Obrazy na stronie

from the first, in the hope that he might secure the approbation of persons of sober, independent, and experienced judgment. # Literature is not the author's profession. Having been led, by special circumstances only, to commence writing this work, he found it impossible to go on, without sacrificing to it a large portion of the time usually allotted to repose, at some little cost both of health and spirits. This was, however, indispensable, in order to prevent its interference with his professional avocations. It has been written, also, under certain other considerable disadvantages — which may account for several imperfections in it during its original appearance. The periodical interval of leisure which his profession allows him, has enabled the author, however, to give that revision to the whole, which may render it worthier of the public favor. He is greatly gratified by the reception which it has already met with, both at home and abroad; and in taking a final and a reluctant leave of the public, ventures to express a hope, that this work may prove to be an addition, however small and humble, to the stock of healthy English literature.

LONDON, October 1841.

For the beautiful verses entitled “Peace," (at page 266, Vol. I.) the author is indebted to a friend - (W. S.)

VI. Damascus Cream ; Tetaragmenon Abracadabra ; Tit.

mouse's levee at Closet Court; Mr. Tag-rag's enter.

tainment to him at Satin Lodge; and its disgusting

issue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222

VII. The reader is now introduced to quite a different set of

people, in Grosvenor Street, and falls in love with

Kate Aubrey. - Christmas in the country ; Yatton;

Madam Aubrey ; the Reverend Dr. Tatham; and

old Blind Bess . . . . . . . . . . . . 252

VIII. Two strange creatures are seen at Yatton by Mr.

Aubrey and his sister; and a hand-grenade is

thrown, unseen, at the feet of the latter. - Country

life; Yatton ; Fotheringham ; the two beauties;

and an angel beset by an imp. ....... 297

IX. The explosion of the hand-grenade ; shattered hopes

and happiness. — A winter evening's gossip at the

Aubrey Arms, among Yatton villagers, and its

grievous interruption . . . . . . . . . . 332

X. Gammon versus Tag-rag; and Snap cum Titmouse,

introducing him to life in London - of one sort. —

The feast of reason and the flow of soul at Alibi

House; Mr. Quirk's banquet to Titmouse, who is

overcome by it. — Titmouse seems to hesitate be-

tween Miss Quirk and Kate Aubrey. ..... 372

XI. Suffering; dignity ; tenderness ; resignation . .. 415

XII. How the great flaw was discovered in Mr. Aubrey's

title ; but a terrible hitch occurs in the proceedings

of his opponents ..431

XIII. Madam Aubrey's death and burial ; Gammon smitten

with the sight of Kate Aubrey's beauty ; and a great

battle takes place at the York assizes for Yatton - 454



ABOUT ten o'clock one Sunday morning, in the month of July 18—, the dazzling sunbeams, which had for several hours irradiated a little dismal back attic in one of the closest courts adjoining Oxford Street, in London, and stimulated with their intensity the closed eyelids of a young man — one TITTLEBAT TITMOUSE — lying in bed, at length awoke him. He rubbed his eyes for some time, to relieve himself from the irritation occasioned by the sudden glare they encountered ; and yawned and stretched his limbs with a heavy sense of weariness, as though his sleep had not refreshed him. He presently cast his eyes towards the heap of clothes lying huddled together on the backless chair by the bedside, where he had hastily flung them about an hour after midnight; at which time he had returned from a great draper's shop in Oxford Street, where he served as a shopman, and where he had nearly dropped asleep, after a long day's work, in the act of putting up the shutters. He could hardly keep his eyes open while he undressed, short as was the time required to do so; and on dropping exhausted into bed, there he had continued, in deep unbroken slumber, till the moment of his being presented to the reader. - He lay for several minutes, stretching, yawning, and sighing, occasionally casting an irresolute glance towards the tiny fireplace,

VOL 1.-1

where lay a modicum of wood and coal, with a tinder-box and a match or two placed upon the hob, so that he could easily light his fire for the purposes of shaving, and breakfasting. He stepped at length lazily out of bed, and when he felt his feet, again yawned and stretched himself. Then be lit bis fire, placed his bit of a kettle on the top of it, and returned to bed, where he lay with his eye fixed on the fire, watching the crackling blaze insinuate itself through the wood and coal. Once, however, it began to fail, so he had to get up and assist it, by blowing, and bits of paper; and it seemed in so precarious a state that he determined not again to lie down, but sit on the bedside : as he did, with his arms folded, ready to resume operations if necessary. In this posture he remained for some time, watching his little fire, and listlessly listening to the discordant jangling of innumerable church-bells, clamorously calling the citizens to their devotions. The current of thoughts passing through his mind, was something like the following:

“Heigho! — Lud, Lud! - Dull as ditch water ! — This is my only holiday, yet I don't seem to enjoy it ! — for I feel knocked up with my week's work! (A yawn.) What a life mine is, to be sure! Here am I, in my eight-andtwentieth year, and for four long years have been one of the shopmen at Tag-rag & Co.'s, slaving from half-past seven o'clock in the morning till nine at night, and all for a salary of thirty-five pounds a-year, and my board! And Mr. Tag-rag - eugh! what a beast ! — is always telling me how high he's raised my salary!! Thirty-five pounds a-year is all I have for lodging, and turning out like a gentleman! 'Pon my soul! it can't last ; for sometimes I feel getting desperate - such strange thoughts come into my mind ! — Seven shillings a-week do I pay for this cursed hole — (he uttered these words with a bitter emphasis, accompanied by a disgustful look round the little

« PoprzedniaDalej »