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famous for his robberies in the southern parts of England, abundance of people, from all quarters, resorted daily to see him.* It being, about that time, a subject very much disputed in all companies and conversations, whether this man was the real Turpin, the highwayman, or not; a certain young gentleman, who pretended to know him, went one day to the Castle, to satisfy himself of the truth of the report. Having viewed him very narrowly, he told the keeper he would lay him a wager of half-a-guinea that this man was not Turpin. Upon which, Dick, turning to the keeper, whispered in his ear, “'Lay him the wager. I'll
go your halves. He continued this mirthful humour to the last, spending his time in joking, drinking, and telling stories.” O rare Dick Turpin !
In reference to two existing personages, (introduced, I trust, without impropriety, for character is alike in all times, in a tale, bearing date a century back,) I may mention that Jerry Juniper is still to be seen, as of old, at Ascot and Goodwood, cutting his quips and capers as merrily as ever; and that the Knight of Malta, who is reserved, it may be, for further adventures, as amusing
* I have been favoured, in a very obliging manner, by Mr. James Maidment of Edinburgh, with some extracts from Scotch journals contemporaneous with my highwayman, from one of which it appears that when the horse-stealer Palmer was discovered to be the notorious Richard Turpin, “ the whole country flocked here (to York) to see him, and have been very liberal to him, insomuch that he has had wine constantly before him till his trial. The gaoler, it is said, has made 1001. by selling liquors to him and his visiters. Though the fellow has made a great noise in the world, he 'll now die like a dog. A vast number of wagers have been lost on his account."
and instructive as the incidents of his past life, has just been liberated from confinement. *
Naturally interested in all that concerns my furtive hero, I have made diligent, but ineffectual, search in his various memoirs, for the foundation of that singular legendary romance, recording the adventures of Turpin and the bishop's coachman,
Where Dick put a couple of balls in his nob,
And perwailed on him to stop ; +
with which the immortal Sam Weller delighted his chums, upon a convivial occasion, what time,
Turpi(n)s in arcanâ sonuit cum rixa taberna.
But I have no doubt it rests on as good authority as many incidents in this veracious history,
I now take leave of this subject. I have no more "fables de Turpin,” as Panurge hath it, to recount. I dismiss
* Mr. Tom, of Truro, who, under the name of Sir William Courtenay, made himself so conspicuous a few years since in this city (Canterbury), and who being convicted at Maidstone assizes of perjury, and adjudged to be insane, was confined in Barming-Heath Asylum, has, we hear, received through the Secretary of State a free pardon, and in a few days will be restored to his friends, under certain restrictions, -Kent Herald.
+ It is needless to refer to a work, which every body has read, and which (contrary to the usual custom in such cases) every body must remember. Mr. Dickens, with his wonderful knowledge of London life and character, and unequalled powers of delineation, has done more for this metropolis, in the “ Pickwick Papers,” and in “ Oliver Twist,” than Paul de Kock, in all his works, has done for Paris.
PREFACE TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
the shade of the wandering highwayman to final repose. If I should again “ take the air upon the heath at eventide,” it shall be in company of the gayest “minion of the moon," the rifler of hearts and purses, the chivalrous
October 18. 1837..
THE FOURTH EDITION.*
A quel propos, en vostre advis, tend ce prelude et coup d'essay ? Pour aultant que vous mes bons disciples et quelques autres folz de sejour, lisans les joyeulx tiltres de nostre invention, jugez trop faeilement n'estre au dedans traicté que mocqueries, folateries, et menteries joyeuses. Mais par teile legiereté ne convient estimer les auvres des humains: car vous mesmes 'dictes que l'habit ne faict le moyne. C'est pourquoy fault ouvrir le livre, et soigneusement peser ce que y est deduict.
RABELAIS. Gargantua : Prologue du 1. Livre.
The demand for a new ed on of this work, which, while it argues a continuance of public favour, cannot fail to be gratifying to the feelings of an author, is peculiarly satisfactory to me on another account; as it affords me an opportunity of setting myself right on a point, that has occasioned me no little personal grievance, ever since the publication of the previous impression. Old Rabelais rails against the carelessness of a printer who, by putting an n in the place of an m in the word asme, subjected him to the charge of a mortal heresy: “ C'est Avaßoros," exclaims the Chinonian sage, with a curious anticipation of the epithet bestowed by recent times upon the agent of the typographer — “ qui par leur ministère me suscite tel crime." Victor Hugo, in the preface to Han d'Islande, bewails in pathetic terms the treatment his volumes
* This edition was brought out in 1836, by Mr. John Macrone, of Saint James's Square, a young and spirited publisher, whose premature death occurred while the present edition was passing through the press.
experienced at the hands of a Lutetian disciple of Aldus, — “ ils avaient été,” cries he,“ tellement déshonorées d'incongruités typographiques par un imprimeur barbare, que le déplorable auteur, en parcourant sa méconnaisable production, était incessament livré au supplice d'un père auquel on rendrait son enfant mutilé et tatoué par la main d'un Iroquois du lac Ontario !” The present writer has to complain of similar outrages. His text was mutilated, his meaning perverted, his sentences were confounded by a printer not less barbarous. So absurd, occasionally, were the mistakes disfiguring his Second Edition, that he would have been tempted to laugh at them, had he not felt it to be sorry jesting at one's own expense. To give a few examples : — better feelings became bitter, in the hands of this unfeeling compositor; prigging world put on a perriwig ; a drear vision appeared unexpectedly dear ; while the kid, in culpable violation of scriptural phraseology, was seen, not seethed, in its mother's milk.
Some of the Ballads here printed, having attracted attention in quarters where notice is no mean distinction, I have now, at the risk of wearying the patience of the mere romance-reader, added a few more of the same class. Those, who fancied they discovered in the songs entitled “The Coffin,” and “The ManDRAKE," evidences of a feeling not uncongenial with the spirit of our old and simple minstrelsy, will find in the legendary rhymes of “The Lime Tree,” “ The LADY OF Rookwood," and “EPHIALTES,” further experiments in the same style. With what success these new attempts have been made, it will be for them to determine.
The supernatural occurrence, which forms the groundwork of one of these ballads (“ The Lime Tree”), and which I have made the harbinger of doom to the house of Rookwood, is ascribed, by popular superstition, to a family