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me last trip -I mean Brass Wildfire, a piece of an Editor--a fine News-hunter--would spin ten paragraphs out of one.-Oh! a Dare-devil he told me all the secrets of his Pandemonium. He shewed me his pocket-book-rich lessons of roguery!
Squil. Then he was a rascal.
Captain Noah. He was, he was, Squib; but this must be said in his favour, he had candour enough to confess it. No hypocrite, no-no hypocrite. He never wanted a bit of scandal--nor a breakfast-nor a dinner—nor tea—nor supper. He was a pensioner upon almost every profession; he kept his feet dry by puffing a shoemaker; his legs warm by puffing a hosier ;
and back by puffing a taylor and mercer ; his head by puffing a hatter; and, being able to swill porter with the gullet of a whale, he had always a pot ready for his maw, by immortalizing an alehouse. Lord! Lord! he frightened all the actors and actresses out of their senses, and got half their salaries for puffs ! And then for the singers, he made their notes tremble again, poor little nightingales !
Squi). A scoundrel !
Capt. Noah. True, Squib—He used to get away all their trinkets from them-watch-seals, rings, etwees, and sometimes a whole watch--orders for the Play and Opera, which he either made presents of for future dinners, or sold for ready money.
Squib. A villain!
Capt. Noah. True, Squib—He never wanted news at a pinch; would spring from Dan to Beersheba in a twinkling. To enliven the paper, he would fly to Constantinople, rouse the Janissaries, hang up a Bashaw of three tails, poison the grand Mufti, set fire to the Seraglio, make the Ladies scamper forth in their smocks, and the Grand Signor run, like a lamplighter, in his shirt.
Squib. Fie! Captain Noah.
time he would jump to Algiers, put out the eyes of a young Dey, step a hundred miles into the country that refused tribute, and bring home a hundred hogsheads of ears-step away into Egypt, and overturn a pyramid with an earthquake-then hey for Smyrna, and kill a million or two with a plague.
Squib. Captain Noah ! Captain Noah !
Capt. Noah. True, Squib--If he wanted a piece of Indian newspresto, begone! He murdered a whole ship's crew in the Straits of Malacca-put a ship, for a fortnight, on her beam ends, in the Straits of Sundy --then faced about to Bengal and Madras ; hopped to Seringapatam, shook down the palace about Tippoo's ears, tumbled Tippoo over the Gauts, and put out his eyes amongst the Mahrattas.
Squil. Shameful, Captain !
Capt. Noah. All his own confessions, Squib— Then he would set off for Bombay, sink the island of Elephanta in a volcano, dart through the Straits to Babelmandel, cut through the Red-Sea, murder a few hordes of Arabs on the banks, demolish Suez, dash through the Desert, plunge into the Mediterranean, and set all the islands of the Archipelago in open
rebellion. Squib. O! Captain.
Capt. Noah. True, Squib-if he wanted to fill up, and wished for a bit of news from Jamaica, he would conjure up his old friend, the Yellow-Fever, and lay you dead thirty thousand pounds-worth of officers in one room-set the council, assembly, and governor by the ears, and transfer the seat of government from Spanish-Town to Kingston-hop up amongst the Blue Mountains, infect young King Cudjoe with rebellion, and give the island to the Negroes.
Squib. Captain Noah, fie! Capt. Noah. True, Squib-A rare fellow! He put a fine parcel of money into the pockets of the Proprietors--quite a Filch! Oh a blessed babe of grace! Did a family refuse to take in the Paper, to which he tas a hack, he would make the father a bankrupt, the mother a bawd, the sons swindlers, and the daughters bastards, big with child by the footmen or stableboys.
Squib. Such a fellow ought to be hanged, my dear fellow.
Capt. Noah. He did, Squib-If an author did not advertise in his paper, he was sure to be loaded with abuse-was a dull hound-a thief. Then, as for scandal, he would invent a vile talemput it into his paper, get the abused parties about him-It could not be helped, he had a handsome sum for inserting it. He must live-family of children-hard times-Open to all parties—nothing could be fairer ; but if an answer were wished, it should be put in. Well, an answer is inserted-he answers the answer with blacker inventions; goes to the house of the scandalized party, sympathises, promises, dines, sups, tries to debauch the wife or daughter, empties their pockets, moves off, and laughs at them as fools for not suspecting him to be a villain !
Squib. Is it possible ?
Capt. Noah. Yes, very possible, Squib.— It is surprising that Justice Colquhoun, who has written so much upon abuse, should omit this Giant of nuisances, this plague to society; but he was afraid, afraid, I suppose, of being stung to death by a hornet or two.
ESHREW the sombre pencil ! said I, vauntingly,
for I envy not its powers, which paints the evils of life with so hard and deadly a colouring. The mind sits terrified at the objects she has magnified herself, and blackened : reduce them to their proper size and hue, she overlooks them.-'Tis true, said I, correcting the proposition—the Bastile is not an evil to be despised but strip it of its towers---fill up the fosse unbarricade the doors-call it simply a confinement, and suppose 'tis some tyrant of a distemper-and not a man which holds you in it-the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint.
I was interrupted in the hey-day of this soliloquy, with a voice, which I took to be of a child, which complained " it could not get out.”—I looked up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman, nor child, I went out without farther attention.
In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and, looking up, I saw it was a Starling hung in a little cage.- “ I can't get out I can't get out,” said the Starling.
I stood looking at the bird : and to every person who came through the passage it ran fluttering to the side towards which they approached it, with the same lamentation of its captivity—“I can't get out,” said the Starling.–God help thee, said I; but I will let thee out, cost what it will ; 'so I turned about the cage to get at the door ;-it was twisted and double twisted so fast with wire, there was no getting it open, without pulling it to pieces—I took both hands to it.
The bird few to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head throagh the irellis, pressed his breast against it, as if impatient-I fear, poor creature! said I, I cannot set thee at liberty
No,” said the Starling"I can't get out I can't et out,” said the Starling.
I vow I never had my affections more tenderly awakened : nor do I remember an incident in my life, where the dissipated spirits, to which my reason had been a bubble, were so suddenly called home. Mecha. nical as the notes were, yet so true in tune to nature were they chanted, that in one moment they overthrew all my systematic reasoning upon the Bastile ; and I heavily walked up stairs, unsaying every word I had said in going down them.
Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery ! said I still thou art a bitter draught! and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account.--'Tis thou, thrice sweet and gracious goddess ! addressing myself to Liberty, whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till Nature herself shall change-ne tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into iron—with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled.--Gracious Heaven! cried I, kneeling down upon the last step but one in my ascent-Grant me but health, thou great Bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as a companion—and shower down thy mitres, if it seem good unto thy divine Providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.
THE bird in his cage pursued me into my room; I
sat down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination.
I was going to begin with the millions of my fellowcreatures born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me
I took a single captive, and having first shut him