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According to my promise, I returned to the room of Job Cook's nephew, within an hour from the time I had left it. The sudden change which had taken place within that brief hour, was inexplicable to me, until the nurse whispered to me, that he had been informed of Toby's death. It was too late now to blame the folly of that babbling tongue which had plunged another dagger into his sensitive heart,—but I cursed it in my soul. I approached his bed-side. In a tone, so languid as to render it inaudible to any, but the achingly sharp, ears of friendship, he said to me :-"My friend, it is all overpoor old Toby-my posthumous works--remember-Job Cook.” Finding that he was wasting the fluttering spark of life that remained to him, I gently prayed him not to exhaust himself by conversation. He appeared to understand me, and was silent for a moment. But no—he understood me not. In a voice, still more languid than before, he uttered,-“ Jobmy last work-Toby-Job-Job-Job Cook." His soul had flitted to mansions of eternal rest, where there are no distinctions of rank or colour, and where Job Cook, his nephew, and his faithful Toby shall be united to all eternity.
In strict accordance with my friend's last behest, I proceeded, immediately after his obsequies had been completed, to examine the contents of the “ farthest corner of his medicine chest.” The characteristics of genius were no less manifest in the “ confusion worse confounded” which reigned among his papers, than in the excellence of the scattered morsels of
prose and poetry which I found. Two sonnets,-the one addressed to C. T., (probably some female friend of the deceased,) and the other to a Rose,-attracted my particular notice. But, unfortunately, the sonnet addressed to C. T. was so firmly affixed to a Burgundy pitch plaster, that I was forced to content myself with as much of it as the transparency of the pitch would allow me to read; and that to a Rose, had been so long embedded in a package of assafoetida, that my olfactories expressed so much indignation at its vicinity, as to compel me to desist from its perusal, ere I had half completed it.
In short, I found that it would be impossible for me to arrange the papers in time to present any of my friend's posthumous works to the public in the present number of this magazine, and have, in the mean time, endeavoured, in the following simple narrative of facts, to supply that corner of the Atlantic which my ever-to-be-lamented friend has hitherto filled with so much credit to himself and satisfaction to his friends.
A Narrative of Matters of Fact,
And comfort those in point of death which lay;
O man! have mind of that last bitter throw;
O pardon, and vouchsafe with patient eare
These brave adventures gratiously to beare;
To get a miserable breakfast, in a negro's cellar, at eight A. M., for which four shillings are demanded; to saunter about,in dry weather, through dust and horses, and carts and stages, and their drivers ; in wet weather, through mud and water, and swine and men-until noon; when, in the midst of the crowd, I must stretch my neck, and strain my eyes, in order to read the anxiously expected “Report of the Board of Health," affixed, like the laws of Caligula, to a lofty pillar, and written in a cramped and almost illegible hand; to waste three hours more in listless inaction, waiting for the dinner bell of Sykes or Niblo; then to squeeze one's self between two fat, hungry citizens, regardless of every one's wants but their own; and when, owing to the vacuity made by some half dozen busy and fasteating traders, one hopes, at last, to have a chance at some half-devoured, half-cooked, and entirely mangled dish, to find the table surrounded by the countless swarm of the clerks who sueceed their masters.; to rise from the table, despairing of dinner, and pay for what has not been eaten ; to waste the interval betwixt dinner, and supper time in walking ten miles to find a friend who, in searching for you, continually contrives to elude your pursuit ; and then; to sum up all, to throw yourself, with internal thanks for your good fortune, on a straw pallet, :in a wretched garret, sufficiently heated to roast turkies
eggs, - where you toss and tumble until morning, when you arise to a repetition of the self-same pleasant recreation : These are a few of the comforts which were enjoyed by myself, during the months of July and August, 1822; and by the other tenants of Greenwich village, for a much longer time.
Towards the conclusion of August, I began to think it high
time to look about for a more congenial scene of action; for how could a staid, sober citizen, like myself, whose manners are as old fashioned as were those of Gabriel John, who died in the year one thousand and one, (heaven rest his soul!) tolerate the mode of life imposed, by the necessities of the times, on the inhabitants of Greenwich and its suburbs? Accordingly, having discovered whither mine ancient host had retired, I determined to follow him.
He had taken possession of a fine, spacious mansion, delightfully situated on the borders of a neighbouring river, and sufficiently near the city to enable us to send for a doctor, before death (unless very sudden in his motions) could take possession of the bodies of any of us.
Having seen my horse well disposed of, in a fine, airy stable, and having deposited my portmanteau in the room appropriated as my dormitory, I proceeded forthwith to reconnoitre the company assembled at this retired spot. First I encountered an ancient dame-too ancient to be farther noticed. Next I descried from the piazza, a romping lass of sixteen, busily employed in stoning apples from a tree, for the benefit of herself and three little brothers, who, as I afterwards understood, kept their mother awake all that night with complaints indicative of cholera morbus. On entering the parlour, I found my much respected and kind hostess, accompanied by two middle aged ladies, who, if they had expressed less sentiment about the yellow fever, might have been very agreeable companions. As it was, I feared that I should pass but a sorry time in this very agreeably situated mansion, unless I should find some companions more suited to my age and inclinations than any I had yet seen.
When I had nearly despaired of finding any congenial spirit, in whose society I might pass my hours in comfort, I heard the sound of wheels. I immediately hurried out to the door of the house, and, to my great satisfaction, perceived mine ancient host, who had been out on a shooting excursion, driving up the shaded avenue that led from the road to the house, accompanied by another gentleman, and followed by a dingy and sour looking servant, who rode behind them. An introduction to the gentleman who accompanied mine hest, relieved my apprehensions, and satisfied me that I had no reason to fear soli. tude. G. M. (for such was the name of the gentleman in question) was a West Indian, on a visit to his friends in New-York. He was one of those favoured mortals on whose brow sits good fellowship, gentle thoughts, and kindly feelings to all around ; and, although remarkable for his attention to the laVol. I. No. IV.
dies, he was always well pleased to escape from their company after dinner, and pass an old fashioned afternoon in the summer house, over a sneaker of punch, or a magnum of port. The dingy sour-krout, (by naine Sambo,) whose figure had before attracted my notice, as he sulkily rode up the lane behind his master and mine host, afforded me much amusement. He had formerly served on board of an English frigate, and although now the servant of G. M. still preserved all the gravity of a commodore, and excited alike the laughter and terror of the other servants of the house, and the irrepressible mirth of our little circle, by his apparently inveterate contempt of every one but himself and his master. But of him more anon.
My fear of solitude being now entirely removed, I began to examine the domestic arrangements of the house. Here I found every thing as complete as I could have wished it, with one exception. A waiter, always indispensable to the comforts of an old bachelor, was wanting; but I was informed, to my infinite satisfaction, that a first-rate waiter had been engaged from New York, and was daily expected.
The following day he made his appearance. He was a young fellow, apparently about twenty-two years of age, of a middle size, and well formed. His high cheek bones, large mouth, and lively eyes, gave a decidedly Irish cast to his otherwise not uninteresting countenance.
ellow was terribly flushed; he had walked all the way from New York, under the burning sun, with his household gods upon his back; and the thermometer had only varied from 87° to 88°, during the time of his journey. He begged permission to retire to his lofty apartment, which was readily granted ; and, in consideration of the fatigue he had undergone, he was permitted to remain there during the rest of the day.
At breakfast, the next morning, my inquiring eyes encountered no waiter, save an “indelicately ragged” blacky, borrowed from a neighbouring farm-house. Joseph was sick. The day passed without any more solicitude on the part of our sentimental ladies, or, I believe, of any one else, than if such a being as Joseph had not been in existence. The next day Joseph was worse ; and I was earnestly entreated, by the kindhearted lady of the house, to visit bim and see what could be done ; for she feared,” she said, “ that Joseph was very
ill." I went up to his room, and found that he was, indeed, very ill. A raging fever was consuming him, and, from many indubitable symptoms, I was satisfied that it was Yellow Fever. To prevent alarm, I avoided mentioning this ; but insisted that some one should be immediately despatched to the city for an
experienced physician ;--which was accordingly done. My earnestness at once created the alarm I had wished to prevent. The ancient lady determined forthwith to take up her quarters at the neighbouring farm-house : one of the gentlemen set off the same day for Bath ; and all the windows, on the same side of the house with poor Joseph's closet were as carefully closed, as if we had been in the midst of an angry December.
The following day, one of the most respectable physicians of the city arrived ; and, in company with me, visited Joseph. The disease had already made its usual progress; and the yellowish tinge of the eyes, the burning skin, and the parched tongue of the invalid, together with that incessant restlessness and desire of locomotion which invariably accompany this disease, too surely proclaimed that Joseph had, indeed, the yellow fever. Every thing which might be of assistance, was prescribed ; and ample directions were given to our attentive hostess, as to the mode of treatment to be observed. The moment the doctor descended to the parlour, he was assailed by all the females of the house, with more interrogatories than could have been answered by as many female tongues as were then exercised in putting them. Anxiety for her children in one, for her husband in another, and for herself in a third, was strongly marked in every different countenance. Even the servants, with the exception of grufi Sambo, were all crowding around the door, and lengthening their already long ears to catch every whisper that might fall from the Doctor's lips. With characteristic caution, he gave some general account of the patient's symptoms; said that he had a violent fever, caused, most probably, by having been over-heated in his walk from New-York; but that there was not the slightest reason for apprehension on the part of the inmates of the house.
This assurance somewhat relieved their fears and agitation. But, soon after the Doctor's departure, G. M. returned from town, whither he had gone the preceding day; and, on hearing of Joseph's illness, and the Doctor's assurances, determined on seeing the invalid. He told the ladies that he had been in the habit of living in the midst of Yellow Fever, in his native place, and that he was confident he understood its nature, symptoms and cure better than ere a doctor north of the Mississippi. Accordingly, he mounted, followed by myself, to the sick man's apartment. He no sooner beheld him, than, turning to me with a significant look, he said : “By heavens, I knew it.” The servant, who had been acting as poor Joseph's nurse, terrified at his looks and words, although comprehending neither, rushed