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Behold the porter in his shirt, dripping with rain which never stopped, groping and raking in the dirt, and all without success; but that is hardly to be wondered at, because no shilling had been dropped ; so he gave o'er the search at last, regained the door—and found it fast ! With sundry oaths, and growls, and groans, he rang once—twice—thrice ; and then, mingling with giggling, heard the tones of Harry, mimicking old Ben.--"Who's there ?—'tis really a disgrace to ring so loud—I've locked the gate—I know my duty—'tis too late—you wouldn't have me lose my place.” “Psha! Mr. Dashington, remember, this is the middle of November. I'm stripped—'tis raining cats and dogs." “Hush, hush !" quoth Hal, “I'm fast asleep;" and then he snored as loud and deep as a whole company of hogs. “But hark ye, Ben, I'll grant admittance at the same rate I paid myself.” “Nay master, leave me half the pittance," replied the avaricious elf. "No: all or none—a full acquittance ; the terms I know are somewhat high ; but you have fixed the price, not I-I won't take less—I can't afford it.”' So finding all his haggling vain, Ben, with a growl and groan of pain, drew out the guinea and restored it.
“Surely you'll give me,” growled the outwitted porter when again admitted, “something, now you've done your joking, for all this trouble, time, and soaking.' “Oh, surely,--surely !'' Harry said : “since, as you urge, I broke your rest, and you're half drowned and quite undressed, I'll give you—leave to go to bed.”
XIII.-THE FRENCHMAN AND THE RATS.
FRENCHMAN once, who was a merry wight, passing tne town from Dover
in the night, near the road-side an ale-house chanced to spy; and being rather tired as well as dry, resolved to enter ; but first he took a peep, in hopes a supper he might get, and cheap. He enters; "Hallo! garçon, if you please, bring me a littel bit of bread and cheese ; hallo! garcon, a pot of porter too !” he said, “vich I shall take, and then myself to bed.”
His supper done, some scraps of cheese were left, which our poor Frenchman, thinking it no theft, into his pocket put; then slowly crept to wished-for bed; but not a wink be slept—for on the floor some sacks of flour were laid, to which the rats a nightly visit paid. Our hero now undressed, popped out the light, put on his cap and bade the world good-night : but first the garment, which contained the fare, under his pillow he had placed with care. Sans Ceremonie, soon the rats all ran, and on the flour-sacks greedily began; at which they gorged themselves; then, smelling round, under the pillow soon the cheese they found; and while at this feast they regaling sat, their happy jaws disturbed the Frenchman's nap, who, half awake, cries out, “Hallo ! hallo ! vat is dat nibbel at my pillow so? Ah! 'tis one huge big monster rat! Vat is it dat he nibbel, nibbel at?"
In vain our little hero sought repose ; sometimes the vermin galloped o'er his nose; and such the pranks they kept up all the night, that he, on end antipodes, upright, bawling aloud, called stoutly for a light; “Hallo ! Maison ! Garçon, Landlord ! I say ! bring me de bill for vat I have to pay !"
The bill was brought, and to his great su prise, “Ten shillings” charged ; he scarce believes his eyes ! With eager haste he runs it o'er, and, every time he views it, thinks it more. “ Vy, sare! O sare !” he cries: “I sall no pay; vat! charge ten shelang for vat I've mange? a leetel sup of porter,—dis vile bed, vare all de rats do run about
head ?" Plague on those rats” the landlord muttered out : “ I wish Mounseer, that I could make 'em scout: I'll pay him well that
" Vat's dat you say?" “I'll pay him well that can.” “ Attendez, pray: vill
you dis charge forego, vat I am at, if from your house I drive away de rat?” “With all my heart," the jolly host replies ; “Ecoutez donc, ami," the Frenchman cries. “First, den—regardez, if you please ; bring to dis spot a littel bread
and cheese. Eh bien ! a half-filled pot of porter too; and den invite de rats to sup vid you: and after datno matter dey be villing—for vat dey eat, you charge dem just ten shelang; and I am sure, ven dey behold de score, dey'll quit your house, and never come no more.”
XIV.-THE FARMER AND THE BARRISTER.
NSEL in the Common Pleas, who was esteemed a mighty wit upon the
strength of a chance hit, amid a thousand flippancies, and his occasional bad jokes in bullying, bantering, browbeating, ridiculing, and maltreating women or other timid folks, in a late cause resolved to hoax a clownish Yorkshire farmer-one who by his uncouth look and gait, appeared expressly meant by Fate for being quizzed and played upon ; so, having tipped the wink to those in the back rows, who kept their laughter bottled down until our wag should draw the cork, he smiled jocosely on the clown, and went to work.
“Well, Farmer Numscull, how go calves at York ?” “Why-not, Sir, as they do wi' you, but on four legs instead of two." “ Officer !” cried the legal elf, piqued at the laugh against himself, " do pray keep silence down below there. Now look at me, clown, and attend : have I not seen you somewhere, friend?” " Yees -very like-I often go there.”' “Our rustic's waggish—quite laconic,” the counsel cried, with grin sardonic ;—" I wish I'd known this prodigy—this genius of the clods, when I on circuit was at York residing Now, Farmer, do for once speak true,-mind, you're on oath ; so tell me, you, who doubtless think yourself so clever—are there as many fools as ever in the West Riding ?'' · Why, no, Sir, no; we've got our share, but not so many as when you were there.''
XV. - LODGINGS FOR SINGLE GENTLEMEN.
Who has e'er been in London, that overgrown place, has seen “ Lodgings to
Let'' stare him full in the face. Some are good, and let dearly ; while some, 'tis well known, are so dear, and so bad, they are best let alone.
Will Waddle, whose temper was studious and lonely, hired lodgings that took Single Gentlemen only: but Will was so fat he appeared like a tun,- or like two SINGLE GENTLEMEN rolled into ONE. He entered his rooms, and to bed he retreated; but, all the night long, he felt fevered and heated ; and, though heavy weigh as a score of fat sheep, he was not, by any means heavy to sleep. Next night 'twas the same—and the next--and the next! he perspired like an ox, he was nervous and vexed; week passed after week, till, by weekly succession, his weakly condition was past all expression.
In six months his acquaintance began much to doubt him ; for his skin, “like a lady's loose gown," hung about him: he sent for a Doctor and cried, like a ninny, “ I have lost many pounds—make me well—there's a guinea.” The Doctor looked wise :—“A slow fever," he said ; prescribes sudorifics,—and going to bed. “« Sudorifics in bed," exelaimed Will, are humbugs! I've enough of them there without paying for drugs !" Will kicked out the Doctor :--but when ill indeed, e'en dismissing the Doctor don't always succeed; so, calling his host-he said,
• Sir, do you know, I'm the fat SingLE GENTLEMAN, six months ago ? Look ye, Landlord, I think," argued Will, with a grin, that with honest intentions you first took me in : but from the first night—and to say it I'm bold—I've been so very hot, that I'm sure I've caught cold.""' Quoth the Landlord,—“ Till now I ne'er had a dispute : I've let lodgings ten years—I'm a baker to boot; in airing your sheets, sir, my wife is no sloven ; and your bed is immediately-over my oven."
“ The oven !'—says Will : says the host, “Why this passion ? in that excellent bed died three people of fashion. Why so crusty, good sir?”—“Why !" cried Will, in a taking, “who would not be crusty, with half a year's baking?"
XVI.-QUACK DOCTOR'S ORATION.
I left that there country and came to this here, which may be reckoned the greatest blessing that ever happened to Europe, for I've brought with me the following uparalleled, inestimable, and never to be matched medicines ; the first is called the Great Parry Mandyron Rapskianum, from Whandy Whang Whang-one drop of which, poured into any of your gums, if you should have the misfortune to lose your teeth, will cause a new set to sproui out like mushrooms from a hot bed; and if any lady should happen to be troubled with that unpleasant and redundant exuberance, called a beard, it will remove it in three applications, and with greater ease than Mappin's shilling razors. I'm also very celebrated in the cure of the eyes; the late Emperor of China had the misfortune to loje his by a cataract—I very deterously took out the eyes of his Majesty, and after anointing the sockets with a particular glutinous happlication, I placed in two eyes from the head of a living lion, which not only restored his majesty's vision, but made him dreadful to all his enemies and beholders I beg leave to say, that I have eyes from different hanimals, and to suit all your different faces and professions. This here bottle which I holds in my hand, is called the Grand Elliptical, Asiatical, Panticurial Nervous Cordial, which cures all diseases incident to humanity. I don't like to talk of myself, ladies and gentlemen, because the man who talks of himself is a Hegotist, but this I will venture to say of myself, that I am not only the greatest physician and philosopher of the age, but the greatest genius that ever illuminated mankind—but you know I don't
like to talk of myself: you should only read one or fwo of my lists of cures, out of the many thousands I have by me; if you knew the benefits so many people have received from my Grand Elliptical, Asiatical, Panticurial Nervous Cordial, that cures all diseases incident to humanity, none of you would be such fuols as to be sick : I'll just read one or two, (reads several letters) “Sir,-I was jammed to a jelly in a linseed oil mill ; cured with one bottle.' "Sir, I was boiled to death in a soap manufactory; cured with one bottle.' Sir, I was cut in half in a saw pit; cured with half a bottle. Now comes the most wonderful of all.
“Sir, venturing too near the powder mill at Faversham, I was, by a sudden explosion, blown into a million of atoms; by this unpleasant accident I was rendered unfit for my business (a banker's clerk,)—but hearing of your grand Elliptical, Asiatical, Panticurial Nervous Cordial, I was persuaded to make essay thereof; the first bottle united my strayed particles, the second animated my shattered frame, the third effected a radical cure, the fourth sent me home to Lombardstreet to count sovereigns, make out bills for acceptance, and recount the wonderful effects of your Grand Elliptical, Asiatical, Panticurial Nervous Cordial, that cures all diseases incident to humanity,'”
THE mule seemed pensive, even sad, as if by concience pricked;
But when they came to share his woes, he raised objections-kicked.
The cat came up to sympathize, with mew and gentle purr,
Alas! she got within his reach, when—fiddlestrings and fur.
The dog, in pity, neared him to alleviate his care,
He tried to pass around him once, but-sausage meat and hair.
And John, the honest farmer boy, who had the beast in charge,
Tried recklessly to harness him—his funeral was large.
Oh, triffling were the causes which his flexible legs unfurled,
And many were the quadrupeds that sought another world.
He never did a decent thing, he was't worth a ducat;
He kicked and kicked until he died, and then he kicked the bucket.
John Trot, a homespun country put,
Two, i'the neame—and who
"Than one, and, dom it, why say that ?
“A cat !" cries Tom, “your spluttering spare,
XIX.-THE THREE BLACK CROWS.
One took the other briskly by the hand :
“Impossible !” “Nay, but ’is really true; I had it from good hands, and so may you.” “From whose, I pray ?» So, having named the man, Straight to enquire, his curious comrade ran.