Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

mean

worth of ale, and some bread and cheese. And “ That's it ; just it,” said the bald-headed man. when he had somewhat solaced his inward boy, “ Now, I ask, is any man here a friend of the lord he began to wonder when Tom Blast would come. mayor's ?"! Hour after hour passed, and still St. Giles re- “I am". “And I'”'_" And I”-“And I,” mained alone. Again and again he looked at the cried several. clock-again and again at the guinea. Never be- “Very well ; now suppose you got nothing by fore had he possessed such wealth : and the con- him? Suppose you never got a dinner out of him, templation of his riches in a great measure abated or a little favor of any sort-or a bow-or so much his anxiety for the arrival of Tom; even though as a civil word of him—well, would you be his he thought of him as the bearer of other guineas, friends still? I ask you that.” There was no the purchase-money of the pony. Still, there was reply. “Well, then, the lord mayor 's nothing to the charm, the fascination of ready gold to com- you in the abstract, and your friendship 's not fort St. Giles : the glitter of the money held him worth a brass farthing. In the same way that the like the eye of a snake. His only perplexity was man who follows honesty because it's the best how he could best spend it. He was deep in these policy, follows it for what is nothing more than a thoughts when, the room having filled, his atten- and dirty advantage. No, gentlemen. tion was awakened and afterwards possessed by a Make honesty not the best policy, and then show man who, talking very loudly—and with his clench- me the man that loves it. That's my maned fist beating the table the while—about what he that's the true heart, gentlemen. But, to follow called the abstract beauty of honesty, gradually honesty because it's the best policy-why, I rehushed all speakers into reverent listeners. The peat it, it 's nothing more than the calculation of man was about the middle-time of life, drest some- a sneak-up-of a fellow that has n't the courage to what like a grazier. He seemed prematurely bald, be a rogue. No; give me honesty naked as truth; which questionable defect gave to his head an out- that's the honesty I love best. I don't want to be side look of wisdom, possibly not warranted by the bribed for being honest! Eh?” and he gazed tricontents. He had one of those large clear faces, umphantly around him. often called open, because probably there is noth

"I want yon,

,” said a man, putting his head in ing positive in them. He was earnest and voluble at the door, and looking with strange significance in his speech, as though his arguments welled up at the speaker. from his heart, and would out.

“God bless me!” cried the orator, and imme“You have said, sir,” he cried, " that honesty diately obeyed the summons. is the best policy. You have been pleased to call Oh, abstract honesty! bleed for thy worshipthat a golden maxim."

per; for in less than three minutes was he “I have,” answered a huge, dull-looking man, handcuffed at the door on a charge of street robin a butcher's coat. “I have," he repeated ; bery. sucking his pipe, and winking his small eyes. To return to young St. Giles, an attentive

“Sir,” cried the bald-headed orator, “I call it though unenlightened listener to the lecturer upon the maxim of a rogue and a rascal.”

honesty. St. Giles had heard of honesty ; had “Hallo! Hallo!” cried some, and “Prove it some dim notion of its meaning. It was a some-prove it,” shouted others.

thing especially made for people who had all * Prove it! Why it's as plain as the door of things comfortable about them: so much he knew Newgate. Now, listen, gentlemen, if you please. of honesty: but for honesty in the abstract—in Honesty is the best policy, that 's what I have to that he was as ignorant, ay, as even some of his tackle. Very well. What is honesty? I ask betters. you that. Why, I suppose, it's not to pick a The_hours passed, and still Tom Blast came inan's pocket—it's not to steal his purse, or his not. Evening approached-night shut in-midcoat, or his sheep, or his horse !” Young St. night came, and St. Giles, with a heavy heart, Giles turned his eyes from the speaker. “It's though lightened somewhat by his guinea, turned not to put off bad money, or to give short measure, into the street. He could not go home-no; at or light weight.”

least, for a time, Hog Lane must be to him a for“ Stick to the pint,” cried a man with an apron, bidden Paradise. No matter. Had he not a guinea apparently a small shopkeeper.

-a whole guinea-to himself? The thought, "I am sticking to it," resumed the orator. even in the midnight street, fell like a sunbeam “Now I tell you again that that maxim is n't the upon him ; he sprang from the pavement with a maxim of a good man, but of a rascal : of a fellow shout, reckless with his wealth. He would make that wants to be rewarded for not stealing—for not a night of it-yes, he would have all things passing off bad money-for not giving short mea- glorious! And with this hilarious wilfulness, he

He says, no says he, I'll be honest, not took to his heels, and was speedily housed for the because I love honesty for itself, but because it's night within the very shadow of Newgate. all to my advantage to be honest. Now, I ask you, is n't that the trick, the cunning, of a sly fellow? What does he know about what I beg leave For more than a week did St. Giles live upon to call honesty in the abstract ?"

his guinea. True it is, that for the first day or “Stop, old fellow; not so fast," cried the shop-two he dined and supped in the Apollo of an eastkeeper. “ I never heard of that. What is honesty ern cook-shop ; besides taking his luncheon of in the abstrac?"

fried fish in the Minories, for the which delicacy, “Why it's honesty stript of all flummery and the Hebrews, thereabout dwelling, enjoy a just nonsense,' was the answer; "in a word, it's renown. But these days of Carnival past, St. honesty stark-naked.”

Giles economized, with a fine knowledge of the “I see,” said the butcher, winking knowingly resources of the metropolis. Threepence awarded “I see : just as the lord mayor—with his to him the sweets of sleep beneath a roof; and a robes and his gold chain, and every rag and thread shilling saw him safely through the day. Howin the world stript off him-would be the abstrac ever, let not the reader imagine that St. Giles of a lord mayor."

like many a great genius—was made dull and in

sure.

CHAPTER VIII.

active by the golden reward of his ability—a cir- | what he had heard called the advancement of the cumstance to be so often deplored in the case of age; he had heard of the nuisance, and now he great authors, great painters, and especially of beheld it. His standing in the world as a tradesgreat philosophers; wherefore, it is questionable, man was fast crumbling from beneath his feet. if the world would not really gain more by them St. Giles was hurrying up to his old and early if it never rewarded them at all. -St. Giles was by friend, when, at a short distance, he beheld his no means one of these. No: he still kept his eyes former patron, Capstick the muffin-maker, and wide open at the doings of life; still hived in that Bright Jem. They looked, as he thought, someodd, world-twisted little brain of his, all sorts of what curiously at his friend Tom, and then seemed knowledge for the future day. He especially em- to take counsel of one another. Under these cirployed part of his time, dodging about the haunts cumstances, St. Giles thought that to accost Tom, of Tom Blast ; but, strange to say, that interest- would be to call unnecessary attention to himself. ing person never showed himself in any of his He therefore remained, shrunk down among the wonted places of ease and recreation. Again and mob that every moment became less and less. again did St. Giles travel Long-Lane-again slink What, too, made it most discouraging to Mr and spy into every haunt in the fond and foolish Blast were the scoffs and loud laughter with which hope of once more meeting with the soft-spoken certain new-comers would listen to the description man who, at the ruinous price of one guinea one of the horror sought to be circulated, and then shilling, had purchased a pony of incomparable hurry off. " That cock won't fight now!” cried Arab blood. St. Giles, with all his friendship, all one--"A little late in the day for that. Get his gratitude for Tom, could not but feel that he something new," cried another. “ Gammon !” had been tricked, bamboozled by his tutor : and shouted a third. the nearer and nearer he approached to his last Nevertheless, be of good heart, Tom Blast: shilling, the more intense was his indignation, take consolation from this. You suffer in great the more insatiable his thoughts of revenge. Yes, society: you sink in most worshipful companionit was strange ; but the poorer St. Giles became, ship. Very reverend, grave, authoritative persons the less tolerant was he of human frailty. And -men of the bench, even of the pulpit—who for this uncharitableness is only another of the thou- centuries sold to their exceeding profit, “ Most sand evils to be shunned in poverty. Therefore, True and Particular Accounts” of a horrid bear reader, if only to cultivate charity, cultivate of some sort-whether of royal or feudal privilege wealth : virtue blossoms on a golden bough. -of witchcraft-of popery-of sham rebellion

It was the ninth day of St. Giles' absence from nay, fifty bears and bugbears, all of horrid, ghastly his maternal home, and the pilgrim of London nature-they, too, in their turns, have outlived the stood before a house of humble entertainment in profitable lie. And even in these latter days, Cow Cross. The time was noon; and St. Giles, when some Tom Blast in higher places-nay, in feeling the last threepence in his pocket-turning the highest-sounds his tin horn of bigotry, and them over, one by one—was endeavoring to arbi- would trade upon some bear apocryphal-he is trate between pudding and bed. If he bought a assured in the like sense, although in gentler cut of pudding—and through the very window- phrase, that such cock will by no means fightpane he seemed to nose its odor-he had not that the day has passed for so foolish, vain a story wherewithal to buy a lodging. What of that? | —that, finally, his bear is no bear at all, but London had many doorways-hospitable stone- briefly, yet intensely-gammon. Has not history steps—for nothing; and pudding must be paid for. her catch-pennies, even as the archives of Seven Still he hesitated; when the cook-shop man re- Dials ? moved the pudding from the window. This re- Mr. Blast was somewhat of a philosopher. He moval immediately decided St. Giles. He rushed could have borne the laughter and scoffing of the into the shop, and laid down his last worldly stake crowd, if any of them had bought his ware ; but upon the counter. “Threepenn'orth o'puddin', his philosophy was not of that transcendental kind and a good threepenn'orth,” said St. Giles. With to endure outrage, unmitigated by any sort of coin, a look of half-reproof and half-contempt the trades- even the sinallest, current in the realm. He man silently executed the order ; and in a few mo- therefore, with a sotto voce expression of the deepments, St. Giles stood upon the king's highway, est contempt for his hearers, broke from the crowd, devouring with great unction his last threepence. passing on, and then—his legs evidently walking Whilst thus genially employed, he heard a far-off in a passion—turning, he strode still onwards until voice roaring through the muggy air: his heart he entered Cow-Lane. Here, St. Giles, hanging beat, and he ate almost to choking, as he listened at his skirts, came up with him. to these familiar words :-“ A most True and Par. Well, if it is n't a sight for bad eyes to see ticular Account of the Horrible Circumstance of a you !” said the unabashed Tom. “But don't Bear that has been Fed upon Pive Young Children let's talk in the street.” And Tom made for an in a Cellar in Westminster!" It was the voice opposite public-house, one of his customary places of Blast ; and St. Giles swallowed his pudding, of call, unknown to St. Giles. Stalking through hurriedly used the back of his hand for a napkin, the passage, followed by his young friend, he made and following the sound of the crier, was in a his way into a small, dark, low room. “I thought trice in Peter-street, one of the mob that circled there'd be nobody here," said Tom ; and then in the marvel-monger of Hog-Lane. Nevertheless, a tone of great tenderness and anxiety, looking though Tom roared with an energy that very straight in the eyes of St. Giles, he asked, “ Well, strongly declared his own faith in the horror that and where have you been? They 're mad about he sought to vend for only one halfpenny, still his you in the Lane. Where have you

been ?" auditors lacked credulity or coppers, for the well- “Why, I've been looking for you," said St. worn enormity. Nobody purchased. Not even a Giles moodily, shaking his head. “You must timorous, sympathizing servant-maid advanced have know'd that.” through the crowd to make the mystery her own. “ And that's I suppose why we did n't happen Tom looked about him with evident disgust at to meet," replied Tom; possibly recollecting that

66

are.

his chief care had been to keep out of the boy's the meditated punishment, and the next moment way. Why, what's the matter? you look saw him fastened on Tom : clasping him round plaguy sarcy! What are you looking so black the waist, and kicking with all his might and at, you young devil ?” cried Tom, with sudden malice at his benefactor's shins. Tom, mad with ferocity, but St. Giles felt his injuries, and was pain and vexation, sought to fling the urchin off; not to be browbeaten.

but he held to his prey like a stoat,

For some “Why, I'm a looking at you—and not much moments the boy heroically suffered the worst to look at neither,” shouted St. Giles, with answer- punishment that his master in equity could inflict, ing vigor. “You 're not a goin' to frighten me, returning it with unequal powers. At length, I can tell you. Why did ’nt you come as you Blast unclasping the urchin's hold, seized him in promised you would? You're a good un, you his arms, and threw him violently off. The boy

fell, stunned, against the wainscot. The infu“Now, what does ail the boy?" said Tom coax- riate savage-his passion raging-was about to ingly; though evidently ill at ease : for his fingers deal a blow-it would have been the last—upon worked ; and he bit his lip as he gazed on the boy, the prostrate boy, when Capstick, Bright Jem, who with sullen, defying air, returned his look. and a couple of officers burst into the room.

“Why, this ails me. Did n't you tell me to Blast immediately divined their business, and with take that pony to Long Lane—and then did n't masterly coolness observed, pointing to St. Giles you tell me to wait for you?

lying in the corner a senseless heap,-" There 's “I know it, Giles ; I know it; but you see, as I your young oss-stealer for you; and a nice job went along, I thought agin over the matter. I I've had to nibble him. A varmint of a pole-cat thought, you see, it might lead you into trouble, as he is.”' if I came; so I thought I'd stay away, and you ’d “ The young un and the old un, too,” said one bring the pony home agin, and then, mayhap, of the officers. " Why this is better luck than after a little breeze, there'd be an end of the we bargained for." matter. That's it, Giles,” said cautious Mr. Jem lifted up the boy between his knees; he Blast.

was still pale and senseless. “Mr. Capstick,” “Then why did you send the man as gave me a said Jem, " for God's sake, some water!" Then guinea, and took the pony away? and, as said too, turning an indignant look upon Blast, he added, that he'd made it all right with you, and that''- “ Why, what a paving-stone you must have for a

Here St. Giles was interrupted in his volubility heart, to use a poor child like this." by Mr. Blast; who performed and an admirable “ A child !” cried Blast, “ a young devil.” performance it was a look of immense astonish- “ And if he is,” said Jem, " who's made him ment, at the same time whistling very vehemently. one? Murder! why it's the worst of murders ; At length, mastering his wonder, he cried to take and kill all the good in a child's soul, and “Why, Giles ! you've never sold the pony ?" then to fling him into the world to do his worst,

“No. I never sold it—but you did; the gem- and answer for it.” man told me so. You sold it; and after that." “ There, there, never mind, Jem," cried Cap

Mr. Blast could scarcely contain himself, so big, stick, who was turning himself round, and shuffling so swelling was his compassion for the injured boy. about, visibly affected by the miserable condition

“Oh, Giles," he cried—“poor little fellow! of the child, yet struggling to maintain his outYou're done, Giles ; you're done."

ward misanthropy: * All wretches; all alike, And who's done me? Why, you have,” worthless animals !” And then he roared at the screamed the youngster in a paroxysm of passion. waiter as he entered—“Why don't you bring All childhood vanished from his face, so suddenly some water-some brandy-anything, everything was it convulsed with rage. He stood, for a for this poor creature—this miserable—helplessmoment, breathless with emotion; and forgetful in forlorn—unhappy little boy?” And then Capstick his fury of the bulk and strength of his former turned his face in a corner, and violently blew his teacher, he clenched his little fist, and grinding nose, and coughed, and vowed he never had such his teeth, advanced towards Blast, who, for a a cold in all his life. moment, recoiled from the small assailant. Then “ There, there," said one of the officers, as recovering himself, he laid his hands upon his Jem bathed the boy's face, “he 'll come round knees, and with an effort to be calm, contemptuous, again, never fear.” said —" And this, you little varmint, is your thanks Jem groaned, and shook his head. "Yes, he to me; to me, you scorpin, as has been better than a will come round,” he said. “If it was n’t that father to you! To me, who's taught you ballad- blood would be on somebody's head, it would be a chantiog, and everything as is decent, you know; good thing, if he did n't. Lord! Lord !” cried to me, as has laid awake in my bed thinkin' what Jem,“ to think this is the babby's face I once I could do for you in the mornin' ; to me, who's knew." always looked on you as a rasher of my own flesh ! ** Pooh-pooh!-nonsense,” said Capstick ; And you 'll shake them little mawleys at me!”'“ we've nothing to do with that; nothing at all. The picture of ingratitude was almost too much for The ends of justice—the ends of justice, Mr. AniMr. Blast. He was nearly melted in his own seed”—and again the muffin-maker coughed; he tenderness.

had such a cold. “None o'that : that won't do for me, no how," However, whilst Jem—with his heart running cried St. Giles. “ You made me steal the pony-at his eyes—is solacing young St. Giles, we will, you sold it, and now"

as briefly as we may, inform the reader of the The charge was too much for the indignant cause that has brought the muffin-maker and the virtue of Mr. Blast. With an exclamation of link-man to Smithfield. disgust, he aimed a blow at his accuser, that but Ever since the conclusion of our sixth chapterfor his agility, would have laid him senseless on which the urbanity of the reader will consider to the door. Bobbing his head and doubling himself be no less than six years ago—fortune smiled up with wonderful elasticity, St. Giles escaped upon Capstick. True it is, she often smiles upon

own.

the strangest lumps of men—is oft a very Titania Smithfield and its neighborhood ; taking with him enamored with an ass's head-nevertheless, she Bright Jem, whom he had accustomed himself to showed good judgment in the favors she bestowed think an honest, worthy fellow, and his particular upon the muffin-maker. So fortune made interest friend ; that is, so far as the misanthropy of the with her good sister fame to play a flourish on her muffin-maker would acknowledge the existence of trumpet in praise of Capstick's muffins ; that in such a treasure. It was strange, however, that time rejoiced many hearths without the circle of Capstick, in his thoughts of revenge, had no St. Giles'. In a word, Capstick soon built an thought of young St. Giles. No; all the veheenduring reputation upon muffins; and therefore mence of his wrath was roused against the boy's had a better chance of his name going buttered tutor. down to posterity, than has the name of every We have now, we trust, sufficiently explained monarch duly buttered in birth-day ode. Well, the course of accidents that brought the muffinthe calls upon Capstick's oven were so increasing, maker and Jem to Porter-street, and so made them that his wife suggested he should forth with start hearers of the unprofitable oratory of Tom Blast. a horse and very genteel cart. She, good woman! Fearful that they might be recognized by him, had no eye to a Sunday drive-the vanity never they employed a third party to watch him to his entered her head: all she thought of was busi- haunt, whilst they secured the attendance of offiness : she was a woman, and therefore had no cers. Hence, they saw not St. Giles, who, as wish to adulterate it with even a drop of pleasure. we have before observed, kept himself close Mr. Capstick was somewhat twitted with himself among the mob. They were the more astonished that such proposal emanated from his wife: it was to find the ill-used boy in the same room with his so good, so reasonable, it ought to have been his schoolmaster.

However, he would say, the woman had “ There, now, he's all right,” cried one of caught something like judgment by living with the officers, as St. Giles-restored by the efforts him. At once, then, Mr. Capstick consented to of Bright Jem-looked about him. However, no the vehicle; and that purchased a bargain, he sooner was he conscious of the presence of Captook his way-in pestilent hour for him—to Smith- stick and his fast friend Jem, than his face glowed field, to buy a horse. Now, Mr. Capstick knew like a coal. He hung down his head, and burst no more of the points of a horse than of a unicorn. into tears: there was no sham whimpering-no As, however, he had little faith in human nature, taught effort of sorrow-but the boy's heart and none whatever when mixed up with horse- seemed touched, melted, and he wept and writhed flesh, he said to himself that he might as well be convulsively. A recollection of the goodnesscheated at first hand as at second ; therefore, the disregarded kindness of the men before himwent he alone to buy a steed. Arrived in the thrilled through his soul, and though he knew it market, full soon was he singled out by a benevo- not, he felt the yearnings of a better nature. lent, yet withal discerning dealer, who could see There was anguish-penitence-in the sobs that in a twinkling the very sort of thing that would seemed to tear his vitals. suit him. “A nice little cretur that would eat “ Thank God for that!” cried Jem; and the nothing, and go fifty niles a day upon it." In poor fellow wept, too. “I like to hear that, eh, brief, the worthy man sold it to the muffin-maker, Mr. Capstick ?" sold it to him for an old song to be sure, he Mr. Capstick felt an old queasiness in his throat, could afford to let it go thus cheap—the black and could say nothing. He therefore again threw pony which only two days before had been the himself upon his pocket-handkerchief. Then, valued possession of Lord St. Jam For four-conscious at had a great duty to perform for and-twenty hours alone did the muffin-man rejoice the ends of justice-a fact, that when otherwise in his purchase : for on his very first attempt to puzzled he had more than once insisted upon-he degrade the high-blooded animal to a cart—it was iurned to the officers, and pointing his thumb quite as fit to draw St. Paul's—the creature, al- towards Blast, observed with peculiar loftiness, though its flowing tail and mane had been ruth- ". You will be good enough to handcuff that man." lessly docked and cropped—was identified by “ Handcuff me!”' cried Mr. Blast. “They 'll Cesar Gum, on his way, with a sisterly message, do it at their peril.” to Short's Gardens. Never before had Mr. Cap- “Ha! my good man-I beg your pardon-you stick known the full value of a good character. desperate scoundrel !” said Capstick, with witherHis story of the transaction was received as truth; ing urbanity ; they ’re accustomed to do a great and though he lost the ten pounds—the value deal at their peril : thanks to such rascals as you. of the old song-he had given for the animal, Handcuff him.” he maintained his untarnished reputation. Or “ They darn't do it—they darn't do it,” shouted course, St. Giles was soon known as the horse- the struggling Blast ; and in a moment afterwards stealer. It also came out, that Mr. Thomas Blast his wrists were locked in iron. “I'll make you had been seen in very earnest conversation with pay for this-never mind ; it's no matter to methe boy, as he led the pony. Every search was but I'll make you pay for this,” he said; and made for Tom ; and as, with a modesty not usual then, like a Tyburn philosopher, Tom became sudto him, he seemed wholly to have withdrawn him- denly reconciled to his manacles. self from his native parish, curiosity to learn his We will not dwell upon the details of the exwhereabout was the more quickened. Mr. Cap- amination of the prisoners. It will be sufficient stick felt his judgment, his pocket, too, somewhat for the reader to know that, after certain preinvolved in the transaction. He felt that he stood liminaries, a sitting alderman committed St. fair and upright in the eye of the world, neverthe- Giles and his tutor for horse-stealing. Both less it would be to him a peculiar satisfaction could scholar and master awaited their trial in Newhe detect Mr. Thomas Blast, or the benevolent, gate. simple-spoken tradesman who—for the price of an It was not until after the culprit's first examiold song-had sold the pony. With this wish nation, that Capstick felt the full annoyance of his thumping at his heart, Capstick every day visited position. When Jem would shake his head, and

66

we

look dumpish on the matter, Capstick would talk | " You see,” said Jem, “they're getting some loud, and beg him to think of the ends of justice : money in the Lane so that they may have a lawyer but when the boy was committed on the capital for poor St. Giles. Well, they ’re a bad lot, I charge, the muffin-maker's public spirit wholly daresay: but you should only know what some of forsook him. Evidence had brought the accusa- the poor souls have done.” tion quite home to the boy ; however legal proof " And what have they done?” asked Capstick, might fail to criminate his tempter. “ They ’ll with what he meant for a sneer. never-never think of much hurting the boy-a Why, some as had two blankets have sold one child, you know-a mere child,” said Capstick to on ’em; some with two gowns have pawned one Jem, as they left Guildhall together.

o'them. It would make you bless yourself, Mr. ** Humph! I don't know what you call hurting, Capstick, to see besides what things they 've made Mr. Capstick,” said Jem, moodily. “ But I twopences and threepences of-kettles, sarcepans, should n't think hanging pleasant.”

anything. It's wonderful to see how they do Capstick turned pale as four, and he could stick by one another.' scarcely articulate the words—" Impossible-ri- “Crime, Mr. Aniseed, crime is a brazen corddiculous-they could n't do it.”

and certainly does hold rogues together,” said “ Ha!” cried Jem, “ when hanging 's the Capstick. thing, you don't know what they can do. Well, "You may say what you like,” said Jem,“ but I'd rather ha' been in bed, with a broken limb, whenever I've looked up that horrid Lane, and than had a finger in this matter. I shall have that seen men and women like devils, and childrenpoor child always about me; I know I shall. poor creurs-like devils' little ones—I never When he's killed and gone, I shall never take my could have thought that in that dismal place pipe without seeing his face in the fire. And then there was after all a sort of good, that the very my poor old woman! She that still 's so fond of best of us would n't be any worse for more of him-poor orphan thing! for his mother 's worse it." than lost to him-she 'll lead me a nice life-that “ Very like ; very like,” said Capstick. “ And is, though she won't say anything outright, she 'll I am to understand, that the people want to fee a always be a crying about him. We've done a lawyer?” nice thing, Mr. Capstick, to make our lives pleas- "That's it,” replied Jem. " There 's a Mr. ant as long as they last !"

Tangle, somewhere in Clifford's Inn ; he's a sharp “Pooh, pooh—folly, Jem; all folly. I sup- un: they say he'd get a chap out o’ Newgate ; pose property must be protected. I suppose you get him out through a flaw no bigger than a keywon't deny that, eh?" asked Capstick.

hole. Well, I've been thinking—not that I can " I deny nothing," answered Jem hopelessly; do much—but I've been thinking that as and then he groaned “God help us! Why did n't helped to get the boy into Newgate, if we was he die in the frost and snow? Why did I warm to give what money we could to help to get him him, when a babby, at my own fire, only to help out." to hang him arterwards ?":

“ And so defeat the ends of justice ?”' cried Cap“Hang him! Nonsense! I tell you, Jem, stick, and he frowned severely. you 're a fool-an old, butter-hearted fool-and “Oh, I daresay it's wrong," said Jem ; you know nothing : here have you lived all your " nevertheless, if we could only get the boy safe life with the worst of people about you—not but off, he might be a good un after all. Did n't what folks at the very best are great rascals, every you hear how he cried? Oh, there's heart in one of 'em—but here have you been up to your him yet, I'm sure there is. Well, then, you ears ir villany—and yet you look upon everybody see-" about you as innocent as shepherds and shepherd- “I see perfectly,” said Capstick, esses in white china. I’m ashamed of you, Jem; come to ask me to subscribe to the fund for the be a man, and think of the world as its rascality lawyer?” deserves. For, Lord! what a lump of roguery it "Well, that 's just it,” assented Jem. is! How that the blessed sun should ever conde- Forgetful of my serious responsibility as a scend to smile upon such a lot of wretches as we witness—forgetful of the ends of justice-forare, I can't tell.'

getful of what I owe to society-forgetful—" “No more can I," answered Jem; “ but since “ Forgetful,” cried Jem with animation, “of the sun, as you say, does condescend to show a everything except of saving a child from the galgood face to us, I think it's as little as we can do lows." to try to do the same to one another."

“Mr. Aniseed,” said Capstick very decidedly, Capstick, taken somewhat aback, looked sud- “ I am sorry to refuse you anything, but you must denly round upon Jem; and then, feeling himself not let your feelings blind you : you mean well, wholly unable to controvert this opinion, he simply but you have yet to learn that the best meaning said, Jem, you 're a fool.”

men are those who so often do the most mischief. A week passed on, and the trial of St. Giles In a word, sir, I can have nothing to say to this approached. It was strange to Mr. Capstick that business." so many of his customers would ask him about his Bright Jem made no answer, but with a moody health.” “Why, what can ail the people ?" he nod, was about to leave the shop, when the muffinwould say. “I was never better-never in all maker called to him. “I think you said this allormy life. I eat like a pig, and sleep like a dor- ney's name was Wrangle?" mouse : can any man do better than that ?” But Tangle,” said Jem, shortly. Mr. Capstick was not well. The biped pig made “ Tangle, Lyon's Inn," said Capstick. poor meals ; the human dormouse had restless “ Clifford's-Inn,” cried Jem, a little sulkily, and nights : and when dreaming, dreamt horrid visions then he darted from the shop: of death and Newgate.

It is most true that Mr. Tangle deserved the It wanted some ten days of the trial, when high reputation bestowed upon him by Jem. His Bright Jem presented himself at Capstick's house. office in Clifford's-Inn was looked upon as a pri

you 've

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »