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"Mr Pearie called him aside for a very short time at the Wax-works, and this morning he told me, before he went out for his walk, that I should not see Captain Slasher again." "He told you so?-'Tis, indeed, too true."
"I'm so sorry!-Captain Slasher had seen such strange things in India; -but I don't think Mr Pearie ever liked him ;-Do you think he did?" "My dear Mary," said Charles, "don't run on so thoughtlesslyit is of the greatest importance that this subject should not be mentioned. Never on any account allude to the dislike you perceived Mr Pearie entertained to Captain Slasher. Hush! he's coming! It may be the saving of a life. Beware!"-and Charles rushed out of the room to have his interview with the murderer alone.
Never were happiness and peace of mind more clearly depicted on a human countenance than on that of Mr Pearie. His hands stuck in both pockets, his hat cocked airily on one side of his head, for he had just returned from his morning's stroll,-and, his whole outward man swelling with comfort and satisfaction, he winked significantly to the horror-struck visi tor, and said
"We've done him, Charles; yon birky will gie us nae mair trouble."
A shudder passed over poor Charles at this dreadful commencement. "You allude-I presume-to-to Captain Slasher?" he stammered.
"Just so—I gi'ed him a hint about some promotion that was going on in the Indian army, and he set aff that very hour for London."
"Promotion ?" enquired Charles, with a searching look at the unconscious narrator.
"Yes-a sudden death had ta'en place in the regiment that he was aye puffin' and boastin' about. Do ye mind hoo he used aye to be telling us hoo pleased he would be if we could see his corpse?"
Charles gathered the whole energy of his soul into one sentence. With compressed lips, and an eye rivetted on Mr Pearie, he said, "I have seen it, sir!"
"Weel, was't a braw ane?-It maun hae been unco black, for ye mind he tauld us his men were a' niggers. But is't come hame? Whar saw ye his corpse ?"
"Old man!" said Charles, laying his hand solemnly on Mr Pearie's
shoulder, "do you think I believe your tale about a promotion in Captain Slasher's regiment?"
"What care I whether you believe it or no? He believed it, an' that's enough. He's awa' to Lon'on,-his horses are a' to follow to-day ;-his rent is a' paid, and sae we're quit o' him. You dinna seem half pleased about it, Charles ?"
“Look within, into your own heart, Mr Pearie, and tell me if you think I ought to be pleased."
"'Deed ocht ye, for ye see we've the disposal o' Mary a' to ourselves,she'll still be in the firm; and between oursels, I ha'e every reason to believe she's as well pleased at the business as we are."
"Once for all," said Charles, firmly-"I know all, Mr Pearie,-mark me,-all. I was by the water's side, last night—you understand me.”
"Whisht! for God's sake whishtit wad ruin our credit in the townpoor Dawson has his way to makefolk wad think it was carryin' the joke owre far. It was grand fun! but sef us, man, whisht about it."
During this recital, which was accompanied with many explosions of mirth, the listener was transfixed with a mingled feeling of pity and disgust. At last, however, a conviction of the insanity of the unfortunate banker took possession of his mind. But Dawson, the quiet, steady head-clerk -the confidant of his principal's plans about Mary-the depository of his schemes of vengeance against his rival! It was impossible to believe that both were insane. Time pressed
he resolved to leave Mr Pearie; to explain the whole business in a few words to Mary; and then to inform Dawson of the discovery of his misdeeds. At this moment a bell was rung in the street, and Mr Pearie, rushing to the window, listened for a moment to a proclamation of the bellman, then looking at Charles with a face in which alarm and vexation were very powerfully expressed, he exclaimed,. We're found out! we're found out!—what'll become o' us ?— I'll gie the bellman five shillings, and bribe every ane else to haud their tongues. Not a word, Charles, o' what ye saw last night."
But Charles was in no mood to make promises. Mr Pearie rushed forth to carry his plans of bribery into effect; and Charles hurried into the Bank. There, seated quietly at his desk, as if
nothing particular had happened, was Dawson busy making entries.
"Dawson," said Charles, "no time is to be lost. Follow me into the house." Mr Dawson folded up his books and papers, and did as he was told.
Mary was no little amazed to see Charles, thus accompanied, enter her breakfast parlour.
"What's the matter?" she exclaimed, "has any thing happened?"
"Yes," said Charles," murder has happened! have you heard the bell
"No-who? what is it? oh tell me." "Dawson can tell you best!-out with it, sir, it is no secret to me! I saw you last night by moonlight.” "Me, sir?-de'il a bit o' me will tell ony thing without the order o' my principal."
"Then I will," continued Charles. "You will see your admirer, Captain Slasher, no more."
"I know it," replied Mary," Mr Pearie has told me so."
"It was Mr Pearie, aided by the diabolical ruffian at my side, who got quit of him."
"I know that too," said Mary; "I think they managed it very well."
Charles Patieson reeled as if thunderstruck, and fell into a chair.
But farther disclosures were interrupted by the entrance of Mr Pearie. "Ah! Dawson?"-he exclaimed"this is a foolish business-they're draggin' the water--they'll find the body to a certainty."
"There! there!" cried Charles. "I told you so, Mary!"
"Unless we get some body to tak' the wyte o't, it'll ruin our reputation; -some young chap-it wadna harm the like o' a laddie o' twa or three an' twenty-Charlie, will you just save Dawson an' me frae disgrace, and tak' the blame o't on yersel ?"
"Who! I, sir?"
"Wha else? Was it na for your sake it was done? Wasna it to get ye the hand (ye've gotten the heart already I jalouse), o' Mary Peat there, that Dawson and me did it?"
Charles looked at Mary, and Mary's silence and blushes confirmed Mr Pearie's statement.
"No, sir," he replied at last, "not even for that. Mary herself would recoil from a person accused of murder."
"Murder!" cried Mr Pearie, astonished; "it's no just sae bad as that either, though Tam Jaffrey, the bellman, says that the town-clerk tauld him it amounted to hamesucken and robbery-principally on account of the breeks; for ye see they were the Captain's ain breeks, and a pair o' his auld boots too."
"What is all this about?" enquired Mary, who had gazed from one person to the other, amazed at the conversation.
"Just a frolic, Mary, o' Dawson anʼ me," said Mr Pearie-" Ye see that lang-neckit Indian, afore going awa', had had the vanity to hae his statue done by the folk at the Wax-works, and had furnished it with his auld claes. Noo, I saw clear enough that his plan was to leave this statue wi' you, Mary, as a parting keepsake; an' as I didna wish to hae ony thing o' the kind, Dawson an' me just gaed doun last night, clamb into the upstairs window, and got haud o' the wax figure. We didna ken hoo to get quit o't, so we tied a wheen stanes round it, an' threw it bodily into the water opposite the Dene-walks-and Charles, ye see, refuses to tak' the blame o't, tho' I've tauld him ye're willing to reward him."
Charles Patieson, at this explanation, started up. "What! refuse? Who said I refused? My dear sir,—I will confess this moment."
"An' marry Mary Peat?"
Our chronicle gives no account of what Charles's answer was. But, we believe, a very short time saw every thing satisfactorily arranged — and the spotless reputation of the "heed o' the hoose" preserved from the scandal of so frolicsome an achievement, by the self-devotion of the younger partner. The church bells thundering forth their best," one morning very early, one morning in the spring," gave notice to all whom it might concern, that the banking esta blishment lately carried on under the names of Pearie, Peat, and Patieson, was now conducted under the names of Pearie and Patieson only. In the course of a few years it was finally dissolved. Mr Pearie retired from business, and now resides at the Dene
his old premises bearing, in new gilt letters above the door" Branch Bank. Hours of business from 10 till 4."
OUR WOULD-BE RECTOR.
AMONG those serious and vexatious affairs the public have had a little relaxation in laughing at the misfortunes of his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex. This Royal Duke has been notorious for many years as a Whig "and something more,' as a liberal of the most vociferous kind. Nature having given the Royal Duke no talents whatever, he could not, like some of his betters, abuse them, and his principles having been taught by Whigs, the character of those principles may be left for the amusement of the public. But during his whole life the topics of his oratory were the abomination of living upon the public,-his own huge pension, we presume, being the reward of intended services, he never having rendered any in the sixty years of his being. His Royal Highness was in perpetual agonies at the idea of pensions and places, of titles conferred without cause, of royal extravagance, and Ministerial corruption. The friend of the patriotic party who sang and swore that self-denial, public economy, and personal disinterestedness had taken refuge among them alone, could do no less than flourish his commonplaces at taverns and teadrinkings, and preach cheap living and liberty. All this was often looked on with surprise, when it was remembered that his Royal Highness himself was one of the most palpable cases of sinecurism in the kingdom; and that the success of his doctrines would have driven him to the hopeless necessity of earning his bread by the labour of his brains or hands. Still his Royal Highness harangued, and while there seemed no chance of his getting any thing from the Treasury he was the most averse of any man living to condescend to the national offence of making any demand upon the finances of what he, as regularly as the tavern bell rang, pronounced an impoverished, beggared, cruelly burthened, and so forth, nation.
But the hope of other things dawned.. He saw the Duchess of Kent, as her expenses decreased, getting an augmentation to her income, and the Duke, old as he was, thought that as his merits were quite equal, so might his luck. He accordingly made his proposal, through the bowels of compassion of Mr Gillon, a young gentleman who, in default of all other claims on public attention, avows himself a
Radical. The poor Duke asked for an increase of his pension, that pension being, on the whole, equal to the annual interest of half a million of money; his only discoverable plea being that he would extremely like to have more money than during his sixty years of drowsy existence he had ever possessed. No one in the House was cruel enough to ask what he had done for all that he had got from the nation already. The royal patriot and petitioner never having held any office, never rendered any service, never been heard of in any human shape of any possible exertion for the public behoof. The case was so decisive, that, prodigal as the House was, the petition slept on the table. The result was lamentable; the Royal Duke gave up the Presidentship of the Royal Society, to which his prodigious discoveries among the stars, or possibly his investigation of the philosopher's stone, doubtless entitled him; wrote a lacrymose letter to the Fellows, which was intended to rouse the very insen.. sible feelings of the public, and, declaring that he was unable to support the expenses of this formidable elevation, retired, covered with, we presume, glory.
The men of science, it must be owned, have not been altogether pleased with the reason, however they may have been with the result. They did not choose to be regarded as having eaten up a Royal Duke, as churchwardens were once said to devour a child. Accordingly, some lively correspondence has followed.
The point in question is the Royal Duke's inability to support the heavy expenses of his Presidentship. This is an unlucky confession to be thrown among so many arithmeticians. They have since been busy in the calculation how much it may have cost his Royal Highness to give tea and cakes, which were all that his Royal Highness ever gave. Some take the items of the tea, which they assert might be a couple of pounds at five shillings each, on his soirees. And others distinctly state, that those soirees, last year, amounted only to four, and allowing for candles, sugar, cream, &c.-for to these calculations the melancholy announcement of his Royal Highness's dilapidation have naturally driven them-the amount might be, at the outside, about L.200 per annum which, deducted from his pub
allowance of L.18,000 a-year (with other matters, amounting to L.21,000), leaves only the small sum of L.20,800 to meet the troubles of this world.
A sensible, and by no means an uncourteous letter, on this subject has appeared, utterly denying that the expenses of the Presidentship could be a burden to any one with a tenth or a hundredth of the unhappy Royal Duke's income.
It says, "I have been thirty years a Fellow of the Society, and have frequently had the honour of being elected of the Council. I have attended the evening parties of Sir J. Banks, Sir H. Davy, and Mr Gilbert. I have also attended, I believe, all the soirees' at your Royal Highness's residence to which I was honoured with an invitation, and I think I may say that these have not amounted to four altogether, and that, except your Royal Highness's frank and gracious reception of your guests, there was nothing to distinguish them from the evening parties so frequent in London, in which a private gentleman gives tea, coffee, and conversation to his literary friends."
It continues in the same quiet, but perfectly intelligible style- I can only say that the meetings which I attended, though perhaps too few in number, were conducted with plain,
if not frugal, good taste; and that, in the simplicity of their style, there was nothing to contrast offensively with the ordinary habits of the guests; nor, I should have thought, to increase in any sensible degree the expenses of your establishment."
All this will be extremely well relished by the country, though we shall not answer for the Royal Duke's equanimity on the occasion. The truth is, that all men are extremely glad when pretexts and pretences exhibit themselves the things they are. Paying all due respect to rank and royalty, we have seen nothing in the conduct of this man, whether young or old, to justify any kind of regret on the occasion. A Whig prince, in the modern sense of Whiggism, is an anomaly and an absurdity. If Radicalism were triumphant for a week, it would strip every prince in the land of title, pension, honours, and coat and breeches, and send them roving the earth like the unfortunate French nobility.
But we warn the country that the experiment on the parliamentary viscera is to be repeated. The "Date obolum Belisario" will not altogether answer in the instance of a petitioner who " of the division of a battle knows no more than a spinster." We recom. mend the following:—
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
And humbly take his twenty thousand more.
A talking, trifling, brain-bewildered thing,
Whose name in vain in History's page you'll seek ;
What were a palace by the public given,
Now comes he-by the price of Congo driven,
For forty years, just thirty times he dined
Per month, where Charity supplied the meal,
In vain the presidential glories rose,
Sir Joseph's three-cocked hat, Sir Isaac's chair,
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling legs have borne him to your door,
And humbly take his twenty thousand more.
PEEL CLUB, GLASGOW,
COLERIDGE'S Christabel is the most exquisite of all his inspirations; and, incomplete as it is, affects the imagination more magically than any other poem concerning the preternatural. We are all the while in our own real and living world, and in the heart of its best and most delightful affections. Yet trouble is brought among them from some region lying beyond our ken, and we are alarmed by the shadows of some strange calamity overhanging a life of beauty, piety, and peace. We resign all our thoughts and feelings to the power of the mystery-seek to enjoy rather than to solve it and desire that it may be not lengthened but prolonged, so strong is the hold that superstitious Fear has of the human heart, entering it in the light of a startling beauty, while Evil shows itself in a shape of heaven; and in the shadows that Genius throws over it, we know not whether we be looking at Sin or Innocence, Guilt or Grief.
Coleridge could not complete Christabel. The idea of the poem, no doubt, dwelt always in his imagination-but the poet knew that power was not given him to robe it in words. The Written rose up between him and the Unwritten; and seeing that it was "beautiful exceedingly," his soul was satisfied, and shunned the labourthough a labour of love-of a new creation.
Therefore 'tis but a Fragment and for the sake of all that is most wild and beautiful, let it remain so for ever. But we are forgetting ourselves; as many people as choose may publish what they call continuations and sequels of Christabel but not one of them all will be suffered to live. If beyond a month any one of them is observed struggling to protract its ricketty existence, it will assuredly be strangled, as we are about to strangle Mr Tupper's Geraldine.
Mr Tupper is a man of talent, and in his Preface writes, on the whole, judiciously of Christabel. "Every word tells-every line is a picture: simple, beautiful, and imaginative, it retains its hold upon the mind by so many delicate feelers and touching points, that to outline harshly the main bran
ches of the tree, would seem to be doing the injustice of neglect to the elegance of its foliage, and the microscopic perfection of every single leaf. Those who now read it for the first time, will scarcely be disposed to assent to so much praise; but the man to whom it is familiar will remember how it has grown to his own liking-how much of melody, depth, nature, and invention, he has found from time to time hiding in some simple phrase or unobtrusive epithet.' poem can "every line be a picture ;" and there is little or no meaning in what Mr Tupper says above about the tree; but our wonder is, how, with his feeling of the beauty of Christabel, he could have so blurred and marred it in his unfortunate sequel. "My excuse," he says, "for continuing the fragment at all, will be found in Coleridge's own words to the preface of the 1816 pamphlet edition, where he says, I trust that I shall be able to embody in verse the three parts yet to come, in the course of the present year'- -a half-promise which, I need scarcely observe, has never been redeemed." Mr Tupper continues:-" In the following attempt I may be censured for rashness, or commended for courage; of course, I am fully aware, that to take up the pen where COLERIDGE has laid it down, and that in the wildest and most original of his poems, is a most difficult, nay, dangerous proceeding; but upon these very characteristics of difficulty and danger I humbly rely; trusting that, in all proper consideration for the boldness of the experiment, if I be adjudged to fail, the fall of Icarus may be broken; if I be accounted to succeed, the flight of Dædalus may apologize for his presumption." "Finally," he says, “ I deem it due to myself to add, what I trust will not be turned against me, viz. that, if not written literally currente calamo, GERALDINE has been the pleasant labour of but a very few days.
Mr Tupper does not seem to know that Christabel "was continued" many years ago, in a style that perplexed the public and pleased even Coleridge. The ingenious writer meant it for a mere jeu de sprit-but " Geraldine"