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but how am I to reach Birmingham and walked at my side to the Bull's pennyless, as you justly describe mo ? Head in Holborn. There we found I must write to them. At the same the waggon lighted up and ready for time, I will forward my mother's moving. There likewise we found, letter, and beg them to send me less ready, the waggoner himself, whip money sufficient to convey me to in hand, smock-frocked, and drinking them."
stirrup-cups indiscriminately with • Then, I can tell you, you'll do no every member of the establishment. good at all. Catch Brummagem send. No time was to be lost. My introducing money to buy himself an encum- tion was short. Thompson whispered brance. He'll make a hundred and a word into the ear of his brother, fifty excuses to keep you away. I packed me into the waggon, forced know the world better. First and into my hand a bottle of cordial, and foremost, you must find your way down a lump of cold meat, then desiring me to your uncle, or whatever he is. to write how I got on, he bade me Tell him you have come, give him the take care of myself, and wished me a letter-say plump you are starving,' hearty good-night. set yourself down, and let him kick you My heart knocked at my breast out if he can. You are willing to with grateful emotion as I watched work, and he must get you employ- the noble-spirited labourer running ment. I think I might manage it through the streets back to his own
You'd be glad to travel by home-his genuine palace-where his waggon, wouldn't you ?"
wife and little ones, conscious of his “Yes, had I even the means for worth, proud of their possession, that."
awaited him with joy and sweetest ex“Well, but suppose I could find pectation. “Happy dispenser of dose 'em. Or suppose I have a brother mestic light and warmth, richer, in who takes the waggon to Coventry, spite of all your daily cares, than you and suppose we could get you first dream of or can understand, may there, and afterwards to Brummagem, Heaven forget me, if I forget this symwithout any money at all. Finish pathy for a stranger, this help that your packing, and just let me have a you can ill afford to take from those, word with the niissus." The energetic whose hope of life, whose bread deThompson departed, but quickly re- pends upon yoursinewy arm !” Heaviturned with Mrs Thompson this time ly the waggon issued from the yard in the rear.
They had settled my into the crowded thoroughfare, and business, said Thonipson, with ease. tears, which none but the Invisible His brother would start for Coventry might see, in deepest thankfulness to that night-he'd take care to secure that humble man, passed down my me a place in the wain, and he'd lend cheek - stopping my utterance. me a crown to buy provisions. If I Why, ah why, to embitter and poison got into work, he'd expect to be paid that most healthful stream, came driv. -but if I had still my old luck, why, ing upon my conscience, noxious rehe shouldn't be ruined though he gave collections of the irremeable past ?
“ Isn't that right, old wo- Why, returned upon my memory, man ?” he asked in conclusion. with all the freshness and the vigour
“ Quite right, Thompson," was his of a new existence, scenes of a former good lady's reply, “ and do, for good- time, that mocked me, whilst they ness' sake," she exclaimed, appealing forced me to consider and to contrast
give me those shirts to put them with that in which I acted tidy before you set out. There isn't now? a button on one of them. Oh, Thomp- What was the claim of this poor son, what stockings too! Your rela- man-found but yesterday—great as I tions will think you have been herd- acknowledged it to be, compared with ing with heathens. Do give them that which I had recognized in her here.” And Mrs Thompson disor- the beloved giver of my
life-my lost dered my trunk, and took possession and sainted mother ? In what pasof every thing.
sionate terms had I expressed my ilI joined these real friends at din limitable love when she loosed me ner; I partook of their tea. At night, into the world unwillingly from her when his labours were over, Thomp- arms ? What vows of enduring reson threw my trunk on his shoulders, verence and duty did I not invoke the
it to me.
Heavenly One to witness, consecrat- of his calamity, he muttered to him. ing every syllable with tears more self, and moaned exceedingly. At plenteous, hotter, and more innocent, length he tumbled into bed, and my than I had now to shed! How had I flesh crawled and crept as he breathed, realized the abundant promise ? lying at my side. There is no exWhere was the fruit of all this goodly tremity so desperate and gloomy as to sowing ? Sad, sad, and overwhelm- forbid the glimmering of one small ing recollection, dragging the crimson ray of hope and consolation, ever to my face, marking with derision and welling from the human heart. What contempt every burst of fancied sensi.
so soon, so easily seduced and lulled bility, every tear of visionary grati- to quiet as Despair itself? Would you tude! Truly, I had learned a lesson extract the hidden virtue of a great never to be forgotten, and in my lone. affliction ? Compare the sorrow with liness I conned it over, and closed my your neighbour's, and behold it shine. lips, and ceased my tears—convicted, The old man murmured suill in bed, humbled, and disgraced!
and ere he closed his eyes, exclaimed The fourth evening of our most te- in agony,“ Where next-where next? diousjourney had for some hours closed without a soul that knows me in the upon us, when the waggoner to whom world, no friends, relations, moneyI had been transferred at Coventry, God help me—nothing !” Hegroaned crawled with his ponderous machine, himself to sleep. Dismal were the snail wise, intothe town of Birmingham. moments with me, but oh, how dif. Fatigued with the excess of physical ferent to this pour wretch's state, my repose, oppressed by constant mental fortunate position ! One more night agitation, I longed to throw myself of misery, and in the morning I should at once into the arms of my sole re- be with loving friends, in health, and maining relatives. “ Their hospitable plenty would abound again. Day. reception," I thought, “ their assua- light was about to drop the curtain on ging accents, their warm and feeling my sufferings, but to renew them for manner, all that I may confidently the paralyzed, deserted, and unpitied expect from those whose veins carry beggar. The thought brought ease, a portion of the blood which streamed and I slept in spite of the old man. originally in our common ancestor- Loud was the clink of hammers, would soothe at once my harassed and louder the noise of anvils, as I spirits, and restore meto myself again.” sought my way through the close and But the lateness of the hour, and my narrow streets of Birmingham, seekanxiety lest I should disturb a slum- ing the dwelling-place of Mr Chaser. bering household, induced me to forego Busy were the looks of mortals, and this personal indulgence. It was my business-like their gait. Men with duty to consider their comfort, how. brawny arms, plated with thick coats ever great would be their eagerness of dirt, met me at every turn, whilst to embrace me, how deeply soever higher mortals, full of bustle and asthey might themselves regret a deli- surance, jostled along with a perking cacy which our relationship justified pride of industry staring on their me in not observing. I accompanied brow, that carried shame and terror the waggoner to the small inn at to every idler on whom it chanced to which he himself put up; and, for fall. Idlers, in truth, there were very my last sixpence, obtained a slight few. Indolence and pleasure were exrefreshment and a portion of a bed, pelled from the streets, which were which, with six others, filled the mean- taken up entirely by an intense and est room of the public-house, and the concentrated assiduity, real in many one most distant from all that was instances, but assumed in not a few. creditable and proper to be seen in the As I walked through the close streets place. The man who shared my of Birmingham for the first time, I straw for the night was old and pal- could have imagined—and without sied. He walked into the room short taxing my imagination largely--that ly after me. The other travellers had I was once more trudging along the retired to rest already, and were fast familiar ways of my own beloved City asleep. My temporary companion - dear in spite of perhaps, BECAUSE scarcely noticed me; but as hedivested of all that I had suffered in it-of all himself of his clothes-a process very that I had lost and left there ; but an long and painful to behold, by reason accurate observer could not fail to be
impressed with the conviction that • Why, of course he does-you know the imitation was defective, the assi- that as well as I do-didn't you say milation incomplete. London, mighty just now you wanted to see him? London, gigantic, incomparable, and why, what the devil do you mean?" unapproachable, scarce noticeable was With these words I was ushered, or Birmingham's thin and thready cur. rather pushed, into a room that opened rent contrasted with the overwhelm- into the passage, and was within a few ing flood that I have seen pressing yards of the street door.
The palealong thy narrow, deeply-fretted chan- faced youth departed. Who was he? nels 1 Inferior was the place in all Surely not a relative of Mr Chaser's ? respects. The very handicraftsmen
for instance : Oh, Heaven were a less clean and neat, a paler, forbid ! I had scarcely time to notice and a sadder race, than that I had left two red-coloured prints upon the wall behind me. Mr Chaser, my mother's -representations of Industry and cousin, was the owner of a foundery, Idleness before a heavy footstep situated in a smoke-dried lane. At- warned me to prepare for the bodily tached to the works was a small house, presence of Mr Chaser himself. My in which resided the proprietor and pulse leaped higher and higher as the his family. I reached the door, sur- affecting moment of our interview veyed it for a moment, and sighed drew near. How delighted he would with apprehension. I touched the be to receive me! He had never seen bell, and my heart palpitated when I me before. Twenty years had elapsed heard it tinging through the house. since he last beheld my mother. How The bell was not answered.
he would grieve to hear of her death! quarter of an hour I stood expectant, How bitterly would he regret the lacking the courage to ring again. angry words which had passed between At last I ventured. At the close of an. him and my father, giving rise to the other quarter of an hour, and after a family quarrel which followed so soon third appeal, the door was opened. A afterwards — severing them entirely young man, pale and sickly-looking, from one another. A fat, unshaven stood before me. He was in his shirt gentleman walked in, and I retreated sleeves. His hands and arms were involuntarily a pace or two. He also smeared with patches of dirt, and his was without a coat. An air of unmi. face, from which perspiration was fall- tigated vulgarity pervaded the whole ing thickly, matched them. His eyes man, and I prayed internally that the were of a light blue colour, and deeply fleshy bulk constituted Mr Chaser's sunk in his head. He fixed them on foreman. He spoke--the accent was the ground, from which fact you might provincial_“Well, young man, and possibly infer that he was modest and what do you woant with me?" bashful, if the sinister and villanous 6 Mr Chaser, sir?" I asked, too expression of the rest of his features well assured already. did not prove him at once to be as “ Yes; you've hit it,” he answered whiteliver'd and vicious, as he was with a grin. “I are Chaser, and I blue-eyed and whitefaced.
are awful busy, too, so I'll thank you “ Did you ring before ?” he enquire to make haste.” ed in a surly tone, and without deign- - You are connected, sir, I think, ing to look at me.
with a family of the name of Stukely," “ I did," I answered, with some (I looked in vain in Mr Chaser's eye hauteur ; “ and I desire to speak with for some glad token of acknowledgeyour master.”
ment,) “Jately resident in London ? " " What do you mean, stupid, by I continued, in dismay. master ?" was the elegant reply. “ Well, and whoat of that, my man ? “ Here, come in," he continued. If you have any claim on that there 66 Curse the door- this is how half estate, you should see the assignees. the work gets spoilt. He may find I can't help you. Í haven't seen the somebody else to be porter, or else a man for twenty years, and I doan't better man to stand at the forge. Well, know nothing on his affairs. My only come in, can't you? Who are you? wonder is, he warn’t in the Gazette What's
a score of years ago asleepy-headed, " Does Mr Chaser live here?” I obstinate, old stupid ass.” asked.
“I am his son, sir," I answered
your business ? "
quiekly-trembling with indignation. vere than any the wide and open world • He is in his grave-you must not could inflict upon me. It was reason, speak so of him.
able and just. The retribution had “ Whoat!” he exclaimed, seemingly commenced. It was proper that I surprised, but laughing very loud, should suffer. I placed the letter on “ be you the chap as went to college the table. to be made a parson on, and to learn “ And whoat do you call that there?" extravagance, as if they didn't teach enquired Mr Chaser, as I did so. it fast enough at home? Nice notions “ A letter from my mother, adthem for working people! I say,” he dressed to you, sir, and written many added, tipping me what I supposed to
months ago." be the true Brummagem wink, “it was “ And whoy, in the name of goodhardly fair upon the creditors to be ness, didn't you send it by the post filling your pockets up there when he before? That's cheap and expeditious knew he was a-going to break. I've like.” heard it all, you see.
We are not “ Read it, sir,” I answered. asleep, you see. And so the old man's “ Noa, do you read it to me. I dead! But he has taken care of you, should loike to hear a college chap. I reckon?"
That must be foine-cut on.' " I do not understand
sir." I was sick at heart; but I performed “ Oh, doan't you?" said he, looking my penance faithfully, and read on. very cunning. • Well, then, perhaps It was a long epistle; such as I exyou'll tell me whoat you have come pected it to be. First, it reverted, and to ask of me?"
most feelingly, to the distant days * Nothing," I answered, determined which they had passed together, nurat that moment, if I died afterwards tured and brought up under one roof of want, not to become indebted to but soon it flew to its main object, Mr Chaser for a sixpence.
that of securing for me a home when Noathing ?--that's
queer at any my own should have passed away. rate. Well-your mother's dead, I She implored her cousin to receive me, hear. A pretty mateh she made of it and informed him that her deathbed at last. I toald her how it would be would be made easy by the assurance —and so did every body else. A good she would have in her last moments woman, too, was Mary. I loiked your of his ready agreement with her mother. Many a frolic I are had with wishes." her when we were youngsters. She « Well, I are glad of that, at all was a tender--hearted creature. I events," said Chaser, when I had fi. wonder she never wrote to me; but nished. if she had, I dare say I shouldn't have 66 Of what, sir?" I enquired. answered her, for I hate writing, and « Of her dying easy and assured ; I couldn't bear
because whatever happens now can Disgusted as I had become in this make no difference to her. I doan't short space of time with Mr Chaser, see what I can do for you. My lads his affectionate remembrance of my have done their schooling, and I are mother extracted all viciousness from too old to learn myself. You put up the aversion with which I looked upon for a schoolmaster, I suppose ?" him. Furthermore, his mention of " I think, sir, I could teach the rumy dear mother's name recalled her diments." last sad interview with me-her latest “ Can you make a pair of breeches?" wish-my own solemn promise to her, “ A pair of breeches !” and I felt that I dared not withhold the “ Yes-boots, or any thing that's letter which I had engaged to place useful ? You doan't expect me to keep in Mr Chaser's hands. In many you like a gentleman at college, do things I had crossed the nearest you ? The lads are wanting clothes. wishes of her heart. The only com- If you were a tailor now, you might pensation that I could offer to her have the job.” memory was a compliance with her “ I am willing to work, sir," I restrict injunction. What if a shrinking plied, “and am ready to learn; and I sense of vexation and of shame irri.
come to you only in obedience to my tated me, and sought to hold me back? mother's commands. If you can help What, if in entreating aid from such me, and wish to help me, a little ridia man, I suffered pangs far more se- cule, and a few harsh words, shall not
prevent my accepting a favour at your just when absenteeism was most dehands."
voutly to be wished ? How willingly “ I doan't know what you mean by would she have kept the unruly al. that exactly. I suppose its sarce. phabet in order, had it been permitted Damn it, beggars shouldn't be sarcy, her! What but an obedient alphabet any how!”
did she need, in order to become a My acquaintance with Mr Chaser perfect model of good manners and would at this moment have been elegant deportment? Mr Chaser introbrought to an abrupt conclusion, if duced me in his own offensive manner the sudden appearance of a lady had to the fine lady, and took his leave not permitted the train of angry words, immediately, informing me, as he de. that had already taken fire on my parted, that it was very plain I could tongue, to go out without explosion. be of no use to him—there was nothing The lady was finely dressed ; she pre- I could do in the shop, and therefore sented a marked, and I thought at he could be of no possible service to first, a favourable contrast to the two He thought, as I had travelled malé beasts with whom it had been from London on purpose to see him, my unlucky fate to engage on this that I might as well stay that day to eventful morning. She was bedizened dinner; if I did so, he promised to in a bighly coloured gown, and a pink introduce me to as fine" a set of turban adorned a reddish head of hair. cheops as had ever grown out of loins, Her person was short and thin, and though every one had earned his liva she had a small face with pinched-up ing since he was ten year old, and features. Her mouth was very small ne'er a soul of the lot had ever been indeed by nature, but art was reducing to college." He grinned and left its dimensions daily. Could she live long enough, the time would arrive at The plaited lips then opened slightlength for its closing up and disap- ly, and a few syllables escaped them. pearance altogether. It will have - You are, I presume, the relative of been observed that in the language Mr Chaser ?" and deportment of the gentlemen, “ My mother was, ma'am," I rethere had appeared a slight uncouth- plied, waiving all personal claim to ness, an utter absence, in fact, of the that high honour. polished ways and forms of life- “ He is a noble character, is he those smiling agents, who, on the not? The true John Bull—the Eng. shortest notice, so courteously and so lishman. There is no hart about ably occupy the place of friendship, him-none at all." herself too sacred for undistinguishable Very little ma'am, I think," I anmixing in the world. This obvious swered most sincerely. fault it was the lady's anxious effort " You have been introduced to to improve. Her method was a pretty Master William.” (Master to rhyme one. As I have said, she screwed with disaster.) and drew her mouth into the smallest 66 I have not been so fortunate." and genteelest shape, and words fit “ He told me that he had spoken to only for a lady's lips struggled through you.”. it, cut and polished, and qualified for “ I have seen no one, ma'am, but Mr ears as royal as a queen's. What Chaser, and the man who came to the could display high breeding better street door." than such a mouth and such speech? “ That man, as you design him, True it is that in the process of refin- was Master William. He is our eld. ing, some words were clipped and est boy--and he is at the head of the maimed, shorn of a few proportions. rough” department. But much might be forgiven where “Where then presided Mr Chaser?” the intention was so good as Mistress thought I, at once smiling from the Chaser's. Was it her fault that V very depths of my misery. and W would still play masquerade • You shall see all the boys at dinupon her tongue that Veal was Weal, ner, Mr Stukely. As Mr Chaser said and Washing Vashing? Was she to in bis queent way, they are as fine a blame if some independent and unda- set of children as ever you be held.” tural H would at momentous periods “Have you many of ihem, ma'am?" be absent without leave ; and could “ I have height." Every one su: she be answerable if he appeared again perintends one department so that all