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marched to his rooms, when he went to bed and dreamt of the good he must effect throughout the British army by doing away with corporal punishment. The iron frame of the man didn't suffer a little from the castigation he had received, although he was too proud to mention it to any one ; so that when the sun peeped through the barrack window in the morning, it saw him twisting about his body in a variety of ways, as he put on his padded regimentals over his shrunken, lanky form, previous to commencing the labours of the day. His face had lost a portion of its decision, and his body had given away nearly all its iron character; whilst about the colonel's heart there was an electric, tickling sensation, which was quite new to it. He finished his toilet, he put on his cocked hat, and after he had had his breakfast the colonel went to parade, just as thongh nothing whatsoever had happened to disturb the equanimity of his ironness, and he marched about in front of the privates in his ordinary manner.
Well, as he marched about, there passed a few quick glances, one towards another, from those particular privates who had performed the experiment upon him on the past evening, as much as to express the idea of funking, lest they should be had up before a court martial, preparatory to a military execution ; and Richard Biddulph, particularly, stood ready to be singled out as a ringleader; but in that idea they were all mightily disappointed, for the iron colonel would no more have thought of publishing to the British army his own disgrace than he would have imagined it necessary to ask the assistance of the all-merciful Father of us all, previous to an onslaught upon the field of battle. No, he simply got through the parade as soon as possible, and went back to his quarters with decision ; where, after locking the door, he took off his påds, and reflected his well-flogged back by means of a lookingglass, and sighed away privately ; where it is better to let him remain, so that it may be stated that the cats slept for a long time in their boxes, to the surprise of the chaplain, and to the dismay—the fearful dismay-of the doctor. They were well worn, it is true, and had seen much service, so that they deserved some quiet ; but if it had not been for the iron colonel's pains and twinging, it is possible the British army might have been acquainted with them even more intimately than they then were. That flogging had effected a wonderful good to the whole army, for the privates were being gradually taken out of the land of punishment, and it was extraordinary that they weren't harder hearted for it.
But the seed had been planted too early in Richard Biddulph's mind to be ever eradicated, so that he went on his course recklessly ; getting into all manner of messes, and not caring to get out of them with honour. He used to beat his drum upon parade, hang it up afterwards, when he had the rest of the day to himself ; so that whenever the British army marched he generally found some way of amusing himself.
Unnaturally made what he was not as a child, he was callous to every good or noble principle; so that at fights—such as dog fights, and man fights, and cock fights—he was perfectly at home, and gloried in seeing the blood flow from a bite, a whack, or a peck ; yes, it was all the same to him, so that there was blood, it did'nt matter where it came from.
There wasn't a chap in the whole British army that was his match in fighting, inasmuch as he was quite out of the influence of justice, but simply went on as he had been taught to originally.
He had reached the age of hardy manhood, and having a set of ready as well as willing acquaintances, he got the approbation of them all for his daring insults to the whole female population, whether in the person of a maid, a wife, or a widow. Some folks thought it was fortunate when the British army marched into the town, and some thought it was fortunate when the British army marched out of the town; for, as it has been hinted before, they generally did more harm than good to the whole population.
Richard was a regular devil incarnate, dressed in the clothes of a drummer, and if it were possible to paint, with writing ink, a face horrible to look upon, it should be attempted; but as it isn't possible, why it shall not, further than this; it was a face made up of vice, savage brutality, and thirsting for blood ; it was just such a face as may be imagined created by a rod, or a cat-o-nine tails, and fit only for a public executioner.
Reader, don't look at the boy as he was before he was introduced to Dr. Frampton and the British army, but look at the man as he is. Why the old bone will have to use six pairs of spectacles, in order to identify him, by and by, and if the spirit or ghost of his inother still hovers about the path of her early darling, oh, do not expect its faceI don't know if ghosts have faces -don't expect its face to be written upon with the paint brush of a smile. No! no! the heart of that ghost must be swollen to the size of a balloon, from very sympathy and compassion towards that monstrously bad man, who had received the first rudiments of his education within the gates of a Christian school-a public school where rods, canes, and every species of punishment were used for the purpose-oh! wise and heavenly disposed masters !--for the purpose of engrafting sound principles on the minds and hearts of its children. Now, don't say this was bad, and that this was base, and that this was diabolical, but rather say that it is bad, base, and diabolical. Now-for it is to the present that this chapter appeals for confirmation but why go back from the British army to school again ? Why? because it is the same principle, to be sure, and the principle must, and shall be, reformed.
Richard Biddulph kept beating the drum in the British army for a long time, so that he might find the means of living, although if he had then died it would have been better, and he would have continued in the army much longer, if he had thought the work (?) too hard for him; and after all, he only imitated the conduct of a vast number of gentlemen who ride up in omnibuses from Putney or Paddington daily, so that they may stand before fires in Somerset Houses and Treasuries, complaining of the labour they have to perform being excessively bard and extremely perplexing. Newgate Market women, or Covent Garden porters think nothing of a hundred weight, whilst Shakespeares and Lord Chancellors complain of having executed far too little work for the time taken to do it in.
Richard Biddulph, in fact, had a very little to do; so that naturally he thought even that little much, and eventually he found it so irksome that he determined, upon the first occasion, to leave the British army, and go into the ordinary world again. It was not easy to desert, but what did he care for results ; so that one fine morning he marched away from his comrades, taking with him a few trifles, such as money, and so on, which did not actually belong to him. It ought to be stated, however, that the iron colonel very seldom, if ever, flogged, so that Richard Biddulph's occupation was to a certain extent gone; yet he wished, from doing little, to do actually nothing.
He left the British army, and went—but stop, my dear reader, you must allow yourself a few minutes' rest, and if you should pursue the subject, you are likely to meet with him in a much more prominent position than he has taken before ; so let's go into another chapter.
RUM STRIKER AT BARTLEMY.-THE OLD BONE AND JERICO AT A SHOW.
A few chapters back it might have been stated that it was possible the worn-out black who played the cymbals for the British army might be met with again by my dearly-beloved reader, and sure enough bere he is, standing in the front row of the picture, so as to get all the ladies to stare at him. Poor fellow! He was so accustomed to attention and praise from the eyes of young ladies whilst he was attached to the army, really he couldn't live out of such benign and captivating influence; so that after wandering about as a plain man in ordinary clothes for a time, without attracting any kind of attention, he at last agreed with a gentleman who carried his show over the country, to do the cymbals in front of it in consideration of a sum of money weekly, two large bags to put his black thighs into, a bright spangled jacket, a turban made of five cotton pocket-handkerchiefs, and a pair of boots, commonly called ankle jacks. Independent of this agreement, there was an all-important proviso that the aforesaid Rum Striker should occupy the most prominent position on the outside of the caravan at all fairs, &c. &c. &c.
Now the gentleman would have carried the point about prominence to the black without the proviso, but then Striker did not wish to be under the slightest obligation, but rather to take up his position by right, and right only; sɔ that he invariably had his stool placed at the extreme front of the stage, in order that he might be seen to perfection, and, if possible, make himself the sole object of attention.
It must not be imagined that because he was worn out, as far as regarded the British army, that he was actually so to general society; for if that had been the case, the gentleman who kept the show would not have entered into an engagement with him. What is meant by worn out is, that he was old, and not plump enough to play for the British army, although he was quite young enough and fast enough to thrash the cymbals for a show.
Well, Rum Striker upon getting the appointment mounted his clothes as well as the stage, and forthwith Alung the cymbals one against the other until the very air, as well as the ears of his audience, rang again. The gentleman whose show it was exhibited a fat lady—a tremendously fat lady—and a learned pig on the canvass outside, and upon the floor inside of his travelling carriage. To ascend to particulars, the fat lady's name was Smiggs-Mrs. Smiggs—and the pig's name was Trotter ; and as these two curiosities had travelled together for a long time, they were most intimately acquainted; but after all their acquaintance was nothing, when compared with the intimacy which existed between the gentleman and Trotter; for Trotter obeyed every mandate that was given him, and received a wipe with a stick out of the sight of either the inside or the outside audience.
There were many opinions as to which was the greatest curiosity of the two, the pig or the lady; and really many disputes took place upon the subject, so much so indeed, that the gentleman felt inclined to send them out in two caravans—ay, and might have done so if it hadn't been for Striker, who, upon being introduced to the lady, gave an opinion that the pig could no more do without the lady than he could. To tell the honest truth, the worn-out black had a design upon the fat lady, and moreover the fat lady had a design upon Striker, a design which it pleased the gentleman to encourage, or at any rate to wink at. The lady had been in the show since she was a child, and had gone through the several appellations of the Fat Child, the Fat Young Woman, and now the Fat Lady, so that she had opportunities of seeing a great variety of persons of both sexes at her house daily ; but not one ever struck her maiden heart so intensely as well as energetically as the black who played the cymbals.
She was very fat was Missis—she was called Missis by courtesynow Mrs. Smiggs, and had great dabs of suet underneath her chin, as well as all around her armpits-nay, to use a comparison, her skin was as full of lard as a pig's bladder at a butterman's, so that, in fact, she was a great curiosity. Of course, the gentleman maintained her upon the very richest gravies, and never by any chance allowed her any exercise, save that which was imperatively necessary, such as rising from her seat so as to show to the audience her ponderosity, and getting into, as well as out of, a large scale to test the weight of it. She wasn't allowed to talk or to wear stays; but it was part of her contract to laugh as much as she was able; and Striker received a hint that tickling the fat lady might have the effect of putting one or two inches of weight into the scale with her.
Somehow it got abroad that the cymbal-player was in love with the fat lady, when of course thousands of customers came up the ladder in a twinkling-nay, the gentleman even hinted as much to his outside audience through a speaking trumpet, when Striker was busily engaged with his cymbals.
Well, after going over a vast expanse of country, the gentleman ven. tured up to the great mart of the world ; and accordingly, at the time specified by the Act of Parliament, he had the fat lady, the learned pig, Striker, and himself, conveyed to a specified place at the great fair of Saint Bartholomew, otherwise Bartlemy, which was then held in Smithfield.
Upon reaching the spot the gentleman put up his canvas, got Rum Striker to flourish his cymbals, so that when the Lord Mayor's state carriage passed, they might salute the great civic functionary; and accordingly he did. Now the fat lady peeped through a crack at the Lord Mayor, who was a curiosity to her, and the Lord Mayor looked at Rum Striker, as did also all the little boys and girls who accompanied him, which of course made him hit the cymbals with greater decision and to more purpose. The gentleman cried out through his trumpet, “ God bless your lordship, and all of you, my customers ;” but his voice was not beard at all because of the cymbals, which made more music than the entire band at the menageries; and soon the whole market was one scene of merriment and joy.
So went on the day, with hosts of people going up ladders into shows, and out of shows into crowds of people of every description of dress and character. Some of whom thought there was more to be seen outside than inside, and many persons, particularly young ladies, took up their position in front of Striker for whole hours at a time, so that they might gaze at his blackness as well as listen to his cymbals. There appeared to be a vast quantity of joy collected together in that place, and much care done away with ; so that at such a place we naturally look for our friend the old bone and Jerico, who, sure enough, very soon made their appearance ; for he had told Mrs. Harty that Jerico should see a show-ay, and many too, and he was as good as his word upon the subject.
Mrs. Harty dressed Jerico in a plain manner, and the old bone went off from May's Buildings in high ecstacy, first allowing her to walk, then carrying her in his arms, then toddling on as though he were in a hurry to keep his promise.
At last the pair reached the wished-for haven, and got almost lost amidst the crowd which wended its way towards the same object; and soon the old chap stopped in front of that particular show which had Rum Striker in the front of it; and sure enough, after looking well at the outside, and scrutinising the black through his spectacles, he made up his mind to take Jerico within it, so that she might behold the various tricks of the learned pig, as well as the fatness of the fat lady. Of course, Striker was looked at well first of all, and admired not a little for his peculiar black appearance, and also for the noise which he created by means of his enormous cymbals.
The old bone and Jerico got through the crowd of young ladies who were standing, full of admiration, looking up at the turbaned man; and after ascending the ladder, went straight behind the curtain, where, sure enough, there was another curtain, behind which reclined no less a personage than Mrs. Smiggs, otherwise the fat lady, as well as Trotter, otherwise the learned and intellectual loin of unroasted pork. Their curiosity was excited to no ordinary extent, just in the same proportion that the other folks' curiosity was excited; so that they were all impatient for the drawing aside of the curtain so that they might behold the mystery.
The old bone kissed Jerico several times, and held her up in his arms, so that she might see over the hcads of the others, whilst he peeped on one side of her, so that he also might enjoy the show; for he was a