Page images
PDF
EPUB

left me and Mrs Pringle standing on the Doctor's old lodging in Norfolk the wharf, and went himself to bring Street, Strand, where the landlady was a hackney for us and our luggage. most glad to see the Doctor and the They were, in their way to Captain Mistress looking so well, but her house Sabre's in Baker Street, to set me down was taken up with foreigners from difat the lodging-house in Norfolk Street, ferent parts of the country come to see Strand, where they had been civilly the King crowned, and she could not treated while living there when up accommodate me therein. However, about their great legacy,—" but ance as I was a friend of the Doctor's, she awa aye awa." Long and wearily did invited me to step into her parlour, Mrs Pringle and me wait, and no word and she would send to a neighbour in of the Doctor coming back. The Mis- Howard Street that had a very comtress at last grew uneasy, and I was fortable bed-room to let. So I bađe terrified, suffering more than tongue my fellow-passengers good day, and, can tell, till the Doctor made his ap- stepping in, was in due season accompearance in a coach, as pale as ashes, modated, as was expected, in the house and the sweat hailing from his brow. of Mrs Damask, a decent widow woHe had lost his road; and, rambling man, that made her bread by letting about in quest of it, and likewise of a lodgings to sin gle gentlemen. coach, was mobbit by a pack of ne'er- Having thus narrated the occasion do-weels and little-worth women in a and voyage of my coming to London, place called Ratcliffe Highway, and in I will now pause, in order to digest the hobbleshow his watch was picket and methodize such things as it may out of his pocket by a pocket-picker, be entertaining to the courteous reader and his life might have been ta’en, but to hear, concerning my exploits and for the interference of a creditable observes in the metropolitan city; for looking man, who rescued him out of it is no my intent to enter upon the their hands.

particularities of buildings and curioThis was a sore sample to me of the sities, but only to confine my pen to Londoners; and I quaked inwardly matters appertaining to the objects of when, as we drove along the street in business that drew me thither, with the hackney, I saw the multitudes such an account of the coronation as flowing onward without end, like a may naturally be expected from one running river, thronger than the Tron- who had so many advantages at the gate on a Wednesday, especially when same as I had ; not, however, would I thought of the crowd that was ex- I have it supposed, that I paid any pected to be at the Coronation. How- greater attention to thepageantry there ever, nothing happened, and I was set of, than was becoming a man of my down with my trunk at the door of years and sobriety of character.

PART. II.THE PREPARATIONS.

London being, as is well known, a it was a most uncertain thing; and as place of more considerable repute than for the King's own proclamation anent Greenock, or even Port Glasgow, up- the same, is it not written in the Bion which I have so fully enlarged in ble, “Put not your trust in princes?” my foregoing voyages, it seems meet However, scarcely had Mrs Damask that I should be at some outlay of shewn me the bed-room that was to be pains and particularities in what I have mine, and I had removed our sederunt, to indite concerning it; and, therefore, after settling terms, to her parlour, it is necessary to premise, by way of where she was to get me a chop of mutpreface, to appease critical readers, that ton for my dinner, than she began to my observations were not so full and inquire if I wasna come to see the cosatisfactory as they might have been, ronation. But I said to her, which because of the hubbub of his Majesty's was the fact, “ I am come on business; royal coronation, which happened to no that I object to look at the crowning take place while I was there. It's true the King, if its possible, but it would that I had an inkling, by the newspa- be an unco like thing o' a man at my pers, before my departure from Glas- years of discretion to be running afgow, that the solemnity might be per- ter ony sic-like proformity.” formed about the time I counted on She was, however, very much like being in London, but every body knows my own landlady, Mrs M'Lecket, a

thought dubious of my sincerity on proper purposes, as may be found set that point, and the inair I said to con. forth in “ The Picture of London," á vince her that I had a very important book which I boughton the recommends matter in hand, the less did she look ation of Mrs Damask, and in which as if she believed me. But she said no- there is a prodigality of entertainment thing, a thing which I must commend But the thing which struck me most; as the height of prudence, and as a as I passed by, was the cloth-shop of swatch of good breeding among the one Mr Solomon, a Jew man, in the Englishers, for there is not a Scotch window of which were many embroilandlady, who, in such a case, would dered waistcoats, and other costly but not have shaken her head like a scep- old-fashioned garments; with swords tic, if she did na charge me with tell- of polished steel, and cockit liats, and ing an even doun lee.

a parapharnalia sufficient to have furWhen I was sitting at my dinner, nished the best playhouse with garbs there arose a great tooting of horns in for all the ancient characters of the the street, most fearful it was to hear tragedies and comedies. them; and I thought that an alarm Seeing such a show of bravery, I stopmust be somewhere ; so ringing the pit to look; and falling into a converse bell, Mrs Damask came into the room, with a gentleman, he told me when I saying it was but the evening newspa- said that surely Mr Solomon did not pers, with something about the coro- expect to get many customers for such nation, the which raised my curiosity; old shop-keepers--that what I saw were and I thought that surely the said court dresses, and were lent with swords something must be past ordinaire, to and buckles, and all other necessary occasion such a rippet; and, there- appurtenances to the bargain, for five fore, I sent out and paid a whole shil- guineas a-piece to gentlemen going to ling for one of the papers, but it con- the levees and drawing-rooms, and tained not a word of satisfaction. It, that they were there displayed for however, had the effect of causing me, hire to those who intended to see the when I had finished my chack of din. ceremonies in Westminster Hall. This ner, to resolve to go out to inspeet the I thought a very economical fashion, preparations that were making at West- but it did not make so much for the minster Hall and the Abbey. Accord, cloth trade as the old custom of folks ingly, Mrs Damask telling me how I wearing their own apparel, and it seemwas to direct myself, I sallied forth in ed to me that it would have been more quest of the same ; and after getting for the advantage of business had the into that street called the Strand, found Privy Counsellors, and those who had that I had nothing to do but flow in the direction of the Coronation, orderthe stream of the people ; and I sooned and commanded all gentlemen to made an observe, that the crowd in wear new dresses of a new fashion, London are far more considerate than instead of those curiosities of antiquiwith us at Glasgow-the folk going ty, that make honest people look like one way, keep methodically after one the pictures of Philip, Earl of Chesteranother; and those coming the other field, Knight of the Garter, which may way do the same, by a natural instinct be seen in one of the volumes of my of civilization, so that no confusion en- very old Magazine, wherein there is a sues, and none of that dinging, and full and particular account of the late bumping, and driving, that happens in coronation, the which was the cause of the Trongate, especially on a Wednes- my bringing the book in my trunk day, enough to make the soberest man from Glasgow, in order to enable me wud at the misleart stupidity of the to make comparisons. folk, particularly of the farmers and I had not travelled far towards the their kintra wives, that have creels Abbey of Westminster, when I had good with eggs and butter on their arms. reason to see and note, that, consider,

On entering the multitude, I was ing all things, it was very lucky for conveyed by them to the Cross, where me to have got to London when I did, there is an effigy of a king, no unlike, for there was such a vast preparation in some points, our King William ; that it could not, I think, have been and winding down to the left, I saw in the King's power, with any sort of divers great houses and stately fabrics, respect for his people, to have postof various dimensions, suited to their poned his royal Coronation. The sight, VOL. X

B

guilt

indeed, was such as is not to be told you that have ruined the Queen's cause hundreds of men were as busy as bees-What have you to do with her working at their bikes, building lafts or innocence, you-baggage-you?" and galleries for spectators, by which The woman looked at him very sethe owners expected to make a fortune, verely; and as I was only a stranger it being certain that money at the time in London, I thought it best to make of a coronation, as the old song sings nimble heels from the scene to another “ Flies like the dust in a summer's day.” heard her at him, banning the faint

part, and before I was well away I However, there were sedate persons heartedness of him and all his like, for among the crowd, with whom I enter- false friends to the queen. ed into discourse ; and they told me, The next I spoke to was a young gen. as indeed the matter came truly to teel man, with a most methodical gravat, pass, that the Babel-builders of the prejinctly tied, and I inquired at hiin scaffolds were over-doing the business, what was his opinion. “ It will be a for, that although great prices for seats wery fine thing; his Majesty, you see, may have been given at the old King's vill go halong that there platform, vith solemnity, the like would not happen trumpets, and the ouse of peers; then again, the space now around the Ab- he vill coine by this ere place, and get bey, and all the way the procession into the Habbey there, where the was to march, being greatly enlarged Harshbishop vill hanoint im vith the compared to what it was in former hoil, and put the crown hon is ead. times, and so capable of accommoda- Then hevisl come back; hand hout that ting a far greater multitude than of rection yonder, the champion, hall in old.

armour, vill ride into the all, and chalThis observe made me look about lenge to single combat his Majesty's me; and to touch here and there on henemies." the generalities of the subject to other “You may say that, now that Bopersons, who, having a civil look, en- ney's gone,” cried a pawkey young lad, couraged me, though a stranger, to who was the companion of this gentle. break my mind to them.

tleman; “ but, it's my opinion, the I fell in, among the rest, with a whole will be a most confounded bore. most creditable elderly man, something Give me a review for a show. How of a Quaker it would seem, by the so can old men, judges, and privy counbriety of his attire, the colour was a sellors, with gouty toes, and shaking brown mixture, and he said to me heads, make else than a caricature of that he thought the Coronation a most solemnities?" ill-timed proceeding, to which I re- “Very just,” interposed a man in a plied that surely in a season of great suit of shabby black, of a clerical cut. distress throughout the kingdom, it “ The ceremony has survived the uses was not well counselled.

which gave it sanctity in the eyes of “I don't speak of THE DISTRESSES,” the people. It will now pass like a pasaid he, in a dry manner," because geant of the theatre, and be no longer that is what should be-the landlords impressive on its own account, but in parliament cannot expect to have merely on account of the superior high rents and regular paying tenants quantity of the silk and lace that may if they reduce their customers to half be shewn in the dresses. Had the spipay. But it is the Queen, sir--the rit of the age been consulted by his Queen's case is what makes it most Majesty, the thing would have been imprudent-all these poor people, with different. It would have been shewn their scaffolds and booths, will be ruin- in some royal act of grace and favour, ed by it-nobody will come to see the such as the foundation of a noble inCoronation, for it is feared there will stitution, where courses of lectures be a riot.”

might be given by men of genius and “ God bless you, sir, you are one of literature, qualified to do justice to the the protectors of innocence, I can see topics." I supposed the gentleman was that,” cried a randy-like woman, with a professor of lecturing himself; and a basket selling grozets, overhearing dreading that he might open on me, I our conversation." Get about your walked to another part of the edificial own affairs, hussy !” exclaimed my preparations, where I met with a man sober-looking friend. It is such as of a very sound understanding, who described to me how the floor of the two, roaring full of strangers and wayplatform was to be covered with broad faring people, within the very bounds cloth, which both of us agreed was a and precincts of the coronation palace! most commendable encouragement of I there forgathered with a batch of trade, on the part of his most gracious decent looking folk, moralizing on the majesty'; and we thought, likewise, scene. Some thought the booths and that the expence, both by the King, benches were very handsome; and and the spectators, was a spreading of certainly such of them as were hung money, that would augment the means with the red durant, and serge and of spending to those employed, and, worsted fringes, might deserve a comthrough them, give encouragement to mendation, as they could not but prove the dealers in all desirable commodi- to the profit of business ; but as for ties. The very outlay for ale and strong those that were ornamented with padrink, will encourage the brewers, and per and paintings, though they might the colonies, and the traders in wines, cast a show of greater splendour, they from which farmers and merchants will were undoubtedly of a very gaudy nadraw profit; and all traders so heart- ture, and not at all suitable to the soened, will increase the braws of their lemn occasion of a Royal Coronation. wives and families, to the great ad- When I had, by this itinerancy of vantage of the manufacturers and those the preparations, pacified my curiosity, in the fancy line.

I returned homeward to the house of While we were thus speaking on Mrs Damask to get a cup of tea, and the beneficial consequences of the co- to consult with her as to what was ronation, a most termagant rioter came best to be done about getting admitup, bawling one minute, “ The Queen tance to the Hall or the Abbey; for for ever!" and then turning his tongue by this time it was growing dark, and in his cheek, and roaring, God save there was but the Wednesday between the King !" I really thought the rank and the day fixed, which made me reand dignity of both their majesties suf- solve, as I did upon her advice, to postfered greatly by this proceeding, and pone all serious thoughts of business I wonder the ministers did not, by a until after the ceremony,--people's proclamation, forbid all such irrever- heads being turned, and nobody in a ence anent the characters of the King state to talk with sobriety on any other and Queen. Saying this to a stiff and matter or thing. dry man, of a pale metaphysical look, While we were thus conversing, and and a spare habit of body, he said to the tea getting ready, a chaise, with a me, “ that the coronation did not con- footman behind it, came to the door, cern personalities, but was a solemn and a knocking ensued with the knock recognition of the monarchical princi- er that was just an alarm to hear,ple in the Constitution, and that they and who should this be but that worwere vulgar fools who considered it as thy man Doctor Pringle, in his gudea custom, which any sensible man con- son's, the Captain Sabre's, carriage, founded with two such mere puppets come to assist me how I could best see as the individuals we call King and the show. “Knowing,” said he, “Mr Queen.” Surely this was the saying Duffle, that you are a man of letters, of a dungeon of wit, and I would fain and may be inclined to put out a book have gone deeper into the matter with on the Coronation, I couldna but take him; but just as we were on the edge a pleasure in helping you forward to of something of a very instructive na. particulars. Mrs Pringle herself would ture, a gang of rankringing enemies have come with me; but this being of blackguard callants came bawling the first night with her dochter Raamong us, and I was glad to shove my- chel, who is not so near her time as self off in another direction.

we expectit, she couldna think of The first place where I again fell in leaving her, so I came by myself to with other conversible visitants was let you know, that we have a mean in near to a side-door of Westminster- our gude-son to get tickets baith to see Hall, where I was greatly chagrined to the Hall and the Abbey, so you may find two public-houses within the same set yourself easy on that head. But, -what would our provost think of even Mr Duffle, there's a great impediment, one change-house within the entrance I doubt, to be overcome; for it's orof the new court-houses? and here were dered by authority, that gentlemen are to be in Court dresses, and I fear yell-persuaded by the man to take a skythink that o'er costly, being so far from blue silk suit, richly flowered, with in your own shop, where you could get embroidered white satin waistcoat, the cloth at the first hand; over and adorned with glass buttons. I would above which, the Coronation is so near, fain myself have had one of the plain that I doubt it is not in the power of cloth sort, such as I saw the generali, nature for any tailor to make the garb ty of gentlemen preferring, but I was in time."

overly persuaded, particularly by the I need not say how well pleased I man offering me the loan for a guinea was with this complimentary attention less than the others were let for. The of Doctor Pringle; and when I told Doctor, too, in this was partly to blame; him of Mr Solomon and the old-fa- for he greatly insisted, that the gayer shioned clothes, we had a most jocose the apparel the more proper it was for laugh about the same; and he said, the occasion,-although I told him, that, as soon as I had taken my tea, that a sky-blue silk dress, with great we would go together in the Captain's red roses and tulips, and glass buttoas, carriage to Mr Solomon's shop, and was surely not in any thing like a beget a suit of Court clothes for me. As coming concordance with the natural for the Doctor, he stood in no need of douceness of my character. However, such vanity; having brought up his persuaded I was; and we brought the gown and bands with him, in case of dress away,--sword, and cockit-hat, being obligated to preach any charity with all the other parapharnalia,-and sermons, as he was in his legacy visit the Doctor and me had great sport at to London, and he was told, that my lodgings about the spurtle-sword, clergymen were to be admitted in their for we were long of finding out the gowns. “ Indeed,” said the Doctor, way to put it on,-for it was very inär Rachel wrote to her mother of this commodious to me on the left side, as when she pressed us to come to see the I have been all my days Katy-handed. Coronation, which was the cause of Indeed, we were obligated to call up Mrs Pringle putting the gown in the both Mrs Damask and the footman to portmanty; but, you know, if I preach instruct us; and I thought the fellow in another's pulpit, there is never an would have gone off at the head with objection to lend either gown or laughing, at seeing and hearing the bands."

Doctor's perplexity and mine. HowThe Doctor then went to the wine ever, we came to a right understanddow, and, opening the same, said to ing at last; and the Doctor wishing the coachman, that he might put up me good-night went home to his gude his horses for a season at a change- son's, with a promise to come down to house, and come back in half an hour; me betimes in the morning. but I could discern that the Aunkies After he was departed, I began to were draughty fellows, though they consider of the borrowed dress, and I seemed to obey him; for when they, was not at all satisfied with myself at the end of the time, came back with for the gaiety thereof ; I thought also the carriage for us, the horses were that it must surely be one very much reeking hot, and when we stepped in, out of fashion, or it would never have to go to Mr Solomon's at Charing been so much pressed upon me at a Cross, the first thing the Doctor laid moderate rate. -But Mrs Damask his hand on was a lady's ridicule, and thought it most handsome, so subhow it could have come into the car- mitting my own judgment to the opiriage was past all comprehension. But pion of others, I reasoned myself into the footman took charge of it, and contentment, and getting a mutchkin said he knew the owner, so the Doc- of London porter in, and a partan, tor gave it to him; but when I came which to me was dainties, I made a to reflect at leisure on this, I thought competent supper, and retired to my it was very soft of the Doctor to give bed, where I slept as comfortable as it up without an examination. could be till past eight o'clock next

By the time we got to Mr Solomon's morning, when I rose and had my shop, it was full of strangers, on the breakfast, as I had bargained with same errand as ourselves, and it was Mrs Damask, for the which I was to long before we could be served. At pay her at the rate of seven shillings last, however, the Doctor and me were per week, a price not out of the way, '

« PreviousContinue »