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crowding to the commissioner's house, and pressing for the honor of an audience. The commissioner represented to the mob, that his highness was made neither of steel nor of granite, and was at length worn out by the fatigues of the day. But to this every man answered, that what he had to say would be finished in two words, and could not add much to the prince's fatigue; and all kept their ground before the house as firm as a wall. In this emergency the Count Fitz-Ilum resorted to a ruse. He sent round a servant from the back-door to mingle with the crowd, and proclaim that a mad-dog was ranging about the streets, and had already hit many other dogs and several men. This answered: the cry of'mad dog' was set up; the mob flew asunder from their cohesion, and the blockade of the Pig-house was raised. Farewell, now, to all faith in man or dog; for all might be among the hitten, and consequently might in turn be among the hiters.
The night was now come; dinner was past, at which all the grandees of the place had been present: all had now departed, delighted with the condescension of the count, and puzzled only on one point, viz. the extraordinary warmth of his attentions to the commissioner's daughter. The young lady's large fortune might have explained this excessive homage in any other case, but not in that of a prince, and beauty or accomplishments they said she had none. Here then was subject for meditation without end to all the curious in natural philosophy. Amongst these, spite of parental vanity, were the commissioner and his wife; but an explanation was soon given, which however did but explain one riddle by another. The count desired a private interview, in which, to the infinite astonishment of the parents, he demanded the hand of their daughter in marriage. State policy, he was aware, opposed such connexions; but the pleadings of the heart outweighed all considerations of that sort; and he requested, that with the consent of the young lady, the marriage might be solemnized immediately. The honor was too much for the commissioner; he felt himself in some measure guilty of treason, by harboring for one moment hopes of so presumptuous a nature, and in a great panic he ran away and hid himself in the wine-cellar. Here he imhibed fresh courage; and, upon his re-ascent to the upper world, and finding that his daughter joined her entreaties to those of the count, he began to fear that the treason might lie on the other side, viz. in opposing the wishes of his sovereign ; and he joyfully gave his consent: upon which, all things being in readiness, the marriage was immediately celebrated, and a select company, who witnessed it, had the honor of kissing the hand of the new Countess Fitz-Ilum.
Scarcely was the ceremony concluded, before a horseman's horn was heard at the commissioner's gate. 'A special messenger with despatches, no doubt,' said the count; and immediately a servant entered with a box bearing the state arms. Von Hoax unlocked the box; and from a great body of papers which he said were' merely petitions, addresses, or despatches from foreign powers,' he drew out and presented to the count a ' despatch from the Privy Council.' The count read it, repeatedly shrugging his shoulders.
'No bad news, I hope.?' said the commissioner, deriving courage from his recent alliance with the state personage to ask after the state affairs.
'No, no! none of any importance,' said the count, with great suavity; 'a little rebellion, nothing more,' smiling at the same time with the most imperturbable complacency.
'Rebellion!' said Mr. Pig, loud: 'nothing more!' said Mr. Pig to himself. 'Why,, what upon earth'
'Yes, my dear sir, rebellion: a little rebellion. Very unpleasant, as I believe you were going to observe: truly unpleasant: and distressing to every well-regulated mind!'
'Distressing! ay, no doubt; and very awful. Are the rebels in strength? Have they possessed themselves of'
'Oh, my dear sir!' interrupted Fitz-Hum, smiling with the utmost gaiety, ' make yourself easy: nothing like nipping these things in the bud. Vigor, and well-timed lenity will do wonders. What most disturbs me, however, is the necessity of returning instantly to my capital: to-morrow I must beat the head of my troops, who have already taken the field: so that I shall be obliged to quit my beloved bride without a moment's delay; for I would not have her exposed to the dangers of war, however transient.'
At this moment the carriage, which had been summoned by Von Hoax, rolled up to the door: the count whispered a few tender words in the ear of his bride; uttered some nothings to her father, of which all that transpired were the words—' truly distressing,' and ' every well-constituted mind;' smiled most graciously on the whole cotnpany, pressed the commissioner's hand as fervently as he had done on his arrival, stepped into the carriage, and in a few minutes ' the blue landau,' and the gentleman with ' superb whiskers' had vanished through the city gales.
Early the next morning, under solemn pledges of secrecy, 'the rebellion' and the marriage were circulated in every quarter of the town; and the more so, as strict orders had been left to the contrary. With respect to the marriage, all parties (especially fathers, mothers, and daughters) agreed privately that his serene highness was a great fool; but, as to the rebellion, the guilds and companies declared unanimously that they would fight for him to the last man. Meantime the commissioner presented his accounts to the council: they were of startling amount; and, although prompt payment seemed the most prudent measure towards the father-in-law of a reigning prince, yet, on the other hand, the ' rebellion' suggested arguments for demurring a little. And accordingly the commissioner was informed that his accounts were admitted ad deliberandum. On returning home, the commifsioner found in the saloon a large despatch which had fallen out of the pocket of Von Hoax; this, he was first surprised to discover, was nothing but a sheet of blank paper. However, on recollecting himself,'No doubt,' said he,'in times of rebellion ink is not safe: no doubt some important intelligence is concealed in this sheet of white paper, which some mysterious chemical preparation must reveal.' So saying, he sealed up the despatch, sent it off by an estafette, and charged it in a supplementary note of expenses to the council.
Meantime the newspapers arrived from the capital, but they said not a word of the rebellion; in fact they were more than usually dull, not containing even a lie of much interest. All this, however, the commissioner ascribed to the prudential policy which their own safety dictated to the editors in times of rebellion; and the longer the silence lasted so much the more critical (it was inferred) must be the state of affairs; and so much the more prodigious that accumulating arrear of great events which any decisive blow would open upon them. At length, when the general patience began to give way, a newspaper arrived, which, under the head ol domestic intelligence, communicated the following anecdote:
'A curious hoax has been played off on a certain loyal and ancient
borough-town not a hundred miles from the little river P . On
the accession of our present gracious prince, and before his person was generally known to his subjects, a wager of large amount was laid by a certain Mr. Von Holster, who had been a gentleman of the bed-chamber to his late highness, that he would succeed in passing himself off upon the whole town and corporation in question for the new sovereign. Having paved the way for his own success by a previous communication through a clerk in the house of W and Co., he departed on
his errand, attended by an agent for the parties who betted against him. This agent bore the name of Von Hoax; and, by his report, the wager had been adjudged to Von Holster as brilliantly won. Thus far all was well; what follows, however, is still better. Some time ago a young lady of large fortune, and still larger expectations, on a visit to the capital, had met with Mr. Von H., and had clandestinely formed an acquaintance which had ripened into a strong attachment. The gentleman, however, had no fortune, or none which corresponded to the expectations of the lady's family. Under these circumstances, the lady (despairing in any other way of obtaining her father's consent) agreed, that in connexion with his scheme for winning the wager, he should attempt another, more interesting to them both: in pursuance of which arrangement, he contrived to fix himself under his princely incognito at the very house of Mr. Commissioner P., the father of his mistress; and the result is, that he has actually married her with the entire approbation of her friends. Whether the sequel of the affair will correspond with its success hitherto, remains, however, to be seen. Ceitain it is, that for the present, until the prince's pleasure can be taken, Mr. Von Holster has been committed to prison under the new law for abolishing bets of a certain description, and also for having presumed to personate the sovereign.'
Thus far the newspaper :—however, in a few days, all clouds hanging over the prospects of the young couple cleared away. Mr. Von Holster, in a dutiful petition to the prince, declared that he had not personated his serene highness. On the contrary, he had given himself out both before and after his entry into the town for no more than the Count Fitz-Hum; and it was they, the good people of that town, who had insisted on mistaking him for a prince; if they would kiss his hand, was it for him, an humble individual of no pretensions, arrogantly to refuse? If they would make addresses to him, was it for an inconsiderable person like himself rudely to refuse to listen or to answer, when the greatest kings (as was notorious) always attended and replied in the most gracious terms? On further inquiry, the whole circumstances were detailed to the prince, and amused him greatly; but, when the narrator came to the final article of the 'rebellion,' (under which sounding title a friend of Von Holster's had communicated to him a general plot amongst his creditors for seizing his person) the good-natured prince laughed so immoderately, that it was easy to see that no very severe punishment would follow. In fact, by his services to the late prince, Von H. had established some claims, upon the gratitude of this, an acknowledgment which the prince generously made at this seasonable crisis. Such an acknowledgment from such a quarter, together with some other marks of favor to Von H., could not fail to pacify the ' rebels ' against that gentleman, and to reconcile Mr. Commissioner Pig to a marriage which he had already once approved of. His scruples had originally been vanquished in the wine-cellar, and there also it was, that upon hearing of the total extinction of the ' rebellion,' he drowned all scruples for a second time.
The town of has, however, still occasion to remember the blue
landau, and the superb whiskers, from the jokes which they are now and then called on to parry upon that subject. Doctor B , in particular, the physician of that town, having originally offered 100 dollars to the man who should notify to him his appointment to the place of court physician, has been obliged solemnly to advertise in the gazette for the information of the wits in the capital, ' that he will not consider himself bound to that promise ; seeing that every week he receives so many private notifications of that appointment that it would quite beggar him to pay for them at that rate.' With respect to the various petitioners, the bakers, the glaziers, the hair-dressers, &.c., they all maintain, that though Fitz-Hum may have been a spurious prince, yet, undoubtedly the man had so much sense and political discernment, tha he well deserved to have been a true one.
JOHN WILSON, Esq.
Professor Wilson !—What can be said of Professor Wilson worthy of his various merits ?—Nothing. Were we to reprint Locktart's graphic account of him in Peter's Letters, it would not tell half his fame. A poet who, after having had the calamity of obtaining Oxford prizes, and incurred the misfortune of being praised by the Edinburgh Review for some juvenile indiscretions in the way of rhyme, wrote the City of the Plague, which even the envious Lord Byron placed among the great works of the age, and which all real critics put higher than his poetical Lordship's best productions in the way of Tragedy;—a moral Professor, who 'dings down' the fame of Dugald Stewart—a paltry triumph we own, if truly considered, over a small person, but a triumph of no trivial moment if the voice of Edinburgh be counted of any avail,—an orator who, sober or convivial, morning or evening, can pour forth gushes of eloquence the most stirring, and fun the most rejoicing;—a novelist, who has chosen a somewhat peculiar department, but who in his Lights and Shadows, &c. he. gives forth continually fine touches of original thought, and bursts of real pathos;—a sixteen stoner, who has tried it, without the gloves, with the Game Chicken, and got none the worse;—a cocker, a racer, a six bottler, a twentyfour tumblerer—an out-and-outer—a true, upright, knocking-down, poetical, prosaic, moral, professorial, hard-drinking, fierce-eating, good-lookins;, honorable, and straight-forward Tory. Let us not forget, that he has leapt twenty-seven feet in a standing leap, on plain ground!—[Byron never ceased boasting of the petty feat of swimming three or four miles with the tide, as something wondrous. What is it to Wilson's leaping ?]—a gipsy, amagaziner, a wit, a sixfoot-club man, an unflinching Ultra in the worst of times !—In what is he not grent?
'Show this to Wilson,' says the said Lord Byron, in one of his letters published by that respectable gentleman, Thomas Moore, 'show this to Wilson, for I like the man, and care little for his magazine.' Lord B. wrote this under the impression that Wilson was the editor of Blackwood; and as common fame agrees with his Lordship's conjecture, we have ventured to affix to the Professor's portrait, the title of Christopher North. We hope he will not be angry with us for so doing, because it is done honoris causa, as Sir C. Wetherell would say. Who is there that does not distinguish the Professor's hand amid the adjoining Balaam, and rejoice over the mingled mirth and melancholy, the humor and poetry, the eloquence and buffoonery, the gravity and the gaiety of those fitful