صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

wetted his whistle cordially with a spoonful of maraschino, and sharpened his beak against the wires of his cage, and presented it for a salute. He then gave token of a song, and the laureat led (to the tune of the · Dandy 0 !)


O Tabitha, in truth, I'm a sober Quaker youth ;

Then Hymen's knot, the pretty girls, to spite 'em, tye.
My heart is in your trap; you've crimp'd it, like your cap;

And much the spurrit moves me-hum Sto-

Tye tum tye !

And when the knot is tyed, and you're my blushing bride,

The damsels will (for leading apes must fright 'em,) tye
The rosy bands with speed. O yes, they will, indeed!

And the chorus at our meeting will be

Tye tum tye!

I cannot hear you sigh, ah! I will not see you cry, ah!

My constant Obadi-ah! to unite 'em ; tye
Our hands and hearts in one, before to-morrow's sun-

Then take thy tender Tabitha to—

Tye tum tye!


The Lauriat of Little Britain was now left at full liberty to follow his daily avocations; but that liberty was by no means a guarantee that he would follow them; except, as some folks follow the fashions, at a very considerable distance. Mr. Bosky read the morning papers, went upon 'Change, looked in at Garraway's, inquired the price of stocks, railway, and steam-boat shares, took Birch's in his way, and discussed an oyster party, set his watch by the dial of Bow Church, returned home, turned over the leaves of his ledger, accepted a bill, drew a draft, signed certain contracts touching turmerick, blue-galls, lac dye, and Barbary gum; dictated a letter, hummed, whistled, poked the fire, inspected the dusty invoices of an old file, filed and trimmed his nails, scribbled on the blotting-paper, cracked a joke with his solemn clerk, and when the old-fashioned housekeeper waited upon him to receive his commands for dinner, he told her to provide only for herself, and Mr. Fixture, the solemn clerk in question ; but to be sure, as Uncle Timothy was not ex. pected home till evening, to knock up some little dainty kickshaw for supper. Still

, with all these manifestations of being mightily busy about doing nothing, it was obvious that the wits of Mr. Bosky were gone out wool-gathering for the day, and running a wild goose chace

after Uncle Timothy's new blue coat and brass buttons. But the oddest is behind. Mrs. Norah Noclack, who had never before developed the organ of tune, suddenly betrayed symptoms of vocality. Her first notes fell on the astonished ear of the solemn clerk, and served him as the ghost of Banquo did Macbeth-pushed him from his stool. He hurried to the stair-head, and listened incredulously, marvelling what musical coil could be going on in the still. room. He next applied his oblique eye to the key-hole, and-seeing is believing,-beheld the locomotive old lass practising the graces,

and rehearsing a minuet before the mirror, to the chromatic accompaniment of her wiry falsetto. Big with the portentous discov ery, he bustled, out of breath, to Mr. Bosky, to whom, after unpacking his budget of strange news, he proposed the instant holding of a commission of lunacy, for the due and proper administration of her few hundreds in long annuities, two large boxes, a chest of drawers, and a wardrobe full of old-fashioned finery, besides sundry trinkets, the spoils of three courtships to which she had turned a deaf ear, consigning her rejected admirers to the slough of Despond. Mr. Bosky affected to listen with extraordinary interest, and promised to give the affair his most serious consideration. A few days after the carolling of Mrs. Norah surprised Uncle Timothy, who, having heard the old chantress go through her canzonet from beginning to end, and recognizing the real culprit in the eccentric inuse of Mr. Benjamin Bosky, he took the little laureat to task for putting his wardrobe into metre, hitching his Christian name into ludicrous rhyme, and turning the head and untuning the voice of the hitherto anti-musical Norah Noclack. Mr. Bosky exhibited deep contrition, and as Mr. Bosky's contrition bore considerable resemblance to Mr. Liston's tragedy, Uncle Timothy always dreaded to encounter it when anything serious was in the case. As he became more accustomed to the air, he discovered fewer faults in the execution. It had infused new life into the taciturn old lady. Her gratitude and affec. tionate regard had only found utterance in blessings implored on the head of her benefactor, which no one could hear but the great spirit of whom they were humbly supplicated. But now she could cry to all the house' her admiration! and so com pletely did she inoculate the solemn clerk with her musical mania, that one evening when called upon for a toast and a song at the club of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, held in an ancient trophied chamber over the venerable gateway of the Priory, he jumped upon his legs, and startled his brother knights with his unwonted enthusiasm. Uncle Timothy! Who does not know him by that familiar name? The poor, the needy, and such as have none to help them! Sound trumpets! wave banners! shout voices !'. This was probably the longest public oration that Mr. Fixture had made in his life. Certainly the only song that he was ever known to have sung was the old-fashioned housekeeper's



If I had my widow's or maiden's whim

I know whom I know who
It should be! Why, Uncle Tim,

In his bran new buttons and blue.
Tim's a middle aged gentleman sleek,
With a laughing eye and a cherry cheek!

He loves a good joke
Like other blythe folk;

This festivous club consists of more than fifteen hundred members. Their orgies are celebrated every Monday evening throughout the year. The chair is taken at nine, and vacated at twelve. St. John's Gate (their place of rendezvous) is truly classic ground.

A Christmas carol,

A cup from the barrel,
And a glass of old wine seven days in the week!
Hear him sing, and hear him talk,
The veriest merriest cock of the walk;

Daintily dress'd
Like a buck in his best !
Loyal and true

As his holiday blue !
With black silk stock and embroider'd vest;

In Wellingtons trim
Struts Uncle Tim !
With beaver and cane,
And smart gold chain-
Di’mond pin
Stuck under his chin-
All Little Britain

Were never so smitten !
We ne'er shall look on his like again!

Heigho! my heart is low!

Devils blue
As Tim's bran new!
Fidgets, fumes,

Mops and brooms!
Tantrums all from top to toe!

Such a quiz! such a beau!
Such a shape! such a make!
Would I were a lady,
As blooming as May-day;
With carriages, house, and

Twice twenty thousand;
If it only were for Uncle Timothy's sake!


GENTLE Reader! we promised thee at the outset of our journey pleasant companions by the way, and as an earnest of that promise we have introduced Benjamin Bosky and Uncle Tim. We would now bespeak thy courtesy for others that are soon to follow. In passing happily through life, half the battle depends upon the persons with whom we may be associated. And shall we carry dislike and spleen into the closet? Grope for those daily plagues in our books, when they elbow and stare us full in the face at every turn we

take in this wearisome world? To chronicle minutely the Painful | Peregrinations' of Uncle Timothy through this live-long day, would

exhibit him, like Patience, not sitting on a monument, smiling at grief,' but lolling in Mr. Bosky's brischkta, laughing (in his sleeve only) at the strange peculiarities of the Muffs, and listening with mild endurance to the unaccountable antipathies of Mrs. Bumgarten. Now the Fubsys might be called, par excellence, a prudent family.

And Prudence is a nymph we much admire,
She loves to aid the hypocrite and liar,
And help poor rascals through the mire,

Whom filth and infamy begrime:

She's one of guilt's most useful drudges,
Her good advice she never grudges,
Gives parsons meekness, gravity to judges;

But frowns upon the man of rhyme!

Good store of prudence had the Fubsy family. Their honest scruples always prevented them from burning their fingers. They were much too wise to walk into a well. They kept on the windy side of the law. But if the law drew not a very strict line of demarcation between 'meum' and tuum,' or annexed no penalty to o'erleaping it, the Fubsys never let their scruples stand in the


of their interest. They were vastly prone to measure other people's morality by the family bushel, and had exceedingly grand notions touching their selfimportance; (little minds, like little men, cannot afford to stoop!) which those who have seen a cock on a dunghill or a crow in a gutter, may have some idea of.

Nothing pleased Mrs. Bumgarten during this day's pleasure(?). Mr. Bosky's equipage—and one more tasteful was hardly to be found out of Little Britain-she politely brought into depreciating comparison with the staring yellow and blue, brass-mounted, and screw-wigged turn-out of her acquaintances the Kickwitches, the mushroom aristocracy of retired Putty and Lead!' And when Mr. Muff, who was no herald, hearing something about Mr. Bosky's arms being painted on the panels, innocently inquired whether his legs were not painted too?--at which Uncle Timothy involuntarily smiled—the scarlet-liveried pride of the Fubsys rushed into her cheeks, and she bridled up, wondering what there was in Mr. Muff's question to be laughed at. Knowing the extreme susceptibility of Mrs. Bumgarten’s nervous system, Uncle Timothy had desired John Tomkins to drive moderately slow. This was scratching away at a snail's pace! a cat's gallop!' 'A little faster, John,' said Uncle Timothy, mildly. This was racing along like 'Sabbath-day, pleasure-taking, public-house people in a tax-cart ! Not an exhibition, prospect, person, or thing were to her mind. The dinner, which might have satisfied Apicius, she dismissed with 'faint praise,' sighing a supplementary complaint, by way of errata, that there

was no pickles !'—and the carving-until the well-bred Mrs. Bumgarten herself courteously snatched the knife and fork out of Uncle Timothy's hands-was awful! horrid !' Then she never tastes such port and sherry as she does at her cousins' the Shufflebothams; and as for their black amber (Hambro' ?) grapes, oh! they was fit for your perfect gentlefolks!-those gentle folks, the Shufflebothams! An inquiry from mine host, whether Uncle Timothy preferred a light or a full wine, drew forth this jocular answer, 'I like a full wine and a full bottle, Master Boniface.'-'So do I,' added the unguarded Mr. Muff. This was tremendi-ous !' The two ladies looked at each other, and having decided on a joint scowl, it fell with annihilating blackness on the master.mason, and Mrs. Muff trod upon his toes under the table; a conjugal hint that Mr. Muff had taken enough! Mrs. Bumgarten had a momentary tiff with Mrs. Muff upon some trifling family jealousy, which brought into contest their diminutive dignities; but as the fond sisters had the good fortune to be Fubsys, and as the Fubsys enjoyed the exclusive privilege of abusing one another with impunity, the sarcastic com.

pliments and ironical sneers they so lovingly exchanged passed for nothing after the first fire; and Sister, sister, we are both in the wrong soon set matters to rights again. The absence of Mr. Bumgarten, a scholar and a gentleman, who had backed out of this party of pleasure (?) left his lady at a sad loss for one favourite subject in which she revelled, because it annoyed him ; consequently there were no vulgar impertinent hits at your clever people !! This unfortunate hiatus led her to some ludicrous details of what she had suffered during her matrimonial pilgrimage.

• Suffered ! muttered the middle-aged gentleman, indignantly. 'Yes, Madam Xantippe, you have suffered! But what ? Why, your green-eyed illiterate prejudices to mar all that makes the domestic hearth intellectual, tranquil, and happy! Yes! you have reduced it to a cheerless desert, where you reign the restless fury of contradiction and discord!'

Master Guy Muff, the eldest born of Brutus, a youth who exhibited a capacious development of the eating and drinking organs, with a winning smile that would have made his fortune through a horse-collar, now emerged from his post of honour behind the puffed sleeves, ample folds, and rustling skirts of 'ma's' and aunt's silk gowns.

Don't be frightened, Guy,' said Mrs. Bumgarten, soothingly ; it's only Mr. Timwig.'

'I arn't a-going to, aunt,' snuffled the self-complaisant Master Guy.

"I hope, young gentleman,' said Uncle Timothy, (for, looking at the lump of living lumber, he did not venture to suppose,) 'that you learn your lessons, and are perfect in your exercises.'

What-hoop, skipping-rope, and pris'ner's base?'
"Can you parse ??
Oh, yes!' I pass my time at dumps and marloes.'

Speak your Christmas-piece to Mr. Timtiffin, do, dear Guy!' said "ma,' coaxingly.

Master Guy Muff made the effort, Mr. Brutus Muff acting as prompter. Master Guy (taking in each hand a dessert-plate).

• Look here upon this pic-tur, and on this

The counter-counter
Sink the shop!' muttered Uncle Timothy.
MR. MUFF.— Fit presen-ti-ment-

You put the boy out, Mr. Muff, as you always do !' snarled Mrs.

"Of two brothers.
See what a grace was seated on that brow;

Isn't it something about curls and front ?' said Mr. Muff.
Mrs. Muff took this as an affront to her own particular jazey,
which was bushily redolent of both; she darted a fierce frown à la
Fubsy at the interrogator, that awed him into silence.


[ocr errors]

• A eye like Ma's, to threaten and command-

« السابقةمتابعة »