sure was mingled with the most tender and mediately took the alarm. What!' cried melancholy regret. I have seen the mother she, starting up with a frantic wildness in hang over him with the most affecting ex- her looks, 'then our case is desperate—I pression of this kind in her aspect, the tears shall lose my dear Tommy?- The poor pricontending with the smiles upon her coun- soner will be released by the hand of Heatenance, while she exclaimed, -- Alas! my ven !—Death will convey him to the cold poor prisoner, little did your mother once grave!' The dying innocent, hearing this ihink she should be obliged to nurse you in exclamation, pronounced these words ;a jail.' The captain's paternal love was Tommy won't leave you, my dear mamdashed with impatience. He would snatch ma-if Death comes to take Tommy, papa up the boy in a transport of grief, press him shall drive him away with his sword.' This to his breast, devour him as it were with address deprived the wretched mother of all kisses, throw up his eyes to heaven in the resignation to the will of Providence. She most emphatic silence; then convey the child tore her hair, dashed herself on the pavehastily to his mother's arms, pull his hat over ment, shrieked aloud, and was carried off in his eyes, stalk out into the common walk, a deplorable state of distraction. and, finding himself alone, break out into That same evening the lovely babe extears and lamentations.

pired, and the father grew frantic. He made Ah! little did this unhappy couple know an attempt on his own life; and being with what further griefs awaited them ! The difficulty restrained, his agitation sunk into small-pox broke out in the prison, and poor a kind of sullen insensibility, which seemed Tommy Clewline was infected. As the to absorb all sentiment, and gradually vuleruption appeared unfavourable. you may garized his faculty of thinking. In order to conceive the consternation with which they dissipate the violence of his sorrow, he conwere overwhelmed. Their distress was ren- tinually shifted the scene from one company dered inconceivable by indigence; for by this to another, contracted abundance of low contime they were so destitute, that they could nections, and drowned his cares in repeated neither


for common attendance, nor pro- intoxication. The unhappy lady underwent cure proper advice. I did on that occasion a long series of hysterical fits and other comwhat I thought my duty towards my fellow- plaints, which seemed to have a fatal effect creatures. I wrote to a physician of my on her brain as well as constitution. Coracquaintance, who was humane enough to dials were administered to keep up her spivisit the poor little patient; I engaged a rits; and she found it necessary to protract careful woman as a nurse, and Mr Norton the use of them, to blunt the edge of grief, supplied them with money and necessaries. by overwhelming reflection, and remove the These helps were barely sufficient to preserve sense of uneasiness arising from a disorder them from the horrors of despair, when they in her stomach. In a word, she became an saw their little darling panting under the habitual dram-drinker; and this practice exrage of a loathsome pestilential malady, du- posed her to such communication as dering the excessive heat of the dog-days, and bauched her reason and perverted her sense struggling for breath in the noxious atmos- of decorum and propriety. She and her husphere of a confined cabin, where they scarce band gave a loose to vulgar excess, in which had room to turn, on the most necessary they were enabled to indulge by the charity occasions. The eager curiosity with which and interest of some friends, who obtained the inother eyed the doctor's looks, as often half-pay for the captain. as he visited the boy ; the terror and trepida- They are now metamorphosed into the tion of the father, while he desired to know shocking creatures you have seen ; he into a his opinion; in a word, the whole tenor of riotous plebeian, and she into a ragged trull. their distress baffled all description.

They are both drunk every day, quarrel “ At length the physician, for the sake of and fight one with another, and often insult his own character, was obliged to be explicit, their fellow prisoners. Yet they are not and returning with the captain to the com- wholly abandoned by virtue and humanity. mon walk, told him, in my hearing, that the The captain is scrupulously honest in all his child could not possibly recover. This sen- dealings, and pays off his debts punctually tence seemed to have petrified the unfor- every quarter, as soon as he receives his tunate parent, who stood motionless, and half-pay. Every prisoner in distress is welseemingly bereft of sense. I led him to my come to share his money while it lasts; and apartment, where he sat a full hour in that his wife never fails, while it is in her power, state of stupefaction; then he began to groan to relieve the wretched; so that their genehideously; a shower of tears burst from his rosity, even in this miserable disguise, is eyes; he threw himself on the floor, and universally respected by their neighbours. uttered the most piteous lamentation that Sometimes the recollection of their former ever was heard. Meanwhile, Mrs Norton rank comes over them like a qualm, which being made acquainted with the doctor's they dispel with brandy, and then humorprognostic, visited Mrs Clewline, and invited ously rally one another on their mutual deher to the lodge. Her prophetic fears im- I generacy. She often stops me in the walk,

5 E*


and, pointing to the captain, says, “ My hus- | ments. But being deficient in true delicacy, band, though he has become a blackguard she endeavoured to bide that defect by affec. jai)-bird, must be allowed to be a handsome tation. She pretended to a thousand antipafellow still. On the other hand, he will fre- thies which did not belong to her nature. ' A quently desire me to take notice of bis rib, as breast of veal threw her into mortal agonies; she chances to pass. • Mind that draggle- if she saw a spider, she screamed; and at tail'd drunken drab,' he will say, what an sight of a mouse she fainted away: she could antidote it is—yet, for all that, Felton, she not, without horror, behold an entire joint was a fine woman when I married her-poor of meat; and nothing but fricassees and Bess, I have been the ruin of her, that is other made dishes were seen upon her table. certain, and deserve to be damned for bring. She caused all her floors to be lined with ing her to this pass.'

green baize, that she might trip along them ** Thus they accommodate themselves to with more ease and pleasure. Her footmen cach other's infirmities, and pass their time wore clogs, which were deposited in the not without some taste of plebeian enjoyment hall; and both they and her chairmen were ---but, name their child, they never fail to laid under the strongest injunctions to avoid burst into tears, and still feel a return of the porter and tobacco. Her jointure amounted most poignant sorrow.”

to eight hundred pounds per annum, and she Sir Launcelot Greaves did not hear this made shift to spend four times that sum : at story unmoved. Tom Clarke's cheeks were length it was mortgaged for nearly the enbedewed with the drops of sympathy, while, tire value; but, far from retrenching, she with much sobbing, he declared his opinion, seemed to increase in extravagance, until that an action would lie against the lady's her effects were taken in execution, and her father.

person here deposited in safe custody. Captain Crowe having listened to the “ When one considers the abrupt transistory with uncommon attention, expressed tion she underwent from her spacious aparthis concern that an honest seaman should ments to a hovel scarce eight feet square ; be so taken in stays; but he imputed all his from sumptuous furniture to bare benches; calamities to the wise : "For why ?" said he, from magnificence to meanness; from afflu" a seafaring man may have a sweetheart in ence to extreme poverty ; one would imagine every port; but he should steer clear of a she must have been totally overwhelmed by wife, as he would avoid a quicksand. You such a sudden gush of misery. But this was see, brother, how this here Clewline lags not the case : she has, in fact, no delicate astern in the wake of a snivelling feelings. She forthwith accommodated herotherwise he would never make a weft in self to the exigency of her fortune; yet she his ensign for the loss of a child-odds heart! still affects to keep state amidst the miseries he could have done no more if he had sprung of a jail; and this affectation is truly ridicua top-mast, or started a timber.”

lous. She lies a-bed till two o'clock in the The knight declaring he would take ano- afternoon; she maintains a female attendant ther view of the prison in the afternoon, for the sole purpose of dressing her person. Mr Felton insisted upon his doing him the Her cabin is the least cleanly in the whole honour to drink a dish of tea in his apart. prison; she has learned to eat bread and ment, and Sir Launcelot accepted his invi- cheese and drink porter ; but she always aptation. Thither they accordingly repaired, pears once a-day dressed in the pink of the after having made another circuit of the jail, fashion. She has found means to run in and the tea things were produced by Mrs debt at the chandler's shop, the baker's, and Felton, when she was summoned to the door, the tap-house, though there is nothing got and, in a few minutes returning, communi. in this place but with ready money : she has cated something in a whisper to her hus- even borrowed small sums from divers priband. He changed colour, and repaired to soners, who were themselves on the brink the staircase, where he was heard to talk of starving. She takes pleasure in being aloud in an angry tone.

surrounded with duns, observing, that by When he came back, he told the company such people a person of fashion is to be dishe had been teased by a very importunate tinguished. She writes circular letters to beggar. Addressing himself to our adven- her former friends and acquaintance, and by turer, -"You took notice,” said he, "of a this method has raised pretty considerable fine lady flaunting about our walks in all contributions; for she writes in a most ele. the frippery of the fashion. She was lately gant and irresistible style. About a forta gay young widow that made a great figure night ago she received a supply of twenty at the court-end of the town; she distin- guineas; when, instead of paying her little guished herself by her splendid equipage, her jail debts, or withdrawing any part of her rich liveries, her brilliant assemblies, her nu- apparel from pawn, she laid out the whole merous routs, and her elegant taste in dress sum in a fashionable suit of laces; and next and furniture. She is nearly related to some day borrowed of me a shilling to purchase a of the best fainilies in England, and, it must neck of mutton for her dinner.-She seems be owned, mistress of many fine accomplish- I to think her rank in life entitles her to this





kind of assistance. She talks very pomp- | steeled with rancour. Woman,' said he, ously of her family and connections, by these be hopeful babes, if they were duly whom, however, she has been long re- nurtured. Go thy ways in peace; I have nounced. She has no sympathy nor com- taken my resolution.' Her friends mainpassion for the distresses of her fellow-crea- tained the family for some time; but it is tures; but she is perfectly well bred; she not in human charity to persevere; some of bears a repulse the best of any woman I ever them died; some of them grew unfortunate; knew; and her temper has never been once some of them fell off; and now the poor man ruffled since her arrival at the King's Bench. is reduced to the extremity of indigence, -She now entreated me to lend her half a from whence he has no prospect of being guinea, for which she said she had the most retrieved. The fourth part of what you pressing occasion, and promised upon her would have bestowed upon the lady, would honour it should be repaid to-morrow; but I make this man and his family sing with joy." lent a deaf ear to her request, and told her He had scarce pronounced these words, in plain terms that her honour was already when our hero desired the man might be bankrupt."

called, and in a few minutes he entered the Sir Launcelot, thrusting his hand mechan- apartment with a low obeisance.

" Mr ically into his pocket, pulled out a couple of Coleby," said the knight, “ I have heard how guineas, and desired Felton to accommodate cruelly you have been used by your creditor, her with that trifle in his own name ; but he and beg you will accept this trifling present, declined the proposal, and refused to touch if it can be of any service to you in your disthe money. “God forbid,” said he, " that I tress.” So saying, he put five guineas into should attempt to thwart your charitable in- his hand. The poor man was so confounded tention; but this, my good sir, is no object- at such an unlooked for acquisition, that he she has many resources. Neither should stood motionless and silent, unable to thank we number the clamorous beggar among the donor; and Mr Felton conveyed him to those who really feel distress. He is gene- the door, observing that his heart was too rally gorged with bounty niisapplied. The full for utterance. But in a little time, his liberal hand of charity should be extended to wife, bursting into the room with her five modest want, that pines in silence, encoun- children, looked around, and going up to Sir tering cold, nakedness, and hunger, and Launcelot, without any direction, exclaimed, every species of distress. Here you may —“ This is the angel sent by Providence to find the wretch of keen sensations blasted by succour me and my poor innocents.” Then accident in the blossoms of his fortune, shiva falling at his feet, she pressed his hand and ering in the solitary recess of indigence, dis- bathed it with her tears. He raised her up daining to beg, and even ashamed to let his with that complacency which was natural to misery be known. Here you may see the bis disposition. He kissed all her children, parent who has known happier times, sur- who were remarkably handsome and neatly rounded by his tender offspring, naked and kept, though in homely apparel : and, giving forlorn, demanding food, which his circum- her his direction, assured her she might alstances cannot afford.

ways apply to him in her distress. “ That man of decent appearance and After her departure, he produced a bankmelancholy aspect, who lifted his hat as you note of twenty pounds, and would have depassed him in the yard, is a person of un-posited it in the hands of Mr Felton, to be blemished character. He was a reputable distributed in charities among the objects of tradesman in the city, and failed through the place; but he desired it might be left inevitable losses. A commission of bank- with Mr Norton, who was the proper person ruptcy was taken out against him by his for managing his benevolence: and he prosole creditor, a quaker, who refused to sign mised to assist the deputy with his advice in his certificate. He has lived these three laying it out. years in prison, with a wife and five small children. In a little time after his commit. ment, he had friends who offered to pay ten

CHAPTER XXII. shillings in the pound of what he owed, and to give security for paying the remainder in In which Captain Crowe is sublimed inlo three years, by instalments. The honest

the regions of astrology. quaker did not charge the bankrupt with any dishonest practices; but he rejected the pro- Three whole days had our adventurer proposal with the most mortifying indifference, secuted his inquiry about the amiable Aurelia, declaring that he did not want his money. whom he sought in every place of public and The mother repaired to his house, and kneel. of private entertainment or resort, without ing before him with her five lovely children, obtaining the least satisfactory intelligence, implored mercy with tears and exclamations. when he received, one evening, from the He stood this scene unmoved, and even hands of a porter, who instantly vanished, seemed to enjoy the prospect, wearing the the following billet : looks of complacency, while his heart was “If you would learn the particulars of

[ocr errors]


Miss Darnel's fate, fail not to be in the fields come and give him notice of his fate. Now by the Foundling hospital, precisely at seven he had an insuperable aversion to all correso'clock this evening, when you shall be met pondence with the dead; and taking it for by a person who will give you the satisfaction granted, that the spirit of his departed friend you desire, together with his reason for ad- could not appear to him except when he dressing you in this mysterious manner.” should be alone and a-bed in the dark, he

Had this intimation concerned any other determined to pass the remainder of the night subject, perhaps the knight would have de- without going to bed. For this purpose, his liberated with himself in what manner he first care was to visit the garret, in which should take a hint so darkly communicated : Timothy Crabshaw lay fast asleep, snoring but his eagerness to retrieve the jewel he had with his mouth wide open. Him the captain lost divested him of all his caution; the with difficulty roused, by dint of promising time of assignation was already at hand, and to regale him with a bowl of rum punch in neither the captain nor his nephew could be the kitchen, where the fire, which had been found to accompany him, had he been dis- extinguished, was soon rekindled. The inposed to make use of their attendance. He gredients were fetched from a public house therefore, after a moment's hesitation, re- in the neighbourhood : for the captain was paired to the place appointed, in the utmost too proud to use his interest in the knight's agitation and anxiety, lest the hour should family, especially at these hours, when all be elapsed before his arrival.

the rest of the servants had retired to their Crowe was one of those defective spirits repose; and he and Timothy drank together who cannot subsist for any length of time on until day-break, the conversation turning their own bottoms. He wanted a familiar upon hobgoblins, and God's revenge against prop, upon which he could disburden his murder. cares, his doubts, and his humours: an hum-The cook-maid lay in a little apartment ble friend who would endure his caprices, contiguous to the kitchen; and whether disand with whom he could communicate, free turbed by these horrible tales of apparitions, of all reserve and restraint. Though he or titillated by the savoury steams that issued loved his nephew's person, and admired his from the punch-bowl, she made a virtue of parts, he considered him often as a little pet- necessity or appetite, and dressing herself in ulant jackanapes, who presumed upon his the dark, suddenly appeared before them, to superior understanding; and as for Sir Laun- the no small perturbation of both. Timothy, celot, there was something in his character in particular, was so startled, that, in his enthat overawed the seaman, and kept him at deavours to make a hasty retreat towards the a disagreeable distance. He had, in this di- chimney-corner, he overturned the table; the lemma, cast his eyes upon Timothy Crab- liquor was spilt, but the bowl was saved by shaw, and admitted him to a considerable falling on a heap of ashes. Mrs Cook having share of familiarity and fellowship. These reprimanded him for his foolish fear, decompanions had been employed in smoking clared, she had got up betimes, in order to a social pipe at an ale-house in the neigh-scour her sauce-pans; and the captain probourhood, when the knight made his excur. posed to have the bowl replenished, if matesion; and returning to the house about sup- rials could be procured. This difficulty was per-time, found Mr Clarke in waiting. overcome by Crabshaw; and they sat down

The young lawyer was alarmed when he with their new associate to discuss the second heard the hour of ten, without seeing our edition. adventurer, who had been used to be ex- The knight's sudden disappearing being tremely regular in his economy; and the brought upon the carpet, their female comcaptain and he supped in profound silence. panion gave it as her opinion, that nothing Finding, upon inquiry among the servants, would be so likely to bring this affair to light, that the knight went out abruptly, in conse- as going to a cunning man, whom she had quence of having received a billet, Tom be- lately consulted about a silver spoon that gan to be visited with the apprehension of a was mislaid, and who told her all the things duel, and sat the best part of the night by that she ever did, and ever would happen to his uncle, sweating with the expectation of her, through the whole course of her life. seeing our hero brought home a breathless Her two companions pricked up their ears corpse : but no tidings of him arriving, he, at this intelligence; and Crowe asked if the about two in the morning, repaired to his spoon had been found? She answered in own lodging, resolved to publish a description the affirmative, and said, the cunning man of Sir Launcelot in the newspapers, if he described to a hair the person that should should not appear next day.

be her true lover, and her wedded husband : Crowe did not pass the time without un- that he was a seafaring man; that he was easiness. He was extremely concerned at pretty well stricken in years; a little passthe thought of some mischief having befallen ionate or so; and that he went with his his friend and patron: and he was terrified fingers clinched like, as it were. with the apprehensions, that in case Sir tain began to sweat at this description, and Launcelot was murdered, his spirit might I mechanically thrust his hands into his pock

The cap:

293 ets; while Crabshaw, pointing to him, told | captain insisted upon Crabshaw's making her he believed she had got the right sow by sail a-head, in order to look out afore; but the ear. Crowe grumbled, that maybap for Timothy persisted in refusing this honour, all that he should not be brought up by such declaring, he did not pretend to lead, but he a grappling neither. Then he asked if this would follow, as in duty bound. The old cunning man dealt with the devil, declaring, gentlewoman abridged the ceremony, by in that case, he would keep clear of him; leading out Crabshaw with one hand, and for why? because he must have sold himself locking up Crowe with the other. to old Scratch; and being a servant of the The former was dragged up stairs like a devil, how could he be a good subject to his bear to the stake, not without reluctance majesty ? Mrs Cook assured him, the con- and terror, which did not at all abate at sight jurer was a good Christian; and that he of the conjuror, with whom he was immegained all his knowledge by conversing with diately shut up by his conductress, after she the stars and planets. Thus satisfied, the had told him, in a whisper, that he must detwo friends resolved to consult him as soon posit a shilling in a little black coffin, supas it should be light; and being directed to ported by a human skull and thigh bones the place of his habitation, set out for it by crossed, on a stool covered with black baize, seven in the morning.

that stood in one corner of the apartment. They found the house forsaken, and had The squire having made this offering with already reached the end of the lane in their fear and trembling, ventured to survey the return, when they were accosted by an old objects around him, which were very well woman, who gave them to understand, that, calculated to augment his confusion. He if they had occasion for the advice of a saw divers skeletons hung by the head, the fortune-teller, as she did suppose they had, stuffed skin of a young alligator, a calf with from their stopping at the house where two heads, and several snakes suspended Dr Grubble lived, she would conduct them from the ceiling, with the jaws of a shark, to a person of much more eminence in that and a starved weasel. On another funeral profession: at the same time, she informed table he beheld two spheres, between which them that the said Grubble had been lately lay a book open, exhibiting outlandish chasent to Bridewell; a circumstance which, i racters and mathematical diagrams. On one with all his art, he had not been able to side stood an ink-standish with foresee. The captain, without any scruple, behind this desk appeared the conjuror himput himself and his companion under convoy self, in sable vestments, his head so overof this beldame, who, through many wind- shadowed with hair, that, far from contemings and turnings, brought them to the door plating his features, Timothy could distinof a ruinous house, standing in a blind alley ; guish nothing but a long white beard, which, which door having opened with a key drawn for aught he knew, might have belonged to from her pocket, she introduced thein into a a four-legged goat, as well as to a twoparlour, where they saw no other furniture legged astrologer. than a naked bench, and some frightful figures This apparition, which the squire did not on the bare walls, drawn, or rather scrawled, eye without manifest discomposure, extendwith charcoal.

ing a white wand, made certain evolutions Here she left them locked in, until she over the head of Timothy, and having mutshould give the doctor notice of their arrival ; tered an ejaculation, commanded him, in a and they amused themselves with decipher- hollow tone, to come forward and declare his ing these characters and hieroglyphics. The name. Crabshaw, thus adjured, advanced first figure that engaged their attention was to the altar, and, whether from design, or that of a man hanging upon a gibbet, which (which is more probable) from confusion, both considered as an unfavourable omen, answered,—“Samuel Crowe.” The conjuand each endeavoured to avert from his own ror, taking up the pen, and making a few person. Crabshaw observed, that the figure scratches on the paper, exclaimed, in a terso suspended was clothed in a sailor's jacket rific accent," How, miscreant ! attempt to and trowsers; a truth which the captain impose upon the stars ?—you look more like could not deny; but, on the other hand, he a crab than a crow, and was born under the affirmed, that the said figure exhibited the sign of Cancer.” The squire, almost annivery nose and chin of Timothy, together hilated by this exclamation, fell upon his with the hump on one shoulder. A warm knees, crying,—“I pray yaw, my lord con, dispute ensued, and, being maintained with jurer's worship, pardon my ignorance, and much acrimonious altercation, might have down't go to baind me over to the Red Sea dissolved the new-cemented friendship of like-l'se a poor Yorkshire tyke, and would those two originals, had it not been inter- no more cheat the stars than I'd cheat my rupted by the old sybil, who, coming into own vather, as the saying is—a must be a the parlour, intimated that the doctor waited good hand at trapping, that catches the for them above; she likewise told them, that stars a napping—but, as your honour's worhe never admitted more than one at a time. ship observed, my name is Tim Crabshaw, This hint occasioned a fresh contest; the l of the East Raiding, groom and squair to

paper; and



« VorigeDoorgaan »