[ocr errors][graphic][merged small][merged small]

MR. CHIMPANZEE was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,thanks to the foresight of his maternal grandfather, who had “ tied down" the bulk of an immense fortune, accumulated in the East Indies, in the hands of trustees, for the sole use and benefit of the “ little monkey," as he familiarly, and not inappropriately, termed his infant grandson ; for his father had prodigally dissipated the fortune he had received with his wife, and was compelled in the decline of life to live upon his wits, — a stern necessity indeed for one to whom nature had been so niggardly in her gifts; for if there ever were a head that might be advertised to be “let unfurnished,” the upper story of Mr. Chimpanzee, senior, certainly came within the unflattering description. Young Chimpanzee inherited this vacuum, and that was all; for the rest, he exhibited the same tenacity for money as his prudent grandfather; and the sire being fortunately gathered to his fathers while the son was in his minority, his principal, as well as his principles, escaped the deterioration which they would otherwise have inevitably sustained.'

Having finished his education, or rather left school, where the knowledge of his wealth induced the masters to treat him with every indulgence, he had all the world before him where to choose; and being locomotively inclined, resolved to travel.

Like all those who possess no brains, he required the stimulus of action to supply the want of thought. He knew nothing of geography,

-the only globes he had ever studied being those pretty prismatic ones blown through a tobacco-pipe, billiard-balls, and bowls. In the study of history he had got through those standard works, “ The Seven

Champions of Christendom,” “ Jack the Giant-killer," and the other “ Jack who had Eleven Brothers.” Stored with this classical knowledge, he set forth to see the world.

But how many go to sea, and see nothing! Chimpanzee was the very man to travel from Dan to Beersheba, and say, “'Tis all barren.” There appeared to be neither speculum nor speculation in his dull unreflecting optics ; and to his matter-of-fact mind a ruin was a ruin, and nothing more ; for his reading afforded no pleasant association of by. gone spirits with the object before him.

The Bey of Tripoli or the Bay of Naples were both alike in sound and significance to him, until having seen both, he declared they were both “deep 'uns," and that it was as dangerous to try your craft upon one as the other. When told that he would find rein-deer in Lapland, where snow and ice abound, he replied with the utmost importance, as if pronouncing a logical deduction, “ Of course where water freezes it is always scarce, and that accounts for the rain being dear. Any fool could see that with half an eye!”

In answer to one querist, who was amiably employed in “ drawing him out” before a large party, he said, that when he "threaded” the “ Needles," he was "sewed up” by sea-sickness, and was unable to discover whether they had eyes as well as points.

Of his travels in the East, all that could be gleaned from his gatherings, or gathered from his gleanings, was that some of the tribes had troubled him by their extortions; that he had once found the Kurds in his way; and that, notwithstanding the notorious fidelity and attachment of the menials in India, he had been Coolie served; and that his groom could curry his rice and his horse with equal skill.

In Africa, he vowed that his chops were broiled; but as for the Coast being Gold, it was a complete hoax ; that the evening dews were heavy, but speedily evaporated before the morning sun, and ventured to remark, what an agreeable thing it would be for some folks if, when their bills and debts became due, they should be “taken up," and evaporate as readily.

Having somewhere read or heard that there were “tongues in the running brooks," he was grievously disappointed when he saw the mouth of the Nile, and found-no tongue in it!

Visiting Naples, of course he climbed Vesuvius, and looking into the crater, declared he saw nothing in it. As he descended, the dew was on the spray," and he observed that he had often heard talk of “moun tain dew," and that his Irish servant had informed him that it was a “ drop oʻthe crater," of the truth of which he appeared now quite convinced!

Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope he regarded in the same light as he did his Macintosh cape, and declared that they were in vented solely for the purpose of keeping out the water.

Norway he did not touch upon, because he was informed it was only famous for its trade in deals,-and he very ingeniously concluded that he could see a Deal of Norway at home, without the trouble of a long voyage.

Venice he visited, not from any association in his mind with any interesting historical reminiscences connected with the place, for reading had supplied his memory with none; but a pleasant party, with whom he had accidentally met, was going thither, and he was pleased with

2 L 2

anything or anybody that supplied him entertainment without the cost of thinking. One of the ladies, a romantic lass of nineteen, had sung,

“Row gently here,

My gondolier!” and accompanied herself on the guitar with so much skill, that even to his unpractised ears it was really agreeable, and he longed to see the gondolas.

His disappointment, however, was great when he beheld those fleet vehicles darting through canals, so black, and dingy, and unadorned. They were contemptible in his eyes compared with the smart wherries of his native Thames; and, indeed, he looked upon them as no better than so many juvenile coal-barges starved to the genteelest proportions. He stood upon the “ Bridge of Sighs," and declared it was no size at all,—not much bigger than the bridge of a bass viol. A base violation of the truth, according to most travellers, and for which Mr. Chimpanzee ought to have been made to answer in the Court of Arches.

In Canton he found the tea very strong, (while in Scotland he discovered that their Tay” was all water.) `As for the men of China, he was surprised to find them composed of common clay. He expressed great curiosity to pass the gates and view the wonders beyond, but neither his wealth nor his influence could obtain the desired boon. He never passed the mystic barrier ; although, as he paradoxically observed, some of the natives did “take him in" before his departure.

He had a peep at Holland, where the King is the Baroness D'Aultremont's “leman,and the Prince of Orange's father. He thought that they must be good soldiers, as he was told they had been long famous for having “ mounted” more“ breeches" than any other nation under the sun!

When asked about their fine arts, he confessed that he had seen an immense number of those celebrated paintings in blue and white, termed “ Dutch tiles,” and that he purchased a hat there! As for the country, it was flat as a bowling-green; the cheese and women round as bowls. He wondered much from whom such a race had sprung, declaring that he had never heard them speak of their sires, although they eulogised their dams continually.

One observation he did make, which really had some degree of sense in it, he said that he thought it would be a vast improvement, in an agricultural point of view, if they could pull the Boot of Italy on the Calf of Man! And uttered a truism, which was incontrovertible, namely, that when speaking of the beauties of the East, he asserted that Arabia “bore the palm!

He laughed at the idea of the world being round as a gross absurdity, and assured everybody that he had been in all parts, and found it tat -very fat! He had sailed on the White, the Red, and the Black Sea, only to discover the accuracy of his school-grammar in stating, the sea is green," and the errors of the hydrographers, who had really no colourable pretext for calling them names which they do not deserve.

Of course, like most English travellers, he had seen but a small portion of his own country ; although, like Cook, he had made a voyage round the world. In fact, Chimpanzee's voyage might not inappropriately be termed a cook's,- for, being much inclined to good eating, (the only thing in which he evinced any real taste,)-he estimated the qualities of the countries he visited by the number of good dishes wherewith he was entertained. He was indeed a perfect gourmand, and, like a goose, was “ indifferent” unless well stuffed.

Even his speech was tinctured by his heliogabalic foible. And his ordinary phrase when he threatened to punish a varlet of a waiter was that he would dress him, or “ settle his hash.”

When a friend - such friends as he could boast — took him in his yacht to the Isle of Wight, all the admiration he expressed was for the shrimps. As for the beauties of Shanklin Chine, or any other chine, unaccompanied by turkey, he regarded with the most ineffable contempt; and New-port could not by any means be palateable to a bonvivant, and a man of his way of drinking.

The ladies, of course, no sooner heard of his prandial propensities than they regarded him with contempt, notwithstanding the fame of his wealth ; but still, to his fortune, and this very inclination to the good things of the world combined, he was ultimately indebted for a wife.

In a certain fox-hunting country there dwelt, in all the pride and bloom of five-and-twenty, a squire's daughter, whose personal charms and vanity were much upon a par; and whose pa was very much reduced in worldly circumstances by keeping a stud and kennel far above his means'; in fine, when he first fell in with Mr. Chimpanzee, he was mounted on a fine hunter, going to cover, and going to the dogs.

He certainly extended his optics when he beheld the youth in the field, comparing him to a monkey bestriding a pitchfork; but being flattered by his purchasing a horse at his recommendation (one of his own stud, by the by), he not only invited him to his house, but re. turned the visit to his splendid residence at “Chimpanzee Folly.” The acute fox-hunter saw at a glance, as he afterwards declared, that he had started the game, and was determined to bag it. For, although he could not admire his “seat," he was extravagant in the praise of his mansion.

"His Poll and this youngster," he declared, “would make a most excellent 'couple.'” And he took care to improve the acquaintance by inviting Mr. Chimpanzee to spend a week at his “box,” where an excellent dinner baited the trap into which it was intended he should run. “His Poll,” he proudly proclaimed, “was the best cook in the country, and had superintended the whole dinner. A bland smile spread over the dull countenance of Chimpanzee ; and when he beheld the belle he certainly thought she was very handsome, especially after a confederate of the fox-hunters had clenched the nail he had so dexterously driven, by informing Chimpanzee that she was a great toast, and happy would that young man be who had her for his wife.” Of course he nibbled the inviting bait, and was caught.

There are more Chimpanzees in the world than people wot of, albeit they are cried up as such rarities ! The matter-of-fact critics may, after all, perhaps chuckle, and declare this to be only the disjointed tale of a Chimpanzee, and laugh at the wag.


[ocr errors][merged small]


The following narrative, which is attributed to General Cass, * will be read with peculiar interest at the present moment, in consequence of the late attempt on the life of Louis Philippe.-EDIT.

Louis PHILIPPE, it is well known, travelled through the United States in early life. He did not, like the princes of the elder branch of the House of Bourbon, join the enemy. 'He never bore arms against his country. But he travelled into Switzerland, where he concealed himself some time, while performing the functions of Professor at an institution of education at Reichenau, and there is now at the Palais Royal a picture of this interesting event of his life. He remained at this establishment eight months, teaching geography, history, the French and English languages, and mathematics. Previously to admission he underwent a severe and satisfactory examination, and when he quitted his Chair he received a certificate, acknowledging the useful services he had rendered to the institution. Let his descendants preserve this precious document. It may be long before the House of Orleans receives, in the person of one of its members, a reward more worthy the regard of every man interested in the true dignity of human nature. The young Professor was then twentytwo years of age ; and he not only preserved his incognito, but his conduct was so discreet that he was elected a deputy to the assembly at Coire.

Even in the disastrous circumstances of his personal position he was still anxious to serve his country; and General Montesquiou having agreed to accept him as his aide-de-camp, he left his peaceful retreat at Reichenau, and joined the General, with whom he remained till 1794, under the name of Corby. Suspicions having, however, been excited respecting his true character, he abandoned the family of General Montesquiou, and determined to remove himself farther from France. There was not wanting a party even then which hoped to see a constitutional monarchy established, with the Duke of Orleans at its head; and the weight of character he had acquired rendered him an object of hatred and suspicion to the terrible and ever-changing rulers who at that era of desperate energy governed and died in blood. His own wish was to seek refuge in the United States; but the heir of the House of Orleans, and the descendent of Henry the Fourth, was too poor to undertake so distant an expedition. He was obliged, therefore, to postpone the realization of this project, until he could procure the means of defraying its expense; but, as he commenced at this period the pilgrimage which ultimately conducted him to America, a general outline of the King's adventures till he left the United States will not be uninteresting. The facts here communicated may be relied on.

From Switzerland Louis Philippe repaired to Hamburg, and

• The work to which we allude was published in the United States during the present year, and is called, " France, its King, Court, and Government."

« 上一页继续 »