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South-Sea House, what a freshness it gives to the dreary pile! Four little winged marble boys used to play their virgin fancies, spouting out ever-fresh streams froin their innocent wanton lips, in the square of Lincoln's Inn, when I was no bigger than they were figured. They are gone and the spring choked up. The fashion, they tell me, is gone by, and these things are esteemed childish. Why not then gratify children, by letting them stand ? Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. They are awakening images to them at least. Why must every thing smack of man and be mannish? Is the world all grown up? Is childhood dead ? Or is there not in the bosoms of the wisest and best some of the child's heart left, to respond to its earliest enchantments? The figures were grotesque. Are the stiff-wigged living figures, that still flitter and chatter about that area, less Gothic in appearance ? or is the splutter of their hot rhetoric one half so refreshing and innocent as the little cool playful streams those exploded cherubs uttered ?

They have lately Gothicized the entrance to the Inner Temple hall, and the library front, to assimilate them, I suppose, to the body of the hall, which they do not at all resemble. What is become of the winged horse that stood over the former? a stately arms! and who has removed those frescoes of the virtues, which Italianized the end of the Paper Buildings? my first hint of allegory! They must account to me for these things which I miss so greatly.

The terrace is, indeed, left, which we used to call the parade : but the traces are past away of the footsteps which made its pavement awful! It is become common and profane. The old benchers had it almost sacred to themselves, in the fore part of the day at least. They might not be sided or jostled. Their air and dress asserted the parade. You left wide spaces

when

you passed them. We walk on even terms with their successors. The roguish eye of J--11, ever ready to be delivered of a jest, almost invites a stranger to vie a repartee with it. But what insolent familiar durst have mated Thomas Coventry ? whose person was a quadrate, his step massy and elephantine, his face square as the lion's, his gait peremptory and pathkeeping, indivertible from his way as a moving column, the scarecrow of his infeiors, the browbeater of equals and superiors, who made a solitude of children wherever he came, for they fled his insufferable presence, as they would have shunned an Elisha bear. His growl was as thunder in their ears, whether he spake to them in mirth or in rebuke ; his invitatory notes being, indeed, of all, the most repulsive and horrid. Clouds of snuff, aggravating the natural terrors of his speech, broke from each ma

g*

between you,

jestic nostril, darkening the air. He took it, not by pinches but a palmful at once, diving for it under the mighty flaps o. his oldfashioned waistcoat pocket; his waistcoat red and an gry; his coat dark rapee, tinctured by die original, and by adjuncts, with buttons of obsolete gold. And so he paced the terrace.

By his side a milder form was sometimes to be seen; the pensive gentility of Samuel Salt. They were coevals, and had nothing but that and their benchership in common.

In politics Salt was a whig, and Coventry a stanch tory. Many a sarcastic growl did the latter cast out—for Coventry had a rough spinous humour-at the political confederates of his associate, which rebounded from the gentle bosom of the latter like cannon balls from wool. You could not ruffle Samuel Salt.

S. had the reputation of being a very clever man, and of excellent discernment in the chamber practice of the law. I suspect his knowledge did not amount to much.

When a case of difficult disposition of money, testamentary or otherwise, came before him, he ordinarily handed it over with a few instructions to his man Lovel, who was a quick little fellow, and would despatch it out of hand by the light of natural understanding, of which he had an uncommon share. It was incredible what repute for talents S. enjoyed by the mere trick of gravity. He was a shy man ; a child might pose him in a minute--indolent and procrastinating to the last degree. Yet men would give him credit for vast application in spite of himself. He was not to be trusted with himself with impunity. He never dressed for a dinner party but he forgot his sword—they wore swords then—or some other necessary part of his equipage. Lovel had his eye upon him on all these occasions, and ordinarily gave him his cue. If there was anything which he could speak unseasonably, he was sure to do it. He was to dine at a relative's of the unfortunate Miss Blandy on the day of her execution; and L., who had a wary foresight of his probable hallucinations, before he set out, schooled him with great anxiety not in any possible manner to allude to her story that day. S. promised faithfully to observe the injunction. He had not been seated in the parlour, where the company was expecting the dinner summons, four minutes, when, a pause in the conversation ensuing, he got up, looked out of the window, and pulling down his ruffles--an ordinary motion with him-observed, “ it was a gloomy day," and added, " Miss Blandy must be hanged by this time, I suppose.” Instances of this sort were perpetual. Yet S. was ihought by some of the greatest men of his time a fil person tu be consulted, not alone in matters pertaining to the law, but in the ordinary niceties and embarrassments of conduct from force of manner entirely. He never laughed. He had the same good fortune among the female world-wa

was a known toast with the ladies, and one or two are said to have died for love of him-I suppose, because he never trifled or talked gallantry with them, or paid them, indeed, hardly common attentions. He had a fine face and person, but wanted, methought, the spirit that should have shown them off with advantage to the women. His eye lacked lustre. Not so, thought Susan P ; who, at the advanced age of sixty, was seen, in the cold evening time, unaccompanied, wetting the pavement of B -d Row, with tears that fell in drops which might be heard, because her friend had died that day-he, whom she had pursued with a hopeless passion for the last forty years—a passion, which years could not extinguish or abate; nor the long-resolved, yet gently-enforced, puttings off of unrelenting bachelorhood dissuade from its cherished purpose. Mild Susan P—, thou hast now thy friend in heaven!

Thomas Coventry was a cadet of the noble family of that name. He passed his youth in contracted circumstances, which gave him early those parsimonious habits which in after life never forsook him ; so that, with one windfall or another, about the time I knew him he was master of four or five hundred thousand pounds ; nor did he look, or walk, worth a moidore less. He lived in a gloomy house opposite the pump in Sergeant's Inn, Fleet-street. J., the counsel, is doing self-imposed penance in it, for what reason I divine not, at this day. C. had an agreeable seat at North Cray, where he seldom spent above a day or two at a time in the summer; but preferred, during the hot months, standing at his window in this damp, close, well-like mansion, to watch, as he said, " the maids drawing water all day long." I suspect he had his within-door reasons for the preference. Hic currus et arma fuere. He might think his treasures more safe. His house had the aspect of a strong box. C. was a close hunks -a hoarder rather than a miser-or, if a miser, none of the mad Elwes breed, who have brought discredit upon a character, which cannot exist without certain admirable points of steadiness and unity of purpose. One may hate a true miser, but cannot, I suspect, so easily despise him. By taking care of the pence he is often enabled to part with the pounds, upon a scale that leaves us careless, generous fellows halting at an immeasurable distance behind. C. gave away 30,0001. at once in his lifetime to a blind charity. His housekeeping was severely looked after, but he kept the table of a gentle.

man.

He would know who came in and who went out of his house, but his kitchen chimney was never suffered to freeze.

Salt was his opposite in this, as in all-never knew what he was worth in the world ; and having but a competency for his rank, which his indolent habits were but little calculated to improve, might have suffered severely if he had not had nonest people about him. Lovel took care of everything. He was at once his clerk, his good servant, his dresser, his friend, his "flapper,” his guide, stop watch, auditor, treasures He did nothing without consulting Lovel, or failed in anythin without expecting and fearing his admonishing. He put him self almost too much in his hands, had. they not been the purest in the world. He resigned his title aimust to respect as a master, if I.. could ever have forgotten for a moment that he was a servant.

I knew this Lovel. He was a man of an incorrigible and losing honesty. A good fellow withal, and “would strike.' In the cause of the oppressed he never considered inequalities or calculated the number of his opponents. He once wrested a sword out of the hand of a man of quality that had drawn upon him, and pommelled him severely with the hilt of it. The swordsman had offered insult to a female—an occasion upon which no odds against him could have prevented the interference of Lovel. He would stand next day bareheaded to the same person, modestly to excuse his interference-for L. never forgot rank, where something better was not concerned. L. was the liveliest little fellow breathing, had a face as gay as Garrick's, whom he was said greatly to resemble, (I have a portrait of him which confirms it,) possessed a fine turn for humorous poetry-next to Swift and Priormoulded heads in clay or plaster of Paris. to admiration, by the dint of natural genius merely: turned cribbage boards, and such small cabinet toys, to perfection ; took a hand at quadrille or bowls with equal facility ; made punch better than any man of his degree in England ; had the merriest quips and conceits, and was altogether as brimful of rogueries and inventions as you could desire. He was a brother of the angler, moreover, and just such a free, hearty, honest companion as Mr. Izaak Walton would have chosen to go a fishing with. I saw him in his old age and the decay of his faculties, palsy smitten, in the last sad stage of human weakness—"a remnant most forlorn of what he was ;" yet even then his eye would light up on the mention of his favourite Garrick. He was greatest, he would say, in Bayes—" was upon the stage nearly throughout the whole performance, and as busy

5 her own

as a bee.” At intervals, too, he would speak of his former life, and how he came up a little boy from Lincoln to go to service, and how his mother cried at parting with him, and how he returned, after some few years' absence, in his smart new livery to see her, and she blessed herself at the change and could hardly be brought to believe that it was vairn.” And then, the excitement subsiding, he would weer till I have wished that sad second childhood might have a mother still to lay its head upon her lap. But the common mother of us all in no long time after received him gently into hers.

With Coventry and with Salt, in their walks upon the terrace, most commonly Peter Pierson would join, to make up a third. They did not walk linked arm in arm in those days—.

as now our stout triumvirs sweep the streets”—but generally with both hands folded behind them for state, or with one ai least behind, the other carrying a cane. P. was a benevolent but not a prepossessing man. He had that in his face which you could not term unhappiness; it rather implied an incapa.. city of being happy. His cheeks were colourless, even to whiteness. His look was uninviting, resembling (but without his sourness) that of our great philanthropist. · I know that he did good acts, but I could never make out what he was. Contemporary with these, but subordinate, was Daines Barrington—another oddity-he walked burly and square in imitation, I think, of Coventry-howbeit he attained not to the dignity of his prototype. Nevertheless, he did pretty well, upon the strength of being a tolerable antiquarian, and having a brother a bishop. When the account of his year's treasureship came to be audited, the following singular. charge was unanimously disallowed by the bench : “ Item, disbursed Mr. Allen, the gardener, twenty shillings, for stuff to poison the sparrows, by my orders.” Next to him was old Barton-a jolly negation, who took upon him the ordering of the bills of fare for the parliament chamber, where the benchers dineanswering to the combination rooms at college—much to the easement of his less epicurean brethren. I know nothing more of him. Then Read, and Twopenny-Read, good humoured and personable-Twopenny, good humoured, but thin, and felicitous in jests upon his own figure. If T. was thin, Wharry was attenuated and fleeting. Many must remember him (for he was rather of later date) and his singular gait, which was performed by three steps and a jump regularly succeeding. The steps were little efforts, like that of a child beginning to walk; the jump comparatively vigorous, as a foot o an inch. Where he learned this figure, or what occasioned

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