Imágenes de páginas

them myself, I, the Historian, am up, but luckily the window of the puzzled. If it had not been for that hut was left open : Exactly at two bow-wow, I am sure Sophy would o'clock in the morning, that dog not have suspected. Tara - taran- came to the window, set up a howl, tara. Walk in ladies and gentlemen, andwalk in, the performance is about to Sophy could hear no more-led commence! Sophy lingers last. away behind the curtain by the

Yes, sir," said the blind man who King's Lieutenant. But she had had been talking to the apprentice. heard enough to stir her heart with “ Yes, sir,” said he, loud and empha- an emotion that set all the dimtically, as if his word had been ples round her lip into undulating questioned. “ The child was snowed play.



A Sbam carries off the Reality.

And she did act, and how charm- house. The old woman served Rugge ingly! with what glee and what for housekeeper, made his tea, grillgusto! Rugge was beside himself cd his chop, and for company's sake with pride and rapture. He could shared his meals. Excitement as hardly perform his own Baronial often sharpens the appetite as takes part for admiration. The audience, it away. Rugge had supped on hope, à far choicer and more fastidious one and he felt a craving for a more than that in the Surrey village, was substantial breakfast. Accordingly, amazed, enthusiastic.

when he had dressed, he thrust his “ I shall live to see my dream head into the passage, and seeing come true! I shall have the great there the maid-of-all-work unbarring York Theatre !” said Rugge, as he the street door, bade her go up-stairs took off his wig and laid his head on and wake the Hag, that is, Mrs Gorhis pillow. “ Restore her for the merick. Saying this, he extended a £100! not for thousands !"

key; for he ever took the precauAlas, my sweet Sophy; alas ! Has on, before retiring to rest, to lock not the joy that made thee perform the door of the room to which Sophy so well, undone thee! Ah, hadst was consigned on the outside, and thou but had the wit to act liorribly, guard the key till the next morning. and be hissed !

The maid nodded, and ascended " Uprose the sun and uprose Baron Rugge.” the stairs. Less time than he ex

pected passed away before Mrs Not that ordinarily he was a very Gormerick made her appearance, her early man; but his excitement broke grey hair streaming under her nighthis slumbers. He had taken up his cap, her form endued in a loose quarters on the ground floor of a wrapper-her very face a tragedy. small lodging-house close to his Ex- "Powers above! What has haphibition; in the same house lodged pened !” exclaimed Rugge, prophetihis senior Matron, and Sophy her-cally. self. Mrs Gormerick, being ordered " She is gone,” sobbed Mrs Gormeto watch the child and never loserick; and, seeing the lifted arm and sight of her, slept in the same room

clenched fist of the manager, pruwith Sophy, in the upper story of the dently fainted away.



Corollaries from the problem suggested in Chapters VI. and vii.

Broad daylight, nearly nine o'clock which he had dined the evening indeed, and Jasper Losely is walk- before. He has spent the night ing back to his inn from the place at drinking, gambling, and though he looks heated, there is no sign of bills of his customers, or of other fatigue. Nature, in wasting on this borrowers whom the loan draws man many of her most glorious ele- into the net of the custom. Mr ments of happiness, had not for- Latham connives at the sporting gotten a herculean constitution— tastes of Dolly Poole. Dolly has always restless and never tired, al- often thus been enabled to pick up ways drinking and never drunk. useful pieces of information as to the Certainly it is some consolation to names and repute of such denizens delicate invalids, that it seldom of the sporting world as might apply happens that the sickly are very to Mr Latham for temporary accomwicked. Criminals are generally modation. Dolly Poole has many athletic-constitution and conscience sporting friends; he has also many equally tough ; large backs to their debts. He has been a dupe, he is heads-strong suspensorial muscles now a rogue ; but he wants decision - digestions that save them from of character to put into practice the over-fine nerves of the virtuous. many valuable ideas that his expeThe native animal must be vigorous rience of dupe and his development in the human being, when the moral into rogue suggest to his ambition. safeguards are daringly overleapt. Still, however, now and then, wherJasper was not alone, but with an ever a shabby trick can be safely. acquaintance he had made at the done, he is what he calls “lucky.” dinner, and whom he invited to his He has conceived a prodigious adinn to breakfast; they were walk- miration for Jasper Losely, one cause ing familiarly arm-in-arm. Very un- for which will be explained in the like the brilliant Losely – a young dialogue about to be recorded ; anman under thirty, who seemed to other cause for which is analogous to have washed out all the colours of that loving submission with which youth in dirty water. His eyes dull, some ill-conditioned brute acknowtheir whites yellow; his complexion ledges a master in the hand that has sodden. His form was thickset and thrashed it. For at Losely's first apheavy; his features


with a cross pearance at the convivial meeting of the bull-dog. In dress, a specimen just concluded, being nettled at the of the flash style of sporting man, as imperious airs of superiority which exhibited on the Turt, or more often, that roysterer assumed, mistaking perhaps, in the Ring ; Belcher neck- for effeminacy Jasper's elaborate cloth, with an immense pin represent- dandyism, and not recognising in the ing a jockey at full gallop ; cut away bravo's elegant proportions the tigercoat, corduroybreeches, and boots with like strength of which, in truth, that tops of a chalky white. Yet, withal, tiger - like suppleness should have not the air and walk of a genuine warned him, Dolly Poole provoked born and bred sporting man, even a quarrel, and being himself a stout of the vulgar order. Something fellow, nor unaccustomed to athletic about him which reveals the pre- exercises, began to spar; the next tender. A would-be hawk with a moment he was at the other end of pigeon's liver-a would-be sports- the room full-sprawl on the floor ; man with a Cockney's nurture. and, two minutes afterwards, the

Samuel Adolphus Poole is an quarrel made up by conciliating orphan of respectable connections. banqueters, with every bone in his His future expectations chiefly rest skin seeming still to rattle, he was on an uncle from whom, as god- generously blubbering out that he father, he takes the loathed name of never bore malice, and shaking Samuel. He prefers to sign himself hands with Jasper Losely as if he Adolphus ; he is popularly styled had found a benefactor. But now to Dolly. For his present existence he the dialogue. relies ostensibly on his salary as an JASPER.—“Yes, Poole, my hearty, assistant in the house of a London as you say, that fellow trumping my tra lesman in a fashionable way of best club lost me the last rubber. business. Mr Latham, his employer, There's no certainty in whist, if one has made a considerable fortune, less has a spoon for a partner.” by his shop than by discounting the POOLE.—"No certainty in every

Arn't you

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


rubber, but next to certainty in the subject after breakfast.
long run, when a man plays as well hungry ?—No !-I am! Hillo—who's
as you do, Mr Losely. Your win- that?
nings to-night must have been pretty His arm was seized by Mr Rugge.
large, though you had a bad partner “She's gone-fled,” gasped the ma-
almost every hand;- pretty large- nager, breathless. Out of the lat-
eh ?

tice-fifteen feet high—not dashed JASPER-(carelessly). -“ Nothing to pieces-vanished 1

;? to talk of--a few ponies !”

Go on and

order breakfast,” said PoolE.—“ More than a few ; I Losely to Mr Poole, who was listenshould know.”

ing too inquisitively. He drew the JASPER.—“ Why? You did not manager away:

“ Can't you keep play after the first rubber.”

your tongue in your head before POOLE.—“ No, when I saw your strangers ļ the girl is gone ?” play on that first rubber, I cut out, Out of the lattice, and fifteen and bet on you; and very grateful feet high!” to you I am. Still you would win Any sheets left hanging out of more with a partner who understood the lattice ?" your game.

“Sheets ! No." The shrewd Dolly paused a mo- “ Then she did not go withment, and leaning significantly on out help--somebody must have Jasper's arm, added, in a half thrown up to her å rope-ladder

a whisper, “I do ; it is a French nothing so easy-done it myself

scores of times for the descent of Jasper did not change colour, but 'maids who love the moon,' Mr Rugge. a quick rise of the eyebrow, and But at her age there is not a moona slight jerk of the neck, betrayed at least there is not a man in the some little surprise or uneasiness; moon ; one must dismiss, then, the however, he rejoined without hesi- idea of a rope-ladder-too precocious. tation-“French, ay! In France But are you quite sure she is gone? there is more dash in playing out not hiding in some cupboard ? Sacre ! trumps than there is with English -very odd. Have you seen Mrs players.”

Crane about it?" And with a player like you," said “Yes, just come from her ; she Poole, still in a half whisper, “ more thinks that villain Waife must have trumps to play out.”

stolen her. But I want you, sir, to Jasper turned round sharp and come with me to a magistrate.” short ; the hard, cruel expression of “Magistrate! I—why ?-nonsense his mouth, little seen of late, came --set the police to work.” back to it. Poole recoiled, and his "Your deposition that she is your bones began again to ache. “I did lawful child, lawfully made over to not mean to offend you, Mr Losely, me, is necessary for the Inquisitionbut to caution,”

I mean Police. “ Caution !"

“Hang it, what a bother! I hate There were two knowing coves, magistrates, and belonging to who, if they had not been so drunk, them. Well, I must breakfast, I'll · would not have lost their money see to it afterwards. Oblige me by without a row, and they would have not calling Mr Waife a villainseen how they lost it; they are - good old fellow in his way;" sharpers--you served them right- Good ! Powers above!” don't be angry with me. You want “But if he took her off, how did a partner- so do I; you play better he get at her? It must have been than I do, but I play well; you shall preconcerted.” have two-thirds of our winnings, and “ Ha ! true. But she has not been when you come to town I'll introduce suffered to speak to a soul not in the you to a pleasant set of young fellows company,Mrs Crane excepted ?" -green.

"Perhaps at the performance last Jasper mused a moment. “You night some signal was given ?” know a thing or two, I see, Master * But if Waife had been there I Poole, and we'll discuss the whole should have seen him ; my troop



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

would have known him ; such a re- eye and his possession of a white dog, markable face-one eye, too.” he was told by several witnesses that

“Well, well, do what you think a man blind of two eyes, and led by a best. I'll call on you after breakfast; black dog, had been close before the let me go now. Basta ! basta !stage, just previous to the performLosely wrenched himself from the

But then the clown had manager, aud strode off to the inn; spoken to that very man; all the then, ere joining Poole, he sought Thespian company had observed Mrs Crane.

him; all of them had known Waife "This going before a magistrate,” familiarly for years; and all deposed said Losely, “ to depose that I have that any creature more unlike to made over my child to that black- Waife than the blind man could not guard showman - in this town too be turned out of Nature's workshop. -after such luck as I have had, and But where was that blind man? They where bright prospects are opening on found out the wayside inn in which he me, is most disagreeable. And sup- had taken a lodging for the night; and posing, when we have traced Sophy, there it was ascertained that he had she should be really with the old paid for his room beforehand, stating man-awkward! In short, my dear that he should start for the racefriend, my dear Bella"-(Losely could course early in the morning. Rugge be very coaxing when it was worth himself set out to the race-course to his while)—“ you just manage this kill two birds with one stone-catch for me. I have a fellow in the next Mr Losely-examine the blind man room waiting to breakfast; as soon as himself. breakfast is over I shall be off to the He did catch Mr Losely, and very race-ground, and so shirk that rant- ņearly caught something else - for ing old bore; you'll call on him in- that gentleman was in a ring of noisy stead, and settle it somehow.” He horsemen, mounted on a hired hack, was out of the room before she could and loud as the noisiest. When answer.

Rugge came up to his stirrup, and Mrs Crane found it no easy mat- began his harangue, Losely turned ter to soothe the infuriate manager his hack round with so sudden an when he heard Losely was gone to appliance of bit and spur, that the amuse himself at the race-course. animal lashed out, and its heel went Nor did she give herself much trouble within an inch of the manager's to pacify Mr Rugge's anger, or assist cheek-bone. Before Rugge could his investigations. Her interest in recover, Losely was in a hand-gallop. the whole affair seemed over. Left But the blind man! Of course Rugge thus to his own devices, Rugge, how- did not find him? You are misever, began to institute a sharp, and taken ; he did. The blind man was what promised to be an effective in there, dog and all.

The manager vestigation. He ascertained that the spoke to him, and did not know him fugitive certainly had not left by the from Adam. railway, or by any of the public con- Nor have you or I, my venerated veyances; he sent scouts over all the readers, any right whatsoever to neighbourhood; he enlisted the sym- doubt whether Mr Rugge could be so pathy of the police, who confidently stolidly obtuse. Granting that blind assured him that they had 'a net- sailor to be the veritable William work over the three kingdoms ;' no Waife William Waife was a man of doubt they have, and we pay for it; genius, taking pains to appear an but the meshes are so large that any- ordinary mortal. And the anecdotes thing less than a whale must be silly of Munden, or of Bamfylde Moore indeed if it consent to be caught. Carew,suflice to tell us how Protean is Rugge's suspicions were directed to the power of transformation in a man Waite--he could collect, however, whose genius is mimetic. But how no evidence to confirm them. No often does it happen to us, venerated person answering to Waife's descrip- readers, not to recognise a man of tion had been seen in the town. Once, genius, even when he takes no parindeed, Rugge was close on the right ticular pains to escape detection ! A scent ; for, insisting upon Waife's one man of genius may be for ten years

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ibica in :



our next-door neighbour-he may on a pedestal, and have him cried, dine in company with us twice a- “Oyez! () yez! Found a man of week-his face may be as familiar to genius! Public property--open to our eyes as our arm-chair-his voice inspection !” does not the other half to our ears as the click of our parlour- the world put on its spectacles, turn clock-yet we are never more as- up its nose, and cry, “ That a man of tonished than when all of a sudden, genius, indeed! Pelt him !- pelt some bright day, it is discovered him ?" Then of course there is a that our next-door neighbour is—a clatter, what the vulgar call " man of genius. Did you ever hear shindy," round the pedestal. Squeeztell of the life of a man of genius, but ed by his believers, shied at by his what there were numerous witnesses scoffers, the poor man gets horribly who deposed to the fact, that until, mauled about, and drops from the perfidious dissembler, hé flared up perch in the midst of the row. Then and set the Thames on fire, they had they shovel him over, clap a great never seen anything in him—an odd stone on his relics, wipe their forecreature, perhaps a good creature- heads, shake hands, compromise the probably a poor creature;-But a MAN dispute, the one half the world admitof GENIUS! They would as soon have ting, that though he was a genius he suspected him of being the Cham of was still an ordinary man ; the other Tartary! Nay, candid readers, are half allowing, that though he was an there not some of you who refuse to ordinary man, he was still a genius. the last to recognise the man of And so on to the next pedestal with genius, till he has paid his penny to its “Hic stet,” and the next great Charon, and his passport to immor- stone with its “ Hic jacet.” tality has been duly examined by the The manager of the Grand Theatricustomhouse officers of Styx! When cal Exhibition gazed on the blind one-half the world drag forth that sailor, and did not know him from same next-door neighbour, place him Adam!


The aboriginal Man-eater, or Pocket Cannibal, is susceptible of the refining influences

of Civilisation. He decorates his lair with the skins of his victims; he adorns his person with the spoils of those whom he devours. Mr Losely introduced to Mr Poole's friends dresses for dinner; and, combining elegance with appetite, eats them up.

Elated with the success which yields to a woman whose wits are had rewarded his talents for pecuni- superior to his own. ary speculation, and dismissing from It is true that Jasper, on his rehis mind all thoughts of the fugitive turn to the metropolis, was not magSophy and the spoliated Rugge, netically attracted towards Podden Jasper Losely returned to London in Place; nay, days and even weeks company with his new friend, Mr elapsed, and Mrs Crane was not Poole. He left Arabella Crane to gladdened by his presence. But she perform the same journey, unattend- knew that her influence was only ed; but that grim lady, carefully con- suspended — not extinct. The body cealing any resentment at such want attracted was for the moment kept of gallantry, felt assured that she from the body attracting, by the abshould not be long in London with- normal weights that had dropped out being honoured by his visits. into its pockets. Restore the body

In renewing their old acquaintance, thus temporarily counterpoised to its Mrs Crane had contrived to establish former lightness, and it would turn over Jasper that kind of influence to Podden Place as the needle to the which a vain man, full of schemes Pole. Meanwhile, oblivious of all that are not to be told to all the such natural laws, the disloyal Jasper world, but which it is convenient to had fixed himself as far from the discuss with some confidential friend reach of the magnet as from Bloomswho admires himself too highly not bury's remotest verge is St James's to respect his secrets, mechanically animated centre. The apartment lie

« AnteriorContinuar »