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THE ODD BOY ON PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET.
NEAR SIR, I believe a book on “People crammers about his father's place in LinD I Have Met” was written a good while colnshire, and how Septimus rode to cover ago by Mr. N. P. Willis. I never read the with the Marquis of Daffidowndiddle, and book. As to the people I have met, they sister Sarah opened the county ball with a have, for the most part, been very common real live lord ? Get out, I say again—you place—the noughts that are nothing in themdon't want it! What's the use of my telling selves, but lend significancy to the numerals. you about an intelligent policeman, above As to N. P. Willis, I have little to say the temptations of rabbit-pie, and with such against him, but I do not like initials. Mr. a nerve ? or Molly, the cook-maid, or ButC. Dickens, Sir W. Scott, Bart., Mr. W. | tons, the boy, or old Thistlecrop, whom we Shakespeare, Mr. J. Milton, Rev. J. Buncall “our” gardener, because he comes yan, are simply abominable. We want the once or twice a month to tidy up an Eden Charles, the Walter, the William, or the which has a brick wall on each side and a two Johns.-- This is not the subject of my serpentine gravel walk down the middle ? letter, and is only put in because it occurred You know all these people our trades. to me.
people are yours--it is no use being gross And, after all, perhaps that is the way to about the grocer, no use buttering the write a letter—to be your own very self, and cheesemonger, no use intimating that the say what comes uppermost. “Holloa, Jack, tallow-chandler is lighting his candle at here's news; our bull-pur has flown at both ends, no use mentioning that our Farmer Stubbles, and he swears he'll sue clergyman thought it all right to use bor. it--or dad, as its locum tenens--for a breach rowed sermons for his Lent lectures. I am of the peace and a piece of the breeches.” beginning to think we have had a great deal There, that event might occur; the mode of too much “realism”--that's the word—in expression is natural; why not put it in a books and on the stage. Bother about holding letter, why not stick it down ? But there the mirror up to Nature—a real coal-pit am I wandering again. "Let us come to bangs the effect at the Princess's or the the point,” as Othello said when he fell on Adelphi-it's a deal more dirty, damaging, his sword; and “We had best get through and dangerous. A real cab with a real it as soon as possible," as the point said to horse is no better on the stage than off-an Othello, which, of course, was a joke, and ugly-looking fly-trap anywhere. When the made the Moor the merrier !
curtain goes up at the theatre, and I see a Well, then, the subject is “People I Have showy drawing-room, and people dressed Never Met.” What's the use of telling you just like Choker, Stoker, or Bloker, the about Tom Braddles and his left-hand Blinks's girls, and old Waddle's sister, I bowling ?-get out! the butter-fingers, he hate it. Get out! I wish I could. I want was nowhere, except with a lot of muffs mountains, forests, rivers, Indian palaces, and as for the praise he received when he caverns, robbers in yellow boots with dirks, got into Banks' Eleven and challenged the smugglers in striped shirts and red caps, Chertsey Boys—as for that, it is very well with particularly clean kegs of whisky. I known that if his progenitor had not been want 'noblemen not a bit like Dundreary boss of the neighbourhood, he would never -I was done dreary with him ever so long have got it. What's the use of telling ago !--but fellows in slashed satin breeches, you of George Bouncer, who told such big / velvet cloaks, broad hats, plumes of feathers, and all that sort of thing. My sentiments | instrument. Then, everything being very are those of the West countryman who still, and not the least intention on his part expressed his disgust at the personal ap to disturb the repose of the family, I want pearance of George IV.
him to strike up, and play a tune pretty “I've seed a chap at Bartlemy Fair
lemoncholy, to which, as soon as it is deep More like a king than that chap there." enough, he should cast in his voice in What I sigh for is to meet in real life words to the following effect :-"Wilt thou the people I have never met there--people forget me-thrum, thrum. Joy of my heart I have only seen at the footlights, and -thrum, thram, thrum. Long since thou people who are being fast driven away from met me--thrum, thrum, thrum, thrum. there, by the stern “ truth" of modern | Long must we part—thrum, thrum, tinkle drama. Thanks, my noble Pussycaught, tinkle, tinkle thrum, thrum, thrum, thrum!” for all your labours--your real race-courses,
I should like to see her open the window, your real court of justice, your real Lanca- and come out, not wrong side foremost, as shire dialect, your manufacture of a real if she was going to clean the window, but omelette in a real frying-pan---only, please 1 ---balcony provided-with a slow step, evidon't do it again!
dently characteristic of deep love, with her I want to meet a young lady who will eyes fixed on the moon. Then I should like fall in love with somebody she oughtn't to, to hear her say, “ And is he lost to me for and stick to him in all weathers. I want ever, my own, my love; no—my heart is her to dress herself in white muslin, and his; wherever he is, there am I--in life, in let her back-hair down, and walk upstairs | death, I am his.” Then the gentleman and downstairs in a rampagious manner. I tunes up again, and pitches it very strong; want to see her kissing a lock of his hair, | then she sees him, screams a scream which and vowing to be only his in a style of lan | would fill the Agricultural Hall, and bring guage that stirs the cockles of your heart. the bobbies, but does not wake her pa, her I want her to have a stolen interview with ma, or any of the family. I never met the man of her choice, not by sending a post people who could sleep so sound; they letter to say she'll meet him near the Ele. must all recline on hop-beds, I think, after phant and Castle, and then putting her partaking of stewed poppies. Then up he bonnet on after tea, and saying to her comes, clambering heavily, and so shaking mother that she wants to do a little shop the edifice in his noble efforts to kiss the ping at Tarn's. No--that's what I call hand of his adored one, that it's a caution. mean. I want her to sit up late, with a | Now, I never met people of this sort. I lamp-none of your dips in flat candlesticks have known fellows in love, and they made -I want the moon to come out strong. I about as much bother as if they'd got a want him (the lover) to scale the garden gum-boil ; but as for climbing a wall, and walls--and on those walls let there be no un. I playing the music, they would have been as dergrowth of broken bottles I want him to likely to have swum from Southend to be dressed in long silk stockings, short satin Sheerness, reading about marriages that were breeches, tightly-fitting jacket, with puffed made in heaven, by the light of a lucifer sleeves, over all a velvet cloak, on his head match. No: the fellows I have met hung a hat and feathers. Standing in the garden about the premises, and tipped the servant-not skulking on the garden-roller, up in girl to carry scribbled notes; they went so the shadow by the dust-bin, but coming far as to go to church sometimes, and sit right forward, as if he were about to invoke where they could see, at all events, the the Buffalo girls to join in a dance, I want back of her bonnet, in the family pew. him to produce a guitar--not in a case like They sat up late, and imbibed a good deal a young coffin—but boldly carried under his of spirits and water ; but as for doing any. arm, or, better still, if he could find it pro. thing desperate right away, catch 'em at it! miscuous-like on the premises; it is so awk. Can I imagine the hero, in long silk hose ward getting over a wall with a musical and satin shorts, pursuing his common busi
228 THE ODD BOY ON PEOPLE I HAVE NEVER MET.
ness, climbing an office stool, posting a Good, Dove, Greenacre, names suggestive of ledger and posting letters, cutting out for a atrocious murder ? I trow not. Blackheart, fourpenny upright, and coming back to Raven, Aceldama would have been far plod and prod his blotting-pad! These are more proper. Once I knew a Daniel-Lam. the sort of men I have seen in love, and bert sort of fellow, whose legs were like what I want to see is something of another bolsters, his body like a feather-bed, with pattern; these articles don't suit me, they pillows for arms--his name was Lightfoot. won't wash!
I knew a slim, little fellow, that might have I never met a roystering soldier who been borne away like an autumn leaf by a cried at tavern doors, “What ho! within puff of wind-his name was Heavisides. I there!” and bid the drawer—a sturdy counted three doctors once on my list of fellow in green doublet and yellow hose, with acquaintances-fellows who were supposed a nose like a red-hot coal-serve him with to keep alive the vital spark, and to make a sack-posset. I never saw him lounge it burn clear and bright--one of these men on a form—without any ceremony-in a was called Death, another Coffin, and the mixed society, and throwing his purse, other Sexton. I knew a sailor who had about as big and as red as a brewer's night. spent twenty-three years out of thirty-five cap, to the host, desire that all the knaves on the blue water, “all at once as a piece should sup at his cost. I want to hear this of the ship," but instead of being called done. I want those so treated to shont and Backstay, Marlingspike, Oakheart, Jack then to sing, all taking their cue from one Larboard, Tom Starboard, Ned Fluke, Kit of their number, who works his arm like a Cable, Bob Halyard, or anything approsemaphore.
priate, his name was Alfred Meadows. I never met a thorough-going villain, Meadows might have done very well for a though I may candidly confess I have farmer ; but the only farmer I was ever known many a rogue; but what I want is a really intimate with was called Carpenter. rogue, with something in his scowl, some- Just think of some of the names you know thing in the roll of his eyes, which shall well—famous names and see how inap. proclaim him to be baddest of the bad. propriate they are. Shakespear is much Rogues are so much like every-day folk, or better suited to a soldier than a playevery-day folk are so much like rogues, wright; Cook is better for the commander that there is no drawing of a clear distinc. of a kitchen than a ship; Bacon sits easier tive line. Give me a man with a forbidding on a pig-dealer than a philosopher; Wilbercountenance, a way of speaking under his force-or Willbyforce is not characteristic breath, a style of walk that seems as if of a philanthropist. Is Aikin a good name every step were a stratagem, a suitable for a physician ? Birch for a pastrycook? suit, and I will say that is the man for my Coke for a lawyer ? Dancer for a miser ? felony. The illustrated newspapers have, Egg for a painter ? Fox for an engineer? to some extent, favoured my idea of a regu- Grimm for an author ? Herring for an lar rascal, by making the portraits of crimi. artist? Norrys for a mathematician ? "Jornals detestably ugly ; but the pictures, I dan for an admiral ? Kiss for a sculptor ? fear, are not always reliable. I know a Lemon for a comic writer ?* Miller for an gentleman who used to supply real like author ? Newman for an old divine ? Oldnesses of horrid criminals to Alderman field for an actress ? Priestley for the most Kelly-deceased--and, looking through his unpriestly of men ? Raffles for a Dissenting sketch-book, I find some decent-looking, minister, and Raikes for the founder of Sunhandsome chaps, who did murder and were day schools ? Stone for a painter ? Trench hung for it. I do not believe that, as things for a parson ? Usher for a bishop ? Vane are, we can judge of a man—any more than for a patriot ? Wolfe for a poet? It is like you can of a book-by the frontispiece. I never met people who answered to
* Could you flavour Punch without it?-ED. their names. Talking of miscreants, are · B.M.M.
the game of contraries. Oh for the time his young woman and the family spoons when I shall meet with men who, in sign- and acres ? Did I ever meet the virtuous ing their names, indicate their character, poor man who, discovering a poorer in the wise men and fools, righteous, rogues and street, of whom he knew nothing, did roysterers !
straightway take him home, run in debt for I never met a man who was always true a rasher of bacon, or a little tea, to make the to his character. The players on the stranger comfortable, and let him have it world's stage will not abide by their rôle. all, satisfying his own inward cravings with In plays and story-books the characters are an additional button in his threadbare coat? always turning up with the right expression | Did I ever meet a jolly tar who, in behalf at the right time. Dominie Sampson says of beauty in distress, riled his commander, “Pro-digious!” just when you expect him to and was yard-armed as the penalty, after say; Mark Tapley asseverates that there is dividing his property, including his 'bacca“no credit in being jolly” under pleasant cir. box and pig-tail, amongst his messmates ? cumstances, just when he ought to say; Did I ever meet a wanderer returning to but had I known D. S. or M. T. in the his home, after an absence of half a volume, flesh, they would, I feel assured, have been or fifteen minutes, in Australia, with refleca disappointment. I have seen men I have tions which, musically or otherwise, took taken to be hypocrites, but they were never the form of Venerando domus,-be it ever true to the niceties, like Mawworm or so homely? No--never; there are lots of Pecksniff. Somehow or other, when you people I want to meet, and never have have grown accustomed to the harmonious perhaps never shall. I want vice and virtue world of fiction, common life palls : it wants legibly labelled-well, I don't get it. I want colour, more ultramarine in the sky, more consistency of character-well, I don't get Prussian blue and gamboge in the grass. It it. I want every man to be as true as his is “awfully” dull, compared to what it sword-well, he has not got any, and so might be.
perhaps he is. I want every maiden fair People I never met! Did I ever meet as the dawn-well, our dawnings are gene. the boy who, because you gave him a shil. rally overcast, so perhaps they are. Alto. ling for holding your horse, instead of six.gether, I want what I can't get-I want pence, held it a second time for nothing ? sympathy-I want everybody to think as I Did I ever meet with a self-sacrificing elder do on all points ; no, that is not it--because brother, who kept out of the way, and gave if they did, I should no longer be dubbed qut that he was food for fishes, because his young brother was wishful to walk off with
THE ODD BOY.
MY NATIVE HOME.
I LOVE to think of all thy charms, my dear, I That I walk through thy forests, dark and my native home;
grim, my hunting to pursue; What earthly joy would I not give, o'er thee That I scan thy prairies' vast extent, as they once more to roam !
spread far out of view. To thread again thy mossy dells, thy gardens deck'd with bowers,
I fancy I stray through the balmy vales, as Thy fragrant groves, thy sunny hills, thy I often before I've strayed, meadows bright with flowers!
And weary at length sit me down to rest
beneath the pine-tree shade, Whene'er my mind reverts to thee, with thee And listen as the birds pour forth their it always stays,
strains from every treeAnd I fancy then, as in days of yore, that I But, oh! my home, thou’rt far away, across stand 'mongst the golden maize;
the boundless sea.
DWELLERS IN THE DEEP.
BY GEORGE ST. CLAIR, F.G.S., &c. CHAPTER VI.—COWRIES, WHELKS, SEA-HARES, &c. (Class GASTEROPODA.) CASTEROPODS are those mollusca / naked, and the chitons, or coat-of-mail U which are provided with a head, and shells, are furnished with eight plates, which move from place to place by means arranged behind one another with great of a fleshy disk or foot placed under the regularity, and connected by ligaments and abdomen. Every one is familiar with the | muscles. The shells of these animals are mode in which a snail or a periwinkle glides among the most beautiful of natural objects; along on this broad “belly-foot” (as the and when we consider that they are preterm gasteropod signifies), and by watching pared for the cabinet without difficulty, the motion on the opposite side of a plate of preserved without expense, and free from glass, you may readily discern the minute any liability to decay, we cannot wonder at wrinkles produced by the contraction of the ardour with which they have been colnumerous muscular fibres in succession, lected, or the miser-like avidity with which which proceed from the hind part forward they have been guarded. The forms of in waves, by which means the foot slides the shell are subject to great variations, uniformly along over solid bodies.
but those which appear most widely sepaThe gasteropods are an inferior class to rated may be shown to be connected by the cephalopods, though they rank imme- intermediate links, as well as to have a diately after them. They have a head, common origin. The simplest of all shells, more or less conspicuous, to which gene. in point of form, is that of the common rally two well-developed black eyes give an limpet, which is merely a cone, more or animated expression, and possess one or less expanded at the base. If the point of two pairs of contractile tentacles, or feelers, the cone were somewhat prolonged and a sense of smell, and rudimentary organs turned over, so as to resemble a “fool's of hearing. The common position for the cap," we should get the form of the eyes is at the extremity of a short fleshy pileopsis, a creature allied to the limpet. column, springing from the base of the The increase of this " fool's-cap” tendency tentacle. In many species the eyes pre- produces a regular spiral shell, such as that sent an elaborate structure; the great of the planorbis, in which all the whorls Strombidce of the tropical seas, for ex. or turns are on the same plane, as in a ample, have eyes with a distinct pupil and “Catherine's wheel ;” but if the whorls do a double iris, equalling in beauty and cor- not continue in the same plane, but turn rectness of outline those of birds and rep- round a central line in corkscrew fashion, a tiles. But the nervous system of gastero. shell is formed like that of the common pods is far less developed than that of the snail. In the periwinkle you have probably cephalopods : and while the latter animals noticed a horny cap closing the mouth of are able to swim about and rapidly seize the shell when the animal retires into its a distant prey, almost all the former are recesses. This is called the operculum ; it obliged to content themselves with a slow is principally confined to the aquatic gas. creeping motion on their flat fleshy foot. | teropods, is horny in some species and
The clase is extremely numerous, and is shelly in others, sometimes fits accurately chiefly composed of animals living in a and sometimes not, and varies in its shape. univalve shell, which is usually cone. It may almost be regarded as the repre. shaped and rolled into a spiral; but some sentative of the second valve or shell found species--the slug, for example---are perfectly in oysters and all mollusca of that class.