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mission in his Majesty's service, the plaintiff in the case at issue. Not a tittle of evidence, in contradiction to that stated, was offered by the defendant ; and the only link of the chain of proof submitted by the heir-at-law, which the Squire's counsel energetically sought to cut through, was that created by the first witness. On her cross-examination, it was ingeniously attempted to be impressed on the minds of the jury, that no reliance could be placed upon the oath of a depraved creaturę like her ; that she had really made away with the infant, according to her original intention; and that the one she had offered for exposure, must have been her own, the result of her acquaintance with the son of her benevolent and ill-requited protectress. But, without pausing upon details, we shall only say, that during the trial, sound confirmatory evidence of the truth of the miserable woman's assertion was supplied, and that, in fact, without hesitation, the jury found for the plaintiff.
Squire Hogan's look of consternation, when he heard the verdict, was pitiable. For a moment he bent down his head and wiped his forehead with his moist handkerchief. Then, with a wretched leer distorting his haggard countenance, he started up, and, muttering indistinctly, bowed low to the judge, the jury, the bar, the public, all; as if he would humbly acknowledge the superiority of every human being. After this, forgetting his hat, he was hurrying away; some one placed it in his hand ; he bowed lowly, and smiled again; and, finally, forgetting the necessity to remain uncovered, he pressed it hard over his eyes and left the court; carrying with him the sincere, and, in some instances, the tearful sym. pathy of the spectators.
As fast as horses could gallop with him, he left Dublin, a few moments following:
“ By Cork, Kate” he began, laughing, as his daughter, upon his arrival at the house which used to be his home, hurried to meet him : but he could not carry on the farce; his throat was full and choking ; and suddenly throwing himself upon his child's neck, he sobbed aloud.
She understood him, but said nothing ; she only kissed his cheeks and pressed his hands, keeping down all show of her own grief and alarm.--Woman! in such a situation, you can do this : man cannot : it is above the paltry selfishness of his nature.
He rallied, and tried to take up his absurd jeering tone, but soon tripped in it a second time.
Ay, Kate—by the good old Jove, I'm a poorer man than the day I raffled for your mother: and you must work, sure enough, to try and keep a little bread with us. If there's any thing you think I can turn my hand to, only say the word, and you'll see I'll not be idle, my poor girl."
He entered into the details of his misfortunes and mortifications. Among other things, he mentioned the slight of “the puppy officer;" and neither his wonder nor his curiosity was excited, when, now for the first time, Catherine burst into tears.
It shows much good sense to take my Lady Law at her word. Fortune is fickle, but law is fickleness : the principle itself. And so seemed to argue the successful young aspirant to the Squire's estate. While yet only expatiating on his past misfortunes, our worthy friend received a note which informed him that, in a quarter of an hour, an authorised agent would arrive to take possession of the house and lands; and father and daughter had not recovered from the shock this gave them, when
the agent was announced and entered the room where they sat. Catherine turned away her face: she could not look at him.
“ Possession of every thing in the house, too?" asked the trembling Squire—“ Every thing, you say?"" Every thing,” answered the agent ; who was no man's agent, but his own, after all, Catherine started at his voice_“ Yes, every thing; even of the angel that makes this house a heaven."--He advanced to her side. She turned to himshrieked—laughed—and lay insensible in his arms. It was the Squire's “puppy officer” in the first place ; Catherine's faithful adorer, in the second place; the plaintiff in the late action, in the third place; and the triumphant hunter for his mistress's hand, in the fourth place. Surely, dear fair readers, he had a claim on her. « Yes--if he account for his neglect, since she left Dublin.” Very good. That's easily done. He had vainly applied for leave of absence; and his letter advising her of the fact, as also of his intention to take the field for her, dressed in the costume of a picture of his then unknown father, (which, in the Squire's town-house, Catherine had often pronounced very like him,) that letter had miscarried.
“ So your daughter is mine, good sir, on your own terms,” added the four-fold hero.
“ Capital, by Jove!--Capital ! a glorious hoax, by Cork ! capital!" laughed the ex-Squire.
“ I am delighted, you think so ; and I assure you, my dear sir, that I dressed myself up like the picture, merely at the time to endeavour to recommend myself to your good opinion, by the oddity of the conceit; for I knew you liked a hoax in your very heart.”
“ Give me your hand, my dear boy !-Like a hoax!-Ah, don't I? —and it is such a prime one! choice! capital ! capital, by the beard of the good old Jove !”—and, wringing his own hands, and transported by his feelings, the worthy man left the room, to describe and praise to his very servants, what so much gladdened his soul.
“ You were ignorant of your parentage upon the day of the hunt?” asked Catherine, after they had conversed some time together.
“ I was. Upon the spot where the huntsman fell, I encountered the woman, returned from half a life of wandering, who exposed me in my infancy : she had been seeking me, in Dublin, to unburden her conscience, and do me a tardy justice. I was on the road for the hunt; thither she followed me rapidly, and outstripped me some days; assuming the garb of the former witch of the cave, to conceal her identity. I need scarce say, that from her I then received the information which enabled me to prosecute my claim. My beloved Catherine's sense of delicacy will readily suggest to her, why I kept out of her view, from that day, until I could prove the truth or falsehood of her story. And now, here I sit, able, thank heaven! to show to the woman of my heart, that she did not quite misplace her generous love, when she gave it to a poor and friendless ensign, and with it the prospect of wealth, and of rank in the world.”
It is recorded that, from this hour, Squire Hogan never wore, except perhaps when asleep, a serious face. Having resigned “ with a hearty good will,” his commission of justice of the peace, there remained nothing on earth to compel him to “ seem wise,” as Bacon says; and he had full leisure to pursue, uninterruptedly, his practical hoaxes ; which he, himself, if nobody else did it for him, called “ capital ! choice, by Cork's own town!"
TAIT'S COMMONPLACE BOOK.
COBBETT IN EDINBURGH. Pasta and Paganini, Miss Fanny Kemble, and Mademoiselle D'Jeck, created not half the sensation which the arrival of Cobbett did among us of the Athens. The advent of these luminaries affected only the “ thrones and dominions," with their few tributaries and dependencies; but Cobbett’s visit was even more powerfully felt in the depths of the Cowgate, and chasms and labyrinths of the closes, than in the club-houses and booksellers' shops. Edinburgh was in universal commotion ; and Whig, Tory, and Radical elbowed and jostled each other at the doors of the theatre, which, for the first time, looked like the grave, where all sorts of people must meet at last. The ill-judged attempts of one or two of the ministerial newspapers to stir up the popular feeling against Mr Cobbett, if it had any effect, awakened a generous feeling in behalf of the stranger, and piqued the national honour into a more scrupulous observance of politeness, and a warmer welcome than might otherwise have been given. He presented himself before an impatient house, filled from floor to ceiling, which rose to greet him in a tumultous rapture. His appearance is highly favourable ; his ease, tact, and self-possession, are unrivalled. He was neither overpowered nor taken by surprise with these demonstrations of the Modern Athenians, but received them all as matter of course, which came a little in the way of proceeding to business. Mr. Cobbett is still of stately stature, and must, in youth, have been tall. He must then in physiognomy, person, and bearing, have been a fine specimen of the true Saxon breed,
The eyes of azure, and the locks of brown,
And free-born thoughts, which league the soldier with the laws.
Of the good olden timea hearty Essex or Hampshire squire, of the fourth magnitude, whose woods are flourishing, and his paternal acres unmortgaged, dressed for a dinner of some ceremony, in a coat of the best Saxon blue broad-cloth, with its full complement of gilt buttons, and an ample white waistcoat, with flowing skirts. His thin, white hairs, and high forehead—the humour lurking in the eye, and playing about the lips, betokened something more than the squire in his gala suit ; still the altogether was of this respectable and responsible kind. His voice is low-toned, clear, and flexible; and so skilfully modulated, that not an aspiration was lost of his nervous, fluent, unhesitating, and perfectly correct discourse. There was no embarrassment, no flutter, no picking of words ; nor was the speaker once at fault, or in the smallest degree disturbed by those petty accidents and annoyances which must have moved almost any other man so oddly situated. - Put down Cobbett! It will be as impossible for the “ Collective Wisdom" to overbear him, as for that more overwhelming power, the Collective Taste, to put him down. He would, in ten minutes, either laugh or shame the House out of its insolence of ill-breeding, - sometimes its only defence against dulness and twaddle, but as frequently the weapon with which impudent knavery assails honest, plain, and modest men, when such have stumbled into Parliament, and endeavoured to serve the people. The corporation had best keep him out, for assuredly it will never keep him down, once he gets in. To those acquainted with the writings of Cobbett there was little in the matter of his lectures absolutely new : the facts were familiar or thread-bare ; the arguments, such as we have heard from him a hundred times before, in the Register. But then the old family jewels, the Cobbett heir-looms, were all newly and most exquisitely set. He is indeed a first-rate comic actor, possessed of that flexible penetrative power of imitation which extends to
mind and character, as well as to their outward signs. His gelus is, besides essentially dramatic. We have often read his lively characteristic dialogues with pleasure and amusement ; but to see him act them, and personate Lord Althorp pommelled and pozed by the future member for Oldham, was a degree beyond this. — He was in nothing vehement or obstreperous, though every body had anticipated something of this kind; and his subdued tone, and excellent discretion, gave double point to his best hits. Instead of the sledgehammer, like that which poor Cook employed to knock down Bingham Baring, Cobbett used a poignard as polished as keen. The humour of his solemn irony, his blistering sarcasm, but especially his sly hits and unexpected or random strokes and pokes on the sore or weak sides of the Whigs, told with full effect on two parts of the audience. The high Tories, at such passages, screamed and crowed with delight ; and the hearty applause of the Radicals testified their extreme satisfaction at hearing bold, honest truths spoken in Edinburgh by William Cobbett. To oratory, in the highest sense of the term, Mr Cobbett never once rises ; but he is ever a wily, clear, and most effective speaker. What a mystifier of an ordinary Jury he might have been, with his readiness, dramatic power, and skill in presenting homely objects under the most lively and picturesque forms. There, indeed, his strength lies. His protestant miracle of the two thousand half-pay officers, his lady pensioners, and the Right Reverends the Fathers, &c. can never be forgotten by his Scottish auditors. - Mr Cobbett expressed himself highly gratified with his reception in Edinburgh. In Glasgow and other parts of the country, he has been, if that were possible, still more popular. And at this we rejoice, as evidence of affection for the cause to which, whatever fastidious persons may think, Cobbett has been a useful, rough pioneer, and most powerful auxiliary:
Such of our Readers as wish to become acquainted with Mr Cobbett's remarkable career, and to attain a just notion of his character as a writer, are referred to “ THE SCHOOLMASTER," Nos. 7 and 11. Having met with Mr Cobbett in private society during his sojourn in Edinburgh, our impression of him was, that, besides being a very clever man, (which all the world knows,) he is a very pleasant man ; more disposed to be good-humoured and droll than satirical or severe ; not impatient of contradiction, except when he thinks the speaker insincere ; and a zealous friend of the poor.
PUBLIC MEETING FOR ORIGINATING A MONUMENT TO SIR
WALTER SCOTT. The principal, the only striking feature of this assembly, was the numerous attendance, and the deep feeling evinced by all the spectators. It was too formally got up; the struggle to preserve the balance between Whig and Tory, lay too bare to the day ; the speakers, with the exception of Professor Wilson, the fourth speaker, were evidently thinking more of the figure they were themselves cutting than of him they were met to honour. The meeting was a good idea indifferently executed. It was like the Catholic service for the dead; grand and imposing, but impressing us with a feeling of hollowness and want of heart. It was a premeditated burst of uncontrollable emotion,- the white dots that are supposed to indicate tears on a burial vault. But the worst mistake of all, was placing the Duke of Buccleuch in the front of the battle. If the good citizens of Edinburgh had met to commemorate a nobleman, good cause there might have been for his Grace officiating as fugleman. Had they met to cry salt tears over the illustrious Rothschild, there might have been some sense in conceding the pas to one who is understood to be as rich as a Jew. But when homage was to be paid to genius, genius ought to have been employed to give it voice. The mean appearance and silly stammering of the first performer damned the piece. When Lord Rosebery (whose manly, sensible appearance deserves that we except him from the general censure) complimented the Duke upon his powerful speech," a subdued titter ran through the room. It was cruel in Lord Rosebery. Strange that the Duke could not repeat his lesson with less hesitation, seeing that he had delivered the same speech, verbatim, at
Kelso, a day or two before. The old idolaters of Greece lent an idealized expression even to the brute portion of their theocracy; but we worship the golden calf, even when the silliness and feebleness of the animal are caricatured.
The noble Duke, to whose rank that precedence was given on this occasion which was due to the genius of Professor Wilson, appeared in a short hunting coat and plaiden trowsers, and subscribed, cut of his income of £200,000, the sum of £100, for the monument which he moved that the public should erect to “ his departed friend.” At the funeral it does not appear that the noble Duke, although of the same clan, deigned to attend. His name is not mentioned by the newspapers among those of the men of worth or rank who followed the remains of Sir Walter Scott to the grave.
In the course of his speech at this meeting, the Lord Advocate took occasion to allude to the two great political parties, whose generous rivalry, according to his Lordship, tends to keep the Vessel of the State in equilibrium, and to prevent the rise of those extreme opinions which, he trusted, would never take root in Scotland. We differ with his Lordship as to the utility of the two political parties ; and think the Vessel of the State no more benefited by their generous rivalry than would be a ship by two breezes from opposite quarters. The effect in both cases would, we fear, be the impeding of the vessel's progress; and an equilibrium, not inconvenient to either of the parties, (factions, we call them,) or the breezes ; but far from being beneficial to the progress of either description of vessel, or productive of comfort to the crews.
The Court of ARCHES.- Who would have dreamed of a settlement of vagrants, rivalling in wretchedness and wildness the Ellangowan hamlet in Derncleugh, established under the dry arches of that splendid monument of a prosperous city,—the new London Bridge, where, scarcely a year ago, kings, queens, and princesses, cabinet ministers and their cabinet ministers, beauties wits, and dandies,-in gorgeous array, met together to eat venison ; where, as they quaffed their champagne,
They bade the kettle to the trumpet speak,
Now the King drinks to Don Key ! where healths were dedicated to every official present, while every official present, after the established precedent of health-drinking, mingled his thanks for the honour with assurances of the universal prosperity of the kingdom,--the civil dignitaries, in particular, setting forth that the city conduits ran brown stout, and the mansion was tiled with pancakes. “ A saucepan was boiling under one of the arches,” says the street keeper of the London Bridge district, in his examination before the Magistrates concerning the new colony "containing a ram's liver, the parings of two sheep's heads, and a considerable quantity of bow-wow (?), which an old bone-grubber was stirring up with a piece of iron hoop!” The London Bridge colony consists of 50 persons, who find nightly shelter under the arches, and luxuriate upon bow-wow soup.
LADY BLESSINGTON'S REMINISCENCES.- The conversations reported by Lady B. as those of the author of “ Childe Harold,” bear strong marks of originality. But it was not with him as with the upright and manly Scott,--the words of his mouth were not always those of his mind; and such persons as are curious in forming a just esti. mate of his character, must take into consideration the character of the party addres. sed. Byron was a man to confide his real sentiments to a woman whom he loved, or a woman whom he respected. It appears from his letters addressed to a person of rank, (extracts from which will probably illustrate the next edition of his works,) that his curiosity was strongly excited by the fame of Lady Blessington's beauty and singular elevation in life, and that, foreseeing the improbability that she should ever have any communication with the Ladies Byron, Jersey, Holland, (so severely stige matised in the reminiscences of the Countess,) he permitted himself to gratify the female appetite for detraction, by the expression of opinions alınost as severe as those