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expression to the stultified dramatist, who could not imagine what all this had to do with the Madeira and sandwiches.
“I certainly am part proprietor of that property- I wish I was not,” replied Mr. Carruthers, with rather a rueful look.
“I am aware it has been a losing speculation,” replied Elliston, remarking the expression ; “but cheer up, my dear sir, it shall pay you five-and-twenty per cent. on your capital yet, for my name is not Robert William Elliston.” Here he gave another knowing wink to the dramatist,
The grocer's countenance brightened up; this hint of the promise of future gain proved a complete sweetener to him.
“I shall be content with a much less per centage than that, sir," he remarked, “ though indeed it has been a heavy loss to me.”
“ No fault of the property, sir,” said Elliston ; “it's a fine property, a promising property, and I have come expressly to make you an offer for it. The lessees have all been fools, from Vickers to Glossop; but it is not every man that knows how to manage a theatre-eh, P.?” Here he again turned to the dramatist.“ But bless me," said he, suddenly pretending to be struck at the appearance of his companion,“ how faint and exhausted you seem ; hadn't you better take a little something?"
“Oh, oh,” thought P., whom Elliston's announced intention of taking the theatre had very much surprised, he never having heard him hint at such a thing before. The Maderia and sandwiches are coming at last"I do indeed feel somewhat overpowered by the heat of the day, sir,-a little refreshment"
" Ah, a glass of water," said Elliston.
P.'s countenance fell; he by no means wished for Ophelia's entertainment, and mentally ejaculated,
6. Too much of water hadst thou !"
“I think,” continued Elliston, turning to the tea-dealer," you have a famous spring in this street of yours, Mr. Carruthers, celebrated for the purity and virtue of its water. Yes, honest John Stowe certainly mentions it— Our lady's gracious well;' or was it old Strype? it was one of the two, I know-eh, P.? The old chronicler, Mr. Carruthers. You doubtless are acquainted with London's literary tailor, honest Master Stowe?”
The tea-dealer was not so fortunate; he had neither heard of the old chronicler, nor of the well alluded to; but completely won by Elliston's announcement of his intention to take the theatre, he eagerly intimated he had a very excellent pump in his kitchen, the water of which he considered to be second to none in the city, and hospitably remarked that a jug of it was very much at their service, and should be produced immediately. This was a sad damper to P.'s anticipations. Elliston,
however, seemed delighted with the offer, and readily accepted it. The water was duly produced, and the obsequious grocer obligingly poured out a tumbler for the disappointed dramatist; but before P. could raise it to his lips, Elliston stopped him with the observation,
“By the by, my dear fellow, in your heated state, you mustn't think of drinking cold water without having something in it-nothing more dangerous ; I have known many persons to whom it has proved fatal. You must have a dash of brandy in it, or a glass of wine-wine will be best-a little Madeira now."
Here he made a great show of thrusting his hand into his breechespocket.
"I must get you, Mr. Carruthers, to send"
"My dear, sir," said the expectant grocer, “ I could not think of such a thing. I will send down to my own cellar for it.”
"The very place I was going to ask him to send to," he whispered to P.
Yes,” continued Carruthers, “ I have some Madeira there that has been to the East Indies and back! • London particular!'”.
“Oh! I'm not at all particular : and if you insist on it, my dear, sir," said Elliston, with another wink to the dramatist, “ we must not, I suppose, refuse to gratify you, but pass our opinion."
Here was the Madeira procured—but how were the sandwiches to be obtained ?
Yes, sir," resumed Elliston, while the wine was being brought, “I have come to make you an offer. It is my intention to make your Royalty the Drury of the East; I will do what Palmer could not-oh! here's the Madeira—your pit will hold a thousand persons, I have heard. Under my management the pit shall be properly filled, -eh, P.?" again winking to the dramatist, for whom he had poured out a glass of Madeira, and who was raising it to his lips. “ Yes, I will manage to fill the pit completely," giving P. a dig in the stomach. " But gadso, P., I totally forgot, you have not taken any thing this morning ; you must not drink wine on an empty stomach-a crust of bread now
"I will order up the loaf immediately,” said poor Carruthers, delighted at the thought of having Elliston for a lessee.
“ You may order up the butter too,” said Elliston, again winking at the dramatist.
"Oh, certainly, certainly, Mr. Elliston," said the grocer.
"The house must be re-decorated," continued Elliston, “and I shall erect a new refreshment-room. By the by, if I recollect rightly, friend Carruthers, you have a celebrated ham and beef shop somewhere in this neighbourhood of yours. You can never taste corned beef in perfection but where they can boil it in its own gravy, as I have heard they do at these establishmenis. Will you let one of your servants procure-"
Here he made another great show of fumbling in his breechespockets.
“My dear sir, I could not think of such a thing," interrupted the tea-dealer, whom Elliston's determination of erecting a new refreshment-room bad quite enchanted, “ I'll send my servant for a dish of ham and beef directly."
Here then were the sandwiches.
The beef and ham duly made their appearance, and the conversation became more animated than ever.
" I shall depend greatly on catering to the appetite of the million,” said Elliston, with his mouth half full, deliberately preparing the sandwiches; “the gallery holds twelve hundred-nautical must be the
You must prepare some naval pieces, P.-the water's the thing, that must be studied in this quarter,” filling himself another tumbler of Madeira, and that element. But strong must be the word we cannot make our entertainments too strong. I shall attend very carefully to the second account -I always depend greatly on the second account—but, odd so, the bottle is out. Well, we'll just have another, friend Carruthers, to wash down the sandwiches; P. here likes a glass of wine, and over that we will conclude the business. Yes, yes, as I said, the second account must be attended to another bottle and"
It may be observed that Eliston was particularly partial to equivoque, as will be shown hereafter, and always indulged in it whenever ignorance, and absence of suspicion in his companions permitted him, and if an'opportunity presented itself ; he'd always a little comedy of byplay going on, which he made evident to the initiated by sundry winks and digs; his words had usually a double meaning, creating a laugh from one part of his auditors at the unconscious expense of the other. So it was on this occasion, poor Carruther's played Fainwood to Elliston's Jeremy Diddler, while P. was the audience.
The second bottle of Madeira soon followed the first.
“ Yes," cried Elliston, filling his tumbler, “the private boxes must be taken care of, they must have their proper quantum—another glass of wine, P.," helping the dramatist, and then again attending to himself. “Your health, friend Carruthers, and success to the Royalty. You will make up your mind what you intend to ask for the theatre, and let me know the next time I come this way, I have no doubt we shall be able to deal. Remember, a new refreshment-room, the pit extended, the private boxes widened, so you must be moderate. A capital entertainment,” here he thrust the last sandwich into his mouth, and emptied the second bottle, “but, odd so, we are detaining you from your customers, and I have to look in upon my lord mayor, by special appointment—he named two, I see it wants but five minutes," looking at his watch, " therefore we will not detain you. Be reasonable in your rental. Good morning ; I thank you for your hospitalityCome, P. Don't stir, I beg of you, my dear sir, we can find our way out. This way, this way, P.,” lugging the amazed dramatist after him.
Find their way out they did, to the complete mystification of the astonished grocer, whom they left half doubting whether he was in a dream or not.
“Well, P.," said Elliston, when they at length had fairly gained Cornbill, "didn't I tell you you should have a sandwich and a glass of Madeira, my boy?"
“You have certainly performed your promise,” replied P., “but I never knew you intended to take the Royalty before.'
“ Nor any body else, my dear fellow,” returned Elliston, with a laugh; " but you know I delight in doing dramatic impossibilities. The theatrical world have long asserted that the Royalty never produced a good entertainment. Now I was determined to prove that if it had not, it at all events should produce one, and if you don't allow that I have been this morning as good as my word, and made the ROYALTY produce a good entertainment, why you are no dramatist, and my name is not Robert William Elliston, that's all !"
A DREAM OF LIFE.
BY THE MEDICAL STUDENT.
In a day-dream once I stood
On a winding river's brink,
The meadows wide with many a link.
Galleys two together past;
One was of a rakish cast,
The orient sun upon them shone,
But at length the river ended
In the wide and windy ocean ;
With the dark waves' angry motion.
And thus they parted company,
In any clime-on any sea.
Through storm and sunshine, weal and woe,
With consorts too ; yet deem not they,
Where'er they sailed, where'er they lay, Did e'er forget the sunny flow
Of that bright river, or the morn
Now, gentle Agnes, read my dream,
And feel its spirit, mark its truth. That stilly-flowing, sunny stream
Has been the river of our youth,
And gladsomely indeed have we
Adown its mazy current gone ;
But still our airy pennants shone
Of earnest passion filled our sails.
But now the river meets the main
Whose links we ne'er may trace again; And all abroad before us lies,
Outstretching far in dreary sweep, With wrinkled waves and gloomy skies,
Of life mature the mighty deep.
Then, outward bound, let us upon
Our separate courses bear away, And though in truth I never may Athwart thy path again be thrown, Through sunny seas may it be ever,
And winding on by golden shores, Thy light sails may no tempest shiver
No dark sea-monster strike thine oarsAnd may
the bark that sails with thee Be all but loved as I have been ; But fitter o'er life's perilons sea,
To guide and guard thee, than I ween The crazy craft you
e'er might deem That traced with thee its morning stream.
But as in peace thou movest aye,
Should e'er be tidings from afar, Of wreck and ruin brought-Away! No more can I in symbols say
The deep emotion that doth mar My very mind's existence. Nay, My spirit bursts into the strain
With anguished thoughts it cannot quell, We ne'er shall meet on earth again,
God bless thee, girl-farewell, farewell !