« السابقةمتابعة »
themes of panegyric. He used to swear that of his own knowledge there was a cock at Nevis, who crowed so shrill and loud that he could be heard at Martinique, and so punctually at the instant of sunrise, that Bob's regiment always fired the gun and set their clocks and watches by him. Come,' said a man one night at Frawley's, here's Bob Rambleton; now let's have a little natural history' Sim Fairfield then proceeded to tell, that when he was in Portugal he fell in with a starling at a nunnery that could repeat one of the penitential psalms. Bob spoke in a very slow somniferous voice, and when he once opened, he never cracked cry whether his audience were asleep or awake until he had exhausted his imagination. Yes,' said Bob, the starling, you know, is a clever bird; but he is nothing to a cockatoo, you know. When I was quartered at Demerara, in the West Indies, you know, I went out one day to walk in the woods, and there upon the top of a tree, you know, I saw a great big cockatoo. He was a very peculiar fellow, you know; he had a sky-blue bill, and a red back, and green wings, and a black belly, you know, and that was the reason I always knew him again when I saw him. And while this chap and I were looking at each other, you know, and taking marks of each other, up came Tom Macdonnell, of the 23d Fusileers, you know; they wore blue facings, you know, because they were a royal regiment; and says Tom to me, holding out his hand, "How d'ye do, Bob Rambleton ?" and I said, “ Very well.” And we walked away together, and I thought no more about it. But nearly a month after I happened to walk into the place, and there I saw that same old cockatoo, and says he to me, throwing his head on one side, and casting a knowing look at me, “How d’ye do, Bob Rambleton ?" And then I thought he began to laugh, but I'm not sure of it, you know, and I would not take my oath of it; but this I'll swear to, that all the cursed little cockatoos in the wood,--and there were three hundred of them,-all cried out together, "How d'ye do, Bob Rambleton ?" and their screaming was so horrible that it hurt the drum of my ear, and I was deaf for a long time after, and I never dared to show myself in that wood afterwards.'
He also told a story very much to the honour of a monkey's sagacity, though not creditable to his honesty. The regiment were in log.huts, and Bob happened to lose the key of his peculiar domicile. He did not change the lock; he contented himself with getting a new key. After this accident, he was constantly annoyed by the disappearance of sundry portions of his property, and particularly of his cigars. At last the circumstance of his losing his kilt and best dress-coat led to the detection of the thief; for he saw a monkey playing with them on the top of a tree forty feet high, and upon searching this, all his effects were recovered, with the exception of his cigars, which the rascal had smoked. It seems he stole the key, and was in the habit of watching until Bob and his servant Elsworth were out of the way, when he let himself in, took what he fancied, and locked the door carefully as he retired,
Bob was never at a loss in his natural history. Passing a fishmonger's shop with him one day, I asked, “What the deuce fish is that? I never saw such an ugly fish before. Nor did Bob either; but he promptly and gravely replied, " That is the cat-fish, you know, because he comes out of the water, and catches the mice, you know. He belongs to the West Indies, you know.'
He told us one night, that at Honduras there was a tree called the iron tree, because it was harder than iron, and that it was used instead of the metal for various purposes.
• But how,' said old Frawley, 'could it be cut? I'm blowed if you 're not a-going it! Steel would be of no use ag'in it.'
Oh! they cut it down with itself,' says Bob.
• Ay,' retorted Frawley, but how did they get down the first tree ?'
• They burnt it at the root, you know,' rejoined the Captain.
So remote from ill-nature were the feelings of poor Bob, that no man was more given than he to exalting his friends and acquaintance. On coming into Frawley's of an evening, I saw him sitting in a box with a man of colour, a sort of dirtily whitewashed nigger, and I declined the invitation to join him. When this fellow had gone, he took his place near me, and I said, something reproachfully,
· Who was that cursed ugly nigger you were talking to ?'
“That,' replied Bob, 'is Buckatoo, you know. He is master of the horse to the Queen of Madagascar.'
Poor Bob, like Sir John, has glided under the earth, and their branch of the family is extinct. Bob trusted one of those enemies of human kind, an attorney, and he robbed him of every farthing he possessed. He died in a garret
, in the rules of the Queen's Bench; and would have died without a drop of toast and water to moisten his lips, and been left to be buried by the parish, if it had not been for the generosity of that noble fellow, the Hon. George Talbot, who is now (alas the while !) like himself numbered with the dead.
BENTLEIAN GLOSSES. We have great pleasure in complying with the request contained in the following elegant epistle; and thus proceed to give publication to the effusion of one entitled to all sort of admiration as a proverbial personage~'the Wise Child' of the ancient adage.
I have perused an article in Bentley's Miscellany for this month, entitled • Horæ Ofileana.' Being a son of the late Mr. Offey, I may pretend to know something about him. I therefore assert, that the statements respecting my father in the article in question are LIES !!!
As these statements will have a very extended circulation among Bentley's readers, I request that, for fair play's sake, you will afford a space for this brief communication in the next number.
I am, sir, your obedient servant, 24, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden,
GEORGE OFFLEY. March 1, 1841.
THE MAN ABOUT TOWN TO R. BENTLEY, ESQ. Sir,
I thank you for sending me the letter signed George Offley, and think this polite Publican, who has converted bimself into a Scribe, should be allowed to complete the Judaic circle, and proclaim himself a Pharisee. Though he uses what Doctor Johnson was pleased to style the strong language of Bishop Warburton, namely, 'you lie,' and affects all the indignation of a Lally Tollendal, in vindicating the memory of an illustrious and injured papa, it may be questioned whether the motives which actuated his desire to rush into print were other than envy of Frawley's renown (which the Miscellany has now made immortal,) and his own jealousy of the fame of the great defunct. Proud, sir, am I to feel that for ‘mine old host
* Exegi monumentum ære perennius,'
-a monument not to be soiled, much less shaken by the breath of any little barker indignant at my not having proclaimed the Virgilian principle,
Sic canibus catulos similes.'
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
A MAN ABOUT Town. P.S.-In the course of the evening I will ascertain from Nicholas and the cook what reminiscences they may have preserved of their old fellow-servant.
THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS.
BY W. G. J. BARKER, ESQ.
The little winged wanderers are hast'ning to our clime !
LIGHT BY THE AUTHOR or 'LONDON ASSURANCE.' * And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.'-Gen. ch. i., v. 2.
Space labour'd-quicken'd by Almighty word,
-Width oped her mighty jaws
The infant Globe, smiling,
The Day went down, while Heaven blush'd at Evening's
D. L. BOURCICAULT.
BY THE AUTHOR OF VALENTINE vox.'
The commencement of Stanley's speculation.
To those who have been accustomed to view only the unamiable portions of the female character, as developed on the one hand by the restless scheming creature of the world, and on the other by the designing hollow-hearted courtezan, the mean, cowardly practice of defrauding a woman is sport ; but by married men, who have studied the character deeply, and who appreciate those beautiful feelings by which it is essentially distinguished, that practice is happily held in abhorrence. Marriage induces a higher estimation of female virtue : it inspires men with a chivalrous, gallant spirit, of which the peculiar promptings are to those who never experienced the blessings which spring from the gentle characteristics of an amiable wife, altogether unknown; and hence Stanley—he being the only married man present during the performance of the disgraceful, cruel mockery detailed in the preceding chapter-was the only man by whom it was not viewed as a jest. But although he was thoroughly disgusted with the heartless conduct of his new associates, he felt bound to fulfil the engagement into which he had entered, but from which he would then most gladly have withdrawn. He had no longer the slightest confidence in the men ; he conceived it to be almost impossible for them to be actuated by any correct feeling, -still, having entered into the speculation so far, he was unable to see how he could with honour retire.
Having reflected upon the matter for some time, vainly hoping for something to suggest itself whereby the speculation might with grace be abandoned, he named the subject to Sir William, in order that he might, if possible, point out the means by which an honourable retreat could be accomplished.
* I feel so indignant, said he, after explaining the manner in which the mock marriage had been conducted, at having, although un consciously, been made a party to so disreputable a proceeding, that I declare to you I would almost as soon forfeit the money I have engaged to put down, than have any farther connection with the
· Had you taken my advice,' said Sir William, 'you would not have entered into it at all; but I don't see how you can call off now.'
* Nor do l; and yet one might imagine that conduct like that which I have described would form a sufficient pretext for withdrawing ?'
• Oh! you must not think for a moment of making that a pretext. Were you to do so, you would only get laughed at.'
* But do you not deem it disgraceful ?' • Why, I must say that, strictly speaking, it isn't the thing ; but