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but still a progress, and of a nature quite as interesting as at least the latter of the others. He moved about from place to place until near two o'clock in the morning, when he settled down steadily at Frawley's for 'the remainder of the evening.' One might have fancied he was a marine, and not an infantry-man, for he counted his time by glasses. He remained at each place he visited the whilst he was employed in emptying one glass of whiskey and water. He then proceeded on his rounds; and as the ancient mariner was guided in his course by the stars and constellations, 'the signs and wonders of the heavens,' so was Bob by the signs of public houses. The mode in which I heard him direct an acquaintance of mine on his road to a Sunday-dinner at Chelsea will exemplify this. Bob said, 'When you leave Buckingham Gate, you know, you'll move with right shoulders forward, you know, until you get to "The Gun" and then you'll go on right a-head, you know, until come to "The Prince of Wales;" then you'll keep on, you know, till the road turns a little to the right, and you'll see "The Three Compasses," you know, before you; then you'll go straight again, till you come to "The Duke of York," you know; and you'll go on, you know, through the Hospital, till you come to Don Saltero's, you know, where the Scotch whiskey is excellent, you know; and Waldie, the landlord, you know, is a fine old fellow; then you'll go on, and turn up by the Black Horn," to a street that will bring you to the "Cadogan Arms," which you'll leave on your right, you know, and stretch on to The Man in the Moon," you know; and when you 're there, you'll see "The World's End," which is in the common nearly opposite; and if you ask anybody there, he 'll tell you where Tomkins lives, for he has his beer from "The World's End," you know.
There is a love-letter of his in memory, which may serve as an additional illustration of his habitudes. He wrote to his lady-love to inform her gentleness where she might find her faithful swain. But to make the note intelligible, I must inform the reader that, both in writing and speaking, Bob had an utter contempt for prepositions, conjunctions, and such other paltry parts of speech, and generally omitted them. With this explanation, I give the amatory effu
'Until six o'clock I am the Goat in Boots, and after that the Six Bells, Chelsea.
Bob's constant occupation and perennial pleasure consisted in sipping whiskey and water, smoking cigars, and telling lies. He was the most unmitigated liar I ever knew; and yet his lying, like Jack Falstaff's, was of such a peculiar order, that it was impossible to despise him for it. He never said an unkind or an ill-natured thing of any human being. Like Uncle Toby, he would not injure fly, nor would he even go so far as to give it a bad word. Nor did he ever boast of disastrous chances of moving accidents by flood and field,' nor vex your ears with stories about Smith or Jones of ours.' No; the field in which Bob used to lie was that of natural history. He consorted with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air: and he would allow no man breathing to outdo him in extolling the powers and wisdom of these his chosen
themes of panegyric. He used to swear that of his own knowledge there was a cock at Nevis, who crowed so shrill and loud that he could be heard at Martinique, and so punctually at the instant of sunrise, that Bob's regiment always fired the gun and set their clocks and watches by him. Come,' said a man one night at Frawley's, 'here's Bob Rambleton; now let's have a little natural history.' Sim Fairfield then proceeded to tell, that when he was in Portugal he fell in with a starling at a nunnery that could repeat one of the penitential psalms. Bob spoke in a very slow somniferous voice, and when he once opened, he never cracked cry whether his audience were asleep or awake until he had exhausted his imagination. Yes,' said Bob, the starling, you know, is a clever bird; but he is nothing to a cockatoo, you know. When I was quartered at Demerara, in the West Indies, you know, I went out one day to walk in the woods, and there upon the top of a tree, you know, I saw a great big cockatoo. He was a very peculiar fellow, you know; he had a sky-blue bill, and a red back, and green wings, and a black belly, you know, and that was the reason I always knew him again when I saw him. And while this chap and I were looking at each other, you know, and taking marks of each other, up came Tom Macdonnell, of the 23d Fusileers, you know; they wore blue facings, you know, because they were a royal regiment; and says Tom to me, holding out his hand, "How d'ye do, Bob Rambleton?" and I said, " Very well." And we walked away together, and I thought no more about it. But nearly a month after I happened to walk into the place, and there I saw that same old cockatoo, and says he to me, throwing his head on one side, and casting a knowing look at me, "How d'ye do, Bob Rambleton ?" And then I thought he began to laugh, but I'm not sure of it, you know, and I would not take my oath of it; but this I'll swear to, that all the cursed little cockatoos in the wood, and there were three hundred of them,—all cried out together, "How d'ye do, Bob Rambleton ?" and their screaming was so horrible that it hurt the drum of my ear, and I was deaf for a long time after, and I never dared to show myself in that wood afterwards.'
He also told a story very much to the honour of a monkey's sagaeity, though not creditable to his honesty. The regiment were in log-huts, and Bob happened to lose the key of his peculiar domicile. He did not change the lock; he contented himself with getting a new key. After this accident, he was constantly annoyed by the disappearance of sundry portions of his property, and particularly of his cigars. At last the circumstance of his losing his kilt and best dress-coat led to the detection of the thief; for he saw a monkey playing with them on the top of a tree forty feet high, and upon searching this, all his effects were recovered, with the exception of his cigars, which the rascal had smoked. It seems he stole the key, and was in the habit of watching until Bob and his servant Elsworth were out of the way, when he let himself in, took what he fancied, and locked the door carefully as he retired,
Bob was never at a loss in his natural history. Passing a fishmonger's shop with him one day, I asked, 'What the deuce fish is that? I never saw such an ugly fish before.' Nor did Bob either; but he promptly and gravely replied, That is the cat-fish, you know, because he comes out of the water, and catches the mice, you know. He belongs to the West Indies, you know.'
He told us one night, that at Honduras there was a tree called the iron tree, because it was harder than iron, and that it was used instead of the metal for various purposes.
'But how,' said old Frawley, 'could it be cut? I'm blowed if you 're not a-going it! Steel would be of no use ag'in it.'
Oh! they cut it down with itself,' says Bob.
'Ay,' retorted Frawley, 'but how did they get down the first tree?"
They burnt it at the root, you know,' rejoined the Captain.
So remote from ill-nature were the feelings of poor Bob, that no man was more given than he to exalting his friends and acquaintance. On coming into Frawley's of an evening, I saw him sitting in a box with a man of colour, a sort of dirtily whitewashed nigger, and I declined the invitation to join him. When this fellow had gone, he took his place near me, and I said, something reproachfully,
'Who was that cursed ugly nigger you were talking to?'
That,' replied Bob, is Buckatoo, you know. He He is master of the horse to the Queen of Madagascar.'
Poor Bob, like Sir John, has glided under the earth, and their branch of the family is extinct. Bob trusted one of those enemies of human kind, an attorney, and he robbed him of every farthing he possessed. He died in a garret, in the rules of the Queen's Bench; and would have died without a drop of toast and water to moisten his lips, and been left to be buried by the parish, if it had not been for the generosity of that noble fellow, the Hon. George Talbot, who is now (alas the while!) like himself numbered with the dead.
We have great pleasure in complying with the request contained in the following elegant epistle; and thus proceed to give publication to the effusion of one entitled to all sort of admiration as a proverbial personage-the Wise Child' of the ancient adage.
I have perused an article in Bentley's Miscellany for this month, entitled Hora Offleanæ.' Being a son of the late Mr. Offley, I may pretend to know something about him. I therefore assert, that the statements respecting my father in the article in question are LIES !!!
As these statements will have a very extended circulation among Bentley's readers, I request that, for fair play's sake, you will afford a space for this brief communication in the next number.
24, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden,
March 1, 1841.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
THE MAN ABOUT TOWN TO R. BENTLEY, ESQ.
I thank you for sending me the letter signed George Offley, and think this polite Publican, who has converted himself into a Scribe, should be allowed to complete the Judaic circle, and proclaim himself a Pharisee. Though he uses what Doctor Johnson was pleased to style 'the strong language' of Bishop Warburton, namely, 'you lie,' and affects all the indignation of a Lally Tolleudal, in vindicating the memory of an illustrious and injured papa, it may be questioned whether the motives which actuated his desire to rush into print were other than envy of Frawley's renown (which the Miscellany has now made immortal,) and his own jealousy of the fame of the great defunct. Proud, sir, am I to feel that for 'mine old host'
• Exegi monumentum ære perennius,’—
-a monument not to be soiled, much less shaken by the breath of any little barker indignant at my not having proclaimed the Virgilian principle,
'Sic canibus catulos similes.'
Alack! sir, it is not often that the whelps of modern days come up to the 'old dogs' of the last generation; nor is the present representative of the House of Offley, I much fear, an exception, saving, indeed, in the articles of good temper and gentlemanly expression. Mr. George Offley has not condescended to particulars; he vouchsafes only his ipse dixit. He does not say which of my statements is false. In this he was wise. Thousands in town could prove them each and all to be true. I have described old Frawley as an honest and strong-minded man, who, without the advantage of education, raised himself from an humble station to independence and comfort. I have described him as a merry old host,' respectful, attentive, obliging, and grateful to the gentlemen who frequented his house. I have described him as a singer of songs, and a maker of speeches which invariably produced roars of laughter. I have described him as a convivial man himself, and to the great bene. fit of his exchequer, a promoter of conviviality in others. I have described him as an excellent cook, and a dispenser of the best mutton-chops that ever fizzed upon the bars of a gridiron. And in spite of spite' all this he was, and will be. Nam multos veterum velut inglorios ac ignobiles oblivio obruit, sed Offleius narratus atque traditus superstes erit. I am, sir, your obedient servant, A MAN ABOUT TOWN. P.S.-In the course of the evening I will ascertain from Nicholas and the cook what reminiscences they may have preserved of their old fellow-servant.
Bellamy's, March 10, 1841.
THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS.
BY W. G. J. BARKER, ESQ.
THEY are coming! they are coming! from the regions of the sun,
They come across blue ocean! tribes of the restless wing,
Oh! had we but their pinions, what blessed lives were ours,
No blight shall overtake us, no tempests black appal:
Oh! happy, happy creatures! they neither weep nor sigh:
They are coming! they are coming! blithe attendants of the sun-
BY THE AUTHOR OF LONDON ASSURance.'
'And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.'-Gen. ch. i., v. 2.
SPACE labour'd-quicken'd by Almighty word,
Rush'd amain from all the corners
Of eternity. Each atom jostling
Its fellow-in haste to pleasure Him—so form'd
On a black sea of thickening vapour,
An unwholesome sweat oozed from the slimy depths
It lay upon the bosom of great Space,
Its mother, who could not help it into fair
God said, 'Let there be light, and there was light.'
And straight shot forth its trees and shrubs, which sent up
'Light was—and God saw that it was good.'
The Day went down, while Heaven blush'd at Evening's
D. L. BOURCICAULT.