand as a " Beware" to all future visit- 
ers to Little-Pedlington. * * * * 

Ten d' clock, — Fmished reading " Pedlingtonia," 
Very Pope-ish, and the work of a Protestant minis- 
ter! Fatigued by the excitement of the day, and a 
fcusy morrow in store for me. Rang for chambei^ 
maid. Mem. Inquire of Hoppy (when I shall 
have the honour and happiness of seeing him) who 
and what those Fitze^ and Villes really are. From 
a momentary glimpse I bad of Hobbs Hobbs, Esq., 


fancied there wm Bomething of the valet cot even 
about him. Chambermaid to << marshal me the 
way." Met Scorewell in the passage. Nothing 
certain yet about Miss Cripps's bag. Had just re- 
turned from the office of the Pedlington Weekly 
Observer. Editor keeps the press open till the last 
possible moment, in order to give their readers 
to-morrow the latest intelligence concerning it 
Happy Pedlingtonians! An affair often times* this 
<* stirring intere3t" would scarcely produce a per- 
ceptible effect upon us poor over-excited Londoners. 
Desired they would let me have the paper in the 
morning, to extract any thing remarkably interest- 
ing. " Good night.'* 

Hay-Past'Twelve. — A loud knocking at my 

" Are you asleep, Sir?'* 

<< 1 was, and soundly too, till you disturbed me. 
Who is it, and what do you want?*' 

"Please to get up, and open the door a-jar, Sir. 
It's chambermaid.'^ 

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

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



Tuesday J June 16th. — Pound the « Little Ped- 
lington Weekly Observer" on my breakfast-table. 
Surely that Emperor of Russia must be an obstinate^ 
pig-headed fellow, and the editor of the paper the 
most enduring of men ! Were I the latter, I would 
at once abandon the poor infatuated creature to his 
unhappy fate, for advice and remonstrance seem to 
be utterly lost upon him. For my own part, I de* 
clare that there is nothing I can imagine in the 
power of the world to bestow which would induce me 
to undertake the direction of the conduct of folks of 
that stamp, who, after all, will do just as they please. 
Yet here is Mr. Simcox Rummins, junior (the editor 
in question, and nephew to 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 fid- 
dle-strings" — and all because an Emperor of Russia 
wonH 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 ex- 
tract the following passage from his leading article: 

" Once more we call the attention of His Imperial 
Majesty to what we have so often said, and what we 
have repeated above: shall we add, for the last timef 

74 ]|£BtDEKC£ IK 

But, no; for though patience, like the eagle, which 
wings its airy flight through the houndless 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 expecta- 
tion that our advice will not, like the sands of the 
desert, be eventually lost upon him. He may con- 
tinue 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 have4t on the best "au- 
thority that he is frequently seen thoughtful and 
musing — not, indeed, in his moments of noisy revel- 
ry, when immersed in the vortex of pleasure, and 
surrounded by flatterers, who, like locusts, would 
bar our honest counsel from his ear, but jn the noc-^ 
turnal solitude of his chamber. There it Js that oar 
warning voice, wafted on the wings of the viewlefl;3, 
wind, pierces the perfumed precincts of the palace 
of Petersburgh, and carries conviction, like the roar- 
ing of the rushing cataract, into his mind. And if 
the ^ Little Pedlington ObsefVer' does sometimes 
address the Autocrat in terms of more than usual se- 
verity, let him remember that we do so < more in 
friendship than in anger;' that we regret the neces- 
sity we are under of giving him pain, but that, 
* like skilful surgeons, who* *' &c. &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 Empe- 
ror of China, &c, not one of whom (if I may judge 


from his complaints of their indifference to his coun* 
sel) seems to mind him a whit more than he of Rus- 
sia. — Surely it must be a subject of ceaseless mortifi- 
cation to him^ that notwithstanding the infinite 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 al(, attended to. ye monarchs, and ye 
ministers of monarchs ! were I he, I would let you 
go to ruin your own way, nor raise a finger to save 

Under the head of Littijb Pedliwgton, I find 
the following: — 

« Yesterday, our peaceful town was thrown into 
a state of excitement, which it far transcends our fee- 
ble powers to describe,by one of those events, which, 
fortunately, as they do bo often happen, so they do 
not frequently occur. Late on Sunday evening it 
was whispered about in the best informed circles — 
though We were in possession of positive informa- 
tion of the fact as early as a quarter past nine — that 
our amiable and talented towns- woman, Miss Hono- 
ria Cripps, whose virtues are the theme of univer- 
sal admiration, and whose numerous fugitive little 
ofispring are the chief ornaments of pur Foundling 
Hospital, which this day is again enriched with one 
of her charming efiusions, 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 cried abbut the town 
by the indefatigable Coggleshaw, whose accuracy in 
describing its contents was the theme of general ap- 
probation — ^though we must say that we object to his 
Kolding, 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 em- 
ployment, is willing to undertake it upon the exist- 
ing terms. — But, for more upon this subject, we 
refer our readers to an admirable letter, signed < An 
Anti Plaralityarian,' in another part of this day's 
paper, which, by a strange coincidence, recommends 
the very person we have alluded to; which express- 
es ajso 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 every honourable and feeling mind desired. 
At twelve o'clock again was the same experiment 
repeated, but, alas! with the same much-to-be-la- 
mented result. From that time till a late hour in 
the evening, groups of anxioUs enquirers 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 her- 
self! 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 every thing was restored to her, except — 
and we must add, to the everlasting disgrace of our 
town— except the money! But, indignant as we are 
at this act, we cannot, in the present excited state of 
our feelings, venture any remarks upon it; we shall, 
therefore reserve them as the subject for the leading 
article in our next,wheQ,as impartial journalists, we 
shall be happy to publish any letters we may re- 
ceive, free of postage, either for or against^ an as- 
sertion 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 any thing like the sum 
stated by the fair^lady herself. Till then, as in 
fairness bound, we shall offer no opinion upon the 

The following extracts are from the miscellaneous 
department: — • 

«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 d%vas- 
tation 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 
smiashed to pieces! But the greatest sufferer by 
the^ calamity is Mr. Snargate, the builder, twenty- 
nine panes of whose green-house are entirely des- 

^ 8 


troyedy and fourteen others more or less injured. 
Many persons have visited the scene of tiestruction. 
Such is the irresistible power of the elements!'' 

"In a litter of pigs which we have lately seen at 
Mrs. SiMggerston's the keeper of the baths^ there 
are actually two without tails! Such are the extra- 
ordinary freaks of Nature!" 

« The last meeting of the ^ Little Pedlington Uni- 
versal-Knowledge Society' was most particularly 
interesting. Our celebrated poet, Jubb, i*ead a por- 
tion of his forthcoming ^Life and Tinres of Rum- 
mins/ 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 his 
cravat; and 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 by far 
the #nost 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 toge- 


ther with a drawing he intends to forward to the 
Society of Antiquaries,) wherein he states that, when 
he was in London, and saw the play of <King John' 
acted, the principal actors wore hehnets o£ 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 Rum- 

"The presentations to the library, and for the sole 
use of the members, were Goldsmith's 'History of 
Gngland,' 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. Y'awkins^the 

"To the lovers of Champagne we cannot too strong- 
ly recommend that admirable substitute, the goose- 
berry-wine made and sold by Hubkins, the grocer, 
in Market-square. We speak from our own know- 
ledge, as he 'has obligingly sent us six bottles as a 
sample. We can say nothing of his other home- 
made wines which'he mentions to us, as we cannot, 
with a conscientioiis regard to our duty as impartial 
journalists, venture^n opinion which we do not 
possess the means of verifying by a trial,*' 

This from the "Notice to Correspondents." — 
"The letter, from a certain oilman in East-street, 
requesting us to give a favourable opinion of his pic- 
kles, anchovy paste, &c., must be paid for as an ad- 
vertisemenl. We cannot compromise our indepen* 


dence by praising what we have not even had an 
opportunity of tasting." 

"The Theatre. — ^We are at length enabled to 
state that Mr. Sniggerston (in consequence of the 
present amount of the subscription towards building 
a new theatre not being sufficient to warrant the 
undertaking), having again kindly.consented to grant 
the use of one of his commodious out-houses, 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. 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 exerqise it The 
manager has done well in engagi^ all our old 
favourites, the most prominent of whom are Hhe 
facetious Tippleton,the heartrending 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 he 
not also engaged Mrs. Croaks, the celebrated vocalist, 


who we understand is unemployed? This lie must 
do. Yet if, as we are told, she requires twice as much 
as has ever been paid to any other performer for do- 
ing only half the usual work, we must say that Strut 
is right in resisting such a demand; though we ad- 
mit that talent like hers cannot be too highly remu- 
nerated, and are of opinion that she is perfectly justi- 
fied 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 deduct- 
ing one third of that for himself. Tippleton, with 
his usual disinterested zeal for the good of the con- 
cern 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 par^ • 
ticular stipulations he has made are that no person 
shall have a clear benefit but himself \ that no per- 
son 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 expect- 
ed to do any thing to serve any body — but himself 
With such spirited exertions T>n the part of the man- 
agement, and such liberality and zealous co-opera- 
tion on that of the performers, the concern must 



succeed; though we would recommend the manager 
not to act 80 much himself as he did last season; 
though ,we admit that his assistance is usually indis- 
pensable. However, as far as we are concerned. 
Strut may rely on having our support, for, indeed, 
he deserves it; not that we altogether approve of 
the arrangements he has made, which, in our opin- 
ion, are in many respects faulty in the extreme; 
nevertheless, he is an enterprizihg manager, and 
ought to be patronized by the Little-Pedlingtonians; 
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 reflec* 
tions, the extent and minuteness of his information, 
the wisdom of his advice, and, above all, his jieauti* 
ful consistency. Fancied 1 had somewhere occa- 
sionally read something in a similar style-^could not 
recollect where. 

These from the ^< Foundling Hospital for the 

«* 71> Doctors Drench and Drainum^ on their grand Discovery of 
a Mineral Spring in the Vale of Health, 
** Galen and Esculapias men may praise, 
(Apothecaries great in by-gone days;) 
But you, my friends, O, Drainum, and O, Drencli! 
At once the flambeaus of their merit quench. 
Tliey no chalybeate for our use er found 
On Pedlingtonia*8 health-restoring ground: 
That task the gods, to Pedlingtonia true, 
Reserved, my Drainum and my Drench, for youl 
So shall your names for aye their names outshine, 


Immortal in the poet*s deathless line! 
That task, thrice-honour'd Jabb, that happy task be thine! 

" Jonathan Jubb." 

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

" Enaj Sbburcs.'* 
- « *^* We areobliged to our valuable correspondent^ 
Philo SphynxiuSf for the answer to the Charade 
in our last, which is skittles. Perhaps he will fa- 
vour us by exercising his ingenuity on the above. — 


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 full particulars of the loss of 
whose reticule (containing — besides a large sum in 
money 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 carmine, belonging to a friend of hers) 
we have given in another part of our this day's 
paper. — Ed.. 

" O, gentle Strephon, cease to woo! 
O, spare poor Chloe's virgin heart! 

O, tempt me not! but cease to sue; — 
In pity spare me, and depart. 

O, do not praise the roseate blush 
On Chloe's grief-worn cheek display'dl 


Alas! 'tis but a hectic flash, 

Which soon, too soon, in death must fade. 

O, speak not of the teeth that shine 
Like pearls, *twixt lips like cheiriep 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. 

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. 


A punctilious critic would perhaps raise an objec- 
tion to the « locks of flax," and (with 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 for- 
mer, 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 
nothaving 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 ax (as a werd), is that 


the Exclusivesythe 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 gene- 
ral tone of the poem, exquisite as it is in detail. Why 
need the lady be so confoundedly — ^I cannot help 
swearing at it — so confoundedly dismal? Why 
should she everlastingly (as I perceive by a former 
number of the ^Foundling Hospital') be tampering 
with suchidisagreeable 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 fancfes? 
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 
that I wish that, for the pleasure of the readers of 
the "Little-Pedlington Observer," she would exer- 
cise her imagination upon subjects of a more agree- 
able character. I am aware 1 may be told that Miss 
Cripps is 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/' said 
"out-pourings of soul.'* Fiddle-de-dee! the mere 
commonplace twaddle of criticism. Could the per- 
formances on this tear-strung lyre 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 unhap- 

66 B£S1D£NC£ IK- 

pily beget a brood of imitators^ who^ like imitator^ 
in general, would select only the worser qualities of 
their model; and then we should have every young 
lady in Little-Pedlington whimpering about " blight- 
ed 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 ha- 
berdasher's mustachio'd " assistant.'' Rather than 
that these things should occur, I would suggest — 
since extremes provoke extremes — an Act of Parlia- 
ment to prohibit lady-poets from meddling with any^ 
other subjects than silver moons, radiant rainbows, 
blushing roses, modest violets, and the like; and to re- 
strict them,' in their gloomiest moods, to illustra- 
tions — of which the most sad and dismal should be — 
a cloudy night in summer. 

Amongst the advertisements, the following is the 
most prominent. My attention was first caught^by 
that portion which is printed in capital letters, and^ 
which I read independently of the context in humbler 
type. /' Magnificent property, indeed!", thought I. 
As I have neyer met with any thing of the kind at 
all comparable with it, 1 think it worth extract- 

Are not likely either speedily or soon to be brought to the ham- 
/ mer, but a most desirable Freehold Property in the Vale of 


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


It seldom falls to the fortunate lot of an auctioneer to have to 


offer to the public a property todescribe whtch puts to the utmost 
stretch of extension the most sublime and inexhaustible powers of 
description for to describe; and which, to convey an idea of suf- 
ficienUj adequately, would be requireH to be described bj the un- 
equalled .and not to be paralleled descriptive powers of a 
What then must be the feelings of Mr. Fudgefield on the present 
occasion, when he has to offer for sale that most desirable resi. 
dence, situate in the Vale of Health, and known by a name as 
appropriate as it is befitting, and weU merited as it is most richly 
deserved, ^ 


The particulars of this most desirable and charming residence, 
which may truly be called 


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



Being near the town and in its immediate vicinity, where every 
thing that Nature's multitudinous desires can wish for can be ob- 
tained when wanted, it is not necessary, and scarcely requisite, 
^at it should 



nor indeed should it be expected, when the town can boast of two 

confectioners, that it should possess a 


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





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

are adequate to, such 


odiflit to encomber tbemselTes with tbem. Fraoi tfaia tide is iioi 
to be excepted 


when from any of the circolating libraries in the town an j book 
to convey pfeasare to the imdewtanding, inatmction to the imagi- 
nation, or information to the intellect, may be obtained at the coat 
of a moderate and not gnreaaonable BobaeriptiaD. The aame oh- 
•errationa would apply to 

And one of the 
Including several by 








For the reasons as above adduced, and as Mr. Stratus unrivalled 
eompany are shortly to exhibit their well-known talents in a thea- 
tre of their own, a 


would be supererogatory and superfluous ; as also considering the 


Reminding the enchanted eye of the enraptured beholder of the 


which are to be enjoyed at every turn in the neighbourhood of 

Little Fedlington, an 

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


It is only necessary further to add that 


consists of fi>ur 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 desirable Property would be enabled most distinctly to 
see the 


Sut Mr. Hobbleday is announced (<< the greatest 
humbug in all Little-Pedlington;" as he was de- 
scribed to me by Scorewell); so down with my 
newspaper. As I am to dine with him to-day, in 
order to meet some of the worthies of the place, I 
trust that I shall return home in the evening full of 
interesting matter for the continuation of my Jour- 



** Mine own romantic town.** — Scott.' « 

Tuesday y June I6th, << Mr. Hobbledaj 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. Yon may remember Mr. 
Hobbleday invited me to dine with him to-day.'' 

"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 gen- 
tleman, but the greatest humbug in Little-Pedling- 
ton. And then. Sir, if I might make free to tell 
you, Sir, don't say any thing to him you would wish 
to keep secret, Sir." 

" I never do, landlord, to any body," said I. 

"What I mean is this. Sir: he is very intimate 
with Mr. Simcoi[ Rummins, Junior, Sir, the editor 
of our newspaper. Sir; and people suspect that 
whatever he hears he But here he is. Sir." 

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

when then (to borrow a Miltonic form of phrase), 
" when then thus Hobbleday:" — ^ 

« Do you see that? Told you I would be here at 
twelve, and twelve it is to a minute. That's what 
I call punctuality. Pride myself on being punctu* 
al. To b^ sure it is no great merit in me to be so 
— ^nothing else to do — no business, no occupation — 
gentleman at large, as I may say — a hundred-and- 
ten pounds a-year, independent. And yet it is 
something to be proud of, nevertheless, eh? But 
I'm afraid I interrupt you — ^you were reading the 
paper. Now no ceremony with me — ^if I do inter- 
rupt you, say so. Never bore^ny body, if 1 know 
it — hate to be l^ored myself. But some people have 
no tact. Ahem ! No man is better acquainted with 
his own faults than 1 am with mine — sorry to say 
that I have many; but this I may safely say for 
myself, whatever else I may be, I am any thing but 
a bore. But all owing to tact, eh? Can't endure a 
bore; and now, if I do interrupt you " 

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

"Sure, now, you have finished reading your 
newspaper? Resemble me ia one respect, I dare 
say. Reading a newspaper is all very well, but pre- 
fer conversation, eh? Well, then, won't apologise 
for the interruption. Nothing equal. to pleasant 


conversation; for my part, 1 may almost say I live 
upon it! Ahem? Breakfast not removed — ^you break- 
fast 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 I'll tell 
you what my breakfast consists of/' 

Obligingly communicated to me the fact, that he 
took three slices of thick bread-and-butter, one egg, 
and two cups of tea; adding to the interest of the 
information, by a minute detail of the priee he paid 
for the several commodities, the quantities of tea 
and sugar he used, the time he allowed his egg to 
boil, and his tea to draw; and also, by a particular 
description of the form and size af his teapot. 
Though early in the day, experienced a sensation of 
drowsiness, for which (having slept well at night) I 
could not account. 

"Dear me!" exclaimed Hobbled ay, as the clock 
struck; <^one o'clock, I declare! How time flies 
when one is engaged in pleasant conversation ! But 
perhaps I'm boring you, eh? If I am, say so, 
Ahem ! By-the-bye — a sad disappointment — never 
so put out by any thing in my life. Had made up 
my mind to one of the pleasantest afternoons imagi- 
nable. 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 skit- 
tle-ground; and on Thursday I'm engaged at a rout 


at Mrs. Applegarlh's, who shows oflF her new draw- 
ing-rbom curtains — sad ostentation!'' 

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

<< That's Uummins'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, and, with a grave look, con- 
tinued. "You understand; — ^tremendous play ! Like 
a quiet, old fashioned rubber very well; — have no 
objection even to a round game, in moderation; but 
when it comes to three-penny shorts^ and when, at 
loo, the lady of the house is ho fortunate as to turn 
up pam almost every time she deals — ^ahem ! But, 
to the point. Sunday, of course, is out of the ques- 
tion ; — and — a " 

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

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

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

" No— won't listen to such a thing; for on Tues- 
day I shall consider you as engaged to dine with 
jne; — a week's notice to my eminent friends will 
secure their company." 

« Your politeness and hospitality," said I, " de- 
serve a suitable return on my part Since you are 
80 pressing in your invitation, it would be ungra- 
cious in me to refuse it; so I will write to town by 


this night's post, and, even at the risk of some in 
convenience, will remain here till " 

^' Ahem !-r-aha ! — Never so flattered by any thing 
in all my life; but no — ^won't listen to it — wouldn't 
put you t6 inconvenience for all the world; — ^say no 
more about it; never mind my disappointment; we 
shall see you in Little-Pedlington again. Sadly dis- 
appointed, indeed; but don't you let that interfere 
with your arrangements. Come, will you take a 

Scorewell, who had just before come into the room, 
and heard the concluding part of the conversation, 
again presented his bill of fare, with — ^^ Bill of fare, 
Sir. Now what would you choose to have for din- 
ner. Sir?" Puzzled to guess what he intended by 
his emphasis upon the <^ now;" neither could I un- 
derstand 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, Hobbleday amused himself by breathing upon 
one of the window-panes, and making marks thei*e- 
on with his fore-finger. 

"Draw?" said he, in an inquiring tone. Told 
him I did. 

"Pretty accomplishment. I've taste that way 
myself. 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 music-parties. You'd think that odd 


perhaps — not in the least Why? Because he can't 
do without me. His daughter is a yery fine per- 
former 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 < Lo- 
doiska,' without little Jack Hobbleday's flute-accom- 
paniment? Ahem! malicious little creature that 
daughter of his. Never stops for you when she 
finds you sticking at a di£Bcult 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, 

" But what cause can Mr. Yawkins have for hat- 
ing you, as you say, Mr. Hobbleday?" 

*'I did him a service, my dear Sir; and, with 
some people, that is cause sufficient. You must 
know that — ahem ! You don't want Scorewell, 
eh? Scorewell you may leave the room. That is 
the most impertinent, prying rascal in all Little-Ped- 
lington. 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. What- 
ever he hears he reports to our newspaper; and for 
that he receives his paper gratis. Between our- 
selves, 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; Hobbledayy 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 Little-Pedlingtonian, should 
be suspected of No, no, no; they are labour- 
ing 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 remember tlie panic a few years ago, which, as 
Jubb describes it, < Like roaring torrent overwhelm- 
ed the Banks P Up at six in the morning, ' my 
custom(as Sh^kspeare aptly says) my custom always 
in the afternoon.' 1 was the first in Little Pedling- 
ton to liear of the great crash* Saw a traveller just ar- 
rived from London — long before the post came iq — 
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 Yawkins, 
Snargate, and Co. No fear, though, for such a firm 
as tfiat — sound as a roach, at bottom. Yet preven- 
tion 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 Hobble- 
day 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, anddon^t press upon them^ 
and your money will be safe. But should there be 
a run upon them to-day they must be ruined. You 
know my friendship for old Yawkins in particular : 
follow my advice and I shall take it as a personal fa- 
vour.^ From him I run to my friend Chickney — 
knock^im up. < Chickney/ says I, * don't be alarm- 
ed ; there's a tremendous/ &c. &c. &c. Well, Sir, 
from him I run to my friend Stintum ; knock him 
up. ^ Stintum,' says V &c. &c. &c. 

Two o'clock, — Hobbleday had already mention- 
ed 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 narrat- 
ing ; 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 Kaye,* 
< Kaye/ says I, * you will be very particular in' let- 
ting us have a tureen of Tery nice 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-h-la reine at the 
other/' then I say to Kaye, ^ Kaye/ &c." and so on 
through the whole service, even to a biscuit with 

* Proprietor of the Albion Hotel, at Aldersgate Street. 

08 ft£StI>£Ke£ tic 

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 useful purpose, and whohave found that, but 
for expedients of this kind for " beguiling the time/' 
many hours would have been left at their own dispo- 
sal for which they must have sought employment' 
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 pre- 
vent 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 I have el^en pound-two in their hands. 
Eleven-pound-two as t 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 no- 
thing, and draw 7ny balance, — that can't hurt them. 
Go — get there at a quarter before nine — what do I 
see ? — ^I'U tell you what I see. I see Shrubsole, I 
see Chickney, I see Stintum, I see [here he recapit- 
ulated the whole of the two-and-thirty names he had 
already mentioned, ending with] and I see Sniggers- 
ton: all, with consternation painted on their faces, 
crowding about the door. Notwithstanding my re- 
quest that they would not press upon my friend 


Yawjcins, there they all were — and before me, too ! 
What was the consequence ? , I'll tell you. The 
consequence was, the first ten or a dozen that con- 
trived to squeeze in were paid ; -but that could not 
last, you know; human nature couldn't stand it ; so 
after paying nearly two hundred pounds — stop ! a 
regular'stoppage. Sir. 1 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 aniounted to nearly a thousand pounds, a divi- 
dend 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 bankis asfirmand sound as 
any in Europe. Never kept cash there since, though ; 
no more bankers for me — eleven-peund-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 you to favour me with these inter- 
esting 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 1 had not 
gone running all over Little-Pedlington, frightening 
his customers by telling them not to be alarmed, and 
and thus causing them to take him by surprise, he 
needn't have stopped payment — till he thought 
l^st." ' ' 

Here was another pause. Clock struck three. 


« Three o'clock, as sure as I'm born !" exclaimed 
my entertaining 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 j — 
lost all your morning — eh ? — Ha ! there goes Shrub- 
sole. Ahem ! — ^the greatest bore in Little-Pedling- 
ton. He'll sit with you for three hours, and not say 
a word. A man of no conversation. — ^But you are 
thinking about something — eh ?" 

Hobbleday right Thinking about Sir Gabriel 
Gabble, a chattering bore, and Major Mum, a silent 
bot*e. One will sit with you tite-et-tite through a 
long winter's evening, as mute asif h^ had but just is- 
sued from the cave of Trophonius,and (as Jack Ban- 
nister said of Dignum) thinks he's thinking ; the 
other will chatter your very head oflP — ^his matter 
compounded of dull trivialties, com<non-place re- 
marks, and the most venerable of old-woman's gos- 
sip — and calls it conversation — Query 1. Which of 
the two is the least lo 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 " Justifi- 
able Bore-icide .?" 

Hobbleday rose to depart — but didn't. Almost 
wished he would. Expressed an apprehension that 
I was trespassing too far upon his patience an# 
good-nature by detaining him. Assured me I 


didn't in the least Sorry, indeed, to leave me; but 
it was near his djnner-time. Slowly drew on one 
glove, smoothing each linger separately with the 
other hand. Drew on the other glove with (as the 
French szy) le mimejeu. 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, like a knight's at chess, brought him, 
by a zigzag, only into another corner. Made the cir- 
cuit of the room, read all the cards and advertise- 
ments that were hanging against the walls, whistling 
all the time. 

"Well, now — ^go I must Sorry to leave you, 
for the presents 

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

" By-the-bye, promised to take you to see my dear 
friend Rummins's museum on d^ private day. Can't 
to-morrow, Thursday, I'm engaged. Let me see; 
—aye, I'll send you a letter of introduction to him 
— 'twill be the same thing — he'll do any thing to 
oblige me. Now, remember; any thing I can do to be 
agreeable 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. Every 


body knows little Jack Hobbleday — always willing^ 

to— always anxious to good bye — ^see you at 

Hoppy's publick breakfast to-morrow — good-bye.'^ 
Really he is an 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 Soapshank 
Hill to see the view— K)nly nitie miles distant How 
unfortunate am I that Hobbleday didn't acquaint 
me with this! for (with a tolerable telescope) one 
may look back and see the spire of Little-Pedling- 
ton church — the chief purpose of the pilgrimage. 
Approached a window wherein were exhibited se- 
veral profiles in black, and a notice that" Likeness- 
es 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 Tid marsh, with her 
poodle; and of many others, the originals of which I 
knew not, but all unquestionable likenesses, no 
doubt; for the works before me were Dattbson's. 
Recollected his "all-but-breathing Grenadier;" re- 
collected, too, Jubb's noble apostrophe to him, — 

^* Stand ibrth, my Daubson^ matchless and alone!" 

and instantly resolved to sit to him for a black pro- 

My request to see Mr. Daubson was answered by 
a little girl, seated at a little table, and employed in 
preparing the happy canvass destined to receive im- 

\^ y 


mortality from the hand of the great artist: in other 
words, she was cutting up a sheet of drawing-card 
into squares of different sizes. 

"Mr. Dauhson can't possibly be disturbed just 
yet, Sir/' said she, with an air of importance befit- 
ting 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, 
be will see you. The lady has been with hipi nearly 
a minute already!" 

Recollected Daubson's expeditious method of 
handing down to posterity his mementos of the 
worthies of his own time — ^^ perpetuating" is, I be- 
lieve, -the word I ought to use. And this word re- 
minds me of an untoward cirsumstance which occur- 
red (not in^Little-Pedlington, but at another equally 
well known place — Paris) upon the occasion of a 
Welsh friend requesting me to take him to the stu- 
dio of the Chevalier G ^ (unquestionably the best 

portrait-painter in France,) whose works he express- 
ed a great desire to see. The name of the party 
introduced, which was well known, would have been^ 
a suflficient passport to the Chevalier, even had it 
not been countersigned by me,^nd he was received 
with flattering attention; the painter himself conduct- 
ing him through the studio, and carefully exhibiting 
to. him his choicest productions. His portraits were 
of high merit as works of art, yet I must admit, iie 
h^had not been fortunate in his originals, who cer- 


taiply had not furnished his pencil with the most 
beautiful specimens of the << human face divine.'' 
My friend examined the pictures with great minute- 
ness, but made no remark, although the Chevalier 
understood English perfectly well. Having comple- 
ted the voyage autour de la chambr^y the painter, 
whose vanity was scarcely less than his politeness, 
turned towards his visiter with an evident, and no un- 
natural, expectation of some complimentary obser- 
vation. The latter, having given one last and general 
glatice round the room, exclaimed, — ^< Monsieur le 
Chevalier — what devilish infatuation can induce 

people to desire to perpetuate their d 'd ugly 

faces! — Monsieur le Chevalier , I wish you good 

Resolved that the recolleclion 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 with one's preconceived notions 
of the personal appearance 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 stern vigour of his works; of tenderness, 
elegance, and delicacy in Raphael's; in Rembrandt's^ 
of his coarseness as well as of his strength; in Van- 
dyck's, of refinement; in all, of intellectual power. 
Biit I must own that, in Daubson, I perceived no- 
thing indicative of the creator of the « Grenadier." 
Were 1, 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 protuberant; his arms are long, 
and his knees have a tendency to approach each 
other; face small, sharp, and pointed; complexion of 
a bilious hue, the effect, doubtless, of deep study; 
small gray eyes; bushy 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;, waist- 
coat, stockings, and smalls, black; silk neckerchief^ 
black; and, I had almost added, black shirt, but that 
I should hardly be warranted in declaring on this 
point upon the small specimen exhibited. Man- 
ners, 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 pur- 
pose, he (disdaimng the jargon common to your Lon- 
don artists about " Kitcats," and « whole lengths," 
and « Bishop's half-lengths," and " three-quarters," 
and so forth,) came at once to the point, saying — 

«Do you wish to be taken short — or long, Mis- 

Told him I should prefer being taken short. 

« Then get up and sit down, if you please. Mis- 

Unable to reconcile these seemingly contradictory 
directions, 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 ma- 
chine of curious construction, from which proceed- 
ed a long wire. — Mounted, and took my seat. 



<< Now, Mister, please look at tijat." said Daubson; 
at the same time pointing to a Dutch cuckoo-clock 
which hung in a corner of the room. "Twenty- 
four minutes and a-half past four. Head, siiddt/, 
Mister. '\ 

He then slowly drew the wire I have mentioned 
over my head, and down my nose and chin; and 
having so done, exclaimed, <^ There, Mister, now 
look at the clock — iweniy-Jive minutes and a-half. 
What do you think of thaiV 

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 interesting- 
ly 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 picture — that is to say, filling up the 
outline with Ifigy-ink — 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 be told of my faults; I 
turn it to account; I improve by it.'' 

Looked at the profiles hanging about the room. 
Said of them, severally, "Beautiful!" — "Charm- 
ing!"— ^^ Exquisite!"—** Divine!" 

" So, so, Mister," said Daubson, rising,* " I've 
found you out; you are an artist" 

" I assure you. Sir," said I, " you are mistaken. 
I am sorry I cannot boast of being a ir ember of that 
distinguished profession." 


" You canH deceive me, Mister. Nobody, except- 
ing 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 speaking of-r-though 
they may be very well in their way. Mister — and 
though, without vanity, I may say I don't know the 
man that can beat them. But what think you of 
my great work — ^my < Grenadier,' Mister? Now^ 
without flattery." 

Encouraged by praise of my connoisseurship, and 
from so high a quarter, I talked boldly, as a connois- 
seur ought to do; not forgetting to make a liberal 
use of those terms, by the employment of which one 
who knows little may acquire a reputation for con- 
noisseurship amongst those who know less: and con- 
cluding (like the last discharge of rockets at Vaux- 
hall) by letting ofi*all my favourite terms at once — 
« Mr. Daubson,'' said I, " I assure you, that for de- 
sign, composition, drawing, and colour — for middle- 
distance, foreground, background, chiaro scuro, 
tone, fore-shortening, and light and shade — for 
breadth, depth, harmony, perspective, pencilling, 
and finish — I have seen nothing in Little-Pedling 
ton that would endure a moment's comparison with 


« Where could you have got your knowledge of 
art, your fine taste, your sound judgment, if you are 
not an artist? I wish I could have the advantage of 
your opinion now and then — ^so correct in all res- 
•pects— I am sure I should profit by it. Mister. — 
Now — ^there is your portrait: as like you as one pea 
is to another. Mister." 


«Yea/' mnd I, «it is like; but isnH the head 
thrown rather too much backwards?" 

Daubson's countenance fell. " Too much back- 
wards! 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 profes- 
sional artist, ought to know best But that is the 
curse of our profession: people come to us, and 
would teach its what to do." 

« You asked me for a candid opinion, Sir; other- 
wise I should not have presumed to " 

"Yes, Mister,! did ask you for a candid opinion; 
and so long as you talked like a sensible man, I lis- 
tened to you. But when you talk to a professional 
man upon a subject he, naturally, must be best ac- 

_ quainted with Backwards, indeed ! I never 

placed a head better in all my life!" 

Reflecting that Daubson " as a professional man," 
must> consequently, be infallible, 1 withdrew my 
objection, and changed the subject. 

« How is it. Sir," said I, " that so eminent an ar- 
tist as you is not a member of the Royal Acade- 

«D— n the Royal Academy?" exclaimed he, his 
yellow face turning blue: " D — n the Royal Acade- 
myl they shall never see me amongst such a l^et. 
No, Mister; 1 have thrown down the gauntlet and 
defied ^them. When they refused to exhibit my 
< Gfenadier,' I made up my mind never to send them 

LITTLB P£OLlMaTOir. 109 

another work of mine, Mister; nefer 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 pic- 
ture of mine again. Why, Mister, it is 6nly last 
year that a friend of mine — without my hnow^ 
ledge — sent them one of my pictures, and they re- 
jected it They knew well enough whose it was. 
But I considered that as the greatest compliment 
ever paid me— ^t showed they were afraid of the 
competition. D — n em ! if they did but know how 
much I despise 'em! 1 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 pictures unless he hap- 
pens to have R. A. tacked to his name. It is notori- 
ous that they pay five thousand a-ycar to the 'Times' 
for praising their works and not noticing mine. 
D-— n 'em! what a thorough contempt I feel for 'em! 
I can imagine them at their dinners which cost them 
thousands a-year; — there they are, Phillips, and Shee, 
and Pickersgill, and Wilkie, laying their heads to- 
gether to oppose me! But which 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 reisidy 
to lend a hand to push on any rising talent that 


comes forward f-r^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 fellows, 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-Pedlington Church mentioned in our 
newspaper, than down comes a man from London 
with a camera-obsmra to oppose me! Who was at 
the bottom of that? Who sent him? Why they did, 

to be sure. The envious ! But 1 didn't rest 

till I got him out of the town; 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 fu* 
ture; — let them do their duty by me — they know 
what 1 mean — or they may bring the ' Little-Ped- 
lington Weekly Observer' about their ears. For 
my own part I never condescend to bestow a thought 
upon them! D — n'em! if they did but know the 
contempt 1 feel for them!" 

Here another sitter was announced; so I received 
my portrait from the hands of the great artist, paid 
pay shilling, and departed. ^< So then," thought I, 
" genius, even a Daubson's, is not secure from the 
effects of envy and persecution (real or imaginary) 
even in Little-Pedlington!" 

Six o^clock. — Returned to mine inn. In the 


course of the evening received a note from Hobble- 
day, inclosing sealed letters to Rummins and Jubb. 
" Dear Sir, — Sorry cannot have pleasure of ac- 
companying you to my dear friend Rummins, nei- 
ther to my worthy friend Jubb. Send letters of in- 
troduction — spoke in warmest terms — all you can 
desire. Sorry shan't see you to dine with me this 
time— next time you must — no denial. Believe 
me, my dear Sir, your most truly affectionate friend^ 

" John Hobbleday. 
«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 Hoppy's publick breakfast, where 
I shall meet all the beauty and fashion of Little-Ped- 
lington. Afterwards with my letters to Rummins 
and Jubb. With such warm introductions from 
their friend Hobbleday what a reception do I antici* 
pate! — 



" A chiePs amang ye takin* notes." — Burtu, 

Wednesday^ June 17M.— Aroused by a violent 
knocking at my door. " What is the matter?" saW 
1, startled by the noise. 

« G«t up, Sir, for Heaven's sake get up," cried 
the chambermaid: " the house is o' fire!" 

« The house on fire! What's o'clock!" inquired L 
« 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 (to speak 
poetically) " in the arms of Morpheus," 

Albeit unused to pay my respects to the sun at his 
fet^,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; performing 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 dis- 
turbance, that I should be enabled to-^enrich this my 
journal with an account of the dangers I had to en- 



counter in making my way through clouds of curl- 
ing smoke^ and volumes of the " devouring ele- 
ment"-'-of rushing along corridors and down stair- 
pases enveloped in flame — haply of snatching a fe- 
male young and beautiful 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, dis- 
appointment ineffable! 1 walked down stairs unin- 
terrupted by either of the antagonists for whose oppo- 
^sitionl had prepared myself. No where was a 
blaze, or even a single spark of fire, to be seen; and^ 
to render my mortification complete, in reply to my 
anxious inquiries concerning the whereabout and the 
extent of the conflagration^ 1 was informed by 
Scorewell that it was only the kitchen-cAim/ey 
which had been o'fire, but that he, assisted by the 
waiter, had succeeded in extinguishing it with a 
bucket of water or two! " And was it for this?'* 
thought I, with a sigh. In about half-an-hour aflter 
the event — time enough to have allowed of the 
" Green Dragon" being burnt to the ground — three 
ragged little boys, headed by the parish beadle, came 
dragging along a fire engine somewhat bigger than a 
wheelbarrow. Having waited for some time, with 
eyes anxiously fixed on the building, and nothing 
occurring to require their services, <* Come, boys,*' 
said the liveried guardian of the public safety, with 
ashake'of the head, and in a melancholy tone: «*jCome 
boys, take the engine back again; there^s no hopeJ^^ 
This reminded me of the complaint of a certain per- 
son, well known as a subscriber to most of the pub- 


lie charities^ and follower of the public sights and 
amusements of London, that although he had been a 
Life-Governor ot the Humane Society for nearly four 
months he had not yet seen any one drowned! 

There is, generally speaking, a beautiful propor-. 
tion in things. The destruction of the Houses of 
Parliament by fire was, for some time, the prevail- 
ing topic of conversation in London; in like manner, 
the fire in ScorewelFs kitchen chimney obliterated 
the remembrance of the losing and the finding of 
Miss Cripps's bag, and became the talk of all Little- . 
Pedlington during the whole of this day. Compared 
with the relative extent, population, and impor- 
tance of the two towns, the interest of the two events 
is about equal. The political economist, perhaps, 
and the statistician (if that be the term) may think 
lightly of this notion; yet I apprehend there is some- 
thing in it which might be worth the consideration 
of the moralist or the observer of manners, never- 

Well; having been at the trouble of rising at six 
o'clock ,1 will not go to bed again, although it be now 
no more than seven. I have occasionally heard the 
pleasures and advantages of early rising extolled — 
especially by Hobblebay. I must be unluQky in- 
deed if, from this experiment, I do not derive some 
benefit; though, as it is my first, my expectations are 
wisely moderate. 

Walked into the town. Had the satisfaction of 
seeing the shutters taken down from several shop- 
windows; a very pretty sight; though as none of the 
various commodities intended for sale are exhibited 


till later in the day, that is all there was to see. Pass- 
ing a door, was almost choked by a cloud of dust 
and dirt suddenly broomed out by a young gentle- 
man who was sweeping the shop. A little farther 
on encountered another young gentleman, who, with 
a huge watering-pot, was describing large figures of 
eight on the pavement, whistling all the while. En- 
deavoured to skip oOt of reach of his fountain, first 
on ojie side, then on the other. Received at each 
a pleiAful supply of water about the legs. Unac- 
quainted, as yet, with early-morning etiquette: so as 
the young gentleman did not beg my pardon, but, 
V within unconcerned air, continued to whistle and 
to water, I thought it might be proper to beg his. 
Did so. " No oflfence," said the young gentleman. 
Turning the corner of a street, came in contact with 
a chimney-sweeper: my appearance not improved 
by the collision. <*A11 right again !^' exclaimed a 
a facetious baker, who ran againsf me within the 
same minute.^ An admirable illustration of the prin- 
ciple 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 corner 
of his tray, out of which a leg of mutton was jerked 
bj^ the concussion: received, at the same time, a 
well-merited rebuke, though in not very choice 
terms, for my awkwardness. Nearly thrown down 
by a milkman's swinging one of his sharp-rimmed 
pails against my legs: the consequence was a bruised 
shin, the injury of my trowsers, and a copious effu- 
sion of milk. Preparing to express my displeasure 
at the man's carelessness; but it being the unanimous 


opinion of three market- women, a l)ricklayer's la- 
bourer, two dustmen, an itinerant tinker, the chim- 
ney-sweeper aforesaid, (who strengthened the evi- 
dence against me by crying out, <^ Vy, he run against 
me just now,'* and pointing to my dress in support- 
of his testimony,) together with an old lady with a 
basket of matches, a young one selling water-cresses, 
a brick-dust man, and a knife grinder, by whom 1 was 
immediately surrounded — it being the unanimous 
opinion, I say, of this respectable assemblagl^that I 
ought to make 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 door-mats, and five others trundling 
mops. Didn't suffer much inconvenience from ei- 
ther of those o]>erations, 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 i^ailings of the 
areas, in close conversation with juvenile butchers, 
bakers, grocers, and other chargis d^ affaire of va- 
rious tradesmen— occupied, no doubt, in delivering 
their mistresses' orders for the day. Witnessed anjn- 
teresting incident — an act of charity! — a footman 
giving broken victuals to a beggar girl. Concealed 
myself behind a projecting door-way and paused to 
moralize the s6ene. 

The beggar-girl was pretty; and though all tat- 
tered were her garments, her person was plump and 
sleek: whilst her cheek glowed-**not with the artifi* 


oial 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 her- 
self had imprinted 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 — still trample on him — ^still at your good 
will and pleasure overwhelm with chains and cast in 
dungeons dire — ^still, as is your wont — still murder, 
slay, destroy your humble fellow worm — I call Na- 
ture to witness a footman has a heart!" — She ap- 
proached and held towards him her now uncovered 
basket, whilst he — his ready hand obeying the im- 
pulse of his benevolent heart — threw into it the rem- 
nants, swept in disdain, perhaps, from the groaning 
table by his pampered and o'er-fed lord — those all- 
despised remnants to her, poor want stricken maid! 
an epicurean banquet. She covered her baj^ket— in 
an ecstacy of gratitude she^pproached him — he (his 
compassionate heart swelling with rapture as he con- 
templated the object whose life, perhaps, his chari- 
ty 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 
obey it — she, the fair and virtuous daughter of want 
and woe, startled at the sound, fled like the timid 


deer aroused by the insatiate hunter's horn — ^and 
vanished from my sight. 

With truth may Jubb exclaim, that for Pedlingto- 

«* Plenty all her Cornucopia yieldsl" 

when the very " broken victuals" (as such donations 
are termed) bestowed in the present instance, con- 
sisted of a rump-steak undressed, a cold roasted fowl 
^inus a wing, a quantity of uncooked vegetables,, 
an uncut quartern loaf, and two silver table spoons! 
These last articles in the list prove, not only that a 
footman has a heart but that his heart may be sus- 
ceptible of the most refined delicacy of attention to- 
wards the fair sex. " In Little-Pedlington alone," 
thought I, " could be witnessed a scene so interesting 
and so edifying; never, surely, hath Charity in form 
so elegant been known to walk up the steps of a 
London area." 

Walked on towards Market Square. On my way 
thither met a gentleman who, from his dress, was, 
evidently returning home from a very late party: 
for it was not 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-Pedling- 
ton had been paved with burning coals. As be 
passed, he honoured me with a very low. bow. His 
bow was remarkable. He lifted his hat, at arms 
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 compliment 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 his 
head than it was off again. Any common observer 
would have wondered that he did not wear out Jiis 
hat: my wonder was he did not wear out his head. 
The constant friction had worn out his hair, for his 
head was bald. His person small, but finely pro- 
portioned; 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 short-frill, 
ornamented as Mr. Fudgefield, the. auctioneer of 
Little-Pedlington, would describe it — with an unpa- 
ralleledly large [mock] diamond [which if it were 
real would be] worth at least, three thousand pounds: 
black smalls: open-worked black silk stockings, 
which set off a leg of exquisite form — though a fas- 
tidious eye, perhaps, might deem it superabundant 
in calf; and dancing pumps decorated with^uge ro- 
settes 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 elbgw resting on his hip. 
Wondered who he could be — satisfied he was not 
onegof the nobodies of the place. 

In Market Square saw Hobbleday. Intended to 
inquire of him who was the remarkable gentleman 
I had just passed; but, as he was busily occupied — 


(for he was running about from stall to stall, and, 
with an earnest countenance, examining the various 
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. Could account for the extraordinary trouble 
he*was giving himself upon one of only two suppo- 
sitions: either that Hobbleday 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 reasonable 
prices. Did not long remain in doubt, for I was 
speedily joined by my obliging acquaintance. 

«Ha! so you're here, eh?" said Hobbleday. 
" Well; every thing must have a beginning — 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 but half-past 


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

" He is inspector, then," thought I. 

"Prodigious advantage in coming ^here early — 
save fifty j9er 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; "be- 
sides, as I am not a housekeeper, I am miserably ig-^ 
norant of the usual cost or value of such commodi- 

" But guess: — d6 gifess." 

I would not for worlds have it imagined that Hob- 
bleday is a bore; yet, as a bore would do, he eleven 
times reiterated his desire, that I would << guess." 
At length he continued; delivering the conclusion 
of his speech with an emphasis worthy the impor- 
tance of the occasion: — 

" Well; since you canH guess, Pll tell you. Sir 
— ^I paid for this fine lettuce, such as you see it, only 
— one — penny r^ 

, « And is it possible, Mr. Hobbleday," exclaimed 
i, with astonishment, " that you have been at the 
trouble of coming here at five in the morning to pur- 
chase a penny lettuce?" 

« Trouble, my dear Sir! Bless you, it is no trou- 
ble to me; one must do something, you know. Be- 
sides, as I said before, I save fifty per cent, by it; 1 1 
must have paid three half-pence 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 I'll tell you how 1 con- 
trive with it The first day I take my lettuce 

and " 

Here the obliging creature favoured me with a 
long detail (which occupied twenty minutes) of his 
method of cdaxing one penny lettuce into the per- 
formance of two days' duty. But as 1 have^mislaid 

122 &E8IDEMCS tN 

my notes relative to this poiat, 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 in* 
specting all the stalls, and asking questions of all the 
market people; yet the upshot of all this is the pur- 
chase ot " 

« What of that, my dear Sir?" said Hobbleday (ac- 
companying his words with a poke in my ribs;) << it 
is'nt for what 1 buy; but one get9 at the price of 
things — one stores one's mind with knowledge; in- 
formation. 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 em- 
phatic whisper) — " but though I don't buy any 
thing, there's no man in all Little-Pedlington knows 
the price of things as well as little Jack Hobbleday; 
and that's something to be able to say, eh?" 

At this moment the gentleman whom 1 had late- 
ly passed crossed the market, bowing and bowing, 
and bowing, as before. Inquired of my companion 
who he was, 

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

With becoming reverence I looked after this cele- 
brated personage till he had bowed himself out of 

<* Judging by his dress," said I, "he must have 
been up all night at some party or assembly." 

Hobbleday looked- at me with an expression of 


countenance and a shake of the head which con- 
▼ineed 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 ! What can that have to do 
wkh 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-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 functionary for poor London, I abruptly 
changed the subject of conversation. Thanked him 
for the letters of introduction which he had sent me 
to Rummins and to Jubb. Told him that, after 
breakfast, I should avail myself of them. 

<^0 — 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 hreakfast. Thought 
you were going to Hoppy's Public Breakiast, at 
Yawkins's skittle-ground, at one o'clock." . 

« So I in*tend," replied I; "but I shall take break- 
fast at my inn.'' 

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

" Nor dinner neither," said I. 

« How odd! Don't you see what the bill says?" 


said Hobbleday^ directing my attention to a posting 
bill. which announced the Grand Public Breakfast 

" Yes, Mr. Hobbleday, I see: * Admission two 
shillings, refreshments included' " 

He interrupted my reading with ^^Refresh- 
ments? — ^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 

'""Pooh! nonsense!" exclaimed he; "limit 'em, 
indeed! The bill says so, to be sure; limit who 
they please, they don't limit little Jack Hobbleday, 
that I can tell you. No, no, my dear fellow; pay 
my two shillings — no trifle you know — so 1 make 
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, /oo." 

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 willjustfill up 
the time till the Breakfast." 

"A nap so early in the day!" exclaimed I, some- 
what astonished. 

"Of course," replied he; "Nature is Nature;" — 
(a philosophical reflection which I was not at the 
moment prepared to dispute;) and he continued: 


^ Ahl my dear fellow, I perceive you know nothing 
of the pleasures-— of the advantages of early ris- 
ing. Ah! for shame! You, who lie in b&l till 
nine or ten, are as fresh as a lark all day long, eh? 
—in the eirehing, ready for any thing — ^read, talk, . 
sing, dance — no wish for bed; no enjoyment 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 6^ clock, — ^Two hours to spare betwftn 
this and the time fixed for the Master of the Cere- 
monies' Breakfast Rummins's public day for ex- 
hibiting his museum is Friday; but as his '^dear 
friend," and my most obliging acquaintance (who 
has, as he assured me, <<the privilege of introducing 
a friend there on any day of the week") has furnish- 
ed me with a flattering letter of introduction to the 
great antiquary, 1 will at once avail myself of the ad- 
vantage 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: — 

"Dear Sir, — Sorry cannot have pleasure of ac- 
companying you to my dear friend Rummins, neither 
to my worthy friend Jubb. Send letters of intro- 
duction—spoke in warmest terms — ^all you can 
desire. * * * Believe me, my dear Sir, your 
most truly affectionate friend. 

"John Hobbleday." 

"Most truly affectionate friend !" Kind, obliging, 
warm-hearted Hobbleday! Yet this is the man 


Stigmatized by Scorewellasahumbug! 0,Friendship, 
spontaneous as it is disinterested and pure! O, 
shades of Castor and of Pollux! O, Py lades! and 
OresteS; O! You, ye sublime exemplars of the noble 

passion ! If ever About to proceed to Rum- 

mins's I have not time to work out my apostrophe 
in a way worthy of the subject But what I mean 
to say is this; let those who complain 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 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^nd tottering — the finest specimen of the living 
antiquities of the place I had yet seen — an appro- 
priate appendage to the domestic establishment of 
the F. S. A. Her age (as I was afterwards told) 
ninety-four. Asked me if I wanted to see << little 

"Little Master! No." replied I; "my visit, my 
good lady, is to Mr. Rummins, the elder, who is, as 
I am informed, a gentleman of near sixty." 

"That's him, Sir," rejoined the. old woman, as she 
ushered me into a small parlour; " but 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 drawing suspended over 
a bufiet.) " There he is, bless him! done when he 


was only three years old over the cupboard with a 
dog behind him in skyblue jacket and trowsers with 
suger-Ioaf buttons running arter a butterfly in-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 through the 
poor dear babby's sufferings " 

'^Thankee, thankee, thankee/' cried I, forcingft 
passage through her speech; <^ but if you will have 
the kindness to inform Mr. " 

It was in vain: for (unlike the generality of ladies 
of her vocation, who are usually not over-communi- 
cative of their infomation concerning the early dis- 
eases, sufferings, and escapes of their interesting 
charges) she bestowed on me a particular account of 
the "poor dear babby's" (the present illustdous 
F. S. A's) progress though the small-pox, measles, 
hooping-cough, rash, rush, thrush, mumps, duinps, 
eroup, roup, and forty other sublime inventions, 
which I had, or had not, before heard of, for di- 
minishing the numbers of the infantine population; 
nor did she cease till she had safely conveyed him 
through the the scarlet fever, which "took him'' — 
happily, not off — in his fifteenth year. She then 
withdrew to inform Mr. Rummins 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 alone, I read the various printed 


<<seheiiies/' "projects/' and "prospectuses," which 
were scattered about the tables. The great Anti- 
quary's learning almost equalled by his philanthro- 
py 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 parti- 
cularly; and — as it somehow struck me — most par- 
ticularly to the advantage of Simcox Rummins, 
Esq., F. S. A., himself. Amongst many others 
were the two or three following:— 

« Prospectus of a National Edition of Rum^ 
mins^s •Antiquities of Little-Pedlington. 

" When we reflect on the march of intellect: 
when we reflect on the spread of intelligence: when 
we reflect on the- improvements in the arts of 
printing and engraving: when we reflect on steam- 
boats and rail-roads: when we reflect on the facility 
with which all nations of the civilized world are 
brought into intercourse with each other by these 
means: when we reflect on their mutual anxiety, 
in consequence of such facility, to become acquainted 
with each other's Topography and •Antiquities: 
above all, when we reflect on the growing impor- 
tance of Little-Pedlington, it cannot but be a mat- 
ter of wonder and of regret that, although Troy has 
been illustrated by its Gell, and Athens by its Stuart, 
our town should not as yet have put forth a work wor- 
thy of its station in the map of Europe, and capable 
of satisfying the growing desires of society in its 
present more enlightened state. It is true that Mr. 
Rummins's ^Antiquities' in a small duodecimo 


volume (to be had of the author, price one-and- six- 
pence) may Ibe ^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, ^asplended edition, worthy of our 
town, fit for the shelves of the library, is still a de- 
sideratum; and it is disgraceful to our country that no 
such monument exists, &c. &c.' 

"Mr. Rummins, feeling deeply for the honour of 
his natal town and of the kingdom at large, is re- 
solved 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. 

« Tlerms. This National Edition in one vol- 
ume, post octavo, embellished with four elegant 
lithographic engravings^ to be published by sub- 
scription, 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 
Qppies will be printed; and, to prevent delay, the 
work will go to press as soon as four hundred and 
fifty copies are subscribed for. To prevent trouble, 
subscriptions will be received by the ai^or only.^' 

Patriotic Rummins! 

«P/a/i for aiding the Funds of the Little-Ped- 
lington ^ImS'houses. 

"Mr. Rummins, having learnt with the deepest 
and most heart-felt regret, that the eloquent Sermon 
delivered on Sunday last by our highly-^gifted curate, 


the Rev. Jonathan Jubb, in favour of the above- 
named charity (although it melted the hearts, and 
drew tears from the eyes, of a numerous congrega- 
lion) did not (from a variety of adverse causes) pro- 
duce (in a pecuniary point of view) the effect anti- 
cipated (only fourteen shillings and two-pence hav- 
ing been coUectedat the church-door;) submits to the 
Nobility, Gentry, Visitors, and towns-people of 
Little-Pedlington, who are ever foremost in the 
heart-soothing work of Charity, the following plan 
for supplying the deficiency. 

<<Mr. R. proposes to publish, in aid o/thefundf * 
of the said institutiony an elegant engraving of 
his lately-acquired treasure, the Helmet of the time 
of King John! The drawing will be made on stoi^e 
by Mr. R. himself: and, after five hundred copies 
are sold, at one shilling each, to defray the necessary 
expenses, Mr. R. will present all that may after- 
wards remain, together with the copyright in the 
stone itself J to the trustees for the management of 
that praiseworthy institution; the whole of the pro- 
fits thereof to be applied in aid ofitsfundsP^ 

Philanthropic Rummins! 

<< Beautifjimg our ancient and venerable Church. 

<^ The churchwardens and overseers of the parish 
of Little-Pedlington having, in the most prompt and 
liberal manner, complied with the wish of several 
of the parishioners, < that the roof of our ancient 
and venerable church be whitewashed ;' Mr. Rum- 
mins suggests that a general meeting of the inhabi- 
tants 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 inconvenience to himself, 
wiUtakethe chair; and hopes and trusts that the meet- 
ing will be as numerous as the occasion requires, 
Mr, R. having had the aaid vote of thanks (which 
he has gratuitously drawn up) printed on an ele- 
gantly embossed card, each person, on entering the 
room, will have an opportunity of becoming pos- 
sessed of this memorial of the occasion, j9rtce only 

. Disinterested Rummins ! Find me such an F. S. 
A. elsewhere than in Little-Pedlington ! 

<< Little Master" entered the room. Six-feet-two, 
and stout in proportion. Port and demeanour dig- 
nified — I had almost said pompous-^but what else 
ought I to have expected in so great a man? 
Speech, slow' and solemn : — ^pro-nun-ci-a-ti-on pre- 
cise, accurate even to inaccuracy, and so distinct as 
to be almost unintelligible — at least to one accus- 
tomed, as I had hitherto been, to the conversation 
of ordinary people, who utter their words in an 
every -day sort of manner. The great antiquary de-' 
livered each syllable separately — upon its own re- 
sponsibility, aait were— disconnected from its com- 
panions in the same word : in short, as a child does ^ 
when it first gets into " words of three syllables" 
in its spelling-book. He wore a gr^n shade over 
his eyes. 

Slowly raising his head, so as to enable himself 
to see me beneath his green shade, he pointed, 
amongst the papers on the 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 Hobble- 
day's kind letter of introduction, and said, <^ No, 
Sir; for this:" acccompanying my words with a bow, 
and the involuntary «a-hem" which usually escapes 
one on feeling perfectly satisfied that that — (such or 
such 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 length-ways, breadth-ways 
— looked at the superscription — ^the seal. At length 
*he made the solemn inquiry — 

"From whom ?" — (pronouncing it t^^oom) — ^^^and 
what may be its object or i^wr-pawt ?'' 

" It is. Sir," replied I, « a letter of introduction 
to you, with which your friend Mr. Hobbleday has 
favoured me. 1, like the rest of the world, am de- 
sirous of viewing your museum ; but as my stay in 
this place till Friday, your public day, is uncertain ; 
and Mr. Hobbleday being allowed by you to intro- 
duce a friend on any day " 

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

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 conse- 
quence of a cold he had taken) rendering it iocon* 


venient to him to undertake the task himself. And 
he concluded with — ^^ He in-tro-de-oos to the Rum- 
minsian Museum!'' 

Either (thought I) Hobbleday, carried away by his 
enthusiastic love of obliging — perhaps by his scarce- 
ly-merited friendship for me — has promised a Utile 
beyond his power to fulfil ; or, it may be that I have 
chosen my time unluckily — ^have disturbed Mr. 
Rummins in his moments of profound meditation. 
In short, (and reason sufficient) it may be that Mr. 
Rummins is ^ not i' the vein." B.ut here is Hob- 
bleday's letter to the <* dearest friend he has in the 
world/' and, doubtless, that will set the matter right 
Re-assured by this reflection I opened the letter and 
read : — ^«Sir." Somewhat disappointed that it was 
not " Dear Rummins," or "My dear Friend/' or at 
worst (that lowest degree in the scale of friendship) 
« Dear Sir." 

"Sir, — ^Pardon liberty — not my fault — bearer 
wants to see your 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 introduc- 
tion. Onternooy as the French say, don't know 
much of him — just took some wine with me at 
Score well's t'other afternoon — so do as you like — 
don't put yourself to the smallest inconvenience on 
account of, Sir, your very respectful humble ser- 
vant, " John Hobblebat. 

" P. S. Can say you're busy. Leaves Lit. Ped. 
end of this week, so please say will be happy to ob^ 
lige me any day next week — for won't be here. 

134 BEStBENCfi IN . 

Please read this to yourself, and please destroy when 

Utterly confounded ! Looked at Rummins. Rum- 
mins (who in the excess of his astonishment, re- 
moved the green shade from his eyes) looked at me. 
I y plained ; and, as briefly as possible, stated the 
circumstances of my acquaintance with Hobbleday. 
Showed him Hobbleday's kind letter which had in- 
closed the introductions to himself and to Jubb. 
Broke open the introductory note to Jubb, and found 
it, in substance, a counterpart of the other. 

" Ex-tra-or-di-na-ry V exclaimed the F. S. A. : 
<< neither I, nor my illustrious friend, admit him to 
our houses ; he is a bo-er.^' 

" And," said I, apprehensively and with hesita- 
tion — ^for I feel deeply anxious for the purity of 
Little-Pedlington in this one respect — "and a — 

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

" And is it so?" And a transitory wish crossed 
my mind that I 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 — " — ^and his eyes in- 
voluntarily fell on the subscription sheet 

Bewildered as I was, and scarcely conscious ^of 
what I was doing, I wrote down my name as a sub- 
scriber 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 I know not) 
I received an invitation for that very evening at six 
o'clock to tea; when not only should I see his mu- 
seum, but I should also meet Jubb himself. 

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 1 found all 
the beauty and fashion of Little-Pedlington hasten- 
ing to Hoppy's Public Breakfast at Yawkins's skittle 
ground. I joined the crowd. Mr. Hobbleday had 
informed me he should be there: and having re- 
solved upon the course I should pursue with respect 
to him^ I paid my two shillings and entered. 



•• A chiers amang ye takin* notes.'* — Bums, 

Wednesday June nth, — On entering Yawkins's 
flkittle-ground, where Mr. Felix Hoppy gave his 
seventh public breakfast, a printed programme of 
the morning's entertainments was presented to me. 
The principal object of attraction appeared to be 
that " extraordinary creature who'* (according to 
Hobbleday's description of him) J< actually played 
upon the Pandean pipes and beat a drum at the 
same time!" And, ju^g^^g ^7 ^^^ London esti- 
mate of a performer's talents, which are justly, 
considered to be in exact proportion to the size of 
the letters in which his name is announced, 
this Pandean-piper, must be one of unparalleled 
ability; for each letter of his was a foot long. 
Though a determined admirer of both the instru- 
ments performed upon, I do not pretend to a practical 
knowledge of either, nor indeed to a very nice judg- 
ment 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 sur- 
render to them of my own opinion, and applaud ve- 
hemently. Besides, were I either sceptical or ig- 
norant, enough to doiibt, or sufficiently learned to 


decide^ I should be a bold man indeed to do so, when 
these are the .very terms in which the Master of the 
Ceremonies himself speaks of the artiste* he has 
engaged for ihe delight of- Little Pedlington: — 
<< Re-engagement, for this morning only, and posi- 
tively the last last appearance of the unrivalled 
# and never-equalled 

Principal Fandea-tt/mpanist 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 visiters at the first 
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 the second last appearance, of this most 
unrivalled foreign •drtiste, whose astonishing per- 

* Jhiittt: aa admirable word (albeit somewhat Frenchifi- 
ed) of late applied, with nice discrimination, to every species 
of exhibitor, from a rope-dancer down to a mere painter or 
sealptor. On looking into little Entick (my great anthority 
in these matters), I find we have already the word artist! but, 
with stnpid finglish perversity, we have hitherto used that 
ia a much more restricted sense than its newly-imported ri 
val, which it is becoming the excellent fashion to adopt. It 
is questionable, however, whether tumblers, buffoons, the 
clowns in Ducrow's circle, &c., will feel themselves much 
gratified at being comprehended under the same general term 
with such folks as Baily, Chantrey, Turner, Shee, Wilkie, 
and the like. 


formance on the Drum and the Pandean Pipes at 
the same time has set alU competition at defiance^ 
and iS) unquestionably, in the opinion of all compe^ 
tent judges, the most perfect morceau of musical 
skill that has ever electrified a British audience) he 
has fortunately succeeded, regardless, of expense, in 
prevailing upon the SroNOR to condescend to accepjt 
an engagement for this morning only, being posi-- 
tivehf his ^ry last appearance here, as he is con!i- 
pelled to leave Little-Pedlington this evening, hav- 
ing received orders from his Excellency the Nea- 
politan Ambassador to return imitiediately to his 
post in 

Le Capello de la Roi du Naples. 

'^ Upon this occasion Sk^noh RtTMBELLO del 
Squeaki will perform several of the most admired 
fashionable airs, and will also condescend to accom^ 
pany the dancing from two o'clock till four, the 
commencement and conclusion of which will be no- 
tified by the 

Firing of a real Cannon! 

*^* « On Wednesday next will be given the 
Eighth Public Breakfast of the Season, being for the 
Benefit of Sionob Rumbello del Squeaki, and 
most positively his last appearance/' - ^ 

What! more last words! a MiVfi? last. appearance 
this morning, ofi* for Naples to-night, and another last 
appearance on Wednesday next! How are these 
seeming contradictions to be reconciled? or how is 
the intended journey to be performed? However,, 
as I never interfere with what does not immediately 
concern me, I shall ask for no explanation of the 


difficulty; but merely note it down that the thing 
seems add^ and that they have a method peculiar to 
themselves of arranging these matters in Little*- 

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 the market-place. The loss of 
two front teeth gave an interesting lisp to his utter- 
ance, which (together with that, for want at the mo- 
ment of any more expressive term, I shall call a 
mincing manner) was in the highest degree becom«- 
ing a dancing-master and Master of the Ceremo- 
nies. Each word or two was accompanied with a 
how. He completely fulfilled the idea conveyed by 
Hobbleday's brief but forcible description of him 
— ^< an elegant creature." 

<^ Highly honoured — paramountly flattered — most 
welcome to the Property -^most exceedingly flatter- 
ed by your honourable patrohage, eminent Sir." 

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 pres- 

^<Pray condescend to pardon me, obliging Sir; 
but this is the fullest attendance of the season — for- 
ty-three paying visiters— rupwards of 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 greatgun— — " 

"As to that, Mr. Hoppy,'* sai(l,I (with an ob- 
tuseness to the figurative at which, on consideration, 
1 blushed), " as to that, As your great gun is fired 
only twice, I don't perceive how '' 

" Pray condescend once more to pardon me, hon* 
ourable Sir; by our great gun I mean the Del Squea- 
ki. On his first engagement, 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, .find- 
ing he is of some use to us" — (this he added with 
a sigh) — ^< now he has advanced upon us to three 

" To the honour of our country," exclaimed I, 
_<<na/it^e talent, in that department, is less rapa- 

To this remark the Master of the Ceremonies 
made no reply, and I continued — 

<< But doubtless in proportion to your outlay for 
the amusement of the Pedlingtonians, you are re- 
warded by their patronage?" 

« Sorry I must once more entreat your pardon, 
considerate Sir; but the fact is, we. depend for sup- 
port entirely upon noble and illustrious visiters from 
London. The tradespeople and shopkeepers of the 
place are of course excluded from an elegant assem- 
blage like this; and for the gentry, as most of them 
live in the Crescent, it would be preposterous'^ — 
(here a^ain he heaved a sigh, which seemed to pny- 


ceed from the very bottom of his daacing-pumps) 
•*-•<< it would be out of human nature to expect /A^ 
should come." 

Unable to perceive the slightest connexion be- 
tween the consequence and the imputed cause — to un- 
derstand why it should be '< out of human nature'' 
to expect a person's attendance at a public enter- 
tainment simply because he happened to reside in 
. a Crescent^*-I ventured to the M. G. a hint of my 

^ See there, good Sir," said he (at the same time 
pointing to the back of a row of houses, the win*' 
dows 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 dancing and my fireworks, and hear my music, 
when they can enjoy it all from all their windows, 
free— gratis— for nothing*." 

* By an association of ideas less remote than that which 
IJiave just noted, bethought me of an anecdote related by 
the grandfather of the present young Earl of D. His Lord- 
ship had had some dispute (respecting the right of shooting 
over certain ground 8)^with one of his tenants, the back of 
whose house happened to foe close upon his Lordship's pre* 
serves. Some time afterwards the good-natured Earl met the 
man, who was about to pass him with a sulky bow, and thus 
accosted him: '♦ What! not stop and talk to me, B— — ^! Al* 
though I wouldnH allow you to shoot, I told you that you 
might at any time have ^me for your family by sending to 
my keeper -for it. Why haven't you done so t Never bear 
malice, man."*-*' Not I, thank you, <my Lord,*' replied the 
independent faniiei; ''I*U accept none of yoar gamc« Yoii^ 



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

« HobhUdayl'-^GohhledayP^ exclaimed Mr. 
Hoppy, with a fierceness of manner strikingly in- 
consistent with the previous biandness of the Mas- 
ter 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 entertainments than our newspaper- 
critic himself; and is laid up with a fit of thc^ut 
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 Cere- 
monies himself for the fact, or I could not have be- 
lieved that such instances of illiberality and unmiti- 
gated meanness were to be found in Little-Pedling- 
ton. • ^ 

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 Signor ought to have commenc- 
ed his performance, and that the company were im- 
patient of the delay. Mr. Hoppy left me; and, 

Lordship's pheasants come and roost o' nights in the trees, 
ander my windows; when I want a bird I pat my hand oa% 
o* window and quietly poll one in by the tail: so you see 
Vm not the man to be under an obli^tion to the best Lord in 
the land. Good day, my Lord.*' 


hat in hand, tripped towards the discontents. He 
bowed and simpered with overpowering elegance: 
what he said I know not; but almost on the instant 
of his interference order was restored. From them 
he went, bowing all the way, to a bench at a short 
distance on which was seated Signer Rum hello del 
Squeaki himself. The ^< Principal Pandea-tympa* 
nist to His Majesty thelCing of Naples'' was appro- 
priately habited in the costume of an Italian brigand; 
though, to my unpractised eye, his dress appeared 
to be a cast-off from the wardrobe of one of the 
London theatres. Some minutes elapsed, during 
which they were in conversation; and^asl guessed 
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 you 
— ^consider — it is twenty minutes past time — the 

disappointment — the ^You may rely on having 

it after the performance, upon my hanour. " These 
latter words he accompanied with a profound bovi^, 
and by placing his hand upon that part of his white 
waistcoat beneath which, he would have the Signer 
to understand, was to be found a heart incapable 
of deception. 

To this the « unrivalled forbion •Srtisie^' re- 
plied — 

« 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 do you get till I've got 
my money safe in 'and." 

Astonished at the language of this address, I could 


not help ^claimingy in the words of Shakspeare-*- 
*^ Extant, and written in choice ItalianJ^ 

<< But, my good Signor/' resumed the M« C«, ^ if 
you will but have the condescension to recollect our 
agreement *^ 

<< Aye, aye; ouf agreement fjoare as I ware to 
^ave 'alf my money down, and the resyt arterwards; 
but on second thoughts I'll 'ave it all. I arn't the 
chap to run no risk, not L Suppose yen all vos over 
you vos to pocket the cash and run avay, as Joe 
Strutty did at Branford Fair? when 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 Jirtiat^^ continuing obdurate, 
Mr. Hoppy was reluctantly compelled to comply 
with the demand. 

The Del Squeaki now adjusted his pipes to his 
chin, and slung his big drum across his shoulders. 
Already had heset one foot upon the small platform on 
which he was to exhibit — there was a profound quiet, 
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 un* 
less he gave him a pot of ale! 

<<Tfais is perfectly preposterous!" lisped the M. 
C. ; " that is not in our agreement" 

<< No matter for that. Muster 'Oppy; I've just ta* 
ken it into my 'ed and I'll 'ave it" He withdrew 
his foot from the platform, and continued: << Give 
me vot I ax, or, as sure as my name's Kob Squeaks^ 
I'm off to join my master vot I'm engaged tp-^^that's 

LlTtlZ J^tDliKGtON. 14 J 


to say the famous Muster Richar^soiiy at Vinkle- 
mouth 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 an^t in my agreement, or I 
yon't play; and then the company vill break your 
benches and tables — and sary^you right." 

Mr. Hoppy now threw himself upon the opinion 
of his generous patrons, and, in terms pathetic and 
with imploring looks, entreated them to support him 
in resisting such impudent extortion — so gross an 
attempt to take an unfair advantage of his helpless 
condition. To this his generous patrons unanimous* 
ly replied, that that was no affair of theirs: that, 
indeed, they coneeiyed it to be quite in order that 
an <^ unrivalled foreign •^tiste^^ should be humour^ 
ed in every thing he might desire: that as the Nea- 
politan Ambassador [tc^e^/, according to the Signor's 
own account, Mr. Richardson} had commanded his 
immediate return to his post in Le Capella de la Mkn 
du Naples [ideatj according to the same authority, 
Winklemouth Fair], they would not relinquish the 
present opportunity of hearing him; and that, in 
short, having paid their money for that purpose they 
would insist upon it that Mr. Hoppy should, by all 
means, and at whatever sacrifice, fulfil hh Contract 
with them — Mr Hobbleday (Who had come in with 
an order) being one of the most strenuous in main- 
taining 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 
bis mandate to one of the waiters to convey a pot of 
ale to the Artiste, the latter, perceiving that the ad- 

146 mB8lJ)SR0£ IK 

Tantage was on his aide, naturally, and as is usual m 
such cases, made the most of it: accordingly—** 
^^Jlnd summut to eat alsOy^ vociferated the Signor. 

This supplementary request being also complied 
withy the Del Squeaki went through his antonishing 
performance; and the auditors were delighted, en- 
raptured, ecstacized, &e. &c. &c., as never bcifore 
had auditors been delighted, enrapttired, ecstacized, 
&c. &c. &c., in this sublunary world! 

Pound, upon subsequent inquiry, that the liberal 
entrepreneur^ after paying expenses, (including the 
three half-crowns, &o. to the Del Squeaki,) was a 
loser of no more than four-and^sixpence 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 observation that some people are never 
satisfied. Told, moreover, that the M. G. eomplains 
of ^hat 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-puflfed, even to his own amazement, 
the << unrivalled ^rtiste*^ very wisely doubles his 
terms: these complied with, he very considerately 
trebles them: compliance with this 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 of Naples (or, as it. might niore 
truly have been set forth, His itinerant Majesty 
Richardson, King of Boothia) insists upon being 
iiupplied with* an unstipulated <' summut to eat 


O&o/^ Ah, Mr. Hoppy! if I might venture to 
perpetrate a profane parody on a line in the immor- 
tal " Tom Thumb," I should whisper in your ear — 

^« You make the giants first, and then canU kill thein." 

• ' • • • • • 

^< 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 
quantity of eggs, ham, hot-rolls, and coffee, which, 
but for such considerate assistance, they must have 
undergone the trouble of removing. At length, 
the breakfast-tajbles being cleared preparatory to the 
commencement of the dancing, he approached me. 
His mouth was full; in one hand he bore a huge 
ham-sandwhich which he had constructed for him- 
self, and in the other a cup of coffee- 

« Ah! my dear fellow," said lie (talking and eat- 
ing at the same time), youVe here, eh? But not 
eat any thing! How odd ! Must pay just the same 
whether you do or not, you know. I say — little 
Jack Hobbleday was right, ^? Extraordinary 
creature that Signer del ^" 

« That extraordinary creature, Mr. Hobbleday," 
replied I — (emphazing every other word or two, as 
is the practice when one is savagely bent upon cut- 
ting a person to the very soul) — " that extraordi- 
nary creature, Sir, by his 'concord of sweet sounds,' 
has so calmed ray irritated feelings— ^o complete-' 
ly subdued the rage and indignation that were 


rising in my breast— that I shall Uke no further no- 
tice of your very—extraordinary-^behavUmr than 
just to return you your v^tj flattering letters of 
introduction to your friends Rummins and Jubb." 
And with these words I presented to him both his 

letters, open. 

Conscience-stricken, with some difficulty he bolt- 
ed the morsel which he had in his mouth— the ef- 
fort producing a violent fit of coughing, which great- 
ly alarmed me for his safety; and that, in its turn, 
by the convulsive movement which it communicat- 
ed 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 
trowsers. When he was sufficiently recovered to 
articulate a few words, abashed and confused he 
thus attempted to excuse himself--crossing his ad- 
dress to me with a disjointed apostrophe to his Sam- 
aged nankeens: — 

'" My dear fellpw — 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 Rufnmins, his age pro- 
tects him, else may I perish it— 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; 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 fault 

of mine^ 'pon my life; and rest assured that next 

time you visit our place —All eyes are upon me; 

must go ^Between ourserves, his museum not 

worth seeing, and that^s 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 Hobbleday's dancing ^No, no, Pm any 

thing but a humbug; and if there's any thing else 
whatever I can do for you except Ruramins and 

Jubb Good bye, my dear iellow- Awful 

accident! a thousand pities! the best fit I ever had 
in all my life!" 

Symptoms of dissatisfaction again. Two o'clock 
has struck, and the signal for the commencement of 
dancing (" the firing of a real-cannon") not yet made. 
Calls for the Master of the Ceremonies and a repeti- 
tion of the customary cries of «Shaus6! Shaus6!" 
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 
touchhole of the piece, with a lighted candle fasten- 
ed to the end of a very long pole; a precaution which, 
as he made no pretensions to considerable skill in the 
acience of gunnery, he had prudently adopted in or- 
der to keep himself, as far as possible, out of the 
dangers necessarily attending such an undertaking. 
But the gun Would not go off: it was evident (to use 
a theatrical phrase) there was a hitch in the scenery. 
"Had he put any gunpowder into the cannon?" in- 
quired one. " 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? *^ 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 conolu- 
sion: the devil was in the gun. But the unlueky gen- 
tleman who is generally held answerable for the ill 
consequences of our own blunders, or negligences, or 
offences, could establish his innocence, in tile pre- 
sent instance, by proving an alibi. Upon a careful 
inspection, the true cause of the disobedient conduct 
of the obstinate six-pounder appeared to be, that 
some dull perpetrator of practical jokes had abstract- 
ed 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 mo- 
ney!" These latter declared that, never having wit- 
nessed the ceremony of letting off a gun, they had 
come upon that inducement only — reminding me 
of a certain intelligent peraon, who made Paris his 
residence during an entire summer, for no other 
purpose than to eat melons and see balloons let off. 
Mr. Hoppy mounted a bench, and entreated the in^ 
dulgence of his << honourable, noble, and illustrious 
patrons." He assured them that in the wholecourse 
of the many years he had " belonged to the Proper- 
ty," such an accident had never before occurred, 
and that he would raise heaven and earth to prevent 


a similar aceident oecttrring aji^ia: Ihal there was 
nothing he would not wiilmgly do or suffer — ^no 
sftcrifioe he would, for a moment^ h«4»itate to make 
----to satisfy tlie wishes of sucli an assembly as the 
oi»e he had the honourable gratification of address- 
iiig. Burt (lie cofttinuedt,). as to returning Ihe'money, 
he most humbly requested |>ermission to take the 
liberty of assuring them, in the most respectful man- 
ner, that that was a moral iinpossibiUty, and altogeth* 
er inconsistent with the long-established usages of 
"the Properly/' Besides, he hoped he might be 
allowed to remind his munifioent patrons that they 
had already enjoyed the breakfast which he had had 
the satisfaction of providing for them; as also to hint 
to two or tiiree of those kind friends who had coa<r 
descended to honour <Mhe Property" with theiF 
presence, and who were the most clamorous in de* 
maikling Ihe return of their money — that they had 
cOQie in with orders! — ^The reasonable^iess of this 
address, seconded by its master-of-the-cerempny« 
like politeness and elegance, lulled th^ rising storm; 
and the preparations for dancing proceeded. 

In a place like Little-Pedlington, and at such an 
entertainment as a public breakfast givevi by the M ast 
ter of the Ceremonies in Yawkins's skittle-groundf 
it may not unreasonably be supposed that << noble 
and illustrious visiters from London" who attend 
it) are tenacious concerning the etiquette of prece- 
dency. 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 ra- 
vishing performance of the l)el 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, neverthe- 
less, important, if not absolutely indispensable, to 
the existence of polite society that, when persons 
are brought together for the dance^ the laws of pre- 
cedency should be rigidly adhered to. 

It appears that hitherto the place of honour had 
been unhesitatingly conceded to Mr. and Mrs. 
Hobbs Hobbs (ScorewelFs <^ family with the fly," it 
may be remembered), except indeed, when Sir 
Swaggerton Shuf9e condescended to honour the gar- 
den with his presence. Upon such occasions Sir 
Swaggerton, although he did not dance, would just 
occupy the enviable place for a minute or so—" Just 
to prove his right to it,*' as he said — and then retire* 
A knight; wealthy; lately returned from the govern- 
ment of Fort Popan'gobang (somewhere in the East 
Indies); and a descendant, withal, of the great Draw- 
cansir, as may be inferred from the motto he had 
adopted as an appendage to his arms — ^« And all this 
I can do because I dare:" before his pretensions even 
those of the Hobbs Hobbses quailed. 

[AfcTw. At Mr. Hoppy's recommendation will 
dine to-morrow at Mrs. Stintum's boarding-house, 
where Sir S. S. is living, and (in Hoppy's own 
words) « is to be seen in all his glory."] 

Upon the present occasion, the Master of the 
Ceremonies was sorely perplexed by the several, 
and contending, claims of distinguished persons who 


had thUday hoaoured him with their company for 
the ilrst time; these being people of no less impor- 
tance thaa Mr. St Knitall and his lady, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Fitzbobbin. The knight not making hii 
appearance, Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs Hobbs were pro- 
ceeding to their usual station, when Mr. and Mrs. 
Fitzbobbin rushed past them and took possession 
of it. 

"Come out oHhat," said Mr. Hobbs Hobbs: "them 
'ere is our places.'^ 

",We shan't/' fiercely replied Mr. Fitzbobbin; 
at the same time pulling on a white kid 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 
a3 you, so the places is as much our'n as your'n." 

" If some folks don't know how to behave them- 
selves when they get into genteel company, perhaps 
there's other folks as'll teach 'em," said Mr. H. H. 

"I wish.)^ou may get it," coolly observed the 
other, who did not appear to be in the least intimi- 
dated by the implied threat. 

« My dear Mr. Hobbs Hobbs," said Mrs. H. H., 
^ doaH bemean yourself by getting into a con/ortion 
with such folks. Leave the Master of the Ceremo- 
nies to settle the pint. You may see as how they 
have never been at Little-Pedlington afore. Margate 
— by the steamer, Ha! hal ha!" 

The altercation had proceeded thus far when, for- 
tunately, the Master of the Ceremonies arrived to 
interpose his authority. This he exercised with so 
much judgnient, and with decision so tempered by 
suavity, that though he could not exactly please both 


parties, even the dissatisfied acquiesced in his decree. 
He awarded the contested place to the Hobbs Hobbs- 
es upon two grounds: first, by right of long-main- 
tained possession; and next, anj^ chiefly, for that 
they travelled in their own one-horse fly, which the 
other party did not. As Mrs. Fitzbobbin receded^ 
she said with a sneer, " Of course, my dear Fitz, 
we must give up to carriage company! But sitch 
carriage company! One-horse fly! Ha! ha! ha! 
Carriage company! All round my hat'' 

<< Ha! ha! ha! That's a teazer, I think," said Mr. 
F. with an approving chuckle at his lady's wit: <^ and 
what '11 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. Th^n turning to his lady he said in an 
aflfected whisper, yet so loud as that every one 
should hear him: « When vve relate this 'ere scene 
io OUT friend Lord Squandermere, I think he won't 
laugh a bit" (!!!) 

During these disputes, Mr. Twistwireville and 
Mr. De Stewpan (the latter being the gentleman 
mentioned by mine host of the Green Dragon as " re- 
markably particular about his wine") were standing 
arm inarm, picking their teeth, and looking on 
with a sort of negligS air. Occasionally they in- 
dulged 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 Jiow exceedingly - 
amusing were the disputes oi such people to men of 
their quality. 


But ber6 a new difficulty arose, and ene, apparent- 
ly, less easy of settlement than the former. Mrs. 
St. Knitall, though she willingly concede^ the right 
of the first place to the party with the imposing du- 
plication of name, and the friends of a Lord, more- 
over;^ yet thought she had quite as good a right to 
the second as Mrs. Fitsbobbin: for who w(ts Mrs. 
Fitzbobbin she should like to know? 

The point for the M. C. now to decide was, 
whether or not a Fitz had a right to take prece- 
dence of a SL A question turning upon so nice a 
point might have puzzled a wiser head than even 
Mr. Hoppy's: so Mr. Hoppy did not hesitate to con- 
fess himself puzzled exceedingly. He suggested 
that, setting aside that distinction, the party whose 
name appeared first in his subscription-book should 
have precedence. To this Mr. St. Enitall objected; * 
knowing probably, that his did not. Hereupon 
high words occurred between Mr. St. K. and Mr. 
Fitz B. This altercation was not carried on in the 
playful and neatly-sarcastic 49tyle which had distin- 
guished the previous one: here was no small-sword 
fence, but the bludgeon: in this case the gentlemen 
had recourse to language which — in short, they re- 
gularly O'Connellized each other. 

Cards were hastily (and as the event proved) ex- 
changed; and fatal might have been the consequen- 
ces, had not the M. C. adroitly seized them both in 
their transit. He suggested 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, lol it appeared 
tliat << Thomas Knitall, Hosier, Leadenhall-street,'' 
was tlie victor in the contest for precedence with 
<« Samuel Bobbin, Haberdasher, Tottenham-Court* 

Upon this discovery the Hol>b8 Hobbses^ with- 
drew; declining to dance ^ iii siich company," as 
Mr. H. H. exp^ssed it. 

"I say, De Stewpan," said Twistwireville, with 
a titter, " here's a precious expozeef porBitively ri-- 

Emezmf^y ridiclvs^^* replied his com])anion^^ 
he the ^ remarkably particular about his wine/' 

"Well," exclaimed the late Mr. Fitz Bobbin, 
who had prudently concealed his knowledge of the 
parties for so long as he had his own trifling disguise 
to maintain, but who now was resolved not to fall 
alone: << Well, at any rate we are as good as Mr. 
Twistwire, the bird-cage*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 momenta groom in livery rushed in, cry- 
ing to the door-keeper, " I am not going to stay: I 
only want to speak a word to Mr. Hobbs." 

" Mr. Hobbs," said he, addressing the family- 
with-the-fly gentleman, " your holiday's cut short: 
my Lord has sent me to order you up to town im- 
mediately: Mounseer is taken suddenly ill, and my 
Lord has nobody that he can fancy to tie a shoe- 
string for him." And away went the grooip whist- 
ling Handel's " Every Valet shall be exalted." 

<*0h!" thought I. 


The sky had been lowering for some time, and 
presently a heavy shower came down which abrupt- 
ly terminated the morning's amusements — an inter- 
ruption not disagreeable, perhaps, to certain of the 

Being engaged for this evening at Mr. Rummins's 
returned home to an early dinner: — wondering by 
the way whether pretensions upon a similar scale, 
or a smaller, or a greater, though upon no better a 
foundation, -are ever asserted in other places besides 
Little-Pedlington. . 

158 BSaiDBNCE Vf 


**A cbicl*B uniKkBg yo taktn* iiotos.*^*-Bttrfi«. 

Wednesday J June 17M. — Being engaged lo tea 
with the learned antiquary^ Rummins, at six, re- 
turned to a hasty dinner at five. Having ordered 
nothing more than a veal-cutlet, was not a little as- 
tonished at the parade with which the repast was serv-» 
ed. Heard Scorewellwithoutside catling, in an author- 
itative tone, — "Now — Number Fifteen's dinner — 
look sharp." • Presently tlie door was thrown open, 
and there entered, in procession, Score well with a 
dish of cutlets, who was succeeded by the head 
waiter carrying a dish of broccoli, who was followed 
by a boy with a couple of potatoes; who was fol- 
fowed by another boy with a butler-boat These 
things being placed in due form upon the table, 
Scorewell and his satellites hopped und skipped 
round and round it; one officiously moving the pep- 
per-castor half an inch to the right of the placQ 
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 preparatory "ahem," (at the same time, with 
a sort of draught-playing action, displacing and re- 
placing every article on the table,) said — 

<^ Hope you'lLexcuse what's past. Sir — attendance 
in ftitiire shall be better than it has been, Sir^-^no 
fault of ours. Sir; but now that that family with tlie 

fly rs gone, as I am happy to say. Sir Plague on' 

em! , Tlie gentleman — I mean that man, that 
Hobbs, who has no more got two Hobbses in his 
name than 1 have, turns out after all to be nothing 
'more than valet to Lord Squandermere! But I 
was right: I thought from the first they were no- 
body. Your real ^iitlefolks 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 have worn out.— 
Ahem ! — What wine would you choose to lake to- 
day, Sir?" 

"Remembering what you told me a day or two 
ago," replied I— (and to my shame 1 confess it was 
with malice prepense that 1 did so) — <^ remembering 
that, Score well, 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, 1 think 
it is." 

"Particular, indeed! Another bird of Uie 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 bird-cage maker, with a mile 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 oc- 
casions 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 exposure.'' 

"And yet, if 1 remember rightly, it was but a 
day or two ago you described them all to me as be- 
ing *very tip-top people indeed.' " 

nQ — 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 part, I have seen 
so 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 — ^thatyou — " He hesitated, 
and paused. 

"I told you nothing on the subject." 

"And I am sure you are not in the church, Sir, 
by your wearing a blue coat No, no. Sir; Scorewell 
has seen too much of the world to be mistaken on 
these points. — Ahem ! — ^I've heard it said, Sir, that 
the bar is a very fine profession; and I should think 
you ought to know. Sir." 


"1 have no better means than any one else of 
knowing it," replied I; resolved to throw him upon 
his own self- vaunted penetration for making me 

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 success. 

<* Very odd !" said he; "very : Pm confident, quite 
confident. Sir, t/ou have nothing to conceal" (and 
this he said with a lengthened countenance and a 
suspecting look which belied his professions of con- 
fidence;) " 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. Score well, to be 
satisfied that I may trust to jyou for its quality." 

"The best in Europe, Sir. No, no. Sir, as I said; 
quite sure you have nothing to conceal, ybr" — 
(here was an adroit change of one little word) — 
"for, as I said to my wife, the moment you came 
into the house, Ma/ is none of your shim-shammies." 

"A time-serving rogue of an innkeeper even in 
^virtuous Little Pedlington!" thought I, as I swal- 
lowed a couple of glasses of incontestable raspberry- 

At the street-door was accosted by mine host 

" Going to Mr. Rummins's conversationyj 1 un- 
derstand, Sir. At what time shall I send the boy 
with the lantern to you, Sir?" 

«Send a boy with a lantern!"' exclaimed I. 


«Why, Sir, Mr. Rummins's pariieff are always 
very late — sometimes, indeed, they don't break up 
much before eleven — and as we naturally don't 
Jight the lamps in Little-Pedlington till after Mich- 
aelmas, and as there will be no moon to-night — ^" 

<'I'll contrive to find my way home in the^darlr, 

<<As you please. Sir. Then, if you will have the 
kindness to ring the night-beWf 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 (if one had 
them) in the course of a walk home, on a dark . 
night, for the want of ^uch an accommodation. To 
be sure there is a gas lamp here and there. Then 
again, to ring the night-heU 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, in- 
deed, 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, they are 
virtuously << reclining" (as Miss Gripps would ex- 
^ press it) " in the arms of Morpheus." But I must 
hasten to Mr. Rummins's, Conversaziofie, which 
begins at six. 

On my way thither indulged in the pleasing re- 
flection, that if any where a meeting of the kind 
could be free from the intrusion of the spleen, envy, 
malice, pretension, or afiectation, it must be in such 
a place as this. 


" I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs," says 
Childe Harold. With feelings not less strongly ex- 
cited, I apprehend, than his upon that occasion 
when, for the first time, he beheld the fairy city, did 
I And myself standing opposite to a small door on 
the first floor of Mr. Rummins's house. Upon this 
door, which was the entrance k> a small back room, 
was pasted a square bit c^ paper, bearing in Ger- 
man text, carefully written, the words 

The little girl who had conducted me up stairs 
(telling me by the way that Master and the com^ 
pany were at te$i in the museum) announced my ar- 

The learned F. S. A. received me with ail the 
civility due to a subscriber for two large-paper 
copies of his work, and introduced me to^ eaqh of 
the distinguished persons present His appearance 
and manner, as well as his peculiar, but appropriate, 
mode of uttering and pronouncing his words, I have 
already attempted to describe. First of all I was 
intro*de-oos'd to — <«One whom lam proud. Sir, to 
call my son: Rummins the younger, conductor of 
that tremendous engine of power, the, Little-Ped- 
lington Weekly Obso-ven" He added in a whis- 
per, *' And marvellous is it, that thi destinies of 
Europe should be controlled by one so young, he 
being barely twenty. His yesterday's castigation 
of the Emperor of Russia cannot fail to produce ef* 
fects which— ^But more of this anon," 


Although I abstained from expressing it, my own 
private opinion nevertheless is, (hat there is nothing 
marvellous about the fact For such a controller erf 
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 ^o the contrary) the time gives 
it proof. Here and there, indeed, may be found one 
who, with childish timidity, has delayed to set upas 
a « Controller of destinies^' till, having lived long 
enough to see much, hear much, and learn much, 
and leisurely to compare and reflect, he at length 
"conceives himself to be in some degree qualified for 
the undertaking. These, however, form but the ex- 
ceptions to the rule: consequently Mr. Rummins, 
the elder, may be assured that his son is not a Phob- 
nix in his generation. 

« Our Daubson," continued the F. S. A., pursu- 
ing 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 much back, eh, 
Mister? If you have the work with you, weMl 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 better than me." 

" Mr. Felix Hoppy, also, you have met before," 
continued Rummins. "Not in his capacity of 
Master of the Ceremonies, which I esteem not, do I 
recieve him as my friend; but as he is the author 


of the Little Pedlington Guide, a work, Sir, 
which — '' ^ 

Mr* Hoppy blushed, bowed, drew his well-per- 
fumed handkerchief across his face, and entreated 
Mr. Rummins to " spare him." 

I was next presented to Miss Cripps (« our Sap- 
pho,'' as she was designated by Rummins) whose ex- 
quisite verses I copied into my journal from yester- 
day's "Observer." Miss C, tall and slender, 
and, apparently, on what I shall take the liber- 
ty of calling the sedate side of fifty. She was 
reclining back in her chair, her arms folded across 
her bosom, and her eyes fixed, with an air of ab- 
straction, on Mr. Rummins's ceiling. Her counte- 
nance bore the traces of recent and still-existing sor- 
row. The Pedlington newspaper has recorded the 
loss of her bag. Dress — pink muslin gown, trim- 
med 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. fVig'] — hair. 

Mr. Rummins proceeded. , << Mr. Yawkins, the 
head of our bank; Mr. Snargate, the architect, 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. Rum- 
mins, drawing me a little aside, said, in an und^*- 
tone — *<My dear Sir! — Is it possible? — ^Why, Sir, 


that lady *i» the Enaj SbburcSj who d(^ the cha- 
rades and conundrums for our newspaper. Ignorant 
oiher name ! Bless my soul ! — ^But, now, Sir — now 
— I am last of all to in-tro-de-oos you to my illus- 
trious friend, the Reverend Jonathan Jubb — the 
Bard of Pbdlingtonia.^* (Here again followed 
what is theatrically termed an aside.) << Simple in 
appearance, unaffected in manners — instead of the 
popular poet, you would be inclined to set him down 
for nothing more than one of yourselves — ahem I 
— rather than one of us. But so it ever is with ge- 
nius 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 repeat Rummins's phrase) he had, indeed, been 
nothing more than one of ourselves! 

Shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony of 
introduction, Rummins desired his servant to <<take 
away the tea-things." "Then," said he, "I will. 
exhibit to you the Rumminsian Collection." 

The little girl having made the circuit of the ro^m, 
and collected on a japanned waiter the emptied tea- 
cups, approached Miss Cripps ; but " Sappho," 
still rapt in meditation, did not observe her. Having 
for some time stood unheeded, the girl put her lips 
to Miss Cripps's ear, and screamed — ^< done with 
your tea-cup. Ma'am?" Miss Cripps, startled, let 
drop her cup and saucer, both of which were demo- 


lisfaed by the fall, and drawing her hand across her 
forehead, exclaimed, with a sigh — 

M Tis goDe, 'tis lost, the fairy chain is broken." ' 

« Yes, Madam," angrily said the F.S.A., " and so 
is my crockery. I do wish, Miss Cripps, that foi* 
the future you would not fall into your poetic reve- 
ries till after tea. This is the fourth time the thing 
has occurred — and always when a stranger has 
happened to be present J^ 

Miss Cripps made no reply, but slowly shaking 
her head, patiently resumed her Madonna-like atti- 

At the same moment, Enc0 Sbburcs, who also 
had been absorbed by meditation, though, as was 
presently shown, upon a subject infinitely more ab- 
struse, suddenly started from her chair and ex- 
claimed — "Pig's pettitoes!" 

" That's it, that's it!" cried the editor: adding, 
with a condescending nod to the lady — *^ Without 
flattery, Miss Scrubbs, there is no one in all Little- 
Pedlington who can approach you 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 
good sense to know, that when one has passed a life 
in these studies a little superiority must be thecon^ 

168 HssiDXKCB nr 

Miss Jane Scrubbs's exclamation of" Pig's petti- 
toes/' 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 ba£9ed the ingenuity of all the 
wits of Little-Pedlington. 

The Rumminsian Collection is contained partly 
in ah old-fashioned book-case with glazed doors, 
and partly in a corner-cupboard, on the shelves of 
which the various articles — amounting, 1 may ven- 
ture to say without fear of exaggerating, -to eighty 
in number — are systematically arranged. In the 
department of natural history it is not remarkably 
rich, possessing only a stufied lap-dog and parrot, a 
dried snake, a peacock's tail, the skeleton of a mon- 
key, and the skin of a cat: the latter chiefly interest- 
irig from the circumstance of its original wearer hav- 
ing been, during fourteen years, the prime favourite 
of the antiquary's grandmother. Indeed be himself 
admits that in this portion of his museum he cannot 
compete with the ZoOj meaning thereby their Zoo- 
logical-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 Rummins pro- 
"" foundly observed), <^all curious, as showing you 
that sort of thing iu a state of nature." 

In Numismatics — for each compartment of the 
book-case and corner-cupboard is appropriately la- 
belled — in numismatics the museum contains, fir$t, 
the << antique Roman coin" wfiich occasioned so 
fierce a controversy as to whether 4t were such, or. 

LTttLti PEDLIN^TON. l6d 

in reality, 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 (in 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 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 genu- 
ine medal of the time of the worthy whose effigies it 
hears, Mr. Rummins 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 us, at this time of day, to tell what they 
meant by them?" The estimation in which these 
three objects are held by their fortunate possessor is 
sufficiently marked by the circumstance of each 
being carefully preserved beneath the inverted bowl 
of a broken wine-glass. 

<< But we are now coming to that portion of the 
Rumminsian Museum," said the exhibitor, ^< upon 
which I chiefly pride myself — the Pedlingtonia Re- 

The F.S.A. had been minute and elaborate — (J 


donh mean prosy f SiS it will (sometimes happen to 
the best-intentioned F.S.A. under similar circum^ 
stances) — in describing each of the objects of euri^ 
osity, as they were in succession exhibited to my 
astonished eyes. Fancied that in some of the party 
I perceived symptoms of weariness, and of impa- 
tienca in others. The banker and the architect were 
fast asleep; Miss Cripps with folded arms was sigh** 
ing, and looking sonnets; Jubb drew from his pocket 
a huge manuscript, <^ a-hem'd/' and thrust it in 

again; Daubson audibly d ^d the museum, and 

muttered ^ The day-light will be gone before I can 
show my picturf^ Hoppy appeared greatly in- 
clined to follow the example set by the banker; 
whilst the << controller of destinies" and Enaj 
Sbburcs were seated, literally iUe-h-tUtj in th^ 
recess of a window, partly concealed by a curtain, 
making (I suppose) conundrums. 

The most remarkable of the Pedlingtonta Relics 
are the sliding-board of the old SiockSj and the 
handle of the old pump, upon each of which the F. 
S.A. expatiated lengthily and learnedly : easily di* 
greasing from the one — (remarking, by the way, on 
the horrors of the Bastile and the atrocities of the 
Inquisition): — ^to the cage which had lately been 
erected in the Market-Place; from the other to the 
Roman Aqueducts, Bernini's Fountains, and ^ our 
New Pump." . 

To the Military Antiquary the most interesting ob- 
jects in .the Collection would be the two sword* 
blades and the cannon-ball, picked up in a ditch at 


a ahori 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 resemblance to the blade of an old-fashioned 
carving knife. These circumstances sufficiently at- 
test their antiquity; for, as Mr. R. triumphantly ex- 
claimed, " Where do you see such swords now-a- 
days!'' On the latter may still be traced these cu- 
rious remains of an ancient inscription: Th-fnps-n 
an-Co. — heff^ld. Of this, the learned Antiquary 
himself despairs of finding an e/planation; 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 propor- 
tion; not weighing more, indeed, than a hollow cis- 
tern-ball of the same circumference! Well might 
Mr. R. observe, « The tooth of antiquity has preyed 
upon its very vitals." Of the helmet of the time of 
King John, so curiously resembling a saucepan of the- 
time of our own gracious King William, 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 Pedlingtonians must have been 
engaged in a desperate conflict, in which prodigious 
numbers must have fallen oh both sides, and that, 
at its termination. Victory must have been declared 
for the Pedlingtonians. To state the arguments by 
which these inferences were supported would hardly 
be fair towards Mr. Rummins, since they are to ap- 


pear in the new edition of his ^< Antiquities;" but 1 
may observe generally, that the arguments by which 
- he attempted to prove incontrovertibly, that which 
it is incontrovertibly impossible to prove at all, were 
as ingenious, and quite as convincing, as antiquary- 
arguments, in similar cases, usually are. 

The Rumminsian MSS.y though not numerous, 
are rare. Of these the most interesting are — 

1st. A book containing nearly four hundred re- 
cipes (many of them unique) in cookery, confection- 
ery, medicine, &c. &c. &c. — all in the handwriting 
of the antiquary^a late mother. 

2d. A complete collection of Mr. Rummins's 
own school copy-books. (" This," as Mr. R. mo- 
destly observed, " will scarcely be valued during my 

3d. Minutes of all the public proceedings in Lit- 
tle Pedllngton during th.e last thirty years; together 
with biographical notices of all those who have 
served the bffices of churchwarden and overseer 
within the same period. 

" This, I may say," said Mr. R., « is a worl^. of 
profound reseisirch, and one which will be of eminent 
utility to the antiquary of future times. It contains, 
also, correct reports of all the debates occasioned by 
that spirit-stirring event, the abstraction 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." 
And lastly, carefully framed and glazed, the ori- 


ginal draft, in his own hand-writing, of Mr. R/s in- 
scription for the New Pump. There it Is with all 
his erasures/ additions, alterations, &c. ! This inte- 
resting and valuable document he has bequeathed (as 
he informed me) to his native town,^ on condition 
that, at his death, it be placed over the chimney- 
piece of the vestry-room — there to remain for ever! 
Catherine II. promised 4 splendid reward to one 
of her emissaries (as such disreputable cattle are 
styled in melo-dramas) if he should succeed in pro- 
curing (id est, stealing) for her, from the Barberini 
Palace, the celebrated vase which is now in the 
British Museum. Remember this fact, ye vestry- 
men of Little Pedlington, and be vigilant 

Thanked Mr. Rummins forthe gratification which 
the inspection o£ his museum had afforded me. Ob- 
served — perhaps for want of something better to say 
— ^that I had lately passed a morning in the British 
Museum. To this the F.S.A., locking the door of 
his corner-cupboard, and putting the key into his 
pocket, carelessly replied — 

*<Aye7— they have some curious things there, 

" Come," said Daubson, unable any longer to re- 
strain his impatience, "come; now there's an end of 
that, yoji shall see my pictur.'^ 

"Pardon, my dear friend," said Hoppy, (interpo- 
sing with master-of-the-ceremony-like gallantry) 
" we must concede the paw to the ladies," 

At the same moment the poetess cleared her voice, 
and the fair conundrumist smilingly drew a strip of 

174 fiESIDENCE iir 

paper from her reticule; whilst the M. C. conti- 

<< Misfl Cripps has written a charming song-^-an 
exquisite little effusion— of which she intends to fa- 
vour us with a private hearing, and " 

*^ And yau^ I see, have brought your guitar to 
accompany it, Mr. Hoppy/' said Miss Scrubbs, an- 
grily ; adding, with a sneor, (^i the same time thrust- 
ing her paper back into her reticule,) " it is vastly 
polite of you to give the paw to the ladies.^^ 

<< How plaguily impatient some people are to show 
themselves off!'' whispered the painter to the archi- 

<< Contemptible vanity!'' replied the latter, in a 
similar tone. "And then we shall have Jubb with 
his reading, and Rummins witli 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 exhausted by Mr. 
Hoppy in tuning his guitar, and by Miss Cripps 
in protestations that she didn't sing, couldn't sing, 
never did sing — that she was hoarse, out of Kealth, 
out of spirits, &c. &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 lit- 
tle ^c//n^ — ^and sentiment — and imagination. I 
can't pretend to such abstruse efforts as charades and 

Enaj Sbburcs bent her head in acknowledgement 
of the compliment. Then, turning to the editor, 
«he whispered, " I wonder how^ Miss Cripps (who, 
certainly is not altogether an idiot) can be prevailed 
on to sing her own nonsensical verses!" 

Mr. Hoppy preluded. Miss Cripps mean time 
looked down upon her thumbs, and, having to ^/n^, 
she very naturally, closed her teeth and lips; just 
leaving a small aperture at one corner of her mouth 
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 method which, I am 
informed, is commonly taught in Little Pedlington — 
I can answer for it that the following copy of her 
'* exquisite little effusion" is literally correct:— 

^' Se tarn sn en sm se, 
. Me o sn tarn se oo, 
To nm te a te mo 
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 ])is accora^ 
paniment, too much praise cannot be given; for, 
whenever he was outj he requested the lady to 


<' Stop" till he had fully satifified himself that he had 
secured the right chord. 

Thanks 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 op- 
portunity for a display of their own — each after its 
kind. Miss Scrubbs alone was silent: throughout 
the performance she was sleeping — or pretending to 

^ <<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 whispered to the latter, that I was not 
find in Mr. Hoppy (the author of so profound a work 
as the ^'Little-Pedlington Guide") a man of such 
various talents, or one possessing so many of the 
lighter accomplishments. 

" He's a charming creature. Sir, replied Mr. Rum- 
mins. " But what think yoif of his < Guide'? — I 
mean the historical and antiquarian portions of the 

Here was an opportunity for me to show the 
F.S.A. that I was not altogether ignorant 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 Jell- 
^^gi by ringing the changes upon the ^stom- 
ary common-place exclamations — "learned!" "eru- 
dite!" "profound!" "deeply-searching!" "widely- 
grasping!" and some others which I had heard de- 


iivercd, in the same manner, upon similar occa- 

« You are an excellent critic, Sir," said Mr. Rum- 
mins; « those portions of the work / wrote." 

" But what may be your notion, idea, or opinion 
of the descriptive parts of the book?" inquired Mr. 

Here was another opportunity for me; so I pro- 
ceeded as before: merely varying my common- 
places with the occasion. These were now — ^^ pic- 
turesque!" "life-like!" "dioramic!" "vivified!" 
"graphic!" "spirit-stirring!" &c. &c. &c. — taking 
care to thrust in at least six graphics to any one of 
the others. 

"Ahem! All the descriptive parts are mine," 
said the illustrious author of" Pedlingtonia!" 

" Then, pray, gentlemen," inquired I, " if one of 
you wrote the descriptive portions of the work, the 
other the antiquarian and the historical, what was 
there left for the illustrious Hoppy to write?" 

" Nothing more, Sir, answered Rummins, " no- 
thing more than a receipt for the sum of seven — 
pounds— ^ten, which he paid us for our joint la- 

So, then! I have encountered the perils of Pop- 
pleton-End, and tasted of the miseries of Squash- 
mire-gate, on my journey hitherward — a journey 
induced, in a great measure, by an earnest desire to 
look upon the eminent author of the " Little-Ped- 
lixigton Guide," and what is my reward? What is 
it I behold? Strutting in all a peacock's pride, with 


178 B£8U)£NC£ IN 

glittering plumage dazzling the eyes of the admiring 
world, a peacock we pronounce him: but, frail-ns it 
is false, his ostentatious tail, surrendering at a pull, 
is scattered by the wind, and lo! he stands confessed 
— a goose! Can London, in the plenitude of its 
quackery, furnish a parallel to this? << Speak, ye 

who best can tell!'* Answer me, A y B— — , 

C y D , E , F J 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 wriie 
his own" "Antiquities," or Jubb his " Peclling- 

My unpleasant reflections^ interrupted by Miss 
Cripps, who beckoned me across the room to her, 
and requested my candid opinion of the verses she 
had just now sung. No request more common on 
such occasions, more flattering to the taste of the 
requestee, or more easily complied with. Answer- 
ed as before, but with the requisite variations, 
These were — "gem!" "Ayou/" "tear-moving!" 
"heart-probing!" "soul-searching!" "intense!" 
" quintescence 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 some- 
thing in her album which she had brought "with her. 
Being no poet, I wrote down a portion of the fine 
and well-known supplication of Eve to Adam, from 
the " Paradise Lost," commencing, " Forsake me 



not, O Adam!'' Miss Cripps was so kind as to say 
that 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 covered with 
Penny Magazines, and subscription-lists for various 
j>f Mn Rummins's publications. Miss Jane Scrubbs 
told me she was a collector of franks: that she had 
some which were very interesting, inasmuch as 
they were perfectly illegible even to the writer's 
own name — which was, indeed, the most difficult of 
all to decipher : that she was dying for a frank of 
Mr. Cocklethorpe's, the patriotic member of Totten- 
ham-Court Road; and that she would hold herself 
eternally obliged to me if I could procure her -that 
—or, any others. 

^* I am astonished Miss Scrubbs," exclaimed the 
F.S.A., << positively astonished that a woman of 
your intellect should condescend to so trivial an 
occupation as that of collecting autographs! Biit I, 
Sir," (this he addressed to me) "/gm collecting 
impressions from seals. Now, if you happen to 
have any letters about you, and would just pick off 
the seals for me, that would be doing me a great 
favour indeed." 

' Presented him with two: one (from my friend 
James Jenkinson) bearing the interesting initials J. 
J.; the other exhibiting the pretty device, " Inquire 
ioiiMn^^ With the latter, the learned antiquary 
expressed himself highly gratified. 

Nine 6*clock; Mr. Rummins rang the bell, and 
desired his little maid to bring a light 


« And bring my hat at the same time," fiercely 
cried Daubson. 

"Surely, my Daubson," said Rummins, "you 
are not going without showing us your new work!" 

" Show you my work, Misterl" replied the pain- 
ter: "this is adding insult to injury. How is a 
work like this— a profile of a man on horseback, all 
at full length — ^how is a work like this, I say, to be 
seen by candle-light! An architectural plan, like 
Snargate's, indeed, might be " 

He was interrupted by Mr. Snargate who, with 
allowable anger, said, " Enough of your scurrillity, 
Sir. I know what you would insinuate; but my 
works. Sir, — m^ works, I am proud to say, will 
bear any light" 

^< You are too severe, my friend Snargate,^' whis- 
pered the Reverend Jonathan Jubb, in a tone of 
mild rebuke: "remember he is your fellow crea- 
ture, and be merciful." 

"Come, come, Mr. Daubson," said the Controller 
of Destinies (who expected that ^his interference 
would allay the storm), "stay whereyou are:, we 
— I mean / have a particular motive for desiring to 
inspect your work. Should it satisfy us — 1 mean 
me — as I doubt not it will, we shall give — 1 mean / 
shall give such a notice of it in our — I mean in my 
next, that if the Royal Academy do not instantly 
throw wide its portals to receive yoii — ^— " 

Here the rage of the unrivalled profilist became 
ungovernable. He stamped about the room rolling, 
unrolling, and re-rolling his drawing, which he 
brandished like a truncheon; turning, every now 


and then, towards the Editor, against whose unfor- 
tunate head his thunders were chiefly directed. 
« You inspect my work!" he said, or, rather, 
screamed. << Y&u presume to patronize a Daubson, 
you young puppy ! You get me into the Royal 

Academy! D n the Royal Academy! To 

mention such a set in my presence I take as a per- 
sonal insult. They shall never see me amongst 
them: they shall never be honoured with the pre- 
sence of a Daubson: no, Mister; when they refused 
to exhibit my " Grenadier'' 1 made up my mind to 
that. You get me in, indeed! No, no; "this is 
my passport;''^ (Here he shook his drawing above 
his head.) " This is what shall force open the doors 
of the Academy for a Daubson; here are my cre- 
dentials, Mister. ^ Talk to me of the Royal Acade- 
my! — a despicable set! But when they get *a 

Daubson among 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 conver-shonies.'^ 

[Exit in a rageJ] . 

. Mr. Snargate expressed his astonishment that Mr. 
Daubson should behave so like a fool. 

Tranquillity being restored, Mr. Snargate said, 
that, having an engagement at half-past nine, he 
would at once exhibit and explain his plan. 

« Let him, let him," petulantly whispered Jubb 
to Rummins; "and then we shall have done "with 
it; for, in addition to my prose readings, 1 am 
anxious to recite my new Ode* to Patience." 

Mr. Snargate spread out his plan upon the tables 


and proceeded to read his explanation, which ap- 
peared to occupy about sixty folio pages. The 
exordium was eloquently written: it ran thus: — 

« When we consider that gradual improvement, 
that reform temperate as it is wise, and wise as it is 
moderate, are the peculiar characteristics of the age 
we live in; when we consider that, in 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 pages.] * * 
Mr. Snargate confidently subiftits to the public the 
following scheme for the improvement of the town 
of Little-Pedlington. In the first place, then he 
proposes " 

Rummins looked at his watch; Jubb yawned, 

« It is not upon my own account, said the F.S.A., 
« that I remind you that the evening is getting on. 
Our gifted friend, here, has something also to read 
to us. Could'nt you contrive, therefore, without 
going into particulars, to tell us at once what is the 
great feature of your improvement?" 

" That is the point I was proceeding to. Sir," re- 
plied the architect, with (as I thought) a tinge of 
acrimony in his manner. " I shall not long detain 
you from your display," continued he; "and I 
promise you you shall not be initrrupted by me, 
—Ahem! — In 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 Snapshank 

^^ Gigantic scheme!" exclaimed Mr. Rummins. 



"Sweetly pretty!" exclaimed Sappho Cripps. 

"Miltonic conception!" exclaimed Jubb. 

« What drplomb! An intrechai-dix in its way!" 
exclaimed the M.C. 

" Worthy of Indigo Jones!" exclaimed the bank- 
er. -*^ What would I give to possess such talent!" 
and again he rattled the shillings in his pocket 

Mr. Snargate listened unconcernedly to these"^ 
praises: they were his just due. He proceeded. 
In the second place, I propose " 

Here he was interrupted by the editor of the L. 
P. Weekly Observer. 

" My dear Snargate," said he, «< allow me to stop 
you at ihQ first place. You first of all pull down the 
old town, and then build a new one. Now we 
would inquire where you intend to put all the peo- 
ple 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 mer- 
its. ^Put the people,' indeed! If one is to be 
stopped by such petty considerations there is an end 
at once to all National Improvements upon a grand 

« Notwithstanding that," replied the editor, " we 
must press our objection; for, from our position, as 
the leading organ of this place, we must be supposed, 
to know something of these matters." 

This he uttered with an air of becoming self-suf- 
ficiency; adding, 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 tha 
hand; in our columns we have always place<il you ia 
an imposing attitude, and all this we shall continue 
to do; but with respect to the point in ques- 
tion " 

<< Patronizing puppy!" exclaimed the architect. 
^ And is a man of my standing, a man of my expe- 
rience, a man of my reputation, to he met upon his 
own ground by a whipper-snapper of a boy! If 
you were not in your father's hogse I 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 peo- 
ple.' indeed!" 

So saynig,^he rolled up his plans and papers, and 
rushed out the room. 

« I hope you will resent this," whispered the co- 
nundrum-lady to the editor. 

<< Rely upon that," fiercely replied he; " w§ will 
annihilate him— in our next." 

« Mr. Snargate ought to be ashamed of himself,'' 
said Miss Cripps, 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 by, what do ypu really ih\nk of 

the trifle I attempted to sing to-night!" 

"An exquisite little gem, indeed," replied the 

editor; " a perfect bijoUy overflowing with But, 

if you have no objection, we will insert it, together 
with our opinion of it, in our next." 


« Then here is a correct copy of it," said the lady. 
— ^^'Ahem! — I hope you have no engagement for 
to-morrow evening. I expect a few friends. Do 
come and lea with me, fpr a party is nothing with- 
out you.'* 

" With great pleasure; for bo one's parties are 
half so delightful as your's. Late, as usual, I sup- 
pose, eh? Half-past six, eh?"^ 

"And — a — Rummins — bring your little critique 
with you. I should like to see it in maniscrips. 
But be impartial; say what you really think of it, 

This conversation passed in a half whisper. 

Mr. Jubb now read some extracts from his "Es- 
say on the Literary Character of the unrivalled 
Rummins;" after which, Mr. Rummins favoured us 
with portions of his " Essay on the Literary Cha- 
racter of the unequalled Jubb." In these, not a 
word of censure, not a trait of envy or of jealousy 
occurred; but each, with manly frankness, did ho- 
mage to the transcendent genius of the other. In- 
formed by Hoppy that a Review, to be called the 
« Impartial," is about to be established in Little- 
Pedlington: of this {sub rosa) Rummins and Jubb 
are to be co-editors. 

The capitalist, who had been sound asleep during 
these readings, was inhumanly disturbed by the ap- 
plause which succeeded them. He- started, yawned, 
rubbed his eyes, clapped his hands, and (again jing- 
ling his money), declared there was nothing in the 
world he so much desired as to be a man of talent 
Then, turning to me, he asked me what I thought 

186 B£SID£NC£ IN 

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 po- 
pulation, Sir, amounting to two thousand nine hun- 
clred, and seventy-two, it is scarcely to be wondered 

at that we Apropos: what may, happen to be 

the amount of the population of London?" Ex- 
pressed my regret at my inability to ahswer him 
with strict accuracy, but told him it was computed 
at about one million and some odd hundreds of 
thousands. "Bless my soul!" exclaimed the wor- 
thy and sapient banker; "Dear me! you don't say 
so! immense! prodigious! but surely it must be 
much too large for any thing like comfort!" 

"And now," said Rumn^ins, junior, "perhaps 
Miss Scrubbs will favour us 5^'ith her new conun- 

Miss Scrubbs eagerly availed herself of the re- 
quest. — " Ahem ! — * 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 growing late, allow me first to recite 
my new < Ode to Patience.' " And without allow- 
ing a pause for reply he did so. It was greatly ap- 
plauded 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 controller of destinies: "it has all the subli- 
mity of Pope, all the ease of Milton, all the polished 
elegance of Crabbe, all the force oi' Moore: it iS; 


equal to Campbell, and on a level with Rogers: not- 
withstanding, you wiil allow that " 

*' None of your * notwithstandings,' young gentle- 
man, if you please," said the poet; at the ^ame time 
rising and putting his manuscript into his pocket: 
'* You would -be an excellent critic if you knew 
where to stop; but let us have none of your * not- 
withstandings.' Dear me! it is nearly half-past ten, 
I declare! Rummins, my illustrious friend, good 
night. Ladies and gentlemen, good night." lExit 
the illustrious Jubb.] 

. " 1 wonder how you could listen to such stuff!" 
said the highly gifted maker of conund|?tims and 
charades. "Why, half of it was about religion! 
A pretty subject to touch upon in the presence of 
men of intellect, women of mind, original thinkers, 
rational beings, j?pirits emancipated from childish 
prejudices, &c. &c.; master-spirit, march of intellect, 
gifted creatures, enlightened age, master mind, phi- 
losophical research, human understanding^ test of 
reason," &c. &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, as that is a matter of not the 
slightest importance. Suffice it to say, that without 
uttering one sentence possessing a grain of meaning, 
she did, most ingeniously and didactically, ring the 
changes upon them for a full quarter of an hour, 
repeating the phrase, " women of mind" more fre- 
quently than any other to be found in the march-of 
intelleci vocabulary of cant. 

Miss Scrubbs's lantern was announced. The 


lady, accompanied by the editor (the offer of whose 
escort she condescendingly accepted), took her 
leave. As the former quitted the room, Miss Cripps 
muttered something about its being <' easy to see 
through that — the mean-spiritedness of ear-wigging 
editors — fishing for a puff of her new conundrum.^' 

<< Masculine-minded creature!" exclaimed Hop- 
py with a gesture of admiration. 

^< Thinks for herself upon all points, moral, poli- 
tical, and social!" exclaimed Rummins. 

" Not a4)rejudice remaining," responded the M. 
C, " and no more religion than a horse!" 

« Woman of mind!" exclaimed the banker, " and 
to my certain knowledge. Miss Scrubbs will not be 
eighteen 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-minded creature!" exclaimed the banker. 
"Her whole income is but forty pounds a-year — 
you know she ccishes at our house — ^yet she main- 
tains it at her own expense rather than " 

Here Miss Cripps interfered. " I can't help say- 
ing, Mr. Rummins, that — considering — circum^ 
stances-r-l am by no means pleased at your inviting 
her when you expected we." 

" You surprise me, Miss Cripps!" replied the 
F.S. A. " You, who yourself are a woman of mind, 
ought to know that women of mind are above the 
vulgar prejudices by which the women of common 
intellect submit to be governed. It is the peculiar 


privilege of mind, of original thinking, of daring 
investigation, to — to emancipate itself from a — I 
should say, from the " 

"Miss Cripps's lantern!'* cried the little maid, 
just popping her head in at the door. She did not 
add "stops the way,*' but wfiat, unfortunately in- 
deed, its arrival did stop, was Mr. Rummins's 
speech. Whilst the lady was busied outside the 
room in putting on her clogs, and affixing to her 
head a contrivance which, in form, mechanism, and 
almost in size, resembled the hood of an old-fash- 
ioned one-horse-^Acry, Mr. Yawkinssaid to Hoppy— 

"Very unfeeling on the part of MissCripps to be 
so hard about poor Miss Scrubbs, when it is very 
well known that ^^ 

" But that happened so many years ago she has 
naturally forgotten all about it,*' replied Hoppy. 

"Aye, that's true," rejoined the banker; "so, as 
she herself has forgotten all about it, she naturally 
supposes that nobody else remembers it." 

"What / blame her for," said the F. S. A., "is, 
that being herself a highly-gifted creature — ^for I 
look upon the bad English she writes, and her 
faults in proncmnciation, as owing merely to her 
want of education and breeding — what / blame her 
for is Hush! here she comes." 

Miss Cripps curtsied arid withdrew, accompained 
by the M. C. who,as he handed her down stairs, whis- 
pered to her that the evening would have been per- 
fect, had there been a little dancing. "But," added 
he, "the fault of these meetings is, that most people 
come for the purpose of showing themselves off. 


Now, though I was dying to pla}' two or three of 
my new quadrUle tunes, and had actually got my 
flageolet in my pocket for the purpose, I could not, 
for the soul of me, get an opportumty." 

"Well, my dear Rummins," said the hanker, "I 
have to thank you for another great treat. Talented 
creatures! People of mind! Would give the world 
to he able to understand what they talk about! But, 
though I myself don't pretend to be any body or any 
thing," — (Here he once more jingled the money in 
his pocket.) — " Pm never so happy as when I am in 
the company of intellectual people." — (Here he 
yawned.) — "Good night, my dear Rummins. No- 
thing was wanting to make the evening perfectly 
delightful but a rubber at sixpenny longs. Good 

It was now my turn to thank the,F. S. A. for 
the treat I had enjo^^ed. 

"I can't say much for if, Sir," replied he. "No- 
body admires poetry, and music, and the fine arts, 
more than I do, but one may have too much of 
them. They ought not altogether to supersede more 
important matters. What between Mis^ Cripps, 
and Daubson, and Snargale, and my illuslrious 
friend, Jubb — who, by the by, is much too fond of 
reading his own productions — I was prevented 
reading a rather interesting paperof my own, where- 
in I cite tAvo hundred and fifty-three authorities to 
prove that our church was built in 1694'— not 1695, 
the date usually assigned to it: thus, Sir, thus prov- 
ing its greater antiquity by one entire year!" 

The rain pouring down in torrents! No um- 


brella. Mr. Rummins's taken by Mr. Hoppy, who 
will not return it till the morning. No sending to 
the nearest stand for a hackney-coach, for the satis- 
factory 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 acknow- 
ledged, is a considerable convenience — but it is 
never let out after ten at night, unless bespoke in 
the morning. Grope my way home in the dark. 
Find myself in the Vale of Heahh, and over the 
ankles in water. Meet the new-policeman, to whose 
vigilance {vice two old watchmen, deposed) is in- 
trusted the safety of the whole town. Sets me on 
my right road. Find myself in mine inn. Wqt 

Eleven o^ clock, — Bethought me of the words of 
the landlady at Squash mi re-gate — ^*^Ah! Sir, if all 
the world were Little-Pedlington it would be too 
fine a place, and too good, for us poor sinners to live 
in!" I have passed three entire days in this, the 
beau-ideal oi di country-town: I have seen all it has 
to show of places, things, and people: I have observ- 
ed its society in all its modes, forms, and grades^ 
carefully noting their habits, their manners, their 
feelings, and their characters. Now, without a 
partiality or a prejudice to inthjlge, I declare 

tj^at But it is time to go to bed. 

Thursday ^ June I8ih. — I am again in London; 
and sinner as 1 am, London, with all its wicked 
people"in it, is good enough for me. 






B. Xi. OARBT 9l A. BART, 


2 Tolfl. 12iilo. 


** A charming work, which few of polished education will riae from 
tin the last pagehaa been penued.*' — BiontUy Mernew* 

1 vol. 12ino. 



Indading Personal Sketches of the Leading Members of all Parties, 
By Ohk of no Party. 

** Admirably wett taken Sketches. This worl^ will :be matp ezten- 
sivel^ circulated and carefully read than any othef volume pfablished 
wlthm the last three years.**— Sbn. 

** A most extraftrdmary work. It cannot fail to create a iemp|tiffin 
both in the literary and political world.**— iSeiote Time$, 

** Racy in the extreme.'* — MetropolUan* 

** Nothing more satisfactory was ever put into written language.**— 
MimUdy Review* 

1 vol. 8va 


Explained and illustrated in a familiar style, with its application to 
the Arts and Manufactures, more especially in transport by Land and 
Water ; with some account of the Rail Roads now in progress in va* 
rious parts of the World. By the Rev. Diontbiub Lardner, LL. D. 
From the Fiflh London Edition. Illustrated with numerous Engravings 
and Wood Cuts, with all the late American Improvements, by Profra- 
sor Kenwick. 

2 vols. 12mo. 


By Madame Db Stael. 

S vols. IS^mo. 

By the aatbor of « Flirtattoo," " A Marriage in Hifh Life," &«. 

Worki ReeenOf PMiOtd 



ByMra. aCHALL, 6. P. R. Jamu, Capt Mautatt. 
Mm. NoftTON. &C. 6ui* 

S fob. 12ma 


2d Series. 
By Capt. Glascock, R* N. 

1 ToLSvo. 


By Oount HAMiLfoir. 

1 ToL ISmo. 



By Captain EaNOAiD. 

^ feBs V)bk liu oiie finOt, the nurert laoK in iNidu^ it k too Aor^ 
MonMy itagaxine, 


By the Anthor of ■* Random RficollecUaoB of Honie of CbmmonB.** 


THE MAN OF n^^TsuiSR; 
Bt aLadt OF Rank. 
** A beaotifiil and ele^nt production.** — Court JourruU* 
** ExcesMT^ly enlertainioff volames.'* — Globe. 
^ Witty touches and live^ delineations are profusely scattered over 
these paffes. They are obviously the production of a yery clever por. 
son.** — JuUeraty CnzeUe. 

1 ToL 8vo. 






bffE.L. Cartff 4* A. Hart. 3 

In ana largo t<oL 8vo. 




Peter ISmpIe, Japhet in Search of hit Father, 

Jacob Faithfbl, Pacha of Many Tales, 

King's Own, Newton Foster, 

Naval Officer, Pirate and Three Cotters. 

The above work is beaatifally printed on fine paper, and is the onlj 
complete edition of the works of Capt Marryatt. 

9 vols. 12mo. 

By Henby p. Choblbt. 




1 vol. 12mo. 



By 6. P. R. James, author of** Damley,** &c. 
1 vol. 13mo. 



By E. L. BuLWXR. 

Mi';i dvols, 12mo. 


By the Author of the " Heiress," &c. 
A Dramatic and Interesting Story .^ — lAierary Gazette, 

1 vol. ISmo. 



1 vd. 12 mo. 




By the Author of •* Paul Pry." 

New "WorU. 


By the Ettbick Shephebd. 

2 vols. l2mo. 


In one large toL 8vo. 




2 Tob. I2mo. 


By the Sab-Editor of ttte *" Metropolitan.'* 

3 vols. 12mo. 


4 vohu I2ma 


By the Author of" Tom Crmgle." 

2 vols. l2mo. 


By the Author of ^ A Marriage in High Life.*' 

2 vols. 12mo. 


By LuTCH RicHis. 

2 vols. 12mo. 


By Captain Marryatt, Author of" Peter Simple," &c 

2 vols. 12mo. 



By Richard Finn Smttu, Esq. Aotborofthe " Fonakeo."