ePub 版

any letters we may receive, free of postage, either for or against, an assertion we have heard in more quarters than one,-viz. that the money in the bag at the time it was lost did not amount to anything like the sum stated by the fair lady herself. Till then, as in fairness bound, we shall offer no opinion upon the subject."

The following extracts are from the miscellaneous department:

"On Thursday last this town was visited by a terrific hail-storm. Several of the stones were picked up of a size truly tremendous. The devastation it occasioned was awful. At Mrs. Stintum's boarding-house five panes of glass were broken; four at Yawkins's library; a like number at Mrs. Hobbleday's in the Crescent, who had the misfortune, also, to have the top of a cucumber-frame literally smashed to pieces! But the greatest sufferer by the calamity is Mr. Snargate, the builder, twenty-nine panes of whose green-house are entirely destroyed, and fourteen others more or less injured. Many persons have visited the scene of destruction. Such is the irresistible power of the elements !"

"In a litter of pigs which we have lately seen at Mrs. Sniggerston's, the keeper of the baths, there are actually two without tails! Such are the extraordinary freaks of Nature!"

[ocr errors]

"The last meeting of the Little-Pedlington Universal-Knowledge Society' was most particularly interesting. Our celebrated poet, Jubb, read a portion of his forthcoming Life and Times of Rummins,' our well-known antiquary; and Rummins favoured the members by reading a portion of his forthcoming Life and Times of Jubb.' Our eminent painter, Daubson, exhibited a very curious drawing which he has lately completed. It is a profile in black, which, looked at one way, represents a man's head in a còcked hat, and with a large bow to his cravat; and, when turned topsy-turvy, shows the face of an old woman in a mob-cap! Who shall presume to set bounds to the ingenuity of art! But by far the most interesting was, what was stated by our learned antiquary, Mr. Rummins, to be a helmet of the time of King John. It was dug from the ruins of an old house lately pulled down in Northstreet, and is now the property of Mr. Rummins himself. It is corroded by the rust of ages; and, except that it has no handle, is in form not unlike a saucepan of our own days. Mr. R. read a learned memoir which he has drawn up upon the subject, (and which, together with a drawing, he intends to forward to the Society of Antiquaries,) wherein he states that, when he was in London, and saw the play of King John' acted, the principal actors wore helmets of precisely that shape. Its authenticity is thus proved beyond all manner of doubt. But, upon these points, who shall presume to question the judgment of a Rummins? "The presentations to the library, and for the sole use of the members, were Goldsmith's History of England,' abridged for the use of schools, and Tooke's Pantheon,' (an account of all the heathen gods and goddesses, with numerous cuts,) both the gift of our munificent townsman, Mr. Yawkins, the banker."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"To the lovers of Champagne we cannot too strongly recommend that admirable substitute, the gooseberry-wine made and sold by Hubkins,

the grocer, in Market-square. We speak from our own knowledge, as he has obligingly sent us six bottles as a sample. We can say nothing of his other home-made wines which he mentions to us, as we cannot, with a conscientious regard to our duty as impartial journalists, venture an opinion which we do not possess the means of verifying by a trial.”

This from the "Notice to Correspondents:"

"The letter from a certain oilman in East-street, requesting us to give a favourable opinion of his pickles, anchovy paste, &c., must be paid for as an advertisement. We cannot compromise our independence by praising what we have not even had an opportunity of tasting."

"THE THEATRE.-We are at length enabled to state that Mr. Sniggerston (in consequence of the present amount of the subscription towards building a new theatre not being sufficient to warrant the undertaking), having again kindly consented to grant the use of one of his commodious out-houses, though at what seems to us to be a rather exorbitant rent, our liberal and spirited manager, Mr. Strut, from Dunstable, will positively open his campaign on the 15th of next month, though, in our opinion, it would answer his purpose much better did he delay the opening till the 18th. The preparations are on the most extensive scale; and a new drop-scene (of which we have been favoured with a private view) has been painted by our unrivalled Daubson. The subject is a view of the new pump, in Market-square, as seen from South-street; though it seems to us the painter would have done better had he represented it as seen from North-street, not but that we think South-street a very favourable point for viewing it; and no man has greater taste in these matters than Daubson, when he chooses to exercise it. The manager has done well in engaging all our old favourites, the most prominent of whom are the facetious Tippleton, the heartrending Snoxell, and the versatile and incomparable Mrs. Biggleswade,' as they are aptly characterised by our tasteful master of the ceremonies in his Guide Book;' but why has he not also engaged Mrs. Croaks, the celebrated vocalist, who we understand is unemployed? This he must do. Yet if, as we are told, she requires twice as much as has ever been paid to any other performer for doing only half the usual work, we must say that Strut is right in resisting such a demand; though we admit that talent like hers cannot be too highly remunerated, and are of opinion she is perfectly justified in making her own terms. Nevertheless, we recommend her to follow the example of moderation set by the three eminent performers we have named, they having liberally consented to take each a fourth of the clear receipts, allowing the remaining fourth to be divided amongst the rest of the company in any way the manager may think after proper, deducting one-third of that for himself. Tippleton, with his usual disinterested zeal for the good of the concern, has consented to play any part whatever which may be likely to conduce to that end, provided, in the first place, it be a good part in itself; secondly, that it be the only good part in the piece; and lastly, that the part be, in every possible respect, to his own entire and perfect satisfaction. The only particular stipulations he has made are that no person shall have a clear benefit but himself; that no person shall be allowed to write as many orders,

nightly, as himself; that no person shall have their name printed in the play-bills in large letters but himself; and that he shall not at any time be expected to do anything to serve anybody-but himself. With such spirited exertions on the part of the management, and such liberality and zealous co-operation on that of the performers, the concern must succeed: though we would recommend the manager not to act so much himself as he did last season; though we admit that his assistance is usually indispensable. However, as far as we are concerned, Strut may rely on having our support, for, indeed, he deserves it; not that we altogether approve of the arrangements he has made, which, in our opinion, are in many respects faulty in the extreme; nevertheless, he is an enterprising manager, and ought to be patronised by the LittlePedlingtonians; not that we should recommend them to go into a hot theatre to see plays sometimes, to say the truth, indifferently actednor indeed can he expect that they should."

Admired the profoundness of the critic's reflections, the extent and minuteness of his information, the wisdom of his advice, and, above all, his beautiful consistency. Fancied I had somewhere occasionally read something in a similar style-could not recollect where.

These from the "Foundling Hospital for the Muses."

"To Doctors Drench and Drainum, on their grand Discovery of a Mineral Spring in the Vale of Health.

"Galen and Esculapius men may praise,
(Apothecaries great in by-gone days ;)

But you, my friends, O, Drainum, and O, Drench!
At once the flambeaus of their merit quench.
They no chalybeate for our use e'er found
On Pedlingtonia's health-restoring ground:
That task the gods, to Pedlingtonia true,

Reserved, my Drainum and my Drench, for you!
So shall your names for aye their names outshine,
Immortal in the poet's deathless line!

That task, thrice-honour'd Jubb, that happy task be thine!



A member of the feather'd race,
With half a certain well-known place,
If rightly you do guess, I ween,
You'll name the pretty thing I mean.


**We are obliged to our valuable correspondent, Philo-Sphynxius, for the answer to the Charade in our last, which is skittles. Perhaps he will favour us by exercising his ingenuity on the above.—ED."


"** The following charming, pathetic little gem, composed several days ago, assumes a most peculiar feature of melancholy interest, when we consider the present distressing state of mind laboured under by the fair poetess, the full particulars of the loss of whose reticule (containing-besides a large sum in money of her own—a lump of orris-root, a pot of lip-salve, a new flaxen front, a new false tooth, and a paper of

carmine, belonging to a friend of hers,) we have given in another part of our this day's paper.-ED.


O, gentle Strephon, cease to woo!
O spare poor Chloe's virgin heart!
O tempt me not! but cease to sue ;-
In pity spare me, and depart.
O do not praise the roseate blush

On Chloe's grief-worn cheek display'd!
Alas! 'tis but a hectic flush,

Which soon, too soon, in death must fade.
O speak not of the teeth that shine

Like pearls, 'twixt lips like cherries twain,
Tinted with Nature's pure carmine ;-
Alas! fond youth, 'tis all in vain.
Nor praise no more the balmy breath
Thou dost to orris sweet compare,
When soon the icy arms of death

In the cold grave those sweets must share.

Urge not thy suit, but fly me now,

Fond youth! nor praise those locks of flax
Thou say'st adorn my ivory brow-

Leave me to die-'tis all I ax.

[ocr errors][merged small]



A punctilious critic would perhaps raise an objection to the "locks of flax," and (with greater show of right on his side) to the concluding word of Miss Cripps's "charming little gem. But surely this would not be the case with a candid reader, inclined (as I own I always am) to be pleased. By the former, it is clear the Sappho of Little-Pedlington means flaxen locks, whatever may be the exact import of the words she uses; and with respect to the other point, it is to be defended on the plea of necessity. Any port in a storm," says the sailor; and, driven by stress of rhyme, I think the lady is fortunate in not having been forced into a less commodious haven for the most fastidious ear must be satisfied with the rhyme, which is perfect; whilst the only objection that can be made to the word ax (as a word), is that the Exclusives, the Almacks of the Dictionary, refuse to acknowledge it as a member of their super-refined Society. But I fear I entertain a dislike of the general tone of the poem, exquisite as it is in detail. Why need the lady be so confoundedly-I cannot help swearing at it-so confoundedly dismal? Why should she everlastingly (as I perceive by a former number of the Foundling Hospital') be tampering with such disagreeable matters as "death" and "the grave," " and the

"canker-worm," and "the blighted hope," "the withered heart," "the seared soul," and a thousand other such uncomfortable fancies? If her woes be real, most sincerely do I pity the poor lady, and the sooner her gloomy aspirations after death and the grave are gratified, the better it will be for her; if feigned, I shall say no more than that I wish that, for the pleasure of the readers of the " Little-Pedlington Observer," she would exercise her imagination upon subjects of a more agreeable character. I am aware I may be told that Miss Cripps is, par excellence, the "Songstress of Woe;" that she "strings her lyre with tears;" and that much also will be said about "finer sensibilities,"

"poetical temperament," "flow of feeling," and "out-pourings of soul." Fiddle-de-dee! the mere commonplace twaddle of criticism. Could the performances on this tear-strung lyre be restricted to the hand of Miss Cripps alone, the inventress of the instrument, and its mistress also, I should not so much object to an occasional movement doloroso ; but her genius (as it is evinced in the effusion which has occasioned these passing remarks) might unhappily beget a brood of imitators, who, like imitators in general, would select only the worser qualities of their model; and then we should have every young lady in Little-Pedlington whimpering about "blighted hopes" at fourteen'; at fifteen invoking death, and sighing for the quiet of the cold, cold grave; and, at sixteen, running off with a tall footman, or a haberdasher's mustachio'd “ sistant." Rather than that these things should occur, I would suggestsince extremes provoke extremes-an Act of Parliament to prohibit ladypoets from meddling with any other subjects than silver moons, radiant rainbows, blushing roses, modest violets, and the like; and to restrict them, in their gloomiest moods, to illustrations-of which the most sad and dismal should be-a cloudy night in summer.


Amongst the advertisements, the following is the most prominent. My attention was first caught by that portion which is printed in capital letters, and which I read independently of the context in humbler type. Magnificent property, indeed!" thought I. As I have never met with anything of the kind at all comparable with it, I think it worth extracting :

[ocr errors]


Are not likely either speedily or soon to be brought to the hammer, but a most desirable Freehold Property in the Vale of Health


On the premises, on Monday next, at twelve o'clock precisely,

It seldom falls to the fortunate lot of an auctioneer to have to offer to the public a property to describe which puts to the utmost stretch of extension the most sublime and inexhaustible powers of description for to describe; and which, to convey an idea of sufficiently adequately, would be required to be described by the unequalled and not to be paralleled descriptive powers of a


What then must be the feelings of Mr. Fudgefield on the present occasion, when he has to offer for sale that most desirable residence, situate in the Vale of Health, and known by a name as appropriate as it is befitting, and well merited as it is most richly deserved,


The particulars of this most desirable and charming residence, which may truly be called A PERFECT RUS IN URBE A LITTLE WAY OUT OF TOWN,

will in the course of this advertisement be stated fully and at length; and which Mr. Fudgefield owes it as a duty to his employers to state as circumstantially as he would if it were a

[blocks in formation]

Being near the town and in its immediate vicinity, where everything that Nature's multitudinous desires can wish for can be obtained when wanted, it is not necessary, and scarcely requisite, that it should


THREE DOUBLE COACH-HOUSES AND ACCOMMODATION FOR TWENTY HORSES; nor indeed should it be expected, when the town can boast of two confectioners, that it should

possess a


« 上一頁繼續 »