صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

amongst the most respectable and deserving of the tenantry. You know well what all this means. You will thus be able not only to supply your own table with these delicate and reasonable substitutes for butcher's meat, but you will be enabled to let your servants dine upon these wholesome luxuries at least four or five days out of the seven; for a good master is never above permitting those who serve him assiduously to partake of the good things of this life! But and here I entreat your undivided attention-you have here at your command the great means of obtaining or securing clients; you are empowered now to lend presents to the aged, the sick and wealthy,--or rather, to the aged wealthy and sick wealthy. A brace of partridges well bestowed is worth a codicil to you any day; and a couple of wood. cocks, cunningly sent, not only take their own long bills with them, but herald faithfully long bills for the days to come! These little at. tentions are more than golden, from the tottering testator's faithful and unsleeping agent. And then the birds are not what schoolboys call . given out and out:' they but roost with the rich feeble and infirm, and fly back, after death, in a thousand pleasing and repaying shapes. You merely invest a cock-pheasant, lend a snipe on personal assurance, and assist in a moment of emergency a testator with a teal. I have known a barrel of oysters carefully laid out on real security, and paid off, after the borrower's breath is scant, with usurious interest, in the shape of a close or an upfield, or maybe a farm. On no account allow the cestuique trust, or any incumbrance in the way of legatee, annuitant, or next of kin, to be troubled with game. It only whets a false appetite, and holds out a seeming of allowing 'a one of them' to interfere in the palpable benefits of the estate ; which you know it will be your bounden duty, in essentials, radically to prohibit and prevent. Once or twice in a season you may get upon a very tall horse, and take a long-appointed day's coursing with the low tradesmen, poachers, underkeepers, and tag-rag-and-bobtail of the neighbourhood. This will be a distinguishing day for

you, if properly managed; and on no account, Gabriel, allow any one else in the field to be on horseback. The trustee should be seen himself—alone!' You can after a hard day (for you will of course give your troop all the severe exercise in your power) permit beer and bread and cheese at the near ale-house to the gang, and charge the expense very properly to the trust estate. It may easily and safely come under the head of allowance to tenants on outgoings,' or 'erpenses to labourers on such and such a farm' (the fields, of course, over which you have coursed). Indeed, there are a thousand small inge. nious incidentals ready, on a well-trusteed estate, with open arms to receive these little hospitable and well-timed outlays. Should any interested creature (for all wills unhappily furnish some such to tarnish the otherwise brilliant life of a professional executor and trustee) express any wish for a hare or a brace of birds, or presume to take a day's shooting, or ask one for a friend, you cannot be too angrily peremptory in a refusal, accompanying it with notices from the tenants. (You will of course take care to have all your tenants tenants-at-will, -that is, at your will, and ready to submit to any act you dictate or desire, and to go if necessary.) And the keeper must shoot every strange dog (and you know that must be in. deed a strange dog that dare to hunt with a relation of the testator or his heir at law); and you must declare in a very solemn way, sealed

with many spontaneous imprecations, that you know nothing of game, —that you do not yourself shoot,—and that you believe there is not a head of game upon the estate.

This will show that it is not your own personal interest or amusement you study, and will incontrovertibly prove that you are so taken up with the higher duties of your situation, that you cannot spare time to attend to matters of such trivial moment. Lastly, on this head it will be very desirable if you can worm yourself into the supervision, care, and entire control of two estates that are contiguous; because you can then work your keepers double tides, and, by judicious interchange of men and posts, you can give both properties the benefit and protection of your well-chosen servants. And I am quite sure that as the two esiates are thus kept, no one of ever so squeamish a nicety in the construction of agents' accounts can object to the wages, dress, guns, and ammunition of each keeper being charged separately to each trust. I should certainly advise you

never to dispose of game for actual and immediate money,—that is, not to sell it. It may open the way to an account in the Master's Office, should you unhappily find any one wicked and weak enough to hunt you on to Chancery.

With a careful eye to the few hints I have, perhaps tediously, thrown out for your guidance, I have confident hopes that your own mind will fill up all the interstices. You cannot do better than regard with earnestness the lines of a poet, who perhaps intended not well to the craft, but who has properly described the thoroughbred, welltrained country attorney, and his place of all work.

Lo! that small office! there the incautious guest
Goes blindfold in, and that maintains the rest ;
There in his web th' observant spider lies,
And peers about for fat intruding flies;
Doubtful at first, he hears the distant hum,
And feels them flutt'ring as they nearer come;
They buzz and blink, and doubtfully they tread
On the strong bird-lime of the utmost thread;
But when they're once entangled by the gin,
With what an eager clasp he draws them in;
Nor shall they 'scape till after long delay,

And all that sweetens life is drawn away.'
All prosperity (I had almost said 'good') attend you !

Yours affectionately,


P. S.-Do not fail to reply to me as to your reception of my remarks ;-and pray, Gabriel, put any queries to me on points which may call for your enlightenment. I am very anxious, as a friend of the race of Blackadders, to watch your progress; and if you do, as I must with confidence hope you will, practically carry out my advice forthwith, it will be most gratifying to me to give to the world of attorneys not only the few lines of advice I have addressed to you, but the results of them upon a thorough, hard-bent, practising individual. They will come out usefully as a piece of legal autobiography.

* Let Budgell charge low Grub Street on his quill,

And write whate'er he please, -except my will.-Pope.

merrfe England in the olden Time:




Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and



UNCLE Timothy was a most excursive talker and walker. He had no set phrases; nothing ready cut and dried (which is often very dry) for formal intellectual displays. When he rose in the morning, unless bound by some engagement, he hardly knew whither his footsteps would tend. He was to be seen looking into curiosity shops; rummaging old book-stalls ; turning over portfolios of curious prints ; making gossiping calls among his good friends, the booksellers ; stepping into a book-auction, a panorama, an exhibition of ancient pictures; sometimes rambling in the green fields, and not unfrequently making one of Punch's laughing audiences. The world would have called him idle—but

' How various his employments, whom the world
Calls idle, and who justly in return

Esteems the busy world an idler too!' Though the world's pursuits brought more care to the heart and profit to the purse than his own, he wished they might only prove as innocent and as honest.

Uncle Timothy had just got scent of an ancient carved figure of Falstaff, that once adorned the overhanging doorway of the Boar's Head, in Eastcheap; not the original scene of revelry where Prince Hal and Sir John turned night into day. That merry hostelrie, where `lean Jack'slept on benches in the afternoon, and unbuttoned himself after supper, had been replaced by another, bearing the same immortal sign, which rose on its ruins immediately after the fire of London. The Boar's Head, (which we well remember) was cut in stone, and let into the brick work under the centre window of the first floor. This house had been recently pulled down, in order to make room for the new London Bridge improvements; but Uncle Timothy heard that the figure had been carefully reserved by the proprietor, as a memorial of so celebrated a site. Thither he journeyed on a voyage of discovery. The owner of the Boar's Head had departed this life ; but the neighbours referred him to a nephew, dwelling in an adjoining street, who had succeeded the old gentleman in business. The worthy tradesman received him with courtesy, and proceeded to narrate what had transpired since the demolition of the tavern. The story of the figure was strictly true. His late uncle regarded it as an interesting relic, and his widow, smitten with a kindred feeling, had retired into the country, carrying with her Sir John Falstaff'; and it was not at all likely that she

in an

would relinquish possession of the fat knight, until commanded by the inexorable separatist that parts the best friends. While Uncle Timothy, on his way homeward, was whistling, not for 'want of thought, but the figure, he espied a new Boar's Head in the immediate vicinity of the old one ; and, as the attraction was too powerful to be resisted, he walked in, and soon found himself in a spacious apartment, carved, fretted, and mullioned in the ancient style ; the furniture was grotesquely ornamented and antique; the holly and misletoe were disposed in various parts of the room; a huge fire blazed cheerfully; and round a massy oak table, black with age, sat Falstaff, Prince Henry, Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Sir Hugh Evans, Justice Shallow, Poins, Peto, Touchstone, Corporal Nym, Ancient Pistol, and Lieutenant Bardolf! That "base-string of humility,' Francis, waited upon the company; and the shrill tones of Hostess Quickly were heard

angry colloquy with the 'roaring girl,' Doll Tearsheet. A boar's head with a lemon in his mouth adorned the centre of the table, and immediately before Sir John Falstaff was a magnificent bowl of sugared sack compounded by the dame in her very best humour, and not excelled by that memorable draught which the oily knight so cosily lapped down, when he swore to mine hostess, upon a parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in her Dolphin Chamber at the round-table, by a sea-coal fire,' that he would marry her and make her my lady. Every guest had a horn cup silver-mounted ; and black jacks of sparkling ale, and cakes in abundance, strewed the festive board. Some racy joke on Bardolph's burning nose had just been fired off, and the company were in high merriment.

Surely,' said Uncle Timothy to himself, this is a masquerade. I am an unbidden guest; but the Enchanter's wand is over me, and I cannot either advance or retire.'

Sir Andrew thrummed his viol-de-gambo; and Sir Toby, having fortified himself with a long draught out of a black jack, with true heartiness of voice and gesture struck up a glee.

Sir Toby. Because some folks are virtuous, Sir John, shall you and I

Forswear our wassail, cakes and ale, and sit us down and sigh?
The world is still a merry world, and this a merry time;

And sack is sack, Sir John, Sir Jack! though in it tastes the lime. The watery eye of Sir John Falstaff twinkled with exquisite delight as he filled himself a cup of sack, and responded,

There's nothing extant, Sir Toby, but cant.
A plague of all cowards! Here, Bardolph, my Trigon!

You and I will repent,
And keep a lean Lent.
Presuming it long,
Let us first have a song,
And dismally troll

It over a bowl,
To honesty, manhood, good fellowship bygone.

Pistol, my Ancient!

I'll ne'er prove a stopper,
By my sword, that's true steel!

By nose, that's true copper !

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Corporal NymNYM.

In sack let me swim ! FALSTAFF.

Gadshill and PetoGADSHILL & Pero.

Sweet wag! take our veto. FALSTAFF.

Motley tooCLOWN.

My cockscomb to you ! FALSTAFF.

Good Justice ShallowSHALLOW.

I'm true to you, “ Tallow ! FALSTAFF.

Sir Andrew, Sir HughSIR ANDREW & Sir Hugh. We'll drink as you brew! FALSTAFF.

Poins joins! Hal shall!
Dame Partlet the hen! Doll! Francis -

Anon !
ALL. . We're all your liege subjects, right glorious Sir John!

CHORUS. The lawyer's head and the shark's head,

The puritan parson's and clerk's head,

Are all very well
For a shot or a shell,
Exceedingly fit

To fill up a pit!
But the head that was reared

When Christmas cheered,
In the rollicking, frolicking days of yore,

When the Lord of Misrule,

The Friar and Fool,
With Robin and Marian, led the brawl,
And the hobby-horse frisked in the old-fashioned hall,

Was the wassailing Head of the bristly Boar!
FALSTAFF, NYM, We are minions of the moon,
GADSHILL, Pero, Doughty heroes, hot for fight !
AND BARDOLPH. May a cloud her brightness shroud,

And help us to a purse to-night.
Buckramed varlets! coward knaves!

Angels, watches, rings unfob!


Up with staves, and down with braves

We true men the robbers rob!


Mistress Audrey, in the dance,
With your love-lorn swain advance.
Though our carpet's not so sheen
As shady Arden's forest green,
And the lamps are not so bright
As chaste Luna's silver light,
Nor our company so gay
As when trips the sprightly fay,
I will dance, and I will sing,

Mingling in the laughing ring.
Shout for the Head of the bristly Boar!

Jovial spirits, as we are now,
Did merrily bound while the cup went round

Under the holly and misletoe bough.
Sing O the green holly! sing O the green holly!
Nothing's so sweet as divine melancholy.
Ingratitude blighting true friendships of old,
No bleak winter wind is so bitter and cold.


« السابقةمتابعة »