Page images

“ Thanks, blue-eyed angel, with black cally detached from life. At six o'clock hàir," I replied, in a romantic tone of came a knock at my door; it was the voice; “since the lamp of heaven is ex. quizzing-glass fellow, accompanied by tinguished, the cat may go out upon the two gentlemen of a sufficiently pleasant gutters.”

countenance. With these words, I put on a light “ Gentlemen, I am at your service.” surtout, and directed my uncertain steps “ You shall not escape us,

sir." toward the Palais Royal. Arrived near “ These two pistols will decide our the bank, I mechanically cast my eyes difference." upon the playbills of the day.

“Quite useless, sir, we have here every “ Theatre de Madame-First repre- thing requisite for us.” sentation of The Setting of the Sun.' “Since you are armed, then, at all Comedy vaudeville ; M. Perlet will per- points, we can depart.” form the character of Argentières.". “ At all points," replied he with a

Capital! My instinct as a debtor, irre- sneer, “ that is the phrase ; let us get sistibly hurried me to such a representa into the coach.” tion. I entered precisely as the curtain “Where are we going ?” rose, and took the first seat that offered. “ Rue de la Clé, sir.”

Argentières was just like myself, a “How, Rue de la Clé ?" night-bird; invited to a soirée, it there By virtue of the peremptory decree chances that he forgets himself, amid issued against you on the first day of punch and the card-tables. At the rising June, by the tribunal of commerce, duly of the sun he dares not venture into the registered, and to you notified, a petition, streets, for he has perceived from the etc. etc., I arrest you, in the king's window a visage of bad omen : 't is that name: that you may not remain ignoof a sheriff-officer, planted at the door of rant, I beg leave to inform you, that I the hotel like a gibbet, and awaiting his am an officer in the guard of commerce, victim with fatal vigilance. It was ne- and these gentlemen are my satellites." cessary, then, that Argentières should: At these words I fell into a lethargic devise a thousand pretexts for remaining despondency, from which I was not at his post till evening.

roused until I heard the grating of the “How shall I manage ?” exclaimed lock of Saint Pélagie, as it closed behind Perlet.

His embarrassing position drew from “ Another time,” said I, “ catch me me an exclamation and sympathetic ap- giving my address to the first wrangler plause. My right hand neighbour, a that comes to hand, and thus comprovery troublesome fellow, applied his glass mising my existence of a free man, for and eyed my countenance with an imper. the sake of making a shew of empty tinence truly provoking. I silently con

bravery," tented myself with turning my back to

The reflection is excellent, but comes, him, and offering a more befitting view; unhappily, a little too late, like all other but the fellow, whose gaze partook some- reflections in which the prisoner indulges what of the satanical, ceased not from within the walls of Saint Pélagie. his scrutiny of my person; above all, at

J. G.W. that moment when the winding-up of the piece extracted a new burst of sym- THE MIGRATIONS

OF pathy. My patience was exhausted, and

A SOLAN GOOSE. I gave him an intentional push, by acci- By one of the Authors of The Odd dent.

Volume.' “ My dear sir ! your address," said he to me, while re-adjusting his glass, which “ Well, Bryce,” said Mrs. Maxwell one had been deranged by my abrupt motionday to her housekeeper, “what has the

“ Ah ! very well,” added he, reading gamekeeper sent this week from Maxthe name and number of my street; well Hall?"- '_“Why, madam, there are “you shall see me, sir, early to-morrow three brace of partridges, a brace of morning.”

grouse, a woodcock, three hares, a couple “ You will oblige me, sir, by coming of pheasants, and a solan goose.”—“A very early."

solan goose !” ejaculated the lady ; « I shall not fail, I assure you." 6 what could induce him to think I And

we quitted each other his glass would poison my house with a solar was still pursuing me. I slept ill; I am goose ???_“ He knows it is a dish that no coward, but a duel occasions restless- my master is very fond of,” replied Mrs. ness even to the man most philosophi- Bryce. “It is more than your mistress


is,' retorted the lady; "let it be thrown goose to the Napiers, as they were rather out directly, before Mr. Maxwell sees affronted at not being asked to our last it."

musical party ; I dare say they will make The housekeeper retired; and Mrs. no use of it, but it looks attentive.”Maxwell resumed her cogitations, the “ An excellent thought,” rejoined Maria. subject of which was, how to obtain an No sooner said than done; in five miintroduction to the French noblesse who nutes the travelled bird had once more had recently taken up their abode in changed its quarters. Edinburgh. “Good heavens !” said she “ A solan goose !” ejaculated Mrs. Naas she hastily rung the bell, “ how could pier, as her footman gave her the intelI be so stupid !—there is nothing in the ligence of Lady Crosby's present. “ Pray world that old Lady Crosby is so fond of return my compliments to her ladyship, as a solan goose, and I understand she and I feel much obliged by her polite knows all the French people, and that attention. Truly," continued she, when they are constantly with her. Bryce," the domestic had retired to fulfil this she continued, as the housekeeper obeyed mission, “if Lady Crosby thinks to stop her summons, “is the goose a fine bird ?” our mouths with a solan goose, she will

-“ Very fine indeed, madam ; the beak find herself very much mistaken. I supis broken, and one of the legs is a little pose she means this as a peace-offering ruffled, but I never saw a finer bird.”- for not having asked us to her last party. “Well, then, don't throw it away, as I I suppose she was afraid, Clara, my mean to send it to my friend Lady dear, you would cut out her clumsy Crosby, as soon as I have written a note. daughters with Sir Charles.”—“If I Mrs. Bryce once more retreated, and don't, it shall not be my fault,” replied Mrs. Maxwell, having selected a beauti- her amiable daughter. 6 I Airted with ful sheet of note paper, quickly penned him in such famous style at the last conthe following effusion :

cert, that I thought Eliza would have “ My dear Lady Crosby, permit me fainted on the spot. But what are you to request your acceptance of a solan going to do with the odious bird ?"goose, which has just been sent me from * 0, I shall desire John to carry it to Maxwell Hall. Knowing your fondness poor Mrs. Johnstone."-"I wonder, for this bird, I am delighted at having it mamma, that you would take the trouin my power to gratify you. I hope ble of sending all the way to the Canonthat you continue to enjoy good health. gate for any such purpose; what good

This is to be a very gay winter. By the can it do you to oblige people who are by, do you know any one who is ac- wretchedly poor?”-“ Why, my quainted with the French noblesse ? I dear,” replied the lady, “ to tell you the am dying to meet with them. Ever, truth, your father, in early life, received my dear Lady Crosby, yours truly, such valuable assistance from Mr. John

M. MAXWELL." stone, who was at that time a very rich Lady Crosby being out when this bil- man, as laid the foundation of his prelet reached her house, it was opened by sent fortune. Severe losses reduced Mr. one of her daughters. “ Bless me, Ma- Johnstone to poverty; he died, and your ria !” she exclaimed to her sister, “how father has always been intending, at least fortunate it was that I opened this note; promising, to do something for the faMrs. Maxwell has sent mamma a solan mily, but has never found an opportugoose!”_" Dreadful !” exclaimed Eli- nity. Last year, Mrs. Johnstone most

“ I am sure if mamma hears of it unfortunately heard that he had it in his she will have it roasted immediately, and power to get a young man out to India, Captain Jessamy, of the Lancers, is to and she applied to Mr. Napier on behalf call to-day, and you know, a roasted of her son, which, I must 'say, was a solan goose is enough to contaminate a very ill-judged step, as shewing that she whole parish.--I shall certainly go dis- thought he required to be reminded of tracted!”—“ Don't discompose your- his promises, which, to a man of any self,” replied Maria ; " I shall take good feeling, must always be a grating circare to send it out of the house before cumstance; but I have often observed, mamma comes home; meanwhile, I that poor people have very little delicacy must write a civil answer to Mrs. Max- in such points; however, as your papa well's note. I dare say she will not think fancies sometimes that these people have of alluding to it; but, if she should, a sort of claim on him, I am sure he will mamma, luckily, is pretty deaf, and may be glad to pay them any attention that never be a bit the wiser.”—“ I think," costs him nothing.' said Eliza, “we had better send the Behold, then, our hero exiled from the




ther's eyes.


fashionable regions of the West, and laid “Run, Bryce ! fly! cried Mrs. Maxwell on the broad of his back on a table, in a in despair; “put it out of sight! give small but clean room, in a humble tene- it to the house-dug!” ment in the Canongate, where three Away ran Mrs. Bryce with her prize hungry children eyed with delight his to Towler; and he, not recollecting that fat legs, his swelling breast, and magni- he had any favour to obtain from any ficent pinions. “O, mamma, mamma, one, or that he had any dear friends to cried the children, skipping round the oblige, received the present very gratetable, and clapping their hands, “what fully, and, as he lay in his kennel, a beautiful goose! how nice it will be

“Lazily mumbled the bones of the dead;" when it is roasted ! You must have a great large slice, mamma, for you had thus ingloriously terminating the migra

tions of a solan goose. very little dinner yesterday. Why have we never any nice dinners now, mamma?”—“ Hush, little chatterbox,” said her brother Henry, a fine stripling of METROPOLITAN RAMBLER, sixteen, seeing tears gather in his mo

No. II. “ My dear boy,” said Mrs. Johnstone, “it goes to my heart to think of depriving these poor children of their On more mature consideration, I give expected treat, but I think we ought to send this bird to our benefactress, Lady the reader a respite from the threatened Bethune. But for her, what would have journey, at this chill season, to the cold become of us? While the Napiers, who summit of our metropolitan cathedral, owe all they have, to your worthy and and take him quietly under my arm up unfortunate father, have given us nothing the comfortable staircase of the Colos

seum panorama. but empty promises, she has been a consoling and ministering angel, and I

Lest some of my readers should susshould wish to take this opportunity of pect me of mere indolence or effeminacy shewing my gratitude; trifling as the

in postponing for the present our excuroffering is, I am sure it will be received sion up the real St. Paul's, let me assure with kindness." _“I am sure of it," them that in the course of these rambles replied Henry; “and I will run and they will find some evidence that the buy a few nuts and apples to console the

writer is by no means unaccustomed, in little ones for losing their expected feast.” the Byronian phraseThe children gazed with lengthened

To mingle with the elements, faces as the goose was carried from their in every sort of temperature, and that sight, and conveyed by Henry to the above all, the act of climbing is as exhihouse of Lady Bethune, who appre- larating to him as it can well be to the ciating the motives which had dictated most thorough mountaineer-more espethe gift, received it with benevolent cially when a wide-extended prospect is kindness. “ Tell your mother, my dear,” the object of his ascent. But though said she to Henry, “ that I feel most his frame is proof against frost and fog, particularly obliged by her attention, his vision has no peculiar power of peneand be sure to say that Sir James has trating mist and smoke_least of all, can hopes of procuring a situation for you; it pierce the dense compound of both, and if he succeeds, I will come over my, which overhangs London in the winter. self to tell her the good news.” Henry Nor, indeed, in any season, at any hour bounded away as gay as a lark, while of the day, can the whole circuit of town Lady Bethune, after having given orders and country, visible at different times to her butler to send some bolls of pota- from that point, be at once distinctly toes, meal, and a side of fine mutton, to surveyed. And when once the sea of Mrs. Johnstone, next issued directions smoke from a million of chimneys has for the disposal of the present she had begun to ascend for the day, even the just received.

entire stranger to London may well “La, madam!”exclaimed Mrs. Bryce, imagine to what a degree it must be lost as she once more made her appearance to the spectator in the vastness of that before her mistress, “ if here be not our artificial cloud. Bearing this material identical solan goose come back to us, circumstance in mind, the reader will at with Lady Bethune's compliments! I once perceive that the exhibition to know him by his broken beak and ruffled which I am now carrying him, withleg; and as sure as eggs are eggs, that's drawing, as it does, the thick veil that my master's knock at the door !"– constantly overhangs our capital to a


great degree or rather, judiciously atte- only about fifty feet from the spectator, nuating it, so as to make it quite pervi- is so complete as to occasion, at first ous to our vision without giving that sight, not only astonishment, but actual shock to verisimilitude which its total giddiness to those unaccustomed to look absence would occasion--is decidedly the down and around from great and precimost appropriate place for a general in- pitous heights. “ How is it?-I can't troductory study of the metropolis in a at all make it out? Is it down below ? bird's-eye view.

or how is it ?” are exclamations frequentThe panoramic picture in question is ly heard in the gallery, from visitors assuredly one of the most useful as well quite new to these illusions of art. And as gratifying productions of modern art; very curious it is, to observe the various and may be regarded as the grand operation of the picture upon the varitriumph of that valuable department of ous classes of spectators, according as art to which it belongs. The exertions they are perfectly or partially acquainted and the ingenuity of the enterprising pro- with the metropolis, or nearly or altojector will be most appropriately dwelt gether strangers to it. Most of them, on, because these will be most thoroughly however, are astonished, and all are understood and appreciated, in the course delighted, though in various ways. of our meditated visit to the cathedral The stranger, more especially if he itself; and the eminent skill, spirit, and have not yet ascended the real St. Paul's, perseverance of the artist who trans- is in the first instance perfectly bewilferred his sketches to the canvas, shall dered. Crowds of steeples—forests of be detailed in a future visit to the Colos- masts—myriads of chimneys—the broad,

I am anxious to enter at once far-winding river—near bridges — disupon the contemplation of the vast circle tant heights—the wide expanse of roofs, of objects which is here so wonderfully in mingled masses of red and blue, exhibited.

looking like some strange, rough, tesseEvery resident in or visiter of the lated pavement of Brobdignagian exBritish capital should visit this exhibi- panse, intersected by interminable chantion, and, if possible, should visit it nels -- all these glare at once upon his more than once; presenting him, as it gaze, and stun his apprehension for a does, with a species of information, in moment. But as soon as his eye bethe most agreeable mode, which whole comes steady enough to examine this volumes of description could not so effec- tumultuous assemblage of objects in tively afford him. Every man, too, ever detail, he is all eager curiosity to learn so well acquainted with London and its the names and uses of the most remarkvicinity, who wishes to give some ac- able ones in the town, and the locount of them to his friend or guest from cality and bearing of the most strike the country, from the continent, or ing points of view in the surrounding from the new world, will find this double country. advantage in taking him to this pano- The old resident in the metropolis or rama ;-that he can give the stranger a its neighbourhood, finds a different, yet better idea of the form and magnitude perhaps a stronger pleasure, in recogof London, and of the aspect of its most nizing in the crowd of objects so many striking individual objects, than is prac- of his old acquaintance, in a new point ticable by any other means;—and that, as of view, as he looks down commandregards the more intellectual part of the ingly from this great central elevation, contemplation that which cannot be upon many a lofty and imposing pile, painted—the meaning, uses, and relations which, in his ordinary walks, he has of those numberless and varied objects, been accustomed to look up to with the wandering of his own eye over this something approaching to awe. Nay, stupendous picture, will spare him the la- he takes consolation even for the feel. borious effort of memory, or reference to ing of shrinking insignificance with books, which he must otherwise make, in which the majesty of St. Paul's himself order to select the objects that he may has so often smote him. He overtops deem most worthy of observation or ex- him at last. He stands firm-yes-quite planation in themselves, or most inte firm - upon his Atlantean shoulders; resting to the individual whose atten- and London—the mighty-the imperial tion he is directing; so that this office of that has so oft enveloped his pigmy friendship or hospitality, is converted individuality, as if quite unconscious from a toil into a recreation.

that such an animalcule had its habitat The effect of distance and of immense within his vasty frame-now lies outelevation, here produced upon a canvas stretched at his feet!

Between these two classes of specta- tude of effect is much enhanced ; for tors (the entire strangers and the old re- then he may really imagine himself in sidents) may be reckoned the visitors of the open air. the metropolis, in various gradations of One of the first things that strikes the familiarity with its leading features, ac- eye of the observer in casting a general cording to their relative opportunities glance around, is the beautiful diversity for observation, and the rarity or fre of the windings of the Thames, above, quency, the length or shortness of their through, and below, the metropolis. visits. In the minds of these, at the They who have viewed only small porspectacle before us, recognition and cu- tions of the river, from some slight eleriosity are mingled in numberless shades; vation upon its banks or its bridges, may their ordinary course, on mounting our have some conception of the grandeur, gallery, being, in the first place, to walk but can have little of the majestic beauty round it, and find out in the prospect the of its course. The view of the river in objects which they know : the next, if all its sylvan attractions, from the matchleisure serves, to inquire of the attendants less terrace of Richmond, and that of its or of other spectators, respecting those maritime splendours from the heights of which are strangers to them.

Greenwich, are both too partial and liAs for the general survey which I am mited. It is only from the elevation upon about to make, in taking a turn round which we now stand, that “Old Father the gallery of the mock St. Paul's, the Thames,” in his relation with this august reader, I trust, will find it to possess metropolis, can really be seen and undersome interest, not only for such as have stood. The gleaming of the sunshine yet to become spectators from the gallery upon the upward line of the river from in question, and to such as may never the point beneath our feet, indicates that in the course of their lives have such an the time of day represented is, the early opportunity, but also for the various afternoon; and in confirmation of this, classes of spectators above described, by the attendant points to the turret-clock its serving to refresh, to vary, or extend upon the blue roofing of Newgate Martheir associations already formed respect- ket, just beneath us on the right, which ing this immense assemblage of objects. marks the hour of half-past two. We

Although the superior and more equal have a blue summer sky above us, chelight of summer, especially about the quered thickly with light flaky clouds, metropolis, would seem to point out that and a soft smoky haze pervades the atseason to such as are at liberty to choose mosphere ; for what spectator would betheir time, as most appropriate for a visit lieve in the real presence of London by to this exhibition; yet there is one cir- day-light, unless he could see and almost cumstance respecting season upon which feel its smoke ? I would remark, before entering on our On looking round the horizons upon survey. I well remember entering this which the practised eye naturally rests gallery for the first time, on a bright day when a wide landscape suddenly bursts in the height of summer-and the first upon it, we perceive soft hills, presenting feeling I experienced was a most pecu- on the whole a level appearance, boundliar one.

The sensation of closeness ing the extreme distance, in blue wavy which oppressed you in the gallery, so outline, in every direction. Within little harmonized with the free, wide, this line we observe nearer ranges of breezy-looking prospect around, that it heights, more broken and diversified, seemed as if all London and its environs some continuous, and some isolated, were undergoing suffocation-an awful nearly encompassing the town, and formhive, it must be owned, to be taken, with ing the immediate verge of the basin in its million and a half of tenants, all at which London and its environs lie. This

This unpleasant sensation, how- second line is pretty distinctly defined. ever, abated after the shock of the first But to fix, within this interior line, where sudden transition from the open air had the town ends and the country begins, passed away; though I own that I could were a hopeless task. Could the Lonnot, in the course of my stay, get en- doners of old, who from the Gothic tirely rid of it. But on a recent visit, summit of the old St. Paul's (so inferior in the mild commencement of last De- in elevation to the present) could surcember, the light happening to be toler- vey their city almost at a glance, nearly ably favourable, I found the coolness of girded in by its ancient walls, gates, and the gallery a great advantage. When towers, looking to the surrounding bills the spectator breathes with perfect free- over a wide expanse of pasture, wood, dom, as I did this time, the verisimili- and marsh, the inner verge of which, ali


« PreviousContinue »