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“ Whatever is done must be done quickly," said Greysteel, firmly. “ Madam must be in or I must be out. For what am I sent? The Squire will be fobbed off no longer."
“ My wenches don't think, ‘fobbed off,' a handsome word for Master Bull to use to me," said Bill. “It a’n't a genteel phrase.”—“Sorry for it," said Gaffer, taking up his hat. “We think it rather a vulgar trick in you Gaff to be going about every where in this hoity-toity fashion, with that long scraggy Broom in your hand, like an old scavenger, though we thought it funny enough at first. They say, too, you consort o' nights with Brummagem Tom, and Tims !-won't do Gaff. My wenches and varlets don't ad. mire it. You must give 'em up, and take counsel of Hookey-rare fellow Hookey-my wenches all in love with him—all dance to his fiddle jolly night as often as he comes the way.” “ If you please I am not here to talk of Master Arthur O'Bradley, of whom I never spoke other. wise than with becoming respect,_but of Madam's passport and the Squire's business, to which you must surely now have made up your mind since you have sent for me.” “ Lord, Gaff, you are so crusty !” And poor Bill glanced hastily round. “To be sure, as my wife says, what must be, must be. That Most Mighty and Potent Prince, I'll be hanged if I remember his long yarn of a name ; but hark ye"-And here Bill lowered his voice to a whisper—" He comes in John's mercy.” “ Enough said," replied Greysteel, slightly raising his eyebrows. “ Madam and her friends have sense and generosity, they won't abuse confidence-but what noise is this?” But vain it were to describe the face, to which Greysteel feared to lift his eye. My friend George Cruickshank for that, to all the world, and the Isle of Wight !
“ Our frying-pan at its old work. Be off, Gaffer; and excuse me, but I'll be hanged if I care to see your face again, or your Broom either.” But before he went, Greysteel said he hoped Bill would come down in his Sunday suit, to visit John, and Madam, and Mrs. Bull. Whatever the bar-maid of the Black Bear might say, ay, or Jenny Driver either, John and Madam were his best friends, and would be happy to see him and his wife abroad in their calash, and freely forgive all that had passed." There was now a great scratching and squeaking, as if of rats behind the plaster. Bill looked furriedly round,—“ Not sure if he could come-wasn't clean shirt dry; his wife had her great wash, one of these days," Greysteel thought these poor excuses, and though he had heard of poor Bill's sansculloterie, he was too delicate to notice that misfortune. Bill said never a word of it himself. “ It a'n't good for my health to be gadding about in these high breezes. Can't go to Tem. plebar’s any way—a’n’t genteel ; nor to the Steel g* hops neither ;-vulgar hops the Steels, my wenches say, only two tallow candles and one blind fiddler-ha! ha! ha! that true, Gaff?” Greysteel, who was a dis. creet man, said nothing ; but certain it is, that Bill never looked near John's hall, nor shewed the least civility to either Madam or Mrs. Bull, which was a pity, as the Squire was most willing to make it all up, and shake hands the first minute they met. John readily forgave all incivilities offered to himself, but he would suffer no disrespect to be shewn to his wife or to Madam his best friend.
And now for the pen of old blind John, one of her truest worshippers, to describe her final triumphant entry. And of all the days in the year
• The contempt cast on the Whig parties-not party, need not be insisted upon.
when should this fall out but upon the 4th of June, anno domini, 1832, when the larks were up and abroad in heaven, and the Broom waving its golden blossoms on every slope ; and when down upon his marrowbones, with a rope about his neck, will he nill he, comes, That Mighty and most Potent Prince, Rufus Gules d'Argent d'Or Gryphon Weveril Rustre Rampant Flory Bendsinister Wellrind Saliant Waterboujet Maximus Gustavus Heptarch Oligarch Tudor Plantagenet Clorcsa Adolphus Rusty Fusty,—without a single friend to console or sustain him in his most woful plight; and forever and a day, forswears all claim to intermeddle with the Squire's affairs, or enter his door, or have his babies nursed there, save with John's good leave; consents to have all his rotten tenements demolished, all his howlet corners exposed to the light of day, and if need were, to do penance in a white sheet for his former sins. Had you but seen then the pitiful figure he made with his chopfallen lantern jaws! the teeth chattering in them! Fighting Winchey, Orator Mansie, and Old Hecklepins, fit to kick him, and Pat capering away at the Irish jig; and Scotch Peg clapping her hands, till “ Over the hills and far away” rang again, to her heartfelt joy. The School. master was seen abroad that day—all his holyday flock about him ; and the village bells were ringing ; and there were wakes, and Maypoles, and dances, and garlands of oak and roses and laurel, and of Peg's own“ bonny broom.” A bullock roasted whole, and lots of pudding and Devonshire junket for the boys and girls; and for the old ones a smack of the jolly black jack, till their beards wagged. Such a day, they said, “ had not been seen in Squire Bull’s manor for one hundred and forty and four years." [1688.]
You may guess that Madam's old friends were not forgotten in the toasts drank in the hall that day, far or near, dead or alive ; but her heart ached for a time, and tears filled the Squire's eyes, while Peg wept outright, to think of those who had loved Madam well, and perished for her sake, and who would proudly have enjoyed this day of her triumph, over whom the green turf was laid in far New Hol. land, or over whom the salt wave rolled. This part of it was very touching, I assure you ; still it did not damp their joy. John in parti. cular was perfectly happy, strolling about the lawn, overlooking the long dinner tables, and the sports, with Mrs. Bull, sweet creature ! on one arm, and Madam who, though comely, was somewhat sterner-browed, on the other. Honest, open, good soul ! pot a thought of malice did his kind heart harbour this day. All he wished was to see every neighbour as happy as himself, and to have poor Bill along him ; who dined at home on soure croute, which his wenches told him was much genteeler pasttime than guzzling the Squire's beef and ale. Every one to his liking," sighed Bill, when his wife went out; and he cast a longing look towards the lawn, it is said, on which Hookey drew down the window blind. ******** Both Pat and Peg had still some small matters of their own to settle. Pat left his to Dan, but Peg spoke to John herself. She was prepared to start for the moors with the first of the moonlight, and had already stripped off her hose and shoon; so she pulls John's sleere. “ Hark a word in your ear, brother John ; we have been ower lang strangers, though I hope we'll ne'er be so again : especially in seasons of family trouble, such as that ye have just weathered, though I'm at sea yet. It might not be mensefu' in you to meddle or make in my present matrimonial dispositions, who am come to the years of discretion myself, and maybe my proud spirit might ill brook it :-there's a respect
to be shewn even amang near kindred. But you have now a wife who is a crown of glory to ye ; who being of my own sex, might say a good word for me when it's most wanted ; and this is my case. Our two Gabbie Geordies," for we have a brace o' such moorcocks, the greater is our blessing !-misleared rogues baith, or I wrang them, to me and mine, especially in this affair of ry matrimonial dispositions ;—they would without a word have seen me buckled till the next Mirk Monday to that crawling mass o' corruption Borrowstoun, or to that gilligapus, the cock-laird, a noted dicer, if not a dyvour; and thought me even ower bold to complain of my luck in marriage. But now that I'm likely, as the Book says, to have my reproach taken away among women, and to be courted for the first time in my own house in a wiselike, respectfu', mensefu' manner, what think you of them that will hear of nothing in the shape of man for Peg under six feet two!t--the new statute measure o' the Geordies-Feint a hair shorter, it seems, will do, with my great walth in tocher-gude, $ for a strapping hizzie like myself.”
“ And what makes you so angry at that, Peg,” cried John laughing ; “ is not that a high compliment to you, lass.”
“ A compliment, John !-ye are a simple man still. It's allenarly to bubble me out o' a husband a'thegither! that's what it is ! De’il come ower their sooplesnouts for't. Never a word, as ye may remember,—though I believe ye are ay taken up mostly with your ain family affairs”—said Peg, dryly—“ never a word of the scrimp stature of the auld gudeman, I got the name o': for what was it but a name ? though a Droich, a Pech, a Trow, scantly four feet by five.|| Now has not that a queer look? But
ye will tell your mettlesome wife (and I am sure to get poor Pat's good word) to speak up for me when my back is at the wall ; and say that if I get a man to my mind, and aboon all of my ain waling, I'm no sae preceese and pernicketty about his inches. Now mind this ; and I may do so as much for you again, brother John. The King's errand has erenow lain i' the cadger's road.”
“ You speak like the lass of sense, Peg, all the world knows you for ; and my wife shall speak for you, were it her dying speech.” But Peg was crossed in what she called her “matrimonial dispositions" again after this, and in a wilder rage than ever ; for what does her Loudon Geordie, but insist that she should marry no husband who did not, when in town, keep a riding elephant ! § On hearing this, Peg was neither to hold nor to bind. “An elephant !” she shouted, “will neither colt, nag, mare, gelding, mule, nor cuddy serve the turn?” And off she sends a caddie to Mrs. Bull and Gaffer, who soon took up the cause, and put an end to this new device to mar her marriage ; about the framers of which Peg hinted that she had her own suspicions, though it was all fathered on Loudon Geordie.
This was the first time that ever John and his sister Peg drew cor
• Sir George Clerk and Sir George Murray. Query?
+ Those who first disclaimed all change in the representation of Scotland, at last insisted that sixty-two members were the least number that could be accepted !
# The increased wealth of Scotland was next insisted upon, as the measure of increase of members. | The old forty-five.
This probably typifies the clause for raising the qualification of candidates for boroughs to L.300 a-year in landed property, which threw Peg into such a fury when the Scotch Bill was on the eve of passing ; a mysterious affair, of which the blame was fathered on Sir George Clerk, though there were shrewd suspicions at that time in Scotland, that certain Whigs should have divided it with him.
dially together. It is to be hoped it may not be the last, for blessed, as Brummagem Tom said, is family Union; a truth illustrated in those LATE REMARKABLE PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF John BULL, ESQUIRE, and which may be farther evidenced before this play is played out, between the Steels and Rustys. The latter knaves insist that the bringing in of Madam is but the beginning of sorrow; and the fault will not be theirs if they fail to make it so. From which, and from all their wicked and villainous devices ! MAY WE BE PRESERVED ! AMEN.
MEET ME TO-NIGHT.
BY CAPTAIN CALDER CAMPBELL.
MEET me to-night! when in the sky is gleaming
The royal moon, that shineth sadly down
On silent valley, and on stirring town,
For, oh! Endymion's sleep hath ended now;
Have spread a holy sorrow on her brow.
The silence that partakes of rapture ; when
To follow in the track of common men,
Have crumbled into nothingness, and freed
Such liberty as soaring spirits need!
From the rich stores of thought which night Alings forth;
Bright hopes that have no business with earth!-
The winds that whistle to the leaves that dance-
All shall revive our first youth's sweet romance!
Around the path of man till light breaks in,
And from the page of truth bright knowledge win ;
Where sophisms dazzle, or where facts convince ;
Till strengthen'd by the woes from which we wince.
To more than the lost pleasures of our youth :
Detecting falsehood, not discovering truth,
By dull-eyed sophists, while their sight they blind
Would scatter sunshine on the darken'd mind!
An atmosphere of purity and grace,
Its populous petals o'er a desert place,
While, from my breast, ill omens wing their flight,
Fly from the smile of day !-Meet me to-night!
-THE HISTORY OF A STONE OF TAXED FLOUR.
BY THE AUTHOR OF
In a certain city once dwelt a poor honest man, called Work Payall, who had been accustomed to give fifteen pence per stone for that sort of wheaten floor which is named “ Bakers' Fine." There was no breadtax in those days; and it came to pass, that Work Payall having earned half-a-crown, affirmed in his soul, and to his wife, and to his children, and to the uncle of his neighbour, that he would buy in the market a stone of Bakers' Fine, and also a hat for his bareheaded son, Bob. So, on the evening of Saturday, Work Payall and his son went to market, where they were told by Mealface, the huckster, that Lord Starveali had made a law to tax bread, and that “Bakers' Fine” was no longer fifteen pence per stone, but two shillings and sixpence; and Work Payall paid his half crown, even all that he had, for a stone of “ Bakers' Fine;” but he grumbled in his gizzard, and thought, very absurdly, that Starveall had picked his pocket of fifteen pence; and then he cursed aloud, and called Starveall a “ rogue in grain.” So they re. turned home, and the howlings of bareheaded Bob alarmed the whole market; and, when they were returned, the uncle of their neighbour laughed at them.
But the calamity did not end here; for if Plaits, the hatter, had sold to bareheaded Bob, for fifteen pence, the hat which he had in his shop, he would have gained three pence by it ; but not having sold the hat, he was fain to expend three pence in food out of his substance, and was therefore, of course, so much less able to find employment for his man, Botts, who made hats for him. And it came to pass, on the morning of Monday, that Botts came to Plaits, and said unto him, “ Let me make you another hat ;" but Plaits answered him, and said, “ Not having sold the hat, I do not want another.” “ But,” said Botts, we are clam ming—what are we to do?" “Go to the devil,” said Plaits. But Botts went to the workhouse. And on the morning of Tuesday, Statepoke, the overseer, came to Work Payall, and demanded and obtained an additional poor rate of one penny; whereupon Work Payall said, very absurdly, that Starveall's new law had already robbed him of sixteen pence; nevertheless, Statepoke reprehended him, and proved that every farthing of the loss was two pence gain. But Botts sickened in the workhouse, and remained there ; and Mary, the wife of Botts, wander. ed in the streets, even when they were brilliant with gas, and she played the harlot with every man who gave her sixpence; and the righteous were offended, and they called the beadle, and he flung her into his dungeon; and, before it was morning, the frost had killed her. And William, the son of Botts, became a robber, and a murderer, and he fired his master's house, and the hangman slew him ; and his tongue was bitten almost in twain by his teeth, and the end of it hung down over his lip, by a shred of skin. And Statepoke gave unto Sarah, the sickly daughter of Botts, one shilling weekly, for food and raiment, and fire and lodging ; his heart yearned to give her more, but he dared not, because of the payers ; so she drank gin for meat, and when she was dead, the vermin which had fed on her departed. But Botts, who sickened in the workhouse, loved his daughter; and when he heard that she had died, he smote his hand against his side, and fell down dead ; and the idiots of the place, they who knew not good from evil, bore him to his grave; and they laughed, and the buriers laughed with them.
But the calamity did not end høre, for it happened that Plaits, the