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“ Hush! hush !-ye little divel- och! that the little cratur had niver hush !-ye'll be waking your poor been born !" daddy!-hush!-go to sleep wid ye!" I heard footsteps slowly approachsaid the woman, in an earnest under- ing the room; and presently few tone.
rays of light flickered through the “Och-och-mammy!--mammy! chinks and fissures of the door, which an' isn't it so could?— I can't sleep, was in a moment or two pushed open, mammy,"replied the tremulous voice and “Sal” made her appearance, of a very young child; and directing shading the lighted candle in her my eyes to the quarter from which hand, and holding a quartern loaf the sound came, I fancied I saw a under her arm. She had brought poor shivering half-naked little crea- but a wretched rushlight, which she ture, cowering under the window. hastily stuck into the neck of the
“ Hish !-lie still wid ye, ye infor- bottle, and placed it on a shelf over tunat' little divel-an’ye'll presently the fireplace; and then-what a get something to eat.-We ha'nt none scene was visible! of us tasted a morsel sin' the morn The room was a garret, and the ing, Doctor !” The child she spoke to sloping ceiling-if such it might be ceased its moanings instantly; but I called—made it next to impossible heard the sound of its little teeth to move anywhere in an upright pochattering, and as of its hands rub- sition. The mockery of a window bing and striking together. Well it had not one entire pane of glass in might, poor wretch--for I protest the it; but some of the holes were stoproom was nearly as cold as the open ped with straw, rags, and brown paair; for, besides the want of fire, the per, while one or two were not stopbleak wind blew in chilling gusts ped at all! There was not an artithrough the broken panes of the cle of furniture in the place; no, not window.
a bed, chair, or table of any kind; “Why, how many of you are there the last remains of it had been seized in this place, my good woman ?” for arrears of rent-eighteenpence said I.
a-week-by the horrid harpy, their “ Och, murther! murther! mur landlady, who lived on the groundther! an' isn't there-barring Sal, floor! The floor was littered with that's gone for the candle, and Bob- dirty straw, such as swine might by, that's out begging, and Tim, that scorn-but which formed the only the ould divels at Newgate have sent couch of this devoted family! The away to Bottomless * yesterday,” she rushlight eclipsed the dying glow of continued, bursting into tears ;- the few embers, so that there was “ Och, an' won't that same be the not even the appearance of a fire ! death o' me, and the poor father o' And this in a garret facing the north the boy-an' it wasn't sich a sintence -on one of the bitterest and bleakhe deserved-but hush ! lush !" she est nights I ever knew! My heart continued, lowering her tones, “an' sunk within me at witnessing such it's waking the father o’ him, I'll be, frightful misery and destitution, and that doesn't”
contrasted it, for an instant, with the “I understand your husband is aristocratical splendour, the exquiill ?" said I.
site luxuries, of my last patient ! Fait, sir-as ill as the 'smatticks Lazarus and Dives - The woman [asthmatics) can make him—the Lord with whom I had been conversing, pity him! But he's had a blessed was a mere bundle of filthy ragshour's sleep, the poor fellow ! though a squalid, shivering, starved creathe little brat he has in his arms has ture, holding to her breast a halfbeen making a noise-a little divel naked infant,-her matted hair hangthat it is—it's the youngest, barring ing long and loosely down her back, this one I'm suckling-an' it's not å and over her shoulders ; her daughfortnight it is sin' it first looked on ter “ Sal” was in like plight--a sulits mother!" she continued, sobbing, len, ill-favoured slut of about eighand kissing her baby's hand; “ och, teen, who seemed ashamed of being
• Botany Bay
seen, and hung her head like a guilty ever and anon patting its father's one. She had resumed her former face, exclaiming, “ Da-a-a!-Ab-babstation on some straw-her bed !-in ba !-Ab-bab-ba!” the extreme corner of the room, “ Och! what ails the cratur ? Nowhere she was squatting, with a little thing, but that it's half-starved and creature cowering close beside her, naked-an' isn't that enough-an' both munching ravenously the bread isn't it kilt? I wish we all were which had been purchased. The every mother's son of us!” groaned miserable father of the family was the miserable woman, sobbing as if seated on the floor, with his back her heart would break. At that mopropped against the opposite side of ment a lamentable noise was heard the fireplace to that which I occu- on the stairs, as of a lad crying, acpied, and held a child clasped loosely companied by the pattering of naked in his arms, though he had plainly feet.” “ Och! murther !” exclaimed fallen asleep. Owhat a wretched the woman, with an agitated air.object! a foul, shapeless, brown pa. “What's ailing with Bobby? Is it per cap on his head, and a ragged crying he is ?" and starting to the fustian jacket on his back, which a door, she threw it open time enough beggar might have spurned with to admit a ragged shivering urchin, loathing!
about ten years old, without shoes The sum of what the woman com. or stockings, and having no cap, and municated to me was, that her hus- rags pinned about him, which he was band, a bricklayer by trade, had obliged to hold up with his right been long unable to work, on ac- hand, while the other covered his left count of his asthma; and that their cheek. The little wretch, after a only means of subsistence were a moment's pause, occasioned by seepaltry pittance from the parish, her ing a strange gentleman in the room, own scanty earnings as a washer proceeded to put three or four copwoman, which had been interrupted pers into his mother's lap, telling by her recent confinement, and chari- her, with painful gestures, that a genties collected by“ Sal,” and “Bobby tleman, whom he had followed a few who was then out begging." Their steps in the street, importuning for oldest son, Tim, a lad of sixteen, had charity, had turned round unexpectbeen transported for seven years, edly, and struck him a severe blow the day before, for a robbery, of with a cane, over his face and shoulwhich his mother vehemently decla- ders. red him innocent; and this last cir- « Let me look at your face, my cumstance had, more than all the poor little fellow," said I, drawing rest, completely broken the hearts of him to me; and on removing his both his father and mother, who had hand, I saw a long weal all down the absolutely starved themselves and left cheek. I wish I could forget the their children, in order to hoard up look of tearless agony with which enough to fee an Old-Bailey counsel his mother put her arms round his to plead for their son! The husband neck, and drawing him to her breast, had been for some time, I found, an exclaimed, faintly, —“Bobby! My out-patient of one of the Infirmaries; Bobby!” After a few moments she “and this poor little darlint,” said released the boy, pointing to the spot she, sobbing bitterly, and hugging where his sisters sate still munching her infant closer to her, “ has got the their bread. The instant he saw measles, I'm fearin'; and little Bobby, what they were doing, he sprung totoo, is catching them.-Och, murther wards them, and plucked a large --murther! Oh, Christ, pity us, poor fragment from the loaf, fastening on sinners that we are !-Oh! what will it like a young wolf ! we do ;-what will we do ?” and she “Why, they'll finish the loaf bealmost choked herself with stifling fore you've tasted it, my good woher sobs, for fear of waking her hus
man,” said I. band.
"Och, the poor things !- Let them “ And what is the matter with the let them !" she replied, wiping child that your husband is holding away a tear. “I can do without it in bis arms?" I enquired, pointing longer than they—the craturs !". to it, as it sat in its father's arms, "Well, my poor woman,” said I, munching a little crust of bread, and “ I have not much time to sp are, as it is growing late. I came here to see to imagine it! In one word, the what I could do for you as a doctor. neighbours who lived on the floor How many of you are ill ?”
beneath were called in, and did their “ Fait, an' isn't it ailing—we all utmost to console the wretched wiof us are! Ah, your honour !-A dow and quiet the children. They 'Firmary, without physicorvic- laid out the corpse decently; and I tuals !"
left them all the silver I had about “ Well, we must see what can be me, to enable them to purchase done for you. What is the matter a few of the more pressing neceswith your husband, there ?” said I, saries. I succeeded afterwards in turning towards him. He was still gaining two of the children admitasleep, in spite of the tickling and tance into a charity school ; and, stroking of his child's hands, who, at through my wife's interference, the the moment I looked, was trying to poor widow received the efficient push the corner of its crust into its assistance of an unobtrusive, but father's mouth, chuckling and crow- most incomparable institution," The ing the while, as is the wont of child- Stranger's Friend Society." I was ren who find a passive subject for more than once present when those their drolleries.
angels of mercy—those “true Sama“ Och, och! the little villain-the ritans”—the “ Visitors” of the So. thing, said she, impatiently, seeing ciety, as they are called—were en. the child's employment.“ Isn't it gaged on this noble errand, and wishwaking him, it'll be ?—st-st!” ed
that their numbers were count“Let me see him nearer," said I; less, and their means inexhaustible! “ I must wake him, and ask him a few questions."
I moved from my seat towards him. His head hung down drowsily. His
GRAVE DOINGS. wife took down the candle from the shelf, and held it a little above her My gentle reader-start not at husband's head, while I came in front learning that I have been, in my time, of him, and stooped on one knee to a RESURRECTIONIST. Let not this apinterrogate him.
palling word, this humiliating confes“ Phelim! Love! Honey! Dar- sion, conjure up in your fancy a lint!-Wake wid ye! And is’nt it throng of vampire-like images and the doctor that comes to see ye?” associations, or earn your “ Physi. said she, nudging him with her knee. cian's" dismissal from your hearts and He did not stir, however. The child, hearths. It is your own groundless regardless of us, was still playing fears, my fair trembler !-your own with his passive features. A glimpse superstitious prejudices that have of the awful truth flashed across my driven me, and will drive many others mind.
of my brethren, to such dreadful do“ Let me have the candle a mo- ings as those hereafter detailed. ment, my good woman,” said I, Come, come–let us have one word rather seriously.
of reason between us on the abstract The man was dead.
question-and then for my tale. You He must have expired nearly an expect us to cure you of disease, and hour ago, for his face and hands yet deny us the only means of learnwere quite cold; but the position in ing how? You wonld have us bring which he sat, together with the you the ore of skill and experience, scantiness of the light, concealed the yet forbid us to break the soil, or event. It was fearful to see the sink a shaft! Is this fair, fair reader? ghastly pallor of the features, the Is this reasonable ? fixed pupils, the glassy glare down- What I am now going to describe wards, the fallen jaw!-Was it nota was my first and last exploit in the way subject for a painter? The living of body-stealing. It was a grotesque, child in the arms of its dead father, if not aludicrous scene, and occurred unconsciously sporting with a corpsei during the period of my "walking the
hospitals," as it is called, which ecTo attempt a description of what cupied the two seasons immediately ensued, would be idle and even ri- after my leaving Cambridge. A diculous. It is hardly possible even young and rather interesting female
was admitted a patient at the hospi- us he felt himself so curious about tal I attended; her case baffled all the matter, that if fifty pounds would our skill, and her symptoms even be of use to us, they were at our serdefied our nosology. Now it seemed vice. It needed not this, nor a glance an enlargement of the heart-now at the eclat with which the successan ossification--now this, that, and ful issue of the affair would be atthe other; and at last it was plain tended among our fellow-students, we knew nothing at all about the to spur our resolves. matter-no, not even whether her The notable scheme was finally addisorder was organic or functional, justed at my rooms in the Borough. primary or symptomatic-or whe- M—and ! -, Sir's dressers, ther it was really the heart that was and myself, with an experienced at fault. She received no benefit at “grab," that is to say, a professional all under the fluctuating schemes of resurrectionist-were to set off from treatment we pursued, and at length the Borough about nine o'clock the fell into dying circumstances. As next evening-which would be the soon as her friends were apprized third day after the burial-in a glass of her situation, and had an inkling coach, provided with all" appliances of our intention to open the body, and means to boot.” During the day, they insisted on removing her im- however, our friend the grab suffermediately from the hospital, that she ed so severely from an over-night's might “ die at home.”* In vain did excess, as to disappoint us of his inSir and his dressers expostu- valuable assistance. This unexpectlate vehemently with them, and re ed contretemps nearly put an end to present in exaggerated terms the im our project; for the few other minent peril attending such a step. grabs we knew, were absent on Her two brothers avowed their ap- professional tours! Luckily, howprehension of our designs, and were ever, I bethought me of a poor Irish inflexible in exercising their right of porter-a sort of " ne'er-do-weel” removing their sister. I used all my hanger-on at the hospital, whom I had rhetoric on the occasion—but in vain, several times hired to go on errands. and at last said to the young men, This man I sent for to my rooms, and “ Well, if you are afraid only
of our in the presence of my two coadju. dissecting her, we can get hold of her, tors, persuaded, threatened, and if we are so disposed, as easily if shé bothered into acquiescence, promidied with you, as with us.”
sing him half a guinea for his evenWell-we'll troy that, measter,” ing's work-and as much whisky as replied the elder, while his Hercu. he could drink prudently. As Mr lean fist oscillated somewhat signifi- Tip-that was the name he went by cantly before my eyes. The poor —had some personal acquaintance girl was removed accordingly to her with the sick grab, he succeeded in father's house, which was at a cer- borrowing his chief tools; with tain village about five miles from which, in a sack large enough to conLondon, and survived her arrival tain our expected prize, he repaired scarcely ten minutes ! We soon con- to my rooms about nine o'clock, trived to receive intelligence of the while the coach was standing at the event; and as I and Sir —'s two door. Our Jehu had received a quiet dressers had taken great interest in douceur in addition to the hire of the case throughout, and felt intense himself and coach. As soon as we curiosity about the real nature of the had exhibited sundry doses of Irish disease, we met together and enter- cordial to our friend Tip, under the ed into a solemn compact, that come effects of which he became quite what might, we would have her “ bouncible," and ranted about the body out of the ground. A trusty feat he was to take a prominent part spy informed us of the time and ex- in—and equipped ourselves in our act place of the girl's burial; and on worst clothes, and white top-coats, expressing to Sir - our determi- we entered the vehicle-four in numnation about the matter, he patted ber-and drove off. The weather me on the back, saying, “ Ah, my fine had been exceedingly capricious all fellow-If you have spirit enough the evening-moonlight, rain, thundangerous," &c. &c. Was it not skil der and lightning, fitfully alternating. fully said ? The baronet further told The only thing we were anxious
about, was the darkness, to shield us be sure I will-Out! to be sure I from all possible observation. I must will.” But there was small shew own that in analyzing the feelings of alacrity in his movements as he that prompted me to undertake and descended the steps ; for while I go through with this affair, the mere was speaking, I was interrupted by love of adventure operated as power- the solemn clangour of the church fully as the wish to benefit the clock announcing the hour of midcause of anatomical science. A mid- night. The sounds seemed to warn night expedition to the tombs!—It us against what we were going to took our fancy amazingly; and then do. - Sir 's cunning hint about the « 'Tis a could night, yer honours," “ danger”—and our “ spirit !" said Tip, in an under tone, as we
The garrulous Tip supplied us successively alighted, and stood towith amusement all the way down- gether, looking up and down the rattle, rattle, rattle, incessantly; but dark lane, to see if any thing was as soon as we had arrived at that stirring but ourselves. "'Tis a could part of the road where we were to night-and-and-and”-he stamstop, and caught sightof - church, mered. with its hoary steeple grey-glistening “Why, you cowardly old scounin the fading moonlight, as though drel,” grumbled M— "are you it was standing sentinel over the frightened already? What's the matgraves around it, one of which we ter, eh? Hoist up the bag on your were going so rudely to violate, shoulders directly, and lead the way Tip's spirits began to falter a little down the lane.” He said little--and that at intervals. “ Och, but yer honours-och! To be very candid with the reader, by the mother that bore me, but 'tis none of us felt over much at our ease. a murtherous cruel thing, I'm thinkOur expedition began to wear a ing, to wake the poor cratur from her somewhat hairbrained aspect, and last sleep.” He said this so queruto be environed with formidable con- lously, that I began to entertain setingencies which we had not taken rious apprehensions, after all, of his sufficiently into our calculations. defection; so I insisted on his taking What, for instance, if the two stout a little more brandy, by way of fellows, the brothers, should be out bringing him up to par. It was of watching their sister's grave? They no use, however, His reluctance in.. were not likely to stand on much cere- creased every moment-and it even mony with us. And then the manual dispirited us. I verily believe the difficulties! E- was the only one turning of a straw would have deof us that had ever assisted at the cided us all on jumping into the exhumation of a body—and the rest coach again, and returning home of us were likely to prove but bung, without accomplishing our errand. ling workmen. However, we had Too many of the students, however, gone too far to think of retreating. were apprized of our expedition, for We none of us spoke our suspicions, us to think of terminating it so ridi. but the silence that reigned within culously! As it were by mutual the coach was significant. In con- consent, we stood and paused a few templation, however, of some such moments, about half way down the contingency, we had put a bottle of lane. M-- whistled with infinite brandy in the coach-pocket; and be success and distinctness; E-refore we drew up, we had all four of us marked to me that he “always drunk pretty deeply of it. At length, thought that a churchyard at midthe coach turned down a by-lane night was the gloomiest object imato the left, which led directly to ginable;” and I talked about busithe churchyard wall; and after mo- ness—“ soon be over"_“ shallow ving a few steps down it, in order grave,” &c. &c. “Confoundit-what if to shelter our vehicle from the ob- those two brothers of hers should be servation of highway passengers, the there ?” said M-abruptly, macoach stopped, and the driver opened king a dead stop, and folding his arms the door.
on his breast. “ Come, Tip,” said I, “out with “Powerful fellows, both of them!”
muttered E-.We resumed our Get out, did ye say, sir? To march-when Tip, our advanced