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A plump young hare—most delicate and sweet,

To stuff the Nobs, itself being stuff'd with mint And other odoriferous savoury herbs-a treat Which, very naturally, Smash long'd to eat.

And long he long'd. The hare had many friends,

Ay, quite as many as that hure that Gay Has told about so smoothly in his fable: But, of my hare, I'm very proud to say,

That all her admirers for most worthy ends Would gladly with her have set down to table.

And Smash's friendship was a passion quite ;
So he went down “i'th' witching time o' night.”

Which is the hour when the lone church-clock tells By twelve deep sounds another day is past ;

At sea, they only say “'t has gone eight bells, The larboard, or the starboard watch go call.” The larboard watch was call’d, as again Smash cast Wildly bis eyes around, as with a pall Darkness had muffled up his visuals ; thus

The pupils of his eyes were much expanded,

And staring hard as much as ever man did He met th' expanded pupils of Poor Puss.

“ The deed is done !-didst thou not hear a noise ?"
A smother'd squeak and all again was calm-
'Tis now farewell to all his woes and joys
As Pope has sung, “ It now avails him not,
To whom related, or by whom begot.”

Tabby's nine lives
Died with his mews,

Not one survives—
Not one of the nine, “soft pity to infuse"
To sing his virtues and his name embalm,

And yet he died not on this sinful earth,
But met his death down in the larboard berth.

It needs not many words to tell

From his robe of fur how soon
Puss was relieved ; and then how well

He was decaudalized. At noon
Next day he swung, just where

Had swung the hare.
The hare then ran a five-fold course—his last-
For four sharp reefers making a repast.

The fifth-the lion's share—fell to old Smash.

Not one small bit was left to make a hash!
They ate up all, so very clean I guess
The mess themselves in eating made no mess.

Now the fierce skipper, the day after this
Thinking his dinner perhaps might be amiss
If madame hare

Hung there

Too long-
For tenderness overmuch may prove too strong-

Beheld the cat,

And smelt a rat,
Then swore an oath would make a deal board crack,
He'd lay a cat of nine tails on the back

Of him, who in fun,
Would send down his belly any cat with one.

To know who was the sinner,
He ask'd old Smash and all his mess to dinner.
When, in the cabin they were duly seated,
This pretty speech the captain dread repeated :
“ Gentlemen, it pains me to declare

I have no other fare
To offer you to-day—but that fine hare.

Fall to;
Nay, no excuse, if hesitate you do,

I'll seize up to the gun

Every mother's son !
By thunderbolts, and shrapnel shells, I will !

So eat your fill!
Devour it all! Pick the bones clean!
For if a morsel's left of fat or lean,

Gristle or sinew,

By Jove! I'll skin you ! Come, buckle to-or, by the gods of slaughter ! You'll marry, on this very spot, the gunner's daughter!"

With rueful visages, poor Smash and Co.
Went to their meal, each looking but so-so.
Very polite they were, each to the other,
Helping the largest slices like a brother.
At length they finish'd the detested fare,

In the best worst manner they were able ;

Wisely preferring the cat upon the table
To having another cat they well knew where.


'Tis dangerous to “bell the cat” on shore,
To kill a cat at sea, much more.
'Tis much more dangerous, we repeat it,
To steal the captain's hare, and eat it.


Both poets and prosers have elaborately celebrated the perplexities of gentlemen in difficulties. The bitterness of such a position most people are able to appreciate, either in their own persons, or the person of one or other of their friends. Every man, in fact, is more or less in difficulties: and the duke, with his two hundred thousand per annum, and a builder's bill of seventy-five thousand pounds, by way of item in his annual expenditure, is as much at fault to make his two prodigious ends meet, as the retired banker's clerk, residing on Islington-hill

, to make his two hundred per annum cover the two hundred and fifteen pounds expended for family and self, between the January and December of the current year.

I have, therefore, little hesitation in avowing that, for some twelve years of my life, I wrote myself, like the hero of the Olympic farce, a gentleman in difficulties.” I was one of the unfortunate many born to expectations. I scarcely know which may be considered most under the ban of providence, the younger son of an elder brother, or the elder son of a younger brother ; but the latter misfortune was my prerogative of birthright. My father had nothing to bequeath me but the reversion of my legitimate seventh of his original fortune of ten thousand pounds ; 'two-thirds of the interest thereof being settled, by way of dowery, on his second spouse, the mother of the six unfortunates who shared my patrimony.

With such prospects, I should have perhaps betaken myself, on the decease of my respected parents, to the river or the road, to become food for fishes, or provide fishes for my food ; but for the expectation of succeeding to the property of my aunt Ursula, a maiden lady four years my father's senior, and consequently not very far, it was to be hoped, from striking her great balance-sheet.

Now my aunt Ursula had originally inherited only the same portion as her brother ; but having no small children, or great pretensions to encroach upon her economies, there existed a rumour in the Twittington family that, within the last forty years, the ten thousand pounds had expanded into twenty. I was, therefore, generally looked upon (especially by all to whom I had in confidence announced the fact), as heir-apparent to the twenty thousand pounds. By this means I placed myself tolerably at ease. Though my expectancies were not of a nature to be accepted as security for a loan, they were such as to encourage my running into debt; and into debt i ran, as hard as my folly could carry me. Before I was five-and-twenty, all the extortioners of St. James's-street and Pall-mall, were familiar with my name as maids of thirteen are with puppy-dogs. It is often said in the world of letters, “such and such a man is of the highest eminence; we find him mentioned in all the books of his time.” In the world of debtors my name was equally renowned ;—for it was in every body's books, and to a considerable amount.

My aunt Ursula resided in a horrible one-windowed mansion, in Paradise-place, Craven-hill, to which, in conversation with my tradesmen

or familiars, I used to advert as “the valuable little freehold property in Middlesex to which I was to succeed, on the demise of an infirm female relative, seventy-four years of age, afflicted with rheumatic gout;" and as my assiduous Sunday court to the sirloin of the old lady, who happened to be my godmother, procured me the occasional benefaction of a fifty-pound note, which I managed to flourish in its pristine shape in the eyes of every single human being to whom I was indebted in the sum of five, I managed to carry on the war, if not gloriously, at least so as to keep my army of martyrs in good heart. Numberless were the individuals who kept as active watch as myself over the obituaries of the daily papers, hoping to espy therein the demise of “Mrs. Ursula Twittington, aged seventy-five."

But the old jade was as tough as a lawbook bound in parchment ! She lived on, in our despite. Yet what pleasure, unless that of annoy. ing one, could she find in life? Whenever I visited Paradise-place, I found her purring with her pet maid and pet tabby over the fire ; and it would have been difficult to determine which of the three was least awake to mundane enjoyments. At length my tailors, hatters, bootmakers, mercers, and all the chartered conspirators against a young man's peace of mind and body, began to remonstrate with me touching this exceeding longevity. They assured me it was not the custom of trade for an old woman, from whom a young gentleman had expectations, to survive so long; and, as they seemed to insinuate that it was my duty to forward the despatch of their business by despatching my aunt, I assured them, in return, that like Macbeth, “Í dared do all that might become a man,” but that as to making an end of the old lady, by way of a beginning to my fortunes, I held it highly unbecoming. “ It is, however, a thing devised by the enemy that,” I exclaimed to one of my Bond-street duns, whose insinuations on the subject were almost Thurtellian,

“Do it !_nor leave the task to me !" All this time I was in a horrible fright lest the clamour of my chorus of creditors should become audible beyond Bayswater, and reach the ears of the sensitive old lady. Setting aside their destructive projects, I was convinced that the surmise of my getting into debt would suffice to keep me out of her will; and as to the ignominy of arrest, it would put me in such bad odour, as to nip every bud of my “expectations." All my wit, therefore, was at work to obtain delay from the invaders of my peace. If time were allowed me, all would go well. It needed only for Mistress Ursula to go to her grave with the conviction of my being a thrifty young man, to render thrift, thenceforward, a superfluous virtue.

With this view I changed my quarters as often as a militia regiment in war time. I dodged from Middlesex to wit, into Surrey to wit, whenever I saw myself followed in the street by fellows whose faces were disagreeably known to me; and dodged back again from Surrey into Middlesex, whenever I had reason to consider Westminster a safer borough than Southwark. In my lodgings in Spring-gardens, to which I adhered with all the constancy peculiar to a long arrear of rent, there was a heavy marble paper-weight, under which I used to ensconce my

unpaid bills, by way of keeping them out of sight and out of mind like a gravestone laid over a termagant wife. I knew the cut of these horrible missiles at a mile distance. Like Cassius they had a lean and hungry look. The envelope of soft apothecary's paper, closed with a reeking vermilion-coloured wafer :-or when too succinct for an envelope, the long narrow coffin-shaped fold of the half-sheet, emblazoned at the top with the royal arms and a flourish of engraved announcements, -prefacing the ominous £ s. d.-is never to be mistaken!

Then, there was usually a lawyer's letter or two,-studiously addressed to “ Henry Robert Maltford Twittington, Esq. (for solicitors, like the Vicar of Wakefield, love to give the whole name); and I, who am Harry Twittington, among my familiars, and Hal, with my brothers and sisters, have observed that every disagreeable letter I ever received in my life, was addressed at full length as above—or superscribed with alphabetical precision, to “ H. R. M. Twittington, Esq.” There is something savouring of the warrant, in such technical accuracy.

The twopenny post had become a source of regular persecution. The days were few and far between when it did not bring to my hand some importunate reminder, the tenour of which grew plainer and plainer every day. I was upbraided with broken promises, reviled for my unpunctuality-assured that I had infringed upon every body's rules for the conduct of their business, &c. &c. Jewellers, who, by their habit of allowing twenty per cent. for ready money, clearly proclaim their intention of giving four years' credit, addressed to me at the end of two, as though I were a pick pocket; while my tailors wrote to express their regret that my tardiness of payment should compel them to take harsh measures against me, as if apprehending that the measures they had hitherto taken, were likely to be gratuitous.

I was now growing a desperate man. My home was becoming hateful to me.

Those single knocks of “ a person with a small account,” used to depress my soul with gloom; they were knocks and Erebus to me! All the world seemed in league against my peace. If any one stared at me in the street, I took him for a sheriff's officer; or if, as I stood at the window of my lodgings, I descried a man crossing the street with a paper in his hand, it seemed to contain my doom. I remember being nearly startled into a fainting-fit, because a stranger addressed me in a public reading-rooin with, “ I have a little business with you, sir, in private !"-who, after all, proved to be a starving poet, soliciting my subscription to his elegies. I was, in short, growing attenuated as a harlequin, and nervous as an aspen-leaf, when it pleased certain candidates for Tyburn tree burglariously to enter the premises of No. 1, Paradise-row, as Satan those of its prototype ; and as there were only fourteen houses intervening between the dwelling-house where the effraction was perpetrated, and No. 15," the valuable freehold" inhabited by Mrs. Ursula, she set herself down by anticipation as robbed and murdered ; and not to disappoint her own expectations of giving up the ghost, actually expired within the month, a victim to anxiety. Her apprehension of seeing a man at the foot of her bed, with a black crape over his face, filled her house with black crape, scarves, and hatbands.

I shall never forget my sensations, when the letter announcing the

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