« VorigeDoorgaan »
namely, razors. At my mentioning razors, i justice, and tell him there is a sick person I could perceive the captain's colour change, here, who wants to see him on an affair of while Strap, pulling me by the sleeve, whis- consequence.” At the name of justice, Isaac pered, with great eagerness,—“No, no, no, trembled, and bidding Joey stay, asked with for the love of God, don't make any such a quavering voice, what she would have ! bargain. At length Weazel, recovering She told him, that, as he had not perpetrated himself, turned towards me, and, with a his wicked purpose, she would be satisfied ferocious countenance, asked,—“Who the with a small matter. And though the damage devil are you? will you fight me?” With she might sustain in her health might be these words, putting himself in a posture, I irreparable, she would give him a release for was grievously alarmed at seeing the point a hundred guineas. “A hundred guineas !" of a sword within half a foot of my breast; cried he, in an ecstacy, “a hundred furies ! and, springing to one side, snatched up a where should a poor old wretch like me have spit that stood in the chimney-corner, with a hundred guineas? If I had so much mowhich I kept my formidable adversary at bay, ney, d'ye think I should be found travelling who made a great many half-longes, skipping in a wagon at this season of the year?” backward at every push, till at last I pinned “Come, come,” replied Jenny, “none of him up in a corner, to the no small diversion your miserly artifice here. You think I don't of the company. While he was in this situ- know Isaac Rapine, the money broker in the ation, his wife entered, and, seeing her hus- Minories. Ah! you old rogue! many a pawn band in these dangerous circumstances, utter- have you had of me and my acquaintance, ed a dreadful scream; in this emergency, which was never redeemed.” Isaac, finding Weazel demanded a cessation, which was it was in vain to disguise himself, offered immediately granted: and at last was con- twenty shillings for a discharge, which she tented with the submission of Strap, who, absolutely refused under fifty pounds : at last, falling upon his knees before him, protested however, she was brought down to five, which the innocence of his intention, and asked he paid with great reluctancy, rather than be pardon for the mistake he had committed. prosecuted for a rape.
After which accomThis affair being ended without bloodshed, modation the sick person made shift to get we went to breakfast, but missed two of our into the wagon, and we set forward in great company, namely, Miss Jenny and the usu- tranquility, Strap being accommodated with
As for the first, Mrs Weazel informed Joey's horse, the driver himself chusing to us, that she had kept her awake all night walk. This morning and forenoon we were with her groans; and that when she arose in entertained with an account of the valour of the morning, Miss Jenny was so much indis. Captain Weazel, who told us he had once posed, that she could not proceed on her knocked down a soldier that made game of journey. At that instant, a message came him; tweaked a drawer by the nose, who from her to the master of the wagon, who found fault with his picking his teeth with a immediately went into her chamber, followed fork, at another timne; and that he had more. by us all.
She told him, in a lamentable over challenged a cheesemonger, who had tone, that she was afraid of a miscarriage, the presumption to be his rival:--for the truth owing to the fright she received last night of which exploits he appealed to his wife. from the brutality of Isaac ; and, as the event She confirmed whatever he said, and obserwas uncertain, desired the usurer might be ved,—“The last affair happened that very day detained to answer for the consequence. on which I received a love-letter from squire Accordingly, this ancient Tarquin was found Gobble; and don't you remember, my dear, in the wagon, whither he had retired to I was prodigiously sick that very night with avoid the shame of last night's disgrace, and eating ortolans, when my lord Diddle took brought by force into her presence. He no notice of my complexion's being altered, and sooner appeared than she began to weep and my lady was so alarmed that she had well sigh most piteously, and told us, if she died, nigh fainted.” “ Yes, my dear,” replied the she would leave her blood upon the head of captain,“ you know my lord said to me with that ravisher. Poor Isaac turned up his eyes a sneer, Billy, Mrs Weazle is certainly and hands to heaven, prayed that God would breeding.' And I answered cavalierly, deliver him from the machinations of that · My lord, I wish I could return the compliJezebel; and assured us with tears in his ment. Upon which the whole company eyes, that his being found in bed with her, broke out into an immoderate fit of laughter; was the result of her own invitation. The and my lord, who loves a repartee dearly, wagoner, understanding the case, advised came round and bussed me." "We travelled Isaac to make it up, by giving her a sum of in this manner five days, without interruption, money: to which advice he replied with or meeting any thing worth notice. Miss great vehemence,—"A sum of money!-a Jenny (who soon recovered her spirits) en. halter for the cockatrice !” “Oh! 'tis very tertaining us every day with diverting songs, well," said Miss Jenny,--"I see it is in vain of which she could sing a great number; and to attempt that flinty heart of his by fair rallying her old gallant, who, notwithstandmeans. Joey, be so good as to go to the ling, would never be reconciled to her. On
soon as &
the sixth day, while we were about to sit immediately knew him, and acquainted Joey down to dinner, the innkeeper came and told with some particulars of his character. That us that three gentlemen, just arrived, had he had served my lord Frizzle in quality of ordered the victuals to be carried to their valet-de-chambre many years, while he lived apartment, although he had informed them separate from his lady: but, upon their reconthat they were bespoke by the passengers in ciliation, she expressly insisted upon Weathe wagon:
To which information they zel's being turned off, as well as the woman had replied," “The passengers in the wag- he kept ; when his lordship, to get rid of on might be damned, their betters must be them both with a good grace, proposed that served before them—they supposed it would he should marry his mistress, and he would be no hardship'on such travellers to dine upon procure a commission for him in the army; bread and cheese for one day.” This was a this expedient was agreed to; and Weazle is terrible disappointment to us all: and we laid now, by his lordship's interest, ensign in our heads together how to remedy it: when 's regiment. I found he and I had the Miss Jenny observed that captain Weazel, såme sentiments with regard to Weazel's being by profession a soldier, ought in this courage, which we resolved to put to the case to protect and prevent us from being trial, by alarming the passengers with the insulted. But the captain excused himself, cry of“ a highwayman!" as saying, he would not for all the world be horseman should appear. This scheme we known to have travelled in a wagon; swear- put in practice towards the dusk, when we ing, at the same time, that, could he appear descried a man on horseback approaching us. with honour, they should eat his sword soon- Joey had no sooner intimated to the people er than his provision. Upon this declaration, in the wagon, that he was afraid we should Miss Jenny, snatching his weapon, drew it, all be robbed, than a general consternation and ran immediately into the kitchen, where arose: Strap jumped out of the wagon, and she threatened to put the cook to death if he hid himself behind a hedge. The usurer put did not send the victuals into our chamber forth ejaculations, and made a rustling among immediately. The noise she made brought the straw, which made us conjecture he had the three strangers down, one of whom no hid something under it. Mrs Weazel, wringsooner perceived her, than he cried,—"Ha! ing her hands, uttered lamentable cries : and Jenny Ramper! what the devil brought thee the captain, to our great amazement, began hither?" My dear Jack Rattle!" replied to nore; but this artifice did not succeed; she, running into his arms, " is it you? then for Miss Jenny, shaking him by the shoulder, Weazle may go to hell for a dinner-I shall bawled out,-“ 'Sdeath! captain, is this a dine with you.” They consented to this time to snore, when we are going to be robproposal with a great deal of joy; and we bed ? get up, for shame, and behave like a were on the point of being reduced to a very soldier and a man of honour." Weazel preuncomfortable meal, when Joey, understand tended to be in a great passion for being ing the whole affair, entered the kitchen, disturbed, and swore he would have his nap with a pitchfork in his hand, and swore he out if all the highwaymen in England surwould be the death of any man who should rounded him. D-n my blood! what are pretend to seize the victuals prepared for you afraid of?” continued he, at the same the wagon. This menace had like to have time trembling with such agitation, that the produced fatal consequences; the three whole carriage shook. This singular piece strangers drawing their swords, and being of behaviour incensed Miss Ramper so much, joined by their servants, and we ranging our that she cried.—“D—n your pitiful soul, you selves on the side of Joey; when the landlord are as arrant a poltroon as ever was druminterposing, offered to part with his own din. med out of a regiment. Stop the wagon, ner to keep the peace, which was accepted Joey,—let me out, and, by G-d, if I have by the strangers; and we sat down to table rhetoric enough, the thief shall not only take without any further molestation. In the your purse, but your skin also.” So saying, afternoon, I chose to walk along with Joey, she leaped out with great agility. By this and Strap took my place. Having entered time the horseman came up with us, and into a conversation with this driver, I soon happened to be a gentleman's servant, well found him to be a merry, facetious, good known to Joey, who communicated the natured fellow, and withal very arch: he in- scheme, and desired him to carry it on a formed me, that Miss Jenny was a common little farther, by going up to the wagon, and girl upon the town; who falling into company questioning those within.
The stranger with a recruiting officer, he carried her down consenting, for the sake of diversion, apin the stage-coach from London to Newcastle, proached it, and, in a terrible tone, demandwhere he had been arrested for debt, and ed, “ Who have we got here?" Isaac replied, was now in prison; upon which she was fain with a lamentable voice,—“Here's a poor to return to her former way of life, by this miserable sinner, who has got a small family conveyance. He told me, likewise, that one to maintain, and nothing in the world where of the gentlemen's servants whom we left at withal, but these fifteen shillings, which if the inn, having accidentally seen Weazel, I you rob me of, we must all starve together."
“Who's that sobbing in the other corner?"| bling. This piece of satire occasioned a (said the supposed highwayman). “ A poor great deal of mirth at Weazel's expense, who unfortunate woman,” answered Mrs Weazel, muttered a great many oaths, and threatened “upon whom I beg you, for Christ's sake, to cut Isaac's throat. The usurer, taking to have compassion." “ Are you maid or hold of this menace, said,—“Gentlemen and wife?” said he. “ Wife, to my sorrow," ladies, I take you all to witness, that my cried she. “ Who or where is your hus-life in danger from this bloody-minded band ?" continued he. “My husband,” re- officer: I'll have him bound over to the plied Mrs Weazel, " is an officer in the army, peace.” This second sneer procured anoand was left sick at the last inn where we ther laugh against him, and he remained dined.” “ You must be mistaken, madam,” crest-fallen during the remaining part of our said he, “ for I myself saw him get into the journey. wagon this afternoon.
what smell is that ? sure your lap-dog has befouled himself ;-let me catch hold of the nasty cur,
CHAPTER XIII. I'll teach him better manners.” Here he laid hold of one of Weazel's legs, and pulled Strap and I are terrified by an apparition him out from under his wife's petticoats, -Strap's conjecture—the mystery exwhere he had concealed himself. The poor plained by Joey—we arrive at Londontrembling captain, being detected in this in
our dress and appearance described-we glorious situation, rubbed his eyes, and, affect- are insulted in the street-an adventure ing to wake out of sleep, cried, “What's the in an ale-house—we are imposed upon by matter?--what's the matter?" “ The mat. a waggish footman-set to rights by a ter is not much," answered the horseman, tobacconist-take lodgings-dive for a “I only called in to inquire after your
health, dinner-an accident at our ordinary. and so adieu, most noble captain.” So saying, he clapped spurs to his horse, and was We arrived at our inn, supped, and went out of sight in a moment. It was some time to bed; but Strap's distemper continuing, he before Weazel could recollect himself, but was obliged to rise in the middle of the night, at length, re-assuming the big look, he said and taking the candle in his hand, which he -"D®n the fellow! why did he ride away had left burning for the purpose, he went before I had time to ask him how his lord down to the house of office, whence in a and lady do ?-don't you remember Tom, short time he returned in a great hurry, with my dear?" addressing himself to his wife. his hair standing on end, and a look betoken“ Yes,” replied she, " I think I do remember ing horror and astonishment. Without speak. something of the fellow; but you know I ing a word, he set down the light and jumpseldom converse with people of his station." ed into bed behind me, where he lay and “ Heyday!" cried Joey, “ do yaw knaw the trembled with great violence. When I asked young mon, coptain ?" “Know him," said him what was the matter, he replied with a Weazel, “ many a time has he filled a glass broken accent,-"God have mercy on us? I of Burgundy for me at my lord Trippet's have seen the devil.” Though my prejudice table.” * And what may his neame be, was not quite so strong as his, I was not a coptain ?" said Joey. “His name!-his little alarmed at this exclamation, and much name," replied Weazel, “is Tom Rinser." more so, when I heard the sound of bells ap. “Waunds?” cried Joey, “a has changed his proaching our chamber, and felt my bedown neame then!
for I'se lay a wager he was fellow cling close to mne, uttering these words christened John Trotter.” This observation -“Christ have mercy upon us! there he raised a laugh against the captain, who seem
At this instant a monstrous overed very much disconcerted; when Isaac broke grown raven entered our chamber, with bells silence, and said, "It was no matter who or at his feet, and made directly towards our what he was, since he has not proved the bed. As this creature is reckoned in our robber we suspected; and we ought to bless country a common vehicle for the devil and God for our narrow escape.' “Bless God," witches to play. their pranks in, I verily believe said Weazel, “ bless the devil! for what? ed we were haunted, and in a violent fright had he been a highwayman, I should have shrunk under the bed-clothes. This terrible eat his blood, body and guts, before he had apparition leapt upon the bed, and, after givrobbed me, or any one in this diligence." ing us several severe dabs with its beak “ Ha, ha, ha,” cried Miss Jenny, “ I believe through the blankets, hopped away and vanyou will eat all you kill indeed, captain.” ished. Strap and I recommended ourselves The usurer was so well pleased at the event to the protection of Heaven with great deof this adventure, that he could not refrain votion, and, when we no longer heard the from being severe, and took notice that cap- noise, ventured to peep up and take breath. tain Weazel seemed to be a good christian, But we had not been long freed from this for he had armed himself with patience and phantom, when another appeared that had resignation instead of carnal weapons, and well nigh deprived us both of our senses. worked out his salvation with fear and trem. We perceived an old man enter the room
with a long white beard that reached to his greatest advantage ; that is, put on a clean middle; there was a certain wild peculiarity ruffled shirt, and my best thread stockings : in his eyes and countenance, that did not my hair (which was of the deepest red) hung savour of this world ; and his dress consisted down upon my shoulders, as lank and straight of a brown stuff coat buttoned behind, and at as a pound of candles ; and the skirts of my the wrists, with an odd fashioned cap of the coat reached to the middle of my leg; my same stuff upon his head. I was so amazed waistcoat and breeches were of the same that I had not power to move my eyes from piece, and cut in the same taste; and my such a ghastly object, but lay motionless, and hat very much resembled a barber's basin, saw him come straight up to me: when he in the shallowness of the crown and narrow. reached the bed he wrung his hands, and ness of the brim. Strap was habited in a cried with a voice that did not seem to be much less awkward manner; but a short. long to a human creature,—“Where is crop-eared wig, that very much resembled Ralph?” I made no reply ; upon which he Scrub's in the play, and the knapsack on his repeated, in an accent still more preternatu- back, added to what is called a queer phiz, ral,—“Where is Ralpho ?". He had no occasioned by a long chin, hook nose, and sooner pronounced these words, than I heard high cheek-bones, rendered him on the whole the sound of the bells at a distance; which a very fit subject of mirth and pleasantry. the apparition having listened to, tripped As we walked along, Strap, at my desire, away, and left me almost petrified with fear. inquired of a carman whom we met, whereIt was a good while before I could recover abouts Mr Cringer lived; and was answered myself so far as to speak; and when at by a stare accompanied with the word length I turned to Strap, I found him in a "anan !" upon which I came up in order to fit, which, however, did not last long. When explain the question, but had the misfortune he came to himself, I asked his opinion of to be unintelligible likewise, the carman what had happened: and he assured me, that damning us for a lousy Scotch gnard, and the first must certainly be the soul of some whipping his horses, with a—"gee. ho !" person damned, which appeared by the chains which nettled me to the quick, and roused about his legs (for his fears had magnified the indignation of Strap so far, that after the the creature to the bigness of a horse, and fellow was gone a good way, he told me he the sound of small morrice-bells to the clank- would fight him for a farthing. While we ing of massy chains). As for the old man, were deliberating upon what was to be done, he took it to be the spirit of somebody mur- a hackney coachman driving softly along, dered long ago in this place, which had and perceiving us standing by the kennel, power granted it to torment the assassin in came up close to us, and calling, “a coach, the shape of a raven, and that Ralpho was master ?" by a dexterous management of the the name of the said murderer. Although I reins, made his horses stumble in the wet, had not much faith in this interpretation, I and bedaub us all over with mud; after was too much troubled to enjoy any sleep; which exploit, he drove on, applauding him. and in all my future adventures never passed self with a hearty laugh, in which several a night so ill. In the morning, Strap im- people joined, to my great mortification ; but parted the whole affair to Joey, who, after one more compassionate than the rest, seeing an immoderate fit of laughter, explained the us strangers, advised me to go into an alematter, by telling him the old man was the house and dry myself. I thanked him for landlord's father, who had been an idiot his advice, which I immediately complied some years, and diverted himself with a tame with; and going into the house he pointed raven, which, it seems, had hopped away out, called for a pot of beer, and sat down by from his apartment in the night, and induced a fire in the public room, where we cleaned him to follow it to our chamber, where he ourselves as well as we could. In the mean had inquired after it, under the name of time a wag, who sat in a box smoking his Ralpho.
pipe, understanding by our dialect that we Nothing remarkable happened during the were from Scotland, came up to me, and, remaining part of our journey, which con- with a grave countenance, asked how long i tinued six or seven days longer: at length had been caught? As I did not know the we entered the great city, and lodged all meaning of this question, I made no answer, night at the inn where the wagon put up: and he went on, saying, it could not be a Next morning all the passengers parted great while, for my tail was not yet cut; at different ways, while my companion and I the same time taking hold of my hair, and sallied out to inquire for the member of par- tipping the wink to the rest of the company, liament to whom I had a letter of recommen- who seemed highly entertained with his wit. dation from Mr Crab. As we had discharged I was incensed at this usage, but afraid of our lodging at the inn, Strap took up our resenting it, because I happened to be in a baggage, and marched behind me in the strange place, and perceived the person who street with the knapsack on his back, as spoke to me was a brawny fellow, for whom usual, so that we made a very whimsical I thought myself by no means a match. appearance. I had dressed myself to the . However, Strap, having either more courage or less caution, could not put up with the his countenance, before he opened his mouth; insults that I suffered, but told him, in a in which opinion I acquiesced, ascribing his peremptory tone,—"he was an uncivil fellow good manners to the company he daily saw for making so free with his betters.” Then in the house were he served. We followed the wit going towards him, asked what he his directions punctually, in turning to the had got in his knapsack ?-" Is it oatmeal or left and to the right, and to the left again ; brimstone, Sawney.?” said he, seizing him but, instead of seeing a lane before us, found by the chin, which he shook, to the inexpress ourselves at the side of the river, a circumible diversion of all present. My companion, stance that perplexed us not a little ; and my feeling himself assaulted in such an oppro- fellow-traveller ventured to pronounce that brious manner, disengaged himself in a trice, we had certainly missed our way. By this and lent his antagonist such a box on the time we were pretty much fatigued with our ear, as made him stagger to the other side walk, and not knowing how to proceed, I of the room; and, in a moment, a ring was went into a small snuff-shop hard by, encourformed for the combatants. Seeing Strap aged by the sign of the Highlander, where beginning to strip, and my blood being heat. I found, to my inexpressible satisfaction, ed with indignation, which banished all other the shopkeeper was my countryman. He thoughts, I undressed myself to the skin in was no sooner informed of our peregrination, an instant, and declared, that as the affront and the directions we had received from the that occasioned the quarrel was offered to footman, than he informed us we had been me, I would fight it out myself; upon which imposed upon, telling us Mr Cringer lived one or two cried out,"that's a brave Scotch in the other end of the town; and that it boy; you shall have fair play, by G—d." would be to no purpose for us to go thither This assurance gave me fresh spirits, and to-day, for by that time he was gone to the going up to my adversary, who, by his pale house. I then asked if he could recommend countenance, did not seem much inclined to us to a lodging. He readily gave us a line the battle, I struck him so hard on the sto. to one of his acquaintance who kept a chandmach, that he reeled over a bench, and fell ler's shop not far from St Martin's lane; to the ground. Then I attempted to keep there we hired a bed-room, up two pair of him down, in order to improve my success, stairs, at the rate of 2s, per week, so very according to the manner of my own country, small, that, when the bed was let down, we but was restrained by the spectators, one of were obliged to carry out every other piece whom endeavoured to raise up my opponent, of furniture that belonged to the apartment, but in vain, for he protested he would not and use the bedstead by way of chairs. About fight, for he was not quite recovered of a dinner-time, our landlord asked us how we late illness. I was very well pleased with proposed to live? to which interrogation we this excuse, and immediately dressed myself, answered, that we would be directed by him. having acquired the good opinion of the “Well, then,” says he, “there are two ways company for my bravery, as well as of my of eating in this town, for people of your comrade Strap, who shook me by the hand, condition, the one more creditable and expenand wished me joy of the victory. After sive than the other: the first is, to dine at an having drank our pot, and dried our clothes, eating-house frequented by well-dressed peowe inquired of the landlord if he knew Mr ple only; and the other is called diving, Cringer, the member of parliament, and practised by those who are either obliged or were amazed at his replying in the negative; inclined to live frugally.” I gave him to for we imagined he must be altogether as understand that, provided the last was not conspicuous here as in the borough he repre- infamous, it would suit much better with sented; but he told us we might possibly our circumstances than the other. “ Infahear of him as we passed along. "We betouk mous !" cried he. “God forbid! there are ourselves, therefore, to the street, where, many creditable people, rich people, aye, seeing a footman standing at a door, we and fine people, that dive every day. I made up to him, and asked if he knew where have seen many a pretty gentleman with a our patron lived? This member of the party- laced waistcoat dine in that manner very coloured fraternity, surveying us both very comfortably for three pence half-penny, and minutely, said he knew Mr Cringer very well, go afterwards to the coffee-house, where he and bade us turn down the first street on our made a figure with the best lord in the land left, then turn to the right, and then to the but your own eyes shall bear witness—I left again, after which perambulation we will go along with you to-day, and introduce would observe a lane, through which we you. He accordingly conducted us to a must pass, and at the other end we should certain lane, where stopping, he bade us ob. find an alley that leads to another street, serve him, and do as he did, and walking a where we should see the sign of the Thistle few paces, dived into a cellar, and disappeared and three pedlars, and there he lodged. We in an instant. I followed his example, and, thanked him for his information, and went descending very successfully, found myself forwards, Strap telling me, that he knew in the middle of a cook's shop, almost suffo. this person to be an honest friendly man by cated with the steams of boiled beef, and