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A FELLOW-PASSENGER with MR. DICKENS in the Britannia steam-ship, across the Atlantic, inquired of the author the origin of his signature “Boz.” Mr. Dickens replied that he had a little brother who resembled so much the Moses in the Vicar of Wakefield, that he used to call him Moses also; but a younger girl, who could not then articulate plainly, was in the habit of calling him Bozie or Boz. This simple circumstance made him assume that name in the first article he risked to the public, and therefore he continued the name, as the first effort was approved of.
GRIMALDI, THE CLOWN. The father of Grimaldi, the clown, died in 1788, leaving funded property to the amount of £15,000, to be divided between Joe and his brother ; but the executor becoming a bankrupt within a year, the two boys lost the whole of their fortune. Offers of assistance poured in upon them, but all were declined by their mother. Joe stuck to the stage; and, at DruryLane, Mr. Sheridan raised the boy's salary, unasked, to £1 per week; and soon after, his brother John went to sea on board à King's ship. Joseph, though now a mere boy, was far from idle: he had to walk from Drury-Lane to Sadler's Wells every morning, to attend rehearsals, which then began at ten o'clock; to be back at Drury-Lane to dinner by two, or go without it; to be back again at Sadler's Wells in the evening, in time for the commencement of the performances, at six o'clock; to go through uninterrupted labour from that time until eleven o'clock, or later; and then to walk home again, repeatedly after having changed his dress twenty times in the course of the night.--Dickens's “Life of Joseph Grimaldi.”
OF the rich humour of “the Clockmaker” of Slickville, which has been characterised as “the sunny side of common sense,” the following is a specimen :
HOW TO PREVENT APPLE-STEALING. Our old minister, Joshua Hopewell, had an orchard of most particular good fruit, for he was a great hand at buddin', graftin', and what not, and the orchard (it was on tbe south side of the house) stretched right up to the road. Well, there were some trees hung over the fence, I never seed such bearers, the apples hung in ropes, for all the world like strings of onions, and the fruit was beautiful. Nobody touched the minister's apples, and when other folks lost theirn from the boys, hisn always hung there like bait to a book, but there never was so much as a nibble at 'em. So I said to him
one day, “ Minister,” said I,“ how on airth do you manage to keep your fruit, that's so exposed, when no one else can't do it nohow?” “Why,” says he, “ they are dreadful pretty fruit, ant they?” “ I guess,” said I, “there ant the like on 'em in all Connecticut.” Well,” says he, “ I'll tell you the secret, but you needn't let on to no one about it. That are row next the fence, I grafted it myself; I took great pains to get the right kind; I sent clean up to Roxberry and away down to Squaw-neck Creek”. I was afeared he was agoin' to give me day and date for every graft, being a terrible long-winded man in his stories, so says I, “ I know that, minister, but how do you preserve them?”.
Why I was agoin' to tell you" said he," when you stopped me. That are outward row I grafted myself with the choicest kind I could find, and I succeeded. They are beautiful, but so etarnal sour, no human soul can eat them. Well, the boys think the old minister's grafting has all succeeded about as well as that row, and they sarch no farther. They snicker at my graftin', and I laugh in my sleeve, I guess, at their penetration"