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of an intended tragedy, of which I was myself to the woman to leave off her wild song, tell me! of be the victim. Beyond doubt, these men had a design whom do you speak ?' upon my life!
"Great Spirit, hear what he asks! Of whom?-of Four men, too, not one of whom could charge me whom ? there is more than one. Ho, ho! there is with ever having done him a serious injury. I knew more than one, and the true one forgotten. Hulwak, that all four disliked me, and ever had—though hulwak! What shall Ewa say? What tale can Ewa Spence and Williams could have no other cause of tell? Poor bird! her heart will bleed, and her brain otfence than what might spring from boyish grudge— be crushed. Ho, ho! There will be two Haj-Ewas long forgotten by me; but doubtless their motive —two mad queens of the Micosaucs.' was Ringgold's. As for the mulatto, I could under- *For heaven's sake! keep me not in suspense. Tell stand his hostility; though mistaken, it was of the me, Ewa, good Ewa, of whom are you speaking? Is deadliest kind.
it' But what was I to think of Arens Ringgold, the The name trembled upon my tongue; I hesitated leader in this designed assassination ? A man of some to pronounce it. Notwithstanding that my heart education—my equal in social rank—a gentleman! was full of delightful hope, from the confidence I
O Arens Ringgold-Arens Ringgold! How was I felt of receiving an affirmative answer, I dreaded to to explain it? How account for conduct so atrocious, put the question. so fiendish ?
Not a great while did I hesitate; I had gone too I knew that this young man liked me but little-of far to recede. I had long waited to satisfy the wish late, less than ever. I knew the cause too. I stood of a yearning heart; I could wait no longer. Ewa in the way of his relations with my sister-at least might give me the satisfaction. I pronounced the so thought he. And he had reason; for, since my words: father's death, I had spoken more freely of family "Is it-Maümee?' affairs. I had openly declared that, with my consent, The maniac gazed upon me for some moments he should never be my brother; and this declaration without speaking. The expression of her eye I could had reached him. I could easily believe, therefore, not read; for the last few minutes, it had been one that he was angry with me; but anger that would of reproach and scorn. As I uttered the name, it impel a man to such demoniac purpose, I could not changed to a look of bewilderment; and then her comprehend.
glance became fixed upon me, as if searching my And what meant those half-heard phrases- one thoughts. that stands in our way, 'mother easily consent,' 'If it be Maümee,' I continued, without awaiting 'master of the plantation, coupled with the names her reply-for I was now carried away by the ardour of Viola and my sister? What meant they ?
of my resuscitated passion-'if it be she, know, I could give them but one, and that a terrible Ewa, that her I love--Maümee I love.' interpretation—too fearful to dwell upon.
You love Maümee? You still love Maümee?' I could scarcely credit my senses, scarcely believe interrogated the maniac with startling quickness. that I was not labouring under some horrid halluci. Ay, Ewa-by my life-by my’nation, some confusion of the brain produced by my • Cooree, cooree! swear not-his very oath. Hulwak ! having been en rapport with the maniac !
and he was false. Speak again, young mico ! say But no; the moon had been over them-my eyes you love Maümee—say you are true, but do not upon them-my ears open, and could not have swear.' deceived me. I saw what they did I heard what • True-true!' they said. They designed to kill me!
Hinklas!' cried the woman in a loud, and *Ho, ho, young mico, you may come down. The apparently joyful tone- Hinklas! the mico is truehonowaw-hulwa * are gone. Hinklas! Come down, the pretty pale-faced mico is true, and the haintclitz * pretty mico-down, down, down!'
will be happy. I hastened to obey, and stood once more in the
Ho, ho ! presence of the mad queen.
Now for the love, the sweet young love Now you believe Haj-Ewa ? Have an enemy,
Under the tala + tree. young mico? Ho-four enemies. Your life in Who would not be like yonder dovedanger? Ho? ho ?'
The wild little dove• Ewa, you have saved my life; how am I to thank
The soft little doveyou for the service you have done me?'
Sitting close by his mate in the shade of the groveBe true to her-true-true-true.'
Co-cooing to his mate in the shade of the grove, "To whom?'
With none to hear or see? "Great Spirit! he has forgotten her! False young Down, chitta mico !' she exclaimed, once more mico! false pale-face! Why did I save him? Why addressing the rattlesnake; "and you, ocola chitta! | did I not let his blood fall to the ground ?'
Be quiet both. It is not an enemy. Quiet, or I • Ewa!'
crush your heads!' • Hulwak, hulwak! Poor forest-bird! the beauty. Good Ewa'bird of all; her heart will sicken and die, her head Ho! you call me good Ewa. Some day, you may will go mad.'
call me bad Ewa. Hear me !' she continued, raising Ewa, explain.'
her voice, and speaking with increased earnestness• Hulwak i better he should die than desert her. 'hear me, George Randolph! If ever you are badHo, ho! false pale-face, would that he had died false like him, like him, then Haj-Ewa will be your before he broke poor Ewa's heart; then Ewa would enemy; the chitta mico will destroy you. You will, have lost only her heart; but her head-her head, my king of serpents ? you will ? Ho, ho, ho!' that is worse. Ho, ho, ho!
As she spoke, the reptile appeared to comprehend
her, for its head was suddenly raised aloft, its bright Why did I trust in a pale-faced lover ?
basilisk eyes gleamed as though emitting sparks of Ho, ho, ho!
fire-its forked, glittering tongue was protruded from Why did I meet him
its mouth, and the 'skir-rr' of its rattles could be 'Ewa,' I exclaimed with an earnestness that caused heard for some moments sounding continuously.
• The pretty one.
† Palm (Chamærops palmetto). Green snake.
“Quiet ! now quiet!' said she, with a motion of her Before retiring for the night, I had seen nothing of fingers, causing the serpent to resume its attitude of the Ringgolds, neither father nor son; but I knew repose. Not he, chitta! not he, thou king of the they were still in the fort, where they were to remain crawlers! Quiet, I say!'
as guests a day or two longer. They had either gone Why do you threaten me, Ewa? You have no to bed before my return, or were entertained in the cause.'
quarters of some friendly officer. At all events, they • Hinklas ! I believe it, fair mico, gallant mico ; did not appear to me during the remainder of that true, I believe it.'
night. But, good Ewa, explain to me-tell me of'- Neither saw I aught of Spence and Williams. These
Cooree, cooree! not now--not to-night. There is worthies, if in the fort, would find a lodgment among no time, chepawnee! See! look yonder to the west! the soldiers, but I did not seek them. Netle-hasse * is going to bed. You must be gone. Most of the night I lay awake, pondering on the You dare not walk in the darkness. You must get strange incidents of the day, or rather upon that one back to the topekee before the moon is hid- Go, episode that had made me acquainted with such go, go!'
deadly enemies. “But I told you, Ewa, I had business here. I dare I was in a state of sad perplexity as to what course not leave till it is done.'
I should pursue-uncertain all night long; and when Hulwak! there is danger then. What business, daylight shone through the shutters, still uncertain. mico? Ah! I guess. See! they come for whom you My first impulse had been to disclose the whole wait?'
affair at head-quarters, and demand an investigation True—it is they, I believe.'
--a punishment. I said this, as I perceived the tall shadows of the On reflection, this course would not do. What two chiefs flitting along the further edge of the proofs could I offer of so grave an accusation? Only pond.
my own assertions, unbacked by any other evidence. Be quick, then: do what you must, but waste unsustained even by probability--for who would not time. In the darkness, you will meet danger. have given credence to crime 80 unparalleled in Haj-Ewa must be gone. Good-night, young mico; atrocity? good-night!'
Though certain the assassins referred to me, I I returned the salutation; and facing round to could not assert that they had even mentioned my await the arrival of the chiefs, lost sight of my strange name. My story would be treated with ridicule, companion.
myself perhaps with something worse. The RingThe Indians soon came upon the ground, and briefly golds were mighty men-personal friends both of the delivered their report.
general and commissioner--and though known to be Holata Mico had struck his tents, and was moving a little scoundrelly and unscrupulous in worldly away from the encampment.
affairs, still holding the rank of gentlemen. It would I was too much disgusted with these traitorous need better evidence than I could offer to prove men to spend a moment in their company; and, as Arens Ringgold a would-be murderer. soon as I had gained the required information, I I saw the difficulty, and kept my secret. hurried away from their presence.
Another plan appeared more feasible-to accuse Warned by Haj-Ewa, as well as by the words of Arens Ringgold openly before all, and challenge him Arens Ringgold, I lost no time in returning to the to mortal combat. This, at least, would prove that I fort. The moon was still above the horizon; and I was sincere in my allegations. had the advantage of her light to protect me from But duelling was against the laws of the service. being surprised by any sudden onset.
It would require some management to keep clear of an I walked hastily, taking the precaution to keep in arrest—which of course would frustrate the scheme the open ground, and giving a wide berth to any before satisfaction could be obtained. I had my own covert that might shelter an assassin.
thoughts about Master Arens Ringgold. I knew his I saw no one on the way, nor around the back of courage was but slippery. He would be likely enough the stockade. On arriving opposite the gate of the to play the poltroon; but whether so or not, the fort, however, I perceived the figure of a man-not charge and challenge would go some way towards far from the sutler's store—apparently skulking exposing him. behind some logs. I fancied I knew the man; I I had almost decided on adopting this course, fancied he was the mulatto.
though it was morning before I had come to any I would have gone after him, and satisfied myself; determination. but I had already hailed the sentinel, and given the I stood sadly in need of a friend ; not merely a countersign; and I did not desire to cause a flurry second-for this I could easily procure—but a bosomamong the guard-particularly as I had received companion in whom I could confide, and who might injunctions to pass in as privately as possible. aid me by his counsel. As ill-luck would have it,
Another time, I should likely encounter this Jacob every officer in the fort was a perfect stranger to redivivus; when I should be less embarrassed, and me. With the Ringgolds alone had I any previous perhaps have a better opportunity of calling him and acquaintance. his diabolical associates to an account. With this In my dilemma, I thought of one whose advice reflection, I passed through the gate, and carried my might stand me in good stead, and I determined to report to the quarters of the commander-in-chief. seek it. Black Jake was the man-he should be my
Shortly after daylight the brave fellow was by my side. I told him all. He appeared very little surprised. Some suspicion of such a plot had already
taken possession of his mind, and it was his intention To pass the night under the same roof with the to have revealed it to me that very morning. Least man who intends to murder you is anything but of all did he express surprise about Yellow Jake. pleasant, and repose under the circumstances is next That was but the confirmation of a belief, which he to impossible. I slept but little, and the little sleep entertained already, without the shadow of a doubt. I did obtain was not tranquil.
He knew positively that the mulatto was living
still more, he had ascertained the mode by which # The night-sun--the moon.
the latter had made his almost miraculous escape.
IN NEED OF A FRIEND.
And yet it was simple enough. The alligator had assembly of the council; and without waiting to seized him, as was supposed; but the fellow had reply to the disinterested remonstrance of my comthe adroitness to 'job' its eyes with the knife, and panion, I hastened to the scene of my duties. thus cause it to let go its hold. He had followed the example of the young Indian, using the same weapon !
BIRTHS, DEATHS, AND MARRIAGES. This occurred under water, for the mulatto was a Most people know that there is an organisation good diver. His limbs were lacerated-hence the existing throughout England and Wales for the purblood—but the wounds did not signify, nor did they pose of recording the births, deaths, and marriages of hinder him from making further efforts to escape. the population ; but few are aware how extensive and
He took care not to rise to the surface until elaborate it is. We purpose in this paper to give some after swimming under the bank ; there, concealed description of its machinery, more particularly so far by the drooping branches, he had glided out, and as the central controlling office at Somerset House is climbed up into a live-oak—where the moss sheltered concerned. him from the eyes of his vengeful pursuers. Being Previously to the year 1837, the business of regisentirely naked, there was no sign left by dripping tration was chiefly in the hands of the clergy, or rather garments, to betray him; besides, the blood upon the of the parish-clerks; and a pretty business they appear water had proved his friend. On seeing that, the to have made of it. They did not profess to record hunters were under the full belief that he had 'gone births and deaths, but only baptisms and burials ; so under,' and therefore took but little pains to search that the system was imperfect in theory, but ten times further.
more so in practice. It is a curious thing that the Such was Black Jake's account of this affair. He civil duties of religious bodies have nearly always had obtained it the evening before from one of the been bunglingly performed ; and nowhere is this more friendly Indians at the fort, who professed to have apparent than in the parish registers. The parochial the narration from the mulatto's own lips.
officials, to whom they were generally intrusted, were There was nothing improbable in the story, but for the most part illiterate men, with a very grand the contrary. In all likelihood, it was strictly true; idea, no doubt, of the magnitude of their own office, and it at once dispersed the half-dozen mysteries and of beadledom and bumbledom generally, but with a that had gathered in my mind.
very vague notion of the importance of the documents The black had received other information. The committed to their charge. Alterations, erasures, and runaway had taken refuge with one of the half-negro interlineations, to suit the convenience of interested tribes established amid the swamps that envelop the persons, were of no uncommon occurrence, and are head waters of the Amazura. He had found favour traceable, like many other crimes, not so much to a among his new associates, had risen to be a chief, distinct determination to do wrong under a full sense and now passed under the cognomen of the ‘Mulatto- of the enormity of the offence, as to a drowsy mico.'
inapprehension that any great violation of the law There was still a little mystery: how came he and is being committed. We remember hearing that Arens Ringgold in cahoot?'
on one occasion in a borough in one of the eastern After all, there was not much puzzle in the matter. counties, there was a violently contested election, and The planter had no particular cause for hating the every vote was importance. Now, it so happened runaway. His activity during the scene of the that the choice of a member rested with those who baffled execution was all a sham. The mulatto had possessed the freedom of the town. This freedom more reason for resentment; but the loves or hates of could be obtained in various ways. Persons who such men are easily set aside-where self-interest married the daughters of freemen were considered as interferes--and can, at any time, be commuted for freemen themselves; and numbers of poor women gold.
were married in order to qualify their husbands, No doubt, the white villain had found the yellow who voted as soon as the ceremony was concluded. one of service in some base undertaking, and vice It was also at that time the law that a man could versâ. At all events, it was evident that the ‘hatchet take up his freedom from his grandfather, and it had been buried' between them, and their present consequently became necessary for a certain person, relations were upon the most friendly footing. whom we will call George Smith, to prove that his
Jake!' said I, coming to the point on which I grandfather, whose name was Thomas Smith, was desired to hear his opinion, 'what about Arens born in the parish. On searching the registers at the Ringgold-shall I call him out?'
church, no Thomas Smith could be found; but on Golly, Massr George, he am out long 'go-I see further search, the name of John Smith was disum 'bout, dis two hour an' more-daat ar bossy covered. This was of no avail; and the great cause doant sleep berry sound-he hant got da good represented by the worthy aspirant to parliamentary conscience, I reck’n.'
honours for the borough of M—was likely to lose a "Oh! that is not what I mean, my man.'
supporter, when the parish-clerk soon settled the diffi• Wha-what massr mean?'
culty by pulling out his penknife, altering John into • To call him out-challenge him to fight me.' Thomas, and giving his certificate to the man, who
Whugh! massr, d' you mean say a dewel ob sword forthwith went and voted. an' pistol ?'
Since the year 1837, all this has been altered; and • Swords, pistols, or rifles—I care not which weapon the whole business has been placed by act of parliahe may choose
ment in the hands of the registrars of births, deaths, "Gorramity! Massr George, don't talk ob sech and marriages, who are controlled by the registrara thing. O Lordy! no-you hab moder-you hab general in London. sister. 'Spose you get kill-who know-tha bullock It is the duty of the registrars of births and deaths he sometime kill tha butcha-den, Massr George, no to register these events as they occur; and it is the one lef-who lef take care ob ya moder?-who be duty of the registrars of marriages to be present at guardium ob ya sister Vagin? who ’tect Viola-who and record every marriage which takes place amongst ’tect all ob us from dese bad bad men? Gorramity! the dissenters, Jews and Quakers alone excepted, for massr, let um 'lone-doant call 'im out!'
whom provision is made by a special enactment. It At that moment, I was myself called out. The might be supposed that the duties of the registrarearnest appeal was interrupted by the braying of general were of a very subordinate character : nothing bugles and the rolling of drums, announcing the of the sort.
He has to see that the act of parliament is properly name alike, down a page of deaths, shews a whole carried out, that the registers are properly kept, family swept off by some epidemic. Signature after that all discoverable errors are corrected, and that signature of the coroner, shews a ravaging colliery the whole of the vast returns made to him are pro- explosion or a shipwreck. Here is a poor child named perly indexed and arranged in volumes. His estab- Alpha Omega-on looking closely, you see that it is Iishment consists of nearly seventy persons, who are illegitimate-First and Last the mother calls it, redivided into the various classes of superintendents, cording her repentance on the brow of her offspring. No travelling inspectors, senior, assistant, and junior names are too absurd for parents to give their children. clerks, transcribers, indexers, sorters, and messengers. Here are innocents stamped for life as Kidnum Toats, These are distributed into four departments, to which Lavender Marjoram, Patient Pipe, Tabitha Cumi, Fussy are respectively intrusted the care of the records, the Gotobed, and, strangest of all, here is one called Eli compilation of statistics, the issuing of the books and Lama Sabachthani Pressnail! Other parents are more forms, together with part of the correspondence, and ambitious, and prematurely ennoble their children by the management of the accounts. Each of these designating them Lord, Earl, Princess Charlotte, &c.; departments is under the control of one or two super. whilst, during the Russian war, numbers of poor intendents, while the chief clerk acts as general things were labelled Malakoff, Sebastopol, Redan, secretary. At the close of each quarter, the registrars Inkermann, and Balaklava. Florence Nightingale, throughout the country make out copies of all the however, seems to have been the greatest favourite, births, deaths, and marriages which they have regis- especially amongst the poor, who have shewn their tered; and collect from the clergymen copies of the admiration for her by perpetuating her name in their various entries in the register-books of the different families all over the country. The returns for the last churches. These are then transmitted to the super- two years would shew that Florence has become a intendent registrars of the respective districts, who much commoner name lately. Some of the marriage examine them 80 far as the births, deaths, and registers are curious. The greatest extremes of agedissenting marriages are concerned, and finally trans- seventy and seventeen-are often found to unite in mit them to the registrar-general. On their arrival, matrimony. Occasionally we see an entry only half they are carefully arranged in volumes, indexed and completed, and a note to this effect : 'Ceremony begun, paged. Now comes one of the most arduous duties but not finished, the marriage being broken off;' or, surely that was ever committed to mortal clerk : all Bridegroom so drunk that the marriage could not these volumes are carefully examined by seven clerks, proceed.' If people's names are any index to their who do nothing else all the livelong day but micro- characters, the most extraordinary union of qualities scopically inspect these sheets to see whether all the often appears to take place. Friend' marries & forms of the act of parliament are complied with, and woman named 'Amor;' a 'Lamb' before marriage, whether or not there are internal discrepancies which becomes a 'Lion' after; a “Nightingale' marries a shew that any entry of a birth, death, or marriage is Partridge;' • Mutton' takes • Ham ;' 'Salmon,' imperfect or invalid. In each entry there may be 'Codd,' &c. Some of the mistakes which the registrars twenty or thirty blunders arising from nonconformity make with the causes of death are rather remarkable. with regulations, besides all those which have their People are discovered to die of the following strange origin in ignorance or bad writing. Consequently, complaints, most of which are probably new to our every record of a birth or death-and there are more medical readers : ‘Imperfect closure of the foreman,' than a million persons in England who are either Turner on the right anne,' • Disease of the lever,' born, married, or die in the course of a year-has 'Hanged himself in a fit of temperate insanity from to be regarded from all these points. All day long do excessive drinking,' &c. these seven gentlemen sit at their posts investigating All the errors discovered by the examiners, are whether Alfred Jones is truly and properly described noted on proper forms, which are sent to the clerk, as the son of Thomas Jones, and not as the son of who writes to the registrars respecting the different Thomas Junes, or some other equally mythical per- mistakes. The average number of errors discovered sonage; whether Timothy Smith is dignified with the each quarter may be between three and four thousand, title of boy, and not, as is too frequently the case, so that the correspondence necessary to point them unsexed by the careless registrar, who describes him out and give instructions for their correction, is no as girl; whether the poor thing, by an unpardonable easy matter: of course, great assistance is obtained substitution of March for February, is not described as by means of printed forms, each of which applies to having been born after he was registered—besides a a certain class of error. To write a special letter thousand other questions which turn upon the con- on each case would be absolutely impossible. About struction of the act of parliament and the various one hundred and thirty different printed circulars regulations founded upon it. The great enemies of are used, and it is found that even these do not these seven examiners and the registrar-general are include every description of blunder. The registrars imperfect 'e's' which look like "i'e,' 'n's' which look are not allowed to make any alteration in an like 'u's,' and decapitated 'o's' metamorphosed like-entry when it is once completed, so that a correction wise into 'u's.' These little trifles appear at first sight can be effected only by means of a note in the of no consequence; but when it is recollected that margin. Neither are they allowed, except in certain by a slight touch of the pen, instead of asserting that cases, to alter the copies which are once delivered the Lady Blanche did, on the 12th instant, give birth to the office. A fresh copy of every entry which to a pretty Rose, you affirm to her great horror that is corrected must be transmitted to Somerset House, she did give birth to a Nose, which Nose henceforward and there it is placed in a supplement, which is appears in the index amongst the Noses, and not almost a kind of hospital for entries; for although amongst the Roses, you will see that these gentle- most of those which are there imprisoned are good, men cannot well attach too much importance to clear sound, and able to do service, yet the majority at caligraphy. We should scarcely be surprised if, occu- some time or other have had their limbs set, or have pied as they are in judging men according to their been otherwise tinkered. Some are so hopelessly bad, capacity of forming 'u's' like 'u's,' and not like that nothing but a feeling of compassion prevents
o's, they were to make it the test as to whether a their existence being terminated by speedy cancellaman ought to have a vote: •Does he join the two tion. Four clerks are constantly occupied in instructsides of his "o's?”.
ing the registrars how to place these poor fractured All sorts of revelations are usfolded by these entries on their legs again, while another sees that, registers--some pathetic, some ridiculous. Name after when in a state of convalescence, they are comfortably deposited for the rest of their lives in the institution You imagine me a member of the reputable tribe of appropriated to them, instead of mixing with their fences,' some hook-nosed, greasy-bearded individual, more capable companions. The mass of writing neces- with a shining yellow face, goggle eyes, three napless sary in order to conduct all this correspondence and hats on his head, and a class of youngsters under his the other business of the office, may be estimated from the fact, that the annual expense of postage reaches tutelage, to be trained for the station-house, the the enormous sum of L.6000 a year. "Every mistake hulks, and the gallows. which is discovered in the returns is carefully entered
You never made a worse guess in your life. in a large kind of ledger to the account of the man At the period to which my present admissions by whom it was made. There will be found a complete refer, instead of being surrounded by the squalid record of all his official delinquencies-how many hovels, flaunting gin-shops, and all the seething times he has wilfully left out his dots to his "i's' and caldrons of blended guilt and misery which form crosses to lis't's, and otherwise neglected his duties. the natural abode of a resetter of thieves, I dwelt in After the sheets are dismissed by the examiners, they are bound up, and sent to the transcribers, who copy a highly respectable bungalow, clean and trim as out the name and surname in each entry, together bamboo-thatch and whitewash could make it, and with the district, volume, and page in which it is to encircled by a compound' or homestead, that conbe found, on sheets of paper, which are afterwards cut tained four such giant palms, with Titanic trunks into slips. These slips are then sorted into alpha- and feathery branches, as the untravelled hath not betical order, and 60 copied into large parchment beheld, no, not even in his dreams. indexes. After this, the volumes pass into the hands Instead of a patched wrap-rascal and nailed highof the statistical department, who eliminate from them lows, I wore the red coat and epaulets of the Comall those manifold results which appear in the registrar-general's quarterly and annual Reports. Magni- pany's regular infantry when on duty, and a sort ficent theories to be evolved respecting population and of planter's suit of white linen when off it-no bad disease lie here only waiting, like those that were to exchange when the hot winds are blowing, and the be deduced from the collection of errata by Jean thermometer keeps steadily at ninety of Fahrenheit, Paul's parson, for some one to deduce them. But it except when it rises to a hundred. In short, I was is a mistake to suppose that no practical results have one of those officers whom irreverent guardsmen on been obtained. Many of the zealous inquirers in the shady side of Pall Mall are wont to speak of as cholera and epidemic times have had light thrown Quy Hys.' Yet I kept a thief! upon the subject by these tables. Thence we see that mortality increases in inverse proportion to the purity
To be sure, many an Anglo-Indian might say that of the water-supply and the height of the district he did the same, not in one, nor two, but in a dozen above the sea. It is a fact, though, that the law of instances. Lucky, indeed, is the oriental resident elevation which Dr Farr has shewn, other things whose score of servants all deserve a certificate of being equal, to regulate the cholera, was noticed by unimpeachable honesty ; lucky he whose khansumah Procopius more than thirteen hundred years ago, is not a rogue, and whose bearers never indulge their as characteristic of the plague which devastated supple fingers in the luxury of picking and stealing ! Constantinople.
And in England itself, are such deeds unknown? After having passed through these various mani- Does no butler's nose assume an unlicensed purple, pulations, the volumes are finally entombed in the due to stealthy potations of fine crusted old port ? Is vaults, so as to be easily accessible to the public at there no groom on whose slumbering breast remorse large. Here lies the real history of the English should weigh in the shape of many a sack of purloined people for the last twenty years. My history's epochs oats, many a truss of embezzled hay, while defrauded are my birth, my marriage, and the memorable days horses sniff at an empty rack, and hungrily whinny when Tom and Jack, Susan and Jane, came into over a rifled manger? And as for that much reviled, the world and gathered round me. The history of long-enduring race, the slaveys' of lodging-houses, the nation may be in Macaulay or in the columns of are all the extant traditions of pillaged tea-caddies the Times, but the history of the people is in the and miraculously lessening joints to be esteemed as registrar-general's vaults at Somerset House.
fabulous ? But I scorn unworthy subterfuges, Jesuit quibbles, pitiful equivocations. My thief was no
tricksy page, no fraudulent Abigail, no finger-licking MY THIEF.
cook : he was one of the moon's choicest minions, a Yes, respected reader, my thief! Your eyes have not bird of prey from the hour in which he chipped the
shell. deceived you, and there is no glamour on the page,
The blood in his veins was all felonious, for he no talisman but the type, no spells but the com- could boast, and often did boast, that his father was a positor's, no black art except the printer's.
thief; his mother, a thief; his venerable white-bearded My thief! I, I the writer of this confession, and the grandsire, a perfect patriarch of pickpockets, was a reader's very humble servant, once kept, harboured, thief; his brothers and sisters, his aunts and uncles, and maintained a light-fingered, soft-treading, slippery thieves all, from the lisping brat that could scarcely conveyancer, who would have taken honours in Rat's crawl to pilfer, up to the dim-eyed crone that filched Castle, and becomingly graduated at the Central engraven on my thief's plastic mind was, “Thou shalt
on the verge of the grave. The very first precept Criminal Court. Having volunteered such a state- steal.' It was his mission, his labour, the object of ment as the above, I feel it due to my reputation, to his education. His early lessons were directed to this use a parliamentary form of speech, to vindicate the one end; so were his sports, in which he was taught character which, I cannot doubt, is already painted in to abstract and conceal the toys and ornaments of his sufficiently dark hues by the fancy of those who may childish comrades, a game at hide-and-seek, which peruse these lines.
the elders superintended with fond pride. In short, I'll warrant me, now, good friend, that you have wished for, a young thief' who could steal well.
this creditable retainer of mine was just what Falstaff already sketched for me an uglier portrait than even And this personage did I, being an officer in the cheap photography, in its most malignant mood, could Native Infantry, openly and avowedly foster, feed, inflict upon a suffering world.
lodge, cherish, and maintain, not mewing up the thief,